Tag Archives: second pint project

Front Porch Chats #45/Second Pint NMD

T-1000 Eisbock from Oregon City brewing, in glass, on table outside

This here’s the T-1000 Eisbock from Oregon City brewing. It’s got just a whiff of caramel, a fluffy white head, the faint taste of coffee, and 9.9% ABV kids. Which I need, because I am trying to get over the fact that they had merch.

And by ‘they’ I mean the insurrectionists. They had fucking merch. It said, Civil War Jan 6 2021.

I feel as though this somehow softens what they were trying to do-as if this could be a joke, somehow, as if nobody in their right mind would actually make a shirt if they were seriously planning on overthrowing the government. It is funny, in a bleak way.

But this is America, and I’m here to tell you that when they merchandise their ‘revolution’ that is deadly serious.

And I don’t know how to get over it.

I’m a little disappointed in the eisbock, to be honest. It tastes a little thin, like watered down coffee. And since eisbocks are meant to be concentrated, well…I was expecting a little more.

These fucking geese decided to take on a 747, with all the foresight of such an animal. Sure, they might’ve brought down the plane, but that story wasn’t going to end the way any of those fowl thought it was.

I think that’s the first thing we have to acknowledge, if we haven’t already: all of these people are serious about their vile plans. From Ted Cruz and Marjorie Taylor Green, to the boots-on-the-ground assholes who are there to make a quick buck off of tshirt sales. We should absolutely laugh at their ideas-Jewish Space Lasers? Paris accords about Paris?-but we should also approach them with one very clear thought:

They aren’t fucking around.

Which means we shouldn’t either. I’m not suggesting violence against these people; but I am saying that if we just try to laugh this off, we will find ourselves on the end of, and unprepared for, their violence.

On the upside? They’ll all be wearing clothing that says ‘Here to destroy America’, easily identifiable by any patriot, as well as any insurrectionist.

But it galls me. I don’t know how to get over this. I don’t think I can, and I don’t think I should; unless these people are held accountable for their actions-and they’ve already taken actions, they love putting their evil on camera-I think this should stick in our craw.

Because fuck these geese. They’re here to do one thing: shit over everything we love.

And I don’t want the plane to go down because of them.

Today’s second pint is going to No More Deaths.

Front Porch Chats #43/Second Pint Brown Hope

Masthead Single Origin Coffee Stout in glass, on table outdoors

Masthead’s Single Origin Coffee Stout with me on the porch this afternoon. As someone who doesn’t drink coffee (I don’t like hot beverages) I have to have anything with caffeine in it in the afternoon, or else it’ll mess with my sleep.

Oh, let me tell you: those nose on this is like an espresso bean dipped in dark chocolate. Which is what this beer tastes like, too. There’s even that coffee bite at the end-a bitterness that isn’t hoppy at all. Clearly rooted in that coffee tradition.

As it warms up, the coffee bean qualities come to the forefront; the nose shifts more to a fresh ground coffee scent and the chocolate takes a back seat.

It’s pretty damn good.

It’s almost over; the obvious ratfucking, the heinous stupidity, the use of racism as policy. We’re almost there.

Is what I would love to tell myself.

Fuck, I just want this to be over. I don’t want to talk about whether or not we should be nice to the insurrectionists, or respect the feelings of Republicans who abjectly refuse to govern.

I don’t want to convince someone that capitalism actually IS NOT a system of government; I want to be able to throw those hot takes in the garbage and get to the meaningful actions that will help people.

I am sick to death of cries for ‘unity’ that do not involve contrition, penance, and rehabilitation. One third of this shithole country has had fascism as a friend with benefits for the past four years and have fucked up rather thoroughly.

They don’t get to just walk away.

They get to be expelled. Out. You don’t get a seat at the table. Your ideas are bad and you should feel bad. Fuck. Off. And if the door hits you on the way out, GOOD. You’ll live through it, which is more than I could say if our positions were reversed.

They are liars and cowards and they have been sniveling their way into power to do fuck all with it once they are there, beyond hoarding their gold like Smaug.

They can, and I cannot emphasize this enough: get fucked.

In two more days, the adults take over, and some of them are going to insist that we try to get back to “business as usual”. Don’t let them. Business as usual has gotten 400,000 Americans killed from a pandemic, and left millions destitute, with an unrelenting strain of Nazis in America.

We deserve better.

Today’s second pint goes to Brown Hope.

