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Miscellaneous Ramblings

OK, so I don’t really have too much “official” to blog about, but so what. I’ve been sipping on my S^4 Ale for most of the evening, and it packs a punch – and I am feeling a little chatty. So you all will endure me just rambling about pretty much nothing.

This weekend I hope to get up to Keystone Homebrew and redeem the $50 gift certificate I won in War of the Worts this past February. My plan is to get a fat sack (50 lb) of Weyermann Pilsner Malt and use it in some upcoming belgians, lagers, and Saisons. That should kill most of the gift certificate, and whatever is left over I will probably spend on either a yeast culture or some Belgian Candi Syrup, if they have it.

My sculpture development hasn’t progressed too much – I’ve got a big long list of stuff I want to order from Newark One, in the way of pressure sensors for level control and other gadgets, but I’m holding off for now. I’ve been managing to find an hour or so here or there to work on the user interface stuff, and have completed my work on implementing T and 4-way pipe junction graphics. I did some preliminary specifications of some additional classes, including a “Valve” class that looks like it should be pretty great… new screenshots will probably be in order in a week or so, once I’ve worked on them some more.

On the sculpture development front I must also express a little angst because the maker of the microcontroller I intend on using just released their next flagship products, the X1 chips. PICAXE from Revolution Education Ltd. is now offering a substantial upgrade to their 28 and 40 pin chip models, called the 28X1 and 40X1, in May… My angst stems from the fact that I’ve got 2 28X and 2 40X chips in my basement that have yet to even be used in any capacity (even testing), and they’ve already been outdated. I shouldn’t gripe too much as I can still use the 28X and 40X chips for prototyping, and simply implement the X1 chips in the final design / implementation. They run faster, cleaner, and offer some features that aren’t available on the regular “X” chips, such as I2C slave support and native SPI support – so I may have to pick one of each up for playing purposes.

Finally, I haven’t been brewing much since my last batch was 20 gallons of Amarillo (and I’m almost out of canned starter wort). I plan on brewing a 5 gallon batch of something soon, and repitching the yeast into ANOTHER 20 gallon batch. It’ll either be Black Honey ale or Saison du Sevier… and since warmer weather is fast approaching, I imagine I’ll probably go with the Saison. I am toying with the possibility of a couple back-to-back 10 gallon Belgian batches, but I’m gonna need more Candi Syrup to pursue that particular dream.

Meeting next Friday (April 20th)… Don’t forget!

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