Thursday, November 24, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
My mash wasn't as efficient at I had hope, so I goosed up the OG with 2 pounds of brown sugar. I also had to play around with the hops. I didn't have as much of my chinook as I thought I did. So, I lengthened the boil by 10 minutes to pick the IBUs back up. Some people might have gone into freak-out mode at all that, and I might have too, but it was kinda fun figuring out these work-arounds on the fly.
This is all going onto the yeast cake from a batch of a new and improved version of Pooh's Blustery Ale.
With both of these, I did decoction mashes. I really like that rich, malty sweetness that this technique gives. (Technically speaking, the process yields melanoidins which give rise to this flavor.)
An update: OK... So the added sugar may not have been necessary. I forgot to calculate boil-off into the equation. My 5 gallon boil yielded about 4 gallon. So that SG of 1.072 that I thought I had turned into 1.095.
This is gonna be an ass kicker of an ale.
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Seriously? You mean there are still celebrities around who are stupid enough to keep naked pictures of themselves on their phones? I thought they had all learned by now that anything on a phone might a well be posted on a web server.
And let's be honest: If you take nekkid pictures of yourself, or allow someone else to take nekkid pictures of you, they're gonna wind up on the internet. I don't care what you intended or what that other person promised, your nekkid butt is going online. You want your naughty bits to stay private? Then keep the camera away from 'em.
The Obama administration has released a new medical billing code system. Instead of a mere 18,000 different codes, there will be 140,000 codes. So how does your doctor know that a special code exists for your particular malady? Let's say that you come in with a burn you got on the backyard BBQ. How does he know that there's actually a special code for injuries sustained while grilling or smoking foods? (It's aY93G2, by the way.) And if he screws that up, will your insurance refuse to pay?
Monday, August 15, 2011
Saturday, August 06, 2011
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
A few weeks back, Verizon announced that they were ending their unlimited data packages. It doesn't affect me since I'm grandfathered in with an old plan. The new plan caps you at 2GB per month then they start to charge you out the wing wang for any overages.
Now when they announced this, I thought I was getting away with something with my old plan. I thought "Ha! You fools! I'll chew up data by the terabyte and there's nothing you can do to stop me! Muuwhaahaaaahaaaahaaaaahaaaa!" Well, I just checked my data usage for the month and found that I'm on track to use a whole gigabyte for this billing cycle.
...which makes me wonder: Just how much time must one spend on a smartphone to rack up 2GB?!?
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
I was listening to Glenn Beck this morning on the drive to work. I had never caught his radio show before.
He had Sen. Rand Paul on and the two of them came up with a great analogy for John McCain before and after getting to DC: McCain before going to DC is Smeagol. The Beltway is the Ring Of Power. McCain then becomes Gollum after falling under the toxic influence of The Precious.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Saturday, July 23, 2011
The other bad outcome, and I think this is worse, would be a deal that fails to cut up Obama's credit cards. Raising the debt ceiling, without reducing the size of government, will just lead to endless replays of this same drama year after year. This means more borrowing and an unmanageable level of debt; or, it means astronomical taxes to service that debt. Either would be a bullet to the head of the economy.
All in all, the short term disruption of a default would be preferable to endless debt and taxation.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
I had a follower who had no eyes.
I had this one follower show up to both accounts. On my BrewingAle account, I just didn't bother with the mutual follow back. I looked at this "person's" recent tweets and there was nothing interesting there. If they want to keep following me, fine. I'll pass on the clutter, though.
For the MC account, on the other hand, I did the follow back. At first I just ignored the tweets; silly, vacuous stuff that looked as though this person didn't understand how to reply to a tweet. Then I notice that the tweets fell into two categories: Tweets that referred to women's clothing and accessories, and tweets that looked like collections of random words strung together into somewhat grammatically correct sentences. It was that second group that tipped me off.
This is a robot!
The sentences followed a pattern: A proper name as the subject, not a Twitter handle; A verb, usually come conjugation of the verb "tweet"; and an adverb. Then I noticed another pattern: This person never sleeps. The tweets were showing at all day long, several every hour, 24/7. Also, the clothing related tweets looked like auto-generated responses to other tweets that mentioned these products. I'm guess that a search engine touched these off.
So what's the point of this 'bot? I suspect that it was a proof of concept program. The random sentences are just to collect followers while the product tweets were the payload. In this case, the writer was tweeting about other people's merchandise, but the final release would probably push his own wares.
