Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Wonders of Beer!

I love beer! Sometimes, I think my dream job would be writing a beer rating guide. I will start a beer of the week column on this blog. The first entry is obvious: Leinenkugel's Original. This beer has been a steadfast friend for years. Yes, Leinies was bought out by Miller a few years ago, but if you think the brothers (Jake, Dick & John) are sitting on their butts counting their money, you'd be sadly mistaken. I emailed the brewery the first year that Leinies Apple Spice came out (the perfect breakfast beer), asking if they could find me some (it was in short supply). I received a prompt response & lo & behold the local distributor had an extra pallet (no, I didn't drink the whole thing). It's this kind of caring that has won me over for life. I recently was in Wisconsin & was shocked to find Leinies in a 12 pk for around $6.30 in a full service grocery store! I brought some to a family function, & the local Wisconsin contingent turned up their noses. I asked if they had ever sampled this exilir- they said no. Needless to say, I had some converts 12 oz. later. This beer is simple & yet has a comforting quality that assures you that you didn't score the local rockgut. Beautiful!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tuesday-Time in the Saddle

Today, I rode to Denton & back on the fixie: beautiful day! One thing that bugs me- the bridge on the trail at 27th & Highway 2 is currently being repainted. Here's a picture of the bridge with Flat Stanley posed in front (my nephew asked for my help with a school project, so Stanley & I took a bike ride earlier in the year). Anyways, just why in the heck did they only paint the bridge in sections, instead of closing the whole thing? Why didn't they paint it in late winter or early spring?
Update on the Salsa (the flyer): it's now back together, save for a set of pedals (eDBiLLy has graciously lent me a set). I still think I'll probably ride the Guerciotti for RAGBRAI. Actually my ride for RAGBRAI is the least of my worries. We need to get places to stay lined up.
From time to time, I ride with an ipod- I know the dangers inherent with this decision. I listen to music when I get out on the highway, but I really enjoy listening to a podcast "The Fredcast". A link can be found in the link section of this blog.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Deeter Part 2

After shot 3, notice the faraway look in my eyes & the stylish Old Style chaser. After recovering from this near death experience, we went to eat (we had a designated driver) . eDBiLLy had a pizza along with a mexican dinner & I had a steak that would have looked at home on the Flintstones. We came back to Deeters, sat & talked for a couple of hours & fell asleep.


This is Deeter & his wonderful wife (whose name escapes me). We rode into Deeter's place around 3 pm, ready for an ice cold beer. Deeter runs a giant group of greenhouses, so we had to scour the property to find someone. My first impression of Deeter was here was a man who has done physical labor outside all his life. This guy was in his 60's & still a madman. We asked Deeter if he wanted to drink with us & he politely replied that he'd wait until the end of the afternoon, but we were welcome to drink on his patio. Twenty minutes later, Deeter came by to check on us. When he saw we were drinking beer, he laughed & said he thought we were talking about "real drinking", & that he'd have a beer or two with us now. This should have raised a red flag, but we continued, unaware of the impending doom soon to greet us.
Fast forward an hour, & we have drank a sufficient quantity of beer (well, all of us but Deeter, who seems to feel no effects from beer) to feel like we can do anything. It's then that Deeter tells us that twice a year he travels to his hometown in Germany & brings back a special Schnapps (he called it Pear Schnapps) & asks us if we would like to join him in enjoying some. YES! Deeter brings out an exquisite hand painted decanter with matching shot glasses! He pours each of us a shot, & offers up a toast & KABOOM! This stuff goes down silky smooth & then in the next 30 seconds or so, your whole chest feels like its getting roasted. Deeter offers up a second round & KABOOM! An experience slightly different than the first shot: maybe not as intense, but still stronger than any other alcohol I've ever tried.
We tell Deeter that we're hungry & ask for a recommendation for a local steakhouse (one of the benefits of RAGBRAI is that you can eat almost anything & lose weight during the week). Deeter comes up with the perfect place, but offers a third round to anyone that's " brave" enough ( I think I would use the word foolish). For some reason known only to God, I accept the challenge. I'll finish this up on my next post.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

RAGBRAI 2002: Cherokee

The KeRNeL had lined up places for us to stay all during RAGBRAI 2002. We had an address for a house in Cherokee, & after finding it, the adventure began. On the front door was a sign that said "Welcome, come on in", so we walked in & found a house with a TV (cable, so we could watch the Tour de France), a few pieces of lawn furniture & a refrigerator full of 2 cases of beer with another sign "Drink Me"! But, no one was home. So, we did the logical thing & started drinking beer.
Fast forward an hour & the phone rings: it's Dr. Tim (DDS) & he wants to know if it'd be OK if he stopped by (Gosh, I don't know- it's your house, your beer). Dr. Tim is on the far right of the picture above. Dr. Tim shows up (with 2 more cases of beer) & turns out to be a 100% character. Endless energy, endless stories. We had to ask about the stark furnishings in the house & he explained that he worked in many small towns in the area, & it was cheaper to own this house than to rent the occasional motel room.
The next installment in RAGBRAI 2002: Deeter- the Man, the Myth, the Legend.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

RAGBRAI is 49 days away!

I went out for a little 35 mile jaunt early this morning on my fixie. Here's a pic of my favorite bike (excuse the mess). This bike has gotten me through two RAGBRAIs (soon to be three). RAGBRAI, for the unitiated, is a weeklong ride across Iowa, a Mardi Gras on two wheels. In the next couple of weeks, I'll share a few RAGBRAI stories.