Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sierra Nevada ESB

Today started at about 11:45 last night, when we were awakened for a bomb scare. We carried a screaming Jack and pushed Carter in a stroller...good times.

At 12:05am, we arrived at the meetup point, and were told we could go back home.

12:10am--arrive home, try to get back to sleep

1:00ish--fall asleep

5:00am--wake up, perform morning ritual (big bowl of Kashi Summer Berry Granola w/ Yogurt, cup of coffee)

5:00am-6:30am--continue morning routine, pack bike, leave

7:00am--start ride from Schofield. Proceed out to Kunia Road, where it's raining. Learn that rain, roads, red dirt and freshly painted reflective paint don't mix. Join up with another group of riders. Proceed to ride at seemingly max effort for the next 4hours...finish with 64 miles, a couple climbs of Pineapple Hill, Kole Kole, and a fast pace on the flats.

11:30am--arrive home starving...Garmin says I burned 4,400 calories, but I consider the data suspect. Drink a coke, eat a block of cheese and a sandwich. Hang out for awhile.

2:00pm--Head to Costco with Jack. Remember that I can't stand Costco, especially in Hawaii. The outdoor food court is always packed, and the Costco shoppers are all in a hurry to either stuff their faces at the outdoor food court, or push you out of their way in order to get to the free samples of Kraft Mac & Cheese. Parking also blows. Resolve to never enter a Hawaiian Costco again.

3:00pm--Bike shop to pick up wheel.

3:30pm--Whole Foods to pick up some new beer.

4:30pm--back at home to wind up the day. Open the first beer, Sierra Nevada ESB (Early Spring Beer).

4:35pm--fall in love with this beer. Damn, it was good. Very hoppy, bitter, all around good flavor. Maybe it's that I'm so damn tired, but this beer is the best I've had since Celebrator. An A+ for $9.99/6 pack, PQ=31

6:00pm--Sonya makes some kickass pasta and sauce. The best sauce I've ever had.

8:00pm--read "The Glump" to the kids. to pass out

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Mountain Biking

Today was the first day off in awhile. When I asked Carter what he wanted to do today, the first thing he said was "mountain biking, I ALWAYS want to go mountain biking." Hearing that made me proud. That's exactly the way I feel...even though my bike rarely sees dirt, I'm always up for a good mountain bike ride.

We went to Moanalua Valley Park...although the weather had been beautiful for the past week or so, it decided to rain when I finally had a day off.  Nice.  We were determined to ride, and Carter enjoyed the muddier parts of the trail.  This ride was a little more advanced than his previous ride at Bellows, but he hung in there.  I was surprised at his ability to ride a single-speed w/ 16" wheels uphill.

We stayed on a dirt/gravel road most of the time, there were a few short sections of single track.  Carter used this as a chance to hone his root jumping skills.

Jack did some Skuut riding.  He liked riding downhill, but couldn't ride up I am carrying it up the hill for one of his runs.

After the ride, I taught Carter how to clean his bike.  He seems to enjoy it.  Now I need to convince him to clean my bikes.

MacTarnahan's Oregon Honey Beer

I picked this 6-pack up last week for $7.30--cheap for a six pack at my local AAFES outlet. I've never heard of this Mac MacTarnahan fellow...sounds like the name a faux-English pub on a Carnival Cruise Ship. I wondered if this MacTarnahan chap ever existed. Thank God and Al Gore for the Google, so I looked it up...apparently this guy had quite the history of brewing in the Portland, Oregon area until he died in '04.

For someone with a long history of brewing, you'd expect this to be a good beer. It was very unremarkable. I've had 5 of them within the past week or so, and I honestly can't remember exactly what it tastes like....bland, the honey aroma/flavor was almost non-existent. I've got 1 left, which I think I'll pour out in memory of old man MacTarnahan.

Grade C

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lindemans Pomme Lambic

For my less sophisticated readers, Pomme is French for Apple.

