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Messages - bluefoxicy

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Other Fermentables / Cinnamon: boil or not to boil?
« on: December 11, 2015, 01:23:19 AM »
How do you handle cinnamon?  I've been told to boil it.  I thought you didn't boil cider, but I guess you could boil a pint of cinnamon sticks in juice and add that to the primary.  Boiling seems like it would extract additional compounds from the bark, possibly changing the flavor versus dry addition.

Cloves?  Other such?  What can give cider a kick?  What can I safely bring into the foreground, instead of adding a hint of a whiff of the spice?

The Pub / Ordered a nuc and hive
« on: February 16, 2015, 05:27:18 PM »
Have someone building me a hive and ordered meself a nuc.

Now if this unbelievable frigid cold ever ceases, maybe I can catch some bees... what do I do with 3 gallons of honey, though?  It takes long enough to get through 3 pounds!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Is this kegerator okay?
« on: December 14, 2014, 03:20:37 PM »
I'm just lazy and trying to not get fleeced.  I can't find an adequate replacement for the Sanyo 4912 that doesn't require heavy demolition and modification, or have reviews like crap.

Kegging and Bottling / Is this kegerator okay?
« on: December 14, 2014, 03:03:38 AM »
Is this okay?

It looks to cost roughly what all the regulators, kegs, fittings, CO2 bottle, and fridge would cost, if I converted my own.  The tower probably needs replacement.

I'm thinking of fermenting off a bunch of cider (like, get a big jug, some hoses, 3 piece airlocks that I'm discarding 2 pieces off, and have 4 6gal fermenters running tubes to a 1gal jug that I keep topped up, because I never keep those airlocks full).  I've been out of it for a while, because I don't have a stove right now and don't really drink much anyway; I brew and pass the bottles on (bottling friggin' sucks).

I've become interested in soda and cider.  There is no way I can make tawny port; it cannot be done.  One day, I will arrange a bulk agreement with Dows, and have them deliver 100 $12 bottles at some discount.  Not this month, as I only have $1200 of my paycheck left after making a quintuple mortgage payment and paying off half of an outstanding credit card (doing debt elimination), and buying a $700 futon.  Can't spend all my money; that would be terribad.

The Pub / Birds keep stealing workers
« on: June 02, 2014, 03:31:04 PM »
There's a bird camping next to the beehive entrance.  It steals forager bees when they come out, runs off, then comes back and steals another one.


And here I was going to put a hive next to my house too, since I have wasps.  Bees are rather docile, but territorial:  they'll attack wasps.  Wasps are also idiots and will try to invade the hive to steal honey.  Lavender and peppermint fields will give my bees stuff to protect... but will birds start nesting in my trees and stealing all my bees too?

Every time I think I've bent nature to my will, something eats it.

« on: May 31, 2014, 07:35:53 PM »



 >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(

The Pub / Re: Computer - XP
« on: April 16, 2014, 10:40:47 PM »
I know there are plenty of tech savvy folks on the forum, so I'd like to hear your thoughts. I'm not going to change to Linux just to keep an ailing machine, but I can't see replacing a machine which still functions properly.

Honestly, why not?

Mint or Ubuntu.  The issue of OS replacement is a difficult one--it's like if you re-installed with Windows 7.  Windows has the upgrade path advantage, but you've waived that.

But I use Linux because Windows poses too many challenges with finding software, installing software, keeping software working, keeping it up to date, and then the software is just inferior.  If you have apps that are specialized (you said Chrome and Thunderbird, I don't know if that's a restriction or if that's just "these are my browser and mail app" statement and you use a bunch of other stuff), you obviously need the OS they run on.

Beyond that, switching to Linux won't keep an aging machine alive.  It eats resources too.  Put some more RAM in or swap in an SSD as your root drive sure, $50-$100 and it's a big return on investment.  You're back to installing Windows over with the SSD (which brings you to the "Maybe Linux" fork, implications above--it's not likely to lower your resource usage significantly), but it's a huge upgrade.

The Pub / Re: Dammit Florida!
« on: April 16, 2014, 10:35:04 PM »
This is all a result of a sick combination of moral guardians (alcohol is bad, yo) and revenuers.  I've never understand how the US got so uptight that everything must be regulated out of existence.  You know haggis was illegal until a few years ago?

The Pub / Bad habits that are just too awesome
« on: April 16, 2014, 10:31:48 PM »
Who has bad habits that are just too damn awesome?

I flossed a while back, and uh.  Yeah.  Turns out if you use high-end tooth brushes, but no floss for a year, when you floss you get to inhale the fumes of a toxic waste dump.  It's a little like huffing Round-Up.

So now I have a water jet flosser.

