adrian is rad


American Craft Beer Fest

Filed under: — adrian @ 8:40 am

Last weekend I went to the American Craft Beer Fest, trying 48 beers from 21 brewers. (There were 122 or so brewers there.) It was a good time and there were some great beers there.

I made a spreadsheet of the beers and my ratings of them.


Coke product sizing seen in US America in the last couple years

Filed under: — adrian @ 5:21 pm

Coke product sizing seen in US America in the last year.

  • 8 oz*
  • 12 oz**
  • 12.5 oz
  • 14 oz
  • 16 oz
  • 16.9 oz (500ml)
  • 20 oz
  • 33.8 oz (1 liter)
  • 42.3 oz (1.25 liter)
  • 67.6 oz (2 liter)

It really seems like they’re trying to find the right size.

*fluid ounces, of course

**in a can.


dyeing an ikea ektorp loveseat cover

Filed under: — adrian @ 2:36 pm

Update: I’d recommend reading this entire post and the comments before dying your covers. I list the directions I used but you may wish to make some changes. (I would if I did it again.)

ektorp loveseat before

ektorp loveseat after

When I bought my Ektorp loveseat, I found that the white cover ($11 at my local store) was reasonably priced whereas the cover I really wanted, gray ($239) was not. So I decided to see if I could dye it close the color I wanted. I found that similar things had been done before.

Here’s what I did. Time required: about 3.5 hours (though you don’t need to be there the whole time). You may also want to reference Rit’s washing machine dyeing instructions and their tips for success.


  • 1 Blekinge white Ektorp loveseat cover—I bought an extra because they were only $11 and I didn’t want to be without a cover if I messed up the dyeing
  • 2 bottles black liquid Rit Dye
  • 1 bottle navy blue liquid Rit Dye
  • 2 cups salt
  • 2 tablespoons laundry detergent + 4 normal loads-worth
  • A washing machine or four
  • 2 cups bleach


  1. Split covers into two lots: the main slip cover and the 4 cushion covers. These weigh the same amount (5.2lb by my measure). Do all steps in parallel for both sets. The instructions below assume you are using two washing machines at the same time. You can also do one set of covers and then the other.
  2. Wash love seat and cushion covers normally.


  1. With the washing machine empty, start the cycle with the hottest water (usually a ‘white cottons’ setting). Wait until it’s about half full.
  2. Add 1 bottle of black dye (8 oz.) to each machine. Add 1/4 cup* navy blue dye (1/4 bottle, 2oz.) to each machine. Make sure to shake well, as instructed on the bottles.
  3. Add 1 cup salt to each machine. This apparently helps the color stay.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon laundry detergent to each machine. This apparently helps the color evenly distribute.
  5. Wait till the machines are mostly full and then add the covers to the machines. (Again: the slipcover to one machine and the 4 cushion covers to the other.) Check that the covers are full submerged in the water. Push them down if necessary.
  6. Let the machine run its cycle. Check about half way through the agitation cycle that the covers are fully submerged.
  7. The machines are probably stained by this point. Remove the covers from the machines. Run a full cycle with the hottest water and 1 cup of bleach to each.
  8. Once the machines are clean, put the covers back in the machines (or if you have access to more machines, you can do this step in two new machines) and wash them normally. Use a cold water setting for this wash.
  9. Dry the covers in the dryer in a normal cycle. One idea is to take them out when they are a little damp so they dry in place on the sofa without wrinkles.
  10. Put the covers back on the sofa.

*If I had to do it over I would put less navy dye in to give it a primarily grey look, with a slight navy tint to it. I think 1/8 cup (half of what I put in) would be sufficient for this.

So there you go.


two household tips

Filed under: — adrian @ 4:21 pm

Here are a couple household tips:

  1. If you’re nailing into a wall (to hang a picture or something), put an ‘X’ of Scotch tape down over the spot where you’re putting the nail in and it’ll help prevent the plaster from chipping.
  2. You can treat raw wood with fat. If you have something carved (like a curio knobkierrie) or otherwise untreated wood (like wood spoons), you can treat them with fat, such as lard, other animal fat or Crisco (vegetable shortening). Cover the item in a visible layer of fat, leave it for a few hours and then wipe it off. It’ll give the wood a nice sheen and help the wood from cracking. (As always, try first on a non-visible area of the wood before trying on the whole thing.)

