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The Farewell Tour Begins

Last night a group of my Scouter friends had a good-bye party for me at Waldo Pizza, one of the better local pizza joints in town. What was nice about it for me is that I was not there as a Scout Leader. Several of the kids in the Scout group for the last several years or so have been employees there and we have a tendency to have meetings there. The only problem is that they have a really good beer list, they even have a Cicerone on staff. So I go to this place fairly often, they have a killer beer list and I can't have any because I am working. Last night I was not so I had a few of the more interesting things on the list.

I must admit that I was not there to taste beer so these impressions are not as sharp as a beer review should be.

First up was the 1809 Berliner Weisse which is a German import beer. The alcohol was a bit high for the style at around 5%, and the beer was not as tart as I would expect. Adding any syrup to it would have turned it into a fruity cocktail, I had mine straight. It was nicely tart with some good cider-like qualities to it. I think this would be a great introduction to the world of sour beers for newbies.

The second beer I had was the Jolly Pumpkin Bam Bière, which Waldo listed as a Saison. This is a beer that I have heard a lot about and was looking forward to trying when I reviewed the beer list the day before (is that too beer geek?). I know that Jolly Pumpkin make farm house style ales. I guess so they can dispense with traditional styles. It had the nice crispness and fruity notes that I would expect, but there was a fair amount of funk as well. Now I like funk, I drink Rodenbach and have George Clinton on my iPod, but in this case I thought it was a bit out of style and swamped the more delicate flavors of the beer. I like this beer, I am just not sure it should be called a saison.

The group also bought me a cake and gave me a card that everyone signed. Some people I had not seen for years showed up as well. It is nice to know that some of these people came out to see me off. What was interesting was one of the guys I have known for a while seemed to be getting a bit emotional and gave me a couple of "man hugs". I was quite touched by the whole thing.

Next up: The Oklahoma Run

Small Bits of Happy

One of the problems with my being President of the Condo board for the last three years is that I could not use my grill, and I LOVE to grill. Well now that circumstance have forced me to resign I am now free to indulge once more.

Today I went out and bought some really nice tomatoes and a some pork steaks. For those of you that don't know a pork steak is the finest thing you can throw on the grill. It is a pork shoulder that has been cut into steaks, meaty, fatty, juicy...my nipples are hard thinking about it.

So the grand meal...I grilled one of the pork steaks to perfection, then while it rested cut up a couple of tomatoes and topped them with goat cheese, chervil (from my planter boxes), salt, pepper, lemon olive oil (that I made) and rice wine vinegar. I like rice wine vinegar for this because it is not as sharp as regular wine vinegar.

Sat down and had a feast which I washed down with some smoked wheat home brew. So good I had to gnaw on the bone.

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Made Some Blog

Got a mention in one of the Kansas City beer blogs. Most of the story is about a couple of friends of mine, but ink is ink...

http://www.examiner.com/x-21202-Kansas-City-Craft-Beer-Examiner~y2010m5d18-Local-Kansas-City-Be?cid=examiner-email

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Bits Falling Into Place

Today I actually got a big chunk of my moving logistics into place. I have set up a PODS shipping container to give me a place to stash my stuff and have it hauled across the country. The only problem that I have is that I can not have it dropped off here in my complex so I will have to take all my stuff to it. Not a big deal really, but I will need to get help to get some of the stuff there. I am figuring on needing a hand with a break front, recliner, chest freezer, mattress, box springs, TV stand, two book cases, an end table and the TV. The rest I can just take over a load at a time in my truck when I have it ready. Next week I will need to put the big moves on getting things in boxes and ready to go. The only major area that is not been at least gone through is the kitchen and it will be the worst to do.

Progress is being made, not as quickly as I would like, but progress none the less.

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Two Steps Forward, One Back

Today was the Kansas City Bier Meisters Maifest party. I was one of the last events I will be able to attend as a local. There were of course a great abundance of beer. I also took a fair amount of mead with me to get rid of so I do not have to move it to Seattle with me. I drank a bunch and ate a bunch. One of the fun things was that they had an auction of items from a deceased member that had not been claimed as a fund raiser for the club. I got myself a counter-pressure bottle filler and a nice earthware cup from Germany. After that wrapped up they auctioned off a couple of items that I brought that I don't want to schlep across the country. The money from these items went straight to me. I made more money than I spent in the end.

