Ex-nerd

As in irony.

There have been a number of high-profile stories recently about hacking and digital identity theft, along with a rash of hacked yahoo.com email accounts that usually lead to scams/cons. When a number of my friends and family members fell victim to these hacks (thankfully not to the scams) and discovered that the collateral damage could be worse than the hack itself, I decided that I should put together some recommendations to help them avoid more trouble in the future.

Keep reading for a thorough explanation of how to recover from these email hacks, along with a bunch of recommendations for how to limit the chance of them happening, or the damage done if they do occur.
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I have been in love with fermentation since I brewed my first batch of hard cider in a dorm room closet.  For years I have half-joked about having a 10-year plan to open a winery, but it’s been a long time and that plan was still always ten years out.

That all changed when a cousin mentioned that he was going to open the first production brewery in Tacoma since 1979, and that he and his partners were looking for a relatively small amount of capital to get themselves up and running.  It didn’t really take much convincing of me (or my wife) to jump at the opportunity.
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Our doppelbock bids a fond aufwiedersehen to tradition, charting a flight path into bold new territory. Medium amber in color, it offers a heady, estery banana aroma. Rich maltiness predominates, with cedar aging lending just a hint of spice to the finish.

Aroma: 8/12

Caramel and something that stings my nose like excess carbonation. There is no mistaking the smell of cedar, although it’s sharper than I would expect. The smell reminds me of cedar oil more than cedar wood. I don’t get any of the banana aromas the brewer suggests. Inhaling deeply leaves me with a fairly strong whiff of alcohol alongside of the other aromas.

Appearance: 3/3

Beautiful deep amber-red color. Light tan head dissipates via large bubbles until a thin but dense film covers most of the top of the beer. A quick swirl brings back a nice, thick head.

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Burton Baton is a blend of an English-style Old Ale and an Imperial IPA.  After fementating the separate beers in our stainless tanks, the two are transferred and blended together in one of our large oak tanks. Burton Baton sits on the wood for about a month.

Aroma: 10/12

Hops fading into caramel. After a swirl, caramel and oak with just a touch of grain. Only a hint of alcohol underneath belies the hefty 10% ABV. Unfortunately, the hops flavor dissipates fairly quickly, which is a sign of the length of time required to get the beer up to this much alcohol, but leaves me wanting more from something identifying itself as an IPA. I suspect that adjusting time and duration of dry hopping could help extend the hop aroma a bit further, but perhaps Sam wanted to emphasize the caramel and oak more than the hops.
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Abbaye Rochefort produces three beers: 6, 8, and 10. The 10 is the strongest, and is often described as a Quadrupel (though it differs so much from what I associate with the style that I appreciate the flexibility in Belgian styles). Regardless of labels, it is a very strong dark beer, and is produced by one of the few remaining Trappist breweries.

Aroma: 11/12

Very faint until I was able to drink enough to get my nose further into the glass. The aroma is still fairly light, and smells of dark caramel and a yeasty fruitiness that I can’t quite put a name to beyond its source. Despite the high alcohol content, there is almost no hint of it the aroma.

Appearance: 3/3

Very dark brown to the point of being opaque. The head is a medium tan that dissipates quickly to a very thin lace around the edges. Can see small flecks of yeast sediment once I drink enough to see through (I didn’t take much care when pouring).
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Brewed in August, the beer rests a few months to reach an optimal balance. Three kinds of hops and six different kinds of herbs and spices define the rich taste of this Christmas beer.

Aroma:  8/12

A spice blend that comes together as mix of allspice and anise.  Just a hint of banana at the end from the yeast.  Overall aroma is relatively low for a Belgian beer until it has had a chance to sit for awhile, but even then it takes a bit of a swirl to get much out of it.  The best thing about this aroma is that it completely hides any hint of the 10.5% ABV.

Appearance:  3/3

Light tan head that dissipates quickly into a thin lingering lace around the edges.  The beer itself is a gorgeous dark red-brown perfect for the style.
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“Ommegang Adoration, brewed in the authentic style of Belgian winter, or noel beer, is dark, strong, malty and assertively spiced.”

Aroma:  12/12

Very balanced bubblegum that leans toward banana.  Hints of caramelized sugar and sweet malt.  Only a slight amount of alcohol, despite the high ABV.

Appearance:  3/3

Pours a dark red-amber with a thick foamy head that lingers for a couple of minutes before dissipating to lacing around the edge.  A quick swirl brings back a thin coat across the top of the brew.

Flavor:   18/20

Strong flavors of candi sugar and belgian yeast, with fairly prominent orange flavor underneath.  All sitting on top of well-balanced fruity belgian malt with perhaps just a hint of corn sugar.  A larger sip reveals fairly prominent taste of alcohol that dissipates into just a hint of hoppy bitter.
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Like most tech-savvy people, I have more than a handful of email addresses, and I like to guard them against being shared without my permission (and track back to the company that did the sharing).  When you run your own mail server, this is quite easy — just make up a custom email address for every company you do business with.  Unfortunately, this gets somewhat cumbersome after awhile, and definitely isn’t a solution for the general public.  Enter plus addressing, a method built into most mail servers that allows users to modify their own email addresses with additional data that can be tracked but does not interfere with mail delivery.  This would be the perfect solution if it was actually supported by the majority of online account providers.
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Stone IPA

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Stone Brewing India Pale AleI needed a bit of a change from the sweeter Belgian styles tonight, not to mention a smaller bottle that wasn’t quite so high in alcohol, so I grabbed a bottle of Stone IPA that I recently picked up to taste.  I feel that I should add a caveat to this post that I’m a relative newcomer to liking IPAs, and I started by drinking some of the best.  Since then, I’ve been trying to find something a bit more affordable that can still fill my occasional need for a beer on the light and dry side.  Unfortunately, starting with the best has made me pretty picky.

The beer pours with a nice white head that dissipates after a minute or so.  It smells lightly of caramel malt flavor along with what I can only guess is the Centennial hops (I just haven’t had enough exposure to hop varieties to distinguish them — but it’s the only particularly aromatic variety listed on their website).
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Allagash Black Belgian StoutAllagash describes their Black beer as a “Belgian style stout”.  This may sound somewhat odd to an experienced beer drinker who knows that, though often difficult to precisely define, the stout is a spinoff of British Porters and should have little in common with Belgian beers that are known for their sweetness and flavors ranging from fruity to spicy.  However, one taste of this will confirm that Allagash has their classification correct.

It pours with a relatively short light tan head that dissipates after a few minutes into a thin film that will last for as long as it takes you to finish the glass.  There is relatively little nose on this beer — what does come through hints of coffee and caramel.  On first taste, this is just a traditional stout, reminiscent of something like Sam Smith’s oatmeal stout, though with a thicker body and mouthfeel more like a cream stout (I’d really love to try this on nitro, but that would be difficult to do along with the bottle fermentation and traditional carbonation technique used on this beer).
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