Monday, August 1, 2011

The Early Bird gets the $*@T scared out of Him.

In the past two weeks the Maryland heat and humidity have been brutal at times. This means my runs have been earlier in the morning to beat the heat. The morning hours between 4:30 and 7am are also the time that Mother Nature and her crew are out in force. I have been bombed by Squirrels, ran up on an angry Raccoon and have been startled numerous times by deer and their fawns crossing the path. I may or may not have even screamed and almost jumped off the road once when a deer came out of the woods about 3 feet from me and ran back the other way, while being laughed at by a woman and her dog coming the opposite direction. All in all the mornings are quiet and have mostly been good temperatures. I had a great run this past Sunday, I got on the trail early and was finished by 7:30 just as the morning was heating up. My route was planned for 10 miles but with Lake Elkhorn still under construction I only ended up with 9 and some change running from Savage Park and back...Somehow I think I will live. Especially since that was only the beginning of my day. After church I came home and went on a bike ride with the girls and then ended the day at the pool and home at 6pm for making Old School Homemade Ice Cream.
We made vanilla and one with fresh peaches, it was a perfect end to a good weekend of being busy and hot.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Three Weeks Down and Newton's Laws of Motion.

Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion or rest, or the tendency of an object to resist any change in its motion. It is proportional to an object's mass. The principle of inertia is one of the fundamental principles of classical physics which are used to describe the motion of matter and how it is affected by applied forces. Inertia comes from the Latin word, iners, meaning idle, or lazy. Isaac Newton defined inertia as his first law in his Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which states:

The vis insita, or innate force of matter, is a power of resisting by which every body, as much as in it lies, endeavours to preserve its present state, whether it be of rest or of moving uniformly forward in a straight line.

With three weeks in the books and week four beginning I feel good...really good. Week three was the best week of runs so far. I ran 3.4 miles Tuesday, 4 miles Thursday and I had a great run Saturday it was shorter distance week (5 miles), but since week two's run was a disaster, I felt good so I tacked on another mile and half loop. I blame week two's demise on The Colossus World Tour (and my love of a good time and beer). I was at the Judge's Bench Friday Night hanging out and then tried to run 7 miles Saturday Morning a touch dehydrated and then i had an idea of a quick make up run Sunday morning it was quickly traded for 'Pints and Pancakes' at T-Bonz. I had such a successful bounce back this past week that I am actually looking forward to this weeks work outs as I start tacking on more miles. I actually feel a good bit more overall energy when I keep up with my work out plan and I am moving around with the girls schedule and bike rides. When I stop though, I grow roots quick and it takes some effort to get moving again (especially if I have a beer in hand).
I guess you have to have a bad week or two to know what a good week looks like. Four Miles Tuesday, four mile run this Thursday then Xmas in July that night at DuClaw @ Arundel Mills come by and say 'hey' while I am stretching and keeping my legs from cramping up while I prepare for 9 miles come Saturday.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Week 1 - Self Discipline and Beer...and the Winner is...

Today begins week 1 of 18 leading up to the Marine Corps Marathon. Hal Higdon's Novice plan for a Marathon is my base but I am moving some of the work-outs around with Hockey and getting the girls to Swim Team Practice. My minimum work out plan is to run 2-3 times a week with a cardio workout in there somewhere. Talking to people that have run a marathons before they all agree the long runs must happen. I have decided that Saturday or Sunday will be my long runs depending on weather and my social calendar. I'm back on my 5 small meals a day and watching my beer consumption.As some of you know that this is become increasingly difficult. As of a month ago I have been brewing for DuClaw. It is a fantastic opportunity for an old married guy with kids to work in a profession that I have been working towards the last 6+ years. So this is where the self discipline comes in...a chubby guy surrounded by beer at a time he needs to focus on working out and hopefully being a couple pounds lighter by the time he has to haul his ass 26.2 miles.
We will hope for the best but expect the worst.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Shipping up to Boston

