2011 Reese’s Birthday Run – Day 1

I hit the road a little after 9:00 this morning, heading north towards Peoria for Reese’s birthday.  On the way up I was determined to get some more ICR points, all in Oklahoma on this leg.  I stopped at the Lake Murray Lodge first, then up to Oklahoma City to see the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial.  After that I rode a little of the old Route 66 and got a picture at Doc’s.  From there it was a blast north and east, with a detour down to Muskogee to see USS Batfish (yes, there is a WW2 submarine in Muskogee).  Finally, I stopped at the Route 66 Vintage Iron Motorcycle Museum and spent some time looking at the vintage bikes and memorabilia.  After that I made my way to Springfield, MO where I stopped for the night.

Adventures In Homebrewing, Smashed Toe Edition

Mike and I kegged the peat-smoked porter this afternoon, and while most of it went well, I ended up with a bruised big toe nail.  The beer is going to be delicious, in fact it already is, and I missed my target gravity by only two points.  I’ve got a couple bottles filled and capped, carbonating for the Reddit Homebrewing Competition as well.  As for the toe, as I was putting the keg in the fridge, it snagged on the box of soda cans and one fell, edge first, on to the base of the nail on my big toe.  It’s nice and bruised, and a little sore, but I guess that’s me suffering for my art.

New Camera – PowerShot G12

I cashed in some credit card rewards and picked up a Canon PowerShot G12.  I’ve been thinking about getting a smaller, lighter camera to take with me on motorcycle rides because the full-sized DSLR just takes up too much room.  I’ve been a little picky though, because I absolutely would not compromise on one point.  Whatever camera it was, it had to have the ability to save images in RAW format.  I’ve gotten extremely spoiled by the flexibility RAW gives me, so no compromising on that one.  I settled on the G12 after a bunch of research, and it arrived today.

The battery is charging, so no time to do picture tests, but they’ve been covered to death on photo sites, so I’m not going to bore you with that.  The big deal for me is that it’s SMALL.  I could fit it in one of the pockets of my riding jackets.  By way of comparison, the bag with the DSLR, a 17-40 f/4, a 100mm f2.8 macro, and accessories took up about half of one of the RT’s panniers.  I’ve quite literally gotten back room to pack a few more days worth of clothes thanks to the much smaller size.

Is it the equal of a good DSLR with good lenses?  Probably not.  But that’s not the point.  Image quality is good, the reviewers are pretty much in agreement on that, so it’s not going to be taking crap pictures.  It’s just that carrying the DSLR was taking up so much space that I really couldn’t spare.  Look for pics from the upcoming trip up to see Reese for his birthday and judge for yourselves…

Galactic Corps

Getting through even more of my summer reading backlog, I just finished off Galactic Corps, the second book in Ian Douglas’s Inheritance Trilogy.  In this installment, the 1MIEF has taken the fight with the Xul away from Earth in the hopes of drawing their attention away from the solar system, thus keeping the population safe and avoiding another planetary bombardment.  As they continue to gather intelligence they learn that something is going in at the center of the galaxy and set off to investigate.  The revelations at the end of the book have me itching to read the third one, but I’ve got a stack to get through first, so it’ll wait…

Brewing The Peat-Smoked Porter Kit

Everything fell in to place today, so Mike and I got started on the peat-smoked porter kit.  Everything went perfectly, though I couldn’t get a good gravity reading thanks to the ridiculous amount of trub that just wouldn’t settle.  I’m just guessing it’s about on target and calling it good.  It’s in the chiller now, yeast has been pitched, and we’re just waiting for fermentation to start.

