How much can I drink without slowly killing myself?

IMG_4467I’m not going to try to be funny or amusing. I haven’t posted anything on here in a while partly because every time I attempt to write something I try to be funny and amusing and those are two things I seem to do best inadvertently.
One thing in life I am good at is drinking beer. This just occurred to me today. I’m always wondering what am I doing with my life? Duh, I drink. I put a lot of effort and planning into it too.
However, there have been a few changes since my “drinking for life” post 4 years ago. A beer blog post that literally changed lives. (see this testimonial)

How to Survive the World Air Guitar Championships, aka The Hangover Cure that Changed My Life by Dan Crane

Don’t look at me that way! If you want to drink, believe in the B!!!

Sure I’m not a doctor but it’s funny how many people fight me on the effects of vitamin B or shrug it off as hocus. Its not some mind over matter “it works because you believe it” crap. Fuck the Internet and AM radio newsman with their mocking stories about how vitamins don’t do you any good. Yes, those are reports on legitimate studies, but heavy drinking is different. It puts your body through the ringer. Because drinking is voluntary doctors only advise people to cut back, they don’t give advice on how to increase the amount of alcohol you can drink. That’s what friends are for.
Then there are prenatal vitamins. If vitamins don’t work why does every single doctor prescribe prenatal vitamins to a pregnant woman? What do you think is more draining on a body, a tiny fetus that only takes what it needs to survive or 3 bombers of double IPA that enters your bloodstream and then ravages every cell in your body? Take the vitamin B if you are drinking heavily. If you are like my wife and usually stop after one drink or two and you feel fine then don’t worry about it, but heavy drinkers, especially older ones, should take vitamins, especially B.
Recently, Justin Crossley, the great host of The Brewing Network missed some shows because he was in the hospital for some complications related to vitamin B 12 deficiency. When he explained his job and told the doctor he would continue drinking the doctor said, “then you better take vitamin B12 everyday for the rest of your life” It’s not some mythical hangover cure, it’s about staying healthy enough so you can live to drink another day.

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A few years ago I went to a doctor because when I woke up one morning I was sore across my rib cage and abdomen. The feeling was similar to a time in high school when I tried to impress a girl in PE class by repeatedly doing belly flops onto the hardwood floor during volley ball because it had made her laugh (I never talked to her, in high school my method for attracting girls was based entirely on physical comedy). However, that morning I hadn’t done anything so heroic. The doctor asked me for a rundown on my food and beverage intake. I hesitantly explained to him that I normally don’t drink as much as I had that week, but there had been a double IPA fest on the weekend… I have a process for drinking, and I’m constantly making exceptions due to regular life happening, but most often I’m able to drink fairly heavily without any of the associated bad side effects like hangovers or energy crashes. It had been a good week and I had been drinking for several days (also sleeping and going to work, not drinking continuously) A day earlier I was starting to feel “ragged” which is a term I use when I still feel good, but I can tell I’m starting to wear down. My favorite way to deal with that is a night of gluttony. (I’ve decided to delete the details of what a night of gluttony consists of out of shame.) (Well, do I really have any shame? Basically it’s a regular night of drinking except at the beginning I add a big hunk of the forbidden red meat and two bottles of wine.)
Gluttony night always feels wonderful but the next day the body goes into restorative mode and doesn’t want a drink, that’s how I put the brakes on when I start sliding down the drunken rabbit hole.
So I had only gone to the doctor to make sure I wasn’t having a heart attack, but after hearing my story he told me he wasn’t worried about my heart but he thought I had probably given myself either pancreatitis or at least gastritis. He drew a diagram and explained to me how each of those organs reacts to excessive alcohol and the problems associated with each.
Thankfully it turned out to be false alarm, but his explanations did give me a window into how my drinking adventures could come to an end. I’m about to turn 50 and I’m starting to break down. I need glasses to read. I need subtitles to watch Netflix. This year, for the first time in my life I pissed my pants, and it almost happened twice! So I know my internal organs probably aren’t what they used to be either. Plus, only one of them has to break down before I have a serious problem.

This is the book where got most of my ideas, the guy that wrote it in 1999 was a nutritionist. The book says nothing about a gluttony day. Before writing the book he drank 8 glasses of wine a night for three months and lost 30 pounds or something like that. My objective reading it was not to lose weight or live longer but learn how I could drink as much as possible without getting hangovers. He never wrote a follow up and doesn’t have a web site so I’m not sure how everything worked out for him when he got older

This is the book where got most of my ideas, the guy that wrote it in 1999 was a nutritionist. The book says nothing about a gluttony day. Before writing the book he drank 8 glasses of wine a night for three months and lost 30 pounds or something like that. My objective reading it was not to lose weight or live longer but learn how I could drink as much as possible without getting hangovers. He never wrote a follow up and doesn’t have a web site so I’m not sure how everything worked out for him when he got older

I’m comforted by the fact that Duff Mckagen was drinking 11 bottles of wine a day at the time his pancreas exploded because I’m nowhere near that.

