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.:: Monday, March 1st ::.

~ 10:20 AM ~

Journal had been archived.


.:: Sunday, February 29th ::.

~ 09:56 AM ~

We had dinner at Dave and Buster's. Neale had a chicken dish and ignored the mashed potatoes that accompanied it. We played a "game of skill,” which is called "Quarterback." There are various versions of this at D & B's but they all involve dumping tokens on to a tray to push other tokens over the ledge. If you have been to a carnival, a boardwalk, or a midway you have seen this game. Yes, it is a huge token taker. Yet, it is good clean fun and we made about a 1000 coupons for efforts. Despite the advancements in video graphics and surround sound video games, we enjoy the simple pleasures and a few super tokens.

The next DIY project I am considering is building my own PC. This barebones kit might be helpful.

How is your Leap Day? President Bush is probably considering backing an amendment to stop extra days because "it just ain't right.” Well, he will consider it because it is an election year and people need to be distracted from actual threats to their well-being (the economy stupid). Ah, manipulating homophobes is so easy (ew...that is gross). Do you know what is gross? Discrimination and prejudice…abuse of power…hate.

We are watching the Oscars.

Another anniversary of the webspace...Happy happy six years!

12 Reasons Same-Sex Marriage Will Ruin Society

.:: Saturday, February 28th ::.

~ 05:01 PM ~

Neale wants to play some pool so we are heading over to Dave and Busters. Despite the admission by the hostess that they shrunk their menu, we both found something to eat.

For those of you that sat through one of the most violent films in recent memory and are more interested in pointing fingers and self-righteousness, than walking in the path of Christ, remember no shrimp.

It was a great day here. We went for a walk. Our bikes are still being fixed. My shifter has not come in yet.

DishonestDubya Lying Action Figure

~ 12:04 PM ~

Neale is out shopping. She received a coupon to one of her favorite stores and there could be some summer stuff available.

With the prospective home in mind, we both realized that we would have to redesign our clothing storage. The older home does not have as much closet space and we should utilize our dresser & chest of drawers more. In addition, we will switch over the closets with the seasons.

I am racking the Sinister Ale to secondary in a few moments. I am dry hopping about 4 gallons with an ounce of East Kent Goldings. It should have a great nose with the hop addition. I am racking a gallon to my starter jug and withholding any additional hops to see what the difference is after bottling. I have adopted the popular 123 method, which means one week in primary, two weeks in secondary and three weeks in bottle before enjoying. The Bad Monkey Oatmeal Stout has reached one week and has another two weeks to go before I try any or let sample bottles out the door.

I had a pint of Young's Old Nick Barley Wine last night and it was good. My version is a Festive Ale and is scheduled for September. I also had a pint of St. Peter's Ale last night and I was not impressed. It was an English ale and strictly organic. I have had organic beers like Butte Creek's Porter, which was excellent and porter is not a favorite style of mine.

Kona Brewing
Sierra Nevada

.:: Friday, February 27th ::.

~ 01:42 PM ~

I had a pint of Young's Double Chocolate Stout last night. Neale stated it tasted chocolate syrup but it was better than that. It had a very nice finish and was quite smooth. I will be attempting a double chocolate, double coffee stout in the future. Red Hook's version went off the market due to a lack of interest but it was excellent.

Creatures from the Sandwich Shop
Democratic Underground

~ 07:49 AM ~

It is amazing (once again) how much difference a year makes. Neale is calling our home inspector, Dan Buck, another fine member of the Buck family and we are having our prospective place inspected this weekend. About this time last year, I was considering giving up teaching and giving myself until the end of the year to find a full-time teaching job. Well, we are happy, healthy, and buying our first home. Wow. Yes, I am thankful.

Do your shorts hang too low?
Yankees purchase naming rights to Fenway Park

.:: Thursday, February 26th ::.

~ 05:09 PM ~

We received an offer back and counter offered. The offer was accepted and we are signing the new papers this evening. The important point was having the owner accept closing fees to meet with our long term goals of making immediate changes to the dwelling. After this paperwork is finished, the inspection must approve the dwelling within 10 days and tell us about the cracks in the walls. There are a few cracks and have no problem repairing them but we want to make sure there is not a larger problem. Did I mention we watched the Money Pit the other day? I will post pictures of the place when we are sure it is our new home.

The Sinister Ale is slowing in fermentation. I will be able to rack to secondary soon (Friday, Saturday for sure). I was very pleased that my order from Northern Brewer already arrived. I need some cleaning supplies as my local brew shop attempts to make some money off their sales with considerable mark-up on cleaner & sanitizer. I have learned the two most important elements of brewing are patience and clean equipment.

