Sunday, February 20, 2011
posted by dave at 2:13 AM in category travel

Hmmm, that doesn't seem very nice. Maybe I'll try to soften it up a little. After I pack and shit stuff.

I slept about four and a half hours. Now I'm up. Once I finish waking up the rest of the way, I get to pack and shit stuff. I hope to leave my house at 4:00. Then I fly to Houston for a one-hour layover, then to Las Vegas.

I want to take a nap when I get to Las Vegas. I'm excited about the prospect of taking a nap. RockGirl says that means I'm weird. I think it just means that I'm tired.

Monday, January 3, 2011
posted by dave at 8:56 PM in category travel

If somebody held a gun to my head and said that I had to move back to somewhere I'd lived before, my second choice would be to go back to Juneau. Alaska.

My first choice would be to let him pull the trigger.

I just really liked Juneau. Of all the places I've lived, I think it fit me the best. The perfect mix of city and country. Of hippie and intelligencia. And it bugs me that I haven't been there since 1997, AKA a gazillion years ago.

My third choice would be Seattle. It would have been Omaha except there's this one whore there that I never want to see again.

Las Vegas would trump everything except that (a) I've never lived there before, and (b) I don't know what is going on. StupidGirl is being evasive and shit. I don't know why.

Would I move to Las Vegas even if there was no StupidGirl waiting for me?

I don't know. Maybe. Probably. But it wouldn't be as fun.

Places I'd never move back to include Memphis and New Orleans. The latter is a nice place to visit, but that's all. The former is a racist shithole of a city. I hated Memphis.

Oh, I'd also never move back to St. Louis, mainly because the same whore that keeps me from Omaha might show up in St. Louis. Plus, it's not really that different from here, nor that far. I doubt that St. Louis would be allowed by my hypothetical gun-wielder.

What I really want to do is move to this one particular little town in Arizona, to see if I can figure some things out. Maybe my answers are there. They're sure as fuck not here.

Monday, November 8, 2010
posted by dave at 3:32 AM in category travel

The other day I was at this gas station, and this chick was holding up the line yakking with the cashier. Instead of murdering her, I eavesdropped.

She was talking about one time she'd gotten so mad that she'd driven all the way to Atlanta.

Well, I beat that feat easily. I got so mad in March that I drove all the way to Charleston SC. And the only reason I stopped driving was because there was an ocean in my way.

Stupid ocean.

Monday, August 16, 2010
posted by dave at 8:41 PM in category daily, ramblings, travel

A million years or so ago, I used to have my very own muse. Heck, she even kept being my muse for a couple of years after she stopped being my girlfriend. She'd call me or, more often, visit my site, around 11:00 PM each night. She'd see if I'd written anything new that day. And, if I hadn't, well she'd make damn sure that I didn't go to bed until I had written something.


I miss her. I miss her for lots of reasons. Not just because she was my muse. I guess she's doing okay. I haven't talked to her in at least 9 months. Weird how things change.

Today has been a very long day. I think I started yawning around 11:00 AM, and I haven't really stopped since. And I don't mean that I've yawned several times - I mean that I've let out one long yawn, for almost 10 hours now. I know that I'm tired. I only slept for 4 hours last night. But it might be something else. Something more. I kinda feel like my Fall seasonal allergies might be starting up. If so, then they're about a month early.

Last Fall, my allergies were so bad that my nose started bleeding from all the wiping and nose-blowing I did. There was a steady stream of snot and blood flowing from my face. Yes, it was gross, thanks for asking.

Meanwhile, I continue to wait for that killing blow. It hasn't come. Quite the opposite, in fact. I'm ashamed to say that I'm more than a little bit fooled by what's been going on.

Stupid hope...

I'm so tired right now. I need to go to bed.

Tomorrow I've got a thingy to attend. There might be some people from my old job there. That would be cool. Most of those people, I'd love to see again. A couple of them could drop dead on the way to the thingy and I wouldn't bat an eye. I guess I'll see what I'll see. I probably won't be bored, that's for sure.

In less than two weeks I'll be in Las Vegas again. It'll be different, this time. I don't really think there's a reason to go. Not anymore. Problem is, there's never really been a reason to stay in Indiana, either.

I guess that's it. Maybe I'll have a beer and then glare at my phone for a while before I go to bed.

Saturday, July 31, 2010
posted by dave at 3:26 AM in category dreams, travel

I dreamed about being in Las Vegas again. Every night I dream about being in Las Vegas. I can't remember the last time I dreamed about anything else. If this keeps up, by the time I actually go there in a month, I'll be sick of the place.

It hasn't helped that most of these dreams have been really frustrating.

In one, I won a $100 "jackpot" and then I had to spend the entire week doing publicity stuff before they'd pay me.

In another, I was there with some coworkers - they made us all share a room - and all those guys wanted to do was have meetings to talk about work stuff all the time.

In another, I was there for some kind of high school reunion and most of those people were annoying weirdoes who kept wanting me to drive them around.

In tonight's dream, I was there with my cousin Jeff and he'd never been there so I had to play tour guide all the time.

Not once, in any of these dreams, have I been able to see StupidGirl at all. She keeps calling me, but we can never find a time when I'm not busy.

Monday, May 31, 2010
posted by dave at 1:30 AM in category travel

I'd thought that Charleston would be like Portland, Maine. I don't know why thought that, exactly. I guess because they're both old harbor cities. I really liked Portland when I went there in 2005, and I was thinking that Charleston would be the same, except (a) warm, and (b) there would be more women wearing big hats.

Well, it most definitely wasn't warm. Maybe in the 40s, but with a wind chill of a billion below zero. I did see several women in hats, but I suspect that they were planted there to fool the tourists.

There were a lot of tourists. Many more than I was expecting. Most of them seems to be riding around in horse-drawn carriages and blocking the streets. I was there on Friday morning, and all of the street and sidewalks were packed with tourists. I'd hate to see what it's like on a weekend.

In the end, I didn't stay in Charleston. My biggest problem was that it just didn't feel right to me. It seemed like a couple's town. There was a huge historic district, full of shops and bars and such, just made for walking and exploring, but not by a single person. I dunno, it was just a vibe I got.

Thursday, February 18, 2010
posted by dave at 11:15 PM in category travel

"Just write," she says.

"I don't know how," I say. "Not anymore."

"It's just like riding a bike," she says. "Just get on. It will all come back to you."


So tomorrow morning, I leave. In about 8.5 hours, to be precise, I leave. Again.

This time, I'm going to Las Vegas, for 6 days. It's supposed to be for a vacation. At least that's what I keep telling myself. Anything more than that will just be a bonus.

I'll go and I'll have fun and I'll celebrate my birthday and I'll spend some time with someone who actually appreciates me. As a person, and as a man.

I should be excited. I should have been chomping at the bit for a month, in anticipation of this trip. But, I'm not. And, I haven't been, and it's kinda too late to start now.

It's not that I'm dreading this trip. Nothing like that at all. It's just that I'm not nearly as excited as I should be. As I could be. As I want to be.

I'll go. And I'll have a good time. I know that I'll have a good time. And whatever happens will happen, and then, most likely, I'll come back home.

And there's the rub, I think.

No matter where I go, or how long I'm gone, the odds are very good that I'll still have to come back.

And there's no longer any reason to come back.


And the funny thing is, back when I was 30, I realized that I'd forgotten how to ride a bike.

You don't turn the bar to steer, you just lean. It took me a while to remember that.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009
posted by dave at 10:18 AM in category travel

So this morning, on the news, they showed Mt. Rainier. I wish I could have seen it in person, but when I went outside I couldn’t find it. Maybe you can’t see it from Bellingham. And I still haven’t seen Mt. Baker, which is only 40 or so miles away. I’m hopeful, though, that I’ll get to see Mt. Rainier sometime over the next couple of days. I’ll definitely take a picture if I see it.

After work today I’m driving south for a couple of hours. Back to Kent, my old stomping grounds. I’ll go to my old bar and maybe run across some of my old friends. Then I’ll spend the night down there somewhere, and celebrate Thanksgiving with my old friend Gene. That should be nice.

Anyway, yesterday after work I went to this bar nearby. People at work had been telling me that they had good burgers. The burger I had was just okay. The fries were a little cold. And there were about 30 old people there. Not like a couple of weeks ago, at Bearno’s back home, when there were a bunch of people in there 50s or 60s. Nope, at this place yesterday everyone was at least 65, and a lot of them looked to be at least 80.

Besides the bartender, I was the youngest person there by at least 20 years.

It was quite creepy.

This is my 9th day here. I have 67 days to go. I wish I could hold my breath that long, but I can’t. I’m going to have to breathe, and I’m going to have to live. HatGirl is being a big help. I think she actually misses me. Me, of all people.

I hope I run into people I know in Kent tonight. More likely is that a lot of people will remember me, but I won’t have any idea who any of them are. I met a lot of people when I was running the pool league there. Most of them probably remember me, but the reverse isn’t true. It would be really cool to see Holly, but she doesn't work at my old bar anymore, so I don't know how to find her.

Oh, and there’s one girl who I hope I don’t run into. I’m crossing my fingers against that possibility.

Sunday, November 22, 2009
posted by dave at 9:34 PM in category travel

...and sixty-nine to go.

Seems like such a long time. An eternity. An eternal time and an infinite distance separate us. I wish with all my heart that those were the only things standing between us. Because the time will lessen and, in sixty-nine days, so will the distance. Both will eventually dwindle to zero, but we'll still be apart.


I don't think I did anything Wednesday or Thursday or Friday. Nothing except work and sleep and go to this one place called Boston's right up the road from my hotel. They have good beer, and great food. I could almost see myself hanging out there all the time, except it's a little too bright, and the people are just a little too focused on the sports constantly playing on the televisions. I could never completely fit in there, but it'll do in a pinch.

Wait, maybe it was Friday night that I went to this Slo Pitch bar. It was kind of a dive, but the weirdoes there were more like my kind of weirdoes.

And Saturday morning it was nice outside so I drove to Mt. Baker. At least I attempted to. It was cloudy, and I never did see that mountain. Still haven't, actually. And I wasn't going to climb to the top anyway, being dressed as I was and old as I am. But I did drive up a few thousand feet, well above the snowline. It was very pretty up there.

When I got back to Bellingham Saturday afternoon, it was raining again. So I just dicked around and checked out a couple of bars and a brewpub. Nothing special.

Then Sunday morning I drove to the water. The Northern end of Puget Sound. Once again, everything was all very pretty. It was very tempting, both Saturday and Sunday, to stop my car every few feet and take a picture. But I didn't do that. I just took a few pictures. Nothing obsessive.

Then Sunday afternoon I went to this Archer's Ale House place. They had a pretty good beer selection, and I talked to a fellow beer snob for an hour or so. He recommended about a dozen more places for me to visit while I'm in Western Washington.

And nobody cares. And I barely care myself.

Sixty-nine days to go...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
posted by dave at 10:12 PM in category daily, drink, travel

Back when I started this thing - call it a blog or a journal, I don't really care - the purpose was very different than it's been lately. Back then, it was just something I did so that people (my sisters, mainly) would know that I had a life; that I didn't spend my life sitting in a dark closet, sucking my thumb and rocking fore and aft.

More recently, of course, this thing has been used primarily to whine about my life and the lack thereof.

Well, I'm not going to say that I'm not going to whine anymore. That would be a lie. I guarantee that I'll whine again, and probably sooner than later. But not tonight.

For the next 10 weeks, I'll be gone from that thing that I've been using instead of a life. I'm out of touch, despite the occasional email or text message, and I'm also out of sync. The three-hour difference in time zones sucks. It means that, for example, it's 10:00 PST as I type this in Bellingham, but back home all of the people I care about are already asleep.

I miss my friends and family, and I suppose that's to be expected.

Sunday, November 15, 2009
posted by dave at 4:56 PM in category travel

Okay, a lot of people already know this. I'm leaving. I'm going to Bellingham, Washington, off all places, for ten weeks.

It's a work thing. I wish I knew more about it than that, but I really don't have any details. They looked at my resume, and asked me to get my ass up there.

I leave Tuesday morning, and I come back on the 30th of January. Maybe that doesn't seem like that long to some of you, but for me it's going to be an eternity.

Here are the things that I'm going to miss:

My sister Dina's birthday.
LaptopGirl's birthday.
My Nephew Gehrid's birthday.
The Saturnalia beer festival at Rich O's.
OddlyFamiliarGirl's birthday.
HatGirl's 30th birthday. (This makes me saddest of all.)
Christmas Eve and Christmas.
New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
And probably some other stuff that I can't think of right now.

Oooooh, but I'll be home for Groundhog Day, so that makes it all better. Not.

Today I'm just sad. I've been trying to get over it. I've been trying to conjure up even the tiniest smidgen of excitement about this. I've been unsuccessful. Maybe when it's inevitable, like when I'm on the plane Tuesday morning, I'll at least be able to accept it.

I hope it's a fun job. And I hope I have a good time, despite my misgivings.

Since I didn't do jack shit today to get ready, tomorrow I've got a bazillion things to do.

Right now I'm getting ready to go have dinner, with a girl I'm going to miss much more than I'm allowed. I hope I can snap out of this funk for a few hours. She needs cheer in her life.

Saturday, November 14, 2009
posted by dave at 12:42 PM in category pictures, quickies, travel
Rich O's
I'm going to miss Rich O's. As much as I hate it sometimes, I'm still going to miss it. Plus, here you can still smoke in bars. In Washington, they have snipers posted to shoot people who smoke. Although I think they just wing you for a first offense.
I just realized that, along with everything else, I'm going to miss Saturnalia.
Going to maybe get my hairs cut, then have a Marzen at Rich O's, then wait for HatGirl to call me. We're hanging out today because I'm leaving and it makes us sad.
That was a really stupid question. I'm glad I wasn't the one who asked it.
The problem with airports is that there are people and long lines. Two of my least favorite things.
Funny to me
There's a dude wearing a shirt, with a picture of dice and the words, "Blow me for luck."
I've check out of the hotel. Now, I guess, I'll stick my thumb up my ass for five hours until it's time to go to the airport.
I'd kinda like to find an earlier flight. I think I'll look.
I'm sharing the bar with the hair club for men.
From left to right...
Hoegarden (with fruit wedge) Stella (straight from the bottle) Then, four people drinking Bud Light from the bottle.
Chinese for dinner.
Before the draw...
Big Sky Moose Drool
(draft) Clear dark amber, with a decent tan head. Aroma of roasted coffee and malts. Flavor mostly of roasted malts. Good.
About a fourth of the taps at Yardhouse
Every girl here, depending on whether she's wearing glasses or not, is reminding me of either HatGirl or LaptopGirl. I think this means that I've been away from home for too long.
Alaskan Amber!
So there.
Last night, right before I went to sleep, there was nothing. Everything cancelled out. I want that again, I think.
I'm doing this wrong. Way wrong.
This time zone is messing with my head.
I stand corrected. it's not XX, it's XXI. They have an old tap. Still OMG though.
Turns out that the beer I paid $10 for Sunday was mispriced. The real price is $28. Still totally worth it, but I'm glad I won that money this morning.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
posted by dave at 4:40 PM in category pictures, quickies, travel
Taps at Freakin' Frog
Wild Royal Flush, Baby!
Road trip postponed.
That explains everything. It sucks, but at least it explains everything.
Can't hardly wait
According to my fortune cookie, my hidden creative talents will soon be revealed.
It's what's for dinner.
Bras at Dick's Last Resort
This dude from England just bummed a fag off me. I knew what he meant.
The hovering rule is in full effect.
I'm on a quest for Alaskan Amber.
It took more time and much more beer than I was expecting, but I've finally found the mood I came here for.
In Las Vegas, there is no expectation of sleep, so I fit right in.
Deschute's Black Butte XX Imperial Porter
(draft) OMG.
Makes the entire trip worth it
I have arrived
Viva and stuff
Arrived in Las Vegas safely.
A couple of days. I could prove my point in just a couple of days. That's reasonable, I think. Especially on my dime.
I'm wearing it again. I'm not sure why. Maybe to keep the whores away.
Witches' Brew
(bottle) Hazy gold. Nice white head. Aroma of musty apples. Nice smooth flavor, typical for the style. The high ABV is hidden very well. Quite good.
I just saw a commercial for a "DJ Hero" game. Easily the most asinine thing I've ever heard of.
Now Bearno's has mini-burgers and fries. That's what I'm having. So there.
That's why this time is different. This time, I'm kept in the dark.
Wondering what I could do to help either situation. Probably nothing. I really feel powerless.
I've got a million things to do today. It's all very daunting. I should just go back to bed, but I won't.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
posted by dave at 7:39 AM in category daily, travel

I feel like I should write something before I go, so I guess I will. I'm doing this under duress, though.

I don't want to go. I have unfinished business here.

I'll feel better when I get there. I always do. Except when I don't.

Monday, September 14, 2009
posted by dave at 1:13 PM in category travel

The theme to the last few nights, if I had to pick a single theme, is that I'm supposed to be in Las Vegas. I was supposed to go there in early July, for a contract of at least six months. Despite a lot of unanswered questions and other loose ends here, or maybe because of those things, I was really looking forward to it.

But noooooooooooo!

The potential customer lost their funding, and so I lost my opportunity. Or at least I lost that opportunity.

I've been talking with StupidGirl a lot lately. Two or three times during each conversation, she'll pipe in with, "Dave, you're supposed to be here now!"

And I agree wholeheartedly. And not because of the aforementioned employment opportunity. I'm supposed to be there now.

I'm looking at November. My current engagement ends the first week of that month. Whether they'll want to extend my contract, or perhaps even hire me permanently, I don't know. Of course I'm hoping for further employment. But I think that if I'm going to keep working here I'm going to take a vacation in November. To Las Vegas, for a week or so.

I so need a vacation.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
posted by dave at 10:22 AM in category travel

So this guy from work went to Las Vegas last week. I don't think he did it to piss me off, but I don't know him really well so maybe.

I haven't been to Las Vegas since my birthday weekend last February, and I was already getting antsy before my coworker went there. Now I'm at least double-antsy, or maybe even triple-antsy.

The next opportunity I'll have to take any long trip is after the first week of November. I'm seriously thinking about just going ahead and biting the bullet and buying airfare and reserving a room, probably at Luxor this time.

It might turn out to be a little irresponsible, but dammit I deserve a vacation after all this bullshit.

Friday, August 21, 2009
posted by dave at 10:38 AM in category travel

I keep opening up a window to type something, then I close it. This, right now, is the farthest I've made it. Two - make that three - sentences. So yay for that, I guess.

I really want to get out of town this weekend. I haven't gone anywhere in like two months. I should just go, and then once I get there I can worry about what I might be missing back home. Drama and shit on at least two fronts.

And it's not like I'd be on Mars. If I go to Covington, or Noblesville, I'll only be a couple of hours away. And even if I go to St. Louis, that's only five hours.

I should just fucking go.

But I probably won't go anywhere. Just like I probably won't buy a fridge or new shoes. All of those things require motivation, and I'm using my entire supply of that just getting out of bed every morning.

Monday, August 3, 2009
posted by dave at 3:33 AM in category travel

This is probably a bad idea. I shouldn't be writing now, because I'm pissed. We'll see if I can hold myself in check and stick to the subject at-hand.

That first weekend, I was really itching to do some sightseeing. I hadn't gotten bored with the snow-covered Chugach mountains ringing the edge of Anchorage, but I definitely wanted to see something more. Something else. Something new.

Well, I'd seen mountains, and I'd seen snow, and I'd seen frozen smog, and I'd even seen frozen seawater by that point, but one thing I hadn't seen was a glacier. Kind of hard to believe that, given all of the natural wintry beauty around me. When I'd first arrived, I'd thought that I wouldn't be able to take a piss without hitting glacial ice, but I was wrong.

Alaska's number one visitor attraction is the Portage Glacier, about an hour South of Anchorage. Given the fact that I only had about five hours of daylight within which to play, I left the apartment early on a Saturday morning, just before the Sun came up.

You know how people, usually when they're stoned, are always saying stuff like, "It's not the destination, it's the journey that's important?"

Well, maybe those stoners have made the same trip I made that day. Every 10 feet, I wanted to stop my car, get out, and try to take it all in. Mountains, frozen beaches. Icebergs the size of houses, eagles and seagulls. Everything was new to me, and everything was just amazing to me.

Like, there was one stretch of road. I came over a small hill, and saw an icy beach to my right, and mountains to my left. At the side of the road was a yellow sign:

Avalanche Area!

No Stopping!

Or something along those lines.

And, sure enough, there seemed to have been a recent avalanche. On both the left and right sides of the road, there was a wall of snow and ice about 20 feet high. It had been neatly cut to allow for the road. Very damn cool.

And every mile or so there'd be a damn moose standing at the side of the road. Surreal. The whole trip was surreal. The whole place was surreal. Me being in fucking Alaska was surreal.

Instead of taking an hour to get to the glacier, it took almost three hours. I kept stopping and getting out of my car, feeling that if I was outside then the experience would be that much more real to me. And cold. Mustn't forget about the cold.

There was an actual visitor's center there. For some reason I hadn't been expecting that. That stupid building contrasted starkly with the natural beauty all around it. So I only spend about a minute inside. Just long enough to pee. Then I went back out into the cold and along this trail next what I suppose was the Portage River.

That was kinda funny - you couldn't even see the glacier from the visitor's center. All that was in there was maps and dioramas and shit like that. To get to the actual glacier you were supposed to get back in your car and drive for a while longer.

Fuck that. I walked it. I walked along the shore of the lake for what seemed like forever, but there were gobs of icebergs keeping me company. I also met a few people coming the other way, and they all assured me that (a) the actual glacier was up ahead of me, and (b) they hadn't seen any bears.

So I walked and I walked and I walked. The trail switched from a sidewalk to a dirt path to a dirty swath of packed snow. It was a long and cold walk.

But it was worth it.

Now, there have been several times in my life when I really wished that I had a camera with me. When I finally came around that last bend in the trail, and found myself staring at the glacier, that was definitely one of those times. But alas, I didn't have a camera. Oh well. I figured I could just buy a postcard at the visitor's center. Plus, if you've seen one glacier you've probably seen them all.

And I'd finally managed to see one.


I might have been able to climb up on the thing. There were chunks of ice ranging from the size of toasters to condominiums, but by then it was getting close to dark, so I walked back a short distance to this boat ramp place and talked one of the tourists there into giving me a ride back to my car.

It was a fun day.

I forgot to buy a postcard.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009
posted by dave at 7:56 PM in category travel, weather

When I was about ten years old, I felt an earthquake in Southern Indiana. It was a very mild one, and I might not have noticed it at all if my grandmother's hutch hadn't started rattling.

Then, in 1994, I felt an earthquake in Seattle. This one was a little stronger - it kinda felt like a very heavy truck had rumbled off the road and then lightly smacked into my building.

In 1996, the day after I'd arrived in Alaska, I was sitting in a chair in the living room of my Anchorage apartment. I was taking a swig of soda from a can, and I leaned back to get the last few drops.

The next thing I knew, I was on my back, and the chair was on top of me.

The news said it was an earthquake. To me it seemed more like an earthjolt but I'm no seismologist. Whatever else it might have been, it was certainly a harbinger of things to come.

During the months I spent in Anchorage, I never went a week without feeling at least one earthquake. Some weeks would bring as many as three or four. None were ever particularly strong. Even that first one hadn't been more than a 5.2 or so - it had just caught me off-guard and off-balance.

Most days I worked in the customer's building, but every now and then I'd have reason to visit my own company's Anchorage office. Calling it an office was a bit of an overstatement. The company had been founded in Anchorage, but had relocated to Seattle at some point, and there was only one permanent Anchorage employee. A nice girl named Brenda who did everything from sales to accounting to first-level customer support to sweeping up at the end of the day.

She didn't like earthquakes very much. So I had a lot of fun walking heavily around the office, making the floor creak and the partitions sway. I never could see Brenda when I did these things, for if she'd been able to see me that would have ruined the jokes, but I liked to imagine that she crawled under her desk every time I did it.

Good times.


One of the things that struck me as funny about Anchorage was actually one of the more depressing things. People are always yammering on and on about how beautiful it is in Alaska. And it certainly is. Words are inadequate to describe some of the natural beauty I saw up there.

But one of the most beautiful phenomenon was actually man-made, though I didn't know it until Brenda told me.

See, it was so cold up there that the actual smog would freeze.

Frozen smog would coat the leafless limbs and branches and twigs of every tree. It turned every tree into a crystalline work of art. It wasn't like the ice-coated trees I'd seen before. Nope, it was fuzzy and delicate. Just really really pretty stuff.

Caused by air pollution, but still one of the most beautiful sights in one of the most beautiful places I'd ever seen.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009
posted by dave at 12:32 AM in category daily, travel, weather

I was up there to work, of course. Because I was, at the time, the only single engineer at my company, I got to do all the traveling. I liked it. I'd already spent half a year in New Orleans, and I'd probably never have made it there otherwise. Double-ditto for Alaska.

My days always began at about 6:00. I'd get all bundled up and I'd go outside to start the car. Then I'd go back inside, take a shower and stuff like that, while the car heated up and the windows de-iced. If I was lucky, I'd be able to do all of this without the old man shuffling down and knocking on my door. He always asked me if I wanted any coffee, but I never wanted any.

During that time of year, the Sun wouldn't make an appearance until 10:00 AM or so, and then it would be gone again by 2:00 PM. Anchorage lies South of the Arctic circle, so it never quite gets down to zero hours of daylight in the Winter, and it never quite gets to twenty-four hours of daylight in the Summer. I know that those four hours of daylight did me a world of good. Just knowing that the Sun was shining outside, even if I couldn't see it from my windowless room.

Anyway, I'd go to work. This particular project was interesting to me, but probably not to anyone else, so I won't dwell on it. Except to say that static electricity and computers don't mix, and that Alaska in the Winter is so cold and dry that static electricity is a huge problem. I felt like some kind of super hero, the way the sparks were constantly shooting out of my fingers.

I totally forgot to mention the snow. There was about three feet of the stuff on the ground. Whatever had fallen since September or so was still there, joined layer-after-layer by new stuff. It was Alaska in January. Of course there was snow. I'd actually been expecting more, but people said it had been a dry Fall.

What got me to thinking about the snow was the seagulls.

You know how, back in the real world, when it snows they plow the parking lots and they usually leave a pile of snow somewhere kind of out of the way? Well, in Anchorage they do the same thing, except the resulting piles of snow are usually two stories tall and fifty feet in diameter.

One day I was standing outside work, smoking a cigarette, and there were some seagulls playing on the wind currents around one such mound. That's the only word to describe it - they were playing. Hovering at the top of the pile, where the wind was strongest, then diving down the other side, sometimes even turning somersaults in the air, and then going back and doing it again and again. It really was a cool thing to watch, and I bet I stayed out there for an hour, wishing I was a bird, because that really looked like fun.

Working all day was, of course, annoying. There I was in fucking Alaska and I couldn't do any sightseeing because it was always dark when I wasn't working. So my excursions to check out the natural beauty of the place would have to wait until the weekend. My weeknights were mostly spent shooting pool at the Billiard Palace. Back then, I would occasionally gamble a few dollars on my pool games. I'd win some and I'd lose some. Mostly I won, I think, except for this one dude who was a lot better than I was but I kept playing him because he was a friendly sort.

Remind me to tell you about all the earthquakes.

Monday, July 27, 2009
posted by dave at 2:31 AM in category daily, drink, travel, weather

It's funny that I'm calling this part one. That implies that there'll be additional parts. But I seriously doubt it. I'm really taxing my brain as it is, thinking about and writing about something that happened so long ago that it's almost folklore by default.

Anyway, it was 1996. Dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and primitive mammals spent their days scurrying to and fro and counting the days until they'd be in charge of things. I know. I was there. I was one such mammal.

I arrived in Alaska on January 2nd. It was my second trip to Anchorage, but the first one of any consequence or duration. I think the previous visit had been in the Spring of 1994, and it had only lasted a few days.

I wish I'd paid more attention. But, back then, I was too busy scurrying. And avoiding dinosaurs. And watching the sky for comets. And being cold.

I've looked at the weather pages on the internet, and I can't find confirmation, but the high temperature that first day was nineteen degrees below zero, according to the television lady. I remember that she was quite cute, as if that matters.

I spent my first night in a hotel. A Holiday Inn or some such. There was a brewpub in the hotel, and they had a pumpkin ale. Back then, I wasn't into beer at all. I mean, I knew that there was beer that I liked and beer that I didn't like, but I hadn't yet formed any theories as to why any one particular beer might be categorized one way or another. I was pretty sure that I didn't like lagers, and I was starting to suspect that I liked ales, but I'd gone no further that those two preliminary hypotheses.

So I had the pumpkin ale, and it was fucking yummy. Unlike anything I'd had before. I had three or four more.

But I digress.

The next day, my coworker arrived. He took over the hotel room, and I moved to the apartment that my company had secured. Fine with me. Mainly I just needed a place to smoke and watch TV and sleep, and an apartment seemed like a better place than a hotel. I don't know why.

The apartment was in the walk-out basement of a house in the center of town. There was a dude living in the house, and I knocked on his door to get a key to the apartment.

Anybody remember the old Captain Kangaroo TV show? Okay, remember Mr. Green Jeans from that show? Well, the dude who owned the house/apartment looked exactly like Mr. Green Jeans. But he didn't act like Mr. Green Jeans. Nope, this guy was between seventy and three-thousand years old, and, because of senility or brain-freeze or something, had the mental capacity of a turnip.

At first, I tried to make myself feel better by imagining that the dude was just a partier who was drunk all the time, but by the third or fourth time that he'd managed to wake me up by shoveling snow at 4:00 AM, I knew better.

I'm digressing again, dammit.

It was fucking cold.

The weather page on the internet is no help, but the hot lady on TV assured me that, for the first three weeks I spent in Anchorage, the high temperature was eighteen below zero. Then, on or about the 20th of January, it shot up to seven below zero.


T-shirts and shorts became the uniform of the day. All over Anchorage, alabaster skin competed with reluctant sunlight in a contest to see which could cause the most blindness. Me, well I continued to dress like a normal person who was freezing to death - a cheechako in Alaskanese - with my coat and glove and boots and the like. I did learn an important lesson that day, though. For me, the dividing-line between cold and fucking cold is at ten degrees below zero.

There is a difference. There really is. At ten below zero, I can function. At eleven below zero, I might as well be a chunk of ice that won't melt until June.

In Anchorage, they say, there are three seasons each year.

Winter lasts from late August until April or so. Next is Breakup, during which the snow and ice decides that it's maybe time to start thinking about melting and forming puddles. The more disgusting the puddles, the better.

The third season is road construction, and that lasts from the end of Breakup until the beginning of Winter, or for about a week and a half during late July and early August.

Wow, I've already written more than I expected, and I haven't even gotten to the good part yet.

Stay tuned for part two if I ever get around to writing it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009
posted by dave at 8:09 AM in category daily, drink, travel

So Sunday morning I found myself afflicted with a bad case of wanderlust. I didn't really know where I wanted to go, I just knew it had to be somewhere that wasn't New Albany. I looked at Nashville and Indianapolis and even Chicago, but eventually decided on Covington. It's not a big city, but it's got everything I need, especially distance from home.

I called KittenDamsel and invited her along. She declined, saying she'd had a long night. Then she said she might drive up there and meet me. I took this as "No way am I going to Covington" because that's how my brain works. Oh well. More beer for me then.

First thing I needed to do, however, was buy a laptop. I'll need this for when I travel, whether it's for work or play. When my former employer eliminated my position, they had the nerve to take their company-owned laptop back. Imagine that. So I stopped at Best Buy, looked at their selection, and bought an el-cheapo Compaq that would suit my meager needs. Thusly armed, I drove to Covington. It's only a two-hour drive.

After I'd arrived, and updated RockGirl with my location - RockGirl knows everything about my life - I settled into my usual Covington routine. I checked into the Holiday Inn, threw my shit into the room, and walked across the street to Skyline Chili for lunch. Yummy. Then I walked up to The Cock & Bull for a couple pints of yummy Moerlein OTR (463). While I was there, drinking my beer and watching a baseball game on TV, KittenDamsel called and said she was on her way. Yay!

I had some time to kill, so I went back to the hotel and messed with my new laptop for a while until KittenDamsel arrived. She wanted to hear polka music for some stupid reason, so we drove over to the Hofbrauhaus in nearby Newport and had dinner. I don't like that place. Not only is it too loud, it's too loud with polka music. The food was good, though.

After dinner, we walked across this purple bridge spanning the Ohio River, and dicked around there for a while. Then we drove back to the hotel, parked, and walked up to the MainStrasse area where all the bars are. After that the night got a little blurry. I know that I had three more OTRs (523) and a couple Newcastles (13818) as we walked around to various bars and clubs. It was a nice warm night, but not too warm. It was almost perfect, in fact. Especially the company. We drank too much, but neither of us got sick, so that was good.

Monday morning we were both a little hung-over. Not surprising. What was surprising was that KittenDamsel wanted to go to King's Island, a local amusement park. She'd already called in sick, and I certainly didn't have any reason come home right away, so to King's Island we went.

This was the first time I'd been there since I was 14 or so. It's much bigger now, and maybe not as crowded, and there were no dinosaurs to be seen. It was a fun few hours, except for that last roller coaster that went upside-down and made me queasy.

It was a really nice time up there. I'm really glad that I went, and I'm really glad that KittenDamsel could make it. She almost managed to distract me from thoughts of LaptopGirl. Almost. And I think I almost managed to distract her from thoughts of her ex-boyfriend. Almost.

It was kinda weird to spend all that time with her and then have to drive home separately, but oh well.

Oh yeah, I also bought a case of OTR and brought it home. So that gives me something to look forward to.

Sunday, May 31, 2009
posted by dave at 8:34 AM in category daily, ramblings, travel

I've had this thought sliding around in my head for a few days. It's a slippery bastard, though, and I never can seem to maintain a grip on it. Long enough to recognize it, but not long enough to really get a good look. I suspect that, eventually, this thought will be captured and dissected into a blog entry. But not today.


I'm at Denny's again this morning. I got here late, for me. It's 7:15 as I write this sentence. I guess I timed things just right, as I pretty much have the place to myself. I see an elderly couple out front. I bet they're going to church when they leave here. I hope they find what they're looking for.


KittenDamsel and I were supposed to go to Covington last night. But then I was reminded that there was a party at my sister's house, for my niece and her fiancé. So I went there instead. KittenDamsel didn't want to go because, she said, she wouldn't know anyone. Well, out of the 7.5 million people there, I only knew perhaps a dozen. Maybe I'll go to Covington today. Maybe she'll take Monday off and come with me. Maybe pigs will fly. We'll see.


