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Jeff's virtual cocktail party

I just got tagged by Andy Abramson in a game of blogger tag, via Jeff Pulver.  The game is pretty simple.  Most bloggers are known by their blogs.  Publish five little known facts about yourself, and then tag five of your blogger pals to participate.  Here goes:

  1. You may have seen the odd post here about hot peppers, but that’s really only scratching the surface of another of my hobbies.  Gardening has been an enduring obsession in my life.  I’ve owned three homes in the last 20 years, and installed at least 10,000 square feet of flower beds in them.  That’s about a quarter of an acre of gardens.
  2. I seriously considered a career as a musician.  I played the piano, french horn, and cello as well as singing in choirs throughout most of school. I was once a “pickled boy” in a performance of Benjamin Britten’s St. Nicholas Cantata. In fact, I hated mathematics until 11th grade, when I learned what a computer was. A year later,  I got my first job in the computer industry, working part-time at Digital Equipment’s Kanata facility, packing backplanes and other boards into shipping boxes.
  3. Although many people know I enjoy wine, I was and still am, a serious beer geek.  I brewed my own, off and on, for 15 years, going so far as to maintain a collection of unusual beer yeasts in petri dishes in my beer refrigerator, and making my beer from scratch by mashing my own malts.  Few ordinary beer drinkers can tell you the difference between alpha and beta amylase, and the temperatures at which they operate in the mashing process.  You can taste it though.  Similarly, most don’t care about the differences between saccharomyces carlsbergensis (lager yeast) and saccharomyces cerevisiae (ale yeast).  You can taste that too!
  4. I’m a fan of indigenous peoples’ art, especially the art of native North American peoples.  Some of my favorite artists include woodland artists Norval Morriseau and Daphne Odjig, plains artist Jane Ash Poitras, and west coast artists Bill Reid, Don Yeomans, and Robert Davidson.
  5. You may also know from reading this blog that I enjoy travel, especially when it includes adventure sports like scuba.  However, during the seven years my family and I lived in Seattle, we became avid hikers and mountaineers.  Annually, I’d participate in at least one multi-day backpacking expedition in the mountains, or on the beaches. The photo below was taken halfway between Rainy Pass (on the North Cascade Highway), and the Canadian border — a six day backpacking trip on the Pacific Crest Trail with no road access, just a few backpackers and the bears.

Next up: Andrew Hansen, Jon Arnold, Randy Morin, Matthew Saunders and Craig Fitzpatrick.  Tag!  You’re it!  And let’s see if we can get Om Malik to play along too…

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