Thursday, December 31, 2009

I really ought to update this more often...

No, I haven't forgotten the password or something stupid like that. I've just been lazy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Why do we "cling" to our guns?

So what is it that motivates us clingy gun owners? Why the obsession with guns? This clip from Iran (Be forewarned: This is extremely graphic and disturbing. Do not click the link if you are easily offended.) shows what happens when the government holds a monopoly on violence.

Across Iran, the people have been protesting an obviously fraudulent election. Government thugs, the Basij, have felt free to employ whatever violence they please to put down this growing insurrection. This includes firing on unarmed civilians, such as poor Neda. Reports say that she and her father weren't even involved in the protests, but were merely observing from some distance when she was shot by a sniper. Neda, whose name means "voice" in Farsi, was silenced by her own government.

There are those who will say that "this can never happen here". No, it can't. But why can't it happen here? It can't happen here because our government doesn't hold a monopoly on violence or the means by which one can do violence. More importantly, it knows this and has known it for over 200 years. No American leader would even think of suppressing protests the way that a foreign dictator would. The dictator knows that his subjects are unarmed and can be beaten down in whatever fashion pleases him. In the US, any politician aspiring to similar oppression knows from the start that we aren't unarmed subjects; we're armed citizens. He knows that against even a fraction of the nation's 100,000,000 gun owners, he doesn't stand a chance; thus he wouldn't even try.

Hence the obsession.

But this can change. Gun owners won a major victory in Heller, however that victory can be lost through apathy. If we allow our rights to slip away a little at a time, there may come a time when an American father will have to watch his 16-year old daughter die before his eyes; unable to defend her, fight back, or do anymore than wail in grief for his Neda.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Speaking of beer...

My hops plants have sprouted. The Willamette in the front yard is really a happy camper this year. It's already putting out bines and it's begun looking for places to climb. The Chinook in the back yard has just come up. Pics to follow.

It's either a tribute to my patience...

...or my laziness.

Remember this batch? I brewed it on New Year's Day. Well... I finally got around to bottling it.

Irish red ale, take 2

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Crude analogies come to mind...

...about doing something "just a little", but I'll pass.

Kevin Yamamura, Steve Wiegand and Jim Sanders of the Sacramento Bee characterized the Democrats' planned $14,300,000,000 worth of tax hikes in the current budget scheme as "temporary". There is no such thing as a temporary tax increase. Do you remember the Spanish-American War Tax? That was supposed to be temporary too. It's like a frickin' zombie! It keeps coming back!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

America held hostage: Day 1

His Obammyness hasn't even been in his new crib for 24 hours and the market's taken a big crap. Off 332.13 on Obammyday.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Once more, with feeling

Yup... That last batch went down the drain. I was nothing but brownish-red hoppy water.

So upward and onward!

Or... Bash my head against that wall one more time!

I prefer to be optimistic. I started a new all-grain batch on New Year's Day. This is an Irish Red Ale; this one again, but all-grain instead.

More later.

OK... It's later. (i.e. 24 is over.)

This time I was a lot pickier about the OG of the wort before I sealed things up in the fermenter. The last all-grain attempt gave my an OG of only 1.036 or so. A nice finishing gravity, perhaps, but not a good place to start! This time I was still a little light, but 1.045ish isn't bad. I just racked to the secondary and the SG was 1.008ish. The finishing gravity should have been 1.011 or so, but this should be fine. A little light, but still drinkable. A nice "session" beer.

(Of course, the question really is: Why aren't I getting more efficiency? I think that I'm simply not using enough grain and not giving it enough time in the tun. Easy problems to fix.)