Starr Hill Brewery

A representative for our part of the country was at our local beer distributor handing out samples of his employer’s goods.  Starr Hill is a craft brewery that started out in Charlottesville, VA, but has since moved to a suburb, and opened a second location in Roanoke.  Evidently, the samples were good enough that it led my other half to buy a 12-pack sampler, in addition to what he went there to get.  It came with a free promotional pint glass.

I’d never heard of this brewery, but I did like the golden ale we split (it came in 16 oz. cans).  So, I looked up their webiste.  Probably the only things they brew that I wouldn’t like are the IPA and Imperial (aka double) IPA.  Ales are fine, but hold off on the strong hoppiness, as far as I’m concerned.

FWIW, this place sells those pint glasses for $3.50/each, which is less than the typical $5 most craft breweries want for them.  Then again, it wants just shy of $30 for a 2 liter growler.  Those normally go for $10 for a half gallon one, which is minimally smaller.

At least the beer is good, and is reasonably priced at ~$19 for a 12-pack of 16 ouncers.

We’ve stocked our bar with glasses primarily from promotional freebies like this, or buying them from our local pub, which will sell them for a couple of bucks to customers who ask, when they get served a pint in a really cool looking glass they want.  The wait staff double checks with the owner, if necessary, then just adds it to the bill.

There was one time that a local bar/restaurant’s adjacent deli had a promotion for Stella Artois, with the coolest looking gold rimmed glasses.  I asked the woman who works the checkout during the day what I had to do to get one of those.  “It’s free if you buy a 12-pack.”  I did, because I like Stella, and she really wanted to get rid of the rest of them, so she gave me all three Stella glasses they had left.  Those have to be washed by hand, rather than run through a dishwasher, but so what?  They’re lovely.

Eton Radios RAWK

I love listening to radio.  My circa 1970 Panasonic transistor radio that my dad bought me still works, and got us through a few snow storm related power outages.  Its reception and speaker quality are okay,  but not fantastic.  Better are some Sonys and Emersons from roughly the same era, for portable radios.

Nothing beats an iCom IC-R9500 with a multi-directional antenna, and a long line one, but it’s a serious rack model for a radio shack that gets every frequency that’s legal, including but not limited to police, fire, marine, aviation, etc. (0.005 – 33335MHz).  I have one, but in no way is it portable.  You don’t just toss it in your suitcase or duffel bag.

What is in between is Eton.  They’re really good quality radios.  Initially, I got an Eton field radio, which is not particularly large, but comes with a shoulder strap, which gives you an idea of how portable it is.

It’s portable, which is the whole point of being a field radio, but I wouldn’t want it getting accidentally kicked over on the pool patio.  It’s sort of tabletop sized.  So, I got a baby Eton model.  Tuning in FM stations isn’t much of a test, but AM and the weather bands are.  This little thing passes with flying colors!  I did not get it from the Red Cross, but it’s the same model:

Hey, it serves my purpose.  It’s roughly the size of a handy-talkie transceiver.  It’s not waterproof, but if it does get damaged, it’s expendable.

Peaches Pacione Is Back (Updated)

Hat tip:  Lewis

Evidently, the porcine one is back in his full glory:

Nikita got the boot from the last one:

20:51, April 28, 2018 Boioflife (wall | contribs) blocked Nickolaus Pacione (wall | contribs) with an expiry time of 6 months (cannot edit own talk page) (Inserting information about himself and links to his books to buy after being told not to do this.)

From allthetropes:

I have a pitch for a project to have the fandoms who are connected to Joni over the years as a shout out to her career in the New Weird; Greer if you’re reading this you also got to see some of her colleagues and friends within the New Weird Circles. These are colleagues from so I want to invite all of you to do a book called Nunkie Social Studies: Learning Real Social Studies from a historic fandom. I will give you the skeleton as The Cabbie Homicide would be one of those stories that would fit the mode of the timeline of the fandom (plays up in 1993-1994, and Lake Fossil is set in 1993. Some of my material will overlap.) I suggest finding Susan Wickham or my artist who did Tales of the Talisman 2.4 then have one of your OC’s play host for such a project — edit the book in character and have a lot of fun with this.
So this is what I’m proposing — have you used Submittable. And what I am suggesting is each member of the fandom; they have 2200-6700 word counts to play with and a 190-198 page count with the body of the work. Instead of a book that lifts Twilight; take the reader into the real social studies of the fandom. I give you An Eye In Shadows as a link to play with and find artwork that’s in creative commons to play with or have the fan art from the fandom to create something layout wise similar to Issue Five in nature but using a different typewriter font with the presentation. I don’t have room for any more books personally but I can give you the website to do this.

Pfft.  *barf*

If you have some time to delve into the madness, it’s a loop-de-loop through the classic Nicky days of old, with a couple of extra loops.

“Abandon all hope, ye who enter.”

UPDATE:  (another H/T to Lewis)  Evidently, Nikita thinks the people removing his edits on the fiftyshadesofgrey wiki are holocaust deniers.

