30 June 2009

Random ADD Moment

Anyone who truly knows "Phun" knows that I am quite likely ADD. Never been diagnosed, but I swear I am. Here is a random ADD moment to get me through tomorrow when, hopefully I'll actually get to ride. IF the 80% expected chance of showers holds off. Oooh! Bacon. OK, good start.

Michael Jackson: I am going to get so much crap for this, but I'll say it. He was a FREAKING NUT BASKET!! WHO CARES?! I feel for his family, and his kids, and his ex-wife, er lover, er woman he inseminated, but he was cracked as ____! I feel really bad for Farah Fawcett. She was an awesome lady, and a hell of a sex symbol to people my age and slightly younger. Because of bubbles lover, she was totally overshadowed. Likewise, what the hell is up with Billy Mays?! My eldest son and I watched his Discovery show "Pitchmen", and the same day I'm telling the boy he's now dead. Truly sad. A fifty year old (again) father who is NOT nuts. My sympathies go out to the families and friends of Farah, and Billy. OK, and MJ. But I still think he was a nut-bag ass.

Ooooo! Shinny penny. If you live in Cleveland, you likely want to punch Jimmy DiMora in his fat gut. That is all I care to say about it. OH! and no one cares that you're a WOP... So am I. Done.

Madoff... 150 years... Heh, heh, heh... All I'll say on that.

I'd LOVE a Fatty Melt! right now... Split three or four ways... Or over the course of two or three days.

I need to figure out what I can do to ride with music, and still be safe and keep those around me safe. I need some motivation to ride, I need a LOT more time to ride, I need to man the hell up... HTFU and ride!

Finally, and this is a sappy moment. I'm pretty convinced I know what things need to change in my life for me and my family right now. I am in a hectic place, and I apologize (again) for the half-ass posting. I am currently working my way through my life, and I ask that you please continue to pop in, and check up. I also thank you for the kind emails, and kind thoughts. I promise to keep up as much as possible, at LEAST every other weekday, maybe Sat/Sun too! Just please keep checking in, comment, and keep me motivated! Thanks again, you guys are like family!


26 June 2009

Beer Review for the weekend: Dogfish Head - Raison D'etre

I decided to do this review for a few reasons. One is that I really liked the beer, and generally like the beers of the brand. A second reason is that I just started reading the owner of the company's book "Brewing Up A Business". and finally, I have had a limited amount of contact with the company for business reasons, and I have to say that they may be the coolest people ever! The beer itself? Well, I think the tasting notes will say it all.
APPEARANCE: A dark burgundy, slightly rusty brown brew with just the slightest of head, and almost no lacing.

AROMA: An extremely malty, sweet smell, with a slightly spicy rum or sweet/spicy "alcohol" smell like brandy or something.

FLAVOR: A definitely malt front note, with wonderfully smooth sweet caramel, date, and molasses notes. Also a a very noticeable flavor of grape or raisins, green raisins? This is not too sweet, but it is sweet, with little to no hop bitterness here.

PALATE: A medium bodied brew, that is pretty well balanced. No bitterness, no notes of alcohol, all about the sweet malts and fruit flavors.

MOUTH FEEL: A somewhat thick almost syrupy brew. This beer is extremely lightly carbonated, but is still rich and flavorful.

NOTES: The beer is a rich, creamy, lightly carbonated 8% ABV beer that I have to say I think would be best as a desert beer. I am a big IPA, DIPA, DIIPA hop-bomb beer drinker, but I could easily take a couple of these down as an end to a meal. I think this would go particularly well after a steak or the like. Something hardy!

Admittedly I took that from Dogfish Head's website because I forgot to take a picture. Hope they won't mind.

Like I said a great beer, put out by seemingly great people. I would say this, have a savory meal and then enjoy one of these bad boys afterward and enjoy your evening.

