My Bucket List Car

Way back when I was a young lad, from 1996-1997, I was working as a service porter/detailer at Stoddard Imported Cars, a Porsche and Audi dealer in Willoughby, OH. At the time Stoddard was a car dealer, not just a parts dealer and manufacturer as they are today. I had always been a car freak and a Porsche fan, but working there really cemented my love for German brand from Stuttgart. There aren’t a lot of 20 year old kids who get the opportunity to drive 911s, 911 Turbos, 928s, and 944s on a daily basis. It was the greatest job I ever had.

In 1996 Porsche released the all-new Boxster to slot in under the venerable 911, which introduced a whole new market to the Porsche brand (more on that another time). We got one of the first Boxsters in the state of Ohio, and I was smitten the moment I saw it. It was a red base model with a 5-speed manual and black interior. I remember staring at it while it sat in the detail bay, wondering if I would ever be in a position to own one of these some day. After many years and lot of hard work, that day is now. I had been searching for the past year or so for some sort of sports/muscle/classic car to buy. I looked at everything from Boxsters and 911s, to Corvettes, Challengers, and the occasional Audi or BMW. For my price range and what I was looking for, I ultimately settled on either a Boxster, C5 Corvette (base or Z06) or a C4 Z06.

During my search, the number of silver, black, grey, and white cars astounded me. I wanted no part of that. I preferred yellow, with red as a secondary choice, followed by blue. Another thing that blew my skirt up was how many of these cars, both Porsche and Corvette, came with automatic slush boxes. These two automobiles are some of the very best sports cars ever produced. Why the fuck would you saddle them with an automatic? I wanted no part of that either.

After a couple of months of searching, I had two strong contenders. One was a yellow 2005 Corvette base that was local here in the Cleveland area, and the other was a red 2008 Boxster in Champaign, IL. The Corvette was in such great shape, and I loved the color, I was kinda leaning that way. Something, though, kept pulling me back to the Porsche. So, I reached out to the dealer, spoke to the salesman, and asked him to send some additional pictures and a video of it starting up and running. I ended up buying the car without seeing it in person and having it shipped to me. I took a huge risk not doing a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) on the car beforehand, but I went ahead with it. I did, however, have it inspected afterwards at Koala Motorsport and, outside of a few minor things, came back with a clean bill of health. I did have them change the belt and battery. As a side note, if you own a German car and are on the east side of Cleveland, definitely reach out to these guys. Awesome service and quality work. They got me in within a few days.

To say I’m happy with my decision would be an understatement. This car is incredibly fun to drive and the bug has bitten me again like it did that day back in 1997. I’ll be updating this blog and article with my ownership experience, things I’ve learned, maintenance I’m doing, any modifications being performed, etc. I’m looking forward to this journey and crossing one off the bucket list.


My Perfect 6-Pack: Pilsner Edition

A few months ago I listed my perfect 6-pack. Beers I enjoy and love, ranging from IPAs to stouts to pilsners. Pilsners are one of my favorite styles, so I decided to do a pilsner edition perfect 6-pack.

The Olde Mecklenberg Brewery Captain Jack Pilsner Charlotte, NC
We’ll just shorten it to OMB. Smooth, unbelievably flavorful with good bitterness, and very drinkable at only 4.8%, this is IMHO the greatest pilsner on the planet. I love german-style beer, and they definitely do it right. (note: this was included in my overall perfect 6-pack)

Crooked Run Coast Sterling, VA
This beer is just so…so yummy. The blend of New Zealand Motueka and Wakatu hops give it a unique feel and taste. Dare I say creamy? Whatever it is, it’s awesome. One of my favorite pilsners ever. By the way, they also make wonderful IPAs and tasty stouts.

Bierstadt Lagerhaus Slow-Pour Pils Denver, CO
I was introduced to this beer by a good friend, and man, I’m glad he did. These guys do it the right way; the old-style way. It’s call a slow-pour pils because it deserves – no, it begs – to be poured and served that way (if you haven’t heard of this method, check out this article here). This beer is legit heaven in a glass.

Escutcheon Brewing John Riggins 4th & 1 Pilsner Winchester, VA
Escutcheon technically doesn’t brew this beer any longer, so I may have cheated, but I love it. According to them the exact same beer is brewed under the “Fancy Clancy’s Pilsner” name, but I’m not so sure. The Clancy version tastes lighter to me with less bitterness. That very well may be a placebo effect, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Anyhow, I LOVE the 4th & 1. Great flavor, lovely bitterness, a touch of sweetness. It is my favorite pilsner ever.

