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12 May 2015 @ 07:53 pm
I just had one of those ideas so good that *clearly* somebody is already doing it, and I need to go pay them to. Otherwise I'll do it myself, and this will be much better if somebody has put a year or two of thought in first.

Specifically: you can compose a mixed drink like a piece of music. Mix high notes (light, sweet), low notes (dark, smoky or molasses-y) and midrange into a complex composition. With rum drinks it isn't terribly difficult, though I don't know that I've seen the Tiki-as-Jazz formulation of the idea before. But there are a number of drinks that are clearly, *clearly* mixed based on this formula.

So: the really good idea. No, not that first bit. That's an only-okay idea, a metaphor.

The good idea is this: start a small drink in a large glass -- so, mostly empty. Line it up next to a series of shotglass-or-smaller cups, in order. The idea is: take a sip. Add a half-shot. Take a sip. Add a half-shot. Continue until you've drunk about a full drink, with perhaps a third of a drink left afterward, but the drink changes with every sip. You're aiming to pour in just slightly less than you drink at each stage.

What you're doing is composing a more interesting piece of music, but with a rum (or whatever) drink. An example composed off the cuff, so it may be awful:

Starter: coconut cream and white rum (better: Rhum Agricole or cachaca). This is the initial high note, like a flute solo beginning a story-rich orchestral piece.

Next half-shot: orgeat and/or milk, to add a richer mouthfeel but keep it light and sweet.

Next half-shot: gold rum, something old and pleasant, to add mid-range to the drink.

Next half-shot: juice, a semi-return to the high notes while adding acidity. Pineapple juice, perhaps, if you added orgeat -- it would curdle milk.

Next half-shot: dark rum, perhaps mixed with spiced or overproof rum. Add a hint of low notes without going overboard. Now you have a leaning-sweet but balanced-feeling drink.

Next half-shot: orange curacao and/or simple syrup, possibly mixed with something less sweet. This emphasizes the other flavors, but needs moderation.

Next half-shot: dark rum. Now you're bringing it home with the equivalent of kettle drums -- dark, low notes, but you're about done. This is the finale.

So that's fun and all... But somebody must have had the idea of composing a drink in distinct stages before me. It would be straightforward to do it self-serve. A taster flight of wine/scotch/etc is a bit like this, but with much less continuity. It's basically "Peter and the Wolf" in drink form.

Seriously, this is a simple, great idea. Who out there already thought of it and did it better than I would? Anybody know? I can't be the first.
10 May 2015 @ 04:08 pm
Lot going on. TMBG concert, WordPress site hacked, all sorts of things.

What I think I'll write about is mixing alcohol, though.

I've been playing with orgeat, a french almond syrup. It gives a lovely, rich undertone to mixes with it. And with falernum, a Caribbean cinnamon-clove-almond liquor, but with less oil. It doesn't separate like orgeat, and it doesn't have quite the richness, but the cinnamon-clove thing is quite nice.

More of the same, and a bit of cooking at the end.Collapse )
08 May 2015 @ 10:25 am
I have seven hand-blown glasses that will need to find a new home, one way or another. I could take them to a thrift store, but I'm offering to friends first.

Four blue, three the other hard-to-describe color, sort of a brown/gray with hints of yellow :-)

I bought these years ago, at a Richmond glass studio that closed down years ago. They did very nice work, and I still have a number of their other pieces.

04 May 2015 @ 12:01 pm
Been buying Tiki drink ingredients and playing around a bit lately.

Two recipes:

Rum Shirley
- 1 part cachaca or white Rhum Agricole
- 2 parts falernum
- 1 part grenadine
- 2 parts sours mix
- Sprite to taste, about 2-6 parts

This is basically an alcoholic Shirley Temple, and as deadly as you'd hope. "Hey, why don't you put some alcohol in this?"

Cherry Fire
1 part Cherry Heering
1 part falernum
1 shake of Cayenne pepper

What it says on the tin.

In case you're curious, falernum is an almond/clove/spices Caribbean drink, either as alcoholic as wine or non-alcoholic. You can substitute white rum for cachaca or Rhum Agricole, if you must. But it's better with the real thing.

I'm not sure what you'd substitute for Cherry Heering unless you have another cherry brandy.
04 May 2015 @ 08:40 am
Popped my old SATA drive out of the ancient machine I hadn't had the heart to disassemble and get rid of yet. Attached it to a little SATA-to-USB cable thing. I'm (slowly) copying many-years-old files off it that I no longer really remember. I'll dig deeper later, I'm sure there will be some interesting stuff.

But for the moment... WOW! I remember when hard drives made that noise!

28 April 2015 @ 05:31 pm
Don't think I'll put this up on my main blog, because I don't think I want to be the guy known for saying this, but...

There is a surprisingly clear, solid correlation between an external recruiter submitting my resume to a company and me getting a poor result on the interview.

Specifically: the same interview is generally perceived more poorly by the company if I was submitted by an external recruiter, even compared to an internal recruiter, a manager there emailing me off LinkedIn, etc.

I won't say I've never had it go well. I basically always do well if it's a strongly technical interview. But a mildly technical interview tends to swing well if no external recruiter, or poorly with an external recruiter.

I can think of a few reasons that might be. I may represent myself better when I'm direct. The company may be more cautious if there's going to be an extra price tag attached to me. The company may just have reflexive distrust of external recruiters -- wouldn't be shocking.

But to add to the problems with going through a headhunter or external recruiting company, I'd add in my own experience: I'm less likely to get the job, even with the same interview.
16 April 2015 @ 07:48 pm
You know what's awesome about having some time before I have to find a job? I can do foolish things and find out why they're foolish.

For instance: I have produced what's basically a sales page. But for why you want to hire me.

Is this a good idea? No clue. But I have some time to find out.

I'm doing it in parallel with a more traditional job search. But I'm being picky enough that I expect it'll have plenty of time to compete.
08 April 2015 @ 10:39 am
OnLive is calling it quits. I get continued employment for a couple of months yet, but with minimal work responsibilities unless something goes wrong.

I have several likely exit directions and at least one basically-solid offer on the table. So I'm gonna be fine. I'm intentionally not actually getting a new job yet. Because how often do you get paid to work on your own stuff for a month?

Recruiters are... increasingly funny. It makes sense that you send recruiters mostly after commodity people. I get that they have a vested interest in not admitting that. But I'm at the point where I can navigate those conversations better.
08 April 2015 @ 08:57 am
Some quotes clearly need to be userpics. Instantly.
16 March 2015 @ 09:06 am
Zach Weinersmith of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comics, has started a Kickstarter.

I'm not planning to back it. I'm not sure if its existence is an affront to all that is good and holy in the world. Actually, if it is, I may have to back it for that reason.

It's for a Gentleman's Single-Use Un-Lubricated Monocle.

Yes, that last word isn't a typo.

They're really going all-out on this. The artwork isn't limited to just the individual packets:

The world is a weird place, and getting weirder. I'm glad this whole "software" thing is helping that along.