John's blog

Christmas recorder Music

A bit of the Christmas spirit at Chapel in Akron PA


Weeds and our little garden

We have a little garden. It's small enough that you can park a car over it and it would be almost completely covered. So we are picky about what we plant, and we try to maximize the benefits we get from it. So when I found out about purslane, nand we tried a few bites in a salad, I thought, "we might have to let some grow in our garden."

Now you probably think, "Purslane, what's that?" Well you might know it as Fata Han, and probably pull it out as a weed on a regular basis. It turns out that purslane is natures vitamin pill. Wikipedia states:

100 Grams of fresh purslane leaves (about 1 cup) contain 300 to 400 mg of alpha-linolenic acid. One cup of cooked leaves contains 90 mg of calcium, 561 mg of potassium, and more than 2,000 IUs of vitamin A.

Our garden it turns out is a great place for purslane, and we are happy to let it find a place inbetween the other plants we are growing. I found a video that explains some of the benefits of purslane.


how to make good southern BBQ

I was discussing with some friends how I make BBQ and why I do it the way I do. So I put together some of the resources I've found and thought I'd share it with you as well.

It's not hard to do, but it does take time, lots of time.

Good Eats:
Early show that covers the science. And rubs. Not BBQ, but good info about pork.

Pulled pork.

how to make a smoker with nothing.

All about smoking with various tools. pulled pork and ribs.

Dry Rub:
8 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon jalapeno seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon rubbed thyme
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

shug makes BBQ for a grad party.

95 lbs of pork on a very large smoker. good pics of how it's built. also weird drunk women doing the chicken dance near the end.

Lexington Style Carolina Barbecue Sauce
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8? teaspoon? red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sugar
Combine all ingredients plus 1/2 cup water in saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cool and serve on cooked meat.

Why I will no longer buy Toshiba products.

Almost four months ago I was involved with buying a new laptop for our church. Since our needs are not that great, we found a nice 17" with an fast AMD processor and made sure we got as much memory as we could. This should have been a smoking fast machine that would speed up the paperwork and make any office work a simple thing compared to the older computers currently being used.

The choice was simple enough, a local store is also an authorized service centre for Toshiba computers, the deal was pretty good, and the assurance that any problems could be handled locally and quickly sealed the deal. What we didn't expect was that Toshiba had utterly failed in their ability to do quality control checks on this particular model.

The first week, the computer seemed to work, although it was only turned on once or twice as I setup the software and security for it's final use. We purchased the latest version of MS Office and got the anti-virus installed and updated. Various other software was installed, and then a recovery image was made incase we ever had to reinstall everything.

The second week we took it to the office and got all the archived data transferred onto the new computer, and made sure that it was up to date and working properly. Everything seemed normal, but it wasn't.

By the third week I got a call asking why the laptop wasn't booting properly. After 5-6 failed attempts nothing was starting, just a power light and a blank screen. Well, I did a bit of troubleshooting and we got it started, and I thought it was resolved, until Sunday when I heard that it failed to start2-3 more times that week.

Well, back to the store it went, and they assured me that they would get it fixed, and they tried. The replaced the motherboard 4 times and each time it got worse. The first time they replaced it they gave it back and we used it for a week before it went back to get the next motherboard. After the fourth faulty motherboard Toshiba finally gave up and asked the store to send it in.

Two weeks ago Toshiba claimed that they fixed it and were sending it back. They usually manage to ship within a week however it looks like they're managing to screw up that as well. It's too bad, that they've managed to screw this up so much. I was looking at replacing my aging laptop, and Toshiba has come up with some inovative ideas, and they've left some of the bad driver issues from Windows XP in the past, but this is too much.

I expect better from the companies I do business with. If you can't fix it, replace it. If you can't replace it, give me my money back and I'll find a company that wants my business. This is the last time I buy a Toshiba. It's just not worth the hassle.