From Alcohol to Alchemy

Just a note here, for those of you who read this blog but not, I am hosting a Mead Workshop with my friend Daniel Vitalis coming up on 16 November:

I’m greatly looking forward to this. Mead has become a very important part of my reality as of late and I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned with others. Furthermore, it’s always a treat hearing Daniel Vitalis speak.

Brewing Mead

I haven’t written much about brewing yet, probably because I’ve only gotten into brewing since I moved into this house 3 years ago, which coincidentally is when I stopped posting to this blog with the same regularity as I once did.

I started off brewing beer, and learned quite a bit about how to make good clones of popular kinds of beer. Some of the brews were quite delicious, but it never seemed quite right to me. Hard to explain. I had been sitting with this thought for a while when I saw this video of Daniel Vitalis talking about the health effects of hops, which in a way sealed the deal for me:

After I saw this video, I started experimenting with herbal beers, brewed with herbs other than hops. I started to feel better about drinking these beers, but honestly they just didn’t taste as good. Daniel has since become an even bigger influence on my health strategy, as well as a friend, and we did some experimental brews together.

Then I re-discovered mead. A friend of mine has been brewing mead for many years, and hosted a workshop on how to do it. That was it. From the moment I tasted my first batch of mead, I have yet to brew a batch of beer. I’m just not interested.

I’ve set up a website to chronicle my brews, and other interesting brew-related data points I encounter at so if you are interested in more detail about what I’m up to go check it out.

In the meantime, I’ve set myself up that I can have several batches of mead going at once… and in a few weeks I’ll have the beginnings of a good variety of mead that will be in constant rotation.

One difference between mead and beer is that mead (like wine) gets better with age. So far by the time my next batch is ready to drink, the previous batch has been gone! Hopefully the new setup will mean I can actually have a respectable mead cellar within a few years.

The Facebook machine

Apparently, this blog is now being “followed” on Facebook. Thanks to whoever set it up that way. :-)

Obviously, I haven’t been posting here as much. I have, incidentally enough, been Facebooking somewhat regularly and posting the occasional burst of neural activity there.

Life pretty much continues as it has; keeping busy with work, building my studio, playing music with my guys as often as our schedules allow, trying to find time to finish our album.

Politically, I remain suspicious of the Obama administration, the bailout package, the War On Terra, etc. etc.

Personally, I have been undergoing a fundamental change. My HealthQuest is a big part of this, stepping up and putting things I’ve learned over the past few years into regular, disciplined practice. This is already bearing good fruit.

a numbers milestone: 100, 411, and 309.8

So what is 100 pounds? 200 rolls of toilet paper. 1 cubic foot of topsoil. 6 average car tires. 23 2-liter bottles of soda. 7 Edgars (my daughter’s poodle). 3,024 compact discs.

100 pounds is also the amount of weight I have lost from my highest known weight, about 15 years ago.

I once weighed 411 pounds. Very likely, I weighed more than that, as after seeing that unfathomable number on the scale I went for several years without weighing myself.

This morning, I got on the scale, and it read 309.8. For the first time I am below 311, which means I’ve lost more than 100 pounds.

There are many reasons for the weight loss (walking, eating vegetarian/vegan, shovelgloving, the No-S Diet, t’ai chi, yoga) but my latest round of weight loss has come from the master cleanse fast. I’m presently on day 7 of the fast.

It is possible that when I break the fast I will put some weight back on. I’m already budgeting for this mentally, but I have some ideas about how to stabilize and continue the weight loss. Overall my weight stays pretty steady; I’ve been at 325 fairly consistently for 2 years now.

Anyway, forgive this moment of exuberance and self-indulgence over personal accomplishment, but GO ME! :-D