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Our 2008 Gathering will be in Columbus, Ohio the weekend of May 23-26 (and the following week if people would like to hang around). This is Memorial Day Weekend for those of us in the States, which may give some folks a better chance of being able to travel to Ohio.

I will be the in-town hostess! There are lots of great, fun things to do in the area; small museums, beautiful nature walks, world-class zoo, great shopping, scintillating company. We had a great time in the Chicago area last year!

I would love to meet all of you, and I sincerely hope you'll be able to come!

Please PM or email me if you're at all interested in joining us! Let me know if you'll want a hotel room, too, and if you're bringing a guest or several.

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I have already responded; Margaret and I will be there.

It might be an idea to start a list of expected attendees so that we all know who we are likely to be meeting.


Richard English
 
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I thought it might help entice folks if I posted a list of some of the possible things we could do while you're here! Most are inexpensive or free, which is an added bonus!

We have a lovely little topiary garden which should be very nice that time of year. It happens to be right behind The Main Library, which of course you'll want to see. Since it's Spring, we could also attend a Columbus Clippers ballgame. Sometimes the small-league games are really a lot of fun! Ohio has some amazing physical features, as well, and a short trip will take us to cool vistas and fascinating history. There's also some great shopping (and lovely yarn and books), and a world-class zoo!

That's just the highlights, but suffice to say that we'll be able to keep plenty busy while you're visiting the fair city of Columbus, Ohio!

(Yes, RE, we'll get some great beer, too.)


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Barleys don't actually mention the beer, do they - except in very general terms. I'm sure it's fine but a little less time on their (far too long) mission statement and more on their brands would make their site much better.

I will write mission statements for organisations. A mission statement of 100 words costs £20. The price goes up by £10 for every word FEWER than 99.

Any mission statement that all employees can't remember and quote instantly isn't any good.

"Our aim is to make the best car in the World" Claude Johnson of Rolls-Royce

What a mission statement!


Richard English
 
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Barley's makes their own beer. Yes, it is cask-conditioned, as far as I know, but I'm sure you'll be able to fill me in if it isn't! Every Friday they open a new firkin and serve their excellent special brew out of that, but they also always have an IPA and a few other choices on tap. Ken and Nancy have been there and they agreed - excellent beer. Trust me!

WC Gathering Columbus Mission Statement: Meet one another and have fun, dammit!


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"Our aim is to make the best car in the World"

And, it would've cost him 890 quid if he hired Richard the Laconic to devise it.


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And, it would've cost him 890 quid if he hired Richard the Laconic to devise it.

And worth every penny! That mission statement is one of the most widely known and believed in the world. After over a century, most people believe that the Rolls-Royce is "the best car in the world" - even those who have never ridden in one, let alone owned one.


Richard English
 
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"the best car in the world"

La! The best car in the world is the one that get me to work in the morning, and doesn't cost a king's ransom to own, run, and maintain.

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Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Yes, I suspect people have different ideas about the "best car in the world." While lots of people spend over $50,000 on vehicles (the Chicago Bear's player recently totalled a Lamborghini he had rented, which cost $350,000!), that's just not the way Shu and I want to spend our money; therefore, it's not the "best car in the world" for us. We would factor in cost with the "best," and our preference would be a Honda or Toyota or the like. With such a diverse population, it's hard to be the "best in the world."

But...this thread is about the Wordcraft Gathering. You can count on Shu and me, CW! And I agree that the beer at Barley's was world-class. Speaking of beer (I was trying to find a place for this link, and this is perfect!), this article on 10 things you didn't know about beer was funny. You might have to register to the Chicago Tribune because I couldn't find it in Google, but registration is free. My favorite was that as president, James Madison proposed creation of a national brewery and appointment of a "secretary of beer." Had that occurred, I suspect this would be a very different country!

Who else is coming next May?
 
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it's hard to be the "best in the world.

The "best in the world" is not necessarily the most suitable or appropriate to any particular person. Very few people buy the world's best since, as you suggest, there are factors other than absolute quality to consider.

Most people would agree that the Taj Mahal is one of the world's finest buildings - but it would be quite unsuitable for most people's needs.

