31 August 2007

So the car show we were at a couple weeks ago...

...had a dunk tank. It was a fairly hot day, so I was in my kilt. Of course, the event organizers decided that having the biker in a kilt up in the tank was da bomb. So... here's your favorite privateer, acting as a target.

Ya know... Spoon was in there earlier in the day, and she got targeted by the little kids. Me? I had mostly adult men. 'Course, i was also heckling them mercilessly... :D

28 August 2007

Oh yeah... meade!

Just remembered: the question was asked in comments "what do I classify my homebrew as?". And I forgot to answer...

I don't classify "it", as "it" is actually a "many". I do both a dry and sweet straight meade (meaning there's only honey, water, and yeast). I also do several varieties of mellomel (meaning there's fruit in the mix): to date, I've done plum and strawberry, with plans to add peach, cherry, an anything else that sounds good.

Problem with how I do a mellomel is, I don't just add fruit juice: I mix a LARGE amount of pureed fruit into the must (which is the concoction you first create, and start fermenting). I let that sit for a couple weeks, then strain out the fruit pulp before transfering the resulting liquid into a carboy. After that, there's close to a year of waiting, racking every couple of weeks (that means syphoning off the liquid into another carboy, leaving sediment on the bottom). When I've gone a few weeks without any sediment, then I stop the fermenting reaction, let stand for another couple weeks, THEN I start bottling...

Bottling is actually the hardest part. See, I have to fidn a day that I have NOTHING to do, and nowhere I need to be. Figure roughly 10 bottle out of a 5 gallon carboy... and each of those bottles means another mouthful of meade. And there's like 10 carboys that need to be bottled. Needless to say, I'm usually pretty useless after I'm done bottling...

So... that's the process. As for the offer to Babs and AD: they pick the flavor, I'll make it up. Done that for a few friends over the years (usually only a couple bottles though). Whatever it is they want, they'll have at least 10 aged bottles ready when things get "finalized" (that way, they HAVE to invite me:D)

As to wether or not I do a good job: I had someone once offer me $20 a bottle for as much as I'd come up with. And more than one offer of sexual favors. Makes me think I'm doing something right...

News of the Bad and Ugly

Sorry 'bout the delay in posting stuff: been a LOT going on lately...

First off: found kinda a job. And promptly got sick, thereby loosing said kinda job. Hoping to start a new job doing actual work (and actually getting paid) sometime next week...

We also had a call-out for a BACA child, and got to spend a week out of town. NOT my idea of a good time, but I don't get to make these decisions. Thought we would be getting one of our kids out of a bad situation, and found out it wasn't gonna happen. Wasted the entire weekend (as well as had much drama along the way) NOT my prefered way of spending time. But I guess we gots to deal with what life gives us...

Hope y'all are doin' well. Been tryin' to catch up on my reading, and I'll be trying to post a bit more soon.

News of the good...

Just realized... I started this thing when I thought I was gonna be loosing my father. And haven't written much about the old goat since...

Well... appearantly, he's doing phenominally well. His sat levels are in the high 90s, he hasn't been using his oxygen much at all, and he's looking better than ever. Now, he's hoping to make it back to the Land of Smiles before the snow flies.

To all those who have wished him well, thanks for the good thoughts. Seems they have helped a bit!

22 August 2007

The Honeymoon

So... heard a story a few years ago, about the origin of the term "Honeymoon". Seems that, in a more civilized time, there was a tradition for one of the parents to provide a newly wedded couple honey for a month's worth of meade. Hence, the term "honey-moon"...

Y'all might ask why I bring this up. Seems someone decided to pull a fast one.

Go here, then here.

AD and Babs: all joking aside, I wish y'all nothing but the best. And, should you decide to tie the knot, give me a year's warning (and a favorite fruit): I'll provide the meade*... ;)

*this is an honest offer: you get married, y'all get one carboy (five gallons) of my homebrew. Don't drink it all at once.

21 August 2007

Hell starts today...

So... was supposed to start the new job monday, but was up all sunday night with a murderous toothache. Hell... still have the damn thing. But I will ride forth at 8:30am, to try and slay the dragon that is OTR load routing...

Somebody please shoot me now!

Teeth have been hurting since sunday, pretty much non-stop. I've tried every OTC, folk remedy, and trick I can think of. And STILL my teeth are throbbing. Should only last a couple days, but I have GOT to go and learn how to do this new job... whith almost no sleep, and with my mouth hurting...

I'd say at least our case this weekend went well, but that would be lying. Can't give any details, beyond that one day in the next couple years, your humble scribe may be on a major news station, telling the story. Personally, I just can't wait for our girl to be safe...

