Friday, January 21, 2011

Doc Melhorn Continues His Ascent To Heaven

I'm not going anywhere near a scale for a few days, but wow that was one tasty meal list night!  We (me, Anne, Deb, Donna, and Emily) did the Black Forest Deli's 5-course Russian dinner, something they do every Thursday night.  Things started with a bunch of appetizers -- mostly things like chicken salad, beet salad, little servings of potatoes, fried liver, smoked trout, and the like -- then continued with two kinds of pierogi, borscht, and two kinds of chicken for the main course; things finished with blintzes stuffed with farmer's cheese.  We were worried by the time appetizers were over, and stuffed & working hard to finish by the end of the main course, but we all found room for that dessert...
The whole evening was fun, a good time with great company, and then we parted company;  Anne and I were close enough to walk, and the snow was just starting to fall, a perfect end to the night.  Until... we were almost home when I got a text: Doug & Lori were at Brew Works if we wanted to join them, so we continued past the house and on to Main Street. Awesome, and then more awesome!  Anne had the "Aggressive," the latest hoppy offering, and I sampled the new "Insidious," a strong porter much like the one we just brewed, then after that and some conversation we called it a night.  We got home around 11:00.
Beautiful morning ride in today, and the second day in a row I drove into the sunrise while listening to Godspeed You! Black Emperor.  New snow (great except for not-very-bright drivers in town), pink and orange clouds, all glory and solar towers and "The Gathering Storm" playing full blast as I blasted over the hills on I-78.  It kind of reminded me of my drives to Slatyfork; I would put that song on as I drove west from Harrisonburg VA, over the mountain into West Virginia. If people drove to Heaven like Doc Melhorn, that's the road they would take and the song they'd hear.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Morning weigh-in: 182.5#, 12.5% BF
Ate at home last night, then hit the gym for an upper body workout, then went home and ate dinner again, before meeting Anne at BW. And that's how you do it! Tonight we're hitting the Black Forest Deli for a traditional Russian multi-course dinner. It'll be good, but I don't think those numbers will improve. Tomorrow night, and possibly Saturday morning, will be spent XC skiing.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This Way Lies Madness

I finally found my winter computer project, and it's taken over my life: I have started the process of scanning all my old photos and putting them on Flickr.  So far I have my old Prague trip photos uploaded, and I just finished photos through June 1992, a total of over a hundred photos uploaded.  That, on top of the 115 photos I uploaded from my phone, means that there has been a lot of activity on my Flickr account, with a lot more to come...
The scanning process has been slow going though: for each photo I must remove it from the album (where they all are sort of stuck, after twenty or so years, to the semi-sticky backing page), read & record the caption off the back, and actually perform the scan -- this takes about 10-15 minutes for each set of four photos on an album page.  Then, after I have one roll done, or one event's worth of shots, I import the bunch to F-Spot (my laptop's photo software), adding tag information, and from there I upload the photos to Flickr.  Once the bunch is in Flickr I give each photo a title and caption based on the information off the back (and what I remember about that shot from when I took it), which takes another couple of minutes.  Meantime, each part of this process has just enough downtime (scanning, waiting for uploads to complete) to let the process drag and my attention wander, but not quite enough to allow any real multitasking.
Sunday we brewed a batch of Baltic Porter, another process with a lot of downtime, as liquids heat up and cool down, and while that was happening I did my first batch (the Prague pictures); I'd say that took me about six hours, including beermaking breaks, to get through about forty photos.  I got home from work Monday and scanned a bunch more, then yesterday I stayed home from work, and did another 40 or so and uploaded my next batch -- six hours total for 53 photos.  I am just past the halfway mark on my first photo album; I probably have over a thousand -- maybe two thousand -- photos left to do, and at my current rate it'll take me more than one winter to finish.  Sigh...
Anyway, enjoy the photos, and stay tuned for more!
I haven't been getting as much physical activity lately, though Anne and I did get in a good moonlight XC ski along the Monocacy last week, and Doug and I went skiing at Mauch Chunk Lake Park on Saturday -- we started on bikes but switched after finding the sledding a little too rough in the snow.  I also had a little downtime last night, after finishing the photos and before I went to meet the ladies for Two Brew Tuesday, so I hopped on the trainer for a quick workout; I only lasted about 10 minutes, I thought I was going to go mad from boredom.
Tonight is the gym, then maybe more scanning, though no uploading. I've been restless with the computer lately, fiddling with preferences/settings, looking around for cool software to download (got some website composer programs, and a few new "screen candy" utilities).  Maps bore me right now, though I am working on one for Michaux, maybe it's time for me to start tackling video...