19
Sep
16

Flight Patterns

Oh jeez, has it been this long? Sorry. Life has been getting in the way. Let’s catch up. Still working the overnight shift at Kabletown. I still like it there. My days off are not ideal but i’ve learned to accept it and adapt. Having Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday off has it’s perks, you just have to find them. Here I am, Monday morning, Renegade Endpoint in my hand, about to go to bed. Tomorrow will be household chores, the usual doldrums, minus the depression. Been taking the Zip Zinger out thru the neighborhood lately. Haven’t missed a beat! Except my thigh hurts after a bunch of pushing uphill. Who cares!

Jessica and I got married a couple weeks ago! Crazy, right!?

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Big shout out to everyone who traveled far and wide to make it. It really means so much to Jessica and I, I hope you had fun. The beer served at the reception was a recipe of my own that our local friends at Chain Reaction were more than happy to scale up and serve for us. It was my third time brewing a different recipe of my own with those guys. The best dudes ever!

I caught a bit of the Emmys last night. It was great seeing Aziz Ansari/Master Of None get so much recognition. Not to mention Silicon Valley as well. Game Of Thrones killed, no surprise there. I’m often asked if the whole “cutting the cord” fad has me worried about my job. Is cable TV on it’s way out? The answer is “no.” There will always be a market for cable television. Additionally, what I do in the media delivery super-chain will always play a vital role. Wherever the end product is viewed, it will most likely still go through my hands first. Go watch some TV!

Ty Segall’s latest effort, Emotional Mugger, is total crap and and I didn’t bother to see The Muggers at The Gothic when they came by a few months ago. I guess he’s started another new band called GØGGS. I should look into that more. Numero Group is, as always, killing it with the re-issues. The Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music comp is in heavy rotation at the moment. I’ve also been digging into the I’m Losing Tonight comps as well. Great, buried 60’s rock with some killer gems hidden in the weeds.

Fall and Winter are approaching which always bums me out a little bit. I am looking forward to hockey season, though. The Avs got a new coach after Patrick Roy’s abrupt departure last month. Let’s see how we do. I discussed hosting a Hockey Bingo Night down at the brewery every now and then. Nothing is set in stone yet.

I plan on brewing a batch of beer on Tuesday. I have a can of Conan/Vermont Ale/Heady Topper yeast in the fridge that I gotta use sooner than later. I plan on doing a big, bad IPA of the double variety. My freezer is full of Chinook and Summit hops at the moment, so I better put them to good use! I’ll be going heavy on the Pearl malt, and a few specialty malts to give it some complexity. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I treated myself to a garage refrigerator for my birthday back in April. It was the greatest investment I’ve ever made. I had slowly been buying kegging equipment over the last couple years and the fridge in the garage (which fits!) was the final piece of the puzzle. I no longer have to suffer the agony which is bottling beer at home! No more saving bottles. No more clearing out a solid three hour chunk of time to transfer my beer to a bucket, sanitize 40 to 50 bottles, risk infection, prime with sugar, wait two weeks…. the list goes on and on. With a kegging system, I do one transfer, chill, pressurize and serve. The beer comes out so much cleaner too!

If yer bored, please watch some Solo Travel Blog, or John Hill. They keep me entertained when the work hours are slow.

That’s about all I got going on at the moment. Other than just working a lot and ironing out our post wedding obligations, things are pretty chill around here, despite our unusual living conditions at the moment. It’s honestly no big deal. See ya!

18
May
15

sleeper

Rain. That’s all we’ve been seeing here in Denver lately. It’s kinda cool but it’s coolness fades fast. My yard looks good. Jessica and I caught a break in the weather yesterday and took a sweet bike ride downtown. Our destination: Crooked Stave. Our route: South Platte River Trail.

We hit the road just before noon. It’s a quick ride downhill to the path. Once on the path, we were cookin! It’s a great ride because it runs parallel with the Platte River, which is actually pretty beautiful right now because of all the rain and snowmelt from the mountains. We cruised next to the highway, under 8th avenue, across 13th and Strange! I had no idea how easy it is to get to Strange by bicycle! We continued on the path and I spotted a sweet skate spot. A bump to ledge that has seen some action! I might have to come back! Our journey continued past Sports Authority Field, past Elitch’s and eventually to Confluence Park. Did I mention it had been raining a lot? Our path was flooded! We weren’t sure which way to head because I didn’t know if the path would be un-flooded further north. We explored Confluence and eventually found an alternate trail that headed north on higher ground. We stayed on the path that reconnected us to the original Platte Trail and took it all the way to 31st. Up to Brighton Blvd. and we had arrived at our destination!

