Archive of posts from
A Blood Orange and Meyer Lemon Sour for Christmas
24 December 2022
I found blood oranges and Meyer lemons at my local farm market. Blood oranges
are these very deep dark red fruits that taste more like oranges than one would
think. It’s also smaller. A Meyer lemon is a sweeter lemon with a softer skin.
These fruits are both really good, but what if these were combined into one
drink. Since citrus fruits were given as gifts in Pennsylvania Dutch families
I’ve decided this would be a good time to talk about this concept.
Mastodon and the Fediverse
22 December 2022
I’ve recently got fed up with the standard centralized social media, so I
joined Mastodon. Everything was feeling incredibly fake as of late.
It’s hard to build real connection on the large sites. This is my experience
joining the fediverse and tildeverse. I’ve always been interested in old
school social networks like BBS, and the whole lore that surrounds them, so I
decided to get more involved with Mastodon as hosted by SDF. I’ve had
a shell account with them since 2016 and I’m sustaining member too. It’s nice
to try out their other hosted applications.
Lovecraftian Gin Story
12 November 2022
I was sitting in the bar. It was a dark and dreary affair, the kind of place
you find yourself in after the world has crumbled. The furniture was old and
wooden. It was straight up medieval. There was a crackling fire going, but it
was starting to die down. All I saw around me reminded me of that fateful
shadow over Innsmouth. Such a tragic shame that whole affair.
The Secret to Better Soups
06 November 2022
I’ve been on a bit of a soup kick lately, in the past 2 weeks I’ve made 2 big
pots of different kinds of soup. Both have turned out good, and have been
filled with very rich and deep savory flavors. I have to give a lot of credit
to the content I’ve been consuming and watching on youtube of older french
cooking techniques. I credit the results to 2 very interesting ideas. The soups
I’ve made have been a pepper potato chicken soup, and a beef short rib with
Building a Go Application Inside of AWS CloudShell
29 September 2022
I’ve been learning a little bit of golang as of late, and I wanted to run it on
AWS Lambda. I had a couple errors come up about my libc, and learned that
I need to build my applications on Amazon Linux, so they can run on lambda. I
didn’t want to set up a CodeBuild just to play with a few toy example programs
or setup a couple docker containers. In fact we don’t even need to since AWS
provides CloudShell, a complete shell environment available to every user
of an AWS account.
Building a Nutrition Macro Calculator Spreadsheet
11 August 2022
I really want to lose some weight this month, but nutrition is hard,
and it can’t run on instinct. So I made a spreadsheet to calculate
calories and macros. I’m not a dietician or a nutritionist so my diet
numbers should definitely not be trusted. I just followed examples and
combined them to build my diet. What can be trusted is how I loaded the
information from official government sources, and how I did my research.
Rise of Gru - Waterfall to Steam Door Physics
06 July 2022
“Minions: The Rise of Gru” was pretty good, and tells the origin
story of Gru and his formative years. That’s all well and good, but the
waterfall trap scene was the most interesting piece of the movie to me.
The movie opens with some villains attempting to steal this mystical
artifact from a temple. In order to get into the temple the villain must
reorient these dragons which blow fire to clear away the falling water
by turning it to steam. Is this even possible, and if so how much heat
would it take, and why wouldn’t the opener be singed by the overwhelming
The Lightyear Movie and Resilient Organizations
27 June 2022
“Lightyear” was a very fun movie. It’s not a timeless classic, but I
enjoyed it. There were some serious issues with it, and the overall
organizational structures. I expect better from Pixar on their research,
after all they made one of my all-time favorite movies “Wall-E”. They
got in an actual doctor of fishes in to explain how fishes move for
“Finding Nemo.” As always there will be unmarked spoilers.
My New Picnic Bench is Better Than Any Other Outdoor Furniture
06 June 2022
I bought a picnic bench to really enjoy the outside this summer. Over
the last weekend, I picked up an unfinished wooden one from Lowe’s, and
finished it myself. I got it for several reasons, and wanted to show
it’s empirically better than any other patio furniture. I also just
want to show off how good it looks in the yard.
Computing Most Chatty People in IRC
03 May 2022
Recently I was trying to figure out who was most active on the IRC
server I frequent. IRC by it’s very nature leaves log files so that you
have a record of your conversations in your control. So you can perform
some processing on them to determine various statistics. This is a one
liner to compute that.
2D Metaballs Demo using Marching Squares
04 April 2022
Metaballs are organic looking blob like balls that merge and split
apart based on their distances from each other. They can be defined as a
single function or a summation of functions across the x and y plane. By
computing the contours, a very cool picture can be produced in real time
as shown below. However, computing the entirety of the function plane to
a high degree of precision is very expensive. To make it less expensive
and produce a good high quality contour marching squares can be
used. It samples 4 points of a function and interpolates where a
threshold value occurs to draw the outline. I was inspired by
Reducible’s video on how computers can draw weird shapes.
Superman - Man of Tomorrow
02 April 2022
It’s been awhile since I’ve done a movie review, but I just finished yet
another DC animated movie, that I think deserves another chance from
critics. It’s “Superman: Man of Tomorrow”. You might think it’s another
generic superman movie, and you would be right, however I need to
applaud the use of Lobo and Parasite, two of my favorite rogues in
Superman’s gallery. Both are really fitting villains for him to face.
Interactive Encryption and Decryption using RSA
14 March 2022
I had a bit of inspiration recently with Fermat’s Attack on RSA and
decided to make an RSA demonstrator. It shows all the steps in
performing an RSA encryption using 2 known primes. It might be useful
during a CTF when trying to determine small RSA keys by hand. I’ll
eventually post a follow up for implementing that attack for small p
22 February 2022
I saw a captcha with dice thread on hacker news. The general idea
of the captcha was to find the picture of dice with the right sum on it.
I was wondering how hard it would be to generate several thousand of
these dice images, and how long it would take using POV-ray.
POV-ray is the Persistence of Vision Ray Tracer. It takes a text based
description of the scene built using various primitives like spheres and
boxes to produce a ray traced image. The POV-ray language is Turing
complete and allows some really advanced programming features, such as
macros, loops and conditionals, which I take full advantage of for this
scene. The dice are even transparent.
Implementing a Table Create & View Update in Athena using AWS Lambda
01 February 2022
I have a DynamoDB table that is automatically exported as JSON to
compute some reports. I wanted to automate the table creation process
and load steps. Amazon Athena allows querying from raw files stored on
S3, which allows reporting when a full database would be too expensive
to run because it’s reports are only needed a low percentage of the time
or a full database is not required. It’s billed by the amount of data
scanned, which makes it relatively cheap for my use case.
My notes on what packages I absolutely need to install to maintain this site.
27 January 2022
I recently got a new laptop and decided to move to Manjaro, an Arch
Linux derivative. I had some frustration with setting it up, and getting
the tools I need to maintain this website installed. Documented below
are the steps I took to solve it.