Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Blackfinn in Royal Oak - New Bar!!! (Got Guinness Potential)

Last night, a small handful of us visited the Newest Bar To Hit Royal Oak. This is The Blackfinn, in place that used to house Fudruckers.

Royal Oak has been waiting for this place for quite a while now - apparently it had to jump through all the hoops to get that highly coveted thing, a Royal Oak liquor license. There was quite a lot of controversy; city residents were worried that there would be all kinds of drunken debauchery happening. Well, apparently common sense won over and the place was allowed to open.

It was originally discussed as an Irish theme bar & Restaurant. From what I could see there was very little that made it Irish, apart from Guinness and Smithwicks.

Anyway, I got there at about 6 or so. The place was packed! Apparently it was its Grand Opening, even though I believe it has been open for about a week. What made it a Grand Opening? There were people wandering around giving out snacks. Which is never a bad thing.

Now, for me, the litmus test for any bar is the quality of it Guinness. So, I found a place at the bar and ordered a pint from a male bartender. The pint came up excellent. Creamy, smooth and cool.

My friends joined me, and a round of pints was pulled by one of the gals behind the bar. Unfortunately, she was not as good as her male counterpart - no top up, - just pour and go. Which gave us pints with large heads and lots of bubbles. But we drank them none the less.

One really nice thing here was the very high ceiling, which allowed the smoke to be not too noticeable.

I didn't have any food, nor did I even look at the menu. Next time.

The restrooms..... Functional, but complete with one thing that really really annoys me - an attendant. Why anyone would feel the need to have someone hand them a paper towel, and maybe spray some smelly stuff on them is beyond me. What exactly is the purpose of this guy???

So, in summary...

Pros: Potentially good Guinness, lively atmosphere, reasonably priced Guinness ($3 - maybe happy hour?), airy, lots of TVs.

Cons: Some bar staff who can't pull a good pint of Guinness, Bathroom Bouncer, crowded, lots of TVs.

I'll be back.........

Update.... there was a comment about the bathroom attendant explaining his purpose... contained some swearies so I had to delete it.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

B-Bar-A in April - And the Boy Scout Museum

Recently, we took what was probably our last trip to D-Bar-A with my son as a Cub scout.

The weather was excellent - no rain, and not too hot. Friday night was hobo pie night - I made the camp fire and we all sat around with pie irons. Them things are great - there is an endless amount of recipes you can put in there. I got frowned upon for making a cherry-cheese pie, but it did taste unique - and good.
Saturday morning, I was involved with fire again. This time, it was breakfast. I was the Bacon-ator - using a large griddle and an indoor stove, I knocked out enough bacon to feed 77 people. The fat caught fire a bunch of times and my arms lost some hair - but it was a small price to pay for fried pig. Beside me, my good friend was pumping out the french toast - they didn't catch fire. Lesson for the future - if you values your arms, cook french toast.

Anyway the weekend went pretty well, despite some adult disagreements which I won't go into here.

We did see a pair of what I believe were Michigan Water Snakes - see below.
I assume it it a mother with her young - but I'm not sure. It was pretty cool to get close enough to take the photo - I don;t even know if they bite - thankfully they chose not to show us. They simply lay there, then looked at us, and then wriggled of into the pond.

Having gone there for years, we never managed to get in to the Boy Scout Museum. This time, we walked up the door, and one of the (I assume) resident D-Bar-A guys seen us and invited us in.

The museum is cool! Lots and lots of bits and pieces from scout groups over many, many years. Below are just a few pics from our visit.

And here's some random pics of D-Bar-A from near the museum. It really is a nice place - and certainly already holds a lot of memories for me.

And, a Totem Pole!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's that time of year again - GO WINGS!!!!!!

Game 2 v the Pittsburgh Penguins was last night. I wasn't there - watched it from the couch with neighbors.

It was GREAT!!!!! 3-0!! Puts the Wings 2 games to none up. The stanley is on the way.

I found this very amusing clip of Mark Andre Fleurry on another Wings game at the Joe... look at the little kids on the side....

