Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fun Mail - My May Beer of the Month Delivery

Today was fun mail day. My Beer of the Month Club package came in the mail. And what did I receive?

Inside the box were four Green-Thumb Ginger Root Unfiltered IPA from Garden Brewers in Hamilton. Should be quite interesting.  Nickle Brook Breweries, who I have written about before, supplied four Continental Drift Belgium Style Pale Ales. Should be nice. Finally there were four Ransack the Universe Hemisphere IPA's from Collective Arts Brewing, another brewery that I have tasted beer from.

Looking forward to trying them all!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Book Review - You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes

When Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield was on his third and last mission in space aboard the the International Space Station (ISS) from December 19, 2012, to  to May 13, 2013, he took thousands and thousands of pictures. In his first book, An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth, Hadfield told the story of his life, career and his three missions to space. In Your Are Here, Around the World in 92 Minutes, the focus is on the pictures that he took while in command of the ISS.

In "You Are Here", astronaut Chris Hadfield creates a surprisingly intimate and compelling visual essay about the planet we live on, choosing the best from the thousands of photos he took on the International Space Station.

Chris Hadfield's new book shows us our home--our city, country, continent, our whole planet--from a unique perspective. Curated from images never before shared, Chris's big picture reveals why our planet looks the way it does and why we live where we do. Chris sees more in these images than we do, not just because he's spent months in space but because his in-depth knowledge of geology, geography and meteorology allows him to read the mysteries the photos reveal.

"You Are Here" opens a singular window on our planet, using remarkable photographs to illuminate the history and consequences of human settlement, the magnificence (and wit) of never-before-noticed landscapes, and the power of the natural forces shaping our world and the future of our species.

This is a fun book. The pictures are incredible. On some pages are images of earth that take the shape of animals, birds and fishes. The book is organized by continents and Hadfield in just a sentence or two gives his interpretation of what the photo is about. Some of his comments can really make you think.

If you think images of earth are amazing from Google maps, you will be blown away from the photos that make up this book.

Above is a picture of Toronto at night which Hadfield sent via tweet on January 19, 2013

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Toronto Rock Wins Big, Advances to NLL Championship Series

The Toronto Rock ended their season in first place with a 14-4 record. Two of those losses were against the Rochester Knighthawks. Toronto won the first game of the season against them and then lost their next two regular season games. Last week in the first game of the Eastern final, they lost 10-9. Tonight it was win game one, then win the 10 minute mini-game or bye-bye Rock.

10,210 fans were rocking from the moment the Rock came charging out into the arena.

Rochester fans were in attendance.

Everyone sang the Canadian national anthem along with Scotty Newlands. After that, the Rock gathered for one more talk.

Opening face-off.

The fans were boisterous all night.

It was easy to see that the Rock were in no mood for a loss. Brett Hickey scored just 30 seconds into the game and again a minute later. Stephan Leblanc added another goal at the 3:20 mark for a very quick 3-0 lead. The Rock out ran, out scored and out hit the Knighthawks for most of the game.

 The Toronto Rock Cheerleaders kept the crowd going.

At the half, the Rock led 8-3.

Stephan Leblanc scored a minute ten in the third quarter and now we just sat back to wait for the series deciding mini-game. The only problem was, it seemed the Rock did too. Rochester wasn't going down that easy and scored the next three goals to end the third and another minute into the fourth quarter. Suddenly that comfortable 8-3 lead was cut to an nervous 9-7 lead with 14 minutes to go!

Iggy came on with the cheerleaders at a break.

Toronto then scored a short handed goal and held off Rochester for eight minutes before putting in an insurance goal. In the end the Rock took the game 11-8 before a very excited crowd.

Then it was nailbiting time. A ten minute min-game to decide who would go to the championship finals. Iggy kept the crowd going!

Even the normally smiling cheerleaders were intense.

We all shouldn't have been. Very early, just 29 seconds in fact, Josh Sanderson put in this goal.