Claude Johnson's description was probably not accurate even in 1907 - but as a mission statement and subsequently sales slogan, it was easily remembered by all and believed by most. If asked to name the best car in the world (not necessarily the car that they would most like to have) I suspect that far more people would name Rolls-Royce than would name Honda, Toyota or even Lamborghini.


Richard English
 
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Come, come, now everyone - back to the topic at hand (thanks, K, for trying to get this thread back on track).

Who else is thinking of joining us in Columbus in May of 2008?


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Yes, come on folks! It would be nice if each gathering were to be larger than the one before - that's been the case so far.


Richard English
 
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Well, I broached the subject with the mister and he said we can go. Yippee!
 
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Wonderful! So that's eight definites already.


Richard English
 
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That's great, TrossL. I've wanted to meet you for so long! Now maybe we can talk Bob into coming. Wink

I am hoping that Wordmatic and Bethree will be able to come. How about you Westerners? Z? Asa? Neveu? Tinman?
 
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(shouting from the FAR West) "ALOHA !! I'll be "there" whenever you decide that HAWAII is the proper and desireable place to meet."
 
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Uncertain, but sounds like fun. Uncertain since May is an extremely busy month for me, even in the weeks after graduation, because of multiple deadlines on projects I must tend to. We do get the extra day off that Monday though. Since my vision is such that I will not be driving myself, I would have to either talk my husband into coming and driving, or rely on "sucky" public transport (well the train from Philly-to-Cincy part would be great, but then the bus to Columbus, a drive I used to make all the time, would not.)

So, yes I would love to come, but because the answer will depend on things I won't know until a couple of weeks before, please just put me in your hopeful maybe column and I'll try to make it. I'll also try to get George to come. i know he would enjoy this gang, this conglomeration, this aggregation of characters!

Wordmatic
 
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Excellent! I am sure we could find some way of getting you from Cincinnati without your having to take the 'bus. Sadly I won't be bringing my car over or I'd offer...


Richard English
 
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By the way, who are the "8 definites?"

Wordmatic, I am going to come to Philadelphia and drive you to Ohio...work, or no work! There will be no excuses! You, too, Bethree! You guys are too close to stay away. Hab, we'd love to meet you as well. And Robert. Missann I believe said she couldn't attend. All you easterners and midwesterners and eastern southerners ought to be able to make it, right?

Now, what about some of you westerners? And the rest of the Brits? Or our Canadians? Let's get the troops out!

Jerry, I am sorry you can't join us, and we'd absolutely love to have a gathering in Hawaii. I think it a fabulous idea. We might want to wait awhile after Columbus before we plan the next one, though. It seems like we had no time to relax this time. Perhaps they should be every year and a half or two years. I really don't think it's a good idea to start talking about the next one as soon as one ends. I suspect Richard will disagree with that.
 
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I suspect Richard will disagree with that.

Indeed I do! Although we seem to be arranging this gathering quite soon after the last one, it's nearly nine months before we'll all be meeting.

I reckon a year's a good interval - and it's better if it's around the same time each year. That way people can make a forward commitment and plan around it. We are busy people and my diary already has bookings for 2008. It's much better to book a slot well in advance and then alter it if necessary, than it is to wait until it's too late to get a slot that suits everyone.


Richard English
 
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Well, the problem of course is that if one season isn't good for someone (such as the spring never being good for those in academia), that means that some people never will be able to attend. We already once changed it from the fall to the spring, and I think we should do that in the future. I'm wondering if we could construct a survey for all our members with multiple questions, such as those created by Survey Monkey software. Arnie, do you know if our polls can ask a number of questions? If not, perhaps I could construct a Survey Monkey questionnaire and post a link to it. I'd like to hear what others think. We could ask about venues, frequency, time of the year, etc. We could also ask why people don't attend (for those who don't) and get an idea as to who might be likely to attend in the future.
 
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This all sounds so very earthly . . . .
 
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Arnie, do you know if our polls can ask a number of questions?
Yes. For an example see the earlier poll at http://wordcraft.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/281603894/m/6841076674. It only has two, but the principle's the same for more questions.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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You will find that some dates suit some people and different dates suit others. Some locations suit some people and different locations suit others. Some people will be very flexible and go more or less anywhere at any time; some people will be very limited; most people will not go anywhere at any time.

