A Beer and a Dog

"Why should I blog about brewing?", I asked. "Nothing like a beer and a dog...", So Sayeth Virtual Wayne.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A sign that things are getting better for a little while?

I put a chest freezer on lay away at a local business, a 9 ft.^3 box, just so I can again make lagers. Of course, if the balloon goes up, I can use it as a freezer to keep rodentia and other game in as I can capture them. (And on that note: I saw a clip on a show called 'Manswers' that said that pound-for-pound, cats are more nutritious than dogs. "Remember that when you try to come after my dogs, you starving lunatics!" ) Perhaps that is why cats are so aloof... But that's a story for next year, I'm sure.

I should have it paid for by January something or another, and one of my first lagers will be my ole pal Märzen, or as it is better known, Oktöberfest. I haven't made one in years, and it is about time to do so! But first, maybe a Dortmunder. Trish may like that style; not too hoppy nor strong for her tastes. I'm Egor to start brewing again!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A strange occurrence (to me)

Wow.  After working at the ‘C and finding one day weekends the norm, I’m now faced with a strange new occurrence:  a 4-day weekend! What, oh what will I do with the time? 

Well, lessee: Looks like I’m going to have to cook a turkey too. 


I was planning on making Porculus, a barbecued pork loin sliced lengthwise in a spiral to make a large slab, garlic and ‘erbs & things added, rolled up, and covered with a lattice of bacon.  With a turkey to contend with I guess that will be a plan for when the turkey is gone.  Had a pic of it from the last time that I made it… but can’t find it.

AND… five of the guys from the club are brewing this week. Friday thru Sunday… do there will be places to go.  I was hoping to brew myself, too.  …and there will be the honey do list that I’ll have to work on. 

Yep, this is going to be a weekend.  Cheers!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I’d never heard of hashing before.  I met a couple at the meeting last night who told me about it; they are Hashers.  I’d heard of the British term ‘Hounds and Hares’ before but didn’t have a clue nor an interest in finding out what it meant. The gent said I should Google ‘Hashing’.  And so I did…

I discovered that Hashing came about in pre-war Malaysia, a means of exercise, getting rid of the weekend’s hangover, and drinking more afterwards.  See Hashing.

The article says that Hashing died out during WWII as “Japanese occupying forces being notoriously anti-fun” which I thought was a wonderfully descriptive explanation.

This is something that I could get into… were there an organization such as this in Roanoke.  (How could my docs protest against my drinking beer if there were exercise associated to it, especially when exercise is the main goal?)  Never know. One day, perhaps…

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Back in the saddle again…

I just filled out an application for a job as an engineer of the mechanical flavour for a company in the area, the job notice was sent to me by Monster.  After years of emptiness, I’m once again feeling like I can do things of this nature. Like Odysseus, I’m back on the seas heading home to Ithaca after being marooned on the Isle of the Whiskey Peddlers for seven years.  I am indeed working on a contract job, and I intend to fulfill my obligations but the timing might be right to apply for this one and others, especially if the current contracting employer has no intention of offering me a full time position.

It feels great to wake up an hour before the alarm clock goes off with creative ideas bubbling to the surface of my brain again.  I miss that from working for CyberMotion; it started the day with a great feeling, a feeling of purpose.  Checklist: Go mash the coffee maker button; get dressed, put in the contacts; feed the WonderDogs; take meds and eat; prep lunch and pack; hit the road.  And when I get to work, top off the coffee flagon and get to work.

I really miss my co-workers, and my peeps at the likker store; but most of my co-workers (and I, when I was there) felt like we were always waiting for Godot, all but Alia, who has plans for her future!  Go, woman!  Go forth and experience, and excel~!  Ah, yout’.

Today is the monthly beer club meeting day.  I’m taking corn pudding casserole, a recipe that Trish found on the back of a Jiffy product box and which is MOST EXCELLENT!  And store-bought beer, Pecan Harvest Ale, which I read about some time ago and saw last night when I was looking for a ‘host beer’ to take to the meeting.  It is “made with real Louisiana pecans that have been toasted to perfection.”  Only 5% ABV, a ‘session beer’, but one that I hope will please the palate.  And why am I taking store bought beer you ask? Because I have finally consumed or given away the last of my home brew… the last to Cap’n Eddie, of previous Blog fame. 

