Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Weekend LA Trip!!

Hi All,

It has been a while since I last posted. There hasn't been much going on and I have just been lazy. Since I know all my avid readers have been dying for an update I thought I would write about my trip to LA this past weekend.

At first I didn't really want to go but my wife convinced me. I didn't want to go because we were going to be gone on Sunday which all of you know is my football day. I went anyway and ended up having a great time. We left Friday night and drove to Santa Monica to a highly recommended British Pub called Ye Old Kings Head. I was told it had some good fish and chips and a good amount of beer on tap. They were pretty close to being right on. There were alot of beers but the Fish and Chips weren't the best I ever had. The bangers and mash ( sausage and mashed potatoes) were damn good though. You know me I love sausage. As for the beer I was able to try 2. The first was a good British Ale called Fuller's London Pride Ale. It had a good mix of hoppiness and smoothness. The second was a British specialty, I think anyway, It is called a Black Velvet. It is a mix of Guinness and Hard Cider. I actually thought this was rather gross. It tasted like apple flavored Guinness. I am not a huge fan of Guinness as it is but mixing in the cider actually made it a lot worse. I don't reccommend it but I will never say don't try it. After dinner my wife and I went back to the hotel and opened up a 2004 Ledson Sonoma County Zin which was great as usual.

On Saturday we went to the San Antonio winery in LA. It is the only working winery in LA. They had a a lot of decent table wines but nothing that I would write home about. I did end up purchasing a sparkling (for use in mimosas) and a port. After the winery we headed off to the Huntington Beach Brewing Company for lunch and a sampler. I was able to try 6 different beers and I enjoyed 3 of them. I liked the Pier Pale Ale, the Brickshot Red, and Santa's Helper. The others were ok. I also will recommend the burgers and the pizza they were really good. So if you are in Huntington Beach check out the place. After the beer tasting we had a few hours to kill before the champaign and sparkling tasting at Brix wine bar in Sunset Beach. We just walked around for a while and then read a book for a while. We tried a total of 8 sparklings and all of them were good. The 8 we tried are Cristalino, Wolf Blass, Heidsieck Blue Top, Veuve Cliquot, Duval Leroy, 99 Laurent Perrier, Taltarti, and Gloria Ferer Blanc Nior. My to favorites were the Wolf Blass which was 6.99 a bottle and Duval Leroy which is 36 a bottle. This is a good example of how two wines in very different price range can be both be really good wines. We finished the day by going for Mexican and then going back to the hotel.

On Sunday my wife had to work so I had to kill the day. Well I started out going to the ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney. Let me tell you I have been there a few times before but I never got to sit in the recliners fronthing the wall of TV's. Let me tell you as a football fan the only 2 things better are the sports books in Vegas and being at the game. I was able to watch all the games at the same time. It was sweet. My only complaint is on Sunday's during football season they have a $10 an hour food and beverage requirement. I was actually so full from the night before that I didn't want food or drink but to stay in my recliner I had to order things. Well I nursed both food and drinks like I was a baby on a nipple. I started out with an Irish coffee (it was 11am) and it took me about 45 minutes to drink and cost me $9. So then I ordered some cheese frys and ate them for about 45 minutes and that cost me $8. I still had one quarter to kill so I got a blue moon draft for $6 dollars. In other words I was in the chair for almost 3 hours and only spent $23. I kind of feel I scammed the system but oh well. It was a fun morning but I still had about 3 hours to kill before my wife was going to be done. What was I to do. I went to see Baowulf in 3D. It was pretty cool. I haven't seen something in 3D in ages. To end this really fun weekend we had sushi in Santa Clarita and headed home.

I know that this was a long time coming but I hope you enjoyed my weekend update. I am going to Virginia for the Holidays so i hope to have some good material for the blog.

HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY!!!!

http://www.hbbeerco.com/ontap.html

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Thanksgiving Vacation - Beer Adventure 4

Hi all,


This was the smallest of my beer tastings and it was designed and created by me. I was walking around Binny's Beverage Depot in the beer section and I found a whole shelf full of lambic beers. I have only seen them at a few restaurants and didn't know that they were bottled for sale. Not only that but i thought there was only peach and raspberry flavor. Boy was I wrong. There are many different flavors on lambics. In this case Binny's had 5.

The flavors were (All flavors below are from the Belgian Brewer Lindemans Brewery) :
sour cherry (kriek) - I really enjoy this one. It had a nice cherry flavor. I don't like to say it this way but think cherry cough syrup with out the mediciney after taste. Trust me its a lot better then i can describe it.
raspberry (framboise) - Most of my families favorite of the tasting. (I also set this tasting up for my in-laws and wife)
peach (pĂȘche) - My personal favorite. I think it tastes like peach nectar with a kick.
blackcurrant (cassis) - I thought it was nasty but it is supposed to be the best selling. Must be a Belgian thing.
apple (pomme) - Tasted kind of like a sour apply Jolly Rancher and hard cider combined. This was my second favorite.

If you would like more information on Lambics I recommend you look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambic. It has a good overview of what a lambic is and gives some info on the brands available. I say give them a try. I am hoping to get back to Europe in the next few years I think I may try these from the source.

That was my beer adventure for the Thanksgiving week. I hope some of you are able to try some of the beers one day. Also remember try some of the brewpubs and microbrews available in your area. Trust me they are better then any mass produced American beer that you normally drink.

l8er!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanksgiving Vacation - Beer Adventure 3

Well the last brew pub I attended was Prairie Rock Brewing Company in Elgin IL. We went there to meet up with my wife's friend from college Erin. We got there and I ordered my normal the beer sampler. This sampler came with 6 beers:
1. Prairie Light - I was a nice light beer that had some good flavor. If your not an adventurous beer drinker(I don't know why you wouldn't be) then this is the beer for you.
2. Clocktower Amber Lager - This was a little heavier and flavorful then the Light. It had a nice light hoppy flavor. A normal beer drinker probably would like it.
3. Pale Rider Ale - My favorite!! A lot of hops just the way I like it.
4. Vanilla Cream Ale - It was ok. I could taste the vanilla but just like the chocolate ale I don't feel that vanilla should be in an ale.
5. Seasonal Bock - Sorry it had a name but I didn't really care for it and its not on my tasting card
6. Stout - Same as above!

The server also hooked me up with a sample of their version of a Black & Tan which is a mix of the seasonal Bock and the Vanilla Cream Ale. I must say that the marriage of the 2 was better then the 2 parts. It was really good but I wasn't too impressed with them alone.

Overall i think that Prairie Rock would be a good place to hang with your buddies to have a beer. Give it a shot if you are in the Chicago area.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving Vacation - Beer Adventure 2

Hi All,

The second brew pub we went to was called Taylor's Brewing Company in Lombard, IL. Well this was the king of tastings for me. I tried 16 different kinds. I did share alot of them with the table so I only probably ended up drinking a beer or 3 total.

Here is a list of the beers with a few comments from me.

Rusty Dog Amber - A beautiful golden amber beer characterized by a mild malt palate, subtle hop overtones, and a sweet malt aroma.

Weizen - A true Bavarian style weizen beer. Intentionally cloudy, this beer has a hint of clover and a crisp fruity character.

Raspberry Wheat - This light beer is delightfully crisp with the tantalizing aroma and taste of fresh raspberries. - If you like Raspberry wheat beers then you will like this one. It is nice and smooth with a little more then a hint of raspberry.

Nut Brown Ale - A traditional British brown ale featuring a deep chestnut color, slightly roasted malt flavor, and an aroma hinting of fine English hops.

Route 56 Light Ale - Named after Butterfield Road, this new ale has a flavor profile of a light pilsner beer. Brewed with Hallertau and Williamette hops.

Summerfest - A rich, deep golden hued, German festival beer made from expensive imported grains with a smooth malty flavor and a clean pleasant finish.

