Hell of a Guy
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Dream…


I am not one for remembering dreams I’ve had or, for that matter, even dreaming at all.  Perhaps I don’t remember them because of their benign nature, or I am just not supposed to remember them because they are stupid.

My attitude is upbeat 99.9% of the time.  I am not stressed in any way that I am aware, and not sure if one can even have “subconscious” stress.  Either way, I don’t have it and my dreams, or lack there of, maybe a reflection of it; however, occasionally, once in a very great while, even I, the non-stressed one, will experience a dream of a value significant enough to remember in detail. 

Last night I had one of those dreams.  In it, I was to attend a meeting of some sort, but I don’t think the purpose for the dream was about this meeting.  As I approached the venue for this meeting, and I have no idea of the setting or the reason for the meeting, I took a wrong turn into what I thought was a parking area.  When I realized my error and in an attempt to turn my car around and drive out, my wheels began to spin as if I was on something very wet.  The more I tried to maneuver the car in a direction to get me out of whatever the hell I had gotten myself into, the more the wheels spun wildly.  I wasn’t going anywhere, in fact, I appeared to be sinking.  Actually, as the goop I was stuck in began to rise up to the level of the windows, I was immediately struck with the sense this was not a good thing.  I was in a very serious, life threatening situation…I might even die.

It occurred to me several years ago that no one dies until their purpose for being here is complete, and I firmly believe it is true.  I have no fear of dying because I know I am not in control of it.  My death will eventuate when my reason for being here is accomplished or complete.  At that moment of my demise, my spirit will be instantly reunited with the One Soul, the Soul of the Universal Presence some of us refer to as God, for my spirit is but an individuation of that Soul.

My car continued to sink in the muck.  I watched it completely swallow me as it closed over the car’s sun roof and obliterated the moonlight.  There was no escape, and I knew even if a was able to call 911 on my cell phone, there was no way I could be located and recued before the oxygen inside my car was depleted.  I was doomed.

When the realization hit me that I was about to die I couldn’t do anything but smile.  I was at peace; there was no panic, just an overwhelming feeling of euphoria.  I popped my Michael Hoppe CD in the player and adjusted it to the third cut, “Romance for Violin,” I put my seat back and closed my eyes.  The oxygen in the car was nearly gone, and as the music soothed me into a blissful state of mind, the thought struck me that in very short while I would one with God and this was, without a doubt, The Best Day Ever…

And that is all I have to say about that…

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hell-of-a-Guy IPA…


I am quite proud to announce the Berkeley Springs Brewing Company’s initial batch of IPA is a finished, very drinkable product.  One of them found its way out of the bottle and into my glass for me to enjoy with my dinner, and it was pretty damn tasty.  While I cannot say it is the best I have ever had, it most definitely is not the worst.  I am proud of the final product.

Brewing my own beer is something I have thought about doing for years; I just couldn’t muster the courage.  Now I am sorry I didn’t experiment with it years ago.  I am looking forward to brewing a second batch and maybe tweaking the recipe a tad, though at 5.9% ABV, this is a heady brew with depth and character.  Look at me sounding like I have a clue as to what I am talking about.  This stuff tastes good and I like it, and that is all need be said.

I really wasn’t supposed to drink the HOAG IPA for another six days, but I just couldn’t control myself knowing my home brew was in the basement aging and I was upstairs doing the same thing.  We met in the middle, and I succumbed to desire.

Suddenly, I have an almost uncontrollable desire to speak German.  Sprechen sie deutsche?

Und das ist alles was ich dazu sagen , dass…

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My Big Deck


When my ex and I had a house built in Richmond, Virginia in 1983 I got a deck.  My deck wasn’t as big as I wanted it to be, so a short while after we moved into this house, I enlarged it.  My deck was nice and big then.  It was a deck on which many a good time was had.

As time passed I moved a couple of times, but in place after place my deck got smaller and smaller.  When I got to the first house I lived in here in West Virginia, my deck was the smallest I had ever had: my deck had shrunk to almost nothing. Neighbors referred to me as “the guy with the little deck,” and it was hurtful.  My deck was so small we could not even party on it.

The Nancy and I built a house in 2002 and I got my bigger deck, once again.  This house backed up to a golf course, the 16th hole to be exact.  At that house I know The Nancy took a great deal of pride in it when she sat on my deck and watched beautiful sunsets.  I was okay with it, but dreamed of having a really big deck, one you could really party down on.

The dream has become a reality.  This Hell of a Guy is happy again.  I have a crew erecting a huge deck for me, though a slow process, it’s one I know I will be proud of for a very long time and never embarrassed for people to see.  I just cannot wait to show it to all my friends.  I just hope they will come and see it when it is fully erected.  This will be The Best Deck Ever!!!


And that is all I have to say about that…

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

More Brewing News…


The “Hell of a Guy IPA” is in bottles.  Now if it will just stay there.

In the home brewing process bottling is a critical stage, from what I hear.  Mostly what I hear is horror stories…bad ones about exploding bottles and beer geysers, and of rancid, nasty tasting end products.  I don’t like horror stories.

The instructions called out for approximately fifty-three bottles of beer from the recipe I made.  I followed the instructions to the letter, insofar as brewing the IPA (India Pale Ale) was concerned.  Everything in the Berkeley Springs Brew House connected with the brewing process was immaculately clean and sanitized.  I even wore latex gloves.  I will be surprised if the beer is spoiled or contaminated in any way, but to be sure I will have The Nancy try it first.

Back to the process: To make a long story endless, my bottling skills need improvement.  For a while I was getting more beer on the floor than in the bottles, but eventually managed to get forty-three bottles of this 5.9% ABV (alcohol by volume) liquid gold, filled and capped.

Oh yeah!  Capping is another skill I lack.  The first couple of attempts ended with caps bent in every direction, but not secured to a bottle.  My first capping near success resulted in a bottle mishap, as about one inch of bottle and cap remained in the capper.  Hmmm!  That particular beer is down the drain now and all evidence of the bottling mishap is neatly cleaned up and stored out of sight.  The filled, capped bottles are nestled in two coolers with the lids secured just in case there is an over abundance of carbonation forming in the tightly secured bottles.  I think the cinder block I placed on top of them should eliminate any large scale revolt.

Now all need be done is wait until the beer is perfected, and that, according to what I have read, will take about two more weeks.  Luckily, I have a vast supply of adult beverages in my beer fridge.  I should be just fine in the interim, so don’t be concerned for my beer consuming welfare, but do keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

And that is all I have to say about that… 

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