2009-10-18 09:23 pm
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My god! It's full of beer!

[livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt, who's here visiting, and I went on a few brewery tours today. We started with Redhook in Woodinville. They told us about Mac & Jack's in Redmond and then we also visited Black Raven in Redmond.

I learned some good things about Redhook. For example, they aren't in AB/InBev's pocket like I thought they were. Plus they make some really tasty beer. Right now a case of Late Harvest is $15 so they can make room for their winter beer that is being released next week. They also have a rye, called Roggenhammer, and a barley wine I want to try. Sadly they didn't have any in the shop so I'll have to try it later.

The tour guide at Redhook told us about the tour at Mac & Jack's which only happens on Sundays. So we made our way over there for the tour. At Mac & Jack's I met a lot of twitter folks as there was a tweetup for the tour. The tour was free and we had some nice samples. I have come to the conclusion that I just don't care for IPA's. Not that I wouldn't try a free sample when it was offered to me.

The next stop on our beer tour was Black Raven Brewing Co.. A new (only six months old) brewing company in Redmond. They didn't have a tour like the other two places so [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt and I sat in their bar and tried the tasting flight. My favorite was the Morrighan Stout. If you're on the Eastside I recommend you give Black Raven a try. Small brewers like this need to exist.

After Black Raven we decided that we had had enough beer and it was time for dinner. So we off to the Crab Pot in Bellevue. He can't get good seafood in the midwest so we decided to go all the way. So full it wasn't even funny. But how often does your brother turn forty? (I'm sure he'll be sure to remind us all on Friday that 40 < 43.)

Finally, we went to the McMenamin's Queen Anne for the last beer tasting of the day. We had originally planned on visiting two more breweries today. However, four was enough and so we called it a night. We will pick up the last two breweries later this week. All in all I had a good day and I hope my brother had a good birthday.

2009-07-05 12:32 pm
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Home Again

There was good in my trip back to Kansas City. I spent quality time with [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt, who sent me home with beer and mead. I reconnected with some dear friends who I haven't seen in far too long. Was able to share some good memories of [livejournal.com profile] ranjtheobscure.

For all that there was the constant reminder of why I might be from Missouri but Washington, around the Puget Sound, is home. Beyond the humidity, which I remembered but as I said there's knowledge and then there's experience, there is the fact that I've seen mountains and the sound this morning. Driving back from Dim Sum the characters walking around Capitol Hill. I love them all.

It was fun trying to convince Kacey to move here and her trying to convince me to move back. I think we've settled on a friendly truce where we'll come visit the other. It's her turn next so I can't wait to show her my home.

2009-03-07 10:13 pm
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More on Charlie

First, I want to thank everyone for their good thoughts. It's good to know my friends will be there to support me when it's needed.

Any remorse I might feel will be for the lack of a father/son relationship, not for Charlie being gone. To give you an idea of him here are a couple of examples of his behavior. The first time he met [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen his words to me were "Why don't you date white women anymore?" Another time he sat with my mother and my inlaws on a summer night. In one breath he said he missed his third wife, praised the girl he was going to hit that night and then asked my mother why she wouldn't see him anymore. Real classy guy, eh?

Everyone I consider blood family shares the same name. I wasn't born as a Leber, but it's the name and identity I've chosen. Other than [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt I have another brother and a sister out there. I don't wish them harm and I don't avoid them, but I'll never care to find them. I only wonder now because they should know that their father is dead too. The only people from that branch of the family I would like to see are my nieces and nephews from my sister. They can't be blamed for their mother's actions and I wonder what people they became. The oldest would be 32 and the youngest would be 28 I think, maybe 27. (It's easy to remember the oldest because she's almost exactly 10 years younger than me.)

This thinking about family tonight reminds me that I need to organize and type up the research that [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt found when I was in Missouri last December. We were able to trace Remig back to when he entered the country. The next step is to make the leap to Germany and see if we can find any relations there.
2007-11-29 09:22 am
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I just read this email from my Mom:

Well... Thanksgiving weekend was an eye opener for a lot of us. Had my annual checkup Friday and finally got the results of the heart murmur from last year. Seems I have a leaky value and have been referred to a cardiologist for a valve replacement. However, I do not have any of the symptoms described so hope to defer any treatment until necessary. My doctor says once the symptoms begin, I will have no choice.

It is the valve where the blood flows to the lungs so will experience shortness of breath, chest pains, swollen legs, and zero stamina. So far... I have none of those. Needless to say weight loss no longer is an option... as if it ever really was.

I see the cardiologist on Tuesday and will update everyone after that.

Um... Yeah... So how's your morning?

2007-07-08 01:56 pm
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We all fall down...

[livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen and I just got back from dropping [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt off at the airport for his flight home. Now I'm just going to collapse and not drive anything for a good long time. Oy, so much driving and stuff last week. Here's a quick update of all that we did:

Friday: Picked [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt up at the airport then drove to Vancouver, BC for the weekend.

