Aug 23, 2014 - URL Changed

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I decided to change this blog’s URL from the previous sail2software.com domain to my default github user page of scotte.github.io. I did some trickery so old permalinks to the old domain get redirected to the new domain and new permalink URLs - so as long as I renew sail2software.com, those old permalinks that are embeded in random places around the internet will still work.

Why did I make this change? A couple of reasons:

  • Simplicity, for one. Github pages makes it so darn easy to publish static blogs with Jekyll, and while it’s easy enough to use a custom domain, it’s one less thing I ultimately have to maintain now.

  • Although I initially thought the name sail2software was somewhat catchy, over time I grew less fond of it. Ultimately, this is a space of various personal thoughts and reference, it’s not a company or organization - so might as well just associate it directly with myself. It doesn’t matter how tired I am with my name, it’s my name. :-)

  • Having a CNAME on a user page forces all project github pages for a particular github user to use that CNAME (they are relative URLs off it). I found this a bit annoying, and while I could have just used a project page with a CNAME (which is what I was doing before), I just sort of decided to use my user project page, so I went with it.

  • The internet is polluted with a lot of vanity domain names. In the end, I don’t think a custom domain ends up resulting in any more traffic - I guess I’ll find out!

Why is scotte.github.io OK, where sail2software.blogspot.com (the default blogger domain back when this was a blogger site)? I don’t really have a good answer for that. It is a bit shorter, I guess, but there’s more to it in there somewhere.

One consequence of this change is that when I re-imported all the disqus comments they lost some of the info - all the comments (what few there are) still exist, but user info is now a bit more generic. Oh well…

Now that I’ve had a couple of days on straight Jekyll, I am super super happy I made the switch off Octopress. I no longer have to run rake commands to do anything, or manage the separate deployment branch that it uses. I just push to master and the rest is magic, I don’t have to do anything else. Love that!

"The more that things change the more they stay the same" - RUSH Circumstances

Aug 22, 2014 - Blog Rethemed

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I really wasn’t very happy with any of the existing Jekyll templates as far as getting exactly the look I wanted, so I built my own from scratch using the awesome bootstrap library to handle much of the heavy lifting and keep the layout mobile friendly.

It’s designed to be clean and simple, and with modular templates to reduce the amount of duplicated code.

You can get it from github here. I’m still tweaking various things about the theme - so remember to merge often. Pull requests are welcome as always!

I’ll be submitting it to the Jekyll themes project once I’m happy that it’s in a stable state.

Aug 22, 2014 - Installing Jekyll on Debian

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Here’s the minimal steps required to install Jekyll on a Debian system so you can test things out before pushing up to github pages (or wherever).

$ sudo aptitude install ruby ruby-dev rubygems nodejs
$ sudo gem install jekyll

As far as I know there aren’t any other required dependencies that won’t get pulled in automatically.

I know there are a ton of instructions on installing Jekyll out there, but nearly all of them miss ruby-dev and nodejs which are required. Without you’ll get some subtle and vague errors, especially if ruby-dev is missing which will cause the gem command to fail.

Aug 21, 2014 - From Octopress to Jekyll

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When I originally migrated this off blogger I used Octopress, which a coworker had told me about. Octopress has worked well, but despite it’s promise it turns to be quite a bit more complex than just using Jekyll directly. Sure, with Jekyll you have a bit more work to do in styling and editing templates, but in the end I found it less effort than Octopress, and ended up with something that’s much, much easier to maintain, add posts, and publish.

The Octopress approach is to enable a whole bunch of plugins, none of which I wanted except Disqus, and which I then had to manually remove. Jekyll is just the opposite - the base Jekyll has few features and you add what you need. The second approach, on the whole, is a better deal.

I think this tiny rant summarizes it well.

There may be some layout and content hiccups as I hack on things, but permalinks, rss feed, disqus, etc should all be good. I’m still playing around a bit with theming and styling.

Aug 3, 2014 - Cornell Chicken

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Yesterday I cooked this Cornell Chicken recipe in my Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) and it turned out great!

The Cornell Chicken recipe comes from Robert Baker who was a professor at Cornell University and founded the Food Science Institute at that college.

There are variations on the original Cornell recipe, and the baste I used (recipe link above, from virtualweberbullet.com) uses a base of dijon, cider vinegar, and rosemary and it came out splendidly! I used a blend of cherry and apple woods.

I butterflied the chicken and brined it first, but this is a very versatile recipe that could be cooked with any chicken parts or preparation and in any grill or BBQ - gas, charcoal, a Traeger, etc.

The WSM smoking away:

WSM Smoking

Chicken cooking:

Chicken Cooking

Finished product:

Chicken Done

Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.