25 June 2009

Keeping Busy, Getting Exercise, And Generally Trying To Be Productive

I have been so busy with everyday life, that I have had no time to do anything that I want to, let alone need to. OK, that is sort of a lie, I guess. I mean, I've been busy with the "must do" stuff, so I guess I have been getting most of the "need to's" done. Things like work, the second job, dabbling in a third job, not throwing myself from a tall building, fixes problems with my house, finishing home improvement projects that I've started in my house, etc.

I have, however, had no time (OK, read this as have not gone crazy out of my way to make time) to do things like workout or ride. I have ridden so few times this year, my wife is wondering when I am going to sell the bikes off for cash. Furthermore, in an effort to cut back, I got rid of the YMCA membership since 1) it was not being properly utilized any longer, and 2) I needed to cut the outgoing money. The results have been weird, but understandable. I have not gained or lost weight. You are thinking, "that's not too bad." I know you are. Let me continue. I have maintained the same weight on the scale. Get where I am going? Yup, my level of fitness is going to shit. I am losing some of my muscle and tone, and gaining fat. You see, if you don't know this, muscle weighs more than fat. So, if you lose muscle you may lose five pounds of muscle, but if you gain (just for the argument sake) eight or nine pounds of fat, it will balance on the scale. This is the level of suck I am currently involved in.

So, what have I been doing to keep from jumping from tall buildings? I have planted a garden yet again this year.Isn't it a thing of beauty? If you click on it to pop out a larger photo, you can see some tomatoes coming in. It really is a beautiful thing, but it should be better by now. We've had a particularly cold summer so far, Al Gore and his global warming can bite me, and the gardens have felt it. People who got 'em in too early, or didn't cover them properly fell prey to frost and the cold temps. Also, the cold and excessive rain have kept plants small, and kept them from producing fruit. But, the great thing is the garden has kept me sane.

Also, just as an aside, the main hop plant is doing KILLER!You can't really tell, but that bad boy is about eight or nine feet tall. Hope that soon I will get some buds, followed by cones in a few weeks. I should have some hop cones in August, if all goes well. If not enough to brew, at least enough to wet hop some homemade beer by the pitcher. The gardening is seriously keeping me sane.

I'll have a beer review coming up for the weekend, stop back tomorrow to check it out. Also, I will have some good ones coming up. I am anxiously awaiting the Stone 13th Anniversary beer coming out Monday. MAN! I cannot wait to try that. Also, speaking of wet hop, I'll have a GREAT wet hopped beer coming up soon, check back often for that! Well, for now a well deserved beer, see you tomorrow!

23 June 2009

BIG Time Congratulations To Team Fatty On The Awesome Seattle Showing!

I want to take a minute today to congratulate Elden Nelson and all of Team Fatty on the awesome showing they had in Seattle this weekend. The team of 112 people raised $144,593.40 for the Lance Armstrong foundation. Team Co-Captain Steven Peterson brought in a whopping $41,000 of that himself BEATING OUT THE SECOND PLACE TEAM, MICROSOFT! You read that right. Steven's personal funds raised beat the entire Mirosoft TEAM! Way to go, man! I need to talk to you about how you do it.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. Team Fatty took team champion (Most money raised by a team), individual champion (most money raised by an individual-Steven Peterson), and best jersey for the Twin Six Team Fatty Ltd. Ed. jersey! It could not have happened to a better more deserving group! I am, admittedly partial as I am in Team Fatty Philly, but all of Team Fatty is working hard to make Susan proud, and raise a metric crap-ton of money for LAF!

You can read more about where Seattle wound up HERE, HERE, and HERE with more updates to come on Fat Cyclist and where the other individual teams Fatty are at the home ages for Seattle, San Jose, Philly, and Austin. After reaching more than a third of a million dollars for Lance Armstrong Foundation so far, with four months to go to Austin, I'm pretty convinced Elden's Team, Team Fatty, will not only break but shatter all previous records in the past LiveStrong Challenges.

Congratulations Fatty! God speed, Team Fatty, and above all WIN! Susan!!

