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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Good To Have Friends

An old friend of mine sent me this graphic (Thanks, again, Ed.)

Some of these were old news, while others I was unaware of. It's a really neat poster.

I don't mind being told stuff I already knew, especially if it's done in a new way.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy

I thought about separating this into two articles. But, I figured, what the hell, it's all connected, anyway. So, here goes.

It's very rare that I'm ever stuck for what to brew next. In fact, I often have my next 3 or 4 brews all set to go. This time, however, it came time to brew, and I had NO idea what to do. I knew I wanted to continue alternating dark and light colored beers. I knew I wanted to make something a bit stronger for fall. After that, nothing.

As I often do when I'm confused, I reached out to my lovely daughter-in-law, and asked if she had any ideas. Bless her soul, she immediately came back with some wonderful inspiration.

The result? I'm making a chocolate-macadamia porter and a maple-oak amber ale. If the taste comes anywhere near what I anticipate, they won't last long.

Shortly after that episode, the same young lady sent me a link for  a home brew competition at a local restaurant.

The wheels in my head started turning, and I thought, "Well, how cool is that?" I've got two new beers lined up, and a competition to enter one in.

Now, all I have to do is get them both made, decide which is best, and submit my entry. If you're interested in doing this yourself, here's a link to their site.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Some Things Are Always True

This will be another non-beer post. I'll get back to brewing shortly.

From 1970 to 1972, I spent some of the best years of my youth. Those three years, I worked summers at the local Boy Scout camp; Camp Mattatuck, in Plymouth, CT. I worked in Scoutcraft, teaching boys the various skills of Scouting; handling outdoor tools safely, building fires, cooking, recognizing stars. etc.

I'm now 61, and those lessons I taught, and learned, have stayed with me throughout my various careers and ventures.

I recently had the opportunity to reconnect with that past. An organization called The Mattatuck Volunteers puts on an annual dinner at the camp. It's partly a fundraiser, and the money is used to maintain and improve the camp. It's also a chance to see old friends, and catch up on each other's lives.(

I  had the chance to see old friends I had stayed in touch with, and re-connect with some who had drifted away. I can't find anything bad to say. The atmosphere was relaxed, the company was wonderful, and the dinner was delicious. In short, it was an evening I'll always remember, at least until next year.

After dinner there was a silent auction and a raffle. (OK, there's something bad. I didn't win anything!) Prizes were all worthwhile and fun, and there were plenty of winners.

As we went our separate ways for the night, I was struck once again by a thought that keeps re-occurring. My last year working there was 1972. My last year in Scouting was sometime in the 80's or 90's. After all this time, that place, and that organization, still have a hold on me.