This past weekend I was invited to help out Mike Roy from Franklin's Restaurant, Brewery and General Store, pouring beer for the BeerAdvocates American Craft Beer Festival. Three session over two days with 106 breweries in attendance with 506 beers being poured. I had made my short list of breweries and beers I wanted to try so not waste time or precious liver function with beers I have had before. Of course before I could enjoy my first sip of beer we had to get there. Mike Roy, Chris Graham (Mike's former intern and recent employee of DC Brau who's 1st day of work was the Monday after we returned)and myself left Maryland around 5:30am. Couple of stops here and there and we were in Boston in what seemed like a couple of hours not 8 and half. We hit town around 2pm and we and 105 other breweries were jocking for position to get into the Seaport World Trade Center to set up our booth and get our beers iced down for the 6pm session. Most breweries brought 4-5 styles in large quantities for the event, Mike decided to bring 10 beers each in smaller quantities to showcase the beers made at the Hyattsville Brew Pub. You are probably asking yourself why a Brewpub from Maryland that does not distribute beer past it's door be interested in going to a festival with the likes of Brooklyn, Sierra Nevada and Boston Beer Co.? We must have been asked the same question 50 times a session (along with jeers and good hearted ribbing about my Orioles hat). The answer is Mike Roy is from New Hampshire and knows just about every brewer in the area it was like a big homecoming for him. Also I was surprised to have people take business cards and say that they were visiting DC soon and were going to stop by while in town or they come to DC for work and have been looking for a good place for beer. I also ran into some folks from home; The Godfather of Baltimore Beer Week, Joe Gold, Hugh Sisson and Bond Distributor extraordinaire Matt Crow.I Sampled a lot of good beers and met a lot of good folks. A highlight at the Smuttynose Booth, was meeting Paul from my favorite Beer Label and got my picture taken with him. The word on the street is that Cy passed away last year.
Lines for Pretty Things, Surly, Clown Shoes, Duck Rabbit were the longest during every session and I would have to sneak up the side of the booths during my break or be stuck in line the entire time. Sadly breweries like Oscar Blues, Victory, Stouts and Six Points all poured their beers from bottles and cans, not that it was bad but, I always hope for an interesting twist to a staple beer or a one off at these events but I could be jaded with all of the years attending The Extreme Beer Fest also held here in Boston. Friday after the 6-9:30 session there was an after party for the Industry folks at the Harpoon Brewery about three blocks away right on the water. We had a chance to hang out, relax, talk beer and eat some great food The Brewers association of Massachusetts had for everyone. We got a 2 cent tour of the facility from a brewer that Mike knew and was amazed at the Automation of the 150BBL massive brewery. We caught a cab to our Hotel just before midnight knowing we had to do this twice again on Saturday. Woke Up Saturday and had some time to relax and catch up on the scores on ESPN. We took a cab to China Town and ate at a Dim Sum Restaurant that Mike used to frequent. I have had a lot of meals before beer festivals but Dim Sum is now at the top of the list for laying down a base for a day of drinking. We got to the Seaport about an hour before the first session was to begin and we refreshed our ice and made sure our taps were running smoothly. I lucked out to take my break first and got in line before the crowds had time to swarm. Some of my favorite beers from the weekend were Pretty Things Best Regards (Barleywine), Baby Tree (Quad) and Fluffy White Rabbits(Trippel); Surley Darkness, Bender and Furious, Six Points Sweet Action(Cream Ale). I also enjoyed all of the beers Boulevard Brewing out of Kansas City had to offer. They were pouring Sixth Glass(Quad), Double-Wide I.P.A., Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, Dark Truth Imp Stout all bottle conditioned. Anyone who knows me I knows I am drawn to beers made with Ringwood yeast, good or bad I am amazed how different these beers can be. Gritty McDuffs had some decent beers but I was in heaven with the 'Alan Pugsly Signature Series' beers that Shipyard was pouring. They had a Smashed Blueberry, Smashed Pumpkin and my favorite was an American Double IPA. All clocked in at 9% and were really good and complex. The surprise brewery was Lawson's Finest Liquids out of Warren, Vermont. They are a 1 BBl Brewery and has won awards at GABF and World beer Cup and has already done a Collaboration with The Bruery. The Collaboration was called Acer Quercus and was Stout brewed with Maple Syrup, Dates and Maple Wood Smoked malt. A fantastic pallet challenging beer I'm glad I had this one early in the day on Saturday to enjoy it. They also were pouring a Double IPA called Double Sunshine. The hop aroma was flooring and the flavor was fantastic. I would put Double Sunshine up against any of the top Double IPA's, East or West Coast. I did 'work' a lot pouring between having these fine beers and by the end of the Saturday late session all I wanted to do was sleep but we had to break down pack up the car. The party was just getting started for most locals because it was also Game 2 of the Stanly Cup Finals for the Bruins. We finally rolled out about 10:45 and made our way to Mike's parents house to spend the night. The next morning we had breakfast with Mike's parents and some family members that stopped by and hit the road for home. We got back to my house at about 8:00pm Sunday and sadly it dawned on me that I had to go back to work in just a couple of hours. This trip cemented Boston as one of my favorite cities to visit, we had a great weather, met some good folks and drank some great beers.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

19 years went by pretty fast...