I had a similar reaction several years ago when I was emailing with my old friend Jeanette from the city. She was writing about how happy she was with a guy named Heiko that she was with. “The only downside is that he’s an alcoholic.” Normally the difference between an alcoholic and a drinker is that the former is an asshole. So I asked what made him an alcoholic. She said that weekend, even though he knew they had plans on a Sunday, he still went out drinking the entire night Saturday. Then, still wreaking of alcohol, to get himself right to go out Sunday he didn’t eat anything but lined up several vodka shots along the kitchen counter and then quickly downed a couple of beer chasers to start his day.
Aha! I thought, I’m perfectly fine. I don’t do Hair of the Dog. The whole point of my drinking regimen is so I look forward to drinking each day. If he can drink like that then I have no problem. However, it turned out that Heiko wasn’t the best benchmark to measure my health as he literally drank himself to death at the age of 39.
A doctor told him that he would die if he continued to drink. At first it seemed that he would accept his plight. He stayed every day with Jeanette and helped her with a dog kennel she was running at the time. He was sober for a few months. Then he fell off the wagon and very shortly after that passed away. Jeanette was there and of course was devastated for quite a while as he had been the first guy she had fallen in love with for many years.
I’m explaining this because Jeanette isn’t on any social media. She wrote this wonderfully sad little one page dedication (poem?) to Heiko and almost nobody saw it. How do people share their grief when they aren’t on Facebook? Well, she told me that there is a place on Valencia Street near her apartment called “The Pirate Store” and “when nobody is looking I’m going to hang this up next to the fish tank” (I just have her phone photo of it so hopefully it’s legible.)

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Why I did 30 days without drinking, it’s nothing exciting

It would be fun to say that I had been Inspired by Miley Cyrus and her sobriety break, but several factors had to come together at once to make me do this. First I saw Jay (Loudmouth) document a 30 days sober on his instagram page and thought, “yeah, I should do that sometime just to give the liver time to regenerate” and also this year I started getting a little raw feeling in my stomach after drinking all day. Gluttony night also stopped working for me. It used to be if I was invited to a brewery the day after a gluttony night I would still go but take it easy. The last time it happened I even said to the wife, “I need to take it easy this time” instead I had three heavy beers there and then when we got home she saw me pouring and feeling inspired in the kitchen, she held me by the shoulders and said, “remember you said you should take it easy” so I thought yeah, after this one I had been looking forward to that bomber of Bear Republic Fastback Racer Double IPA, but I’ll just have the regular Racer 5 instead. Then of course I had both of them. It was fantastic too! I didn’t regret it. However, I decided I needed to work on being more physically active to make up for my increase in drinking. Of course, I proceeded to wrench my left leg/hip pretty bad while trying to do just that, so instead I started sitting on my ass whenever possible and after a few weeks I felt soft and pickled. Finally I tried to compensate by drinking lighter beers but that wasn’t fun. However, the #1 final decider was that my beer fridge was almost empty anyway. If I had beer in the fridge like I normally do, if Raleys had a buy 3 get one free six-pack sale that week, then I would have thought, “I can’t quit now. I have all this beer!”
It didn’t matter that it was the middle of summer and there were several prime drinking days on the calendar. There was also never any doubt that I would go the distance once I started, ultimately I am much more obsessive than I am compulsive. I think I’ll get this posted a day before the 30 days ends. I forgot to weigh myself so I don’t know if I lost any weight, but my waist is about an inch smaller, most likely because the swelling of my internal organs has temporarily subsided. The wife thinks that I’ve been “more calm” which to me feels like “just a little more dead inside.” I started going to bed at 11pm instead of my usual 1 or 2am, but I didn’t feel any more rested, just got tired earlier, probably more akin to death row inmates who sleep 20 hours a day because they have nothing to live for. Other than that I’m the same person.

The art on our wall segment: This relief was painted by my Uncle Art. “Uncle Art the artist!” I was fond of saying as a kid. Then “He’s an alcoholic” was always the next term people used to describe him. He lived alone in a tiny shack in the mountains of Felton California, one room of living space and one room for art with a big pottery wheel in the middle of it. He was the brother of my grandma on my dad’s side. She found him wedged behind his art room door. He died with his arms rigid in the air holding up a broom-stick in self defense. He also had a large gash in his forehead but fowl play was not suspected. He used to talk often of literally fighting off demons, they think that’s what he was doing as he died. Art Tober, he was 65.

The art on our wall segment: This relief was painted by my Uncle Art. “Uncle Art the artist!” I was fond of saying as a kid. Then “He’s an alcoholic” was always the next term people used to describe him. He lived alone in a tiny shack in the mountains of Felton California, one room of living space and one room for art with a big pottery wheel in the middle of it. He was the brother of my grandma on my dad’s side. She found him wedged behind his art room door. He died with his arms rigid in the air holding up a broom-stick in self defense. He also had a large gash in his forehead but foul play was not suspected. He used to talk often of literally fighting off demons, they think that’s what he was doing as he died. Art Tober, he was 65.

