Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Morgan Freeman Chain of Command

This was sent to me earlier this month and I thought it was funny enough to post.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Music

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Christmas (Remixed) Player! This takes at least 4 to 5 minutes to load and play (even for a broadband connection) so please be patient

By the album from Amazon for $8!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Charles Krauthammer : Medicalizing Mass Murder - Townhall.com

I was just talking to my wife about this last night. What's the reason the papers and TV are trying to push his religion under the carpet or even call this a new diesease? How is it that according to the DHS I and other veterans can be considered an "extremist" but not the actual extremist? I find that offensive.

Charles Krauthammer : Medicalizing Mass Murder - Townhall.com

Friday Morning Stars - The Center of Our Galaxy

An absolutely beautiful shot of the center of our galaxy.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Military not told about Ft. Hood suspect's e-mails -- latimes.com

Isn't this some of the same BS that happened prior to 9/11? The lack of communication between our government agencies is staggering.

Reporting from Washington - Two high-profile anti-terrorism task forces did not inform the Defense Department about contacts between a radical Islamic cleric and the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people in last week's rampage at Ft. Hood, a senior Defense official said Tuesday.
Military not told about Ft. Hood suspect's e-mails -- latimes.com

Posted using ShareThis

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Christmas Ale of 09

Grain Bill
94% Marris Otter English 2 row Pale
2.5% Crystal 120
2.5% Victory
1% Black Patent
Horizon 9% Alpha added at 60 minutes
Secret Spices
Oh come on! It wouldn't be a secret if I told you. ;) I'll be nice and let you in on them after I have a few tastings.
London Ale (Wyeast Labs 1028) I made a 1.040 gravity starter 24 hours prior
I started this yesterday (7nov09) morning about 8am. I had a very late night fixing my latest gadgetry. It's a called a mash tun. What's a mash tun?

In laymen terms it's a vessel where I can steep the grains used for making beer. When the grains are steeped at a given temperature they release sugars. These sugars are food for yeast. The yeast eats the sugars and produce alcohol. Why the late night? I had to rig the mash tun so the grains wouldn't get stuck in the drain valve. Normally an easy job but I ordered the wrong size (or so I thought) false bottom pictured above to the right. Anyway I fixed/rigged it and everything went pretty smooth.
After the grain gets soaked in the above mash tun (approximately 1 hour@155-160 degrees) it gets drained and hotter temp water is showered over the grains to rinse the leftover sugars off the grains. I didn't rinse the grains immediately like I'm supposed to so I missed some of the sugars. After measuring the gravity/plato my efficiency was around 55% of what I'm supposed to have. This means I'll have a 9.8% alcohol by volume in the beer instead of the 11 or 12%. This may also help me in the end so I may have screwed up in a good way. We'll see in three weeks. After I drain the mash tun and after a recirculation of wort back into the grain bed I bring the wort to a cautious yet ferocious boil. About 5 minutes I start to add hops. In the last minute of the boil I add the "secret spices".

I let it boil for another minute, remove it from the heat and stir it clockwise (doesn't matter which direction) to create a whirlpool effect. This pushes all the extra "floaters" to the bottom. When I'm done stirring I use an immersion chiller (above right) to cool it down. I highly recommend getting one of these. Before I had one I had to put the hot wort into an ice bath and wait sometimes 2 to 3 hours for it to cool. You have to let it cool before adding the yeast otherwise you can kill the yeast. With the use of a chiller the 200+ degree wort can cool to 66 degrees in as fast as 7 minutes! The faster the cooling the less time you wait and the less time the beer is exposed to the air which could lead to nasty infections. After the cooling I take a gravity reading with a hydrometer. It measures the weight of the sugar in the water. When the fermentations finished I'll take a second reading and the difference will equal the alcohol percentage. In this particular instance my OG (original gravity/initial reading) is 1.080.
So for now it's sitting in my fermenter chiller at 66 degrees.

Stay tuned!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Morning Stars -

I swear I woke up this morning, looked out the window, and BAMM! There they were. So of course I took a photo.

12 Dead 31 Wounded

God bless the families of everyone involved.

The good news is the shooter's still alive. From my understanding Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is a muslim psychiatrist who's been in the Army for several years. Who has also been very loud in expressing his views against the war even so much as cheering when Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad of Little Rock Arkansas shot two soldiers outside a recruiting station earlier this year.
I'm waiting for more history on him but it'd be nice to hear he's sitting in general population awaiting his trial. It'd be very difficult to have to be one of the soldiers standing outside his hospital room waiting for him to return to health. What of the other 2 or 3 people sought in connection? I don't know. We'll see how that goes.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Decorating - The Cauldron

From Blogger Pictures
The neighbors "threw down the gauntlet" so to speak with decorating for Halloween. Instead of buying a bunch of stuff made in China I made a cauldron out of a 50 gallon drum, sill seal, and about a dozen styromfoam balls.
After I finished with the housing unit I added a red lightbulb for a chilling glow effect. I added orange lights around the base for burning embers and made a chilling sound loop for playback. Come Halloween I'll add the music and some dry ice for a boiling cauldron of doom! If anyone is interested in the complete project let me know.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oktoberfest cont'd - I have KRAUSEN!

Krausen (pronounced KROY-zen) is the foam that appears on top of fermenting beer, proving that the little yeasties are performing as ordered.
I had to mess around the last couple days with the temperature. The frig I was using keeps it too cold and I can't put a thermostat on the frig because I'm using the freezer. I haven't been able to work on getting the fermenter chiller I built a few months ago down to 50 degrees so that's out of the question. I took the top of a plastic 50 gallon drum I used for a Halloween decoration (seen in the following post) and filled it with water and frozen Folgers coffee bins/containers. The last time I looked the beer was around 54 degrees. I'd like it around 50 but 54 is better than 64 so I'll take it for now.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Oktoberfest is never too late

I started an Oktoberfest this weekend. Grain bill is as follows:
44.9% Pilsner LME
44.9% Munich LME
10.2% Crystal (60)
I hopped it with traditional 2oz Hallertau. 1.5oz for 60, and the other .5 at 20 minutes.

