Wednesday, January 23, 2008

beer + cycling + football + dogs

Beer: one good favor deserves... beer, every month! So I got home last night and found a heavy square box on my doorstep. I didn't recognize the sender's address and thought 'what the heck?'. I opened the box and there there was... beer!

I had offered some space in our garage to a friend to store their motorcycle and, instead of any payment, asked for beer. And now, I get selected microbrews every month! This all courtesy of our friend, Joey, and the Beer of the Month (BOTM)club. I'm blogging right now enjoying a Left Hand Brewing Sawtooth ESB. BOTM describes the Sawtooth as follows:

"Left Hand B.C.'s flagship beer presents notes of caramel, just-baked bread and citrusy hops on the nose. As it
warms, expect additional fruity notes to evolve. The flavor opens with caramel flavors and the subtlest bit of chocolate, followed by the herbal earthiness of hops... A great brew to pair with fish and chips, mild English cheeses like Lancashire, or grilled chicken, sweetly glazed."

Definitely got the just-baked bread yeastiness and the herbal earthiness... and I would drink this with some lovely fish and chips. Last night, I enjoyed a very nice Otter Creek Pale Ale last night. Not too hoppy, but with nice flavor and the lovely grapefruity highlights. Incidentally, while still its own distinct brewery, Otter Creek is now owned by the nice folks at Wolavers (who may some good organic beers, too).

If you like beer, you'll probably enjoy Eric's Brew Log. (Eric and Brad have a dream of opening a brewery and are just experimenting with home brewing. They're also doing some nice taste research.)

Cycling: the professional cycling season opened this week with the Tour Down Under. This is the first year the TDU has been part of the ProTour -- which is great recognition for the TDU seeing as it has earned a great reputation as a shorter week-long stage race. While most of the major teams are present, hardly any of the bigger names (Evans, Rebellin, Freire, Menchov) are there because it is so early in the season -- so it is a great showcase for lesser known riders, especially those looking to do well in the Spring Classics.

With the cycling season opening, so too has the Fantasy Cycling season. I have played in this league for the last four years. It's free and its only prizes are the occasional flash of glory and bragging rights over your friends. (I play with three other UM alumni, two of whom I used to play soccer with, one of whom I used to ride bikes with and who was kind enough to stand up at my wedding. That doesn't mean that I still don't enjoy beating Dan.)

Football: I got to congratulate Eli Manning on the street today. He was with his fiancee, Abby McGrew, and they were looking like they were off to do some shopping. It didn't look like anyone else had recognized him, and so having met him before, I quickly wished him congratulations and good luck. (But not too much, because I am still a Patriots fan.)

Dogs: training update! I made my weekly call to Bob at Cliffside to find out how the Mominator, in particular, was doing. Force-fetching a dog is stressful for everyone involved, even parents hearing about it at a distance and so while Bob doesn't want us to come visit yet, Momo is now apparently retrieving the stuffed duck on command now. Once that feels set, Bob is going to start him on actual birds, slowly taking him from restricted spaces (where Momo can really only go to the dummy and back to Bob) to the great outdoors. We are very proud of him.

Jozsi continues to romp, roam, and go in search of birds. This pic is of the Evil Genius running the tall grasses in search of quail down on Cape Cod.


Alex said...

Fantasy cycling eh? Must have a crack at that. Problem, mind you, in deciding whether to pick a squad with riders I like (eg Cunego) or those that might win lots... Ah well, that's the dilemma...

Trust this finds you enjoying 2008...


Andrew Campbell said...


(If this is the Alex of The Debatable Land, my apologies for not coming by so frequently. Bird season kept me pretty occupied.)

Well, the nice part with the Cobblestone league is that you change teams every month or so, so you can pretty much get someone you like at some point in the season. The part that amazes me is how some of the guys in the league either a) know half the lesser known guys well enough to pick them and/or b) can consistently pull off what seem like flukey pics from year to year.

Two years ago, Dan hit the lucky streak by picking Gert Steegmans; I found Vladimir Efimkin at a lucky moment last year.