The Brewery

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01.10.2012 - 11:00 AM

Over a year without an update. Waste of money on hosting fees, eh.

Today's news is old news: I hate my job. What an utter f---ing waste of my time and tallents to have me sit here doing repetitive BS that a middle school dropout could do. Soon.... oh so very soon I hope we get our building and can start the brewery, and make it successful, and escape this place. I dream of a different place....................

10.21.2010 - 6:51 AM

Let's get our money's worth out of the web hosting fees, eh....? I'm lame.

Latest news (5 months old now): I'm married. I still don't have a brewery, but hopefully will have a name for it in the next few weeks. That's the major stuff.

I miss my coffee. I got really sick last week, and hadn't had a cup all week, and now I can't decide if I want to ever tread down the "regular morning cup" road again, because caffeine headaches aren't so fun. It sucks though, because I do like the ritual, and I like the smell and the taste, but I'd rather not get a headache when I don't partake in something. And that's funny really, because I can come home and drink or not drink a beer, and it doesn't matter either way. And people say alcohol is a drug, eh?

Arlyn and I spent 5 days in Minneapolis. Cool city. It seemed to have a lot going on without feeling like there were potentially millions of people in not-too-many square miles. We had some great food and some great beer. We wandered around some of the lakes in the area, and went to the Mall of America (it's a big mall, whoopdee-doo!), and walked miles upon miles around that city. Good farmers market, seemingly good public transportation. I found the University of Wisconsin to have some ugly buildings; their courtyard area was cool though, as was their union. Overall, I would recommend Minneapolis to someone looking for a major city to visit.

I'll try to update more often. Really, I will try.

9.1.2010 - 7:28 AM

Wow, two posts in a year.... I suck. Oh well. I was going to wait until I had finished a write-up, but that is slow going. So without further ado, the pics from Spain. Direct Link or get there from the pics page.

3.22.2010 - 9:40 PM

I've been quiet lately. Too quiet. But now it's getting late, so here's just the headlines:

Arlyn and I are due to be married in May, we're opening a brewery (hopefully sooner then later), which is why there are something like 100 gallons of beer in the house, she works nights, I work days, so we don't see each other enough, I still hate my day job (hence the brewery), still miss my family, still live in my same little house in Indiana, sister Shea had a baby (a boy, named him Quinten Reno), brother Jeremy is married.... and that's the news. You stay classy, San Diego.

7.31.2009 - 7:29 AM (Central)

Beer Tour '09 Part III started on Wed. Arlyn I left home and picked up our third Beersketeer in Madison, WI. We ended up going to Capital Brewing, which had an awesome beer garden, reminded me of Germany. They don't have food, but they'll let you bring in your own and hang out and have a beer. Next we drove to Tyranena and had a sampler in their tasting room. Tyranena could be my new favorite Wisconsin brewery. From there we headed to Great Dane in downtown for dinner and another sampler. This is a cool location. They take up an entire building, and have a hidden beer garden out back of the restaurant.

Thursday's activities found us going to Woodman's grocery to pick up beers for the next week. If you're ever in Madison, this is one of the greatest grocery store ever. We went to another liquor store to make sure we hadn't missed anything, and met some salesmen from Sam Adam's, who were kind enough to buy us a four pack of the new Imperial White beer that they make. You can be pretty sure that is going to be an awesome beer (hint, hint, because it was free!). We started making our way over to Ale Asylum for lunch, when I noticed a tire bouncing behind the car. We did a quick check, and realized it was the rear wheel off my bike!!!!! Luckily I was able to pull over at the next exit, and recover my wheel. It appears to be entirely unscathed. I love my bike.

We finally made it to Ale Asylum for our lunch and sampler, and saw the same Sam Adam's guys having lunch too. We left there, headed to O'so Brewing, Point Brewing (they closed tours off before we got there), Blue Heron, Red Eye, Bull Falls, and the Wausau location of Great Dane. As Arlyn just pointed out to me, that's seven in one day. Yes, seven. I think that's a record for me. Only the map knows where we'll go today. And I may be off the grid for the next week or so. Cheers, all!

7.8.2009 - 5:35 PM

I bought some more items to go with my kegerator: kegs! Homebrew kegs that is, twenty of them.

6.30.2009 - 9:08 PM

I bought a new toy today. Yea, yea, yea, I don't like to contribute to commercialism, that's why it was used. I bought myself a kegerator. It's a 15 cubic foot deep freezer, with a temperature controller, two taps, and will hold two full kegs (a barrel of beer!). As soon as I get it cleaned up, I'll post some pictures. My next acquisition will need to be some cornelius (homebrew-type) kegs, then I need to brew a batch to go in it, because I already bottled everything I have. It's an exciting time to be at That Road Brewing; draft beer here I come.

6.21.2009 - 6:29 PM

Many of you have heard about the Tivoli Theater in Spencer, Indiana; it's for sale, so we went to take a look. $60k for a cool-ass theater seems like a good deal, but it needs a lot of work...... Pics are here. We're asking about historic grants, tax breaks, etc. I'll keep ya'll posted.

6.17.2009 - 9:42 PM

Getting a job is a numbers game, right? The more resumes and cover letters I send out, the better my chances? I received my second "no thanks" from a brewery today. Maybe tomorrow......

6.15.2009 - 12:05 PM

I was reading a NY Times article about the recent switch to digital television, and it reminded me of something: people are dumb! In the article they quote several people who are pissed off that they won't be able to get TV anymore, and the government should be giving out the converter boxes for free, and yada, yada, yada. Guess what, TV is not a necessity; hate to break it to you, but it's not. TV is a (mostly) mind-rotting piece of junk that people use to waste time. It's an electricity and soul-sucking salute to commercialism. Instead of complaining about the lack of converter box, go outside and play. Bah!

6.4.2009 - 8:05 AM

I wish it weren't so rude, and that I could discretely take picture of random people. I'm in the airport right now, which is always a very interesting cross section of society. There is a guy in a cheap suit with a terrible combover. There's another guy with a 5 o clock shadow, jeans and a decent suit coat, sporting a huge afro. There's a guy that's about 4 feet tall, that is dressed like he's in a gang, with the tatoos to match. Overcompensation?

But, the best was yesterday. I was at a work related conference, and there was a guy attending in jeans, t-shirt, and a mullet mohawk; it was sweet. Based on the area I was in, he was probably a spook. And proably a good one too, if they let him roll around like that, all trashy and what not. Or maybe he lost a bet. I'll probably never know.

Speaking of conferences, and work related etiquette (sp?)..... I want to be able to dress like that, and have it be acceptable. I want to sign my emails with "Cheers", "Prost", "Happy Brewing" or something to that effect, and have it be entirely appropriate. I want to stir my mash with an oar. I want to wear rain boots during the work day.....

I told Arlyn the other day that I wish I were great at something. I'm good at some things, but I don't think I'm great. It would be nice to be considered an expert, and be in demand. I'm good at brewing, I'm good at engineering....hell, even my website is only half-assed.

So Arlyn quit her job. She's not pursuing the teaching thing right now, but instead will be living off the less-than-ample allowance I'll be giving her (I kid, I kid, there will be no allowance). I told her to write a cookbook, and she's seriously considering it. She needed to quit though, she has real problems leaving stuff at work. I told her you have to forget about it, but it gets her all worked up. I bring it home sometimes, but am slowly learning to wean myself off the blackberry.

5.25.2009 - 9:31 AM

Tales of woe....... So I was chopping a bunch of jalapenos a little while ago for making a pepper extract. Well, I don't think I washed my hands all the way, because a little while ago I took a pee, and well, not the greatest feeling. Stupid capsaicin.

5.23.2009 - 9:44 AM

So in what will probably be a stack of many if I keep applying in this field, I received a ding letter from Glacier Brewing. Yep, that's right, I applied at a brewery; as a bottom-rung, part time keg washer, with the opportunity to grow into assistant brewer like duties. I guess it's technically my second ding letter, because New Belgium Brewing denied me too, but that was for a part time road monkey. Does everyone have a good idea of how much I love my job, now? Well, I'm doing something about it now.

Another thing I'm doing about it is going to a conference. At the end of June, the US Tax and Trade Bureau (the former BATF) is putting on a free conference, and several of the session involve the rules and regs for opening your own brewery.

I posted new pics here of a hike we took with friends.

5.19.2009 - 9:04 PM

Saturday was the second annual Upland Brewing Company UpCup, a beer competition where if you win, they bring you in to brew your beer on their system, and they enter it into the Great American Beer Fest ProAm competition. I didn't win :( That would have been sweet, but oh well. We were able to take advantage of the beer and food that Upland was offering to all of the contestants. They had their bourbon barrel aged chocolate stout on draft, and it was tasty. That's all I got.

5.12.2009 - 8:43 PM

So it wasn't a stout, but I played big beer - small beer again, this time with the beast being a barleywine. It was supposed to be an old ale, but the gravity was pretty high, so I'm going to call it a barleywine. The second beer out is an American amber. I think I'm going to name them "Old Blowhard" and "Young Blowhard" because they both started spewing out the top of the airlock. At least I was able to catch them before they made too much of a mess.

As I mentioned before, our trip to Dark Lord Day went well. We left the house at about 7 AM, and arrived on premises around 11 AM. That gave us a little over an hour to wait for the brewery to open. Twenty minutes later we were joined by Ian, then Mike and Monica; the three Beersketeers had turned to five. We spent our time at DLD, drank our "free" samples (tickets to guarantee a bottle purchase cost us $10 each), purchased our bottles, socialized with a ton of people, and left to Chicago. I was able to trade for some beers, including Ska Brewing's Modus Hoperandi in a can. I am becoming a big fan of canned beers; they travel well, you don't have to worry about breaking them, they chill well; they're cool.

After we hit Chicago, it started raining, and it kept raining. We checked into the hotel and made our way to pizza. We were going for deep dish at Lou Malnati's, but it turned out to be a take-out only place (doh!) So, we walked around the corner to Piece Pizza and Brewing, and had our way with their establishment. I was saddened by our experience at Piece. When we went there last summer, we had a great time, and the beer was all pretty tasty. This time, the beer was not so good. We had six beers, and only one of them was so-so. I would have recommended Piece without thought before, but now I can't.

From Piece we made our way to the Small Bar. Cool place, good beer; my Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA went down very well. From there we had a very long journey via bus and walking and taxi to the Map Room, rated as one of the best beer bars in Chicago. I was impressed at their selection, and had a Goose Island Imperial IPA on draft (the only way to get it now). It was tasty, but maybe a little over the top. I am a hop-junkie, but I have my limits. While we were in Map Room, a guy came through selling tamales out of a cooler, 6 for $5; they were good. After Map Room we headed back and went to the hotel and were back to 3 Beersketeers.

