Fondleslab? Seriously?

I’ve never liked the term “slate” when it comes to devices like the iPad. Of corse for many geeks “tablet” makes them think for the old Windows unwieldily touchscreen devices. I’ve also heard them refered to as “slabs” which I just find to be atrocious. Now I’ve been exposed to a new term for them which makes every inch of my soul cry out in hellish agony: “fondleslab”. Seriously.

Apparently the term was originally born as a jab about those people who drool all over their newest bit of technology in public. Of course this term was given to us by the same people who insist on using the term “fanboi”, yes, with that awful spelling. A lot of the words born on the Internet, usually spread like wildfire by forum trolls, make me cringe. It’s as bad as people who use all the abbreviations popularized by texting even in long form media. This new abuse of the English language might, in my opinion, be the worst. It certainly has jumped straight to the top 5 at any rate.

Originally published at Brain Enema of a Savage Mind. You can comment here or there.

Random banner musings.

I’ve played musical chairs with the layout and themes of this blog almost more than I’ve actually made posts to it. For awhile I’ve settled on this one, and still have no real plans to make major changes to it. I’ve really enjoyed it’s minalmist look. However when I first switched to it I meant to put some type of banner graphic or picture up top, but kept neglecting it as I hadn’t been sure of what I wanted there.

I was asking myself this again the other day when I realized that not only had I grown used to there being no image, I’ve actually come to like the large empty space. To me it is somehow oddly compelling. While this might change at some point, for now I think I’m enjoying things just the way they are.

Originally published at Brain Enema of a Savage Mind. You can comment here or there.

The 2011 Playoffs thus far.

This is the first year in a long while that I didn’t do my hockey predictions for the playoffs. The irony is that this year I probably watched more hockey than the last couple of years put together. The Sabres even worked their way in to the playoffs (only to play some of the most inconsistent hockey I’ve ever witnessed and getting knocked out by Philly). So why is it that I didn’t do one of my in-depth looks and predictions of what is to come? The short answer is that I let time get away from me. By the time it even occurred to me the first round was half way done. It has been amazing to me how easy it is to let time get away from you when you have a teething baby who makes sure your sleeping is done in one or two hour blocks.

Trust me, I’ve been watching hockey, especially this years playoffs, even after the Sabres were eliminated. Tampa Bay sending team Ovechkin packing has been a hilight for me of the second round. Seeing that the Vancouver v. Nashville series is the only competitive one of the second round is something that I would have never dreamed of! Secretly I’m pulling for a Tampa Bay v. Nashville Stanley Cup series. Why? Why not! We’ve seen a lot of the team that every one expects to win big year after year. It’s fun to watch a couple of discounted teams overcome the odds and show why best of 7 series are far more entertaining than a one and done can ever be.

So here’s to a few more weeks of big saves, heroic goals, questionable calls, and unlikely stars. And if there just happens to be a big all out brawl between Boston and Philly, well I can’t say that I’d complain about that.

Originally published at Brain Enema of a Savage Mind. You can comment here or there.

An actual entry!

Yes, a real Livejournal post from me, not some blast out cross posted from another site. Madness, right?

Well I just wanted to do a quick little update for anyone who might not know what's been going on through other channels. All is well so no worries, just wanted to give a little status update.

  • I'm working again. Nope, I haven't given up the stay at home dad thing. I only work a couple nights a week and on the occasional weekend. What is it that I'm doing? Well I'm now the assistant brewer for Rogues Harbor Inn.

  • We're going to be doing some more renovations are the ole home front. Last year was siding and windows, this year will be a little bit of landscaping. This is really silly because I hate yard work with a blinding passion, but now that the house itself is looking so much better the yard around the house probably should too.

  • Gabriel h mastered a few words and is well on his way to mastering walking. In a few days he'll be 14 months old and he can toddle around the house pretty well with minimal falling. He still topples when he gets excited, but hey, don't we all?

  • Denise is still plugging away at the USGS and still enjoys working there. We're both glad there was no government lockout as that would have made financial things a wee bit difficult for awhile. So everything is smooth sailing in that realm.

  • Finally, people really need to come over and help me drink my homebrew. I've been turning out some great stuff lately and have more I'd like to make, but I have to drink through all that I have first! Sure, not the worst problem in the world, but my liver would appreciate the assistance!

The Homebrew Setup Grows

My first homebrew set was a Christmas gift from my parents more than ten years ago. It sat unused in a closet for about a year until I moved in with a friend whose excitement about the idea of brewing beer caused my to finally open up the box and start working on a first batch of beer. The brew equipment was your typical two bucket setup. We used a stockpot that I had to boil the beer. It only held a couple of gallons so we had to add water to the fermentation bucket to bring it up to five gallons. The beer itself was your average extract kit. It was some generic flavor and when it was ready to drink I loved it! No, it wasn’t even close to being the best beer I’d ever had, but it was the first beer I made and it was tasty and that right there got me hooked. Since then my diversity of equipment has grown. I added more buckets, then carboys, a bigger pot, beverage coolers turned in to a mash tun, an even bigger ported pot from Blichmann, and most recently a March 809 pump.

My main brew day setup currently consists of the Blichmann Boilmaker 10 gallon brew pot(which is also used to heat water for the hot liquor tank and for the mash), a 10 gallon Rubber Maid cooler that has been converted in to a mash tun. In theory I should be able to do a bit over 20lbs of grain in it. So far the most I’ve used with it was 17lbs for an IPA I have going. Right now I have a second 5 gallon cooler that serves as a hot liquor tank, but I’m probably going to replace that this summer with a 10 gallon one. I use glass carboys for my fermentations (6.5 gallon ones for primary fermentation which then gets racked over to 5 gallon carboys). When the beer is ready it gets put in to 5 gallon Cornelius kegs(old soda style kegs) where it then gets put in the kegerator to carbonate(forced carbonation) and to be served. Most of my beers take 3 to 4 weeks from the point I start the brew to the day I’m ready to drink them. Once I have all the plumbing I need I’ll be using the pump to transfer hot wort so that I don’t have to lift the heavy kettle to the stove. Everything is currently transferred via gravity so it involves a lot more lifting than I’d like to do.

