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October 19, 2014 / Gregory Williams

A Pleasantly Busy Autumn

Autumn has been enjoyably busy, and rewarding. I have hobbies because I have a hard time sitting still. The mind is always going and the only way to calm it seems to be to focus it on tasks unrelated to work or household management.

These days I’ve got a companion. She’s a busy one too, and like her father the Toddler can hardly stay still. Weekends are of course for family time, and so we’ve spent our Sunday mornings brewing beer while her mother has a chance to sleep in. The Toddler helps measure the ingredients, and add them to the pot. Her favorite part is cleaning up after, because she loves making a mess cleaning up another!

Then it’s really family time once Mom wakes up, which usually involves chasing the kid around with one camera or another while she continues to discover the world around her.

At night I’ll settle into the home office or workshop to focus on my solo hobbies like firearms, cameras, or simply viewing the photos of a day’s events.

Here’s a gallery of some of these moments. Posted mostly to Instagram, where if you’re interested you can follow at http://instagram.com/socialwilliams, or on Tumblr at http://gmerrit.tumblr.com.

Thanks for visiting! Hope you are all well.

October 13, 2014 / Gregory Williams

Tiny Skeleton Warriors vs Knights

Gregory Williams:

Reblogging for October, and because this is one of my favorite sets ever.

Originally posted on Social Williams:

It was these Tiny Pirates and the Petri Extension Tube Set, and the baby that reminded me how much fun action figures can be. Especially if they are pirates and skeletons. And definitely if you pit them against knights that are of a slightly smaller scale.

These figurine designs are Copyright Toysmith Group; Auburn, WA and sold as parts of the sets “Battling Pirates” and “Guardian Knights”.

Photos taken on this Nikon with a 13mm generic extension tube.

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October 11, 2014 / Gregory Williams

A New Project

Aero Precision Lower

October 9, 2014 / Gregory Williams

Damn Fine Night in the Village

It’s a good thing that the weather is warm, the moon is bright, and our little street is quiet tonight. Not for any particular reason mind you, it’s just always a good thing when one’s environment is peaceful and pleasing to the eye. So many are not.

Of course the day did have it’s ups and downs. There was work, and if that wasn’t enough work required extra attention and diligence and the breaking of routines to deal with a sticky little highly visible problem. I’m a creature of habit and when my habits are interrupted something is wrong. Damn Fine Night

Then came the beer. The first batch brewed a week and one half ago was ready to be moved from the primary fermenter into the secondary. In short, five gallons reduced to four due to a clog in the spigot caused by an unstrained whole hop flower. So close to the bottom and with the integrity of the whole batch at stake, one can’t just stick a paper clip up there you know. On the bright side the toddler was helping me, and that was adorable for all the questions and because she was so excited to be helping.

“What’s this called Papa?”

“A secondary fermenter”

“Secary ermentor?”

“Yes.”

“An this?”

“Primary fermenter.”

“Imary ermentor?”

“Yes”.

“What’s this called?”

“A primary fermenter…”

And so on, from “iphon hose” to “ai lock”.

When we were finished transferring the wort, with the stinky mess that is a freshly emptied fermenter, I found the kitchen drain clogged. Flipping on the disposal just made a god damn fountain, and the toddler’s inquisitive nature had to be stifled for the use of liquid drain opener and a plunger. There are just some things a toddler shouldn’t be around to ask questions about, and one of them is anything that involves liquid bases and plungers.

And when I sat down to eat my Sloppy Joe, the teenager called. It’s that time for her to fill out paperwork for college, art school actually. I was impressed by her urgency, she was all business. “Thanks! I’m going to go work on this then.”

Any road, I’m writing this while enjoying a pint, listening to the soft babbling of a bubbling airlock that tells me four gallons ferment as well as five. Ups and downs aren’t really much considering my girls, and the lovely night outside. Even if I am still sort of working.

September 22, 2014 / Gregory Williams

Brewing Season

carboy with air lock

A batch of Bucharoo Beer during secondary fermentation in a 6 gallon glass carboy with rubber cork and “s” shaped airlock.

Many people mark this time of year in US by their kids going back to school, the start of Football season, or the color of the leaves. In the Northwest it’s usually also marked by the return of cooler temperatures and pissing rain, but it seems like it’s been warmer and drier for longer than usual this year.

For this, I honestly can’t remember if I’m late getting to an inventory of my brewing supplies or if I pick it up this time every year? Unlike each batch, which I document to determine alcohol by volume and fermentation, the exercise of ordering supplies is something I don’t manage on paper. Maybe because I over buy? I’ve only been brewing for about four years. When I started brewing beer I ordered an excess of things like airlocks, Whirlfloc tablets, and sanitizer. I do the same with the main ingredients because it’s always better to have more hops, malt extract, and yeast on hand than one expects they might need, but for these freshness needs to be a consideration. The idea being not carry over too much.

Today I got down to business. It’d been a hard week and I was happy for the distraction of mindless lists and and the non-essential planning that is home brewing. My goal is simple; brew four batches, or about twenty gallons–enough for consumption and holiday giving. For my recipes that’s roughly 16 pounds of dry malt extract, 8 ounces of hop pellets, four Whirlfloc tables, four muslin bags, two pounds of speciality grains, and 30 grams of yeast. The rest of the essentials like priming sugar and water can be sourced from the kitchen.

So that’s what I sat down to order, along with an ample supply of airlocks, because I tend to break those despite the fact that the ones I use are made of plastic.

Next weekend I can finally get started as the temperature is forecast to be cool enough not to wig out primary fermentation.

 

September 14, 2014 / Gregory Williams

Updated Cameras Page

Polaroid Colorpack Land CameraA friend of mine asked me the other day if I was still buying cameras. I had to say no, I’ve found all the cameras I like at this point.

The most recent one to trickle in was the Olympus OM10, but it didn’t really take the cake so to speak. My last find before that was the Petri 1.9, four moths prior which for me really rounded out the set as that was the camera I had started looking for in the first place.

With all my camera needs pretty much settled, I thought I might bring the Cameras page up to date, at least for now.

So here is every camera that was featured on this site in one gallery.

I hope you enjoy it or even find it useful, and thanks for visiting!

September 11, 2014 / Gregory Williams

Anniversary

Today is not only the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001, but also the day 13 years ago when fear, anger, and knee jerk reactions began the slow erosion of our civil liberties by ushering in the largest and most technically advanced police state that has ever existed. 9/11/2001 was the day we traded our ideals for a false sense of security. 9/11 was a day that destroyed religious freedom, freedom of speech, privacy, and due process under the law. Today we should mourn the loss of life and remember the acts of heroism committed by first responders and private citizens alike, but we should also mourn the lost belief that we need not give up our liberty to be secure in our own country.

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