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We got a traditional flight, then I went back for a full pour of Original Sin. Jessica has the Raspberry Surette. We also picked up some swag and headed for destination two: Breckenridge Brewery on Blake st. On our ride to Breck, we were overtaken by a fixie-gang of about twenty, all riding fast and reckless. They all pulled over to a liquor store next to River North. I bet a few of them were jelly of my sweet whip. Jess and I grabbed lunch at Breck and watched the Ducks/Hawks game. Go Ducks! we watched the rain fall and decided to wait it out with a couple more pints. Our route back home was to take us through LoDo to the Cherry Creek Trail, then meet back up with the Platte River trail. I’ve never cycled the streets of downtown before, I was a little nervous. We both handled it like champs. Just ride like a car would drive and you’ll be fine. Back on the trail and headed home.

Jessica suggested we stop at Chain Reaction, I think as a way to avoid the steep hill to our house. I thought it was a good idea. A couple more pints and some laughs with friends could’t hurt. A taco cart was there, the elusive “…taco cart with a TV strapped to the front,” we’ve heard so much about, but had never actually seen, until yesterday!

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The tacos were delicious too!

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Here’s a rough sketch of our trip, roughly 14 miles round trip. I am very proud of Jessica for riding the whole way and I’m proud of myself for doing it all on my fix. Well done! And I’m not even sore today!

I scored tickets to the Rockies game tonight from work, since I’ve been kicking ass in my position lately. I just hope the weather holds up. Also, the Rockies suck, I hope they can win one tonight against the Phillies whose been on a 5 game winning streak. We’ll see!

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09
May
15

autumn leaves must fall

Holy shit, it’s been awhile. I’m so sorry. Life in Denver has been crazy, yet still the same. Where do I begin? I got a new job at Kabletown. I am now a Media Management Technician 3. I got out of the Originations department because Kabletown has decided to revamp the whole group with new high tech automation technology which means less man power needed. I smelled a rat and jumped ship! Smart move on my part, if I do say so myself. Joe did the same thing. I hope he’s happy over in CDOC. Everyone on the team has been sweating bullets since the announcement. The management had promised us “..we expect little to no turnover with this adjustment..” blah blah blah. The Media Management Group handles any type of media that comes into the building, whether it be for Originations, VOD, independent clients etc… Regardless of what happens in Originations, my job is secure. Bolts! Unfortunately, I’ve been working overnights in the “coal mine” until I’m trained up.

Enough about work. No, haven’t been skating. Sorry.

In other news, let’s talk beer! I’ve been brewing beer at home since the beginning of last year after Jessica bought me a homebrew kit for Christmas. I’ve slowly ramped up and improved my system over the last year and have produced a handful of quality beers. One in particular was “Grant’s Belgian Wit” which is basically a Hoegaarden/White Rascal style beer. It turned out pretty good. I brought a few bottles down to my local brewery, Chain Reaction, and they loved it. Chain Reaction has a very small brew system which allows them to experiment with small batches every week. We agreed to run a small batch of my Belgian Wit recipe since they liked it so much and because I have become a “favorite regular” of their establishment. We agreed on a brew date which happened to be my birthday, April 7th! Several weeks passed and the beer was ready to be tapped!

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They call me Skywalker because my last name is similar to Mark Hamill…Skywalker… you get it. Anyways, we brewed 11 gallons and it sold out in 3 days! I was very happy that it sold so quick, and was happy to hear that one customer in particular really liked it. The owner of High Plains Tap House in Littleton happened to stop by and had a couple pints, liked it so much that he demanded that Chain Reaction make more, a whole barrel’s worth, so he can pour it at his tap house! Skywalker Wit will live again, in the future. Stay tuned. In the meantime, I think my next home batch will be a “special reserve” of the original, Grant’s Belgian Wit.