~ 12:02 PM ~

We have a bid on a home. Neale saw the place yesterday and we made the offer last night. It has promise and needs some changes. An immediate upgrade we can make is adding a garage, which would inhabit part of the basement and become a separate space. (link to prospective residence)

I am dropping our tax materials at the Post Office and heading to the dealership for an oil change. I also get a tire rotation as I have topped 12,000 miles.

We love the subs...the Quizno subs...there is a pepper bar!
Woman dies during 'Passion'...Mel Gibson blames who?
Infomerical turns 20...Pocket Fisherman anyone?
St. Louis guns

.:: Wednesday, February 25th ::.

~ 07:15 PM ~

Neale is looking at a home in north Kirkwood. She resists to my pleas but I have learned a few things from horror movies and home purchases. For example, she refuses to ask if the gates of hell are located in the basement or nearby structure (i.e. Amityville Horror or The Keep). In addition, she will not inquire about the home being built on a former cemetery or Native American burial ground (i.e. Poltergeist). Once again, the burden of these important questions is left to me. Oh, bother.

Tomorrow, my Race & Ethnicity class will be discussing Haiti, polio in Nigeria, and the Bush Administration finally giving money for AIDS/HIV in Africa after announcing last year.

Almost an impact alert
Howard Stern dropped from Clear Channel
Survival Dog

.:: Tuesday, February 24th ::.

~ 12:00 PM ~

Bush backs gay marriage ban. Hey, why not the first amendment to restrict the rights of US citizens? Let's see what else can we make amendments for related to marriage since "it just isn't right":

  • My Big Fat Annoying Fiance
  • marrying for citizenship
  • no default divorce
  • Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?
  • Average Joe
  • marrying just for money
  • Vegas chapels (yeah, get Britney)
  • Married by America
  • Hollywood weddings
  • working on Sundays
  • women in positions of power
  • wearing clothes of two different fibers
  • eating of shellfish
  • women being uncovered (ah, Ms. Jackson)
  • witchcraft
  • idle hands
  • impure thoughts
  • lusting after thy neighbor's wife
  • not honoring thy mother & father

Let's get going people!!! Oops... potential problem in the house!

In all seriousness, what exactly is the legal arguement that Bush is using?

Don't Amend

~ 07:52 AM ~

Neale liked one of the properties and will be seeing the inside soon.

I tried yoga for fifteen minutes this morning. I did not stretch so it was tough. I was checking the news and flipped by the Fine Living channel. I am going to Tivo it and see what I can do after stretching. Neale may join in. I am familiar with the dog, mountain, and child position.

K-9 survives a job hazard

.:: Monday, February 23rd ::.

~ 03:32 PM ~

Neale is driving by some properties this afternoon.

We are taking the day off from exercising as we have been going regularly. I do weight training every other day and I went yesterday. Neale prefers two days off a week and I prefer one.

The Sinister Ale has begun fermentation. In about 4 to 5 days, it will be racked to secondary (the other identical carboy) and dry hopped.

My Intro. classes are enjoying this quiz for extra credit. It is educational and fun.

So what exactly are they waiting for?

White House Tapes
Above Top Secret News Network
Goose Island

.:: Sunday, February 22nd ::.

~ 12:32 PM ~

Neale is at an open house.

We ordered tickets for The Crystal Method show in April. We have not been to a concert since June of last year. Well, unless you count the TSO holiday show. There has not been anything that caught our interest but Neale likes the current Crystal Method single and I do have some of their past releases.

I am brewing today. The starter yeast is bubbling slowly. I am trying a new method to crush my grains. I will use the food processor and give them a quick buzz. I have been using the method of crushing the grains in a ziplock with a rolling pin but I am curious about how the food processor (used briefly) will change the consistency.

Nader to run

.:: Saturday, February 21st ::.

~ 11:32 PM ~

We negotiated with the seller but the deal was called off. The search for a home continues tomorrow. We both feel better about the process of buying a home and we already like the place Neale is seeing tomorrow.

I posted pictures of the brewing process to the photo section. A secondary fermentor, immersion chiller, and yeast starter jug has been added to the new brewing process, which starts tomorrow with the Sinister Ale.

Coyotes, a natural predator of woodchucks and dogs, are not welcome here or anywhere.

Spot has passed (no coyote was seen)

.:: Thursday, February 19th ::.

