Science, Beer, Food, and Blathering Gift Suggestions

Well, after blogging for four and a half years, I guess I’ve started to get the hang of things. Like, in December, a blogger should consider having a “gift guide” or something. Or a good cookie recipe. Or both.

Well, I have several cookie recipes, but nothing new for you, so I guess we’ll have to settle on a gift ideas. I tried to come up with a few things that I have liked, used, or given as potential gifts from each “section” of the blog (food, beer, science, blather).

Mostly, I think these things are neat, fun, or wonderful and I hope to help you find something spectacular for someone awesome in your life. Or, if not find, give you some a springboard for other ideas.… Continue reading →

My Organic Chemistry is So Rusty.

One of the funny things about being in a long-term, live-in relationship is how you can manage, sometimes, to do a single thing that manages to simultaneously irritate your partner and make them happy. I did so recently.

On a whim, I signed up for an online class. But not just any online class. A free, college-(senior)-level chemistry class. Prerequisite of “organic chemistry” listed. My friends JP and Jason are taking the class, and encouraged me to sign up. So I did. Then I tweeted about it.

Which is how poor Bill found out I was suddenly enrolled in this class. And was, understandably, a bit grumpy that not only did he find out about this via twitter and not, say, from me, he also was suddenly married to a woman who had homework again.… Continue reading →

I Actually Drank Something That Smelled Like the Ass-End of a Skunk

And I did so intentionally. I’d say I’m ashamed to admit this, but you all know I’d be lying. I mean, what else was I likely to encounter in a basic course about off-flavors in beer?

Yup, that happened this past Saturday, and I found it fascinating, so I wanted to share a little bit with you guys. And, frankly, encourage anyone who is in Chicago and interested to go try this course. It’s a very educational hour and a half. Well worth the $40 it cost me. Spoiler: I’m strongly considering going again.

The set-up is pretty simple. There’s a classroom and a lecturer with Power Point slides that don’t violate good Power Point rules by too much. Each seat in the class is provided with some of the slides, note-taking space, water and very bland crackers.… Continue reading →