Thursday, September 06, 2007

Dispatch from the Ministry of Hops, vol. 16


American Wheat Ale

5 lbs wheat dry malt extract (50% wheat, 50% barley)
2 oz Hallertau Mittelfreuh hops, in 1/2 oz plugs
White Labs WLP 001, California Ale Yeast

Brought 3/5 gallons of spring water to boil in kettle. Added extract and 1 oz hops at boil.
Added 1/2 oz flavor hops at 30 minutes
Added another 1/2 oz hops at 15 minutes

Pitched yeast at 68 degrees - fermented itself up to 72 and was done in about 3 days. Racked to secondary and let settle for 3 weeks before kegging.

This beer is fantastic. Smooth, creamy, with that clear hop flavor and faint tartness that California yeast brings. Oddly for a wheat, it’s crystal clear and golden, not as pale or hazy as I might have expected. Well, I might have added some Irish moss to clarify; I just don’t damn well remember. Nice sweetness, beautifully balanced bitterness with a great touch of noble hop flavor and a little aroma. I swear I’m getting some creamsicle notes off this, and it’s really wonderful.  I’ll be making this one again, no doubt.

Posted by Johno on 09/06/07 at 01:07 PM

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Whose House? Ron’s House!

Holy Shit!Music Wonkery

I don’t know who the hell Ronald Jenkees is, or where he came from, but this freaky mothereffer has his shit together. Such a geek! Such incredible beats!!! How soon till H.O.V.A. calls Ronald up for his next inevitable comeback? How many of our readers thought that last sentence was total gibberish?

Support your local independent musicians, y’all!

(found via boingboing)

Posted by Johno on 09/05/07 at 06:37 PM
Holy Shit!Music WonkeryPermalink

Dispatch from the Ministry of Hops, vol. 15


Too Bitter Porter

So, what I was after, was a nice dry porter with a good dose of spicy herbal hops in the flavor and nose. What I got was horribly overbittered and a good beer ruined. I ended up tossing the last half of this batch from the keg to make room for the next brew I did. So, that’s pretty much a disaster.

5 lbs light dry malt extract
3/4 lbs crystal malt, 60L
1/4 lb chocolate malt
1/4 lb black patent malt
.8 oz Galena hop pellets, bittering (12% AAU)
1 oz UK Fuggles hop pellets, aroma and flavor
1 oz Tettnanger Tettnang hop pellets, aroma and flavor
2 packages SAFale 33 dry ale yeast

Steeped grains in 1 gallon of spring water and brought 3 to boil. Sparged grains in hot kettle water and added steeping water. Galena and DME added at boil
Hop addition:
Galena 60 min
1/2 oz each Tett and Fuggles 20 min
1/2 oz each Tett and Fuggles, 5 min

Pitched yeast at 72 degrees. Fermentation began slowly but wrapped up in three days. Racked to secondary and let rest for three weeks before kegging. Force-carbonated with CO2.

Almost, but not quite, a good beer. Actually, quite good with heavy food, but just too much bittering hop. A damn shame.

Posted by Johno on 09/05/07 at 01:00 PM

Sunday, September 02, 2007

There’s Nothing More Pathetic Than an Aging Hipster

Darwin Award ContenderEntertainmentFilthy LucreIt'll Be a Cold Day in HellMusic WonkeryUnmitigated Gall

It’s so sad.

The New York Times Magazine has a deeply depressing ten-page spread this week about the New Savior of the Music Bidness, the One Hero Who Can Save Us All From Certain Penury and Unemployment From Our Phoney Baloney Jobs… Mister Rick Rubin!!

Yep, Rick Rubin. Helluva record producer. Helluvan ear on that guy. LL, Run DMC, Slayer, Anthrax, the Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash’s comeback, Neil Friggin’ Diamond’s very good comeback… that guy knows music for sure. But to save the music industry? Rick Rubin?


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

If the past is behind, a reach-around is the future


Anything I might have cared to say about the distinguished- and empahatically hetero- Senator from Idaho was published years ago.

Posted by GeekLethal on 08/29/07 at 11:11 AM

Monday, August 27, 2007

Alternative investments, & the joy of being situationally correct

Filthy Lucre

Back on May 21, 2007, I saw an article that I almost, almost thought worthy enough of derision that it justified a post. For reasons that now escape me, I decided otherwise at the time. However, as sometimes occurs, it’s again become current, so I’ll revisit.

