Monday, July 26, 2004

Homebrew experiments to try

I'm probably going to start to brew some beer again, and I've been mulling over ideas for new recipes. I'll probably start with a straightforward IPA just to get back in the swing of things, but the real fun of homebrew is making off-the-wall beers that you can't just go out and buy.

Here are my current ideas for homebrew experiments. It's hard to come up with something original, since homebrewers are a pretty creative bunch, so I lay no claim to be the first inventor of any of these:
  1. Orange IPA: I think a very, very mild orange hint could make a very interesting IPA. I said mild!
  2. Cherry Chocolate Stout: I think I can be pretty bold and go big on both the cherry and chocolate flavors. If this doesn't sound like a good idea to you, I don't even want to be your friend.
  3. Vanilla Gorilla: A vanilla-banana stout. I'm not a big stout fan, but a beer with "gorilla" in the name simply has to be a stout. It will be key to keep the vanilla and banana flavors very subtle.
  4. Banana Split Stout: That's right, combine the last two into a cherry Chocolate Vanilla Banana Stout. Is this too gimmicks?
  5. Five-Grain Beer: Barley, wheat, rye, buckwheat, and oats. I have never brewed anything but a barley beer, so this is definitely an advanced project.


I'm not sure why he did it, but my brother once spent a week eating only orange foods. Off the top of my head, the foods I remember were orange juice, orange soda, cheetos, Kraft singles, carrots, cantaloupe, and (obviously) actual oranges.

This may seem like a pretty random post, but I think it's important that history remembers the event.

Friday, July 16, 2004

The banal minutiae of a first blog post.

I'll bet that most people's first blog post is some variant of, "Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3". Let's see how I do.

I'll take this opportunity to explain the name "Ivy Mike." I've played video games forever; in online games, you need to choose a handle that identifies you to other players in the game. When I first started playing online video games like Counter-Strike or xpilot, I used to choose my name pretty much at random, but at some point, I wanted something that would stick.

But choosing a name for games is tougher than you might think at first. First and foremost, it's got to be something "cool"; that's pretty much the point. It can't be easily corrupted into an insult. (My friend Grady tells me he never chooses anything related to his name because he knows from experience that when killed, he'll get all sorts of "Grady is Gravy" comments.) The name has to be easy to remember and easy to type. (So "Verzylyk Slaytorg" is right out.) It should associate with the real person. On top of that, it still has to be obscure so that it wasn't already taken; there's nothing less cool than being "Frodo2". (And remember, "obscure to the pedantic sci-fi and fantasy hypergeeks of the internet" is a whole new level unto itself.)

Around the same time, I had a conversation with my brother about the punk band known as "Op Ivy." Their full name is "Operation Ivy," which is based on the U.S. program to develop the hydrogen bomb.

The first true thermonuclear test was "Mike", also known as "Ivy Mike". When I read that, I knew I had my nickname.

History, and some very cool photos of the Ivy Mike fireball on this page: