Small beginnings

rebootOn Memorial Day weekend, 1998, I invired a few close friends over for a barbeque and Margaritas. That even grew and grew, eventually becoming the the Annual Memorial Day Weekend Margarita Bash. From six people, it grew to over a hundred.

Now we are in Arizona, and back to small beginnings. Barbequed ribs and wings, potato salad, corn on the cob, a keg. Getting back to basics, it was just Mike, Liz and me. Maybe next year we will invite more people.

Beer on tap

beer on tapI finally got the old kegerator back into operation! It had been collecting dust in a corner of the studio.

We do not have the room in the house to put it, and the studio had to be made habitable. Those excuses out of the way, I just needed the initiative to prepare it for use. It is Memorial Day weekend, what better excuse. Sure, it will not be the legendary memorial Day Weekend Margarita Bash, but one has to start somewhere.

A buddy I work with is friends with the owner of a local dinner theater. They operate during tourist season, from October through May.

Joel introduced us, and I picked up a partial half-keg of Four Peaks 8th Street IPA. A full half-keg would run me over $110. I picked up a 1/2 keg that was tapped, about 1/3 full for $20. You do the math!

Yesterday I sanitized the lines. Today I picked up a new tank of CO2 from a local welding shop. We are ready for business!

Four Peaks is a local microbrewery, and they have an awesome selection. Joel, the bastard, picked up the keg of Kiltlifter. However, I am an IPA man, I love a good India Pale Ale. 8th Street is a nice IPA, not too sweet (IPAs aren’t) and not bitter. A wonderful amber color, a foamy head that last the entire pint, the perfect beer to enjoy with a cigar on a warm day.

I have been doing yard work today, getting ready for tomorrow.  We are going to barbeque ribs and wings. I ventured into the studio to organize the mess… I cannot work in disorganizaton at all. The studio – my side – is a disaster. That is due to my laziness. I am now working on cleaning my workbench, clearing clutter. But mostly I am working on that keg…

Monster Car Wrap

Monster Car WrapWho can resist easy money? What is easier than collecting $300 a week simply for driving your vehicle during your normal routine – that buys a lot of tanks of gas, let alone drinking money!

I was contacted by Michael Underwood, who claimed to represent Monster Energy drinks. He said if I wrapped my personal vehicle with advertising I could earn $300 a week, and get enough Monster Energy drinks to give me permanent kidney damage.  Who could resist such an offer? Continue reading »

Landscaping the Studio

Landscaping the studioWhen Apache Stone unloaded five tons of stone in our driveway last week, the pile looked small. I was concerned there would not be enough to cover the front yard with the requisite two inches.

Not only did I get two inches over the yard – three inches in a few areas – I had enough surplus to apply stone under the herb container-garden, and enough to put a layer across the front of the studio.

Landscaping the studioBefore laying down the gravel some weeding had to be done. Weeding in the desert is hazardous duty. In the desert, even the plant life fights back!

For a protective ground cover to prevent new weeds from poking through, in lieu of the expensive ground tarps I used dog food bags – they are free!  Weeding around the Prickly Pear cacti was tedious, and I did get my share of pricklies… the stone will now inhibit the worst of the weeds.

The exterior of the studio is now presentable when we bring guests in – now I have to tackle the inside.  It is a disaster! it doesn’t help that both Liz and I are pack-rats.

Salsa/Pinata festival – art show

Art boothYesterday, Liz and I had a booth at the Salsa and Pinata Festival in Apache Junction. Temperatures hit the 100’s, so needless to say, traffic was slow. Heat, coupled with the fact that the snowbirds are heading home (a mixed blessing, IMO) kept attendance low.

The event had more booths than the previous farmers markets.  I am fortunately in the position to influence decisions, sitting on the board of SACA and friends with the people that hosted this event. Next year we will likely move it forward a month to April. Our organizations are already working on grants to fund the next year of events.

Cowboy SoapLiz was just hired by the Superstition Mountain museum, a full-time job with great hours and decent benefits – we will both have paid vacations in time to enjoy ourselves next spring.  I hear Key West calling – but maybe San Diego will be in the running – I have never been there. I have been to Palm Desert and Palm Springs – that was years ago. California Dreamin’…

Liz loves handmade soaps, and bought a supply for herself. She bought me a bar of Cowboy Beer Soap – made with real beer.  I would say it is a waste of good beer, but they used light beer, so I don’t feel so bad!

After the festival, we headed home and unpacked. Too spent to cook, we headed to the Handlebar – a great little pub and grill in Apache Junction. They have about 30 craft beers on tap, and a dozen or so wines from smaller wineries. Their menu is small, but everything is excellent. I had the fresh Alaska salmon with a side of bleu cheese potato salad and asparagus. They had a duo on guitars playing jazz versions of popular songs – low-keyed and a perfect way to end the day.