At what point is it okay to cry?

Crying is acceptable for men in certain situations. Certainly during Field of Dreams. Insulting a man for crying when Kevin Costner plays catch with his dad is actually a valid legal defense for murder in 29 states. But what about spilling a beer? I maintain that if that said beer is a Bell’s Two Hearted, and if it’s Sunday after 8pm so you can’t buy any more, crying is totally acceptable. The wife disagrees, but it wasn’t her beer. Fortunately, I didn’t spill it. I told her I almost did, and that I would have cried. She said she would have called me the “P” word. I’m not sure where to draw the line, though. If it were just a regular ale? What if it had spilled on my computer (Which it probably would have)? What if it were my work computer? Does the amount of beer (1/3 bottle, in this case) make a difference? How many left in the house (At that point just one more with my name on it)?

Shame on you, Columbia Heights

Over the weekend, I noticed that someone stole the Bell’s Beer sticker off the back window of our car. It may have happened over Halloween, I haven’t been paying that much attention to the car. I like to think that the person who did it felt that I was promoting drinking and driving, and stole the sticker as a protest. I wasn’t, for the record, promoting drinking and driving – one of the huge advantages about living somewhere like Columbia Heights is that there are tons of places you can go drink where you never ever ever have to drive home. Wonderland, Marx Cafe, Saint Ex, all fantastic bars that I can walk to easily, not to mention everything on U Street and Adams Morgan. Anyway, if the person felt I was making a statement like that, then I forgive you for your misguided attempt to make the world a better place. If not, however, I hope you got a paper cut from the sticker. It’s not a big deal in either case – those stickers only last a year or so, and I’ll be back in Kalamazoo next month, when I planned to get a new sticker anyway. If anyone who works for Bell’s is listening – how about some inside-window stickers so it’s safe from the elements and from would-be thieves?

Beer and Babies

Originally uploaded by thetejon

The baby has not yet arrived. The official due date is tomorrow, so that’s not exactly a surprise, but believe me when I tell you that the wife is ready. I’m pretty ready, too. What has arrived, though, is a big package of onesies from the wife’s family. Pictured here is the creation of one of the baby’s uncles-to-be. Please excuse the trademark-infringement. It really is the sincerest form of flattery. And Bell’s doesn’t actually sell onesies, so he’s not taking away a sale. The Bell’s Octoberfest, by the way, is quite nice. I recommend you try it if it’s available in your area. And if you work for Bell’s and are reading this because it showed up on your traffic logs, why not offer onesies? I can’t speak for everyone, but we’d definitely buy some.

My happy hour was a success

A couple weeks ago, I started planning a happy hour for the Columbia Heights Forum because people were starting to argue a bit too much, as people tend to do on forums. I figured it would be more friendly if people met each other in person. So the happy hour was last night at Wonderland, and it was pretty cool. I met a few people I “know” from the forum, and we had some local blog coverage (The Heights Life has a picture of our group at that link). There was a bit of discussion about making these meetups a little more regular, so we’ll see what happens. There are still a few forum regulars I’m dying to meet in person. Edit to add: In the comments to the Heights Life post, there is a discussion EXACTLY like the discussions that prompted me to plan the happy hour in the first place. People get angrier discussing things on the internet because you can’t see a person’s face, you can’t hear the tone of their voice, you can’t get the non-verbal cues that tell you what the person is really saying. And it’s anonymous – it’s much easier to hate someone you don’t actually know. So I think it’s kind of amusing that the post about the happy hour generated exactly the sort of discussion that the happy hour was supposed to prevent.

Dinner and Drinks with Charlie Stross

Charles Stross @ BrickskellerI got to meet Charles Stross! And drink good beer! I dragged the wife down to The Brickskeller last night to meet the author and his wife, and an eclectic group of local fans. It was a little tough for the wife, since they now have a bunch of Bell’s Beer on hand. But it was less tough than it could have been, because they were out of most of it, including the Hopslam they claimed to have on tap. But it was fun. He signed my copy of Halting State. I wasn’t sure which book to bring. I could have done what one person did, and brought everything Charlie had ever published. But really, the marginal utility of each subsequent signature is pretty insignificant. I thought about bringing Singularity Sky, which I really enjoyed. Or Accelerando, the first of his that I read. But I have both of those in paperback. And my favorite of his, Iron Sunrise, I apparently don’t own at all. I guess I must have gotten it from the library. Anyway, I finally settled on a nice hardcover, and I’m happy with my decision. Plus I got this great picture of him. Didn’t get to talk to him much, but that’s okay. Not sure what I would have said. The conversation mostly centered around Charlie, talking about writing and politics. He says he’s not writing any more in the Iron Sunrise post-Singularity universe, which is too bad because I really like those stories. He related some stats on the death penalty that suggest we shouldn’t be killing people. The wife and I talked to his wife about beer – she was looking for weird American stuff they can’t get back home in Scotland, which is exactly my attitude when traveling. I will never understand those who travel abroad and want hamburgers and Budweiser. It was a good night. We got a little wet walking home, but since this was the warmest day we’ve had since last summer, and it didn’t rain too hard, it wasn’t too unpleasant.