~ 05:05 PM ~

I dropped the bikes off at Big Shark Bicycle Company and was pleased with the service. The store was designed well and the people were very nice. Since we bought our bikes at Eddy's we could get a free inspection every year so this is the first real tune-up of the bikes separate of my efforts to keep them clean and running smoothly. I decided to get my shifters replaced as my left shifter lost its cover last June and may have some internal damage due to rain. Plus, I picked out a nice set of Specialized tires with some helpful puncture protection. We should have them back by next weekend.

Neale is stopping by House of India since they are closed in the afternoons. It is on her way home.

Natural Oven's Lo-Carb Bread

~ 11:42 AM ~

I believe Neale is feeling better. She seems to have a general feeling of being tired, which will cause her to miss the 11PM soccer game this evening. Yes, they play soccer at 11PM or, at least, someone does.

It is a beautiful spring day here and I will walk outside. I went to the lake yesterday and it was a nice, breezy 61 degrees. I also plan to take the bikes to Big Shark Bicycle Company in the afternoon for the yearly tune-up. I will also be getting my new tires. Since Big Shark is located in U-City, I will pass House of India and probably will get take-out for dinner.

I will be bottling on Saturday and starting the Sinister Ale on Sunday. The Bad Monkey Oatmeal stout has cleared nicely and is a lovely brown color rather than a black stout. The Sinister Ale will be the first batch to feature a starter yeast culture and benefit from secondary fermentation, which allows for tasty dry hopping and a clearer finished product. Also, I was able to track down a replacement thermometer probe for only $5.

I was slightly upset to hear about the shake-up with Queens of the Stone Age but confident that Josh Homme will find new bandmates.

Things I'd Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord...

.:: Wednesday, February 18th ::.

~ 06:20 AM ~

Neale may be a little ill. However, the new low that TechTV is sinking to is making me ill.

Appeals Court Upholds Do-Not-Call Registry
RIP Palmolive's Madge

.:: Tuesday, February 17th ::.

~ 11:09 AM ~

It started off as a rough day but it is slowly getting better. I had a slight issue in my online course (a rather odd post which had to be removed) and a miscommunication in my first class, which was due to the learning environment. Both have been discussed and sorted so it can only get better from here. Overall, if that is the worse part of my day and I get to come home to Neale, it is still a great day.

After a week of steady fermentation, my stout (Bad Monkey Oatmeal Stout) is starting to settle and I am getting ready to bottle in a day or so. I learned a few things about brewing in the last few days. First, when I get the space, I will have an old fridge or icebox for 5 gallon kegs. Kegging is an advanced technique but within my grasp. Each keg is treated like "a large bottle" and I can master force carbonation. It is another investment ($30 per stainless steel keg, $60 per regulator, $60 per CO2 canister) but draft systems last for many years. Second, I will use a secondary fermentor in my next batch (Sinister Ale), which means after a week or so in the primary fermentor the brew will be moved (i.e. racked) to another fermentor to clear and be dry hopped (adding hops to the beer after initial brewing). Third, I will begin using a yeast starter, which means getting the yeast started in basic wort before pitching (adding it) to the actual brew. I learned that my Wyeast should be given a day for every month since it has been made to get activated before pitching. In all, nothing to serious but some stuff I have learned about homebrewing in the three months I have been doing this new hobby.

Online advice...some good, some really illegal
Use the Rest Stop, please

.:: Monday, February 16th ::.

~ 12:43 PM ~

Iraq may be slipping into civil war. May I suggest we divide it into North & South, start an air campaign (Rolling Thunder, sounds good), and try to win the hearts & minds.

Washington, the first....Lincoln, the libertor....Pierce, the....hmmm...

MVP Baseball 2004

~ 07:42 AM ~

Neale has the day off (President's Day) but I am working. I do get Good Friday off and spring break is just three weeks away.

House of India was really good. I overheard two tables discussing how the Evil Empire acquired A-Rod from Texas. Over the weekend, there was the mention that the Mets passed on A-Rod a few years ago. He may be the best player in baseball but is he worth the salary? If he wins with New York, which still needs a lot of help on the mound, I will admit that the Mets made a mistake. Until then he is just overpaid no matter what the numbers.

We watched Bruce Almighty last night and it was good.

Central Vacuum

.:: Sunday, February 15th ::.

~ 11:27 AM ~

Neale had fun looking at houses yesterday and crossed a few off the list. It is still early in the process.

We did not make it to House of India last night so we are planning on going today.

Trio is airing a doc on the Mullet and the various reasons why it exists.

Newsday: Bush Dodged War

.:: Saturday, February 14th ::.

~ 11:55 PM ~

Brew It Up is just wrong. Where is the adventure?

Hacker Hall of Fame (not really)

.:: Friday, February 13th ::.

