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Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Most Interesting Election Cyle......Ever

If you enjoy politics as a spectator sport, then this the year for you. The Donald, Crooked Hillary, Gary the cannabis CEO, Dr. Stein. This is going to be fun to watch.

I watched a town hall with Jill Stein on CNN last night, and I was impressed. I still intend to vote for Johnson, but in the unlikely event she wins, she would be a President I could respect. That makes two.

I'm very pleased that someone else has picked up the "wasted vote" theme. I find it repugnant that somebody would vote "against" someone, instead of "for" the person they want. I realize full well my vote for Johnson may not help much. But, I didn't vote for Nixon, either. My conscience is clear.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Here It Is!!

And, here's the label for my newest beer.

I'm calling it Non-Sequitur Ale, A Black IPA. I'm sure you can figure out the connection.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Back To Beer

I've moved. Yes, I know, the title says "Back To Beer". Bear with me.

Over the last several years, I've become disabled, I need assistance walking, I no longer drive, or work. I now brew 2-gallon batches, instead of 5. One concern I had about the move was, "Can I brew in the new place?" I'm happy to say, I can.

In fact, there are several things easier. The kitchen is smaller, so there's always something nearby to hold onto. We have a large closet, with enough room for 2 fermenters, and all my brewstuff. It's much cheaper to rent and heat, which means more money for beer. I don't have to work, which leaves more time to plan, and make, beer.

My first two are a black IPA with rye, and a smoked pale ale. Since this is senior housing, I don't know how many beer drinkers there are, but I intend to find out.

With the extra fundage, I was able to purchase two more cankits, both pale ales. I intend to add molasses to one, and probably brew the other straight.

Think I'm gonna like it here.

Friday, July 15, 2016

You Have A Choice!

It's not just Trump or Clinton. If you want to vote for one or the other, you can stop reading. I'm not voting for either one. After the Lewinski affair, I can't vote for anyone named Clinton. I simply can't see that man getting that close to the seat of power again. And Trump? His speeches have alienated nearly every minority in the country. I simply don't understand why anyone would even consider him.

There are many other choices.

If you look at this site, you can see the full range of candidates running. Do your homework. Read, listen, find someone you can be comfortable with. Don't just "hold your nose" and cast your vote. Make a choice you can be proud of.

I think this may be our single best chance to really make ourselves heard, and have somebody in office who is actually our choice.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

How's This For A Choice?

I've been following the political contests with a lot of interest (partially morbid). The Democrats are having a race down to the wire between Bernie Sanders, an avowed Socialist (I don't mean that as bad as it may sound. He's actually my second favorite.) and Hillary Clinton. I cannot see another Clinton in the White House. The morals of her husband were atrocious. I have serious doubts about the marriage dynamic, and her moral foundation.

The Republicans are about to nominate Donald Trump. I regard him as one of the worst candidates in modern history. I've listened to his stump speech. He says how much he loves where ever he is. He says he'll have an incredible administration. No programs, no proposals, no initiatives, no ideas. He sounds like the old Whig party; all slogan, but nothing concrete.

It really looks like our choice is going to come down to Trump or Clinton. Or, is it?

I sincerely think it's time to look at another party for Presidential material. We've had other parties in the past, so it wouldn't be a first. The Federalists, Democratic-Republicans, and Whigs have all been in play. Perhaps it's time for another new party to make a national appearance.

I can hear you. You're saying, "But, I don't want to waste my vote!" I w3ould submit to you that wasting your vote is casting it for someone you don't want. If the person you voted for doesn't win, you didn't waste your vote. You were just outvoted. That's how democracy works. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

Cast your vote for who you really want; Trump,  Clinton, Sanders, Johnson, or whoever might be on the ballot. And let happen what will happen.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

I Miss My Dad

My father passed away on February 2, 2016. I loved him. I miss him. I think I always will.

I have no idea if anyone else feels this way. I don't know if anyone else has ever felt this way. But, I know how I feel right now, and, well, there are better ways to feel.

Please, don't misunderstand. I'm not a danger to myself, or anyone around me. I don't intend to do anything stupid. (Or at least, any stupider than the stuff I normally do.)

It's just that, at times, even if I'm really enjoying myself, I look around, and he's not there. I'm 62, and he's always been there. The feeling that my dad isn't here, and never will be again, leaves...something. A void? A hole? An emptiness, yes, an emptiness. A very important piece of my life is suddenly missing.

My full name is Joseph Michael Labeck, Junior. I carry far more than my dad's name. So much of what he was, how he felt, how he related to people, is here in me. I have often said that there were three major influences on my life. First on the list was always Dad.

I've always loved you, Dad. I'll always miss you. I always wanted you to be proud of me, and I'll never stop trying.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

New Brewery!

I come from a beer family. We drink beer, we make beer, I like to think we know beer. When a new brewery opened it's doors in Waterbury, and one of the family invited me to try them out, well, how could I refuse?

The Brassworks Brewery sits in an unassuming corner of an unassuming industrial park on Thomaston Avenue in Waterbury, Connecticut. You can find the startup story (told better than I ever could) at

They don't serve food, but they have made arrangements to have different food trucks onsite whenever they're open. When we were there, they had actual wood-fired pizza, from a mobile brick oven...YUM!

Beside myself, My niece Emily, her husband Tom, my nephew John, his wife LeAnne, my nephew Rob, my sister Betsy, and her husband Tom were all there. Everyone had different beers and different pizzas. The result was that I, um, drank a bit too much, and ate nearly as much. Since I didn't drive, everything was fine. And the beers and pizzas were all excellent.
I started out with a sampler of 5 beers: bitter, blond ale, pale ale, amber ale, and porter. I asked the owners about the choices for the sampler. They replied that their intention was to get people out of the "Bud rut".

As I worked my way through the sampler, I was struck by a couple of things. First, every beer, as near as I could tell, was a faithful representation of its style. Second, nearly every beer was made with an interesting twist.

The bitter was very much a classic English drink; low alcohol, minimal hop character, very refreshing. It had an unusual fruitiness, though, making this a different take on an old-timey drink. The blond ale reminded me very much of my own attempt at making an American ale. Think of Ballantine, with more hops. The pale ale just plain nailed it. A strong malt backbone, assertive hop flavor and aroma would make this a good companion to almost any meal. The amber ale tilted slightly to the sweet side, showcasing the malt, while not ignoring the hops, which still showed up. Last was a classic brown porter. Caramelized fruit, vanilla, just enough hops, made this an ideal drink to enjoy on a late fall evening by a roaring fire.

I had sips of many of the beers surrounding me. I tried an IPA, a coffee porter, a stout, a brown ale, all excellent, all tasty.

Bottom line? If you like beer, if you like trying different tastes, is you like people, you should try this place. I would recommend it to anyone.