STOP the FAKE FACEBOOK HACK MESSAGE

So lately there has been this message invading facebook inboxes, with a warning that has gone extremely viral, telling people not to except someone by the name of Jayden K. Smith, as a friend. And to forward it to your contacts.

For one, you have to ask yourself, do you even know a Jayden K. Smith, why would you except them as a friend if not? Are they a friend of a friend maybe? If you get the friends request, did you even ask your friends if they even know who this person is, before you would accept the request? They may have unknowingly been hacked themselves.

2nd, if you forward something to all your contacts without checking it out 1st, you just set your account up and every account on that list, to be hacked! One of the oldest tricks in the hacker playbook from the days of windows 98 and XP, is to attack the contacts list via email! But see the hacker does not have access to your contacts list as easy anymore with some of the security updates (though still outdated) that have been implemented, so they have to depend on you to deploy it for them.

Lucky for you, it is a hoax and a test to show you how easily people are manipulated by fake news and propaganda, to cause chaos! But by forwarding this to your whole list, you have exposed a vulnerability! So if someone had actually attached a real threat to it, it would have spread like a wild fire!

Heck, now look at all the posts with the exposure of the hoax getting posted everywhere! I just did it myself! So, it worked in more ways than one!

BTW, CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH! DON’T USE RECOGNIZABLE WORDS OR DATES THAT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH YOU PERSONAL LIFE OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW! NO PETS! NOT EVEN FAVORITE BRANDS YOU USE! USE CAPS, NUMBERS AND SYMBOLS, ALL MIXED UP! IT MAY BE HARD TO REMEMBER BUT HARDER FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO HACK! GO THROUGH AND SECURE YOUR ACCOUNT BETTER. CLICK HERE FOR SOME SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO MAKE YOUR ACCOUNT MORE SECURE!

So, be forewarned for the next time! If you see posts or messages that have gone viral with some warning, check it out 1st before you spread it yourself! Takes only a few seconds to google it!

And as just like in the video above, don’t believe everything you see on the internet!

Smoked Chicken

Going to smoke some chicken. Getting marinated in some salt water and lime brine.

My brine solution is nothing fancy. You dissolve 4 table spoons of salt in a couple of cups of really hot water. Then ice down the water and stir to make it completely chilled. Then poor over whole chicken or part of it on one half and part on the other evenly and then fill with more water to cover chicken (may have to weight it down with something).  You can add some other seasoning if you like to the brine like teriyaki or soy sauce, some rosemary, garlic, etc (experiment). Cover and refrigerate over night. Rinse well before seasoning. Add maybe just a light sprinkle of salt if you want

Going to make one 1/2 lemon pepper and one pepper and garlic. Will update this as I go. I coated it with olive oil 1st, then seasoned it all over, and under the skin as far as I could.

Looking Good, after about an hr. Got a little hot on one side, though. 😉

3 hrs later, the finished product. It was good. Could have used a little more time in the brine maybe or maybe some season salt.

Char-Broil 430 Offset BBQ Smoker Pit Mod

Made a little modification to my Char-Broil 430 Offset Smoker for better smoking.

So I got this little Char-Broil offset smoker (430 model) on a whim when my propane grill was on the fritz and my other pit had rusted out too much.

It’s small, cheap, and was easy to put together. Has just enough room to smoke a small brisket or a full rack of ribs. And, plenty of room to grill enough steaks or burgers for my family of 4.

It works great as a grill, but when I 1st started to use it as a smoker, I had some problems. It’s made of very thin metal, and has several gaps where the smoke and heat can escape. So I had to experiment a lot with the dampeners to get the airflow right, to get the temps where I wanted them. But, I came up with a way for it to work a little better.

I had a steel company (West Texas Steel) cut me a metal plate (16 gauge thickness I think) to fit over the smoking chamber where the grill grates normally sit (cost about $11). The plate leaves about an inch gap at the end, close to the side where the smoke stack sits over, for the smoke to escape there.

Then I lined the bottom of the smoke chamber and the little coal grates that sit in the bottom, with heavy duty foil. I set my meat directly in there. Then put the plate inside and on top of the rails, where the grill grates normally sit. It fit perfect!

I also drilled a hole and added a extra temp gauge in the bottom half of the smoking chamber, so I could monitor the temp where the meat was.

Worked great! Held in more of the heat and cooked more even. Only problem I have now is, the smoke box does not hold enough coals to keep it going for a long while. So you can’t slow cook all day or night without needing to add more coals a few times.

Anyway! Our little 4th of July brisket turned out pretty good!

