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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in The Evil Zymurgist, der Chet, The Man in Black's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, April 16th, 2009
11:21 pm
Why We Fight, er... Brew, that is.

Went to the screening of Beer Wars with friend (and fellow homebrewer) digital_rider  this evening.  I have to admit the film was a little disturbing.  Budweiser engages in "identity theft" of craft brews, independent brewers have a really hard time getting their beer to market because the big breweries control the distributors and it's hard to figure out who owns who any more (Miller/Coors merger, Budweiser buying Rolling Rock and shutting down the original brewery, InBev buying out Bud and owning Bass, Grolsch, etc.).  It makes one's head spin.  Then there are the ignorant masses who watch the Superbowl for the "beer" commercials...  Whole generations have been brought up to believe that all there is to drink is that fizzy, yellow, tasteless shit.  Apparently, all the big breweries really care about is selling and marketing a dumbed-down, homogenized and virtually tasteless product.  They literally spend billions of dollars in advertising to get you to drink their bilge and more on lobbying to maintain their hold on the channels of distribution.  And if they can't drive out the competition, they'll just buy them out.

I do have a few complaints though:  the movie ended someone anti-climactically and the "round table" discussion got cut off.  (We only got to see the last minute or so).  I was sorely tempted to try and get my money back, but, besides the hassle, I wanted the filmakers to profit from the venture and I'm thankful to them for getting the message out.

I recommend that anyone who reads this and likes beer send a message to the Big Corporate Brewing Machine:  Give us what we want to drink, not what you think we want or what you can pass off.  Support your local craft brewers (and homebrewers!) and avoid purchasing that mass-marketed, fizzy, yellow, light, piss-water that gets passed off as real beer.  Vote with your wallet.    Hopefully someone will get the message.

Current Mood: frustrated
Sunday, March 22nd, 2009
9:41 pm
Visit to the Land of Goodies

Went up the California coast to the Paso Robles/San Luis Obispo/Cambria area with partners in crime blithescribe  and mortgaged</lj>  for a weekend of wine tasting, beer tasting and food sampling.  Of course I came back with more than I expected:  spicy olives, "atomic" mushrooms, "frog balls" (spicy, pickled brussel sprouts), habanero-stuffed olives, various spreads, chutney, etc.  And lots of Port.  Some Tempranillo, Petit Syrah, Zinfandels (it was Zin-fest afterall) and, of course, beer.  (Willing to share with those who drop by (while supplies last)).  (Wish I had more money to spend!)

The weather was a little cooler and we had a rain/hail storm come in overnight Saturday, with lots of wind Sunday morning to whip those trees around and churn up some whitecaps out on the ocean.  Lots of fog in the evening (not much fun to drive through) and a longish drive there and back again, but well worth it.  Good food, fun new wineries, great beer, wine, food and good company.  What more could you ask for?  (Ok, maybe a few more days...and more friends to share with.)

Highly recommended wineries:
   Mitchella: great people, nice atmosphere, great cheese and chocolate pairings and the vintner is a real Port enthusiast.
   Lone Madrone:  good Zinfandels, good food (Beef Bourguignon -yum!), and an interesting floor show (funny and somewhat brazen chickens).
   Laetitia (Barnwood) and Clairborne & Churchill  (on the way up and back respectively) were both phenomenal.

I did get to visit both Firestone Walker brewhouses (the one near Buellton serves lunch and dinner and is a little quieter than the SLO location (former home of SLO Brewery)).

The only regret I had is that I couldn't be two places at once and had to miss the AHA Rally at Stone Brewery in Escondido (but I don't want to become Dr. Manhattan -then I wouldn't enjoy anything on this planet!).  (I am expecting a full report from the C.o.W. members who did visit though...)

-Cheers!

Edit:  Also recommend Midnight Cellars and Dark Star.


