Tag Archives: Fort Collins

So I Own a Brewery

It’s been a hot minute now, hasn’t it? Let’s play catch-up with way too many pictures!
Frosty in the Mountains Turns out I’m part owner of this wonderful brewery, Snowbank Brewing! Paperwork was signed, wallets were put under duress and now I’m a proud partner with some of my favorite people in the world at what has become my first home, seeing as I’m here at least 60 hours a week.
Cranknstein Release We’ve come a long way since our very first tapping at the (sadly now defunct) Cranknstein. On August 22nd, we officially turned one year old!
Rainbow It’s been a long year, yet it seems like we just opened yesterday. Since becoming an owner, I’ve also come to realize that sometimes balance is required in life, no matter how much I love being at the brewery all the time.
DSC_1181 I’ve recently become an active member of Gociety – a website dedicated to adventure meet-ups.
DSC_1187 Every Wednesday morning for the past month and a half, this group has been ascending Horsetooth Rock in order to catch a glimpse of the first rays of sunlight streaming over the horizon.
DSC_1189 Hot coffee is brewed via JetBoil and all ten to twenty of us chow down on homemade breakfast burritos, take ridiculous GoPro pictures and then descend the mountain in order to get to work on time.
Gociety I love these people.
IMG_7987 I tend to rep my brewery quite a bit… IMG_8039 I also sometimes force other brewery owners to join. This is Matt from Odell Brewing, now a co-owner of that brewery!
Repping Of course all of my Gociety friends are now Snowbank addicts lovers.
DSC_1221 These sunrises will never get old.
IMG_7793 I took an actual full weekend off and headed up to Trestle in Winter Park with some awesome/insane biker guys for some downhill mountain biking. Almost faceplanted, but didn’t! They ended up heading down the black diamond trails while I stuck with going fast on the greens. I’m cool like that.
IMG_7730 I’ve also been running early in the mornings. For some crazy reason, I’ve come to ENJOY running! WHO AM I?
IMG_7823 I even bought shoes to match my hair to convince myself to run more. Or the shoes were just really comfortable. Definitely one of the two…
IMG_8060
I took off for a week and head up to one of my favorite spots in the world – Jackson, Wyoming. And yes, I check this every single flight I take, Final Destination style. DSC_1281 The first day was a six mile hike followed by cliff jumping into glacier water.
DSC_1366 This wonderful little vocal one was along for the trip. It was wonderful to have a large chunk of the extended family together for the first time in years!
DSC_1385 I already miss this view.
IMG_8098 The second day my pops and I went downhill mountain biking in Teton Village. I started the day off with a Golden Moose, a caffeinated beverage that I last had six years ago when I was in Wyoming last.
IMG_8099 Lift ride up to the top!
IMG_8102 Helmet on, ready to go!
IMG_8113 My pops had an unfortunate incident where he biffed right in front of me. I slammed my knee into my frame attempting not to run over his face. Besides a cracked helmet and a couple of possibly cracked ribs, he’s fine! He even rode the rest of the trail down before succumbing to his injuries and heading to the store for some pain killers.
IMG_8122 The next day I hiked up to the top of Rendezvous – 7.4 miles with a 4,000 foot elevation gain. Came across a new addition and sat on the swing enjoying the view.
IMG_8140 Two and a half hours later I reached the top. A French man was walking down and asked why I’d walked up from the village instead of taking the tram up. My response? “If you hike to the top, the tram down is free!”
IMG_8163 I hike because I’m cheap. And it was wonderful to escape from humans for two hours and hear nothing except for my wheezing lungs and the sound of the wind.
IMG_3567 I celebrated the victory of the climb at Snake River Brewing with the parental unit.
IMG_8182 And met up with a Colorado buddy, Ben, the next day as he was passing through the state on a long road trip.
IMG_8222 Our final evening was spent halfway up the mountain with a glass of red wine, tempura summer vegetables and a relaxing sunset. Bliss.
IMG_0675 I came back to the real world with a refreshed view on life, making a promise to myself to get out into the neat nature that surrounds me here in Colorado. Louie, my favorite regular with an awesome underbite, agreed with me.
DSC_1448 My friend Kylie and I hiked up to Isabelle Glacier on my next day off.
DSC_1517 The lovely Joule Bug joined us. This Instagram star is a trooper.
DSC_1473 We heated up some French press coffee and shivered as we gazed over the crystal clear blue water.
DSC_1461 The temperature at the end of that six mile hike was about 35 degrees, and there was absolutely not another human around.
DSC_1495 We cradled the piping hot coffee cups in our hands, sipping greedily for the few seconds we could before the coffee also turned icy.
DSC_1523 IMG_8382 After a few hours of brutal freeze, we decided to hike back down and grab some hydration.
IMG_8381 We hit the Tasty Weasel for a brew and then headed back into civilization.
DSC_1568 Snowbank Brewing’s one year anniversary came about! We’ve bottled our first beer ever, Tripel Corkscrew, named after the snowboarding trick, the Backside Triple Cork 1440, made famous by Mark McMorris in 2013. This beer is a fruity Belgian Tripel with hints of peppery spice on the nose, a medium body full of citrus flavor with a touch of oak and a dry, lingering spicy finish. 8.5% ABV, 30 IBU. Conditioned on Blue Skies Winery Chardonnay French Oak.
Anniversary Gals We were absolutely slammed the entire anniversary weekend and had an amazing time with our regulars/newbies and amazing friends. And beer, of course.
IMG_8471 I came ridiculously close to adopting this perfect, blissfuly happy dog, but he found a full family so he wouldn’t have to have a single mama like myself. I attempted not to tear up as the new family took Nugget away. Yes, I renamed him after a hop, and the gracious new family agreed to keep Nugget as his official name.
Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 2.56.02 PM And then this. I was cleaning up after the celebrations and just happened to drop a heavy metal table on my foot. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone…
DSC_1575 And just like that, my running and hiking days were delayed for four weeks. Nothing is broken, it’s just a “crush injury and massive contusion”. I get to wear this beautiful boot for four weeks until the bone bruise is finally healed. I also get to soak my foot in a bucket of ice water four times a day for twenty minutes each time. Brutal.
DSC_1574 Which means I have extra time to study for the new Advanced Cicerone test!
IMG_8534 Said studying will take place in my new favorite coffee shop, Bindle Coffee. It hurts me to post this since I want to keep this gem all to myself, but they deserve all of the customers they can get with their fantastic coffee and housemade almond milk. I may have spent four hours there yesterday morning…
Beanies So I’ve missed a few months, but I feel like the most important information has been covered! I hike, I travel, I drink coffee, I own a brewery, I break myself, I study beer.

