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Stoner's Smoothie Milkshake Recipe

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  • Saturday, November 21 2015 @ 10:18 am EST
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Dan Stoner and Family

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Dan Stoner's Smoothie Milkshake recipe.

I'm not an exact measurement kind of guy... this recipe makes enough smoothie for 2 - 4 people.

Part 1

  • 2 or 3 handfulls of Spinach, Kale, or other salad greens
  • Veggies such as carrots or zucchini
  • 1 or 2 ripe bananas
  • Tablespoon of Protein powder (I use Great Lakes Gelatin)
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • Other fresh fruit such as pears, apple
  • 1/3 stick of creme cheese (Philadelphia original)
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Whole milk
  • Greek Yogurt (not low fat)
  • Agave nectar (light colored)
  • splash of vanilla extract

Part 2

  • Frozen fruits such as blueberries, seedless grapes, apple slices, pear slices, strawberries
  • handfull of Ice


Tips / Notes

This smoothie is full of delicious, healthy, fat and lots of nutrients! None of these ingredients are "Light" or "Low Fat" or "Nonfat". Some vegetable flavors hide better than others... baby spinach, baby kale, carrots, zucchini all work reasonably well.

I usually add the ingredients in two parts so I only have to remove the lid once during the whole process.  I add the "warmer" ingredients first and the frozen fruit / ice last.

The secret ingredients that really make the creamy smoothie texture are the cream cheese and frozen apple slices. The smoothie needs less than 1 cup of liquids which can be a mixture of milk, cream, or fruit juice.

Using an entire avocado seems to affect the flavor a little too much. Cover the extra avocado half with plastic rap and stick it in the fridge, it will stay fresh for up to a week (if the surface turns brown, just scrape that off with a butter knife).

Many fruits can be frozen.  Strawberries taste great but the seeds tend to make the smoothie gritty. Sliced apples, pears, and seedless grapes that are a little beyond their prime (or come home from school uneaten in the kid's lunchbox) can be frozen. The more frozen fruit added to the smoothie the less ice is needed.

I have a Ninja blender. I have never used a Vitamix or Blendtec. The Ninja gets the job done and actually does a good job of handling these particular ingredients. My technique with the Ninja is to hit the Pulse button a few times until the big chunks are taken care of, then run the blender long enought to make sure there aren't any chunks.

This is a video of "the pour" of the completed product:

 

Stand-Up Paddleboard

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  • Thursday, November 19 2015 @ 04:21 pm EST
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Dan Stoner and Family

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Over the summer I started doing Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) for fun. I even renewed my fishing license. SUP is a great core muscle workout! I ended up buying two SUPs on craigslist so I have the option to take buddies along.

Before deciding to get a SUP I looked at fishing kayaks. But I hate to sit. Sitting kills me. I think I made a good decision to go with the SUPs because I really enjoy being on the water and standing up. Besides the exercise I have so much better visibility. I have seen some interesting things under the water including sea turtles, dolphins (in salt water) and alligators (in fresh water) that I might have missed if I were sitting down.

The Jackson SuperFISHal is a big, stable, slow barge. Great for fishing but catches a lot of wind.

The California Board Company Angler 11 is sleeker and faster but a lot more tippy. Good for calm waters and when I want to travel a longer distance.

Here is my SuperFISHal at Lake Lou on a beautiful morning in the Ocala National Forest:



This picture was taken before an exciting day fighting wind and currents at Matanzas Inlet:



My first (and only so far) SUP fish! A tiny bass at Salt Springs in Ocala National Forest:




Here is my Angler 11 in Salt Run near St. Augustine:





They both ride nicely stacked on top of my Subaru Crosstrek. After looking at a lot of rooftop carrying options, I opted for generic kayak foam pads and this has worked well so far. A secret I learned from one of the sellers is to twist the tie-down straps that go over the top in order to reduce terrible vibration wind noise.


We are Hiring a Front-end Developer

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  • Wednesday, September 16 2015 @ 04:02 pm EDT
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Fun Stuff @ Work

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My department at UF has a job opening for a Front-end Developer. This is the blurb that I sent to various tech-oriented mailing lists.

It appears that the initial posting duration is rather short (closes 30 Sep 2015).


OFFICIAL JOB POST:

  http://explore.jobs.ufl.edu/cw/en-us/job/493532/it-expert


The official information is at the above jobs link but I'm including more info below (from my own perspective) to hopefully answer most of the questions people might have about the position.

The position is located in Gainesville, Florida.


OVERVIEW:

Job Opportunity for a "front-end developer" (IT EXPERT) in the Advanced Computing and Information Systems (ACIS) Laboratory at the University of Florida to work on iDigBio, the National Resource for Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections funded by the National Science Foundation.  Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio) enables data of millions of biological specimens to be used by the research community, government agencies, students, educators, and the general public.

