Sunday, October 13. 2013
A few months ago I started trading with Open Range Trading.
We trade ES futures contracts - which are futures market contracts for the S&P 500 index. Come check it out and see what you think. The trading isn't limited to only ES though, the system works for any future you want to trade.
Monday, December 8. 2008
To start at the beginning, I recently got a PS3 (with some nice financing options on the sony style website it was affordable).
I have been disappointed with the games coming out for Wii. I am not sure if it has to do with popularity or what exactly.
Seems the more popular a console the more crapware comes out for it. In general though you get some really good stuff in with all the crap,
and there are some good games for Wii, but there seems to be a lack of GREAT games. A lot of quick play stuff (games composed of minigames).
So with the lack of substantial games, I turned to the competition -- debated over 360 or PS3 for a couple weeks...
The 360 seems to be hitting its hardware limit, but the PS3 seems to be just getting started, so I went with PS3. Some games I wanted to play are 360 only and some were PS3 only,
and the decision was not so clear. Jon has a PS3 and thought I should go that route (which is what I ended up doing). Came down to free online play and technological advancement I guess.
With the PS3 I ordered a couple games, Elder Scrolls Oblivion and Little Big Planet. Stopped by a used bookstore (which deals in used media of all types)
and found a couple more games for a substantial discount, one of which was Metal Gear Solid 4.
I finally started playing it a couple weeks ago.
First impressions were like good grief there are a lot of cut scenes.
The game counter says it took me about 30 hours to beat. The game counter stayed counting while I had it paused - which was probably upwards of 10 hours.
So with cut scenes and everything I would estimate 20 hours of actually playing. Definitely worth the price of admission - lots of story that was fairly entertaining.
We had the original metal gear game for NES, many years ago (1987 is when it came out - so 21 years ago - wow that makes me start to feel old).
I would say we still have the cartridge around somewhere. So I had a little of the background of the story. I was missing a bunch of the filler story between the original and the latest.
Konami did a good job filling in the story. I was quite impressed with the whole thing - it was essentially a 20 hour movie where you got to act out the battle scenes in first person.
The game was not so much about the killing as it was about getting through undetected. I was not so sure about it before I played, but afterwords I have to say it is a really great game.
Like I said though its more than just a game - it was entertainment!
Not sure how much replay I will give it. I beat it on stupid easy level, instead of anything remotely hard - but if it was any kind of difficult I probably would not have beaten it.
This caulks up the tally to some abysmally low amount of games I have beaten like 6 or 8... But I like the fact that the end of the game was attainable for a non-hardcore gamer such as myself.
Maybe I can finish out Little Big Planet next...
Thursday, July 10. 2008
We got up early. Really really early - like 3:30 AM took my last home shower to wake up a bit before we traveled.
We got to the airport about 4:15 - the counter didnt even open until 4:30. Finally we got our tickets - checked our bags and got through security. Got on the plane and flew to Atlanta in about 27 mins of air time.
We got into the airport and headed to the concorse with our connecting flight. There we saw the Budweiser brewhouse, but Jon wanted to get his friend in Vancouver some cigarettes from the duty free store. We headed down to the last concourse to visit the duty free shop. Kimberly found a Starbucks and decided she needed a coffee. We got that then went to find the duty free shop. Prices were fair in there. Jon got his friend a 200 pack of cigs. Then we returned to budwieser which wasnt actually fully open, however they did have an overpriced omlette station open, so we ate some omlettes.
Next we headed on over to the gate where we ran into a bunch of the family. Seemed like half the plane belonged to our family.
First thing I noticed when I sat down was that my seat screen was in a never ending kernel panic - while most of the other screens were blank, so I figured no big deal they all seem broken. Well that was NOT the case. Just as soon as they announced they would be showing a video, almost all the screens started booting up, while mine just stayed with the never ending kernel panic. ( and kept with that for the next 5.5 hours )
We watched a couple movies on Kimberly's screen - starting with 'Drillbit Taylor' and then 'definitely maybe'.
