3 Hots &
a  Cot

T-Hack Guest Blogger

April 22, 2013

Another friend of Three Hots and a Cot "represents" in the story below.  Take a ride with David as he beautifully describes his recent train trip from Colorado to San Francisco.  - Laura

Guest Blogger: David Sneed www.everyonehasaboss.com, www.alpinefenceonline.com
Feature Blog: Riding the Rails

We’re lucky to have Amtrack run through Denver. 

Last week, with a meeting in San Francisco and an itch for some quiet time, I roped in one of my kids and we hit the rails.

For the two of us, in a family bedroom, it cost $1100 roundtrip. That counts the private room, meals, and 32 hours of peace each way. But we had a four-person berth so I could have brought a couple more kids for a few dollars more.

For comparison, RT airfare would have been $980.

If you think a day and a half on a train sounds boring, you’re right. It is.  But kids are at their best when they have nothing to do but exist.  Phone service is spotty, so you get to be a substitute for their friends. They’ll talk to you, and you can just BE together.  That’s pretty nice.

The full-service food is fine. Not great, but plenty good.  And the community seating means you never know who you’ll be sitting across from.  Sometimes it’s a nice couple; sometimes it’s the Sneed’s.  You pays your money and you takes your chances, I guess.

We’ve been on this route before, so we saved a few hours by driving to meet the train in Glenwood Springs.  Those first few hours out of Denver are scenic, but they’re slow.  West of Glenwood…have you ever seen Ruby Canyon? Train or canoe is the only way.

Eastbound to Chicago is nice too. All aboooard in the evening; a nice dinner; and drift off to sleep while the Engineer plows through Nebraska.  That’s my favorite way to see that wonderful state—as the clickety-clack softly rocks me to sleep. 

To Chicago is a 30 hour ride from Denver too. From there…anywhere.  Last year we went to Boston. That’s a long trip so we flew back. The year before, D.C. Each time we’re sad when the journey is almost over. Not because we’re leaving whatever exotic place we were, but because our time alone is ending. We spent a lot of it alone together on the train. 

Travel is stressful. If you go by air or car it is. But travel by rail becomes more than just a way to get where you’re going; it becomes a part of the trip. The slow, calm trip.  As I write this we just pulled out of Sacramento and into the verdant knee-high-grass covered hills. Spring is pretty everywhere, but especially here. The golden season is coming, but for now the lushest green you’ve ever seen.

Up ahead are the Sierra Nevadas. The Donner Pass. Reno.  Brittany is curled up on a day bed looking out the window. We’ll head to the dining car in a few minutes and eat a lunch with the widest views that money can buy.

Then we’ll read. Maybe nap. We have time for both.


February 22, 2013

As I mentioned, Three Hots and a Cot has some serious Street Cred. And just like you, we've got some kick-ass friends!  Friends who think deep thoughts and know how to turn a phrase.
It didn't take much convincing to get my friend to write down his thoughts about drinking alcohol and checking out the latest flick.  By way of disclaimer, Three Hots and a Cot does not necessarily condone the act of sneaking booze into the theater.  But if you're going to, make your girlfriend/wife/European male friend stash it in their purse (murse?).  Pop the cap off as soon as the first (really loud) preview starts, and pour it into a cup (glass bottles clanking around in the cup holder is a dead giveaway).  This is strictly intel from the internet, nothing I have personally done, for fear of having my Regal Crown Club card revoked. 

Guest Blogger: Russ Coy
Feature Blog: "Cinema and Suds"
Topic: Warm Bodies (movie) and New Belgium Snowy Day Winter Ale (beer)

I love beer. 

I love movies.

Combine the two of them and it’s a perfect pairing, like wine and cheese (except, you know - GOOD and more accessible), like peanut butter and chocolate, like Texas and BIG hair (come on - you know it's true), like Kirk and Spock.

At many a local movie ‘plex round my town you can now find beer, often good beer.  Seems crazy that movie theaters are only now coming to the party, but better late than never I say.   Given this trend I thought it would be fun to pair beer with what’s currently playing.  I’ve been doing this for years at home, but it always seems to be Star Wars and PBR.  Sooooo, here goes my inaugural beer and movie review.

