One more day to go … in February. So very odd.
Did I mention that Marcia baked and decorated a wonderfully delicious cake for me to take to work in celebration of a recent parenthood event? Yeah, this is it:
The Cake Marcia made
Well, that’s part of the cake. We’d already started digging into it before I was thoughtful enough to take pictures of my own. Delicious: chocolate in many ways, plus raspberry compote layers in between. And I’m told there are very few calories involved. I should believe that, I think.
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Yesterday, I got the new over-the-range microwave oven installed, replacing the one that died a few weeks back. Today, some cleanup, some freshly roasted coffee (a Java from SweetMarias.com, and a bit of relaxation. Back to the mines tomorrow.
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DoD reported no new casualties in the last week. Ciao!
The weather liar says this is the first day of meteorological Spring. The weather itself says, “ICE!” They’ve been treating the roads and such, but there’s an eighth to a quarter inch of ice on lots of the rest of our area. Trees are deeply unhappy, with branches coming off due to weight. Lovely, really. And such a pleasure when taking the dog for a walk.
Today: Patching systems remotely for work, weekly food shopping, roasted coffee:
Roasted a Columbian today
I generally roast early enough that the beans have enough time to rest for at least three days (and outgas most of the CO2) before first grind and brew. No different today: We’ll probably be drinking off of this Columbia SO coffee by Thursday.
I also cleared most things out of Marcia’s front sewing room, and did wall work: sanding and re-spackling. Later in the week, I should be able to get the shoe moulding installed, do the final sanding, and get some primer on the walls with the intention of color coat on the weekend. We know where intentions lead, yes?
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In computing news, I puzzled my way through getting bhyve (the BSD Hypervisor) running on Serenity, the FreeBSD workstation/home server. It’ll be better to experiment with things in a virtual machine, than directly on the host. What I wasn’t able to do was get the tap and bridge networking up and running while *also* using PF, the host-based firewall. I like using firewalls as one layer in a robust security posture … but for now, not so much. The first experiment: PostgreSQL. I’ve worked some with Oracle’s database, and with MySQL (and the MariaDB fork thereof). But there are capabilities in PostgreSQL that I want to explore, and a small Python based project I’d like to write to spend some time with both the language and the database. More if there’s more to report at a later date.
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Gladly observed: still no new casualties announced by DoD in the most recent week. Ciao!
While the West is unseasonably warm and horribly dry, we’re hovering around normal on precipitation here in this back yard – .28″ measured for 2014 to date. But the temps we’ve got coming are something else again. Today was a summer-ish 38° F, with some rain to knock down most of the snow, more’s the pity. It was pretty outside, but not so much, now. Day after tomorrow, we should be around 0-2° F over night, with a high around 12° or so. That’s cold, baby! And dicey driving on roads slick with snow-melt that stopped melting. After that, oddly, we’ll be back up into the 40’s for a few days.
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I’ve been working on a small project. Here’s a piece of it in progress:
Working with wood
It’s nothing to do with a Buffy remake, if that’s what you’re thinking.
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Coffee – For these two weeks, we’re drinking a Guatemala Huehuetenango – Tono Sanchez. It’s roasted to City+, about halfway between first and second crack. Delicious!
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Our condolences to the family, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:
- Sgt. Jacob M. Hess, 22, of Spokane, Washington, died on Jan. 1, 2014, while supporting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
- Sgt. First Class William K. Lacey, 38, of Laurel, Florida, died on Jan. 4, 2014, in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when the enemy attacked his unit with rocket propelled grenades.
After yesterday, all I managed today was the weekly grocery shopping, a bit of furniture painting, and the roasting of the coffee (a Guatamala Huehuetenango Finca Reglaito, from Sweet Maria’s).
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Further good news, no caualties reported in the last week by DoD. Ciao!
So, I’ve got the week off, this week. And we’re not going anywhere, so I have time for projects, mixed in with the schoolwork. The first project is to clean up and reorganize the woodshop a bit. To do that, I need to get the coffee roaster and vent hood off of my workbench, where it’s lived for the last two years. I haven’t minded much, because I’ve been too busy to do much woodworking, but you never know.
