Wednesday, April 18, 2012


As usual, Life has seen fit to make things interesting.  It is now 2.5 months and change since I had a job.  That rather sucks.  I'm looking left, right, and center but as of yet nothing concrete.

Hoping to hear back from 2 dream jobs.  Bearden Beer Market and Smoky Mountain Brewery.  One selling beer, and the other making it.  I'd love to do both.  I wouldn't have much complaint about going to work on any given day ;)

Aside from that, still running somewhat regularly.  I have a new home, which has lots more space.  All seems well.

I just need a damn job....

Saturday, September 17, 2011

On Audiobooks...

I love audiobooks.  Love em.  Best thing ever for running and for road trips.  I can just zone out and nect thing I know, I'm done with the trip.

Best ones yet are the Jim Butcher Dresden Files. James Marsters.  He does an AMAZING job with the readings.  Someone else is doing the latest one, Ghost Story.  I'm not sure how I feel about that.  Good actor doing it (John Glover), but.... just not the same, you know?

One thing I have come to believe - a good reader is critical.  And changing that reader mid-series sucks.  Especially when the next reader is well, not as good...

I'm listening to the Michael Connelly books, somewhat randomly.  I'm bouncing back and forth between Mickey Haller books and Harry Bosch novels.  After 6 books with one reader, we're on to a different one with book 7....  And some of the voices he does (Bosch in particular) are rather... annoying...  and not in keeping with the previous body of audio-work...

Definitely takes away from the listening enjoyment...

(and yes, I know there are 2 or 3 other people upcoming who read this series as it goes on, the author included)...

On a side note, books that feature songs/singing (Guy Gavriel Kay)?  Please pick a reader with a nice singing voice.  Please?

On Women and Beer....

So out of the blue I get a message from an ex-girlfriend of mine tonight asking if she can come visit.  Aside from this being something I'm more than a little conflicted about in general, it was a bit of a surprise.  I can't say things ended well on either side, and while somewhat amicable, I wouldn't call it friendly either.  I went out to visit, and basically got to meet the new bf.

And hang out with them both.

For 3 days.

Somehow, I'm the guy to go visit for a, "sanity check," as she puts it.


So why you ask, would I even contemplate it?  Beer.

Yeah, I said it.  Beer.

She's from Denver and can (and will) bring me Avery and Great Divide - two beers I can't get here.

So that part is a bit tempting...

On a side note, I got to sit in the Great Divide Tap Room and enjoy the relationship meltdown.  Fun times!

But I wouldn't have made it to Great Divide or Avery without the excuse to go see her...

Comments?  Thoughts?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Running and Beer - Day 2

Another one down, bit rough though. Nice weather but had to push through the run. Legs felt stiff throughout. Made it through with good time, but I felt every bit of it.

Endomondo Linkage....

Beer - more Foothills Oktoberfest...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

FedEx Follies

So I get on the phone and call up the friendly customer service of FedEx.  Apparently, the driver couldn't find my place (how the hell that works considering he put a sticker literally 2ft from my door I'll never know) so he kept it on the truck.  Supposedly getting delivered after 9am Thursday...  No real answer as to why tracking shows it as delivered as opposed to, "on the truck." Customer service gal recommended I leave a note for the driver saying he should leave the package.  Seriously?  Where should I leave it?  On my door?  Building door?  On a big neon sign outside?

Or hey, here's an idea... Maybe he could try knocking on the door since I'll be here anyways?

Honestly, I wouldn't care if I hadn't been here this morning.

So I left a WTF email on their website.  Curious to see what comes of it.  Wouldn't have complained, but honestly, couldn't the guy have come in the front door and at least made the attempt?

About a half hour later I get an email reply (after a couple automated ones of dubious value).

Discussion Thread
Response (MS.) - 09/07/2011 10:35 PM
Dear Mr. McGrrath:

Thank you for contacting FedEx. We regret any inconvenience you experienced as a result of this situation.