This past Sunday was the 1st Annual Atholton High School Alumni Lacrosse Game. We had players from as early as 2010 graduates, and then some old guys from 1992(me and Alex)and my brother from 1990. Everyone had a lot of fun and there were more laughs and reminiscing of the old days then I have had in a long time. I was able to play with a player that I coached at Atholton (1997/98)that is now the Varsity head coach for Atholton and his father was my coach when I played at Atholton. I can't express how great it was to play a sport we all love with my old friends and brother one more time. I can't wait till next years game and I am looking into playing in the Howard County over 35 league in the fall since I did not embarrass myself and even made a handfull of saves. Next year Chris had mentioned we may rent out the turf field at Cedar Lane and hopefully be able to have a beer or two during/after the game(which is hard to do on school property). It goes to show that you are only as old as you feel and I felt old as hell the next day.
Top Right:My Brother Trevor
Middle Left:My Brother in the foreground and me in the goal(Jared A. and John P. in background)
bottom Center: The Post Game Team Picture

Friday, May 13, 2011

You're Never Too Old...or Are You?

I got a call from a friend of mine from High School I haven't seen or talked to in about 4-5 years. Mrs. Runner had run into his wife at one of my her High School reunion/gatherings at Looney's in Maplelawn and given her her number for us to catch up. This call turned out to be to an invite me to play in a Alumni Lacrosse Game at our old High School, Atholton. Without a second thought I said yes and then asked what day, he said it was in two weeks and that it had been on Facebook for a month or more but he had to hunt me down the old fashioned way since I am 'Anti-Social Networking'(not to mention he needed another Goalie). I told Chris I had not played for 3-4 years but when I thought about it later it has been closer to 8-10 years but I still get opportunities to throw the ball around about once every year and I have not missed too much with my hand-eye skills since my old bones still play Hockey. I am however contemplating the move from a defending a 4' x 6' hockey goal to a 6' x 6' net. My wife likes to give me a hard time because anytime someone brings up High School Lacrosse I do my best Al Bundy Impersonation ("I scored 4 touchdowns in a single game") because I answer their question the same way everytime: "Yes, I played Goalie" and then tag on "I was 2nd Team All-County". I have started doing it now because I find it funny and my wife always rolls her eyes. Looking at the roster, I was the oldest on the roster till I talked my brother into playing now he is. I am looking forward to playing again and seeing some of my old teammates. Howard County does have a 35 & over Fall Lacrosse League I am thinking about getting involved in if I don't embarrass my self too badly.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's not a sprint, it is a Marathon.

The calendar has been marked for the beginning of my Marine Corps Marathon training. I have been running my normal off-and-on but as of Junes 26th that will need to be a focused regiment to end at the goal of 26.2 miles on October 30th. My friend Phil from my home brew club, who runs 2-3 Marathons a year and is starting to do Iron Man competitions, shared his knowledge and 4 work out programs that he has used. The training programs from Hal Higdon's 'How to Train' ranged from Novice (that is me)to Intermedate, Intermediate II (not Me) and Expert(definatly not me). So I looked at the calendar and counted back my 18 weeks to get my timeline of training together. My old friend the Annapolis 10 Miler even fits in perfect with my training as it turns out I need a 10 mile long run that weekend. Now I just need to make time for all of this running it looks like it is going to cut severly into my beer drinking time.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ladies Flock Like Bees to a Hive.