Sitting in a box. I had components for a 6′ tall slender rack, rolling or standing. An alternative is to build two half-racks: one rolling, one standing. So I did, and the rolling cart, with a top applied, is the new roasting cart:
Coffee Roasting Cart
In a minute, the maintenance guy for our HVAC is going to be here, then I’ll continue with working in the shop. Ciao!
The coffee I’ve ordered, that is. Here’s the list of coffees ordered from Sweet Maria’s this evening:
- Costa Rica Bajo Canet de Tarrazu – 2 lbs
- Costa Rica La Legua Bourbon – 2 lbs
- Nicaragua Mozonte -Un Regalo de Dios – 2 lbs
- Ethiopia Yirga Cheffe Dumerso Cooperative – 2 lbs
- Kenya Nyeri Kagumo-ini – 2 lbs
- Costa Rica Helsar de Zarcero – Macho Arce – 2 lbs
- Guatemala Antigua Finca La Folie – 2 lbs
- Yemen Mokha Ismaili – 2 lbs
- Panama Carmen Estate 1900 Meters – 2 lbs
- Panama ‘Siete Dias de Bellota’ – 2 lbs
They’ll be here in a week and a half, fingers and eyes crossed. I’m down to two pounds left downstairs, so this is cutting it pretty fine. Yikes! I should have ordered the day we got back from Maine, but I was tired from the drive. Oh, well.
Typical boring weekend day for “homeowner with yard in summer”: Yardwork. We actually got a good chunk of rain yesterday – nearly an inch and three quarters, most of that within a one hour span shortly after four in the afternoon. So even though the lawns are pretty darned dead dormant (except around the flower and garden beds), I mowed everything, just in case there’s a moisture-induced explosion of growth. That and burning some coffee beans pretty much filled my day.
Yes, I said burning. I was reading, and didn’t pay as close attention as I should have. The beans plowed straight through the first and into the second crack before I realized what was going on. Tomorrow we’ll know how much I over-roasted by. If it’s burnt too much (too ashy-tasting, like that popular coffee house chain), I’ll just roast more tomorrow. It might be okay, though – it’s a Sumatran that’s supposedly good up to a Viennese roast.
Now, time to walk the mutt one last time for the day. Ciao!
Potatoes, zucchini, and cucumber
Hey! We just got 6/100″ of rain! It’s been bloody dry around here – the only green grass is near the flower and garden beds.
Isn’t that a nice-looking bowl of potatoes? I sliced up one of those, a zucchini, some garlic, and a pepper out of the garden, sautéed all of that in olive oil, and called it supper. Yum! I also have already roasted a pound of some Kenyan coffee beans this evening. The roaster lives in a vent hood I built that exhausts out the basement window. The exhaust is mobile; It doesn’t stay in the window.
Brian's coffee roasting setup
Now, on with the schoolwork. Ciao!
Yeah, there’s crappy news from around the world, but I’ll just keep trying to make lemonade. Or at least a really good cup of coffee. The bright spot in visiting CNN today was seeing a picture of the young Matthew Broderick, and thinking to myself, “SAVE FERRIS!”
On the coffee front, there’s Sweet Maria’s to help me with that. Tonight I roasted a pound of Panama Las Flores de Boquete using my Behmor 1600 roaster, profile P4, D mod. I let it run the full 23 minute roast cycle, and it took the coffee about a minute past first crack, which is right in the center of the recommended range for these beans. They’ll rest for the next day and a half, so my first pot from this batch is Friday morning.
While I could brew from this tomorrow, it’s generally been my experience (reinforced by the information from @sweetmarias) that the flavor of unburnt coffee really develops considerably when it’s rested for 24 hours or more after roasting. Yes, brewing from it tomorrow, it would taste like coffee. But on Friday, it’ll taste like really, really good super yummy coffee, and may stay on the upslope of flavor change for 3 or 4 days before starting on a slow decline. By then, I’ll be two days from roasting the next batch – I generally get 6 days or a week out of a roasted pound of coffee, depending on bean size and how much coffee Marcia wants me to brew. I can get a week of 10-cup pots from almost any pound of beans.