22 June 2009

Horrible Weekend? At Least When It Come To Diet

Ugh. I need to stop getting into funks, and learn how to get out of them. I had a great Father's Day, by the way... Happy Father's Day to all of my readers who are dads! Hope the weekend, especially Father's Day, was a great one! Anyway... I had a great Father's Day, and as usual my wife knows just how to make my day...Researching for work on Father's Day suck? Nah, check out the "office".
Yeah, by way of beer. Ahhhh, if you haven't had Torpedo yet, you need to. I'll review it in the coming days. That is a promise. Anyway, I had a few (too many, the Torpedo included) beers this weekend. Along with some (I'm thinking) Arby's treats, a foot long and Cheetos®, (what seemed like my weight in) homemade pizza, and (my son's) birthday cake. AGHHH! Craziness. OH! Almost forgot... I need to make an appetizer for July Fourth, so I was working on some gourmet deviled eggs.WHAT?! Cause you can perfect recipes without trying them?

Ugh, such an ugly weekend on my part in terms of fitness. I have now regressed, slightly but still regressed, back to about a year ago. I have not really gained or lost pounds, but my level of fitness is in the toilet. That is to say, I have lost muscle mass and tone, and maintained weight through fat. I SUCK! I need to find a happy place, get back on the wagon, and achieve some level of fitness. I cannot let depression suck me back into the life of a fat-ass. I look back at the plus fifty pound pictures, and let them serve as a reminder of what I have accomplished, and what I cannot go back to.

19 June 2009

A Good Way To Spend A Weekend

Well, it's Fathers Day weekend! So, what does that mean? It means a weekend that I get to do yard work and, hopefully, finish my bathroom? They're calling for rain, so truthfully the latter is far more likely. My only hopes for the weekend is a really nice beer, or a couple from the old lady for Fathers Day. What would I like? Hmmmm, I recently had a great beer. It was, again, from the guys at Stone. I dove into a wonderful, dark, rich beer. The 2009 Stone Imperial Russian Stout. So, my suggestion for the weekend? Get out, find one of these bad boys, pop it open, and enjoy. Here's what you have to look forward to:
APPEARANCE: Thick, almost syrupy, very dark brown, nearly black to the point where I couldn’t get light through it. A very noticeable taupe head of super tiny bubbles, that dissipated as quickly as they arrived leaving almost no lacing.

AROMA: A very deep chocolaty, coffee, malty, caramel smell, with some definite alcohol notes present.

FLAVOR: A chocolate and coffee taste was the first thing to hit me, there was a definite heat of alcohol to it as well. Beautifully rich, and somewhat sweet, not cloyingly so, with a slightly dryer almost “chalky” (not in a bad way, in a dry way) sort of finish. Subtle hints of caramel, chocolate or bittersweet cocoa, coffee, and (maybe) a every so slight hop note way off in the background. I couldn’t decide if it was a hop note, or maybe a slight bitterness of malt?

PALATE: Definitely a more full-bodied beer. Very well balanced. There was a noticeable heat of alcohol about it.

NOTES: This big daddy was poured out of a 22oz bomber into a tulip. It was full, rich, enjoyable, and very satisfying. Stone® Imperial Russian Stout (2009 Limited Edition) comes in at a whopping 10.5% ABV, so it’s not for the faint of heart. Read that, if Guinness is too strong for you, this would not be the beer for you. If you love complexity, and strong, flavorful beers you need to try this. My wife and I actually tried this together, and I mentioned that I could easily see this as a great desert beer, maybe even going so far as to throw in some homemade vanilla bean ice cream and making one hell of a float.

Like I said, get out, grab one... or six, and enjoy the weekend! OH! Let me know what you think when you try it... You know you will! ;-)

17 June 2009

Cheers To A Primo Recovery Drink

It's official. According to a study done in Spain at Granada University researchers have pulled the trigger on a prime recovery drink for post-workout hydration. What is this, you ask? Water, right? Nope. A pint! That's right folks, apparently Some guy named Manuel Garzon "duped" twenty five students into a several month research project. This leads me to ask the, seemingly obvious questions of (1) Why don't I get asked to participate, and (2) Why can't I get funded to run tests like this?

