March 2, 2015

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I traveled to Quebec this weekend to sample some beers and eat some great food. Here are a few photos:

Sunrise in Quebec

Peche Mortel Day, Quebec City @ Cactus

Peche Mortel Day, Quebec City @ Cactus

Peche Mortel Day, Quebec City @ Cactus

Poutine w/ Beer Sampler

Around Quebec City

Around Quebec City

Around Quebec City

Around Quebec City

Around Quebec City

Around Quebec City

Quebec Beer Haul

March 1, 2015

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Ice Fishing out on the Lake - February 2015

I’ve been a lazy blogger as of late but I’m still sharing some thoughts and opinions on various topics. The link-list style of blogging works well for some authors since there is always fresh content and you’re taking a topic and expanding upon it or adding some personal flair. The lack of unique blog posts is basically a factor of being very busy with many projects, a lot of hobbies and travel and it’s much easier to focus on my beer blog and ignore this one. There’s a problem among pretty much any content creators online where they make a video, podcast or blog post every 6 months that says, “Hey guys, sorry I haven’t updated in a while” and that’s a habit i never want to be in. As someone remarked last week, “no one really blogs anymore” and it’s true. “It’s a dead art”, I remarked.

In a few weeks, I’ll share some changes at work – all positive I can assure you but some pretty substantial changes from my job title for the past 4 years. First of all, I’ll be reporting to a local manager and will have responsibilities that closely match my interests. I also have a huge amount of respect for my new manager and he’s someone that will serve as a role-model for hopefully the next decade of my time at this company.

I’m traveling home today from 2 days in Quebec City, Canada. It’s 4 hours North of me, has very euro-style culture, delicious coffee and my favorite, Poutine. I could eat cheese curds all day. My legs are sore from the rolling hills and I’m bringing home some delicious Quebec Ice Cider with Champagne which was a steal considering the 1:80 cent conversion of the USD to CAD. I also enjoyed seeing my friend Tommy and rating some beers at his house. Tommy and I have an interesting friendship. Despite his weak-English and my non existent French, we get along really well. We’ve had drinks together in USA, Canada, Belgium and France and I’ve only known him for a year. Our travel schedules are in sync and it looks like I’ll be spending some time drinking with him in Belgium this May during HORAL’s Toure de Gueuze festival.

Quebec was a lot of fun and luckily there wasn’t a single snow-flake on this trip so the drive was nice and easy.

It’s Sunday and in 48 hours I’ll be boarding a plane to Brussels for 5 days seeing my friends Tim, Eugene, Dylan, Bjorn and many more. I maintain that I have more friends in Belgium than I do in America but the Belgians are great people, very friendly, honorable and their way of living is really appealing. Their beef stew, fries, beer and cheese along with access to Burgundy and Bordeaux wine also helps. I arrive in Brussels Wednesday evening, Thursday will be driving around Belgium grabbing beers and meeting friends with Friday & Saturday at the Alvinne Craft Beer Festival which is an annual collection of european brewers coming together. Next Sunday, I will have a 24 hour stopover in Istanbul Turkey to do some sight-seeing arriving back home late Monday evening.

These twice a year trips to Europe aren’t sustainable long-term but it is such a fun time. I haven’t seen Turkey before except for the packaged kind at the deli counter (bad joke, I know). It’s also a very busy year for independent travel. I have another Euro trip planned for May to spend some time in Champagne and Dijon France, then 2 days in Brussels and 2 days in Stockholm Sweden. Over the Summer, a trip to San Francisco to see a Giants game and a late-summer trip down south to one of the Caribbean islands to finish up my Scuba certification and spend 4 hours a day underwater exploring reefs. This Fall, I’ll return to Chicago over Thanksgiving and I’d love to get in a trip to Alaska or Las Vegas but those are on the chopping block in priorities. I haven’t been to Vegas in 4 years so it would be nice to go back with friends who have never been since we can do it on the cheap.

There are a few other things that might b good to update here. The first is the notion that I would really like to achieve a post-graduate degree. I never took my SAT in high school and never applied to colleges. Apple calling me right out of High School and offering me a job on my 18th birthday was convincing enough that I was going to be okay without college. Now that I’m almost 29, I’m at a place financially where I can pay for my own school (with some help from work) and I have the time (no kids, few hobbies) where i could spend the next 4 years on school. I’m still thinking of the best approach but will most likely do this online and take it up year-round with a 4-year degree first and then see where to go next.

Also, this August my lease is up at the lake-house. It has been a really great time and honestly, I’ve enjoyed the cheaper rent than a real house and the small quarters which means I’m limited on spending my money on farm animals, decorations and money-wasters. I like the setup and the owners. There is a time where I’d like to buy a home but I’ll be about 2-5 more years before that happens. So it seems I’m going to spend another year at my current place. No complaints, life is good.

That’s it for now and although this was a long update, I’m always happy to have the ability to share thoughts and ideas with my readership. While blogging is a lost art, there aren’t many online properties that allow free expression without limitations or fluff and the awesome pride that you are writing for yourself to a server that you own where censorship and advertisements are not present. I don’t track where my readers go after visiting here and I rarely even check where you came from. It’s my home on the web and the fact that you all take some time to visit every day it’s a nice feeling.

Thanks for reading and have a great Spring.

February 20, 2015

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After watching the movie again, I decided it was a fine time to finally acquire the shoes featured in the film. Luckily, some 3rd parties have capitalized on this. Red Beanie and shoes acquired. I just need one of those blue work-suits with “Ned” written on the chest and the costume is complete.

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou Shoes - Adidas

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou Shoes - Adidas

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou Shoes - Adidas

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou Shoes - Adidas

February 17, 2015

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TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio

I’m really excited to be testing this device out. Can’t say much about it so far but except setup was a breeze, battery life is great and I’ll be at the gym later to verify accuracy and heart-rate. Really snazzy watch and very comfortable.

TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio

TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio

TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio

TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio

TomTom Multi-Sport Cardio

Note: Even though this watch was given to me, I was not asked to post or write about it by TomTom. I just really like it. 

February 14, 2015

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Last week, when I heard Justine Ezarik or as most of you know her as iJustine had a pizza named after her at Pizza Hut that she designed herself, I gave up my liquid diet for a few hours and ordered one. It was pretty darn good. 

The Pizza Hut iJustine Pizza

The Pizza Hut iJustine Pizza

Really impressive stuff but given her physique, I doubt she’d be eating these very often :) keep up the good work Justine.