Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Measure of Success, notes from the Rogue

Rain in the morning led to a less humid 82F afternoon.  Castles, 7/29

Thigh to waist courtesy Tropical Storm Dorian.  
    When I used to go skiing with my buddies in the Poconos we would measure our success down any one of the Black or Double Black Diamond slopes by the number of times you ate it on the way down.  Obviously, the least number of times was the most successful.  Early on I'd measure my success surfing by the number of rides. Now I'm so focused on getting form I've had no measure of success for myself.  But I have noticed as the session progresses and my shoulders begin to burn, if I don't break, I begin to chug sea water more often than not.  On evening surfs like tonight, I got me a full two plus hours.  It was too gorgeous of a swell to let go.  Water in the low 70s.  Low tide.  Thigh sets with a few waists. Nice conditions.  The issue becomes, as the light blue of the afternoon burns into the deep amber-orange and dark blue hues of the evening, a sense of urgency to get those last rides in begins to roast my innards like a flash drive microwave.  And once that frustration sets in it's all I can do to finish rightly.  Excuses fly.  Focus needs to be on that measure.  Memorable rides (the last of the show should be one of them).  How many thru the session?  And the success is achieved through patience.  Famous last words.  Now to put them into effect.  Patience is not my strong point.  We'll see.
   Finished off the sesh with an X-treme IPA. Lagunitas Maximus.  An Imperial IPA that pours a deep translucent amber with a thick, two finger, dark tan head.  This one is not for the chugger.  One or two will do at 8.2% ABV and a whopping 72 IBUs.  "So hoppy it threatens to remove the enamel from one's teeth." Strong grapefruit citrus and woodsy pine in the smell.  Dry up front with a fresh bitter hops taste that is balanced by a brown-sugar like sweetness on the back.  Not a refreshing beer, but a strong satisfying beer to be sure.  I rated this one an A-.
"We do dig the occasional Flip n' Whip,
a solid McMetz, or a Nack grab... but

balance is still the most important skill.
Ask anyone.  Ride a pint.  Taste the

hops.  Slurp the malt.  Drink the juice-

Live to ride another day... Cheers!"

-Lagunitas Maximus

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Comrades in Arms, notes from the Rogue

Next set up.  TR gets position, 7/24.
   Hard to beat surfin' with old surf  buddies.  Thom up from North Myrtle (Beach).   Not much offered up. Semi clean up front, chopped up in the end.  Still, the camaraderie that's been missed and stories of waves gone by, passed back 'n forth, make for plenty of stoke through this session.  Short week for him.  No morning surf this trip. Have to make up for it in a few.  Goin' down to catch a few with 'im in his hometown next month.
   Southern Tier's Live- a fine bottle-conditioned warm weather Pale offering at 5.5% ABV.  Live yeast.  Ok...  Pours a deep golden haze with hints of orange.  But not like a wit.  Drier, more like a kinda sweet biscuity taste as the malt goes.  Tangy, but with the hops (approx. 35 IBUs) to give it some balls!  Grapefruit on the tail end.  And that notorious pine of the four varieties of hops in the finish.  Like a Live concert of flavors.  I rated it a B+.  (I'd go back to a B+ concert!).
"Surfing's one of the few sports that you
 look ahead to see what's behind."
                                                 -Laird Hamilton

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fish On or Off, Gotta Pay The Man -notes from the Rogue.

No fish, no worries...yet.  7/20
  Long week at work.  Small surf all week with this heatwave we have sitting on the area.  Humidity.  Heat index over 100F.  Decided to relax on the bay, do a little fishing. Guldelsky Park off Old Bridge Road. Nice southwesterly breeze. A little music from a bar across the bay.  Water had cleared. Flounder supposedly running. Strong current heading out to the inlet.  Nothing. Only nibbles were the crabs stealin' my shiners.  To add insult to injury, a bored DNR cop lets me know about the latest in fishing regulations including the past year's requirement for a recreational fishing license. Didn't know I needed one.  Didn't have one.  So, Mr. DNR Officer gives me a $75 citation as a reminder for any future "relaxing" fishing I might do, (a week 's pass is only $6 - yeah, sucks!).  Another lesson in "ignorance is no excuse."  More government in our lives.  Just what we need.  So much for a restful PM.  Gotta pay to relax.
   Since I wasn't feelin' the love, my beer of choice this evening was Victory Brewing's Summer Love Golden Ale.  The 5.5% ABV made for easy drinking, pouring a golden blonde with a two finger white head and good lacing.  Smooth taste similar to a pilsner with light bitterness (25 IBUs) and slightly sweet finish. Not the greatest, but satisfying. I rated it a B+ for showing me a little Summer Love.
"You wanna dance, ya gotta pay the
band.  You wanna borrow (or fish) ya 
gotta pay the man"       -Rocky Balboa

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Munchkinland, notes from the Rogue