After three minutes of play, the Rock were up 3-0 and were not letting up for a second. After just six minutes of play and with less than four minutes to go, they had a commanding 7-0 lead. For Rock fans it was all fun. The Rochester fans started to leave when the score was 5-0. When it was all over the Rock were victorious with a 8-2 slaughter of the Knighthawks.

Fans had been given rally towels before the game and they were strewn all over the playing surface in celebration.

As great as the offence was, Brandon Miller in net made some huge saves to allow the offence to take charge. In the final quarter of the first game when Rochester was coming on, there was no scoring for eight minutes, mainly because of the great play of Miller, who deservedly was the nights first star.

Next Saturday night at 7 pm, the Rock host the Edmonton Rush in game one of the best of three championship finals. Teena had to miss tonight's game as she was flying home from St. Lucia where she was on vacation with her sister. We'll both definitely be there together next week for that opening game.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Beer of the Week - Fernie Brewing Companies Quiet Rye'T Rye IPA

Teena came back from Winnipeg a couple weeks ago with a bunch of beer that I can't get here in Ontario. Among them was a single 650 ml bottle of Quiet Rye'T Rye IPA from Fernie Brewing Company located naturally, in Fernie BC.

The brewery opened in 2003 and operated out of the Pask Family barn. They grew in popularity and in 2007 moved to their present building. Looking at the pictures of the brewery, it has to one of the most beautiful settings that I have ever seen a brewery located in.

Fernie Brewing operates what they call the Cheers to Charity program where 100% of all money customers spend on tastings go to local Fernie charities. The program started in 2013 and they have raised almost $10,000 in that time.

So what about the beer?

I couldn't find any proof of this but it's possible that this beer's name "Quiet Rye'T" is a tribute or play on the name of Quiet Riot, a rock band from the 1970s.

The beer pours amber in colour with a slightly off white head. I find rye pale ales have a distinct aroma, and this one has it. One reason I enjoy rye pale ales is that there is nice bite that comes from the rye in the malt, followed by a great hop bitterness. This ale has all this. The bottle says that there are peppercorns in this, but I didn't pick up any pepper or spice in the flavour. Then again, I will always admit that I don't have the best palate either.

It's a terrific beer that I would have again. I would love to be able to buy it from that beautiful brewery in person.

Beer of the Week Stats

Beers Profiled 279
Breweries 249
Countries 47

Monday, May 18, 2015

Blue Jays End Five Game Losing Streak, Beat Angles

This afternoon the Toronto Blue Jays were at home against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  That's what they're called now. From 1961, when they came into the American League to 1965, they were the Los Angeles Angels. For 30 years from 1966 to 1996, they were the California Angels. Then they changed to the Anaheim Angels till the end of 2004 and chose to have one of the longest monikers in sport, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Anyways, they came in with a 19-18 record against the Jays 17-22. The Jays were on a five game losing streak and things need to turn around.

Here's a hint. If you have a chance at section 239R, Row 1, Seat 8, here is what you will see. This is if you sit back.

Leaning forward is OK and you don't annoy the guy beside you.

Of course, it could be worse. Here is the view from seat 9.

Stretching out before the game. Wish I was this flexible.

The roof was open.

We were mooned all afternoon by tower walkers.

Toronto Pitcher Redmond and catcher Martin make their way onto the field.

Rookie pitchers are required to wheel out the bullpen gear in a pink suitcase.

First pitch.

The ball might be in the dirt but Bautista pounded this for a single.

Ryan Goins is clearly out at third.

The game started great with the Jays blasting into a 4-0 lead in the second inning. The Angels, though, scored three runs in the fourth and another two in the sixth to go up 5-4.

I love to move over to this area in centre field. Not only do they have a much better selection of beer, including Goose Island IPA, but the angles for photos is much better.

In the bottom of the sixth, Russel martin Doubled for the Jays, scoring two runs and another two runs came in later in the inning to give the Jays an 8-5 lead.

A big swing and a miss for Encarnacion.

Jose Bautista stroked a two run homer in the seventh to seal the victory. The celebration in the field.

Winning is always fun.

Hopefully this is the start of a good run. The Jays need it!