Front Porch Chats #42/Second Pint ALA

Stormbreaker ALTerior Motive ale in glass on table outside

Got us an ALTerior Motive from Stormbreaker brewing today, a German style alt ale.

This is the only thing I currently want in my life to resemble Germany right now; the beer. No offense to the Germans who are really, really hoping America pulls its shit together. I’m with you folks.

I can safely say that I went to bed on January 6th having looked into the abyss that is America and did not like it. This whole week has reminded me of the punchline/finale of that story: “The call is coming from inside the house!”

Because I saw members of the Capitol police open the barriers for those insurrectionists. I saw those same insurrectionists take selfies with the cops.

I listened to the speech that Trump made, telling that crowd how he was going to go with them to force people to ‘do their jobs’. The subtext wasn’t sub.

I saw Senator Hawley pump his fist at those insurrectionists, heard Senator Cruz encourage them the day before the attempted coup.
Turns out, it’s easy to storm the building, if the guards are patting you on the back on the way inside.

It’s not as if the insurrectionists were shy about telling us why they were there, either. They brought bombs, for fuck’s sake. They had flexicuffs to take hostages. And they were getting to saunter into the building-why should they be shy?

They were getting their way, right? A bunch of fools with zero concept of the hell they were about to unleash upon everyone, including themselves, blithely honking their way through the Capitol, so certain that everyone was just going to roll over and give them the keys, because no one had told them no, and they were gonna ‘start a revolution’.

Then someone finally said no. And now four people are dead, because these people were encouraged to sedition (a word I haven’t heard since high school social studies, 30 years ago).

I’d say I feel bad about the insurrectionists dying but I don’t. Fuck ‘em. Fuck their attempted coup (which is what it was, don’t let them change the story). They fucked around and found out, as the kids say.

I feel bad for how they got there: lied to by a conman, playing to their fears, and I feel bad that these people had so few supports in their lives that their fears were all they had left.

It’s easy to feed on someone’s fear, if all you give them is anxiety.

I feel bad for my fellow citizens, grossly neglected by their government, rarely more so than now; broke, desperate, victimized by authorities. Even right wing people deserve health care, safety, and an education.

I feel particularly bad for every person who protested for BLM, or Indigenous rights, who were watercannoned in sub-zero temps, teargassed nightly, kidnapped, doxed, or otherwise mauled by the cops and fascists, now watching Maga Nazis just walk right into the capitol, murder on their mind.

Now though; now I want blood.

Not the insurrectionists. Naw, dawg. The FBI, they’ll take care of that. If there’s one thing law enforcement is good at, it’s picking on the weak. Same for the other consequences of those insurrectionists; some people have already lost their jobs, the ability to fly, and this action makes you unemployable in America (I hope).

No. No, you cut off the head, as Thanos says.

Cruz. Hawley. Rep Kevin McCarthy. Trump. These people, basically.

All of them. Charged with sedition and you put them on trial.
Throw EVERYTHING at them. Give them NOTHING but blood and dust.

Because I don’t want to see my country overthrown in 10 years-but more likely less-having ignored the fire at the Reichstag.

It’s a good beer, the ALTerior; it reminds me of the ESBs that are lighter, but still malt forward. I’d say try some.

Then let’s start working, because this fascism isn’t gonna destroy itself.

Today’s second pint goes to support a friend of mine who’s doing a fundraiser for the American Lung Association.

Front Porch Chats #41/SeconD pint

Ruben's brews Three Ryes Men barleywine in glass on table

So, that was 2020.

Sucked, didn’t it.

I’ve decided to treat myself with a Three Ryes Men from Rubens, a barleywine aged in bourbon barrels.

There’s a Venn diagram for this beer and I am in it.

It tastes like maple syrup that you can drink. It is velvety and luxurious, with a little bite on the finish-part carbonation, part hops-which enhance the drinkable qualities immensely.

I feel like we’ve lived through the shortest decade in the longest year, and while I know that 2021 isn’t a fresh start, in the way that tearing the page out of a notebook gives everyone a clean slate, we could use just that.

John Scalzi has a post on his blog about how 2020 was, on paper, a very good year for him. But in practice, not so much.

I grok that, folks. I still have a job, still am housed. With those two things I am able to keep myself in beer and music, and still have enough left over to treat myself to a damn fine meal now and again. To donate to GA senate races. To just solve problems for friends or family. Or to be there for them in a capacity that others just may not have had the bandwidth for.