Also, I’ve missed writing and living such an adventurous life. T-minus four weeks until the boot comes off and I’m back on top of that mountain!

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Becki and Bonnie’s Day of Meh

All quotes captured via Instagram.

Episode 1:
AM1
Day off with @theBonnie. So much fun. #Golden #wineslushies #dayoff #brewerylife #foodtrucklyfe #beckiandbonniesdayofmeh

AM2
Lunch with @thebonnie. Delicious. #Golden #brewerylife #foodtrucklyfe #dayoff #beckiandbonniesdayofmeh

AM3 Riding fish on the river with @thebonnie. Whee. #beckiandbonniesdayofmeh #Golden #dayoff #foodtrucklyfe #brewerylife

AM4
Checking out the flatirons with @thebonnie. Beautiful. #Boulder #brewerylife #foodtrucklyfe #beckiandbonniesdayofmeh

AM5 Having a beer at @upslope with @thebonnie. Ugh. #Boulder #brewerylife #foodtrucklyfe #beckiandbonniesdayofmeh

AM6
Friendship tattoos? #Longmont #beckiandbonniesdayofmeh #brewerylife #foodtrucklyfe

AM7 Because friends with @thebonnie. #Longmont #beckiandbonniesdayofmeh #bfftattoos #brewerylife #foodtrucklyfe

AM8 Because best friends with @thebonnie. #fortcollins #theforge #beckiandbonniesdayofmeh #brewerylife #foodtrucklyfe

AM9 Mini-beer and mini-Moscow Mule with @thebonnie. #beckiandbonniesdayofmeh #brewerylife #foodtrucklyfe #cutoff #pourbrothers

AM10 Cards Against Humanity with @thebonnie at @pourbrothers. Fun. #beckiandbonniesdayofmeh #brewerylife #foodtrucklyfe #fortcollins #tatertots

AM13
And that’s a wrap. See you on the next episode of ‘Becki and Bonnie’s Day of Meh’. #beckiandbonniesdayofmeh #fortcollins #pourbrothers #brewerylife #foodtrucklyfe #goodnight

AM12 Thank you for joining us. Happy Friday to all.

