Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I've been bad...

I know, I have neglected my blog here for a while and for that I am very, very sorry.

Now, get over it.

I'll have some knitting and beer updates soon.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Beer and Knitting

Heaven, I'm in Heaven........

There is a new group that just formed here in Raleigh that combines my 2 favorite pastimes, beer and knitting. It is a group called Carolina Flyers and we meet at the Flying Saucer in Raleigh. Yup, we meet a beer tavern, drink beer and knit. How cool is that? (when was the last time/first time you went to a bar and there was spinning wheel there?)

I went out for the first time last Sunday and had a blast. I got there about 1230p and did not get back home until about 9p! And no, I did not knit the whole time. I knitted for about 3 - 4 hours and the rest of the time was spent talking with the other folks in the group. The most we had there was 11 people, but it dwindled down to 4 of us for the last couple of hours. Which is just perfect for me. Any discussion with more than 4 or 5 people and I tend to turn into a wall flower.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I watched a movie

Yes, I , the non-movie watching person, watched a movie tonight.

As a Christmas present to one of my roommates, I set up a subscription to Netflix. So we have been getting about 2 movies a week from them. Most of them have been horror movies, which I can't stand (I shrink and hid like a little girl). Every once and a while, we would get a gay or lesbian themed movie from them. OK, we would get a gay themed movie fro them. Most of which have been just this side of horrible. Well, tonight I watched one of the Donald Strachey mystery movies with Chad Allen. I must say I was quite impressed. Most of the acting was very good (Margo Kidder was in the film also). A couple of the scenes were over the top (they had Margo Kidder after all). The story lines were brought together in a memorable way and with a pretty good twist on everything at the end. There were enough clues so that you could figure out who the "bad guys" were about 3/4 of the way through the movie. Which I like, I'm not that much into thinking during a movie. But not enough clues to give the ending away.

All in all, a good movie. No Oscars in sight, but a good movie.

Oh, and there was the obligatory naked man (rear only).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Martinsville Speedway

The Marquise and I went out to Martinsville Speedway for the NASCAR race last Sunday. I have to say it was an adventure. We left the Marquise's place Sunday morning about 630a so that we could get up there by about 9 - 930a (which we made with plenty of time to spare). When we got to the parking lot, we took a quick "power" nap to rejuvenate and the headed out to the midway. I know that is a carnival term, but it fits better than anything else. On the way out there we had to walk past all the camping spaces. That should not have been a problem except that it had rained the past 4 days there. The entire place was one big mudpit. I mean one BIG mud pit. Considering we had about a mile or so to walk, it was not a pleasant experience. The midway was packed with people. All of the drivers had their own semi-truck ( some had several) full of stuff for people to buy. The Marquise kept muttering stuff about capitalism, Marxism and other -isms. I didn't quite follow it all. About 12p we decided to head to our seats, thinking the race started at 1p. It actually started at 2p. We ended up sitting there from 12p to 6p. A really long time. Once the race got going, it was actually OK. It took me about 100 laps to get used to watching the cars and figuring out who is who. I kept trying to look directly in front of me. Bad Idea. They move to fast. I finally figured out to look to my left and up to the turns. I think we were sitting by turn 3, maybe? After that, things got about as clear as they are gonna get for this Non-NASCAR person. The Marquise brought a notepad and we exchanged notes all through the race. Talking was out of the question.... we were on row 4. I have told her she has to post the notes on her blog, with as little editing as possible. They are a hoot.

My overall impression: this will probably be my one and only race. The reason will probably surprise you...... NASCAR fans are pigs. They do not pick up any of their trash and they don't even try to keep it contained. Beer cans, wrappers, bags were blowing everywhere. I actually could have put up with that, however, if that was all. The real killer was the ashes that kept blowing on me for 6 hours from people smoking nearby. The smoke didn't bother me, it was the ashes. I felt like I was sitting in one big ashtray. Unless there is a (large)non-smoking section, its gonna take a whole lotta persuasion to get me to go again.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Facebook can be a great resource for connecting with people you have lost touch with. I recently chatted with a former co-worker from many years ago. I had crocheted a baby blanket for her daughter who turned 14 this year. This would have been one of my first first projects (probably second or third). I was quite surprised to learn that she still has the blanket! I have asked her to post a picture of it, if she can. It would be interesting to see it again. Sometimes, I tend to discount how other people view these gifts. I tend to see how I could have done it better, while they see a family keepsake to pass on. It is humbling to know that someone thought so much of my gift that they kept it for 14 years (13 of them with no contact). Especially considering how mobile today's society is.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Beer Done Bad

Yesterday, the Marquise and I went out to a new brewpub that has opened up in Raleigh. It is the Boylan Bridge Brewpub. I had been watching this place take shape for about 2 years it seems and I was excited when I saw it was finally open. Since we were going to be in that area anyway on Saturday night, I suggested that we try the place out. Not the best idea I have had, unfortunately. Their beer menu is limited, which is not all that surprising for a brewpub, they are supposed to serve their own beer, not other brewery's, but it didn't help that they were out of several of their own beers. When you only have 6 beer styles and you are out of 2 or 3, it just doesn't look good. I had the Southbound Stout and the Marquise had the Rail Pale Ale. Mine started out OK, but had a really long bitter after taste, which got worse the more I drank. I didn't finish mine. The Marquise's take on the Rail Pale Ale was that it was kinda 'Blah". Not exactly rousing endorsements. Usually, if we both order 2 different beers, one of us will get one we like. It is really unusual for both of us to be so unimpressed with our beer.

The other major complaint we have concerns the food menu. The types of food offered is pretty much "standard" upscale pub food, but the pricing/portion size is out of whack. The burger and fries that I got and the fish and chips that the Marquise got were both 9.00. However, given the portion size, the price range probably should have been 7.00 - 8.00 .

We will probably give them another try, but it'll be a couple of months. Maybe this was all just a slight stumble ........

Oh yeah, what's up with the floors?. All the woodwork in the place is great, but the floors look like leftovers from an old community center.

Beer, again...

Its been a while since my last post concerning beer. No, I haven't stopped brewing, just had a slightly longer break between batches than I would have liked. Oh, well.

This new batch of beer is an American Irish red. I got the kit from American Brewmaster. They have started putting together their own brew kits. Each kit contains grain, malt extract, hops and yeast; everything needed to brew a batch of beer. The difference between this kit and the others that I've used is that the others already had all the hops added and they did not contain any grains. They were all extract. The first thing I noticed was the really great smell that came up from the pot as we were boiling the grains. The second thing I noticed was the even better smell once we added the malt extract and the hops. We did have a slight boil-over during the process. I kept looking out for it, but it somehow snuck right on up. It wasn't to bad though ('specially since it wasn't my kitchen!). Its all in the fermenter now, I'll let you know how it turns out.