Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ever Had Days Like These?


I was browsing through pictures on my computer at home tonight when I came across this gem and couldn't resist posting it. This was taken at Charley B's LATE one night after my 20th High School Reunion. I don't think I need to say anything else - the picture sort of says it all! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Decisions, Decisions!


Man, I don't know what I like better, turkey the first time around, or the incredibly awesome sandwiches you get to make out of the leftovers! The first time around is good, with the turkey and gravy and all the good sides, but the killer sandwiches the next day could be argued as an even better experience. In this example, we have turkey, mashed potatoes, leftover bacon from breakfast, gravy and melted swiss cheese, all on artesian bread that was toasted. It is basically Thanksgiving dinner all compacted into a sandwich - a messy sandwich, but a sandwich of epic proportions none the less. Man, I hate that all the turkey is gone now, I made myself hungry posting this...

To see all of the Thanksgiving pictures, check out this photo album.

 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Burnt Dog Lodge - The Seasoning

Well, we did it. We went to the cabin in a huge 26 foot Penske truck full of stuff, moved it all in, took several more deliveries, painted the ENTIRE place and somehow managed to have a pretty good time while doing it. Our good friend Fred and Megan were excellent recruits. They helped us out tremendously and we couldn't have gotten it all done without their wonderful help. Here's a link to the work in progress photo album, now I'm off to catch up on some much needed sleep!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Cabin Fever!

No, I didn't shoot six holes in my freezer, as the old Jimmy Buffet song goes, but we HAVE closed on our cabin in Helen, Georgia. We did an absentee closing last Friday at 3pm, and now we (and the bank) are the proud owners of a new mountain cabin, appropriately named Burnt Dog Lodge. Betsy was kind enough to rework the logos for Burnt Dog Brewery to serve as logos for both ventures.

We are headed up this weekend to do a flurry of activity - paint the WHOLE place, as all the walls are boring, plain white, move in the furniture and furnishings, and give the place a trial run. Loco is either crazy enough, or just so damned nice that he is coming up to help not only with the moving and heavy lifting, but also the painting as well. We have drafted Megan to help with the painting, and I believe Tex will be coming up to either help, or drink beer, whichever needs doing most, depending on his school load. We've got a lot to do in a short period of time, so I hope it all gets done. We have the fence people coming out Friday morning to set the posts for the chain link fencing for the back yard, to make it greyhound friendly, the satellite/phone/DSL installer is scheduled for Friday, and the furniture we bought in Atlanta is also scheduled to arrive some time on Friday as well. So, we'll get there Thursday night, put together the grill (a very important task), get started on the unloading of the stuff we brought from Albany, and settle in on air mattresses for the first night, then get up and get to painting so hopefully we'll be done in time for the furniture to be placed directly into the newly painted rooms when it arrives.

We then will come back up the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and spend the long weekend up there with the pack and Len & Megan and their pack as well. I hope all the hard work will be done so we can just relax over the long weekend, but we won't know that for sure until the time arrives. You can get your very own Burnt Dog Lodge merchandise here. That should hold you over until you get to see the place in person.

You can see pictures of the place in it's former state, taken while the previous owner was still living there, and I'll be sure and post an update once we get our work done.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Sharks with frickin' lazer beams revisited...

OK, so I'm not supposed to be taxing my eyes. Screw that noise... I am now 24 hours into my LASIK "enhancement" procedure, and I feel fine. So fine in fact, that I went out for libations and rations, which equates to chicken wings, crispy rojos and beer - lots of beer. Anyone who asks, I direct all questions to Fred, as he knows what constitutes ROJO BLISS. If you missed that train, scroll down a bit and read up to get up to speed. Really. We will wait for the slow peeps, just hurry up and don't make the rest of us start to contemplate our meager existance while we wait for you to read the Cliff Notes...


