Hummingbird Food

Hummingbird Food

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Hot water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Directions:

  • Stir granulated sugar into hot water.
  • Let Cool
  • Pour into recently cleaned hummingbird feeders.
  • Enjoy your happy hummingbirds

Keep the 4 parts water to 1 cup sugar. Don’t change the ingredients. Don’t add coloring.

Strawberry Simple Syrup

Strawberry Simple Syrup

Ingredients

  • Strawberries – Raw – Smooshed – maybe two cups
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Water – 1 cup
  • A bottle or something to store the end result
  • A strainer
  • A Funnel

How to :

  • Heat up the water,
  • Add the sugar slowly, when the water gets close to boiling
  • Add the smushed strawberries..
  • Stir and Smush. Smush and stir.
  • Strain the syrup into a bottle. My strainer and funnel nest so I did this in one step.
  • Save the strawberry smush as a topping.

I have made simple syrup for cocktails a couple of times. I have also bought it from the store.

Last weekend, I was at the farmers market. Strawberries were $7 for a flat. $7 for 8 pints. I bought two. Gave a couple to the neighbors. Ate a bunch. Put some up for later.

Then I made Strawberry Simple Syrup. It is AMAZING on Hawaiian Ice. I need to do some additional research on how it tastes in an Old Fashion. #ilovescience

Turkeys and Thermometers

I got a free thermometer with my turkey fryer that was a turkey. Pro tip. Put a good digital thermometer or two on your Christmas list.

I couldn’t figure out why the oil wasn’t coming up to temperature. So I scienced and used a different thermometer. The thermometer that came with the fryer said 220, the digital said 400. The oil was bubbling like it was 400. I tossed the free one. I also used a digital probe on the turkey. It was awesome.

I am currently using an Inkbird Instant. It is waterproof, rechargeable and has a magnet on the back so it lives on the vent hood. This has taken a front seat to the Thermoworks Instant Read which I have used for several years. The Thermoworks still works, but sometimes I have to fidget to get it to power on.

I use an instant read all the time. On the grill, in the oven, it is absolutely indispensable.

The other kind is a Thermoworks DOT. I hadn’t used it until this week. It has a probe on a long cord. I broke this on in on turkey this year. I am going to get another one. It is very handy.

I used the wired probe in the turkey breast to get it cooked perfectly. Like the little pop up thing, but science.

The web page says BBQ teams buy them in stacks. If the correct temp is important, I can definitely see why. I am going to buy another one to monitor oil temperature next time. They have an alarm that can be set by temperature.

My Birthday Wish.

Here is my birthday wish. Take a moment and read the words of a really amazing guy who passed away this week. Richard Mills was a DJ. He was a husband. He was a father. He was a star on the big screen.

He got a gift. He was told he had months to live. He promptly ignored that advice and lived THREE years. He also wrote down and shared what worked for him. #DBAD

Sous Vide Cooler Upgrade

Sits lower uses less water

I have been pretty happy with my sous vide cooler upgrade. I cut a new notch another inch deeper to save water.

I also changed the lid to accommodate the new position.

The immersion cooker now sits about 1/2” – 3/4” above the bottom. I should have checked this number with the manufacturer. I added a new cut for science. It’s not practical in any way except for the pictures I provide you gentle reader.

New deeper cut to save water.

Next steps – drain plug.

Maker’s Mark Grilled Chicken

I tried using Jack Daniels Pork Rub a couple of years ago. I ruined about Three pounds of pork chops. Tonight I looked at the ingredients of Jack Daniels Pork Rub. Ignored the salt. Added all the Garlic, paprika, brown sugar, crushed pepper, a twist of lime, and a half cup of olive oil. I added that to about eight pork chops and let it marinate for two hours in a ziplock bag.

But then I remembered that Mrs. Jon Bruce Entertainment bought a ice bucket yesterday. It seemed excessive at the time, but I was buying a crazy amount of original midcentury furniture. Sooo….

I got the Makers and Jack Daniels out. With rocks glasses and filled the ice bucket.

I made a lot of rice. I got the ice bucket filled. I waited until the majority of cooking was done to start drinking.

The marinated pork turned out good. I can’t say pork and keep calling it chicken. so the marinated chicken was delicious.

I have obviously been over served. Which is why professional bartenders are an important parts of the economy and should be accounted for in the Covid-19 bailed out.