This, from the Austin American Statesman:

A panic attack move into private equity?
By Robert Elder | Monday, May 21, 2007, 02:07 PM

Writing in the May 18 issue of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, Dallas investor and state of Texas pension official Frederick “Shad” Rowe tees off on the leaders of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas pension fund.

Rowe examines the Texas teacher fund’s recently announced plans to move massive amounts of its holdings into private equity and out of publicly traded stocks. The strategy strikes him as the investment equivalent of a panic attack.

(Rowe notes that the Texas Pension Review board, which he chairs, has no authority over TRS investment strategy and that he’s writing as a private citizen.)

Rowe writes that the teacher fund is trying to juice returns by moving into so-called alternative investments (hedge funds, buyout firms, hard assets such as timber, toll roads) a little late in the game. Maybe even just in time for the private equity bubble to pop and the very stocks the teacher fund is selling to rise in value.

Please ignore for a moment the fact that private equity and hedge funds are not the same thing - Rowe’s core point, I think, was that high return comes with high risk. Big shock, that. But it appeared, in May, not to have occurred to the managers of TRS. I don’t know whether TRS had gotten around to the absurd reallocation plans they announced at the time, increasing allotment to alternative investments from 3% to 35%. But Mr Rowe had the opportunity to weigh in again on the subject in a story from today’s WSJ (subscription):

Pension Managers Rethink
Their Love of Hedge Funds

August 27, 2007; Page C1

Many public pension funds in recent years have become eager to invest in hedge funds. Now, some are getting cold feet.

Pension-fund managers from Louisiana to Ohio are saying they may slow their push into these funds after the recent losses suffered at big hedge funds—including ones run by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and AQR Capital Management—have reinforced some of the risks.

Indeed, one critic suggests that pensions would be foolish to keep pursuing hedge funds. “It’s like planning a vacation to an exotic land, and finding out that there’s an outbreak of bubonic plague,” says Frederick Rowe, chairman of the Texas Pension Review Board, which provides oversight of Texas public pension funds.

I’m not certain which is more admirable - consistency, correctness, or the fact he avoided doing an overt Icky Shuffle and rubbing their nose in it. But in any event, Mr Rowe was stating the obvious back in May, all the while not claiming there was anything inherently wrong with hedge funds or their doppelgangers in the alternative investment universe, just that the TRS was clearly not thinking things through in their sudden mania for the flavor of the month.

Good for him, and, I guess, good for the teachers covered by the TRS. I have no dog in the race, but I hope the managers of the TRS paid attention back in May, for the sake of their beneficiaries.

Posted by Patton on 08/27/07 at 11:39 PM
Filthy LucrePermalink

On Gonzales

Partisan Politics

Gad, I hate to seem to mimic the style of the ”lovely and talented“ John Edwards’ campaign, but my reaction to this morning’s news that Alberto Gonzales is resigning (WSJ - subscription) was, roughly, “What took so long?”.

No shock, but he’s being run out of town on a rail. Not alone among those with an opinion on the matter, I only think it’s a shame that he’s being run out for all the wrong reasons. The US Attorney firings? Pfft. Not a big deal - he, and the White House, have been well within bounds on the firings themselves, as previously discussed. Severe missteps, such as the McNulty Memorandum, should be considered embarrassments to him and the department, but are just horrifically bad administration, not criminal acts. As also previously discussed, his timid, goofy, and cackhanded defense of his boss, his office, and himself has been so inept that it’s been embarrassing to watch.

Never one to favor viewing people humiliating themselves (and thus, my aversion to most forms of reality TV), it’s been a cringeworthy handful of months, and the ordeal will soon be over.

Based on the WSJ story linked above and other sources, it seems there’s a race to the bottom of the barrel in search of his replacement. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff? What an awful choice he’d be, and not just because he looks like a character who could have played alongside Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice. He’s not obviously competent, and while that would make him a perfect stand-in for Gonzales, it would seem that now, in the last 17 months of the Bush administration, they ought to attempt to at least raise their game at the Justice Department.

