Sunday, July 31, 2005

From The Using Appliances For Unintended Purposes Department

Of course we all already knew about using popcorn poppers for roasting coffee (which seems to work pretty well, as Jerry and myself can attest to). But what about using a coffee maker to brew your own beer? The article's old (2002), but it seems like a sound way to make very small batches of beer with little effort or equipment. Using cheesecloth instead of a lid and airlock kind of concerns me, but one could avoid contamination of the beer by putting the beer in a fairly closed off area. The article also neglects to mention bottling and carbonating the beer, but that's also a fairly simple step. Since the article advocates letting the beer ferment in a jar, one could add a couple tablespoons of sugar into the beer after it's done fermenting and secure the jar with its lid.

I should add that I found this link while searching for the German man who converted a washing machine (babelfish link, original here) into a computer-controlled brewing machine. If only I had the money, time, and space to make something like that.

5 Comments:

Blogger staticfoo said...

Eh, the cheesecloth thing is no different from how sourdough starter is made, and it seems to turn out alright.

Also, did you see the open-source guarana beer on slashdot a while back?

8/01/2005 1:28 AM  
Blogger Aaron *@ said...

Usually you don't care about foreign yeasts and airborne organisms when you're making sourdough starter, whereas both of these can ruin a batch of beer. And yes, I saw it, though most beer recipies by their very nature are open; so I don't see much of a point to it.

8/01/2005 10:51 PM  
Blogger staticfoo said...

Well, once the yeast takes hold, very few things can survive alongside it.

I was asking about the guarana beer because it has guarana in it (which seems a rather rare ingredient for beer). I realize that claiming that it's under the GPL doesn't change much.

8/02/2005 4:07 AM  
Blogger Aaron *@ said...

That's true, though less true for beer than it is for more alcoholic drinks like wine. If you aren't careful, you could contaminate the batch before the yeast takes hold, though perhaps the time period is shorter with a very small batch such as this.
As for the guarana, I'm reminded of that horrible Budweiser energy drink every time I think about putting such a thing in beer. Now it may make the beer taste really good, but that's the first thing that comes to mind every time I think about it.

8/02/2005 9:00 PM  
Blogger staticfoo said...

Actually, that makes me think more of that apricot ale of which you are a fan. My guess is that if normal budweiser isn't good, then an energy drink version of it wouldn't be either.

I suppose it all comes down to not knowing until you try, which I think would be interesting, despite my comparative lack of interest in the end result.

8/03/2005 1:02 AM  

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Monday, July 18, 2005

Huzzah For Redoing Work

It just seems to be the thing to do the past couple days. The weekend was spent reconfiguring Galt, which is now mostly done. I just have to reconfigure Samba, reconfigure the printer, and remake my DVD database. To top it all off, today during work I discovered that I somehow deleted the help documentation I spent the better part of a week proofing and updating. So I get to redo that. So allow me to reiterate: Huzzah for redoing work.

1 Comments:

Blogger Luke said...

So are you gonna make it down this weekend? I'm ready to celebrate my almost-21-ness

7/25/2005 1:11 PM  

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Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Great Hard Drive Crash of July 2005

It's kind of sad that I'm writing this. After all, the story behind my last hard drive crash is still on the main page of my blog. But the hard drive that held my sever's OS died yesterday, bringing down the server itself (which will be referred to as Galt, as that is its name). The trouble started yesterday, when Galt locked up several times. It seemed odd that this was happening, as Galt is a fairly stable system. I don't think it had ever crashed until yesterday. After several reboot cycles, Galt spat out some error messages that it was unable to recover the filesystem's journal (bad). Eventually, Galt would no longer boot with the drive in the system. I had originally thought the problem was with the motherboard, as there were times when the computer wouldn't even boot into the BIOS, but it turned out that my PCI IDE controller wasn't properly seated into the PCI slot. I still have this problem, though I think I've been able to hack a solution. As we speak, I'm reinstalling Gentoo on the drive I was using for Windows 2003. Unfortunately, the dead drive is out of warranty, so no free replacements for me this time.

As for data loss, I lost nothing that isn't completely recoverable. I moved my home directories onto the RAID (something I am VERY glad I did) when I was building it 3 weeks ago. That means my 4 year collection of email (with a hole when Windows crashed my freshmen year) is safe and sound. I lost my DVD database, but I can recreate that given enough time to do so. And, if I can boot the system with that drive installed, I may even be able to recover that without having to recreate it. I'll have to reinstall all the programs I've been using on the server and reconfigure everything, but I've been complaing about having nothing to do anyways. Besides, I had been thinking about doing this to remove the cruft that existed on the machine anyways. This just forced my hand.

2 Comments:

Blogger staticfoo said...

Worst case, you can edit the fs by hand. It's not too hard to do if you have ext3.

7/16/2005 9:42 PM  
Blogger Aaron *@ said...

