Friday, July 31, 2009

Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale

You know what sucks? Well, I'm going to tell you. Buying new tires for a car that I don't own and need to return to VW Credit in 9 months. But I guess safety first, right? And shit, another very expensive thing to buy that I hadn't intended on buying. But I bit the bullet and ordered from Costco the cheapest tires that meet the safety standards of the car (otherwise these dudes wouldn't install them).

After the tires were delivered to Costco, I strategically planned to have them actually installed yesterday. You see, my wife is going out of the country for a few days, and I'll be home alone with just my three year old and my beer. The strategy came into play because across the street from Costco, walking distance despite the 8 lane highway, is BFF Total Wine, where I could kill the 1.5 hour installation time looking for a few new gems to check out. And I picked up a handful.

Let the drinking begin. Today I'm starting out with Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale brewed by Rogue Ales in Newport, Oregon. Wow, that's a mouthful and I haven't cracked big 22 open yet. So off to Google to see what that hell some of these Japanese words mean; at least I'm guessing Japanese since this beer is branded Morimoto. OK so Japanese it is. Japanese writing on the cap, too. Obi = sash, so we've got the black sash (could it be black belt like karate?) part of it. Soba = type of thin Japanese noodle, and the label of the bottle said there is roasted soba in the ingredients. (BTW, I don't care if you like me using Wikipedia as a factual resource or not, and the one about Soba is not even documented with references. If someone has the time to put fake soba entries into Wiki, then they are really lame.) So we have the Black Obi version of Rogue's Soba Ale, which is supposedly richer and has some other distinctions according to the bottle.

This beer has a rich, nutty caramel and light coffee aroma. Smells delicious. There is an immediate nutty and malty flavor, along with some roasted notes. Then you taste some good hoppiness as it comes in and balances those flavors out nicely. There is then some bubbly action in your mouth, kind've different. And you can also taste a little bit of spiciness, but it's some flowery spice, one I don't have in my kitchen or I'd try to figure it out. The one thing I was surprised about was that it wasn't nearly as full-bodied as the aroma led me on to believe it would be (and that's not the first time I've been led on like that). Light-medium body, very smooth and pretty refreshing considering the smoky and roasted flavors left on my palate. I liked it!

Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking

Chef Morimoto Iron Chef Morimoto Japanese Premium Chili Miso Sauce, 8-Ounce Bottle (Pack of 3)

Polar F4 (Berry Color) (Small Transmitter 28-40 Inch Chest) Heart Rate Monitor for Women. Great for Exercise and Fitness.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

BridgePort India Pale Ale

I was thinking about the bottled water industry while I was in that aisle at Publix a few days ago. On Saturday mornings, the protocol is to go to Publix and buy the week's groceries, and on the way fill up with gas at the local "you can't use debit to buy a lottery ticket"-Hess station. Being hurricane season, one of the precautions I insist upon with my wife is to always keep the tanks at least half full. That way, you are not screwed should you be desperate for gas (and I get to keep the 20 gallons in the garage for when we blow through that reserve). BTW, 2.5 months after telling me that they launched an official inquiry into my lotto incident, I have received zero input from Hess corporate. I guess they have internal bureaucracy too. I continue to use my debit card to by lottery tickets at another gas station, and they will get a fat check from the Florida Lottery when I win.

Back to the water. Probably almost best case scenario, you can buy generic spring water at $5 for a 24-pack of 12 ounce bottles. That's 2.25 gallons. Follow me here. That's about $2.22 per gallon, very slightly less than the cost of a gallon of gasoline. And people are buying them at a dollar or more per bottle in some places, unbelievable! Really? If you buy bottled water for anything except hurricane backup when water is a luxury or your supply is contaminated for some reason, maybe (a BIG MAYBE) for convenience at the beach, or if you live in Mexico or some other third-world country, I don't believe you have the right to openly bitch about the price of gas. Reuse one or two of those bottles with water from the tap, with water from your refrigerator filter, or buy a stronger filter for your sink if those are not good enough for you. Stop being so spoiled! Not to mention the wastefulness of making the plastics and the un-greenness of it all, which is the least of my concerns. So that's the thought of the day.

