Saturday, January 20, 2007

Beer for Breakfast

We went to our BJCP class this morning, our first Saturday morning session. I don't think I've mentioned it before, but the boy and I are taking a Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) in order to become certified homebrew judges. We are learning more than any "normal" person want to learn about beer and its' characteristics. The class is usually on Monday evening's except for two Saturday sessions. These sessions are taught at Iron Hill, a local brewpub, but start at 9am (basically so us beer folks don't interfere with lunch crowd). The class is co-taught by the headbrewer at the North Wales, Iron Hill, which is why we are allowed in the place. This morning, after our discussion about malt, we tasted beers in the Pale Ale categories. Mmmm, quite tasty. We also tasted "doctored" beers, or beers that have been altered to purposely taste bad, so that when judging in a competition we would know what common brewing mistakes taste like. Those beer's were not so good. When training to be a beer judge, you are supposed to grade/rate each beer based on aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel and overall impression and grading based on style. One common theme I found between all of these beers was the honey aroma, however I was the only one who found this similarity between the three beers. Note to self, do not use Milk and Honey lotion before beer tasting. Every beer you hold will smell like honey. Not a very effective way to judge beers. Lesson Learned.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

work has been draining me. as i write this i can't even muster the energy to use proper capitalization, so bear with me. the purpose of this blog is not to vent about work. i like my job...usually. right now, however, my brain is overloaded. i'm learning a new job (one of the conditions of my position is that i will "rotate" every year for three years). being in the rotational program is stressful. not only do you have to learn a brand new job, at the beginning of the year, but you also have to train someone to do your old job. sounds easy, right? it's not rocket science, but, it takes longer to teach someone than to do yourself. compound that with trying to learn a new job yourself (that is completly unrelated to your old job), which you are naturally slow at those tasks, and by the end of the day your brain is spinning. or at least my brain is spinning. needless to say, i have not had the energy to do anything lately, let alone anything crafty. the house was a mess. luckily i live with a wonderful boy who cleans on his days off, since we would have nothing to eat off of if he didn't. it was all i could do to find the energy to go to the store, so that said boy would have something to eat when he got home from work (i get home much earlier than he does, even if i have been working 10+ hour days). now it is thursday and i have not been to knitting in over a month. i must go. i have to go. otherwise i will polish off the bottle of pinot in the kitchen and fall asleep on the couch with the t.v. blaring. i don't want to do that...again. plus, i miss my knitting buddies. maybe they will inspire me to finish the second baby sock (for a friend, not me!) or my felted laptop sleeve. one can only hope.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Crazy Customers

I must say, there really are some crazy people out there. It all started innocently enough, I decided to stop at my local cellphone retailer (who shall remain nameless) on my way home from work, in order to price new phones and headsets for the boy and I. As I walked in the door I hear a woman shouting...SHOUTING! Mind you, I witnessed people making a scene at retail locations in order to express their displeasure, which can be understandable but I have never seen anyone behave like this. The woman, who had two small children with her, was in the middle of the store shouting at who I'm assuming was the store manager while on her cellphone. The very nice and embarassed sales associate comes to try to wait on me, however it was rather difficult because the woman was seriously shouting at the top of her lungs. It was as uncomfortable as being at a friend's house when their parents are fighting. I try go about my business when she directs the conversation toward me..."DO NOT BUY ANYTHING HERE", she warns "THEY WON'T TAKE ANYTHING BACK!" Ah, so the domestic dispute is about their return policy. She then returns to shouting at the manager and talking on the cellphone, meanwhile the manager is asking her to leave. It was difficult to think, let alone ask the questions I stopped in to answer. In the end, the cops were called to escort her from the store and apparently she wanted cash for her return, which is not store policy. On my drive home I couldn't help but wonder where this woman learned that acting all irrational and crazy is the best way to get what you want, and did she really want her children to learn that that was acceptable behavior?

Sunday, January 07, 2007


I spent yesterday with a bunch of men in, really, I did. I attended the annual Mummers Parade in Philadelphia. The parade had been postponed due to inclement weather (it is normally held on New Years Day). We could not have asked for better weather in Philly yesterday, though, it was sunny and almost 70 degrees! I think we broke record highs for this time of year. What a crazy parade...lots of music and crazy costumes...(and drinking). The parade is broken into three sections: the Comics, the Fanciers and the String Bands, or something like that. Each "brigade" has their own theme, costumes and acts that they spend all year preparing for. Apparently the Mummers tradition dates back over 100 years. It's like nothing I've ever seen before. Check out my pictures.

Marcia and Tammy (in the hat)

Afterward, Jake met up with Marcia, Jenni and I to watch the Seahawks game and had some excellent beer. Jake brought a bottle of Chimay (the blue label). I can't get enough Trappist beer lately. So delicious!

Lucy and Jodie (Jenni's dog's) love the roof deck of the Philly house. Here they are on the neighbors roof (notice the skylight):

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2007...I love the fresh start a new year brings. One of my many resolutions this year is to post more to this blog. Apologies for the lapse in posting, since before summer, yikes! Since Santa left a shiny, new laptop under my tree, I promise to start posting more often.
Let's see, what has happened since I last posted...
Jake and I finally set the date and location of our wedding (after a 5 year engagement, we figured it was about time). We visited Las Vegas last July decided that it would make a fun location for our wedding! To read more about that, visit our wedding blog (which will be posted to more as the date gets closer).
Emma got a new buddy...Jack, a 3 year old Beagle, who had to leave shortly (1 week) after his arrival. He decided that biting was the best way to show Emma and Jake his displeasure with them. In all fairness, it wasn't entirely his fault...we think he may have been abused by his former owner and had some issues with authority. Unfortunately that meant that we were not a suitable match for him.

My knitting group held our first ever, knitting getaway in Cape May, New Jersey. What a great trip! We visited an Alpaca farm and the local LYS. Although, there was definitely my drinking, giggling and playing than knitting. We stayed at the Cliveden Inn, one of the many B&B's in Cape May. It was such a fun trip, I hope one of many more to come.
I just returned from spending the holiday in the Pacific Northwest. It had been over three years since I had been back, so it was nice to see all of my family and friends. My visit reaffirmed the goal to move back there within the next few years. While I love the East coast, Washington is still home.
Other than that, just lots of knitting, brewing and working...our house has been pretty busy over the past few months. I wish everyone a great 2007!