India Pale Ale- IPA was originally brewed for English royalty living in India during the 1800's. Increased alcohol volume and high hop acids assured the journey from Britain to India. - Like usual the IPA is my favorite. The hoppier the better. My personal opinion on beer is if you can actually drink it warm then its a good quality beer in my book.

Blushing Blonde Ale - A very smooth reddish golden ale, well balanced with a pleasing afterstate and a light hop aroma.

Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale - A new beer which is slightly sweet with a hint of a blueberry aroma. The flavor is fruity, but finishes nice and tart, just like a wild blueberry. Look for the fresh blueberry in your glass.

Northern Light Ale - An all new light ale with a full malt flavor - Very good for a light beer. It had a nice hoppy flavor.

Pure Pilsner - A European style beer with a complex blend of four malted grains and two hop varieties.

Golden Diamond - A pale golden-colored beer with a distinct malt flavor and a balanced hop character.

Cream Ale - A very smooth, golden, creamy beer with a low carbonation that makes this beer very drinkable.

Dark Satin - A reddish-brown German dunkel with a soft yet solid and very complex multi-malt palate accentuated by a well balanced selection of hops and displaying a hint of toffee flavor.

VooDoo Raspberry - A mixture of Raspberry Wheat and Two Brother's Imperial Stout creates a roasted chocolate flavored beer with a hint of raspberry. - I really liked this one. This is the second dark beer I have liked in 2 days. Go Figure!!


http://www.taylorbrewing.com/

After reading through the list I think there was a few missing from there web list. There was one that was absolutely vile. I say try them all and you can guess which one it is. Also do to the reccomendation of the waitress and my mother in law. I got an award winning burger. All I can say if that was a regional award winner then I feel sorry for the Chicagoland area. It was ok but I can think of 3 places in Bakersfield that are way better. Don't get me wrong it was a decent burger but it wasn't anything special.

Well that was day two!! Come back tomorrow night for Beer Adventure 3.

Later!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Vacation - Beer Adventure 1

Hi All,

Well for the last few years when ever i go on vacation I always try and have some sort adult beverage tasting. I was really lucky this trip I had 4 beer tastings and a consistent 5 days of wine tasting. Yes basically all I did was eat and drink this trip. I did work out once though. Thats actually pretty impressive for thanksgiving week with the in-laws. This first post will discuss my Saturday tasting at Americas Brewery at the Walter Peyton's Roundhouse in Aurora, IL. They normally have 7 beers on tap but due to the hops shortage they only had 5. This is the first time I had actually seen a hops issue effect my life.

The 2 they dropped were the Payton Pilsner and the Corolla Lager.

The 5 they had were a Pumpkin Ale, Chocolate Ale, Triple Black Coffee Stout, Amber, and I think a Bock. The last 2 weren't on the tasting sheet I brought home so I could be wrong. The Pumpkin Ale was good due to a subtle hint of nutmeg and cinnamon. I would compare it to a Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale but the blue moon was a little more pumpkiny. The chocolate Ale wasn't very good and I don't feel chocolate should be in an ale. A porter or a stout yes. The triple black coffee stout was actually pretty good for a stout I am not a really big fan of really dark beers but this had a nice smooth flavor with a hint of coffee. If more stouts were like this I think I would like more of them. The amber was also really good. There wasn't anything overly distinguishing about it was just a nice flavorful amber that you could drink at any time with your buddies.

Overall I would say try this out and if you do hopefully they will have there pilsner and there Lager. My mother in law has eaten there before and said the food was good there also. One other point I would like to point out is I saw on there main bar wall, that wasn't open when I got there, was they make a barley wine. I haven't had a barley wine that I didn't like.

Well that was one day!! Come back tomorrow night for Beer Adventure 2.

Later!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

For All 25 of my avid readers

I have been out of town for the TG holiday so I haven't had time to post. I have alot of beer and wine stories to catch up on. I hope to have some time tomorrow while I am waiting at the airport. So stay tuned!!

Hope you all had a great holiday!!

Matt

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Patriots @ Bills Sunday Night

Hi all,

I was going to try and do some catch up on the internet with the in game blogging cause I had a late start because I had one of my staff members over for dinner so that she could learn how to feed my cats. She is going to be my cat sitter if I ever go away.

Well I finally am able to start the blogging tonight and its already 14 nothing. So I don't think I am going to do it. I may decide to write something else about my Bills if they somehow have a come back of the ages.

Lets just do a quick post about food.

I would like to start out by saying I am basically a carnivore. Well today I made vegetarian chili for my staff member cause she is a vegetarian. I actually really liked it. The multiple beans in the chili gave it a kind of meaty texture. Don't get me wrong I prefer the beefy chili but for a change of pace i think i could do vegetarian. If you are interested in the recipe its from my girl Rachael. It is called Veg-Head Three-Bean Chili and you can download it at http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_18690,00.html

I hope to write again later but I am not going to get my hopes up.

GO BILLS!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just a Normal Thusday

Well I have received some complaints that my blog has been too sports related. Well I am going to post something short and boring off the topic of sports. My evening!!

Well today has been a pretty normal day. I came home from work and talked myself out of the gym because my shoulder has been bothering me the last few weeks. So I came home and watched some of the Oregon/Arizona game on ESPN. Then I had some leftover pasta sausage and marinara. ( I like sausage!!). Then I played Halo 3 for about an hour with a friend from NY. I suck at the game but its cool to be able to play with my friends from long distance. I know it sounds so 1o yrs old but hey it all good. After all the gaming I watched todays Rachael Ray show and I am currently watching last nights Bionic Women in HD while drinking a Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale by Blue Moon. It is a rather nice ale with a hint of pumpkin.

Hopefully that didn't bore you too much,
Matt

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bills @ Dolphins Week 10 in Game and Varous other NFL action

Hi all,

There are a few games i am really interested today so I am going to use my channel flipping skills today so don't expect a true series by series breakdown. I am bound to miss some. Well enjoy the games today. I am going to watch all of them in beautiful stunning HD on Directv Sunday Ticket. (My someone from Directv reads my blog and can give me something for the plug.)

Start of game

First Quarter:
Dolphins first series starts at the 25. The Dolphins start out showing they do have some sort of offense. Chatman breaks off a few good run and lemon throws some nice short passes. After showing some nice ball movement and gettting into the Bills redzone the D holds them to a fieldgoal. Bills 0 - Dolphins 3. - I don't like how the Dolphins were able to move the ball like that. The D has been the brightspot the last few weeks . Lets see what JP and Marshawn can do.

Bills first series starts at the 36 after the kickoff. The Bills O is looking like garbage like most of the weeks this season. The Bills have a 3 and out and are forced to punt. Miami ball at the 29. - The Dolphins have the worst D in the NFL and the Bills can't move the ball.

Dolphins second series has the Dolphins moving the ball well after what should have be a 3 and out. A dumb offsides penalty seems to have given the Dolphins O life again. The Bills are able to hold the dolphins and force a punt.

*****Off Game***
You know what pisses me off when a team gives TD to non normal players. I am playing both Jones-Drew and Taylor from JVille and they throw to Greg Jones for the TD. This sucks!
****************

The Bills second series starts at the 36 after the punt. The Bills do one of there infamous run, run, run. 3 and out for the Bills again. The Bills punt the ball. - This ir really irritating me. The Dolphins secondary sucks!!! Throw, Throw, Throw for a change!!!

The Dolphins third series starts at the 12 after the punt. The Bills D forces a 3 and out.

End of First Quarter

Start of Second Quarter

The Bills third series starts at the 30 after the punt. The Bills run, run, run offense is showing up again. Well there was a pass on 3rd down but that was required after with a 3 and long. Bills punt and the Dolphins get the ball at the 25. - This is getting rediculous. Some times you have to throw to open up the running game. I may have to start a website. FireSteveFairchild.com

The Dolphins fourth series has the Dolphins running the ball well again. Chatman has close to at 100 yards and its only the middle of the second. If it wasn't for Chatman the Dolphins O would have nothing.

