imageGuys, has it ever hit you? The stall anxiety of workplace number two’s with other dudes in the stalls next to you?  I believe this very experience defines the primary two sub species of men; The performer and the perfectionist.

The Performer

The performer is a strange breed.  A guy who’s orthodoxy about crapping is equivalent with the lead vocalist of an 80’s hair band. The intentional sport of grunting, farting, splattering, splashing, occasionally sweating, and a number of other indescribable sounds attributed to bearing down. This is a person who also walks around the showers at the gym butt naked scratching his balls while hosting a conference call with investors. A bowel movement is no different than a sneeze or a hiccup. It doesn’t matter who’s listening, it’s not funny or embarrassing.  It’s business.

The Perfectionist

The perfectionist is the polar opposite of the performer. This quiet shitter actually plans out the morning bowel movement to impact the fewest people possible. If it was possible to drive home and crap they would. The ultimate fear of the perfectionist is sitting down just before the cleaning person opens the door and barges in to clean the corporate bathroom space. It’s not that you have to fake a loud cough to get her to notice and back out, It’s that you were identified as a shitter and not a pisser. It’s like a handicap to the perfectionist. The performer wouldn’t give a shit. He would say something like, “honey, you may want to start on the urinals, because I’ve got at least twenty to go…”

The perfectionist has another weakness, the threat of a belly laugh. If a performer is seated next to a perfectionist, the perfectionist loses every time. As the performer is pushing and grunting, amplifying each wet fart and dripping ka-plunk with an intentional sigh of relief, the perfectionist is starting to laugh like a 7th grader at a sleep over. Since the perfectionist would never be heard making any noise except repeated coughs and shuffles, toilet paper rattling, intentional bumps and unnecessary throat clearings to mask the most subtle sounds, the immature snicker that turns to a post bong load hysteric is a serious threat.  All it will take is the performer to say just seconds after a barrage of sewer symphony, “Jesus Christ, mother of Mary, what was that?  The perfectionist loses all control and busts out in what seems to be a celebratory chuckle, but in just seconds transfers to an uncomfortable bellow of laughter, noticeable to the performer.

The perfectionist hasn’t even shit yet and has to exfill the stall due to laughter.  The performer has 10 to go and is a bit miffed by the “Sally” in the next stall who is laughing at his normalcy.

Twenty minutes later, the perfectionist has found an entirely different bathroom and has snuck in to attempt to silently purge without notice. He thinks it’s safe and likes the look of the stalls he passed before hijacking the handicapped stall but little does he know, there are multiple perfectionists already engaged in their business and there is nothing funnier than a chorus of fake coughs and throat clearings trying to mask every splash down and high pitched fart.

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imageMy second BIAB installment of the weekend and in preparation for our annual 4th of July party, is a lemon infused Hefeweisen that comes in a little strong at 6% ABV. Hef’s are easy to make and again, the options for customization are endless. This recipe will have the fresh Lemon juice infused into the mash and wort. A little scary for sure, but the zing of lemon has a decent margin for error in it.  Check back for the taste test on the 4th.

image“Ditzy” is an Imperial Blonde Ale that we over roast to look more “Beyoncé” than Pam Anderson.  Rich and smooth, this ale will please you even if not actually Beyoncé.

“Hillbilly Hefer” is our mountain Hefeweisen boldly brewed at 5.9% and infused with fresh lemons.

“ROcKtObErFeSt” is somewhat obvious and yes, a pumpkin ale with nutmeg and cinnamon.

“Oldham Ale” is a classic English Pub Ale with roasted French hickory chips and cask rum notes. It will change your world.

“Dark Vors” is a powerful IRS, dry and bitter. A taste of this mob lord and you’ll be tattooing your forehead.

“Red Giant IPA” is a bastardized step child of an IPA with black cherries and coriander notes, whacked with Sorachi Ace.

“ROTSK” (Realm Of The Sun King) is an American Pale Ale reminiscent of freedom and liberty packed into a Citra hopped concert of flavor and elation.

“Nutzo” is a big nut brown ale, packed with toasty, nutty, smoky, wood grain, corduroy vibes and in at 8.5%.

 

Email me for the recipes.

image Yes, I have progressed well ahead of the blog schedule of releases. In fact, I’m on branded recipe 13 despite having only posted the intro to home brewing YouTube piece. I’ve been trying to get away from such industrial feeling set ups with hoses and buckets, cooler mash tuns and multiple stainless kettles and back to a simplified weekend brewing routine that turns killer craft beer. The Jedi Master of Brew In A Bag (BIAB), Scott, has turned some award winning recipes with this smaller format, expedited method of brewing.  I gave it a shot and here is what I found.

imageUsually my triple burner propane system brews my ten gallon batches. Old school, all grain mash tun brewing is my gig. Today, I pulled out a convection heating plate, a single kettle and an all grain IPA recipe from Hydro & Brew.  Here’s how simple this is.  7 gallons of filtered water in the kettle. Bring to 170 degrees and insert the supplied bag into the hot water. Dump in the grains as your helper stirs the grain. Soak the grain for one hour keeping the temperature around 156 degrees (+\-3 degrees). At one hour, remove the bag and place into clean bucket to drain off the excess wort. Slightly squishing the grain can increase volume. Pour the extra wort back into the boil kettle and bring to a medium boil. At boil, set timer for one hour and add hops as recipe calls. At one hour cool the wort using a immersion cooler and transfer to Carboy/fermenter and pitch yeast.

