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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's Never Too Early to Plan

Well, 2008 is an off year for us routine Oktoberfesters, but I recently had a wild idea. I know, the difference between wild and stupid is a fine line; but please bear with me for a moment.

Next October 11 is Gregory's wedding day, and he has always wanted to go to Oktoberfest. So, I was thinking, maybe a bachelor party in Munich some time in late September. Just a small intimate outing with a few hundred thousand of our closest friends (or 4-5 real friends). I would also make an offer for some of his friends to join, but knowing their state of finances, I wouldn't expect any attendees. Maybe his Best Man/Best Friend since mom and dad seem to pay for almost anything anyway.

So..... would Gregory and I be the only attendees, or is anyone else willing (crazy) ? It's still a thought, but as we know, these trips are all about advanced planning.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Starting the Off-Season Postings

One of the problems with Oktoberfest is it only occurs once a year. Even worse, for our entourage, we only go once every two years. My attempt with this blog will be to encourage year round participation, regardless of whether it is an attendance year or not.

With that said, there might be some special dispensation for next year because of Gregory's wedding. What does that mean? Maybe an off-year trip.

What say the wild ones of the bunch?

Who knows, by then, a beer might be back done to $10.00 a litre.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Sad Day in Oktoberfest Land

As I watch the dismantling of the tents, I long for that next fresh Mass, which is only 687 days away.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Good times.

Oktoberfest 2007, a good time had by all. (actual picture from this year's festivities...totally.)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Oktoberfest 2007: In Retrospect

Well, I sit here today at the office wishing I had a nice Mas of the Golden Elixir. Since I don't, I'll just reflect on our latest sojourn.

It was a success. Everyone is accounted for. There were no injuries (except for maybe Cathy's forehead Friday night). And most importantly, there were no arrests.

The weather was Wundervoll ! ! Lots of sun, warm, and no rain. Please thank The Grand Puhba for these arrangements.

The trip to Braustuberl Tergensee was a hit as well. Not only was it a new venue, but the town and scenery were great. And...... it was the only trip with ALL Oktoberfestians. Which leads us to my next point...

While the group was smaller than 2005 (10 people vs. 17 people), it still was difficult (and frustrating) at times to manage. Maybe the next Grand Puhba will have better success (or at least less frustration).

The reserved table at Paulaner was good and bad. First the bad... The tables were much smaller than those on the main floor, and they were crammed very tightly together. Who would have thought that the tables on the floor actually afford you some room. In addition, most of the people in the reserved balcony area seemed a little too reserved for us. No singing, no partying, and you weren't even allowed to be on the benches. YUCK ! ! ! ! The good.... It guarantees entrance ! ! ! ! If the tent had been closed, we would still have gotten in. So we were able to utilize our included beer tokens and coupons, and then scout out room on the main floor. All in all, it appears that the consensus is to try it again next time. ACTION ITEM FOR DAN ! !

While we always say "this is the last Oktoberfest", somehow these trips keep happening. I look forward to being a follower next time, and having the new Grand Puhba lead the way. Who will it be? BarleyMan who was unfortunately missing, or potentially the first international Grand Puhba, Barbus. While Barbus was elected during our final dinner in Munich, there seems to be some controversy about the type of ballot (not secret, hanging chads, etc). Barbus still purports that "if nominated, he will not run, if elected, he will not serve". We shall see.

I'll close for now with a final thought.....

The Prost was with us.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Did the Oktoberfesters make it home?

Did they survive? We haven't heard from them in a while...

I hear the Dayton Liver Reunification Center is working overtime.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Secret of the Brown Envelope Revealed

The mystery surrounding the envelope has been solved. Prior to leaving for Oktoberfest, The Grand Puhba was in secret consultations with hotel management, and the result of this international statesmanship was a Reserved Table at the Paulaner Tent ! ! !

That's right Paulaner Girl.. we had reserved seats, bier tokens, and coupons for more bier and food at your namesake tent. A great time was had by all.... Wish you could have been there.

BarleyMan... we missed your guiding influence, and look forward to our next sojourn with you in charge. I must warn you, however. Barbus is very excited about being the first International Grand Puhba. We have even anointed him Grand Puhba Elect. I suspect he would relinquish his title in honor of you, though.

Anyway, here's a link to all of the photos The Grand Puhba took during the escapades at Paulaner. These have not been edited or resized yet, so they are large. Be patient while viewing. A consolidated collection of photos and videos will follow shortly after our return.

Until we meet again.... May The Prost Be With You.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


What more can we say ?

