Thursday, November 29, 2012

Guess What....

I have a new blog!

Well, more like a second blog.  I'm going to do my best to keep up with them both, but the new blog is something unique and I wanted to try to keep this one still dedicated to the randomness that it has become.

So make the jump HERE to check it out!  You know you want to!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Today I was a computer genius... and then I wasn't

Today I was a computer genius. No seriously, I stopped time machine from being a little bitch, swapped out harddrives on my mac, restored the harddrive after formatting, and then successfully hooked up my wireless printer to the network, all of my computers and through air print to my iphone. Amazing. And then I tried to connect Jeremy's work laptop to the wireless printer and all hell broke loose. :-/

Okay, first things first. Time Machine. What you may, or may not know, is that time machine, by default will back up to your local drive. So if your drive is fairly full to begin with, its gonna get a very full very quickly.

Yesterday I moved 266GB of data from my external drive to my new laptop just for an hour so I could reformat the external drive. Once I was done formatting I moved the data back onto the drive and erased it from my computer (into the trash, then emptied the trash). So, you would think it was gone, but nope, every time I looked at my hardrive it said that it had 260+GB of data on it! It's a brand new drive, the only thing it had on it before the file transfer was Mac OS X and Chrome. It took me a while but I finally figured out that it had kept a local backup of that 266GB file and it was completely swamping my computer. To turn off this not so helpful feature here's what you need to do:

Launch Terminal from /Applications/Utilities
Enter the following command: sudo tmutil disablelocal
Enter the admin password when requested to disable local backups

This will also erase any local backups that may have already occurred (eventually). It took like 15 minutes for them to go away and then a few reboots, but eventually my computer was back to only 22GB full.

So I took a time machine backup to my external drive at this point so I would have something to restore to.

Next: Swapping out the harddrive in your 2012 macbook pro. I found you tube to be very useful for this. I can't find the exact video I watched but if you look up "2011 Macbook Pro Harddrive Swap" you'll find a bunch. If you have a new macbook pro you don't need to remove the battery at all, in fact, when you open it, there is a little note stating not to do this. Two things I learned, one, you'll need some very small screwdrivers (phillips head) and you'll need a T7 star driver. On the sides of the mac hard drive there are four silver screws (star heads). These hold the driver in place. You'll have to take them out and put them on your new hard drive, assuming your hard drive didn't come with them. Other than that, swapping was easy.

After swapping I started back up again, holding down the option key until I saw it jump into the "internet recovery" screen. After recovery (which took like 3 minutes) I tried restoring, but it wouldn't find my new harddrive at all. After a bit of research I realized that it was because my drive wasn't formatted (second key piece of information missing from the not-so-helpful screen) So, if this happens to you, go into disk utility and force it to "erase" the contents. When it does this, it will format the drive correctly. Shutdown and restart, holding down the option key. Once again you will have to go through the internet recovery again, only this time it will take like an hour. After that, go into 'restore from time machine backup' and you should be able to see your new hard drive.

I couldn't believe that everything worked... and it only took me like 4 hours. After getting that all up and running, I started reinstalling programs like Photoshop Express (easy) and Microsoft Office. Who would have thought that installing office would have been the most difficult part of my day. After purchasing online, and having my credit card company block the transaction due to possible fraud, I got an email telling me exactly how to download microsoft office, only never once in their email does it tell you that said "download" button will not appear until they send you a SECOND confirmation email in 2-4 hours. I spent 30 minutes looking for this stupid button and on the phone with 3 people from MS Office support before someone could tell me that I had to wait for a second email. Why the hell would that be so hard to put in the first email!

After all this, I figured I would press my luck and try to setup the new Canon Pixima MG6200 printer for wireless support. After a few issues and about 2 hours of debugging I couldn't believe that I actually got it to work. Over both my Mac's AND over air print for the iphones! It was amazing. I was feeling so satisfied... until I wasn't.

