Author Archive


Steve Lee “She Don’t Like Guns”

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Here is another from the awesome Aussie Steve Lee and his new album, “I like Guns“:

Categories : Shooting
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Steve Lee “I like guns”

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You have to check Steve Lee out.  I could not stop laughing and smiling.

Categories : Shooting
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Glock 19

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Today was a special day for me.  Over the past several months I have been getting back into hand gunning especially with the old .45 ACP cartridge.  The Kimber Elite in .45 has been in the safe now for about 10 years and at least 5 without a shot fired through it.  Well, that changed 2 months ago and I picked up a Sig Sauer P220 in the same carterage just to have a .45 handy at home…..just in case.  The reason I decided to go with the Sig was the DA/SA format of the pistol.  At the time I considered it a safer option than having the 1911 cocked and locked on the dresser.  I still feel that way.  Today I finished up 1150 rounds through the Sig P220 and know it is an extremely reliable and solid plateform.  Double tap with it is deadly at 21 feet.  So for now I keep it as the primary home defense weapon without reservation.

The reason I am writing today after a long hiatus is due to the Glock 19 in 9 mm cartridge that I picked up last week from Bain and Davis here locally and fired the weapon for the first time this morning at the Firing Line Indoor Shooting Range in Burbank.  Wow!!!  All I can say is accurate accurate accurate and SWEET shooter.  Three out of the first 5 shots were just about in the same hole at 21 feet.  Two in the bullseye and one in the 10 ring I might add.  I have to thank my pal Hickok45 of YouTube fame for turning me on to the Glock.  I have always been a steel and wood friend but the polymer works extremely well.  The Glocks reliability is legendary and I can attest to its accuracy today…. is it is far better than I.

One final note on todays shooting.  I had a coaching session with my new friend Dave Doermann who is a certified NRA pistol instructor.  A couple of points here that he gave me are worth passing along.  In gaining acuracy and reliablility with any hand gun practice with a qualified instructor is advised.  Don’t do this at home folks.  So here are Dave’s recommendations for gaining proficiency with any handgun.  My recommendation is to do this with an instructor that can help point out where you could improve and BE SAFE.

1) Natural point of Aim

2) Grip Control

3) Sight Picture Control

4) Breath Control

5) Follow Through

OK, I will plan on going over each of these points in detain in the coming posts.  The results on the paper will testify as to whether or not you are able to put it all together and do all of these things consistently.  That is my goal and I will keep updating my progress.

Categories : Yixing Pots
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James Carey

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James Carey by Metal Tiger
James Carey, a photo by Metal Tiger on Flickr.

My buddy Janes Cary Nurse Anesthetist par excellance

Categories : General
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Brew Tiger

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So what have I been up to in the past year or nearly a near; had some health issues, started a couple of other web sites, getting back into the swing of things.

The most recent project is at Brew Tiger a web site dedicated to home brewing beer.

The biggest thing I have been doing has been as a member of Crown of the Valley Brewing Society, my brothers.


Categories : General
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There is a Fracture

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For those that are involved with orthopedic surgeons you will recognize a familiar theme here.  Some of my best friends are Orthopods and the other day we were all cracking up miming out this little scenario with one of the chief ortho guys.  Working in a teaching level one trauma hospital there is a lot of trauma and orthopedic surgery and the theme that the ortho guys sing is quite loud at times.

The following little clip is really hilarious.  Check it out.


Categories : Anesthesia
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Daddy Short Legs Porter

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Over the past weekend there was a brew session going on at the DG ranch.  White Wolfie Meadery and I brewed up several (that means more than two) batches of beer / mead.  The main attraction was the Daddy Short Legs Robust Porter in a 12 gallon batch.  I really don’t know what has been going on with my transcription of beer recipe, but this is the second time that its been wrong.  This time with the hops.  If its not right I am going to do the Jamil thing and just pour it down the drain.  More about hops later.

The brew session started out on Saturday with a trip to More Beer in Riverside to pick up some grain and yeast.  All of this stuff was on hand here but Wolfie needed to go to stock up for her Mead thing.  The DG ranch has most all of the specialty grains in 5 lb cans in addition to the large amounts of base malt.

The recipe for the Robust Porter is pretty straight forward right out of the Jamil book, “Brewing Classic Styles“.  I have been having trouble with my PC lap top crashing Windows and the program that I use (Pro Mash) is on that computer.  So, I was rushing before it crashed again to write up the recipe for printing.  The computer crashed a couple of times before I finished writing up the recipe and in the heat of the battle with the computer I did not account for doubling the batch size for the hops.  Oh No Mr. Bill I only included half the amount of hops.  The IBU for this porter is going to be a little slim, damn!  The recipe’s are for 6 gal and I always do 12 gal batches so I have to double the grain bill.