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March of Brews

Who’s ready for a picture-bomb post with short blurbs? A lot has happened in the last month and once again I’ve failed to blog regularly. If you want to keep up with me follow me on my personal Instagram or on the brewery’s Instagram!
EndofDarkNights More Snowbank beer photography.
Grains2 Pint o’ Barley.
am13 One of my favorite regulars, Louie. He enjoys long walks on the beach, candelit dinners, trips to Home Depot and running into one prairie dog hole only to emerge from another over twenty feet away.
am14 I spent a day in Denver with the parental unit visiting breweries…
am15 And attending a kickass Colorado Avalanche game! We won. Obviously.
am16 I’ve found time to sneak away from the brewery here and there to visit other local breweries, and I’ve rediscovered my love for my bike with the 70 degree temps we’ve been having lately.
am18 Avery Brewing recently opened up their new facility which is absolutely stunning!
am19 We spent a wonderfully long afternoon wandering the brewery and sipping some of the specialties on tap.
am21 Our most recent managers meeting was atop a mountain.
am23 The brewdogs were in attendance, of course.
am22 And we rehydrated, as one would expect, with Moon Arete Wheat.
am24 Afternoons and evenings have been spent on the porch, enjoying the lingering light of day…
am17 And sunsets over the mountains.
am25 I found my replacement coffee shop once my beloved Cranknstein closes it’s doors on April 18th. Pardon me while I quietly sob. I’ll write a full post on the new coffee shop later this week!
am26 Our customers are ridiculously talented.
am27 These were created by one half of my favorite couple. Chuck’s famous ceviche! I had seven spoons of these before he announced dinner. And then had another one for my actual dinner since I was so stuffed.
am28 Every so often the Snowbank crew goes out to support our accounts. 47½ Stout at The Moot House in Fort Collins.
am29 We’re repairing our patio so we can soon have beer outside! Obviously, photos don’t count as “outside”.
am30 This kid came to visit for the weekend – one of my buddies from waaaay back at UCSB. I hadn’t seen him in over eight years!
then And nine years ago at college. Feeling old starts… NOW!
am31 Early mornings at the brewery are common. I always love watching the sunrise whilst sipping coffee and answering emails.
am32 The brewery has been involved in a ton of collaboration brews in preparation for American Craft Beer Week.
am10 Hanging with Linsey from Horse & Dragon and Kelly from New Belgium.
am8 When great forces combine.
AM Fresh can straight off the canning line. Because free beer.
Screen shot 2015-04-08 at 6.09.06 PM It’s always a good day when you’re brewing at New Belgium.
am33 I enjoyed a just-after-sunrise Easter service followed by a long bike ride on the trails and, of course…
am34 Rehydration.

I make no promises for when the next post will be. Lesson learned.

