Happy New Year. I wonder if I did anything?

Adrienne’s Life Goals (List started December, 1996 and updated each year since then) I’ve bolded the ones that I accomplished since I last updated the list last year.

1. Rollerblade in every major city in the world (Don’t know if I want to do this one any more or not. I’m really not all that into rollerblading. Biking might be a more feasible option).
2. Win a Nobel Prize
3. Study insects in the Australian Canopy (I used to get a magazine as a kid that advertised scientist-led trips in the back. One was a trip to the Australian Rainforest where you’d get to help survey the insects. They said you’d probably find several new species. I have to get there).
4. Become fluent in Spanish (took it in high school, remember little)
5. Be written about in some major tabloid
6. Make a major discovery in cancer research
7. Breed some sort of animal (I finished this one in 1998–I bred crane flies, beetles, crickets, and whatever else my boss brought in for a year)
8. Get married and raise a family (Part one–done 9/3/00! So that part two thing won’t work. Anyhow.)
9. Get a PhD in Entomology (Getting close now!)
10. Make a major entomological discovery (I’m really not sure what counts as “major.” I guess I’ll figure that out as I go along)
11. Become a college professor
12. Ear $20,000 a year with my harp (I think I will work on this in 2010)
13. Read the entire works of Shakespeare (did I mention I’m really into Shakespeare?)
14. Learn to ride a bike well (I’ve decided the tandem doesn’t count, but is a hell of a lot less scary than riding alone)
15. Study insects in Madagascar (the first day of my high school freshman geography class the teacher gave us the coordinates for Madagascar. I’ve wanted to go ever since)
16. Visit Kangaroo Island
17. Become the president of something major
18. Be able to give my Alma Mater something big, and have something on campus named after me
19. Rollerblade 10 miles (so, I didn’t have a bike as a kid. I taught myself to rollerblade instead. Don’t do it so much anymore, but for awhile there it was my only means of transportation)
20. Become fluent in sign language
21. Take a major biking or blading trip
22. Become very physically fit
23. Graduate from any higher education institution with a 3.0 or higher (I only got a 2.5 in undergraduate school…but I did have a 3.2 in my major courses. That counts, right? Finished my Master’s with a 3.46, currently have a 4.0)
24. Work at the Smithsonian
25. Lear how to spell “Smithsonian” (Done! 1996. Have I mentioned I’m dyslexic? Oh, man, in 5th grade we had spelling tests every week, and my teacher made anyone who failed go to detention after school on Fridays and copy the dictionary. I got through “C” by the end of the year. She was nice enough not to make me go right before Christmas break and the last week of school. After my year she stopped using that as a punishment for bad spelling. I am a liberator of 5th graders!)
26. Live to be 100 (This one will take me awhile)
27. Own a motorcycle (Done! 1999. It got stolen, but who’s counting?)
28. Fall in love (Done! Valentine’s Day, 1997. Can you guess who?)
29. Write a book (I’m writing a lab book now, so maybe this will be done by next year)
30. Visit Canada (Done! 2005. Our anniversary. We took a ferry from Washington)
31. Take a cruise (We will be doing this in August. Woo!)
32. Become the best in Entomology
33. Be rich enough to buy my parents a cabin or car (Part of this list was written when I was a starving student. I mean, really starving…like ducking the landlord, saving up for Taco Bell starving. I lived on popcorn and oatmeal for most of a year. I was super thin)
34. Own a home in Australia
35. Travel the world
36. Own a large house with my husband (I also wrote a good portion of this list right when I met Dean, so “husband” and “love” are mentioned a bunch) (Done! 7/2008:  4 bedrooms is large, right?)
37. Have a large wedding (Done! 9/3/00)
38. Tour Iceland
39. Visit Greenland (Notice I don’t want to tour Greenland)
40. Know a song on the harp by every major composer (As soon as I define what a “major” composer is, I’ll get started on this one)
41. Meet someone famous (so, who’s gonna be famous so I can check this off? I’ve met a bunch of famous forensic entomologists, but I’m not counting them for some reason.)
42. Begin an Art, science and cultural center
43. Weigh 120-135 as long as it’s healthy (it stopped being healthy a while ago–right around the infertility time)
44. Create a cross stitch tapestry (Working on it!)
45. Learn to draw (Done! Spring 2000. I’m no Ivan, but it’s good enough for government work)
