190 proof outlawed

Maryland today joins California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, New York, Nevada, Ohio, Washington, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Minnesota in outlawing 190 proof booze. I understand there is a de facto ban in Virginia thanks to the state controlled liquor stores.

That news totally came out of nowhere. I’m glad the fourth estate has got our back.

No word on whether 189 proof will be available for sale or I’ll just need to seek out some moonshine or something.

This is probably a good time to post my limoncello recipe:

You should do this recipe with a microplane zester.

Zest from about 3 limes or equivalent citrus peel
10 fl. oz. 190 proof alcohol
9 oz sugar (by weight)
8 oz water (by either weight or volume)

In a clean pyrex bowl, zest the citrus such that the essential oils spray downwards toward the bowl. Avoid as much of the white pith as practical. “Wash” the microplane zester with some of the 190 proof. Pour the zest mixture into a clean glass jar. Rinse the bowl again with some of the remaining 190 proof. Add any remaining alcohol to the jar and seal. Set aside for 2-3 days at room temperature. Using another jar, a funnel, coffee filter, and screen, filter the zest from the alcohol.

Heat the water in a pot and dissolve the sugar. Let the mixture cool. Combine with the alcohol extract. Store the mixture in the freezer for best results. The final mix should be around 80 proof, although because of the sugar and smooth taste it hits you pretty hard. Caution is advised.

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The IRS makes me look like a fool (digital currency, bitcoin)

Right after my last post, the IRS issued new guidance on how to report capital gains on Bitcoin and other digital currency. Right after I predicted that they wouldn’t.

Again, this is the best info I’ve found is from reddit user dblcross121.

The absolute worst part of this is that if you buy $3 of Bitcoin, it becomes worth $4 and you use it to buy a coffee, you will be legally obligated to report and pay capital gains on that transaction.

You should probably take this as a sign that Bitcoin and other digital currencies are not a passing fad.

I’m still standing by the “highly speculative” advice.

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If you had no idea what a cryptocurrency was yesterday….

…then doing a little search-fu on:

Dogecoin bobsled jamaican

probably cleared that up for you.

“Dogecoin” is based both on the lamest meme of 2013 and the original cryptocurrency, “Bitcoin”. It’s a bit of a joke and a bit of a serious currency all wrapped up together in a bunch of speculation about how the IRS would tax earnings on any realized gain.
I’m going to speculate here and say that some form of cryptocurrency is posed to become the next world’s reserve currency (please see caveats noted below) and the last thing the IRS is willing to do is to issue clear rulings on how to pay your taxes on any realized gain. Not being a tax attorney, the best guidance so far about the issues involved seems to be here. Worth exactly what you paid for it. I don’t expect the IRS to issue anything anytime soon because doing that would go a long way in reducing the FUD surrounding widespread adoption. Expect any future issued rulings to be as byzantine as possible.

Despite my feelings on the future of bitcoin, litecoin, dogecoin, and other cryptocurrencies; investing in these things remains highly speculative. Don’t bet the farm.

Even though Dogecoin probably can’t be counterfeited, willed into existence, or “double-spent”; it isn’t immune to having it’s exchange rate being manipulated by well-funded players and world powers. I’ve also seen an amazing number of users fall for scams that scream “Ponzi scheme” and “confidence game” to any reasonably well-read person. Dogecoin of course is a fiat currency, (just like federal reserve notes.)

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The most subversive non-violent non-protester scores a victory against the state

A man comes down to the National Mall with a push mower and a leaf blower and starts cleaning up the memorial grounds. Of course he needed to be stopped, as there’s not a bigger threat to the state than people taking it upon themselves to step in and clean up the mall during a government shut down.

Citizen lawn mower at Lincoln Memorial: Shutdown or not, areas shouldn’t be neglected

“He said the police chased him away, but it was too late. He said he had already been tidying up around the memorial and the Reflecting Pool for the past few days, because nobody else is.”

I’m surprised the WaPo covered the story at all, but at least they stuck it in the “local” section.

Even worse than allowing him to mow would be allowing his arrest to be photographed. The NPS is being forced to walk a very fine line here. They know as designated “essential personnel”, their number one goal is to deny our national treasures to the masses, yet they’re probably under strict orders not to create a scandal by arresting any veterans groups or non-violent protesters.

The NPS had to stop the non-protest, because what would happen if he had 25 copycats the next day? What if coverage of that story meant they had several hundred ordinary people cleaning up and getting ready for the Million Vet March on Oct 13, 2013? *

“I want to encourage my friends and fellow Americans to go to their parks and show up with a trash bag and a rake,” he said. “Show up with a good attitude and firm handshake for the U.S. Park Service.”

After all, if there was a huge government shutdown, who would mow the lawns?

(more on Christopher Cox)

Christopher Cox and his chainsaw give new life to fallen trees

*(link to google news, expect faster-than-normal “link-rot”)

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We’re well into our second week of Shutdown-Mageddon (and aside from a bad cold, I feel fine).

A few observations:

1. Could this possibly be a deliberate attempt to wipe all the unconstitutional NSA spying off the public radar after the idea of War in Syria failed to gather favorable reviews in the focus groups?

2. Has the mass media banished the idiom “Congress has the power of the purse” from any and all news reporting until the major parties swap control of the Executive and Legislative branches?

3. Does anybody else find NPR news reporting intolerable ever since it has gone to 100% Shutdown-Mageddon sob stories all the time?

4. In a similar vein, does anyone else picture the announcer dude silently mouthing “whether you like it or not” when they credit sponsorship to X, Y and Z foundation or corporation and then continue with “…thousands of NPR listeners just like you”?

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