Thursday, July 29, 2010

Paulaner Hefewisen Problems and Solutions

I ordered a 13.2 gal keg of Paulaner Hefewisen from DaveCo Liquors with a few days to spare until our annual Block Party.  Enough time to hopefully work out any kinks I might have with it.  This isn't the first keg I've purchased for the new Kegorator (version 2 - the previous chest freezer died on me), but it is the first Hefewisen in the beast.  I've been mostly keeping Guinness, some sort of home made soda, and seltzer on hand as of late. Onto the saga.

So, I unloaded the keg and stuffed it into the new kegorator to settle down and acclimate to its new home.  Knowing that wheat beers are fickle with dispensing, I decided to let it sit until the next day.

In the morning, I attached the German Slider Type 'A' coupler to the keg and turned up the gas to 17psi (yes, this is its correct pressure here in the land of 5280 - I live just outside of Denver, CO). I'll explain the pressure setting shortly.

Now to the issues. Foam!  Of course you are going to say I'm gonna get a ton of foam because I have the pressure set so high.  Everyone and their brother was telling me to lower the pressure and that will fix it.  They just don't understand kegging is all.  If that is your reasoning, your wrong as well.  Keep reading.

There are a few principles that once met (and kept constant), you will get a perfect pour (and thus won't get foam).  I just had to figure out which one wasn't being met.  Considering I thought this all through previously, my problem was in how to find the one (or ones) that I had wrong. And something has to be wrong.

Lets list everything that needs to be considered:

Correct Pressure for the particular beer/altitude
Temperature of the BEER (not the air temp of the kegorator)
Length of draw / Length of beer line
Proper pour technique 
There are a few others like cleanliness of the coupler, lines, faucet, etc... but this is a given; who wants to drink beer (or anything for that matter) that isn't clean.  Always keep anything that gets in contact with the beer clean.

Now that we know what the potential problems could be, lets go through each one-by-one and see where I screwed up (cause I did screw up... kinda big time too).


As per Paulaner Brewery in Munchin (Munich), Germany, there should be about 2.7 volumes of CO2 dissolved in the this Hefewisen. I want my beer dispensed at 38 deg F.  This equates to around 13.5psi to be applied at Sea Level (to keep the beer from going flat).  I live just outside of Denver, CO, so I need to add an extra 2psi.  I add 1psi more to compensate for the open faucet and line expansion (also called 'push').  This leaves me with 16.5psi (or there abouts).  I rounded up to 17.  

Looking at the Beer Chart, we can see how I got to the above.  We then add 1psi for every 1000 ft above sea level (and I added the extra 1psi for push as well). 

I know for sure that my pressure is good as per my calculations and I have no leaks.  The only way I could be off would be if the beers second fermentation on the way over from Germany was way more than expected.  If that were the case I'd be dispensing at too low of a pressure.  I don't think this is the case as the beer does not seem to be over carbonated.

As we can see, my pressure setup is good.

Beer Temperature:

Like I mentioned I keep my beer at 38 deg F, or I try to.  I have been having some problems with this since Kegorator Version 2.  This chest freezer is bigger than my last one (and that one wasn't small by any means).  I keep having to adjust the external thermostat due to liquid temperature being too warm and/or air temperature being too cold.  Wen it comes down to it, the liquid (beer, seltzer, soda) is on the warmer side and my lines have been freezing.... at the same time! And when I adjust things I screw it up even more to one extreme or the other.  This has been very frustrating at the least.  I admit, this has GOT to be my problem, but how can I fix it.... every time I try I make things worse.

Beer Line Length:

Beer line length.  This could be at least part of my problem.  The shorter the beer line, the faster the pour and inversely, the longer the line the slower the pour.  According to all the calculations I have run into, this should be enough.  5 ft should be good for about 12 - 14 psi, and 6 ft should be just about good enough for my 17psi setting.  So, my 8 ft should be plenty, but my beer is coming out like a rocket!  Honestly, I wasn't surprised.  I tend to keep my lines longer than "recommended" and have always thought about making them longer.  I've never had a problem with too slow of a flow. I'll be getting even longer line to slow the pour down some.

