Spending Too Much at my Favorite Place

I got the bow in the mail. Note to everyone buying shit on ebay, it pays to raise hell with the postal service. The tracking invoice said that the box went from Hodgkins to Houstin Texas, but then vanished.

I complained after 10 business days and suddenly the box turned up and it moved along. Coincidence? Probably, since we’re dealing with the government. However I felt good complaining.

Now I support local businesses entirely, but there’s something to be said for buying from Big Archery because they have something the little guys don’t: Selection. Since I’m a lefty, I needed to be able to feel up the sights and whatnot. I went to all the local archery shops and none of them had anything left handed. Or they wanted to sell me a package for $600. $600 buys me a very nice rifle, not a bow and arrow. It was way too expensive. Off to Cabeleas where I found out my gift card was no good. But they had everything I needed, and in stock. Also a quick note – don’t buy from these guys what you can get at walmart. It’s 1/3rd of the price at walmart.

I had a bow, it was a High Country Archery Supreme (2004). I needed an arrow rest, arrows, points, I had a release with the bow, and I bought a bow sight (three pin). Also a generic rear peep sight. All in all I spent about $150-ish outfitting this bow. The good part about all this is that if I ever buy another bow (not likely) it will all transfer over. Also those links are informative, they aren’t what I bought exactly. Like I said, buy whatever you can at walmart and buy the rest from a real store.

But that’s not all!

Cabelas has clothes, which is cute, but they also have a cafe and casual clothing section. The cafe was great since we got elk buger (judging by how the kid kicks he likes elk burgers too). Elk is to die for, I wish I could pull a special permit in PA and eat that all year. Onion rings are good also.

The kids clothes are cute, especially the young kids clothes. We got a hat, booties, a jumper, and a shirt or two. I’ll have to post pictures if our kid is cute enough.

Sloe Gin

I had a chance to try actual Sloe Gin recently and it’s really neat stuff. It’s not really ginny per se, at least as far as a martini is concerned. Sloes, which look like blueberries, apparently taste like plums.

The recipe is 750ml of gin, then a “bin of sloes”, then a “wine glass of sugar”.

If you’re saying “POST THE REAL RECIPE”, the point is there is no real recipe. Apparently the gin sits on this stuff for three months, and you’re supposed to turn it (as in, literally turn the bottle 360 degrees over it’s head) daily. Then at the end of three months the chemical process happens and it’s ready to decant and drink. After discussing the specifics, the “bin” is one carton of fruit (like a blueberry bin) and the “wine glass” is a standard 300ml or so wine glass. The sugar is what gets the flavor out of the berries, which also provide the water content. Since the gin is pretty high proof stuff, instead of infusing the berries with alcohol the sugar draws the water (and the flavor) out. Apparently there’s supposed to also be cinnamon or almond flavors in there, but to me it tasted like plums and a bit of a gin aftertaste.

That being said, I figured out I can use the same process on plums or berries and get the same effect. Also freezing the berries (old brewing trick) will make sure they’re beat up enough to release their juices. Done right and I’ll have berry gin by christmas. Apparently you can also age it for up to a year, but my gut says that with the alcohol in the gin, any further chemical reaction wouldn’t produce anything interesting. The sugar is stable and nothing is going to convert the sugar or berries into anything interesting due to the fact that the alcohol is going to infuse into them and sterelize the jug.

If I could get actual sloe berries (blackthorn berries), the gin is supposed to be made with a twig of the bush used to prick the berries sitting in the gin also. This is likely where the cinnamon/almond flavor is supposed to come from. Noted, but I think I’ll stick to freezing a box of blueberries and simply putting them into the gin to age along with that sugar.

Bolla 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon

Cab savs are generally my favorite wines next to chiantis.

Bolla 2006 really screws the pooch. It’s got all the astringency you would expect, and none of the flavor. The worst part is that the aroma is fantastic. I mean it’s just jammy, grapy, raisins and fruit. You expect it to be fruity and well balanced.

Well, it would have been well balanced when it was released in 2006. However it’s just terrible now in almost 2010. Three years and a wine should just be hitting it’s stride. Three years and this wine is beat.

Goodbye to Little Green Footballs

What a turnaround it’s been. McCain picked Palin and sank his chance at the office. Obama continues to think he’s Gods Gift while he really only won by a thin margin in the popular vote and it was most likely because people were voting against Palin. Fred Thompson bowed out without much protest and he would have had my vote. The Independent Party is looking better and better and if they can keep Al Gore out and the rest of the environmental loonies they might have something to go on. Also the tax code is a mess. Buying a house has opened my eyes to it.

Charles over at LGF has also managed to ban almost all of my favorite commenters in the last month or so. I’m pretty sure the problem is that he simply sold out. He’s either writing a book or preparing for television and his blog needs to toe some imaginary line to be “more centrist” or whatever. Or maybe it’s the popularity of Obama or the fear of being “wrong”. I’ll be open about it – I didn’t think Bush was the second coming of Jesus Reagan Christ himself but I thought he was damn good. I don’t think Obama is Lucifer Carter Satan but I do think he’s blind, idealistic and inept. I expect the mortgage rate to reflect this in about a year when there’s no more games to play in “stimulating” the economy. Unfortunately for LGF, this kind of commentary and sarcasm gets you banned, and it’s now decided to become the Daily Kos of the “centrist” blogs.

