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Sledgstone

Here are some possible scenarios that could take place as the year progresses.

Bush will insist upon Iran's nuclear plans, furnish proof of their 'evil plans', insist on Iran's involvement with terrorism and start a war with Iran near the end of his presidential term.

With a war booming and the possibility of Iran literally attacking US on its own soil and with the war having the potential to go nuclear, gas prices will jump exponentially and other countries now severely burdened by oil prices, others may join with Iran and a potential WW3 could start.

A war with Iran could also be a potential cover up just to have a nuclear factory 'explode' or a nuke could be dropped on Iran. Because Iran has large reserves of oil under their soil the oil could be potentially contaminated with radiation and all the massive reserves under their land could now be unusable thus creating a world wide oil based recession.

All of this is also a potential way for Bush to pass some new bill to keep him in office past his two terms because of the world crisis he has caused. Thus our president becomes a war mongering dictator.

If this does not happen and McCain becomes president, he will try to pick up this exact same course minus the dictator part.

Of course, Bush could always start up a war with Iran or set things in motion for it to take place, leave office and screw the next president into a position of having to declare war.

Sledgstone

My Saturn was in an accident almost 2 years ago with a SUV. The SUV hit the front right of my car, busted my flip up headlight and slightly crumpled the radiator support bar as seen in these pics. The left flip up headlight was destroyed a few days later at Sam Dell, the car dealership my insurance made me take my car to for a damage estimate.

The Sam Dell idiots ripped the good headlight off instead of taking it off to look at the bumper closer, which had no real damage. But because they are idiots they damaged my car more than the accident did by doing their front end dismantling to finish their estimate. F*cking money grubbing assholes f*ck up my car so much I had to get it towed out of there so they couldn't hold it hostage in an attempt to force me to use them to repair my car.

Instead, I have been going to the scrap yard "Pick 'N Pull" and have been getting new pieces, namely: headlights, fender, hood, and wheel well.

I now have all the pieces I need and now I just have to put everything back together.

Sledgstone

I received this email today:

Quote

This is an important message about your account.

We take your security and privacy very seriously. Very recently, our security team discovered sophisticated attacks on our network, involving the illegal access of forum user information, possibly including your password. Our investigation currently indicates that the attackers accessed customer IDs and encrypted passwords on our systems. We have taken the precaution of resetting your account password. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused but felt that it was necessary to help protect you and your account.

To regain access to your account:

  1. Visit the vBulletin forums at http://www.vbulletin.com/settings/account
  2. Enter in your existing password followed by your new password, twice for confirmation.
  3. Save this page at the bottom.

Please choose a new password and do not use the same password you used with us previously. We also highly recommend that you chose a password that you are not using on any other sites.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our support team at http://www.vbulletin.com/go/techsupport or support@vbulletin.com.

Sincerely,

Wayne Luke,

vBulletin Lead Technical Support.

Helping You Build Better Communities,

After logging into vbulletin's site, I changed my password and checked out the client forums. vBulletin's software was compromised, again.

Earlier this year, PCGamers forum was hacked and then earlier in July, Ubuntu forums was hacked. And just the other day vbulletin.com, vbulletin.org and MacRumors were all hacked. All of the sites were running vbulletin software.

References:

http://blog.canonical.com/2013/07/30/ubuntu-forums-are-back-up-and-a-post-mortem/

http://www.macrumors.com/2013/11/12/macrumors-forums-security-leak/

https://www.facebook.com/inj3ct0rs/posts/611793255548704

http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/forum/vbulletin-announcements/vbulletin-announcements_aa/4007195-important-message-regarding-your-account

http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=304626

I'm glad we stopped using this software when we did. vbulletin.org runs vb 3 which is what we were running in the end before switching to Invision Power Board. If vb3 is now vulnerable, then all the numerous sites still using it are at risk. Anyone that has used the same password on all sites, should not use any password they have previously used on any vBulletin site.

The Ubuntu and MacRumors sites were hacked because a moderator account was broken into. The vBulletin.com and vBulletin.org sites have not stated how they were hacked into, nor do they have a fix for this exploit because it is "being looked into."

