The Year in Review

Dec 28, 07:16 AM

Even though the Red Sox did not win the World Series…. or for that matter, did not even make the playoffs, the year was still not a total loss. For the Red Sox, some killer deals were made at the end of the year which will hopefully pay off in a big way next year (and why is it, whenever one talks about the Red Sox, the phrase next year always has a way of working itself into the mix?).

For the rest of the year, instead of trying to hit the highlights (and maybe the lowlights as well), here is a rundown of the happenings in the Nadon/Brendel family;

Fermenting BeerEarly on this year, I kind of dedicated myself to making more of my own beer, while at the same time trying to improve upon my results. Towards the beginning of the year I was able to get a Stout tap and nitrogen system, which is the secret to Guinness (the nitrogen, not the tap). As I had this fancy setup now, it was time to work on A Perfect Pint? the recipe, and I think I nailed it pretty well. It took four tries, with #2 coming close, but I think #4 was the closest. Throughout the year I also worked on perfecting one of my favorites – English Bitter. A real Bitter needs to be served on a hand pump. In September, I received a nice gift of just that from Sherry; a genuine real British Beer Engine. I absolutely love it!! The bad part is, 5 gallons of Bitter on this tap does not last long at all… All of the other beer recipes were run through the fermenter a few times this year as well, some a few times more than the others. I finished the year off with a Belgian Strong Ale (ABV in the 10% range). That one should be ready sometime around June or July of 2011.

Ryan's fish in the SpringAs Spring rolled around and the temperatures starting to inch up, I thought it would be a good idea to get out the fishing poles again. Sometime in late April or early May, Ryan and I made a trip or two to the usual fishing hole on base (F.E. Warren AFB) and snagged a few Rainbows. In the past, we have always kept everything we caught and put them on the barbecue (once the fish is cleaned, wrap it in newspaper, soak the paper, grill it until the paper is dry, peel the paper off [which will remove the skin], and enjoy). This year, everything we caught was released right back into the water, after a picture or two.

Lookout World! Here I Come...One of the biggest events of the year for us, Chris graduated from High School. An important day for Chris, I’m sure, but it was quite an event for Sherry and I as well. We managed to get our oldest child through eighteen years of life, not doing too bad of a job of it either. Over the summer, Chris was able to spend his time and efforts on baseball and getting into college. A few offers came here and there for him. In the end all of us made a decision for him to take the full (baseball) scholarship he was offered from Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado. Unfortunately, things just didn’t seem to work out for him at NJC and he will not be going back after the 1st of the year. He will be finishing his college days here in Wyoming, at the community college here in town to begin with and then later at UW. Baseball just wore him out early on (and the grades, while passing, could have been a little better).

This year, I became a little obsessed with Iron Maiden. I remember the occasion that hooked me – Sherry and I were out running some errands one day in January or February. While she was in Target, Iron Maiden Concert in June I was waiting in the truck listening to “The Boneyard” on XM Radio. The Number of the Beast came on and for some reason, it hooked me – hard! Over the next few weeks, I ended up downloading every Iron Maiden album I could find which just happened to be all of them. As coincidence would have it, Iron Maiden went on tour this year. Along with Ryan and few friends of his, off I went to the show in June. Now here I am, on my way to a show with my son, and I am almost 50 years old, thinking that I am going to be about the oldest geezer there. Not by a long shot, Iron Maiden fans are probably the most dedicated people around. Some of the old timers I talked to (and I mean old timers as compared to me), this was their 10th or 15th IM show. One dude even thought it was quite odd that this was my 1st Iron Maiden show, ever!

Big Papi at Coors Field in JuneEvery six years with the current method that MLB uses to work out the schedule, I get to see the Red Sox when they come to Coors Field (Denver, CO – home of the Colorado Rockies). If you recall, last time the Red Sox came to Denver for some regular season games, they went on to toss an 86 year old curse in the garbage can. As you can well imagine, I was quite excited – and let’s not forget 2007 either. It seems that the Rockies have been good to the Red Sox; 1st, they get to put a curse to rest, and, 2nd, the Sox end up facing Denver for another World Series win just 3 years later. Too bad the regular season games that I get to see in person are not so good. Setting the table for the series was Lester, with a great game, but the offense just couldn’t manage to put across more than 1 run, losing 2 – 1. Second game of the 3 that I had tickets for, Papelbon comes in for the save and blows it big time. Pedroia swings a big bat for game 3Giving up not one, but two home runs for a total of three runs, he loses the game 8 to 6 after coming in with a one run lead. The third game of the series was all Pedroia, blasting three home runs in the game. His 3rd home run was a 2 run walk-off in the tenth. Papelbon blew another save by giving up two in ninth allowing Colorado to tie the game. If Paps makes it through 2011 and still wears a Boston uniform, I’ll be surprised. An Interesting note for the ticket prices and manner that MLB sold tickets for the game — you had to enter a drawing in January for the “opportunity” to buy tickets. I entered and won – only to be hit with ticket prices of $100 each. Sherry outdid herself in 2010 – she let me buy 2 tickets for each of the three games. It worked out that she was able to go to the 1st game with me, but her job kept her away from the final two games of the series. I sold the other two tickets on StubHub, thinking I was going to break even – that is, until I was hit with the fee from StubHub, which was 15% per ticket.

There you have the first part of our year. Not a lot going on there, but some fun things nonetheless. Stay tuned for part two, coming soon to a web page near you….

All of the thumbnail images shown in this article are also available on the Photo Gallery page, in a larger format and if you follow the images on to my flickr account, you can find an even larger size

Les

General Ramblings, informational

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