Saturday, June 30, 2007

Twelve Years ago today

was the very last time that I saw the Grateful Dead. I still have vivid memories of this event as if it were yesterday. Highlights.....
Missing the scheduled meeting times for my brother at the Roberto Clemente Statue, Riding over to the show and missing Rusted Root as the opener because we got stuck in traffic. Having to drive to the show, due to the fact that the day before Elk totaled his truck when some soccer mom in a min-van collided with him head on up in the Poconos near the speedway. Gibson getting chased by security after he hopped over the wall on the first base line. Doah, then watching him knock over a sign and politely work his way thru the crowd as men in yellow security shirts pursued him.
All those rain songs, and naturally the encore.....Gloria.
Waking up in the tent at 4:00AM with an inch of water inside the tent. Thankfully Gibson brought that air mattress, otherwise we would have gone hypothermic for certain.
Here is the setlist:

Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA (Friday 6/30/95)
Hell In A Bucket
West L.A. Fadeaway
Take Me To The River
Bird Song
Promised Land

Box Of Rain
Samba In The Rain
Looks Like Rain ->
Terrapin ->
Drums ->
Space ->
I Need A Miracle ->
Standing On The Moon

E: Gloria
God bless the Grateful Dead!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Feeling Surly

I'm not usually like this, but today I am feeling awfully surly. Perhaps it may have something to do with staying up late last night carrying on with Iz and Patty, or maybe it was the combination of homebrew and old chub? At any rate I will plan on doing my best to avoid those people that have a tendency to push my buttons.
Due to last weekends SNAFU in the brewery I will be making another Imperial Stout this weekend. This beer will then be blended with last weeks Imperial Stout to make a total of 20 gallons. With any luck this will make something more drinkable, and enjoyable for mid-Winter. I'll also be bottling around 7 cases of this stuff. Bottling can be a PITA, but in this case it will be well worth it.
Matthew Fleming is working his way through the Northeast next week, complete with a stop at our house. It will be great to see Matthew again. Maybe I'll even send him off with some beer for Art.
I'm also sending that old black shogun twelve speed with Shimano 600 components off to Slockwoo. She will be the proud new sponsor of this timeless bicycle.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Haiku Wednesday

End of June is near
Return from vacation bliss.
-Black flies have vanished.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I thought the full moon was this weekend?

My sister hosted a family dinner at her house last night. Little did we know that we would be treated to a very rare astronomical phenomena of a full moon nearly five days ahead of the scheduled full moon this month.

As we were rounding the corner and heading up Oak St. the fellow on the bicycle pictured on the left was also rounding the corner onto Oak from the opposite side At first I thought the guy was just riding topless, but with closer examination, I observed that he was clearly naked, except for his helmet, sunglasses, and cycling shoes. I cheered him on as we walked up the street, then realized that my camera was in my bag. I took advantage of this Brattleboro phenomena and decided to get some footage. Here is a shot of the naked cyclist that rides through town during the summer.
I wonder if he is the Lanterne Rouge from last
years naked crit ?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Brewery SNAFU

There was a total SNAFU in the brewery Saturday night. I brewed an Imperial Stout with a target gravity of 1.080. I missed the mark by a million miles, and came out at around 1.055. My mill efficiency is still crap. Ray suggested .060 which is the space he has his mill set. I have been using .055. This has resulted in around 55% efficiency. I'm going to dial back and plan on using a spacing between .040 -.050 for the next brew. With any luck this will improve my extract efficiency. At any rate I am considering investing in a larger mash tun for future brews in order to meet my high gravity needs.
I'm now planning on making an0ther stout to blend with this one in order to make it drinkable. Back to the drawing board.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Hail, Hail

We cut our vacation short by one day due to the freaky storms that were blowing through Mid-Coast Maine on Friday. The weather turned from voluminous sunshine to thunder, lightning and hail in a matter of minutes. The car was packed, and we headed back to Vermont. Naturally a trip to Maine wouldn't be complete without a visit to Harraseeket lunch and lobster. This place has become a regular stop for us. We also detoured thru Wells to stop at Tully's beer and wine to check out the bottle selection. While I must say it's list of Belgian beers was quite impressive, its overall beer selection doesn't beat Ryan and Casey's in Greenfield, MA which by the way is a whole lot closer.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy Solstice!

The family checked out Friday and headed up to South Bristol, Maine for the week. We brought my mother along. My in-laws will also be joining us for a few days. This has been a very fun week. We checked out the grand opening of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens down in Boothbay which is a must see for anyone visiting the area. Grace and my mom also enjoyed their first whale watch on Monday. The highlight of the watch was seeing a Minke Whale.

It's been a fun filled family style week of Beach, Sun, Water, Beer, Lobster, and some limited cycling. I'm enjoying some Hugh Malone as I blog today. More lobstah tonight!

We had our date night on Wednesday. Last week before our trip Michael and Beth had recommended Primo which is in Rockland. We didn't feel up for the drive so instead we decided to check out a new place in Damariscotta that opened last August. It's called 74 Main and it was as good as the Sierra Grille down in Northampton.

This morning we hit the beach from 10 to 1. Hot and sunny, but with the water temps at 55f, I refrained from going under all the way. Maybe I'll go under tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Vacation Haiku

Lazy Summer day
Paddling Poor house Cove
-Swat that mosquito.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Crack in the road partly fixed

They started to pave Route 5 between Bellows Falls and Putney. The crack in the road is now intermittent. The shoulder is still non-existent, but hey at least some of the road is paved up real nice. I'm riding home today. In the past month and a half I have logged 150 miles commuting. I'm so happy to back on my bike on a regular basis.

