Saturday, December 15, 2012

Garbage Flow Chart

I finally found a program that will make flowcharts that have automatic tracking of arrows. It's called LucidChart and it is available at the Google App Store. It integrates with Chrome and Google Drive, and allows for collaboration. You have to buy the program if you want to increase the size of the document beyond a normal letter page, or want more than 60 boxes on your flowchart. Boxes snap to a grid pretty intelligently, and arrows can be straight or 3rd order B├ęzier curves. I loved working with it.

With this program i was finally able to make a flowchart of the Garbage streams in my house. We have 7 or 8 depending on how you count. Printer paper, Shreddables, Kitchen Waste, Bird Waste, Yard Waste, Recycling, Trash, and possibly Old Food. Old food can get fed to the dog, go in the food waste bin or go in the trash. Bird waste gets separated into stuff that can be fed to outside birds or compostables. With All the different trash streams our trash is kept down to less than a bag per week.

Earlier this spring I measured how much paper we were producing. It came out to about 7 pounds/week. This includes junk mail, boxes from Costco  boxes containing soda (diet soda being our primary beverage), and printer paper produced by my at-home office. Corrugated boxes I cut into 2-4 inch strips with a box cutter, and then put it into my 12-page cross-cut shredder. Putting it through this workload dulled out the teeth my last one in about 2 years.

Garbage Streams at our house. Most garbage ends up staying on my property. Recycling stream not  shown.

Hot, Cool and Cold and Compost

Two nights ago was the first hard freeze in College Park. I woke up at about 8am, went outside and there was frost on every shadowed patch of ground. The sun had already started melting the grass it touched. The planters around the yard were frozen four inches in, and my currently running compost batch was mostly frozen to the bottom of the bin.

When I opened it up, it seemed much more wet than it should be. Then I thought about frozen fruit. Freezing breaks the cell walls of most living organisms (most organisms that can survive freezing have some chemical in their cells besides water which keeps ice crystals from forming). So during freezing of the compost, the cells in the grass, kitchen scraps etc, break apart, releasing the water contained in those cells. I ended up adding brown matter to the mix to absorb the water, and keep the pile form going anaerobic (the stinky black slime that occurs when there isn't enough turning and therefore oxygen).

In the best compost piles, the pile stays hot enough that it doesn't freeze during the winter. Because I have a tumbler composter, the pile can freeze from the bottom and top. Also because it is well-mixed, the compost proceeds faster than a pile, so even if I added enough stuff to make it hot, it would quickly shrink in size to the point where it could no longer sustain the reactions to keep it hot. So my compost kind of goes dormant in the winter.

So I learned something, Warm weather is good for compost - it speeds up reactions. Cool weather is bad, it's like putting food in the fridge, it just stays cool, and decomposes very slowly. Cold, or freezing weather can be good because it breaks apart cells to make it easier to decompose later.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bug Life Cycles

I've wanted to do a post on these for a while. But since I cant stomach going to websites to learn about what I am posting, I am simply going to post some photos, and if anyone wants to give me information, then comments are greatly appreciated.

Mosquito Larvae

The reason I posted the Bat House post was because mosquitos have become much more of a problem than they have been. This is probably because I have a 5 gallon bucket of water keeping some Eucalyptus clippings for my aunt-in-law. We had to clip the Eucalyptus because it was blowing into our neighbors power lines during a storm. So like reasonable people, we went out  with one of those reach-and-pull-by-the-rope clippers during a lighning storm, in the dark to clip a tree that was six inches from black 220V lines delivering 200 amps. So we thought we were going to ship them to her. We didn't and in about a week, mosquito bite rates went through the roof. I am pretty sure that the grey curly things in the water are Tiger Mosqitio larvae. Based on that is what we have in the area, and now we have a lot more.





<Pre-emptive update: My wife saw my post and pictures and did the Google search for me. They are mosquito larvae. Based on her research, people on the internet say that bleach is a good way to kill them. Also soap because the larvae have to come up for air, and get it on their bodies when they do, disrupting their skin and breathing. Oil works the same way, but is more potent.>

We tried bleach about half a cup in about 3-4 gallons of water. We had apparantly no kill rate after 2 hours. No larvae floating on top, and the big one wrigglign away as per normal.

Fly Pre-Pupae

I looked this one up earlier in the week and couldnt get past two photos before I closed all my browser windows in disgust. These next photos are of fly pre-pupae or maggots. Flies find my compost, deposit eggs and in 3-4 days, I have lots of these guys. They like to live under the surface out of the light. When I rotate my compost, and open the lid, they are innevitably on top, but 10-30 seconds later, they are not visible on the top of the compost. You can see a sunflower seed in the middle for scale, and to the upper right of that, a cantelope seed.



Based on the flies I see in the yard, there are normal houseflies, green flies, and the guys below. Im assuming that all the maggots looks the same (maybe different sizes) and that they are all in there and i cant tell them apart. I cant find the website, but I think I remember them having a termperture range of 80-120F. So having them is indicative of a compost pile not being hot enough to kill them, weed seeds, and most pathogens.

Large Black Flies of unknown name (maybe a wasp?)

Based on the flies I see in the yard, there are normal houseflies, green flies, and the guys below. These guys I found in my finsihed compost storage bin which was known to have the pre-pupae in it. So Im assuming theat they hatched from those. They are large, 3-4 times the length of a house fly. In the picture you can see a scrap of paper with "eng" on it. That is 10pt Times New Roman for scale.




These guys were just chilling on the top of the pile when I opened the lid. Either they were drying out after recently hatching or they were in the process of dying from the parasitic infection I'm going to discuss next. When I came near, they moved, but did not fly away, and did not move by enough, or as fast as one might expect.

Fly Parasites

When i was diging thorugh the finished compost, (I cant remember whether it was the same or different bin that the one with the above photos - but it doesnt really matter since I mix compost from the two every other month), I found the following dead flies. They had small red aphid-like insects on them. The carapace had been split open, and the red aphid-like bugs were inside, presumably eating what was left of the inside of the fly. It is barely visible in the image. What is not visible, but what I did see was the same red bugs attached to the bottom of a much smaller different kind of fly. If I were to guess at the size, I would say they were 500-1000 microns (1000 micron=1mm). Inside the dead carapace, they looked gouged and fat. On the smaller fly (2 microns) they looked like 6-8 puppies clinging to the legs and abdomen of a mother dog - that was the scale.






Request for comments

If anyone knows anything about any of the four characters in today's post, please say something in the comments. If what you say cant be quickly verified on wikipedia, please post a source or a link. I want to learn, but cannot trawl through entomology websites on account of my weak suburban constitution. Thanks.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bat House Plans (Audubon Knockoff)

So this is something I've wanted to do for a while, but since it involved what i think is the most difficult power tool in existence - the router, I have yet to try it. I made the plans a while ago, and because I have received a few comments on this blog, I got in the mood to writing for it again.

So back in the spring, I took photos of this bat house sold by the Audubon Society. It is $50 if you can see in the photos after shrinking. The extent of my charity is paying taxes, signing petitions and voting for non-bigots. I really do not see $50 in craftsmanship here. I see $10 in materials and 10 man-minutes of work with the right tools, and a $40 donation to the Audubon Society.








 


Plans

So I reverse-engineered it. It's made of cedar so it doesn't rot. The 5 grooves which are present even on the outside of the house indicate that the entire box is made from 1 piece of lumber which is routed on both sides, then cut, then screwed together. The top and sides have two channels, but the others dont. To make it cheap, you would make it out of a single piece of 1x6x8'. So I made the drawing, dusted off my algebra and geometry, wrote out those equations in the middle left, plugged in t=3/4", w=5.5" and had Solver in Excel/OpenOffice/LibreOffice solve the equations for a, b, and c.


You are going to need a V-Groove bit, a Roundover bit, and a 3/4" Dado or Straight bit. Set up your jig to make the 5 V-Grooves on one side. Make the roundover routes. Cut the plank at the 46"/50" mark. Then route the 46" "half" with the straight bit on the other side. Then cut the 46" half into the A/B/B pieces, and the 50" "half" into the five 10" C pieces. 

A note on materials 

As with all router bits, get the largest chuck you can fo the bit you want. That means a 1/2" chuck for the 3/4" straight bit. The three bits for this project will run you about $40-$60, but they are some pretty useful bits. The Cedar, i found at Lowes for $10/board. My Home Depot doesn't carry planks of cedar.

A note on placement

Cedar was chosen because it lasts forever in the elements. So think about permenance. The screws looked brass or that funny outdoor gold patina stuff. The original builders avoided glue, I would also. 

I wouldnt mount it with a string because blind bats are going to be flying in and out of it - you wouldn't park your car in a garage that was suspended from crane would you? Id put two masonry screws through the bottom C board into the mortar of my brick.

Bats shit - think birds not mammals. Don't put it over something edible. And since it is the white bird kind (I think) it is going to be high in nitrogen, and might burn naked grass. I don't know I haven't built this one yet, but I would put it over ground I don't care about, or put some chippings/mulch underneath once I have bats.

I have also heard that bats - like all other mammals - get particular about the temperature of their home. They will prefer homes that are warm but not too warm etc., which is based on the amount of sun the house gets and the ambient temperture I am planning on solving this, but building 2-4 bat houses and placing them on the 4 sides of the house N-E-S-W. So the bats can choose the house of their choice based on the time of year and insolance.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What Goes In My Compost Bin


This is is a list of the things I put in my tumbler bin, including a bunch of things that are unorthodox. The line for me is “will it compost”, which manages to include things like chicken bones and junk mail and excludes things like bottled juice and paper towels.

  • Okay

    • Tissues
    • Napkins
    • Cooked chicken bones
    • Coffee grounds and filters
    • Egg shells
    • Spent egg wash from deep-fry sessions (that is if I don’t give it to my dog first)
    • Paper – I put all my spent paper and cardboard through a cross-cut shredder. This acts as my brown matter, since I only have 1 tree on my property.
      • Printouts – I double-print from a laser printer for my job at home
      • Corrugated cardboard – I break down the boxes into sheets, then cut it into strips 2-4 inches wide and then stuff it into the 12-sheet cross-cut shredder. I did this to a $50 shredder from Costco for 2 years before dulling the blades/teeth enough that the motor couldn’t handle the torque.
      • Junk mail – little plastic windows and all
      • Newsprint – newspapers, color advertisements, etc.
      • Single sheet cardboard – from those soda boxes with the handles
    • Urine – a great way to get some extra nitrogen into the compost pile. Note: urine + paper will not yield a viable compost pile since both materials are non-living – there just aren’t enough different types of molecules to support a living ecosystem of micro-flora.
    • Ash –
      • too much will slow/cool down your batch – maybe best to mix in after your batch has done with its hot phase.
      • This isn’t so much good for the compost micro-flora, but has nutrients the plants will appreciate (phosphorous and potassium).
      • Note that ash is generally basic, so if you have basic soil (high pH / pH>7.5) this is a bad thing.
      • Coal, has heavy metals in it which get absorbed into plants in proportion to how much there is and eventually the rest of the biosphere.  (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/191/4230/966.abstract) Will be discussed in another post.
  • Nokay

    • Raw bones (I give those treats to my dog, he eats them like carrot sticks)
    • Cooked other bones e.g. pork ribs (too big to compost well – maybe if I had a wood chipper)
    • Bottled juice – the preservatives in it can kill the stuff in your compost
    • Milk products – they turn to cheese and don’t really decompose.
    • Oils – it doesn’t rot in the bottle, why would it rot in a composter? Oil is a preservative since it limits access to air and prohibits the exchange of water.
    • Pickle juice/Brine – Also a preservative, too much will kill your micro-flora
    • Paper towels – they don’t break down, and at least Bounty's have a habit of getting stronger in the hot humid environment of the composter.
    • Dog crap – covered in a previous post

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Edibles need compost

In Maryland we are about halfway through the growing season here ( I guess everyone in the northern hemisphere is). Anyway, I learned some things about my experiments this year. Earlier this spring I put a bunch of compost at the base of my Fig (Celeste) and Mulberry trees but not my mint patch (on the advice of some website or book that said the mint "wont miss it").

The most practical reason I have found for composting is that it makes edibles more tender. Wood is made from carbohydrates (cellulose), which requires lots of carbon to make.  When a leaf or fruit is "woody" it has too much carbon in it as a result of not having enough nitrogen available to produce leaves or fruit properly.

Last year we were really disappointed in the mulberries our tree produced they had very woody centers that had to be spit out they were so hard. This year, I poured 1-4 cubic feet of compost at the base and I noticed the difference months later when the berries came in. They were much sweeter and much softer. Even better, they didn't have those plentiful little gnat-like bugs running around in them.

My neighbor is much more of a farmer than I am, and he gave us a bunch of beets in early spring. When all the stores and farmers markets had wonderful sugary beets with soft lovely greens (which I like a lot more than the actual beets), his greens were woody and the bulbs kind of tasteless. I don't know if those had been composted, but he basically has the same soil I do, the useless kind. I saw his compost pile a few weeks before he gave me the beets. It is based off of coffee grounds and newspaper that he gets from Starbucks and newstands around the area. It had ants in it and was very dry. If that's what the beets were made of then I would say that his pile had too much carbon in it and not enough nitrogen. Regardless, the beets were woody.

Edibles need compost to be tasty.

Oh yeah, and compost makes them grow about twice as fast in my experience.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Why not to compost meat and dog crap

I have done two experiments in composting since my first post. Both took about a month. The first was a traditional mix of stuff that I showed pictures of in the last post. Weeds, hay, paper shavings, kitchen scraps. The second one was one I called "toxic waste" and consisted of frozen chicken carcasses (that I was going to turn into stock, but ran out of freezer space), dog crap, and paper scraps.

Ill post my findings on my "toxic waste" experiment. Everyone always says not to put these things in compost, but usually don't say why.

TLDR/Abstract: 

Meat and crap cause disease and can  infect the compost, it is unknown how long till the compost is safe. Rats, cats, coons and flies, oh my. Flies appear and reproduce even if you use a sealed tumbler composter. The compost will stink horribly for 2-3 weeks depending on size, surface area, amount of out-door greenery and ratio of meat/crap to "other". Time to completion was not different than a traditional/vegitarian compost, about 1 month.

First, it can cause DISEASE. 

Things that rot meat can make you sick, whereas thing that rot vegetables usually don't. Same goes for crap. Crap of herbivores usually can go into compost no problem (e.g. rabbit, horse, cow), but that from carnivores (e.g. dogs, cats, people) can carry disease that makes carnivores (e.g. people) sick. I knew this before I started and used gloves before touching the bin, and didn't really touch the compost while it was cooking. Afterwards, I left the gloves (made of canvas and suede) in the sun, and washed my hands immediately. Last I heard, no one has done a study to determine under what conditions omnivore crap is safe for composting/laying on crops.

Second, PESTS. 

My composter is a tumbler typer, sealed and off the ground, so I didn't have to worry about rats, cats and coons. If you have a pile on the ground, this is the number 1 concern (your probability of getting sick is less because the rats will eat all your meat and dog crap every night). You will feed every omnivoric mammal in your neighborhood. I did get a lot of flies. I now know the full life cycle of a common house fly and what they look like at each stage.

Third, it SMELLS. 

Coincidentally, before I started this experiment, I was on the wikipedia article for "fragrance" and it mentions Cadaverine and Putrescine.Well, I now know what they smell like. It's bad, although it gives you a keen appreciation of which way the wind is blowing based solely on your relation to the composter in your yard. It takes about 1-3 days to get started and lasts for 10-14 days for the 10-20 picked over chicken carcasses I used. I tried to turn it a lot, and add more brown matter (then wet it), which usually makes things stop stinking, but it didn't work. Brown matter + stink usually makes it better, because the stink is ammonia, which is a sign that nitrogen is degassing. It is degassing because there is not enough brown matter for the flora (bacteria and fungi) to use and turn into dirt, so bacteria just eat the nitrogen and fart it out as ammonia. Not an answer for cadaverine and putrescine. Apparently, dead animals are best left to animals (e.g. worms, cats, maggots, hyenas) to dispose of, leaving it to microflora is just a huge mistake. I have put chicken bones and small amounts in normal compost without ill effects, I guess the difference is quantity - 2 chicken carcasses in a cubic yard of compost isn't a big deal, 20 in a new batch definitely is.

Fourth, People say it takes a LONG TIME. I think this is a LIE. 

This experiment basically took the same amount of time as a traditional (vegitarian) compost, about a month with my rig. A problem I ran into is that because of the low amount of outside greens in mine (hay, leaves etc.), mine took a long time to get started on something approaching aerobic respiration. Paper is what I use for brown matter, since I really only have 1 tree on my property. Paper is VERY clean, it doesn't get moldy nearly as fast as people with drywall in their basements seem to think it does. Hay on the other hand, is filthy, it has lots of spores and bacteria and fungus on it, and is great composting material since it contains green matter and brown matter and living things. Experiment: wet some hay, straw and paper, and put in a dark aerated place, see which grows mold fastest (A: the hay). Since I didn't have any hay for this experiment, or any real outdoor starting material, mold (the white fuzz I'm used to) took a long time (3 weeks) to form. What does make things take a long time is fat and salt. Fat coats things and is air tight, I think this is the reason it cant rot (because any cell that is coated in fat cant get water (because water is heavier than fat) or air (because fat is heavier than air). Putting fat in your compost will inhibit the beneficial aerobic flora you want (which work faster and don't stink), or worse yet, inhibit decomposition totally. Salt you don't want in your compost for the same reason you put it on food - it removes water from cells (of a tomato to make it taste like a tomato and not like water, and of a bacteria so that it doesn't rot your hard caught cod fillet).

Lessons:

I have put chicken bones, and bits in the compost before, and I think it's fine as long as there is enough other stuff in there. Boiled chicken bits produced only ammonia for a few days, so I will continue to dump that into a compost that has established for about a week. We have a dog, and have been feeding him the cartilidge from bones, so bones going into the compost have much less meat than they used to (the stuff that we stuck in the freezer and then went into this experiment). The dog crap I dont think I will put into the compost again.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My new composter

I compost. A lot. It is really what I do when I wake up every day. I put on some PJ bottoms, loafers, and go out to check and turn the compost bins. It's like walking to the store to get coffee, or opening all the blinds in the house, or walking the dog. It's that little bit of relaxing exercise that prevents one from needing a 3rd cup of caffeine in the day.

I use a tumbler composter because it's fast (and it was cheap at Costco - an adult toy that I absolutely had to have). Rapid composting from what I can tell was invented by Robert D. Raabe, Professor of Plant Pathology, at UC Berkeley and summarized here (also on referencs page). It basically says, if you can control the temperature, oxygen, and carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio, and scrap size, and turn your compost pile a lot, you can reduce the time to prepare it from 1 year (52 weeks) to 3 weeks. Im a big fan of tools, because tools do two things: 1) turn apes into people and 2) make work suck less. Dont get me wrong, I own a pitchfork, but I also own a composter, so that I can turn a barrel on its axis 10 times in the morning before coffee instead of lifting 200 lbs of compost all afternoon. If you want to rapid compost, you need a bin. I am happily biased towards tumbler designs.

This winter I had some negative results from experiments in composting. I was putting in stuff at a constant rate and not getting anything back. My main composter, which I've had for two years is a Lifetime #60058 Black 80-Gallon Compost Tumbler. It's big. So big that if you have a half full bin of finished compost, it is very hard to turn (my wife who uses a sledgehammer like a sewing needle and my fencing coach brother both can't turn it). You also have the problem that if you only have one, composting has to be a continuous operation, which I found out from the amazon reviewers, is bad. It is apparently much better to do batch processing, where you put everything in, lock it, and turn it, without adding anything else till it's done (except for piss/urea and brown matter to adjust the percentage of water and nitrogen as the thing cooks).

So after reading a bunch about composting, I decided my habits of continuous processing and overstuffing the bin had to end. I needed more space for composting batches in progress. I saw two solutions to this problem. The cheapskate-cheaps-out solution would be to get another garbage bin (with a lid) which would act as a pre-composting bin. Scraps and any other household garbage that is compostable would go in there to wait until the composter was ready for another batch, and then the garbage bin would be dumped into the composter to begin another batch. I told my wife, who had just last week, found some rat holes on the property, and told me that was a stupid idea. I tried to politely defend the idea, but got one of those you-can-listen-to-me-now-or-pay-for-it-later looks. So we went with the second solution: we bought a second composter.

Except that the one at Costco, is not one composter like the one I had bought two years earlier, but two smaller ones stuck together for almost twice the price. I deliberated. I capitulated. I bought the damn thing. Another Lifetime product, this time a 60072 DUAL COMPOST TUMBLER


Cons: It is a lifetime product and comes with language independent instructions (think Lego and Ikea) except that the required tools involve inter alia: a power drill, mallet, needlenose pliers and eye saftey. Forget "some assembely required" the instructions explicitly say (in language independent form) that you need two people, and aren't allowed to use children. See for yourself:
(From page 6 of the manual)
Pros: It is a lifetime product and comes with language independent instructions. Like my other Lifetime tumbler, it is indestructible at any phase of construction. Almost all the features of the single tumbler I had come to find annoying over 2 years have been fixed in this iteration. The seams are not bound with metal plates which rust. The tumbler walls are more resistant to infiltration by water. The tumblers are smaller, which make it easier to roll when it's weighed down. The legs are sturdier. The middle axis  goes all the way through and is made of metal, not the POS PVC bar that bowed and deformed under the heat of the composter in two days.

