Silent Microwave

I was happy to find out that I can turn off the sound on my microwave. Without taking it apart to cut out the speaker, as I did on my UPS. The instructions vary for different microwaves, but for my Panasonic NN-ST663S the instructions are:

  1. Plug it in, “88:88” displays
  2. Press Start button to see the top or bottom bar of the last letter blink next to the kg or lb label; press [Timer/Clock] to choose between them if you want
  3. Press [Start] again to display “Beep” The oven has both Beep On and Beep Off mode. Default is on.
  4. Press [Timer/Clock] to change to “Beep Off”
  5. Press [Stop/Reset] to exit.

Lentils and Quinoa

Lentils and Quinoa in a frying pan
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp curry paste
  • 1/2 tsp each cinnamon and salt
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup quinoa or rice
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can (19 oz) lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 apple, unpeeled and diced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup low fat plain yogourt
  1. Heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Cook onions, garlic, cumin, curry paste, cinnamon and salt stirring often for about 5 minutes or until softened.
  3. Stir in carrots and quinoa-cook, stirring occasionally for about 1 minute.
  4. Pour in stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes until quinoa is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Stir in lentils, apple and green onions. Cook for about 5 minutes or until lentils are heated through.
  6. Serve with a dollop of yogurt.

Gurkensalat

Ingredients

There is a 30 min – 3hr sitting time in this recipe

  • 3 Cucumbers
  • salt
  • sugar/honey (6 tbsp)
  • dill (2 tbsbp)
  • vinegar (6 tbsp)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • onion (1 small, 1/4 of our usual)
  • cream or sour cream or milk (125ml or so)

Instructions

  • peel and slice 3 cucumbers
  • add a fair bit of salt to let them drain out water
  • wait for 30 min – 3hrs; slightly push water out of the cucumbers and discard the water
  • mix sauce and onions and add

Sauerbraten

There are two parts to this recipe, marinating and roasting. There seems to be some debate about how long, I have seen as little as 2 days and as much as 3 weeks. If meat in the fridge for that long freaks you out keep in mind that vinegar preserves; there are lots of opinions out there for how long so google as needed. Some people seem to boil the marinade briefly before putting the meat in.

This recipe is “Frei nach Dr. Oetker” but there are some notes and tweaks.

Marinating

  • 1 “roast for 4-6 people”
  • for marinade:

Peel and slice onions thinly. Mix other marinade ingredients and put the roast and marinade in a container that is as small as can fit all of it, so that as much of the meat as possible is submerged. Alternative: put it in a zip lock or vacuum bag.

Marinade for 2-21 days. Turn the meat occasionally during marinating so that all of it gets covered into the juice.

Roasting

  • Suppengrün – a carrot and a stick of celery and an onion
  • 50g raisins
  • 50ml port or red wine or water
  • 50g (1-2 slices) of German pumpernickel (not the spongy stuff you call pumpernickel in North America), or I prefer my favourite Flambe bread from our local German baker
  • oil for browning the meat
  • 1 tbsp Rübenkraut (not just golden syrup) or honey

Soak raisins in port so they are nice and soft when you add them to the sauce later. Keep this separate until near the end of cooking so it doesn’t get blended with the rest)

Take the meat out of the marinade and keep the marinade separate since it will be used for cooking

Brown the meat on all sides in oil in a frying pan that is deep enough for roasting it with its sauce.

While the meat is browning, cut up the suppengrün into small cubes.

Once the meat is browned, put the suppengrün, Rübenkraut or honey and about half the marinade into the frying pan with it and stew in a light boil for 30 min with a lid on. Add marinade as it steams off.

Break up the pumpernickel or Flambe into crumbs and add it to the frying pan.

Stew for another 1.5hrs or so.

The sauce

Take out the meat

Put the sauce and vegetables through a blender. It should end up a as a somewhat thick sauce. Take it out of the blender, and add the raisins.

Serve with dumplings and red cabbage

 

 

Two computers, one set of speakers

We have two windows computers in our kitchen. For a while now they have been set up so that you have to plug the one you sound in listen tabwant working right now into the external speakers. Today I finally looked into a better way. Turns out there is a free one, or free as long as you already have a male-to-male audio cable.
Plug one PC’s audio out into the second PC’s audio in. On the second PC (Windows 10), go into control panel, Change sound card settings, recording, pick the plug you used, and click properties. Click the “listen” tab and check “listen to this device”. I had to set the levels way down to 5/100 to not get any distortion and just get a full volume output from the first PC.
No more plugging around!

