Friday, February 27, 2015

An Evening with Schlafly Triple Ale

DSC_8872  Or Tripel ale…..Guess the spelling is there for copyright purposes.   Well,  We finally tapped into the bottle.   I was told it would taste like the Belgium Style Wheat Ale….but I don’t think it did.  DSC_8874 It was rather spicy and “interesting”  Like Ommegung.  I was expecting a yeasty wheat flavor with a little hint of fruit.  


Not that that was a bad beer.   It was good.   But ultimately tasted like several others in that niche.  So if you are looking for a spicy interesting beer….give this one a try.   It may turn out to be your new favorite.


B9315361011Z_1_20141205174926_000_GEU9B0ROT_1-0 As for other things.  We joined Barb at the new diner in Iowa City….Called: Ride.   It is a bicycle themed restaurant.  My first impression was that it was going to be an overpriced “atmosphere” place…..with expensive microscopic portions,  common food items, and expensive ( think: overpriced common) beer.   B9315361011Z_1_20141205174926_000_GEU9B0RPO_1-0

I was wrong…..It is true that it had great atmosphere.  But the Food was Awesome!   Even the grilled Peanut butter and Jelly Sandwich was a winner!   Cheryl and I both had a bacon grilled cheese.   I had the white bean soup.  ( With Generous chunks of ham!) while Cheryl had the fries. 

untitled The Grilled Peanut butter and Jelly was done well with home made Bread,  Handmade Jelly mix of strawberry, raspberry, and Blackberry fruits….al grilled to perfection. 2ride-tables9559   On the end:  Cheryl has hinted that she would like to visit there again…perhaps this weekend.   We probably would have never found this place if Barb had not mentioned it.  It was located in the city…but not in the heart of town were parking is a hassle.

Cheryl plans another 13.5 mile run tomorrow.   Maybe we will head there to celebrate the completion.   We shall see. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

And Back to Cardstock Origami

DSC_8855 Just a quick post on the cardstock equivalent of the Bulldog.   Not really new here,  I have folded a bulldog before.   I was actually surprised this came out better than the towel origami. ( My opinion anyway)   Enjoy the Pics! 





Tomorrow, we are going out with Barb….I’m actually looking forward to it.   Hopefully we can find something on the menu that is not too crazy….and Hopefully the Weather will hold out…. I guess it is going to snow 3-5 inches.  

If you are reading this, Barb…See you tomorrow!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Paper Towel Origami?

DSC_8830      I’m not sure how I feel about this one.   Folding models  with sheets of Viva and foil.  The Viva is tough and cloth-like,  but is small, thick-ish, and uniformly white.  I guess all paper has its limits after all….but i want to see how it would look. DSC_8833 








So I chose a couple of fairly simple models to see how things would turn out.  The Paper towel stayed glued to the foil,  which is usually an issue  I think the bulldog head should have turned out better, but is is not terrible.  I really like how the pig turned out.DSC_8836 


I’ll have to explore this a bit more.   The size of the starting paper is only about 11 inches square.  I could experiment on making larger sheets,  but that could open up a Pandora's box of problems.  They also look “flocked” .  Cheryl thinks this is a good thing.  I’m not really a fan of fuzzy paper, but at least it does not look like that expensive Korean paper I occasionally play with.DSC_8834 

As for color,  Cheryl says we can dye the towel any number of colors if we want to experiment more.  An interesting proposal as the paper may have to get wet, then dry then glue up to the foil.  I have tried to wet fold this paper before without the foil and it was a disaster!  DSC_8837




So enjoy the pics.   And I’ll see if I can fold up some cardstock versions later to compare them.  Enjoy!






Saturday, February 21, 2015

Why Does Everyone Hate Joggers? Especially Owls?

As mentioned previously in this blog,  Cheryl, my wife, has taken up jogging…I guess the correct tern is running….because…it is technically running.  Maybe a bit slower than a short distance sprint, but still faster than walking.   Anyway,   Cheryl has encountered several articles and news feeds about the persecution and mud slinging that has been aimed at people who workout by running in the snow.   What is their problem? snow-jogger_1550920i   The Mud Slingers…not the runners.  Is the idea of exercise that foreign to the majority of Americans that they have to publicly berate the folks who are out there trying to stay out of the healthcare fiasco by staying in shape?  Perhaps it is inconceivable that some people  can not afford the astronomical gym memberships that allow for heated running in place on a treadmill while watching reruns of Oprah.    

I know:  Run-on sentences.  When things excite me I tend to leave out the pauses called “punctuation.”   But I digress….

8ae5b27e1475b51913c2077fd48a0c70 Having been a runner myself for a time,   I can tell you one thing…running is difficult!   It is VERY difficult to start running  to begin with….and then it is difficult to stay with running and form the habit.   But when you do, and you  have developed a routine where you are running a few miles everyday…..people begin to scoff at you.   It is not like runners are going to take over the world.  I’m fairly certain that people who run are in the minority here in this country.    Only about 1% of Americans run a marathon each year.   So all those couch potatoes are safe….( including myself…..I don’t run….so I can talk about the group because I’m one of them!)