My Sort of Portable Retro Gaming System

Starting Up Emulationsation running RetroPie 4.2.
Using a Pi Zero W
2.8 capasitive touch screen
pocket juice
Powered by a 4000 mAh PocketJuice portable charger with 5 volt 2.4 amp output.
And an 8Bitdo mini bluetooth gamepad.
Ready to play!

Emulationstation Pixel Desktop Shortcut No Command Line

How to create a emulationstation desktop shortcut to get to back to RetroPie from the Pixel Desktop, without going to the command line!

You can easily install the Pixel Desktop from the RetroPie setup menu (Configuration / Tools >> Raspbiantools >> Install Pixel Desktop Environment). It takes a while, but once installed and after restarting Emulationstation, it will be in the Ports menu on RetroPie.

Enter the desktop with whatever button you setup to enter the games with, on your controller.

*Note: You will need a keyboard and mouse to navigate the desktop!

Once you are at the desktop, right click somewhere on the background and choose, “create empty file” and name it, emulationstation.desktop.

Then download the icon below (right click and save as), and move it into your /home/pi directory.

emulationstation desktop shortcut

Then right click the new empty file and choose, “Text Editor” from the list. Then in the editor, copy and paste or type this information below in the box and save.

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Games
Comment=EmulationStaion
Icon=/home/pi/emulationstation.png
Exec=pkill Xorg
Type=Application
Encoding=UTF-8
Terminal=false
Categories=None;

I found this code here.

The icon should change to the ES icon, once saved. Then test it by double clicking the icon. It should take you back to the Ports menu on RetroPie. You may have to reboot for some settings to take effect.

And there you go, you can now exit the Pixel Desktop with the emulationstation desktop shortcut! Fun!

Netflix on the Raspberry Pi 3 – How-to

A Simple Way to Get Netflix on Your Raspberry Pi 3!

netflix on raspberry piLike many others, I have longed for the day that the Raspberry Pi would be able to play videos natively from Netflix. And like many others, I have tried several different ways to make it work, to no avail, but I kept trying.

So, why keep trying?

Well because the Pi 3, should be able to play video from Netflix. It has the right amount of processing speed, ram and runs on a modified Debian based Linux distribution. After all, it plays fine on a smart phone, with even less specs than the Pi. And it even runs in the Chrome browser on a Linux OS (albeit x86 based), and plays Netflix video, just fine.

So, I thought maybe Netflix just has some sort of block on ARMv7 based processors (which the Pi 3 has). Or a block on running on open source software, afraid they would get hacked or something. But many Linux distributions are open source, so that isn’t it either!

Then what is it?

Well, I am not exactly sure. I could go into a bunch of technical stuff to try and explain it, but I really don’t know exactly what I am talking about. I do understand it a little bit, but not totally. It has something to do with a Chrome plugin called widevine, that allows Netflix video, and other protected video content, to play in the Chrome browser. Widevine is automatically installed and enabled, when you install Chrome on your computer.


netflix on chromiumBut, the Chrome browser will not install and run natively on the Pi. Instead you have to install and run Chromium, which is an open source modified version of Chrome. Chromium however, does not come installed with the widevine plug in. But it is available through a code package that installs Chromium and the required patch for widevine to work, thanks to someone named krusti8 found on the raspberrypi.org forums. The code also installs a Netflix shortcut under the internet menu section on the Pixel desktop, called the Netflix Launcher.

netflix launcher

To install it on the Pi 3, it’s probably a good idea to 1st do an update. Open the terminal and type sudo apt-get update and hit enter. Once done and at the prompt again, copy and paste this code:

wget https://github.com/kusti8/chromium-build/releases/download/netflix-1.0.0/chromium-browser_56.0.2924.84-0ubuntu0.14.04.1.1011.deb
sudo dpkg -i chromium-browser_56.0.2924.84-0ubuntu0.14.04.1.1011.deb

It will start downloading and takes a little time installing. It actually installs in two parts, so you need to watch for when it finishes installing the 1st part, and then hit enter for the second part at the command prompt.

This was pretty simple! I got it up and running on my Pi with no issues! Now I can watch Netflix directly on the Pi! Without streaming from another PC or without using some other virtual windows emulator! Woo Hoo!!!! Thanks kusti8!

Enjoy!

Raspberry Pi Zero Composite Video How-to

How to use the Raspberry Pi Zero Composite Video Connection!

As you may know, unlike the other Raspberry Pi boards, the Raspberry Pi Zero does not have a composite video output jack. But there is a spot to add one. Then you can plug it into a TV screen that does not support HDMI but has RCA type composite inputs.

