I had never even heard of the concept - so much of my coffee education was about getting the proper heat to brew.

I made my first batch yesterday, thanks to some directions from the internet. I used the proportions of 1 1/2 cups of cold water to 6 tablespoons of coffee, although next time I'll up the amount of coffee.

The first time, I let it brew for four hours, but that wasn't strong enough. The overnight brew did the trick. The end result is a coffee concentrate you can pour over ice or add hot water to, and while it has pretty nice flavor and retains all of the caffeine content, it lacks that acidic bite you get from hot brewed. We both opted to ice it today, but I'm going to make another batch tonight and see how it works as a hot coffee in the morning.

This makes me excited to try cold brewing coffees with a lot of flavor but that I had considered a bit too high noted for my tastes. The cold brew dials that down while bringing through the complexity of the lower tones.
I just rode all the way home from work!

4.4 miles, and while I was definitely getting tired and winded by the end, I never got so exhausted that I had to hop off. I was largely enjoying myself. :) I want to try out different routes and take a closer look at my bike map before doing it again - I ended up coming out on San Pablo a block north of Ashby and had to navigate that mess of an intersection. (For this, I hopped off and acted as a pedestrian, then illegally rode on the sidewalk for two blocks until I could get the hell off of Ashby - Ashby is a former one lane road that got converted to a two lane, and there's absolutely no clearance on the side of the road.)

I decided to go for it today because I rode down from work to a party in Emeryville last night, and realized that it had only taken me 22 minutes and I was 2/3 of the way home.

I am now closer to my ultimate goal of removing BART from my commute - and I've cut my commuting costs in half. I think that, for now, I'll take BART and trike the mile downhill in the morning to wake me up, and then I'll do the full trike ride home in the evening. Once I get my new pedals, I'll see how much of a difference they make, and if they do make it much easier, I'll consider trying the morning ride then.

Yay!

Tap tap

Jun. 1st, 2009 11:56 pm
I'm just testing the dreamwidth connection for now. Hopefully I'll have something a bit more substantive to crosspost over tomorrow!
I've been on LJ a long time (since 2000!) and still shudder and delight at writing a bio.

I am an outwardly reserved, inwardly passionate guy. I'm queer, geeky, and sensitive.
I maintain a separate blog about wine: Cheap Wine, Cheap Reviews.

If you want to know more about me, check out my interests. My journal is mostly friends only. Oh, and this is perfect:

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/dreams.png

My interests:

anthropology, arthur c. clarke, astoria, babylon 5, balance, baristas, bart, bdsm, bears, berkeley, board games, body art, bottoming, boys, bricks, bridgewalking, brooklyn, brownstones, cartography, cats, classical latin, classism, climate change, co-housing, coffee, communal living, community, cooking, cubs, cuddling, cuny, david tennant, debt, debt revolutions, doctor who, documentaries, dorks, drawing, driving, driving cross-country, early 90s, economic class, emotional energy, empathy, epics, exploration, f-zero, family guy, final fantasy, firefly, geography, globalization, google, graduate school, harry potter, hoodie weather, hoodies, human rights, hyperawareness, intentional community, interior design, international law, international politics, interstellar travel, ireland, irish history, katamari damacy, kundalini yoga, labor, labor rights, labrets, late 80's, leftists, living in my head, long island city, lynx, maps, mario kart, mosaics, mst3k, murray gold, neighborhoods, new york city, ngos, nintendo, northampton, nyc, oakland, older men, older women, parallel universes, passion, photography, piercings, political art, political science, polyamory, queens, queens college, queer vigilantes, queers, radiskull & devil doll, recovering catholics, red dwarf, regional planning, relationships, road trips, rpgs, rudy rucker, rvs, san francisco, science fiction, scissor sisters, sensation, six feet under, social class, stephen baxter, stewie, stubbornness, subways, sustainability, sustainable living, tattoos, teleportation, temescal, testosterone, time travel, topping, trains, transit, turbobricks, unions, urban, urban exploration, video games, volvos, walking in the night, wikipedia, woodhaven, workers' rights

