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Old 01-27-2012, 05:11 PM   #1
mjdonnelly68
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Today is my 44th Birthday.

Evidenced by the fact that I'm on this site, beer is a big, beautiful part of my life. Being from a large Irish brood, the public and private consumption of fermentables borders on religion for me. Whether it be nature or nurture, I'm never more happy or content than when I'm tipping pints with family and friends.

I'll be the first to admit that beer plays an outsized role in my life. When I'm not drinking it or brewing it, I'm often talking about drinking or brewing it. When I'm not drinking, brewing or talking about it - I'm often thinking about drinking or brewing it. I love beer.

I travel a bit for work and the first thing I do when hitting a new town is ferret out it's signature bar. Every town has one, and there's no better place to get a feel for a community or it's people. Even in the dry towns I've visited in the south, the nonexistence of a signature bar holds sway. All I have to do is ask just about any resident of said dry town and they'll excitedly divulge their system for getting around the ban on booze ("Six miles out of town, just past the Piggly Wiggly there's a water tower. Turn right there and head to Bob Marcus's party barn just before the old Dairy Queen. They serve beer there but it's a private club so you have to be a member. That's no problem though, you pay $5.00 for a membership and it includes your first beer. Tell them Dwayne sent you..."). It's never a lonely quest.

Wherever I am, whatever I'm doing I always get excited when I see neon off in the distance (and I always die a little inside when it turns out to be a nail salon). There's nothing I like better than the first beer on a Friday after a long week at work. I sometime's think that the only reason I hike is because it makes the first beer off the trail somehow taste better.

I understand that this kind of obsession with beer could come across to some as unhealthy. A reasonable position but one I can't quite cotton to. I understand people who drink and I understand people who can't drink (it's not good for everyone) but I just can't relate to people who DON'T drink. I come from a family that travels everywhere with a cooler (including hospital visits). I come from a culture where it's considered rude not to offer any visitor to your house a drink (even if it's 10am). I come from a clan that judges you harshly if you turn up at a gathering with a twelve pack - "Look at Mr. Selfish, bringing just enough for himself and no more..."

Part of my love of beer is a healthy respect for it. I have many a friend (and many more former friends) who have enjoyed their booze too much too soon. I am very mindful of my relationship with alcohol. For me alcohol is like fire, very useful and very dangerous. Just like fire, I give booze the respect and care it deserves. I take great care not to get burned. To pile on the analogies, drinking is like sky diving: when you do it right there's nothing better, but if you do it wrong... So always pack your own parachute.

I've been blabbering away to set the stage for my true intent for this post. I wanted to kick off this project by ensuring those who care that I do not confuse celebration with carelessness. Beer informs us all, it's up to each of us to determine what it says. All in fun, no harm done.

In this, my 45th year, I thought it would be fun and informative to chronicle my relationship with beer. I'm looking to aggregate my activities so that I can look back at points and gain a larger perspective. I'm also looking to create a timeline I can look back on with fondness and affection. So many happy moments that are as fleeting as the buzz - all but gone by the next day. I think it'll be nice to be able to review and recall them in perpetuity.

Part of the challenge was the framework for the journaling. Noting each beer would be unnecessarily burdensome and border on evidentiary. I'm looking for the flavor not the fire, so I've decided to post every 'first' beer during the year. First at any location, pub, restaurant, home, etc. My thinking is that the first will best act as markers for my journey through my 45th year. In each post, I'll try to include some detail about there where's, why's and what's happenings at that moment. Again, all the better to provide the memory and flavor of a year in the beer.

So, without further ado, let the wild rumpus start!

Mike
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:38 PM   #2
mjdonnelly68
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January 27, 2012 - Home - Stone Ruination IPA

Since it's my birthday, I decided to take the day off to brew. At this time of this picture, I have a wort at full boil, a fireplace roaring and nothing to look forward to but more of the same.

