Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What the Hog?

Jamison Stone, 11, with the wild pig he killed near Delta on May 3 that reportedly weighed 1,051 pounds and measured 9-feet-4.

CLICK HERE for the full story.

UPDATE: Turns out this beast was killed on a game reserve. And the hog had just been released on the reserve. From a FARM. Where it was domisticated. It charged him. Whatever. It probably just wanted the kid to pet him.

Monday, May 28, 2007

M. Ward // Chinese Translation

Yeah. M. Ward is freaking amazing. Fantastic perfomance. I want to see this show on the road! It's like an indie/country/folk who's who list on that stage.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Na, Na, Na, Na, Na

Paid $2.86 a gallon at the pump today.

Love that diesel.

And we get around 40 mpg.

And we only have one car.

And I work about 1 mile from my house.

I'm just saying...


Just in case you didn't know this was here check this out: CLICK HERE FOR DWIGHT'S BLOG

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Our Little Fawn is All Growed Up

UPDATE: I checked this morning and our little friend has left the comfort of the leaf pile and ventured out into the wild world of suburban Anderson township. Watch out little friend, it's tough on the streets of Anderson. In fact, I saw an adult deer, hopefully not this little guys' mum, that had been killed, apparently by an automobile right on the sidewalk on Salem Rd. between Parkside Church and Dunn Rd. Moment of silence for said deer...okay, that's good.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

National Geographic @ the ferry's first it was the red-bellied woodpecker now it's deer, not to mention all the regular aviary visitors.

So as I was reading on the back porch this afternoon I spied a doe back behind our shed across the fence, which I thought was somewhat odd in the middle of the afternoon but whatever. Later I went back there and came nearly nose to nose with her AND discovered a newly born fawn a little ways on the other side of the fence. Wonder of wonders! All in our own backyard.

*Note: I did actually take these pictures. It was as close as I could get without being afraid of being beat up by the mom.

MEV // Meka's English Version

Well I figured it's about time to post a picture of the Mekster. And I do with this quote from Annie Dillard's "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" which I am reading. Meka is this age.

"There is a certain age at which a child looks at you in all earnestness and delivers a long, pleased speech in all the true inflections of spoken English, but with not one recognizable syllable. There is no way you can tell the child that if language had been a melody, he had mastered it and done well, but that since it was in fact a sense, he had botched it utterly."

Sick Mercy

"I have never been anywhere but sick. In a sense sickness is a place, more instructive than a long trip to Europe, and it's always a place where there's no company, where nobody can follow. Sickness before death is a very appropriate thing and I think those who don't have it miss one of God's mercies." -Flannery O'Conner

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

C.S. Lewis on Prayer

So I'm reading this book called "Prayer" by Philip Yancy that I highly recommend. Only in part because Yancy has a sweet, grey 'fro. Anyway...he quotes C.S. Lewis & Lewis always says it best:

"The essence of a request, as distinct from compulsion, is that it may or may not be granted. And if an infinitely wise Being listens to the requests of finite and foolish creatures, of course He will sometimes grant and sometimes refuse them. Invariable 'success' in prayer would not prove the Christian doctrine at all. It would prove something much more like magic.

It is not unreasonable for a headmaster to say, "Such and such things you may do according to the fixed rule of this school. But such and such other things are too dangerous to be left to general rules. If you want to do them you much come and make a request and talk over the whole matter with me in my study. And then - we'll see."

Friday, May 11, 2007

Record Recommendation

I just bought a few new records and want to mention a particularly great one. Elvis Perkins' (Anthony Perkins of Psycho fame's son) album Ash Wednesday is terrific. If you forgive that he kind of sounds like Jeff Mangum (it seems natural, not forced) and therefore don't force a comparison to Neutral Milk Hotel--which is unfair to anyone--then you'll find a beautiful album of fragility and sadness. I highly recommend it.

