Tonight after work I took my first Final Gravity reading for PID-1. When I took my Original Gravity reading I hit 1.041 which was just shy of what the recipe said I might hit (1.042). Tonight since the air lock has been quiet the last couple of days I decided it was time to take my first F.G. reading. 1.011 which is EXACTLY what the recipe says I should hit.
If this holds for the next couple of days I will hopefully be bottling on Tuesday. The calculator at Brewers Friend says my A.B.V. is 3.94% which isn’t bad at all.
Also once I pulled the sample into a smaller container my beer actually looks like the “Texas Blonde Ale” it’s supposed to be. In the carboy it sure looks like a Brown Ale. I went ahead and drank the sample I pulled per the recommendations from, well, virtually everywhere. I’ll say for a flat, warm, beer it wasn’t terrible.
Looking forward to fully carbonated bottles, that are chilled to a nice serving temperature.
On January 24, 2013 at about 11:00am I racked my Texas Blonde Ale into it’s secondary fermenter. I wasn’t going to do this originally but I had two things working against me. First I was terrified I had somehow infected the beer when I originally brewed it on January, 18. Second I realized I don’t currently have a bottling bucket and as a result am going to need to use my primary fermenter as a bottling bucket next week when it’s bottling day.
I can’t express how happy I am that the beer doesn’t appear to have been infected at all. And tell me this isn’t a gorgeous color.
Now that I’ve got everything racked to the secondary my beer is taking another week long nap under my desk wrapped up all snug as a bug in a rug.
My beer is 38 hours into the fermentation process and the yeast colony is doing it’s thing fermenting the sugars in what was formerly wort into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The fermentation lock is bubbling away with reckless abandon which is I believe a good sign.
After receiving lots of advice and suggestions from folks on the Home Brew Association and /r/homebrewing on Reddit I will be doing between two and three weeks in the primary fermenter and will not be racking into a secondary. Once the Specific Gravity has settled down I will bottle, and let my beer condition in the bottles for at least two weeks.
I also should also note my Original Specific Gravity (O.G) was measured to be 1.041. The recipe I am using suggests it should have been approximately 1.042 so I think I’m on the money.
On January 15, 2013 I started the age old craft of home brewing. The title of this post mentions “PID 1″ which is the “init process” on a Unix system. I couldn’t think of a more apt name my very … Continue reading →
For week 1 of the 52 weeks of cooking the theme is Appetizers.
I decided I would try my hand at making Cheddar Cheese Straws because in part my daughter loves “orange squares” (AKA Cheez-Its) and “gold fish”
1 pound shredded sharp cheddar
1.5 cups unsalted butter
1.5 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
4 cups all purpose flour
mix the first five ingredients in stand mixer until well mixed.
Add flour one cup at a time until well integrated.
Wrap dough ball in wax paper, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours
Roll dough ball out until 1/2″ thick
Cut into 1/2″ wide 4″ long strips
Place cookie sheets and cook at 350 for 12 minutes
Cool on wire racks.
These were pretty easy to make. My three and a half year old daughter Kira really seems to like them. My wife Pami said they were a little dry. I think they’re both a little dry, and would have benefited from a bit more salt. All in all this was a fun experiment.
Since moving to Texas my wife and I have been doing a lot more cooking at home and a lot less eating out. I’ve also started to watch more cooking shows like “Iron Chef America” and “Chopped” both of which have inspired me to cook outside of my comfort zone a little bit.
Recently I started using Reddit. I know I’m late to the party but I never saw the point before a co-worker pointed out that with an account you can unsubscribe from all the typical crap, and only subscribe to subreddits that interest you. Enter “52 weeks of cooking” which provides a weekly challenge to cook based on one ingredient, or theme. Here are the first three weeks:
I didn’t find /r/52weeksofcooking until just before week three so I’m going to have to work to catch up and cook for weeks one and two, but going forward I expect to post the recipe, a photo, and a review of anything I cook. With any luck Pami will comment with her review of my cooking, and perhaps play along and post her recipes and reviews as well.
