Thursday, May 24, 2007

May the Turtle Gods Smile On Me

So a couple years ago, I was driving home and saw a turtle crossing the road. Since it was a somewhat busy road, I thought I'd help him out. I got out and as I got close a car came by and ran over him---right in front of me! I was so upset! I heard the crunch of his shell and then saw blood on the road. I couldn't believe someone would do that. There weren't any oncoming cars so the person could have gone into the other lane, but they didn't. I felt I had let the little guy down and knew I had to do something to get back in the good graces of the Turtle Gods.

Time went on, as it always does, and I forgot about the little turtle. But then, on Tuesday I was driving home and, low and behold, I saw a turtle trying to cross a perilous section of road. This was my chance to redeem myself! I pulled over, got out and picked the little guy up no problem! He did pee when I picked him up, but I probably would too in that situation. I put him in my car and put him in our flowerbed until Ben got home so we could decided where to take him. I thought it might be kind of nice to keep him in the backyard, so we left him there over night. The next morning, he was still in the flowerbed, but had burrowed himself under the mulch. He was still there that evening which lead Ben and I to decide that he was in shock and probably not doing well. So we decided to take him a mile down the road to where there is a stream and lots of over growth along side it. I think he'll like it a lot better there.

And then I found $5!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bier Names

This weekend I brewed my second batch of stout. The first attempt went over well and quickly with a variety of people and I submitted it to the Sam Adams Homebrew contest. Since so many people enjoyed it, I decided to make it again and submit this one to the Indana State Fair Brewer's Cup. But this time, I think it's time to come up with a name for it. The two ideas that have been brought to the board are:
1) Schy High Ale
2) Bierschyster

I like the second one, and I've been playing around with the word order. "The Schyster", "Schyster Beer", "Schyster Bier", or "The Beirschyster". What do you think? For some reason, the first one calls to my mind a light colored beer, so that won't work for my dark beer. Got any other unique beer name ideas?

Holla back yo!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Boulder Post Trip--Now with 200% more pictures!

Imagine a place where everyone likes to be outside, the thin air stings your lungs as you walk uphill, during certain times of the year you can play golf and ski in the same day and the beer flows so smoothly it must be from the heavens themselves. Where is this utopia? Does it really exsist you ask? I'm here to tell you it does, it resides on the eastern foothills of the Rockies in a place called Boulder, Colorado.

We (me, Ben and Rangoon) flew in to Denver and Stutz (Captain Curt, that is) promptly picked us up in his new Subaru Outback. Mind you, it's not a new model, but new to him. And it actually had enough room for 4 adults compared to his last two or three vehicles. By the way, Subaru's are big in that area; everyone's got one or two.

On our way to Curt's place, we stopped by Buckley Air Force Base where the guys bought ski lift tickets hella cheap with a military discount and we bought groceries at the Commissary--also on the cheap. I wasn't allowed to take pictures, but I did manage to get a few; just don't tell The Man.

From there it was on to Boulder! Along the way we took note of all the great scenery: mountains, tumbleweeds and prairie dogs. Although some people have said that prairie dogs carry the plague, I just can't believe it. How can something so cute carry something so deadly? We did, however, decide that prairie dogs are a cows most deadly predator. They dig those holes in the ground, then the cow steps in it, breaks its leg, falls and then out come a mass of blood-thirsty prairie dogs! The cow is dead before it realizes what happened. The quickness at which it happens is really a blessing.

Curt lives in the back portion of a house along with two other people and a dog named Bohnam. I only saw the others once, but we did hang out with Bohnam quite a bit. You'll find him in a lot of our pictures.