Sierra Nevada Southern Gothic Chico, CA
Yes, I’m a Sierra Nevada fanboy. No, I won’t apologize for it. This is a wonderful pils. Tasty bitterness, velvety smooth, and a 5.2% ABV. You don’t have to sacrifice flavor for (multiple) drinkability.

Ardent Pilsner Richmond, VA
Last, but certainly not least, is the AWESOME pilsner from Ardent out of Richmond, VA. I believe Ardent is the the most underrated brewery in Virginia, but that’s a conversation for another time over…pilsners. 🙂 This is a great German-style pilsner. Tons of flavor, tons of aroma; a beer you can go back to time after time and never get tired of it. Slow pour it, and even more aromas are released, making it that much better. I’m moving back to Cleveland soon, and this is one of the Virginia beers I’m going to really miss.

My Perfect 6-Pack

It’s been five years since my last blog post. Been busy, life happens, and unfortunately adulting needed to be done.

So, for my (non)triumphant return, I figured I’d write about beer. 🙂 More specifically, which beers make up my perfect 6-pack. Not all six are necessarily my favorite beers on the planet, but they still make up my perfect 6-pack. If that makes any sense.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Chico, CA
Now this IS my favorite beer. The O.G. If I had to pick one beer – and only one beer – to drink the rest of my life, it would be Sierra Pale Ale. It’s perfect any time of the year, on any occasion, and you can find it anywhere. Bars, grocery stores, restaurants, craft beer places…doesn’t matter. The greatest balance of taste, bitterness, ABV, and drinkability. Not too light, not too strong. It’s perfect.

Escutcheon Brewing Habermehl’s Oktoberfest Winchester, VA
Marzens are my favorite beer style and Escutcheon’s Oktoberfest is my favorite of that style. Great malt, great drinkability, ton and tons of flavor. It’s only available in the taproom, so you’ll need to buy more than a few growlers to take home. Definitely worth a trip to Winchester.

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout Chicago, IL
I’m going to catch major flack for this one, but it is what it is. THIS. IS. MY. FAVORITE. STOUT. Period. I love barrel-aged heavy stouts and this is the best. I’ve tried others on numerous occasions, and I keep coming back and comparing them to this one. No other stout I’ve tried balances the richness, sweetness, boldness, and flavor into a magic elixir like Goose Island does with this beer. No one. ABInBev has fucked up a lot of their beers, but thankfully not this one.

The Olde Mecklenberg Brewery Captain Jack Pilsner Charlotte, NC
We’ll just shorten it to OMB. This is my favorite pilsner. Smooth, unbelievably flavorful with good bitterness, and very drinkable at only 4.8%, this is IMHO the greatest pilsner on the planet. I love german-style beer, and they definitely do it right.

Great Lakes Brewing Dortmunder Gold Lager Cleveland, OH
A staple in my fridge, this is another one of those beers I can drink anywhere, anytime, any season. A little sweet, a hint of hops, and refreshing. A great example of a dortmunder and unequivocally Cleveland.

Masthead Brewing IPA Cleveland, OH
This is not my favorite IPA, but for some reason when I’m in the mood for an American IPA, I seem to always reach for it. This IPA has great hop flavor with Simcoe and Mosaic hops, but not too much to give you “hop burn” and be too bitter. It’s also not trendy with 10x dry hopping which turns out to just be nasty. I love Masthead and I love this beer.

Honorable Mention: Troegs Nimble Giant, Ardent Pilsner, Crooked Run Coast Pilsner, Crooked Run Vain, Smartmouth Game On IPA, Sierra Nevada Narwhal, Sierra Nevada Southern Gothic, Triple Crossing Jubilee Bier, Guinness Draught

Dear Civilians…

The following is a post from a wonderful Facebook group; Dysfunctional Veterans. If an admin from the page has an issue with me blogging this, please let me know and I’ll take it down. If you fancy some amusing content, wether veteran or civilian, head over to