Long story short, and this has been said for years, it appears that the CO2, sugars, sodium, etc. act somewhat like a sports drink, best I could figure. It allows for quicker absorption and faster hydrating. There is also a theory out there that the carbs replace the much needed carbs burned in a strenuous workout. Anyone who has done a Cross race could've told you that, though.

They noted a "slightly better" hydration in the subjects who drank beer over water. Wow, two jokes here (1) The subjects who got the water were pissed, and immediately burned the test facility to the ground. Or, (2) The subjects who got the beer were later quoted as saying, "Screw a pint. If it hydrates that good, I'll take a growler!"

Alright, enough of this. I just wanted to throw that out for all of the nay-sayers of beer. As Homer Simpson once said, "Beer. The cause of, and answer to all of life's problems!" Did you really need an excuse to kick back a pint, anyway?

16 June 2009

Weekly Roundup June 16, 2009

My head is by no means in a pretty place right now. I still need to find a metric sh__ load of time and friends who will get out and ride. I seriously need the ass kicking and the motivation, that you can only get with riding with a group of friends who know just how hard they could push, before they put you in an ambulance. The highlight of my days lately has been the friggin’ internet crack know as “Mafia Wars” on facebook. I’ve said all of this before, and I’ll just reiterate, I am blessed in family, and health both in my life and in my families lives. This is a good thing. What needs to happen now? I need to HTFU and stop being a whiny little bitch. With that in mind, I give you the Weekly Roundup.

Fat Cyclist: We’ll start with Fatty for a couple reasons. (1) Team Fat Cyclist has raised more than $300,000 for Lance Armstrong Foundation, and the respective Livestrong Challenge races. If I could figure out how to do it, I will see you guys in Philly. (2) It was the first blog I saw on a list and thought, “WTF?!” (3) It’s my blog and I make the rules. Fatty, too, likes to make the rules, call the shots, and generally point out peoples (including his own, to be fair) shortcomings. I, being a misanthrope, love this, on account I feel so much of society has shortcomings. Especially Christian Prudhomme. Fatty helped “C Prud” and put out his own REVISED Editorial From Christian Prudhomme, Director Of The Tour de France. Truly classic Fatty satire, the kind I’ve been missing for sometime. I’m ALWAYS down for some good FC satirical writing.

50k Loop NS: My homeboy, partner in crime, and brother in America’s hat (I say that just to rib Bluenoser) chimes in this week feeling much like I think I am. In a total TailSpin. I think the world might just be upside down. I know I have found myself pulling a Sunday kegs and eggs breakfast and making excuses to avoid church the other day. BN, we need to keep our chins up, bro, and fight on! Get out on the bike and turn some cranks! Don’t know why I just thought of this, but doesn’t some asshole owe you some stuff? Ugh, I am SO sorry… So sorry I just publicly admitted it? Yeah, that sorry.

Miles And Madness On the flipside, it seems as though Judi is doing VERY well, save the part about losing Xanex. For this, I am not bagging on you, I think Xanex would likely do me some good after the last panic attack or two. Just saying. Judi got out with Dominic on their sweet-ass fixies, and she threw together an excellent Thursday Timeline to share it with all of us.

Final note, this week, is from Ron,
Cozy Beehive: My dude in the upstate, Ron, is keeping it real with a tribute to Renewing Research Interest In Bicycles. The few blog entries that follow it are, as always, awesome as well. This one just sparked a thought in my mind that I have been going back and forth to for a while now. With all the push for green, and all the new technology, why have we all but given up on the most obvious answer?.. Cycling.

Well, that’s all I have for this week. Hopefully get the Monday night ride in next week. Use the contact me link in the upper right hand of the sidebar if you want in. Until then, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

15 June 2009

Another Weekend Of The Bike

I did spend another weekend off the bike, epic suck. I'm getting quite freaked out by the severe lack of riding I am doing. Furthermore I am debating why I haven't sold the road weapon yet for cash. Once again, I am trying to figure out how the hell I am going to pull off LiveStrong Challenge Philly. Things are rough, no doubt, but I'm trying to remain positive. I explained, as I have before, the current situation as "better than most, not as well as some", and for now that's my story and I'm sticking to it. With that said, it's rough, scary, and at times brutally depressing. I doubt I will will be getting on the bike much more. I don't know what the hell I'm going to do about the brewing, which sucks not because I want to brew but because I'd love to get it down to parlay into a career option rather than a hobby.