We landed in Vancouver, and went through customs - which seems to have neglected to stamp either of our passports. Then we exited out into the lobby got about $60 changed to canadian $. We got out to the front of the airport and stood there debating the best way to get Jon, Teri, Kimberly, and I to our two different hotels.
After figuring some rates we decided to get a limo, which speedily took Kimberly and I to the Sutton Place Hotel. We got out and the limo left to take Jon and Teri to their hotel.
Our hotel was pretty fancy. As soon as we got out of the limo they guys grabbed our bags and put them on a kart. We went and got checked in - which took no time at all, so then our guy directed us to our room 821. The room was pretty fancy.
We got settled a bit and then decided we should go down to chinatown and look around - maybe get some lunch.
So we started out walking down toward the bay (north) and then took a right turn down hastings street. Everything was going pretty good until we walked out of the "nice" part of town into the less nice part of town. Kimberly saw some people doing drugs and stuff. We finally got down to the street we were supposed to turn down to get to chinatown and a guy walks up next to us, holds up a gallon size (or whatever size they are in canada) ziplock and says "what do you guys think ? I just bought this for 3 dollars) -- it was a good size bag full of weed. He kinda showed it off a minute as he walked along with us, and then we diverged paths. We walked around china town a bit, we went into some of the open air markets and looked at the spices. We went into a grocery store type market deal and got Karin some ramen noodles in a Chinese looking package. While we were checking out we asked the lady -- who didnt speak much english -- where was a good place to eat. She asked us what we liked. We tried to explain we had not really had real Chinese food, just American version of Chinese food, and we did not know what exactly we might like. So she finally directed us across and down the street to HON's House of noodle. We walked in and it looked promising. It had kind of a cafeteria layout with big tables and chairs, the sign said to please wait to be seated, and spend your US dollars here.
We waited to be seated and we got seated next to an old Chinese lady whom was eating soup with chop sticks -- how on earth she was eating soup with chop sticks I cannot begin to explain, but she was doing it and it was just neat.
We inspected the menu for a good long time and an older waitress came by to ask what we wanted, again we explained not knowing anything about real chinese food. Basically she said you (pointed to Kimberly) want this one (pointed to item on menu) and you (pointed to me) want this one (pointed to another item on menu) ... We ordered those items and they were GREAT. Kimberly got sweet and sour Mango pork, I got black pepper chicken. It was all delicious.
We walked around a bit after we were done eating. We went to the Chinese Heritage Museum (which had lots of pictures, and a calligraphy exhibit upstairs) and walked through the gardens, all very pretty, and neat.
Finally we headed back down to our hotel. Stopped by a drug store to pick up a few items since I had conveniently left my TSA liquids bag sitting on the counter in the bathroom at the house when we left.
We had arranged to meet up with Jon and Teri, and Corey and Nadia for dinner. We walked around the hotel a bit to kill some time before then. We say that there was a free wine tasting on the wine merchant part of the hotel. So we swung through there where they sampled us about 4 glasses of wine for free ( thats like a half bottle each or some thing...) We both liked the "Conundrum" brand white that they were serving. They were charging a steep $39 a bottle (at least we both felt that it was steep...) ((seems the website MSRP is $24 a bottle))
Finally we meet up with Jon and Teri, and we go down to the Steamhouse brewery to eat. Kimberly and I ordered a pitcher of their witbier, while Jon, Teri, and Corey decided to take on the "Tower of Beer" -- A 3 liter massive vessel of beer - it even had its own tap.
Kimberly and I - still kinda full from the excellent Chinese food decided to get an order of Nachos to eat. It was huge.
We ordered up a 2nd pitcher of beer - probably not necessary. We eventually got it all consumed though.
It was a fun evening, and an interesting brewery. Reminded me alot of our own Downtown Grill and Brewery.
Our new Canadian friends got us safely delivered back to our hotel, and we pretty much called it a night since it was about 10 PM local time I think, which was like 1 AM our time, so we had been going for about 22 hours at this point. Tired...
Wednesday, March 26. 2008
So lately we go to the gym a lot. I would say (based on my polar recorded numbers) I am averaging around 3000 calories burned per week for the past 8 weeks or so.
