Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Boonville Beer Fest - Pics

I'm sure both of my readers would like to know that I added pics to the Boonville Beer Fest post.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I'm Tired

I'm tired of people jamming me into corners, despite my every effort to avoid it, and expecting me to do the impossible, time and time again. Guess didn't work last time and I yet again painstakingly explained to you the reasons why. So, why are we repeating it all over again this time? And no doubt we'll repeat it next time, and the time after that...

I'm tired of people claiming they want to be independent, but then showing absolutely no willingness to do the things required to actually be independent. Guess what...being independent is hard work. We all have obstacles to overcome and when life throws you curve balls you are the only one who can adjust your swing accordingly.

I'm tired of people wasting my time by lecturing me about how to be more efficient. Guess what...if you want me to be more efficient, don't take 12 hours to tell me something that can be said in 3. Keeping me captive is only making me less efficient.

And I'm tired of people farting at the gym. I'm trying to breathe here, people.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Boonville Beer Fest - Recap

Last weekend Christen and I took part in our 4th Boonville Beer Fest. It's held in Mendocino County at the fairgrounds in Boonville. We camp among the redwoods at Hendy Woods State Park outside of Philo, only 5 miles or so from the fairgrounds. The beer fest organizers are kind enough to provide a shuttle to and from the fairgrounds from the campground. It only makes sense as the first year we went some drunk driver drove UP a slightly leaning tree on the side of the road in the campground. Anyway, it's amusing to be picked up in a van reading "Mendocino County Retirement Home". Just 40 or 50 years early, no? But, I tell ya, after 4 hours of "sampling" beers I'm pretty glad the shuttle has an electric wheelchair ramp. It makes it much easier to roll any companions that may have been overserved into the van. I'm curious, though, if the old people notice the vomit smell on Monday when they get the van back.

We didn't go last year. The year before (2005) it rained nearly the whole time (except, thankfully, during the beer fest itself). We woke up in the middle of the night to drip-drip-drip in the CENTER of the tent. Yeah, that's right, the center of our tent leaked. We slept the best we could the rest of the night with a river running between our sleeping bags. Just after first light we rolled up the sodden sleeping bags, thermarests, and tent into one big wet ball, stuffed it into the back of the GTI and high-tailed it to the nearest diner for a nice hot cup of coffee and some flapjacks. (Does anyone even say "flapjacks" anymore? It's a great word. We need to bring it back.)

Last year, the lingering memory of the previous year's rain-soaked disaster combined with the still-raw psychological scars of the snow cave adventure served to keep us away from the beer fest. If we had been rained on again less than a month after surviving being lost in the snow there is no doubt I would have lit everything within reach on fire while running directly to the nearest 5-star hotel.

This year was far less eventful. Gorgeous weather and delicious beer. They rearranged the setup of the booths so it took us a while to find some of them. At one point I couldn't believe the Eel River, Deschutes, and Russian River breweries all were not there. Crisis averted as someone clued us in and we managed to drink our fair share of their beers, too.

Me and the wife at the beer fest.

It's amazing how drunk some people can get in only 4 short hours drinking 4 oz of beer at a go (you get a souvenier sampling glass when you walk in). This year I saw a first: I was in line for a tri-tip sandwich at about 1:15 (the taps open at 1:00) and this dude was so drunk in front of me he dropped his money all over the ground. In the process of fumbling around trying to pick up the bills more of them continued to spill from various points on his person. His friends gave him grief for his offensive display of coordination (as well they should) and, in his distracted and inebrated state, while flailing for his money he dropped his sampling glass and it shattered on the ground. This caused everyone nearby to let out a big "ooooooooooooooh" in unison. It's a tradition at the Boonville Beer Fest; someone breaks a glass, the crowd does a big "cheers" in unison. I've just never seen it done 15 minutes after the gates open. This dude was wasted. Is it a good idea to yell at the overworked tri-tip guy because you no longer have a glass and your friends have convinced you it costs $30 (lie) for a replacement? It's no one's fault but your own, buddy. Maybe next year exercise some restraint and don't get wasted on bloody marys before showing up to a flippin' beer fest.

Cole, come on, show some restraint.

The winner this year was Lagunitas. They had great beers and many of them are normally unavailable in bottles. Mmmm...specially brewed beer fest beers. I don't go to a beer fest to drink Redhook IPA or Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, I go to drink the special beers, and Lagunitas' special beers were delicious. The loser was Pacific Coast Brewery. It pains me to say so as they are located a mere block and a half from my office in Oakland and I frequently lunch there and ruin my afternoon's productivity, but running out of beer at 2:30? Really? How can you miscalculate so badly that you run out of beer before the beer fest is even half over?

Cameron and Sierra dancing at the beerfest.

We camp every year with our friends Jed and Megan and Dan and Michelle. Between them they have 4 kids all under 6 years old. 8 month old Cole, 2.5 year old Connor, 3.5 year old Sierra, and 5 year old Cameron. Christen and I like to call it the Birth Control Weekend. Saturday night, after waking up to Cole's screams of hunger, I decided I'd take advantage of my wakened state to empty my bladder. Hearing Jed and Megan struggle in a tent to fill a bottle at 2:30am caused this exchange between Christen and I the next morning:
Me: "Let's never have children."
Christen: "Ok."

Me and Cole in a happier moment.

Cameron is a sweetheart and ridiculously smart. Cole is a chunk. I mean, they really need to wrap his knuckles in white tape and put some fake blood on him for Halloween. He'd look just like a UFC fighter. Connor and Sierra are in full-on potty humor mode these days. We'd be hanging out by the fire and hear, "Sierra, I'm going to pee on your head." followed by "Connor, you are made out of poo with pee inside." Hilarious. They'd both get in trouble for it, but you just can't stop it at that age. Heck, I can't stop it now and I'm 35. At one point it was discovered that they were in the big tent showing each other their "privates".

Sierra, Cameron, and Conner doing what kids do.

The funniest thing was Connor's mom, Michelle, in the tent Sunday morning, rolling up sleeping bags, yelling out the tent flap, "Connor, are you misbehaving?" to which Connor replied, "Yeah." Give the kid points for honesty, at least. After a few seconds Michelle poked her head out the tent with a slightly befuddled look on her face and said, "Well, get over here I guess."

All in all a good trip, and we added to our small glass collection.

The whole silly group.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


I've been kinda busy lately. Sorry for the lack of posts. I'll try to get more India/Sri Lanka/Singapore posts and Part 2 of the snow shoeing rescue up soon.