The depression surrounding me, and the lack of positive right now kills the motivation, the lack of motivation kills off the need to ride, which makes me feel depressed which... You get it, you've been there.

I guess the weekend wasn't all bad. I did get the bathroom finished. You remember the bathroom, right?Yup, finally got that bad boy out of the way. Thank God I bought everything I needed when I still could. I hoped to have it done sooner, but the weather broke and I had to get the yard in shape. Well, I had everything I needed, just had to do it, and this weekend was the finale!I'm happy with it. I wasn't sure I was down with the green, but I was keeping the counter top, so I was committed to something in the green family. I like it a lot! On top of that, I got some stuff done in the yard and garden. Already getting a couple peppers and tomatoes, so I am excited about that. I also am pretty sure that the hop plant is getting ready to bud!

So, I guess when all is done... Better than most, not as well as some isn't half bad. Here's hoping you're well. Remember to count your blessings, and have a great week!

11 June 2009

Black Hole Of Time

I think I may have found something. I'm not sure, and I don't know if anyone else has noticed it. There is, apparently, a black hole that is sucking time into it. Like water through a sieve, so time is funneled into the black hole never to be seen again. The black hole has taken the form of three separate jobs (and/or business ventures), family, and time volunteered to organizations. I say it that way because I feel as though I have finally come to the realization that I cannot spread my self so thin with volunteering that it gets in the way of family, however I have also come to the realization that family+necessity=work. Yes, I am working often. I am actually working two jobs hard enough that I, at times, forget to work the third venture. It's just sheer craziness, but it's craziness that I hope will pay off in the end.

With that said, there are a few things that have also fallen to the wayside. One of these things is brewing. Been almost non-existent again. Another, and this is more problematic, is cycling. OK, cycling and (I guess) fitness. These are problems because I am just over two months away from the Philly LiveStrong challenge, and I have got on the road bike exactly three times since the snow melted in Cleveland. Furthermore, I still cannot figure out (1) How the hell I'm going to get to Philly [both in a monetary sense, and due to car issues], (2) where I would stay in Philly [see number 1], and (3) where I would get money for necessities in Philly [yeah, see 1 & 2].

I guess what I am saying here is two simple words. The first is cluster, the second is... I have two months and change to figure this out people. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, anyone who can figure out how to clone me, get said clone to some level of fitness, and put said clone in Philly in late August, please contact me.

Seriously though, I have to apologize for the breaks in blog posts. Sometimes I skip a day here and there, and I'm sorry. I will be doing my best to keep posting, and I ask that you keep on checking in and posting comments. I love to hear what you guys have to say! Thanks for understanding, and keep on keepin'!

09 June 2009

A Tribute To Lando Calrissian

I am in a weird, horrible, funny, irritated mood for so many reasons. It's one of those moods that makes you slaphappy, then rage, giggle, then throw something. You get it, right? Great, I know you've been there too! It's days like this that call for a beer review. No, not just any beer review though, no siree! This calls for a tribute to Lando Calrissian! A review, of Colt 45!

APPEARANCE: This pours pee yellow. That good dark yellow that borders orange, like the morning after you binge drank four forties of the stuff and then passed out.

AROMA: A noticeable corny, malty smell with a noticeable alcohol note present.

FLAVOR: Malty, corny, and an almost noticeable alcohol note.

MOUTH FEEL: Definitely a fuller flavor beer, mostly the flavor that I would imagine you’d get out of making beer with creamed corn. Thick and creamy mouth feel, definitely not lacking in carbonation, and a slightly recognizable heat (of alcohol) especially when this becomes warm.

