Monday, February 28, 2011

This month can't end soon enough

Just a few more hours, and then this stupid February will be over and done with for good. I have to say it has been a pretty miserable month.

I'm afraid that as much as I tried to not let it, my SAD has most likely cropped up yet again. Of course by the time I realize and/or admit that it is back, it is too late to do much about it because it will naturally be going away before any meds can affect it. I've noticed it the most the past couple of weeks, and feel a bit frustrated about it.

I'm sick of winter, the snow, the cold, the ice, and the dark. And being grey and wet outside isn't really any better. Slipping on the icy steps last week as I was warning my son that they were slick and falling on my ass doesn't do much to help my mood either.

I need to get out and at least walk some - as well as actually start a new, real exercise program and diet. I haven't gotten it turned on in my head just yet, but it is a lot closer, and I'm getting to the point that I simply can't stand to be in my own body anymore - huffing and wheezing over every flight of stairs and straining just to bend down, tie my shoes or pick up something off the floor.

While the operation in December eliminated the numbness and burning in my hand, it is still sore and that frustrates me, and the scar is right where I rest my hand when I use the computer mouse, and that is uncomfortable.

So just venting a little, before crawling back in my cave as I wait for this damnable winter to end for good.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cincy Beer Festival

So I thought I would write up a bit of a review of the Cincinnati Beer Fest that we attended tonight. Understand, I'm not beer expert nor professional reviewer, just a person who likes craft beer and brews a few of my own. I have very little to compare it against (all of one other event, the Miami Valley BeerFest last October).

Promotions before hand were good. While we don't get the Cincinnati Citybeat paper up here in Dayton, I was able to find it on the web ahead of time, and it was a nice supplement. I bought the VIP tickets before Christmas when they were on sale, and were a good deal ($30 for VIP tickets).

It was easy to find, and parking was adequate in a lot across the street for $10 (event price).

We enter the convention center, and the organization seems a bit weak. There are no signs at all for Designated Driver tickets (which were not available beforehand, which makes sense to me).

There were enough people showing up early on Saturday that they actually opened for VIP tickets just after 6 instead of 6:30. However Diane had to walk all the way back to the front of the convention center to stand in other lines to pay her $10 as a DD - for which she got admission and two free bottles of water. I much, much preferred the MVBF where the DD simply paid as they entered, and got a coupon for a glass as they left. DD's here got no glass, and pretty much nothing for their $10. Sorry, saying they got admission into a beer tasting event where they would not be tasting beer was not worth the $10.

The hall had vendors all around the outside and in the middle, and then a few tables all the way in the back. I immediately noticed there was no list of vendors or beers. It took me quite some time to find copies of the newspaper insert, and while a great promotional tool, it was not updated to reflect the actual vendors and beers. Several beers in the listing were not there, and others that were were not in the listing. Some simply had "to be announced", which was even more frustrating. We found several other people also looking for a guide.

The food seemed ok, if a little overpriced. For an event like this, I think the best is to have little, easy finger type food available. I thought that the MVBF with the 3/$1 eggrolls from Thai/9 and the $1 ribs were great (though Chappy's booth there was fairly poor - serving a $6 pulled pork sandwich that was half the size it should have been for the price). Montgomery Inn's pulled pork sandwich was good, their chips w/ warm BBQ sauce were great, and the big soft pretzels (with warm butter on them) were really good. The hamburgers were making me drool every time I walked by, though they still seemed to be regular concessions burgers - but it could have been the beer making me hungry.

For the first couple hours it was really great - you could walk up and get your samples, and there was enough seating. Then the general admission let in, and a fun event went to a huge, crowded madhouse. The floor was simply packed with people - you could barely move. People would get a sample, and because it was so crowded were unable to move from the front of the table to let others in, so you felt like you were always fighting through crowds and pushing in front of others to get a sample.

Some of them did have actual lines - though it was very difficult to tell where the line was as compared to the heaving mass of bodies in the main area just milling around and talking. Back at our table (which we wanted because Diane, despite the new knee, still can't stand around for 4-5 hours) - it was a near fight to keep our chairs, as there simple weren't enough for this huge mass of humanity.

I started getting very frustrated. I would fight my way through the heaving throng, only to get to a booth that did no have the beer that I wanted to try because the newspaper supplement was out of date, only to have to turn around and fight my way back to our table. What started out very enjoyable was becoming less and less so.

We met some fun people and had some good conversations over some excellent beer samples. I liked that there were also some other vendors and organizations there aside from the beer vendors - I want to follow up with both the American Homebrew Association and

However, in the end we left about an hour before it closed. I was getting more and more frustrated trying to find samples I wanted, and the gradual smell of where some one had vomited began to fill the area we were sitting in, so I knew it was time to go.

Overall I was not happy. While this is a bigger venue than in the past, it seems that instead of making it better and spreading it out, they just added more and more people. For the crowd that was there, I felt they should have opened the adjoining exhibit hall as well. The lack of seating was frustrating, both for us and all the people we saw later needing seats simple to be able to eat a sandwich. We had a much better time at MVBF - simply because it was less crowded and had adequate seating. At this point while we really look forward to both AleFest and MV BeerFest this year, we are not so excited about heading back to Cincy BeerFest in 2012.

Friday, February 04, 2011

I do not support Heart Disease or Breast Cancer!

Not wearing red today. I've heard that today is wear red to support heart disease in women. Personally I think this is a bad thing, so I am not wearing red as an act against Heart Disease in Women. It is a bad thing and should not be supported, instead we should support the women against heart disease.

Just like all those pink ribbons supporting breast cancer. We should be protesting against such an awful disease not supporting it!

How about we set up a day to actually support the people who have diseases, and those working for the cure, instead of supporting the diseases?

Or even better, how about a day to support the proper use of English to express what it is we mean! What a concept! And then maybe instead of making a facebook update about it, or wearing a ribbon or shirt, you could actually go out and volunteer and really help someone, or donate to a cause. And while I'm a big, big fan of Boobie Wednesday (because I enjoy pictures of women's breast just as much as the next heterosexual man), does changing your avatar for a day or posting a facebook status really do anything?

We need a lot less people saying they support something, and a lot more of people actually doing the support of a cause, whatever cause it may be.