The next morning we went to an old Chicago diner called The Palace Diner. Apparently it's been there forever. The Mexican breakfast that I had was awesome, with tortillas, eggs, refried beans, avocado, salsa, sausage patty....oh it was good. We wandered around for a bit until the liquor store opened to stock up.

For beers and a late afternoon snack we headed to Shoreline Brewing in Michigan City, IN. It was a great place. They had 12 beers on tap, including a Kolsch aged in red wine barrels, and all but two were solid; I wish it were closer to my home. From there we made out way to The Livery for a quick pint and then on to Founders for the night. The hotel was close enough to crawl home, and that is where I was able to get my CBS and KBS side-by-side. Rock!

The next morning we had coffee and then were back to two. We looked for a new brewery that was open on Mondays, but didn't have any luck. We were able to find a winery on the way home called Round Barn (they brew too, but we couldn't sample, damnit!). Arlyn bought a bottle of wine, then we were directed to a little local deli for a sandwich and some more bottle purchases next door to the deli (yah!). From there it was a long and boring drive home, back to the real world. If I could find a way to get paid to write and travel beer, I'd be a very happy man. If anyone has suggestions, let me know.

5.5.2009 - 9:15 PM

I haven't been on my computer enough lately, which is a shame, because my new system is a lot faster than the old one. I never did post about it..... After a long wait, and a whole lot of headache from Dell, they finally came through and delivered my refurbished Latitude E6400. The major features are: Core 2 Duo 2.26 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 14.1" high res LED screen, and a whopping 500 GB hard drive. It's fast, it's sexy, and it's warming my crotch as I type.

So yea, time seems precious. I don't have enough of it. And I'm tired as hell just sitting here. I've brewed a couple of mean batches lately; one was a Chocolate Stout. I haven't even drank one, but I can tell it's going to be one of those that hits the brew kettle soon again (maybe this weekend). I added coffee to part of it, and bourbon to part of the coffee batch; three beers waiting for my liver to process them..... delicious! I also did a replica of the Surly Furious. I overshot my numbers, so it'll be a little more alcoholic than the original, but the sample I had last night made me very happy.

Arlyn and I went to Dark Lord Day again this year and met up with Ian (Arlyn's brother) and Mike and Monica. If anyone remembers last year, it was cold, and miserable, and we barely escaped with beer. This year the brewery got their shit in order a little better. This year they sold golden tickets, which guaranteed that you'd get to buy beer; and buy beer we did! The line was about as long a last year, but we got through in an hour and a half instead of five. We also met more cool people, there were more porta-potties, and we were able to spend the rest of the weekend (plus Monday) in the area exploring breweries.

Hands tired, body tired. Short notes: We hit Shoreline Brewery. Sweet place! a dozen samples and only two were not good (an off flavor). The Livery still rocks. Founders still rocks. I was able to get the Kentucky Breakfast Stout and the Canadian Breakfast Stout side-by-side. For public knowledge, the KBS is one of my favorite beers of all time, and this is the first time I've ever had it on draft.

My brother is engaged, date set for early September, and I'm his best man. Congrats! Engaged after me and he'll beat me to the punch (unless I talk Arlyn into going down to the courthouse one of these days).

Bottle count is over 1300! Damn that's a lot of beer.

I've been carpooling for a few months now. Save the world, eh? I can blame Arlyn for it. She totaled her car, is fine, but needed my Xterra for a few days, so I hitched a ride, and it went from there.

We've looked for wedding venues, but nothing is screaming hippie wedding yet.

Lots of thoughts. So long for now. Maybe I'll elaborate more later, but if not, they're on the web forever. Happy brewing. Someone find me a job I'll like.

3.17.2009 - 8:04 AM

I went to put my food in the fridge, and saw that someone had brought in donuts; there were cinnamon roll ones and good-ol' glazed. So I thought about it, and decided I didn't want a whole one.

I went back about 90 minutes later to get my yogurt, and someone had cut one in half, the cinnamon, so I snagged it. I hate throwing food away, but I still didnít eat the whole-half of it. Compared to my yogurt, it was delicious.

Sometimes I miss donuts. But I don't miss my fat ass.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Have a Guinness, or a Smithwick's, or a local beer, but please, don't buy green beer.

3.5.2009 - 8:54 PM

The weather finally improved a little bit, so we ventured outside. It was windy as all hell though, so we didn't ride, but walked instead. Walking is nice, in that I get to talk with Arlyn the entire time, but today she decided to hurt my head. She started explaining to me that she works with a woman who is a "horticultural therapist". What the hell is a "horticultural therapist" you might ask, as I well did. Apparently these idiots think it's therapy to teach people how to garden. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all about hobbies, and gardening makes food, and I could see how gardening could be relaxing, but what the hell? Now I can't stop the vein in my forehead from throbbing, and it's a few more things like this that are going to make it burst. So, I googled it, and came to a shocking discovery: there are more of these BS people out there, to the point that they even have an association. Their motto is "advancing the practice of horticulture as therapy to improve human well-being".

Well, I've finally decided what I want to do with my life. I want to be a zymurgy therapist. That's right, I'm going to go about "advancing the practice of homebrewing as therapy to improve human well-being."

2.26.2009 - 8:04 PM

The new opening pic is from a local bowling alley. It was when we were celebrating our friend Leah's birthday. That was after drinking white russians and watching Big Lebowski. It was a good time.

So after my previous post, I packed and got ready to go. I was walking through the house as Arlyn got back home, and saw a minivan parked outside. Curious? I asked who we were picking up, and she told me all would be revealed in time. As we were about to walk out the door, I asked if I should bring the growlers (half gallon glass refillable beer jugs). She said yes, so we grabbed two of them and left.

As we were walking up to the van, I saw people in the back and realized it had to be local friends. It turned out to be Ding, Leah, Jeremy, Rebecca, and Dwayne joining us for a road trip. We started north on first clue. We began off on IN-46, and I thought we were going east, but we turned west. An odd route for a beer trip. After some time on the road I found out we were going to St Louis to go brewery hopping.

We started at Square One for lunch and beers, and it was awesome! The beers were terrific, as was the food. We all shared several samplers, so I was able to try all of their beers except the light. The IPA was really nice, as was the Tennhauser Ale (a copper ale), which we brought back a growler of. From there we headed over to The Stable. We only found out once we got there that they couldn't sell their beer. They have beers brewed, and spirits distilled, but haven't received their licenses, so they can't sell yet. I tried to convince them to give me samples, to no avail. Despite them not having in-house beers, they had a great tap selection, and most of us tried some of the local beers.

After a quick stop at the liquor store, Arlyn took us over to Llywelyn's Pub. Sweet! We took some pictures and went inside for a pint. I was able to get a Young's Double Chocolate off the hand pull. Sweet! The next stop was Buffalo Brewing. Buffalo was a cool-ass place. We got a sampler, and every one of the beers was top notch. We hung around for a little bit, and then I grabbed the second growler to get it filled with their Rye IPA. The gentleman filling my growler started chatting with us about where we were from, what we were up to, etc. He offered us some samples, and I agreed, and then laughed and told him we'd already had them all. He asked if we had tried the chili beer, and I told him negative. He wandered in the back, and came out with a frosted glass, filled it with their gold ale, and handed it over for sampling. It was really nice, it had a mild burn from stomach to lips, but not over the top. It was definitely one of the best (if not the best) chili beers I've ever had. After a few more minutes of talking, it turns out he was the owner (and I'm sooooo bad with names that I can't remember his, damnit!) He let us behind the bar to take our picture with their buffalo, and gave us a handshake and a farewell. We checked into the hotel and walked to the final stop of the night, so Arlyn could have a few with us. It was Shlafly Brewing. I've been a fan of Shlafly ever since I got their reserve bottles of barleywine and imperial stout. We had dinner and drinks, then made our way back to the hotel for the night.

....I'm tired of typing.......The next morning Arlyn, Dwayne and I hit the pavement early and went down to find coffee, place was close, next place was closed, finally found a St. Louis Bread Company (aka Panera Bread). Went to the arch, saw, went for another beer and lunch at Morgan Street Brewing. The food was good, and most of the beers were ok, but there was something wrong with their doppelbock. Arlyn hit it on the head when she said it smelled and tasted like sour yogurt. in my honest brewing and beer experience, I think they had an infection somewhere along the line. They made up for the doppelbock with a free pint (cheers to them for making things right). From there we packed up and headed home. Oh yea, apparently it was a big Mardi Gras celebration and there were drunken idiots everywhere, maybe I'll post more about them later.

2.21.2009 - 8:51 AM

So. Tomorrow is my birthday. Yay, woo-hoo, whatever, I merely say that for background info. I was threatened by Arlyn not to make any plans for today, that I'm all hers. Well, I didn't, and haven't still. Last night, she says she wants to be home no later than 11:00, because we have to be up at 8:00. Then she clarifies and says "she" has to be up at 8:00, me by 8:45. Well, she woke about 7:30, and I about 8:20. She was frantically running around the house, eating and packing. "I have to go out to do something. I'll be back by 9:30. You need to pack an overnight bag, and bring some clothes warm enough to walk around outside in." Interesting........So I have no idea what Captain Mysterio is up to. A few minutes later she adds "You can bring a swimsuit if you want, too." So, only time will tell. And I only have about 25 minutes before she may be back and we have to go. I'll posted the details after I find out.

1.8.2009 - 8:00 AM (Emailed previously from my Blackberry)

When I graduated from Purdue oh so many years ago, I thought I was going to be an engineer. My title says I'm an engineer, and my paycheck says I'm an engineer, but my work and my heart don't say I am. I'm really a babysitter. I make sure that my contractors are doing their job, and that they aren't wasting the company's money and time. I'm also a writer, fiction mainly. I stretch the truth on the facts so that I can get more contractors to work for me, the ones that my boss has picked out.

Having an inside perspective on where I work has changed the way I feel about a lot of things. In some senses I feel that the company isn't as evil as most people make them out to be. But in other ways they are more so. It's interesting that we make up the rules, then don't have to follow them. It's also interesting that we make up the rules and dig ourselves in so deep that we can't get any real work done because of them.

I want to be a circus clown.

I wonder if circus clowns want to be "engineers"?