Sledgstone

http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php?363883-Internet-Brands-claims-against-Xenforo

http://xenforo.com/community/threads/internet-brands-claims-against-xenforo.4727/

Internet Brands, the parent company of vBulletin has filed a lawsuit against Xenforo because XF is developed by former vBulletin head developers and are directly competing with their product. Apparently there maybe contractual breaches from the developers former employment with IB. Of course, customers of vBulletin that were pissed off at vB/IB before are even more pissed off because of this lawsuit. The discussions in the private customer forum at vbulletin.com are only available to licensed owners so its pointless to post a link to it, but there are alot of aggravated customers complaining. Who will win the lawsuit? What software platform will become king in the future? And what about Invisionboard who is lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce on the weakened victor? The forum drama continues... :P

Sledgstone

vBulletin has updated their vBulletin 5 Connect demo.. Heres a prime example of the horrible crap of vbulletin's sofware and one of the obvious reasons we stopped using their product.

vBulletin custom page example:

http://www.vbulletin.com/vb5demo/custom_page

Yay, I could have put text on a page.

Here is an example of a random test page that I made on ipb:

http://www.ancientclan.com/test.html

I have the ability to put anything from the database onto any page I want and in whatever format I want it to appear in. Huge difference. Sure vb allows custom blocks and html, but if it was anything as advanced as IPB, you would think they would have made a better example.

Sledgstone

vBulletin Suite vs. vBulletin - vBulletin Community Forum

Quote
Quote

Originally Posted by Ohiosweetheart

Wait, just to be clear, members will not be able to purchase the blog and project tools separately, as they have been doing?

This is correct. Blog, Project Tools and CMS will not be distributed as separate products, but will be bundled with the vBulletin Suite.

In answer to some of the questions about this...

Why will these components only be available as part of the Suite?

There are two reasons for this change. The first is that with so many separate components, keeping them synchronized was unnecessarily inefficient from a coding standpoint. There's just too much engineering overhead to maintain them all on separate development tracks. And since we want to be able to develop quickly and get releases out to you more frequently, we made the decision to keep all components in sync as part of a single code base.

The second reason is that it provides much greater opportunities for tighter integration between the products, such as the ability to convert blog posts (or forum posts) to articles, to have forum discussions attached to CMS content, etc.

The whole idea is to make vBulletin better, faster, and these changes will help us develop new features more quickly. They will also help as we dive into the deeper round of rearchitecture with 4.1 and 4.2.

Does that mean I'll be running lots of extra code?

No. vBulletin runs only the code it needs for any given page load, so if you're not using a component, its code won't run and it won't impact the performance of the application.

Can I turn off components I don't want to use?

Yep, just turn them off from the Admin CP, and they'll be disabled.

Once again vb is pissing me off. We spent the extra one time fee of $50 for the blog addon. But since they are changing their packages and price structures around, they are going to dick people over. They still have not announced their price structures or upgrade fees, but now we definitely know that upgrading to vb4 suite will cost us money.

They will no longer sell their add-on products individually anymore, which means that we'll have to upgrade to the vBulletin suite to continue getting updates for the blog add-on we already have. This is retarded. I wouldn't mind getting the vbulletin cms, I was planning on it actually. But unless it was worth another $50 (or whatever the price they're changing it to now) I wouldn't buy it. But, now we'll have to buy the suite upgrade which includes the CMS, Blog and Project Tools just to continue getting updates for the blog! WTF!? We have absolutely no need for the Project Tools add-on. If we were still a hosting company we could have used it for a support desk, but we no longer have a need for anything like that now.

So thanks alot vb. I hope to god the cost to upgrade to the suite is low because if the price is to high, I'll be willing to spend the little extra cash to switch over the IPB just to spite your fucking money hungry, non-supportive, no major scheduled updates company. And their CMS better be something fucking amazing and have a gallery built into it, because if its just a page maker or a rip-off of vb advanced (free) like the blog is a slightly better rip-off of wordpress (free), then I am going to be even more seriously pissed off.

Sledgstone

I haven't liked vBulletin for some time now and mostly put that forum software behind me except for the occasional jab about how bad their software is. I came across this interesting update from PC Gamer the other day... with a part that I emphasized:

http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/07/26/why-forums-and-comments-are-still-offline/

Quote

Why forums and comments are still offline

You may have noticed that the forums and comments have been switched off for the past few days. On Friday 19th July one of our trusted moderators reported suspicious activity within the forums. They had discovered what appeared to be a script hidden in a forum announcement post. The script had been designed to steal users’ details (including password and date of birth) when clicked.

As a precaution our IT security team took immediate steps to close the forum to block the attack and fully investigate the extent of the intrusion. At this point we became aware that a small group of admins and moderators had their accounts compromised, the first of which had been used to post the malicious script.

It’s important to note that at this point our IT security team’s investigation has revealed that no other user data has been compromised, but it’s taken a few days to precisely pinpoint the problem so we can start plugging it and get everything back up and running. Apologies for the down-time; we’re being super-careful to ensure that the issue’s totally squashed before bringing things back online. All other site functionality that required user login will also remain inaccessible for the time being including new sign-ups to Gamer Rank.

