Tagged: beer

Meet the Author

If you read this site and you’re here right now, this message is for you. I write some books sometimes. I write real good, to. And people are starting to take notice. No seriously though. My buddy Spencer is the director of the public library where I live. And he thinks I write good to. So the library is going to host a Meet the Author night at the library, and I’m the author you get to meet! I know, I know, most of you have already met me. But it would still be fun for you to show up and pretend we haven’t met. You could walk up and shake my hand and act all star-struck and whatnot, and I could introduce myself, and people who don’t know you will think I have a ton of followers who have never met me. Followers who read authors who write real good.

Exciting times though, these are. Spencer will be ordering a large stack of each of my three novels to give away at the signing. Apparently the night will start with my lecturing for a bit about the perils of living in 3D, followed by some advice on being a writer in this here Metropolis and not in LA or New York. You don’t have to live there to write, you see. Following that will be a question answering session. I will be asking the audience a series of questions and seeing how good their answers are, in other words. At least this is my perception of the definition. And then I’ll sign some books. And that will pretty much be it. Well, aside from the after party at the Broken Anchor Pirate’s Pub.

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Bad Design Diary: Cruddy Cupholder

My red-haired wife and our friends and do a lot of sitting on the driveway. Just about every night, and certainly every weekend. We sit out there drinking Cold Ones and starting at the lake, telling stories, playing guitars, Danae and I singing together, smoking cigars, skinning catfish – whatever. The point being we’re always out there, and the easiest way to accommodate all this madness is fold-up chairs. These things are pretty comfortable, and they’re great for space-saving when you’re done with them. They fold up and stand in the corner of the garage. The problem is, they don’t last very long.

Well, this black chair has one more problem in particular. It’s the top-dollar version of the chair. It used to have a footrest and all that, which is another bad design in and of itself. But today we’re going to talk about the cupholder. Have a looksee.

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The Tree House Bar

I’ve been thinking a lot about tree houses lately. I’m not sure why this is. But Stavi and I have been sitting out on the driveway drinking beer and looking up at my massive trees in my front yard, and it has come to our attention that those are some damn fine tree house trees. I’ve been thinking, therefore, that maybe we should construct a tree house up in one of them there trees.

I’ve long been obsessed with awesome tree houses, and used to try to build them all the time when I was a kid. I was also always jealous of those friends of mine who had really nice ones. My Pop built me a helluvatuff fort when I was a kid. My sister and I had our own two-storey house in the backyard. But it wasn’t a tree house. There’s just a difference. Maybe a tree house can be hidden in the trees. Heck, I even wrote a poem about a tree house when I was younger. Don’t hate.

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The Sunset Beach Diaries, 2013, Pt 2

Well, we made it back. Sigh. I have to take a few deep breaths. Seriously. A week on the beach is hard work. Another deep breath. I’m going to convince you that it’s hard work, and then you’ll see why I’m taking so many deep breaths. Breathe. And then maybe you’ll also see why I am so happy to be home, while at the same time looking forward to going again next year. Deep breath. It’s very hard work. And I didn’t even take my laptop this year!

Historically, I have traveled with only the bare necessities when it comes to technology and electronics. For instance, my laptop backpack would have in it only the things I needed for the week: computer, netbook, tablet, SD card case with several spare SD cards, an SD card reader (or two), two of every kind of cable I might possibly need, spare styli, a couple of blank CDs, a USB light, screen wipes, my 3G hotspot and every possible dongle, cable and connection I might ever need or want to plug into my computer while I’m there. Seriously, what happens if I take a bunch of pictures on my D-SLR and didn’t bring a card reader to transfer them to the computer, and I lose the camera? Well, simply put, I lose the pictures.

