Monday, April 30, 2007

What a lazy weekend

I didn't do much this weekend. Neither did my boyfriend. We ended up lazing around for almost all of saturday. I did manage to get back to feed the cat, clean up the fermentor, pick up the keg from work and help a co-worker with access issues. Other than that, the most productive thing I did was throwing some ribs and potatoes in the oven for supper. For some reason, my boyfriend was totally wiped out on saturday. He had no energy and ended up sleeping for most of saturday. He suspects that something disagreed with him, but I think the work week disagreed with him. I wasn't that much better. I couldn't sleep but I did sit in front of the TV and veg out, something I don't normally do since I don't have cable or a TV that is plugged in.

Sunday was a little better. We did make it out to watch a movie, Next, then we went to a little Thai place around the corner. It really wasn't that good. I don't think we will be eating there again. And after all that lazing around I still managed to get to bed late and slept poorly. The alarm went off much too early. I am still not getting used to starting work at 7:30ish especially when I work until 4:00 or later depending on when he finishes. It is nice that we work around the corner from each other.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Journal Pub

We had a real nice group of people show up this time. I decided I didn't like the fact that the mailing list was only sent to grad students while encouraging everyone to come. So since I managed to get my hands on the list, I sent out a mass mailing and told everyone who was interested that they had to opt into the list. That helped whittle down the 600 address list and also made sure that only people who are interested will continue receiving the email. I also sent the email out to the two major departments which should account for most of the people in the area. The turn out was good especially since there were other parties that day.

Today was the day I unveiled the Holy Moly IPA. This was a little too bitter for my tastes but everyone who tried it seemed to like it. It also turned out much darker than I expected, especially since IPA are supposed to be Pale. I will likely be bringing out the Jalepeno IPA next week as I noticed that one of the kegs was low and it will be ready. I will need to pick up another tap but that can wait. So I have to empty the last little bit from the keg into bottles then get the JIPA in and get the keg back down to the school. Since there is construction on my street with no day parking, this could be tricky if I don't want to loose my parking on a side street. Maybe I will just wait until the weekend.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

6 Miles

I had a chance to try organizing my very own hike on the group I am a part of. I decided to pick something relatively easy with a shelter nearby. I opted for a hike that was about one and a half hours drive away and a shelter 3 miles off the trail. The 3 miles was to try to avoid kids who sometimes hike in with beer looking for a good time. The hike ended up being very nice. I had 3 other people show up for the hike and the shelter was very nice. Unfortunately the 3 mile hike in was a little harder than I remember it being. I think that when I was through the area on my thru-hike I was in much better shape. So we did fight to get up the hill but it was definitely worth it. It turned out to be just the 4 of us at the shelter and the night sky was crystal clear. The spring was slow but cold. The temperatures were a little hot during the day but it cooled off nicely in the evening.

For a first backpacking trip of the year this was a great hike. I did pick up some redness from the sun, as there were no leaves out yet so very little shade was available. Also the bugs were out and just starting to become pests so time to dig out the bug dope. I did try a natural bug dope with citronella in it and it was very nice, Badger brand. I think I am going to pick some up before the next trip out. The feet are a little tender and the muscles are tired. No soreness yet but that might kick in tomorrow. I did try to remember to stretch some so I am hoping to not become too sore. Can't wait to get out on a longer more involved hike.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Thank goodness its Friday

For some reason this week has passed exceedingly slowly and yet I alsmost can't believe its Friday. My boyfriend was out of commission for two days with back pain. It is slowly getting better and he is back at work but I felt a little bad leaving him alone at my place with nothing to do. He said the sleep did him good. I think the cat really liked the company. I do feel bad for the cat as I don't make it home very much anymore and I will be out camping this weekend.

I am organizing my first backpacking trip of the year. I was added to the meetup group as an assistant organizer so I have the power to add my own event. I have three other people who are interested in going. I set it up as an easy hike. Just in to a nearby shelter, spend the night then back out. This gives me a chance to break in my feet to my sandals and test several pieces of gear at once. I have a backpack and bivy to test as well as soft shell rain coat and pants.