46. Learn to tango (Done! Summer 2000. I hated it)
47. Get a degree in something totally unrelated (Done! June, 2007. I have a degree in Emergency Prehospital Care. If you’re dying, call me! I’ll tell you to go to the hospital)
48. Own a company (I’ve owned small things, but I’m not counting this until it becomes profitable)
49. Maintain a very large garden
50. Arrange a musical festival
51. Go on an African safari
52. Be someone’s inspiration
53. Stay in the best hotels in the world
54. Backpack across America
55. Sponsor a Shakespeare festival
56. Throw at least 1 major formal party
57. Tour England
58. Visit every major museum in the world
59. Love wine (Done! I have no idea when this happened exactly….)
60. Become adept at herbal studies
61. Study at least 3 religions other than Methodist (Done! Mormonism, Judaism and Jehovah’s Witness. I ended up with a boyfriend in each religion, which really made the study easy. Mormons wear sacred underwear. Don’t tell them you know!)
62. Watch or be in every Shakespeare play
63. Organize 5 missions (So I grew up in a Methodist church, and Methodists are really into volunteering. All through high school I went on youth missions organized by the church–I’ve been to Mexico 12 or 13 times to work on churches and houses, I went to Yuma, Arizona several times and worked on the Indian reservation there, and I helped organize a huge mission to Alaska, but I couldn’t go. This is the one thing I miss about not going to church anymore. My old church went to Mississippi last spring to rebuild houses destroyed in hurricane Katrina. I wish I could’ve gone)
64. Study scarab beetles (they’re shiny!)
65. Visit Egypt
66. Never have to worry about money (once again, I was a starving student at this point….)
67. Become adept at rock climbing
68. Visit every state in the union (I’m working on it!)
69. Visit Easter Island
70. Perform in a large theater (Done! Christmas 1997 and 1998. I was part of a Christmas show playing in LA. I played the harp–3500 seats in that theater)
71. Visit Morocco (Ah…here comes my travel list….)
72. Visit Sri Lanka
73. Visit the Philippines (Earl? When we going?)
74. Visit Norway
75. Study cancer (When I add to my list each year, I sometimes don’t go back and review everything first, so there are a few duplicates. Apparently I really want to do these things)
76. Visit France
77. Visit the Eiffel Tower (just in case I was gonna miss it while in France….)
78. Visit the Statue of Liberty again (I saw it when my class went there in Jr. High, but I was a bit boy crazy and didn’t really care about the big green woman)
79. Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa
80. Stay in a small Russian town
81. Go to a health spa (Done! I now do this as regularly as possible)
82. Win a major contest
83. Become a photographer (I don’t think I have much of an eye, but I can try)
84. Visit Dublin
85. Become monetarily comfortable (still hungry!)
86. Own a store
87. Learn to fence (Done! 2004. Hated it!)
88. Learn a martial arts (Done! 2004, black belt in kenjo ki karate–better known as kickboxing)
89. Visit a homeless family
90. Learn massage
91. Write a major research paper (Done! June 2007. It’s going to publication this year W00t!!)
92. Work in a vineyard (Done! Spring 1997, Cal Poly SLO. 1 year. It was fun)
93. Witness a controlled burn (Done! Summer 1998. We had to do several controlled burns in the orchard that summer)
94. Save an insect species
95. Discover an insect species (I like me some insect species)
96. Biologically solve a pest problem (I haven’t decided if I want to do this on a grand scale or not…if not, then done! I’ll leave it unmarked for now, though)
97. Read Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities, Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Hans Christian Andersen series, The Metamorphasis, The Fountainhead, It, The Lord of the Rings, and a book by Chaucer. (Some of these are done. The hardest so far is The Lord of the Rings. How do people get through this?!?)
98. Fall asleep in a hammock overlooking a beautiful beach and sea under a full moon (Aw! Aren’t I romantic?)
99. Learn to horseback (Done! Did you know that Dean’s grandfather raises horses?)
100. Take a trip to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
101. Be interviewed by the press (Done! 2005 FFAS conference. CNN interviewed me about entomology)
102. Go to England to see the Shakespeare Festival
103. Help to solve a crime (Done! I’m a forensic entomologist!)
104. Learn to belly dance (I keep meaning to do this one. Someone help!)
105. Discover the purpose of an insect and use those facts to save it from extinction