Chertoff, far more so than the other choices mentioned in the WSJ article (Mueller, Johnson), strikes me a choice only slightly better than dragging Harriet Miers back out of mothballs and propping her up for yet another position beyond her scope.

Also odd, there were several names in the version of the WSJ story made available this morning (the link above is to a front-page version in tomorrow’s print edition, but earlier today it was the breaking news version).  Louis Freeh and Ted Olson were both mentioned, and either of them strikes me as a potentially apt choice, so it comes as no shock to find them no longer on the list, as reported by the WSJ. The IHT version of the story, available here, retains mention of Olson, but also omits Freeh.

Like Rove’s resignation, the Democrats seem to have plans to continue their chase, harrying him as best they can in search of crimes not committed. Life would, I think, be far easier for the Dems if they just took what Bushies hand them on a silver platter (incompetence, ham-fistedness, PR stone-deafness) and ran with it, rather than inventing new crusades on which to wander. But that’s just me.

Posted by Patton on 08/27/07 at 10:36 PM
Partisan PoliticsPermalink

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Soul Food For White People


As we await… and wait… and wait… the arrival of our characteristically stubborn firstborn, who is holding onto his cushy life in the womb like the last Japanese regular fiercely defending his little patch of Iwo Jima in late 1948, refusing to accept that history has moved on, I finally convinced my patient and loving wife to show me how to make the ethnic food of her Pennsylvania hill-country home.


Naw, I’m just shining you on. Up in the hills of Western Pennsylvania, in the countless factory towns that line the Allegheny and the Kiskemin...Kiske… the Kiskesomethiwhatsit River, everyone eats pierogi. Originally brought to the area by the Slavic, Polish and Ukranian immigrants of the early part of the last century, they have since transcended ethnicity to become the soul food of the region. Well, them and the cabbage-and-noodle dish known as haluski, but that’s a recipe for another day.

Sadly, with the passing of all the grandmothers born before the war, good pierogi is increasingly hard to find. These days, their daughters and granddaughters have jobs, and the old parish kitchens where women would gather every Friday to gossip and make pierogi have all but vanished. It’s a dying art in a dying region.

And so, a nice project for a rainy afternoon: Pierogi.

Posted by Johno on 08/26/07 at 09:58 PM

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Reasons that we (me) here at Perfidy are occasionally abashed at our posting choices


Every so occasionally, an Onion post strikes my funny bone, and if I’m lacking the time to actually write something, I’ll toss out a “FakeBlogging” entry, like this one, to memorialize the chuckle. In fact, I created the “FakeBlogging” category specifically to hold my Onion links.

The problem with the Onion, recognized and reported by others smarter and more widely read than I, is that most of the time, the entire punchline can be communicated simply via the article headline. For me, that’s not so much a problem, because the text is generally also both juvenile & funny, and doesn’t detract from whatever the headline was. I might be alone in that view, however.

To allow our readers to form their own impressions on that crucial question, should they care to, I present several items linked or relinked from today’s Onion daily email:

The Onion

No One In Women’s Shelter Able To Cook Decent Meal

CLEVELAND—Despite having no other household responsibilities to occupy their time, none of the residents of the Cleveland YWCA Battered...

The Onion

Neither Person In Conversation Knows What Hedge Fund Is

ASHLAND, OH—Despite their in-depth, seven-minute discussion on the pros and cons of hedge funds, neither Matthew Talbert, 27, nor Louis...

The Onion

Hard To Tell If Wikipedia Entry On Dada Has Been Vandalized Or Not

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND—The Wikipedia entry on Dada—the World War I–era "anti-art" movement characterized by random nonsense words,...

As A Working Mom, Its Hard To Find Time To Masturbate

The Onion

As A Working Mom, It’s Hard To Find Time To Masturbate

As a single mother of three with a full-time career, I’ve got a lot on my plate. Between making the children’s breakfast in the morning and making...

Forgive me for thinking that, however insensitive, these are funny.

Posted by Patton on 08/22/07 at 09:01 PM

Quicklink - a story that’s got everything


Investment Strategies in a World Where Time Travel is Possible

It’s got aliens, it’s got time travel, it’s got the possibility of end of days. What’s not to like?

