Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It was bound to happen

Ugh, what a awful week already.  So my truck wouldn't start on Tuesday so yeah for not work, boo for repair shop bills.  That is pretty sucky, but in more serious and sad news, I have finally actually failed in my attempt to produce booze.  This isn't just I missed the style or some such, I messed up so much that the cider is so acidic no yeast can survive the environment.  I was trying to make a more interesteing flavor in my hard cider and mixed in about 3/4lb of Acid blend.  I've since learned that it should have been about 3 tablespoons for the size of batch that I am working on.  So I over did it by about 50-90 time too much acid.  This stuff is tart, like rot your teeth sour patch tart.  I started with a 3 gallon batch and then upped it to 5 with more cider, then took it to over 8 with brown sugar and water.  The water is so base it doesn't register on my ph strips and the cider is so acid it just reads the lowest reading after diluting it as much as I have.  I think 1/2 a gallon of what I have in 5 gallons might still be too acidic.

It's a sad day for me but, the every dollar at this point is good money after bad.  For grins I might have gone to buy another huge thing of brown sugar and make a sugar wash to add 1/2 a gallon of this stuff to just to see if I can get any mileage out of it, but with a car in the shop I think my hobbies are on hiatus for some time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stop Censorship

If you live in the US and haven't heard about SOPA/PIPA winding it's way through the congress and senate then what rock are you living under? can fill you in, but the long and the short is they want to be able to blacklist sites like Youtube if one copyright owner claims your video of lip-syncing is infringment.  No due process, no safe harbor, just bam, blacklist.  As written I don't believe that there is a way to contest being blacklisted, much less any testimony on how to make this work with out completely crippling DNS as we know it.

It's nasty legislation by onery old men, looking to strangle the internet that causes them so much trouble.  The trouble is we like the internet a hell of a lot more than we like them, so spread the word.

Also here is a bloggy compatriot that recenly blogged similarly on this issue.  Thanks R for keeping up the good work putting this info out there.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Indie I promise

The preview thumbnail made me very suspect of this video, but it was indie music lurking on the song.

International version for you.

All Grain Attempt #1

Man this post has been sitting in drafts for a long while.

After trying several passes at the extract brewing process I decided to give all grain a try. After reading, and reading, and reading some more, I decided to forgo adding more brewing vessels (mash tun and lauter tun or a combo mash/lauter tun) and try the brew in a bag method. I knew I would be giving up a few points of efficiency (the % of sugar extracted from the grains) I figured that with enough effort I could eventually work my way up to around 80% efficiency as I have read reports of some people achieving 90% with the brew in a bag. I only did a single protein rest at 155° F for 45 minutes before pulling and squeezing the grain bag.  I tried to do a straight all grain version of the Mac & Jack's African Amber given it popularity so with the help of my local brew store I converted the recipe, bought some grains and gave it ago.

I cannot find my notes on this, and it was before I started using software to keep track of my efforts so I don't have much to go on here, but here is the recipe.

It came out ok, but was no where near as good as the extract version I brewed originally.  I imagine that a few things contributed to this.  I think my first all grain I was 68% efficient so there was probably a lot of unfermentable sugar left in the wort, and I don't think I dry hopped this one like I did the extract version which gave it a less floral nose.  The color was too pale for what I felt it should have been, but otherwise the beer was drinkable and I believe I'm down to only a few bottles left.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cost of Commuting

I've read about the cost of commuting before and the demands that it puts on your life and health, but Lifehacker had a post that talks about dollars and cents the cost of commuting and breaks down how much more you should consider paying for a house that cuts your commute time.

The blog is quite long and goes through several scenarios, but the argument is well laid out.  I am curious about cases where rent is exorbitant (West Coast Mega cities), and the cost of living offset.  Some places are ridiculous to live, because groceries are expensive and then there are the Urban Food Deserts.  I'm sold on the premise of the argument so don't mistake that, I'm just questioning some of the simple math that may ignore other cost variables.  For instance the previous receptionist at work here made kind of a pittance, and was commuting almost 2 hours each way in a financed BMW(no joke), bitched about how expensive the boat was, and cost of living ect and rolled her eyes at me when I talked about not working in Downtown Seattle when she lived so far away.  She made some snark about the worse wages, I wish I had this article then to show her.

Anyone think it's a load of blarkey?  I'm up for discussion, if you post your long thoughts on your blog or just in the comments I'll respond.

Friday, November 25, 2011

We Can Recycle Plastic

This is a pretty cool ted talk about recycling plastics. Both videos are the same talk, the one from the Ted Talk website should work for everyone, but in case below is a youtube version.

Youtube version.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Freeish hosting for simple web pages.