Which means, of course, I can floss using a 90PSI stream of Cool Mint Listerine!  (Or, for that matter, Irish whiskey...)

Which I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to do.

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: February 09, 2014, 09:44:43 PM »
Has nobody mentioned Tullamore Dew yet?  Under $20 and it's the best Irish whiskey available at any price anywhere.  $20 will get you a bottle and two whiskey glasses.

The Pub / Re: Interesting post on hops by Stan Hieronymus
« on: February 06, 2014, 04:23:58 AM »
Interesting. Not surprising though. All you've gotta do is taste a craft beer. Most BMC beers are below the threshold of noticing any hop presence IMO.

The other side of this is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a strongly-hopped beer compared to most styles of the world, and they ignited a firestorm of hopping beers far too much.  It's sort of a badge of honor:  once you get past 100IBU, you have a huge range of 120IBU, 160IBU, 210IBU, and so on... and of course humans cannot taste more than 100IBU, so the numbers are all theoretical.

Hop fanaticism is rampant in American craft brewery.  Do you see a wide market of British-style pub ales, doppelbock and lagers, or beer innovation across America?  The only innovation you see is using a pound of hops, then dry hopping on two pounds, then running through Sam Calingione's hop machine he shoves in-line with the beer tap.  And sometimes fruit.  America's favorite clone style is the IPA, and the IIPA if we can get enough hops in there.

I love british bitters.

The Pub / Re: Tailoring... serger or sewing machine?
« on: February 06, 2014, 03:14:24 AM »
You lost me at "decisional optimizer."   ???

Satisfisers try to do what's "good enough".  For example:  Extract brewing produces excellent beer.  Additional work is not required.

Optimizers spend more time making (and more often regret) their decisions, attempting to produce the best result.  For example:  all-grain brewing with a mash tun (not a modified cooler) allows for the greatest level of control and the best beer; the investment is about 2-2.5 the initial cost compared to extract brewing, and the cost of materials (grain) is lower going out.

Of course, full decisional optimization requires a lot of additional consideration.  The above assumes that cost between extract and all-grain is important--additional equipment, additional work, and so on.  If the cost is extremely high for all-grain, an optimizer may avoid that route because spending more on your brew kit than you do on your car is non-optimal; whereas if the initial cost is twice as high, the effort is roughly the same, and the results are similar, a satisfiser may skip the extra work and stick with extract brewing, while an optimizer puts in the larger initial investment to achieve ultimately better results.

And complete decision making involves using a lot of the nervous system--firstly a full rationalization of the facts, exploration of fixed beliefs in the basal ganglia and how they affect your ability to use your prefrontal cortex to reason, and so on; then an accounting of internal emotional and biological factors, including hormones and stress signals from the 100,000 nerve endings in your heart (it does a lot in response to emotional factors) and from the completely independent neurological system in your digestive tract (the esophagus and intestine contain a fully autonomous neural network which responds to systemic issues).

Needless to say, decisions are hard to make.  You have to determine if you're rational, if you're rationalizing, if you're having an emotional or subconscious-systemic response ("gut feeling"), and if any of these additional factors are valid.

At this point I've muted some rationalization and pushed aside some emotional impulses to simply acquire new things to learn about--that's valid, and accounted for, but that impulse screams for more attention than it deserves--but also have taken account of the rationalization that the serger seems to reduce work (I don't have to cut with shears in a separate step) and (possibly) produces better results (overlock), along with a gut feeling that I think is accounting for the low tolerance for time-consuming excess processes (i.e. I might just sideline all of this because it takes too much time, so maybe I shouldn't buy moderately expensive equipment).

From my experience, sergers are complicated to use and overkill for a person who is just sewing for their own needs.  If you were running a garment shop, I'd encourage you to buy a serger.  Most hobbyists struggle to even get them threaded correctly.

Reasonable mental and physical effort are not major concerns for me.

There are four needles and four thread spools, with convoluted thread paths.  You do seem like a detail-oriented person though, so maybe you should go for it and buy the serger.  My main point was that a sewing machine is much more versatile.  A serger has pretty much one use. 

Everyone has eight thousand uses for a serger posted, but they're all for making frilly garbage and half of them are just decorative stitching.

I've found ones that you can use for garment repair--$450 five-spool with chain stitch, they'll do a straight chain stitch or go as far as a 3-thread overlock and then double-chain-stitch it so you don't need to go back and add one or two chain stitches with a basic sewing machine.  So cut/sew can become overlock/reenforce (two machines), or you buy a better machine and just run a 5 thread safety stitch in one step.

The basic sewing machine still handles basic repair better, since I can sew buttons and button holes.  You would not believe how often clips break and I need to remove them and install a button hole and button where none existed before.  Plus I can rig a twin needle on my 4411--there's no instructions other than "use the additional spool holder" (included with the machine)--although I imagine I could magic up (undocumented) settings on a 14T968DC to produce a double-chain stitch.

