Sunday, February 27, 2005


I just did a restore of my server from a "psabackup" dump, the tool that Plesk ships with to do backups. I'm testing to see if it got the database right. I don't trust the tool.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Must read...

I've been reading Blue Like Jazz. It's a great book but Chapter 18 "Love: How to Really Love Other People" hit me hard. You should read it!

Monday, February 7, 2005

Next year...

I'm skipping the superbowl and just watching the ads on Game was better than most, but still underwhelming, Paul McCartney needs to retire, and advertisers that spend $2.4million need to do a better job. I'll watch for the gems after the fact.

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Tiny spaces...


Originally uploaded by aharbick.

A shot of me coming through the a tiny little hole through which you have to twist and contort your body. Got my leg stuck on the first attempt. It was a lot easier going down.

Undergound natural arch...


Originally uploaded by aharbick.

One of the more cool shots from the caving trip. We were in a room with probably 50 foot ceilings and a stream running through the arch. Very cool.


Yesterday, I stepped into the world of bats, mud, stalagtites, and stalagmites. Yep, me, Mark and Raph went caving at Breathing Cave. It was VERY cool. Lots of climbing, crawling, sucking in your gut and wriggling through a little trench... My entire upper body is sore today and I've got a few welts in the various places where I wacked body parts against rock, but I would definitely do this again.

More beer...

My friend was in town for a long weekend and we did two batches of beer. Herewith a tale of brewing adventure.

Our first entry was a holiday ale that was pulled (more or less) from Radical Brewing. In round one everything went quite smoothly with the exception of a slow sparge (which was only foreshadowing of adventure to come). When all was said and done we'd produced a 1.101 original gravity wort that was quite tasty. Here's what we used:

  • 8lbs Crisp English pale malt

  • 4lbs Belgian biscuit malt

  • 1 lb Crisp English wheat malt

  • 1 lb Belgian caramunich malt

  • 2 os Chocolate malt

  • 2lb 4oz Thai palm sugar

In the boil

  • .25 oz cracked whole Allspice (0 min)

  • 4 oz grated fresh ginger (0 min)

  • Zest of two oranges (0 min)

  • 1 oz Centennial hops (60 min)

  • 1 oz Mt Hood (60 min)

  • 1 oz English Fuggles/Goldings (0 min)

Yeast was Wyeast 1028 London Ale and was slightly moribund. It took almost 3 days to get going, but is going nicely now.

For our second offering we did another IPA a since I so much enjoyed my first attempt The recipe was slightly different:

  • 8 lbs English pale (Maris Otter) malt

  • 4 lbs US rye malt

  • 1 lb German Munich malt

  • 1 lb crisp caramalt 15L

  • .5 lb German light crystal malt

In the boil (more or less... the story that unfolds later will explain)

  • 1 oz Chinook (60 min)

  • 1 oz Columbus (30 min)

  • 1 oz Willamette (5 min)

  • 1 oz Amarillo (5 min)

  • ? oz Other (can't remember)

Original gravity of 1.083. The plan is to dryhop with 1 oz Crytal and 1 oz Amarillo.

The interesting part was that the whole process took probably close to 10 hours. To blame? The sparge and propane canister. The sparge was REALLY slow. Apparently the rye malt doesn't have husks so it makes it harder to setup a filter bed. Personally I'm betting that my circle of hose was actually a circle of harm and prevented wort from flowing. I'm pulling it out next time. Either way, we tried all manner of stirring and even started over but we never got run-off flowing faster than one can pee. After we had about 2 gallons and dinner time arrive, we were starting to feel a little bit like maybe the batch would be a bust (call it equipment failure). So we decided to just let the sparge sit and drain at it's piddly pace. We went to dinner and came back. Sure enough it drained entirely and was really clear too. So we added in another 2 gallons of hot water and waited another hour. We ended up with close to 7 gallons and began the boil. About 30 minutes into the boil we ran out of propane. It was 11PM. Cool thing is, it turns out that there were three places we could've gotten more propane from at that hour. We ran down to the local gas station and picked up a new canister and finished off the boil, chilled, aerated, and pitched the yeast. The ordeal was done, and I'm well on my way to having another IPA.

Does this strike you as odd?

I was reading a post by Jeffery Veen when I ran into this interesting technique by the music industry to control their intellectual property rights in P2P networks. If the recording industry broke down the doors of a shop and busted all bootlegs that they found in the shop I'm sure they would've done something illegal. The difference here is that they're not destroying anything that belongs to someone else. They're just flooding the "market" with a broken copy of something that they own. If you can't beat them subvert them? Strange world.