My experimentation with fruity NAs didn't go so well. That's why I cringed when I saw this beer in the fridge. This was part of the selection Carter and Jack picked out for New Year's Eve. Fearing its fruitiness, I've let the Pomme Lambic sit in my fridge for the past 3 weeks. Since I've had other beer to drink, I never felt compelled to give this one a shot. After working for the past 14 days, I slowly depleted my beer stock and never had time to replenish. This was the last beer in the fridge.

The bottle is pretentious...the top looks like a champagne bottle, and under the pop-top, it had a corkscrew...tres pompier.

The taste...not very beerish, but not bad either. It tasted like a jolly rancher, reminding me of my younger days when it was socially acceptable to drink a Zima. We dropped jolly ranchers in there, so that the Zima would have that oh so yummy jolly rancher flavor. My favorite jolly rancher is green apple.

Although I liked green apple jolly ranchers back in the day, and the flavor is still not that bad today, this beer wasn't worth the hefty $6.99 that we paid for it. At a B-, PQ=4.6

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Momentum Crit

Today was the first bike race of the year. Beautiful day for a race on Kaneohe Marine Corps Base. This was the first criterium ever for me, so I had the modest goal of finishing with the pack. Also had the less ambitious goal of not crashing, since my boss let me off work this morning to do the race. Race went well for the HACC...we seemed to spend most of the time up front. Jon gave a strong leadout in the last lap that set Steve Steele up for the win...pretty impressive, considering he seemed to have taken more than his fair share of pulls at the front. I hung on to finish half a wheel length behind Jon.

My bike looks extra shiny and yellow in the Hawaiian sun.

The boys look thrilled to be here. I went off the front about halfway through the race...led for a lap with the sole intention of trying to impress them.

They were more impressed by the firetruck. The highlight of their day. Thanks to these Marines for letting the boys "drive" the truck.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Houseflies have been a common problem in our house....seems our house is positioned in a high fly zone, and during the wet winters, we get more than our fair share.

Tonight I decided to launch a major offensive on the flies. I honed my tactics by studying an article that suggests that you anticipate the fly's movement. My strategy contained another element of modern air warfare, starting at night. By attacking at night, I was able to corral the flies into one room by instituting a serious of rolling blackouts in the house, thus attracting them to one hallway where I established my killzone. In the matter of minutes, I had killed my first 8...easily reaching Ace status. After that, the flies got tougher. I must've weeded out the weaker portion of the pack, leaving only the strongest of the fly armada to put up a strong fight. I enlisted the help of Jack, who has a keen "spidey sense" that allows him to spot insects long before anyone else. He was my scout, and we used hunter-killer tactics. We were able to chase many a fly two-ships into the bathroom, where I closed the door and took out both wingmen. I eventually ended up with 17 dead...three times an Ace. I tossed all the carcasses in the toilet, then Carter and Jack rendered them appropriate honors by peeing on them and flushing them down.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Wheels

Bought some new wheels for the road bike. Also decided to yellow the bike up, with a little more color coordination with the bar tape and yellow side-walled tires. From what I can tell, color coordination and style is very important to success in cycling, so I thought my plain black tires and black bar tape were not cutting it. Hopefully the increased yellowness will make me faster.

Tested the wheels out today...felt good and thought they were rolling fast. I'm always skeptical of of the little difference equipment makes (except for my recent stem swapout)...I'm an average recreational cyclist. High end equipment shouldn't make that much of a difference...not that these are super-expensive high end wheels, they're just better than the factory set I was riding. It was also hard to gauge too much from today's ride as the wind was very strong. I got pelted by some hard rainfall on my way back from AMR...riding alone in traffic with high winds and blinding rain beating me in the face. I had to jump on the sidewalk to avoid getting hit.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

For Those About to Rock,

Carter and Jack salute you.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Garlic Hangover

Ate about $50 worth of Garlic last night.  Very good grub...decided to do some seafood loading with crabcakes, ahi/avocado appetizer (both garlicked out) and a giant chunk of ahi smothered in garlic and maui onions--very well plated.  Also ate some of Sonya's lamb and countless cloves of roast garlic and topped it off with some garlic ice cream. Had a massive garlic hangover in the morning.  Cured it with a big bowl of Kashi Summer Berry Granola mixed with vanilla yogurt and an "ultimate cup" of coffee.  Managed to sweat the rest of the garlic out today with a hard 57-mile bike ride on the North Shore. 

