Chocolate, as it chocolate malt, not as in chocolate flavor. Bittered to hell with two full ounces of whole, dried Chinook hops, one for each gallon. 10% black roasted barley and 10% chocolate malt. The remainder of the grain bill is maris otter.
|Style: American Stout (13E)||Brew Date: 12/29/2012|
|Batch volume: Two Gallon||ABV: 5.27% IBU: 250|
|Maris Otter Malt||4 lbs.|
|Black Roasted Barley||8 oz.|
|Chocolate Malt||8 oz.|
Ten quarts of strike water raised to 163°, then mashed for 60 minutes.
Sparged with 4½ quarts of water at 165° for 15 minutes.
Boiled for 60 minutes with the following hop schedule:
|60 minutes remaining||Chinook||2 oz.|
Ice bathed wart to 70°. Filtered trub from wart on the way into the primary fermenter with fine mesh filter.
|London Ale||White Labs||WLP013||1 vial|
|12/29/2012||70°||1.055||Tastes like sweetened espresso.|
|12/31/2102||73°||1.023||Still tasting sweetness. Bitterness beginning to balance.|
|1/5/2013||73°||1.020||Racked to secondary fermenter.|
|1/15/2013||73°||1.016||Bottled into 12 oz longnecks.|
|Bottle Date: 1/15/2013||Priming sugar: 1.5 oz in 2 cups water|
|Yield: 212 oz / 1.66 gallons||Bottle type: 12 oz. longnecks|
Original volume was 5 gallons, but after boil, only about 1.75 gallons remained. Next batch I would go for a 3.5 gallon boil, and adjust grain bill accordingly.
The newest version of WordPress, 3.5, (code-named ‘Elvin’) dropped today, three months and five days after 3.4.2. Major changes in this release include an upgraded media manager, a new default theme, dashboard resolution improvements, and some behind the scenes improvements.
Upgrading from 3.4.2 was as easy as it always is for WordPress upgrades. Maybe I have been lucky, but I’ve never had an issue with any upgrade, and this one was no different. Speed has never been a problem, either; the upgrade completed in about 20 seconds, and I’m off trying the new features.
New Media Manager
The biggest change that I see in version 3.5 is the new media manager. The interface has changed drastically, and at first I felt that it might be a bit overwhelming for the less tech savvy. After using it, though, I realized it only looked intimidating. It’s actually quite easy to use if you just dive in.
Image galleries have been around since 2.5, but they have never been easy to work with. You had to upload, attach, then manually put the gallery shortcode in. With the new media manager, creating galleries becomes trivial. You can drag and drop the images to reorder, caption them quickly, and with button-click ease, insert them into you posts.
I had always been frustrated by the lack of a good image gallery in WordPress. The NextGEN Gallery plugin always filled the gap, but with the improvements, I have started removing NextGEN from many of my sites. NextGEN’s image arrangement was always lacking, I thought. While it gives you nice pop-ups for each image in the gallery, site visitors can’t comment on individual images, which I hate. I guess it depends on what you are looking for out of your image gallery. I will still use NextGEN in given situations, but it won’t automatically be installed on new sites anymore.
Another new function of the media manager is the ability to insert several images into a post at once, then write the post around the inserted images. I tend to write first, then insert images later, so I’m not sure how useful this will be for me, but I can see how others would find it useful.
New Default Theme
Seeing as how it’s almost 2013, I guess it was just about time for the Twenty Twelve theme release. It’s everything that Twenty Ten and Eleven were, updated and kept light. It’s a fine default theme and its look stays pretty consistent across various devices. As they say on the About page: simple, flexible, and elegant.
Dashboard Resolution Improvements
Even on smaller screens, the WordPress dashboard could get a little grainy if you zoomed in. On higher resolution devices, it could get a little grainy if you stood across the room. Well, no more, even when zoomed in as far as you can. It’s eye candy for the backend, for sure, and really doesn’t have the slightest impact on reaching the people you are trying to reach with your website, but it really does look great.
Speaking of changes that have no impact on reaching people, the buttons are more square now. I know, not Earth-shaking, but I did notice. Moving on…
Behind the Scenes Stuff
There are some things that you might not notice if you’re not a developer. TinyMCE, the editor you more than likely use to edit all your posts, updates to the latest version, as does jQuery and SimplePie.
The XML-RPC WordPress API, which is used to post from your smart phone or tablet, is now always enabled. I see no reason it shouldn’t have always been by default. Saves me a step when setting up a new site, seeing as how that was one of the first options I changed within the first five minutes after setup.
All in All
I’m pretty impressed. It’s a nice release. Seems stable and as speedy as the previous version, and has noteworthy improvements. And I really like the new media manager. And the square buttons.
Most everybody has discovered the amazing NORAD Tracks Santa website. Or cellphone app. Or Twitter feed. But just how did the North American Aerospace Defense Command get started on their yearly track of the Man in Red? Seems to me like they would have more important things to do.