Now, before I ruffle too many feathers….. this post is not going to be about those people who lash out against any group they feel threatened by….Oh no…..barredowl This post originally was about how the local wildlife in Oregon are  climbing on the band wagon to persecute joggers with their violent behavior.  Apparently,  Owls….specifically: Barred Owls,   Have been attacking people who run…..not walk….not bike….just runners.  

Now I’m not sure why runners have to bear the brunt of this species ire….maybe the owls read the papers and think that is is “ok” to attack a group of people that no one likes.   “Leave the Children  and pets alone Barney!!    Just focus on the humans that are running!   No one gives a crap about those.”

barred-owl-left-and-spotted-owl-portland-zoo_595 The government has spent millions trying to kill the Barred Owl…not for their hostility towards the joggers…..but because they are camping out in the “Spotted Owl’s Territory.”   (Nice to know where the Government’s Priorities lie.)   Now, everyone knows that the Government NEVER plays favorites…..and the Barred Owl is simply  playing the game according to the rules that Darwin and Mother Nature have set up….you know:  survival of the fittest.  Graph2 If the Spotted Owl was So Special,  they would be able to stake a claim for the best trees in the forest and compete for chipmunks like every other feathered creature.   But Once Uncle Sam gets in the game…well there was bound to be a backlash to the affirmative action directed against the Barred Owl.  And this is the coarse of action that they chose:  Attacking Joggers!

 1399664542606 So the local government has taken the situation  seriously… Finally!….Now that SEVERAL attacks have occurred.  You would think that they would round up a posse and get those Federal Permits to,  “Gun those feathered vermin down!”  I’m sure they have weighed the repercussions that PETA would have if that scenario were to be realized. salem-owls-sign-01302015 Instead…..they have decided to set up signs warning the joggers  that the Barred owls are specifically selecting them to attack and that joggers who run at dusk should wear appropriate safety gear.    it-s-no-hoot-oregon-city-to-post-signs-about-attacking-owl


And,  they have set up easy to understand signs for those runners who can not read.  


thQJ2GAW96 Maybe owls actually like the joggers…and are trying to fly down and give them a hug.   Who knows?     Bottom line is:  being a runner is not all sunshine and roses.   Now that Animals are getting in on the act….the challenges are no longer simply finding the motivation to run on a given day. jaecksowlsignshirt

On a good note:  there is a chance that a new product line will be born in the wake of the attacks.   T-shirts with logos, hardhats  and other protective gear may enter the market to protect runners from this avian threat.  It is good to know that capitalism along with free enterprising economics  still works.


originalMaybe we could just replace all of the owls with the kind  Harry Potter has.   He looks friendly. Kids love Harry Potter, and Harry potter loves this owl.  It’s gotta be good! And sporting that pure white plumage suggests that he is on the side of light  and not evil!   Who would not want a pure white owl looking over your shoulder while you run?

So next time you see a jogger running through the woods in the snow…..instead of thinking they are crazy or stupid….think of them as brave and courageous for facing their fears, hardships, and avian predators to stay fit and out of the public health care system. 

Note….There is no “work Cited” section of this blog…because….It’s a blog!    Do a Google or Bing search to see the articles.   The News Web sites all crash my computer with all of their add-ons and java scripts….No wonder no one wants to visit the Huffington Post or New York Times! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

An Origami Doberman Pinscher.

The  Live Model A quick post on the latest origami sculpture.   An Origami Doberman.   A request from a customer in Missouri.   Having never considered one before,  I turned to the internet to find a pattern.  I quickly found one that intrigued me from  designer Ares Alanya. The Origami model by Ares Alanya  Uunfortunately   I could not find the pattern or Crease pattern on the internet.   So…I was forced to fold up one of my own creation. 


As with all origami, even if I do have the pattern,   I must fold up a prototype to see how things turn out and familiarize myself with the pattern. First attempt with Tough cardstock  


So….First attempt.  ( actually second…I used small Kami paper for the first attempt)  I used this brown cardstock that is rather rough, tough, and difficult to mold into your structure.   This was mostly just to see how far I could make “bad” paper go.  


Next attempt….  This time with a solid black sheet of cardstock….Second attempt with better paper

Not too bad….I was happy with the body positions and the ears.   The head needed a little work,  Dobermans have a rather pointed nose with a sleek head.   I played with the nose a bit but ultimately went back to a square-ish nose.Nose is a little blunt...but I like the ears and head.


By this time, I wondered how it would look with a duo-colored paper.   I pressed some black tissue onto brown cardstock and folded my final attempt. Final attept with Brown and Black cardstock paper.   