They also made sure to take a photo of the club membership today so that I would be in the picture. That was particularly touching for me. It is apparent to me that I have more friends in the club than I thought I did.

I am still a bit buzzed so I am going to bed now.

Little Blessings and More Progress

I meant to give an update yesterday, but time got away from me. It started with having to go to Quik-Trip and fill my tank before I could go anywhere. Just my luck, gas had jumped overnight. But it was odd when I got there. The pump I pulled up to would not take my debit card because it had been pre-paid. I was flummoxed for a good five minutes, but then decided that since the pump was showing $24.92, someone must have pre-paid $30 and did not feel like getting thier change so I could grab 8¢ of free gas. Well that is NOT what happened. The pump was pre-paid to $10. So either someone was go called away after paying for thier gas, or God is actually being nice to me for a change.

After that I went over to Half-Price Books and sold another 9 boxes of books. I did not get as much for these as I did the 6 boxes the day before, but cash is cash. Just remember hollyking I have gotten rid of 15 boxes of books so far, much more than I am keeping. So I don't want to catch shit about how many books I have. While I was there they told me that they also buy magazines. I have several years worth of Cooking Light magazine and some National Geographics hanging around and I was just going to dump them into the paper recycle bin. Now I am going to take them over and get a little cash for them. I also dumped a bit more junk in the dumpster.

Today I went down and bought some packing supplies. Inserts for dishes and glasses and some bubble wrap. I also bought a box for a large framed photo I have. I stopped into the post office and shipped a few things too, just to see what the cost was like. I figured out that there is a place that deals in used sporting goods that I can sell some stuff to.

In the afternoon I cleared out more trash for the dumpsters since they emptied them this morning.

Tonight I went and taught Scountmaster Fundamentals at Roundtable. The guy that is now running the training team (some clown I have never met) was supposed to send someone down to observe me. See the "syllabus" for the training has it take all day. I have it down to 1½ hours. But I will not be doing it in this district again since I am moving. Did he have someone? Nope. Do I care? Not anymore.

I did do one selfish thing though tonight. 2010 is the 100th Anniversary of Boy Scouts of America and the US Mint has issued a special commemorative silver dollar. I suppose I should not be spending the money, but I bought myself two of them. I am having them shipped to Seattle since they will not be available until June 17th.

Unzipping My Fly In Public

Today I made one of the hardest phone calls of my life. I called my Grandma and told her that I had lost my home to foreclosure. Grandma is very supportive, and it is not like she is the type to kick a man when he is down. Heck a tribute to her ability to keep her true feelings to herself is the fact that my parents were divorced a good ten years before I found out just how much she disliked my old man. Seems she thought it was more important that I have a relationship with him, than I know what she thought of him.

The real problem is that my Grandparents both worked hard and scrimped and saved to get what they had. I feel that I have somehow let the both of them down and that deep down, where she is hiding it from me, my Grandma - and by extension my Grandpa - are disappointed with me. Probably a silly fear, but very real for me at the moment. I also called my Uncle and told him what was going on as well. I value his point of view as well, but just between us, he has not had to work as hard for what he has as the rest of us, so I feel I can let any lingering disappointment from him go.

I also told most of my friends today. I had told people here and there, but today I sent an email to my friends in the brew club to let them know, and I posted a note on Facebook too. Now I only have one major group of friends to tell, my Scouting family, and I will do that on Thursday.

I did get six boxes of books over to Half Price Books and made a little cash for them. I still have a bunch more to go through and I will probably keep a higher percentage of these because they are related to my profesion and are cookbooks. But still I made a large dent in the over-all size of the collection.

Now I am pretty tired so I think I will go to bed.