~ 10:03 AM ~

Neale is going out with her coworkers this afternoon. I have a few errands to run (Dierbergs & Costco). We are going to House of India for dinner tomorrow night. It fits within the South Beach guidelines and it is a new experience for each of us.

Happy Friday the 13th.

Teachers love free anonynomous cake
HBO's Iron Jawed Angels

.:: Wednesday, February 12th ::.

~ 11:25 AM ~

Neale has a soccer game tonight and I volunteered to make dinner. There is a favorite vegetable soup from the New Basics Cookbook and we will be omitting the potatoes to keep with the South Beach guidelines. We have done Phase I for three weeks and we are finishing that cycle this weekend. Neale has not reached any solid conclusions yet but I have noticed some changes for the better. Personally, my energy level was the same (I really do not miss bread that much) and I increased weight on a few of my lifting exercises while on the plan. My bench, curl, and military press all increased within the last three weeks.

The tribute (??) to Rick James on Chappelle Show last night was hilarious.

I heard Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" on the way into work this morning, simply the best disco song ever.

More evidence about 8 glasses of water..well, something liquid at least
Throw snowballs...now you deliver the pizza and go to jail
Serial killer of the San Paulo Zoo

.:: Tuesday, February 10th ::.

~ 01:18 PM ~

We have fermentation.

Neale is looking at houses this weekend. I will stay home because I am not a good "looker" of houses. This is just one example of how our relationships works really well....

O'Rielly questions Bush's WMD claims (finally!...fair and balance, right?)
Woman drops Jackons lawsuit
Dark matter?

~ 11:45 AM ~

The brewing process was almost perfect yesterday. I finally calculated how much water is boiled away in the process and this boil was longer than most. I added an extra quart to the carboy at completion and it topped off perfectly. However, my Taylor thermometer died during the process, which probably caused the grains to not to be steeped at the exact temperature. I did change my hopping process as I wish for this batch (Bad Monkey Oatmeal Stout) to have a good strong nose so I will see if the addition of hops at different schedule helps that along. In all, it was a good process and I am awaiting a sign of fermentation. The yeast took awhile to activate and this is a heavy brew so the yeast may need some time to gather energy. I may use a starter culture for the yeast the next time I do a stout. I have not krausened anything yet and am still reading about the process.

Taylor Thermometers and more

.:: Monday, February 9th ::.

~ 10:45 AM ~

I called Wyeast and spoke with a tech that was very helpful. Given that the yeast is not a popular strain and is a few months old, it is not unusual that is takes a few more hours to get active. The guidelines on the package are 24 hours and it will be closer to 36 by the time I get ready to pitch the yeast. So, I am brewing this afternoon after I get the windshield examined and go to the gym.

KDHX 88.1 ~ Listen online

.:: Sunday, February 8th ::.

~ 05:43 PM ~

The brewing has been called off due to some questionable yeast. I am using the Wyeast XL 'smackpack' for my brews and this package has not really swelled. So, instead of possibly wasting $30 of grains, adjuncts, time, and water, I will give my brew shop a call on Tuesday and talk with Wyeast tomorrow to see if it 'normal' for this strain of yeast to really not swell after seven hours of activation in a fairly warm kitchen. The last pack of Wyeast was a British Ale yeast and it swelled to full in about 5-6 hours.

~ 09:27 AM ~

I am loosely taking in Gods & Generals, which means I am doing a variety of things while it is on. It looks accurate and well staged but the true test is the battles in a Civil War picture. Stephan Lang is doing a good job.

We took in Monster last night and it was great. Clearly not for everyone and the couple next to us walked out. They inhaled their popcorn and drinks and then beaded for the exit. Just because a film is nominated for, Best Performance by an Actress does not mean it is a feel good piece (i.e. Monster's Ball, Boys Don't Cry, & The Accused).

Stir Crazy was good but not P.F. Changs.

I finally finished Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. I started back in September but got involved with Madden 2004.

I am brewing today and making our chili, which will have chipotles instead of anchos this time.

Roly Poly Sandwiches
Molecular Expressions of Beer
Biblical Buffet..pick what is convenient
Hindenburg: Titanic of the Sky

.:: Saturday, February 7th ::.

~ 12:18 PM ~

We are going to Stir Crazy after the movie. This resturant has a similar theme of the Flat Top Grill in Chicago.

~ 09:27 AM ~

It can be frustrating and fascinating that people are more concerned about Janet Jackson's breast and largely ignore the following: story 1, story 2, story 3, & story 4 .

We got alittle snow overnight here. I believe we are still going for a walk.