Yeast starters in 2,000 ml with the use of a stir plate is the way to go for healthy yeast.  The benefits of the starter really paid off as you can see in the photo above.  The blow off tube was absolutely necessary for this 6 gal wort in the 6.5 gal fermenter.  The 1,800 ml of yeast starter were pitched around 4 PM and the damn thing woke me up in the middle of the night with its violent blub…blub…blub…..blubblubblub in the blow off glass.  Good thing the temperature has been behaving in the San Gabriel valley.  The fermentation started at 68 degrees and climbed to 72 after two days.

The starting OG is really high at 1.070 and for this Robust Porter a touch over the style guidelines.  The efficiency of the More Beer Brew Structure is around 80% and the recipe’s are written for 70%.  I like it!

This porter may be drinkable and then again it may be fish food for the bay.  The hop profile is going to be pretty thin.  The iMac is great but there is not a good replacement for the Pro-mash software.  Trying Beer Tools currently is not satisfying to say the least.  So I am not sure what I am going to do with my funky old PC laptop.  Maybe the solution is just to divide the iMac hard-drive in two divisions and run Windows on a small portion of the drive so that the Pro-mash software can find a stable home.

Mead!  What the hell is this abomination anyway.  Well as I have recently observed, mead is a honey fermented beverage for old people, aka Wolfie!  The DG brewery supplied the equipment but the work of brewing the mead was all Inga’s.  What a mess and sticky glob of goo that mead thing is. The brewery may not recover from the spilled honey.  Wolfie added some dark DME (dry malt extract) and honey to the boil kettle.  She added some hops casually by the handful – no measurements allowed here – and that was it!  Her yeast was some thing off of the back shelf along with some bathroom scrapings she got from behind the sink.  Its supposed to add a bit of tartness to the mead.  Hmmmm, can’t wait to try that out.  If I survive I will let you know about the “Tartness”.

The final batch was a “short beer” or “small beer” made from the final running’s from the Robust Porter mash.  There was still quite a bit of sweet wort to be had from the mash so we ran it off as a short beer.  Its OG was around 1.040 and boiled down to around 3 gal.  I added a bunches of hops to the mess.  The idea of a short beer is not new.  In fact it is a very old technique but not one that I have had the chance or desire to use.  Maybe that will change in the future.

Categories : Beer
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Where’s the Onion?

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Recently a dear friend of mine asked me about my Onion. What? She was talking about her life and struggles at work contemplating and reflecting on her reactions to stress and all of the interactions that surrounded her. Together it is our kismet. She finally asked herself, really more than me, “Where is the Onion?”

If you peal an onion it all the way down – is it at the center? For cooking most of us know that the onion is a wonderful aromatic addition to many things. The outer tough skin is removed and maybe the the first layer or so before the gastronomic concoction begins. I personally have never found an Onion at the center of that aromatic goodness and I have sauteed fried basted and chopped a few. However, she got me thinking. Where is my Onion?

The movie, “So She Married an Axe Murderer” which came out what seems like a long time ago featuring Mike Myers, left me with such a lingering memory. Just a peal of the Onion that is still really pungent in my memory. I was recently widowed and found myself in love with a beautiful wonderful woman. I was left with three young children teenagers -sort of – and she had three young children. I remember, no its more than memory, its burned into my soul, that movie and how much in love I was with Erin. I still love her and always will. The Onion or several layers are tied to the loss of my wife and all of those feelings afterward. These are all triggered by that movie. Does it ever really go away, those feelings of love and loss – regret despair or frustration? I am still digging down further pealing off layers to find the Onion.

Its now 18 years later and a new life with wonderful relationships. During these so many years I have achieved so much graduating from Cal State University Los Angeles First in my class and going on to two graduate degrees one from UCLA and another from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and enjoy such a wonderful career as a nurse anesthetist and faculty member as clinical instructor in anesthesiology at USC. These onion layers are so diverse involving multiple and various work growth situations that the onion has grown very large the more I keep pealing. The chopping block is overflowing now. Have I left out anything. Of course I have. The onion is huge and today all I am thinking about is my friend at work and the lingering taste of  the “Woman, Woman, Woman Thing” Ala Mike Myers.

My life, like the onion, has had numerous layers. Is this what the Onion is all about? Really I have to say no. Well maybe – partially at least.

