Thursday, January 26, 2017


I just learned that a previous work colleague has cancer.  Damned, I am tired of cancer.  Our previous Vice President started a campaign to eradicate this disease but it may not help my colleague.  I believe, like many, that cancer is big business thus coming up with viable treatments more difficult.  I hope and pray my colleague gets better and lives on with his beautiful wife.  They were looking forward to retirement in the very near future.  I woke up with the start of a cold this morning and I feel lucky.

Dr. Brown's draft style root beer crossed my lips and I have to say it wasn't that good.  Bottled by J R Bottling in New York.  Found in Jewish stores it is very popular in New York.  I just didn't find it to be as good as many of the others we have had.  It wasn't as bad as the one that tasted like dirt but not too far ahead of it.

Flashback is really an Olde Time Soda.  Developed in Seaside, Oregon by Robert and Boni Clark who own the Flashback Malt Shop.  I had forgotten that we visited the Malt Shop back in September of 2014.  Nice people and a great selection of old-time sodas.  Anyway, the Root Beer is great.
Mom's Root Beer maintains that it is "the better half".  I am pretty sure that reference has to do with the mass produced Dad's Root Beer as the label seems to indicate as well.  While there isn't a lot of difference between the two, Mom's has the feel of a more premium root beer and it does have a nice body and after taste.

Hope all is well with you. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Need to Get Out of the House

The Tacoma RV Show opened in the Tacoma Dome today.  We aren't looking to buy but we are always interested in what is new.  Not much has changed in the overall RV however, there have been some cosmetic changes like different flooring materials and designs.

All of the RV's presented are showing the best of those available and it seems the numbers of units being sold is depleting the stockpiles of things like cab and chassis combos for the motorhomes.   I took down a few Vehicle Identification Numbers and found that while the RV is being touted as 2017, most of the cab and chassis units under the rigs are 2016.  The ones I checked were B and C class units.

I didn't take a lot of pictures as I have in the past and we didn't spend a whole bunch of time wandering thru every trailer or motorhome in the dome.  We have concluded that by the time you spend the money for the initial RV and equipment, look for and pay to park it, purchase insurance, fuel and pay for maintenance you could easily drive and spend time in motels.

C class motorhomes are in the $60,000 up category.  Choice Hotels average nightly charge in 2016 was around $60.00 for an economy room, to $125.00 for the upscale hotels.  Double those to include eating out and you'll spend between $120.00 and $250.00 for food and lodging.  You could spend 240 days on the road using hotels and restaurants for the initial cost of an RV.  Add in all the other things you need to own the RV along with the fuel, maintenance and parking costs you'll find you can stay on the road even longer.

On the flipside, if you intend to use the RV as a place to live and your intention is to be a nomad until your health won't let you, then by all means, look at the RV Industry.  Just be very, very careful what you buy.  You need to use an RV more than a couple of weeks a year to make it pay for itself.

Just my thoughts.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I Got to Stop Drinking for Awhile

I haven't even gotten half way through my large root beer order that my son made possible over the Christmas holiday but I am thinking it might be time to back down some.  One or two a day is just too much.
Grand Teton Root Beer comes to us from Victor, Idaho and the Grand Teton Brewing Company.  Kettle brewed it seems to have a blend of components that give it a very refreshing taste.

I am not sure what happened to this bottle or batch of Maine Root Beer but suffice it to say the flavor doesn't match their advertising.  There was a rooty flavor (like dirt) to this bottle and I am not sure I would like to try it again.

Ithaca Root Beer has some rather unusual components but the flavor is outstanding.  Panama Bark extract, hops, star anise, juniper berries and vanilla bean combine with water and sugar to make an outstanding root beer flavor that is creamy and just plain good.
Frostop, like A&W, started life as a Drive in Diner in 1921.  In 1926 Frostop developed and sold a very frothy root beer to their customers.  The tradition lives on today with this premium root beer gives a foamy head with great flavor.  Frostop makes several different root beers utilizing different ingredients.

Think I'll start drinking water for a while.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Reflections and More Root Beer

Next month I will hit a life milestone by reaching my 70th birthday.  I suppose something could conceivably happen between now and the fourth of February to change the outcome and in the back of my head a small voice is yelling, "Wait, don't write this now".  Never was very good at listening to the small voice in my head.

Many of my friends, work mates, and others did not accomplish this milestone.  Some of them didn't make it out of their twenties because of Vietnam.  Others didn't get past their thirties or forties because of illness, accident or just plain stupidity.  There are those that didn't age well into their fifties and sixties with failing health.  But here I am, ready to turn 70 and wondering why I am here and they are not.

My mom was born March 26, 1912, and lived until May 12, 1982, just over seventy years.  While my physical and mental health are much better than hers at this age, I am not where I should be with regard to a bunch of different health issues and my procrastinating personality isn't helping me resolve any of those issues.

So here comes 70 and I start to reflect on where I have been and where and what will happen as I move forward.  First of all, I have to say that my life has been and continues to be pretty damned good when compared to other folks that I come in contact with.  My family is doing quite well and I expect nothing but great things from those I leave behind and let us face it, I'm going to leave many of those I love dearly behind and at this age, it won't be too far in the distant future.

