Ahhhh, colonial times
As I have mentioned before, I am a teetotaler. So when this question about when the hot buttered rum was created came in, I had no idea. I can’t tell a rum from a scotch from a bourbon. But I am a big fan of crazy bottles, and obscure trivia, so here we are.
It turns out the hot buttered rum dates back to colonial times. You know, when medicine was smoke and mirrors and largely based on things like rum being a ‘strengthener of the body‘. Apparently the colonials also drank A LOT. That link to the Daily Gazette article has some startling quotes about just how much.
There is no eureka moment that points to the date and time the hot buttered rum was conceived, as many families had their own recipes. And, presumably everyone was too drunk to take proper notes. But most agree we are looking at some time in the mid 1600s. Thus, the hot buttered rum predates “The American Insurrection”, as Jonathan Higgins likes to call it.
Finally, full disclosure, I have no idea if this is actually a photo of rum. That is a random bottle I found in an unused desk with a brown liquid of some sort in it. Close enough!
Up close with a bee, not on a lavender plant…
Those of you who count yourself as fans of the lavandula will know right away that our little friend Mr. Bee is not on a lavender plant. But the color is close, right? This is a random plant that I found in a local park that had attracted the attention of a group of bees. And while they are certainly not as fascinating as eyeballs, I do love taking photos of bees.
Which is a completely unrelated way to get back to the trivia question. What city is the lavender capital of North America? It is Sequim, WA. An equally difficult question might have been, “How do you pronounce Sequim? But that doesn’t translate as well to text. Washington has a long history of city names that visitors can only guess at pronouncing. Puyallup, Humptulips, Skamokawa, Chewelah, Chehalis, Tenino, Asotin, Yakima… I could go on. 😀
How many grapes would a woodchuck chuck?
I don’t drink any alcohol, so the fanciest beverage you are likely to find me with is one of the crazy milkshakes at Black Tap in NY. Seriously, google them. Those things are crazy.
That’s all to say that when this trivia question came in, I had no idea. How many grapes does it take to make a bottle of wine? Apparently, about 2.5 pounds, or roughly, about 500 grapes. If you want to really extrapolate that into the realm of folding money, this all calculates out to getting 160 gallons of wine from every ton of grapes you grow. 😀
I actually took this photo during the holidays at the office last year, where we had a bottle from a Washington winery, Tanjuli, and one from Mission Mountain in Montana.
US vs UK in the San Juan Islands
It is one of the more bizarre stories from US history, The Pig War. As the west was being formed, some iffy details on where the line between the US and Canada was placed resulted in a 13 year battle (granted, more diplomatic than physical) between the US and the UK over who would ultimately control San Juan island. The whole thing came to a boil when a UK pig was shot by a US farmer. Thus, The Pig War.
It’s a crazy story. You can read more about it at the National Park Service website. Or, if you would rather listen, there is a great episode of The Seattle Files that tells the story as well.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo from San Juan in my back pocket. But I did take this photo of a sunrise over the Seattle skyline, which is what you will see if you make your way out to visit the islands.
Classic HP Trivia
HP’s MPE (Multi-Programming Executive) OS was originally written in 1983. The name was changed to MPE/iX in 1992, noting th eaddition of POSIX compatibility. Anyone familiar with running and maintaining a 3000 system will recognize the CSLT label on the tape in todays photo.
Old School Windows
Genisys started in 1992, which is the same year that Microsoft released Windows 3.1. Unfortunately, I no longer have any 3.1 media or manuals hanging around. But I do have this mint condition manual for Windows 95, which is pretty close. 😀
World’s biggest apple pie!
As we race through a short week to get to the long holiday weekend, one thing we can all agree on is that apple pie is the best pie, right? 😀
This brought up the discussion of the world record for the biggest apple pie. It’s 40,000 pounds and it happened right here in Washington. The record setting pie was made in Wenatchee, which is roughly 150 miles, and a giant mountain range, east of Seattle.
I am reasonably sure that is correct. We have this article from the Spokesman-Review from when the Wenatchee record was set. And I was unable to find any later attempts that topped it.
Bonus trivia! That apple is resting on a processor for a classic HP K-Class server.
Fun with macro!
There are so many fascinating details in everything, if you can just get a close enough look. Here is an example. We still stock a lot of the classic HP3000 and DEC Alpha gear. Here is a retired circuit board from one of the old Alpha servers, with a quarter added for perspective. Make note of the tiny little components in the red circle. You can make out that there is something on them, but not what it is. This is how it appears to the human eye.
But if we get closer…
All is revealed. I also like that 1961, in this case, is the same right side up or upside down.
Have a great weekend!
Throwback Thursday – Genisys 21 years ago
Oooof. Time is sometimes a cruel thing. That photo you see above is a snapshot of what the Genisys website looked like in 1998, courtesy of the wayback machine. It was Netscape compatible! Do kids today even know what a Netscape is? Can we look at them and solemnly chastise them because they didn’t live through the browser wars? It’s crazy how far that tiny little version of the internet has come.
Jesus Christ, Ukelele Star
The march of technology is endless. As we move to tiny little NVMe SSDs that pack terabytes on little sticks that were unimaginable just a few years ago, it’s interesting to look back at where we’ve come from. This shot from inside an old Alpha server is really showing its age.
Which leads to our trivia question from the sales department. Which VAX server had the code name Superstar? It was the VAX 11/785. And that brings us back around to our post title.
You are likely familiar with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1970 rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. A bit of bonus trivia, here in Seattle, there is a yearly invite only version of the show called Jesus Christ, Ukelele star. This features a local actor/musician playing through all the songs, with a host of guest artists, on the ukelele. It is completely wonderful and has become an institution.