Saturday: Rode the tram of death up to the top of Grouse Mountain. Took some pictures, looked at views and watched wildlife.

Then we went by the Vancouver Aquarium but we couldn't find parking, so instead we drove around the shoreline and took more pictures.

Sunday: Got up, packed, went back to the Vancouver Aquarium. Much better luck with parking this time. Took pictures, watched fishes and mammals swim. Started the drive back to Seattle. One hour wait at the crossing but made it across after having to take off my sunglasses.

Monday: Off to Pike Place Market for lots of pictures, eating and browsing. Walked down to the waterfront to see some sights. Then drove around to Alki Point to take pictures of Seattle. Stopped at Luna Park Cafe for a couple of malts then picked [livejournal.com profile] cheesentoast up from work before heading home for a nice bowl of stew cooked by the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen.

Tuesday: Drove to Mount Rainier and slowly started making our way to Paradise while stopping to take pictures along the way. Then we headed around the loop to Sunrise but found that the road was closed which added a nice three hour extension to our trip. Took more pictures at Sunrise. Then drove home to flop into bed.

Wednesday: Holiday crowds didn't interest [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt so we spent a quiet day home watching movies and The Venture Bros. Ended the night by watching the fireworks on TV.

Thursday: Started out by driving down to Tacoma to visit the Museum of Glass. Then headed to Portland for a visit to Powell's City of Books. Decided since we were in Portland we should pick up some of [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen's favorite soup that's made by a local there. Being so close to [livejournal.com profile] qt3_14159 we picked her up from work and had a drink as we visited for a few minutes. On our way to the Kennedy School for dinner and some nice beer an accident closed I-5 so we ended up driving way out of our way to get there. We finally made it to Powell's after dinner and had a good three hours to browse before heading home to collapse into bed at 2am.

Friday: Took the Argosy Locks Cruise to take pictures and see some of the sights. Then we went home to pick up [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen and [livejournal.com profile] cheesentoast to gorge on sushi at Sushi-Ten in Bellevue. Dropped the girls off at home then [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt and I drove over to Alki Point to take more pictures of Seattle at sunset and the city lights after dark. Got done way too late to have another malt since Luna Park Cave had already closed.

Saturday: Drove down to Olympia to take US 101 around the Olympic National Park. Lunch took a very long time because the little restaurant we stopped at was totally unprepared for the crowd that decided they looked good. Great food though. After lunch it was up to Hurricane Ridge to take more pictures. Because of the long lunch we were running behind and starting to get concerned about hitting the other two spots we wanted while we had sunlight. We decided to press on so I pushed it a bit as we drove to the Hoh Rainforest. Took pictures as we walked around a short path. [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen and I decided to go back when we would have more time to explore. Then it was off to Ruby Beach. I was really pushing it because we were losing against the sunset, but we made it in time. Only to find out that those clouds we saw in the distance were over the Pacific so we got to watch a grey and misty sunset. It was ok by me because [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt got to experience some real Washington weather. After the beach we had a choice. Do we continue the loop or do we turn back and try to catch a ferry to shorten our trip. Since we had all been in the car for twelve hours we decided to shoot for the ferry. We didn't make it, but we did take the Tacoma Narrows bridge and shave off a little time. Finally back home and crashed into bed at about 3am. I'm so damn tired.

So now he's gone and I think he had a good time. We hit all the important things on his list that he wanted to accomplish and I tossed in a few surprises that he seemed to enjoy.

If anything happened last week I didn't read it. Hell I have only culled my email of the obvious junk and now I'll have to start going through it to answer everyone. I wish I had a few more days to rest but it's back to work and the real world tomorrow.

hollyking: (ahead full)
2007-06-29 12:08 pm
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Offline for a Time

[livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt, my brother, is somewhere over the US on his way here. [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen and I are going to pick him up from SeaTac soon and then we're rushing north to Vancouver for the weekend. Even though we'll be coming back on Sunday I'll be taking the week to show him the Puget Sound area. I'll be checking email but probably won't read too much LJ during the next week.

In other news my company is running a contest on 7/7/2007. Seven machines in seven cities will give free coin counting for seven hours on July 7th. So if you want to try your hand or just enjoy a puzzle or two check out My Lucky Coinstar.

2006-09-26 07:29 pm
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Ich habe eine bruder!

Allow me to introduce my brother, [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt. [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt, this is everyone. Everyone this is [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt.

I'm not going to tell anyone to be nice because none of you would listen to me anyway.

2006-07-20 09:25 am


We spent last night playing WoW and watching Monique's F.A.T. beauty pagent before heading off to bed. So it was a shock to receive an email from my mom telling me that everyone was alive an unharmed. WTF? I searched around on the internet and found out that St. Louis was hit by a severe storm yesterday. Eeep!

My mom has no power, my aunt & uncle have no power and a tree fell through the roof on their house. Grandma is ok and Rick & Nancy have moved in with them until they can get their roof repaired. Of course it is supposed to be over 100 in St. Louis today.