Pour Technique:

Here are some references on how to pour a beer properly.  And here is how to properly pour a Guinness. And a properly poured Guinness should take 119.5 seconds from start to finish.  Enjoy the wait, I know I do.  Basically, don't ever touch the faucet to the glass...ever. 


Everything is clean, I had seltzer running through the beer lines just prior to hooking up the keg, so I know that the lines are clean.  I keep my faucets scrubbed down every few days (I keep the kegorator in the garage so this is necessary).  So, everything is clean.  Even my glasses are clean.  There is such a thing as beer-clean glasses (also check out how to test for a beer-clean glass).  I am not going to discuss this here, but it could be a factor.

Admitting the problem:

Now that I know that I have possibly two problems, one that is easily resolved and the other, not so much.  I decided to start with the easy one first.  I grabbed my credit card and headed off to the nearest home brew store for some beer line (and maybe some advise).  I decided on 15 ft of beer line.  Figured that that much would absolutely slow down the flow to a reasonable rate and if it were too slow, again easily fixed with a snip until it flows correctly.  As for the advise, "they have no clue about kegging".  They may know how to brew beer, but dispensing they need some re-education.   To say their suggestions were useless is a drastic understatement.

Got home, swapped out the line and wow, what a difference.  This is how beer should pour... perfect rate of flow.  But still a glass full of foam (maybe a tad better, but not much).  Damn, the temperature is off again...WTF.

I opened the top of the freezer and grabbed the bottle of water where my external thermostat probe is and.... oh no, it was frozen solid.  No wonder the rest of the kegorator was warm, the probe won't register warm when in a block of ice.  I cracked open the bottle and broke off the ice and decided to leave it in open air in the same corner (instead of in a bottle of water). I then promptly went inside and looked up my model of thermostat.  Low and behold, this model is NOT submersible.  I always thought they all were.  This means the bottle of water it was in was screwing up the reading.  Well shit.......

I waited until the next day before testing again.  I checked the kegorator a few times to make sure the air temp and my seltzer was consistent which they seems to be.

The final test.  Now, to test the beer, we need to first get that beer-clean glass and a second glass (unless you like to chug beer).  Open the faucet all the way and pour a beer (make sure you do it properly).  Then pour the beer out (this is what the second glass is for).  Then immediately, pour another beer in the same glass.  This is the glass you need to stick the calibrated thermometer into to determine the temperature.  At this time, you can also look to see it has the proper head instead of being a glass of foam.

My test went perfect.  I could tell right away.  The first pour was just under half foam (still not to great), but the second pour was 38 deg on the dot and a nice 3/4 - 1 inch head.  Not to mention it tasted good too.

To sum everything up.

Make sure the temperature is constant!
Calculate the proper pressure and don't listen to anyone who says to turn it down.
Screw the beer line length calculations and use what you need to pour the beer at the proper flow rate (about a gallon per minute).
Make sure everything that comes in contact with the beer is clean (including the glass).
Pour the beer properly (don't touch the faucet to the glass!)

Doing these 5 things should ensure you have a perfect glass of beer every time.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

So I bought an iPhone 3G S

I'm not one to usually go out and buy the latest gadget on the market. I'm usually one of the last; hell, I don't even have TV at home. So, why did I go out and spend $200+ on the newest iPhone 3G S (16 gig) the first day it was available? And, what do I think of it?

First of all, I didn't really have to waste all day standing in line. The entire process wasn't much longer than it usually takes when I go into an AT&T store for any other transaction. I was there for a total of about 45 minutes. I did get the last available 16 gig black iPhone in the store though.

Back to what I am here to talk about....

I have been looking to upgrade to another phone for a while now. My contract has been up for about 3 weeks and have been seriously looking for a 3G device that is also capable of connecting to a wireless network. My then current phone was a Blackberry Curve (which incidentally I have had mixed feelings about since I have had it -- I may get to those later). Because my Blackberry didn't have either of my above requirements, it was time to trade up.

The showdown was between the newer Blackberry Bold (at the bottom of the list due to my feelings on the problems I had over the past 2 years with the Curve) and the iPhone. Actually, the iPhone had two slots... the 3G version and the 3G S.

The Bold was eliminated quickly. I really wanted a "real" browser. The only pluses I saw were a tactile keyboard and the fact that I was already familiar with the Blackberry interface.

