Archive for July, 2007

Saturday night dinner.

29 July, 2007
  1. Corn on the cob. Boiled in husk for 4 minutes;
  2. Tomato salad with arugula & basil (seasoned with salt, pepper, olive oil);
  3. Lentils. Room temperature. Seasoned with salt and butter;
  4. Fried green tomatoes coated in spent beer brewing grains;
  5. Cod fillets, seasoned with salt, pepper, and curry. Pan seared.

No pictures.


Goldwinger’s IPA

29 July, 2007
  • 3# U.S. two-row barley;
  • 2# crystal, 80 lovibond;
  • 1# rye malt
  • 14# light malt extract;
  • 3 oz. nugget hops. 60 minutes
  • 1.5 oz. centennial hops & 1.5 oz northern brewer hops (10 minutes);
  • 1.5 oz. centennial hops & 1.5 oz northern brewer hops (flameout).
  • Safale US-05 Yeast

Strike 1 qt water per pound of grain at 165 degrees to stabilize at 152. Mash for one hour. Sparge. Full wort boil. Hop schedule as printed above.

O.G.: 1.054

It was only a matter of time… Pippi Rocks.

20 July, 2007

I know what you’re thinking, but you’re wrong. Pippi Longstocking rocks. No parents (except for an absentee father who is a pirate), no debt, no mortgage (though she lives in the coolest house on the block), no worries. Plus, she has a pet monkey and a horse.


CLICK HERE to see what happens, Larry, when you mess with Pippi.

CLICK HERE to see the same fight, only more, and in Korean!

CLICK HERE to see Pippi’s flamenco dance in a fabric shop.

CLICK HERE to see the opening credits (and hear the song) of the 1969 (English 1973) movie.

CLICK HERE for the Swedish theme song.

CLICK HERE for the German theme song.

CLICK HERE for a Swedish theme song remix and still montage.

CLICK HERE for a 7 minute undubbed clip–and a meat grinder 30 seconds in!

CLICK HERE for more Pippi songs in Swedish (lazybones, sailing song, et al.).

CLICK HERE for a better quality sailing song (& theme) and a montage.

CLICK HERE for Pippi’s theme in rock and roll (Wizo). Perfect score.

CLICK HERE to see what happens when soccer hooligans go Pippi on you.

CLICK HERE to see an Inger Nillson screen test for her role as Pippi.

CLICK HERE to see Pippi invent a word that does not translate well into English.


Butt-kickin’ iced tea recipe.

14 July, 2007

I had this tea at the Charlottesville city market. The folks at Brightwood Vinyard and Farm, L.L.C. gave me the recipe. I’ll be playing around with the ratios of sugar and various types of tea. I’ll add comments to this post.

Part A:

  1. 6 sprigs mint;
  2. 3 tsp tea.
  3. 2 c. boiling water (pour over mint and tea, steep for 15 min.)

Part B:

  1. 1/2 c. lemon juice
  2. 1 c. sugar.
  3. 2 c. boiling water.

Combine parts A and B. Strain. Add 1 qt. cold water.

House stove range hood repaired.

14 July, 2007

Not that anyone cares, but… (click the thumbnail for the photo gallery).


I have cleaned and repaired the nefarious range hood at the House. Grease was dripping from the squirrel cage fan blades down on to the two rear burners, rendering them unusable (for cooking, setting food, or pot storage. I don’t want to go into details, but the unit was NASTY!

What worked best for cleaning? Believe it or not, I boiled a large pot of water, added a bunch of Borax, and boiled the parts (making sure during reassembly that there were no rubber or metal bushings, etc.. Then I used Dawn, hot water and a sponge to further clean the parts.

The fan’s dimmer switch had also broken long ago, so I dug around in the basement and found a toggle switch. Voila! A job easily done.

That’s just not right! The punching nun and the night nurse.

13 July, 2007


What do you expect on a Friday the 13th?

Steak supper. This is for you, Cromagnon.

13 July, 2007

DanGafro and I had an awesome steak supper. I wanted to share some photos with the carnivores. Here goes…

Click on each photo for a close-up.




Mezze of mussels, fava, tomatoes, etc..

13 July, 2007




Well, its time for some more Mezze. Today’s meal includes mussels, fava beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, wine, et al.. I wonder what this would cost at a restaurant.

  1. Mithia krassata (Mussels in white wine, garlic, and parsley);
  2. Fava beans with garlic, feta and thyme;
  3. Tomatoes dressed with salt, pepper, oil and sherry vinegar;
  4. Khiar bel na’na (cucumber salad with mint);
  5. Bread (in this case a La Brea baguette from the local market);
  6. Wine: Rosemont Estate Australian Merlot.

Notes: H.T. had Maine raised mussels on sale this week for 3.99 per pound, so it was time to enjoy some deep blue crustaceans (though part of me deep down still shrinks at them (and their neighbors, the nasty barnacles) due to my my pier-shooting days in California). Two mollusks from the two-pound bag were open and nonresponsive to cold water or rapping; two were broken (these four were discarded. All the others opened during steaming.

The brief recipies of the nonobvious:

1) Mussels: Contents of one two-pound bag, washed and debearded in chilled water; dead and broken mussels removed. Prepare: olive oil; 1 cup white wine; 3 cloves minced garlic; mussels; 1/4 cup fresh minced Italian parsley.

Heat oil. Add garlic (until aroma). Add wine. Simmer 10 minutes. Add mussels (cover); High 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle parsley (+ a few seconds). Serve with strained pan juice.

2) Fava: Heat with cooking water and olive oil. Mince garlic into pan. When hot, plate, add thyme and crumble feta. Serve.

3) Salad: Peel and slice 1 cucumber (best to peel, seed, and cut into quarter moons). salt in colander and set aside for 1 hour. Rinse quickly. Add some diced fresh or dried mint, bit of salt, drop of olive oil. Sumac can be added as variation.


Lunch mezze: fava beans, grilled squash.

12 July, 2007


Wish I had a chianti… I had the fa- fa-fa- fava.


Aliens nearly descend on House-of-Yes!

10 July, 2007

Holy crap! Some aliens almost descended on the House this morning. Fortunately, I was out on the lawn with my alien thwarting camera, and that scared them off. Plus I was naked and had a ray gun.


More photos HERE, but remember, photos of aliens never turn out well.

Oatmeal Red Special I.P.A. House Brew

9 July, 2007

Finally, another House ale. 10 gallons worth:
(and crap, I forgot to take an original gravity hydrometer reading).
Now that this beer has fermented, I have realized that I only have 7.5 gallons. From top of the yeast sediment to the top of the keg fermenter is 48cm. The beer topped out (from the top of the yeast sediment) at 28cm. That’s what I get for not using a proper volume dipstick on my keg. No worries, thought, the beer tastes great, and hoppy.

For the impatient, the photos are HERE.

  1. 12# light liquid malt extract;
  2. 1/2# unhopped extra light dried malt extract;
  3. 2# 120 lovibond Crystal malt;
  4. 1.5# American 2-row;
  5. 1.5# toasted American 2-row (oven 350 degrees for 12 minutes);
  6. 1/4# roasted barley (which makes a pale ale “red”);
  7. 1/2# old fashioned oats;
  8. 2 oz. Nugget (90 min.);
  9. 2 oz. Columbus + a few Cascade pellets (20 min.);
  10. 3 oz. Northern Brewer (flameout);
  11. 1 (one!) package Saf-ale US-05 dry yeast.

Strike specialty grains with 7 quarts 163 degree water and hold temperature at about 152 degrees for 1 hour.

Sparge and add water to volume of 12 gallons, allowing for malt extract displacement, for for 90 minute boil. As water warms, add malt extract (dry and liquid), as well as first hop addition. (Begin timing bittering hop addition at boil, though).

80 minutes into boil, add flavor hops: 2 oz. Centennial + about a dozen Cascade hop pellets (read, “remnants”).

At flameout, add 3 ounces Northern Brewer.

I used a hop bag for this batch, due to the fact that my kettle does not have spigot at the bottom and I have had problems with siphons clogging in the past. I also decided, out of laziness, after chilling the wort in a cool water bath, to use the kettle as a fermenter for the first few days. This is my first attempt at “open fermentation,” so I will have to report on how things turn out. If they turn out well, I will probably begin fermenting in kegs that have not been modified (save removing the “plumbing”), by using a a drilled rubber stopper and fermentation lock. The only downside to this is that I have grown fond of making 10 gallons and fermenting with 2 yeasts (after dividing the batch into two 5-gallon fermenters). If I use one large fermenter, I will not be able to use two yeasts.

On the positive side, if I get into high volume Belgian styles, I can ferment one large batch, then divide it up for various fruit additons. I love plain Gueze (and kriek, from time to time), but the tiny food girl loves peche, and framboise.

If you missed them, pictures are HERE.

We are not worthy. Jack Palance remembered.

8 July, 2007

Jack Palance, actor. Lifetime: Feb. 18, 1919–Nov 10, 2006. Celebrated for many roles and very physical stunt acting. He usually played a villain. I just watched his second movie, the film noir classic, Panic in the Streets. Palance plays “Blackie,” a New Orleans crime don who kills a man carrying pneumonic plague. The coroner recognizes there is something wrong with the corpse (aside from two bullet holes in his chest), and decides to call in a civil service doctor to contain the disease. All men in contact with the foreigner will need to be vaccinated, or face death within 4 days. The only man (or men) left uninoculated, will be the killer(s), but the killers, in turn, if unfound, could infect the city (and the nation–and the world!).