My brother Scott and I headed down to Phoenix in mid March to catch a few Cubs games and to escape the brutal Colorado winter that kept on lingering. Phoenix was dope! I’d love to share pictures but my new Mac and my new phone aren’t connecting at the moment but I’ll share the highlights: The Cubs new stadium in Mesa is awesome! Our hotel in North Downtown was pretty sweet too! We had In-N-Out Burger first and foremost when we landed. Camel Back Mountain is a rough hike. Phoenix loves “West Coast IPA‘s.” Phoenix is dry, hot, old school, lovely, has stolen my heart. Phoenix is a lot like LA, and if you remember my post about my trip to LA/Burbank last summer, you’ll recognize a lot of similar notes. Due to the simmering, unchanging weather, Phoenix is flat, untouched, preserved, encapsulated. I felt like I was in the 1960’s. I wish I had brought nicer lounge clothes, show Don Draper some respect. And in the same way, it reminded me of my family. Our parents used to take my brother and I to Phoenix all the time when we were much, much younger. We have home movies to prove it. Phoenix equals nostalgia to me on so many levels, it’s really weird.

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I felt like Scott and I had gone back in time. Nothing changes in Phoenix because there is nothing to tear it down. The city is like a snow-globe, but full of heat and sand, rather than drastically changing elements. I remember walking two blocks from our hotel to the local Safeway to buy beer and admiring the sidewalk. So smooth and original, untouched. One particular slab in particular had an imprint in it, “1963.” Beautiful, classic, romantic, always the same. Two blocks to the north, Scott and I noticed an empty lot that some local skaters had converted to a DIY skate spot, fucking awesome! If I’m ever “on the lam,” check Phoenix, I’ll probably be there.

11
Nov
14

Everything Will Turn Out Alright

Greetings! Been awhile but I’ve been busy busy busy! I did not land the new gig at Kabletown, they gave the position to some lazy ass who’s been with the company for 20+ years. Lame. There’s another position I’ve got my eye on though, it should be posted any day now. It might mean going back on overnights, but it’ll be a pay raise and a spot on a growing department rather than my current department which is shrinking by the week. But at least we got to keep Original Ray, even after his disaster in the NHL room.

Here are pics from our trip out east!

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I brewed a new batch of beer on Friday. Its a Belgian pale ale. A co-worker of mine hooked me up with 3 pounds of Cascade hops from his garden so I put them to work! It’ll be ready in a few weeks.

Been meaning to check out yet another new brewery not far from da crib called Grandma’s House. Its on south Broadway and Mexico in the “Green Mile.” I’ve heard good things about Grandma’s, but after looking at their website, they seem to be doing this whole “co-op/collective” thing which I don’t really dig. It reminds me of some 20 piece jam-band freakout that’s all about good vibes and one love and shit, but once the money runs out, so does the collective, leaving one person 80 grand in debt. Does that make sense? On second thought, I’d rather head to Black Sky instead. Black Sky has been pumping out some insane brews lately, our buddy Klaus works there, and their pizza is always awesome!

Good news: we finally got our bathroom remodeled! It took damn near a week, but its done and looks beautiful. Come by and use my toilet, you won’t regret it!

In other news, Miles beat up Marty again a few weeks ago. They were getting spoiled at the in-laws house while the bathroom was getting worked on and one thing led to another…. Everyone is cool now.

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This sounds great, get yerself a copy ASAP!

Winter has finally shown up here in Denver. I hate it. But winter means hockey so its not all that bad.

Some kids got pulled over and arrested in front of my house two nights ago. I was literally Nightcrawling like Gyllenhaal! Shitty pic, I know.

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05
Sep
14

I’ll Be On My Way

I interviewed for a new position at Kabletown yesterday, wish me luck!

The Colorado Avalanche season will be kicking off next month and I cannot wait! CHeck their website for all of last years highlight goals form the likes of Tyson Barrie, Matt Duchene, Nate MacKinnon, Factor, and Gabe Landeskog. Our young, baby faced team is gonna be hard to stop this season!

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Vic Ruggiero announced THIS!

Jessica and I are heading down to First Friday tonight. Gonna stop by the old DOM and see what’s cooking. They do a live show every First Friday which I was never able to participate in because of my stupid old job at The Hut. Then tomorrow, we’ll be riding in Tour de Fat down at City Park. Gonna hook up with the Lorenz family and have a blast! See you there!

Everyone knows I am a huge Ty Segall fan, but, I do not love his new album. End post.

28
Jul
14

Raven on White Cadillac (updated!)

Just got home from LA last night. Jessica and I had one hell of a time! Even though Conan was cancelled, we still managed to fit in everything we wanted to do, and then some! First stop was In-N-Out.

