Kevin's Journal - August

Also available as RSS: XML

Mon Aug 30, 2004 10:32 PM

Second times the charm. Tested out a few things and then determined that the following steps would result in cider goodness:

Put apples in bucket.

Take 2x4. Smash apples with end of 2x4.

Pour mashed fruit into the cider press and press.

Jeremy and I managed to press about 15 gallons of cider tonight. 10gal went into carboys so it could start it's lovely fermenting. The rest we put into our fridges to drink now. Very very yummy.

Sun Aug 29, 2004 10:11 PM

Attempted cider tonight. I went over to Beer at Home (which it turns out is only a mile from my house) and rented a cider press. They had a nice new unit there they rent out for $15/day. Got that back home in time for jeremy and jeff to show up. Sean and Evelyn also were passing through and stopped to help out. We picked tons and tons of apples. Next step was to chop them up and get them into the cider press, which we managed to do just fine. Then the press didn't press. It would get to a point and then just be too hard to crank. We tried a number of things, discussed theories, but the best we could come up with is that the apples were too hard and needed to be mushed before cidering further. So, we are going to freeze the apples tonight, thaw them tomorrow and then try pressing them again tomorrow night. At least we got all the apples picked.

Sat Aug 28, 2004 9:27 PM

Spent the afternoon upgrading my firewall. It was a very stable machine, but it was running RedHat 7.3, which is beyond getting old. Also, I wanted to add more network interfaces to it to handle the new dsl line I should in theory be getting next week.

I had hopes it would be a pretty simple operation. I installed fedora core 2 on a test box, and got it configured with selinux and the packages I wanted. Then, I just swapped the drive into the old machine along with a 4 port matrox network card. The first issue I ran into was that the video card had decided to croak on that firewall box, and I never noticed since I never logged into the console there. Managed to scrounge up another AGP card and got past that problem. Then I had to figure out which port was which on the network cards. This new setup I have currently 4 active interfaces and will soon have 6. One each for: main dsl, cable, new dsl, internal network, wireless, and dmz.

Moving the access point to it's own interface was a pain. Had to reconfigure it and then tweak the firewall rules to allow what I wanted. It should now allow vpn traffic and thats about it. Next pain was me messing up on modifying the /etc/sysconfig/syslog file to not log all the firewall denies to the console. I put in there a '-n 4' instead of '-c 4'. -n tells it to not background, so it would hang there on boot.

Some nice things about this setup: I named the interfaces based on what they are connected to, not eth0 or whatever. Makes looking at the firewall logs very nice, you can see right away that a package was IN=dsl and going OUT=wireless. selinux should make things pretty secure. Even root is pretty restricted on what it can do.

Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:34 PM

A word about D&D:

I've been playing in a D&D game (most) every tuesday night for a while. It's really been quite nice to do some role playing again. I really missed it. Exersizing your imagination, your ability to think of what to do in weird/tough situations, and hang out with cool people are all quite nice. D&D isn't something I remember too well, since I last played 1st edition AD&D and started with basic D&D. In a lot of senses the system itself doesn't matter, the role playing and figuring things out is the important part. I do prefer GURPS over D&D as a system, but I guess in the end it doesn't matter.

Speaking of GURPS as soon as I get my new copies of the 4th edition books (just coming out now), I am planning on running a game here. Probibly monday or wed night. I have a few takers already, but could use a few more. Anyone interested? Drop me an email.

Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:35 PM

Some more pictures of the lovely jessica:

Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:41 PM

On the transitory nature of wines.

Drinking a nice bottle of merlot tonight and it got me thinking. Sure, with the mass produced vats of wine there are a number of bottles of each particular wine made, but still each one is it's own particular grapes. Even if there are 10,000 bottles of some particular wine "batch" bottled, you have to think after a few years most of those bottles are either gone and drunk, or sitting in some collectors basement. So, enjoy the unique bottle of wine that you have. Those grapes and that yeast fermented for you!