1.6.2009 - 9:19 PM

Sometimes I forget I have a website, and billions of loyal readers are depending on my updates for their fix. Well, happy 2009. It came, it went, I was sober. Good beer though. Good hell, yea it was. Arlyn's brother brought a bottle of Darkness from Surly Brewing for everyone to share; and he doesn't even drink beer (much). What a nice guy. So yea, I had good beer and hung out wit' theee en-lawzzz, well, not in-laws yet, but eventually. Speaking of that, there's no news. Nada, zip, zilch. Planning a wedding is stressful, so we haven't taken it upon ourselves to do it. I just had a thought though, maybe, just maybe, I could commercialize it, and get some big corporation to plan it all out and pay for it. Hell, I could even wear a big Budweiser shirt while I make it legal.

I still love my job. With a passion! I'd never want to quit it and brew beer, or brew coffee. Maybe 2009 will finally be the year that I love it so much that I can't take it anymore.

Our Christmas was almost a total success, in the "I don't want anything" department. We got a few gift certificates for local food, and to our farmers market, some beer, and beer making supplies, and donations to charity. Thanks everyone for respecting a hippy's wishes.

Have I mentioned how much I hate the gym this time of year? Oh well, at least they're trying. I should encourage them more that I curse them. I have a sorta-resolution, and it's to take more pictures. I kinda need to get a computer to handle them all though. When I mentioned before that I didn't "need" a computer, but merely "wanted" one, that was true. Now, I "need" a computer if I'm going to do any picture stuff, because I'm typing on Arlyn's, and it doesn't have the horsepower, and I gave mine to my mother (her's was a little sssshhhllloooowwww). So yea, keep an eye out for a $400 laptop with a good processor, at least 3GB RAM, and >250GB hard drive, preferably with a 14" screen.

Batch #28 is in the fermenter. A red ale, hopefully it turns out well. I added a new link to the beer page, but I'll post it here too. It's all of the recipes that I've ever brewed, and a spreadsheet of the alcohol contents, etc. So if you're ever wondering what the hell is in the #11 when you're drinking it, or it's bottled date or ABV, there it all is. And I'm well aware that #27 isn't there. It's a special batch and it will be revealed in due time.

11.29.2008 - 11:37 PM

So Black Friday this year let me down. I was hoping to score a sweet deal on a laptop, and it didn't happen. If Microsoft didn't suck so much, it may have, but they suck, and I lost my chance (long story why it's Microsoft's fault). I don't absolutely "need" a new laptop, but I want one. Bad environmentalism, I know, but let me explain. Every time I open one of my pictures on my existing computer, it takes about 5 seconds (huge files, yea). When I'm running a script and trying to organize thousands of pictures, 5 seconds for each picture is going to take too long, and I'm not going to end up organizing them, and in another 5 years I'll be in an even worse situation. So that's my reasoning.

I sent out a lengthy diatribe this year explaining my serious concerns about not receiving anything for Christmas. I'm not anti-Christmas, I just don't want anything. Arlyn and I still have a lot of things that we're hoping to purge, and adding to that list will not help us get through it all. I hope everyone understands my reasoning behind it. It's not hatred of the season, or hatred of thinking of me, or anything like that; I'm just trying to simplify my life, and part of that process is clearing clutter and the like. It's a slow going process.........

11.7.2008 - 1:37 PM

If you'd like to read the saga of my trip overseas, it is here. It's really long, that's why it's not on this page.

10.29.2008 - 7:08 AM

"It pays the mortgage." - Nick Naylor in Thank You For Smoking. That's not the answer I want. Anymore. Ever.

10.17.2008 - 11:39 PM

Does anyone ever notice that I cheat a lot with the time when I'm updating? It'll say the same time, or close to (11:39 PM vs 10:39 AM, only 2 character changes). Yea, I'm lazy like that. What I really should do is get blog software, right? Wrong! This is not a blog, it's a website; I own the domain name and pay for the stinking hosting.

It was Columbus Day on Monday, but the only people that noticed were probably federal employees and Hallmark. To mark the occasion, I brewed. Third all-grain batch. It had been a while. Too long, I tell ya. Actually, it had only been two weeks. I brewed a Rye IPA. I will perfect the recipe for that beer. It shall be my legacy. People will fear it's presence in competition. Ok, maybe not that far, but I intend to make it good. To really honor the occasion I should have only used Columbus hops.......damnit, maybe next year. But maybe next year I won't have all of the occasions, because maybe I'll get off my lazy duff and get a new job.

I have a million more pics to post. Editing takes time though, and it feels like I never have any free time. Take care, ya'll. Don't forget what Grandma always used to tell me: F--- em if they can't take a joke!

10.4.2008 - 10:39 AM

It took me a little while, but the Europe Pics are up. It a slideshow format. I've been playing with a program called IMatch that will allow me to tag, comment, etc all my photos. This was done with that program. I'd still like to make it a php/sql based photo server, but that will come in time. Enjoy.

10.1.2008 - 11:53 AM

(Almost) every day I bring a piece of fruit and a sandwich for lunch. Every time I finish my sandwich I get sad. I like sandwiches.

9.25.2008 - 9:34 PM

Chex (the cereal) is made with crack. Yep. It's the only common bond between Chex Mix and Puppy Chow (besides salt I suppose). I mean really, who doesn't love CM and PC? Who can eat only a handful? I ate only a handful of PC tonight, then put it back in the fridge. Twelve seconds later I had my hand back in that bag, snarfing some more. The only thing that got me to stop was almost choking to death when I inhaled powder sugar. Crack, I tell ya, crack.

In other news, I registered to vote. Yep. This is the year I make a difference. That, and I may be able to leave work early to do it. Woot!

9.18.2008 - 8:15 PM

The new opening pic was taken in Brugge, Belgium by yours truly. It is the town square.

If you could look to the left a little, yes, that's it, lean closer to your monitor, you'd see a bench underneath those archways. On said bench, at about 10 AM on September 4th, I asked the love of my life, my dear Arlyn, to marry me. (Dare you ask? Of course she said yes!!! If there was any doubt that she would have said otherwise, I wouldn't, nay, I just plain shouldn't, have been asking.) Sorry to those of you that I didn't tell in person or on the phone, it's not that I'm lazy, it's, hmmmm, well, it could be that. And sending an announcement? Does that sound like something a tree-hugging hippie like myself would do? Kill more trees? No, thank you; save the world.

Before anyone asks, NO, we do not have any plans. NO, we do not know where. NO, we do not know when. NO, she does not have a ring yet (that's another story in and of itself, buying into this whole commercialized diamond business. Oh, it's not a perfect color and size and blah, blah, blah. Commercialism is stupid, I say, screw them.). NO, we don't know who will be invited. NO, I'm not lying, we really have NO idea on any of this. Yes, we've talked about it a little bit, and NO, it didn't get us any further than the answers above.

Other news: We got back from Germany and Belgium. This is the approximate route that we took. Yea, that's a lot of kilometers. It's weird, it's the little things. I mean, they got the same shit over there that we have over here, but it's different. You can go into McDonald's and get a beer. We never did it, but we COULD have!!!! I hope to have pictures up soon, but we took something on the order of 5 GB, so it may be a few days more before I sort them all out.

8.18.2008 - 15:37 (Update was written in the air hours ago)

So I heard a little while back that the best way to beat jet lag is to fast until you get to your destination, and then throw your body back into a regular eating pattern. I don't know if it works, or if itís better east to west, or vice-versa. Anyhow, Iím giving it a shot. I havenít eaten for about 14 hours (lunch yesterday). I had a little granola around dinner time in the airport, but skipped the onboard meal. Itís about time for the breakfast that they serve on board, and I havenít decided if it would be best to eat it, or skip it (I skipped) also and just catch up with a lunch. The smell may well kill me.

Aside from that, I tried to sleep. The plane has a good chunk of empty seats back here in the lowly coach class (yah, cheap tickets!), and I pulled a three-wide in the middle of the plane. I think I may have done better with a two-wide on the outside. Itís the whole footing issue; the three-wide isnít enough for me to stretch out far enough, and it isnít short enough to hold my legs tucked in for me, so it was extremely uncomfortable. See, I travel a lot, but I donít get a lot of airline miles because I stay in one place for weeks at a time, so I am not able to upgrade.

On day three of the San Diego trip Arlyn and I met up with my friend Chris and his girlfriend Malinda for a bagel and coffee at a place near the hotel. They had arrived late the night before. We parted ways and they went to Sea World. Arlyn and I had gone a few years ago, so we werenít really interested. After showering we headed to a homebrew shop because I needed to put the finishing touches on my wedding beers. They didnít have quite what I wanted, so we left and went to a neat little Persian restaurant called (Arlyn will have to remind me) in the Hillcrest area for lunch. We split a pomegranate soup and a chicken wrap. The chicken wrap was one of, if not the, best I have ever had. We shared because we wanted to save room to go to the peanut butter place called Spread that Iíve been to before. (Incidentally, we know about many of these random places because Arlyn picked up a book for me years ago called ďSecret San Diego.Ē) It turned out that Spread is only open for dinner, so we wandered and ended up at a dessert-only place called Heavenly Desserts. We split a Guinness chocolate cake topped with whiskey cream cheese icing. From there we went to another homebrew shop that is also the home of Ballast Point Brewing. We had a few samples there, and then headed back to the original homebrew shop for the foils I needed. Afterwards we went to Alesmith Brewing for a few samples and a to-go bottle of their 2006 Grand Cru.

We met up with Chris and Malinda again at the hotel and then caravan-ed down to Firehouse Bar and Grill in Pacific Beach for a pre-wedding party with the happy couple. Arlyn convinced me to transfer the homebrew to them there. The bar got all hurt and told us theyíd have to put it in the back until they left due to California liquor rules. (I was pretty sure they werenít going to confuse my bottles with a commercial brew, mine were much sexier :). We had a few drinks and dinner but then had to go pick up Chad and Elizabeth at the airport. After picking up C&E and carting them most of the way to the hotel, I convinced Chad that Stone Brewing was only about 5 miles further, and we all went (it turned out to be more like 10 miles). We had delicious beers, and were going to get some food, but the kitchen was closed. After a few rounds we were all tired and hit Taco Bell before going back to the hotel (mmmmmmÖ.crappy imitation Mexican food).

