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Monday, May 30, 2011

Grunion and Z Duped Again

This past weekend, we surprised the Grunion and Z with a new toy (thanks to my friend Laura).

GRUNION:  Whoa!  Check this out Z! 
Z: Sweet!  Our own wheels!  It's about time!

Z:  This thing's got everything!  Look, a radio!

GRUNION:  And a cell phone!
Z:  Hello?  AAA?  Can I get a juice box up in this ride?

Z:  Coolness.  We should roll to Vegas, man!
GRUNION:  What's a Vegas?

Z:  We could cruise the beach, pick up some chicks...
GRUNION:  What for?
Z:  I dunno.

Z:  What a minute.  Why are the diaper changers all excited?  I haven't seen them this excited since.........Halloween!

Z:  Wait!  This is a Barbie Jeep, dude!  This is for girls!

Z:  It's a trap!  Abort!  Abort!  Get me outta here!

Editor's note: Muuuhuuuuhahahahaha.  We'll be seeing these pix again in about 15 years....

Death By Porch: Part One

Ah, Memorial Day weekend.  A 3-day chance to remember those who have left this world and relax with family, friends, and-


GIBBY:  Mmmm...what..who?
CHACHIE:  C'mon dude!  We're building a porch on the front of your house.
GIBBY:  Huh?  Why would we-whoa!  What's that?
CHACHIE:  A tiller, dude.  We're gonna be doin some tillin.
GIBBY:  Do I get to run the-
GIBBY:  Can I touch-
GIBBY:  Can I help you push it around the-
CHACHIE:  No.  Just get your wallet.  We're gonna need a few hundred dollars worth of stuff from Home Depot..

$237 later we had a bunch of rocks.

Apparently to build a porch you first have to prepare the ground (for drainage, levelness, and other stuff I don't know anything about).  It's a lot of hard work.  First you have to build a metal frame in the ground to keep the area secure.  Here's me helping Chachie do that:

This is the metal frame thingy.  There also used to be a bunch of trees and shrubs and stuff on this ground but I guess Chachie made them disappear at some point (I don't notice lawn-type action).

Here's me helping till the ground:

The Grunion was eager to help, but this was man's work.
GRUNION:  Hey!  You guys need any help?  I can help!  I can run that loud pushy-thingy!  I can put those rocks in the right places!  Lemme outta this cage and I can help!  Guys?  Guys?  Guys?  Guys?  Guys?  Guys?

Here's me helping "tamp" the ground.

1.4 million rocks later this is what we had accomplished.  I would like to note that the entire process took 6 hours cause Chachie had to basically rebuild the tiller he borrowed from Tom.  Tom has no comment.

GRUNION:  Wow.  You guys are geniuses.  I coulda done this way better.

What followed the next day for me was unbearable soreness and sunburn.  Chachie says we'll build the actual porch next Sunday.  Dammit!  On the bright side I lost 4 pounds and I am now 6 hours workplace injury-free!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Susan's Springdale

Jack dragged me to Springdale to try the grub at Susan's.  By the way, he also decided that all the pictures should have an "old-timey" feel.  Gotta remember to bring my camera next time.

$1.99 for 32 "old-timey" fries.  They were hand-cut and old fashioned all right...but not my style.

Slimy, undercooked, and cold.  I ate 4 of them and Jack ate 2.

Jack wanted me to give extra points for the waitress using "old-timey" secret code stuff on the check (the circled items are cold side dishes that needed to be brought out first) but I don't give points for that stuff.
5 out of 10.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Making Beer is Easy/Hard

A couple of months ago, we decided to brew beer. This idea took hold because:
1.  We were snowbound due to one of the blizzards, and we thought it would be WAY EASIER to just have beer we made sitting around than to have to rely on getting to the store.
2.  We love beer with Amarillo hops and there are none around where we live.

AMY:  Surely it's not that hard.  They did it in the Middle Ages and everyone was stupid then.
BANDIT:  Yeah.  We must be smarter than Middle Ages plague people.

GIBBY:  I'm not so sure....

Surprisingly, none of us knew the first thing about how to brew beer.  And since we didn't want to read a bunch of boring books, we did what all good Americans do when they need to learn something:  we bought a DVD.  The DVD was confusing and depressing (especially since we learned that you have to wait like 3 weeks to drink the beer you make), so we lost faith.

A short while later, our interest was renewed when we ran out of beer with Amarillo hops.

This time, we bought a book.  This particular book was written by a chemical engineer who liked to make beer.  To say that it was highly technical would be like saying building a space shuttle is "crafty".  We were again depressed.

Then, while traveling on North College one day, I saw The Home Brewery Store.  Fate?

Cool Bruce told us how to make beer in normal person language.  Hell, he even made it sound easy!

We bought a bunch of stuff from Bruce and went home to brew.

Here is how it's done.  After you get Chachie to help you (so you don't hurt yourself), You boil water...

Put this huge teabag-lookin thing down in the water for a while...

Add a ton of what is basically sugar...

Boil all that together for an hour (while adding what are called "hops")...

Cool it down as fast as you can to about 75 degrees...

Pour it into a paint bucket with some beer yeast...

Slap an airlock on it..

And wait for about 2 weeks.  This is the hardest part.

Simple, eh?  Only you have to make sure that NOT ONE SINGLE GERM GETS ON ANYTHING.  I made beer years ago in college and I think I forgot this rule.  That beer was called "Toilet Stank".
EJ:  Looks like your last beer.  I'm not drinkin it.
How does he remember "Toilet Stank"?

Anyhoo, about two weeks later we kegged it and...

AWESOMENESS!  Shock!  Surprise!  Astonishment!  Applause!  It was not only drinkable, it was downright good!  Ours is a little darker, but that's cause we don't filter it so much.

We have made 3 more batches since.  Tasty!

Vacation Ending Soon!

I took an unannounced (possibly unplanned) month-long vacation from writing the blog so that I could concentrate on actually "living" to see if it was more rewarding than trying to document each banal thought/activity.

I have determined that it is overrated.  I will resume documenting each banal thought/activity toot suite.

Over the next few days, I will revel you with stories of fries, the toppling of an evil empire (Salty Dawg), our recent trip to Chicago, my adventures brewing beer over the last few weeks, and of course, the recent dealings of the Grunion and Z.

Despair not, for I shall enlighten thee.....