Category: stuff (page 1 of 2)

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.


I wish I was the kind of person who could cry freely, who could weep and wail and teat at her hair and clothing and let it all out. And once it was all out, it would be like after a summer thunderstorm, cleansed and fresh and ready to move on.

Instead, I suppress because I have the background that I have; repressed. I hold it in, push it down. A few tears might leak out, a few sobs or cries. But no more. It leaves me feeling worse, with a headache and scratchy dry eyes.

I really wish I could cry.

These can all fuck off now.


Everything that makes me small and mean is taking up too much space in my head tonight. I would like them gone.

Did it!

Feeling quite proud of this.


2013 Retrospective

plot twist


I’m going to look at 2013 as the year of the plot twist, and move on. I’m not saying that life went wrong, but it certainly had an unexpected detour. I thank my beloved, my family and my friends for all the times they talked me off the ledge by reminding me that I have both mad skills, intelligence and the support of the people around me.

I like this representation of my year, a mosaic of all of the daily photos. Going by this, 2013 wasn’t as bad as all that.

2013 collagesm

Click to embiggen.

I’m sick, aka NaBloPoMo cop out

Well, I didn’t post yesterday, so I guess I don’t win the non-existent prize for blogging every day this month.


I just didn’t feel like it, between having some virus or another, getting a headache from the fumes from the bathtub refinishing and being in the grips of what is likely just the monthly hormone imbalance. I spent most of yesterday and today curled up on the couch knitting and watching Doctor Who.

I watched the 50th anniversay special. I’m not sure yet if I liked it or not; I’m going to have to watch it again and weigh in later. First impressions:

  • they gave John Hurt all the good lines
  • the only thing that is stopping Clara from being my least favourite companion of the reboot is the fact that she’s (now) a teacher with a motorcycle
  • I kinda want Rose back. And I really want River back.
  • Is it just me, or did the portrayal of Elizabeth the First seem a tad, well, messy and all over the place?
  • Feeling a bit let down by how the previous doctors where integrated.
Can’t wait for the Christmas special with Peter Capaldi. I’ve seen him in Neverwhere and Torchwood, and while I’m sure the teenage fangirls would disagree with me, I think he’s going to bring something interesting to the role.
In other news, it snowed here today which made me happy, and made me like a little kid jumping and skipping around the living room. I like snow.


I am going to attempt to do the following eleven twelve thirteen things tomorrow. I am telling you in the hopes that by telling you, I will be more inclined to do the following eleven twelve thirteen things. The word accountability keeps floating through my head here, but I cannot for the life of me put it in a sentence that makes sense in this context. It’s been a day.

  • put on the Fitbit that has been in the charging station since August.
  • track my food.
  • go for a swim (taking off the Fitbit first).
  • meet Nancy for lunch.
  • write the three blog posts I’ve been meaning to write for weeks.
  • update LinkedIn profile.
  • contact brewers for interviews.
  • finish Molly’s sock monkey hat
  • finish Yukon piece for memoir writing group.
  • take two Pantone project photos
  • have a really good cup of tea while reading a book. Hopefully the book will be really good too.
  • do this week’s online programming course assignment (almost forgot that one).
  • work on nephew’s website (and that one)

I could start some/all of that today, but it’s 5:30 and I have a busy night of knitting and watching Lost Girl planned for after dinner.

Summer list, 2013 edition.

Draft clean-up day, part 3: I started writing this June 26th. 

Last year, I read an article on Lifehacker about creating a summer manifesto. It seemed like a good idea, a way to perhaps not forget those few dozen cool things I want to do before they become like so many of my good intentions, filed under Hey, I forgot about that! 

And it worked. the only thing I didn’t do is go to a drive-in movie, so it’s back on this year’s version. Other things are back on it, just because they were awesome the first time around.

A List of Shit I Want To Do This Summer So I Don’t Forget, 2013 edition.

Make Shit

  • Knit the Nennir cowl. Small enough to be transportable, complex enough that I won’t get bored.
  • Knit some socks. Ankle socks for some instant gratification and knee socks because after summer comes fall. After fall, comes winter. And winter means cold feet and legs.
  • Get out the Flora soft circuit microcontrollers and maybe make this colour changing scarf
  • Dust off the sewing machine. Why pay $20 for knitting project bags when I can make my own?

Learn Shit

  • Learn how to do a proper crossover and jump on roller skates, finally. Learn and remember the rule changes, the ones that were put in place in January.
  • Update HTML, CSS and javascript skills. I’ve learned that knowing enough to teach 14-year-olds is not necessarily the same as knowing enough to actually program something.
  • Learn Ruby on Rails if time permits.
  • Learn about beer. While I am not sure just how practical it is in the long run, making beer part of my future career plans, I do want to learn more about it, to appreciate the flavours more and to make my own.

Read Shit

  • Read more books for fun this summer. I still have some to get through from this list, plus I’m finding I keep reaching for more books in the Culture series from the late Iain Banks. I’m currently 3 books behind in my 2013 reading challenge on Goodreads (4 books/month), but I hope to more than make that up when I’m away at the cottage for a week.
  • Try reading more non-fiction. Usually non-fiction makes me zone out, but I am hopeful that Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher will be an exception.
  • Read outside. In the park. On a dock at a northern lake. In a hammock. On a blanket in the park. In bed. Just read.

Do Shit

  • Be more active. Walk, swim or hit the gym around four times a week.
  • Picnic.
  • Stay in better contact with friends. Call them. Meet local ones on a patio somewhere.
  • Go skating! Practice stopping and turning. And not falling. (See first point under Learn Shit)
  • Write. Write new things. Edit some older things.
  • Cook hot dogs over a campfire.
  • Experiment with beer and food.
  • Do the Pantone Project on Instagram. I got the postcards a few weeks ago, and have yet to take even one.
  • Eat more fresh and local. Go to farmer’s markets and roadside fruit stands.
  • Go swimming. And even more importantly, don’t care about how I look.
  • Journal more. Wriitng by hand only hurts because I don’t do enough of it.

Go Places

  • Go to a drive-in. The one near where I grew up is still open.
  • Go to Manitoulin Island, Tyson Lake, Port Dover. Watch the sunlight sparkle on the water and ignore everything else.
  • Spend a day on Toronto Island by myself.
  • Go on directionless road trips with Keith whenever possible.
  • Visit Moreland House finally, rather than just driving past it.

Chill the Fuck Out and/or  Do Sweet Fuck All

  • Go offline for a week minimum.
  • Drink a cold libation on a patio and people watch.
  • Blow some soap bubbles. Wave sparklers around after dark.
  • Turn off everything and watch a thunderstorm should the opportunity arise.
  • Watch a sunset.
  • Spend time with Keith.
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