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I have a few more things to do to prepare, but nothing urgent – my date of departure, by the way, is tentatively Saturday, November 19. I say tentatively because there are a few things up in the air, like making sure I have someone to take care of my cats while I’m away.

Ghost Cat

Yeah… good luck with that.

Leaving on that day would give me three weeks to get up to Maine, across to Washington, and down to the San Francisco area to attend the party my friends are planning. Under perfect conditions, that would be more than enough time, even with stopping at interesting places along the way.

I’m not expecting perfect conditions at all. That’s part of the point of this, for me. At least it’ll keep me out of retail establishments during the worst of the Season of Greed. I’d rather drive across the country in a blizzard than go to Wal-Mart in late November.

So, biding my time, I figured I could do another beer tasting.

Now, my memory isn’t the greatest. No, it’s not because of the beer. At least, if it is, I don’t remember. It’s just that if it’s not a joke, I won’t remember it. The only reason I remember anything about college is I used to make jokes and puns about the stuff they taught me, and it helped me get through exams. Hey, everyone needs a hobby.

Point is, I don’t remember the names of the beers I tried today (except for Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout, which I only remember because I ended up buying some). That’s just as well, because they were pretty forgettable, and some of them had gimmicks.

What’s up with gimmick beers anyway? I had three “Scottish-style” ales: one with heather, another one with frakking pine needles and another with gooseberry. I never knew what gooseberry tasted like. Oh, wait, I still don’t know what gooseberry tastes like, because the beer tasted like watered-down beer with a strong hint of watered-down beer and overtones of watered-down beer. Neither goose nor berry to be found.

There’s a reason Germany instituted those beer purity laws.

Now that I have my smartphone, I suppose I could start snapping pics of the beverages I taste, keeping records of them along with some sort of scale, from “Excellent, would drink again,” all the way to “WTF is this piss?”

Hell, there’s probably already an app for that, right?

Hey, it looks like Bell’s Brewery is in Kalamazoo, Michigan. And oh, look, my most likely route takes me within a few miles of that amusingly-named city. Scratch that – my new most likely route takes me through that city.

See, I knew I’d find a way to relate this to the trip!

The BEST holidays

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