Premixed Old Fashioneds

750ML of your bourbon or rye whiskey of choice
2.5 oz simple syrup (1.5:1 ratio sugar/water)
40 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
40 dashes orange bitters (Fee Brothers or similar)

Pour the entire bottle of whiskey into a glass container that can be shaken or vigorously stirred. Add the simple syrup and shake/stir the mixture.

In a separate cup, combine and measure the bitters, and then combine that with the whiskey mixture. Shake again, and chill overnight in the refrigerator (do not freeze it).

To serve, shake the container to ensure there’s been no separation, and pour 1/5-2 ounces over a few cubes of ice.

Downstairs Bathroom Renovation

First, a couple of Before pictures. This disgusting, dirty thing posing as a bathroom was what I encountered when I first arrived to the house as the official owner. It was basically being used as a dog kennel/dog washing station. The toilet, sink, and shower were all completely clogged and non-functioning.

I cleaned the crap out of it, and ripped out that sink unit and the toilet, and replaced them with a temporary pedestal sink (gotten from the ReStore for $10) and new toilet. The shower was still functional (it was built from 1/2 thick fiberglass…it took me two evenings to cut that monster out during the real renovation). We Kilz’d twice, and painted. I also put some cheap trim up to give it the illusion that it was being taken care of. Basically, just making it functional and clean in the meantime until we could afford/get time to do a proper renovation down the road.

This is the finished product (the shower curtain will change, though). I basically had to reframe the entire shower area, and replace all the sheetrock from the sink to the shower (with greenboard, with is mildew/mold/water resistant.

The vanity is this one (31″ version). I found it in the “damaged” clearance area at Lowe’s. A brace on the backside was damaged, so I got it for $50, spent $25 on cabinet paint, and changed the color while I was at it. It came out much nicer than I expected; painting cabinets is always dicey.

The mirror and shelving brackets are IKEA. I used some scrap wood to make real wood shelves instead of IKEA’s particle/veneer ones; I stained both the mirror and shelving using General Finishes Java gel stain. The toilet is the new one I originally replaced. The tile is 6×24 gray cement-looking tile. We’re doing the same tile in the other (upstairs) bathroom, and a 12×24 version in the laundry room (through the dark doorway in the last image).

Since we only have 8ft ceilings, I decided to scale up the trim and use 7 1/4 everywhere (I’ll do slightly shorter in a couple of areas with soffits lowering the ceiling). It really makes a difference in pushing the ceiling up visually. I also went ahead with shoe molding in the bathroom; we’ll have it most other areas (soon to be wood floors), and it helps with covering the tile/baseboard transition unevenness.

All told, we probably spent around $2000 to do this. The shower stall itself, and the tile, were the big ticket items (the tile mostly because of needing to buy additional tools). I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. Hopefully, the things I learned on this one will make the next one go much faster.

Testing Android

I recently purchased a Nexus 5x for testing out Google Fi’s service. It came in today, so I chronicled the setup on Twitter.

While the setup had a few bumps and took longer than anticipated, I’m somewhat impressed by the phone itself. I’m still poking my way around Android, but I don’t have any major complaints so far.

Help Me Learn Javascript In 2016

Javascript LogoTaking a page from a fellow Automattician’s goals for 2016, I am making a goal for myself that I’ve put off far too long: learning Javascript.

I’ve built many, many themes for WordPress, but was always able to get by with jQuery and learning just enough to do something simple. However, backtracking and learning Javascript from the beginning will open up many more opportunities for me. I want to be able to do things like:

  1. Contribute to projects like Calypso. With WordPress.com moving to Calypso, and the potential for self-hosted WordPress.org sites to use it, being able to understand it on a deeper level (along with the API) can help me be able to dig out bugs, submit fixes, and work towards enhancements.
  2. Build out home automation controls. My home automation system runs on a Mac Mini Python server. While it’s got a suitable app and prebuilt web frontend, there are a lot of things about it that are lacking that could be solved with even a simple HTML/CSS/Javascript site instead of the built-in stuff. By goal is to access the site via older iPads throughout the house for a “whole house” automation and monitoring solution.
  3. WordPress Plugins. I’ve got a couple of very niche plugins out on the main WordPress.org plugin directory. While they’re very basic, they work well for what I needed at the time, and it seems a few other folks needed them too! I would really like to work on enhancing one of them with some settings, since it enables Jetpack functionality for a theme framework that otherwise would require the user to modify their theme.

Additionally, with all of the frameworks heavy hitters are getting behind (like React), Javascript shows no signs of becoming irrelevant in the foreseeable future.

So, how can you help me? Send me resources. What site/book/course helped you learn Javascript quickest? After the basics, where did you go from there? More importantly, what parts did you struggle with, and what helped you get over the hump?