The fermentation on the second batch of beer went faster than the first batch, which is what I was hoping for. So I am hoping that tonight I can get the third batch on and set up for a hike. I am hoping to find time to run to the beer store as the chocolate extract finally came in for my chocolate stout. I also finally ordered my beer brewing books. I ended up getting Brewing Great Beers and Radical Brewing. Both looked very good and I can't wait to really start reading them. I am not sure where I am going to find the time for that but I am sure I can squeeze it in somewhere.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Holy Moly IPA

I put on a new batch of beer about 1 week ago. The experiment of the week was that I was going to move the 1st beer to secondary then put a new batch of beer on the old beers yeast cake. The idea behind this is to reuse yeast (the Wyeast I am using is rather expensive) but the main reason for doing this is that the yeast that is left behind is already primed and at its most active. By putting another beer on top of this activated yeast, the fermentation time should be less. I moved the Holy Moly IPA on Sunday and brewed a quick extraction beer, meaning a shorter boil time and no grains to slow me down. The second beer is another jalepeno beer since everyone at Journal Pub has been requesting more. The fermentation on the second beer seems to be finishing up and it has only been three days. The beer is still a little cloudy but another day or two and it will be ready for secondary. I am then going to rack another beer onto the yeast cake and see if I can get a third beer out of the same yeast. It may not have been a good idea to brew a spicy beer between two non-spicy beers. I am also not sure what the yeast can handle in terms of spice. But so far so good. Since I am actually getting a few bucks from the Journal Pub, I might as well make the drinkers happy. It isn't much but it covers ingredients.

I got news that the chocolate extract is in and available so I will be picking that up shortly and will see how the stout tastes as a chocolate. I will also pick up the remaining ingredients for making a mead and will put that on when a fermentor becomes available. The next batch will then be the cranberry honey white that I have had on the back burner for awhile. I have all the ingredients but I am waiting for space and a fermentor.

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Tax Time

So once again it is tax time. This year the tax deadline is the 17th of April. So I carefully did all my taxes ahaead of time then mailed them in yesterday, almost at the last minute. I also found out I filled out my previous years incorrectly so I decided to go back and take a look at them. In the end I filled out 7 tax forms this year. I revisited the 2003 tax year as the statue was expiring this year. I think I might have posted it 1 day late but I hope they don't notice, especially since it was a nice chunk back to me. I will be revisiting 2004 and 2005 over the next month and see if any of those are affected too. Maybe I can get more back, which would be nice. I am actually getting a nice chunk back from all the returns and I am trying to decide what to do with the money. I am set for beer supplies, I continually receive new hiking gear for testing. So either I can invest it or look into kayaking equiment and invest what is left. My savings account has been growing nicely and even if nothing is left from my return, I can possibly start moving some savings into an investment account anyways. The boss has also said he wants to put in for a raise for me so that will help with the savings and investments.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Lazy rainy weekend

What a lazy weekend. It rained for most of Saturday afternoon and into Sunday. It didn't help that I wasn't feeling good and my boyfriend had a sore throat. We ended up sleeping in and getting almost nothing done. It was quite relaxing but I felt really lazy for having done very little. We did manage a little shopping and then caught a movie.

I had a chance to get my new rain coat that I am testing wet this weekend. The reports are due soon on the coat and matching pants so I need to finish them and get them in. I am testing a GoLite soft shell rain coat and pants set. The set is interesting because the inside and outside of the jacket and pants are made of a brush nylon. It really does not look like a traditional rain coat and neither does it feel like one. They are relatively quite when I move and are soft to the touch. The pants are stand alone rather then a shell and the jacket is comfortable enough to wear just a t-shirt under and not have to worry about sticking to the inside. I really can't wait to really get these items out on a hard hike with rain. What has me wondering is how much it really can stop rain from seeping in through the fabric.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007


