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Sledgstone

Instructions to make:

Lasagna

Serving size: 12+

Ingredients:

- 1 package of Lasagna noodles

- 2 1/2 pounds of hamburger meat (browned)

- 2 cans of pasta sauce

- 1 can of diced tomatoes

- 1 jar of parmesan cheese

- 2 eggs

- 1 1/2 - 2 pounds of mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

1) Gather your ingredients.

lasagna01.jpg

2) Brown your hamburger meat and strain it. I like to break the meat up pretty fine while it is browning. I don't like meat chunks too big in a lasagna.

lasagna02.jpg

3) Start boiling your lasanga noodles as per the instructions on the package.

4) Use a mixing bowl and combine the browned meat, 2 eggs, 1/4 to 1/2 of your parmesan cheese, and diced tomatoes (strain the liquid from the tomatoes first).

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4) This sauce is thick and good for a single pan of lasagna, but I like it a but saucier so add another can of pasta sauce.

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5) Don't overcook your lasagna noodles! If they are still slightly firm, good. Strain them and then place the noodles in layers on a plate in a criss cross pattern so they can maintain their shape while you are making your lasagna.

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6) Lightly spray some pam or another non-stick spray on your bakeware so your lasagna does not stick to your pan. Also, start pre-heating your oven to 350 degrees.

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7) Start off your lasagna with a layer of meat sauce

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8) Then a layer of noodles. Then repeat with another layer of meat sauce and noodles.

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9) Usually around the first or second layer of noodles I add a layer of mozzarella cheese. You can use pre-shredded cheese, but like all pre-shredded cheeses, the little pieces of cheese are covered in a layer of wax, and that creates a greasy lasagna. So get a brick and shred it yourself or cut pieces that will melt in the oven. Also, layer some parmesan in there too if you want the extra cheese.

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10) Keep repeating your layers until you get close to the top of your pan. If you have extra ingredients, make a second lasagna in a smaller pan like in these pictures.

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11) When you get to your top layer, finish off your lasagna with a light layer of sauce, generous amounts of parmesan and a generous amount of mozzarella.

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12) Now cover your lasagna with aluminum foil (this prevents your top layer of cheese from burning during the cooking process), wait for your oven to finish pre-heating and put it in the oven on the center rack for about 35 minutes.

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13) Take your lasagna out, take off the aluminum foil and it'll look something like this. Now put the lasagna back into your oven for another 10-15 minutes with the foil off to melt down the top layer.

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14) And the lasagna is done! If you have a good brand of mozzarella, cutting pieces usually works fine, but the store brand that I was using didn't melt perfectly, but you get the idea... its still incredibly tasty. :drool:

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15) Let the lasagna sit for about 5-10 minutes to cool and solidify, then cut into pieces and eat!

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When I have leftovers, which I usually do because this is alot of lasanga... I put individual servings into ziplock sandwich bags and freeze them. To eat them from the freezer, put it on a plate, set it to auto-defrost for 1 pound, break it up with a fork and heat it again for another minute and it should be perfect. :drool:

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

So I noticed my muffler was sounding louder than usual and I knew there was a small hole right on the end of it. So I bought a tube of muffler/exhaust patch goop and took pictures of my patch job. Make sure your car has been off for quite a while before doing this yourself. Your exhaust pipe and muffler should be cold when using this stuff because heat will only harden the goop too fast and you risk burning yourself. So yeah, to do this job yourself, all you need is the following:

1 tube of Exhaust system joint & crack sealer

(purchased at NAPA for $2.95 or so)

1 throwaway latex glove

(purchased at NAPA or walmart, an entire package for a few dollars, usually near the toilet scrubbers at walmart or auto chemical section)

1 can of brakekleen or any brand of spray on brake parts cleaner (all you need is a couple sprays out of it for this). ($3)

Here is the hole in my muffler.

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Here is a pic of the Exhaust system joint & crack sealer that I used. Autozone or Advance Auto Parts probably have the same brand or something similar.

muffler02.jpg

Here is the hole in my muffler after I sprayed it with some brakekleen to get the harmful chemicals off it. Then I let it air dry and then sandpapered it lightly to remove excessive rust or grime. Then I sprayed it again with more brakleen and let it dry once again so the goop will stick good.