106. Write out the entire rocky scrip, block it and use it to get a show started (This is half done–I have the script.)
107. Plan an orchard
108. Read the Bible (This may end up harder than finishing Lord of the Rings)
109. Read the Book of Mormon (And this will be harder than the Bible)
110. Read the entire works of Edgar Allen Poe
111. Build my own harp (You can get kits for not that much and build your own lap harp. Want!)
112. Visit all the National Parks
113. Live in France
114. Design and build a custom lab for my work (Kinda done! I designed the lab I’ll be working in this spring. Does that count? If so, Done!)
115. Have a maid or cleaning service (I don’t do windows! Or any other cleaning, for that matter)
116. Visit all the amusement parks in the U.S.
117. Design a set (Done! Fall 1997. I designed the sets for a performance of Hamlet)
118. Be a main part in a show
119. Picnic on top of a mountain (Wouldn’t this be fun? Hint!)
120. Ride the trolly in San Francisco (Done! Summer 1998)
121. Try Sushi (Done! And I never looked back)
122. See 100 Rocky Horror Picture Shows (I’m at 41)
123. Plan a very romantic trip somewhere and take it with someone I love (Done! We went to Costa Rica for our honeymoon)
124. Help someone in need (I don’t think I’ll ever mark this one off, no matter how many times I do it)
125. Buy my own car (We’ve been given our last several, so I haven’t really had the chance yet. Not that I’m complaining…we’ll happily take anyone’s car off their hands! It’s what we do!)
126. Visit Alaska (We’re going this summer!)
127. Be loved by someone I’m not related to (Done!)
128. Don’t die lonely
129. Retire
130. Fall asleep in someone’s arms (Done!)
131. Have my own CD
132. Pass Music Theory 1 (Done! I got a B! Stupid class)
133. Figure out how to raise Jerusalem Crickets (Done! Those bastards are a pain in the ass to raise. And they bite super hard!)
134. Finance my education (Done! That was hard, and now I’m in debt forever, but done!)
135. Create a large folder of research on raising insects
136. Have something published (Done! July 2008, my very first article. Ask me and I’ll let you read it!)
138. Turn my car into a work of art (Done! You should have seen it….)
139. Get an A in Beekeeping (Done! Easiest A ever. I like bees)
140. Manage my own beehive (Just might happen soon…I have plans)
141. Have a webpage (Done! Ah, remember the early days of the web when webpages were novel and only geeks had them?)
142. Get into grad school (Done! For years and years!)
143. Learn to sew (Done! July 2008. I learned, now I just have to get good at it)
144. Finish the Chaos book (It’s a book about Chaos theory. I really only started reading it because I was dating this super cute math major who told me it was good. It’s sitting on the shelf with a 10 year old bookmark in it. I’ll get back to it eventually. I’ll probably have to start from the beginning, though. That’s gonna suck)
145. Create at least one of my clothing designs (So I took this design class for my minor–I had to design clothes. I based all of them on insects)
146. Get an award from a scientific association
147. Get certified in some aspect of entomology
148. Present an original paper at a scientific meeting (Done! June 2008. Presented “Seasonal Distribution and Abundance of Forensically Important Flies in Santa Clara County. It was well received)
149. Get my masters (Done! June 2007)
150. Save 1 million dollars
151. Buy a house (Done! July 2008, and it’s beautiful. Come and visit! We have cookies)
152. Visit every state in the nation (See what I mean about duplicates?)
153. Start a consulting business (Plans, again. Plans.)
154. Read every book in the library (Wanna watch? Or help? Join me!)
155. Visit every country in the world
156. Learn to ride a motorcycle (Yep, this is gonna be done this year. Someone teach me, please!)
157. Climb a mountain
158. Start a journal (Done! 2006. I now have blogs instead)
159. Volunteer somewhere
160. Write a book (I must really want to write that damn book!)
161. Be on tv
163. Create an intricate treasure hunt
164. See a musical on Broadway
165. Be self employed with an actual income
166. Own a cabin
167. Plant 100 trees
168. Read 1000 books
169. See an iceberg
170. Get rid of that dead place inside of me (Done! 2007 or 2008. Ask me about it sometime, if you really want to know)
171. Ride a snowmobile
172. Take a speed reading course (Done! 2009. It was bullshit)
173. Learn to surf
174. Walk across a swingy suspension bridge
175. Arrange a harp song
176. Learn Latin
177. Visit Walden pond (Then talk about it all snooty like)