Day four consisted of a light breakfast in the hotel after Arlyn and I convinced everyone to follow us to lunch. Beforehand the menfolk headed to the liquor store for beach supplies, and the womenfolk to CVS for beach supplies. Arlyn picked up a swank collapsible cooler to hold the drinks in. Lunch was had at El Indio. It was a place we had seen on the Food Networkís Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (literally in the less than 8 hours weíve had it on since March). It turned out to be ok; next time we wouldnít detour much out of the way for it. Actually, I may not go again; I think there is much better carne asada to be had. From there we took our new cooler and headed to the beach. The cooler is a story in-and-of itself; the handle on the POS ripped when I lifted it out of the trunk, and it was leaking all over the place. It went to the beach and then back to CVS the next day. The beach was somewhat uneventful. We drank beers out of coffee cups because sometime earlier this year they now made it illegal to drink on the remaining beaches (crap!).

After the beach we headed back to the hotel for a quick shower and then made our way to Stone Brewing once again, this time for dinner and drinks. Stone is hands-down the nicest brewery I have ever been to. They have an incredible outdoor area and terrific food. When we got there we were told it was going to be almost a two-hour wait though. We sulked about it for a minute and then headed to the bar for drinks and appetizers. It turned out to only be about a 30 minute wait (someone apparently failed elementary math). Arlyn and I split the beer mac and cheese (with sides of vegetables). For dessert Arlyn ordered a beer float. Normally they serve it with their smoked porter, but Arlyn changed it up and had them pour the 12th Anniversary Ale instead. Stoneís 12th is a Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, and with a scoop of vanilla on top, it made one hell of a float; try it, I dare you. That ended day four.

8.17.2008 - 5:30 PM (Chicago O'Hare)

I'm sitting in O'Hare waiting for my flight to Frankfurt, Germany. I figured I should type portions of this up before my memory fades to oblivion between trips.

July 23rd Arlyn I had a direct flight from Indy to LAX. After getting the rental car, we hopped on the freeway to find it a mess. I was craving some more caffeine, so we searched coffee shops on the Blackberry and found Tanner's Coffee in Culver City. We hung out for a bit, and then hopped back on I-405 to go up to The Getty Center. The Getty is this cool museum where you only have to pay for parking. The building has a 360 degree view of LA (which some days is like looking at a toilet). But it's cool if you're ever in LA, and the price is right. From there we went to Pink's for hot dogs. It's a famous place where a bunch of stars have dogs named after them. We thought we saw Rosie O'Donnell, but it turned out to be a sasquatch. We discussed it and decided one day in LA was enough for the both of us. We found a Trader Joe's, then head down the interstate to Belmont Brewing Company. We had a less than terrific sampler with a terrific view (it's on the beach). We left there and headed further south. We wanted to hit up Steelhead Brewing but they run limited tours and hours. So instead we headed straight to San Clemente to spend the night. We got there and immediately went to Pizza Port for a beer and to use their internet. After finding and checking into a hotel, we went back to Pizza Port for a pie and some more brews. We walked back to the hotel and that was the end of day one. I have now been to all three Pizza Ports.

Day two was fairly uneventful. We woke up and drove down to Kaylani Coffee Company that we had seen the night before. We lounged for a bit and then drove back to shower and check out of the hotel. When we crossed over the I-5 it looked like a parking lot. After showers and checking out it still looked like a parking lot. We asked and found out there were several accidents on the southbound lanes. We decided to skip driving and got a couple of beers and a really good Italian sandwich at Vince's Italian Deli and went to the beach. We applied the sunscreen and drank our contraband, swam, and had a jolly good time (I always do when I'm with my Arlyn). We headed back to the interstate to find the situation unchanged. We waffled a bit (mmmm.....waffles...) and then went for frozen yogurt at Velvet Yogurt. It's a one-off location where you serve your own yogurt and then pay by the ounce. Could get really expensive if you're not careful. They try to play it off as healthy, but when I'm throwing peanut butter cups on my yogurt, I'm not fooled. We got back in the rental car and headed back north, then east to the I-15. It probably added about 50 miles, but saved us 2 hours in the long run. We checked into the wedding hotel near Escondido, then headed downtown to Buster's Beach House for food. Buster's is a place Arlyn and I found the first time she was in Diego. They serve great Hawaiian food and awesome dessert. Unfortunately the cook that night didn't have taste buds and the caramel sauce on our banana fritters was way too salty; so much so that I sent it back. (Cue sad trombone: bwah-wah!). We were headed back to the hotel and saw The Aero Club Bar and stopped for a pint. The bartender taught us and her new lackey how to pour a proper black and tan. That ended day two.

My hands are tired. I will type more later and try to remember to post pics of everything after I get back from Germany.

8.14.2008 - 9:15 PM

Too many things to write about, too little time. Arlyn and I left on July 23rd to LA, ate, drank, were merry, saw my buddy Mike get married, ate, drank, were merry, then flew home from San Diego to Indy. Hung out one day, gave the livers and laundry a cleaning. July 31st we headed to Indy and picked up Arlyn's brother Ian, and headed on our way north, to the breweries. We hit many and eventually ended up in Door County, Wisconsin. We stayed there until the 9th of August, when we headed to the Great Taste of the Midwest (giant beer festival!!!) in Madison, Wisconsin. This Sunday, the 10th, we headed back to Indy. List of breweries hit: Belmont, Pizza Port - San Clemente, Ballast Point, Alesmith, Stone, Pizza Port - Solana Beach, Mad Anthony, Arcadia, Bells, Founders, New Holland, The Livery, Three Floyds, Flossmoor, Goose Island - Clybourn, Piece. On Sunday, pending any disasters at work, I leave for Germany. Woot! I'll try to post more details soon.

8.13.2008 - 10:05 PM

New opening pic is a sandwich I made while in Wisconsin. It was epic (the sandwich, I meant, but the trip rocked too). From top to bottom: homemade bread, mustard #1 (brown sugar - honey), homemade mozzarella, Wisconsin cheddar, ham, Heirloom tomato, fresh basil, homemade pickles, mustard #2 (Pete's XX), homemade bread. In the foreground are cantaloupe and pretzels. I'm getting hungry just thinking back to it...... One of these days I'll post about the rest of the trip. For the record, Arlyn's dad made the bread, Arlyn made the mozzarella and pickles.

7.6.2008 - 8:39 PM

I brewed on the Fourth of July. It was my first all-grain batch of beer. To read up about it you can go here.

SLC was fun. I saw everyone several times over. I only stayed at my Moms four times, slept in a sleeping bag twice, and on a couch twice. I drank at four different coffee shops, and two different breweries. I had smores and sushi (not on the same night). It was a nice little vacation. Up next is the 2008 beer tour, starting in San Diego and continuing in Indiana and up to Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin. It will be epic, I tell ya.

6.15.2008 - 1:33 PM (Mountain)

Once again I find myself on a plane, and once again I'm late. And again, there's no discernible reason, and no apology, full or half-assed. It's ridiculous. $360 later and now I'm getting in late. I should be getting my hourly wage for time I'm late. If I miss the flight I bet they'd charge me to change it with them. Well sorry, my luggage was lost in my house and I didn't make the flight. Arrrrggghhhh!!!

But, it's Father's Day and I'm going home to surprise the old man. I don't suppose he'll read this by the time I get there. Interesting enough, the last time I was in an airport was on Mother's Day.....and I was late then too. At least that time it was weather, and not just a lazy ground crew. (Yeah, you heard me you Detroit unionized pieces of crap, you're lazy. Suck it!)

I haven't been to SLC in about 16 months. It's strange to have been gone so long. I saw my Mom and siblings last November, and my Dad last September, but every one else it's been that long. It's also been a long time since I've been to SLC in the summer time. Usually I'm in and out around Christmas time. It will be good to see the mountains and the water. Hopefully I get time to make it up the canyon to hang out. I thought about going fishing, because I haven't been in a dozen years plus, but I don't know if I'll find the time. I always get extremely busy when I go home, sometimes it doesn't feel like a vacation as much as a chore. I love everyone that lives there, but people need to come see me one of these days. Arlyn and I have a sweet little house in B-town. (You all know who I'm talking to, so get off your butts and do it).

Beer, beer, beer. I have 8 bottles of homebrew and 2 dozen cakeballs with me. Hopefully it all makes it alive. I didn't brew this weekend, so I have 2 empty primaries sitting there crying. When I get home I'll bottle and brew again. My current plan is to do a special batch on the 4th of July. I'll post the results, and possibly some pictures. Until then, live happy, healthy, and support your local brewer(y).

6.10.2008 - 7:50 PM

Part of the staff went for a bike ride, for exercise, and to go to the local grocery to pick things up (save the world, you know). Well, at the end of the ride, we go to make a left hand turn, and we both signal properly, and oncoming traffic is nice enough to stop for us, but as we're making the turn I hear "You know, there's a sidewalk." from the minivan that had been following us for all of 20 seconds. Arlyn thought he was trying to be helpful, but shouted "share the road". I didn't think he was being helpful, but was tongue-tied. I finally got out "You know, it's illegal to ride on the sidewalk." Now, I'm not entirely positive on my accuracy of my statement, but Arlyn's was correct. "Indiana 9-21-11-2: Rights and duties of person riding bicycle.--A person riding a bicycle upon a roadway has all of the rights and duties under this article that are applicable to a person who drives a vehicle, except the following" It goes on to state bicycle safety (brakes, proper use, etc). I was able to find several cities in Indiana that state the legality of riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, but not Bloomington.

I don't know if I'm fighting a losing battle trying to yell at motorists that get upset with me. I want people to understand my frustration with them, that what I'm doing is perfectly legal, and better for my health and the environment. But people don't want to listen. As I continued my ride home, I thought of making up shirts that say "Biking on a roadway is a legal form of transport" in huge letters on the back of a shirt that I can wear when I ride. I don't think even that would make people give a hoot.

I brewed batch #23 on Sunday. I entered a beer in a local competition. It didn't do so well. I guess little Bartholomew wasn't destined to win any awards.... just like his namesake.

6.2.2008 - 12:14 PM

If my cell phone rings, and it's a number I don't recognize, I may not answer it. Understandable, right? Well, if you really want me to call you back, leave a message........ I get a call earlier, don't recognize the number, and ignore it. A minute later, same number, same response from me. First call, they don't leave a message. Second time, they still don't leave a message. WTF?......People baffle me. They didn't try for three.

5.25.2008 - 9:39 AM

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it's good to wake up every morning.......It's a beautiful day here in Bloomington, Indiana and I have much to report.

May 16th was "Ride Your Bike to Work Day", so I did. It was a treacherous 31 miles one-way, and took just about 2 hours, but in the end it felt really good. I rode with my friend Jeremy, who has a road bike. I don't want to use that as an excuse, but I did struggle a few times to keep up with him. I may have to look at getting me one. Of course, with the whole not buying new things and purging the crap I've got, a new bike doesn't fit in. One things for sure though, I'm just thankful it wasn't "Ride Your Bike to and From Work Day" because that would have been hell.