Since we are all on the same page, I had LASIK surgery December of last year. It was the best thing since sliced bread - well, almost, since I had an unresolved issue of being 20/15 in my left eye and 20/30 in my dominant right eye. I complained to the doctor almost constantly since the healing process was supposedly complete. He put me off til October of this year, wanting to wait til my eye stabilized (or I got tired of complaining, whichever came first) to make a decision to go in and make an "enhancement" to the original surgery. I went 2 weeks ago for a regular visit to see how things had progressed since my surgery. I had the fortune of talking to a doctor that is stuck cleaning up the messes that my original doctor creates - ie. post op visits that they don't get paid to perform. He has a much better post-op bedside manner than my original doctor has, explaining in depth the procedure and downfalls and pluses associated with said procedures. After talking to Dr Peaslee for about 45 minutes, never once feeling rushed or unimportant, we came to a mutal decision that I was an ideal candidate for enhancement. He was quick to point out that the 20/30 result we achieved in my right eye was within "acceptable" norms, but because of my specific complaints, I was a candidate for enhancement surgery, and I needed to come back the following week for a pre-op consult.

I came back for my scheduled pre-op consult the next week, and I was surprised to be told that I would be put on the surgical rotation the following week - no one said I would have to go under the knife that quickly! To make a long story short, they scheduled me for this past Wednesday, October 25, at 4:20 pm. We went, had the procedure done, and I am so glad we did. Just 24 hours after the procedure, I am at 20/20 in that eye, hoping for even better after the surgery has healed. The best part is they were able to just lift up the old flap they cut last December, not cut a new one, so the trauma is much less severe, and the recovery time is reduced. I can not even tell I had a precedure done to that eye, let alone one as serious as LASIK surgery entails. I'll keep you faithful readers informed of my progress, but I have high hopes for this enhancement procedure.

On a totally unrelated note, if you are in the market for some awesome new music to listen to, do yourself a favor and look up a band called Silversun Pickups - they are an indie group that is on ITunes - sample a song called lazy eye off the album Carnavas, and tell me you are not reminded of old school Smashing Pumpkins and Breeders, with a touch of Sonic Youth thrown in for good measure. They are a throwback to older, simpler days, still being an indie, unsigned band, but in heavy rotation on MTV2 for their video for the above mentioned song. I tried it, and I found myself pleasantly surprised - best damn album I have heard in god knows when. They also have another album available on ITunes, but I can't vouch for it - yet. Expect that to change in the near future.

Peace out, and all that good stuff, I am off to don my Spaceman Spiff goggles to fight off all the evil forces that beseige our planet on a nightly basis...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Carnivorous Cravings...

I try to eat healthy most of the time, limiting my intake of red meats, and eating lots of soy products and vegetables, but dammit, sometimes you just want meat! I succumbed to my Cheeseburger in Paradise cravings and grilled us up a couple of burgers Saturday night. Not just any old burger, these were the mack daddy ones from our local butcher shop, Taylor's. They take lean ground beef, then wrap the outside in bacon, ala Filet Mignon style. These burgers were so huge that Suzy had to make a special trip to Publix to acquire big deli style buns for them to nestle in. Topped with REAL Pepper Jack cheese, and your typical burger toppings, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, onion, pickle and tomato, it was just what I needed! We bought these in anticipation of eating them after a hard bike ride Saturday, but the bike ride never materialized, so we forged ahead and ate the burgers anyway! Nothing burns up the calories and creates hunger like jockeying for position on the couch for a day of watching tv. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Reflections of a Year in Blogging

Seeing as how my very first blog post was about Outdoor Adventure and food, I figured it was only fitting to pay tribute to this little experiment called blogging with a similar picture from Outdoor Adventure X which was the weekend of August 4-6, 2006. This is similar to the very first post, except it's even better - instead of just ribs, we also have deep-fried tater tots and twice cooked wings. The wings were first smoked on the smoker, then dropped in the hot oil for a frying session. The results were pretty awesome - smokey goodness from the Pecan wood, and crispy goodness from the 375 degree oil.

I started blogging a little over a year ago, and have been semi-regular about posting things as time permits. I've been successful in recruiting others in the adventures of blogging along the way, with several friends and family members joining the bandwagon. I enjoy blogging when I get the chance, and I imagine I'll keep boring you all with my stories for a good long while to come. Enjoy! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bonnie's New Trick

Suzy & I were on our way out the door late Friday night to go eat with some of my classmates at Waffle House, and on our way out the door, we looked to see Mallory and Bonnie both hopping up on the couch to settle in. Now, this is no big deal for Mallory, he's been getting on the couch for years. In fact, he gets quite jealous of me when I have the nerve to lay on the couch with his Mommy, and he comes by frequently to check on me to see if I've left yet.