Land of Oz, 7/16

   The wave gods (yes I lower cased 'em... they ain't cooperatin'),  must be allowing  a portal to open into Oz. Haven't had much over ankle or knee high this past week. Clean, but epic only in Munchkinland. Still sliced up some small glass along the Roadway break (30th street).  Not impressing anyone though.  This evening was very mellow.  Quiet break. Water's warming.  Must've been near 70.  Gonna shed this rubber top the next time around. The water was crowded...with tourists.  You know it had to be teeny tiny.  Need a front.  Soon.
All I want is to have my peace of mind.   -Boston

   The heatwave continues, and if one was to look for an ideal IPA to help endure the summertime sweatbox, Troegs Perpetual IPA fits the bill.  Pours a straw-yellow with a one and a half finger white head that fades fast.  Light aroma of citrusy grapefruit and pine.  My kind of Imperial IPA.  You're feeling the 7.5% by the time this is downed (or was that the 2nd one?... hmmmm). Traces of honey and lemon balance the 85 IBUs of hops. Nice one.  I rated it an A-.  Troegs... I like these guys.
"If you can't change your fate, 
change your beer!"   - Ian Hadder

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Back To the Future- July 4th Week, Part 1...notes from the Rogue

The week of the 4th was filled with the surf, the Shore, and a few brews in between.  A few posts to backfill the details...
   My Italian Chicago Girl in for 10 days.  Psyched.  Celebrated after the landing at BWI, with a trip to a tiki bar right along the Narrows on Kent Island, MD. The Big Owl.

Lemme tell ya- the steamed shrimp and rock fish tacos are the way to go.  Fused with a nice summer brew, Old Dominion's Beach House Ale, and an Orange Crush, we loaded up and beelined it back to the 'Bury.
Beach House - A cloudy golden pilsner
that goes well with spice.  5.2% ABV, not
strong,  nice and crisp for the summer



   Two days later we hit the surf beach on 87th on the OC.  Stong currents, a rip, and 15-20kt. on-shore winds made for more walking than riding within the single block boundries. Sometimes it works.  Sometimes it don't.
Walk the walk, 6/29

We made it work.  We closed up shop about 4 and headed to the 45th Street Taphouse.  Lisa and I split an awesome fresh Tuna sandwich with house kimche and an order of Old BayWings.  Paired with a Redd's Apple Ale and Achor Steam's Summer Beer and a toast with Mr. Boh... surf sesh saved.  The week was still young.
Redd's Apple - 5% ABV, not as sweet, but still a cider.  
Anchor Summer- 4.2% ABV, light hop bite on the backside.
Everyone's got the cheese goin'.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Clearing The Fog, notes from the Rogue

Thursday thigh, 7/11.

   Been feelin' uninspired when it has come to surfing as of late.  Don't know if it's frustration, impatience, or just not going enough.  Thursday afternoon and this morning did not present the best of conditions; high tide, cooler than average water temps for July.  But they have been mostly frontsides.  Semi-clean.  Light winds out of the SW. This morning appeared to be the best so far.  Warm morning (hi 70's by the time I reached the beach), waist high sets called out.  It was clear as I crossed the Rt. 90 bridge.  Turning onto 38th, Castles is my AM go-to.  Crossing the dune line however, I am greeted by a somewhat dense fog over the break. Mmm, mmm, MMMMMM! Unbelievable.
Hello (hello...hello), is there anybody out there?

Burn it off baby!  Really!  7/14


   Ideal just don't seem to be on the menu this year.  Like a belt that needs adjustment, my timing is just off. Suck it up.  I cracked the surface and paddled out.  The lineup filled out.  The salt air and water filled my head, clearing my attitude as the morning sun burns off the fog...definitely a help to be able to view the beach and oncoming swell.  The first ride, a smooth drop down a shallow, stomach high right comber set the tone. I'm not a morning person, so mornings are rare.  Unless I'm meeting a friend to surf with.  Or, unless like this morning, I'm able to stick to my commitment and get my ass outta bed and on the road.  Glad I did. Need to turn that corner.
Corner of 38th and the Atlantic - nice point.


   Speaking of smooth, a couple of delicious brews on tap for this review.  I begin with Devils Backbone Brewing Company's Striped Bass Pale Ale. At 5.2% ABV and 26 IBUs this one is a nice summer Pale. Pours a deep gold with a one finger white head and fair lacing.  Floral smell with a slight grassy taste. Balanced with a light hop bitterness that gives it a crisp finish. I rated it a B+.

   A summer staple should definitely be Hoegaarden's White Ale. A classic witbier imported from Belgium. Pours a cloudy light yellow with scents of coriander and orange.  Two finger, puffy head- and leaves plentiful detailed lacing as it goes down.  A little sweet, but light. Airy.  Refreshing.  Approximately 15 IBUs.  At 4.9% ABV, it wouldn't hurt to throw back a few of these over a beach bonfire.  Holds up very well in this craft brew era. Rated an A-.
"You look like I need another
beer."             -Anonymous