I finally got off my butt and bought a subwoofer for the house. It's a JBL 10" that was on super clearance at Best Buy ($83; run now if you need one). It really brings the music together now. I can't believe I waited almost 5 years to get one, I really know better than that. I think I have Arlyn convinced it's a good thing, too. I put on Norah Jones and she could really hear the difference. Rock!

The beer is all well and good. May 3rd was "National Homebrew Day", so I did. The local club: The The Hop Jockeys got together at a local gardening store to brew together. It was fun. I brewed my porter again. This is the only beer that I have brewed a second time. Last weekend I brewed an over-the-top IPA for Arlyn (her birthday present; and yes, her birthday was in January, but she took that long to decide what she wanted). I'm also putting my buddy Jeremy to work on brewing. He brewed his second batch last weekend, and we're brewing again tomorrow. Prost!

I hope all my loyal readers get a day off tomorrow. Thankfully my job gives it to me, because I need the days off to keep my sanity.

4.28.2008 - 9:39 PM

I don't want to shorten the story, so read up here for a tale of epic proportions. Man vs. nature. Good vs. evil.

4.20.2008 - 9:39 AM

Remember creepy guy from last post? Well, I drive by his house every day on the way to work. And every day I look for signs of life. The first time I saw anything, and I mean anything, was last Friday. There was a single lamp on in an upstairs room. Weird, I tell ya, weird.

Batch #19 (Margaret IPA) is in the fermenter, and eating away. My double IPA that I did a few months ago is freaking delicious. My Pale Ale I did at the beginning of the year has been recatagorized as a British Ordinary Bitter. A subtle distinction, but that was certified beer judges telling me that. Commercial bottle count is at 1197.

I have a dilemma, for me at least. The bottle collection has been going strong for almost 7 years now, and we haven't added any cans. Recently I received several craft beers in a can, and they are becoming more popular. I can't decided if I should merely integrated them into the current collection, or start a separate collection, or just recycle them?

3.21.2008 - 8:39 AM

I've got a riddle for you. A conundrum if you will..... Who wins in Xterra vs chain-link fence? Give up? Xterra. But I'm a little ahead of myself, so I'll start at the beginning.

In the beginning, there was man. Wait, too far back. It began raining here in Bloomington, Indiana on Monday night, and basically didn't stop until Wednesday night. It was miserable. Then overnight, between Wednesday and Thursday, the temperature dropped. I went out and had to scrape ice off my Xterra yesterday morning, and then I started my drive to work. I made it to the first highway ok, and then turned off on my bypass, and went a little while. I came upon a small curve and hit a patch of ice, but kept it under control, it just startled me. Then next little curve was another patch of ice, except I made the mistake of hitting my brakes. Oops! If anyone reading doesn't know this, possibly the worst thing you can do if you hit ice is to also hit the brakes. It causes the vehicle to careen out of control.

So, I went sliding off the road, and low and behold, right in my path is a chain-link fence. Luckily the soft ground slowed me a bit, but I mowed the fence down. It all happened in slow motion. I saw the pole right in my line of vision, and saw it fold, luckily, under my Xterra. Then, just like the movies, there was the eery dust settling in the beam of my headlights. I sat, startled, for several minutes. A few people slowed as they drove by, but obviously realized I was ok. I finally got out to assess the damage. The Xterra had some scratches, but looked ok, and driveable. The fence wasn't so bad... the chainlink was in tact, but the pole was all the way out of the ground, cement and all; it was probably due to all the rain that it came out so easily. I thought for a second, and realized I didn't want to be knocking on someones door at 6 in the morning, so I got in my Xterra, put it in 4-wheel drive, and drove the rest of the way over the fence. I'd go back later to explain what happened. (Spare me the lecture on calling the cops, insurance, etc).

The rest of the drive to work was treacherous. I hit two more patches of ice, and saw at least two cars off the road, so I wasn't the only one that had problems. I fretted about it all day, told a few people, got the lecture mentioned above. In the middle of the day I went out to inspect my vehicle, and after wiping it down, found it had absolutely no damage whatsoever; nary a scratch on it. I was admittedly surprised. I finally left work early to make my way back to the scene of the incident.

I went back to the scene to see it in full daylight, and it didn't look so bad. Some new cement (or even burying the entire chunk again) and the fence would be good as new. The piece of the fence I hadn't taken out was plastered in "No Trespassing" signs. Interesting. So, I made my way up the drive to the house. The house looked deserted. There was no sign of life anywhere, no cars, no people, no kids' toys, nothing. Walking up to the door, I assumed I would be asking the neighbors who owned it. I knocked and waited for a minute or so. I was about to leave when I heard a sound from the garage. A minute later someone came out the side door of the garage. It was a man, probably in his 50s, about 5'9", dark brown hair, slightly balding, with a thick moustache, wearing a flannel shirt and denim pants. I'll call him homeowner, for the purposes of the following text.

Steve: "Hi". Homeowner: "Hi." (staring blankly at me). I started in with my plea: "I'm really sorry, but I'm the one who hit your fence this morning" H:"It's ok, don't worry about it." S:"I'm sorry, it was really early, and I didn't want to knock on your door at six in the morning." H:"At least you told me." S:"Yea, so." H:"Don't worry about it. I was probably going to take it down anyways." S:"Ummm, yea. Sorry, I'm really taken back by your reaction. I expected anger, or something." H:"Don't worry about it." S:"Well, do you want me to fix it, or..." H:"No. Don't worry about it." S:"Well, ok. Thanks." H:"Be careful pulling out, the grass is probably still soft." S:"Ok. I'll do a six-point turn to avoid it." H:"Ok." S:"Thanks again. Have a good one." With that, he was gone back into the garage. I did my six-point turn, and left. Arlyn and I have drawn our conclusions about the situtation, but I don't want to put anything libelous in writing, so I'll leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions on the situation. I just hope the poor family tied up inside will eventually escape. (Oops, I said the quiet part loud...)

3.19.2008 - 8:14 PM

So even though we gave up the TV for a month, the gym has 'em, and I can't really turn it off. Besides, that was an allowable foul. Today ESPN was on, and I saw "breaking news" that told me the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels players and staff would be making $40,000 each for making the trek to Tokyo to play each other. Wow! Apparently there are some starving children in those houses to rake in that kind of dough for one game. If you're following along correctly, that's more for one game than the poverty level in the US is. Hell, I haven't seen one of those "feed the children" commercials in a while, but I bet you could damn well feed the lot of them for that.

3.16.2008 - 5:20 PM

So, I have a beer tragedy to report, well, two. This morning the handle ripped off a 6-pack carrier, and it smashed to the ground, and I lost a bottle of homebrew; sad, I know. The worse tragedy is that the Irish Red I brewed did not turn out; it tastes like crap. It's hard to even describe. Bleh! So, most of it is already down the drain. Yep, the first batch I've officially dumped. Live and you learn, they say. At least I've got some good ones coming up to make up for it. My IPAs are tasty, as is the Belgian Pale and the Nut Brown. They just need a little time to mellow.

3.13.2008 - 4:14 PM

So my buddy Aaron tells me he thinks the whole NFL crap being controlled by the government is because it's a monopoly, and therefore they have regulation authority, or something like that. I got too lazy to search it out anymore, so I'll go with that. But, speaking of monopolies, when is someone going to do something about Ticketmaster? I mean holy crap. I bought $33 tickets for a show, and after fees, they ended up being $48 each. What a screwjob!!!! And I didn't have the option of going to the box office, because it was the Jimmy Buffett show, and it always sells out quick.

Arlyn and I have turned the TV off. Not like cutting the cable service, but turning the tube off, for a month. We started on Monday. It's odd how many times I've almost turned it on: right after my bike-ride when I was relaxing, or this morning with my coffee (I took the day off to brew, and well, because work sucks). We're trying it out to see how it is, and we're getting more done this week. I finished two of the books I was reading, and am starting on another, and here I am updating the website and replying to emails. It's amazing how much time we burn just staring at the damn thing, whether it's something we really want to watch or not.

So like I said, I brewed today. I've been brewing a lot lately, and it's awesome! It's my goal this year not to buy any commercial beer. I've already faulted, but I'm doing pretty good, only like a 12-pack or so. At this juncture I now have more homebrew in the house than commercial. Yah!!! Today's batch was a Scottish 80/. It has a name already: Never Look Under the Kilt Scottish Ale. Incidentally, it's batch #15. If you look at the beginning of December I was talking about batch #7. Go beer! Bottle count is at 1184.

2.16.2008 - 3:46 PM

So I logged out of one of my yahoo accounts today, and saw a story about how Bill Belichick (New England Patriots head coach) has been secretly taping opponents practices, or some crap, I forget now, because I really don't care, and didn't really care at the time, I'm not even sure why I clicked, or why I'm writing on it....... Oh yeah, I remember. The article mentioned how some senator was all mad that it happened, and it reminded me of another situation in professional sports: the Major League Baseball steroids scandal. So I asked myself: Why in the HELL is the United States government getting involved in this crap? Why are my taxpayer dollars being used to investigate pro sports??!!??!?! WTF!??!? I don't get it; can someone explain? Honestly, I'm baffled by this.

I would like to give mad fat props to my friend Jeremy for supplying the first Tennessee bottle to the collection. Remember everyone, donations are always welcome :) Beer count is high. Something shy of 1200.

1.20.2008 - 6:03 PM

I would like someone to find me an under-monitor power strip with switches for the individual outlets in back. I know I've seen these in the past, but have not been able to find one as of recently. I would love one of these to be able to control the multitude of devices I have at my desk that are rarely used, but I don't want to crawl to unplug (several external hard drives, network hard drive, second network switch, USB hub, monitor, etc, etc, etc). Save the world.

1.11.2008 - 11:46 AM

Every minute I'm at work I can feel my soul being sucked out of me; little by little. I will soon be a soulless being working for the man. Have I mentioned I hate my job? Anyone care to help? I'm looking, but I don't mind help. I'm a EE with 4.5 years of Systems Engineering experience with some EE work thrown in at random. Email me if you know of something.

1.8.2008 - 8:46 PM

Stupid gravity and it's effect on large glass containers full of water. "What the hell are you talking about, Steve?" I broke one of my carboys tonight. "What's a carboy, Steve?" It's a large glass container for fermenting and/or aging beer in. This one happened to be a 6.5 gallon one, and 3/4 full of water it was heavy, and slipped a little bit, and hit the concrete, and broke into giant chunks, and pissed me the hell off. Arlyn made a good point though, at least it wasn't full of beer; if it had been, I might have cried. Still, it's like a $35 mistake, a batch of beer or so. At least it lived a good life, full of beer and making people happy.

