Deanologue: What Am I Up To?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Our new IPA cans
Perhaps unsurpsingly, I see that thanks to the long delay since my last post, I actually have things to talk about. Perhaps too many. So I'm going to break this week's post into several smaller posts, and trickle them out this week, presuming that they don't get even more out of date than they are already, having been typed a week ago. In this post, I think I'll live up to the title of this blog and tell you what's new with me in this last while. It's been a busy few weeks, despite the fact that I spent one of them pretty much comatose in my bed. But don't worry, I won't spend much time on that particular week. After all, I'd rather tell you about those beautiful cans that we've started making on the left there.

I suppose the least logical way to do this is to go reverse chronologically. No, that's not true. Random would be the way to do it. I'll do my best. This weekend, not much to report, aside from Steph & Adam's engagement party (which was delightful). Last weekend though, I had my first taste of poker, specifically, Texas Hold 'Em. I'm not a huge card player, and I never got much into it even in Engineering where EVERYONE plays Kaiser. Certainly, my luck in such things is not, shall we say, legendary, and while true poker enthusiasts would probably tell you it's all skill, I conveniently disagree. At least until I start winning. Because on Friday night, a lack of decent cards wasn't my problem. A lack of skill was the culprit. John invited me over to play with Adam & Clint, and I was going to go out with Jonathan that night but invited him along instead. For some reason, I always think that John lives on the same road as me, but, you know, 15 km away. So, once again, with poor Jonathan on my tail and probably scared to death of these unmarked Saskatchewan grid roads on that dark and foggy night, I took a wrong turn. Of course, I've taken that wrong turn so many times that it's part of the route for me now, but he doesn't know that.

I would've learned much faster from her!
So, anyway, playing the game, I was happily reading the flop, taking solid positions, and taking tricks. Well, maybe not that last part - that must have been my problem. Or maybe it was the fact that my solid positions weren't necessarily sound positions. Fifteen minutes later, I was sitting at the table watching the other three play. But it was still fun, it is a social game after all. Plus I probably learned as much watching as playing. The next day, the three of us, that is, John, Jon, and myself, went out for dinner and a few drinks at Bacchus. The power was out for close to an hour, which really wasn't too bad although combined with the pasta and over-priced martinis, it wasn't exactly a recipe for energy. Then we went off to Amigos, there was a CFCR CD Release this weekend, and No Birds were playing as well as Maybe Smith were playing. I'd been meaning to see Colin/Maybe Smith for some time, and I always enjoy No Birds, so that was a done deal. Smokekiller, an acoustic guy who was actually quite good started, but I'm against mixing acoustic acts with full bands. If I want to hear some guy playing a guitar and singing, I'll go to a coffee house or open mic night. You basically destroy the vibe of a rock show by mellowing things out first, especially starting at 11:30, however good. That said, Maybe Smith was well worth seeing, Colin's got a great voice and I think he'd do really well to have an actual band, and of course I love No Birds. Mehta was wild and funky on base, and I think the girl playing French Horn, who I found myself watching almost exclusively, (I love French horn, plus she) was fearing for her life on that small stage. Hilarious facial expressions. As for Mehta, he may have been on something, but at least he was into it. Be sure to pop by NewMusicCanada or Teargas and hear some of their stuff - I recommend Heavy Metal Will Never Die to start.

Shoveling the snow
We were supposed to meet some girls after, but it wound up being only Jon's current lass and another girl I'd met before, and they were drunk and silly and passed out at Jon's within a half hour. Which freed the three of us to go upstairs, eat cabbage rolls, and play some more Texas Hold 'Em until almost 7 AM. We each had won a round, with me never being the first one out, and then we played a tie breaker in which I WAS the first out and John wound up being the winner. The night went quickly and was a lot of fun, possibly thanks to the drink de soir, Mike's IPA. Yes, we've started canning our beer now - you did see the picture up there, didn't you? My dad was in Seattle with my mom a couple weeks ago making sure the labels were just right (they look great) and we now have the canning equipment and everything. We're hoping they're a little bit more appealing than the 2L bottles we had before, certainly they're easier to drink in one sitting. While they were away, as always, it snowed, probably the first big snowfall of the year. Larissa & I went to pick up my dad's truck from the airport, which is on the opposite side of the city from us, and got all the way there realizing that neither of us had taken the keys from the table, each assuming the other had. So, with the roads bad as they were, Larissa opted to do some shovelling at one of the properties in the city while I rushed home to get the keys. By the time I got back, there was still another half hour of shovelling to take care of, and then we got the truck, went home, and I shovelled the driveway and walks. That was a good four hours or so all said. Of course, it snowed again the next day, not much, but enough that I had to go and shovel in the city after work, which meant that the snow had been compacted by foot traffic and it was a task. Luckily, I had my iPod full of CBC Radio 3 podcasts and actually managed to catch up on the backlog and get up to date.