I am now 11 hours into my very first NaNoWriMo competition. For the uninitiated the goal is to write at least 50,000 words towards a first draft of a fiction novel within the month of November. I’m off to a good start with 3384 words at Nov. 1, 2012 at 11:00am. If you look to the right of this page you will see a blue counter that will be live updated as I add words to my novel.
It shouldn’t be a secret to anyone on this site that I’m a computer geek. As a result I thought I might take this opportunity to discuss the tools I am using to write my novel.
I really like writing in Focuswriter. It goes full screen, and masks all of the system notifications that occur while the software is running. This provides a primarily distraction free environment from which to write. I was able to configure the colors to something that suits my taste and in general it’s a very light weight way to write.
After writing in Focuswriter I copied my work into the web writing application yarny.me. This web application has a very similar look and feel to focus writer when you use F11 to make the browser full screen without the navigation buttons. When I have an internet connection I’m likely to just type into yarny.me directly. Yarny.me is nice because it backs up your work nearly constantly on their servers. While the company claims they create off site backups at least once a day I don’t want to leave my hard work in the hands of someone else for protection so I’ve been keeping a copy of my work on my laptop’s hard drive, and then copying it to my box.com and dropbox.com accounts. I also own a PogoPlug Pro and have been uploading another copy of my work to that device.
Sometime soon I think I’ll script the process of uploading my work to all of the remote sites so I don’t have to think about it at all, it will just happen.
If you are working on a NaNoWriMo novel yourself please comment with your progress. If you have some special tools, techniques, or methods you are using that might be helpful I invite you to comment below.
Thanks to Fab from Linux Outlaws talking about competing in NaNoWriMo last year on his podcast I got interested in attempting the same. Since I don’t have any great bits of fiction whirling around in my head just begging to be written I acquired a book from the creator of NaNoWriMo called “No Plot? No Problem! A high velocity guide to writing a novel in 30 days” As a result of reading this book, and get a few tips from my awesome NaNoWriMo team of Mutant Ninja Turtles I now have a great idea for my book title, and the name of my lead character.
Please follow me through the month of November as I will be updating this blog with my progress. I also expect to add a word count widget to the site to help keep me honest.
Have you ever thought about writing a book yourself? The month of November is a great time to get started!
First I’d like to take this moment to say I’m thankful for the years of experience I have as a systems administrator. If I hadn’t had those experiences, I may have made the newbie mistake of assuming someone else was taking care of backups for me. More importantly, even if I did make my own backups, I may have assumed they worked without ever testing them. If either of these things had been true, I would find myself right now in a much different state than I am. For the extremely curious this is my backup script: http://wiki.lnoldan.com/doku.php?id=backup.sh
Let’s start with what happened. I have my personal websites hosted in “The Cloud:” specifically, on an IaaS cloud powered by OpenStack. Last night I decided it was time to do operating system upgrades to make sure everything was patched up. These went flawless but my wife was working on her Epilepsy Awareness site http://www.seizethecrossroads.com, and I didn’t want to interrupt her work, so I didn’t do the required reboot.
This morning I logged into the server and noticed the “server requires reboot” message, so I went ahead and restarted the server. This is where the trouble started. I appear to have triggered a bug that makes the instance forget all about its routes on reboot. Currently there isn’t a fix for this, which means the instance is lost.
So I spun up a new instance, re-installed the software, pulled down my backups, and applied them. I then did several things I didn’t do the first time I set my environment up in the cloud.
I created a snapshot of the configured & ready to go instance.
I applied a floating IP address to the instance.
I created a second instance from the previously mentioned snapshot.
I adjusted my backup scripts to not only create encrypted backups, but to also push changes to the secondary instance.
I added the API Client to my monitoring server, and I wrote a quick script that facilitates flipping the floating IP address from the first to the second instance.
I set up the monitoring system to trigger that flip after 15 minutes of downtime on the primary server, but only if the secondary server is still online.
My next major project is going to be setting up configuration management to facilitate automatic provisioning of additional servers. I also anticipate taking advantage of DBaaS and the Block Storage
offering going forward.