This weekend was Hoptoberfest, which is the American Hop Museum’s annual fund raiser/celebration. It was my first time to go, and it was a blast. Its hard to beat great beer, company, and a chance to meet the people who grow one of your favorite plants.

Several local breweries were at the event, and I was able to sample some fine beers. I think my favorite of the pack was Snipes Mountain’s Harvest Ale, which was a heavy hop ale featuring Amarillo hops. I also enjoyed the Ice Harbor IPA and Grant’s Fresh Hop ales.

Tasting note: If you’re drinking Highly hopped ales, don’t try anything with subtle flavors unless you’ve had time to cleanse your palate. :)

Rack of Heaven

Last night we celebrated my Mother-in-Law’s Birthday by dining at the Birchfield Manor in Yakima. It was a wonderful evening; the company and food were great. I ordered rack of lamb, because I’ve never had it made in such a fashion. I usually get it in curries & vindaloo. It was devine. Michelle, and most female friends I know don’t eat lamb for some reason. Fools.

Lisa, I thought you loved me Get in my belly!

What Makes a Man start a fire…

I’ve been listening to the Minutemen’s What Makes a Man Start Fires album in the car for the last couple days, and fell in love with it. I’ve loved Double Nickels on the Dime since I first heard it, but only liked Start Fires, and sorta liked Three Way Tie … For Last Place.

These guys were important to the Alternative/Grunge scene of the nineties, and prove that not all the music from the 80’s sucked. I whole heartedly recommend a listen.

Grass available

Grass 5, the open-source GIS software, is available for MacOS X. I’m tempted to try installing it again, but it requires installing a number of components, like a database server and x-windows clients. I went through the process last fall, but realized I didn’t know enough about Unix or databases to continue.

I know enough about Unix now, but still haven’t done any database stuff. I suppose reading is a good place to start, and some clever people have created an installer CD for OS X. And now there’s a book available, though its $119. Its still cheaper than buying a PC and ArcView GIS…maybe.

New Map

I’ve finished with the Lunchtime Disc Golf Course map I started last week. Well, I’m still in final_draft v.1 phase, but its getting close. Take a look. Its also available in PDF. Fletcher finished a game 5 under par on his first try at the course.

Bridgeport has a Hop Harvest ale that’s casked with fresh hops. Amazingly, its only 11 IBUs, but its delicious. If you’re in town, give it a try.

Andrew Visits

Andrew came down to visit us while he still had his company car. He works weekends now, and is staying until early Saturday morning, when he’ll roll off the couch and drive to work up in Enumclaw.

He got here last night, and we sat around and dreamt, reflected, and all the other stuff you do with old friends. Sadly, my co-worker requested these days off 4 months ago, so I’m stuck working. Or am I…

Old Band revisted

Some co-workers asked me to bring in the album my band recorded in high school. I did, but listeded to it first, you know, to make sure it was safe to let other people hear it. I like it quite a bit. It was a lot of fun, and a big change in music genre from the other bands & circles I played in.

While I was listening, I looked up Matt, the drummer, and Regan, the guitarist. Matt has his own site/label, and Regan didn’t make the web. It turns out the dude that did the vocals for the album is making it big (for an indie band). He was in Bellingham at the same time I was, and I ran in to him once, but he was in a bourbon stupor, and loosely remembered me & the album. His band just got back from a Euro tour, and will be playing in Portland this weekend. Maybe I should go.

Music is fun. Making it is even better.

Disc Golf

Scott and I played a couple rounds of Disc Golf this weekend. We both picked up the, uh, sport last weekend in Bellingham. Its a blast. I live next to Lunchtime, a course on church property. Its not as technical as the Cornwall Park course in Bellingham, but its fun, and its great practice.

I’m working on a map of it. It’ll be available soon. The current map works fine. I just wanted an excuse to make a map.

Master of Geography

Somewhere between the lady who was printing all of her class work and the guy with Windows XP that wouldn’t let him into classes, I realized that I need to go to graduate school. Over the weekend I ran into an old instructor who I admire for his lifelong dedication to his interests in geography. He’s one of the many instructors I had who really seemed to know what they wanted, and did a damn fine job of achieving it.

I started looking at Portland State, because they have graduate programs in both Geography and Planning. Now I just have to decide what it is I want. I thought I wanted to do planning, but being a master of geography would be better than being a MURP. Anyway, I’ll have time to think about it between reading new Microsoft EULA and changing users’ Zone Alarm & Pop-up blocking settings.