There’s good news for fans of heated debate and occasional cat jokes, though. An interim solution will go live shortly that’ll bring back comments on article posts, so discussion can return to PCGamer.com. Praise the sun. It’s been spookily quiet around here.

The forum will take a little longer to return – especially as we will be reviewing our choice of forum software – but rest assured, we have our finest site surgeons on the case. We’ll let you know as soon as everything’s clear. Thanks again for your patience. We hope to get everything ship-shape as soon as possible so that normal service can resume.

For the official corporate line read below:

On Friday July 19th we were alerted to suspicious activity on PC Gamer forums by one of our moderators. This involved the posting of a malicious script into a forum post which, if clicked, could have stolen a user’s username, password and date of birth.

We took immediate action by closing down the PC Gamer forums and disabling user login. As a preventive measure we also closed all other forums within the Future network which use the same forum software, vBulletin.

Subsequent investigations into the extent of the intrusion on PCGamer have revealed the following:

- A small number of admin and moderator level passwords have been compromised. These were immediately dealt with on Friday July 19th.

- There is no indication in our logs which suggest any other user’s data has been compromised.

In light of this we are now investigating whether any of our other forums have been compromised using a similar exploit although we must stress at this point there is nothing to suggest any of other forums beyond PCGamer were targeted.

We will also be using this investigation period to review our choice of forum software to ensure chances of future attacks are as low as is possible.

Please visit the host site of your forum for any further information on the resuming of forum service.

We apologise sincerely for any inconvenience this outage is causing.

http://mos.futurenet.com/forum/

Quote

Important security update about Future forums

PC Gamer

Last week on the 19th July 2013 we discovered that PC Gamer's vBulletin-powered forum had been the target of a malicious attack. Immediate action was taken to shut the forum which blocked the attack and we have since been thoroughly investigating the damage done and how this attack took place.

We have no evidence that any of the PC Gamer's users' details were stolen. However we feel it is safest to keep the forum closed until we are satisfied that the security vulnerability in the software is fixed. Information on the progress of this will be communicated via the PCGamer site.

Other Future Forums

If you are seeing this message it is because this vBulletin forum has been closed as a precautionary measure. We have no evidence this forum has been compromised, however we are investigating each forum in our network individually to be sure this is the case.

The website teams will be in touch with more information on the progress of this as soon as it becomes available.

We are truly sorry for any inconvenience caused, we take our user's security very seriously and we appreciate your patience.

I don't visit PC Gamer's website, so I'm not certain what version of vB they were using, but this is pretty huge. The took all of their entire network's vBulletin powered forums offline because it was exploited.

Well PC Gamer, I suggest you switch to Invision Power.

vBulletin has really gone downhill and I'm glad we stopped using their software when we did.

Sledgstone

vBulletin went straight from beta 28 to Gold release with no release candidate versions and they even upgraded their official forums to it. WTF. There is no member list, no users online list. Notifications are horrible, its buggy as hell and looks like crap.

http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/

The only thing it has going for it IMO is that the mobile version looks decent on a cell phone screen.. but even then I came across some 503 errors and pages that failed to load. So buggy. They say "Enjoy a clean, up-to-date design that supports easier forum navigation for members and visitors alike." I don't care for their idea of 'clean, up-to-date' it doesn't look up-to-date to me at all. In fact the page navigation floats at the top of the screen in large forums with multiple pages of topics. It took me a minute to even realize it was there. For a basic default skin, this looks horrible.

It has less than half the features of vB 3.8 and searching doesn't work. All the search results are "unexpected_error"

Sledgstone

Some answers to important licensing questions - vBulletin Community Forum

Quote

In all the discussions so far related to pricing and licensing, I’ve answered that there were quite a lot of details to work out, and that I would announce everything together as soon as all the pieces were settled. While we do still have a couple of loose ends to tie up, I’m happy to report that a couple of the most important issues have been settled, and I can address some of the most urgent questions about upcoming license changes for vBulletin 4.0.

In previous posts I had recommended that everyone keep their vBulletin licenses current, and there are two important reasons to do so:

1. You will have access to the 4.0 Forum upgrade under the terms of your current license.

2. You will be able to take advantage of a pre-sale discount offer for the new vBulletin Suite that will be available to current licensed customers only.

In a few weeks we’ll be rolling out more information on the release and announcing further details of the new license terms and pricing. Meanwhile, we appreciate your patience.

