Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Perl Module DBD::ODBC Unicode Support for Cygwin and Linux

I wrote a Perl program a few years back that scraped data from email messages in order to create a set of RSS feeds. I needed to modify it so that it would get the data directly from a MS-SQL database instead. Windows users running Perl would typically be using ActivePerl, but the environment I’m working on already had Cygwin up and running and is using Perl for other daily processes. Unfortunately, the DBD::ODBC module needed to communicate with the database is broken for 64-bit Cygwin environments. Thus began my journey to get an incompatible Linux-like environment that runs on top of a Windows OS to communicate with a Microsoft database.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Low Carb Parmigiano-Reggiano Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Parmesan Chips

Parmesan and dark chocolate make a good food paring or so they say. I’ve got enough experience making ice creams with cheese that I was confident I could pull this one off.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Low Carb Almond Poppy Seed Ice Cream

This is another flavor inspired by Snoqualmie Ice Cream. I obviously was unable to try the original, but the ingredients listed on the website make it pretty clear that it’s vanilla ice cream with almond extract and poppy seeds.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Low Carb “Old Fashioned” Pumpkin Ice Cream II - The Pumpkining

I consider my first attempt at pumpkin ice cream an abject failure. It wasn’t bursting with flavor as I had hoped. I had better results using pumpkin ice cream flavoring, but it still bothered me that I couldn’t make a “proper” pumpkin ice cream. A reader left a comment on that original blog entry that inspired me to give this another try and I’m super happy that I did. This version is outstanding! Please disregard the previous one.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Low Carb Spicy Banana Brownie Ice Cream

I stumbled on this flavor combination thanks to Snoqualmie Ice Cream. The “spicy” in the name isn’t referring to peppers. It’s cinnamon. I decided to use real cinnamon in my low carb conversion due to the uneven results with cinnamon ice cream flavorings that I’ve obtained recently. Therefore, you must use a cooked ice cream base. The instructions below specifically use my Philadelphia-style base because that’s the only way I attempted it. I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to attempt a French-style custard base version of this flavor. The main difference will probably the amount of flavorings.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Alarm monitoring without the central station

My county’s police force is tired of responding to false alarms. They now require a $50 per year registration fee and will fine the homeowner $100 for each false alarm. How they determine a false alarm is highly dubious. Imagine a burglar attempts to gain entry though a door or window in your backyard but gets scared away from your alarm’s siren. The cops get called to the home by the central monitoring agency, but there’s no demonstrable evidence of a break-in like broken glass or a damaged door jam. “It must have been a false alarm,” the police will surmise. Ding! Pay $100. Actual break-in attempts are rare, so I can no longer allow my alarm monitoring service to automatically dispatch the police. What’s the point of even having central monitoring if I’m too afraid to have the police sent to my home? Quite frankly, the monitoring service is an anachronism. Most people carry cell phones pretty much anywhere they go. A simple text message or e-mail sent from the alarm system would obviate the need for central monitoring altogether. Alas, my alarm system is an older model that does not have that capability. Fortunately, I’ve come up with an inexpensive way to add it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Low Carb Scotchy Scotch Scotch Ice Cream

The inspiration for this flavor was thanks to a limited edition Ben & Jerry’s ice cream by the same name. It’s butterscotch ice cream with a swirl of butterscotch variegate. Sounds delicious, but it’s certainly not low carb. No worries, Ron. I can fix that for you.

Ron Burgundy