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gordon Biersch Winter Bock + PQ Recalculated

Braved COSTCO last weekend, hoping to score a great deal on a Sam Adams Winter Sampler. Confirmed that it was available for ~$25, but right next to it was Gordon Biersch's Winter Sampler. Noted that it contained the wonderful Czech Pilsner and lacked their horrible Hefeweizen. To top it off, it was only $19.49...a big score!

First one I tried was the Winter Bock. This one is a Double Bock...very tasty, not quite at Celebrator's A+ standard, but still damn good. High alcohol content, somewhat complex deep flavor...good stuff. It's an A, with an out of this world PQ=59.

I previously gave the Czech Pilsner an A as well, knocking its PQ up to 59.

So far the GB Winter Sampler is the best value. The pack also contains the Marzen and Blonde Bock, both of which are Bs...still great PQ=44. Therefore, the sampler has a PQavg=51.5.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Squeal Like a Pig

For years I've heard references to the movie Deliverance. I never bothered watching it, as I've heard the "squeal like a pig" scene quoted so many times, I've felt like I've seen the movie...why bother? With nothing better to do on New Year's Eve, and only a paltry selection of movies available for Netflix Instant movies (which recommended the movie to me), we decided to watch it. I thought that it was finally time to give up the stop quoting a movie that I'd never actually watched. If I'm going to tell someone they have a "purty mouth" or to "squeal like a pig" in a hillbilly accent, I at least need the correct context and visualization.

All in all, the movie wasn't bad. We get to see a young Burt Reynolds before he hit his stride and perfected his acting chops with the classics Smoky and the Bandits I, II and III, Cannonball Run I and II, and Stroker Ace. Burt is in his element when he's driving a fast car. This movie was also before Burt fully developed his signature 'stache. He did have a stache in Deliverance, but it lacked the soul of his Bandit-era stache.

We also see a young Ned Beatty, before he reached his peak 6 years later as the weasely sidekick of Gene Hackman's Lex Luther in Superman. It's clear from the beginning that he was going to be the victim in the 'squeal like a pig' scene. Stacked up against the alpha-male Burt Reynolds, it's obvious that Ned would be the target of the hillbilly love.

The 'squeal like a pig' scene happens much earlier than I expected. With the way I've heard this quoted, I thought this was the climax of the movie. I almost shut the movie down after the scene, as I didn't see a point in continuing the movie. At that point, I could legitimately continue quoting the movie...goal achieved. For some reason I kept on watching...glad I did. It stayed suspenseful, and got better as a movie...mainly because the movie focused less on Burt Reynolds' jackassery and more on solid acting from Jon Voight.

Kicking it Old School

After last week's power outage, I decided it was finally time to get a phone that wasn't reliant on the "grid." My search led me to, where I found this classic.

Here's the test drive. It takes a bit longer to dial a number than it does on our cordless touchtone model, but on the positive side the ring is very distinct. There's no difference in voice quality. Most modern phones last 2 years or less in our home...this thing will outlast all of us.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Last 2 beers for '08 + final graph

First up was Mad River's Steelhead Scotch Porter. Very balanced beer, good dark color with the right amount of froth....bit of a coffeeish taste, overall a really good Porter. A, PQ=21

Zatec Czech Pilsner. Czechvar, or Budvar is my favorite Czech Pilsner. The GB Czech Pilsner was pretty good too. This one's right up there...I guess I just like Czech Pilsners. Good carbonation, somewhat light but not watered down...very drinkable. The bottle looks pretty damn Czech as well, unlike Czechvar which is Americanized for export. Downside is that this was $4.99 for a 500ml (16.9oz) bottle.Grade A, PQ=13.5...I'll stick with Czechvar

For the first time ever, I was able to start and end a year with a bike ride....1 January's ride wasn't the best of rides, but at least it was sunny and I didn't have to bundle up. Yesterday did 25 miles before work.

My final graph for the year. Monthly totals for biking and running. All the biking between May and October was on a spin bike, so it wasn't real biking...3501 miles for the year, not bad for being away half the year.