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Rheumatoid Awareness Day – Coming out of the shadows

Saturday was Groundhog Day and it was the first annual Rheumatoid Awareness Day; for patients with Rheumatoid Disease, previously known as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) or Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease (RAD). February 2 was picked as Rheumatoid Awareness Day because just as Punxsutawney Phil pokes his head out of his burrow to see if his shadow is visible or not, Rheumatoid Awareness Day was started in the hopes of getting the truth about this disease to the masses and to help bring it out of the shadows.

Groundhog Day has long been a favorite day of mine, beginning back in the 70’s when I worked at the telephone company. In addition to the standard holidays that most union employees expect to have off with pay (Christmas, Thanksgiving, 4th of July), we were given “floating holidays” that were days off with pay that we could take whenever we want. I always chose February 2 since there were so many holidays between November and January, and the next one would not be until the end of May, so it made for a nice break.

This year, CNN’s iReport set up a project for people to take photos of their shadows. I already had plans to go one a nice bike ride and thought I would be able to get some cool shots of the shadows cast by me and my bike; but it was far too overcast for there to be anything in the way of shadows. Luckily, I had my point & shoot camera with me when I took the dogs on their morning walk, so I did my best to get some shadow pics with them. Continue reading

El Segundo Brewing Bottle Release Party

These photos are from the El Segundo Brewing Company (ESBC) Bottle Release Party which was held Friday night, February 1. The Bottle Release Party was to celebrate the two brews they are now providing in 22oz bottles, their ever popular White Dog Wheat IPA and their new Stand Crude Imperial Stout. A Facebook status update that went out a couple hours before the event started stated that it would be their “biggest shindig yet;” I don’t think they knew just how big of a shindig this was going to be.

They opened at 5:00 and when we arrived around 5:30 there was already a line going out the door. I figured that the line must have been for those buying growlers and leaving, but it was for people buying pints. The line for growlers and bottles was on the north end of the counter. The tasting room was standing room only and the crowd overflow went to the brewery itself, with guests sharing space with the fermenting and storage tanks. In addition to the ESBC usual offerings there was a rum soaked and oak barrel aged Hyperion Double Stout; and El Segundo Catering Company was there offering two types of pies featuring a New Zealand Meat Pie and a Spiced Vegetable Pie.

The Standard Crude Imperial Stout will be a limited release seasonal offering and the White Dog IPA will be available all year long. The plan is to start offering all their ales in bottles as soon as possible. Judging by the turnout tonight, the only problem I foresee is keeping enough in stock. Congratulations to Rob and Tom, you have taken a huge step forward in the craft beer arena. Continue reading

Strand Brewing Co Pint Night at Naja’s Place

These photos are from Strand Brewing Company’s Pint Night at the world famous Naja’s Place, located on the International Boardwalk at the Redondo Beach Pier. This event was to commemorate Strand Brewing Company’s three years of brewing craft ales and was held at Naja’s Place because they were the first location to pour Strand Brewing Company beer. For Thursday’s celebration, Strand provided these fine brews:

Beach House Amber Ale
24th Street Pale Ale
Atticus IPA
Black Sand Double IPA
Bagheera East IPA
Special Cask of Double Dry Hopped Atticus IPA

The event started at 6:00 PM and advertised that the first 50 attendees got to keep their glassware with the Strand Brewing Company logo. We had Business & Beer starting the same time, so I did not make it until 8:30. Judging by the crowd they had, the glassware was probably gone by 6:30; Naja’s Place was absolutely packed. I wanted to try the Atticus on cask, but that was gone long before I arrived; I will have to wait. It is obvious that Rich Marcello and Joel Elliot, co-owners of Strand Brewing Company, have built a very strong following; they are to be congratulated for a job well done. Here is to three more years, and then some. Continue reading

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