The Bills forth series starts at the 20 after the punt. Another 3 and out for the Bills. This is the 4th out of 4 drives. - Well atleast they threw 2 out of 3. Its still only 3-0 anything can still happen.

The Dolphins fifth series at the 26 after the punt. Another 3 and out for the Dolphins.

The Bills fifth series starts at the 35 after the punt and a nifty little return by Roscoe Parish. damn I missed good Bills O. They are in side the Dolphins 25 after a nice pass and great run by Marshawn. JP thows a pick. Dolphins have the ball at the 9. -I would have been better off not watching.

The Dolphins sixth series. I don't know what happened. Didn't really pay attention. They didn't score so I am guessing they just sucked it up again.

The Bills sixth series. Ends the half!

End of Half!!

After a great Offensive showing by both teams. They have earned a well deserved rest!!

Start of Third Quarter

The Bills seventh series starts at the 38 after the kickoff. The Bills show a little offensive movement this series but a big dropped sure touchdown pass forces a punt.

The Dolphins seventh series starts at the 2 after a great special teams play. This Bills sack the Dolphins QB Lemon in the endzone for the safety. Bills 2 - Dolphins 3 - Looks like a minor league baseball score to me!!

The Bills eights series starts at the 45 after a nice return on the kickoff. The anemic offense of the Bills is still around. The Bills do nothing again. Bills punt! - This game is boring the hell out of me. I just can't stop watching though. Thats what sucks about being a true fan.

The Dolphins eight series starts at the 20 after the touchback. The Dolphins are moving the ball well. They are into Bills territory at the 35. The Dolphins are just pounding the Bills D and are just outside the Bills 10. Lemon runs it in for a TD - Bills 2 - Dolphins 10 - This is absolutely pathetic. I was excited about the Bills the rest of the season I am not so sure anymore. I can't see how the O can be so bad.

End of Third Quarter

Start of Fourth Quarter

The Bills ninth series starts at the 35 after the kick off. For the first time today the Bills have made a big play. 4th and 6in. The Bills got 6.5in. Bills got 1st and goal from the 3. Bills TD and 2 point conversion!!! Bills 10 Dolphins 10!! - Its still a football game. I think the Bills should just forfit the first 3 quarters and just play the 4th. That seems to be the only quarter they can play in. Marshawn is the man!!!

The Dolphins tenth series starts at the 29. The Dolphins ran the kickoff back for a TD but a huge holding penalty brings it all back. Wow that was big!! The Dolphins Offense is moving the ball well but the Bills are able to force a punt.

The Bills eleventh series starts at the 50 after a great 40 yard return by Parrish. The Bills offense has picked up a few first downs and are in field goal range. This has been a nice drive for the Bills they have picked up a few first downs and are keeping the clock running. The Bills kick the field goal for a 13 - 10 lead. - This game has been really stressful. Lets hope the D can hold them with under a minute left.

The Dolphins eleventh drive starts at the 45 after the kick off and the return. The Bills D picked off Lemon.

The Bills twelfth series ends the game with a kneel down.

End of game

Bills win 13-10!!! The game sucked until the 4th quarter but my Bills win!!

See you all next week!!

Matt

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Week 9 Bengals at Bills

Hi All,

Welcome to the 3rd week of the Bills in game blog. I am going to start out to say I am pissed my game isn't in HD today. This is the only game on the Directv Superfan lineup not in HD. Thats what happens when most people find it the worst game of the week. But I personally think this will be a shoot out. Lets find out.

Go Bills!!

Start of 1st Quarter (Kick off 1:05pm)

Bills win the toss and take the ball

Bills first series starts at the 25 after the kick off and return. I love it already 3 play 3 throws 2 for long gains. Bills after 3 plays are in the red zone. Bills are slicing through the Bengals D like a warm knife through butter. For the first time this season the Bills have scored a TD on the first drive. Lee Evans and JP Loseman are the men this drive. Bills 7 - Bengals 0 - I have no idea what will happen the res tof the game but i think this proves my boy JP should be the QB. This is his team and he and Lee Evans have a chemistry that takes a few seasons to build.

Bengals first series starts at the 20 after the kick off. Like the Bills the Bengals are showing some offensive prowess. They are in the red zone after a few big gains. Bengals match the Bills first drive with a TD of there own. Bills 7 - Bengals 7. - It looks like my prediction of a shoot out may be accurate.

Bills second series starts at the 31 after the kickoff. This drive ends in a 3 and out. Bills punt and the Bengals get the Ball at the 34. - I still love how the Bills are throwing but JP did throw a really dumb pass that could have been picked. Stay aggressive but be smart is my motto and should be the bills motto.

Bengals second series like the Bills ends in a 3 and out. Bengals punt the ball and the Bills get it at their 15. - It looks the Bills and Bengals are the same team. What one does the other does. Lets just hope the Bills have the ball last.

The Bills third series has the Bills moving the ball well at first but a short throw by JP results in an interception. I know it was only 3rd down but the interception was extremly harmful as it would like a good punt. Bengals get the ball at the 5. - I know JP is excited but he needs to play smart if he wants to keep his job.

The Bengals third series ends the 1st quarter.

End of 1st Quarter

Start of 2nd Quarter

Bengals third series continues with them moving the ball slowly but surely. A few first downs is keeping the clock running, keeping the Bills O off the field and tiring out the D. The Bengals have the ball in Bills territory for the 2nd time today but the Bills D forces them to punt.

Bills fourth series starts at the 25 after the punt. The Bills ground game is showing some life with Marshawn carrying the load. JP and Evans hook up for a big gain again. Bills get into the redzone again. The bills are not used to this area. Marshawn is running great on this drive. Two redzone trips 10 points Bills 10 - Bengals 7 - Thank goodness the Bengals have no defense. I don't like how the Bills got conservative in the redzone again. First and goal from the 1. 3 points doesn't cut it.

Bengals fourth series doesn't happen Glen Holt returns the kick off 100 yards for the TD. Bill 10 - Bengals 14. - That royally sucked didn't it.

Bills fifth series starts at the 34 after the kickoff. The Bills are chucking the ball around with under 2 minutes to and are in the redzone again. Bills 13 - Bengals 14- I love the play calling after giving up the TD on the kickoff return. Points at the end of the half a big.

The Bengals fifth series consisted of taking a knee after the kick off to end the half.

End of Half - I don't think my shoot out prediction is going to be right anymore.

Start of 3rd Quarter

Bengals sixth series in my book meant Bengals get the ball and nothing happens. - Sorry I was making lunch I was hungry. I made a philly cheese steak if your wondering.

Bills sixth series has the Bills moving the ball well again. With a nice combination of passing and running. As usual the Bills can't pound it in and have to settle for a field goal. Bills 16 - Bengals 14. - I am really getting sick of the conservativeness in the redzone. 4th and 1 with Marshawn dominating the Bengals should be a give me. Even if its not atleast show some confidence in you r team that they can make something happen.

Bengals seventh series starts at the 30 after the kick off. The Bengals passing game is shreading the Bills D. The Bengals are in the redzone and unlike the Bills when they get there they don't have a problem punching it in. Bills 16 - Bengals 21 - The Bills not going for TD's is going to really hurt them.

Bills seventh series starts at the 22. Yet again the Bills are moving the ball with some good running by Marshawn and few good gains by JP and his feet. The Bills are in Bengals territory again.

End of 3rd Quarter

Start of 4th Quarter

Bills seventh series continues inside the Bengals 30 after a JP and Evans connect again to end the quarter. The Bills drive stalls again in the redzone. The Bills kick another field goals. Bills 19 - Bengals 21. - I have no idea what can possibly be done to get the Bills into the end zone. This is getting ridiculous. Other then the 4th and 1 play I am pretty happy with the play calling. The Bills are actually doing things the way I like it.