I wonder what time Home Depot opens. I could buy some 4x4s and some Quickrete and work on my swing. I can't believe I've let it go this long, but I guess I've been distracted. I've never done anything with concrete before. I'm afraid I'll make a mistake and get trapped somehow. A permanent monument to my own ineptitude.


I guess there's just no way that I can go anywhere without running away from here. I'm coming to grips with that. I can run, perhaps because I must run. The thought of running away is not what's giving me pause. Nope, it's the stark realization that, by running somewhere else, I'd also be giving up on here. That's what scares me. I'm just not ready to give up, and I fear that I never will be ready.

I've written before that I think fate is a silly concept, but I just can't shake this feeling, this certainty, that there's a reason for all this. A reason that I'm sitting at a Denny's early on a Sunday morning and thinking about her, missing her. This series of events and emotions that was set into motion all those years ago, there is a reason. I just don't know what that reason is. Perhaps its purpose is to destroy me.

So far, so good.


The crowd is starting to pour in now. More church people, I bet. I guess it's nice to have faith in something. I can't say that their faith is any more misplaced than my own.

Saturday, April 11, 2009
posted by dave at 11:42 AM in category daily, drink, travel

Omaha was just too far away, I finally realized. I really wanted to be there, but I didn't want to go there. It's a 13-hour drive, after all.

But I still wanted and needed to go somewhere, just to get away from this situation for a night. So, I went to Covington KY.

The drive up was uneventful for the most part, except for the inevitable slew of emails and texts that always start streaming in whenever I'm driving. I replied to those as well as I could and managed to not get myself killed in the process.

When I was about halfway to Covington, SassyGirl called! We talked for a half-hour or so as I made my way up I-71. She and JauntyGirl are in Las Vegas, of all places. And so, of course, is HatGirl. And StupidGirl, of course, lives there. So three of my favorite women on Earth are all in Las Vegas at the same time. I'm a little surprised that MixedSignalGirl didn't call me to tell me that she was there as well.

And there I was, going to stupid Covington KY.

Once I arrived, I had my usual Covington lunch at Skyline Chili, then drove the short distance (it was raining) to the Mainstrasse area and went into the Cock & Bull bar. Not much has changed since I was last there in November, and that was good. And they still had Moerlein OTR on tap!


So I had a couple pints of that (400) and decided that I'd be spending the night in Covington. I hadn't really made up my mind until then. I went and got myself a hotel room and took a nap for a couple of hours.

Went back to the Cock & Bull bar at 8:00 or so. I ordered an OTR, but they'd changed kegs and there was something wrong with it, so I only had a few sips (403) before switching to Newcastle. Then, after my Newcastle (12578) I decided to risk the OTR again. I figured maybe the glass had just been soapy or something. Well, I guess I was right, because my next OTR (423) was just fine.

Switched to Diet Coke and then, once the Cock & Bull got too crowded, I went back to the hotel and tried to sleep.

At 12:30 or so I gave up on sleep and drove home.

It has been proposed that it was weird for me to drive home last night. Perhaps, but I could tell that it was going to be a long sleepless night for me, and I was really dreading driving home this morning on little or no sleep. Better, I reasoned, to just drive home last night when I was still semi-alert. So that's what I did.

I was still awake at 5:00 when HatGirl started texting me from Las Vegas. I didn't complain because (a) it was HatGirl, and (b) I was awake anyway.

I think I finally got to sleep at 6:30 or so. Then I was awakened at 10:30 with an accusatory email.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009
posted by dave at 11:11 AM in category travel

Okay, I'll admit it.

I'm getting pretty excited about this weekend.

Not only will I get to hang out with StupidGirl, I'll be able to get away from here for three days.

Monday, February 16, 2009
posted by dave at 9:22 AM in category ramblings, travel

I can't shake this feeling that we're expecting way too much from this. I talked to StupidGirl on the phone for three hours last night. It was, just like always, a friendly and funny conversation. An easy conversation. The hard part never comes until later, when my racing mind digests everything that was said and, more than that, everything that wasn't said.

I haven't been on a pedestal in a long time. Not since MixedSignalGirl. I'm not sure that I like it. Maybe I've developed a fear of heights. Maybe I don't feel like I'm worthy. Gee, I can't imagine why I might have a self-esteem issue.

Mostly, though, I think it's just that we still don't know each other very well. Not the way we should. We only know the best parts, the fun parts, the easy-going parts. I worry about what will happen if we're faced with the darker sides of each other's personalities.

I'm doing something very similar, I know. I'm pinning so much hope on this trip that there's no way I won't be disappointed. These feelings I'm suffering cannot be pushed aside for an entire weekend. Pushing them aside for even a few hours usually requires more strength than I possess. StupidGirl will surely do a fine job of distracting me, but it won't change who I am on the inside. The suffering I feel on the inside.

I can't let my guard down at all. I can't let her see who I really am.

I think we're both expecting that everything will be perfect. I think we're both going to be disappointed. I can only hope that we can rebound from that disappointment.

Thursday, February 12, 2009
posted by dave at 10:10 AM in category daily, travel

Talked with StupidGirl for a couple of hours last night, until my Blackberry died. We put together some plans for next weekend. I told her that the only thing I absolutely want to do is go to the Freakin' Frog Friday night so I can have an Alaskan Smoked Porter for my birthday.

I'm really starting to look forward to the trip. I wish, in fact, that it was this weekend. This weekend is going to suck, I predict. Stupid Valentine's Day.

Speaking of my Blackberry, I forgot it this morning when I left for work. So I'm frustratingly out of touch with the world this morning. I'll go get my Blackberry during lunch.

Saturday, February 7, 2009
posted by dave at 3:47 PM in category daily, travel

Something unexpected happened a little after 6:00 Friday evening. Something welcomed, certainly, just very surprising.

You know how sometimes you're just having a really bad time with things, but then you maybe start to get used to how horrible things are? And then you maybe start to think that there's a chance that someday you might want to live again, if you can only get through this rough patch?

And then something unexpected and welcomed and surprising happens and you forget all about the bullshit?

Well, me too.

And so now, I fear, it will all start over again.

Anyway, it ended up being a good night. One about which I should probably write.

But not now. Now I've got cabin fever. So I'm going to the local casino for a while.

Don't wait up.

UPDATE: I didn't get to go. Other surprising and unexpected stuff happened, and I had to stay closer to home. Oh well.

ALSO: I just extended my Las Vegas trip by one day.

Why did I do this?

Why, thank you so much for asking. That's really sweet of you.

I did this because I'm sick of being such a fucking pessimist all the fucking time.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009
posted by dave at 2:29 PM in category travel

Well, I've gone ahead and booked my trip to Las Vegas for my birthday weekend.

I'm already having a bit of buyer's remorse. It's a lot of money to spend on a two-day trip, even without having to get a hotel room.

StupidGirl is really excited. Maybe a little too excited.

I hope she doesn't murder me, chop me up, and make a stew out of me.

I think I'd taste better in a spicy chili.

Monday, February 2, 2009
posted by dave at 3:58 PM in category travel

Still trying to find some decent airfare to Las Vegas for my birthday weekend. So far the cost of airfare is more than eating away any savings I'd get from staying with StupidGirl.

I'm not giving up, though. I just might have to arrive later than I'd prefer.

And there's a very slim chance that HatGirl might be able to get away for the weekend, too. That would, of course, be totally awesome.

Monday, January 19, 2009
posted by dave at 10:38 AM in category daily, travel, weather

It snowed a little last night. Enough to make things pretty and to make the roads slick for a while. I liked it.


Spent some time this morning looking at pricing for flights to Las Vegas. I want to go there over my birthday weekend, I think. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have to worry about a place to stay.


Last night we had a nice dinner at Sam's. I always end up getting the blackened chicken alfredo, and it's always a little disappointing. This time it was much better than normal. Quite yummy.


Then I went over to HatGirl and LuckyFucker's house to drink a couple beers and play some cards.



We played spades, and I destroyed them. That was weird, because I usually suck at that game.


I wonder if Sportstime is open today. I'm craving a little pizza for lunch.

Friday, December 12, 2008
posted by dave at 8:35 AM in category travel

Spending this morning looking for Las Vegas trips for tomorrow night.

Surprisingly, the cost wouldn't be that great. But I'm stuck when trying to find reasonable arrival and departure times for my flights.

Oh, well. It might be nice, but it's just plan C anyway. And I'm sure I'd end up feeling guilty for some bizarre reason.

Sunday, November 2, 2008
posted by dave at 10:55 PM in category drink, travel

And another thing is that I don't care about this blog anymore. Not at the moment, anyway - my interest might eventually resurface. So the only reason I'm writing here now is so people don't think I'm dead. Like my sister today asked me if I was okay, because I'm not writing here anymore.

Today I drove to Covington, KY. Once I got here, I glared at my phone, and I had some Moerlein OTRs (360). Now I'm going to bed.

Oh yeah, I got a nice email from HatGirl.

Monday, August 11, 2008
posted by dave at 9:28 AM in category drink, travel

The Cock & Bull was even more crowded that it had been earlier. I remembered that I'd never been in the place on a weekend, and I began to fear that they might have a stupid live band. That would have sucked.

I sat at the bar, ordered a bottle of OTR (72), and was almost immediately molested by some girl sitting next to me. I have never been pawed like that in my life - at least not while remaining fully-clothed. So, that was weird.

The emails and the text messages and the phone calls continued, and I continued to be amazed that my battery was lasting as well as it was. I guess I ended up spending about 1/2 of my time inside sitting at the bar getting molested, and the rest of the time I was outside talking on the phone.

WeirdGirl called just to say she misses me. Awww.

Here's a bit of advice to you women out there. If you ever find yourself needing to break through any resistance I might have, just lick my ear. Works every time.

Anyway, I ended up having three more OTRs (108). The bartender who looks like AlliGirl told me that they sometimes get OTR on tap. So I gave her my number so she could call me the next time that happens. I will definitely make the drive up there again.

I also had a glass of yummy Delirium Tremens (1404) so I could raise a toast to a friend of mine who's having a tough time these days.

At midnight or so, I somehow found some vestige of resolve, and I left GropingGirl with her friends. I walked down to the conveniently located White Castle, had some cheeseburgers, then went back to the hotel.

Then Sunday morning I drove home. It was nice to get away, if only for one night.

Sunday, August 10, 2008
posted by dave at 9:55 PM in category drink, travel, weather

The Cock & Bull was pretty crowded. Much more than it had been in April. I guess warm weather will do that to bars. Except Rich O's, for some reason.

My plan had been to just sit at the bar and drown my sorrows all night. I got a decent start, with a couple bottles of yummy Moerlein OTR (60), but by the time those were gone it was only 6:00 or so, and I recognized that I should probably go to some other places.

The first other place I went to was the Hofbrauhaus. I was there for about 1.7 seconds. There was extremely LOUD POLKA MUSIC and there was also not a single empty seat in the house - not even at the bar.

So I walked down the hill, and over the floodwall, to the Beer Sellar barge. While I was walking there, the stupid Sun came out from the clouds, and the weather went from very pleasant to unbearably fucking hot and humid. Plus, the stupid Beer Sellar didn't seem to have any air conditioning. Just a big fan that did nothing but stir the humid air around, so it felt like I was going swimming.

I was sweating like the proverbial whore in church.

I had myself a Paulaner Hefeweissbier (567) and then some Diet Cokes while I tried to acclimate myself to the humidity. Seriously, the place made me long for the old days I spent in New Orleans. This place was New Orleans with twice the humidity but thankfully none of the smell.

After my third Diet Coke or so, I realized that it was stupid to be there, so I drove back to the hotel, and then I walked back to the Cock & Bull.

My phone keeps ringing. I'll finish this later.

posted by dave at 2:50 PM in category daily, travel

My original plan, such at it was, had been to leave town after work Friday. I think it was Tuesday or Wednesday that I decided that I really needed to get away for a day or two. I needed to get away and, more importantly, other people needed me to be away.

But then, Thursday night, I talked to WomanRepellant. He was having some trouble with his computer, and we arranged that he'd call me Saturday morning so I could come and take a look at it.

So that kept me local for Friday night, and I'm glad that it did, because part two of Friday night was fantastic.

Well Saturday morning came and Saturday morning went without a call from my friend. He'd had a photo shoot scheduled for that morning, and he was supposed to call me at 10:00 or so when it was over. I tried to call him at 11:30. The phone just rang and rang. Change of plans, I figured.

So I found myself free to leave, and even eager to leave, but I didn't have a destination in mind. I chose Covington on a whim, more or less. I'd been there in the Spring and enjoyed it. I guess some deep recess of my brain might have thought that I might run into EyesGirl again. And I definitely knew I'd be able to have some Moerlein OTR. So, Covington it was.

The drive up was uneventful. I'd been hoping for some email or telephone companionship, but I think I screwed that up back in July. Oops.

After I'd arrived, and checked into a hotel room that was much more expensive than I'd hoped, about fifty metric butt-tons of drama ensued back home. I basically spent the rest of the day and night talking or typing into my Blackberry, trying to either ease or repair or at least keep up with various drama. So that was the context behind everything else I did Saturday night.

My hotel was conveniently located with a Skyline Chili across one street and a White Castle across another. It was also within walking distance of the tourist section of Covington. So, after a quick meal at Skyline, I walked up to the Cock & Bull bar. I'd gone there in April, so I supposed it was my Official Covington Bar or something.

And now I guess I'll have to continue this entry later.

Saturday, August 9, 2008
posted by dave at 11:53 AM in category comics, morals, travel

Once there was this guy. He really liked this girl, and he invited this girl do to everything with him. I mean everything.

Also, there was this other guy and this other girl. They'd been married for twenty-five years.

The moral of this story is that somewhere, between taking a shit and going on a cruise, there is a sweet spot. One at which invitations are perfectly acceptable and perhaps even expected. Maybe even welcomed.

But I'll be damned if I have any idea what that sweet spot might me. It's there somewhere, though.

Anyway, I think I'm going to Covington now. By myself.

Sunday, July 13, 2008
posted by dave at 12:55 PM in category travel, weather

I'm not really sure where to start with this. I suppose that the beginning would be the logical place. But what was the beginning?

Maybe it was when I got onto the plane in Louisville, and this one hot chick (who's chair I once stole at Sluttopia) was sitting across the aisle from me.

Small world, as they say.

There was a another hot girl, this one sitting right next to me on the plane. But I couldn't tell how old she was so I didn't drool too much. She had very pretty legs, I couldn't help but notice. I mean, they were right there. Taunting me.

So then we landed in Atlanta. An uneventful flight, just the way I like my flights to be. We taxied to the gate and stopped about 50 feet short of it.

Did I mention that, about when we landed, it started storming like crazy? As in, like a motherfucker?

Well, it did. It was storming so badly that they shut the airport down. No take-offs. No landings. And, most relevant to me, none of those cute little airport gnomes on the tarmac to guide planes into the gates.

So, we sat. For about 45 minutes.

That sucked, by the way.

Welcome to Atlanta.


After we finally were allowed to dock at the gate, and after I finally got my baggage and my rental car, I drove 40 or so miles to Norcross, where my hotel was.

One interesting thing about driving for two hours in the pouring rain on an unfamiliar freeway amidst a million other cars - it's not as much fun as it seems like it would be. But I eventually found my hotel and checked-in. Then I threw my shit down and went back out into the rain.

I drove around for about three hours, looking for a Taco Mac. That's a chain down there that has, or so I'd heard, good food and great beer selections. Well, I ended up getting hopelessly lost, and I never did find a Taco Mac.

I did, however, find a Krystal, which was almost as good. I hadn't had Krystal since 1998 when I lived in Memphis.

My cheeseburgers were yummy.

My fries were kinda greasy.

Saturday, July 12, 2008
posted by dave at 5:48 PM in category daily, travel

You ever find yourself at an airport with some time to kill, so you just sit around watching people?

Yeah, me too.

You ever see a guy in purple parachute-pants, a yellow wife-beater shirt, and the name "Adrian" tattooed on his arm, and say to yourself, "Self, there goes the gayest guy on Earth?"

Yeah, me too.

Then did you ever turn your head at a squishy/slurpy sound, and see a guy walking down through the airport with four dicks in his mouth? And then did you say to yourself, "Self, you were totally wrong before. That's the gayest guy on Earth, right there."

Yeah, me too.


Anyway, I'm back home now.

Thursday, July 10, 2008
posted by dave at 9:35 AM in category ramblings, travel

This sucks.

I don't want to go. But I also know that, once I get about halfway there, I'll start to get excited.

And then I'll probably have some fucking fun or something. It'll be like I'm being unfaithful to my regular life, seeing another life behind its back. And then I'll feel guilty about it.

Anyway, I guess I'm leaving now. Gotta stop and get some cash before I go to the airport.

I'll try to update this thing while I'm gone.

This sucks. I don't want to go. Alone.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008
posted by dave at 2:16 PM in category daily, drink, travel

I was up to Saturday night with these ramblings, and then I stopped. I don't know why I stopped. Because, after all, absolutely nothing happened Saturday night. I myself stayed home and made gift baskets for orphans all night long.

If you think that anything happened Saturday night, then you're clearly smoking crack and you should seek professional help.


So then Sunday I ended up going to Don Pablo's for dinner. I got to see NotHideousGirl for the first time in a million years, and I got to eat yummy food. So there.

Then I went across the street to Hooters and had some Newcastles (10008) and talked to this one dude I went to school with.

You may notice that I passed 10,000 ounces of Newcastle. This doesn't count, though, because I was supposed to save that occasion for AlliDay. I screwed up, and it was only because AlliGirl is so nice that I was given a do-over.


Let's see, Monday night I had one of the new beers that I'd bought Saturday at Barley Island.

Barley Island Bourbon Barrel-Aged Oatmeal Stout

(bottle) Black with thin tan head. Mild aroma of bourbon. Medium mouthfeel. Flavor more intense and bourbony that the aroma had hinted. As an oatmeal stout, there isn't much flavor except for the bourbon. Pretty good, though gimmicky.
So that was pretty good.

Then yesterday after work I had another new beer for me.

Victory Golden Monkey

(draft) Pours clear and golden with a large long-lasting head. Nice aroma of apple peels and malts. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Flavor more malty than most tripels, maybe some caramel in there that coats the mouth. Quite damn good.
One of the most pleasant surprises I've had in a long time, beer-wise.


And then today, for AlliDay, I had my official 10,000th ounce of Newcastle (10028). There was a big party with balloons and dancing girls. It was fantastic.

Okay, what really happened was that AlliGirl bought my beer for me and gave me a hug. Still pretty damn cool, though.


The dude I talked to Sunday reminded me that my high school reunion is approaching in less than three weeks. I guess I don't care. I had originally planned to go, but I don't want to go by myself.

So, basically, waaaaah!


Tomorrow I go to Atlanta. It might be fun, but I doubt that I'll find myself in Atlanta, either.

Monday, July 7, 2008
posted by dave at 10:07 AM in category daily, drink, pictures, travel

Now, where was I?

Oh yeah, at the stupid depressing park.

I'd gone there, as I'd gone to Polly's Freeze earlier, looking for myself.

I wasn't at either place. I remember running into myself once a long time ago. At Rich O's of all places. That was nice, but that was also the last time.

Anyway, by the time I'd returned home from the floodwall park, it was clear to me that there was a 0% chance that anything good would happen Friday night. Understandable, but of course disappointing. Because of this, I saw no reason to bother leaving my house at all. So that's precisely what I didn't do at all. Instead, I sat on my swing and I glared at my phone and I had three yummy bottles of Delirium Nocturnum (157), and that was it.

Then by Saturday at around noon, I'd once again gleaned that there was a 0% chance of anything good happening. Still understandable, still disappointing. But whereas on Friday that 0% had caused me to lose all motivation, on Saturday I couldn't run out the door and jump into my truck fast enough.

Luckily, I always carry a spare pair of pants in my truck, for times such as that. When I don't want to waste time putting on pants before I leave my house.

What I did, and this really was a spur of the moment decision, was I drove up to Noblesville, Indiana. To the Barley Island brewpub, specifically. Just something to do, really. I might just as well have picked Oaken Barrel, as it's slightly closer to home, but I had Barley Island on my mind because LaptopGirl had been raving about their Barfly IPA.

The drive up took a couple of hours. It was uneventful, though I felt bad because I kept getting emails but I was driving and couldn't type my responses very well. I managed to survive the drive* though. I even managed to respond to some of the emails, when the traffic and the rain let up enough.

The first thing I noticed, upon entering the brewpub, was that it was really dark. Like being inside a cave at midnight with my eyes closed and a bag over my head. But then my eyes started to adjust, and I was able to grope and stumble my way, around a bunch of empty tables and up an unfortunately-placed step, to the bar area.

I only took one picture, and it's a pretty crappy picture, even by my standards.

Barley Island

The first thing I did, after seating myself, was order a trio of small samples, of the three available draft selections that I hadn't had before.

Barley Island Sheet Metal Blonde

(draft) Color of hazy grapefruit juice. Light citrus aroma. Very light citrus flavor, with a bit of sourness, like grapefruit juice. Good, not great.
Okay, a Belgian-style wheat. Always welcome.

Barley Island Blind Tiger Pale Ale

(draft) Clear light brown. No detectable aroma or flavor. There was a slightly bitter hoppy finish, but not enough to be completely disgusting. A waste of my time.
I only had about one ounce of that crap.

Barley Island Barfly IPA

(draft) The color of clear weak tea. Light aroma of floral hops. Medium mouthfeel. Flavor decent but mild. The slightly bitter finish went away after a few sips. Maybe a good session beer.
Yet another IPA, but this one was with the floral kind of hops that I like sometimes. This was the beer that LaptopGirl had been raving about since she'd discovered it at the beer date thingy last weekend.

I went ahead and ordered a full glass of the Barfly (20), and enjoyed that with my yummy burger and fries. I traded a bunch more emails with LaptopGirl, and a few with RockGirl.

I relaxed fairly well I suppose, but I could already tell that I wouldn't be staying. I guess I'd been hoping to find myself, up there away from all of the distractions of home. But I wasn't there, either. I'm still a slippery bastard I guess.

So next I had a Dirty Helen (400), which is one of my favorite brown ales. And then I had something I wasn't expecting. The place had a couple of guest beers available, and one of those guest beers was an all-time favorite of mine. So my last beer was an incredibly yummy Two Brothers Domaine DuPage French Style Country Ale (310).

Before I left, I bought a couple of bottles to have at home sometime. I also picked up a growler of the Barfly for LaptopGirl.

The drive home was uneventful.

* - Poet and don't know it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008
posted by dave at 9:49 AM in category travel

I'm going to Atlanta for a couple of days next week.

Why would I go to Atlanta? Why would I go to Atlanta in July? Isn't that city often called Hotlanta?

These are all legitimate questions, to be sure.

I'm going there for work. At least for some meetings I have on Friday. But I'm flying down Thursday and leaving Saturday, so I'll have Thursday and Friday nights to try to enjoy myself.

The Braves will be out of town, so maybe I'll go to some bars. You know, just for a change of pace.

Thursday, May 8, 2008
posted by dave at 12:03 AM in category daily, drink, travel

First, I do want to. And I think it's time. But I can't. I was asked to never do it, remember?


Monday I finally had the water pump replaced in the Monte Carlo. So now I can actually drive it again. This is beyond cool to me. I even drove it to work today, risking door-dings in the parking garage. Once I get the exhaust repaired (it's a little LOUD) then there'll be nothing wrong with the car except that its owner still won't really be cool enough for it.


One of these years I should probably fix the gutter that was torn loose in January.


I think I want to go back to Covington this weekend. I seriously doubt that I'll do any such thing, because last time I checked, Covington wasn't located inside Rich O's.


On Monday I got to hang out with NormalGirl and RahRahGirl for a while after work. They were dressed to the nines (whatever that means) in sexy slinky black dresses. I don't think I did a very good job of averting my gaze, especially regarding NormalGirl.


I've felt myself starting to lose faith in one of my friends. Not that I ever really had any reason to think that I could trust him completely. But lately I've become a little convinced that he'd betray me in a heartbeat. So, I'm getting a little preemptively angry at him. I'm being stupid, I know.


Oh yeah, I managed to poke myself in the eye or something last night while I was sleeping. It's been hurting me all day, and it's a lovely shade of red. I hope it doesn't rot and fall out, but if it does then I'm going to get a glass eye that's brown. That way I can walk around with two differently-colored eyes and see if anyone notices.


It's midnight and I still have 3/4 of this Marzen (3591) left in my glass. I'd better get to drinking it.


I still have better topics that I want to write about. I still can't motivate myself to write, though, so crap like this is all you get for now.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
posted by dave at 10:34 PM in category drink, travel

Okay, I'm back now. Heartfelt thanks go out to the zero people who noticed that I was gone. I get tears in my eyes when I think about all zero of you.

Anyway, I was in Covington, KY, which is across the river from Cincinnati and next to Newport. It was for a work thing, a series of meetings that lasted from 8:30 until 5:30 Wednesday. I drove up Tuesday after noon and spent the night.

After I'd checked into the stupid Marriot, I set out on foot in search of food and beverage. I walked from my hotel, at the river's shore, about 18,000 blocks South. All I found were pawn shops and cash advance places. So, not the best part of town, I figured. Next, I shifted a couple of blocks to my left, turned around, and trekked back towards the river. Still, pawn shops and cash advance places, but now with some strip joints thrown in for good measure.

I got back to the stupid Marriot, intending to get in my truck and drive to Newport. I know they have beer there. But, at the hotel, I got to talking to the doorman, and he told me where the touristy section of Covington was.

Remember, back two paragraphs ago, I said that I'd shifted to my left. Well it turns out that I should have shifted to my right. Because to the right was where all of the bars were.

The guy told me it was a two-minute walk. It was more like a zillion years, but I finally made it there. By the time I arrived in the touristy area, I was dying for Newcastle. So I went into the first likely-looking place, called the Cock & Bull.

I'd been hoping to find a Guinness, maybe a Newcastle. I most certainly hadn't dared to hope that I'd find Delirium Tremens, or Unibroue Maudite. Or a bottled beer selection that even MrPopular might envy. It was a very nice place, and I stayed there for hours.

Because I had fish and chips for my late lunch, I was bound by both honor and propriety to have a Newcastle (9367). The glasses were only 16 ounces, but they were unchilled. I was very happy. Even though I thought the fish kinda sucked.

My next beer was a Delirium Tremens (1225), and I spent some time talking to this one dork who wanted Beck's and would settle for nothing else.

Next, I tried something new to me.

Moerlein O.T.R.

(bottle) Clear dark orange. Kind of a weird color. No head to speak of. An aroma of malts and hops that was pretty enticing. Medium mouthfeel. The flavor was extremely good. The hops seemed to be a mixture of the piney kind (which I hate) and the flowery kind (which I love) and there was also a strong malty component to the flavor. Definitely very interesting and balanced and drinkable. I'd love to try this on tap someday. Yummy.
I ended up having three bottles of the OTR (36), getting progressively stupider as I went.

Just one example of my stupidity: I was talking for a couple of hours to this one cute girl about my reason for being there and the upcoming derby and beer and whatever else. It was a good conversation, I will call her EyesGirl, because she had two of them. Anyway, at one point she suggested that we go to some of the other bars in the area. Because I'd told her that I was only in town for one night, she said she wanted to show me a good time.

And not in a hooker way, I don't think. In a I'm a nice girl but I'll be naughty with you way.

So, naturally, I told her that I was seeing somebody. Even though I'm clearly not seeing anyone.

EyesGirl left shortly afterwards. Probably went home to masturbate, the poor thing.

I ended up convincing my boss, in town for the same work thing, to come up to the Cock & Bull and have dinner. I had another Delirium Tremens (1235) and then I talked my boss into giving me a ride back to the stupid Marriot.

Then today I had meetings then I drove home.

I need to see if Rich O's can get the O.T.R. there. I think people would like it, but mostly I'd just like to have it again without having to drive to Covington. It's kind of a cross between Rogue Dead Guy and Three Floyd's Gumballhead.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008
posted by dave at 12:12 AM in category drink, travel, weather

I went to Rich O's after work today. More out of habit than any particular desire to observe Pizza Day or have a beer. But it's cool that I went in, because after a few sips of Upland Wheat (126), I saw that NABC had tapped their Old Lightning Rod a couple of days early. I traded the rest of my Upland for a pint of the Old Lightning Rod (250) and it was very good as always.


Today I counted up the vacation days that I've used since May, when our fiscal year started. I've still got a buttload of days left to take. To help rectify this situation, I'm taking this Thursday and Friday off. So, because Monday is a company holiday, I'll get a five-day weekend. What will I do with this five-day weekend? Probably not a damn thing.

I need to take a week off sometime this Spring and go somewhere. Las Vegas is my obvious first choice, but I'm also thinking about maybe going up to Seattle instead. I haven't been there since 2002, and I find myself thinking about that place, and those people, quite often.


Oh yeah, this morning it snowed like a motherfucker for about an hour. Flakes the size of 50-cent pieces. It was quite pretty, and I got a little excited that maybe it would accumulate. But alas, it melted on contact with the ground. I'm not a huge fan of snow, but I detest cold weather, and snow at least makes it bearable for me. They're saying that it might snow here Thursday, but I suspect that's just a ploy to get us to watch the evening news.


Funny, I thought I'd have more to write about tonight.

Sunday, December 2, 2007
posted by dave at 5:15 PM in category daily, travel

So, I'm back. Got back yesterday evening.

I've been struggling for a week now. Trying to decide what I was going to write about my trip. Besides the usual stuff, I mean. Like the yummy beer I drank, and the boring conference I endured, and the video poker I played.

But there were other things. Things which I haven't quite figured out. What happened? Why did it happen? What will happen next? Will anything happen next? Do I want anything to happen next?

And then, then there was some crap that happened back here, while I was gone. And I ask myself the same five questions.

I don't want to lie, here, in this blog. But neither do I think that telling the whole truth would be a good thing. And I don't particularly want to guess.

Hence, my struggling.


Anyway, last night was much more normal for me. I went to Rich O's, that decision having been made for me by the simple fact that LaptopGirl was thinking about maybe going to Rich O's.

It was a nice night. I took it easy on the beer, though.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007
posted by dave at 2:09 AM in category general, travel

I totally forgot to mention that I've booked my next trip to Las Vegas. After Thanksgiving I'll be there for a week, for the same conference I attend every year. It's always been at The Rio, but now they're moving it to The MGM Grand. This is probably a good thing, especially since The Tilted Kilt will surely be gone from The Rio by then, but it will still feel pretty weird. I think I'm actually feeling a little ambivalent about the whole trip.

I wonder if I should try to call StupidGirl. I guess I've got almost three months to decide.


I thought I'd have more to write, but I guess not. Except that women are strange. And everybody already knows that.

Saturday, July 21, 2007
posted by dave at 1:03 PM in category daily, travel

The stewardess for the flight to Philadelphia provided not just one, but two sources of amusement concern for me.

First, there had been a bit of confusion behind me. People were sitting in other peoples' seats. These things happen, but I guess they got a little loud.

Then the guy with the window seat next to my aisle seat showed up. I moved to stand up and get out of his way, and the stewardess came running up to us. Not walking quickly, professionally, and with purpose. Fucking running.

So I've got the dude who needs the seat, standing in the aisle next to my seat. And I've got the stewardess standing about an inch in front of him. There was nowhere for me to go. The stewardess locked eyes with me and asked, "Do we have a problem here?"

"I was going to stand up and get out of this guy's way so he could sit down," I replied. "But you're totally blocking me from doing so."

For about 6 hours, absolutely nothing happened except that the stewardess kept her eyes locked onto mine. It was probably the creepiest six hours of my entire life. I fully expected her to call security and have them remove me from the plane and stick fingers into my ass. Then, finally, her meds kicked in or something. She said, "Foin" and turned around and walked back to the front of the plane.


Yep, that's what she said. And that leads me to the second item of concern.

The chick was some kind of a freak. Or maybe a pod person. Or maybe a robot with a faulty language module.

At first I thought that it was just my imagination. But I've since talked with some of my coworkers, who shared the same flight, and they all noticed it.

The stewardess had a strong cockney accent, but only some of the time.

What's up with that?

Like, she'd say things like, "Ploise stoi yoi troi toibles to their loicked poisition, and ensure that your seatbacks are fully upright." And, when we had to sit on the tarmac for a half an hour for some stupid reason, she said, "Ladies and gentleman, I'll be doing a quick beverage service in a couple of minutes. Beer and woine are foive doillars. Soida and woiter and joices are coimplimentoiry."

Just freaking weird.

Monday, July 16, 2007
posted by dave at 11:02 AM in category travel

Okay, I'm leaving now. Going to have lunch with NotHideousGirl, then go to the airport for my fun-filled Philly week.

I might not post for a while.

Thursday, July 12, 2007
posted by dave at 1:25 AM in category drink, general, travel, weather

I just came in from sitting on my swing outside. I was going to sit out there until I managed to think of something entry-worthy, but it's a little too chilly, so I came back in.


At Rich O's today after work (Rogue Chocolate Stout (1826)) I had an idea. What if I took all of the penis-enlargement spam that I get and bought everything they offer?

A couple of inches from a special diet, four inches from pills, an additional 20% from some stretching gizmo. And so on. What if I could add them all up?

I bet that, six months and a couple of thousand dollars later, I could sit at Rich O's and drink beer all day, but I'd continue to get paid because my dick could still be sitting at my desk at work doing my job.

It would be win-win!


There's a new stray cat outside. It's a very light gray color. I have named it Ghost, in case I ever see it again.


WeirdGirl is being a little mean to me. But I guess that's better than being nice to me. Because nice would remind me of what I'm missing.


Not that it really bothers me.

It's kinda funny. Not too long ago I kept trying to convince myself that I was a normal happy person. That deception never worked. These days I catch myself trying to get in a bad mood, and that doesn't work either.


Today, for some reason, I thought about this one kid from my youth. Not a friend by any stretch of the imagination, just a kid who lived next to my cousins for a while. So we were kinda forced to play with him sometimes. He was a real dick. He's probably in jail or dead by now. Or he's a billionaire. Man, what a dick that guy was!


There's something that keeps becoming more of a possibility all the time. Something that I should really be more worried about than I am. But I'm not worried about it very much at all. This may end up biting me in the ass.


I can't believe it's 1:00 AM and I'm still up. This is pretty stupid. Especially since I have to get up at the butt crack of dawn again tomorrow. I'm giving NotHideousGirl rides to work as her car woes continue unabated. It's nice to feel useful though.


If you ever want to see something funny, go to Rich O's when Roger is there and say something about how wants to tear down I-64 in Louisville.


I was watching Big Brother tonight (shut up, I like it) and I got to thinking about a Rich O's reality show in that same vein. I don't think I'd be the first regular evicted, but I bet I'd be in the first five. I know without a doubt who the first evictee would be. And I'm pretty sure I know who'd end up winning it all. At least I know who I'd vote for.


