December 27, 2006
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This evening I went out to dinner with my parents and a few of my cousins and enjoyed one of my favorite Missouri things, a Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat Beer. Even though Boulevard Brewery is actually located in Kansas City, it’s pretty easy to find places across all of Missouri that have their beer on tap. The Boulevard Wheat is a citrusy beer that is very light in color, though cloudy in appearance, and is supposedly the “top selling craft beer in the Midwest”. It is also noted that it is reminiscent of turn of the century wheat beers that were produced before the advent of modern filtration. All I know for sure is that it is good stuff that I wish I could find easily in Cleveland.
I don’t claim to be any sort of beer expert, though I think I could be classified as a bit of a beer snob. I rarely drink much alcohol at all, but on the few occasions I do, I always try to find something other than the standard Bud/Miller/Coors fare. I’m a huge fan of Cleveland’s own Great Lakes Brewing Company which is always the safe bet for me. My favorite is their Burning River Pale Ale, though the Holy Moses White Ale, Dortmunder and Christmas Ale aren’t far behind, though I’ve never tried one of their beers that I’ve actually disliked. I’m always a big fan of Woodchuck Draft Cider, Bell’s Amber Ale (out of Michigan), Brooklyn East India Pale Ale and a bunch of other stuff I can’t remember at the moment.
So when it comes to choosing a beer when I’m out, I’m usually somewhat picky, but I’m always open to new things. I know what I like (IPAs, wheat, ciders, rice, hefe weizen), and what I usually don’t prefer (dark – anything I can’t see through, fruit-flavored). So I usually try to pick something within those guidelines, and I always try things from local brewers when I’m in new cities. If the pickings are slim and I really want a beer, the safe, more mainstream beers for me are Sierra Nevada, Samuel Adams seasonal, or Heineken.
December 26, 2006
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Christmas Day is now in it’s final minutes here in the Central Time Zone, and overall it was a good day. It’s the first Xmas I’ve been away from the Cleveland area in a long time, which is a bit weird. Even though I’m at my parent’s new house, it doesn’t quite feel like home. But it’s nice to see all of my family, including extended family, who I only get to see a few times a year now. A little snow would have been nice, but near 50 degrees and sunny is good too.
The trip has been pretty relaxing, with the exception of the flight in which was over an hour late in leaving Cleveland. We then spent 30 minutes sitting on the plan and wandering around the tarmac in St. Louis after landing, trying to find a gate to pull up to. I’ve been lucky to have good flight experiences for the most part over the years, so I guess the laws of odds say this was bound to happen. I spent a few hours on Saturday being overwhelmed by the 100+ channels at my fingertips thanks to satellite TV. At times it makes me want to get cable, but it also makes it painfully clear that it would easily become a vacuum for my free time. I managed to find a very interesting series on the Discovery Channel, entitled Everest: Beyond the Limit. The series follows a group of climbers trying to scale the toughest mountain in the world. It really sucks you in, in part because you want to see if something will go wrong, and in part because you want to see if these people can actually do it. Definitely worth checking out.
I also finally went to a St.Louis Blue hockey game. I’ve been a Blues fan since I was in college, and have been to 2 NHL games previously, in Detroit and Dallas, but this was my first time seeing the Blues in person. My brother scored some great seats and it was a great game, as the Blues won 3-2 in OT. I’m hoping to make it to my first Cardinals game in the new Busch Stadium next time I’m in town. I saw more games in the old Busch Stadium than probably most people in St. Louis.
December 18, 2006
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The blog is looking a bit different today. Blogger told me I could update my blogs to their new beta software, so I did. However, it seems that the custom template I had created is not compatible with their new software, because upon conversion my blog was complete barren except for the background color. So for now, I have adopted one of their cookie-cutter templates until I bother to find something better.
I’m dreading the start of the new week, mainly because it appears to be the end of the miraculous weather we’ve been having. Today we almost broke a record high as the temperature was near 60 degrees. I went out for a run on Saturday along the towpath in Brecksville and it was perfect running weather. There were a few people out biking, but it was pretty dead which made it very peaceful. Saturday’s run pushed my total for the year to 910 miles run. So unless I go crazy and run 90 miles in the next 13 days, I’m going to fall short of my goal of 1,000 miles for the year. But I’m happy with my current total. I’m still going to shoot for 1,000 in the coming year, but at this point I’m more interested in setting new personal records in various races instead of merely logging large numbers of miles.
On the positive side, I’m heading down to St. Louis on Friday evening to spend Christmas with my family and take a few days off from work. Hopefully all of the presents I ordered arrive before I do. I was big into the online shopping this year, mainly because it was not feasible for me to load up on gifts and haul them on the plane with me, so I just had them shipped down there. This will be my first Christmas on the road in a while now that my parents have moved. Hopefully it’s not as stressful as everyone makes it sound. I’m thinking I might get lucky by sneaking out a bit early by going on Friday night instead of waiting for the weekend.
December 3, 2006
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Today I got to experience one of the many joys of apartment life – noisy neighbors. We have a middle-aged lady in the apartment directly below us who still enjoys rocking out every now and then. Her album of choice? Some live Rolling Stones. We almost never hear her, but when she decides to play music, she turns it to about 11 to where you can very clearly hear every note and word sitting in our apartment, and stepping out in the hall sounds like you are actually at the concert, so I can hardly imagine how loud it is actually inside her apartment.
We have called and complained in the past, but today was the best. First, the guy from the rental office came over and pounded on the door for about 5 minutes, with no results. He tried to call her then, but her phone number is disconnected, imagine that. Then, about 15 minutes later, the head maintenance guy came over and literally pounded on her door (and yelled ‘Maintenance’) for a few more minutes. The lady never answered the door, but did turn the music down a bit, so apparently she is not totally deaf. The maintenance guy then called me to say he will call the head of the apartment complex tomorrow and they will deal with her. I don’t know what that entails, but hopefully it will mean the end of free Stones concerts in my apartment.