Commuting Fun

Commuting from northern new jersey to new york city is always a… challenge. I often have to be somewhere (i.e. a rehearsal) at a specific time, so making train connections is critical. I frequently tell people that if it weren’t for NJ Transit, i’d be in jail for committing road rage-induced murder. Of course, NJT isn’t perfect, but some days, it’s just abysmal. Take yesterday, for
example.

On rehearsal days, I leave work between 5:10 and 5:15 to catch a 5:47 train out of Hoboken. Percussion ensemble starts at 7. I arrived at the PATH World Trade Center station around 5:22. When I arrived, people were already waiting, which means I didn’t just miss a train. Three or four minutes later, the train shows up, loads, and takes off. i should still make my connection; the ride is usually around 12 minutes.

Until the PATH train stopped.

For at least 5 minutes.

No announcement, no indication at all what was going on. As we sat in a dark tunnel, I started
getting antsy, frequently checking my phone for the time. We arrive, finally, around 5:49, obviously missing my train. I’m now pissed and anxious, as this rehearsal is one of our last. The next train home isn’t until 6:18, and I have all our music and some instruments there with my car. S made her train, but it would take too long for her to go home, pick me up, and then drive home. The only solution is a cab. Twenty-five bucks, a rather aggressive cab ride (i’ve never seen anyone hug the inner curb so tightly) and a lot of frustration later, everything worked out. But, the extra stress and overly buttery slice of pizza scarfed down on the train were quite unnecessary.

I bought fish supplies, and I don’t own fish

One of the, shall we say, issues confronting homebrewers is equipment: you never have enough. I buy something new seemingly every brew day. All purchases, so far, have been good purchases, and result in better beer.

Saturday was brew day; I believe it’s batch #9 since I started. Building on the success of my last batch, Wazzup Wit, I formulated a recipe, and submitted it for comments on a couple of beer forums.

This, however, brings about another issue homebrewers have: how much advice to take when brewing beer. It takes some time to wade through the comments, and separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff. when i posted my recipe.


Simcorillo IPA

14-B American IPA

BeerTools Pro Color Graphic

Size: 4.84 gal

Efficiency: 6.62%

Attenuation: 78.6%

Calories: 212.42 kcal per 12 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.064 (1.056 – 1.075)

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Terminal Gravity: 1.014 (1.010 – 1.018)

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Color: 11.7 (6.00 – 15.00)

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Alcohol: 6.61% (5.50% – 7.50%)

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Bitterness: 95.8 (40.00 – 60.00)

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Ingredients:

7.0 lb Dry Extra Light

1 lb Crystal Malt 20°L

8.0 oz Caramunich® TYPE I

1 ea White Labs WLP051 California Ale V

1 oz Simcoe (11.9%) – added during boil, boiled 60.0 min

2 oz Amarillo (8.0%) – added during boil, boiled 20 min

1 oz Amarillo (8.0%) – added during boil, boiled 7.0 min

.5 oz Simcoe (11.9%) – added during boil, boiled 7 min

.5 oz Amarillo (8.0%) – added during boil, boiled 0 min

0.5 oz Simcoe (11.9%) – added dry to secondary fermenter

.5 oz Amarillo (8.0%) – added dry to secondary fermenter

Schedule:

Ambient Air: 70.0 °F

Source Water: 60.0 °F

Elevation: 0.0 m

Notes

Late extract addition – first time experimenting. Added 3lb DME at 60 minutes, 4lb at 15 minutes.
Mash temp for grains: 150F. 45 minute steep.
Created yeast starter (first time) following Palmer’s How to Brew method (http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6-5.html)
Aerated wort for ~5 minutes using fish tank oxygenator.

Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.5.9b

Blogging Ain’t Easy

I keep telling myself to blog. It was a New Year’s resolution of mine to write more (and we all know how those turn out…). However, I find it hard to come up with something daily. I’ve a new appreciation for those who can turn their mundane, daily tasks into something worth reading. I do post a bit more often using twitter, which I included on the site. Over there. See it?

I will try to post more, I will tell myself that more often. For now, here’s a few things on my mind:

I close on my first-ever condo tomorrow. Holy crap!

In our move, I’m getting rid of (aka freecycling) the stereo system I’ve had since high school. An Onkyo receiver that never had a remote control; it wasn’t an option. A JVC cassette deck, a CD player, and two Laser speakers which I think were custom-made (thanks for that gift, Dad; looks like you got your money’s worth!) To date these components, and myself, I received them for Xmas one year; my first two CDs were U2’s “The Joshua Tree” and Genesis “Invisible Touch”. I still have both the CDs. Sadly, though, I think the sound on my new HDTV sounds better at this point.

Scott McClellan, WTF. Now you come up with a tell-all? I can only assume it’s because it takes a long time to write a book.

Warm weather kicks ass, if only for the increase of women’s flesh displayed.

I’m brewing an IPA this weekend.

More whenever!

The Alaska Experiment

Is anyone watching this show on the Discovery Channel? Kind of amusing that there’s a couple from NJ on it, not very far from Casa de Fast One. Basically, it’s a reality show set in, um, Alaska.

Four groups of people have to find their lodging, then figure out how to survive the harsh winter. All of the groups have to find wood, water, and food, the last of which seems to be the most difficult part. No vegetarians here, folks. The coastal group (aside: this couple from NJ was dating five months when they started their expedition. Five. Months. I can’t imagine this is going to end well, or in matrimony…) tried to trap salmon, without much luck. The others have to shoot moose and climb a mountain to shoot goats.

Over the course of the hour, I said to S at least twice that this is not something we are ever, ever going to try.

How to feel old

  1. Book your marching band for the opening of a two-day rock concert.
  2. Peruse list of over 100 bands; find you are familiar with maybe 10.
  3. Meet with organizers night before said concert. Meet a band manager who may be barely old enough to legally purchase alcohol.
  4. Have said band (Say Anything) march with your band, with no clue who these kids are.
  5. Wear Chuck Taylors to concert solely on asphalt. Enjoy pain in feet for two days afterward.
  6. Have one of your alumni assistants ask if you are going to dye your goatee to get rid of the grey.
  7. Notice many kids who are way too young to be that drunk.
  8. Refuse to stand on line and pay $7.75 for a plastic bottle of Bud/Coors/Miller Lite, even if you are parched and at a concert.
  9. Notice that the people your age at the concert are hanging back from the crowd; they’re waiting for their kids.
  10. Realize that although it’s grey and low-50s temps, while you are layered with clothing, most people are wearing t-shirts and no jackets.
  11. See girls crowd surfing and being pulled over the fence by security guards; double-check that they’re not one of your band members.
  12. Notice that even though there are food, drink, and beer vendors, there is litter everywhere and very few garbage cans.
  13. Plan to see several bands in succession that you actually know. Stay for two (Less than Jake and MXPX).

Technical Writer, Content Strategist, Podcaster, and lover of beer.