I just got the MSNBC news flash that the child with two heads died while in recovery.

Walt Brown in 2004
Famous Groundhogs
Winner of M & M contest

.:: Friday, February 6th ::.

~ 03:07 PM ~

I have gathered my supplies for the first batch of Bad Monkey Oatmeal Stout (see recipe page for details) and will brew on Sunday. The brew shop was out of Irish Ale yeast so I will be using Thames Valley yeast. The goal is something in the realm of Guiness-like Sammy Smith Oatmeal Stout that has a unique homebrew character so the Thames Valley yeast should help that along.

We are seeing Monster tomorrow, which I think is about a young women's search for self. There are probably bunnies...;)

Tivo Users curious about Tivo as Big Brother
Cult Film Database
Dead Sites of the Web: Ghostsites

.:: Thursday, February 5th ::.

~ 10:27 AM ~

In case you are wondering what I am doing with my day off. I just made a wasabi omelet, which was quite tasty. In addition, I have a batch of wheat meat (aka seitan) simmering on the stove. The process takes about an hour and a half.

I am seriously considering making my next PC at home. I believe I can get the main unit together for under $600 and have a good PC. This Screensaver article was the inspiration and their video should help. I am waiting until we move because I would like a workspace that can remain uninterrupted while I put together the parts.

~ 06:13 AM ~

I have another snow day. The main roads seem clear but the side roads are a mess. The snow did not start until after midnight and there is a concern about icing later today. This is not a problem for me. We did have an exam scheduled for today, which will be pushed back until next Tuesday.

Neale is having good luck finding possibe homes through online sources (Coldwell, Coldwell Gundaker, & Prudential) and our agent has already emailed some leads.

The West Wing was good last night.

101 Dumbest Moments in Business
US Bans a Font
Jon Blake Cusack 2.0

.:: Wednesday, February 4th ::.

~ 09:00 PM ~

We both voted last night and then had dinner at Crazy Bowls and Wraps. They have an Atkins bowl which is working for us.

~ 08:53 AM ~

It was real.

Ifilm: Superbowl commerical archive

.:: Tuesday, February 3rd ::.

~ 11:17 AM ~

Louis Black, a comedian, observed that aneurisms are caused by stupid things people say that are stuck in your head. For example, in his act, he heard someone say at IHOP, his health club, that "if it wasn't for my horse, I would have never spent that year in college." I also have a possible explanation for aneurisms...windshields. My windshield recently cracked and I had it replaced. Well, it cracked again. I need an aspirin....

Wardrobe Malfunction most played Tivo moment ever

.:: Monday, February 2nd ::.

~ 07:48 AM ~

Happy Woodchuck Day.

The Super Bowl was fun and entertaining. We did not stay up to catch the new Survivor but it is waiting on our Tivo.

Georgia is considering banning evolution. Next, they will ban rock music (especially "American Idol" because of the name idol), soda pop, working on the Sabbath, and make women be covered from head to head while in public. Oh, inherit the wind....

We did not recieve the snow/sleet that was predicted so the roads were clear this morning. Hopefully, the very cold part of winter is over.

Gateway to acquire EMachines

.:: Saturday, January 31st ::.

~ 08:49 AM ~

We received good news from our mortgage banker and will contact a realtor today. Our target area is revitalizing and fits our plan of getting a home that needs some TLC, which we can make cosmetic changes to, and turnover in three years. Therefore, this is the first home is a series of three and we hope to move in April. I am looking forward to tackling the landscaping this summer/fall.

We have some errands this afternoon and are attending a "trivia night" at a local church to support Neale's coworker.

Boogle: Google with quotes
TechTV Fun & Games
Honeywell: Humidifers

.:: Friday, January 30th ::.

~ 10:47 AM ~

We are meeting with our mortage officer today and we will be informed on how much they will send our way. However, signs are good we will get our target number as the paperwork reflected well on us and the initial quote was quite comfortable. Then, it is Briit's birthday party at the Taulbee home.

I believe we are supporting the Pathers in the Superbowl.

Microsoft announces reward for virus writer
Super Bowl XXXVIII

.:: Thursday, January 29th ::.

~ 11:44 AM ~

I have received my order from Amazon and own two of the best cult movies ever made, the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Repo Man. Now, I just have see if Neale will actually want to watch either these films with me or is this strictly viewing for Chris' late night flicks.

CDC: Extreme Cold
Symantec Security Response: Removal Tool for latest virus
Exploding Sperm Whale

.:: Wednesday, January 28th ::.

~ 07:47 AM ~

After some pokes and needles, I am allergic to mold. However, I am safe now and symptom free.

