Wirebird 2.1 Source Code

This is the source code used for the Arduino microcontroller board (using the AD595 thermocouple amplifiers), the data collection scripts, rrdtool data storage and graphing functions. The code is commented, so download and hack away!



Published in: on November 25, 2009 at 12:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Broadcast Schedule

Here is the hourly schedule for Turkey Tracker. All times are PST. Turkey smoking will continue throughout these segments. Please remember that we’re doing all this live, and some things can be unpredictable and may preempt this schedule.

9 – 9:30 AM: Turkey in the smoker, broadcast starts.
10 AM: Gobble Gobble Hey? – We answer your questions.
11 AM: Turkey Toast & Technocrati Talk – A Discussion of the Technology Behind Turkey Tracker. This hour is sponsored by New Seasons Market.
12 PM: Kevin Ludwig from Beaker and Flask presents a cocktail in honor of Turkey Tracker. (pre-taped)
1 PM: Beers to compliment your Thanksgiving meal. Q&A.
2 PM : Kevin Ludwig from Beaker and Flask presents a cocktail in honor of Turkey Tracker. (pre-taped) followed by dedications.
3 PM: Wines to compliment your Thanksgiving meal. Q&A.
4 PM: Kevin Ludwig from Beaker and Flask presents a cocktail in honor of Turkey Tracker. (pre-taped) followed by more Gobble Gobble, Hey?
5 PM: Parade of Appetizers
6 PM: Kevin Ludwig from Beaker and Flask presents a cocktail in honor of Turkey Tracker. (pre-taped) followed by Prize Drawing.
6:30 – 7 PM: Turkey is done!

Published in: on November 23, 2009 at 4:33 pm  Comments (2)  

A Thanksgiving Cocktail from the Beaker and Flask

A few months ago, I asked Kevin Ludwig, owner of Beaker and Flask, if he’d be interested in making a special Thanksgiving cocktail for Turkey Tracker. He said “yes,” and last week I had the joy of tasting it for the first time. It’s a delicious apéritif, which you’ll have the pleasure of learning to make from Kevin himself during the Turkey Tracker broadcast.

We’re not going to post the recipe until it airs on Thanksgiving, but we will tell you what ingredients you need, so you’ll be all ready to play along at home.

Ingredients for Beaker and Flask’s Turkey Tracker inspired cocktail:

Wild Turkey Rye
Martini and Rossi Bianco Vermouth
Cynar (an Italian liqueur made with artichoke leaves)
Gewürztraminer Syrup (1 part dry gewürztraminer, 1 part water and 2 parts sugar, cooked into a simple syrup)
Peychaud’s Bitters
An orange

You’ll also need a cocktail shaker, and some way to zest the orange.

This is a seriously good cocktail, and if you’re at all inclined towards mixology that goes beyond ice, whiskey and coke, I urge you to get these ingredients and tune in to see how it’s done from the master himself.

If you’re wondering what you’ll do with the Cynar (probably the most surprising ingredient) after making this cocktail, I promise to post more Cynar recipes to the blog to help you use it up, or come to your house and take if off your hands.

Published in: on November 22, 2009 at 10:02 pm  Comments (1)  

Thanksgiving Beer Pairings

Derek Arent from BeerAroundTown.com and Taplister.com says Bruery Autumn Maple goes with just about anything Thanksgiving related!

Dish: Smoked Turkey
Beer: Ommegang Curiex or Tripel Karmelite
Style: Barrel Aged or with notes of Caramel Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Dish: Turkey
Beer: Heater Allen, Upright #6, or Paulaner Salvator
Style: Dunkelweizen, or quasi sweet Bock

Dish: Tofurkey
Beer: Upright Rustica #4 or Saison De Pipaix
Style: Rustic Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Dish: Sweet Potatoes
Beer: Oscar Blues Ten Fidy or Alesmith Speedway Stout
Style: Russian Imperial Stout or Robust English Porter

Dish: Stuffing
Beer: Elysian Night Owl
Style: Pumpkin Ale

Dish: Stuffing with Raisins
Beer: Dupont Avec les bons Voeux
Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Dish: Salad/Cream Dressing
Beer: Victory Pilsner
Style: German Pilsener

Dish: Salad/Vinaigrette
Beer: Upright Wit or Upright #4
Style: Witbier

Dish: French Onion Green Bean Casserole
Beer: Old Peculiar or Oskar Blues Old Chub
Style: Scottish Ale

Dish: Pumpkin Pie
Beer: Ninkasi Oatis or Ninkasi Sleigh’r
Style: Oatmeal Stout or Altbier

Dish: Cheesecake
Beer: Oud Beersel or Liefmans Framboise
Style: Sweet to tart berry Lambic – fruit

If you’re near Portland, many of these beers are available at Belmont Station or on tap at various establishments around town. Search Taplister.com as it can help you in your search to find these on tap, or ask your local beer steward at Belmont Station to get your hands on these tasty brews.