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And just as I was about to put the goop on, I noticed this hole, and yes those are metal coat hangers holding up my muffler, the strap rusted away about six months ago.

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LMAO, holy shit! No wonder it got so loud! X'D

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So I put on the throwaway blue rubber glove and smeared some sealer onto the hole.

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I also cleaned, sanded (And wow, after rubbing it lightly with the sandpaper it became an even bigger hole) and then cleaned the huge hole and smeared almost the entire tube all over the hole. Since the sealer goop starts stiffening rather quickly, it was easy to just keep applying blobs to the edges of the hole, let it harden slightly and then just keep building on that edge until it covered the entire hole.

muffler07.jpg

Because it kept wanting to cling to my finger and reopen the hole when I touched it, I had to let it dry for an hour and apply another layer over top of it to finish the patch.

muffler08.jpg

I then let it sit over night and it was noticeably quieter the next day. Not normal of course. If all I had was just that little hole, once it was patched, you would think the muffler was new. But that huge gaping hole affects the noise the muffler makes now. I'll have to get a new muffler soon, but at least until I do it doesn't sound like I'm driving some old diesel truck down the road. X'D

Btw, if you have a small hole like the one on the end of my muffler on any part of your exhaust pipe, do this quick easy fix yourself and it'll cut back on alot of noise.

Sledgstone

Last weekend I heard a noise and I knew the end was coming for the car. The timing chain is going. It started making a slight noise months ago which is why I stopped driving it on the freeway... but now its so loud just idling I was able to take a video of it.

saturn_timing_chain

I haven't gotten a quote to replace the $35 part, but I know it will be huge because to replace the timing chain, you have to remove the engine and take apart half the engine. That would cost more than what the car is worth. As it is, I'm pretty certain the chain will break the next time its driven somewhere. And when that thing breaks it'll seize up most of the engine. The car is in it's death throws now. But I can't complain too much, seeing as its been totaled previously, been resurrected, and driven for almost an additional 2 years.

Sledgstone

Today I put a small piece of cut fuel line over my existing fuel line with a hose clamp, I had it set just up from the leak so when I took off the old patch I would be able to quickly slide it down the fuel line and tighten it over the leak. Unlike when I first found the leak and quickly patched it up while sliding on top of snow and ice, I was able to put the truck up on my car ramps to get plenty of room to work with. Those ramps have paid for themselves already. ^_^

So after I had the new patch ready to tighten up, I cut off the small zip ties and unwrapped the nitrile disposable glove finger that was keeping the fuel line from leaking initially. Once it was off, instead of a small leak, the gas started pouring out like a small piss stream. guh! But! I was able to get the new patch over it and tighten it down quick enough that I did not get a huge gas mess. I didn't even get any on my clothes. And since I had some disposable gloves on, everything worked out great. Before I finished up, I moved the gas line around a bit and secured it to other hoses with zip ties to make sure it was clear from hanging around the frame. Its no longer leaking and I'm quit certain this patch will be quit permanent.

Now I just have to get a new long neck funnel so I can put some seafoam in the tank to finish my clean up job.

The only other maintenance I have planned is to get the transmission fluid replaced at some point in the near future as it is seriously past due. The only fluid I actually forgot to change over the past couple years. -_- Oh, and the fuel filter should be replaced soon too. Its recommended change is every 30,000 miles, the car is at 100,000 so I'd say its past due too. -_-

Sledgstone

So after all the work I put into our blazer, and all the money we had to spend on it for random fixes left and right, enough is enough. The transmission starting going over the past couple weeks. From what I saw online, getting a flush would cause more harm than good, but just replacing the filter and a couple quarts of fluid shouldn't cause any problems. So I went to midas and paid them to replace the tranny filter and the fuel filter. They screwed up something by either hitting something too hard when they took the pan off, or they somehow dislodged something, or the transmission was just so bad, that even touching it caused it to screw up even more. After the tranny filter was replaced, it lost the first and second gears and the service engine soon light came on for 2 shift solenoids. Midas offered no help at all afterwords and only told me to take it to a transmission shop. The only way I could drive it was to physically shift it to first, then second, third and then drive... every single time the car came to a stop.