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The Sunset Beach Diaries, 2013 Edition

We got up at 3:45 yesterday morning. That’s not the impressive part though. We had gone to bed at close to midnight the night before, and then lay mostly awake through those very few hours trying to sleep through the sound of the dog clock in the neighbor’s yard. This dog literally barked once per second for over an hour. A true canus tempus. I wanted to kill him in the face. But we were energized by vacationalistic excitement, and thus were able to get up with no problems. Then I set about to making Bloody Marys for all of the day’s travelers. Well, except for the kids, of course. Duh. They drink whiskey sours.

By 5:15 we were on the shuttle (all seven of us) heading for the airport. At the end of the three-hour flight, the stewardess announced congratulations for Bret and Danae who are getting married on the beach. I know. Copycats, right? They’re even getting married on the same slice of beach as we did nearly four years ago. Major rolleyes. But then the flight attendant had us do the wave. Very nice.

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New Discovery: Beer of the Month Club

Beer of the what? Seriously? Beer of the Month Club? How have I not heard of this before now? Actually maybe I had but I didn’t know what it meant. Or maybe I thought you had to go to a bar to get them. Either way, what I do know is that my ridiculously awesome and hot red-haired wife joined the Beer of the Month Club in my name for Father’s Day. Now there’s a wife who cares!

The idea of this is extremely attractive to me. So if you haven’t heard of it, you get your red-haired wife to join you up, and she can pick monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly delivery. It’s pretty expensive. If you sign up for monthly for a year, it’s upwards of $450 bucks. It ain’t cheap. But you can find coupons and save yourself a little cash on shipping and whatnot. So then they just pick two microbreweries per month and send you two varieties (three bottles) from each, for a total of four unique beers that you have probably never heard of. What’s not to love?

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Custom Tap Handle Alternative

Do you brew your own beer? Do you brew more than one style? Do you, therefore, occasionally rotate different styles in and out of your kegerator? Do you take enough pride in your beer to actually come up with names and labels for your delicious creations? Well, then we have a lot in common already. We should get together and share a pint sometime.

I often find myself looking for custom tap handles that I can have painted up with my beer names and labels on them. And I haven’t found a lot of options that appeal to me. Mostly what I find are cool handles with a square at the top where you slide a printed piece of paper into a plastic sleeve for your “custom” tap handle. Or another popular one is the one with a small black square chalkboard at the top where you write your beer name in chalk. Yawn. No, I want something a little more customized. Well, not finding what I wanted, I improvised. Now I’m going to show you what I did.

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The Bar Harbor Diaries, Vol. 3

What I didn’t consider when I wrote volume two was that it was Memorial Day. I mean, of course I knew it was Memorial Day. But I hadn’t considered that the breweries would be closed. So in short, what this meant was that we could take our time getting to Portland. There was no need to rush to make sure we had plenty of daylight left to hit as many brewhouses as we could. And you know, that worked out after all, because we were able to have a nice leisurely drive back. What should have taken three hours took almost six. And it was completely cool.

Cadillac Mountain was very nice. Gorgeous views. It was a little cold up there, but we had a great experience. Then we sat at Jordan Pond and had a brunch of popovers and lobster rolls with coffee. One of the most excellent brunch experiences of my life, right there. Completely worth the drive, friends. The wind was cool and fresh off the lake, as we sat outside at a picnic table staring out over the water while we ate. So beautiful.

These popovers are apparently the latest craze up there. The bake a muffin until it gets huge and just sort of explodes. So it’s a gigantic muffin that’s hollow on the inside. You put butter and jam on it, and – well, let me back up. You know those spherical scoops of butter they give you in breakfast diners? Yeah, I took that whole thing, sliced a hole in the pop and stuffed the entire butter sphere in it. Then poured the entire cup of jam inside, and sort of mashed it all around. Dear sweet WOW.

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The Bar Harbor Diaries, Vol. 2

We ran into a couple of hikers the other night, and hung out at the Dog & Pony with them, then ended the night at Leary’s Landing (the Irish Pub) listening to a guy play the guitar and sing songs we all know. Well, we helped him out a little bit. And being at the table closest to him, I asked him if he knew certain artists occasionally. “Do you know any Bette Midler?” I would say, for instance. Or, “Hey, can you play any Barry Manilow? Air Supply?” Unfortunately, he was more of a modern rock guy. It was fun.