178. Create a hedge maze (How cool is my house gonna be?!?)
179. Be a groomsman (You see, I’ve been every part of a wedding–Bride, bridesmaid, acolyte, harpist, flower girl, officiant, guest on the bride’s side, guest on the groom’s side, but I’ve never been a groomsman. That would complete my takeover of all things wedding!)
180. Have a grand library (With a fireplace and leather chairs and a secret door) (I’m so close!)
181. Have a cabin on a lake
182. Take a gondola ride (Hey! Another great date idea!)
183. Hold a hawk
184. Rehabilitate a wild animal
185. Fire a sniper rifle
186. Fire an automatic weapon
187. Fly first class across the ocean
188. Go hot air ballooning
189. Stay on a houseboat
190. Go hang gliding (But not by myself–with a trained professional so I won’t die. I want to live to be 100, remember?)
191. Do that thing with the parachute hanging off a boat (Doesn’t that sound like fun!?!)
192. visit the Bermuda Triangle (And not get lost)
193. Put $500 a month in my IRA (Up to $350 a month, as of now. See…I’m well on my way to saving 1 million!)
194. Go see the Ice Hotel (I love the Discovery Channel)
195. See Grand Central Station
196. Drive across America, coast to coast
197. Climb the highest mountain in California
198. Renovate a house
199. Cross the Panama Canal
200. Finish the world’s largest crossword puzzle (Don’t really know if I want to do this one any more, but there you are)
201. Go a month without TV (Done! 2008. I was super busy, and TV is the first to go)
202. Buy some aboriginal art in Australia (I blame Chris and Yanira for this–stupid HDTV showing Australia and stuff!)
203. Be married for 60 years (at least!)
204. Make a quilt
205. Go white water rafting
206. Own a sports car (A green RX-7)
207. Buy a house in Costa Rica (Love it there!)
208. Bike 1000 miles in a year
209. Create the perfect, craveable Thanksgiving dinner (I think I’m close! I shall see)
210. Ride the orient express
211. Stay in a haunted hotel
212. Be under 30% body fat
213. Be nominated for a teaching award (Done! Fall, 2008, distinguished teaching award at Texas A&M)
214. Visit the poles (The South and North poles you dirty minded people!)
215. Go sailing
216. Go on an Alaskan cruise (Gonna do it!)
217. Attend a movie premiere
218. Spend over 2 weeks at a nice hotel just enjoying the grounds (I got this idea from reading The Shining. Maybe that’s where I got the haunted hotel idea, too)
219. Attend the Rockettes Christmas Show (I hear this is great!)
220. Celebrate Day of the Dead in Mexico (you know, after they figure out all the drug killings and kidnappings. Still wanna live to 100)
221. Adopt a toddler or baby (Decided this year we will not adopt. Gonna leave this one on the list just to remember, though)
222. Visit the Louvre (I wonder if that’s even close to how it’s spelled)
223. Kiss Dean in Paris
224. Do a food tour of the USA: Pizza in Chicago, Blue Crabs in Maryland, Cheese Steak in Philly, a(nd a bunch of other stuff I haven’t come up with yet)
225. Learn how to write my name in Japanese
226. Celebrate Christmas in New York and London
227. Air Boat the Everglades
228. Pay off my student loans ($32,000 and counting….)
229. Become known for great Thanksgivings
230. Have an art show (Maggot art, baby!)
231. Live in the mountains
232. Take a trip in a motor home
233. See the great barrier reef (But there’s no need to scuba dive…I’m morally against going anywhere I have to take my own oxygen. We need it to survive, people!)
234. Create a secret garden (I love that book! And play! And movie!)
235.Drink mint julep in the French Quarter (Done! June 2009. It was super fun. We bought art).
236.Enter a cooking contest
237. Have a pool
238. Put all my photos/mementos in scrapbooks (Working on it! It’s very well organized at the moment)
239. See all the movies on AFI’s top 100 list (30 down, 70 to go)
240. Visit Alcatraz
241. Try real absinthe (Done! 2007. It tastes like licorice, and has no hallucinogenic effects)
242. volunteer at a homeless shelter or food bank
243. Look good in a 2 piece
244. Have $100,000 in my IRA
245. Paint a really big painting
246. Get certified with a handgun
247.Ride all the rollercoasters in the US (30 down, 602 to go!)
248. Work at Quantico
249. Get 5 articles published
250. Go back to London, at least once
251. Have a real office that I don’t have to move out of every semester
252. Pass my quals (really nervous about these)
253. Write my lab manual
254. Own some art by someone famous
255. Become a consultant (a final duplicate!)
256: Win a teaching award (Done! December 2009. I won the Vice Chancellor’s award for graduate student teaching. Woo!)

