Friday, June 20, 2008

Bottling Port

So! We bottled our Port last night.
It's quite an itneresting and fun process. All in all we ended up with 36 bottles of the most potent and smooth wine I have ever tasted.
These are going to make great Christmas presents!

On the left, this is the carboy which is holding all of the wine at the end of its fermentation period. We tasted it to determine how much Brandy we would need to add in order to make it a smooth true Port.

We were suprised to find it had a chocolate taste - probably infused in the concentrate from the beginning. We were concerned that this may ruin the port, but once we add the brandy, that should kill ANY such flavor.

We ended up adding 3 bottles of E&J Brandy. Then we tested it. Dave seems to like it!

Now time to bottle...

This is the carboy cyphoning into the bottles.

AH "cork-it", Dave..

Et voila! Several bottles out of 36 finished!
To be enjoyed with a cigar and a bench on the porch..

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Training session

Training.. yes.. how silly of me to actually think I'm going to make it to the gym.

BUT, I did get a run in.. I ran around the neighborhood. Did pretty good time for a first run in a while. Plus my sinuses were killing me by the time I was done. I'll do it again tonight, and see if my time improves.

After my run, I talked with Dave in his office while he made admin cables. My mother called, and we put her on speakerphone. We spent an HOUR talking with her about wedding plans. We've got the guest list down for the most part. Now.. the WHEREs and HOWs.
We have several options of places. We just need to do a cost-benefit analysis, and see if we can have what we initially envisioned come to light with our budget.
Of course our views differ greatly from my mother's views. But that's ok.. I will let her say her bit, and then the final decision will be Mine and Dave's.

But she's a GREAT personal assistant. I have her hot on the trail of guest addresses and phone numbers. So if you want to save her some time, give her a call, and update her address book, please. :)

Tonight we're bottling our Port. I hope to have some pics up by tomorrow, documenting the lovely process. We bought pretty blue 750ml bottles. I have to think up some labels.
Our next batch will be a white and a red for the wedding. we thought that might be nice to have one of each on each table.
We're going to need a wine cellar pretty quick.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Training begins today

Training for the triathalon starts today!
Today I am going to go to the gym, and do a full upper body work out, then run the rest of it. Since it's day 1, I'm interested to see how rusty I am. Last time I took this kind of break, I could only do 2 miles. Hopefully I'm about that or better.

This is the basic training plan I'm going to follow straight through to September.
I'm going to add hill training in there as well, probably every Wednesday.

I will keep you posted on my progress...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 training

Huge news!

I was asked to be the runner in a relay triathalon in Montreal in September! I am ridiculously excited!! My part is the 10K portion to finish the race.

I haven't run a race since Beach to Beacon, so I'm a tad rusty.. But I have a few months to get back into the swing of it. Luckily there are a lot of hills around the neighborhood, so I will be tackling those quite frequently. Plus the trail to Augusta will be great to get pace times as well, since it is a 10-K..

Did I mention I was excited?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesday part deux

Successfully set up a Twitter account I can text from my phone what I'm currently up to, and it updates on my cool is that... check it out on the left..


I woke up to the whirring sound of the air conditioner. It's on 63 COLD, and the fan on level 2, but I'm still kind of hot. I think my sunburn is to blame.
I feel Dave's lips brush against my ear, kissing me good morning.
Ahh.. I wish we could stay like this forever.. I was so comfy..
But no.. it was 6:30.. time to get a-movin.. coffee to be made!!

Well, so far it's been an uneventful day, which is good. I finished one report, and started on the CODES stuff. Sent that out to K. I'm a month behind on my timesheets, and I had the HRpolice come and track me down.. ok ok I'll get those out before the afternoon is ovah.

I'm second-guessing the iPod Touch. For now at least..there are too many things I need first before I go buying something that expensive. For instance, I need new glasses.. that's an iPod right there! Then.. I have to help pay for some things for the house..
And finally, oh yes.. wedding $$$..
So really, I have no business buying any such thing right now. So, I'll hold off. :)
I can use my other MP3 player until then. No biggie.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Old Friends

I happened to check out my old freind G's blog. It was great to check out the exciting happenings in her life. Her family, she's still with H, she's moved to M.C. now, and still in Grad school.
I sometimes miss my life I had with those freinds. The deep conversations, the parties, the drinking lots and lots of wine at J's house, having discussions with Charles Long, etc.
Those were the good times.
Why am I not that person anymore. Ahh life happens and we change and evolve.
I guess that's par for the course.
I am extremely happy with my life.
I think for the first time in a LONG time I am truly happy and content.
I am going to marry the man I'm deeply in love with.
We're going to take care of our house, and maybe someday have a kid or two to fill it with.
We're going to go to work, take vacations, do yardwork, and probably even get a mini-van at some point.
How the hell did I get here? .
The one with big dreams of Grad School in Ottawa. Never got there.
The one who wanted to be the Archaeology major. Never got there.
Guess what.. don't NEED to get there.
I may have never got where I thought I would be, but the universe has put me exactly where I SHOULD be and NEED to be and WANT to be.

