Antennae for my FT8900

Ok, so I've already got my little Comet dual band daily driving antenna, and a Comet SBB5NMO dual bander with decent gain for both bands for when I'm "keeping it under 80". Eventually I'd like to find a parked / moving very slowly and carefully antenna, or maybe two. My mount type is NMO. So far contenders are: Diamond SG7900 (2m 5.0dBi / 70cm 7.6dBi) 600g, 1.58m HUGE and heavy, no NMO? Diamond CR627NMO (6m 2.15dBi / 2m 4.5dBi / 70cm 7.2dBi) 450g, 1.51m (does 6m!) Diamond CR8900 (10m/6m/2m 2.15dBI / 70cm 5.5dBi) 490g, 1.26m (gains kinda suck, but does 10m!) Comet UHV-4 (about the same as the Diamond CR8900) Maybe I should just do a 6m or 10m dipole. Of course that would have to be a stationary antenna. I guess I could pull the radio out of my car and set it up at home some how. It's not like I ever use it in the car, and the mount, while very professional, is a little noisy sometimes. Then I'd have a ham radio at home that I almost never use. Yay!


Drew's Ginger Vanilla Pear Conserve

This is based loosly on my Grandma's recipe for peach conserve. Peeled, cored, roughly sliced pears (4 large baskets, about 12 cups) Syrup consisting of about half the amount of pears as sugar, dissolved in boiling hot water juice of 1 lemon Toasted hazelnuts (not salted), cracked or split (about 1/2 cup) fresh ginger, grated might be best, tried chopped (1 inch or so) 1 fresh vanilla zest of 1 lemon or maybe orange Boil up the syrup, add pears and ginger Boil until the pears are soft and it's started to thicken add nuts, zest and vanilla, boil for another 2 or 3 minutes and then can.


Grandma Marie Hammond's Peach Conserve Recipe

6 quart basket of peaches (the kind with the loose pits are best) skinned and sliced 3 oranges sliced thin including rinds equal quantity of sugar as fruit (by volume) 1/2 lb walnuts (or toasted almonds) 1 cup sultana raisins, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes (I think a dark spiced rum would be better) 1 bottle maraschino cherries One batch (18c of fruit) makes about 9 pints of conserve, have plenty of mason jars on hand. To skin the peaches, first boil them for about a minute or less, then put them into a cold water bath. This should loosen the skins. Put peaches, oranges and sugar into a largish pot and boil. Once it's stabilized at a good boil, leave it for about 2 hours to thicken. Monitor and stir regularly to prevent from boiling over (which makes a huge mess) or burning to the bottom of the pot. While waiting for conserve to thicken, prepare jars by sterilizing them in clean boiling water. Arrange on a cookie sheet for filling. My Mom always put a fork into the jars "to keep them from breaking due to the heat", so I do it too, although I'm not sure how it achieves this. The forks do help settle this rather lumpy preserve into the jars though. When syrup sheets from the edge a spoon, it's ready. Add in nuts, raisins and cherries, and bring it back up to a boil for maybe a minute or two then remove from heat and scoop into jars. Mom likes to use a coffee mug for this job. Immediately cap the jars and turn them upside-down to sterilize the air in the head of the jar and encourage a tight seal with the rubber gasket. Once jars have cooled enough to handle with bare hands, wash them with hot soapy water to clean off any residue and set them back upright. If you plan to be storing the conserve for extended periods, then you might want to process it using a canner. This is pretty simple. Instead of inverting, cap the jars, and screw the cap holders down to a loose finger tight. Then submerge them in a bath of boiling water for about 20 minutes. When they come out, you'll hear the distinctive pop as the lids vacuum seal. Once they're cool enough to handle, you can remove the cap holders and clean the threads as necessary. Store in a cool dark place. The cap holders should be no more than finger tight (otherwise you risk damaging the rubber seal).


Random links of interest.