With so many vbulletin customers bitching about the possibility of vBulletin charging for an upgrade to the vb 4 code, vbulletin has finally announced that they will not charge for the upgrade... but they will be implementing new license terms.. with their current terms they were obligated to not charge for a new major version upgrade. But my guess is that the new terms will allow them to make as much money as possible by screwing people over on future upgrades.

The f*cking vbulletin suite upgrade better be reasonably priced. *shakes fist at vb*

Sledgstone

*blogging my VB vs. IPB crap for future reference*

________________________________

vBulletin = FAIL

[ame=http://forums.ancientclan.com/showthread.php?t=9752"]vBulletin = FAIL - Ancient Clan Forums[/ame]

Here is the email I received from vbulletin:

Quote

We hope your community is enjoying the flexibility and power of vBulletin™. As always, our goal is to offer a great product at a great price, and we are dedicated to helping you build and grow successful online communities.

Over the last 12 months, we have been building vBulletin 4.0 to be the most powerful forum and social publishing software. Today, we are proud to introduce the new vBulletin 4.0 Publishing Suite product that includes the power of the vBulletin 4.0 Forums with a seamlessly integrated content management system (CMS) and blogging platform.

As a preferred customer with an active license, we are excited to offer the vBulletin Publishing Suite at a pre-sale discount price of only $130 (over 50% off regular price). This is a truly limited one-time special offer giving you $120 off the upgrade price but will expire on Friday October 30, 2009.

Learn more about vBulletin Publishing Suite features and pricing on our new website: http://www.vbulletin.com/

Beginning today, we are introducing new a license structure. vBulletin is changing to a one-time owned license fee for each major point release. That means no more annual renewal fees. Once you purchase a major point version, you’ll receive maintenance, security and minor point releases for the life of 4.x.

You have the option to keep your current active license until it expires (according to the 12 month term and conditions). For the remainder of your active license, you will continue to receive support and have access to forum software updates, including vBulletin 4.0 Forums. Once your license expires you will only be able to access the 4 Series software updates by switching to the new one-time owned license. For more information, visit the vBulletin FAQ.

Over the last 10 years, our products have offered an exceptional value and we look forward to bringing you the best and keeping you as a loyal customer. Our team is expanding in number and expertise in order to develop more innovative features and to deliver them faster. We are investing in exciting development areas such as new products and services for 'Big Boards' and mobile applications and look forward to helping you grow your community.

Sincerely,

The vBulletin Team

The vbulletin team announced that vBulletin 4.0 would come out by the end of June 2009. It is October 14th today and with an announcement like this and a new website, you would think vbulletin 4.0 has finally been released! But no! It is still in alpha testing, there is no demo available and I have been given the opportunity to purchase the upgrade to the suite for the $130 discount for only 16-17 more days. And they still have not announced when the vb 4.0 version will even come out.

And even though I bought the blog add-on for $50 a year ago, I get the same discount price as someone who only owns just the forum license. wtf.

When my license support renewal is up, which last year would have costed me $40 for updates, will now cost me $195 for the new license if I haven't paid the $130 or more by then to download vbulletin 4.0 which may still not be out by then considering they are 4 months behind schedule with no product.

So. We will probably continue running vb 3.8 until we find another alternative or vbulletin changes their pricing structure (which I'm sure they won't). I wouldn't mind paying for new forum software, we've spent plenty on vb over the years with renewal costs and one time purchases. But I can't justify staying with the company because of the part I have put in bold above.

If we use just the forums and pay the initial upgrade price of $195 or so in january and switch to a free blog system because the version we have won't be compatible with vb 4.0... we'll still be stuck with another issue. Once vb 5.0 comes out (which should be 12-18 months according to a staff member), we'll have to buy a brand new vbulletin license for version 5 at the full price of another $195. And assuming a new major release then comes out every 1 or 2 years, it'll be hundreds of dollars every year or two just to keep using this software that still doesn't do everything I want it to do.

I'm really starting to hate vbulletin. If I want to stay with this forum software, the only way I'll save money is by paying the cheaper upgrade cost of $130 which gives me the entire suite, but I only have 16 days to make my decision or pay $200 in January and only get the forum software.

WTF!

