Monday, June 30, 2008

More boring things that only interest me

This Canada Day weekend, I have worked on finishing my thesis (target date: Wednesday) and made two batches of beer, an Oatmeal Stout and Southern English Brown Ale This brings me to a total of 7 of 80, or almost 10% of the way to my goal. The addition of an electronic thermometer has really helped to have the beer turn out properly. Bottling of the Special bitter will be next weekend, and if i have enough bottles, I will bottle the stout too.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Our latest happenings and some beer

Just to keep people up to date, Jenn returned safely from the United states, although not without incident. Due to construction in Chicago, her bus from South Bend was delayed by almost an hour and she missed her check-in for the flight to Calgary. You can imagine the stream of increasingly agitated texts that I got. The good folks at United Airlines were good enough to stand her by for the direct flight to Edmonton leaving three hours later, which still had her home 45 minutes early. The bottom line there is that the only reason she wasn't on that flight in the first place was because it would have been an extra $300 if we had booked it that way.

When she got home, Jenn started in on Physio for her arm, which has been going well - and her arm is now out of the sling most of the time. She did have a bad ear infection, a flu, and what appears now to be a lung infection. I haven't caught any of this yet, but I assume it is only a matter of time until I do.

Jenn's work has been winding down as she is now supervising exams and shutting down the classroom for the summer. She won't be taking over the Mat Leave she had been promised and pressured to take, because they found a Catholic candidate at the last minute. She has, however, set up a program where she will be teaching band for distance-learning students throughout Edmonton, which means that she has a foot in the door at Edmonton Public. She has also applied to teach summer school and to do a few other sundry things to scrape together what (If I were to be earning it) I would call Beer Money, but I'm sure she would be more likely to spend on other more useful things.

At my work, a new articling student started at the beginning of the week, which has been kind of interesting. It really makes you appreciate how steep the learning curve was for you at the start of your career to see someone else go through it. I have also started taking new clients again for the first time in about three months.

Finally the beer News - After careful consideration of our ongoing likelihood of selling the house on any given day, I decided that my need to make my own beer outweighed my need for a spotless house, and I had Nick the Mighty Brewer over for some brewing. We hit Style 8B (English Special Bitter) with the following recipe:

4.4 KG 2 row pale malt
227 G Dark Munich
227 G Med Crystal
60 G Chocolate Malt

Single infusion Mash at 153 F

11 G Warrior @ 16.3% 60 Min
11 G Fuggles @ 4.5% & 7 G Hallertau @ 3.7% 20 Minutes
11 G Fuggles @ 4.5% & 7 G Hallertau @ 3.7% 1 minute

It seems pretty good so far. I'll let you know when I bottle if it tastes any good.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Embracing a different lifestyle

For the next three days, I will be embracing the "no-wife-at-home" lifestyle, which I can confirm isn't as much fun as the "my wife is in the same city as me" lifestyle. I don't handle these brief returns to single life particularly well, being a big needy tool like I am. While many men might relish a few days away from the old ball-and-chain, I rather dread the backslide into unfortunate single-life habits that actually living with someone prevents. For one thing, I haven't had any vegetables today. In fact, I think I will go eat some fruit just to keep from going totally feral. I feel a bit like Red Foreman when he said, "What is it God? It's Okay to eat meat and beer and cheese? Okay, I'll tell her..."

The trip to the Airport started out all wrong, with Jenn leaving her tickets and documents on the kitchen counter. I'm glad she had remembered to pack her passport, because I forgot to check for it on my trip back into the house to find the tickets.

On top of my already starting to live like a university student who has been turned loose in a friend's parent's house for the weekend unsupervised with a key to the liquor cabinet, to make matters worse, the text messages I am getting from Jenn are becoming increasingly alarming.

15:51 "Hey, I arrived at ND... Everyone was in the basement because of the severe tornado warning..."

16:44 "Can you contact the travel medical insurance people for me, I think I need to go to the hospital..."

18:00 "I'm a the hospital, and there are injured babies all over the place..."

The trip to the hospital is unrelated to the tornadoes, - ear infection - but I'm not sure about the injured babies. I keep expecting to turn on the news and see that the dead are rising from the grave to feast on the flesh of the living in Indiana. I'm just glad we chunked the extra $22.00 for the travel medical... I don't relish the thought of an un-insured hospital trip in the good-old USA.

This does have the effect of making the third trip to the hospital, and as we all know, bad things come in threes. My finger, Jenn's Shoulder, Jenn's ear. Now we should be clear for at least a month without going to any emergency rooms.

And now, for just a bit of out-shouting, for some generally unrecognized co-bloggers and friends who deserve some recognition, especially as I don't blog too much these days, and I don't have the long distance plan to call them anymore:

Malcolm, you old giant, next time I'm in town we're hitting Wild Rose, I met one of the higher-ups at a beer judging, and I am commanded to show up for a pint at the taproom.

Speaking of Brewers, Brian - congratulations on finishing your exams.

Ms. Mayhem, as you are now my official Vancouver connection, you may be imposed upon to direct me to excellent sushi and Indian next time I am in town. Take Heed. Also hug Mr. Tall for me next time you see him.

My Brother Doesn't
Update His Blog Very Much
Even Though he should.

Fabsuz - I promise to show you a good time next time you are in Edmonton - and don't give me that "I'm not going to be there" crap... we know that is all lies.

and to Dree and Goose, who prove that a friend you haven't met is not necessarily a stranger,
Dree: I look forward to seeing the upcoming knitting, I am strongly considering compounding the interest on the beer you owe me and taking it in the form of mittens and a place to stay the next time I am coming to the festival in Canso, and

Goose: You are in our (choose one - completely secular thoughts / prayers - whichever you would prefer.) as you welcome Fetus into non-fetus status.

Jenn just texted me an update telling me that
1) Yes, she has an ear infection.
2) It would have ruptured by morning.
3) She has seen the doctor and Pharmacist.
4) Drug prices in the US are unconcionable.

So if all of you can keep us in your (totally secular thoughts/prayers) (at your discretion) It would be much appreciated at this, our time of ear infections and separation.