Tag Archives: Movies

Jumping into Brewing

I love beer.  That’s really the only motivating factor to this endeavor.

My friends Dave and Kent have been homebrewing for years, but I have only been talking about it and enjoying their tasty brews.  Last weekend, Ethan and Rick finally kicked my butt into gear and we actually acted on one of the many crazy schemes we’ve concocted.

The Supplies

Saturday was shopping day.  We went to Fort Worth Homebrew, on the east side of Fort Worth.  It’s a fun, family-run establishment, and the folks there are very helpful.  We even got to sample some of their homebrews (the smoked beer was delicious!).  After stocking up on a mid-sized brewing kit, we selected a recipe for Belgium Pale Ale.  We opted for the malt extract since it’s our first time.  After this, we patted ourselves on the backs and capped the afternoon off by watching District 9 – an excellent film full of most of the Half-life 2 weapons.

Brew Day

We met up Monday night to start brewing.  Suffice it to say, it was a very easy process.  After hearing lots of warnings, we decided to overly sterilize everything.  Since I was with Ethan and Rick, but bio-sciences guys, we stuck to the protocol, erm.. recipe to the very last detail.  In fact, our specific gravity was only 1/1000th off from the baseline.

Below are the images from the brewing.  You can see the full gallery here.

The supplies
The fermentation bucket
Boiling the wort
Cooling it back down
Adding the yeast

The Result?

We aren’t sure yet!  We’re transferring over to the carboy next Monday for the 2nd fermentation, and then over to bottles a week after that.  Finally, we’ll let it age for three weeks before we get to see how we did.

However, we at least know it’s bubbling away in the bucket right now!

Three Days of Birthday

Angela really overdid it.  Honestly.  In the end, I’ve had a wonderful three days of being spoiled.

On Thursday night, Erin dropped by on her trek to KC.  This led to some good Isis/Jabber time and also let Erin and I catch up over some tasty BBQ.  She also introduced me to a fun new game called Alhambra.  Good times, although I must say that I enjoy Settlers better.

On Friday, Angela treated me to baseball, beer, brats, and blowing things up, all in the same event!  We went to a Fort Worth Cats minor league game.  Their logo, no kidding, is FTW, and boy did they, 9-3.  We even made friends with a completely wasted old man with a net loss of teeth.  It’s always fun to carry on conversations with people who might as well have a mouthful of marbles.  I like it because I can invent in my head whatever I want them to say and the conversation carries on just about the same.

I was really surprised on Saturday.  Angela took me out to get a massage which nearly put me to sleep the rest of the afternoon.  Thankfully I came to, because after that we went to Truluck for an amazing dinner.  I had the sesame tuna this time and Angela tried the mahi-mahi.  Both were fantastic.  We finished the night watching Wall*E.  I found it very cute and incredibly human, which is funny considering it’s a movie about two robots on Earth with only a couple lines of dialog between them.

Today, my actual birthday, I largely spent in bed being lazy.  This evening, after some grocery shopping (and cake-buying!!) we met up with Griff and Courtney to watch Wanted at Movie Tavern.  I really enjoyed the film, and it was a great end to the weekend.  

Sadly we all head back to work tomorrow.  Thankfully, Angela and I will be meeting up with my folks in two weeks to spend a short 3 day vacation on the coast.  Time to start looking forward to that.

Reunions

The past two weekends have been jam-packed with excitement.

Two weeks back, we went up to KC for Cathy’s graduation, Mom Chao’s birthday, and to catch up with the gang.  Angela, of course, documented the whole occasion in a timely manner, so I’ll spare you the play-by-play.  However, I had a great time with Katie, CC, Scott, and Shernuk.  I love how, no matter the time that has passed, we can fall right back into old times.

Scott, Andy and I watched Iron Man and I was happily surprised at how fun it was.

Last weekend, Brandon came in town to (hopefully) get some much needed relaxation in.  We ate out at BLT Steak Friday night.  It was decent, but the flavors were a bit too raw for me.  With that said, they had amazing gruyere popovers.

Saturday was shopping and a BBQ where we got a chance to meet Eric’s fun girlfriend, Brittany, as well as meet up with David and Anni.  I made ridiculously large burgers.  I believe some even referred to them as “hockey pucks”.  Either way, no complaints, and no food poisoning.  Angela made her mom’s potato salad (tasty!) and a fruit salad.

Sunday, we met back up with David and Anni for lunch at Central Market (note to self, we frequent CM way too much for lunches, but it’s so good!).  We then split up, guys and girls, with Anni and Angela off to shop for clothes while Brandon, David, and I went to Modia for my home theatre gear.

After getting lucky on some prices, I was able to get the exact set I wanted.  I ended up with the Rotel RSX-1057 paired with 2 B&W 685’s.  They sound amazing, especially considering that I only had the built-in speakers in my TV to compare to!  It still pains me that I spent that much on speaker cable, though.