The film smacks of early metaphorical red-scare Hollywood. The rampant spread of disease by as few as one individual stands as symbol for the “threat” of communism and the domino effect that ensues in neighboring countries once one nation succumbs to communist thought (a claim now long proven incorrect). A similar, though anachronistic, parallel could be made with our current (and equally erroneous–as time shall tell) executive branch claims about “terror,” but this is not the time or place for that discussion.

Anyway, the film, though stilted as many 1950’s films are, is really quite good. And Palance portrays Blackie well, first in the sadistic personality his character harbors–threatening a croney one minute, praising and caressing him the next; and second because of his stunt acting as he tries to evade apprehension. Don’t expect Tony Jaa type stunts–this was Hollywood 57 years ago. But Palance did his part in making stunt acting what it is today. (Rant alert: Don’t even talk to me about stunts in “wire-fu” or The Matrix movies; these are magician-like fake stunts (in the case of the former), and computer generated stunts without real actors (like video games, in the case of the latter). When you see Palance at work, it is clear that he is really playing to character, and he does not need wires or a computer to do the work for him.

 Palance never received any oscar recognition for his many great roles, but the academy did throw him a token, guilt-laden, Oscar in 1992, as a supporting actor, for his role in the crappy film City Slickers. Palance was shocked to have won, and confessed that he had been at home earlier that evening, doing one armed pushups, wondering whether he should even attend the incestuous academy circle-jerk (not his words). When eyebrows of doubt raised over his one armed pushup claims, he left the dias, got on the floor, and did some right there!

Click here for the video of Jack Palance doing one armed pushups at age 73.

**Fast forward to about 3:45. Apologies for the clip being dubbed in Spanish.

Country Coburn’s Mountain Lake Bicycle Tour on a 1974 Raleigh Supercourse 650B Conversion.

7 July, 2007

Country Coburn began his bike tour to the UVA Mountain Lake Biological Research Station at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007. His departure down highland looked like this (click here for video). His bicycle is a 1974 Raleigh Super Course that has undergone a 650B wheel conversion.

The route (for those of you with Mapquest open or a Virginia Gazetteer):

Day 1: House-of-Yes to Old Lynchburg Road (708 south). Old Lynchburg Road to Dudley Mountain Road. Dudley Mountain Rd. to Red Hill Road (708). Red Hill Road to Taylor’s Gap Road (710 south). Taylor’s Gap Road to Plank Road (696 west). Plank Road to Dick Woods Road (692 west, paved and dirt (note: union with “Old Turnpike Road” just east of Afton, VA) to Rte. 151 / Rte. 6 (north). Rte. 151 / Rte. 6 (north) to Stagecoach Road (left / west). Stagecoach Road to Rte. 250. Rte 250 (about 1.5 unpleasant, uphill miles) to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Blue Ridge Parkway to Howardsville Turnpike (610). Howardsville Turnpike to Mount Torry Road (664 south) at Sherando, VA. Mount Torry Road south to “Coal Road” (FR 42) through George Washington National Forest. “Coal Road” to South River Road (608 south)….. more later…

Toward Vesuvius, VA. and beyond…


(Click here or on the thumbnail to see the photos)

Update at the end of day 1: 100 miles completed! Charlottesville to Fancy Hill, VA.

Route comments: Coal Road (FR 42) through George Washington National Forest, which is 15 miles of hilly dirt and gravel, “sucked”(due more to the hills than the dirt)–better to stay on paved alternatives. South River Road (608) mysteriously ends, despite what the Gazetteer shows, and a re-route through Lexington was required. Much of the most unpleasant traffic on Rte. 250 at Afton can be avoided by turning left on Stagecoach Road (second left after the railroad tracks at Afton).


Click the thumb to put the first day in perspective.

Day Two: Safe arrival before 10:00 p.m.. Comments later.



Tips for bicyclists from motorists.

4 July, 2007

This is perhaps the best “tip” video ever for bicyclists. The funny thing is that Natasha is “driving” a Rhodes car, which has simple origins as a side-by-side recumbent bicycle for two.


(Click here or on the thumb to view)

Candycane and Zoot’s bachelor(ette) party photos.

3 July, 2007

Here are a few photos of the prep and food for Candycane and Zoot’s bachelor(ette) party. If anyone has any photos of note, please forward them on to me.

The Photos: ((Click Here))