Good Times and Book Signing at the Jackson County (OR) Harvest fair

Thanks to the help and hospitality of Bob and Tonessa Bocales, of Grain, Beans & Things in Medford OR, I moderated, lectured, demonstrated and signed books at the Distiller’s Conference¬† at the Jackson County Harvest Fair on September 23. We had about 30 attendees who were primed with no end of great questions. We went late talking distilling, which is a presenter’s ideal situation. These folks were really hungry for distilling information, and I just hope I satisfied them.

While I talked, I had an essential oil extractor variation of my little coffeepot teaching still from the book running, extracting oil from cedar twigs. That gave the group a chance to watch some real (and legal) distillation in process, and the aroma was wonderful.

With luck, I’ll be doing this again next year.

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Booksigning at Mainbrew and Lecturing in The Gun Store

July 27, I pretty much spent the day at Mainbrew in Hillsboro OR. While preparing for a lecture and book-signing later in the day, I met Tony from Rainier Distillers, and got a chance to see a couple of his keg-based stills in action, running a variety of washes from unwanted keg beer to a very nice mead. Tony ran them way harder than I do, using both propane and electric heating simultaneously. Man, were those runs fast!

Later that evening I did my dog-and-pony show in a very nice classroom in a gun store down the strip mall from Mainbrew, for about 30 people. I really love doing these sessions, because people are so hungry for information, and so grateful when they get it.

By the time I finished the day, at about 9:00, I was on my lips, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

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Frisbee Eggs and Feral Burros at Terrible’s Casino in Pahrump, Nevada

Day 8 starts with the reason we stayed in Pahrump – the ham steak and eggs at Terrible’s Casino. The steak is about frisbee sized, maybe half an inch thick, and an excellent piece of pig. Not that nasty jelly-compounded stuff that tries to pass for ham, and it has super flavor.

While we’re eating breakfast, I find a missed call from Home Fermentation Center in Eugene; they’re out of books and need 5 more. Because I autograph all the wholesale books I sell, and because the books come out of the case un-autographed, I retire to my writing-desk, the hood of our car, under the Terrible’s sign, to sign the books in the order. Evidently, the casino-goers are not used to seeing literature being made, and I caught a few odd looks.

Hood signing - Bob BrunjesBob doing a Hood Signing

When you’re an on-the-road mailing business, you pretty much use the first post office you find, and in our case that was in a pretty, shaded oasis on the way to Nevada’s Red Rock Canyon. Across the street from the post office, we found maybe a dozen wild (feral) burros grazing in the park next to the school playground, which was full of kids ignoring them completely.

We assumed this was a commonplace sight here, although Pat had to very carefully circumvent the business end of a pregnant female burro to access the rest room.

burro at the restroomBurro waiting patiently to use the restroom

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Day 7 of Our Great Round the Country Whirlwind BookTour

Heading South from Echo Summit, we stopped in to Just Brew It in Carson City again, and ran into one of the guys from Saturday’s book-signing.

Talk about taking our talk to heart! In the 3 days since the signing, he had built a potstill, run 2 batches of wine through it, made the cuts, started the aging process, and had a zillion good questions. We talked for quite a while, and his enthusiasm was catching. We left Carson City with me completely wired.

We headed south on California 395, skirting the snow-crusted eastern wall of the Sierras, and through a series of 7,000-8,000 foot passes. The roads were clear and dry, but there were still snow patches off to the sides.

At Lone Pine, we started across Death Valley, late in the day and with sunset pending. We were hoping to catch sundown while we in a place to photograph a Death Valley sunset, and we did. As sunsets go, it was OK, but the landscape made it striking. We stopped at Panamint Springs, an old adobe resort, for a hamburger dinner, amidst a crowd of Australian tourists, French bicyclists, native desert rats, and and one cyclist from Eastern Europe somewhere.

Death Valley sunsetDeath Valley sunset

Since we had 2 calls to make in Las Vegas, we drove exhausted through the rest of Death Valley to Pahrump, Nevada, where we stayed.

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Just Brew It – Our Book Signing in Carson City, NV

On day 4, we took a day trip from Echo Summit to a book signing at Just Brew It in Carson City Nevada, where Trevor had set up a table and folding chairs in the back parking lot. About 25 enthusiastic hobby distillers and would-be’s showed up for about a 2-hour talk, Q%A session.

It was a very active session, which I’d consider a howling success, and we sold 20 books. I had an absolute ball.

From Carson City, we drove back to Echo summit for another couple sf days with our friend Eleanor.

Just Brew it - Carson City, NV

Just Brew It book signing – Carson City, NV

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Traveling in Northern California

Emerald_Bay_Lake_TahoeEmerald Bay – Lake Tahoe

Day 3 of the book tour was a long but beautiful drive down California 89 from Yreka (almost), CA to our friend Eleanor’s house on Echo Summit, at the very crest of the Sierras, overlooking the Tahoe Basin. We were slowed down a bit by having to dodge Mount Lassen Park, where highway 89 was closed by snow.

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Day 2 of Our Great Round The Country Whirlwind Book Tour

Day 2 of the GRTCWBT, and a busy day.

First stop was at Home Fermentation Center in Eugene. I spent some time with Jim, to find out if anyone would come to the short-notice seminar and signing. The only person to show up was looking to make a nettle champagne, we chatted about the possibilities of botttle-conditioning that, for a while. Jim still had a couple of books left.

Next stop, after a non-stop gully-washer and toad-strangler of a storm, was in Medford, OR, at Grain, Beans, and Things, to see the other Bob. Apparently he was lying in wait for me, because he signed me up for a book-signing at the Jackson County Harvest Fair and Homebrew Festival on September 24. That sounds like an absolute hoot for me; I just love fairs like that. With luck, there will be blacksmiths.

We finished the day with a sprint to Ashland though a stunning rainbow, to meet our grand-daughter Caitlin for dinner at a great Asian-fusion restaurant. Now that she’s a student at SOU, we don’t see much of her, so this was a real treat.

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Our Great Round-The-Country-Whirlwind-Booktour

First day of the Great Round-The-Country-Whirlwind-Booktour. I talked to Kevin at Mainbrew in Hillsboro, OR, and he was enthusiastic about the idea of a short hobby-distillation seminar and book-signing.

He still had books from a previous sales from Pat.

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