Oh.... Hi BarleyMan.

Munich Day 1

Traveling team of Oktoberfestians has arrived and are safely ensconced at the center of all activities, the Hotel Alfa.

Shortly after arrival, The Grand Puhba was seen entering a secret room with hotel management. After some time behind closed doors, The Grand Puhba was caught leaving the room with a mysterious brown envelope. The envelope was reported to contain secret icons of drinking. This appears to be something special that only grand puhbas have access to. We will continue the investigation and report back at a later time.

As is usual on our first day, we did make it to the Hofbrauhaus. Needless to say, a good time was had by all. And as usual, we took our first victim.

May The Prost Be With You !

Thursday, September 20, 2007

23:47 in Amsterdam.....

Off to the Fatherland at 06:32 tomorrow. The next post will be in German :-)

Sorry BarleyMan... Pictures not permitted in the Red Light District.

May The Prost Be With You.

PROOF ! ! ! !

The Boys R Back In Town.

As previously posted, we have made it to Amsterdam. Being Amsterdam, most of the pictures are not for public consumption. However, this proves we are all present and accounted for...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Chugger, Speedy, Einfahrt and Jack have safely arrived in Amsterdam. More to follow.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

UPDATE on Doctor Visit

For any Oktoberfesters that care (not many that I can attest to), I have just returned from my visit with Dr. Bad Juan. If you are at all inclined to know the outcome (which isn't evident by the blog activity), either post here or send me an email.

May The Prost Be With You !

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Grand Puhba Still Undecided

While I am still undecided on my status, check here, I am leaning towards attending. My biggest concern is my muscle issue, but if this beautiful blond bombshell can handle it, why can't I?

Final decision to be made tomorrow evening after consultations with our local soothsayer, Bad Juan.

May The Prost Be With You !

Monday, September 10, 2007

Grand Puhba Status Still Undetermined

Please reference this post detailing the issue that I, your glorious Grand Puhba am faced with.

Because of the Friday evening LobsterFest activities, I was unable to make my Saturday doctor appointment, so my status for the trip is still undetermined. While I appreciate the encouragement offered by FlyingDan, Barbus and BarleyMan, I was disappointed in the lack of third party consultative activities during the 'fest (not to be confused with THEEE FEST !! ! !). There was nothing to assure me that my condition would not be life threatening, or at least seriously harmful to myself or others. So with our departure to the Fatherland quickly approaching, I am facing a major decision point.

I now believe that while this is a medical issue, there may not be anything that a doctor can do for me. I need to work this out myself with the cooperation and encouragement of friends and family; especially my fellow Oktoberfestians. Barbus' recommendation of the medical help available in Amsterdam may be what convinces me to travel. The "up and down" therapy offered by these experts may very well mitigate the issues, and allow me to continue the trip to Munchen. In addition, the train ride from Amsterdam may also offer an opportunity for rest and relaxation, ensuring that my arm could indeed manage the strain that will be placed upon it.

I hope to make a "go no-go" decision this Wednesday evening after treatment with the local golden elixor known as "Bad Juans".

May The Prost Be With You !

Friday, September 07, 2007


I beleive that the Lobsterfest will get you back into shape. Remember that minimal spillage of beer can be tolerated as long as someone brings a lap dog so they can lick the mess clean.

EDITED by The Grand Puhba....

A Lap Dog like this?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Another Oktoberfester May Drop Out

It is with the heaviest of hearts that I must announce another casualty of this year's trip. Yours truly, The Grand Puhba, will probably withdraw from the roster this weekend. After being deeply immersed in the planning and euphoria leading up to this bi-annual sojourn, you have no idea how disheartening it will be to not be part of the culminating activities (especially with the earlier withdrawal of BarleyMan).

Unlike BarleyMan, I can share with you the reasons for my withdrawal; a medical issue has arisen. I have a doctor's appointment Saturday morning, and it will be at that time when a final decision will be made with regards to my attendance. I can tell you that the reason is muscular related.

I am concerned about my ability to properly and effectively manage the repetitive "up and down" arm motion required during the long hours of Maß manipulation. I have not had sufficient practice in the past few months, and like any serious athlete, the lack of appropriate training can lead to life threatening injuries. I can envision at best sore forearm muscles (the Flexor Carpi Radialis and Extensor Carpi Radialis). At worse, this could lead to over compensation and tearing of the predominant biceps muscle (Biceps Brachii). This could even lead to uncontrolled shaking of the hand, resulting in bier spillage, or even dropping of the Maß (a capital offense during these hallowed times).