Update to Drinking for Life
Some recently completed long-term studies determined that high sugar intake may be just as strong a predictor of future liver disease as excessive alcohol. Previously on nights I didn’t drink I’d eat a ton of ice cream then complain to the wife that I always felt my worst on mornings after not drinking. I wasn’t joking! When I stopped drinking for 30 days I also cut sugar out of my diet. When I start drinking again tomorrow I’m going to continue to avoid sugar, as well as heroin and speed and smoking.
There’s also a strong correlation between drinking and hard work or exercise. People who drink tend to be more physically active than people who don’t. So far science hasn’t determined the chicken or the egg theory behind this. Also, the more active your lifestyle the less likely you are to suffer the maladies normally associated with drinking.

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Miley News!
A few years ago I constantly told people, “In 20 years we’ll remember her twerking the same as we do cross-dressing and David Bowie, ultimately just one footnote in a long career.” Dead Pets featured the exploding brain of a 22-year-old teamed up with the “been there, tried that” Flaming Lips, seasoned dudes in their 50s, an overall tone that has served as my sad little musical comfort zone. At this point I’ve listened to Miley Cyrus and her Dead Pets hundreds of times. So you’d think I’d be over the moon that she has some new songs out. However these first two songs released so far have a super youthful emotional positivity to them. Don’t get me wrong, its terrific and I did expect her to go back to the roots, actually when I first heard Lady Gaga’s change-up “Joanne” I was surprised because that was exactly the style of classic soul burner that I had been anticipating from Miley, similar to a style she employed years ago for Lilac Wine. For me personally there are over 20 different songs on Dead Pets that I like better than her new hit but this time RCA is promoting it and she’s doing the media tour so… that’s just how things work. The new songs she wrote with her and just one guy named Oren playing all the instruments in a mobile studio. Once again deciding against using the RCA industrial songwriting complex to deliver a thumper. I’m really looking forward to the rest of it.

Seth and Devon mid-jump, from Probe #5

Seth and Devon mid-jump, from Probe #5

The Love Songs
The featured youtube for this post is an easy one because both of my kids appear in it 43 seconds in. Also, it’s the first “official video” (had a budget) these guys have ever done. 2/4 the members are descendents of Your Mother, the band that compelled me to start a record label over 20 years ago – and they are still going, recently touring the country and everything. God only knows what keeps them going or why their spirit hasn’t already been crushed. That’s a joke. I can poke fun at myself but Craigums, Bradley and crew are truly inspiring (to those who are prone to have such emotions). (Sorry, this is my the first ever sober Brewz Newz , you see what happens!) Also, starring in this video is the daughter of Seth, high-flying former drummer of All You Can Eat and today a guy who can build stuff and also works for the opera. A little skater kid named Max, son of Mellos makes an appearance, also Seth’s son, among some other spawn of Punks of Yore. Enjoy!

I Live My Life on a Six Second Delay

Anybody that knows me personally, or has even met me briefly, knows that I’m a little bit dialed back. I’m always behind in the conversation. I don’t get the jokes. I also don’t understand how things work in the real world. My wife tells our kids, “Your dad is actually really smart” and they laugh!

I think I’ve tried to learn how to spell the word beuitiful well over 50 different times in my lifetime. It’s a word that I’ve never been able to master.

When kids don’t do well in school I often hear their teachers say, “He’s a good student! He understands the work. He just doesn’t test well.” I was the opposite of that. I had no idea what was going on, could never do the work, and my teachers thought I wasn’t trying. However, I’ve always tested as much smarter than I am in real life.

At the same time I was failing out of high school I scored in the top one percentile in reading comprehension and vocabulary when my school had us take the National Achievement test. The obvious explanation at the time was that I must be a genius. For that reason I started college a year ahead of my classmates. As it turns out, today genious (that’s how I just spelled it without spellcheck) is not the go to term people use to describe me.

Recently I’ve done some self-assessment, thought of my strengths and weaknesses. My biggest weakness is that I’m done. I’m a little too content with where I am in life. I am a glass half full type of guy to my detriment.

As classic old timer Larry Miller says at the end of each one of his podcasts: “If you have a job to go to and a home to come home to and somebody there that loves you. Buddy, the games over and you win, and that’s the truest thing I know.”