Eating at McDonald's for a month
Pope blesses break dancers
Kerry wins...Dean a second

.:: Tuesday, January 27th ::.

~ 12:43 PM ~

Congratulations to Noel and Cassie.

The roads have cleared and the overnight storm was quite small.

Neale did well on her first day of the South Beach diet. She was alittle tired in the afternoon but did make it through alright. I have joined the diet (in a vegetarian sorta way) to help her with this lifestyle change. So, I am making the morning omelets for each of us during this two week Phase I of the South Beach diet. The Better 'n Eggs product is quite nice.

I see my allergist this afternoon. I will find out what my allergies are soon. The collective belief is mold in the air ducts of my office or in the apartment. However, after some symptoms after Christmas and returning to the meds for a week, I have been off the meds for a week (doctor's orders) and have been "red eyelid-free". It has been strange but true.

The next batch of homebrew will be an Oatmeal Stout...I will be trying for something in the Sammy Smith variety. The Sutcliff style bitters has aged well and a good foamy head with ok lacing has emerged. I had the last bottle of Hefeweizen over the weekend and it still was quite good.

Oscar Nominations
Virus Alert: Update your virus definitions

.:: Monday, January 26th ::.

~ 09:54 AM ~

I am home on a snow day. This is unique because I have never had a snow day as an instructor. Ohio would never have snow days despite roads being closed and rare plowing of rural roads.

I decided to give Google Toolbar a try.

Yahoo: Newsweek Poll

.:: Sunday, January 25th ::.

~ 10:10 AM ~

We have a winter storm alert here, as there has been an ice storm since early this morning. It has been a remarkably light winter here so this not too bad. They predict snow for tomorrow.

Our Holmes humidifier "died" this morning as it tripped the circuit breaker twice when I tried to turn it on. It is under warranty so I will contact them soon. I discovered a small hole in the bottom of the unit and then a small scorch mark in the carpet. We think we avoided a bigger problem as the unit was becoming a serious fire hazard.

With Groundhog Day on a Monday, I am planning a smaller celebration than in current years. Each Groundhog Day brings a new incarnation of the Hairy Woodchuck, the celebratory drink.

Powell: There were no weapons

.:: Saturday, January 24th ::.

~ 10:45 AM ~

The Captain

The New Watergate
Hey Ya Charlie Brown
CBS Blocks Moveon.org ad

.:: Friday, January 23rd ::.

~ 08:58 AM ~

The fire alarm is going off, which occurred last week too. My class may be delayed.

I went to Neale's soccer game last night and she played well. There were no injuries this time except for a minor rug burn.

Democracy Now: Roy's response to the State of the Union

.:: Wednesday, January 21st ::.

~ 04:58 PM ~

My elective surgery is scheduled for St. Patrick's Day.

~ 09:34 AM ~

Neale tried to start filling out the paperwork for our mortgage this morning. However, she was quickly overcome by the application. I looked at it too (it is available online..but not a .PDF document, which it should be) and was a bit stunned. We are seeking help on some of the finer points of the documents. It is our first time filling out a mortgage application but not the last. We have already seen some good home prospects through information available through Prudential, Realtor.com and Coldwell Banker. We meet our mortgage agent on Friday.

I have an appointment with my urologist today. More news will be forthcoming.

Bush fullfilled 46% of campaign promises

~ 06:18 AM ~

We watched the State of the Union last night. I have caught everyone in recent years and Neale has become most interested in the last couple of addresses to the nation. We agree to disagree with much of the address. However, we believe in being informed. The President did spend very little time on the economy but we may get an amendment on marriage and less separation between church and state. Um, that is just fantastic.

State of the Union Drinking game
BBC: Presidential Quiz

.:: Tuesday, January 20th ::.

~ 08:22 AM ~

The first day blues....I still get nervous on the first day. I have not been in front of a classroom in a month and it is all new people. Well, mostly new people as I had four return visitors from my Intro. sections trying my version of Race & Ethnicity. First day...got to do it.

Neale is starting the South Beach diet next Monday.

South Beach Online

.:: Monday, January 19th ::.

~ 03:32 PM ~

I had an eye appointment. The doctor wanted to check the fit of my contacts. It took five minutes. Luckily, we live five mintues away. We walked after breakfast/lunch. Neale is enjoying Izzard's Dress to Kill.

~ 11:30 AM ~

We are going to Sweet Tomatoes for lunch and then to Dierbergs for groceries. Sweet Tomatoes is Neale's favorite place for lunch these days. I have to make a stop at the eye doctor so they can check my contacts, which are fine. Then, we are taking in Big Fish.