Starting To Make A Dent

Today I sold off some un-needed bedroom furniture. It was stuff that was quite old, I got it in high school from my Gehennian Grandmother, and she had used it for probably 30 years before that. Don't get me wrong, it is nice solid stuff. It is just not to my taste is all. For the people who bought it, it is nicer than what they have right now. I gave them a very fair price so, everyone wins. I also sent another couple of bags of crap to the dumpsters and dumped some paper recycling. So I am starting to see solid signs of clearing.

Tonight while watching TV I boxed up a bunch of books that I will take over to Half Price books on Tuesday to sell to them. As long as they give me enough to cover my gas over there I figure I'm good. To be honest I need to keep the boxes I am using so that I can take more in a few days.

The other thing I did today was pick up some flat rate shipping boxes at the post office. The size I picked up holds CD's and DVD's nicely. I figure for a few bucks I can send that stuff on ahead and save some effort on the backside.

I also went down this morning and had some service work done on my truck. I needed an oil change, plus the fan in the truck only worked on high so I had that done too. The other thing I did was tell them to look over the truck to see if anything was needed. I did not tell them I was moving, but told them I was driving to Seattle this summer. Turns out it was a good thing to do. My breaks were not shot, but they were worn to the point where they could have gone bad pretty quick if they were worked hard. Like say taking a trailer over the mountains? They also wanted to do a ball joint. But with my last gasp of severance I had Costco do the tires in December (so I would pass safety inspection) and they told me there was a little movement in one of the ball joints, but there was no problem with that and not to let them talk me into having it done.

All in all a productive day.

Excavations

I might have mentioned that I am a pack-rat, right? Well in preparation for migration I have been chucking stuff out. Problem is I have to make sure that I don't have any personally identifiable material where it can be used against me. Today I found a couple of interesting items.

First is a Franklin Planner that I was using back in '94. Apparently I just gave up on it on November 15th as that is the last entry in it. However in the back in some of my notes I found the specs for the first computer I ever bought. Get aload of this BOSS machine...


  • 486 DX 66 Mhz

  • Tower Case

  • 64 k cache

  • 8 Mb RAM

  • 340 Mb IDE Hard Drive

  • DOUBLE speed CD-ROM

  • 14.4 kilobaud fax/modem (man that thing scream compared to my old 300 baud modem)

  • extended keyboard

  • 2 button mouse

  • 16 bit sound card

  • speakers

  • joystick (has nothing to do with cyberporn)

  • Epson 800 Injet Printer

  • DOS 6.1

  • Windows 3.11

  • Works 3.0

  • Encarta

  • Golf

  • Money



The other thing I found was a half a case of mystery beer. It is clearly homebrew, but I have no idea how old it is, or what style it is supposed to be. I am going to stick on in the fridge and see what I can guess, but it is probably bound for the dumpster.

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Which Stage Is This Now???

Here we are on Day 2 of creating a new life for me. I am at times angry, primarily at the Republican politicians who advocate Foxes watching the Hen Houses as a means of Prosperity. Then I am emotional and on the verge of breaking down. Flash over to being pissed and thinking "don't let the bastards win".

But mostly I am exited at the prospect of a fresh start. Hardly anyone knows about what brought me to this crossroads. Those that do, will not hold it against me. I can change anything about me that I want (except I don't have time to loose 150 pounds before June), and no one will notice the change.

Of course it helps to have someplace to land in all of this chaos. Probably the hardest thing for me to do is ask for help. I have always taken pride in the fact that I could handle whatever came up, and that it was me that people came to for help. Now I am on the receiving end of the generosity. It is both one of the most touching things anyone has ever done for me and the one of the most humbling.

The upside is that I am taking the bull by the horns at the moment. I have started clearing up the detritus of my life. All of that crap that seems like you need it, until you are faced with the prospect of shipping halfway across a continent and then paying monthly storage fees to boot. One example is a stack of paid bills. I have been paying bills and then making the notation on the stub, which is then thrown onto a stack for years now. It has not really been in the way, but why do I need them? I mean I have the online receipt and then next bill will show if the payment was applied. On the few occasions there was a problem I never once went to the pile, I went online and got the payment confirmation. Now I need to shred 7 years worth of paid bills because there is sensitive information on them. At least I can throw the confetti in the recycling bin.

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