familiar growlers & high miles

Stopped by half acre last night before going to dinner and picked up a growler of their new saison brew. It reminded me of something I couldn't quite place, like a tweaked Longboard brew or something similar. Hopefully a drinking half a gallon of it over the weekend will help me place it.

In the meantime I'm going to enjoy a few days off after tomorrow. Riding has been crazy this month. Even with missing the first week of the month with the move I'll still hit 300 miles for June by the end of the day today. Absolutely insane. And the speed of the ride in this morning is making me slightly nauseous without any food, but the multi-vitamins I've stashed in my desk probably aren't helping with that. Buuuuurrrrp.

We'll see how triple digit temps treat bikers tomorrow, although I have the feeling it will only prep me all the better for some of that saison when I get home.

Current beer-scale: 5.5


maybe they're not all bad

Kids, that is, not cars.

It's starting to get great outside, so that means more people, more crowds, more lines of traffic. Even usually quieter streets like the ones I take home at night start to get back-ups that for the most part I heartily enjoy zooming past.

Like last night, except there was a Navigator with a kid in the back seat trying to get a high five from me, which actually made me laugh a little. He waived for me to catch up once he passed and I smiled. But traffic was so slow that eventually I caught up and gave him a heads up, and I think we made each other's day. He actually said I was awesome as his mom was yelling at him from the front seat. That really cracked me up.

It's time to be careful out there, especially with a holiday weekend coming up, but that doesn't mean we can't all get along.

Current beer-scale: 4.1


well done, Einstein bros

Now that's how you get a new customer.

And the price, if you read the receipt: $0.00

When the vacant storefront at the bottom of my office building started putting up Einstein bros signage this spring I admit I was disappointed. They have decent stuff, but the one on Clybourn by our old place was so terribly run and staffed that it turned me off the brand.

Cut to this morning and my walk to the office after a ride in piddling rain. Not in the best of moods, I notice two women with Einstein coffee walk past me. "Strange," I think, "that's not supposed to open for another day. Maybe they're giving away freebies this morning. Nah, I doubt it."

But yes, they were indeed offering a free breakfast to anyone passing by, and I wasn't about to turn that down. So there's my dutch apple bagel w/cream cheese and regular dark roast coffee, both on the house. And I don't even care that the bagel is tearing up the roof of my mouth, b/c it was free.

Totally worth it on Einstein's part. Without that, the next time I came to work late and wanted to pick something up, I would have gone out of my way to avoid Einstein and headed to starbucks instead. Now high on the goodwill a free breakfast has given me, I'm way more likely to stop there every time in the future. Well done indeed Einstein.

Now I just have to decide if one cup of coffee is enough for me today...

Current beer-scale: 3.2


One of my favorite things in the new place:

the crushed ice out of the dispenser and my rye night caps becoming slushies.

It's the little things.

Current beer-scale: 3.5


I've found it fascinating to be part of a condo community so far. We learned today that someone is getting foreclosed on to the point of getting evicted, and things aren't quite proceeding civilly. What the hell, I've got whiskey to drink.

Current beer-scale: 6.8


There's gotta be someone up there...

Miracle of miracles, my first trip to the Foremost liquors on Kedzie yielded a new bottle of Templetons!

Well, not a new bottle as it's still the fourth batch, but still, that's six months after everyone else was telling me they were gone in Lincoln Park and Old Town. Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

Better yet, they had two but the wife drew the line at one. Who knows, if I go back there in a month it might even still be there. The store's in a shady enough part of the neighborhood that it might be pretty untraveled outside of the cheap beers in the cooler. We'll see in a week or two.

For now I'm thrilled to have another bottle to drink, b/c I feel like this week is earning me a few drinks this weekend.

Current beer-scale: fucking high.


there's always at least one

Damn you roadie, you just had to be socially well-adjusted and hit me up at a time when I was enjoying the sun and the heat and willing to entertain the idea of a spandex hero I didn't instantly dislike.

On my way home yesterday I found myself in-front of a roadie as we calmly made our way through the craziness of the path on a hot June afternoon. It actually wasn't as insane as I was expecting (all the punk crowds had migrated to the Taste set up I guess) so I was happily taking it easy when the roadie asked if he could hitch a ride for a while.