This week will wrap up my 4 weeks of 4-day-weeks, and I’m certainly going to miss it.  Angela and I don’t have any time off planned until July, and work is looking to be very hectic over the next month, so I’ll be sure to use my new speakers for some relaxing music.

This weekend, Angela and I are planning on seeing the Sunday Concert in the Garden, and I suppose I should finally mow the yard.

Birthday Fun time explosion, with welts

Admittedly, this is coming a bit late as my birthday was almost two weeks ago. However, it’s high time that I finally write about it!

Angela surprised me with tickets to see Paula Poundstone at Bass Performance Hall (which explains the two mobile pics in the posts below). It was a great show and a wonderful time. It was nice to see Paula doing better and staying as funny as ever.

The 4th came and went without too much fanfare – we were still in the monsoon and I caught a quick break and mowed the yard. Oh the joys of adulthood.

However, come my birthday weekend, there was much fanfare. Angela got me an awesome package of fancy popping kernels (evidently the fancy way of saying pop corn) which are very tasty. Even Angela enjoys! She also got me a bluetooth headset and a spiffy Alton Brown grill kit. The grill kit contained: dinosaur water bottle from the show, grill gloves, and tongs. Good work!!

Jordan and Cathy came in town Friday night, with Josh and Kat arriving Saturday morning. The next morning would bring carnage (in paintball form).

Josh, Sean, Jordan, Eric, Griff, Ethan and I all arrived at the paintball field to be surprised by Brandon and Bryce. David eventually made it to the correct field and the game was afoot!

Well, no, the sweating was afoot. See, with all of the rain, we had to change locations as the original field was slightly underwater. So, we moved it to the (closer) North Richland Hills location which, while not underwater, was still quite muggy. I think Sean had it right by taking it like a man by wearing shorts and dealing with the welts later. Unlike Sean, the rest of us came in baggy pants and long sleeved shirts, which for those not accustomed to Texas in the summer is akin to having your own personal sauna at all times.

After many rounds and countless trees killed dead, and expiring not one but three boxes of paint between the 10 of us, we all decided that we’d much rather be showered in our bathrooms rather than from the sweat dripping from the facemasks.

That evening, we all returned back to our house and managed to squeeze around 18 folks into the house. I had no idea we could do that! If we sell the house, we’ll certainly have to put that down as a selling feature. I grilled burgers, and we had endless help and great food prepared by everyone else. Many thanks to you all, especially Angela, Cathy, and Kat!

Sunday came and went too quickly, but we did manage to catch Ratatouille and it was amazing. Love the Pixar films.

Last weekend was largely lazy on my part and hard work on Angela’s since she had to work. This coming weekend, Cathy says goodbye to Texas as she moves back up to Lawrence for the Fall semester. To celebrate, we’re going to watch HPATOOTP. Hah, toot. Anyhoo, I’ve been twittering more regularly than posting, and I’ve found that I really enjoy it. It’s not near as narcisistic as I thought it would be. Angela deemed it “blogging your AIM away messages” and that’s essentially how I’ve treated it. I need to get some more of you all tied in with it so I can keep up on the randomness in everyones’ lives a bit better.

As for now, I can’t wait for this weekend to finally get my hands on the new HP book. ?HP: HP(book) ? HP(movie). This, of course, means that I cannot look at any sites halfway related to HP until I finish it considering that it has already been leaked out to BT in image form. Counting down the days!!

Weekend fun

Hello all!

I’ve been twittering rather than posting and now it’s time to come back to the fold.

Two weekends back, Kat and Josh came up for a wonderful visit. They had planned on spending the majority of the weekend with Kat’s sister, Sarah, and Kat’s new baby cousin, Brandon. However, Brandon got a bit of a fever which meant we could steal some more time with the two of them. We had a fun time and caught “Knocked Up” which was freaking hilarious. Highly recommended for those of us who like their romantic comedies chopped up and fried with jokes about reproductive organs. I haven’t laughed that much at something other than myself in a long time. I just wish Angela didn’t have to work as much that weekend!

Last weekend, we made the trek down to Austin to see my folks. Cathy didn’t have much holding her in Houston, so she headed up, as well. Dad made brisket, the puppies played, and everyone had a great time.

We saw Pirates on Saturday night and I have to say it was much better than Dead Man’s Chest. I heard a bunch of grumbling online about At World’s End, but I loved it. The thing with these movies is that you have to take a complete departure from analyzation. You cannot infer anything extra into the movie. It is completely to be taken at face value. The minute you try and dig into why something is happening, you might as well be looking for philosophy in Pod People.

Alright, that’s all for now.  I’ll update soon about WWDC.