All the people I have met, and have been friends with, the places I've seen, the experiences I've had...They all have made me exactly who I am today.
And who is that?
A research analyst, who lives in a nice neighborhood with the man she loves.
I drive an economical vehicle.
I clip coupons and recycle.
I'm even attempting to garden.
I am becoming a suburban housewife -holy shit.
But I still love to hike.
I can talk Derrida and Descartes with the best of them.
If I try real hard, I could prbably still read Egyptian heiroglyphics like I could in high school.
I keep up to date on politics and current events.
I still feel that all who wander are not lost..
I still know my wine, dammit..
And I still love life.

That rambled on to nowhere near how I started, but just to show you my evolution thus far.
It's amazing on what makes contentment over the years.
G., you inspired me to reflect... *L*

Bikin The Railroad

Saturday night I had a brilliant idea..
Why not get on the bike, and see how far I can go? I've been dormant all winter, and my behind is suffering from some major secretarial spread, and I'm completely out of shape. Let's see just how much..

So the next morning, off I went..

My goal -To go from my house in West Gardiner to Panera Bread in Augusta. One way 16.48 miles ( at least that's what MapQuest says).
I left at noon, headed down through Gardiner to pick up the Kennebec Rail Trail. The trail goes all the way to downtown Augusta. Not bad.. mostly downhill. But you know what that means on the way home, don't you....

Now to make matters worse, my MP3 player was on the fritz, so no music while I pedalled.
Along the way, I took some time to gaze out at the river, and the many little waterfalls that dotted the woodsy areas along the trail.

Once I got into Augusta, I cut across by Cumby's , because I was NOT, I repeat NOT doing the St. Augustine hill. Down, maybe. Up FORGET IT.
So this means I'm travelling on the very busy Civic Center Drive.. yikes.. No near misses, however I found it difficult because the breakdown lane was miniscule to say the least.
At any rate, I reached Panera and hour and a half later. Took a few minutes to rest, drink some water, and call Dave to let him know I made it. Now.. time to go home.
Every downhill I enjoyed on the way there was met with a major UPHILL on the way home.
By the time I reached Hallowell, I was feeling the burn. But I pushed onward.
To add to all of this, the sun was beating down upon me, and I was getting quite a sunburn.
Yes, we fair-skinned nordic girls get burned easily.
At any rate, I made it to the New Mills stores with enough anergy.. bouth a Gatorade, and the Sunday paper. From there, it was two more hills, and I was home.

From reading all of this, you would think that I hated my ride. Just the opposite.. I loved every minute of it!!! I love pushing myself as hard as I can...I love feeling the burn, the exhaustion, and then pushing past it. Hmm.. I'm probably sadistic that way, but I always do.

I rewarded myself with a hot shower, a tasty salad, and several episodes of Law and Order.

Made for a wonderful Sunday...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I can't believe it's only 11am..

Are you telling me it's only 11:15 am?

I've been here since 8, trying to finish up a 3 report project, so that my boss can go and make a 10am presentation to the Maine CDC. This project, I think, was the most complicated, in-depth thing I could have ever worked on. So many angles, so many aspects to take into consideration.. 2 month windows, 1 year observations, between 2 and 12 month observation, more than 1 year observations.. mono-tratement? combo-treatment? The list goes on and on, not to mention the theraputic class debacle.. Well that should get resolved at a later date.
At any rate, I really am glad Becky was here to help me out. I learned TONS, and now maybe other, less complicated projects won't intimidate me so darn much..

As payment for such help, I have offered to buy her dinner at Margaritas, but she had something better in mind. And so, in 2 weeks, I will be working as waitstaff at her daughter's wedding.

Somehow, I will probably need a maragarita anyway..

Let's see.. what else is going on. My friend, Annette is back from her lovely vacation in the Canadian Rockies.. Such a well deserved vacation! I'm glad she had a great time.

I'm reading Garrett the Onion's blog a lot recently. He is a fellow Econ major, and he is hilarious.
Check it if you don't believe me:

I am so incredibly busy, I can't believe it. I have all these great books I want to get to, and enjoy, but by the time I get to bed, I'm exhausted, or whatever.. so I usually don't get more than a sentence in.

I'm trying to get into the Archimedes Codex, where they found a paryerbook, whose pages really contain Archimedes missing writings. Very interesting. If only I didn't forget what the heck I've read.. how did I get to page 19???

