Laphroaig Tasting At The Dram

Heather and I got dressed up and headed out to The Dram (warning, auto play music) for a Laphroaig tasting. Simon Brooking was there, of course, and we got to sample the 10 year, Triple Wood, 18 Year, and the 2012 Cairdeas. They were all really tasty, and I’m definitely going to enjoy the Cairdeas bottle I picked up yesterday.

The Dram was really nice, with a huge selection of Scotches available, and a nice, laid back decor. It’s definitely somewhere I’d take friends to hang out for an evening. While we were there, we got to talk to a few of the Beam Brands representatives about Laphroaig, some of the local stores, and the business in general. We also got to chat with Simon for a little while. It turns out that we were both wearing Clan Donnachaidh tartans, specifically variations on Roberts/Robertson. We also talked about the upcoming 200th anniversary celebrations and got some tips on getting over to Islay. It’s a couple years off, but we’re planning on being there.

Laphroaig Bottle Signing At Sigels

I hopped on the bike and rode down to the Sigel’s over on Greenville for a bottle signing and Cairdeas tasting. I got stuck in traffic most of the way there and the poor bike got a little too hot. Having to coast to the side of US-75 to give it time to cool down is not fun. It was OK though, because Simon was delayed as well, so I still got there early. We tasted a few different bottles, but the Cairdeas was the star of the evening. It’s delicious! I picked up a bottle for me and a bottle for a friend, got both of them signed, then hopped back on the bike and headed home.

CZ Customer Service Rocks

I’ve been having problems with my CZ-85B‘s slide locking back part way through a magazine. I’ve worked to eliminate the obvious stuff like limp wristing it, but unfortunately, no matter who’s firing it, it does that. So I called CZ‘s customer service, got over to one of their gunsmiths, and described what was going on. He agreed with my diagnosis of the slide release spring going bad and put one in the mail for me. Without asking for serial number or method of payment. Once it gets here, I’m going to have some fun installing it, but hopefully that’ll fix the problem.

Dallas Area Blogshoot II

Heather and I braved the rain and went out to the second Dallas Area Blogshoot today. The Jeep was packed full of firearms and ammo, as well as a couple prizes for Kilted To Kick Cancer fundraising. We had a great time shooting, talking, and teaching a few new shooters how to shoot safely. Thanks to The Redneck Engineer and Bob S. for putting it together, as well as to everyone who came out. You all are a great bunch of people and we’re honored to know you all.

And yes, I was kilted today, and did raise some more money thanks to some really generous people. If you haven’t donated, please head over here and throw some money in the pot. It’s a good cause and your help would be greatly appreciated!

Plinking at the 100 yard range

MacGregor Drafthouse

I went over to the MacGregor Drafthouse for dinner and a few brews tonight. It’s a nice little neighborhood bar and grill that serves good food and local beers. I ordered the blackened bleu cheese burger with home made potato chips, which were both delicious. as for liquid refreshments, I stuck with locals for the evening. The first beer was Big Boss Brewing‘s Bad Penny, a nice brown ale that went well with the burger. The other one I had was Natty Greene‘s Buckshot Amber Ale, which was nice and malty. It was perfect to finish off the last of those potato chips. Both beers were great, the food was good, service was attentive and helpful. All in all, I’ll be back next time I’m in the Cary area.

Tyler’s Taproom

Second night in Raleigh, finally got out to a decent brewpub. Since last night turned out to be a bust, I was really looking forward to this. After finishing work, I headed back to the hotel, changed clothes, and went over to Raleigh to visit Tyler’s Taproom. It’s a pretty good sized restaurant/bar, with ample seating, a great staff, delicious food, and way too many beers on tap. I had the pulled pork sandwich with garlic fries for dinner, both of which were fantastic! Since it was pint night, I ordered an Allagash White so that I could bring home another beer glass. Very tasty brew, it’s making me want to start in on brewing some Belgians at home. I also had another Belgian style beer, Mystery Brewing Company‘s Evangeline, also very well done. This place is definitely on my revisit list, and if you’re in the area you owe it to yourself to check it out.

The Wedding

Reese, Heather, Aunt Sandy, and I went up to St. Maximus for Liturgy in the morning, bringing the rings, crowns, and icons with us so that Father Justin could bless them. After that I took Reese back to the hotel and went home to start getting ready.

I got up to the church a little earlier than I’d expected, which turned out to be good because I forgot my cufflinks. Thankfully, Mike hadn’t left yet, so he grabbed them and brought them with him when he headed over. We got everything set up in the church, did some last minute prep work in the hall, including getting the beer kegs on ice and set up, and then waited for everyone to start arriving. The cakes arrived and got set up thanks to our minions, a couple teenagers from the church. They looked great and we couldn’t wait to cut in to them. As it got closer to the starting time, Mike and I got changed into our kilts, and took our places in the church. Due to a miscommunication between the bridal party and us, we were both waiting for the other group to let us know that we were ready. After getting that sorted out, the service started. Heather looked great, actually making me pause a little to regain my composure as I met her at the back of the church. We got through the service without anything major going wrong, and worked hard to keep our composure during the receiving line afterwards. It was great to see all of our family and friends there.

We then went back over to the hall and started the reception, with a great introduction thanks to Mike. The food was great, our minions helped keep everything flowing nicely, and the homebrew was a hit. We got to cut in to the cake and fed each other little pieces without turning it in to a food fight. Then Reese and I cut the groom’s cake and I fed a little to him. We continued to nibble on some food and circulate, talking with friends and family, for the next few hours. When it was time to close things down, our families and bunch of the people from church pitched in to get the hall cleaned up and everything packed up to head back home. We are truly blessed with some great people in our lives.

Then we headed home and crashed out as exhaustion finally won out over the excitement of the day.

Bachelor Party Stuff

A bunch of us met up at Elm Fork Shooting Sports for some festivities involving stripper clips, WWII military rifles as well as more modern semi-automatics, handguns of many different calibers, and just fun in general. I’m just really not a fan of the typical drunken excesses that seem to have become the expected bachelor party fare. It’s a waste of money and doesn’t really do anything for me. Range time, on the other hand, can burn through just as much cash, especially when you get in to oddball calibers, and in my mind is a lot more satisfying.

We got started early, before the heat had a chance to build, spending some time over at the steel bays, shooting a little of whatever anyone brought, and then moved over to the 50 yard rifle range to play with some of the long guns. Much fun was had by all, there will probably be a few bruised shoulders tomorrow, but all-in-all a satisfying way to spend a morning with friends and family.