Tag Archives: second pint project

Front Porch Chats #110/Second Pint RYP

Acid Drop lager  by Black Plague brewing in glass outside

With an Acid Drop from Black Plague brewing, I take my respite on a wet weekend day. It’s May, for heaven’s sake. Why is it still raining like this?

The Acid Drop is a light lager with lemon and it is really, really good. The lemon twist nose, the grainy finish; like the lager from Hammer & Stitch, this is exactly what I’m hoping for out of a beer like this. The citrus is present, but nowhere close to overwhelming and the grains on the finish are excellent at balancing this out.

Balancing things out is why I want to take money from rich people.

This is going to be a walk, so bear with me. Because the latest, repeated tragedy in Texas is why I want money taken from the wealthy.

See, right after the events, one Rep Paul Gosar used his platform as an authority and the megaphone given to him via Twitter to tell people that the person who had committed this act was a trans immigrant.

It wasn’t. By sheer force of 50 fucking years of data on these events this was going to be a lie and sure enough it 100% was. Also, Gosar is a soiled condom of a human being and that doesn’t help. If there is ever a shit situation you would like to make worse, clearly Gosar is your man.

But it was too late for her. So, in case you don’t want to read the article-perhaps your rage meter is already full this week- a young trans woman named Tracey, someone who had no local support and utterly no involvement in shooting children, was threatened by strangers because they heard from someone in authority that a trans person was involved.

The thing that makes me angriest about this situation is that there isn’t a drone to go by and kick this Rep in the junk. He’s clearly earned it.

But Gosar? He’s there because of money. Because people with money have decided to pay for the efforts that get him elected, instead of building drones to kick people like him in the junk.

This includes the NRA, who for some Cthulhu cursed reason, people have seemingly forgotten about their whole ‘we took money from Russian special interests hoping to destabilize America’, may they all eat Cthulhu’s asshole forever.

If these are the kinds of people that rich folks want in charge, well, then it follows that rich people aren’t good people. They shouldn’t be rich-because being rich the only reason they have any power. Tax the fuck out of ’em.

We’re better than this. And we deserve it.

The rain has kicked up pretty good again. It’s peaceful, in much the same way some people find the ocean to be calming.

I hope that peace can be found by Tracey. And no rest at all for the bastards.

None at all.

Today’s second pint goes to the Rainbow Youth Project.

Front Porch Chats#107/Second Pint NNAF

“The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones” Mark Antony, Julius Caesar, Shakespeare

Tunnel Vision hazy IPA by Bearded Iris brewing in a glass outside on a table.

Been thinking a lot about that quote this week, and so it comes to mind when I sit to have today’s beer. In the glass is a Tunnel Vision from Bearded Iris brewing and once again, I am objecting to any IPA that doesn’t tell me it’s a hazy before I purchase it.

This isn’t bad-although the grapefruit scent hits hard from nearly two feet away-but the finish is pithy enough to almost be medicinal. I’ll drink it, but I’m not happy about it.

Not being happy about things is kinda the rule right now, ennit? It’s been a particularly rough week to own a uterus in America and that means it’s been a particularly rough week to be a person, too.

Because being reminded that your bodily autonomy is not in your hands and is not to be respected by the Powers that Be, that’s a pretty shitty situation to be in.

If women don’t have bodily autonomy, do they have any rights as a person at all?

And if they don’t have any rights, do I? I’m a person. The difference between me and any other human on this planet is so insignificant as to be negligible in the eyes even of the Almighty.

And apparently our rights come from him, right?

Excerpt they don’t. They’re in the hands of hypocrites and as I was saying last week, hypocrisy is merely how we know who the bastards are. They lied to us and everyone who said ‘hey they’re lying’ was hushed, while the small group of people who make the yay or nay decisions decided we weren’t worth fighting for-after all, THEIR rights weren’t up for grabs. No, apparently it’s just all of ours.

There’s the rub, aye. The haves vs the have nots. The have rights know they will be fine and the have not rights stuck hollering outside the halls, hoping someone will listen before someone gets hurt.

People are going to die as a result of Roe’s overturning, they are going to be mostly poor people or people in some kind of medical crisis-but even if they weren’t!- and they still need healthcare! Healthcare that they deserve to figure out for themselves. And they’re going to die for a long time after the five zealots on the Supreme Court have been laid to rest. Those jackals don’t have to live with the consequences of that decision; we do.