I followed this video here, to add one to my Pi Zero W and plugged it into an old TV and it worked.

raspberry pi zero composite video

With this connection, you still don’t have audio, but you can add it with a usb sound card adapter.

raspberry pi zero composite videoMy idea for this was to revive a portable DVD player set I bought for the kids to play in the car, when they were little. Was going to use it to make a little car entertainment center. The set has one unit that is the DVD player and the other is just a monitor. The DVD player was broken but the monitor still worked. And, it has composite video and audio inputs. Unfortunately the screen is a little damaged though, with a couple of black lines in it.

Maybe I can use it on one of those cheap backup car monitors though or another portable DVD player. Put Retropie on it to play games and Kodi to watch movies stored on a flash drive.

Anyway! I thought it was neat that I got it to work. Takes a steady hand to solder the raspberry pi zero composite video connection, but I got it!

 

 

Homemade Gringo Style Cheese Enchiladas Recipe

Here is my Homemade Gringo Style Cheese Enchiladas Recipe! Yum!

Nope, it’s not a traditional cheese enchiladas recipe but it works for me and my family. And, they are delicious!

cheese enchiladas recipe

You will need:

  • A medium size skillet.
  • 8 to 12 corn tortillas.
  • A steam cloth (cheese cloth) or thin kitchen towel and a couple of large paper towels, to wrap tortillas in.
  • 1, 16 oz block or two 8 oz blocks of mild cheddar cheese, grated.
  • Optional: 1/2 cup chopped onion.
  • A 9 x 9 or bigger metal (non stick) sheet pan with sides, or glass baking dish (I was able to fit 9 enchiladas tightly in the 9 x 9 pan).
  • Enough foil to cover the pan.

Seasonings:

Note: I put all my seasonings in a bowl together (except for the flour and oil which I bowl each separately or just leave in separate measuring cups), ahead of time.

  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 1 & 1/2 to 2 TBS Chili Powder (I use only 1 1/2)
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • Optional for spicier flavor: 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Dried (crushed) Oregano
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 14.5/15 oz can of Chicken Broth.

Chili Gravy
The Chili Gravy for this Cheese Enchiladas Recipe is what makes it good, instead of using Enchilada Sauce from a can!

Heat the 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in medium skillet over medium heat.

Then when oil is ready (should sizzle when you drop a pinch of flour in it, add the 1/4 cup of flour.

Stir to completely dissolve all the flour real well and heat until mixture is a very light brown.

Add seasonings a little at a time, and mix in until well blended.

 

Add the can of low sodium chicken broth and stir frequently until well blended and it starts to thicken. Should be almost the consistency of a thin gravy (maybe just a little thicker). You want it thin enough to mostly cover your enchiladas, but not be runny. Cook and stir longer to thicken. If it gets too thick, you can add a little water at a time to thin it out. Then turn off heat when it’s the consistency you like.

add the chicken broth

Steaming the Corn Tortillas
I know most people fry the tortillas to soften them up, but I steam them in the microwave, which makes the recipe less greasy!

Wet the steam cloth and wring it out good and lay it on a flat surface. Put 3 or 4 tortillas in the center and wrap the cloth around them. Microwave for 1 minute. Repeat for however many enchiladas you are making.

Check tortillas and microwave an additional 20 to 30 seconds, if tortillas are not yet soft and pliable (should be soft but not mushy). Be careful!!! The cloth will be very hot and so will the tortillas, with hot steam.

If you don’t have a steam or cheese cloth.

Take a thin kitchen towel, get it wet and wring it out good. Then set a couple of large paper towels on top of the wet towel. Set tortillas on top and fold over the paper towels to wrap up tortillas and then fold the towel over that. Then microwave for 1 minute. Add 20 to 30 seconds to the time if needed. They should be soft but not mushy.

Add the Cheese and Roll Them Up!
Add a loose handful of cheese (and onions if you desire) to one steamed corn tortilla at a time, and roll it up a like a burrito, a little tight but not too tight, or it might split the tortilla.

homemade gringo cheese enchiladas recipe

And as you roll one up at a time, place in the (non stick) sheet pan with sides, or the glass baking dish, close together.

homemade gringo cheese enchiladas recipe

Add the Chili Gravy and Top With Cheese!

You may need to thin out the gravy with a little hot water if it has thickened up while sitting in the pan. Then pour as much of the chilly gravy from the skillet as you want, over the enchiladas. And then top with the left over cheese (not too much now or it may take too long to melt).

cheese enchiladas recipe

Cover pan with foil and bake in the oven on 350 for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until cheese is well melted and bubbly.

Serve Immediately! 

Serve hot with a side of refried beans, chips and salsa!

 cheese enchiladas recipe

Hope you enjoy my Homemade Gringo Style Cheese Enchiladas Recipe!

Salud!