Sunday, July 27, 2008

Catching Up

The more I have to do, the more I get done. I'm not sure what my efficiency is as a person, but hopefully it's as good as or better than my all-grain efficiency. Regardless, I've been very lazy about blogging this summer. I thought with all this time away from teaching I'd be writing every day, brewing like a mad man, and getting lots of tasks completed.

Yeah - that didn't happen. I've been reading a lot, hardly watch TV any more, and have been getting into the gym. Mostly, it's been time spent with my wife who, for the past two years, had been buried in a physician assistant program. I'm happy to say that we've enjoyed the last month or so with few major commitments before we get back to normal. Next week, she starts her new job/career and I start getting ready for another academic year.

Highlights in the last month or so included an annual family reunion at my parents' place (a small gathering this year with 58), a trip to the Finger Lakes, helping Dave do his first all grain brewing, and an afternoon at Fallingwater. We started this morning off early with a neighbor's truck on fire at 6:45.

Two weeks ago, we drove up to New York for a few days in the Finger Lakes. We'd been up there once before with my parents, back in 2003. It was a nice trip, but a bit harried, as Dana and I were just a week away from moving to France for my post-doc - we spent several hours on that trip trying to get our papers in order. Regardless, we liked the area enough to go back, and we stayed at the same B&B, Merritt Hill Manor, near Penn Yan. Great place and super hosts, Mark & Susan.

We didn't really tour any wineries this time - we haven't been drinking too much of it. But I did find some good beers, of course. I snagged two bottles of Boon Pertotale and a 1995 Hurlimann Samichlaus at the Village Tavern in Hammondsport.

If you're in Canandaigua, I suggest eating at the New York Wine & Culinary Center, which focuses on New York beers and wines, paired very well in their menu with many local ingredients. The Wegmans in Canandaigua also has a great beer selection, including tons of NY beers and four different Trappist breweries represented.

In Watkins Glen, there's the Wildflower Cafe, home of Roosterfish Brewing. Lunch after hiking in the gorge was nice, although the beers were so-so. On the trip home, we stopped for several hours in Corning at the glass museum. Nice place. Afterwards, we drove over to town and had some samples of beer at Market Street Brewing. Decent enough, but it was freakin' hot inside.

For dinner, we hit Bullfrog in Williamsport, and I brought back a bottle of the Beekeeper ale - unfortunately, they were out of the Cheer (blackberry/blueberry sour ale). All in all, a nice few days.

Last week, I helped Dave with his first batch of all grain. We toted up all my equipment to Dave's porch, where, with a bit of alteration, we started things going around 2:30. He made a saison. My last batch of beer still sits in secondary - and I think I want to keg it ... just need to buy the stuff.

Yesterday, we took a drive down to Fallingwater. It's about 1.5 hours from here, and this was our 3rd time there. Great tour, if you've never been. Afterwards, we drove down to Ohiopyle and had a pint at the Falls City Pub (not a brewpub), before heading up to Ligonier for dinner.

And finally, I woke up this morning at 6:40 or so - nature called. With the windows open, we've been hearing a whining-whirring fan at the neighbors house (unoccupied and for sale). It's the radon-removal unit, and has been bugging us for three weeks now, despite two calls to the Century-21 office. Anyway, just as I was climbing back into bed, the noise got worse, like a fan on its last legs. I assumed it was the radon fan of the house ... after about 5 minutes, it quit.

A few minutes later, I hear a fire siren. Not unusual in Indiana, as we have tons of fires and about 40-60% seem to be arson. However, the siren came right up our street and stopped. Jumped out of bed thinking the house next door caught on fire or something, but it turned out to be a Ford F-150 sitting on the street next to the neighbors house. Quite a fire. By the time the fire truck arrived, the whole front end was engulfed, and we'd heard three explosions (two front tires and maybe the battery?). By 7:15, it was all over and quiet again. Not something you see every day, but luckily no one was hurt and all the smoke went straight up and not in anyone's home.

No comments: