Archive for February, 2016

Ruby Red Grapefruit IPA

Another by Northwest Arkansas Core Brewing

A lot of lacing, as you can see with a decent head. Unfortunately it doesn’t last long. The grapefruit taste goes over most the other flavors but you still get hints of the citrus/pine of a IPA

Its very tart with some bite after as you would expect from grapefruit.

Ruby Red Grapefruit IPA

Ruby Red Grapefruit IPA

Kyya Imperial Stout

Another by Core.

WP_20160225_11_18_50_ProThis Imperial style stout uses locally made Kyya chocolate

You can taste the rich chocolate and a slightly burned, coffee flavor. Not unpleasant, but the woodsy tones definitely make you sip this one a second time to try to identify the flavors!

Hazelnut Brown

Brewed by Core Brewing out of Northwest Arkansas

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This is a nice hazelnut and coffee flavored dark beer. It keeps a nice head for decent amount of time. The aroma is strongly hazelnut, and vaguely oak.

I’m familiar with several of Cores beers but this is my first foray with this particular blend.

 

Updated my Research area

Did some updating to my Doctoral Reference area. Added a few links and cleaned it up so it wasn’t school centric anymore.

I will try to add more links as I can, and of course if any of you have suggestions please feel free to drop a note and I will add them as I can.

The whole idea of the area is to act as a outside the box resource for fellow students, where ever you are, who are considering or are pursuing a doctorate degree.

Perhaps the efforts of my peer students and our professors will help you in your own endeavor.  That’s my hope anyway.

 

Residency woes

So I have to complete 2 residencies this year for my doctoral program.

That’s a heck of a challenge financially. I not only have to pay for the residencies themselves but the travel to the residencies as well.

Right now based on my figures I’m about 5k short of what I need. That sounds like a lot, and it is, but I have enough to cover the tuition of the residencies: its the travel where it gets squirrely.

See if I drive I have to take an extra 2 days off of work….a days drive to each of my residency locations. Excluding those 2 extra days there is only about $110 savings in driving versus flying and I make more than that per day. So flying makes the most sense. However the hotel cost for the duration, allowing myself $40 per day for food, plus the airfare comes out to the 5k for the two trips, or roughly 2,500 per Residency. That’s actually about 2% over the actual cost but prices change, and eventualities happen (I’m a project manager, give me a break)

In either event I have to come up with the money between now and my time line as the residencies are required for my program, if I want to finish on schedule. Financial Aid wont cover the costs either. I’ve tried doing the social media fund raiser bit and I managed a whole $50 bucks. Not exactly ground breaking.

So I’ll have to come up with another, legal and ethical, method. Just not sure what that is quite yet.

 

Chocolate Seduction

Here’s one for the ladies but there is probably some guys with a sweet tooth who may like it as well. This is another homemade / custom cocktail by yours truly

Its based loosely on combination of a couple of other drinks, one called Cupids Kiss and another called Chocolate Covered Cherries.

Drink is fairly straight forward but has a lot of different things in it to appeal to someone. You can adjust the ingredients as you see fit to modify the taste somewhat but this is what I found to be the best combination:

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Dip a margarita glass rim with sugar and chocolate powder. Lace the glass with chocolate syrup. In a cocktail shaker with ice mix the following:

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Shake, and pour in to the glass. Top with whip-cream, and strawberries or cherries.

 

End result should smell faintly of cherries, with chocolate. Should resemble a milk shake. Serve cold!

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Nice Morning

Stop and smell the roses folks say.

Well its not roses, but caught sight of a nice sized owl this morning on our property while heading to work. He was looking rather regal.

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Corporate Gibberish

I’m very much of the mindset of let me do my job, pay me/reward me for doing my job and leave me the hell alone.

If I am screwing up, tell me so. If I am doing good tell me so. Otherwise I don’t need corporate cheerleading events or other mandatory fun type scenario’s to prove my loyalty to an organization.

Read the rest of this entry »

Back at the Ranch

Finally made it home. Most likely going to try to spend as much time as I can with the family this weekend so doubt you will see many updates until maybe Monday.