Coffee Roasting--even for dummies

Alright, so now that school is over for my year, I have a little bit of time on my hands. So for the last few days I've been experimenting with a new hobby. And it's awesome. I, like the rest of the Ferry clan, love coffee. I keep trying to find ways to make my coffee better. Buying better coffee, storing it differently, better water, better grinder, better maker, etc. Throughout most of this I've been using the great coffee from Jittery Joe's, roasted here in Athens. But no longer. I have a new type of coffee. I now roast my own--right out on my back porch.
It turns out that roasting your own coffee is both cheap and easy. And really fun. Using a $15 air popcorn popper I bought at Target, I can roast any type of bean to just about any roast (though that part I am still getting the hang of).
I ordered three pounds of green coffee from Sweet Maria's--including a Kenyan, Tanzanian, and four sampler bags--for half the price of roasted coffee. I started with the Tanzanian, since I had the most of it (they sent it as one of the samplers, too). The first roast took about two and a half minutes. Way too fast. The second roast I was able to slow a little using Edward Spiegel's mighty fine tips on air popper roasting. The roast did slow, but only slightly. At this point, I waited a little but kept going at a little too quick of a pace (because I was just having too much fun). So the roasts got slower, but not as effectively as if I had waited for the popper to cool. The resultant coffee varied by degree--from a full Vienna or French for the first (which I purposely let go too far) to a light City to my first genuine (I think) Full City. By using various methods, I have found what seems to be a pretty solid method. I start with fewer beans (I still need a scale). I use a an open-ended can as a chimney to stop beans from popping out after what they call "second crack" (which is just what it seems like...the second time the beans starting cracking). I tilt the popper forty-five degrees until after first crack (again, just as it sounds like). I agitate the beans with a wooden spoon every five to ten seconds until first crack. And I have taken to stopping the roast right after second crack starts or up until thirty seconds into it (though I think I must wait longer--I just get scared of burning the beans when they begin smoking). With this method I have extended the roast time from six to eight minutes--a much better time.
So, the taste. Well, the resultant coffee was pretty mediocre at first. The first batch is still waiting, as I have little interest in trying it. The second batch clearly roasted too fast, as the beans were scorched on the outside while not roasted well on the inside. The cup tasted both burned and oddly "raw" and very earthy--but not in a good way. However, the second and third roasts got progressively better. Indeed, the cup I had of the Nkoanekoli last night was quite good. In fact, I think the roast I did yesterday of it will prove to be even better. While I'm thinking of it, one of the things I like about this (but would drive a multi-person coffee household nuts) is that the popper roasts just enough for my large mug of coffee, meaning I get to have a full individual roast with each cup. Nice. Anyway, I also roasted my first batch of Sulawesi (Grade One Toraja), an inclusion in the sampler bag, the first day. I had waited about two hours, so the machine was cool. This was clearly my best roast of the day and the most recent one I have tried. Indeed, I am drinking it now, which is what is prompting my post. I know Brian is a huge Sulawesi coffee fan and I had not tried it. So I was saving my post until I could try it (after waiting for the roast to degas about 24 hours). I see now why he loves it so much. The batch turned out terrific, even though it was slightly under-roasted (a Full City, when I wanted a FC+). The body is nice and thick. The acidity is noticeable but very low--just a nice touch. Best of all, though, is the incredible earthiness that balances it out. It is a bold coffee, but very well-rounded. A great cup. Now, it should be noted, though, that I have little to no knowledge of what I am actually looking for here. It tastes good and I know what I don't taste (winey character, bold fruit, etc.) more than what I do, but I would still say it is a great coffee.
I still don't think I've quite gotten the hang of roast degree, as I can't seem to nail the Full City+. And I certainly have no real palate to speak of. Nonetheless, I keep plugging away. And I know one thing: this is well on the way to being the best coffee I've had (thanks, of course, to the quality of the beans, not the roast).
Pictures of my set-up to come later.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

brian ferry @ the Blue Ash Starbucks


I'm playing some music at the Blue Ash Starbucks Friday, May 11th. That'd be tomorrow.

CLICK HERE for a Google Map. It's located at 9618 Kenwood Rd.

Please come or it'll be lame.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Koob it's common knowledge that although the ferry clan is basically a good ole American mutt of Scotch/German/Dutch/Irish/Whatever pedigree...if you've seen our beards, you know that we're actually quite Viking-esque.

Which explains why I LOVE this game we played at our Life Group picnic last night @ Woodland Mound.

It's called Koob & it basically involves throwing pieces of wood at other pieces of wood in a strategic fashion. Which sounds exactly like what Vikings would do on the frozen tundra. Cornhole, shmornhole. Look out world, here comes the Koob.