Our records indicate that this package was delivered on September 7, 2011, at 12:33 PM, and was left at the front door of XXX rain Forest Drive, Knoxville, TN, 37923. However, if you did not receive the package; please email us back with the following information:

- The complete address of the shipper
- Your telephone contact number 
- Package detail/package description (content and package cost) 
- Packaging used (box, pouch and/or package dimensions) 

Once we receive these shipment details, FedEx will send a message to the terminal and advise them of the situation.

Thank you for your patience, and thank you for contacting FedEx.

FedEx Customer Service

Auto-Response - 09/07/2011 10:25 PM
Thank you for your inquiry. 

Not to point out the obvious but, how would I know the warehouse location from Whence my package shipped, or for that matter the packaging used, or the package dimensions since I haven't seen the damn thing?


I kinda miss the days of the US Postal Service delivering stuff.  It was slower, but at least I knew it was gonna take forever.  Knowing when it's supposed to be here, and then not having it show up is more irritating than waiting another day.

I imagine updates will be forthcoming...

11:50pm (my reply to the previous message is included) -
Re: Customer Support E-mail Form [Incident: 110907-001777]

Discussion Thread
Response (Ma. Jerlyn V.) - 09/07/2011 11:47 PM
Dear Mr. McGrrath:

We received your inquiry. We regret any inconvenience caused by this situation. 

FedEx is tracing your shipment and will phone you as more information becomes available. If you need immediate assistance, please call our Customer Service department at 1.800.Go.FedEx® 800.463.3339. 

Your reference number for this request is: 0907659552

Thank you for your patience in this matter, and for shipping with FedEx. 

Ma. Jerlyn V.
FedEx Customer Service

Customer (Robert . McGrath) - 09/07/2011 11:10 PM
Incident created due to reply to expired incident 110907-001777.

Not to nitpick, but logically speaking how would I know what the box it 
was shipped in looked like since I haven't seen it (ie - this is a 
complaint about a package that has NOT been delivered). 
Shipper: Northern Brewer, 1150 Grand Avenue St. Paul, MN 55105 is the 
address of their retail store. I imagine they ship out of a warehouse 
though, the address of which I have no access to (unless I had the 
package, then maybe, but...). 
My phone: 865-585-9776 
Contents: 1 Blichmann Brewmometer (brewing thermometer), 1 American 
Homebrewing Association Renewal - total cost, about $74. 
Packaging used: No clue since I haven't seen it - wild guess would be a 
brown recyclable cardboard box, dimensions measuring: I dunno x No Clue 
x Your Guess is as Good as Mine (probably better). 

Translation: We have no clue where your package is.

Beer/Running Attempt 2/Day 1!:

We're gonna give this another shot.  Now I have a plan in place for rainy days ;)

12.61km/7.84mi - Cooler weather made this a pretty enjoyable run. Legs were a bit stiff to begin with but as the run went on they loosened up. Still prefer trails to running on the road. Oh well.

Endomondo Linkage....

Tonight I am enjoying a nice Foothills Oktoberfest.  I picked up a growler of this lovely little beer at Bearden Beer Market yesterday, so you'll likely see it for a day or two.

Review:  Pours a nice amber brown color with a creamy white head.  Sticks around nicely.  Aroma is malty and somewhat sweet.  Nice smooth malt character and the hops settle nicely into the background.  I pick up a nice chocolaty flavor from this one.  Nicely carbonated and smooth to drink.  A nice beer overall.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Beer And uh... yeah, no running...

So... it's been a heavy downpour all day.  Feck.  I'll run in a rainshower, but not a storm lol.

Beer tonight is a Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza.  Pours an amber/brown out of the bottle.  Big white head that sticks around.  Lacing is nice.  Lots of carb on the tongue.  Fruit and esters on the tongue. Mouthfeel is definitely peppy with all the carbonation.  Overall a nifty beer, though something I'll probably have one of and that's it.