I just started drinking BridgePort India Pale Ale brewed by Oregon's Oldest Craft Brewery, BridgePort Brewing Company in Portland, Oregon. This is the second of four beers to come back from Texas (it's not available here in Florida). While having a difficult time loading their website in Firefox, I stumbled across quite a few references to this brewery being linked to the Gambrinus Company. Yep, they own this brand. Hopefully they've kept the traditional craft ideals and kept giant dad from intruding. Let's see.

There is a quite nice citrus and caramel aroma. Hoppy to start with a bit of pine and citrus flavors too. However, this beer doesn't have the grapefruit and astringency that a lot of IPA's have. It's more on the lighter side of the style, missing some kick and bite. Don't get me wrong, the hops are good and it is very nicely balanced. There is a little lemon as the beer progresses. Medium carbonation is right on. The finish and aftertaste leave a slight bitterness. Solid beer. Don't go to the effort my friend did to bring it to Florida, but if it's available where you live, it's worth a shot.

Brita Water Pitcher Replacement Filter

Mayday Ready to Roll Full Emergency First Aid, Search & Rescue, Emergency, CERT Kit

iTouchless Stainless-Steel Hands-Free 13-Gallon Infrared Automatic Trash Can

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Saint Arnold Summer Pils

My mother was here this past weekend, and as happens every time our family gets together, we do a little drinking and play a lot of games of Scrabble. The games are usually very competitive, yet still friendly with only the occasional argument. We let each other use the dictionary to find the crazy unknown words and basically have a good time.

But when my mother threw up the word "gallow" on a triple word score explaining it was the singular of gallows, that's where the line had to be drawn. Before she had even put the w down yet, I was already challenging gallo, which made the w even funnier. Wasn't Gallo one of the fake last names of My Cousin Vinny? Ooh, Marisa Tomei! Anyway, my mom's innocent act was convincing enough, but the bottom line is to keep a close eye on things. I like to win!

Big props to one of my coworkers who brought me back some beers from one of his trips to Texas, beers that I'd likely never see here in Florida otherwise. The one I chose for today is Saint Arnold Summer Pils brewed by Saint Arnold Brewing Company in Houston, Texas. Apparently Saint Arnold is the Patron Saint of Brewers and lived from 580 to 640. The label also tells you about a miracle at his funeral involving a never-ending mug of beer. Sweet!

The aroma is pretty distinct and unique. It's grainy, bready and has a slightly sweet tartness to it. The beer shows off some grainy, malty and dark fruits in the beginning. I also taste some berry flavors, maybe raspberries. Then a fairly strong carbonation delivers some strong hops and lemon flavors, providing a nice little bite. A little pepper spiciness and you are all done, finishing fairly dry on your palate. Very drinkable, and I must say this is one of the best pilseners I've had. It is WAY better than most I've had mainly because you don't get that skunky smell and flavor in there. But nice flavors and balance too.


The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary

Razor A2 Kick Scooter (Multiple Colors)

Marisa Tomei signed 8x10 Photo (Actress, My Cousin Vinny - Mona Lisa Vito)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bison Organic IPA

So Michael Vick is out of jail and already well on his way to reinstatement in the NFL. Let's see which teams are willing to put up with the media hype and criticism for signing this guy. I can think of a few teams that don't even blink about hiring troublemakers and convicts, like the Cowboys, so Vick should have a job pretty soon.

I was thinking how cool it would be if the team that picks him up has the Cleveland Browns on their schedule this year. That way, the Dawg Pound would give some irony to his visit. The people that sit in that area are already pretty ridiculously riled up for each game, so throwing gasoline on the fire might go beyond insanity. As the story goes, the Browns' defense in the 80's used dog versus cat imagery to get them pumped up, which makes his potential visit even more interesting considering the opposing quarterback is the cat. One more outloud thought--what if Vick went to play for the Browns? That would be a funny twist!

Tonight I'm having Bison Organic IPA brewed by Bison Brewing in Chico, California. The bottle is bragging organic all over the place and the website takes that to another level. Beyond the organicness, you would probably not have guessed that this brewery announced a Carbon Offset Program. Wow! I guess live and let live. As long as the beer is good.