I have scheduled my doctor's visit for Saturday morning so that some additional training and third party expert consolations can occur tomorrow during LobsterFest. I take my responsibilities as Grand Puhba seriously, and I hope that those in attendance at LobsterFest will provide as much comfort and subject matter expertise as possible. Hopefully with the support of all, I will get through this and be able to cancel my Saturday appointment.

May the Prost with with you !

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My Collection is Complete...

I now have all 5 Editions of the Bible ! !

That's right, I have procured the 1st Edition and the 3rd Edition to go with my existing 2nd, 4th and 5th Editions.

Here they are...

You may say, "heh Chugger, those two on the left look the same"; and they do. They are different, however, as shown by the inside covers and some of the text. The 2nd Edition is really a revised 1st Edition, and I don't think at the time that Field Führer Larry believed there would be a 3rd, 4th or 5th Edition. And now I hear there will be a 6th ! ! ! He even said so much to me in an email...

"I should have kept more aside, but then again, who knew there would ever be a second, third or even a sixth edition (next spring)."

Here is a peek at the inside of the first two "editions" to show the difference:

Saturday, August 25, 2007

We Have A Winner ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Yes, the winner of the BarleyMan unused hotel room sweepstakes has been determined.

Please welcome the newest member of this year's excursion, Mr. Dan Rang, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the 1997 Woody Trip ! !

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Day 4 Activities (as Desired by The Grand Puhba)

As our sojourn begins to wind down on this fourth and final day, we will probably need to make up for lost time at The Wiesn. Our Wiesn visits so far have been limited to evening attempts, which of course is when most of the fun and frivolity takes place. Today is different. As with 2005's final day, The Grand Puhba desires to proclaim Monday, 24 September, as The Day at The Wiesn. This means an early morning arrival at our favorite tent; Löwenbräu-Festhalle??? Bräurosl????

We should plan to arrive around or before opening time of 10:00 (probably even by 9:00). This ensures a spot as close to the musical entertainment as possible. Remember last year's prime location?

We then spend our final day together enjoying the amber nectar, pork products, and the most important part of the experience..... The Sing-alongs ! ! !

Please study up on your favorite lyrics:
Who the Fuck is Alice
Take Me Home, Country Roads
Let It Be
Hey Baby

So Speaketh The Grand Puhba

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Day 3 Activities (as Suggested by The Grand Puhba)

As is customary, today we pay homage to the roots of beerdom, the monastery. In particular, we will visit Kloster Andechs, home of the infamous Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel and the succulent Crispy Grilled Pork Knuckle (Gegrillte Haxe).

Other thirst quenchers are also available:

This trip to Andechs combines the pleasure of food and drink, with the obvious religious overtones required on a Sunday. In addition, this time of contemplation will allow us to reflect on the sacrifice of The Grand Puhba Emeritus (TGPE), and his dedication to family matters. In keeping with the wishes of TGPE, we will seek out and allow the senior Shannon to once again test run the local engineering marvels..

Since The Grand Puhba is all knowing and all caring, the remainder of this holy day is left to the glorious flock to propose, organize and execute. This may be the opportunity for the 2009 Grand Puhba in Training to show us his abilities. What say you barbus?

So Speaketh The Grand Puhba.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Day 2 Activities (as Recommended by The Grand Puhba)

We start the day with a trip to Bräustüberl Tegernsee, a new venue for all of us.

After a leisurely (and light) breakfast to recover from our first day in the Fatherland, we meet at the Hauptbahnhof for the 10:42 BOB Train (Bayerische Overland Bahn) and a short one hour train ride to Tegernsee. After arriving in Tegernsee at approximately 11:42, we take a short (less than 1 kilometer) walk to the Bräustüberl. After a few brews to get acclimated to this new venue, we probably have some lunch (aka pork products ! ! !).

Our return to München is only dictated by the fun we have and the BOB timetable. Our friend BOB departs Tegernsee at the following times in the afternoon:


Once we return to München, we can then decide on the evening's activities. A trip to the Wiesn could be in order, but remember it is opening day. That has never stopped us before, and it only means choosing the proper tent and being aggressive in table acquisition.

So Speaketh The Grand Puhba.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Day 1 Activities (as Directed by The Grand Puhba)

One of the most important duties of The Grand Puhba is to recommend the activities the Oktoberfesters partake in. Some would call this organizing, but we all know better..... this group of drunks and vagabonds cannot be organized. So, with that said, and with all due previous inputs, the recommended activities for Day 1, 21 September, are as follows:

Arrive in Munchen
Most of the American contingent (Chugger, EinFahrt, Jack, mac) arrive by train from Amsterdam around 14:04.