NOTES: First off, no matter what anyone tells you, the only correct way to drink this is out of a 40oz clear glass bottle, placed in a paper bag. The bag is there to (1) hide the fact that you are drinking Colt 45 from others, and (2) hide the fact from yourself that you are drinking Colt 45. The less you are reminded that this is what you are drinking the better. The beer was meant for one reason only, to get hammered. “Colt 45, works every time.” Yeah, Billy Dee, so do rufies (see: rohypnol), but I wouldn’t condone those either. At 6.1% ABV it can only be a session beer for the nights when you want to be picked up off the floor drunk. Yet this classic still has it’s place when you just want to get cranked.

08 June 2009

The Problem With My Fitness

OK, so I think I might have figured out the main problem with my fitness dilemma. I actually got a lot done this weekend. Of course, by a lot done I mean I did NO riding, and nothing (really) to further my level of fitness. In hindsight the weekend is the problem with my fitness. The following is an example of what I mean.

So I start with a party on Saturday. Pizza, and snacks galore! While totally yummy... Not good for the diet, or fitness. Then a rushed dinner, in this case burgers - homemade at least - and a couple brews. Get out and do some yard work, and that ends the extent of the physical activity.

Sunday was a waste. Shredded wheat for breakfast was the highlight of the healthful food for the day. Then a burger for lunch, nachos and a hot dog for dinner, and the remainder of a twelve pack for dinner. More work in the house, redoing the bathrooms still, was the only physical activity.

See, here in lies the problem. Weekends are my bane. I do fine losing weight all week, and I put it all back on the weekend. I haven't lost any weight in about six months, but I haven't gained any either. Furthermore, I have not worked out in forever. Since mid February I have been so backlogged with life in general and I have been working so much in three different jobs. It just sucks. my level of fitness has gone to pot! And I'm two months and change away from riding the Philly LiveStrong Challenge. At this rate I'll be lucky to ride the twenty-five mile leg successfully. Hell, I'll be luck to have the time, money and a car to get to Philly.

OK, that's it. I can't continue on this today. It's just going to get über negative, and far more boring than it already has been. Bottom line is I need to get back on track. I need to MAKE TIME to get back on the bike. I need to get out with some groups, whatever it takes at this point. I also still need to pick up the weight cage that I was supposed to pick up about six or eight months ago. Ugh, I hate growing up and losing metabolism, I hate watching your body go to hell, it's just irritating. Enough bitching for today. Come back tomorrow when I'll, hopefully, have a change of attitude.

05 June 2009

The Best Way To Start, And End, A Day

Got Up this morning at the usual time, made myself a healthy breakfast for energy, grabbed the mtb, loaded the tires full of air for the road, and hit the road for work. It felt so good to ride to work for the first time today. It was great! The weather was warm, ish. About sixty if I had to guess, with no wind whatsoever. The birds were out, no bugs, it was just perfection! Got to work, had an amazing interview with a great candidate, did some work, got what I had to done. Lunch came around and I had a quick bite, grabbed the bike & two co-workers and we hit the streets. It was only an hour ride, but it felt so good to get out and get moving in the now seventyish degree weather. Came back, finished up for the day, got out early and road home. Perfect day!

When I got home I grilled brats, had those and some potato(e) [Dan Quayle joke] salad, and headed out for some yard work. Got the yard work done, and concentrated on some gardening. I have to admit, this is a new addiction for me. Well, maybe not new... Every summer I have a small gardening addiction for a while. Organic veggies and such. This year, not only are they organic, but some of the plants were ones that I sprouted. Admittedly, the garden itself is just an eight foot by eight foot bed with a few tomato plants, couple peppers, couple beans, couple yellow squash, couple zucchini.
I also have some melon plants (I believe they are honeydew, but forgot to label the seeds. If they're not honeydew then they are cantaloupe, so...), and pumpkins elsewhere throughout the yard.