Just a few done this year, but gearing up for another great 365 days. What are your goals?

–Adie

Basic Equipment

One of my friends asked what equipment she should get her boyfriend so he could start making beer. There are many equipment articles out there and here is one more

Note: If I were to write this up again, I would recommend the Australian brew-in-a-bag method rather than all the all-grain equipment.

I don’t know what your budget is… you can easily spend a few hundred dollars for a good kitchen setup.

The Minimum:

A large pot. Stainless steel is best, but aluminum is cheap. Like I said before, at least 2 gallons. The bigger, the better. Best is 6 gallons so he can do a full-wort boil where he doesn’t have to top off the fermenter with tap water. Boiling 5 gallons of wort on a kitchen stove is a big pain though, consider getting one of those turkey fryer burner deals. The one I used to have was a 7-gallon aluminum pot and a burner. Never did fry a turkey.

A fermenter. Go for the 6 gallon variety. I used glass carboys, but I have heard very good things about the Better Bottle. If I needed another (cheap) fermenter, I’d try one out. The homebrew shop will probably tell you need a primary & secondary fermenter, but that’s a big myth. I do my fermentations in a single vessel and make pretty good (damn good) beer. Politely decline.

Transfer tubing, bottling wand and a racking cane. Not too much to say here – the homebrew shop will know what you need. I recommend a stainless steel racking cane over a plastic one. It’s worth the extra money.

A bottling bucket.

Bottles. Five gallons of beer fills a little fewer than fifty bottles.

Sanitizer. Go for the “no rinse” variety. I switch between iodophor and 5-Star to keep the nasties on their toes. Buy in bulk.

Testing equipment. A floating thermometer or a digital thermometer on a probe. Also a hydrometer and a cheap graduated cylinder to take specific gravity readings in. Long ago I ditched the cylinder & hydrometer in favor of a refractometer. Really worth the extra money (but maybe only if you’ve been using a hydrometer for a while 🙂

That equipment will be enough to get him started doing “extract with specialty grain” (also incorrectly known as “partial mash”) brewing. The recipe kits are classified by the level of equipment you have. Since he’s got some brewery experience he will probably want to get into “all grain” brewing pretty soon. All of the above equipment will serve for that purpose, plus a few additional pieces.

All Grain

You definitely need the full sized pot.

A hot liquor tank (HLT). Ideally this is a vessel you can heat, but anything that keeps 3-5 gallons of hot water is fine. Many people use Rubbermaid or Gott coolers.