The Dutch contingent of Barbus and Schlumberger Lady arrive by personal transportation vehicle at some yet undetermined time. Most likely prior to the train arrival.

The remaining colonists (Shannon-n-Shannon) arrive by airborne courier at 17:10. Hotel arrival most likely not until around 19:00.

First Order of Business

Meet between 15:30 and 16:00, after a long day of travel, cold refreshments and general joviality is required.

Remainder of the evening to be determined by 1) consensus of the Oktoberfesters and 2) quantity of Helles consumed.

Recommendation: End the evening at Augustinerkeller

So Speaketh The Grand Puhba.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Ramblings from The Grand Puhba

It is with great trepidation that I once again assume this role. Obviously it is an honor not to be taken lightly, but it would have been best left with the previous owner. While we do not completely understand the circumstances, we accept the tough decision that was made. There is activity to replace (oops, bad choice of words) BarleyMan on this year's roster. Hopefully some confirmation will occur in the next few days.

Nonetheless, it is time to get back to the business of bier, pork fat, and all around joviality for this trip. As of this posting, we have approximately 35 days and 17 hours and 44 minutes until Oktoberfest begins, and as Grand Puhba I make the following proclamations:

1. Come forth and post (or is it Prosit?)
2. Please limit the negativity in the posts. This trip is about fun and camaraderie, we do not need the harsh reality of life to dampen our spirits (i.e. BarleyMan's withdrawal, the Dollar to Euro ratio).
3. While BarleyMan recently posted about the need for an anthem (and no one, myself included, responded), maybe we need a theme instead. While themes have in the past been assigned based upon some unique characteristic of the trip (see BarleyMan's account here), maybe we should proactively set this year's theme.

Recognizing the attention span of Oktoberfestians, I will limit this posting to just these proclamations. More to follow as the event approaches.

To quote and honor the Grand Puhba Emeritas, I too leave you with this directive...

Go with Prosit ! !

Thursday, August 09, 2007

It is with deep regret.....


Due to personal reasons, Dave Jr., and I will not be able to attend Oktoberfest 2007. We are sad for missing this years trip, but am confident that Chugger, Einfahrt, Barbus, Joe, and team will carry on the tradition.

I do have a luxurious double room at the Hotel Alfa, during the fest, if anyone else wants to join the group.

I will also assume the title of Grand Puhba Emeritis, and appoint Chugger back to his traditional role as grand Puhba.

I will miss the comraderie we have always experienced on the trip.


Monday, August 06, 2007

Beer Prices Oktoberfest 2007 cnt'd

August 6 - 2007
1 EUR = 1.3795 USD
1 Mass 7.9 Euro(s) = 10.8981 US Dollar(s)

August 1st - 2007
1 EUR = $1.368
1 Mass EUR 7.90 = $10.81

September 30 - 2005
1 EUR = $1.20
1 Mass EUR 7.25 = $ 8.70

Friday, August 03, 2007

Rumors of my Demise

Are greatly exaggerated.

I have been consumed by the the non-beer oriented minions of Beazebub. They will not let me mediatate in peace, thinking of the cold golden nectar that soon awaits. Nor the tubular essence of pork or the salty freshness of the bretzel.

I need to fight them off one more day, then they will be vanquished and I will be free to dream!

Fear not! Fight the fight! And go with Prosit!


My first post of August...


Less than 50 days until B-Day.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Beer Prices Oktoberfest 2007

August 1st - 2007
1 EUR = $1.368
1 Mass EUR 7.90 = $10.81

September 30 - 2005
1 EUR = $1.20
1 Mass EUR 7.25 = $ 8.70

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Last Post of July...

Since the Grand Puhba is lax in his contributions, I have discovered that the building of the Wiesn is progressing. Here is the status as of this point in time...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wurst, Wurst, Wurst !

For more funny beer clips go to

Some usefull tips!

Did you know?

Don't believe so?

The Train from Amsterdam to Munich

Did Chugger say Speedtrain to Munich? Don't believe so when I was today at the Amsterdam Train station I saw this wagon. Well for sure they have enough beer on board.

Mainz, and Gutenberg

German history, as the rest of Western history, gets very dynamic from about the 12th century onward.

Why is that? Did people just become less heads-down toilers in the field, less rapacious barbarian warriors, just transform themselves into civil societies progressing inevitably towards our modern civilization? Weren't they before?