Hey Ladies, Get Funky ...(cue the Cow Bell)

Spring has sprung! Flowers are blooming, trees are getting green and bees are buzzing, especially when you dump six pounds of bees into a couple of hives. This is the 3rd year my brother has had bee hives but this is the first year I have been his right hand man since he has been in and out of town with work and I have had to get into the hives by myself.
This year since I was going have to be the primary bee care giver when Trevor was out of town We hived the bees and made up gallons of sugar water that the bees will need to feed off of when the nectar flow is slow. Hiving bees sounded easy enough I have helped my brother n the past how hard can it be? open the hive, dump a box of bees in and shut the lid! Done! uh...maybe not.
A 'Package' bees is a wooden box with 3lbs of bees, a can of bee food and a 'Queen cage' with 1 queen and 3-4 attendant bees (the queen cannot feed herself). The bees stay in the 'Package' for 2-3 days and come to recognize the queen the the cage by her pheromones this key for when you 'Hive' them because they will stay where the queen is. The package of bees usually contains bees shaken from two or more colonies, and the queen supplied with the package is bred from selected colonies to be sent in the package. So to get them ready the bees are sprayed with sugar water from a spray bottle to slow down their flying and making them easier to install. The lid of the box is then pryed off and the feeder can is removed. The 'Queen cage' is also removed and the lid is laid loosely back on the box. At this moment I was regretting my brother convincing me to not wear gloves because he has decided that he like most proficient bee keepers do not wear gloves because it dulls their sense of touch handling the bees. I being newer to it I was like 'what the hell? I'll go without gloves too'! uh...maybe I'm not ready for that because the moment the bee package was opened bees were steady flying out of it and my arms were getting shorter and shorter when Trevor needed the next nail or frame. Two small nail are then pushed into the soft wood of the Queen's Cage and a small cork is removed. Under the cork is a glob of what they call candy (or fondant) which slows the queen getting into the hive and thus keeping the bees near the hive and setting up house keeping for when the queen is released. To help a little we bore a small hole with drill bit in the candy to assist the attendant bees. The Cage is then placed suspended by the nails (candy down so if an attendant bee dies it does not block the queen getting out) between 2 frames and the bees are ready to hive. The box is sprayed one more time and with a quick bang on the table the bees fall to the bottom of the package and they are dumped into the open part of the hive(see top Picture). Believe it or not but this makes the bees a little testy and you'd be surprised how many bees make up 3 pounds. the bees are dive bombing my veil and I am doing a quick inventory of my boots, suit and veil to make sure I am protected because it seems like they are everywhere and I am not above running away and screaming like a girl if an angry bee somehow managed to get in my suit or veil. The finish the job a half gallon jar of sugar water is placed upside down on the frames, a small vent frame is put into place and the lid is put on on the hive. We repeat this for the other hive but with much more ease since we had practice with the first hive and we can now go have a beer and watch the bees from a safe distance as they make themselves at home. I checked the hives Monday and Wednesday to keep track of how much sugar water they had been consuming and Easter Sunday, with Trevor home, we smoked the bees and opened the hives to make sure the Queen were in the hive and that she was laying eggs. I had witnessed that both Queen's Cages were empty on my Wednesday inspection and we did find one of the queens and that both Queens were indeed laying eggs and hive had been busy making comb that we had to pry off to get into the frames. Bees are pretty cool and not something to be afraid of, they don't want to bother me any more then I want to get stung...but it is a good idea to wear the right protective equipment and Bee careful when doing full inspections of the hive and removing frames. See what I did There? BEE CAREFUL...get it? HAHAHAHA...uh...forget I said that!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

eXiled: Part two - The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick maker

Brad Called me on my lack-o-blogging I am a day late with Part two so here it is:

Transfer to the kettle was smooth and we waited while we filled the kettle to roughly 1,200 gallons of wort to begin boiling. As the wort filled the kettle, the steam jackets in the kettle are turned on in stages in the hopes that by the time our volume was reached we were close to a boil (and then I could add more hops by the 5 gallon bucket). To obtain the gravity we were shooting for we planned for 2 hour boil and the addition of 4 sacks of Rice Syrup Solids which are a 100% fermentable rice powder the same consistency of dried malt extract. Once to a boil and under control I went back to helping Bo Clean some kegs and help myself to half glass of beer that was on tap in the office. It turned out to be the remainder of a vintage keg of Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Jack Stout. It was like velvet but knew that too many glasses and I would be of no help what so ever. So I only had another 3-4 half glasses. I also had brought with me the next pilot batch that Kurt had came up with for me to brew. It was a unique beer that was good and think has a lot of potential but Jim and the Big Boss Man(Dave) make the decision if it sees the light of day. I also took this time to pull the 2 late additions hops for X5 in poundage's of 11lbs. and 12lbs. I also sampled some Black Lightning (APA) and Mayhem (weizenbock) off of the fermentors while we waited to whirlpool the beer as it finished. As we started moving the beer to the fermentor we took a sample and the beer was great color. The color was one of the things I really liked about the pilot batch. When they filter this beer it should be a brilliant straw color perfect and refreshing for back porch summer drinking. While we were wrapping up the maintenance guys stopped by and climbed a ladder I would have never stepped foot on and a push of a reset button the Auger sprung back to life and the batch of Belgian Wit for the next day was saved and Jim could relax (a little). We tested another couple bottles for quality control and began getting the grains ready for the following day. As my luck would have it the grain silo was empty and awaiting delivery so all the grain had to be dumped by hand 50 and 25lbs at a time to the magic number of over 2100lbs. So just when you think the day is over you find yourself in a blast proof room the size of a large bathroom lifting bags of grain in the mill and sweating out Black Jack Stout. It felt good to do manual labor I have sadly been behind my drafting table for too long pushing buttons. So with the beer in the fermentor and grain ready for the next day I helped myself to one more half glass of Black Jack and said goodbye and left with a hand full of bottles of Venom, Sawtooth and 13 Degrees to QC at home. Not a great day brewing but sure as hell beat being at my real job. I learned a valuable lesson that the bigger you get in the production side of beer the bigger smaller problems affect everything else. If I ever had to ditch a brew of mine I would be out 50-60 dollars and morning of my time. These guys need everything to go smoothly daily because one hitch in your auger or the like and that could have potentially pushed back an entire day to a week in production time....and time is Beer Money! My time at the brewery is always fun (minus all that bullshit manual labor)!
Watch for eXile 5 to hit the taps some time in June.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

eXiled: Part One - You Want The Good News or The Bad News?

Yesterday was the brew day for eXile 5 at DuClaw Brewing. I did the pilot batch for this beer in February and it turned out to be very close to what Jim was shooting for and with some minor tweaks it came to life yesterday as a 36 barrel batch of beer. Now anyone who has brewed beer knows that there are good days brewing and bad days brewing. I believe you need to have a bad brew day or two to know what a good brew day looks like if it ever happens. Yesterday was not a great one. Right off the bat, first thing in the morning we needed to mill in some more grain since the grain hopper would not hold it all that was need the day before and as the switch was thrown and I about to lift the first 50lbs bag of grain to the mill it made a hell of a noise and the auger and mill all shut down at once. Now this may not sound so bad, but the auger is what moves the grain after it is milled out of the blast proof grain room, up a tube system to the rafters and then to the top of the brew house where it goes into the funnel shaped grain hopper (see top picture)to be dropped into the Mash tun. Sadly this not just a couple pounds of grain we are dealing with. We a talking about thousands of pounds of grain needed to make a 40 barrel batch of beer. Now the beer we were making was not too badly impacted. We ended up grinding the remaining grains and adding them to the mash tun by hauling them up the stairs by the bucket full. This issue with the auger was going to severely impact the batch of 'Sawtooth' that was to be brewed the following morning much more. So we needed to get our brew going and it was going fine, but Jim was preoccupied with not knowing how to fix the auger issue for the next day so he troubleshot the auger between our brewing of X5. I'm sure when you brew all the time it does not seem like a big deal but even after all the times I've brewed with them at DuClaw I still think it is cool as hell to add hops by 5 gallon bucket. As the beer brewing went on when we had down time I helped Bo clean some kegs and check out the new 12oz bottling line. On a side clear up any confusion the bottles are indeed twist off tops and bottle caps for beer bottles are universal so the beer is just as fresh in these bottles as pop or pry off tops. A ton of research was done to make sure that these bottles were going to be able to house and deliver the product to consumers in brewery form. To prove it, while there we checked a good number of bottles to make sure the beer was fit for consumption and each one we opened was in good form.
Now I'm thirsty...
Part Two Tomorrow!