The church we attended Sunday morning was very old-fashioned. It reminds me of my childhood. The same tired old songs from the hymnals, the same tired old sermons repeated every Sunday from the same tired old preacher. He was actually reading his notes the entire time. Not very dramatic. He’s no Chris Seidman, I said. But it was good. It was nice to stop down and be reminded of why we’re here in the first place. Spending a little time in worship was pleasant before we hit the streets and bars again. Which we did in short order. The Seaside Grill serves an awful Bloody Mary, by the way (though their haddock popkin is pretty remarkable).

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The Bar Harbor Diaries, Vol. 1

You can fly into Bangor and drive the hour into Bar Harbor, which is what we should have done. Don’t get me wrong, the drive up was absolutely gorgeous. We counted more trees per square yard than we could even believe actually existed. But a five-hour drive is pretty taxing when you’ve gotten up at 0400 to be at the Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport by 0625. Yeah. They don’t even serve bloody marys that early.

So flying into Bangor will save you the five-hour drive, but costs you a couple of Franklins. Well, next time I think we may do that. We, instead, flew into Boston / Logan and drove up. Now that was a really nice drive through all those bay towns, including Portland. We plan to spend a day in Portland Monday, actually. We’ve decided to knock off out of Bar Harbor a day early to cut the trip in half so we’re not rushed on the day we fly out.

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Six Pints for Doug

Okay, let’s just get this on the record. It’s funny, I can no longer find anything about it on the Internet anywhere. Does this mean that we are the only ones left participating in the tradition? I can’t imagine that. Let me know if you can find anything about it. Maybe there are local groups who could join forces or something. I don’t know. Anyway, I just want to put this on the record for anyone who is interested in getting into this tradition.

Do you like music? Do you like beer? Do you like friends? Do you like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? Do you like websites? Well if you answered no to any of those questions, you’re probably not reading this website, because you wouldn’t like it. If you have not read the book I mentioned, you should go ahead and put that on your To Be Read list. Seriously. If you like my site, you would probably enjoy it. You would probably enjoy it anyway. But then, once you’ve read it, you’ll have a better appreciation of who Douglas Adams was.

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BrewHouse Site Gets a Facelift

Cross-Posted from Tapped Relic Brewhouse

Have you noticed that all these beer websites ask you for your birth date before they’ll let you in? I find myself wondering what the point of that is. Is there a growing concern for the number of children and adolescents visiting beer sites and getting drunk? I understand not letting underage peeps into the liquor store. Or not selling them alcohol. But they can’t even look at your site? And if they really want to see it, what keeps them from rolling the year down a few notches? Nothing. It’s a waste of time, and it’s ridiculous. Trying to make your beer or brewery website look responsible like you care about kids is better accomplished by other means. Well, you’ll never see an age block on SpacePort. No way, ho, say!

But we’ve been brewing a lot of beer lately, friends. That’s what good breweries do, right? And with all the new beers and recipes we’re brewing up, I thought we could use a new logo. So I designed a new, more robust and colorful logo set. You can click here to see the new logo in full size. The Untappd page got a modified version, and there’s a small one at the bottom of this page. Let me know what you think!

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New York Diaries, Vol 2

The first order of business upon arriving in a foreign town is to locate a good place to drink. Well, maybe that’s not a rule or anything, but it seems to work well for me. I’ve had almost one-hundred-percent success in using this little scheme when I visit new towns. I want you to look at the inset picture here really closely, without clicking on it yet. There. Right in the middle. Do you see it? Okay, now click it.

