Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Harrisons Hit Chicago (1).

Beautiful City. Great Walking Tours... and Pubs.

Paul and I, ready for a long walk-about. November 2017.

My son and I booked a room at The Essex Inn on Michigan Avenue, within walking distance of many amenities that would make our six-day adventure a full one. We were close to Millennium Park, ever-handy subway lines and buses, small and large breweries, pubs and restaurants, rich museums and galleries and much more.

At its heart our trip was a beer tour and we planned to walk as much as possible. I took a warm jacket and toque and two cameras. We covered dozens of miles per day and I took scores of pictures.

What a city! Good beer abounds, along with stimulating conversations and one odd, happy coincidence. Example - I met a cousin I did not even know I had at Jolly Pumpkin! Too weird. More details to follow : )

Photos From Along the Way:

Photos are distorted by the EGG. 

Paul takes one last photo of EGG. 

 A large amphitheater not far from the Giant Do-nut or Egg.

 Inside a museum near Millennium Park and Michigan Avenue.

 Revolution Brewery and taproom. Great menu, lower right in photo.

 Where are we? Very close to a great selection of beers...

 We made it to The Map Room. It's all about the maps! Sure, sure.

 Taking a coffee and do-nut break at Stan's.

 Instalment on south side of Millennium Park adjacent to Michigan Ave.

 Easy, scenic walking

Was the tour worth the time? Yes to that. 

Cheers at Lagunitas brewery, a vast enterprise.

More to follow.

Please link to East Coast Photo Files - In Conclusion

Photos GH

Monday, August 26, 2019

Gord's Grill (1).

Big Enough for Four of Everything!

Things are starting to heat up!

The above photograph depicts the scene outside my workshop, the scene that is becoming more familiar to me now that I'm starting to make use of a small home appliance that is actually a bundle of fun.

It's something you may recognize and have in your own basement or garage or on a shelf in a kitchen cupboard. It goes by a familiar and likely famous name (at least in Canada and the U.S.A.) though I now call it "Gord's Four-Man Grill" because I've found it big enough to quickly and conveniently grill/cook/sizzle four pork chops, or four good-sized pieces of steak.... or what have you.

Though I haven't used it for years I'm having great fun now!

And what have I? A lot of frozen bags or packets of sausages, chops, fish, steak, steaks wrapped in bacon (etc. etc.) that my wife and I have stored in our freezers in the event of a Harrison Family Reunion or National Family Holiday or year-long strike by all of Canada's food stores. Good gosh. Are we expecting a visit from a Canadian Army regiment?

At any rate, full freezers aside, I noticed my BBQ's propane tank was getting close to empty recently and I wondered if there was another way to cook out-of-doors that was just as easy or easier and save me a trip to a local business where I could buy more propane. And I recalled that I did have an electric grill buried under a pile of extra pillows, curtains, blankets (what have you, etc.) on a basement shelf.

While it heats up for 5 minutes I'll search the freezer.

Well, after dusting off the "Four-Man Grill" I had supper sizzling in no time at all. And I've used it several times in the last couple of weeks to resounding success. Simple as can be.

Now hot, it's ready for chops.

Some will say, "Gord's having a slow news day." And they'd be right.

But I'm a man who very much enjoys simple pleasures of life (a short motorcycle ride to Port Bruce, a BLT on ancient grains bread, a Key Lime ice cream cone, a long walk in T-shirt and shorts and sturdy running shoes, an easy run or bike ride to Baldwin Flats and back, a perfectly cooked/sizzled chop - in 10 minutes...). And if you've noticed, there's room on the sawhorse for a fork, plate and glass of cold beverage.

What could be nicer on a pleasant summer's afternoon? Lots of things, of course, but I don't have time to discuss...

Time to flip my supper, add a bit of BBQ sauce and sit down for three more minutes.


Please link to Sunday Ride.

Photos GH

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Sunday Ride

Classic Trucks. One For Me?

General Motors Pick Up, 1937.

I was born in 1949, the truck was built 12 years earlier. Guess who runs better?

My Sunday motorcycle ride took me to Aylmer where I received news that there was something going on at a nearby (relatively) conservation area north of St. Thomas on Highbury. I'd have to turn around but it sounded good, as long as I could get lunch that was on par with BLTs at The Corner View in Port Bruce. (Fat chance, eh!)

I settled for a cold cola and freshly BBQ-ed cheeseburger and a walk down memory lane. Vintage cars and tractors and trucks and iron horses and more filled my afternoon. Why, if I'd had $50,000 I coulda come home with a shiny, burnt-orange pick up, maybe with an old Ford tossed in for good measure. What are the odds? None!

That being said, once I'd wiped mustard off my chin I had a pleasant walk around with good friends from Aylmer.

Photos From Patterson Park

1962 F-100 Ford pick up, I believe. 

Can you see me cruising around town in this old Ford?

Please link to Motorcycle Miles 2019 (4).

Photos GH.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Motorcycle Miles 2019 (4).

Port Bruce Under Sunny Skies

Jonathan Livingstone has one of the best seats in the house.

In spite of the fact I had not been on the Yamaha Virago in three weeks, it started right up. I had a two-pronged ride in mind initially, first to Port Stanley, then onwards to Port Bruce.

Somehow, with my mind wandering - the steady rhythm of the motor and 180-degrees-worth of sharp scenery does that to me - while heading south from London, I made a left turn at the Glanworth curve and found my nose was pointing toward only one target.

They must have seen me coming. The chef at The Corner View handed me the largest BLT I have seen in a long time - if ever - after my first short walkabout for photographs.

Beside the channel, I focus on where the sea meets the sky.

While I checked out the horizon the gulls looked me over. So did the OPP. I think one of the constables said, "Whatch you lookin' at!?", as he passed me by.

 Original size from the GoPro. Beautiful day!

The bike plays lovely tunes while on the road and I admire its reliable, adventurous nature. This 1994 model owes me nothing. 

Another original size photo from the GoPro. 

After lovely rides I park my bike near the back of the house. I let it cool off for an hour or so before I place two bike covers over it. I'm not the type of person who wants it in the living room or who can fix any engine or other mechanical problems that might occur. But I do occasionally stand back and admire its practical nature and think of it in artistic terms.

It's just a machine.

And it's just a whole lot more.  

And so was that BLT!

Photos GH

Hops are Hoppin'!

A Banner Year.

Hop cones at an early stage.

If my hop vines were made of golden thread I'd be worth a fortune this year. Planted as a single clump about five years ago, the original Hop Mama has spread her wings 'slash roots' and now takes over 80% of available fence and lattice space.

Currently the vines and broad leaves provide shade on my back deck and once the cones are ripe, I hope a local, small-scale micro-brewer will take them all in return for a couple of cans of home brew.

Until that happens I will watch the cones gradually become the size of my thumb.

There are fences and lattices in there somewhere!

Thumb-size - a few weeks away

Please link to Toronto Walkn Tour 2018. Beer related ; )

Photos GH