Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Two Years of Man Drinks Beer

Man Drinks Beer turned 2 on April 26th, 2013.

I want to personally thank all 1,500 people who have collectively viewed over 30,000 pages of my beer ramblings. Thank you!

Some stats from two years of blogging:

  1. The most popular post, by far, has been the Periodic Table of Beer Styles, which is really just a cool image about the different beer style. As I've always said, you can't beat a good image.
  2. The second most read post has flip flopped between two brewing power houses-  Jacks Abby Hoponius Union,  and the UK's Greene King Brewing's Old Crafty Hen. Both brewers took the time to talk to me about their beers, and I can't tell how honored and privileged I felt to get that face time. Brewers should be brewing great beer, not hanging out with amateur beer bloggers. But both of these men- Jack Hendler from Jacks Abby, and John Bexon from Greene King, who had flown in from the UK for a quick PR trip to promote his new beer, couldn't have been more accommodating.
Now, for an update what I've been doing, as I haven't posted since March. I think you all deserve an explanation.

2103 has been challenging. I got laid off from my job of 15 years in January (the company "re-organized". 80 other folks also had their jobs "eliminated"). It was not a surprise, and I was not sad to be leaving, especially given the severance package I had earned via 15 years of loyal service. That said, it wasn't easy to go home and tell the family that I was unemployed. Not having a regular income is one of the reasons I haven't been posting as much. Spending money on beer, while unemployed with two kids, didn't seem like a great idea.

The bonus to being unemployed was that it gave me lots of free time to train for my next half marathon, which was supposed to be the Run to Remember Half Marathon in Boston on May 26th. And of course I'd be running the Harpoon 5 Miler again the weekend before! In its 12 years of existence, I've missed it twice- year one, as I was working security at the event, and in 2009, as my wife was due with our first child on the race date (negotiations with my wife to allow me to register anyway, "just in case", proved unsuccessful. Can't imagine why...). The Harpoon 5 Miler is my favorite road race of the year, and the idea of not getting in was laughable.

So February and March were spent running long distances on hills in the morning, then job searching in the afternoons. My splits started to come down to acceptable levels. Job hunting was slow, but I was also being picky. Jobs were plentiful for what I do, but they generally require long hours, and I was looking for a more family friendly workplace. I did make it out once to a beer related event- Pints for Prostates tap takeover at Stoddards Pub on March 12th. Got to finally meet Area Man Drinks Beer, aka Michael Loconto, @neighbeers. Great guy, great event, at a great venue. It was win-win.

Then April hits and several events occur at once. First, I get sick, throwing a wrench into my training and sending me to the doctors. Second, I get shut out of the Harpoon 5 Miler lottery. In my wildest dreams I didn't see that coming, but it happened. My favorite road race of the year, and I wasn't going to be a part of it? I sent an email to Harpoon seeking answers, and I got a very graciously worded reply, explaining the situation. I was out, they were sorry- it is what it is.

Then the whole situation with the Boston Marathon occurs. This freaks me out, as I was considering bringing my kids in to see the race that morning.   I won't dwell on this, but the senselessness of all saddens me. I'm a Bostonian, born and breed, and the attack angered me. One thing it won't do is keep me from going to the marathon next year, or perhaps even running it. I turn 40 next year, and running the Marathon for charity is an idea I've been toying with. Thoughts?

So, as the marathon situation is evolving, I'm getting called for an interview at a company less than two miles from my house. Less than a week later I get called for a second interview, and less then two hours after my second interview, I'm offered the job, which I accept. 

Now that I'm employed, I felt I could afford the fee to register for the Run to Remember Half Marathon. Unfortunately for me, the Marathon bombings prompted a huge run of registrations for the Run to Remember, and of course, registration was closed when I attempted to register. No May races for me. For the first time in a decade, I had no May race to prep for. I was bummed.

In short, 2013 has been challenging. Shortly after starting the new job, I got sick again. Bronchitis, aggravated by asthma. Wicked fun. I had to stop all my running for a month plus. I can now not run a mile without getting sick. But I am on the mend. 2013 has thrown me enough curveballs, and I hope its done. I hope now that I am well (ish) and employed, I can get back to the blog.

Thanks for reading!