Check it out: CLICK HERE.

I've got a birthday coming up. I'm just saying. Last year was a cuckoo clock, this year...a viking game!

Tweedy Interview & Sky Blue Sky

There's a great, lengthy, interview with Jeff Tweedy over at Pitchfork. CLICK HERE

I love this quote: "I don't know anybody who's not lying to themselves when they act like they've got it all figured out."

Also...if you haven't already figured this out, you can stream Sky Blue Sky HERE. I've listened to it maybe a hundred times?

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Judge Mental

If you think that judges in our legal system are fair, check out this story. It makes my skin crawl. A judge in D.C. is suing a mom and pop dry cleaners for $65 million because he claims they lost his pants. check it out:

Judge sues dry cleaner for millions over lost pants
$65 million lawsuit story

WASHINGTON - The Chungs, immigrants from South Korea, realized their American dream when they opened their dry-cleaning business seven years ago in the nation's capital.

For the past two years, however, they've been dealing with the nightmare of litigation: a $65 million lawsuit over a pair of missing pants.

Jin Nam Chung, Ki Chung and their son, Soo Chung, are so disheartened that they're considering moving back to Seoul, said their attorney, Chris Manning.

"They're out a lot of money, but more importantly, incredibly disenchanted with the system," Manning said. "This has destroyed their lives."

The lawsuit was filed by a District of Columbia administrative hearings judge, Roy Pearson, who has been representing himself in the case.

Pearson did not return phone calls and e-mails Wednesday from The Associated Press requesting comment.

According to court documents, the problem began in May 2005 when Pearson became a judge and brought several suits for alteration to Custom Cleaners in Northeast Washington, a place he patronized regularly despite previous disagreements with the Chungs. A pair of pants from one suit was not ready when he requested it two days later, and was deemed to be missing.

Pearson asked the cleaners for the full price of the suit: more than $1,000.

But a week later, the Chungs said the pants had been found and refused to pay. That's when Pearson decided to sue.

Manning said the cleaners made three settlement offers to Pearson, who has represented himself in the case for the past two years. First they offered $3,000, then $4,600, then $12,000.

But Pearson wasn't satisfied and expanded his calculations beyond one pair of pants.

Because Pearson no longer wanted to use his neighborhood dry cleaner, part of his lawsuit calls for $15,000 - the price to rent a car every weekend for 10 years to go to another business.

"He's somehow purporting that he has a constitutional right to a dry cleaner within four blocks of his apartment," Manning said.

But the bulk of the $65 million comes from Pearson's strict interpretation of D.C.'s consumer protection law, which fines violators $1,500 per violation, per day. According to court papers, Pearson added up 12 violations over 1,200 days, and then multiplied that by three defendants.

Much of Pearson's case rests on two signs that Custom Cleaners once had on its walls: "Satisfaction Guaranteed" and "Same Day Service."

Based on Pearson's dissatisfaction and the delay in getting back the pants, he claims the signs amount to fraud.

Pearson has appointed himself to represent all customers affected by such signs, though D.C. Superior Court Judge Neal Kravitz, who will hear the June 11 trial, has said that this is a case about one plaintiff, and one pair of pants.

Sherman Joyce, president of the American Tort Association, has written a letter to the group of men who will decide this week whether to renew Pearson's 10-year appointment. Joyce is asking them to reconsider.

Chief Administrative Judge Tyrone Butler had no comment regarding Pearson's reappointment.

The association, which tries to police the kind of abusive lawsuits that hurt small businesses, also has offered to buy Pearson the suit of his choice.

And former National Labors Relations Board chief administrative law judge Melvin Welles wrote to The Washington Post to urge "any bar to which Mr. Pearson belongs to immediately disbar him and the District to remove him from his position as an administrative law judge."

"There has been a significant groundswell of support for the Chungs," said Manning, adding that plans for a defense fund Web site are in the works.

To the Chungs and their attorney, one of the most frustrating aspects of the case is their claim that Pearson's gray pants were found a week after Pearson dropped them off in 2005. They've been hanging in Manning's office for more than a year.

Pearson claims in court documents that the pants had blue and red pinstripes.

"They match his inseam measurements. The ticket on the pants match his receipt," Manning said.