My next dilemma was whether to purchase the new 3G S or the old 3G model. I settled on the 3G S (3rd Gen) after doing more research and determining that the new 3G S would indeed be worth the extra $100 for the speed increase... and that settled it.

So, why rush out... why not wait a while and see if all the hoopla turns out true; would it be as fast as they say?....why should I be the guinea pig?

One reason I wanted to jump in now was because I am already spending a small fortune on the Blackberry data plan which I felt wasn't getting the use it could. Downsizing the current plan was always an option, but having the ability (as slow and tedious as it was) was sometimes still more convenient than not having anything at all (not to mention, I'm an e-mail junkie). I have always felt that if you are going to use e-mail (as it was designed), a prompt answer is expected and I hate sitting around a computer all day.

My thoughts on the iPhone 3G S:

Out of the box, this thing is simple to use. One of my worries was the usability of the touch screen keyboard. It takes some getting used to, but is not a show stopper by any means. I am still having a hard time placing the cursor after typing a word to make a correction. I find it faster to just delete it and type again. The applications that come on the iPhone by default are a great start and some people may not even need to add too much more to get their moneys worth.

The built in mapping application coupled with the compass and traffic reporting (both also built in) makes it more useful than my Garmin Nuvi 350. The only plus of the Garmin is it speaks the directions. I am sure there is (or will be an application that will take advantage of this this). To make this even more convenient, installing "Say Where!" (for free), will allow you to speak your location. I have found that this has been very accurate.

Another appliation that I found to be slick is the "GPS Tracker". But the only reason I'd use this is if I were on a trip I wanted my route tracked or give a map to someone that couldn't be mapped out in the normal manner.

Comparing the 3G S side by side with the 3G... I have a bunch of friends and co-workers that have the 2nd gen iPhone, so we put them to the test. By far, every time, the 3G S was faster at bringing up a web page than the 2nd gen. There was also a noticeable difference in the delay (or lack there of) moving from screen to screen through the menus.

Once you purchase an iPhone you have to make sure you keep it protected. A case of some sort is a must in my opinion. There is no way I'd handle a iPhone without some sort of case to protect it. The iPhone looks and feel extremely fragile (whether it is or not). I purchased an Otter Box for total protection. The Otter Box is a hard case that covers the entire phone including the touch screen with a silicone cover encasing the hard shell. It also comes with a belt clip. This thing is stout.

The fact that none of my USB cables will work with the iPhone is a little annoying, I knew this long ago, but it doesn't make it any easier to get over.

I still hate iTunes with a passion. I think I may be the only one in the civilized world with this opinion, but I guess I am going to get used to it one way or another. The interface to sync to the phone isn't the most intuitive (like everything else Apple). If you sync your contacts from Google and you set iTunes to sync with the phone, you will get duplicate contacts (in a seperate group or two) which is a pain in the ass to correct. I ended up resetting the iPhone to factory to clear up the empty groups after unsuccessfully being able to remove them completely (I was only able to clear the duplicate entries and leave the groups).

Yes, I purchased AppleCare. I haven't opened it yet and still haven't decided if I am going to keep it. If you have any opinions on the matter, I'd love to hear them.

As of now (only playing with it for 10 minutes) I haven't been able to get my Jawbone Prime bluetooth to initiate a voice dial on the iPhone. I am pretty sure I can speak via the Jawbone after initiating the voice dial application from the phone, but everything I am reading is telling me that I won't be able to initiate from the bluetooth.... this kinda sucks, but not too big of a deal for me.

The latest issue I have been having is configuring the iPhone on my home WIFI. I was able to connect to my works WIFI very easily. I use WEP 128bit encryption and the only way I was able to connect was to disable the security altogether. If anyone has any tips or ants more information, I can provide complete details of the issue. It boils down to after connecting, the iPhone gets a bogus IP address (even if I set a static one).

(Update: 6/25/2009 -- I have been able to get the WIFI to work, but I ended up changing the security from WEP to WPA2. Once this change was made, the WIFI worked like a charm.)

Overall, I'm really liking my new phone so far. We'll see how it goes after a few weeks.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chest Freezer Kegerator Project

I've always said it's dangerous when I get bored.