Dear Civilians,
You asked if you could help out us DV’s so here are a few of the areas where we would like your assistance:
1. Next time you see any adults talking (or wearing a hat) during the playing of the Nation Anthem – kick their ass.
2. When you witness, firsthand, someone burning the American Flag in protest – kick their ass.
3. Regardless of the rank they held while they served, pay the highest amount of respect to all veterans. If you see anyone doing otherwise, quietly pull them aside and explain how these veterans fought for the very freedom they bask in every second. Enlighten them on the many sacrifices these veterans made to make this Nation great. Then hold them down while a disabled veteran kicks their ass.
4. If you were never in the military, DO NOT pretend that you were. Wearing battle dress uniforms ACUs or BDUs etc., telling others that you used to be “Special Forces”. Collecting GI Joes memorabilia, might have been okay when you were seven years old, now, it will only make you look stupid and get your ass kicked.
5. Next time you come across an Air Force member, do not ask them, “Do you fly a jet?”. Not everyone in the Air Force is a pilot.
Such ignorance deserves an ass-kicking (children are exempt).
6. If you witness someone calling the US Coast Guard “non-military”, inform them of their mistake – and kick their ass.
7. Next time Old Glory goes by during a parade, get on your damn feet and pay homage to her by placing your hand over your heart. Quietly thank the military member of veteran lucky enough to be carrying her – of course, failure to do either of those could earn you a severe ass-kicking.
8. “Your mama wears combat boots” never made sense to me – stop saying it! If she did, she would most likely be a veteran and therefore would kick your ass.
9. ‘Flyboy’ (*Air Force*), ‘Jarhead’ (*Marine*), ‘Grunt’ (*Army*), ‘Squid’ (*Navy*), ‘Puddle Jumpers’ (*Coast Guard*), etc. are terms of endearment we use describing each other. Unless you are a service member or vet, you have not earned the right to use them. Using them could get your ass kicked.
10. Last, but not least, whether or not you become a member of the military, support our troops and their families. Every Thanksgiving and religious holiday that you enjoy with family and friends, please remember that there are literally thousand of Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen far from home wishing they could be with their families. Thank God for our military and the sacrifices they make every day. Without them, our Country would get it’s ass kicked.
11. ‘It’s the Veteran, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It’s the Veteran, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It’s the Veteran, not the community organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate. It’s the Military who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.’



Bitten by the Bug

A little more than a year ago I bought my first DSLR camera – a refurbished Nikon D3200 camera body. I had been wanting one for some time, but never pulled the trigger. I was afraid I’d spend all that money on a camera, find out I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would, then never touch it again. I was wrong. I’m hooked.

A camera body obviously isn’t much good without glass to go with it, so for my first lens I bought a Nikon 18-140mm. It’s a fantastic multi-purpose lens that works great for a variety of scenarios. After about a week or so, however, I noticed the quality was only so-so with indoor, lower light shots. I quickly snapped up a Nikon 50mm prime, and it’s immediately become my go-to lens. I use it for virtually everything, and I actually get mildly irritated when I have to use my 18-140mm.

The D3200 with a 50mm prime and Adobe Lightroom has been invaluable to learn from. I’m resisting the urge to immediately upgrade to a D7000, as I want to learn the limits of the D3200 and figure out exactly what I need in my next camera.

By no means am I an expert. I’m learning. Half the time I don’t know what I’m doing. I still have issues figuring out when it’s best to shoot in manual mode, aperture mode, or something else. I also still struggle with proper ISO settings and whatnot. I’m getting there, but it’s a constant learning process.

Anyhow, part of my blog will be talking about my journey in amateur photography. I take a lot of photos of many different things, such as firearms, cars, landscapes, and my family. I welcome comments and feedback. I don’t get butthurt easily, and I’m not very politically correct, so if you say my photos suck balls, well…good on you then. 🙂

I scream, you scream, we scream for…Hellcat

I suppose it’s fitting a Hellcat was shown to dealers in Sin City.

This past week in Las Vegas, the new Grand Cherokee Trackhawk was previewed at their annual conference. FCA saw it fitting to drop the 707-HP Hellcat V8 into an SUV, creating a 0-60-in-3.5-seconds beast with AWD and room for five. Just for reference, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo covers the same distance in 4.1 seconds.

While the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk should be a relative bargain, it won’t be cheap. With the “regular” 2015 SRT starting at $65,890, you can expect the Trackhawk to start in the $80,000-$85,000 range. Pricey, yes, but chump change when compared to the aforementioned Cayenne Turbo and the BMW X5 M.

God Bless America.