So fuck it, we decided to trade it in. We were holding off for a while because we know we owed more than it was worth.. sure as hell the trade in value was pure shit. We did get a good deal at a toyota dealer with zero percent financing for 5 years tho. Yay. We got a new 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Pics:

http://forums.ancientclan.com/album.php?albumid=62

Sledgstone

This service was done on 07-17-2010

The miles were at 4928 for it's first oil change and tire rotation! Because this is a new car I'm only going to use full synthetic oil for the life of the vehicle to make sure the engine lasts as long as possible. :teethglint:

The dealership also finished one more pedal recall that I wasn't aware of. He told me to disregard the letter I'll get in the mail this week because I'll already have it done.

On a side note, the discount card I bought at the dealership for $200 when I bought the car is going to pay for itself pretty quick. It already saved me $100 off the rust proofing job and all full synthetic oil changes get $25 off and tire rotations are $13 off. It was only $42 yesterday. For the price of the oil and the price of the oil filter, the oil job is pretty much done for the same price it would cost me to do it myself, but I don't have to! ahha. My tools will be sitting gathering dust for quite a while now.

Sledgstone

Instructions to make:

A marinade that can tenderize beef chuck steaks and other cuts.

Amount: Enough for 2+ steaks.

Ingredients:

- 1 cup corn oil (or vegetable oil)

- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard

- 3 tablespoon worcester sauce

- 1 teaspoon pepper

- 1/4 videlia onion sliced

- 1 tablespoon garlic powder

- 2 teaspoon salt

- 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Instructions:

1) Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.

2) Rinse off two beef chuck steaks (or other cuts) and pat lighty with paper towels to take off some of the excess water.

3) Put your steaks in a bowl or in large ziplock bags and pour the marinade over the steaks. Flip the steaks a bit to make sure they are fully covered. Then either seal your ziplock bags or cover your bowl and refrigerate your steaks for at least 5 hours.

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4) Cook your steak. I cooked mine at a high temperature on the grill for about 8 minutes or so. If you grill yours, be careful if you pour the leftover marinade on them, the marinade has a tendency to flare up some strong flames.

(The woman's plate, she likes hers well, well done.)

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The steaks turned out quite tender for a beef chuck. There was still a little bit of chew to it, but not nearly as tough without marinade. If anything, let those steaks marinade over night or for 12 hours.

Sledgstone

So lady's laptop has had a power jack issue for almost a year now, but almost a week ago it got even worse and would hardly stay plugged in or charge unless the plug at the back of the laptop was pushed and held into place just right. I've seen this issue before with a PS2 and I was able to fix that by re-soldering the DC power jack connection to the motherboard. Well, turns out that getting access to the DC power jack on a laptop is a hell of a lot more complicated than a slim PS2. I have to give credit were it is due, and this website had a complete walk through for her exact laptop with pictures:

http://www.insidemylaptop.com/

I was able to finally get to the motherboard and the DC power jack after 18 steps of disassembly. x_x I re-soldered the connection and her laptop powers up perfectly again. I also cleaned out a major blockage of dust and lint out of the cooling fan area. Its practically running like new again and doesn't kick on the fan after 20 minutes of use anymore. Yay. ^_^

Here is a pic of the inside of her laptop with a circle around the DC power jack. A pain in the ass to get to, and the part I had to solder was only about 1-2 cm big, but we saved over $100 because thats the cheapest price I found to get it fixed at a shop.

laptopfix01.jpg

For my own records, I fixed this on 10/06/2010. Hopefully it will be a permanent fix, because if not I'll have to replace the power jack itself next time instead of just fixing one solder point.

MAKES

Sledgstone

I didn't take pics of this fix.. but thanks to this website:

http://anythingbutipod.com/2008/03/creative-zen-disassembly/

I was able to figure out how to take it apart. Those are some really really small screws.. and thankfully her mp3 player only had a loose battery. Whenever the mp3 player was lightly shaken the power would cut off and only come back on after it was connected to a computer usb. After taking it apart, the solder connections were fine, but the battery wires seemed to be loose on the battery itself. Probably because the battery was floating around dis-lodged from its seat.

After I fixed the connection on the battery and re-glued it into place (with double sided heavy duty glue foam), it works fine now. I wish I had an actual plastic tool for removing plastic shells because now the seem looks a little marred, but at least its working fine now.

