Mr WordPress On Your Bed

A friend pinged me on IM today and sent me a chunk of latin that was filler in a word document. It’s uhh… interesting when you run it through Google Translate.

Original latin:

Suspendisse bibendum magna sit amet lectus molestie faucibus. Sed semper blandit tortor. Etiam cursus.

English Translation:

Mr WordPress on your bed is great here. But you are always more. An accident.

The Best Thanksgiving Turkey Ever. Period.

I’ve made various recipes over the years yet this one was hands down voted the best by every family member that had some.

The recipe is actually a combination of two separate recipes. I took the brine portion from one, and instead of continuing and cooking it as-is, I picked up another recipe to finish things off. The combination of flavors in the end, along with the moisture retained by brining results in an always moist and very delicious turkey for Thanksgiving. On top of that, its a fairly easy recipe to prepare. So without further adieu…

Brine

  • 1 1/2 gal water
  • 1 1/2c real maple syrup
  • 1c Morton Kosher salt
  • 3/4c brown sugar

Combine all ingredients in a brining bag. You may need to use a food grade bucket based on the size of your turkey. Brine the turkey overnight in the refrigerator or in a cooler filled with ice. 

Some recommend boiling everything to help dissolve all ingredients but I don’t bother. If you do boil as your normal brining routine, make sure to cool to room temperature and chill in the refrigerator before adding the turkey to the brine. I usually end up making 2-3 batches of brine to completely cover the turkey in the bucket. 

Turkey

  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp pepper
  • 1 onion – quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 Granny Smith apple – quartered
  • 1c butter – at room temperature
  • 2Tbsp rosemary leaves – fresh and chopped
  • 2Tbsp thyme leaves – fresh and chopped
  • 6 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 3c apple juice
  • 1c water
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Remove giblets from turkey cavity, rinse turkey and pat dry.
  3. Place turkey on roasting rack in roasting pan, breast side up.
  4. Salt and pepper inside and outside of the turkey.
  5. In a small bowl, combine butter with 2Tbsp of rosemary and 2Tbsp of thyme.
  6. Spread the butter mixture between the skin and the meat going as far up the breast as possible. Coat the outside of the skin with any leftover butter mixture.
  7. Place quartered apple, onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme sprigs in the cavity of the turkey.
  8. Tie the legs together using kitchen twine
  9. Pour the apple juice and water into the roasting pan and place the turkey in the oven.
  10. Cook the turkey until done (180°F in deepest part of the thigh), basting as needed. Don’t over-baste because opening the door frequently lengthens roasting time. Note: With a brined turkey, it seems like the cook time is 15-20min/lb which is significantly shorter than an unbrined turkey. 
  11. If the turkey browns too quickly, cover with a loose aluminum foil tent.
  12. When the turkey is done, allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

All Enemies, Foreign and Domestic

There was a comment posted on a Politico article regarding Ron Paul suggesting impeachment of President Obama following the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki. I’d like to address a few things.

The comment:

I guess Mr Paul who claims to know the Constitution forgot the oath he took to protect and defend against enemies foreign or domestic. Anwar al-Awlaki was an enemy of the United States unless Paul can prove otherwise.

The oath:

Do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter: So help you God?

Obviously the commenter fails to understand that the oath was to defend “The Constitution” from enemies, both foreign and domestic… and not to defend the United States from enemies, both foreign and domestic.

If you can find somewhere (anywhere?) in the Constitution that says that elected officials have a duty to protect the United States, regardless of what’s right or wrong, please… by all means correct me because I can’t find it.

Early snow at Laurel Summit and Phillipsburg

With all the global warming and climate change debate going on, I find this paragraph from the NWS State College office this morning somewhat of interest. (Text has been cleaned up for readability but otherwise unchanged). Source

.Near term /until 6 pm this evening/…

0.7 inches of snowfall has been reported by the co-op observer at Laurel Summit this morning…. with an accumulation of 1.2 inches at Philipsburg. This marks the earliest date in the cool season that measurable snow has been recorded at these sites. Co-operative weather observations have been taken at both Laurel Summit and Philipsburg since April and December of 1997 respectively. Both KJST (Johnstown-Cambria County Airport) and KBFD (Bradford Regional Airport) have been snowing since 10-11z (6-7am EST)… with the snow falling heavy at times at KJST around 12z (8am EST). Temps at 34°F mean little accumulation in most places… but Mesonet observations showed some of the ridge top locations at 30-32°F around daybreak.