Well, at least this spammer isn't stealing bandwidth or processor time on an infected machine.
Sunday, May 01, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I've decided that ATT Uverse just plain sucks. I haven't had Internet that cuts out this often since this ol' dial-up days. If you've been considering ATT, my advise is to go with anyone else!
BTW: I'm posting this via Verizon. ATT is on the fritz again!
Saturday, April 16, 2011
What morons decided that this pinhead belongs in Congress?
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Friday, April 08, 2011
Thursday, April 07, 2011
I moved that site to a host I've used before for other projects: ipower.com. I'm very happy with them. If you're looking for a web host, give them a look.
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
George Skelton at the LA Times writes about "subversive" Republican activists thwarting the "democratic process" by holding GOP toes to the fire over Jerry Brown's tax schemes. There's a brief tease about how Brown's labor allies are just as inflexible. But does that point get further discussion? Of course not! That doesn't fit the media template.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
That hefeweizen is finally ready to bottle. I'm also putting some of that American stout into bottles as well.
The stout really benefited from an extra month in the keg. The hops mellowed a bit. Now there's a bit less bitterness and more flavor from the hops. There was also a hard water bite that was overdone that's gone now. I suppose that next time I should do something to accentuate the malt character more.
Saturday, March 05, 2011
There's just no way that the grand poobahs at CBS didn't know what they were getting when they cast Sheen on 2½ Men. If fact, they had to have been counting on Sheen's history as a dyed-in-the-wool Hollywood bad boy as a way to attract an audience. And he certainly has delivered over the years. So why act surprised and upset now?
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
This story from January 21 recounts the terrifying day that Englishman Tim Stark found a .22 cartridge lying in the street.
But one question remains unanswered thanks to some shoddy reporting: Did Mr. Stark wet himself? And if so, did he wet himself before or after he made his frantic call to the police to report the dangerous bullet?
|The vicious Fossgate Bullet!|
I suppose that it's a good thing that there wasn't a rabbit nearby. Imagine the carnage that might have resulted!!
Now I'm not the guy to lecture about neglected blogs, but at least one had never been posted to. Others hadn't seen the light of day since 2005. Why am I complaining? I got that list from another FReeper who put in quite a bit of effort compiling a list of FReeper blogs. I wish I could remember who that was. It's sad to see their work go for naught.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
I manage a website there using one of their paid plans. (Not the freebie service!) Specifically, the plan is advertised as one for those who want to use WordPress to manage a blog. (I used to use Blogger.com for that site's blog, but they stopped supporting self-hosted blogs using ftp. In short, I didn't want Google to have an off switch for that blog. They have that here with this blog, and they should. It's hosted on their server and on their dime.) The problem started when I decided that I wasn't happy with the way the thing looked.
WordPress, for those who don't know, is a blogging program that's hosted on a blog's web server. It runs using the common web site programming language PHP. As such, all of the templates that one can download to change the look of a blog are, in fact, little PHP programs themselves. They interact with each other and the main WP software. WP is now on version 3.1. FreeServers uses version 2.0.4; a rather hoary old version. Modern WP templates assume that a more modern version of WP is on the server. Do you know how difficult it is to find one that will work with 2.0.4?
Now, I could try a hack solution. The WP software actually lives in a directory that a FreeServers subscriber has access to. I could just overwrite the old software with the latest version. There's a problem with that plan, however. The latest WP requires the latest PHP to work; at least something newer than v.4.1.2. (PHP is now on v.5.3.5!) It would also require a more modern version of MySQL. WP uses this database to keep track of posts. The latest version is 5.5.9. FreeServers uses v.4.1.22. These two items can't be upgraded by a mere subscriber. The PHP and MySQL installations are out of reach to subscribers.
I did a little searching and found out just how old these versions are. WP and MySQL date to 2006. The version of PHP they are using dates to 2002.
And then it gets worse!
While I was digging, I found that they are also running an out-of-date version of the Linux kernel on their servers. V.2.4.9-31 also dates to 2002. This just went from irritating to scary! I'm no expert, but I'm guessing that any script-kiddie worth his proxy could find an old exploit code and pwn my site and every other site on that server.
And I'm paying for this?
I complained to FreeServers. They responded that upgrading software requires time. I guess 9 years isn't enough!
Will FreeServers tech support read this, get off their lazy asses, and fix the problem? I doubt it. They're probably still using IE6. I'm not sure they can view this page!