King "nonviolence"

.:: Sunday, January 18th ::.

~ 01:55 PM ~

Neale is back. We both have tomorrow off from work and are planning on seeing Big Fish.

U.S. School Segregation Now at '69 Level
Big Fish

.:: Friday, January 16th ::.

~ 10:33 AM ~

Neale is off to Cleveland. I sent a bottle of Sutcliff Style Bitters with Neale to share with Joe Boda. He shared some of his homebrew with me while we lived in Cleveland and I felt I would return the favor. Given that I had not had a bottle and was going to send one out the door untested, I felt compelled to have a bottle last night (oh yes, it was a tough decision). It was still young but the body and color was much improved. The mouth feel was very nice and not "thin" like the previous Hefeweizen, which one bottle still remains and reached its two month anniversary. I hope the carbonation improves with age or I will have to examine what I am not doing right with that part of the operation. The common cause of "no head" on homebrew is soap residue but the bottles have never touched soap, only the iodine sanitizer. Needless to say, it is still aging but quite good at this point.

I finished my morning meeting and have a few hours until the afternoon meeting.

Briess Malting Co.

.:: Thursday, January 15th ::.

~ 04:58 PM ~

I know how to use Dreamweaver...sort of.

Neale is playing a late soccer game tonight (10:20 start) and I will be home late. So, I will not see her until tomorrow. She leaves for Cleveland tommorrow morning and will return Sunday.

Exquisite Corpse
Mars Fullscreen Panoramic View
Bush at MLK Tomb

~ 06:48 AM ~

I have an afternoon workshop on Dreamweaver and then a faculty dinner which the part-time faculty were invited. The dinner is designed to have full-time and part-time instructors meet and mingle but I did not see any other sociology instructors on the guest list. I hope that a few do show, as I would like to meet them and discuss our assessment goals. Overall, in-service is going well and I am in good shape for the semester. I have been able to get many goals accomplished.

Saddam ouster planned in 2001(?)
Spies, Lies, and Weapons: What Went Wrong

.:: Tuesday, January 13th ::.

~ 09:07 AM ~

On my way to work my windshield cracked. I was sitting at a stoplight waiting to get on I-270 and I heard a 'pop' which then drew my attention to the passenger side. The crack formed across the bottom of my windshield. Since my dealership is on the way, I stopped and got an opinion on whether it was safe since it spread across the width of the windshield. It got an 'ok' from the service representative and I will get it replaced soon. It started with a rock chip below the windshield wiper and the thermal shock of going from 'cold' to 'hot' helped the process. I drive through two construction sites on my way to and from work so I have had plenty of opportunity for this situation.

Mensa Workout

.:: Sunday, January 11th ::.

~ 09:32 AM ~

I am bottling today and taking in some football. The Rams game was very fun. Although either of us are not active fans of football, we enjoy the playoffs and I did catch a few Rams games this season.

Neale is headed to work for a few hours and I plan to go to the gym. On Monday, my in-service week begins at L & C which means a few meetings and final preparations for my courses. We begin classes after MLK day. Neale is heading to Cleveland next weekend to attend a supervisor's retirement party. Speaking of retirement, we both finalized plans for our retirement funds this fall and I received my first year-end statement from TIAA-CREF yesterday. It was healthy and that is a good thing.

Powell withdraws al-Qa'ida claim as hunt for Saddam's WMD flags
Colin Powell: "I'm back"

.:: Saturday, January 10th ::.

~ 11:41 AM ~

We are enjoying the Rams game this afternoon. It is chilly but sunny so we are going for a walk before the game.

We watched Gladiator last night. Great movie.

I am planning on bottling tomorrow. The first bottle should be ready on January 25th. I am looking for more carbonation this time. I plan to fill the bottles higher as I left too much gap last time. Also, the auto siphon will hopefully solve the lack of siphon in the last attempt.

Macs that matter
To the Moon!
Celebrity Poker Showdown

.:: Friday, January 9th ::.

~ 03:38 PM ~

We enjoy using a hand blender. We purchased our first one in January last year. It is handy for Neale's soups and great for my smoothies. However, our Braun died in September. Since it was under warranty, I sent it off to the appliance repair shop and waited. Two weeks ago, I remembered it was still being repaired and decided to call. I did not get the impression that they received our package and I did not insure it so I chalked it up to a life lesson. Last week, I decided to order a new hand blender since it is so handy. It came in the mail yesterday...as did the original Braun. We now have two.

