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Messages - phillamb168

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Going Pro / Re: Lifestyle
« on: October 14, 2013, 07:40:17 AM »
Two or three things to add - first, I'm not looking to make a ton of money of course, I am trying to work it out so that my primary income is from my part-time web contract work. That figures into number 2, which is hiring: employees are _incredibly_ expensive here - payroll taxes for a full-time worker are typically 150% of what you pay said employee. No, that's not a typo. For the most part you'll pay your worker X and then you'll pay 2X to the state. There are certain dispensations available if you're a new business and you're in an area without many other options, and I fall under both categories, so that'll help. But it's certainly not 30% like it is in the states. That being said, however, you don't pay people super great either - 2000 / month takehome is considered really good pay for the restaurant biz here.

Third thing, I guess pertaining to lifestyle, my only fear is that I'll turn into some sort of cave-dwelling gollum creature who never ever leaves the bar and I will never see my kids. But of course that's not very realistic, as most places around here don't open until, earliest, 11am for lunch. I suppose I'd be willing to give up on 'calm evenings' M-F if it meant I'd be able to hang out with the kids in the mornings.

Going Pro / Lifestyle
« on: October 14, 2013, 02:37:03 AM »
As mentioned in my other post, the brewery/pub project is picking back up again. The whole process is exciting, as I've been sort of pushing myself into the Paris food and beer scene, I've made a lot of connections and met lots of cool people, and I feel comfortable saying, despite not having yet done a POC/Market test, that a brewpub would work pretty darn well, even if it's in the suburbs.

I am not terribly concerned about income, as the current pub is packed every single weekend and they don't even serve good food, and I'm not terribly concerned about raising money because with a combination of kickstarter, our own funds, and friends helping out, I know we can afford the price he's asking.

My real concern is being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle, one which allows me to be with my kids and wife as much as possible. I'll give you an example of the way it is right now: I am less than enthused with my current job, as I have ~3 hours of commute every day, and my coworkers are annoying and the work is boring. But, the pay is great, and I have my weekends to do whatever I want with the wife & kids, plus evenings can be pretty calm. Pretty standard 8-7 (like 9-5 but with crappy commute) living, really. I make enough to allow my wife to not have to have a job so she can take care of the kids at home, and while we don't have a Mercedes, we have a couple nice cars and I really love our moderately-priced house.

The thing that allows us to live like this is the fact that I am a contract worker with my company based in the US. If I was a salaried employee, I'd be lucky to be making 35,000 a year, and that is _not_ enough to continue our lifestyle. So if we do the pub thing, I'd be taking on part-time contract work to make ends meet, getting up a little earlier and going to bed a little earlier to fit in the hours. I've done it before and it's worked out alright. But my concern is, with the pub, how do I balance work and life? The current owners have made the pub their life, and I don't want to do that. I want to hire good talent and farm out whatever I can, but I also want to have 'creative control' over the enterprise as a whole.

Am I just dreaming, is this even possible? I am willing to accept some sleepless nights and a few days of 'when will this day end,' but I DO NOT want that to be my day-to-day. I want to be able to have two consecutive days off and I want to not have to be in the pub every night until close. I figure this will be much easier to do as I live literally next door to the place, but, oof. So many questions...

How do you guys do it, without giving up on family?

Going Pro / Square footage
« on: October 14, 2013, 02:25:30 AM »
The pub next door has decided to close up shop in the next year or so, and the landlord for whatever reason has taking a liking to me and has offered to sell it to me at a reasonable rate: 350k or so for ~800 square feet of dining space plus an additional 1200 sqf above the dining room that is currently his apartment but could be turned into additional dining/activity space. There are also several outbuildings (more like sheds with stone walls), totaling about 400 square feet. My question is this, will 400 square feet allow me to have a brewing system that will not have me in the brewery every hour of every day? The 400 square feet is not a big open space either, it's more of an L shape, with the larger leg being ~ 280 sqf.

Nice to see the project picking back up, but I wanna be super careful.

The Pub / Re: Madame Figrao
« on: October 14, 2013, 02:19:42 AM »
Thanks guys!

Beer Travel / Re: Les trappistes de Rochefort need your help!
« on: October 14, 2013, 02:18:12 AM »
Quote - Un projet d’extension de la carrière de la Boverie menace la pérennité de la source Tridaine. Cette source fournit l'eau de la bière trappiste de Rochefort. Aidez-nous à la protéger!
A project to extend the Boverie quarry will endanger the sustainability of the Tridaine natural spring. This spring provides water to the Rochefort Trappiste brewery. Help us protect it!

La source de Tridaine constitue la source d’eau potable principale (80 %) de l’agglomération de Rochefort (± 5 000 abonnés, parmi lesquels quelques entreprises, telle que les abattoirs).
The Tridaine natural spring constitutes 80% of the potable water needs of the region of Rochefort (approximately 5,000 subscribers, including a few companies, mostly abattoirs).

Cette eau constitue aussi une des matières premières majeures de la fameuse bière « Trappiste de Rochefort » produite par l’Abbaye Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy.
This water supply also constitutes one of the most important ingredients of the famous "Trappiste de Rochefort" beer, produced by the Abbey of Notre Dame de Saint-Remy.

Cette trappiste est produite au départ d’une eau locale non traitée chimiquement, l’eau de la Tridaine ne requiert aucun traitement additionnel.
This trappist ale is produced using local, untreated water. The spring water from the Tridaine requires no additional treatment.

