Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Brent vs. The August/September/October (way overdue, I know...I suck)

1) Pick 12 things of social importance that I've had limited exposure to, but decided I didn't like and immerse myself in each of them for 1 month.

I actually made good on my promise to try Budweiser products again.  I think I had at least a few of each one.  Sure, maybe I was going for a badge on Untappd, (not really, I don't think I ever entered them yet, actually) but it counts.  I still dislike them a lot, and the Platinum isn't any better.  However, the Platinum bottle is pretty, so I'm going to keep it in the garage, because I know it won't exist in a few years.  It could be the Crystal Pepsi of the Bud world (I'd love to see Platinum vs. Select in a Bud Bowl IX)

Bed and Breakfasts.  I'll admit it, I was afraid to do one of these.  It just seems like a set-up for some sort of horror movie where the old people you stay with brainwash you into doing their bidding or chain you up in a basement dungeon full of homemade projects they saw on Marth Stewart.  It just didn't seem like a good fit for our anniversary.  Even if you take away the creepy factor of knowing you're in a stranger's house, it still seems like trying to be romantic while you're staying at your grandmother's house.  However, all of these surroundings are easily ignored when you and your wife really, really like craft beer.

Grandmotherly Nautical Room

Back to the Future.  This was supposed to be my October one, but I will be playing make-up this month.  Everyone loves this series.  I do not.  It may be because I watched it too late in life when I first saw it.  I'm not sure.  I'm giving it another roll of the dice, though.

2) Learn 12 new recipes (1/month).

I figured out how to configure the perfect buffalo chicken wraps (awesome)

I made my first ever ghost pepper chili, and made it vegetarian for J, but he didn't show up to run because he's all busy with continuing his education or some crap, so my wife and I had to eat it all.  It was fantastic and super spicy.  I've also made a second batch this week that was hotter and just plain better.  I wish I had discovered the beauty of crock pots earlier in life.  I would have been a lot further along in my crock potting experience.

Love this stuff
I figured out how to make a pretty decent standard curry sauce.  In the past I have failed at this horribly, but it was also years ago when I couldn't cook worth anything.  So my avoidance fear of it were unfounded and now I can make chicken and veggie dishes with it.

I also made some sort of bogan chicken parm hybrid (not shown) involving half a leftover jar of Ragu, cream of mushroom  soup, a few ounces of mozzarella, and a bunch of spices.  I'm not sure I invented it, but it was actually really good.  Sometimes I just go and randomly start making food out of nothing at all (cue the Air Supply).  I do this less because I like experimenting and charting unknown recipe territory, but more because I don't feel like going to the store, and there's not a lot of food choices in the house.

3) Do 12 home improvements/repairs (1/month).

I did manage to get 3 windows fixed over the last 3 months.  I have 2 more to go, but winter is here, and they won't be happening this year.  I know it's not much, but it will be something to the drafty upstairs and to the heating bill.  Old window panes are hard to get out, then you have to get them measured, cut, back home, glazed in, wait for that to harden, sand that down, and then paint them to match the rest.  Usually one is a full day job (with breaks to watching Michigan State do just enough to lose, make pancake breakfasts, stroll down to the farmer's market, and/or watching Kevin Nolan do the chicken dance for West Ham)

4) Try 12 new restaurants (1/month).

I think I overdid it...

Motor City Brewing (Detroit)-Mediterranean Brick Oven Pizza is fantastic.  Muge of beer are huge.

Woodbridge Pub (Detroit)- Fantastic brunch food

Champs Pub (Brighton) - Met some friends from AA here, being it's halfway between both of us, for Monday Night Football (Lions/Bears) a few weeks back.  Decent beer selection (Rogue Dead Guy, Warsteiner on tap) and some weird meat burgers (Elk, Yak, Ostrich, etc.).  Good place to watch a game.  Not a lot of people, but enough to make a little atmosphere.  More importantly, you don't have to shout over music or the play-by-play of the game while watching.  Good volume control is important for a bar.

PM Steamers (Ludington)- Pretty decent pasta dishes.  Nothing to die for, but the restaurant has a really nice atmosphere, whether you're sitting inside where the lights are low or outside watching the ships go by

House of Flavors (Ludington) - Two words, Ice Cream.