Friends (66):
aberrant1, angelboyqz, anthrocubsf, bananasinorbit, beandelphiki, beatgoddess, beccawrites, bootgrease, branwyn32, cbrownsuperhero, crackkittie, danielray, dawgboi, deltagrl, derekja, dorfird, drownophelia, elzeekio, femmeboy, flutefly, forcemajeure, frankiejlh, furryfairy, geeksdoitbetter, genderwarrior, grokfairy, gypsyecks, i_am_lynx, immaculatepizza, jendaby, jmstine, johnnyboysriot, katycat, laughingsnow, lawlesslawyer, leftfield18, littlefilmboy, m16, marlarose, mascot, metabutch, mornhyland, mysteryfag, oh_behave, perkykoala, piginacage, queentushy, queer_boy, redrhodes, reesespieces86, rip_n_roll, saturninesprite, shutupandfish, somechicksings, songquake, speedy_421, suzily, theorybitch, thetruestself, ticket_to_zen, tinyrevolution, tranarchoi, waterchild, wearbear, wylddelirium, zenchump

Mutual Friends (60):
aberrant1, angelboyqz, anthrocubsf, bananasinorbit, beandelphiki, beatgoddess, beccawrites, bootgrease, cbrownsuperhero, danielray, dawgboi, deltagrl, derekja, dorfird, drownophelia, elzeekio, femmeboy, flutefly, forcemajeure, frankiejlh, furryfairy, geeksdoitbetter, genderwarrior, grokfairy, gypsyecks, immaculatepizza, jendaby, jmstine, johnnyboysriot, katycat, laughingsnow, lawlesslawyer, leftfield18, littlefilmboy, m16, marlarose, mascot, mornhyland, oh_behave, perkykoala, piginacage, queentushy, queer_boy, redrhodes, reesespieces86, rip_n_roll, saturninesprite, shutupandfish, somechicksings, songquake, speedy_421, suzily, thetruestself, ticket_to_zen, tinyrevolution, tranarchoi, waterchild, wearbear, wylddelirium, zenchump
My elation at Obama's victory is tempered with a sick-in-the-gut feeling about Prop 8. I was afraid this was going to happen.

Off to work.
From fivethirtyeight.com:

Over in Indiana, PA and Northern Cambria, PA, [Obama's] volunteers fielded complaints of a massive wave of ugly robocalls both paid for by John McCain's campaign and those paid for by third parties. The third party call was interactive, and purported to be from Barack Obama himself. The call starts out reasonably, and then "Obama" asks what the listener thinks is the most important issue. Whatever the response, "Obama" then launches into a profane and crazed tirade using "n***er" and other shock language.

SCOTUS Meme

Oct. 1st, 2008 01:01 am
From [livejournal.com profile] songquake!

As evidenced by Katie Couric, Sarah Palin is unable to name any Supreme Court Case other than Roe v. Wade.

The Rules: Post info about ONE Supreme Court decision, modern or historic to your lj. (Any decision, as long as it's not Roe v. Wade.) For those who see this on your f-list, take the meme to your OWN lj to spread the fun.

Go forth, and edumacate!

[livejournal.com profile] lavenderfrost has snagged Marbury v. Madison, which establishes that the courts can indeed declare a law unconstitutional.
[livejournal.com profile] wordweaverlynn chose United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974). This case, which she watched avidly, determined that the President of the United States is not above the law.
[livejournal.com profile] eestiplika went with Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003) "because it is applicable to my job. It allows some 'use of race' in student admission decisions under the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause, as a diverse student body is beneficial for all students."
[livejournal.com profile] missionista jumped in with Miranda v. the State of Arizona. That's where we get the term Miranda Rights, as in "you have the right to remain silent, you have the right to an attorney," etc.
[livejournal.com profile] giniliz added Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967)
From the source of all knowledge (a.k.a. wikipedia):
Loving v. Virginia was a landmark civil rights case in which the United States Supreme Court declared Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute, the "Racial Integrity Act of 1924", unconstitutional, thereby overturning Pace v. Alabama (1883) and ending all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States.
[livejournal.com profile] songquake - "mine? have to go with another "gimme" (especially since Marbury is taken): Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka, KS, establishing that separate is definitionally NOT equal. no more segregated schools, buses, water fountains, rest rooms (at least by race), railroad cars."

