Archive for the ‘General’ Category

New Espresso Machine & Problems

In General on December 16, 2008 at 4:11:05 pm

Our family got a new espresso machine yesterday. It’s a Rancilio Silvia, and it looks really, really good. According to most reviews, it pours a pretty good shot, too. We’re having some problems with it, though, and I was wondering if the blogosphere had any suggestions.

As far as I’ve been taught, a 1 oz. shot should take about 20-25 seconds to pour. Our machine is pouring it in about 5 seconds, and isn’t extracting any crema at all. Also, the resulting shot has the viscosity of water. Something is obviously wrong. We’ve followed the initial setup and cleaning instructions perfectly. As far as I can tell, I’m doing the shot correctly, the grind is definitely fine enough, the coffee should be fresh enough (it’s only about 10 days old right now, from when it was roasted) and I’m definitely tamping it hard enough. I can’t think of anything else to try, so if you’ve got any ideas, please post them below.

Oh, I should mention that everything else is working really nicely, especially the steam wand. Oh, how I have missed thee. Our previous machine’s wand broke a little while ago, and there’s nothing like real milk microfoam.


Top 17 Reasons Why Gay Marriage is Wrong

In Funny, General, Idea, Observations, Politics on December 12, 2008 at 10:40:29 pm

17. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

16. Gay culture is a new fad created by the liberal media to undermine long-standing traditions. We know this is true because gay sex did not exist in ancient Greece and Rome.

15. There are plenty of straight families looking to adopt, and every unwanted child already has a loving family. This is why foster care does not exist.

14. Conservatives know best how to create strong families. That is why it is not true that Texas and Mississippi have the highest teen birthrates, and Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire have the lowest. This is a myth spread by the liberal media.

13. Marriage is a religious institution, defined by churches. This is why atheists do not marry. Christians also never get a divorce.

12. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why our society has no single parents.

11. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.

10. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

9. Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.

8. Gay marriage should be decided by the people and their elected representatives, not the courts. The framers checked the courts, which represent mainstream public opinion, with legislatures created to protect the rights of minorities from the tyranny of the majority. Interference by courts in this matter is inappropriate, just as it has been every time the courts have tried to hold back legislatures pushing for civil rights.

7. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6. Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better, because “separate but equal” institutions are a good way to satisfy the demands of uppity minority groups.

5. Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

4. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

3. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

2. Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.


(nicked from this fantastic Facebook group)

It Was a Good Week

In General, Personal on November 28, 2008 at 9:46:11 pm

Sunday – Drank a Stella, ate a revel bar (from work) while watching the newest episode of Top Gear
Monday – Drank some good tea while listening to the “Charlie Brown Christmas” soundtrack and being busy
Tuesday – Went to typography class, came home an hour early and watched a fantastic episode of House
Wednesday – Boring
Thursday – Spent the evening rolling up coins while drinking tea and listening to good new music
Friday (today) – Exchanged coin rolls for $70 cash, and I got paid today
Saturday (tomorrow) – Going Christmas shopping for my family (and myself – woo hoo!)
Sunday – New episode of Top Gear

Yes, it’s been a good week.

What Level of Douchebaggery do you Embody?

In Funny, General, Idea on November 22, 2008 at 1:06:22 am

I came up with this idea at work today.

In any open-ended question, score that amount of points. In any yes/no question, score 1 for yes, 0 for no.

a) How many letters in your first name? (divide by 2)
b) Do you have a name prefix (Dr., Sir, etc.)?
c) Do you have a name suffix (Jr., Sr., etc.)? (multiply by 2)
d) How many steps are in your cafe-purchased coffee (excluding size and type)? (for example, “small black coffee” counts as one step; “extra large triple-shot no-foam skim milk sugar-free vanilla latte with an extra pump” counts as six)
e) Is it Starbucks? (multiply by 2)
f) What is the size of your car’s engine, in liters?
g) Is it a pickup truck or SUV?
h) Is it JDM?
i) Is it a BMW? (multiply by 2)
j) Is it a Prius? (multiply by 2)
k) What size of wheels (in inches) do you have on your car?
l) Have you ever called someone a douche?
m) Do you use IRC?
n) Do you wear a Bluetooth hands-free headset outside of your car? (multiply by 3)
o) Have you had more than one girlfriend in the last month? (multiply by 5)
p) How many email accounts do you have?
q) Do you have a smartphone?
r) Do you talk loudly about your big merger, stock deal or dinner with your wife while in line at the grocery store? (multiply by 2)
s) Do you have iced tips?
t) Have you ever bleached your hair?
u) On a scale of 1 (barely audible) to 11 (you’ve been yelled at to turn it down), how loud do you play music in your car?
v) Same question, but for headphones on public transit.
w) How many friends do you have on your Facebook, MySpace, Nexopia, Bebo or other social network friends list? (divide by 10)

Now it’s time to get the answer to the question you took this for – just how much of a douche are you? To get the answer, just add all the above answers together. Take note of their weighted score.