It’s been taxing, no lie but the thing is I could, so I did. I could do a good thing, so I did good things, whenever I could.

Fuck, though, this year has been depressing. At a time when coming together, metaphorically, to accomplish great things was the order of the day-and for the record, I can absolutely see what that world looks like, clear as a Hawaii sunset-America just…didn’t.

Because we were not called upon to do so.

There’s upside, of course; mutual aid networks bloomed, heightened awareness of the haves vs have nots, and what people of color endure in this country. More activists, more people getting involved in whatever capacity they could. The inkling of a vision of improvement. On the ground, a lot of work got done and I think it’s important to point that out.

But there was a better world and instead of moving towards it, we had people with the power to shepherd that in, dig their heels in and insist that the future was never and could never come.

It’s a shame, because we could be preparing for 2050, instead of desperately hoping 2021 will be the year we could right the ship.
But; I think there is a vision for a better future, and I think we have a chance to put it into motion.

It’s 2021 folks. The rules are much the same: wash your hands. Wear a mask. Film the cops. Be kind. Fuck Trump.

Let’s get to work.

Second pint goes to the Portland Rescue Mission.

Front porch Chats #40/Second Pint OEF

Rand Paul is a dick.

I feel like that could be the post, but I want to get that said before we move on.

Rand Paul is a dick.

Now, I invite you all to read this Twitter thread about last week’s protest at the Oregon capital, while I wait for this salted caramel stout from Breakside to warm up a little bit.

Breakside stout in glass, on table outdoors.

If you drink this beer when it’s too cold it will taste muted, but too warm and the subtleties get wiped out. Usually about five minutes does the trick. Which should be long enough for you to read that thread-or get the salient points.

Because what’s noteworthy about that right-wing rally is that they’re clearly as upset about a dysfunctional government as any leftist. That they’re treated better by the cops is, white understandable, you know?

Though I’ve read that the reason they didn’t get tear gassed is that it would make working in the capitol building impossible. So…yay?

Right about now, this beer is perfect. A little nutty, a fine ribbon of caramel and chocolate going though it, with a touch of saltiness to offset everything. I’m telling you, if you drink this beer at the right time, it’s one of the best things you could ask for.

Back to what I was going for, though; what I found interesting about this story was how often the reporter remarked about where the complaints of those people overlapped with left wing complaints-but not quite like the right wing fellows thought.

I wasn’t the only person to notice this of course, which brings me to The other thing I found a little troubling. In the responses to this story-and in the subsequent discussion on Reddit, were people remarking that once you get far enough left/anarchistic, guns really weren’t a problem anymore. Just like the right-wingers.

As soon as I read that, I could hear my Dad saying “That’s true, but not quite like the leftists think.”

Because once you’re comfortable with your murder symbol…well, you’re likely going to get the world you want-but not like you think. If you’re going there, you’d better have a concrete vision of what your better world looks like. The right wingers don’t, not really-they look at the past and obsess over it, a past that never really existed but can exist in unsullied glory, so long as you don’t actually look at it.

Who’s looking to the future, and how that manifests? No cheating: How do you actually get to that better world via force?

It’s a critical point, because the line between defense and offense gets obliterated without it.

Today’s second pint goes to the Oregon Energy Fund, which helps people heat their homes during the winter.

Front Porch Chats #39/Second Pint PPP

Because Von Ebert makes good beer, when I saw the Night in Tallinn I didn’t concern myself with the fact that I couldn’t tell what style of beer it was. Von Ebert makes good stuff, so let’s try it.

The fellow at Lents Tap & Bottle said that I’d gotten some good things; my hope is that he’s right.

I was not expecting this beer….mostly because I was making assumptions about this being a pale or IPA. But it’s winter time, so I should’ve been more thoughtful.

I’ll have to check, but I want to say this is a porter; sweeter, chocolaty notes are what I get most of, with only a little coffee or roasted qualities. It’ll be pretty cool if I guess right!

One month from now, if we can hold things together long enough, and the US will have a new president.

If I never have to hear that cursed man’s name again, I’m OK with it. Same goes for Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio (that spineless hack), RealHuman(tm) Ted Cruz and sentient mayo jar Pence.

I’m certain this country has had a similar selection of craven lickspittles in power before, and I’m equally certain things did not go well for America last time. If it was possible to take those men to court for dereliction of duty, I’d fund it.

