My Favorite Brisket Rub

(Also works great on a chuck roast)

Mix together ingredients below and coat meat an hour or more before smoking;
1/4     Cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 1/2  Tbsp Paprika
1 1/2  Tbsp Kosher Salt
1        Tbsp Garlic Powder
1        Tbsp Onion Powder
1        Tbsp Chili Powder
1/2     Tbsp Black Pepper
1/2     Tbsp Dried Parsley
1        Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1        Tsp Ground Cumin
1/2     Tsp Dried Oregano
1/2     Tsp Ground Coriander

During smoking process, baste with;
1/4     Cup Apple Juice
1/4     Cup Bourban

My Favorite Poultry Dry Rub for the Rotisserie

2       Tbsp kosher salt
2       Tbsp smoked paprika
3       Tsp onion powder
1 1/2 Tsp garlic powder
3       Tsp thyme
1 1/2 Tsp black pepper
3       Tsp white pepper
1 1/2 Tsp cayenne pepper
1       Tsp crushed dry rosemary

Banana Bread

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 3 medium bananas
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Soften coconut oil and butter, then cream with sugar. Add vanilla. Mash bananas and combine with eggs. Add egg / banana mixture to batter and mix. Sift together baking soda and flour, then stir into batter. Add batter to greased and floured loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.

Haley’s Chocolate Cake

Haley ran across this recipe from a book that she read at school and she made it in our kitchen to rave reviews from the rest of the family (who all seem to love anything chocolate).

Prepare two 8″ or 9″ pans or one 9″ x 13″ pan by lining with parchment paper or greasing and dusting with flour. Preheat oven to 325°

In a large bowl, mix together:

  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 4 tbls buttermilk powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

In a medium saucepan, melt over low heat:

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

Remove from heat and add:

  • 1 cup water
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Whisk ingredients into the dry ingredients, just until blended. Pour evenly into prepared pans, bake on the middle rack of oven, about 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with moist crumbs adhering to it (do not over bake). Cool thoroughly on a rack before icing.

Easy Frosting
This frosting can also be tinted with food coloring for decoration or writing.

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat until smooth. If using an electric mixer, beat at low speed. Add more sugar for a stiffer frosting.

Dutch Oven Baked Beans


  • ½ # Bacon
  • 1 Chopped onion
  • 2 TBS Fresh garlic
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 16 oz bag Great Norther Beans (or 3 cans if in a hurry)
  • up to 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 bottle of full bodied beer
  • 1 cup Brown sugar
  • ½ cup dark Molasses
  • 6 oz can Tomato Paste
  • ¼ cup Cider Vinegar or (Rice Wine Vinegar)
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Dry Mustard

Fry the bacon in your cast iron Dutch Oven on the stovetop and cook until crispy but not burned, add the onion and garlic (salt – pepper) and cook until onion is translucent, add 4 cups broth, 1 beer, and beans (soaked overnight). Simmer 2 to 2 1/2 hours on stove top or until tender, add additional liquid (broth or beer) as needed during this process. If using canned beans, drain before adding and reduce broth to 3 cups and use 1/2 to 3/4 bottle of beer. Also reduce simmer time to about an hour. While beans are simmering, combine the Molasses, Tomato Paste, Vinegar, Chili Powder, and Dry Mustard in a mixing bown and whisk together. Set aside until beans are ready.  Once beans have simmered to the point of tenderness, Add the rest of the ingredients (ie. the bar-b-que sauce ingredients) to the beans. Bake @ 350 for 2 hours, reduce temp to 250 for additional hour. Add more beer and / or broth if beans start to get dry during baking. Another option is to move the Dutch Oven outside to your grill for the baking phase and I like to finish that last hour with the lid off and adding some wood chips to the smoke box in my grill to add some nice smoke to the beans as they finish.

