"So there are Oliphaunts. But no one at home will ever believe me."
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Posts from — April 2009

Scrambled Eggs, A New Hope

This violates pretty much every thing I’ve ever learned or been told about making scrambled eggs, so it must be true. Can’t wait to try it.

(Via Lifehacker.)

April 6, 2009   Comments Off


My Twitter #punday was: Bow-maker starts to chop down a magic tree; tree offers to grant wish-power, money or fame-to stop. Man: “Hey yew, leaf me a loan.” #punday

Now, I really wanted to work bowyer into it, as in:
Tree: Bowyer sure predictable!
Or something similar. But 140 characters a cruel mistress makes.

Now, I did hit upon a pun without a contrived situation today. @agentwool observed that the parakeet, Hugin, would stop playing with the toys in his cage once you turned to observe him. So I said, “Well, that’s the Hugin bird uncertainty principle at work.”

That’s a good day’s work right there.

April 5, 2009   Comments Off

Grüner Veltliner: Racking for stabilization and fining

I spent a large part of the day cleaning five gallon kegs which previously held beer, in order to rack the Grüner Veltliner. It’s a labor intensive process, so it’s tiring, and it also takes a lot of hot water, so it is energy intensive too.

My technique for cleaning the kegs out is the rinse with cold water and brush to get all of the gross (as in bulk) debris out—mainly trub and yeast sediment—and then to add hot water and Trader Joe’s Oxo Brite solution. This type of oxygen cleaner tends to leave a film of detergent, so after that is complete I fill with hot water again and add the One Step oxygen cleaner, which reacts completely and doesn’t leave any residue. You can tell it is effective by all of the particles that float up to the top, even though visual inspection with a flashlight revealed no obvious debris. Still, that’s a lotta hot water, especially when washing more than one keg.

Once that was done, I used a special line with “out” hook-ups on both sides and a CO2 source on the Grüner Veltliner to push the wine into the freshly cleaned and sanitized 5 gallon keg. I captured about a gallon of young wine in several flip top bottles, these are mature enough to be enjoyable while hinting at the full potential of the wine to come. The wine had a gravity of .990, surprisingly low but I suppose that the residual CO2 may have contributed to a lower density than expected.

Then I cleaned the 10 gallon keg in preparation for racking the Barbera into it, which is currently happily fermenting in the lauter tun (a 10 gallon brew vessel). I’ll have to finish the racking tomorrow before I leave for Ft. Irwin for my seven week tour.

When you make beer at home, it is called “homebrew.” I am not aware of a similar word to describe the activity of making wine at home, so I have coined the category “oikoenopoeia” (Greek, home-wine-making) until a proper Anglo-Saxon alternative suggests itself. This post christens the category; according to Google it is unattested.

April 5, 2009   Comments Off


My primary bloggy project for the time being is going to be to populate old content that I generated with iWeb into this blog. That means the The Brewblog, the Route 66 Travelblogue, and the OCS blog, which I think is no longer up. Maybe I can help @agentwool recover her stuff too.

The purpose of this exercise is to prevent all that content from being vaporized when Apple throws in the towel on iWeb. I’ve waited patiently for iWeb to improve from “nightmarishly bad” to “tolerable.” I guess this is one slice of the Apple that does not fall under Steve Jobs’ withering gaze.

Oh, the other purpose it to pad the website with lots of bogus content to make it look like I’ve been here for years.

April 4, 2009   Comments Off

DRUDGE and the Big Picture

DRUDGE Geithner Power.jpg

Matt Drudge and yet another perfect juxtaposition. I was going to go to sleep but checked the web one last time and couldn’t resist posting this. I hope it stays up for a while, it’s really quite devastating.

I remember eagerly checking Drudge several times a day hoping for the blocky flashing siren. I guess those have been retired. This is so much more effective.

Here is the linked article, not that it will be remembered.

April 1, 2009   Comments Off

The long bloggy road

I axed the stock photos for my own. Hard to pick photos that look good in tiny little strips so this is merely an intermediate improvement, a strike against stock photos and for idiosyncratic independence.

The pictures themselves have a static URL and they were easy to find with the terminal on the host serving this blog. I copied the stock photo to a trial version of Acorn to grab the dimensions, then exported a few pictures from Munich (October 2008) from iPhoto as the required 845 pixel wide versions, and used Acorn again to load the same photos on the appropriately sized canvas, saving the cropped versions. I scp’d these into the right location on the host and everything worked as expected. I used Acorn because it’s offered in the MacHeist (Spring 2009) bundle. I couldn’t figure out how to mask the photo to the right dimensions but it looked like a decent little app for a quick edit. Nice brushes.

Added this blog to MarsEdit, along with Kirsten’s blog. I like MarsEdit—I’m using it to write this post—and I’m going to buy it, but it really needs to use the media library exposed by iPhoto and the rest of the iLife gang.

Blogging about blogging is lame, true, but it is the impetus to create my first new category: metablogging.

Next up: correcting deficiencies like updating the default WordPress blogroll, replacing default text on the About page, and perhaps some theme customization.

April 1, 2009   Comments Off