Saint Arnold and Art Cars

Thursday August 6th, 2015 was IPA Day. Also commonly referred to as National IPA Day or International IPA Day, Craft Beer says

IPA Day is opportunity for all breweries, bloggers, businesses and consumers to connect and share their love of craft beer.

Bars and breweries around Houston and the world set to celebrating.

Saint Arnold Brewery, being a true member of the Houston community, loves artcars.  Owner/Co-Founder Brock Wagner calls the annual Art Car Parade his favorite event in Houston. The brewery has used artcars as an advertising tool since the beginning. They have created or consigned 15 cars to date. The most recent is a fabulous 1959 Cadillac painted by Robyn Sanders.

For the recent IPA Day Saint Arnold toured a variety of local bars with collections of their cars in three different groups. The reason behind the tour was their new beer: Art Car IPA. At each bar they were offering “buy the beer, keep the glass” with both a street graffiti style logo created by local artist GONZO247 for the new beer and a new Elissa IPA logo with stylized ship’s wheel.

Their dancing card filled so quickly that Saint Arnold extended their Art Car IPA debutante to Friday evening as well. It was then that I found time to walk to one of my local purveyors of food and drink to try out the new brew. Not coincidentally perhaps, I ran into some friends and local art car (and scooter) artists.

Art scooterist Gay Barlow said, “I’m an Elissa fan. This tastes a little lighter.” The new beer is a deceptively refreshing beer, hiding the 7.2% alcohol well. Compared to their other IPA offerings (Elissa and Endeavor Double IPA) it has less malt helping it feel lighter. Lots of fruit and citrus flavors abound, but there is not too much lingering bitterness (with a reported 55 IBU).

We met Allison King, one of Saint Arnold’s local sales representatives. The sales reps often use the art cars as business cars, and she was one of the group trekking them about to different bars. She informed us that the beer isn’t generally available yet, but will be this fall in cans (after the Oktoberfest and before the Spring Bock) from their recently added canning line.

It will be available in a limited release on tap, lingering in area bars after this special Art Car Day draft-only release.

Who ever thought … not, Scalia

The United States Supreme Court today affirmed the right of marriage for all people in a 5-4 judgement in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Justice Antonin Scalia dissented. Among other things he wrote:

Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality … were freedoms?

In his heavy-handed need to disparage his associates, he seems to have forgotten some of our basic roots. If not a legal basis, a sounding on where the framers (Thomas Jefferson, et al) stood:

heading of Declaration of Independence… all men are created equal, … with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are … the pursuit of Happiness.

If intimacy and spirituality are not among some of the basic pursuits of happiness of anyone, then nothing is.

I also think the irony of the invective that he throws earlier in his dissent is lost on him.

It is one thing for separate concurring or dissenting opinions to contain extravagances, even silly extravagances, of thought and expression; …

Yes, it is “one thing”, Mr. Justice.

Mobility Study of The Heights and Surrounding Areas

City of Houston“Pedestrian facilities along Studewood Street are in great condition north of White Oak Drive, but virtually nonexistent along the 4-lane segment of the roadway south of White Oak Drive which includes a 4-lane bridge. However, the use of this segment by pedestrians is evident by foot paths flanking both sides of the corridor. The contra-flow lane confuses drivers who are not familiar with its function, and additional signage could help mitigate this issue. The contra-flow lane also causes problems at major intersection due to the lack of protected lefts. At its northern boundary, the corridor terminates into a 6-legged intersection with E 20th/N Main Street/W Cavalcade Street. The current intersection configuration creates confusion, particularly for the pedestrians and bicyclists to navigate.”

This is the “Identified Needs” of Studewood in the recently completed Heights-North Side Sub-regional Mobility Study. It’s quite comprehensive. See Chapter VI for a listing of many of the streets. What does is say about the ones you care about?

The Michigan U-turn was a new one to me. An alternative to a left turn. See Chp 5, pg 60 for an explanation.

Also, Chp 5, pg 61 has a diagram of a roundabout next to an arial photo of the 20th/Main/Studewood intersection. To this I say YES, YES, YES!

The report is nicely and simply designed and written. Whether it address what you wanted it to is another question.

Voting is a Right

Everyone in Texas that thinks our new Voter ID law is a good one, should read the Kuff’s digest of a recent article from MSNBC.

voter registration cardThe telltale numbers: The “free” Election Identification Certificates written into the law were provided as an option for the estimated 600,000 to 750,000 citizens who didn’t have the needed documentation.  371 had been issued by the Thursday before the election.

The current Voter ID law is going to cost the state money defending in court, whether it prevails or not.  (I would love for there to be an organization that tracks legal defense costs of legislation.  If you know of one, let me know.)

I would love for there to be an organization that aids those in need of a Texas ID, whether an EIC or other.  (If you know of one, let me know.)

I would challenge those who thing the Voter ID law is a good thing to assist one of the 100s of thousands of disenfranchised voters to obtain the necessary identification.  If it’s so easy to do, it should take much work on your part.

Everyone Loves a Marathon

I’m listening to NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. You should too; it’s fabulous.  For discussion this week is the recent Simpsons splat onto the new FXX.  If you’ve been under a rock, Fox has created a new cable channel and arranged licensing of all things Simpsons to them.  As part of that, they ran a 12-day marathon of all Simpsons episodes back-to-back

Simpsons FXXThose discussing this event had widely varying (all interesting) opinions.  One thing they did all seem to agree on was that the public and concurrent nature of the event was something that we have tended to lose in the Era of Time Shifting and the Season Dump.  The communal experience of the event, like a sport or appointment television, would bolster the enjoyment of the show.

This has always seemed a missed opportunity of streaming services to me. Particularly Netflix, but also Amazon Prime, Hulu, and others, always dumps a full season of a new, sometimes hotly sought after, content onto their service.

Season One Poster
Season One Poster

Surely there are those that binge watch the full season, often over the upcoming weekend.  But inevitably everyone you know who is watching it is out of sync with you.  I think the services could obtain more fan excitement and perhaps media coverage if instead they ran a marathon, then dumped the whole thing.

Pick a time and stream the whole thing, back to back.  Alternately, you could stream a few hour each night a la mini series of old.  Make the past episodes available for streaming thereafter for those who can’t make the live event and want to catch up.

This would create huge buzz in social media, something content generator love.  It seems a total no-brainer to me. Why hasn’t it been done, yet?

Synchronize the Binge. #sinchronizethebinge

Bicycling: Heights to Montrose

I frequently cycle between the Heights and Montrose. Often taking the most obvious Heights/Waugh corridor.  The stretch of road from Washington south over Buffalo Bayou, then continuing on Waugh past Dallas to W. Gray is a bit harrowing for some. I don’t have issues with it, and have taken the route both day and night.

But there’s another route I take that’s a bit east of that – closer to town.  Close and parallel to Studewood/Montrose.  It’s a bit less harrowing for those who are timid about Waugh and doesn’t add distance if your endpoints are on the eastern peripheries of these neighborhoods.

map of route
Heights-Montrose Bike Route (click to embiggen)

Going from the North to South, from the Heights, first take the MKT path south past I-10.  Immediately take a right after passing under I-10 on the sidewalk before approaching the Target shopping area.  This will lead you along the sidewalk on the south side of I-10, up to Studemont. Continue reading Bicycling: Heights to Montrose