My blog for my adventures with BBQ and Fireworks

Maverick thermistors in hand

October 27th, 2011 | Posted by ripsup in BBQ | Tech - (0 Comments)

Just got my probes in the mail and hopefully will have a chance this weekend to finish the build. Just need to stop by the local electronics store for a couple resistors and a relay and I should be all set.

Finally upgraded comments to Disqus

April 25th, 2011 | Posted by ripsup in Tech - (2 Comments)

Just a heads up that I finally changed the comment system over to Disqus. Logged in this morning to see if I had any comments I had missed and had 40+ spam on the newest post. Yeah WP caught them but really don’t want to worry as much about false positives and Disqus is pretty good about stopping them.

Next I just need to move this over to my single maintained WP-MU setup.

Terracotta smokers on the web

February 2nd, 2010 | Posted by ripsup in BBQ | Tech - (0 Comments)

I love instructables and whenever I get an email from them there is always 1 or 2 cool projects in it that really interest me in some way.  Well today’s email didn’t disappoint and had a nice writeup on someone’s terracotta smoker.

I previously had attempted this myself but the hot plate I picked up didn’t work very well.  It only got up to about 190 so things would take forever.  I then attempted a charcoal version based off something else I had seen but that didn’t work that well and while trying to figure out the right amount of air to allow in I cracked one of the 2 pots.

Though I may be attempting something like this again.  Recently we were cleaning out my wife’s grandparents house and I found a portable electric grill.  The burner on it was significantly bigger then my previous one.  I went ahead and tested it out and I turned it off after the inside got to 250 degrees.  So now having a proper heating element, I now have to pick up an Arduino so I can then monitor the temp and turn the burner on and off as needed to keep the temp I want.

Hopefully this summer will be the time I can jump back on that project.  Will be quite fun and a good warm up for the metal smoker in the future.


December 27th, 2009 | Posted by ripsup in BBQ | Fireworks | Misc | Tech - (0 Comments)

Well, a new year is coming and I’ve been slacking.

Had a post I wrote last year in January still sitting as a draft and will probably put it up this January.

Overall getting ready to build the smoker i have been wanting to.  Got a nice 1/4 inch steel tube that will be perfect for the main portion.  Still looking for a for the burner portion but that will come.  As well going to pick up an Arduino to help regulate the temp with fans.  Hopefully that will be finished up this summer for some fun times.  If I get that running well then it will probably be time to take a Competition class so I can learn get prepared for giving that a shot, but we will see.

On the Fireworks front, hoping to pick up some nice things this year and finish up some nice racks with the tubes I got last year.  As well will probably use the Arduino on a project related to the firing side of all that.  We will see though.  My mom saw some fireworks related Christmas decorations that she would like to get/have me make.  Being that the ones I found online were pretty expensive I thought why not give trying to make some a shot.  Again the Arduino will come in handy for this.  :)  Will need to find some cheap lights in these after Christmas sale to play with.  Have some other interesting ideas in relation to this as well but those will have to wait for next year.

So what’s getting me back into writing about this?  Well been doing some more social networking for work stuff and getting inspired by those blogging peeps to actually try to keep up with some sort of schedule, even if it’s bi-weekly.  While writing about what I’m doing is always still going to be the main focus, I plan to try and keep my ear to the ground and at least comment on other things going on with both BBQ and fireworks.

As well I plan to talk about some local breweries that are springing up all over Northwest Indiana.  Brews are definitely something that go hand in hand with BBQ.

I will be writing a few articles up about some other local Social Media peeps that have gotten me back interested.

As well from a conversation I had on twitter with a few peeps, I picked up @bbqtweetup and because I think actually having meetups to share and talk about BBQ would be great. While others wanted to have one this January, I’m not sure if I’m ready for that quite yet but next January I think it will be one.  I’m shooting for first one this summer, hopefully with the new smoker completed.

Well here is to a more productive next year.  :)


Well, guess that didn’t do what I wanted anyways.  I thought it would actually embed the actual info instead of just a link to it.  I see little reasno to embed JS on my website that will just create a link so here is just a direct link to it.  That was pretty disappointing overall.

Creamy Mash Potatoes


Okay, I just heard about springpad, which is an online notebook similar to Google Notebook.  I’ve used Google Notebook for a while but it is now in the unsupported list of google apps so I figured I should find something else.  Google Notebook missed a few features I would have really liked to have but it wasn’t a big deal.  So today I saw springpad and decided to give it a try.  While watching the how-to demo I saw it had recipes as a default content type.  So I figured I would give that a try, which it also lets you share your recipes through an embed.  Well this is just me playing around to see how it works. 

Overall not sure if I will use it since it isn’t included in the page so then search engines would not find my recipes on my site but who knows.  

I’ve thrown up my mash potatoe recipe, which is a modified one from America’s Test Kitchen, only because I made it last night and could remember it off the top of my head.


Streaming my new bunny live

December 30th, 2008 | Posted by ripsup in Tech - (0 Comments)

And no he’s not “What’s for Dinner”.

*** UPDATE ***

Well I built him is new 8×5 area to run around in and his old cage is in the middle for him to hang out in, eat and such.  He’s got 4 litter boxes around the outside which he seems to have choosen the one he likes to use but I’m leaving the others because he likes to lay in them.

But what does this mean for the webcam…well pretty much it’s dead for now.  The 2 cams I have are not really that great.  They can’t focus on the whole area he is in so it’s pretty much blurry for a majority of the area.  I had one on the cage area but he lies to hang out more under the cage then in the cage.  He pretty much only goes in the cage to sleep, eat and drink.  So till I got a better camera that could focus on the whole area it’s down.  Don’t expect that anytime in the near future.

*** UPDATE ***

My wonderful wife got me him as a present for christmas.  Her Christmas present was a new camera which she hasn’t taken any pictures off yet.  Then it hit me why not bust out my cheap webcams I picked up a while ago and never used to stream him live on the net.

There was 2 cams in the set so now I think i’ll try to work them into the the cage  :)  Will probably have to put VNC on the box so I can switch the cameras.  Pretty interesting overall though.  May have to tech it out with some hobby servos and such.