Now you see it, don’t you? Yes, friends, that is indeed a BREWERY. Sorry for the shittastic image – there were raindrops on the window through which I took the photo. {aside} When I checked in, I played some charm on the cute clerk and said in my best Texas accent, “I’m from Dallas. I’ve never been here. Can you give me something really high up?” She smiled and said yes, then upgraded my room to the 43rd floor, so I got a pretty good look. So yes, I walked into my room, dropped my crap on the floor and immediately walked to the window to have a look at the world below. Once I spotted the brewery, I was back down on the street within three minutes. My suitcase was still on the bed, zipped up tight.

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First Day After The End Of The World

We had a party last night. The invite said “Apocalypse Party. What better way to go out than hanging with friends, with a drink in your hand!” I guess we ended up with about twenty people over there. I served from my two kegs full of homebrew, and people brought various six-packs and variety packs of beer. Which I guess is cool, because now I have probably twenty unique types and brands of beer in my BeerFridge. Twenty that I’ve never tried. Pretty cool, I say. But what about the real question here?

Why didn’t the world end?

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The Year in Pictures

Happy Friday, friends. Another year has almost come to an end. Well, maybe I’m a little precocious in saying that – seeing as we still have thirty-one days until it’s over. But it’s almost over. Eleven-twelfths of the way through. So that’s close enough in my book. So I figured I’d go ahead and close out the year with a special photos column, recapping some of the things that happened this year. Some of these pictures are relevant, some are not. All were taken this year. But not all of them actually have anything to do with anything. Some of them, in other words, are just cool pictures.

Another thing they all have in common is that they were all taken with my phone. So I didn’t go digging through my digital photo album looking for good pictures. Just my phone. Meaning these happened while I was out and about, or generally too busy to pick up my DSLR. Anyway, have fun, and enjoy walking back through the year with me. In no particular order, of course.

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Here’s the thing about weddings.

See, I get mad when I think or talk about weddings. Not just the kind of mad you get when someone slams a door behind you unexpectedly. No, not even the kind of mad you get when someone calls your mom a whore. The mad I get is like the burning fiery rage of a thousand suns. It makes me angry in my soul. When I find myself getting into a conversation about weddings, I have to withdraw instantly, lest I burn up inside and start shouting all the reason they’re bullshittical, hogwashical and colossal wastes of money. And there are several reasons why this is so. I shall now tell you about them.

First of all, I know the big white weddings are traditional. Most women (and I know I’m gonna get a lot of flack for this, but that’s fine – I’m ready) seem so stuck on this “tradition” excuse that they turn into robots. I SIMPLY MUST GO SPEND A THOUSAND DOLLARS ON A DRESS. Yeah. You must. Why? Because your mother did it. And her mother before her. And you know what they all have in common? They all had an expensive white dress in their closets that never got used again. Because when it comes time to pass your dress down to your daughter, she’s going to say, “Oh, that’s so 1950s! I need my OWN one.” And your daughter is going to do the same damn thing. “Oh mom, I can’t wear that! That’s so 2001!” So yes, by all means, you’re right. You absolutely MUST go out and spend a thousand dollars on a dress you will wear one time. Ever. Because YOU have to follow tradition. You’re smarter than the rest of them.

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Cheerleaders Don’t Lift My Spirits

Here’s a hot sports opinion for you: I think cheerleaders are annoying.

What, you wanted more? No, that’s it. Yeah, that’s all I wanted to say. I think they’re distracting, irritating and annoying. And boring. Sigh. Okay, I’ll explain for you. We go to my son’s football games, and we sit in the bleachers and – well, since he’s in middle school, they don’t take football near as seriously as high school and – well, I … let me start over. Okay, the schools at which his team plays only have bleachers on one side of the field. Which puts you in the uncomfortable predicament (pre · di · `CAY · ment) of sitting right beside the opposing team’s fans. And, more specifically to my point, both groups of cheerleaders are right there next to each other. On the same side of the field. Like five yards away from each other.

