Friday, October 31, 2008

really - nothing here

Public Enemies Columbus Merchandise

Today I REALLY have nothing to say.

I'm in the middle of brewing "Cream of Three Crops" a brew I HOPE will be like a Spotted Cow . . . . but it might be a dirty spotted cow. Not as yellow as I was hoping . . more of a taupe. Perhaps I'll call it Dirty Cow LOL. The lighter you make a beer the harder it is to make. That is why Bud and Miller are almost impossible to recreate from a home brew point of fiew . . . . .if anybody wanted too.

I'm in beer mode because I was at the very first Sun Prairie Home Brew club meeting. Oddly I'm making their website. . . . . how did I get roped into THAT one!!!

BTW - the Double Chocolate Stout has fans. Once again people that commented they do not like stouts came up to me and said it was REALLY good. Another odd thing was it seems I'm the only one making NORMAL beer. Lots of "extreme brews" One had jalapenos and it was REALLY spicy!! Cripes!!!


Anchor Bank now has their Anniversary Edition of their calendar WHICH has my photo. I am Mr. March. However I'm not sure why theu picked mine out of 600 unless the other 588 were pretty lame.

Walgreens seems to have the postcards up and selling like hot cakes . . .if Walgreens sold hot cakes . . .which I'm not sure I would by.

So that's it. Awesome weekend coming up in Wisconsin. Mow that lawn for the last time and get the gas out of the mower - or transfer it to the slow blower.


We picked up this amazing fir remover. THE FURMINATOR.

Cost like $34 but it truly is amazing. we got great gobs of fur of Blake and he didn't mind at all. He is pretty good getting brushed but after a while he gets a little antsy. this was like brusing him for an hour but it was only 10 minutes.

Well worth the amazing price. Serious fur came off . This dog had a full head of hair 10 minutes ago.

Have a GREAT weekend


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Twilight in Columbus

Public Enemies Columbus Merchandise

Today is donut (doughnut? - FINE) day but I'm not at work. You see every Thursday we stop at The Peoples Bakery on The Wash in Madison and our little Lebanon baker sells us the best donuts in Madison.

BUT - it's that time of year to start burning off unused vacation time. You see in lieu of raises a few years ago they gave us more vacation.

So - as normal when I am home the blogs are shorter. Why you ask? Because I've only been up for 15 minutes!!
I started a new project.

I call it.

Twilight in Columbus.

My goal/dream/vision is to photograph the major cool buildings in C-bus at twilight. This will get harder and harder as twilight will be about noon soon but it's a goal.

I was on the corner last night and it was sort of funny. One woman was afraid to leave one bar because she thought I was taking down numbers and taking photos of drunk people. Another guy came up and we were talking about all the dirty flags hanging on main street.
In other news I bottled my West Coast Blaster and it tasted AGAIN - pretty darn good. It's like Flat Squirrel on steroids. Tons of cascade hops (thanks Sean) and more malt - a BIG beer. It's my first Extreme brew.

Next up is a little brew I call Cream of Three Crops! My lightest beer yet and the closest I will ever get to a Bud/Miller. I liken it to a Spotted Cow Cream ale. The it's a Batch #2 of Columbus Carriage Classic.

Philadelphia - what a classy town. In the middle of cheering their World Series Champions they start to boo Bud Selig. Have you ever noticed that they do not allow woman to attend eagle games? Take a look sometime - I swear 90% are males. Then look at any other stadium and compare the ratio.
Esiason an Favre.

I have to laugh. In a recent article Boomer states "Brett's performance the last three weeks has just really been horrendous," "He's trying to make every big play, which is a bad thing. He has thrown horrendous interceptions, and no team can afford turnovers."

HELLO!!!! Welcome to our world the last 16 years LOL While he was a Packer I loved him but frankly watching the Pack now there is so much less stress every time the QB fades back to pass.

A little stat thing. At this point in Brett's first year as a starting QB he was way worse. In fact Rogers present QB rating, right now, is higher then Favre's rating in all but 6 or 7 weeks in his entire career.
Time for a bagel (not a beagle which would be COMPLETELY different, beagles are sort of stingy and gamey).


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Amtrak Leaving Columbus???

Public Enemies Columbus Merchandise

I found out last night that Amtrak had plans to have a High Speed Rail from Milwaukee to Madison to St. Paul. I was worried about Columbus being out of the mix but I believe they are talking about six trains a day so it would have to be a commuter rail system and The Empire Builder would not be touched.

I THINK Columbus is safe. In other train news it is sounding like (if the above is correct) the train station will be enlarging. When it was first built there were two waiting rooms. One for men to spit, swear, rub their crotch and chew tobacco and one for the ladies and children. What we have now is only the male waiting room with the female on used for equipment and so forth.

The Rod who is not me says that they are talking of vacating that extra room which would be at the disposal of Columbus. It could be used as a small museum or gift shop or whatever. I feel this would be a great place to have a "History of Columbus" theme room.

SO - that is my take on the Amtrak news.

Speaking of Columbus.

The City Council has annexed four acres of farmland on Highway 16/60 to the west of Columbus. What does "annexed" mean?

Basically annexation is the legal incorporation of some territory into another geo-political entity. That sounds pretty cool when you say it like that. Go ahead, say it out loud. . . . . . . come on . . . repeat after me "annexation is the legal incorporation of some territory into another geo-political entity. . . . .see?? don't you just feel a lot smarter now?

Of course annexation could also be referred to as expansionism and you could talk about our Mayors "expansionist policies" which sounds aggressive. I don't think you could term it as Unilateralism as this is a one sided policy. But - I digress.

Bottom line - Columbus grew by four acres.

Columbus also purchased a Mega Utility Vehicle and a 2009 Prius with an electric/plug-in conversion. This with the LED street lights are making Columbus greener.

What I believe a Mega Utility Vehicle looks like.

Last Monday I managed to miss the Columbus Auditorium Corporation meeting. They have a financial balance of $28,229 (you guys put them over the $28K mark with your $300 donations). They also received $2,500 from Public Enemies Production.

Dale Schirmacher will serve as President and FINALLY we can stop seeing all of those inflammatory ad's on TV day after day. "If you don't vote for Schirmacher/Witke we're tearing down City Hall".

Voting Tuesday- Make sure you bring food with you for voting. NO NO NO it's not because of the long lines. (although I could have a Obama Dog and a Palin "open a can of rage" Stew stand hmmmmm) . Anywho, they are collecting food for the Columbus/Fall River Food Pantry. They are looking for complete meals, canned fruit, canned tuna, peanut butter and jelly, cereal, pasta sauce and other canned stuff (my personal favorite are those little Vianna Sausages).

The Columbus Fourth of July organization is having a meeting on Monday at 6:30. They can always use more people. Yes They Can!

Mullin Short Stop announced they are creating a $500 scholarship in appreciation for the local students who helped in this years flooding (actually that should read who helped STOP this years flooding). Right on!! THAT, is what I like to see in local businesses. Makes me proud I went there to eat this year.

I know many people that live in Columbus work outside the town but I hope those same people will spend money in Columbus. Why give other town people your money. Buying local is actually giving yourself a tax break

So - I was just casually discussing bars on the HB forum and a some aggressive guy says "Grinder, have you ever managed a bar or restaurant before?".

My answer was . . .

Well - I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once!

This is always a stressful weekend for me. A group of friends and associates fly out to Las Vegas every year and on football Sunday they wager a LOT (up to $1000) on the games my football system picks.