It all started in December 24, 1955, when NORAD was still CONAD, the Colorado Springs’ Continental Air Defense Command, and Sears made a big mistake. Seems that Sears got in touch with Santa, and got his permission to publish his personal phone number so that kids could call in and talk with him. The problem was, when they published the phone number in a newspaper ad, they published the wrong number. As it turns out, the wrong number for Santa was the right number for CONAD.
On duty that night at CONAD was Colonel Harry Shoup, USAF, and when the calls for Santa started rolling in, Colonel Shoup didn’t miss a beat. Sure, the kids couldn’t talk to Santa that night, but the Colonel and his team were able to look up Santa’s location on radar and let all the children calling in know where Santa was.
Fast forward to present day, and CONAD is now NORAD, Colonel Shoup has passed away, and volunteers now handle 12,000 emails, 70,000 phone calls from all over the world, and tweets to over 100,000 followers on Christmas Eve.
Did CONAD have more important things to do on December 24, 1955? Probably, but does the story of what Colonel Shoup did really surprise you from a member of our military? Like many stories from the armed forces, it is at the same time both astonishing and expected, run-of-the-mill and ground-shaking. We find what they do astounding, yet we understand it is simply just what they do.
Through the course of this year, I have thanked many members of military, active and retired, but today I have one very special thank you for Colonel Harry Shoup, USAF (b. September 29, 1917, d. March 14, 2009).
Thank you, Colonel Shoup, not only for your service to this country, but for answering the phone one night and telling a little girl where Santa was. And Merry Christmas.
NORAD Tracks Santa
Looks like it could be happening again. Last time it was the SOPA/PIPA House and Senate bills that eventually went down after The Day the Whole ‘Net Went Away last January. This time the threat is from the International Telecommunications Union (previously the International Telegraph Union), an obscure limb of the United Nations tree.
Just like last time, no leaders of the Internet community are being invited to the discussion.
I have a lot of issues with this, the first being that the ITU wants to move the management of domain names away from the current Internet community driven model. Guess who they want to be responsible for the domain name management? The U.N.
Yep. If they accomplish what they really want, I would have to register brockrogers.com (not to mention my business’s domain name and all of my client’s domain names) through the U.N. Absurd.
Second concern: The U.N. thinks they have the right to do this based on a treaty that’s a quarter of a century old. When it was written, not only did Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Wikipedia not exist, the World Wide Web didn’t exist.
And my final (major) concern: In addition to the U.N. controlling domain names, they would also control the flow, or restriction, of data, effectively allowing them to censor the Internet. I think it’s also important to point out that this meeting is taking place in the United Arab Emirates, a country that is on the Countries Under Surveillance list compiled by Reporters Without Borders. The government forcibly censors anything they consider ‘politically sensitive,’ all Israeli domains, any material considered against the perceived moral values of the UAE. They also prevent most, if not all, VoIP services, such as Skype, Vontage, and the like.
If you’re anything like me, you have been watching the Olympics pretty much nonstop since it started. So far, my favorite part has been watching Oscar Pistorius competing. So inspiring.
One thing that’s always bothered me is the running ‘Medal Count’ that you can find basically everywhere. NBC closes it’s coverage every night with it. Google gives you updated tables if you search for it, embedded right in the top of your results. Sure, China has 34 gold medals right now, and the United States has 30, but which is more impressive? After all, China has more than four times the population of the US. And Cyprus doesn’t have any gold medals, only a silver, but with a population at just over 838,897 people, or about 1/1606th of China’s population, is that significant?
To me, the medal count is somewhat against the ‘Olympic Spirit’ anyway, but even more so because the playing field isn’t really level for all the countries. So I took a few minutes to try to even it out a bit, just for kicks. Simply enough, I took the total number of medals for each country, and divided it by population of the country in millions, giving a ‘Medals per Million’ comparison for all the countries.
One thing to note is that a bronze medal is considered just as valuable as a gold medal. The justification for this is that we can make a relatively safe assumption that we are watching the absolute best athletes in each of their sports, and in a world of over seven billion people, the three best athletes in any individual sport would be the top 0.0000000429%. There just isn’t that much difference in the top three to justify an preference given to any medal color.
So, here it is: Who’s winning the Olympics? (Updated August 7th, 2012)
|15||Trinidad and Tobago||0||0||1||1||1,317,714||0.7589|
|49||Hong Kong, China||0||0||1||1||7,103,700||0.1408|
So, there you go. Grenada’s one gold medal by Kirani James, in relation to the population of each countries population, if far more significant than even the next closest country, New Zealand’s, 9 total medals. Way to go, Kirani!
Anyway, I thought it was interesting, and perhaps you will, too. Enjoy.
Spent the morning hiking and river stomping with my niece, Laura. Fantastic and fun morning. Educational, too. I learned that the Little Muskingum River is just chocked full of freshwater oysters.
After us three boys had grown up to the point of driving ourselves places, Mom would always tell us to “Behave, be careful, and buckle up” as we headed out the door. Every time. The Three B’s. It got to the point that sometimes, when we were leaving, we would tell her.
Eventually, Mom stopped reminding me to do the all important B’s. I don’t remember if they gradually came to an end, or if it happened suddenly. I don’t even know when it happened, but ultimately, it did.