I'll be gone all next week. If it's anything like the last time I went to Philadelphia, I won't have any time for anything but work. So I might go as many as five days without posting anything. The world will probably keep turning without my input.


Now it's 1:18 AM and I'm still up. I am stupid. I think I'll go to bed as soon as I finish this Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier (2085)

Saturday, June 16, 2007
posted by dave at 11:01 AM in category drink, travel

I was pretty fucking tired when I finally got home last night. Way more tired than I should have been, I think. I mean, the switch back to EDT gave me three bonus hours, so it was suddenly like I'd gotten up at 6:00 instead of 3:00. And I'd had at least three hours of sleep the night before, so WTF?

If I could sleep on airplanes it would be different. But I can't. All I can manage is to sort of zone out for a few seconds until my head falls and then I almost break my neck jerking my head back upright.

So, when I finally got home, I was very tired. While waiting for my luggage, I called my sister to let her know I'd arrived safely. I emailed RockGirl and WeirdGirl with the same message. I texted NotHideousGirl a few times. She wanted me to meet her at The Pub in Louisville. I declined. She called me gay.

So I went home and took a nap for a couple of hours.

I ended up going to Rich O's at about 10:00. TremensGirl moved from the throne so I could sit there. It was nice of her, but I didn't ask her to move. People all think I'm an asshole about that chair.

Still feeling pretty tired, all I had to drink was a glass and a half of Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier (1932). I traded a few more text messages with NotHideousGirl. Most of her messages were incomprehensible to me. I asked if anyone around me spoke Woman, and some of the girls tried to translate, but they didn't understand NotHideousGirl's particular dialect of that odd language. I think it's known as the drunk dialect.

Anyway, at one point I misinterpreted one of her messages as saying that she was at Mac's, so I undertook the short drive over there to see her. But the doorman said she hadn't been in. Then I talked to her on the phone and learned that it wasn't Mac's she was at, it was this Third Street Dive place over in Louisville.

So I came home and typed up a couple of blog entries. NotHideousGirl texted me that I suck. I went to sleep.

posted by dave at 12:34 AM in category ramblings, travel

As I write this, I'm an hour into a three-hour layover in Dallas. I don't really mind it though. Truth be told, I kinda like layovers.

These are the rarest of times for me. These are the times when I get to completely disassociate myself from my life and all its obligations and expectations and assorted bullshit. I get to do nothing, feel nothing, be nothing.

For the next two hours, I get to be LayoverGuy. It's like I just popped into existence for a little while, and I only exist in the here and the now. DFW, 06/15/07, 1300 CDT.

For LayoverGuy, there's no haunting past, and there's no threatening future. I don't affect the world, and the world doesn't affect me. Before I got here, and after I leave here, I'll have a destination. An obligation. But not now. Now I have nothing, and I kinda like it.

For the next two hours, I get to be nobody. Not that nobody is a step up or anything, but it's still a nice change.

I know that the expectations and the other bullshit will be there, waiting to ambush me, in a few more hours. Shit, I've already heard some rustling, betraying bullshit's presence. But, for now at least, I can ignore it all. Because, for now at least, I'm nobody.

posted by dave at 12:17 AM in category drink, entertainment, pictures, travel

The conference ended at 1:00 on Thursday, which was quite cool because it gave me some time to attempt to take a nap. It would have been even cooler if the nap had actually happened, but the construction going on in the room above me prevented any Zs from being caught.

I managed to snap a picture of the construction equipment as it was heading to the room above me. How they fit all that shit into one room I'll never know:

After I gave up on sleep, I took my last bottle of Alaskan Smoked Porter down to the race and sports book place. They were perfectly willing to let me use one of their glasses, but they said that some red tape bullshit rule prevented them from opening the bottle. Then this one dude took pity on me and showed me how to open a beer bottle using a lighter. I've already mentioned learning this valuable skill. The Alaskan Smoked Porter (589) was yummy, by the way.

Then I had a Fat Tire (587) and played video poker and glared at my phone for an hour or so. See, I maybe had a date. I wasn't even going to mention it here, in case it didn't pan out. But I had a maybe date with StupidGirl, because my new best friend had told his girlfriend that I was in town, and then his girlfriend had told StupidGirl. She finally called me at 6:00 or so with the excuse that she just got off work.

For those joining me late, I realize that StupidGirl is a terrible nickname. I would change it to SweetGirl, but StupidGirl actually likes her nickname. She says that it gives her a story to tell. So the nickname stays.


StupidGirl and went up to Fremont Street and dicked around there for a while. We were going to have dinner at Main Street Station's brewpub, but they were out of their Triple 7 Porter, and all of their other beers suck. So, in protest, we ate at this Grill Bar Saloon place. I drank Diet Coke, and StupidGirl had some foo-foo thing.

After dinner, we went back to The Strip and took in the volcano at the Mirage and the fountains at Bellagio. Walking down The Strip holding hands with a pretty girl is still one of life's perfect moments for me. I wish I could do it every night. In front of the Bellagio fountains there was much slaking. I think it was all the gushing of the water that gave us the idea. Some lady took our picture slaking in front of the fountains. I gave her my email address so she can send me a copy.

This part is probably going to seem pretty lame, but nothing reportable happened beyond that. I really like StupidGirl, and I'm going to leave it there. Maybe next time I'm in Las Vegas...

Thursday, June 14, 2007
posted by dave at 5:00 PM in category drink, entertainment, pictures, travel

Here's some crap I wrote Wednesday night.

Another Las Vegas Wednesday. Another night when I get to realize that it's the last full night I'll have here for months. Another night when I get to wonder if I could have done more with my week. Well, this time it's more like a certainty than a wondering, and it's more like a lifetime than a week. But, that's just my mood right now. It fluctuates, in case you haven't noticed.

I'm sitting at the Tilted Kilt, drinking a yummy Tilted Kilt (656) and just kind of soaking in the place for the last time. See, it's going away. Probably late this Summer. And I won't be back until November, so tonight is the last time I'll sit at this bar. This sucks. This place has been my main escape and distraction during an awful lot of troubled times. Las Vegas just won't be the same for me without it.

Also, I really like the free shows here at The Rio. Here's a crappy picture:

Rio Show

See, that kind of thing almost never happens back at Rich O's. Not even for DaveFest. Plus, it's kinda funny to see five of the gayest guys on Earth, trying to feign interest as they dance/grope five of the hottest girls on Earth.

Much time passes...

I've stayed here at the Tilted Kilt longer than I'd planned, and I've had more glasses of Tilted Kilt (720) than I'd planned, because I've realized that when this bar goes away, it takes this beer with it. This makes me even more sad, hence the staying and the drinking.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007
posted by dave at 6:02 AM in category drink, travel

Okay fine, I'll write something. I don't feel like it though, so I'm pretty sure that the quality will suffer greatly.

Yesterday, after the conference sessions mercifully ended, I walked down to New York New York. It's a long walk, but it wasn't as bad as I'd expected. I stuck my head in ESPN Zone to see if this one chick was working. She wasn't. I stuck my head in Nine Fine Irishmen to see if this one Hawaiian bartender was working. He wasn't. So I had a slice of pizza for dinner and watched people idiots for a while.

Then I went to Coyote Ugly to shirt-shop for WeirdGirl and BikerGirl. Coincidentally, they're the same size.

Then I walked over to The MGM Grand and dicked around there for a while. I ended up at this little bar where I had a couple draft glasses of Fat Tire (479). Before my second glass of Fat Tire, I had a small sample of something new.

Peroni (5)

(draft) Good head. The color of very pale piss. Aroma is very slight, and of hops. Probably the palest, definitely the most watery, beer I've ever had. I'm rating this as swill only because it's so inoffensive. Otherwise it would get a rating of piss.
As long as I'm in beer-rating mood, I had another new beer at The Freakin' Frog when I was there Monday.

Speakeasy Imperial Wheat (4)

(draft) Clear light amber. Good mound of foam. Smells and tastes like hops and alcohol. Kinda gross, but some people will probably like it.
So, not the best week for trying new beers, I guess.

On the monorail back to The Venetian, there was a hot girl wearing what may be the greatest t-shirt in history:

How dare I wear this fucking shirt in front of your fucking kids?
I wanted to take her picture for my blog, but her boyfriend wouldn't let me. I guess he didn't like the idea of the Internet jerking off to a picture of his girlfriend. Oh, well.

Back at The Venetian, I tried to take a nap. I was not successful, though, because they're doing some kind of construction in the room directly above me. I hate them, whoever they are.

So I took the free shuttle over to The Rio, and to The Tilted Kilt therein. I sat at the bar and waited for the bartender to recognize me. He did, so that was a bit of validation for me. On tap, they had one of my all-time favorites, Pyramid Tilted Kilt. So yay for that.

I spent the next few hours drinking five Tilted Kilts (640). It's so easy to forget just how good that beer is. I feel a little ashamed for doubting its supremacy.

Besides drinking, I spent time talking with the bartender and a few of the waitresses. It was a fun evening. At 11:00 or so I took a cab back to The Venetian and went to sleep.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007
posted by dave at 5:25 AM in category drink, pictures, travel

Monday morning, circadian rhythms forced me awake a little before 4:00, so I played some video poker and drank diet cokes for a few hours. Yes, I rock.

Then I remembered a couple of cool things. First, there's a free shuttle running between The Rio and Harrah's. Second, there's a monorail servicing the strip.

So, guess what I did.

Guess where I am now? I mean now as I write this, not now as you read it.

I'm at The Rio. Yay! One thousand DavePoints for anyone who guessed correctly.

I love The Rio. It's a much better place for someone like me. The Venetian is for millionaires. So I went to The Rio, and I immediately felt better. Just being in the place did me worlds of good. And then, and then I saw something that lifted my spirits to new heights.

Tilted Kilt

The Tilted Kilt is still there! Yay! I'd heard that it might be gone.

They weren't open yet though, so I couldn't go in, and I couldn't quite read the taps to see what was available. I'll be going there Tuesday night though.


I wrote the above stuff sitting at The Rio. Now I'm back in my hotel room and it's pretty damn late and I'm wide awake but little hung-over.

I'm hung-over because, when I left The Rio, I went to The Freakin' Frog. First, I took the free shuttle back to Harrah's. Then I bought a three-day pass for the monorail. Then I took said monorail to The MGM Grand. Then I took a cab to The Freakin' Frog.

Their draft list didn't impress me too much today, but I got over it quickly enough, as soon as I confirmed that they had Alaskan Smoked Porter in bottles. They had four bottles left, and I bought all four, and I drank three of them (567).

And that's why I'm a little hung-over.

The fourth bottle is here in my hotel room. I haven't decided if I'm going to drink it this week or if I want to try to figure out a way to get it home.

posted by dave at 4:56 AM in category drink, travel, weather

First of all, if wanting to have sex with Ashley Judd is wrong, then I don't want to be right.

I don't suppose there's much to say about the trip here. Had a layover in Dallas. I think the humidity there was forty-six million percent. I arrived in Las Vegas at 3:00. This is much later than I usually get here, much later then I prefer to get here. I felt like I'd wasted the entire day before I had even started.

After the usual long wait for my luggage, and the very long line for a taxi, I got to The Venetian and checked in.

SCRIBBLERESQUE PARENTHETICAL THOUGHT: This pen really sucks. I need to get a new one.

For the next several hours I searched The Venetian and some of the surrounding establishments for a decent beer place. All I found was a bar at TI with Newcastle on tap. This was not ideal because (a) it wasn't where I was staying, (b) it was served at 32.00001 degrees, and (c) Nevada's new anti-smoking laws made it impossible for me to enjoy two of my favorite vices at the same time. So I ended up leaving after two of the slushy Newcastles (5673), and I went back to The Venetian to sulk for a while.

After a dinner consisting of two giant pretzels with cheese (Nutrition First, I always say) I sat at this little bar on the casino floor, where I could smoke, and asked the bartender what bottled beers he had.

"Everything," he replied.

"Oh really?" I said. "I'd like a bottle of Alaskan Smoked Porter, please."

Hey, it was worth a shot.

"Never heard of it," the guy said.


So I ended up having a couple bottles of Fat Tire (447). It's a pretty good beer, and I began to feel a little less sorry for myself, and a little more optimistic that I might be able to enjoy myself this week.

At about 10:00, jet-lag kicked in so I retired for the night.

Sunday, June 10, 2007
posted by dave at 8:32 AM in category travel

I leave in four hours. I guess it's fairly safe to say that the goal I set for myself yesterday will be accomplished. I'm still in a pretty decent mood and, barring any out-of-the-blue occurences, I'll probably stay that way for a while.

I'm looking forward to the trip, but there is a bit of weirdness rattling around in my head about it. I think that these thoughts are similar to the ones I had back in April when I cancelled Drivel Tour '07. But there's more to it than that. This time, I think that I just don't really see the point of going anywhere. Especially not when I have to come back.

See, I'm not even in Las Vegas yet, and I'm already dreading Friday, when I'll have to come back. That dread will probably end up tainting my entire trip.

I don't really have any firm plans for while I'm there. So any stalkers will just have find me. I'm staying at The Venetian. I'll spend some time at The Rio, at The Tilted Kilt if it's still there. I'll definitely go to The Freakin' Frog, and to ESPN Zone at New York New York. Oh, and the Triple 7 Brewpub up at Main Street Station.

Well, I suppose that I'd better get started with my packing.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007
posted by dave at 12:28 AM in category daily, drink, travel, weather

Today I was presented with the possibility of something which just might be the most terrible, mind-wrenching thing that could ever possibly happen. I described the horrific scenario in an email to RockGirl.

Now, you have to realize, RockGirl knows me and my frailties better than just about anyone on Earth. There was no doubt in my mind that she would instantly realize the implications and understand the true horrors of this scenario.

So what was her response?

"I think that would be awesome."

Clearly, RockGirl has been abducted by aliens and replaced by some kind of pod-person. I will be writing her local congressman and urging him to start an immediate investigation. Hopefully the real RockGirl's whereabouts can be determined before it's too late.


I'm not really sure why, but today I had HairCutLady use clippers on me instead of just scissors like she normally does. My hair hasn't been this short since I got out of the Air Force in 1992. Plus, now I look like I'm about twelve years old.


NotHideousGirl wore a skirt today. Of course I checked out her legs. But because I'm a gentleman I told her, before she even stood up, that I'd be checking out her legs. I didn't even try to be sneaky about it. They're nice, by the way.


MisunderstoodGirl is writing a screenplay as a Summer project. People she knows are being asked to contribute character ideas to represent themselves. I can't think of a good character for myself. I thought "freelance gynecologist" was a pretty good one, but FutureDude already got dibs on that character. I'm thinking that "professional beer snob" might be the best I can come up with.


NotHideousGirl is also considering a screenplay, but all of her characters are girls.


Five days from right now I'll be in Las Vegas! Woooohoooo!


I have less than five days to either find my testicles, or grow a new pair.


I saw a pretty fucking impressive wall cloud today after work. I got really excited about the potential severe weather, but all it did was rain for a while. At least at my house that's all it did. I haven't watched any TV tonight, so maybe there's been death and destruction all around me. That would be just my luck.


There was a chick at work today who looked very familiar to me. I think she might have been a girl I had a crush on back in junior high. If I see her again I'll have to ask her.


Schlenkerla Marzen (219) is yummy.


I kinda think I want to move back to Alaska. Not forever, but for a year or so. I would live in a secluded cabin and be a recluse. It would be cool.

Saturday, April 21, 2007
posted by dave at 5:36 PM in category daily, drink, travel

Lunch at Polly's.
        It's comfort food for me.
        Had to sit in the old people section,
                Some kids were at my usual table.

Continued Westward.

Took the scenic route as opposed to the non-scenic route.
        Consists of a ten-mile speedtrap.
                Known as Highway 37.
        HatGirl called me, so that was cool.
                Except that I almost died until I pulled off the road.

Arrived in Derby.
        Also known as where?
        And never heard of it.

River was up pretty high.
        Probably as high as I've seen it down there.
        They had a signpost showing old flood levels.
                So it wasn't really that high at all.
        I should have taken a picture.

Ramsey's Tavern hadn't changed at all.
        Same generic old man at the bar.
        Same generic interchangeble bikers at the tables.
        Same stuffed deer heads on the walls.

They don't have Falls City anymore.
        I guess some things do change.
        The bartender remembered Dad.
                I think she's the one who had a major crush on him.
        Had two Bud Lights.
                Not as gross as I was expecting.
        Had a moment of panic when I saw that I had no phone signal there.
                What if HatGirl had tried to call again?
        So I left.

Took the non-scenic, with-speedtrap route back home.
        Brought back memories of the day I met MixedSignalGirl.
                Which I think was the last time I went to Derby.
        Seeing the disabled car really brought back memories.
        It was a hot girl.
                With two kids hiding in the shade at the treeline.
                And a husband crouching in the driver's seat.
                        Oh, well.
        They didn't need anymore help.
                Somebody was already going to get some gas for them.
                i wish I'd had some cold sodas for the kids though.
                        They looked miserable.

Thursday, April 19, 2007
posted by dave at 1:04 PM in category ramblings, travel

Back in November I wrote about how I'd been feeling like Southern Indiana had somehow grown giant hands which it was using to push me away. I wrote that it had been a good thing that I was going to Las Vegas, because there's no way I'd have been able to stay where I was. This place was actively rejecting my presence.

That was a new feeling for me. Always before, I wrote, always before I'd been pulled to faraway places. Then, after Las Vegas or Chicago or wherever had loosened its grip on me, I felt free to come home. I even felt like home welcomed me back sometimes.

Yesterday I had an idea for something to do with my four-day weekend. A road trip, but not just any old road trip. An action-packed extravaganza. Drivel Tour '07, I began calling it in my head.

The plan was simple, yet brilliant. I had four days and three nights to kill. I let a couple of cities rattle around in my head, but none seemed quite right. Not quite enough. That's when my brilliance kicked in.

I'd drive south, to Nashville, and spend Thursday night there. Then, Friday morning, I'd drive another couple of hours, and end up in Memphis. Friday night I'd visit some of the touristy areas that I'd so carefully avoided back in 1998, when I lived in Memphis. Maybe I'd even meet up with a fellow blogger and we could swap some of the stories we'd never written about. I've got a zillion of those.

Then, Saturday morning, I'd drive up to St. Louis, and I'd go to that Growler's Pub. They have good beer there. Or maybe back to Laclede's Landing, and that brewpub that I liked, Morgan Street.

Sunday morning I'd have a four-hour drive back home. Four-day weekend spent. Beer drank. Problem solved.

It was a good plan, if I do say so myself. And I do. It might have even been fun. A giant circle of a road trip. I even briefly considered calling it Circle Jerk '07.

Well, it's not going to happen.

WeirdGirl invited me to go on a trip with her and a dozen of her friends. We wouldn't leave until Friday and, since I can't make up my damn mind, the Nashville leg of Drivel Tour '07 is effectively cancelled. And without that first leg, the entire trip is shot.

I seriously doubt that I'll end up going with WeirdGirl. I can't emotionally afford to develop feelings for her, and that's probably what would happen.

Oh yeah, also my sister Dina is having a cookout on Sunday. The thought of starting that day in St. Louis, driving four hours to get home, then spending who knows how much time at my sister's house, well it's exhausting just thinking about it.

Either one of those things - either WeirdGirl's invitation or Dina's cookout - may have been enough to cancel my road trip. But neither of them were really needed.

A part of me knew all along that I wasn't really going anywhere.

What would be the point? What would I accomplish?

Not a fucking thing.

See, Southern Indiana is no longer pushing me away. I'm irrelevant to this place now. I'm not needed here, but neither am I needed to be gone from here. Like I said, irrelevant.

No faraway cities call to me. They have nothing to offer me except disappointment. Though it does seems a little strange to me, that disappointment can still exist even where there are no real hopes or expectations. I guarantee that it does still exist.

This is all pretty much the same reason that I didn't go anywhere for Easter this year. I saw no point in it. There would be no rejuvenation for me. No real relaxation. Nothing but wasted thoughts and wasted days and nights.

Well, I can do all that right here near home. And, right here near home, it's expected that it will all be a waste.

Friday, April 6, 2007
posted by dave at 10:55 AM in category travel

Observant readers may have noticed that I haven't mentioned my Easter weekend trip for a while. JS readers may have noticed that I took down my poll.

Well, here's the deal. I'm not going anywhere.

I have several excuses for staying home. A couple of them might even seem halfway reasonable, to some people. But to me, to me they add up to nothing but a thin coat of paint, trying to cover up the ugly fact that I've given up.

Sunday, March 18, 2007
posted by dave at 11:44 AM in category daily, travel

I was just about going to write something about the last few nights, but I changed my mind.

Anything I might write would be either too boring or too cryptic.

Anyway, now I'm driving up to Indianapolis. Just for the night. I'll be coming home tomorrow.

Maybe the unfamiliar surroundings will stir my creative juices.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007
posted by dave at 12:39 AM in category drink, travel

It's recently come to my attention that I write boring stuff. Especially when it comes to my beer reports. There are, in fact, surprisingly few people who care what I drink when I go to the bar. And even fewer care about where I sit, or who I talk to while I'm there.

So I'll try to be less boring. But I can't make any promises.

Saturday night at Rich O's wasn't nearly as bad as I'd feared. The Daytonians who usually overrun the place on the first Saturday of Gravity Head were, apparently, diverted to Columbus. At least most of them were. Only a half-dozen or so made it here to New Albany and, as luck would have it, they were the polite and charming half-dozen.

So that was nice.

Let's see, my first beer was an Avery The Beast (22), and my next two were Koningshoeven Quads (376).

MusicalYuppieDude was on the rag over something or other. Probably some chick, they're all trouble. Too bad they control the world's pussy supply.

I found out that WomanRepellant's mom passed away last weekend. That really sucks. They were quite close, and he'll get my full condolences when I run into him again.

Oh yeah, this one dude ordered, I shit you not, an NABC Community Dark. This is an odd enough thing to do during Gravity Head, but get this - he ordered the thing with a fucking lemon wedge. The obvious yet unstated request - that the bartender also spooge into the guy's glass - was not granted. And for that I'm grateful. Nobody wants to see that. Except for LemonWedgeGuy I guess.

Anyway, as I hinted at a couple of entries ago, when I left Rich O's I went over to see WeirdGirl. I've changed her nickname because, well, because she's weird. I mean, two weeks ago when she found out how old I am, she basically accused me of being a child rapist. Now I guess it's okay. She says it doesn't bother her. I think maybe she gets off on it. Or maybe she figures I'll die in the throes of passion and she'll inherit my kingdom.

Sunday morning I didn't feel like going home. So I decided to go for a drive. I asked WeirdGirl if she wanted to go, but she declined. Fine with me. I needed to do some soul-searching anyway. Needed to try to find myself as I seem to have gotten lost lately.

Well I drove all the way to St. Louis and back, and I never did find myself. I'm a slippery bastard I guess.

Thursday, March 8, 2007
posted by dave at 5:13 PM in category travel

June 10th through 15th!


It's at The Venetian though, so I have serious doubts that there'll be any good beer. Maybe no beer at all. Probably just foo-foo drinks and wine and champagne, and nothing but caviar to eat.

But I'll get by. I always do.

Vegas, baby!

Friday, February 23, 2007
posted by dave at 10:41 AM in category travel

This used to be a standalone page, but I'm making it a blog entry now because (a) I'm bored and (b) It'll be easier for people to make trip suggestions.


This is just a map showing the states I've been to. States in blue are places I've lived, states shown in red are places I've been to, and states in gray are places I've yet to visit. Of course the goal is to eliminate all of the gray states. Indiana is in white both because I was born there and because it's where I currently live.

The rules I use here are pretty simple. To count as a visit I have to not be at the airport. Driving through a state without stopping doesn't count either. To count as a residence I have to have moved out of my previous residence.

  • The furthest West I've ever been: Anchorage, Alaska (149.9 W)

  • The furthest North I've ever been: Palmer, Alaska (61.6 N)

  • The furthest East in the United States: Portland, Maine (70.26 W)

  • The furthest South in the United States: Orlando, Florida (28.5 N)

This is your chance to help shape my destiny. You want to. I know you do. So leave a comment to suggest locations for my upcoming mini-vacations.

Look at the map above. The gray states are those that I'd be most interested in visiting, but I'll consider just about anyplace.

Just keep in mind that I'm talking about three or four days at the most here, so someplace like Honolulu probably wouldn't be a good choice. Most of the West coast will also have to wait for a longer vacation. I don't want to waste two days flying there and back. Long drives are a better option though because I enjoy the driving.

My priorities in selecting a destination, in no particular order:

  • Places I haven't been before (either cities or states)

  • People I know are there (no unattractive stalkers please)

  • Availability of good beer (such as brewpubs or bars with good regional selections)

  • Beautiful scenery (mountains and oceans and shit)

  • Other tourist attractions (historical and museums and the like)

  • Professional baseball games (this affects WHEN I could visit)

Saturday, December 2, 2006
posted by dave at 10:43 PM in category drink, ramblings, travel

(Written Saturday afternoon)

Three hours this time. Stupid Delta.

I'm sitting in the BBC bar at the Cincinnati airport, having a yummy Dark Star Porter (248). It's yummy.


I can still really feel Southern Indiana trying to repel me. I bet the plane used extra fuel as it carried me Eastward. I bet the pilot was concerned.

I am a salmon being forced to swim upstream, but I have no spawning to anticipate.

Back to the grind I go. No choice, really.

At least no choice that I'm willing to make. No chance that I'm willing to take.

Hey, that rhymed!

My Pulitzer awaits.

Update: it ended up being a four-hour layover because of the stupid weather on the East coast.

Update Again: My cats were glad to see me. I guess that's something.

posted by dave at 10:33 PM in category drink, travel

(Written Friday night)

Man, this has been a week of boring entries. But that's okay. It means that there's been no drama stirring up crap in my head.

I suppose that will change though.

It always does.

The conference ended at 11:30 this morning. I didn't stick around to watch them clean up. I took a cab over to The Hard Rock so I could buy a souvenir glass and eat lunch at The Pink Taco. I'm not a huge fan of Mexican food, but I've always loved the enchiladas at The Pink Taco. Plus they seem to have a rule that only drop-dead gorgeous girls can work there. I was surrounded my supermodels and movie stars. So, just like my regular life back home. Not.

After lunch I took a cab over to New York New York. I stuck my head in ESPN Zone to see if PonytailGirl was working. She wasn't, so I went over to Nine Fine Irishmen.

I sat at the bar and the guy asked me, "Smithwick's for lunch?"

That's what I said to him every day when I was here in August. Pretty cool that he remembered.

So I had two Smithwick's (1444) then I dicked around New York New York for an hour or two. I really like that place. It's got style.

After I'd cabbed it back to The Rio I tried a couple of times to take a nap, but it never took.

And now I'm at The Tilted Kilt drinking a Tilted Kilt (526). The plan is to make this a short night because I have to get up at like 3:30 to leave.

Oh yeah, VegasDude finally called me back. He was quite apologetic. I told him not to worry about it.

Deschutes Black Butte Porter (4)

(bottle) Cola color. Roasted malt and caramel aroma. Fairly thin mouthfeel. The flavor was of cola and caramel. Slightly dry finish. Good.
That beer was a nice surprise. They'd had some people in to pitch some beers to the bar, and they'd left an extra bottle, so a bunch of us split it.

Other than that, I had three more pints of Tilted Kilt (560), and I talked with HenPeckedGuy, then at around 10:00 I went up to my room and slept.

Friday, December 1, 2006
posted by dave at 4:08 PM in category drink, travel

This will be my last full night in Las Vegas for a long time. At least six months, maybe a year. The conference ends tomorrow at noon. Maybe I'll go over to the strip then. For tonight, I'll just stick with The Tilted Kilt. I'll take notes.

I arrive. Some fucker is in my seat. HenPeckedGuy isn't working - some hot girl is behind the bar. I've talked briefly with StupidGirl and ordered a Fat Tire (423).

This fucker better leave my seat soon.

This bartender is hot. I hereby dub her HotRioGirl. Believe it or not, the outfits the girls wear here aren't very flattering. Some of the girls can't really get away with wearing them. HotRioGirl can.

I should eat something. Nothing here ever looks edible though. Except the waitresses.

A bunch of assholes just came in. They all ordered Sam Adams. What a bunch of sheep.

I drink too quickly in Las Vegas when the beer is yummy. I'm ordering an Arrogant Bastard (46) to slow myself down.

HenPeckedGuy is here now.

Arrogant Bastard is kind of nasty, but I'm sure it'll get better as the glass empties.

I just saw HatGirl's twin. A little chubby, but still hot. She caught me slobbering at her and she smiled.

This fucker still hasn't vacated my seat.

I'm moving to the other end of the bar. It was either that or murder the fucker.

I've ordered a pizza thingy with no tomato sauce.

The waitresses here aren't allowed behind the bar. Weird.

I'm in a strange mood. I'm ordering a heterosexual Pyramid Hefeweizen (16).

Here's my official review:

Pyramid Hefeweizen

(draft) The color of dirty piss. A decent head and good lacing. Aroma of orange peels. Thin and citrusy flavor and mouthfeel. A touch of grapefruit bitterness at the end. Quite disgusting.
My pizza thingy is here. It's pretty good. Needs more garlic though.

Piss time.

I just checked, and I don't see Bass Pale Ale on my beer page either. So now I know what I'm having next.

I just made two nerds try the Tilted Kilt Ale, and they liked it enough to order full pints. Yay me!

HotRioGirl forgot to pour my Bass.


Bass Pale Ale (16)

(draft) Light copper. Good head, good lacing. Whoa. A strong malt and hop aroma, quite dry. Thin mouthfeel but still quite coating. Malt and hops predominate everything. Surprisingly bad.
Piss time.

This beer is gross. No wonder a lot of people mix it with Guinness.

I just drunk-texted HatGirl. I told her about her twin.

I miss HatGirl.

There's a new waitress here who looks like Erika from Big Brother. She's hot.

This isn't working. I'm not slowing down at all. I'm switching tactics and changing to lower ABV beers. Ordering a Guinness (1307).

Except for the waitresses and HotRioGirl, this place is a sausage-fest tonight.

Piss time.

Ordering a Smithwick's (1404). I've been talking to some dude from Ireland, and he got me in the mood for one.

I am so cut off. Switching to Diet Coke.

Piss time.

Still talking to IrishDude. Now I'm thirsty though. Ordering a Tilted Kilt (496).

I am so cut off. Seriously.

Piss time.

Apparently, if you go to France, it's better to butcher their language than to simply admit that you don't speak it. This is according to IrishDude.

OMG that chick has huge tits!

IrishDude has left the premises.

Now two old women from Scotland are here. They just came from the Chippendales show. They are drunk. I'm one to talk.

Two new dudes are here. I think they're from America of all places. They're cool.

Dead Guy time (198).

The American dudes bought my Dead Guy. That was nice, but I'm not putting out.

The ziggy-zaggy guys are here now. Oh fucking boy.

Switching back to Diet Coke. I'm so cut off.

Been talking to a guy from Belgium that I met the other night. He's pretty cool.

BelgianDude bought me a Newcastle (2758). Fuck.

Piss time.

I guess I've drank all the beer in Las Vegas, and they're closing the place down. I'm going to sleep now.

Thursday, November 30, 2006
posted by dave at 5:52 PM in category drink, travel

So I had a date last night. Sort of. It was advertised as a date, and it started out like a date, but I don't think it was a date.

I think it was more of an interrogation.

But that's okay. It was still fun. We ate at this seafood place in The Rio. The food was fantastic.

But no slaking took place, and it ended early because she had to go to work.

Anyway, with my newfound winnings, I took a cab to downtown Vegas. Specifically, I went to Main Street Station, more specifically to the Triple 7 brewpub therein.

Usually when I go to downtown Vegas I spend some time dicking around Fremont Street, but it was too cold for that last night. So I got right down to business. The business of beer.

I had three Black Chip porters (153). That beer is world-class. Easily worth the cab fare to get downtown and back. All of their other beers suck, so I didn't see any need to mix things up by ordering anything else.

After my three beers it was still too cold to dick around, so I took a cab back to The Rio and went to The Tilted Kilt.

The place was packed, but HenPeckedGuy managed to find an empty stool for me at the end of the bar. I had a Tilted Kilt Ale (480) and talked to some dude from Belgium for a while. He was drinking a fucking Stella. Yuck.

Then later some pompous doucebag took offense when I laughed out loud at his demand for two orange wedges in his Blue Moon. So I asked HenPeckedGuy if he knew how to make a Heterosexual Blue Moon. That's one without any fruit.

Then I asked if OrangeWedgeGuy could get a little umbrella for his beer.

My Blue Moon (318) was good. The look on OrangeWedgeGuy's face, as he stomped out of the place, was priceless. I bet he went back to his room and cried himself to sleep.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006
posted by dave at 11:44 PM in category daily, travel

Today after lunch I stopped at this little bar thingy in The Rio, at a video poker machine.

Just to have something to do before the afternoon sessions started.

I'd already used up all my luck the other day, so I figured that I'd lose my $20 daily allocation pretty quickly.

I was playing 3-play deuces wild, a five quarter bet on each hand. If you've never played 3-play before (I hadn't) what is does is it deals you five cards like normal, but your hold cards get duplicated to two other hands. Then you draw for all three hands. It's kinda cool.

So I was about $10 into my $20, and the thing dealt me four deuces. Before the draw, not that that matters. You can't improve on four deuces.

So I won 1000 quarters. $250.

I hit the hold button for the four deuces and watched them duplicate for the other two hands. Then I hit the draw button because you still have to do that.

Well the machine didn't pick that moment to malfunction, to my mild surprise.

I won $750.

Ka-Ching, right?

Well that was my first thought.

My seconds thought was, fuck!

See, if I'd been a man instead of a mouse, I'd have been playing dollar bets instead of quarter bets. If I'd been a man instead of a mouse, I'd have won $3,000.

But wait!

There's more!

That machine also offered 5-play and 10-play modes.

So, if I'd been a man instead of a mouse, and if I'd been a man with big giant barbed-wire balls instead of a regular man, I'd have been playing dollar bets in 10-play mode.

I'd have won $10,000.

Like I said, fuck!

I don't expect much pity here.

posted by dave at 5:53 PM in category drink, travel

Tuesday night, as promised, I did a formal beer comparison instead of just drinking beer.

This certainly slowed me down. I hope you appreciate it.

This is not a competition. So, as David Letterman used to say, Please, no wagering.

I got to The Tilted Kilt at about 8:00. I'd have been there earlier but I had a yummy cajun burger and a yummy Alaskan Amber (2150) at this All-American Grille place first.

HenPeckedGuy was working at The Tilted Kilt. He didn't even bat an eye when I asked for four small servings of four different beers. In fact, he acted like weird people ask him to do strange things every day. It must be some Las Vegas thing.

Once I had my four beers in front of me, along with my notebook, I got down to business.

