Jul 2009 01

The Red Sox are well known for come from behind wins, but I’ve never seen an opposing team lose a game to them as pathetically as they did against Baltimore last night.  One headline likened it to uncontrolled bed wetting, but it came across to me as an horrible case of the runs…  Smoltz was looking to end his 438 day drought in the game-winning department, but the weather gods rained all over those chances.  Smotlz looked good until the bottom of the fifth inning and the Sox had a 9-1 run lead, but he was replaced by Masterson after the more than one hour rain delay.  Masterson struck out five of the first six batters he faced, but I suppose I should have seen it coming in the sixth inning after the Sox (including Masterson!) started trotting back into the dugout with just two outs that these guys looked more like Little Leaguers picking grassblades.  After Masterson allowed five straight hits to start off the seventh inning, in came a shift of waiters (Delcarmen, Okajima, and Saito) serving up heaping meatballs to the hungry Orioles.  The Orioles batted through the order in both the seventh and eighth innings, scoring 5 runs in each.  With a ghost town for a bullpen, Francona brought in his star closer with one out in the eighth.  Yep, the eighth,  about one inning too soon for most closers, but Francona figured Papelbon could muster enough control to dominate with just five outs remaining in the game.  With men on first and second, Papelbon ate up Felix Pie, serving him a 95mph fastball.  He then faced Nick Markakis who had been 0 for 7 with four strikeouts against Papelbon.  Markakis doubled, scoring both runners and putting Baltimore ahead 11-10, where the game ended.

Jul 2009 02

Am I the only one that can’t drive stick with flip flops on?  My narrow feet slip out the bottom and suddenly I’m relying on a half inch of rubber to keep the clutch pedal depressed enough.  This stock 55lb dual mass clutch/flywheel combo isn’t the easiest to drive anyways.  It’s like it has 2 engagement points and requires a little more tickling than the other cars.  So anyways, I stalled, then drove home barefoot.

Jul 2009 04

No kids, no pets, no ankle bracelet monitoring my house arrest, so on Friday morning with no weekend plans, Pittsburgh came to mind.

East End Gratitude release                                             Check

Pittsburgh Hofbrauhaus                                                  Check

Beer Passport event                                                       Check

Hotel room                                                                       Priceline…

No beam me up Scotty… crap, I knew I forgot to pack something.

[..]

Jul 2009 04

I worked up my thirst wandering around the city Saturday morning so onto East End Brewing, arriving there just after noon for the release of Gratitude 2008, which was originally set to be released months ago but there was a slight protein burn issue that left Gratitude tasting like burnt hair. I know, you like a good keratin OD occasionally right?  Thankfully (pun intended, if you caught it), Scott remade the formula and it is quite delicious. Also filled a growler of Session Ale #25, Dark Rye Kvass, brewed with 60 loaves of rye and fermented with bread yeast.
[..]

Jul 2009 07

I have many a fond memory from 4th of July events, from watching the fireworks over the Empire State building to engaging the crowd in chants of “ooh, ah, oh” at the fireworks display over West Point naval academy to the time a friend dropped a lit sparkler in her high top LA Gear shoe, struggling for 20-30 seconds to release the Velcro dead bolt and knotted laces before finally dunking her foot in a bucket of water. This 4th of July was no different. I spent Friday thoroughly testing my liver -it passed!- at 3 bars (Union Jacks Manatawny, Craft Ale House, TJ’s, and well… back to UJ’s) and woke up on Saturday excited to watch the explosions of brightly hued fire bombs dancing on the grass or shooting through the air later that night. While frightened dogs howl and bark and babies cry at the blast of colorful combustibles, I channel my inner pyro and fixate my pupils on the showers of sparks in all the shades of the rainbow. Tom and Kristan at UJ’s provide an informal fireworks show that last year involved a bar regular holding a martini in one hand and lighting a Rain of Fire with the other. One tipsy Roman candle stumbled sideways before firing at a ducking Kristan and Emily. As fountain after fountain were lit this year, I sat entranced, while a colony of starving mosquitos went to town on my temple and left me resembling a lopsided unicorn, or perhaps one horn shy of the devilish twin that sometimes occupies my right shoulder. 20 minutes of pyrotica and I was good. Happy 4th of July America!

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