We got to Curt's place around 2pm (local time) and I promptly took a nap while the guys went to get their rentals for skiing the next day. When they got back, we went for a hike up in the flatirons. What's convienant about his place is that walking paths up the mountain are just a few blocks from where he lives. So we did the Red Rock Trail and went a good ways up (but no where near the top), as we were walking I decided that I was not nearly in as good of shape as I thought I was. My cardiovascular system was in shock, it couldn't believe I would do something like this to it! The view was worth it though, there were the health benefits too, and also the thought that I could be at home sitting on my butt, but I'm instead hiking in the Rockies! All good things :)

By 3pm, after 2.5 hours of hiking/walking around the area, we had built up quite a thirst so we headed to Mountain Sun Brewery! Here are some pics of tasty beers, fries and some LOADED nachos. They have a good variety of craft beers and I was pleased with their Java Porter--it was like a cup of strong coffee only cold. Around 5pm we headed west (into the sun) and stopped into BJs Brewery, to have "one more round". We actually had three or four more rounds, but we were on vacation and no one was counting. I really enjoyed their PM Porter, very roasty and wet-carpety. There we met Lu, a bartender/supervisor who turned out to be a cool person whom we had interesting conversations with. When we were ready to move on, it was about 8pm and Stutz took us to The Attic where they have PBR on tap and FREE pool. You might wonder why we would downgrade to PBR when there were tons of other fine beers around. Well the answer is simple: We were drunk and PBR was cheap! Our first day wrapped up around 11pm with a decent walk back to Stutz's (up a gimormous hill/small mountain).

Day 2 started early with the guys leaving for Eldora Ski Resort around 8am. Here are a few pics from their day skiing. I got ready for my spa day and left around 8:30. I walked 15 blocks to get to the spa at 9am. Between 10 and 4pm, I got a facial, massage, lunch, pedicure and makeup application--it was a good day. That evening we were all starving and got sushi from Hapa for dinner. It was good, but you know, sushi never seems to fill me up unless I get a ton of it and that very rarely happens as I'm not rich. Anyway, Hapa happened to be right next to BJ's so we stopped in there again, this time we really only had two rounds. The guys were exhausted after their day of skiing so we called it a night early and went back to the house.

Day 3 started with breakfast at Foolish Craig's, a trendy little bistro on the main, trendy street. Then we walked up to the UC-Boulder campus and surrounding area. We saw The Onion headquarters and we went to the Dushanbe Tea House for afternoon tea at 11am. Then we headed back to the house and got ready for all-you-can-eat rib dinner at The West End Tavern. But we first headed to Walnut Brewery for some pre-dinner drinks. The bartendress, Tracy, kept our glasses full and offered us all kinds of "samples" of their beers. Rangoon and I got drunk and started talking about birth, death and taxes--it was getting really heavy, but then guess who showed up for drinks??? I finally got to meet the infamous Finch and Jewfish!! They no longer exsist as just blog commenters to me anymore...I finally got to talk to them and ask them the questions that have been on my mind for awhile. It was awesome. We headed out for dinner around 6pm, I personally don't like ribs, so I settled for a great big, tasty burger. I did eat Bean's cornbread and yam chips--they were delicious! I think most of them all got another plate of ribs, but I don't think anyone had more than two. After we gorged ourselves with food, we headed to BJ's for yet another round. This trip to BJ's was more to say bye to Lu than to drink. I was soo full that I couldn't even finish my beer. Not that I didn't want to, but my body was no longer accepting food or drink. I tried to go to the bathroom, but that didn't help. So I left a partial PM Porter and a phat tip on the bar.

Day 4--the last day. Our flight left Denver at 3:15pm so we didn't have to rush in the morning. After we got our luggage loaded up, it was fairly foggy so we headed up into the mountains. Because really, what better time to drive through twisted, windy mountain roads than when the visibility is low? We reached some senic lookout spot and got out. You really couldn't see more than 20 feet in front of you. While the guys were throwing rocks over the mountain into the nothing, I happened to notice a sign informing visitors that bears and mountain lions are active year round in these areas. That was enough information for me and I headed back into the car. After a quick sodoku puzzle the guys came back and we headed back down. Part way down we stopped at another lookout point, this one was just along side the road. Once again, the guys got out and went to the edge to throw rocks and whatnot, everything was fine until Rangoon and Bean came running back screaming "BEAR! BEAR!" "Bean hit a bear with a rock!!" and we all quickly got in the car and drove away. I was freaking out, trying to get them to tell me they were joking...turns out they were. Very funny. We stopped and had some Thai food and then headed back to the airport.

So there you have it. Our fun mini-vacation to Boulder. If you have the means, I highly recommend you visit sometime. I did take a metric ton of pictures, we just haven't uploaded them to our gallery. Pictures forthcoming--promise!