Saturday, March 29, 2008

Let Me Eat Cakes!

I had a great 27th birthday yesterday.

I started with a shave with my shaving mug glycerin Colonel Conk's Shaving soap applied by my boar hair brush (badger is a little rich for my blood yet, someday). Breakfast was at Bread & Cup and was a cinnamon roll, honey peanut granola, and French press coffee with cream. The reason they haven't had their savory bread pudding for breakfast is because they haven't yet had the turnover in the morning they would like to have a large breakfast menu, but they are thinking they will try to expand on Farmer's Market Saturdays. I'll keep you updated.

I had the opportunity to request anything I wanted for my birthday celebration at work, including the always delicious efforts of a husband of one of our resource consultants. So we had three wonderful angel food cakes with fresh strawberries, pineapple, and fresh whipped cream.

Lunch was at Famous Dave's so I could partake of their Famous Bread Pudding. Still really, really great.

The birthday party had a Better Than Sex cake made by my sister. I also got to have haystacks for the first time in recent memory. Angela, Scott, Wendy, Karen, Jim, Kyle and Cassie helped to make it a fun time had by me.

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At March 30, 2008 2:27 PM, Blogger CëRïSë said...

Happy birthday!

At March 31, 2008 12:27 AM, Blogger Angela said...

i very much enjoyed reading all the birthday posts. i noticed that you didn't include your mother's call this year.

and can you believe we played beanbags last year? such excellent games too. i hope this weather settles into warmth soon.

i'm glad you're around, daniel.

At March 31, 2008 3:14 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Yeah, I left out my mother's call because it didn't happen. I did talk to her on Sunday though, and she still loves me.

I'm itching to play more bean bags too. I'm glad you're around.


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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"It's the mud. It's the mud."

That might be my favorite pairing from the song "Waters of March." It doesn't have any particular significance to this post, but I listened to my cd today that has about eight or ten different versions of the song, and I thought I'd share.

My reason for this post was our lunar Judeo-Christian extended weekend extravaganza. If you're a Christian, Easter is a big deal because Jesus died and rose again on this weekend. And in so doing, He made it possible to live forever if you believe He did. This brings me to my thought and a question.

It has been said that the first lie is "You shall not surely die." Genesis 3:4. Latter-Day Saint theology/philosophy says it was necessary for Adam and Eve to fall so that they could be removed from their state of innocence and then know joy through their spiritual growth (2 Nephi Chapter 2). So we go from "not dying" being a lie, to having the promise of "everlasting life."

Question: Does this all mesh, or is Gen 3:4 not a lie, or is the promise of eternal life also a lie?

We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves. -Francois, duc de La Rochefoucauld, moralist

PS This is my 300th post.

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At March 26, 2008 11:35 AM, Blogger Angela said...

ooo..the 'of' version is my favorite. she's so cute and delightful at the end.

the theology question i have to think about more.

At March 28, 2008 9:38 AM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

Congratulations on your 300th post.

As to the philosophy question: I don't think I can give a good answer, due to my atheistic leanings. However, I think that the story of Adam and Eve from the Christian Bible is more about the question of whether it's better to make mistakes and then enjoy the good stuff more or whether it's better to hold onto one good thing and never search for something better.

I think the Adam/Eve story was written by ancient philosophers to explore this it better to settle for what you have or strike out hoping for something even better?

At March 29, 2008 1:56 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

Angela, the 'of' version is my favorite too. I only kept Garfunkel's because it was the best English copy available on YouTube.

Curly Sue, Thanks for your comment, I hope your move goes well. So my guess is that you're a "Prospector" and not a "Settler."

I'm a Settler, in more ways than one. I think it is interesting how eternal life is always tempting; whether you've never known death, or if you know every one you know (including you) will die someday.

So what question are the ancient philosophers exploring with the New Testament tale?