I would hope that I could get Galt to boot and the drive mounted if I set it as a slave. I think that was the reason why it wasn't booting with the drive in the system. But I still have a long ways to go with the emerge before I get to worry about that

7/17/2005 1:00 AM  

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Company Picnic

Ah, the company picnic. A time to get together with co-workers outside the office, mingle with them, and make a drunken ass of yourself in their presence, thereby causing them to lose all respect for you that they may have had. Well, the last one didn't happen, at least not in my presence. I couldn't drink too much because I had to drive home. Plus the only beer they had was Budweiser and Bud Light. God damn is that shit watery. How it qualifies as beer is beyond me. Thinking about the fact that people enjoy it makes my head hurt.

The picnic was at the beautiful Stagecoach Park in nearby Carlsbad. It looks like a typical park, but there's a very small rocky stream that runs through the middle. It makes the park look more aesthetically pleasing, but it seems out of place and a little inconvenient for there to be a stream in the middle of a park. We had some delicious hamburgers, desserts, and beans that were provided by some of the employees. Unfortunately, I ate too many snacks before they started cooking, so I wasn't very hungry when it came time to eat the burgers and desserts. There was mingling abound. I met some of the people in sales that I hadn't met before was able to meet a lot of the families of my co-workers. Hell, all the families of my co-workers. I think there's one person other than myself that works at Aperio who's single. But it's all good; I still had a good time. When the picnic died out at about 4:30, I headed back to my place and took a little swim. It's been kind of warm lately, so cooling off in the pool was very welcome.

1 Comments:

Blogger Luke said...

well at least you didn't puke on your boss.

7/20/2005 11:26 AM  

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Saturday, July 09, 2005

Yet Another First

So today, for the first time in my memory, I had the pleasure (and I use that term loosely) of being greeted by a couple door-to-door evangelists. It's kind of surprising that this was the first time I was ever visited by them. After all, I live just a stone's throw from the Mormon Institute of Religion in SLO; and I've seen Mormon missionaries walk around the complex on several occasions. Unfortunately, the evangelists decided to visit while I was sleeping. This I did not appreciate, nor did I appreciate them knocking after they rang the doorbell, making me think the person at the door had urgent business. I know whenever I sold candy bars door to door when I was younger, I made it a rule to ring the bell once and not knock. But they left quickly enough. I guess my morning fro and pajamas indicated that I wasn't in the mood to get into a deep philosophical debate over the natures of god and man.

I've never understood why people go door to door in an attempt to convert people to a religion. Nor does anyone I know. I can't imagine it works very well. Most people are fairly set in their ways, and the stigma surrounding door-to-door salespeople is not a good one. Plus, it puts a severe dent in the evangelists' argument that god is good, just, and loves you when his followers are waking you up from a sound sleep.

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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Who Woulda Thought?

Window's instability knows no leaps and bounds. Did you know that Windows doesn't like it when you partially disconnect your graphics card while the computer is running? Kidding aside, I have to credit Windows for not actually crashing or locking the machine. It just fucked up the display. I was somehow able to save my work by hitting Ctrl-S and hitting the spacebar while trying to close VS.NET. Don't know if it saved everything I changed, but it seemed to. Not that it matters anyways since I'm going to be making drastic architectural changes to the code that'll probably make those fixes moot.

Tomorrow will mark the completion of my second week of work. So far, I like it a lot. I work with people who are passionate about their work, and it's rubbed off on me. Yesterday I was in a conference call with 2 of the other developers about what changes to the program I'm working on are the highest priority, and they both seemed to agree that the deficencies I found needed to be fixed. So I've been trying to hash out a design better than the one that's there for the highest priority problem. The one I have at the present seems good on paper, though I'm sure there's a catch somewhere that'll make it a pain to implement.

1 Comments:

Blogger staticfoo said...

Why on earth does the ad for this post say

"Shoe Fashion Update
What's Hot What's Not! Find Out Today
www.shoeluv.com" ?

7/08/2005 1:39 AM  

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Friday, July 01, 2005

The Grass Is Always Greener...

Whenever I have a conversation with someone I've just met, they invariably ask me about my place of origin (as the lady who lives directly above me did today). I usually either tell people I'm from the Central Valley or from the Fresno area. They often times tell me that it's a nice place and seem taken aback when I inform them that it isn't (for those of you who also hail from the Valley and wish to argue this point, I would remind you that the Valley is hot, barren, and smells like cow). I once heard a phrase that I like to use when speaking about the Valley: it's a nice place to be from. I am proud of the fact that I come from the place that essentially feeds the world, or at least a large part of it. But I can be just as proud by living in the state that essentially feeds the world while avoiding the heat and the cows.

2 Comments:

Blogger Luke said...

I'll agree with the heat part, but it can't be that much cooler in San Diego. And it only smells like cow when you go by a dairy silly. And there's nothing wrong w/ that anyway ;) You should be proud to hail from Hanford!

7/05/2005 7:50 AM  
Blogger Aaron *@ said...

It's about 80-85 down here. Not too different numberwise, but it certainly feels quite a bit cooler than 100. And I am proud to be from Hanford. I just no longer want to live there.

7/06/2005 8:42 AM  

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