The Second Amendment is NOT about Hunting…

…it is, quite simply, about preserving liberty.  When hearing discussions regarding the second amendment, I quite often listen to people give their ‘take’ on what the second amendment means.  Many, on both sides of the gun control debate, treat the second amendment as though it were an isolated paragraph that was arbitrarily thrown into the constitution.  Even many of those who support private gun ownership do not seem to fully appreciate what the second amendment is really about.  The second amendment is part of the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the constitution.  For those who don’t know, those 10 amendments that we know collectively as the bill of rights were ratified together in 1791.  All 10 of these amendments have one common theme:  To protect American citizens from an intrusive, tyrannical federal government.  The constitutional framers knew that our American ‘experiment’ in self governing would eventually be threatened by the growing power of the federal government.  All 10 of the amendments contained in the bill of rights are there to prevent the federal government from becoming a totalitarian regime.  If you want to understand the second amendment read the third amendment.  Read them all.  It is preposterous to believe that 9 of the 10 amendments in the bill of rights are about protecting citizens from the overreaching government and the remaining one (the second) is about ‘Hunting’.  Of course it’s NOT about hunting!  The second amendment is the ‘glue’ that holds the entire bill of rights together.  The other 9 amendments contained in the bill of rights have no teeth if it weren’t for the second.  If you look throughout history, one of the first things an aspiring dictator does is disarm the citizens.  He is then able to systematically remove any and all of the rights and freedoms the population has and there is nothing they can do about it.  An armed population is what keeps our country free.

I have heard some say: “The founders wrote the second amendment with single shot, muzzle loading muskets in mind, not semi-automatic, high capacity magazine containing handguns in mind”.  That is again preposterous!  The founders guaranteed the citizens the right to own the the very same firearm technology the government had then and now.

I have heard others say: “You don’t need an AR-15 to hunt”.  To that I say, so what!  Again, the second amendment says nothing about hunting.  The second amendment guarantees citizens the right to bear arms.  Which arms I choose to own and bear is my decision, no one else’s.  The idea that someone else can decide what I need and therefore regulate what I am allowed to have based on their opinion smacks of Marxism.

I have heard some say: “We have to find a balance between gun rights and safety”.  That is nothing more than an thinly veiled first step toward gun control.  Anyone who cares to actually look at statistics on gun crime would see that these measures don’t add safety to society.  In fact, look for the regions in our country with the toughest gun laws and you will find the highest levels of crime involving guns.  Turns out that criminals and would be criminals aren’t deterred by tough gun laws.  Who’d have guessed that criminals would ignore laws?  Weird!  Right??  What does happen in these regions where tough gun laws exist is that law abiding citizens are left defenseless against the criminal element and crime levels are elevated.

Whether you choose to own firearms yourself or not.  The constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms is the key element that keeps our country free.  Your neighbor’s right to own and bear arms keeps your right to freedom of speech from being suspended.  Because our society is armed, you are protected from an intrusive government as well.

If you feel you are safer far, far away from guns, I would challenge you to turn your property into a ‘gun free zone’.  Simply post a yard sign in your front yard stating that your property is a gun free zone and that no firearms are permitted on your property.  This sign will protect you from criminals who may want to burglarize your property or assault you or your family members since they will not be able to enter your property with a gun.  ‘Cuz the sign says no guns…

The Bill of Rights

The Preamble to The Bill of Rights

Congress of the United States
begun and held at the City of New-York, on
Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Note: The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791, and form what is known as the “Bill of Rights.”

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Homemade Pizza – Bread Machine Recipe

Preheat bread machine bread pan by filling with hot water and place aside.  Add 1 1/3 cups water to a microwave safe measuring cup.  Add 2 Tbs unsalted butter to the water.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Stir and microwave on high for another 30 seconds.  Water should be around 130 degrees (cool or heat more if needed).  Dump out bread pan and dry.  Bread pan should now be warm to the touch but not hot.  Make sure mixing blade is installed and add water / butter mixture to the pan.  add 2 Tbs sugar and 2 tsp salt to the water in the bread pan.  Add on top of that, 4 cups all purpose flour.  Make a small hole, not too deep, into the top of the flour in the bread pan.  Add, into the hole, 1 packet highly active yeast (2 tsp).  Place bread pan into bread machine and select dough cycle.  Start machine.  Should take 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on your machine.  When complete, dump dough out onto lightly floured surface and punch down.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Divide dough into two parts.  Each part is one pizza crust.  Stretch, roll, hand toss, whatever works for you to get the dough to the size of your pizza pans.  I put a light coating of olive oil on the pizza pans then place dough onto them and let rest for 20 minutes to rise.  Coat with your favorite pizza sauce (we buy a jar from the supermarket).  Add your favorite toppings and top each pizza with 1/2 pound of shredded mozzarella cheese.  Bake in over for 14 -16 minutes or until cheese has browned sufficiently.  Remove and cut into slices with a pizza wheel.

