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Facebook ‘like button’

It looks like FB changed their ‘like’ button. It used to fit well on the pages and include the number of ‘likers’, now it is grey and ugly… Looking for a sollution…

[edit]Well that’s funny. In Chrome it looks like crap, in a stoneage IE it looks great….[/edit]

Thoughts on beer

A bit of a ‘general blog’ subject…

I enjoy a glass of beer and have tried many. Some people think that I am a beer lover or even a beer knower, but I do not know if this is really true. The problem is, I do not like most beers. In fact, almost the only beer that I do like are three styles of Belgian beer: “blond”, “triple” and what is sometimes described as “strong ale”. Now it seems that Belgian beer is getting more and more popular abroad. On holidays I run into unexpected surprises and on the internet I see foreigner discussion Belgian beer completely missing the point. For some reason outside Belgium (and the Netherlands) people do not seem to ‘understand’ beer. The other way around, I start to wonder what breweries think of their customers. A few thoughts.

Let me start with a very short introduction. Only in Belgium (with a few exceptions) beer is brewn by monks and has been for many years. These monks are “trappists” of the order of the Cistercians and these are the only beers that can be called “Trappist”, even though there are many other traditional breweries. The trappists usually make a few kinds of beer which is partly due to the season they brew for. Contrary to “pils” (or “ale”, the normal mainland style beer), the ‘first beer’ is “blond”, it is light, but not as transparant as “pils”. In France, people seem to mix up the two, calling “pils” “blond” thus selling a normal 5% beer for “blond” which is quite a bummer if you expected something else. Blond beer can be between say, 5 to 9 percent, but usually is 6 or 7.
The ‘next beer’ is called “dubbel” (“double”) or “bruin” (“brown”); “dubbel” because it is twice fermented and “bruin” because of the colour. It is brown of colour because the ingredients have been roasted longer. Being fermented twice, this beer is stronger, usually somewhere around 7 or 8 percent.
Then there is “tripel” or “triple”, again referring to the number of times it has fermented. Tripels are usually light of colour again and have a high percentage of alcohol, somewhere arond 9, but some go up even higher.

Now these are the three ‘basic’ forms of Belgian beer. There are a lot more, “bock”s (traditionally brewn with the last corn and having more alcohol to be better able to keep it good through the winter), nowdays there are some “quadruple”s (fermented four times), there is “white” beer, lower in alcohol, fresh of taste, amber coloured beer, fruit beers and of course the earlier mentioned “strong ale”s such as Duvel and La Chouffe which look like “pils” (no ‘cloudy’ colour), but are of a higher percentage. There are more and better places on the internet to find your information about this.

Now, already in the Netherlands there are waitors not knowing what they sell. They mix up blonds with tripels, sell bock-beers as trappist and forget about the difference between La Chouffe (light) and Mac Chouffe (dark). Things get worse abroad…

Last spring (2012) me and my girlfriend were in America (New York district) and saw a lot of “Belgian style beer”s, usually awfully tasting American beer. No difference is made between blond or double, it is just “Belgian style”. Lateron I found a slightly more ‘serious’ line of beers. One of them (Ommegang) is even a line of beers ‘designed’ by Duvel, but brewn in America and quite good. Also I noticed that there is “wit bier” (“white beer”) which is given the name “witte”, but the bartenders apparently do now know what “witte” (somewhat bad Dutch for “white”) is and giving me something dark when I ask for “white beer”, meaning a “witte”. Argh, but let us say that the beginning has been made. Quite a laberinth when you do know something about beer though…