And I, [livejournal.com profile] walkinthenight am going to add McCullough v Maryland, 17 U.S. 316 (1819), which says 1. that the Constitution grants to Congress implied powers for implementing the Constitution's express powers, in order to create a functional national government, and 2. that state action may not impede valid constitutional exercises of power by the Federal government.
Hate/love federal bureaucracies? In many cases, you have this decision to thank!

So what's your favorite Supreme Court decision? Share!
I have not fact checked this article, but generally Bob Herbert is on the ball, so I thought I should pass this along...

McCain's Radical Agenda by Bob Herbert

Talk about a shock to the system. Has anyone bothered to notice the radical changes that John McCain and Sarah Palin are planning for the nation’s health insurance system?

These are changes that will set in motion nothing less than the dismantling of the employer-based coverage that protects most American families.

A study coming out Tuesday from scholars at Columbia, Harvard, Purdue and Michigan projects that 20 million Americans who have employment-based health insurance would lose it under the McCain plan.

There is nothing secret about Senator McCain’s far-reaching proposals, but they haven’t gotten much attention because the chatter in this campaign has mostly been about nonsense — lipstick, celebrities and “Drill, baby, drill!”

For starters, the McCain health plan would treat employer-paid health benefits as income that employees would have to pay taxes on.

Read the rest under the cut )
Palin on Rape Exams: Not the Taxpayer's Problem
or:
While Mayor, Sarah Palin Charged Rape Victims for Their Own Justice

I added the first article to the second one because it makes the connection between Palin and this policy clearer - She fired the existing chief of police in Wasilla, appointed a new one (Charlie Fannon), and he decided that this policy would be a good idea. She didn't oppose his decision. People may say that she wasn't paying attention. Well, she also claimed in another famous quotation that with a six million dollar budget, being mayor wasn't rocket science. If she wasn't aware of a change like that, she wasn't doing her job to begin with!

Besides, rape kits are for collecting evidence at a crime scene, not a part of the medical treatment that may happen afterwards! We don't charge for this in any other situation.

Grr.
Instructions: Go over to Wikipedia and enter the day you were born [such as "March 27"] and then pick 4 events, 3 births, 2 deaths, and 1 holiday that occurred on your birthday.

September 24 is the 267th day of the year (268th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 98 days remaining until the end of the year.

4 Events:

1. 1664 - The Netherlands surrenders New Amsterdam to England.
2. 1852 - The first airship is displayed
3. 1957 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends 101st Airborne Division troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce desegregation.
4. 1994 - National League for Democracy is formed by Aung San Suu Kyi and various others to help fight against dictatorship in Myanmar.

3 Births:

1. 15 - Vitellius, Roman Emperor (d. 69)
2. 1725 - Sir Arthur Guinness, Irish brewer (d. 1803)
3. 1936 - Jim Henson, American puppeteer (d. 1990)

2 Deaths:

1. 768 - Pippin the Short, King of the Franks (b. 714)
2. 1945 - Hans Geiger, German physicist (b. 1882)

1 Holiday:

1. In ancient Latvia, the third day of Mikeli, and the only day of the year during which men proposed to their prospective wives.
Recently, T. Boone Pickens, Texas oilman and former supporter of President Bush, has been running ads criticizing Bush and McCain's support for offshore oil drilling. You see, he's an oil man but he's seen the light, and we need to switch to renewable sources of energy. So he's thrown some of his significant fortune behind efforts to convince the American people to oppose more drilling. Isn't that sweet?