Next week: we brew again!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Getting into it

Work was fruitful today, I’m actually using AutoDesk Inventor as if I’m learning something useful… AutoCad 2-D, however… is a monstrosity.  Back in the CyMo days when I was using AutoCad 14 I could turn out a design in what seemed to be no time.  Comparing that to this latest version, 2011, that was lightning speed.  As was always their way, AutoCad has changed the tool format again… this time emulating Microsoft Office with the tabs at the top.  And, as it was when I began using Office 2007, I have to hunt for the tools that I know how to use… and even that isn’t the same.  Oh, how did I ever set that old programme up to be useful?  I don’t recall; A little at a time I suspect.  (“Hey, Dave!  If you set this or that thusly, you can do a task in half the time!”)  And here I am in this day, trying to use the little bahstid right out of the box.  It just isn’t as user friendly as it used to be.  In fact, Inventor (The 3-D Cad package) used to be a lot more intuitive than the current version is.  But I suppose that is the way of software.  (You listening, Virtual Wayne?  Your customers won’t think that your new versions of your software is better if it is as easy to use as the old versions…)

On the other hand, word around the campfire is that there are only about 5 more projects that they have for me to do… after that…?  We will see.  Another contract through the company for whom I work, or hit the road for what lay out there… in the Territories… for me.  We will see…  We always see….

Sunday, November 14, 2010


My list o things to do today included change the oil in Tinkerbelle, the name that my sister gave to the Rav-4 when she owned it.  (Doesn’t sound manly to me, but what the hey. She gave it to me.  You don’t like it?  You give me a better Toyota.)  Must get oil and a filter… But first: Let’s check & see if there is oil available…  And so there is.  Is it the proper grade for Tink?  Dunno. And there is a wide selection of filters too!  Collection, rather than selection: I’d purchased filters for my Toyota Truck at points in historie, and didn’t use them before the little darlin’ bit the dust. 

“Will these filters work on my Rav-4?”, I asked the clerk.  (tap tap tapity-tap)


“Can I get a refund on these three filters?”

“Yes… let me look at them…  Uh, those two have oil on them.”  it was where I grabbed those filters and the proper one for Trish’s car and got oil on them before finding the proper filter.  Dumbass….  I opened the third one and it was unspoiled.

I got a filter, and a new drain plug for Tinkerbelle although I may have gotten a new plug the first time that I changed oil…  but after the truck fiasco, you can’t be too careful with yer crankcase!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


The only part of Fall that I dislike is raking up all of those leaves… not that I’m a big fan of yardwork anyway, but the leaf situation is a bane.  It took about 4 hours to do the front yard… I took breaks often so it wasn’t actually 4 hours of continual ass pain… why kill yerself, especially over freakin’ LEAVES! 

I hurt, but that is the way of the world.

On my way to visit Cap’n Eddie last nite…

…I stopped by Che Kroger for a 2 liter bottle of Ginger Ale and was heading over to the ABC store to get some rum with which Cap’n Eddie flavours his ‘ale, when I heard a booming voice from my deaf ear side:


I looked over my shoulder and there was Cousin Steve hanging out of the window of his driver’s truck, as big as life!  And he is, too, big that is: an affable chap, he has the look that would make most people cross the street when they see him heading their way.  He’s a bouncer, and isn’t ashamed of the 100 + assault charges made against him.  Few of them stuck, otherwise he would probably be down in Red Onion Mountain Prison terrorizing the mean people.  Cousin Steve had been one of my  customers at the ‘C on Willie-D, always a pleasure to visit with him, always happy to see me.

He and his driver were heading to the Towers Mall ABC Store as well so I caught up with them there.  “You really need to come back to the ABC store, Dave, it just ain’t the same without you.  I miss coming in and hearing:’Cousin Steve!  How in the world are you doing today?’” 

He said that with me gone, it just doesn’t seem as friendly a place anymore, and that lots of the customers that feel the same way; everyone misses me.  Kind words, kind words indeed!  That made me feel good and I told him so.  We chatted a while & headed our separate ways, but before leaving, we gave each other a big hug  (An honest and manly hug, not one of those seemingly obligatory [and seemingly insincere] hand shake-chest bump-back pounding hugs that are so popular today amongst the hip hop community).

“Adios, Dave, I’ll see you out in the Territories!”, he said, using one of my phrases…  “Adios, Cousin Steve…”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dog Pee…

The vet said to try to bring in a sample of Dog Nick’s pee for intensive investigation… he has a problem: he sometimes pees on the bed while he is sleeping.  Ever try to capture dog pee? Isn’t as easy as you might think, not with the Dog Nixie.  That’s him in the picture at the top of this page.  If he just had a thumb, he could hold the little vial himself… but no.  Evolution has a ways to go before he can do that.

Trish had a plan: Close the dog door and when I get up, awaken Trish while I get the coffee started; she would go out and wait for the dogs in the dog yard, then I would open the dog door.   All went well until Trish clunked Nick’s leg with the pie pan and he ran back upstairs.  After coaxing him back downstairs, Trish tried squeezing his bladder as she has done with the dogs in the past with good results.  No go.  He wants to retail possession of his pee.

Plan B: I’d take him out on the leash and when he starts marking his turf, I’ll slip the pie pan under him.  I too whacked his leg with the pan, and he then began marking with short spurts whenever the op presented itself.  Back inside, he is wary of all humaans.  He gave me that “What’s with the pie pan?” look every time I came near him.  He finally jumped up on the couch beside me as I watched O’Reilly on FOX.

