Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

Hey everyone, had a busy week here picking up a couple new jobs, but I will try to get some more regular postings. Without further to do, here is a recipe for some homemade triple sec/citrus liquor. Honestly, calling this triple sec is a bit insulting to it, it’s more similar to an orangecello, though even that isn’t quite right. For this batch I used the peels of organic murcott tangerines that I got from a local farmers market. I usually use dried peels as they have an indefinite shelf life; these peels were from last summer/fall. I finished this batch off with some of the ginger simple syrup I cooked the previous week to create a tangerine-ginger triple sec. Read on and try it yourself!

This is a FLAME HAZARD. If you are not careful watching this and you are cooking on a stove top like me, without a real still, there is a very real chance of it catching on fire. Vodka is definitely flammable, and orange essential oil is extremely  flammable. Combine the two and it is a recipe for a giant 2 foot tall pretty blue flame, like I saw when mine caught on fire the other day. This is my fourth or fifth time doing this now and first fire. The fire is VERY  easy to put out, even easier than it is to start, just put a lid on it and turn the heat off. It is seriously that easy and you don’t ruin your triple sec. This was honestly the best batch I have ever made.

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You will need: An empty jar, vodka or another neutral spirit, sugar, and orange peels (fresh or dried). If you plan to dry your peels to use them make sure they are TOTALLY dried out, or they will mold. I’ve lost peels to that before.

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Step 1: Fill your empty jar with orange peels, don’t cram it full but put as many a you can comfortably fit. Fill the empty space with vodka and leave it for 1-2 weeks. One week is enough to infuse the orange essential oils into the vodka, but an extra week doesn’t hurt.

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Step 3: Pour out your orange peels and vodka into the pot that you will use to cook in. Squeeze residual vodka out of the peels into the mix and add some more vodka to cut down the strength of the flavor.

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Step 4: Bring to a boil covered, then uncover and stir quickly. BE CAREFUL NOT TO SPILL ANY! Alcohol and orange essential oil are  both super flammable, spilling any while cooking is almost a guaranteed cooking fire and no one wants that. As an aside, the giant blue flame I made was very pretty.

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Here is what the finished product looks like, very dark in color compared to usually bland and colorless triple sec. The flavor is rich and multilayered, perfect for sipping by itself or using in a cocktail. If you are interested in some more awesome  recipes check out Punk Domestics. That “Last Gasp of Summer” sounds awesome.

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If you are like me then you own a computer and other electronic devices, many people across the world fall into this camp.  If you are reading this blog, chance are you’re one of us. Being a technology user you probably know what a blight tangled wires can be in your workspace. This blog will give you some quick tips to help with that.

Thankfully my room isn't this bad.

From the anime Serial Experiments Lain

As an aside, I love the anime Lain, it is something I watch whenever I feel like the real world is starting to drop away into fiction and blend in with the digital world. I would say it comforts me, but if anything it is quite the opposite;  Lain offers us a mirror of our own world’s future, a possibility of where we are going. Enough on that, back to tangled cords.

1. If you have extra length in a cord bundle it up. Why have excess hanging all over the place if you don’t need it?

2. Try to hide your bundles of excess cord under or behind your computer desk to keep them out of the way and protected.

3. Use the clips from bread-bags to sort your cords. I did not create this one, I merely TumblrdUpon it, but I certainly advocate its use and use it myself to keep things organized. With my set up (pictured below) I color coded my clips, preventing any need to label them. Blue is my monitor because a monitor plug is generally blue. Green is for sound because generally your sound cable is tipped green. Yellow for my clock for no particular reason (alarm clock = yellow like the sun when waking up?). The large white one is from a potato sack and is used for my laptop power cord because the others wouldn’t fit on it.

Bread Clips

Hey everybody, hope you’ve been enjoying the blog so far. This post begins a new section of the blog where I will provide handy DIY lifehacks to make your life easier. I am an avid cyclist, riding upwards of 50 miles a week most weeks of the year, even in rainy weather. I also happen to wear glasses, which normally isn’t relevant as a biker, except when it is raining and your glasses fog over with rain drops, reducing visibility to near nothing in minutes. There are few good options available for a cyclist with glasses to spare them this pesky and potentially dangerous fate. You can pay hundreds of dollars for one of these German helmets or for one of these French ones. Some cyclists have even gone to the lengths of making their own, and I am one of them. In this blog I will give you my very simple schematic to make an empty two liter soda bottle into a bike visor in under five minutes, just in time for rainy weather.

While I like Jeff-O’s design I feel like it would let rain slip in from above and would still fall victim to fogging up. I have not used it personally and as such I can only speculate. The reason I opted for the design I did, which keeps the visor far away from the face and glasses is to prevent fogging up from body heat. I also feel like my design has better top coverage. His visor is much less bulky than my first version, but after seeing his build I re-designed mine to be sleeker and more svelte (see photos below).

You Will Need: An empty soda bottle, Velcro strips, scissors, and a bike helmet.

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Step 1: Empty Your Soda Bottle

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I tried to be a Mentos magician but clearly need to level up more.

This is pretty simple, and can be as fun as you are creative. You can just pour the soda out, but that is about as boring as it gets. You could drink it, which while being more exciting is still pretty mundane and full of obesity. You can shake it up and spray it in a stranger’s face then run away before they hit you. Or, best method, you can add Mentos to Diet Coke to create a carbonated geyser of liquid diabetes. The options truly are endless. I personally prefer using a bottle that is clear as my base, but you can play around with seven up bottle for a green tint. I picked a Pepsi bottle over coke because coke bottles have ridges and you really want a smooth plastic surface for best visibility with the least distortion.

Step 2: Cut the Soda Bottle Into Shape

Remove the label from your soda bottle and wash it out. You will notice that around the bottom, where the bottle bulges out at the base, there is a seem running horizontal around the entire circumference. Cut along that seem to remove the bottom. Cut a straight line to the top of the bottle, all the way to the cap if you can. Remove the cap. You should be left with a piece of plastic that is a semi dome that comes to a point where the cap was. Try to cut it so that any printed writing on the plastic wont obstruct your vision.

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Step 3: Attach Velcro To Helmet

I use three places to mount my Velcro, one on each side and one in the middle on top of the helmet, you may want to use more if you are worried about high wind situations, but I found mine to withstand winds up to 30 mph. By using Velcro like this you can remove the visor when not needed instantly and it folds up to fit neatly into a backpack.

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Now you are ready to handle winter’s rainy weather like a champ and look like Robocop while you are doing it.

Robocop Helmet

Build #1: Note how much larger it was, this caused it to catch more wind.

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Build #2: A hybrid of my initial design with Jeff-O’s build.

As useful as this helmet visor is, it pales in comparison to this invisible helmet which I am eagerly waiting for. Freedom from helmet hair, better peripheral vision, better neck protection, and it looks like a very stylish scarf. It’s really more of an airbag for your head than an invisible helmet though, but it looks much more solid than an air bag.

[EDIT]: Not all Velcro’s are created equal! I’ve used two different brands now and I can safely say that 3M off-brand Velcro is totally superior to Velcro Extreme in terms of holding capacity.