Monday, April 4, 2011


Austin Lucas is one of my favorite singer song writers since I first heard him on The album Bristle Ridge with Chuck Ragan. Who I had just seen on the Revival Tour with Ben Nichols, Tim Barry and Frank Tuner...did you get all of that? It's kind of like six degrees of Lucero. 'A New Home in the Old World' is Austin's first full band release. A departure, featuring organs, horns and even electric guitars, from his normally stripped down acoustic albums. Hit play below and give it a listen or maybe even buy it if so moved to do so. I had pre-ordered mine last month. I got the limited color vinyl pressing that should be arriving today or tomorrow. Stop reading and start listening!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

When did the Sport of Kings become so Sad and Laughable?

If anyone knows me they know I am against and always have been against slots in Maryland. When Gambling on horses is not enough then you go to Slots, then that leads to Table games, then that leads to Atlantic City. Don't get me wrong, again, if you know me I love to play Texas Hold'em and am healthily addicted to Black Jack. For some reason we as a state decided that this seedy sport of Horse racing is worth saving with tax money and proceeds from slots because of 'our States proud racing tradition'. I don't get it. Let the sport and all that comes with it die. What makes the voting public think that it would be good to have slots and go to a dirty race track and hang out with the same sad people I pass playing Keno in the liquor store near my work? I live in Howard County in North Laurel in an older Blue collar neighborhood where my Grandfather built his house in the 50's and sadly I am just across route 1 from Laurel Park. That was also a reason I was against slots, because it would have been in my backyard as they say. We put the slots ruling up to a state wide vote and the state decided that we wanted slots so 'we could keep Maryland Money in Maryland'. Notice there were none of the parlors were slated for Montgomery County or the nicer parts of Anne Arundel County. So everyone slept well at night voting slots into someone else’s backyard. It worked like a charm, we passed slots and West Virginia and Delaware passed table games. We showed them we meant business and they showed us what a day late and a dollar short looks like. Luckily the folks at Laurel Park were too big for their britches and thought they had the slots in the bag and did not follow the directions of the board to secure the slots and lost the bid and burned their bridges with the board. Then the folks from Cordish decided they could take a run at it at the Arundel Mills Mall. Holy Shit you would have thought that slots were the work of the devil and who would ever think we could have families and gamblers share the same space. Question ‘A’ was the point I would talk about endlessly to anyone and everyone about how it would be great for everyone involved. I will tell you honestly I laughed at the holier-than-thou signs of the residence of the Malls surrounding area. 'Keep gamblers away from the mall and your children' was my favorite fear mongering TV Spot. This all from the same people that voted for slots when they thought they were going to be in someone else’s backyard. I admit that my vote was partially (the big part) vindictive and make no apologies about it. So now all is well except for some Bull Shit Liquor laws, gas prices and this latest marketing genius from these fine folks we are helping to save their sport.
Have you ever watched the Kentucky Derby? It is a time to dress fancy and sip Mint Juleps and see horse racing in its most prestigious form. Belmont stakes is in New york that I normally forget about so how good or bad can it really be and Maryland is stuck with the inbred cousin of the Triple Crown, The Preakness. I went to Preakness once in the mid 90's when we drank beer that we lugged onto the infield and commenced to drink all day and wait for girls to take off their shirts. This of course was before the Internet and girls were more than willing to do so with no fear of it showing up on the computer, ruining their chances of running for office or having it sent to their father by the 'porn guy' at the office. Since then it has turned into beer throwing, Port-a-John running, river of urine dodging good time. Just when you don’t think it could get any cooler The Horse Racing Brain Trust does something like this and completely redeems it self. I am speaking of Kegasus, The Official Kenny Powers looking Infield Spokescentaur. I originally thought I had hit my favorites and I had pulled up The Onion but no this White Trash Party Mammal is for real and targeting the 21 to 28 year old demographic ‘with his no-nonsense personality and total embodiment of a good time’.
This is what we are saving with our States money? The Maryland Jockey Club is a joke and so is this insulting representation of our state.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Story of The Barometric Pressure and a Chubby Guys Knee - Lets Hope for a Happy Ending

