Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

Here’s an important post just in time for your New Year’s Eve partying, learn to impress your friends with fancy layered drinks and throw some flair into your mixing. When layering it is important to know the physics behind it, heaviest/densest stuff at the bottom, lightest at the top.

I’m using a shooter called an Irish Truffle as my example for this post. This drink goes by many names and usually has other crap in it also. The original way it was presented to me was just Chambord and Irish Cream in a 1-to-2 ratio of those, and as a layered shot versus a shaken cocktail.

Irish cream to the left of me, Chambord to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you.

Irish cream to the left of me, Chambord to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you.

There is a trick to layering drinks, all layered drinks from a black & tan to multi-layered cocktails. That trick is using a wide spoon upside down to cause the liquid to break over a larger surface area with less force, lowering the chance of you messing up the layers. I have layered without using a spoon before but that is much harder and not to be expected.

Who doesn't like a little spooning sometimes?

Who doesn’t like a little spooning sometimes?

If you did it right your end result should look something like this. If you want to glam it up some more you can easily a layer of a clear alcohol at the top, like vodka, cognac, rum, or schnapps.

Shotglass courtesy of The Steampunk Saloon, Black Rock City 2013.

Shotglass courtesy of The Steampunk Saloon, Black Rock City 2013.

I hope you enjoy and have a fun and safe New Years Eve.

As many of my readers are well aware by now I am in a cast with a broken wrist after a recent bicycle crash. This is my first time in a cast and it has taught me some valuable things I want to impart to you.

If your cast gets wet it will smell bad, do whatever you can to prevent this. Many of these tips apply directly to that.

1. If the padding starts to wear down and you feel chaffing get some cloth tape and tape over the area that is bothering you, perhaps even tape some cotton balls there for more padding if needed.

2. When showering use a bread bag or a similar small plastic bag to cover the cast, seal it off with a rubber band; I prefer the thicker bands that come on broccoli.

3. If your cast does get wet dry it as quickly as possible with a blow-dryer held at a far enough distance where it won’t burn your skin or melt the cast.

4. If your cast does begin to smell bad use essential oils to mitigate the smell. I’ve been using lavender and grapefruit, one application of oil would last a day or two.

5. This one is obvious but needed, Don’t take your cast off for any reason!

The rest are not specifically cast related but are sound advice to heal broken bones fast based off all the studies I read.

6. Give up cigarette smoking, nicotine slows bone healing; no studies cover cannabis smoking and I offer myself up as a case study.

7. Stop drinking (I wish the doctor mentioned this one).

8. Eat a diet rich in dairy protein/calcium, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, citrus (oranges specifically), apples. Your goal is to maximize your intake of: silicon, copper, iron, and other minerals; Vitamin D, C (including Quercetin), B complex, and the rest. Bones are make up primarily of spongy protein and calcium with mineral pockets layered throughout. Also for healing most soft tissue/bone injuries check out glucosamine chondroitin, this stuff works wonders.

9. DO NOT USE NSAIDs like ibuprofen! Take aspirin or acetaminophen instead. Research shows that NSAIDs can slow bone healing. I wish I knew this a month ago before taking  ibuprofen daily.

I get the cast off on January 2nd if all goes well in my xrays, until then I’ll have to wait and see.

If you are like me then you own a computer and other electronic devices, many people across the world fall into this camp.  If you are reading this blog, chance are you’re one of us. Being a technology user you probably know what a blight tangled wires can be in your workspace. This blog will give you some quick tips to help with that.

Thankfully my room isn't this bad.

From the anime Serial Experiments Lain

As an aside, I love the anime Lain, it is something I watch whenever I feel like the real world is starting to drop away into fiction and blend in with the digital world. I would say it comforts me, but if anything it is quite the opposite;  Lain offers us a mirror of our own world’s future, a possibility of where we are going. Enough on that, back to tangled cords.

1. If you have extra length in a cord bundle it up. Why have excess hanging all over the place if you don’t need it?

2. Try to hide your bundles of excess cord under or behind your computer desk to keep them out of the way and protected.

3. Use the clips from bread-bags to sort your cords. I did not create this one, I merely TumblrdUpon it, but I certainly advocate its use and use it myself to keep things organized. With my set up (pictured below) I color coded my clips, preventing any need to label them. Blue is my monitor because a monitor plug is generally blue. Green is for sound because generally your sound cable is tipped green. Yellow for my clock for no particular reason (alarm clock = yellow like the sun when waking up?). The large white one is from a potato sack and is used for my laptop power cord because the others wouldn’t fit on it.

Bread Clips

I was listening to one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite folk-punk artists earlier today and wanted to share it with you all. I was introduced to Evan Greer‘s about five years ago through a friend, aside from countless phenomenal political discussions that I will forever cherish, Evan’s music is the greatest gift she ever imparted to me. Evan is a transgendered political activist songwriter with an anarchist bent, she is a very multifaceted individual with a lot of amazing things to say. Her music is to our generation as Bob Dylan was for the hippies; her lyrics better capture the mood of our times than any other songwriter I have come across.