Pete at 8 Bridges

Pete at 8 Bridges

We hadn’t seen each other in over 12 years but when my still semi-ambitious friend Pete came to visit the Bay Area recently we realized that we still have a lot in common. We both have transitioned from the world of punk rock to the world of craft beer. For instance, Pete used to go on tour with his punk band, and likewise, I used to go watch a lot of punk bands. And today, I like to go to a lot of brewpubs, and Pete is working on opening his own brewpub in North Carolina.
He wanted to visit the growing Livermore beer scene while he was in the Bay Area, “check out floor plans” etc. Later on he admitted it was just an excuse to spend a day drinking.
Pete and his wife have two young twin daughters. They look and act like two kids playing the part of twins in a movie (as in a romantic comedy, not The Shining). Pete’s sister was babysitting them and meeting us later. I suggested 8 Bridges Brewing to meet up at because they make a point of being kid friendly. Times have changed so quickly that it’s hard to believe that just 15 years ago “kid friendly” referred mostly to parental hell holes like Chuck e Cheese’s or a McDonalds with a play-land.
Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 12.03.16 AMWhen my kids were toddlers I used to tell the wife, “If I could start a business I would open a brewery and it would have a kid’s play-land!” I brought it up often. She laughed and said it would never be allowed. Not all that long ago the most popular image of a beer-drinking dad was the dumb drunk who yelled at his kids. Homer Simpson being the comic version of the classic stereotype. Wine was classy but beer drinking was done by sad bitter people in dark bars -not out on patios in the sun like it is today.

Some of the tap list at Altamont in Livermore

Some of the tap list at Altamont in Livermore

I’m not sure when it was built but the first kid’s play-area I ever saw at an actual brewery was at San Rafael’s Pizza Orgazmic.

I’m not sure when it was built but the first kid’s play-area I ever saw at an actual brewery was at San Rafael’s Pizza Orgazmic.

Earlier this year we had planned to buy from a food truck parked out in front of Gilman and then walk over to Fieldwork Brewery. However my son couldn’t find any food he wanted so the wife suggested we go to Pharm Burger -which her phone told her was nearby. The plan was to just get him a burger to go and head to the brewery. There was a line, I was annoyed, however, as we got to the entrance I noticed an 8 Bridges tap behind the counter, then a whole bunch of taps including two from Fieldwork. Then my wife said, “This looks like your type of place honey!” and pointed at a picture of a cow and a sign stating that their burgers were all from lovingly raised grass fed cows. As explained at length in an earlier post, I don’t buy meat unless the animals are happy and slaughtered gently. Cage free baby! The A’s game was on the TV. I said, “Okay, I guess we can forget the brewery and just stay here.” Then we sat down and there was a toddler play area! WOW, icing on the cake. This kind of place didn’t exist just ten years ago. Our kids are too old for us to take advantage of it now. I just appreciate a kid friendly culture that treats adults like grown-ups.IMG_3223 (2)

Sauced in Livermore, contract brewing through Working Man Brewery

Sauced in Livermore, contract brewing through Working Man Brewery

The “art on the wall” for this post is a photo of our kids as toddlers that hangs above the living room TV.

The “art on the wall” for this post is a photo of our kids as toddlers that hangs above the living room TV.

Back when our kids were in a double stroller, downtown Pleasanton had a Wednesday night “wine garden” in a downtown parking lot. It was nice just to get out and I ran into some people I hadn’t seen in many years and they had their kids with them. It was a really nice scene. Then there was a minor incident involving a drunk 18 year old, even though he hadn’t been drinking in the wine garden the next time they required that everybody keep their drinks in a designated area, basically a group of child-less 20 somethings were roped in a corner. There was a band playing with a giant empty spot in front of them because everybody that had been in front of the band the last time was now roped off in the pen. The families had moved on. We never went back.

