Well let's see, where did I leave off? Oh, that's right sleepy time Tuesday night. Wednesday morning started with a bang. Cheeze met me at a coffee shop around the corner from my hotel and we hit right off with a meeting. I was dropping some Mothership info on Cheeze and he was returning some outside sales force knowledge on me. I stepped outside to take a quick breather and collect myself (following some serious meeting time) and I was approached by a man asking me for change. I responded "sorry man" and he misheard that, thinking I said something else he threatened to make my day in Cedar Rapids come to a terrible end. Upon seeing the seriousness in his voice I retreated back into the safe confines of the meeting space, avoiding confrontation and still heading towards a fine day. Upon the meeting's end, Cheeze and I headed over to the HyVee (best grocery store name ever) and I got to show off my muscles in some heavy duty stock rotation (instead of trying (haplessly) to defend myself from an angry spare change collector).
Afterr working so hard Cheeze and I needed some nourishment, so we headed to Shoey's. A very nice establishment, good food and friendly service are two things that come to mind, but there was one thing that topped the pops (as it were), and it was this:
Yes, you are looking at that right, that is Trophy Hunter, and yes, that is in the men's room. Now normally I don't take picture's in the men's room, but normally you don't see one of the best video games of all time located in there either. I apologize about the blurriness, but it was hard to control my excitement, and therefore hard to control my jittery hands (plus the lighting was not suited for picture taking). I threw some quarters in and started shooting, I was interrupted only once by someone trying to use the facilities, and yes, that was a little weird, but it was a good time, there was some guy in the stall and I was shooting animals (virtually, of course) just a few inches away. This was one of the highlights of my life. The only thing that would have made it better was if Cheeze himself could have come in to the bathroom and we could have played a little head to head Trophy Hunter, but alas, the bathroom was a touch on the small side and when you account for me and the other dude in there, space was at a premium.
On to Fleck. We finished eating and then meandered over to the distributor. Ranger IPA just released in IOWA! due to a recent change in the liquor laws and everyone was pretty excited. Fleck Sales is New Belgium's distributor in eastern IOWA! and Cheeze wanted to make sure they got some good Ranger tastes in, so he threw a party. This party was set up at the distributor so they (the Fleck Sales Force) could easily come by to do some sampling and Ranger IPA question asking, but also because it was a good central location for folks from all the bars, restaurants, and package stores in eastern IOWA! to stop by as well. Here is Cheeze doing what he does:
Looking sharp buddy. And you see that display? It looks great huh? I helped.
Anywho after many hours of Ranger IPA kick off partying, Cheeze and I headed down to IOWA! City for some time on the town. IOWA! City likes to have a good time, that is certain, but what I (unfortunately) became privy to as well is the sheer volume of Chicago Cubs fans in this part of the country. Now I am not going to sit here and tell anyone who to cheer for in professional sporting engagements, but come on people, do you not realize your proximity to Cardinals Nation? Now I know that WGN TV is in IOWA! and they do play a lot of Cubs games, but the good people of IOWA! would look much nicer in red. Now this isn't to take away from the firm support the Cardinals already get in IOWA!, I know that there are some fans, but lets start the paradigm shift, lets all start rooting for the Redbirds (it will make me feel a lot better). But I digress, let's get back to the good IOWA! City times. We went to a fine establishment called the IOWA! City Yacht Club and hung out with Pete and Richie. NIce fellows and very capable of showing an out-of-towner a good time. I was going to trade Pete the shirt off my back, but for some reason (I can't really remember what it was) the trade never worked out. (Pete, if your reading this, the shirt trade offer still stands, just email me).
Then it was late, and dark so me and Cheeze needed to hit the sack again. We started the long slog back to CR and towards some beds, because Thursday was fast approaching.
Then it happened, Thursday I mean. Cheeze picked me up early and we did some stuff. It was needed and important, but it pales in comparison to what happened later in the day, so I am just going to skip to that, we had Lunch with the one and only RL Bennett. For those not in the know, Mr. Bennett is a strong proponent of what we here at New Belgium do on the day to day. He is a bike rider, a beer drinker and an all around nice guy, and before Thursday (of last) I had only one brief encounter with him, Chicago Tour de Fat 2008. To sit down and have a meal and a beer with him was fun indeed. The first thing he said to me, upon shaking his hand hello was "Hey Juicebox, how big are your hands? I dropped my wallet in the toilet and maybe you could fish it out for me?" We all had a good laugh, and then I found out he wasn't joking, then I fished his wallet out of the toilet (I do have petite hands), and following that it was lunch time (I earned that sandwich). During the course of the meal we talked about bikes, the TdF, wind power and the great state of IOWA!. Enlightening and delicious. Here is all of us; Cheeze, RL Bennett, and me:
Sorry this one is blurry as well, but the server at the lunch establishment couldn't seem to take a nice picture, no fault to her, she just couldn't get it done.
Upon finishing lunch Cheeze and I said goodbye to Mr. Bennett and we headed towards the airport. I had to get back on one of those little, scary planes and push home. The good news: I fell asleep before it even took off.
I would like to extend an open arms hug that closes tightly around the great state of IOWA! That was a nice time indeed, to be sure, IOWA! is a wonderful place to hang out. And thank you to everyone involved, my smile wouldn't be as big without your help and company.
and PS, IOWA! still takes checks (that's awesome (I just wished I still wrote them)):