Plague, war, floods, threats from without and within. All of these occurred though the periods 11th century through 16th. But they had before as well. Over thirty percent of the population of Europe was wiped out, multiple times - from plague alone. Great fields were taken, not as farm land, but to dispose of the dead.

Why is this period then considered historically grounding? From whence did the great masters - in literature, art, music, science, philosophy, invention, medicine - come?

Part of the answer, as with other things, lies in our own perceptions. We perceive this period dynamic simply because we know more about this period. Written histories have proven more durable than oral and balladic histories. (When was the last time you had to memorize a 50 stanza ballad dealing with Norse conquest?) Written histories are how we know what we know of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, but many other cultures didn’t adopt such arcane methods as the written word.

Therein lies part of the answer. In Mainz, just southwest of Frankfurt Germany, the son of a goldsmith invented a way to reproduce the printed word quickly and inexpensively. Printing presses had been around for a bit (mostly for carved wooden block art – “prints”,) as had type. Johann Gutenberg invented, built, and used a means of making type and setting it in blocks for printing (in presses) that allowed the type to be set, used, and then reset for new content. For the first time, mass production of multiple printed works could be realistically undertaken. Of course, first was the Gutenberg Bible. Books could be reproduced and owned by far more than the few.

I’ll leave it you, gentle reader: is the explosion of ideas that followed because of the press, or was the appearance of the press merely the release of a dam previously impeding the free flow of ideas?

Certainly we know a great deal about the years following, and the century or two before – simply because there were presses to print what people still remembered, and the events as they occurred.

Simultaneously, the Medici in Florence were patrons to the arts in ways that were freer from the Church and later became known as the enlightenment. Whether causative, and enabled by the later invention of the press – or not, clearly a revolt from a single orthodoxy or narrative, to a multiplicity of ideologies livened politics, art, science and religion. The Renaissance was well underway.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Another post about Day Trips...

Saturday..... Train to Tegernsee around 9 - 10ish, return 3ish. Tents in the evening. We don't need no stinking parade ! ! !

Sunday........ Kloster Andechs. Tents in the evening.

Monday....... Tram 17 Beer Tour. You get it, tents in the evening, or maybe a wrap up at Augustiner Keller or Wally World.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lack of Postings!

I have scientifically calculated the number of new postings (not comments), created by the core Oktoberfestians. Whilst it is interesting (and important) that comments are generated, and we thank all that have commented, it is new postings that generate excitement. In order of ranking, most to fewest, just for the month of July, the numbers reveal a disturbing trend...

Barbus 6 new postings
Chugger 5 new postings
Einfahrt 4 new postings
BarleyMan 1 new posting
  • Congratulations to Barbus..... a great effort that is appreciated
  • Good job Chugger. Especially since you were on vacation for 10 days and without the luxury of Internet communication
  • Einfahrt... we're impressed
And then there is BarleyMan. The Grand Puhbah of Oktoberfest has only created ONE NEW POST THIS MONTH ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Should this be tolerated?

Post Damn It ! ! ! ! !

What more is there to say ...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Braustuberl Tegernsee

Reading material for your reference can be found here....

And more info from the Field Fuehrer Herr Larry here....

Another Milestone Has Been Reached

With only 60 days until until the festival begins (and only 56 days until departure), another checklist item has been accomplished. Train travel from Amsterdam to Munchen on 21 September has been arranged and paid for. The 4 troubadours of debauchery will travel with the following arrangements:

Leave Amsterdam at 06:34 on 21 September

Arrive Munchen at 14:04 on 21 September

High speed Intercity, with no change of train.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Holy Crap... It's a really good time


Wow! Only 2 months until we get in the big silver cylinder and take off for Munich!

Dave Jr. (Private Hops) and I are pysched for this year's trip. Wherever we go, no matter what we see, there is one constant that remains...... there is beer. The best beer in the world!

I recommend, given the 2 newbies on the trip, that we definitely visit Kloster Andechs. I am resolute in my duty to find out if the barfatorium is indeed for the expunging of gastro-intestinal fluids. See

I also want to suck down a haxen with a Dopple-bock. ( I once met a cute young haxen with a dopple bock... but that is another story)

I will leave the other destinations up to others. I know Dave and I will sojourn to a previously unvisited beer garden on Friday for lunch, and meet up with the team on Friday around 5 at HbH.

What are everyone's thoughts on other day trips?

Maybe some of the newbies could speak up, and impress their elders on their research... I am really looking forward to welcoming Patric and Dave Jr. to our brethren.