Featured Brewery: Drakes I think Drakes was the first warehouse style taproom I ever visited, – about 16 years ago. On Friday nights they would roll up the warehouse door and they had a table with four taps, IPA, Pale, Amber, and Hefeweizen. They had little glasses with a handle (had the wife hold that one up for the photo) and we would buy $2 tokens for refills. It had sort of a “is this legal?” vibe to it because it was out in the parking lot behind the Home Depot. It was mostly a thing to do before A’s games. Later on people started bringing food and grilling. Once I walked up to one of the tables and said “How much?” The guy told me “Go ahead and have one! This is a community, people bring food for everybody!”       These days the spot has moved a little over to the right and is called the Drakes Barrel Room. I recently sent an email to a guy named Tom that I hadn’t seen in two decades to ask if I could buy him some beers there. I remembered I owed him and it had sort of bothered me for a long time. I picked him up at his house in the Oakland Hills and we went to Drakes. As it turns out he couldn’t remember my last visit or why I would owe him anything. He wasn’t even aware that he had started following me on twitter, which is how I found him. I had just come up on his phone. From his conversation he was clearly more concerned about managing his properties and hadn’t thought of me or anyone else from the past in years.                                            At the brewery I told him I was curious about a 23 year-old girl he had brought to my house over 20 years earlier. She had a bag of lingerie with her that she “kept at a friend’s house” because her husband wouldn’t allow her to have it. However, she had a collection and she wanted to be able to walk around with an audience. Sort of do a photo shoot kind of thing where she would try all of them on. Tom called me because I lived in a giant house with 10 roommates. At the time I remember wondering why she would marry a guy that she had to hide her lingerie from, but I didn’t put much thought into it. A few months went by before Tom called without much warning to let me know they were on the way. Her husband was away at work and they just had a few hours. I had beenout all night and wasn’t well prepared. When they arrived she took off her clothes and we took a photo together out on my balcony. She held up a Probe, like she was reading. She had to hide her face. Selfishly, I remember thinking I wasn’t going to get any good photos for The Probe if she had to hide her face. She seemed to be somewhat underwhelmed by me as well. Luckily, we headed downstairs where some of my roommates were. They were younger and more lively and enthusiastic than Tom and I so at least she had a good time with them before it was time for her to go. Tom had called me afterwards and said she wanted to make sure that none of her face was showing in any photo I put in the zine. “It would be really bad news if her husband or any of his friends were to see it.” There is a photo of her backside in Probe #6.                                                                                                    So at Drakes this year I asked Tom, “Was she a Muslim?” He seemed taken aback by the question. Uncomfortably he said that he didn’t think she was religious. I said, “But where was she from!?” He said. “Hawaii.” I said, “Oh man, I made up this story in my head that she came to the United States to be … wait a minute. She had a really thick accent! ” Tom paused and said, “You know what? … I think she came from India.” She had later gone to Hawaii and after that he had lost track of her. I was hoping for a more interesting backstory. Several years earlier I had thought of her after listening to an audio book version of A Thousand Splendid Suns. The ominous warning from Tom about not showing her face, the hiding of the undergarments, her brown skin and accent made me suddenly realize. “Oh man … not just an awkward marriage, maybe she was a refugee who had escaped devastating cruelty and sexual repression only to wind up at my house!” I felt bad because I had done a piss poor job as a liberator. I kicked myself for not having a better appreciation for the risk she was taking. Then again, she may have been a previously liberated. I really didn’t know.                                                                       Then things got interesting, I mentioned the Main Street Brewery. Tom nodded, but said he always went to Jim’s Restaurant when he was in Pleasanton. I replied that was right by my house. So he explained that before his mom had passed she had lived at the Parkview. I told him that’s where my dad had lived also! Wow, we could have crossed paths. Then Tom said, “Wait, is your brother a big guy?” It turns out that Tom knew my dad well. “And the little boy and the girl that came with your brother those are your kids?” We were both a little stunned at the coincidence.                                                                     Remembering his mom Tom started to choke up and had to stair down at his beer for a while to compose himself before speaking again. He said his mom hated to see people that were alone, that was just the kind of person she was, so she had insisted on sitting with my dad to keep him company. My dad had a table off to the side and everyone else sat in groups. That’s how Tom knew my dad, and then also my brother and my kids. He never made the connection to me because I had been Aaron Probe in San Leandro. Tom would visit his mom on weekday afternoons and I took my dad out on Sunday mornings so our paths never crossed. Even if they did I said I might not have recognized him because he had gained about 100 lbs. He explained the weight gain was fairly recent. He was recovering from two knee surgeries and had had trouble walking for a long time. For the last year of his life my dad was confined to a wheelchair. He had to be moved from Parkview to a facility on Neal Street. I would push him around town on Sunday mornings. I’d either take him to a park or into downtown Pleasanton. I used to wish there was some sort of informal beer garden that I could just wheel him into. We had beers a few times at other places but it was awkward, the patios were a tight fit and they didn’t open until 11:30. He couldn’t communicate at all or even recognize names and faces, but he still understood the beauty and the freedom of sitting outside with a beer in front of him. Last year McKay’s tap house opened on South Main Street, exactly what I was looking for, a nice outdoor setting, a large backyard patio area and it opens at 11am. – kids, dogs, bikes, a good tap turnover and wheelchairs and strollers can roll right in there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

brother and dad

brother and dad

 

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The girl from India.

A while back we were at a toddler’s b-day bounce house party BBQ (that’s how I do most of my partying these days) and someone said something really funny. Everybody laughed loudly and just as the laughter died I suddenly got the joke and I laughed also. This happens to me often so I announced, “I Live My Life on a Six Second Delay.” Which brought another round of laughter. My in-law said, “you need to put that on a t-shirt and wear it” I didn’t do that but I wrote the intro to this post the next day. I embraced it as my own personal slogan.

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I recently realized that I took the line from Miley Cyrus. Last year when she hosted the VMA awards Mtv used a seven second delay for the live broadcast. Then six nights later she hosted Saturday Night Live. There was no delay on the SNL broadcast “but when you smoke as much as I do you’re always on a seven second delay”

Stoner Rock

I don’t happen to smoke weed, but I started listening to a few stoner rock bands, mostly while cleaning the kitchen and doing dishes. I somehow came across Serpents of Dawn on bandcamp, probably because there is a drawing of a girl on the cover. But the cool thing was I saw that Bart Thurber of House of Faith studios recorded it. It had that same great thumping bass and drum sound that I first liked on the Plutocracy 7 inch back in ’91 or so. I then looked Bart up and we exchanged email. His studio is in Oakland these days. I think Bart may have been responsible for some of the Probe’s early notoriety. I was told by a few band members that when they recorded at House of Faith they sat around reading The Probe in between sessions and many many bands have gone through there. Also, one time Bart’s roommate at House of Faith unprompted donated $500 to the printing cost of Probe. Eugene Robinson of the band Ox Bow said it his way of giving back to the scene.