I will probably check in to Twitter occasionally, however. You can find me via that lil floating window to the right of this post.

The Hemingway Cocktail

Its called a number of things. The Hemingway Daiquri. The Hemingway Cocktail.

Story goes that Hemingway drank so many of his favorite cocktails at El Floridita, the Cuban bar where the author spent many days and nights drinking in the 1930s and ’40s, that the drink was eventually named the Hemingway Daiquiri.

Thanks to my friend Devon, the Bartendar at the hotel I stay at in CLT frequently, I have become quite a fan myself.

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The difference seems to be dependant upon which clear alcohol you want to add. If you want the Daiquri you use the traditiona white rum. If you want the cocktail, you use gin. In either case the affect is very much the same: tart, a touch sour a touch sweet with a nice refreshing tang afterward.

Supposedly he could sit and drank 12 or more of these a night. Hemingway said these drinks “had no taste of alcohol and felt, as you drank them, the way downhill glacier skiing feels running through powder snow.”

The recipe is rather pretty straight forward

 

  • 2 oz white rum or gin (The traditional rum was Havana Club I believe)
  • 3/4 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup 1:1
  • Garnish with a grapefruit twist

    Shake all ingredients except the garnish and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Kick back with a copy of The Old Man and the Sea and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Grinding

Spent the last several days sick as a dog. When I first got to CLT I couldnt hold my head up. Yesterday was first day of really feeling almost normal, but after several nights of medicinal induced sleep I couldn’t pass out last night. Don’t know if it works that way for everyone but for as long as I can remember if I take something to go to sleep, if I dont take it the next night I struggle with going.

End result? I got about 4 hours sleep last night and I have a long day ahead. I’d complain but frankly I’ve been working between 60 and 70 hours every week since August short of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The project I’m on has been a ball buster, but the primary portion is nearly complete. Which means my travel schedule will relax soon and I can spend some time at home. I will stil be travelling until at least June if not July, butnot as much as I have

Have a busy year between residency for school and my reunion. Not sure how I am going to juggle all this.

 

Ridin Dirty

So I’m trying something new on the blog. I travel a bit….sometimes very frequently (like the last 6 months) sometimes infrequently. But when I do I almost always end up with a different vehicle.

This week I scored a BMW 328i

Its interesting but I frankly don’t care for it. However, if you think it would be worth giving ya’ll a brief rundown of the car and what I think of them let me know. Keep in mind my daily driver is a full time 4×4 SUV thats almost 20 years old. So for me any car is a vastly different animal and road conditions are a far cry from what I deal with at home (theres a reason I have that SUV)

Anyway drop a note in the comments if this would be something you are interested in me doing.

 

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East Coast bound once again

So I’m traveling again this week. Will be the first time I try out 100% blogging via my mobile devices. I don’t blog via my work laptop for security reasons to both me and my employer and carrying two laptops frankly is just too much crap to be humping around an airport, with a lot of liability if something happens to either of them to work and school.

Given the outcome of the SuperBowl yesterday I’m debated declining to wear anything Volunteers related. I’m sure that some folks will consider me a traitorous bastard for that, but these trips are for business not pleasure and I need the folks in Charlotte a lot more than they need me.

Sherlock of the BSI knows when I am leaving, and when he seems my luggage almost immediately begins whining. A 100% daddies boy, I reckon. I haven’t blogged about them much since puppy hood but I’m thinking I will be more so in the near future.

Meanwhile given the amount of travel, and responsibility that has been placed on me in the last 6 months, combined with the amount of hours I’m working I have made the decision that its likely time I explore another employer.

To be clear, I like my job, I love my boss, I like my peers and I am fully cognizant that I may be trading the witch for the devil. However the fact is I need to be able to move up salary wise in my career and the raises they provide versus cost of living actually have me losing ground. Further the bonus program has not been what it used to be in years. My employers has good points and bad points like anyone else, again to be fair I have stayed with them longer than I have any civilian employer, and that was for a reason. But between my qualifications, my experience and frankly the work I have been doing I hate to sound greedy but I need more.

We’ll see what happens. Its not like I have a lot of time to go searching these days anyway.