A mash tun. This is a vessel to hold the grain and hot water for making sweet wort. It’s slightly specialized because you need a filter at the bottom used to separate the sweet wort from the spent grain. If either of you is crafty you can make one on the cheap. Mine was a large cooler with the drain plug removed replaced by some copper fittings. Some rigid copper tubing with small holes drilled in it sat in the bottom connected to a brass ball valve on the outside. Served me well for five years.

Here’s a good shot of my previous all-grain setup. Left to right in the picture is a 5-gallon aluminum pot that I punched a hole in for the drain and spigot. It served as my HLT. Next is my mash tun which I described above. Lastly is a 10-gallon aluminum pot sitting on a burner. It also has a drain and spigot.

Consider a subscription to Zymmurgy or BYO Magazine. One of the books I recommend to everyone is Designing Great Beers. Really helped me understand the process.

Get involved in a homebrew club. They are the best places to learn the hobby. There are at least two in Oakland: The Draught Board & Bay Area Mashers (BAM). If you go to a Draught Board meeting tell Roger St Dennis I say hi.

I’ve gone on for a while now. There are a billion other brewing resources on the web.

A full update on my dad

I thought I’d write up a full update on what’s been going on with dad this week (for those of you who don’t know, Robert Cadman is my dad, Jonell Cadman is my mom. I’ve been asked that this week, you see. Just to keep things clear).

Anyhow, dad came down with a virus last week–the normal “hey it’s fall!” virus you get, with the dry cough and the general malaise that goes with it. He, as all in our family tend to do, kept on working though the sickness, and mom doped him up with lots of herbs. Strangely the herbs didn’t work as quickly as normal, and they had to turn to Tussin to stop the cough so dad could sleep. At some point dad had a bad pain in his back (around his kidney area) and mom took him to the emergency clinic. They diagnosed a pulled muscle from stifling the cough and sent him home.

Over the weekend, dad got worse, and was having a hard time breathing. He also had some pain in his chest and whatnot, so he had to sleep in his recliner on Saturday night. On Sunday things got even worse, and dad ended up collapsing and passing out at home. Mom called an ambulance, and the paramedics could not get his blood pressure up. It was around 80/40 (I’m pretty sure that’s what mom told me, anyhow–it was an upsetting phone call for all involved).

I talked to mom as she was watching dad be taken from the ambulance into the emergency room. She was her usual controlled self in these situations, and asked me to make sure everyone knew what was happening. The emergency room worked to get dad’s blood pressure back up, and then they admitted him to the ICU (or Critical Care Unit, as it’s called at St. Jude’s).

Once in the CCU, the staff had to do an emergency procedure at 4 am to bust open clots that had lodged in his heart and lungs.They wanted to treat things medically rather than surgically. Apparently he had been throwing clots from behind his knee and they finally came to rest two places you really don’t want clots to be. He was on blood thinners and super high oxygen because his breathing was erratic. At this point he was too weak to talk or move on his own. That was a very, very scary night. I think we came very close to losing him.

The next day he was a bit better, and was able to eat some breakfast. That made the nurse very happy. The doctors informed mom that dad had been close to organ failure–his kidneys were shutting down, his pancreas wasn’t working, and his system in general was going all to hell. They had dialysis on stand by, but were hoping to treat things medically. Sometime on Monday his kidneys began to function again, and the doctors were pleased. They were supporting his system with a turbo drip of things, including insulin, and dad was sleeping a lot. By Monday evening they had removed the oxygen mask and had him on a nasal cannula. That was some good news. Mom was sent home by a very concerned nurse to get some much needed rest.

On Tuesday morning I got a text from mom saying they were moving dad out of the CCU. YAAAAY! His system was coming back, there was no evidence of clots in his heart, and he was able to sit up with some assistance. He also ate a big dinner, which made the nurses very happy. They had him on 5% oxygen, and tests were looking normal. Mom and dad spent the day dozing as the hospital waited for another room to open up. Mom has gotten very good at sleeping in the rocking chair by the hospital bed.