I steeped the crystal in 3 gallons cold water and 1teaspoon of gypsum until I hit 170 degrees. It took the water about 25 minutes to hit the right temperature before I pulled out. I added a little too much water (about 3.5 gallons) then brought it to a boil before adding the pilsner and Munich which brought the boil volume to about 7 gallons. Once the wort was boiling again I added the first hop addition. At the 20 minute mark the other .5 oz went in. Still thinking I had too much water I let the it continue to rapid boil for another 40 minutes. This brought the total volume to 5 gallons which I think is a little less then what I wanted. Normally I like 5.5 gallons to make up for the hop and other "sludge" at the bottom of the fermenter. This way I get a full 5 gallons of beer (53 pints). I was able to bring the temp down to 69 degrees in about 10 minutes using a friends (thanks Brett) wort chiller. Tested the original gravity at 1.055 (my goal was 1.060). Pitched the yeast (White Labs 820 ) starter and brought it home to roost for 4 or so weeks in a waiting frig. Last time I checked the beer was at 49 degrees. A little too cold. I have to raise the temp soon or the yeast may act a little funny.
When it's finished I should have a nice amber lager that has 5.4% alcohol by volume.
In about one or two weeks I'm going to start a massive Imperial IPA that should blow the roof off any other IPA I've ever done. I'll be using 15oz of hops. My largest hop usage to date is 8oz. After that's started I'll make a Christmas Ale for the holidays.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Another Oktoberfest another round

Slick, oily pour with a nice orange/sienna hue holding a two-fingered beige head. It has a slight nutty aroma and a small hop profile. I'll guess some magnum hops but the rest I can't even guess. Several toasty flavors hide the big 9.3 ABV. Don't get fooled by it's subtlty. It's still a bit sweet for an Oktoberfest but since it's an Imperial style I can't fault it that much. Smooth and creamy with a velevety texture, it leaves a little of itself behind after every drink. Overall this is an exceptional brew from Avery and probably one of my favorites.
Not a bad buy for $7.99 I'll have it again sometime but it doesn't beat Great Lakes.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Battle of the Oktoberfests Round One

Sam Adam's VS Great Lakes Brewing Comapany
I love this time of the year. I love it for brewing and drinking, the fests, and the weather. I swore I'd do my best to drink only my brews this year but since I haven't even started on my Oktoberfest I had to break down.
Sam Adams Oktoberfest started me on the path to better beer. I picked up a sixer the first time I saw it in the store and bought it every year after. This is a very good beer. Although it's no longer a favorite I still enjoy it on occassion. If you have a friend that's stuck on bud/miller/coors give him one of these and I'm willing to bet they'll convert. Oktoberfests are meant to be fuller bodied, copper in color, rich in flavor with a low hop profile. Sam Adam's does that on the lower end. It has a decent slightly sweet toasted bread aroma but my nose isn't picking up any hops. The taste is as always, good. I like this it's very drinkable. Malty but not overly sweet, kind of like a nice dark bread. There's a small amount of bitterness due to the hops but very indistinct. Too indistinct. It doesn't have the crisp grassy-like finish I like in an Oktoberfest. it's not heavy at all yet it suffers when compared to it's challenger.
Great Lakes Brewing Company Oktoberfest is my pick between the two of these. It's almost hopless putting anyone against the guys on the lake. The beer/lager in question has a great hop aroma. In a blind tasting I was able to pick it right away. It has a ton more on the aroma scale and it doesn't stop there. The taste is very malty but not sweet by any stretch of the imagination. Toasted bread, dark fruits (raisin, figs), and much crisper finish put this way ahead of Sam's in the taste department. No cloying aftertaste, very easy to drink, and having more than one or two won't fill your belly. I love this and can't wait to pit it against Gordon Biersch's Marzen which is another one of my favorites.

Great Lakes Brewing Comapany Oktoberfest Lager - $8.99
Sam Adam's (Boston Beer Company) Oktoberfest Lager - $7.99
Pick some up. Drink them down and tell me what you think.


Friday, September 11, 2009



Westerville Fire Fighter Memorial

By chance I spotted the announcement for this while searching for events dedicated to 9/11 in or around Columbus. I wanted my sons to have some exposure to the tragedy that took place 8 years ago. I didn't tell them the entire story. I approached it with some restraint because it's very difficult to explain to a 6 year old the feelings that went through mine and his mothers heart.

The parade was at 10:30 and I saw the announcement at 10:15. Luckily both boys were being awesome today. With some tenacious driving and off the cuff directions I was able to make it up to the firestation in time. We pulled into the parking lot about 5 minutes before the pipers started.
The huge chunk of metal on the back of the flatbed is a peice of the north tower somewhere between the 98th and 101st floors (the plane struck the tower between the 94th and 99th floors).
I'll have some pictures posted soon.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Spongebob Half Life Spongebob Half Life!

My six-year old came to me wondering if we could play Half-Life (2). It seems he has a yearning desire to watch me play ever since he saw me a couple weeks ago taking a needed break from studying. He told me as soon as I'm done with "whatever your doing at the moment" to let him know. Until that time he'll be watching Spongebob. I thought it was kind of odd to go from Spongebob to Half-Life but that's my boy! He shares a lot of my personality. I used to love Spongbob but I can't stand it anymore since it seems to be playing non-stop around here. I just hope the same thing doesn't happen to Chowder. I love that show.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 - 3 User $18.49 at Amazon

This is one of the top computer security software companies around. Always voted in the top 5 for it's ease of use, effectiveness against new spyware and virus threats, and very lightweight on system resources. If you want to buy your next internet security suite I would grab this deal pronto.