Around the same time as Serpents two different stoner rock bands from Colorado, first Stone Deaf and then Black Magic Darkness liked the “NakedcultofHickey” hashtags on my Instagram so I downloaded and started listening to them too.

Some nights back I was doing some old man head banging at the kitchen sink and I turned around to see my 12 year-old son standing behind me, “Really dad?” But this stuff rocks!

Disneyland Beer Life, Instagram – and Hitler

IMG_2944“Hey Buddy, my eyes are up here.” When I wore this shirt every body stared at my chest. I like images of women and beer so I like beer shirts with women on them, but this one is too much for me. I don’t have enough personality to overcome this shirt. IMG_1982I prefer the classics, such as the turn of the century Olympia Beer ads that Olympia brought back in the 1970s. I remember my Grandma Lydia painted portraits of women in fancy hats that she had hanging in every room of her house. That feeling of nostalgia is probably why Olympia was my favorite beer back in the days of the cheap 12-pack.

(When Suicide Girls first became popular I read a magazine interview that asked the founder if she had pioneered a new style of sexuality for the next generation of young women, she answered that it was already there (paraphrasing) “ before we were around Taste of Latex and The Probe were featuring sexy images of punk and alternative looking girls…”  Even back then, it was just nice that the Probe was remembered.
Like Nirvana to hair metal I thought Suicide Girls were a nice response to the Bud Girl posters and all of that horribly slick sexuality that we were fed in the ‘80s, but now here I am wearing a t-shirt of a big boobed beach girl making an “O” face and feeling nostalgia for women in fancy hats.
I’m confused sexually. I can’t decide which type of hetero normative male I want to be.)

Classic, I really like this one, and it's their best beer, this is on the back

Classic, I really like this one, and it’s their best beer, this is on the back

Nostalgia is also the reason so many adults love Disneyland. (Yes, that was an attempt at a segue. Don’t judge me, I’m a drinker, not a writer!) I went to Disneyland for one day when I was 12 and I only remember standing in line. I’m not one of those adults who likes to spend vacations at Disneyland.
However, when our kids were young the wife thought they should have the full Disneyland experience. She was right. Not only did they love it while we were there but they seemed happier when we got home too. They were on a Disney high. Then three years ago, we went back and did a full on Disney boot camp. 3 days, fast pass strategies and 15 hours each day in the park. It was an incredibly well executed family vacation. It was tough for me to find time for breweries, but I managed.

Don’t bother, but this is the old Disney post http://www.brewznewz.com/2013/04/

This time I never set foot in Disneyland. The wife and kids left early every morning and I stayed behind in the hotel room. I brought about six books to read while I was waiting for the breweries to open. However, it’s now 2016 and I recently jumped from an I-phone four to one of those big I-phone sixes, quite a life change. I did very little book reading. No TV either. I spent time on instagram.

I almost want to join Facebook now because that’s where all of my fellow old people are. I don’t come across a lot of people my age on instagram. Then, just because I follow and “like” Miley Cyrus I get Selena Gomez and Justin Timberlake in my “explore” feed. That’s like getting Iron Butterfly when you’re looking for Led Zeppelin or Screw 32 instead of Hickey. For that reason and others my favorite exploring options on instagram are comments and location. It’s pretty amazing. Those are the paths you follow when you want to get off the beaten path and find the real stuff from all around the world. I complain about people who don’t add location or they make comments, but have private feeds. I was bitching about this one day to the wife, saying people that have private feeds are fearful of the world and don’t have a sense of community. She said, “What are saying? My account is private!” I didn’t know. To her Instagram is a way to keep up with friends and family. I’m a little more intense about it.

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Is Hitler trending?
Last month I noticed photos of Hitler come up in feeds. It was always in a foreign language so I wasn’t sure of the context, but it was still weird because it seemed completely random. There were four or five different times where I came across photos of Hitler. It was odd.
One time I thought I might have stumbled on some strange Nazi cult, but I clicked all the people that “liked” the Hitler photos (no hash tags on them) and I didn’t find any other Nazi stuff. Just random “likes” for Hitler from people otherwise unassociated.

This guy got six likes for his selfie, Hitler got 3 likes, Che got one like and the others got none.

This guy got six likes for his selfie, Hitler got 3 likes, Che got one like and the others got none.