Bonnie, on the other hand, until this instance at least, has not gotten on the furniture. At least to our knowledge that is. Being the smart dog that she is, she's taken to it quite quickly though. She is quick to try and shoehorn herself into your spot, or snuggle with you. If you make the mistake of stopping petting her, she will bat at you with her paw to remind you that she is still there. So much for not teaching any other dogs to get on the furniture - I'm just waiting for the day she hops up into bed with us - can't be far off now! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Rojo Bliss Revisited

OK, so we didn't think it could be done twice. But here is photographic proof of Rojo Bliss. I know it's a little fuzzy, but, hey, what do you expect from a camera phone? I dare say this batch was even better than the first ones. If you have no idea what I am talking about, scroll down a bit and read up on my Loco Motion post to get up to speed. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Old-fashioned South Georgia Redneck Shenanigans

Can you even say shenanigans and Redneck in the same sentence? I think shenanigans has too many syllables, there's some kind of unwritten law about that I am sure. Anyway, that's besides the point, really.

A couple of Fridays ago, we set out to amuse ourselves the old school way - sitting on the tailgate of my SUV in the driveway(only because I don't have a pickup truck, and Fred's was parked in the street, thus we would have been on city property, perhaps inviting a public drunkeness charge...), drinking beer, and shooting off Coke geysers.

What is a Coke geyser you ask? Well, you take a roll of Mentos, drop them all into a 2 liter of soda - doesn't have to be Coke, any carbonated beverage would work, but we splurged for the good stuff. The Mentos cause a reaction, and instantaneously a fountain of coke spews forth into the air. The scientific explanation is that the arabic gum in the Mentos reduces the surface tension of the water molecules in the soda, thereby releasing the carbon dioxide that is in suspension - quite rapidly. We just call it damn cool.

Actually, we had a test run a few nights earlier, and were having difficulty getting all the Mentos out of the wrapper and into the bottle before ignition. So, Fred made a trip to Home Depot and procured the materials needed to create a MDD - Mentos Delivery Device. Basically, it consists of a length of pvc pipe joined to a coupler that has pipe threads on one end that you screw onto the 2 liter bottle of propellent. He drilled holes just above the coupler that 2 cotter pins slide into, and affixed a length of string to the 2 cotter pins. Problem solved. After loading up the MDD with ammo (a box fo Mentos) and pulling the detonator cord (hey, it sounds better than string), we acheived much better delivery of the payload and the attached length of pvc pipe acted as a barrel of sorts - not to mention the fact that it also made it look like a fountain with soda spewing forth from the drilled holes as well. We achieved heights that we estimated to be 10-15 feet high.

Sometimes you just gotta get back to basics to remember how much fun silly stuff can be. Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 16, 2006

Do the Loco Motion...

Well, my good friend Loco, aka Fred, is moving in a few weeks back to Florida, where he got a promotion with his company. While he has been here he's been in search of a few things, nothing crazy, just a few things he'd like to do or obtain - call them personal quests if you will. Well, the stars must have aligned in his favor this week, because he accomplished two of his goals, both of which have up until this point, proved elusive.

First off, we eat a LOT at one of our favorite local watering holes, Harvest Moon. They have their own twist on french fries, called rojos. They are these little round potato medallions, similar to a potato chip, but thicker. Fred always orders them well done, usually asking the wait staff for "burnt rojos". They rarely ever come out the way he orders them, but it doesn't deter him from trying every time. Well, Monday night, we went for chicken wings, rojos and beer. Fred ordered his rojos extra crispy, as always. They came out not only just light golden in color, they were also cold. This was on top of the very disappointing batch he received Friday night when we ate there - that batch was greasy, undercooked, and looked terrible (I told you we ate there a lot). I took pity on Fred this time around, and told our very pleasant waitress that not only were his rojos cold, they weren't cooked like he asked. She immediately took them back to the kitchen, and came back a short time later with the BEST plate of rojos we have ever received - it was rojo heaven. Congrats to Fred for acheiving rojo bliss, if only once, before you leave town. Way to stay the course and not get discouraged by all the just average batches you went through to get what you ordered.

