the itjerk

my adventures with technology

Category Archives: Notification

happy new year

Since the last post, I’ve been working on the Revised and Updated version of my Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock, using Adobe InDesign under Windows 10. Love Windows 10, and InDesign is a great program for book layout. The Index and Table of Contents features are a lifesaver, too. I will also be switching to for publishing, at least on Back to work!

windows 10, not


democracy fail

Well yes, here’s a post about politics. I won’t go on about my leanings, but I would like to make a comment on the process. It’s quite simple, no one votes anymore. Here’s the results from the Illinois governor race this morning. I imagine that both parties could care less that 65% of eligible Illinois voters did not turn up to the polls. But think of the effect that this has on the outcome of elections.

Here’s the link to the numbers:  election graph data


the itjerk is back

Nothing like heartache and a couple days off to spur on those unfinished projects… the itjerk is back, now hosted on All the old content from My Opera site has been imported, and I’ve got a few fun projects lined up. Goodbye opera and welcome to my new home!

hour of code

I just completed an "hour of code" at the site. You should too!

customer service?

Okay, pot calling the kettle black but… Not sure if it's because IT types are the ones behind those support tickets, but this just seems appropriate in light of some experiences I had recently. My point is, the customer is usually right, especially when they are right. No need to get defensive when you're wrong. After all, you don't own the company, do you?

My Partial Mash Procedures

My Partial Mash Procedures

1. Pre-brew: Check for all ingredients/equipment. Activate yeast package. Take top-off water out of refrigerator (was put in night before). Don't forget ice.

2. New sponge (with no soap), microwave for 30 seconds. Mix batch of sanitizing solution. Boil tea-kettle full of water. Always follow good brewing habits.

3. Mash: Preheat Igloo cooler. Add gypsum and bring water to mash temp (1 quart of water preheated to ~170F degrees for every pound of grain being mashed). Put crushed grains into bag, place in bottom of Igloo cooler. Pour over grains, take temperature, adjust to ~154F. Close lid and wait one (1) hour. Drain (via hose) to kettle, recirculating first two quarts or so.

4. Bring water to sparge temp (>170F). Pour slowly through strainer over grains in Igloo cooler. Drain via hose to kettle. Remove grains from cooler and let drain over kettle.

5. Place kettle on stove. Top-off to boil volume. Add first wort hop (if applicable), bring to boil, remove from heat, add malt extract. Put kettle back on heat to reach boil temp.

6. The Boil. Add hops on schedule. Stir in circular motion (do not splash). Add Whirlfloc tablet last 10 minutes.

7. Sanitize primary fermenting bucket, lid and airlock parts. Rinse clean, keep covered.

8. When boil has completed, remove from heat and cover kettle and place into ice bath (cold water and 22lb bag of ice). Stir in circular motion (do not splash). Let cool (this generally takes about 20 minutes).

9. When wort reaches <80F, add to primary fermenter using strainer, which already contains 1 gal chilled water. Avoid trub. Top-off to 5 gal. Take O.G reading with hydrometer. Shake/stir bucket to oxygenate.

10. Pitch yeast into primary fermenter bucket and stir to mix. Close lid then carry it to quiet place to ferment (63-70F). Put on airlock.

11. Fermentation starts within 24 hours, lasts day or two. Transfer to sanitized secondary carboy after 7 days. Rack carefully, avoid splashing, avoid trub. Put on airlock. Wait at least 3-4 weeks. Check F.G. with hydrometer.

12. Clean bottles. Rinse immediately after serving home brew and place into sanitizing solution, soak, dry. Morning before bottling, gather bottles and soak all again in sanitizer, rinse using jet rinser. Hang on bottling tree to let dry. Soak caps in sanitizer solution, rinse before using.

13. Bottling. Boil 5oz priming sugar in 2 cups of water, put in bottle bucket to cool. SLOWLY transfer beer from secondary to bottling bucket with the tubing below the liquid line.

14. QUIETLY bottle beer, minimize bubbles as much as possible. Use short line, clamp, slow flow out of spigot, and have lots of patience. Cap and store (~60-70F) for at least two weeks. Then place in fridge overnight.

15. Enjoy home brew!

sopa pipa and megadownload

Does anyone noticed the unbelievable coincidence of the Megadownload take down, just one day after the incredibly successful "internet blackout" protest of Wed Jan 18th?

Update: Glad to see that Kim Dotcom got out on bail, and was able to get his assets unfrozen so he can mount a proper defense. My take is simple. We're talking copyright infringement, not international terrorism, rape or murder. Or bank fraud that brought down the US economy.

If it were not for the unduly powerful influence of the entertainment industry, penalties for copyright infringement would be compensatory to the crime; if you stole a candy bar, who would fine you $100,000 or send you to prison? A movie costs a few dollars to rent. Just ridiculous.


After far too long, I just figured out the beauty of twitter: no attention span! There's really no going back on tweets. Read it, click on the link, and forget it. Good by FB!

I've setup a twitter feed for my prog rock alter-ego, and am populating with the Album Of The Day rss feed using the brilliant


windows update

Did a couple of "clean" installs this week on a few laptops. The XP machine was fortunately imaged at SP2. So that one required SP3 and then an additional 108 high priority updates from Microsoft. The Vista machine required two (2) service packs, and then 99 additional updates from Microsoft. None of this included .Net, Software Optional, Hardware, or Microsoft Office updates, btw…