They’ve both come in handy for me recently.


46 things I saw out the window of a car this weekend

Filed under: — adrian @ 9:08 am

46 things I saw out the window of a car this weekend…

cows; sheep; goats; mongeese; vervet monkeys; a bush buck; the Pongola River; Swaziland; the Indian Ocean; tractors; African Queen Hair Salon; Wenzi and Sister Quick Save; lodges; an Elephant Park; a game reserve; potholes; the clouds during a beautiful sunset; litter; tuck shops; cell phone repair shacks; one-man car repair shops; churches; schools; shopping centres; informal markets; semi-formal markets; “<-- Sodwana Bay"; kids playing soccer; rondavels; shacks; huts; houses; homesteads; white bakkies; boats-on-trailers; Land Rovers with snorkels (that will never be used); new cars; old cars; rusted out car chassis; an ATV spewing smoke; repurposed shipping containers; people walking; people hitchhiking; people carrying water; women carrying sacks of mielie meal or flour; people riding bicycles;


five all time great laughs

Filed under: — adrian @ 10:40 am

Five all time great laughs:

  • Buford- it’s not the laugh he has when someone tells a joke, but the laugh he specifically reserves when he tells stories. It’s a stifled laugh in the midst of a sentence when he’s setting up something particularly amusing. “So we’re at the circus [stifled laugh] and there’s this guy, right [stifled laugh], and he…”
  • Jesse – He is a perfect example of the contrast between a big, tough exterior and a giggling laugh.
  • John V – When John would laugh really hard, he’d transition from his normal laugh to a higher pitched laugh. I think it rubbed off on me.
  • Colin A – I don’t know if Colin still does this but in high school he’d laugh in a moderately contained manner but his nostrils would flare and contract rapidly during his laugh. I tried to imitate this; it’s inimitable.
  • Jeff M – Jeff has a few laughs, but my favorite is the mouth-fully-open boisterous one when he finds something really funny.


ten tallest US statues

Filed under: — adrian @ 8:50 am

According to wikipedia’s list of statues by height:

  1. Statue of Liberty depicting Lady Liberty. Located in Liberty Island, New York, it stands 46 m (151 ft) tall.
  2. Our Lady of the Rockies depicting Mary. Located in Butte, Montana, it stands 27 m (88.6 ft) tall
  3. Golden Driller depicting an oilman. Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, it stands 23 m (75 ft) tall.
  4. Tribute to Courage depicting Sam Houston. Located in Huntsville, Texas it stands 20.5 m (67 ft) tall.
  5. Dallas Zoo’s giraffe statue depicting a giraffe. Located in Dallas, Texas it stands 20.5 m (67 ft) tall.
  6. Christ of the Ozarks depicting Jesus. Located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, it stands 20 m (65.5 ft) tall.
  7. King of Kings depicting Jesus. Located in Monroe, Ohio it stands 19m (62 ft) tall
  8. Praying Hands depicting praying hands. Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, it stands 18.2 m (60 ft) tall.
  9. Vulcan statue depicting a Vulcan (mythology). Located in Birmingham, Alabama, it stands 17.1 m (56 ft) tall.
  10. Jolly Green Giant depicting Jolly Green Giant. Located in Blue Earth, Minnesota it stands 16 m (52.5ft) tall.

Not a very impressive list, I think. I mean, the Jolly Green Giant and a statue of a giraffe are within our top ten?