Posted by Patton on 08/22/07 at 06:40 PM

Monday, August 20, 2007

That’s my boy

Holy Shit!Just So You Know

The other day, I detailed my son’s incisive reasoning in regard to human-robot relations.  Today, he made his Dad proud once more.  We were down in the basement, playing around a bit, when John had a new idea for a game:

Dad, you be the cops, and I’ll be the Blues Brothers.

My heart just leapt.  Then, not fifteen minutes later, he picked up a stick, handed it to me, and told me:

Let’s fight.  You bring a sword, and I’ll bring a gun.

Such strong tactical awareness in a child not even four and a half years old. 

Posted by Buckethead on 08/20/07 at 11:50 PM
Holy Shit!Just So You KnowPermalink

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sounds like sound advice to me

Just So You Know

My son turned to me, and said, “Let me tell you the rules about robots.” Enumerating them with his fingers, he laid them out for me:

  1. Don’t burn yourself
  2. Keep telling them what to do
  3. Stay smarter than the robots

My son has come up with a new three rules for robots.  And you know, I think they are a vast improvement on Asimov’s original Robotic Laws.

[Wik] Later in the trip, he added a fourth law:

  • Don’t let the robots into the woods, they might break themselves

Posted by Buckethead on 08/19/07 at 06:26 PM
Just So You KnowPermalink

Friday, August 17, 2007

But they seem so manly, with the outfits and the tigers and whatnot…

Just So You Know

Apparently Messrs Siegfried and Roy have decided to publicly own what has been blatantly obvious to everyone but Siegfried and Roy for years.

Note the word “schwul”, which made this Minister laugh out loud when he read it.

[Wik]Which is funny because the adjective “schwul” means “queer” or “humid”; and the adjective “hitze” means “hot” in both the ambient-temperature sense and the libidinous sense.  And when I saw the article, I remembered one time rappin’ to some fly madchens at this little dive I frequented...*I* was talking about the weather; *they* were hearing about what a flaming homo I was. 

Posted by GeekLethal on 08/17/07 at 09:39 AM
Just So You KnowPermalink

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Fat Twin is Getting Married

EntertainmentPartisan PoliticsPerfidy Attacks

Oops. Did I say that out loud?

I’m sorry, but I always thought of Jenna Bush as the fat twin, not the blond twin. I don’t know why, but I’ve only been able to remember how to tell the twins apart by their relative chunkiness to one another rather than by hair color. Of course, one day I noticed that one is weaselly-faced like her father and the other one has that weird wicked stepmother face where she’s seemingly friendly, but going to slit your throat. Oh. I guess I haven’t told you guys that white people kind of scare me sometimes because they look like reptiles. (I must have watched V on tv too much as a kid.) Mrs. Shrub distinctly lacks an upper lip which is what makes me think that about her. But I digress.

At any rate, the fat one is getting married to the scion of a prominent Virginia Republican family. Whoopdeedoo. Not sure why CNN is posting it as breaking news, but I do like the stupid haircut that boy has at a black tie affair. It’s awful and Karl Rove should have done something about it. I am sure SOMEONE at the White House could point that boy to a decent hairdresser of Pennsylvania Avenue. Shit, I know a few people who can do a bang up fade with a pair of clippers for free. As always, I’m glad to oblige with a weed wacker. As I once told another fat twin, “Moppy hair only looked good on the Beatles, now get a haircut.”

Posted by Mapgirl on 08/16/07 at 11:20 PM
EntertainmentPartisan PoliticsPerfidy AttacksPermalink

Henry Rollins Interview

Just So You Know

Color me giddy. Henry Rollins does an interview with Mother Jones.

I fucking love the guy. No, I can’t stand the unibrow or the massive SEARCH AND DESTROY tattoo on the back. I tend to prefer my men clean and slightly pretty. But HOLY COW. I can still hear Salt on a Slug and Family Man in my head at the mention of his name.

Strangely I just saw Johnny Mnemonic the other day and I had the pleasure of Mr. Rollins’ company onscreen. I thought he and Ice T were good in that film. You can see Ice T just starting to get the hang of acting.

Good stuff. Entertain yourselves, no don’t get mad at me for reading Mother Jones. I was following a link about credit card use in the US and stumbled upon the article. And I’m still looking for the damned credit card article for my other blog.

Posted by Mapgirl on 08/16/07 at 10:11 PM
Just So You KnowPermalink
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