Tilted Kilt: Cloudy brown. Some graininess to the clouding.
Rogue Dead Guy: Kind of a flat copper color. A little cloudiness.
Fat Tire: Bright dark copper.
Newcastle Brown Ale: Very dark brown, almost cola-colored.

TK: Yeast and malt.
DG: Malty, and a little hoppy.
FT: Strong malty sweetness.
N: Deep malt. Some hop notes.

TK: Slightly thick.
DG: Oily and coating.
FT: Watery and a little drying.
N: Fairly thick, no coating.

Foam (after 10 minutes and a few sips)
TK: No head, no lacing.
DG: 40% thin foam covering.
FT: 100% thin foam covering, great lacing.
N: 10% thin foam, pretty good lacing.

TK: Malt and yeast. Sweet.
DG: Malty with a little bite.
FT: Malt and something else. Maybe vanilla.
N: Roasty and sweet, with a bit of a bite.

TK: Slightly dry, no bitterness.
DG: Coating and sweet.
FT: Slightly dry. Vanishes instantly.
N: Just a hint of a bitter bite at the end.

This one hot girl says she's dying to know what I'm writing. I wonder what she'd do for a peek.

As I said, this was not a competition. But, if it had been, Newcastle would have won. Newcastle would have been followed by Tilted Kilt, then Fat Tire, and finally Dead Guy.

All are very good beers though.

For the rest of the night I had three pints of Tilted Kilt (464). I did end up showing the hot girl what I'd written. I think she was underwhelmed.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006
posted by dave at 4:56 AM in category drink, travel

Monday was a long day. The first full day in Las Vegas is always long. My EST ass woke up at 5:30 and refused to go back to sleep so I stayed up.

I did some stuff for work. I ate some breakfast. I caught up on some writing. I basically just dicked around The Rio until noon, then I took the shuttle over to the strip. Then I dicked around on the strip for a while. I'd thought that I might buy a new watch at this place by The Alladin, but all of the watches they had were ugly.

At 3:00 or so, I took a cab over to The Freakin' Frog. I had a yummy Alaskan Amber (2134) with my lunch, then I had another one for dessert (2150).

The bartender was new to me. I liked her because she didn't argue with me when I asked for an unchilled glass - always before it's been an international incident. I liked her even more when she pointed out that they also had Alaskan Smoked Porter on tap. I fell in love with her when she said that it was vintage 1998.

Wowie fucking zowie.

So, guess what I proceeded to drink four of.

Alaskan Smoked Porter is correct.

I had four beautiful and yummy 10-ounce pours (485), and I wish I could have had more. Being a lightweight really sucks sometimes.

Besides the bartender, I talked to the owner for a bit. I've talked to him before, and I can never remember his fucking name. Andy or Matt or Adam or something generic like that.

There was also a guy in a suit who was pretty cool despite his affection for Miller Lite, and an Hispanic guy who drank eight million Bud Lights in an hour then left a $1 tip.

Anyway, after 32 ounces of Alaskan Amber and 40 ounces of Alaskan Smoked Porter, I was a little tipsy. I was also exhausted. So I took a cab back to The Rio and took a nap.

Later, I went down to The Tilted Kilt and had a couple Tilted Kilt Ales (412).

Monday, November 27, 2006
posted by dave at 11:54 PM in category general, travel

...because I'm finding it difficult to stretch anything out beyond a few sentences.

I think that an implied lie might be even worse than an explicit one. Why would I think such a thing? Well, because an implied lie reveals not only the foolishness of the recipient, but also the cowardice of the liar.


I bought a new jacket on Friday, and this morning the snap thingy on the sleeve broke. So my luck may be turning. Yesterday was nice though.


When I leave the quiet and solitude of my room, and ride the elevator down, and walk out onto the casino floor, I always smile. It's like I forget where I am, and the lights and the music jolt me back to reality. I love it here.


It sucks to not have a camera phone anymore. I did bring my good camera with me, but I don't feel like lugging it around 24/7.


It would be cool to bring NotHideousGirl to Las Vegas. We could find an open-mike night somewhere, and she could sing and be discovered and become famous and shit. All thanks to me.

posted by dave at 11:32 AM in category drink, travel

I was thinking about eating something. Not because I was particularly hungry. Just because I knew I'd be drinking.

I wandered around The Rio for a while, but nothing really jumped out at me, food-wise. Then I had the idea of going to downtown to grab some dinner and a Black Chip Porter at Main Street Station. then I remembered that I was supposed to call SpoonsGirl's brother, VegasDude. I called him and left a message. I guess there's a chance that we could end up downtown sometime this week. He's a guy, so the universe will not implode if he calls me back.

So I went and played three hands of video poker, got a royal flush, and decided to quit while I was ahead.

Now I'm sitting at the bar in The Tilted Kilt, having a Tilted Kilt Ale (348).

Just used my Blackberry to check the Freakin' Frog website. They always have their current drafts listed there. I see that they currently have my beloved Alaskan Amber on tap!


So now I know where I'm going tomorrow.

The taps for Newcastle and Fat Tire and Dead Guy and Tilted Kilt are calling to me. I should do a formal comparison of those four. They're similar enough that it should be interesting.

StupidGirl is working. I should probably give her a new nickname, but I've become attached to this one. I'm sure I'll talk to her sometime tonight. She looks cute.

This bartender working tonight is slow.

Scratch that - while I was writing about how he was slow, he was already pouring me another Tilted Kilt (364).

I think I'll do the tasting on Tuesday when HenPeckedDude is working. This guy tonight would probably screw it up.

I need to eat something. For some reason I always crave grilled cheese sandwiches in Las Vegas.

I must remember to buy some lip balm.

And a case of condoms. Ha ha.

Piss time.

Another Tilted Kilt (380).

It's surreal to be sitting here. I've gone through a lot on this stool.

Piss time, and Diet Coke time.

So, I guess PictureGirl is seeing someone now. I think I'm relieved. I mean, it would have been nice to see her, but the thought of her waiting around for me to visit creeped me out a little.

Been talking to StupidGirl. I'd love to talk some more, but the time zone change is catching up with me. Time for bed.

Sunday, November 26, 2006
posted by dave at 2:18 PM in category drink, travel

It's funny how things work out sometimes.

Allow me to 'splain.

My mind is your basic two-track male model. Sometimes I can squeeze in a third track, but usually it's the same two over and over.

So, because of one of the tracks, I was looking forward to having Rogue Chocolate Stout while in Las Vegas. I discovered that wonderful beer here last December, and when I came back in August it was here waiting for me.

So I had it last December in Las Vegas. I had it at Rich O's during DaveFest in June and July, and I had it again when I returned to Las Vegas in August. Throw in the few times I've had it in bottled form, and I've had it a lot. About 1,000 ounces, up until last week.

Now I'm up to 1,172 ounces.

Because, last week, it came back to the Rich O's draft list.


This was very cool, and it was made even more cool because it was a surprise to me.

But I remember thinking, last Wednesday as I drank a yummy pint, I remember thinking, Now what am I supposed to look forward to drinking in Las Vegas?

Fat Tire I can get here. I like Fat Tire, but it's not really enough to wrap an entire trip to Las Vegas around.

Ditto for the Black Chip Porter up at Main Street Station. Besides, that's only available up there, and it's a $50 cab ride away from The Rio.

I had no idea what beer would end up defining this trip.

Until I walked into The Tilted Kilt this afternoon.

There was no Rogue Chocolate Stout on tap.

But, that was okay, because in its place, there was...


Pyramid Tilted Kilt!

Fucking yay and yay!

This beer, for those of you who haven't been studying me as much as you should, is a beer that I discovered here in the Spring of 2004. It immediately became one of my all-time favorites, and I drank a lot of it.

Then, I never saw it again. I was even told that Pyramid had stopped making it.

I was devastated, I tell you.

But no more.

Because Pyramid Tilted Kilt has come back into my life, and now I know which beer will define this entire trip.

I had two small pints (332) with my lunch, and now I've got to try to get some sleep.

But first, here's the rest of my day so far.

My suitcase was the third one to arrive at baggage claim.

The taxi line was a million miles long, but I overheard a dude tell a driver that he was going to The Rio, and I ended up sharing the taxi with him.

There was a hot naked chick at the check-in counter. She was yelling something about something.

I got a room right away. Sometimes I have to wait for hours before a room is available.

Anyway, I'm fucking tired now. I was too excited to sleep last night. I need to sleep now, at least for a couple of hours.

posted by dave at 12:40 PM in category ramblings, travel

I'm sitting in a bar in the Cincinnati airport with most of an hour to kill before my flight to Las Vegas. I guess I'm about 90 miles from home.

The strange thing is that this is plenty far enough. I have no need to go any farther. Oh, I certainly want to go farther. I've been looking forward to this trip for a long time. But, and this is something that I've had pounded into my brain for the last few months, wants and needs are two different things. Sometimes they are two very different things. Sometimes they even oppose each other. They face off across the field of my life, prepared to battle. To the death if necessary. To my death if necessary.

Fortunately that's not the case with me here and now. Here and now what I need is a logical subset of what I want.

I want to go to Las Vegas. I want to drink some good beer. I want to see PictureGirl. I might even want to do some gambling or maybe take in a show or two.

But what I need, what I need is to get the fuck away from Southern Indiana.

So this is an unusual trip for me. I've always been pulled before. This time I'm being pushed. I guess Las Vegas is a pretty good place to end up.

Sunday, September 10, 2006
posted by dave at 11:26 AM in category drink, pictures, travel

Man I'm so behind on these things. But I don't feel like writing so I'm just going to rush through this.


On Tuesday, I went to Rich O's to see SassyGirl and JauntyGirl. This could be the last time I get to see them in that place, so it was kind of bittersweet for me. I took a picture to remember them by.

SassyGirl and JauntyGirl

To drink, I had myself three glasses of Delirium Tremens (712).

After the girls left I stuck around and talked to CoffeeDude for quite a while. I think I bored him with my stories, but at least we didn't talk about coffee. I also tried to get MixedSignalGirl (yes, we're talking again) to come but we got into a fight instead.


Wednesday night, I was in Broomfield Colorado. There was a brewpub right next to my hotel. I think it was called CB & Potts, but it was the Big horn Brewery too. Or maybe Ram brewing. It was quite confusing.

Anyway, I had myself a yummy steak dinner, and with it I had a couple of beers:

Big Horn Hefeweizen (20)

(draft) Served in a glass that was way too cold. There were ice crystals in the beer. Once it had thawed out a little, this was a pretty good beer. Very much a German-style wheat, but with the tiniest little bite of hops in the finish. I liked it.
For my next beer, I asked the girl to thaw me a glass out ahead of time.

Big Horn Total Disorder Porter (20)

(draft) Very nice. Chocolately and roasty and malty. If this was available near my home it would be one of my favorite beers.
After that I went to this place who's name escapes me. I'd gone in there earlier to see what they had on tap, and the hot bartender had told me to come back after I'd eaten, so I did.

While I was there I talked to the hot bartender and I had several phone conversations with MixedSignalGirl. To drink, I had a 24-ounce glass of Fat Tire (403) and then a regular 16-ounce glass of Newcastle (2348). Then I ordered some chicken tenders and went back to the hotel.


Thursday I didn't drink anything. I didn't do anything except go to class and then read a book in my room.


Friday I didn't drink anything. All I did was check my email every 10 seconds and try to avoid having a total meltdown.


Saturday I flew back home.

After a nice meal at the haunted Burger King, I went to Rich O's and got there at about 8:00. I waved at MusicalHippyDude and GlassesGirl who were sitting at the island, and I sat in the throne and talked to a couple that seemed to know me. I will now christen then Scarecrow and HopGirl.

I had a Delirium Tremens (722).

After a while everybody around me started talking about boring stuff so I moved up to the island. This was about the time I had another Delirium Tremens (732).

Then those people started talking about boring stuff. I realized that I was just bored and that it had nothing to do with anyone else. So I texted HatGirl on the off-chance that she'd come to Rich O's.

Well it worked! I got a reply back that they'd be coming in! Yay!

I think that this was about when I ordered my third Delirium Tremens (742).

After a million years, during which I tried somewhat successfully to lure MusicalHippyDude into interesting conversations, HatGirl came in to say "Hi." She and her sister and LuckyFucker were sitting out front. So after a suitable interval I went out to sit with them.



I spent the next hour or two migrating back and forth between the island and the front area.

Sometime during that period I had a fourth Delirium Tremens (752).

After HatGirl and company left I moved back to the island for good. WomanRepellant had snuck in at some point, as had Bubbles and NoNickNameDude. So I finished my beer and talked with them for a while. I also had a couple Diet Cokes to give the beer time to wear off.

I came home at 12:30 or so.

Saturday, September 9, 2006
posted by dave at 6:38 PM in category travel

So I'm pretty disappointed with my stalker community.

I mean, I had one girl surprise me in Las Vegas, but I'm not even sure that PictureGirl counts because she knew me then found my journal.

But I had zero obsessed stalkers in Denver. Just like in there were zero in Cleveland and in St. Louis earlier this year.

The Denver count makes me sad. I had high hopes (Okay, regular hopes. Okay, slim hopes. Okay, it at least crossed my mind) that my favorite Coloradonian would show up at the airport, or at the hotel. She could have at least written a message in blood, professing her undying devotion, on my rental car's windshield.

That would have made the trip worthwhile.

Anyway, I'm home now. My bedroom window is in the Northeast corner of my house. I usually sleep in the nude.

Watch out for bees though. There may be some left out there.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006
posted by dave at 8:47 AM in category travel

Just a quick post here. I don't have many definite plans.

I arrive in Denver at 2:55 on some American Airlines flight from Dallas. Then, I'll get my rental car and drive to Broomfield and check into the Towneplace Suites.

After that, I have no plans. Except for the class I'll be taking on Thursday and Friday. I'd had a brilliant idea for Friday night, but I don't have the funding to pull it off.

I'll probably just stick around Broomfield and maybe see if there are any decent bars there.

Then I leave at like 10:00 Saturday morning and I get back to Louisville at 5:25.

Saturday, August 26, 2006
posted by dave at 4:50 PM in category travel

Okay, I'm home.

My laptop broke Thursday night, but I still wrote some shit in my notebook.

Shit being the operative word in that last sentence.

I might post some of it anyway, as that's probably what people have come to expect from me lately.

The show must go on after all.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006
posted by dave at 3:26 AM in category pictures, travel


Continue reading "grandeur" »

Tuesday, August 22, 2006
posted by dave at 12:54 PM in category drink, travel

Monday night, after my nap, I took a cab up to The Riviera. I didn't stay very long though. Just long enough to briefly check for anyone I knew. I didn't see anyone, so I took a cab to The Rio.

I took notes.

There's something about The Rio that feels like home to me. I love walking into this place - it just energizes me. And that goes double for The Tilted Kilt. Even though they seem to have gone insane with remodeling, it's still my favorite place in Las Vegas.

Anyway, the first thing I noticed was that I didn't know the bartender. I'd been hoping that HenpeckedGuy would be working. The second thing I noticed was that PictureGirl was nowhere to be seen. The third thing was that Rogue Dead Guy Ale was on tap, so I ordered one (194).

Lastly, I noticed that Rogue Chocolate Stout was on tap. Yay! So I guess I know what I'll be drinking for the rest of the night.

PictureGirl doesn't work here anymore. That's probably for the best. Also, HenpeckedGuy will be working here tomorrow night.

I'm struck by the realization that this is the first time that I've sat in this bar and felt completely safe. There is zero chance of a surprise visit. It's a pretty nice feeling, or at least it would be if I were sane. For me, it's quite dull. This is probably one of the reasons that I've felt so strange about this entire trip. I've achieved safety via isolation, and isolation is something I've never wanted.

Some dipshit just ordered a black and tan.

StupidGirl still works here. She smiled at me. I should ask her what happened to PictureGirl. Scratch that - I should ask her no such thing.

Rogue Chocolate Stout time (858).

Problem is, I'm still a bit hung-over from lunch.

I should have stayed at The Riviera longer. It would have been nice to see some people I know.

In case nobody has ever noticed, that Sharipova girl is hot.

I wish I was staying here instead of at The Luxor.

OMG, this fucker next to me just told the bartender that he's not a lightweight so he drinks Bud and not Bud Light. I'm sitting here biting my tongue to keep from laughing in his face.

He's noticed me grinning, and now he's glaring at me. I may have to beat the shit out of him.

So instead of getting into a fight with PussyMan, I've been talking to him. He's a Yankees fan. Seems like a decent guy despite his delusions about beer.

Another Rogue Chocolate Stout (874).

I like hot girls.

Stupid people have arrived.

StupidGirl just offered to give me PictureGirl's phone number. I told her that I was seeing someone. That was, of course, a big fat lie.

Okay, I compromised. I gave StupidGirl my number.

Honesty time. I told StupidGirl that I'm not in a relationship, but that I'm taken nonetheless. This confused her. I fear that her brain may explode now.

She keeps trying to see what I'm writing, but it's none of her business so I'm using my free hand to hide it.

I told her about the hiding what I'm writing. She asked if it was about her. I said it was. She asked it if was good. I said it was neutral. Her face fell.

I could probably have sex with StupidGirl if I wanted to, but I don't want to. That's weird.

I'm going to the Grand Canyon tomorrow morning, and I don't want to be hung-over, so I'm outta here.


So I took a cab to New York New York and had a Diet Coke and talked to PonytailGirl while I waited for my chicken tenders to get ready. Then I walked back to my room at The Luxor and ate then slept.

In an hour or so I leave for the Grand Canyon! Yay!

posted by dave at 11:41 AM in category drink, pictures, travel

Monday morning, after I'd won a little bit of money playing video poker, I did some walking around. My plan had been to walk up to The Riviera where there's a pool tournament going on, but I only made it to Caesar's Palace.

I took a bunch of pictures.

Paris Las Vegas is quite photogenic.

paris las vegas

I did another zoom test with my camera. Here's the unzoomed view of New York New York.


And here's the zoomed view.

nyny zoomed

I think this stained glass dome was inside Paris Las Vegas.

stained glass dome

I took a lot of pictures of fountains. I like fountains.


I stopped at Planet Hollywood inside Caesar's and this creepy thing was on the wall.

creepy thing

More fountains.

cool fountains

These were cooler in person.

more statues
statue chick

Here's the obligatory strip shot taken from just outside New York New York.

obligatory strip shot

The first time I ever came to Las Vegas these talking statues were probably the coolest things in the city. Now they seem kind of cheesy.

talking statues

I really wanted to jump into the water in front of Bellagio.

cool cool water

That's the Rio way out there on the right. It was too far to walk though.

too far to walk

A tower.


For lunch, I had three Smithwick's (1004) and then I had a Guinness (1277) for dessert. I'd still like to duplicate this bar in my basement some day.

nine fine irishmen
nine fine irishmen
nine fine irishmen statue

Then I came back to my room and took a nap.

Monday, August 21, 2006
posted by dave at 10:22 PM in category drink, travel


Let's see, I guess I better start trying to get caught up. If I don't do it now then it'll just be that much tougher later. Sitting here typing is pretty much the last thing I want to be doing right now. Partly because I'm hung-over from lunch, and partly because it's Las Vegas.

Mostly it's the being hung-over thing.

Yesterday I arrived here as scheduled, just before 4:00. After getting my luggage and getting a taxi and getting a room it was just before 7:00. That's right, three hours. Two hours of that time was spent at The Luxor waiting in line to get a room. It was ridiculous. especially for a place that's kind of a shithole compared to the places around it.

Speaking of places around it, once I'd thrown my stuff into my room, I walked over to The ESPN Zone at New York New York and had something to eat. And drink. And trying to get my cell phone to work. It died just after I got here, and it didn't start working again until this morning.

Anyway, to drink, I had three Fat Tires (133) which were very good, and a wheat beer that I hadn't tried before.

Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen (16)

(draft) The bartender didn't know if this was an American or German wheat, so I had a pint to find out. What it is is a very weak American wheat. Very little aroma or flavor. Since I don't like American wheats, this one was actually very tolerable.
I spent most of my time at ESPN Zone talking to the bartender PonytailGirl, trying to get her to go to The Freakin' Frog with me after work. She declined. Weird, huh?

The time zone change caught up with me at around midnight, so I walked back to my room and slept until 5:00 this morning.

Sunday, August 20, 2006
posted by dave at 9:23 PM in category travel


What kind of a fucked up moth am I anyway? The flame is down there on the ground, not a zillion miles away. My mind is having a tough time coming to grips with what I'm doing. It's like I'm watching some movie and I just can't believe how stupid the main character is being.


Okay, I'll admit it. I'm starting to get a little bit excited.


Vegas, baby!

Whoo hoooooooo!

Saturday, August 19, 2006
posted by dave at 11:51 AM in category travel

Just a quick update for anyone planning to stalk me in Las Vegas.

I arrive at 3:49 tomorrow afternoon on Continental flight 697 from Houston. After landing, I will of course head to the baggage claim area, but at first I'll be outside the doors having a smoke or two.

If any of my stalkers want to give me a ride to The Luxor, just hold up a big sign with my name on it. I'll be on the lookout.

If there's more than one person holding a sign, I'll use a double-blind squeeze test and go with the person with the nicest breasts.

After I check in at The Luxor I'll have some free time for a while, but I need to get over to The Rio at some point so I can go to The Tilted Kilt. I may be meeting my friend Gene from Seattle there. I don't know because I haven't called him yet.

For those of you planning some late-night stalking, please keep in mind that whenever I go to Las Vegas the time change usually wipes me out by midnight on that first night.

I really feel like I should be more excited about this trip than I am. I feel like I'm going in the wrong direction. Probably because I am. Fucking timing is everything.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006
posted by dave at 5:30 PM in category travel

I'm thinking that maybe I should just move to Las Vegas. It might be cheaper.

I'm still, of course, going in less than two weeks. That will be all vacation.

I'm going again in late November for the same conference I always go to.

I already knew about this, but it's official now because I'm all booked.

So, yay!

As always, more detailed stalking information will be provided as it becomes available.

Also, the trip to Colorado in early September is still a go, so far.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006
posted by dave at 5:18 PM in category travel

They should have a tour option where you can pee over the edge. I bet that would be very popular. Maybe not so much with the women.

posted by dave at 7:57 AM in category travel

So I guess you can't do a Grand Canyon floor landing unless it's from the West rim. I don't like the West rim. When I tried to go there last year the indians kept pissing me off.

So I've booked a trip to the South rim, to the official part of the park I guess. The canyon floor will have to wait for another time.

It's probably better this way. I've used a lot of symbolism in some of my writings. Stuff about canyons and chasms and such. This way I can stand at the edge of the canyon and reflect on shit. Like how I'm safe for the moment but it wouldn't take much of a misstep (or a push) to send me tumbling back down. The significance of this will no doubt be felt more strongly at the haunted South rim.

Anyway, for those of you planning to stalk me in Las Vegas on August 22nd, I won't be back until probably around 9:00 PM. I recommend the Nine Fine Irishmen at the New York New York casino if you're wondering where to kill some time while you await my return.

posted by dave at 7:34 AM in category travel

They tell me that there's a decent chance that this class will be cancelled, but for now I plan to be in Broomfield Colorado in September.

This should provide a nice backup opportunity for those who won't be able to stalk me in Las Vegas later this month.

I'd arrive on the 6th, attend training on the 7th and the 8th, then leave in the morning of the 9th.

I'm trying not to get too excited about this trip, but it's tough because I haven't been to the Denver area since 1999.

I'll provide more information as it becomes available.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006
posted by dave at 2:03 AM in category travel

Today I spent some time trying to find a good Grand Canyon tour thingy that I can do while I'm in Las Vegas.

I'd like to find a package that will fly me from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, ideally to the main visitor center on the south rim. The opportunity to actually fly down to the canyon floor would be fantastic as well. I've seen a couple of packages that also offer boat rides.

Problem is, there are a zillion tour packages out there. So what I'm wondering is if any of you lovely readers have any recommendations or warnings regarding any of these tour packages.

Don't bother telling me about any of the various bus tours available from Las Vegas. Those tours would take way too long. Besides, can you imagine the people that ride those buses? I bet it's nothing but old people and their screaming grandkids. No thanks.

Monday, July 24, 2006
posted by dave at 7:13 AM in category travel

I'm so damn impulsive.

This morning, after receiving what must have been the 100th SPAM from The Luxor in Las Vegas telling me about their great deals for August, I finally caved and booked myself a trip.


So I'll fly there on August 20th and return on August 25th.

This trip is all personal. There is no conference to intrude into my busy drinking and gambling and sightseeing schedule.

It will rock!

Now I get to be excited about life for a while, so fuck off, world. You can't keep a good man down forever.

More detailed information for stalkers will be posted as my plans for that week solidify.

Saturday, July 15, 2006
posted by dave at 11:36 AM in category travel

I'm officially back from Chicago now.

Notice that I said officially. I've been back unofficially since Wednesday night.

Drove to Chicago, dicked around for a few minutes, got a phone call, then drove back home.

Twelve hours of driving just to end up back where I'd started.

In more ways than one.

There are no pictures, there are no stories, there are no explanations that I feel like giving.

There is nothing.

In more ways than one.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006
posted by dave at 11:39 PM in category travel was a long and boring drive.

In fact, it seemed twice as long and boring as I'd expected.

That is all.

posted by dave at 8:47 AM in category travel

I'm leaving for Chicago now.

The drive is going to suck because, believe it or not, driving through Indiana vertically is kind of boring.

It'll be five hours of boredom followed by two hours of heavy city traffic and toll roads.

I guess it beats going in to work, though.


Tuesday, July 4, 2006
posted by dave at 10:11 PM in category drink, entertainment, pictures, travel

On Monday morning they must have declared some kind of ice shortage or something, because the ice machine, located conveniently across the hall from my room, was in constant use from about 6:10 in the morning until I left at around 9:00.

What I'd decided was that I'd go and try to find a Best Buy or something so I could buy a new power adapter for my laptop.

And that's just what I did. It took a long time to find a Best Buy though.

When I got back to my room, it hadn't been touched. Big surprise.

Monday afternoon, after I'd done a little writing, I walked down to this Cleveland ChopHouse and Brewery place that the cabbie from Sunday night had recommended.

Cleveland ChopHouse and Brewery

With my very yummy sirloin and my kinda rubbery shrimp, I had a couple of beers:

Cleveland ChopHouse Stout (16)

(draft) Black with cream-colored head and incredible lacing. Flavor slanted a bit more towards coffee than chocolate. A decent beer.
Cleveland ChopHouse Saison de Chop (16)
(draft) Wow! Unexpectedly good. Extremely well-balanced and very refreshing. It also tasted like it had a higher ABV than it really does.
Then I went back to my room (still no maid service) and dicked around for a while before it was time to go to the Indians game.

It was a pretty good game. Indians vs. Yankees. I heard from somebody that it was the first time this season that Jacobs Field had been sold out. I believe this is because the Indians suck this year, but I'm really not sure.

Jacobs Field batting practice

Jacobs Field Scoreboard

Also, and maybe it was just the area where I was seated, but there seemed to be more Yankee fans than Indians fans at the game. That's kinda sad, I think.

As is my custom, I bought a cap and rooted for the home team.

The Indians actually won. I gathered that this was a surprise to everyone, especially the Indians.

After the game was over they had fireworks, but I wanted to beat the crowd so I high-tailed it down to the Winking Lizard and grabbed a seat at the bar. I had myself an Edmund Fitzgerald (144) and then I realized, quite suddenly, that I'd be leaving Cleveland in the morning. I decided that, no matter how yummy the Great Lakes porter was, I just had to try something else.

They have a pretty impressive beer menu. You can actually see it here if you want to play along at home.

The first choice was a no-brainer. I'd loved the Harpoon Winter Warmer so much, when I'd had it in Portland, that I just had to try their Hefeweizen.

Looking at the bottle, I should have known that something was wrong:

Harpoon UFO

Look a little closer:


That's a fucking citrus wedge, right there on the bottle!

Well I told the bartender that I didn't want the damn fruit wedge, bottle artwork notwithstanding. I used my standard "I'm straight" line as an excuse.

Harpoon UFO Hefeweizen (12)

(bottle) Despite the name Hefeweizen, this is an American wheat beer. Despite that, I liked it anyway. There was none of the hop bitterness that I usually associate with this style. The thing tasted like a Belgian wheat, and it tasted good.
The next beer choice took a little longer. There was this banana beer on the menu that looked intriguing, but it was an awfully big bottle and there was no guarantee that it wouldn't be disgusting. So I chose instead the following:

Unibroue Blanche de Chambly (12)

(bottle) Although supposedly a Belgian wheat, this had much of the aroma and flavor of a German wheat. If I had to put a label on it, I'd say that is was a blend of those two excellent styles. A very good beer from what is becoming one of my favorite breweries.
During all this I spent most of the time talking to a couple of Clevelandites about various crap.

Then I walked back to my hotel.

The fucking bitch maid had not visited my room all fucking day.

After I tried to write some entries, I went to sleep, then I got up and made sure that the manager knew how lazy the maid was, then I drove home.


posted by dave at 9:25 PM in category drink, pictures, travel

I feel like I need to say something here, before I say anything else. One of the things that I really hate about traveling is having to work my schedule around the hotel's cleaning people.

On Sunday morning, I was gone from my room for about four hours. When I returned, my room hadn't been touched yet.

During my driving around I'd passed this Winking Lizard place that I'd remembered from my pre-trip research. It was close to the hotel, so I decided to walk. After I'd walked a couple of hundred yards, it started to sprinkle. After I'd walked another couple of block, it started to pour. By the time I got to the bar I was soaked to the bone. I guess this Winking Lizard place is pretty famous or something. They had a decent draft selection, and a very good bottled selection. What I did was have three Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgeralds (112) and some Cajun-spiced chicken tenders while I watched the Indians game on TV.

Here are a couple pics I took inside the place:

Winking Lizard

Winking Lizard

When it was time to leave, I went out front and bought a t-shirt, and took this picture of what I must assume is the bar's mascot:


Either that, or they have a really bad pest problem.

Oh yeah, there was a smoldering hot girl sitting at the next table. She had very thin straps holding her top up. I tried using my mental powers to unravel the straps, but it didn't work. Oh well.

So I walked back to my hotel room at about 5:00, and my room hadn't been touched. I grabbed my dirty towels and went out and tracked the lazy bitch down and traded for some clean towels. I also told her that I wouldn't be needing any additional service that day.

Then I took a nap. Then I watched Catwoman on TV. Halle Berry is hot, in case you've been living in a cave on Mars and didn't know yet.

We're up to Sunday night now. I took a cab to the Rock Bottom. While there, I bought a t-shirt from an improbably cute hostess, and I had some beers.

Rock Bottom Walleye Wheat (Cleveland) (16)

(draft) No detectable aroma, and not much flavor. I can't tell if this is an American or a German wheat. It's very bland, but still good.
Rock Bottom Riverbend Red (Cleveland) (16)
(draft) Looks and tastes like weak tea, but with the slightest hint of creamy caramel. Not too bad. If a beer like this is too much for you then you probably shouldn't be drinking beer..
Rock Bottom Dawg Pound Brown (Cleveland) (16)
(draft) Very dark brown - almost black, with a nice tan head. Very roasty and malty. Not sure that this should be called a brown ale, but whatever you want to call it, it's still good.
Then, once the bartender found out that I wasn't driving, he gave me this on the house:

Rock Bottom Le Flats Saison (Cleveland) (16)

(draft) Clear gold in color. Looks like a lager, so scary. The flavor is awesome. There are the typical apple undertones, but this is a lot thicker-tasting than most saisons I've had. Damn good. Yummy actually.
The place closed up early, because it was Sunday, so I went out and stole a cab from somebody who'd called for one but didn't get there in time.

I told the cabbie to take me back to my hotel, but about halfway there I changed my mind and had him take me to the Winking Lizard instead. While there I had a Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald (128) and got some chicken tenders to go, then walked the short distance back to my hotel.

Monday, July 3, 2006
posted by dave at 4:11 PM in category pictures, travel

Sunday morning I got up way too early. I dicked around the room for a while and watched some movie that I can't remember.

Then I went and got my truck and went driving around. I had no particular destination in mind - I mainly just wanted to see the lake.

Where I ended up was this Great Lakes Science Center thingy, which is a very cool interactive museum. It's mainly for kids I guess, and about 75% of the patrons were children, but it was fun for me too. I didn't take any pictures because if I had then there would have been kids in it and I didn't want to get arrested for anything I wasn't doing.

Oh, I guess I did take one picture. They had a giant turbine thingy outside the place:

Turbine Thingy

The science center was cool, but it was actually pretty small. I was able to see every exhibit in about an hour, and that's even accounting for the time I spent explaining things to the ubiquitous kids.

Before I left, I went into the gift shop to browse for a while. At one point I came upon a stand of rocks. Rocks which were, in fact, very much like my own rock. Since my rock is always in my pocket, I became concerned that I'd get accused of shoplifting. But I didn't.

Next I went to this Edgewater Park place that the hot blonde bartender at Bier Markt had told me about. I took pictures.

There was an actual beach, which I wasn't expecting.

Edgewater Park

The lake was, of course, there. It was windy as fuck.

Lake Erie

Lake Erie

Here I was testing my camera's zoom on a lighthouse thingy.

Lake Erie Lighthouses

They had a pier thing that I wanted to walk out on.

Lake Erie Pier

At the end of the pier I found a dead fish.

Lake Erie Dead Fish

I really wanted to get on top of one of these things.

Lake Erie Concrete thingies

But I couldn't see how to do it. The birds have it easier.

Lake Erie Concrete Thingy With Birds

There were also sailboats. Did I mention them before?

Lake Erie Sailboats

I took a picture back toward the city from the end of the pier. That blue Toyota pickup is mine.

Cleveland from Lake Erie

Finally, I did another zoom test.

Cleveland from Edgewater


There were storms out on the lake, but I never got lucky enough to capture any lightning with my camera. It was windy as fuck though. A bad hair day for everyone.

posted by dave at 3:32 PM in category drink, pictures, travel

The Bier markt was a weird place. It was, for one thing, huge. For another thing, it was empty. At least until 9:30 or so. Before that point there had been more bartenders working the place (2) than there were customers (1, my lovely self).

Bier Markt

The draft selection was indeed impressive. I wrote them all down but I'm not going to bore you people by listing them all here. There were a half-dozen or so Belgians that I've never even heard of. I had two:

Ommegang Rare Vos (16)

Dark copper-colored, firm head. A neutral flavor, with perhaps a touch of apple. A very fizzy mouthfeel. A good beer. The aroma was a little perfumy.
Leffe Blonde (16)
Looks like a lager, so scary. Smells like unpeeled apples. OMG tastes fantastic! I may just cream. Fucking yummy.
So, I liked the Leffe okay.