Old Hamlin Restaurant - Crazy huge delicious breakfasts that are delicious enough to want to finish, but impossible to finish.  Skip the breakfast bar, and go from the menu.  You'll still end of full and end up with better food.

Le Serving Spoon - Really good place to grab a wrap or sandwich.  It is what inspired me to go off and figure out how to make delicious buffalo chicken wraps myself, but I still haven't perfected mine to their standards

August/September/October Extras
Running Highs-

August - It's a toss up between getting my 8K PR at the Blueberry and running my 3rd straight 10 mile Crim (despite not PRing it again...).  Next year is going to be tough to keep the streak going, as I'm going to be Best Manning it up that day.  Hopefully I will have no morning duties (or previous night hangovers).
September - Taking down my Half-Marathon PR at The Brooksie Way was amazing.  That race is very hilly, and to have it be my best one right now feels good (mostly because I think I have it in me to take this tiem down again)

October - Finishing my first marathon.  Let's face it, I'm super proud of this one.  If I were to never do another 26.2 again, this one can't be taken from me.  Getting it done and getting in the paper for what is pretty much the namesake of my blog just felt like one of those time when life lets you know you are where you're supposed to be.

Running Lows- 

August - The Warrior Dash-related costs.  I'm sorry, but the realization that it isn't worth it and knowing I probably won't go again next year upsets me.  It's a fun event, but at some point you have to take a stand against price gouging.

September - The Legend Trail Run.  I still can't get over how I was slower in this one again this year, and didn't even really try hard.  it was embarrassing.

October - About the only moment I can point to is the part after the Detroit Marathon where I felt like I was going to hurl and had to sit down and get my bearings.  I've felt that way before, but not at a race where there's nowhere to go off by yourself and where you'd basically be throwing up in the middle of a crowded street.  Luckily I didn't.
Mileage- August 118, September 117, October 102

That will most likely be my end of the 100-Club this year.  This month I've ramped down to 5 and 10K-ish distances, and my running buddy is busy with school.  Don't expect any long runs or any attempts at getting to 100 this month.  I've earned the rest, and so have my legs.  I'll be shocked to see 50+, honestly.


I'd just like to extend an early Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in case I don't get the chance to later.  I'm lucky enough to be running the Detroit Turkey Trot (I've put my differences with them aside this year) in the morning and then going to two family Thanksgivings (her family and my family) with my wife.  I don't mind the running around, it just makes my life seem fuller.


  1. We were very unimpressed at Champs when we visited, but it's better than anything we have in our town, which is why we always have dinner in Brighton.

    Congrats again on Detroit, one can never be applauded enough for completing their first marathon! :)

    We're heading out to the Turkey Trot too, perhaps we'll see you there. (Doubtful, I hear that race is a zillion people, but it's a nice thought right?)

    Happy Eat Your Face Off Weekend!

  2. I don't know if I said it already, but congrats on that 26.2! I don't know if I'll ever be in that category since I don't really push myself as much as I should for distance. Maybe that'll change, though. It's been brewin' in the back of my mind for a while.

    I'll be running my own Turkey Trot early in the morning since I'm gonna be the cook on Thanksgiving and I know I won't have time for it later. Plus I'll be stuffing my face and I probably won't be able to walk, let alone run. I've already got my 2 four-packs of Arrogant Bastard Oaked in the fridge for my consumption. Tomorrow's gonna be a good day with family.

    Happy Thanksgiving Brent!

  3. Well, as far as Champs goes, if you give us a place where we don't have to yell to talk to one another, a decent tap beer, and an exotic meat, you're going to earn a lot of bonus points. It's a simple equation for enjoyment.

    Thanks you both for the 26.2 congrats. It's worn off, though. I need another one.

    Sir, you can keep your Arrogant Bastard. It's good, but I think when I see it, it's been $21/4-pack, and honestly, I'd just rather have the regular at about half that price. I'm much more of a Goose Island Bourbon County Stout fan.

  4. my husband was leary of b&b's too. i always pictured them as quaint little cabin -type places, but your description is more accurate. luckily the one time we stayed at one the owners were not murderers or brain washers.


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