New Belgium Snow Day Winter Ale and Warm Bodies

The contrast between a Winter Ale and a zombie movie called Warm Bodies was just too delicious to pass up.  New Belgium’s Snow Day Winter Ale is a relatively light seasonal beer brewed in Fort Collins Colorado.  I’m a fan of dark beers, ones that I can cut thick and have a slice of, so consider that when I say this is a light beer.  New Belgium advises the alcohol content is 6.2%.  It’s hoppy and has a bit of caramel flavor.  The aftertaste is nice, sweet, and ever so slightly bitter (like several ex girlfriends).  The brewery advises there is a bit of chocolate in it but I couldn’t taste it.  While hoppy this is no hop-head beer.  I think it would pair well with some grilled and then chilled roast beef thickly cut, with some mild Hatch green chili on a salty cracker, but hey that may just be me.  Overall a solid beer from our friends at New Belgium.

The previews for Warm Bodies gave me the impression that it’s a comedy zombie love story; it’s not.  It is however a sweet zombie love story. The basic premise, the world has suffered a zombie outbreak with just a few humans left alive living inside a walled up city within a city.  The zombies have enough of their humanity left to be able to think semi coherent thoughts and have rudimentary friendships; but as all zombies do, they want to eat the remaining humans, especially their brains.  As luck would have it, a very attractive “Julie” (played by Analeigh Tipton) is outside of the walled city scavenging for supplies when she and her friends are attacked by a horde of zombies.  Our zombie hero, “R” (Nicholas Hoult, soon to be seen in Jack the Giant Killer), retains enough of his humanity to capture “Julie” and rather than eating her and takes her back to his (cue scary music - dom dom DOM) ZOMBIE ABODE .  Since it’s a love story the two find love, not a sick necrophilia love (that would be a hell of a movie to drink beer too), but a sweet everything will be good in the world love, and lo and behold love reverses the ravages of zombie-ness.  The fun of course is in the details and I don’t want to spoil it for you because it’s a fun ride and worth the price of admission.

Overall the pairing seemed to work nicely together and I had a nice evening with two of my favorite things (actually three since I got to spend the evening with my teenage daughter as well).

Movie Rating:

On a 5 point zombie scale this is a solid 3.5 fleshless zombie body.  Worth plunking down your hard earned dollars to see 1st run, but probably more fun to watch while cuddled up with your favorite zombie fan on the couch at home.

Beer Rating:

On a 5 point Beer is next to God scale this too is a 3.5.  A nice relatively light beer, not too high on Hop scale with some complex undertones.  Bring a 6 pack of this to a party and folks might think you have taste and class.

Combo Rating:

On an 11 point Spinal Tap scale (and extra point for style) the combo comes in at a 7.  They work well together for a nice evening out that satisfies but isn’t overwhelming. 

Here is a tip o’the bottle to you 'till our next trip to the bar or cinema (or both if we are lucky)!

 "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" - Benjamin Franklin
(this quote has been bastardized a bit over the years, but we all know Ben enjoyed a frothy tankard or two in his day.)

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February 6, 2013

Move Over Jersey Shore, "Pauly-C" is in the Hizzie!

Now is the winter of our discontent. Heavy stuff huh? Well, considering our good- hearted friends across the pond have just discovered Richard III and New Jersey is seemingly once again avoiding that white stuff that falls from the sky while all of New England is preparing for SnowMania, it only seems appropriate. There was a time when winters here in NJ meant months of sledding and snow ball fights; now we are reduced to sitting at home staring at each other contemplating our Governor's weight. Oh well, there is plenty to do, see and avoid here already, we don't need a dusting to get excited over. Which is what brings me to this little corner of the InterWeb. Your webmaster extraordinaire Laura has kindly asked me to bring an East Coast perspective to her very informative web page and I humbly accept this challenge. 

Born, raised, and except for escaping to Providence, RI for six years, I proudly call NJ home. Or more specifically CENTRAL New Jersey home. I hope to offer anyone reading this, and I’m sure I could count you all on one hand, a local perspective to all things New Jersey and New York. Looking for a great restaurant? An OK restaurant to break up with someone? A bar that isn't filled with Real Housewives of NJ rejects? (or the real ones for that matter)....then you came to the right place! Airport secrets? I got those. Roads to avoid? Yup. Roads that MUST be traveled for a quick sight see? We are going to explore all those together. As far as this tri-state area is concerned I've seen it all, and if I haven't then I'm more than willing to explore it with you all together.

So let’s look forward to this journey! And while we are at it...pray for a little snow, because nothing makes a hurricane-devastated area look prettier than that glistening white stuff!



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