Secondly, we all ride bikes together. Suzy, Fred and myself try to ride several times a week, weather and schedules permitting. During the week, we typically ride the same route, as it's convenient, and it's just the right length to get done after work and get back before it gets too dark. Well, I gave Fred his nickname Loco in part because of his bike riding. I told him it meant either he was crazy for hanging around with us, or that it was short for locomotive, meaning he almost always is out from "pulling" for the rest of us. Now, being out front in a pace line while riding is hard. You set the pace, but you also are subject to much more resistance from the wind. It is said that if you are drafting someone (technical term for riding very closely behind another rider, taking advantage of them blocking the headwind) you use up to 30% less effort than the rider at the front of the group. We've gotten really spoiled by this. At first I used to feel guilty drafting most of the time, and would come up to the front to give Fred some relief. Well, he'd either just ride beside me, or after a few minutes, pass me and get back on the front. In time, I just came to accept the fact that he liked to be out front. Works for me, as I will take my share of the effort on the front, but I don't really like the extra effort required to stay out there for long periods of time. At the end of our normal route, there is an area that is the final sprint zone. It's right before we turn off the main road into the neighborhoods and do our cooldown ride back home or to the bike shop. Now Fred and I have different riding styles. He's a low rpm kind of guy, pushing a big gear at a slower pace, and I prefer to spin a higher cadence, in a lower gear. Same results, just different riding styles. I am guilty of taking advantage of Fred pulling the majority of the route, and waiting until the end to zip around him and out-sprint him to the line, almost every time we ride. My riding style helps me in this, as it's easier for me to spin up high rpms relatively quickly for short, high effort distances, which is what sprints are. It takes Fred longer to get up to speed, because he uses a bigger gear, at a lower rpm, but at a higher resistance. Well, after getting beat to the sprint line time and time again, Fred started trying to devise a tactic that would let him win a sprint. He would sometimes make me pull on the final stretch, tiring me out some, so I wouldn't be as much of a threat. Most of the time, I still managed to win. Then he started cranking the pace up farther and farther back, making me expend more effort earlier on, in hopes that I would run out of gas on the sprint. These distances keep getting longer and longer, and it really hurts to have to in effect, sprint for twice or three times as far for me. Hey, if he can't beat me, might as well make me suffer for my win, right? Well, his Kosmic Karma (yes, I know that is a pizza name at Mellow Mushroom...) was with him Thursday night. On the final stretch, Fred jumped early and I didn't chase him. Suzy was tired, and was falling off the back of the group, so I came around her and pulled her back up to the pack. One of the other riders went off after Fred, and caught him, so they were riding together a good distance up the road ahead of me. Well, me being the creature of habit that I am, and liking to win the sprint, I set off in pursuit from way back. I was riding as hard as I could, but he did it. His jump from way back was enough for him to beat me to the sprint line. I caught and passed the other person that was in the breakaway and beat him across the line, but I couldn't catch Loco.

So Bravo, Loco. You have achieved two of your personal jihads in one week. Take care and godspeed, we sure are going to miss you around here, man.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Mean Daddy

OK. Time for some tough love around here. If you weren't aware, I'm the proud parent of 5. Well, 4 Greyhounds and my lone Brittany Spaniel. My 2 girl greys, Chloe and Bonnie have a very nasty habit that Suzy & I have been trying unsuccessfully to break. They have a penchant for turf nuggets. They think they are delectable treats, placed there for their snacking pleasure. We've tried putting powder on their food, giving them Forbid tablets, putting A-1 steak sauce on their food, all to no avail.

Today, I am unveiling my latest secret weapon in the fight against turf nuggets - Hot Sauce. That's right, if they are going to eat poop, by God, they are going to pay for it. I am waging war on their bad habit, it an effort to break them of this cycle. I am dousing turf nuggets with hot sauce, so that if they DO partake, they will get a mouth on fire. Now, I tasted this particular brand after we bought it last night, and it wasn't "blazzing" as the label proclaimed, but I will ramp up to hotter varieties if this doesn't do the trick. Some might call this inhumane, but I don't know what else to try. A few doses of hot sauce can't be any worse for them than the ingestion of, well, you know. I'll keep you updated on my progress. Posted by Picasa

My Name in Lights...

Well, there I am, at the bottom of the middle row, on a 50 gallon barrel of Maker's Mark Bourbon that is now resting comfortably at the top of one of their aging warehouses. How I got to be on there is a long story.

