Milwaukee

The Museum of Beer and Brewing opened in Milwaukee on May 11th. It is open  Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday  noon to 6 p.m.  The website doesn’t say anything about exhibits or events yet.

Twelve years ago, I spent several days in Milwaukee, attending a conference.  We did several beer related things including visiting both Pabst Mansion and the site of the Pabst Brewery.

Here is one of the posts from April 30, 20212 that I wrote about the trip. Apaprently Best Place still exists and you can still go on tours. I wonder if there is any connection between Best Place and the new museum.

He who drinks Pabst drinks best

After visiting the Pabst Mansion, we walked to the site of the Pabst Brewery. The plant ceased operations in 1996. The brewery was massive and consisted of twenty-eight buildings. Some are in disrepair and many are gone. A parking garage is on the site of a few buildings.

The buildings that housed the corporate offices and the visitor’s center still remain. Pabst tours were very popular, partially because the center apparently served unlimited beer. In the courtyard there is a very large statue of Frederick Pabst.

Frederick Pabst, Best Place, Milwaukee

In 2001, Jim Haertel, a genial, local entrepreneur, purchased these buildings and is slowly renovating them. He has named the facility Best Place as a historical nod to the founder of Pabst Beer, Jacob Best Sr. You pay seven dollars at the gift shop, which existed when the brewery was in operation.

You are then brought into a large tavern. The bar serves many of the beers that Pabst owns, such as PBR and Schlitz, but they also serve craft beers. I had a Hopdinger from O’so which is located in Plover, Wisconsin. It was really good and had a great hop flavor. We also got pretzels.

Besides the free beer and pretzels, your seven dollars gets you a viewing of old commercials, which were mostly Schlitz, and a talk by the owner. In his talk, Haertel briefly recounted the history of Pabst and the story of his purchase of these buildings. After his talk, he took us upstairs to see the offices which are not in great shape.

Former Office, Pabst Brewery, Milwaukee

Seeing the massive complex that comprised Pabst Brewery in such disuse and disrepair tells the story of American business in general and the brewing industry in particular in the late twentieth century. Pabst is a virtual brewer; all of its brands are brewed by Miller. The corporate headquarters are in California. Haertel hopes they may relocate to Best Place.

The Pabst Brewery, Milwaukee

 

Non Weekly Update

As I was preparing to write this blog post, I searched in my almost six hundred posts to see what titles I had used. Originally, I thought I would entitle this post “Progress.” When I searched for that term, one thing that came up was from two years ago when I was doing a 28-day NaNoWriMo and trying to revise my book as well as send out queries and my book proposal. The other string I searched for was “Update.” Of course, I came across my endless weekly updates that I did until I got the news that the publisher had withdrawn their offer.

In an attempt at irony, you can see that I have entitled this post, “Non-Weekly Update.” Since the end of February, when Levellers behaved in the atrocious manner that they did, I have continued to get the book ready for publication. That comprised combining the chapters into one document, copyediting the manuscript, and fixing up the end notes.

My plan was to continue with this work as if I still had to send the manuscript to Levellers at the beginning of May. I hoped that while I was doing this work, I would gain clarity about what my next steps should be. That has not happened yet.

Of the many options available to me, I feel fairly negatively about sending it out to other traditional publishers or having it published by a hybrid press. A remaining option is doing nothing, putting all the material pertaining to the book on a dedicated external hard drive, and moving on with my life. The other remaining possibility is some kind of self-publishing.

I think I will have the manuscript in publication shape by next week. I then plan to think about what my next step should be. When I decide, I will let you know.

 

Liver Disease

This past March, The New York Times had a article about alcohol-related liver disease. It is the leading cause of death from heavy or excessive drinking. According to The Times, death from this disease have risen 39 percent recently.

The temperance movement was very concerned with liver disease and tried to educate young people about the dangers of drinking. Here is a link to a post from almost sixteen years ago.

Cirrohosis,  which devlops after many years of heavy drinking, is usually irreversible. It is a contributing factor to over fifty percent of  liver cancer cases. Here is post about that from 2010.