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Jesus Made the Jack Bees

It’s hard to believe the summer is coming to a close already. Well, technically I guess it already has. Have you noticed how quickly the years fly by when you get older? It seems to me that only a couple of weeks ago, the State Fair was selling all things fried. Well it was a year ago. Which tells me I’m getting old. I saw a sign the other day Continue reading…

Summer Synopsis 2012

What have I been up to lately? I know I said in my beer page bio that I was done with blogging. I also know that all three of my readers knew as well as I did how long that phase had the potential to last. But until humanity has cleaned up its act and I see random people helping other people on the street; people waving at each other on the highway – not riding each other’s asses; people in flooded, hurricane-hit towns helping with the cleanup and not looting… Once all that starts happening, I may run out of things to talk about. As long as human beings are a hive of scum and villainy, I will blast about it on the web. Not sure what motivated me to use a Star Trek quote there, but it is fitting, and there you have it. And there’s your opening paragraph.

Anyway, yes, I have been making beer. I brew two to three batches of beer per month. Let me explain this to those of you who don’t already know. If you do know all about homebrewing, then feel free to skip ahead a few paragraphs. I had a buddy of mine swing by the other night to hang out and catch up, have a few beers, the usual. And I happened to be turning out a batch of beer. So he says, “When will it be ready?” and I replied, “Oh, about four weeks or so.” So he says, “Really. I thought we’d be drinking it tonight.” This is just plain ignorance. Not stupidity. Most people are just completely in the dark when it comes to making beer, having never been told. So here’s my very brief rundown of what happens:

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The Craft Beer Movement

I remember the first full bottle of beer I ever enjoyed. I was fifteen. My buddy and I had a twenty-one-year-old friend, and six dollars. This guy ran up to the beer store with our six dollars with instructions to buy as much Michelob Dry as he could get. Well I don’t know what happened – beer was a lot cheaper back then – but somehow he only came back with two bottles. Well my friend and I enjoyed those two bottles of beer out on the driveway behind my house. We drank it like it was liquid gold. And it did taste good. So what happened?

I can no longer drink BMC. The Big American Three. But that’s what Some-Large-Percentage of the American population buys, in massive amounts, every weekend. I hand one of them my glass of Newcastle, or Full Sail IPA, or Arrogant Bastard and they make a terrible face and some comment about how gross it tastes. I handed a bottle of Newcastle to my cousin’s boyfriend the other day. He thanked me and offered a sip to my cousin, Lara. She took a pull of the rich brown beer and screwed up her face like she’d sucked on a rotten corn dog. She said, “Oh my God, that’s nasty.”

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New Brew Thursday

As of this evening, we will be adding an IPA to our brew bill. Ever since I mistakenly thought I had drunk my first IPA and… wait – you don’t know that story? Oh. Well let me tell you about it. Don’t worry I’ll be brief. I brewed what I thought was an IPA a long time ago. It was my second brew. However, being a kit beer, and adding three pounds of dry malt to the grain bill, I balanced out the hops. I had no idea what I was doing at that point. I just knew I needed to add about three pounds of fermentables to the batch. So I unknowingly created a remarkably well balanced and delicious brew.

So fast forward a few weeks, I went to a BrewPub with some girlfriends (and my insanely hot red-haired wife), and ordered their house IPA. When the lady brought it out, it smelled like flowers, and tasted like weeds. Oh. So this is what an IPA tastes like. Not what I brewed. So I quickly did two things. 1: I changed the label of my beer to an English Brown. And B: I fell in love with the IPA style. I have since set out on a mission to taste as many IPA-style beers as I can find. I have in the last few months tried ten or eleven now. And fortunately for me, the new gas station by my house sells seven different IPA labels. SEVEN.

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Four Wake-ups ‘Til Florida

It’s finally here, friends: that time of year when we leave for the Big Penis. That’s right, the continental fallus we like to call “Florida”. My red-haired wife and I have gone every year for the last three years. This will make our fourth trip together. And the only difference between this trip and the previous three years is that we aren’t taking the kids. I figure they’re old enough to stay at home and take care of themselves.