I read deal sites on a routine basis. Mostly tech related, as I'm a nerd at heart and always looking for good deals to add to my geek collection or for any of my friends and family that might be looking as well. On one particular tech forum, they have a sub-forum entitled Free Stuff. It's usually links to promo items, new products, the occasional free magazine subscription and what have you. I would hazard to guess that probably 75% of the stuff you sign up for never comes, but several years ago, there was a post for a free Maker's Mark Bourbon sleeve of golf balls. Catch was, you had to sign up to be a Maker's Mark Ambassador. I have several "junk e-mail" addresses, so I figured I would sign up, and if nothing came of it and all I got was spam, it was no big deal. Turns out, this was probably hands down the coolest "free" promotion I've ever signed up for. Not only did I get the golf balls, but over the course of the last several years, I've gotten random care packages from them - sets of plastic insulated tumblers, wacky Christmas cards that I couldn't bring myself to mail out, but this one takes the cake. I got an official looking packet in the mail last fall, telling me that my name was scheduled to be placed on a plaque on one of their barrels of bourbon, and at some point in the future, I would be able to purchase a bottle of it - granted, it would be YEARS in the future, as they age their bourbon a LONG time. So, what started off as a ploy to get a free sleeve of golf balls has turned into something kind of cool. One of these days I hope to make it up to visit my barrel on it's journey and visit the distillery. Not bad for free...

Monday, April 24, 2006

My life as a Schmenge...

No, that's not me on the podium. That's the overall GC winners of the Tour de Georgia. Floyd Landis in the center in the yellow jersey, flanked by Tom Danielson on the left in 2nd and Yaroslav Popovych on the right in 3rd. Suzy, Len & I hiked to the top of Brasstown Bald on Saturday to see another amazing bike race unfold at the finish line, once again reminded of the strength of these athletes who can ride long stage races and STILL have what it takes to attack with "Old School Fury" and ride "Deep in the Pain Cave" up this awesome mountain that is said to be steeper than the mountains in the Tour de France, just not as long a climb. Those euphemisms in quotations were provided by the colorful announcer calling the race at the finish line. Imagine staring at a tv screen and having to ramble on for 4 hours and still try to come up with interesting commentary...

We were joined on Sunday in Alpharetta by my old roommate Chris. We set up on the same corner of the race course as we did last year within sight distance of the finish line and on an exciting corner of the 3.65 mile circuit that they did 6 laps around after riding 94 miles to get to Alpharetta. The thrill of watching some of the same pros that will be in the Tour de France is awesome, and you can't help but root for the underdogs and the domestic teams as well. Our local favorites, Jittery Joes Racing Team, out of Athens, GA were there and they all finished the race. It was a beautiful day, with not a cloud in the sky, and we stuck around this year for the awards ceremony and I got lots of great shots of all the podium action. A great day to be a schmenge (if you don't know, don't ask - unless you ask Bob Roll...), and I can't wait til next year already!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Power of Suggestion...

Well, after reading Fred's blog about the goodness of San Joe's mexican restaurant for lunch, Suzy and I took his advice and went there for lunch ourselves Tuesday. I had the lunch portion of steak fajitas and Suzy had two tacos and a plate of refried beans. After feeling strange about ordering a soda and tea for Suzy, we settled in to our nice hot basket of chips and salsa. We almost always have beer when we go there, but it was lunchtime, so we were on our good behavior. They were their usual speedy service, and we were back at work feeling all full of mexican goodness.

We also went to the Albany Chamber of Commerce's Business After Hours function at Wynfield Plantation. Boy, is that place nice. Suzy said she might could even live in the country if it looked like that - really first class. We went with the intention of winning the $10,000.00 raffle that they were drawing for, but neither of our 2 tickets were drawn out of the 300 that were for sale, so no luck there. Someone that worked at a local CPA firm of Mauldin & Jenkins won - like a dang CPA NEEDS any more money - we pay them enough as it is! Our spirits were further crushed when we learned that 5 ugly people from Ohio won our Mega Millions jackpot and the dang MONGORRIAN lotto ticket sellers didn't bother to sell me the winning ticket... Oh well, guess we gotta keep on working. Sorry no pictures this post, too lazy to put any up, plus I didn't feel the subject matter lent itself to photos. Although my fajitas were photo worthy, I didn't have my camera handy at lunch.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

We're Going to Disneyworld!

