Wednesday, 30 January 2013
“The Citadel Community will house between 3,500 and 7,000 patriotic American families who agree that being prepared for the emergencies of life and being proficient with the American icon of Liberty — the Rifle — are prudent measures. There will be no HOA. There will be no recycling police and no local ordinance enforcers from City Hall.”
“Writers should be thinking of big ideas, but Twitter sucks you into small, petty battles. It can distract you from the important to the urgent. Like a game of whack-a-mole, you can end up chasing the things that irritate you — hoping to correct every misconception or lie. This is no way to be productive. It’s no way to live.” – Mark K. Lewis
Tuesday, 29 January 2013
Hi! I’ve heard about you for a few years now (originally from Richard Fink), and have enjoyed reading your blog posts. As a web designer who’s striking out on his own to learn programming and build his own business, do you have any advice? Cheers! – Josh
For the past decade, I’ve been working for myself. Over that time, I’ve had good fortune and made significant missteps. The services I offer my clients today are purposefully and dramatically different from those I offered my first day in business. Across all those challenges – I’ve found 3 constants:
- Define what success is for you. Eliminate everything else.
You can’t have someone else’s success. It’s theirs. It doesn’t fit you in the same way their clothes don’t fit you. The longer you chase after someone else’s success – the further you’ll drift from the success that is uniquely yours. And the longer you’ll be uncomfortable. The world obey’s Sturgeon’s Law. Your success lay somewhere within the remaining 10%. Each day, pursue something that matches your definition of success while eliminating something that doesn’t. This means saying ‘no’. You must do it deliberately. The world doesn’t believe you want to be successful. Stop proving it right.
- Force work to fit into your life. It’s the only way you’ll have one.
In your preferred calendar, enter regular fixed appointments for exercise, steps toward personal life goals, time with loved ones, time away from technology. Always, always keep them. Work is insidious and will tempt you to blow them off. Don’t let the bastard. It’ll kill you. I’m serious – the Japanese even have a word for it – karōshi.
- Find a good accountant specializing in independent professionals. Treat them like a partner.
Good accountants are worth every dollar you pay them. Ones that expertly handle both your personal and professional finances – doubly so. They will force you to be honest with yourself and your business. This honesty brings out who you really are – see #1.
Monday, 28 January 2013
“Imagine what it would be like to steer a car if it was always guessing at where you want to go instead of obeying your actual commands? Or if the steering wheel tugged you toward every McDonalds you passed because McDonalds is an advertiser and the car’s algorithm-obeying driver thought it knew you were hungry and had a bias for fast food — whether you have it or not. That’s the crufty ‘service’ world we’re in now, and we’re in it because we’re just consumers of it, and not respected as producers.” – Doc Searls
Sunday, 27 January 2013
Well mostly. I made a couple malt substitutions based on availability and quantity tweaks to get closer to the numbers he specifies in the book.
On the process side, inspired by my torn bag mishap, I decided to do an overnight mash in the cooler. Last night, after I crushed the grain, I heated 7 gallons of water to in my boil pot. As that heated, I put the crushed grain in the bag and put the bag in the cooler. When the water got to temp 162°F (I estimate ~10°F loss once the water hits the grain) I poured it into the cooler. Once all the water was in, I jostled the bag around to make sure all the grain was sufficiently wet, folded the end of the bag outside the cooler and closed the lid. And ignored it until morning.
After I made a starter from 2 packages of Wyeast 1056, I went to bed. Easy.
This morning, I pulled 6 gallons off the still warm mash, boiled for 60 minutes, cooled the wort, and pitched the starter all by 10am. Brilliant.
8# Dingemens Pilsner Malt
4# Belgian Munich
12oz Belgian CaraMunich
8oz Belgian Aromatic
8oz American White Wheat
5oz Belgian Special B
1oz Belgian Debittered Black Malt
1oz Kent Goldings 5.8AA @ 60min
Wyeast 1056 American Ale in the primary
Wyeast Roeselare Belgian Blend in the secondary
1.083 OG (Hopville says this is 82% efficiency – WOOT!)
1.015 FG (estimated)
9.1 ABV (estimate. perhaps this is an Imperial Oud Bruin?)
I need to keep an eye out for the DMS levels in this beer. If they’re at all noticeable then next time mash with 7.5-8 gallons of water so there’s at least 1.5 gallons to accommodate a 90 minute boil.
Update 6 Feb 2013
On Sunday, February 3rd, I pitched a starter of Roeselare right atop the finishing American Ale. Tonight, as I was checking what the gravity was (1.011) and what it should be according to BSC (1.012) I re-read the brewing instructions. It clearly says, move the beer to the secondary before pitching the Roeselare. Heck – my notes just a few lines above here say the same thing. Oh boy. Well, maybe I cut my losses and bottle this once the Roeselare completely falls – independent of sourness. Drat.
Update 5 Apr 2013
Arg, this batch turned out thin, grainy, and fusel-y with only the slightest background hint of the full rich, red-wine-iness I love in Oud Bruins. I’m pretty sure there are 3 culprits: inept sparge technique, weak yeast starter, and pitching the Roselare before removing the 1056. I don’t expect it to get better with age. Learning experience for sure. Level up! I’m interested to see what the judges at the NHC this weekend suggest.
Update 18 Apr 2013
This beer received a 27 & 30 @ NCH Round 1. Higher than I anticipated. Primary fault identified by the judges: diacetyl (caused by weak yeast & too warm storage) and lack of complexity (I’m blaming the sparge & yeast)
Friday, 25 January 2013
I’m dating myself when I say this but…
to me, the promise of the internet is a joke that everyone writes the punchline for.
All the reviews on here – admit this.
Even the pricing arbitrage bots get into the jokes – 3rd party pricing goes from $173.63 – $1020.34 + shipping.
Notice, the book was originally published in 1993. While Amazon says March, I suspect September is truthier.