One year the chants of GRINDER GRINDER reverberated through a casino as I had a pretty good day. Others years . . . . not so much! NO PRESSURE!!

Oddly my past could have taken a few twists. One time a guy in Las Vegas wanted to have me as a partner and was making plans for him and me to move to the Dominican Republic to run an online casino. I think I dragged my feet long enough to nix that plan.

What could possibly go wrong.

This iteration of Grinders Island is actually Grinders Island 2. During the Tech frenzy (have I mentioned this before??) I was sort of a leader of lemmings with a group of online investors. One time a person commented "Grinder, if you purchased an Island and told us to move there we would follow". And thus was the first Grinders Island.

I think they all ended up drinking Kool-Aid when the market crashed (only old people will understand that one).
Speaking of markets crashing - 79 years ago today the stock market crashed. Black Tuesday. The Great Depression soon followed. Stocks were way higher of their real value. Low wages, the proliferation of debt, a weak agriculture, and an excess of large bank loans that could not be liquidated attributed to the Depression.

The market had been in a decline for a month but on October 18th (Black Thursday) panic set in. Investment companies and leading bankers attempted to stabilize the market by buying up great blocks of stock, producing a moderate rally on the following Friday. But then Black Monday hit and the market went into a tail spin followed by a free fall and complete collapse on Black Tuesday.

Half of American banks failed and the unemployment rate was 30%. Compare that to today's 6% unemployment rate and you can see how the link between our current financial crisis and the great Depression is just silly talk.

Nuff said.

OH - I'm eating Diakon today - naver had one before - pretty tasty!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Buc's, Blake, Bar's and Broads - long



Just think - we are less then two months away from a trailer.


We took Blake to the vet yesterday as he has been making a few "accidents" in the living room early in the morning. He was such a good boy getting his exam but we think he just liked being touched by the pretty girls.

Everything was mostly OK but Carla the vet at the Columbus Countryside Veterinary Clinic (the place that saved the pets during the flood) gave us these pills to give him. Not a problem . . . . . I thought as we had fresh pot roast to hide pills in.

So last night before bedtime . . . . ( I just realized the Tampa Bay Buc's are really the Tampa Bay Devil Rays . . . .and it was such a good title . . .Ok . . .sorry . . drifting a little) So last night before bedtime I get a nice piece of pot roast and stick a pill in it.

He eats the pot roast and smiles . . . . .then casually goes around the corner where I can't see him and spits out the pill. "WTF? Did you just do that??" So I try again. He takes the beef and rolls it around in his mouth, swallows and spits out the pill.

OK - you gonna play hardball buddy?

Hot Dogs are next. I cut off a piece and stick the now slimy pill in the center. He takes it and walks to the carpeting and then quarters the 1 inch hot dog leaving the pill on the carpet.

I then try to FORCE the pill down his throat which works as well as I expected but I had to try.

hmmmmmmm - my tiny brain is on overdrive trying to outsmart my dog. Then it comes to me!!! Chunky peanut butter. I take bread and put a glob of PB with the pill mixed in. He takes it to the carpet and eats the entire thing!! VICTORY!!!!! YES - I AM smarter then my dog!!!
Buc's OK OK Devil Rays - how about Baseball.

Tampa Bay is SO lucky and the umpires were SO screwed. Here it is, game 5 of the World Series and the leading team is winning 2-1 in a driving all night rain storm. The game is an official game as it is after the 5th inning but they can not call the game because that would be an official game and the World Series would be over.

The ONLY hope is that Tampa Bay can score one run in THIS inning and there are two outs AND, the only reason THIS is an option is because of a rule change in 2007.

You see before 2007 any game called due to rain would go back to the previous FULL inning. However in 2007 they changed the rule saying any partial inning would count and the game would be suspended. (The Brewers were helped with this new rule once this year).

So the Rays get a guy on base, he steals second hydroplaning the last 5 feet and scores on a base hit with two outs. The game is called and will continue another day. Carlo Pena had the biggest single of his life.

HOWEVER - I just read that Baseball Commish Bud Selig said that he would not have let the World Series end this way. I respect him for that. Rules are rules but should NOT get in the way with common sense. Sure he would have taken heat but if you are in charge of something you can not let a rule get in the way with common sense.

I feel rules are a guide and 99% of the time you must abide by that guide but NEVER, let a rule get in the way with doing the RIGHT thing to do. We are humans and have the ability to make good decisions. Following a rule JUST because it is a rule is a cop out, lazy and poor management.
This "bar" thing I have been eluding to of late.

It's just talk - don't get too excited.

HOWEVER - my idea has been bandied about on the Home Brewer forum with interesting ideas AND I already have a few people from Ill. traveling north to visit and a guy from California LOL

One thing some are saying is the need for food as I do not believe, in my make believe bar, that there is a grill or anything. One guy said "Serve Grain Bread (I hand mentioned Shake using my grain for bread) and some real Wisconsin Cheese Curds.... I guarantee my butt will never leave the stool". (not sure how to take that - which stool are we talking about???).

One guy mentioned that trendy brewpubs are a dime a dozen now and a neighborhood bar with great beer would be his draw. Another asked about a theme knowing Public Enemies was filmed here and it would be THE destination for visitors to come and talk about the movie over a beer. hmmmmmm True!!!

I was pointed to a site from Worth Brewing in IA! I swear the place looks like Columbus, look near the bottom of that page. I really like their philosophy.

One guy said to get a 1 barrel (31 gallons) home brew system going for one of the taps.

Another comment "but maybe because you're short on space you could focus on something like pulled pork BBQ. that way you can put a smoker out back and have a minimal kitchen for sides, etc. it's great to have lots of great beers on tap but the difference between your customers having 3 beers per visit and 6 beers per visit is called dinner."

i really like where your head's at for starting with micros on tap. i would try to install a 1bbl system to get going on brewing. given that you're a home brewer it's probably gonna take you a year to get 3-4 solid recipes together so that they're repeatable. that will give you the time to work out the kinks and figure out your tax situation with the beer. it depends a lot on your local laws but you should be able to brew on premise without the licensing and tax concerns so long as you're not selling it. you even could probably have after hours parties and consume the beer with invited guests who might pay for entry to drink for free. that's sort of a gray area, though. the point is if you want to be involved in this and you want to brew then i'd make sure there is a clear path, including the funding, to you actually brewing.

The above was repeated several times. It was a +1 (that is a home brew thing - when there is a good comment you get a +1).

So - that is the beer/bar thing at the moment - remember - JUST talking and thinking . . it's what bloggers do.
Broads. (ok I was in my 1930's mode of thinking).

There is a study out today about the effects the color RED has on men. It seems that when a woman is wearing red OR there is a red frame around a photo of a woman. That woman is rated more attractive and sexually desirable then the same woman in different colors. This is found to ONLY be a man thing.

have a great Tuesday!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Finally - Amtrak is Beautified!!

Public Enemies Columbus Merchandise

WOW - where does one begin. AT THE TRAIN STATION!!!

Sue and her hubby and I finally started putting up posters and so forth at the Amtrak Station.

It might not look like much but it's a start. I'm working on another 24x36 poster with a bunch of small photos. If you have something you would like to donate contact Kim Bates at the Columbus Visitor Center.

The Rod who is not me told us that last year 18,000 passengers went through the station and there are now problems with the train being maxed out with passengers. They have been OK'd to run a 2nd train but there are no car's available.

