Saturday, August 27, 2011

Smoking Bars

In Pennsylvania, a bar can be open on Sunday if they have a Sunday license issued by the LCB. To get one the bar has to have food and non-alcohol drink sales of 30% (was 40%). The state Department of Health says that if the bar wants an exemption to permit smoking, the food and non-alcohol drink sales cannot exceed 20%. They also have to show the State Health people their records. This tells me that smoking bars cannot be open on Sunday. Do I have it wrong? Anybody?

I see some bars open on Sunday with smoking permitted. I have to think that they are ignoring the law. And who can blame them? I was once told that some bars do this until they get caught. They just pay the fine and keep doing it/ So much for government protecting us.

The real law are the patrons. It is their choice to enter a smoking bar and the state seems limp in enforcement. A law with no teeth is no law. I am posting a new page on on Pa Drinking Law and getting my information together. As for smoking bars and the law, I am just trying to see thru the smoke.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cows on Carson Street

I have seen cows on Carson St. in the South Side for many years but I thought that they were just passing through. Little did I realize that they settled down and started to breed. They seem to be everywhere now and much like the beer stains on my shirts, they are here to stay.

I saw my first one late one evening in the 80's when I came home form an outing. I saw a female sitting on my steps. I though she just had too much to drink and wanted to rest. Being kind to animals then I was going to leave her stay. As the number of bars on Carson was fewer than today there were few cattle running about. But as I got closer I noticed that she had her pants to her ankles. She was all set to do a No.2 pie drop on my steps. Well, you should have seen what it took to get her to move. Yet she fought with me like I was being mean. Why are cattle prods illegal I ask?

Today they have taken over the South Side like teenage boys at a wet tee-shit contest. Most of the cattle seem to know to stick to the pathways but crossing streets seems to mystify them. They will get to a corner and look at the colored light on the other side and go into a trance. They will walk towards the lights slowly and without preference to the lights being red, amber or green. I think they are drawn to the red lights more. An effective method of making them move faster is to point the front of your car towards then and give it a go. That seems to take them out of their trance.

And it is not just crossing from one path to another. Very often they stop and gather in the middle of the street or crosswalk to collectively chew their cud. Pigeons do this as well but seem to know that cars are coming for them. Maybe the cows like the middle of the street because it reminds them of open pasture? As they don’t start moving about until mid-day they stay up late at night, which seems to be the preferred time for personal tasks. Many of them seek the farmer’s house to let free the day’s liquid intake. Never mind that they have barns of their own for this. Male and female cattle have been observed doing this. The females seem at ease with the outdoors, as they will, without hesitation, perform hygienic maintenance activity. Watching them in groups can be most disturbing. I think the sociology people at the nearby universities should look in this. Better still, video bloggers.

Some cattle actually know how to operate cars. Not well, but who can when ones tail is pushed up ones butt? Should they ever be required to have a license like the rest of humanity they could be instructed on proper parking, turning when permitted and the meaning of colored lights hanging down in front of them. I wonder what Darwin would have written had the H.M.S. Beagle landed on the South Side boat launch?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tripped Advisor

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette published this Trip Advisor entry on Sunday, August 21, 2011. In a response to a refused cab ride from Manhattan to LaGuardia, Lesley Carlin made reference to LaGuardia's location. She wrote: …but because LaGuardia's in Queens...

God did this gyrate me. I’m not too smart and I have the records to prove it. But if one were writing professionally I would expect proper sentence construction. Used in the above manner, an apostrophize shows ownership. Example 1: Ed’s beer is pale ale. Example 2: Did you find it in paragraph 1? What should have been written was that LaGuardia is in Queens. I don’t think this was a typo and maybe just a tad lazy. Maybe I am being overly picky but I was at the store yesterday when I listened to a husband ask his wife “is you got the money?” I may need several pale ales to settle down after all of this.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Clean Jugs

Scott Smith of East End Brewery posted a note on his website ( about cleaning out growlers. If I read between the lines I see that some people who buy growlers from him are bringing them back in a not too clean condition. May I shake my finger at them? One should always clean out a growler when the last drop of beer comes out.

First, you need to keep the growler clean so the nest beer does not become infected. Why spend good money on good beer to have it go bad? As any good bartender will tell you, there is a correct way to clean a glass for beer. Never use detergent and never wipe the glass with a towel. Hot water rinse a few times and let air-dry. But I think Scott tells you that.

Second, do not abuse Scott’s kindness. He is kind enough to clean your growler for you before he refills it. This also costs him water and labor. Not too much of a big deal but one that we should be doing ourselves. If he has to clean the growler for the guy in front of you then you will be delayed. It is also easier to clean a growler when just emptied than days later.

Please and thank you to Scott and his staff when doing refills are always in order and one way to say thanks for good beer is to bring back a clean one.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

No Big Pour for Ed

Tickets for the Pittsburgh Big Pour have gone on sale and I for one do not plan on going. I went to the first one and thought it was set-up wonderfully. They intermixed the beer vendors with the food vendors so that there were no clumps of drinkers blocking anyone out. The second Big Pour was packed and not too much fun for me. Over the years I have gone to several events and left after a short time. They are getting to be no fun for me. For the most part my liver has processed about every beer one expects to see at a beer festival. Seldom do I see a beer that turns my head away from some guy’s girlfriend. So, from the beer aspect, what’s the point of going?

Then there is the price. Ticket prices have gone up and when you factor in that you may have to buy them from a service the cost goes up more. As for the BP I am just not going to pay $65, nor the $140 (no early admit) for this years special. Anymore, due to popularity, it is a chore to park and wait in long lines to get in and a pain in the butt to get to a brewer. (Did anyone catch that sad attempt for humor?) And sometime the table does not even have the brewer. For me it is: “what am I getting for my money”? Can a vendor bring something that is soon to be released? How about a Beer Festival Only brew? Can we have some seminars?

This is not just the BP. I have walked out of the Penn Fest and my last one on Long Island. The only ones I would consider are invites only (never happens) or small intimate events.

For $65 I can spend a weekend at my local and get pretty well put away. I can use this opportunity to create my own festival. I can drink beers that I normally do not drink and eat food that I also do not normally eat. Parking is not a problem as I can walk to my local. Long lines are nonexistent and I can sit by myself, which seem to occur more often than not now that I think of it. (?) Anyway, not to diminish beer festivals for the younger lads but for me I am getting older and cranky and can honestly say been there, done that.