The movie of the week this week was Shooter with Mark Wahlberg. Wahlberg is a Marine snipper whose position becomes compromised. He looses his best friend and spotter and finds out that they have been left behind. He gets back to society and retires form the force to persue a better and simpler life. The story to this point was interesting and full of potential. The story after this point seemed a little lacking after the great start. I still enjoyed the movie and the special effects. The story picks up three years later when Walhberg is asked to plan an assassination against the president then help prevent it. The shot is to be taken from a great distance. After the shot, Wahlberg's character is framed for the attempted assassination which killed an innocent bystander. From this point Wahlberg is either running or planning retribution for being set up. There were few points were the movie didn't move forward and plot holes were answered by a secondary support character. It all came together nicely in the end for a satisfying movie experience.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A nice long weekend

So Friday was a holiday. I worked anyways so I could take Monday off. My parents came down to visit with me. They arrived Friday night and left this morning. It felt like all we did was shop but we did spend lots of time together and in the evenings we sat and talked. Only because I have no TV but it was good quality time together. My boyfriend got back Sunday night and we all had a chance to get together Sunday for supper and Monday after work he came over for supper again. They seemed happy that I found someone that they liked. I was also saved from another night on the floor. My camping air mattress is comfortable but to a point. If I can avoid the floor, I am happier. Also, it keeps the cat out of my face.

I brought home some of the kegs and my father had a chance to taste two of the three beers I had on tap. I also bottled some for my brother to try later. Hopefully the bottle didn't cause a loss of too much carbonation. I had to chill the bottles and drop the pressure in the keg enough to dispense without causing too much foaming up. I think I am slowly getting the hang of working the kegs. I put another batch of beer on, more like an IPA. I have one empty keg available so I should look into another tap then I am set. I have ingredients for another two batches of IPA style beers that I will run back to back on the same yeast cake. They I will be moving on to a cranberry honey white and a mead. I have the honey and I have the yeast, all I am waiting for is a fermentor to become free for a long term fermentation.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

My poor shaved cat

My poor shaved cat
Originally uploaded by Canadian Loonie.
I just had the cat shaved and while he seemed very unimpressed by the whole thing he does seem happier. I think he is happier because everyone is paying more attention to him now. Beofre I was ignoring him to a point simply because I am not home much but when I am he causes my allergies to act up when I touch him. I need to find another home for him where he can be better appreciated and played with. But at least he is not shedding everywhere now and I can play with him. He is a very cute cat with a great personality. I will be sad to let him go to another home.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Happy Birthday to me!

It's my birthday today and what am I doing to celebrate? How about trying to get my taxes done so I don't have to worry about them. I managed to slog through all 6 forms that I had to fill out. I also found out that I filled out my taxes wrong for the last few years and I should go back and look at them. If I can get a better return then I should amend them too. One of them will have to be done before this years tax deadline. So add two more forms to deal with on top of the 6 I already did. Ugh!

One of the girls in the lab brought in a really nice brownie style cake with rich gooey frosting. They also sang for me, which was slightly embarassing. There goes the diet though. I have been picking up a little weight again over the last month since I haven't been paying attention and since I keep eating out with my boyfriend. It really isn't a lot of weight but it is there and once it start accumulating, if I don't move into attack mode, it will keep accumulating and become even harder to lose. Also, for some reason it seems to accumulate only in my stomach first so my pants are starting to get tight. Good thing hiking season is pretty much upon us here is DC. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous over the last few days. So it is time to get out and scale some mountains and use some of the new gear I just received for testing.

I heard from my parents and my brother today. I also got a birthday card from my grandparents. Very nice. I am wondering though if my boyfriend forgot or is waiting until he gets back from his trip home. I guess I will find out Sunday when he gets back. I won't hold it against him, it is just a day after all. But a simple Happy Birthday phone call would have been nice. Especially since he kept asking me when it was, like he was making a point of remembering it. Maybe he has something up his sleeve.

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