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Catching Up

Happy Thanksgiving! I started this post yesterday and then got slammed at the brewery, per usual. And it’s been almost a month since I had time to sit down and write a blog!
am1 I had a few days at the beginning of the month where I actually had time to put together meals for the brewery and went on a week long kick of layered salads. It didn’t last long…
am2 We’ve been busy with photo shoots for an upcoming cookbook where our beer is cooked into and paired with dishes from local restaurants. I was the designated beer “frother” for a politer term of what the position was deemed on set. Let your mind go in the gutter on that one. Just this once.
am3 The last few days of autumn colors were enjoyed before all the leaves dropped off the trees.
am6 And this is what I woke up to the next day. It only took me three tries to get up the driveway into my garage that night.
am4 Snowbank had our first employee appreciation day! We spent the day on the town visiting breweries, restaurants and chocolate shops. I’ll be honest, it was weird to have a full day off with everyone. Weird and awesome. Our Snowbank tellers are awesome.
am5 The snow refused to melt for a while, which made for some opportune photo ops.
snowy The first day…
ginger1 The snow kept piling up.
flake2 And after a solid 5 inches it finally started to melt.
am7 Part of the job includes visiting places where we’re on tap and doing quality control. Tough job.
am16 We had to go to Pinball Jones for one of these QC checks.
am17 And were forced to play an hour and a half of arcade bowling.
am18 I’m player number three. This is the only time in my life I have ever, or will ever, win at bowling.
am10 I’ve started taking Sundays off! Since I had a full day off, I decided it was necessary to go to the brewery and pick up some kegs to deliver to new accounts we’ve been selling into. Workaholic.
am12 And on my days off, I obviously visit other breweries. Oskar Blues’ Cyclhops Bike Cantina. am13 And since I was so close, I continued on to the Oskar Blues brewery and shared a flight with my two besties.
am14 And THEN I remembered that Großen Bart Brewery had opened that week and trekked over to try their brews which were all solid, and ended with a growler of Fu Manchu Foreign Stout to share with my brew crew.
am11 And now I have to head out to Vegan Thanksgiving at my bro and sis-in-law’s house (don’t worry, we have the meatitarian Thanksgiving on Sunday), so I leave you with this screenshot I found on The Chive of my old Lonelygirl15 buddy Jackson watching Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep about to make out. You’re welcome.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Nine Days In

We survived our first week!
AM2 It’s been a crazy one full of massive numbers of taster flights and pints served to happy people.
brew1 Dave (Snowbank’s owner and brewer) ended up having to do a double brew over this past weekend to refill all of the Colorado Red that everyone has been downing.
br1 The fermentors are fat and happy, giving off little gassy burps of CO2 as the yeast inside converts the sugary wort into beer.
game2 There have been plenty of rainy days when we were afraid no one would come in, but the game shelf has been in full use during those hail storms.
Rainbow It’s always nice to remember that at the end of every rough day, there’s a pint of beer awaiting us.
SnowCover And we have quite a rainbow of styles to choose from.
Friday Social media has been in full swing and it’s been nice to hear some of the feedback from people who only knew we were here because of our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. (We really need to get some bigger signs outside.)
oohmaamee Umami celebrated Labor Day with us and served up absolutely incredible dishes to pair with each of our beers.
am3 Teriyaki pulled pork sliders…
am5 Ninja bowls with spicy chicken and udon noodles…
am4 And my personal favorite of the day – chicken bahn mi with black rice pilaf. This is, hands down, the best sammich I have ever consumed. And I’ve consumed a lot of sammiches in my day.
am So as our second weekend and first holiday as a brewery wraps up, I look forward to many more days in a row with no break in sight.
bank And I couldn’t be happier with how this blessed life has turned out.

What was the highlight of your long Labor Day weekend?

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This Is…

This is my life now.
am4 This is a bike ride to breweries with new friends.

This is home.
AM2 This is fishing at sunset.
AM1 This is catching fish at sunset (or snagging them on the head with a hook and feeling absolutely terrible about it, but still taking a picture).
am3 This is free pretzel Friday at the Mayor of Old Town.
am5 This is Watson Lake.
am7 This is a windy selfie of me and my beloved bike after we rode 15 miles to enjoy Watson Lake.
am9 This is my finger intruding upon the amazing views during a 30 mile ride.
am8 This is the angry Poudre River, raging with freshly melted snowpack.
AM11 This is a well deserved Loose Leaf on the patio of Odell with my amazing friends after a 30 mile ride.
AM12 This is an aptly named brewdog, Simcoe, with ready-to-mill grain.
am15 This is home.

This is happy.

