• Overview of the London Marathon 2021 course with text that says "Six reasons why I am running the London Marathon.

    Six reasons to run the London Marathon

    There are lots of reasons to run a marathon. They can range from general fitness to very personal reasons.  About two months ago, I learned that I would get to run the London Marathon this fall.  On October 3, 2021, I will get to join approximately 40,000 people running along the Thames River.  For me, running has always been very personal.  There are several reasons to run the London Marathon, however, these are the six reasons why I am running this race. Reason #1… The top reason to run the London Marathon is to raise funds for a charity.  Whether you earn your spot as a charity runner or get…

  • Overview of a bar at a brewery with a white text box in the center that says, "A pint at Twisted Barley Brewing § Jasper, Alabama."
    Alabama,  craft beer

    A pint at Twisted Barley Brewing in Jasper, Alabama

    The story of Twisted Barley Brewing in Jasper, Alabama, means a lot to several people.  However, it may be most important to the city itself as Mason Boren opened the first brewery in his hometown and has been credited with helping revitalize the city’s downtown. Brewery’s history As a 21-year-old, co-owner Mason Boren Googled “how to make beer.” After taking his homebrew to parties and using his Uncle Jim’s equipment, he joined the Tuscaloosa homebrewers club.  Eventually, Boren and his wife Courtney sought advice from the Alabama Small Business Development Center at the University of North Alabama to create a business plan.  Ultimately, the couple sold virtually everything and moved…

  • Collage of with four images in each corner. Text across the middle says, "2021 ballpark travel resolutions."
    ballparks,  travel

    Revealing my 2021 ballpark travel resolutions

    Each year people make resolutions, typically to better themselves and their lives.  Self-improvement goals are great, but I prefer to make resolutions related to traveling. Specifically, I make ballpark travel resolutions, as I continue my quest to see more places by visiting baseball stadiums.  Without further ado, here are my 2021 ballpark travel resolutions. Resolution #1: In 2021, I resolve to see all five @NPB teams in Greater Tokyo (@Chiba_Lotte, @lions_official, @swallowspr, @TokyoGiants, and @ydb_yokohama) play at home. #PlayBall #NewYearsResolutions #GoTokyo #StevenExploresTokyo — Steven Ericson (@StevenOnTheMove) January 1, 2021 In 2019 and 2020, I resolved to see all of the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) teams in Greater Tokyo.  So far,…

  • Collage featuring signage for Miller Park, logos for NPB and Minor League Baseball, and a man wearing an Erie SnowWolves face mask. Text overlays says, "Reviewing my 2020 ballpark travel resolutions."
    ballparks,  travel

    Reviewing my 2020 ballpark travel resolutions

    As the final week of this no good, rotten year comes to a close, it is time to review my 2020 ballpark travel resolutions.  It is easy to surmise that I did not uphold my ballpark resolutions this year.  However, just because this past year has been dramatically different from any other in my life does not mean I am going to skip out on reviewing my resolutions.  Without further ado, let’s review my 2020 ballpark travel resolutions. Resolution #1: In 2020, I resolve to see all five @NPB teams in Greater Tokyo (@Chiba_Lotte, @lions_official, @swallowspr, @TokyoGiants, and @ydb_yokohama) play at home. #PlayBall #NewYearsResolutions #GoTokyo #StevenExploresTokyo — Steven Ericson (@StevenOnTheMove)…

  • Exterior of a multiple-story building with text inside a green box that says, "My experience at Hotel Matsumoto Yorozuya."
    hotel review,  Japan

    My experience at Hotel Matsumoto Yorozuya

    For a recent trip to Matsumoto, my wife and I wanted a hotel with Western-style rooms close to the train station and the city’s popular tourist attractions.  Hotel Matsumoto Yorozuya is about five minutes from Matsumoto Station, but also has a parking lot.  It is 12 minutes from the city’s main attraction, Matsumoto Castle, and a five-minute walk to either popular shopping street (Nawate or Nakamachi) in town.  Additionally, the hotel is five minutes from Honmachi Street, which has several restaurants. Double room Traveling with my wife, we chose a double room.  Like many hotel rooms in Japan, the 15-square-meter room (approximately 160-square-feet) is the epitome of form following function. …