In late summer 2012 we were in Southern France and I noticed something even more troubling. On our first evening in Reims we stumbled upon a cafe with an alright beer-card including a French (?) special beer “Liloise”, I tried the blond which was alright. I got the choice between 25 centiliter (we usually have 33) or 50 (half a liter?) and got it in a Leffe glass (oh yes, in America you get your beer in a lemonade glass mostly…). So far, so good. Later it showed that normal beer in France is 90% of the time Heineken (almost the worst Dutch normal beer) and the rest Amstel (not the best either), so I actually drank Heineken before I found that out (also I got Leffe in a Heineken glass)… Lateron we were at a place where I noticed Grimbergen (a great Belgian brewery) and ordered the “blond”. No no, “blond” is 1664 (I think a French “pils” brewn under the flag of Kronenbourg), but they did have the “white”. Eh? Grimbergen white? Assuming that we were talking about the same thing, I ordered my white Grimbergen and got something that looked and tasted like white beer, but if that was Grimbergen, this was certainly their least interesting brew! Later I saw that the man was actually right when in a supermarket my eye fell on “Grimbergen blanche”. What is that? The French have Belgian beer that we (or Belgium!!) does not have? This is indeed very much true, since we later saw an advertisement for Leffe Nectar, a Leffe with honey. Some searching on the internet showed that this Leffe is only available in France and not in Belgium!! WTF?!? I have a hard enough time to find the Leffe 9 degrees (blue) and the Ruby (they also have another red, but fortunately I do not like them myself, but my girlfriend wants to try them all) and now they have beer which is not sold to people who know something about beer?

The world of beer is a strange one.

Statistics August 2012

Somehow I seem to think about statistics in january and august. A short overview:

Main site, 49 unique visiters per day on average in the last week. Popular search terms: “gangleri”, “gangleri.nl”, “www.gangleri”, “monas.nl”, “ganglieri”, “www.gangleri.nl”, “angel magic”, “king gylfi sweden”, “who is gangleri”.

Articles, 120 unique visitors per day. Popular search terms: “babylonian calendar”, “nordic mythology”, “cabala”, “nine worlds”, “the nine realms”, “the nine worlds”
Popular articles: “Germanic concepts of Fate 18541 visits since the start of the count.
Angel Magic 10789
Nine Worlds in Nordic Mythology 10025

Book reviews, 104 unique visitors per day.
Popular search terms: “galdrabók”, “peryt shou”, “de tuin der goden”, “dumezil loki”, “altgermanische religionsgeschichte”, “the temptation to exist”

Film reviews, 130 unique visitors per day. The search results have things displayed in the sidebar (…).

Music reviews, 155 unique visitors per day. Most search terms do not come any higher than 30 times since the start of counting, so those can be ignored.

Spammed

Bugger, I’m getting spammed. I’ve got a few anti spam plugins running, but somebody manages to get through anyway. It’s not much, but 8 in one day are 8 too many. Now I usually rare receive comments, so I have changed the settings that comments no longer appear automatically, I have to approve them first. I’ll change the setting back when I found a way to get rid of the spammers.

Yet more security

Just before the weekend Gangleri.nl was attacked by a hacker. It was one of those automatic attacks that go around the world wide web constantly. I have quite a bit of security on this website and of course my host has the usual server security as well. It looks like the hacker used some script to scan this website for a security issue of a couple of months ago. I never had the file with the issue and since the issue WP has been upgraded a few times. There was not a single possibility that this would ever become a problem, were it not that the hacker scanned the files of this website causing hundreds of requests within a few seconds and thus not only took down Gangleri.nl, but also the entire server this website is on, so I caused a few hundred websites to go down… Of course my host is not happy about this, nor am I, but there is little one can do against such a thing. But of course I am going to try! My host will look at their security, I am going to try to add another layer of security. Now I installed another plugin that supposedly block bad requests. I hope this plugin does what it promises and that you do not have any problems with it, but since there is always the possbility of such a plugin to be over-active or that it conflicts with another plugin that I use, I cannot guarantee nothing to go wrong. Should you experience something fishy, please let me know.

3.3

Just upgraded to WP 3.3. The backend has improved a bit, it seems everything works, no conflicts with plugins or my theme. Good! Should you run into something, please let me know.

WP3.2

On Independence Day WordPress 3.2 saw the light of day. This is quite a drastic upgrade, since the server software requirements have been raised to levels that are not supported by my host in the standard setup. Through a ‘trick’ I have been using PHP5 for a while, but a more serious trick was needed to use MySQL 5.2.4 or higher. I took care of that a little while ago. It costed a lot of work. So far the upgrade seems to have gone flawlessly. I did some basic testing and so far have not found anything funky. Should you run into something, go the contact page and send me an email so I can have a look at it.

Stats

Every now and then I feel the need to have a look at the site statistics, usually when I do, I do not have access to my host’s statistics, but the statistics per section are more interesting anyway.
Read More »Stats