Monday, December 27, 2010

Beer of the Month - December

The Beer of the Month for December is New Belgium Brewery's (NBB) 2 Below {6.6% abv}. As I started getting into last month, NBB has a great story of origin; a brewery started by a married professional couple living the American dream. An artistic neighbor handling all beer label art from 1991 to current. Even better, every employee of this Colorado based company becomes a part-owner after a years employment! Outstanding.

2 Below is one of NBB's great line-up of seasonal brews. It's taste is a result of dry-hopping during the fermentation process and using roasted malts. The flavor profile is in the neighborhood of a stout, but finishes much crisper and cleaner than you'd expect.

If you haven't already snagged a sixer, do so during this lovely holiday season. 3 stars of course. Stay safe during your New Years celebrations everyone.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Falling over.

...I guess that week or two turned into a week or four! The search for the perfect tree and Fall foliage shots got complicated once I got after it. I found myself pulling over randomly to shoot things; my eyes wandering to catch trees turning with great light and composition only to keep get to work on time. I missed out on capturing quite a bit of what I window shopped, but was able to find some cool locations in my area I'll keep in mind going forward. These are a few of my mid-fall stash.

This post couldn't have been timed better given the Winter Solstice is less than 24 hours away. We'll see what the next season has in store soon enough.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Green Thumb - Wrap-up

If you remember where I left off last time, you'll know we were heading into early Fall evening frosts and there were plenty of young maters' on the vine looking to ripen before it was too late. Both Bart and Lisa grew even larger and spread out further, with many new clusters of tiny fruit appearing week after week. Unfortunately as weeks passed, our plants were getting pretty fed up with the limited sun behind the house as the seasons shifted and it got harder to get quality vine-ripening as more days past. At a certain point in we just took off all the tomatoes that were of reasonable size and brought them inside. Before all that happened though...

Week 15:

Week 16:

Week 17:

Week 19:

Week 20:

Right before Halloween we started getting frost warnings. A few of the tomatoes I took off early to salvage are seen in Week 17. At first we thought,'hey we can make fried green tomatoes', but that never happened ha; those tomatoes are on the same stool and have turned red. We worked some of the already ripe maters into some dinner dishes here and there, but the quality of the off-vine-ripened tomatoes was much lower in texture. I think we're ready for the next challenge having done so well with little experience this past year, but I definitely want some peppers in the mix. Hopefully we can get started a few weeks earlier.

All this years green thumb pics are here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Take two sports and call me in the morning.

I know I'm only a few ticks over thirty but damn I'm gettin' old. Years go by faster, memories blend, I can't go out like I used to (without paying for it dearly), I'm constantly feeling new aches & pains and if I don't exercise regularly...double the previous order. And don't get me started on getting up from sitting on the floor for a couple hours...I used to not hear so many joints crackling just a couple years ago. Exercise is really tolerable exercise; if you don't want to run because you can't tolerate running, you need to do something you can put up with. Exercise comes in many forms for many people, mainly depending on what you did athletically in college, high school and even as a five or six year old. I've been playing various sports and running around outside as far back as I can remember. Unfortunately desk-jobs and becoming an adult threw a giant wrench into my previous routine of waiting tables (don't miss it), classes and pickup basketball. I found ways to retrieve and fortify my conditioning and strength of old, but I'd eventually get bored and just stick to diet/moderation which isn't enough to satisfy my need to compete.

A couple years ago my buddy Justin, who I played plenty of intramural sports with long ago as we both attended the same college, asked me to join a coed football league with him. These are the stories from those games. BLUNG BLUNNNG (Law and Order reference, check). Here in Baltimore there are two major coed leagues, SOBO and BSSC; which league is better is a toss up depending on what part of the city you live in or more importantly what leagues more of your friends play in. Back to the point though, knowing I had a Spring football season ahead of me helped the exercise go down easier. I had a goal. I knew I wanted to be faster and quicker than my opponents as well as have the energy to compete until the buzzer as I did in multiple sports during my teens and early twenties. I worked harder than I would've so I could not only live up to my lofty expectations, but contribute to our teams strength.

Fast forward to a couple months ago we started our Fall season in BSSC. Our team, Back Dat Pass Up, made the playoffs with a late season run, but lost in the first round. The team we would've played if we won that first game was the winner of the match-up in these shots. It's ok though, we'll be better next year and hopefully team attendance will be better as well. We hung out afterwards around the cooler, leaving it on the field. After some great success in 2010 with our crew of vagabonds, we plan on reloading for Spring via free-agency. Looks like I have another excuse to keep my body feeling young...ish.

Capturing Life's Fabric with Technology.