The answer is yes and no… Memphis is a pretty good beer town, boasting several breweries and a Flying Saucer Tap House. On Beale Street in the King’s Palace, there’s the Tap Room with about 15 taps of pretty good beer. A bonus is that you up size your pint to a 32 oz. Big Ass Beer if you so desire. The other great thing about the Tap House is the music. It gets a lot of local musicians and is a good place to sit and enjoy blues and brews!
Most of the bigger venues on Beale Street only have a few taps, and if they have any craft beer at all, it’s the Ghost River Golden, a lager from a local brewery. The other go-to “craft” beer was Fat Tire. I understand that the space is limited on the taps, so what about bottles you may ask? Well, it seems that the bottle selection is equally dismal. At one bar I went through a Red Stripe, a Rolling Rock, and a Killian’s just to get a bit of variety.
What they lack in beer, though, they make up for in food. They bring bar food to a new level. Everywhere we ate we were amazed by the quality of the food. Fresh seafood and salads as well as some great soul food, BBQ and even pretty good pizza. We must have put on a few pounds on this trip, but who’s counting.
The event we went to was the IBC or International Blues Challenge, presented by the Blues Foundation. We went to support the band sent by the Blue Ridge Blues Society, Anthony and the Conqeuroos! They and previous BRBS champions Skinny Velvet and Owen Poteat all particpated in the event this year. Skinny Velvet made the semi-finals but not the finals. There were a bunch of really good bands, so it’s no reflection on their abilities that they didn’t go further.
The Flying Saucer was down the street from our hotel and was hosting bands during the quarter finals. We weren’t there those nights but did stop by and check it out a couple of times. Tuesday afternoon I met the guys from Flamin’ Crows, a blues band from Australia. The logo was a flying crow on fire and apparently several crows *may* have been injured in making the logo. We got to hear them twice; they were quite good. The lead guitar player had a “stump” guitar made from a slice cut from wood.
Musically, we saw Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin, Sean Carney, and Candye Kane. There were over 200 acts at 15 or more venues. It’s a really good opportunity to hear a variety of good blues in any style that strikes your fancy. With bands, solos and everything in between, mix in late night jams and you’ve got quite a party! See you there next year! Lassaiz les bon temps rouler!
Happy New Year!
This post is more about the effects of craft beer and ways to mitigate those effects, rather than craft beer itself.
Every first of January most folks turn to the gym or other activities to recover from their holiday excesses. This has gone on since the beginning of the Gregorian calendar, I guess. I know I’ve been on board since college at least. As I approach the final third of my life there are certain changes in my body and mind that become more obvious with each ensuing year.
The hangover seems to be more intense and the recovery longer. It takes less alcohol to get to the point of having a hangover. That, combined with my increased dependence on high gravity craft beers, means a drunker Huck. With age also comes a decease in motor skills. I stepped out of my jeep the other day and fell down. I do have a trick knee that had some influence on the fall, but I’ve had the trick knee for years. No damage other than the pain of seeing Mrs. Fin act like she didn’t know me once she determined I was ok. Like most people my age, there’s been a steady increase in visits to the doctors, tests and various ailments.
But this isn’t about my problems; this is about solutions. Disclaimer: If you are under 35, this really doesn’t apply to you, but it never hurts to look into the future and do a bit of planning.
If you have been reading my blog, you know that during a bout with some health problems in 2012 I discovered a book called Younger Next Year. After reading the book and following the plan in the book, I recovered from much of what ails me. Unfortunately, after feeling better, I only followed the plan to extent it didn’t interfere with other more fun or important activities.
Good news: I’m still in pretty good shape!
Bad news: Gained a bunch (ok, 10-15 pounds, but I was already 20 overweight) of weight and my ailments began to reappear. I also became tired, depressed and grumpy again.
They wrote a new book Thinner This Year and I’ve been reading it. Both books are good and you should read them, but if you only want to read one,this one has a lot of specific good stuff in it.
Basically the main point of the book is that if you want to be healthy after age 35, you need to work out six days a week.
Yeah, I said six days a week. I try for seven.
Here’s my version of the explanation gleaned from reading the above books. If you think I’m full of you know what, read the book and tell me why.