I'm not sure if everyone had a need for this, but sometimes it's nice to have a quick and simple way to put something up on the internet.  Lifehacker has a post on how to use dropbox and some helper services.  The beauty of this would be for sites that have very static content and low daily traffic.  For a Free Dropbox account you get 10gb a day, and a pro you get 250gb a day.  It's an interesting idea, and cool way to get simple pages up on the internet without paying for hosting.  I don't know how complicated you can go with this, but I imagine if you can use scripts and CSS you could probably link it to one of the backend dataservices type of site like like Amazon or similar and store data in the cloud.  I imagine this would be exceptionally unsecure, but could be useful in a pinch.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Alternative Thanksgivings

Saveur has some interesting Thanksgiving day menus up on their site, might be useful for people looking for idea for tomorrow.

They have a Mexican inspired menu, includes a chili rubbed turkey and jalapeno cornbread.

A French inspired menu, with Turkey Confit and roasted squash with sage bread crumbs.

A Vegetarian inspired menu, with wheat berry pilaf and pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap and hazelnut crust.

A Southern inspired menu, with southern mac and cheese and crusty buttermilk biscuits.

A Thanksgiving for two menu, with stuffed turkey breast and cranberries with port.

The menus are pretty diverse, and some of the recipes are interesting enough I may try them someother time.  My menu for Thanksgiving is already pretty set.  I am on the hook for a brined turkey and mashed red potatoes.  My mom is making sweet potato puff (this is ridiculous sweet potatoes and coconut just saying), my mother in law has the biscuits, corn, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie.  I have room and thought space for one more thing, I made boiled cider over the weekend so I may try for an apple tart or something fancy pants.

Are any of you doing something fancy for Turkey day?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dark Night and game theory

Mind Your Decisions had an interesting little discussion on the opening scene of Dark Knight and game theory. It's been quite some time since I watched the movie so I had actually forgotten the opening sequence. Anyway it was an interesting read, and it's always fun to watch the opening of The Dark Knight.

Real movie

I'm not sure how I feel about this, Gizmodo says there is a real movie in development based on a comment thread on Reddit.  It sounds gimmicky, Marines vs Romans, but more power to them I suppose.  I would rather it was fleshed all the way out into a book or graphic novel before it gets picked up by a studio to be debauched and ruined, but hey that's the positive outlook you can expect from me.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Disturbing Indie of the day

So I don't know if you needed to be disturbed right now or not, but your about to be.

I think that the reason that this is disturbing for me is the way the video slows down between when he is singing.  The juxtaposition of movement and intense unblinking staring is jarring because humans have a very hard time remaining still even for short periods of time.  This makes the intense menacing, or more menacing than it would otherwise be.  Small non-verbal movements betray us as human, and it is feedback that we process subconsciously, seriously try for just a few minutes and see how intensely hard it is for you to not move.

Suuns "Red Song" from Topher Manilla on Vimeo. Sauce

One month old

So today marks the first month of my son's life.  Not much to say really, but I felt like the event shouldn't pass without notice.

He squirms and poos, and well generally is a baby, but here's looking forward to when your little brain starts to get to the point of understanding the world around you.  I cannot wait to blow your mind with the things in this world, really look forward to having someone help me make stuff.

Cider Syrup

image via Saveur (credit MacKenzie Smith)

So another gem from the people out in Brooklyn. I'm kind of a cider whore as it is, so if someone posts a way to use it that I hadn't thought of you know it's gonna get crazy for me. This is boiled cider, or cider syrup. They do exactly what you imagine it is they do and boil apple cider down until it is the consistancy of maple syrup and use it for cooking and making cocktails. Saveur turned me onto the idea no doubt with their cider syrup and whiskey toddy, but this blog really made the idea sing. They call it cider molasses, and use it on ice cream or in tea, and the idea that I'm most excited to try mixed with soda water on the rocks.  The picture is whiskey and cider syrup, with a very fancy ice cube.

Thanksgiving is at my house this year, and one thing I am working coming up with is a desert to wow the family.  Barring that I may try to wow them with awesome drink options, either way I believe that will be some boiled cider in my house soon.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

long video of tv and movies

I think Sub-Radar might like this one.

Friday, November 18, 2011

We Where Promised Jetpacks

I have to say that as far as band names go this has got to be top 3 for me.  Seriously, where are the jetpacks!

We Were Promised Jetpacks - "Human Error" from stereogum on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Exploded Flowers

This is really kind of brilliant, and the link to this person's website and you will see several flowers blown to bits.  As far as art goes this is really a different take on your standard flower picture, and I love the deconstruction.  There is art in the the way this person chose to present these flowers and I think I've said enough about them so go on click over and see them.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Moment of Peace for your day

I honestly don't care if this is forced or over the top euro-hipster, the melody spoke to me in a moment that needed just a tiny bit of peace. It worked for me, I'm sharing I barely care if you don't like it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Are your hands this useful

The video and music are dramatic, the viewpoint romanticized, but damn it here is a guy just freaking doing it. That is exciting.

Made by Hand / No 2 The Knife Maker from Made by Hand on Vimeo.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Why don't I ever know anything?

So I just say that Puscifer (Maynard James Keenan's other, other band (Tool and A Perfect Circle you jerk you really should know this)) was in town for a show on Monday.  Now I doubt I would have gone, but it's hard to plan if you don't know it was coming. The link above goes to their site that plays the whole album, but here is a video for good measure.

