When You Can't Come Up With Your Own Post, Memeage!

Leave me a comment saying "Resistance is Futile" and I will respond by asking you five questions that satisfy my curiosity. Update your journal with the answers to the questions, including this in the post.

1. What anime series really hooked you and got you interested in the rest of the medium?
It's cliche, but Neon Genesis Evangelion was the first series that really hooked me. I was watching Ranma 1/2 with a friend when he started collecting NGE and Blue Seed (Another excellent series). We got about halfway through the series before I knew I needed my own copies and started collecting. From there it was Blue Seed, Utena fansubs, Wings of Honneamise, Cowboy Bebop and Trigun, amongst others. Can't say it wasn't worth it, on oh so many levels. :)

2. When's the next Dining with Sporks going to hit the Net?
As soon as Phil does his part. He's got about half a dozen reviews just waiting for his side of the story, but without it, it's a one sided affair. Which may be the answer to getting the site back up.

3. Read anything good lately?
The City & The City, by China Mieville. It's about a murder in a city called Beszel, and they quickly learn that the victim is from a place called Ul Quoma, which is problematic for our investigators - you see, Beszel and Ul Quoma occupy the same physical space, and the citizens of each 'unsee' the other to prevent breaching - which is policed by a mysterious group known only as 'Breach'. And when they discover that the victim was researching the possibility of a third city, hiding between the other two...

It's damn good.

4. Will we (broadly interpreted as the AD staff and other hangers-on) ever get to meet The L***** G***** Who Is Not Your Wife?
Probably not, but who knows? I'm betting she's finding the whole thing hilarious in the extreme.

5. How's that webcomic convention coming along?
Hell if I know. You're better off asking Anton on that front.
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Jo Says Go...

So, in response to revolutionaryjo's meme, I present to you the whole five things thing...

- Being AD's Fearless Leader
Kinda self-explanatory. Our previous leader had gotten to the point where he needed to start sloughing off his responsibilities, and going into the meeting I knew if we left without an order of succession we were going to tank. So I sucked it up and agreed. I won't say it's all been roses, but it has been amazing to see how people have responded to me as chairman. I'm not going to do it forever, but as long as I'm here I'll do my best for the staff and for AD.

- Oogie Boogie
He was cool, wasn't he? The whole thing grew out of an idea of putting up Christmas lights for Halloween and then dressing up as Santa and Mrs. Claus to give out candy. The idea twisted and morphed and became a 'Nightmare Before Christmas' party on the lawn. And if we were doing Nightmare Before Christmas, I had to do Oogie because he was too cool. Lauren made the costume and he is phenomenal, especially considering it's her first costume!

- Family Videos
This started because my mom wanted to make a video for her sister Carole's birthday, and then it snowballed. Mom's always been the shutterbug of the family, and since I had the software to do AMVs and other vids she roped me into helping. So far we've done them for Carole, my Cousin Peter, my Grandmother, my sister, my father, my mother and they did one for me. Lauren and I also did one for her cousin Jay's funeral, which was extremely difficult, but I think one of the best ones we did.

- Kenziepuppy
I grew up with animals, but I've always been more of a dog person. Now that we have a house, I was ready to get a dog, but Lauren never had dogs growing up. So the compromise was that we'd get a smaller dog, something like Ein in Cowboy Bebop. So when the time came, Lauren found some corgi breeders and I drove out to meet our little pup and she came home with me the same day!

- Home-Brewed Soda
Lauren and I both like premium sodas, the Sprechers and the Weinhart stuff (we just found Spring Grove Soda, and those are delicious!), and recently we met a guy who brewed his own, which got us interested. Lauren got me the basic equipment for Christmas, and I've tried my hand a few times now, to middling results. Lauren and I are going to try again for a root beer in the near future.
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So... despite the fact the the wort was fantastic, the final drink isn't quite what I wanted. The raisins the recipe called for overpowered the other flavors, and the brew is a little watery.