A little background:

A few years back, I built a kegerator out of a small fridge. That project was a total let down; it only took me 15 minutes and it being Sunday, (all the liquor stores were closed) I was unable to purchase a keg to try it out. Since then, I had expanded my interests and had decided to add a second tap (on the then current kegerator) for home made soda or seltzer. The problem with this setup was I could only have either a beer, a soda, or a seltzer on tap at a time. This was a major issue for me. I drink seltzer like it is going out of style and it takes me months to finish a pony keg of beer. So, I get the idea to build a bigger kegerator to host one of each (beer, soda, and seltzer).

The Project:

After doing some research, I found that turning a chest freezer into a refrigerator and using it as the platform for the kegerator was the way to go.

I needed to find a chest freezer...if it weren't for the wonders of Craig's List. After some searching for a few weeks, I was able to find a chest freezer that I thought would be big enough to fit a 15.5 gal keg and two 5 gal Cornelius (Corney) kegs. Of course, as soon as I got it home my plans changed....

Once unloading the FREE chest freezer from my truck and into the garage (its new home), I realized that it was actually big enough to hold even more than what I had anticipated...yippee (or so I thought). I'll get to that later.

There are basically two options for converting a freezer into a fridge. Option 1) Mess with the thermostat. Option 2) Purchase an external thermostat control module to override the main thermostat. I chose the second because I didn't feel like trying to find another freezer after ruining the first one when I screwed it up. Ok, so I couldn't find a good writeup for modifying the thermostat either.

The next decision I had to make was weather or not I wanted a tower setup on top of the freezer (like at a bar) or stick with shanks that would stick out of the side of the freezer. I liked the idea of the tower, but nice multi-head towers are very spendy and I'd have to deal with all the guts of the kegerator hanging down on top of everything inside along with issues when opening it. The problem with the shank idea is drilling into the side of the freezer and not hitting a freon line. This is fixed by building a collar.

By removing the freezer top and building a wooden collar around the rim (where you reattach and secure the top), you can effectively drill through the side without damaging the freezer. I used 2x6 and 1x12 to build the collar. The 2x6 becomes an inside collar while the 1x12 is the exposed outer collar which is used to "lock" down the inner collar to keep it secure around the freezer.

Once the collar is locked down and secure, you can screw down the hinges. A little silicon caulk around all the inner edges finishes it all off and keeps all the cold air in. Next, drill a 7/8th hole for each shank wherever you want to put the taps.

I keep all my air bottles outside of the kegerator (this will save on air and allow more room for refreshments). So, I needed to drill 2 more holes in the side of the collar to for the CO2 and Nitrogen air lines and one more for the thermostat probe. I decided, since I have the room, I'd set up the kegerator so I could have a "nitrogen beer" or two like Guinness, Boddingtons, Caffrey's, etc. on tap as well. All these beers should be dispensed through a stout faucet with a nitrogen/co2 mix (usually 75%/25% - called beer mix - sometimes also available as 70%/30%) hence need for the second set of lines for the beer mix.

Now that I have multiple tanks, I realized I'd need to have another regulator.... so, once again, I over thought this and decided to use "secondary" regulators on both the nitrogen bottle and CO2 bottle so I could independently control the gas pressure to each keg instead of using 'Y' connectors and not being able to vary the pressure in each keg. On the CO2 bottle I have a primary regulator and a line going into the kegerator where I have 2 secondary regulators. The primary would be used to force carbonate my soda and seltzer, the two secondaries can be used independently for beers that may require slightly different carbonation. On the nitrogen bottle, I am using a primary regulator with a line going to a single secondary regulator inside the kegerator. I did this so I can dispense multiple "nitrogen" beers without having issues as well; I have heard that the pressure of many of these can be drastically different from one another.

Now, since I have decided to dispense Guinness, I know I needed the coupler (Type U) that is specific to Guinness, Harp, Smithwicks, and a few others. I also like Boddingtons, so I needed the coupler for that type of keg too (Type G). To make a long story short, I decided it would be easier if I had at least one coupler of each one of the major types so I didn't have to worry about it when I was ready to tap a keg - I have 2 of Type S, U, and D and one each of Type G & A (talk about overkill).