Belt buckle experiment with 3d printing in metal

Rowing seat belt buckle 3d printed in steel
Rowing seat belt buckle 3d printed in steel

Here are two belt buckles I designed and then had 3d printed in steel. The first is a rowing seat, and the second the head of a modern rowing oar.

Modern rowing oar belt buckle 3d printed in steel
Modern rowing oar belt buckle 3d printed in steel

I like how the seat turned out, the layering artifacts of the 3d printing process give it almost a wood grain look, which is similar to the original item, which used to be made out of wood.
I find the layering on the

Back of the rowing oar belt buckle 3d printed in steel
Back of the rowing oar belt buckle 3d printed in steel

oar kind of distracting; if I get another one printed I might see if they take requests on how the item is oriented when it’s printed. Or I could add a bit of a compound curve to the piece so the lines don’t end up straight.

Greasemonkey script to click “Show more” buttons on web pages

A lot of web sites have “show more” buttons. I am not sure if they are just used for tracking purposes or if some people really thinks that they improve the usability of a page, but I just find them annoying.  It is possible to click these buttons automatically when the page is loaded using the Greasemonkey add-on for Firefox. Here is some scripts that do this.

Kanopy (change the winnipeg.kanopy.com to your library’s URL):

// ==UserScript==
// @name Kanopy more clicker
// @include https://winnipeg.kanopy.com/*
// ==/UserScript==

// wait for page to finish loading
window.addEventListener('load', function() {
    console.log(document.getElementsByClassName("more")[0].click());
}, false);

Kijiji:

// ==UserScript==
// @name kijiji more clicker
// @include https://www.kijiji.ca/*
// ==/UserScript==

// wait for page to finish loading
window.addEventListener('load', function() {
    console.log(document.getElementsByClassName("showMoreButton-4078245409")[0].click());
}, false);

Overdrive (again, change it to your library’s URL):

// ==UserScript==
// @name Overdrive AutoExpander
// @version 1.0
// @include https://winnipeg.overdrive.com/*
// ==/UserScript==

window.addEventListener('load', function() {
console.log(document.getElementsByClassName("TitleDetailsDescription-descriptionArrow js-description-arrow is-unexpanded")[0].click());
}, false);

Goodreads uses a link instead, so an additional library is needed:

// ==UserScript==
// @name Goodreads more clicker
// @description click the "more" button on goodreads pages
// @include https://www.goodreads.com/*
// @require http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.8.3/jquery.min.js
// ==/UserScript==

//--- find "...more" link; the contains() text is case-sensitive.
var TargetLink = $("a:contains('...more')")

if (TargetLink.length) {
console.log('clicking "more..." button')
TargetLink.click()
}

Adjustable gate latch

The soil in Winnipeg is all clay so it shifts a lot between dry and wet times. That means nothing is ever straight and level for long. So, the gate latch needs to be adjusted frequently.
I finally added the quick release from a bike seat for tool-less adjustments. I have a bunch of them around because I don’t like to help out the thieves by leaving them on a bike.

Tabbouleh (Tabuli ) salad

  • Picture of my bowl of Tabouleh1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • 0-1/2 clove garlic
  • 0-1 dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • ~1cup finely diced tomatos
  • 0-1 finely diced cucumber
  • 2+ cups finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4+ cup finely chopped mint leaves
  • 2+ finely chopped green onions
  • 1/2 tsp of salt (to remove water from tomato and cucumber)
  1.  wash the parsley and mint and dry it well (I spin it in a salad spinner)
  2. mix olive oil and lemon juice and optional cinnamon and garlic
  3. add bulgur and let sit for 15+ minutes (at least until bulgur is plumped up)
  4. chop up tomatoes, green onion and cucumber, mix with salt and let it sit for 5+ minutes
  5. chop up the mint and parsley
  6. drain tomatoes and cucumber and mix with mint, parsley
  7. add bulgur mix and stir

3d printed fence for a Stanley #78 Rabbet Plane

I picked up an old Stanley #78 rabbet and bull nose combination plane at a garage sale. It works OK as a bull nose and full-width plane, but it didn’t come with the fences needed to make consistent rabbets. I made the following 3D model in Fusion 360 and printed it, this is the final tweaked version. It also requires some nuts and bolts, and I had to re-cut one of the holes in the plane body because it used some crazy non-standard thread.

Stanley #78 fence and depth stop fence model.f3