Also in the works is a shuttle to and from Madison.

Hopefully these are not the shuttle bikes to Madison. I believe they are for use to people that are at the station. I'd have to ask Rod (not me) about these. I stumbled across them as I was driving out the lot.

I came up with an idea about a bar. We all love the Kurth but know it's only open Wednesdays and Fridays. I would (of course) love to make beer for them since it's a brewery but, I also am grounded enough to know becoming am brewery is a lot of hard work and a TON of equipment that I can not afford (because I keep giving my beer away LOL). I also realize that many people like my beer because it is not Miller or Bud, while others dislike my beer because it's not Miller or Bud.

Plus - a rule of thumb I learned - you need 3-5 barrels of beer a year for each seat in the restaurant. That means each seat in a brewpub will drink 124 gallons of beer in a year. This means I would have to brew two 10 gallon batches of beer a day every day to keep up with a 50 seat pub (Ive been doing a LOT of research). With each batch taking about 6 hours that's an 84 hour work week. hmmmmmmm!

So here is an idea. Why not open a pub, NOT UNLIKE The Kurth, with no blaring TVs or pool tables or slot machines that pay out 40% (TRUE one arm bandits -HoChunk is 90%).

But a warm cozy pub that has 10 or 12 "guest micro beers". Award winning beer from local Wisconsin Microbreweries. I do not believe there is a place in Columbus where adults can go and have good beer or other beverages in a relaxed non aggressive, smoke-free atmosphere. Perhaps 1940's music of cafe style music softly in the background? (1940's music seems to have a calming happy effect on people).

What would draw people to such a place? Easy. Where can you go to try MANY outstanding brews from 6 to 8 different microbreweries all in one place. Always something slightly different to try. It would be a beer experience. A place to learn about beer. Perhaps have some excellent cheese trays and beer bread (made by Shakes) to comply with certain liqueur license regulations (of course a full grown restaurant would be nice, small steps).

OK - maybe one of my beers on tap LOL

This is something like Silver Creek Brewpub in Cedarburg. They have the same concept but I believe they also have a 7 BBl system to augment their selection.

Just thinking out loud.


Columbus AGAIN makes an international magazine.

Imported Wood has their lead story titled "Plywood: Star of Stage and Screen" that features photos taken my Michelle and I (I stuff for you Michelle). Of course neither of our names are actually IN the mag but . . . . . we know who took those!!

THEN - there is Saturday night. Since Columbus has it's Trick or Treat during the day on Sunday (who's idea was that anyway - let's take ALL the fun out of Halloween for kids - why even have it! Talk about ruining a fun tradition for kids because of hand wringing parents).

There was The Party!!


OK - so the theme was "Johnny Depp and Movies He Has Been In. I THOUGHT it was "Things Johnny Does AFTER Filming For The Day!" So shoot me!

I think the costume award goes to Mort who had the best disguise.

A few other photos. I'm sure most of the shots can be seen on the various blogs

A great time was had by all - thanks Left Hand Louie and Krisx!
This Thursday Night will be the first meeting of the Sun Prairie Home Brew Club - if any of you want to come give me a holler - It'll be at Cannery Wind and Spirits 7ish (I think).

This week I hope to have a piece about how Columbus was . . . . . . discovered!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Be Careful What You Say

I have a department wide meeting today to discuss visions, goals, accomplishments and other incredibly exciting topics. I really hope we break into groups and have 15 minute with some strangers about some inane topic that we have to report on. Those are GREAT!!! I hope there is a sing along. THis will be a short blog today.
I try to stay away from politics but this little video comes from Opie with Andy and The Fonz. It's pretty cool.

I have a meeting with a Grumpy Troll woman this afternoon. Not sure why I mention that but it's something you don't get to say too often.

I also have to figure out this beer thing. It's CERTAINLY not making beer cheaper. I give half of it away. I was looking at my Flat Squirrel (which is REALLY good) and I've gone through a case already - WTF!!!!

Be Careful What You Say

It seems Jo Egelhoff, the Republican candidate for an Assembly seat in Appleton is having some trouble with her blogger self. Her political self and blogger self from a few years ago are rather different.

As a politician she wants to make Wisconsin schools the best in the state. But as a blogger she wants to eliminate kindergarten for 4-year olds, shut down all two year colleges and restricting pay raises for teachers.


She wants to lower gas prices but on her blog she ripped into "gas price whiners" and backed ExxonMobil’s profits and suggested cutting state spending on roads by 10%.


She wants to make health care affordable for everyone but a few years ago on her blog she called Medicare and Social Security "giveaway programs" and did not like the idea of universal health care.

Once something get's put on the internet . . . it never ever goes away. You can delete it all you want but it's not really gone.
I had $25 at a poker room on the internet that I had forgotten about. Just had not thought of that place for a year. I can't really GET that money (long story) so I figure I'll get that $25 off my back by playing a $20 tournament like a mad man because . . . it's not real money (it would cost me MORE to get it out then what it's worth.)

So - OF COURSE - I come in second place and now it's $45. DAMN IT!! Just enough so it's not really in the "not real money" stage. It's ALMOST worthless but if I double it again . . . . . . .
I have my Halloween Costume ready - I'm going as Rocky Hardington!

I'll leave that for your imagination.

OK OK - perhaps Rocky will be wearing something very . . . . green. I'll have photos!

remember - in Columbus - turn on your lights or kids will not come.

Calling Alice Schmidt! Calling Alice Schmidt! I found an article you wrote in the 2007 Visitor Guide and I'd like to reprint it here. I feel I need permission!


Thursday, October 23, 2008


The bright lights are on Columbus once again, as we take center stage on the next episode of Discover Wisconsin Television.

The program, entitled “Columbus – Just What You Want,” is scheduled for a second broadcast throughout the Midwest October 25 and 26 (this weekend). It will air Saturday, October 25 at 10 a.m. on Fox Sports North (makes sense to me), and at 6:30 p.m. on WKOW TV-27 Madison. (ABC.)

Highlights of the show include:

*Wisconsin Pottery
*Columbus Antiques Mall and the Christopher Columbus Museum
*Amtrak Train & Station
*Historic downtown architecture, including City Hall and the Farmers and Merchants Union Bank
*The Pavilion at Fireman’s City Park
*Governor Lewis/Garwick home
*Columbus Carriage Classic
*Colonial Carriage Works
*Coach, Carriage & Sleigh Auction
*Columbus Flea Market
*Golf at the Columbus Country Club and the Kestrel Ridge Golf Club
*West James Gallery
*Carousel Antiques
*My Guest Room
*Mullins Short Stop Drive-In
*James Street Dining Company - oops - closed!
*Julie’s Java House
*Capri Steak House
*Columbus Carriage House Bed & Breakfast
*Grinder's Island Nanobrewery . . . . .what? they cut that part?

Several area residents, business owners and local celebrities are interviewed throughout the program as well.

I played in a tournament at Jodee Os in Columbus last night. What a very smokey place that is. I swear every person there was smoking. NOT that I'm anti smoker but it is one reason I don't like bars that much. I came in 5th when I went all in and my neighbor (literally, the guy lives next to me) was carrying pocket Aces! OOPS!!!


I'm always a little sleepy this time of year. Baseball. I stay up way to late. Pretty good game last night but I can not understand why Tampa Bay would have an enclosed and ugly stadium.


It's flu shot season and everyone but me is walking around with sore arms. My theory is if everyone gets a flu shot I won't need one. Plus, there is an upside to the flu. You lose weight!!