It’s amazing how this hobby has grown in to quite a passion for me. I like the brewing process every bit as much as I do enjoying a good beer. I’ve had some times where many months pass between brew sessions, but I always come back to it. There’s still a lot more growth to do and things I can get to enhance my homebrew setup. It’s a great adventure and I look forward to the next chapter of it!

Originally published at Brain Enema of a Savage Mind. You can comment here or there.

Paying More is Good, Right?

The news media has really been hard pressed to come up with actual news these days (because as we all know there is nothing at all going on in the world these days), and I’ve seen an increase in painful to read opinion pieces. Normally I just grumble a little, perhaps share it with a person or two, then walk away. Today, however, I felt that this might make for some good material.

What premise is that has raised my ire while nursing the first coffee of the morning? “Airline fees aren’t all that bad.” Yes, someone is actually choosing to defend the price gouging of the airline industry. The title was enough to make me go What The… But after a cleansing breath I figured, well maybe this person actually has some point I never thought of – some brilliant insight that will make me see everything in a brand new light. Yeah, right.

Read the rest of this entry »

Originally published at Brain Enema of a Savage Mind. You can comment here or there.

Making a Jailbreak

Well i already failed the post a day challenge I gave myself. However I’m not overly shocked by that failure. But I’ll just get right back on that horse and see if i can find a rhythm.


One feature I’ve always wished would be added to the iPad is the ability to select a default browser rather than always being forced to Safari every time that I click on a link. Apple doesn’t seem interested in adding that functionality. Normally the “walled garden” approach that Apple has adopted doesn’t bother me. I like that for most things the device just works. Still some of the things Apple seems anxious to lock down make little sense to me, especially from a usability standpoint. Maintaining control isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however singsong a strangle hold is, and that’s what it feels like Apple is intent on doing sometimes. With all that in mind I finally decided it was time to jailbreak my iPad.

Read the rest of this entry »

Originally published at Brain Enema of a Savage Mind. You can comment here or there.

Is there an Android in my future?

I’m not exactly a heavy phone user, but I’ve always loved gadgets, especially ones that will allow me to touch the Internet from where ever I happen to be. Still the obscene contractually prices have always turned me off. Even with just a regular “dumb phone” (god I hate that term) I’ve avoided contracts as I don’t use even close to enough minutes for even their smallest plans. I’ve been on a few contracts before but always find myself going back to prepaid plans. I’ve gone through several prepaid companies, each with their own pros and cons, but I’ve always gotten some random cheap run of the mill phone. This might be about to change.

Virgin Mobile has had the Samsung Intercept for a little while now. It’s the first Android phone that they’ve offered and I can safely say I wasn’t overly excited by it. It got pretty bad reviews for being laggy and having a very non-responsive touchscreen. Then there is the price. Sure, with prepaid the phone prices are always on the high side as there is no contract that helps to subsidize the phones cost, but for what the Intercept offered the price was bad. Today Virgin Mobile announced the LG Optimus V. Not only does it look like a much nicer phone (early reviews are backing that up), but it’s 100 bucks cheaper which puts it squarely in the range I’m willing to pay.

Sure, this is by no means a top of the line phone. That’s the one drawback with a lot of the prepaid services, they tend to sell at best mid-range phones that tend to be “outdated”. However seeing as how a phone has never been, and likely never will be my primary device of communication, having the latest and greatest isn’t a major priority for me. When I’m out and about it’ll let me quickly check email or look up something on the web which is all I’m really looking for. And of course all this comes in at 25$ a month for unlimited texts, email, web, data. Sure, it only gives me 300 minutes of voice a month, but right now I average about 30 minutes a month. With my current phone the highest voice minutes used in a month was a little over 200 and that was used by Denise who was having issues with her phone and spending all my minutes trying to get someone to fix her problem.

I’ve still got 60 days and gobs of minutes with my current prepaid so I’ve got time to ponder it, and to see what other phones might come out in the prepaid arena. But right now I’m thinking that come my birthday I might finally be joint the smartphone generation.

Originally published at Brain Enema of a Savage Mind. You can comment here or there.

Where did the time go?

Has it really been over two months since I posted? It certainly doesn’t seem like it; normally I’ve not let posting slip that far behind. It would be easy to blame it on having to take care of Gabriel along with the lack of sleep these days, but there wouldn’t be too much truth to that excuse. As with many things I have to chalk this one up to laziness.

So, once again, I’m going to attempt to do a post a day. These might end up being a lot more like microblogging type of posts rather than a lot of long form posts, but hopefully it’s going to jump start things. I’ve really fallen behind in writing of any kind these days. No excuses sounds like a good mantra, but really, can I make it work for the next 30 days (March 4th being Gabriel’s birthday)? I guess we’re about to find out.

Originally published at Brain Enema of a Savage Mind. You can comment here or there.

Welcome to the world of tomorrow!

After a lot of thinking, pondering, going back and forth, and more than just a little bit of drooling, I finally broke down and got an iPad. Yes, I'm quite aware when the iPad came out that I panned it. One of my complaints, like many others, is that the iPad is just a big iPod touch. In many ways it is nothing more than that, but I've come to the conclusion, so what?