Ride Log - June 1st, 2014: Koval Distillery

Today was literally the worst ride I have ever ridden. I had a tour over at Koval Distillery in Chicago today so Megan and I took the bike over to that. I figured it would be fun to drive through some of the Chicago neighborhoods and the lake on the way to the distillery. It was a miserable experience. The traffic on I-55 in both directions was crawling. What should have been a 50 minute ride each way turned into a 90+ minute ride each way. It was hot and miserable. I have never been so uncomfortable on the bike before and it didn't help that I had a passenger that was also hot. 

The tour of the distillery itself was cool. It lasted only about 35-40 minutes, but it was interesting to see how whisky is made. I was surprised at actually how small the distillery was. There was a back portion that we didn't get to see, but the building was fairly small. Overall it was a fund trip and made me appreciate Whisky and the Koval brand more. I came away really enjoying the millet whisky that they make. The Bourbon had a really creamy flavor to it as well. If you find yourself in the area, definitely check out the tour there. 

http://www.koval-distillery.com/newsite/classes-tours

May 2013 Video Gaming

Time for another video game update. First up is my thoughts on the Ouya. So far, I have to say that it is a Beta of a 1.0 product. I see the potential, but there isn't much there yet. I have to say that the SNES emulators on it are pretty good and you know what is a good game? The Secret of Mana. I wanted to play that game so bad when I was probably 10 years old and I unfortunately never got it back in the. I must have spent a good four or five hours last week playing through that. I am not sort of stuck at what is known as one of the harder boss fights with some sort of fire breathing tiger. Man that guy is hard. 

The other game I am working on right now is Dragon's Dogma, which ironically enough is another Japanese RPG. I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised by this one, even though it got high praise from the Giantbomb crew on their podcast. It has a little bit of a Monster Hunter vibe going to it. It is difficult, but not brutally punishing. Stick to the story elements early on and it is very satisfying. My only major complaint however is that the Japanese tropes and mannerisms come out too much in the characters. You of course are playing the silent protagonist and the facial expressions they use to try and convey emotion for the character just seem silly. 

The pawn system is really cool though when it is shared online with the world. I love looking at how other people designed their pawns.


May and June Donations

Slowly but surely I am catching up to my monthly charitable donations. My May Donation is for the ASPCA. I am sure we have all seen the commericals with Sarah Mclachlan in them that tear at your heart strings (i might just cry typing this). As I have said before I am a sucker when it comes to caring for animals. The ASPCA seems like an obvious choice.

My June donation is for the Garfield Conservatory in Lincoln Park. Last year they suffered a devistating blow when a hail storm knocked out a large portion of the windows at the conservatory. 

The Convervatory has always been one of my favorite places to visit whenver I went to the Lincoln Park Zoo. I have always found greenhouses and conservatories incredibly calming. So warm and quiet inside. I often times went to the green houses at University of Illinois when I was there during the winter just to escape the cold and drab weather and the stresses of the school. They were an incredibly meditative place in all of thecrazy that is sometimes a college campus.