In my twenties and thirties, I worked hard at what I thought was enjoying life only to discover that I was addicted when I woke up in my forties and finally decided to do something about it.  Funny, but as you go through life you don't think much about the possibility of it ending but I can tell you that you become a damn sight more interested in it as the scale of life swings in the other direction.
Which brings us to what happens after death?  That is the question that will likely never be answered unless someone comes back from the dead to explain it.  In some respects, I want to believe in an entity because frankly, I just can't wrap my arms around the whole scientific theory of one cell in a puddle of water created every living plant, insect and animal (including us) that surrounds our being.  But the whole entity thing is confusing.  It would appear that in either case, you must have faith in your belief and I am not so sure that I have what you would call faith.  So, here I am approaching the 4th of February and still wondering about the future.  Pretty funny when you consider I never used to concern myself with it.

On to lighter and more fun stuff.  Two more root beers have crossed my palate since my last post.
  Sea Dog Root Beer tastes a lot like the refreshing root beer I used to get in the ice cold mug at the A&W Drive Inn.  A frothy head and good taste from this one.
Iron Horse Root Beer didn't remind me of any of my previous root beers.  It has a good root beer taste but it took me awhile to discover what was different.  It almost tasted like the brewer added creme soda to the batch.  There was a slight hint of the creme and it really did make this an exceptionally good drink.

Well, that is all I have today.  Please, if you have any thoughts, don't hesitate to make them know.  Hope all is going well.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Once Again

Once again I have tried to find the nectar of the Gods and failed.  Three more that don't make the mark.

We'll start with River City Root Beer, bottled by Blue Dog Beverages located in Sacramento, California.  This company is similar to a bottling company we have here locally in that they bottle sodas for several different companies.  I have a couple of others in my assortment that are bottled by this company.  I am not impressed.

Brewed and bottled by J.M. Smucker Co in Ohio, Natural Brew Draft Root Beer is an interesting combination different flavors.  It was definitely different and likely is an acquired taste.  Without another bottle, I am not sure what I think.  Sorry.

Gale's Root Beer is bottled by Gale's Bread & Butter in Illinois.  It is a combination of many normal root beer flavors and one I haven't seen in any others, cinnamon.  Can't say I care for the addition and I don't need another bottle to confirm my thoughts.

Mia and I are planning another trip and I am planning to visit places that make root beer in many of our stops along the way.  I suspect my beer belly will be even larger.

Hope you're having as much fun as we are.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

I Know, it's Crazy

More root beer has come my way.

Located in Branson, Missouri, Ozark Mountain Bottleworks was founded in 2009.  While they have several different flavors their Root Beer is pretty damned good.  Using 100% pure cane sugar, combined with a full sassafras flavor and a touch of vanilla. 

Next on the list:

Tommyknockers Root Beer...sorry won't be doing this one again.
Didn't care for the Olde Rhode Island Molasses Root Beer.  This left me with an unpleasant aftertaste.
I wasn't impressed.
 Hank's is the one I am drinking as I type out the blog.  Hank's Beverage Company is a family owned operation from Philadelphia.  Made from pure cane sugar combined with supposedly gourmet ingredients.  I didn't see them on the list of contents but there is a great flavor and it tastes really good.  Is Philadelphia the birthplace of Root Beer as stated on the website?

Yep, the first commercial brand of Root Beer made its appearance at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition.  Developed from sassafras in 1875 but Pharmacist Charles Elmer Hires.  We all recognize that name.  Being a teetotaler, Hires originally called it Root Tea but while marketing to coal miners he changed it to Root Beer.

Have a great week.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

January 2nd

Being off for the first time in many years and able to watch the college bowl games was a real treat especially the Rose Ball.  Did I, a UW Husky, Pac 12 fan want USC to win?  Not particularly but it appears they had different intentions and after watching the game I have to say it was without a doubt one of my top five games ever.  101 points and several Rose Bowl records fell to the wayside and the game ended with a spectacular come from behind finish.

I drank some more Root Beer of the course of the past couple of days.  The first was Rocky Mountain Root Beer.  All natural ingredients, fresh Colorado water, and small batch creation make this Root Beer one of the better that I have tasted so far.  They have done a wonderful job of combining the ingredients to get a fresh old time Root Beer flavor.

You would think that something with Gene Autry's face on it would be outstanding given that it would likely be considered All-American.  Bottled by Rocket Fizz who also bottles many other celebrity brands as well as sells them in franchise stores bottles this brand finds itself competing with the same product with a different face on the label.  Unfortunately, the flavor is weak and doesn't live up to the life and times of Gene Autry.  Not one of my favorites, sorry Gene.

My final selection over the New Years Holiday was Jackson Hole Buckin Root Beer.   Bottled by Jackson Hole Soda Company in Jackson, Wyoming they claim to have the taste that won the West.  Batch brewed they try to remind us of the stuff Grandma used to make us.  (Did I give away my age with that fact).  It is one of the darkest brews I have experienced and had no foamy head but the flavor was great and of the three I drank over the holiday this one gets my highest vote.  Probably not easy to find unless you go online to order.
 That is all for this trip through Root Beer tasting.  I am sure we will have more reasons to lift a tall one.