Current Mood: satisfied
Saturday, January 10th, 2009
2:32 pm
Brew News
Just brewed a Heather Ale (Fraoch) and the beginnings of a Blackberry Melomel.  They are bubbling away nicely.

Still have an American wheat beer spiced with orange peel and coriander on tap (similar to a Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat, but a little cleaner (used Chico yeast strain) and slightly higher alcohol content).

Next likely projects are an  IPA (British style) and maybe a Maibock.  Any other suggestions?


Cheers!



"Electricity is actually made up of extremely tiny particles called electrons, that you cannot see with the naked eye unless you have been drinking." —Dave Barry



Current Mood: creative
Thursday, December 4th, 2008
7:18 pm
A "Death in the Family"
Please be nice to each other this holiday season... even if you do shop at Big Box Mart (aka Slave Mart)...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,461704,00.html

Current Mood: irate
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008
5:11 pm
Beer!

Kind of a long article, but well worth sharing:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/11/24/081124fa_fact_bilger?currentPage=all

Current Mood: creative
Friday, November 21st, 2008
12:02 am

2423 spam messages in 1 week!


Brewed Oatmeal Stout and kegged Altbier Wednesday (for you beer enthusiasts out there).


How's this to keep you up at night:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,455067,00.html

Current Mood: sleepy
Friday, November 14th, 2008
12:34 pm

Beer news:

Apparently, the only thing holding up InBev's takeover of Budweiser was Labatt's.  If there could be a more horrid, mass-produced beer than Budweiser, it would be Labatt's Blue.  http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a0b8KoqJMHdk&refer=home
 
I was once subjected to this "brew" on a Jet Blue flight to New York a few years back.  It was something I couldn't forget.  Apparently, they like this so much in Buffalo, NY. that it is Bud's biggest competition there.  Who knew?  InBev now has to sell Labatt's to avoid "uncompetitiveness".  No offense to Buffalo: I like the Bills, and I like buffalo wings.  And no offense to Canadians (there are much better beers made in Canada), but wtf?  Thank God I can brew my own...

In other news:  I watch with interest to see just how many spam messages I can get in my gmail spam mail filter.  I cleared it out at midnight and had 192 "messages" by noon today.  I note with some amusement that it says right near the top of my spam mail that messages will be automatically cleared after 30 days.  How many messages will I have by then?  Thousands?  I've decided to track this for a week just to see how many I'll get. (192x2x7=2688)  Any guesses?

Still waiting for delivery from MoreBeer, after which I'll brew an Oatmeal Stout and "Orange Fizz" for the Holidays.  Altbier is clearing and will go into Keg this coming week.  Any requests?


"I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer." —Homer Simpson


Thursday, September 25th, 2008
7:57 pm
"Caplicoln One" (or "More BS From China")

China Space Mission Article Hits Web Hours Before Launch

Thursday, September 25, 2008

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 Reuters


Sept. 25: The Long-March II-F rocket carrying the Shenzhou VII manned spacecraft blasts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

BEIJING —  A news story describing a successful launch of China's long-awaited space mission and including detailed dialogue between astronauts launched on the Internet Thursday, hours before the rocket had even left the ground.

The country's official news agency Xinhua posted the article on its Web site Thursday, and remained there for much of the day before it was taken down.

A staffer from the Xinhuanet.com Web site who answered the phone Thursday said the posting of the article was a "technical error" by a technician. The staffer refused to give his name as is common among Chinese officials.

The Shenzhou 7 mission, which will feature China's first-ever spacewalk, is set to launch Thursday from Jiuquan in northwestern China between 9:07 a.m. EDT and 10:27 p.m. EDT.

The arcticle, dated two days from now on Sept. 27, vividly described the rocket in flight, complete with a sharply detailed dialogue between the three astronauts.

Excerpts are below:

"After this order, signal lights all were switched on, various data show up on rows of screens, hundreds of technicians staring at the screens, without missing any slightest changes ...

'One minute to go!'

'Changjiang No.1 found the target!'...