Bengals eighth series starts at the 20 after the touch back. After a huge drop by Chad Johnson the Bengals are forced to punt with at 3 and out. Bills get the ball at their 41.

Bills eighth series ends in a 3 and out. After the punt the Bengals get the ball at the 6. - I think they sould have gone for it on 4th and 1 from the 50. I may have to start a petition free Marshawn.

Bengals ninth series ends in a 3 and out. After the punt and a penalty (Bengals) the Bills get the ball at the Bengals 32. - That was the D I wanted to see. I guess I can't complain now after the punted the last time.

Bills ninth series starts off as the Marshawn Lynch show. 6 runs in a row and 2 first downs. Then a TD pass by Marshawn. It edded with the Marshawn show. Bills 26 - Bengals 21

Bengals tenth series starts at the 26 after the kickoff. After a 12 yard screen pass the Bengals go 3 and out. The Bills get the ball at the 28.

Bills tenth series results in 56 yard TD run after a missed tackle. Give JP credit for keeping the drive alive on a key 3rd and 1 with a thread the needle pass to Evans. Bills 32 - Bengals 21. - This might have been the Bills best game of the year. Give Marshawn a game ball!!

Bengals eleventh series starts at the 17 after the kick off and major penalty. Chad Johnson of the Bengals got blasted by Donte Whitner and has been on the ground for a long while and was finally carried out on a stretcher. Luckily he was moving everything and that it is nothing more then a concussion. The Bills pick off a Carson Palmer pass and get the ball back at the 11.

The Bills eleventh drive ends the game after taking a knee.

End of Game

The Bills have won their 3rd in a row after starting 1 and 4. If it wasn't for 2 last drive collapes the Bills would be 6 and 2 and in playoff contention. At 4 and 4 the Bills still have a shot but there are just to many good AFC teams. We can always hope.

Matt

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Really Good Dinner!

As you may know I really like cooking shows but I also like cooking magazines. Well we get a magazine called cooking pleasure. Its a free magazine for being a member of Cooking Club of America. My wife found this awesome recipe for ravioli and mushrooms. It was nice and woodsy and went well with the 2005 Ledson Sauvignon Blanc we popped open. It was a gourmet meal meal on an average Wednesday. Sometimes I feel having something out of the norm on an average day kicks the day up a notch. So when you need a little kick go online or pop open a magazine and cook something you never had before. Your day might turn out better then you expected.

Later!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Bills at Jets Week 8 in game

Hi all

Welcome to my second attempt at in game blogging. I still haven't figured out why i am doing this since no one reads my blogs. I think it may be because I haven't done anything exciting at all the last few weeks and I want to add something to my blog. Well if you read enjoy if you don't your missing out.

GO BILLS!!!

1st Quarter:

Kick off 1:05 PST Bills start the 24.

Bills first series. The Bills first series has been just like all the rest run, run, run with the occasional pass thrown in. It has resulted in some good ball movement. There first series already has them in to Jets territory. The screen play seems to be working well so far too. This series has taken up over 2/3 of the quarter. Rian Lindell kicks a 30 yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. - The bills still can't get 6. They move the ball well until they get into the Redzone. Its really pissing me off. Lets throw a little. If you are going to bench my boy JP you better see if your new QB Edwards can throw.

Jets first series starts at the 10 after the kickoff. Like the Bills the Jets are moving the ball pretty well on the ground and have made it into Bills territory.

End of 1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

Jets first series continued. Jets moved deeper and deeper into Bills territory but were held up buy the defense in the redzone. Jets settle for a field goal and a 3-3 tie. - Wow the Bills and jets can be interchangeable after the first series. I need the Bills D to to better then this. The O will never take any chances so the D is going to have to score for me.

Bills second series starts at the 39 after the kickoff. OMG the Bills threw the football on first down for a 15 yard gang. Wow 2 throws out of 3 plays with 2 no gain runs. Two series in a row in Jets territory. Edwards throws a pick after a monster blitz. Jets get the ball around the 40..- I don't mind this pick it was a horrible decision but atleast there letting Trent play a little. Lets go D!!

Jet's second series. The short passing game is picking the Bills D apart. With the runs added in the Jets offense is looking really good. I am not liking this. The Jets are inside Bills territory but are forced to punt.

Bills third series starts at the 17 after the punt. It looks like Marshawn has some sort of issue cause he isn't out there. Dwayne Wright is in a running back. This series is going so well for the Bills. A 3 and out for the Bills. - The blitz is killing the bills. No running back and rookie QB is not a good thing for the Bills. Lets hope that Steve fairchild can come up with something to get the O moving. I am not to confident since he hasn't done anything yet.

Jets third series starts at their 48 after the punt and a 15 yard face mask. The Jets are picking apart the Bills D again and are deep into Bills territory. Luckily the Jets fumbled on a trick play and the Bills get the ball back with a little under 2 minutes inside there own 20.

Bills fourth series ends in a punt but at least the Bills came out throwing then they decide to do nothing. - I love the 2 minute drill. I am actually glad the Bills semi tried one.

Jets fourth series ends the half. A screen pass and few runs makes the clock runs out. Lets look at the adjustments at halftime cause so far this game has been a sleeper.

End of half - I have never seen a half of football that lasted a little over and hour. That was really quick

3rd Quarter


Jets fifth series starts at the 33 after the kickoff. Bills D looks good and forces the Jets to a 3 and out. - That is how I would like to see the Bills D and the Jets O work.

Bills sixth series starts at the 10 after the punt and the holding penalty. Marshawn is back in the game lets see if he can do something. It seems to me that the passing game is work well but the running game is doing nothing. I like how the Bills are moving the ball. Too bad it ends in a punt. - Lets hope the Bills know that a short passing game can be a running game.

**********BOLD PREDICTION**********
BILLS WILL SCORE A TD THIS GAME
**************************************

Jets sixth series starts at the 19 after the punt. Again the running game is working well but for some reason the Jets want to pass. Jets punt and the Bills start their drive at the Jets 43 after a great run back - I think the Bills and Jets need to switch game plans. The Bills can pass but want to run and the Jets can run but want to pass.

Bills seventh series ends in a 3 and out. Bills punt Jets get the ball at the 15. - I am actually pretty bored. I want to see some good football.

Jets seventh series ends in a 3 and out. Jets punt Bills get the ball at their 40.

Bills eighth series starts with my boy JP Losman at QB. I didn't see Trent go down but I am assuming it is some sort of injury cause the offense was moving the ball ok. JP's first snap is 9 yard gain. After a first down the Bills go 3 and out. Bills punt and the Jets start the drive at the 20.

Injury update - The trainers are looking at Trents wrist.

Jets eighth series starts with a short pass and a nice 5 yard run. The run ends the 3rd quarter.

End of 3rd Quarter

4th quarter

Jets continue their eights series with a no gainer. Another 3 and out for the Jets. The Bills start their drive at the 41.

The Bills ninth series is somewhat resembling playing offense. The Bills finally get in the Jets redzone again but are are forced to kick a field goal. Bills take a commanding 6-3 lead!! - I am only calling this commanding cause no one has scored since the beginning of the 2nd quarter. Its nice to see JP leading the team again. Too bad the play calling still sucks. On 3rd and 1 a bootleg would be nice.

The Jets ninth series starts at the 24. The Jets are moving the ball well in the air but Lavernus (or something like that) Coles got blasted by Terrence McGee and has been down for a little while (lets hope he is ok). Like most of the Jets and Bills drives today they are forced to punt. Bills get the ball at the 3 yard line after a great punt.

The Bills tenth series. Starts run, run, run then an 85 yard TD pass to Lee Evens. Buffalo now takes a really commanding 13 - 3 lead. - Thats why we play JP. It might have been a really dumb think to throw into double coverage but hey it worked. You know what they say its only a bad call if it doesn't work. I think we need to reintroduce the JP era in Buffalo.

