Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Grey Cup Weekend

It was a long weekend.  Not very relaxing.  On the up side, on Sunday, Nick and I fired up a batch of Beer - 8 C Extra Special Bitter - which means that we have finished one entire category of beer from the list - English pale ale.  It smells really good, too.

I have also managed to lay my hands on some English "special Roast" and "Brown Malt" which will expand some of the types of beer I can make right now.  That having been said, I am thinking of trying to brew some lager this winter as one corner of my basement is reliably about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so that opens up a large portion of previously accessed beers.

Also fun is the fact that I seem to be settling files at a tremendous rate, so that I might have room to take on new clients after Christmas.  

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Maybe I can use this parchment to keep cookies from sticking...

So here I am, with yet another university degree on my wall.  BA, LLB, LLM.  How does this affect my life?  New business cards.  Any other way?  Not really.  I'm published in the library of Parliament, does that count?

To celebrate, gonna make beer and watch the Grey Cup.  Not quite sure what kind of beer yet.  Maybe ESB, maybe porter.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Christmas shopping and beer

Yesterday, Jenn and I celebrated our Sunday by going to Costco and doing our Christmas shopping.  There are few things I like more than going to Costco at Christmas and finding some of the best and most acclaimed books of the year (and I am thinking particularly of cookbooks) for about half of what I would pay anywhere else.  I also love it when their cheese selection goes from 20 to 60 overnight.  That makes me happy.

When we got home, Jenn helped me to bottle two batches of beer, an Imperial (or double) India Pale Ale, clocking in at 7.3% ABV and well over 100 IBU, which had a lovely grapefruit aroma and is called Amarillo Sunset, and a Belgian Golden Strong of about 9% which I haven't named yet.  Needless to say, large bottles of these two should be treated with caution.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obligatory Obama Victory Post

I finally feel as though our long global nightmare - the failed experiment called neoconservatism - might starting the slow but inevitable road to the end.  The death-throes might linger, but the next time the same ideas come around, hopefully it will be under some new moniker.  I will be satisfied with a couple of terms of centre-left classical liberalism with some social conscience thrown in for good measure.  

Obama invoked Lincoln, when he spoke about the "Better angels" of America's nature.  It has been a long time since most of the world has seen that from the American administration.  I hope that the new administration can remind the rest of the world what we love about America - not the power or wealth or culture (trust me, it ain't any of those things) - but the real ideology of America that people are basically good, that if left alone most people will do the right thing, and that if you aren't hurting anyone, more power to you.  The Americans I have ever dealt with have been kind, generous, more or less charming, and most have a fascinating optimism about the world and its perfectibility.  I love that.  

I have heard America compared to a big, friendly, badly trained dog.  You might get slobbered on, things might get knocked over or your yard dug up, but mostly intentions are good if you don't annoy it too much.  For too many years, the dog has gone from a friendly pup to a fear-biting and suspicious pound dog.

Lets keep our fingers crossed for the good dog to come back.