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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2011
     
    Greetings (to all 4 of you who will probably read this... eventually). I hope everyone has had a happy holiday season. I had a nice, relaxing, and somewhat uneventful (in a good way) couple of weeks.

    I took the first vacation time since the summer, and I think my longest vacation in a few years (11 days, including weekends and actual holidays - which only comes out to 6 vacation days). The start of vacation on 12/22 was actually quite busy, but on my own terms. Earlier in the month I had arranged for the delivery of a new desk and small filing cabinet thingy (he says, a year after talking about buying the desk) on that Wednesday morning. On Monday I confirmed with the deliverator that it would be arriving on Wednesday morning, sometime between 8 and 11 am. Ironically, this meant I had to get up at 8 am, which is a little earlier than normal for me (having a short commute has ruined my early rise instincts, I suppose), as it would suck if I slept through the deliverator's knocks at my door. Anyway, I prepared a quick breakfast (cereal!) did my customary morning checks of email/RSS, etc... and the deliverators arrive at like 8:30, which is awesome. I hate waiting around, and I had some things I wanted to do later in the day, so it was nice to get a few hours back.

    I used that time to assemble the new desk (no problemo there - it came mostly assembled - I basically had to put the back and two sides on the top of the desk. Easy. A little more annoying was emptying my old desk (packrat that I am, I had stuff from like 5 years ago filed away in there) and then disassembling it (which actually was a little fun, because I was basically beating the crap out of it) and putting it in trash bags that I could take to the dumpster (pain in the but, that is). But I had a new desk, and it was pretty damn cool. At this point, it's around noon, so I went out and grabbed a Primo hoagie and ate that whilst relaxing on my couch and watching a DVRed episode of Star Trek or something (don't rermember exactly what it was).

    Then came the trek into Philly to see that crazy Santa as Homicidal Monster movie, which was lower key than I thought, but still pretty fun. It was around 5 pm at that point, so rather than battle rush hour traffic, I head a block over to one of Philly's two best Belgian beer bars, Eulogy. I have that insanely powerful Samichlaus beer (seemed appropriate given the movie I just watched) and some freakin awesome Belgian style Mussels. More about the movie and the beer on my blogs. Good times.

    Anyway, on my way home I pick up a sixer of beer so that I can give one to each of my Beer club homies at work, along with the customary card. Normally I would have done this earlier (i.e. before my vacation), but it seems that I had misjudged my area's growth this year, which was significant. At least, the people I wanted to give cards to was much higher this year than last. In any case, it was all good, I ended up back at work at like 8 pm, feeling like Santa as I was delivering my cards (and beer to the lucky few). So I end up back at my place, write a quick review of the movie and start some thoughts on the beer (whilst it's fresh in my head). I finish off the night drinking a few more beers and relaxing.

    Thursday was last minute shopping day. I had most everything done at this point, so it wasn't high pressure shopping, but it was crowded and time consuming out there, so fleh. Spent some time wrapping, then Holiday festivities started with the Italian feast of the 7 fishes (though to be honest, I'm guessing maybe one or two are officially recognized dishes, the rest are just fishy things that the family likes). This was at my aunt's house, which happens to be about half a mile from Delaware and one of my favorite liquor/beer stores. Indeed, I found a last minute batch of Samichlaus beers and bought a few for aging (it's about 14% alcohol and apparently made for aging, so I'm going to try and buy a few of these every year and maybe do a vertical tasting in a few years... if I can wait that long).

    Christmas day was enjoyable and fun. Almost a White Christmas, actually, but off by a day. That Sunday afternoon we got about a foot of snow. Not that bad, but I basically pretended that I was snowed in and just watched movies and read books all day Monday.

    Ok, I'll stop with the blow by blow account of my week, especially since things calmed down from an already pretty relaxed pace. Spent a lot of time catching up on 2010 movies, reading books, and playing video games (those last two were things I hadn't been doing much of late, actually).

    Remember earlier in the year when I wrote about doing these lame, PS3-style trophies for life? (Ah, here it is) I only set a few things, but I managed ok:

    I read 21 books this year, which I think is actually pretty damn good, though it just falls short of my silver medal goal of 24 books.

    I don't have exact exercise numbers, but I'm giving myself the silver medal, as I did manage to exercise a lot more than I have in the past few years combined (even if I've fallen off the horse since early December, I was pretty damn good since June, exercising 5-6 times a week for a solid 4 months, and maybe 3-4 times a week in November - Cold weather and holidays always slow me down). I'm hoping this year to get started earlier in the year, maybe March, so that I can hit the Gold medal:)

    I didn't do a podcast or write a novel, so no medals there. I did, however, start a new blog (the beer blog) and take up a new meatspace hobby (brewing), so there's that.

    I'm not sure how to quantify it, but I did learn to drink scotch. At this point, I've become accustomed to the taste of a dram, neat (no water, no ice, though I suppose I don't have anything against either), and am greatly enjoying the Talisker 10 that foucault recommended to me, as well as the original Balvenie 15 that was my original motivation. I'm not entirely up on the regions/flavors yet, but I'm getting there. Score. I wouldn't say that I drink a lot of scotch or anything (maybe one dram a week right now), but I like it.

    I listened to about 80 things from 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die , which ain't half bad. Unfortunately, not a ton of it has truly stuck with me. There were a few cool discoveries, but not a lot of stuff that I really got into. Music is still not my strong suit, but I had an interesting musical year.

    So the goals thing was an interesting exercise, perhaps something I should try again...

    Well, I figure this is as good a time as any to stop babbling. Again, hope everyone had a good holiday and is doing well these days. See ya around!

    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeJan 15th 2011
     
    Happy (rather belated) holiday! Mine was nice, low key. The usual family stuff, focused mostly on the children this year, which is nice.

    Scotch! I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the Talisker. If smoke's your thing, there's a whole wide world is heavily peated Islays to explore. Laphroiag Quarter Cask and Lagavuilin 16 are both excellent smoky malts that won't break the bank. I'm currently rather enamored of Glenmorangie, having tried and loved my second expression of theirs. My buddy put my review up on Water of Life, and I revamped the facebook whiskey group as well.

    21 books is pretty damn good. One of the things I miss most of my teenage/college years is the amount of time I could spend reading. These days, I'd say I only read about 5 or 10 good, exciting books a year, plus whatever bargain or throwaway stuff I find used or for $1, but those usually don't count.

    Oops, gotta run...Merry Fishmas everyone!