Saturday, February 25, 2012


It's a rare and humbling phenomenon ... this Auburn Ale House Triple IPA that somehow ended up with my mug on it along with the hilarious catch phrase "Drink to be Sober".
It is an interesting tale, an idea born at the end of one epic that may have created another. As the dying embers of an enchanted hop evening was about to ride off into the sunset of drunkin oblivion Brian Ford and I found ourselves surrounded by the remains of 50+ growlers from around the Western lands wondering "Now what do we do?"
Naturally we did what we often do....sitting with yet another pint creating stupid, and sometimes useful, beer names and slogans.
As best I can recall from that haze of washout memories it was a chance observation of my beard almost falling into the hoppy concoction in front of me or Brian thinking that somehow my scruffy facial hair might make a good cartoon character....In any event after a few free word associations later we both blurted out what came to be the obvious destination of our foolery ....."ZZ Hop!"
For me it was all just good fun and an idea that would have died....but Brian....being the clever, industrious and forward thinking lad that he is had the foresight to scribble it down on the brew board to be found later by a more rational clear thinking version of himself.
Unbeknownst to myself Brian started formulating his Triple IPA recipe during the ensuing months and hatching his diabolical plan to introduce his latest Frankenstein brew creation to the public at the next running of The Bistro's Double/Triple IPA fest that occurs every February as part of San Francisco Beer Week.
For me it is a great tribute that I have trouble wrapping my head around most of the time. Oh how is the beer you say? Good question ... I was fortunate to sample it several times in the brewing process and it put a smile on my face right from the start with it's yellow/Gold pale appearance and smooth reeking Hops flavors.
Today I will actually be sampling the ZZ again at the Sam Horne's Tavern "Folsom Hop Rodeo" along with a dozen or so other extreme IPA's. After that it's off to Sacramento Beer Week's big brew fest at Cal Expo....I'm thinking by the time I ride my bike to Folsom....check out the hoppy brews that Dylan has gathered and then make it out to the fest with The Beer Geek there will be few beers that will still be standing up to my wrecked palate.... Can't wait. As my good buddy Rick likes to say....'Life is good'

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Stupid Bowl

Of course I can say that because my team is once again not playing in 'the big game'. Naturally if my team was participating it would be the greatest game in the past decade....especially if the Chiefs prevailed. Such is the nature of today's sports appreciation I suppose.
I would have preferred the match-up of Conference Championship game losers Baltimore and San Francisco... a result that could easily have happened except for a couple of botched plays at the end of the game by special teams players. Individual players failing in a game predicated on the notion of it's own doctrine of unselfish unity and teamwork. Ironic... and for the fans of the 49ers and Ravens...heartbreaking.
The one unfortunate downside to the 9ers being in the playoffs would be the time I'd have to spend picking unsightly mothballs off all the SF jerseys and team memorabilia that inevitably comes out once the team qualified for the playoffs. I suppose that's typical of many fans of all different teams all over the country but since I live in an area in proximity of the Niners ..... I notice that other 70% of fans that show up only in good times. The fair weather fans.
So good luck to those real Patriot and New Jersey Giants fans out there that have been forced to suffer through three or so years of no Superbowl.... for the rest of you bandwagon jumpers...just eat your guacamole and shut up.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Anyone that knows me for very long eventually get the clue that I'm a huge Frank Zappa fan...well....I guess you could take that a couple different ways...but suffice to say I really dig the cat.
Not that I liked everything he ever did...which is sort of the beauty of Frank....he had something for everybody and pissed off almost everyone at some other time.
I suppose the typical response and stereotype of FZ is that he just does this weird sorta comedy music that can be annoying and tedious.
Sure...he did that...and a lot of it was fucking clever and funny as hell. At one time or another he makes fun of everyone, including himself, and is loath to leave anyone out. He pissed off the Catholics with his classic Catholic Girls and when the complaints came pouring in he offset it by
recording a a song called Jewish Princess. Although it was never a s simple as all that.
Frank was actual a very precise, calculating and disciplined composer and musician. All of his work was scored and if you couldn't read music you couldn't be in his band.
He recorded in the neighborhood of 100 albums to date and still has music in his vaults that will be released for years to come through the Zappa Family trust.
His music runs the gauntlet of Europe there are statues of him because his classical and jazz compositions as so revered and appreciated. He arguably may well be the greatest and most prolific composer of the 20th century.
I started listening to The Mothers of Invention somewhere back in the late 60's and absolutely fell in love with his Hot Rats/Chunga's Revenge/200 Motels period at the end of the decade. I can listen to those albums fact I have the Gumbo Variations playing as I type this. Gotta love Ian Underwood.
I have only about half of the music he's ever released in my archives....which is still far more than
I own of any other group or musician.... I mean...who the hell puts out 100 fricken albums?
Got no idea what I'm talking about?...Well join the club...most of the time I don't just go out and get a copy of Hot Rats....put it in your music creating devise and get ready to go "What the Fuck is this?" And then listen to it again...because I said so Pilgrim. Your life will change.