The monkey on the left is a birthday card from my nine year old daughter Maeve. She sought it out specifically because she remembered that I like monkey cards.

Note to self: when you are dead and gone, your daughter will not remember that you always paid your mortgage on time or that you always voted Democrat - she will remember that you liked monkey cards.

Works for me.
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:42 PM   #3
Homercidal
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Welcome and thanks for the informative introduction!

I think if you do a bit of looking, you might find places that host personal blogs for free or nearly free. This might be a good system for neatly and chronologically sharing your experiences fro the Internet to see.

A friend of mine installed blogging software on his server and it looks as though it was easy enough to manage and manipulate, though he didn't have much to talk about. The whole reason was to install and check it out.

I'm sure the people who host these professionally have even more comprehensive and easy to use versions.

So do you brew your own, or do you simply enjoy the drinking of??

 
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
Welcome and thanks for the informative introduction!

I think if you do a bit of looking, you might find places that host personal blogs for free or nearly free. This might be a good system for neatly and chronologically sharing your experiences fro the Internet to see.

A friend of mine installed blogging software on his server and it looks as though it was easy enough to manage and manipulate, though he didn't have much to talk about. The whole reason was to install and check it out.

I'm sure the people who host these professionally have even more comprehensive and easy to use versions.

So do you brew your own, or do you simply enjoy the drinking of??
He said he brews.

While this might be better suited for a place like blogger, I think it's a pretty cool idea.

 
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjdonnelly68 View Post
January 27, 2012 - Home - Stone Ruination IPA
Havin' a nooner are we? Well color me jealous.

 
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:59 PM   #6
mjdonnelly68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
Welcome and thanks for the informative introduction!

I think if you do a bit of looking, you might find places that host personal blogs for free or nearly free. This might be a good system for neatly and chronologically sharing your experiences fro the Internet to see.

A friend of mine installed blogging software on his server and it looks as though it was easy enough to manage and manipulate, though he didn't have much to talk about. The whole reason was to install and check it out.

I'm sure the people who host these professionally have even more comprehensive and easy to use versions.

So do you brew your own, or do you simply enjoy the drinking of??
Thanks for the suggestion. Blogging would be another way to achieve my end.

I was thinking that this venue would be both easier (I'm on here all the time anyway) and more appropriate, given the membership.

I've only recently started brewing. I'm in the middle of my 14th batch now - a New Belgium Snow Day clone mini-mash.

I really enjoy the hobby, it combines my love of beer with my innate Elvis-itis (obsessing over one thing until it's rung out). I've had a great time brewing, reading and accumulating equipment.

I also enjoy the community around home brewing. Locally and online there's a ton of interest and it's a lot of fun.

How about you, brew much?
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjdonnelly68 View Post

I really enjoy the hobby, it combines my love of beer with my innate Elvis-itis

I read that as "innate Elvis-tits"

 
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:07 PM   #8
Homercidal
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No worries, but hanging out on here requires registration, whereas hosting a blog would allow people interested in beer, but not necessarily brewing, to view your chronicles. And, even if people brew, some of them won't register for this site simply because they don't like to register anywhere. Yeah, I know, they don't know what they are missing.

Plus the layout might be a bit better looking for a blog.

I've been brewing on and off since like 1991, but more off back then and more on the past 5 years.

 
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:15 PM   #9
mjdonnelly68
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Quote:
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I read that as "innate Elvis-tits"
I have that too
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:21 PM   #10
mjdonnelly68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
No worries, but hanging out on here requires registration, whereas hosting a blog would allow people interested in beer, but not necessarily brewing, to view your chronicles. And, even if people brew, some of them won't register for this site simply because they don't like to register anywhere. Yeah, I know, they don't know what they are missing.

Plus the layout might be a bit better looking for a blog.

I've been brewing on and off since like 1991, but more off back then and more on the past 5 years.
To be honest, I like the limited access. No reason in my mind to court the uninterested.

Plus I'm doing it more for my record than anything else.
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