Birthday Capoeira Warning

Yesterday was my birthday. I ended up sleeping poorly Tuesday night and had a long day planned Wednesday. After work was to be the capoeira open house followed by dinner out with my wife and then on to see Dietrich Schonemann and Miro Pajic at the Phoenix Landing in Cambridge.

Apparently it is a Brazilian tradition that on your birthday you have fight everybody. So, after we trained a number of difficult movements for the first time (aù macaco, aù compasso, and queda de rins) Coreba taught us all how to sing Happy Birthday in Portuguese, then we started the roda. I don’t think quite everyone played with me, because we had some arrivals for the following class who weren’t warmed up, and a few brand new people. I played better than I have in a long time, and I think this is due to the new physical therapy regime I’ve been following. I don’t have the pain I was experiencing after class and I have a lot more stamina as a result. Unfortunately I smacked poor Chinesinha in the nose with my foot!

Dinner was at the East Coast Grill. I would like to say that everything was delicious, but unfortunately I decided to try their “Extremely Hot Crispy Hell Bone.” This is a dry-rubbed smoked pork spare rib treated with some brutal ungodly compound. It completely scoured my taste buds and sinuses. I think my brisket sandwich was tasty, but I actually could not taste the baked beans served with it, nor the watermelon! All they had was texture.

The Phoenix was kind of empty, possibly because the Crystal Method was playing last night. (ick) Schoenemann was good. We didn’t stay for much of Miro’s set because we were too tired and old! It took us an hour to get home because all roads out of Boston close at midnight, apparently, and the clerk at the convenience store decided to take a half hour to harangue the girl in front of us to not accidentally touch his hand while taking her change or something.

Other things that happened on my birthday:

  • Maine legalizes gay marriage: hurray!
  • 3DRealms, developer of the running joke Duke Nukem Forever, goes under: meh

crossposted from The Hydrogen Project

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Capoeira Gerais Open House May 6

Have you ever wanted to try Capoeira? Maybe you’ve never even heard of it. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that has a long history among African slaves. It was illegalized and disguised as a dance for many years, and bears this influence today, as capoeira is played in a circle accompanied by musical instruments and songs. Maybe you’ve seen capoeiristas playing in public. You’d recognize them by the kicks, flips, handstands, and other acrobatic movements.

Capoeira Gerais is having a free demonstration and Open House Wednesday, May 6, in Boston at Boston Ultimate Fitness (aka Nam Pai Academy) at 6:00 PM. Contra-Mestre Marquinho Coreba is originally from Brazil and previously taught capoeira in Spain and Switzerland.

Boston Ultimate Fitness is located in Chinatown at 33 Harrison Ave, on the 7th Floor, upstairs from Nick the Tailor (but take the elevator).

If you can’t come to the open house but would still like to take a class, you can come any Monday or Wednesday at 6:00 PM. Classes are an hour in length. Or, check Contra-Mestre Coreba’s schedule on

If you are participating, make sure to wear or bring comfortable clothing and sneakers. A TOWEL and WATER strongly recommended, because you are going to sweat! (if you forget the water, there are vending machines and a water fountain at the gym)

crossposted from The Hydrogen Project

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It’s BBQ Season!

This weekend I finally re-seasoned* the grates on my grill, and so to celebrate, I made the following meal Sunday afternoon.

First off, I thawed a tri-tip roast I had obtained for cheep at Trader Joe’s some months ago. The tri-tip is a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin. In the US, it’s most popular in California, but it is known in other countries by other names (triangle steak, punta de Solomo, colita de cuadril, etc.)

Later that day, after starting the charcoal, I created more Magic Dust. This comes from a recipe out of Peace, Love, and Barbecue. Unfortunately, I had run out of cayenne without knowing it, so I used crushed red pepper instead.

Next, I coated six potatoes with olive oil and magic dust, and mounted them on my fancy new rib and potato rack. Once the fire was ready, I put these into the grill first as they would take longer than the meat.

As for the fire, I added a log of oak in. This had been sitting in my basement all winter, so I had to hose off all the dust. This became a slight problem later on.

Once the potatoes were cooking, I sprinkled more Magic Dust all over the meat. Transferring the meat to the grill was a little tricky since the roast is actually pretty thin compared to big chunk of a roast. I managed to not drop anything, thankfully.

I had also purchased a bunch of asparagus. These I trimmed and placed in a foil hobo pack with some onion slices, salt, pepper, and butter, which then went on the top rack of the grill.

After about 45 minutes of cooking, the meat was still 25 degrees away from completion, but the fire had nearly gone out. I opened up the vents in hopes that the log would catch, but it only smoldered while the coals burned to ash. The roast actually started losing degrees while I started more charcoal. In an effort to regain lost time, I placed the meat right over the freshly-relit fire, resulting in one side getting charred a bit. Nobody seemed to mind this on the finished product, though.

