November 2008

WordPress meta-geekery

My brother is running a WordPress blog with multiple authors. “Editors”, in WordPress terminology. He actually needs a content management system like E107 or Drupal, but he knows WordPress and it works for him.

But, he wants static pages, one or more per user, and of course each user should only be able to edit his own pages. Strangely enough, there doesn’t seem to be a WordPress plugin for this. Comments welcome, let me know if there is.

The following fix might work, it eliminates the link to edit pages if you’re not the right user. Of course this is low security.


case ‘title’:
if (get_the_author_ID() == $user->ID) { ?>

<a class=”row-title” href=”page.php?action=edit&amp;post=<?php the_ID(); ?>” title=”<?php echo attribute_escape(sprintf(__(‘Edit “%s”‘), $title)); ?>”>
<?php } ?>
<?php echo $pad; echo $title ?></a></strong>
<?php if (‘private’ == $page->post_status) _e(‘ &#8212; <strong> Private</strong>’); ?></td>


I still need to add an exception so that administrators can edit user pages.

Fun with Excel

I’ve been keeping track of my expenses, and decided to roughly categorize the spending. The total so far is just shy of R200 000, but it does include furniture which we would have had to buy in any case.

It doesn’t look like much…

…but it means one less extension cord to trip over.

The wire runs down through the ceiling behind the Colossal Cupboard, under the Hidden Door, and up along the door frame to the plugpoint.

With hindsight it would have been easier to fit the plugpoint before mounting the bookcase on the other side of the wall.

This is the second-last electrical run required. I still need to extend it to Jessica’s room and to the outside plug point for the washer, dryer and chest freezer. (The last electrical run will be for a plug point for Tamsyn’s computer). Edit : of course I’m lying, we still need plug points in the master bedroom, but for some reason that doesn’t come up on my radar…

The master bathroom’s looking good.

Reverse Risotto

We invited Tanya’s folks over for supper on Saturday. I had to do some tech support for a friend in Somerset West, then went back via Bellville to get an O ring from the hardware store and a bunch of supplies from the Fruit & Veg.

Found a rather large (it was still the smallest on the shelf) hunk of marinated pork loin roast. Which I had to cut in half to get it to fit my black pot.

I also went via the Constantia Aroma (for bubbly) and Pick & Pay, where I found a large bunch of beetroot for R5.99.

Tangent : As a kid, I didn’t understand why my mother liked asparagus from tins or beetroot from jars. Then I met fresh asparagus and beetroot, which both really rawk. I suspect my mother was searching for that taste, the canned stuff being a weak shadow.

So I cooked the beetroot according to the first recipe I googled. Topped and tailed them, rubbed the skin off, sliced and stuck them in the fridge. (First time I used the electric domino, works well).

Back to the roast. I followed a recipezaar recipe I’d used before, except that with the pork being pre-marinaded, I skipped step 3. I also made mustard-roasted potatoes, which were excellent. Persuaded Tanya to steam some veggies, and skipped making the braised sauerkraut (in hindsight, probably a mistake). But nobody noticed, because the pork was excellent. And then some.

I wanted to make gravy from the juice in the pot, but it was very fatty, so we skipped that in favour of the ready-made stuff. And I must say, the Denny brand gravy is excellent.

So, on to the reverse risotto. After the juice cooled down, I removed most of the fat (and threw it away, I should have kept it, but right now space is an issue — I need to get a chest freezer organised). Heated the pot up, and fried rice in the oil, added wine — you know, classic risotto recipe. Except then I added water only, figuring that all the tasty bits were in the pot already.

And they were. My oh my, this is good rice.

Tomato and Beef Kofta, Pita bread, and a bit of bathroom progress

I’ve been browsing through Lex Culinaria, which is not something to do while hungry. The Tomato and Beef Kofta recipe looked good. So I made that (first time I’ve made meatballs, would you believe it?). Also tried my hand at Farmgirl’s pita bread, but slipped up, used too much water, had to add flour, and basically ended up with something closer to naan. No worries, it was great.

It’s easy to lose track of the fact that the house is far from finished when you’re having fun in the kitchen. I suppose I have to start from one side, and since the kids’ rooms are almost there (Jessica has a mirror that still has to go up, and the notwork and computer power points still have to go in) the bathroom’s high on the list.

I don’t know how one is supposed to keep the bath apron in place (note strategic use of batten and screwdriver) but I’m hoping that copious amounts of silicone will do. (I had to cut the tile on the far wall in a curved shape to fit, which is why this took so long. That, and the bath was leaking.)

Chocolate cake

Jessica (the 13 year old) had a friend over, and they wanted to bake. Chocolate cake. So I found a recipe and let them loose in the kitchen.

I had to intervene to explain that 350 degrees was Fahrenheit and our oven works in Celsius/Centigrade, and I had to explain that “baking soda” is probably what we call “bicarb”, but for the rest all went well and nobody got poisoned.

If you found something this colour in the Amazon rain forest, you would do well to avoid it…

Appliance garage

I’ve been dreading the assembly of the appliance garage for a while, since it involves precision routing, both straight and curved. Had to bite the bullet, it was time.

The straight bits were easy, I clamped a guide to the panel and routed against that. The rounded bits were done very carefully, by hand. I slipped a few times, but the lip on the channeling is wide enough to hide small mistakes.

The completed right hand side. The way this unit is designed is that it gets a wrapped panel on either side, just like my other cupboards. And this raised a dilemma. If I hang the cupboard doors on the top “third” of this unit, they would hang in front of the side panel (If this doesn’t make sense, never mind, trust me). Point is, it won’t look good.

So I routed the thickness of a door off the front edge of the top “third”.


If this plugpoint ever breaks, the poor bugger won’t be able to get it out (the nuts will just spin). Not Right, but expedient (this plugpoint at the top left hand corner of the middle “third”.

It Woks

My father in law has a very nice cast-iron wok. I’ve been looking for something similar for a while, but then Tanya went crazy and bought a Le Creuset for me as a combined house warming / Christmas / birthday-for-the-next-10-years present.

I cheated and bought a package of vegetable stir-fry from the Spar. ’twas good.

Split pea soup

We had a black south easter blowing — lots of rain, from the south, which showed up at least three leaks that were not there with the prevailing rain from the north we’ve been having all winter. Soup weather.

Normally I would make snert, but I needed a quick recipe, and it also needed to be vegetarian.

Google turned up

I added a turnip, and (vegetarian) bacon bits. And of course Worcester sauce.

The “add salt” hint works well. I put in at least four times the salt I normally would. Wow.