Feb 2009 10

The history of Philadelphia is often noted for its stake as the nation’s first capital and home to numerous signers of the Declaration of Independence, but no other city has such a lengthy relationship with that divine combination of yeast, malt (barley), hops, and water than the City of Brotherly Love. There’s even a neighborhood appropriately named Brewerytown! Sure- antiquated and misunderstood blue laws put restrictions on alcohol intake, making it difficult to even buy single bottles in Pennsylvania, and the Prohibition movement in the 1920’s all but eliminated most of Philadelphia’s beer producers, but microbreweries are popping up almost monthly in the city and its suburbs, and they aren’t making pale yellow swill, but delicious, award-winning craft beers. Unfortunately, I hardly ever venture into the city since I loathe the drive along crowded 2 lane highways, the public transportation is not very efficient, and save for a few neighborhoods, it’s not the best city to walk around. But I sucked it up- there were a few bars and breweries I convinced myself were worth a visit into the city.

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Feb 2009 02

Ok, I’ll admit it. I didn’t care much if I missed watching the Super Bowl this year. I had no allegiance to either team, although I suppose I was kinda hoping the Cardinals would take it, just because the Steelers ended my beloved Chargers drive for the AFC Championship. But I still couldn’t bring myself to admit they deserved the ring. But face it- the Steelers are not unfamiliar to this pressure; they have 5 Super Bowl rings already. They’re huge and physical and if Roethlisberger could keep his nerves in check, they’d probably be unstoppable. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to admit they deserved a ring either. So I flipped on the game pretty much for the commercials.

 

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Jan 2009 26

Beer Nirvana

Posted In Beer

We started out the weekend Friday night at Sly Fox for the annual Robbie Burns Birthday Bash. In case you failed high school literature, Robbie Burns was a Scottish poet who would have been turning 250 years old. image_130-1You may know him for Auld Lang Syne, the poem/song we often sing for the New Year’s Eve. While this event may not ordinarily appeal to you, Robbie Burns Bash is also the date Sly Fox releases their Scottish Ale each year. And I couldn’t miss the gaggle of guys dressed in their finest kilts, especially after my shoes with mirrors on the toes just arrived! The specials of the night included Scottish fare like Shephards Pie and Haggis, a traditional meat dish that includes spices, organs (heart, lungs, liver), and beef suet stuffed in a sheep or cow stomach, or casing. Burns poem “To a Haggis” describes the fare as “Great chieftain O’ the puddin’ race” so it’s only fitting it would be on the menu.

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Godzilla’s Kin
Jan 2009 18

If you’re anything like me, you’ve fantasized about Godzilla quite often. Not the kaiju (Japanese monster) that graced 2009_gt-r048the screens, video games, and comic books worshipped by so many sci-fi aficionados, but the Nissan Skyline (R32) coined Godzilla by the Australian motoring press after dominating the Bathurst 1000 Classic in 1991 and 1992. I fell in love with the Skyline GTR before it was nearly unobtainable in the United States. I can remember the first one I sat in- a gunmetal R32 imported by a friend through Motorex. I loved the aggressive body lines with widebody fenders and large intercooler peering through the open-mouthed front bumper. The seats were designed to hold the front passengers in like a straightjacket and I giggled at the disturbed reactions from unsuspecting neighboring drivers as they realized the left side passenger had both arms and legs out the window; the concerned look on their faces as they mouthed, “Who’s driving the car???” Oh yeah, that’d be the right side passenger using his or her “stranger hand.” Motorex helped popularize the Skyline in the US, giving many people the chance to see in person what they dreamed about in magazines, especially on the West Coast.

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Jan 2009 12

Predicting the results of this year’s NFL matchups hasn’t been the easiest. Most participants seem to be drowning in the football pool. After how the Chargers played the first half of the regular season, I didn’t have any hopes of them making it this far, but somehow they prevailed. And for the first time in NFL history, three home teams lost on the second weekend of playoffs. You’d think it was fate for the visiting Chargers to have some advantage with those statistics! The Bolts started out great, leading almost the entire first half, but they fell apart in the third quarter and had possession of the ball just 17 seconds for only one play! While San Diego fans everywhere cursed their TV’s with looks of “WTF?!?!” across their faces, I started checked out the Padres spring training schedule. The Steelers cemented the Chargers fate in the fourth, and now it’s time to catch up on the last minute baseball trade gossip to see what chance I have of rooting for a winning SD team this year. For the first time in years, I won’t have any baseball season tickets, so it’s only fitting they go all the way…

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