As the title states, I WAS a computer genius, but now I am not. Somewhere between all the printers and mac's being happy with each other, I had Jeremy install the printer software on his work laptop, which he uses at home quite frequently. And then all hell broke loose. Not only did that not work, it then somehow did work, and installed two copies on his computer. Then his computer just decided that it would start generating IP address conflicts with other things on the network. Now my computer and the printer are all generating IP address conflicts and the Netgear R6300 wireless router just keeps dropping out for the hell of it. Like 8 times in the last 30 minutes. Ugh. It's just too late to deal with this. Hopefully I can resolve it tomorrow.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saint Arnold's Divine Reserve Tasting

I should really title this entry "I finally have my fridge back." For those of you that don't know us, Jeremy has been using our cheese drawer to store his Saint Arnolds Divine Reserve stash ever since DR7 back in 2008. Of course as we made our way through DR8, 9, 10... up to 12 that little cheese drawer just wasn't enough, so it started to spill its way over into other parts of the fridge. Then Saint Arnolds started bottling special beers in big bottles. Well, those don't fit well in a drawer, so they displaced the ketchup, mustard and BBQ sauce on the sides of the fridge. Lets just say that by the end of the night I had gotten back a LOT of fridge space.

The boys started at 3pm the day after Thanksgiving for the tasting party. Since we only had a few bottles of some of them (like DR7) there were only 5 present at the tasting. Jeremy helped me come up with a menu and I stayed in the kitchen and cooked. I love hosting dinner parties, so I had enough fun just prepping the food and serving it. Before I get into the courses, here's what the beer menu looked like.

Yea, that really happened.

The Pairing:
(click on each picture to view larger)

Course 1: DR7 - Weizenbock

"This is a dark, slightly chocolatey weizenbock with an undercurrent of bananas and cloves." We choose to pair it with some Manchego and Gouda cheese and some walnuts and dried cranberries. Although there was a consensus that this pairing was the least matched of them all, the beer itself poured very smooth and had aged very well. And really, Manchego cheese is just awesome by itself anyway.

Course 2: Alaskan Smoked Porter

Although this is not a Saint Arnolds beer, Jeremy's friend brought it back special from Alaska just for us, so he wanted to include it in the tasting. "The dark, robust body and pronounced smoky flavor of this limited edition beer make it an adventuresome taste experience. Alaskan Smoked Porter is produced in limited "vintages" each year on November 1 and unlike most beers, may be aged in the bottle much like fine wine." We paired this with a smoked salmon and cream cheese topped crostini. Smoked beer from Alaska, smoked salmon crostini, how could you go wrong?

Course 3: DR9 - Imperial Pumpkin Stout and Pumpkinator

The DR9 is a black beer with "some ruby highlights. The nose is full of pumpkin pie spices and some alcohol. There are notes of nutmeg, caraway and vanilla." The DR9 was the divine reserve predecessor to the Pumpkinator. It went over so well that they decided to make it a seasonal sold only in 22oz bottle. It seemed necessary to try these two side by side.
This was a tough one to pair simply because I wanted to try to pair it with something that wasn't a dessert. Though, as you'll see later, we did also throw it in with the dessert course. Here I made a spinach and arugula fall salad with pecans, pears, and a side of sharp cheddar cheese. For the dressing, I combined macadamia nut oil, olive oil and pumpkinator (yes, the beer) as well as cinnamon and nutmeg. The salad dressing came out AMAZING, though the salad itself only paired well with the aged DR9, while the Pumpkinator was a bit overpowering.

Course 4: DR8 - Scotch Ale

"This is a bold, malty, smoky Scotch Ale. The nose is full of smoky toffee notes. The taste opens with sweet malt and spice, then the alcohol comes up with a light residual sweetness on the finish." Unlike when we first sampled this beer, the smoky flavor had mellowed out quite a bit. We paired this with sliders made from 85/15 grass fed beef mixed with garlic powder and worcestershire sauce, topped
with aged sharp cheddar cheese served on a bed of arugula. Of all the pairings it was determined that this one was the best.

Course 5: DR11 - Double IPA, Homefront IPA, and Endeavour Double IPA.

Like the Pumpkinator, DR11 was the predecessor to the Endeavour. "The color is deep amber with a light, creamy head. The nose starts off with a touch of citrus but then turns decidedly into peaches. The taste starts off with creamy malt resulting from the pale 2 row and caramel malts and Saint Arnold yeast." We choose to also pair this with the Homefront Pale Ale, brewed by Saint Arnolds but first brewed by Fremont Brewing Company. This is a west coast IPA brewed to help Operation Homefront an organization that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our service members and wounded warriors. For these beers I chose to go with grilled baby back ribs covered in Joe's Stuff, a low sodium seasoning from New Orleans, and a side of BBQ sauce. Mmmmmmmmm, Ribs! These were so tender I could barely cut them without the meat falling off the bone. Of the three beers, this pairing worked best with the DR11, which was very smooth.

