Monthly Archives: July 2006

81 bottles

I just got done filling 81 beer bottles.


Both the 3rd Annual Batch of Abe's Important Stout and the hefeweizen are now in the bottle conditioning stage.

Waiting two weeks is always the hardest part.


Wild blue yonder

My Uncle is a pilot.  My Aunt says he just sits in the front seat and makes "plane noises", but I've actually flown with him.

Early on in his career he flew some very interesting routes and rides.  I once wrote a story for one of my high school English classes about how he flew over the original Woodstock festival.  Not true, but an interesting concept.

Anyway, he has a fascination for seaplanes.  Particularly Grummans.  I guess when you fly multi-million dollar biz jets equipped with anti-missile technologies for a living, the other side of the aeronautical spectrum provides a respite.

Grumman Widgeon

That's a Grumman Widgeon.  Only 266 of them were produced from 1941 to 1955.  And my Uncle is buying one.  From Alaska.  He lives in Pennsylvania.  He is going to fly it from Alaska to Pennsylvania.  I really wish I could make the trip with him.


This is what my Hallertau hop vine looked like on April 2nd of this year:

hop vine

And this is what it looks like today (July 23rd):

hops big

hops big too

Indeed, it has grown.  I've done a little better job this year of training it.  Next year, I'm going to dig the rhizome up and split it into two plants.  Then, I'm going to plant it along the back fence so I can train a vine on each one of the vertical pieces of fence.  It'll provide us some more privacy and hopefully increase my yield.

I also harvested some cone flowers last night and started drying them:

Hop Coneflowers

I've already harvested more than I had all of last year.  I'm hoping to have enough to brew a batch without supplementing the hop bill with anything bought.

I had enough time to transfer the hefeweizen to the secondary.  It looks, smells, and tastes fantastic.  I'm going to try to bottle the stout sometime this week.


Should they stay or should they go?

The Wichita Wranglers have a snowball's chance in Wichita of existing next season.  Springdale Arkansas has approved funding for a new stadium.  The team owners (Mork and Mindy Rich) are "on vacation" at a posh resort with their craniums crammed in the beach.

The sports broadcasters and writers in Wichita have covered all the points:

  • Attendance is down
  • The Wranglers are a AA affiliate for a Major League team that wouldn't beat most AAA teams
  • WSU has a better stadium, team, program, bigger fan base, and a coach who can't find somewhere else to go
  • Wichita can't keep professional sports teams

Frankly, I don't care about the Wranglers.  If they can find a better deal somewhere else, they should take it.  And, as a tax paying resident of Wichita and Sedgwick County, I don't think the interested municipalities should extend considerations to keep the team here.

There will be a team playing in Lawrence Dumont when the Wranglers leave (independent leagues I'm looking at you).  And the ticket-buying public won't care if the baseball on the field seems to be of "lesser" quality.  An IL team will work harder to get people in the stands and have an entertaining product on the field.

I'm more concerned with National Baseball Congress Tournament.  The NBC tourney is baseball in the purest form and needs to be kept in Wichita.