Evan is part of a musical collective known as the Riot Folk Collective, a group started by folk musicians Ryan Harvey and Mark Gunnery in the 90s. While it appears that Riot Folk no longer has their own website with all the music available for donation, it is on both soundcloud and last.fm. I highly recommend checking them out if you’re into melodic punk.

While I am making this post about Fame, Evan’s entire catalog of songs is amazing. Check out I Want Something, Never Surrender, and Love Me I’m a Liberal (Phil Ochs cover) for more good tracks. If you like what you hear Evan is currently on tour around North America. I picked this song because I love the message contained in the lyrics dearly,  though that is quite true of damned near everything Evan writes.

Fame, By Evan Greer

What’s the point of fame
Except to reinforce the social hierarchies we oppose


What’s the point of a name
If it just becomes something that you drop


When you feel insecure
And you’re not sure
If everybody in the room will have heard of your band before
And you’re on tour


And haven’t seen a friend in at least a couple of days
Let me count the ways that I abuse the privilege
Granted to me by this mandolin


And my white skin that bought me my first guitar
Everybody told me boy you’re bound to be a star
Oh yes you are
Boy you’re bound to be a star


And like every major threat
They somehow find a way to buy it
They co-opt what we create
While they get rich and we deny it


The TV tells us there are stars and fans
And there’s just one way to make it
Follow the label’s rules
Use the master’s tools
And when the big deal comes you take it


You’re selling hope to angry kids
Who think that you’re the only ones
Who sing about what makes them sad
Who understand the way they feel


That’s just cuz your label pays
For multi-colored tour posters
So no one ever hears about
The kids doing it for real


And I’m so tired of these anarchist celebrities
Selling $10 shrinkwrapped CDs
Full of paper made from old growth trees
And I know that we all have our hipocrisies


This isn’t about purity or punk rock points
It’s about taking back what’s left of our ideals
And trading in our egos for our dreams


And if I start to act like them
Please call me on my shit
Cuz sometimes I get jealous
I’ll be the first one to admit


I’ve been brainwashed all my life
And now I’m trying to think for myself
I think that I might need your help

Laundry Day Lifehacks

Posted: November 25, 2013 in DIY, Fashion
Tags: , ,

I was doing laundry on my day off and it reminded me of a couple nifty life hacks I came up with a few years back to save yourself tons of time on ironing clothes and stress on your back.

This is a really simple point but one overlooked by many people I see at the laundromat, have your clothes in something with wheels. I personally use my wheeled luggage that I take on airplanes, it’s conveniently the right size for a load of laundry and it prevents me from having to have a cart just for laundry. This bag is also water proof enough to protect my laundry from the rain.

The second lifehack is to bring a heavy-duty jacket coat hanger with you to hang up easily wrinkled clothes. Instead of stuffing dress shirts into a bag only to have to iron them when you get home just hang them up. It helps to hang up the smallest in size first and layer to the largest, you can fit about a dozen on one hanger before it becomes unwieldy.

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Hey everybody, hope you’ve been enjoying the blog so far. This post begins a new section of the blog where I will provide handy DIY lifehacks to make your life easier. I am an avid cyclist, riding upwards of 50 miles a week most weeks of the year, even in rainy weather. I also happen to wear glasses, which normally isn’t relevant as a biker, except when it is raining and your glasses fog over with rain drops, reducing visibility to near nothing in minutes. There are few good options available for a cyclist with glasses to spare them this pesky and potentially dangerous fate. You can pay hundreds of dollars for one of these German helmets or for one of these French ones. Some cyclists have even gone to the lengths of making their own, and I am one of them. In this blog I will give you my very simple schematic to make an empty two liter soda bottle into a bike visor in under five minutes, just in time for rainy weather.

While I like Jeff-O’s design I feel like it would let rain slip in from above and would still fall victim to fogging up. I have not used it personally and as such I can only speculate. The reason I opted for the design I did, which keeps the visor far away from the face and glasses is to prevent fogging up from body heat. I also feel like my design has better top coverage. His visor is much less bulky than my first version, but after seeing his build I re-designed mine to be sleeker and more svelte (see photos below).

You Will Need: An empty soda bottle, Velcro strips, scissors, and a bike helmet.

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Step 1: Empty Your Soda Bottle

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I tried to be a Mentos magician but clearly need to level up more.

This is pretty simple, and can be as fun as you are creative. You can just pour the soda out, but that is about as boring as it gets. You could drink it, which while being more exciting is still pretty mundane and full of obesity. You can shake it up and spray it in a stranger’s face then run away before they hit you. Or, best method, you can add Mentos to Diet Coke to create a carbonated geyser of liquid diabetes. The options truly are endless. I personally prefer using a bottle that is clear as my base, but you can play around with seven up bottle for a green tint. I picked a Pepsi bottle over coke because coke bottles have ridges and you really want a smooth plastic surface for best visibility with the least distortion.