The evil that men do….

Today’s second pint goes to the National Network of Abortion Funds.

Front Porch Chats #98/Second Pint Point of Pride

North Jetty's Keelhauled IIPA in a glass outside on table

Back in the day, I’m told that the punishment for crews on ships was keelhauling-that is, they’d tie a rope to the sailor on the back end of the boat, throw him off the front and his body would run under the ship.

I doubt many survived the experience, but it does sound like a hell of a punishment for bullies, right?

Fortunately, this Keelhaul IPA from North Jetty isn’t as harsh. It’s lacking in the nose, but there are some danker flavors in the body. The finish is a biter, that’s for sure. A punishment of its own sort, though…not of the severity that the old ships used to do.

Old time punishment comes to mind these days though. Never thought I’d see the days that Vladimir Putin, Gov. Abbot of Texas and Justice Thomas would have something in common but here we are.

Putin thinks he can get away with annexing a sovereign nation. Abbot thinks he can persecute trans people. And Thomas…Jesus I know Black people aren’t a monolith but I don’t think I have ever seen someone so dedicated to preserving and promoting a system that would absolutely kill them given half a chance.

Thing is, Putin has fought five wars in the past couple decades and won them all. Abbot doesn’t seem to face any real blowback for his ghoulish turn against Texans and children. Thomas is insulated from the fact that he’s directly associated with seditionists.

What the actual fuck, y’all.

Days like this are enough to get one to start drinking. Fortunately I’m ahead on that count.

But, they also remind me to pay attention. There’s more than enough to be upset about-the trick is to not let outrage subvert your intent, I suppose.

I wish courage to the people of Ukraine, good trouble to resisting people of Texas, and wisdom to the rest of us.

But fuck you, Clarence Thomas. You’re a traitor to the Union.

Today’s second pint goes to Point of Pride.

Front Porch Chats #94/Second Pint PRM

So, we’re getting four COVID tests….per household.

Baerlic NUGS! IPA in glass on table outside

~takes very, very long sip of Baerlic’s NUGS! IPA~

I swear to fuck, the only sin this country considers valid is poverty.

Which is pretty messed up, when you take in the larger picture, and notice that poverty is a policy choice that we’ve made.

I’m not talking about being poor-anyone can be bad with money and end up broke. That’s a temporary problem-or it should be.

I’m talking about systems that keep you from being able to access assistance if you need it, or that rich people have decided that you’ve gotten enough of, the skyrocketing cost of housing, the suppression of the minimum wage, the inability to tax wealthy people so things like healthcare and education programs are property funded.

And so on. Hell, even the systems that are available are so opaque to use that people go without that help! You know; the things that ensure you stay poor if you are, or horde wealth if you have it. It’s all just world fallacy bullshit.

But people are so into their myth that even when they have an experience that shows them how the deck can be stacked, they insist on holding to the beliefs that put them in a position of privilege. I get some of that; it’s good to be the king, right?

I just thought that one of the whole points of America was that we didn’t do…kings.

At least the beer is good-lighter mouthfeel and malt input makes for a spotlight of the hoppy bitterness, which is almost but not quite as bitter as my heart is toward the richest nation on earth.

Today’s second pint goes to the Portland Rescue Mission.

Front Porch Chats #92/Second Pint D&M

Wander brewing's Correspondent foreign export stout in glass on table, outside

Let’s talk about the problem with numbers. Specifically, experience numbers and conceptual numbers.

Don’t worry, I brought a beer. Wander Brewing’s Correspondent foreign export stout, to be specific.

Earlier this week someone I know reposted a thought that went: “No matter how long I live, I won’t get over the fact that during the pandemic, the majority of people were unwilling to help.”

And I took exception to that: I don’t believe that most people were or are unwilling to help out; instead I believe that a small group have been terrible and that group has been spotlit and had their voices amplified so things seemed terrible, and I said I as much.

Her reply was: “You clearly don’t work in food service.”

What can I say to that? It isn’t wrong, but that reply is all about insisting on their experience and how it is the Truth.

I want to be clear here.

