Monday, February 23, 2015

V Avenue Freeze Out, notes from the Rogue

Ocean City's frozen Gold Coast. Assawoman Bay, 2/17/2015.                         -C. Parypa photo

   February has pretty much ushered in the consistently cold night to night and unfortunately has taken to leaching into the day to day.  Bays frozen over. Rivers frozen over.  Even Lake Michigan had a thick ring of ice around it. Mid-month with a Valentine snow storm on the shore. Just as I returned from Chicago. Nice timing. Then the real cold hit. Teens and single digits, with a few below zero nights for good measure. The Atlantic's water temp at thirty-four. Yeah, 34 degrees. So usually I'm keepin' an eye on the ocean temps, watching for warming trends. See when I can begin counting the days before re-entering the surf. No trending. No warming. No counting happenin'. I've taken to watching for the warming days/nights versus the warming water. Watching. Waiting.
V Avenue freeze-out. Boardwalk snowstorm, 2/16/2015.   -C. Parypa photo

   Chicagoland.  Truly in the midst of a deep freeze. Wind chills kept us in the single digits. My fiance and I visited the Shedd Aquarium over the Valentines Day weekend. Tropical fish surrounded by ice. Nice. The sharks were lovin' it.
Ready to trade in for a heavier grey suit.

Stoked Chi-time, 2/13/2015

   For beer, a different kind of review...Revolution Brewing brewpub on North Milwaukee Ave. Dinner. Accompanied by sixteen (yes, 16) brews on tap of which we sampled five and came up with our joint favorite, BATTLE OF WIL'S.  Mild at 32 IBUs. A Red Ale that was fairly sessionable clocking a fair 5.3% ABV. Nice malt spine with a hop bite that was not over the top.

Without getting into a major ratings spreadsheet here, the other beers were tasty as well (Juke Box Hero-excellent IPA, Coffee Eugene- a rather bland Porter).  A full menu offering. The home-made beer pretzel was very good. Smokestack pulled pork pizza most excellent. I would highly recommend this joint to anyone visiting downtown Chicago. A true billabong. Will keep any Bodhi, foodie or beer geek amped. Overall rating for Revolution A-.
Filling gaps. V Day weekend, 2/13/2015

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Winter Bitch 'N Moan Sesh, notes from the Rogue.

Wind chilled Assateague coastline, early February evening. OC inlet.

   Hate the cold nights. Fu#king daytime temps fluctuating up and down. Sunlight every third day. Stiff. Sore. Haven't felt 100% in who knows how long. Cold rain. Sometimes sleet. No snow, but icy mornings. Damn water's in the upper 30's for $hit's sake. The other evening when I met a friend for dinner in Ocean City; the wind chill was in the teens.  Lemme tell ya, an off-shore wind chill off that cold-ass ocean ain't not joke.  I'll say it again...wind kills. This winter can't get over soon enough. Yeah, I'm bitchin'.
  Snow Roller, some dude who surfs the cold spreading a blanket of the ice dust across the countryside. F'k him too. However, Magic Hat's cold seasonal somewhat helps with the blah blahs being dealt with across my shore. Satisfying hoppy Brown Ale. Pours a light cloudy reddish brown with a khaki head. More caramel than chocolate in the whole biscuity-malt core. But the hops make this for me. Good 'ole piney, grapefruity, hop-bitter finish.  That's what gives it a B rating.

"There's beauty and lots of carefree pleasure
in beer. But, it will  absolutely slap your ass
down if you don't approach it with the right
attitude."                        -Justin Housman