Hoppin' Frog Brewery Special Release

Normally I'd want to keep this to myself but I thought I'd be nice this morning. Hoppin' Frog Brewery in Akron Ohio is having a special release party for their Hop Master's Abbey, Belgian-style Double I.P.A. I love this style and if HF is making one I want to try it. The release will be held at the brewery on the 14th of August at 1pm. They stress a limited quantity so get there fast.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cap'n Crunch French Toast - Crazy Good

I had this recipe sittin' around when Cap'n Crunch cereal was brought up by friend on Facebook. Believe it or not I'm not out to kill you with the calories in this sucker. Moderation (like in my beer) is the key! I can't remember where I got this from otherwise I'd give them "props". It's only food right?

3/4 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups Cap'n Crunch cereal
8 to 10 slices thick-sliced white bread (fresh French is the best)
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups blueberries (or any other fruit you wish, I like peaches as well)

1. Mix the eggs, cream, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk until combined.

2. Crush the cereal in a large bag until it resembles something like graham cracker crumbs (not too fine it'll mess up the crunchiness) Transfer it to a shallow dish.

3. Dip a couple slices of bread into the cream mixture until soft (not soaked). Let excess cream drip from the bread.

4. Press into the cereal crumbs to coat evenly. Place on a sheet pan and repeat with the remaining slices.

5. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat, add butter as needed, and cook the bread until it is caramelized on both sides. About 6 - 8 minutes total depending on how it looks.

6. Beat the cream, confection sugar, and vanilla with a large bowl in a hand mixer until you're happy with the consistency. Top off the French toast and serve with the berries.

Some back to school deals at Amazon

Fermentation sign, the Amber has awaken!

It was a stretch but there is a very subtle reference to Dune in the title (yep very nerdly indeed). OK So I woke this morning to find the hefe at 62 degrees which means my chiller is working properly - awesome (like I expected anything else?). What else did I see? An actively fermenting Amber. What a relief to have this sucker finally kickin in on day 3. (Note to self....make a damn starter next time). I also need another "fermometer" for the second carboy.
My son caught my excitement this morning and wanted to know why I was jumping up and down making an arse of myself at 7am. I explained to him that "daddy's" beer is fermenting. Not too many 6yr olds know about fermentation. I explained that there are little creatures, so small that you can't see them, these creatures (I call them the Yeastie Boys for reference since the Beastie Boys are his favorite band right now) eat sugar in the beer and produce alcohol. During this time they "fart" leaving bubbles in the beer. He laughed and went back to his cartoon which I think is "Johnny Test" right now. It's about a boy, his dog, and his two genius sisters who perform experiments on them. Hilarity ensues.
Below is a video of some active fermentation. Not mine, only for demonstration purposes.

Monday, August 3, 2009

66 Degrees

Daft! My fermentation chiller isn't keeping the fermenting hefe at the temperature I wanted. I'm shooting for 62 degrees yet it seems to stick around 66. After this batch I'll have to make some modifications to the unit. For now it seems I'll just trying to get it down by adding more blocks ice. The amber still hasn't started. Curse my laziness. On the other hand it could be the yeast. I'll give it another 24.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

New Brews Brew News

I started a Hefewiezen and a West Coast Amber yesterday. Double batches can be a pain (especially w/no help) but "I do this for the people" ;). I wanted to start at 7:00am but didn't get going until 8. The entire process took about 5 hours. I'm trying to manage the time a little better so I can do less running around in the least amount of time. Brewing should be a relaxing hobby.
Both beers are in the process of fermenting. The hefe started very fast (under 12 hours). The amber is taking it's precious time. Sometimes it could take 48 hours before fermentation begins. It helps when a starter is made. It adds more yeast to the wort. More yeast means faster fermentation "liftoff". I made a starter for the hefe but not for the amber and the proof is obvious. Other than laziness I can't think of any other reason why I didn't make a starter for the amber.
When they finish I will have approximately 10 gallons of home made brew which gets put on a tap system I built. 10 gallons of wonderful fresh beer. Now 10 gallons equals 106 pints (16oz). I spent about $100 on both batches so for my beer costs me approximately 97 cents a pint or around $6 for a six pack of beer that even Budweiser couldn't make any fresher. That $100 is very expensive for homebrew too. Buying the ingredients one batch at a time gets pretty pricey. I'd like to buy in bulk but I don't have the storage yet.
Below is a picture of the last hefe I made. It had to have been one of my best batches to date. Zero complaints from all who drank it and I even had someone tell me he'd definitely buy a sixer the next time I made it. Cheers!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Chiller

It's ugly but functional. I call it the Wort Hog 5. Not too bad for my first attempt. I am definitely not a handy-tool type guy. I learned a lot from this adventure so next time it'll be much prettier and have a higher efficiency.
OH. What the hell is it? It's a fermentation chiller. What's it do? It chills the wort (fermenting beer)to a set temperature using blocks of ice and a "hacked" thermostat. Ice (frozen plastic jugs) sit in the bottom chamber and when the temperature gets above a certain range set in the thermostat a small 12v fan (a computer fan I scavenged) starts blowing air across the blocks of ice forcing cold air into the upper chamber until the chamber reaches a set temp. Why do I want to keep fermenting beer at a certain temperature? It tastes better and I get to manage the flavor in each batch. Different temps make the little "Yeastie Boys" (what a cool name for a homebrewing club) produce different flavors. The example to the left is water only. It was a test run to see what the difference between the ambient air and the actual temperature of a 5 gallon container of liquid is. To my joy it's only 1. I found the plans for this online and after I fix some flaws in my work I plan on building another. The duct tapes gotta go. I'd love to make one out of wood.
I plan on utilizing this the first time come Saturday. The hefewiezen I'm making needs to ferment at 62 degrees. I made the same recipe a couple years ago fermenting at around 70. I can't wait to try this under controlled conditions..