So, as you can see, I have built a kegerator that will hold at a minimum of 2 Cornelius Kegs (one for soda, one for seltzer), 2 half barrels, and a squat 1/4 barrel (pony). After further fenegaling, it looks like I'll be able to stack 2 squat ponys' to fit an extra one (and maybe even another Cornelius) if I want a bunch of variety.

The test run:

So I had to go get a little more CO2 line from 104th Discount Liquor (they have the red line and it is cheaper there)....while I was there I schmoozed with the guys working there and traded an extra tap handle or two I had on hand for some much needed used parts. I also picked up a pony of Ayinger.

Good thing my test beer (for the CO2 portion) was German and used the slider type A coupler. I tapped it and my new kegerator was now a big mess. One of the o-rings on the coupler was old and leaked quite badly. All was well after another trip to 104th Liquor where the guys took good care of me and found me another o-ring. Always good to work out the bugs before a party.

Also on tap is a Corney of seltzer and ginger ale.

Next up, test out a nitrogen beers and get a keg of Guinness dialed in.

And to think.... I used to hate beer ;-)

This project wasn't exactly "done on the cheap", but every effort was made to keep costs down. Here is a link to my parts list with prices (all prices include shipping, taxes, etc. where applicable).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

An eBay experience......

So, I am working on a new project (surprise surprise) and decided to finally check out eBay to source some parts (I'll get into the details of the project in my next posting).

I have to say, it wasn't exactly my idea to go the eBay route. A friend and co-worker told me that it was the way to go for what I was looking for. And to that end...he was very right.

For some background, you might want to know that I have been an eBay member since Jan of 2002, but just have never bought or sold anything there before (just a lurker). Also, if you know me, you'd know that I love auctions. I like them live and in-person, but I am no stranger to purchasing via auction. So I guess you could call me an eBay virgin (this is no longer the case - wink wink).

My first experience I do have to say was kinda a cop-out. I bought the first item via eBay's "Buy it Now" option on some listings. This was more of an online purchase than an auction in my opinion, but it did get my feel wet and get me primed for the real thing.

I was (am still am) on a mission to collect all the parts I can for my latest project as cheap as I can in my allotted time frame. I really want to get this project started...and finished. This one is not like some of my previous projects that tend to be ongoing; this should be completed and completely done with very soon. So, back to the eBay saga....

Shortly after my first "Buy it Now" purchase, I won two more actual auctions for parts needed before getting a little off track and buying some posters that I thought would go well with the project theme (absolutely not needed, but will hopefully add some character to my decor). Everybody always has told me that eBay can be dangerous. I wouldn't go that far...yet.

After my little distraction, I got to experience another eBay option; the "Buy it Now or Best Offer". Now this is how I like to do business! I just love to negotiate, so this was right up my alley. To be honest, the "Buy it Now" price wasn't a bad one (including the shipping of course), but I had to make an offer since it was available. I gave what I thought was a fair price (but obviously a good deal for me) and not too long later, I was countered (I like this guy... he knows how to negotiate too... this was getting fun). I very happily accepted the counter and "won" the auction (also a very decent price -- only .50 above my offer). I'm pretty sure the seller just countered to the hell of it, but who knows... he did have 2 other offers that he had rejected.

Now that I was having fun, I ventured into more auctions (losing a bunch since I am unfamiliar with the online way of doing this -- I still like 'em in-person much better). After my losing streak, getting beat in the last seconds before the close, I changed my strategy and won two more of my much need parts.

I've still got a few more parts I need to source, but if all goes well, I should have everything I need to complete the project.

All in all, my experience has been better than I had expected. In my hut or inexpensive parts, eBay seems to be the best venue for finding what I need. I have always figured if it can be found on eBay, you can get the same thing for at least as good a price somewhere else...this has not proven to be entirely true. Wonder if it is just I am getting worse at finding stuff (on the internet or brick 'n mortar) or if this is the way to go.


Monday, September 15, 2008

A Chat with Rollerblade -- 104mm Hyper (Stripe and HyOctane) Wheels

Below is my conversation with Rollerblade regarding the their inability (along with Hyper's) to make available the Hyper Stripe (or HyOctane) 104mm/84A wheels that come with the new Speedmachine 10.0 in-line skates.
Note the time stamps of the corespondents.