Isn't that what all the athletes say after they win? Well, Suzy won her first bike race, so off to Orlando and the land of Disney we went. It was actually our Valentine's Day present to ourselves, but hey, this is my story, and I'm telling it like I want to! We went to an Atlanta Braves spring training game, where we got to see them beat the Cincinatti Reds on a glorious Spring afternoon, that, as Jim Stoll would surely put, "It's a beautiful day for baseball!". While we were in Orlando, we went to City Walk at Universal Friday night and had dinner at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville restaurant, which was absolutely packed, but had wonderful service and great beer and drinks and a wonderful band that started a few minutes after we finished our meal. After we left the game, we came back to our hotel, and on a whim, I called to see if Emeril's had any reservation cancellations, but they did not. Since he has two restaurants in Orlando, I called the other one, and they did have a slot for us at 8pm, so we made a mad dash to the outlet mall to find something appropriate to wear out to Emeril's Tchoup Chop (pronouced "Chop Chop") restaurant. The restaurant was THE nicest place I've ever had the pleasure to eat in. It is a polynesian/asian fusion themed menu, and the interior decor was stunning. An elevated water garden with copper lily pads was the center showcase with seating all around. Bamboo hardwood flooring, bamboo on the walls, a waterfall over the open kitchen, complete with bar stool seating overlooking the working kitchen, the works. We were running a tad late, and were glad to see they had valet parking. We were seated almost immediately, and were called by name by our server. We actually had a team of 3 folks waiting on us all evening, and it was so unlike our normal dining experiences at home, or for most other places, for that matter. The menu was almost intimidating it was so extensive, but I chose a steak, and Suzy chose fish. Even the chefs at one of Emeril's restaurants can't seem to cook a steak to order, as I ordered it medium rare, and it came out VERY medium, medium well in some parts. It was still excellent, just a bit on the tough side. I mentioned it to one of our server team when they asked how everything was, and he offered to fix it for me by having another one prepared. I declined, knowing it would take them at least 10 minutes to fix another, and then Suzy's food would be ice cold, or gone. I just wanted to mention it to them, because at the price we were paying to eat here, I thought the food should be as ordered. A few minutes later, a manager came over and asked again if he could fix it, and I again declined, but thanked him. He returned a few minutes later and informed me that he had told the chef about it, and the chef insisted on buying us dessert. So, after drinks, an appetizer, a bottle of wine with dinner, and our meal, we managed to stuff in a fabulous dessert on the house.

We never did make it to Disney, but there's always next time! Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 13, 2006

Much ado About Nothing...

No fancy pictures, no big fanfare, nothing much new to see here... Lest I be compared to my brother-in-law, who was chastised for not updating his blog in like, YEARS, I'm making an obligatory post to let the unwashed masses in on my life's events over the last couple of ten days or so. Now, if you fit into this category, don't silently berate yourself, because you haven't missed out on anything important. No clandestine late-night drug offers, no big events in the life of brewer and beer grunt at Burnt Dog Brewery, nothing important at all. It's been one of those lulls of activity that happens that is often referred to as real life. What? You thought that since you had no life you could live vicariously through me? Sorry to disappoint, but I'm human too, and I too have moments of mediocracy. So, while I have a spare moment, I'll bring you up to speed. It's not like the last several weeks were so boring that nothing was worth writing about, so, if you were part of my last several weeks, don't feel slighted, I'm not dissing you, it's just that I haven't felt moved to put it in words and highlight it on my blog. Whew. If you are still with me, take a breath, and a paragraph break, and follow on...

OK, so I haven't just been sitting at home the last couple of weeks, I did go to Atlanta to meet my afore-mentioned slackass brother-in-law at the site of his new domicile in Atlanta 2 weekends ago. After watching the home inspector do his thing, and pointing out a few things I saw that may have been overlooked, we ventured on to Metro's abode. After all, why pass up an opportunity to get the Outdoor Adventure crew together when Tex (my slack brother-in-law's nickname) is in town? So, off to Metro's house we go. Metro called Razzle and Robert over, and with them in place, we all went out on the town. Suzy got an inside peek on exactly what goes on during an Outdoor Adventure weekend - mainly copious amounts of drinking and eating... We ate dinner, some weaker (smarter?) members went back to Metro's house, while the rest of us went out to a local watering hole... Not much water, and a WHOLE lot of smoke - yuck. More was done on this trip, but I am getting tired of typing and not done with this story, so on to the next chapter...