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Monday, March 24, 2008

Handle With Care

Friday, I whimmed a decision to give myself a bit of an early birthday present. Chatham County Line was playing a concert in Omaha at Mick's Music and Bar on Maple St. in the Benson neighborhood. I enjoyed the concert a lot, and if this is where bluegrass music is going, we're in good hands. As Jackson Browne said in his Load Out/Stay, what "made the show" was when CCL walked down onto the floor and played three tunes, the last of which was Handle with Care from the Traveling Wilburys (there is at least a sample of the song on their MySpace page).



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Monday, March 17, 2008

"All We Knead Is Love"

That is on the shirt of an employee at Great Harvest Bread Co., a bread store that carries Peet's coffee and tea and grinds their own flour each day. The franchise opened in Lincoln about ten days ago. I had a very tasty oat and berry muffin there and a "deici" (just kidding, it was called a large.) cup of coffee with steamed milk.

I suppose Great Harvest is like the Starbucks of bread stores, which could be good, if they provide really good bread. They are located at 48th and Old Cheney, which if you are from Lincoln, you might know that the Grain Bin, one of Lincoln's mom and pop bread shops, is just two blocks north on 48th. I'm curious what effect Great Harvest's close presence will have on GB.

I like St. Patrick's Day. It is one of many American holidays that has found a way to center around eating and drinking. And I'm all for eating and drinking. So I went to Bread and Cup for some very delicious corned beef on rye with a pint of Empyrean's Irish Red Ale. Then Ivanna Cone had a most delicious Bailey's Fudge Cake. The Bailey's ice cream base was Bailier than ever, and the fudge was decadent, and the cake was silky and not crumby like cake in ice cream often is. It was decadent without being rich. So I got a quart of it on my way out.

I was accompanied on my fine evening by Angela and Katie. Thank you ladies for a lovely night on the town.

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At March 18, 2008 10:41 AM, Blogger CëRïSë said...

Oh, I love the Grain Bin. I do wonder what the new place will do to it?

And the Bailey's Fudge Cake sounded incredible.

At March 19, 2008 11:06 PM, Blogger Angela said...

It really was incredible.

And thank YOU Daniel for the excellent company as well. We think you're fun. (Katie and I, not my multiple personalities and I.)

I hope you've saved some ice cream for Lost!


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Thursday, March 06, 2008

"Time is tapping on my shoulders."

Alert (Alter) Readers know that I spent about 72 hours last week in a state of beer and cheese.

In my build up to my trip, I spent a lot of time researching brewers and cheesemakers in the area. Frequently on their respective websites, the various companies had descriptions of their beers and cheeses. These descriptions often included how long the item aged.

There are many anecdotes about the prominence of beer in the history of man, from a recipe for beer found in a pyramid in Egypt to the Pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock because they ran out of beer and needed water. A conclusion that beer is integral to civilized people and their society is quickly drawn from said anecdotes. To make beer you must be able to cultivate grain and fashion vessels to age it in. I used to drink this Kool-aid, but I've taken the production of beer and cheese and their relation to society in a different tack.

It isn't milk and grains that make a civilization but the luxury of time. Only after many other things are secure can you invest your nutritional resources into something you won't reap the fruits of until months, maybe years, down the line. In that respect, it is a very faithful venture. Without the hope and faith that your situation will be stable enough to drink your beer after it lagers in a cave for two or three months, you would just make bread with your wheat and yeast and water.

On this eve of Daylight Savings Time, I hope you appreciate the time our civilization has availed us. Time may not be money, but it is still so very valuable.

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At March 07, 2008 12:18 PM, Blogger Karen said...

That was beautiful.

At March 07, 2008 5:03 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Thank you.

At March 08, 2008 9:48 AM, Blogger CëRïSë said...

At Daylight Savings Time, though, don't we -lose- an hour? I know we get it back later, but spring always throws me.

(I am excited, though, because DST means I'll soon be able to bike home from school in the daylight!)

At March 12, 2008 5:00 PM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

I love talking about beer, especially if we can somehow link beer to human social movements.