Submitted via website:
08/30/2008 08:48 PM
Subject: Rollerblade - contacts


name: Micah
surname: Fonoroff
address: 12666 Patton St
city: Broomfield
country: Colorado
zip code: 80020
location: U.S.A.

msg: I bought a pair of Speedmachine 10.0 Skates about a month ago which I am very pleased with. I am, however, very displeased with the fact that the Hyper 104mm/84A wheels are not sold anywhere that sells the skates (online or in stores). I have been able to find select online stores that carry the 104mm wheel, but only in 89A and higher. I find these to be to hard for street skating. I have talked to a number of other people who are also having this problem. Is there anything you can do to assist.

Thank you

Micah Fonoroff

-------- REPLY --------

Date: Sun, Sep 14, 2008 at 2:16 PM
Subject: Re: Rollerblade - contacts
Dear Mr. Fonoroff, Thank you for your support of Rollerblade. Unfortunately, we do not carry the 104 mm wheels, we were only able to purchase them for production, not to be sold separately. This wheel size was made by Hyper under the names, Stripe and HyOctane as well. Here is one website that sells them: Please know that we provide you this information as a courtesy, they are in no way affiliated with Rollerblade. Sincerely, Rollerblade Technical Team

----- My Response -----

Sun, Sep 14, 2008 at 2:38PM
Subject: Re: Rollerblade - contacts Thank you for the information, but I had already found the site mentioned. And as stated in my original e-mail, they are too hard (91A & 93A). The wheels sold on the Speedmachine 10.0 are 84A. I am very disappointed that Rollerblade does not make these wheels available. If I would have known that these wheels would be this difficult to find, I would have thought otherwise about purchasing this skate. Is there anywhere that sells these wheels in 84A - 86A?


----- Rollerblade's Reply Once again -----

To: Micah Fonoroff
Date: Sun, Sep 14, 2008 at 5:15 PM
Re: Rollerblade - contacts
Dear Micah,
I certainly understand your disappointment, unfortunately the matter is not in our control. Hyper, the wheel manufacturer does not choose to make the wheels alone available to us for resale. You may have luck with them directly. I suspect with it being a newly available wheel they wish to protect their exclusivity.

Rollerblade Technical Services


I was both impressed to see their response time greatly improved from my original inquiry to their first reply, but this leads me to wonder why it took them so long in the first place. On another note, we see that they progressively provide less information and assistance (presumably to get me off their case).

I do see part of their argument... but completely disagree with them. What genius decided to package and sell a wheel that can't be replaced. These skates were more expensive than others that were comparable (except for the larger wheel capacity - 104 mm vs 100mm). If I (or anyone interested in these skates) knew that it would be virtually impossible to find wheels of the same size and derometer (the 'A' number rating of hardness), I may have spent the $100 less and gotten last years model (or even another brand).

I am not faulting Rollerblade for not carrying the wheel necessarily; I am faulting the fact that they sell the skate knowing that Hyper isn't making these wheels available to the public.

Now off to see what Hyper has to say....

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Denver Roller Dolls - Doin' it Again

Last night I went to my second Roller Derby; The Denver Roller Dolls - Mile High Club vs. The Minnesota Roller Girls - All Stars. The Mile High Club swept the All Stars quite nicely.

Eric and I hit the Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe for a few prior to the festivities (and I do mean festivities when it comes to the Roller Dolls). When I arrived at the Cafe to meet Eric, I found him sitting at the bar with no less than three of some of the finest beers in town in front of him. I sat down and he gracelessly handed me one of his beers for a taste.... All I have to say is "Ommegang was that a sour beer". Definitely a beer worth a taste or two. While Eric was finishing up another beer, I struck up a conversation with what seemed like a regular at the Cheeky Monk.

After our tasting frenzy, we left for the Fillmore Auditorium to secure our spot for the event. Once again we got the right hand corner; just behind the starting place for the Jammers. Just before the match Kon joined us again and a few minutes later my friend Bobby and his wife Courtney made an appearance. Interestingly enough, I also saw Brian (another friend of mine who I had also last seen there the previous match) with another friend Caroline (who I hadn't see n in quite some time). We were all a big happy family.

