Thursday, January 31, 2008

Better accounting of the mileage and "fluid replacement" thereof

After one month of 2008, I am down 2 lbs. with 395 beers to burn off [I zero'd the count at Jan 1.]

Football playoffs are killing me; thankfully it ends Sunday.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Can't Trust Weatherfolks

They said it was going to snow this morning. I don't usually run on Fridays - especially today, since I have Bingo tonight and shouldn't be getting up so early - but, if it's snowing, I'm running. Sleet or freezing rain, no f'n way; but a nice fluffy snowstorm? Count me in.

It didn't snow. When I looked out the window at 5AM it was clear and bright. I could tell that it was way too cold to go out. When I went back to sleep, I had a dream that we had gotten about a foot and a half of nice fluffy powder. I was shovelling the sidewlak in front of the church and D'Kid was trying her best to wail me with snowballs, but the snow wouldn't pack well enough.

As it usually happens the sun was breaking through the clouds, so that made it about 3 or 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

I thought to myself, "Well, maybe they'll cancel Bingo."

There's no snow in the forecast for another week.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Andrew Ledger (April 4, 1979 – January 22, 2008)

So long, Skip.

By The Light ...

My first Full Moon-Set run of 2008.

I broke my "No Runs In Less Than 30° Rule." It was barely 24°, but it was well worth it. The bottle of water I left on the porch step was just starting to freeze when I finished. I gave myself an ice-cream headache from drinking it too fast.

You know, I've ben getting a lot of those lately. Maybe I should start wearing a knit hat, instead of a baseball hat?


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Victory Baltic Thunder

D'Kid dropped her training wheels in October. We rode every day during Xmas Break ("Daddy, it's 45°, can we take our bikes out?"). I've been finding more and more reasons to ride.

Me: Done.
D'Wife: Done, what?
RM: I took our books, DVDs and stuff back to the library.
DW: Oh, good, thanks. Did you put gas in the car?
RM: No.
DW: Why not?
RM: I took my bike. It's only a mile away.

Me: Done.
D'Wife: Done, what?
RM: I went to the grocery store. I got bread, milk, pasta, and a salad bag.

DW: Oh, good, thanks. Did you put gas in the car?
RM: No.
DW: Why not?
RM: I took my bike. It's only a mile away.

Me: Done
D'Wife: Done, what?
RM: I went to the liquor store. I got some beer for me - Victory HopDevil and a new one, Baltic Thunder - and Ozzie wine for you.
DW: Oh, good, thanks. Did you put gas in the car?

RM: No.
DW: Why not?
RM: I took my bike. It's only a mile away.
DW: What's going on? Are you turning into Team DUI?

["Team DUI" is our term for those unfortunate souls who have lost their driving priviledges and are thereby forced to bicycle commute]

RM: No, I'm not Team DUI. I ride because I want to.
DW: What's the difference? You're still doing errands on your bike.
RM: Team DUI doesn't wear a helmet.

Double Bag


I am not a cyclevangelist, by any means - although that's a really good word - nor am I especially "green" [in fact, I embrace climate change as the great normalizer - the thing humans couldn't stop - plus, after living in Florida, I've always felt cold]. I just like my bike, my bikes. I like to ride, to be outside, especially with a certain fearless 8 year-old who already wants me to build a pump track in our back yard.

That being said, think about the bikey-ness of it all:


With the demise of Heavyweight Brewing [Ocean Township, NJ], many here in the PennJerDel Triangle mourned their loss, most specifically of their "Perkunos Hammer" Imperial Porter.

A Baltic porter brewed in collaboration with Lew Bryson. This style is difficult to find outside of the Baltics. What a shame! The grist consists of lots of Munich malt and some chocolate and other specialty malts. A Bavarian lager yeast is used to create this. Dark and mysterious, subtle and well, it is called the Hammer. For those who care, Perkuno was the Baltic thunder god.

On the East Coast, this was a "gotta have", respected by all BeerGeeks; from Hop-heads to Malt-suckers and everyone in between.


