uberreiniger: (Fallen)
This weekend has been very busy for me, but I still manage to feel like I haven't done as much as I'd like. Come to think of it, this entire week has been pretty chaotic.

We had a bad thunderstorm Sunday night into Monday morning that fried out my surge protectors. All my electronics were spared except for my trusty old warhorse of a desktop computer. The power source took the hit and died. This will the second time I've replaced a power source on that computer, but it's easy enough. Where it gets interesting is according to the package tracking, said power source has already been delivered. I don't have it. I am hoping that it's either in the apartment office or at the post office on account of the box being too big, but I won't know until tomorrow. Strangely, I am not as panicked about this as I could be.

Angie had to go to the ER this week. She was diagnosed with diverticulitis and is still recovering. I am just trying to be the best partner I can and take care of her. I am thankful for my own relatively robust health and I hope it persists that I may keep caring for the ones around me.

Another problem we have been dealing with are our upstairs neighbors, the Porch Dicks. We named them that in honor of a villain from The Walking Dead: a smarmy, abusive father/husband whom the fandom nicknamed "Porch Dick." The called him that because he was first introduced creepily staring at one of the main characters from the front porch of his house. Anyway, our neighbors fit the comparison because they are violent and abusive to one another and we hear every word through the ceiling. They also have a bad habit of blasting their surround sound movies and music at all hours of the night, resulting in hours of lost sleep on our part. The apartment office tells us they are being evicted, but that's not something that happens overnight. In the meantime, we just try to make the most of it by enjoying the free Jerry Springer show going on above us.

I have worked a lot on music this weekend. The work is paying off. I'll talk about that in its own post.

Today I helped my parents bring my old chest of drawers down here from their house. While cleaning it out I found a few things I've been trying to find for a long time so that was a most welcome surprise. I also managed to score a few incredible deals from a local hardware store that is going out of business, and I treated myself to a visit to the homebrew store as well, coming away with a fresh carboy and airlock to begin a new batch of mead with.

Today was also the racking of the first batch. Racking is where you drain the fermented liquid off the sediment, or lees, that forms at the bottom of the vessel. It turned out to be a lot of fun, but the apartment now looks like a serial killer lives here on account of the rubber tubing hanging above the sink as it dries.

It doesn't feel like I did a lot, but typing about it sure has been exhausting!

uberreiniger: (Good Evil)
Today I began fermenting my first batch of mead. If everything goes correctly, in a few months I will have a drinkable honey-flavored alcoholic beverage. If 15 year-old me could see this he would be shocked and devastated. He'd be frantically searching for how his life could take such a tragic turn.

For nearly all of my young adult life I was of the opinion that drinking - any drinking - was wrong. I owe this to my upbringing in the Free Methodist Church. I didn't hear fiery prohibition sermons from the pulpit or anything - at least none that I can recall. That was simply part of what being a good Christian was, and good Christians did not drink. Or if they did, they certainly did not get drunk.

Another thing to keep in mind is that I grew up in a miserable redneck Midwestern town. There was nothing to do, especially for young people. Binge drinking was common. People started it early in high school and kept it going until long afterward, assuming it didn't just become a permanent way of life. I was against alcohol because everyone around me was so damned for it. I hated the way it made people and what it did to them.

So what changed?

Religiously I am different now. I currently identify as Norse Pagan, or Heathen and alcohol - mead in particular - holds a huge cultural and religious significance in the pre-Christian European way of life. It is not divorced from, or exist awkwardly alongside the sacred there. When Heimdall drinks mead constantly at his station by the Rainbow Bridge or when Odin is said to exist on wine alone, it is thought of merely as another one of their many amazing supernatural attributes. Contrast that Sunday morning church where they just awkwardly try to gloss over and move past the time when Jesus was at a wedding reception that ran dry and He magically conjured up enough wine to keep the party going. It's just... a different mindset. And when you're lifting up a drinking horn in salutation of the mythic ages of the past, filling it with mead just seems right.

My views on alcohol also changed because my experience with it did. I left my town and moved to the big city. I found out it was possible for people to enjoy alcohol without making fools out of themselves or hurting one another. I've never felt the desire to get drunk even once in my life so far, but I've come to enjoy the taste of and the relaxation brought by a cup or two of nice fermented drink. I guess it's just an age-old story: you grow up, your perspectives change.

One thing I know for sure, though: my first batch of mead isn't even a day old, (it won't be ready to drink until at least this winter,) and I already want to start making another one.

uberreiniger: (Ruthless)
So I'm watching that awesome TV series "Vikings" and there's a battle relatively early in the first season where the titular villain-protagonists are assaulted by a larger Saxon force. The Vikings make the sensible decision to form a shield wall. This is the dialogue I MST3K'd for the leader of the Saxon force:

"Archers! Do that one thing that is useless against a shield wall!"

*Archers shoot arrows at the shields, to no effect.*

"Infantry! Do that other thing that is useless against a shield wall!"

*Archers run right at the shield wall and begin dying.*

"Men who could outflank the shield wall with our superior numbers! Just keep trying to move forward in a straight line! Wait, maybe have one guy run around the shield wall!"

*One guy runs around it; dies.*

"Okay, maybe have another guy try to run around it!"

*Another guy runs around it; dies.*

"Um... New plan! Everyone just sort of die and I will ride home and tell our king the enemy is too strong!"

*Rides away; does just that.*

It's amazing we're not all speaking Futhark right now.

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July 2015

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