Free day. With beer, obviously.

My arrangement with The Beer Yard is that I go in there for a few hours once a week and update Quicken files, and backup those and Excel files, plus do other stuff, including but not restricted to trying to keep Mark from being overly cheerful and helpful with customers as it sometimes scares them. Wednesday is the current default day, but Monday, Tuesday and Thursday are in the mix, depending on what else is happening in my (pause for mordant chuckle) professional life.  Never Fridays, though, since that’s a busy day, the office is small and I just turn out to be an old man in the way.

This week, however, after snow and ice wiped out my Wednesday and meant I couldn’t get there on Thursday as planned (a date planned to coincide with the arrival of a new computer for the store I put together and bought online Monday), so I arranged with Matt that Friday would have to be the day. He called last night though and asked me if it was alright if I didn’t come in at all this week because he had a lot of things to do and need to use the old computer to do them and didn’t want me taking it down to install the new one.

Think about that: the boss calls and asks you not to work. What are you gonna say, no?

So home I stayed and, while there are plenty of things to do, many of them involving actual income-producing projects, it still felt a lot like a free day, you know, a day that I found and which demanded nothing but whatever I wanted it to be. I did do a bit of work in the morning, mostly involving my Jacey Services sideline business, and spent a couple of hours going through the arduous processes of trying to find myself a rescue dog and get approved for same.

I had to go to the bank to put some money in my checking account in the afternoon (the one weakness I see in this whole banking thing is that they want me to back up my checks with funds, taking all the joy out of the process) and then figured that a trip to the Craft Ale House was in order.

And who should be sitting at the bar when I arrive around 2;30? None other than a sheepish Matthew J. Guyer. He bought me beer for my silence and you can see how that worked out. I am unprincipled enough to allow myself to be bribed, not so unprincipled as to actually allow that to having any bearing on what I do next.

Matt at the bar wiped out one of my vows for 2009, to go to CAH and not find anyone there that I knew; my first beer destroyed a second. I figured I could achieve international fame by being the beer guy who never tasted Bell’s HopSlam, but the attraction was too strong. Very good beer and I mean in no way to demean it by saying it’s hardly worth the hysteria. No beer is, comes to that. I had another beer on Matt (Royersford ESB) while we talked beer stuff and then he was off, either to work or another bar, who knows.

A couple of guys were there working on the Nitro tap which was pouring Summit Oatmeal Stout and needed a tester for a fresh pint, so I volunteered to help, nice guy that I am. A guy farther down the bar kept offering to do a pint or take how a growler of HopSlam but they laughed him off, got things fixed and setting down with Hopslams of their own.

A roast pork sandwich and glass of Philadelphia Brewing Joe finished my stay, during which talked with Gary Fry about how things were going. Very well indeed. He’s squeezed out enough funds to add a second fryer to the cooking line for fries and was looking forward to see if that a few more innovations would help with the weekend crowds beginning tonight. There are routinely waits of an hour for a table, apparently. Not that, given the great beer list, anybody’s complaining.

Today’s brief sojourn topped off a week in which I visited three of the western suburbs finest beer bars. I already mentioned my visit to Drafting Room Exton yesterday and on Tuesday I had lunch with my former wife at TJ’s Restaurant & Drinkery. There I enjoyed two pints of the Fifth Anniversary British Pale Ale from the handpump and a really excellent cranberry-turkey pannini. On the way home I popped in to Sly Fox Phoenixville for a growler of Burns Scottish Ale, just because I could.

I love my work, especially on days when I don’t have to do it.

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