September 24, 2009

Back to work on Monday.

Itís been a while since Iíve updated everyone, I thought I should take the time to let you all know what is going on. Things are progressing well. Iím actually recovering ahead of schedule and the Doctor is going to let me return to work on Monday. This is a good and a bad thing. I really donít want to go to work, but I also am really starting to get bored off of my arse at home. There is only so many cheesy movies I can watch in a day. Iíve see some movies that I havenít seen in a long time.

If I could stand to be off of work longer, I would, but it will be nice to get back to some resemblance of normal. Iím still going to have issues for a long time, but I wonít be in as much pain and discomfort.

Speaking of pain and discomfort, I still have quite a bit of discomfort. The only time I have pain is when I do something stupid. Like say jumping out of bed in the middle of the night or because the Packers intercepted a ball. (yea, that one really hurt).

I have a re-enactment this weekend, but based on the Doctorís and more importantly, Ktrevaís orders I wonít be attending. Thatís another one thatís gone bust. In two more weeks I have Fort Obie, hopefully by then Iíll get he clearance to go.

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September 16, 2009

The Perfect Beer Head.

Last week I talked about the importance of glassware. Tonight, Iím going to step it up a notch and explain why a good head on a beer is important and how to pour beer to get a proper head.

Iíve had multiple conversations with people that involve around how much head should a beer have? A beer being poured into a glass should have about a 1 to 1.5 inch head. Of course what usually follows is, ďwhy?Ē There is a twofold reason as to why you want the beer to have a head. One is that it directly impacts the scent and flavor, the second is just aesthetics.

Head forms on a beer when air and turbulence is introduced into the body as it is being poured. It releases the Carbon Dioxide, or in the cases of beers such as Guinness Nitrogen, causing the beer to foam up. The head releases the natural aromatics of the beer, helping you to smell them better. These scents then, in turn have an effect on the taste. Also the head washing across the tongue has a direct impact on the mouthfeel of the beer. Is it creamy, effervescent, does it bite the tongue? These all have a direct impact on how much you, the drinker, enjoy the beer.

The secondary impact of the head is the aesthetics. Think about all the beer commercials you see on TV, they show the beer being poured into a glass, with just a touch running down the side of the glass. It looks cool, crisp and refreshing. Most people do not want to see a beer that has no head on it, it looks flat and unappealing. If it has too much head it looks like it is over carbonated or that you are going to be drinking foam before you get to the beer. Marketing companies have spent a lot of time researching to figure out what looks most appealingÖ just think on it.

So how do you get ďthe perfect headĒ? First you have to start with your glassware. See, I told you it was important. Try to get the best glass for the type of beer youíre drinking. Make sure it is clean. You donít want any residue of anything inside the glass that can alter the flavor. This includes detergent, oils, food particles, dust, residue of previous beers, ETC. Whether you are pouring from a tapper or a bottle the rest remains true:

1) Hold the glass at a 45 degree angle.
2) Pour the beer aiming for the middle of the glass.
3) When the beer gets to about the halfway point, return the glass to the upright position, continuing to pour in the center of the glass.

4) Keep an eye on the head. If you are getting too much, decrease the rate of the pouring. If you are getting too little, donít be afraid to be more aggressive and pour harder. Some beers, like lambics and English bitters have difficulty forming head and need to be poured more aggressively. On the other hand, your standard American Pilsners (Miller, Budweiser, Busch, Coors, Etc) can create too much head of agitated, so you may need to pour slowly.

As a word of warning, if you are drinking a beer that is known for its yeast, you may want to pay attention to your pour so that you donít accidently pour the active yeast into the glass. Unless you like it that way, and there is nothing wrong with it.

Viola! Itís as easy as that.

Hereís to a perfectly chilled beer in your future!

Posted by Contagion at 05:12 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 15, 2009

Football

Okay, the opening weekend of football has come and gone. Let's look at the highs and lows.

High: Football is back in season
Low: Ktreva is effectively a widow until after the Superbowl.

High: The Packers Beat the Bears
Low: Urlacher is out for the season. (yea, he's a Bear, but I don't like seeing non-primadonna players getting hurt for the season.)

High: There were a lot of really good close games.
Low: There were a lot of one sided blow outs.

High: Detroit seems like they want to keep their losing streak going.
Low: I've been tired hearing about He Who Shall Not Be Named (F@vre) for four years during every game. It seems to have gotten worse this year.

High: All the football foods are being made.
Low: I can't eat any of them.

High: Cheerleaders
Low: They still have clothes on.

High: Raiders looked like a professional team last night.
Low: They were robbed of a Touchdown due to bad officiating.

That being said. it was a great opening weekend. We have 16 more weeks of regular season to go! YAY!

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September 13, 2009

Pureed eating.

I was given the go to start eating pureed food today. YAY!!!!! For those of you that are not sure what pureed food is like, think baby food. yeah, I made the same face too.

On the list of acceptable pureed foods, was scrambled eggs (with out having to actually have to pureeing them in a blender). Thus I had scrambled eggs for breakfast. Man, did those taste good! Clone and I got into a little debate over how to eat eggs. See, I like my scrambled eggs with Ketchup on them, he thought that was disgusting and had no problem making a face demonstrating his oppinion. He then followed up with telling EXACTLY how he thought about it. Clone, "Dad, that's disgusting! Ketchup doesn't go on eggs, it goes on hot dogs!"

