All posts by Kate Steele

I self proclaimed beer snob with an affinity for reading, painting and riding a bicycle. I'm working on finishing my degree in Communication with an emphasis on Marketing. I've lived in Kansas most of my life but various cities within the Great Plains State.

Do and Don’t

I’m the first person to admit I am not a ‘film maker.’

Though that being said, it’s pretty much part of communication major life, 21st century pop culture and potentially the future.

This semester I’ve had to do some film and audio working projects and learned quite a few things. Some good, some are best avoided the second time around.  This is a short film about some basic things to keep in mind if someone would want to shoot their own film or interview.

This was created with

Tegan Blake, Sean Blumenshine, Chase Dempsey, and Meg Stessman

New Semester Resolutions!

As the semester is winding down, I have no intention of making phony “New Year” resolutions, and I can’t recall the last time I actually did pretend to make one. This New Semester (starting in about 5 weeks from the end of the previous semester) is going to be more of a challenge than I’ve had before.

With that in mind, I’m making “New Semester” resolutions.

I will explain each one in turn!


 

Math

Math is seemingly the bane of my existence. I can draw, paint, sculpt, sell, market, manipulate fantastical multi-syllabic words to fit my fancy but I cannot get my head around numbers. Namely this damned quadratic equation and why I must learn it for my degree. Having even less motivation because, being a grown person I know I will never need it. I’ve lived many many years without it and I have no need for it in what I intend to do with my life. With that, the Kansas Board of Regents deems I must have it, so I can do little to dissuade them. I have come to find Khan Academy my most helpful ally in this war against math I have. As I hope to continue to learn it so I don’t loathe it with vehement passion, I resolve to watch or practice math every day at least once a day until I pass my final required math class. Khan Academy helps me with reinforcement of ‘points,’ ‘badges’ and a visual representation of my progress.

Khan Academy Dashboard
Khan Academy Dashboard

 

Creativity

I’m in a creative rut and I have been for years. I used to be able to sit and paint for hours on end with more ideas coming at me for more and more paintings. Not-so-much these days. To hopefully combat this, I’ve purchased a daily desk-style calendar of something to draw every day.

The box claims “Unleash Your Creativity! Draw Something New Every Day!” From the bestselling “642 Things To Draw,” this page-a-day calendar serves up a whole year of inspiring prompts for anyone who loves to doodle. Each page features one offbeat, clever, or bizarre thing to draw- from “a tire swing” to “a happy surprise.” This quirky collection of prompts will spark your imagination every day of the year!

Draw-A-Day Calendar
Draw-A-Day Calendar

www.chroniclebooks.com

Though this calendar starts in the New Year, I have other things to read and hopefully foster my imagination for some good doodles next year. I also have to figure out some way to adhere it to somewhere I’ll look at it every day…very tricky indeed.


 

Learn French!

Now now, I know that’s a heavy order. I was doing fairly well getting a small French vocabulary up before this Fall semester got going and I just stopped trying a few weeks in. I was learning on the Duolingo App for iPhone and iPad and found them very engaging on the platform. They do have a website but I tend to use it while doing other things here and there- waiting for water to boil or on commercial breaks. This also ties into my degree requirements, I am required to have two years of a language I believe. I might as well get a head start or supplement what I will be learning shortly. Who doesn’t want to learn French?

Duolingo Home Screen
Duolingo Home Screen on a computer

 

Take A Photo Every Day

On my shelf unit I have EIGHT cameras, only two are probably not worth attempting to use. Most are film 35mm but they’re sitting next to unused film canisters. They’ve been gathering a layer of dust since I got them out of their hiding place. I almost always used to take my camera with me wherever I went, and fell out of practice as I begun work in retail and the less I dragged around with me the easier my life seemed to be.

Top shelf holding two cameras and film.
Top shelf holding two cameras and film.

Now that I’m back in the habit of hauling around bags that are large enough to handle the cameras, I need to get back into seeing thing through their viewfinders. I am not excluding taking photos with my iPhone but the weight of a camera and turning the dials just so, it’s something nostalgic about it I miss. And! There seem to be places that still develop film! (i.e Walgreens)


 

Sleep Regularly

Seems simple enough, right? Not in the least bit simple for me. I thrive at night, so I can stay up much-too-late all the time. This results in my being awake until “ungodly” hours and then sleeping until well past noon the following day- subsequently missing classes and productive hours I could potentially be doing things! First my goal is to sleep MORE regularly, then focus on a regular routine. My recent tentative-acceptance of coffee has helped me more than once with this waking up business. With this I will also try not to look at lit screens so much within an hour of going to bed, I’m confident in the research that this stimulates our brains to keep working and I don’t need my gears turning any more than they already do. My exception for this is making sure my alarm is set and the weather for the following day is checked as well for traffic and wardrobe planning.


 

Those are all my hardened resolutions but I have some goals I hope to accomplish in the next six-months to a year.