imageThe base IPA recipe was pretty straight forward. One of the best things about home brewing is the brewers ability to modify the batch as he/she pleases. In this case, I added fresh black cherries and coriander seed to the batch to add a fruity finish but just short of a flavor. I also substituted Sorachi Ace  for the Apollo hops and will also dry hop the batch for the last three days of fermentation for the freshest hop notes possible. Stay tuned for the taste test on July 4th.

imageStaring at the sky meant a lot of things to past generations of dreamers. From a passing plane to the universe itself, the sky has been instrumental in shaping North America’s hope. Two major factors will stunt the future dreamer forever; One, a passive interpretation of the constitution and two, a culture without foundational guidance.

The Constitution

So scary to think of this country without a strong constitution or a culture who whimsically interprets it. What strikes me is the daily distance we install between ones expectation of privacy and privacy itself. The villain largely responsible for the subtle but epic paradigm shift in expectation? The smartphone.  The internet.

Now don’t worry, this is not a rant about living off the grid. It’s more of a sad decree that we are not coming back to our senses and the result of such apathy towards constitutional foundations is more of a zombie future than any millennial is prepared for. Why is it ok for Google and every major carrier to track, log and sell you digital behavior to the highest bidder?  Google will say the end user gave permission by checking the little box that we all have become so accustomed to, “By selecting this service you have agreed to our terms of service…”  Even with the terms of serviced hot linked to the actual document, has anyone ever read it?  If you disagree, can you still use a cell phone?  The fear I have is when this expectation of the lack of privacy dilutes the 4th amendment to the point where the police don’t really need warrants anymore (they are optional) or our government at will and without regard stores 100% of our communication, remarks, location, medical history and social behavior for the nefarious advantage of whatever governorship deems relatively critical.

Foundational Guidance

Religion aside ( I know that’s a big one), how did we “progress” to a place where a hip hop song on the radio edits the word “retard” and let’s the word, “nigger” slide?  In my mind it is the decline attributed to interpretive freedom and the lack of strong leadership in many sectors of our society. What ever you want to call the foundation in place for the greatest generation to have built this country when they did, can we please get another to follow?  Maybe the geeks of the (silicon) valley can make an app that generally guides mankind based on an agnostic platform. Wait that won’t work, the conservatives won’t use the app.  Ok, ok, maybe the app allows for liberals to click on or off whatever offends them and feels like conservatism, but then the foundation is more like sand not concrete.  Maybe just maybe we need one party to drive a unified foundation to the people called, ” In the eye of the beholder”. We’d only need one leader then and perhaps no elections?  Wait the conservatives will say no to that historical prophecy as well.

I got nothin…

Epic Diners & Caves

Posted: June 21, 2014 in Travel
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imageIf you’re ever heading south from Joplin, MO, make sure to head west from Pineville to a little gem called, Noel, MO.  Don’t worry you won’t miss it because there is a stop sign and a Phillips 66 that is closed. In the midst of a slumbering business district is “Kate’s Kountry Kitchen”. While I’m not sure why they spelled it that way in this part of the country, it does wreak of banjos and Pall Malls with a front porch congregation of regulars right out of a Tarantino flick.

Inside it’s uneven flooring, exposed wiring, refrigerators with retrofitted cooling parts from 57 Buicks and one pregnant waitress serving about three passer’s by. This is a joint I could get used to.   We sat down at brunch time and looked at both sides of the menu to see what made sense. The waitress asked if our party was having lunch or breakfast and made it a point to inform us we had to choose one or the other. There was no mixing breakfast with lunch. Scratching my head, I had to ask, “so we can’t order from both menus?”  “No, you have to choose one or the other.”  Breakfast it is!  I ordered a featured dish called, “Scatterbrowns”. A mix of hash browns and with a Denver omelette vibe. Good comfort food and a ton of it.

image110 feet below ground and just down the street from our breakfast hole in the wall is this hole in the ground, “Bluff Dweller’s Cave”.  Freaky and impressive, this guided tour ($12), will take you backed to the paleo era with some truly amazing views, underground waterfalls, and lakes. Completely worth the price of admission, this adventure will take you about an hour and does not require climbing or risky passages but you will need to duck now and then.

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Stock Market

Posted: June 20, 2014 in One Comment
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Manipulated.

imageIm becoming more habitual with my cocktail schedule. There are two cultures I find appealing relative to booze; One, my house and two, a bar. I don’t like bars that much unless they are in the lobby of my hotel because the pressure of driving ruins my buzz. My house is great because anything goes including my new life management drink called, “Vodka Redbull Miralax”.  At 46 my doctor recommended a cap full of Miralax a couple times a week.  He said it was tasteless like Ambien and would be noticeably beneficial to the “schedule” no one wants to talk about. Being the libation lover I am, I dropped a cap into my drink the other day and declared a time management epiphany.  Not sure I can pull this off at a bar even if it is in a lobby.  So far, so good.

Image  —  Posted: June 20, 2014 in OMG
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