Speaking of books, How am I going to get my bookstore running? I dont think people are going to be interested in the titles I have, but you never know. I have a book addiction, I realize, and don't want to SELL any, I want to keep them all and read them all, and have them as mine mine mine.. aren't I awful?

I made French baguette pizza last night, and the smell from the leftovers is attacking my nose from the red-lidded tupperware to my left.. mmm need it now.. it's 11:30.. that's acceptable, right? mmmm it's sooo good..

We watched a show the other night called "30 Days". It's the guy from "Supersize me" who takes on jobs for 30 days and gets in depth with the people it affects. There are some pretty rough conditions, working in W Virgina Coal mines. People do it because it comes with a $60,000/yr paycheck.. but the health effects like Black Lung, hmm don't seem worth it to me. But when you need to feed your family, I suppose you do what you have to.

Well, this afternoon I have a meeting, then I need to start working on that other project that has been on the back burner. Then tonight, I have GOT TO put that book database together, and start on Dave's. Then start listing the books into the bookstore.. I need to start making $$$ with this. Or else, why bother scoring inventory?

I have been thinking a lot about grad school. I start, I stop, I start I stop. What is wrong with me.I love school. I love to learn. I have zippo time to focus. Or I'm so ADD-ish that I can't focus.
Which irks me.. cuz I WANT this MBA BADLY.. apparently not badly enough.

I want to write some papers, maybe see where I can get them published.Maybe I can use some resources from books on statistics, etc. I have TONS at home, so there's no reason not to do it. Write a paper on Maine land trust.. like Bald mountain, and the economic effects it has to the Franklin County hiking community.. something like that.

Or duh, how about writing a paper about my proble, in order to get a solution. Marketing used books online.. effective strategies..

I have too many interests, and that's going to bite me in the ass someday.. wait.. it probably has.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Backpacking and other random thoughts

A few weeks ago, the boyfriend and I packed up a few things, and headed out to the White Mountains National Forest for some camping, some hiking, and apparently some male bonding.

"What?" you aske with that confused look. You heard me. See, Dave's friend had invited us to this camp spot where he goes every year on a particular weekend to get the family and friends together. We said Sure! We'll be there..... when we get there... somehow, the wives all knew better than to go? And so I was the ONLY girl there. hmmm...should be interesting.

7 Guys hanging around a campfire, talking about plows and trucks, andfixing trucks and cars and plows, and oh did I mention there were several conversations on trucks and plows?

No worries.. I saw there and wrote my PhD dissertation in my head whilst they chatted.

Saturday morning Dave and I headed out in the truck to find some good hikin. I have to tell you, the White Mountain National Forest is an outdoor enthusiast's playground. There are a plethora of mountains, some still snowcapped, and streams, waterfalls, fishin, hikin, you name it.

I wanted to go to Speckled Mountain, so we drove around and around, taking every back road we could find. Dave had his handy dandy PN-120 with him, so we could catch every possible sideroad. Finally we find the trailhead, and after chaning into our hiking boots, we headed out into the wilderness...

Here's a bit about the Bluebberry Mountain trail:
Trail Begins:

Trail begins at .6 mile beyond the Brickett Place at 1100 feet.Trail Ends: Trail ends at the junction of the Bickford Brook Trail to Speckled Mountain, near the summit of Ames Mountain, 2609 feet.Length: 3.6 miles

Along this hike, you come to this bustling stream, where the water has carved out the rock in a winding curve. Very beautiful.

Enjoy it because it's nothing but STEEP climbing from here.

As I climbed, my thoughts drifted to the ultrahikers I had been reading about in Backpacker Magazine. Francis Tapon and Garrett Christiensen.son?sen? Can't remember. Actually I should because I read his blog often enough. Go ECON majors!! WHoohoo!

How awesome the feeling must be to hike all those miles, and see new people and places. My problem? Not having enough time to do it. But from what I'm reading about both of them, they have families, and jobs, and grad school, and somehow STILL manage to make it happen. What am I missing here? Time? $$ ? Both? I dunno, but meditate, and answer find, I shall..mmmmm...

Several half hours later, we cut across a field, and apparently someone's yard, and picked up the trailhead that Dave's GPS promised was there. Soon we saw the truck, happily awaiting our return. We were exhausted, parched, and even a bit bloody - I had a horrendous blister on my heel....but both agreed that that was the best part of the weekend so far!

I needed that respite after a hallacious week at work that week. Since then things have been looking up and more positive. I just have to remember that when it gets rough like that, sometimes you need to "take a bath" like Archemides.. get a different prospective. Things are sure to look up.