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six months

Jul. 1st, 2007 | 10:25 pm
location: home

braemblerose and I have had a very intense past six months. While I could write a long post about each event, this post is about the overall level of change in our lives. Since the start of the year, we've experienced these major events:

  • she is pregnant (I helped)
  • we went on a silent meditation retreat
  • I have a new job
  • I no longer have an appendix
  • we went to my grandfather's funeral
  • we remodeled and sold my old house
  • we bought a new house
  • we went to Burning Flipside
  • we had a wedding and are now married

We certainly experienced heavy stress at times, and I found great irony in being too busy to meditate. However, the way our relationship weathered these events strengthened my desire to spend the rest of my life with her.

We decided to have a small wedding with close family only, but as our lives are settling back down we'll be looking for opportunities to celebrate with friends.

Of course, our lives will get intense again in about three months :)

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Mar. 20th, 2007 | 01:46 pm

In my dream this morning, I was at an outdoor gathering. Tall trees shaded the picnic tables as Sam ran around with the other dogs. Three wise women appeared, bearing love and healing. One of the women held me close to her breast, and I was forgiven.

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Fighting Wal*Mart

Dec. 9th, 2006 | 03:18 pm
mood: militant

For the past two weeks I've been spending massive amounts of time working with Responsible Growth For Northcross to fight against plans to build the largest Wal*Mart of Central Texas in our neighborhood.

This upcoming week will be the most intense, with City Council having an opportunity to suspend the site plan while they conduct an audit of it. The site plan has serious flaws, such as the traffic impact analysis (you can't plan to build a three-story parking garage and then claim there won't be a traffic problem), and part where the City Manager is married to an employee of Wal*Mart. However, the land developer is lobbying hard to convince City Council not to even vote on the issue.

There have been so many times in my life when an issue that I support has come up, but I've made excuses and not done much about it. This time it's in my neighborhood and I'm not making any excuses. Huge thanks to everyone supporting me.

So if you're wondering why I'm not on LiveJournal, this is why. I likely won't be reading for the next couple weeks either, so please contact me elsewhere if you have something major going on in your life.

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brewing photos

Nov. 12th, 2006 | 05:26 pm

I've created a brewing album in my photo gallery, and uploaded photos from the two batches coreblue and I started two weekends ago, and the all-grain brew he started today.


Credit for the photos of us from two weekends ago goes to lauraleanalle; I took the ones today.


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five-spice orange blossom mead

Nov. 12th, 2006 | 04:33 pm
location: coreblue's driveway

Two weeks ago (Oct 29th, for the record) I started another batch of mead. This is my second batch since I've lived in Austin.

I used the same ingredients and procedure as the first batch, with a few variations. For starters, we had warmed up the yeast for use on Friday night rather than Sunday night, so I made a starter with two cups water and half a cup of honey to keep the yeast happy. Also I've been using coreblue's equipment, and we now have a large kettle and propane burner so I pasteurized the honey in about four gallons of water. The other major difference was I steeped a large tea ball full of spices between the pasteurizing and the chilling. Oh, and I used an orange blossom honey :)

7 sticks cinnamon
1 handful corriander
3 handfuls cardamom
7 whole cloves
1 pinch ground nutmeg

For these measurements, a "handful" was a comfortable amount in the palm of my hand, not as much as I could possibly hold in my whole hand. Maybe a little more than a tablespoon. I ran all the spices in a food processor to coarsely grind them, but it didn't really work that well.

I pasteurized at around 186F (the recipe calls for 180F, but I had the heat too high) for 15 minutes and then let the spices steep (with heat off) for 13 more minutes. I'm thinking next time I could just put the spices in at the beginning of the heating and combine both steps into one. The hot honey gave off beautiful aromas, but I'm thinking of ways to keep more of that flavor in the final product next time.

After chilling I topped off the water to five gallons and then measured an initial gravity of 1.117 at 75F.

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morning haiku

Oct. 6th, 2006 | 01:32 pm
location: late for work

this side of
the bed you slept in
now holds me

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pushing my camera

Sep. 13th, 2006 | 03:52 am

I played around this evening with pushing my camera in very low light, to get a feel for what my limits are without use of a tripod or flash. I made this photo of my dog:

[640x426] [3456x2298]
That's 1/4 second exposure at f/1.4 at ISO 1600, pushed two full stops and then corrected in iPhoto.

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sapiosexual foreplay

Sep. 6th, 2006 | 11:03 pm

me: if you'd like, I'll explain man-in-the-middle attack to you sometime
her: will you explain it naked?
me: yeah we need more naked whiteboard time!
her: more? I didn't think we'd had any
me: that was an additive "more", not a multiplicative one
her: oh ok

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arriving home haiku

Aug. 25th, 2006 | 07:11 pm
location: home

her laptop
glowing on the couch
is still warm

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Aug. 16th, 2006 | 05:20 pm

As she just posted, braemblerose has left the jungle and is now back in Iquitos. She called me last night, for the first time since she left for the jungle, and this morning we exchanged our first email messages since then. We're rapidly catching up on a backlog of communication, and looking forward to magnitudes more when we're together again this weekend.

I was able to call her at times, and when it worked the underlying technology was amazing to me. Here's the path for asking to speak with her:

  1. translated into spanish
  2. spoken by me
  3. in to the microphone on my laptop
  4. through Mac OS X to my Skype client
  5. back through Mac OS X and out the 802.11g transceiver
  6. through a few walls as a microwave radio signal
  7. into the wireless access point side of my router
  8. through NAT and out the WAN side
  9. over 100baseT ethernet
  10. through my DSL modem
  11. out the window, by way of RJ-11 cable
  12. directly into the small NID on the back of my house
  13. over POTS cable to the central office 23,300 feet away
  14. through the DSL modem on their end
  15. somehow to my POP in Dallas, Texas
  16. out onto the internet backbone as TCP/IP
  17. routed to a Skype server somewhere
  18. converted from VOIP to regular voice traffic
  19. on to the voice telephone system in Peru
  20. to a satellite transmitter
  21. up to a telecommunications satellite
  22. down to a solar-powered satellite phone
  23. to whichever villager was nearest their one phone
  24. hollered to whichever kid was nearby
  25. down a dirt path by foot
  26. to Braemblerose

Of course the routing protocol and transport layer of those last four steps was the most reliable of the whole transaction.

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