Since I don’t have any classes right now, I’ve been finding little projects to do with my time. I had mentioned briefly in a previous entry that I liked the ginger beer I bought from Target, but it is a little pricy for how much you get, and I was wondering what ginger beer actually tasted like, instead of the chemical soda stuff. I wanted to see how hard it would be for me to make the real thing, and I came across this page. It turned out that it looked like something I could do, so Wednesday I went down to The Shady Lady, which is just a few minutes away from where I currently live. I had found their website and my boss Don had recommended them. There, I bought 12 EZ flip cap bottles. They were a good price for what they were; they were about about $39 or so. Julie picked out the color, sapphire, except that it turned out that was all they had in stock at the time anyway. I also bought some white wine yeast, which the lady there suggested for what I was doing for $.75. I also got some sort of nylon net instead of cheesecloth, because she said it could be reused and washed in the washing machine. I got the rest of the ingredients for the ginger beer from Wal-Mart. The most interesting thing we bought was the funnel from the automotive department. Other than the price of the bottles, the drink ingredients were pretty cheep, especially considering how expensive the fake stuff at Target is. The drinks took a pretty long time to make. Juicing the ginger without a juicer was pretty hard. It took a good bit of squeezing and twisting to get 12 ounces out. Julie did almost all of the juicing, and she did a great job. The drinks had to ferment for two days, and I left them in the refrigerator about 12 hours. I had a bottle. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, in that, it tasted nothing like the fake bottles at Target. I thought it tasted great, but it was maybe a little too lemony. I might modify the ingredient ratios a little to have more syrup and less lemon.
By the way, on that note, I added a Recipes page to the website. It isn’t really anything special. It is just a place where I put recipes for things I make from time to time.
Friday night, Julie, Brad, and I went over to Johnnie-Mac’s place. We didn’t really do a whole lot over there. Devin and his brother were there and the guy I know only as chef (Julie says his name is Josh). Josh made a really awesome cake. Apparently, the day before was Johnnie’s birthday. Other than that, we watched some DVD and played Wii. It was nice to see Johnnie, because I know pretty soon I won’t be seeing much of anyone again. Saturday night (yesterday), we went to my parents’ house. It was just the four of us, which is nice… quieter and get to talk more. Nothing really big. We ate mullet, played Phase 10, and they tried my ginger beer, which they said they liked. We also got some good news, which I won’t talk about now. After talking with mom a little, Julie and I are now considering buy a small house in Live Oak. The few apartments there are all income based like Magnolia Crossing where Julie and I used to live. We probably wouldn’t qualify to live there, because they usually count student loans as income, which is ironic because student loans don’t count as income when qualifying for a mortgage. We looked at a real estate website for Live Oak and found about an 800 square foot house near the Interstate for about $50,000. The amortization looks like we’d be paying less per month than we’ve ever paid in rent at any apartment. It would also be a better investment, since the housing market might turn buyers’ market by time we’re ready to move again, assuming we don’t stay there.
Oh yeah, sometime last week, I got my passport in the mail, so I’m all set to go on our honeymoon. I just remember I haven’t put my honeymoon details on the Wedding page.
The new laptops came in last week. They were preinstalled with Windows Vista home basic. I decided not to install Linux on them (at least not for now), so I downgraded one to Windows XP, set up all the software, including MinGW, Cygwin, and KDE4 and copied the image to the other laptop. It took a pretty long time to set them up, and I had a lot of trouble installing all the drivers for XP. I’m not really sure how long it will be before Windows annoys me to the point that I decide to install Linux.
This week, I have two meetings for the DNA annotation project that I will be working on. The first meeting is Tuesday, and Dr. Chung says she is going to give me a trial job to do to make sure I know what I’m doing. From there, I will be coming in after work every Thursday until the end of June. I am not really sure how long it will take each day. Hopefully not very long. Julie is not going to be working on Thursdays anymore as I thought, so it will be cutting into my Julie time.
So many changes coming up…