August 30, 2010

Philly Beer (and beyond) Tweetup

When I started writing this blog just over a year ago, I also joined Twitter. I quickly started following - and being followed by - a number of people as interested in beer as I am. Some are homebrewers, some are sales reps, some are bloggers, others just enjoy good beer. Regardless of where their interest (and future passions) lie, we all share a common bond in our love for craft brews.

So after a few months of tweeting back and forth, a few of us decided to (gasp!) meet in person. Needless to say, it was a huge amount of fun and we quickly decided to get more people together. The first "official" Philly Beer Tweetup took place at the end of April and was a huge success. (Okay, a lot of that was personal success in that I met the person I'm now dating there). Regardless, it was a fun day at Varga Bar in Philly, and we knew it was something we wanted to do again. Unfortunately, it took us several months to pull it together, but pull it together we did (or rather, Sarah did) and this past Saturday night saw around 20 Philly beer tweeps - plus one from Florida and two from New York - at Victory Brewing in Dowingtown.

It was a great night, with many fun brews consumed and lots of good food. Most importantly, there was a lot of great conversation - both beer and non-beer related. (For instance, I learned about the free (!) MapQuest app for my iPhone that saved me money on having to go out and buy a GPS unit for my car. Yes, the Maps app that comes with the phone is great, but the MapQuest app talks to you. Much easier than reading directions).

However, I digress.

There are a lot of fun pictures from the night, some of which are here and others that can be found at our resident photographer, Stephen's, Picasa Gallery. And then there's this cool video that Mike shot by putting his camera on the giant Lazy Susan in the center of our table. If you go to Victory and are at the Brewer's Table (as we were) I highly suggest you shoot a video like this yourself.

I'm definitely looking forward to another fun night with this great group of people - and others that I have yet to meet - soon!

August 17, 2010

My 10 in '10 - an update

I was thinking the other day that we're half way through August. Which means we're over half way through the year. I remember a bright-eyed blogger with the same name as me who wrote her resolutions for the new year in early January. I remember her saying she believed in the power of words, and wanting to make sure there was a chance she would accomplish all that she set out to do before she put it down in writing.

Alas, we're half way through the year and I can say that pretty sure I'm not quite half way through those resolutions. There's one that I'm just not going to be able to accomplish (I ran Broad Street, but most definitely did not set a PR). So I'm going to take a quick stock and see what I think I can do - and what I have done - before the end of the year.

Let's take a quick look at what I said I was going to do, and after, I'll write the chances of it happening:

1. Shoot some webcasts and post them: Okay, I don't have a video camera but I'm sure I have a friend or friends that do that would let me borrow one. There's a chance I'll get this done.

2. Blog more consistently: Since my typical lag between posts has been averaging about a month, I'm going to say that up until now I've fallen extremely short of this goal. But I can do better between now and the end of the year.

3. Volunteer: Well, I did do one day of volunteering. I helped out with the Reading Olympics. And I was very hung over when I did so. I give myself extra credit for that. However, there's more volunteering that could happen before the end of the year.

4. Travel: This one isn't looking so good. I'm hoping I can squeeze a trip in before the end of the year, but so far the farthest I've been from Philly since the new year is Jersey and that's just not the cool destination I had in mind (sorry, Jersey-ans!).

5. Take more advantage of what Philly has to offer: I feel pretty good about this one. I've been to the museum twice. I've gone to places I hadn't previously been to (and not just bars). I've participated in events I hadn't participated in before. Yes, I feel good about this one.

6. Learn how to do more with my Mac: Um, definitely not doing well with this one. But I'm confident I can do something - make a video or learn PhotoShop, something! - before 2011.

7. Spend more time with family and friends: Hmm. I think this one is going pretty well. I've been trying to not spend as much time on my phone when I'm out with friends, but I can say that having recently bought the iPhone (after having a BlackBerry for so many years) is not going to make this one any easier.

8. Run a 1/2 marathon and Broad Street and set a PR in both: As mentioned above, I ran Broad Street but didn't do well at all. There were extenuating circumstances that kept me from training as much as I should have, so we'll just leave it at that. Not sure if I'll get a 1/2 marathon in, but I'm hoping.

9. Try new beers: Yes, I've done this! Just recently I tried a strong ale that I was sure I was going to hate and realized I actually really, really liked it. I've also tried a couple of sours that have confirmed I don't quite like those. During Philly Beer Week I tried a number of Belgian beers that were quite delicious. And I'm sure I'm not done trying new ones quite yet.

10. Figure out what I can do in the beer industry: Well, I've got this one done! I even wrote "Work for a brewery?" and that's exactly what I'm doing. Plus I'm writing for some beer-related sites in addition to writing here.

Okay, so maybe I'm not in as bad a position as I thought I was . Still, it makes me feel good to go back and assess where I am and what I need to do for the rest of the year to make me feel like 2010 turned out the way I wanted it to when it was just starting.