Absolutely ridiculous is the planned and partially completed Crazy Horse Memorial Statue, which when/ if completed will stand at 172m, placing it as the largest statue in the world. Then again, it was started in 1948 and the designer died in 1982 so who knows if it will ever be finished.


order of difficulty

Filed under: — adrian @ 2:05 pm

In order of mental energy required to start, from least to most:

  • email to a friend or acquaintance
  • phone call to friend or acquaintance
  • email to someone I don’t know
  • calling someone I don’t know, but is expecting me to call
  • cold calling someone I don’t know

This list is not comprehensive.


four scenes from thirty five hours of travel

Filed under: — adrian @ 2:22 pm

1. Why is United giving us sporks? Sporks are not good for eating yogurt nor spreading jam on a croissant. I hold up the spork to show to the person in the next seat. “I know”, she says, but it comes out as an acknowledging “I knooooooww” in that drawn out British way. She’s Brazilian-born but grew up in London and speaks like a proper Brit. She’s just been visiting her brother in the Mission and her sister in Palo Alto. We commiserate about the weather.


2. A pub called the Jolly Cricketers in a quaint English town outside London. My uncle takes me out to traditional English pub for lunch but we both order thoroughly untraditional lamb and feta burgers which are delicious. We’re joined by my uncle’s old friend Tom; he does not order a lamb burger. I also down two pints of hand-pumped and only moderately below room temperature ale. They’re good, especially one called Rebellion. Looking back one could ascribe some significance to this trip according to the name of that beer, but really I had just tried Tom’s and liked it.

3. Row fifty two on an Air Bus 340-200 at about four in the morning. The lights are out. I’ve woken up for some reason. My shoulders shudder and my eyes stream messily into my eye cover. Part of it is doubts about coming to SA and part of it is doubts about leaving what I had. But the small hours are not a time when one can tell which are unfounded and which are not.

4. Passport control. The passport agent says “good morning” and that’s about it. Stamp! stamp!, in that nice rhythm that they do–and I’m through. If she’d been thinking about the book I would write about my experience, perhaps she could have said something with greater significance like “Welcome home” as she handed me back my passport. But she didn’t. It’s yet to be seen whether her omission is prescient or not.


beverage cap mishaps

Filed under: — adrian @ 12:11 pm

Two beverage cap mishaps:

  1. March 2002, Orangina bottle. Decided to follow the instructions to “shake well” despite forgetting that I’d removed the cap. Computer lab left sticky.
  2. July 2009, Coke Zero bottle. Tried to drink out of it despite the cap still being on. Knocked cap into teeth.


two android app suggestions

Filed under: — adrian @ 1:00 pm

I’ve got a G1 phone. It’s pretty good and has plenty of good applications for it.

I have a couple suggestions for new apps:

  • Location reminder. Where’d I park my car? Get out of your car, click ‘remember location’ and, using the GPS, it puts a dot on the map with your car’s location.
  • Holga-style camera app: Something like this, perhaps.

If I had copious amounts of free time, I might dig into the developers tools myself, but I have other things on my mind right now.


the last eight times I took a taxi (I think)

Filed under: — adrian @ 7:12 pm

I’m against taxis on principle. They’re usually really expensive and I should just walk or take a bus if it’s available. But occasionally the other options aren’t good/ available.

  • 3/22/09 2am, Austin, TX (getting back to my friend’s house after a show at SxSW after he’d left earlier)
  • 3/20/09 1:30am, Austin, TX (getting back to my friend’s house after a show at SxSW after he’d left earlier)
  • 3/12/09 1:30am, San Francisco (getting home with Dave and Tina after a show because their flight was early the next day)
  • 2/17/09 10pm San Francisco (splitting a taxi back from the airport with coworkers)
  • 2/16/09 6:05pm Lahaina, HI (with two others, getting back to the hotel after a 20 mile hike and 2 bus rides because the last bus/ shuttle stopped 6-7pm for the driver’s dinner)
  • 12/17/07 5pm Taipei, TW (from work with two coworkers at their insistence)
  • 12/09/07 1am Taipei, TW (post-subway hours trip back to my hotel)
  • 12/3/07 8:30am Taipei, TW (to work after a bus came that was too full to fit on)

That’s right, I don’t think I took a cab in 2008.

Also, I have no idea why I thought I should make this list.

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