Archive for the ‘Driving’ Category



   Posted by: BeerMkr

So we got our first snow the other day and I proceeded to be overconfident…

It is amazing how a road can sheet over with ice. I made it almost all the way into town (we are staying out in the country right now) and proceeded to slide right off the road. Good thing I was only going like 3 miles and hour but it is still a little scary! Of course I manage to do this right in front of a police car on the other side of the road. He rolls his window down and says he will call a wrecker.

I didn’t wait. I worked the issue and managed to get back on the road. No big deal with no damage except my pride. The sad thing is I was driving the Probe and I have a 4×4 dodge truck. Should have driven that instead. Hindsight and all that jazz.

We started putting the venting together for the kettle this week. Stainless steel is ridiculously expensive. This stuff is 5 foot pieces of snap vent and was almost $500. For 20ft! I spuppose it could have been worse, it could be copper…

Well enough for now.



Make your kids use their seatbelts!

   Posted by: BeerMkr

Some of you may know that a few years back I witnessed a car wreck on Shore Drive in Virginia Beach. Three teenagers in a S-10 Blazer pulled out in front of a woman and the Blazer was flipped on its side. It spun around once and flipped over ejecting a young girl from the passenger side. She was crushed under the roof of the vehicle. I sprinted across the road and basically lifted the vehicle off of her.

Unfortunately it was no use. She died on the way to the hospital. It was a trajic loss. The driver was her boyfriend and I don’t think he ever got over it. The thing about it is that it could have been prevented. Maybe we will never get teenagers to stop screwing around while they are driving but one thing we can absolutely do is MAKE the wear their seatbelts.

Why this sudden remembering of an accident that happend 5 years ago? On the way home tonight from a movie in Christiansburg we came around a corner on a country road to two cars crushed on each side of the road. It appeared to be a drivers side head on collision. We were the second or thirde ones on the scene and old habits die hard. We each went and assessed the occupants.

One was a mid 20s woman who appeared to have a broken wrist and some bruising from the airbag.

The other was a 16 year old male. He had apparently just gotten his provisionary license and had taken the corner too fast on a dark rainy night and crossed the center line.

Both cars were totalled. His car had no drivers side from the wind shield forward. No windshield and the car was obviously bend through the passenger compartment. The drivers front rim had had the edge of the rim peeled off. Her car was in the same condition. Her door would not open and the roof was buckled.

He was out of the car and concerned about her. He had a broken leg and a broken arm apparently but had gotten out of the car under his own power.

The thing about both of them….. she still had her seatbelt on when I got to her. I assume he had his on because I do not see how he would have lived through the impact otherwise.

Two people, one just a kid and one a young mother saved becasue they had the foresight to buckle a belt on.

If you see your child without a belt on, think about the worst thing that could happen and MAKE them use their belts. Take their license away if you have too. It may save their life.


Driving again…

   Posted by: BeerMkr Tags: , , ,

So I was driving back to Chesapeake from Radford last night and I had the cruise set for about 65-70mph. Maybe a couple miles an hour faster but that is neither here nor there in this story.

I am around Williamsburg and in the left lane (you know, the fast lane) and I come up on a little black car. She is going a little slower than me so I back off the cruise and match speed. I also hang back about 45-50 feet. A reasonable distance. She slows down. I slow down. She speeds up. I speed up. Finally she gets over in the right lane. I speed up a little. and go to pass her.

I swear as I pass by her I look over and she gives me the one finger salute. A little slip of a blonde girl flipped off the 266lb (I have lost 10 pounds) guy in the big diesel truck!

I waved to her and kept going.

Sometimes I wonder about people.

I mean if I had been riding on her tail and flashing my lights and all that ridiculous crap then I could understand the salute. But the fact is that I was not. What prompted this I wonder. Did she feel like she had a right to sit in that lane and somehow I encroached on her rights? Heck if it had kept up I would have passed her on the right if I needed to.

Somewhere we have gone wrong in our society. When I learned to drive I was taught to stay in the right lane unless you were passing someone. I was taught to give way to people getting on the highway. Move over and let them get on. Why be an ass. I guess everyone feels that they should OWN the road, not SHARE it like it should be.

More later…


United States Beer Tasting Championships

   Posted by: BeerMkr

So I get a call yesterday (May 22nd) and find out that someone entered
our Porter in the USBT championships. Lo and behold we were judged as
the best porter in the Mid-Atlantic region and apparently cam in a
close second to the grand champion. The grand champion was Rogue’s
Mocha Porter. All right! Our first award!

I am pretty happy with a second place to Rogue. They make great beers
and have paved the way for may of us.

Gas mileage update: 400 miles – 57 mpg average!

I tell you 60 mph and over pressurized tires are the key to economy.
It still amazes me how fast people drive on the roads. I was driving
home yesterday and saw a blazer and a trailer flipped in the middle of
the highway. A family (2 adults and 3 kids) are already out and only
had bumps and scrapes. Seat belts are an awesome thing. The
interesting part is that the wreck covered both southbound lanes and I
watched people drive around the accident on the median. The car is
upside down and gas is coming out. How much of a hurry can you be in
to chance driving by a potential explosion? Amazing!



Festivals and Commuting

   Posted by: BeerMkr

Well the season has officially started! We attended the Virginia Beer
Festival in Norfolk last weekend and it was a big hit. We served 8
beers including the Springhouse ale and promptly blew that keg. There
were a lot of people and the lines were like 100 deep most of the day.

SAVOR was held in D.C. and Geoff represented the brewery at that
event. He said our beers (Rapadou and Chesapeake Pale Ale) were very
well received. The food pairings hit the mark perfectly and the event
in general got great reviews from all that attended.

Commuting…. why is everyone in a hurry?

I am commuting this week and again I realize why I stay up here each
week normally. I fail to understand why everyone is in a hurry to get
places in the morning. If you think about it the only bad thing about
a good drive to work is that you are at work when it is over. In my
case that is fine, there is beer there!

But anyway, I digress. I was reading a post on a forum that I read
about gas mileage so since I am driving my wifes Toyota Prius this week
I decided to try something. Now the Prius gets great gas mileage
normally (around 50mpg on the highway) so you wouldn’t figure that you
could improve it much. I filled up this morning and set all the tire
pressures to 50psi. The tire says 44 so they are a little over
pressurized. This is an at your own risk thing to try. My commute is
55 miles in the morning and I set the cruise control at 60 mph. So how
was the mileage this morning?

Hold on to you hat…… 60.9mpg. Average.

Now admittedly that is one 60 mile trip but we will see what it does
the rest of the week.

Well back to brewing!