Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Compost Bin

I was inspired by this post to build your own compost bin from a trash can. I got a trash can with wheels already attached because the cost of the cheapest large trash can plus the heavy-duty wheels with nuts and bolts to attach to it was about the same price, in which case I'll save my time.

So far, I remember that I prefer composting to throwing everything in the garbage. I just feel uncomfortable throwing all waste in the garbage when I know some of it biodegrades nicely.

I've learned that my yard has far too many lawn clippings after a single mowing! for this 32 gallon compost bin. I probably need to build or designate a containment area for lawn clippings and leaves.

And I recently learned that the 40+ holes I drilled with my boys (who loved watching, and pulling off the plastic curlicues) was probably far too few based on this other post (echoed by MAKE as well).

A nice start, and lots more composting to go!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Quick and Easy Sausage Posole

I had forgotten just how much I like this posole (Southwestern stew) recipe until I made it for dinner tonight!

I started with this Sausage Posole recipe from Hillshire Farm, but following a recipe is not my forté.

All fresh ingredients were preheated to softness in the microwave before throwing in the pan to stew for an hour.
  • 2 cups chicken broth (I used what I had, chicken stock from the last time I boiled chicken)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion, pre-cooked in some of that chicken broth
  • 1 medium potato, grated, and pre-cooked in some of that chicken broth
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cups pinto beans (I used what I had, about half "refried" and half still beans)
  • 1/2 cup white wine, optional
  • 1 can hominy, rinsed and drained (this is my only hominy recipe, and I always keep a can on the shelf)
  • 1 can Rotel Mexican (with lime and cilantro) or Rotel Milder, including juice
  • 1/2 package of Hillshire Farms Li'l Smokies
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder (or ground cumin)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • water as needed
So, like I said, make sure the fresh ingredients have been cooked until soft in the microwave, and then throw it in the pan before doing something else for a while. In my case, I was fixing dinner for the boys. Stir occasionally, adding more water as needed. And it's so tasty!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Lists To Do ...

I've had enough problems with Wunderlist to need to jump ship. The Android app is very large (OK, my phone's space is limited) and it loads slowly if at all. I started with a list of free Wunderlist alternatives (what I want may not be free, but I'll start here). I selected for Android AND (Online OR (Mac AND Linux)) clients AND NOT Freemium. (In some cases, like Google Tasks, I know there are many clients for Android, so I let it slide even though technically it's Online only. I want an Android client so I have offline access to my tasks when my phone doesn't have an uplink, and yes I know synchronization is hard.) So the list started as:
  • Google Tasks: Free by Google - Online
  • Simplenote: Free by Automattic - iPhone, iPad, Online
  • Producteev: Free* - Mac, iPhone, Windows, Android, Online, Blackberry
  • Todo.txt: Open Source by Gina Trapani - Mac, iPhone, iPad, Windows, Android, Linux
  • Any.DO: Free by Any.DO - iPhone, Android
  • Org-mode: Open Source by Carsten Dominik - Mac, iPhone, iPad, Windows, Android, Linux
  • Cloud Checklist: Free by Skybuffer - Online
  • allthings: Free* by welovelists - Online
  • Coolendar: Free by Fabiano Franz - iPhone, Android, Online
  • Yodiz: Free by Yodiz - Mac, iPhone, iPad, Windows, Android + Tablet, Linux, Online
  • Smthngs: Free by Valentin Shergin - Online, Android
  • TickTick: Free by Appest Limited - Mac, iPhone, Windows, Android, Linux, Chrome OS
  • One Line Todo: Free by eveningsun - Android
  • do.com: Free - iPhone, Android, Online
  • ToDo Pro: Free by Appigo, Inc. - iPhone, iPad, Android, Online
I want:
  • multiple lists (or filtered views aka smart folders),
  • tags (bonus if the application can know which are GTD contexts; not a feature in Wunderlist either),
  • easy way to re-order tasks,
  • optional due dates (or I'll keep the ones with due dates in Google Tasks, assuming Google doesn't kill it off like Reader)
So far:
  • Google Tasks: Adding dates far in the future is painful from the web interface, so I need a good client.
  • Simplenote: I already use JadeNote on my phone, but it's not to-do-specific. (last)
  • Producteev: Wait, I can't re-order tasks? Bah.
  • Todo.txt isn't going to be very different from Simplenote that I already use.
  • Any.DO: The interface wasn't compelling enough to make up for its Android footprint.
  • Org-mode: I'm worried about offline access now that I look at it again.
  • Cloud Checklist: No tags or filters, but the rest is there. The web interface doesn't seem to have a mobile view, although it's fairly responsive on my Android phone, but that does mean no offline access.
  • allthings: Worried about offline access when my phone doesn't have a data link.
  • Coolendar: I'll check it out. (middle)
  • Yodiz: It sounds like much more than I need for myself.
  • Smthngs: Whoa. Wait. This one merits serious consideration. (#1) UPDATE: It's available online and on Android, it works in offline mode, it has all the ways I like to slice and dice, except for ONE BIG ONE. I always need import and export before I put my data in a bucket, and I don't see that. I'm sad, because it's lovely and responsive, but I'd like to save myself a headache in the long run. *sigh* Strike another one from the list.
  • TickTick: The Android app is a bit large, and I'd rather see screenshots or a test mode.
  • One Line Todo: This one has Google Tasks support for the Online access I want (I hope). However, the bar is set at the Google Tasks interface, and I'd rather do better than that.
  • do.com: I don't really need deals, thanks.
  • ToDo Pro: Just for me, thanks.
  • Taskos (Task List): Thanks to Rob, I'm adding this to the list as a Google Tasks Android client. (#2)