Do you ever find yourself up all night, reliving mistakes you’ve made 5, 10, even 20 years ago? Tonight’s one of those nights for me. I’m alternately thinking about social faux pas & mistakes at work, white lies that’ve gotten me into troubles and hearts I’ve broken over the years.

Unlike the grieving widow who blames herself, I think these particular memories haunt me because they were all reasonably preventable. “If I’d just…” I think. But I didn’t. And I don’t have a holiday for atonement, nor a confessional booth. I don’t feel any of that would give me peace of mind; it hasn’t in the past, anyway. But I still aim for perfection, even if I’ll never achieve it.

Maybe I’m upset because I know I haven’t corrected my ways? At least I feel remorse.

Scrawled on an SH-6.

chicago pizza take 1

After having lived in Chicago for 10½ years, pizza that’s 3″ thick and full of cheese kinda gets into your blood. I’ve been making Chicago-style deep dish pizza for a number of years, mostly because it’s impossible to get outside of the city. (No, Uno’s doesn’t count. Especially not if you ever had the privilege of going to the original Uno’s. Or the original Gino’s East, with that delicious corn bread crust. Or Giordano’s. Or tasted Edwardo’s stuffed spinach pizza. Or Lou Malnati’s – still my favourite place to head when I have a few hours layover @ ORD.)

Speaking of Edwardo’s, this weekend’s experiment was a stuffed spinach and onion pizza, topped with peameal bacon. That’s what you Americans like to call Canadian bacon, though it’s virtual impossible to find real peameal bacon south of the border.

I’ll post the recipe later – I’m still tweaking it, it’s a combination of my friend Fred’s recipe and one I’ve been working on independently – but this week’s experiment included the following ingredient variations:

  • Whole wheat flour (because I’ve run out of all-purpose)
  • 1 lb. fresh spinach, wilted in hot pepper olive oil with fresh garlic, stems left on
  • A large handful of fresh oregano and basil from the backyard garden
  • Pecorino romano instead of parmesan cheese
  • Layering, from bottom to top:
    • whole wheat crust
    • brushed with hot pepper olive oil
    • 80/20 mix of shredded mozzarella / shredded romano
    • homemade pizza sauce, from scratch, including fresh herbs
    • Wilted spinach, prepared as above
    • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped, raw
    • More 80/20 cheese mix
    • 3-5mm slices of peameal bacon, quartered
    • 20/80 mix of shredded mozzarella / shredded romano
    • edge of crust brushed with melted butter, then re-brushed halfway through baking

The result was outstanding:

Partially-eaten Chicago deep dish stuffed spinach and onion pizza.

The photo was taken after the pizza had cooled off a bit, so imagine it just oozing with juices and smelling outrageously delicious.

Fixes for next time: cook the sauce a bit longer, it was too watery; replace some of the average-grade mozzarella with buffalo mozzarella, especially in the top 2 layers; try a 50/50 mix of white/whole wheat flour in the crust, or possibly corn meal for a corn bread crust.

P.S. This is my 500th post!
P.P.S. Yes, that’s my Kohjinsha SH6 on the left there. I’ll post about it next.

rohs sucks

And EDN agrees. I don’t build equipment to last 2-3 years, I build it to last 200-300 years, at least.  I rely on lead to make that happen reliably and cost-effectively. And, I ensure that any electronics I stop using is recycled appropriately. It just makes sense. EDN further proves that RoHS legislation is actually going to have a worse environmental impact than the way we have been doing things.

Join the fight @ RoHSUSA to free us from ridiculous lead-free requirements in electronics.

linux-raid and sata hotplug support?

Anyone out there know anything about linux-raid (md) and support for sata (libata) hotplug? I’ve got access to this machine that has an external 4-bay SATA enclosure that has smart trays. Pull the lever, the drive spins down, you swap it out. (This avoids having to implement what the libata guys are talking about, though I’d like to see this support added as well.)

I’d like to, in the event of drive failure, just pull the drive and replace it, without monkeying around at the CLI. But even though libata supports hotplug, and the tray takes care of the details (no emergency head dumps, no drive wear, etc.) I don’t think md is happy about it. At the moment I think I’d have to remove the drive from the array, then pull it, then add a new one, then add the drive to the array.

The latest linux-raid post on it I could find is about a year old and shows no progress on a solution.


butternut leek enchiladas with tomatillo salsa



  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 2-3cm cubes
  • 2 leeks, sliced on a 45° bias
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • ½ tsp each white and cayenne pepper
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • ½ cup olive oil (not extra virgin!)
  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • 2 cups grated cheese (I used an 80/20 mozzarella/pecorino romano blend)

Tomatillo Sauce:

  • 3 cups tomatillos, husks removed
  • 6 fresh Roma tomatoes
  • 3 jalapenos (canned or pickled are fine)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 green onions
  • Salt to taste


Preheat oven to 400°F. Place squash and leeks in a 9×13 Pyrex baking dish. Season with the garlic (pressed in a garlic press) and the other seasonings. Cover Drench in oil, then roast in the oven for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: Boil 2 liters of water. Add the tomatillos and roma tomatoes. Continue to boil until tomatillos are soft, and roma tomato skins burst. Drain, then remove tomato skins. Place in a blender along with other sauce ingredients, and blend to desired consistency.

Remove baking dish from oven. Spoon squash-leek mixture into corn tortillas, adding about 1 tablespoon of grated cheese to each. Roll and place join-side down back in the baking dish. You will be able to fit 8 enchiladas in the center, then place the remaining 4 on the edges. Return to 400° oven for 7 minutes. Cover with Cover with ~1 cup of the sauce, then ~1 cup of grated cheese, then return to oven for a final 7 minutes.

butternut leek enchiladas with tomatillo salsa

Serve with quinoa, covered with the remaining sauce. Serves 4-6. Inspired by CSA farmer Sapelo Farms.


A couple of weeks ago, I made some plum wine (umeshu) with Joanna and her adorable 19-month old daughter Isabella! It’ll be ready to drink in about a year — so Joanna can have a taste, but I think Isabella will still have to wait a bit longer.

You can see the process here. It’s quite simple. The hardest bit is getting the right kind of fruit. Umeshu is usually made from unripe, green plums. I substituted these delicious Ontario yellow plums, what the Quebecois would probably call “des prunes.”

First, sterilize your container. I used an old cookie jar with a sealable top I got at Value Village for about $1, then ran it through the dishwasher. (Be sure to take the rubber gasket off the lid first.) Layer your plums in the container with sugar. Rock sugar is preferable, but since I couldn’t find any, I used some organic sugar I got at the Bulk Barn.

Once you’ve layered the jar with the plums and sugar, you add the alcohol. Typically this would be shochu, a sort of Japanese whiskey made from rice (Suntory Whisky, anyone?). I substituted some cheap sake I got at the LCBO, and added a little Spiritus (95% alcohol) to get the mix around 70-80 proof (what you want).

Seal tightly and shake. Store in a dark, cool place, but not in the refrigerator. Ready in 1 year.

I sure hope it tastes good…