ICR Point Riding West Of The Metromess

I got up early and headed north and west to pick up some more ICR points.  The first stop was the Frank Buck Zoo up in Gainesville.  Then over to Muenster to get pictures of Doc’s Bar and Grill and the wind turbines just north of town.  After that I went over to Saint Jo to see the farm sculptures just south of town.  From there I headed back north to ride over the Taovaya Bridge.  Technically I could get credit for the state of Oklahoma, since I was in it when I took the picture of the sign, but I’ll officially claim it when I ride up to Peoria for Reese’s birthday.  Back in to Texas and further west to Spanish Fort, a small unincorporated town, and the northernmost point in the trip.  Then down to Windthorst to stop at St. Mary’s Grotto, a Roman Catholic shrine.  I then made a quick hop over to Archer City to stop at the Archer County Museum and the Royal Theater.  I grabbed some lunch, rehydrated, and cooled down at the Wildcat Cafe.  After lunch I motored down to Fort Belknap State Park, the westernmost point on the ride.  Then on to Jacksboro to stop at Fort Richardson State Park and the Green Frog Restaurant.  Moving more back to the east, I stopped at Big Cat Care, a sanctuary/rescue organization.  There was a rather large male lion watching me as I took the picture, but thankfully he was behind sturdy fencing.  After that it was over to Decatur to get a picture of the Wise County Courthouse and the Whistle Stop Cafe.  On the home stretch now, a quick picture of the Muslim Cemetery outside of Denton before heading to Ponder.  In Ponder I got the last two pictures of the ride, the BNSF Caboose and the Ponder National Bank building.  After those last pictures I zipped back up to a gas station to get something to drink and then headed home.  The GPS says 406 miles in 10 hours and two minutes.  A good day’s riding, and here’s the Spot Adventures page for it.

What Centuty Is This?

This post over on Breda‘s blog popped up yesterday, and it’s taken me a day or so to digest it and come up with a somewhat intelligent response instead of just calling his intelligence, parentage, and sanity into question.

Seriously.  I’d hoped we were adults enough to understand a few simple concepts.  First, you don’t use someone’s creative output without permission.  You.  Just.  Don’t.  Second, regardless of where said subject exists on the attractiveness spectrum, whether it be on the “face that launched a thousand ships” side or on the “OMGWTFKILLITWITHFIRE!!!!1!!1eleventy!” side, you don’t post said creative output with the title “<person’s name> porn”.  That’s just tacky, and really isn’t doing the rest of us who genuinely want to see more people from the Two X Chromosome set out at the range any favors.  Third, if you choose to disregard points first and second, be an adult when (not if) you get called out on it.  Responses like “I knew girls like you in High School, but I thought they all grew up.” will only get you the kind of attention that you don’t want.  In fact, they’re more likely to get you on the list of People I Don’t Associate With.

Congratulations, gunmart.blogspot.com.  You just won the enmity of a good chunk of the on-line shooting community.  Good luck digging yourself out of that hole.

Racked Rick’s Barleywine To The Secondary

It’s been sitting in the primary for two months now, and I need to get another brew going, so it was time to move it to the secondary for some more aging.  It smells delicious, is a nice golden/reddish color, and is still generating CO2, so there’s still some activity.  I didn’t get all of the kräusen cleaned up from the emergency blow-off incident, so there was a fuzzy mess on the outside of the carboy.  Because of that I didn’t take a gravity reading.  I’ll do one when I brew this coming weekend.

Live Free or Die: Troy Rising I

As I march through the stack of books I’ve got to read, this one caught my attention because I’d forgotten that it was inspired by one of my favorite web comics.  It’s actually John Ringo’s take on the early history of humanity in the universe of Howard Tayler’s Schlock Mercenary (start at the beginning, you’ve got over 10 years of reading to do).  Live Free or Die shows us how humans got introduced to the larger galaxy, and got soundly thumped a few times in the process, before standing on their own two feet.  If you’re a Schlock fan, you owe it to yourself to give this series a read.

Painting The Upstairs Bathroom

Mike and I went to town on the upstairs bathroom today, thanks to having to replace the tank-to-bowl gasket on the toilet.  It was the perfect excuse to paint the wall behind the tank, and once we got started taping and getting set up, we decided to just go ahead and do the whole thing.  It’s now a nice light blue, which goes well with the tile and grout, and fits in with the scheme in the rest of the house.