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Picture Wisconsin

Orpheum, Capitol, and MMCA from State Street.

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

"Wisconsin" She has a miner's helmet and badger on her head.

Where I ate breakfast. Notice the original 1910 wood staircase.

Barb and Steve

Libby on her "bed-bed."

I'll stop badgering you now.



At March 12, 2008 4:55 PM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

I love that she has a helmet *and* a badger on her head. I guess if I had a badger on my head, I'd also want a helmet.


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Saturday, March 01, 2008

On Wisconsin.

I took a vacation last week to Southern Wisconsin. The reason I went north to Wisconsin at the end of February, instead of someplace warmer, is because I like beer, and New Glarus Brewery isn't someplace warmer. Plus, I had to take my vacation now, or I wouldn't have the opportunity again until after the first weekend in June. Surplus, it is really nice coming home from a vacation and having nicer weather, opposed to having worse weather at home after your vacation.


I stayed Sunday night at my Uncle Dennis' home in Minnetonka. I really enjoyed my time with Ceri on Monday morning, seeing her apartment and eating at the Bad Waitress. Barb and Steve were interesting bed and breakfast hosts, and their dog Libby was very nice too.

Tuesday I met Bruno, owner of the Alp and Dell store, which is connected to the Roth Kase cheese factory. He looked a bit like Bruno Kirby, but had a mustache and fun German accent that made "graze" sound like a legitimate pronunciation of "grass," very Chicago Bearse SuperFan. Later in Monroe, I was trying to get directions from a city crossing guard, and he pointed with his left hand to the left and said "take a right turn." I clarified if he meant left or right, and he said, "You have to understand the Swiss." I'm not sure what it is I have to understand about the Swiss, but it was funny enough anyhow.

My tour of New Glarus Brewery was highlighted by a comfortable chat with Brewmaster Dan Carey. I was taking their audio tour and went into their room with two large copper kettles, and he was in the process of replacing the insulation around the bottom of one of them. As I walked in, he said, "The things I do for beer." In the five minutes I spent there, he managed to cover topics as diverse as the climate shift that slowly moved hops cultivation in North America from Upstate NY in the mid-1600s to Eastern Washington and now north to BC to the anxiety of executing the fermentation and brewing of his Wisconsin Belgian Red (adding over a pound of cherries to each bottle complicates matters) to the joy he had in running around like Charlie Chaplin in his brewhouse before he had a big computer that automated the process for him.

My waitress at the New Glarus Hotel Restaurant was Courtney, and she enjoyed her "Swiss Barmaid" uniform, and it showed in her service. Roy owned the Bville Mini Mart in Blanchardville, which at one point made more Limburger cheese than anywhere in the world, making Blanchardville the Limburger capitol of the world.

Joe was my server at The Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co. He was very nice and even gave me a free sampler instead of adding an additional taster to my tab. "Shirley" was the older tour guide at the Capital Building. I added myself to the tour she was giving to a Fourth Grade class. Her technique was interesting. She was trying to be educational, but didn't really have the patience if they weren't quickly educated. She was talking about all the different countries that the various stone came from and would give them a hint by providing the first one or two letters of the country. When more than one student said Germany, after she had provided G and R, she kinda snapped at them.


UPDATE: I had a scramble with red pepper, gouda and something else with hashbrowns and a chocolate malted shake at Bad Waitress.

My first meal in Wisconsin was a liverwurst sandwich at Puempel's Tavern in New Glarus. Tuesday started with a big breakfast of muesli, ham, 4 yr. aged cheddar cheese (exclusively from Brown Swiss milk), Deppeler's Baby Swiss (made from whole milk, while normal Swiss is made from skim), croissants, scrambled eggs, OJ, and coffee. Lunch was a Limburger and onion sandwich on rye at Baumgartner's. Supper was at New Glarus Hotel and was three different sausages (Kalberwurst, veal, and smoked) with sauerkraut, roesti, and spaetzli.