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Mixed Vegetable Hash with Imitation Panda Meat

I know I sparked your interest when I posted this picture last week…
AM8 My interest was sparked as well and I went home with two of these sausages to test out. But before I get into the recipe, here’s a recap of last week – It was insanely awesome and busy.
AM Fridays are free pretzel day at The Mayor of Old Town. This will be a new tradition of mine, so if you’re in FoCo on Fridays and want me to treat you to a jalapeno cheese pretzel with raspberry jam, show up and I’ll generously call over the waitress so you can enjoy one of these heavenly babies!
AM1 The evenings have been absolutely to die for up here! I went out with some friends after Mayor and enjoyed a few of the many patios about town.
AM2 Hot Rocks Lager from Port Brewing. Drooool.
AM3 Saturday was the Taste of Fort Collins. I went with my friend Kara and met up with a handful of people to sample the goods and enjoy a concert.
AM4 Braffle (a brat smothered in sauerkraut and maple syrup, wrapped in a waffle) from the Waffle Lab and Collective Soul!
AM5 I had to Google Collective Soul to find out who they were… BUT they played three songs that I recognized from my middle school years! The drunken crowds rocked out until the sun set.
AM6 Father’s Day was spent up in the mountains eating mass amounts of Indian buffet, helping pull a guy out of the middle of the road who had passed out on his bike after drinking a pint (no joke) of vodka and threatened a bunch people with a knife. We calmed our nerves that night with Pure Imagination stout from Verboten Brewing.
AM7 My Aerogarden is a success! I ate these leaves and promptly had to sit down from the exhaustion of the harvest.
AM8 And that brings us back to this. Imitation panda meat. I came across this at The Boar and Bull – a local butcher shop in Loveland that has some of the most delicious beef tenderloin I’ve ever had the good luck to consume. I saw these and knew I couldn’t leave without ’em. It is not, in fact, panda meat. Shocker, I know. These sausages are full of pork, bacon, cheddar cheese, red onions and Coca Cola. They. Are. Incredible.
am7 To make this hash, I used the handy Veggetti.
am4 It’s basically a much cheaper version of a spiralizer that takes up less space and gets you an arm workout.
am5 It’s also very sharp. Be careful so you don’t end up with sliced fingers like me. Genius.
am I shredded two potatoes and a zucchini…
am2 Sliced up some onions extremely thin, threw them in a pan to soften…
am1 Sliced up some asparagus into matchsticks and threw them into the pan with the zucchini and potatoes…
am6 Cooked up some panda in a separate pan, then threw everything together…
am8 Magic!

Mixed Vegetable Hash with Imitation Panda Meat

Serves 2-4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Thin strands of zucchini, potatoes, onions and asparagus are tossed together with smokey, rich imitation panda meat.

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium red potatoes
  • 1 Medium zucchini squash
  • 1 Small onion (thinly sliced)
  • 6 Large asaparagus stalks
  • 1-2 imitation panda meat sausages (or other pork sausage, casings removed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions

Step 1
Using a spiralizer, spiralize the potatoes and zucchini into long strands.
Step 2
Take the asparagus spears, cut off the tops (do not discard) and slice thinly.
Step 3
In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add onions, potatoes, zucchini, asparagus, salt and pepper.
Step 4
Cover for 6-7 minutes or until vegetables are tender, then remove the lid and flip to brown both sides.
Step 5
In a separate pan, cook the imitation panda meat (or other pork sausage) until no longer pink, draining off any excess grease.
Step 6
Toss the cooked imitation panda meat into the large pan and mix together.
Step 7
Serve and devour.

am7 Real panda meat. Would you or wouldn’t you?