Beer Geek Disclaimer:

Palates may vary and we don’t condone drinking all these in one day, you know your palate best and these are merely suggestions to get your tastebuds excited about the Holiday season, Cheers! Drink safely! -Scott@Taplister.com

Credit and thanks to Scott & Samurai Artist from Taplister.com, Belmont Station and Derek Arent from BeerAroundTown.com

Published in: on November 22, 2009 at 7:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Once upon a time…

Many years ago (1998), at Reed College, there was a group of friends who liked to cook and eat and didn’t plan to go home for Thanksgiving.
We decided it would be more fun (and less expensive) to prepare a feast together and have a relaxing day in Portland.
At that first Thanksgiving there were 10 of us at Owen and Rachel’s apartment. On our menu the first year was salmon, mashed potatoes, vegetables and Kahlua milkshakes. Several of us were vegetarians and we were college students, after all. Part of the fun that year was that earlier in the week four of us had driven up to Seattle for the day in Owen’s aging Volvo station wagon and purchased the salmon at Pike Place market. The result was a delicious meal, a cozy and crowded apartment and great company.
That particular group of people never fully repeated itself, but by the next year our future Thanksgivings began to take shape.

In November of 1999 Erin and Wil were living off-campus in Eastmoreland and as they lived in a tiny house complete with a yard (did I mention it was tiny?) the decision was made that Thanksgiving would take place there. Our menu expanded that year to include a turkey as the number of carnivores was growing steadily. 1999 was also the year that the famous Chris Chen cranberry sauce debuted, quite a watershed year! In addition to cranberry sauce and turkey the menu included salmon, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls and pie. We listened to music, drank wine and enjoyed a lovely afternoon and evening together, though by the end everyone was too full to do much beyond lounging on the scant furniture. Thanksgiving 1999 ended on a very sad note when we learned that Wil’s dear friend from high school had died of brain cancer. Soon Wil was on his way to Texas to say a final good-bye and the rest of us were feeling a little more subdued as we explored Portland and started the on-going tradition of our post-Thanksgiving brunch.

The fall of 2000 was possibly our least successful Thanksgiving as we veered from tradition too significantly and found ourselves in a bit of a mess. Thanksgiving was hosted by our friend and classmate and her boyfriend and quickly turned from a gathering of good friends to a gigantic extravaganza with well over 25 guests. Both Rachel’s and Erin’s little brothers were in attendance (the great meeting of the Jesses!) and chaos of every kind ensued. There was most certainly turkey (possibly as many as three) and also pie, as well as cake. One or two crazy Australians, several rounds of ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ and much too much booze made this Thanksgiving memorable, but not particularly good. Ever since this Thanksgiving there have been no instances of break-dancing and no trips to the ER involved in our celebrations, we’ve had an excellent safety record.

The fall of 2001 found all of us, as the rest of the country, in a more sedate state. The guest list had narrowed significantly and our college years were behind us. We continued the post-Thanksgiving brunch tradition, often followed by a movie and all in all had a pleasant weekend.
From 2002 onwards Thanksgiving has taken approximately the same form, each year the location alternates between Michael & Jennifer’s house and Erin & Wil’s house (with the exception of 2004 when we repeated a year at Mike & Jen’s because Erin & Wil had just moved into their new home). While the guest list has varied each year, the core has remained the same and we’ve enjoyed many festivities with our parents in attendance as well.

At some point, Wil and Mike became the experts in charge of the turkey and they’ve turned basting and smoking the turkey into an art form. Joined by Chris and Pat, these four are the kings of the drumstick (which is why our turkey always has four drumsticks) and the stars of http://www.turkeytracker.com, the brainchild of Michael Weinberg with Chris Chen’s excellent probe building skills. We each have our areas of expertise, Jen is incredible with appetizers and beautiful table decorations, Chris makes cranberry sauce that is truly in a class by itself, Robin has contributed greatly to Thanksgiving both with the game Curses and her delicious cheddar pepper rolls. Larry, always much in demand, still finds time to visit us in the late afternoon, often bearing a bottle of vino verde with him. Pat makes the morning coffee for the turkey crew and can be counted on to share some excellent beer, he also provides us with the most delicious pumpkin cheesecake and has made an excellent pie as well (and would have continued, but I’m very territorial about the pie and don’t like competition). Our mothers and fathers have contributed many sides over the years, not to mention plenty of patience with our repeated singing of Mike’s Thanksgiving anthem: “Thermonuclear War and… Sex”. As previously mentioned, I’m (Erin) in charge of dessert and revel in my domain. Each fall I brush up my pie crust making skills and test out a pie or two before the big day. Past years have included sweet potato, pumpkin, apple, caramel apple, apple pear tart, lemon, chocolate peanut butter and chocolate peppermint. As I’ve learned over the years, chocolate desserts after Thanksgiving dinner are often too heavy. This year I’ll be making pumpkin pie and apple pear tart, served with plenty of fresh, organic whipped cream.
We’re excited to have our friends Katie & Gordon join us for the full celebration for the first time this year, they’ll be contributing several vegetable side dishes and sharing their beer expertise. My parents will also be in attendance and will bring sweet potatoes and vegan/wheat-free dessert and last, but certainly not least, our dear friend Sarah will celebrate her final Thanksgiving as an Oregon resident with us and she”ll be bringing her parents and some fantastic appetizers. I’m certain we’re in for another wonderful celebration!