OK. So there is a nice citrus and grapefruit aroma, not super powerful but it has a good presence. The flavors provide a fairly powerful grapefruit and lemony opening. For sure there is a bitter bite but that is balanced by some sweeter elements, maybe a hint of caramel. The 6.8% alcohol content does show up as the beer progresses, but mostly it just provides an ever-so-slight warming factor. This beer is crisp, cleansing and refreshing. The finish is still bitter and a little drier. Pretty nice beer!

The Official Vick's Dog Chew Toy

Wilson F1100 Official NFL Game Football

Fossil Dallas Cowboys Men's Applied Watch

Monday, July 27, 2009

St. Terese's Pale Ale

How was all y'all's weekend (I was at a conference one time where this super-duper southern dude from Georgia opened up his presentation explaining that was the plural of y'all)? Mine was good, thanks for asking. It rained a lot, but that was OK as I got to see my Phillies on TV Saturday (Fox) and Sunday (TNT). I guess you get your games televised when you're the World Champions! And these guys are really on a roll now--J-Ro put up a 5 for 5 including a grand slam Saturday and even the .200 hitters are hitting well.

I also got to see a few classic movies. I love Bill Murray in Meatballs, especially when he's explaining how they import 200 hookers from around the world for Sexual Awareness Week. Great Flick! I also caught the original Vacation with Chevy Chase. There are way too many favorite parts of that movie. When the mechanic suggests Clark has manure for brains, Cousin Eddie ponders the "helper" part of hamburger helper, Clark flipping out on the Moose. Funny stuff.

I dropped my little boy off with his grandmother at the airport earlier today. He'll be spending the next two weeks with my parents in Pennsylvania and New Jersey (assuming US Airways eventually takes off from their already-delayed flight). This will be the first time he's been away from both of his parents for more than a day or two. I guess we'll see some changes around here too, so hopefully we and his little brother wont miss him too much. Should be a good and fun experience though. My father has big plans for them.

I just started drinking St. Terese's Pale Ale brewed by Highland Brewing Company in Asheville, North Carolina. They have a nice little slogan on their label, "Just a wee bit different." I love breweries that push the boundaries a little bit.

Light, sweet, malty aroma with a touch of fruitiness. The flavors start out slightly sweet with some caramel and maltiness. But then some hops come in and provide a bitter balance to those flavors. Nice. There are some earthy, grassy and lemon flavors as well, and the bitter hops keep coming back to give a nice little bite. Medium carbonation, crisp, refreshing. If the flavors were slightly more prounounced, I'd have liked this beer better. But it was a pretty good beer all around.

Meatballs (Special Edition)

Chase Utley Philadelphia Phillies Replica Home Jersey

Chevy Chase "Caddyshack" 16" x 20" Unframed Black & White Photograph

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Summerfest Lager

You will probably recall that I mentioned a few weeks ago that my Facebook account was disabled. I immediately appealed after rereading their Terms of Use, at which point I received a message that they got my email and a note saying "We should get back to you soon." Now I don't know what their definition of "soon" is but I am guessing that it's not what you or I would consider timely. So fifteen days later, I replied to that message asking for some clarifications and to have my account reestablished. Within a day, one of their operations people, who I assume have to deal with this type of shit every single day, wrote back.

It was news to me, but apparently my account was "fake". Wow! I slapped myself to see if I was still alive and breathing, and gave some serious thought to see if maybe the hundreds of hours I spent talking to beer lovers about beer, establishing relationships with breweries around the country, praising the beer brands and styles I liked, having some fun with my friends, and basically being a very non-intrusive, friendly, nice guy was real. Could this have all happened in my imagination?

"Facebook requires users to provide their real first and last names." OK, great. That's cool, so I'll just change and edit the same name I use here, "Beer Drinker", to the name on my birth certificate, and all will be fine in the land of Facebook. Right? Wrong! "We will not be able to reactivate this account for any reason. This decision is final." What?

