Friday, July 26, 2013

Strawberry Cages

Strawb-cage 18.JPGLast year I put out some old tires I was given, and I put a layer of newspaper in the bottom then, I filled the tire with garden soil.  Then came the crowning touch of planting ever bearing strawberries.  I did this for my grandkids, who LOVE strawberries.  I wanted them to experience picking and eating truly fresh strawberries. Only I have a problem, the birds ate the strawberries before the grandkids did.  What to do?  What to do?  I know from experience that people have put nets over cherry trees to prevent birds from eating the cherries.  Maybe I could do the same type of thing.  I listed the requirements for this set up.  1) It needed to be solid enough to keep birds out yet be able to let in light and water.  2) It needed to be light and easy to remove from the plants yet easy to return to its covering position. 3) It needed to stay put when the wind was blowing. And 4) it needed to be affordable and hopefully wear for more than one growing season.  So this is what I came up with, please feel free to adapt it to your situation.Strawb-cage 1.JPGSupplies:
72” (183 cm) piece of foam pipe insulation (the smallest size, 97¢ each)
12” (30cm) x 75”(190cm) of Fiberglass screen (36” x 82” piece +/- $5)
24”(60cm) diameter circle of Fiberglass screen
Stapler with staples (not shown)
E6000 glue ($3 a tube, I finished off an old tube)
Duct Tape ($3 a roll, always have this one hand))
3 - 30” (76cm) bamboo sticks ( 6 for $2, not shown)
Hammer (not shown)
36” elastic (had on hand)
Tape measure

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Repair the Tip of a Shoelace with Melted Candle Wax

Repair the Tip of a Shoelace with Melted Candle Wax

Next time the plastic tip of your shoelace starts to break, don't rush out to by new laces; fix it at home with a candle.

If it's completely frayed, you'll want to start by using thread or dental floss to tighten up the end as we've discussed in a previous post. Once it's nice and tight, dip it into the melted wax of a recently-exinguished candle, and let the wax soak in for a few seconds before pulling it out to let it dry. It may take a few coats to get a solid tip, but once you're done, your laces should have some extra life.

11 Crazy Useful Things You can Do with a Candle | WonderHowTo

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Chicken Karaage a la Nakatsu

IMG_3881.jpgI am going to share my recipe of Chicken Karaage (Japanese style fried chicken). Karaage is commonly cooked and eaten everywhere in Japan. Meanwhile, I was born in the city called, Nakatsu, Oita, in Japan. Our city, which is known for its original recipe of Karaage. I am going to share the recipe that I grew up with. :)

You want to marinate chicken the day before you cook. To prepare marinated chicken, it will only take 20 minutes or so. You keep it in your fridge, and cook it on the next day. If you cannot prepare the day before, I would recommend to marinate at least 2 to 3 hours.

IMG_3862.jpgPlease prepare the following ingredients the day before if possible because you would like to marinate your chicken for a night. 

If you roughly keep the following ratio, it would be fine. This is not a science. :)

To marinate 1 lb of chicken:

1 lb of chicken thigh with skin, without bone (not included in the photo) 3 Table spoon of Soy sauce 1 1/2 Table spoon of Sake 1 Table spoon of Sesame Oil 1.5 to 2 inches of Ginger 1 clove of garlic 3 or 4 little shake of Ichimi Togarashi - Japanese chili (A little red bottle in the photo) Container or a ziplock to keep marinated chicken in a refrigerator (not included in the photo) If you like ginger and/or garlic, you may add more. 
Please try to get Katakuriko from Asian grocery stores, but if you cannot get one, regular flour would be fine.
You can also get Ichimi Togarashi from Asian grocery stores. 
As for Sake, cheap sake is perfectly fine for cooking. You can get a cheap large bottle at a Japanese grocery store. 1.6L only costs about $10.

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Hold Your Cash with a 35 Cent Ideal Clamp

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iPhone Garage Door Opener

I'm a bit ashamed of this hack, since it mostly uses existing technologies, but I shall post it anyway for all of the glory and cash rewards.

My garage opener remote recently passed away with very little notice. This was frustrating because I make it clear to any electronics I adopt that they are to give me ample warning if they are on their way out. No such luck. This remote was a rebel and certainly not a gentleman.

I needed a replacement, naturally. Universal remotes are fine, but there are a few limitations which I'm not keen on:

1. Limited range. I have to be within 50 feet or so of my house to use them. What if I want to let a family member in who is locked out in the frigid 90 degree Florida weather, or open the house for the dog walker (if I had a dog walker), or make all of my belongings available to the crooks who live in my neighborhood for insurance fraud purposes? Right.

2. Remote batteries die. I don't like death. It makes me uncomfortable. iPhone can be recharged anywhere and everywhere, even in the car (imagine that!)

3. Why carry more devices around than necessary? These smart phones are pretty damn smart these days. They should be doing more for us, like massages and walking our dogs. Also, opening our garages or other entry-ways. Plus garage remotes weigh about 45 lbs. Not cool.

4. Physical buttons are a point of failure. Chances are, I'll have to replace an old-school garage remote again after a few million uses. Who needs that kind of uncertainty in their life? No sir, a capacitive (really spell check, "capacitive" is not in your dictionary in this modern age?) touch screen is superior in my book! Dare I say it has billions of touches in store before the glass wears through and liquid crystal toxins seep into my fingers!

I'll admit that point 4 was a weak one, but I like things in fours, which is why I've removed both of my thumbs (see pics).
I can type anything I want here, can't I?
Whhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Wooooooords!!!!!

Continue on to see the hows and whats, friends!

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How To Stop Work Overload With a Few Simple Boundaries

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Profile Flow Automates Your Android Phone for Home, Work, or Play

Android: Profile Flow, like many other automation apps for Android, lets you control virtually every aspect of your phone based on a certain set of conditions, like your location, the time of day, which network you're connected to, and so on. It's free, really well polished, and easy to use.

Profile Flow can control your phone based on time of day, date or day of the week, time range, date range, location (GPS or Cell ID), and more. You can toggle virtually every aspect of your device, including all of your wireless radios (bluetooth, Wi-Fi, data, etc), GPS, auto-sync, airplane mode, audio, volume, display brightness, and more—you can even have Profile Flow automatically place calls or send SMS messages for you based on certain conditions. The app also has a "lite profile" setting, so you can set custom actions to take effect without wrecking ones you already have set up, making the app adaptable to changes in your regular routine. There's even a getting started tutorial that will walk you through the app's features and options.

If you want to, for example, set your phone to call or SMS home when you leave the office so you can let your spouse know you're on the way, Profile Flow can do it in a couple of taps, without digging through too many menus. If you want your phone to auto connect only to specific Wi-Fi networks, or turn notifications and audio off as soon as you get to a specific GPS location, it's easy to set up. None of this is especially strange if you're familiar with automation apps, but Profile Flow is one of the simplest and most straight-forward tools I've seen. It's not perfect though—the app can't launch applications (yet, the dev says this is coming soon), which is a bit of a bummer compared to other automation tools.

Of course, if you're looking for automation apps, you have plenty to choose from. Tasker, Llama, Atooma, and Automagic (to name a few) are all great automation tools and we've mentioned them all before at some point. Where Profile Flow stands out is that it's among the new breed of automation tools for Android that make it super-simple to create your profiles and actions.

Hit the link below to check out XDA developer amithgc's thread on the app, which is packed with screenshots. If you want to try the app, it's free at Google Play and supports Android phones running 2.2 or higher.

Profile Flow (Free) | Google Play via XDA Developers

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