Anyone have any forum or blog recommendations? I was thinking about invision power board, but they're in the process of releasing a new cms like system and I don't know if that will be bundled in with their current suite. But even ipb is $250 for the suite with $60 renewal costs. But even that price is better than the new vbulletin price structure. Apparently, I have to make a decision within 16 days. *kicks vB in the balls*

Sledgstone

vBulletin 4.0

I was looking at the vbulletin website the other day and they made an announcement about the newest version of vb they're working on, version 4.0. Aside from a 3.8x or 3.9 version thats supposed to come out in a couple weeks, the new 4.0 version is probably going to come out in a 6 months to a year (I base this on vb staff's inability to never announce anything anywhere near its actual release date). But it is interesting nonetheless, because version 4.0 is a complete rewrite of the forum code. But the nice thing, is that they announced that they are working with current code modders to make sure existing mods will directly work with the release of the new version. Which means we should be able to keep the arcade, mood feature, vbadvanced on the homepage, etc. even after a major upgrade like this. Very nice.

http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php?t=280752

Sledgstone

vBulletin 4 coming...

The new vbulletin should be released in a beta version sometime in the second quarter of 2009.

http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php?t=293772

They are finally going to make a new default style, they're also going to make a CMS (content management system), so we can finally change the main ancientclan.com site into something more than a splash page while keeping it integrated into the forums. Yay! And the other really nice thing is that all the attachment problems will finally be fixed. Once they have the new attachment system finished, whenever we upload any image to our blog, the forums or our personal albums, they'll all be integrated. So if we upload a pic to the forum as an attachment it'll be available in our albums as well. And if you upload pics to your album, you can easily attach them into a post by clicking a little button and then choosing any pics from any of your albums to be inserted into any of your posts.

And it also sounds like they're going to integrate the blog, albums and social groups into the overall forum too.

Everything should be alot spiffier. I'm guessing they'll release the beta around april or may.

Sledgstone

Updating

Me n lady have been working on the site and forum alot over the past week or so and now we have a new blog system. O_O This seems kind of option heavy for the simple blog system I thought it was. eh, I'll mess with the settings some more and see what happens.

Sledgstone

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57526994-94/android-users-outraged-over-motorolas-broken-promise/

Quote

Doran Else bought his Photon 4G last October, lured by the fast dual-core processor and by the close relationship between Motorola and its new owner, Google. Motorola had recently joined the Android Upgrade Alliance, promising to release operating system updates to all its phones for 18 months following their release.

But for Else and thousands of others, those operating system updates turned out to be a mirage. Last Friday, buried in a Motorola forum, the company quietly abandoned its update pledge, killing off plans to ever update the Photon 4G. The Electrify, a re-branded Photon available on the US Cellular network, and the Atrix 4G, a flagship phone that debuted on AT&T in the United States, got the axe as well.

"Just seems they were happy to join the alliance when it helped them sell handsets," Else said in an e-mail. "Now that it's time to do the work, they're all dropping devices. This latest announcement from Moto is just ridiculous."

The result is that Else and thousands of people in the middle of two-year carrier contracts will have to use Android 2.3, known as Gingerbread, for the foreseeable future. Motorola had promised owners of the Photon, Electrify, and Atrix an upgrade to to Android 4.0, known as Ice Cream Sandwich, which would bring a host of new features and security updates. Instead they are stuck on Gingerbread, an operating system that was already a year old when Else bought his phone.

There was no word on why the company had twice said upgrades were coming -- first in the third quarter of this year, then the fourth quarter -- or why it had bothered joining the Android Upgrade Alliance, if it couldn't meet its requirements.

Next phone I buy will be an HTC or a Samsung. I will never buy a Motorola phone again. I specifically bought this phone because it was on sale, it had basically the same specs as the samsung galaxy at the time and it was guaranteed to be upgraded to the latest android operating system.

I never got that upgraded operating system. Android 2.3 is so outdated, that numerous apps are not even available for it. I cannot even run Google Chrome.. wtf. No Vine, no Time Warner app, etc. Numerous basic features on all phones are not available to me because I bought this phone with the belief that I'd only use the old operating system for another month or so. I remember when my brother's Nexus got upgraded to android 4.1, he was talking about how it was like a brand new phone again.. I was looking forward to this upgrade for so long.. and then my hopes were crushed.

Say no to Motorola. Don't even bother buying their crap, because its completely unsupported.

Sledgstone

I replaced the thermostat today after work. Now that I had the right deep socket to get those threaded nut head bolts off the thermostat casing, I had no problem replacing it. The temperature seems to be reading correct now on the in dash gauge.

But I still have an annoying ticking that happens when I start the car after its been sitting for a while. I have a feeling its an oil lifter, so I put some seafoam in the crankcase. I figure I'll drive it back and forth from work tomorrow and do another oil change to get the crap out. I used 'pennzoil synthetic oil/with cleaning additives' in my last oil change a week ago. I figure the engine will be pretty cleaned out with the cleaning additives in the oil along with seafoam, but the oil probably looks like crap already and will need to be changed again (especially since I put seafoam in it).

If the engine still ticks after I change the oil again, then I'll have to take it to a mechanic to check it over. I hate cars. -_-

Sledgstone

I bought a dump permit last weekend, and since then I have been so damn occupied with destroying old couch pieces, mattresses and other random crap to drop off at the dump I have had little free time to myself on the weekends.

Fortunately, next weekend is the last weekend for the dump dropoffs. Unfortunately, it means I will have to spend the next couple days destroying some more mattresses and other crap so it'll fit in my blazer so I can make the last couple drop offs in time. With a 3 hour dump window it only gives you enough time to load your crap, drop it off and repeat until time runs out.

Sledgstone

Recipe Tacos

Instructions to make:

A bunch of Tacos for serving 4-6 people.

Ingredients:

- Ortega taco mix - 2x

- Ground beef - 2 to 2 1/2 pounds

- Tomatoes - 3x

- Lettuce - 1 package

- Sour Cream 1x

- Taco cheese (preshredded) - 1 package

- Taco shells, Tortellias - 1 combo box (8 or more of each)

- Ortega Taco sauce - 1 bottle

Instructions:

1) Cook meat as per instructions on taco mix packages.

2) Prepare toppings while meat is cooking. Dice tomatoes, shred lettuce or cheese if not already packaged that way.

taco1_prepfood.jpg

3) Bake or microwave taco shells and/or soft tacos as per package.

taco2_meatshells.jpg

Assemble tacos. One or two tablespoons of meat per shell, add toppings to taste, use a little dash of the taco sauce for extra flavor or heat.

taco3_done.jpg

I prefer the soft tacos. :drool: You can also pick up large tortellias for burritos and make large soft tacos out of them instead.. so good. :drool:

Sledgstone

Read my recipe for Sushi for my sushi instructions, except substitute spring rolls aka rice paper sheets for the nori. With spring rolls you can enjoy sushi without having any fishy or seaweed taste.

To use the spring roll sheets, get a pie plate and fill it with warm water, take one sheet of rice paper and soak it in the pie plate until its completely soft. Usually this takes about 15 to 30 seconds. Then place the rice paper on your rolling mat, make sure you use plastic wrap on your mat to keep the rice paper from sticking to it or ruining it. Then make your sushi just as you would according to my Sushi recipe.

Heres some pics:

Spring roll package purchased at local Wegmans:

sushi_spring_roll.jpg

Sushi with spring rolls. I thought my spring rolls were too thin, so I used to sheets at once, but that wasn't necessary, the paper was strong enough with just a single sheet:

sushi_spring_roll2.jpg

Heres some pics with grilled chicken in them. Yummy.

sushi_spring_roll3.jpg

Also, if you want to add extra flare to your spring roll sushi, put a couple drops of food coloring into the water you'll soak your rice paper in. As the rice paper softens up, it'll absorb some of the color too.

I think next time I make sushi, I'm going to change up the amount of rice vinegar I use in it. The vinegar just overpowers too much.

And yeah, use just a single spring roll sheet. The rice paper itself is quite starchy and two sheets means too much rice paper flavor in your mouth and that overpowers the overall sushi taste too.

Sledgstone

Recipe Sushi

Instructions to make:

2-3 rolls of sushi

Ingredients:

- Sushi Rice - 2 cups

- Nori (Seaweed sheets) - 2-3 sheets

- Rice Vinegar -

- Sliced carrots - 1 package

- Avocado - 1x

- Cucumber - 1x

- Shrimp or imitation crab meat - 1 small package

Instructions:

1) Put two cups of rice in your rice cooker and fill the rice cooker to the "2" line with water, put lid on and set the rice to cook. Remember to leave the lid on the rice cooker through the duration of the cooking and and additional 15 minutes after the rice cooker switches over to 'warm' to ensure the rice fully cooks.

2) While the rice is cooking, prepare your cooking area, get your sushi mat ready, take your nori out of the package so it can air out a bit. Peel your cucumber and slice it into thin length wise pieces (preferably discarding the seed portion or the cucumber but that is not necessary). Peel your avocado and also slice into length wise pieces but keep the avocado thicker for it's texture. Also rinse off and peel your shrimp/crab meat.

sushi1_rice.jpg

3) After the rice is done, you have to add 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar per 1 cup of rice. Since 2 cups of uncooked rice = 6 cups of cooked rice, add 6 tablespoons of rice vinegar to the rice in the rice cooker and fold the rice to mix evenly. Don't crush the rice while folding the vinegar in! Once mixed together, spread the rice out onto a pizza pan or something else covered in aluminum foil. I cover a pizza pan with aluminum foil because it gives you a flat surface for the rice to cool on and it makes cleanup a lot easier.

