Thursday, April 23, 2015

Star Wars Overload (It's a Good Thing)

Dear Disney Company: Thank you for buying Lucasfilms and saturating every form of media with Star Wars.

There has been a ton of Star Wars news this week as the annual convention (Celebration) came to a close. We got to see a new trailer for the December release of The Force Awakens, previews of Battlefront (video game), a trailer from season 2 of Star Wars Rebels (animated series), and find out the droid (BB8) from The Force Awakens actually works and will come to the Disney Parks soon. Add to all that the digital release of the six films! This has us excited for our visit to Walt Disney World in May when we will spend some time in Disney's Hollywood Studios at one of the Star Wars Weekends. We've been browsing sites like, tee and to find the perfect wardrobe for the two days we plan to be at the event. Dave already got this Star Wars/Assassin's Creed (video game) mash-up:

Unfortunately this one does not come in adult sizes


Here are some videos to help get you excited about the Star Wars frenzy.



Friday, April 17, 2015

Local Brewery Tour - Spring 2015

In Northern Illinois winter and summer are usually only connected by a few weeks of a spring-like season. This is the period we take advantage of local day-trips that we kept putting off during the winter. So far we have fit in a trip to Chicago (highlights in another post) and visits to three breweries we have never visited before.

Piece in Chicago has been on our radar for years, but because of its location we never made the effort to get there. It's in a nice trendy neighborhood, but the nearby crazy intersection where three major roads intersect makes navigating the area nuts. Our adventures in parking proved once again why we can't go on The Amazing Race together.

Piece is doing many things right. Their bar felt like places we used to frequent in college: comfortable and slightly dilapidated. For some reason they were playing an entire album of Run DMC songs. After settling in we got to look over the beer menu which featured about 6-8 of their own brews on tap, a few guest taps, and many bottles. The house brews are mostly session beers and cover the ranges from hoppy/malty. We enjoyed their stout, kolsch, and dunkelweizen. Our server was great and helped us make the right decision in picking the perfect size and style of pizza.

As much as we are beer and brewery fans, the true star of Piece is the New Haven style of pizza. Being from the East Coast we have a hard time finding pizza we truly enjoy in this part of the country. Tavern style thin crust and pan/deep dish is all the rage in Chicago, but we don't prefer those types to New York (or now New Haven) Style. We choose one small New Haven pie with sausage (no mozzarella, but parmesan and garlic instead)  and a small white pie with mashed potatoes and bacon. Best pizza we have had in a long time. The ingredients were fresh and the crust was chewy with a bit of char. We did not miss the mozzarella on the sausage pie.  Ordering two smalls ensured we had leftovers!

The next brewery on our list was
Scorched Earth in the northwest suburb of Algonquin. Scorched Earth is located in a small industrial park near a creek branching off the Fox River. They don't do food, but invite you to bring in your own. The space they occupy is divided into two sections by a rail separating the brewing area from the tap room. At the time of our visit nobody was working in the brewing section. The taproom decor is a mix of industrial-modern with some natural elements thrown in.  Pleasant!
We started off with flights. We
had 11 beers to choose from. We found anything labeled hoppy was in fact a bit hoppy for our tastes, but still you could tell they were quality-made products. The clear winners here for us were the Hickster, Rugged Coalminer, Der Sommer, and The Bitter Choclatier. While enjoying our beers we got into a long conversation with a father and his 22 yr old son about beers and breweries. Our tastes could not be any farther from each other, which shows that craft beer is truly a diverse industry. Anyone can find a beer they will love.

Bonus: After visiting Scorched Earth we had lunch at Duke's Ale House, a beer-focused pub, in Crystal Lake. Nice beer list (but they needed a few more stouts) including a good selection from Chicagoland. The food was the star here.....Holly had her first burger topped with a fried egg and Dave tried fries topped with cheese and BBQ Pork.
Crystal Lake Brewing was the last stop on this tour. They were a short block away from Duke's so we reccomend parking once and visit both. CLB took over a stand-alone retail location in town, which makes it a bit more accessible to the general public vs. Scorched Earth which is tucked away in a corporate park. The taproom was a large open space with a lot of communal tables and a long bar. While there we noticed a family gathering with 3 or 4 generations in attendance. Food is not available in the taproom, but BYO is welcomed.