Let's now hope that Ozzie keeps his record up in Pittsburgh on Wednesday - and Saturday - and return to the D with a big shiney cup!!



Sunday, May 18, 2008

Gas and Lawn Mowers and Health and things

Ah gas is getting expensive again. I bought a gallon of gas for the lawn mower yesterday $3.95.99 a gallon. The complaining is everywhere.

This brought me back to a previous post.

It seems be time to walk a bit more instead of driving. Works for everyone. Added to what I said in the linked post, if people walked more or rode their bikes, they would be healthier. (Of course, that's only true if they don't get hit by an Hummer or Escalade driving to Costco to save 3 cents a gallon).

But assuming walkers or bikers survive, they would ultimately get more exercise, and get less sick. And, therefore need to spend less on health care - as a result, save money.

And less sick people should mean lower health insurance costs! So we all win!!!!!!

Granted I drove to the gas station to get lawn mower gas, and I could have went and bought a pushy non-motorized lawn mower, Heck I could have made a manual ride on lawn mower - see below!!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mother's Day in Royal Oak 2008

Well it wasn't much... it rained so we did not have as much fun as last year. I don't even know if Royal Oak In Bloom happened.

But we went to the Royal Oak Brewery for lunch. I like it there. A place that serves decent food and makes beer. Great!!!!!

I had cajun catfish, the mom in the family had a cajun salmon sandwich, and the kids had burgers.

Great - we left there not hungry, nor thirsty.

I highly recommend the Northern Light beer. Hint: It ain't Bud Lite!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Cell by Stepher King - why I now hate Stephen King.

I listen to audiobooks in the car. Apart from NPR, and 89X, there's not much radio to listen to these days, so audiobooks are the way to go for me.

I took out Cell, a novel by Stephen King. Over the years, I've read most King books, and enjoyed them, with one or two exceptions.

#######SPOILER ALERT##########
.....Don't read any further if you want to read the stupid book......

By about half way through the book, it seemed to me that this would be no exception - I was well and truly hooked on the story. But that changed as the book headed to its end. I'll explain.

The story is about the cell-phone using population getting hit by a 'pulse' which effectively wipes most of their brain and turns them into crazed deranged pants-pooping zombies. Pretty interesting reading - and an interesting concept. What do you do if you see people acting like this? You pick up your cell phone and try to call someone - and as a result become a phone-infected crazy yourself.

I thought it was going to be a little like The Stand - an apocalyptic global reset, which it maybe was, but this was not the focus of the book - it was mostly focused on the remaining normal people wiping out the phone crazies. Unfortunately, King was not happy enough with the wild idea of people being driven crazy by cell phone, which is far-fetched enough but remotely concievable. He done this well enough in The Stand, and he scared the poop out of enough people with Misery in which there was no parnormality. No, he had to let the phone crazies start reading minds, creating dreams in the heads or normal people and then to top it all, they started levitating. So that was my first let-down.

Then, at the end of the book, the main character, (an out-of-work comic artist) goes seeking his kid son. A boy who was forced to take the cell phone pulse (albeit a weakened one). He finds him, and the kid is somewhat a zombie. His dad decides to, on the advice of another kid, try to fix his son by letting him listen to a further mutated pulse. So, he puts the phone to the boys ear. And then, THE STUPID BOOK ENDS!!!!


While I can understand the need to keep the reader hanging on, and how it's cool to finish the story on a cliffhanger, I thought this was not very well done. It kinda seemed that ol' Stevie K just got tired writing, - maybe it was time to get a beer - and he just closed out the story. I guess he is pushing on in years....

I was mad. I shouted at the cd player and called King all sorts of names. It's been a while since a book made me mad, and longer since a book made me mad at the author.

To anyone who reads this and is also reading the book - apologies for spoiling the end, but I feel you may thank me for saving you from wasting a few hours of your life.

To make matters worse - I took that stupid audio book out of the library and got so hooked on it that I kept the book longer than I should and I now face a fine for not returning it on time.

Dean Koontz next.