I guess that plan C will be to take him with her to the vet’s and let them extract some of the stuff manually. There’s another charge.  Maybe if I showed him the bank account levels he would be more cooperative…  we’ll see…

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Better today.

Got down to making some design things in Autodesk Inventor… I’ve pretty much had it with the 2-D CAD… it was OK back in the day, but the ‘improvements’ that have been made to the program since the early 0’s have me scratching my head… so heck with it.  Long as I can read the old drawings, I suppose that I’ll be OK.

But, it is nice to be working for a company where metric units of measure are the company standard.  No attempt to make it easy for the vendors that don’t like metric measurements by putting dual dimensions on the drawings (Metric and Non-Metric for every dimension) , fuckum, as they say on my planet.  Conform, or enter a ‘No Bid’!  Bwa-hahahaha…  There’s lots of hungry shoppes out there in these Hopey-Changey times…

I received the last of my initial safety training today… boy, these guys are careful about everything!  When they say Zero Accidents they mean it!  5mph in the parking lots… no walking outside the crosswalks, outside the building AND in the plant!  Locks… bagels…  No, the bagels were at another plant.  Oy!  And if you screw up the tiniest little bit, WHAM~!  You get the black spot!  Yarrr…..

But all in all, it is a really neat organization.  Hope that they decide to hire me full time, it will be a blast!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Week 2 starts today…

Getting ready to begin my second week at Lite Steel.  Hopefully this week will be more productive for me.  More later….

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Windows Live Messenger upgrade that didn’t happen

Tried to upgrade to a higher level of IM so I could again share files with VW….

De-loaded the program… twice… and loaded the ‘latest’ program again, twice… and still have the 2009 version.  Still can’t exchange files.  Screwum… I’ll leave it be until The Bill tells me that I have to do so….

“Oh, Great And Evil Bill…. I will obey…..”


Now… on to things that I could have been accomplishing all day….

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Week One is behind me… Now, it’s time to brew!

The Star City Brewer’s Guild is having one of the semi-annual “Learn To Home Brew” days today, Saturday, at Lamplighter Mall at our friends and fellow member’s business, ‘Blue Ridge Hydroponics and Home Brew Supplies’.  I’m probably going to go and help set up and maybe take a sixer of my IPA to pour samples from.  Its going to be cold today… 40’s… and there are going to be three brewing demos going on all day… lots of water spew’n out upon the pavement to freeze in the 20’s tonite… the weather might keep people at bay.  We’ll see.

The event used to be called ‘Teach a friend to Home Brew’ but the High Council of Home Brewers (…or whatever the heck it is) suggested that the name be changed to “Learn To Home Brew”… which I changed to sound more colloquial to “Learn A Friend To Home Brew”.  It is the way of my people, you see… It is catching on….

Now, to tell the High Command that I’ll be out & about today….

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stopped by the C on Willie-D today after work….

… to take El Jefe’s book back to him that I didn’t have an opportunity to read.  (“Venus on a Half Shell by fictional author Kilgore Trout, a recurring character in Kurt Vonnegut’s books.  Actually written by Philip José Farmer)  I didn’t take the time to read it due to studying and trying to make a meager living…. and the reading time is now at a standstill while the new job is being assimilated.

Saw Bessie, and another guy from another store, and the guy that is replacing me.  And of course, El Jefe hisself.  All were merry as could be at the C on Willie-D.

As it should be.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Things are getting.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day One…

I arrived at the new job site before 8:00 and had to wait in the lobby for a while until my primary supervisor noticed me on a walk thru.  Boy was he surprised… he thought that I was going to start next Monday, and he had just come in from a 2 week vacation to the Monday Firedrills du Jour.  He & I collected my computer and monitor and took them to a cube in the next room and I connected things as best I could… an adapter for the monitor was missing.  Once that was found, he said that the box didn’t have the software that I need to do the jobs hadn’t been loaded yet.  And sooo……

Another contractor was called in to load the software.  While he was doing that, I was taken out to the factory floor… after being supplied with safety goggles, helmet, etc. (including a loaner pair of steel toed boots) and shown some of the issues that I’ll need to address.  Then I was deposited back in the engineering department to wait for the computer action to be completed.  I used the time to sketch up some ideas and look thru my Machinery’s Handbook for a special Metric thread.. which doesn’t exist. Looks like the machinery out on the floor uses a non standard thread on the ends of the shafts.

0nce the computer was up and running I began to make some models of the ideas regarding the threaded thingy.  This is gonna be interesting, finding someone that will make the threaded fasteners.  O-Ell.  Life’s a Cabaret, ole chum.  More later… at least I get to come back tomorrow…..

Not one of these.. these... FAUX CyberDaves... but the TRUE CyberDave!

About CyberDave

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Contract engineering, working in the field in which I truly love: Mechanical Design.


That was it, apparently

"Bonus Nachos!" as we say on my planet. "And CHEERS!"