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Showing posts from July, 2015

Cold brew coffee tips

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As noted in this post, I've started making my own cold brew coffee, finding it to be a delicious and pleasant alternative to the normal hot brew that I've been drinking for years and years and years and years...

And while I'm hardly any kind of expert on this stuff, the few batches that I've made have provided the following pointers:

You really don't need any fancy equipment
While there are a lot of companies out there that will happily sell you cold-brew coffee kits, I make mine in a Tupperware cereal container. Really. There's a picture of it above. Once it does the 12-hour soak (more on that below), I first strain it into another container using a metal colander to get out the big pieces of ground coffee, and then re-strain it using a standard wire-mesh coffee filter, as illustrated below. I store it the final product in a big Tupperware juice container in my fridge. I want to try straining the mixture with cheesecloth at some point, to see if that works bet…

D'oh! A deer! A female deer!

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Don't worry, the bus didn't wipe out the deer.

Making cold brew coffee

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On our recent trip to Las Vegas, Starbucks was advertising cold brew coffee. I was intrigued, read up on it, and decided to try it. Delicious! So I set about to making some of my own at home.

I read a number of recipes on how to do it but more or less settled on this one because it had an easy-to-remember 3-1 ratio. I don't put it in the fridge overnight. And my first test batch only brewed for about 8 hours. This one is going for 12, and it's a 9 cup batch using the Kicking Horse Grizzly Claw coffee, which I coarsely ground.

It should be ready to strain in about 30 minutes and then it goes in the fridge to chill.

Why I won't buy a streaming music service until the prices go down

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I'm currently signed up to the three-month free trial of Apple Music, and it's pretty cool - even if I haven't used it a whole lot. Maybe it's because I use Spotify's free service on my iPad and computer and it does pretty much everything for free that Apple is giving me for free for three months, plus Spotify already has all my playlists and favorite artists saved.

But the premium service costs $9.99 for both. I'm currently spending $7.99 a month for Netflix. And I get way more use out of Netflix than I get out of even the free version of Spotify.

Now don't get me wrong, I love music. But I never buy $10 worth of music each month and I don't spend $120 a year on albums and singles, so the premium versions of Apple Music and Spotify aren't going to save me any money. Whereas Netflix's $7.99 pays for itself each month by watching just one movie. Netflix is an absolute steal of a deal. Streaming music services, less so. At least for me.

But if Ap…

It turns out the iPad Mini was my idea

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Too bad I failed to monetize this.


Still looking for the perfect email app

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I decided I needed to follow-up on this post, because a lot has changed since I wrote it.

Namely, Spark turned out to be quite the dud. Well, it's a dud in the sense that Readdle appears to have bitten off way more than it can chew. The company is not doing a terribly good job with its customer support and updates for the app, and until it gets proper Gmail Alias support (which doesn't appear to be a priority), it's not an app I can use.

I was very happy with the Outlook iOS app, but I realized that I wasn't using a lot of its features, such as the calendar and the myriad of cloud services from which to attach files. I do like the fact that it now contains the ability to email stuff from other apps using the iOS 8 extensions feature. That's cool.

But almost on a whim, I decided to go back to using Google Inbox for a couple of days and I've ended up sticking with it - for now, at least. When I used it last, it was pretty slow on my iPhone 5S and had a lot of us…