Side note: the wine I had tonight was a 1997 mendocino merlot - Sketchbook collection. They have a website which is pretty unimpressive. I was hoping they would at least have images of the labels. The label is surely why I got this wine. It has a old hound on it (looks white with brindle spots) saying "don't wake me - I'm old".

Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:47 PM

Jessica the new foster dog is working out quite well. She's very on the shy side. If you approach her too fast she will run away from you. Likewise if you yell at her she takes it very seriously.

Here are some pictures of jessica.


Sun Aug 22, 2004 10:33 PM

Well, not too bad a weekend. Friday night was most excellent. Saturday and Sunday I mostly got caught up on stuff around the house. In no particular order: Laundry, vacuuming, taking out trash, taking out doggie doo, moving around computer power supplies, getting test computer working again and re-installed, mowing, part of the deck treated with water seal, and probibly a bunch more things I can't remember doing now.

Earlier tonight went up to ft fun and helped the greyhound group bring another 5 dogs in from kansas. Got them looked over and parceled out. I got a new foster girl... her name is jessica. She's a very cute little greyhound. She is very much on the shy side. She is totally uninterested in the cat (which is good). She does have a few injuries tho. A nasty cut on her back leg and a dew claw that is really pulled and probibly will need to get removed. She put up with my bandaging her reasonably well. When I got home from picking her up merlin had managed to lick a small cut on his paw and turn it into a nasty bloody wound. Luckily I had all the stuff from bandaging up Jessica and wrapped up his paw to keep him from licking it. He is definitely a dog that licks any wound making it much worse.

This next week should be a pretty busy one. Fair bit of things going on work wise, CLUE North meeting on monday, Hopefully D&D game on tuesday night, Might take merlin down to therapy dog class Wed night, thursday night is hacking society, and then next Sunday we might be renting a press and making cider from all the apples on my apple tree.

Sat Aug 21, 2004 1:42 AM

Friday night was a pretty delightfull night. Went up to boulder at 6pm to bottle beer. It was a very nice mellow brown ale we made 2 weeks ago. We were all there and bottling at 6 and done byt around 7ish.

Then, after a quick stop back by my place to let the dogs out, it was downtown to Buca Di Beppo for a birthday gathering for sgailean and other folks that have birthdays this week. There was a pretty nice group for dinner. Amazingly we managed to order just exactly the correct amount of food. Everything was eaten and everyone said they were full. Lots of wine, good conversation and dessert.

After dinner most folks went on a pub crawl/wander around downtown. We stopped at an "irish" pub, but it was very loud and everyone there was drinking buckets of corona. We decided to leave. Then, off to a russian vodka bar. We had a very nice time there. The crazed russian host got us a vodka menu and served us forthwith. The texas vodka that rise wanted was not too bad, the honey vodka was quite good, and the black rasberry was pretty understated. We had a nice time sitting on the patio and talking and drinking vodka. Around 12:30 I decided to wander home and get back to the dogs. All in all a very nice evening.

Wed Aug 18, 2004 6:58 PM

Well, another year another birthday (yesterday). Was a pretty mellow and unimpressive day. Worked along as usual and got a fair bit done. After work I went and shopped for groceries and liquor, came home and made myself a nice steak dinner. Then relaxed and watched movies with drink in hand.

Hopefully making up for it, this friday there's going to be dinner and a pub/bar/club crawl down in denver with several of us who have had/are having aug birthdays. Any local denver/boulder folks reading this drop me a line for details.

Sat Aug 14, 2004 8:51 PM

Found a place called Mitchell's Garden Center near here that is bringing up green chilies and roasting. They are kinda pricy as might be expected, but it's very nice to have green chilies without having to drive 700 miles to get them. I got a big pile of both mild and hot. Very tasty, both kinds of them.

The BBQ went quite well. Had a nice turn out and lots of visiting and such.

For some reason this weekend has been hell on computer hardware. Two clients had machines locking up and otherwise not being very happy. Oh well, managed to at least get them stable.