So many hopes pinned on Senate races in Georgia, on the courage of ill-willed men. It really is enough to make you think that you should start your own goddamn country, with blackjack and hookers.

But it’s also Christmas, a time when we highlight our goodwill towards others, our willingness to come together to be more than the sum of our parts. Where we recognize the humanity in the ‘other’ and we demand that these. fucking. people. do their jobs and help us get through the day with the dignity and safety we deserve.

There is no reason but sheer cruelty for the GOP to behave this way. I can’t influence them…but maybe you live somewhere where you can. We deserve better-let’s keep insisting on it.

PS: I was right about the style of the beer! It’s a solid pint and I’d say have some.

Today’s second pint goes to the People’s Parity Project.

Front Porch Chats #37/Second Pint LTT

Live

With Assembly’s Live PA in front of me, I am still dealing with the consequences of the election.

Welcome to week 5 of the ratfuckery, America.

The Live PA has a grassy nose, nothing about it is too intense there. I also pick up a little tropical fruit, but it doesn’t take away from the grassy part. So far, I’m digging it.

More tropical fruit comes out in the body; there is some caramel malt sweetness but that feels restrained, too. The finishing bitterness is…Fine? I’d offer a sip to my Dad, if he were in town.

Because I’ve been thinking a lot about a rolling conversation Dad and I have been having for the the past month, about what to do when the office of the President is finally transferred away from Grifters, Inc.

My premise is that we need to clean house; start with a DoJ that is known for its integrity and diligence and then prosecute every member of the Trump administration as far as the law will allow it.

Then go after anyone else who was in on the grift. Forget party; this is about finding people who, while in positions of power, used it to abuse this country.

Dad talks about bringing people together. Then he talks about taking care of the virus’ impact on the country.

To the second point; I do not know why we cannot do both things. If we just gave people money and told them to stay the fuck home, they could and we could use that time, maybe 2 months, to ramp up contacts tracing and testing.

Suspend rent while we’re at it, and voila. Multiple studies have suggested that this is possible, as have multiple countries demonstrated it in action.

To the first point, I feel that we cannot come together under unjust auspices. So long as we, the people, know that criminals are allowed to get away with theft and, in the case of the Trump administration, manslaughter and genocide could be on the table, then you cannot form a union. There is no trust.

Dad thinks that if people are not brought together first, then no justice can be done. It’ll be witch hunts.

I’m afraid that if nothing isn’t done first, then in four, or eight years, our abusers will be back, smarter, meaner, more subtle. And we won’t have a chance to get out from under them as easily as we have this time. We STILL aren’t out from them and things are bananas.

It is troubling, to say the least. Because what I think we’re both worried about is that neither of these options are possible and something much worse will happen.

We both agree on this, though: Mitch McConnell is a piece of shit who shouldn’t be allowed to manage a child’s piggy bank, much less represent Kentucky.

Today’s second pint goes to Live Through This. Disclosure: I know the person who runs this.

Front Porch Chats #35\Second Pint

Honey Helles ale from Matchless on table outside.

The Honey Helles from Matchless is on deck and this is an interesting one. An almost-there, I think.

It’s got a hint of pepper in the nose, so we’re good on hop presence, but nothing too strong. The helles stops shy of cloying in its sweetness, which is good, and there’s a nice balance of bubbly and bitterness to keep everything in check.

But.

After it’s all gone, I get a note of butterscotch. And I hate butterscotch. I have hated that flavor since I was five. I consider it to be right after candy corn on the ‘who thought this was candy’? rung.

An unlucky pick after a week of thinking about how lucky we have been so far.

I know it doesn’t feel lucky; week three of the ratfuck-ening. 250,000 dead from COVID-19 and the highest rates of infection in 2020. A sullen, pouting, childish President of the US.

But he didn’t win. His coup attempts are being soundly thumped in the processes. The integrity of men and women conducting the voting count holds, for now-even among Republican officials, a phrase that is far too rare these days. (Or, in some cases, shame is also working on those officials. But the right thing is being done, in the end and people are staying involved.)

Yet, Georgia is still up for grabs, and this is where I think we really got lucky.

Because the work, clearly, is not over. Which is what advocates have been telling at us for years now: it’s not over just because (insert arbitrary benchmark, especially one that makes white people feel satisfied).

So instead of folding up our chairs and going home, there’s still activity, still momentum in play, as an attempt to save our Republic. That momentum will carry into January and, when the new President is sworn in, hopefully push on them to help us bring about a More Perfect Union, as a wise man once said.

