Summer of Change

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Well, it’s summer, so I’ve decided to change some things. First, I restarted running again. I was running about 3 times a week before I joined Crossfit. My run pace is still more of a fast jog pace than actually running. I’d love to get my average 3 mile pace under/around 8 minutes/mile – which isn’t very fast but fast enough for me. Right now, my best is an abysmal 9:22 min/mile for a 3 mile course.

ShoesNext, as mentioned above, I joined Crossfit. I’m doing this 3 or 4 days a week and running on the alternate days about 2 or 3 times a week. There’s a lot of weight lifting, which I’ve always avoided. I realized that I’ve lost most of the upper body strength which I used to have, so doing pull ups, which used to be very easy, is now more of a challenge than I expected. I’m enjoying the variety of exercises and movements and it makes working out non-boring which is a good thing – because I get bored of working out really fast.

I’ve purchased a camera. It’s not too fancy of a camera, but it’s fun. It’s an introductory level DSLR and the kit came with a few lens adapters and an additional lens. It’s been pretty fun to just walk around the yard and take photographs. I’ve captured a lot of local insects, wildlife, and birds and I’ve attempted to identify each of the species. You can check out the photos in my Instagram account.

Acoustic GuitarLastly, I also purchased an acoustic guitar. I’ve always wanted to learn, so I’m also in the process of scheduling some lessons. I’m not expecting much, but if I can learn how to play a few songs, then it’ll be fun to practice during the winter.

Attack of the Clones

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clone-trooper-helmet Well, I finally re-enlisted, but this time I’ll be shipping off to a galaxy far, far away. I’ve been wanting to join the 501st for a long time, so when a friend said he was selling a Clone Trooper armor and helmet, I jumped on the chance. The armor requires a lot of work including removing the flash, sanding, painting, and cutting/fitting, and finally assembling the pieces together. I’ll need to fully finish my armor before I can become an official 501st member. I hope to finish the armor by the end of summer/fall, so I can attend the Vermont Comic Con. Continue reading

Vermont Pub & Brewery

Part 8 of many. View the start of my Vermont Brewery Challenge here.

To most, the Vermont Pub & Brewery is the heart of the Vermont craft beer establishment. The founder established the brew pub after lobbying the Vermont legislature for three years in an effort legalize brewpubs. He also wrote several books and articles on brewing. His brew pub became a place where he could experiment with different concepts in small batches that help kick start and energize the craft beer business in Vermont.

I’ve visited the brewpub a couple times before, but that was before I knew about the Vermont Brewery Challenge, so I decided to stop by, have a beer, and get my Vermont Brewer’s Passport Card stamped.

A few days before my visit, the first batch of beer brewed exclusively with Vermont raised hops (part of the University of Vermont’s All Vermont-Grains and Hops Project). The first beer was a Rye IPA and I was looking forward to trying it out, but when I arrived they informed me that it sold out within two days and that the next batch will be arriving soon, so I ordered a Bombay Grab IPA.
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Switchback Brewing Company

Part 7 of many. View the start of my Vermont Brewery Challenge here.

The Switchback Ale was another of my first Vermont beers. One thing that’s nice about taking the Vermont Brewery Challenge is that it gives you a better understanding of both the local aspect of the breweries and the beer itself while allowing you to taste a few beers that you might have already had before.

The Switchback Brewing Company building looks like a big warehouse. There’s a tiny parking lot and the entrance to the retail store and tasting area is on the side of the building and obscured from the street. Follow the small signs that say “Main Office” to find the entrance. The warehouse area and parking lot felt a bit strange, since most breweries have the office/store facing the parking lot with bigger signs indicating you’re at the right place.
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The Alchemist

Part 6 of many. View the start of my Vermont Brewery Challenge here.

The Alchemist was the first brewery in Vermont that I visited. I found the The Alchemist Brewery & Pub during our (May 2011) wedding, and we wanted to stop by and try a few of their beers. However, we never got a chance to stop by before we left the region.

A few months later, we were in the process of moving to Vermont and the Alchemist Pub & Brewery was the first restaurant/brewery that I wanted to visit once we arrived. I arrived in Vermont two days prior to Hurricane Irene and I thought that I’ll visit the brewery after the storm passes and that I’ll just spend my first days in Vermont buying supplies and unpacking. However, Hurricane Irene (in September 2011) flooded the basement of the brewery where all of the tanks were stored and nearly destroyed everything.

Alchemist Heady Topper - Four PackLuckily for all of us, the owner (John Kimmich) decided not to give up after having his brewery nearly destroyed. Instead, he moved all of his operations to the Alchemist Cannery (about 1/2 mile away from Pub) which had been under development at the time of the hurricane. A few weeks after Hurricane Irene passed through, the Alchemist held a special event in their flood damaged building during the Waterbury Harvest Festival where we quickly picked up a few bottles of Heretic and Luscious and a “Hell or High Water” t-shirt to help the Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund. You can read more about the Alchemist in their blog archives. The Luscious won the silver medal in the British-Style Imperial Stout beer style category at the 2012 World Beer Cup.

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