So then I re-appealed the final decision, hardly expecting these guys to even read my new note. My re-appeal was mainly phrased in the form of a suggestion to Facebook on how they treat their users. I mean, really, why couldn't I just change my name? And how about when I signed up as Beer Drinker? I didn't get some pop-up warning to remind me of the terms that I agreed to, suggesting I use my given name. Do any of you really read the mile-long terms of use? If I treated my customers like these dudes did to me (and I guarantee countless others), I'd be fired and my company out of business. A simple warning in the beginning would surely save Facebook tons of money dealing with issues like this and have so many (now account-disabled) people still actively doing what Facebook wants in the first place, "connect[ing] and shar[ing] with the people in your life." And they'd have a lot more people reading their ads and making them money. Seems illogical!

But I did get another response, and apparently I was doing (in their estimation) something "misleading", which could include misrepresenting myself, my age, or my affiliation with any person or entity. Jesus H. Christ! Is "Beer Drinker" that misleading? I am a beer drinker, and again why would it be so damaging to allow me to change my name to come into compliance with these rules? My age? I didn't mislead. My affiliations? Again nope. And again, "Please be aware that this decision is absolutely final."

Of course, I didn't let it die there. I suggested to them again that they let me edit my name and have my account reestablished. However, I also thought out loud in my response to them that probably 50% of my hundreds of friends would soon be on the chopping block for the same reason. First name, cool beer-related nickname. The brewery they work for as their name. The organization they work for as their name. So if that's you, beware. Facebook will shut you down for not using your birth certificate name.

Why do I care? I care about great customer service, and this Facebook group provided zero of that. More than two weeks for a response, no way to rectify a seemingly silly situation, randomly selecting some people over others to deactivate. Will I cry? No. Would I have liked to stay? Sure, no doubt. I made friends and found friends that were helpful in my life and goals. But, you know what? I'll just continue to write solid, sarcastic and entertaining content and let my buddy Google make sure you guys all find me. End of story.

This afternoon I'm drinking Summerfest Lager brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California. Some of their beers are absolutely terrific, while some others are just bland and average. Let's hope for the great kind today.

Extremely light aroma--floral and a little fruity. The flavors are also very weak. You taste some earthy and grassy flavors right away followed by some lemon and spices. Some hops and bitterness then come into play before a dry finish and a little bit of a metallic aftertaste. The medium-upper level carbonation is also a factor and very noticeable considering how weak and watery the rest of the beer is. Crisp and drinkable are about the only positives I can give. Find something else as there are lots of better beers out there.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day

5.0 Mega Pixel USB PC Camera Webcam w/ Mic

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chipotle Ale

I never realized how expensive mattresses are until the past week. We had to convert my youngest son's crib into a bed and buy a full size mattress for it. Even the simplest of mattresses cost between $300 and $400 each, plus you need a box spring, too.

But while I was in college, at least there were some super creative ways that my roommates and fellow students got some extra use out of old dead mattresses before they went to mattress heaven. My sophomore year in college, there was a massive blizzard on campus and everything was shut down for days. People were out and about, using the roads as cross-country skiing trails, making their way to friends' apartments, stores and bars. It was really quite a fun experience. But one street in Ithaca, Buffalo Street, was a 45 degree angle from the top on campus all the way down into downtown Ithaca. With no snow removed from the road, no traffic at all, and cars parked on both sides of the street, it was the perfect sled riding course. The snow-covered cars provided great banking to keep you in the middle. That's when a handful of geniuses decided 10 people per mattress would make an excellent sled. I must say it looked like a hell of a lot of fun, but I do remember them being fairly out of control, people and dogs dodging out of the way at the last second, and a few injuries. But, green people rejoice, they were reusing something before sending it to the mattress graveyard.

My senior year, another creative use. I moved into a house with one of my friends. So it was the two of us and twelve (give or take a few) other roommates. Now half of these dudes were in their own bands, sang in the a cappella groups on campus, and jammed in the house attic "band" all the time. When I signed onto the lease, I saw the actual clause where they had crossed off the "no loud music" portion of it, and actually had the landlord's blessing and initials, too. But these guys were also smart, and didn't want problems with the neighbors and police. I swear there were about 30 old used mattresses around every wall of the attic to insulate the noise from the outside. It was very effective. Who knew mattresses were so versatile? Anyway, I still wonder where so many used mattresses came from.

