May. 1st, 2010 09:44 pm
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Looks like we have a little bit of a broken pipe problem.

Just a reminder about how fragile our infrastructure really is. Also a reason to have homebrewing equipment hanging around. An 8-gallon brewpot and enough star san for 40 gallons of sanitizing solution (for soaking rinsed plates, etc) are handy things to have on hand in case of an emergency....


Dec. 12th, 2009 09:50 am
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So, there's this thing in Cambridge (also in other place now, but it started in Cambridge). The Christmas Revels. And I always have a hard time describing it or why everyone should go. Imagine, if you will, a bunch of people who like to go to Ren Faires. Morris Dancers, period instrument players, people who can do longsword dances, etc. Scatter them throughout a program of 36 skits. Then come up with a theme to pull all 36 acts together, based on a Christmas/Solstice tradition from somewhere. Make it different every year. Then go and get some really strong singers and storytellers to anchor a massive adult and children's chorus in singing songs and acting out illustrative images from that tradition. As you approach the end, read a poem written by Susan Cooper for the event, right near the end. And, finally, add a wandering minstrel who can get the audience involved in singing rounds and dancing out of the hall together at intermission. And there you have the Revels.

And it was fantastic this year. By far the strongest chorus I've seen in the 6ish years we've been going. The songs and theme were basically comfort food for these uncertain times, and well-done. No pineswood morris men this year, but that allowed some ladies to get into the sword dance, which we appreciated.

Also, my friends who came over and stayed with mattie for 5 hours while we were out on the town are totally awesome.
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So, I thought I'd share. We got some presents from a friend of ours from , and have been really happy with their stuff. We just bought some additional footie pjs, since we seemed to have a dearth and Mattie: 1) likes to have her feet covered and 2) dislikes being wrapped in anything.

I know that some on my flist have been looking for some decent but not hideously expensive clothing and I think we've found some....

Anyway, we particularly liked the hippos. Though in real life, they did not appear like hippos so much as like some rendering of the potomac river horse.
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The songs interpreted as Buddhist in my intro to Buddhism class. 7 is from a TF, suggesting desire, consumption, and aggression, performed in 2 chords--ignorance. The last two are from the professor. This friends list should recognize my contribution with a quickness.

Corrections welcome.

1. An Indian Buddhist chant
2. John Coltrane, from A Love Supreme
3. Massive Attack, from The Matrix soundtrack
4. Radiohead, selections
5. Sean Altman, The Notion
6. Johnny Cash, Hurt
7. The Dwarves, FEFU
8. Aerosmith, Dream On
9. Richard Strauss, Hero of Life
10. The quixotic (?), Mon Autre Moitie (C)
11. U2, Beautiful Day
12. David Bowie, Changes
13. Akron/Family, Gone Beyond
14. Jem, Just a Ride
15. The Beastie Boys, Bodhisattva Vow
16. Audioslave, I am the Highway
17. Noam Ruten, Song from the Ninth Floor
18. Peter Cater, The River
19. Mylie Cyrus, The Climb
20. The English Beat, Mirror in the Bathroom
21. Sting, If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free
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Snow piled high
a monarch's pyre
     melting quickly away
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*curls up in fetal position, rocks back and forth*

They needed a warning on that episode. I felt like all the light had gone out of the world. Did everyone at BSG decide that Eddie's style of directing was the way to go?

Beer! pt 2

Jan. 7th, 2009 08:29 pm
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So, I took out the ale, brewed on the 17th or so.
For reminders, it was supposed to be 1.061/1.015

High volume of LME, very few steeping grains. I added Yeast nutrient and aerated with an aquarium pump for about 40 minutes. I fermented at 64 degrees from the 17th through the 3rd and then crashed the yeast from the 4th through the 6th. It finished at 1.023, which was a bit high (attenuation of 49%ish). Thoughts? It's not as if it finished obscenely high, so it might have come down to 1.020 if I'd left it in a bit longer or fermented a bit hotter, but I'm not sure. I tend to miss high a lot and now I'm looking for ways I can bring the final gravities down, generally.