Sorry for the delay in results, there was an issue with carbonation - the first batch of yeast was put in too soon, killing the yeast. When it wasn't carbonating, I added a pinch of yeast to each of the bottles and shook 'em up. The carbonation is weak, but at least it's present now.

Still, this one's drinkable, especially if you follow the rules for old-fashioned cream sodas and add a dollop of cream to the glass. Sounds weird, I know, but it mutes the raisins and cuts some of the wateriness.

I'm calling this a minor success, worth making another attempt at. I want to get one at least bang out of the park before I attempt the root beer with the rarer ingredients.

Tonight's Experiment... PENDING

So, I abandoned ginger beers/ales for the second attempt. And I think I done good.

To be fair, I used a recipe as a guideline - the 'Cream Soda' recipe from "Homemade Root Beer, Soda & Pop". I used a whole vanilla bean, and I used a little less brown sugar than he suggested, and holy crap does it smell fantastic. And then I realized I should be checking it during the New Year's Party tomorrow.


Still, I think this should be good, really good. Hopes are huge on this one, folks!

Today's Experiment... FAILED

Okay, so I think we'll call that recipe 'Lemon Bitters', or maybe 'Lemon Near-Beer'. Lauren thinks it tastes like beer, and that it would be better simply as a citrus soda without the hops and with a little more honey. Fair enough. Not great, but if you like beer... problem is, I don't.

Still, no reason to be discouraged. I knew I was off the books with this one, and I'm only out a few bucks in ingredients - all my equipment is reusable, lucky me. plus, all my sanitizing and carbonating went great, so even if my recipe isn't what I was hoping, or even close to what I was expecting, I learned stuff and am better prepared to try another batch.

I'm planning on going all 'Mad Scientist' in the kitchen again tonight...

Day 1

Welp, it's fizzy. It's kind of a bitter lemonade that hasn't been strained particularly well. I'm supposed to cool it for a day or two in the fridge to see the final product.


So, I started my new hobby today, many supplies for which were thoughtfully provided by my loving wife for the holiday. Home-brewing!

Now, I hear you out there crying, but Traffik, you're an avowed non-drinker!

To which, I can only reply, Home-brewing Soda!

Ah, you all reply, sadly shake your heads, and walk away.

I just finished bottling my first batch, which was meant to be a ginger beer and I think will end up a spicy citrus thing. As long as it's drinkable, we'll go with it. I post the recipe here both for any comments and so I don't lose it.


1 gallon water (purified), broken into 2 cold quarts, 1 lukewarm quart, and 1 quart whose temperature at the beginnning doesn't matter too much
1 cup Mountain Ridge Pure Raw honey (I'll post exactly the type later)
Approx 3oz fresh ground ginger
Two lemons, sliced in half (used Meyer lemons, in case anyone cares)
One lime, sliced in half
1oz Cascade Clusters Pellet Hops (a medium hop with a spicy, bitter flavor)  (Cascade Hops are grapefruity.  Not what I used)
1/8 tsp brewer's Munton and Fison Ale yeast (again, exact types later) 

Sanitize everything!

Simmer (but don't boil, though mine slipped into boil a few times) the indeterminate temp quart of water, the lemons, limes, honey, ginger and hops for about 20 minutes

Proof the yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water, set aside

After 20, strain the concction into your bottleing bucket (or carboy, or whatever).

Immediately add the 2 quarts of cold water. Check temp - it should be in the 70-90 range, perfect for the yeast.

Add yeast and remaining water, mix, bottle. I got about 7 and one half 16oz Grohler style bottles out of this.

Set the bottles somewhere warm for the next 24 hours (NOT IN SUNLIGHT. <
After the 24 hours, I'll check the half-bottle to see how carbonated they are. If it's good, I'll chuck the remaining seven in the fridge for two days, then try it.

I'll let you all know how it comes out, and what kind of soda I ended up with.