The SuperInferior Blog

What's your excuse?

Month: February, 2012

Nothing To See Here

Living in the Midwest has been a mixed bag for me.

I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania, so I’m used to the cold winters and humid summers.  I lived for five years in Alabama going to college, so I’m used to very hot summers there as well.  But there is something about living here in Illinois…I can’t put my finger on it.  Doesn’t feel like home yet for me.  I’ve been living here for 20 years.

The wide open spaces and large tracts of farm land are unsettling to me.  Makes me feel small and lonely.  During the long, harsh winters it can feel like you are living on an alien planet.  Sparse forests of dead trees…flat harvested farm land…manufacturing brown fields….depressed residential areas.  It’s not much to look at, unless you are living in one of the bigger cities like Chicago or Milwaukee.  If I had the means to, I would pack up my family and head for something better. But where would that be in this economy?

So it’s not so pretty here.  What really helps me is that the people who live in the Midwest are generally pretty awesome.  More down-to-earth than the east coast folks and more open minded than the southern folks.  I’ve made plenty of good friends here and they have helped me keep my sanity.  Along with my wife, of course.  And the beer.  Can’t forget the great beer.  Microbreweries and craft brewers are everywhere…plus I’ve caught the homebrewing bug.  Can’t do that in Alabama.

Most winters here are pretty harsh.  Long.  Bitterly cold.  Windy.  Very depressing. Doesn’t help moods much when you run into financial crisis mode during the cold season and you are wondering how you will make the mortgage payment, the electric bill or the car insurance.  We’ve endured some long, long winters.  But this year, thanks to the Universe, we have had the most mild winter I can ever remember.  We haven’t had much snow to speak of and we have even had a few spells of days in a row with 60-ish degrees Fahrenheit.  It’s been much needed and I feel like my mind and body are a little refreshed.  Coincidentally, my business has been performing better as well.

The lesson here, folks, is don’t move to the Midwest if you don’t have to.  Nothing to see here.  But if you are stuck here, like I am, make sure you check out your local microbrewery.  They’ll take care of you.  Good people.

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Sunset on Mars

Rolling Stones – Hand of Fate

One of the more obscure and underrated Stones tunes. Great stuff.

My parents have been married for 50 years!

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I love these guys.  I’ve learned a lot from them: how to be happy, how to roll with the punches in life, how to not sweat the small stuff, when to worry, when not to worry, what’s important in life, how to be a good person.  It doesn’t get much better than these two.  Both of my parents had parents that died fairly young, so I didn’t have grandparents to grow up with.  My paternal grandmother saw us grow up as children, but she was a bit distant; although, I loved her Scottish brogue.

Dad grew up in north New Jersey and Mom grew up in Queens, NY.  ”Good Catholics” from the East Coast.  They are of that classic stock….salt of the Earth. 

They had four children; I am the third.  Dad was a chemical engineer by training and ended up managing chemical plants most of his adult life.  Smart chap for sure. Mom was a good student too — especially in geometry.  She stayed home and raised us kids, but I’m sure she could have run the largest of companies.  Mom is so organized and lets you hear what you need to hear. 

So I realize not many are getting to see this, but it feels good to type it out in this little blog space.  I’m not doing them justice.  I think my parents are the finest people ever.  I know I’m lucky to have been raised by them.  It makes me incredibly happy to know that my two sons are able to have a meaningful relationship with their grandparents, as I did not have that opportunity.  

Happy 50th to my mom and dad. 

Grandpaboy – “Hot ‘Un”

Steve Jobs’ Cancer Treatment Regrets

According to Steve Jobs’ biographer, Walter Isaacson, the Apple mastermind eventually came to regret the decision he had made years earlier to reject potentially life-saving surgery in favor of alternative treatments like acupuncture, dietary supplements and juices.

Forbes Article

Tonight’s ale: Resistance IPA by Two Brothers Brewing

This is Two Brothers’ IPA offering, Resistance.  6.8% abv, medium strength.  The nose is grassy and floral.   The mouthfeel is on the light side for an IPA.  Since it’s an IPA the hops profile is pretty decent, but I was expecting something a bit more.  The bitter finish lingers somewhat.  Overall, it strikes a pretty good balance with the malts.  Color is a lighter gold, orange tone…again a little lighter than what I was expecting.  For almost 7%, it drinks smoothly and makes a nice session beer, but I wouldn’t consider it one of my favorites.  One of my favorite beers is made by Two Brothers – Domain DuPage, but this one comes up short for me.Resistance IPA

Gibson Guitar plant raided, still no charges filed

Gibson Guitar plant raided, still no charges filed

Interesting video clip from Reason.tv, the Libertarian online media dispensary. I’m not a Libertarian, but I think this is an example of government overreach that might seem more accessible to most folks than, say, the Affordable Healthcare Act.

This is Phoebe

She was 17 when we had to put her down two years ago. I’m getting the itch to bring home another puppy. My boys only knew Phoebe after she was 5 or 6 years old, so they’ve never genuinely been around a puppy. My wife loves German Shephards and I love Scottish Terriers. We will probably end up rescuing a mutt!