Speaking of podcasts, I've mentioned before that I'm working on one that could serve as a sort of intro to indie for those looking for something else or just getting started in the indie scene. I am still waiting on a few sources to make sure that I have the artists' blessings. However, last night, I recorded another one that should be going ahead soon - a Frank Black podcast. I'm hosting the podcast with Brian, a friend and fellow moderator at, which is an interesting experience when I live in Saskatoon and he lives in Manhattan's shadow (AKA New Jersey). How did we accomplish this? Well, it was amazingly easy. We actually both have Google Talk accounts, and both have microphones for our computer, so all I did was click the little phone beside his name and we were having a conversation, easy as that. And cheap as free, too! Anyone with Google Talk can talk free as long as the other party has it too, which I think will come in quite handy for my next trip.

A photo Juaquin took hiking through the mountains in New Zealand
I heard from Joaquin, a guy I met on Contiki, the other day. He's having a blast in New Zealand right now, which has gotten me excited about travelling again. On his trip, he says, "When I started out on the first week of the trip I had a sense that there was no way they could keep up the pace, one day I would wake up to do something absolutely amazing that I had never done before, and then the next day it would be repeated with some other activity..." and then goes on to talk about hiking/kayaking through a park to a secluded and perfect beach on the edge of a rainforest, camping in there, going swimming and having hundreds of dolphins in the area playing with you, rope courses, rock climbing, hiking through mountains, and it goes on. He's with a company called Pacific Challenge which sounds great but I'm not sure about the 6-week duration. I don't think I want to be stuck in a group that long. Even so, there are lots of tour companies and I AM thinking about this one as a way to kick off my year down under, I'll see what Joaquin has to say about it when it's all over with. I also finished Bill Bryson's In A Sunburned Country as I lay up in bed, which only served to make the task of travelling around a place so vast and empty as Australia all the more daunting.

Ah yes, the laying in bed thing. Well, I had the flu. It kept coming and going and coming back worse. I call it the demoralizing flu - just when you get your hopes up that you're getting better, it comes back at you even worse than ever. I was sickest on the very last day and I think I said something like, "I don't think I'm going to get better" to my mom. I had to miss three days of work and was too sick to do much on the other two days for a grand total of 5 days, plus a sore throat/cough for a few more days after that.

The MGM Grand
Nicole & I are going to Las Vegas in March with mom, dad, and Shawn (our bar manager) for a Food & Beverage Show. Larissa & Mariah won't be there, but they're in Mexico on vacation as I write this, so I think they'll be okay. I've never been to Vegas so I'm quite excited to see the sites/sights and even the show itself. It's not exactly a hammock on the beach, but I think it'll be a good time. But I should probably go. I've been playing lots of X-COM: Terror From the Deep lately and am hopelessly hooked. I'll have those other posts up soon if they're still relevant, and a link to the podcast assuming it's approved, as well as a feature on buying a new PC coming up next week, so I hope to see you back soon.


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to hear your podcast Dean. Are you guys funny? I heard my first podcast last night and it was hilarious. Oh and I like the beer cans. I'd totally drink it if I was a beer drinker. Oh and I'm jealous that you're going to Las Vegas. My suggestion to you is to not play any poker while down there :)Ha ha I loved the Deanologue!! Thanks for coming to my party!

Dean said...

Hey, thanks Steph. I'll have it in a post soon (I need a bit of recuperation time) but here you are in the meantime:

PS Thanks for having me at the party, it was nice to meet some of your family and all eat more food than all the other guests combined. Had a great time! :)

Ryan said...

Dean I love the poker girl. For a minute I thought she may have been there with and I could not find anywhere in the blog about who she was. So i did a quick google image search for "poker girl" and to my dismay you dont know her. She was someone elses poker girl. CURSE YOU!