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Ian Briggs » Blogging and me…

Blogging and me…

Posted by: Ian Briggs on 24th April 2014 at 5:53 pm

Categories: Uncategorized | | No comments

My blog has been drastically underused in the last year. Most of my social networking needs have been satisfied by twitter; useful for it's brevity as I consider I've been finishing my PhD (including writing my thesis) and started a new job in the last 12 months. Perhaps understandably, I have been reducing my online presence to a minimum, or at least to brief comments!

I am also struck at how twitter has developed into something that allows me to get useful news or information about things I need, all without opening up a browser.

This blog started out as an experiment in web design, and I am proud that I have developed a full website from scratch that incorporates all the aspect you see, all created from HTML and CSS coding, through to graphic design and incorporating the WordPress blog within my main site (harder than I thought).

The site has most often been used in the past for posts about films I like, or otherwise. However, this role has now been taken up by Letterboxd. This is a great website that is one of the few to which I subscribe. It allows me to post reviews, compile lists of films, and maintain a film diary; all of which leaves me feeling that this blog is a bit redundant.

So in searching for a use for this site, I figured that my latest venture into the world of homebrew may be a good thing to add to the lists of things I write about.

Since spending a short amount of time in Portland, Oregon last year, I was struck by the passion shown by the local people for their beer. I think the main thing I was attracted by was the fact that people didn't really drink beer to get drunk (an important thing to state at the outset of my venture into homebrew!). Rather, they brewed their own to appreciate and understand complex flavours, and to produce an affordable drink that they could share with friends and family; something hand-crafted and unique that they could enjoy together and use feedback to make the next one better or different.

I think homebrew appeals to my engineering mindset along with my love of cooking and experimenting with recipes. The ability to craft something to share with others, and not only invite people round for some food, but also to produce a pint of something I've created feels like a great thing to do.

After dropping plenty of hints that it was something I wanted to do, I received a Woodforde's Wherry kit beer for Christmas. This is a box containing two tins of malt extract, to which water and yeast is added. After two weeks, this is put into bottles with some sugar and left to condition. This is the stage I am at now: hoping that his brew will turn out like the glorious English Bitter I remember from my time living in Cambridgeshire.

My next step in homebrew is to replace the tins of malt extract with proper malted grains. For this, I am fortunate that the homebrew scene in Ireland seems to be taking off apace (nowhere near as popular as in America, but at least it is moving). So, I am about to get some grains and hops from our (reasonably) local homebrew store, and hope that Saturday will be the first all-grain brew day!

This might prove a useful purpose for this blog. The lack of film reviews should not be mistaken for a loss of interest in films, although the recent film festival in Belfast did somewhat dampen my love for the cinema itself (or rather, the annoying people that inhabit them), but anything film-related will henceforth be documented on letterboxd.

I will continue to post things about Evernote, a service of which I am ever-more passionate; especially since I have managed to get a few colleagues using it (it was even mentioned as a positive aspect in my annual review!!). But overall, twitter seems to be the place I use most often.

Most things I read on other blogs are infinitely more useful than anything I post here, so perhaps I should direct readers to these sites instead. Either way, expect to see some changes to this blog…

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