That sore arm thing is interesting. The reason your arm is sort is not that they are sticking a very sharp object into your muscle. While that is painful it's not really the reason. The reason is due to the adjuvant used in the vaccine.

An adjuvant* is something that your innate immune system recognizes as a "danger signal". The innate immune system is like a default defense. It responds to danger but in a generic way. PAIN PAIN ALARM ALARM!! Not smart enough to know WHAT the danger is but it knows something is terribly wrong. It's the first line of defense and pain is an alarm signal, like the fire whistle.

The goal of the innate immune system is to put up a wall around the perceived problem and call for help. This call goes to the adaptive immune system. The adaptive immune system is highly specialized but normally sleeping letting the innates do all the patrolling until called upon.

Well - it's wake-up time, the innates are in trouble. The adaptive's can "see" the adjuvant, dead bits of naughty virus in the bloodstream and cross referencing innates hand wringing cries for help figures out that the few live bits of naughty virus it is coming across is the problem and attacks them and starts to call in and create more reinforcements in case it finds more naughty virus. It is ready for future problems now.

So back to arm pain. It's the side effects of the adjuvent that is only used to wake up the innates. Swelling and soreness comes from the non-specific response by the innate. It's the only thing they know how to do.

This years virus strain seems to need more adjuvent then normal.

adjuvents* = are either bits of dead bacteria/viruses that are harmless but your innate immune system recognizes as a sign that a potentially harmful pathogen is around, or a synthetic that mimics these danger signals.

If you arm is sore, take some aspirin, put some ice on the arm. Keep in moving and don't baby it. It'll go away (the pain, not the arm).

This happens twice a day in Columbus and I really get a tickle about that. I guess I'm a train buff.

Have a good Thursday

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Making America Laugh

Public Enemies Columbus Merchandise

So far every time this tiny little story has been told people laugh.

Our Honda went into Chet's Car Care today with a little problem. Every time we would go over the smallest little bump in the road the windshield wipers start flailing away. We drove both cars to Madison today and DJ passes me and I can see the wipers working away! I laughed. Now it's not as bad as the VW in the movie "Little Miss Sunshine" where the horn was stuck, but still, it's a little irritating.

I used to fix my own cars but it was not out of joy like Graham Man but out of "lack or money". Those days passed and like many people I was stuck going to a car fix it places that I really did not trust.

I mention this because I found Chet's in Madison about 14 years ago and I will stand behind them 100%. One time I was getting tires for my 91 Vanagon Camper which needed truck tires. Got the quote and they called me 6 hours later apoligizing saying there was a problem. They could only get three and if it was OK for them to put on more expensive tires at the same price is the origional ones. I looked them up on the internet and it was a pretty good deal.

Another time we had a warning light go off and and they ran all sorts of tests. They said it could be this and that and it would cost $500. OR, they could "reboot" the system for free and maybe it would go away. It went away. Once I went in for a muffler noise and they said all it was was a gasket. No charge.

Not sure why I mention all this but it's a "pay it forward" thing.
A few of you were hoping for more Kurth stuff - That's IT - their ain't no more. Do a search on the internet. You will be surprised that many Kurth links are links to you guys and yoru blogs!

I'm working Sharrow drugs for a history thing.

The Onion has a headline


I was looking at unemployment stats and Wisconsin is the third best in the nation between Sept 2007 and Sept 2008. Two states had jobless rates fall Arkansas and West Virginia. The next best state is Wisconsin. Our state only increased 2.1% compared to the previous year from about 150,000 to 153,000.

Did you know you can live a week by sucking on your own tears?

No - not really!

I got a call from Walgreens in Columbus asking for post cards a month ago. I took in 100 and every so often I stop in to see if they have sold any. They have not even put them out for sale!! I think, tell me if this makes sense. That if they actually put them out they MIGHT sell more!! Now I'm not a buisness guy but I think I might be on to something.

You guys should go in and ask for them.

What I find amazing is that Sharrow is still selling MANY of the photo I took with a $100, 300mm lens. 800 postcards of that one photo. Plus it will be in the Anchor Bank National 2009 Calandar (March I believe) . . maybe only regional?? . Sorry - don't want that to sound like bragging - it's so weird though.

There is a poster of a wet kitten hanging from a clothes line that was done by a Madison photographer. He can basically retire on that one photo. It's all luck.

BTW - I was googling for that photo using "hanging wet kitten poster" in images and this pops up.

I think "poster" was the key word there LOL.

A number of years ago I had a hernia. I survived. I mention this because the guy that sits across from me is going in for hernia surgery in a few days and it got me thinking.

While I could DRINK beer after a hernia operation, I could not MAKE beer!! THE HORROR!!

Two new labels for two beers aging.

The first is a Nut Brown Ale. John at The Kurth mentioned he liked Nut Brown Ales.

The other label is for my Black Cat MILD. It has a subtitle because of it's smokey toasty character. I'm really looking forward for this one.

One final beerthing. I gave a couple beers, the Double Chocolate Stout(DSC) and Flat Squirrel to a friend at work. He has drinken (drunken?) his way around the world at the Essen Haus in Madison and he "loved" the DCS. In fact his wife who is not a beer drinker AND does not like dark beer said "this is really good".

Halloween - for any of you new people in Columbus or if you know of any new people - make sure you turn on your lights for trick or treaters. Otherwise they will walk right past.

From the question bag.

garage door - no - it's been working great since 5/15/07
Beer- more DCS in the pipeline wit ha small tweak - it's SUPPOSE to really age wonderfully if I could only keep it around for a few months.
Public Enemy documentary - we watched it. Very interesting on gangster movies!

This blog was approved my me!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What's Behind Door #2

Public Enemies Columbus Merchandise

I mentioned yesterday something about our garage doors.

This is what a normal operating garage door hinge looks like.

And this is what a hinge looks like when it is not operating normally.

Notice the ass backward arm thingy. How, you may ask, did the arm thingy get all ass backward. The answer? Not a freaking clue. I climbed a ladder and figured that if it got that way by flipping in must be able to flip back, right? Yea- you would think that.

But when I try flipping it to the correct direction all I would do is break the upper part of the door in half. IN order to move it the bendy part will have to be moved to the left lowering it and breaking the door further (farther?).

A second bad thing is that this is keeping the garage door open by about three feet. Our builder is looking into it and I'm looking for an exorcist!

Then in the other part of the weekend I was brewing up a batch of Hazelnut Brown Nectar with a new 5 gallon Stainless Steel brew pot. This was going to be "the perfect batch". I had everything all set. I had figured out how to keep my mash (steeping grains) at 155 degrees for 45 minutes. Just put the pot of wort in the oven set at 155 once I hit the strike temp.

Problem was. I can only set the oven down to 170. CRAP!! toss that idea out the window. So I must babysit the pot for 45 minutes. The temp rose and fell between 145 and 160. Electric stoves are NOT the perfect brewing machine. I was always 10 minutes behind the true temperature. What I need is an insulating blanket to wrap the large pot in once I hit the temp.

BUT - the real fun was about to happen and I'm glad DJ was gone.

At the end of 45 minutes I was feeling satisfied that this was the best mashing (steeping) process yet and now my job is to sparge (rinse) the grains with 170 degree water (all these temps are actually critical for PH and enzyme conversion and so forth).

I carefully lift the grain bag out of the water. Gently put my strainer under the grains and prepare to pour exactly 2 quarts of 170 water over the grains.