Learn moderately well how to work with Adobe Audition, Animate, Premiere Pro and Illustrator while brushing up on my Photoshop skills. The tutorials adobe offers are amazingly helpful so far. The video’s on Lydia.com have been the most informational and the variety covered seems to be relevant to what someone could do with the software.

Manage my time better! This isn’t in the resolutions because I don’t know how to do it immediately or learn it immediately. I have time for everything I take on, I just dilly-dally doing silly things or I get distracted and subsequently enthralled. I do have mild ADD but I’ve been unmedicated for so long it’s just a trial and error process with time management. I may try to use my calendar function on my phone more effectively, but I’m not sure that’s the right way. On the other hand, I just ignore a paper planner completely. It’s very easy to not write something down or not look something up when I should be working on a project. Having a job that requires adaptation to change every day is not really the best way to adapt as an adult and learn how to manage time effectively.

Cook More! I cook, but not a lot. If I do cook, it’s boring same old things that I get tired of the leftovers very quickly. I hope to be able to have more herbs growing in my indoor mini-garden so I can feel more at liberty to ‘spice things up’ so to speak.

Read more! This past semester I have nearly completely neglected my recreational reading. I’ve maybe read a few chapters total, I could have probably gotten through a few books if I was able to manage my time more effectively. I really enjoy reading and have probably 50 books waiting on my kindle to be delved into but I just haven’t allotted energy and time to focus on them. I have every intention of allowing myself my leisure reading in the future.

Bike more! I’ve been seeing bicycle commuters some mornings and they are few and far between but now that I know they exist, I will be trying to get on my 2-wheeled blue beauty more.  I’m always happier when I’m able to get outside and enjoy the day.

Motobecane Phantom Cross, my blue beauty
Motobecane Phantom Cross, My Blue Beauty


 

I’m sure I will come up with more goals and potential resolutions but this is all I have on my list for now.

Considering St. Bernardus Abt 12

I’ve been away from the new beer flavors lately, but this one is very new to me. I have seen it on the shelf a few times but hadn’t made the leap. I’m more of a fan of Ommegang (pronounced Ohm-eh-gang) and Chimay (I pronounce this cha-may) though, Chimay is a Trappist style, not quite the same. But that’s all semantics. On to the beer!

St. Bernards Abt 12

The front label reads

St. Bernardus Abt 12

BELGIAN ABBEY ALE

10% ALC/VOL

WATOU

1PT 9.4 FL.OZ.

There are two certification emblems on the front as well, Belgian Hops and Belgian Family Brewers. These are not too common if you look at the Belgian beers sold in the US (at least in Kansas).

Belgian Family Brewers
Belgian Family Brewers Emblem
Belgian Hops Emblem
Belgische Hop, Belgian Hops Emblem

 


 

Back label reads 

Brewery St. Bernardus was founded in 1946 in Watou, Province of West Flanders in Belgium.

These exceptional quality ales are brewed by using only the finest malts, local grown hops, yeast and artesian water pumped pumped from a depth of 500 feet.

After the brewing process these traditional ales are matured in tanks for three months, before being bottle conditioned.

The result is a naturally carbonated “living ale,”which can be aged for up to 15 years and will satisfy the taste of even the most discriminating connoisseurs.

 “Bringing Heavenly nectar within reach”

(this is printed in an Olde English style script, all else is in Times New Roman)

Abt 12 -abbey ale brewed in the classic “Dubbel” style of Belgium’s best Abbey Ales.

Serve this noble and wonderfully balanced brown ale at 52-56° F in a goblet glass to best enjoy it’s delicious bouquet.

Brewed and bottled by Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV, Trappistenweg 23, 8978 Watou Belgium

Imported by D&V International Inc.,

Juniper, Florida 33458

10% Alc/Vol

Best before End: See Top.

1 Pint 9.4 fl. oz. Store cool and dark.

Product of Belgium

www.specialtybeer.com



 

For some who dont know a “Dubbel” style means quite literally a ‘double.’ For more information on Belgian words used with beer please check out this Huffington Post article.

I can’t really read the best before date, the cap is embossed and the numbers have been printed on top. I can make out a 06 and perhaps it ends 18, just guessing.

IMG_1250

First of all, I don’t own all the beer tasting glasses that are “suggested” on most of the beers I purchase. I own many standard  pint glasses, where as this beer says “Goblet Glass” and I just don’t have room at the moment for chalice/goblets(they’re similar, not the same). I instead drank it out of a Tulip glass pictured here. This particular tulip glass came with a multi-pack of Ommegang bottles I purchased last year and has suited me quite well. I tried to make sure the logos were not in the photo.

Tulip Glass, the monk on the label has a goblet glass, the suggested glassware for this beer.
Tulip Glass, the monk on the label has a goblet glass, the suggested glassware for this beer.

Poured carefully so that the head doesn’t foam too much. It has the proper cloudiness  and thick off-white foam. The color is nearer to a rusty-brown. Some suggest pouring more aggressively so the beer is more stable, whatever that means. There are conflicting views on this point, I pour so I have about one inch of foam and it dissipates rapidly after I begin to drink.

