Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Be Still! The Pharaoh Speaks...

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Last night was the SF Homebrewers Guild meeting at Anchor Brewing and we had our annual elections. I threw my hat into the ring despite my relative inexperience… but honestly, they’re just looking for a bit of an organized body to help spearhead the guild and help with its exponential growth… and I’m more than happy to lend my expertise & make some great connections in the meantime. I originally applied for Vice President because it was one of the few positions that wasn’t already earmarked for somebody else… but basically, I got an email a few days later saying “So… this guy is also running for VP & he’s been with the guild from the beginning… and is a semi-pro brewer so… how about we just make a position for you instead?” Yeah, they basically just made a position for me (Communications Chair) because even though I’m new to the world of brewing in general, I have that marketing degree & a can do attitude. My duties are I think primarily handling a lot of the email & social media communications for the guild… working with all the other leadership members & all the breweries that we work with (and there are a LOT & more on the way honestly) and whatever else I can do in support. I may even be taking lead on a few upcoming events… but we shall see with the details later. I’ll keep you posted.

So yeah, Izzy, Jackie D & I went, we had our “elections” last night, everybody was elected (as they ran unopposed) & now we start setting things up for the next year. Some highlights in the coming year:

• LOTS of Homebrew competitions

• Beer Judge Certification Program classes & training

• Collaborations with professional brewers

• Participation in some great festivals

• Brewery Tours

• Charity Events

• LOTS of sharing Homebrews

• Hosting an SF Beer Week 2015 event

• Anything else we come up with along the way

It should be pretty intense, but as I said, I’ll keep you posted. As for our next batch… and what would be our first to be kegged & placed in the kegerator… I think that we’ve decided on doing a ChocoNut Stout. What’s that? Chocolate & Coconut Stout… or maybe adjust it to a Porter. We’ve also got a few ideas involving everything from a jalapeno pale ale to a Scotch barrel aged Scotch ale… so you’ll just have to read to find out. In the meantime, here is some news from some old staples… since I’ve been slacking in that department the past few months…

Colbert Update - It's official. The CBS Television Network has announced that fellow great Steve and host of "The Colbert Report" Stephen Colbert will succeed David Letterman as the host of "The Late Show" effective when Mr. Letterman retires from the broadcast. CBS and Colbert have come to a five-year agreement with the premiere date of Colbert's show to be announced after Lettermen determines a timetable for his final broadcasts in 2015. Specific creative elements, including producers and location, will be determined and announced at a later date. CBS' Leslie Moonves says: "Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television. David Letterman's legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today's announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night." Congrats!!!

Fox Update - Megan Fox has long claimed to be a self-described “nerd” but has unexpectedly upped the ante when it comes to her fan-girl obsession with her role in the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. “I was really in love with them,” confesses Fox, who stars as reporter April O’Neil in the live-action reboot of the ‘80s cartoon which hits theaters August 8. “I have an older sister that’s 12 years older than me, so part of it initially was because I wanted to be like my big sister. But, it’s a really cool project for me because it was a huge part of my childhood, and it’s always been.” Her die-hard love of the characters – she even made husband Brian Austin Green watch the cheesy Turtle movies with her when they were dating – eliminated any hesitation about her decision to sign up for the film executive produced by… sigh… Michael Bay. “He was one of the most lovely people that I dealt with in making this movie,” says Fox of the Transformers director, with whom she had once publicly feuded. “I’ve always loved Michael. We’ve had our battles in the past but even when I’ve been really outspoken about difficulties we’ve had, I’ve always followed up by saying that I have a particular affinity to him. He can be very vulnerable, and he’s very likeable and loveable. I’ve always been very vocal about that as well. But, sometimes we clash because we both have very willful, powerful personalities.” Whatever. Bay and director Jonathan Liebesman had an edgy vision for the film that included a dramatic makeover for the four mutant turtles, now animated in CG. There are also plenty of dramatic action sequences and a few surprising contemporary details such as a complete makeover of Fox’s character, April. All of which, for the record, suit Fox just fine. Here it comes…

Fox: “She’s more of a leader when she explores her relationship with the turtles instead of just the human companion that gets dragged along on the adventure. It’s more representative of a modern woman.” Fox’s April also swaps her trademark yellow jumpsuit for a yellow leather jacket and skinny jeans but “I’m completely clothed for the entire movie,” says Fox, noting that may disappoint some fans… and she’s right. “There’s no gratuitous skin or sexual anything. Jonathan was really insistent on not wanting her to be sexualized or to take that sort of typical role we’ve seen women take in movies thus far, and that I’ve taken in particular.” Really? Megan Fox is in your movie… and you don’t want to sexualize her? I don’t think you really have a choice… but don’t expect Fox to trade hot pants for head-to-toe gear from here on out. “I don’t really mind,” says Fox of her trademark pin-up appeal. “It’s actually a large part of my personality. I think you can be that and you can also be intelligent and strong. I don’t think they’re in opposition to one another – at least in my life.” And that life now includes her two sons with Green, 15-month-old Noah and new arrival Bodhi Ransom (UGH!!!!!!!!! STUPID BABY NAME UPDATE!!!). Being a mother, says Fox, definitely influences the types of film she takes on. “I had just had Noah when I started taking meetings to see if this would work out for me,” explains Fox. “How cool is it to have a mom that plays either a superhero or plays the part of this iconic franchise that spans so many generations? I mean, hopefully they’ll both think I’m cool.” With cartoon reboots Transformers and Turtles behind her, Fox says she’s looking forward to future projects. A third cartoon remake of her choice? “Gundam Wing,” responds Fox, adding she’d love to see a Jurassic Park remake in the works. “Pacific Rim was sort of a Gundam Wing situation, but they should do it. What about Thundercats?” Or maybe, she says, Sailor Moon.“That could feasibly be made into a live action movie,” mulls Fox. “I don’t know how many Americans were into that. I was into that, but I don’t know how huge it was here. That’s not actually a bad idea.” Yup… no need for Wonder Woman when it’s more likely that a Thundercats movie will be made, right?

Anyway, hopefully you liked a little dip back into some of my running updates… stay tuned… there may be some more Panda, Bacon, Batman, or Apocalypse updates in the near future… in the meantime, I’m going to try to drink away the memory of Megan Fox & BAG having a child together named Bodhi Ransom Green or whatever… f**kin’ serious? Have a great day everybody!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Adventures in Sactown

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Wednesday “morning” we woke up before the dawn & helped with another brew at Elevation 66 Brewery with Super Dave & Big Ben. It was a pretty standard brewday… we were making Ramble Tamble Red, one of my favorites… Super Dave even trusted us enough to leave just the three of us (to catch some sleep)… oh and ugh… WE GOT TO MASH!!! WE GOT TO MOOOOONSTER MASH!!!

We also entered our first homebrews for competition at the Oak Barrel. We’re still a few weeks away until the judging (which is great because we just bottled four day earlier so they need at least another week to carbonate) but we’ve officially entered the San Mateo County Fair & Napa Homebrewers Classic with our Honey Amber Ale & Oktoberfest brews. This is great because we’ll not only get a chance to win fabulous prizes… but we’ll at the very least get some great feedback from certified judges on how to improve our beermaking and/or recipes. We’re really excited… and will actually also be entering the Alameda County Fair later this week… the SF Homebrewers Guild’s Tribute to America competition within the next month… and even the great California State Fair in blistering Sacramento by month’s end. So yeah… lots of feedback… and hopefully our beer turns out pretty good so we have a chance.
In two of the competitions (San Mateo & State Fair), they also have Labeling competitions… which is where the lovely Miss Izzy can show off some of her talents. Here’s a working version of our Honey Amber Ale label right now… Wish us luck!!!

Saturday morning, we woke up, had a little breakfast, and then bottled our Blood Orange Hefeweizen, which looks beautiful…

Afterwards, we headed to Sacramento for adventures… first, a stop at Heretic Brewing to replenish our growler with CHP (Chocolate Hazelnut Porter) and then to meet up with one of Izzy’s best friends Flea for some dinner at Red Robin & to pickup a fish. Yup… drove over 100 miles each way to pick up a fish… why? Because he’s a badass mutha lovin’ fish…

That night we stopped by Final Gravity which was a nice taproom where we sampled some selections from Loomis Basin Brewery… and found one of my favorite new little beers. It’s Ballast Point Brewery’s Navigator and it’s a doppelbock aged in Brandy barrels… and the taste is just magnificent. It’s obviously not your typical beer with the bitterness at the backend, just very smooth & flavorful… not unlike a sifter of brandy… but yeah, it was pretty f**king delicious. I highly recommend it. Loomis Basin’s selection was pretty good too. We tried their Alohawk (their top selling golden ale), Avenger (Double IPA) & Red Robin (kind of an amber English ale).
Monday night, after receiving my last shipments over the weekend, it was time to set up the new kegerator (despite not really having kegs filled yet) and get everything somewhat as situated for Steve-toberfest in less than two weeks. No, I won’t have anything on tap… but it’ll still be good to show off for future parties… and it’s a good solid fridge for keeping some of the selections righteously chilled. BEHOLD!!!