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4) Let the rice cool down for a while and finish any other prep work you have to do. Also, place a piece of clear saran plastic wrap on your sushi mat (makes rolling the sushi easier and less messer, also easier clean up). Place your nori, shiny side down on your sushi mat and spread sushi rice in a thin layer on most of the mat. Leave about a half inch at the top of the nori rice free so the roll can stay together.

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5) Place your ingredients length wise at the bottom of your sushi roll. Use a couple large pieces of avocado, a bunch of cucumber, carrots, shrimp/crabmeat, whatever you want to use. Its ok if things overlap too, but you don't want to use much more than what is in this pic or your roll might start falling apart while you cut it or when you pick up the individual pieces.

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6) Next, roll the sushi carefully from the bottom up. Apply some light pressure while you roll and tuck the ingredients in with your fingers if it starts falling apart or not staying in place while you roll it.

7) Roll it back and forth a little bit and squeeze the roll slightly while wrapped up in the mat to get everything kind of solidified together. Not to hard tho, you do not want to crush the rice and ruin the texture.

8) The top of the roll had that little empty 1/2 flap of nori, wet your finger and apply a moisture to that flap and push it against the roll. This will make that little flap grip the roll and keep everything together.

9) Place your roll of sushi on a cutting board and use a sharp wet knife to cut your individual pieces. Sushi rice is extremely sticky, you will need to run your knife under water and gently wipe off any stickyness or rice off your knife before cutting each piece. Cut the pieces to the thickness you want, if the sushi starts falling apart on you while you cut, cut slightly larger pieces or clean your knife/wet it more. Let the knife be pretty much dripping wet even while you cut for easier cutting. The end pieces look ugly but are still edible. I usually give them to my kid or eat them myself before presentation. :P

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10) Next roll. Repeat steps above. Notice I used more shrimp? mmmmm. :drool:

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11) This is the amount of leftover rice I had. I'm pretty certain I made three rolls with 2 cups of uncooked rice, but I probably ate it while making the other two rolls I took pictures off. (I can't remember.)

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12) Finished sushi with leftover ingredients. As you can see, you shouldn't waste your time cutting all of that 1 cucumber and 1 avocado like I did unless you have a guinea pig that likes leftover cucumber like me. :P Probably half a cucumber and half an avocado is plenty for 2-3 sushi rolls.

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13) Finished sushi pics! Eat and enjoy!

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Don't forget you can use a little wasabi sauce or soy sauce or mix them together a bit for dipping your sushi. I sometimes use duck sauce because soy sauce usually tastes too salty for me just like wasabi is way to friggin hot. I'd rather taste the sushi and the different textures in it than have the dipping sauce overtake my pallet.

Pickled ginger is usually served with sushi, but its mainly used to 'reset' your taste buds when you have a variety of sushi on your plate. Its best to eat a little piece of ginger inbetween different pieces of sushi or sashimi to fully enjoy the taste and texture of each different piece. If all your eating is just the one sushi roll like I have made here, I'd pass on the ginger and just enjoy the flavor of the sushi. :drool:

Sledgstone

Instructions to make:

St. Louis style ribs

Ingredients:

- Package of St. Louis style ribs - 2 to 3 lbs

- 1/2 to 1 bottle of KC Masterpiece Original BBQ Sauce

- 1/2 shot of Maker's Mark whiskey

- Tablespoon of honey

Instructions:

1) Boil your ribs in water, they'll boil faster if you keep it covered. Once the water starts boiling, boil the ribs about 15 minutes to a 1/2 hour until they are mostly cooked. Or all the way cooked if you want. For these ribs, I boiled them about a 1/2 hour until their internal temperature was 175 degrees. Pork is fully cooked at 170 degrees, so these ribs were already fully cooked before I put them on the grill. (I use my little meat thermometer all the time now. :P)

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2) While the ribs are boiling, turn your grill on to start heating up and also, get your sauce ready. Usually I use just plain KC Masterpiece because when that sauce is cooked on the grill, alot of the moisture cooks out of the sauce and it thickens up perfectly for ribs. For this recipe, I used half a bottle of the sauce, squeezed in about a tablespoon of honey, and added half a shot glass of whiskey for a little kick. The alcohol will cook right out of the sauce, so it just adds flavor, like I said, a little kick.

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3) Once the ribs are finished boiling, remove them from the pot and let them cool off a little. You can refrigerate them for 15 minutes if you want, but I just let them sit out at room temperature about 5 minutes.

