Author: Lisa

Baked Corndogs

Baked corndogs aren’t quite a success. The basic idea is to make a fairly doughy corn bread that can be rolled out and wrapped around the hotdog / veggie dog / sausage.

Rollable Cornbread Dough

1 cup all purpose flour + 1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground mustard
6 tbsp butter
2 Tbsp honey
1 tbsp yeast
1/4 cup buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients, cut in butter, then add honey. Hydrate the yeast in a few tablespoons of water. Mix yeast and buttermilk in until you’ve got a firm dough.

After it sits for an hour, roll it out and cut strips to wrap the dogs. Allow to rest for about half an hour. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

The dough was very crumbly and a little dry. Next time, maybe a little more butter and all purpose flour to make something a little more like a croissant

Updating Fedora — System Boots to Grub Error After Update

If you film the boot sequence and look frame by frame, you’ll see that it very briefly flashes a TPM error

error: ../../grub-core/commands/efi/tpm.c:150:unknown TPM error.


From what I’ve been able to glean, this secure boot stuff works off of signatures. Microsoft has signatures in BIOS. Everyone else kind of inserts their keys on the fly … so you can run out of space to save these keys and be unable to boot. To work around this, every time an update gets us over the limit, we go into the secure boot DBX management menu and reset the “Forbidden Signatures” from factory default. This is 13 keys instead of 373, and the OS is able to do it’s “thing” and boot.


And I’m actually writing this down this time because I had spent a lot of time researching this last time Scott’s laptop failed to boot and dumped out to a grub menu. This time, I kinda know what we did and why but lost a lot of the details.

RSync to Mirror Local Files

The rsync utility was meant to be used to sync files across the network — to or from an rsync server. For some time, I had a group of friends who shared documents off of my rsync server. Anyone with access could run an rsync command and sync their computer up with the group’s documents. With the advent of online file storage and collaborative editing, this was no longer needed. But I still use rsync to make sure my laptop has a local copy of a folder on the server. Mount /path/to/folder/contents/to/copy to the SMB or NFS share, and the following rsync command ensures the laptop’s /path/to/where/contents/should/be/placed has an exact mirror of the contents of the server folder

rsync –archive –verbose –update –delete “/path/to/folder/contents/to/copy/” “/path/to/where/contents/should/be/placed/”

–archive is a grouping of:
-r recursive
-l copy symlinks
-p preserve permissions
-t preserve modification timestamps
-g preserve group
-o preserve owner
–devices preserve device files (su only)
–specials preserve special files

Python: Generate Transcript of Video File

There’s a speech_recognition module in Python that transcribes an audio file — since ffmpeg can convert a video file to mp3, that means you can also use Python to transcribe a video file.

# requires pocketsphinx from CMU if using sphinx for speech to text recognition
import os
import speech_recognition as sr
import ffmpeg

strFFMPEGBinaryLocation = 'c:/tmp/ffmpeg/bin/ffmpeg.exe'
strCurrentDirectory = os.getcwd()

strInputVideo = "\"Z:/Path To/My Video/file.MP4\""
strOutputFileName = "converted.wav"
# Convert mp4 to wav file
strffmpeg_convert_mp4_to_wav = f'{strFFMPEGBinaryLocation} -i {strInputVideo} {strCurrentDirectory}/{strOutputFileName}'

# Run converted wav file through speech recognizer
r = sr.Recognizer()
audio = sr.AudioFile(f'{strCurrentDirectory}/{strOutputFileName}')

with audio as source:
	#audio = r.record(source, 90)				# Would need API key to process longer audio?
	#text = r.recognize_google(audio)
	audio = r.record(source)
	text = r.recognize_sphinx(audio)

PowerShell: Mass Active Directory Password Changes

We have a bunch of accounts that function as extra mailboxes — all conveniently housed in on OU. The following PowerShell command sets the password for all of the accounts in one go. Not terribly useful for “real world” use … but useful for testing (and probably something I’ll end up using again)

$OUpath = ‘ou=Mail Aliases,dc=example,dc=com’
$strNewPassword = “What3v3rYu0W@nt1tT0B3”

Get-ADUser -Filter * -SearchBase $OUpath | Set-ADAccountPassword -Reset -NewPassword (ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText $strNewPassword -Force)

Beany Soup


  • Onion, diced
  • Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp butter or olive oil
  • Ham bone or bones from smoked pork shoulder (not completely clean)
  • Dried bean assortment: pinto, red kidney, white kidney (cannellini), pink beans, great northern, baby lima, huge lima, black beans, green split peas, black-eye peas, yellow split peas, chickpeas, red lentils, green lentils
  • Smoked pork


In a pressure cooker, saute onions and garlic for a few minutes in butter or olive oil.

Remove from heat. Add about a pound of the bean mixture to a pressure cooker, add the bones (if using ham bone, don’t add salt; if using pork bones, add salt), then fill the pot with water to slightly under halfway. Pressure cook on high for about 35 minutes. Allow to naturally depressurize.

Liquid should be thickened from the beans cooking and flavored from the bones. Remove the bones and add more salt as needed.

Add smoked pork, and stir to combine. Allow to simmer until pork is heated.

Notes: We keep containers of various dried beans and peas. They’re really cheap, keep practically forever (especially since we got the vacuum sealer attachment that seals up Ball jars!), and cook fairly quickly in the pressure cooker. For this dried bean mixture, I just grabbed about half a cup of all of the larger beans and a quarter cup of the smaller split peas and lentils. In total, it’s about a pound of dried beans.

For Anya — Bill of Rights QuickRef

Since Anya is working on memorizing the Bill of Rights, I wanted a really quick list for her to review:

  1. Religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition government for redress
  2. Keep and bear arms
  3. No quartering soldiers
  4. Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure (secure in person, house, papers)
  5. Right to due process, freedom from self incrimination, no double jeopardy
  6. Right to speedy trial, public trial, jury of peers
  7. Right to trial by jury in civil cases
  8. Freedom from excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishment
  9. Other rights reserved for people
  10. Other rights reserved to states

Anya’s 11th Birthday Cake: Orange Chocolate

This year, Anya wanted an orange cake decorated with pieces of orange … but she also wanted chocolate. So we made an orange chocolate cake with orange chocolate buttercream. Very tasty!

Chocolate Orange Cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • zest of two oranges
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup decaffeinated coffee, cooled
  • 4 medium eggs

Preheat oven to 325F. Butter and flour two 8″ cake pans.
Whisk all dry ingredients (including orange zest) together.
Whisk all wet ingredients together.
Slowly stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
Pour batter into pans and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Remove from oven, allow pans to cool for approx 15 minutes, then turn cakes onto cooling rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Orange Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp orange emulsion
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 10 oz dark chocolate chips

Whip the butter in the blender until light and fluffy. Add orange emulsion and salt.
Heat the whipping cream, remove from heat, and stir in chocolate chips to melt.
Slowly sift powdered sugar into butter while continuing to blend on lowest speed.
Once powdered sugar has been incorporated, add melted chocolate a scoop at a time and continue to blend on lowest speed until it has all been incorporated.