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
My wife was rummaging around in the pantry and found some jars of homemade pickles that have been back there for nearly 3 years. I remember opening some jars from that batch back then and being less than happy with the results. I should have been more patient! These just needed some time to age. The flavors, once sharp and unpleasant, have mellowed. The vinegar dominated everything; now the spices and garlic come through.
I put a few bottles of 2010 Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale in the back of the pantry now. I intend to forget those for a while and see what happens.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I don't know how, but the router had a program already using the default port for kTorrent. I just switched kTorrent to another randomly chosen port an we were off to the races.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
I suppose that one can only take so much of American politics before requiring a drink. It's also important that those of us involved in the struggle to save our nation from the community organizers who would destroy it to occasionally get out and do something fun. We all need to decompress from time to time. If you try to keep your head in this game too long, you wind up on YouTube wearing gold lamé, a Hello Kitty tutu, and ranting about the World Bank stealing your socks. You don't want to be that guy! (Especially if you are a guy!)
What we conservative and libertarian activists do is important, but don't forget to stop and smell the hops.
As you can see, we Americans just don't booze it up as much as the rest of the world!
This actually reflects our heritage as a beer drinking culture as opposed to a wine or spirits drinking culture. 235 years ago, ours was a whisky drinking culture. The influx of German immigrants in the early 19th Century changed that. They brought with them a beer drinking culture that was soon adopted by their new American neighbors. Thus our culture, at least when it comes to alcohol, more closely resembles that of Germany than the Mother Country. (See WHO reports by nation)
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
That's yeast and sanitizing solution pooling in the plastic container. What's bubbling out smells of yeast (of course) and bananas. I'm hoping to pick up more clove and spice flavors as the yeast cools tonight.
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 6.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.051 SG
Estimated Color: 3.6 SRM
Estimated IBU: 8.1 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Amount Item Type % or IBU
4.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 50.00 %
4.50 lb Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 50.00 %
0.38 oz Hallertauer [4.20 %] (65 min) Hops 5.9 IBU
0.25 oz Tettnang [4.80 %] (15 min) Hops 2.2 IBU
0.05 tsp Lactic Acid (Mash 60.0 min) Misc
2.50 gm Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash 60.0 min) Misc
2.50 gm Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 min) Misc
4.00 gm Salt (Mash 60.0 min) Misc
6.50 gal Distilled Water Water
1 Pkgs Hefeweizen Ale (White Labs #WLP300) Yeast-Wheat
Mash Schedule: Decoction Mash, Single
Total Grain Weight: 9.00 lb
Decoction Mash, Single
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
35 min Protein Rest Add 18.00 qt of water at 126.6 F 122.0 F
45 min Saccharification Decoct 7.63 qt of mash and boil it 155.0 F
10 min Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 10 min 168.0 F
But given how long this took to complete, Ale Interrupted may be a better name.
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Brewing, however, usually isn't an all day event. I was in the middle of mashing a Hefeweizen when I got called away to a lunch meeting. This is my first attempt at a decoction mash. I had to leave in the middle of the saccharification rest, so I figured "What's the harm?". A little extra time for those enzymes to get all happy in the mash can't be a bad thing.
Now I'm about to take off for another meeting. There will still be 20 minutes left in the boild, but my wife says she'll shut off the burners. I'd normally use an immersion chiller at this point, but it's a Hefe; what's the point!?
I'll post the recipe in a bit; though, it's pretty simple.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
To put a scale to this question, start by calculating what one's hours ought to be. There are 52 weeks in the year and 40 hours per week, assuming 8 hours worked per day and no holidays. That's a total of 2080 hours. If you throw in a holiday per month, which most people don't get, that cuts the hours worked down to 1984.
So let's get back to those answers. 1777 sounds about right for an average; but, only if we're at something approaching full employment. And for those who didn't take Econ 101, that's an unemployment rate of roughly 4%. The latest unemployment numbers put us at 9.4%. But that's the "official" number that doesn't take into account those who have stopped looking for work. Throw them in and the real rate is closer to 20%. So the reasonable sounding answer just can't be right.
How about 3148? That means two things: Those who have jobs are working their asses off and employers would rather pay a boatload of OT rather than take the risk of hiring new people. A company acts that way when it expects hard economic times over the long haul. Scary.