Mom called me on Tuesday evening (my time) for an update, and she sounded exhausted. She said that she slept a lot, but it wasn’t a restorative sleep. Then I got to talk to my daddy! He sounded just like dad for the first 30 seconds, which made me cry (again. There’s been lots of crying these past few days), and he even joked about his hospital vacation. Food just shows up! He doesn’t even have to move on his own! Everyone should do this! After a minute or so he went down hill, and he got so winded he couldn’t speak anymore. He told me to study hard and had to get off the phone. It was wonderful to hear him talk, but worrisome that he couldn’t breath well afterward.

Mom said that was much better than he’s been able to do, so he’s recovering. They moved him to a new room late last night, and he is resting well. Mom told me that he loves the outpouring of support and good wishes, but he can’t speak to anyone yet, so cards are much appreciated.

I want to thank everyone for keeping us in their thoughts. It’s been a very rough few days, and it’s not quite over yet. I tried to keep everyone informed about his status, so if you know someone who wants to know what is going on, just point them to this note. The doctors are talking to mom about what needs to be done when dad goes home, and those are the best words in the world. I’ve already sent a thank you note to the doctors and nurses who saved his life on Sunday, and I’ll be donating to their foundation probably forever.

Please keep thinking of mom and dad–they are really going to need you over the next few weeks. If you’d like to send a card or wishes to dad in the hospital, he’s at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton:

St. Jude Medical Center
101 E. Valencia Mesa Dr.
Fullerton, CA 92835
(714) 871-3280

If you want to contact mom or send wishes to the house instead, you can send them to:

Bob and Jonell Cadman
763 Stephens Ave
Fullerton, CA 92833

I also want to make sure mom is taken care of. She’s spent days at the hospital, and is being plagued by the allergy inducing winds to boot. Will someone please make sure she’s eating? And has food in the house? She gets weekly deliveries at home from Schwann’s (http://www.schwans.com/), so I might send her some pre-made meals from there. If you need her cell phone, send me a message and I’ll get it to you. She doesn’t have her phone on in the hospital, though, and she’s so tired when she gets home at night that she’s unable to make many phone calls.

Well, that’s what’s happening now. I’ll update this as I get more information. Once again, thank you all for all of your thoughts and prayers. Someone hug my dad for me, since I can’t be there to do it myself.

Update: My sister Erin just saw mom and the doctors are now saying dad may be home this weekend. Hazaah! Best news yet. Mom should be home napping soon. Maybe she’ll get some well-deserved rest.

 

–Adie

Oktoberfest At Christopher’s World Grille

Thanks to everyone for coming out to see me talk at Christopher’s tonight. For an Italian, he makes some delicious German food.

If you want to know more about making beer at home, read this post and come out for Teach A Friend to Homebrew Day on November 7th. The Texas Aggieland Brew Club will be making beer in front of the Village Cafe/Art 979 Gallery in downtown Bryan starting at 11am. If you can’t make that we hold regular meetings on the third Friday of the month. We are organized through Facebook only right now, but if you get in touch with me I will make sure you know what is going on.

I hope you enjoyed the dinner as much as I did. I can do the same for your restaurant. I also train staff and give general beer menu advice. Drop me an email.

I Could Make Great Vinegar

The nettle beer came down with an acetobacter infection. This is not a surprise because fermentation conditions almost encouraged it. When I made the beer, I was out of carboys after making a Newcastle Brown ale clone. Under the circumstances I used a 5-gallon bucket. Normally these vessels can make great beer, however none of my buckets have lids. I improvised a “seal” with some plastic wrap. The beer was okay when I added dry hops to it a week after fermenting and I suspect opening the seal introduced the infection.

In the interest of Science I have a few ounces of the witch’s brew in my cup and take furtive sips to get a taste for how the beer may have turned out. My eyes are a little watery. It isn’t balsamic strength, still very much a vinegar. All the alcohol became acetic acid but there is a underlying malt taste and something else which I can only attribute to the nettles. Sandwiched between the initial vinegar sourness and the finishing vinegar bite is a vegetal-peppery note that reminds me of the brew day. Hop bitterness is non-existent and there is a softness to it that you don’t get when consuming straight vinegar, which I do on occasion.