OH! Did I mention I also planted Hop plants? The hop rhizomes are doing quite well too.
All but one mound has sprouted, and I dug into that mound and found the problem. You see... while I was planting the Hops, I was drinking the beer. I somehow planted this mound at eight or so inches. Yeah... Hops are supposed to be planted one to two inches below ground under a mound. It was sprouting roots, though, so I remedied that and am keeping my fingers crossed that it will still grow.

Well, that about sums it up. Now I am sitting here drinking a homemade vanilla Diet Coke®. The vanilla part was the homemade, the Diet Coke® part is, well, Diet Coke®. Here's to the weekend, hope you have a good one!

04 June 2009

Finally An Opportunity To Ride To Work

Ahhhh, finally it awaits. The opportunity to ride into work. I do have an interview to do tomorrow, and my hair may look like crap when I am doing it, but I don't care. There! I said it, I don't care! I care about my job, don't get me wrong, I just don't care about my hair for the afternoon tomorrow. Furthermore, I am blessed to have a job that allows me to have certain opportunities. What kind? How about running a quick lunch ride? Yup, there you have it.

So, to sum up my day. Wake up, have a good breakfast, ride into work, get work done, interview candidate, take a lunch run, come back, finish work, leave work, and finally get lost on the way home and enjoy the ride. OH, and enjoy the weather. They're calling for mid seventies tomorrow, with little to no breeze. Ahhhh, this might just be the best day ever! At least in the last few moths.

Check back tomorrow night, and I'll throw up a quick and (hopefully) great post about the ride(s), and the day.

03 June 2009

Weekly Roundup June 03, 2009

I’m still not in a very pretty place, a big part of this is I need some people to get out and ride with as motivation, and can’t find a friggin’ soul! Furthermore, I’m so time constrained right now that I can’t get out to do the things I need to do, let alone things I’d simply like to do (ie: ride). I’m still in an ugly place, and trying to “play happy”, it’s not working. I am blessed to have great family, and health in my life and my families, so this is good, I just need things to turn around so I could stop being a whiny little bitch. With that in mind, I give you the Weekly Roundup.

Fat Cyclist: I’m not going to even try to get into my favorite post of Fatty’s this week. All I will say is that he has a message; Let’s Get Serious About This Fight. Team Fatty is kicking butt in the fight against cancer. What I will say is this; Team Fatty has the biggest team in the LiveStrong Challenge by far, and has raised the most money by far. That’s just the beginning! Check out Fatty’s post to see what happens when people pull together, to benefit others!

Highway Munky Blog: Munky has some pretty cool triumphs of his own to share in his retrospective post, Closing Out May. Whether number of miles ridden, distance barriers broken, or amount of tacos consumed in one sitting (that was a joke) it’s all in here. Congratulations go out to Munky for a great May, and a great year, so far!

Cozy Beehive: My dood Ron is kicking it over in the beehive, telling tails of drug testing and Lance Armstrong’s new hair styles. AFLD Team Up With Supercuts For A Drug-Bust Hair Salon takes a break from his usual engineering to take a slight right hand turn to his humorous side. It’s a great read and a lot of pictures, funny pictures.

Finally a couple quickies:
Harp won me over with the simple mention of Jelly Bellies! Last but not least, Judy finally broke down and did it, she went out and …Bought A Helmet… But what will people bitch about now?!

Well, that’s all I have for this week. Next week we’re back on the Monday night ride schedule after the rain delay last night. As usual, I’m the Phun Cyclist, you stay classy Cleveland.

02 June 2009

Beer Review: Tröegs Hopback

Tröegs Hopback (Sung to the tune of Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back” – Yeah, really... I know, just trust me.)

I’m drinking Tröegs Hopback (yeah)
The other beers just cannot touch that (yeah)
You better watch or it might kick your ass (yeah)
I am not kidding and that is a fact (yeah)

Take it to the bar

Yummy Ale (Uh-huh)
It’s so dang bad
It should be in jail (Uh-huh)
I drink too much and I may misbehave (Uh-huh)
But it’s the beer that makes me say hoo-ray! (Uh-huh)

OK, enough of that… Sorry, but I couldn’t resist. So I’ve been tasting the heck out of Stone and Bell’s brews lately and I needed to taste something different, if for no other reason for the sake of the blog (right). This time around I dove into a couple of Tröegs brews and I have to admit, I’m really glad I did.