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Pub (at Polaris)

"The Pub instead of Taco Bell?" Was the text I sent to my wife hoping to get back The Pub in response. Well lucky me I did. Minus a babysitter we met at the outdoor mall at the Polaris mall. I beat her there and put our names at the front door. Instead of giving a pager to me the young woman at the front asked for my number so she could text me instead. Technologies great isn't it? Not only for the ease of just sending a text but now I could roam around Polaris' lovely outdoor mall and not have to be confined to the front of the restaurant. Normally I'd hang at the bar and wait but it's not a great idea with two little ones in tow.
After a fairly long wait (45min for a quoted 30) I got the text and we were seated. The inside of this place is very nice. Deep mahogany wood and brass is everywhere. A few bits of "flair" including a Union Jack adorn the walls and ceiling but it doesn't look like a junkyard tossed up in the middle of the place. In the center one of the best looking bars I've ever seen. More brass, more wood, and beautiful taps, not just the Bud/Miller/Coors usually seen at every other place in Columbus. These taps have a more than decent selection of English Ales and Lagers as well as Scottish, Irish and some domestics. Oh did I mention they have a firkin? Another cask conditioned ale in Columbus? Oh how nice is that? Now I don't have to travel to Barley's anymore if I want a cask conditioned* ale. The waitstaff wear kilts. Men and women alike. Funny but the women's kilts seemed to be a few inches higher than the men's ........which of course is preferable to me.
On cask they had a killer DIPA from BrewDog Brewing. I've never heard of these guys and have never had the beer so I gave it a shot. Citrus hops and toffee aromas, grapefruit, pine, and maybe a hint of chocolate (very small) came through in my first sip. The alcohol hottness wasn't too obvious but it was there. Our lovely waitress Andrea told me it was 11%. If you like hoppy beers give this one a go. it was great.
The drinks came fast. The appetizer (fried onions and 'shrooms) was a bit of a wait. And soon after came the food. I had Fish-n-Chips, and my lovely wife had the Welsh Dip. The fish was ok and worth the $12.95 but the sandwich was great. Loved it. Next time I plan on having the Bangers and Mash which is what I would have had if I had seen it. They don't have much of a kids menu but I don't think this place is really ready for them. The next time I go I hope to be with my wife or some friends. I will also join the tour. Which as far as I can remember entails drinking 50 of their beers and getting $4 pints for life. If you ask me it's a much better deal than the Winking Lizard's tour.
All in all it's a great place to go. The prices are about right but not over the top. The food is good but what stands out to me was the atmosphere and beer. I'll keep you guys posted on the other selections once they're eaten. I'll definitely go again.

*Just what the heck is cask conditioned? It's much lower in carbon dioxide than keg conditioned beer. The smooth effect of the lower amount of fizz heightens the mouth feel and draws your attention to the layer of other flavors. It is served at a temperature of 45-50°F, which is about 10-15° above your run of the mill Bud and such. This allows you to taste the many different flavors in the malt and hop profles. It's the way our founders and those that settled the US enjoyed their beer. It's not "warm" like some would have you believe but it's definitely not cold.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Drudge's Ham

A friend of mine sent a link to me from the Drudge Report concerning a 2lb ham purchase for over $1m.
I found the link to be a little outrageous so I wrote the company (Clougherty Packing LLC) and asked about the purchase. Within a day I had an email back from them stating the $1m was for 760,000 pounds of ham packaged in 2lb sections. This ham as well as some dairy products were purchased for the Emergency Food Assistance Program. After a couple more hours of research I found this link on the USDA's website. Drudge corrected the website (at 11:15PM) but I didn't see anything about a correction in the headlines the next morning. Drudge covered his ass but IMHO is guilty of sensationalism. I hate seeing my favorite news source start a decent into the same BS I see on MSNBC, ABC, CBS and even FOX.
I can't believe something I read on the internet wasn't wholly truthful. It's a sad state of affairs my friends when we can't trust the good ol'internet. What's next? Bill Gates isn't going to pay me for all the email I forwarded?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Russian Sub in Drydock

Looks like the Russians aren't as concerned about their sub screws as the US. This is a photo of Russian President Dimitry Medvedev looking over a new sub being built. You may not notice it at first but look at the lower center of the photo. That is a submarine screw (propeller) of a new hunter killer submarine. Pictures like this have the ability to give away secrets of the boat in question. Are the Russians becoming lax? Do they have the same problem with the press as we do?
Speaking of submarines did you guys here about the Chinese sub trailing the USS John S. McCain? It got too close to the towed array* and damaged it. The McCain (Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer) was deployed near Subic Bay in the Phillipines when the incident occurred. So the Chinese aren't just building cheap lead filled toys for the US? Huh...go figure. See you at WalMart! I wouldn't be too concerned with them yet. What kind of submarine comander collides with a towed array?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Alefest Columbus - A great time!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by table 18 this year. I met some great people ( Mark and Ian from Bogrolls) and drank some great beer!

A few favorites from this years selections were; Bear Rebuplic's Hop Rod Rye, Moylan's IPA, and a surprise for me, Lion Stout from Sri Lanka. I've seen it around but have never tried it. I was glad I did. There was one more, an English ale I can't for the life of me remember the name. Oh God it was so good.
I volunteered again this year and chose table 18. Again this year I was solo. No worries I don't mind it. I had a break once or twice from some fellow SODZ members (Thanks Matt and Frank) I had to leave the station unmanned once because my bladder was about to blow and I just couldn't hold it any longer. Too much info?
I've never had this much fun working.