Dad came over today: he's doing MUCH better, and may soon be flying back to Thailand...

20 August 2007

Since so many others are doing it:

Figured I might as well too...

This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

14 August 2007

The Steampunk computer stuff is nice...

But this is just insane!


13 August 2007

Added to the sidebar...

... is the current terror alert level, courtesy of Geek and Proud

And another blond moment happens...

So... I spent the past week out of state, helping one of the girls' fathers put a roof on his home (more on this later). Then the girls came up to visit for the weekend...

They went home last night (after we watched Stardust(good flick, BTW). Today, I get a call...

Sweetheart: "I'm locked in the bathroom"

me: "Ummm... is this a family thing, or a blond moment?"

S: "It's a family thing. Dad told me not to close the door all the way, 'cause it wasn't working properly. I closed the door, and now I'm stuck."


I then proceeded to try and talk her through jimmying the door (which she finally managed to do, before her parents came home)...

I was nice though: i warned her ahead of time that this was going up here...



Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

I actually beat out the lovely (and dangerous) Tamara on this one: she only scored a 72%. YES!!!

Of course, *I* probably won't survive HER if she decides I need to not exist anymore. So I guess it evens out...

Ba from Ohio...

well... got most of the work done on the roof in Ohio before I had to return home for a BACA event. Fun was had by all, although I'm begining to wonder if I'll ever really enjoy 500+ mile one-way trips.

Getting caught up on all the bloggy goodness I missed this past week. But I promise to let everyone know what happened while I was gone!

05 August 2007

gone roofing

I'll be in Ohio through at least friday. MAY be able to post... we'll see...

04 August 2007

Motorcycles for beginers

Now THIS was cool... got a call from Mr Fixit, asking about bikes and what to get.

Color me flattered all to Hell and gone!

But it got me thinkin'... maybe others out there might be interested in some basic info for starting a life on two wheels. And I guess I have a lil' experience, so I'll give it a shot...

First off, regardless of what you want to ride, there're a couple things you have to accept about riding:

1- there are two kinds of riders in the world: those who HAVE gone down, and those who will. Yes, it's possible that you'll go your whole life riding, and never have a bike go down. It's also possible that you'll win the lottery tonight. Honestly, the lotto is more likely.

2- Those people you see around you, in cars and trucks? We call 'em cagers. Assume that EVERY cager you encounter actively wishes you dead. Not just is inattentive, or distracted, or inexperienced: ride like every single vehicle you share the road with is piloted by someone whose grandmother you just violated. From the way they act towards you, the result is amazingly similar...

3- Road designers also actively wish your demise, as do road crews. The streets of America have been carefully crafted in a manner to provide all sorts of traps, tricks, and pitfalls meant mainly to cause damage to motorcycles and their riders. The only reason they aren't literally minefields is because that would also cause damage to the cars and trucks out there: when they develop a mine trigger that will ONLY detonate under a motorcycle, they'll become standard on American highways...

Still want to ride? Good... you have guts, and a desire to feel the wind!

Your first step should be to locate where the nearest Motorcycle Safety Course is held. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes: when I took it, it was a 2 day course offered through a local tech school. You WANT to take this course: you'll learn more in that couple days than in several years of riding, and encounter lots of possible problems in a controlled environment where instructors teach you to deal with them. Here in Wisconsin, this course is the only way now to get your class M endorsement. Even if it's not necessary, it's money well spent (that course has saved me from more injuries than any piece of safety equipment available on the market today).

NOW we'll get to "what should I ride?". I'll be honest: I am NOT a mechanic, nor do I play one on TV, nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night. But there are some things I can advise on here:

1- Do NOT, regardless of what you can afford, go out and buy that big Harley Hog right off the bat. Get something in the 500-750cc range, used, that's comfortable to you. And remember the last part of that sentence: comfortable TO YOU. What works for me probably won't be your first choice, and your comfort in this choice is more important than any other factor but one: that being "does it run?"

2- Unless you're a mechanic, have someone check over any private sale bike you find. NOTHING sucks as much as having your new scoot, and within a couple days discovering that Major Mechanical Problem. Trust me here: this is high on the "Bad Things" list! If you're not sure, have a mechanical friend check things out (or even bribe a mechanic from the local shop that services whatever make you're looking at).

Next up (possibly even on the same level as getting the bike itself) is safety gear.