Within the University of Florida, ACIS is housed under the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering which is part of the College of Engineering. The ACIS Lab conducts fundamental and applied research on all aspects of systems that integrate computing and information processing. Current ACIS research falls under the broad categories of Cloud Computing, Cyberinfrastructure for e-science and e-health, Autonomic Computing, Computer Architecture, and Peer-to-peer Computing. 

ACIS is responsble for implementing the Cyberinfrastructure components of iDigBio.

More info:
  ACIS -   https://www.acis.ufl.edu/
  iDigBio -   https://www.idigbio.org/

Write in Markdown and use pandoc to generate documents

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  • Tuesday, August 25 2015 @ 08:22 am EDT
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Linux, Open Source, and Tech Stuff

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The last time I updated my resume I decided that it needed some major revisions. I didn't want to use a WYSIWYG editor anymore and I wanted to start tracking changes to my resume with git. After looking at various plain text file formats and markup options, and even though I have a fondness for the txt2tags syntax, I decided on Markdown. For better or worse, and I suspect due mostly to the popularity of GitHub, Markdown has become a de facto standard syntax for geeks writing documents that other people might read.

With Markdown as a source format I experimented with pandoc - a universal document converter to generate output files.

With the pandoc workflow, it is possible to write a document in plain text and then generate other types of documents such as HTML, Word processor formats (Microsoft Word docx) and PDF (via LaTeX).

So for people who insist on having a resume in Comic Sans:

or perhaps Game of Thrones is more your style (via the Artificial Uncial font):

pandoc has you covered.

The most challenging thing was figuring out the names of the fonts available, the packages needed to use them with pandoc, and the pandoc command-line syntax for activating them.

I gathered my notes and sample outputs in a github repo:

https://github.com/danstoner/pandoc_samples

I can spit out a new PDF of my resume by editing the Markdown source in my favorite text editor (emacs), commiting the changes to git, and running one command:

$ pandoc --latex-engine=xelatex -V geometry=margin=.75in -V mainfont="TeX Gyre Heros" -o danstonerresume.pdf danstonerresume.md

 

Tesla BareTrek 30 Minimalist shoe

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  • Monday, August 24 2015 @ 09:58 pm EDT
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Running and Fitness

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While searching for any newly released minimalist shoes in 2015, I found the Tesla BareTrek 30 Minimalist shoes on Amazon for under 30 bucks. I ordered the brightly colored Orange and Blue (Go Gators!).

My Teslas arrived in a plastic bag, tied with a little red plastic cord. No unusual or suspect ingredients, feelings, or smells.



They appear to be knock-offs of the Merrell Vapor Glove.



The only significant difference I found between the Tesla BareTrek and the Merrell Vapor Glove is the sole. The VG has stickier Vibram rubber. I didn't wear the Teslas out into the world to gauge performance on real surfaces, but the Tesla rubber feels a little slippery to the touch. The Tesla has a removable insert and standard shoe insole (reminds me of Inov-8 Bare-X Lite 150), rather than the VG which has no insert and an insole designed for the shoe to be worn sockless.


Here are more pics:

Lubuntu Linux on Dell Latitude E7240

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  • Tuesday, July 21 2015 @ 09:38 pm EDT
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Linux, Open Source, and Tech Stuff

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I wanted to buy two laptops, one for me to run Linux and an identical one for a family member who needs to run Windows. We didn't want Windows 8 with a touchscreen, we wanted a regular laptop with Windows 7. If I were only buying a single laptop for myself I would very likely try to support one of the pre-installed Linux laptop vendors such as System76.

I found a really great deal on a refurbished Dell Latitude E7240 at Amazon.com that included 8GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD. (It appears that the price on this item fluctuates, I paid under $600.) Windows benefits tremendously from having the SSD, especially when running Windows Updates.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) worked great with no tweaking.

I am really enjoying the long battery life and the overall performance of the hardware under Linux.

I prefer Lubuntu, so I tried Lubuntu 14.04. On this hardware, Lubuntu 14.04 had some issues. I didn't get sound or WiFi out-of-the-box and the touchpad was a bit jumpy. I tried Lubuntu 15.04 and it worked great, except I didn't get any sound.

The audio hardware in the Dell Latitude E7240 looks like this to lspci:

$ lspci | grep -i audio
00:03.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation Haswell-ULT HD Audio Controller (rev 0b)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 8 Series HD Audio Controller (rev 04)
 
One of those is actually an embedded Realtek ALC3226 audio chip, I believe.
 
I did some research (google searches and ubuntu forums) but didn't find anything definitive. It appears that pulseaudio is not installed by default in Lubuntu so I decided not to try the solutions that included pulseaudio. Piecing together a few different solutions I found the following fix:
 
Edit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf and add these two lines:
 

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