Last but not least was a warmed-up can of Bush’s Grillin’ Beans. I have no great ability to bake beans yet, and my father-in-law’s recipe is a secret! Also, I don’t think we have any beans and I forgot to buy more. Oops.

* Over the winter I put them in the oven on a self-cleaning cycle to remove all the crud that built up over the past two years.

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Octave One Interview

At long last, the Octave One recording is live. Many thanks to Lawrence for agreeing to the interview and to Dwayne at 430 West for hooking it up! Also thanks to the folks at Ask Metafilter for helping me with the questions.

Tracks played:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Megapolis Festival and Other Notes

On the weekend of April 24th-26th, I will be volunteering at the Megapolis Audio Festival, in and around Harvard Square and the Elks Lodge in Central Square in Cambridge. This event features live performances, audio art installations, and workshops on such topics as circuit-bending, making your own contact mic. Weekend passes are $45 ($30 for students) with some workshops requiring RSVPs and/or materials fees. There are also tours of a mysterious nature (!) and an all-night audio slumber party (!!!)

On Friday May 8th, Contra Mestre Marquinho Coreba of Capoeira Gerais, my capoeira instructor will be performing a demonstration along with Instructor Morcego, Coehlo, and Fantama of Capoeira Luanda as part of a late addition to the program of the Voidstar Productions 2009 Multimedia Circus. (click for flyer).

My amber ale is delicious!

My dad gave me most of a cut-up cherry tree and a pile of red oak! IT’S SMOKING SEASON as soon as I re-season the grates on my smoker.

I will post the final Octave One interview soon. I have been in total information chaos since that weekend and the CD with the final version has been in my desk at work for quite some time.

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Octave One Test Pattern – March 20


Tomorrow night I am hosting a one hour program of Octave One, plus an
interview with Lawrence Burden in which he talks about his live
experiences; the history of his label, 430 West; his band’s new album;
and his favorite remix project.

It starts at 6PM Eastern time; you can listen on your radio in the
Boston area on WZBC 90.3 FM or online at

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Amber Bottled

Just for the record: FG: 1.023

Total yield was about 4.25 gallons. Beyond the usual loss to the yeast cake and the stuff left in the bottling bucket, I managed to overfill a couple bottles, and accidentally open the bottling bucket spout and pour some more beer all over the floor.

I actually managed to crack a bottle neck while capping, so I drank it! Verdict: flat beer sucks.

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Honey Orange Amber Ale

So, this afternoon, I used the beer kit I received as a Christmas gift from my parents. Here are the original kit ingredients:
– 3 pounds Muntons Pale Extract (hopped)
– 2 pounds Muntons Amber Extract
– 1 pound mixed Munich and Wheat Malt
– 1 tsp Irish Moss (boiled 15 mins)
– 1 oz Willamette hops (half for 60mins, half for 10 mins)
– Safale S04 yeast

I added the following ingredients:
– 2 oz bitter orange peel (at 5mins)
– 1 lb honey (partly wildflower, partly mesquite, added at 2nd boil)
– 0.5 lb light candi sugar (at 2nd boil)
– 0.5 lb malto-dextrin (at 2nd boil)

I switched the yeast to Safbrew T-58, which I made into a starter on a stir plate. I’m not sure if that is going to make a difference since I only stirred it for an hour.

OG is 1.065, up from the 1.040 on the kit instructions. Spent grains are currently being baked into a this spent grain bread, and I’ll hopefully also make this one and this one later on today!

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Upcoming Food and Drink Plans

For Christmas, my parents bought me an Amber Ale kit from Blackstone Valley Brewing Supply. I think I will make it next week, but I think I will modify it somehow. The people from the Homebrewing LJ community recommended steeping orange peel, or adding honey, or trying a different yeast strain. Considering I have an enormous bear of honey, I will probably add about a pound of that. If I can make it to the brewing store, I will get some orange peel and possibly a different yeast as well. Safale T-58 was the specific strain suggested. Beer and Wine claims to have it, but that doesn’t mean they’ll have it in stock. Boston Brewin’ may have it; they have no website so I can’t check. I may also add some malto-dextrin and candi sugar, just to see what happens.

Because the ale kit has both extract and grains, I’m going to take the spent grains and try to make bread with them. This recipe might work, but I have actually never made bread by hand before! If I end up with more than 3 cups of grains, I might make two loaves. I’ve found several for the bread machine: Spent-grain beer bread (contains eggs), honey wheat bread, honey wheat/rye bread, herbed spelt or whole wheat bread, and another eggy bread. I have purposefully left out anything that requires a starter for the bread.

On another note, I am considering the following recipes for my next beers:

These bring me up to about batch 12. The Free Beer recipe is right out because WTF GUARANA IN BEER? However, there’s no real point in assigning numbers to batches I haven’t brewed!

crossposted from The Hydrogen Project

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Update – Capoeira and Kung Fu

The capoeira event mentioned earlier will also include a demonstration of Hung Gar style Kung Fu by the students of Nam Pai Academy

crossposted from The Hydrogen Project

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