If one person treats you badly, every day-whether it is a different person or not-then eventually, what can you say except that you are being bullied? If you cannot go a single day without being accosted then your brain is going to tell you a survival truth: that most people are terrible and won’t do the minimum to help.

Which, given the state of service workers, nurses, any customer service jobs there is only one conclusion: they aren’t wrong.

And you cannot argue with an experience number, especially a negative one. Human brains are wired for survival as such that negative experiences last longer. My attempt to reframe that experience was unsuccessful and part of the reason for that, is the conceptual number problem.

Because there’s a point where a number gets large enough that most people just cannot imagine it. For example, 245,000,000. Most of us have never seen 245 million of anything, much less had the personal experience of that number.

But that’s roughly the number of people in the USA who have been fully vaccinated.

Or, 63%.

In Multnomah County, where both my pal and I live, that number goes up to 77%. (Or roughly 630,000 people. Again: how does someone really grok a number that big?)

But both of those numbers represent a majority.

They are just incredibly difficult to experience.

That’d be the opposite of this beer, which is pushing hard on the roasted elements of a stout. The Correspondent is nearly ashy, it’s so roasted. There’s only a tiny bit of sweetness to keep it all together but I’d say this is a quality beverage. Drink ’em if you got ’em.

Now, I don’t know how to reconcile the experience number and the conceptual one. I do know that it’s within our power to make everyone’s experience with us better, and it is within our control to help each other out.

Today’s second pint goes to Dinner & a Movie.

Front Porch Chats #89/Second Pint OFB

Galvanizer IPA by Ghost Town brewing in glass on table outside

The nasty days of fall are upon us in Portland and before we know it, winter will be in full swing. Hell, it’s dark enough that I’d say winter is here.

It is with a Ghost Town Galvanizer IPA I face this day and while I like the tropical fruit notes on the nose, the middle isn’t very present and the finish has the bitterness of cilantro. There are elements of grass too, but old, dry grass not the fresh cut stuff.

I’ve been hearing this song in my head a lot lately. It’d be funny if things weren’t actually dire. But what can you say about a ruling class that has clearly forgotten about the people they represent, if they don’t outright loath them already?

~Night after night, my heartbeat shows the fear~

It is tempting to reach out for any security in these moments. Any offer of stability or safety, any promise of not having to watch it all burn down-or if you do watch it burn down, it’ll be from a safe distance. YOU won’t feel the heat.

There are two things I try to keep in mind, under those circumstances.

First, to be wary of charlatans. The Great White Grift is in full swing, folks and they really need you to buy in.

Second, there is no place that will not burn.

So we have to choose to not start fires. And that is….as far as the metaphor is going to take me today.

Today’s second pint goes to the Oregon Food Bank.

Front Porch Chats #87/Second Pint PP

Wayfinder brewing Barnaby golden lager in glass on table outside.

There’s going to be some math today, so you might as well pop your beer now. I have: A Barnaby golden lager from Wayfinder. It’s got a delightfully sourdough bread nose, but isn’t shy on the hop finish, either. This beer is solid but absolutely deserves hot dogs. The sloppy kind, with cheese and ketchup, because it will absolutely wash down that food like it should.

Minimum wage should be $35 an hour.

You may have seen this article floating around lately-it’s been running in my circles anyway. The TL;DR is this: in order to be content, Americans need to make about $75k a year.

That’s not happiness, which we’re promised the pursuit of, or even, one could argue, liberty. Since we’re entrenched in fiscal systems that do not assist us and designed to keep us in debt for life.

It’s just contentment. And I like contentment! Contentment would be good. It should be the obligation of our governance to provide us with a baseline that allows for contentment. We can get after happiness once that’s done.

Now you may wonder: what does this have to do with minimum wage being $35/hr? Because I’ll confess: I pulled that number out of thin air about a year and a half a go.

After reading (for the umpteenth time) that at least one-third of bankruptcies in this country could be directly attributed to healthcare costs. I have been reading this statistic for 25 years.

Reading that minimum wage hasn’t been a living wage since the late 1960’s.

Learning that you cannot survive on a single minimum wage job anywhere in America. And they’re now using the absolute fucking worst word to cheerfully obfuscate our overwork.

Hearing people beg for $15/hr.

