I don't know about anyone else but we've been watching A LOT of the Olympic coverage.  Its the first time in a long time my living room TV hasn't had kids programs on for an extended period of time.  It is inspiring to watch the worlds ELITE athletes compete in sport after sport.  It is amazing to watch how some step up and some choke for apparently no reason.  Both of these athletes have spent most of the lives for this moment, for this chance!  I can't imagine the drive that is in someone that strong to get to that level.  I wish I could.  Often times, I kick back and wish I had a drive or goal to be THE BEST at something.  I'm sure I did when I was 7 or 8.  My mom always talks about how I could never lose as a child.  Now I watch as my children are the same way about losing.  I sit here and wonder what that "driving force is" to KEEP that desire to win, to be the best at what ever you want to do at any cost.  I hope I can impart courage into my children for them to keep that drive.  I wonder what slowed that drive down in me; what made me be OK with OK.  Some people are afraid to admit that they will settle for adequate.  They feel the NEED to be the best, the smartest; as I grow older I am beginning to feel the need for this once again.  Where has that drive been the last 20 years of my life?  My last major driving force that I had a passion for was probably skateboarding.  Even in college I didn't strive to be best - I tried to be better then average and get through college.  I tried to be sufficient enough to get me a comfortable job.  And even today I do not feel I strive to be the best at work.  This beer challenge has sparked something to make me want to learn and be an expert in the field of beer.  The beers I bring you tonight a far from adequate:
Aviator Brewing Company – Steamhead California Common – Grade 4.25
The waiter explained to me that it was a sort of cross between lager and an IPA.  He explained that out in California they do a lot of IPAs and not a lot of lagers.  Up front I got a large amount of sweet juicy like quality from it.  I didn’t notice very much normal fruit juices but instead more of a “Hawaiian fruit punch” type of taste in it.  It was very nice and medium bodied.  The carbonation made this a nice bubbly refreshing drink.  The head was nice and thick and stuck around for the duration of the beer.  It had a light red almost dark yellow color in the glass.  With all of this going on it actually finished nice and dry in the end.  It was definitely a different style beer then I’ve had in the past or ever really remember trying myself.  I had several of their beers and I enjoyed them all tremendously.  This one was the most unique and new to me based on style.  On doing some surfing online I found that it is brewed with a Lager Yeast at Ale temperatures.  From BeerAdvocate, I learned that this is a truly 100% unique American style lager which is pretty cool.  I guess the most common of this is Anchor Steam Beer which I have had and heard of; but I guess I never realized this was its own unique style.  Well played Aviator!  You taught me something new and made me do some research.  Thanks for that pleasure.
All this talk about the specific beer and I almost forgot to mention - OMG the pork bar-b-que you see on the plate!  WOW!  It made me make noises out loud that were actually a bit embarrassing.  It may not look like much but it was juicy and bitey and a clear bbq sauce.  It was a vinegar base sauce that was INCREDIBLE.  Needless to say if you ever get with in a few miles of this place DO STOP HERE!

Blue Mountain Brewery - Evil 8 Belgian-Style Dubbel Ale – Grade 4
We got into Richmond, VA earlier in the day and had hoped to hit up a local downtown brewery.  I had read up about Legend Brewery and Hardywood Brewery as locals.  There was also on the GPS a brewery about a block away from our hotel which was where now the Sam Miller Restaurant is now located.  Well, since we walked there we decided to eat at Sam Miller for lunch.  Though, it wasn’t bad – I think we could have found better lunch.  I had read some reviews about Legend that I decided to avoid for lunch and I think Hardywood was not opened on Monday for me to check out.  Lunch at Sam Miller wasn’t bad – but I got a Burger with crab meat left me slightly disappointed.  I also tried some Legend brews that were OK – I’ll review another time.  Instead, when I got to my friends house before going out to dinner with them he had this gem of Evil 8 in a growler at his house that he shared with me.  I thanked him tremendously.  This beer rings in at 7.7% alcohol.  It had a very sweet Belgian candy flavor to it.  It was extremely thick and heavy in the mouth.  The head of the beer was thick and brownish in color.  I picked up lots of dark cherry notes in the beer.  It had some nice citrusy fruity hop characteristics.  I thoroughly enjoyed this beer.  We followed up this growler by heading to Bottom’s Up Pizza right down from our hotel once again.  This place was intense.  If you ever make it to Richmond I highly recommend this place.  If you go – PLAN ON SPLITTING A SLICE OF PIZZA.  Yes, I said splitting a slice – this may have been the largest slice of pizza I have ever seen!  And great flavors – along with New Belgium Beers at the ready!  This was definitely my kind of place.