Happy Birthday Gus! If you see Gus wish him a happy Birthday, He's 41 today.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Haiku Wednesday

Steamy Summer day
Gently blowing breeze cools me.
-Black fly in my eye.

Last week's Haiku was chosen by the Green Mountain Club to promote their Blackfly Haiku contest. My poetry has moved beyond the blog. Check it out.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Fishing, the Farmers Market, and a night off

The weekend was jam packed with fun and excitement. We all went to the Farmers Market on Saturday, and then did some fishing in the afternoon down at Weatherhead hollow pond. Sunday included a road ride with Murph that involved climbing Huckle Hill from the Vernon, VT side. Who's bright idea was that anyway? It was a suffer-fest for the entire climb. I can attest with 100% certainty that it was the most painful climb of the year for me. I'm looking forward to doing it again soon I returned home from the ride just in time to hop in the car and head up to the Agoki farm open house...err open farm?
Akaogi Farm is providing our CSA this year, and she opens her farm twice in the summer for visitors to come and enjoy the intricate workings off her farm.
Iz gave me the night off Sunday night so Invited Mr. Mann and Murph over to watch San Antonio destroy the Cavaliers. I hear Michael Fuller has tickets for Tuesday and Wednesday nights game.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Near Capacity

The brewery was almost at 100% capacity for a brief moment on Friday night. I brewed up my pale ale recipe with a new twist. During this experiment I tried out a new hop. I used Amarillo hops for middle, late, and knockout additions. This hop smells delicious and I'm pretty certain it will help in making some fine beer. Once again I undershot my gravity on the Pale ale. Luckily I did cut back the IBU's so it won't be super bitter. My math has to be off, as the grist looked fine, and the lauter went swimmingly. My sister is supposed to bring back some Dark Belgian Candy syrup from her visit to PA this weekend. If all goes well I may attempt to brew a Belgian Dubbel Friday night with this adjunct.

Friday, June 08, 2007

More Beer!

We are going to be on vacation soon, and I feel the need to fill up the fermenters before we take off. Friday I am planning on brewing up some beer, likely some more pale ale. I have Thirty gallons that needs to be racked, and 10 gallons to be brewed. If I play my cards right, I will have a plethora of fresh beer awaiting my return from vacation. I love beer.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Spontaneous decisions

Iz and I had a date last night. Spontaneously my sister called and wanted to pick up the girls from school. This lead to another spontaneous act of Iz and I going out to dinner, which lead to a third spontaneous act of eating at Capers. The food was delicious, and the timing couldn't have been more perfect.
It's off to Cousin Eric's for a mini-family reunion today. It will be an abundance of cousins.
Speaking of spontaneous, I think I'll make some beer Friday night, and get the Fermenters totally rockin' before vacation.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Haiku Wednesday

Bagging peaks in June.
-Black flies nibbling my ear.
Pass the bug dope please.

Inflatable Fun

Here are some shots from the post Cow Parade activities. The strolling of the heifers was an absolute hoot.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Time in a Vacuum

Seems like just a few days ago I was waist deep in the White Mountains post-holing my way to the top of Mount Washington for some fine spring riding.
The month of May has flashed before my eyes, and it would seem that June is hot on it's heels. I found myself planning the first full week of the month, and then gasping at the calendar in awe as the dates keep filling up with activities and plans. Some days I wonder where all the time goes. This encourages me to continue living in the moment. If you have children take the time to snuggle up with your children, hug them, and let them know how much they are loved. If your parents are still around, give them a call just to say hello. Let your partner know how much they are loved as well. It's just one of them days.

Monday, June 04, 2007

At least I'm enjoying the ride

The commute home is not the ideal bike ride, but it certainly beats not riding the bike. After a few more rides, and some more miles under my belt I may decide to switch up my ride and head home through Saxtons River, and possibly climb the hill over Kurn Hatten to get myself home. At any rate, I think I'll be ready to switch up my route soon. There is a lot going on this week, and it will certainly be a challenge for me to find a way to get on my bike two more times this week. With some creative planning, flexibility, and luck I think I may be able to fit in 50 more miles before Friday.
With that said my road bike is here at the office today just waiting for the opportunity to get pedaled home.

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Imperial Stout

It seems as thought I have been designing an Imperial Stout for months. It all may very well come to fruition this weekend when I actually attempt making quite possibly the biggest beer I have ever brewed since I made a Barley wine in December of 1995. Fitting it in this weekend may be a challenge since Iz is subbing at the coop this weekend, and the schedule is jam packed with activities. The back up plan is Monday night.
Here is a rough draft of the profile for My first Imperial Stout.

Fool in the rain

I checked the weather radar before I left the office yesterday, and it looked like smooth sailing from Bellows Falls to Brattleboro for the commute home. I got to the Putney town-line and encountered a deluge of rain, along with a few claps of thunder. Hmmm, I was petty much caught out in the open with nowhere to go. I thought about calling Iz for ride support, but decided to tough it out and enjoy the ride home in the pouring rain, aside from the part where I came screaming down the hill into Putney getting pelted by raindrops, the the ride good.
After I arrived home, I hosed off the bike, then myself, and Iz and I headed over to PH for some conversation, light fare, and a few glasses of wine.
Iz is working at the coop tonight, and the girls and I are headed to my mother in laws' piano recital for her students. With any luck, I'll be able to get the kids to bed relatively early so I may be able to watch the Sox-Yankees game tonight.