Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy New Year!

This time of year means the Christmas Meisner family reunion! We gathered again this past weekend at Good Earth Village in the blufflands of SE Minnesota. Last year we frosted Christmas cookies and cross country skied. This year we once again frosted cookies but instead went sledding.

So many delicious cookies, and only 1 stomach...

Bride and groom cookies for the bride and groom!

The cousins showing their daring sledding techniques: tandem sledding (really scary actually, but lots of fun!)

My family also threw us a wonderful engagement party/shower during our weekend at the retreat center. We received many wonderful Christmas-themed gifts, mostly decorations. Everyone was very sweet and generous, and we are extremely grateful. However, I'm not sure what to make of the armless dancing snowman. It dances to the tune of Cotton-Eyed Joe. Seriously. Look at the look of amazement and wonder on our faces at this marvel of modern engineering. It actually tap dances.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Beermas, I mean Christmas

So I'm going on the road for a little while, which means a temporary hiatus to my near-permanent hiatus. Wait, that means I'd be taking a short break from NOT blogging. Nope, I'm just going to keep NOT blogging for the next week.

I'll have the final stats after the New Year, but as of this moment, I am at 270 beers in my 2008 beer quest. I'm drinking Great Divide's Titan IPA right now, and I have to be honest, it's not one of my favorites of the year. Too much citrus with too many hops, and a nice, thick resiny-feel. But, it's decent and it rings in at the prestigious number 270 of the year. I think the next week will be a dry week for my beer totals. I'm going to the future in-laws and they drink green-bottled beer, and I can't think of any easily-obtained green-bottled beer in Sioux Falls, SD. Maybe we can hit a micro-brew one night. And then it's post-Christmas with my family, where there are only 2 beers: Miller Lite and Coors Light.

But alas, there is far more to Christmas than drinking beer. It's a great time of family, fun and Christian fellowship (3 "f"'s??). Here's wishing you and yours a wonderful and safe Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Google Reader Recommends Me!

I just logged into Google Reader to read all the blog posts I've missed over the weekend. Apparently Google Reader thinks that I should subscribe to my own blog!

If Google is recommending me, I should probably blog more than once every two weeks!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Minneapolis Bike/Running Trails - YOUR INPUT NEEDED!!

Thanks to Ed for this tip.

West River Parkway, part of the fantastic Grand Rounds trail system, is finally getting a much-needed rehab. The trail is falling apart and the lighting is pretty much dangerous.

So next summer the trail will be closed for 3-4 months for a complete overhaul. The trail will be repaired, crossings will be made safer, and lighting will improve. Great, right?

Not so fast. Unfortunately, Ed reports that the running trail will be made concrete. Can I get a collective WTF??? There are 3 small concrete sections of running trails in Minneapolis that I can think of, very short segments around Nokomis, Calhoun and Isles. All 3 sections suck and I (and every runner I know) avoid those sections like the plague.

Concrete sucks, it hurts the joints. Nothing's worse than a long run on concrete.

I'd write more, but I'm wasting time that YOU could be taking action. PLEASE contact the following people with your comments (Ed, I stole this right from your post):

Nick Eoloff
Project Manager

Janell Wojtowicz
Communication Specialist

Sandy Colvin-Roy - City Council Member Representing the Area
Phone (612) 673-2212
ax (612) 673-3940
Email form on website.

Scott Vreeland - Park Board Member Representing the Area

For more info (or "deets", if you will), please read Ed's post.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Beer

So by now loyal readers of this blog are well-aquainted with my 2008 Beer Quest. I'm well into the 200's (my original goal was a mere 100 different kinds of beers in 2008).

So while I've been logging my beers on this blog (look to the right), I have offered precious few beer reviews and advice. But it's a new season which means this is the perfect time to give some winter beer reviews!

I'll start out with a previous favorite, Summit Winter Ale. This caramelly goodness was perhaps my favorite winter beer of this past winter. However, Summit changes the recipe every year, which I think is a neat idea, but their Winter Ale 2008 has fallen flat. It's a boring beer with no seasonal flavor. It's no more exciting than their Extra Pale Ale. While I like their EPA (and I find Winter Ale 2008 drinkable), it is a major letdown from last year's recipe. Anyone got a Summit Winter leftover from last year???

Next up, 2 Below from New Belgian Brewery. Pretty good, rich, caramelly beer. Everything from New Belgian is fantastic, so drink up!

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale: mmm.... seasonal flavors combined with Cascade Hops (as well as other varieties). Tis the season! (I drank a bunch of this Election Night, Celebration indeed!)

Anchor Steam Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale: I just polished one of these off which inspired this post, so obviously it's pretty darn tasty. Tons of alcohol, Cascade hops, and a phenomenal "mouth-feel". It's like drinking Christmas Beer Syrup. This is definitely a one-at-a-time beer.

And finally, my new favorite winter beer:

Bell's Hell Hath No Fury Ale. Caramel, more caramel with a dash of caramel. Wow, this is Summit Winter from last year taken to the logical extreme. While the $15/6-pack price should take this down a few notches (due to my cheap-ass leanings), this is one of the best beers I've ever had and it's worth every penny. It can be found at my new favorite beer store, the Four Firkins in St. Louis Park.

Enjoy the Christmas Hops!