Saturday, June 30, 2007

Great Canadian Beer Festival?

Anybody out there want to do a road trip to the Great Canadian Beer Festival with me in Victoria? Its being heald Sept 7-8 this year. I won't be working for Alley Kat any more at that time, so I'm free to do pretty much whatever I want (although hmm... I wonder if they would be in for paying me to be a rep? Free trips are fun :)

Anyway, this festival is apparently the best of all Canadian beer festivals as far as I've heard.

Let me know if you want to go!

In other news, I'm heading off to Northern Manitoba (Cranberry Portage, to be exact) for the next week with the girlfriend, and I'm quite excited for it.

Cheers, and happy Canada Day (tomorrow)!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

New Camera

Well, this last week I finally gave into this new 'ebay' craze and actually bought something I wanted off of it. I bought a Canon EOS 350D / Rebel XT Digital SLR. As you may know, SLRs have replaceable lenses and are generally 'better' that compact cameras. My brother had a bunch of lenses and other photography equipment so I figured it was about time I got a nice digital camera to use them with. This is my first digital SLR.

I used to be pretty into photography, but I fell out of it for awhile I guess. Mostly because I only had film equipment and it was way easier to just use my 3.2 mp digital point and shoot than to deal with rolls of film and the costs associated with them.

Of course, this purchase is just on the heels of my purchase of a Canon Powershot G7, and awesome camera in its own right. But yet, not SLR (its not even really that compact, but it has manual abilities, loads of good features, and can take a speedlite flash unit). Thus, my spending has been rather INSANE of late. The dSLR is great but bluky, so the G7 is still good when I don't want to haul all that SLR stuff around (camera plus 2 extra lenses, maybe an extra flash).

I've been biking a lot more lately, and I also just purched a Lowepro Slingshot 100 sling bag (over one shoulder) and its perfect. It doesn't slip around my back, is uber-comfortable, and holds everything I need it to.

Anyway... thats it. Oh beer? Hm, nothing new of late.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Silver Medal!

Oh, and I forgot to mention in my last post that the rhubarb/berry beer a friend of mine and I made won a silver medal in the fruit beer category!

The recipe/method is outlined in this old post.

Monday, June 18, 2007

London Porter Showdown

Yeah yeah, I know, I suck at posting these days. I have lots to post about, I just lack the time/energy.

Anyway, I tried Paddock Wood's London Porter side-by-side with Fuller's London Porter (which is considered the standard for the style). While Fuller's London Porter is a nice easy drinking good beer, I found the Paddock Wood version to have just a bit more of what I like - a moderate but not overpowering roast and slight coffee flavour. Quite tasty.

What else is new in beer? We (the Edmonton Homebrewer's Guild) had our annual homebrew competition last weekend, with much success. I judged beer for the first time, judging the Oktoberfest and Stout categories. The stouts were very competitive. There were 5 excellent samples of which I would have paid money to drink any of them. Unfortunately, only 3 can get medals. One person will be receiving a couple of score sheets with a 41 score (of 50, a VERY high score for a beer) but get no medal... sucks to be that guy/girl. The winners were decided amongst me and three other judges, so no it wasn't just me picking beers.

I have a lot of pictures from the competition, you can see them at my (new) flickr address:


Monday, June 04, 2007

I dare say, and excellent day

So I had this Monday off, and what a day for it. Edmonton weather had a high temp of 30 C, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky until about 3 pm. I had to get my passport application into the passport office, so I took the morning to do that. I walked through the river valley and in about 40 min and a relaxing walk I was at the government building. I had heard the wait was insane these days for passports now that the paranoid American administration require every damn person to have a passport to enter their country. I was smart and did my passport application on-line before arriving at the office, which they reward by letting you skip line. I had to wait in the "pre-screen" line for about 50 minutes... after I was pre-screened I was given my number... I had barely sat down for 2 minutes when my number came up, way before people who had been waiting since before I even got there as far as I could tell. So, I was there for about an hour and 5 minutes.

I strolled back through downtown snapping a couple of photos that wern't very good and purched some ice cream, which made me quite happy. I was just thinking how great this day was going so far when I looked down and to my surprise... there was a five dollar bill sitting on the ground in the grass! This day just keeps getting better!

I decided to put my newly found five bucks to good use, and since I've been slacking on a scholarship application that I need to do for school starting in october, I went to my favorite local coffee shop and hacked out some ideas over coffees and beer. Quite a productive day for me, really.

The great day continues as I sit here on my balcony in the blazing sun tanning my ridiculously white skin (or, more likely, burning it) with my laptop typing this and sipping on some fine raspberry mead from our brewery.

All in all, I could do this every day, and I intend to for the most part in August-Sept before I leave for Scotland (which, btw, is only about 112 days away!)

Speaking of time off, I really want to learn how to sail. Anybody out there have time to teach me some weekend? I love watercraft. It must be the newfie in me.