The Sundering: Dread Empire’s Fall

It’s been a while since I read the first book in this series, but time finally smiled on me and I got through the second one. The author’s taken the plot in a direction I hadn’t forseen after the first book. Lots of interesting plot twists, and if my to-be-read stack wasn’t so high, I might move right on to the third and final installment. If you like hard sci-fi/space opera you’ll probably enjoy this series, though it is a little distopian, so be warned.

Picked Up A Heated Jacket Liner

I had some Harley reward bucks to use up from a credit card so I went up to American Eagle Harley-Davidson this evening and picked up a heated jacket liner.  Harley’s chosen Gerbing to manufacture their stuff, and ordinarily I’d buy something without the logo to save some money but because of the reward points that were about to expire anyways, I got the liner for about $66.  It came with a wiring harness and a simple on/off switch, which I’ll be replacing with a thermostat at some point before winter, but at least even in the current configuration I’ll be a lot warmer this winter!  I’ll be mounting it up when I replace the RT’s battery this fall…

Home Inspection Is Done

The nice D.P.S. sergent came out and inspected the house and found nothing amiss, so it looks like I’ll be getting my permit at some point.  Now I just have to wait for the administrative side of the process to complete their work.  After that I’ll be a yeast cultivating fool!

Texas Brewers – Don’t Become Felons!

Just in case anyone doesn’t know, it’s illegal to buy Erlenmeyer flasks in the great state of Texas if you don’t have a permit from the D.P.S.

I found this out before I made a mistake I might regret later and have a permit application sent off to Austin.  More updates as it wends its way through the bureaucracy.

In case anyone needs the link to the D.P.S.’s information page (which has the permit PDFs as well), here you go!

New MacBook Pro

I went down to the Apple Store today and picked up a new MacBook Pro thanks to my student discount.  It’s a 13″ model and is definitely a lot more portable than the 17″ I’m replacing.  I also brought home one of the 24″ cinema displays and I’m really impressed with it.  I’m no tech reviewer so I’ll save that for people who make a living at it, but the laptop’s faster and cooler (no more cooked lap!) and the monitor is big and bright.  I’ve got to get the 17″ sold and I’m still waiting for the larger drive I ordered to arrive.  Right now I’ve got about 6 gigs of space free on the current, stock drive.

Adventures In Brewing: The Red Ale Chapter

I finally set some time aside to get another batch of beer brewed.  This one’s my first stab at an Irish red ale.  The recipe’s pretty simple, still an extract brew since I haven’t had time to start in on all-grain brews.

  • 7 pounds of light liquid malt extract
  • 1 pound 10L crystal malt
  • 1/4 pound roasted barley
  • 1/4 pound 80L crystal malt
  • 1 1/2 oz. Goldings (4.5% AA) at the start of the boil
  • 1/2 oz. Goldings (4.5% AA) 15 minutes from the end
  • Wyeast 1084 Irish Ale

The steep and boil went well, but the problems started during the chilling.  I didn’t get enough ice so the super duper chiller didn’t have enough cold to work with.  I had to pitch way warmer than I’d like (about 86 degrees), but the fermentation cooler was running full blast so it should cool the rest of the way down quickly.

Monster Hunter International

I’ve been waiting for this book ever since Larry announced that Baen was going to publish it, especially since copies of the self-published version go for hundreds of dollars, if you can find someone willing to part with their copy.

This book has it all: monsters, guns, comedy, drama, action, etc. It starts off with our protagonist barely surviving a run-in with a monster and getting recruited by MHI. From there on out it’s an almost non-stop thrill ride with vampires, wights, demons, and more. There were plenty of twists, it really kept me guessing until the end.

Seriously, go out and buy this book now!

The Flooring In Reese’s Room Is Done

The installation is complete, I’ve got a little more painting and a ceiling fan to replace, but it looks darned good. My measurements and estimation were spot on. My calculations said 7 boxes of planks, and when all was said and done there were 4 planks left over in box seven. That makes me feel a lot better about the stack of boxes sitting in the garage. I might even be a little over, so here’s hoping I can return them if so. Now that that room is done, I’m going to start clearing out the guest room for painting and then get it refloored as well. It’s starting to look better up here!