Puscifer - Momma Sed (Official Video) from Ryan Hopman on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


From time to time I long for something other than soda, and consider trying to brew Kombucha.  I've read about it before, and kick around the idea every time I read about it on the internet, but now that I have the facilities to actually brew things this may be the time that gets me to start a batch for myself.  Like I said the health benefits are dubious, but I've said it before fermented stuff is great for your gut, and it has to be better for me than my daily sodas.  The other day I found Fentimans Shandy Soda, and have been longing to make something lightly alcoholic that is not beer for consumption.  In general my beers are 4.5% and up, the Shandy was .5% yeah less than 1% alcohol, and the Kombucha is .5-1.5% on average.

Because I love me some Mad Fermentationist I checked and sure enough the guy had cultured some Kombucha, made some that was malted, and even tried a fusion with the Flanders Red style beer and Kombucha.  It's kind of sad to me that everything that I find interesting in the Beer science world this dude has done about 3 years ago.  Sigh, nothing new on heaven and earth I suppose.

What do you think, healthy wacko food or interesting science drink?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Making your own sea salt

So there is a Lifehacker author that apparently knows how to push my buttons, they posted an article on making your own salt from sea water. I really think this is a cool idea, but the first sentence makes me think that this utopia doesn't exist.

If you live near a non-polluted source of salt water...
So basically the best I think most of us can get is to claim that our water is cleaner than the water near the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (link in case you where dead for the last year and just suddenly found yourself alive). Anyhow it's a cool idea, and I may give it a try just because it would be fun to see the salt drying.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Corruption all over

Wow, I am a little stunned about learning that Olympus has been hiding investment losses for 20 years!  That is pretty amazing feat of accounting and collusion by so many people would be required to pull this off.  I don't have any witty commentary to add, I just cannot believe that they where able to hide it for so long.

Sony loosing money?

Not to sound smug, but here is another company that I am not a huge fan of.  Sony has repeatedly treated their customers poorly with proprietary formats and crappy drm software, now they are projecting a loss, in the same breath I hear Lenovo is posting a large Q2 profit.  I realize that Lenovo inherited the legacy of IBM, but they have built some really solid products on their own right.  The Lenovo Ideapad U260 is the computer I give to my executives and they love it, core i5 with 4 gb of ram.  Its tiny and wicked fast, and looks damn sharp.  I have several Sony products but my house is boycotting them until they stop with their go fuck yourself attitude about consumer standards.  SD card won the format war, get over it Sony.  They sank millions of dollars into seeing that the HD-DVD standard failed (fuck you very much for that one Sony) in part because it wasn't technology controlled by them

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Friday, November 04, 2011

Life in a Day

This is a crazy youtube project it's an hour and a half, so strap in for this but it is assembled from 80,000 clips from users edited by Ridley Scott.  I'm at 10minutes and it's strangely compelling so far.  I guess I'm hoping for something interesting to evolve, but as long as the music keeps up I think it could be fine as it is.  Thanks gizmodo, I'm surprised Engadget didn't post this given they posted an announcement for the project.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Occupy Seattle Oped

There is a local blog for Seattle called the Seattlest that has been chronicling the ups and downs of the occupy Seattle protests here in my back yard. On of the recent posts really nailed some points that I think spoke to why I think they are alienating the majority of people that should agree with their cause.  He notes that the problem with the people that attend are the ones that want to make it a festival and/or have a different ax to grind (legalizing Marijuana, or immigration or some other cause).  This makes the people there protesting the large financial institutions ability to affect their lives look silly, and turns people like me off to the whole thing.

I'm not going to go stand next to somebody championing a cause that isn't even tangentially related to the task at hand.  His article is really well written and references Orwell, so you know the man is very well read, sorry I'm a sucker for either Orwell or Mark Twain references.  Both men had a lot to say about contemporary culture and I'm surprised how much I like them the more I read by and about them.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Does Glee have a color?

Another Day, another Mac trojan.

I know you had plans today...

I know you had plans for today and I'm really sorry but you should just go ahead and cancel them.  I give to you Gifanime.  I made myself stop at page 75, but I swear I cannot stop scrolling.  The blog has the continually load the next page feature, it's maddening.

Sob...So much potential

Rub salt in my wounds over the glorious would have been, could have been great product Cnet had to detail the demise of The Courier. I'm almost too broken up over this to speak, if you haven't seen the concept video I posted it previously, you should give it a look. It was amazing.

The trouble was apparently Bill freaked out because it didn't do email! Fucking Email! It was a companion piece to the windows universe, not a stand alone and Billy boy couldn't see past email to build a completely different product category.  It makes me sick, and sad.  Farewell sweet prince, we will never know you.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Ted Talk

Apologies ahead of time before you hit half way this guy will put you to sleep, he comes off terribly arrogant, and delivers poorly.  The tech is cool, but each piece is a building block for the next and the end game may surprise you.  11 minutes in I don't hate him, I want to work with or for him.