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4) Now that the grill is nice and hot, turn off the burner you'll be putting your ribs over (left burner is off in this pic) and keep the other burner on high. This will let the ribs cook with indirect heat. Put your ribs on the top rack of your grill, coat one side, flip it and then coat the other side. Close the lid and let the grill heat up those ribs for a good 10 minutes.

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5) Flip the ribs over and this time, heavily coat the top with sauce, let it pool up on it so it'll be really thick. Close it up and let it cook another 10 minutes. Flip the ribs again and repeat another thick layer, this time turn on the left burner on low to add more heat. Keep repeating this process one or two more times if you have enough sauce.

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6) Take the ribs off the grill, the sauce should be really thick now. Let the ribs cool down a couple minutes before you cut them.

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7) Look at those ribs. Enjoy! :drool:

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After eating these, the sauce does need a bit more sweetness to it. Add another tablespoon of honey or dissolve about a 1/4 cup of sugar into the sauce before putting them on the ribs.

Sledgstone

A couple weeks ago the Blazer's service engine soon light came on. I went to Advance Auto Parts and used one of their scanners to find out I had a 'Coolant below thermostat threshold' error code. Basically, my coolant needed to be replaced and also my thermostat, then possibly the coolant temperature sensor. A couple days later I went to Valvoline instant oil change and had them do a coolant flush and also replace the serpentine belt. The serp belt I could have done myself, but the guy told me it was a lifetime warranty and they'll replace it free of charge whenever it starts showing alot of wear, so I figured it would be a good deal because I'll probably need at least one more belt in the next 3-4 years and it saved me the hassle of doing it myself in 30 degree temperatures.

The service engine soon light did not go off. I figured it wouldn't, because I would need to replace the thermostat too. Then I got snowed in at my house after a 2 foot snow storm. The car didn't drive anywhere for a couple days. Then on last Sunday, when I was about to go to the local grocery store, I noticed a gas smell. I went to the store and when I came back I noticed the smell still. Turns out the fuel line near the tank started leaking a steady drip of gas. wtf. I didn't have much daylight left so I got under the car, eventually found the pinhole leak, and I proceeded to patch it by placing a piece of cut hose over the hole and then use hose clamps to tighten it down. I must have over tightened it and it started leaking again which pissed me the hell off because at that point I was soaking wet from melting snow/ice (2 feet of melting snow) and pooling gas. After my hands went numb from the cold gas and my arm was killing me because I was awkwardly positioned under the rear differential, I decided to do a really cheap ass move and cut the finger off a nitrile throwaway glove, wrapped it around the pin hole leak, and clamped it down with four zip ties. Its held for a week now with no additional leaking. O_O I was going to take it off and hose clamp it correctly with my piece of hose, but another issue came up.

About 3 days ago, the car started making a weird ticking sound after I initially turned the car on. It only lasted for a couple seconds, but I thought it was a bad sign. Turns out it would only do it when the car was sitting for more than a couple hours and the length of time the ticking would last for depended on how cold it was outside. I went back to Advance Auto parts and had them test the alternator and battery because alternators, batteries and starters are all connected to a ticking sound during ignition. The battery and alternator were fine. He couldn't test the started because it would have to be off the engine, and on top of that he said that test would only check to see if the starter can start a car, which is not the problem because the noise only happens after the car is turned on. The guy was pretty knowledgeable and he suggested I do an oil change and use a oil filter with a drain back valve. I guess he meant anti-drain back valve because he told me I probably had oil sludge starting to build up and after the car was sitting for a while, the oil would accumulate in the oil pan and that ticking sound was the thick oil slowly making its way back up to the top of the engine. And that a good oil filter would prevent the oil from draining down completely to the oil pan, which is what an anti-drain back oil filter does. While I was there, I went ahead and bought the thermostat.

So, today, I did the oil change on the blazer. I spent the extra money and bought a penzoil full synthetic oil with cleaning additives ($28 for 5 quarts, costly), and I bought a Fram Tough Guard oil filter ($8, $5 more than other filters) which has a 'anti-drain back valve built into it'. I just finished the oil change, my coat is soaked because the tarp I put down over the melting snow/ice was a piece of crap and soaked straight through. Anyway, I started the car up after the oil change and no ticking sound. I'll find out tomorrow morning if the ticking sound is completely gone. I still need to do the thermostat, but my coat is soaked, I need a new tarp and I think I'm going to wait until next weekend when its 40+ degrees again. From what I read, a bad thermostat only causes a little worse fuel efficiency, so I figure if its not damaging the car, it can wait another week.