Thursday, September 30, 2010

All good things come to an end.

H2oi 2010 in Ocean City, Maryland - last show of the year. Sigh. Good news is, it was a great weekend as usual. No sleep, about 12hrs+ total put into car detailing over 4 days, 10hrs+ taking pictures all weekend, eating out, meeting up with old friends and meeting new can't be beat. This years turnout was bigger than ever before. I mean, huge. Last year had about 1200 registered cars and this year was a bit over 1500; this doesn't even include those spectating. Like I mentioned previously, the Ocean Downs facility is being turned into a 'horse races and slots' location due to the newly passed law in the state of Maryland. Accordingly, vendors weren't parked in the usual place which was the parking lot of said building. This fact turned the flow of cars in and out of the show grounds into a cluster to say the least. I made sure to get there early on Sunday morning to make sure I didn't become a victim of entry traffic. Thankfully I got screwed later when I left to go home and got caught in Dover Delaware NASCAR Race traffic for 4 hours; it was brilliant.

The odd thing about this show weekend was that there were multiple events going on in Ocean City, MD at the time; Sunfest (still not sure what this is), H2oi and the simple fact that it was a 90 degree sunny weekend with the winter around the corner. There were tons of people, families, teens; and best of all, German Car Enthusiasts out numbering all other groups, everywhere you looked. It feels good to be down there during this weekend.

Well the madness with me wrenching on my project cars and loosing sleep is now coming to a close and I plan on slowly getting back to working on new content. Thanks for everyone who keeps up with this site even though I don't always have new things in large quantities; I guess that's just understood, because we all have lives, families and jobs. Oh and more importantly jobs. Did I say jobs? Working a ton lately, but it keeps me doing what I enjoy. Until next year, show season.

My full show set from the weekend is here. I may sprinkle a few others in here as I see fit; of course I have my automotive blog, but I think variety in here is good as well.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Green Thumb - Ep.4

Looking back to the beginning of this series, I should've named each plant to avoid saying the 'taller plant' and the 'smaller one'. For the sake of making up for lost time, the tall plant typically seen on the 'left' will be called Lisa and the shorter one will be called...Bart. Anyways, Lisa's generous tomato growth became a curse. I looked out the window one morning to see her almost split in two, slumped over by the weight of the pair of tomatoes (see week 9) whose load bearing branch no longer stayed on the deck rail by position and gravity alone. These tomatoes kept gaining weight and all the fruit attached to that large branch swung back and was caught by the rosemary plant; we'll call that plant Maggie. For background, I methodically peep out the window from the bedroom when I get up, daily, to see where things stand with the simpson kids; I've taken over watering duty exclusively since I get up right before the sun appears on the deck where all the plants are lined up (~11:30am). Seeing the problem, I went down to figure out a fix to keep damage to the main trunk minimal. I ended up getting the last few leftover pieces of IKEA strapping twine from the garage and started wrapping things up.

It isn't pretty, but it after a few days everything appeared to be fine. All the branches that were snapped were still connected, most importantly the base branch in the last picture. I was limited on twine but it was enough to get the job done. So the new arrangement is the plants leaning on each other, but rest assured since this took place in Week 12, everything has been fine with both plants. They've kept getting bigger and now Lisa drinks about a gallon of water a day. Bart needs about 2/3 of a gallon, some of which is due to the shade.

The oddest result of this readjustment is that the tomatoes connected to frayed branches seem to have abnormalities in trust that I'm not expert so it could've been an insect or something that ate chunks out of these tomatoes, but what's odd is only green tomatoes on branches damaged by the 'split' had grape sized chunks missing. Upon hand inspection of all the tomatoes growing a week or two ago, all the affected tomatoes where removed to allow more energy to go towards the healthy remaining (and newly growing) fruit. Another odd thing is tomatoes growing with splits in the tops; this appears to have occurred on those fruit growing near the support rods. We'll have to take this into account for next year. In the meantime, let's do a quick recap:

Week 10:

Week 11:

Week 12 (see above)

Week 13:

Lisa's first fruit (a week later)
Bart's sixth tomato

Week 14:

This is pretty much the end of the line on updates as all the tomatoes that are berry sized today have a slim chance of reaching maturity due to the Fall season weather rolling in. The biggest take away was that if you let tomato plants 'droop' on their own as they grow, a split won't happen down the line; Bart is flowing horizontally now and is going as strong as ever. Frost and what not should stay away til closer to November, but we'll see how many more tomatoes can be harvested over the next 5 weeks or so. I finally had one of Lisa's tomatoes and it was pretty good. Bart has the edge on flavor, but they are two breeds of tomato after all; apples and oranges and all that jazz.

This XL post is for my sister Marisha who's recovering from surgery currently. Hopefully this can help ya pass the time sis. Get well soon.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Beer of the month - September

The beer of the month for September is Grolsch Premium (Pilsner)Lager {5% abv}. Please note that Grolsch has a handful of variants, including Blonde Ales, Hefeweizens and Bocks; unfortunately it's hard to find many of these in the states due to the limited range of imports as well as US popularity. Grolsch is a product of Holland with brewing history going back to 1615 and, much like other US imported beers from this region (i.e. Heineken), there is a distinct yet 'skunky' aroma at first blush. Don't let this throw you off, the flavor isn't bitter in the least (i.e. Heineken). It's a smooth sipping brew with hoppy notes and a clean yet unique finish.

The bottle above is one of Grolsch' trademark swing top 450ml units, which are ceremonious to open and provide a tight seal if you don't quite finish one in a sitting. I had my first Grolsch Premium Lager about six years ago, and it's always nice to have a return visit. This isn't a beer limited to season or occasion; rather an all-rounder, as well as one of the better known products coming out of the Netherlands. 2.5 stars.

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