It was an experiment that failed. The follow-up experiment will improve it. Things I will change:

  • A proper lauter – I strained my grains through a colander.
  • Closed fermentation.
  • Nettles at knockout instead of the boil.

Most teas are steeped and adding leaves to boiling water can bring out bad flavors. Doing a full boil, then adding the nettles after removing the flame will better simulate this.

An Early Fall Evening Walk

I heard reports of snow as far south as Denver. Fall is creeping down from the Great White North, but here in Texas Summer still weakly grasps for the Earth, holding ground against the inevitable season. Some mornings it gently rains, some afternoons the temperature climbs to 90°. Today we experienced both.

The sun seems closer in the Southwest. It lazily crossed the clearing sky, determined to dry the lawns and buildings and sidewalks and streets, sending so much moisture airborne. A breeze would make it pleasant, but all day the air was still. The late evening atmosphere sticks in your hair and precipitates on your cheeks, closing around like a womb.

Through the morning’s vaporized rains, with the sun just below the horizon, Adrienne and I set out for a walk. Dusk was quickly deepening into night, bringing yet perceptible relief from the surroundings. We strolled the neighborhood softly rapt with one another and conversation.

Our course led us by a low area where the rainwater runs out of a small wood into a gutter under the sidewalk. The year-round water makes habitat for papyrus sedge and passion flowers and amphibians that splash in the pool when you approach too noisily. As we passed Adirenne stopped.

“Sweetie, look!”

I broke my search for frogs and brought my gaze up to see. At first there was nothing but low shrubs against a background of trees. Standing still as the air around us I waited. Then I caught a wink of low yellow light in the middle distance. “Fireflies.”, she whispered.

Against the dark background of the forest the insects were impossible to see until they revealed their presence with a brief luminescent glow. Within moments dozens of rising lanterns winked in the night. Silently they droned in the moist air, oblivious to the two spectators their mating signals also attracted. I watched quietly waiting for one to silhoutte against the sky close enough to catch.

Spying one, I carefully reached for it drawing my closed fist between us. She bent close to look, but my open palm revealed nothing. For the first time in long minutes, I looked at her.

She stood perfectly still except for eyes that darted over the glen, sparkling with each firefly. A big gap-toothed smile brightened the whole of her face. In that instant the natural beauty around me seemed a reflection of the look on Adrienne’s face. The moment lengthened and I would have liked to stay in it forever.

We lingered at our private fireworks show a while longer not wanting to leave. It seems the longer you stand still, the closer responsibilities of the day press against your mind. Nudged forward, we clasped hands once again and resumed our walk. Looking back towards the creek, Adie proclaimed “Best night ever!”

If You Saw Me On The TeeVee

Thanks for finding me (see the interview video if you are a regular reader). Homebrewing is a rewarding, useful hobby. It can be easy or intricate, scientific or artful. For the impatient, join the Texas Aggieland Brew Club on Facebok and read about the process on HowToBrew. Or get in touch with me personally.

The beer you saw me making was a three gallon batch of nettle beer. It is a recipe I want to start experimenting with. The beer I drank throughout the interview was a Belgian Tripel. Typically, homebrewers make five gallons of beer at a time so most of the equipment is sized appropriately.

To get started making your own beer you need a few specialized tools and some basic kitchen gadgets. Homebrew specialty stores sell equipment kits that will get you started. Check out Austin Homebrew Supply – they have a good web store and it only takes a day for UPS to get to B/CS. You will also need a large kettle, six to seven gallons is ideal, however I started off with a twelve quart pot. When you purchase equipment, also pick out some recipe ingredients. Austin homebrew has around 120 pre-assembled recipes that come out to around $0.55 a bottle.

A great way to learn the hobby is to get together with some other homebrewers and make beer. The TAbc meets monthly on the third Friday evening of the month. We have a number of experienced brewers and beer lovers to answer questions.

Things Adrienne & Dean Do, Think and Write