 

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Afterwards, we stopped by the Waesche House in Burbank to drop off our bags and eat. Then we took a short drive over to Conan Studios, only to find out that todays taping was cancelled. Boo! Thanks for the notification! We later found out that they taped two shows the day before😦. Not to worry though, Kayla, on Pregnancy Leave, was happy to drive us over to Eagle Rock Brewery for a little Happy Hour/Conan Consolidation. Great beers and a dynamite Double IPA. The space was small, much like Strange here in Denver. Jessica had the Manifesto Wit. As the sun was beating down on us, it was time to meet Ben for dinner. We met up at Two Guys From Italy. It was delicious! Cousin Sandra made it over to the restaurant too. Ben wanted to take us out for ice cream afterwards so we all headed to some hipster town and showed up for last call. Ice cream shops and FroYo spots are super trendy in LA. So naturally, they were all out of ice cream when we arrived. Luckily, I don’t care about ice cream so I wasn’t too disappointed. We called it a night.

Friday was awesome! Jessica and I borrowed the Prius and headed to Golden Road for lunch. Let me tangent here for a moment: LA is fucking huge! If you don’t have Google Maps on your phone, you are seriously fucked. Even the LA veterans we were staying with relied heavily on their Google Maps GPS functions to get around town. Thanks to my Android, we navigated the city on our own no problem. Golden Road was delicious. Their pub was large with plenty of patio seating, great, but small list of beers, and our server was a Colorado native so we got along just fine. Point The Way IPA and Wolf Among Weeds IPA were pretty darn tasty. Our server recommended a place called Tony’s Darts Away back in Burbank. He said it was the best place to get local beers and meet cool, non-douchy people. He was right. Tony’s was a hip place. Our server complimented Jessica’s nails and claimed “…to be a rocker” for some reason. Another tangent: LA loves big, bad IPA’s. Most places we went had a beer menu, and an IPA menu. Tony’s was no different. We headed back to the Waesche House to cool off and wait for Ben to get off work.

We met Ben in Hollywood for happy hour at some oyster bar. No one was digging it except him. I tried my first oyster in the half shell ever and I thought it sucked. Way too salty! We then decided that our party would rather have burgers for dinner so headed around the corner to Stout. Ben was very frustrated that the restaurant only had one stout beer available. Agreed, but he didn’t have to make a big deal about it. Cousin Sandra showed up and we all had a few laughs before we parted ways for the night. Ben and pregnant Kayla had to head home while Jessica, Sandra and I headed back to Sandra’s apartment for a little pre-party before seeing White Fence at The Echo that night. I have to go to work now but I’ll write up part two of our LA excursion tomorrow!

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We drove back to Sandra’s place in Echo Park so she could change and we could burn some rope. Her roommate’s dog was awesome, Lola. We were able to walk down to The Echo from Sandra’s place. There are two venues in the same building, The Echo and The Echoplex. We arrived at The Echo and saw a line outside. I asked the guy at the end of the line if he was waiting to get in. “They’re only letting people in from this line when others leave, dude. Shit’s like sold out.” I told him we were on will call and he said the will call line was at Echoplex around the corner. Well, the venue is on the end of the block, built onto a bridge, so to get “around the corner” means walking two blocks away to some stairs, down, then back two blocks to the other entrance. Lame. We get to the other entrance and see another line. I again, ask a guy if he’s there for will call. “No bro. You can’t get tickets for this online. You must be lost.” We finally find some sort of employee and get everything straightened out. We were right the first time, that guy was probably just being an asshole. We found a shortcut back upstairs, got back in line and finally made it inside the correct Echo.

We got some drinks, caught the last song of the opening act, and waited for White Fence to start. Jessica pointed to some surfy guy setting up mics and asked if that was Ty Segall. I said, “no, that’s not him, too skinny…. that’s him!” right as Ty walked by us. Ty was backing up White Fence on guitar and they soon blew the doors off the place.

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After the show, Sandra called up an Uber to take us home. Thanks, Sandra!

Sandra arrived at the Waesche House in Burbank bright and early to take us to the beach. We were meeting Jessica’s sister and family in San Clemente. With Google Maps firing on all cylinders, we headed south. Traffic was especially shitty because of Comic-Con in San Diego, but we made it to San Clemente eventually. We played in the water for a bit, had lunch, walked the pier, and back into the water. Jessica lost her sunglasses to a giant wave. Our original plan was to take the train back to San Bernardino with the sister, but, the train was overbooked and Sandra was nice enough to stick around as a back up ride home for us. As the Waesche sister family boarded the train, we grabbed one more quick cocktail then headed back to LA.

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We stopped in Los Feliz for some Italian at a place called Palermo.  We were serenaded by a man with an accordion. It was a very cool joint. They had bottles of “Marilyn Merlot” all over the place. Nice pun. Back to the Waesche House in Burbank after a very long day.