As the turkeytracker.com site has grown and gained national attention, we had the idea to turn our Thanksgiving celebrations into something that would do more than fill our bellies and warm our hearts, this year we are collecting donations from our viewers and local businesses for the Oregon Food Bank and hope to do more and more each year.

Published in: on November 22, 2009 at 7:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Turkey Tracker is Giving Away an iPod Touch

This year we really want to see a lot of people pledge to help the Oregon Food Bank, so we’ve decided to take advantage of one of the oldest tricks in the book: bribery!

If 100 people (or more) pledge to help the Oregon Food Back by donating a few cents per Turkey Tracker viewer, we will give one randomly selected pledger a brand new 8GB iPod Touch.

Go here to pledge.

We’re only handling the list of pledges; you’ll make your donation directly to OFB, after we tally up the number of viewers and tell you what your total pledge comes to. Your donation should be tax deductible, to the extent allowed by law.

Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 6:09 am  Comments (1)  

TT09 Is Just Around the Corner

There are fewer than three weeks til Thanksgiving, and we’ve been hard at work to make this the most exciting Turkey Tracker yet.

We wanted to let you in on some of what we’ve been working on, and give you an idea of what to expect this Thanksgiving.

Smoking Improvements

Last year, I mentioned that we were considering a new smoker, due to the flareups that have frustrated us with this one. We ultimately decided that going for a new smoker was unnecessary, and that we needed to address our smoking approach instead. This year, we’ve switched from the wood chunks we had been using the last few years, back to wood chips. The wood mix is still pecan and oak, and it’s still entirely natural wood, they’re just smaller pieces. Our reasoning is that the woodchips can be soaked effectively (hardwood chunks can sit in water for days and only get wet about a 1/4″ in from the edge) and if woodchips do catch fire, they will flame out quickly. So far, in our dry-run chicken smokings, we’ve managed to avoid flareups, and we’ve still produced delicious, smokey fowl.

A Better Show

The first two Turkey Trackers were mostly a camera trained on the smoker, and us periodically popping into the frame. Last year, you gave us lots of enthusiastic suggestions (more dog shots, parade of appetizers, etc.), which we did our best to accommodate. Now that we know what you want, we’re planning ahead of time so that the show is more exciting and informative. As we near Thanksgiving, we’ll be posting a full schedule for the broadcast, but in the meantime I can tell you that there will be two dogs running around, we will have a formal parade of appetizers, you’ll be invited to join us in the Turkey Toast, and we’ll have some short talks about Thanksgiving food and beverage pairings.

Ways You Can Participate

There are a few things you can do to be a part of Turkey Tracker this year. Just by tuning in, you add to the fun. There’s also the chat, which gets lively, there’s a link for it right under the video stream. It will open up a little chat room in a new window, so you can talk with us and other Turkey Tracker viewers.

If you have a digital camera, we highly recommend you join the Turkey Tracker Fanclub Flickr Group and post photos of your Thanksgiving. The photos you post will appear on our site for everyone to see.

If you’re on Twitter, you should follow @turkeytracker. We’ll also be using the hashtag #TT09 to tag tweets about Turkey Tracker, so please try to use it if you want to say something about the show.

Finally, you can join us in supporting the Oregon Food Bank this year. The Oregon Food Bank is the largest hunger relief organization in Oregon, and this year they’ve experienced a 20% increase in families requesting food. We’ve decided that it’s in the spirit of Thanksgiving to help them help needy families by raising money through Turkey Tracker. We’re asking anyone who can to please pledge a few cents per viewer (like a Walkathon) to the Oregon Food Bank. If you decide to pledge, we’ll let you know after the show how many viewers we had, and then you can make your donation directly to OFB. 100% of what you give will go to fight hunger. Everyone who pledges will get a hand written, signed Thank You note. You can pledge here. Thank you.

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 10:43 pm  Comments (1)