I woke up Monday to dreary weather and a sore knee. Was it from running on Sunday? No, Sunday was my rest day and all I did was brew a batch of beer. Now there is some lifting of 10 to 15 gallons of water, dumping a full mash tun of wet grain and then carrying full carboys of beer downstairs. Going back in history, I had an injury to this knee way back in high school playing football where it was drained of fluid. I wear a Cho Pat wrap on the knee in question normally because of it's sometime 'Squirreliness' on uneven pavement. I did a light 3 mile run Monday and by the time I got down my street the pain was 'gone'. I am hoping it is the weird weather that is causing my issue and nothing else. I get a little worried because of all the running I have to do and Hockey season starting soon.
So with a sore knee my Kettle Bell workout yesterday went much like my run, the pain went a way by my second set of swings. I may take it easy on my joints and do the elliptical today since it is raining. Hal Higdon gives me a rest day and 3-30 minute cross/Strength/Strech days. So I have a chance to go easy on it till my long run on Saturday. I just find it funny that here I am trainning for a Marathon and I'm dealing with a possible brewing accident.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cold runs through the Husky Runner house like El Niño

Last week started out great; running Sunday and Monday, Kettle Bell workout Tuesday and then it happened. My youngest daughter got sent home from school with a fever she was the 5th kid sent home that day and 4 kids never made it to school that day because they were sick. There is only 16 kids in my daughters class to begin with. So the next morning I wake up with a sore throat and entire nose stuffed up. Now I'm not good at running but you quickly realize that breathing is crucial to this activity. Nose is clear today and it is beautiful so I'm back at it today. I am marking time running 3.5 miles 4-5 times a week till I kick in Hal Higdon's work-out.
The Black Lightning (American Black Ale)release went well and the beer was well received. X-5 is next to be release in the Summer and I am brewing another pilot batch of a new beer this week for release later in the fall....and we are judging the 3 Lions Clone Beers Tuesday....did I mention I was busy?
Work is picking up and I am busy all around. The runs are well suited for helping turn my head off for a bit.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Marine Corps Marathon 2011 - An Exercise in Time, Weight and Momentum

Today I took the first step (which will lead to many steps in the near future)in a direction to do something I said I would never do. Today was registration Day for the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon. I know what you are thinking "they have a 10K just do that". I should but my stubborn (Jackass) part of me would not allow me to do that. Instead I signed on the (computer) dotted line and I feel like I will be once again on the "Yellow Footprints" at Paris Island.
If I was going to do any Marathon it would be this one mainly because I spent 4 years in the Marines. I think this what my 36 year old body needs; a good kick in the pants out of my comfort zone and beyond anything I have done in 10-15 years. Sound like a good idea? HELL NO!...but for some reason that is not stopping me. So yesterday began my working out, eating better and (begrudgingly) drinking less beer. My plan is to start Hal Higdon's 1/2 Marathon Training that I did in 2007 and 2009 for The Baltimore Half and when that is done (beginning of June) begin to ramp my miles to the neighborhood of 20 miles+ in October and then 26.2 miles on October 30th 2011. I have some time to work on my race day diet and hydration issues. I know I have all my support in place Mrs. Runner is helping me with meals and will be there to give me a good kick in the ass when I need it. A new twist to my training will also be strength, flexibility and cardio with the use of my new favorite toy; the Kettle Bell. I will be chronicling my runs, good days and bad days (You know I've had my share) right here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cussing: It's Not Just for Adults Anymore

I had to explain to my daughter that 'Adult Words' are not to be used by an eight year old in any situation and that even today at 36 I don't use them around my Mom.
Kids don't teach other kids to cuss, we do. I know my daughters have heard all of the good 4 letter words in their 6 and 8 years on this earth in their own house via TV, intentionally or conversationally. You try to curb the cussing but nothing is fool proof. Kids hear cuss words and they know them. They need to know (when) not to use them. When my wife told me what happened, my response: "Shit!"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's February...What are you doing, Chubby?

I've been doing a lot of brewing and drinking beer, put on 5 pounds (I like to call it insulation), watching a lot of Top Chef All Stars and Unique Eats and not working out. Still clinging to:"it's the's too cold to run outside...I'll start Monday...Blah, Blah, Blah"!
Some good things are going on while I am not being skinny. Two beers that I brewed for pilot batches are going into full production and 3 Home brewing classes I'm teaching in the next 2 weeks...oh yeah and Max's 72 Hours of Belgium. Which incidental it is not called that anymore.
I have some plans for 2011 so stupid I'm not ready to tell anyone yet.

After that I promise back to working out. But it is the's too cold to run outside...I'll start Monday...Blah, Blah, Blah....