I spend a good amount of time talking with the hot blonde bartender. Then I found out that she's only 22 years old. Seeing nothing handy with which to kill myself, I decided to hang in there. Who knows? Maybe her grandmother is available.

At about 9:40, the place became packed, and 90% of the customers were hot girls. I decided that I loved the Bier Markt.

Also, no matter what city I go to, no matter what bar I visit, no matter where at the bar I sit, I always end up having people hovering all over me while they order their beers. Must be my after-shave.

By 11:00, I was pretty well-lit, so I walked outside to look for a cab. I ended up talking with some Clevelandites out on the patio for a while. One chick wanted a DaveFest shirt, but the one I was wearing was the only one I'd brought with me. She ended up still wanting it. So I put on my Bier Markt shirt and sold her the DaveFest shirt. Then I went back to the hotel and crashed.

posted by dave at 12:58 PM in category drink, pictures, travel

(Today I went and found myself a mall and bought myself a power adapter, so I'm free to type away. But, since I'm typing into this tiny laptop keyboard, I cannot be held responsible for any typos. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.)

People that don't know me very well, people that perhaps only know my online persona, they might think that they know why I chose Cleveland for this trip. "It's the baseball," they might say. Or maybe, "It's gotta be the lake and the other scenery."

Wrong and wrong.

Other people might guess that I picked this city because of the Great Lakes Science Center or other cultural crap.

Again, wrong.

All of that shit did play a part in my decision, but the real reason, and the only reason that could have stood on its own merit - is the Great Lakes Brewery.

Great Lakes Brewery

I took a cab to the place, though as it turned out, it was probably within walking distance. I took a few notes which I will now transcribe:

Patio area outside, packed as fuck. Not a good sign. The bar area inside, also packed. But wait! There's another section upstairs! Also packed. Shit. But wait again! There's yet another area down in the basement! Fuck, it's packed too, but I manage to cram myself in next to a guy that looks like ExBartender from Rich O's.
I figured that, as long as I was there, I'd have some beer.

Great Lakes Market Street Wheat (16)

(draft) Almost overpowering aroma. Flavor was good, but much more subdued than the aroma had hinted. The head disappeared almost immediately. Zero fizz.
Great Lakes Holy Moses White Ale (16)
(draft) Smells and tastes more like a German than a Belgian wheat. As a German, it's quite good. As a Belgian, it's a little musty.
Great Lakes Elliot Ness (6)
(draft) No aroma to speak of. the taste and the mouthfeel reminded me of a dopplebock more than anything else. Not worth a full glass.
Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter (64)
(draft) I've had this before, but I don't remember what I wrote about it. Right now I want to write "yummy and roasty."
The main thing about the place, aside from the beer of course, is that it's completely non-smoking. I think that the main effect that this kind of policy has on me (aside from the occasional urge to murder everyone) is that I drink very quickly. I mean, I had all of the beers listed above in one hour. Somebody should do a study on this type of thing. Instead of drink, drag, drink, drag - it was drink, drink, drink, drink.

So by 8:30 or so, I was ready to leave. I was also half-shitfaced. I'd been talking to the bartender and she'd recommended this Bier Markt place around the corner. "They allow smoking," she said, "and they specialize in Belgian beers." Once my erection subsided I bought a souvenir t-shirt and walked out to find my Mecca.

Sunday, July 2, 2006
posted by dave at 11:42 PM in category drink, pictures, travel

I got to Cleveland right on schedule, a little bit before 4:00. Right at my exit was Jacobs Field, home of the Indians.

Jacobs Field

This was also the point where MapQuest let me down. I had to drive around for quite a while before I found my hotel, and I had to drive around even longer before I found the parking garage.

I'd been pretty tired, and a little hung-over, during the drive up. But my arrival gave me some new energy. I was quite suddenly alert and starving. So I threw my shit into my room and I went to find the local Hard Rock. I already knew that it was close because of my pre-trip research. It turns out that it was inside a mall called The Tower Mall or some such. Here's a shitty picture I took inside the Hard Rock:

Cleveland Hard Rock

Oh yeah, here's one of he inside of the mall:

Cleveland Mall

After I'd had a mushroom cheeseburger and fries, and a souvenier glass full of Guinness, I bought myself a t-shirt and then went back to the hotel.

Here are some more pics I took:


Still Cleveland

posted by dave at 11:30 PM in category travel

Because of the laptop power situation, I'm going to try writing these entries out on paper first. This will hopefully speed up the process of typing them out later.

Right now, for example, I'm writing about Saturday, but it's actually Sunday night. I'm writing about driving to Cleveland, but I'm actually sitting at Rock Bottom Brewery having a Walleye Wheat.

The drive up yesterday was very long. It was also very boring for the most part. There was really only one bit of interest.

When I was almost to Cincy, I heard tires squealing behind me. I quickly looked into the rear-view mirror, mainly to see if I was about to be rear-ended. Well, I wasn't, but there were some people in a white Taurus behind me who were having a bad day. As near as I can tell, they'd attempted to change lanes. Problem was, there was a semi in their blind spot. The squealing I'd heard had been caused by the ass end of the Taurus hitting the front of the truck, then of the truck pushing the Taurus sideways down the highway.

I didn't stop because I figured that the odds of the one being in that Taurus were pretty slim.

The rest of the drive was boring.

Saturday, July 1, 2006
posted by dave at 11:03 PM in category general, travel

I always manage to forget something every time I go on a trip.

This time the thing that I forgot was the A/C power adapter for my laptop.

Right now, my laptop tells me it's got 3 hours and 36 minutes of battery life left.

I've got to try to stretch that out until Tuesday morning when I leave Cleveland.

I should be able to do it, but it will be tough. I won't be able to keep up with my favorites like I'm used to doing.

Anyway, I'm having fun so far, and I'll probably post something tomorrow.

Friday, June 16, 2006
posted by dave at 5:49 PM in category travel

I didn't think it was going to happen, because I'm scheduled to be on-call that week, but my new best friend in the entire world has agreed to trade on-call days with me for the week of July 4th.

That means that I get four (4) days off in a row!


That means that I'm going to Cleveland!


All I have planned for sure is to visit the Great Lakes Brewery and to catch an Indians game. Other than that, I'm wide-open. Maybe I'll visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

I am once again excited about life.


Tuesday, June 6, 2006
posted by dave at 6:17 AM in category general, travel

Slept from 8:30 'til 5:30. I don't think I missed anything.

I guess I'm going to Chicago for a day or two in July. Some email archiving thingy. No baseball during that trip unless I stay an extra night. I probably won't make that decision for a while. First I have to decide if I'm going to drive or fly up there.

Man I'm bored.

Sunday, May 21, 2006
posted by dave at 3:44 PM in category drink, pictures, travel

It's been a pretty fantastic weekend here, weather-wise.

I realized this fact yesterday, after RockGirl's incoming email woke me up at the crack of noon, and I made the momentous (for me anyway) decision to (a) get off my ass, (b) leave my house, and (c) maybe even go someplace.

But where?

Why, Madison, Indiana of course.

But why?

Because they were having some festival or such and the NABC had a booth and they had Cone Smoker with them. And, you know, if there's anything better than drinking a Cone Smoker, it would have to be drinking a Cone Smoker in Madison.


So, basically, it gave me something to do. It also gave me a reason to take my new digital camera.

I've never been to Madison. It's about an hour up river from New Albany. I took the "scenic route" which so-named, as far as I can figure, because it's curvier than the other route.

After I'd driven for 45 minutes or so, my phone started vibrating. It was Awesome Larry, an old pool-playing friend from Omaha. So I pulled off into this ice cream place and talked with Larry for 15 minutes or so.

I know, this is boring.

When I was almost to Madison, I passed the entrance to Clifty Falls State Park. Hey! I didn't know that was by Madison! I'd gone there once as a kid with Boy Scouts or something and I remembered that it had been pretty cool, so I postponed going to the festival thingy, turned around, and went into the park.

I paid $5 to get in. I think I want my $5 back.

When I was a kid we'd been able to climb these stairs all the way down into the canyon. Then we'd been able to actually walk behind the falls. It was awesome.

Remember that scene from "The Last of the Mohicans" where they're all behind that waterfall while the bad guys are chasing them? It used to be kinda like that, except without as much water, and without people in funny wigs shooting at you.

But that was then. It was very cool.

Now, it's pretty much the exact opposite of cool.

Now, you can't do shit.

The stairs leading down to the base of the falls are gone. As near as I can tell the only ways to actually see the falls are to either jump and get a good look before you splatter onto the rocks, or hike approximately 8,764 miles up though the creek.

No thanks.

* drumroll *

And now, without further delay, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Clifty Falls!


What's that? You can't see shit?

Okay, I'll move over to the left and zoom in a little.


And that's all you can see. The falls are like 60 feet tall but you can only see the first few feet, and even that I don't think is the real falls.

It's not even impressive enough to make you want to pee.

So I didn't pee. I just left.

On the way back out of the park I stopped at this one overlook place and took a couple of pictures to test out the 12x optical zoom on my camera. Here's the normal shot:

not zoomed

And here's the zoomed shot:


Pretty cool. If there was a naked chick over there by that thingy, I'd totally be able to see her boobies!

But there were no boobies to be seen, so I left the park and continued my original journey into Madison.


This was the street down by the river where this festival was supposed to be going on. There were about 50 people there. I stopped by the beer tent and had a Cone Smoker (1796) in a plastic cup and talked to Roger.

Then I drove back home.

All in all, I'd say that the day was more interesting than doing laundry would have been, but not by much.

Monday, April 17, 2006
posted by dave at 7:25 AM in category travel

Okay, I've let you all suffer long enough I suppose.

Nothing lewd or lascivious happened.

Me and the bathroom girls and the Romanian girl just sat outside and made fun of all the idiots, then they wanted to go to some club I never heard of, and I let them go.

I took a cab back to where my truck was and then went back to the hotel to sleep.

Sunday morning I drove home.

And thus ends another Easter weekend trip.

I had fun. St. Louis was a good choice. I stayed busy, but I never felt like I was in a rush to see everything. Like if I ever go back to D.C. I'll be really stressed out because I'd need at least a week to see even half the stuff I'd want to see. Fuck, I could spend an entire week at The Smithsonian.

The next trip is already in the early pre-planning stages. I'm thinking that I'll go to Cleveland next. Or maybe Detroit. That way I could cross Michigan off my list.

Like I said, it's in the early pre-planning stages. I know that I want to go somewhere. I just don't know where yet.

I need these little trips. I need to get away from here every now and then. And on May1st I'll start out fresh with three weeks of shiny new vacation days.

I still want to use one of those weeks to go to Hawaii in the Fall, but the more I think about it the less likely it seems that I'll be going. There are just too many things that the money could be better spent on.

I don't have any Las Vegas trips scheduled until late November. I'm not sure if I'll be able to wait that long. Maybe I'll take a short trip out there and see PictureGirl. Maybe.

Oooooh! New Mexico! I need to go there so I can cross that state off my list too. The owner of Rich O's just spent some time in Albuquerque, so he can give me pointers on places to visit there.

New York and Atlantic City and Myrtle Beach are all on my short list. I suppose Phoenix should be on that list too, but I doubt that I'm quite ready for that.

We'll see.

I just have to stay motivated to actually go and visit some of these places instead of just wishing I would do it.

Sunday, April 16, 2006
posted by dave at 10:24 PM in category drink, travel

For my final night in St. Louis, I decided that I wanted to experience Laclede's Landing. So I took a cab back over to the Morgan Street Brewpub.

I took notes.

The bar is packed. The street is packed. I steal a stool from a guy that got stood up and I sit. I order a yummy Morgan Street Irish Stout (16) and a Diet Coke. I know I'll need to pace myself tonight.

The exact same bartenders are working - two hot girls and a neo-nazi and a punk rock guy.

This one bartender with the pigtails reminds me of someone. I don't know who though. Somebody hot I guess.

I didn't pace myself very well today. I think it was that Scotch Ale that messed everything up.

This beer is more roasty than I remember from yesterday. Still yummy though.

I missed HatGirl's party today. That sucks.

Piss time.

I'm ordering some smoked duck in wontons. I don't know why - I guess it just looked intriguing.

One of the hot bartenders asked me what I was writing about. She asked me if I was writing about what I ate and drank, and I said that I was. She then asked if it was because I was on a diet. Ouch.

The guy I stole the stool from is talking on his phone. He's talking about his dick and how he makes it go grocery shopping and check his mailbox for him. It's hilarious.

OMG this duck stuff is delicious!

The last one was burned. Oh well.

DickGuy and LongHairedHottie are talking about tans and the lack thereof. They both, at the same time, pointed at me and said, "Now that guy is white!" So now I'm a fat albino. Great, just great.

The brewer's name is Mark Gottfried, according to LongHairedHottie.

I spent the last 10 minutes telling a guy what he'd just sampled and explaining the differences to him. He then went and asked the bartender the exact same questions. WTF? I'm wearing a shirt that says "Beer is Food" right on the front so that should be a slight indication that I know what I'm talking about.

LongHairedHottie and PigTailHottie just tore ass out of here. They're probably going home to masturbate while fantasizing about my fat albino ass.

Piss time.

OMG The World's Most Lickable Girl is sitting right behind me!

DickGuy just now ended his phone call.

The new hot girl that took over for LongHairedHottie must be new. I'm dying of thirst and she's just standing around looking pretty.

I order a Winter Lager (40) and I move to the outside seating. It might be too dark to write out there.

It seems like it may storm soon. Cool.

I guess I'm in the Morgan Street patio area, not the street seating. It's boring here.

I'm moving to the street seating.

I've been sitting out here two minutes and I've already been interrogated twice. I'm staying until somebody want to sit here and eat.

These streets seemed a lot more rowdy 20 years ago. Nice everybody is nice and tame. I wonder where the woohoos are. I guess it's still kinda early though.

This Winter Lager stuff is fucking yummy!

It's an older crowd here than I would have expected. Some of these people are even older than me if you can believe that.

I feel sorry for these horses that have to pull idiots around all day.

I finally, just now, heard my first "WooHoo!" of the night. About fucking time.

I might vomit now, because this chick walking past me is gross.

Crisis averted. I closed my eyes and thought about MixedSignalGirl, and how we were always supposed to come to St. Louis together, until the skanky gross chick had gone by.

Guess who I miss now.

I'm taking my shit back into the bar because I have to piss.

Piss time.

LongHairedHottie and PigTailHottie are back. They just went to get something to eat. Or so they say. I'm sticking with my masturbation theory.

LongHairedHottie keeps talking to me. She wants me. Can't she tell that there are like three or four other girls ahead of her in the line for my affection?

I wish I was a poet. I could write a poem now.

The gay hockey fans just arrived.

LongHairedHottie has a nice ass, but it's not as nice as the girl's from last night.

The gay hockey guys are woohoos.

Either the lights just dimmed or I'm having a stroke.

Whew! It was the lights.

Under the arch there's a museum. In the museum there's a stuffed bison. The bison is posed with its tail slightly raised, so its asshole is exposed. The taxidermist must have spent a lot of time perfectly preserving that bison's asshole. Maybe my job isn't so bad after all.

I'm cutting myself off. I'm such a good citizen.

I kinda want to stick something into one of PigTailHottie's orifices. I don't really care what I stick, or where I stick it. My toe in her nose? That would be awesome.

I just spent 15 minutes talking to some Romanian chick. I must be the first person that's ever talked to her in her entire life because she wouldn't shut up.

Piss time.

The chicks that were in the bathroom have asked me to joined them at their table outside. I have to stop writing now so I can go sit with hot girls. Woe is me.


I should just stop this entry right here. I had one hot bartender, one Romanian chick, and two hot girls that like to go the bathroom together - all interested in me.

I should just stop writing and let everyone's imaginations run wild.

posted by dave at 9:41 PM in category drink, pictures, travel

Everybody told me that I just had to go to Schlafly's bar slash brewery.

So I did.

I went there at around four I think. I drove myself, figuring that I could always take a cab back to the hotel if the situation warranted.

It's a pretty big place, and at first I thought they might be closed because the parking lot was almost completely empty. Inside was almost empty too. There were just two people sitting at the bar. Some dude and some lady.

I recognized the dude!

It was EvilLou, a pool player I know from my days on the newsgroup and also from the Derby City Classic.

Man what a small world it is.

Of course I knew that EvilLou lived in St. Louis so I guess I shouldn't have been that surprised. I, on the other hand, surprised the shit out of him.

So I sat at the bar and talked with EvilLou and his wife while I had some beer.

Schlafly's Hefeweizen (20)

It's always a crap shoot as to whether a hefeweizen is in the true German style or the crappy American style. This was American, so I didn't like it. As with most beers, however, this did get better as the glass got emptier. By the end, it was passable. This is not the beer's fault - I just don't like the style.
Here's the only picture I took inside this place:


My next beer was much better:

Schlafly's Scotch Ale (20)

More malty than other Scotch Ales I've tried, and that extra maltiness was needed to help mask the alcohol. A very good beer.
EvilLou and his wife left while I was drinking that last beer, so when I looked at the beer list and saw nothing interesting at all, I decided to head over to another brewpub.

The place I went to was called the Square One brewpub.

Square One Brewpub

Square One Brewpub

I guess they're affiliated with the Augusta brewery because all of the coasters were from that place.

I had myself some yummy beer-battered chicken tenders, and a beer sampler tray. They had a Belgian Red listed, and that sounded intriguing, but the waitress said they were out. Oh well.

Square One Nut Brown Ale (6)

Pretty good. Malty with a hint of cola to balance it out. A lot like Goose Island Hex Nut Brown Ale.
Square One California Common (2)
Hoppy and malty, with a bitter finish. Common is a very good name for this beer - there are a zillion just like it, and I don't like any of them.
Square One Bavarian Weizen (6)
The aroma is fantastic, as is the flavor. Maybe a bit more mellow than other German-style wheats. A very good beer.
Square One Stout (6)
A typical dry stout. Nothing wrong with it at all but nothing great either. Quite roasty, and better than average I suppose.
I had myself another of the Weizens (26) and that was it for me for a while.

I ended up taking a cab back to the hotel.

posted by dave at 9:04 PM in category pictures, travel

Saturday morning I was, remarkably, not hung-over.

I know you were all worried.

I had a 12:40 ticket to go up in the arch, but I woke up at about 8:00, so I spent some time walking around downtown St. Louis looking for something to eat. I was really craving an omelet and sausage, but I settled for Burger King. It was good though.

At around 10:00 I walked down to the arch. I took more pictures. The sky was really cool looking. Even my crappy cellphone camera did a good job.


This is my favorite picture out off all of the ones I took. This was looking straight up at the arch while I was standing in the security line.

straight up

If you've never been under the arch before, there's a whole Westward expansion museum down there. It's pretty cool, and I don't understand why I didn't take any pictures. I just dicked around for an hour or so while I waited for 12:40 to arrive.

I was pretty excited to be finally going up in the thing. I must have visited the arch a dozen times in my life, but I never went up in it before.

At about 12:20, I got in line. The chick that was checking everybody's tickets looked at me and asked me if I was alone. I said, "Yes I am. Hard to believe, isn't it?"

That's one of my standard jokes.

Then ArchGirl told me that they had an opening for a single in the trams that were leaving next, so she gave me a red boarding pass and I got to walk right by all those other suckers and go join the group that was just getting ready to board.

I really had no idea what to expect. I mean, I knew enough to know that regular elevators would not be able to negotiate the curve of the arch, but I guess I was expecting something that at least looked like an elevator from the inside.


What they do is, they have you climb through these tiny doors into these tiny compartments. It must be an awful lot like climbing into a front-loading washing machine would be. Sharing compartment #5 with me were some dude and his two cute daughters. In compartment #6 was the guy's wife and their four other kids. Wow.

The littlest girl kept asking her dad if she was going to be "sceered." It was the most adorable thing I'd ever heard.

Her father told her that she might get a little "sceered" once the thing turned upside-down. That was funny.

I didn't take any pictures of the capsule thingies either. I don't know why. I guess I was just too excited.

The ride up was pretty cool. There were tiny windows in the tiny doors and I could look out and see the staircase that people had to use back in the olden days. Actually I think the stairs looked like fun. I wish they'd have given us the option of taking them on the way down, but they said that the stairs were only for emergencies.

After about a four-minute ride, we reached the top.


The observation deck is pretty small, and this chick to the left didn't help matters.

inside the observation deck

Of course I took pictures out the windows of the thing:

the city form the arch

the river from the arch

This next one is looking straight down:

straight down

A British guy asked me to take a picture of him and his wife, so I did. Then I asked if they'd take mine, so he did. An added bonus in this picture is BritishGuy's finger:

inside the arch

Another thing that was funny was that I told the little girl who'd been in my capsule with me that the maintenance hatches in the floor were actually trap doors. Her sister asked me why on Earth they'd put trap doors in the arch, and her dad piped in with, "They let people bungee jump through them. Didn't I tell you? We jump in ten minutes."

Both girls ran screaming to their mother.

On the way back down I had to share a capsule with the fat chick from the picture up above. That's karma for you.

posted by dave at 8:06 PM in category drink, pictures, travel

Friday night after the game I hailed a cab and took it to this Growlers place that I'd heard about.

Growlers Pub

It's easy to get to: You just go to the Moon and then take a left.

That means that it's pretty far away from downtown. The cab ride cost me forty bucks with tip.

Anyway, I did something kind of stupid, but there was just no way I could have known.

I sat at the bar.

There was a constant crowd of people standing all around me, leaning all over me as they tried to get the bartender's attention to order their drinks. I got extremely claustrophobic and I actually started regretting my decision to come to the place.

But I had to justify that forty buck cab fare, so I drank.

The place has a pretty impressive beer menu, both in selection and in price. The selection part is a good thing. The price part is not so good. They charged $8.50 for a bottle of Delirium Tremens. That's just ridiculous.

But I wasn't going to be drinking bottled beer anyway, so no skin off my back. I checked out the draft selections. There were maybe 30 beers on tap, almost all of which I've had before at one time or another. There was nothing that really jumped out at me, so I just had myself a Newcastle (1856).

The place was a freaking madhouse!

a madhouse I tell you!

While I had my Newcastle I kept looking around for a more private place to site, and eventually one of the tables opened up, so I hightailed it over there. I had that table to myself for maybe five seconds before three people joined me. I'll call them OriginalDude, PlayaDude, and SweetAssGirl. These three ended up being my companions for the rest of the evening.

My second beer was a Fat Tire (105). I hadn't had this in a long time. It was good.

The three of us sat around for a while and talked. They all knew each other but obviously they didn't know me. I told them about my Easter trip custom and shit like that.

My third beer was another Fat Tire (125).

Here's the view from where I was sitting. Those are barrels up there. It's kind of hard to tell though.

Growlers Pub Barrels

So, as near as I can figure it, OriginalDude and SweetAssGirl have been friends for like their entire lives. OriginalDude is clearly in love with her, but SweetAssGirl is either clueless about that fact or she's just choosing to ignore it. She actually spent most of the night either flirting with me or with PlayaDude.

Towards the end, PlayaDude was falling victim to SweetAssGirl's charms much more readily than I was, so I spent most of my time talking with OriginalDude.

My fourth beer was a Guinness (1217).

At one point these four chicks joined us. I think they knew SweetAssGirl and OriginalDude from before. One of them was quite pretty - she actually looked a lot like this girl.

Oh yeah, I had myself some very yummy blackened chicken quesadillas.

My fifth beer was a Diet Coke. I cut myself off after that Guinness.

I guess Missouri must have some draconian blue laws in place, because the place was still packed as shit when they did last call and eventually kicked us all out.

The cab back to the hotel cost me another forty bucks.

posted by dave at 6:39 PM in category entertainment, pictures, travel

After I left Morgan Street, it was time to hit the Cardinal's new park for the game.

It was fun. I always like going to games. Of course the Cards lost, but I guess technically I'm supposed to be more of a Reds fan anyway. I didn't tell anyone that though. I even bought a Cardinals cap.

Anyway, I took some pictures.

outside Busch Stadium

my hotel and the arch

view from my seat

view from my seat

play ball!

The new park is a pretty confusing place. Parts of it are like a maze. I think it might be my least favorite of the new parks I've been to as far as getting around goes, but it's got a lot more character than the new parks in Cincinnati or Chicago, so I like it.

posted by dave at 6:21 PM in category drink, pictures, travel

Both Friday and Saturday were quite busy, so I'll be breaking this trip report up into several entries. Otherwise it's just seems like too daunting a task and I'd probably never get to it.

So, Friday afternoon. I checked into my hotel. It seemed like a cool place at first.

a hollow hotel

I wonder if anyone has ever dove in from the ninth floor

But I quickly discovered that the "free Internet access in every room" was simply a myth to lure in customers. I had no signal in my room, and when I called them to complain they basically told me that I was SOL, and why not just take my laptop down to the lobby? There's a strong signal there.

So that sucked, but I wasn't supposed to be sitting at my computer all weekend anyway.

Once I'd checked in, I took off down the hill to see the arch. Should that be capitalized?

The Arch?

I dunno. Or care.

view from the arch grounds

I took a shitload of arch pictures. I'm only going to post a few though. You'll thank me later.

hey look! it's an arch!

This next one is semi-interesting. This was the first time I'd touched the arch in twenty years or so. I didn't cry though.

look ladies, no ring!

As I'd expected, the ride to the top was completely sold out, so I bought a ticket for 12:40 on Saturday. Then I walked over to Laclede's Landing to check out this Morgan Street Brewpub place. Behold my photographic prowess.

I don't remember it being that blurry

While I was at Morgan Street I figured what the heck, I'll have some beer.

Morgan Street Honey Wheat (4)

The bartender didn't know if it was a German-style or and American-style wheat, so I just had a sampler glass. It's American-style, so I didn't like it. The honey was not apparent except that the usual hop bitterness I find in this style was not there. Bland and boring.
The bartender said that it was their most popular beer by a wide margin. This did not bode well.

I also had a sample of this Winter Lager stuff (4) which I'll get to in a minute.

Morgan Street Irish Stout (16)

Fucking yummy and chocolately and yummy. Whoever says that there's no good beer at Laclede's Landing is an idiot. This beer was worth the trip all by itself.
Morgan Street Dopplebock (4)
Quite boring and generic. No hint at all of the strangeness that I usually associate with this style. I see no point to even making this beer.
Morgan Street Winter Lager (20)
Despite the name, this is an oatmeal stout aged in used Jack Daniel's barrels. The bartender says that every beer in the place is "lager-style" which to me means yeast. Whatever they call it, this beer is yummy.
I really wanted to talk to the brewer to see if the bartender was full of shit about the "lager-style" stuff. But he is apparently out of town. I have to ask some of the homebrewing PBDs at Rich O's.

posted by dave at 2:42 PM in category travel

(Written Friday morning)

I guess the drive wasn't too bad. It was long, and it was boring, and after the first hour or so, it was hot, but it felt kind of good to be actually doing something.

I used to, over twenty years ago, make the drive between Western Illinois and Southern Indiana at least once a month. Even after I got married we still enjoyed going to my parents' house as often as we could.

One place that we always stopped at was this Hardee's in the middle of Illinois. I stopped there yesterday, and it was still there. Not much has changed in that part of Illinois.

I keep having to remind myself that it's really been more like 15 years since I've spent any time in the St. Louis area - not 20. During the period between 1989 and 1991 my ex-wife and I were back together, living in Nebraska, and we'd go visit her parents in Illinois or my Dad in Indiana. I really don't remember much about those trips though.

It still takes a tank of gas to get from the Georgetown Indiana exit to the Scott AFB Illinois exit, so I found myself taking that old exit and looking for a gas station. It would have been cool if I could have gone onto the base to check it out, but of course I couldn't do that. So I just drove around a bit and ended up at a gas station in Belleville.

This time my journey didn't end at the Scott AFB exit like it used to. This time I got back on I-64 and drove those extra 20 miles to St. Louis. Those extra 20 miles took about an hour and a half due to road construction. I'd been having this internal debate with myself about whether I wanted to go back to the Scott/Belleville/Mascoutah area on Saturday to explore. I think the road construction has made my mind up for me. There's just not really anything there that I need to see. It was all too long ago. It was another life, and not a particularly good one.

So I'll just dick around St. Louis, and I'll let those things that are in the past stay in the past.

posted by dave at 2:20 PM in category travel

Now I've got a lot of catching up to do with my email and other messages. Then I've got a lot of shit to type. Then I've got to catch up on all the journals I've missed.

Man, after all this I'm going to need a vacation.

Saturday, April 15, 2006
posted by dave at 3:16 PM in category travel

My hotel supposedly has Internet access in all the rooms, but it's wireless access and I've got no signal in my room.

I'm sitting down in the lobby typing this so my readers don't think I'm dead or anything.

I probably won't do any more updates until I get home tomorrow.


Friday, April 14, 2006
posted by dave at 9:18 AM in category travel

Right now, I'm supposed to be writing my Thursday beer report. But instead I'm going to go to St. Louis.

I might write my Thursday beer report later today, or sometime this weekend. I might write an entry or two sometime between now and Sunday when I get back home.

But I'm not making any promises.

I'm taking my laptop with me. This is the first time I've bothered to take it on one of my Easter trips. But that doesn't guarantee that I'll be writing anything.

I may have fun instead.

Monday, April 3, 2006
posted by dave at 6:29 AM in category travel

No turning back now.

I've booked my St. Louis hotel room, and I've bought myself a ticket for the Cardinals' Friday night game against the Reds.


I guess.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006
posted by dave at 12:12 AM in category drink, travel

So I'm not in the best of moods right now.

Hard to believe, I know. I'm usually nothing but giggles and grins and I shit fluffy bunnies.

I don't know what that means.

After work I went by Rich O's. SassyGirl's Gay Night thingy is really picking up steam, and I'm not needed there anymore. In fact, I'm quite literally in the way. I realized this fact pretty quickly, so I just had myself a Dark Horse Tres Blueberry Stout (80) and then left.

I didn't even bother to say goodbye to anyone. I do that sometimes, partly because I'm a dick, but mostly because I don't want to have to explain myself and my mood when a bunch of strangers are sitting around listening.

Right now would be a good time to have a million dollars. Quite unlike all those other times when having a million dollars would just suck. If I had it right now, I'd go somewhere. I don't know where I'd go, but I'd just disappear for a while. No cell phone. No laptop. No nothing. I was reading another journal today in which the guy wrote about maybe going to Russia or Japan. The idea the guy had was to just get away from everything - including the language and the cultures that he's accustomed to.

It sounded like a good idea to me. But, then again, a lot of things sound like a good idea until you actually do them.

I did think about traveling a lot today. Easter weekend is coming up, and I'll be going somewhere for that. I don't have a fucking clue where though. I think about maybe going back to Portland, or maybe New York City, or maybe even Niagara Falls. I also think about going to Myrtle Beach, and that's probably my leading choice right now, though I don't know why.

In the Fall, I really think that I want to go to Hawaii. I've been saving my miles up for years. First, I saved enough for a trip for one, then I saved up enough for a first-class trip. Next, because I used to be an actual optimist if you can believe that, I saved up enough for two people to take the trip.

See, the idea was that I'd have someone special to go with me.

Ha ha ha ha ha.

I kill me.

I guess I could go to Hawaii by myself, and that way I could also go to Jamaica or something. Or Europe.

My company has offices all over the world. I've hinted several times that I'd like a chance to be on a team that visits these offices someday. Maybe I should hint more strongly.

I could go to Australia and find out what happened to Jodie.

I could go to London and try to find EnglishGirl.

I could get the fuck away from my life here for a while. That's the most important part.

Friday, December 9, 2005
posted by dave at 7:18 PM in category drink, travel

Well, I'm back home from Las Vegas.

Just thought I'd transcribe my notes from Thursday before I head out to Rich O's tonight.

At around 3:00, I went up to The Four Queens to check out this Chicago Brewpub that I'd never heard of before. It was a tiny place, so I'm thinking that this may not be the actual brewery. Only one beer looked interesting, so that's all I had:

Chicago Old Town Brown (24)

(draft) I've rated this a little higher than most brown ales because there was something special about it. I don't know what, though. There was a slightly spicy aroma and flavor. Whatever it was, it was good.

Later Thursday I went back to The Tilted Kilt and took a few notes.

I ordered a Rogue Chocolate Stout (260).

The bartender was really fascinated when I was here last year and I told him how we'd met. Back in May, he was disappointed to learn that we'd broken up, but he insisted that my running into her at White Castle a week earlier had been a hopeful sign for us. He even went so far, back in May, to predict that we'd be married or engaged by the time this, my December visit, occurred. I didn't have it in me to tell him the real end of our story, so I lied and told him I hadn't seen her since that night at White Castle.

I know I'm supposed to be winding down this vacation of mine, but I certainly don't feel like it. I'd stay another month if I could afford it.

What the hell, I'll have another Rogue (276).

I'm really going to miss this beer. Even if Rich O's gets it as part of their Saturnalia festival, I should probably drink beers that are new to me instead. It will be tough though.

There she is. Maybe this vacation will end with a bang after all.

I keep thinking about a scared little girl. Can't get her out of my head.

Another Rogue (292).

I've started talking about boring computer stuff with some guy from Chicago.

Another Rogue (308). Still talking about boring computer stuff with the Chicago guy.

She's off. We're outta here!

Wednesday, December 7, 2005
posted by dave at 11:50 AM in category ramblings, travel

When does a one night stand turn into a fling?

How exactly does a fling become a thing?

At what point does a thing become a relationship?

Do the answers to any of these questions even matter when all I'm doing here is trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, when I'm trying to complete this repair job, patch this hole in my life, but each shade of paint that I try just doesn't quite match?

When I'd drop her, and this, in a heartbeat if only my phone would ring?

I'm not an asshole.

I keep telling myself that.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005
posted by dave at 11:37 PM in category drink, entertainment, travel

What a difference a day makes.

To be fair, this was a long ass day, so its difference making potential was greater than most to begin with.

To start, I got to meet Dave Barry. I got a free copy of his latest book, and he signed it for me. He did this because I came to this same conference last year. Therefore I'm special. Like you didn't already know that.

Dave Barry also had a speaking session, which was a very welcome respite from all of the technical information making up the rest of the week. I wish I was funny like him.

Anyway, after the day's boring sessions, I grabbed a cab and went down to New York New York. I had 7:30 tickets to see Zumanity.

After I picked up my ticket I still had a couple of hours to kill. So guess what I did.

Go ahead, guess.

If you guessed that I ate dinner and drank some beer, then you guessed correctly. If you guessed anything else, then you probably thought you were reading somebody else's journal.

I went to the ESPN Zone and had a burger and fries. With this delicious meal, I had one of their large mugs of Fat Tire (85). After that was gone, I talked with PictureGirl on the phone for a bit and sent some text messages off to some friends. I also had a Guinness (990).

The show itself, well it was different. The audience interaction was very funny. I even got to be a small part of it. It's a pretty sexual show. So much so that even the stunts and acrobatics managed to get a little bit lost in the sexual undertones. I liked it, but next time I go I'm taking a date.