Course 6: DR10 - English Barleywine

"DR10 is a big, strong, spicy barleywine with malt and alcohol dominating and a pleasant hop finish. The aroma has malt and spice from the alcohol. It was brewed with 6 different malts plus brown sugar." I'm not much of a beer drinker myself, but of all the divine reserves in the series, this is my favorite. Although it is very easily a dessert beer, we choose to pair this with a nice strong gorgonzola cheese. Since they recommend aging this for at least 5-10 years we only popped open one bottle of this one, so we could save the rest for a few years from now.

Course 7: DR12 - Old Ale, Pumpkinator, and Sailing Santa.

Well, we've made it to dessert. Here we started with the DR12, added the Pumpkinator mentioned above, and also paired it with this years Sailing Santa (a mix of Saint Arnolds Christmas Ale and their Elissa IPA with a hint of cinnamon)
The DR12 Old Ale color is "orangy amber with a light, creamy head. The nose has rich malt notes and a little alcohol that combines with a spicy hop note to create a complex bouquet. The taste has a spicy, malty beginning that smoothes out into a creamy middle and a warming finish." We paired this with an apple crisp and a molten chocolate dessert as well as some left over pumpkin pie. The pumpkinator went best with the chocolate dessert while the sailing santa and the old ale were best paired with the apple crisp.

So that was it. By the end of the night everyone was fully, happy, and probably slightly inebriated. Jeremy and his friends had a great time and I enjoyed cooking for everyone. I also enjoyed that Jeremy cleaned up all the dishes :)

Monday, November 12, 2012


Thank goodness for long weekends; without Monday off nothing would have gotten done this past weekend.

Saturday Jeremy and I, along with our friends John, Kelly, and Brandon, ran the Warrior Dash in Bastrop, TX. 3 of us had done it before, and while it's no Tough Mudder, its still fun, especially with a great group of friends. We all ran together and Jeremy wore the GoPro Hero2 on his head throughout the run.

(As a complete sidenote, this race may have justified my purchasing of a new macbook pro. Now that I have a GoPro and I'm doing so much more photo editing, my old macbook is just not capable of handling any of it very well at all, guess those iphone 5's will just have to wait a few more months)

Anyway, here's an after picture of us all muddied up.

And here's the video:

Warrior Dash 2012 from Shelley Rea on Vimeo.

Sunday Jeremy and I ran the Color Run in Houston, as if one crazy weekend activity wasn't enough. First off, I have to say, cleaning up after the Warrior Dash is WAY easier than cleaning up after the Color Run. That colored "flour" or whatever it is, just doesn't come off. But, we had a blast and I'm glad I finally got to run this event. In Houston the 5k run was what they call the Bridge Run downtown, apparently one of the most popular 5k courses in Houston. Every 1k there was a color zone where you got hit with a different color. Blue, Orange, Pink then Yellow. At the end there was a stage with a band and every 15 minutes or so they would do a huge color throw. During this color bomb, as I call it, everyone would take a few packets of color, rip them open, then all at once throw them into the air. At this moment, if you're in the middle of it, everything goes completely dark and for those brief moments you can barely breathe. But you emerge, covered in more color than you can imagine. I have to admit, it's pretty fun. For the rest of the morning as we walked around downtown for lunch and some shopping, we kept seeing everyone all decked out in color. There were about 10,000 people at the race, crazy! Here are some pictures.

I wanted to bring some color home and share the experience with some friends, but Jeremy was absolutely 100% against it. I guess I can understand why. We have also decided that we will NOT be having one of these parties at our house anytime soon, sorry friends, you'll just have to run it yourselves next time!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Rocky Raccoon

From July through September the weather rarely dips below 95 degrees in Texas. However, if you can make it through the summer, the fall will usually reward you.

Earlier today Jeremy and Brandon, ran a 25k trail run in Huntsville, TX. We packed up the car and headed up north for the night for some perfect camping. This is the time of year when you don't so much mind living in Texas. 75 degree days, 60 degree nights. Never mind the gaggle of boyscouts taking over the campgrounds, the weather was too perfect to care.

The race started this morning at 7am. Being the supportive wife that I am, I told Jeremy not to worry about the tent, I would hold down the fort until he was finished running. I know, its hard work, but someone has to do it.

It's just too nice in here to really care about anything else.

This little guy kept trying to get in my tent.

I did manage to get up and pack up the tent with enough time to go meet them at the finish.

Here's Jeremy just after finishing. (The iphone camera was too slow to catch him in mid run, he's just too fast!)

Nice run Jeremy & Brandon!