Sunday, April 29, 2007

I may be turning into a grownup.

I am a little annoyed that it is 6:30 on a weekend and I can sleep no more. I used to be a champion at sleeping in. I could sleep until well into the afternoon if I wanted. Now? Seven and a half hours after I go to bed, I wake up and can't get back to sleep. I don't feel un-sleep-deprived, but maybe that's the thing.

This is made all the worse by the fact that my cats follow me around and show off their ability to sleep 20 hours a day. Right now, Koda is sleeping in front of my keyboard, as usual.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Holy Crap! I am Finished University!

Ok, so I just couldn't bring myself to sleep any more, I am just too excited! At 1:30 today, I will officially be finished every last obligation I have towards my two undergraduate degrees! As of 1:30 today, I will officially be a university graduate! I am so glad to be done, it's been a long, long, long six years! And guess what? Apparently now, I am a teacher. Weird. It's the end of an era for me, and the beginning of a new one. I am in the mood to party and celebrate. Although, not tonight as I have to chaperone a youth event, and tomorrow I also have to chaperone a youth event... This posses a problem. I will update you all about the party situation as soon as there is one. But I feel I must leave you on this note: "Schooo-ools out for summer.....Schoooo-ools out forever...."

(Or at least until I get a teaching job...)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Only now have I recovered enough to discuss my weekend.

On Saturday, I attended a tasting of single malt scotch whiskies from the Islay region. We tasted 10 of them (no spitting allowed) and chased them down with very strong beer. The ultimate result of this was a blinding hangover by 9:00 PM. In bed asleep by 9:30, with Jenn dumping laundry baskets on me for folding, annoyed that I would be in such a state on a Saturday night. It was worth it.

For the record, I liked almost all of them. I still don't care for Laphroig. The Bowmore was nice, though.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Go Flames

That was awesome. It's about time that Calgary showed some of the grit that they need to to get past Detroit, or at least beat them up enough to kill their chances to advance past the second round after handily beating the Flames.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Another thing:

I have a new project. This is something akin to the Julie/Julia project in that it involves doing a whole bunch of things in a food/beverage nerd realm for no apparent reason other than to say I had done it at the end of the day.

I am going to brew every beer in the Beer Judge Certification Program Guidelines, and I am going to do it "All Grain" (ie. the hard way). I will give myself credit for the one I have already done in that way, which means that there remains only 79 categories to brew.

Needless to say, I will be giving myself more than 1 year to do this. After all, when Julie decided to cook each dish in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" she knew that she could reasonably consume more than one dish in a day. I cannot reasonably consume 400 gallons of beer in 1 year. To do so would require me to consume approximately a case of beer a day for a year. I find that to be an unreasonable expectation. At the same time, it would be illegal, as there is a 200 gallon per year limit on homebrewing.

I plan to have help, at least in the immediate future, both in the brewing and the consumption of the beer. I have a certain amount of commitment in terms of assistance from Nick the Mighty Brewer, and with dedication and perseverance, I hope to have this quixotic project completed in, say, 4 years.

This will take planning, patience, and a liver of gargantuan proportions. I think we're set.

First off, we will need to establish some ground rules:

1) I will attempt to brew 80 styles of beer as recognized by the BJCP 2004 style guidelines. I will be required to re-brew only if a) the beer is wildly not to style or b) faulty.

2) I will brew all these beers "The hard way" which means that I will be "mashing" at least partially for each beer. If I miss my gravity by enough points, I will feel free to hit my beer with some malt extract, but every beer will be mashed.

3) If there is an option of brewing one beer and using two yeasts to make two distinct styles (eg. American Wheat, Weizenbier) I am so totally allowed.

4) Beers brewed off of the "Big Brew" will count towards the total.

5) No repeats until all the styles have been brewed. If that means that I spend 3 months drinking nothing but barleywine and straight lambic, that's my own bad planning and bad luck.