Like a fat man doing a belly flop the entire strainer and 4 pounds of grain implode into the pot creating a tsunami of sticky, hot, brown liquid that engulfs the stove, the range fan, spreads to the counter and is now trickling onto the floor.

It seems my strainer was just a little too small for my new pot. OH, it fits nice when no one touches it but bump it and PLOOSH!! In fact it plooshed four times (the last three were not as violent as I was still holding the bag). I ended up wedging knives into the handles and make it use it's own weight to keep it in place.

Once that small nightmare was over and I was able to start boiling it I could start the massive clean-up. I was hoping FEMA was still around but they never showed.

But still I had problems. A large five gallon brew pot will not come to a boil on our stove so I had to transfer everything to a 4 gallon pot which seemed easier.

And all was fine after that! Now I am thinking of an appropriate name for this beer.

One last beer thing.

I bottled an English MILD last night. I have never tasted an English MILD so I did not know exactly what to expect. I knew it was very low in alcohol and while dark in color was not a heavy thick beer. It's called a session beer, the kind that people overseas drink all night in English pubs.

Once I filled 48 bottles and capped them I had leftovers so of course I poured a glass.

WOW - what a tasty brew!!!! Sort of smokey, toasty malty with hints of molasses. Very mellow. I can't wait for a few weeks to go by and the contents all merge into a real beer. Remember, beer is like wine and needs to age (well, real beer, not macro swill like Bud and Miller).

If you have had any of my beers you are drinking very very young beer that needs a few more months of aging to be in their prime. That Double Chocolate? Should be in it's prime in another 6 weeks. Too bad I only have 6 left! LOL
Amazing Race Standings

No huge changes as everyone was either 1 or 2 off. Jenny is the only contestant to NOT have their #2 pick gone. BTW - you will receive -15. -10 and -5 points IF you pick 1st or 2nd or 3rd correct.

Standings - least points wins

Collette 9
Jenny 9
DJ 10
Mark 11
Andy 12
Rod 12

Many people are finding it interesting about Brett Favre and the story breaking about him calling the Detroit Lions and telling them how to beat the Packers. The Lions are not denying it and the Packer players are not jumping to defend Brett saying he would not do it.

Then there is the thing about Brett calling Tony Romo and telling him to play through the pain of a broken finger (he didn't). When reporters asked Aaron Rogers if he had gotten a call he laughed and no.

Then I heard an interview with a couple players about Brett being a "team" guy that basically said he never did ANYTHING with the team. He ate with friends and had his own shower and never attended team events.

Now don't get me wrong - I like Brett but there seems to be some sour grapes.

Aaron Rogers is 5th in the league in QB ratings with a 98.8. OF course this is only after seven games but Brett only had a QB rating that high once in his career.

I'm very happy Brett is having a good year with the Jets, he deserves to have a large market watch him and give him his due although they are seeing a lot of interceptions (only one QB has more).

But, I'm also very happy the Packers have Rogers. I think Thompson made the right decision.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Story of The Kurth

In 1859 Henry John and Fredericka Kurth came to Columbus Wisconsin with a four barrel brewers boiler(about 124 gallons) and immediately purchased land on the south side of town. Columbus at the time was a promising prospect for the young brewers. Many German families lived in town and on surrounding farms. The fertile rolling fills of Columbia County produced great quantities of barley and hops in the 1850,s and 1860's. The Kurths built a little frame brewery, dug a well, and the brewery became known for it's "creamy, dreamy" beer.

In 1865 they spent $4000 (approx $54,000 in todays money) to erect a large brick brewery building just south of their origional structure and in 1866 they put in a large boiler. In 1870 Kurth was the largest of the three breweries in Columbus. In that year the Kurths produced 100 barrels (approx 3,100 gallons), and in 1880 the production was up to 250 barrels. Also in 1880, Henry turned the operations over to his son, John Henry (1854-1931). Henry died in 1882 and another son, Christian, joined the firm in 1886 at which point the business became known as "John H. Kurth & Co."

The next two decades were years of great growth for the Kurth Brewery. By the year 1900 the brewery complex included a tall grain elevator, a four story malt house and a three story brewery. The old frame building that was built in 1859 was then used as an office and beer cellar. Also on the site were a few other buildings including a chicken coop, wagon shed and an ice house.

A bottling department, established in 1895, sat across the street with underground pipelines and the infamous tunnels going under the street. Two magnificent Queen Anne houses of John and Dorothea and Christian and Amanda Kurth were also on that side and rumors also have tunnels leading to their houses.

In 1902-1903 the new Kurth office building was erected. Several other structures were added to the complex around the same time including a new five story brewery, more beer cellars, and major additions to the malt house, plus a elevator and bottling plant and a large new barn for draft horses and wagons.

In 1904 the company incorporated as "The Kurth Company" with a capitol stock of $400,000 ($9,120,000 in today's money).

The heyday of the business was around 1914. In that year the brewery was large enough to produce 100 barrels of beer a every day, making it the largest brewery in the country. The Kurth Brewery produced several brews: the light colored "Banner" beer ("creamy, dreamy"?) the dark "Luxembourg" brand, the heavier Bock" beer and the special "Christmas" Brew. A separate lager was produced for draught beer and at least one other brand, "Columbia".

However the most significant thing about the company at that time was it's malting operations. The malt house at that time had the capacity of 800,000 bushels. In addition a to that the company had a separate malt house which was established in 1911 in Milwaukee and run by Christian. This had the an unheard capacity at that time of two million bushels. The combined capacity made the Kurth Company the largest of it's kind in the United States.

The brewery was one of the largest purchasers of barley in Wisconsin using an average of 1,500 bushels of barley a day. Farmers from Columbia, Dane and Dodge Counties supplied barley for the brewery and carlots were also brought in by train from Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas.

The company owned two ice houses to supply itself and also the needs for local businesses. It had its own electric dynamo and its own cooperage. It owned a large grain elevator near the railroad depot downtown and also owned beer distribution warehouses in Tomah, Portage and Luxemburg.

The company grew hops on it's own Columbia County farmland. The firm also owned three saloons in Columbia County and at least 17 others in south central Wisconsin communities.

Disaster struck the Kurth on July 20, 1916. According to one account at the time, "it may be that no fire has ever been on the magnitude of the Kurth Brewery fire." The elevator and malthouse were destroyed and stood in ruins for many years (now Pizza One and True Value stand in it's place).

In 1919, prohibition dealt another cruel blow to the firm, which had converted its operation to production of soda pop in assorted flavors.

After the repeal of prohibition in 1933 the company resumed production of beer in a limited capacity. However in 1949 it was one of the 55 Wisconsin breweries in that year alone to shut down for good.

Members of the Kurth family (John William Kurth and his son, John Ford Kurth) continued a beer distribution service for several years, but the only part of the business to remain to this day is the part time tavern operation now run for tradition's sake and not for profit by Lauretta and John Kurth, the great great grandson of the firm's founder.

The Kurth office and reception building is clearly the most representative building remaining associated with the Kurth Company. In it's prime this building was the heart of the thriving business. Farmers received payment for their loads of grain, and complimentary schooners of beer were offered to salesmen and the general public.

I'd like to thank Lauretta and John for hopefully letting me reprint the typed pages where this came from.


I was scanning the internet for information about the Kurth and found . . . . nothing. I was shocked.

So I figured SOMEBODY better get some information out there about one of the true diamonds of Columbus.