This past weekend, we ventured to the land of NASCAR - Daytona Beach. Suzy's parents live there, and it was close to her Mom's birthday, and the only weekend in the upcoming month that we had free, so we loaded up the BMW and headed South for a long overdue visit. We had a great time, although we seemed to drag nasty, rainy, cold weather with us. The weekend was over way too fast, as they always are, and we soon found ourselves headed North on I-95 coming back home. Thanks to Ashley for watching the hounds for us and taking such good care of them that we never once worried about them while gone - this weekend or the last. Or any weekend that she is watching them for that matter. She is a godsend, allowing Suzy and I a chance to actually go out of town together without having to take the dogs with us, or drawing straws to see who will stay home and (gladly) take care of our crazy pack of hounds.

What? You are still here? I haven't bored you to tears? Well that's all - roll the credits, and vacate your seats, the show is over. Come back another time, hopefully real soon, for another installment of the life of me. Be sure to tip your server on the way out, as we only pay them a paltry sum... Ciao!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Mad Scientist in Me...

Everyone always wanted that childhood chemistry set to make cool things that smoked and bubbled evilly, as seen on TV. Well, I've got one better than that, I brew beer. It's a lot like a chemistry set, except I get to drink my results (hopefully) and not turn invisible, or grow extra appendages. Right now, I've got an Imperial Stout fermenting happily in my closet - well, I should say mostly in my closet because even in a 6 1/2 gallon carboy for primary fermentation, I've got a blowoff tube with lots of foam and stuff overflowing into a container filled with water. Periodically, the container gets filled up with foamy goodness and stuff, and overflows. I guess when you brew strong beer, you get active fermentations. If I can, I'll snap a picture and edit it in here soon.

EDIT - OK, so I did take a picture and edit it in, as evidenced by the image you see above! Yes, I know it looks kind of nasty, but that's just the yeast at work doing it's thing! This ought to be one tasty beer once it is done. Target alcohol is around 8.5%-9%, but it's got a monster hop profile to offset that heavy grain bill. Should be right up my alley!

Wednesday night has turned into Power Yoga night at the gym, usually followed by a gang of us going out to eat afterwards, so last night we wound up trying someplace new - shocker! Not the same old same old over and over again - not that there's anything wrong with that! But we branched out and tried this Japanese place called Shogun that happens to be in the same strip mall as the gym, so it was convenient. I even branched out and tried some sushi, which I normally shun. We ordered a California tempura roll, a shrimp tempura roll (which I ate none of, as I can't stomach shrimp), and a spicy tuna roll. The California roll was awesome - but of course, how could it not be when the whole thing was lightly battered and fried. The spicy tuna roll tasted kind of fishy and I had to eat lots of pickled ginger to get it down, but I did eat all that didn't get eaten by Suzy & Fred. Dinner was decent, hibachi chicken and steak with noodles, veggies and fried rice - the Sapporo 22oz Draft in a can beers were good and cold too. Something new on a Wednesday night! Who says married folks have no fun?

Speaking of new things, Suzy, Ashley and I went to see a live show at the State Theater last Friday night. Kevn Kinney, the lead singer of Driv'n n Cry'n was in town along with 2 other bands, and I drug the girls along for the show. I ran into an old buddy of mine from my single days at the show, and we caught up on old times. He knew the drummer for one of the other bands on the bill, so during Kevn's rendition of Honeysuckle Blue, we got invited backstage. So there I am, standing in the wings on the stage during the song, and realizing how cool that was. The sound was so great being 10 feet from the band and behind the wall of speakers. So anyway, the song ends, the drummer guy says we gotta go back out front, and my buddy Van wonders off to the bathroom. So I'm standing there talking to this drummer, who I don't know from Adam, and he asks me if I like to party. I said, well, in my younger days, yeah, some. Then he asks me if I want to hang with them after the show, as he's scored some particularly sweet coke - as in cocaine. Then, in the very next breath, he says, "You're not a cop, are you?" Anyway, suffice it to say, that's not my scene, so I politely declined his offer. Who says Albany is dull? Sex, drugs and rock n roll, baby! The show was great, and we cut out before the last band played their set, so I didn't have to stick around to diss the drummer's invite. Wacky stuff, I tell you! Can't be doing drugs, I felt bad enough as it was after my few beers and then having to ride my bike 50+ miles to Bronwood and back the next day...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Strength Training Continued...

