Friday, January 30, 2009

Big week coming up

In the coming week:

* my birthday, wife's birthday, our anniversary
* taking the state Pedagogy and Processional Reponsibilities (PPR) exam
* seeing The Killers in concernt
* taking a course in substitute teaching
* having an open house session of all-grain (AG) brewing

so I will be incommunicado for a while.


I am going to start writing my restaurant reviews on Yelp. It's really easy to do, and I've already used the reviews of others to find some great spots in Richardson.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

bottled batch[29] bitter

Jamil's recipe, somewhat tweaked on the bittering hops based on my inventory.
2.5 weeks in primary, bottled on 1/20.

BeerSmith Recipe Printout -
Recipe: batch[29] JZ Bitter
Brewer: Frater Mus
Asst Brewer:
Style: Standard/Ordinary Bitter
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 21.00 L
Boil Size: 24.04 L
Estimated OG: 1.043 SG
Estimated Color: 10.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 29.4 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount Item Type % or IBU
3.63 kg Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 91.44 %
0.23 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 5.72 %
0.11 kg Special Roast (50.0 SRM) Grain 2.85 %
7.20 gm galena [10.10 %] (60 min) Hops 8.9 IBU
18.00 gm Glacier [5.60 %] (60 min) Hops 12.4 IBU
14.00 gm UK Kent Golding [4.90 %] (30 min) Hops 6.5 IBU
14.00 gm UK Kent Golding [4.90 %] (5 min) Hops 1.7 IBU
1.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs Thames Valley Ale (Wyeast Labs #1275) Yeast-Ale

Mash Schedule: My Mash
Total Grain Weight: 3.97 kg
My Mash
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Step Add 9.92 L of water at 164.2 F 152.0 F

primed with 65g of sucrose.


Extreme VA Mortgage scumbaggery

I have learned to shred mortgage scams without reading them, but this one was so devious that I need to address it.

The front of the trifold mailer says:
"President signs the Veteran's Benefit Act of 2008" and "Immediate economic relief for Veterans.
Well, since the former President did not do that and no special relief has been target for vets I thought I would investigate further and expose this scam.

The inside says
"Bailout Program Eligibility Notice",
then goes on with more hype and misleading crap gleaned from public records. It ends with this footnote:

Mortgage relieve (sic) referred to above is the 2008 Stimulus Act passed this year by Congress and signed by the President. For details please visit

Please do visit that site and read how the bill was not passed and was not signed by the president. The flyer contained an email address in case anyone has questions about the offer. Does anyone have questions?

Valley Capital
170 S interstate plaza dr #300
Lehi, Utah 84043
United States

Administrative Contact:
Austin, Eric
Valley Capital
170 S interstate plaza dr #300
Lehi, Utah 84043
United States
8016024745 Fax -- 8665840606

DTV converter box

Got a TR-40 (reduced price DTVPal) with my $40 card; I'm impressed.

Setup and connection was easy. I jacked in a pair of rabbit ears I had around the house and pulled in 31 channels. Fully a third of those were Spanish and/or televangelists and the Pal allowed me to pare them down to about 20 remaining channels.

We have DirecTV so we probably won't use it much, but I left it connected to the projector for our bigscreen watching pleasure.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Spamgourmet stats

Here are the spamgourmet addresses that have received (and deleted) the most spam:

contest (at my address): 13,565. I use this address when entering any kind of contest, drawing, etc.

nntp (at my address): 7,977. I use this address on newsgroups

ireadsource (at my address): 1,277. This address is in a comment in the source of my webpage.

Nowadays I also use addresses. It doesn't provide as much protection but it has 100% uptime and timely delivery. Sometimes SG gets overloaded and mail can get delayed.

pulled the trigger

Holy Crap.

I have been moaning and whining for a year about how the (probably illegal) unpaid overtime at my job was interfering with my ability to test, take classes, and apply to ISDs as an intern teacher. We had literally been working "extended hours" for the past 12 months straight. Literally. Before that it was at least on again, off again so we could get a little rest.

When I interviewed for that job they mentioned occassional overtime. "Sure," I said, "there are situations that require overtime. But if overtime becomes normal then there is something wrong with the situation." There was something wrong with the situation. *

So I put my money where my mouth is. I paid off my debts**, socked away enough to survive for a while, and quit my day job. I have bet my future on my ability to teach, and find work teaching. If I were not confident in my abilities I wouldn't have done this in the middle of a giant economic crash, DISD layoffs, etc.

My last day was Jan 15th. I have had two incredibly productive days since then, meetings with Region10, Richardson ISD, got biz cards printed up, rounded up references, etc.

My hat is in the ring for substitute teaching in RISD; I hope to use this to:

  • bring in some small $$$
  • get classroom experience
  • make my name and face known to the teachers and administration

Today I am reworking my resume and submitting apps through the Region10 website. Will let y'all know how it goes.


* I came home and threw away my headset. I will do my best not take another callcenter job in this, or any other, lifetime.
** mortgage and student loans remain, the so-called ('good debt')

Saturday, January 3, 2009


The last several days as I return home from work there have been bums with signs hanging out at the SE corner of 75/SpringValley.

I haven't checked the local statutes to see if it's illegal, but if it becomes a pattern I'll report them. The whole "walking between cars as they move" dangerous to all parties.