"The firm voice of the controller broke the silence of the whole ship. Now, the target is captured 12 seconds ahead of the predicted time ...

'The air pressure in the cabin is normal!'

"Ten minutes later, the ship disappears below the horizon. Warm clapping and excited cheering breaks the night sky, echoing across the silent Pacific Ocean."



Current Mood: amused
Tuesday, September 16th, 2008
10:08 pm
And I thought they were just trying to kill us... Make mine melamine!

Chinese baby milk toll escalates

Fifteen-month-old Tian Yaowen who suffers kidney stones, cries in a ward of Tongji Hospital in Hubei province on Monday
Amid rising public anger, there are reports of a media crackdown

More than 6,200 babies have fallen ill after drinking milk made from contaminated powder, Chinese Health Minister Chen Zhu has announced.

The figure is five times higher than previously announced.

Mr Chen said a third baby had now died - with the latest fatality occurring in the Zhejiang province of eastern China.

Chinese state television reported that the chemical melamine had been found in 22 brands of powder - not one as previously thought.

Mr Chen said a total of 6,244 infants were now sick, and that the number of those diagnosed with "acute kidney failure" had risen to 158.

The government has called the poisonings a "Level 1" food safety incident and formed an emergency team to grapple with the fallout, Xinhua news agency reported.

But rising public anger, expressed on China's active internet forums, is prompting reports of a crackdown by the government on reporting of the milk scandal.

I'm angry. I'm furious
 
Yang Letong
Father

That anger was reflected outside the headquarters of the company blamed for making the contaminated formula, Sanlu Group, in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, where distraught parents gathered on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

Businessman Yang Letong, 34, told the agency his toddler twin daughters had drunk Sanlu products since they were born.

"So what if they give us our money back, you can't give our children their health back," he said.

"I am angry," he said, tears welling in his eyes. "I'm furious."

Arrests

Sanlu has apologised, saying that suppliers who sold the milk had apparently added the chemical.

Normally used in the manufacture of plastics, melamine makes foods appear higher in protein, but has caused kidney stones in babies in several Chinese provinces.

News emerged of the problem only after a New Zealand company, Fonterra, which owns 43% of Sanlu, informed New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who then informed the Beijing government.

Four people have so far been arrested in connection with the scandal, with more expected. Twenty-two others are being questioned.

Vice-health minister Ma Shaowei warned on Monday that as many as 10,000 infants may have drunk the contaminated milk.



Current Mood: irritated
Thursday, June 26th, 2008
8:59 pm
Hooray for sanity!
  Congratulations to the US Supreme Court for upholding the rights of the average citizen the right to keep and bear arms for self defense and hunting!  It's been a long time coming!  Welcome back to America -no more distrustful, holier-than-thou politicians trying to turn us into the Peoples Republic of Amerika.

I actually feel a little better and have a glimmer of hope for our country.  I only hope it lasts...

Current Mood: hopeful
Saturday, June 21st, 2008
6:29 pm
The Devil Went Down to Georgia

Well, just got back into town last night.  It was kind of a long day.  Got up at 5:30am (2:30 Pacific), showered, shaved, got breakfast and hopped aboard the shuttle to training at 7am.  Did training, got dumped off at the airport and flew 4hrs and 15 mins back to LA with some f#*k on the other side of the plane complaining, spouting-off and being obnoxious the whole way back.  She was met at the gate by the cops (there is some justice still in this world!).  Got home by 10pm.  Not bad, only 19 1/2 hrs.

Didn't get much of a chance to see Atlanta.  Daily routine:  get up 5:30-5:45am, shower, shave, head down to breakfast and catch the shuttle to training at 7am, stay there all day until 6pm and back to the hotel.  Dinner, then 25 cent to $1.00 beers (YES! *raises fist into the air*), hang out, then study and hit the sack by midnight.  Rinse, lather and repeat.

Refreshingly, it was cooler in Atlanta than in LA and they did feed us well.