The Jets tenth series starts at the 20 after the kick off. Jets bench Chad Pennington for Kellen Clemens looking for a spark. After 2 poor plays Kellen Clemens is slinging the ball around for 2 quick first downs. The Jets get to mid field and thats where they stop. McGee picks off Clemens and that should just about do it. Bills have the ball at there 33.

Bills eleventh series is exactly like I want it. Run, run, run and punt. - The Jets had all of their time outs or else this game would have been over. Bills punt and the jets get the ball back at the 25.

The Jets eleventh series ends the game after a few passes.

End of Game

Bills win 13-3 for 2 in a row. The bills are now 1 game under 500 at 3-4. They have 2 winnable games the next 2 weeks. Home against the Bengals and at Miami. The Bills can be 5 and 4. A man can only hope. If it wasn't for 2 last second losses to the Broncos and the Cowboys the Bills would be 5 and 2 and in the playoff picture. I know it doesn't matter but I think the Bills may be a little better then there record. That and a buck fifty will by you a soda.

Until next week!!
Later!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Not Happy!!

Well lets start off by saying that I don't dislike the newly ordained starting Quarterback for the Buffalo Bills I actually like the guy and I think he is going to be a really good QB. I just don't like that he is starting now. My boy JP Losman should be starting for the Bills. I know that he got off to a rough start and then he got hurt but he made major strides last year. I think he is going to be a great QB but now its going to be for another team. I have 2 issues with the switch. First a starter shouldn't lose his job to injury unless he was on his way out before the injury (See Drew Bledsoe with the Pats). Then again the Bills picked him up for 2 years after that. Second Trent Edwards is a rookie who didn't do that well in JP's absence. Yes the Bills won 2 of 3 and should have won all 3. They lost on a last second fieldgoal to the Cowboys (because of a Trent Edwards interception). I just don't think Trent is ready yet to lead the team. We'll see how things turn out but JP got the wrong end of the deal.

Side note:

I highly recommend that you check out 2 of the new fall shows. Chuck on NBC (8pm Monday) and Reaper (CW 9pm Tuesday). They are both great dramadies. With Chuck leaning more towards drama and Reaper being more of a comedy. I am not going to tell you about them I think you should just watch them and you see why they rock.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Something new!!

Since this is another pretty uneventful weekend I am going to steal an idea from ESPN. I am going to blog about the Bills game.

1st Quarter -

Bills get the kickoff and return the ball to the their 31. Not a bad return to start the game

Bills first series 3 and out. Baltimore returns the punt their 25 - There is the Bills Offense for you.

Ravens first series 4 and and out. Ravens first play is a 13 yard gain. Then they get nothing. Bills return the punt to their 19. - Bills D looking good!!

Bills second series is the Marshawn Lynch show. Lynch had some short 3 and 4 yard runs and a few big runs of 13 and 23. Finally some sign of offense. Bills end up kicking the field goal for a 3-0 lead.- What really pisses me off about this drive is the Bills are finally moving the ball and the don't go for it on 4th and 1 from the Baltimore 11. Don't get me wrong I like points but when you have momentem you have to take some chances. Jauron is a pansy!!

Ravens second series 3 and out. Bills return the punt to the 45. - Great D again and nice return. Its looking like all three aspects of the team may be in sync today!!

Bills third series is the series of the big penalty. Bills weren't doing much on O but the 32 yards pass interference penalty get the Bills down to the Baltimore 7. 3 plays and negative yards. Bills kick fieldgoal for 6-0 lead. - Maybe someday they can get a touchdown. I don't want risky but I would like some attempt at wanting to score a TD.

Ravens third series is a 2 and out. Bills D pick up a fumble at the Baltimore 11. - Bills D rules!!!

2nd Quarter -

Bills fourth series is same as the thrid. 3 plays for nothing and a fieldgoal. Bills lead 9-0. - I am glad the Bills kicker Lindell is on my oppenents fantasy team!! O

Ravens start their fouth series on there own 13. Ravens O is starting to show some sign of life. Ravens convert 2 of 3 third downs and finally get into Bills territory. Ravens punt! Touchback Bills start the drive at there 20.

Bills fifth series started quickly but ended in 5 plays. Bills punt. Ravens get the ball at the 11 after the holding penalty. - Bills special teams does it again!!

Ravens fifth series is showing the Ravens O can move the ball. The Ravens got into Bill territory again but the Bills D forced them to punt for the 4th time in 5 series resulting in a touchback. - Bills D is looking good but its easy against the inept Ravens offense. What does worry me is the Bills D has given up a few third and longs. They really need to work on this. It may bite them in the A$$.

Bills six series ended with halftime. - Bills had over a minute to go and 3 timeouts. Why didn't they try something. I want to see some action this running crap sucks. Let the rookie throw. With the 9-0 lead the second half will probably be run, run, run also. Oh well I guess a lead is a lead.

3rd Quarter -

Ravens sixth series starts the half. They receive the ball in the endzone for a touchback. The offense is again moving the ball well. This is the third series in a row where the Ravens have made into Bills territory. 3rd and long hurt them again. McGahee ran all over the Bills on this this drive. A run of 46 yards for a touchdown and few other runs over 5 yards was basically the Ravens offense on this drive. Bills 9 Ravens 7. - I am not feeling good about this game. The Bills have no offense and they are being way to conservative. You can't win with field goals.

Bills seventh series (starting at the 26) is showing the Bills can move the ball to if they pass a little. Trent Edwards had a few passes of over 10 yards mixed in with some nice 4-5 yard runs made this a nice drive. Bills kick another field goal for a 12 - 7 lead. - There is that damn field goal again. I am going to make a bold prediction. The Bills will score a TD today!!

Ravens seventh series starts at the 31 after the kick off. Ravens O goes nowhere. Bills force a punt after a nice defensive stance. - Keep up the good work D. No more big runs for Willis!!

Bills eighth series starts on the 29. Bill throw the ball again and something good happens. A 54 yard gain for the Bills. Another throw gives the Bills first and goal. After a pass interference penalty in the endzone Lynch runs it in for a 1 yard TD. Bills 19 Ravens 7- See what throwing does. It opens up the running lanes for Marshawn. See I told you the Bills would score a TD and I told you if you open the playbook a little we might be able to score. GO Bills!!!

Ravens eighth series starts at the 20. Again the Ravens are moving the ball well and the Bills D can't get off the field on a few third downs. They also can't stop them on 4th and 10. Luckily they can stop them on 4th and short. Ravens turn over the ball on downs at the 8.- Bills D can't stop anyone on 3rd or 4th and long. It looks like they are Blitzing and playing prevent. I think that a prevent D just prevents the Offense from scoring quickly. My Bills got lucky on that won. I still am not feeling this game. This has been the Bills all season win all game and lose at the very last minute.

4th Quarter

Bills ninth series ends with a pick. It was almost a pick 6. Rolle was ruled down by contact after a challenge. - This is bad very very bad!!

Ravens ninth series starts at the It didn't matter the Ravens didn't score on the INT. The still still score a TD on a laser by Boller. Bills 19 Ravens 14. - I don't want to watch any more only bad things can happen now. You know I am going to watch I guess I am a glutton for punishment.

Bills tenth series starts at the 6 after a dumb move to take the ball out of the endzone. Bills O does nothing and they are forced to punt. Ravens get the ball on the Ravens 32. - Special teams does well again. Please D do something good. Lets get a turn over!!

Ravens tenth series does nothing. Bills D gives them a 3 and out. Bills get the ball at the 11 after the punt.

Bills eleventh series run Marshawn, run Marshawn, run Marshawn, punt. Ravens get the ball at the 40. - This royally sucks. Let the boy play. The QB can throw the ball everyonce in a while.

Ravens eleventh series results in a 4 and out. Bills get the ball on down at the 49. - Bill's D can stop people on 3rd and 4th and short cause then play a normal Defense!!!