After the show, I went over to Nine Fine Irishmen and paid $6.57 for a Smithwick's (636). That's a ridiculous price, even for Las Vegas, so I didn't stay. I went back to The Rio and had a couple pints of Rogue Chocolate Stout (180) which were yummy and reasonably priced.

PictureGirl was working, but she was busy. She'd made it clear last night that I needed to respect her work and not start any trouble or rumors or anything, so I just said "Hi" and that was about it. She's supposed to call me when she gets off work. We'll see.

posted by dave at 10:30 AM in category drink, entertainment, travel

Last night I took PictureGirl to The Freakin' Frog. Actually she took me, because she drove, but I paid, so whatever.

Back in May, the first time I went to this bar, my plan had been to only drink beers that were new to me. That plan was immediately ruined by the fact that they had Alaskan Smoked Porter on tap.

Last night, my plan was, once again, to only drink new beers. Last night, that plan was ruined by their having Alaskan Amber on tap.

Not that I'm complaining. I haven't had draft Alaskan Amber in two years, since the last time I was in Seattle. I managed to limit myself to just the one glass (2044).

I had to ask for a thawed glass. The bartender tried to argue with me about that. "Most Americans like to drink from chilled glasses," he told me.

"Most Americans can't tell the difference between piss and beer, and they wouldn't be caught dead in a place like this," I responded. So the bartender granted me my point and he provided unchilled glasses for the rest of the evening.

PictureGirl and I grabbed a booth and had some dinner and a lot of that mundane first (and in our case, only) date chat about nothing much. For the most part we just made fun of the other people in the place.

The Freakin' Frog is similar to Rich O's in that most of the women are lesbians. There are beer snobs as well, but this place's beer snobs are all very young and they play chess. They all drink Chimay, and the lesbians all drink PBR or Mickey's.

PictureGirl stuck with Alaskan Amber, and I branched out a little.

Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter (10)

(draft) Looks nice, with good lacing. A fairly intense coffee/licorice flavor that didn't appeal to me very much. The high alcohol is fairly apparent. The second half of the glass tasted better to my numbed taste buds than the first half had.

They had a Galaga video game there. I put a dollar in so we could play. I wanted to see how much I sucked after 30 years. Well the machine stole my dollar, so it wasn't as much fun as I remembered from when I was a kid.

Alaskan Stout (12)

(bottle) A decent head that faded very quickly. Aroma was mainly chocolate, with perhaps some cola as well. Flavor was a mix of coffee, chocolate, and cola, with maybe a touch of juniper. A decent and safe beer from one of my favorite breweries.

I don't know if it's a Las Vegas thing, or just a Freakin' Frog thing, but a lot of people were wearing strange hats. There was one guy wearing a gray flannel gangster cap. Another was wearing a straw hat like the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz might have worn. This one beatnik dude with a disconcertingly pretty girlfriend was wearing some strange knit winter cap but it had a bill on it. PictureGirl and I, we were hatless.

At one point, we found ourselves watching bits of this Underworld movie that they were projecting onto a big screen TV. Then PictureGirl said not to watch it anymore, we could go to her apartment and watch the whole thing.

Check, please!

We only ended up watching about half the movie.

Monday, December 5, 2005
posted by dave at 5:09 PM in category travel, work

Back to work today.

Yes, that's right, work.

People back in Louisville give me shit about going to these things, like they're nothing more than a free vacation.

Well there is that.

But the people who've attended these conferences never give me any shit. They know better. Days filled with often boring presentations are just as tiring as doing the so-called "real work" I'd be doing back home.

Having said that - If the thing was in Des Moines or some other boring city, I wouldn't be here.

After nine hours of sessions today, I'm going to take a nap to make sure that I'm nice and refreshed for my big date.

That's right, I have a date tonight. So ha ha.

posted by dave at 7:16 AM in category drink, entertainment, travel

I know, I know, I'm late. I skipped an entire day.

Yesterday was a long day. For some stupid reason I'd bought tickets for the 10:30 PM showing of La Reve. Probably because I'm a dumbass, but possibly because the other showings were sold out. I don't remember.

Anyway, because it was going to be such a long day, I slept in until 9:30 or so. I just hung around The Rio all day long. I played some video poker, and for lunch I went and had a Rogue Chocolate Stout (126) with my chicken tenders.

Then I took a nap for several hours.

This is exciting, isn't it?

Before I went to the show I stopped and had dinner. With my dinner I had a couple more Rogues (158). I traded some text-messages back and forth with VigilanteGirl and RealTrainGirl, then eventually I took a cab over to The Wynn.

La Reve Theatre

That's (obviously) the outside of where they had the show. You're not supposed to take pictures of the inside but I managed to sneak this one before the show started:

La Reve

This was a pretty cool show. More dancy and less acrobatic than the Cirque Du Soleil shows that I've attended in Las Vegas. Actually, a large part of the show was ruined for me when The Most Beautiful Girl In The History Of The Universe popped out of the water about five feet in front of me and smiled. I spent the rest of the 90-minute show finding and then staring at her whenever I found her.

When The Most Beautiful Girl In The History Of The Universe wasn't visible I watched the other performers. I really like this artsy-fartsy stuff.

After the show I went back to The Rio. I was thinking about grabbing another beer but The Tilted Kilt was already closed so I just played some video poker for a while (I actually tripled my money, too bad I was playing for quarters instead of dollars) and got to bed a little after 2:00.

Saturday, December 3, 2005
posted by dave at 11:03 PM in category drink, pictures, travel

Prologue: Same as last night. I sat at the bar and wrote in my notebook when I felt like it.

I arrive and order a Rogue Chocolate Stout (80). Tastes awful because I just brushed my teeth. The solution: Drink faster.

Here's my rock admiring the Tilted Kilt glass.

Rock and Rogue

It's pretty dead in here right now, at least at the bar. Good.

A couple in their forties just sat next to me. They're looking at the beer list. I'm going to guess: Bud Light for her and Sam Adams's for him.

I was off, but not as far off as you might think. He got a Sin City Amber and she got a Sprite. I hate them.

One of the waitresses was complaining that somebody took her picture without permission. I told her that it happens to me all the time. I'm not sure what's so funny, but she laughed and touched my arm. She must want it up the butt.

I'm revising my opinion of the couple next to me. The girl is in her mid-thirties, and the guy with her may be her father.

Another Rogue (96). Fucking yummy.

Another revision. The chick is a pro and the dude doesn't know it. He actually thinks that she's interested in him.

The john just got a black and tan. He's telling the hooker that it's what everybody in Europe drinks. What a dork.

I wonder if every entry I make this week is going to be this boring.

There are some incredibly ugly people in the world.

Some fuckers just sat to my right. I'm guessing three Foster's. I may have to close my notebook as one of the fuckers is being nosey.

Two Grey Goose Martinis and one Bacardi & Coke. I should have known, but my brain is geared toward beer.

I'm taking off my glasses. Watch out ladies!

Steve the bartender is working tonight. We're talking about how freaked out I was at this time last year.

Showed PictureGirl my rock. She thinks it's cute. She definitely wants it up the butt. My dick, not the rock.

A hot girl just sat to my left.

This glass is almost empty. Do I want another Rogue?

Yes. Yes I do (110).

The hot girl left. Oh well.

I can feel myself being pulled to the Southeast. I wonder, if I'm being pulled by her, am I not also pulling her toward me?

Time to take a piss.

A goth couple just sat to my right. My guess: Guinness for both of them.

I nailed it.

GothGuy is smoking a clove cigarette. Now I'm starving to death.

posted by dave at 6:40 PM in category drink, pictures, travel

Today I went up to downtown and dicked around for a few hours.

Here's a picture of the famous cowboy on Fremont Street.

Fremont Street Cowboy

To eat and drink, I went to the 777 Brewpub at Main Street Station.

Fremont Street Cowboy

Fremont Street Cowboy

I mentioned back in May, but the Black Chip Porter there is world-class. I had a large glass (69) and chased it with a small glass (81).

Here's my rock being all jealous of my yummy beer.

Beer and Rock

Now it's time to take a nap before I head back to the bar tonight.

posted by dave at 12:26 PM in category pictures, travel

Rio Dancing Girl

Rio Dancing Girl

Because even at 7:00 AM, even if I'm the only person at the bar, a beautiful girl will still get up on the stage thingy and dance for me.

posted by dave at 12:07 AM in category drink, travel

Prologue: Today at the airport I bought myself a little notebook. This entry is a transcription of what I wrote in that notebook tonight at the Tilted Kilt.

Another Rogue (48). I forgot to order an unfrosted glass so I'm letting it sit for a while. Fucking frosted glasses. I hate them so much.

There are an awful lot of what my friend Mike used to call "goat ropers" around. But I guess these are real cowboys because there's some rodeo thingy in town.

I like Las Vegas. There's so much opulence here - it's a city built upon the rubble of broken dreams after all - but that opulence, that glitz and glamour, it's not pretentious at all.

There are two fuckers sitting at the table in front of me. They're wearing fucking leisure suits and drinking fucking martinis. They clearly think that they're better than anyone else here. They suck. But Las Vegas doesn't do that, it doesn't put on airs. It doesn't judge and it doesn't cater. It just is, and it will take my money just as readily as it will take the money of these George Hamilton wannabes sitting in front of me.

For all its fakery and all its posing and its pretty wrappings, Las Vegas is still one of the most honest places I've ever been.

To my right is a guy in a cowboy hat being hit on by this fat rodeo groupie. I guess she figures that he's used to riding livestock, so what the hell. He's ridden worse. Maybe.

I deleted her number from my phone back in June. I'm sure I had a good reason for that.

Five assholes just sat at the table to my left. I bet they order a bunch of Coronas.

Four Coronas and one Jack & Coke. I guess I know which one of them will be playing the man at their orgy tonight.

OMG one of them just told a joke or said something funny and now they all high-fived each other. High-fiving white guys really piss me off.

I wonder what happened to the girl from the plane.

I'm drinking too fast, but this is fucking yummy. I order another Rogue Chocolate Stout (64).

The cowboy and the heifer just left together. Maybe I should buy myself a cowboy hat.

The assholes are taking pictures. They're passing the camera around, and each of them is taking a picture of the other four.

Now they've got the waitress taking a picture of all five of them.

I'm thinking about how different this night could have been if I wasn't a dumbass.

Two hot girls just sat at the table behind me. I can't look without being obvious.

I wonder how yeast would deal with Sucralose or some other fake sugar substitute.

The Jack & Coke guy is the only one smoking cigarettes. The others must limit their smoking to cocks.

The girls are from St. Louis and they just asked me what I'm writing. That's all the opening I need. I'm going in.

I'm back out. They're tired. That's okay though. I'll be here for a week.

I'm tired too. My body is telling me that it's 2:24 in the morning. I'm allowed to be tired.

Friday, December 2, 2005
posted by dave at 9:33 PM in category drink, pictures, travel

After checking into my room, and managing a fitful nap, a woke up a little after 5:00 and went down to the casino.

First things first. I needed to eat. So I went to this All American Bar place for a burger and fries. That's not why I went there though. I went there because they have Alaskan Amber, one of my all-time favorites.

I ended up having two of them (2024) with my dinner. Absolutely yummy.

This is just a picture of the bar. Exciting, isn't it?

All American Bar

Next, and if you've been reading me for more than six months you already know this, I went to The Tilted Kilt. Probably my favorite bar in Las Vegas, and definitely my favorite place on the strip.

Tilted Kilt Bar

The only person there that I knew is this one waitress. She remembered me, which I will consider to be a good thing because I'm not the type that gets remembered for being obnoxious.

To drink, I had some of the best beer I've ever had the pleasure of drinking.

Rogue Chocolate Stout (32)

(draft) A fantastic beer, from the intense chocolate syrup aroma through the creamy mouthfeel to the delicious finish. Beyond yummy.

I kinda wanted to just stay there and drink these all night long, but I'm still, even in Las Vegas, a lightweight. So I came up here to write some journal entries.

Now I'm going back down to drink some more.

posted by dave at 9:02 PM in category daily, travel

Standing at a little bar at the Cincinnati airport, I heard a voice, or felt a presence, or smelled a perfume. I don't remember what it was, but something happened. Something that made me turn around.

It ended as quickly as it had begun. It might be her it's her no it's not her. Same hair, similar body, but completely different gait and, once I ran out of the bar and caught up with her, a completely different face.

But the damage was already done.

My first public anxiety attack, right there in terminal B. I could barely walk, I couldn't have spoken if the need had arisen. I stumbled my way from the scene of my disappointment to the seats outside my gate, and I shook. I shook until I remembered my rock. I took my rock out of its pocket and rubbed it with my thumb for about ten minutes, and finally I felt better.


The plane was completely full. I had the aisle seat, 29D, and there was a hot girl in the center seat. She kept dozing off and leaning against me. Then she'd wake up and apologize, embarrassed for her transgression. I didn't tell her that it was okay for her to touch me, okay not only because she was hot, but also because it felt good to be useful to someone. If my purpose today was merely to be someone to lean against, to be someone who, by my very presence, helped another person get through a tedious journey, well that was fine with me. Better than nothing, which is what I've been lately.


Back when I was much younger and much more afraid of flying, I'd catch myself looking around whatever plane I was on, checking out all of the different people, and wondering are these the people I'm going to die with?

We're all such completely different people. Not just the outward differences though those are the most obvious, but the internal differences, formed from our experiences as we go through life. We are all, by definition and by necessity, different.

But put 200 people on a plane, and no matter what they look like or what their backgrounds are, they're all , for a while at least, sharing the same experience. Perceiving it differently, assigning more or less importance to it, paying more or less attention to it, but for that period while they're all sitting in the same tin can hurtling through the same air towards the same distant destination, their experiences - their life paths if you prefer - they merge.

Of course this happens all the time. You people reading this entry, for example, are all sharing the experience. Every day we encounter other people, other completely autonomous beings, and our lives merge for a bit.

I dunno, maybe I'm drunk.

Monday, November 28, 2005
posted by dave at 7:22 AM in category travel

I'm sort of kicking myself a little today.

Someone asked me when my flight out of Louisville was on Friday morning, and I had no idea, so I checked.

It's at 6:30. In the morning.

I don't know why I keep scheduling my Las Vegas flights for so damn early. I get to Las Vegas at 10:30 and I know that I'm not going to get a room until at least 2:00 in the afternoon. It would make much more sense to arrive in the afternoon so I wouldn't have to sit around with my thumb up my ass for hours.

Plus, if I left Louisville at a reasonable hour, I could even go out to Rich O's Thursday night.

I remembered all this in May, when I last went to Vegas. But this time I forgot, and in my excitement I booked the earliest flights possible.

Sunday, October 30, 2005
posted by dave at 7:13 PM in category daily, travel

At one point under the bridge, there was this little "creek" that had to be crossed by hopping/walking across some strategically-placed rocks.

There was this kid, maybe fifteen or so, who would step onto the first rock, causing it to wobble, then he would get scared and jump back to dry land.

After watching this four or five times I told the kid to get out of my way and let an old man with a broken toe show him how it's done.

After that first wobbly rock everything else was steady, and I made it across easily.

The kid was still scared, still standing there afraid of the six-inch deep water. So I did what had to be done. I called him a pussy and left him in my wake.

posted by dave at 6:44 PM in category daily, pictures, travel

I always wanted us to go, but she kept putting it off. "One of these days," she'd always say. She was never much of an outdoorsy person.

Well, today I realized that there was no point in waiting for that magical day any longer. We weren't going to be going anywhere anymore.

So I went to the damn place by myself.

Going with a broken toe? Maybe not so brilliant. But I had a fucking point to make.

Since I'd never been there before, I just parked at the first parking lot I saw. How was I supposed to know that there was a real visitor area just down the road? Anyway, here's the view from where I parked.

Ohio River Falls

For some reason when I got here I had to pee.

Ohio River Falls

Looking up at the old bridge. I think they're talking about making this a pedestrian walkway, but it may be a completly different bridge for all I know.

Ohio River Falls

My cellphone camera couldn't handle the contrast apparently.

Ohio River Falls

I was surprised, for some reason, to see sand on the river's bank.

Ohio River Falls

Waaaay over there is Kentucky.

Ohio River Falls

At one point I found that I'd left the beaten path, so I beat my own.

Ohio River Falls

These rocks were pretty cool. I wish my toe had allowed pain-free jumping around on them.

Ohio River Falls

Just a bunch of logs that the river has deposited over the years.

Ohio River Falls

The tree was pretty much growing out of solid rock.

Ohio River Falls

A view back toward the bridge from the real visitor center.

Ohio River Falls


After I left the park, I went over to The Pub and had a Newcastle (1704) and then a Young's Double Chocolate Stout (243) with my lunch.

That Young's is a beautiful beer in draft form. Yummy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005
posted by dave at 7:47 AM in category travel

After minutes of indecision, I've decided on my Las Vegas itinerary.

I have decided that, while in Las Vegas, I will drink beer.

For the most part, this means that I will be at The Tilted Kilt at the Rio. At other times I may be at Main Street Station enjoying some of their brews, or I may be at The Freakin' Frog. Between those three places I can get anything I'd want to drink.

Sunday night, I'm seeing this La Reve show at Wynn Las Vegas. It's not Cirque du Soleil but it seems to be the same type of show. Music and stunts and skimpy costumes and shit. Wynn Las Vegas may not have any good beer - seems more like a wine place to me.

Tuesday night, I'm going to try again to see the Cirque du Soleil show Zumanity at New York New York. Diehard stalkers will remember that I had intended to see this show in May but couldn't because I'm retarded. Before and after that show I'll be found at either ESPN Zone or Nine Fine Irishmen.

Other than those two nights, I have no plans. Hopefully something will come up and I'll have enough money to take advantage of it.

Everything should be all set. I've got my flight tickets, my hotel reservation, and my show tickets. Now I just have to wait. Six weeks is going to seem like forever.

(Edit: Duh. Arrive morning 12/2, depart morning 12/9)

Saturday, August 27, 2005
posted by dave at 10:50 AM in category comics, drink, pictures, travel

I ended up, as directed, going to Bloomington yesterday. I actually took a half day of vacation so I could get there early. This ended up being a good thing, but I'll get to that later.

During the drive up I ping-ponged between two thoughts.

First, I was a little excited to be doing this spur of the moment thing and following the sign I'd imagined getting on Thursday. I had no idea what to expect in Bloomington, but I figured it must be something interesting or I wouldn't have been led up there.

Second, I felt a little silly. I was basically driving up there because a coaster had told me to. I was also a little afraid that maybe I was missing something exciting and/or interesting at Rich O's. Of course maybe that's what the coaster was really trying to do - just keep me away from Rich O's for the night.

Those coasters, you never really know what they're trying to accomplish. They're sneaky and mysterious.

The first thing I did after I got to Bloomington was get a hold of my niece so I could check out her new dorm room. Here's a pic:


Next I went over to the Upland Taproom. Here's another pic:

Upland Taproom

It's a smaller place than I'd imagined. It was also quite crowded especially when you consider I got there at 6:00. I noted the complete lack of a smoking section and grabbed a seat at the bar.

I told the bartender that I was looking to taste some beers and that the first thing I wanted to taste was their Chocolate stout. So she poured me a little sampler glass (4) before I could stop her. I drained that and asked for a 12 oz. glass.

Upland Chocolate Stout (16)

(draft) Incredible head and lacing. Had a strong coffee aroma but the flavor was an incredible blend of both coffee and chocolate. Very creamy and very yummy.

So this is now my favorite stout in the world, and I almost decided to just stick with it, but in the end I figured that The Coaster would want me to sample some other beers. So that's what I did.

Upland Bad Elmers Porter (32)

(draft) Had a very strong roasted malt aroma. The flavor was quite nice with roasted malt and a mild chocolate. A dry finish that made me want to take another drink right away.

Upland Valley Weizen (12)
(draft) Very fizzy but sweet. A mild banana aroma and flavor. Mouthfeel was fizzy wheat. There was a slight tartness to the finish. I liked this, but I've had better dunkels.

I'd actually drank, and rated, the Porter before, but I went ahead and updated my old rating because I like to think that my palate is a little more sophisticated now than it was back then.

During the time I was drinking my beers I found myself looking around, trying to figure out just what I was doing up there. The place was completely packed, but everyone was with their own little group. The only person I really talked to was the bartender.


By the time I'd had my three beers it was only about 6:45. This is something I've noticed each time I've gone into a non-smoking bar. I drink a lot faster. Now some people might consider this to be a good thing but I'm such a lightweight that all it means to me is that my nights end early.

I ended up having a final Chocolate Stout (28) and starting back towards home a little after 7:00.

By the time I got back to New Albany it was only 10:30 so I (of course) went to Rich O's. I ordered a Smithwick's (460) and was just settling down on the sofa when something cool happened.

My friend Eric and his wife Terri came in!

So what had been slight disappointment from not having anything exciting happen in Bloomington turned into a pretty good mood by the end of the night.

Man, I've written this long rambling entry and I'm going to stop now. Nobody reads this far anyway.

Thursday, August 25, 2005
posted by dave at 7:32 PM in category travel

Back in May, I had a bit of a physic episode.

Today I had something similar.

I'd been trying to think of something to do over the next couple of weekends. My somewhat limited budget (property taxes and vehicle registrations) are going to limit my choices severely.

So I got to thinking about maybe going to Bloomington Indiana and to the Upland Taproom there.

I was still thinking about it when I got to Rich O's after work and saw that the Weihenstephaner coasters which had been there for a couple of months had been replaced by these:

Upland Coaster


If that's not a sign then I don't know what is.

I'm going to try to make it up there tomorrow night. If I don't then it'll have to be next weekend because I have this Brew at the Zoo thingy that I'm going to in Louisville on Saturday.

posted by dave at 7:55 AM in category travel

I'm going back to Las Vegas in December! I'm quite excited about this because I'd thought that my trip there this past May would be my only one this year.

I didn't say that it would be a long entry.

Thursday, August 18, 2005
posted by dave at 10:41 PM in category travel

Just a quick update on my vacation/long weekend planning.

A few weeks ago I asked for suggestions, and I've received several. Thanks!

Labor Day is fast approaching, and I get a four-day weekend, so I'd really like to get away from home for a while. Since it's still baseball season, I limited my immediate search to those cities with professional teams.

Detroit Tigers are away next weekend. Ditto for Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, and Cincinnati Reds.

Cubs and Brewers are both home next weekend though, so the Chicago/Milwaukee area just might work. I didn't get to make it to Wrigley when I was in Chicago recently, and I've never been to Wisconsin at all.

So I may, just may, drive up there next Friday. It's going to be a little tough financially. We'll see. It may turn out that I just drive to St. Louis and do some non-baseball tourist stuff. Or I may puss out and stay home.

And I've already decided that, next Spring, I'm going to pick a weekend that both the Orioles and the Nationals are at home and spend three or four days in that area.

For this Winter, Detroit/Ann Arbor/Kalamazoo are still very much on my short list, as is Cleveland and New York.

(I just remembered that there's this "Brew at the Zoo" thingy next weekend at The Louisville Zoo. I missed it last year because I had to go to this party that same night. This year I really want to go, so I guess I won't be travelling to any other cities.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005
posted by dave at 10:39 PM in category travel

Well, I'm not finished with Monday yet, but I'm going to go ahead and quickly cover Tuesday now. The rest of my Monday entry deserves more attention than I'm able to give right now.

Tuesday was fucked up.

Because I hadn't got back to the hotel until after 2:00, and because I hadn't got to sleep until 4:00, I was pretty wiped out all day long.

Once our meetings were over with, I walked down to The Hard Rock to eat some dinner and pick up shirts for me and VigilanteGirl. I had a pint of Guinness (692) in a souvenir glass.

I'd kindof halfway planned to take a cab back to The Beer Works and hopefully run into EnglishGirl again, but I was just too damn tired, so I just went back to the hotel and went to sleep.

Until a little after midnight when some fucked up shit happened.

I've decided that I'm not going to get into any detail about what happened and about what my response was. I'll just say that I didn't get to sleep again that night.

I'd really have liked to have been able to spend more time in Boston. I just know that there is some great beer there that I just didn't get a chance to try. There's also all this historical shit that I'm kicking myself for not visiting. Boston is definitely on my short list for a weekend getaway.

So anyway, I've had about 6 hours of sleep since Monday morning, and I'm just wiped out.

And, yippee! I get to go to work in the morning.

At some point I will finish up my Monday night story. Just not tonight.

posted by dave at 9:41 PM in category drink, travel

Okay, as I mentioned, I left the game early to check out this Boston Beer Works place.

I was very much aware that there were 50,000 people across the street watching the game and I figured that a large number of them would be coming in soon to do some drinking (and distract the bartenders from getting me more beer), so I ordered two beers right off the bat:

Beer Works Bunker Hill Bluebeery Ale (5)

(draft) This might have been sweet and syrupy or it might have been all the blueberries floating up and down. I couldn't finish the glass. Those things hitting my lips were just too strange.

Bluebeery Ale

Seriously, those blueberries were just too much! I ended up leaving the glass sitting in front of me for the entire night. The blueberries would rise and fall constantly. It was like a little lava lamp or something. As far as the beer went, I just never got a good enough taste of it to really form an opinion.

Beer Works Watermelon Ale (12)

(draft) A light brown ale (think Newcastle) with a wedge of watermelon in it. Once I removed the offending fruit I couldn't detect anything noteworthy. Maybe a bit of a hoppy finish.

This beer wasn't too bad, but without the fruit wedge there wasn't really any watermelon taste to it.

So by this point I'd found myself in a conversation with a cute girl from England. She's going to get her very own entry in this 'blog, but for now, she was very cool and we spent the entire night talking until they closed the bar and kicked us out.

Beer Works Beantown Nut Brown Ale (12)

(draft) A nice malty brown ale. Very pretty lacing. There was a bit of a coffee overtone that I could have done without. Quite good though.

Before I ordered this I asked the bartender if there were going to be any surprises. She didn't get what I meant. It was good enough that I'd have had another one if there weren't any other beers that I wanted to try.

Beer Works Haymarket Hefeweizen (12)

(draft) A very cloudy yellow beer. Strong banana aroma. Came with a citrus wedge that I seem to have removed before it ruined the flavor. Quite yummy.

Another fucking piece of fruit! Don't these people know anything? Anyway, with the fruit gone, this was my favorite beer of the night. EnglishGirl tried some too, breaking away from her fairly constant stream of Boston Common beer. She claimed to like it but didn't quite finish it before ordering another Common.

The guys I'd been traveling with came in at about this point and, thankfully, didn't mess with me and my new friend. I'm sure they considered it though. If they had, I may have lost it because by this time I was quite fascinated with EnglishGirl. This was probably fairly apparent to them, and I appreciate their restraint.

Beer Works Buckeye Oatmeal Stout (12)

(draft) Pretty good. A slight coffee taste. A slightly bitter finish. More roasted malt flavor than I'm used to in this style, and I think that's what saved it for me.

By the end of this glass I really liked this beer.

The place had another dozen or so drafts listed, but there were none that looked appealing to me, so I just had another glass of the hefeweizen (24). By this time I was also amazed at all of the alcohol I was putting away. I guess the twelve oz. glasses made it seem like more than it really was.

As I said before, EnglishGirl and I ended up staying until they kicked us out...

posted by dave at 9:01 PM in category drink, entertainment, travel

Our flight to Boston was delayed because they had to replace some part of the plane, and they had to fly the part in from Atlanta. I didn't complain too much because it was a better option than trying to get just one more flight out of the failing part would have been. Some kind of fuel regulator or something equally important sounding. An antiexplodometer perhaps.

So we got to Boston a couple of hours later than we'd planned on. This severely cut down (eliminated) our pre-game sightseeing, but who cared? We were going to Fucking Fenway Park! It was suggested (maybe by me) and agreed upon (definitely by me) that we'd go to Fenway two hours early and check out the surrounding bars before we went into the park.

Outside Fenway

Driving up to Fenway sent chills down my spine, and I guess I spent much of the rest of the night muttering Fenway. Fucking. Park. Cool.

Our second stop (after a souvenir store) was The Cask 'n Flagon, a sports pubby place with a decent beer selection. The only local beer they carried was Harpoon IPA though, so I opted to have a couple Guinnii (672) instead.

After everybody had lubed up a little we went into the park. Fenway. Fucking. Park. Cool.

Outside Fenway

A view of The Green Monster from our seats..


The infield from our seats.


The Boston skyline.


We were sitting in that last glass-enclosed luxury box.


I really had to fight the crowd to even get this close to the playing field.


Play ball!

I now officially understand why people will get drunk and naked and run out onto the playing fields at sporting events. I wanted to do it myself. It's Fenway Fucking Park! Cool!

It was a pretty good game. The Bosox won of course. I actually left the game just as the eighth inning started because I wanted (needed) to check out The Boston Beer Works...

Sunday, August 7, 2005
posted by dave at 10:55 PM in category travel

I'm leaving for Boston in the morning, so I've gone ahead and updated my little map. That, and this entry, are two less things I'll have to do in the morning.

I'm looking forward to this trip. We'll arrive early enough to maybe do a little sightseeing before the Red Sox game Monday night. After the game I hope there's a little bit of time - maybe I'll check out Boston Beer Works.

Then Tuesday night will hopefully be unchoreographed so I'll get to mess around some more. Not too much though because I'm flying back early Wednesday morning.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005
posted by dave at 11:02 PM in category drink, entertainment, pictures, travel

Tuesday was actually a pretty interesting night.

There were a couple of reasons for this.

First, we all went to a Chicago White Sox game. I took pictures of their new (to me at least) park.

US cellular Field

US cellular Field

US cellular Field

US cellular Field

My company had rented this party deck waaaaaaaaaaay out past center field. Kind of prestigious I suppose, but not much chance of a ball ever being hit there. Especially without Frank Thomas playing.

This ballpark has no good beer at all. I only tried one that I thought sounded a little interesting:

Canoe Honey Wheat Ale (2)

(draft) Lord, why hast thou foresaken me? I thought this was crap. I only drank about two sips and then I threw the rest away. Blech.

The White Sox lost their game, just like the Reds lost their game when I went to see them. I wonder if I'm cursed.

I of course bought myself a Sox cap. I also bought myself a Cubs cap because I was planning to head over to the Wrigley Field area later and didn't want to be murdered for wearing the wrong cap.

As it turned out I didn't make it to Wrigleyville. I instead went to this Piece Brewpub that Roger from Rich O's had recommended to me.

A pretty nice little place, though a little bit too dark for pictures. The pizza smelled fantastic, and I'm kinda kicking myself for not trying any of it.

I did try several of their beers though:

Piece Hoppy Ending (4)

(draft) An otherwise bland vehicle for a bitter hoppy aftertaste. What's the point?

Piece Golden Arm Kolsch (4)

(draft) Very light and citrusy. Tasted like a Bud Light to me. Supposedly an ale but I'm not convinced.

Piece Dysfunctionale (4)

(draft) I've rated this right down the middle in every category. Nothing at all stands out. I don't like the style, so I don't like the beer.

Piece Dark Bier (20)

(draft) Dark Lager, almost black. A light coffee flavor. Fairly thick mouthfeel with some lagery fizz at the end. Not too bad, but not great.

Piece Belgian Three-Way (24)

(draft) Citrusy aroma. Light apple flavor, with maybe a little apricot? No finish at all. Decent, but the apricot turned me off a little.

So I ended up liking the Belgian okay, and I had two glasses.

Then I went back to McCormick and Schmick's to drool over the pretty waitress some more. I had a couple of Guinnii to give me an excuse for being there.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005
posted by dave at 7:15 AM in category daily, travel

Just a couple of things.

There has not been enough free time to go to any of the places on my list, so now I've added Chicago to my short list of places to visit some upcoming weekend.

I've been drinking Goose Island Honkers Ale and Guinness almost exclusively.

There's a waitress at McCormick and Schmick's that I cannot take my eyes off of. Guess what her hair color is, and then guess how good her eyesight is.

Tonight we're going to a White Sox game. I remain cautiously hopeful that it will actually be fun.

Monday, August 1, 2005
posted by dave at 7:38 AM in category pictures, travel

So I'm in Chicago. Whoop de doo.

Our entire week is choreographed, but I did find myself with a little bit of time yesterday afternoon. I tried to walk to the lake but couldn't find a good place to cross Lakeshore Drive. Hopefully I'll have a chance to try again before I leave.

Hancock Tower

Our hotel is a couple of blocks from the Hancock Tower.

McKormick and Smicks

There's a good restaurant across the street from the hotel. They have Guinness and several Goose Island beers. So guess where I went last night after my t-shirt buying trip to The Hard Rock?

I have a feeling that this is going to be the most exciting entry I make all week. We'll see.

Friday, July 8, 2005
posted by dave at 3:04 AM in category travel

I think I mentioned before that I've decided to split up my remaining vacation time this year into several little mini-vacations.

In the past, I've pretty much just used it all for this pool tournament in January. This year I'm only going to use up two days for the tournament, and the remaining (5 days currently) I'll use to create or extend some 3-day weekends and take short trips. Like I did with Omaha last Spring, Portland this past March or with Cincinnati this past weekend.

I have fun on these trips, and I've decided that I need to take more of them.

So I've put a form on my where I've been page for you readers to suggest places for me to go.

All reasonable suggestions will be considered.

Telling me to go to Hell, while both predictable and humorless, is unfortunately not something I'll be able to consider. I've already been there. Didn't like it much.

Sunday, July 3, 2005
posted by dave at 12:05 AM in category drink, entertainment, travel

(Refer to the earlier entry for pictures.)

You know, people are going to read this and start to worry about me. There's really no need.

I arrived in Cincinnati a little after 2:00 in the afternoon, and pretty much immediately grabbed a cab to Newport. I certainly could have driven there but I was a little confused by the street layouts.

I had the cab take me to the Hofbrauhaus. Looking at their beer list, I was not particularly fired up, but I did manage to choose two beers, and both were surprisingly good.

Hofbrauhaus Newport Altmunchner Dunkelgold

(draft) Not a thing wrong with this beer. Not a thing noteworthy about it either. A little nutty, a little malty, a little tasty. Not my favorite style, but one of my favorites in this style.

Hofbrauhaus Newport Munich Weizen

(draft) There aren't many hefeweizens that I can say I actually like. This one I like. Sweet and fruity, with none of the citrus that usually ruins this style for me. Yummy.

While I was drinking my beers, and eating my lunch, I talked with the bartender about other places for good beer in the area. One of the places that he said was a "must see" was The Beer Sellar on the river.