Step 2: Cut the Soda Bottle Into Shape

Remove the label from your soda bottle and wash it out. You will notice that around the bottom, where the bottle bulges out at the base, there is a seem running horizontal around the entire circumference. Cut along that seem to remove the bottom. Cut a straight line to the top of the bottle, all the way to the cap if you can. Remove the cap. You should be left with a piece of plastic that is a semi dome that comes to a point where the cap was. Try to cut it so that any printed writing on the plastic wont obstruct your vision.

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Step 3: Attach Velcro To Helmet

I use three places to mount my Velcro, one on each side and one in the middle on top of the helmet, you may want to use more if you are worried about high wind situations, but I found mine to withstand winds up to 30 mph. By using Velcro like this you can remove the visor when not needed instantly and it folds up to fit neatly into a backpack.

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Now you are ready to handle winter’s rainy weather like a champ and look like Robocop while you are doing it.

Robocop Helmet

Build #1: Note how much larger it was, this caused it to catch more wind.

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Build #2: A hybrid of my initial design with Jeff-O’s build.

As useful as this helmet visor is, it pales in comparison to this invisible helmet which I am eagerly waiting for. Freedom from helmet hair, better peripheral vision, better neck protection, and it looks like a very stylish scarf. It’s really more of an airbag for your head than an invisible helmet though, but it looks much more solid than an air bag.

[EDIT]: Not all Velcro’s are created equal! I’ve used two different brands now and I can safely say that 3M off-brand Velcro is totally superior to Velcro Extreme in terms of holding capacity.

Recipe: Hummus at Home

Posted: November 15, 2013 in Cooking, DIY
Tags: , ,

I love hummus. It’s delicious, nutritious, and super easy to make. It’s also 100% vegan if that is something that matters for you. Hummus, like salsa, is a template. You can add whatever you want to spice it up in different ways. I love mine super heavy on garlic and olives with hints of a half dozen other spices. While I did say hummus is easy to make it comes with a major caveat, without a food processor you might as well not even try. I have never tried it without my food processor with success. I once tried in a blender but it was not successful (could have just been the blender though).

I hope you enjoy my first cooking post. These are old photos that I took before a fire trashed my old house and I was forced to move. All future postings will feature my new kitchen which doesn’t have my beer collection in it (yet).

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You Will Need: Garbanzo beans, tahini sauce (I used a combo of two tahini’s for this hummus), Salt, Lemon Juice, and Garlic….everything else is optional (yes, even olive oil).

Normally olive oil is viewed as a component part of hummus, I’ve made multiple batches without it and there is virtually no difference. I prefer it with olive oil myself though, mostly for the good saturated fats found in olive oil.

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Step One: Pour the garbanzo beans into the food processor, including the liquid the beans were soaking in (whether canned or fresh). Add tahini to taste, I usually add about two heaping tablespoons. Blend until it has a homogeneous consistency.

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Step 2: Add your salt, about a teaspoon or so, to taste.

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Step 3: Add you lemon juice, make sure to get the seeds out or you will have crunchy hummus. I usually use a full lemon, the citric acid and salt are your only preservatives. Fresh hummus keeps about a week in a fridge, maybe more if you load up on salt/lemon.

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Step 4: Add your garlic. I use fresh minced garlic as well as powdered garlic…seriously, I love garlic in a bad way.

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Step 5: Now for optional add ins like pine nuts and olives. My hummus usually had both in it as well as a bouquet of spices.

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Finished hummus should look something like this, with a nice creamy consistency. Some people like chunky hummus, if you are one of them do the same as above but with less blending (only blend at the very end of the process).

For my first post permit me to humor my love of the movie Dune.

A Beginning Is A Very Delicate Time. Know then that my name is Mitchell Colbert and it is the year 2013. The Known Universe is ruled by a panoptic technology that is enmeshed in everything we do, called The Internet. In this time, cool kids write about what they do and post it on the Internet for complete strangers to read it, and maybe laugh, and perhaps expand their consciousness. The Internet is vital to modern life and available even during space travel.
Humanity, and a subspecies of Trolls who have been mutated by thousands of hours on /b/, use the Internet to read the news, watch funny cat videos, and post 140 character updates to Twitter. We can stay connected to any part of the universe without moving from our chairs.

I’m done paraphrasing Dune for now, but I felt it an appropriate way to start things off. Now that I have gotten the ball rolling permit me to tell you why I have decided to create this blog and join the ranks of those illustrious cool kids who tell people about what they do on the Internet.

This blog is not a political blog, it is not a photography blog, cooking blog, DIY blog, or any sort of themed blog, but it will probably include all those topics and more. This blog is about things that stir up my passions so much that I need to share them with the world. Expect political posts to keep you up to date on the news the networks don’t cover, expect me to share life hacks to make your life easy mode, and expect me to post plenty of recipes/photos/poems. I am a person who views knowledge as a communal good that should be shared with as many people as possible, this blog is my means to that end.

I will be trying to post with some regularity, once or twice a week. That may not always happen since, unlike professional bloggers, I don’t get paid to write this and work a real job, at the world’s largest medical cannabis dispensary, Harborside Health Center. You may now be wondering how much of a real job working at a medical cannabis collective actually is, read on, dear readers, and find out.

A beginning truly is a very delicate time, and how something begins can predict how well it will fair. I picked today