Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekend, Wedding, and Shiner Bock

The weekend began with a Friday night Mexican Barbecue which unfortunately had more food that people attending.  Dissappointing for those hosting the event, but I appreciated the extra helpings of beef and guacamole on my tacos.

Saturday was the birthday of one of my squadmate's kids.  She was turning 3 and the other families in the platoon were all invited over for a cookout and festivities.  I bought play-doh for the birthday girl, but I think the "adults" enjoyed it more than she did.  It was fun and interesting to see the spouses and children of the folks I go to work with every day.

I bought my tickets to come back to Pennsylvania today.  After a lot of fuss and making and breaking plans, we have found that the only way for Sarah and I to get married and in-processed before I deploy for Iraq is to have a courthouse wedding when she visits Texas over her spring break.  Unfortunately, not many people will be able to be here for the ceremony.  We are instead planning on having dinner for the immediate family the following week in Pittsburgh and a large, boisterous reception sometime in 2012 for us to celebrate with friends and family and finally start our lives together.

Shiner Bock is an instituion here in Texas.  I have heard that it is impossible to find for sale outside of the lone star state because they don't believe in exporting.  I'm not sure if this is a true bock, but it is lightly hopped with a considerable amount of carbonation and a smooth, slightly sweet finish.  The company suffers from the same sort of branding confusion as Yuengling where the success and omnipresence of their flagship product makes ordering any of their other interesting styles or small-batch experiments an issue for an unknowedgeable waitress or bartender.

via Kindle.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Shotguns, Golden Wheat, and sundries.

Today I went to the shotgun range for the morning.  I had a pump-action Mossberg 500 with a pistol grip but we were just practicing on 30 meter silhouettes.  It was fun, though.
The afternoon was spent in a safety brief on the perils of riding motorcycles.

The beer review for the day is the unglamorous Budweiser Golden Wheat.  A departure from my general focus on local, craft, and micro-breweries, this is an interesting product and ad campaign from the original macrobrew.  I at least appreciate that they are upfront about it instead of being sneaky like Coors' secret relationship with the Blue Moon Brewing Company.  The beer itself is very drinkable, citrus and honey flavors added.  Goes down easy and there not much to complain about.

My address here is as follows:
PFC McPherson
Cco 2STB 2BCT 1st Cavalry
Battalion Avenue
Fort Hood, Texas 76544

...some of my mail was delayed because the senders misspelled or didn't copy it down correctly.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Paulaner Hefeweizen

This, along with Franziskaner, have reinforced my suspicions that I just don't like continental hefeweizens.  Which I think is more than a bit weird, considering my affection for north american versions of the style (Circus Boy is so-far unavailable here in Texas). The classic German brews just come off as too cabbage-like for me.

Fairly typical day of maintenance work on the Bradleys, administrative paperwork, and frantic wedding discussions/planning.  I will probably be in bed before nine again.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Driving, Goats, and Delirium Nocturnum

We had a 4-day weekend and I borrowed a car to take a friend up to the Dallas/Fort-Worth airport so he could fly home for a few days.  Since I was already on the road, I also decided to visit a Pennsylvania friend at her internship at a goat dairy.  Texas is a big place, and the Mia Bella Farm is no where near Dallas, but I bought a map and made it work.  It was great to visit Carrie and see how the farm operation runs.  Socialized goats are very friendly as were the cats and labradors.  The Rhodesian Ridgebacks were less enthusiastic about meeting me, but they recently had puppies.  Part of the visit involved traveling a short way to Houston to sell goat-products (mostly cheese, but yogurt and kefir too) at a farmers' market in the city.  It was a fun experience to see all of the produce and craftspeople who make/harvest it and a refreshing difference from the chow hall and prepackaged/preserved lifestyle here at Fort Hood.

I have a growing list of beers I have tried in the last two months, but I cannot get them from my laptop to here easily with the Wifi failures and external device restrictions around base.  Instead, I think I will type up one per day via Kindle and try to put some regular content up here.

The first will be the tasty Delirium Nocturnum from Huyghe Brewery, Belgium.  It's a Belgian tripel, dark ale with complex flavorings.  I had it a while ago and did not take good notes (which is why I'm doing it first), but it was very good and I have a second bottle waiting patiently in my fridge for the right evening.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Day

One Inch of Snow.
That's all we got but all of our duties for the day have been canceled.  All of the southerners around here just don't have the confidence or tires to drive in the snow.  My room in the barracks is currently 48 degrees without heat.  I have been wearing layers and heating waterbottles in the microwave to keep warm.  A work-order has been filed, but well see how far that goes.  Similarly, the USO has been closed since Tuesday because of frozen pipes, so no Internet time for me.
via Kindle