You think they would catch a clue and move out here. Two days ago I received a message from my brother who called me a bastard because our high for the day was cooler than their low for the day. Ha ha!

Seriously, I'm glad my family is ok. I've lived through those storms and they're nasty.

2006-05-23 11:06 am

Guten Tag, Brendan!

Last Saturday I went to dinner at the Rheinlander with a few friends who I won't get to see as much since I'll be living in Seattle. Being the crazy guy I am I took the camera and snapped a few pictures. I love the room we used even though it's hard to eat with all the dead animals staring at you.

I've shredded and discarded so much stuff from my past. Usually when I move I keep the things I think I might use again. This time if I haven't touched it in a very long time it was tossed, and by tossed I mean put in a pile for Goodwill or to give to friends. Going through the old boxes wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. The only time I had to stop was when I found some photos of my Grandpa and me playing when I was 2-3 years old. I miss him very much.

Now I have to go haul a bunch of stuff off to the dumpster and get packing for my road trip to Cali.

2006-05-18 12:23 pm
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Good Job Tim!

I just received an email from my brother. I'm proud of him the little stinker!

Just thought I would drop you a quick note to let you know that the grade for my final class has come in and it is an 'A'. That gives me a perfect 4.00 GPA on my MBA and a overall GPA of 3.98 for all of my graduate studies.

Now if I could just brainwash, er convince, him to move out this way. As much as he's into camping and hiking I know he'd love the area.

2005-08-31 09:53 am
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Quick Updates and Disasters

Still getting quite a few calls for contracting jobs. Sadly, most of them are for jobs I don't have the necessary experience which are located on the east coast. I do have an interview with a local company for a 3 month gig in downtown Portland. Here's hoping it goes well.

I heard from my Uncle in Mobile Alabama via email this morning. They lost a few shingles on the roof and are without power, but are otherwise fine. Their biggest problem is that their water comes from a well on their property so the lack of power means they are also without water. I sure hope they can finish their move to St. Louis before another hurricane or at the least before hurricane season next year.

Having a bit of free time lately I've been thinking about what I could do to make a difference. It really didn't take long to figure it out because I've already been working with my local ARES group. I haven't participated for a while but I'm going to dig out my radios and start checking in and attending meetings again. Go me. ;)

Now is also a good time to restate a few good ideas so people can be ready in the event of an emergency in their area:

  • Create a communication plan with your family. There should be a designated person in each area who is the one responsible for calling another family memeber and letting everyone else know your status. Making only one call out of a disaster area can help relieve the load on the phone system. For example, in my family we are separated into a few geographic areas. I'm in the Northwest, my brother is in Kansas City, my mother & grandmother live in St. Louis and for the moment my aunt and uncle live in Mobile Alabama. If something happens here I call my brother with information, he would also call me about anything that happens in Missouri. My uncle calls his sister in St. Louis, like he did this morning, with any updates from Alabama. Instead of Rick having to make four phone calls from a disaster area he made only one. Someone else could have called for help or let their family know they were safe with the time he could have been calling me. This reminds me that I need to talk with [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen about getting her family integrated in this plan.
  • Setup a 72-hour emergency kit. You can find information about these on many websites including the FEMA website. Having a supply of clothes, food, water and medicine handy could make a big difference. W7RAS posted a message that included a few items to include in your kit that I thought were good suggesions.
    • Regional and local maps. You might be forced to take alternate routes when evacuating an area and a good set of maps covering the region would make that a lot easier. I really like the Thomas Guides because they're easy to read, have a good coverage of the country and stack nicely under my seat in the car.
    • A non-battery powered emergency radio. Battery powered radios are very convienent to use but batteries do wear out. The best bet is a hand cranked emergency radio. Disasters have a way of blocking out the sun which makes the solar powered radios useless. I'll be adding one of these to my kit.
  • Make friend with an amateur radio operator. Phones fail during disasters. That's a fact. All day long the NTS net is sending messages back and forth across the country. Normally they pass routine traffic and birthday greetings to practice their skills. Right now they're very busy getting messages in and out of the areas affected by Katrina. If you can't get a call out to your family a ham could send a message through this system and let your loved ones know that you're safe.

September is National Preparedness Month. I urge you all to take some time to learn and implement a few simple steps to help you survive a disaster. It can happen to any of us without warning.

P.S.: Damn you [livejournal.com profile] kerrizor and your podcasts!

2005-08-23 09:07 am
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That's A Relief!

My grandma just called again. It turns out my Mom had some sort of ulcer. The doctors fixed it and she should be able to go home tomorrow. Yay!

2005-08-22 07:34 pm
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What's Next?

2005 is turning out to be a really shitty year. I just received a call from my Grandmother. My mother has suddenly started bleeding and was taken to the hospital. They're going to keep her overnight for observations and run some tests in the morning.

Seriously, this can stop any time now. Thank god I've got [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen by my side.