Next up the Columbus Microbrew Festival at the Short North Market. Always a damn good time.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pandora Widget

Check out my new widget from Pandora! ----->
I wish I could get the same thing for my desktop w/o having to pay for it. Maybe Google will come up with something but I doubt it.

Two things coming up this weekend. Alefest Columbus and Transformers II with my oldest boy. I can't wait til I can take both of boys to both events. Ahh cherish the moments says me says I.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ale Fest Columbus - The Brewer's List

AB Specialty (some decent brews from Annheuser Busch possible)
Abita (some good stuff)
Alesmith (very good beers from these guys, i love the Speedway Stout)
Avery (I don't like thier political leanings but the beer is great)
Ayinger (good German beers)
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse (always a great selection)
Bavik (no idea, Belgian)
Bear Republic (good stuff from California - I love the Oatmeal Stout)
Bell’s (very good, rarely disappoints, I love the Porter)
Black Sheep (English brewery, famous for Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale)
Blue Dawg Brewing (never heard of them)
Boston Beer Company (aka Sam Adam's)
Brooklyn (always good stuff, I especially like the Chocolate Stout)
Buckeye (one of my favorite IPA's)
Celis (Texas Brewery)
Chimay Trappist (Belgium ales....I love the Blue)
Chouffe ( another Belgian brewery...try the Dobbelen IPA Tripel!)
Columbus Brewing (Hometown brewer always great)
Coors Specialty (Coors? meh to each his own I guess)
Dogfish Head (Love them! I can't rememebr a beer I didn't like)
du Bocq (Belgian - never tried)
Dubuisson (never had the opportunity)
DuPont (I thought they made chemicals?)
Elevator (Hometown brewery - always good)
Erie (Railbender - good Scottish Ale)
Flying Dog (never disappoints, I hope they have the Imperial Porter)
Fort Collins (Colorado - need I say more?)
Founders (great brewery from that state up north)
Franck Boon (no idea)
Gordon Biersch (National Chain but locally brewed - the brewmaster is a helluva guy who makes great beers and an avid homebrewer)
Gouden Carolus (NO IDEA)
Great Divide (great beer from Colorado - get some Yeti if possible)
Great Lakes (One of my favorites. Great Beer from Cleveland)
Green Valley (an organic brewr from California)
Harpoon (one of the first craft brews I ever had, always happy with them)
Heavy Seas (Maryland Brewer - I recommend the Small Craft Warning)
Hoppin’ Frog (Ohio brewed, awesome beers)
Jolly Pumpkin (Belgian styled ales from that state up north, worth a shot)
Lagunitas (California - recommended)
Lakefront (Milwaukee - never tried but look forward to it)
Leinenkugel (not disappointing, try the Berry Weiss)
Lindemans (Belgian brewers specializing in Lambics, try the Framboise)
Lion (African brewer or New Zealand...I forget)
Magic Hat (good stuff from Vermont, never disappoionting)
McAuslan (I've only had the Scotch Ale but it was very good)
Melbourn Brothers (English i believe, never had it)
Michael Plank (German, never had it but am excited to try)
Mortgaat (Belgian Brewery that runs Ommegang)
Moylan’s (California brewery - grab some of the Dragoons Dry Irish Stout OR IPA)
New Holland (A favorite of mine. Never disappoints NEVER, try the Black Tulip, Dragon's Milk or the Existential IPA all awesome)
Ommegang (Cooperstown NY - try the Hennepin)
Orval (Belgian - grab the Trappist)
Otter Creek (Vermont - the Copper Ale is great)
Penn Brewing (no idea)
Pyramid (a decent selection from Seattle)
Redhook ( the ESB's decent)
Rochefort Trappist (Belgium Trappist, the 8 is great)
Rogue (love these guys, in fact I poured for them last year)
Samuel Smith (English brewer - good porter if I remember correctly)
Southern Tier (Lakewood NY, I can't remember ever trying thier stuff)
Spanish Peaks (california brewery, not bad either)
St Louis Framboise (no idea)
St. Peters Organic (English - good)
Stone (always a great selection)
Stoudt’s (decent brewry from PA, give'm a shot)
Thirsty Dog (Akron, Ohio - Old Leghumper Porter is my second favorite porter it's a very close second too)
Tommyknocker (Decent beers from Colorado)
Unibroue (Fantastic Belgian styles from Toronto - a must try)
Van Steenburge (Belgian Brewer, never tried)
Victory (Hop Wollop and Storm King, VERY GOOD!)
Weihenstephaner (Great German Wheat beers)
Westmalle Trappist (the Dubbel is fantastic you have to make the effort to get some)
Weyerbacher (Brewry from PA, the Old Heathen is recommended)
Widmer Brothers (Portland Brewers - what's not to like?)
Wychwood (Cool brewer with an awesome ESB and naming scheme from England)
Xingu (Chinese rice brewer - meh to each his own, not bad)

