Saturday, December 20 2014
I'm sure you've heard of the a website called Groupon.com where people can get discounts to events if they bring their friends. I'd never participated in a Groupon event before, but today Gretchen and I met up with David (of Susan & David), and the three of us carpooled to Germantown (across the Hudson and north about ten miles) to attend a tasting and tour of the Hudson Valley Distillery, which makes its spirits mostly from apples. We weren't the only people getting a tour when we arrived, and somehow we ended up being a led by a young woman who had led very few tours and couldn't answer many of David's questions. Still, it was good to see the big fermenation containers and elaborate stills made of stainless steel and copper. (There was also a smaller still, dating from the master distiller's pre-legal days.) We eventually met the master distiller, who had the practiced jocular formality and jarhead haircut that indicated either law enforcement or a level of advancement in a military career. It turned out that he'd worked a K9 unit on the police force in Newburgh, perhaps the scariest place in the entire Hudson Valley. He would later show us the café (currently under construction) and tell us about the many dog-friendly events he was planning. First, though, we had our tasting of a hot toddy and then three different distilled spirits. Two were bourbons, and they had completely different flavors due only to different cuts made into the oak staves of the barrels in which they'd been cured. One had an almost scotchlike peat flavor from deep spiral cuts burned into staves, while the other wasn't anything too special. The most interesting of the spirits was the apple vodka, which had a hint of apple essence that effectively masked the off-note that all vodkas seem to have. In addition to the free drinking glasses we got as part of the tour, Gretchen and I bought a $40 bottle of the vodka.
Though I'd had the most booze of anyone in our contingent, I was good to drive, so I was the one driving the Prius back westward. We impulsively stopped for lupper at the "Historic" Village Diner in downtown Redhook, where David and I had veggie burgers and Gretchen ordered spaghetti. She was hoping it would be unexpectedly good like the spaghetti at the Plaza Diner in New Paltz. It wasn't. The burgers came with a side of non-vegan macaroni salad which looked really good. But when I went to eat it, it was so insipid and snotty tasting that I immediately abandoned it. Good thing the coffee was good so I could reset my mouth. Lupper conversation was mostly about mothers and our problematic relations with ours. Mine is neurotic, stingy, self-centered, and grudge-holding, David's is crazy and guilt-cultivating, and Gretchen's is cold and unexpectedly WASPy.
I dropped Gretchen and David off at Kenco where David's car was so that they could go to Woodstock and attend another Will Little art event at the bookstore in Woodstock, and I went home to tinker with things in my laboratory.
I made the mistake of letting my Hackintosh attempt to update its software from the Apple Store, and of course this broke my carefully-built installation, causing it to crash spectacularly during boot. Fortunately, all I had to do to restore it to the way it was was to reinstall Yosemite from the USB stick and then repatch the AppleRTC file. An OSX installation leaves everything in place and just overwrites system files. Even though the problem was easy to fix, it's unnerving how brittle a Hackintosh installation is.
I stayed up late waiting for that reinstallation to complete while rewatching Napoleon Dynamite in hopes of catching the reference to the term "bo daggitt," which I'd forgotten after Friday's dinner party. I never found that reference, but I noted the scene where our curly-haired hero uses the term "decroded."
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