Sunday arrived and we were to meet the sister and family in Claremont for brunch, since we couldn’t make it back with them the night before. We hopped in the Prius and headed east. Brunch was at a little bare bones vintage spot called Union on Yale. I was disappointed by the small brunch portions. I ordered a sausage and cheddar omelette that coulda fit in the palm of my hand for $13! But it did come with a generous portion of salad!? Everyone’s dish was puny, but with a huge portion of salad!? After brunch, we did a little shopping in the neighborhood. I bought a new pair of sneakers for 20 bucks and Jessica got a new pair of sunglasses.

We said our goodbyes to Jessica’s sister and family, then headed back into LA, but not before stopping at Pacific Plate Brewery in Monrovia. Our local pourer at Chain Reaction recommended this place last week so we thought we’s check it out. Pacific Plate is run by three hispanic guys who despise “cervesa” but love craft beer. A total hole in the wall in a little industrial strip, much like Wit’s End here in Denver. We ordered a flight and took a seat in the tasting room, right next to the grain mill and a stack of empty kegs. They had a Ginger Saison that was fucking incredible! Also worth mentioning was the Horchata Stout and the Cupa de Oro (Cup of Gold), a Belgian Golden. After a round of 60’s Trivial Pursuit, we realized we had a plane to catch so we headed back to Burbank to gather up our stuff, then off to LAX.

Despite missing out on Conan, our trip was a total success! There was rarely a dull moment. Jessica’s brother, Ben, pregnant wife Kayla, cousin Sandra, and the Waesches were great hosts who all bent over backwards for us. Thank you! Like I said before, LA is a huge city. It has options everywhere which can be a bit overwhelming. You NEED a car to survive in that city. I noticed three types of vehicles out there: hybrids, junky little economical cars, and $80,000 BMWs. Nobody drives big trucks or SUVs. Yesterday, my coworker asked if I’d ever live out there. I considered it for about half a second. I really like LA, I like the weather, I like the hustle and bustle, the architecture, even the sidewalks are pretty. I think its nostalgia form my younger days visiting my friend Lane in Fullerton every summer. The smells, the trees, the hills in the distance. Every schoolyard we drove by reminded me of the old Girl/Chocolate videos, every perfect set of stairs or bump in the sidewalk brought back memories of skating the streets and schoolyards of California in my teens. But would I ever live there? No. Denver has everything I need. You always think of LA or New York City setting the trends but after this weekend, I feel like Denver has got some pretty sweet stuff going on and LA is trying desperately to catch up.

 

 

27
May
14

You saved my life

Jessica and I went to Glenwood last week for a few days of awesomeness and etc… We rafted the canyon with a handful of Asians, soaked with some Russians, biked with a church group (probably), and all in all, had the time of our lives! We hit up the Glenwood Brewpub for a delicious Raspberry Wheat, always a favorite. They had a SMaSH beer on tap which means Single Malt, and Single Hop. Now that I’m an expert brewer, I figured it would be real easy to decipher the malt and hop. I guessed Pilsner malt and Centennial hop. I was half right. I got the hop right which earned us a free round from the bartender. The malt was a German Pale, not pilsner, so I wasn’t far off.

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View of Hotel Denver, train station with train, brewpub and canyon taken from the bridge over the river. What a cool place!

Its been raining like crazy everyday here in Denver lately. It’s been nice on the garden and yard, although now my front yard is like a thick, lush forest and my lawn mower is broken. I got an estimate from a local mower and he told me $50 for just the front yard! Fuck that! I guess I’ll either be fixing my mower or shopping around, but I gotta act quick because the growing don’t stop.

i attempted my first 5 gallon brew a couple weeks ago, and, unfortunately, it didn’t go we’ll. I was very inefficient which killed my OG and now I’m left with 5 gallons of very weak witbier. I’m conflicted as to either dump it and start over, or bottle 5 gallons of mild buzz. I’m thinking of only bottling a couple gallons, then dump the rest. Luckily, I know what mistakes I made the first time around so I’m anxious to get back at it. I just gotta stop being lazy.

Work is still going well. I’ve heard rumors that Kabletown has bought the empty field next door and will soon be constructing a data center and On Demand Services expansion. On Demand entertainment has really been taking off lately and I’m wondering if getting into that department is a step in the right direction? Brother will know, he’s always got an eye on the future, and tornadoes.