Wednesday was granola, French toast, and bacon, with OJ and coffee. Lunch at Marigold Kitchen in Madison was a grilled salmon BLT. Supper, just some baked goods from New Glarus Bakery. Thursday's breakfast was muesli, frittata, cantaloupe, and toast.


Sunday I went to the Huskers' last regular season wrestling match in Ames, IA against Iowa State. The Huskers won 4 of 10 matches, but it was a great wrestling environment with passionate fans. I was happy to catch up with my aunt and uncle, and we watched the Oscars together. He has decided to be the Vikings chiropractor for another year.

While I was not very pleased with the quality of the roads WI provided, they were kinda fun to drive on, what with the hills and curves. I can only imagine what it's like to ride a Harley-Davidson motorcycle on its native roads. I was sort of paranoid though because no one followed the speed limit, not that I really saw any patrol cars while there.

I enjoyed my tour of New Glarus Brewery, and I recommend that you tour the source of some food product that interests you some time. While I didn't learn a lot about the process I hadn't already known, it was really neat to meet the man responsible for such a high level of craft.

As for the Capitol Building, it might not have had as much art as Nebraska's, but it made up for it in execution of materials and size (Its outer dome is the fourth largest in the world.). Plus, I love that the gold statue on top of the dome, "Wisconsin," is a woman with a miner's helmet with a badger on top of it. Wisconsinites are Badgers because the miners that partook in the lead mining rush didn't build homes and just lived in their mines in the sides of hills like badgers.

The Jasper Johns print exhibit at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art was everything I'd hoped it to be. My favorites were Fool's House, Periscope 1, Good Time Charley, and Ventriloquist (bonus for the whale, as I'm almost done with Moby Dick). His black and white 0-9, and Alphabet were nice classic Johns prints too. I liked how he would sometimes hold off printing something until he found the right paper. There were as many types of paper as there were prints. It was interesting to me how he started by taking everyday objects/symbols and manipulating their presentation to challenge the meaning we've assigned to them, and he has moved toward using stock images from his own art, to do the same thing.


I had two pints of Fat Squirrel, my favorite New Glarus brew. One of Spotted Cow, their most popular. A tasting that included Spotted Cow, Uff-da! Bock (another favored brew), and Snowshoe Red Ale (not a fave). I had a solid Badger Porter with my Limburger sandwich, and chased it with Blumer's root beer. My grilled salmon BLT was accompanied by Capital Brewery's Wisconsin Amber, which was nicely balanced with hops and malt flavors.

My tasting at The Great Dane (in the top five brew pubs in the nation with over 3000 barrels a year) included Oktoppelbock, Peck's Pilsner, Stone of Scone Scotch Ale, Emerald Isle Stout, which I enjoyed each of, and Black Earth Porter and Crop Circle Wheat, which I didn't.

On my way back home, I stopped in Omaha for a tasting at Nebraska Brewing Company. I previously enjoyed their Scotch Ale, and liked their Belgian Wit, American Pale Ale, and Chermaca Porter (cherry and some maca type aphrodisiac for Valentine's Day) this time around. I wasn't impressed with their hefeweizen, nut brown ale, or IPA.

I got a couple bottles of New Glarus' Wisconsin Belgian Red, one of which I opened last night. I wish I'd gotten more than two. It was really great, but don't take my word for it.

All told. I traveled 1372 miles.

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At March 01, 2008 3:44 PM, Blogger CëRïSë said...

You didn't mention what you ate at the Bad Waitress! Was the company too overwhelming? ;)

At March 01, 2008 8:01 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

I guess it wasn't about the food but the company, so said company must have been a bit overwhelming.

At March 03, 2008 10:59 AM, Blogger Katie said...

I really enjoyed this post!

At March 12, 2008 4:58 PM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

I'm a big fan of New Glarus. I don't like their Uff-da very much, but I think I liked one of their pale ales. It's been awhile.

Sounds like a great trip, though. I'd love to go to the New Glarus brewery.


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