Mmmm, delicious Consecrator Dopplebock

Bell’s Brewery: Brands

I stopped in Whole Foods to pick up some dinner (Salmon and asparagus, at the wife’s request), and saw they had a Bell’s brand I’d never seen – the Consecrator Dopplebock.  It’s still getting cold in the fridge, so I can’t give a review yet, but Bell’s crappy new website calls it “a well balanced, full bodied beer”.  It turns out it’s only available in February, and not even the whole month.

I feel sorry for my West Coast brothers-in-law, both lovers of Bell’s, who can’t get it locally.

I have to say, it’s more fun to drink a beer with a cool name.  I mean, Consecrator Dopplebock?  That’s awesome.  It’s up there with Rogue Dead Guy Ale (A great beer) and Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre (Another great beer).

Go high or go home

We were at Science Club on 19th Street Saturday night.  I’ll try not to pass judgment on the crowd, because I was kind of tired and not really up for a crowded bar.  I went because some good friends were going and we didn’t want to call it a night.  I had a good time, but it was definitely the company, not the bar.

Anyway, if you’re going to go with a themed bar, you have to GO with the theme.  This place threw a few things up on the wall and left it at that.  We were down in the basement, and they have a periodic table on the wall, a picture of Einstein, and a microscope on a shelf.

How hard would it have been to look up geeky science stuff on Wikipedia?  Or give some GW student a free happy hour in exchange for covering the walls with differential equations?  Shame on you, Science Club.   You  get bonus points for having organic beer on tap, though.

18% alcohol, 100% delicious

Raison D'Extra

We were at RFD last night, and I couldn’t resist the Dogfish Head Raison D’Extra. I probably should have resisted, but I didn’t. Now I’m paying for it.

Anyway, the beer is 18% alcohol. It cost $19.95 for a 12 ounce bottle. And it’s pretty good. It’s not something I would drink very often. It’s very sweet, a little bit in the wine direction but not too far.

And I was thinking – with that much alcohol, drinking one of those is more or less like drinking a six pack of Miller Lite.  Except you can be much more smug about it.

The waiter almost got his arm ripped off, though.  He actually tried to take the glass when there was still a swallow left.  Ordinarily, I probably would have let him go.  But that was like $4 worth of beer left.  So I punched him in the face.

Not really.  But you get the idea.

I knew it was a good beer

Above And Beyond: Sierra Nevada’s Cool, Refreshing Customer Service – Consumerist

Total Wine said they’d exchange the beer for different cases — (hopefully they’ll have Sierra Nevada from this year) and Sierra Nevada said that they would send a check to reimburse the full cost of the cases if Total Wine didn’t exchange the old beer!

Story from Consumerist of a couple who bought three cases of Sierra Nevada for their wedding (The wife and I had Sierra Nevada at our wedding, too – certainly it follows that the couple in this story are just good people.) that turned out to be quite old.

Now, I’m not sure why they went straight to the brewer, but they did, and Sierra Nevada made sure they had fresh, delicious beer for their wedding.  Well done, Sierra Nevada.  To be fair, Total Wine, the place they bought the beer, did exchange the old cases.  But you can never have too much good service.  I don’t think.

Saturday afternoon

It’s actually quite a nice day out.  It was a little cold this morning as we lost our flag football game, but it’s 47 and sunny now.  Excuse me for a moment . . . Ahh, that’s better.  Sorry, just had to take a quick break and drink a little Bell’s Oberon that we got from Whole Foods just half an hour ago.  We were there trying to find key limes for a pie, but had to settle for regular limes.  Hopefully our hosts this evening won’t notice.  The wife will probably tell them.

Anyway, I took a little detour down the beer aisle, because I knew they had Bell’s, and wanted to see if they had anything new.  Turns out they did, as they did not have Oberon last time.  It’s out of season now, so this is maybe the dregs of the summer run, but, contrary to what Budweiser might tell you, beer doesn’t have to be bottled in the last week to taste good.  And honestly, lukewarm skunked Oberon is better than freshly bottle Budweiser anyway.

So we picked up a little sushi, and a little Bell’s, and even a new flavor of Odwalla bar.  It’s so new it’s not even on their website yet.  It’s called Choco-Walla, and I haven’t tried one yet, but it’s sure to be delicious.

The cat is currently trying to drink my beer.  I might have to lock her in a closet.