In today's NY Times article about this phenomenon, Timothy Egan wryly notes that Pickens just invested 10 billion dollars in building a giant wind farm in Texas, so he has something to gain from running these ads. He advances the possibility that Picken's heart might be growing just a bit:

Would it enrich him further? Yes. But perhaps it’s not about money. In “Chinatown,” the old man played by Huston was asked by Detective Jake Gittes what more he could possibly buy at his age.
“The future, Mr. Gittes. The future.”


To his credit, Egan then goes on to talk about how Pickens was behind the Swiftboat ads and is generally an unsavory character, so the Sierra Club's embrace of him might be a bit premature.

Here's the problem - Egan missed mentioning an entire major component of Pickens' support of the wind farms. Pickens recently switched from oil to water. He started up by buying a bunch of land in Texas and setting up pumps. Under Texas water law, the water rights go to whoever pumps the water first. Because water tables stretch across property boundaries, this means that two small landowners over the same aquifier will be pumping from the same supply, so whoever pumps more gets more and has the right to profit off of its sale.

Pickens has set up pumps on a massive scale, outstripping anything that a smaller ranch owner could do. He essentially has control of the water supply of an entire county, and is now looking for a buyer. They're refusing his offer. So he's put out feelers to major cities such as Dallas.
Dallas hasn't taken him up on the offer yet, but as their population continues to grow and water becomes more scarce, chances are that someone is going to accept his offer. So he's been working on more land acquisition to build a pipeline.

What did he start putting on that land? The wind farms. That made the land a utility supply corridor, meaning he could take it under eminent domain:
Pickens knew he'd have to build a pipeline, and to do so at anything resembling a reasonable cost, he'd need the power of eminent domain—the right of a government entity to force the sale of private property for the public good. Water utilities have that right. If Dallas agreed to buy Pickens' water, it could extend such authority to him. But Dallas deemed Pickens' price too high and declined to do a deal. So Pickens and his executives tried to create a Fresh Water Supply District—a government entity that would have that power. But they couldn't get it through.

Over the next several years, Pickens continued accumulating water rights and began to lease other land, this time with the idea of creating the world's biggest wind farm. "One of the great wind areas is right up where we are," says Robert L. Stillwell, Pickens' general counsel. "You can set it right on top of where the water is." And since, one day anyway, Dallas may well buy both, Mesa could use a single right-of-way for the water pipeline and the electric lines.


Pickens attacked his eminent domain problem from a number of different angles, and eventually managed to get legislation passed through dubious means that allowed him to create his water corridor without the help of the utility corridor. But now that he's invested so much in wind power to get to the water, he might as well profit off of it!

In Roberts County there would be real economic benefits from the wind farm. "The wind is meant to sweeten the deal," says Representative Chisum. "The big money for Pickens is in the water."

You can read the entire story here: There Will Be Water - Businessweek.com

Will the wind farms create clean energy? Yes. Does it set a good precedent for a major oil barron to be throwing his support behind clean energy, thereby panicking other energy barrons to do the same before Pickens has a monopoly? Sure. But his motives are nothing but profit, and I'm disappointed that Egan completely missed this. Furthermore, I hate the precedent he's setting with water acquisition, and I can only hope that better laws are passed to protect the resource for public use.

Meme time!

Jun. 9th, 2008 12:35 pm


You Are Rain



You can be warm and sexy. Or cold and unwelcoming.

Either way, you slowly bring out the beauty around you.



You are best known for: your touch



Your dominant state: changing

Messages on John Kerry's answering machine after he endorsed Obama (and before Edwards dropped out). It made me giggle.

The language is definitely NOT SAFE FOR WORK!

A brilliant parody of the "Yes We Can" video.

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