N.B.:  Nobody outside of CA, AZ, NM, TX and southern NV (and Mexico) knows how to make decent Mexican food.

I found an interesting beer (on the plane of all places!).  It was a Sunset Wheat Beer made by Lienenkugels, a family brewery in business since the late 1800s in Wisconsin, made with orange peel and coriander.  I may try to make something similar (with orange peel, not so sure about the coriander).  Found more in bottles at a local Atlanta/Marietta liquor store that I just had to try just to confirm my opinion (tasty!)...  

By the way, you cannot buy beer or liquor on Sundays in Atlanta unless you buy them at a bar.  The liquor stores are all closed on Sundays; there is no liquor or beer for sale in grocery stores or pharmacies and liquor stores do not sell food items (not even chips, nuts or snacks).  Who says people in CA are strange?

Buddy is happy to have me back home again.  No, it's not your fault hooloovooo, he's just a one-person cat.  Thank you blithescribe and mortgaged for looking after him!

Now back to work... well, not until Monday.



Current Mood: contemplative
Sunday, June 15th, 2008
12:24 am
See ya in a week
Going to Hotlanta (Atlanta) Sunday, will be back Friday.  Training at corporate HQ.
Not looking to forward to it because I won't have much spare time (training starts at 7:30am and ends at 5:30 to 6:30pm).  Of course this is East Coast time which makes it start at 4:30 am...

Brews: Maibock on tap, Dunkel and Rauchbier still lagering.  If anyone wants to try the Maibock, see Mortgaged (until I get back).  Enjoy!

Current Mood: nostalgic
Wednesday, June 4th, 2008
5:21 pm
Z Brew Update 6/4/2008
 Brew News:

The Maibock has been transferred to keg.  Should be carbonated and drinkable in a few days.
The Dunkel and the Rauchbier have been racked off to start lagering.  The Rauchbier is definitely smokey!  (Will go well with smoked foods and of course: BACON!)  Now I have to finish cleaning all those carboys...

Still working on labels for the Orange Blossom Honey Mead; haven't heard back from the Art Dept. yet.

Any brewing requests?



"Alcohol: the cause and solution to all of life's problems." —Homer Simpson



Current Mood: tired
Friday, May 30th, 2008
9:30 pm
When Enough is More than Enough
I quit my job today.  Just walked out.

Most of you know that I typically don't do things this way, but sometimes you just can't help it.

I gave my notice last week and my manager went into panic mode because he was going to be short staffed.  I called my new job to find out when the starting date was going to be and found out it would be a week later than anticipated.  I called my manager and said I could help him out and stay another week (I could just as well have taken a short vacation).  I even came in early (7am) on Weds morning after working until 9:30 pm the night before to help clean and remodel the electronics and appliance departments (along with other salespeople and managers from other stores).

Today, the district manager f-wad saw me standing idle for about 10 minutes today and informed me that I should be doing "something", i.e. either training or cleaning.  Then my manager comes up to me  and says "Tell me you're not the reason I'm being chewed out."  He then proceeds to tell me that I should either help with the remodeling/cleaning, clean something or do some training when he knows damn well I won't be there much longer and the only reason I'm really staying is to help him out.  Any manager that doesn't have the balls to stand up for one of his people doesn't deserve my respect or loyalty.  Granted, part of my job is to help keep the place clean and help out the rest of the team (and I do more than my share), but I work on commission and I'm here to sell.  That's how I pay my bills.  More than that, it was the way the message was delivered that really got to me.  I'm not some 17 year old working his first job at McDonalds or Starbucks, I'm an experienced sales professional.

I went to lunch at a local Outback Steakhouse, ordered myself a beer and meditated for a while.  Why was I torturing myself?  How many more times do I have to bite my tongue?  Why do I keep working for a bunch of incompetent, bureaucratic f-wads?  Answer: I don't know.  Time to stop torturing myself and move on.