The inside. The bin spins around the perforated metal bar in the middle, which adds air to the core of the pile, increasing the speed of the composting reactions. Not the double locking mechanism at the top of the above photo, and the twisting handle on the bottom photo.

The legs are made from hollow rectagular steel beams, not the bent galvanized steel conduit of the last one. To lock the bin in place, pull up on the green handle near the axis. A pin slides into place so that you can open the bin without torquing plant shit onto your shoes or forcefully into your nose.
Here is my first experiment in the new bin. Weeds, used bunny hay, kitchen scraps, shredded paper and large undigested pieces from the last compost batch, and a bunch of water. Like the other model, the bottom will leak to an extent, so fell free to soak your pile to start with, the excess will leak out.
My laboratory. The old big composer is on the left, and the new one with the two bins is on the right. These were taken two days ago. The compost batch was already steaming 2 hours later, and today (2 days later) has already reduced in volume, has white fungus patches and is browner. Batch processing is totally the way to go. Next step is to check the temperature inside, and see if it is hot enough to kill weed seeds.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Introduction: The First Post


College Park

College Park is a suburban town dominated by two influences: The University of Maryland, and the Washington DC metro area. The University ensures that the town will always be populated by young students and every business and traffic pattern must bend to that reality. The Washington DC metro area is divided into 3 parts, the area that includes everyone that works in DC, the area inside the DC beltway, and Washington DC proper. The proximity to DC means that there is a subway system with a station in walking distance of my house, and I generally get the services of a large city.

More importantly it means hat everyone has around 1 degree of separation from the federal government:

  • If you live in DC, you live on property of the federal government.
  • If you are a fed, you are...the man.
  • If you are a contracter, you work for guys who sell to the fed.
  • If you are a lawyer, there isnt much you do that isn't political or connected to the federal government.

There are old timers too here, from a time before the beltway, when this area was farmland ready to be bulldozed into outer boony burbs for a new wave of pregnant mothers who needed cheap houses in which to raise the baby-boomer offspring of federal employees.


How I got here

I'm from New York City originally; born, raised, and hastilly emigrated. I went to RIT out of high school, and after 2 quarters there, decided two things: RIT was “Hell in an igloo” and I never wanted to see winter again. So, my then-future-wife and I picked some state schools south of the Mason-Dixon Line, and ended up at UMD. I love it here and loved attending UMCP, the architecture, the people, the climate, the scholarship, the money that falls from the sky at this campus, spent intelligently on things that make one proud to be a Terp.

After school, I got job at the US Patent and Trademark Office, and stayed in the same apartment I had lived in in college. After my wife and I got married, she got sick of rental service living (and more importantly, our third annual $100 rent hike in a row), and we started house hunting.

By this time, we had thoroughly explored the beltway and firmly decided on college park as a place to live. We wanted to live in Maryland (as opposed to Virginia or DC), and we both hate Montgomary county, and needed to be inside the Beltway.
While it's a long story in itself, we picked a cute brick box of a house that was in need of some TLC and vision. The house was a dump when we got it, but it quickly became a home, and eventually became a very relaxing place for anyone who visits.


What we like doing

Cooking – Kim and I are avid cooks. We catered our own wedding of 40, with 14 dishes that stuffed to the brim, the carnivores, vegitarians, and allergics (gluten and onions).
Drinking – There are 4 kinds of drinkers:
  1. Beer: Correlated with beer-guts, testosterone and sports
  2. Wine: Correlated with women and people that live in Mediterranean climates.
  3. Soft drinkers: Correlated with Muslims, recovering alcoholics and children. If you are in this category there are only the aforementioned three reasons why.
  4. Mixed Drinks: correlated with every american idol of the baby boomers, hardcore drinkers, and people for whom cooking includes alchemy without solid ingredients. My wife and I meet each criteria.
Gardening – Im big into composting, my wife has the eye and flare for the actual plants. We will get really good at it eventually, but right now we are really young. This blog will be about the transition between the two.
Entertaining – Cooking and drinking for oneself is impolite. So we make other people fat and drunk because we are debaucherous pushers...and great hosts.
Video Games – We play video games. A lot. But blogging about an imaginary world you interact with by yourself is pretty boring, and indicative of people I dont usually like.

What the blog is about

Blog came from weB LOG. This is exacly what it will be, a log of experiments in cooking drinking and gardening. I suppose I will write at least one book on at least one of these topics later in life. This will be the notebook from which published material will be honed into a product that someone might decide to pay me for.