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Showing posts from April, 2015

The Sumo Orange Conspiracy

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The SOCThe Sumo Orange Conspiracy, otherwise known as the SOC, came in to being in the 1970's in Japan. A
citrus grower (a man now mostly forgotten but rumored to be imprisoned deep in the forest of Aokigahara) summoned up demons to help him create an unholy union of a tangerine and an orange. Thirty years later, this spawn of unnatural acts straight out of the depths of hell became popular in Asia. More recently, the creature has been unleashed upon the United States. The Sumo Citrus company is the only entity standing between the world and total destruction brought forth by the sweet, juicy, and easy to peel beast that has come to be known as the Sumo Orange.

Sauerkraut for new year's eve

Sauerkraut. Not beer, but it ferments, and I like to ferment stuff. Sauerkraut on new year's eve is a German tradition that is supposed to bring luck in the coming year. How this came in to my family, I don't really know. Both sides are a healthy mix of Danish, Swedish, and English. I suppose it could stem from the fact that my wife's family comes from Pennsylvania, and they picked it up from the Pennsylvania Dutch, who also practice this tradition.

In any case, we do it, and enjoy it. I've made sauerkraut at home a couple of times with varying degrees of success, but this year I'm timing the batch for new year's eve. I picked up the recipe somewhere online a while back, and tonight I took a little time to pay closer attention, and realized that I've been making a couple of mistakes. Fixing those I think will make a better controlled, and more successful batch.

Fermentation Equipment: There are one or two things you should have on hand to make the proces…

No Chill Brewing Experiment

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Revisiting Some Of The Classics I've got some things going on right now that are going to keep me pretty busy. As such, I won't have much time to sit down and actually blog something, so in the interest of keeping the blog flowing, I'll be trying to fill some of the time with the classics. So, in honor of brew day, away we go! No Chill Brewing For The First Time I'm a week in to my schwarzbier that I'm brewing up for New Year's eve, and I'm happy with the
process so far.  Normally once my boil is done I'm in for a while of waiting for the wort to chill. I don't have a chiller, so I use the sink or the bathtub and surround my boiler with cold water and ice. This sorta works, and I can usually chill to a too high to pitch yeast, but not so high it kills the yeast temperature. It works, but it's a lot of work to keep checking temps, changing out ice and water, and just being bored waiting. Towards the end of the boil this time around I did some b…

Google Send Directions

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Google Send DirectionsLast week's breaking news (because I'm totally on the edge like that) Google released some new toys. Among them, Send Directions. An awesome little feature that lets one look up an address in Google Maps, and send that address to one's phone. From there one can navigate to the desired location. I, for one, think this is a killer feature. It's actually fairly common for me to look up an address on my handy dandy Chromebook (there I go name dropping again) because it's just easier and more natural, and realize that I have to go off looking it up all over again on my phone. Really, I do this quite often. Now, I can do my address look-up and at the click of a button send it straight to my phone. No muss, no fuss, and pretty freakin sweet.  All together, now: HOW'S IT WORK? It's pretty simple. Go to the Google Omnibox (that's the right and proper name for the box where you type addresses), or on the Google.com page go to the search box…

Victory Brewing Summer Love Ale

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Awesome Whole Foods trip Wanna try some beer? Want some buttons and a sticker?  Stopped in to Wholefoods earlier tonight to grab a few things. While reviewing the beer selection
(lots of choices, but as always, too much IPA), a lady wanders over and asks if I want to try some beer. Hell yeah, I'd like to try some beer. Hell yeah, I'd like some swag (and I catch myself just before announcing to the world I'm a bit of a swag whore). She explains to me that she's a rep from Victory Brewing, a brewery from Pennsylvania. They mostly sell on the East coast, but they're pushing more and more out west. As a side note, I have had some of their brews before, so they're not exactly new in the PNW. Anyway, they've got 4 beers out to try. Prima Pils (a pilsner), Summer Love Ale (a golden ale), Dirt Wolf IPA (another damn double IPA...come on, people, get over the damn IPAs!), and a really hoppy Saison (I don't remember the name, I don't much care. IPA should b…

The Washer Died

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The Washer Died About a week ago our washer died. I guess the upside is that this is an appliance that the landlord will take care of. He's been great, we're getting it replaced today. I'm sitting here waiting for the 9:00 to 9:30 delivery and I'm bored.  There you go.

