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Thursday, April 28, 2011

I got Chicks, man!

For some reason I decided - very recently, I might add - to get a couple of chickens for my backyard.  Nothing really inspired this, and it's not something I have been waiting to do my whole life.  One day I was online looking at the randomness that is the internet and came across an article about raising chickens in an urban setting.  Three days later I'm at the local feed store (which is like a verbal time machine to say) picking out chicks with my girlfriend.  Man how I've always wanted to say that, just in a very different context ... 

My first concern was the noise level.  I don't have a large backyard - in fact it's fairly standard in size, with my neighbors right on top of me.  The last thing I want to do is build a chicken coop, raise these chicks, and have them make all kinds of noise and I'd have to get rid of them.  After some research I decided that since I want them for eggs that I didn't need a rooster, and that pretty much solved my issues with noise.  Hen's generally aren't SUPER noisy, but some breeds are more chatty than others, and most will only make a fuss when they lay an egg.  Can't blame them for that. 

The chicks we picked out are Columbian Wyandottes, which grow up to be very fancy looking birds and are supposed to have a mild temper.  We'll see.  Right now, I have them in my spare room under a heat lamp and kept at a constant 90 degrees.  Each week for 5 weeks I am to take the temp down 5 degrees, and then they are fit to go outside.

I'm pretty stoked about doing this, and I intend to post more pics and jot some notes down along the way, especially when I design and build the coop.  Here are some shots I took tonight.  Excuse the odd lighting - the heat lamp we got is infra-red and it plays havoc with my camera lighting.

The larger of the two sisters

Butts in the air, pecking at the nail patches in the hardwood.


Trumpy, checking out her new pals.

My set-up.  Fairly simple.

Trumpy, on the desk, eye-balling the chicks.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pathing for Craft Beer Around Disneyland

I go to Disneyland a lot.  I like it there. A lot.  Being a beer drinker and a craft beer fan, I like to find the best places for local beers that I can.

Many people ask me where to go for beer while they are in Disneyland, since I talk about going there often, so I figure I'd write them all down so I don't have to repeat myself.  This is not a complete list by any means, but a compilation of my favorite places (and really the only ones I know of).

Tony's Darts Away
1710 West Magnolia Boulevard
If you are driving down I-5 and you pass through Burbank, stop here.  Personally, I don't think it's worth driving up to it from Disneyland - its 50 min or so without traffic - but it's a great pit stop.  Tony's has a nice theme - all California craft beer only.  Sorry Oregon, you dicks!  Colorado?  Suck it!  

The inside is very "dive-bar", with wood everywhere.  When you get to the bar and read the menu, you have two choices of styles - IPA and Everything Else.  As much as I hate IPA's, this makes me superlolz every time. Not much for food, but they have hot dogs and sweet potato fries.  If you hate your dentist, get the candied version.  

Eagle Rock Brewery
3056 Roswell Street
Los Angeles
Eagle Rock is about 40 min from Disneyland, so only go if you have a car (obviously), and plan on spending more than three days at the park, because three days goes by fast at Disneyland.

These guys have a small, unassuming place with no signage that I could see, but inside is a small tasting room with some of the cleanest beers on tap I have ever had.  At night there are those trendy "gourmet" roach coaches out front for you to get a tasty meal. Worth the trip if you have the time.

Beachwood BBQ

131 1/2 Main Street
Seal Beach
Downtown Seal Beach is pretty weird.  Blink and you'll miss it.  Not just Beachwood, but the whole downtown area.  If you do happen to find this place, you will have problems leaving.  Not only do they have great food, but a really rad assortment of beer.  While you are there, check out the gas system for their draft set-up on the wall.  Seal Beach is about 30 min from Disneyland, so again, go if you have time.  It's a good place, but not one to miss a bunch of Space Mountain time for.  Oh, if you drive by Leisure World, wave to my Grandma!  Do it ... 

The Bruery Provisions

143 N. Glassell
While not the Bruery brewery, Provisions is a more formal tasting room for the Bruery's beers.  You can sit down and enjoy a few flights of great beer, paired with cheese if you like.  It is also a great little bottle shop where you can find some really great craft beers.  It's a 15 min drive to Orange, well worth it no matter how long you are in town.


368 S Main St
10 minutes from Disneyland is the greatest deli in the world.  Nice big sandwiches served in a small location with a wall of craft beer - refrigerated no less - served by loud Germans.  It's hard to get better than this when you are talking delis.  And being that it's so close to DL, it's an easy stop.  You can buy beers to go as well, which is rad for taking back to the hotel.

The Bruery

715 Dunn Way
15 minutes from the park is one of my favorite places, The Bruery.  You can take a cab here if you want, and I would recommend doing so, unless your other travel partners want to be DD.  The tasting room opens at 4, and by tasting room I mean space next to the brewery.  It's a really neat experience to sip beers while standing next to the barrels they were once in, gazing at the stainless steel that made it all possible. There are those trendy food trucks that come here too, so you can get some grub while you booze. 

Uva Bar
Downtown Disney
In case you don't know what I'm  talking about, Uva is that little outdoor cafe in Downtown Disney.  I know, it sounds like a god-awful place, but they do have good beer.  My go-to beer is Hoffbrau Helles on tap.  $8 is steep, but its real good.  And it's close to the monorail to get back into the park.  On busy days when I need a beer, I'll go to Space Mountain and grab a fast pass, then monorail to DD and hit Uva.  Drink a bit, maybe some food, then monorail back to Space Mountain and try not to puke.

Ralph Brennans Jazz Kitchen
Downtown Disney
Good food here, but they also have a nice piano bar inside, where you can get Abita beers.  Great beer, great food, good entertainment.  Solid place to drink.

Downtown Disney
It's not the best place - the food is salty, it's loud, and a long walk, but it has two things going for it - decent beer at decent prices and a nice second floor arcade.


2000 North Tustin Street
OrangeIf you have a car and will be in town for a few days, go to Bevmo and get some beer.  I don't need to tell you about Bevmo.  Just go there.

And that's my list on where to drink around Disneyland.  If you go, maybe we'll meet for beer!  On you.