Cinco de Mayo

In an email to Erin today:

“My instinct is to skip it. It’s not even the Mexican Independence Day (that’s Sept. 16th). It’s just a celebration of a victory over the French. And, really, if we all celebrated victories over the French, we’d get awfully tired of celebrating.”

Dulles Getting Metro? Thanks, Jesus!

“The Bible describes faith as the substance of things hoped for. This certainly seems to fit in that category,” said Clark Tyler, chairman of the Tysons Land Use Task Force, which has spent years planning for development around rail. “We had faith that Metro was coming, and it looks like it’s going to.”

Washington Post

Yeah, because the Bible was written explicitly to address the regional need for light rail service to the area’s busiest airport. What about the FTA’s decision to fund the project bears celebration of religion?

That shit is completely unnecessary. Fucking fundies.

Oh, by the way, the “Jesus” in the title doesn’t refer to your “savior”. It refers to all the Hispanic men who will be performing exhausting manual labor for the next 5-7 years building the motherfucker… one of which is undoubtedly named Jesus (pron. Hay-soos).

The Only Thing I can Say without Sounding Shallow

Does this tripe make The New Yorker if Avery plays in Phoenix? Not fucking likely. Also, how does such an egotistical prick pull off sounding kind of “normal guy” while–at the same time–being ultra-pretentious?

You’re an enigma, Sean Avery. And you’re trying too hard to be “interesting”.

Nota bene: I use “enigma” for lack of a better word. My vulgarity currently escapes me.

Any of my 4 readers have an appropriate noun or adjective?

Big Murph Pale Ale


We bottled the Murph yesterday. Gregg came with us to check out the joint, and lend a hand on the assembly line (photo). It took us 2 hours to wait, wash and bottle 4 cases of beer. Compared to the other bottlers, I think it’s safe to say we were a model of efficiency.

According to the worksheet supplied by the brewers, the original specific gravity (OG) of our concoction was 1.078, and the final specific gravity (FG) was 1.014. On the sheet, they wrote that it is 6.2% alcohol by weight, and 7.93% alcohol by volume. Following the instructions at

Starting gravity – final gravity = mass of CO2 gone from fermenting

1.078 – 1.014 = 0.064

Multiply by 1.05 (mass ratio of CO2 to ethyl alcohol) = mass of alcohol per liter

0.064 x 1.05 = 0.0672

Mass per liter divided by final specific gravity = % alc. by mass

0.0672 / 1.014 = 0.0663, or 6.63% alc. by mass (misnomered “alcohol by weight” or ABW)

ABW divided by density of ethyl alcohol (which is 0.79 kg/L) = alc. by volume

0.0663 / 0.79 = 0.0839, or 8.4% alc. by volume

I wonder why the discrepancy in the worksheet provided by the brewer exists?

As for the beer itself, it’s kind of sweet, medium hoppiness with only a hint of bitter. I think it’s pretty good, but I’d like to hear what Gregg thinks of the stuff.

Friends and Family From Afar

Bored while waiting for the dryer, I was momentarily inspired to plot the locations of friends and family that don’t live in the D.C. area. So I pulled up the googlymaps and eyeballed some shit in illustrator.


Represented (closest first) are:

Ocean City, MD
The place with the NHL Hall of Fame
Montgomery, AL
Corpus Christi
Davis, CA

Many Thoughts, Mostly Unrelated

… only just compiled after the watershed of “holy fucking shit I’m thrilled, but holy fucking shit now I have to grow up for reals, not to mention holy fucking shit I hope I don’t fuck up this kid’s shit” emotional minefield that every guy must surely navigate after learning his wife is pregnant.

Regardless of what may or may not happen with regard to Erin’s pregnancy, that she is pregnant is an event of note. There was some previous incredulity.

I got my lower 2 wisdom teeth extracted last Friday. The opiate painkiller didn’t really do much for me, so I stopped taking it. Believe it or not… I don’t like being fucked up. Shit didn’t hurt much, but I swelled up like a chipmunk. The worst part is the fucking penicillin; it has been (and still is) destroying my gastrointestinal tract. The pain overwhelmingly eclipses that from the actual surgery. Active-culture yogurt doesn’t help, either.

Fuck Alexander Fleming.

It’s easy to quit smoking if you never leave the house. I can spend 5-6 hours at home and not want a cigarette. Put me at work–even wearing a nic patch? Fuck. That shit’s not easy. It’s the ritual.

I’m still gonna’ buy that Sig P226 9mm (on second thought, maybe I’ll get the .40 S&W?)… but only after I arrange for Erin to take a gun safety course, which was a precondition to the purchase.

Fake beer’s not that bad. The O’Doul’s Amber is actually quite tasty. When I was in college, I asked my O’Doul’s-drinking uncle, “Why even bother?” It’s the ritual.

I don’t blog about hockey much anymore because there are so many others who perform that task better than I. Here’s hoping the Caps can get into the playoffs; they have a great team.

Scoring Attempted Derision

cf. Stuff White People Like

Granted, I’m only 1/2 white, but I’m probably the whitest half-breed Mexican you’ll ever meet… unless you join a bowling league with my brother after he moves to Alabama.

Anyway, the above-linked website (written by a white chick) tries to be “scientific” in her snarky, holier-than-whites commentary about things that white people purportedly like.

At this point she’s listed 66 things, with 2 entries inaccessible and/or lost forever due to an ill-fated foray into dedicated hosting. This particular white person does not like other white people who are ignorant of the intricacies of running a web server attempting to do so.

Let’s see how her superior judgment stacks up:
Continue reading “Scoring Attempted Derision”

Our Beer, Our Label

I previously wrote that Erin gave me a gift cert for the Shenandoah Brewing Co. over in Alexandria. We went there a couple of weekends ago to start The Making of the Beer.

I was going to take photos of the place and stuff, but the battery on the small digicam was completely dead. So no dice there.

Having never even tried to make my own beer before, I found the process to be quite stressful overall. It starts off tamely with you picking the type of beer you want to make. Then, they give you a recipe, and you go off to collect your grains and grind ’em all up into a big cheesecloth sack. Then you go to the big fuckin’ vat to steep your grains.

That’s when shit got anal for me. As soon as you drop the sack into the hot water, you’ve got to keep an eye on the timer, as well as the vat. You don’t want shit boiling over or getting a huge head of foam on it, and you’ve got to add the various types of hops at certain intervals. You want to keep it at a “rolling boil”, but there’s no quantitative value; it all depends on the stuff you have boiling. The vats have temp gauges on them, but vigilance is key.

After all that stressing over the vat, they drain it into a barrel and measure the specific gravity (or something) to figure out what’s happened. Apparently, I boiled our batch a little too vigorously, and we lost more water volume than expected. That means lower yield (fewer bottles), but higher alcohol content.

A push, if you ask me.

After adding the yeast, we settled up and left. We’re scheduled to go back for the bottling and labeling session on March 8th.

Speaking of labels, I’ve been toiling over my custom shit for a while now. The only judge for my few designs (in their various states of completeness) is, of course, Erin.

Here are a few that didn’t make the cut (clicky):


And here’s the winner: