Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holiday Beer

Nothing says holiday spirit better than beer am I right?

Yesterday my Dad and I bottled up my American Strong aged in a whiskey oak barrel.  Topping off at around 9% ABV and smelling (and tasting) strongly of whiskey I'd say this was an excellent showing for my brewing effort.  The side batch of 3ish gallons of lower gravity wort finished carbonating but the one we opened seemed a little flat to me.  I had almost 3x's as much corn sugar in this batch and it took off bubbling so fiercely that it bubbled out of my carboy before settling down.  I'm actually more concerned about bottle bombs more than I am about under carbonation.

So Solstice has come and gone, and that leaves me tapped out for pagan holidays for a while I suppose.  Sure theirs new years eve, which could be interpreted as pagan (or at the very least adopted as) but having a kid seems to suck the fun out of those types of celebrations.  Stay warm and merry, (if that's your thing).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The crud, and other crust

It's stunning how quick and slow things seem to go.  Nothing really to report on any front, I've been wrapping up this and that but mostly moving chairs around on the titanic.  I bottled the side batch of the American Strong, that is really just a pale ale,  I've made arrangements for a guest brewer to host a beer in my barrel, secured enough bottles to get the full batch of the American strong bottled (though I'm going to need more caps and other bits), cleaned up the beer storage area where one of my containers of Starsan leaked nearly a gallon of water inside of a cabinet.  Unplugged my kegorator and am working on a rust and moisture problem that you get from running a chest freezer as a fridge.  Dug out the Navel Jelly to address said rust problem just waiting for the last of the moisture to dry up before I attack the rust and them seal up the seam that's letting water leak.  Finished up my rocket Stove and the stand for placing things above the stove, I just need to run a test burn to verify that the airflow is good and see how well my pots fit on my stand.

Otherwise, I'm getting over some cold thing and getting back into the gym.  It's my first full week back at lifting so I'm sore and hungry and cranky.  In short yeah, just living.

I'll leave you with this gem from Modest Mouse, Heart cooks brain. The years go fast and the days go slow.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Wait science damn you!

Minute Physics blows my mind on a weekly basis.

Completely un-related Science damn you makes me think of this South Park Episode.  Save the time child!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Video calls on android

I've been on the android train for 3 years now first with the HTC Hero(Sprint) and then with the LG LS670 (sprint Optimus S), and now I'm on the Samsung Galaxy Note II.  First things first, I love the phone.  It's huge, and the battery is so much better than any smartphone that I've had before.  I frequently get home with 60-70% on light usage I'm at 68% right now with 10 hours 41 mins after I listened to music in the morning and streamed 20 minutes of youtube over 3g this afternoon.  Sure I close apps daily, and Jelly Bean has as much to do with that battery performance as the 3200mah battery does but still.  Gushing and pink body glove case aside (don't get me started on this case) I've got a problem with this darn phone.

I've tried several applications to make video calls and thus far Fring and Skype both have the same bug, no one can see the video (front or back camera) on the other end.  I was worried it was must my phone, but after testing today in store with another Note II it appears to be isolated to the Note II.  Interestingly I figured out that video works with google+ hangouts and I'll see if that will be good enough for my purposes or not.  To be Clear I cannot make video calls with Skype and Fring on the Galaxy Note II from sprint on wifi or 3g.

Why bother posting here you say?  Well I'm always amazed at how much traffic something like this tends to get and maybe someone smart will know what's the matter and either direct me to a fix, or get Fring, Skype or Samsung to fix it.  I've also contacted the fring developers to let them know about the problem, so this isn't my only attempt to see this fixed.  In any event here's hoping internet hivemind, save me from my phone.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Twilight of the Elites

It was an interesting read, but it would be nearly impossible to summarize. It draws from many threads of history to try and weave a narrative of the decline of American institutions and the trust of people in those institutions and then link that to the increasing inequality we are observing in our society. It's a tall order, and I think he does a decent job of building the case that our fundamental posture in the US of distrusting authority, and authority continually doing things to cause us to distrust them is undermining our ability to even approach issues with common understandings. The more forward looking ending piece is hopeful, but nothing more. He thinks that a radicalized upper middle class of well educated people that are not getting the opportunities that are increasingly being accrued by the top percentage of elites will form the core of a body that works to topple the status quo. 

Again hopeful, and overly optimistic without much of a chart forward. See occupy movements for how much good optimism and faith in people will get you, mostly some brutality and some annoyed people that otherwise might have supported you.  If you stuck with me through the Rise of the Meritocracy and are interested in this type of thinking Twilight of the Elites[?] is a good follow up from the American perspective.  Hayes mostly uses the meritocracy as a canvas to paint the American struggle on so while having read Young's book did make the terms Hayes used more concrete and added weight to his argument, Rise of the Meritocracy isn't a prerequisite for reading Twilight of the Elites.

Interview doesn't add much gravity to the book, interesting to put a face to the author I suppose.  I did expect him to be a little older.

The National has a fairly long excerpt from the book at this link or if you want a very digested version that lacks some of the emotional punch of the book The Daily Beast has that here.