It's too bad The Kurth no longer brew their own beer as I think many people passing through this small friendly community would appreciate it. Still, it's not the building or the beer that makes this such a unique place, it's the people.

Or . . . . maybe it is the building that brings in the people creating the magic that happens every Wednesday and Friday night.


Friday, October 17, 2008


Not sure about today's market but I feel we have had a successful retest of the market lows and I'm thinking we are near the bottom or have hit the bottom. I have always been a contrairian (my football system 4-0 last week is a contrairian system) and when things look the worst it's good.

Fear is running rampant and to me that means most of the hand wringers have gotten their money out of the market. $56 billion from mutual fund investors has been yanked out of the market this month. There will be more big swings but as the paper says one time a rally will not stop for a while.


At some point in the next 24 hours this blog will send out page number 300,000 for some one to read. I am humbled and I'd like to thank all of you readers for tuning in to watch me make a fool of myself.

Sure the numbers are falling the farther away we get from Public Enemies but this blog is still getting more then 1000 unique readers a week.

Tuesday March 19th there were 4500 unique readers and that week 37,000 individuals came to this blog for Public Enemies. Not bad considering the blog started March 3rd with 27 people tuning in.

Along the way I found out that Bob Wagner the 1st Assistant Director of Public Enemies was reading the blog and because of PEC I've made a ton of new friends and I sincerely would like to thank you.

I was talking to a new neighbor a couple days ago and she asked how long we had lived in Columbus. I almost said "since March".

Looking at the recent visitor map I see someone from Sao Paulo Brazil and another person from Santafé De Bogotá Colombia that has read the blog almost daily for the last 6 months, Delhi India and Taipei Taiwan, my Aussie friend in Sydney Australia is still reading and someone in New Zealand is watching little Columbus Wisconsin along with Greece and Zagreb Croatia and of course England France and America.

I'd love an anonymous "hi" from all of you lurkers with a location. I saw yesterday afternoon while I was snooping around someone working in a hospital in central Pennsylvania had logged onto the site over 150ish times. HI!!!


Here is a cut and paste of the relevant words from an article from firstshowing dot net, some of it we all know like "what the movie is about" and "Dillinger background" and so forth but you can read the entire article on that link if you like but most if it is just rehashing what we all ready know - here are the good parts though.

Producer Kevin Misher puts it all into perspective: "If you're looking for action, I don't think you'll be disappointed. We've got three bank robberies, two prison breaks and who knows how many shootouts." Universal Chairman Marc Shmuger also chimes in: "It really felt like the most exciting thing Michael's done in years. It's a seminal gangster saga, but it's also a classic doomed lovers story. They meet on the run and you know that they know that the relationship can't last, which makes the film really heart-wrenching. With that combination, well, let's face it, there's just not that many filmmakers in the world besides Michael could do that."

Although we won't be seeing Public Enemies until July of next year, I'm already looking forward to it. In fact, I'm expecting it to be one of next summer's big hits. I think the combination of Michael Mann with Christian Bale and Johnny Depp can only lead to great things. And the story for this whole movie is incredibly thrilling, reminding me quite a bit of Brian De Palma's The Untouchables (which took place one decade before Public Enemies). Although Michael Mann screwed up most recently with Miami Vice, his past work, including Collateral (my personal favorite), has all been fantastic. And I expect him to yet again shine with Public Enemies. We've still got a year left to go, but it might be worth it to keep Public Enemies on your mind anyway as we progress through the next 12 months of movies.

It's funny to think that the people that read this blog are SO far ahead of the Public Enemies curve.

I was talking to DJ last night about the first time we see a trailer for the movie and how surreal it will be. We'll probably watch hit 20 times in a row!

Speaking of crimes - on this day in 1931 Al Capone was sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion.
Beer news - a little disappointing news with Flat Squirrel. Seems to be a little oxidation OR tannin problem, a "twang" in the aftertaste. Couple things to fix this the main one will be greater temperature control and I'm now bringing into play the convection oven to cure this problem.

The interesting thing is that I have made 45 gallons of beer (not all drinkable . .yet) and I feel my next batch is the first one where I am putting it all together. I'm pretty pumped to brew batch #10. It's like a light went on and all of the scattered information rattling in my pea sized brain came together, not just the "how" but "why"!

It's one thing to know how but it's even better to know why!
The ride to work the last few weeks has be just filled with outstanding beauty. Today I wanted to stop 10 times to take photos. The sun is about to rise, frost on the ground, the trees are peaking with color just amazing between Columbus and Sun Prairie.

Get out this weekend and go for a ride in the country and look at the beauty that surrounds you.
Have a great weekend and thank you again for reading.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Value Stream Mapping - Don't Ask

I've been in meetings today talking about TQM, SixSigma and Value Stream Mapping! WHAT GLORIOUS FUN!!

I was honored that I was invited to the Columbus Business Round Table meeting and as I was getting my beer together (I figured that was why they invite me to these things) I thought I should take another peek at the details of the invite.

All seemed well until I read "discussion of a vision to move our City’s business climate forward over coffee and doughnuts" hmmmmm I thought!! who wants coffee, donuts AND beer!! something was not right! Then I looked at the time and saw 7:30 to 9:00 and realized I would be missing The Office and Survivor. BUT WAIT . . . . . what were those two letters?? A.M ?? oh man . . . it was a morning meeting. I am very disappointed, although I'm not really sure why I was invited in the first place except for my "vision".

I'm just a guy that puts his shirts on one leg at a time like everyone else. Sure, I working on plans to open a brewpub. Sure I have ZERO restaurant management knowledge and yea I have zero bar management knowledge and I only make 5 gallon batches of beer at a time and I really have no money at all. BUT I DO HAVE A VISION!!

I've read a lot of books and I know how to market AND I was a cook in a restaurant for a few years. What could go wrong!!

Speaking of going wrong - I was a cook at the Skelly Truck Stop on HWY 51 and the interstate and I was working breakfast. All was going well when our manager came up and asked where his cleaning detergent was. I had no idea and continued cooking breakfasts.

A few minutes later he is asking where this tin bucket that was sitting right here (pointing ) was and I said it was next to teh hashbrowns. WHAT!!!!

Well, it was the special butter oil can and it was right here.!! "NO NO he whispers loudly, I was using that to clean, it was detergent".

I asked Ruby if anyone as complaining about the hashbrowns and she said all her regulars were happy campers. I asked the dishwasher if there were a lot of hashbrowns coming back and he said nothing unusual.

Well - I hope those truckers were well down the road before that cleaning fluid hit!

My manager was an idiot! We compared his cleaning fluid and my butter oil and it was almost a perfect match! YUMMO!!!

Looks like a get together at the Kurth Friday and I'll break out some Chocolate Stout - bottel aged 25 days now - needs another month but is pretty tasty RIGHT NOW!

I have some lighter beers in the pipeline. My goal is to have five house beers plus a seasonal and an Experimental (such as a Hefeweizen, Belgian Tripple, Dunkelweizen, MILD, American Wheat and so forth). I have at least two keeper recipes now, my Stout and Flat Squirre which is an Amber(you guys have not tried it yet but it's great). I'm still working on an IPA, a Pale ale, a Blond and a Brown.

I bottled a Nut Brown last week but I'm not excited so far about it, I have a British MILD almost ready and that California Amber/IPA fusion from Sean's Hops.

