Basic Mead Recipe

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The base for meads I brought to 4th Street Fantasy. Use for four to six gallon batches. 


  • WLP715 Champagne – White Labs Yeast or Lalvin EC-1118 Champagne
  • Yeast Nutrient as per directions on packaging
  • Multiply the remaining ingredients per gallons of mead desired.
    • 4.5 lb honey
    • 1 gallon water
    • 15 g citric acid
    • 1/3 oak rod spiral
  1. Bring honey, yeast nutrient, and citric acid to boil in water minus ½ gallon.
  2. Transfer to the primary brewing bucket.
  3. Seal, insert airlock, and cool overnight.
  4. Next day, activate the yeast package and pitch yeast as per directions.
    1. The mead should start bubbling hard within 1-2 days
  5. After two weeks, transfer to secondary fermenter
    1. Boil ½ gallon distilled water
    2. Cool water
    3. Rack mead from primary bucket into glass carboy
    4. Top up with water
  6. Four months later, taste
    1. Transfer to another carboy
    2. Add oak rod
    3. If taste too sweet, restart
      1. Ingredients
        1. 4 g yeast nutrient
        2. ½ c honey
        3. 1 c water
        4. Wyeast Dry Mead Yeast Smack Pack
      2. Activate yeast packet
      3. Boil water, honey, and yeast nutrient
      4. Cool mixture
      5. Add yeast to mixture
      6. Boil ½ cup water
      7. Cool water
      8. Add oak rod and yeast mixture to new carboy
        1. Rack to another carboy after four weeks
        2. Do not transfer oak rod
  7. Repeat every four months until desired taste or patience wears thin.
  8. When desired taste is achieved, clarify and bottle.

Bring Your Dragon to Work Day 2019

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Pictures from the inaugural “Bring Your Dragon to Work Day” celebrated the Tuesday following Memorial Day. Don’t tell the Dammit Doll it’s not a dragon.

Veteran Suicides

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The Veterans Administration released results of the latest study about veteran suicides.  The combination of the release, comments from other veterans and an article about veteran suicides in VA Hospital parking lots saddened me.

Veterans accounted for 18% of all deaths from suicide among U.S. adults.1 Veterans only made up 8% of the 2016 estimated adult population.2

Since 2001, U.S. adult civilian suicides increased 23%, while Veteran suicides increased 32% in the same period.1

This article claimed veterans killed themselves in VA parking lots when they didn’t get assistance. I found two suicides in news articles for the past year in line with the theory.

Lack of treatment isn’t the only thing that contributes to veteran suicides, but it does contribute. A veterans’ group I’m a member of contains less than 7,000 veterans. At least one member weekly writes about frustrations from denied claims or inadequate treatment. In the period of a week, one veteran reached out to the group for support through a rough patch of PTSD. Another veteran spoke about how the lack of treatment by the VA for a shoulder injury caused her to consider suicide. I tried to register my main condition from serving in the Gulf War. The operator wouldn’t set me up with an appointment for review. He told me he couldn’t set up the appointment “in good conscience.” From the veteran side of things, the VA reform hasn’t trickled down yet.

I don’t know what I can do to better support other veterans. I am supportive of the people I know. It just doesn’t feel like that is enough. I don’t have a lot of answers at this point, only questions. One thing I do know. In the service, people who have a similar experience to you surround you. When you separate and return to your hometown, it’s hard to find people to talk to who might understand. There are a lot of disparate non-profit organizations across the country, but when someone is deep in crisis, they need help immediately. They don’t have a couple of weeks to research and determine things like which organization services their need, which organization is real, which organization is a scam. They certainly do not have years to fight a losing battle with the VA system.

Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 Press 1


Not Enough Coffee in Hotels?

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The two cups of complimentary hotel coffee often falls short of my caffeine needs at writing or gaming conventions.Violent battles for the limited coffee resource can ensue if I share a room with another coffee drinker.

To reduce this issue, I buy single serve coffee filters and a bag coffee grounds. I stay well caffeinated at conventions now, perhaps to the dismay of people staying with me.

The picture below shows what the grounds look like compared to the pods.


Share Facebook Photo Albums

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Facebook makes it extremely easy to share individual photos, but sharing entire photo albums isn’t as intuitive.

Be on a Desktop or Laptop

I tried a couple of phones and tablets and only found the full sharing functionality on the computer version of Facebook.

Create a Public Link

  1. Open the album
  2. Click the gear in the top right-hand of the album
  3. Click Get Link

Following the steps above creates a direct link to your photo album that anyone can open. The link displays as text. It doesn’t generate a preview like sharing a photo album in Facebook normally does.

Share on Facebook

The first step is to make the album public. If you don’t do this step, only your friends will see the album.

What’s the problem with this? Most of the time we want to share photo albums to groups. Not everyone in the group will be your friend.  The group members who are not your friend receive a message stating they are unable to view the content.

Bear in mind; this means everyone on the internet that can find the album can view it. The album will also display for everyone on your Facebook profile page. If either of these scenarios does not appeal to you, consider using a public link or posting individual photos directly to a location instead of sharing photos or albums.

Steps to make an album public

  1. Open the album
  2. The privacy setting drop-down is underneath the album title.
  3. Select Public


The share button for the album is at the bottom of the album underneath all of the photos. Any share buttons above the album relate to the whole page, not the album specifically.


“Share on your own Timeline” appears in the upper left-hand corner of the sharing dialog box.


The following drop-down options appear after the sharing dialog opens on a desktop or laptop.


After clicking one of the options, another dialog opens allowing you to select places of that option type you have permission to share.

The dialog completed this way enables you to share Facebook albums.