It’s an odd one, Mr. Grinch
Weird Christmas here this year. Eric was stuck working Christmas Day. Seems the county doesn’t want the inmates running the jail even on Christmas. No presents for them. (Well, if you’re in jail, you’re at least suspected of being bad, right?)
Because of this scheduling (and behavioral) anomaly, our family physically relocated Christmas to Thursday, Dec. 30. Technically, there are still 3 shopping days left till Christmas!!
Cindy & I still managed to open ONE present apiece the 25th. Well, ok, 2. Cindy got a briefcase thermos to replace her current piece of crap. I swiped it to go hunting one day last month and was rewarded with ice cold coffee after only 3 hours afield. If I’m going to steal a thermos it’s got to be a good one, so I replaced her dinged & dented old war horse with a new one. Pretty friggin romantic, no?
I also let her open one more present – a towel warmer. Big enough to hold two bath towels. True – I benefit from this too in that I might have a nice warm towel waiting for me on the porch after hopping out of the hot tub. But Cindy could decide to put in a towel and robe for herself and leave me (literally) out in the cold. (In practice – we filled it with a towel for each of us)
Later this week, Cindy will also get a nice new watch, a 4 oz bottle of Opium (the perfume people, not the poppy extract) and a gift certificate for a couple of massages. Other than the watch, she really only wanted to re-do the master bath. That’s a little difficult to wrap and put under the tree. I also feel it’s an inappropriate Christmas gift, hence the massages and perfume (a known favorite).
What did I get? A 6 gallon carboy with a bubbler, hygrometer and bottling rack. I’ll throw in the fermentation bucket as an additional hint.
What I have now is a more serious beer brewing set-up. I tend to favor having a few well crafted beers versus swilling down case after case of inexpensive mass produced flavorless beers. The set up I have now will let me brew about 2 cases of fine, artisan style ales every couple of months. That’s about a 6-pack a week which is more than I currently consume, so there will have to be some gifting going on. I have to admit, I’m also a little leery of getting a gift like that from Cindy. Considering our recent past (say the last 6 – 8 years), I wouldn’t have expected anything alcohol related. I accepted it graciously and enthusiastically (at least I think so), and will move forward with equal parts excitement and caution.
At the very least I can crank out an unending supply of Vanilla Porter so I’ll always have my Friday nite pint for the hot tub. But the first batch to be brewed? Irish Stout. (Think Guinness). Hard to go wrong with that.
Ironically, I learned that a guy I went to high school with (I dated his sister even) passed away last Sunday. He was all of 53 years old. From what I understand, he died from complications of diabetes, brought on by his inability to put down a beer in his younger days. Harsh lesson.
That gets me to thinking about my theme for 2011. It’s simple really and can be summed up in one word:
Moderation in all things; dieting, exercising, work (where I can). I would like to try moderation in an effort to find a balance. I think I will know when I get there. Might even know when I get close. Don’t expect to get there next year, but I’d like to start the journey. For now, that is enough.
Plus, I got a LOVELY head & hest cold over the weekend and I am miserable with a capital grouch right now. I was supposed to work tomorrow, then be off the rest of the week to enjoy the kids, but I just emailed myself in dead for Tuesday and adjusted my time sheet accordingly. Maybe I can rest up enough tomorrow to feel at least partially alive by Wednesday & Thursday. Especially Thursday – since that’s Christmas in these parts. (It’s bowling day too, but that shouldn’t count)
Speaking of bowling, the next round of that “In League” tournament I entered starts Feb. 14. That’s the bowling center finals. The top 6 from each bracket in each center move on to the regionals in March. What ever hot streak I have going right now, I hope to ride it out to at LEAST February. The focus now is to identify what-ever-the-hell-it-is that’s going right and clone it, bottle it, get a friggin picture of it, SOMETHING, but just be able to get it back. The fact that my average is up 12 pins from lat year might be an indication that what-ever-the-hell-it-is has been integrated into my muscle memory. I hope.
I gotta go snort some Afrin or something, my head feels like it weighs either 48 tons of 48 grams – depending on how I tilt it or if I’m moving (wheeeee – free head rush!!)
I clearly need to go lie down.