Sunday, December 25, 2011

Batch #2 and #3

The first batch was a sloppy failure. The beeswax solidified into a dense block and everything else was soupy. A quick google search revealed that much of what I added as insoluble with beeswax and provided insight to what would be soluble. The next two batches would be better

Adding coffee grounds was not the greatest of ideas... this was something I would not be comfortable rubbing on my legs. Tossed that in the garbage.

The third batch was much much better. It has a better consistency and a mild heat. I will need some additional oils for a colder weather embro, but I'm pretty happy with the preliminary results.

I guess I'll need a name for this batch...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Homemade Embrocation

This is a little project that has been two years in the making. Little thought has been wasted on the beeswax and cajeput oil sitting in my desk drawer recently, but with nothing to do in the ghost town of Blacksburg over winter break, I gathered ingredients to cook what I hoped to be a mild batch of embrocation.

Somethings are better told through pictures...

I'm not yet sure how it is going to turn out, it has not yet cooled. I forgot the cayenne pepper, so I'm afraid it isn't going to have any heat. The red pepper and coffee beans probably didn't soak long enough in the alcohol and the cocoa butter wasn't as soluble as I would have hoped. We shall see.

Now, it is time to clean up the kitchen.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

HP WebOS development

I was able to snag a couple HP Touchpads for the low low price of $85. They originally were $499, but HP has decided they don't want to make physical things anymore and are unsure what to do with the operating system they bought for a cool 1.2 billion dollars last year.

A few months ago, I had planned on making a few simple apps which include a periodic table and another one having to do with material science/crystal structures. I abandoned these apps because my app writing skills aren't very polished at all and the time it would take to write them could be used for other things, like having a life. Plus, I didn't have a device to develop on, but now I do... so who knows, I might take another crack at writing an app. I did write one app for the phone, but it's got some bugs.

Fedex is on their way with my tablet today. Anyway, below is a link to a comic that I thought was appropriate.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The original Starbucks

I'm not really a fan of Starbucks, I could take it or leave it, but we took the opportunity in Seattle to visit the first Starbucks to pop-up in the world.

Some street performers playing music... notice that the girl is playing a saw.

I purchased a bag of "special reserve pike place coffee" which is only available at the first starbucks. A couple days later I fired up a pot of water, cleaned off my french press, located my favorite mug, and got at it.
I was worried that it would be the best cup of coffee that I ever had, and since it was only available in Seattle, I would have limited access to the beans. I was relieved when I discovered it was just "okay"... nothing too special. I still prefer going to a local roaster and getting a pound of french roast. I would tell you my favorite roaster, but you've probably never heard of it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cycling into/in Portland

On the final day of my four day weekend, I decided it would be nice to bike into Portland proper. I mapped out a route just shy of 20 miles and was on my way. It's been a hot 85 deg here lately and I was able to add on to my permanent tan lines a little bit throu
gh out the day.

The trek into the urban setting was uneventful, except for one instance with a senior citizen who was dead set on merging into my person bubble--disregarding the fact I am a semi-solid object.

This post will lack a lot of pictures because I felt like too much of a tourist as it were. Although, like any transient cyclist, I had to pi
ck up a couple souvenirs.

Yep, that's a cow bell.

After riding around the city for what seemed like forever, I chose to take the TriMax back into Hillsboro. The only exciting part of that trip was an altercation between a senior and a disabled person over a priority seat (which is reserved for seniors and disabled peoples). Yep, pretty uneventful.

Monday, July 4, 2011


So, I need to update on my summer... but first let's start with 4th of July weekend.


City buildings

Sea Otters!
Clown fish
Space Needle
First Starbucks
Piggy bank

Fish stuck in a loop

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I've left Blacksburg

After two weeks of running around the lab, town, and between new/old apartments, I was finally able to pack up my belongings and travel.

Sure, traveling by plane would have been faster, easier, cheaper, and potentially less stressful but traveling by car does have its advantages. Seeing parts of the country is exciting and I also wouldn't have to pay $200 in fees for taking my bike on a plane. In addition to that, I would have my car for weekend trips.

Not as good as I remembered.

I drove damn near 1000 miles the first day and thought it was a good idea to sleep in my car. Not very good sleep at all. I think I spent the night in Kansas, but I'm not sure. The reason I drove so much the first day was because I've seen this part of the country many many times. I'm currently writing in Wyoming, a state in which I have not visited before. More specifically, Laramie WY, home of the University of Wyoming.

The town has a mountain settlement feel, much like Houghton MI or Morgantown WV, minus the West Virginias. I'm at Coal Creek Coffee Co right now and it's pretty nice.

Last night I had dinner at the local vegetarian place, Sweet Melissa's.
The food was really good; I had the bean and rice enchilada with some kind of sour cream sauce, I think.

I'm just about to head out of town after spending the night in town, but first I'm gonna check out some places that were closed last night.

Local bike shop, other places, etc.

Okay, I'm done with my coffee. Time to go.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Getting some good micro-brewed beers down my gullet will be on my to do list, but I've got my mind on some other brewed beverages (and non-brewed). LA would be too far of a drive, but I'm sure I can find some locally.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The beginning...

Virginia to Portland. 2,700 miles crossing 11 states. 7 days to get there. By car.

I got a job, a place to live, and that's about it so far.

Things to do...
go to In-and-out burger
go to Fry's
swim in Pacific Ocean
get back on the bike
go into California