I Can’t Believe You Put That Much Chocolate in Your Birthday Cake – Cake Recipe

This is a three layer, fairly dense, chocolate cake with a light whipped cream based frosting.  It seems to taste even better on day two and three then it did on the first.  It’s possible that it might taste great on the forth day, but we cannot verify that as it does not seem to last that long.



  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 (4oz bars) Bakers German’s Sweet Chocolate
  • 2 cups boiled water
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla


Place a metal mixing bowl and the whisk attachments for your mixer in the freezer for a couple of hours to chill.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Grease and flour three 9 inch cake pans.  Break up chocolate bars and place into very hot (nearly boiling) water and set aside.  Using an electric stand mixer, begin by creaming the butter and brown sugar together.  Add, one at a time, the eggs.  Then add the vanilla and sour cream and mix.  Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.  By now, the chocolate should be very soft.  Stir the chocolate / water mixture together.  With mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and the chocolate mixture to the batter in parts, 1/3 of each at a time and alternating between the two.  Once all of the ingredients are added to batter, increase mixer speed briefly to blend batter stopping to scrape down the sides with a spatula.  Be careful not to over mix though.  Pour evenly into the three cake pans and place in over.  Bake for aprox. 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for a few minutes before turning pans upside down over a cooling rack to release cake.  Cool cake completely before frosting.

When ready to frost, retrieve mixing bowl and whisk attachments from freezer.  Add cream, cocoa, and sugar and beat on high until fluffy but not dry.  I use a bread knife to cut the rounded top of two of the cake loaves, saving the third for the top layer.  Use the frosting between layers and to cover cake.  We refrigerate cake, but find it serves better at room temp.



Beef Tacos Carne Asada with garden fresh Pico de Gallo

The Meat:
First, a little bit about the cut of beef I use in this recipe.  I am, after all, a professional meat cutter.  If you don’t care about the specifics of the beef cut then you can skip down to the recipe below.  Traditionally carne asada is made from beef flank or skirt steak however, these cuts of beef have become quite expensive in recent years.  The Hispanic customers I often serve use a variety of thinly sliced beef for their carne asada. For my recipe I use the beef chuck spider muscle (serratus ventralis).  This muscle group is located between the chuck eye and the blade on the chuck primal.  It is sometimes referred to as the beef chuck underblade steak or more recently, the Denver steak.  I should mention however, that I know several meat cutters who are incorrectly cutting this muscle and even including an additional muscle group that is positioned next to the spider muscle when they cut Denver steaks.  This, in my opinion causes their Denver steaks to be less tender than they should be (but I digress…).  If you would like to see further where this muscle is located then follow this link to an informative video on how to cut it. Meat butchery and seam cutting demonstration of Denver Steak of beef.  For my recipe, after seeming out and separating the spider muscle, rather than making Denver steaks, I thinly slice the muscle directly cross grain.  Then cut the slices into small strips (slightly smaller than stir fry sized).  I use 3 to 3 1/2 pounds for the recipe below (about 1 whole serratus ventralis muscle).

Carne Asada:
Start by making the marinade for the meat.  Those ingredients are:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp finely ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dark chili powder
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • juice of 2 whole fresh limes

Whisk all of the above ingredients together. Place the 3 pounds of meat mentioned above into a 2 gal. sized zip bag and pour the marinade over it. Zip up the bag and work the meat and marinade together then place the bag into a pan (to avoid a mess if there is a leak) and place into the fridge for about 8 hours. Turn it over a couple of times to make sure all of the meat has maximum contact. When ready to prepare, dump the entire contents, meat and marinade into a large skillet and cook. Continue to cook until the liquid has cooked off and the meat is just slightly caramelized.