Early last week I had lost up to 13 pounds, but after some hearty Easter eating and a couple days of exercise I am standing at a 9 pound loss from 9 weeks ago.
The Nokia internet tablet (N810) I got for Christmas is great. Finally accepted the 7 day free trial for the GPS navigation software that came with it. My review of the software is that it is pretty good.
The streets are mostly accurate and the geo-coded POI's are fairly good too. Compared to microsoft streets and trips 2007 it is ALOT better. I have not played with a new garmin or tomtom or anything so I cannot really offer much comparison there, but it works better than microsofts stuff.
I bought a Neuros OSD tv recording device a couple months ago. The device works as advertised, but it is highly a product under development. The OSD part of the name is supposed to me Open Source Device or some thing like that. I have played with it a bit, root shell out of the box is nice.
It integrated right into my home network and records TV right onto any of the windows network drives on my network. Quality of the recordings is good for SD TV. The company (link) has talk about a HDTV device that they plan to bring to market in the next couple years. That sounds nice too. I bought it to use for tivo like recording when I need to record some thing on TV, and it works for that... Works well.
I slowed down on beer making a bit. A little bit time consuming -- just a couple hours every week or two to set it up and bottle it, but my weekends have been focused on putting a roof on the garage.
We decided on a metal roof in a charcoal gray color and we ordered it from lyon's roofing. At this point it seems I got exactly what I paid for, nothing less, nothing more.
Some keys for putting up metal roofing as a DIY project:
1. Pre drill the holes for the screws.
2. Use a mechanical cutting tool like a air nibbler for any custom cuts to the panels.
3. Cautiously move and stack panels, the paint comes off easily.
4. Spend extra time to make sure the first panel up is as square to the roof as possible, makes all the rest of the panels come out good.
5. Buy some magnetic nut driver bits for your drill/driver. (incredibly helpful to have that screw stay in the bit as you reach over to put it in the pre drilled hole)
I have pictures I need to put up eventually.
Saturday, January 19. 2008
Bottled the witty monk beer today using real glass bottles that I got for Christmas from my sister-in-law.
SG at bottling is 1.010. The aroma from the brew smells very similar to the wit beer I made from scratch a few weeks ago.
Hope it tastes good!!!
Saturday, January 12. 2008
bottled a regular cider sg was 0.994... lighter than water.
made a batch of witty monk (mr. beer premium mix) sg at start is 1.034 it looks like.
With the power of my new Nokia N810 Internet Tablet I can just write this stuff straight from the kitchen.
Monday, December 10. 2007
First off there were several of the bottles of the cinnamon cider that were excessively bulging. The neck of the PET bottle was extremely cracked on one bottle, and very cracked on several others - the pressure was extreme.
Bottom line is: it tastes good to me.
I put on a regular cider with 3 cups of sugar and a dash of vanilla (was trying to go for a caramel flavor in the result - like I got with the amber wheat batch of brew)
OG is 1.038 - seems low but thats what it measured out to be.
Tuesday, August 21. 2007
So, since I got my Polar F55 at Christmas (nearly 8 months ago) I have burned about 58,800 calories according to the counter. I missed several weeks here and there.
Turns out what we normal Americans know as calories is actually kilocalories. Which means I have burned 58800 kilocalories.
1 kilocalorie is equal to 4186.8 Joules. 1 Joule is equal to 2.777777777777777E-7 Kwh (kilowatt hours).
So that makes 1 kilowatt hour equal to 859.845 calories (kilocalories).
My measily 58,800 calories is 68.4 kwh of power - not too bad I guess ..... I expended enough energy to burn a 100 watt light bulb for 684 hours or 28.5 days.
Our house used like 2100 kwh more or less which means the house used up 1.8 million calories worth of energy in 29 days - what a fat burner. heh....
Just for reference there are about 3500 Calories in 1 pound of fat. So thats like 16.8 pounds worth of fat I burned in 8 months (too bad I am not nearly that much lighter than I was at Christmas heh)
Interesting I thought...
Sunday, July 22. 2007
Bottled the amber wheat beer.