Recently I have had a variety of stomach issues so I haven’t been drinking. Coffee has also been affecting my stomach. I enjoy both but I am currently chosing to have one cup of coffee a day and no alcohol.

Here is picture of a healthy liver and then one with cirrohosis.

 

 

 

 

Cirrohotic Liver

New Office

We have lived in our current home for over thirty years. It is a small ranch with three bedrooms upstairs and a full basement. Prior to moving here, we lived for six years at Hampshire College. We were Directors of Academic Life (DALS) – dolls.

We lived in a big house with many rooms. I was able to have my own office with wood shelves running the span of one large wall. The room had big windows with a view of campus.

Every place I had lived, as an adult, up to that point, I had office space with windows. When we moved to our current house, we needed the bedrooms upstairs for us and our two sons. Because we wanted more space, we had two rooms and a stall shower bathroom built in the basement before we moved in.

I suppose I could have made the boys share a bedroom and then I could have used the remaining room for an office, but it never occurred to me. Instead, the room in the basement without windows became a playroom and the other room, with windows, became my office.

Eventually my younger son started using the playroom as a bedroom, but I still had my office downstairs. His ten-by-ten bedroom upstairs subsequently became a family room. When my older son graduated college and left home, my husband started using his room as an office.

As you may remember, my office and many of my papers, both for my book and personal items going back many years, got ruined in the flood we had three years ago. Since then, I have had mixed feelings about my basement office. It is cold and musty and basically triggering when I go down there.

I have continued to use it but recently we redid my husband’s home office, painting, getting a new desk, file cabinet, and a new rug. This necessitated moving some furniture out of his room and moving a table into the family room. I started using it as a desk. After a while I decided I could turn the family room into a combination office dressing room. We have now begun that process. I don’t’ know why it has taken me thirty-two years to realize I deserve a room of my own upstairs, but I finally can see the street again.

 

Foreign Wives

A few years ago, my dermatologist, Dr. Wyatt, who is my favorite doctor, diagnosed me with rosacea. He recommended a book, The Clear Skin Diet by Alan C. Logan and Valori Treloar. I didn’t try it at the time but last week I started using the recipes and menus in the book. Some of it is based on Japanese cooking and its effect on the skin.

After the first week, I got interested in Japanese cooking and did some Internet searching for cookbooks. One that intrigued me was Rice Paddy Gourmet. It turns out that the author, Joan Itoh, wrote it while she was living in Japan as a foreign bride. The cookbook contained recipes and some of the columns she wrote there,

While in Japan, she formed an organization for women in a similar position to her. Here is some information about the Association of Foreign Wives of Japanese which still exists.

Joan Itoh lived in Japan for 17 years. She subsequently left that country and remarried. Besides the cookbook, she also wrote at least one novel. Joan Itoh Burk died in 29023. For more information about her, click here and here.

It is always interesting to me to see how women, when they become wives, try to find meaning and purpose, often, within an constrained space.

National Beer Day

Sorry for the delay in posting. The day for doing that is still a moving target.

Last Sunday was National Beer Day. It celebrates the day in 1933 when low alcohol beer and wine became legal after 13 years of Prohibition. This article discusses what are currently the bestselling beers. That honor goes to Modelo.

Here is a post written February 19, 2020, just before the pandemic, about Mexican beer. I have edited it slightly.

Mexican Beer

Before 1910 most beer in Mexico was brewed by small brewers. In the 1890s big modern breweries developed and by 1899 five firms controlled sixty three percent of the market. By 1910 the major brewers distributed nationally. The companies were vertically integrated, holding monopolies in everything from bottles to the railroads.

Corona Extra is the sixth largest beer brand in America and the top import. Constellation Brands owns Corona and Modelo. Modelo is the seventh largest beer brand. An industry analysis of Constellation stated “Constellation’s story includes … a powerful demographic tailwind. Its core consumer base skews towards Hispanics, a sizable demographic whose primacy will only increase over the coming years. We find it fairly intuitive that Hispanics place a premium on Mexican beer, as it speaks in part to a shared culture and heritage, and in our view, these dynamics are at the heart of Constellation’s superb operating profile…”  There are some stereotypical assumptions in this analysis. For the full analysis, click here.