I tried Tröegenator Double Bock and Hopback Amber Ale. This review will focus on the later. If I focus on the Tröegenator I will have to do so later, after I’ve had it again. You see, I ran into a bit of a problem. I tasted the Hopback and I really liked it. In fact I liked it a little too much. So much so that, while I know that I tried the Tröegenator, I can’t tell you what it tasted like. You see, things got a bit blurred when I stopped counting the number of Hopbacks I had had. I do, however, have taste notes for the Hopback, so here goes!

APPEARANCE: A nice, deep, bright amber color, almost bordering orange/amber, with a small white head that’s quick to disappear.

AROMA: The first thing right of the bat that I notice is the hops. It’s a noticeably hoppy, citrusy smell, with a touch of malty sweetness.

FLAVOR: This beer to me is all about the hops! A noticeable hop character with a subtle malty sweet finish that is just slightly dry. A perfect balance to keep the sweet subdued but still enough there to keep the dryness in line. The best part, in my opinion, is how the taste lingers on the palate even after you’ve swallowed.

MOUTH FEEL: A light-bodied beer, maybe leaning ever so slightly toward medium-bodied, but extremely well balanced. It’s got a great mouth feel that is almost, dare I say, creamy.

NOTES: I had this 6% ABV on tap in a pint glass, I could really see hanging out for a while taking a few of these bad boys down, and I did. It was perfect by itself, but I could see the flavor standing up to something hearty like a FireHouse Burger, or a FireHouse Chipotle Bacon Burger. All in all a great beer that I can’t wait to have again. So, what’s next on the Tröegs list? Nugget Nectar!

01 June 2009

NBA Playoffs, How I Hate Thee

If anyone out there is a Cleveland sports fan I am going to ask that you say the following with me. Again, if you are a Cleveland sports fan you know what I am going to say. It's the same thing that we say every year as sports fans in Cleveland. Yup, "Maybe next year."

It's official, by a score of 103-90 the Orlando Magic kicked the Cleveland Cavaliers ass last night to win the Eastern Conference title. From here it's on to Los Angeles to (likely) get steamrolled by the Lakers. There are so many facets to the series, that I cannot even begin to touch on them, but I'm going to try to hit a few.

"The NBA Playoffs are fixed". Yeah, I know absurd, but I actually got this. Along with, "if the Cavs played so well early on, why are they collapsing now?" Apparently there are some people out there who insist that the whole thing is a hoax, and that the NBA decides ahead of time who the winner will be, blah, blah, blah... OK, enough of that. It makes my head hurt to continue with this subject any further.

"Howard just wanted it more." Uh, seriously? You don't think that Lebron James wanted it? You don't think that the NBA team with the single best record in the NBA wanted it? Badly? I would venture to say Lebron wanted it more than anyone else, for reference he scored just fewer than half of the points for the Cavs almost every game. His playing was absolutely sick!

OK, so why did the Cavs lose? Who knows. My guess is that they weren't protecting the parameter as well as they should've. Magic always had one guy outside the three point line, and once the Cavs got preoccupied preventing the shot from the paint they would unload the ball out to the parameter and drain the three. As far as the question of why did they do so well early and seemingly collapse at the end? Simple. They didn't play the Magic earlier in the series. Orlando was a team that gave us trouble all year, so it is not hugely surprising that they gave us a fight in the playoffs.

Bottom line is this, the Cavs gave it their all. The worst game in the series was the thirteen point lead that gave them the series win Saturday. The first game was lost by one, second won by one, third lost by ten, fourth lost by two, fifth won by ten, and finally sixth won by thirteen. There were double digit differences, but no real blow outs. The worst parts of the game were the Cavs blowing some pretty big leads, but that was due to the three point shooting of the Magic.

In the end we have "there's always next year", but the bottom line is the Cavs gave us all a hell of a ride. Thank you Cavs, until this fall.