Lhoist exploite des carrières et dispose d’un gisement important sur la plaine du Gerny, située au-dessus de la source. L’émergence de la source se trouve à la cote 211 m. Le permis en cours pour l’exploitation de la carrière autorise de creuser jusqu’à la cote 220 m.
Lhoist operates quarries which exploit a sizable deposit on the Gerny plain, situated on top of the spring. The watertable for the source begins at 211 meters below the surface, and the proposed permit would allow expanding the quarry to a depth of 220 meters.

Lhoist en 2008 a fait un essai de pompage qui a alerté l’abbaye dans la mesure où la source s’est tarie. C’est alors que Lhoist a fait part à l’abbaye de son projet de creuser sous la cote 211 m. L’abbaye a été catégorique : on ne touche pas à Tridaine !
In 2008, Lhoist experimented with pumping that caused the spring to dry up. This is why Lhoist informed the abbey of their project to extend the quarry below 211 meters. The abbey has categorically objected to any additional exploitation: Hands off the Tridaine spring!

The Pub / Re: Madame Figrao
« on: October 11, 2013, 08:12:05 AM »
50 new breweries are opening a year in France?!  Did I get that right?  Looks like the beer scene is much improving.

I dunno where they got their numbers, and most of these breweries are opening because of the new 'autoentrepreneur' work status which "allows" you to have a side job. I would not be surprised if most of these breweries are of dubious quality. I know that mine is (I did the autoentrepreneur thing for Doughboy and we have made exactly no beer).

It's certainly easier to start a brewery here because there are very very few health regulations. And you can see that in the beer that gets made. Lots of infection, lots of 'hot' from lack of fermentation temp control. I know a brewer who sells a decent amount of beer here, he ferments in plastic carboys in his non-temperature-controlled attic.

Having said that, there are some really great breweries popping up these days. The other guys just need to get the education.

All Things Food / Re: Big Green Egg?
« on: October 11, 2013, 01:47:09 AM »
Thermal stress shouldn't be an issue with that grade of ceramic. I would not worry about it cracking, especially as the temp goes up gradually.

You should save up for the BGE. We saved for a while to get ours and it. was. worth. every. penny. I have seen some of the knock-offs at the BBQ shop near my house and they are just so poorly built it's a joke.

Only "problem" I have is that they don't work terribly well for weeknight cooking. Kinda like a forno, if you want to use it you need to plan ahead a bit. But given how often I do smoked anything, it's a godsend.

The Pub / Madame Figrao
« on: October 11, 2013, 01:43:24 AM »
Here's a video of me in Madame Figaro (it's the French/Le Figaro equivalent of the NY Times' Sunday Magazine) talking about homebrewing... near the end:

Part of it is sponsored by Heineken. I had no idea when they did the filming that the "beer expert" (Bierologue) would be a Heineken shill. He talks about how great Pelforth, Heineken, and Desperados (basically Bud Lite Lime) are. A friend gave me the complement that 'at least there was one guy who knew what he was talking about.'

The Pub / Re: Bacon stuffed smoked chicken
« on: October 09, 2013, 03:01:39 AM »
Try this next time: Cold smoke your chicken (raw) and then bread & fry it in cast iron.

The Pub / Re: Just checkin' in.
« on: October 09, 2013, 03:00:50 AM »
Part is $10. Shipping g is $1,000. :)

Here in Hawaii that is often the case.  We call it the paradise tax.

Don't get me started.

All Things Food / Re: pig roast
« on: October 08, 2013, 01:47:00 AM »
Joe will appreciate this. There is no Bears fan bar in Paris, but there is a Packers bar. Go figure. Anyway, I have my superfans costume all ready for the Bears/Pack game in December. I will troll the daylights out of 'em.

The Pub / Re: Wire nuts vs. screw terminals
« on: October 04, 2013, 01:55:49 PM »
I should specify, this is for an overhead pendant lamp's junction box. There will be no real vibration as the ceiling beams are 16 inches thick.

The Pub / Wire nuts vs. screw terminals
« on: October 04, 2013, 06:07:58 AM »
So I was talking about DIY the other day with a (somewhat of a) know-it-all colleague. He proceeded to tell me that wire nuts were incredibly dangerous because of 'microvibrations' that can cause fires.

The only available option here are these screw terminals:

They're used for everything. In my mind they're super bulky and much less safe because they're so hard to screw down properly (jewler's flathead, for the most part).

I am pretty sure that it's just standard 'my dad told me it was bad 50 years ago, so it must still be the case,' but I'd like some ammo for the discussion.

All Things Food / Re: pig roast
« on: October 04, 2013, 01:27:50 AM »
We just finished our 21st annual pig roast this last weekend. We always stuff the cavity with chickens and sausages for the whole cook. They come out great. We have people that come specifically for the chicken. We carve everything before the party and don't serve from the pig so if your looking for the spectacle of carving to the plate you could always pull the sausages right before service.

How do you do the chickens? Add them halfway through the cook? Great idea. Chicken fat + pork drippings = yum.

All Things Food / Re: pig roast
« on: October 03, 2013, 04:07:14 AM »
Looks like my fears were unfounded, apparently a bunch of expats found out about the pig and now the guest list is close to 70. USA! USA! USA!

On a somewhat related topic, I wanted one more opinion if y'all don't mind: I have this pig, and it's butterflied/piggiflied, and I was thinking, I have all this sausage, would it be A. super gross or B. super awesome to put the sausage in the belly/chest cavity, post cook?

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