Google Photos In Google Drive

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Images in Google Drive If you follow Google at all you're probably already aware that Google is adding your Google Plus photos to Google Drive. If you're not aware of this, there's a new feature that you need to be aware of. Basically Google is making images that are uploaded to Google Plus available to you in your Google Drive account. The rollout is continuing, but once the feature is enabled you'll see a folder labeled
"Google Photos" at the root level of your Google Drive folder structure, providing access to your images in the same location that you would expect to browse your other Drive stored documents. It sort of gives an experience very similar to an actual hard drive in that all your stuff is in one location.

Fieldsheer Adventure Tour Jacket (Hi-Viz)

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Got a new jacket To get right to the point, I took a big step when I got myself a textile motorcycle jacket. I love my leather, it's treated me well. It's comfortable, it's warm, it has reasonable venting for the hot season
(I've worn it in 110°+ weather and lived to tell the tale, and the Thinsulate liner and neck warmer carry me through 32° weather with no problem at all (I don't ride colder, I'm afraid of ice and I'm not ashamed to admit it).
Then, one day last month (stop me if you've heard the story before) I was out shopping for helmets and my wife convinced me to try on an extremely brightly colored yellow jacket. It was light, it was comfy, she liked it, and I decided to go for it. I figured I'd like it well enough, but I didn't expect liking it quite so much. I'm completely hooked on this thing, and I'm missing my black leather a little less by the day.

Pretty Sure My Head's Gonna Explode

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Crossing lines that shouldn't be crossed King County, Washington it seems animal control is running a campaign. The campaign is to find unlicensed pets, share the virtues of licensing pets with the owners, and get the pets licensed. I'm not against this at all. I support licensed pets. So why is this making my head explode? Why is this crossing a line that shouldn't be crossed? The representatives of the state run animal control are not contacting owners of nuisance animals. They're not coming up to people walking their pets in public places. They're not even tracking down people who habitually walk their dogs off leash or refuse to clean up poop. No, they're going door to door to try to find houses with pets that are unlicensed. They're doing this by examining yards for signs of pets (like toys or poop, I suppose), or knocking on doors to find out if a yappy dog answers. No warrant, no complaint, no probable cause. Just a door to door search. At that poi…

Scorpion Exo-T1200 Revisited

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Looping back to the helmet
Now that I've had some time to ride around in the new helmet I thought I'd take some time to come back and share my impressions and experience in a little more detail than "hey, it showed up in a box!" So, here we go. What's to love Looks This thing looks good. I got the Alias Neon design. A flat finish, yellow and patterned black, this really is just a good looking helmet. It's a very cool design without getting too flashy, which works for be because up until recently I've just been a black leather rider and I don't really go in for the over the top designs. I prefer something a little more understated. This, this is clean, crisp, and gets right to the point.  Comfort After wearing a much heavier helmet for several years, this is a new and exciting experience. It weighs in at right around 3 pounds, and almost feels like I'm riding with nothing on my head. I also hate to fall for the rear air foil over the vents market…

Gmail "All Inboxes"

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A solution in need of a problem
Google announced a new feature today (well, a couple of days ago by the time this post goes live) in Gmail. All Inboxes. When you get your update to your Gmail app click on the three bar menu in the
upper left hand corner, and you'll see right there, right at the top, "All Inboxes." Now, a while back I was complaining that I can't shut off certain account syncing based on location or time of day or whatever. This is sort of the opposite of that. It takes all the accounts I have set up in Gmail (accounts like work) and sticks them all right there in my face. This, I do not want. I dunno, if I could pick and choose which accounts showed up under All Inboxes and I could choose accounts that aren't managed by my Gmail app, like Outlook.com and Live.com, maybe they'd be on to something. As it is, though, no thank you.