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Home for Christmas

I have eleven days to spend in Colorado! This nice extended vacation has been punctuated with shots of Dayquil, Local Celestial Seasonings Echinacea tea and spicy foods in attempts to fight off this awful bug I brought with me. Sorry, family! Hope you stay healthy!
am6 There’s still snow in spots on the ground outside as I type, and the promise of more snow hangs in the air just over the mountains out the back window. I might actually be blessed enough to have a white Christmas!
am1 I brought a few pre-Christmas gifts with me. Ora Tamir, the artist I used to work for, finally got the finished product of her book!
am2 Ora and I spent months working on this thing, and it turned out perfectly!
am3 So happy and proud!
am5 I even got my quote published in the book next to my favorite piece! I’m officially a published editor and author. Awesome.
am8 The second day I was here, my mumsie and I met up with our best friends from way back when I was in elementary school at the Chocolate Cafe in downtown Fort Collins.
am12 Exquisite caramel cappuccino for my bestie Michelle. Unsweetened jasmine tea for the virus-ridden me.
am14 Grilled cheese (quite sad compared to anything from Custom Melt’s menu) and creamy tomato basil soup split with my mumsie.
am15 Chicken gnocchi soup for me.
am13 Michelle and her mom split the key lime pie. I was dying to try their chocolate ravioli or toffee brownie, but was too full to even attempt it. Luckily I have plenty of time to head back for another go.
am17 Of course I couldn’t get through more than a few days without visiting a brewery. Loveland Aleworks opened July 4th of this year in the quaint downtown Loveland.
am21 Clean and spacious with a high stack of board games. I could see myself settling in here for a few hours playing “Fact or Crap” while the snow falls outside.
am16 My pops, brother and I split a flight of everything. I got the last sip in attempts not to infect them both.
am19 We got these ten brews, plus a taster from the cask.
am18 My favorite of them all was the Russian Imperial Stout. Thick and dark as motor oil and full of sweet dried fruits and rich chocolate. A perfect winter warmer at 9.5%ABV. I didn’t have a single beer here that I didn’t like! I’ll be going back for some more tasters and a tour during my stay this week. I have quite a few tours on the schedule, actually, so keep an eye out for those recaps!

I’m off to bake Christmas cookies, take more shots of cough medicine and drink some nice, hoppy brews in an attempt to battle whatever is raging war inside my lungs. If you’re looking for an amazing Christmas morning breakfast recipe, check out my Savory Christmas Bread Pudding. You won’t regret it.
am20 Merry Christmas Eve!

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Odell’s Small Batch Revival!

AKA Colorado: Part IV!

Best. Day. EVER! Odell Brewing in Fort Collins held their 3rd annual Small Batch Revival (formerly known as Small Batch Beer Festival), where they brew small batches of DOZENS of types of beer. Once that stuff is gone, it’s gone, which I sadly found out as I got to the front of the line just in time to watch them erase their only honey amber from the board. Sniff.
Luckily, they had plenty more to choose from. This is one of three boards – all the same length. Heaven.
The festival was PACKED! They gave out over 5,000 wristbands this year! It was beautifully overcast and cool, and the rain kept mostly at bay despite a few drops that fell into my beer.
It’s okay, though. My beer(s) still tasted awesome! I first got the Magnum Hopus (delicious!), and then the Full Blown IPA (also delicious!). In between I got to sip the Coconut Milk Porter, which I am currently OBSESSED with! I don’t generally go for porters when there is an IPA or amber around, but this one may have converted me. I’m thinking maybe a winter brew may be in the works?
As I said before, the Revival was PACKED! Tons of people – elderly folks, TONS of babies, TONS of dudes with beards (I think almost every single homebrewer I’ve come across has/had a beard at some point) and exactly two girls who were wearing heels. Everyone else was in comfortable shoes.

Reason 1,295,032 I love Colorado – I’m allergic to heels.
The merchandise table! I wanted one of everything! My mom and dad generously bought me an IPA sweatshirt that I am wearing at this moment with pride!
I was too busy repping my favorite Ladyface Ale sweatshirt to put it on at that moment, but it kept my arm nice and warm. As did my awesome arm warmers. The picture above is my bro and sister-in-law (The Vegans) highlighting some of the brewing processes of the ale I was sipping. At least I think that’s what we were talking about. I was a little fuzzy at that point…
The press in their high and mighty spot! Normally, I’d be jealous, but I was in the midst of beer and many, many beer enthusiasts – right where I wanted to be!
They asked that everyone bike to the event, but as you can see, quite a few decided that the weather wasn’t quite right for that…
As soon as I got back home to Cali, I pulled my bike out, tuned it up, and I’m ready to jump back on! Or I will be, just as soon as this pesky virus goes away.

I’m getting rid of it with spicy Tom Kha Gai and beer. I’m pretty sure that’s the cure…

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