Now, I'll admit: I don't usually wear a helmet. Not going to have that argument: my choice there. Starting off though, WEAR A BUCKET!!! When you've got some experience, and want to take the risk, go ahead: but wear the damn thing while you GET some experience! And I'm not talking about the lil' beanie type thing: if you're gonna wear a helmet, get something that will actually provide some protection (full face is good: when i wear a bucket, I use a full face designed to European standards, which are supposedly higher than American safety specs).

There's other important gear too. The obvious one being the jacket. But let's address all the different garments...

Now, there's been a huge move in safety gear from leather to textile, with several manufacturers offering textile riding garments. Personally, *I* usually don't wear textile: I LIKE leather, and leather still provides good protection. Whichever you choose, get something armored: knees, elbows, shoulders.

You can get separate jacket and pants, or an all-in-one riding suit. Either way works well. Chaps, although they look cool, are NOT the best protection for your lower half: they're meant more for riding a horse through brush, not for saving your ass (or other delicate parts) as you're sliding down the road after your bike goes down! One good company (and where I get much of my gear) is Fast Company: good prices, durable equipment (and they literally put their ass on the line to prove it). And make sure you get the right bloody size: a jacket that's too big, and allows the armoring to shift around too much, does you no good...

Do NOT forget your extremities! Hands and feet need to be taken care of too. Personally, I wear a pair of 70s era motocross boots, but there are several makers that make quality footwear. And don't just grab a pair of SprawlMart cheapy gloves, either! Get something designed for riding, preferably armored across the knuckles.

Starting to feel like a knight going out onto the Field of Honor? There are similarities. The biggest difference is the knight had fewer people trying to kill him.

Last, let's discuss etiquette. Politeness, and such-like. Not only regarding rules of the road, but in dealing with the sub-culture you're at least on the edges of now...

Obviously, follow the rules of the road. And please, PLEASE, don't be one of the assholes that makes the cagers want to run me off the road! Do I REALLY have to say more on this?

Now, the sub-culture. Honestly, the "biker" world is one of America's oldest subcultures. And it has rules and such, which it might be a good idea to follow. Most can be summed up in "be respectful": I have yet to find the 1%er that will cause you trouble if you're respectful. For a good overview, check out this website: good info. Not exhaustive, by any means... but a good primer.

That covers pretty much everything. Now get out there and ride, and remember:

Shiny Side Up, Rubber Side Down!

Just can't come up with snark on this...

Me, I'm all about making your own life choices, and to hell with society's opinion. Gay, and want to marry your boyfriend? Go for it. Polyamorous? S'long's everybody involved is there of their own free will, rock on! Want to own a gun, or use drugs, have tattoos or body piercings? Your choice!

In short, so long as

a- everyone involved is an adult
b- you're not actively hurting anyone

Then whatever you wish to do is your business.

Unfortunately, there've been a few folks making comments on this family... which honestly pisses me off.

Now, I'm not talking about foks that say "Wow... 17 kids. Damn!". I'm talking about those who feel they have some right to snark about a family that's obviously happy, that isn't on the public dole, with kids that seem to be fairly well adjusted.

Get over yourselves, people: you aren't paying their bills, or watching their kids, or anything else. These folks made their choice (lots of kids), and it's certainly their right to do so. Open you trap if they ever start receiving aid...

02 August 2007

It seems Mr Oleg Volk, photographer extrodinaire and Ultimate Pro-Gun Propogandist recieved a comment on his Livejournal that sparked the poster below.

One day, I hope to be as cool as Oleg!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

We're not as trustworthy...

So... had an interesting lil' conversation at trap today, while waiting for the rest of my squad to show.

Got on the subject of concealed carry with one of the other shooters, and got the brilliant statement of "Yeah... a few years ago, I was all for it. Now, no way!". The exchange went something like this:

Me: "So... why not?"

Fellow Shooter: "Honestly... I now know too many crazy people! Wouldn't trust any of 'em with a gun!"

M: "Ok... so, because YOU know too many people, *I* shouldn't be allowed to defend myself or my family?"

FS: "Hey... don't do stupid stuff, you won't have a problem!"

M: "What about the other 48 states that have CCW? Are they just more trustworthy?"

FS: "No... we're just smarter! And most folks don't need to have a gun to defend themselves."

M: "Huh... *point at Spoon's backpatch* see that patch? That means we help abused kids. Are you saying my wife shouldn't be able to defend herself against an abuser we've crossed?"

FS: "Like I said: don't do stupid stuff!"


This is the kind of attitude we get here in the land of Cheese towords armed self defense. And y'all wonder why nobody outside of law enforcement (and those who ignore the law) can carry here?