Fall in Full swing ’13

The last couple of weeks have felt like a mad flurry of activity as Summer dies down, and the last little Los Angeles heat waves ebb and flow. The weather is cooling down and it’s almost jacket time, but not quite. It’s starting to get dark earlier, and the short days are spent grinding away at work, pushing a pencil around and making for some super productive weeks.

I’ve been sharing my IPA the last couple weeks too, and it’s gotten lots of great reviews. The end of summer means Oktoberfest, so I’ve been drinking that style to get re-acquainted with it. I’ll be brewing one up this weekend, but until then, I’ve been having at this keg f IPA, and beer life is good.

My nephew had his 4th birthday party, and I took him ahead of time to see “Planes”, then off to Toys R’ Us to do something I’ve always wanted to do. I let him have his pick of ANY toy in the place. He scared me for a while, looking at bicycles and giant $300 remote control cars, but eventually he settles on an awesome (and reasonably priced) castle. That was fun. I would have bought him a bike if he wanted it.

His party was awesome, and this table full of goodies was a definite favorite with the kids. The stuff in the red bottles is called Chamoy,  and the kids put it on everything. I’m not that into it, it’s one of those things that’s good when you;re three, but as an adult, tastes like pure sugar. Still, I munched on the spicy peanuts and had beers with my cousins and friends. We even had a taco lady come down and cater. The awesome thing about this taco lady was that she also brought Pupusas, and bacon wrapped hot dogs. Something for everybody. The tacos were featured however, and they were awesome.

After the party I went to one of those deals where they make a restaurant out of somebody’s house, and I had an awesome time. I had way too much whiskey though, and slept on a couch at the house afterward. I woke up at 6 am to a screaming baby (someone was visiting) and had to leave. I had the Dr. with me, so I tried my best to wake him up, but he was so wasted he was like a corpse on the couch I drove his hungover ass home, and then took myself home, and smoked a brisket.

It’s been that kind of month. September has been that kind of month. It’s ending. Somebody should call Billie Joe. 

My model car is coming along.  . Seeing the charcoal grey really is making me think. I may not be as sure about the colors I’ve chosen for the Dodge, as I had thought. I have a few more kits, and I’m going to try different colors.

Also this week, I helped my nephew set up the race course I bought him. THAT was fun. He’s a little greedy with the fast car, but it’s ok, watching him play, and remembering what it was like myself, is pretty awesome. Nostalgia waves are intense, because I could never fake the merriment he makes genuinely, with no effort. He is quick to laugh, and his laugh is contagious. He loves his Hot Wheels, especially a certain car that he calls the Batman car.  To us, there’s this whole back story behind it, about how Batman dresses up the Batmobile for races, and puts a number “2” on it, so they can tell how fast he’s going.

I got to go to the track for opening weekend, and sat in a section called the “End Zone”  There were big TV’s. a little buffet of salad, hot dogs, and pulled pork, and everything but a beverage. In the hot sun, with the cheap beer, and no water it was a recipe for a hangover, and dehydration. 2 out of 3 of us had headaches and wanted to leave by the 8th race of 10, but in all, we had a good day. One of us won $300 on a 2 dollar bet, so that’s always a plus. Of course, it was all beginner’s luck, totally unscientific, and a fluke, but we’ll take it. Watching the ponies run is always fun, and I mad sure to get a couple of pics. I really liked the braided mane on this one.  I’ll tell you what too, the Pulled Pork had too much sauce on it, but I tweeted them and let them know. They’ll get right on it.

Craziest thing I did in the last 5 days was, I bought a suit! Its actually a sports coat, with a pair of slacks, but it’s for my good friend Amber’s wedding, so I was excited to spend the money, and really am excited for this wedding. They’re both excellent friends of mine, and I am really happy for them, and proud of their commitment. Also I like that they did it right, they were together, lived together, and were successful together for a long time before getting married. Smart. Two of the smartest, well-bred, and tasteful people I know. Sincerely.  That’s my excuse to buy an outfit, so I did. Can’t wait to pick it up Wednesday after it’s tailored. 

It’s been fun, and with baseball in full swing, it really feels like fall. The year is coming to an end, and it’s almost time to start thinking about the holidays. Halloween for now, and hmm, maybe I’ll actually take some good advice, shave my head and goatee, and be Uncle Fester for Halloween. This remains to be seen!

 

Medium Viscous Cement, The Elusive Model Glue.

My car was bouncing around in my head today. In particular, which color to paint it.

It’s hard to visualize what my car will end up looking like, and before I go spend a ton of cash on a paint job, I figured I’d paint a model of the car in the meantime, so I could finally see her in the proper color scheme. I went on an insane shipping voyage yesterday to buy an office fridge,  which is awesome, so while at the hardware store, I picked up some charcoal grey. Nothing fancy. Just the gloss enamel Rustoleum.

The idea is to go Charcoal Grey body with a black hood and tail stripe. The equivalent of this, but with charcoal grey in place of the red. I think mine is gonna look even more awesome than that, because you NEVER see them in charcoal, and because mine has the 500 grill, which to me is THE BEST one.

So today I painted the model, a couple of coats of the color, and I need to paint the hood and interior, and then put it all together.

While I waited, I was looking around for some good model glue info, and came across this article. 