Thankfully, our friends at Victory picked up the ball with Victory Baltic Thunder.

While Heavyweight Brewing deserves credit for introducing the Baltic porter style to many craft beer fans, this beer from Victory represents an all new recipe fashioned on the experience of Tom's original intense brew. One noteworthy difference is the higher alcohol by volume of Baltic Thunder, 8.5% compared to Heavyweight's, which weighed in at 8%.

An additional distinction is Victory's use of black eyed peas in lieu of Roman beans. Despite these changes, this dark lager still features a reminiscent roasted character that embodies the fullness of toffee, along with subtle fruit flavors derived from its higher temperature fermentation. Long, cold aging tempers this complex beer into a well-rounded delight that warms with its significant alcohol strength. The final packaged product will be released in 25.4 fluid ounce bottles.

"The first brew of Baltic Thunder was magical. Tom and his original co-conspirator on the beer, Lew Bryson, even came here to Victory to assist. Then, while sharing a pint of Baltic Thunder off of the lagering tank a few weeks later with Tom, I swear the spirit of his departed Perkuno was smiling upon our accomplishment," continued Covaleski.

This isn't a clone of Perkuno [which I've always had as much trouble pronouncing as "Peralta" - go figure], but it's damn close. I had plenty of Pekuno's at Tun Tavern in AC and regardless of what the numbers say ... The Hammer felt much higher than 8% ABV; and Thunder didn't quite crack my head at 8.5% - in fact I had an "In All There Is?"

But still, it did wonders for my ice-cream headache.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Run, ride or skate every day

Y'know, I never got comfortable with those little, hard, white wheels, so I got something more familiar

A little bigger and a lot softer; more like what I’m used to. In fact, I had some of these on my board back in ’78.

Of course, I had my favorite tech help me swap them in:

Mariel - The Littlest Wrench Mariel - The Littlest Wrench Mariel - The Littlest Wrench Complete!

D'Wife: "You two are not skateboarding in the kitchen again, are you?!!!"


Of course, the day/night they came in, we got New Jersey's only snowfall of the year

NJ Snow

so I'll have to wait to try them out ... someplace other than the kitchen.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Setting The Tone

I would have not had the balls to wear a shirt like this to the gym; but a certain "Resolutionary" made a few things painfully clear [except hers was white on black], in very few words - in fact none at all.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

June-uary 2008

Today's high temperature - 65°

Yesterday - 66°

Sunday - 51°

January 1st - 50°

Not quite cool enough to dig into the Lawnmower Beers, but way too warm for BBChocoStout.

If climate change continues as such, I may never taste that wonderful brew again.

I still have my memories.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

You Say You Want A Res-o-lu-tion?

Simply ...

1] Run, ride or skate every day

Sadly, surfing every day is out of the question. If I could, I would.

D'Kid was born to be a bike-princess.

Future Sprockette?!

Although she didn't drop her training wheels until October, she has jumped to the fore of the neighborhood's two-wheel set. She has declared biking "The best sport ever!!!" [yes, even better than surfing or swimming, because "you can ride a bike any time."] During the Xmas break, she brought me out for an hour ride every afternoon at 3:00. Some days just little loops around the block, but she actually took me out on a couple 6 mile excursions ... not much for a grown-up; but epic for an 8-year old on a single-gear 16" Barbie Special.

1a] Learn to Ollie and some flip tricks.

No Skool cruising and carving is nice, but it really shows my age.

1b] Better accounting of the mileage and "fluid replacement" thereof.

The BEER deficit has got to be much more than 400, although my weight hasn't changed. Go figure.

2] Draw or write every day

Something old; something new; something, anything.

I have plenty of projects in my backlog, some dating back to germs of inspiration 10 years or so ago. I need to clear out the garage, to make room for new projects which Mariel wants me to do.

Plus, you never know what goofy monkey doodle you made during the 2-hour conference call my lead to.

3] Pray the Rosary

One can never pray too much. Rosaries are the best prayers - or collection of prayers. And, in reality, they don't take that much time.