My buddy Christian is in town from Omaha, and has been staying with us since Saturday. So he’s gonna hang in the house until we get back. Works out perfectly. You see, I like having someone stay in my house so I won’t feel bad about leaving the fridge plugged in and the air conditioner running.

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The Trifecta of Idiocy

Have you ever had one of those days where you just can’t do anything right? Well I haven’t. Everything I ever do is right. Ahem. Okay, well sometimes maybe I make a mistake or two. But… Okay, well sometimes I have those days too. And it seems especially bad when it happens to me because usually when I start messing up, people start getting hurt. I’m not sure why, but it just seems to work out that way most of the time.

For instance, the other day at my nephew’s birthday party, we all went to Blortbortham’s Seafood & Sausage House over on Cooper Street. I was carrying my two-year-old princess on my shoulders, walking around the restaurant so we could see what people were eating. I would stop by a table and bend over to examine their plates and ask them if it was any good. “How’s the squid bladder with octopus semen sauce?” I would ask, for instance. Some of the patrons seemed put off by the fact that I was asking them what they were eating, but come on – you’re in a public eatery! You should expect to have some human interactions with strangers.

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Space Vs. The Heater Bot

I’ve just ended my weeks-long battle with my heater bot. And while it might not be an interesting story to some, I feel like I should write about it in case anyone else ever runs into the same problem and needs some ideas for a fix.

You see, I’m of the opinion that if I can pay someone to come out and fix something in my home, I can darn sure fix it myself. Or I can at least try. I am not afraid to enlist the experience of my buddies and neighbors if they know something I don’t. But so far I’ve found I’ve been able to repair everything myself, and the only detriment to doing it myself is that it takes a little longer. Since I’m not an expert in any of these things that typically go wrong, I just have to use common sense and work backwards on the issue, troubleshooting and just figuring out what it could possibly be. Which, if you don’t know the system, takes a little longer. But it’s a lot cheaper than calling someone out and paying a trip fee and their marked-up parts cost and whatnot.

So you remember when my cooler bot went out during the summer. Well, my cooler bot and heater bot are part of the same physical unit. And in repairing the cooler bot part of it, I disabled part of the heater portion. So here’s what I did, how I eventually came to repair it, and why it took so damn long.

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Can the 1300s get a little love?

Haycomet just wrote a very nice piece about living in the middle ages, and it sort of touched a soft spot in my emotions. Because like her, I too have always wanted to visit a different time period. I actually wrote an essay about my time machine in the SpaceBrew Scroll. You can read it here if you’re interested. You probably didn’t even know that existed, did you? Yeah? Well it does. You should go check it out. It’s a small series of collaborative efforts by the entire writing staff at the time. Anyway, I’ve gone off on a tangent, and there’s your opening paragraph.

But I have to admit something, friends. I mentioned where I had gone and what I had done with my time machine in that post, but it wasn’t really true. I don’t really own a time machine. I know, I know, I’m a bastard for misleading you and everything, but it was fun to pretend for a while. I really want one though, if that’s any consolation. I like to think I could go back and meet some of those really cool, influential people in history. Albert Einstein. Seka (when she was younger)… Adolf Hitler. You know, just those people you really kind of want to get to know. Find out what made them tick. Well, I know what made Seka tick, if you know what I mean. :perv:

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Another Week at Sunset Beach

Welcome back, everyone, from what was hopefully a glorious and wonderful Independence Day weekend. I, for one, can tell you that I was on the road for most of the weekend. That’s right, folks, I am NOT writing this live as of Monday morning. I’m writing it on Tuesday morning of last week, the day you all knew as June 29. I know, it seems crazy, but all writing is sort of like time traveling for the reader anyway. You read something that happened in your past, but was the writer’s present tense. It is a very powerful tool.