It's always about beer with me, isn't it? Hell yes! This time the beer comes from my good friend Elodie, who sent me a sixer of the first Iowa beer on the collection. Mad props, Elodie, mad props! Anyone else that wants a shoutout is free to send me beer. New beers as well as ones I've already had are welcome; if you need suggestions on what to send, email me :)

1.1.2008 - 1:03 PM

Stupid Puerto Ricans and their delicious rum......... Happy New Year!

12.19.2007 - 9:59 PM

It took me longer than I had planned, but I just posted my article/page on the carputer that I installed in my Xterra. If anyone has any suggestions for additional info on the page (or suggestions on how to make the carputer that much more awesome), please let me know.

11.30.2007 - 10:59 PM

For the uninformed, beer is made with four primary ingredients: water, barley, hops, and yeast. As a beer lover, I'm well aware of the shortage of hops this year. This affects me both as a drinker and a homebrewer (incidentally, batch #7 is just about ready to be bottled). What I see coming in the next year is some interesting experimentations in the world of beer. I see brewers moving back to some old-school ingredients such as heather, pine, spruce, etc instead of their hops. It really sucks though, because I am definitely a hophead; give me a good double IPA and I'll be happy as hell. Hmmmmm.... give me a good porter, stout, pale ale, barleywine, imperial stout, scotch ale, english ale, bitter, hefeweizen, etc, etc, etc, and I'll be happy as hell :)

Beer count is at 1142.

11.26.2007 - 8:52 PM

Alright, alright Aaron, here are the Savannah pics. St Thomas pics are forthcoming.

11.22.2007 - 11:20 AM

Happy Thanksgiving, ya'll. When you hate your job, it's nice to have four days off of work. I suppose even if I liked my job it would be nice to have four days off of work. I went to St Thomas, US Virgin Islands a few weeks back. I didn't mention that, did I? Well, it was awesome. My mom rented this villa called the Sand Dollar, and it was absolutely spectacular. We spent a lot of time at our private beach access, sipping tropical drinks, and playing in the ocean. The rum that is made there is $3.50 a bottle; yea, I kid you not, and it's good stuff. I went snorkeling for the first time, and didn't know how much I've missed out until now. Arlyn, Joey and I went on a sea kayak and snorkeling expedition. All around it was a great time. I need to get pics from there and from Savannah up, like I keep promising. That, and I'll have an article devoted to my Xterra up soon. It's halfway written, but I don't want to give it away yet.

Beer count is at 1136.

11.17.2007 - 9:34 AM

Ahhh..... life. It's always good to continue waking up.

So I'm reading a book called "Brewing up a Business" by Sam Calagione, president and founder of Dogfish Head Brewing. In it he's talking about what he does, and states.... "if you have a business card, pull it out and read it. What do you do? Are you proud of what you do? Does it give you a sense of purpose? ".... hmmmm, whipping boy, no, and no. Maybe I need to shit or get off the pot with this whole job search. Someone please find me a job? I'm helpless left to my own devices.

Further in the book he mentions releasing a new beer called "90 Minute IPA", and how it has a picture of a circus freak jamming a nail into his nose. I laugh because I remember the picture. He also goes on to say how he was contacted by the very-much alive photographer (he believed the picture to be public domain), and how he didn't give permission and asks that they don't use it again. Hmmmm, me thinks, I know I've seen that before. A quick check of the website gives me this bottle. Woot! I've got one on the collection. Cooler than the current bottle.

10.25.2007 - 9:04 AM

After over a decade, I no longer own a 1993 Ford Ranger. Yes, I have had my Xterra since last December, but I've also still had the truck. But last night the proud (well, I'd be proud at least) new owners put new plates on it and drove it away. Right before they did I informed them it needed gas :) But, it's not like I won't see it again, since Arlyn's parents are the ones that bought it.

So I began to reminisce on the way to work today. I remembered how I got the burn mark on the passenger carpet (fireworks), and how pissed I was at the girl who did it. I remembered the ginormous scratch down the passenger side (slid on some ice going down a hill), and how pissed I was at the girl that did it (I was trying to be courteous and move out of her way in a parking lot). I remembered the spare tire sitting in the back, and how it's been there for years (fell out from underneath when I was towing James). I remember how Mormon missionaries came to my door in Bluffdale, Utah when I was installing the first stereo (and how they pissed me off). I remember getting pulled over on my way to work and afterwards the cop had to give me a jump (replaced the battery later that night). I remember when I used to lock the faceplate for the stereo in the glovebox, and sometimes I'd forget to put it back, so when I hit a straightaway I'd turn the truck off and unlock it really quick (probably not the smartest idea I've ever had. Now that would be easy to do, because the key will come out when it's running). I remember when I bought it; I came home from driving my Escort with a missing window and told my mom we were going to the dealership. I saw it and knew it was the one for me.

It has no power windows, no power steering, no air conditioning, no power brakes, no automatic transmission, and no air bags. It only has power locks because I added them with the new alarm several years back. It gets decent gas mileage, is cheap to license, and is cheap to insure. I put over 115,000 miles on that vehicle over the course of a decade. I love my Xterra, but I will miss my truck.

10.9.2007 - 9:35 PM

Lately I've been having weird flashbacks of cities I've been to. I remember small things, like crappy little restaurants and hotels, and other random little things. But, I've been on travel so much, that I can't place where some of the memories were; and that bothers me. It's like a strange movie, where the character is having these flashbacks. I also have the feeling that I'm watching a movie when I'm in the airport. I'm rushing from terminal to terminal and thinking: this is my life. Odd.

I went to Savannah, GA over the weekend. It was awesome, and I'll post more about it later, because I'm tired.

9.20.2007 - 10:35 PM (PST)

Happy 21st birthday, littlest sister. Now we can all go out and party together :)

So, after 17 days straight work, I'm getting a day off. Yah! Sure. So I looked at my paycheck, and you think it would be nice. Sure, it was, but I got bent over too. Someone had mentioned to me that there is a max pay I can make, and it turns out I found out what it was. It wasn't as high as I thought it might be. After putting in so many hours I essentially got screwed out of a good chunk of them. I'm not going to mention an exact dollar figure, but lets just say it could have funded my beer drinking for at least half the year. It just sucks, because you try and you try, and you get the short end of the stick in the long run. I gotta find me a new job.

Beer count will be close to 1100 when I get back. And, I have 10 gallons of homebrew that will be ready to drink. I brewed batches 5 and 6 on the fourth of July: a rye pale ale (Terrapin replicale), and a porter (Bridgeport replicale). I'm super excited to drink them; I've got a good feeling about these two. Rock!

9.15.2007 - 2:29 PM (PST)

I'm at work. This is my 12th day in a row on. It pretty much sucks.

The new Steve revolution began about a year ago, and it's still in full effect. Along those lines I've also tried to start being a better person in more ways then. I'm starting to become a lot more aware of what they call my "carbon footprint". I'm trying to recycle as much as possible, and not waste anything. I was looking at leather coats the other day (early in the year, I know, but the sale is good), and ultimately decided not to buy one. It's not the cost or anything or the sort, it's the fact that I'm just contributing one more thing to a landfill when I get rid of my other one. I'm going to look for a used one at Goodwill or the Salvation Army or something. Do I sound like a hippie? Probably. And that kills me, because I've used that as an insult for a long time. The only thing I don't want to think about too much is my fossil fuel usage, because I love my Xterra :)

9.1.2007 - 9:29 AM (PST)

Normally I wouldn't write about a complete stranger on, but I feel obligated to raise my next glass of beer to Michael Jackson (the Beer Hunter, not the one-gloved wonder). One of the greatest names in beer, he died two days ago. Hopefully there's good beer on the other side........

8.30.2007 - 5:44 AM (PST)

You know, the human body amazes me. I have a 45 minute drive from my work site to my hotel, and last night, on the drive home, I drank a gallon of water. Yea, like an 8 pound weight gain on the way back to the hotel. Amazing, I say, amazing. That's in addition to the two gallons I drank the rest of the day. I'm out here in Barstow, California. Oh, California, eh, must be nice? Yea, nice like when they send me to Alamogordo, New Mexico nice, or Avon Park, Florida nice. If you don't know where these places are, look em up.... middle of nowhere. Anyhow, it's something over 100 degrees every day. Once is passes that point it's hard to tell much difference (at least I think).

Before I left to come out here, they gave me a cellular wireless card for my laptop. I now realize it's both a blessing and a curse though. I have connectivity everywhere. Oh, and now I have connectivity everywhere. I don't have the excuse of not being able to look at or send a file, etc, etc. Shit boss, I was too lazy to put the card in my laptop.... Between that and my black'n'berry, the government owns my very soul.

Beer count almost at 1100. A trip to Wisconsin helped it grow. More on that later if anyone cares.

8.5.2007 - 3:12 PM

It's been a year. A year ago I began the new Steve revolution, and it's still in full effect. I put my butt back on the scale for three consecutive nights just to make sure it was accurate, and I have dropped 75 pounds in the last twelve months. I now weigh 175 pounds, which, according to the American Heart Association, now puts me at a normal weight for my height. (And yea, you did the math right, I was at 250 pounds..... yea.....not good).

FAQ: 1) What do you do?: I try to ride my mountain bike at least 15 miles, 5 days a week. Sometimes it's more, sometimes less. Lately it's been super hot and humid, so going outside is almost dangerous. Sometimes I walk, on travel I ride the stationary bike. 2) Don't you miss food?: I don't deprive myself of anything. I had dinner and dessert last night. But, I brought home leftovers, and split the dessert with Arlyn. Deprivation is stupid, and will eventually fail. Portion control and eating smarter (grilled chicken vs. fried, side of vegetable vs. fries (unless they're killer fries, like the ones at the Bayou in Salt Lake City)) are how to do it right. 3) Did you quit drinking beer?: HA! HA! I don't think so. Take a look at the collection. At least 150 new beers in the last year. That, in addition to repeats, homebrew, draft only. No, I didn't give up beer. In fact, beer is becoming a bigger part of my life than ever before. I am trying to brew more now, and perfecting my drink recipes for that inevitable day when I open my own place. 4) What kind of bike do you have?: A Kona Cindercone. I love my bike. Not only because it's helped me change my life, but because it's awesome. 5) Speaking of awesome, I hear you're twice as awesome now, how does that happen, it seems like you'd be less awesome by losing weight?: It's possible. Rock!