Regardless of all the debate about how advanced we are technologically and so forth, our physical selves are still 20,000 years behind the evolution of the industrial age. Our bodies are made to run all day hunting and gathering. The only time they expect us to not be running all day is in winter. In winter the natural forces inside our bodies turn down our metabolism, store fat, and make us depressed so we will lay around and conserve energy. Sound familiar?
The second thing is that back in the day (well, way way back in the day), we only ate what we could catch or forage for from the surrounding countryside. If our bodies noticed we ate a bunch of food and didn’t really run for it, that meant we were eating the last of or stores and it was time to settle into a long depressed winter. Just like when we get to a fast food restaurant now. That’s the message we are sending to our bodies. So our bodies send all the extra last ditch food to our bellies or a**es to store until needed during the famine.
Problem is, there’s never a famine around here. And we do this to our bodies three times a day and maybe work out twice a week. The foods we eat are nothing like what we are built for,and the mega food corporations are interested in making the easiest kinds of food that last the longest on the shelves and are most additive. Most of the latest book is about that, and that’s not what I’m preaching today.
I’m preaching 45 minutes of aerobic exercise six days a week! Can I get an “Amen”?
What does 45 minutes of grunting and sweating do for you? Most importantly, it makes your body think it’s spring and forces it to start shoring up your circulatory system, heart and muscles so you can hunt and gather. The books are adamant that this is the minimum you can do to keep the process going. That’s where I fell off the wagon last year when I felt three or four times a week would work since I did six for a year…not so. Six or seven it is from now on.
Besides the advantages of having your body think it’s summer and doing a little sprucing up around the place, exercise can prevent and possibly be a cure for most of what ails you. Blood pressure high? Exercise and it will go down. I’ve gone from 180 over 110 to 130 over 70 in a short time. Blood sugar too high? Same deal. Mine is a bit high, so I did an experiment. Woke up, blood sugar 111. Not terrible, but should be under 100. Did 45 minutes on the treadmill, blood sugar 94.
What is aerobic exercise? Your mileage may vary. It depends on your conditioning and level of fitness. A great tool is a heart monitor. Get one and go for a walk. I use a Wahoo Blue paired with my iPhone using Digifit. It costs less than $100 and lets you know exactly where you are all the time. Lots of information is available from Digifit as well, although the app’s a bit pricey. They want extra money for everything, and it has glitches the can be annoying. It’s the one that suits my needs the best though. There’s lots of information about heart monitors on the internet.
Put it on and go for a walk. Your max heart rate is 220 minus your age more or less. I know there are better ways to compute it, but for beginners that’s good enough. Try to get to zone 2 for as long as you can up to 45 minutes. If you don’t make it, try again tomorrow. And the next day, and so forth. You will be surprised how fast it builds up and how great you feel.
To recap today’s message, exert yourself a little bit for 45 minutes a day, and you will feel better and recover faster from that hangover the rest of your life. There are countless other ways and techniques to improve yourself, but this simple one will get you moving in the right direction and probably will be enough if that’s all you are motivated to do.
See you on the bike trails!
Lassaiz les bon temps rouler!
622 North in Blacksburg, Virginia hosted a beer dinner featuring Stone beer and their lovely spokesmodel Melody! The dining room is closed on Monday night, so we had the place to ourselves. Thirty or so beer lovers, and great beer paired with excellent food.
We started with some Stone IPA poured through 622′s famous Randall the Enamel Animal filled with cascade hops! The Randall was being a bit persnickety so it took a while to get the beers poured, but it was well worth the wait. The already hop-filled beer was enriched by the additional hops and the fun fellowship.
The food and beer were put together very well and thoroughly explained by Melody and Chef Tom! Everyone was going on and on about the boar ribs.
Now that’s a great presentation. Speaking of great presentations…
We all enjoyed the dessert course, and you will too next time. I’m sure I’ll see you there.
The dinner was fun. We got to try new things like ostrich filet and plenty of good beer. There was enough food for and beer for all, perfectly paired. Definitely need to do this again. Next one will be in February. Watch this space for more information!
Lassaiz les bon temps rouler!