Tuesday (tomorrow nights) is the SF Homebrewers Guild meeting & it’ll actually be annual elections… and despite only being in the Guild for a few months, because I’ve shown that I really want to help out… they’ve actually made up for a position for me, so hopefully I can win over my constituents & be elected to the leadership group… but we shall see. Geez… competitions… elections… Steve-toberfest… empty carboys to fill… so much going on right now… wish us luck!!! Have a great weekend everybody!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Family Visit - March 2014

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Friday morning, I woke up early for a day off & went Furniture Shopping with recently new SF resident, Jackie D. Our first stop was Best Buy for a new TV with all the fixin’s (Bluray player that does Netflix & Hulu). After that, we spent a few hours at IKEA getting her some furniture to sit on & store her belongings… and other things that a single female might need… like decorative rugs, cooking utensils & maybe towels or something. After getting it all loaded into her… I don’t know… 450 square foot apartment overlooking a construction site (I prefer the term “canyon view” myself) then we did some running around to get her phone & internet taken care of… and ate at Smashburger, which was f**kign awesome!!! That’s really about all to tell about that…
Then I met up with my family at my place around sunset… and this time it was my mom, stepdad, niece Kairi, nephew Vinny & cousin Alicia who came to visit. Basically the first four took my bed for the weekend… and then the rest of us (Izzy, Alicia & myself) took the couch. Now, I have a nice couch… and it worked… but yeah, that first night was a little rough… and I think the nights after that were just sheer exhaustion causing me to pass out… but more on that in the coming paragraphs.
Friday, we spent an otherwise rainy day at the Exploratorium on Pier 15. In the years where it was located a few blocks from my house at the Palace of Fine Arts, I had never checked it out… but now that it was on the other side of town… we went. It’s a great children’s museum that’s VERY interactive & fun for anybody with even the slightest curiosity about science… which I’ve found that most kids are. Here are some pictures of our adventures…

A guys spent 37 years making this out of toothpicks...

After that, we had lunch at Boudin’s Sourdough and then returned home to watch some movies… and of course the kids were jumping around excited because Uncle Steve was nearby… and they’re kids. I enjoyed it but… I don’t like that they yell all the time over each other (hearing problems maybe?) & that my mom’s answer to everything is giving them massive amounts of sugar when my back is turned… but hey, I love those little scamps & we had fun as long as they weren’t hitting people or being grouchy.
Sunday, we drove to Pacifica to everybody’s favorite Taco Bell on the beach. Fun fact: Did you know they have Cinnabon Delights? What are those? Well, they’re basically deep fried balls of frosting… at Taco Bell. Out of place, right? Well… my mom & stepdad ended up buying FOUR 12-packs of them… and the kids ate the vast majority of them. Why? Wish I could tell you… but hey, that’s how it goes. Here are some pictures of them working off some of that sugar at the beach though…

Monday was another rainy day… but we decided to still go to the San Francisco Zoo because a) We’re not wimps; b) The crowds would be scarce; c) We had to see some animals and; d) We ain’t wimps. Oh, I said that part twice? Then you probably shouldn’t forget it. The weather was actually perfect for about the first hour or so… and then the rain started a little bit so after grabbing a bite to eat for lunch, the old people stayed behind to sit & we walked through the rest of the park at a decent pace. Here are some pictures…

This is how many hours it would take an elephant
to sh*t my weight... impressive...
Tuesday morning, I woke up early for work & gave everybody my hugs & kisses while they continued to sleep. Yeah, I’m sure gonna miss them… but they’ll be back & I’ll be visiting them shortly enough. Yeah, they’re exhausting… but hey, what else was I going to do this weekend? “Bottle some beer!” True… but we can do that next weekend too… and we’ll actually have all three batches ready for bottling. What’s that? Oh… Izzy’s mom is coming to visit next weekend. F**K!!! Oh well, we’ll just have to recruit her to help out with bottling then. Have a great weekend everybody!!! Plus a few thank you notes from my family for letting them stay with me... cuz we pay it forward like that...

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