With the final batch of cider done fermenting, I turned the temperature down to 5°C last night to chill everything for storage, flocculation, carbonation, and dispensing! I also hooked up the gas and the taps. The leak on the CO2 tank isn’t actually at the regulator-tank junction where I’d thought originally, it’s somehow in the main valve on the tank… and so unfixable from my point of view. But… hopefully it can be traded in for a new tank anyway. 50 gallons of brew all in all: 1 mead, 3 beers, and 6 ciders. We’ll definitely have to have a coming out party in September.
I give up. The tomatoes just aren’t tomatoing. The three cherry tomatoes on the S. side of the back house in 5 gallon pots just won’t stay wet enough with my attention span. They’re crispy. The fruits they have made are leathery and dry, so out they go. The 2 year old Cherokee Purple is likewise fruitless, and turning itself into an arbor crossing the already very narrow walkway. I pruned it back to just the new green growth coming out of the stumps. I think I’ll move the habañros over there now.
There’s definitely a psychological pattern with the garden. So far anyway. Excitement early on, with rapid new green growth, and then confusion. Am I doing this right? Am i overwatering? Is there something wrong? And then less watering. But maybe too much less. And somehow, the plants take it – they put up with it anyway. It seems to take a lot to actually get them to wilt. once they’re a little woody. But maybe it’s enough to keep them from fruiting? And now despair. Something terribly wrong. 40 tomato plants and 10 tomatoes.
We procrastinated until the heat of the summer, imagining that we could get cold, hydrating, beer from Mark at Craftsman if push came to shove. Then it turned out that, pending the brewery expansion, his beer is all spoken for by existing commercial customers. Horror!
Michelle and I have wanted to do an overnight bike trip near by for a while. Something that doesn’t involve those infernal machines, but that lets us get away from the city, just a little bit. A S24O as it’s sometimes called. The only option for such a trip out of Pasadena is the San Gabriel Mountains, which are criss-crossed with hundreds of miles of fire roads. Mostly steep and unpaved, mostly waterless, but nearby, and scenic. On the north slopes, you can almost convince yourself LA isn’t there anymore.
Michelle and I hiked 13 miles round trip to Pear Lake in Sequoia National Park on Monday. It’s been too long since I’ve experienced wilderness. That place where people aren’t. It’ll be interesting to see how biking overnight into the San Gabriels feels in comparison.
I’d been wondering what was up with my tax rebate. The IRS sent me a notice today saying that I didn’t pay my taxes. Except, I did. They took the $291 I owed right out of my bank account on April 10th. I can only imagine that it was my name change that confused them. I called the 800 number as instructed, and was on hold for so long that my (admittedly decrepit) phone battery died. How exactly I’m supposed to fix this is unclear.
Since I started doing what would one day be called “blogging” in the mid-90s, and since Ideotrope came into existence in 2001, a lot has changed on the web. There are powerful and extensible open source content management systems available today that do most, but not all, of what I always wanted to do on the web. The software underlying Ideotrope has fallen into disrepute and disrepair, and other software has charged ahead, and garnered many thousands of users and developers. I believe it’s time for a change.