Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The New Building Owner

Well, the new building owner just knocked on my door, and gave me his address. Turns out that he is not planning to condoify the building! I wish he'd said something earlier; I would have been able to stay here. Oh well, it seems this is what's meant to be. I am really looking forward to being in the new place, though, and having a real kitchen for once!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Ruby on Rails with Postgresql

I've been learning a new system called Ruby on Rails; it's a pure object-oriented programming language with a web application interface. It is supposed to be able to do the kinds of things you get with all the cool google web applications like gmail and google maps. I was following the instructions on and having a difficult time getting it to work, since the instructions are written for MySQL, and not Postgresql. It would come back with an error about column id not honoring the not null constraint. After playing around for a bit, I discovered the solution. Postgres needs to be given a sequence first in order to automatically fill in the id numbers. Here's the SQL code I used to create the database:

create sequence recipes_id_seq start 1;

create table recipes (
  id int primary key default nextval('recipes_id_seq'),
  title varchar(255),
  date date,
  instructions text);
This causes the ID numbers to be inserted correctly.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Brew 16 Bottled

Brew #16 has been bottled! I got 27 bottles of Cabernet/Shiraz blend, (and one 500mL bottle) which should be "ready" in 1-3 months. I tried some; right now it tastes something like a Beaujolais Nouveau. The bottling and corking went very smoothly except for the little filler thingy; a couple times it got stuck---in the open position! Fortunately not much wine was lost. I'm not sure if it's the sediment that got stuck, or the divot in the bottom of the wine bottle, which caused the problem. I might use a Phil's Filler that I inherited when a friend left the hobby next time.

Friday, July 8, 2005

Found a new place!

So on Wednesday I was at Galway Arms, and complained to one of the servers (Liz) that I had to move and was trying to find a new place. "Oh, did you know that Ian (the bartender) works for Apartment People?" He took down a few bits of information and said that he could get me something like that. Jack looked at my list of "Must Haves" and said that I was asking quite a bit.... Yeah, perhaps, but for the amount of money it costs to live someplace around here, I want to really like it. Well, the first place we saw I got to meet the landlord. He owns the building, and you can tell immediately that he really cares about the place. It has a very nice courtyard, and all the wood inside has been sanded down or replaced. He replaced all the pipes, and all the wiring. The kitchen even is quite new (that's very important)! The previous tenants had stayed there for three years, and were only leaving to buy a condo---another good sign. The specs: two bedrooms, one main room, all with south facing windows. Large closets, a back porch, bathroom closet. Oh, it has a dishwasher. I've never had one before... well, I did, but all that one did was spray the food off, spray it back on, then dry it onto the dishes. So I never used it. I think this one will be better. And, there's a very large tree in front of the windows. During the summer, the light is diffuse---this will keep the building cool. During the winter, all the leaves will be gone and the light will be quite strong, right when it will be most welcome. Those of you who know me well will not be surprised to learn that it's on the fourth floor, the top one available in this building. Here are some pictures; I didn't get to take pictures of the inside. You'll just have to visit me. Oh, the punchline....the building I live in now is about a 3 minute walk away. I looked all over the city for a place, and ended up almost right where I started!

I can stop when I want to....

You are a Black Coffee
At your best, you are: low maintenance, friendly, and adaptable At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty You drink coffee when: you can get your hands on it Your caffeine addiction level: high

Saturday, July 2, 2005


I went to Ravinia with Ji to hear music inspired by Don Qixote. The music was great, and the weather was perfect for a picnic in the park. During the picnic, she insisted that I take this picture and ask people what they think it is. :-)

Brew 17 -- Extra Special Bitter

This is an kit for the Extra Special Bitter. No modifications were made to this recipe, mainly because the last two heavily modified versions I gave to my bartender didn't go so well. So, I decided to make something more normal that she might like. Heidi, John, and Laura came over to watch. John is starting to get into the hobby, so we were hoping to give him an idea of how to get started. The brew went very well; no surprises, no panicked contingencies. Note that times are given in terms of time remaining for a 60 minute boil. Date of Brew: July 1, 2005 Estimated Date of Bottling: July 15, 2005 Ingredients

  • Malt Extracts 7lbs Ultralight Malt
  • Grains 8 oz Crystal 40L 8 oz Honey Malt 4 oz Special Roast
  • Hops 1 oz Magnum Hops (-60 min, bittering) 2 oz Kent Golding Hops (-5 min, flavoring) 2 oz Kent Golding Hops (-1 min, flavoring)
  • Water Treatments Whirfloc (1)
Number of Gallons in Boil: 5 Boil Time: 60 mins Original Specific Gravity: 1.045 Expected Final Specific Gravity: 1.011 Expected Alcohol Content: 4.42 Gallons in Fermenter: 5 Temperature of Wort at Pitching of Yeast: Room Yeast: White Labs English Ale Yeast (#WLP002) Quantity: 35 mL Time of Pitching: 22:30