Posts Tagged 'travel'
2015-01-10

For a while now, I've been blabbering about diversifying the variety of life in the pond. The way I see it, having a variety of fish will keep any one species from overrunning the pond. Similarly, by making sure there are plenty of small fish and not just a few very large fish, when the otters come by for a visit they won't eat all of the fish.

After looking around for a nearby hatchery, I found http://freshwaterfishco.com/. They are only open to the public for an incredibly limited time, and today happened to be one of those times.

Time to hit the road!

Pitstop

Halfway to the hatchery, my stomach started rumbling and I needed some food.

A burger no-toast, no-onion, with chilis, and some fries crispy later, I was back on the road.

A Simple Sign

Oops, I drive past this on my first go. Considering that I wrote down the directions and then forgot to take them with me, this isn't surprising.

Dear Awesome Fish Hatchery,
Get a sandwich board. :)

Big Tanks

There are some massive tanks and ponds at the hatchery, but since the ponds are in the ground and there are no elevated places to stand, I didn't try to take a pic of the ponds.

Smaller Tanks

On "open to the public" days, the hatchery opens up the barn that contains all of the smaller tanks where cutesy wootsy little fish are raised.

Not quite a cat

One day, perhaps, I will get a white sturgeon or two.....

Perhaps.

Anyway, after this pic was taken, I purchased some catfish and headed home. Instead of taking the shortest route, I instead opted to take a more circuitous path through the South-East of Elk Grove, CA and skirt Sacramento altogether.

Meow Meow

This is what I purchased: 20 channel catfish that are of a size that won't be easy food for the existing fish in the pond, and are smaller than a good meal for the no-good otters.

More Meow

As I was releasing the catfish into the pond, someone decided to see what I was up to. Hi Buddy!

Meow meow meow.

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2012-04-15

On March 31st 2012, I competed in the Northern California Beard and Mustache Championships in Folsom California. It was fun.

Ready to Roll

On Friday afternoon, Sweety and I hopped in the Ghia for the drive north-east. The plan was to spend the evening with family in Auburn, visit a cidery, and then compete on Saturday.

The trip took us through the California Central Valley and we stopped at a roadside stand for some yummy snacks.

Upon arriving in Auburn, we took a drive over the Foresthill Bridge, the tallest bridge in California.

Cider

I really wanted to checkout the tasting room of the Fox Barrel Cidery in Colfax, but they were closed for renovations. Taking a quick trip to the local store, I picked up a bottle of Fox Barrel to sample.

mmmmm, that's good Rhubarb & Elderberry. Seriously, it was a damn good cider, but I would prefer something a bit drier. Next time.

Onward to Folsom!

Damn, that was a hairball drive.
If you haven't driven in an early 60s Volkswagen in the Northern California rains, I suggest you make sure your window seals aren't leaking like a sieve.

Note to Self: replace all of the seals on the Ghia this summer. Seriously, I need to use my shamwow to suck up the water on my dashboard.

In other news, the mirror was rock solid. Booyah!

Quest for a Scotch

When I compete, I like to have a scotch on the rocks while getting ready. So with arms intertwined, the ladyfriend and I walked about old town Folsom in search for a beverage. On the way we stopped for some nice Thai food.

At the local Circle-K, I picked up a little bottle of The Glenlivet. While in the store, I spotted a bag of mojito. Wow.

Dear world, if you are buying your mixed drink by the bag, there is a good chance that you approve of the Bond franchise selling out to Heineken.

The Contest

Donning my "California poppy orange tie and armed with a Johnnie Walker Red, I strutted my stuff on stage and finally managed to win myself a trophy: Second Place in Sideburns.

After receiving my trophy, I shared my scotch with my fellow competitors; a great group of people.

Note to self: In order to win, you need to drink your own scotch and not the judge's whiskey. Note taken.

All in all, I had a damn fine time, with some damn fine people. There where new faces and old, stories, styles, and scotch. Thanks http://www.moustacheandbeardsocialclub.com/, I had a great time.

Now the question is... where to go next?

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2012-04-16 Alison Chaiken:
Does the Trophy qualify you for the London Olympics? Or has the US already picked its Sideburns squad?
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2012-03-04

On February 24th, I put on my flippy floppies and headed out to the airport to fly to Austin Texas for the 6th annual Misprint Magazine Beard and Moustache Competition where I was going to compete in the "Fiercest Chops" category.

This is the first stop sign that I came across while traveling to the airport. Sorry vandal, I needed to get there quick.

Upon arriving in Texas, I hopped in a cab to my buddy Randall's place. Aside from having a seriously sweet set of chops, Randall also had a couch that he was kind enough to let me sleep on while I was in Texas.

Hey, it's lady's night.
The first night of the event was for the Whiskerinas to strut their stuff and get crafty with their beards. It was during this event that I started sampling the fine beers of the Austin area. Pearl-Snap from Austin Beerworks was probably my favorite, and Fireman's #4 by Real Ale Brewing was another tasty beverage that tickled my fancy.

There were plenty of awesome beards and staches in the Whiskerinas event, but lamentably there were no sideburns. Similarly, my N900 doesn't take good pictures in low light, so I have very few pictures from the event. Actually, I spent a lot of the time eyeing up my competition and greeting friends that I met last year at Nationals.

The Event

The Main Event was held at the Mohawk on 10th street. In front of 1400 spectators, sideburns, beards, and mustaches were displayed in hopes of winning fame and glory.