Ask by all means but you will find, whatever you do, that you will not get a consensus or even a clear majority and you'll just have to make a decision. And whatever decision you make the majority will not attend.

I am not being cynical or pessimistic; my comments are based on many years of involvement with these kinds of things and they are simply a factual statement about conferences.


Richard English
 
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but the principle's the same for more questions.

Thanks, Arnie. I will figure it out. I don't know if they use Survey Monkey in the UK, but we use it a lot here, and it is just great.

Richard, the questions must be asked. Otherwise we go with assumptions. However, I think I will wait until after this gathering to ask them. Let's, please, ask the questions first before we decide on anything about the next one (post-Columbus), though. Thank you, Wordcrafters.
 
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I think you should ask the questions now, not with a view to changing anything this time round but just to get the information as soon as possible. Richard is right in everything he says but having this kind of information, while it won't enable you to find something suitable for everyone will maximise the number of people you can find something for.
 
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Yes, I agree, Bob. Okay, when I am home, I will start another thread and ask those questions. I am so busy now at this conference, and then I will be without a computer for a few days while I visit my sisters.
 
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Well it has been awhile since we've talked about our Wordcraft Gathering, hasn't it?

With the help of CW, I've made reservations for 4 rooms at the Howard Johnson in Columbus...for the reasonable rate of $47 per night for their 1 king bedroom. Because I wasn't sure when people were coming, I made the reservations for May 22 through the 25th (leaving on the 26th). Please let me know if you're interested, for what dates, and I will adjust the reservations accordingly. I can always make more reservations, if that is needed. So far, there has been interest from Richard and his wife, Shu and me, TrossL and her husband, and Wordmatic and her husband (not sure about the TrossL's and WM's husbands).

CW, let us know the exciting things that we can do in Columbus!
 
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Kalleh, thanks so much for handling the hotel thing!

I am very excited to be able to host you all here in Columbus - the more the merrier! That hotel is less than a mile from my house, and right off the freeway, so it'll be very convenient for getting around town.

Friday morning, those of us who are knitters or yarn geeks will go to The Knitter's Mercantile ,my favorite little yarn shop for a great gathering of women, and the rest of the gang will go with my husband to visit 1 or 2 unique bookstores (do you remember those, Kalleh and Shu?).

Friday afternoon we'll tour some world-class libraries and visit Columbus' Topiary garden. Friday evening we'll get out to a local brew pub for cask-conditioned beer and fish and chips.

Saturday we'll either go to the Columbus Zoo and Aquariumor to the nearby Hocking Hills State Park, depending on the groups' wishes, and back home in the evening for a party at my house (with great beer, of course, RE).

There are a few more links up in my Sept. 15, 2007 post on this thread, too.

Yay!


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Excellent. The hotel was the last thing in the jigsaw. I've now arranged my flights, car rental and train tickets so I'm all set and need only wait for the time to arrive.

It's really strange that the KNITTERS CONNECTION 2008 is on JUNE 11 - 14, 2009. Mind you, we'd not be able to be there even if it were 2008 as we shall be in Cyprus. Jetsetters, eh?

So come on folks - all pile in!


Richard English
 
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I wish I could have been there. Sadly it wasn't, and still isn't practical for me this year. Maybe next time.
I'm sure you'll all have a brilliant time although it's gonna be lonely here on wordcraft for a few days.
 
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No it won't, Bob. Have laptop, will travel! Wink
 
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OK Wordcrafters, I'm definitely a yes. I've just booked my flight and had Kalleh put me down for a room at the HoJo. I'm really excited that I'll finally be meeting some of you now, face to face, for the first time. Bob, I'm sorry you can't make it, and Jerry and everybody else who can't come too. So here's to Hawaii and the UK in future years.

CW, I remember going to the Serpent Mound a couple of times on field trips from Girl Scout Camp Butterworth in Loveland, lo, those many years ago. In fact, once we biked there from some campsite we had stayed at. it would be fun to see it again. I don't think I really got how amazing it was when I was 10 or 12 or whatever it was. I'm not a knitter, but used to crochet. I now have three and a half months to decide whether "to yarn or not to yarn."

Cheers! and Whoopee!

