Monday, February 15, 2010

If You Brew It, They Will Come

This past Saturday I was fortunate enough to be part of a group of three who drove up from Salem for the 2nd annual Brew-Ha Zwicklemania Brewery Tour in Portland, Oregon. What a fantastic time we had, hot damn! For those of you not in the know, Oregon is widely (and proudly) known for it's extensive batch of micro breweries and the many delicious beers they produce. I'm telling you, we're a bunch of beer snobs in this great state, and we couldn't be more proud of it. Check this out, here are a few facts taken from the Oregon Brewers Guild website I thought you'd find interesting:

*Total economic impact from the beer industry on Oregon’s economy is $2.25 billion.
*Over the last 5 years Oregon Breweries created 2300 jobs.
*Oregon is the No. 2 hop growing state in the country with a 2008 crop value of $38,000,000 which ranks 18th in Oregon’s five billion dollar agricultural economy.
*There are currently 77 brewing companies, operating 102 brewing facilities in Oregon.
*There are 31 breweries operating in Portland alone, more than any other city in the world.

So now you get an idea of the extant of the impact beer has in Oregon. Beer means more here. We pour slowly, we watch the bubbles and the head form. We do a slow swish and an easy sniff of the pint glass and hold it up to the light before taking that first taste. We are beer snobs, what else can we say? Our hops are our babies and fermentation our first language. That being said, let's get on with it.

So Saturday morning I got scooped up by friend #1 and delivered to friend #2's house where we then drove up to the city (which is apx. 40 miles north). It was great, I didn't have get behind the wheel of a vehicle the entire day, so needless to say I wasn't keeping track of my microbrew intake. Or in other words, IT WAS ON.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hole In The Sole

I'll start this off a little hokey & sad, then I'll move on to just plain sick, then I'll finish with some weird and funny. Think you guys can handle all that? I hope so, it'd be pointless for me to write this otherwise.

So I've decided that my cell phone has become nothing more than a plastic ornament that hangs on my hip. Before, when my girlfriend and I were still together, my cell would vibrate all throughout the day. We were texting fools, her and me. It was the best way to get through each day while we were at work. Dumb pics of ourselves (or others), jokes, silly comments, utter nonsense, it didn't matter we texted it all. I probably don't even need to explain it, I'm pretty sure everyone reading this knows exactly what I mean. So imagine, if you will, that the one person you text all the time suddenly wasn't there anymore. Imagine your cell phone completely quiet all throughout the day. It's so very strange now, creepy quiet. I can't tell you how many times a day I feel the familiar vibration buzzing through my hip bone, reach down and pull out my phone only to find nothing there, no text, nada. I swear it's like the phantom limb syndrome! Very bizarre, and sad. Grr, I miss so many things.

Ok, moving on to just plain sick.

I have to feed myself everyday, turns out humans have appetites and must stave them off in order to continue living. I try to do okay by myself, I try to avoid the worst possible crap that I can put into my stomach and instead I go for the second worse crap whenever possible. Even better, I make it a point to buy salad stuff from the grocery store and eat them regularly at home. I enjoy a large salad topped with chopped mushrooms, carrots, sweet pickles, onions, bell peppers, green olives and cherry tomatoes. I love it. I mix it up in a huge silver bowl and go to town. Here's where it gets sick. Just today I heard a news story that said Consumer Report has identified that 39% of packaged salads contain fecal bacteria. They tested 200+ salads from 16 different brands and the results were quite shitty (pun intended). The Federal Government regulates our water, milk, and meat, but apparently the produce industry isn't under Big Brother's finger just yet. Even if the package claims it's contents have been "triple washed" don't believe it for a second, chances are you're eating shit-covered lettuce, my friend. Mmmm baby!

Now moving on to weird and funny.

I have a pair of sneakers I bought awhile ago. I got them because they look really cool and are very comfortable, and they're Adidas brand which I'm fond of. What I didn't know at the time of purchase is this particular style is designed specifically for avid runners. Why is that a problem, you might ask? Here's why. Incorporated into the sole of the shoe are four quarter-sized mesh holes which allow the sneaker to breathe. Awesome if you're a runner, not-so-awesome if you're using them as everyday foot devices. You see, it rains a lot in Oregon, and when it rains puddles form in flat areas, and when puddles form sometimes people step in them. It happens, no big deal. Unless of course the sneakers you're wearing happen to have HOLES IN THE SOLES! Grr... so now every time it rains (every day) I literally have to think about walking while I'm walking. I have to calculate my path through parking lots as to avoid even the shallowest of puddles, lest the inside of my shoes and socks become instantly wet. It only takes a moment of forgetfulness and then... squish, squish, squish!

So there ya have it, my very first blog at Enjoy!