I Actually Won Something

Signed DU puck (by Lindsay)

Back in October I attended a University Of Denver hockey game over Homecoming weekend. Outside of the area before the game there was a beer garden, food and musical entertainment for “Hocktoberfest.” I entered to win a signed puck AND I WON! The puck came in the mail today.

Vortex Alley Brewing Company

Vortex Alley Brewing Company
Vortex Alley Brewing Company

Ponca City has a craft brewery!

I stopped in on Wednesday afternoon to check out their beers and was pleasantly surprised. I was also hopeful for their success as at 3:30 PM they were nearly full of patrons. Yes, I understand the brewery had only been open a couple weeks at this point so there was the “new factor” in play, but still optimistic for their long-term success. Their smoked stout was good and the specialty holiday beer, a cranberry gose, was also quite tasty. In fact, I took home a growler to share with the family.

We returned on Saturday night to another packed house and a sure sign of potential success for a new brewery: running out of beer. Several of the varieties were gone by Saturday evening, including the wheat beer that I assumed my father would be able to drink… he thinks most craft beers are “too wangy”.

I don’t envy the owners in gauging the ongoing demand for their product in an area where people will drive 20+ miles to shop at WalMart because they have green beans for a nickel per can cheaper. I also don’t envy their having to navigate Oklahoma’s strange and obscure liquor laws. Nobody under 21 years of age can enter the premises, even just to deliver food; apparently they cannot open on Sunday; closing time is 9 PM; growlers must be sealed with tape (???). I suppose the people of Oklahoma should be happy they can actually consume the product on the premises, something that wasn’t allowed before this year. I also understand there are more taproom-friendly law changes coming in 2018.

Opening over a holiday weekend ensures good crowds but puts the pressure on to keep plenty of beer on-hand. They have also already learned that food trucks often cancel at the last minute, and my question about bringing my dogs in the taproom had not yet been anticipated. Judging from photos online they did allow a small dog inside later. One of my favorite aspects of Colorado breweries is an outdoor patio area but I don’t know where they would put a patio in their limited space.

I wish them nothing but continued success and pan to return over the Christmas holidays.

Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok
Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok is a lot of fun. If you’ve watched any of the previous Marvel’s Avengers series of films you recall the love-hate relationship that developed between Thor and The Hulk. Everyone remembers the scene where Thor is smugly gloating about how well the two fought a group of aliens in New York before Hulk “smashes” Thor in the head (out of spite?).

Ragnarok expands on their relationship further after a series of unexpected family drama events leads Thor to a garbage planet (let’s call it New Jersey) where he must fight their champion, roman gladiator style. On first blush the film is all romp, humor and action with a tiny bit of plot. I have seen it described as a farce of a film, and that is a fair assessment. It is nice to see the two fighters of the Avengers doing what they do best without the smug Tony Stark or super-pure Steve Rogers involved.

This actually feels more like a summer blockbuster film than fall lead-in to Thanksgiving. But that’s not bad thing! The overall arc of the Marvel Cinematic Universe story is advanced a bit in the bonus scene post-trailer, and I enjoyed watching the CGI fighting. It’s like a 21st century comic book!

Kudos!

New passport!
New passport!

I was attempting to purchase a good airfare deal to Vancouver for the Canada Sevens rugby tournament when I was reminded that my current passport expires next January… meaning I cannot book a trip in March without a valid passport at the time of the flights.

Considering how many sycophantic donors have been elevated to federal government positions I expected my passport renewal to take at least six weeks to complete if not double that. The State Department apparently has not succumb to this disorder yet, at least not the Passport Service. They were quoting routine renewal processing times of four to six weeks.

Imagine my surprise when I noticed my bank had cleared the check within three business days, then even more surprise when I received the new passport in the mail within two weeks including weekends. Wow!

Kudos to the State Department Bureau Of Consular Affairs!

#nerdGoals

Yes, I ordered the iPhone X this morning at 1 AM Mountain time. Ugh, need more coffee.

iPhone X order
iPhone X order

And although I ordered just as soon as possible I still will have to wait until 10 November for it to be delivered, at the earliest. At least my LTE Apple Watch arrived ten days ago, so I have one shiny new geeky thing in the house… oh, and my employer purchased a new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar for me.

New MacBook Pro
New MacBook Pro

UPDATE: At some point today my delivery status updated to next Friday!

delivery update
delivery update

Resolute Brewing Company

I took my dogs to a new-to-me brewery in Centennial on Sunday, Resolute Brewing Company. They have been open almost exactly a year so far and feature a medium-size tap room with both a patio and extra tables in the grassy area next to the patio. It’s a nice setup and very dog friendly. There were already three other dogs when we arrived.

The beers were solid and the bartender was friendly enough, in fact he forgot to ring in my purchases initially so I had to inform his replacement what I consumed when I tabbed out!

Resolute is a bit of drive through busy areas of Denver and the DTC so I don’t know how often I will visit (have to navigate back home afterwards) but I will keep it in mind when looking for a change of pace.

Lucy On The Patio At Resolute Brewing
Lucy On The Patio At Resolute Brewing
The girls on the patio at Resolute Brewing
The girls on the patio at Resolute Brewing

Brawl In Cell Block 99

Brawl In Cell Block 99
Brawl In Cell Block 99

I watched Brawl In Cell Block 99 last Friday night at Alamo Drafthouse’s satellite Fantastic Fest event in Denver. The short plot summary for the film is “A former boxer-turned-drug runner lands in a prison battleground after a deal gets deadly.” The summary leaves out the best part of the film, though: gruesome violence.

Vince Vaughn departs from his comic roles here as a former boxer who takes a job delivering drugs for a buddy. When a deal goes badly he ends up in prison and must make choices that are not that great. Any more details might spoil the plot. If you are squeamish or can’t handle gore and violence this film is not for you… the film was released unrated for a reason.

I was impressed by Vaughn’s acting abilities here and hope to see more of this type of role for him in the future.

Mother!

Mother! poster
Mother!

So. This film is not for everyone. Its symbolism will lose a lot of viewers and the allegorical references to the Bible and Christianity will put others off. It’s a wild ride and one of the few films I’ve seen in a long time that made me think about it over the ensuing few days.

Some of the characters are nuanced and others are clear-cut. Only Darren Aronofsky knows for sure who each of them represent — the audience is left to (hopefully) interpret his creation and decide for themselves.

Nerd alert!

Nerd alert!
Nerd alert!

Yes, I ordered the new Apple Watch with cellular capability. Discuss and feel free to nerd-shame me.

The Apple Watch is one of my favorite gadgets as it serves a required function (telling time) as well as bringing my my activity to the forefront of my attention. While my original Apple Watch has served me well it is showing its age in speed, battery capacity and scratches. It also moves notifications from audible (noisy!) to a subtle tap on my wrist. Perhaps you don’t receive a lot of alerts on your device… I do, however. Cutting down the noise pollution is the number one selling point for me.

Original Apple Watch
Original Apple Watch (work appointment details have been obscured)

Since I am old and enjoy sleeping I did not stay up until 1 AM local time to place my order. I was able to order from T-Mobile this morning with little stress, with the only downside being it appears my watch may not arrive until 10 October or so.