Sunday, September 22, 2013

Now, Another Public Service Announcement...

Stay Alive, Don't Drink and Drive!
Blogs are typically vanity driven things. Most of them are written by whiny, frustrated poets who want the world to know all about their feelings. I love cats. Why can't I keep a girlfriend. Men are pigs. Blah, blah, blah. Oh, so many unhappy people. I don't want to know that stuff. I'm of German descent. We keep our feelings bottled up deep inside, where they belong, until we explode with a massive coronary. Uh, maybe blogging is the better way to go...

I started this blog as a fun way to keep track of all the wonderful beers I drink. That seemed better than keeping an Excel spreadsheet (gawd, I hate Excel). I never had any specific audience in mind. This whole deal was just a little exercise in high tech hubris. However, to my amazement, people actually read the incoherent gibberish I type up! It's even gotten to the point where folks recognize me in public. "Hey, aren't you that Beer Guy PDX guy?" How crazy is that?

Well, with a smattering of power, comes a smattering of responsibility. This blog is, after all, about drinking beer--lots of beer. What I wouldn't ever want to do is make it seem appealing or appropriate for anybody to drink irresponsibly. That's not what Beer Guy PDX is all about.

First and foremost, beer is for adults. The minimum drinking age in the state of Oregon is 21. If you are under 21, stop reading this NOW! Seriously, avert your eyes and move on to something more age appropriate--like that website with all those animated gifs of Miley Cyrus twerking. Second, it's never cool to drink and drive. Let me type that again S-L-O-W-L-Y. Do NOT drink and drive.

I drink a lot. You could call me a professional imbiber, and I've never driven my car while intoxicated. If I can avoid getting a DUI, DUII, DWI after all these years, so can you, and I have some tips to pass along for beginning beer drinkers, or those who aren't sharp enough to figure this out on their own.

1) Plan your drinking. Seems pretty simple, but this is the thing that probably gets people in trouble the most. You gotta have a plan, Stan! If you're driving out to the coast to drink some beer at that awesome brewery you've always wanted to visit, how are you getting home? Is someone going with you that isn't going to drink? Do you have enough cash to get a motel room if necessary?

If you find yourself at a party, with no way to get home other than your own automobile, make arrangements for a cab BEFORE you start drinking.

Plan ahead to use public transportation, if necessary. If you live in Portland, Oregon, I have mapped out the bus routes for many fine drinking establishments throughout the city. Check them out here. There is no shame in taking the bus home. Hell, I don't even own a car! I take the bus and MAX everywhere when I'm out drinking. If I can do it, so can you!

2) Use a dependable DD. Selecting a designated driver won't help you at all, unless that person is dependable and you know they won't be drinking. How many times have I seen the alleged DD downing more brewskis than anyone else in the group? Too many!

Lucky for me, my wife doesn't like to drink. She often accompanies me to parties and beer events. She is my dependable DD. However, we always have a CONVERSATION about our drinking before a party or event. If my wife wants to imbibe, I'll plan on limiting my drinking and curtail it early. There's that planning thing again.

In Portland, there's even a service that will pick you up and take you home IN YOUR OWN CAR for $15. RideOn Portland can be reached at 503-235 RIDE.

3) Know your limitations. Do you have a realistic idea about how much you can drink and safely drive? In this case, size does matter, as does the amount of time you've been drinking. Check out this Blood Alcohol Calculator to get an idea of how much drinking will get you over the legal limit in your state. As you'll see, it doesn't take much. Me, I'm a heavyweight. I've also been drinking for many, many years. It takes a lot of beer to get me impaired. Still, I think it's a bad idea to drink any amount of alcohol and get behind the wheel of a car. My best recommendation is that you refrain from driving if you've had ANY amount of alcohol in the past three hours.

I honestly believe that beer is one of God's greatest gifts to mankind. It's fun and delicious--in moderation. Responsible consumption will keep you enjoying beer's awesomeness for many, many years.


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