Archive for December, 2011

Hey I can do poetry

Dec 24 2011 Published by under Personal

Dammit you were so tasty,
A great part of the meal to celebrate Holidays,
Boy I was hungry,
Food was so good, conversation was great,
Time passes by – not a lot,
Why? Why? WHY?
(Crawls into fetal position to die)

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Christ do I need a comment policy now?

Dec 23 2011 Published by under Personal

I haven’t bothered to do an ‘About’ page yet. But when I do a good portion of this post will go into it.
I don’t mind comments on posts. I don’t seek them, but I don’t block them either. Some can be pretty interesting. But I know what works and what doesn’t so here are some commenting rules:

  1. You must at least have a valid email address. Nobody else sees that but me. Go post on 4chan if you want to play secret squirrel.  Even the most insightful comment won’t be approved unless you have an email address – and for the thin of brain that does not mean and all other variations.  
  2. ALL first time comments are moderated – my days of managing spam are long gone. 
  3. Disagreements are fine. I think being terribly agreeable all the time is pretty boring. But add something to the discussion. Have a little bit of intelligence and at least try to look like you’ve put some thought into it. If I happen to think you’re particularly thick or bigoted in real life I tend to just go with entirely ignoring you – same thing works here.
  4. That’s about it.

I may update this post at later dates. One thing about the internet is it never fails to surprise you.

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Security Theatre

Dec 22 2011 Published by under Linkage

Since 9/11, Islamic terrorists have killed just 17 people on American soil, all but four of them victims of an army major turned fanatic who shot fellow soldiers in a rampage at Fort Hood … During that same period, 200 times as many Americans drowned in their bathtubs. Still more were killed by driving their cars into deer. The best memorial to the victims of 9/11, in Schneier’s view, would be to forget most of the “lessons” of 9/11. “It’s infuriating,” … “We’re spending billions upon billions of dollars doing this—and it is almost entirely pointless. Not only is it not done right, but even if it was done right it would be the wrong thing to do.”

Smoke Screening, Vanity Fair

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So full of promise

Dec 22 2011 Published by under Brewing

Take a look at that will you? That is the start of my World dominating micro-brewing strategy. As with everything I’m approaching this exercise with a little bit of confidence (ahem!).
Home brewing has been a bit of a tradition in my Family. Both my Father and Grandfather were keen brewers. With different levels of success of course.
My Father favoured brewing Ale and always had a keg on the go. He did try Wine and I think gave some liqueurs a shot. With varying degrees of success. His wine quickly got a reputation for being particularly good at making you lose the feeling in your legs. Whether that was a good or bad reputation varied with the people drinking it.
My Grandfather was more of an enthusiastic if not accomplished home brewer. This was a man whose philosophy was that alcohol cured many ills and if it didn’t, well it would dull the pain and make you forget for a bit. Had he been born a century earlier I’ve no doubt he’d be hawking some miracle cure – that had a strong alcoholic base. He didn’t have the patience to wait as long as you should for the brewing process to complete. His brews tended towards cloudy, in some cases bitty and I have no doubt were not great for teeth enamel.
Taking that fine historical pedigree on board, it’s time for me to start experimenting with home brewing. Going against that pedigree I’m aiming for a tasty beverage. I’m not aiming for potency or speed – it’s got to be yummy dammit!  I’m starting off with a red wine kit just to see how it goes. I have to find the right place in the apartment for this that has a steady temperature. Although I’m approaching this with confidence there’s a bit of realism in there. It may not turn out perfect the first time.
After a couple of go’s with the kits, my plan is to build up to raw ingredients.  And one of the things I really want to take a shot at brewing is Mead. It must be 25 years since I did any kind of brewing. It was Ginger Ale I remember. Brewed, bottled and stacked it under the stairs and just had to wait for a week or so before testing it out. About three days into the waiting period my Father, Uncle and myself were stood by the stairs, chatting, when the corks started exploding out of the bottles. I remember thinking “Well that’s bloody disappointing” as we all threw ourselves to the floor to avoid being taken out by corks. I think there were a couple of bottles that didn’t explode. They tasted bloody awful. I see you can buy fizzy alcoholic Ginger Ale in the shops now – I was doing that all those bloody years ago. If only I’d used champagne cages :)

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Presents are under the Tree – cue madness

Dec 22 2011 Published by under Personal

When we eventually have little kids running around the house at Christmas, I fear for my sanity. MBH regresses terribly when presents are placed under the tree. She still loves the idea of Christmas. Whereas for me its a relaxy, keep the alcohol levels topped up and walk right up to that indigestion line time.  She came in from work the other night,
“No touching”
I knew I should have had a water spray at the ready to keep her away from them.
“What did you get me???”
“Kinda defeats the whole point of Christmas Day that petal”
“An iPhone???!!”
“Er, no…”
“Er, really no” (Deep concern that the Downton Abbey DVD and Jamie’s cookbook among other things is not going to go down as well as I thought…)
“I’m going to wrap yours and put them under the tree”
Now it’s been a long, long time since I got excited over Christmas presents. I think it was over Star Wars figures in 1980 or something. But I am absolutely fascinated by her thought process when getting me presents.
There was the year she bought me a certificate for a plot of land on Mars. Seriously. We’re not allowed to talk about that anymore. I burst out laughing when I opened it and was not allowed to ask the reasoning. Then there was the year where I was bitching about bag weight when I had to go to Africa in December for work. So I unwrapped a handheld luggage scale that Christmas. Thoughtful but missed the edict during bitching that there was “No way in hell I’m travelling as much next year”. I have no idea where that scale is now.
So I try to remember that around October – November anything I may be talking about might be something I get at Christmas. Although I still can’t remember wistfully wishing I owned land on Mars… :)

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Ra Ra Rasputin

Dec 21 2011 Published by under Linkage

Now this is why I like my Ukulele. It’s just great fun. Of course now I need to learn the chords to this. And I haven’t mastered the art of playing and singing at the same time (unless I’ve had a few drinks…something about thinking less probably). I learned ‘Have you ever seen the Rain’ by Creedance Clearwater Revival last weekend which pleased me no end.  

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Data Commissioner and Facebook

Dec 21 2011 Published by under Linkage

Facebook is being urged by the Data Protection Commissioner to tighten security in order to ensure that users’ personal information is kept private > Interesting phrases used there, ‘Urged’ and ‘Informed Choice’

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