MudHook Brewery – Black IPA Midnight Cast – Grade  3.75
This beer poured very dark with little head to speak of.  It had a huge coffee roast smell and flavor characteristics.  It had nice balance of citrusy grapefruit hops which finished a sort of dry.  The large flavors of roasty goodness alongside the heavy amounts of citrusy bang made this a well balanced big flavored beer.  With huge flavors, colors and aromas this beer is not for the weak!  We finally made it back to my home town of York, PA.  Since we had a few days in town my wife and I decided to finally hit up this place I had heard about.  It is a little hard to find (not marked as well as it could be).  But what they are doing a lot with downtown York and it is looking great.  There is still a lot of local crazies all around (they are hard to avoid trust me).  But this place is worth braving it out to get down there.  The brewery is located in the alley way behind the York Market Place near the square of York.  The history is pretty cool so definitely check that out on their website.  We didn’t eat their food but I hear it is good.  Unfortunately, for my wife and I they must have had a “ventilation” issue the night we were there because it had huge smells of smoke and grease for wing night.  I think this was probably a problem with the night though and would definitely give it a second go to try some food.  And with the sampler I tried most of their beers were pretty enjoyable; only one that I really sort of thought was a bit to light and out of character for the style.  Other than that I thought they were pretty good.


02/18/2013 00:24

I fear this post may be a bit on the long side so I'll start with the simplicities before I forget, haha! I've had a true TRUE North-Eastern slice of pizza once. A Millennia ago in Manhattan. Something about the planning process and the maneuvering of a quarter of a large pizza pie into your mouth hole leaves a healthy hungry person completely satisfied. Every pizza since has been compared to that experience and every single pizza has failed in comparison. You've got the ability to enjoy this experience on a much more frequent basis than say... me. Enjoy! :-)

As I read your post about us coming to the realization in our lives that we have stopped striving to and wanting to be the best I found myself pondering the exact same thing as I continued reading down the page. All B.S. (yeah, that's bachelor of something alright) aside, I've realized something I have heard about and read about before - truly honest writing which spears you through the heart really does stand out as something special and FORCES you to take notice. Rare that you see this type of question / admittance being discussed openly.

I realize that my experience may not mirror yours or another reader's but perhaps it might shed some light on your own situation with your own wants, desires, ambitions and the crossroads that made us swerve and go left instead of continuing down the road at full speed.

I believe a lot of it has to do with the numbers game. I mean this from two dimensions. We may hate to admit it, but enough defeats in life and we begin to view life from a different angle. The number of people who have been broken down beyond repair and the number of people who have had less losses is mild on both sides. The middle ground, like with most any other statistic weighs the heaviest. This is not taking into account the severity of the losses we face and how strong or weak of a personality we have. Wonder if I've had one attack too many to make me realize that I cannot have everything I want out of this life.

Another possibility is the seesaw effect. When a woman I love enters the picture, everything changes. Family matters. Matters a lot more to most people than our other hopes and dreams. Many times we can't have or can't find the way to have both, so we settle. As soon as we settle and break our winning streak it becomes easier the next time around. And like a snowball it runs through its paces. Until, we catch what's happening and do our best to derail it. If you ask me, I think the importance lies in being alert to recognize the effect and put an end to it from time to time. For a person who holds family on a pedestal, never allowing oneself to lose a little bit of ground here and there would only let him/her lose it all in the end. And by then it's too late.

I don't think my losses were pure. Instead I think I may have chosen to lose at this or that in order to preserve something else that mattered more to me at the time.

Anyway, those are just my $0.02 on the why most people may have accepted, at one point or another, that it's OK to lose. Maybe the rest deals simply with the physical limitations our DNA has crowned us with (most common reason, I'm sure, for some winning and some losing at the Olympic level).

....And THAT is my longest, most personal post on a blog. EVER!!
Scary... LOL!!


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