Monday, August 18, 2008

Creatures in the walls

The Wife and I had the following conversation via IM today....

Bean: Everything ok?
The Wife: Oh - the squirrel is now in the corner with the kitchen sink.
Bean: I think the squirrel is building a home and an office. or a home and a weekend home.
The Wife: I think probably an office and media room. If it has a bigger TV, I'll move in with him. BRB
The Wife: Big crash from basement - think squirrel is unhappy w/his accomodation. Should I remove the cover to the window, or just wait for Erlich
Bean: Remove cover and cut plastic - maybe he'll leave on his own.
Bean: Bill squirrel's agent for damages.
The Wife: no problem - but how will we know if he's left? Then to pay for the trap?
Bean: Make a small cut - if it gets larger we think he went out through window. Then block off again.
Bean: Squirrel is probably late for work. Stayed in all weekend watching sports and eating cheetos.
The Wife: Where did he get the cheetos? I want some!!
Bean: I presume he went shopping on his way home from work.
The Wife: brb - off to remove window cover.
The Wife: ok deed is done.
Bean: What do you think keeps crashing?
The Wife: now, he's napping. The last time it was those wooden shelves, could be anything on the table. Won't know till I'm down there, but don't really want to go down with a loose squirrel.
Bean: Chicken.
The Wife: Yes, absolutely.
Bean: Well at least he comes out of the wall occasionally. Even if we do have to trap him. I was beginning to think he had no intention of ever coming out again.
The Wife: Ehrlich just came & set up the trap. The squirrel apparently has been chewing on a wire (under the dining room) - once the squirrel is caught we will need to have the electrician in. Seriously, I think we should consider buying one of those traps then we won't have to pay $200+ each year to catch something. Maybe a Christmas present from your folks! I blocked up the window again because I didn't want him calling his friends & family to join him.
Bean: JC on a raft. I have to go to my meeting.
Bean: I'm back. Any more from our friend in the basement?
The Wife: He's hanging around the fireplace (Emily is watching for it now). Was the JC about what I said, or your meeting?
Bean: The JC was about the squirrel chewing on the wire. He's hanging around the fireplace? He's in the wall over there now?
The Wife: yes. (presumably under the fireplace).
The Wife: I don't know if the passive trap is going to work, but I don't have any better ideas.
Bean: Is there food in it?
The Wife: I think the guy put some sort of squirrel enticement goo in it. I haven't been down there.
Bean: The squirrel has to be getting hungry.
Bean: He hasn't been out in days.
The Wife: He told me where the trap is & that we would hear the squirrel when it was caught (they get very angry) & we should call them whenever it is caught. Or the copper & insulation are filling junk food.
The Wife: Although he has moved away from his "comfort zone."
The Wife: He just jumped over by the kitchen - Emily's still watching the fireplace.
Bean: Emily is slow these days.
The Wife: It seems to be doing laps now.
The Wife: If Emily showed any emotions, she'd be very excited.
Bean: maybe he'll get tired and fall down. Clumsy squirrel.
The Wife: ...and stagger to the trap.
Bean: Yes, exactly.
The Wife: Can squirrels swim?
Bean: I suspect they can, at least for short distances.

UPDATE: It was not a squirrel. It was a GROUNDHOG. Apparently they can climb. Little bastard.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Chocolate Stout

At the request of the MIL who had one in Australia I have brewed a chocolate stout. I did some research and came up with my own recipe.

Pat's Polish Stout
1 can Mr Beer St. Patrick's Irish Stout Beer Mix
1 can Mr Beer Creamy Brown Extract
1.5 oz unsweetened baker's chocolate
1/2 c. brown sugar (packed)
Liquid Stout Yeast
2 gallons spring water

Brew according to the Mocha Cherry Stout recipe on Mr (obviously minus the cherries). I plan to let it ferment for 3 weeks then bottle. I'll let it bottle condition for 8 weeks. So it should be ready to drink by Halloween - seems like just the right time for a stout.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

I think I sprained my obliques

I have been working out with a trainer since late May. I go twice a week for an hour and generally I'm pretty worn out and a little sore when I get home but normally feel pretty good the next day. All this changed on Thursday when the trainer got out the boxing gloves. It's Saturday and I'm still sore. Last night, we were watching the Olympic opening ceremony at a friend's house and it hurt to laugh. It hurt a lot. I have to do yard work tomorrow so we'll see how I hold up. I think it will make my trainer very happy that she has succeded in breaking me. She did make a point of saying, when she got out the boxing gloves, "This isn't get even with the trainer."

Cherry Wheat Beer

Last weekend I bottled the cherry wheat beer. When I did the pre-carbonation taste test (you always taste before you bottle to make sure the yeast have consumed the bulk of the fermentable sugars, if it tastes like flat beer, you are good to bottle) I discovered that I had potentially the best beer I have brewed thus far. I'm really eager to taste it. It has been carbonating for a week now and I'm really tempted to put a bottle in the fridge so I can try it tomorrow but I think I'll have an even better result if I wait until next weekend. This is the toughest part for me of home brewing. When it is in the keg I know it isn't drinkable so I sort of forget about it but when it goes into the bottles it suddenly becomes BEER! and I want to be able to taste it.

I still need to brew the Chocolate Stout. I think as long as it is ready by Thanksgiving the MIL will forgive me. If I get it in the keg tomorrow we should be ok.

To Wii or not to Wii, that WAS the question

Yesterday we took the plunge and bought a Wii (ordered a Wii, it should arrive this week.) We also ordered Zelda and Table Tennis games along with the Sonic Smash that came as part of the "bundle." I have a small beef with Toys r Us. It is all over their website that they have both Wii consoles AND MarioKart in stores NOW! Well both are not true. If you have it in SOME stores say that. I made the drive to buy a Wii and they didn't have it. I am also still in search of MarioKart for a friend's son. We promised it to him as a birthday present but I think it will be more like a second Christmas present by the time we locate it. So now you want to know why I suddenly decided to buy a Wii. Well, it is the mother-in-law's fault. She got one a month or so ago and when The Wife had her stroke the MIL brought it with her when she came to stay for a few days. I got hooked and I only played one night. I really like the sports games (hence the table tennis purchase) and The Wife, who is much more of a gamer than I, likes the action/adventure games. I suck at them, hence they are not my favorites. I suspect I will become rather adept at boxing. I may even have to buy the Wii boxing gloves. I am a marketers dream right now with this thing.