Vinyl Trax being in the pre-match exhibition and not play with the Mile High Club, stopped by to say hello and thank us for showing up just before the match began.

As the Dolls were whippn' some Minnesota skirt, I tended to make some noise (a loud whistle is appropriate in situations like these). Trish Forget (aka Lisa Remember) looked at me after a particular long and loud one and said "You sound like my mom". Now what was that supposed to mean?

Another oddity of the night was when Allyn (another girl having a good time out at the match with her friends) decided that "talking" to me was just as fun. What are you supposed to do when someone asks you to see their "augmented" breasts? Is there a polite way to answer? Needless to say they were very nice. Now, things progressed from there... Yeah, so..... she asked...... what was I supposed to do, say "No thank you Mam, I don't want to feel your augmented breasts". Bull shit! If anyone still thinks I'm gay, they can print out this post, roll it up, and stick it up their ass, thank you very much.

After the Derby, Eric and I decided to go to Benders Tavern for the After Party (not before hitting up Cheeky Monk again for a quick "good" beer).

The After Party was just about getting into the swing of things when we arrived. This time Eric and I went straight for the dance room where the fun was commencing. The Denver Roller Dolls along side the Minnesota Roller Girls cut it up like old friends (I just love how these girls can get along with ans socialize with the competition so easily -- makes it that much more fun to see this). After dancing out all of the beer, we departed before closing out the bar.

This was an unusual night for me. DRD events are always a blast and you never know what will happen.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

32nd Annual Labor Day Party

If you can read this, your invited...

I am having my 32nd annual Labor Day Party (yes, it is my birthday party) Saturday, Sept. 6th. @ 8:00pm or there abouts.

I'll have a variety of snacks, hors d'oeuvres', Keg O' Sunshine Wheat, liqueur, and other drinks.
Bring what you want, if you want.

Directions provided upon request.


Well, the party was a success. There were about 40 people over all that made an appearance. Unfortunately, I have no incriminating evidence (read: pictures) of the few who had "too much fun", but I'm sure I'll be seeing them again at another function where I can remind them.

I would like to thank everyone who came to celebrate with me. I had a fantastic time and hope to see y'all again before next year.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

What d'ya know, I'm famous

Ok, so maybe I'm not famous, but it is interesting what you find when you "Google" yourself.

The First Annual Row the Rockies Regatta, hosted by The Rockie Mountain Rowing Club was just over a year ago now and I just found the pdf that mentions me (twice no less).

Check out the my awesome apron

photo by: Christa Rabenold

The event was a lot of fun... it was my first. Unfortunately, Katie Thurstin is no longer in Colorado, so it is doubtful that I will be involved in the event again. A quick search shows that I was forgotten already... hope the burgers were as tasty from whomever grilled them this year ;-)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Big Apple Roll 2008 NY - Empire Skate

So, I had the opportunity to go to New York City to skate in the Big Apple Roll hosted by the Empire Skate Club. The Big Apple Roll is an annual skate event where people from all over meet to skate the streets of NY (yes, in traffic...with the taxis', pot holes, and all). The event was scheduled from Friday, Aug. 15 - Sunday, Aug 17th, but the two Friday skates (afternoon and the night skate) were canceled due to rain. There were 3 of us from Denver, Kim, Eric, and I (the farthest from the event[1][2] -- the 2 from San Juan, Puerto Rico missed out by under 30 miles).

I arrived at the hotel a little after 3:00am ET after missing the last train from Newark Airport due to a delayed flight. There being no other method of getting to the hotel at that hour, I was forced to take a taxi (that cost me $75 out of the gate). When people said that I better have a lot of money when I went to NY, they weren't kidding.

Friday morning Eric and I head out to the streets of NY on foot (with skates in tow) to check out the city and get some breakfast. After researching some places to eat the morning before, Eric was in the mood for a classy breakfast, so we headed out to Nroma's (in Le Parker Meridien) where I had a $20 Belgian Waffle topped with strawberry's, blueberry's, blackberry's, raspberry's, and Devonshire Cream along with a tall glass of orange juice squeezed that morning. The waffle was really good and the Devonshire Cream really made the dish. This was the first time I have ever been to a restaurant where the orange juice included free refills. The wait staff would just come by and fill it up like it was ice water... very cool (at $8, I wonder what kind of mileage per glass I got out of it).