The Peggy Carter

WP_20160207_12_07_26_ProI like to experiment with making drinks. Often I discover that my concoction already has a name, once in a while I figure something that doesn’t have a title per se.

I call this one Peggy Carter. While the fictional Carter is more of a whiskey girl, gin is often attributed to the UK. The drink is tart, slightly sweet with some strength behind it so between that and the UK connection I thought it fitting for the name.

Making it is pretty simple. While any glass may do, a martini glass may be better suited to it.

Peggy Carter

2 oz of regular sweet lemonade

1 oz Schweppes tonic water

1 oz Schweppes club soda

1 jigger New Amsterdam  gin

1 tablespoon of grenadine

1 tablespoon of Tribuno sweet vermouth

stir and serve chilled

 

New age lessons

We play video games with our kid.

We don’t play MMO games, but we do play video games. Largely they are Co-op and of a RPG nature. We three sit down and make it a point to have fun together but just as important to me is that in playing those games we try to listen to each other, work together, and communicate.

So this from Penny Arcade really struck a chord for me, because it has happened with us. Its the digital equivalent of staying the night in jail or cleaning up your room, and whats more is its happened making it all the more funny.

Read the rest of this entry »

Friday reflection

Like everyone else in the world, I am always looking to improve myself. One thing I do, is I have been a semi practicing stoic for a while. No I’m not trying to resist pain, rather I try to wrest some kind of happiness from anything I can.

It’s hard for me because by nature (or by experience) I’m a cynic. While the two philosophical foundations have some base origins, the two have very different outlooks in the large scheme of things.

Anyway, I try to look back on the week and find solace where I can. When I do it’s sometimes….melancholy, something else I’m prone to upon occasion.

One way I have found that makes it easier is with music. Music has been a big focal for me for many years, so using it as a way to channel thoughts isn’t a stretch.

This one seemed applicable this morning. In many ways I think we are all praying for some form of rain, even if we aren’t necessarily practicing religions. Some want a better life, more money, peace, food, its a sobering reality that we often fail to look past our own doors at what goes on in the rest of the world.

Enjoy

Cat Skinning

Feh.

So my adventures in transcription for my research took a wheel in to the ditch. Turns out the new version I purchased cant be used for transcription. Go figure. Two pieces of the same software in a weeks time and neither of them do what I want despite what it says on the goddamn box.

But never fear. Improvisation is my middle name. Well not really but it will be tonight.

See the software won’t allow transcription, but it will allow dictation. So with the help of a shoe box, an Xbox 360 Rock Band microphone, and my digital audio recorder which can play MP3’s…..

  • I ported my interviews in to a MP3 format from WAV
  • Moved the files on to my digital recorder
  • Placed the recorder in to the shoe box with the microphone
  • Hooked the microphone up to my laptop
  • Closed the lid with just enough room to hit the recorder buttons
  • Then set Dragon to dictation mode and let the recorder do the work.

There were a couple of times the recorder out ran the word processor but over all it did what I needed it to do and turned 3 hours of transcription in to about 40 minutes of editing instead.

Its painful, but I will call it a win.

Residency

As if life weren’t complicated enough I have to try to complete two residencies this year for school.

Thats two weeks time I have to pay for the travel, hotel, food etc to go sit in a room to learn something that by all entire possibilities could be handled in another fashion. Basically its a pain in the ass. I get the fact its supposed to be a motivation builder, but frankly its annoying, inconvenient and problematic when trying to hold down a full time job.

For all attempts this should be my last year in my program provided I don’t either run out of money or burn out. The clock is ticking on all of the above.

Stress? What stress?

Radio Intercepts

Funny. My house is in the green area. RT @ValaAfshar: Nobody lives in the green areas pic.twitter.com/ZApM…"

  • photo from Tumblr

    A totally random drink by the bartender (seriously) as served in Port Royal bar in Montego bay Jamaica

    04/20/17

  • photo from Tumblr

    Bahama Mama as served at the Port Royal bar Montego Bay, Jamaica

    04/20/17

  • photo from Tumblr

    Yellow Bird cocktail and a taste of colonial Jamaica at the Port Royal bar

    04/20/17

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