And 989 hours? Just as scary. Having 20% of the workforce out of action wouldn't drop our estimated count from 1984 hours down to an average of 989. If this number is correct, then few of those who have jobs aren't being called in for a full 40 hours per week. A company acts this way when it sees itself winding down. You cut your workers' hours when you're about to put the company into mothballs. Scarier still.
Some "state of the Union", eh?
So which is it? Well, if there were a large number of people making OT hand over fist, then they should be spending that money hand over fist. Do you see any such economic activity? I don't.
I still haven't clicked that ad.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
(I'm posting this here so that others with the same problem will have at least one more possible search engine hit to find a solution.)
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
It was contemplation of the gun grabbers' dream of total prohibition, and my probably reaction to it, that caused me to adopt a more libertarian attitude toward recreational narcotics. (That means "drugs", for those of you on drugs!) Miron argues that gun prohibition cannot work for the same reasons that drug prohibition, like alcohol before it, does not work. I came at the argument from the opposite direction. I realized that drug prohibition cannot work because gun prohibition would not work. How do I know that it wouldn't work? Because as a law-abiding citizen, I know that I would violate a law prohibiting gun ownership!
I will not accept disarmament. I will be armed, even if that requires me to break the law. "If guns are outlawed, then only outlaws will have guns" isn't about criminals getting guns no matter what; it's about otherwise law-abiding citizens becoming criminals for doing something they see as morally upright.
The State cannot successfully ban possession of a commodity unless the people themselves have already decided that they do not want that commodity. The people, or at least a very large portion of them, want guns. They'll get them one way or another. In the 1920s, the people wanted alcohol and they got it. Now they want narcotics. Drug prohibition is doomed to failure because too many people do not accept the idea that drugs are inherently immoral. (By the way, I am not arguing their morality one way or the other; I'm simple stating a fact.) Because the people themselves have not rejected drugs and drug use, the State will have no success banning drugs. The Drug War will be lost.
Worse than that, the Drug War brings the same unintended consequences that a War on Guns would have. If possessing a .22 rifle was as illegal as owning a machine gun, and got you the same penalty, why wouldn't you want a machine gun instead of a .22? And if you were a gun runner, and if the penalty for smuggling a .22 was the same as for smuggling a machine gun, then you would quickly see that the same risk brings greater reward if you smuggle the machine gun instead. Drug traffickers already know this. The more potent the drug, the greater the payoff is for the risk. Thus more deadly drugs like cocaine or heroin are preferred by smugglers. Pound for pound they pay better and the risk is no greater than for smuggling marijuana. Before them, rum runners realized the same truth. Hard alcohol pays better than beer or wine for the same risk. For a gun runner, the machine gun, pound for pound, is a better investment of capital and effort than a .22 rifle. When I realized that gun prohibition would follow these economic rules, and fail because of them, I realized that drug prohibition cannot work.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
And by "Unite" he means "Stop disagreeing with me you ignorant peasants!". Liberals are always so fond of unity and bipartisanship... just as long as those qualities are reached by having everyone see things their way.
I treated the water with a bit of acid to get the pale color I wanted. (Our local water is really better suited to darker ales and stouts.) I also tossed some gelatin in a few days ago to clear it out.
I sampled it flat and it's pretty tasty. It will be better with carbonation to bring out the flavors.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Did you know that wanting lower taxes makes you an aspiring slave owner?
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
In any case, it is a presumptuous and self-righteous act, suggesting that [Republicans] alone understand the true meaning of a text that the founders wisely left open to generations of reinterpretation. Certainly the Republican leadership is not trying to suggest that African-Americans still be counted as three-fifths of a person.The last point first: The NYT editorial staff seems to have forgotten that the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were passed by the Republican Party. The Party of Obama, on the other hand, fought tooth and nail to preserve slavery.
As to the meaning of the Constitution, I cannot recall any of the Founders suggesting that the English language would change over time. It simply did not occur to them that English is fluid over time. This concept was at the heart of Supreme Court's debate over the meaning of the 2nd Amendment during the Heller case. That court reasoned that the only interpretation possible to the Constitutional text is the original public meaning of the words. This is something that we can know. The Constitution is far from being the only document we have dating from the late 18th Century. We have plenty of examples of English usage from that period. The US Constitution is far from being a mystery to the modern reader.
Saturday, January 01, 2011
I just racked that Stout off to the secondary fermenter. I took a bit off with a wine thief and measured the SG. This beer isn't finished yet, but the SG is already down to ~1.013 from 1.057. I tasted a little and this should be quite good when it's finished.