I figured; fuck it, right? Let’s shoot the moon. Because the minimum wage is supposed to be a living wage: that was the whole point. If $35 doesn’t happen, hell, we’ll get $22 which isn’t what we wanted but pulls a bunch of people out of poverty and compromises are the foundation of any civil society. Right?

And there are always three loud and stupid objections to raising the minimum wage. The first is that “the country will shut down because businesses will go down”.

Which they’ve been saying since minimum wage got introduced. I’ve yet to see actual data that demonstrates the point. Also: people have been employed since the 1940’s. So historically it’s bullshit.

The second one is ‘but the cost of things will go up!’ To which I say; When I moved to Portland 25 years ago, I could afford an apartment on my own, working a barely above minimum wage job. One bedroom, living room, kitchen. It wasn’t huge, but I could do it on my own.

Now, I couldn’t get a tent for that. So spare me the notion that costs will go up. They always do.

Hell, a pint just went up a dollar everywhere to about $7. You can say “well, it’s the pandemic” but do you think it’s ever coming down?

The third one goes along the lines of, “well, people in Alabama (or insert other not California or New York State) don’t need that much money, because their cost of living is lower.”

Do you have any idea how poor Alabama citizens are? Do you want to solve poverty? PAY THEM. I hear money goes a long way towards solving that problem!

Let them have a chance at getting out from under poverty’s thumb. What do I give a fuck if someone in Alabama or Wyoming or West Virginia or even Springfield USA has a ‘better’ standard of living than I do because their rent is cheaper?

They don’t have to be poor. And a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. So let’s make a stronger weakest link.

But, after I saw the article about the price of contentment, I decided to do some math. We’re going to use America’s barbaric system because that’s where I live. Here comes the math, buttercups, so drink up!

The hours Americans (should) work in one year is 2050. (40hrs x 52wks). This doesn’t exclude holidays but fuck it, holidays should be paid. Banks get paid. We should get paid.

Well, if we divide 75000 by 2050, do you want to guess the result?

36.59 (rounded up).

Well I’ll be damned.

Also; it’s worth noting that the $75k number? That came from a 2017 article. Before the worst economic downturn of our lives, aided and abetted by fascist plague spreaders.

That’s before noting that other countries are starting to implement 32 hour weeks. With paid vacations. And publicly funded health care. And publicly funded education.

So, welcome to my new slogan: Minimum wage should be $45/hr.

But I’ll accept $40. That’s fine.

Because we fucking deserve it.

Today’s second pint goes to Planned Parenthood.

Front Porch Chats #86/Second Pint

Ferment brewing's helles bock in glass on table outside, early winter afternoon.

Ferment’s Helles Bock on the table today and this is an odd duck. There’s some malt qualities in the nose but also something distinctly fruity. Berry-like in both sweetness and a hint of sour.

The sips are sweet, but the finish is a bit unpleasant to me-a finishing bitterness that is far more than I’d appreciate from a style like this. This beer has a gravity to it that I’m not so fond of, and with surprisingly low effervescence, those flavors linger longer than I want. A miss from Ferment, whose beers I usually enjoy.

But it’s alright, because I have a beer and the good things that come with it.

I hope everyone’s holiday went well-but I know that some had it much harder. I was fortunate, visiting family and friends, a safe passage to and from my destination.

The visits were kindly and full of laugher. There were messages from friends father away letting me know they were thinking of me, and kindly. I get to come home and write a blog that people read-and I am grateful for all of those things.

I know not everyone can say the same; some cannot visit, some had visits fraught with tension and unhappiness, others just had life happen to them, in a way that life does. Life is not always upside.

Nevertheless, I am able to show some gratitude and so I do; maybe you’ve been reading for awhile, maybe this is your first visit to this blog but thanks for comin’ around. You could do anything else with your time, so I appreciate you spending some on me.

Today’s second pint goes to the LWV for their People Powered Fair Maps project.

Front Porch Chats #85/Second Pint Wikipedia

Thorn brewing Wind Surfer dry hopped IPA in glass on table outside in the afternoon.

With a Wind Surfer double dry hopped IPA from Thorn Brewing, I am contemplating the Muppets.