Giving Blood

As a New Years resolution I wanted to include more trips to the Red Cross and donate. I haven't been that good at the resolution but I'm trying which counts. On my first donation of the year I was asked if I wanted to try a procedure called Double Red Cell Apheresis. Apheresis is a procedure which takes the blood being donated and runs it through a machine. This machine separates what it needs and sends the rest back into the blood stream. This particular procedure lasts about 40 minutes and is relatively easy to do. Doing a 'Double Red' as the cool people call it gives double the amount of red blood cells but donors give less blood in the process. During the procedure an anti-coagulant called Citrate plus a saline solution is passed into the stream. It's a cold sensation that feels wierd at first but becomes less annoying throughout the procedure.
Onto my second donation yesterday. (I told you I wasn't being very good at my resolution but at least the attempt is there.....ok and I had to be reminded by the American Red Cross....can I continue?). I go through the initial setups and interviews and get stuck and seated. I'm all set. About 35 minutes into the procedure I start to get very chilled and a little dizzy. I call the nurse over and within minutes the chills get worse, my stomach starts to feel woozy, my breathing becomes erratic, and I have a general anxious feeling. I have to get out of the seat before I either melt into a pool of hot and cold sweat or get sucked into the machine turing me into a larger pool of hot and cold sweat. I now have a very patient tech/nurse leaning me back further into the seat, and giving me the hyperventalating paper bag treatment. There's another shutting the machine down and getting the needle out of my arm. My brains swearing at her asking what the hells taking so long. My legs feel as though they're going to take off out of the seat without me and at the same time I'm trying to calm myself down to let the two nurses do thier job. I find the eyes of an older woman doing the same procedure across from me and I just know she's either thinking I'm the biggest woos on the planet or if the machines have begun to turn on the humans
and she's next. Either way my simoultaneous journey into giving life and wishing mine was over has ended.
I feel like shit physically and mentally since I couldn't complete the procedure and some of my platelets may go to waste. I can't believe I couldn't go through it. I'm in decent shape, I workout 6 days a week, and have been eating very well for about 5 months now. After the needle is pulled, my heart back down under a 10000bpm, and I stop sweating like a fat guy chasing a runaway M&M I ask the nurse what was the problem. She tells me very few people have a bad reaction to the citrate anti-coagulant and not to worry. She also tells me I should stick to just giving blood. So I'm sticking just to giving blood. At least I'm giving ya'know?

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Yes I know I'm late on this one folks but get down to Barley's Smokehouse tonight and get your favorite IPA on tap. No cover or fee except the beer and food you get. Hop(e) to see you there!


Ale Fest Columbus!!!!

It's back! June 27th from 2 to 6pm at the Aladdin Shrine Center Columbus.

View Larger Map

This benefits the Columbus Special Olympics.
$30 Admission includes 20 samples of craft beer (about 4oz)
Over 150 Craft Beers from more than 50 world class breweries
Select Draught Ales and Lagers
Live entertainment

I have a list of breweries and pictures from some previous fests coming soon. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

--virus alert-- Facebook Users

If you get a message within Facebook with this subject

"i saw yyour facee in tthis movie",, ccheck it"

ignore it (don't click the link) but tell the person who sent this to you to change their account password and possibly start a new account.
I was sent something from a friend with this in the title. After I opened it it led me to the following website " w w w dot aibaibia dot com dot br slash coolclip". It proceeded to load a clip that resembled something from YouTube. Then an error popped in and told me I needed to download another plugin to view it. Before I closed the link it started to download the trojan. I never let it complete and was never infected due to the way I have my system set up BUT someone could be fooled into letting this download even without their knowledge! Sneaky little buggers aren't they? There are some very funny things going on here too. If you pay close attention the subject is mispelled. The link is real but once you get to the site and the error pops up it actually tells you to download the latest Adobe Acrobat plugin. Adobe Acrobat plugin for a video? Not very convincing.
From Drop Box

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Doom 3 and Opera

I was going through some old videos from my ftp server on SegerHouse and came across this. I took bits and pieces of recorded footage and set them to music. I have one or two more I'll have to upload. Those of you w/o children should notice all the spare time I had on my hands. Man it's been awhile since I played Doom 3 and although it was a GREAT game I eventually got hooked on HL2. Not better graphics mind you but the game play is outstanding. I think I'll have to find the game and install it on this system. One of my friends borrowed it years ago. I distinctly remember paying $50+ for this game and now can pick it up at Amazon for around $20. Isn't that sad? I remember picking up Serious Sam for aound $9 at Wal*Mart and wondered how many people bought it for $45 when it came into the gaming world. Doom is such a good, although short game. I used to play this in the dark while wearing surround sound headphones - freaky.
Pay attention to the bodies after I frag'em. Notice how they sort of incinerate? I picked up a mod/hack for this later on that actually left the bodies around. It gave me an idea of how many demons/zombies I went through. It got hard on the system after awhile though.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Ian Anderson

Feelin' a bit wacky this morning so how 'bout a lil Ian Anderson? Don't mind if do.

Macro Goodness in Nature

look at the seedling taking off!

an ant's view

a slightly taller ant's view

Monday, May 4, 2009

"The Best" Breakfast and Sandwiches

View Larger Map
The family and I were on our way to Bob Evan's Sunday when I suggested we try a little restaurant I've been eying for a couple months. Just a little spot off rt.3 in the southern corner of the Glengary Shopping Center. At first my wife was skeptical but I was able to convince her and we stopped.
Hours: Sunday 8am-3pm
Monday and Tuesday 6am-3pm
Wednesday - Friday 6am-9pm
Saturday 8am - 9pm
Food: American Style Diner
Prices: most (if not all) items are under the $10 mark (fed a family of four for under $30)

Walking into the place is very reminiscent of a small town diner. Small seating arrangements with a bar that held about a dozen people. There are about 4 or 5 tables outside but we chose to be seated inside. Sounds of plates clanking, people talking and laughing, and wait staff ordering food for their patrons. The smell of breakfast made me even hungrier than I already was (and as of 10am I was caffeine-less folks not a good thing by any means). We were greeted by a very nice woman who sat us and took our drink orders. With in a few minutes our server had arrived with our drinks and took our order. My wife and I chose the main omelet. $7.95 for a 3 egg, 1 meat, 3 veggy, and cheese absolutely delicious omelet that came with toast and potatoes. She had the bacon, I chose sausage. Everything tasted fresh-off-the-farm. Even the toast was fresh. They make the bread fresh daily from scratch - oh so good. Both boys had pancakes that were probably the size of a small ocelet (which I had to try, ya'know....just be safe right?) and were very tasty. It felt as though I was eating Sunday breakfast at my grandmothers minus some very obnoxious cousins.