Pico de Gallo: (fresh authentic Mexican style salsa)
Ingredients as follows: (wear gloves for the pepper handling, you’ve been warned…)

  • 4 – 5 small to medium sized tomatoes, diced (from our garden, of course)
  • 1/2 white onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 – 4 small green jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped (also from our garden)
  • 1 habanero pepper, seeded and finely chopped (if you dare, and I do! grew these in garden for the first time last summer)
  • 1 or 2 fresh red hot chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped (been growing these for a couple of years in our garden – very spicy, love ’em)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients and carefully stir. Refrigerate until ready to serve.  This fresh salsa   will not hold up like cooked salsa so use within a couple of days.

Serve in gently warmed small diameter flour tortillas.  Add a couple of tablespoons of the carne asada to the center of the tortilla.  Spoon a teaspoon or more (depending on taste) of the pico de gallo over the top.  If you are so inclined, you can dollop some mole verde or some finely shredded quesadilla cheese (or both) over the top.  Fold tortilla over like any other soft taco and enjoy…

A fresh lime juice, top shelf tequila derived, shaken margarita is the perfect compliment to the fire lit by this awesome meal…

Pappas Telecasting’s standoff with DirecTV

As of April 1st two of my local broadcast channels, owned by Pappas Telecasting, ceased to be carried by DirecTV.  Statements on the website of my local station try to convince DirecTV customers to switch providers in an obvious attempt to pressure the satellite provider.  Based on the comments posted to that broadcaster’s site I’d say that the attempt is backfiring.  Speaking only for myself, I am a long time DirecTV customer and have NO intention of switching providers.  I have spent quite a while this evening switching my DVR to an alternate ABC affiliate to record my favorite ABC shows.  When / if this standoff concludes, I have no intention of switching back.  My local Pappas station (KHGI otherwise known as NTV) has lost me as a viewer…

The following is a statement from Dan Hartman, DIRECTV senior vice president of Programming

After repeatedly ignoring our requests to not disrupt our customers’ programming, Pappas Telecasting demanded the removal of its five local broadcast stations in four markets to force us to accept a deal that would more than double Pappas’ annual licensing fees. Pappas also demanded they be paid at least a year’s worth of those fees in advance.

We have no problem compensating Pappas fairly, but we’re a video distributor, not an ATM. Pappas’ demand for fees that are well over twice what they are currently receiving threatens our customers with further increases in their monthly programming bills. That is unacceptable. And Pappas’ condition that it will provide access to local news and other programs of interest only if they receive their money upfront is deplorable. It’s arrogant and a complete affront to the public trust.

Loyal customers must never be placed into the middle of what should be a private business matter, and thankfully in this case, some of our customers are already eligible to receive a replacement station.

While we regret Pappas’ actions, we appreciate DIRECTV customers’ patience as we work toward a resolution so we can continue to provide them with the best video experience at the most reasonable cost.

more information can be found here

MythTV – Fedora HTPC Rebuild Project part 3

See also…

Part 3 – Building the New Media Server

The Components…

Reused Components (from original machine I built in ’04 or ’05 as well as parts scavenged from here and there)

  • Ahanix D-Vine ATX / micro-ATX HTPC chassis (no longer made)
  • Samsung HD44780 VFD 16×2 (front panel LCD display)
  • Sony SATA DVD / CD burner (traded out on another machine for the original Sony IDE DVD drive that was in the old media server)
  • Logitech wireless USB keyboard & mouse

New Components

  • ASUS M4A78LTM motherboard (on board ATI Radeon™ HD 3000 VGA/HDMI/DVI ports) (on board VIA VT1708S 8-Channel High Definition Audio)
  • AMD Athlon II X2 3.0GHz microprocessor
  • Kingston 2GB  DDR3 RAM
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s
  • Hauppauge HVR-1600 (model 1199) dual tuner (HDTV tuner) (NTSC analog tuner)
  • Diablotek 380W Micro ATX power supply
Isn’t it fun when Santa (the UPS guy) brings you stuff in August???
New Hardware
Have tools, will build…
Below, the right drive cage containing the DVD drive and the 3.5″ multi-card reader has been installed into the chassis.  To the left front (just out of the picture) is the LCD display card.
Next step is to install the processor, heat sink, processor fan and RAM into the motherboard…
 Now install it into the chassis.
Now time for the left drive cage (containing the 1 TB hard drive) to be installed just behind the LCD card.  Also installed at this point is the HDTV tuner, the system power supply and cable connections to the front panel audio inputs, front panel USB connections and card reader.