This means that I will need to pick up certain things over the next little while to make things easier, and if you happen to have any of these things lying around that you want to get rid of, let me know.

-I will need an external thermostat for my little chest freezer so that I can start lagering my beers. I had better get this set up soonish so that I don't wind up lagering a ton of beer all at the end.
-I will need to set myself up with a keg system shortly thereafter, because I can fit 2 corny kegs in that freezer, but only one carboy, and also because kegs kick ass.
-I will need a grain mill so that I can, well, grind my grain.
-I will need something to placate my wife, she is bound to get pissed at me soon.

There has to be a strategy here, to keep me from drinking horribly unsuitable beers, for example having too much barleywine and dopplebock in the summer, or heffeweizen in the winter.

The first three beers will be as follows:
8A Ordinary Bitter (already brewed, turned out nice)
15A Heffeweizen (May 6, big Brew)
16A Belgian Wit (May 6, big brew)

Then I need to come up with a plan for the next few. The next brewing session I will do will be the June 1 weekend. That beer will be the first beer that I am brewing specifically to meet my new goal, and as such I want to start with a bang. I want to make something that will be good to drink through the tail end of summer (the heffeweizen and wit will be great for this too)

I will be thinking about his for a while, I think.

Tonight- Curry

Tonight I will be making a supper to remedy the excessively traditional Easter dinners we have been eating. Three days of variations on the theme, "Roast meat, mashed potatoes, token vegetable, dessert." Tonight we will have Aloo Chaat, Chicken Tikka Massala, Raita, some kind of Dal, pappadams, and either rice or homemade roti (I haven't decided). In case you hadn't noticed, I am cooking somewhat for the leftovers and lunches.

In other news, we are only 7 weeks away from taking possession of our house, which is kinda scary in itself. I realize that I still need to do certain things:

1) Hire the truck;
2) Get a carpet cleaner;
3) panic that I am about to get into the lifestyle of a genuine adult, rather than the arrested adolescence of a perpetual student.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Idiot wins darwin award!

So the stuff last night turns out not to be a stabbing (you could understand our suspicions with a dead body in a pool of blood next door in front of the lobby).

Turns out we have a new winner in the April 2007 runoff (qualifying round-Canada) for the Darwin Awards!

Buddy came home, had locked himself out of his apartment. Instead of paying the $20.00 lockout fee (not that there is a number now to contact a security guard to provide lockout service, or, you know, security) he pounded on his next-door neighbour's door at 1:30 in the morning until the guy let him in, and climbed out on the balcony and tried to get onto his balcony and into his apartment. Instead, he fell 150 feet straight down onto the concrete in front of the building, being killed instantly.

What does this teach us?

#1: You are not a ninja.

#2: Falling can kill you.

#3: You need to have a key-buddy, or at least a current number for building security.

#4: You are not a ninja.

#5: If someone is pounding on your door at 1:30 in the morning because he has lost his keys and locked himself out of his apartment, he probably isn't smart enough to climb over your balcony without killing himself. Just don't let him in.

More flashing lights in the night

We would never noticed, had it not been for the fire alarm being pulled this 1:45 AM on Good Friday, that there were 8 cop cars, police tape, and film crews in front of the building next door, 6 floors and 40 lateral feet from our bedroom window. Some poor bastard had gone and got himself stabbed next to where I sleep. We will update when we read the news tomorrow.

The other news for the weekend is that we come one step closer to being homeowners. We will at least have the mortgage signed up. What joy.

Seeing all the cops roaring up next door and waving guns around, we decided to treat this not as a fire alarm but as a lockdown, not wanting to be shot or stabbed ourselves, and knowing that before any fire could get to our unit, we could get off the balcony on a ladder truck.

Anyway, we have almost decided to stop paying attention to the fire alarm. It just seems to be an inconvenient side effect of living in an apartment building. Every now and then it gets loud because of some drunk wanker. Then someone gets stabbed.