Wordmatic
 
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Bob, I am still very sad that you'll be missing the event this year. You know, of course, that anytime you wish to make a trek to Ohio and would like to visit, you are more than welcome!

WM - please bring your yarn and hook and come to the KnitWits with us! It'll be fun - lots of laughter and some of the yummiest yarn you could ever wish to see!

I've let the Mercantile folks know about the mistake in that date, RE. Thanks for pointing it out to me! Hopefully they'll fix that soon. Pity you can't come for that. It is a really amazing convention.


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Sadly Margaret and I have to be in Cyprus for the dates of that knitting event. But I am sure she will enjoy meeting the knitters.

It's a shame that we will probably be the only UK people this time - but fingers crossed - there's Arnie and Dianthus whom we still need to work on!


Richard English
 
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I now have three and a half months to decide whether "to yarn or not to yarn."

You can count me out of the knitting party, but maybe I'll go to Ohio State University or something. I always love universities.

So glad you'll be there WM! We will have fun! I will PM TrossL; hopefully she is still coming.

Anyone else?
 
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I've posted a thread on realbeer to find out good bars/pubs in Columbus. I'll keep you updated on what they say.

CW, does Ohio State have a good linguistics department? Perhaps there's a lecture for the public that we could attend. It's just a thought.
 
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I was thinking that maybe while some of us are knitting, the others could go to the cool bookstores we have in town. I hadn't thought about OSU, though, and since your guide will be my husband (an alum) that would work, too. I'll investigate that possibility, and also investigate the lecture idea!

Also, I have a few friends who are very good brew artists that I'm going to perhaps invite for a Saturday night picnic/game party. What do you think about that?


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Also, I have a few friends who are very good brew artists

What's one of those?


Richard English
 
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Sounds good, CW. I really am up for visiting the OSU campus. Even if there isn't a lecture, perhaps we could visit the linguistics department. Professors, after all, love to hear themselves talk (as only I know!).

I got a reply from realbeer where they say there's a Gordon Biersch in Columbus. It's a chain, and they serve German beers. I went to one in San Francisco recently, and the beers were okay, though not great (in my opinion). The poster on realbeer also suggested Barley's, which is across the street from the conference center. Do you know it at all, CW?
 
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Brew artists are people who brew their own beers. One of my friends has even won competitions with his beer. Yum.

Barleys, Kalleh, is where we took you and Ken the first time you came to visit. They have cask-conditioned beer, open a new firkin each Friday, and great food. There are two locations in town, and the one by the Conference Center is not the one we went to, but it is great.

There are a lot of bars who boast very large selections of bottled beer, some of which would meet with your approval. My favorite karaoke spot is one of those, and I love it. They have literally hundreds of choices.

I think we can keep an eye on OSU's linguistics department events calendar, and see what crops up. We can figure out where Oxley Hall is, where their offices apparently are, and see what we can find out.


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Ah... as opposed the kind of "artists" we have over here. (Richard will explain)

And...

Karaoke? Suddenly I see an upside to NOT being able to attend Smile
 
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They have cask-conditioned beer, open a new firkin each Friday,

That sounds slightly strange to me. If a beer is cask-conditioned it would not have such a regular turn-around. It will be tapped and then served until it was used up or became undrinkable. It is the maintaining of the right balance of cask size and number against demand that is one of the skills of the cellar-master. A firkin is 9 Imperial gallons (72 Imperial pints or 86.47 US pints) which is a fairly modest weekly turnover - divided by 7 that's about the amount that three serious drinkers would consume in an evening.

If it actually is cask-conditioned then the Landlord will need to set the cask on stillage around three days before he is expecting to serve it, then, some hours before serving he will tap and spile the cask and only when it has settled following the tapping will he start to serve it.

Is the beer dispensed by hand-pump, do you know? If it's from a font (tap) then it's probably not cask-conditioned - although there are a few (very few) electric fonts that look much the same as carbon dioxide pressure taps. The Landlord should be able to tell you which system is used.

If all else fails, let your taste buds do the checking!

