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Running Starts Here... PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rich Hornberger   
Sunday, 02 June 2013 23:47

So we've registered for two races...  The first is the Run Disney Tower of Terror 10 Miler in October.  This is a night run, in Disney, with characters.  Yes, this started the madness that is going to ensue.  The race is October 4 - 5 in Orlando.  See the following:  http://www.rundisney.com/tower-of-terror-10-miler/

 

That being said, I'm a couch potato with a bit of jogging experience at a 5 minute run/5 minute walk sort of pace.  Nothing special.  I would call myself about 40 pounds overweight and ready to shed some poundage.  So that being said, I've been out maybe 2 - 3 times a week and my wife says, "We should run the Hershey Half also...".  Lovely...  She signs up, I sign up a week later.  Yea, so now it's a hilly half a few weeks later.  http://www.hersheyhalfmarathon.com/ 7:30AM on October 20th...

 

That being said, it's about 18 weeks to the 10 miler...  I've decided to try and stick to the following plan for a bit of inspiration starting this week.  I can't say I'll be able to follow it to a T but, it seems to be the best starting place that I've found...  Thoughts, tips, suggestions, I'll take them!

 

http://www.runningthroughlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Half-Marathon-20-Week-Training-Plan-Level-1-Beginner.pdf

 
The End... Not Quite! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rich Hornberger   
Saturday, 23 June 2012 00:32

So.... You would think at this point there would have just been a complete lack of updates and the saga would be over. Unfortunetly, not so. The relationship between Brew Steel (www.brewsteel.com) and myself is now over. I can say honestly not happy, not impressed, and at this point couldn't recommend for a host of reasons.

Where to start. First, delivery was supposed to be completed in November of 2011, missed by a long shot. This was in-part my fault as I requested a number of changes, alterations, and wanted everything to work upon arrival. The stand arrived and looked gorgeous as I took the crate apart. I knew there could be trouble here when Kurt forewarned me that he was changing shippers and told me mine shipped on the same day as another customer but, took a good week longer even though we were both on the east coast.

So, go to take the crate fully apart and find two BLARING issues. The first is that 3 of the 4 wheels are bent and one of the 3 wheels has it's nut completely torn off the leg which A, makes the stand unstable, and B prevents me from rolling the stand. Then I manage to get it into the new brewshed and find after unwrapping the kettles that one is completely missing a valve, torn of the kettle, gaping hole in the kettle.

Oy vey... A quick message goes to Kurt on both subjects. The first answer on the legs is that they've "moved" to a more stable solution for the stands and he would ship me the inserts and the wheels. I recieve the wheels and the inserts, have to saw the legs off my brand new stainless steel stand, place in the inserts, and insert the new wheels. That was heartbreak 101... About two or three weeks later I recieve the replacement kettle. Good deal I think...

I go to do a fluid test on the kettles, pretty good... Fire up the BCS, A-Ok. RIMS works, pumps work, etc. Hit the firing button for the battery fired burners, nothing, the whole ignition modules falls apart in my hands with one push. Ok... A $3 chinese part, no problem to fix. Took care of it. Go to fire again and only one manually starts clicking (attempting to fire)... I find that some of the wires arn't plugged in (likely a shipping error). Took care of that... Ready to move on to the gas and fluid....

Take apart the bag/kettle of goodies and find oh, the regulator wasn't included, oh yeah, also missing some of the fluid tubing that was paid for... Uuuggghhh... Oh yeah, forgot the piece a few sections ago about the missing O ring and clamp.... So a message goes to Kurt again, he feels bad but, is still taking care of me. I recieve the gas regulator, O ring, and clamp a few days later... Good!

Go to do the gas test... First, the automated burner dosn't work, fills my brew building with the smell of gas and very odd noises from the Honeywell unit. I pull out a lighter to light the unit and very very little flame through the controller even on manual mode. Surely not enough to brew... Start chatting with Kurt, we test some things, and no dice... No work on that one. So we say ok again, move on to the other two burners... They light, oh yes they light... Out of damn control. So I adjust the rings on the back to control the Oxygen to the burner and get it under control... Sit the kettle on time and there is very little flame and the smell of gas all over again. Kurt lets me know he would have to replace the burners as there is a flaw in the wind shields.... We go back to test the BCS some more with the automated burner and fine each time it tries to fire, it kills the BCS.

I saw a post of HBT (www.homebrewtalk.com) from another one of his customers that had that issues. I asked him well in advance if I would see that and if so lets get it taken care of in advance. He assured me that it would be no issue. Well sure enough, I have the issue.

So at this point I offered to convert to electric to save some money on shipping the thing back across the country and I would mail him all the gas parts back in order to help him out... 3 weeks later... Chirp Chirp... The guy has to make some more money to get my parts. Meanwhile it's been 10 months since I've brewed on my own gear. 10 months. No response...

At this point, I've written both Kurt and Brew Steel off. I don't expect to hear from him and I've spent over $500 on parts to convert to electric. At my own pace, I should be up and running in one week on manual mode and two weeks with full automation till the SSR's and such get it. I've already got the internal wiring done, ordered all the parts, and have the heating coils sitting by waiting for me to dig a hole in my kettle. So in the end here, I paid a ton of money for 3 kettles, a BCS, two pumps, and a few feet of copper piping with a water filter... No gas....

The wife was present for said incidents so she is happy to see me go electric.... In further news, one of the rings on one of the burners has had a weld crack so I may be heading to find a piece of steel to put on top of my gouged stand. We'll wait and see on that one... So here's to brewing (I hope) in two weeks!