Bills twelfth series. Bills get a 3 and out and punt with 8 seconds left. Game over!!- This is the first time I wanted run, run, run.

End of Game
Bills finally win a game!! Well that was fun!! Maybe i'll try it again sometime!!

Food Note!!
My wife made me italian sausage soup. It is so good. I could eat it everyday. My wife is the best!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Nothing has Happened Lately

Well its been a few days since I have posted. After traveling the last 2 weeks this weekend and week have been kind of dull. I actually don't mind dull I just don't need to talk about. I figured I should write something every once in a while for all of you reading about my exciting life. Well this weekend I had a few people over to watch football and to BBQ. Have I ever told you that I like sausage. All kinds hotdogs, polish, Italian, brats, salami, pepperoni. You name it and I probably like it. We had brats this weekend cooked in beer and grilled. All I can say is yummy.

Well its all good. Hopefully something good will happen this weekend but i wouldn't count on it. At least my Bills will be on this weekend.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Dallas Trip

Whats up all!!!

This weekend I went to Dallas to meet up with my wife who was working in the area and to meet some friends who moved from Bakersfield. I took the day off Friday and got to Dallas about 3pm central time where my friends picked me up. We drove to there house where I got to see Josh and the boys. After that I broke the diet severely. I think I ate 2 lb of meat. There was BBQ turkey, chicken, brisket, hot links, sausage, pulled pork and ribs. It was called the full house and I felt like a house after eating it. It was damn good. I highly recommend you try Dickey's BBQ when you are in the Dallas area. It is good reasonably priced food. I also got to try lone star beer. It is a local lager beer that tastes pretty good. For all you girly beer drinkers in Texas I say try it you may be on your way to having some taste.

On Saturday, my wife, April and Josh did some Texas wine tasting in grapevine. We went to a few places and tried some pretty good wines for the price. All of there wines were drink now wines with very little complexity. I am usually not a bog fan of the sweet wines but TX does them pretty well. On the way home we saw a Brew pub at the Bass Pro Shop called Big Buck brewery. Me and my wife sampled all 10 of there beers. They were all good even the Stout. I personally don't care for Stouts that but this was drinkable. If you are interested it is called Black River. My personal favorite was the Antler Ale. It was a nice red ale with the right amount of hoppyness and smoothness. I am told there a a few around county so If you get a chance try them out. For dinner we went to Jaspers in Plano. According to the food network and Bon Appetite magazine they have the best ribs in America. I personally thought they we good but I don't think they are the best. I like my ribs and I know that I have had comparable ones and at $25 for a rack they had better be awesome. Not to mention the rest of my party got other things and they weren't impressed at all. I am never a big fan of the $12 burger when I can get a 3 dollar amazing burger her in Bakersfield. Oh well even my food network has a bad day. One good thing other then the ribs was the glass of 14 hands Merlot from Washington. It was a really nice Merlot. After dinner my friends went home and my wife and I went to the Fox Sports bar and grill and watched some college football. It was a good end to a good day.

On Sunday we had a nice relaxing day at our friends house. I had a 7 pm flight so we just hung out and watched football. Josh cooked us an awesome TX specialty called flat iron steak. I am guessing that you can get it other places but I had never had it before. It is a great tender cut that melts in your mouth. So get a grill, some grill seasoning, and some flat iron steak and get cooking.

Depressing Monday - My Bills lead the game for 59 minutes and 59 seconds. They lost on a game ending field goal. This never should have happened. The Bills O had sucked all day so what does the coach do he calls a pass on 3rd and 7 while the are in easy field goal range. The rookie QB Trent Edwards throws a pick that was returned for 70 yards. At that point I should have went to bed. I knew it was over. Well the cowboys scored a TD but didn't get the 2 point conversion. The Bills were up by 2 but i didn't quite feel right. So on the kick off the cowboys get the onside kick and the rest is history. I hate to say it but the out come was the way it should be when you suck you lose and when you are good and have a horrible day you win!! At least the Bills are well on there way to a top five draft pick.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Great Food, Wine and Beer Trip - Day 4

Monday October 1st.

This is the final day of my trip to the Bay area. There really isn't much to talk about today. No beer, no wine, and no sports. All we did was take the cable car around the city and eat some Chinese food in china town. I had a dim sum platter. It was rather good. After touring San Fran Al and Maria dropped me off at the amtrak station.

The train was supposed to leave at 6pm but it didn't leave until 7pm due to a train derailment about a half hour south of Emeryville,CA (station where I left from). So we left an hour late and we started to head to Bakersfield. Then as we get to the location of the derailment we have to wait about an hour and a half while Amtrak did the worst logistics in in transportation history. They let 4 trains pass in one direction before letting other trains from the other directions pass. I am no transportation expert but it makes sense to me that you would alternate trains so that every direction is inconvenienced the same amount. We were already over an hour late so they figured lets make us even later. I was supposed to get back at midnight instead I got back a 3am. i was so tired at work the next day. I had some important meetings that day so there was nothing I could do.

That was the trip. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!!

Cubs update!!
Its over cubs go home!! Its all good I have learned with the cubs that there is always next year. Lets hope the Yankees have the same fate

Friday, October 5, 2007

Great Food, Wine and Beer Trip - Day 3

On Sunday Sept 30 we left the Valley and headed for San Fran. On the way out we stopped at Mumm's winery. They specialize in sparkling wine. We went specifically for the sparkling pinot. It is one of the few sparkling red wines out there today. It was my first time trying it and I thought it was ok. It was a little bitter for my taste but it wasn't bad. We also tried a few other sparklers and I ended up purchasing the last vintage of one of there lines. Sorry I am on the road and I don't remember what it is off the top of my head. If you want to know I can go check it out. I am sitting in an airport right now. Also in case you care the reason for stopping the line is sterling wants to use the grapes it was selling to Mumm's

After Mumm's we went to Fairfield, CA and stopped at the Jelly Belly factory for a tour and samples. Gotta love the jelly bellies. We also stopped at Sepay olive oil for some great fresh pressed good quality EVOO ( Yes I love Rachael Ray so I am going to quote her).

San Fran is our next destination. We have an appointment for a night tour of Alcatraz. This is all of our first time on the rock so we are pretty excited. If you get to the Bay Area i highly recommend that you take the tour. We had a blast. The audio tour is presented by actual inmates and guards of the prison. They talked about what it was like and how things worked. It wasn’t like a history lesson. It help me feel what it was like to actually be there as both an inmate and a guard. Let me tell you I’ll take the guard any day but I would still always watch my back. My two favorite parts of the tour were the escape stories and the demo of the cell doors opening and closing. It was pretty creepy hearing the doors slam shut when its dark outside. I can’t imagine being a prisoner and hearing those doors closing over and over again everyday know that you are going to be there for a while.

After the tour ended we went for dinner at a restaurant called Ciopino’s. It was really good. I had the Spaghetti alla carbonara. It wasn’t as good as the one I had in Italy or in San Diego but I was very happy with it. It’s hard to find good carbonara. Everyone was happy with there meal. After dinner we went across the street to Jack’s bar. Jack’s has over 60 beers on taps. Needless to say it fits my criteria as a great bar. I had a few pints of different IPA’s and I tried a few samples of other beers the bartender recommended. She was on most of the time. That is a little tip for you ask the bartender what to get when there are a lot of choices. They have probably tasted them all. Just make sure you tell them what you usually drink. They may love something that you would hate. Like me a porters and stouts. We were about to head back the hotel but we decided that we would go have one more beer so we went to a sports bar called Knuckleball across the street from out hotel. I had the Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale and we just chilled and talked for a while.

One more day to go!! Are you excited to hearing the rest of the adventure? I will give you a quick point to get you intrigued. There is a major train story. So tune in tomorrow or later today if I have time!!

Cubs Update - All I can say is it’s over. Cubs lose again 8-4 to the Dbacks. I don’t see them winning 3 in a row but I also didn’t see them making the playoffs this year. We’ll see what happens.

