Monday, October 25, 2010

Beer of the Month - October

Choosing a beer for October was a tough decision. Oktoberfest is the name of the game this time of year and I tried several Seasonal and Oktoberfest tribute brews, many of which were solid in their own right. Without further adieu, however, the beer of the month for October is...American; to be more specific, Michelob Brewing Company's Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale {5.5% abv}. Michelob, which is mainly known for their self titled Lager (as well as light & ultra variants) and a single red ribbon, also have a full line up of beer varieties including seasonal microbrews, much like Sam Adams.

Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale is named as such, because it's brewed with actual pumpkins and spices typical of the Fall season; cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to name a few. The first sip is fragrant and actually drinks much like a regular Michelob; pretty smooth. While the aftertaste is pleasantly full spice and a hint of pumpkin, rest assured this is not a sweet flavored beer. I had one of these while eating Indian food recently and it was a surprisingly good pairing. This will be a good choice for the upcoming months, especially as the cold rolls in. Or if it's just cool outside and you're in my house where the heat doesn't get turned on until November (ahem). Try a six pack. 2 stars.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Falling down.

With the end of Summer on the east coast comes the beginning of Fall. It's the start of the cold and the end of painless hand washing of your car outside. The house windows stay closed and the furnace shakes off it's cobwebs for it's six month tour of duty. I've taken plenty pics of the seasons changing around Maryland over the years, mainly to showcase a car of mine for a forum post or personal stash. The biggest difference between 10+ years ago and now is that back then October was October. What I mean is September was cold and the first day of October was down right frigid. November was literally freezing overnight and the first snow fall could come well before Thanksgiving.

Before Al Gore screwed up the distinction between seasons (sarcasm), the leaves changed uniformly everywhere in Maryland. Now you have to go further and further north to get this consistency. Of course some tree varieties still respond quickly to the cooling weather and predictably morph before going bald, but if you look outside now you'll see 60% green trees, 15% half changed over trees, 15% fully orange/red trees and 10% bald trees. It makes capturing the season hard to shoot, especially when you're like me and like to get big landscape shots; accordingly I'll likely break this seasons' series into a couple parts...hopefully I can get the dream shot I want in the locations I look for it.

I wandered around my new home town to see what I could find outside before too much time passed last Friday afternoon. The trickiest thing about trying to time fall foliage is that if a tree looks 'perfect' one day, chances are it won't be the next. You have to stick and move and if you're fortunate the weather and sun light will play nice.

While I was walking around shooting I stumbled onto a really cool old building (2nd shot) that I've been driving past, on the way to I-95S, for literally two years now. I had errands to run which kept me from going more in depth; I'll get better shots of it for another post. In the meantime, I'll see what nature brings me in another week or two.

Capturing Life's Fabric with Technology.