Screenshot for posterity, in case it gets deleted:

Nature Takes Its Course and Other Things

Last weekend, we left on a shopping run, and returned ~45 minutes later.  Along the roadside by our property was a roadkill deer that was not there when we left.  It wasn’t a stiffie yet.  We looked up the local laws for removal, and found out that in this particular location, it’s the state’s responsibility, and there is no charge to us.

At least it wasn’t up to us to drag it into the woods, or pay the town $75 to haul it off.  Where we used to live, people would hit them, then drag them onto our property because the cost of removal would not then be theirs. Continue reading


I’ve finally gotten the pool water nice and clear,  so that I can see all the way down to the bottom of the deep end, clearly.  It took a while, which is normal.  I am the pool maintenance staff.  Chemical addition,  and balance is up to me for the next three months.  Haven’t had to fish out any frogs after a rain storm yet, but that probably will become necessary if the herons fishing by the pond for them miss a few.

Hooray!  I had to order a replacement part for our automatic vacuum.  So be it.  It’s a lot cheaper than replacing the entire thing, plus, it still works w/o thepart, and I can use the manual vacuum I have in the meantime.

Hello, skirtini!  That exposes as much flesh as I am willing to.

On another topic, I fired up my 3300 psi  Ryobi pressure washer that has a Honda engine.  Very nice piece of equipment.  It really does get the job done.


No, not I.  Who knows what the certifiably cuckoo Nickster is up to nowadays?  I fixed my German cuckoo clock today, and got it reset to the minute.  Of all the clocks in my house, that one’s my favorite.  I really do prefer hearing one “cuh-coo” for each hour to a a series of bing-bong-bing-bongs, and an additional bong, two, or three, depending upon which quarter hour it is.

I love antique clocks.  There’s nothing wrong with an 1800s Seth Thomas grandfather clock, other than it has lead weights that are a pain to rewind.  They’re lovely clocks.  I have one.  It’s a pain in the ass to move 3″, let alone from one house to another.  Still, I prefer my cuckoo clock, and my 1800s schoolhouse clock, because I don’t have to wash my hands every time I have to rewind them, and adjust lead weights.

Herr Cuckoo is working again.



Pool Opening

Holy guacamole, Batman!  A couple of months ago, I scheduled the pool opening for today.  As the woman at the pool company I use told me over the phone, “it’ll be in the morning, before noon, but I can’t give you a tighter time frame than that.”  I was thinking maybe sometime between 8:00 and noon, depending upon whether we were their first job of the day, or further down the list.  They showed up a little before 7:30.  My other half woke me up by announcing “they’re here.” Continue reading

Niagara Cave

For at least six years in a row, we’ve been going to Minnesota over Memorial Day Weekend.  It’s a good 2700 mile round trip for family get togethers for one or another celebration.  My husband’s cousin drives up from NM, so we’re not the only ones who drive there, rather than fly, and rent a car.  This time, it was for our niece’s college graduation.  I much prefer swinging through Iowa and up to the ‘Sconsin, and across route; there’s much less traffic that way, since it avoids Chicago, Madison, and the Wisconsin Dells.

We had most of Saturday to ourselves, so we drove to Niagara Cave.  It was well worth the trip.  I have no issues with claustrophobia.  Overall, I preferred Cave of the Winds, in/near Colorado Springs, but this one is very different, and very cool — both literally, and figuratively.  On a 98F day, yeah, a cave is a nice place to be.  I was feeling the quad and glute muscle workout the next day, though, after the long, steep climb out of there.  The admission fee for a one hour guided tour is reasonable.

I’d love to go see Laurel Caverns, too, but it’s one of those things that I wouldn’t do unless I was staying in the area; it’s not a day trip.

Computer Repair

*sigh*  The fan died on my main laptop computer.  It’ll be in for a hardware repair for a couple of days.  It’ll take them that long to get in the right part.  Not a big deal.  I can take either this machine or a tablet with me to MN, if I don’t get my beloved favorite back before we leave.  The price they quoted me is fair.  It’s a bitch to park within three blocks of their storefront, but it can be done.

Believe it or not, three companies I contacted, that billed themselves as computer repair shops, replied that they were not equipped to deal with hardware issues.  *groan*  If it was a software issue, I could have fixed it myself.  I don’t happen to have a bunch of spare hardware parts on hand.  A bazillion connection cords, yes, but not guts.

So, I brought it in to a local storefront operation owned and run by a 30-something guy with tattoo sleeves, and his two assistants, who told me beforehand, via email, “We can fix that, no problem.  We like hardware fixes.”  They all knew exactly what was needed when the one assistant opened it up.  Not one doubt among all three that I had correctly diagnosed the problem before dropping it off with them.  Yup, the fan’s shot.  Still, getting it fixed is a helluva lot cheaper than replacing it with any sort of new computer that I’d actually want.

The most annoying thing is getting used to the keyboard on this even older 15″ model, after all these years.

First world problems, right?