Barley's

Barley's
Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Wasn't the Best of Years, But a Damn Decent One!


I'm not the kind of guy to dwell on the past; but, because this is New Year's Eve, it seems appropriate, obligatory almost, to blog about the year that's closing out at midnight. Plus, slacker Russ is running the show today and doing a year-in-review wrap up saves me from dipping into my rather shallow creative well to come up with a blog-post idea. It's a win, win, win, win......or something like that.

First and foremost, let me apologize for another spotty year of Clanging Bell posts. In January of this year, I posted that I would strive to do better, promising to crank out a CB post per week. Looking at the 2017 count, I see that this is post No. 31 for 2017. Somewhat better than a post every two weeks, it falls far short of the one-per-week promise. I am crestfallen....well, not exactly, but I had really intended to knock out a blog post a week. I won't make excuses beyond saying, I have been sufficiently busy this past year that some weeks – 21 to be more specific – I just didn't have the time or energy or motivation to write a post. It has been a pretty good year for paying work. That's a good thing when you are a freelance journalist. It wasn't my best year, but it was a good one. I'm blessed that at the ripe age of 66, there is still an employer or two out there that values my work enough to compensate me for it. Even I grow sick of writing. When I'm busy writing for profit, I just don't have enough steam left in the boiler to do it for fun.

I've also been grinding away producing content for just3thingsvideo.com, and, during the last three or four months of the year, I made a big push to launch my BEER2WHISKEY YouTube channel. I will be promoting both projects in a big way in 2018. Stay tuned for more info. In the meantime, it doesn't cost you anything to subscribe to BEER2WHISKEY. I urge you, when you finish sleeping off the Clanging Bell-induced coma reading this post will probably induce, to go to YouTube, search for BEER2WHISKEY and subscribe. Here's a bit of an incentive: This spring there will be a subscribers-only BEER2WHISKEY sweepstakes for a $2,000 Katzkin leather interior. Who wouldn't like to have that, right?

I got over my mad at the Steelers for their National Anthem shenanigans. I purchased my Villanueva jersey and then skipped a couple of weeks of watching the games. I guess I showed them. Anyway, I'm back in the fold. They are going to the playoffs having handily won their division by beating the other three division teams twice. Well, they have yet to get their second win over the Browns. That's scheduled today. Because only a handful of Steelers starters will participate in today's game, the Browns may just rack up their first win of the season. Then again, maybe not. They are the Browns after all.


When I turned 65 in 2016, my body began breaking down. Healthy as a horse for 65 years, my 2016 birthday was like hitting a wall. Stuff just started going wrong. I did have knee surgery this past March for a meniscus tear that developed about two weeks after my 65th birthday. A number of other maladies of varying degrees of seriousness that reared their ugly heads during the past several months will be addressed this year on a first-come-first-served basis. I'm just happy to still be upright and taking solid nourishment.

I am knee-deep in renovating my home. The big project this past year was covering the great-room ceiling in tongue-and-groove beadboard. That was a job and a half. I still need to paint and trim it out, but the big job of actually installing the beadboard is finished. I still need to finish the upstairs. That will involve replacing the carpet in the small hallway with hardwood and installing a barn door for the bathroom. I have all the materials to tackle this part of the job. I just need a week or so of down time to do it. I will finish both of these jobs in 2018. Then it will be on to rehabbing the kitchen.

So, that was basically 2017 in a nutshell. All in all, a pretty good year. I expect 2018 to be more of the same. I have four BEER2WHISKEY shoots lined up at craft breweries in Houston this month in conjunction with the Houston Auto Show. I also have Jeep and Infiniti media launches I am attending. Of course, all of these are in the same week. Figures, doesn't it? The story of my life. But, quite the story it is.

Here's to a happy and prosperous New Year!