Sledgstone

The improvements they are making to IPB look really great. Some of the highlights for me:

http://community.invisionpower.com/blog/1174/entry-9537-ips-40-editor-part-1-content/

Quote

Currently URLs which gets picked up for media embedding and the output they produce are managed in the Admin CP. The idea was that this would allow admins to add support for additional services, however, it has caused some problems when for example, YouTube has added new URL formats or changed their embed code and they don't work on most communities until we release an update to change the default record for YouTube.

oEmbed is an API which allows you to make a call to the provider giving them the URL and they respond with the best embed code to use, if that URL can be embedded. In 4.0, if a URL for YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, College Humor or Hulu is inserted, we make a call to their oEmbed provider to obtain the embed code, so it's always up to date.

Embeds will always work. Now that is a huge difference.

http://community.invisionpower.com/blog/1174/entry-9538-ips-40-editor-part-2-uploads/

Quote

The upload panel here is based on HTML5 which supports drag and drop uploading, if your browser doesn't support this, it will use Flash, Silverlight or Google Gears if you have any of those installed, and if not it will fallback to a HTML4 & JavaScript implementation (none of these support drag and drop, but instead you click the "Choose Files" button just as you do now - the label in the box will change to reflect this).

Drag and drop images right into the editor. I've been waiting for this feature. No more having to click attach and then navigate to the right folder where your image is.. just drag it right into the editor. :tup:

http://community.invisionpower.com/blog/1174/entry-9539-ips-40-editor-part-3-customisation-and-bbcode/

Quote

BBCode

Though no features in IPS4 insert BBCode-style tags into the editor (like is currently done for attachments, etc.) users can still type BBCode into the editor and it will work fine.

We've rewritten how BBCode is parsed to be much more secure and reliable and produce more standards-compliant HTML (for those who are interested, it parses the post content into a DOM Document and examines only the text nodes for BBCode tags, then either splits the nodes surrounding it and inserts one for block-level elements, or wraps all subsequent text nodes in the appropriate formatting element until the end BBCode is found).

The benefit to this is that there now no longer needs to be a "BBCode mode" - you can type BBCode straight into the editor, even complicated stuff like lists spanning multiple lines, and it comes out looking great.

The downside to this approach is that custom BBCodes can no longer be added through the Admin CP. However, as mentioned above, we now have the ability to add custom buttons to the editor which work in a much more intuitive way, and can do everything that custom BBCodes could and more. For those who really want to be able to add the ability for custom BBCode, we've isolated the method that returns the supported BBCode (and information needed to parse them) into a specific method so that custom BBCode can be added with a very simple hook specific to that purpose.

This is a big change and I hope they pull it off correctly. All our custom bbcodes will be negated. But the only custom bbcode we actually use is the spoiler tag, which will now be a default feature. All other custom bbcodes will now have to be created as CKEditor plugins.. but there are already a lot of ckeditor plugins available. So I could technically add a variety of new editor features.

http://community.invisionpower.com/topic/388306-ips-40-editor-part-4-special-features/

Quote

@mentions

@mentions are a common feature on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. If you type an @ symbol and then start typing the name of a friend, an autocomplete menu shows so you can quickly then click on the user and they'll receive a notification that they've been mentioned. In 4.0 you can do exactly this to mention any user.

Very very nice. I like this.

Quote

Automatic Saving

Currently, when you're typing a post, every 2 minutes the content of the post is saved, so that if you accidentally navigate away from the page, your post content can be recovered. The content is saved by making an AJAX request.

In 4.0, we've rewritten this to use HTML5 web storage. This unloads this work to the browser, meaning no call needs to be made to the server. Because this is much more efficient, the save can be done much more frequently (every few seconds). This makes the autosave feature much more useful.

In addition, we've expanded the feature to support attachments. So if you've uploaded files, these too will be automatically recovered. Essentially if you're in the middle of typing a post and you refresh the page, everything will reappear exactly as you left it.

Good! No more having to click the load saved content option. Simplifying this will make the auto save much better.

Oh! and the editor will now be fully skin-able! The editor won't have to be glaring white on a dark theme anymore.