Today I have an hour or so of peace while my kids get some new shoes and sandals. I'm just about to crack open big 22 Chipotle Ale brewed by Rogue Ales in Newport, Oregon. The bottle label, as usual, is very cool and unique. It also says this beer is "dedicated to Spanish author Juan de la Cueva, who, in 1575, wrote of a Mexican dish that combined seedless chipotles with ale."

There is a nice malty, and spicy pepper aroma. The first flavors are smoky and have lots of chili peppers. Malts and spicy black pepper flavors also are key in this beer. The chilies provide a definite burn in your mouth and are still going strong as the beer progresses, finishes and leaves an aftertaste on your palate. Carbonation is medium and complementary. I guess this beer is about as smooth and drinkable as I could expect considering the ingredients. However, I must say that this beer and its spiciness are pretty harsh, despite my love for spicy things. The spicy chilies and smoky flavors just dominate everything. Unique for sure; very different; worth a try and it will definitely provide a bang in your mouth!

AeroBed Premier Classic with Comfort Zone Coils

Wii Rock Band 2 Special Edition

Trivial Pursuit the Beatles Trivial Pursuit

Friday, July 24, 2009

Festina Pêche

Wow! Vacation day today but it's 2:30 in the afternoon and I am beat! The morning started with my mother making green eggs for my son. Then, after all the usual morning crap that needed to get done, I went to the driving range with my mother and two kids. CB Smith Park in Pembroke Pines has everything: batting cages, driving range, miniature golf, tennis courts, a great water park, boating, etc. We decided to play 18 holes of mini golf first. It's really unbelievable how much my kids don't listen or take instructions. My seven year old needed to be reminded at least 50 times as he was putting that he is right handed. My three year old just wanted to keep picking up all of the balls. So by the time we were done our round, we were all exhausted and super sweaty.

I couldn't think of a better way to relax from that than to order a large bucket of balls for the driving range. I was in a pretty good groove today with my driver. But by the time I hit 150 balls or so, yelled at both kids a few dozen times to stay away from the swinging clubs, and letting them both take a few swings with clubs that are taller than they are, I was definitely beat. And dripping wet considering the 90 degree weather and super humidity. A sweaty mess.

Needless to say, I got a few looks from the other patrons at Wendy's and Total Wine, where I had only a few minutes to pick out a couple new beers. The main reason for the stop, though, was to pick up a few specific bottles of Malbec that my wife had requested. The dude that helped me find those bottles was laughing at me because he thought I was lost in the beer section while looking for the wine. But... I wasn't lost. I was prioritizing what products I needed first (hint, it was the beer). Anyway, he showed me exactly what I wanted. Nice guy.

I still had a few new beers at home, but decided that one I got today, the Festina Pêche brewed by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware, was the winning choice for today's review. (Thanks to this Penn State web page for giving me the circumflex code for Peche). I am a big fan of Dogfish Head and love their slogan "Off-centered stuff for off-centered people". I'm thinking their employees are just a little different there. The bottle also says, "This unique, tart and refreshing brew is so down with the dog days of summer."

The aroma is peaches and some slight maltiness. Smells sweet. OMG! as the teeny boppers say. This beer is super tart and has so much lemon and citrus flavors that I made that face normally associated with sucking a lemon. Very sour. You do eventually taste a small amount of peach, but I'll tell you that by the time I finished this beer, I was hoping some miracle would occur that would bring me some more peach and some more sweetness to balance this beer out. Lots of carbonation, not easy to drink and you never get used to that tartness. The beer is not complex, but it's a little tough to figure out. I did not like this beer even slightly.

TaylorMade Men's Burner 460 Ti Driver

Maui Jim Kahuna 162 Sunglasses

Festina Women's Tour de France Watch F16274/1

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Longboard Island Lager

Listen up, Northeasterners, or those of you that are game for more than just a simple weekend road trip. I have a recommendation for a place to visit, if you haven't already checked it off of your list of must-see places.

