::cookin up some home brew

9 11 2007

A few months ago The Missus and I got together with a couple of friends who are into home brewing, and they showed us the ropes.  We set out to make a stout, and a few weeks later we found that actually made a pretty decent porter.  A pretty good porter, in fact.

So we decided to give it a go ourselves, and this week Christine and I did up our own hard cider.  Five gallons of appley goodness are currently churning in our fridge (cold fermentation is best for cider, you see), and this weekend we’re probably going to have a go at making an ale.  It’s a fun and educational project that the two of us can do together, even with the kids and the dog running around.

If you’ve ever thought about it, I highly recommend giving it a go.  You can get started with a fairly modest investment in equipment (between $50 and $150, depending on how deeply you want to jump in), and some time reading up to decide how and what to brew.






21 09 2007

We’re going camping this weekend–very likely to be the last opportunity to do so of the season.  Lookin’ forward to it.  We went two weeks ago and it was a blast.

Pictures from both trips will be up soon.

What are you doing this weekend?



::9/11 Remodeled

11 09 2007

I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to write for this September 11th for a week or so now. I’m sick to death of politics lately, though, and I really didn’t care to have an entry centered around the Surge or the Senate hearings with General Petraeus, or the latest stupid thing Dubya’s handlers are shaking their heads over.

You can’t talk about September 11th, 2001 without talking about Iraq, no matter how linked they aren’t, and I think anyone who’s read more than two entries is probably pretty clear on how I feel about George dubya.

And what if we disregard Iraq completely and force it out of the conversation like the redheaded stepchild that it is? Then we are left with talking about the new fascism: wiretaps, detainments, deportations, Gitmo, no-fly lists, and whether or not breast milk is a dangerous liquid that should be banned from flights.


So yeah, trying to think of something to say about 9/11 without talking about all that bullshit. Hadn’t really thought of anything.

I thought also about writing about how September 11th really effected me more than I thought it would in the months after that day. Like how every time I happen to look at the clock and see 9:11, I tense up and I feel a lump in my stomach. I don’t know the story behind that one.

I watched Flight 93 on cable the other night. I haven’t cried during a movie in years. Years, I tell you. And not because I try to be some tough guy jagoff who claims to not cry in movies, either. Wanna know something? I cry during TV weddings. Real weddings, too. Even if I don’t like one or more of the people doing the deed. But TV weddings get me too, every time. I don’t have to like them either.

Anyway, Flight 93. I cried, and I really, really didn’t expect to. I didn’t expect there to be such a portrayal of the fear and bravery and simple humanity of those people. I didn’t expect the terrorists to be somewhat human, and they were. To see their own fear of what they were doing was as painful as it was to see everyone else’s fear of what was being done.

I’ve rambled this far and all I’ve really said is that I can’t think of what to say and terrorism is bad.

So anyway.

I got home from work, and went out into the front yard with the two little boys to give The Missus a break for a little while, and all of a sudden Liam decided he wanted to ride his bike. We got him a bike back in March for his 4th birthday, and he’s been a little intimidated by it. He’s only ridden it 2 or 3 times. I don’t want to force the issue and make him learn to ride it. There’s no fun in that. And learning to ride your bike should be fun, so he’ll do it as his own pace.

But today he wanted to ride his bike. So we got it out and washed off the dust and cobwebs, cleaned the helmet and pumped up the tires. Off we went down the street and around the block.

He was very tentative at first, not wanting me to take my hands off the handlebars, and letting out a little whimper with each teeter onto the training wheels. I convinced him he needed to take his eyes off his feet and look where he was going shortly before we got to the corner. Which, being able to see it, he rounded like a pro.

He got a little further, sped up to the point where I let go but stuck close, and then suddenly shouted out, “Yeah for me! I’m doing it! I’m steering!”

I gave him some encouragement of some kind, and then, he said it.

What did he say, you ask?

Almost shaking on the bike with excitement and frothing at the mouth, Liam said:


And I’ll be damned if he’s wrong.

We continue loops around the block for over an hour, with him sometimes having as much as half a block lead on me on looking back.

So fuck September 11th, 2001 and all of it’s tragedy and fascism and machismo and death.

September 11, 2007 is the day my kid decided to learn how to ride his bike.


the best day ever.



::good morning

15 01 2007

today is a good day.

That is all.





30 12 2006

my 11 year-old is reading my blog.



::why i love Pixar

8 12 2006

Liam’s current favorite movie is Toy Story.  He’s all about Woody and Buzz, and often flings himself from the couch telling me he is making a valiant attempt to fall with style.

The other night he runs up to me, grabs my waist and tells me with authority:

“For Christmas I need a good, stiff Woody and a strong, hard Buzz.”

you and me both, kiddo. 




::happy thanksbirthdaygiving

23 11 2006

I used to hate having my birthday fall on Thanksgiving. I don’t like football, as a kid I didn’t like turkey, and I was usually forced to wear an ugly sweater. Nothing’s open.

I still don’t like football too much, but I can deal with it. As an adult I like turkey. When I wear sweaters now, they’re not so bad.  Nothing’s open.  That’s pretty cool.

In my 20’s, I discovered that the bars stay open and that a surprising number of friends will skip out on a Thanksgiving weekend early so they can attend a drug-induced nekkid birthday party.

In my 30’s, I discovered that the kids get incredibly excited about Daddy’s birthday, and  that football is often pre-empted (much to my brother-in-laws’ chagrin) by the animated hijinks of Buzz, Woody, and The Wiggles.

And when the triptophan and wine induced nap is rudely interupted by sons and nephews, a good wrastlin’ match is better than the best high any thanksbirthdaygiving of the year.