I've decided that a browser is a terrible place to store links. So I'm gonna keep them here. And perhaps I'll even get around to labeling them some day... http://www.flickr.com/photos/zippy/69600917/ debug_like_ninja http://xkcd.com/ http://www.tectonic.co.za/view.php?id=916 Yaesu FT8900 review page Steal this... website? Glider PRO. So mellow... CVS branch-n-tag summary Joe Celko flips out about EAV design Polymorphic Foreign Keys HOWTO Programming Language Shoot-out Steve, DON'T EAT IT Wikipedia Correlation Implies Causation Logical Fallacy DIY .mac


Elspeth's New Place

Across from the convenience store at the corner of Frederick and Filbert Streets in Kitchener. It's big, beautiful (in a 70's, smoked glass / dark hardwood floors kind of way) and best of all it makes her happy. I wonder how best to modify my route to the cottage to swing by her place?


Cluster Filesystems

Apparently these things are out of the lab and ready for production. Or at least that's what the marketing departments are saying. I'm going to use this post to keep track of investigations into the following file systems, with the hope of separating reality from hype. Eventually this might even turn into a proper article. But probably not.
  3. CFS Lustre
If you know me, then the goal will be obvious: finally a reliable, scalable, high performance file system upon which to host high availability PostgreSQL databases.


Look, it's me, drunk... in Cuba!


Scary Delicious Wines

I'm only going to list the absolute best of the best I've ever tasted here. 1999 Shiraz: Penfold's RWT (Red Wine Tasting) ? Port: Quinta do Vale Maeo


Jamie Kennedy's Comments on Basic Beef Stock

Last week, I took Mom, Robin and Aunt Weasie out to the Jamie Kennedy Restaurant for dinner. I had the rib-eye steak for dinner. It was a decent steak, but the sauce which came with it was fantastic. Being the inquisitive guy I am, I decided to ask the chef how he made such a fantastic sauce which lead to the following revalation on stock making. Roast before you render. In retrospect it's so obvious. No wonder my stocks have lacked the flavour and complexity I've wanted. Jamie had a number of other thoughts on the process, but I figure crawl before you walk. I just took a batch of beef bones (say that 3 times fast) with a couple of onions out of the oven (350F convection for about 1.5 hours). Too bad I didn't have any carrots or other root-veggies on hand. I'm gonna let it render overnight and see what it tastes like tomorrow morning. Well, it came out smelling incredible, no surprise. I plucked out the bones and put it through a sieve to get the big stuff then set it on a rolling boil to reduce. I figured that reducing it would take a good 3 or 4 hours, but boy was I wrong. I scorched some of it to the bottom of my stock pot after only about 2 hours on the stove, a real tragedy. Not to mention a real pot-scrubbin workout too. Ah well, I salvaged some of the stock and am looking forward to trying it out next time I make some soup.

Google Integration Found Irresistable

The fact that I have created this blog is yet more proof that I'm a pathetic Google fanboy. I tried out a livejournal and ended up not using it for anything. But I've got some ideas about what to put up here. Aside from (just) pointless posts about the trivia of my life I though that perhaps this would be a good place to keep track of recipes. I used to have a recipe website but it died when the hard-disk for that server bought it. Naturally I didn't have any backups, for which I offer no excuses beyond the classic "well, I guess I should have made backups". Recipes will be tagged with the "recipe" label. Brilliant, I know. Other generally useless content will include ubre-brief book / song / movie / $[art] reviews which will no doubt illuminate my rather limited analytical skills. There's a reason I changed my major away from English after second year, but I'm not contemplating essays here. It's more to keep me reminded about what I have and haven't read. This might help me avoid the somewhat embarassing situation of getting part way through a book and realizing that I've already read it. Embarassing because I've probably bought another copy. Label "review" seems fitting. Oh, and I should also throw in brief descriptions of movies, books etc that had trailers or back-covers I found interesting so that I get around some day to. Perhaps a "todo" label? In fact, general I might even put up general todos! Wow, I'm feeling very excited about the prospects. I'll end here with the prospects of getting my life organized ahead of me. Very positive and upbeat stuff that. I wonder if I can attach some kind of cutsey little icon to this post. That'd rock.