Took the specific gravity measurement and it was 1.014 after fermenting so:
If the starting gravity of the wort is 1.048, and after fermentation, the gravity is 1.014. Subtracting the second from the first gives us the weight of CO2 that left the vessel. That is equal to 0.034 kg/L. Then you multiply by 1.05 to get the weight of the alcohol in the container. That is 0.0357 kg/L. Now that you know both the mass of the solution (1.014 kg/L) and the mass of the alcohol (0.0357 kg/L) you can calculate the percentage of alcohol by mass by dividing the two. This gives 0.0357/ 1.014, which equals 0.0352, or 3.52 percent.
So that makes the amber wheat 3.52 percent alcohol by mass. Most of the time we are used to Alcohol by volume so that would be:
you get 3.52/0.79 or 4.5 percent alcohol by volume.
A sample from the little extra left over after bottling taste a bit like caramel... interesting.
Saturday, July 7. 2007
Bottled the cider that had the seneca added to it.
Took the specific gravity measurement and it was 0.992 after fermenting so:
If the starting gravity of the wort is 1.054, and after fermentation, the gravity is 0.992. Subtracting the second from the first gives us the weight of CO2 that left the vessel. That is equal to 0.062 kg/L. Then you multiply by 1.05 to get the weight of the alcohol in the container. That is 0.0651 kg/L. Now that you know both the mass of the solution (0.992 kg/L) and the mass of the alcohol (0.0651 kg/L) you can calculate the percentage of alcohol by mass by dividing the two. This gives 0.0651/ 0.992, which equals 0.065625, or 6.56 percent.
So that makes the cider 6.56 percent alcohol by mass. Most of the time we are used to Alcohol by volume so that would be:
you get 6.56/0.79 or 8.3 percent alcohol by volume.
I put in a new batch of amber wheat beer and tried some thing new. I added 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract to the wort before boiling was achieved. This new wort measured 1.048 for specific gravity. I am hoping that it comes out very flavorful and tasty.
Saturday, June 9. 2007
Well after a week of carbonating we tried the wheat beer. It is really good A LOT of flavor. I thought it drank really well.
down near the bottom of the glass the after taste started to be like a piece of whole wheat bread.
It is good!
Wednesday, May 16. 2007
Bottled the cider I started a month or so ago... probably left it in the fermenter too long but we shall see the reading on the specific gravity was 0.992 that means the alcohol content of the batch is ummm I need to figure that out. ok -- from how stuff works filling in my numbers:
You can compare the starting specific gravity to the final specific gravity. If the starting gravity of the wort is 1.044, and after fermentation, the gravity is 0.992. Subtracting the second from the first gives us the weight of CO2 that left the vessel. That is equal to 0.052 kg/L. Then you multiply by 1.05 to get the weight of the alcohol in the container. That is 0.0546 kg/L. Now that you know both the mass of the solution (0.992 kg/L) and the mass of the alcohol (0.0546 kg/L) you can calculate the percentage of alcohol by mass by dividing the two. This gives 0.042 / 1.02, which equals 0.055, or 5.5 percent.
So the ciders with the red circle on the lid are 5.5 percent alcohol by mass. Most of the time we are used to Alcohol by volume so that would be:
It is important to note that the percentage of alcohol by mass is higher than the percentage of alcohol by volume because an equal mass of alcohol occupies more volume than water would. So to convert from percent alcohol by mass to percent alcohol by volume you just divide by the density of alcohol. In this case you get 5.5/0.79 or 6.967 percent alcohol by volume (we shall call it 7% by volume).
Started a new batch - a wheat beer... has wheat beer base with a golden wheat UME and a booster pack the specific gravity was 1.044 at the time I added the yeast and closed it up. Probably should not wait a month to bottle this batch...hopefully 3-7 days...
Sunday, April 15. 2007
Just put a new cider into the fermenter. Made a pretty standard recipe. Used 3 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup of clover honey. Added just up past the 8 quart mark on the fermenter - which should yield 24 - 12oz bottle equivalents. The new thing that I did was to use the hydrometer that my grandma gave me of what was left of my grandpas old beer making stuff. I read a specific gravity of 1.044 and on the potential alcohol scale it was just past the 5% toward the 6% - The hydrometer is accurate at 60°F and I am sure I was reading it quite a bit warmer since the brew was not even cool to the touch and the wort in the fermenter has pushed the temperature scale beyond the fermenter's temperature reading. Maybe I can get a semi close reading guesstimate since I am really only using the difference in the specific gravity before and after fermenting.