OK, since I couldn't let Suzy get too far ahead on me in the strength training, I went hardcore today, doing intensive 12oz curls on the beach.

I even got enough energy to cross train - those tri-athletes got nothing on me! You can't go to the beach in January and not test the waters. Those first two shots are pictures of what used to be the public beach access in Destin before the hurricanes wreaked their own special magic on it last year. Yes, that's the parking lot, or what is left of it, and the public bath house just sticking up in the air on pilings. There used to be a wonderful boardwalk with multiple beach access ramps leading to the water over majestic dunes. Now it appears that high tide water laps at the pilings under the bath house. Pretty awe inspiring to see Mother Nature's wrath in person, especially since this area is right across the street from the condos we like to stay at. This isn't the only activity we got in today, we also managed to drag ourselves to the heated pool, hot tub and sauna as well. I'd write up more of my adventures, but hey, I'm off to drink more beer and eat some fried blue crab claws dipped in drawn butter...

January Strength Training

To be a strong bike rider takes extreme discipline and continued training, even in the cold months of the off season. Here is Suzy's secret to being an ass-kicking bike rider revealed for the first time here! No, it's not long, grueling miles on the bike in the cold, it's about refueling and refilling the stores needed to get through the upcoming year of riding. Here is a rare photo of Suzy at her winter training grounds - Mellow Mushroom in Destin, Florida. That's right folks, the secret to strong bike riding is pizza and beer!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Celebrity Poker Night

Well, we had our Texas Hold'em poker party last Saturday night, and as you can see, we had some celebs sitting in on our table. It's obvious by the sunglasses that they didn't want to get recognized, so they were in disguise. We had a great time, had some of my famous margaritas, I grilled a ton of chicken for chicken soft tacos, Rue and Shannon both brought tasty desserts, Fred brought some awesome home-made salsa, and that was the highlight of my evening - the food. My cards sucked. Royally. I mean it. I didn't win a hand the whole evening, and my best hand was my first hand, which was a pair of 7's dealt to me - too bad nothing turned up on the table to help them out any. It was still a great time, and I'm looking forward to the next in the series, I think some of the Tifton crowd that was in attendence will be the hosts for our next attempt. Posted by Picasa

Bonnie the Bone Chewer

Yep, who knew the little starving greyhound would love bones and rawhides so much? She just walks around with them in her mouth, not wanting to put them down. She takes her sweet little time, savoring every last bit of goodness out of them. This sometimes causes a bit of strife for the others in the pack, as they firmly believe in the "eat it all now, Mommy might give us more" mentality. Posted by Picasa

MAL Day, or Cheeseburger, Glorious Cheeseburger!

Well, while all of the rest of the world was celebrating MLK, Jr Day, we here at Regency were celebrating our version of it. MAL Day is celebrated every January in honor of Mallory's birthday. Since we don't know the exact date of his birth, only that he was born in January 1994, we have chosen this day as his official day. And no MAL Day celebration would be complete without Checker's Cheeseburgers for the birthday boy! So, Happy observed Birthday Mallory, you are looking quite spry for being 11 years young! Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 13, 2006

New Year, New Day...

Who is this girl and why is she on my blog? This is our friend Rue, who lives in Tifton. She was kind enough to invite us to her house for New Year's Eve, and we had a great time ringing in the New Year with her and a bunch of our Tifton friends who ride bikes with us. We played Texas Hold 'Em with 12 people - that was a challenge! Suzy had never played before, but she managed to come in in the top 3 and won a portion of the pot. A little of the old beginner's luck! Since I had fronted her buy-in, I managed to recoup my losses as well.

We had so much fun in Tifton, we decided to host a poker party ourselves, so expect an update after that happens. We'll see if Suzy can continue her lucky streak Saturday night against everyone clamoring for a re-match. Me, I'm just looking for an excuse to fire up the grill for a bunch of folks and not have to worry about having to drive home after some cocktails. At least Fred stepped up and was our DD on New Year's. I guess we are growing up after all!

Suzy and I went mountain bike riding on the Flint River trails last Sunday, and had a great time. Well, Suzy had a great time until some mean old tree roots kicked her to the ground, but you can read about that on her blog. I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year! Until next time....