Grand Puhba

BTW... Anyone need directions? Visit the official site and learn about our customs for the trip. Visit

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Oh My God ! ! Two more confirmed Oktoberfestians.

Well, it now appears that the official list of Oktoberfestians is complete. Please welcome Mr. and Mr. (Joe and Patrick) Shannon to the list of travelers with confirmed airline reservations. While the Shannons had pre-paid their Hotel Alfa room charges, they still did not make the ultimate commitment.

They now have the following airline reservations:

Leave Dayton on 20 September at 15:03
Arrive Munich on 21 September at 17:10 (Seems like alot of missed beer drinking time)

Leave Munich on 25 September at 11:50
Arrive Dayton on 25 September at 22:35

Please welcome the Shannon twins.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Holy Crap! It's a series of tubes!

After much frustration and endless nights waking up in a cold sweat, I have figured out how to make it to the "internet". I find myself both excited and frightened at the brave new world that I am encountering. With this task taken off my to do list I feel that I can devote more time to advancing myself as a human being. Perhaps I can conquer such arduous tasks as tying my shoe, or bathing.

My apologies for taking so long, but I am here and elated to be in your presence. I look forward to posting more soon when the power of literacy does hit me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tickets, Passport, Wallet

I received an email today, reminding me that I can renew my license plate online and that the time to renew is coming up. A quick check: damn, my driver's license also needs to be renewed this year. Looking at my passport: Is it OK? Yes! It's a good thing, because there is a real backlog getting passport renewals. If any of the upcoming travellers need to renew, there might still be time if expedite services are used. Just saying.

Oh, the Wallet?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Wild Times

After holding off the Romans, the Germanic tribes continued a migratory pattern. It is unknown why they migrated. The Goths (later Ostrogoths and Visigoths) originally from the Scandinavian area, take their name Got- which meant poor; perhaps from flooding at the time.

Throughout the early "Dark Ages" they maintained a war-like migratory pattern. Eventually the Visigoths toppled the Western Roman Empire; conquering Rome, stripping the bronze from the Coliseum, wreaking havoc, but generally not establishing Empire or government when they left an area. Alaric, a Visigoth leader left Rome saying there was nothing there worth keeping.

The Flaminian Way - leaves the northern gates of Rome and goes through Augsburg just west of Munich, on its way to the French northern coast carrying Empire (goods, services and legions) to Londinium (London.) The Eastern Roman Empire, based in Constantinople, also known as the Byzantine Empire, influences southern Germany, particularly the south and east - including Bavaria.

The tribes eventually settled into a feudal society as they began settling in the previously Roman settlements. Knights, and royalty, became more prevalent by the 8th and 9th centuries.

Charlemagne and the spread of Christianity helped push the rival tribes into a more cohesive society. The beginning of German Imperial roots, the establishment of major trading routes, and civil society occur in this time. Regensburg, just north of Munich, has several sites relating to this period.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Great Wall

Built over extended periods, unimaginably long, at incalculable human cost, it kept the barbarians on one side, protecting civilization on the other - 550 km long, the Obergermanisch–Raetischer Limes were built by the Romans to keep the German tribes from disturbing the peace.

One hundred years earlier (9 CE), a Roman-trained German, Arminius, led a coalition of tribes against the Roman provincial governor, Varus, and the 17th, 18th, and 19th Roman legions. The legions and their support columns (supplies, women, and children) were slaughtered. Germany never became a part of the Roman Empire. The German tribes (from Eastern Europe, along the Baltic; northern Europe, Scandinavian area; and western, Elbe, Rhine, Main river areas) had seldom unified, even after this great battle - remaining independent.

The Romans sent reprisal and again attempted conquest; ending in building the wall. The wall has hundreds of "Turms" (towers,) castles, forts, and moats. Today it also has bike trails, museums, and the Limes Strasse - a scenic route.

Just south of Rothenberg (ou de Tauber) is Aalen, where the largest fort along the wall is open for tourists.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Early Results

With one person's opinion on the books, and some sketchy recollections of travel times, the early standings look like this. Cloister Andechs looks like an early favorite due to positive reviews and its relative proximity, while at least one reviewer doesn't feel that the beer (and view) at the Eagle's Nest justifies 8 hours of travel. More data is needed, and feel free to add destinations not listed.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Regarding Day Trips

To facilitate the day trip discussion, I have devised the following equation:

((9 - TravelTime) * X) / 9

TravelTime includes the total time needed to gather, walk to train stations, wait for trains, ride on trains, walk from train stations, etc etc. - basically, everything that doesn't involve drinking beer and eating pork.