Also, the current skins that we use are going to be upgraded for IPB 4.0. We won't have to change the entire look of the site. :D

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

Back in May of this year I bought a new Smoker because I've been thinking about trying out smoking food for a couple years now. I've gotten pretty good with a standard grill, but I wanted to improve my slow cooking skills and try something new with different flavors. After watching numerous seasons of BBQ Pitmasters, I became inspired to finally try out charcoal smoking.

Instead of buying something expensive, I shopped around, looked at reviews, different makes and models and I decided to go with a vertical charcoal water smoker. A vertical water smoker works by having a heat source at the bottom, a water pan in the middle of the smoker that provides hot moisture, and two cooking grates. One directly over the water pan and the second at the top of the smoker. Because the water pan is almost as wide as the smoker itself, it causes all the food in the smoker to be cooked with indirect moist heat. Vertical water smokers are also cheap. Some offsets are cheap also, but many of the low end vertical water smokers are under $60.

After reading many reviews, I decided to get a Brinkmann Gourmet Charcoal Smoker. There is a large community of people that use this exact smoker and have shared numerous modifications they have done to improve it's performance. After reading about smoker modifications I was a bit concerned. Why would a new product need modifying? Well, I found out the answer.. If I wanted a smoker that would work amazing right out of the box, I'd have to pay $300 for a Weber Smokey Mountain. So, no.. I decided to go with something cheaper and modify it if needed, hence why these Brinkmann ones are nick named the ECB (El Cheapo Brinkmann). I'll only be using this smoker about 5 months out of the year and not even every week. For what I wanted to do, I figured $90 on amazon was good enough. For that price I also got the smoker cover, which turned out to be better material than I thought it would.

Unfortunately, amazon shipped this smoker horribly. The box looked like it was kicked a few times and I had to hug the metal of the body and the lid back into a fully circular shape. As well as bending the door into a shape that would close correctly.. I also needed to use a rubber mallet and hammer out one ding in the body. I was not please with the condition, but after full assembly the smoker looked great.

Here are some pictures of the Smoker new and in use for the first time:

I never used charcoal before so I had to buy a new charcoal chimney starter and some charcoal. I decided to get the weber chimney and go right for the royal oak lump charcoal. After reading all the safety information about charcoal lighter fluid and how you need to let the charcoal burn out for at least 20 minutes, etc. I had no interest in using it.. thats why I got the chimney starter. Along with some newspaper I'm able to get any charcoal started burning safely. That and I have a friend that uses the same style of chimney to start his charcoal grill. Very simple to use.

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The bottom of the smoker is a charcoal pan with air vents on the bottom. Charcoal is controlled completely by air flow. I added a grate at the bottom because I read that burned charcoal ash will build up and block the air flow which would smother the remaining coals.

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Now that the coals are ready, I put the body of the smoker on top of the pan, then add water to the water pan, put on the grates and add the food. Put the lid on and its done.

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As you can see, this style of smoker is noticeably smaller than an offset charcoal smoker that can usually be about the size of a normal grill.

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For my first use, I went big. I put a pork shoulder on the bottom grate and a rack of ribs on the top. I figured I'd get a good feel for the smoker with two different things cooking at once.

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I also put a couple aluminum foil packets of soaked hickory and apple wood chips onto the charcoal.. Here is where the smoke starts rolling pretty good:

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About 4+ hours later here are the results:

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The end results were not what I was expecting. Because this smoker has no airflow controls, I could not regulate the temperature. Also the thermometer is horrible. It doesn't even have temperatures.. only "warm, ideal and hot". The ribs turned out ok, but overly smoked. The smoke flavor was so pronounced that I couldn't eat the smaller ribs. And the pork shoulder was not even cooked all the way through. I ended up finishing the pork shoulder on my propane grill because I already used 2 chimneys full of charcoal and I didn't feel like setting another to burn. The pork shoulder was not cooked correctly but the smoke flavor was good for it. Because it was thicker, the smoke didn't permeate as much into the meat.

I'd say this smoker was a failure. But I didn't give up. I decided to make a few modifications, which I'll go over in another blog post. I can say that I would not recommend using this smoker without modifying it. Or if you do use this smoker without modifications do not use lump charcoal. It burns far hotter and faster than kingsford briquettes and with no airflow controls, the lump burned incredibly fast. Also, use almost boiling water in your water pan, and only fill it half way. The water I used was hot from the tap and because of the volume of water the pan holds, most of the heat that would have cooked the pork shoulder was absorbed by the water that was sitting directly under it.

