Mar 082016
 

I’m in the process of reviving another project in addition to the React Native project which admittedly has stalled a bit over the last few months. I blame basketball and soccer season.

After looking at the web setups that my hosting company supports and vowing not to go down the PHP road again, I’m trying to get setup with Ruby on Rails. This post has been a pretty good guide to getting up and running on a Mac. I did run into several things that article did not cover, so I thought I’d cover them here.

First off, what led me to that post was that I tried using the install of Ruby already installed on with OSX and immediately ran into permissions problems as described in this Stack Overflow post. Apparently, it’s not a good idea to use the system Ruby and you have to install a development copy. As I followed the steps in the GoRails post, I ran across a few more issues.

I really like Homebrew, but you do need to be sure to update it frequently and probably should run the update prior to any new install. I tried installing MySQL and hit a few issues as I did it. The first was because I didn’t keep homebrew up to date.

I ran

homebrew doctor

to reveal that I didn’t have permissions on /usr/local/bin for some reason. Once that was fixed and I got MySQL installed, I tried following the instructions that show at the end of the install. Unfortunately, those instructions assumed that a symbolic link had been created that did not exist. Luckily, the GoRails article included the step to first create the symbolic link and the setup went well after that.

My last issue was encountered while trying to create the database during the initial application setup in Rails. It turns out the version of MySQL installed via Homebrew is not compatible with the version of Rails that I installed while following the article. In addition to needing to supply the database credentials in the yaml file as specified in the setup, I had to give a specific version of MySQL in the gemfile:

gem 'mysql2', '0.3.20'

Once getting through that, I was able get the Rails welcome page.

Jan 312016
 

Google and others have been pushing for HTTPS everywhere. If I recall, they put something out last year stating that having https will be factored into a site’s ranking. My web host has made it possible to have https on their hosted accounts as of this past week. For free! As in beer! So update your bookmarks to this super frequently updated site to use https because you can.

I had to fix a few things that caused mixed content warnings including finally updating the ancient widget that I was using to show my tweets over there on the right. It’s been broken ever since Twitter switched API versions from 1 to 1.1 and started requiring OAuth. It was going to take a bit more work to update that widget, so I opted for the one from Jetpack that uses the Twitter widget instead. I could configure that via the existing editors versus having to go grab a PHP OAuth library and having to figure out how to integrate that into WordPress.

Dec 122015
 

We’re using React at work for a current project. I thought I might start checking out React Native as a side project to get me working more in React and to see what I can get going on iOS.

The React Native Getting Started page is pretty good, but upon trying to run the AwesomeProject sample, I got errors related to watchman in the console the first time and then a subsequent error similar to

Error building DependencyGraph:
TypeError: Cannot read property 'root' of null

followed by a stack trace. The simulator then loaded with a red screen and another set of errors. I went to the React Native Troubleshooting page, but didn’t find my error there. After googling a bit, I found that

brew update && brew reinstall watchman

did the trick for me and got me running. I also got warnings about running with iOS 7.0 as the target. I don’t know if that was the default from the React starter or some other default, but I just set that to the latest (iOS 8.2).

The issue navigator in Xcode is also giving the following error, but I haven’t sorted that one out yet. It didn’t keep the project from running.

(null): Directory not found for option '-F/Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer/Platforms/iPhoneSimulator.platform/Developer/SDKs/iPhoneSimulator9.2.sdk/Developer/Library/Frameworks'

Stay tuned as I post my progress here with trying out React Native.

Jan 162015
 

It’s an upbeat day for science / environmental news. I started my day reading the cover of the New York Times as I waited in line for my coffee this morning.

Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says

So that’s a little light reading.

Followed by the following two posts from the Washington Post…

It’s Official: 2014 was the hottest year in recorded history

and

Scientists react to warmest year: 2014 underscores ‘undeniable fact’ of human caused climate change

So, thanks for that, everyone who doesn’t give a shit, actively works against any measure for mitigating this looming disaster or just has their head in the sand (or other places where the sun doesn’t shine). Unfortunately, that includes my own parents. Unbelievable.

Dec 272014
 

Welcome to day fourteen of fourteen days of Anchor Christmas spanning 14 years of the beer. You can view the back story and the tasting for 200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012 and 2013.

Anchor Christmas 2014

Anchor Christmas 2014

Day 14: Anchor Christmas 2014

Tree: Giant Sequoia, Sequoiadendron giganteum

Anchor Label 

Neck Label Text: This is the fortieth “Our Special Ale” from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid-January. The Ale’s recipe is different every year, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. In ancient times trees symbolized the winter solstice when the earth with its seasons appears born anew.

Tasting Notes: Founders Brewing Tulip glass. We’re up to the current year. All of the qualities of the annual Our Special Ale are present. The caramel, malty, raisin taste along with the spice / piney taste from the added spices and hops. This is a great winter beer whether you’ve aged it or not. I always look forward to a six pack each November / December as a part of my holiday tradition.

Recap: Overall, I think my vertical fourteen year tasting has kept in line with what I read from others. This beer holds up really well for the first three or four years and generally goes down from there.