The all important X factor is the quality of the beer drinking/ pork eating experience once we arrive at our destination, expressed as a multiple of the beer/pork experience in Munich. X can include the splendor of the view from the place we are drinking, the history of the establishment in which we a drinking, the quality of the beer and pork itself, and whatever else enhances the interest of drinking there rather than in Munich. In any case, it should be more than one, because if it isn't, then why are we going there?

I assigned the constants assuming that we would be setting off no earlier than 8am (damn it), and that we would want to be at the tents no later than 5pm to attempt to secure a place inside. This gives us 9 hours per day trip.

The formula can be used to compare day trips against one another, and even to eliminate them, as a rating less than one indicates that the time would be better spent sleeping in/drinking in Munich.

So, for each day trip we need a) an accurate estimate of total travel time, and b) a composite rating of the beer drinking/ pork eating experience at the locale in question. The latter is subjective, of course, so I encourage everyone who has been there before to give their own rating, and we can use the average. Or something.

I'll start:

Cloister Andechs
TravelTime= I don't remember
X = 3

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Guess who is the real Puhba?

just one more quiz. a, b, or c

The real BEER Quiz

Question 1 of 10:
Lowenbrau means

a)Stallion Beer
b)Cattle Foot
c)Lion's Brew
d)Eagle Potion

Question 2 of 10:
Alex, the Stroh's Beer Dog of the 1980's, was a

a)Purebred Rotweiler
b)Golden Retreiver & Irish Setter Mix
c)Alaskan Husky & Irish Terrier Mix
d)Bull Terrier

Question 3 of 10:
This movie was famous for toga parties and John Belushi's hilarious performance as Bluto Blutarsky

a)Happy Days
c)Julius Caesar
d)Animal House

Question 4 of 10:
Barney, the Great Pyrenees figurehead of Sea Dog Brewing Company in Maine got the nickname "Sea Dog" because

a)He rescued his owner from a capsized boat
b)He began sailing at 3 months and was a boating "enthusiast."
c)He was born in Main but was afraid of the ocean.
d)He carried beer onto his owner's sailboat before each trip

Question 5 of 10:
Flying Dog Brewing Company, with a litter of 8 brews named in honor of dogs, is located in

a)Denver, Colorado
b)Manchester, England
c)Milwaukee, Wisconsin
d)Portland, Oregon

Question 6 of 10:
These famous animals are a traditional symbol of Anheuser-Busch


Question 7 of 10:
In August 2004, a bear emerged from the woods at Baker Lake Resort and guzzled 36 cans of this beer

b)Coors Light
d)Pig's Eye Pilsner

Question 8 of 10:
The mascot of Hamm's Beer in 1952 was

b)Bertie the Bunyip
d)An animated Bear

Question 9 of 10:
These animals on the Caribbean Island of St. Kitts descend on the beach bars during "happy hour" and steal sips from the patrons' cocktails.

a)Sea Gulls
d)Bar Cats

Question 10 of 10:
Smuttynose Brewing Company in Portsmouth, New Hampshire named Old Brown Dog Ale after their loyal companion. Her name is


Some ZOO (beer) fun!

Keep your hands off my beer!
Just a Cola Light?

Monday, July 02, 2007

day trip report Mallorca

It was a tough job; but I have done my tasting in Spain at the terras of Purobeach ( in Palma de Mallorca.
Also have a look at Also made at Purobeach.

Talking about details !

When looking more into details of John's collection, you will see that he owns a minibar. Problably filled for free collected during all his travels. Next to this he has his spare bottle of "light" beer. Yes guys I am back on the blog!

New Oktoberfest game... Know Your Landmarks !

This new game is intended to refresh your memory of The Fatherland, and begin to get you primed for this year's visit. Each week (except next week), 3 -5 aerial views of Deutschland will be displayed, and you must determine the name of the landmark. The first poster to get all of that week's landmarks correct, will accumulate 3 points. Prior to leaving on this year's trip, the wionner will be announced. I wanted to give the second person 1 point, but all you would need to do is wait for the first person, Duh ! !

Anyway, this week's quiz is decidedly easy. Need to get you "in the groove". So, have it game show contestants. Here are this week's landmarks:

Place #1


Place #3

Place #4


Almost every day we abstract, we generalize, we average. When we speak business, it's a target market - not an individual at a particular moment, making a personal decision. When we talk finance, it's average return, trends. Politics, well - you can imagine.

