Verse Of The Day

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

And 20 Became 19.

fresh chicken and ribs on the barbieUnce upon a time, five Buff Orpington roosters lived among others in a backyard flock, somewhere in upstate New York. A lone Speckled Sussex was even more the outsider, for the flock was mostly made up of Rhode Island Reds.

One sunny day in the summer of 2007, the largest rooster of the flock, a Rhode Island Red who goes by no name, was set aside to become dinner. By "set aside", what I really mean is he was placed into the fenced in backyard, separated from the other chickens and their food, until the time came. But this fenced in yard also happens to be inhabited part-time by a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier named Lexi.

And so it was, Lexi was let outside and chased the RIR rooster before I could grab either one of them. The rooster ran into some high weeds, the remnants of what used to be a nice flower garden. Lexi ran in after, and came out seconds later, but the rooster did not appear. The chicken must have found escape from the fenced yard, for nobody could find the rooster after much searching.

So the next in line was desperately chosen, as dinner time was drawing nearer with no poultry ready to grill. It was a tough choice, but finally one Buff Orpington rooster stood out as the second largest, and soon succumbed to the meat cleaver. One chop and that's all she wrote.

That evening, dinner plates were stacked high of barbequed pork ribs and a fresh chicken, right from the back yard. Wegman's Memphis Style Barbeque sauce and Frank's Red Hot sauce complimented the smoked meats well.

Soon thereafter, the orginal RIR rooster showed himself. A master of camoflage he proved himself to be, as nobody could find him a few hours earlier, but there he was, right where he had last been spied. He managed to avoid his fate on that June day. But alas, he shall become dinner on another eve, when the 20 will become 18.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

NYS Child Car Seat Inspection

If you're a New Yorker, this is a good deal. It's one of those rare instances where you feel like you're actually getting something back for all the insane taxes you pay. You can go to these free child car seat inspections where officers will inspect your car seats to see if they meet current regulations, are installed properly, and to see that your child fits properly.

If you child has outgrown the seat, or if the seat fails to meet current regulations for any reason, they hand you a new replacement seat. Yes, a FREE replacement seat. They also let you know about the various height and weight guidelines for the different types of seats so you know better what you should be doing. We went to one last month and ended up getting 2 new seats because Raina had just outgrown the seat she was in, and Taryn was very close to outgrowing hers.

Another bonus was free popcorn, hotdogs, and pop. Can't go wrong there even if your seats are up to code.

Check out to see when the inspections will be held near you.

Robb's Salsa Recipe

I made a batch of salsa last night, and figured I would share my "recipe", as if there's anything to making salsa -- put crap in food processor and chop the hell out of it.

This is how I did it last night, but it usually varies a bit depending on what's available at Wegmans.

  • 2-3 lbs. "Tomatoes on the Vine"
  • 1-2 Vidalia onions, depending on size
  • 2 -3 Jalapeno peppers
  • 1 big Poblano pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh of chopped Garlic
  • 1 bunch of fresh Cilantro
  • 2 nectarines or peaches
  • Heat cast iron skillet on high, get it really hot. Add a little dab of oil.
  • Cut poblano pepper and onion into quarters and place in skillet to sear outside. You don't want to completely cook the onions and peppers, just sear them on the outside to bring out a nice roasted smoky flavor and soften them up just a tad.
  • Place everything into a food processor and chop the crap out of it. May need to do multiple batches in the chopper depending on its size. Chop to a consistency you like, some like it chunky, some smooth, and everything in between.
  • Pour into a sealable bowl and store in refrigerator. Let the flavors meld together for awhile before enjoying for best results.
  • If you choose to share, DON'T DOUBLE DIP! That's nasty.
  • The peaches sound odd or even downright gross if you've never tried it, but they add a certain sweetness without being overbearing. BTW, peaches and nectarines are pretty much the same thing, except peaches have fuzz and nectarines don't. I prefer the non-fuzzy nectarine.
  • Roasting the vegetables on the grill would probably be even tastier than the cast iron skillet method.
  • Add corn and black beans, and maybe even a bit of cumin for a bit of southwestern flair
  • To turn up the heat, add more Jalapenos, Habaneros, or some of your favorite hot sauce. I have young children now, so I try to not get carried away with heat.
  • Of course, green peppers are popular in salsa. I find them a bit overbearing though when raw.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Monkey Butt

