This is my attempt to create some interesting musings, uberservations and, perhaps, insights on both my personal and professional life.


Friday, June 29, 2007

Why Visit Redding, California

My dad and step-mom are quite the drivers. Two or three times a year, they pack up the Volvo (safety first) and head for some seemingly boring place in California's Central Valley, the Northwest US, the desert, or the Midwest.

Their latest jaunt takes them through Redding, California. Redding is known for two things: 1. being really hot and 2. being close to Mt. Shasta and Lake Shasta (great for house-boating and water-skiing).

It turns out, though, that there is one other really cool thing there. Have you checked out the Sundial Bridge in Redding? It's a foot bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava, the Spanish architect who designed, among other things, the Milwaukee Art Museum -- which is also pretty cool, apparently.

Otherwise, what attracts my dad and step-mom to Redding is Mount Lassen , the lesser known of California's two big volcanos.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Those Warm English Beers

I posed the following question to my British friend, Nick Morely:

What is the name of those warm English beers that you get in pubs in England? Hand pull? Hand pour?

And Nick replied with this thoughtful and thorough answer:

You are referring to a cask ale. These are typically beers that are kept at room temperature or very slightly chilled in casks.

Unlike the beer which appears from one your taps, those traditional British ales have no gas added between the time the ale leaves the cask and whence it appears from the tap. Therefore the bar maid has to pull down the pump to generate pressure to draw up the beer and into the glass or you would simply draw it straight off the cask via a tap. They probably represent less than 10% of the beers that get sold in UK, as most people drink lagers or ales which have gas added between cask and tap.

You would order these beers by name by seeing what was on offer rather than saying give me a “hand pull”. Honestly, if you asked someone in my local for a hand pull you would get your nose broken.

Anytime you can use "whence" in a sentence is alright by me.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Nessie, is it you?

When I was a kid, in the 70's, the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot were in their prime. Any kid with even a small imagination couldn't swim in a pond or a lake without thinking about getting gobbled up by Nessie and certainly could walk through a forest without finding Big Foot's prints.

The great news is that Nessie is back in the media! Great news for kids of the 2000's - now they can be scared like I was 30 years ago!

She's been spotted and filmed and this time it's for real!