Showing posts from December, 2013

Third Base Brewery - Cedar Rapids, IA

Third base brewery and pub is located on the north side of Cedar Rapids in the industrial area and is a storefront in a small strip mall.  Not much to recommend it until you come in and enjoy the food and the wing. 
Great beer, some outstanding wings with many of the sauces including their own beers. Kate and I enjoyed this pub with her Brother Bill Crowley and his wife Mary.  Good sandwiches and what a sampler!
Best of all, the beers were all good.  These were my notes - my scales are these - first 1 - 5 light to dark, second 1 - 5 sweet to bitter (think malt to hops), and third how much I like it from 1 - 10.  For an example think Bud, Miller and those other poor examples of beer would be around a 1 - 2 - 3.  Anything over 5 is worth drinking - 5 means easy to drink - nothing outstanding, 6 would be a nice beer with some good attributes, 7 is a beer I would order again, 8 is outstanding and over 9 is on the way to perfection.
Unfortunately we were told that there is a new law in Io…

7 West Taphouse - Duluth

A new dining and beer experience in Duluth with Kate, Alyssa and Troy.

40 beers on tap - great burgers made with their beers, and fresh cut chips and fries.  A wonderful stop - small, nice bar, definitely a place to enjoy with friends.

Northern Cardinals - Kate Crowley

WINGIN’ IT By Kate Crowley We were in Iowa City for the Thanksgiving holiday and while out for a pre-dinner walk I heard a distinctive “CHIP” and knew even before turning to look that I would see a beautiful red bird.  There at the top of a cherry tree sat a male Northern Cardinal and as we watched he plucked a cluster of the still dark red cherries with his sharp beak and carried them away to enjoy in a less busy setting.  This particular call which is described as ‘chip’ in the literature has a slightly metallic sound and it the most commonly heard, though not nearly as exciting as the bird’s spring courtship calls of ‘what cheer what cheer’ and ‘pretty pretty pretty’.  It will be a couple months before we can expect to hear these delightful songs. Male cardinals with their ruby red feathers, black face and chin and reddish beak cry out for attention.  Their feathered crest is the exclamation point on an already striking figure. The female of course is much more subdued in her plumage…

Tree bark - Kate Crowley


We travel to see the world anew. And we don’t have to travel all that far to be impressed by living things we encounter.  For the Thanksgiving holiday we went to Iowa City where my mom lives, 375 miles south of Willow River; best known as ‘Corn country’.  But while on a walk to the grocery store Mike and I paused to look at two kinds of trees we don’t have here in North Central Minnesota; the shagbark hickory and the plane tree (also known by some as the sycamore).  Both of these trees have a very distinctive and unusual type of bark covering their trunks.  We stopped and really looked at the texture and shape of the outermost layer and speculated as to why it was this way. Now that the deciduous trees are bare, we can see their shape and structure; their ‘bones’ as it were. All is revealed, including leftover little nests perched on the lower branches. It is not an overstatement to say that the majority of people take trees for granted.  They stand the…