Of course, you could always take a trip to a sewing machine sales rep and have a look for yourself.  A good salesperson should even sit you down and take you through a free tutorial on using each kind of machine.  Heck, bring one of your shirts with you and use that for a sewing test.  See what you think! 

It's a dying art here; the dedicated fabric shops have a billion crafts sections for glue and wax and coloring books and kitsch toys and pens and paint and wooden hobby crafts, with a tiny little section for sewing.  Last time I went to Joann Fabric, I asked some random old woman how to match thread to my pants for repairs... that was enlightening.  Staff sure doesn't know, they just eye up the spool to see if it's close.

Even in high school, they showed us a sewing machine and had us sew a pillow mostly because they couldn't talk about sex for 9 months straight.  Home Economics was a filler.  They even explained to us what a laundry machine was, but we never used one--there were three in the classroom.

At this point I'm even more confused.

The Pub / Re: Tailoring... serger or sewing machine?
« on: February 03, 2014, 06:24:12 AM »
I learned to sew on an old singer when I was a kid, I remember them being able to do most things, especially simple hems and tailoring.  I also used an old foot powered one.

Treadle?  I've been thinking about getting a treadle table and a vintage sewing machine.  Just for the experience.  I recommended a foot pump for the OLPC charger ages back but they went with a hand pull string... those dunces don't know much about physiology; a pull string is probably the most difficult thing you could provide for manual power generation.  They probably looked around and noticed engines in boats and lawnmowers are started with a pull string.

I mean let's face it:  human legs.  Bunch of black people ran down a cheetah in Africa.  You can't compete with that.  Those animals run like 60mph, it's like chasing Usain Bolt.

Humans have leg endurance more than anything else.

The Pub / Re: Tailoring... serger or sewing machine?
« on: February 03, 2014, 03:38:30 AM »
Yeah, I have a sewing machine.  I'm more interested in if a serger is the objectively "correct" tool for the job--if it would produce the best results, would require not-incredibly-greater time investment to learn, would be what most people who have both and have the skill to use either would use, and so on.

I'm a decisionary optimizer.  The machine is not expensive; that leaves the primary question of if the machine is objectively better for this task.  If so, that leaves the secondary question of if it's going to require a significantly large amount of additional applied skill, or be about as hard to learn and use as a basic sewing machine.  I've been told that you can use a sewing machine by buying one, looking at the instruction manual, and sticking fabric in it; but that a serger is impossible to use without taking a few classes first, which would be potentially less-optimal since I could sink some $1000 of education and hundreds of dollars in material--not to mention time investment--into trying to do something relatively simple that I could accomplish nearly as good without all that effort.

However, you can accomplish much the same thing with a hem stitch, or even just sew a straight stitch once, then go back over the seam allowance with a zigzag stitch.

This is where I'm getting confused.  This statement sounds like "it's not really the best/right way, but it works".  Mind you we're dealing with verbal conversation:  93% of the communication is lost here, since I can't hear the tone of your voice or read your body language.  That part of the communication may be saying "this is just a flat technicality, I don't even know why I'm bothering to say it."

IMO, a sewing machine is much more useful than a serger, unless you plan to do a LOT of garment sewing and not much else.

No doubts there.  I can't sew buttons on or make menial repairs with a serger.

Though, why not homebrew my own clothes...

The Pub / Tailoring... serger or sewing machine?
« on: February 03, 2014, 12:32:11 AM »
I didn't buy a $900 sewing machine because they do some fancy stuff you're better off using an overlock stitcher for.

Thinking on tailoring my own clothes, but have no idea how to do it.  Wondering if this should be done with a basic sewing machine (someone says I should be using a serger, but a lot of stuff online just says sewing machine... because that's what people have) or if I should throw $200-$300 for a serger and learn to do it with that.  I've been told that hemming is vastly superior when done with a serger, but then there are hemming settings on my sewing machine that do a passable (but not necessarily perfect) job--I haven't evaluated the difference or even determined if there is any difference.

I could pay to have my clothes tailored, but I'll pay more for that than for the clothes themselves--I can sink over $1000 into that, repeatedly, and machines and classes and learning and mistakes won't even cost me that much... nearly, but not quite.  I wear "Small" men's clothes and have about 30%-40% of the fabric bunched up behind me; around here plenty of guys have resorted to wearing babydoll tee shirts as casual wear because they fit nicer (and get you chicks if you do a lot of push-ups all the time), but that seems sub-optimal to me.

Anyone do the tailoring thing?  Worth sinking my time into or wot?  I know Cap forges his own swords and armor over there, maybe he makes shirts too.

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