8 lb Bavarian Pilsner
.5 lb American Munich
.25 lb German CaraFoam

1.0 ea Fermentis S-33 SafBrew S-33


Dec. 20th, 2008 05:59 pm
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So, last spring I thought it would be nice to brew a helles for the summer.
But then I never found an appropriate block of time to lager it. So the malt and hops lay around (I had decided to start with Jon Plise's helles, available in kit form from MoreBeer) for a while. I decided that, yeah, I just don't want to deal with lagering right now, and it's the wrong season for a helles anyway. SO, I decided to use the same set of ingredients with an ale yeast. It'll still be a bit blonde for the winter, but...

Anyway, looking for thoughts, especially from, well, you know who you are.

Plise helles ale
Author: Jon Plise/NHRadar

Original Gravity: 1.061 (1.045 - 1.051)
Terminal Gravity: 1.015 (1.008 - 1.012)
Color: 12.27 (3.0 - 5.0)
Alcohol: 5.96% (4.7% - 5.4%)
Bitterness: 10.1 (16.0 - 22.0)

8 lb Bavarian Pilsner
.5 lb American Munich
.25 lb German CaraFoam
14.2 g Sterling (5%) - added during boil, boiled 110 min
28.4 g Sterling (6%) - added during boil, boiled 1 min
1.0 ea Fermentis S-33 SafBrew S-33

ferment at 64 F

Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.5.2
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June 18.
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HDS 2894: Public Narrative, Professor Marshall Ganz )

Ganz left Harvard in the 60s to work with César Chávez, stopped in Chicago with Saul Alinsky, and eventually made his way back to finish his BA in the 90s. He quickly followed it with a PhD and now lectures on organizing and moral leadership at the Kennedy School. (this was for [ profile] dcart :)

HDS 1210 The Christian Bible and Its Interpretation, Professor Peter Gomes )

I sort of want to know what Gomes thinks about religion.

HDS 1533 Johannine Writings in History and Theology, Professor Sean Freyne )

I need a Scriptural Interpretation class, and John is pretty fascinating.

HDS 1842 Exploring Jewish Christianity From the First to the Fourth Century c.e., Professor Sean Freyne )

Freyne's supposed to be quite good on 1st century stuff, and this seminar seems custom-made for a bunch of questions I've had. It might be a bit too much Freyne on Tuesdays, though. :)

I'm still thinking about taking the Old Testament survey, as well, but the scheduling is fairly inconvenient (I would have to sprint from andover to the yard every friday, for fear of being late for Gomes's class. I don't really want to be in that situation. Plus, OT is the course most likely to have a final, and this is the last year for finals after Christmas).
I would remain lost in the woods without an effective Other Religion, though. There's a Bhagavad Gita class I would like to take, but it conflicts with the Jewish Christianity class.
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Lowell: much better than meriden.
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So, a guy who had a large presence in my life died a couple of weeks ago. Bob Dunne, who was the most popular lecturer at Yale from his perch as the legal guy in the CS Department (where he used to be the main administrator) slipped on some stairs while vacationing on Block Island. He was alone, and died of head trauma.

I took Computers and the Law when it was offered in the spring 97 course supplement for the first time. The class was at least half CAs, and we all fit into a little room in WLH. There was no reader for the class; Bob just printed off the westlaw cases in the CS department and left them for us to pick up. And for the first time at Yale, I saw someone who was accomplished at lecturing and engaging with the students in his class. I liked it so much that I signed him on as my sophomore adviser and took his computers and the law seminar when it was offered. His was always one of my letters of recommendation, even up to Divinity School (I still owe him lunch for that last one). Over the years I ran into him in his other life as general counsel-at-large to local software company spinoffs from Yale, and so had the opportunity to renew our acquaintance as peers. He invited me to audit his new class, because, gee, I'd been there for the first teachings of 180 and 181, so why not? But, knowing me as he did, he warned me to shut up and leave the talking to kids who needed the grades. :)

After I left Turbo, I only occasionally saw him, though I got regular updates from mutual friends in the CS department. Knowing his love of sailing, I can see him, as reported to me, waiting with excitement all summer for the Block vacation. I can't really believe that it's over now.

