Saturday, November 27, 2010

Socorro Springs Bottled Beer Present

In about two weeks, I'll be visiting my friend Norelle in Ridgecrest California. Norelle and I went to New Mexico Tech in Socorro together. While asking Norelle if I can bring her anything, the only thing she wanted was some pumpkin beer from the microbrewery. So, I embarked on a beer bottling adventure, as transporting their growlers through a month of time and 700 miles would not be feasible.

Socorro Springs only sells Growlers (1/2 gallon jugs) of their beer, or pints. I bottle two gallons in total (four growlers).

Growlers leak. The seal on a growler lid bleeds out carbonation, and eventually this leak becomes a gas exchange between the atmosphere and the bottle. Beer doesn't do so well sitting in air. About the longest I feel comfortable drinking a growler would be about two weeks after it has been filled. There are exceptions, and it's good to occasionally cultivate a spirit of adventure, but flat, spoiled beer is no fun. Luckily, my computer science graduate school friend Nate Gauntt is an expert at all things beer.

Nate - Adding CO2 to a keg of his in order to add as much carbonation to the pumpkin beer as possible before we bottle it.

Nate filling up the empty bottles he gave me for the project.

Nate explained we want to keep everything as cold as possible in an attempt to minimize out gasing of CO2.

As an added bonus, the girls were making cupcakes while the guys were bottling beer.

The final output - nicely bottled beer.

I actually did help with the different stages of this process, but being the photographer made it difficult to get any Brian Stinar action shots. Nate helped me understand a lot about making beer, and the entire evening was very fun. Thanks Nate!

After a beer and a cupcake, we enjoyed Harry Potter and some pizza.

My friend Norelle, who will hopefully be enjoying the beer from my bottling project soon.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tile Table Update

Lately I have been trying to make it to the UNM craft studio on Sunday nights to work on my tile table. I want to finish it up, and I'm only missing a single tile now.

After I finish the last remaining tile, I want to pick out some nice sandy colored grout to go with the tiles. I'm not sure how I will do the edging, the tiles are raised up a bit from the metal edges of the table and I would like them to be flush.

Here are a few in-progress pictures:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Washington D.C. Trip

Over the weekend of August 28, I spent some time in Dulles, Virginia and Washington D.C. One of my friends, Yana Alaekseeko introduced me to her friend Elena Vinokurova (Да, я люблю русских). I decided it would be fun to check out Washington D.C. and visit Lena.

Lena, in her extremely cool apartment complex

While Lena was at work, I took the underground train to Washington D.C. The trip was eerily familiar - I spent a lot of time playing the video game Fallout 3, and all of the underground stops were exactly as in the same but not post-apocalyptic. The DC street scape was all the same as well. The Fallout 3 artists and models did an amazing job.

I like think picture a lot. Notice the guy that looks just like me, in similar clothing, in the exact same pose.

This is the theater where Lincoln was shot.

The gun Lincoln was shot with is TINY.

These buildings look familiar...

I have no idea who Glen Beck is, but he had a rally the day I checked out the mall.

Public transit seemed to be popular.

The other picture of me in DC - taken by Аня Горобец

During my trip, I walked along the entire mall and saw the White House. It was a fun trip, seeing all the historical things that I have read about and studied, but never seen. My favorite tourist type thing was the Lincoln Memorial. Navigating through the crowd of Glen Beck supporters became difficult towards the Lincoln Memorial, as that seemed to be where everyone wanted to go to see the speakers.