Sunday, August 17, 2008

Switching to Draft?

As I have mentioned/complained many times before, bottling my homebrew is probably my least favorite part of the whole hobby. I have often dreamed of having my own draft setup so that I can just transfer the beer from carboy to keg, chill, force carbonate, and enjoy. I sort of already have some of the necessary equipment, such as old used kegs but am lacking one big thing: a kegerator.

I have kicked around ideas in my head such as buying a new kegerator, or convert an old refrigerator or chest freezer. However, a guy at work sent me this link that has now piqued my interest. It looks like a fun project that in the end would allow me to transition into draft homebrew while providing the satisfaction of a 'DIY' accomplishment. If I play my cards right and ask for the necessary parts on lets say a Christmas wish list, I just might be on my way to enjoying a nice cold, homemade draft beer! I just checked and Best Buy still has the compact refrigerator and it is on sale! Maybe I should just buy it and tell my wife that Santa came early this year!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Am I finally a responsible adult?

Since the birth of my third child last month, I've been thinking a lot about how being a parent has changed me. My conclusion is that it is ALL for the better whether I realize it at times or not.

When my first daughter was born, I finally got what unconditional love is. I had experienced love of parents and love of siblings to that point and can see now how that differs in its own right. I have also had the fortune of loving a spouse which is special. I realize that to me those loves were and are selfish in many ways. Once you have a child though, you really get what "unconditional" love is. No matter the circumstance or how crazy they can make you, the smile or hug of a child is undeniable. I really feel fortunate to be able to experience that. I do think though that having only one kid still afforded me some of my own guilty pleasures. I was still able to escape some things and be me (or at least who I was at the time).

Once my son was born, some of that "me" time slipped away, but that is ok. When I had one kid, either for feeding, play, or bath time, my wife had the other for similar activities. But there were still occasions where she was putting them to bed and I could do whatever, especially when he was a baby and slept a lot. After having a daughter, having a son was special because it was like seeing little me. That hasn't changed at all. I also learned that you could love two people unconditionally at the same time, equally. That concept was hard to imagine when it was just the three of us, but once he arrived it quickly became a reality. That was really cool.

Which brings me to kid #3. All of the same emotions bubbled up when she was born. I knew going in I would be able to love her just as I do the other two because that was already proven. Finally, I came to realize what having children can teach you is, you really can become a 'self-less' person. Everything I do now I know is for them. Some people come to that conclusion much quicker, while some unfortunately never do. While I always "knew" that was the case, I finally "feel" it, if that makes sense. I know that there will be time down the road when I'll get to be more selfish and that can wait because these times when they are little are so short. Before I know it, they will be little adults themselves. Then I'll get to watch them go through these same things I have gone through, much like I'm sure my parents and in-laws are observing right now with me and my wife.

So for me, having children so far has taught me that I can love unconditionally and I can be a more self-less person. Maybe that means I finally am growing up huh?