firebus's blog

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How to dry a cast iron skillet

When you wash a cast iron skillet, you have to dry it or else it rusts.

Some people in my house like to dry the skillet with a dish towel. Usually this results in a dirty dish towel, and the towel goes in the hamper.

Some people in my house like to dry the skillet over a gas flame.

We have a dispute about which method is worse for the environment, and I am going to use the famous "n of 1" research method to resolve this dispute.


  • It takes 30 seconds to dry a burner over a gas range.

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A common menu use case that Drupal 6 has trouble supporting (or very possibly I'm ignorant)

Here's a menu navigation use case that I run into all the time:

"A click on a top level item in a menu should redirect to it's first child."

For example, if this is Primary Links:


Then if I click on About I should be taken to the Overview page.

This is possible in Drupal 6 - you can create two menu links that point to the same node. If you create one of the menu links via the node edit form, D6 will even remember which one it is (Drupal 5 would get confused).

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Quick and dirty views exposed filter form select replacement in a block

I have a client who wants an exposed filter but, instead of having a select drop down, would like to replace it with a set of links.

This is not an uncommon use case, and there are some existing examples on how to do this. It's pretty easy, since views will read a value for the exposed filter from a query string.

But what if your exposed filter form is in a block? Exposed filter forms in blocks only work if you enable AJAX for the exposed filter, and the ajax dynamically replaces the contents of the block with the results of your selection.

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Hadyn Lord Nelson Mass Workshop on

We got a decent recording of the 3/12 concert and posted it it to

2011 Oakland Symphony Chorus Workshop Recital

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The Sipping Seder

Adam turned me on to another alcoholic seder. The creators of The Sipping Seder seem to have put a lot more thought into the ritual, recipes, and design of their haggadah. The Liquid Seder is probably still more likely to permanently blind you. Which is what passover is all about?

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Beautiful Questions, Ugly Logic

Warren Berger wrote an article about how we could all be more innovative and make oodles of money if we'd only ask more provocative questions.

It looks like this is set to become a fantastically popular business book of some kind.

Looking at both the article, and the site, I had a nagging feeling of emptiness and so I decided to be mean and unpack the article in the least charitable way possible.

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Seminal Pollen

I was looking for a non-gendered version of the word seminal, but couldn't really find anything. Please leave any suggestions in the comments, but I got sidetracked by something I think is more interesting.

The word seminal comes from "seed". And seeds aren't gendered at all - they contain male and female gametes and have the potential to grow into a full thing.

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Haydn Lord Nelson Mass, March 12 2011 8PM

The Oakland Symphony Chorus and our Haydn workshop participants are perfoming a recital of Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in uptown Oakland.

The show is free (donation requested), and I think that Dr Rudy de Vos (music director of the cathedral) will be playing some organ pieces as well.

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Drupal 6 and HTML 5 Video

I was asked to create a video content type for a site with the following requirements:

  • Support for browser, iPad, and iPhone
  • Fit video to browser width onLoad and onResize
  • Autoplay, no controls
  • Configurable thumbnail/poster image
  • Host videos on-site (not external embed)

I was more or less completely ignorant about HTML5 video, and how it's supported in Drupal 6.

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