OK, coming back to the original situation at work in which my friend and I have been caught up in. We work together and deal with an array of personnel all having their own agenda’s with personal demands and goals. Its really tough dealing with conflict in interpersonal relationships especially when they are tied to role identity and professional performance. Hence, the Onion. Its kind of a matter of He Said, She Said whipped up into a frenzy by a monster food processor. Here is just one idea about this layer of the Onion.

When I feel attacked or threatened at work or in my personal life my first reaction is either defensive self justification or anger.  Often if I get really upset its followed by depression. Its almost a Kubler-Ross thing. There are a couple of onion layers there to peal. After I get past those, its a lucky day when I can see or peal outside of myself.  I had an Ah-Ha moment the other day when I was able to see a piece of some one else onion.  This got me thinking about writing.

A major Onion layer was revealed when I was able to see or appreciated what others were dealing with in these conflict’s. Conflict always has these multiple layers. All I can say now without being too cryptic is that for me a major step forward in pealing the onion of conflict down is appreciating the other side and seeing their Onion.  People are amazing when they are onions.

Categories : General
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First Brew Day on New Brew Scuplture

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Today was the day to fire up the Monster Brew Sculpture from More Beer. I have been brewing with the same basic steps but without a structure to hold the pots. Now with the new Monster I have three burners which should lead to a more efficient brew day. I started with rousting up a yeast slurry that I collected from a batch bottled up a couple of weeks ago. Re-pitching yeast is one of the greatest things that I know of in order to make great beer.

I split the slurry into two 1000 ml Erlenmeyer flasks with a bit of fresh wort in them. After a couple hours on some new wort to roust the yeast the little buggers took off like a ….. bat out of hell? Yes, it took off too quick so I had to let it sit and add additional fresh wort to the yeast two hours before I planned to pitch it to the new batch. Now that it is sitting on the beer in the carboy’s they are very happy. DSC_0009

My plan for the day was to brew up a somewhat simple American Pale Ale recipe from “Brewing Classic Styles” by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer of Brew Strong fame.  On the new system plans don’t always go the way it use to.  Maybe that’s the point of keeping it simple ….. trying to get an expected result.  Well, it did not go perfectly and that is what I expected.

The Mash was perfect holding 152 degrees with a recirculation through the Hot Liquor tank heat exchanger.  The Sparge was a little long at 90 minutes.  I have been using a refractometer to check “the numbers” during the brewing process.  Calibration of the instrument was the first thing I did this morning with distilled water.  The Brix scale number that the Refractometer reading gave me after 30 minutes of boiling was 16 which equates out to about 1.066 on the hydrometer.  My target was more like 1.050 after 30 minutes of boiling so I knew I was heading into IPA territory.  No problem just add more hops, right?  My American Pale Ale had turned into a bigger beer.  Most likely the 90 minute Sparge and the fine crush of the grain was at fault.  Next time I will take this into consideration.  More later.

Categories : Beer
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Beer Sculpture

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Today was an awesome kid at the candy store kind of day. I picked up the More Beer 2100 Beer Sculpture featuring 26 gallon stainless steel kettles and frame that was ordered in December during their 15 percent discount day.  Despite the rain, Wolfie my Pal and I braved the 60 freeway to make our way to the Riverside B3.

OK, I know you are asking yourself now, What is a Beer Sculpture? No, its not a tower of beer cans. A Beer Sculpture is a welded metal piece of art that holds several brewing pots in the creation of Beer Wort. A typical Beer Structure holds three different kettles identified as the Hot Liquor Tank, Mash Tun, and the Boil Kettle. In a four kettle system there is the addition of a Lauder Tun but our Mash Tun functions as both. The Beer Sculpture not only holds the kettles but provides a frame for the burners and pumps that run the system.  This sculpture is a right to left flat structure which runs on two pumps. Its totally awesome.

Prior to purchasing this 20 gallon system, I was using 15 gallon kettles (10 gallon system) on a make-shift rig consisting of two Banjo burners and an overturned metal trash can to hold the Mash Tun. It was a one pump system that worked very well but required two people to lift the Boil Kettle off the ground after the sparge to set it on the Banjo burner. This was a gravity sparging setup. Now of course that problem is solved in fine style due to the two pumps and multiple burners. Thank you More Beer.

This 2100 Brew Sculpture from B3, is managed through the use of two controllers that fire up and off to control the temperature of the Hot Liquor tank and the Mash Tun enabling fine management of the wort creation process.

In the morning I will fire the thing up, check all the fittings and clean the entire system with PBW. The next brew day will probably be next week sometime and I will post some pictures of the event.

Categories : Beer
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