Hump day live blog

3:14am: wake up, remember that I set the alarm for an hour earlier, set it back to the usual time and go back to sleep until 4:40

4:40am: alarm goes off, hit snooze

4:54am: realize I turned it off instead of snooze, and that if I don’t get up now, I won’t.

5:04am: out the door.

5:30ish: see a glorious sunrise over Georgian Bay from the top of Blue Mountain. I’m tempted to pull over and take a photo, but I already have scads of glorious sunrise shots. I hope I never grow tired of this.

5:40: at work. I revel in the silence of being the first one in while I pull on my boots and look for my knife. Then it’s turn on the Sonos (brewing like a mofo playlist), and get going.

5:46: get brewhouse ready, start mashing in the new lager. Have an impromptu solo dance party on the brewhouse when Rock The Casbah by the Clash comes on.

6:10ish: mash in and program started. I get my hoses sorted, take the ph of the mash and the sour.

6:30: realize the HLT is not heating. The usual tricks don’t work, so I spend the next 15-20 minutes wiggling connections, getting tools and cursing.

6:45ish: realize that the HLT is not heating because I have not turned on the boilers and compressor. More cursing, at myself this time, and turn them on.

6:50am: mill the next brew. It’s a small one, only 20 bags, but I can already feel how my hands are going to hurt tomorrow. Time to admit to myself and Dave that I am 57, have arthritis, and can’t do everything. I curse some more.

7:30am: milling done. Down to the brewhouse and start the wort line CIP. Hear the splashing noise that means I did not notice that Oliver left the overflow valve open. Turn off the pump, close the valve, start over. More cursing.

7:45 – take a break. Finish my coffee and wish I had another one. I can get one upstairs but it’s a Keurig. Keith has spoiled me for other coffees.

7:55 – decide to sit outside but am stopped by the sight of a dead bird in front of the door, it’s neck broken from flying into the glass. It’s the sight of it’s mate standing close by, not moving that makes me want to cry. I can’t bear to watch Coleson move it to the trees with a shovel.


8:15 – upstairs making coffee. I tripped going up the stairs and banged my knee. Of course I’d have to do this post on one of those days. Sigh.

8:36 – “huh, why is the level on the lauter tun sight tubes so high?” I ask myself as I climb up to the brewhouse with my coffee. Because, dear idiot, you have left the valve open to put the foundation water in rather than using the flow meter like you have for the last year and a half. Cue me dumping a third of the hot liquor tank down the drain. Fuck me, is the whole day going to be like this?!?

8:46 – apparently it is. Customer walked in wanting to buy beer. I left the door open after the bird incident. But who tries to buy beer in this province at 8:46 anyway?!?

9:00 – mash in second lager. So far, so good.

10:15 – it’s been an hour, and I haven’t forgotten anything or screwed up. Maybe, just maybe…..

10:39 – helping on the canning line to free Keith to mill for me. A fair exchange.



11:29 – wort line rinsed, mash almost done, lauter tun entire and rinsed. I have 10 minutes before a hop addition. Time to eat.

12:20pm – country and western on the Sonos. Trying hard to ignore it.

1:03pm – first brew cooling out, second one sparking band the third in the mash tun. And an hour to go!

2:15 – Done! No more incidents of slight stupidity!

2:45 – Using up the rest of my Craft Cider Passport today, first stop the Cheese Gallery in Thornbury for a cheese pairing with some Spy Cider’s offerings. The cider maker is there, someone I’ve met when I first started at Side Launch (can’t remember his name), with an extra sample of a very delicious organic MacIntosh cider.

3:12 – To Thornbury Cider, for two very sweet ciders and a chocolate brownie with whipped cream. Insta-headache. Grace is working there now, it was good to do a brief catch-up.

4:00 – Aaahhhh. Coffin Ridge. So glad I left this to the last again. Excellent cider and a thoughtful pairing. Add in a glorious view from a comfortable chair, and the sound of a bullfrog from the little pond in the barn ruins, and it was a perfect end to the day. 

Buh bye

Today I ended a 12-year toxic relationship. Fuck you, Facebook.

Fuck the targeted ads, the lack of privacy, the lack of care with my data, the oh-so-broad definition of the word friend, the FOMO and the bullshit.

And fuck the lack of funny cat pictures.


The question is no longer do I leave Facebook or not.

The question is do I just say fuck it all or try and keep up with a few groups.

On failure

I think that in the end we all need our Nocturamas. Your Nocturama may, indeed, be the most important thing you ever do. Failure fortifies us. It moves us forward. It strips everything back to its essential nature and leaves us clean and pure, ready to begin again. You don’t create something as problematic as Nocturama without a certain risk and a little courage and the temerity to fail. I love this troubled record for that. It may just be my favourite. ~ Nick Cave, The Red Hand Files Issue #20

Vegas 2018

“How was Vegas?” I was asked upon my return to real life.

How to answer?

Do I talk about how long it’s been and how good it was to see the people who I have grown to love and cherish since meeting them online 13-ish years ago? About how damn easy it is to be around them, how I can be as close to my true self as I can be in public and get away with it?

Do I talk about the moments of delight: of finding the Art-O-Mats, old cigarette vending machines that have been repurposed to give you art for $5; of the sudden sight of a 2-story metal praying mantis that shoots fire out of its antennae in time to AC/DC; of being able to see the Kusama Infinity Room in a near-empty Bellagio Art Gallery; of old neon signs, horses in front of a biker bar, and cocktails in the speakeasy at the Mob Museum; of sitting in Elvis Presley’s booth, and seeing a chair that looked like the Bobs in Mirror Mask?

Or do I talk about the bad poker, the over-stimulation, the cocktails, the casinos, beer with friends, long conversations and loud laughter, people watching, missing absent friends, the triggered memories, the bad moods, the good moods, the food, the changes in the 7 years since I was last there, the glorious feeling of being with people who get me, warts and all?

“It was fun,” I reply.

My social media rules

I need to be able to answer yes to most of these questions before I follow people on social media.

Do I know you?
Have we actually met?
Do I like you?
Do we have friends in common?
Do I like our common friends?
Do you post very often?
Do you amuse/inform/educate?
Do you give a glimpse of your real life, or is it carefully crafted to instill insecurity and FOMO?
Do I care about this cause/charity/business?
Is this the only way I can keep up with this cause/charity/business?
Am I irritated af?

When a project stops being fun

I have been slacking on my photo-a-day project for at least a year. It was fun, and I loved how it made me look for something different in every day. The eight years (EIGHT YEARS!!!) of tagged photos really helps trigger middle-aged brain, let me tell you.

But it’s not fun any more. It’s been going on so long and has become so big that it feels like work, like an obligation. I was going though the motions because I had to. And I often forgot about it for weeks or months at a time.

So I have decided to retire I could delete it, but I’m reluctant to do that. I like knowing it’s there. I’ll keep it running, but I’m not going to post anything else to it. I’ll back it up and use Blog Booker to create a pdf of it that I may or may not print.

And a funny thing happened once I made that decision….I wanted to do another fun photo-a-day project again! So I got a new domain,, and if I can maintain it, I’m going to back up/print and delete everything once a year so it doesn’t get too bit and take on a life of it’s own again.