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.

 

12
Apr
14

I’ve Got To Make It

It’s blog time. Been working hard around the house all day while the dogs are at the vet getting baths and playing. Lucky fellas! Spring is finally here and I couldn’t be more pumped! I am looking forward to baseball games at Coors Field, patio life, and Avalanche playoffs!? That’s right, the Avs are in the playoffs! And rightly so, they’ve been playing really well all season. I haven’t missed a game yet. 

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Jessica and I have already secured tickets to two date-undetermined playoff games, hoping they land on a Friday and Saturday, otherwise I’ll be pulling some major strings at work to get the right night off. 

And speaking of work, life at Kabletown is as exciting as ever. My room is currently broadcasting 7 different channels at the moment. We were only running 6 channels until some old servers blew up last week. We had to switch the blown up network over to my room to get it back on-air as soon as we could. Now, my room/equipment is at full capacity, something we weren’t really ready for. Needless to say, every day is a new adventure in television. What software is gonna freeze up tonight? Which network is gonna send 20 late-change forms 10 minutes before air? Do we really need 4 engineers in here at the moment? And rumors are circulating that an 8th channel is about to sign a contract with us. We need new technologies (lasers?) or magic or something to get us running smoothly again.

Toots and I checked out yet another new brewery a few weeks ago. Former Future Brewing just opened on South Broadway in the Antique District. Their schtick is “…traditional styles with modern twists..” or some shit. The only modern things they were doing was running out of beer and trying too hard. It was a Friday afternoon, Toots and I walk in and are immediately stared down by the entire staff and fellow drinkers. Is my shirt on backwards? Do I smell like shit? What!? We grab a table near the back and browse the tiny menu. Our nerdy server comes over towards us and sheepishly asks, “Remind me which brewery you guys are from?” We about lost our shit! We kindly informed him that we’re just a couple of dudes not associated with any brewery (although, I am a brewer). Toots claimed he is often confused with the brewmaster at TRVE, because of the beard and tattoos and all. We ordered a flight that consisted of a Wit, and English IPA, a Porter, and a whiskey barrel aged Porter. That’s all they had. The Wit was good, English IPA was meh, Porter was meh, and the Barrel Porter tasted just like the regular Porter but with a splash of bourbon. It wouldn’t surprise me if that’s exactly what they did. They’ve only been open a few weeks and those barrel aged beers take many months to years to get right. Now I’m not saying Former Future sucks, I just wish they would would pull back on the schtick a little, drop the uber-retro Industrial Revolution theme, and make something consistent. I did like their glassware, the skylights, location (right next to Pasquini’s), and their dog-friendly attitude. I give them a few months to smooth things out.

Meanwhile on Exposition avenue, my own brews have been up and down. The Peach Wheat tasted okay but was completely under carbed. The Big IPA also under carbed and burnt my throat every time I drank one. However, the Belgian Dubbel, fucking awesome! Toots and I cracked open the first bottle a couple weeks ago before going to the Avs game. It was well carbonated, great head, beautiful color, and an amazingly sweet/spicy taste. I call it She & Him, because it’s a style both Jessica and I really like. I’ve only got a couple bottles left.

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I’ve got another IPA attempt in the fermentor now, hopefully it comes out better than the last. This will be my last one gallon brew since I’ve upgraded to a 5 gallon set up. I think I’ll be making more She & Him for the summer!

  




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