  • 2011-2014 : Generally great. Exactly what you expect and aging does change the flavor a bit
  • 2009-2010: These didn’t hold up well.
  • 2007-2008: These were oddly good although 2007 had something going on with its smell.
  • 2001-2006: It’s a real mixed bag but generally these didn’t hold up very well

Other Observations:

  • The text on the neck label changed subtly over the years including expanding the production period in 2003.
  • They added a label on the back in 2002.
  • They didn’t give the scientific name (Ginko Biloba) on the 2010 label for some reason.

Cheers!

Dec 252014
 

Welcome to day thirteen of fourteen days of Anchor Christmas spanning 14 years of the beer. You can view the back story and the tasting for 20012002200320042005200620072008200920102011 and 2012.

Anchor Christmas 2013

Anchor Christmas 2013

Day 13: Anchor Christmas 2013

Tree: California White Fir, Abies Concolor

Anchor Label 

Neck Label Text: This is the thirty-ninth “Our Special Ale” from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid-January. The Ale’s recipe is different every year, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. In ancient times trees symbolized the winter solstice when the earth with its seasons appears born anew.

Tasting Notes: Founders Brewing Tulip glass. As with yesterday, we’re in the sweet spot for aging on Anchor Christmas at just 1-3 years. It’s still pretty much what you expect. It may have changed a bit, but it’s still the same. Same spruce / evergreen taste along with the other flavors like chocolate, a bit of molasses and that light “leathery” taste. It’s all “brighter” in taste than those that have aged past three years. It’s good stuff. We’ll close this out with 2014 next.

Cheers!

 

 

Dec 232014
 

Welcome to day twelve of fourteen days of Anchor Christmas spanning 14 years of the beer. You can view the back story and the tasting for 2001200220032004200520062007200820092010 and 2011.

Anchor Christmas 2012

Anchor Christmas 2012

Day 12: Anchor Christmas 2012

Tree: Norfolk Island Pine, Araucaria heterophylla

Anchor Label 

Neck Label Text: This is the thirty-eighth “Our Special Ale” from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid-January. The Ale’s recipe is different every year, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. In ancient times trees symbolized the winter solstice when the earth with its seasons appears born anew.

Tasting Notes: Founders Brewing Tulip glass. 2012 tastes pretty much like I expect a current version of Anchor Christmas to taste. There’s not much remarkable about this one compared to the standard of Anchor Christmas that I have in my head. It’s funny because Anchor recently posted about aging the annual brew on its Twitter feed, Ask Bob Brewer Aging Anchor Christmas Ale. He recommends that the first three years out are good, the next two, not bad and then anything past is unremarkable and not good. I’d say that my experience has varied a bit from that but it’s pretty close. Two to go!

Cheers!

 

Dec 222014
 

Welcome to day eleven of fourteen days of Anchor Christmas spanning 14 years of the beer. You can view the back story and the tasting for 200120022003200420052006200720082009 and 2010.

Anchor Christmas 2011

Anchor Christmas 2011

Day 11: Anchor Christmas 2011

Tree: Great Basin Bristlecone Pine, Pinus longaeva

Anchor Label 

Neck Label Text: This is the thirty-seventh “Our Special Ale” from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid-January. The Ale’s recipe is different every year, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. In ancient times trees symbolized the winter solstice when the earth with its seasons appears born anew.

Tasting Notes: Founders Brewing Tulip glass. 2011 is an improvement over 2009 and 2010. Decent nose. Good flavor on the front end and still good carbonation. This is what I typically think of when I remember the flavor of Anchor Christmas and I think all of the flavors have aged well. We’ll reserve judgement until the end, but four years may be the ideal age for this beer. There’s a bit of the spruce / evergreen spice. The flavors are well balanced. If you have a 2011 around the house, drink it now….or wait another four years and hope the 2007 that I had wasn’t a fluke.

Cheers!

Dec 212014
 

Welcome to day ten of fourteen days of Anchor Christmas spanning 14 years of the beer. You can view the back story and the tasting for 20012002200320042005200620072008 and 2009.

Anchor Christmas 2010

Anchor Christmas 2010

Day 10: Anchor Christmas 2010

Tree: Maidenhair Tree, Ginko Biloba

Anchor Label – An interesting note on the main label. It doesn’t actually give the tree name. Typically, the scientific name is somewhere on the label, but not this year.

Neck Label Text: This is the thirty-sixth “Our Special Ale” from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid-January. The Ale’s recipe is different every year, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. In ancient times trees symbolized the winter solstice when the earth with its seasons appears born anew.

Tasting Notes: Founders Brewing Tulip glass. 2010 has some tastes in common with 2009. It also seems kind of thin and lifeless. There’s a small hint of some of the things on the nose that I got much stronger in the years that sat longer, but it’s just barely there. It does have more of the evergreen / spruce flavor to it than 2009, but it’s still not as good as some of the earlier years. The carbonation is steadily improving as we get closer to the present year.

Cheers!