Truly Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (with bacon)

Earlier today I pondered on the name “grilled cheese” wondering why it was called that if no one grilled it.

Despite the internet being at my fingertips I decided that instead of researching the etymology of grilled cheese, actually grilling a cheese sandwhich sounded much more rewarding. Since I needed to make a full meal out of it and we had some broccoli I thought if I added bacon I’d have the rendered grease leftover to cook the broccoli in (or perhaps it was just an excuse to cook more bacon?).

I started with some foil and crinkle cut fries on the top rack since I knew they’d take the longest. Then came the bacon. I actually cooked up some extra to make sure I’d have enough grease for the broccoli and leftovers for my wife when she got home.

While the bacon was cooking I had slices some sourdough bread, buttered what would be the outsides of the sandwhich, and prepared some Colby Jack cheese slices.

Once the bacon was done I set it aside and added in the broccoli, tossing it with a spatula to evenly distribute the grease and start it cooking. I added the bacon to the sandwiches and slid them on to the hot grill.

At first I was too cautious and had the heat too low. Turning it back up helped toast the bread before the cheese could melt off the sides of the sandwich.

You can believe it, it tasted as good as it looks. On my next batch I’ll go a bit heavier on the cheese to help counterbalance the extra crisp of a truly grilled cheese sandwhich. We don’t do grilled cheese very often so it’s pretty safe to say that from now on when I do, it will be truly grilled cheese!

Lunchbox Status Update

Recently I’ve been working a new project called ‘Lunchbox’. Basically, it is a GUI wrapper around vagrant projects so that you can use the power of vagrant and virtual machines without the learning curve. To start with, I’m targeting support for DrupalVM.

Here’s a quick status update of the project to date. It’s still not ready for prime time, but this will give you an idea of where the project is headed. If you’re a bleeding-edge kind of person or would like to contribute, head over to the Lunchbox project page and submit some PRs!

Notes on Raspberry Pi, LEMP, and CloudFlare

I spent the majority of the weekend converting and streamlining my hosting setup. The end result was a lot of learning and information – way to much to write up a step-by-step manual. However, I do want to share some notes and resources I found along the way.

The upshot – this site now runs off a Raspberry Pi!


  • Raspberry Pi 2
  • PNY Class 10 micro SD card

Basic Setup

Good initial checklist:

‘Diet Raspbian’: Create base micro-SD with image from

Fix keygen issues:

Run raspi-config:

  • sudo raspi-config
  • expand filesystem
  • change hostname (advanced)

Configure a static IP:

Set up ssh key login, disable password login:

Make sure it’s all up to date:

LEMP Setup


Loosely followed:


In nginx.conf:

Did not enter client_max_body_size 12m; Default of 1m will be good for now.

You can check file with:

You probably want to make this adjustment:


Turn off fopen

In php.ini:


Also helpful:


In my.conf:





DrupalVM + NFS on Ubuntu

DrupalVM is a great project with some very complete documentation. However, for some reason I kept having difficulty getting it to work on Ubuntu despite seemingly straightforward instructions including a reference to DigitalOcean documentation (usually very good) about getting NFS running on Debian/Ubuntu.

After a few mis-starts, I think I have found the magic combination to getting it all running on a new Ubuntu-based system. As with most things, it seems incredibly simple in hindsight. One major prerequisite is that NFS does not work reliably with home directory encryption turned on. If you must run with this you’ll have to turn off NFS support in DrupalVM. Once you have that squared away, here’s the basic process:

  1. sudo apt-get update
  2. sudo apt-get install nfs-common
  3. apt-get install nfs-kernel-server
  4. sudo apt-get install virtualbox  – you may need to make sure your software sources is configured correctly, usually needs to include Canonical Partners
  5. sudo apt-get install vagrant
  6. sudo apt-get install ansible
  7. sudo apt-get install git
  8. git clone
  9. cd drupal-vm
  10. sudo ansible-galaxy install -r provisioning/requirements.yml --force
  11. vagrant plugin install vagrant-hostsupdater
  12. vagrant plugin install vagrant-vbguest
  13. [edit config files]
  14. vagrant up

The key pieces, I’ve found, are installing the nfs-common  package and the vagrant-vbguest  plugin.

The end result is a DrupalVM with NFS (much more performant) with magical DNS capability (via vagrant-hostsupdater, no need to edit /etc/hosts). If you add new sites to the config file just run vagrant provision  to quickly get them configured in the VM and added to your local DNS  without losing anything else or needing to wait for a full VM rebuild.

One more pro-tip: mimicking the Acquia cloud platform is super-simple with DrupalVM since it includes a yml override file to match Acquia’s hosting environment.

Mediocre Cookies

NOTE: This post was released after it was written as to not spoil the surprise 🙂

Today was a friend’s birthday, a friend who has obsessively fallen in love with Mad Max: Fury Road. So when I saw this Mad Max cookie cutter on Thingiverse while browsing I knew I had to print it out for him.

Cura: Mad Max cookie cutter
Cura: Mad Max cookie cutter

I actually printed each part separately, but you get the idea. Here’s to hoping the cookies it helps make don’t taste too much like motor oil or sand.

Assembled cookie cutter

Bats in the House!

The kids and I decided to make some decorations for Halloween with the 3D printer. Our first attempt was these cute little bats from Thingiverse.

They print flat and then you insert the wings into the flat body so they stand out from the wall a little bit. I didn’t bother to sand them since they are only seen from a distance and I like the texture on their backs – makes the almost look furry. I did use a dab of Elmers glue on each wing to ensure they would stay together, and taped them to the wall with masking tape so I wouldn’t damage the paint.