Sean - if you read this there is a BRIGHT yellow tree/bush in the parking lot of the Hospital - it's awesome - what is it!!! I want one.
Have a wonderful Thursday and remember

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

You've Got Money

Before I forget you all should go to the Wisconsin State Treasurer Unclaimed Property site and enter your last name to see if YOU'VE GOT MONEY.

I did and have put in a claim for my <$100. Not sure what it is but I'll take what I can. At least it's not <$10 so it as to be between $10 and $100. I put in Left Hand Louie an he has nothing coming. Deanna Favre has money waiting for her from JP Morgan Bank, better get that before they lock their doors.
THIS year I will remember to TURN ON YOUR LIGHTS for Halloween. Even though I believe it's stupid to have trick or treat during the daytime. What fun is that anyway.

Last year was our first Halloween in Columbus and we were all set. Bowls full of candy and all sorts of decorations and we sat there and watched as family after family would skip our house. It was like we were the plague couple. WTF!!!

OH - so then we are told to turn on our lights. IT'S DAYTIME - I thought Columbus was going green!! What a goofy tradition.

The Columbus mill rates are going down ! WHOO HOO!

The property tax rate is often given as a percentage. It is also be expressed as a permille, which is also known as a millage rate, shortened to mill rate.

According to Boyd Kraemer the City Administrator (who thinks going out with his wife on a previously planned fish fry is more important then tasting my home brew at an impromptu after work get together . . . but I digress - NO BEER FOR YOU!) The projected mill rate is going to drop from $9.35 to $8.51 or about 9%.

He said he is also expecting to underspend the 2008 budget by $124,000 which will go into savings. I think if he took $4000 of that savings and purchased a little home brew outfit I could find a home brewer that could start a tiny brew pub and bring in business.

Just a thought - always trying to help the city you know.

I also want to give a standing ovation to Nels Stofflet for his Letter To The Editor. No flame throwing or semi-hidden political agendas but a positive comment in the paper Saturday. Well done.

I also want to give a high fine to Lisa Powers for standing up and saying "I LIKE US" meaning Pic 'N Save. Sure there are people that complain but we forget that there are humans that work there. I shop there a lot and the only real beef I have is with the parking lot. When I ask to have something added to the store it seems to show up and all the employees are very nice.

Sure it would be great to have a Copps or some other place where food is more expensive then Pic 'N save but come one, Columbus is only 5000 strong.

Remember - Pic 'N Save got Bagels Forever Onion Bagels when Copps refused to stock them. PNS will always have a spot in my heart for that.

Amazing Race Contest

Mark Mills had the best week as he only accrued 2 points by picking Mark and Bill to come in 7th when they were eliminated in 9th place. Four of the six contestants picked Bill and Mark to come in 2nd!! OOPS

Standings are now
7 points Jenny
8 Colette
8 DJ
10 Andy
10 Mark
11 Rod

I'm afraid to use the spelling checker because every time I've used it I lose all my paragraphs!

SIDE NOTE - I'm looking for glass gallon jugs - I want to test the same recipes but with different yeasts so I need smaller fermentors.

Have a rainy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Man of Mystery is Revealed

I'm a little late today because of a
Cheese Cake Extravaganza

My most wonderful boss is leaving this week and he brought in three home made cheese cakes. I was in a sugar rush but am now getting a little sleepy.

In other news I have the first recorded photo of Sue's dh.

The Man of Mystery

Here is an action photo of him working on the train station, which regrettably was NOT cement block, which he was prepared for, but in actuality it's plaster with super secret studs.

Total cost about $42 dollars on a super secret stud finder, anchors and drywall screws. We now have the ability to procrastinate even more with hanging posters and so forth.

We're getting there Nancy!!!!

HEY - for any of you that have ever watched All My Children - Make sure you record Thursdays show when EVERYTHING CHANGES!!! Long time stars die and Pine Valley is wiped out!! When Weather Changed the Soaps!

Look at this sweet setup - My dream brewing machine. That's what $3600 will get you.

Notice the grain mill on the right!!

I learned something very important last night and I'm PUMPED for the next batch. My alcoholic content has been a little low on the last few batches and I finally figured out why.

When I'm soaking the grains in 152 degree water I have been letting it get a little to hot, up to 160 at times. What this does is produce longer chain sugars which are harder to ferment, thus, the beers have ended with a little more sugar and a little less alcohol.

I THOUGHT I was going to get less overall sugar and was confused when my Original Gravity was right on the predicted number, but in reality, I get a DIFFERENT sugar, one that yeast have problems with.

That's why I love brewing - it's like chess, you can learn to play but there are SO many tiny things to tweak it's hard to master.
Columbus Postcards are becoming a pain to get. My supplier raised their price 52%, now I have to look for a different place, or wait for a sale.

I found this blog about The Columbus Carriage Classic called "My Own Private Idaho". Check it out, some nice photos.

Any LOST fans out there? Hurley has a personal blog called "Dispatches from the Island"

I was watching The Weather Channel last night and they had a show on the Chicago Fire. I did not know (or never thought about) that MOST of Chicago was built from wood that was cut near Peshtigo. In fact the mayor of Chicago owned most of the timberland in the Peshtigo area. He had a few BAD days there.

And one more trivial thing. There is a tunnel being built in New York. It was started in 1970 and should be complete around 2025. It's 80 stories underground and is for water. It seems water gets to Manhattan now by two tunnels build 100 years ago. They are afraid to check the tunnels because if then shut the doors they might not be able to open them again. Lose a tunnel and Manhattan loses half of it's water supply. Forever.

So they decided to build a tunnel. The problem is that New York City goes DOWN 30 stories so they had to go WAY below that into the bed rock.

Just cool stuff I did not know.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Awesome Weekend

Public Enemies NEWS

It appears that there has been an official informational release sent to theaters from the studio to remind theater owners to reserve space next summer for the film. It confirms that the film will be released July 1, 2009. The reporter was told by inside sources that even though the film is still in the midst of editing, there will be enough cleaned up and pieced together footage for theater preview trailers to be ready for the Christmas holiday movie releases.
News also that Madison is going to have a big event concerning The Movie! More on that when I get it.

Friday I stopped over at Colonial Carriage Works with a few homebrews and met a number of people, to bad I can not remember their names (just to many, I can handle 2 or 3 but more ten my brain cramps up). I do remember Steve though as I had seen him before at The Kurth.

What is interesting is that Steve and his buddy Ryan are working on opening up a Bistro on the corner of N Dickason and W Mills Street.

I had to look up what bistro actually means "A bistro is a small restaurant serving moderately priced simple meals in a modest setting. sounds good to me!! Will there be beer??

Other news is that there are rumors that The Blue Moon is coming back to Columbus.

One thing Columbus is lacking is a place like The Kurth. What I mean is a place like The Kurth except larger and more then 4 Regional Macro beers. There are lots of bars but not really any relaxing speak easy where people could go and have a beer or hard drink in a nice atmosphere without having to get drunk. No blasting TV's or loud music - a place to relax (Like The Kurth). My vision is it would have 40's music in the background.

ANYWAY - back to the party - my beers went down easy and even Kim who does not like dark beer was going back for seconds AND thirds for the Chocolate Stout (no chocolate is actually used).

Then there is the Lazy Mutt debacle. We had a six (8?) pack of Lazy Mutt and it has to be the worst beer I have ever tasted. I think three people tried one and none could make it to the 2nd half of the bottle.