Democracy Now

~ 11:42 AM ~

I watched Something Wicked This Way Comes last night and it was as enjoyable as the first time. It is a great film with excellent performances throughout.

DVD Talk
DVD Journal

.:: Thursday, January 8th ::.

~ 01:54 PM ~

I enjoyed an episode of MST3K last night, a personal favorite Pod People. It has warmed up here so I plan to take a walk outside after my workout. Neale is playing soccer tonight.

The bubbling in the fermentor has slowed. However, I want to give it a week in there before bottling. The plans for the next batch are either a try at hard cider for Neale, a oatmeal stout, or high bitter IPA. Some people will be receiving a bottle through the mail.

well nighttime let her through
yeah i'm talking to you
I wanna see her
oh precious little thing
with eyes that dance around
without their clothes

so buy a pretty dress
wear it out tonight
for anyone you think
could outdo me
or better still. . .
be my winding wheel

'cause i feel just like a map
without a single place to go of interest
and i'm further north and south
if i could shut my mouth
she'd probably like this

so buy a pretty dress
wear it out tonight
for all the boys you think
could outdo me
or better still. . .
be my winding wheel
be my winding wheel

well the children laugh and sing
a song that ushers in her driving rain
and i'm standing in the station
like some old record waiting on a train

so buy a pretty dress
wear it out tonight
for anyone you think
could outdo me
or better still. . .
be my winding wheel
be my winding wheel
be my winding wheel

--- Ryan Adams "My Winding Wheel"

Addicted to Cable

.:: Wednesday, January 7th ::.

~ 03:25 PM ~

I got stuff done. I finished my exams and decided to leave the study guides for a little later. I copied all of my syllabi and am awaiting the final word on my Racial and Ethnic Relations course. I will know Friday if I have enough PAID students. However, if there is not, I still have an option available.

~ 08:40 AM ~

It is quite chilly here today. Neale and I are still walking outside at night though. Last night, it was 18 with a nice cold wind chill. Strangely, no one else was around.

I am heading over to L & C today. I plan to spend the afternoon doing some work. I have "a dream" to finish my entire set of Intro. Soc. exams and study guides before the semester starts. I still have to work on my web-delivered course but the shell is not available yet. I have a rough draft of how the course will go and will use what I learned in the past. I may go over on Friday too to do copying.

Acid Trip
Info Pollution

.:: Tuesday, January 6th ::.

~ 06:07 PM ~

This is too funny...and a little scary.

~ 10:47 AM ~

I did some prep yesterday and am working on my performance objectives. It is reflective and rewarding to know that I am doing positive work. I believe I will visit campus tomorrow to do some prep and pick up mail. Next Monday, we begin our in-service week.

I am planning to clean my PC fan soon. Yes, I know you probably wonder why I would want to clean the fan but I heard a noise during start-up and it had better not be the hard drive.

I added to the recipe section, film section, and updated the main page.

USA Today: Exercise Tips
Remeber Tug McGraw: You Gotta Believe

.:: Monday, January 5th ::.

~ 07:10 PM ~

I have my new contacts and glasses. They are great. There will be some adjustment to the new prescription but they are each more comfortable than the previous pair.

~ 10:47 AM ~

We had a great time with Lars and Judy yesterday.

Neale is back at work. I will start prepping again for the upcoming semester soon. I was able to get a good amount of prep accomplished at the end of last semester.

My brew is bubbling away. The fermentation is not as strong as last time. The last batch had a very quick and strong fermentation. I am using a different strain of yeast this time.

Off Limits: Students hook up with Professors
Croc Hunter takes baby to croc feeding

.:: Saturday, January 3rd ::.

~ 09:21 PM ~

The brewing is done. It went well and was less stressful than before. The steeping of the grains went well and the color was great. In addition, the chili was excellent and tasted like actual ancho chilies than tomatoes. A recipe can be experimented with very easily.

~ 11:56 AM ~

I am making a version of Rick Bayless' chili tonight. Bayless has a great show and his style is unique. However, he probably has thee last watchable cooking show on PBS. Food Network and Fine Living have taken over that niche. What happen PBS? Once as mighty but now barely watchable as TLC, Discovery, History Channel, NGC, and others have developed better imaginative programming. Anyone counting on PBS for quality programming needs to check their local listings...other channels are doing a much better job.

Neale spent time with Sara last night in Alton.

I am brewing today.

Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

.:: Thursday, January 1st ::.

~ 02:10 PM ~

Happy New Year!

We had dinner at The Top of the Riverfront. We learned something about pre fix menus...ouch.

Neale is enjoying the first season of the West Wing and I am taking in the MythBusters marathon on Discovery.