Barry, I was thinking about how a person that does bees and makes beer just has so much stuff as I was cleaning kegs and bottles the past couple days. Milk crates sound smart but that would be even more "stuff." Another advantage of the milk crates would be so you don't clink the carboys together and crack them. I learned the hard way on that. I think that I have broken one or maybe it was two. ? I have developed a sort of finesse with slinging the carboys around on the wet floor in the basement at this point keeping them just far enough away from each other that there is not a problem. I like the glass because I can see that it is clean and know that nothing is seeping in or out of it.
On the carboy handle subject in Homebrewing Volume 1. Al Korzonas says, I've read in many places that you should not lift full carboys by the handle (that you should lift them from the bottom) but I have yet to have a mishap, even with the full carboys.
I have been lifting them full with the handles for years without an issue myself but I suppose the glass could crack. If there is a possibility of something happening it seems eventually it does. I had a wet carboy slip out of my hand once and so I won't go without carboy handles now.
I am enjoying the link that Darb posted http://www.howtobrew.com/
What meat are you working on Vance? Smoked meat and Mead sounds delicious. It's too bad I don't live closer I could bring over plenty of beer and just lend you the Charlie Papazian book.
This Brewery is not too far from us and they have fun concerts in the summer. The beer is great.
The video goes over the beer fermentation process.