Nazis, Don’t Call it Comeback!
While the family was at Disneyland a friend posted a flyer on instagram. It was a counter-protest for a Nazi rally in Sacramento. It sounded like an event straight out of a bad movie so I made a couple of sarcastic comments under the photo. “I hope they have pamphlets.” Are Nazi’s a thing in California? Were they ever in this country? References to Nazis in America are usually used solely as punch lines or insults.Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 8.27.58 PM However, I quickly discovered on instagram that in other parts of the world Hitler seems almost beloved. It’s not just in one location, many different parts of the world. It’s all walks of life too, young kids in punk bands, moms, soldiers, doctors, and classical musicians. I looked up the reasons for this and there are many different factors that vary by location, including the influence of WWII alliances and Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 7.51.25 PMexpiration of the Bavarian copyright for Mein Kamph that has lead to a surge in the sales of his book.
I’ll post a few screen captures. I think I’ll make them thumb post size (at the end) so I don’t have an entire Brewz Newz filled with Hitler love, but if you are curious you can click on them What strikes Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 1.30.32 AMme most are the nature of the few comments that are in English. There isn’t a negative social stigma for Hitler in most nonwestern countries. The attitude towards him is completely different than we’re used to. Kids often aren’t taught about the Holocaust in Iran. (see post at right)
It’s not everywhere; I’ve looked at several thousands of photos in Pakistan and Afghanistan and didn’t find any Hitler at all. I’m also not educated enough to know why it was possible to find real women with Instagram accounts in Afghanistan but not in Pakistan. Pakistan was a lot of dudes following other dudes and they all have short beards and longish hair. I kept trying to use the location key to escape into different social strata, but got caught in a giant vortex of semi- hairy dudes selfies. Very few women and most were completely covered. 3am, sleepless, and the worst hour I have ever spent on instagram. Pakistan, get you’re shit together!

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I thought maybe it was just bad luck within a small sample size but I just now tried again, 183 million people and this times a thousand is pretty much all I can come up with on instagram in Pakistan.


 

(The day after I wrote this a popular Pakistani woman was strangled by her brother for making somewhat risqué posts on Facebook, an honor killing. This one made the news because of her large following. Over 500 women are killed every year in Pakistan by family members, many of them for photos that they posted on social media and most honor killings are never prosecuted, that explains why you can’t find Pakistani women on instagram.)

(The day after I wrote this a popular Pakistani woman was strangled by her brother for making somewhat risqué posts on Facebook, an honor killing. This one made the news because of her large following. Over 500 women are killed every year in Pakistan by family members, some of them are killed for photos on social media and most honor killings are never prosecuted – so that explains why Instagram in Pakistan is nothing but miles and miles of little hairy dudes.)

 

Other Arabic countries have instagram feeds that are completely lawless, car stunts on public highways, bizarre dancing men in the desert, and the most disturbing video I’ve ever seen in my life. Normally I look away before I see horrible things, but I didn’t see this one coming. I wrote a paragraph about it but decided to delete it. I can’t even mention what it was and keep this light hearted. If you want to be disturbed you can ask me in person but I won’t write about it.

And now back to Disneyland!
So before I got side tracked by Hitler, this was to be a Disneyland beer post. Unfortunately I did something really dumb in preparation for this trip and I stopped drinking for four days. My intention was to clear out my liver in preparation for a brewery blitzkrieg, but instead of going to the beer fridge all I did was satiate my cravings by raiding my kids’ cereal cabinet and then later scooping myself ice cream at one in the morning while binge watching YouTube. Not drinking is so unhealthy! I felt horrible and was looking forward to clearing out my system with a good dose of pure hops n’ barley.
Mistake #2 was meeting up with old friends the very first night of our trip. I over drank before I even got to any breweries, that’s what you do with old friends! Luckily, the hotel we were in the first night had a weight room. The next morning, after dropping the family off at Universal Studios (an addition to this trip because of Harry Potter land) I went to the weight room and spent an hour kicking myself in the butt. It worked! I was ready to start drinking again by noon!

Of course I wanted this calendar but they were sold out!

Of course I wanted this calendar but they were sold out!

WAZE
My first attempt at using the waze app went well except waze doesn’t mention the address. It just says, “you’ve arrived” so instead of walking into the Eagle Rock Brewery I walked to the Eagle Rock Church. A lady there lightheartedly condescended to me drinking instead of church going but she pointed me in the right direction. A friend Josh joined me by way of Uber and we went on to the Highland Park Brewery next, both great. After that we headed to Hollywood where things are weird. I took several photos for instagram and deleted them within an hour. That’s my idea of living in the moment. One was a photo of a little house behind another house where Josh told me David Yow lives. In honor of that moment, here is a YouTube clip of the great Jesus Lizard!