And for anyone wondering, was the smoker worth it? The answer is yes. Once I had the proper modifications done, I have been making some of the best barbeque I've ever eaten. Definitely worth it. It was quite a learning experience too. Practice makes perfect.

Sledgstone

In my previous blog post I showed my new smoker:

New Brinkmann Smoker (ECB) El Cheapo Brinkmann

But the smoker didn't work out all that good right out of the box. These are the following modifications I've made to it:

When I first got my smoker I put a grate at the bottom of the charcoal pan because I read that a grate will help in keeping ash buildup from blocking the air flow. This was not entirely correct. What I needed to do was have the grate about an inch off the bottom so that air flow can reach every piece of coal while allowing ash to sift down to the bottom. So my first modification was to use some pliers and bend the air fins open more to allow more airflow. Because I'll be able to control the airflow with another modification, I wanted to make sure the airflow would not get restricted by ash buildup. The second mod I did was to install three carriage bolts with nuts 1 inch from the bottom of the pan. This allows me to set the grate on the bolts and gets me the airflow I want. Before doing this, I attempted to use 3 equally sized rocks to lift the grate up.. Not a good idea. It worked but it didn't. The rocks change the flow of air and also absorb heat and break. Installing permanent bolts was the only real solution. Using a drill I made three holes 1 inch from the bottom and installed the bolts. I didn't want to use carriage bolts but they were the only ones I could find for the size and length I wanted to use at the local hardware store. These bolts worked out fine in the end because they didn't sit to far away from the pan's sides to affect how it sits in the base pan.

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The next modification was the most time consuming. I needed to control the airflow of this smoker. This smoker has two vents. The bottom vent which is a hole about 2 inches in diameter and the other is the gap where the lid sits on the body of the smoker. The lid does not go on with a solid seal and is designed that way so there is no need for an air vent on the top. I have seen other people modify their ECB lids by installing an oven gasket around the rim to make it have a solid seal and then installing an aftermarket weber charcoal damper on the lid. However, I did not do this.. I am more concerned about the airflow coming into the smoker at the bottom than restricting or increasing the airflow from the top.

Here is what I did.. I drilled three holes into my base pan. One of those drill holes was a mistake which I'll explain in a bit. I used one bolt along with a washer, lock washer and lock nut to connect a pickle jar lid to the base of the pan. I needed to drill 2 holes into the jar lid. One to keep it connected to the base pan and the other to act as a slot for the metal control rod. Using a washer, lock washer and lock nut, the lid will stay connected without unscrewing the bolt due to repeated opening and closing. I drilled another hole into the side of the base pan to allow the metal rod to protrude out the side. This is where I messed up. I drilled the hole too high up. Once I had everything in place, I put the charcoal pan into the base pan and realized it was weighing down on the metal rod preventing me from using it correctly. So I drilled another hole right at the bottom of the side and then the pan fit perfectly. Of course this left me with a hole I had to plug up. Thankfully I the smoker came with some extra bolts and nuts and I simply used one of those to seal off the hole.

The biggest problem with this was the metal rod I was using. I had an old metal sign holding post that I decided to use because it was tough and it already had one end of it bent into a crude loop from a previous project. This was some sturdy metal. After cutting it to the right shape, I was unable to bend it by hand. My bolt cutters have metal bending rods on it and I was able to use those to bend the metal into the angles I needed. This was a pain. I forgot to take a picture of the underneath of the base pan. Its basically a piece of metal bent in three places. Once at a 90 degree angle to fit through the jar lid hole, then another bend to keep the metal from scraping the ground, and then a third bend to keep the metal from scraping the bottom of the pan. In the end it worked out good because the piece of metal has just enough weight to it that it feels sturdy and it won't disconnect. With this done, I now an adjustable damper and I have full control over the airflow.

blogentry-1-0-66423200-1377457067_thumb.

blogentry-1-0-20907800-1377457069_thumb.

A different angle:

blogentry-1-0-87462700-1377457070_thumb.

blogentry-1-0-33353300-1377457072_thumb.