So how did I do?
It was cold that night: low 40s, upper 30s; and there happened to be a bottle of Jameson whiskey on the judges table. Apparently one can accrue negative points for drinking the judges whiskey and about 7 ounces later, I was out of the standing. Fortunately, My buddy Warren took First Place and Randall took Second Place, so I still had plenty of reason to celebrate.

Things I saw about town

  • An Edsel, on the road and not in a scrap heap
  • When is the Ghostbusters play coming to Petaluma?
  • When you get the chance, hang out with Beard Team Canada. You won't meet nicer people.
  • Hopefully Steve Scarpa and his wonderful stache and family will be in Petaluma for the 2012 Whiskerino.
  • Who doesn't love some Star Trek?
  • "Bad Dudes" at the Grackle
  • Stop Shaving
  • Drive through beer store

Aside from the Whiskey incident, the only downside of the trip was getting groped at the Airport. Texas, why do you hate the Fourth Amendment?

Back to the Whiskey

Am I allowed to blame Jameson? Probably not, so I am giving myself a new challenge: drink the judge's whiskey without getting caught. In a sense, the gauntlet has been thrown down and this affront to my sideburns will not stand. Therefor, it is my duty to steal a particular judge's drink whenever possible. You have been duly warned.

Time to put on a sweet shirt and relive some memories. See you in Vegas.

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2011-10-15

On Friday the 7th of October, I traveled to Lancaster Pennsylvania to compete in 2011 National Beard and Mustache Championships. Having spent a decade and a half in Eastern Pennsylvania, there were a few important things that I wanted to do during my visit.

  1. Drink a Yuengling
  2. Eat a soft pretzel
  3. Eat some scrapple
  4. Eat a cruller (yea, I failed on this one. boohoo)

Family Time

Fortunately for me, my mother was in town visiting and she gave me a ride to the airport. Since one should never fly on an empty stomach, before leaving I had a wonderful breakfast with my mother and sister at Q.

My buddy Ben cures and smokes his own bacon. and let me tell you, he has set the bacon bar rather high. Damn that is some good stuff. Why am I telling you this? Because Ben's bacon has pretty much ruined all other bacon for me. However, the bacon at Q was almost as good, and that is saying a lot. Thanks Q.

Crap at the Airport

What can I say, I'm a sucker for old technology and I was quite happy to see the exhibit of really old televisions in the San Francisco airport.

Yuengling

This is the first picture that I took after landing in Pennsylvania. After checking into my hotel, I walked to the bar next door and was greeted with a laughing "of course" when I asked if they had Yuengling in a bottle. mmmm delicious.

When I returned to California, I ordered a Yuengling Clone kit for homebrewing, so hopefully in about a month and a half, I'll have about 5 gallons of almost Yuengling to enjoy.

The Sung (AKA the Competition)

The competition was a rather fun affair (at least for me). It was a nice chance to meet a lot a great people with great stashes, beards, goatees, sideburns, and bits in-between. Results are available at the Beard Team USA website.

The Unsung

There are three things that made this "Meeting of the Beardos" so wonderful.

  1. The Competitors
  2. The Event Staff
  3. The Fans

As I was sweating in the shade, I realized that Jack Passion ( the event announcer) was wearing a dark suit in the sun for hour after hour. Damn, props to you buddy.

If there is one thing I learned about my fellow follicle friends, it is that getting them to organize for anything is like herding cats; and the event staff did a wonderful job of getting people where they needed to be, when they needed to be there.

Obviously those deaf judges didn't hear the fans yelling "10" (my number) when my group was on stage and that is OK, because I heard them. At the time, I thanked the fans with hugs, handshakes, and high-fives; and I'd like to do it again. Thank you, thank you all.

Scrapple

On the second night of post competition celebration, it was decided by many to sample the fine cuisine of a local greasy spoon, and as fate would have it, scrapple was indeed on the menu. Lamentably, when I tried to take a picture of my scrapple, I discovered that my trusty coffee camera was missing and I became rather sad. Not because the camera was gone, but because the pictures that were on the camera were lost to me.

With the camera gone, there were a few things that I didn't get a picture of

  • The Yuengling Brewery (I sort of drove an hour and a half in the wrong direction before I bought a map and sorted things out)
  • my old hometown
  • my old house

The End

The biggest downside of the trip was not getting to see my brother and new sister-in-law, whose wedding I had to miss to due an injury. As far as the competition is concerned, my only gripe is that there wasn't a separation of sideburns and goatees into distinct categories. Oh well, maybe next time. Speaking of next time.... It looks like I'll be in Austin, TX in February for their Beard and Mustache Competition.

I'd like to thank the Boston Crew, Austin Facial Hair Club, Northern Los Angeles Beard and Mustache Club, and Beard Team Canada for being the best bunch of people I could have hoped to meet on such a trip. I'll see you in Vegas.

Finally, I would like to apologize to Joe Blossom for my being a bit too deaf and inebriated to hold a proper conversation and failure to welcome you properly to the United States.

Comments
2011-10-16 Alison Chaiken:
Too bad about no sideburns! You would definitely be showing off a trophy now.

When I visit Pennsylvania, I'm definitely all over the soft pretzels, although SMOKED WHITEFISH is my number one priority. I like the Yuengling Porter too, although I always have a Schmidt's for old-time sake. I also favor Philadelphia-style hoagies and snarf some roasted chestnuts. Good thing I just finished dinner, or I'd be jonesing for whitefish now.
2011-10-17 mom:
Enjoyed the story and the telling of same. Bespeaks a great sense of humor. "You can't go home again" so glad the trip was fun. Too bad about the camera.
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