So emerges LGF2, we’ll see how well this comes along… It’s basically refugees from LGF.

Fixing the House

This weekend, me and dad faced the one outlet (why did the original owner of the house recess all the boxes?), fixed the lawn tractor, and brought in the bunk beds for the kids.

Out of all these, the worst was the lawn tractor simply because it was filthy and most of the bolts were in poor condition. It managed to nail a rock, which bent the blade and bent the trim piece of the deck.

I ended up taking the trim off and simply hacksawing it off.


I know I said I wanted brewing crap for my birthday/christmas present, but then I got high bought a bow. My downfall? French Creek Outfitters has this awesome videogame system where you unscrew your arrowhead and screw on this reflective marker and shoot at videos of deer. It sounds terribly uncomplicated in text, but the actual video of the deer coupled with the fact it does “after the shot” analysis on the spot where you hit the vitals – this is well worth it.

ebay is your friend for this crap. Unlike gunbroker where the laws of limited competition apply for both the sellers and consumers, ebay appeals to everyone. Bows are still “ebay ok” weapons. As are knives, blackjacks, clubs, sword umbrellas, regular umbrellas and swords.

Ebay is also subject to the Ford Pinto effect. If one blows up, surely they all do! Prices go down, but people in the know already took care of the problem or realized it was a straw-man. As such, old bows have a “reputation” of blowing up, which means you can get them on the cheap. (The reality is that almost all bows have a lifetime warranty on the limbs, so “blowing up” isn’t something to worry about).

when I saw this bow I jumped on it. Lifetime warranty on the limbs, and while not the current model, it’s a steal for the $60 I paid for it.

Now, Internet archers, here’s your chance to put in two bits:

1. I need a decent sight. I think the 5 pins in a column is just fucking stupid and you should learn to hold over/under, so I need to know what my sight options are and maybe have two or three pins.

2. Any opinions on the arrow rest? Everyone says whisker biscut. Is there ANYTHING else out there?

Suggestions welcome.

The First Lager

First Lager

First Lager

Well folks, there is is. The first lager. It will be done in two months, so basically this is my birthday beer and my beer for my son. Maybe I’ll save him a bottle until he’s 21. OR MAYBE DRINK IT ALL MYSELF.

The fridge is a freezer I sourced from craigslist. The temp control is a Johnson’s temp control I got on the cheap because they’re redoing the probes to not break when you freeze them. (Good thing I am not freezing beer). The yeast, Saflager 34-70, says it should be kept between 60F and 70F, so I have the controls set to 60F figuring the beer will always be a bit warmer on it’s own.

The kit, and yes I brewed with a kit this time, is Bavarian Dunkel. I was genuinely impressed with Northern Brewer, they included a bunch of first timer swag and the stuff all came extremely well packed. The instruction sheet wasn’t in there but I know how to brew so I’m comfortable with this. The kit inventory is online, which is nice, as is the promash script for it.

The only gotcha was my stove can’t do a rolling boil, but I still got a hot break out of the mash. Strange, but now a burner is on my christmas list.

Now the hard part – waiting.

Ask The Internet: Plumbing?

I bought the BRITA OF GOD off e-bay. It’s a whole house charcoal carbon filter. The water here is good, but it’s not fantastic. It also varies wildly depending on what wells are working for the water company. This is what I get for moving to the burbs.

The house has a place where you can install a whole house filter. The mains come in, theres two valves (one from the house, one from the feed) and a bypass valve. The bypass valve is broken and I haven’t had the occasion to fix it since copper flexipipe does what I need it to do in place of the filter.

But now I have a filter.

The problem is the feed from the company is 5/8ths, which gets turned up to 3/4ths at the valves, which needs to become 1 inch at the filter.

Simple enough job – get a 3/4ths to 1 inch bushing, right?

Not really – all plumbing problems become male-female problems and this is no exception. The charcoal filter only has female ports. The valves, as you can guess are male, but the flexipipe which I need to mount the filter to the wall because of how the pipes stand off – they’re all female ends too. So a 1 inch to 3/4ths bushing needs a double threaded nipple.

To add insult to injury, the only 1inch fitting they had at Home Depot was steel. The only double-sided nipple choices were copper or plastic. Ion exchange hell.

I wrapped the entire thing in teflon tape, assembled it, ended up buying yet another flexipipe at $14 per because the original bypass pipe broke when I tried to rebend it and got the filter housing on the wall. I turned on the water and… pinhole leaks all over.

Now, the filter housing is plastic. Which goes to steel. This steel goes to a copper nipple which connects to copper flexipipe. I’m using standard teflon tape. Solder is out of the question because of the plastic – at least as far as the filter is concerned. But, I end up with pinhole leaks everywhere. The first and obvious solution is to buy rubber washers to put between the steel and the plastic of the filter, but what about the pinholes from the copper to steel connections?

Anyone have any input?