Tue Aug 10, 2004 3:16 PM

I am going to be having a BBQ at my place this friday (the 13th!). party list archive posting for more information. If anyone wants to be on my party list to hear about gaming and parties: You can find it here: party list

In other news I was considering going down to New Mexico this weekend to pick up some green chilies, but I found a place near my house thats going to be getting some in tomorrow and roasting. About $20 a bushel, (you can typically get it in NM for around 10-15), but much closer. :)

Mon Aug 9, 2004 8:06 PM

Lovely dinner/evening. Dinner was an idea courtsey of my friend lizard:

1/2 package of cream cheese. 1 tbsp korean red spicy pepper sauce. Shrimp pasta

I think now that I had made this simple repast I will do a few things diffrently. More spicy red peper sauce is always in order (I started out low since I wasn't sure how hot it really was). Also, next time I will start the skillet out at 11 instead of starting out medium. It qas still yummy though. Also had a nice mellow cabernet with dinner. I must be a lightweight, a bottle of wine wipes we out anymore.

After that I took the dogs for a nice walk. We ran into a mom, a 6month old and a 3 year old. The 3 year old was fascinated by the dogs and wanted to know if they had a place to "pee pee" and "poo". Was amusing talking to her and having her mom look embarresed. The dogs loved the attention.

Sat Aug 7, 2004 6:24 PM

Nice saturday so far here. I went out to petsmart and ran a meet-n-greet for Colorado Greyhound Companions It was pretty amazingly dead there. Not nearly as many people as there normally are. It could be a bunch of people are off on summer vacations or something. We did get to see Jackson the great dane (one of my dog Kurt's favorate dogs in the world).

After getting back from that around 2pm, I headed down to the ren faire site to pick up benches and anything else that was left at the booth. Traffic was abysmal. Took me about 1.5 hours to get down to the faire site. At 8am during the run of faire I was managing around 45-55min. They had a bunch of signs up saying "Festival is over, go away, no tresspassing". Kind of makes me wonder how many people they have that show up the weekend after closing and wander in. "There wasn't anyone selling tickets at the front, so we just went in. Where can we buy a bugwiser?" Got the benches all loaded, and found that there was several things of trash that didn't get tossed on closing day. Its a good thing I picked them up, as they really attract the rats.

Now, on to an evening of drinking and watching audo-visual entertainment and vegging.

Thu Aug 5, 2004 8:43 PM

Well, it looks like the RSS feed handled the image I posted in the last posting ok, which is cool. So, without further adeu, here's a picture of many of the core folks that ran the greyhound booth out at the faire this year:

From left to right and top row to bottom: Todd, Leslie, Terry, Alexandra, Twyla, Kevin, Chris (top), Jade, Yvone, Merlin (bottom).

Was a nice run of faire this year. Hopefully we can find more people to help out at the booth next year, some weekends were pretty brutal.

Thu Aug 5, 2004 1:16 PM

Wonder how the RSS feed type things will handle me putting a picture into the stream? I guess there is one way to find out.

Isn't mouse (my last foster dog) just the cutest little greyhound:

Wed Aug 4, 2004 10:00 PM

Denver traffic continues to degrade. Yesterday on the way to the D&D game I'm in there was a nasty crash on I25 that made my trip take about 45min longer than normal. Tonight I was going to go down to the faire site and pick up the benches and anything else we had left in the booth, but it took me about 20min to get from 120th to 104th, so I decided to just abort and go down on the weekend. Boy am I glad I don't commute. I'm sure it would drive me mad in pretty short order.

Mon Aug 2, 2004 9:57 AM

This last weekend was the final weekend of the Colorado Ren faire this year. I am kinda both glad and sad that it's over. I really like the atmosphere out there, and it's really nice to show lots of people how wonderfull greyhounds are. On the minus side we have had a hell of a time this year finding enough people to volenteer to help us out at the booth. Saturday I was in the booth all day. I didn't leave even once. Sunday I did get a chance to go wandering around for a bit at least. Hopefully we can plan better next year and get a better lineup of people with outfits and dogs to help out.

In any case, here are pictures from the closing weekend of faire.

  • Back to July
  • This document was last modified on