We'll be going again soon.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Just a busy time tonight.

3 Posts in less than 3 hours - inspiring? Insightful? ingenious? No, just a very busy boy tonight I guess. Below is a short video about the reemergence of craft brewing in the US. As some of you may know I've been brewing my own for about 4 years and have loved every bit of it. My wonderful wife started me on this journey and I have never looked back. I may get tired of being a computer nerd, grow out of WoW (seriously?), or jaded with politics but I will never grow tired of creating great craft ales out of "good stuff".
I Am A Craft Brewer from I Am A Craft Brewer on Vimeo.
So here's to my brewing brothers and sisters on this late Sunday evening.

Swine Flu Map

The feds have in fact declared a state of emergency with regards to the H1N1 Swine Flu. Declaring a state of emergency is standard operating procedure so thay can release money and/or resources to the state or states affected by the emergency. The geeks at Google have an interesting map that shows the world wide areas affected by the flu. Check it out below.

View H1N1 Swine Flu in a larger map
Here's the best source for information on the H1N1 Swine Flu.


Click below for a free 60 day pass to BJ's Wholesale Club. It has to be activated by 7/6/09.
What else did you expect?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

DFH 90 Minute at the Old Bag of Nails - Westerville

One of my all time favorite "Double IPA's" is on the guest tap at the Old Bag of Nails in Westerville. I actually like this better on tap then bottle. If you're a hop head you'll love this stuff.
That is all for now - sorry in school.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fred's Fav Five

In the interest of free I felt it'd be fun and informing to write about my favorite freebies on the web. Some include security tools, another few are office suites, and some others are just cool useful tools that anyone can use. In this economy free is good. So in the next few days I'm going to go over my 5 favorites w/brief explanations on how to use them.
KeePass - Free easy to use password manager.
How many user names and passwords do you have to know? Work, eMail, banking, maybe even a few social networking sites? The majority of security experts will tell you to never use the same user name and password combination. It makes perfect sense too. If someone hacks that password then they have all the other accounts attached to it.
KeePass stores all your passwords and user names in one database. All you have to do is remember one password. Click here to visit the user tutorial.
Google Desktop - Google's desktop/internet/computer search tool. There's more to this than the search tool but it's the search tool I want to spotlight here. Once installed and left alone for a couple days it indexes your entire system. Just about anything you need can be accessed by hitting the ctrl button twice. It will even search words inside of documents if needed. Can't find that email from Bob? Type his name in the search box and it'll pull up everything you have stored with his name on it. You even have the ability to launch programs from it. Hit ctrlx2, type "internet" and it pull up IE for you.

Sure Delete from Wizard Industries - A data erase utility. A new report on data breaches from Verizon Business says hackers aren't paying as much attention to where the data is but where it was. When you really want to delete something Sure Delete goes a step beyond the deletion and overwrites the data. When you delete something in Windows it goes to the Recycle Bin from there most people empty it. The data is still there believe it or not. Windows needs to overwrite it when it requires the space but until then it can sit in memory or other places on the hard drive. Sure Delete overwrites that data several times eliminating the chance for recovery.
The last three of my favorites comes from Comodo.

Comodo EasyVPN - Free encrypted chat/file transfer/and remote desktop application. Setup a private encrypted connection between you and someone else. Transfer files across an encrypted network so no snoopers can see what you're transferring. The remote control desktop feature is my favorite. I use it instead of PCAnywhere or Windows Remote Desktop for customers. The customer logs into my private network (after I issue a password) and once there I can access their desktop.
Comodo Internet Security - OK I'm going to cheat a little and give the last in a 2 for 1 kind of deal. The Comodo firewall is a very user friendly firewall for inbound and outbound protection. You'd be surprised at the amount of programs that were designed to access the internet w/o asking. Personally I don't want random programs accessing my connection w/o me knowing and it's not a very safe way to travel the internet. If a program tried to access the internet you'll be given a warning of what it is, where it is, and most of the time where it's going. Good information to know. I started playing around with the anti-virus about a year ago and it seems very robust, and very quiet. By quiet I mean it doesn't hog a lot of resources on your system. A lot of anti-virus programs are very intrusive and have no business doing what they do in your system. It just isn't necessarry and wastes computing power.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Conficker - Are you good to go?

Joe Stewart from the Conficker Working Group has created an 'eye chart' that allows for online identification of Conficker B and C infections. The explanation of the chart is below. This is a very good idea. Read below and click the link at the end.

Conficker is known to block access to over 100 anti-virus and security websites.
If you are blocked from loading the remote images in the first row of the top table above (AV/security sites) but not blocked from loading the remote images in the second row (websites of alternative operating systems) then your Windows PC may be infected by Conficker (or some other malicious software).

If you can see all six images in both rows of the top table, you are either not infected by Conficker, or you may be using a proxy server, in which case you will not be able to use this test to make an accurate determination, since Conficker will be unable to block you from viewing the AV/security sites.


Monday, March 30, 2009

OH THE OUTRAGE!!! Funny little politics and question avoidance.

David Gregory asks why all the outrage about the AIG bonuses when in reality Geithner, Congress (well those that actually read the bill), and the President all knew about them before giving AIG the bailout (which in my opinion shouldn't have happened at all). In this segment Geithner avoids answering the questions not once, but three times. Let's watch!

The Dog Joint - Westerville, Ohio

About a year ago my wife brought home a couple hot dogs from a place she found in Westerville called The Dog Joint. It's a small place just inside uptown Westerville on State Street. It seats about 40 on the inside and around the same on the patio when it's open. The staff is very friendly. The place is clean. The dogs are prepared in front of you and made from pure Vienna beef and the toppings can range from chili and cheddar cheese to sauerkraut and 1000 Island Dressing. I haven't had all of them but I think it's a task I'd be willing to take. We decided to meet for lunch last Saturday and I thought I'd write a little something about it possibly enticing you to go for some dogs and people watching. The beer selection is n't great but they have Frostop Rootbeer on draft and frankly you can't go wrong with Frostop.
I had the "Windy City". Yellow mustard, onions, sweet neon relish, tomatoes, pickles, sport peppers and celery salt on an egg bun.

