November 13, 2008
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First off, I just noticed this is post #300 for me. The posts have been kind of sparse as of late, but it is nice to reach a little bit of a milestone like that.
Kristy and I just returned for the North End and their Holiday Beer Dinner. It was a five course meal, with each course paired with a holiday beer. The menu was as follows:
1. Southern Tier Old Man Winter Ale w/ Homemade Pretzel with Dipping Sauces (a warm blue cheese sauce and a grainy mustard)
2. Anchor Christmas Ale 2008 w/ Shrimp Bisque
3. Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale w/ Venison, Beef, Duck Carpaccio
4. Troegs Mad Elf w/ Pork Medallions with Stuffing and Waldorf Salad
5. Bell’s Winter White Ale w/ Pumpkin Creme Brulee
The food was all excellent with the highlights being the delicious Shrimp Bisque, which was served in a clear mug, and the Pumpkin Creme Brulee was amazing. It was like a soft, creamy pumpkin pie. As far as the beers, I enjoyed them all. I think my top was the Mad Elf, a very high ABV offering that is like a belgian strong dark ale, which I had sampled once before and am now definitely a fan (and I found out Troegs, although from nearby PA, is just now started to be distributed in NE Ohio). I also really enjoyed the Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale, an amber spiced winter ale from CA.
Overall it was a really fun event, sitting around with a bunch of beer snobs in a communal sort of environment (we shared a table with some strangers which actually worked out nicely), with good service and a great, knowledgeable host. I believe that I heard they plan to hold another event like this in January, which I will definitely be attending.
November 4, 2008
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This morning I cashed in my extra hour from the time change on Sunday and woke up an hour earlier than usual (5am) in order to get out the door and go vote before work. Kristy & I made it up to the local polling place in Twinsburg by 6:15, at which point there was already a sizeable line even though things did not open until 6:30. It went fairly smoothly, though it always seems like more people than not are unsure as to which precinct they are in which leads to a lot of confusion. By the time I left, the line was probably over an hour wait for the bigger precincts, so I’m glad I rolled out of bed early.
It seems based on all of the polls that there will not be too much drama this year, but you never know. I’m hoping it does not end up being very close so that Ohio and other “battleground states” do not get thrown into the spotlight again for questionable practices and end up with tons of litigation. I am expecting there to be court orders to keep polls open late like there were in the previous election. As long as everything is sorted out and there is someone other than Bush in office during Janauary, I will be happy.
November 2, 2008
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Another weekend is slowly winding down. Things started off with handing out Halloween candy at our house for the first time. Fortunately Kristy did some last minute stocking up, because our initial purchases would not have been enough to cover the large numbers of kids that came by. Strangely things suddenly ended around 7:20, and we had no one until 7:55, some teenagers of course, coming by in hopes of getting everything we had left (sorry kids, I get to keep some for myself). Afterwards, we headed down the street for a little get together one of our neighbors had stopped by to invite us to. We had only met them once before, during a summer “block party”, and had gotten along but never followed it up with anything. But we were there for a few hours, had some food & beer and had a really good time. So this time we actually exchanged numbers and emails, so hopefully we will hang out again sometime in the not so distant future.
Saturday I kind of bummed around the house for most of the day, besides a trip to the fitness center to get in a four mile run. I only managed to run 67 miles in the month of October, so I’m hoping to beat that this month and lead into a strong finish to 2008 and a good start into 2009 with my running. My 1,000 mile goal is going to fall way short for the 2nd year in a row. Hopefully my third try will be the charm in ’09. In the evening, we went out to dinner at Olive Garden (thanks to my coupon clipping and needing to use a gift card from last Xmas) followed by some furniture shopping in which we found what might be our future dining room table at Macy’s. We then headed to Bricco in downtown Akron for a birthday gathering for one of Kristy’s friends. It was a pretty cool place, though we had to stand around for over a half hour waiting for them to seat us despite our reservations. Since we had already eaten earlier, we just ordered some appetizers (scallops, and a tasty goat cheese/marinara dip with fried pita). I tried 2 new beers, the Bells Third Coast Old Ale and the Southern Tier Porter, both of which I really enjoyed, particularly the Bells. We also had front row seats to the line of people waiting to get into some “ultra lounge” night club next door for a day-late Halloween party. It seemed that sexy cop & schoolgirl were the choice outfits for the evening.
Today I did next to nothing besides going to the grocery store. Kristy is very under the weather, so I’ve been hanging out with her a good part of the day. I watched a bit of the Browns game unfortunately, and saw the last rays of hope fade on their season. Hoping this week brings some good news, such as a new President-elect much unlike the guy in office now, and hopefully some more stock market recovery like we saw last week.