But yes, I am now (I hope, and by all means should be) in sunny Treasure Island, Florida for our Third Annual Watch Fireworks and Drink Beer On the Beach All Day While Women Bounce Around In Skimpy Bikinis Festival. The festival lasts about a week, and typically happens right around Independence Day weekend. Last year I attended and ended up married to a redhead. So some crazy stuff is known to happen during these soirees.

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The Beer CANundrum

My friends and I have this hobby we like to refer to as “Sitting Out On The Patio Drinking Beer”, which involves sitting out on the patio, drinking beer. We do this quite frequently. And we, being men who drink beer frequently, can drink a lot. So that you’ll know what a lot is, let me tell you what a lot is. When Siege shows up with a 30-pack, he sets it next to the 30-pack Two-Step brought home when she went by the Target’s earlier. So we have sixty beers in the SpaceFridge, which is a pretty good amount. Between the four of us – that’s Two-Step, Stout, Siege and me – that’s about fifteen beers apiece. I’m not saying we drink all sixty in one night. But I’m also not saying we don’t.

See, sometimes, Haycomet and Byron, Fletcher and Julie, Rines and TL, Bill and Amanda – sometimes they come by too. And sometimes they all come over. Sometimes Captain McRight will even come by. What I’m getting at here is that when that many people come over, sixty beers split twelve ways suddenly isn’t that much beer. We’re talking somewhere around five apiece. You know what that means? It means someone’s making a beer run. We’ve been known to drink as many as two 30-packs and a case in one night between our group. On a typical weekend, we go through an average of around 130 beers or so. That’s a lot of damn beer.

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Malt Liquor for my Truckers

I never told you about the time I was coming back from Abilene and a truck driver road my ass, did I? It was late at night, I was heading to Dallas and it was dark. Mainly because it was late at night. But it was also raining. And I was driving a shitty little four-cylinder Chevy Cavalier. And I had a truck driver riding my ass. So I will tell you all about it now.

He was riding my ass, kind of like someone would ‘ride your ass’ if you were giving them a piggy-back ride. Basically, this big ass semi was drafting off me. I don’t remember what had set him off, if anything, but something made him decide he was too cool for school, and he owned the road. And for some reason, he got on my ass. I think he was just screwing with the small car on the highway, because there was no other traffic that late at night. Maybe he was looking for something to do to keep him awake between jerking off in his sleeper at truck stops.

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Remember Memorial Day

So how was your Memorial Day? Did you remember? I know most of you did. And most of us remember by drinking beer and grilling out. Any kind of meat seems to be appropriate. Any kind of beer seems to be appropriate. And as long as a swimming pool is involved, people are enjoying the hell out of their Memorial Day. But are we really remembering why it’s even called Memorial Day? I hope so.

I know Siege dressed in his full Class-A Marines dress uniform and visited the Dallas Memorial Cemetery. He went to pay his respects to those who have fallen in the line of duty. Stout and I were going to go as well, but it was too short notice, and we found ourselves lacking parts of our uniforms. But that won’t happen again. Next holiday we will be ready.

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I don’t believe in the Goat Man.

After a weekend like I just had, you want to write about it. And the funny thing is, I happen to have a website, so I think I will. Saturday, Byron and Hayley and Step and I went to the horse races out in Grand Prairie. And now I can say with a cute little smirk on my face that yes, dear readers, I did bet on the Preakness. They had nine other races there at the Lone Star Park, but the Preakness was simulcast. You know, shown on the big screen across the track. It wasn’t near as exciting as the local races.

But we had good beer, great fun, and placed a few bets on the races themselves. I only won a few hundred thousand dollars, so it’s not that interesting, and I won’t go into details. Just suffice it to say, the Ones were Cold and the Sun was Hot. Whatever. The point is that we went to the damn horse races and that was the first time I’ve ever bet on them.

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Here’s To Tradition

Well we did our annual remembrance of Doug Adams on Tuesday night, with a few minor changes. Now the tradition is to setup six pint glasses and fill them all, then you drink them all. Not much to the drinking part. You can slug them if you want, or you can savor them. Either way is fine, because in the book, Ford Prefect slammed his and Arthur Dent sort of just sipped on it. Hell, he didn’t even finish his three before his house got knocked down.