The service and gig economy is essential to the world. a professional bartender would have recogized that a triple, maybe quadruple, shot of Maker’d Mark was too much for a pre-dinner cocktail. I am very out of practice. Diet Coke made it drinkable, but seriously.

I grilled the pork for three minutes a side on a grill at high heat. Pulled them as they hit 145 degrees. Served on a bed of rice.

The temperature of my grill is a subject for a sober conversation.

Ripping Camcorder Video to a computer

My brother called me before Christmas.

“You need to take a look at your old camcorder videos. It’s unbelievable. How can I get mine transferred to a computer?” – my brother, Mark

He also asked if I was still in bed. I was but I lied.

I am not a video person.

I promised I would figure it out. I used to own a Snap capture card thing about 20 years ago. You could take grainy snapshots of video directly from the camcorder. It was so much fun, I put it all in a box and forgot about it for 20 years.

A few things have changed for the better.

Computers have gotten SO much faster, memory has gotten SO much less expensive. Marie Kondo says its ok to digitize everything and stop carrying around the physical media.

Hardware

My son’s fiancé had been converting her families’ videos. She pointed me to Elgato. The boys already owned an Elgato for HDMI. They bought it to stream video games. I could have figured out how to up convert to HDMI. Analog to HDMI was too much work. I had to create something so simple I could explain it to my brother.

I did a little research. My camera was a Sony Handycam BetaSP. It was component (Yellow and White RCA things) outputs. Amazon had a “REDGO Video Audio VHS VCR USB Video Capture Card to DVD Converter Capture Card Adapter

It’s $13. Comes with software on a compact CD/DVD. Runs on Windows only.

It works fine. My video camera skills were never good. Here are my notes on the process.

Here is what worked for me.

honestech VHS to DVD 3.0 SE

I used the provided software. Luckily had a couple of computers with CD/DVD drives. (You can buy an external CD/DVD drive). The key for the software was posted on the Amazon page. I had to run it as an Administrator, so that it could read and write to my computer and send my personal info to identity thieves.

The editing is kludgy. I might have it figured out. But it records from the A/V input fine.

It creates 480p MPEG files that are huge. I think this was designed for the straight to DVD market. It’s fine. But…

It has a timer, so you can set it like an old VCR and it will tape for 2 or 4 or whatever hours and stop. My tapes are two hours. I didn’t need to babysit it. Great time saver.

I have already ripped a TON of DVDs. I knew about compression and transcoding. So I made everything smaller with

Playing Videos – VLC media player – VLC

Open Source, Free

This is a light, fast, free, open source video player. It’s awesome. I have it on all my computers. One of a few tools, that I immediately install on all my computers.

It plays pretty much everything. It is simple, but more powerful than I need it to be.

I detest Microsoft Media Player. I just want to play something, now. I use VLC.

Making files smaller – Handbrake – handbrake.fr 

Open Source, Free

This will take a MPEG file and turn it into a smaller file of many optional formats.

Right now, I am using the Fast 480p preset. This will reduce the size of the files by 66%. Not shabby. I have probably ripped a 100GB of tapes. I don’t have that much space on my big laptop. I don’t see a big difference in quality between the MPEG and the compressed file image or sound.

There are plenty of people who could tell me what I am missing out on with what ever compression scheme I choose. But just today,  I sent a friend a video of their wedding day from 1998. It has been sitting in a storage bin with all these amazing videos of my kids as babies for 20’ish years. My overall philosophy is if you can’t see it, it isn’t sparking joy. (Thanks Marie Kondo!). Also I am a bad friend, but I was the father of a 4 month old at the time and had several jobs.

Trimming and Editing – still looking –

There are a lot of options. I don’t know which one is the right one yet. VLC will let you let you trim, but it’s slow. I tried VIDSplitter and OpenShotVideo Editor. I think my main issue… It’s not as easy or fast as editing an audio file. It seems that the trimmed clip needs to be ripped as a new clip… So far.

Ongoing

I will keep you posted.

 

 

 

Santa vs. Ring Doorbell

We got a nice Santa suit a couple of years ago. I wanted to repurpose it for 2019. So this was my idea. Bring Santa to social media.

Here are two takes… (You saw it here first)

 

Take Two

 

Funny, I tried sharing this to the Ring Neighbors app. It was soundly rejected. Ring reached out for permission to use it for marketing in less than 3 business days. Weird. The Neighbors App has no sense of humor.  It would be nice if they shared positive news occasionally.