Sometimes I like to enter random word combos into Google to see what comes up. Tonight I entered "monkey butt" and found an interesting product. The funniest part is, it's a real product.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Getting Thread Dump Of Running Java Process

Of course you can kill -3 a process to get the thread dump, but for Java apps you can also get thread dumps of running processes using the JDK 5 tools jps and jstack. For example, on a server where I am running Tomcat 5.5, typing jps gets a list of all Java processes running:
-bash-3.00$ jps
25515 Bootstrap
26912 Jps
Then using that process id, run jstack:

jstack 25515

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My First Vaguely Useful Ruby Script

Alright, anyone with directories full of digital photos, mp3's, or other docs might appreciate an easy way to rename all the files in a directory, either by appending a common prefix, postfix (or extension), or giving each file the same basename with a sequence appending to the filename. There have been times I would have found that useful, and it turns out it's very easy to do with some simple Ruby scripting....


#!/usr/bin/env ruby

require 'fileutils'
require 'find'

class FileRenamer

attr_accessor :directory

# constructor
def initialize(directory=".")
@directory = directory, :verbose => true)

#add prefix to each file in dir, ignoring directories
def add_prefix(prefix)
Dir.foreach(@directory) {|x| rename_file(x,"#{prefix}#{x}") }

#add postfix to end of each file in dir, ignoring directories
def add_postfix(postfix)
Dir.foreach(@directory) {|x| rename_file(x,"#{x}#{postfix}") }

#rename a file unless it is a directory
def rename_file(from, to)
print "#{from}"
puts "/ remains unchanged"
else, to, :verbose => false)
puts " changed to #{to}"
end #if

# rename all files in directory to base_name + a sequence
def rename_with_base(base_name)
idx = 0
Dir.foreach(@directory) do |x|
if !
idx += 1

def list_dir
Dir.foreach(@directory) do |x|
print "#{x}"
puts "/"
elsif FileTest.executable?(x)
puts "*"
elsif FileTest.symlink?(x)
puts "->"
end #if
end #do

# test it...
fn ="C:/test")

Monday, June 04, 2007

Set The Captives Free!

My original plan was to let my chickens free-range during the days so they could eat weeds and bugs off my property. I've read that free-ranging chickens will find enough food that you really don't even need to feed them in the summer months. I'm not ready to test that one yet, but I did try a little free ranging this weekend.

On Saturday, I opened up the gate while I went in to get them fresh water, and by the time I got back with the water, they were all out in the yard scratching and pecking and making happy little chicken noises. I let that go on for a few hours while I played outside with the girls.

On Sunday I left them out for a few hours again. Actually I left them out twice Sunday, for a few hours the first time and just about 20 minutes the second time. The second time was a fluke. They used to never try to leave even with the gate open. But now they know what it's like out there, and they leave whenever they can.

I liked seeing the chickens roam about on their own. They mostly stayed right near the coop, foraging in the high weeds for bugs and making the occasional foray into the garden. I still only do it when I am outside with them, though, because some of our neighbors don't feel the need to control their dogs, and just let them roam about in other people's yards.

Lexi got out of the yard at one point Sunday and had a good chase with the chickens. She was within about 4 inches of a Buff Orpington dinner at one point right before I caught her. If a small puppy can be that fast and aggressive toward the chickens, I hate to think what would happen if full grown dogs came into our yard with the chickens out. So I still leave them "ccoped" up when I'm not right there watching and still keep them full of 20% grower/starter and cracked corn.