the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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Germany Photos 6.1: Köln


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Originally uploaded by mikepirnat.

Friday continues as we hop a train from the airport and arrive in downtown Köln, in the shadow of the Dom. After picking our jaws up off the ground, we hike down to the Chocolate Museum, wherein we witness much chocolatey goodness. Continuing the train theme, we take the Shoko-Express from the Museum back to the Dom, where we wander around the interior for a while, followed by dinner at Hausbrauerei Päffgen, where we discover the joys of Kölsch, the local beer, and make friends with a bachelor party. We do a bit of sightseeing and souvenir shopping as we walk back toward the Dom (finally getting some good light on this otherwise grey and difficult photography day), then take the train back to the airport, by which point it's time to head back to the hotel and make sure we're all packed up for our return to the US.

At this point the map gets a bit moot; this batch of photos is all at number fifteen on the itinerary.

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Germany Photos: Intermission

Bloody hell, it's been almost twelve days since I've posted any new photos from the Germany trip. Harrumph. I guess that's what happens when I let myself get distracted by other things: houseguests, complete disassembly of the office/computer space to prep for painting, work, catching up with Tivo (I can't believe I've gotten Liz hooked on "Eureka", woot!), catching up on long-overdue library DVD's (Paradise Now, Munich, and, somewhat embarassingly, Aeon Flux, which at least I didn't have to pay for), slogging bravely through Neal Stephenson's The Confusion, and going to Oktoberfest with [info]geoffimusprime.

Today was part one of the annual two-day company pep rally thing for this year, which, on one simple fact alone, instantly qualifies as the best so far: free beer coupons for happy hour. Hooray, beer!

I have at least rated, retouched, and sorted the remainder of the vacation photos; hopefully I'll get around to posting them over the coming days. And then I'll have to find something else to blog about for a while. ;-)

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PyCon: Day 2.5

Having (finally) had some success with Twisted and Jabber, I am taking a moment to celebrate with a bottle of Harp. The NerdBooks.com party was pretty cool, though mellow. They have an insane selection of books -- everything from animation to signal processing. As it turns out, they have insanely great prices on things too, and I only now realized that books purchased on premises would ring up at their online prices rather than their cover prices. Argh!! On the plus side, they also seem to have surprisingly reasonable shipping rates too, so maybe I'll pick up a few things as early birthday presents for myself. They put out a nice spread of food, and the extremely hot pepperjack cheese has enabled me to breathe freely once again.

Beyond that, it's been a nice evening of chilling in the hotel lobby, taking advantage of the comfy chairs, interesting company, and the conference's free wireless. Met a nice chap from Slovenia; chatted with Kevin Dangoor for a bit; tinkered with code; shot the proverbial breeze with fellow Clevelanders David Stanek and Ian Maurer.

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Overheard in the lobby: "Is it a convention of Laptop People or something?"

My most quotable utterance of the evening: "We need something like WSGI, but for management." (You kind of had to be there.)

Yep.... Good times. Definitely good times.

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How the Mighty Have Fallen


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Originally uploaded by mikepirnat.
Okay, we are officially living in Bizarro World...

We went to the Brew Kettle with [info]butterandjelly a couple of Wednesdays ago, and while there I tasted (and completed!) a sampler flight of beers. Amazingly, after years of hating beer with a vengeance, I've started to find things that, beyond merely not offending my palate, and pretty damn tasty! So far I'm mostly preferring porters, stouts, and Belgian things, as long as they are "good"--I think my previous issues, like those with seafood and wine, were due to the fact that I'd never really had anything worth having.

Still--no good can come of this! ;-)

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Live From Westlake! Christmas Ale Tasting

[info]aquamindy, [info]butterandjelly, and I are embarking on a survey of this year's various Christmas ales, and being the geek that I am, I am attempting to blog the experience as it happens. All the bottles are interesting--and there are quite a number of them!--so for an added challenge I am photoing each bottle as we go and posting it to my Flickr account.

You can follow along here!

[Updated@21:01] Tasting is complete! A few clear-cut winners emerged from the fray: Weyerbacher's Winter Ale, Delerium Noel, Lump of Coal, and Holiday Spice Lager Beer. Photos and tasting notes are over at the Flickr photoset. Cheers!

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Reunion Travelogue (Part Zero)

Tuesday, 7/19:

Long day at work, followed by Beer School at Great Lakes. Despite not liking beer very much, found Beer School to be highly educational and well worth my time. Interesting to see how my palate has evolved to the point that I can clearly identify what I do and don't like in the beers (which were quite good, once I correct for the horrible hops taste that I hate so much).

Prepped music for the long drives ahead -- made copies of a few new CD's that I want to listen to, as well as seven discs of mostly-random mixes. Consequently, did not get more than about 30 minutes of sleep (d'oh!) before...

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