The nose is a tell-tale darker Belgian malt aroma. But it’s soft at the same time, not overwhelming. 

The flavor is subtle, typical of a darker Belgium at first. Effervescence is barely noticeable. No bubbles tickle my nose. Notes don’t linger too long on the palate for an aftertaste. It’s not exactly refreshing. After a few sips it coats the mouth, it stays a while then. There are hints of some spices, coriander maybe and nutmeg comes through though that isn’t necessarily what was used. Often there are some sweet additives when brewing or bottled.  St. Bernardus does not seem to have any profound flavors as compared to a Chimay or Ommegang that have more spice to them, which I enjoy.

I was able to purchase this bottle for about 11$ here in Wichita, KS. I probably wouldn’t choose it again if there were others I knew I liked better.

It’s a mild Belgian Dubble, worth a shot if you’re a Belgian fan but not worth a second go around for me.

Mathematics

Sometimes having an ambiguous name is a good thing.

Owning a small business can be tough, but when you have the creativity and drive it makes the experience so much more enjoyable.

Andy Kim not only has a unique style for clothing but a passion for fashion.

Check out his insight on his store Mathematics.



Mathematics is a small store with a small budget for marketing, they rely heavily on social media including Instagram in conjunction with their Facebook page.

Instagram photo from Mathematics grassroots marketing
Instagram photo from Mathematics grassroots marketing
Product launch announcement from Mathematics social media
Product launch announcement from Mathematics social media

Photos displayed with permission from @MathematicsKS

Video was produced with Chase Dempsey and Sean Blumenshine

October that doesn’t feel like painting

It’s now nearly the end of October and today it was a sweltering 90 degrees at one point. This month does not feel like fall, my scarves are waiting with anticipation to be brought into the world.

Fall break in school was more or less, not a break. I was fighting an illness for the two whole days off of school that I was allotted but I did not rally immediately. For fall break I had a grand plan of visiting Chicago, a vibrant alive city I love to be in. As well as get some painting done.

I don’t mean painting as in-house/room/singular-color painting. My painting is usually smaller scale, on canvas with linseed-oil based paint. Some day I’ll have a majestic art-making place I wont be afraid of getting paint on every piece of furniture. For now, newspapers cover my painting surface, and I am always making sure I haven’t dribbled onto the floor(hardwood doesn’t care for paint).

I had planned to get some painting done this month, and have not yet been able to take a day or so off to stand in front of my easel and let the paint flow.

This is a little view into how I set up to get some painting done.

 

 

My set up is not the same for everyone, and it will probably change for me when my venue changes. I hope to participate in the Plein Air Festival in the Flint Hills next year. I had participated in my random high school year I spent in Cottonwood Falls, KS but I haven’t had the opportunity to return. ThePlein Air painting is painting in the open air, usually what would be called “roughing it.” Multiple landowners throughout the middle of Kansas allow artists on their land to paint. At the end of the event, there is an auction and half the proceeds of each painting are given to the local gallery that supports the event in the community. Masters often come to teach classes on technique or hold salons for artists to participate in. All sorts of artists come from across the country, watercolor, acrylics and oil artists are all welcome.

Chase County Chamber of Commerce Plein Air Festival
Chase County Chamber of Commerce Plein Air Festival

 

I can’t wait to get into a larger, more accommodating space(eventually) for fully spreading out to be creative how I genuinely enjoy.

Saison-Brett, #5 in Boulevard Smokestack Series

Saison-Brett

“A traditional Belgian-style saison was the starting point for this limited edition ale, but then the fun began: It was dry hopped, followed by bottle conditioning with various yeasts, including Brettanomyces, a wild strain that imparts a distinctive earthy quality. Though this farmhouse ale received three months of bottle-age prior to release, further cellaring will continue to enhance the “Brett” character, if that’s a thing you’re after…”

#5 in the Smokestack Series, Special limited release, 750ml, 1pint 9.4 fluid ounces 8.5% alcohol/Vol. Cost about $11 (in Wichita, KS)

Boulevard Brewing Co. Kansas City, Missouri


I should have waited.

The best by date isn’t until early 2016.

I should have waited.

Saison-Brett Boulevard Smokestack Series
Saison-Brett Boulevard Smokestack Series

After the five minutes it took for the head foam to settle down (even with nose grease)…

The nose is strong and weird, probably the “Brett” but I’m not positive. I have never smelled this scent before. The Belgian lightness-aroma is there, but it’s subtle.

The color is a bright yellow-gold and very clear. So much foam!

First tastes are slightly sour but then taper to mild hops. As it warms to it’s proper temperature, the odd flavor becomes more apparent. It’s not what I would consider good, but not revolting either. The effervescence is pleasing when imbibed.

If I had waited, I would probably like it more. The odd pungent smell/taste is off-putting. No sediment was visible, but it was just..weird. I probably wouldn’t buy it again, I dont like waiting for my beer to get better. At least not while I’m in possession of it, I’ll buy something that had been aged no problem. I’m not in the habit of maintaining a “beer cellar.”

If I had waited, it probably would have made a world of difference.