Yeast Lab 1.0

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I've been wanting to start a yeast library for some time now. At first there were grand visions of dozens of different yeast strains, all available in the freezer at a moment's notice. After spending a couple of weeks researching propagation and quality control techniques, I think I scared myself out of it.  A few months passed, and I finally picked up where I left off. I realized I could step into this slowly, just like I did with homebrewing. I don't need a 400x oil immersion lens, a hemocytometer, or a -80˚C lab grade freezer yet-- just some vials, a pressure cooker, and fresh yeast (OK, and a few other things). (more...)

Giving, and Music

phonograph

What if people just gave things to one another because they could. What if one day you were walking down the sidewalk, and a person approached you, just to hand you a flower. How about a person standing on the sidewalk playing a 12 string touch guitar, just giving their music to the world around them, with no expectation of receiving anything in return. It happens, and it's truly beautiful when it does. These are the events where a real connection happens. Sure it's nice to meet people working at your favorite music store, or pizza place, but it's an entirely different interaction.

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Every day I wake up determined to both change the world and have a good time. Sometimes that makes planning the day a bit difficult

-- E.B. White

The Local Market

Back Camera
Matt is preparing a sushi feast today, and as such, we went shopping. These are some of the that I found on our morning expedition just blocks from our house.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same

-- Marianne Williamson

Brewlab SF

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We just bottled our first beer for a new donation based, CSA-style San Francisco organization called Brewlab. It's a "double saison" we brewed a few months ago. Below are a few shots of the bottling process, something we haven't enjoyed for a while now since switching to kegs. Thanks to Kern, Jeremiah and Chelsea for their help! (more...)

Poffo’s Porter

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We were planning on making a double IPA, but changed our minds at the last minute and made a porter instead. It's been a while since we made a nice roasty brew. It's still pretty young, but I think this will turn out to be the best porter we've made yet.

We also splurged this week on some yeast lab equipment and four pounds of bulk hops (Cascade, Nugget, Pacific Gem, and Styrian Golding). Stay tuned for our upcoming adventures in yeast slanting and propagation.

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Bliss Dance

Back Camera
I got lucky tonight. Someone mentioned that Bliss was in town. She was out on treasure island, and I went to go see her. It was really fun bringing a few friends that hadn't seen her before, she's really a serious piece of work. Here's someone's flickr photo of her at burning man.

Dry the Rain

If there's something inside that you wanna say
You can say it out loud it'll be okay
I will be alright, I will be your light
I will be your light, I will be your light

-- Beta Band

Westmalle Tripel Clone

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We took a stab at one of our favorite tripels, using some brewer's notes found in "Brew Like a Monk" by Stan Hieronymus. The wort tasted incredible-- we've got high hopes for this one... (more...)

A Goat Farm

Back Camera
My very good friend Caius, took me to visit a goat farm an hours drive North of San Francisco. It was a really wonderful day, with super friendly goats, warm sun, ocean breeze, and a brilliant quesadilla.  I love the sound of the kids munching the grass. Laying there in a hammock, between a couple of pine trees, close enough to the ocean to hear it, surrounded by edible flowers, I really couldn't help but wonder what I was doing with my life. Why don't I live on a goat farm?

Painting a Garage Wall

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A couple of friends got together to paint a wall. I just thought it was coming together really well, and would share the photos. Yep, that's Bukowski.

The QILF (with a Queen)

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A bastardized British/American IPA in honor of the new royal couple. We over boiled this and ended up with a much stronger brew than we had anticipated... I suppose we could have worse problems. We also did a little experiment with our yeast pitching rates. (more...)
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Learn to Traditional Climb

Joshua Tree April of 2011

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Jesse and I took a plane down to Long Beach, where Lachlan picked us up and took us to his house for the evening. We then packed up the Westfalia camper and hit the road before dawn. I managed to get a little sleep on the ride, but didn't truly wake up until we hit the park. Finding a site in hidden valley didn't even look good on a Wednesday morning around 9. We happened to see some folks that were packing up and snagged their site. The next four days were filled with our first legitimate trad climbs. We did some very easy routes that allowed us to get the hang of placing some trad protection without feeling like we were too much in danger. I have to say that even an easy climb starts to feel like something formidable when you've got ten pounds of trad gear hanging off of you and no rope hanging down from above. We also got in a number of top ropes, and a bunch of bouldering. We actually got the chance to meet and climb with Todd Gordon. That was really cool, he's a really nice guy, with loads of good stories.

A huge thanks to Christy, Joel, and Lachlan for really pulling this trip together!

Four Taps

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Well, here are. Some photos. Over the past weekend, it finally happened. We drilled the last two holes, and we now have four taps on our kegerator, and of course four different home brews.

Excerpt from "Illusions"

18 "And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, 'see a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!'

19 "And the one carried in the current said, 'I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.

-- Richard Bach, "Illusions"

Not Enough Time

“There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do.”

-- Bill Watterson

i was dragging my feet
while they were dragging their knees

Smoking, pork.

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Matt has done it yet again. You wouldn't believe the amount of work that goes into smoking pork for eight hours. Gradually adjusting temperature. Prep the night before, massaging the meat, injecting it with strange juices. Waiting and waiting and waiting, and finally pulling it all apart. He's a hero.

Sunny Day Back Yard Brew (Duvel Clone)

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There is nothing like having a relaxing Sunday in the back yard brewing, especially on a brand new brew stand, and with a handful of my best friends. Another thing that contributed to the wonder of the afternoon was the pale ale that was kegged recently. It wasn't all fun and games though, we had quite a piece of work to do. Especially with Matt smoking pork on the very same deck, at the very same time. (more...)

Brew Stand Construction

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Matt and I got a bit serious about putting a real brew stand together this past weekend. Kudos to Matt for really pulling everything together!
We got some really helpful instructions from http://www.aleiens.com/profiles/blogs/wallace-the-weldless-brew

Take life drawing class

Ruby on Rails: Frustration to Elation

Ruby on Rails: Frustration to Elation

It's been a few months that I've been toying with Ruby on Rails. And to be totally honest it's been very very frustrating. But I can't hold Ruby or Rails accountable for that. Most of it is just me. This is my first ever MVC framework. The moment a project is generated, you instantly have about 20 moving parts. That's because it makes all sorts of assumptions about what you want to do, and that's spectacular, but it can really make your head spin at the beginning. I've got about four unfinished books on Ruby on Rails. They all pretty much seem to take the same course, which is stepping through the creation of some simple application, like a blog.

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IT Consulting

IT Guy
I've been consulting in the IT field for about four years now. The last two have been with a small company. I specialize in Mac OS X. I am certified for helpdesk. I routinely work with the server version of Mac OS 10. For the past two years I've been working with a company in San Francisco called MacCentric Solutions. (more...)