I booted it up before securing the top cover and checked to verify and configure the BIOS making sure the system recognized all of the basic components.  Then after connecting the LCD (my device is an older parallel port device (HD44780) rather than a USB interface, which will give me great grief in the days to come – but that’s the subject of the next blog post (part 4 – software configuration)), I installed the cover and slid my new media server onto it’s shelf in the AV rack of the entertainment center.

The photos below are after many days of working in my free time on configuring this machine.  It took considerable effort and a lot of research.  As of this writing, I am still dealing with some nuisance problems, but all in all she is up and running…

(I really should have dusted under the stereo receiver before taking this photograph)

The photo below shows mediafurnace running MythMusic (MythTV 0.24.1) with the Arclight 1.0 theme and a high def. desktop image from Interfacelift in HD (1080i) on my RCA 48″ HDTV.  Listening to some ‘Pink Floyd’ as I write this blog post.

Check back in a few days, as I will try and carefully document the software and driver configuration (assembling the hardware was the easy part)…

MythTV – Fedora HTPC Rebuild Project part 2

See also…

Part 2 – Home Automation / Weather Station

This machine is NOT the media server that is the main subject of this series of posts titled ‘MythTV – Fedora HTPC Rebuild Project’, however due to the fact that the previous media server described in part 1 contained other processes that are my hobbies as well, It’s construction and configuration is inextricably tied to the rebuild project.  This box also served as a ‘temporary safe haven’ for the hard drive containing the multi-gigabytes of media files from the downed former media server.  It is my intention to come back at a later date and document this machine (which is doing some pretty cool stuff in it’s own right), but for now I am moving on to documenting the media server itself.

MythTV – Fedora HTPC Rebuild Project part 1

Part 1 – The need for a rebuild

See also…

A Little History…

During the winter of 2004 I built my first Home Theater PC.  I had intended on using some of the scrap / spare hardware I had laying around but as the project planning progressed I ended up ordering new components for the construction.  I started by ordering an Asus A7N266-VM motherboard, an AMD Athlon 2100-xp processor, 512 MB ram, a WD 360 GB hard drive, and a Sony DVD-RW drive from  I installed this hardware along with an upgraded heat sink / processor fan purchased from a local vendor into an old gutted Dell Exclaim desktop chassis (it sort of fit).  Somewhere along the line I scavenged up a suitable power supply.

It was my initial intention to load Red Hat Linux as an operating system (I already had, at the time, a file server running RHL 6.2).  The current version at the time, I believe, was Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 or 4.  After some research I decided to go with Fedora Core 4 and use MythTV on top of the GUI.  This decision was largely due to discovering some how-to docs from Jarod Wilson’s Fedora Myth(TV)ology which made my attempt possible.  After reading Jarod’s site I ordered (can’t remember from where) a Hauppauge PVR-350 TV tuner card for the project.  After several late nights and a few grey hairs I had a working system.  I was then that I found (somewhere on the internet) a specialized HTPC case, an Ahanix D-Vine black micro-ATX chassis with a 16×2 line LCD screen on the front.

Relocating the system’s internal hardware into it’s new case and a few more tweaks and I had my completed PVR / HTPC.  I named this machine ‘Mediafurnace’ on my network, and usually referred to it as ‘the Myth box’.  This system ran nonstop for roughly 6 years.  During that time my original linux file server died so I moved many of those processes to the myth box, the most notable of which was my ‘home automation’ damon Heyu.

Mediafurnace dies…

At exactly 10:07 PM (according to the LCD display), the night before we were expecting 30 guests at our house for my wife’s birthday, mediafurnace froze.  An attempted reboot resulted in the motherboard chirping quickly and then… nothing.  Dead motherboard!!  A physical inspection revealed some melting and that distinctive burned electronics smell.  Damn!  This machine’s done!!


Recipes are now Here…


The software running my recipe blog started acting up a couple of months ago.  My web host (probably not coincidentally) had server problems at about that same time and since then I have been unable to get it to work properly.  So, instead of continuing to try to fix it I have decided to integrate my blog, my website, my photo gallery, and my recipe blog together into one entity here.  So here it is…