The beer has got a solid tropical fruit nose, and I want to say mango is the dominant scent but there’s something else, too that I’m not sure about. I like it, but I can’t place it.

I was concerned that the beer would be sweet but thankfully that is not the case. It’s got a real bite on the finish-but it isn’t very carbonated. I think that is undercutting the rest of the beer: with some bubbly, the finish hits but doesn’t linger. Without it, that bitterness sticks around a little longer than I’d like.

It’s not bad, it could just use a little improvement.

So, I’ve been seeing this statement in my circles lately and there is a lot to like about it. If you’re going to do something, do something that brings you joy-even if you aren’t particularly good at it.

"The secret of the Muppets is they're not very good at what they do. Kermit's not a great host, Fozzy's not a godo comedian, Miss Piggy's not a great singer. Like none of them are actually good at it, but they fucking love it. And they're like a family and they like putting on the show. And they have joy. And because of teh joy, it doesn't matter that they're not good at it. And that's what we should all be. Muppets. -Brett Goldstein

But a lot of people have been focusing on the “do joyfully” part, missing the most important part, and it’s right there in the name; the Muppets.

See, while you can just do something joyfully, the day is going to come when…your poor performance is going to eat the joy you have away. Maybe not forever, but there will be days, maybe months, or longer. And if you’re alone, how do you withstand those times?

Those things are easier when you have people. Hell, the Muppet Movie itself is about this very notion. Kermit is just a dreamer who’s taking a chance and that chance is jeopardized and grim without Fozzy, Gonzo, Miss Piggy, the Electric Mayhem Band, and on and on.

They are able to do what they do-badly-because they care for each other and are there for one another. The dream isn’t just about Kermit anymore-it wasn’t the moment he accepted a ride from Fozzy.

It just takes him the rest of the movie to realize it.

And I’ll tell you the obvious secret: most of us are doing things badly. We don’t even get to joyfully do them badly, we’re just muddling through as best we can. Sometimes we get to do things we love (and are bad at) or things we are good at but don’t care for. But mostly, I think, we do them with at least some kind of fuckupery.

Still, the worst times are the ones where nobody is around. Winning isn’t as great if nobody is there, losing isn’t so bad if everyone is.

Today’s second pint goes to Wikipedia.

Finally; this is the last post for the week, I’m off for Thanksgiving. Cheers!

Front Porch Chats #84/Second Pint CFA

Hoppin' Frog brewing DORIS the Destroyer imperial barrel aged stout in glass, outside, in the dark afternoon.

Dark beer for the season, finally. Hoppin’ Frog’s DORIS the Destroyer (sic) whiskey barrel aged imperial stout. I know the picture was taken late in the afternoon-but look at how dark that beer is!

I am going to need dinner after this.

I’ve let DORIS sit for a little while to warm up and I think it’s to my benefit. This beer, which looks like a decadent chocolate cake in liquid form, does barrel aged about as well as you could ask for it. The whiskey isn’t a dominant flavor at all, which is a real triumph.

I notice it when it hits my belly though, that alcohol strength heat. Otherwise, this beer leans very much into a chocolate covered espresso bean. The finish is even a little harsh, like you’ve sucked all the sweetness away and all that’s left is an almost too harsh bitterness from a coffee bean.

It’s a nice beer to have after what can be called a cruddy week.

Some of you may recall enduring a pandemic for the majority of 2020, and during that time I found it difficult to do some of the things I probably should’ve done-in this instance, clean the gutters for the house.

I wasn’t punished for this, because that particular winter was pretty dry. This year, however, not so much. So when I woke up to a leaking basement, due to the gutter overflowing and not draining correctly, well, that was a not fun morning.

It’s a small thing-but I recently read that we might need to get measles boosters, because some 23 million children were unable to get measles vaccinations, due to the pandemic. That is some rough news.

You have to do the little things, else the big things eat you up.

As we live through a period of American history that is almost certainly the result of a bunch of people thinking they could take their hands off the wheel and not be involved in making things better-“that’s Washington’s problem” kind of thing- I hope that more people are getting and staying engaged.

It’s the little things. Else the big things eat you up.

Today’s second pint goes to the Christmas Family Adoption Foundation. It might be too early to have Christmas decor up, but it’s never too early to set someone up for a nice holiday.