So far as bottled beer is concerned, all the best bottled beers are bottle-conditioned. There is a huge range produced this way in the USA - most of them are from the micro-brewers - although some of the larger brewers are now beginning to get in on the act. Again the Landlord should know which of the beers are bottle-conditioned - but I'd not bank on it Wink


Richard English
 
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That sounds slightly strange to me. If a beer is cask-conditioned it would not have such a regular turn-around. It will be tapped and then served until it was used up or became undrinkable.
Yes, I wondered about that, too. I actually went online to see if I could find out, got distracted, and ended up joining Yahoo Communities (or something!) so that I could join a U.S. CAMRA group. Strange how the Internet can distract me!

I do remember, though, that the beer was delicious!

[P.S. We don't call them "Landlords" here.]
 
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CW is right; it is cask conditioned beer at Barley's. I am not sure why they change the firkins so regularly, but we can ask them when we're there. By the way, the one near the conference center is apparently on the outskirts of the OSU campus, so if we visit the campus, we could make a stop there.
 
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[P.S. We don't call them "Landlords" here.]

I realise that - but I didn't know what you'd call the person who runs a pub. It's not a barman and it isn't necessarily an owner or manager.


Richard English
 
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That sounds slightly strange to me. If a beer is cask-conditioned it would not have such a regular turn-around.

As far as I can tell, they do just as you describe. They open a firkin and sell it til it's gone. Apparently it is usually gone by the time the next Friday rolls around. Maybe it's not an actual firkin-sized vessel, but smaller? I have no idea. I'm just telling you that they have "real" beer. I don't know how it is dispensed as I always sit at a table and don't watch the process.

Both locations are very good. Both would be convenient to our travels, mainly because there really aren't any places in the Columbus Area that are more than about 20-30 minutes drive from anywhere else.

I've just found another great place for a lunch destination that is very close to campus and libraries, and bookstores (and other cool shops) in the art gallery area. It has lots of beer selection, although not conditioned in the cask. I know that all the best bottled beers are conditioned in the bottle - I've heard these training lectures before, Sir! (grin)

We call the people who run pubs "Managers" or "Owners" depending on whether they're just working there, or if they, well, own the place. Many of these beer snobbery places tend to have very well-trained wait staff, though, who can satisfy your need to know, etc. Bob's Bar (my Karaoke spot, but don't worry, they only have karaoke on Sunday nights) has Bartenders who know these things. (Oh, and they tend to have at least one Great Lakes Brewery beer on tap) Places like Barley's, which have full restaurants included, have Bartenders as well as Waiters.


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This all sounds very fine. I had a feeling the the word "firkin" was used casually in the USA to refer to any cask - as is "barrel" in some places. I doubt that any pub with any pretensions to being a specialist beer outlet would have any cask smaller than a firkin; most UK pubs order their beer in kilderkins (18 Imperial gallons). Full information about cask sizes can be found here http://www.fatbadgers.co.uk/Britain/casks.htm

Incidentally, casks are never "opened" - indeed they cannot be opened as they have no lid. Casks will usually have two apertures - one in the end (where the cask is flat) and one in the side (where the container swells to its widest).

When needed for use, casks are "tapped" and this involves (surprise) putting a tap into the aperture at the end and a spile (a shive of wood) into the aperture on the side. The cask is stored on its side so that the flat sides are vertical and tap is at the bottom of one of the flat sides. The spile is at the top and this is what allows the products of fermentation to escape. The beer, of course, comes out of the tap - either straight into a glass or via a pump.

The system for pressurised beer (kegs) is different and one glance will tell you which is which. Kegs always stand on their ends and are tapped from the top, the beer being forced out by gas pressure.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Richard English,


Richard English
 
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We now have 3 threads going about the WC Gathering. This is the most recent one, so let's try to keep our posts about it here. Here is the count that I have so far:

1) CW and her husband and son

2) Kalleh and Shufitz from Chicago

3) Richard and his wife from England

4) TrossL and her husband from Atlanta (though I need to confirm this)

5) Wordmatic from Philadelphia

6) Di from England (possibly; I haven't heard from her)

7) Elledee from North Carolina (hopefully)

Not bad, eh? And...as an added bit of fun, DecoJuicer from Michigan, who posts with Richard and me on realbeer.com, wants to join us on Saturday night! Perhaps that could be our beer evening, CW? This will be fun!
 
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Why don't you just post a link in the others and lock them?
 
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