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How I spent Father’s Day, or rather the Friday before Father’s Day.


Mandy and I had a blast Friday evening with some good friends sampling the best of Washington beer at the Washington Brewers Festival in Marymoor Park, a three day event held during Father’s Day weekend. Seventy-four brewers showcased over 250 beers at Washington’s largest beer festival.

77% of the total hops output of the United States is nestled in the heart of the Yakima Valley, about 170 miles south-east of Seattle. Hops love a moist temperate climate, and the long sunny days along with ample irrigation make the Yakima Valley one of the most important hop growing regions in the world, second only to the Hallertau region of Germany. Most all hops harvested are used in making beer; two-thirds of hops grown in the Yakima Valley are exported all over the world.

We live in hop heaven.

Consequently, Washington beer is some of the best in the world. Our close knit and imaginative brewing community combined with amazing hop varieties make for some outstanding beer creations. I’ve had some truly wonderful brews: IPAs that taste of grapefruit juice, Pale Ales with strong fruit and citrus flavors, a Cascadian Dark Ale that brought back childhood memories of mom’s pot-puree burning on the wood stove.

Some of our favorites from Friday:

  • Black Raven’s Splinters – a grand bourbon barrel scotch ale that was like sipping whiskey on the rocks;
  • 192 Brewing’s Strong Lavender Honey Ale – nice and sweet with a touch of lavender;
  • Laht Neppur Brewing’s Strawberry Cream Ale – a fruity ale, we went back for seconds;
  • Sound Brewing’s Mosaic Pale Ale – the mosaic hop is a brand new strain with mango and citrus flavors
  • Wingman Brewers’ Coconut P-51 Porter – a nice light coconut, molasses and toffee brew

In fact, all the beers we sampled were fantastic. Of course, the brewers are friendly and approachable and are happy to answer questions about any of their beers. Beer geeks geeking out on beer. I love that.


What does it take to stop Maximum Amanda?


Mandy started June 5th by awaking late for the bus. She grabbed my bicycle (hers is in a state of disrepair – as a rule, all super heroes and heroines are hard on their equipment) and was quickly on her way without issue. Riding the bike to work is not ideal – it’s around seven miles one way for her, and who likes to arrive to work sticky and sweaty? – but, it’s better than being an hour or later for work.

Somewhere along the route to work her cell phone popped out of her pocket and was lost among the tall grass and weeds. . Seven miles to work turned into nearly twenty as she turned back to look for it. She never did find it
Work was its own horror and she spent the evening unwinding with friends. Unable to get a ride she was on the bike as the sun set.

Late Wednesday night Mandy was intercepted by a shopping cart in the bicycle lane where 128th ST SW turns into Airport Road. On its back and around a blind corner the cart was all but invisible in the inky darkness. She attempted to avoid it in the split-second after she noticed the overturned cart and, when unsuccessful, was thrown to the sidewalk at full speed.

She picked herself up, dusted herself off and wheeled the now broken bike about a mile to a 7-11 to call me and a cab home.
She’s bruised from head to toe and she broke her right clavicle but she’s otherwise OK. She’s taking doctor prescribed pain medication and the week off from work to rest.

The doctor advised us that the first couple of weeks of healing were going to be hell. There’s not much to do other than hold still and take the pain. Sometimes, when she moves, I can hear what sounds like her bones clicking together, like the sound of a cracking knuckle. After about four weeks she should start to notice some stickiness as the bones begin to fuse together.

She’s worried over her ability to dance. We expect the shoulder to heal in the position she holds it. The idea is to hold her shoulder in the waltz position so she won’t be counted down during competition for holding her it incorrectly.

Yesterday she was out killing herself carrying groceries home and otherwise being Maximum Amanda. We have had plans to attend the Washington Brewers Festival since last year’s Washington Brewers Festival and she told me nothing short of death will keep her away.

So, to answer the questions above: a bad day will slow her down, but nothing I’ve encountered so far will stop Maximum Amanda.