Maple Pecan Bars

I prefer real food while on the bike. Gels and prepackaged bars will work in a pinch. But I get a bit confused when I look at the ingredient list. I don’t know what half the stuff is sometimes. This recipe has only five ingredients. These bars are simple to make and a yummy treat when I pull them out of my back pocket. Maybe to good, because I rarely share them. And using maple syrup instead of honey makes these vegan friendly.

Maple Pecan Bars
Maple Pecan Bars Cut and Wrapped

1 pkg (340g) medjool dates, pitted
¼ cup maple syrup
1½ cup toasted pecans*, coarsely chopped
1½ cup toasted rolled oats*
Pinch of salt

Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about a minute). It
should form a ball and look like dough.

Set aside oats, 1 cup pecans, and dates in a large mixing bowl.

Process ½ cup of pecans until fine. Warm maple syrup and fine ground pecans in
a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and mix,
breaking up the dates to mix throughout.

Press firmly into 8×8 inch backing dish lined with parchment paper. Continue to
press until uniformly flattened. Cover with more parchment or plastic wrap.
Place in freezer 20 minutes or overnight to firm. Remove bars from pan and cut
into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Or keep
in freezer for longer storage.

*Toast oats and pecans in 350° oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown


`86 Peugeot Galibier

`86 Peugeot GalibierI started a new position at work.  And I have been finding myself walking everywhere; 2-3 miles a day.  While that’s great for my health, it’s wasting time.  So I went into the local bike shop and asked if he had any beater bikes.  The owner takes me down to the basement to look through his stash of used trade-ins.  He showed me a few that were my size and I settled on this one.


My initial inspection had the bike looking pretty good.  The saddle was spun and I had to manage the quill post.  It’s not the easy to adjust like modern ones.  The wheels were fairly true and the brakes didn’t rub.  But the shifting was real bad.


I replaced the rubber and adjusted the deraileurs.  And it was rideable.  It had old thin bar tape.  The hoods were dry-rotted.  I peeled all that off and installed new.  If you going that far you might as well change out the cables also, why not.


Crank and Pedals

The original pedals she came with were needing toe clips and straps.  I returned to the bike shop and he had these modern cheapos.  In the future, I’d love to get some metal toe clips with leather straps that match the hoods. The ones from Velo Orange would be fantastic.  I’d even consider the leathers. But I have to remember that this bike will spend lots of time outdoors.  Fortunately my employer has bike parking very close to my office.  So it could be outside for weeks at a time.

This bike was in such great shape when I got it.  Even the pie plate was still intact.  All I did was add some grease in the right splots, cleaned it up, and added a few new bits to spruce it up.  It rides like a dream.  Who knows, maybe I’ll take it for a longer spin one weekend.  Or maybe even a charity ride or two.


I couldn’t be happier with this bike.  For buzzing around at work to save the boss some time, it’s perfect.

Bikes Grow On Trees


I saw this bike while buzzing around Enid’s great new trail system. It looks to be an old kids sized bike. The owner painted the frame only. And the rest is a bit rusty. But that is ok. Because its great to see land owners welcome or greet folks as they pass by. It just shows how friendly you can be when you get out of your car and slow down a bit. With spring knocking on our door, I’m excited to see what other land owners have in store for their gardens along the trail. Have you see anything interesting while using the trails?

Dynamic Home Theater

An update to my home theater setup. Mine has become very dynamic. I started with a combination of Windows Media Center, Boxee and Hulu Desktop. But the built in applications of my Samsung television are quite good. There is Netflix, Hulu+, a Plex client, and much more. And as you probably know, Boxee has gone a different direction and no longer supports the Boxee Media Center software.


So a while back I installed Plex Media Server on my Ubuntu server. PMS gives me DLNA support, media trans-coding, and fantastic media information scraping. Also I cleaned up my home theater PC. It still runs Windows Media Center as my DVR. I ditched the Boxee and Hulu Desktop. And installed the Plex Media Center. To extend the power of the Plex Media Server, I have installed clients on my mobile devices. This allows me to take my complete media collection where ever I go. No need to move files on and off before trips.

Plex also offers a service called MyPlex. It gives me a web interface to my server. I can manage and stream files from my browser anywhere. I can also add links to videos to my queue. If I see something while mobile that either I don’t have time or bandwidth for, I can add it to my queue and view it when I return home.

To wrap up, Plex gives me even more access to my large media collection. Windows Media Center is still the best DVR for me. And my Smart TV gives me access to all of the popular internet content.

But all of this said, I just got a Raspberry Pi. I have been messing around with RaspBMC and it’s incredible what a little $35 Arm based computer can do. More on that later…