I looked on the Beer Advocate to see any reviews "You get a sour-someone-squirted-lemon-concentrate-on-my-Wheaties-that-were-stored-in-a-dank-basement kinda flavor. Then there is this bitter Elmer's-glue-canned-mushroom ending that isn't so great."

"The taste is a little sour at first, but goes straight downhill from there. I really don't know how to explain the taste, other than just plain terrible. The aftertaste sticks around for thirty minutes and is not pleasant."

On a personal note I will now buy Lazy Mutt and offer it to people BEFORE I bring my beer out. OH - Tried my Flat Squirrel and even though it needs another week to carb up - it's my best yet I feel. I loved it!!
Then Saturday was the Antique Tractor and Free Range Bee Show. It was a nice event that should grow although I'm trying to talk Todd into ordering less bee's next year.

There was a street Blue Grass band entertaining the crowd and 15?? 70ish year old tractors. This one was one of my fav's as it looked dirty and used.

Look at the wheels on this next one! I would NOT want to get run over.

And THEN - I was shocked. You know times are hard when you see bankers stealing hot dogs. I caught this guy red handed. Luckily the guy in the yellow hat saw this and wrestled the dog out of his hands and it dropped onto the ground and rolled under the table. I purchased it for half price. MY LUCKY DAY!!

Shake's (Betty to some) drove up from Beloit and we invited her over to hang out and I cooked Fajita's (WOW - was that hard word to spell). Actually Fajitadia's, a cross between fajita's and quesadillas (give me a freaking spelling break here). Then we started talking about beer and barley and granola and Doggie Beer Bars. The first thing Shake's does is EAT a Doggie Beer Bar. Nothing wrong with that but rather . . blah!

But the wheels are now turning. I seems malted barley is very very good for you and with more milling it could be put into bread or BEERNOLA. Seriously though I have heard many people make bread from their spent barley but I had never heard of putting it into granola.

Think of it. We can take something that normally breweries give to farmers and their hogs. Repackage it, put a fancy name on it and sell it to humans!!

My next batch of beer Shake's gets the grain for bread and beernola.
Train Station News.

Thanks to Sue and her husband who drove down from Beaver Dam there is now some hangy thingy rail set-up at the Amtrak Station. Now we will have to go the The Visitor Center and get posters and anything else we can find to hang. Plus I'll have to get off my butt and get my wordy thing printed and put in a poster for the Station.

(sometime real words are just not available to my brain)

Thanks a lot Sue, I heard it was a pain in the butt.

One quick beer thing

2008 Great American Beer Festival RESULTS

Wisconsin had a few winners.

Gluten-Free Beer
Silver: New Grist, Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee, WI

Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer
Gold: Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, Central Waters Brewing Co., Amherst, WI

American-Style Dark Lager
Silver: Leinenkugel’s Creamy Dark, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co.,
Chippewa Falls, WI

German-Style Strong Bock
Gold: Capital Autumnal Fire, Capital Brewery Co., Inc., Middleton, WI

Scottish-Style Ale
Silver: Dells Chief Amber Ale, Dells Brewing Co., Wisconsin Dells, WI

German-Style Altbier
Silver: Railyard Ale, Titletown Brewing Co., Green Bay, WI

Old Ale or Strong Ale
Bronze: Old Scratch Barley Wine ‘99, Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co.,
Madison, WI

But the best thing of all is my favorite beer won Silver

Specialty Beer
Silver: Hazelnut Brown Nectar, Rogue Ales, Portland, OR

And one last think before I get more coffee.

The Packers players shaking hands after interceptions was hilarious.

Have a great Monday!


Friday, October 10, 2008


Public Enemies Columbus Merchandise

You know - if I was Todd Frye I would be thinking about buying Iceland. I hear they are going bankrupt and some cash and a few cases of beer might be all it takes.

I see stocked are tumbling today and in an odd way this is good. When real panic FINALLY hits many people think that the end of this current dark times is nearing. Like a pimple popping. Just like in 1999 when everybody was panic buying tech stocks, they did not want to be left behind.

I'm a contrarian and when things look the worst I feel we are nearing and end. After all we are in an epic world class bad market. Might as well just hang on. It's no longer the economy driving the market but dumb bunny's wringing their hands and panicking.

Sit tight - the storm will pass. Remember, when all the major magazines had bulls talking about how GREAT it was and EVERYONE was making money - BAM, market collapes. Look at the news stand now, what do you see. DOOM AND GLOOM. Think contrairian.

I hope to see some of you at the AUTUMN IRON ANTIQUE TRACTOR SHOW tomorrow.


Last night I had my final golf banquette. I resigned from being the guy in charge after nine years. The course owner finally got to me. Having two control freaks trying to run a league just does not work. There were other reasons but I wanted control to keep golfers happy and he wanted control to get every penny he could out of each golfer. At least I KNOW I'm a control freak, but I like to control for the common good, I know (or at least think I do) what will make things run correctly that will benefit the most people.

Make a league fun and you will make money. Happy golfers are spending golfers.

Now he can see what a hassle it is to make 28-40 people happy. I never had any problems with golfers and the normal complaints because I liked to use common sense.

Case in point (I know you guys really do care about all this). We had a huge storm go through one night, people got soaked. In the club house many were ready to call it a night and a lot of people left. The owner saw on the radar that it was clearing in an hour and we could get out.

I wanted to call it a night, no one wanted to golf and many had already gone home. But the owner say's NO! Rules say we golf in the rain. So I was overruled and we golfed and he said anybody that left forfeits the match. So much for ME running the league.

Two guys in their late 60s were soaking wet and went home. They came back and found out their match was forfited and they quit the league. Pissed me off but I kept my mouth shut.

Rules get in the way with common sense. I feel rules are a guideline and common sense should never be ignored.

BUT - I digress - had to get that off my chest - sorry.

Pick up The Onion if you can find one - it's the 1783 Edition.

Letters to the Editor

BALD EAGLES - Can nothing be done about these regal pests!

I had to put on a blowoff tube on my newest batch of beer, my High Amped Tectonically Overcharged Amber. I've been trying to figure out what style this is. The recipe was an Amber but so much freaking hops it's up there in the IPA range. So I had to look at the differences in IPA and this . . . THING!!

Basically it was the malt's used will make it darker then the lighter colored IPA. Did you know IPA (India Pale Ale) was the first "light" beer?

The industrial Revolution in England was brought about because of the use of coal. Coal provided an efficient source of energy and in addition coke derived from coal allowed the production of steal.

But the cool thing was that coke allowed malsters an alternative to wood for fueling their kilns. They could now make NON-brown smokey malts without the aroma from the wood used. Thus, pale malts equaled pale ales.

But porters and dark beer was still for the common brew for a laborer and pale ales were mainly for the upper crust. One brewer in east London brewed mostly pale ales and because of an imbalance in shipping rates there was a large market for his pale ales outside England.

India was self sufficient in everything so when India ships came back to India they were always empty, India needed nothing. So shipping rates back to India were REAL cheep.

The pale ale was all going to Russia but the Napoleonic wars were putting an end to all of that. The brewers needed another buyer, India.

Problem with India was that the voyage was not the greatest thing for their amber colored beer. SO, the brewers put MUCH more hops into the brew because it acted as a preservative, but this made for a very bitter beer. To fix that reduced the gravity (sugar). This helped the yeast ferment better leaving less residual sugar which abated spoilage.

And that my friends is how IPA's got their name. A highly hopped higher alcohol beer.
Now its head down work time