I Still Play With Toys

I’m going to expose what a geek I am with this one.

I was a science major in college, I was a band nerd in high school, and as an adult I still play with trains.

Last year I found a box at my parent’s house with me and my father’s old train cars.  I had some space in my basement so I thought I’d try to set up a train layout.  I had no idea what I was doing so I attended some meetings of the local model train club at the Bellingham Railway Museum.  Some of the guys were going to Boundary Bay Brewery after the meeting so I joined them for a pint and some serious train talk.

Atlas Golden Spike Club Car 2010

They got pretty excited of the pictures of the old train station and round house that are hanging in the men’s bathroom here at the brewery.  I learned from the group that Atlas has a Golden Spike Club that makes a special car each year that is only available to the club members and this year it was going to be a Bellingham Bay Brewery 3-B boxcar.

I had to get one of these for Boundary Bay Brewery.  With some help from our social media guru Amy and the generosity of Atlas we got some of these train cars which are based on an actual historical photo of this car in front of the Bellingham Bay Brewery.  We traded one with the railroad museum for some track, an engine, and a caboose.  Now you’ll find our mini-train above the bar in our tap room.

the Bellingham Bay Brewery with the 3B traincar in front of it

Dale the museum historian brought us some photos of the old 3-B brewery, located around current Ohio street, and some pictures of Railroad ave. where Boundary Bay is now.  I’ve been fascinated with our local history ever since my Bellingham history class in third grade at Silver Beach Elementary.  It’s really fun for me to see pictures of Railroad avenue with trains on it, now the location of Boundary Bay Brewery, with our train on the bar with a historic replica of the 3-B train car.  It will be even more exciting next time we brew 3-B and have it on tap at the bar.

Bellingham Bay Brewery

In the meantime I’ll be working on my Beer/ Zombie apocalypse themed train layout six feet from my keggerator.  I’m looking for ideas of how to build HO scale (1:87)  hop and barley farms..

Categories: Beer, Brewing, Brewing equipment, Collecting, Random, trains | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Underage Forever?!

Try our Pilsner, if you dare...

I guess it’s a good thing that nobody reads this or I might have a bunch of angry Twilight fans after me. The other day Nick Crandall our keg washer/cellar man and I were talking in between kegs about the love lives of vampires. On a side note Nick got engaged this week to his girlfriend Katy- so congratulations to them.

Anyways, we were talking about the recent vampire craze. There are all these shows on t.v., movies and books centered around the undead. I think it’s kinda funny that vampires would be popular with teenagers now. I’ll bet that the goth kids aren’t considered any “cooler” by the other high school kids even if vampires are making a comeback. I doubt that the Dungeons and Dragons geeks got any more popular when Harry Potter came out. I guess high school is just always going to have those social stratifications that dissipate after graduation. I remember though going to the Archer Ale house in Fairhaven on the same night of a Harry Potter book release party at Village Books. It was crazy to me to see high school kids wearing official Harry Potter robes and scarves waving plastic wands at each other. I heard one casting a mock spell on the other “Silencio!” instead of just saying “shut up.” It was pretty funny.

But back to the potential love interests of a teenage vampire, I don’t get it. I haven’t read the Twilight books, but it seems they are more about the romantic interests of young women then they are about vampires. I read Interview with a Vampire and those vampires had rules about not turning children into vampires, which makes sense. Imagine how much high school sucked and then having to be that age forever. One of the first things that comes to mind is the inability to buy beer, but I guess vampires probably only drink blood. I wonder if a vampire would get drunk from drinking the blood of someone who was wasted? Could you imagine being 300 years old in the body of a seventeen year old? Would they like the taste of beer with iron in it, which tastes like blood? Anyhow, nobody would give you any respect, you couldn’t go to a lot of places. In short, you wouldn’t be a legal adult. It would have severe social and legal limitations. So teenage vampires don’t really make sense to me.

Another thing that always confused me about vampires is where does all that blood go that they drink? They can only hold so much in their bodies and you never hear about them getting rid of any. They don’t have the same bodily functions that the living do because they don’t eat, so where does the blood go? Do they sweat it out, are there bulimic vampires, does it just evaporate out of their perfect hair, or would they get red and bloated from drinking too much blood? Another note, vampires probably wouldn’t ever want a haircut because their hair wouldn’t grow back.

Then there is a whole slew of issues about the love prospects of vampires, much of which I probably can’t put into print. I think it’s safe for me to sum it up with two words: necrotic flesh. If you are a living person in love with a vampire what do you do, hold hands for eternity? What happens as you get older and your teenage vampire boyfriend/girlfriend stays the same age? At some point it would get a little weird. Imagine a 30 year old woman walking around holding hands with a 17 year old boy with pale skin. Would she get in trouble for having a relationship with a minor, even after she explains they’ve been dating since she was in high school.

Well, we don’t live forever and we can enjoy good beer so I hope that all that read this are having a great week. See you at the brewery.

Categories: Beer, Random, Twilight, Vampires | 1 Comment

Thoughts on Centaurs

design by Mark Heimer

While filling kegs, my mind often wanders off into non-beer related realms. The other day I was thinking about centaurs, you know from Greek mythology- half man/half horse. My first thought was I don’t know how they were created but I bet a horse, not a human, gave birth to the first one, because imagine it the other way around, not gonna work. I’ve read my fair share of fantasy fiction and it seems that centaurs eat a lot of food and can drink quite a bit of beer in one sitting. Do they have two stomachs, a human and a horse? Or do they just have the one big horse stomach? You never read about centaurs putting down three pounds of bacon, so it makes me think they couldn’t digest meat in their horse stomachs. But if you had to eat enough grain for a a horse everyday through a human mouth your teeth would be ruined. I don’t know what the nutritional needs of the average horse is, but I know they eat a lot.

Another thing that bothered me about centaurs is that they are always depicted as these big buff men, but it doesn’t make sense to me. Why are they so ripped? Physiologically there are a lot of issues to figure out. Going back to the eating, do they bend over and graze all day, which would kill your human back/neck? Or are they harvesting grain and they shoving it in their little human mouths 20 hours a day? Mostly I picture centaurs running around shooting arrows and stabbing people with spears. It makes sense that their horse body is strong but the human body doesn’t. I can’t imagine a centaur doing a push-up or chin-up, it would be impossible. So how is their human torso so strong then? It makes me think that the traditional image of centaurs is all wrong. They should be a strong horse body with a wimpy human torso attached with really bad teeth prancing about the forest. That’s another thing about the common image of centaurs running around the forest; horses don’t live in forests, they live in plains. Oats, barley, ect. don’t grow in forests, so if centaurs live in forests it makes the eating thing even more confusing.

One thing that is certain to me is that centaurs would probably make awesome brewers. First of all to drink enough beer to get a horse body drunk they would have to make their own just to make it affordable. Secondly, if I was a centaur I would plow my own field and grow my own barley and oats (for oatmeal stout). I recently learned from Kevin, the head brewer at Chuckanut, that cows can more efficiently digest spent grain from brewing than raw grain. For the centaur spent grain from brewing would mean eating less (and wearing down less molars) while making beer. Also if a centaur made more beer than they could drink they could easily distribute it themselves. I think it would be cool to drink a few beers with a centaur. I wonder if he could give me a ride home afterwards? Yiamas! (Cheers in Greek, pronounced yia-mas).

Categories: Random | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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