Well we’ve got some new blood in our crew now. Stout and I have been practicing this ritual since the year after Douglas passed away. Well now we have Two-Step and Siege in the group. Two-Step sort of has to be there since she’s my wife and all, and I really sort of don’t like doing anything without her these days. The whole “existing” part of existence gets pretty shitty when she’s not around. And Siege, my newest partner in crime, has decided to become a member of the Brotherhood. Well, that is after we invited him to. Not just anyone can decide to get in, you see. Anyway, yeah, so there you have it. Our two newest members of the group.

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I Want to Believe

Man this is great. Peligro Pete just got back from Roswell and he brought me a souvenir! I’m liking all this free time he has now since he got canned from the force. Anyway, they spent some time in Roswell watching alien autopsy videos and dodging abductions left and right. Well I haven’t talked to him yet, but I’m almost positive that’s probably exactly what he did. But he took a little time to stop in to some alien store and get me a souvenir. What a guy!

OFFICIAL ALIEN BEERWhen I got home last night I knew to look in my fridge for the souvenir he had promised me. When he goes places he usually brings me beer. What a guy! So I opened my fridge and this is what was sitting in there. (Click on the image for a full-size copy.) And two things happened simultaneously.

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Not That Kind of Pool

A buddy of mine and I were shooting pool last night. We were sharing a table with some lovely ladies we meet there quite often. I guess you could call them pool friends. Anyway, I was on my way to the restroom and walked by the foose ball table. There wasn’t anyone around it. But one of the handles was pushed all the way in on the far side, which made the long steel piece stick all the way out on the side I was walking by. I was about to run into it. So I reached out and slapped it in on my way by. So I wouldn’t impale myself on the foose ball table, you see.

And I hear this, “what the hell!” really loud. I looked over, still walking, of course, and see a guy standing there with his hands out. “Oh, sorry, chief. Didn’t know you guys were playing,” I said, and went into the lav. After I finished I returned to my pool table. And after about three minutes, I’m leaning over the table, about to make a four-rail bank shot on the nine. And dude walks up and makes a big show of scattering all the balls on the table, then stands there with his hands out again. Staring at me.

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Minnesota Chronicles, Vol. 2

It’s Monday now; I’m heading back home tomorrow. I’ve taken quite a few pictures, but I don’t think I need to share them with you. How many pictures do you really need to see of a snowy hillside with snow-covered trees? There’s really just not a whole lot else to see here. It’s pretty, but it’s like some certain races of people. It just all looks the same.

I went to Guitar Center the other night just to get some play time in. Being out of town without one of my guitars is deafeningly shitty. I can’t stand not being able to pick one up and play it whenever I want to. I long for it. Like a junkie needs his heroin, or a nymphomaniac needs good hard sex – I need my guitars. I have to feel those hard metal frets and tight copper and steel strings beneath my fingertips. So I went to GC to play for a while. To get my fix.

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Minnesota Chronicles, Vol. 1

What’s there to say about the fine state of Minnesota? Uh, well we’ll see if we can find anything worth saying. I flew in this morning to visit a friend, and – having never been here before – wanted to see the sites. Or is that sights… Either way, there were some things rhyming with “ites” that I had come to see. Let me back up a little though.

I’ll start with the plane flight. We were delayed in taking off by almost an hour. Sigh. Okay, I don’t mind sitting in the terminal. I started a paperback my friend Jim had given me. Called Jupiter. By Ben Bova. Have you read it? Well it may be the kind of book you only read in airport terminals, I’ll have to wait and see. Anyway, I had my iPod playing and was making eyes with a couple of honeys, so I wasn’t terribly upset. Fifty minutes late, we finally boreded. (Boarded. Yeah, I’m full of it today.)

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