Now that I can open and close the damper to whatever amount of air flow I want to allow in, I need to be able to tell what the actual temperature of the smoker is. For this I needed to add a new thermometer. Adding a new thermometer was easier than I thought it would be. All I needed to do was drill one hole and then use a piece of simple lamp hardware found in my local hardware store's electricity aisle. Its a threaded feed-through with 2 nuts. I can't remember what the actual thing was called on the package in the store, but its basically a brass tube that is threaded for nuts to attach to it like a bolt. Its lamp hardware because electric cords usually go through the opening to the light bulb. But for me, the opening will be for my new thermometer. The hardware store only sold the things in a pack of 8 in varying sizes and the nuts were on the shelf just below them, also in a pack. I used either a 1 or 1 1/2 inch feed through with two nuts. Using a couple pliers I tightened the two nuts and kept the bulk of the feed through on the inside of the smoker to keep the thermometer level. I've seen some people recommend candy thermometers, but I chose instead to get a new Weber thermometer off amazon. Because the thermometer itself isn't installed, I can take it inside and clean it after every use.

Outside look. I installed it right above the charcoal door:

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Inside look. Two nuts holding it in place. Pretty simple. I also bent this slightly downward to make sure the thermometer sits a bit more tight.

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This new thermometer is significantly better than the one that came with the smoker. I can now get the smoker up to 250 and using the damper on the bottom, I can make small adjustments to the airflow and maintain a constant cooking temperature.

blogentry-1-0-62805100-1377457076_thumb.

And here it is all completed:

blogentry-1-0-52973100-1377457078_thumb.

Resources I used for this project:

http://home.comcast.net/~day_trippr/smoker_mods.htm

http://brinkmannsmokermod.blogspot.com/2011/01/simple-modification-to-brinkmann.html

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

Invision Power 4.0

Invision Power Services has launched their test site for their new 4.0 software that we'll be upgrading to sometime after they release it and a new skin is available (most likely the same skin / theme we are using now). Its interesting as I didn't know what exactly to expect. I knew they were recoding the entire platform so all their products can be used separately, but I was kind of expecting some new eye popping layout or something. When compared to their current forum, it actually looks very similar:

Current forum running IPB 3:

http://community.invisionpower.com/

Test forum running IPB 4:

http://zend.ipsdevserver.com/ips4/

Once a good skin is installed, I'm sure it'll look fine, just like how AC currently looks very different from the regular IPB3 skin.

It does look like some nice features have been added and the software works much better on mobile devices now, including mobile image uploads. According to their admins, they have spent a long time making the new core software to give them a solid platform to add many new features and functionality to for years to come. I look forward to seeing what this software is actually capable of. I've been holding off on doing any major renovations to this site because I've been waiting for this new version. As of this post, they have still not revealed the new content management system (CMS aka IP.Content), and that is the primary piece that I'm most interested in and how the new version of it will affect the way articles are handled on AC.

Sledgstone

Doctor Who has always been one of my favorite shows, but this last series with Peter Capaldi has hit a new low for me. I loved Matt Smith and David Tennant as their own respective doctors, but Peter Capaldi's doctor is so bland. He might be a better doctor if the show actually had decent writers though. In all of time and space to travel to, the doctor has spent about 90% of that season in the school where Clara works.. Surrounded by children, Peter Capaldi's age is even more pronounced and he is often seen as an old cranky man that only listens to his grand daughter's (Clara's) opinion. After talking with my parents, they seem to enjoy him as the doctor, and if anything, that was the goal of this last season.. to appeal to the older, original audience base of the show. But in the long term that won't work out good for the show seeing as the older audience base eventually lost interest and it lead to the inevitable cancellation of the show.

Also.. Clara.. so much focus on Clara. They should have made the doctor a woman for this series considering how much they have focused on her over the actual doctor. I knew the show was going downhill when, in one scene on the moon, the doctor jumped into a cavern to investigate some giant bacteria.. and just when I thought the episode was going to get interesting, the camera doesn't follow the doctor, instead it goes right back to Clara again.. who is just walking somewhere. Who cares what the doctor is doing.. they should just rename the show "Clara Who?". I was hoping they'd kill off her character so the show could focus on the Doctor again.. but that doesn't seem likely any time soon. Maybe the show will get better, but unless they actually explore space and time again, I'm going to eventually lose all interest.



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