"Sure," I said, wondering why exactly this guy was so tired. "Intervals," he said, stating that he had nearly puked on the last one and was gingerly making his way home. I managed to stop myself from asking why in the world he was doing a sprint workout during rush-hour and just said he could stick around but I was in no rush to navigate the crowds. Cool.

If the interaction had ended there I would have continued on my way unchanged. However, the guy noticed the ND on my bag and started talking about college football and before I knew it, the guy seemed alright despite the fact he almost sprinted to the point of barfing during the busiest part of the day. We chatted until he turned and I kept going, and now I'm cursing myself spending the morning thinking not everyone in a race kit is a jerk, even when there's so much evidence to the contrary on a daily basis.

Live and learn I guess.

Current beer-scale: 4.2


mmmmmm beer!

Saw someone in a Half Acre cycling jersey this morning and it prompted me to give them a thumbs up as I went by. We just took the tour last Saturday and it was a blast. It's only two rooms so it's not much of a "tour," but you get three full pint samples and a pint glass for $10 and Rog the guy doing the talking was entertaining.

Even better, they had shirts with the owl-squid that their cafe press store has been out of forever. You can't buy cycling team gear but you can show your local brew pride with different glasses, shirts, hoodies, etc.

This was the can line for the entire operation, and the upstairs loft was crammed full of empties waiting to be processed. A pretty big difference between this and the miller tour, where the bottle & can lines never seem to be shut down and are screamingly loud. This was a lot more pleasant to stand around and drink by.

When we were done I remembered I wanted to ask them to bring back the scavenger hunt pog again, but at that point I was sitting down across the street for some of their Meatwave IPA so I didn't care. All in all a fun way to spend a few hours on a Saturday, despite having to show up an hour early and wait in the sun to make sure we got a spot on the tour. I'd do it again, and now that we're so close we likely will. For sure I'll be there in a week or two when the next session brew gets tapped.

Current beer-scale: 7.1


feeling kind of pointless

It's going to be a wet week, and things started off on that note this morning. At least I managed to get the dog out and back in before it really started pouring.

But now the office gets a view of my wet shorts clipped to the window as I try to get them dry enough to wear tonite. What do I care, I'm not hosting any meetings this morning.

Current beer-scale: 6.66



Can you buy clif bars in the size they're always giving away? The only bars I can stomach on a regular basis are the ones that incorporate fruit or vegetables (and yes, I'm including the carrot cake in that group), but I destroyed a little freebie bar that I picked up on the way in this morning and it's got me wondering. It's too bad there's not a world-wide network of digital information that I could try and find an answer on, a web of some kind.

What a great ride though. A little crowded but only b/c of the pleasant temps, sun, and lack of significant headwind. Fan-fucking-tastic.

Current beer-scale: 6.3



At least I have a job to bike to this year.

It's been wet out this week so the phone/camera have stayed in the bag for the most part, but there have been some pleasantly interesting commutes. I stayed late last night and rode home with the path practically to myself in a light rain. Earlier in the week I saw lighting strikes in the middle of the pouring rain, which always makes me laugh for whatever reason. I guess I associate the idea of getting hit by lightning with "The Great Outdoors" enough to think it's hilarious. And this morning I passed one of the commuter pit stops.

Picked up a bottle at the Fullerton pit stop, which caught me by surprise b/c I expected it to be at North Ave. Not to look down my nose at freebies, but this would have come in a little more handy last week when it was 90+ degrees. Plus, I was starving this morning and hoping there was at least a cliff bar in there, but it was only paper.

At least there would be cookies left over from last night's open house that I had to stay late for right? Nope. Now that's a disappointment.

Current beer-scale: 5.5


Ah Monday.

Spending the day like this is why Monday is so difficult.

I was trying to make my usual Monday adjustments this morning with a modicum of success. Got up a few minutes early to let the dog in the backyard as I tried to water the grass seeds we put down over the weekend. Took her on a real walk and despite not being able to breathe at points as my allergies went haywire I was feeling like I could approach this week with an open mind.

Then the wife calls to give me a heads up on avoiding some douchebag with a blonde ponytail out with a shepard off a leash. The dog actually bit her as she walked by and the guy couldn't do anything about it B/C IT WAS OFF ITS FUCKING LEASH! She was calling to warn me to stay on the other side of the street if I saw him while I was walking the dog, but all hearing her story made me want to do was actively search out the guy and give him a piece of my mind. Other than getting chomped fairly hard it sounded like she was okay but that's not cool. Didn't break the skin, didn't put any holes in work clothes, but still all I wanted to do was find that guy and put a hurt on him. Not a happy way to start a work week.

Things are closing in on normal again this morning after a long ride and getting some coffee brewing in the office. I'm wary of this week, with the car's 'check engine' light back on and a slew of late meetings messing up the schedule. I'm just going to cross my fingers and hope Friday gets here soon.

At least Miami didn't win last night.

Current beer-scale: 8.1


Meeting the neighbors

So it's been an adventure over the past few days meeting our new neighbors. Some are nice; the older couple with the balcony next to ours loved the dog as soon as they saw her, they're very talkative but seem like genuinely nice people. Some are a bit odd; we had to contact the association board's treasurer to pick up outer door keys b/c they were being replace. She added us to the building's email list but immediately resigned due to the job taking up too much of her time, but only after making some cryptic comments to us about the previous residents in our unit taking advantage of her. And some are douchey; like the guy in the mid-90's shark-skin suit who wouldn't let us in the front door until we demonstrated we also had keys, but then couldn't help but mention our place "needs a lot of work" he bets.

Nice. It's been interesting moving into a short sale. Even though there was lots of cleaning and general straightening up that needed to be done, things are in pretty decent shape. Better shape than I expected in my more paranoid moments. We've done some of the elbow work and things are rounding into shape. But the way people are looking at us with one eyebrow raised makes me wonder just how exactly the sellers left the building. The treasurer certainly didn't hold them in the highest regard, and when the building douche is your number one advocate that doesn't strike me as a stirring recommendation of your character.

Regardless of all that, it was a good night last night when I finally got home. A brutal headwind had me doubled over the bars for most of the path, and wearing clothes still wet from the morning rain had me running straight to the luxuriously warm shower (with a rain faucet!) as soon as I was inside. So we didn't do much of the fixture buying and setting up we had planned last night, but we got the dog her food and picked up more beer. That's a win in my book.

Let's see how I feel after a weekend trip to Ikea vs a Thursday night trip.

Current beer-scale: 7.7


40 degrees? Seriously?

I got to work completely soaked for the fourth day in a row this morning, but this time it was due to a mild downpour vs sweltering temps. Not a bad ride in the persistent rain, but the forecasts are only calling for a high in the sixties after three days of 90+. Quite a change.

Also a change is having the car back, so we can head out tonite and pick up some small things to help us acclimate to the new place. Rye for me, blinds for her. Ah, marriage & adulthood.

Current beer-scale: 8.4

ETA: clothes still being wet and a nasty headwind make for an awful ride home tonite. That was just fucking brutal.


hitting the road

So we're in, settling, and it's time for a new commute. 16 miles rt yesterday, the PM in sweltering 90 degree temps. That was awesome. I think it's time to put a bottle cage back on for the time being.

But I've caught drafting rides both mornings so far, and gotten to work even earlier than when the commute was much shorter. After a week off the bike to close and move it's been a little rough getting my legs back but the ride is enjoyable.

The dog is happy, so I'm good.

Current beer-scale: 3.2, but ask me again after a hot ride home.


Time slows to a crawl when you're waiting for a tow truck. Especially when you're supposed to be moving into your new home.

What's that pooling under the car? Why, it's coolant after a pump broke loose, ruptured a timing hose, leaving us to stall out on Lawrence Ave during our first trip of the day for the big move. This was at 9:30 in the morning. Awesome way to start the day.

We heard a terrible rattling sound we hoped wasn't our car, but realized it was. We decided to try and make it up to the new place, and made it nearly all the way there. The car died on Lawrence as we were pulling into the left turn lane for Rockwell. You can see the trail of coolant from us pushing the car through the intersection to the curb.

Luckily this didn't fuck up our day too much. We had made a few trips the night before, and the movers weren't coming until 3 that afternoon. We got a tow to the shop in the old neighborhood, had the brother-in-law meet me at the old place to pick up the dog and few loose boxes, and I stuck around prepping for the movers.


Current beer-scale: all-time high