My Douglas Adams year

A few weeks ago I turned 42, which prompted my friend Paul to declare I was entering my “Douglas Adams year.” (Though somewhat worryingly, one of his other analogy-years was 33, because that’s how old John Belushi and Chris Farley were when they died… Douglas Adams died at age 49. Hmmmmm.)

Bend Beer: A History of Brewing in Central Oregon2014 was an eventful year, primarily because I wrote a book! The contract was signed around December of 2013, and I began researching and interviews in earnest in January, with a deadline of mid-July. Meaning, I had about seven months in which to complete it—pretty quick, by publishing (and writing!) standards. Following the submission of the manuscript were rounds of edits and proofing, with a publish date of October 21—at which point the rest of the year was a whirlwind of signings and publicity, including the Big Time—a talk and signing at Powell’s Books in Portland!

So now I am the authority on Bend beer and its history, for better or for worse. But that’s okay, because now I have a published first book under my belt, from a real publisher, which opens doors to a second, and third, and more books. For which I already have ideas.

But 2015 is (mostly, since the majority of the year I am 42) my Douglas Adams year, which means I need to be well on my way to figuring out the question to the question of life, the universe, and everything. Or at least inventing a computer to do so. Hopefully that means 2015 will be eventful too!

(So far, so good—mostly with events stemming out from the beer writing, which is a good thing!)

Shakespeare turned 450 years old today

William ShakespeareI don’t quite know how I’d missed this until the latter half of the day—I’m actually surprised Google didn’t do a doodle on this today—but William Shakespeare was born 450 years ago today (April 23).

(Okay, to be fair, nobody actually knows for sure that Shakespeare was born on April 23; however he was baptized on April 26, 1564 so the 23rd is as good a guess as any. It also holds an appealing parallel to the date of his death: April 23, 1616.)

But 450! That’s a milestone. Only 50 years until the big 5-0-0. It’s pretty amazing to think of the influence on the English language for so long—and no end in sight—that Shakespeare had. And I’ve said it before, but if you’ve never seen Shakespeare performed live—at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland would be my top recommendation—then you really should; it’s eye-opening and will change whatever opinions you might have about his works.

Not a Leap Year

We saw the new Die Hard movie last Friday, “A Good Day to Die Hard.” It wasn’t terrible—the action sequences were good and the concept was there—but compared to the last movie it was disappointing, largely because (for me) the dialogue was very stilted and cliché, focusing more on the one-liners than advancing the plot or anything. Plus it didn’t really give John McClane the “nobody else is here to do this” kind of role that the character is really known for… I ended up thinking the movie is begging for a fan fiction rewrite that could really tighten things up and make it 100% better. Or a Phantom Edit-style recut.

Of course, you always have to wonder about (yet another) sequel…

Earlier this month I set up my old Commodore 64 computer system for the kids to see, just for grins. Basically their computer desk in the office has been empty since the (older) Sony Vaio all-in-one system started dying (the integrated LCD monitor light was starting to burn out, which is a huge pain) so I figured, why not? I have to say, it is amusing as hell to see that old system set up again—but other than that first day we were playing around with it, it hasn’t been turned on.

Lots of beer things are happening, too: we’re planning this second year of Central Oregon Beer Week and that has been taking up a lot of time. Maybe I’ll do some “behind the scenes” type posts for that at some point. Suffice to say, there are a lot of good ideas floating around but trying to nail down details like sponsorship packages is a chore. Hopefully we’ll have that dialed in very, very soon and can get down to the fun stuff of drinking beer! Or at least planning out events where we get to drink beer.

Incidentally, Central Oregon Beer Week is taking place from May 20 through 27 this year—the week leading into Memorial Day Weekend. It’s going to be awesome.