I walked the two or three blocks to the place, and it was indeed quite nice. When I first walked in it was hard NOT to notice the huge array of taps. My erection quickly dissipated, however, when I realized that about 2/3 of the draft selection consisted of watery lagers. I ended up having a Young's Double Chocolate Stout, and then I selected the following from the bottled list:

Belhaven St. Andrews Ale

(bottle) Nobody else has said it, so I will. This beer had a greenish tint to it. There, I've said it. Aside from the odd coloring, this was a pretty decent beer. The bar had it listed as a smoked beer, so I was a little disappointed to find an ESB instead, but it was quite decent. Actually reminded me more of a Alt than an ESB.

Okay, so after two beers at the Hofbrauhaus, and two fairly strong beers at the Beer Sellar, I was kind of glad that I hadn't actually driven to Newport. I walked across this purple bridge (very cool to walk across the Ohio river) and back to my hotel to grab my Reds ticket.

Not much to say about the game itself. The Reds suck, and they lost. I was a huge baseball fan when I lived in Seattle, but since I've moved back to Indiana this local club just hasn't fielded a team worth rooting for.

So after the game I walked up to the Rock Bottom brewpub and had a little sampler array.

Rock Bottom English Mild

(draft) Smelled pretty good. The flavor and mouthfeel brought creamy bananas to mind. A pretty strange beer, but decent.

Rock Bottom White Tiger Wheat

(draft) I'm convinced that this is the same wheat beer that Hofbrauhaus is selling. Quite a good beer in a style that I don't normally care for.

Rock Bottom Cincinnati Porter

(draft) No aroma. Very faint coffee flavor. Very fizzy mouthfeel. Not very good.

Rock Bottom Brown Bear Brown

(draft) More malty than sweet, so a little unbalanced. Good head and lacing. Pretty good.

At this point things got a little surreal.

I was walking around downtown Cincinnati, looking for this Nicholson's place that I'd heard about, and I was having no luck at all. This homeless guy - a black man about fifty or so, and carrying a large flowery PURSE, approached me.

The first thing this guy said to me was "I promise I'm not looking to rob you, but I could really use some money. I want to buy myself a beer."

So what I ended up doing was enlisting this guy to help me find this Nicholson's place. I promised him that I'd buy him a beer if he kept to his word and didn't rob me.

So we struck a deal. He'd lead me to beer, and not rob me, and I in turn would buy him a beer.

His name was Leroy, and he was actually a pretty cool guy. He kept saying that he knew where Nicholson's was, but it soon became apparent that he had no clue. He did remember this place called O'Malley's, so that's where we went.

I had myself a Guinness, and I bought Leroy a Bud Light.

It was a little scary. Not because I was hanging out with a street person, but because I'm pretty sure that Leroy was the first black man to set foot in O'Malley's since its founding. We got a lot of pretty strange looks.

Leroy's purse probably didn't help matters either.

The O'Malley's bartender gave me directions to Nicholson's and, after we'd finished our beers, Leroy and I parted company. He said that he was seriously grateful to me for trusting him. I guess that trust between whites and blacks hasn't been that common in Cincinnati lately.

So I walked up to Nicholson's. I had myself a couple pints of Smithwick's then I went back to the hotel and slept.

In the morning I drove home.

I had a good time on this trip. I've got some thoughts in my head as to why. Maybe I'll put those thoughts into words later this weekend.

Friday, July 1, 2005
posted by dave at 11:55 AM in category travel

Okay, I'm leaving for Cincy now.

I'd thought about updating my little location map, but it's such a short drive that I could probably be there in the time it would take to update the map.

No entries tonight. Maybe tomorrow when I get back. There'll probably be pics as well.

Go Reds!

Thursday, June 30, 2005
posted by dave at 6:43 AM in category ramblings, travel

I just hate this.

I've got a four-day weekend fast approaching and I don't want to feel like I'm wasting it, but it's pretty much inevitable that I will feel that way once it's over.

Tomorrow I'm driving up to Cincinnati to catch a Reds game. I'll check out some bars, spend the night in a hotel, and drive back Saturday morning.

Then I've got this Survivor party to attend. For some unknown reason, I'm just not looking forward to this. I guess I've been hoping for a better offer, but none has come. So I'll go and try to enjoy myself.

Sunday is wide open. I imagine that I'll end up at Fourth Street Live.

None of this is what I really want to do this weekend.

What I really want to do is get into my truck, pick a direction, and just start driving. And keep driving until I find whatever it is I've been missing.

But some things are too far away for even a four-day weekend trip.

And some things are hidden so well that even I don't know what they are.

And some things don't even exist.

I just hate this.

(Update: Several people have reminded me that back in December I wrote this. To those people I respond that it's (a)Completely appropriate, and (b)A lot harder than it seems.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005
posted by dave at 12:01 AM in category travel

Got a couple more trips coming up for work.

In early August I'll be going to Chicago for a few days, then the next week I'll be in Boston for two nights.

Looking forward to the Boston trip much more than the Chicago one. Nothing against Chicago though - it just doesn't seem like it'll be as much fun. I could be wrong though. I guess we'll be taking in a White Sox game. That'll be cool.

In Boston we'll be going to a Red Sox game. Going to Fenway Park is something I've wanted to do for a long time.

And sometime this Summer there's the possibility of a short trip to Philadelphia.

My insomnia is coming back. Yippie!

Sunday, June 19, 2005
posted by dave at 10:34 AM in category travel

Okay, this makes perfect sense.


I can fly from Louisville to Cincinnati, then from Cincinnati to Cleveland, and return home with another stop in Cincinnati, for $201.30.

Alternatively, I can just drive to Cincinnati and take the same flights between Cincinnati and Cleveland, then drive back to Louisville, for $237.40.

So essentially the flights between Louisville and Cincinnati are not only cheap, they will actually pay me $36 to fly on them.

No wonder Delta is having financial troubles.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005
posted by dave at 10:56 PM in category pictures, ramblings, travel

I don't know why, but about halfway to the Hard Rock tonight I had a realization. I realized that it was one year ago (not exactly 365 days but during the same conference this time last year) that everything started to go to shit.

Before one year ago, I had a friendship that could have lasted the rest of my life.

But nooooooooooooooooo!

Part of me (rhymes with fart) decided that it wasn't going to be satisifed with just a friendship. Part of me decided that it had been left to atrophy for far too long, so it teamed up with another part of me (rhymes with lock) and staged a little mutiny against my brain.

So now a year has passed since things started, nine months have passed since everything I used to be was destoyed during the mutiny, and two months have passed since I finally allowed myself to acknowledge what it was that I'd gotten myself into. I wrote about how stupid I was, once it had finally sunk in that I'd destroyed a sure thing for a pipe dream.

But this entry is about tonight, and tonight I'm not in any particular mood at all. Maybe a little pissed at myself, but that's it, and that's certainly something I'm used to. Kind of strange to be thinking about missing her and not getting sad about it. I send text messages to my friends back home and I wish I could divert them Westward. But I can't. Or won't. Or shouldn't. I don't fucking know.

Anyway, tonight I went to the Hard Rock to get some t-shirts and eat dinner. I took pics.

Universal Ball

This is pretty famous I guess. It spins around.

Hard Rock Orlando

Hard Rock Orlando

A fairly big - and fancy - Hard Rock. This was to be expected I guess.

Hard Rock Orlando

Hard Rock Orlando

This car was spinning around above my head. It was pretty cool.

Orlando City Walk

Orlando City Walk

Orlando City Walk

Orlando City Walk

With my dinner at the Hard Rock the bartender made a big production out of how good he was at pouring a proper Guinness. I guess he did well (he drew the clover and everything) but the spell was definitely broken when, for my second pint, he poured it into a frosted glass.

When I left the City Walk area I stopped at the Ale House and had, as I've done every night this week, a couple pints of Newcastle.

Tomorrow I go home. I looking forward to it I guess, but not that much. My ambivalence isn't caused by any fondness for Orlando, or by any indifference towards Indiana - it's caused by the knowledge that the place I really want to be (or two-thirds of me does anyway) is 2000 miles away from either place.

Oh, well. It's my own damn fault.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005
posted by dave at 10:54 PM in category pictures, travel

Okay, so here's what I've done so far in Orlando:

Orlando Alehouse

Orlando Alehouse

The only place with any decent beer within walking distance of the hotel. A lot of taps, but only a few drinkable brews.

Today I went over to Epcot Center and took some pictures.

Inside Limosine

This is the limo that I rode in to the park. My friend EmptySpace joined me. Koko got pissed about Florida's anti-smoking laws and went back to Indiana on Monday.

Epcot Ball Thingy

This is everything I knew about Epcot before I arrived there.

There was this loop around a lake where they pretended that they were different countries. I took a picture of each area:






Japan Drum Dudes




Also on the loop was England, where I for some reason didn't take a picture but instead ate some fish and chips and drank a half-yard of Guinness.

Beatle Dudes

Wait, this counts as England. These were some people impersonating the Beatles. I don't know if they were any good or not because I never liked the real Beatles.

Mission Space

I guess some kid died on this ride yesterday. I hope his family got their money back.


Floriday is absolutely infested with these little lizards.

Anyway, I'm not really having very much fun, but at least I'm not just sitting in my room all the time. Tomorrow night I need to go to Hard Rock to get myself and VigilanteGirl some t-shirts.

Sunday, June 12, 2005
posted by dave at 10:51 AM in category travel

Okay, I'm going to the airport now.

Will update when I feel like it.


Tuesday, June 7, 2005
posted by dave at 11:21 PM in category travel

I suppose I should really consider thinking about maybe starting to get ready for my trip to Orlando.

I'm just not very excited about it. I've never been there - never been to the state of Florida at all in fact - but I just cannot imagine it comparing well to Las Vegas.

An awful lot depends on whether there are any good bars and/or touristy areas near the hotel. I'm not planning on going to Disney World, I hate lines way to much for that.

I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens. Maybe I'll surprise myself and have fun. I did in Portland after all.

I wish I would have chosen to fly down there on Saturday instead of Sunday. That way I'd have all day Sunday to goof around. Maybe rent a car and go to the ocean or The Everglades or something. As it stands I probably won't bother with a car unless there's nothing to do at night around the hotel.

I'm supposed to fly back home Thursday night. I guess that, if I'm really enjoying myself, I could see about returning Friday instead and burn a day of vacation.

Monday, May 30, 2005
posted by dave at 1:51 AM in category daily, drink, pictures, travel

(I'm putting this in the travel category because I kind of felt like a tourist.)

Saturday night I was irritated. The girl at the Gas'N'Stuff had put me in a bad mood, and I never really got a chance to improve my mood because my fucking phone kept vibrating.

That's how my Saturday night went. Pleasant conversations at Rich O's interrupted every half-hour by MixedSignalGirl calling or texting me about how pissed she was at me for what happened in Las Vegas.

Because I'm such a selfish asshole, I didn't return any of the calls until this morning.

Because I'm not a complete selfish asshole, I called her right after I woke up.

To make a very long story short, we agreed to meet up at this place called Sully's for dinner so we could, once again, hash things out and, once again, decide that we are completely wrong for each other and/or our timing sucks.

Fourth Street Live

Fourth Street Live

LaptopGirl used to call this place Fourth Street Dive but I actually kind of like it. It reminds me a little bit of Fremont Street in Las Vegas. There are good bars and lots of neon. Pretty damn cool for Louisville if you ask me.

I arrived at Sully's about five minutes late, and had myself a Smithwick's. I'm really really starting to like this beer. It just goes down smooth. I feel like I could drink it all night.

I like the layout of this Sully's place. A long and narrow room with a bar running the length of one wall and tables and booths for eating scattered about. The entire wall opposite the bar was glass so we could see out into the street.


MixedSignalGirl arrived about a half-hour late, and I suppose I should say that if she was late because she was busy making herself up, then it was worth it. I've never seen her look so pretty.


So despite the near-frantic calls Saturday night, she decided tonight to completely ignore the burning issue of her being pissed and we proceeded to have a fairly standard date. I had a burger and fries that were very good and she had some chicken fingers and fries. We mostly just talked about how cool the bar and Fourth Street Live was, and how it'd be nice if they did something like it in New Albany.

Eventually our conversation became more serious and I'm not going to get into it here except to reiterate what I told her, more or less:

I'm very sorry that you were hurt. I've never meant to cause you any pain at all. I really didn't think you'd care. We broke up months ago, and you told me you were doing fine. I told you that I wasn't ready for a relationship, and that's still true. What happened in Las Vegas was a simple one night stand. I don't even have her number, and I don't expect to hear from her again. It was not about you, or because of you, or in spite of you. I wasn't about anyone. Just two people that happened to hit it off and decided to enjoy each other with no strings or baggage to worry about.

During all this I had myself another Smithwick's. MixedSignalGirl was drinking some foofoo thing that was green and brown.

Once we left Sully's we went briefly to the Red Star Saloon and then into the Hard Rock where I bought us t-shirts, then we went to this place called The Pub.

The Pub - Louisville

This was another very nice bar. They also had a pretty impressive draft beer selection. I had myself a four-beer sampler:

Whitbread English Ale

(draft) No head at all, but somehow managed to have very good lacing. A hint of caramel in the flavor. A slightly lagerish finish but not too fizzy. Not bad at all.

Young's Double Chocolate Stout

(draft) Good head, good lacing. Subtle chocolate aroma and more subtle chocolate flavor. Nothing else to distinguish it at all. It did kind of grow on me though.

Black Sheep Monty Python's Holy Grail

(draft) No head. No aroma, No flavor. A very dry and fizzy mouthfeel. Probably good for an upset stomach but little else.

Tetley's English Ale

(draft) Good lacing. No detectable aroma, flavor, or aftertaste. There was just a hint of bitterness that faded before swallowing was complete. Not bad, but very boring.

So the beer, while new to me, turned out to be pretty boring. I'd like to try the Young's again someday though. It was intriguing. This place had at least a half-dozen other beers that I've never seen on tap at Rich O's, but I think most of them were IPAs so I wasn't interested.

The Pub - Louisville

At The Pub I bought another t-shirt. The staff was all wearing shirts with the bar's logo on the front and different bits of English culture on the back:

  • Bollocks!
  • Abbey Road
  • Another pint, love? (Something like that anyway)
  • Piss off! (I really wanted this one)
  • Wanker! (MixedSignalGirl made me get this one)

We ended up having a pretty good night together, getting along great. That was never our problem when we were together. Our problem was that at different times one or both of us would have our minds someplace else or with someone else. We were always just using each other as placeholders, as safe havens against the unknown, as crutches to help us get through the tough times.

Tonight, we said goodbye and once again went our separate ways. I hope I managed to smooth things over a little. I think I did. She's very sweet, and her feelings are important to me. It's just that, like I've said before, those things she sees in me are not meant for her. In the end, I have to be true to myself. I cannot lie my way through a relationship. It wouldn't be fair to either of us.

I will, however, admit that I've often caught myself imagining a deeper relationship with MixedSignalGirl. Hell, I caught myself doing it tonight. I see in her eyes something I haven't seen in many others - genuine affection. For me of all people. But I also see something else. My own eyes reflected within hers. That's what gives me pause and reminds me that there's a reason we're not together.

My own eyes remain focused a million miles away.

(I'm going to update this to say that there are real reasons that things would never work out for us. It's not all because I'm insane. We both know what those reasons are, and I'm not going to get into them here. Hell, I wouldn't have even written about tonight if she hadn't asked me to.)

Saturday, May 21, 2005
posted by dave at 3:06 PM in category pictures, travel

My main goal for this trip was to enjoy myself. To not let the admittedly unlikely ruin my trip like it did the last one.

Well the admittedly unlikely did not, in fact, happen, and for that I'm grateful.

I did spend a good part of my time conjuring up various scenarios and planning how I would react. I'm glad that it turned out to be for naught.

So anyway, here are some pictures that I had on my phone.

beer tower thingies

These beer tower thingies were at the Monte Carlo brewpub. They fill them with up to 5 gallons of beer for parties and shit. When I told the bartender that I'd seen them at the Great Lost Bear in Portland he got a little huffy - like he'd invented the things or something.

monte carlo brewpub

Just a pic of the vats behind the bar at the Monte Carlo brewpub.

four of a kind

I got into the superstitious habit of taking a picture of the video poker machine every time it gave me 4 of a kind. This is just one of those times.

strip from ny ny

Just a picture of the strip from the bridge outside New York New York. I took this Tuesday night trying to track down Awesome Larry.

inside the freakin frog

A view of the bar at the Freakin Frog. That girl in the black is smoking hot.

inside the freakin frog

Another view inside the Freakin Frog.

inside nine fine irishmen bar

Took this picture looking up from the bar at the Nine Fine Irishmen while I was drinking with the Irish guys.

posted by dave at 2:47 PM in category daily, drink, travel

After I dropped PigtailGirl off and returned my rental car I just dicked around the Luxor for a while and bought some shirts for my nieces at New York New York, then at about 11:00 I took the monorail up to the Riviera.

I walked around the tournament site for quite a while and was just about to leave when I finally ran into Awesome Larry.

We strolled around and bullshitted for an hour or so then he had to get some rest before his team's next match. I took a cab to the Hard Rock, ate lunch at the Pink Taco, and bought some shirts for my nephews that I hope fit.

Then I went to the Nine Fine Irishmen bar at New York New York and had a couple pints of Smithwick's. Two guys from Ireland came and sat next to me at the bar. They were (of course) drinking Guinness and that inspired me to switch. I had a few pints with them.

I think they were a father/son duo. I could understand the son fairly easily but I didn't understand a thing that the father said because of his accent.

By the time I left it was only about 4:00 and I was about half-pissed (that's what the Irish guys call being drunk) so I just went back to my room and finished the book I'd been reading and made a fairly early evening out of it.

posted by dave at 11:27 AM in category daily, drink, travel

Okay, once I got back to Las Vegas I drove over to The Freakin Frog.

I had myself another draft Alaskan Smoked Porter then I had a new beer for me:

Traquair House Ale

(bottle) Dark reddish brown with a complicated aroma that seemed to include cola. Started out bitter but finished very sweet. A very thick mouthfeel and a very nice flavor that made me drink very quickly. Quite yummy, but perhaps not as yummy as the $15 I paid for it would indicate.

Later in the night I took a cab up to Main Street Station to check out their brewpub. A reading of their beer list was not very appealing to me. Only two of the dozen or so beers seemed worth trying. One was a cherry stout and they were out of that.

The other was a porter, and it ended up being the best beer surprise I had all week.

Triple 7 Black Chip Porter

(draft) That first taste nearly overpowered me. I still can't believe that this beer comes from a brewpub catering to the flavor-impaired masses. Very chocolately, very roasty, very delicious. One of the best porters I've ever had.

I ended up having two of the porters, one while I waited for PigtailGirl to arrive and another while we sat and talked. She'd called right after I'd arrived at Main Street Station and wanted to get together without her friends "cramping her style" in her words.

This was of course intriguing.

At a certain point it was pretty obvious how the night was going to end so we actually both relaxed. There was no more pressure to be charming, and we were in no hurry.

We took a cab to the Rio and I talked her into trying a couple of actual beers instead of the foofoo drinks she'd been drinking. I myself had a couple pints of Newcastle and she tried Newcastle and Fat Tire before settling on (yuck) a Stella.

The next morning I drove PigtailGirl (no longer a descriptive name) up to her hotel and then returned my rental car.

A thing about this - I really really really needed it. Being treated like shit for months - whether intentionally or not - can do lots of damage to a person's ego, and my own self-image was never that great to begin with. I've never been a one-night-stand type of person, and I don't expect to become one in the future. Sometimes people and circumstances just merge and combine and it just feels right. I don't know what PigtailGirl's story is, and she doesn't know mine. There was no need to get into any of that.

Do I feel a little guilty? You bet your ass I do.

But it's not the same guilt I felt when I was with MixedSignalGirl. Back then I felt like I was betraying and belittling my feelings for someone else by being with her. This time my guilt is because I was in part just using PigtailGirl and she really deserved my full attention instead of just serving as a placeholder.

Of course the situation may have been reversed. I could have been used as well. If so, that's okay. It was a great night, and I think we helped each other get through some shit, even though we didn't discuss what the actual shit was.

posted by dave at 10:42 AM in category pictures, travel

Wednesday was another very long day.

It started out at 4:52 AM when my phone went off. VigilanteGirl calling to tell me that she was in Atlanta and wanting to know where I was. I need to tell her that the next time she decides to wake me up before 5:00 in the morning I'd prefer a nudge to a phone call.

After that I couldn't get back to sleep so I went down and played video poker for a while. I'd found myself a very nice machine that kept giving me 4-of-a-kind. Five times it did this for me, and I won over $600. I would have kept playing but then this old guy sat to my right and destroyed my mojo by moving my ashtray.

Armed with my newfound wealth, I went and rented a car and started driving Southeast.

My original plan had been to just go to Hoover Dam and back, but the trip to the dam only took an hour or so so I decided to spend some time in Arizona.

At one point I saw a sign indicating that I could get to the west rim of The Grand Canyon in only a couple of hours, so that's what I decided to do. I never actually made it to the canyon - at least not to a point where I could look down into it - because all of the indians there kept telling me I needed to pay them $15 before I could move on. Since none of them would offer any kind of receipt or day pass in return I just kept turning around and trying to find another route.

Here are a buttload of pictures I took, mostly of Hoover Dam. I'll probably come back and put in some descriptions of these pics later.



























posted by dave at 10:03 AM in category drink, entertainment, travel

Looks like my last Las Vegas entry with any substance was Tuesday evening, so I'll try to pick things up there.

Went to the MGM Grand to see this new KA show. This was my third Cirque du Soleil show, and I guess I have to say that it's my least favorite. With the exception of this one dude running around on the outside of a spinning hamster wheel thing there just weren't a lot of the stunts and acrobatics I was expecting. I'd have to say that the real star of KA was the set. The most amazing piece of machinery I've ever seen.

Once the show was over I turned my cell phone back on and found out that I'd had a call from Awesome Larry. Larry is a friend from my old Omaha days, and I'd been hoping that he was in Vegas for the BCA tournament.

Well because of a big misunderstanding - there's a Monte Carlo casino on the strip and a Monte Carlo tower in the Riviera - I didn't meet up with Larry until Thursday.

The last part of the night I spent at the ESPN Zone drinking a couple of their 24oz. mugs full of Newcastle.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005
posted by dave at 5:33 PM in category travel

Well the conference is over, so my vacation is officially on!

Packed up my shit this morning and moved over to The Luxor. Kind of a small room but I'm in the pyramid and the view down is quite cool:

Luxor Interior

Luxor Interior

Tonight I get to go see KA at The MGM Grand. It should be cool.

Tomorrow I get to go driving. Just how far remains to be seen.

posted by dave at 7:12 AM in category daily, drink, travel

Yesterday was a long day.

After the last conference session I took a cab to The Freakin Frog out by UNLV. This is a bar touted on the Internet as having the best beer selection in Nevada.

I believe it. Their bottled beer list is the only one I've ever seen that rivals that of Rich O's. On tap, they only had nine or so beers, with no less than three IPAs.

My plan, going in, was to drink some beer that I hadn't had before. This plan was shattered when I saw that they had Alaskan Smoked Porter on tap. Of course I couldn't resist this, one of my favorite beers, in draft form.

While I enjoyed my porter and a cheeseburger and fries I perused the beer list - about twenty pages of beer, sorted by country of origin. I think the same list is available at their website.

My second choice was easy. A beer I hadn't had before but always wanted to try:

Alaskan Winter Ale

(bottle) A nice copper color with a decent head. Starts out a little bitter but has a sweet finish and aftertaste. Works out to be very well-balanced. Another winner from Juneau.

Making a choice, from all the beers available, for my final beer proved to be too tough of a decision for me to make. I asked the bartender (a girl that reminded me a lot of MisunderstoodGirl) to find me a good Belgian that I hadn't had before.

What she came back with, after a couple of suggestions for beer that I'd already had in the past, was a Belgian from Canada that I've seen at Rich O's but never ordered:

Unibroue La Fin Du Monde

(bottle) A very fizzy mouthfeel. Hint of apples - common in Belgians. Quite good, could use more flavor and less fizz.

After I took a cab back to the world, er, the strip, I was supposed to go see Zumanity at New York New York. At least that's what I thought. It turned out that I'd purchased a ticket for the April 24th show, not the May 16th show. Why did I do this? I blame the fact that I bought the ticket on April 12th when I was quite distracted by other events.

So I didn't get to see the show. What I ended up doing was hanging out at The ESPN Zone drinking Newcastles with some girls from Portland Maine who were drinking some foofoo drinks. I was wearing my Great Lost Bear shirt so that's how I was able to infiltrate their little group.

At one point everybody wanted to go up to Fremont Street. Well, everybody except me. I wanted to take one or more of the lovelies back to my room. But of course I'm much too shy too ever actually suggest such a thing, so I went to Fremont Street with them. I switched to Diet Coke while the girls somehow managed to keep drinking. We formed a sort of structural support, where I ended up walking and standing with all three girls putting almost all of their weight on me. I'm sure we were quite a sight, and I'm also sure that I got a few jealous looks from guys in the crowd.

As it turned out, nothing happened except for some nice kisses that I got for being such a sweet guy. I spent the night with them in their room and then came back here to Mandalay Bay this morning.

Now I have to check out of here and go check in to The Luxor.

Monday, May 16, 2005
posted by dave at 12:07 PM in category drink, travel

Last night I went over to The Monte Carlo's brewpub. The place was, like all Las Vegas establishments, beautifully decorated and laid-out. Unfortunately all the money they've obviously thrown into the place hasn't made it to the beer. I only tried two that, going by their styles, might appeal to me. They didn't.

Monte Carlo Silver State Stout

(draft) Very thin flavor and mouthfeel. Definitely drinkable, but so is water.

Monte Carlo High Roller Red

(draft) Quite disgusting. Has that tingly mouthfeel that I detest in lagers. I was surprised to find it in this, ostensibly an ale. This is a beer trying to appeal to the swill drinking masses and the good beer drinkers at the same time. It fails at both.

When I left The Monte Carlo I took a cab to The Rio and went to The Tilted Kilt.

While there I had a Newcastle and a couple of Rogue Dead Guy Ales.

It was pretty cool to be back at The Tilted Kilt though. I wish some of the people I've gotten to know over the years had been working. I'm told that I should come back Tuesday.

Sunday, May 15, 2005
posted by dave at 5:51 PM in category daily, drink, pictures, travel

Today I kinda impressed myself.

I walked from The Stratosphere to Mandalay Bay, a distance of approximately 664,323.4 miles.

I'd never been to The Stratosphere before. I was pretty impressed with all the restaurants and shit they have there. I guess because they're so far out of the way that they pretty much have to be able to provide for their guests.

looking up

Walking up to the thing is pretty impressive. I mean, you know it's tall, but you might not know that it's fucking tall. Don't feel bad. It's a fine line between the two.

looking down

Down there somewhere is the place I stood when I took the first picture.

retarded people

Here are some people that may be about to die. Or at least buy some new underwear.

some idiots

The elevator operator was telling me that when they first opened up this ride they had problems with it. I asked if he meant that it was flinging people to their deaths and he said no just with the wind, where the whole thing would shut down and leave people hanging there.

strip view

another strip view

Anyway, once I left The Stratosphere I waked down to The Riviera. The BCA tournament is going on and I thought I'd look to see if anyone I knew was there. I did see a couple of people from Louisville, but nobody from Omaha or Seattle or New Orleans or Memphis. I plan to go back sometime this week, and I also called a couple of people to see if anyone I knew was at the tournament.

waterfalls in from of wynns

After The Rio I walked to Wynn's new place and checked it out. Pretty cool, but so crowded that I didn't stick around for very long.

When I left Wynn's I walked and walked and walked and walked and walked and walked and walked and walked and walked and walked and walked to New York New York and went into this place called Nine Fine Irishmen for lunch and some beers.

nine fine irishmen

A pretty beautiful place. I took other pictures but they're all shaky and unviewable, like this one:

shaky bar

I've been thinking about putting a bar in my basement. I don't I could pull something like this off though, what with 7-foot ceilings and all.

Kinsale Irish Lager

(draft) Nowhere on the tap did it have the word lager. That's false advertising as far as I'm concerned, but so is the lack of the phrase watery baby bunny piss. This just might give a Stella a run for its money as the weakest non-American lager in the world.

To wash the taste of that stuff out of my mouth I had a Smithwick's with my lunch, then had another beer that was new to me.

Ballingarry Warehouse Stout

(draft) Lacing doesn't even begin to describe the foam that clung to my glass. A very nice stout - reminded me a lot of Murphy's. There was just a hint of chocolate, but nothing overpowering or pretentious at all. Yummy.

One more thing. The other day I saw a living creature draw its last breath and fall over dead. I thought I'd seen everything after that, but I was wrong. Here's how my fish 'n' chips came packaged:

food as art?

The server told me to just dump the contents of this paper cone onto the plate. I did, but I really felt like I was desecrating a work of art when I did it.

The meal was delicious though.

posted by dave at 7:48 AM in category daily, drink, travel

Sometimes I seem to live in my own little world.

It's a lot like the real world except that it's just a little more bearable.

In my little world, I'm the one being stubborn.

In my world, it's kind of nice sometimes to get to be the mean one, even when the target of my meanness does not deserve it. Much.

Meanwhile the real world just keeps turning, oblivious to my hallucinations.

Here are some pics I took of the Fremont Street Experience last night:

Fremont Street Experience

Fremont Street Experience

Fremont Street Experience

Sin City Amber

(draft) A lager by any other name is still a lager, and I still don't like it. Kind of a sickly-sweet taste that I can't really describe and I don't want to drink more of it just to get a better description.

Chimay Blanche

(draft) A nice beer. Not nearly as sweet as other tripels I've have. I got a subtle undertone that reminded me of smoke. There was very little head, though this may have been caused by the filthy glass. I liked it a lot, but there are a zillion better Belgians out there.

Ate dinner last night at a place called Bar Grill Saloon or maybe Grill Saloon Bar. I shit you not. The burger I had was fantastic though.

When I left Fremont Street I took a cab car automobile back to Mandalay Bay and went to this place location establishment called Burger Bar where I had the beers drinks beverages listed above.

By about midnight the time zone change had completely incapacitated me so I went to sleep.

Saturday, May 14, 2005
posted by dave at 5:19 PM in category daily, travel

Heard the following fortune cookie saying on TV this morning:

It is a foolish fish indeed that gets caught twice with the same bait.

If course this is just a variation on the old fool me once... saying, but since I've used a fish metaphor before I thought it was worth mentioning.

I'm sitting in my room at Mandalay Bay debating where to go tonight. So far I've got it narrowed down to Fremont Street, The Luxor, New York New York, and The Tilted Kilt at The Rio.

In other words, I haven't made up my mind at all.

I did find a place here at Mandalay Bay that serves Fat Tire and Newcastle, so I guess I won't be dying of thirst while I'm here.

posted by dave at 7:36 AM in category daily, drink, travel

Last night I had a splitting headache. A headache that overwhelmed all of the pain sensors normally associated with headaches and spilled over into my teeth and my neck.

To try to dull this pain, I went to Rich O's and had some beer. I hadn't been planning to go but then I found/realized that I didn't have to fly out until 10:30 AM.

My first beer was one I know I've had before but I couldn't find any reference to it here, so I went to and copied my rating from there:

Tripel Karmeliet

(draft) Had a head that lasted forever. Quite a bit blander than other Belgians I've enjoyed - this had a more lagerish taste to it, and no apple taste at all. Despite that I did like it though.

Next I had a couple of the new NABC Blonde Abbey beers that I wrote about the other day.

None of these helped my headache.

I wanted very badly to make a phone call or send a text message, but I didn't. I guess I should be proud of my restraint, but to even need that restraint indicates a bit of a failure on my part.

Here's the current rambling wisdom for me from Free Will Astrology:

One of the world's longest streets is Figueroa Street in Los Angeles. It runs 30 miles. In contrast, Bridge Street, a lane near my house, is about 50 yards long and connects two lengthy roads to each other. The path you're on right now, Pisces, has a metaphorical resemblance to Bridge Street. Your time on it will be brief, and it will serve as a bridge between two phases of your life story. Soon you'll turn onto a longer thoroughfare more like Figueroa. In the meantime, pay maximum attention to the sights and sounds. This leg of your journey will be short, but it will reveal clues that will be essential as you shift gears.

I can't help but wonder about the timing of this horoscope. I mean, I've got this shoe hovering in the air. I'm off to Las Vegas for a week. I don't feel like anything's really going to change with me during this week, but I guess you never know.

Perhaps I'll hit the jackpot somewhere.

Perhaps I'll meet the girl of my dreams, or at least someone to change my current dreams.

Perhaps I'll see The Grand Canyon and become so inspired that I become an artist or a tree hugger or something and move to some hippie commune.

There's lots of shit that could happen, but I doubt that anything really will.

In fact, just about the only prediction I can make with any sort of confidence is this:

I will not allow this trip to be ruined like the last one was. I'm way too irritated to let myself fall into that same bullshit loop again. Plus, it wil be warm enough that I can actually leave the hotel.

So, I'm outta here. I'll update when I can. Probably every day unless I'm on the road or out enjoying the scenery.

Monday, May 9, 2005
posted by dave at 7:32 AM in category messaging, travel

(response to messages)

Several people keep asking me the same questions regarding my upcoming Vegas trip. I figure I'll answer them here all at once. Use your imagination for the questions - it's fun!

Have you...
Not a peep, and thank you so much for asking.
Will you...
I'm not planning to. It's pretty far away.
Why don't you...
Because it's a horrible idea. For reasons I've already discussed here.
Don't you think...
Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. It really shouldn't matter.
What if...
I try not to think about that. Luckily it's about as likely as monkeys flying out of ass.
Do you think at least...
I think it's inevitable, but I don't know when. Probably when I'm least prepared. Hopefully not when I'm already irritated.
Are you planning...
I sure hope so. I've got show tickets, and the BCA tournament is in town too.
Aren't you being...
I can see how people would see it that way. I'm just muddling through.

Let me know what you think the questions are. Maybe I'll post the funniest guesses.

Thursday, May 5, 2005
posted by dave at 6:19 AM in category travel

Just a quick follow-up to this old entry about my upcoming Las Vegas trip.

Got an e-mail this morning from the people holding the conference, and they indicated that they have secured a room for me on the 14th. This is the exact opposite of what I was told early last month.

So I called Mandalay Bay and had them double and triple check. I do indeed have a room reserved for arrival on the 14th and checkout on the 17th.

I called the Luxor and cancelled my reservation for the 14th, stressing that my reservation for the 17th through the 20th was still valid.

So now I only have to pack my shit and change hotels once during my trip.

Thursday, April 21, 2005
posted by dave at 4:15 AM in category entertainment, travel

Purchased some tickets to a couple of shows to see next month in Las Vegas.

On Tuesday I'll be seeing that new Ka show at the MGM Grand. I've heard that it was pretty cool.

I also wanted to see O at the Bellagio again, but there are no decent seats available. Next I tried to see Mystere at Treasure Island again, but there are no seats, period, for that one.

