Liberal Elephant Pale Ale Brew Day!

Today was a brew day (and tomorrow is too, woot)!

I just recently finished a beer I have dubbed the Liberal Elephant Pale Ale. It’s a simple American Pale Ale recipe that I threw together right before I left work on Friday since I wanted to have a couple of beers to put into kegs together. You can check out its recipe here.

Tomorrow is the much anticipated Peanut Butter Porter’s brew day. I need to figure out exactly how much dried peanut butter I need to use during the boil as to make the beer not too peanut-buttery or not peanut-buttery enough. You can check out the preliminary recipe for the beer here, but after tomorrow, I’m going to modify it to match what I actually did.

Currently in secondaries are my second brewing of the Kalevala Red Ale (made famous by the Red, Wit, and Blueberry Fourth of July party last year) and Mojo’s first solo beer, a Rye IPA. They’ll both be going to kegs on Tuesday/Wednesday evening.

That’s all I have for now. You can check up on The No. 16 Brewing Calendar by clicking on “Home Brewing” at the top of this page and you can find our brew blog at

Time to go crack open another beer and figure out how much peanut butter I need to use!

Woah, I’m behind!

I’m behind on blog posts, but I’m not concerned. I should have made at least nine posts to both this and my Photoblog since the new year. I’ve been struggling for inspiration as to what to write, but I think I now have a pretty good idea. In the next couple of days, I’ll be doing some work on the information structure of the site to see how things go. Can you really resurrect a blog that’s been dead/dying for a while? We’re about to see.

My plan is this: I’m going to write about what’s going on in my life. I’m going to be adding a few categories, writing about my brewing, gaming, reading, climbing, and scouting stuff. I think I can turn this space into something that I can actually relate to and something that fits with me and my own Ruminating Thoughts.

That’s all for now.

Life Begins at 60 – 1.060 That Is

Well, I’ve done it again, it’s been far too long since I’ve updated. Lately, I’ve been busy with work stuff, not wanting to write when I get home, and have generally had nothing too interesting to write about (too interesting to me, anyway). If you’ve been following me @tlmasonaea or on Facebook you’ve been staying up-to-date with my life. If you’re not following me, why not?

So, why the strange title to the post? I’m going to be talking about beer, specifically my beer. Even more specifically, my Red, White and Blue ales. If you’re not a beer geek, the number 1.060 means nothing to you. It’s a measurement of what’s called Starting Gravity or Original Gravity for a beer. OG is a measurement of how much more dense than water a specific beer is, water being 1.000. I (along with other brewers) typically don’t use the dot in the notation, but whatever.

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My Undying Rage Against Windows

Vista SucksLast night, I rekindled my eternal hatred for the Windows operating system and Dell hardware. Now, I know I have a Dell, and I know that Dell machines run Windows, but here’s the thing: the Dell I currently own is a temporary fix for a lack of computing power in my home machine. The machine itself ran me around $1,000, it’s tiny, it can be easily converted to a DVR when I upgrade past it, it’s a little underpowered in the graphics processing arena, but for now, it works for the most part.

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My Schedule at Work Until February…


  • Trial Run: Cascade Server: Contributors, Approvers, and Publishers (IUB)
    1/6/2009, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Trial Run: XML: Transforming Content with XSLT and XPath (IUB)
    1/6/2009, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Trial Run: Cascade Server: Site Managers (IUB)
    1/7/2009, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM & 1/8/2009, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Trial Run: Cascade Server: Contributors, Approvers, and Publishers (IUPUI)
    1/20/2009, 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
  • Trial Run: XML: Transforming Content with XSLT and XPath (IUPUI)
    1/21/2009, 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
  • Trial Run: Cascade Server: Site Managers (IUPUI)
    1/22/2009, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM & 1/23/2009, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • XML: Transforming Content with XSLT and XPath (IUB)
    1/27/2009, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Cascade Server: Site Managers (IUB)
    1/28/2009, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM & 1/29/2009, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Cascade Server: Contributors, Approvers, and Publishers (IUB)
    1/30/2009, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • XML: Transforming Content with XSLT and XPath (IUPUI)
    2/3/2009, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Cascade Server: Site Managers (IUPUI)
    2/4/2009, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM & 2/5/2009, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Cascade Server: Contributors, Approvers, and Publishers (IUPUI)
    2/6/2009, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • XML: Transforming Content with XSLT and XPath (IUB)
    2/13/2009, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Oy… so, looks like birthday celebration after Valentine’s Day…

Epic Climbing Adventure of 2009

Also known as This Year’s NCS Adventure

I found out last Thursday where I’ll be going for NCS this summer: Camp Tomahawk, Wisconsin.

View Larger Map

As you can see from that map, it’s nearly an eleven hour drive, and it’s likely to be exhausting. I am planning on making the drive, but I’ve decided that I’m going to take a couple stops in WI along the way. Granted, as of right now, I’m going alone, but if someone else is interested in following, I’d be happy to have the company.

Here’s the planned route, as of right now:
Leg 1:

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Yes, that’s right, I’m going to be making some stops in WI to do some bouldering. The first leg of my epic climbing adventure will be from Bloomington to Governor Dodge State Park, WI. There’s some decent bouldering there. I’ll be leaving Bloomington early in the morning on May 23, arriving sometime around dinner time that day. Set up camp, sleep, and on the 24th, get started on some bouldering. I’ll probably spend just a couple days in “The Dodge” (until the 26th) before making the second leg of my journey.

Leg 2:

View Larger Map

From Governor Dodge State Park, I’ll head north about two hours to hit up some bouldering in the Central Sandstone area of Wisconsin. The only rocks I want to hit are the ones located in Rattlesnake Mound.

It would be nice to bring along a partner of some sort because at Governor Dodge State Park, there are some sport and TR routes that I’d like to try out, but if I don’t have a partner, whatever.

All in all, I’m super excited about the trip. So excited that tomorrow I’m starting a five-day-a-week bouldering/climbing conditioning program to get my skill level up to the max-rated routes in the area. One question remains…

Who’s coming with me?

If you want to join me, you’ll have to drive yourself up to WI, unless you want to camp in The Dodge until I’m done teaching NCS on Friday morning, June 5th. If you do stay all week, we can hit up some more climbing on June 5th – 7th in some more Wisconsin area sites.

Let me know if you’re interested!

On a sadder note, on November 3, two climbers were killed in a gear-related accident. It happened in the Red River Gorge, KY at a region called Emerald City. I first heard about the accident on Thursday when Shotwell posted the article on Twitter. It didn’t really sink in that there had been a tragic accident until this morning when I found the linked article on the RRGCC’s website. When faces are put to a tragedy, it suddenly hits home.

It’s accidents like this that make me happy that I’m doing my part to teach climbing to today’s youth. If enough future climbers get the right instruction, accidents like this can be prevented. However, it also reminds all climbers that we participate in, and have an intense passion for a dangerous sport. If you slip up, or don’t pay attention to what you’re doing even once, it could potentially be fatal.

That’s all I’ve got.

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.
— G.K. Chesterson.