After breakfast, Eric and I hit the roads on our skates to tour some of the city before the all event skates that evening. One of the places we went was to Central Park. The full loop around the park is in the neighborhood of 6.2 miles of fantastic pavement with some great hills. After our skate, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the afternoon group skate. Just as we were finishing getting ready, it began to rain...hard. So, we left for the Skyline Hotel (the starting location for all events for the weekend) to see what the new plan was going to be. While we waited around to see if the weather was going to turn, we schmoozed with the locals and other out of towner's' there for the skate. Among them were Brooklyn Steve and Mihai the Romanian (both locals - who provided plenty of beer throughout the weekend keeping a few of us dehydrated each evening). The weather never did turn, so we all ended up at the Chelsea Brewery where the evening skate was scheduled to end.

Saturday morning we got up early and headed to the Skyline Hotel to meet up for the first skate. On the way we stopped for a quick bagel and donut before inevitably burning it all off and then some in the first hour of the skate. While waiting for everyone to group up and get ready, there was more schmoozing in anticipation of the event. The morning skate took us to Park Ave where the roads were blocked from the Brooklyn Bridge in Lower Manhattan to the East 72nd Street entrance of Central Park for some bike event that I have been unable to figure out exactly what it was.
(Edit: I have gotten word from Brooklyn Steve that the street closure was an experiment called "Summer Streets" that ran for 3 weekends, the weekend of the BAR was the last.)

Saturday afternoon..... we gathered again. There were some new faces this time. More people were coming out of the wood work (mostly locals that weren't exactly morning people). We skated through Broadway (which had some fantastic new pavement), to the Hudson River, through Harlem and City College and Fifth Ave. At some point we stopped and watched a "street performer" - the Hula Hoop Guy, play the bongos and sing while explaining how one hula hoops. So I got the bug, what do you want. I stepped up and showed my stuff on skates and all. I was surprised to be interrupted by money being stuffed in my back pocket...woo-hoo.

Saturday after the official skates of the day were...well, officially over, Kim and I had made sure there was going to be a night skate. Saturday night was originally scheduled for dinner at The Frying Pan. It was announced earlier that the Denver Crew was going night skating. We had no plan, but were determined to host the skate since the official Friday night skate was rained out. Brooklyn Steve volunteered to lead for us and show us a good time. Thirteen people showed up for the impromptu event (which actually made things feel more like home). Because of the small turnout (everyone else was out drinking -- we, the ones from Denver, figured we were already professional drinkers and can drink just fine at home and came all this way to skate... so we did); the pace was faster than the usual Denver skates and we covered a lot of ground. This was great, but remember we had already skated in excess of 35 miles that day. We zipped through Time Square (stopping to take a few photos and stare into the lights), headed out to the Hudson River and skate down the paths this time, and unfortunately only skirted Ground Zero. From there we went to get some food and decided on a typical New York diner. After dinner, the plan was to go to the Frying Pan to meet up with the others who didn't partake..but that never happened our skate ended after midnight and another 10+ miles.

Sunday morning we met once again at the Skyline Hotel for the morning skate that would take us through Harlem and then to Central Park for the event ending picnic (this skate was actually split up into to skates - one longer one then back to the hotel so people could check out, then another to the park). At the part, after a few slices of pizza, it was off to loop do the loop once again. I then said good by and left to my hotel to head to the airport for my trip back to Denver.

While I was in NY, I saw in action no less than 4 jackhammers at street corners (and this doesn't even count the big yellow Cat machines). I am not one for stereotypes, but I felt this was kinda funny. Looked to me like the city was in a constant state of construction - here's a picture for your viewing pleasure.

I was also reminded of Boulder, CO when I swear I (along with a few others) could smell the strong odor of "wacky tabaccy" multiple times during our Saturday skate through the various parts of the city (I don't think anyone in our group would of had enough time nor energy to pull this off in mid stride).

Through my original tour of Central Park with Eric on Friday morning, I noticed the site of a scene of "The Brave One". Not that this is anything special, hundreds of movies are filmed in Central Park, but I found this to be cool just having seen the movie.

The Big Apple Roll was a fantastic event where I met a bunch of great people. I hope to be able to participate again.