Saturday, December 25, 2010


Finally here with the Powells in Houston for 2011. It has been an Advent Adventure, fo' shur! Now for a Murray's Choice homebrew...

I love being part of such a wonderful family.

Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

One last "World's Largest" as I approach Houston. The World's Largest Teapot is in Navasota, Texas (not in Chester, West Virginia). It is located at Martha's Bloomers Home & Garden Store.

I had the perfect Christmas beer for Christmas Eve: Santa's Butt, an English brew. It’s a splendid, satisfying Winter Porter. Everyone wants a piece of Santa’s Butt.

This special porter was inspired by this famous line from a well-loved children’s story book: "And Santa sat on his great butt, drinking a hearty brew."

In case you find that amusing, I hasten to point out that in England ‘butt’ refers to a certain barrel used in brewing -- a very large barrel, in fact, holding 108 imperial gallons. Back in the day it was quite a normal thing for a brewery to put its beer up in a large butt for storage.

Still snickering, eh? Get your mind out of the gutter or Santa will skip your house entirely this year.

Got into Houston in time for a Christmas Eve service, at Rev. Joel and Victoria Osteen's Lakewood Church. Fittingly, it is the World's Largest Church, with 16,000 seats and more than 38,000 worshipers weekly. I guess no fear of the ministers having too many "close personal relationships" here...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Texas Sights

Sure is great to be in Texas again.

Thought I would catch a few sights in Texas as I head for Houston. Though some sights here are not too pretty.

Stopped in Decatur to see the superb Petrified Wood Gas Station. Actually, what I liked best was this vintage blue Mustang. No, I am not trying to take it. I am not a criminal!

I saw this cute girl in Decatur. Now this is more like it, a pretty sight in Texas!

I passed through Weatherford, hometown to Mary Martin (who orginated Peter Pan) and her son, Larry Hagman (J.R. of Dallas fame). I know, it is goofy that I posed like the statue, but it is a family tradition (I am on the right, btw).

I came to Weatherford to see another World's Largest. The town has a museum where visitors can see a full-sized longhorn named Rawhide who was mentioned by Ripley's Believe it or Not as having the Largest Horn Spread.

One last World's Largest today: the World's Largest Catapiller. It is right on I-35 in Italy, TX. It is seven domes merged together, formed by sprayed concrete over a balloon -- the national home of Monolithic Dome Industries. OK, pretty stupid. But sure is a nice hog, huh?

To a non-Texan, the Lone Star longneck is probably the most famous beer in the State of Texas, and that is a real shame. Don't get me wrong; Texans are mighty proud of the Lone Star state - but Lone Star beer? Not so much. I mean, look what it did to this poor critter.

Should reach Houston tomorrow, Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Ooops! I mailed myself to Will's college address by mistake. I managed to get out of the box at least. Still plenty of time to get to Houston. I decided to check out Will's college town.

I kinda wanted to see Will play volleyball. Then I imagined how that could go...

I visited the University of North Texas campus. I went by the Marketing Department, but people were unsure who this "Will Powell" person could be. "Are you sure he takes classes here?" I was asked.

Meanwhile, I was awarded a diploma. Not sure what the big deal is. Seemed easy enough.

As I have seen several jackalopes on my Adventure, I visited Denton's own. It is a jackalope-shaped smoker in the front yard of someone's house on Bolivar Street. The vents are in the ears, and the grease spout is R-rated.

I really needed a beer. Stopped in at Denton's Armadillo Ale Works, and had their IPA.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ho Ho Ho

I am so cold! Since I am here (and warm) in the Angle Inlet Post Office, I am mailing myself to Texas. So I will check in with my followers in a few days when I arrive.

Hundreds of my new northern Minnesota fans came to see me off.

Ho Ho Ho, Green Giant!

If you thought the "Ho Ho Ho" title refered to the season, you are mistaken. I did not include this shot when I posted Minnesota's World's Largest, but it fits here.

Putting even giant animals in their place, the Jolly Green Giant in Blue Earth, Minnesota dwarfs all other North Dakota / Minnesota highway leviathans. At 55-feet tall, he stands head-and-husk above a rival 2D 2-dimensional green giant in nearby Le Sueur (The Official Birthplace of the Jolly Green Giant).

Friday, December 17, 2010

Northernmost Point in the Lower 48

Before I start south to Texas, I made a stop at the Northernmost Point in the Continental United States. It is in the appropriately named Angle Inlet, Minnesota, that angle of the state that sticks into Canada a bit. In fact, you cannot get to Angle Inlet by road without going through Canada.

Speaking of roads, they are cold and desolate up here.

Here is today's weather map to give you an idea of where I am.

Here I am at the Northernmost Post Office in the Continental United States. I think at this point I have the Coldest Aquamarine Tush in the Continental United States. Hence I am inside.

It's so cold the approprite beer was Cold Spring Ale, of the Cold Spring Brewery, in Cold Spring, Minnesota. Brrr...

Time to head south for warmer climes and Christmas cheer.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Minnesota's Largest

In Minnesota I decided to concentrate on the state's "World's Largest.."

The World's Largest Booming Prairie Chicken is in Rothsay. This 13-foot-tall creature is the closest thing to a bird-from-Mars that you're likely to see. Prairie chickens look strange on normal days, but when they "boom" -- puffing out two bright orange air sacs on their necks -- they look positively alien.

The World's Largest Pelican stands at the base of the Mill Pond dam on the Pelican River, right in downtown Pelican Rapids, Minnesota. It is 15 1/2 feet tall.

The World's Largest Loon resides in Vergas, Minnesota. This loon has for decades hooted down the claims of several newer, nearly-as-large rivals. 20 feet tall, it looks out over Long Lake, perhaps in search of a similarly over-sized mate.

The World's Largest Crow sits atop a 31-foot-long branch, itself atop a 25-foot-tall cement pedestal, in Belgrade, Minnesota. Eighteen feet tall -- in all, 43 feet high -- this biggest of all birds has an eerie, pagan idol quality, particularly since it's so massive, so well-done, and so out in the middle of nowhere.

Finally, the World's Largest Twine Ball is prominently displayed in Darwin, Minnesota. Do not confuse this with the World's Largest Ball of String (Not Twine) in Weston, Missouri. Maybe I will visit that one too.

My Minnesota beer is by the Surly Brewery in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota (It's never too early for a Surly). I selected their CynicAle.