After David Yow’s place Josh and I picked up his special lady friend Donna. (Previously known as Good Donna) A nice thing about  LA is that you don’t have to get on Instagram to leave the country. We went to a Korea Town shopping plaza, none of the signs were in English, but in the corner of the place was a great beer bar. They didn’t have the Adam Carolla “Endless Rant” IPA but they had a different beer from King Harbor Brewing so I got that one in honor of them honoring Adam Corolla.IMG_3094

This year Father’s Day happened during this vacation. We went a couple of miles down the road from Disneyland to Oggi’s Pizza and Brewery. I actually saw the family each day. It was in the middle of *100 plus heat wave so  they’d come back to the hotel around 2pm and I’d go to the hotel pool with Henry while the women took an air conditioning break. Then they went back to the park and I hit the breweries that opened at 4pm. Backstreet Brewing had a $3 pint Monday that worked out for me. That was my first time using the Uber app too. I had walked there because it was only two miles from the hotel room, but I had to go around a highway

Featured Beer; King Harbor’s Endless Rant. I’ve been following Nicole Ernie on twitter for a couple of years now. She’s not a fan of the Ace Man, but she is a Master Cicerone (beer expert); I think I heard on the Brewing Network that she’s the youngest person ever to earn that title. I could be wrong about that, but if I’m wrong I’m still close to the truth. Anyway, I brought a bottle of “Endless Rant” to Fern and Greg’s wedding.  I chased down Nicole and asked her what she thought about this very special beer honoring the great Adam Carolla.  I didn’t have a note pad, but she said something like, “I didn’t want to like this but it’s good.” A few hours later she completely killed it with Judas Priest on the Karaoke!

Featured Beer; King Harbor’s Endless Rant. I’ve been following Nicole Ernie on twitter for a couple of years now. She’s not a fan of the Ace Man, but she is a Master Cicerone (beer expert); I think I heard on the Brewing Network that she’s the youngest person ever to earn that title. I could be wrong about that, but if I’m wrong I’m still close to the truth. Anyway, I brought a bottle of “Endless Rant” to Fern and Greg’s wedding. I chased down Nicole and asked her what she thought about this very special beer honoring the great Adam Carolla. I didn’t have a note pad, but she said something like, “I didn’t want to like this but it’s good.” A few hours later she completely killed it with Judas Priest on the Karaoke!

and stuff (I hash tagged #dalebozzio at the brewery but I don’t know if anyone got it. The wife didn’t even click on it. = Missing Persons = “Walking in LA”) so instead of walking back to the hotel I clicked on the Uber app and it said, “your ride will be here in 4 minutes.” Amazingly easy, I’ve never called a cab in my life, but now I use Uber.
I want to thank Bootlegger’s Brewery for opening at noon on a Monday and I’d say I had the most fun at Legends Brewery, but otherwise I’m not going to review each brewery like I did last time. I will say that brewery culture is still strong! Each place had it’s own personality and I didn’t have any bad experiences. Except for some reason the new Instagram app couldn’t “add location” at half the breweries I visited. Google Earth and Uber always knew exactly where I was, but Instagram couldn’t figure it out. That annoyed me because I was trying to be ninja quick with my posts and get back to drinking and it’s the difference between posting a photo that says, “Hey, check this place out!” to “Hey, look I’m having a beer!” And that’s great, but it’s a little different. When the location works it’s like sending extra photos to anyone who might be interested. It’s just good shorthand. There are still hash-tags, but those are overused and abused.

The “Art on our Walls” segment for this post was the Olympia Beer Plate up at the top of the column.

Getting back to America, it looks like I will be watching The Voice this year. Previously the only reality TV show I’ve watched were the four episodes of Celebrity Apprentice that Adam Carolla was on. Adam’s natural deference was interpreted by Trump as bad tactics.  However, the behind the scenes stories on Adam’s podcast were more interesting than the show itself. After he was fired I stopped watching. Miley Cyrus became a coach for a short stint on The Voice last season. It was impressive to watch her so quickly breakdown songs and coach up the performances. As Pharrell said on set, “she’s like a little super human!” This year she’s coming back for a full season as a judge. I’m not sure what that entails, but Miley never disappoints.

Getting back to America, it looks like I will be watching The Voice this year. Previously the only reality TV show I’ve watched were the four episodes of Celebrity Apprentice that Adam Carolla was on. Adam’s natural deference was interpreted by Trump as bad tactics. The behind the scenes stories on Adam’s podcast were more interesting than the show itself. After he was fired I stopped watching. Miley Cyrus became a coach for a short stint on The Voice last season. It was impressive to watch her so quickly breakdown songs and coach up the performances. As Pharrell said on set, “she’s like a little super human!” This year she’s coming back for a full season as a judge. I’m not sure what that entails, but Miley never disappoints. https://youtu.be/DYIp5JAJrSo

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Main Street Brewery isn't afraid to have fun, take that hipsters!

Main Street Brewery isn’t afraid to have fun, take that hipsters!

Good one Murray!

Good one Murray!

While I was writing this. This one was back to back with the Murray photo in my regular feed!

While I was writing this. This one was back to back with the Murray photo in my regular feed!

It's not all about Hitler and honor killings. Turkey seemed to be fairly joyful.

It’s not all about Hitler and honor killings. Turkey seemed to be fairly joyful.

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