Later!!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Great Food, Wine and Beer Trip - Day 2

On Saturday Sept. 29th we hit the Napa Valley wineries. The first winery we went to was Sterling. This winery is really cool. You have to take a gondola ride to the main complex at the top of the hill. Once you get there you take a walking tour where you sample a few wine along the way. At one part of the walking tour you get to see a great view of the Napa Valley and a few of the vineyards that Sterling gets there grapes from. My personal favorite wines were the 2005 Gewurztraminer and the 2004 Reserve Cabernet.

After Sterling we went to a small boutique winery called St. Clements. It was a really small place and it was packed. I don't really have much to say about the wines. They were ok but I do recommend that you go with there reserve tasting over there regular tasting. I feel the wines were much better.

It is now time for lunch. For all of you who watch the food network you may have seen Guy Fieri's show Diners, Drive in's and Dives. Well we decided to stop and Taylor's Refreshers in St. Helena. There specialties are burgers and shakes. While watching the show Guy watched the Ahi Tuna burger. It looked good so I tried it. It had a nice ginger soy flavor and it was cooked perfectly. The rest of the crew my wife, Alejandro and Maria got burgers. They were damn good but where is the adventure. I always try to get the specialty when I go some place new.

After lunch we had an appointment for a VIP tour at Mondavi. Maria's uncle knows someone so we got hooked up. The tour was a pretty normal winery tour so I won't get into to much detail about the wine creation processes. But i will mention that I got to try wine grapes straight off the vine. They are really good. I didn't expect them to be so sweet. If they were just seedless they would be perfect. The best part of the tour was the tasting. We went to a private room with a bunch of glasses. Inger our wine educator pour a few whites a 2005 Fume Blanc and a 2004 or 2005 Reserve Chardonnay. I don't remember which. They were both good but the reds made the day. We got to try the 2004 Stag's Leap district Cab, the 2004 Reserve Cabernet and what I think may be the best wine I have ever tasted the 1997 Reserve Cabernet. All three of the wines were awesome. The Stag's Leap was was nice and smooth with good fruit and some good tanins. I think it is going to age well. Who am I kidding we are not very good a aging wines. We drink them. The 2004 reserve cab was also really good. It was the big boy wine that I love. It was a strong heavy deep tanin red that I feel I can just chew on. The funny thing is it was my least favorite and I would drink it any day of the week. The final wine the 1997 reserve cab was spectacular. I don't even know how to describe it. It was smooth, silky, chewy, complex and everything else you would want a wine to be. Up to this point in my wine life. I would say it was my perfect wine. A quick fact for you is that the 1997 vintage of Napa cabernets are one of the best vintages the region have ever produced. On Check out I purchased a bottle of the Stag Leap and a bottle of the 2003 Reserve Cab (it is also presumed to be one of Napa's better cab vintages). We are going to save the 2003 Reserve until 2013 for our 10th wedding anniversary. I can hardly wait!!!

After Mondavi was dinner. We went to this really cool tapas restaurant called Zuzu's where we tried 7 different dishes. If you ever get to Zuzu's i recommend the duck sausage and the sliced beef. For dessert we went to this bakery called Sweetie Pie's. You may have heard it on Jamie and Bobby Dean's show Road tasted. We got the cabernet grape pie like they showed on the show. It is only made for a few months during grape season. This may have been the first time a food network show has let me down. It cost be $37 and it was rather gross. I don't recommend it.

Wineries
Sterling - http://www.sterlingvineyards.com/en-row/home/
St. Clement - http://www.stclement.com/stclement/home.jsp
Mondavi - http://www.mondavi.com


Cubs Update - Cubs lose game 1 3-1. Why did they take Big Z. out? Lets up Lilly and his 9-1 record after cubs loses comes through.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Great Food, Wine and Beer Trip - Day 1

I went on a great long weekend trip to Napa, Sonoma, and San Fransisco this past weekend with my wife, Alejandro(Matt), and Maria(Maria). We had an awesome time. I will basically give a day by day recap of the trip.

On Friday my wife and I got up way to early (345am) to catch a train to the Bay Area. I slept most of the time so there isn't much to tell about it. We got in around 11 where Al and Maria picked us up and we headed up to Sonoma. The first winery we went to was Ravenswood. They have some awesome Zinfandals. My favorite are the county series Zins with the Sonoma County being my favorite. After Ravenswood we went to my favorite winery in the whole region Ledson. There isn't a wine on there list that I don't like. I like them so much that I am a member of there wine club. I get 2 cases a year. I like going to the winery for my free tasting. Its a nice perk for being a club member. We also ate lunch at Ledson they have a awesome deli with fresh meats and cheeses. Having a picnic at Ledson is one the best things you can do in the area. The view on the grounds are spectacular (if you like vineyards and castles). Our next stop on our wine adventure for the day was Blackstone. I personally wasn't really impressed with any of there wines. They were all just ok. Kunde's wines were pretty good and we got to go on a cool cave tour. I particularly liked the 2005 Gewurztraminer. Its a nice light wine that is good for chilling on the porch on a warm summer day. Our next stop Valley of the Moon winery was Maria's favorite. Not for the wine but for the shop. She bought a maple leaf chip and dip tray. She was all excited and happy. I thought the wine there was decent and I purchased a bottle of there 2005 Barbera. Its a lower cost wine that goes well with pizza and other Italian foods. Think a lighter chianti. I am looking forward to my next pizza night.

On our way to the hotel we saw one other place that was open Domaine Carneros. There specialties are pinot nior and sparkling whites. The wines were all pretty good but a little over priced. The coolest part about the place is how they serve the tasting. You order from one of the staff while sitting on a patio overlooking the Napa Valley. It was cool to just sit and talk while sipping on the bubbly.

We then checked into our hotel to decide on dinner. I am sure you know how much of a chore that is. No one ever wants to make a decision. So I did. I chose a nice microbrewery. It is called Silverado Brewing Company. I am glad we chose it cause everyone was very happy with the choice. I had the fish and chips and a sampler of the beers.

Well that is the end of day 1. Look forward to days 2-4 of my epic adventure.


For more info on the specific wines go to there individual websites:
Ravenswood - http://www.ravenswood-wine.com
Ledson - http://www.ledson.com/

Blackstone - http://www.blackstonewinery.com/

Kunde - http://www.kunde.com/

Valley of the Moon - http://www.valleyofthemoonwinery.com/

Domaine Carneros - http://www.domaine.com/



Brew pubs -

Silverado Brewing Company - http://www.silveradobrewingcompany.com/



Cubs Update - WOW!! I am watching the cubs in the playoffs!! Not only that but while I was gone Directv added a bunch of HD channels including TBSHD. I get to watch my cubs in beautiful High-Definition!!



Diet Update - What's a diet. I was very very bad on the trip. I did work out once though. With all the great food and wine in the area. I didn't stand a chance. I will get back on track after my trip to Dallas next weekend.




Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cubs and the Playoffs?

Well it looks like the Cubs don't want to play in the playoffs this year. Getting swept by the last place Marlins is not a good thing. I don't understand this. They have had the easiest end of the year schedule with the Marlins and the Reds. They are still up by a game and a half but with the way they are going that won't last. Well lets hope they play better against the Reds to finish off the season. The only good thing happening is the Brewers have to play a playoff contender for there last season. GO PADRES!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Crappy Football Weekend

It has been 2 weekends in a row that have been really crappy in terms of football for me. Lets start with Saturday college football. Like I have stated before I have 3 teams I follow (Penn State, Iowa and Syracuse). PSU lost to Michigan for like the 500th (10 if your really counting) time in a row. Iowa lost to Wisconsin because they can't score. What pisses me off about this is neither can Wisconsin. The only plus to the day is Syracuse had a major upset or Louisville. Syracuse can play offense if they are playing a High School defense. What can I say a win is a win. Not only did I teams I follow not do too well but the 4 teams I dislike all won. Florida,USC, and Miami. I think I am going to become an almost front runner. Go Cal Bears!! I will be dissapointed when they play USC and/or Oregon but until then the possibilities are endless.