  • Overview of a storefront with large wooden sign above windows that says, "Black Warrior Brewing Company." Text across the windows says: "A pint at Black Warrior Brewing § Tuscaloosa, Alabama."
    Alabama,  craft beer

    A pint at Black Warrior Brewing in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

    People are quick to associate Tuscaloosa, Alabama, with the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide football team.  However, there is a lot more to the city and its history than an iconic football team.  The landscape includes several local landmarks, which the ownership group of Black Warrior Brewing wanted to bring front and center when they opened their brewery in 2013. Brewery’s history In 2011, three friends who worked at the BFGoodrich tire manufacturing plant in Tuscaloosa and shared a love of homebrewing and mountain biking decided to open a craft brewery.  While perfecting recipes, Joe Fuller, Eric Hull, and Jason Spikes met Wayne Yarbrough, who became the fourth member of…

  • Overview of a bar top with a white text box covering the image and text inside that says "A pint at Druid City Brewing § Tuscaloosa, Alabama."
    Alabama,  craft beer

    A pint at Druid City Brewing in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

    There are a lot of ways to measure when a town “has made it.”  For Bo Hicks and Elliott Roberts opening a craft brewery in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was their way of putting the city on the map.  In 2012, the pair opened Druid City Brewing in a refurbished butcher shop.  Several years later the brewery continues to be an integral part of the community. Brewery’s history Co-owner Bo Hicks began working in craft beer at Hales Tavern on The Strip.  Eventually Hicks and Roberts started homebrewing together.  Like many homebrewers, the duo joked about opening a brewery together.  Eventually Roberts had a friend draft a business plan and the pair…

  • A man kneels next to a stack over-sized clothes with a text box to the left that says "My weight loss journey en rote to lose 50 pounds."

    My weight loss journey en route to lose 50 pounds

    Weight loss can be a touchy subject for people.  In a world shaped by body image, weight loss is very personal.  My weight loss journey began when I moved to Japan in 2018 and has led me to lose 50 pounds.  For a long time, I debated about sharing my story, but the past few months have given me a different perspective on health and fitness.  Like many people, as I got older and finished college I settled into a sedentary lifestyle.  I never hated exercising, but it was not a priority in my life.  However, after I moved to Japan things dramatically changed, which led me to lose 50…

  • Collage with multiple face masks surrounding a dark blue box with white text outlined in red that says, "Staying safe with Minor League Baseball Face Masks."

    Staying safe with Minor League Baseball face masks

    As cities and states across America enact or extend ordinances requiring people to wear face masks in public places, baseball fans looking to support Minor League teams have a variety of options.  From California to Maine and several places in between, Minor League Baseball fans have plenty of options when seeking face masks. Updated: March 5, 2021, at 11:00 p.m. EST California League The Modest Nuts have two face masks with humorous takes on the year.  Each mask costs $9.99.  One features the team’s primary logo and the other has the team’s Copa de la Diversión logo.  Additionally, the Nuts have a reversible neck gaiter with their primary logo and…

  • Photo collage with six photos, five showing a man and woman standing together. Text in the middle says, "Lessons from running in a virtual race series."

    Lessons from running in a virtual race series

    Like many runners, my running goals and plans for 2020 were thrown for a loop due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.  I started participating in virtual races and challenges, which helped me stay on track.  Most recently I undertook a virtual race series, which has made me think about my running and what I learned from running in a virtual race series. Fusion Racing organized the Don’t Worry, Be Hoppy Virtual Race Series.  It was five races of five different distances over the five weekends of May 2020.  I decided to participate for two reasons.  First and foremost, I had already signed up for the Hopping Across America virtual challenge,…