10 lessons learned from rewiring our house

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 12/10/2011 - 12:22

A big part of the reason I haven't blogged here since March is that around that time I took on the project of rewiring our 1920 house (replacing the old knob & tube wiring with modern nonmetallic cable that meets code), and it's consumed much of my spare time ever since.  It looks like I'll finally finish the wiring part of the project later today, and then it'll just be a question of patching holes, etc.

Top 10 Reasons Email Newsletters are a Bad Idea

Submitted by Ben on Tue, 04/05/2011 - 12:07

At DrupalCon this year, I attended an impromptu meeting of some 50 Web developers who work on church Web sites.  We had an hour to talk about anything we wanted, but we spent the entire time talking about best practices for email newsletters.  The more we talked, the more we came to the conclusion that email newsletters are an ineffective and inefficient method of communication, and that a reliance on email newsletters can blind an organization to better options that are available.

cheesy walnut burgers

Submitted by Ben on Wed, 07/28/2010 - 14:29

When I lived in Fairfield and Jessie would come to visit every few weeks, one of her favorite things to do in town was to go to Small Planet Cafe and have a cheddar walnut burger.  We both agreed it was delicious and had a great texture.  On our last visit to the restaurant I asked for the recipe, only to find that the burgers were a frozen product made in Minnesota!  This appears to be it: http://www.walnutburger.com/  We were disappointed, not least because Small Planet claimed to be inspired by the famous cookbook, which rails against mass-produced foods.

Tags

In praise of Tyfon, King of Greens!

photo courtesy of Daphne's DandelionsBack in the summer of 2008 when I was first ordering plants for our winter garden, I came across an item called "tyfon" or "Holland greens." It was in the section of the Territorial Seed catalog devoted to cover crops, and indeed when the seed packet arrived it said "EDIBLE GREEN MANURE."  How appetizing!  But in farming lingo, a "green manure" is just a cover crop that improves the soil... multiple sources said that tyfon could be eaten by people as well as animals, so I ordered it, along with several other crops that Territorial promised were winter-hardy.

Ben Thu, 07/08/2010 - 13:47

Tags

The case for "smart" surge protectors

I've been seeing magazine and newsletter articles for some time promoting the new "smart" surge protector that shut off power to peripheral devices when a "master" device is turned off, but I figured we didn't need one because we usually turn off our power strips manually.  In practice, though, we often weren't turning off the one in the living room, because we'd turn off the TV with the remote and then walk away, go to bed, etc.  So I decided to pick up a Philips model for $20 at Wal-Mart and see what the Ki

Ben Wed, 01/13/2010 - 18:47
Why we keep making movies like Avatar

This is a response to a blog post called "When will White People Stop Making Movies like Avatar?" by Annalee Newitz.  The post made me upset when I first read it, but I hadn't seen Avatar yet, and besides, her argument is protected by the good old rhetorical ploy, "If this makes you feel defensive, you must be a racist."  Now that I've seen the film, I disagree more strongly on a number of po

Ben Sun, 01/03/2010 - 12:36
"Stories and Songs for a Green Earth" now available!

My mother's new album of stories and songs is now available on CD Baby!  You can download individual tracks for $.99 or the whole album for $9.99, or buy a disc for $12.97.  More information about the disc is available on her Web site.

Ben Tue, 12/01/2009 - 12:01