Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Ozzy Jr went to a lock-in at the local bowling alley for D.A.R.E. last night. A good friend's parent whose child was also spending the night took the his son and mine; my job was to pick them up at 06:00 the next morning.
No big deal, I thought. Get up at six, run to the bowling alley, pick them up, drop Jarrod off at his house, and I'm actually early for work for a change.
Wakened from a dead sleep by the phone ringing. It is dark. Ozzy Jr. is on the line. "Dad, when are you coming to get me?" Immediately, I'm thinking I have overslept. I get up, throw a pair of jeans on and a Black Sabbath tshirt and get in Mrs. Ozzy's car and start driving to pick him up. The clock in the car says 5:04. "Is that right?" I thought. Maybe I'm not late.
I get to the bowling alley and all of the kids playing inside affirm my thought that the clock in the car is correct.
"I need to pick up Martin and Nelson" I said to a woman and man cop at the desk. Mind you, I got out of bed 10 minutes before, I have an unkempt 25 day old beard, blue glasses and tattooes hanging out everywhere.
"Ok, do you have your id?", she replied. I'm pretty sure I'm being profiled at this point.
Meanwhile a kid that I coached baseball comes up and starts a conversation about next season with me.
"No, I got a call from my son and through on my clothes and didn't pick it up" was my reply to the young police lady.
"Can I see your id?" the male police echoed.
"No, I don't have it."
"Do you have your id?" he asked again.
"No, I still don't have it." I wanted to use a phrase from my old man, "boy, have you got a cricket in your ear, I said I don't have it." But I refrained.
"Then you can't pick anyone up."
"This kid that I'm not picking up can tell you who I am. The kids I'm picking up are 12 years old, they can tell you who I am. My name is on the list."
"Can't pick them up without an id."
This is what I'm thinking. You know, if I wanted to steal a kid, I am smart enough not to steal a smart mouthed 12 year old, and do you really think with 4 cop cars out front and an untold # of cops in here I'm going to kidnap a kid at FIVE FREAKING OCLOCK IN THE MORNING. My balls are big, but they aint that big.
Ok, I go home. Grab my id. Drive back the the bowling alley and get there at 5:30.
I approach the same male and female cops, "here's my id."
Over a microphone, "xxxxx Martin and Carter Nelson"
"Carter Nelson? I don't want Carter Nelson. My son is Wyatt. You said you checked my name on that sheet. There is no way my name is on a sheet for Carter Nelson. So, just because I had my id you were going to give me the wrong kid, but when I didn't have my id you wouldn't give me the right kid?"
Jr. saw me standing there joined me.
I'm not feeling good about the safety in our town.
I'm pretty sure they aren't feeling so good about me either.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Beer School 2

I learned so much at The Siebel Concise Brewing course. The instructors were great, as was the content and my classmates. I want to highlight some of the people that impacted me most.

Larry and Rich from the bar at the Rockwell train stop. From the first 5 minutes in “their” bar, they new my name, made me feel welcome and became my friends.

Lucie: A biochemist, Lucie had never brewed beer. She works for the parent company of Siebel analyzing yeast. She fit right in and did great in the class. Of course, she didn’t have a choice because her bosses would be looking at her grades.

Nate (above) and Wiz (lower pic, far right): Nate sat by me for our two weeks and impressed me with his knowledge of beer and other stuff. Wiz is just a fun, very cool kid that loves Chicago.

Chuey: The only black dude in the class, he sat front and center. Chuey has his own business making hats for bikers, and divided his time in Chicago by running Chuey Brand and learning about beer. I was very impressed.

Harry (beside me): Had not one, but two horrific accidents in a brewery and continued to work there with a great attitude and had a ton of knowlege about brewing.

Then there was Lyn Kruger: Siebel President. This lady knows more about the chemistry and biology beer and beer flavor and components that I will know in a couple of lifetimes. She has taught all of the tasting classes as well as the anatomy, behavior and the proper handling of yeast. She has an MS in Fermentation Microbiology. Yikes. Lyn speaks with what I would call a British accent and has a style of teaching that makes the students pay attention. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Lyn:

  • "Yes, I am flocculent, I have a protien bit sticking out"
  • "If I am up here and Lucie is back there, what are the chances of us getting together and flocculating?"
  • "All yeast wants to do is to get its nads back"
  • "I give it enough to stuff its face full of sterol "
  • Question from student: "What if you find that you have significant amounts of the precursor of diasitol after initial fermentation" Her answer, "Its a bitch."

My entire time at brewer school could not have been better. From Cady and Lupe who worked behind the scenes at the class to make everything smooth, to Jack Price whose "homestay" I found on Craigslist, and was a perfect place to study and sleep. It was worth every penny, and every minute of my time.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Beer School

I arrived in Chicago on Sunday evening and found the place that was to be my home fairly easily. The guy I'm renting from, Jack, I found on Craigslist gave me good directions and was not an axe murderer. That was good. My room is small but it has a desk and is pretty private. Eduardo is next door, he is from Brazil and is here studying to be a facial plastic surgeon. He is super nice and a really good guy. Jack has 2 cats and 2 rabbits. They keep to themselves pretty well.

First day going to class I got seriously lost and walked literally 2 miles futher than I should have and was about 10 minutes late for class. Everyone in class is cool.
The school always has 2 beers on tap and a fridge full of beer. It has been easy getting used to pouring myself a beer or two at lunch. Also, after school the bar is open for an hour, so that is pretty awesome too.
I am having trouble coming up with creative pics for whiskerino with all the school work. The photo above I was going to post on whiskerino, but when I uploaded it to my PC, I saw it was kind of obscene, so I decided not to.