Eight beers were on tap that day and we sampled the blonde, hefeweizen, doppelbock, oatmeal stout, and marzen. Nothing really stood out to us. They all seemed very neutral within their styles. We didn't hate them or think they were made poorly, just overall neutral. They do get bonus points for the lifeguard chair inspired tap handles and life preserver flight tray.

The verdict:
  • Piece - Must go back to for the pizza alone. The beer is icing on the cake.
  • Scorched Earth - Would visit if in the area and would choose certain product if available at a local bar.  Too far for a stand-alone trip.
  • Duke's - Would visit again if in the area - best burger we'd had in a while.
  • Crystal Lake - Would visit Duke's down the road before returning to CLB, unless they had an event like a tap takeover.

Monday, April 13, 2015

FREEing Race Chase the Book

As most of our readers know, Holly runs marathons and Dave follows along the course trying to find her as many times as he can. Friends would tell Dave he should write a book on the subject, but he really didn't see a reason to do so until he thought of the charity angle. In 2013 he wrote the e-book Race Chase: Expert Advice on Seeing your Runner on Race Day and donated the proceeds to Avon's Breast Cancer Fund in support of our Disney running team, Team AllEars. We were able to raise a couple of hundred dollars, so all good.....

Race Chase was written for both the spectator and the runner. For spectators we offer tips on navigating a race course, where to look for photo opportunities, and how to use technology on race day. For the runners we give tips on how to plan for destination races and how to coordinate with your runner on race day.

We've kept the e-commerce page, along with dedicated website, up for a while but feel it's now time to close them down and migrate things to this site. The good news is the book will now be offered as a free download. Go ahead and grab a copy!

Check out the new Race Chase Page here on Team Tizzel, click on the book image in the right side-bar, or use this link to get your copy today.

If you have one of those Little Rascal moments where you enjoy what you see and want to "pay as you exit" please feel free to donate any amount of money to our Charity of The Month listed in the right side-bar.

Monday, April 6, 2015

April Charity of the Month: John Paul II Medical Research Institute

Charity of the Month is the way Team Tizzel is helping to support some very worthy organizations. As part of this program, we dedicate a post to a charity that we will sponsor through the month by donating Holly's training run money.

March: We sponsored Stillbrave to help children that are fighting many form of cancers. We will be donating $125 plus a matching gift to Stillbrave through their online link at

April's Charity:

John Paul II Medical Research Institute

Remember the excitement surrounding The ALS Association's Ice Bucket Challenge last year? Many people rallied around a worthy cause that raised over $115 million to help those with the disease and hopefully to help find a cure.

When we participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge we were doing so in the name of all people impacted by the disease. At that time we did not personally know anyone with ALS. A couple of days after we filmed our video Dave learned a friend of his from college had ALS. Five months later Dave's friend Bob passed away.

Bob wished that any donations made in his name would go to the John Paul II Medical Research Institute. So to honor Bob we are dedicating April to his charity of choice.

About the institute:
The John Paul II Medical Research Institute is a 501 (c) (3) organization that was founded in 2007 by Dr. Alan Moy. It is a secular organization that is grounded in a pro-life bioethic that respects the dignity of every human life. The Institute has chosen a name honoring the late pontiff, blessed John Paul II, that clearly demonstrates this unwavering commitment to the culture of life. More than 300 institutes and organizations engage in and support human embryonic stem cell research. The John Paul II Medical Research Institute advocates for medical research that recognizes the dignitiy of human life from the moment of conception to natural death. Also, the Institute advocates a new paradigm in research to address deficiencies in medical research and unmet medical needs.

Research Themes

  • Regenerative Medicine-Chronic pulmonary disease.
  • Neurodegenerative disease (e.g. ALS, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, ADHD, Autsim and other brain diseases). To review progress report of research on Alzheimer's, please download report.
  • Personalized Cancer Therapy Research.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Holly on The Mickey Miles Podcast Episode 262

Holly joins Mike and Michelle to talk about her decision to run her first marathon, and her decision to run marathons in all 50 States.

Holly's race reports and videos are available from the grey menu items below our site banner (look for the bear).

You can find Mickey Miles Podcast on iTunes and visit their webpage at

You can listen to Holly's episode directly from this page by using the widget below. Enjoy!