8.2.2007 - 2:05 AM

Lucky you, two updates so soon together...... Please note the time. And that's local, not Zulu........

So some asshole (maybe the fire department didn't use that word, but I am). So, some asshole, decides to set off a fire extinguisher inside the building, and the fire alarm system sees it as smoke, and the entire alarm system goes off. Needless to say, it scares the living HELL out of, waking me from a deep sleep. It shuts off after about ten seconds, but, painfully loud it was. About two minutes later, it happens again!! Of course I'm sound asleep again, so it scares the living hell out of me again. This time it doesn't stop.

So I'm trying to find a shirt and sandals to the strobe light of death (the alarm is not only loud, but flashing light every two seconds or so..... lucky me), and I crack my head on the wall (which, incidentally, happened in New Orleans too, but for much different reasons). So I find shirt and sandals, and I'm already in my sleeping shorts, which are polyester and loose, because I sleep in them. I gather up enough willpower to grab the Black-en-berry and wallet as I scoot out the door. I sit on the grass outside and wait out this god-awful experience, when, son-of-a-bitch! Remember the loose shorts I am wearing? Well, loose enough for ants to have crawled up my legs, and have begun biting. Well, alarm is off, I'm wide awake, and I have ant bites on my.......legs......and higher :(

I'm going to ask for the security cameras in the morning; a certain payback scene from Pulp Fiction comes to mind.

7.28.2007 - 4:05 PM

Despite what you've previously been told, you can drink EVERYWHERE in New Orleans. (Incidenta7lly,b I'm a little lit, so ignore all spelling errors, typos, etc). So I am working in Fort Walton Beach, FL which is only 4 hours from NO, so what the hell have I got to do for the weekend, so I came down here. It is a little depressing, there are abandoned buildings, and vacancy signs, and general carnage everywhere. It is sad, really :( but, I'm here to eat, drink, and be merry. I hit Zea Brewery earliuer today. The food looked fantastic, but the beer was terrible. I don't know if I've ever rated all the beers terrible, but theyu pretty much all sucked a big one. So I'm here for the night. Right now I'm waiting on a streetcar, and from what I gather, they'rew gonna let me on with my $10 frozen drink. Rock!!!! To-go cups, to go bottles, bars freaking everywhere I'm telling you, cool. Of course, I'm sure it has detrimetal effects on dome people in thwe town. That's it for me for now. Beer count keeps growing, I keep enjoying, I keep brewing. Take care, all.

Ok, I got on my streetcar, but I don't know if it's going where I want. Wish me luck.

6.9.2007 - 1:15 PM

So I felt like updating..... I'm sitting here outside the new Whole Foods in Fairfax, Virginia enjoying life. I had some tiramsu induced gelato a few minutes ago, the weather was supposed to be hot, but is gorgeous instead, and I feel good. Let me talk about Whole Foods for a minute.... It's the greatest grocery store in the world!!!! Besides groceries, this particular one has multiple cafes inside, fresh roasted coffee (yea, I saw the green beans), fresh made gelato, and a massive salad bar that includes well over 100 items made fresh in-store. It's freakin' sweet.

News: I'm down over 60 pounds now, a full freaking quarter of my body weight gone. I don't think I've been healthier in my entire life. I still have a little gut to lose, but I don't think someone would describe me as the fat guy anymore. I encourage anyone that's thinking about it to do it. It's taken a while, but it was worth it. I ride my bike 5-6 times a week, at least 10 miles, but lately I've been pulling at least 15, sometimes 20. I will need new tires on it in the next few months.

I'm working on the Xterra still. It needs a hitch, bike carrier, Thor Mod (I'll post pics), and window visors. It's taking so long because I've been on the road a lot this year already. I still have two more weeks to go out here in Virginia.

Beer count is closing in on 1100. Chad and I are keeping ourselves busy out here. Last weekend we tasted a Sam Adams Utopias. It's probably the most expensive beer I'll ever drink: $160. Yea, you read that right. It's also (at the moment) the most alcoholic beer in the world, at a whopping 25%. Yea, you read that right too. And it's close to a full 750mL. It was pretty damn tasty. It had awesome carmel and fruit notes to it, and the alcohol was well balanced.

That's all for now. Keep in touch, everyone.

3.24.2007 - 7:55 PM

On January 31st I emailed Subway, inquiring about how they are promoting themselves as a healthy alternative, yada yada, yet they only have chips offered as a side, when I can go somewhere like Panera Bread offers me apples, etc. I got the typical canned respond. Last week I saw the new Subway commercials pimping their new healthy sides. Thanks for the credit, jerks!

2.14.2007 - 10:10 PM

I hate US Air. That's right Neil, I hate your company. I'm sitting right next to the crapper. I just as well be in it. At least I'll know when it's free, right?

And another thing. I've tried twice to use my "free" ticket, but to no avail. Apparently free ticket means "if you one of the lucky .000001% to book 11 months in advance". I'd have a better chance of winning the lottery than being able to use this stinking ticket. I have 6 more weeks to find a flight, then I lose it. Had I known it would be this hard, I wouldn't have delayed myself 5 hours to get it. I've had free tickets on United, Southwest, Northwest and American, and none of them have been this damn hard to use.

Do you ever watch Deal or No Deal and cheer for the person to lose? I don't watch it really much at all, but it was on when I was surfing tonight. I hope you lose, ugly! $200,000 ..... yeah! You suck!

1.28.2007 - 9:37 AM

Things I've learned over the past few weeks: 1) My Xterra will probably never get better than 18 MPG 2) Never, ever, make a White Russian using milk. I tried to make one last week using skim milk, and I should have just kicked myself in the boys; it was terrible. I made up for it last night by getting some half and half and it was delicious 3) My pomegranate martini is delicious. And no, I didn't get the inspiration for Oprah, I don't watch that crap. I got the inspiration from Hash House a Go Go, quite possibly the best breakfast I've ever had. Mine consists of: 3 parts pomegranate juice, 2 parts vodka (and don't use crap, use Ketel One or Grey Goose or something), 1/2 part grenadine, and 1/3 part lime juice. Mix all together in shaker with ice, and serve in a glass rimmed with sugar.

Beer count: 980

1.09.2007 - 10:02 PM

Ahhhhh, New Year's. Or so it was a week or so ago. Usually with New Year's come New Years resolutions'. But generally resolutions are made at this time of year to be something new, something not yet done, something to be done in the coming months.

Well, I guess what I'm getting at is that I don't really have a New Year's resolution, per se, but just a resolution. 2007 is the year of the new Steve. Yes, the year of the new Steve. What the hell am I talking about? Well, in August I began a regimented diet and exercise program with Arlyn. Arlyn has lost 20 pounds, and I have lost over 30, and I feel fan-fucking-tastic. (Yes, it called for that adjective :) But, the key is, I'm not done yet, and I don't intend to ever be done. I am tired of making the fat jokes, and being able to, well, because I'm fat. Yes, I am still fat, and that is what makes me feel proud of what I've accomplished thus far. Why am I proud of being fat, you ask? Because 30 pounds ago I was not fat, I was round. I was obese. I recognize that I wasn't morbidly obese, hell, I didn't have to have a wall removed from my house to be able to go outside. But I was in, what I now see was, probably a dangerous place. And now, I am just fat. But I don't plan on being fat for long. I plan on riding my bike through the coming cold, and sticking with my rabbit food. But, I'll tell you, if I'm going to eat rabbit food, I'm glad that Arlyn is cooking it for me, because she's a damn good cook.

In keeping with the new Steve theme, I have decided to purchase a new vehicle. Oh Steve, you're a candy ass, and won't do it. Hell, you've been talking about it for 4 years. Well, I already did. A 2001 Nissan Xterra SE 4x4. Color: Solar Yellow. Yea, Solar Yellow, what the hell are you gonna say about it? It's fun. Now I just have to finish (well, start I guess) tearing the stereo out and replacing it. I have big plans for this project. When I make it official I'll share them......

Beer count: 978

11.15.2006 - 9:02 PM

So I drove by a Best Buy about an hour ago and saw a line of tents outside with people camping in them. It took me a split second to realize that it's people waiting for the Playstation 3. I laughed, and thought about what tools they all are. At Target was the same story. I asked a worker how long they'd been there and she said since this morning. On my way out of Target I got cruel thoughts in my head. I think it would be fun to screw with them all, say, with a fire-hose. Or maybe some of that fake skunk smell (Dan had that idea at Purdue to do to some dumbass protesters). It'd be hilarious, I tell you, I just need the right idea.

11.8.2006 - 7:15 PM

Well, my update frequency is sad sometimes. Alright, most of the time. Let's see...... I came back from Denver for about 10 days, and then I left to go to Florida. The wonderful town of Avon Park. And by wonderful I mean I wanted to gouge my own eyes out. The worst thing about it was the lack of decent beer. I went on the prowl for an Octoberfest. Not that tall of an order, but I couldn't even find a Sam Adams seasonal! Sorry, let me translate for the beer illiterate: That sucks!

An email I sent to a coworker while I was down there: "So I hesitate for about half a second at a stop light, and this old hag behind me lays on her horn. I glanced at my rear-view and she throws her arms up like she wants to throw down. So I move off even slower, and she tries to pass me in the left turn lane, so I be a jerk about it and lay on the gas, and she's about hits my rear bumper as she has to cut back in. So she is on my tail for the next few miles, throwing her arms in the air and giving me the finger, and at that point I was doing 8 over. I couldn't believe it, she was like 60-70 years old. It was hilarious."

So I pretty much finished up work down there on October 27th, but I had to stick around until Monday to ship some things back to my work. So for the weekend I flew to Phoenix to hang out with the gang, drink too much, sleep too little, and celebrate the pagan holiday known as Halloween. It rocked. It made up for the 12 days in a row I had to work. I dressed as a nun. Yes, a nun, and it was fun(ny). I'll find a picture to post of my costume.

10.1.2006 - 9:50 AM (MST)

Well, it's over. We came, we saw, we drank. It was awesome. Despite my comments the last few days, the GABF was freaking awesome. So many beers, so little time.

Chad and I headed to Jimmy John's at noon (first session started at 12:30) to get some pre-festival eats. We got to the convention center at about 12:20 and there was a line clear around the building. I was worried about the number of people, because the last few days when we showed up right after opening it was a short wait at the door. When we finally got in we realized the big delay was because they were handing out the tasting glasses, and being really careful; all other sessions were plastic, the early Saturday session was glass.