In 2010 Heineken bought the Mexican brewer Femsa; its brands are Dos Equis and Tecate. The company had a 43 percent share of the Mexican beer market. Dos Equis is twentieth. A German brewer in Vera Cruz created it in the nineteenth century. Tecate is 29th; Since 2013 it has had a 35 percent decrease in shipments. For the  full list of the top 31 brands, go here.

Mexico has a small craft brewing segment. These brewers produce ale; the majority of Mexicans drink lager. Most Mexican craft beer is exported since there is not really a market for it within Mexico. Mexico is third in global exports of beer, most of which goes to Canada and the United States.

 

 

 

 

Worlds

As I mentioned last week, I spent over a week in Montreal, attending the World Figure Skating Championships. The skating was amazing; so many talented people competed.

Ilia Malinin had a unique free skating, completing six quad jumps, including a quad axle. That jump is actually 4 and 1/2 half rotations in the air. It was a phenomenal experience. I have seen Ilia perform the quad axel live both times he did it. At both Skate America in 2022 and at Worlds in March 2024, I also got to speak to him. He seems like a nice and thoughtful young man.

Although I enjoyed attending Worlds, I am on the fence about going to next year’s event which will be in Boston. Montreal, of course, was cold and it snowed. Boston’s weather in March will not be that much better. It was hard to sleep in a hotel for that many days. The food at the Bell Center was often cold and always unhealthy.

I have now attended 2 Skate Americas, 2 USFSA Nationals and 2 Worlds. That might be enough. Next year, I can devote the same week to watching skating, but view it in the comfort of my own home, sleep in my own bed, and have better food.

I am publishing this today, because – believe it or not- tomorrow, I am going to a skating show. On Sunday, my club, the Skating Club of Amherst, has its annual show. There’s a lot of skating this weekend. I am excited to attend and thrilled that I am not performing.

 

 

Montreal

I recently returned from eight days in Montreal. I went there to attend the World Figure Skating Championships. We got there Sunday, March 17. I was really excited that we didn’t have to take a plane and could just drive. The trip basically took us through most of Vermont which had some very pretty parts to it.

Monday and Tuesday were just practice days, so we did some sightseeing. Our hotel was close to Old Montreal and on Monday we did a self-guided walking tour of that neighborhood. The highlight was the Notre-Dame Basilica which was absolutely beautiful.

On Tuesday we went to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and saw an  exhibit about Georgia O’Keeffe and Henry Moore. Although the artists never met each other, the curator found similarities in the materials they used and the themes and topics they explored in their art. At the  end of the exhibit the museum had videoes of both artists talking. Henry Moore’s interview took place in his studio and was fascinating. I really enjoyed the exhibit.
Next week I’ll tell you about the skating.

Starting Again

I have received some bad news which I am still processing. Levellers Press has withdrawn it’s offer of publication. They refuse to explain why and gave me no chance to fix any potential problems. My imediate response is to never have anything else to do with Collective Copies.

I am going to take some time to figure out what options are available to me going forward. If and when I figure it out, I will let you know. I do plan on resuming regular posts on topics of interest to me and I hope, you. I will start that on Saturday, March 30.

 

Weekly Update, Week 27

Once again, I apologize for the delay in posting this. Time got away from me and, before I knew it,  several days had passed. This is likely to be my last weekly update. Don’t get excited, it doesn’t mean I am completely finished with the manuscript. Rather, it means that I have realized that counting the number of hours I work every day and recording them on the NaNoWriMo site no longer works for me.

Abandoning that process  means I will not complete the original challenge I set for myself, which was to work 29,000 minutes or 483.33  hours from August to the end of April. As of last Friday, which was my last day of recording my hours worked, I had logged 421.28 hours.

I am still doing final edits and deciding about pictures. I am leaning towards not having any. It is costly to print pictures, particularly color. There is also the problem of getting permissions. Instead of putting a bunch of pictures in the book, i am thinking of having a display of them on my website.

After I finish the edits and decide about the pictures, I have to think about making the manuscript one file – either as a Word document or a PDF.