The best Chicago style dog I've had in Columbus and the surrounding areas. My wife had the Southern Belle. Brown mustard, onions, chili and coleslaw.

Great dog. The boys had a regular hot dog and a corn dog. They were also treated to some "puppy chow". From what I understand (ok, I took some I admit it, I was worried it had too much sugar so I did my fatherly duty and saved them from certain sugar overload) it's chex cereal coated in chocolate, peanut butter, and sprinkled with confectionery sugar. Great food, low prices, great location, and a clean friendly staff. If you're in the mood for a 'gourmet' dog this place is worth the trip.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Marzen is Dead - Long Live the Marzen!

Sadly it's gone and I'll have to wait until next the ZegerHaus Zegerfest. Yes it took a while to get rid of it but I don't drink a lot. Happily this opens room for the Imperial Salvic Ale and Raspberry Porter. My taste buds are about to broach over the anticipation.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Columbus Auto Show 2009

My oldest and I visited the Columbus Auto show this afternoon and had a blast. We've visited the show for the last 3 years. My dad usually goes with us but he missed out this year. No special guests or huge crowds. It was a nice leisurely late morning/early afternoon adventure. Here's a few favorites.

I would love to own one of these.
Check out the Dodge Rampage and the Ford F-150 Raptor.

One last bit of muscle before I go.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I'm German but......

Gone are the days of 'kegs-n-eggs' I s'pose. No matter, my little ones now believe in Leprechauns. No not the awful one from that series of movies a decade ago. By the way who has more movies, him or Jason? Well anyway I'm referring to the one that leaves gold covered chocolate coins on thier shoes. Now who (Nestle or Hershey) thought of this idea? Leprechauns are notoriously cheap aren't they? Whatever happened to "you'll never get me pot-o-gold"? Why are we giving our kids so much candy? Instead of turning this into some off the cuff poli-rant I'll just go and enjoy my beer and call it a night. You guys have a safe night.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Robust Raspberry Porter

Switched/racked this to the secondary fermentor today. Final gravity is 1.018 (OG was 1.070) which gives me an ABV of around 6.8. I wasn't really shooting for this strength but I'll take it. I tasted a sample prior to adding the 3 pounds of raspberry pulp and this is really good. Too good. I've never made a porter and this isn't bad for a 1st attempt in my humble opinion. The raspberries should add a nice fruity flavor.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Stone 10th Anniversary Ale

I was lucky enough to find this at a favorite wine/beer shop a couple years ago. She had one of the last ones is Columbus and gave it to me. If you ever get a chance to stop by and buy stuff from Jaime (From the Vine, Lewis Center Ohio) I highly recommend it. She's awesome and never disappoints with her selection.
View Larger Map
The beer poured wonderfully orange and very thick with very little crown. The aroma is very earthy with strong grassy hops. It tastes great. A very earthy hoppiness to it. Some IPA's are incredibly laden with citrus flavors and aroma's but this is different. There's almost a wood like flavor to it. I wouldn't make this your first IPA but if you love them in all shapes and sizes don't skip this one. If I could find it I would buy it again in a heartbeat. Very good, strong too, 10%abv.

The Top Steakhouse (Restaurant Week in Columbus)

It's only Thursday so you still until the 15 to enjoy 'Restaurant Week' in Columbus.
Last night I took my wife to 'The Top' Steakhouse for her birthday. For around $60 we had an appetizer, 2 surf-n-turf entrees and 2 deserts. I had the chocolate cake and my wife had her favorite - creme brulee. The steak was excellent and the lobster was pretty good, a little tough but good. In my opinion there wasn't much of a difference between medium and medium-well but my wife enjoyed her medium-well nonetheless. The deserts were excellent I know, not very descriptive. What do you want? It's chocolate cake! Beer? No, I asked our waitress for something domestic and she started rambling off the usual bud, bud-light, miller....yada yada yada. I stopped her mid sentence and asked if she had anything from Great Lakes brewing. No. Fact is she'd never heard of it so I knew that was the end of my beer list. I had water.
So was it worth the $75 (tip included)? Yes but only once. It was a nice experiance over all but I don't hink we'll ever go back. It's definitely worth a try for those of you that have never been. It's been in Columbus for 50 years and is rated one of the top 50 steak places in the country.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pumpkin Ale

It's been a while and I apologize. I've been very busy searching for a job. It's rough out there trying to get a job, start a business, and experiment with food and drink. I found one of my pumpkin ales in the cellar last night gave it a shot. Even though it's been aged for a year it tasted great. Very fruitty 'nose' with hints of cinnamon and maple. There's a splash of pumpkin in end and the 8% ABV is hidden well. :) I may actually try again this year. No maple though, too expensive.
Up next I have a 'set-yer-face-on-fire' Imperial Ale with 200ibu's using 8oz of hops. Yes, I said 8 full oz of hops. That's probably more than what you'd find in a barrel of 'bud'. I'll have to tone it down with about 3 pounds of honey so I'm very excited about the outcome. The other (which will be just as fantastic of course) will be a Raspberry Porter. I'll use 3 pounds of raspberry in this. Some might ask; "Why can't you just brew something normal?" and to that I always reply "why be normal?"
More later and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

10 Fluffy Wallpapers for Valentines Day

In the spirit of love and corporate holidays (does St. Valentine actually approve?) here are some cute wallpapers to get you in the mood. 
HUGS! ;)