We shall see how it all works out in a couple weeks I guess.
Sunday, March 18. 2007
Things hum along normally...
My aging box for my beer became quite full after the most resent batch of chocolate cider was put in there to age. Since the box was full I took a break on the batches for a couple weeks now, trying to drink down the stock so to speak heh.
Winter seems to be breaking, had 70°F days last week, then a couple cold ones this weekend, but I think we are headed back to the warm weather again this coming week. Karin is on spring break so maybe she will get to play outside during some of it.
The boys are finally getting old enough to enjoy having a GIGANTIC sandbox -- well mostly Jacob, but they both play.. I dug out a tunnel for Jacob through the sand and he just loved it. He was running a wooden stake through it which he was calling his train...
Kimberly planted several bulbs in the 3rd planter back in the fall and several of them were starting to bloom today - very pretty... I am hopeful that the yard will be all cleaned up this spring some time and that will be the last of the dirt that has to be brought in...
The roof is almost completely framed out for the garage -- just a few more pieces left to place in the corners and the we can put the sheeting on and the roofing and be DONE with that part, then the siding, windows, doors can be put in and it will be finished!!
Then there is the matter of getting concrete poured out to the garage (of course the dirt needs to be placed first so its a bunch of projects in progress working to a nicer homestead.
Finished up a survey job this weekend with Howard from Smokey Mountain Land Surveying. The deal we agreed upon was to split the profit from weekend jobs. This was the first project that we finished - so we shall see how it works out. I am hoping profitably as it was only 2 days work and should be a couple thousand $$ I hope.
I need to get some pictures dumped and put some links for them up.
Lost one of the computers at work - well was not a complete loss, but it crashes randomly and had to be taken out of productions as I lost work frequently when it crashed. Ended up with a new AMD based Quad core with 2 gigs of ram and got one of the nice 30" dell widescreen monitors to use with it. Pop thinks the 30" screen was worth the upgrade, as I am able to look at 2 documents at once and copy things more quickly -- improving my productivity.
Lots of projects going on around town... I have marked out about 20 houses already this year I think. One subdivision has gone from nothing to nearing the final stages of grading already. A couple others are in various stages of putting in utilities. Several others are in various stages of the planning - from just getting MPC approval to revisions of the grading plans for permit. KUB's new rules are proving aggravating - seems they want 3 submissions reguardless what may or may not be wrong on the plans. They had us change some thing and then change it back. I am not sure they have quite figured out their own new rules.
Monday, February 5. 2007
Cherry wheat went into bottles last night. -- smelled good - they yeast scrap in the bottom was all red, I am guessing from the cherries - or maybe that was food coloring from the cherries.
What went in the bottles was still a little cloudy, with some more flocculation and clarification in the bottles the final product should not be too cloudy.
I tried an experiment with the new batch that I put on. Took a regular cider mix and added 2 tablespoons of hersheys cocoa to the wort after boiling, covered with saran wrap and let it sit for about 10 minutes to steep before I added it into the fermenting vessel. Kimberly was hesitant about the idea of chocolate apple cider. When I was adding the cocoa, she decided that it smelled really good, so maybe it will turn out to be some thing good.
This morning I was checking on the status of the fermenter with my trusty flashlight and I had quite a bit of sediment already - which seemed unusual for 12 hours of fermenting.. and it looked like some of the cocoa had attached itself to the bubbles produced by the yeast, the foam that was on top was mostly dark cocoa brown color.
I am wondering if:
1. Did I add enough cocoa?
2. Should I have added it at the beginning of the boil, instead of the end?
3. Did I steep it long enough?
4. Will chocolate apple cider taste good?
I guess trial and error are the only real ways to find out -- 6-7 weeks and we shall see how this experiment turns out.
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