Now for Sunday football.

News Flash - My Bills are going 0-16 and with the first pick in the NFL Draft who the hell knows since they have a decent QB and RB. I haven't seen a game braking wideout in college. Hopefully they will trade down a few spots for someone that needs a QB or RB. Isn't this sad its week 3 and I am already depressed.

The only fun thing today is watching McNabb of the Eagles look great again. They put up 56 points today. Hopefully this is there turn around game and they will be competitive this year. I don't like anyone else in the NFC East.

Baseball Update!!

Cubbies magic number down to 4. They have won 4 in a row and the Brewers have lost 2 in a row. They now have a 3.5 game lead in the NL central. Knock on wood its looking promising.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Directv pissed me off today

If it wasn't for the NFL Sunday Ticket I would never have purchased Directv in the first place. Yes it a little bit cheaper then cable for normal programming and there are a lot more sports but the equipment cost so much. I got the HDDVR about a year ago when it first came out I also got a bunch of other extra programming that same time. So I figured that the HDDVR would have all the functionality of the rest of there boxes. I didn't realize for few months later that it didn't. I don't use much of the interactive stuff but Sunday Ticket has alot that I would use. When i tried to use it on my super HDDVR box I couldn't use it. I held out for the first year and was going to this year until I found out there was other stuff that I wanted to use. So I called to find out about an upgrade. The lady tells me its 300 bucks. I ask her a bunch of questions about why and she basically just tells me because thats what it is. So I fold and pay the cash for the functionality. If i was still with cable I would just take my box back and they would give me a new one. Nice and easy and free. Oh well I love football!! The only good thing about this is we may be able to rearrange the living room because with the upgrade comes the installation. I made a bad choice on the location of the TV in the living room and my wife tells me about it. So I told her about the upgrade and she was irratated that I spent 300 bucks but then I explained to her that we could put the TV in the spot she wanted. Whoooooo I got out of that one!!!

Baseball update! Cubs 1 win 1 loss, Brewers 1 win 1 loss. Cubbies still have a 1 game lead in the NL Central. Magic number 10. This is going to go down to the last week. This baseball season is abnormally stressfull. I am not used to the cubs not being in this situation.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Celebrity Chefs

When I am not watching sports I love to watch the food network. My favorites to watch are anything with Rachael Ray, Anything with Alton Brown, and Dinner Impossible. I also like Bobby Flay and Paula Dean sometimes but I have to be in the mood for them. I think I like Rachael because she is fun and she just throws stuff together. She is a proclaimed cook not a chef. That is exactly how I cook. I like Alton because he analyzes the food scientifically so he knows how everything works when it comes to food. I pick up a lot of different tips from him. I also like to try some of the restaurants the Rachael and Alton hit on there travel shows. Rachael has never let me down with one of her suggestions. Dinner Impossible is just a cool show where chef Robert Irvine has to do these cooking challenges with crazy rules and time constraints. Its just entertaining.

My favorite non Food Network chef is Gordon Ramsey from Hell's Kitchen. Again this is totally for entertainment value. I love the rudeness.

So if your bored comment and tell me who your favorite celebrity chef is.

Baseball update Cubbies pull out a 9th inning win over the red yesterday staying 1 up on the Brewers who also won. Go Cubbies!!


Matt

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Crappy Football Day

Today sucked all around for football. My Bills lost, the Chargers are getting rock by the evil cheating patriots, and the Miami dolphins losing is as sweet as normal as they were beaten by the cowboys who a dislike as much or more as the fish.

So I went 7 out of 15 in my picks pool because no one is playing like they are supposed too. Hopefully Deb had a bad week. I don't mind loosing aslong as I don't lose to Deb or my wife. I have pride to maintain.

Oh well there is always next week!!

My Cubs won again putting the Cards even farther back but those pesky Brewers keep hanging on. There magic number is currently 13 so to make my life next stress full they need to win 7 in a row and the Brewers need to lose 6 in a row. Then they are off to the playoffs!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturday Beer Tasting Trip and College Football Thoughts

I did end up going on my beer tasting trip to the LA area today. I went to 2 places one in Valencia called Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Co and one in Pasadena called Crown City Brewery. They were 2 very different places. Wolf Creek was a true microbrew with 5 home brewed beers and Crown City was more of a bar with about a hundred different types of beers from different counties. In this count were some local microbrews. My over all favorite today came from Crown City and it was a Wisconsin Microbrew called Leinenkugels Sunset Wheat. I am not a usually a fruit beer fan but it reminded me of homemade blueberry muffins or pancakes and it was extremely smooth and refreshing. I could drink it all day. The only beer I didn't really like was the Intimidator IPA from Wolf Creek. It went down really well and had a really good bitter hoppy flavor but the aftertaste was horrible. I love hoppy IPA's but it shouldn't taste worse after you drink then during. Overall it was a good trip and I got to try 7 different types of beer. I was really disappointed that Crown City was out of there barley wine. I love barley and it is very hard to fine when I saw it on there beer list I was excited but when i got there they were out of it. Oh well maybe next time.

College Football

Lets start of by saying that I am a Sunday football guy. So I don't follow college as closely as I do the NFL but I do have a few teams that I root for. They are Penn State, Iowa, Syracuse, and my alma mater SUNY Albany.

Penn State dominated the University of Buffalo 45-24 but they didn't do so well in the first half. PSU should have scored 45 in the first half. You can't really complain a win is a win.

Iowa lost to Iowa St to lose the CyHawk trophy 15-13. They started out down 12-0 and came back to take a 13-12 lead but never scored again. Luckily this doesn't count in the Big Ten standings and they still have a shot at the rose bowl.

Syracuse lost 41-20 to Illinois. I don't know what to say about Syracuse. Maybe they should play Notre Dame they may have a chance to win a game this year. If you can't hang with Illinois you are in deep trouble.

SUNY Albany lost to Hofstra 28-13. 1AA football is rarely on TV so I don't know much about the game other then the lost. Oh sorry its not 1AA any more its Division 1 - Championship. Either way there not quite the big boys and most people don't care.

Baseball -
My Cubbies won 1 and lost 1 game of the double headed vs the Cards. So they cards are still 6 games back. The Brewers did make up some ground on the cubs though. I will be happy if they take 3 of 4 from the cards. If they win all or most of there series the rest of the way I think there will make the playoffs. Lets hope this year is the year they break the curse!!

Basically today sucked for me in terms of football. Good thing I had some good beer!! Can't wait until the NFL tomorrow even though my Bills are going to get there butts whooped!!


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Boring Day

I don't have much to talk about today since there isn't much good sports on tv and I try to avoid drinking on week days. You know the new healthy life style thing.

So after I got home from I went for a walk to the library with my wife and then sat down to watch the second half of West Virginia vs Maryland on ESPN. WVU is really fun to watch with there 2 Heisman trophy players Slayton and White and there wide open spread offense. I don't really care who wins I just love football. On another sports note my Chi Cubs are winning at Houston and the Cards lost so this is looking like a 5 game lead over the cards in the NL Central. GO Cubbies!!!

I think this weekend I will take a ride to LA and do some beer tasting a brew pub or 2. I haven't hit any of the LA pubs and I have been her for over a year. If I end up going I'll let you know how they were!!

Later!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

First Day

What's up all,

I have been reading a lot of blogs lately and i decided to try it for myself. I have 3 main hobbies/ passions in my life and the are sports, beer, and wine. I am actually starting to have another one that doesn't seem to fit the rest working out. I actually really hope that one sticks. My plan for this blog is to just discuss random thoughts on my passions and life in general. Please check back often (or even better subscribe) for updates.

Matt