If anybody needs any help with anything this week, I'm available.  :-)

Back to brewing...

Current Mood: relieved
Saturday, May 17th, 2008
12:31 pm
Z Brew Update 5/17/2008
 The Irish Ale is ready for kegging.  The Rauchbier and the Dunkel are brewing away nicely.  I think I'll keg the Maibock before the end of May...it seems ready enough.  Mortgage's "Mirkwood Brown" should also be ready soon...

Damn, it's hot outside!

-Z Braumeister.

Current Mood: pensive
Thursday, May 8th, 2008
1:11 pm
Z Brew Update 5/8/2008
 The Maibock is now in its lagering phase.  I have tasted it and think it tastes great!,  The Irish ale has now been transferred to secondary.  It should also be great to drink.

Will start brewing the Rauchbier and Dunkel on Friday.

The mead is resting in it's corked bottles.  Contest winners may collect theirs either after labels are made or after 6 months of maturity...

Current Mood: sad
Friday, May 2nd, 2008
6:43 pm
Lyrics Quiz, coda
 Here are the answers to the ones nobody got and the results of the contest:

2. "I don't want no one to tell me 'bout the god in the sky. I don't want no one to tell me where I'm gonna go when I die."  clue: Originally started as a British blues band called Earth.  Then they saw this type of movie being highly attended... and named themselves after one.  Also: involves the "Day Star"  *Black Sabbath: "Under the Sun"*

3. "She's the one with lips like candy, candy. Like a dog, well I'm a-coming running. She's got eyes that burn right through me, through me. She told me her name, calls herself Candy, Candy."  clue: Slash's Snakepit meets STP. kawika: Velvet Revolver "Let it Roll"

5. "Standing in the sun: idiot savant. Something like a monument."  The kind of animal Jesus rode to the last supper (see celticcowboy68 post of 4/16/2008), one of original members went on to form ELP (that's Emerson, Lake and Palmer).  *King Crimson  "Dinosaur"*  (this was a little obscure)

11. "Lord, I might as well go back over yonder, way back yon(der) accross the hill. 'Cause if my baby don't love me no more, I know her sister will."  Other lyrics: ""Well, I haven't been home to see my baby in ninety-nine and one-half days." . Clue: left-handed guitarist, black, alleged lsd in bandana...  *Jimi Hendrix  "Red House"*

14. "Why so unforgiving and why so cold? Spent a long time crossing..." clue:  Connects the Doge's Palace to his prisons.  A.k.a. Ponte dei Sospiri.  Famous place to visit in Venice, Italy.  *Robin Trower "Bridge of Sighs"*

17. "Little sister makes a move to the door. Her door squeeks, she's on the second floor. Her daddy wakes "Is everything O.K.?" Not a sound as she makes her getaway."  next line: "Little brother's got it ready to roll.  Tires burning as they head to the show.  Light it up and turn the music up loud and..." kawika: Night Ranger "(You Can Still) Rock in America"  (no shame!)

20. "Why are you different? Why are you that way? If you don't get in line, we'll lock you away."  previous line: ""Everybody's happy, everybody's free.  Keep the big door open; everyone will come around." kawika: Dave Matthews Band "Typical Situation"

21. "Cherry stem in her mouth she can tie in a knot. For every trick she does, one of ten she has got."  clue:  It costs 20 cents and I give you a quarter.  You give me a ...  *Nickelback  "Money Bought"*

22. "My head explodes, my ears ring, I can't remember just where I've been. The last thing that I recall: I got lost in a deep black hole."  further lyrics: "Don't want to find out.  Just want to cut out."  by Rudy, Klaus, Herman and Sonja. blithescribe:  Scorpions "Blackout"

Good luck!