I know Mom didn’t stop telling me because she loved me any less. She still wanted me to be safe, both in and out of the car. And I was, of course, still expected to keep my actions in check and behave how I had been taught to. All of the emotion and care were still there, but the words, The Three B’s, were gone.
I’ve never asked her why. I’d like to think that they stopped because she knew she could trust me to at least try to make good decisions, even if they didn’t always work out. It sounds good, anyway.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! Thanks for everything you’ve done for me over the years, especially the behaving, the being careful, and the buckling up part.
Julie made me promise that I wouldn’t let myself become the “weird neighbor” at our new house in Caldwell.
You see, shortly after Julie and I started dating, I was living in Bethesda. I told her that I always felt like the weird neighbor. I just didn’t seem to fit in. All the other houses on the street were filled with families, and my house was filled with me and my two dogs. They all seemed to have normal working hours, and for me 6:00 AM could be quitting time and starting time on two consecutive days. And that’s not even mentioning the time that I was stalking around my house at night, shirtless, with a 12 inch dagger.
I was sitting at my desk and kept seeing lights outside my window. The closest house on that side was a pretty big lot away, just before a dead end and a small forest. The strange part was that it only seemed to happen when I was looking the other way. After ten minutes or so of this, and figuring that it was just a brat kid from somewhere in the neighborhood, I decided to poke my head outside and tell them to knock it off.
I was shirtless because it was a hot evening, and the house didn’t have air conditioning. The dagger, which I use as a letter opener, was of course for protection, just in case it wasn’t a local punk. The threating lights were, of course, lightning bugs.
Yep, I was the weird neighbor. I’d like to say that this was the only thing I did to alienate myself from my neighbors. I can’t, but I’d like to. So, when we bought the house in Caldwell, I gave my word that I would try to act normal, and I was doing pretty good, until a couple weeks ago.
Mom and I had been planting a few flowers in front of the house, and had turned up a bit of dirt and a lot of earthworms. I naturally placed the worms gently back into the flower beds and instructed them to get back to work fertilizing and aerating. I mean, I’m happy that they are there and everything, and they are more than welcome to stay as long as they like, provided they pull their weight.
I took a quick trip to the hardware store to get some mulch, and when I got back to the house there were four or five robins hopping all around the flower beds, treating my worms like a $5.99 All-You-Can-Eat Las Vegas buffet. Naturally, I jumped out of the truck and started trying to get rid of them, waving my arms and shouting, “Get off my worms! Get off my worms!”
I think I’m just going to start introducing myself as “Brock, the Weird Neighbor,” just to make sure there isn’t any confusion.
I have a unending stream of fantastic memories of my Dad. Once, when we were road tripping with the Phillips family, there wasn’t enough room for all of us and all the luggage in the station wagon we were taking. Dad built a huge luggage box to put on top of the vehicle, painted it bright yellow, and as a finishing touch, put a huge smiley face on the front of it. I don’t know for sure, but I think that was the same vacation that, completely unintentionally, Dad walked out of a McDonald’s without paying.
Building stuff for 4-H woodworking projects. The first time I accidentally swore in front of him. Those two happened at the same time. In all fairness, I thought I had cut myself.
My favorite memory of Dad didn’t happen that long ago. August of last year, not long before we found out how sick Dad was.
He and I had spent the day working on replacing my back porch. It had been a long day of work, with him cutting deck boards almost as fast as I could get them screwed into place. We were both just about done in by the drive home. About the time we hit Seneca Lake, we pulled up behind a truck hauling compressed air cylinders of some sort. The license plates were from Louisiana, I think. That or Mississippi. Either way, the driver was a long way from home.
The guy wasn’t going very fast. He never got much above 45, and when a hill or a turn came around, he was down to 25 or 30. Dad, patient as ever, just fell in behind him without even thinking about passing. After a few minutes, Dad said, “This poor guy is lost.”
Once we made it to Baileys Mills, after about twenty minutes and probably five or six variations of “this poor guy is lost” from Dad, the truck pulled off to the side of the road, and Dad pulled right in behind him. The guy, about 70 years old or so, got out of his truck and slowly made his way back to our driver’s side window. He asks Dad, in a thick southern accent, “Sir, I was wondering if you could help me.”
“I’d sure like to,” replied Dad.
And that pretty much sums up Dad.
It didn’t matter if you were his son, or a stranger from a thousand miles away. You might just need lead to a gas station and pointed towards Alledonia. Or you might need a new back porch. It didn’t matter if he had something else he wanted to do, or if he was just tired and wanted to go home.
I’d sure like to. No promise that he was going to be able to help you, but he sure was going to try. No guarantee that he even knew how to do what you needed, not that it really mattered because he could build or fix most anything, and what he didn’t know how to do, he would just learn. Then he would help you.
Even if he had just spent his whole day helping someone, he still had time to help someone else on the way home.
Tomorrow is the 3C’s Cancer Support Group’s annual walk, and this year it’s being held in honor of my Dad. They are fantastic group that helps cancer patients of Belmont County with money for gas to get to doctor’s appointments and chemotherapy treatments, groceries, utility bills, you name it.
Just about anything you might need a little help with. Just like Dad.