For lunch I tried something different. I pureed myself some tuna. Yea... pureed tuna salad. Commence to making icky faces now. To be honest, after four weeks of eating nothing but protein shakes, jello and broth... it was fantastic! A little bit of onion, tuna, fat free mayo... a ton of salt and pepper, pureed and strained... Fantastic. If only I could have had crackers, it would have made an excellent dip!

Tonight's dinner, pureed buffalo chicken! That's right... I'm pureeing Buffalo Chicken. Don't you judge me!!!!!

So with all this pureed food, I'm curious. What do you think of Ketchup on your eggs?

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September 11, 2009

I still remember.

For all of those that died on 9/11 and in the following weeks and months as a result of those attacks. I still remember, even if too many have already started forgetting.

May all of you find peace.

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September 09, 2009

To Whom it May Concern

When Ktreva came home from work, she asked me who brought over the Green Bay Packer Metal Helmet decoration on the front porch. I had no idea what she was talking about. She went out and brought it back in, it's a very nice silhouette of a football helmet with the Green Bay Packer logo on it.

I'm at a complete loss. I had no idea anyone stopped by. I've been home all day. I can' drive, I didn't leave the house. So unless it was at a time that I went to the bathroom, I'm not sure who it would have been.

They didn't leave a card or a tag or anything identifying who it is.

So, to whomever... Thanks!

Posted by Contagion at 05:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sam Adams Perfect Pint

I may not be able to do the beer reviews right now, but they will return, probably sometime mid to late October. No date guaranteed! Until then to keep up with my beer street cred Iím going to keep up with beer related posts on Wednesday. Starting with this one which was actually sent to me originally by frequent commenter Mark back in July. I sent him a response at that time, but now Iím doing a post for all to see.

His question to me was: What is your take on (the Sam Adams specialty glass).

Sam Adams Glass.jpg

I actually own one of these glasses. Iíve had it since June 11th those of you that know me, know how I got it, but Iím not saying. Iíve used this glass on multiple occasions and after seeing all the brewha (lol sorry, pun intended) that the Boston Beer Company was making over these glasses, I really feel the need to pipe in on it.

First off, I take glassware for beer very seriously. Anyone that has been to one of my parties, a bar or to my home will vouch for that. I have an extensive collection of glass ware. I have everything from different styles of glasses to pint glasses with different logos on it. At my New Years Eve party I always give out complimentary glassware every year for the visitors to keep. Each year itís a different style. At the beer tasting, I give out a packet of information Iíve put together regarding beer, one of the sections is glassware. Which I took from Beer Advocateís Beer 101 section Glassware for Beer (Best glassware reference section Iíve found)

Iím not going to double up and repeat a lot of their work. Go read what they have to say about glassware. I will, however, throw in my opinion. Glassware is important to your beer experience. Beer is much more than just drinking it for the alcohol effect. If that is what you are doing, go get a case of Natural Light in cans and enjoy. If you want to truly enjoy a new beer, you need to drink it from a glass. A glass will let you see the color, pouring it forms a head which opens up the flavor and scents enhancing the taste. The proper glass for the style of beer you are drinking can have an effect. If you are drinking a beer from a bottle, you are not getting the full experience.

With all that being said, let us get back to the subject on hand, The Samuel Adamsí ďPerfect Pint GlassĒ. The glass holds 16 fl oz. This is fine if you are pouring your beer from a 12 oz bottle. It gives you a good four ounces for a proper head. However, if you are drinking from a tap or a pint bottle, you need an empirical pint glass of 20 fl oz. Since Sam Adams obviously wants you to drink their beer, and they only bottle in 12 oz, they made the glass the appropriate size for them and the majority of other beers on the market.

The shape of the glass is like a combination of a standard pub glass (like the Miasmatic Review Enabler glass, itís a type of pint glass) and a tulip glass. According to the informational website they have all kinds of information as to why the glass is shaped the way it is. Iíll be honest; Iím not sure how much accuracy is in what they say. Itís almost like two execs for the company were talking up their favorite glassware and decided to come up with their own based on non-scientific opinion. I know they claim to use Sensory Experts to help design the glass, Iím just not sure how accurate what they claim is true. Itís not my area of expertise.

With that being said, I did what all good beer drinkers do, I ran some experimentsÖ. By drinking beer (back in July).

I drank three different types of beer out of this glass to see if there was a noticeable difference. I compared these three to the same out of a regular pint. I did one beer a night with a pallet cleanser between the Sam Adamsí glass and the standard pint. The beers used for the experiment were Miller Lite (shut it!), Sam Adamsí Blackberry Wheat and St. Peterís Cream Stout.

I came to the following conclusion. There was no noticeable difference between the Sam Adamsí glass and my Miasmatic Review Enabler Glass. The scents, flavor and overall drinking experience was not enhanced or diminished by drinking from the special glass.

Overall, in my opinion, if you just wanted the glass to add to your collection like I did, go for it. It is a unique looking glass and is a conversation piece. If you were planning to buy one, or already did because you thought it would enhance your beer drinking experience, I think you will be sadly disappointed.

Mark, I hope that answers your questionÖ and then some.

If you have an beer related questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Hereís to a perfectly chilled beer in your future.

Posted by Contagion at 10:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 05, 2009

International Bacon Day

Today is International Bacon Day, make sure you cook some bacon.

If I wasn't in a condition that limited me from doing so, I'd be having a Bacon Explosion or two today.

Since I can't make one today, I'm promising to all that come to my full recovery party that I'll make at least two!

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The next big step.

Following the doctor's orders, I was able to remove the outer bandages from my incisions today. It looks like I was in a really bad knife fight... and lost. There are six separate incisions across my abdomen. Removing the outer bandages, I had to leave the steri-strips in place. That was easier said than done.

The other big step is that I can advance from clear liquids today. I get to go back to non-clear liquids like protein shakes! Wait, I've developed a hatred of protein shakes. That's okay, they aren't fruit flavored, thus they are better than juice and condensed rubber Jello that Ktreva made. (Thank god for premade jello cups!) Things should start getting a little better. I'll slowly start graduating into more and more solid food. I do believe the next big step in a week is baby food.

BLECH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Right now my abdomen itches like crazy. I just want to scratch at it, but I can't. So I'm going to sit here and try not to think of what feels like a dozen tiny ants crawling over my stomach.

Posted by Contagion at 09:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 03, 2009

Chew... the jello.

Okay, let me preface this story by saying that I feel absolutely wonderful today. Still some discomfort and nothing solid coming out, but physically and mentally I feel FANTASTIC! My mood is at the highest it's been in months and I actually feel like going out and having some fun.

That, however, is not what this post is about. My wife is many things, but a wonderful cook is not one of them. Don't get me wrong, she has some items she makes that no one can compete with, Scotch Eggs, Biscuits and Gravy, Deer Pot Roast, Ballindalloch Chicken, and a few more. I generally do the majority of the cooking in the house. When she has to cook, most of the time it's boxed or ready made meals.

With me being down she has to do some cooking, and one of the items that I can eat is Sugar Free Jello. She picked up packages of it for me and made 4-5 different kinds on Monday. When I went to eat some.... it was tough. It didn't want to cut with the spoon.

Then when I finally was able to get a bite sized portion of it, it needed to be chewed. I'm not talking about the mashing it up with your tongue chewing, I mean I had to use my teeth to actually break it up. Normally with Jello I just mash it between my teeth with my tongue, but this stuff was resistant! My overly sharp molars were having trouble breaking this stuff up into smaller bits. It was like chewing steak fat, peach flavored steak fat! MMMmmmm, peachy steak fat!

I tried letting it set out so it can warm up and possibly soften, that failed. I tried mashing it up with a spoon before putting it in my mouth. That failed. Nothing seemed to work.

Ktreva is upset because it turned out bad. Yes, she knows I'm posting about it. She's urging me not to eat it until she can make more. I'm not actually sure what is going to be different the next time. Until then, I need to eat it as I really don't have anything else... and the fridge is filled with various flavors of Ktreva rubber Jello.

So if anyone stops by and see's me chewing on something. Trust me, it's just the hardest damn Jello this side of Atlantic.

Posted by Contagion at 11:34 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

September 02, 2009

I should join OPEC.

Day three has been interesting. There is pretty much no pain. However, I have a lot of discomfort, first and foremost is gas pains. I haven't had anything even remotely close to solid to eat. Not even a protein shake. I have, however, had juice to drink. Which can't be helping my digestive tract issues.

Well I can also feel gas moving through my colon. And that isn't pleasant. To make maters even more complicated. Every 8 seconds I feel like I need to pass gas, I really need to run to the bathroom, because if I don't, I'm just going to end up having liquid colon squeezings running down my leg. That means I have to hold a lot of this gas in until I can get to the bathroom. Yea, that's not comfortable at all.

On top of everything Ktreva and the Boys can hear the gas moving through me. It's rather loud!

Well, I guess this is better than pain.

Posted by Contagion at 06:22 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 01, 2009

Today's fun

Okay, I have to sleep sitting up, so I just decided to sleep in my big comfy recliner downstairs. I didn't sleep too well, thus I am sure I will be dozing on and off all day. I also had a new and interesting side effect last night.

They gave me anti-constipation medication just in case I don't have a bowel movement in 48 hours. I hadn't taken any, but at 4:30 this morning I the exact opposite problem of constipation. I woke up and felt gas moving through my colon. Then I blew arse. Okay, bowels are moving, that's a good sign. A couple seconds later I thought I was going to blow arse again, but instead it felt, uh... fuller. so I got up as fast as I could and made my way to the bathroom.

I had just made it to the toilet when the flood gates of hell opened up and I drained what seemed like a gallon of liquid sewage. It came out with enough force that I do believe that I was lifted off of the toilet by about an inch. I could have shite through a strainer and not hit the wire.

It's been a constant painful waddle to the bathroom every 30 minutes or so.

I think I'd prefer the constipation.

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