After reading that I figured I’d use the “Medium Viscous Cement”, but apparently they don’t sell the one shown in the US. The stuff available stateside melts Polystyrene, which most model kits are made of. I found myself trying to convince an Aussie to ship a jar of glue stateside, but he’s too scared of international shipping license fees, which apparently are a thing. 

This Cyano stuff looks plain scary. Not worth it for hobbyist needs.

Danger Bonds human skin almost instantly and will cause permanent damage to the eyes.

In the end, I’m going to use the old school Tamiya Model Cement, which I remember being thin and runny as all hell. I remember getting this stuff on painted parts and ruining them, so experience tells me I’m going to have to be razor perfect and ultra sharp with this stuff. I guess that’s okay, since it’s kind of the point of model building anyway.

Back in the day, Old School Plastic Cement was all there was. It was messy and toothpaste thick, so you had to use a toothpick as an applicator. It would leave little hairs of glue on your body parts, and I hated that, so I’m gonna steer clear.

All this over just the glue to put it together. . . . . So while I was at it, I ordered myself another body to try the alternate color I’m thinking about . .  . . WHITE! 

Birthday weekend, and the Nautica Malibu Triathlon

Sept 7th was my 38th birthday.

Friday night Dr. Jones took me out for pupusas and beer, even though I told him I needed to sleep. Turns out I didn’t need to sleep. I thought my brother’s triathlon was on Saturday, but it was Sunday. Hmm,  monkey wrench in plans. . .

Saturday night I planned to go out to Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank, but now I’d have to wake up at about 3 am and head to the beach. I decided to take it easy Saturday, going out with about 8 friends to Midori Sushi in the valley.  Ate my fill, then had to head home early.

The morning was awesome. Up way before the sun, mom and I picked up my brother at 4 a.m. and headed straight to the beach. Traffic was a nightmare in Malibu, PCH loaded with Subarus carrying carbon fiber bikes and gear for runners and swimmers. Still no sunshine, waiting in traffic to get into the parking area.

At about 6 or so, we made it into the parking area, and jumped into a bus for the starting area.  Ed went and got ready with his team, his girlfriend, my mom and I went and set up a little camp on the beach. The sun was just starting to peek out over the Santa Monica mountains, and down onto us on Zuma beach. Just in time too, as the breeze and salty wet air was starting to give us all a chill. The warming rays not only exposed everything, but really seemed to energize everybody, and some of the swimmers even started jumping in the water to warm up. I went down and felt the surf, and it was much too cold for me. Reminded me of times I’d been surf fishing, with feet numbed by the cold water.

As the 7 a.m. race start time approached, a frenzy of activity found the racers lined up and ready on the beach. Only a few minutes later, the first cannon shot rang out, and the first wave ran into the surf, first jumping over the waves, then half leaping, half running into the deeper water, where they dove in headfirst and began their swim.

Once the race started, the regularity of the waves of swimmers, and the rising temperature made me want to walk around, so I checked out the booths and sponsors, grabbing samples of energy drinks and bars for future bike rides. So many people everywhere, there were something like 2500 people there for the race, plus their family and friends. 

After about an hour and a half, runners started showing up, and the announcer started calling out names. We judged the time my brother should show up, and took spots along the finish line. We saw a couple of people fall over at the line, lots of guys (no girls for some reason) that were cramping up, unable to continue. Then eventually my brother came around, having run the 4 miles in about 45 minutes, right at the mark he set in training.

After the race, we met a few of his coworkers, and they all got together for a group photo, which I also snagged for myself. Here it is! 

That was, for the most part, the end of my birthday weekend, as I was pretty much exhausted from lack of sleep, and constant celebration. I also went to Ikea, built that furniture, tore up the floor in my front room to install some new tile, and messed with the rear end on the car, which I think is going to get some new rear springs soon. It feels too much like a Cadillac back there. I’m going to stiffen it up with a Hotchkiss Sway bar, and some Extra Heavy Duty Mopar springs.

I was able to take my car out for a big cruise on Saturday morning too, and I really did feel like it was a gift to myself. I’ve been working on that car so long, and to finally be able to just jump in, turn the key, and hear the thing come to life is just an amazing feeling. So satisfying. So Choice. lol 

Well, that’s all for now. It’s Tuesday now, I’m fully recovered, took a nice bike ride last night, hit some golf balls, and I’m taking the day off, so I can run my car into the electrical shop to get my gauges installed after cleaning them up a bit. I don’t want to go poking around in the electrical system, so I’ll leave that to the professionals. And thusly begins, my 38th year.

Pilsner

A buddy of mine is having his first son soon. He has always been my taste tester when it comes to new brews, so I was proud to give him a sample of my first Pilsner. He sent me this picture, and I was pretty stoked about how nice it looked. It was sort of a whole summer process, brewing my first Pilsner, and it was really tasty. Here’s the recipe, in case you need it. The Keg is down to almost nothing, so my buddy’s bottle was one of the last of this batch. I took it around to parties in carboys, and gave some to everybody, and just about everyone absolutely loved it.

Now it’s fall, and the season calls for ales, and some bigger beers. Stouts, Barleywines and IPA’s as session beers is going to the the norm around here soon. Next summer I’ll be ready to go all lager, but I know I’ll brew one or two in the off season. Anyway, here’s the pic! Looking good, right? (I censored some of the personal pics he had on his wall. Those aren’t beer thought bubbles.)

Pilsner