Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Free on AMAZON- Outside the Wire

Outside the Wire, my collection of short stories is now free on Amazon! (Here).

Only 2 months after I put it up at the Kindle store with a list price of free (they charge a minimum of .99, and are reticent to drop it much lower). So go, what are you waiting for!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Gladiator, the yeast unleashed, and a 'Fistful of Dead'

The final step in the brewing of my first batch of beer: bottling. Overall, the beer came out pretty good. Gladiator IPA. Now, I don't think it's going to win a gold medal for beer of the year or anything, but...it had good balance between the malt body and the Hops (only Magnum and Centennial hops so it was a nice bitter IPA style, but not a complicated hop composition) while the rye malt gave a spiciness I enjoyed.

The picture is taken in front of the kitchen window, and you can see my barn in the background. (Shout out to Chemi kargi megobari, Dato Garciashvilli, zalian didi madloba, batono).

On the writing front; I have finished the first draft of the weird western that I was working on. Came out under 10K words, so more of a novellette than a Novella. I will devote a future post to describing what I think are the differences- promise.

In the town of Restitution, Wyoming, 1869, legendary gun-hand and Town Marshal, Ephraim Stone, keeps the chaos of an out-of-control range war from breaching the borders of this desolate, windswept cluster of shacks. Until he's back-shot and the violence floods past his cold-dead corpse, lying there in the rutted main street. The town's people have no talent for gun-play, but they do have the corpse of a man that did. Now if only they can wrest his soul from the darkness and raise the dead, they just might get even odds at life for them and theirs.

A Fistful of Dead, coming summer 2012.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Back Again

So I mentioned that I left my expatriate assignment in Georgia a month ago (Feb 16). But I haven't really left Georgia (the country). After brewing my beer and setting it up in the basement to dry-hop, getting an unbelievable number of honey-do's completed, and almost getting my biological clock reset over 2 weeks, I was back to Georgia for the past 2 weeks.

(One of my coworkers was kind enough to point out that he can't ever miss me if I don't actually leave...)

While there, I worked (obviously), attended a supra, slammed drinks till after midnight with some former US senators, attended a Tbilisi State Conservatory graduation piano recital, and worked on that Weird Western Novella (mostly on the long ride back across continents). It's coming along nicely and rejuvenating my dejuvenated juices; after a year and half and only 69K words to show for my Military Scifi book I was starting to sag.

My wife was able to join me for a week of the two in Tbilisi (best part). She had a Turkish Air flight, while I was on Lufthansa/United. I left 20 minutes before and made it to Dulles about hour and half ahead. It was all in the layover, honest.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fun with Yeast

People have hobbies, right? Mine include reading (and writing) fiction, weight lifting, running, sheep farming, I used to do a little martial arts and archery and have tried (unsuccessfully) to play the viola. Oh and anything my kids want to do becomes an immediate superseding interest.

Well, an expatriate friend of mine in Georgia (shout out David) was a big fan of homebrewing. I'm a beer fan, and a scientist, and I've used yeast (for a yeast two-hybrid experiment- a little different than brewing, but still, unicellular fungi are unicellular fungi, right?). So when he wanted to try to brew some good American style ales in Georgia, I was in. A few batches and I felt I could give it a go after I got back to the states. And I did. I named the concoction Gladiator IPA (for the battle I had to engage in with the equipment, and it's loaded on Hopville ). So far, so good. No contamination, yeast seems to be bubbling. I racked and am dry-hopping now while I run back to Georgia for some meetings.

And here is the wort before (left) and after (right)
primary fermentation. Right now it's a bit too bitter..yeah, even for me, but hoping it mellows a bit.

Who knew something so tasty could be so nasty looking?

Fun with yeast!