Friday, July 08, 2016

Apple trees for cider

In November of last year my wife and I bought a house. Prior to that we owned a Town-home with a zero lot line, so I never really got to start my garden or the various hippy ideas that floated in my head. The new home is on .38 acre, which isn't huge by any stretch, but will let me have a garden and plant some fruit trees. I've been shopping for heirloom varieties for cider making and have a few that seem interesting.

I found a site called Trees of Antiquity that specializes in heirloom varieties that will ship trees ready to plant.

First is the Manchurian Crab. I'm particularly interested in a crab variety that works well in my cooler summers and has a somewhat early harvest, that will also act as a pollinator for an eating or dessert apple tree that I would like to plant.

The second apple tree that is interesting is a Cox's Orange Pippin. It's supposed to be quite tasty and it appears to be compatible with the crab apple for bloom time and fertility, so they should do a good job of helping to keep each other pollinated. I also read that the Cox tree is good for espalier which could be useful to give me a little bit of a privacy screen between my home and the neighbors.  Previous owners of this house cut down some privacy bushes that were on the fence line so a tree that could do double duty of fruit and privacy seems like a win.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Two years later

I wasn't sure if I'd ever come back to this blog, I'm still frustrated at Google for tearing off the little badge of anonymity that made it so freeing to be on the blogger platform. I'm reasonably sure that that choice propelled the growth of several micro-blogging sites like tumblr and squarespace. Places where you could easily post without having to reveal your identity. It's not that this was ever a terribly personal site, but it was a nice place to unpack things, to consider them and keep track of them. I'm considering coming back here for a personal and public face that isn't Facebook. We'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Oh look, Google finally got a clue...too late

The real name policy and google+ fucking nightmare is finally getting acknowledged as the clusterfuck that everyone said it was back when they started trying to make it a thing. It's largely why I've abandoned this shit hole. They held my blog hostage, use your real name or it's going to be read only, and I caved.

I caved because I've been blogging here for years, I liked it more or less and liked some of the people I'd met. Not so much after they purged all the good people, but the spammers are still thriving. They've driven adsense payouts down to the point that it's not even worth pursuing as a small time blogger.

So thanks for the memories Google, blogger used to be kind of awesome.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Beer update snippet

I escaped for an afternoon and brewed with a friend a little over a week ago, I have a citra pale ale sitting in secondary on a 1oz addition of citra hops. It's cloudy because we didn't put moss in the boil kettle and at this point looks a lot like a little lighter Manny's Pale ale (his pale is almost copper).

Should be about 5.6% abv all said and done.

I'm vaguely tempted to leave it cloudy (I like that about Manny's), but since it's going into a keg and I hate haveing to clean my keg after a dirty beer I'll probably cold crash it hard and see how clear I can get it.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Stuff and junk

An odd assortment of tidbits that have nowhere else to go. At nearly 1000 posts I'm loath to let this place wither on the vine, but at the same time Google's real name policy makes me loathe to participate any longer? Where does that leave me, something like facebook? A highly postured subsection of myself where I post PR approved sunshine to keep from endangering my future? There's plenty of places still online not owned by Google, and not being slowly killed by their aborted/failed/stalled crap social network. I cannot believe that they mortgaged their sub-properties to try and buoy up a new one. Look what it got you Google, no one wants to manage two social networks for the purpose of connecting and sharing. It's too tedious, people are happy to maintain different profiles for different purposes. This blog was some spleen venting, some part nerding out about various technology things, other parts being a book nerd. It was a place to put things to remember for later, a place a few friends knew about so I could just be me.

Our past defines us, moving to somewhere new gives us a chance to change that and our corporate overlords don't care for that. It's  hard to sell to a multi-headed hydra of a person. They need to be one monolithic person a collection of all there pieces so we know exactly how they'll move when we push them. To that extent it's no wonder that the NSA was tapping into Google's vast store of information about us. They already did the hard work aggregating data on us.

But enough about my complaining what about Me?

Well, I've been busy. Oldest boy is working his way towards being 3 and we just had another son that's 3 weeks old. Otherwise I've been spending way, way too much time in the hospital for <cough>swollen testicle<cough> for my own good. Now as much fun as it is to have repeated ultrasounds on your nuts, the blood work and peeing in the cup hardly makes it worth the effort. Also I got my favorite and most often response from the many days there. "Huh, don't know what that was about. Looks fine now."

Thanks Doc, glad to see those years of med school are working out for you.

In the months since my wife got pregnant, I've not managed to brew a damn thing (though I did do a run on my still) and only have made one batch of hard cider in the last year. My brewing skills are in serious disrepair, and I want to get a lead test kit before I run the still again (better safe than sorry)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Distracted, but there's more to it

I've really been using a different platform for the last few years, but the nail in the coffin here was Google's real name policy. I could have kept anonymous, but wouldn't have been able to keep posting at the time I made the choice I couldn't imagine not having this place to come and vomit up the contents of my mind.

It was an illusion of privacy, but I did feel comfortable in that veil. I felt it was enough that you would have to put a lot together to tie it all to me in a meaningful manner. I didn't name any names and never posted anything terribly intimate or embarrassing or even professionally damaging. This was largely random bits of stuff almost a journal, but with all the personal bits held back.

In the time I've been here I've posted a shy of 900 times in 5 years, on another platform that I use that offers anonymity I've posted over 1200 times in less than 3 years. I know for a fact that the anonymity has always been a part of that. I know no one there, I'm not trying to make money on that platform so it's not attached to anything that can be traced back to me. Why is that important? I don't know, but it I think the post counts speak volumes about my engagement.