Success!   I was rather happy with this one as well.. and I guess the customer was as well as he purchased it immediately after I listed it.     So  enjoy the different angles.  The photos don’t really do it justice.   I tried several different positions but seeing it in the flesh is really the best way to view it.



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

An Evening with Hercules Double IPA . Get Ready for HOPS!

DSC_8756    For some reason,  this beer caught our eye….perhaps it was it’s score of 100 on the Beer Flavor Chart.  We picked up a 4 pack and headed home to enjoy a new beer with our Strawberries. 

The label said it was hoppy….And I tend to like hops.    DSC_8757They always have a way to surprise me with how they behave in various combinations.   I used to think that the bitterness of the hops was a bad thing…then I found beers that harvest that citrus flavor and bring out the oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits from the hops.   You never know what form of hops you will encounter when you test run a new brew. 




First….the outer sense…Color.   Warm and bright.  Lovely shade of amber.   Smell:   Fruity and malty…..Pleasant and enjoyable….not not the main punch.   Then the flavor….




red carpetI have had hoppy beers that hit several notes as you role them around on your tongue….but this flavor was like a steamroller!   Every Single Taste Bud on my tongue was engaged!    It was like a role of red carpet rolling out, a paving of flavors.  Citrus_fruits And the cool part was I could not find a single citrus or fruity note that stood out.    It was like all the citrus fruits had been blended up with several other flavors into a perfect balance.  


Now I could rave and gush more about this beer, but it is ultimately different from Ommegang and Two Hearted Ales.   Every beer is different in their own way.  But the mouth feel of this beer was truly wonderful…..I would highly recommend it if you are looking for an “experience” .  


Being a double IPA…The alcohol content was a little over 10%   So you may only want one with dinner….unless you like the relaxing feeling you get from Alcohol.  

As for me,  It is always fun trying out new beers and foods….but I continue to come back to Honey Brown….a beer I can have all by itself.   I guess after 30, everyone has made their final decision on their favorite beer.   But just because you have a favorite…does not mean you can’t continue to explore the rest of the world of flavors.   The world of Beer is just a tiny subset of everything the world has to offer.  And that tiny subset is VAST!   Enjoy the discovery!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

An Afternoon at Schlafly. St Louis, Mo.

The Schla-Flee BreweryIn addition to our little Lovey dovey run for Chocolate….We got to visit a brewery of one of our favorite beers.   Schlafly…..Pronounced Shla-  Flee,  ( I have been calling it Shlu- Fly….Like a fly that bugs you….) Was close to the area and usually offers tours for addition to sampling and merchandise.   We decided to check it out

Cheryl takes in the Scene


So the Bar was open…and there was much activity.    We thought that we would be able to catch a tour starting at 4 pm….but apparently, there were no tours that day.   However,  they did offer a “Beer School”   a lecture/class where you pair various styles and flavors of their beers with various foods.   It sounded great, but we had to run the next day..and check into the hotel…and I was not about to drive in a foreign city, under stress, with an hours worth of samples of various brews in me.All the Cool Brewing Equpment 

We did decide to purchase a 6 pack of their latest seasonal beer and a micro brew that closely matches my favorite of their flavors….The Golden Belgium Ale. The latest Seasonal Release...we purchased a 6 pack.

I few things of note:   The Schlafly brewery was linked up with the Schell’s Brewery in New Ulm,   Minnesota.   Why is this significant?   because I went to School in New Ulm, Minnesota and actually got a tour of the Schell’s Brewing company back in 1990!  Schell’s is a pretty good beer…Partnered up with Schells?   Maybe that explains the 'SCH- in the German name....although slightly more expensive compared to it’s rivals.  Schlafly is more on Par price-wise and is a rock solid spectrum of beer flavors.   You should be able to find something you like in their offerings.Lots of flavors and colors to choose from  

As mentioned before, we purchased a micro lot brew….I have not opened it yet…but when I do I will post about it.   I guess they brew up small batches and test run various combinations  from time to time.   Probably to amuse and delight the local population.  However,   on a larger scale,  Thhe Micro Brews....Can't wait to try the one we bought They brew up seasonal flavors that change with the time of year.   As mentioned before,  I’m a big fan of the Golden Belgium style Ale.  It’s smooth,  Wheat and Yeast flavor….with a sweet taste and aroma. More colors!  It is the one beer I found to be the closest substitute to Honey Brown as possible here in Iowa…

With our samples in hand,  we headed out and left the possibility open for a future possible tour.   I’m thinking that you would have to make that a main event if you wanted to partake in the Beer School.   It’s possible that you may not feel the effects of the sample beers..but I’m a rather light weight when it comes to alcohol of any type.The "Antique" labels 

The current Line Up.






      So if you find yourself in St Louis….maybe you would like to give this a try.   And If you see this beer in your local store…..I would definitely recommend it…..even without the tour. 


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