It turns out there were a lot less people then the previous days, so the lines were shorter and the beers were still flowing. We tasted around the country and left a little buzzed. We both made the decision that the night session would probably be a drunk-fest again, and 8 hours on our feet drinking would be really tiring. So, on the way out the door I sold the night session tickets to a scalper. I heard it ended up selling out, so I could have got more than face value, but I didn't want to screw with it.

We came back to the hotel and drank the two homebrews that I brought (batch 1 and batch 2). Incidentally, the pale ale has improved with age. We wandered over to the Falling Rock Tap House for more beer. What a cool joint that is. They have something like 100 taps, and a good bottle selection. We met some guys drinking a 1997 Thomas Hardy and we knew they were cool, so we chatted for a while, listened to a jazz band, got a little more drunk (no food since Jimmy John's), and had a great time. We hit McDonald's at 12:30 this morning and crashed for the night.

I love beer!

9.30.2006 - 9:03 AM (MST)

Before the festival we went to Breckenridge Brew and BBQ for some food and brews, then headed off to the Coors Brewery for a tour and sampling. The Coors brewery is massive, and it was interesting enough, but our tour guide was a 20-something year old girl that didn't really know jack squat. I'd rather she just have shut her trap and let us tour ourselves, but they won't let you do it that way.

Last night sold out, so there were even more drunkard Denver area people there screwing things up. If I've learned one thing, it's to pee before you go. We drank some more good beer, and saw some more greats. Jim Koch (Sam Adams), Ken Grossman (Sierra Nevada), and Charlie Papazian (author and founder of the GABF) talked about brewing and how the American brewing culture is changing. Interesting times. Hopefully today's Connoisseur Tasting is a better experience all around.

9.29.2006 - 9:43 AM (MST)

The festival last night was quite the experience. It was awesome to walk into one room and see so many breweries I've had and some I've only heard about pouring one ounce samples under one roof. We saw some of the best of the best brewers, and listened to a few of them talk about a Belgium trip.

We had a lot of good beer, and only a few that were skip worthy in the future. I was disappointed that Kona Brewing didn't bring their coffee stout, as I wanted Chad to try it. But, them's the breaks.

My only real complaint is a strict adherence to the one ounce sample. I didn't want to get blitzed five minutes in, but it's just not quite enough to really taste the beer. I guess my other complaint is that there were more than a few pricks there; people cut in lines and were downright rude sometimes. I attribute most of them to the Denver area (which could be wrong), as I think that people like Chad and I that traveled over 1000 miles to be here aren't as likely to be like that. One session down, three more to go.

9.28.2006 - 8:23 AM (MST)

The beer fest starts today!!!!

I picked Chad up and we headed to the Bull and Bush. It is a cool little joint off the beaten path that serves good food and awesome beer. This is the best of the best in Denver. They even broke out some aged beers and other special brews just for the GABF. Sweet. I don't recommend just one beer, I recommend them all.

We stayed there quite some time, but finally headed off to Boulder, where we checked in the hotel and toured the campus a little bit. We went for a pre-dinner brew at BJ's Restaurant and Brewery. They had ok beer, but nothing spectacular; typical of many restaurant/brewery combos that open up. We hit sushi for dinner and wandered to Walnut Brewery. Again, nothing spectacular, but worthy of a trip if you're in Boulder.

But, the last stop took second place for the day: Mountain Sun Pub and Brewery. With over a dozen beers on tap, I had a hard time making a decision. The Imperial Stout, the Dopplebock, and one of the pale ales (the name slips my mind) were damn tasty, but none of the ten I had was below par. Cheers to that.

9.27.2006 - 7:38 AM (MST)

I went to Rockyard Brewing for lunch yesterday. I read some bad reviews online, but I decided to drive an hour and a half out of the way to go. It was tasty. The beers weren't bad, but nothing was spectacular either. But the food was damn tasty, I had a steak sandwich with onion rings and blue cheese, sandwiched between garlic bread...... mmmmm.... tasty.

I headed back south towards Colorado Springs and went to Bristol Brewing for some samplers and a few pints. I met some cool people there and chatted for a while. Then I went to the Garden of the Gods to take some sunset shots. I dropped my gear at the hotel and went to Il Vicino for awesome pizza and ok beer (which incidentally they don't brew anymore, Bristol does their recipes).

I pick Chad up at the Airport in 3 hours. Beer!

9.26.2006 - 9:08 AM (MST)

Yesterday I hit the Dam Brewery In Dillon, CO for lunch and a sampler. I recommend the Lager or the Extra Pale Ale. From there I headed southwest through the unknown and tthen through Pike National Forest to Colorado Springs. I had dinner at Phantom Canyon Brewing. Excellent food and beer around. They had a Belgian tripple and a honey that were tasty. Or just fall back to the IPA for sure goodness. From there I walked across the street to Judge Baldwin's Brewing, in the bottom of the Hilton. I was disappointed by the beer, it was pretty watered down and tasteless. I don't recommend it.

9.25.2006 - 8:38 AM (MST)

Several years ago I had some skunked Tommyknocker beer, but yesterday I hit them up for lunch and a sampler, and I'm glad I did. The food was good, I had a Rueben, but it was with corned buffalo instead of corned beef, and it was awesome. The beer was very much to my liking, I will have to get some more of theirs in the future. From there I ventured west on US-40. It's quite the slow climb through the mountain pass. I headed up to the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park and took a hike, drove around, and stumbled upon the guy that now graces the opening pic. He was as big as a moose, I tell ya (ha!) After my nature encounter I wandered down to the town of Grand Lake and hit up Grand Lake Brewing. They had some tasty brews, they did. I highly recommend the Holy Grail. Aged in Rum barrels, it was smooth and delicious. But at a whopping 20% ABV, I'm glad I only had a sampler of it, for the sake of my soberness.

9.24.2006 - 10:40 AM (MST)

I haven't updated for a while, and I figured this was as good a time as any to do it. Some of you know, and others don't, that I will be attending the Great American Beer Fest in Denver, Colorado this year. It's the biggest event in the country, and I've wanted to go for some time.

So, my quest for beer began yesterday, even though the GABF doesn't start until the 28th. I flew into Denver mid-afternoon and headed to Dillon, CO to stay the night. I hit up Pug Ryan's for dinner and a sampler, then made my way to Breckenridge for a dessert sampler and some pool with my new found drunken, gun-loving friend Ryan (who I incidentally will probably never see again in my life). Good beers were had all around. If you can get it, I recommend the Scottish Brown at Pug Ryan's, and the Trademark Pale Ale at Breckenridge. More stories to follow. The beer count is at about 950. That magic 1000 is right around the corner, and I need something special to comemmerate (sp?) the occasion.

7.20.2006 - 7:08 AM

Up until 5 minutes ago, I wouldn't have classified myself as irritable before I get my first cup of coffee in the morning. Well, I shouldn't say first, because I usually only do one cup, except on those really bad days at work; I call those weekdays. So, I go to get my coffee, and there is some stupid damn lady in there stealing all of it for some stupid damn meeting. I sat and waited while she filled 6 carafes full for some assholes I could care less about. Well, another pot finished brewing, and she filled the cup of a guy and a lady who had come in after me, and then continued filling the carafes. I closed my eyes to push the anger away, and you know what I saw? I saw my coffee cup cracking over her fucking skull! I shit you not, that's all I could see. I saw chards of ceramic embedded into her fat head and me back at my desk, drinking out of the pot. I opened my eyes, and came out of it, and waited for another pot to finish brewing. She dumped about half of it into her last remaining carafe, and began to make her leave. I got up to get my coffee and someone who had just walked in had the nerve to glare at me for going for it first. I thought about a crotch shot with my boiling cup, but thought the better of it and just left with my full cup. Let no one ever tell you that caffeine is not addicting. It is the crutch that gets me through the day at work.

6.23.2006 - 1:08 AM

Chiggers are the worst thing on the face of the planet! I never remember having to deal with chiggers in Utah. We had ticks, mosquitoes, spiders, and all of the sorts, but not these nasty little bastards, oh no. If you don't know what a chigger is, do a google search on chigger bites, and see what kind of hits you get. I kind of laughed last night when I read some of the posts that people had made, about using kerosene to soak their bites in, or scraping with a knife. Well, I woke up about an hour ago, and tried to fight off the itching. I figured, hell, I can get through this crap, I've been through worse. I've had severe back pain, mosquito and spider bites, 2nd degree burns, no problem. DEAR GOD WAS I WRONG!! Thoughts crossed my mind of whether to take a toe or two off, just to have something to put my mind at ease. Hydrochloric acid on my feet? Hand me a bottle. Rusty nail through my foot? I'll go through 10 tetanus shots to get rid of this overwhelming itching.

So it's 1 AM here, and yes, I have to start getting ready for work in a little under 5 hours. After an hour I finally got up to reapply a spread called Chigarid. I call it a spread because it's like honey going through my leg hair. It sticks, and it smells of nail polish, but damn, it does the trick. And the wax job it did on my legs when I tried to remove the earlier application (about 5 hours prior to going to bed), was an added bonus to take my mind off the god-awful itching. Think I'm kidding? I'll send anyone a few dozen of the microscopic bastards. Let them gnaw on your ankles, and try to go to bed the next day and not wake up in the middle of the night with visions of deep throating the barrel of a shotgun. If you EVER get bitten by chiggers, get some of that crap, you'll thank me. And now that it's dried and therefore caked on my leg hair, I shall try to go back to bed. Wish me luck.

4.18.2006 - 5:08 PM

Happy Birthday !!! 5 years old today. There are several things I am really excited about. The first: I finally (it only took 5 years) formatted the recipes in a better format. Check it out via the link at the left or here. The second: While it may not be apparent at first click, I have redone the beer section. It's not all html anymore. It's all MySQL and php based, and updates from the latest list that I have uploaded. What this means, is that all I do is drink a beer, and the world knows about it. The pictures from beers 401+ are forthcoming.

Speaking of beers, some statistics on the list: 837 different bottles, 335 different breweries, 36 different states (I have the 37th in the fridge), 598 beers from the USA (82 from each of California and Colorado), 32 different countries, and 5 different continents (none from Africa or, of course, Antarctica). If you'd like to help out the list, I'm always willing to take new beer donations (email me). I'd especially like to finish the 50 states. We need: North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Arkansas, West Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. I figure with a little more work, I can get all 50 states before the end of the year.

3.10.2006 - 9:08 AM HST

I've decided to take down all content for a little while. I may update, but there will probably be no content outside this page. If you want to know why, you can email me, but I won't post my reasons here.