The picture is a small display, twenty or so items, of 287. Items collected over thirty years. Items representing early industrial efforts - research, practical application, and practise.

One of Browning's original pinhole cameras. One of Edison's wax cylinder recordings. A coal miner's kerosene lantern. A Bakelite static generator, a precision scale.

I've been in business almost all of my career. When it comes to these items I am faced with an uncomfortable reality. Average doesn't work, nor generalization or target markets. These items are not particularly valuable, but cannot be dismissed. Each means something and is worth something to someone - but not to me.

Selling them makes sense, but how does one sell 287 unique pieces? How does one describe, even discover, the piece - each one?

I don't have an average family, average cars, normal friends, or live in an average city or country. Everything has specifics; specifics that make them unique, that make them special. Generalizing allows one to cruise through life - handling multiple decisions, numerous items of work, a variety of studies, even casual relationships - without really getting to the intensely intimate details.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Getting Head...

And you thought getting head was all about beer.

Who's driving this bus?

Netherlands: arrive, check-in and head north to fishing village, perhaps boat with Barbus and attractive women, dinner in Alkmaar canal-side, train back to Amsterdam. Crash (or not) then tour Amsterdam: more boating (tourists this time,) brewery, dinner, and visit old-town. Crash (or not) and early morning train to Munchen. Meet team at HofBrauHaus, visit grounds, dinner, bier-garten, crash. Now: what day trips? Nostalgia tour: the castle, Eagle's Nest, and revisit both monasteries? That's four - we get three.

I'm along for the ride.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

OK, I'm up, and you insult me?

After months of absence, I am goaded into awareness and the need for participation. In surfeit of consideration, an initial post is controversy free.

The glee of my comrades in travel, day-trips, and um, beer - spurs them to greet me with intestinal burritos.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Quiet! Sleeping here.

Zzz. Snort. Wha? OK, I guess it's time to get up.

So, I hear there's pizza beer being brewed in Chicago. Wonder what that's like.

Our California couple is recently back from the islands. The Amsterdam crew is off in Majorca (off the Spanish coast,) and Chugger (and company) head off to bella Italia. Me? Maybe I should go back to sleep.

Ninety days to Munich? I can sleep that long.

This thing work?

tap tap tap. This thing work?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Almost Time for Italy (and some wine and beer sampling)

We leave on Friday the 6th, and will be drinking Chianti and maybe some birra for about 10 days. Since no one reads this blog anymore, I thought it was appropriate to post something that might actually attract participation. Maybe there are plenty of Italian lovers out there that would love to comment. Post something and let me know.

On a non-related topic, I sent emails to both of my senators yesterday (Mr. Brown (D) and Mr. Voinovich (R)), expressing my opinion on the pending immigration legislation, and asking them to please vote "my way". "My way" is a topic for another discussion. I sent the exact same email (salutation different, of course), and in one paragraph stated that I had not read the entire proposed bill, but hope that he had. Well, later in the day I received a response from both senators.

Senator Voinovich thanked me for my comments, and even tried to address a couple items in my email. Great response (even if it was from his staff). I also received a response from Senator Brown. His email appreciated my comments on English as the primary language for the United States. Huh ??? I guess my joking about not reading the proposed legislation is appropriate for emails as well.

I have sent a response to Senator Brown this morning, we'll see if the Mea Culpas come today or not.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day Bloggers

Approaching 90 days until the event. In honor of father's day, Einfarht and Chugger are off to Hofbrauhaus Newport for lunch and brews today.

Prosit !

Friday, June 15, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Per the Grand Puhba's Directive...

I am posting to the blog in hopes that it will spur further participation. Problem is, however, if no one is reading this blog, they obviously won't see this post and will be unable to respond.

Damn, what a conundrum. Guess I'll go to

and have a bier. But wait, too many to choose from. Maybe I'll sample them all.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Brewing at its best.....

For those of you that may have missed this wonderful USA Today article, here it is...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Getting set for Oktoberfest

The training continues.......

Chugger and barleyman partook in the pleasures of the Oktoberfest in Vegas! Here's a shot of us in the Hofbrauhaus this evening enjoying the fantastic brew!!!

Party on Oktoberfesters!!!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Job Opening!

Alcoholic beer taster gets payout

"The employee says he drank between 16 and 25 small glasses of beer during each eight hour shift at the company, and was also given a bottle of beer at the end of each shift. "

The dark side of Brazil's ethanol economy.

Gold at the End of the Rainbow

Well, actually something better than gold... The Golden Nector...