Have you ever been to Newport, Rhode Island? I've been there a handful of times with friends and my wife, and I must admit it is one of my favorite little towns to just relax in. This is probably the perfect time of year to visit there as well, as they have beaches, fishing, the cliff walk alongside all the famous and spectacular mansions, beautiful photography opportunities, places to sit and eat out on the restaurant decks, and lots of history packed into a tiny little town. And those are just the highlights. Very cool place. Even doing the entire cliff walk one freezing March with my wife was an unforgettable experience, so if you haven't had the chance to visit, check it out. Heck, make it a longer trip and visit Boston and Providence, too. And you New York City people and others approaching from that direction, my other recommendation is to just skip the casinos in Connecticut on the way up and back. You already know what happens there and no, you can't beat the odds.

I'm taking tomorrow off, so let the weekend begin! I'm starting with Longboard Island Lager brewed by Kona Brewery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for Kona Brewery in Kona, Hawaii. The story on the label talks about Waikiki as the birthplace of longboard surfing. Isn't that where Magnum did his gig, too? Or maybe that's just where he went to meet the ladies. Whatever!

Very faint aroma--mainly floral and slightly malty. The flavors are also extremely weak and watery. There is some earthiness, some hops, some cut grass, and some malt. The beer is overly carbonated and leaves a metallic aftertaste. Its one attribute is that it's refreshing. For me, it tastes like one of the big three mass beers. I could forgive that, but only if you buy me a plane ticket to Waikiki.

Secret Providence & Newport: The Unique Guidebook to Providence & Newport's Hidden Sites, Sounds & Tastes

Coleman 9949-750 Road Trip Grill, Red

P90X Extreme Home Fitness with Tony Horton - Set of 13 DVDs, Calendar, Fitness Guide, Nutrition Guide, & Workout Log

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hazelnut Brown Nectar

I recently came up with another genius plan to get beer not available here in South Florida. I went to the product line offered by Total Wine in Orlando only to find 50+ beers and around a dozen breweries that I have no access to in my local stores. Same state, so I've beaten the three tiered system and found a solution, right? Wrong! Apparently I missed a middle man in there somewhere and I need a locally licensed distributor to step up and have the product available in the territory where I live. The Total Wine guy that keeps having to deal with me is cool though, and I appreciate it. But this just keeps on getting better! So in my area, Gold Coast Beverage Distributors is the major player that I need to buddy up with. From what I've heard, they've bought out a bunch of smaller distributors and made a business decision to cut some of their offerings. So I sent them an email requesting that they expand that line again to bring a larger selection to South Florida. I can't believe how isolated we are here! Let's see what kind of reply I get, and I'll be sure to let you know. I hate this middle man system, if I neglected to mention that.

But really, no worries as I'll be going to Nickelodeon in Orlando anyway in around a month. (I'll say hello to Spongebob for you RH). I guess it would have been nice not to have to shop on my vacation, prepare a plan for what to get, and explain to my wife the three tier system (and the two cases in the trunk). But it's the next best thing, and I was given the store manager's name and number to help me through it. All Total Wine guy wanted to know is if I'd be driving my black Trans Am. And I could have done that, but then I'd have been left with a choice between my family or the beer!

Right now I'm drinking Hazelnut Brown Nectar brewed by Rogue Ales in Newport, Oregon. Speaking of Rogue, I just can't stop thinking about the Somer Orange Honey Ale of theirs that I had last week, which was absolutely terrific. Here's to hoping for another delicious beer like that one. Here we go with big 22.

There is a nutty and sweet caramel aroma, which is not shocking. Hazelnut to start things out with very malty flavors as well. There are also slight caramel and coffee flavors in there, too. I must say that this beer has a much lighter body than I was expecting, yet it is creamy smooth in my mouth. A slight amount of bitterness then comes in to balance the initial sweetness. Repeat the process--it's a pretty simple beer. Carbonation is low, and if there is any alcohol in this, I didn't taste it. The finish and aftertaste are mostly the same and subtle, malt and nuts, then gone. This was a very good beer. If it had a bigger body and tasted thicker and lasted on my palate a bit longer, I'd say delicious. Another winner from Rogue.