He was 59.
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Jul. 25th, 2008 09:44 am
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Geeks of the world: You have failed me. Maybe I should be reading LJ more frequently. But, seriously? Nothing on the 'schwa, and a bunch of post-mortems here?

We are not amused.
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Yay Tim Horton-wendy's hybrids!


May. 24th, 2008 11:14 pm
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We survived the drive from Boston to Cleveland in good shape, and even managed to sneak into Michael Symon's Lola for dessert (see last night's post).

My friend Mike is good and married; saw some people from high school, went to the biergarden-themed reception (yay! though I wasn't drinking), skipped out on dessert (boo) to drive to Detroit, where we are now ensconced in the holiday inn express southfield and getting ready to go to church tomorrow with Pastor Adams at Hartford Memorial Baptist. Then, onward to rochester!


May. 23rd, 2008 10:59 pm
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maple-bacon ice cream. I love Michael Symon.
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Well, that was a bag full of suck.


May. 18th, 2008 09:55 pm
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I am writing a paper on BCY and the symbolism within that makes it look an awful lot like a cosmogonic myth in the Eliadean tradition.

For a bit of Irony, I am including Charles Long's attack on the humanities as an inherently imperialistic endeavor (the line of reasoning is that the Enlightenment forces one to make anyone you are studying an "empirical other", whose otherness plays into the imperialist project). Ironic because the Enlightenment, if you listen to Eliade/Long is supposed to replace the sorts of archaic myths that Henry Durand seemed anxious to re-create in 1881 as he entered the liminal space between senior year and leaving Yale (the song was written for the senior glee club concert).

Song in its entirety:

(sung to die wacht am rhein--that song the german soldiers in Casablanca are singing when rick gets sam to start playing la marseillaise)

Bright College Years with pleasures rife / The shortest gladdest years of life / How swiftly are ye gliding by / Oh why doth time so quickly fly / The seasons come, the seasons go / The earth is green or white with snow / But time and change shall not avail / To break the friendships formed at Yale

We all must leave this college home / About the storm-y world to roam / But though the mighty o-cean’s tide / Should us from dear old Yale di-vide, / As round the oak the i-vy twines / The cling-ing tend-rils of its vines / So are our hearts close bound to Yale / By ties of love that ne-ver fail

In after years should troubles rise / To cloud the blue of sunny skies / How bright will seem through mem'ry's haze / Those happy golden bygone days / So let us strive that ever we / May let these words our watch-cry be / Where'er upon life's seas we sail / 'For God! For Country! And For Yale!'

If anyone reading this has seen the second verse before, let me know in comments. I found it among a bunch of manuscript entries in a contest to replace BCY, and had never heard it before (to my knowledge)


Apr. 16th, 2008 09:34 pm
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What a whiff by Obama on the policy section.

Charlie Gibson asks a stupid question:

"when the capital gains tax was lowered, revenues went up. When it was raised in the 80s, they went down"

Look. The way capital gains taxes work is thusly:

1) In the midst of a huge economic boom, there are more gains raising revenue (Clinton cut)
2) When the rates have been high and are lowered to rates that seem to be the lowest they could possibly be, people with a tax plan can sell at an opportune time, realizing gains earlier rather than later.

There is no special magic about the relationship between capital gains tax rate and revenues.

Maybe Obama was thrown off by the 45 minutes of "aren't you a terrible person" at the beginning of the debate, but once they actually got into policy issues, he's been pretty stiff. Frequently has the right answer (except when dredging up the social security crisis...also, when discussing the payroll tax caps, use Franken's term. You want a Donut!), but it's buried in there.

On policy questions, Hillary's been good. I'm not thrilled with the way she continually excuses throwing out and reinforcing right-wing language and ideas with the excuse, "the republicans are going to do it." It's a bad idea, and just because they'll do it later isn't a good reason to do their work for them. Seriously? The weather underground? seriously?


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May 2010



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