Regional web cams show a coating of snow even on roadways coating with snow at elevations above 1700 feet… such as Route 22 from Gallitzin through Ebensburg… to Chickory Mountain… where much of this road stretch is between 1800-2200 feet.

Central PA Flood Images from Goldsboro, PA

Images were taken around 10am and 4pm on September 8th, 2011 in Goldsboro, PA.

If you notice, some are similar shots but were taken a few hours apart. There’s a lot that’s changed in the past few hours. The Susquehanna river has gone from around 20-21 feet to almost 24 feet. Its expected to crest near 28.5 feet.

The Radio Shack Battery Scam

I made the mistake the other day to walk into Radio Shack. I needed a specialty battery and wasn’t really thinking. Almost every single battery was $4.99 or $5.99. Each.

Ok, well they’re specialty batteries, I thought. Really, they’re not so special. I needed 2. My options were $4.99 x2 ($9.98) or $11.99 for a 3 pack. That seemed like a deal  even though I only needed 2 batteries. Its actually a common marketing ploy, but I digress.

I got my batteries and walked out, grumpy about the whole situation.

When I arrived home, I decided to research the price of these batteries online. I went to Amazon and did a quick search. A 2 pack of the same batteries cost only $2.49 and a 5 pack cost only $8.50!!! Wait, I just paid $11.99 for 3! In some cases I was even finding 50 packs of batteries for around $10.

This left a bitter taste in my mouth and reminded me that certain “disposable” items were much cheaper online than in any store. Radio Shack has you cornered if you need specialty batteries right away just like Best Buy has you cornered when you need some sort of cable or part for your entertainment system.

The high markup on these types of items is probably the only thing keeping these brick and mortars in business at this point. They’re a dying breed and if they can’t adapt they’ll soon be extinct.

Removing Standard Image Sizes from WordPress

I ran across an issue today where I needed to specify which image sizes were generated within WordPress. I didn’t need the stock sizes (thumbnail, medium, large) but I did need a few custom sizes. Adding custom sizes is the easy part but removing others threw me for a loop.

The quick and dirty solution would be to set the sizes in Settings > Media to 0 so that nothing would be generated. While this works on a single site, its not the best solution for something that would be deployed on multiple sites. After all, who wants to remember to change individual settings on each new site?

Best solution, filtering intermediate_image_sizes. Basically all you need to do is return an array of what sizes you want generated. In the example below, I had already used add_image_size() to generate 3 new sizes: theme-small, theme-medium, and theme-large.

Here’s the code:

add_filter( 'intermediate_image_sizes', 'rcd_remove_stock_image_sizes' );

function rcd_remove_stock_image_sizes( $sizes ) {
    return array( 'theme-small', 'theme-medium', 'theme-large' );
}

Basically what this does is define only our 3 new image sizes in the array eliminating the stock sizes of thumbnail, medium, and large.

Thanks to @Otto42 for the tip!

Vegetable Plants for Sale (2011)

I always start a bunch of seeds every spring… more than I need. I transplant a fraction, but it ensures I get enough plants for my garden. I try to limit how many seedlings go to waste.

Everything I grow is 100% heirloom, non-GMO seeds. If you want plants, all I ask is $0.50 per plant which helps defer the cost of seeds I bought plus soil and other materials. Its about the price, if not cheaper, you’ll pay at a store and you get good quality non-hybrid plants.

Here’s the list of extras I have for this season. Contact me to request and get on the list. Quantities are limited. Must pick up (I’ll advise when ready).

Tomatos:

  • Beefsteak
  • Kimberly (Cherry)
  • Roma

Peppers:

  • Green Bell
  • Poblano
  • Anaheim
  • Cayenne
  • Habanero

Herbs:

  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Parsley

Squash/Melons:

  • Yellow Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Watermelon
  • Pumpkin– Atlantic & Big Max (Both giant size)