Monday, March 2, 2015

Overheard In My House

Kids say the darndest things.

Nib: Is Daddy the leader because he likes beer the most?

Ouch.

Dab: I'm frustrated because I'm 4 years old!
Me: You're not the only one!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

When Your Water Heater Doesn't


Waterworld (1995) Poster

So here's a blast from the past, a trip down memory lane, a blip from the Wayback Machine: remember back in 2010 when my water heater showed signs of failing?

Being the pro-active kind of guy I am, I investigated a few options and then promptly did nothing about it for 5 more years. And I got away with it, too.  Sure, I had to endure shorter and increasingly colder showers during that time, but that just makes me more efficient in the suds bucket.

But the time has finally come to get serious about it or face some kind of WaterWorld armageddon -- or Kevin Costner which might be worse.

And the Big Guy is looking out for us because I just found out that the DoE efficiency standards are changing as of April 15, 2015. After that date you will no longer be able to purchase an 80 gallon electric water heater. (The only gas in my house comes from beer or chili.)

Because regulations. Or heating efficiency. Or Kevin Costner.

After that time you can buy two 50 gallon tanks and water heater/heat pump (mandatory) combo for $4000. Eh, no thanks.

We got the name of a plumber from the church bulletin and put in our order. So far we've been rescheduled 3 times because we are in the worst cold snap since 2010 and everyone's pipes have been bursting.  The kids can't go to school because neither the school or the church have heat -- their pipes burst too!

The plumber is mortified that he keeps having to put us off. By the time he gets to us, he may have to give us a hefty discount. (I can dream.)

First thing I'm gonna do when we get that smoking 80 gallon water heater is jump in the hot shower and let it run, and run, and run ...

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Beer

Or is that year? I vote for both: new year and new beer.

Somewhere between my birthday and Christmas the incredible duo, Mrs. Nod and Grandma Nod, got together and gifted my inner geek with some nifty Beer Gear.

I was searching for something other than the plain beer tap handles my kegerator came with, when I chanced upon these magnificent stained glass windows with the symbols of the Four Evangelists from St. Ignatius Parish, San Francisco: Matthew (Winged Man), Mark (Winged Lion), Luke (Winged Ox), and John (Eagle).  h/t CatholicResources.org


Right then, I knew these would combine two great things I love: beer and Catholicism. Plus, it's a winged lion and and eagle -- how cool is that!?

Through the talented hands of Jerry's Wood Works, these became two very swanky hand-made beer taps in African Mahogany and Tiger Maple with painstaking pyrography, chrome tips, and Celtic knots on the handles.  Ain't they grand?



Also in my stocking was a Blichmann Floor Burner so I can make all-grain beer. This thing puts out 72,000 BTU/hr with clean low-flame combustion (won't blacken the bottom of your kettle) which can boil 5 gallons of water in about 24 minutes -- that's some serious heat!
So we took our new burner for a spin and made an all-grain IPA beer called Kama Citra. Northern Brewer describes it as:
"Pouring a tantalizing golden-amber, the seductive hop aroma gently gives way to a sturdy, yet flexible malt backbone with a delicate touch of silky caramel that supports the highly suggestive combination of juicy tropical and citrus hop flavor that follows, leading to a satisfying finish."

It's currently happily fermenting away in my basement giving off the most delicious tropical fruit aromas. Six more weeks to liquid bliss!

So let's start off 2015 by raising a glass: here's to you!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Isaiah 9: 

6 For a CHILD IS BORN to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Go Big Or Stay Home

This year I've decided to engage the culture head-on for Halloween.

I love a good party just as much as the next guy and I love costumes too, but I kind of feel about Halloween the same way I feel about Mardis Gras -- they are celebrating the wrong day. And it's just bad liturgy.

With Mardis Gras you get Fat Tuesday, but skip out on Ash Wednesday and Lent. What's really the point then, except to party to excess?  Same thing with Halloween: a night to binge on candy and dress up with a focus on "spirits", and miss out on the Father of Spirits (cf. Heb 12:9) and the triumph of the Saints in Heaven.

We have a real holiday, and it is great. The Feast of All Hallows is the Solemnity of All Saints. The Church Triumphant -- the super-heroes who made it to Heaven who are the "cloud of witnesses" that support us with their prayers and intercessions and behold Christ in Majesty.

So by all means, ring my doorbell on Oct. 31 and let's have some fun. The girls, Blynken, Nod-girl, and Nib will be dressed in their best rendition of St. Philomena, St. Lucy, and St. Agnes with her little lamb in tow, Dab.

But you'll have to come under this 6-foot banner I got from Staples.  Just so we're clear. :D


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