So I'm going to see Zumanity at the New York New York. It really seems like more of a couple's show, but I've heard that it was pretty good.

There are some shows that I'd like to see that aren't so artsy-fartsy. Maybe a comedian, maybe a magician. I'll just see how that turns out once I get there.

Monday, April 4, 2005
posted by dave at 10:58 PM in category travel

Had a bit of a snafu hit my Las Vegas plans today.

It turns out that Mandalay Bay will not, as advertised earlier, be holding rooms for those of us wanting to extend our stay beyond the conference end date. In fact, they're kicking us all out on the 17th as they've sold out their rooms.

They're also not able to accommodate any arrivals prior to the 15th for the same reason.

To make a long story short, this means that I needed to find rooms for the day before the conference and for the three days I'll be staying in Las Vegas after the conference ends.

So, get this. I'll arrive on the 14th and check into the Luxor. The very next day I'll repack my shit and move over to Mandalay Bay. Two days later I'll repack my shit again and move back to the Luxor and stay for three nights.

Pretty fucked up way to run a vacation.

Sunday, March 27, 2005
posted by dave at 4:38 PM in category drink, pictures, travel

Okay, I'm back from my Portland trip.

It was, as I'd expected, a very nice diversion, and a welcome respite from the suprisaphobia I've been experiencing back home. Not once, over the entire weekend, did I find myself jerking my head up to see who had just entered whatever room I occupied.

Portland Snow

The first thing I noticed about Portland was all the snow on the ground. I know they had a pretty substantial storm a couple of weeks ago, but I guess I wasn't expecting there to be between one and two feet covering all of the grassy areas. The photo above is of a snowdrift next to the ramp leading to the rental car desks.

Portland Coast

The weather was beautiful - not a cloud in the sky - for the entire time I was there. It was a little chilly - in the high 40s - during the day but there was not much wind so it was quite nice. Above is my first view of the Atlantic Ocean in several years. I was standing in about a foot of snow when I took this picture. Weird.

Also weird was that all of the dry rocks near the water were just covered with buzzing flies. It was like something out of The Amityville Horror.

Portland Surf

There's just something about the ocean that's always fascinated me. I imagine how the biggest swimming pool, pond, or lake, that I've ever seen would be completely swallowed up by this expanse of water. I imagine how the waves crashing against the rocks could have started halfway around the world. It's just neat. The relative proximity to the ocean is one of the reasons I chose Seattle over Colorado Springs back in 1992 when I was deciding where to move.

Portland Fort

All of these waterfront pictures were taken at a park called Fort Williams or some such. There were a dozen or so of these old structures scattered about. I actually took a lot more pictures but my camera's batteries had given out so they're all dark. I spend about four hours on Friday just exploring the old buildings at this park.

Great Lost Bear Taps

On Friday night I went to The Great Lost Bear, the bar I've heard the most praise about in Portland. I guess I liked it okay. The beer selection was very good, and the layout was something I could see working with a place like Rich O's. I guess my only complaints about the place would be (a) the lack of parking, (b) the crowd, and (c) the food. The latter was greasy and cold - not at all what I was expecting when I ordered seafood in Portland Maine. I guess I should have gone to a real restaurant instead of a bar for dinner.

Anyway, the picture above is of about half of the beer taps at the place. There is another row around that corner to the left.

Great Lost Bear Best Seller Board

They had a board up which listed, in order, the best-selling drafts for the previous month. I thought that was a pretty cool idea.

Great Lost Bear Samples

My first beer of the night was a Harpoon Winter Warmer. More on that later. Next I had a sampler tray consisting of five 5oz beers. I took notes on each one:

Sunday River Alt

A decent, but not great, alt beer. Balance favored the hoppy side, especially in the aftertaste. Looked and smelled great, but the taste was a little disappointing.

Allagash Double Ale

Yes, Virginia, there is indeed such a thing as too much malt. This beer just needed something to balance it out. I don't know what it needed. It had nothing but malt. Seven different kinds according to the web page.

Atlantic Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale

I had high hopes for this one. Blueberry flavor in a beer would definitely be something new and unusual for me. This actually ended up being my least favorite beer of the weekend. It tasted to me like an IPA. If there was any berry component to the flavor it was too subtle for me to detect it behind all the damn hops.

Harpoon Smokey Porter

I told the drunk next to me (he had asked) that I predicted that this would be my favorite beer of the night. I was wrong. The smoke was reminiscent of bacon, or perhaps beef jerky. Probably the only smoked beer that I've ever had that I didn't like.

Gritty's Scottish Ale

Creamy and malty. Very good, and I ended up having a second one. The best lacing I've seen in a long time.

My last beer of the night was another Harpoon Winter Warmer. More on that later. Took a cab back to the hotel but I probably didn't need to.

On Saturday, after getting completely lost about a dozen times trying to get to the "Old Port" tourist area of Portland, I gave up and headed West instead. My plan was to drive through New Hampshire and into Vermont. The thing I found out is that even though these states are pretty close geographically to Portland, you just can't get anywhere very quickly. I ended up turning around after about five hours, only having made it into New Hampshire. Vermont will have to wait until another day.

Once back in Portland, having spent a fruitless hour or so trying to find another bar for Saturday night, I just gave up. The streets in Portland are, I believe, nothing more than paved cow paths from the 1500s. They wind around, merging and splitting, changing direction often. It was difficult to go more than a few blocks without getting lost.

Great Lost Bear Crowd

So I ended up back at The Great Lost Bear for Saturday night.

I had another sampler tray, this time with only three beers:

Smuttynose Robust Porter

With a name like Smuttynose, it has to be good, right? Right. A very strong chocolate aroma and flavor. Like the NABC Haggisdaddy Stout it reminded me of, this would probably be good poured over ice cream

Sheepscot Valley Bold Coast Pemaquid Ale

Thick but fairly mild. Not sure what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. I got a little coffee flavor and a little butterscotch. No aftertaste at all.

Geary's Hampshire Special Ale

Smelled and tasted like an Alt, even though it's supposed to be an English Stong Ale. The only non-Altish characteristic was that the aftertaste was quite bitter - too bitter for my tastes.

Great Lost Bear View

So that was the end of my experimenting. I went back to the one truly great beer that I'd encountered. The beer that I found myself calling CoffeeDude about. The beer that actually made the trip worthwhile.

Harpoon Winter Warmer

The web page says cinnamon and nutmeg. I got none of that. What I got was ambrosia. The most unusual beer I've ever had, and it took me a while to pin down what I was experiencing. Copper colored, good lacing, and an actual flower aroma. The flavor was incredibly indescribable, but I'll try anyway. Take a beautiful woman, have her bathe in lilacs and Mr. Bubble. Now perform oral sex on her. That's how good this beer was.

If my work schedule and my vacation pool would have allowed it, I would have extended my stay in Portland just to keep drinking this beer. Hell, I'm already trying to figure out when I can go back next year, when it will be available again. It's brewed in Boston so maybe that city will be my Easter trip next year. I called CoffeeDude Saturday night and asked him to have Harpoon Winter Warmer written on the board at Rich O's for Roger to see.

Anyway, Saturday night there was this girl sitting by herself at the other end of the bar. I heard HotBartender ask her what was wrong, saying she seemed to be in a bad mood. The girl, who I will call MaineGirl, told HotBartender that she was just fine, and that she didn't know why everyone always thinks she's a grouch.

So this girl is apparently my female counterpart in Maine. I ended up talking with her for several hours while we compared tales about how everyone thinks we're so anti-social. MaineGirl, and of course DrunkGuy from Friday night, were the only people I had any actual conversations with all weekend. MaineGirl reminded me of TrainGirl (who is from Maine so I guess that kind of makes sense) and, like TrainGirl, she had no problem at all having a long conversation with someone she'd just met in a bar.

I went back to the hotel at around midnight, slept fairly well, and arrived back home (pouring down rain in Louisville - surprise - not) at about 3:00. VigilanteGirl was in one of her moods, so that made it official. I was back.

The guess the main question (or the Maine question, ha ha) I had before going on this trip was: Would I be able to enjoy my own company without constantly thinking about missing my friends and my established routines? I'd have to say that I did enjoy myself immensely. I think that anytime you return from a trip and wish that you'd had more time that's a pretty good indicator that you enjoyed yourself. I could have spent several more days in Portland.

I will go back again someday.

Friday, March 25, 2005
posted by dave at 6:35 AM in category travel

Leaving for Maine now.

Not taking my laptop, so there will be no updates until I return.


Thursday, March 3, 2005
posted by dave at 2:11 PM in category travel, work

Today I scheduled myself a couple of trips for work-related conferences.

The first one is in Las Vegas in May, and I'm going to take a couple of days of vacation so I can finally visit the Grand Canyon.

The second trip, in June, is in Orlando. That will be cool because I've never been to Florida. I wish Orlando was closer to water though.

Monday, February 28, 2005
posted by dave at 12:12 PM in category travel

Booked my Easter trip to Portland Maine this morning.

It should be fun, and it will definitely be something new.

I'd like to have time to drive to the Eastern most point in Maine, but that looks like about a 10 hour round trip so I'll probably pass and just make the 6 hour round trip to Montpelier Vermont and back.

Or, I may just hang around Portland if I find enough that interests me on Friday. I'll arrive at around 1:00 PM so I'll be able to get a slight feel for the place before heading to The Great Lost Bear on Friday night.

I'm optimistic that I'll be able to enjoy this trip without feeling the strong need for company. Actually, NotGeorge has expressed an interest in going. We'll see. All I can guarantee is that MixedSignalGirl will not be accompanying me. I've managed to defuse that particular bomb.

Saturday, February 26, 2005
posted by dave at 6:13 PM in category daily, pictures, travel

Today I went on a little trek.

I went to this little town (and using the word town here is quite a stretch) named New Boston.

RealTrainGirl and MisunderstoodGirl had told me about this place and I was bored today so I decided to check it out.

Just driving around and exploring is one of the few things that my ex-wife and I enjoyed together, but the women in my life since my divorce have always found it too boring. As a result I haven't really done a lot of exploring lately.

This little town (there's that word again) is easy to find. Just go like you're going to Caesar's and then keep going another 167 bazillion miles until you get to this:

end of the line

That spot marks where Indiana 111 ends, and if you're sitting where I was as I took this picture, New Boston is behind you and to the left. Right behind the barking dog.

To get home I took some backroads. I know it's actually pretty hard to get lost, but I gave it a hell of a try. I knew I'd eventually hit Hwy 11 or 131 so I basically just kept pointing my truck North as much as the winding roads would allow.

I had fun.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005
posted by dave at 12:27 PM in category travel

Last year I spent Easter weekend in Omaha. Not because of the holiday, well not directly because of the holiday, but because my company gives us Good Friday off.

So I went to Omaha to see some of my old friends and to just get away from Indiana for a while.

This year I'm thinking that I need to take another trip.

My last trip, to Las Vegas in November, was fun but not particularly relaxing. My own paranoia saw to that.

This year, as I said, I think I'd like to take another trip. Now I just have to decide where.

I could go back to Omaha, though as I said last Spring, most of my old friends and old stomping-grounds are gone or unrecognizable.

I could go to Seattle. I know that I'd enjoy the hell out of that, but it's a very long trip - I'd spend about half my time traveling to and fro.

I suppose I could go back to Las Vegas, but that's a pretty long trip as well, plus it looks like I'll be going there for a week in May. (That just reminded me, I was asked a very odd question about my Las Vegas plans recently. It actually made me a little paranoid.)

Right now, as I type this, I think I'm actually leaning towards Portland Maine. This is a place I've never been before, so I'd get to color it in on my map along with maybe New Hampshire and Vermont if I got really ambitious.

I'd also get to check out The Great Lost Bear, a place that Roger from Rich O's recently visited and endorsed.

Okay, now I'm getting excited. I'm going to start checking fares and stuff.

Monday, November 29, 2004
posted by dave at 4:18 PM in category drink, travel

Last night, after exhausting the rest of the draft selection at The Tilted Kilt, I tried a Kronenbourg 1664 lager. I didn't think much of it:

(draft) An absolutely terrible, bland, watery excuse for a beer. Tastes exactly how it looks - weak and boring.

Next I had a Fat Tire. I've had this before several years ago. I liked it:

(draft) Very well-balanced ale, probably meant to be a copy of Newcastle Brown Ale, and it is a very good copy indeed. A little more malt than the Newcastle. Very drinkable.

Other than these two beers I stuck with Newcastle all night in-between nervous breakdowns.

This morning I made a wonderful discovery. There's a bar at the Rio that carries Alaskan Amber!!!

It's bottled instead of draft but still, what a pleasant surprise.

posted by dave at 1:55 AM in category ramblings, travel


(see previous entry for clarification of the above statement)

Without getting too specific, there's a lot more than the letter t making this:

It's pretty cold up there.

different from this:

It's pretty cold up here.

The bartender at The Tilted Kilt had to spray me down with the drink thingy to snap me out of my seizure.

Sunday, November 28, 2004
posted by dave at 12:40 PM in category daily, drink, ramblings, travel

Yesterday was not about beer, though there was a lot of beer consumed.

Yesterday was not about sleep deprivation, though I went about 30 hours without sleep.

Yesterday was not about Las Vegas, though I'm here.

Yesterday was about the fact that I couldn't stop laughing.

This is a new kind of insanity for me. My mood became so much better than it'd been for the past couple of weeks that the whole evening and night was like an extended emotional orgasm or something. I didn't want to go to sleep because I was afraid that the reality of the situation would somehow claw its way back to the surface of my mind.

Well I did sleep eventually, and while I'm no longer laughing, I'm still grinning.

Things are still gloomy, but they no longer threaten to completely obliterate me. Things are actually back to exactly what they were three weeks ago. The cruelty being directed at me was not coming from the person they pretended to be. At least that's the story and I'm sticking to it.

So I've managed to scramble back into the frying pan, and that's what yesterday was about for me.

There was beer involved too.

Most of my day and night consisted of a simple two-step dance:

1. Drink a couple of beers.

2. Try to get some sleep.

This dance repeated a half-dozen times, so I drank a lot of beers. I rotated between Newcastle, Smithwick's, and Guinness, and at one point had a Stella Artois. What crap. Here's my rating:

(draft) I asked for a Belgian and got this awful thing. I don't like lagers, and this was a pretty bad lager. Bland mixed with boring.

Now it's Sunday morning and I'm surprisingly not hung-over.

I'm sitting here second-guessing a decision made a couple of weeks ago, and second-guessing has become second-nature to me, so I'm back to normal I suppose.

As normal as I get anyway.

Saturday, November 27, 2004
posted by dave at 7:48 PM in category travel

Just a quick entry to say I arrived in Las Vegas safely and I sit here more confused than ever.

This may be due in part to the fact that I had to wait four hours before I got my room assignment.

But only partly because of that.

I wish that was the whole reason.

Monday, November 22, 2004
posted by dave at 4:30 AM in category travel

Well I guess I've got my Las vegas after-work activities planned out.

Step one: Drink some Tilted Kilt.

Step two: Repeat.

If they don't have the (seasonal) Tilted Kilt I'll substitute Newcastle.

Any other activites, such as taking in some shows, seem just too daunting for me right now.

I'll be staying at The Rio, which does still have a couple of shows that I may decide to see.

One good thing about travelling alone is that I can buy single tickets to just about any show right at the last minute.

Friday, November 5, 2004
posted by dave at 12:29 PM in category entertainment, travel

I've been trying to plan out my Las Vegas trip and I just can't make up my mind what to do.

I'm torn between just going to see O and/or Mystere again or seeing some completely new shows.

Wow, this was sure an exciting entry.

I'd better pace myself or I'll have nothing left for the weekend.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004
posted by dave at 7:06 PM in category ramblings, travel

Today VigilanteGirl offered to give me a perm. As unlikely as that would be, even less likely would be her reasoning for giving me said perm.

"Because then you'd look hot," she said.

Maybe, in a dark enough room, to a drunk enough observer, while surrounded by lepers and zombies, I might at times be considered not ugly enough to scare children, but I'm enough of a realist to know that about the best I could ever hope for would be simply average.

Not really worth a second look, but also not worth gouging your eyes out to prevent accidental viewing.

Anyway, back to the hair. It's an interesting story. Okay, it's a story. Okay, I'm just killing time here.

Back in June I was in Las Vegas for a work thing. I may have mentioned the trip a couple of times in this 'blog, but one thing I didn't mention was what the hell was going on with my hair after I returned.

When I'm in a strange city like Las Vegas, where nobody knows me, I can afford to come out of my little protective shell a bit. I always figure that I'll never see any of these people again so what does it matter if I make an ass of myself.

Another thing is that it's kind of like taking a little vacation from myself, and I need those too as I can really be annoying sometimes.

During this last particular trip, fueled by Pyramid Tilted Kilt Ale, I dropped a line on one of the Rio's waitresses. Just a stupid line like you'd hear at just about any bar in the world, but this particular time it sort of worked.

By "sort of worked" I mean I didn't get slapped or laughed at. I got invited to go swimming.

After I'd quickly purchased, and changed into, the world's loudest swimtrunks and Hawaiian-style shirt, RioGirl and I went to the pool and soaked and talked for a couple of hours.

By the time RioGirl had to start work, my hair, toweled off but not combed at all, was completely dry. That's when RioGirl said the magic words.

"You should leave your hair like that. It looks good."

Never before had the words "good" and "hair" and "looks" been used to describe me before. I was sure she was joking.

When I got on the elevator to go up to my room (lucky 13013) I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror.

I looked like a completely different person. In my outrageous clothes and my snazzy new shades and with my fashionably mussed-up hair I looked quite hip and young.

For the next three days I went to my conference as my normal boring business-casual self, then at night I'd transform into YoungHipDude, minus the swimming gear but sporting towel-dried no-comb-shall-pass hair.

I felt that my hair looked really cool like that, and I decided to bring YoungHipDude back to Indiana with me.

Since my return I've never touched a comb or a blow dryer. The first time VigilanteGirl saw my mussed up hair was also the first time she ever said more than two words to me. I felt validated. I bought this gel shit that I smear in my hair, then when it dries I just use my fingers to soften it up.

As my hair grew out I've had a few haircuts since June, and I can no longer get the same look. I either look too scraggly or I look boring like I always have. I guess that the haircut I had just before my Vegas trip was some kind of magic haircut - one that was somehow perfect for the mussed up look - and now I'm back to normal haircuts that are only perfect for the straight-hanging short hair I've worn for years and years.

So that's the story of what's been going on with my hair.

Now stop asking.

posted by dave at 5:54 PM in category travel

Today I scheduled a couple of trips for work.

The first trip will be to San Antonio in a couple of weeks. I haven't been there since Basic Training in 1983. I'll try to make it to The Alamo and see what develops for any other non-conference activities.

The second trip is to Vegas, Baby!

I'll be there for a week at the end of November. I'm really looking forward to this one as I can always fill my nights with shows and fun.

Maybe I'll even get some of my favorite beer, Pyramid Tilted Kilt, while I'm there!

Sunday, September 12, 2004
posted by dave at 9:07 PM in category ramblings, travel

1. A very strong or irresistible impulse to travel.

So I've been thinking about taking a trip.

I've got all these skymiles to use up before Delta goes out of business, and there are places I'd really like to see.

I'd like to travel to New England and across the Northern states to get those colored in on my map.

I'd like to visit the Southwest because it's very cool there. Actually anywhere with some mountains would be nice.

I also need to make it to Hawaii someday. That trip, after all, is what I've been saving my miles for. It just seems a little too depressing to go to Hawaii by myself, and there's no one I'd care to go there with.

Hell I might as well think big and envision a kind of world tour. My previous out-of-country trips were all during the first Gulf War and there was no time for sightseeing.

The thing is, after spending the first 18 years of my life in a total of 2 houses, I then spent the next 15 years never staying at any one place for more than about 21 months.

I've now completely shattered that pattern. This December will mark my 5th anniversary in this house.

Not that I want to move or anything. I'd just like to get away for a while. Ideally for several weeks, but even a long weekend would be refreshing if I could spend it away from the places and people that populate my everyday life. Just to have a change of pace, you know.

I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon. My vacation days are already taken up each year by the Derby City Classic pool tournament. In a couple more years at my job I'll get another week of vacation so maybe then I'll get that chance to go out and enjoy my own company again like I used to.

These days I get all caught up in other things and other people and the time I do spend by myself is spent doing the same things over and over.

Sometime I miss the old days where I was answerable to nobody but myself.

Sometimes I miss me.

Monday, June 21, 2004
posted by dave at 11:02 PM in category daily, entertainment, travel

Owah Tagee Kiyam.

Last week I was in Las Vegas for an IT storage conference. I attended the same conference at the same time last year.

During last year's trip I also did something that I thought was so cool I just had to share it.

The problem was that none of my friends or family would think it was cool at all.

They would think I was a geek.

So instead of telling people in person what I'd done I decided to start a weblog, and make my account of that experience the first entry.

Well one thing led to another and that entry never got made. My 'blog didn't get started until the Fall.

I will correct this injustice now, for that cool thing I did last year, I did it again last Thursday.

The cool thing I did was to shell out $29.95 for the main attraction at the Las Vegas Hilton - The Star Trek Experience.

Yes that's right. The Star Trek Experience.

Actually this year they'd added a second experience so I got to see something new as well as relive what I'd done the year before.

There's only one problem. Besides, I mean, the obvious social conclusions one might draw from reading about a person attending anything with "Star Trek" in the title.

Aside from that 900-pound gorilla named "Nerd" that everyone notices but pretends isn't there.

I was bored. What had been to exciting and new a year ago, this year for me at least, revealed itself to be what I should have known all along.

A geek festival.

The simulated motion parts of the attractions were very cool indeed, but they were so wrapped up in cheesy sets and wooden lines that even the actors couldn't take it seriously.

And forget about us tourists. We all seemed, for those 18 minutes or so, to finally understand how the rest of the world views us Star Trek fans.

Just about the way we ourselves view the Buffy fans.

Actually, "The Buffy Experience" sounds intriguing.

Mmmmm, Sarah Michelle Gellar.

But I ramble.

posted by dave at 10:43 PM in category travel

One of the questions always asked about a trip to Las Vegas is "Did you do any gambling?"

I got asked this question several times, and I answered in the affirmative.

Last Wednesday I arrived at Treasure Island a couple of hours before Mystere was scheduled to start, so after picking up my ticket I sat at a blackjack table.

In about 45 minutes I won $500 dollars, playing mostly $25 per hand.

Once a rowdy crowd took over my blackjack table I moved over to a $25 pai gow poker table and, while I didn't win at the same pace, I did win.

I ended up leaving TI with $640 more than I'd started with.

That was the only gambling I did all week. There was no way I was going to gamble at the Rio.

They'd given me room number 13013. If that's not a bad omen I don't know what is.

Saturday, June 19, 2004
posted by dave at 2:58 AM in category drink, travel

As I write this I'm back home from my week in Las Vegas.

I could probably write a pretty long entry about the week - and I may still write about a couple of the smaller touristy things I did - but I can sum up the week with two main topics:

1: Pyramid Tilted Kilt Ale. This beer continued to surprise me all week long. Every night I went into The Tilted Kilt bar at the Rio, intending to sample something from their array of a dozen or so good beers, yet most nights I ended up just drinking one Tilted Kilt Ale after another.

Just fantastic. So good, in fact, that on Tuesday the bartender accidentally gave me a Newcastle and I could immediately tell the difference and I could immediately tell that the Tilted Kilt was a better brew.

2: I missed LaptopGirl. It started during the long drive to Death Valley, and continued through every show and event I attended, and every attraction I visited. I thought about how much more enjoyable things would be if there were someone to experience them with, and my thoughts invariably went to LaptopGirl.

Thursday, June 17, 2004
posted by dave at 2:48 AM in category daily, entertainment, travel

Tonight, continuing my quest to eventually see every big show that Las Vegas has to offer, I went to see "Mystere" at Treasure Island.

Wow. How cool can a show be?

Everyone from the clown to the strength guys to especially the "baby girl" was just awesome.

I have to give a nod to "O" for the best show I saw this week, but that's mainly because of the set. For sheer performances and awesome stunts I have to say the "Mystere" is the best I've ever seen.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004
posted by dave at 2:42 AM in category daily, entertainment, travel

Tonight I went to see the Penn & Teller show at the Rio.

I was really looking forward to this show, but I found myself bored to tears.

Part of my boredom was no doubt caused by the stark contrast between the "O" performance I saw last night and this rather tame show, but the main reason I was bored was simply because it was a boring show.

Penn basically told a bunch of stupid jokes, then would continue to ramble on for what seemed like hours, then they would both do a trick.

Repeat five times.


Monday, June 14, 2004
posted by dave at 2:27 AM in category daily, entertainment, travel

Tonight I went to see "O" at the Bellagio.

The show itself was a bit overwhelming, but when I decided to focus on whatever the current main attraction was I really enjoyed it.

I mean it was really really cool.

The contortionists grossed me out a little though.

Also, one of the zebra girls had such a nice ass that it was distracting me from the rest of the show.

posted by dave at 2:24 AM in category daily, travel

This burning question has finally been answered.

I can go to a depth of 282 feet below sea level without getting wet.

Today I rented a car and drove to Death Valley from Las Vegas. I'd planned to also check out the Hoover dam but the Death Valley trip took up way too much time.

I thought being at the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere was very cool, but I like that kind of stuff.

posted by dave at 2:18 AM in category daily, drink, travel

Just a quick report on the beer I've been drinking here in Las Vegas.

My bar of choice is The Tilted Kilt here at the Rio. They have 24 draft beers, and only a half-dozen or so are piss.

My favorite discovery here, by far, is Tilted Kilt Ale by Pyramid. I think the name is just a coincidence. This scottish ale is just flat-out good.

On Saturday I tried a Boddington's. I'd heard some good things about this, but I can't for the life of me figure out why. This was water with a couple of drops of beer flavoring added. It reminded me of the Abita Amber I tried several months ago. I only drank about an inch from the glass.

On Sunday I started out with another Tilted Kilt. I also sampled a John Courage Amber, which had an applely taste that I didn't find disgusting but I didn't like it enought to have a full pint.

I also, on the bartender's recommendation, tried a Smithwick's. This beer was intriguing enough for me to order a full glass. There was a slight watery taste that at first turned me off, but after a few sips I started to imagine, believe it or not, a slight peaty characteristic to the water. I won't go so far as to say that I liked the Smithwick's, but I so think I'll try it again this week before I leave Las Vegas.

Thursday, May 20, 2004
posted by dave at 12:00 PM in category daily, travel

This should probably be in the work category but going to Las Vegas, no matter what the context, is definitely more fun than work as far as I'm concerned.

Yes, I get to spend a week in the Jewel of the Desert in June.


Tuesday, April 13, 2004
posted by dave at 10:18 AM in category daily, travel

Last week I went to Omaha.

Despite what my family and some people at work were thinking, the trip had nothing to do with my ex-wife. Nor were there any job interviews involved.

I went up there just to visit people I hadn't seen in years.

Well, I did have one specific reason for going. I need to keep that one a secret from this public forum.

It was very nice to see some of the people from the old days. I wish I could have seen more of them, but a lot of my old friends are/were in the Air Force and have moved on. Also the old Shanty bar burned down (Sad!) and the regulars from there seem to have all disappeared.

I did get to see a lot of my old roommate Mike and on Thursday I was pleasantly surprised to see Awesome Larry.

On Saturday night I managed to - well never mind.

One thing about this trip that I wasn't too happy about. I couldn't really give anyone much advance warning. I certainly couldn't post anything here about the trip before it happened. I don't know who reads this thing, and there's at least one person in the Omaha area that I absolutely didn't want to see.

I was actually pretty paranoid a couple of times that said person would show up at the hotel or at the bar. This would have certainly made me very unhappy, and may have even caused a nervous breakdown or something. What a pussy I am.

As it turned out the trip was worth it. It was not nearly as rejuvenating as my Seattle trip was last Fall. How could it be? Most of my friends from Omaha are gone. My 8-ball game sucks. The Shanty is gone.

I could list more problems with the trip, but I don't want to make it seem that I didn't enjoy myself.

Omaha is still, as I tell people frequently, The Best-Kept Secret in the United States. Just the right size, all kinds of restaurants, a great zoo, little traffic, blah blah blah.

I hope it doesn't take me another five years to visit there again.

Saturday, April 10, 2004
posted by dave at 3:21 PM in category daily, drink, travel

This morning I found myself at a very cool brewpub/restaurant in Omaha.

The Upstream Brewery is one I haven't even heard of before. It turns out that they don't sell outside of the Omaha area and they weren't there a decade ago when I lived there.

Anyway, this was a really nice place, and I wish there was something like it in Louisville.

My first beer was their Dundee 90 Shilling Scotch Ale. This was my first scotch ale, and I guess it was a little blander than I expected. I did really like it though. Before I left I talked to one of the brewers who told me that this particular batch was indeed a little bland and the next batch would be more flavorful.

My next beer was their Firehouse ESB. This was another really good beer, and I don't even like ESBs that much generally.

Since it was still before noon and I hadn't even had lunch yet I decided that two semi-strong beers would be enough.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003
posted by dave at 8:23 PM in category daily, drink, travel

While in Seattle the last few days I drank Alaskan Amber every chance I got, since I didn't (and still don't) know when I'll get another chance. There were a couple of places that for some insane reason didn't carry it though, so I got to add a couple new beers to my "tried" list.

First was at a little pub in Issaquah where Gene, my boss Tom, and I went after having dinner across the street. The place had a dozen or so Rogue beers, and for some goofy reason, Bud Light and Coors Light. That's it. Nothing else.

After searching the taps and the list of bottled beers I found "Rogue Smoke Ale (AKA: Rauchbier)" and that sounded intriguing. It came in a pretty cool bottle that I was going to keep but the bartender took it.

Rogue Smoke

(draft) It was a good beer, not nearly as smoky as I'd been hoping, but the smoke flavor and aroma was still pretty apparent. It had a less wide-ranging and complex flavor than the Cone Smoker I get when I'm back home.

On Monday I met one of my former bosses for a couple of beers near where I used to work (it was quite strange to be taking that exit off hwy 520 again) and once again, they didn't carry Alaskan Amber.

What they did carry, and I've had this before, this:

Mac & Jack's African Amber

This beer is quite simply excellent. Brewed and sold only in the Northwest, it's exemplifying a level of quality and taste that all microbreweries should strive to meet instead of just churning out random recipies with unusual labels.
Monday, October 27, 2003
posted by dave at 4:20 PM in category daily, drink, travel

I can hardly describe how much these past two days have helped my mood. I'm more relaxed and happy than I've been in months. Seeing all of my friends in the Seattle area was just the therapy I needed - even though I didn't know I needed therapy.

And not just my friends. Even those people who I'd only count as "friendly acquaintances" were all a welcomed sight. People who I barely remember have been coming up to me, shaking my hand, and reliving moments from the old days with me. Man, I sure got to know a lot of people while living here.

Yesterday Gene and I played pool for several hours during the day, and I'll post about that in the pool 'blog. Last night I went back to The Sports Pub in Kent, mainly to see Holly. It was league night there and I got to see even more people and catch up on even more old times.

Holly was of course happy to see me, though perhaps not as happy as I was to see her still doing well. She made me drink a couple of shots and that's something I would only do for her. After a shot of Jagermeister and a shot of peppermint schnapps, plus four Alaskan Ambers, I ended up staying until after midnight drinking Diet Cokes and waiting for the alcohol to wear off.

During another late breakfast at Shari's I began to dread the impending end of my vacation. My boss will be arriving tomorrow and then it's back to work.

Still, coming on this trip, and especially coming up here early, may have been the best two ideas I've had in years. The knowledge that I touched so many people when I lived here, most of them positively, really makes me feel good about myself and my ability to make friends wherever I go.

Now if I can just figure out a way to get to Omaha to see all my friends there.

Sunday, October 26, 2003
posted by dave at 1:37 PM in category daily, drink, travel

I'm back!

In Seattle, that is. Landed yesterday evening after a day of flying and was pretty tired until I left the airport. That's when the old familiar sights got me quite excited. Even the long drive from the airport to Bellevue, then from Bellevue to Kent, seemed like an old friend welcoming me back. You drive a stretch of freeway at 5 mph for three years, as I did when I lived here, and you get to know that stretch pretty well.

So like I said, I went from the airport to Bellevue to check into my hotel. I just threw my luggage in the room and left immediately for Kent.

My excitement level had reached a peak by the time I arrived at my old hangout, The Sports Pub. I was greeted by my friend Gene as soon as I went in, then I walked around and said hello to everyone else I knew from the old days. I was a little surprised that there were so many people there that remembered me, and that I remembered as well.

Another thing I did pretty much right away was order myself an Alaskan Amber. Wow, still as fantastic as ever. Absense makes the heart grow fonder they say, and I was as fond of that beer, and the three others I had, as any I can remember. Even the frosted glass (I'd forgotten about that) couldn't kill the perfect balance of that Juneau treasure.

Alaskan Amber

(draft) My favorite session beer. Perfectly balanced sweetness, bitterness, and maltiness. Too bad I have to fly 2000 miles to get it.

The place was pretty crowded, more than I remember, so Gene and I ended up playing scotch doubles against a couple of other guys. I'll post about the pool itself in the pool blog, but to summarize: we should have won every game and we won most of them.

I was a little disappointed that Holly wasn't working last night. I'll definitely need to catch her there on Sunday. One pleasant surprise was the appearance of Reeny, an bartender from the old days who remains the most beautiful woman I've ever known in person.

Bars in Washington close at 2:00, so Gene and I had a long breakfast at Shari's (another big deja vu!) and I made my way back to the hotel at around 3:30.

Saturday, October 18, 2003
posted by dave at 12:07 AM in category daily, travel

I found out today that I get to go to Seattle for four days starting next weekend!

I'm going there ostensibly for work reasons, but since that part will only take one day and I'm leaving two days early I'll have Saturday night, Sunday, and most of Monday to catch up with my friends in the area.

I called Gene, one of my best frends anywhere and certainly my best friend in Seattle, to let him know the news. I put him in charge of social coordination for my stay. All I asked is that I get to a place that serves Alaskan Amber Ale, a brew that I've really missed since leaving Seattle in '98.

mysterious gray box mysterious blue box mysterious red box mysterious green box mysterious gold box

search main 'blog





Search word(s)
   help me!

blog favorites

the convenience of grief
merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
nothing personal
the one
dream sweet dreams for me
the willow bends and so do i
on bloodied ground
lack of inertia
thinning the herd
or maybe not
here's looking at you
what i miss
who wants to play?
feverish thoughts
the devil inside?
my cat ate my homework
don't say i didn't warn you
my god, it's full of stars
hold on a second, koko, i'm writing something
you know?
apples and oranges
happy new year
pissing on the inside
remembering dad

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.