70 Songs

In General, Personal on November 16, 2008 at 6:55:04 pm

Step 1: Put your music player on shuffle.
Step 2: Post the first line from the first 35 70 songs that play [bigger music library, more results], no matter how embarrassing.
Step 3: Strike through the songs when someone guesses both artist and track correctly.
Step 4: For those who are guessing — looking the lyrics up on a search engine is CHEATING!
Step 5: If you like the game post your own

1) Where are you going, with the long face pulled down? Ailsa
2) Overwhelmed with a deep repulsion for sights seen so commonly
3) Lady Madonna, children at your feet King Honkey
4) Thanks for the party and for the Maserati
5) Baby, let me, be me, those were, the words you, gave me Ailsa
6) You let me violate you; you let me desecrate you Aeron
7) If it’s in space and all is lost, a million shattered pieces
8.) Spanish songs in Andaluca, the shooting sites in the days of 39
9) Niggy tardust, grippo king, philosopher, and artist
10) What the hell is wrong with you tonight? I can’t seem to say or do the right thing
11) Oh my God! My God this can’t be happening!
12) Feels like the raindrops, raindrops
13) You mean a lot to me, you’ve got a heart of gold
14) Come into my life…
15) Got me a movie, I want you to know
/// Why do I have so much instrumental music? I keep having to skip stuff. Anyway… ///
16) Timothy, I took your place
17) Karen, take me to the nearest famous city middle
18) I’ve been workin’ this grave shift and I ain’t made shit Hakon
19) Everyone dated the demise of our neighborhood from the suicides of the Lisbon girls
20) I’m becoming less defined, as days go by
21) You can dance every dance with the guy Jenna
22) Mother mother, tell your children
23) Here’s some music to crash your (pronto? party? something)
24) Move this south, empty
25) How did it come to this? Why did I taste your lips?
26) Bow bow. Chick… chicka chika!
27) Can’t you see that it’s just raining? Jenna
28) Let me talk to her, let me talk to her.
29) I’m the motherflippin’ rhymnocerous King Honkey
30) Love is endless [I’m fairly certain those are the only lyrics in this song]
31) I met him in a crowded room, where people go to drink away their gloom
32) I wish I was your someone… [bonus points if you can guess the remix]
33) Darling you gotta let me know, should I stay or should I go?
34) She gets too hungry, for dinner at eight, she loves the theater, but doesn’t come late Junior Honkey
35) You may now apply, your 3D
36) Moving forward using all my breath
37) I’m so happy, ’cause today I found my friends King Honkey
38) Bass, how low can you go?
39) It’s great, it’s really interesting. We’re lucky it happened actually.
40) Help is on the way, doctor, he says that you’re fine
41) A brand new baby was born yesterday, just in time Jenna
42) Portray sincerity, act out of loyalty
43) Here I wanna be a stranger, drift in and then out, just linger
44) I had a roof overhead, had shoes on my feet
45) Possibilities, take you home with me, in your arms
46) Let me hear you say (hey) get money (hey)
47) Six figures entered, they’ve come to destroy the world
48) ‘Cause what can they do for you? Can they develop a drug so you don’t have to go through with all of that? No.
49) I keep dreaming that I had it all
50) What will you do when you get lonely? No one waiting by your side. King Honkey
51) One of these mornings, it won’t be very long
52) When you see the truth before your eyes
53) The road I walk is paved in gold, to glorify my platinum soul
54) Love your hate, your faith lost
55) I don’t want my freedom, there’s no reason for living with a broken heart
56) 1, 2, 3, 4, we walk the streets, I’m out to get you
57) We ain’t goin’ to the town, we’re going to the city
58) The bass, the rock, the mic, the treble
59) This world rejects me. This world threw me away.
60) The chills that you spill up my back, keep me filled with satisfaction when we’re done
61) How breathless I feel in your arms, how breathless you make me feel so.
62) We have one chance, one chance to get everything right
63) I’m lost, exposed, stranger things will come your way
64) I heard a spark, something that glowed a hundred feet higher
65) Say your name, try to speak as clearly as you can
66) Underneath the bridge, the tarp has sprung a leak
67) Sweetness, it’s just a matter of taste
68) It’s been much too long, I feel it coming on
69) Look up on the wall, there on the floor, under the pillow, behind the door
70) You are my angel, come from way above

I haven’t been getting many replies on Facebook, so I reposted it here. Hopefully I get a few more guesses.