You don’t get to quit. Days off? Sure. Everyone deserves them, but quitting? Nah, dawg. You don’t get to do that. The fight goes on.

There’s still a More Perfect Union to build, and we all deserve it.

Today’s second pint goes to the ACLU.

Front Porch Chats #34\Second Pint H4A

Thunder Island-Data Love IPA on table

With a Data Love IPA from Thunder Island in front of me, we’re now left with the only question that matters:

What next?

I’m going to start with what’s right in front of me: the Data Love. It’s got a grapefruit nose and even some sweeter grapefruit qualities in the middle. I’m a little concerned for a moment that this will fall into the ‘juicy’ IPAs, which I am not a fan of. But the hop bite is a firm one and has an element of bitter melon to it.

I don’t like that very much.

Still, it is the thing that is in front of me, and I need to deal with it, before anything else.

The nice thing about a country is that we don’t have to do only one thing at a time. We can set people to tasks: how do we get our COVID levels under control? How do we deal with the ratfucking that is happening from Ratfuckers Inc every day? How do we save ourselves from a social collapse?

Some of these have some simple, direct answers (wear masks, stay home, pay people to stay home): but it’s the second question that is the most challenging one.

In some ways, its our own fault; if someone tells you they’re a ratfucker and you put them in a position of power, rats are gonna get fucked. Now it’s on us to unfuck it.

What I believe is critical here is three things: First, we bring the ratfuckers to justice. For too long, these actions have not had consequences. That may even mean some of ‘our people’ are involved. We have to account for that and be ready, mentally, for what that means.

Second, we do not allow associates and supporters of the ratfuckers in the room until they have decided that they need to change. They’re bullies and they won’t cooperate with anyone until they are punished for their bullying. They will complain: tough noogins. They had their chance and decided to go with Ser Ratfucker. Twice.

Third-and this is where it gets tricky-we cannot enact vengeance upon Ratfucking, Inc and Assc. We must concentrate on justice-honest justice that does right by the millions of people who have been living in fear, or outright persecuted by this group. That means that the guidance of BIPOC folk, LGBTQ+ folk, people we haven’t done a overly good job of listening to, we have to hear and engage with a genuine humdinger of a question: what constititues justice?

Honestly, though, after the last four years, I’m interested in how that question gets answered.

Today’s second pint goes to Hygiene 4 All; disclosure, I know the person who heads that organization.

Front Porch Chats #32\Second Pint

Think Again IPA from Chainline

Think Again is the name of this West Coast style IPA from Chainline brewing. While it’s got some tropical notes-I think I get kiwi and tangerine in there, the Think Again also has a solid bite on the finish. Bring me some brats to pair with this and I’m all set.

I like it, is where I’m going with all that.

It occurs to me that this beer is the descendent of Sierra Nevada’s Pale ale. Not directly, of course, but karmically, spiritually, if you will.

Just as I am the descendent of John Coltrane and Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix. James Baldwin and Stephen King, Sally Yates and Marsha P Johnson.

I come from a place that mapped DNA and sent people to the Moon. Who decided, eventually, (sometimes too long after they should’ve) that they weren’t going to be who or what they were told, but who or what they imagined. And they were going to imagine a better world than what they were given.

Whose heroes include anyone and everyone from Mister Rogers to Muhammad Ali. From Steve Rogers to Kamala Khan.

I don’t need you to understand every reference I make. What I need you to understand is that America is at its best when it includes, not excludes. When it embraces the expansive notion of humanity, not when it clings to the old.

I know America is a failing place. In some ways, it always has failed it’s ideals, but these days that darkness has risen higher than ever. The failures want to overshadow what good we have and can still do.

But I also know that we have it in us to imagine it, and ourselves, better. That our perfect doesn’t have to be the enemy of our good-so long as we keep striving for the perfect.

I have been fortunate to meet a diverse group of people in my life, and I firmly believe that America is as much for them as it is for me. If it isn’t, there there really isn’t an America. No ideal that we now share.

My die has been cast. Now, we hope. And damnit, we count all the votes. The alternative…well, let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.

Let’s not just be who we are, but also, even if for a moment, more than that-what we imagine in our best hopes. Let’s be who Springsteen thinks we can be, and not who Trump is sure we are. And let’s fight like hell for it.

Better. We deserve it.

Today’s second pint goes to the People’s Parity Project.

Finally: fuck you, Donald Trump.