Point totals:
***blithescribe:      6  points   Winner!***
hooloovooo:       4 points
mortgaged:        4 points
goaskalice71:   3 points
kawika:               3 points


Thanks for playing along.  Maybe I'll try a different contest next time.  :-)


-MG 



Current Mood: grateful
Tuesday, April 29th, 2008
2:15 am
Lyrics Quiz, part II
 It's technically Tuesday and I promised to provide more clues to the songs/bands that were missed. Following are the nine that were not guessed, along with either a clue or extended lyrics. (See previous post for rules, etc.)

2. "I don't want no one to tell me 'bout the god in the sky. I don't want no one to tell me where I'm gonna go when I die."  clue: Originally started as a British blues band called Earth.  Then they saw this type of movie being highly attended... and named themselves after one.  Also: involves the "Day Star"

3. "She's the one with lips like candy, candy. Like a dog, well I'm a-coming running. She's got eyes that burn right through me, through me. She told me her name, calls herself Candy, Candy."  clue: Slash's Snakepit meets STP. kawika: Velvet Revolver "Let it Roll"

5. "Standing in the sun: idiot savant. Something like a monument."  The kind of animal Jesus rode to the last supper (see celticcowboy68 post of 4/16/2008), one of original members went on to form ELP (that's Emerson, Lake and Palmer).

11. "Lord, I might as well go back over yonder, way back yon accross the hill. 'Cause if my baby don't love me no more, I know her sister will."  Other lyrics: ""Well, I haven't been home to see my baby in ninety-nine and one-half days." . Clue: left-handed guitarist, black, alleged lsd in bandana...

14. "Why so unforgiving and why so cold? Spent a long time crossing..." clue:  Connects the Doge's Palace to his prisons.  A.k.a. Ponte dei Sospiri.  Famous place to visit in Venice, Italy.

17. "Little sister makes a move to the door. Her door squeeks, she's on the second floor. Her daddy wakes "Is everything O.K.?" Not a sound as she makes her getaway."  next line: "Little brother's got it ready to roll.  Tires burning as they head to the show.  Light it up and turn the music up loud and..." kawika: Night Ranger "(You Can Still) Rock in America"  (no shame!)

20. "Why are you different? Why are you that way? If you don't get in line, we'll lock you away."  previous line: ""Everybody's happy, everybody's free.  Keep the big door open; everyone will come around." kawika: Dave Matthews Band "Typical Situation"

21. "Cherry stem in her mouth she can tie in a knot. For every trick she does, one of ten she has got."  clue:  It costs 20 cents and I give you a quarter.  You give me a ...

22. "My head explodes, my ears ring, I can't remember just where I've been. The last thing that I recall: I got lost in a deep black hole."  further lyrics: "Don't want to find out.  Just want to cut out."  by Rudy, Klaus, Herman and Sonja. blithescribe:  Scorpions "Blackout"

Good luck!

Point totals so far:
blithescribe:      6  points
hooloovooo:       4 points
mortgaged:        4 points
goaskalice71:   3 points
kawika:               3 points
 

Five points left!

Contest ends Friday at Noon... (tick, tick, tick) 

Current Mood: awake
Monday, April 28th, 2008
12:32 pm
Z Brew Update
We have a potential winner in the Mead Label Contest!   Might need a little tweaking.  Will post when finalized.
Thank you hooloovooo!


(Michelin man's kid)

IPA and Irish Ale are getting there... might be ready this weekend, we'll see.

Just ordered supplies (in big order with fellow brewer mortgaged) for Rauchbier, Dunkel and Barleywine.  Since most of these are longer-term projects, mortgaged has stepped up to brew some killer ales for the short term.  Will keep you posted.



"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading." —Henny Youngman

Friday, April 25th, 2008
2:29 pm
 Needed: design for a label for the mead.  Requirements:  Must include a bee (dorsal view) on a bee hive (classic cartoon style, looks a little like the Michelin Man) with a honeycomb background.  Should be black & white for printing on a gold foil background.  Contest: winning design gets a bottle of mead...

-Brewmeister

Current Mood: hopeful
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