Coppertone Sunless Tanning Moisturizing Lotion, Gradual Tan, 9-Ounce Pump Bottles (Pack of 2)

Diners, Drive-ins and Dives: An All-American Road Trip . . . with Recipes! (Food Network)

Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy [Blu-ray]

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Gordon

Wow! What a week so far, and it's only Tuesday. Yesterday, my seven year old was introduced to the darker side of the dentist's office. He got to see the dentist and not just the dental hygienist--goodbye Mr. Thirsty, the spit sucker; hello Dr. Drill on his back molar. The dentist was cool, explained everything, and told him what to expect. That didn't stop the dentist from calling in his backup hygienist to keep my kid's mouth pried open and his tongue out of the way. Was only 20 minutes to repair a minor imperfection, but as for my son, he's probably all set for group therapy. He was actually a really good kid, but who likes the dentist anyway?

Today, I needed to take the same son to the eye doctor to make sure he was seeing clearly. The optometrist put him through many tests that he passed quite easily, but listening to the exchanges between doctor and little boy was so funny. First, deciding which view was better, "1 or 2" then "2 or 3". When my son finally figured out what the guy wanted him to do, he said "2 is more better" to which the doctor replied, "2 or 3, which is more better?" Good stuff, following his lead. But the next comment I think caught the doc off guard. He put 3D glasses on my son and asked him to point to the ball in a book that was closer and above the others, to which he got "you mean the one with no gravity?" Come on, Dr. Eye, you should be more sophisticated with your questions. (I wasn't quite as surprised as our night time reading includes favorites Space & Science, 100 Mummies, Natural Disasters, and Ancient Egypt). Finally, pupil dilation with the promise of some dark glasses to protect his eyes from the sunshine. To which the optometrist got the response, "So then we're supposed to bring them back to you later?" When he saw how crappy those things were, he understood why we could just keep them. Anyway, no glasses.

Finally, beer. The most expensive beer in a can that I have ever purchased, with maybe a few sporting event exceptions where they really screw you for a Bud Lite. I am speaking about Gordon, a double IPA brewed by Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, Colorado. I have had one other beer from this brewery and thoroughly enjoyed Dale's Pale Ale. Gordon was named after Gordon Knight, a Colorado craft beer pioneer. There's lots of other stuff on the label too. BIG. RED. STICKY. on one side and on the other side [can'o bliss. satisfy ya.]

Big, hoppy grapefruit aroma. Very nice. There is a sweet opening to the flavors with some caramel at first. Then big brother bitter comes in to bite you with grapefruit, lemon and hops. The bitterness is not overpowering though. There are also some pine and spicy flavors in the mix. After sweet then bitter, both great, the flavors actually just disappear very quickly. A slight alcohol flavor is present, but at 8.7% it is almost completely masked. The finish is sticky and a little drier. Great flavors and an all around good beer. And it doesn't break on the pool deck.

Crest Whitestrips Supreme Professional Strength 84 strips

Ray-Ban RB 2132 New Wayfarer sunglasses

Mr. Thirsty Super Absorbent Synthetic Towel

Monday, July 20, 2009

Steelhead India Pale Ale

Any of you seen the show on Comedy Central Tosh.O that is on Thursdays at 10? That is one funny and sarcastic half hour, making fun of online videos and posts, etc. I was watching an episode a few nights ago where Daniel Tosh picked out a few great questions from Yahoo Answers and highlighted them. Something like Q: If I stop having sex, will my vagina eventually close shut completely? Best A: No! and Q: Why wont my dog eat my (I think it was) diarrhea? A: Why are you feeding your dog your diarrhea? A2: That's not the question I asked!

Anyway, it's much funnier than just these two I (sort of) remember, so give it a shot. Lots of clips, videos from the internet, and other crazy stuff. I guess this show could be the sister of Jackass, which is also pure entertainment. Johnny Knoxville was getting hit in the ass with oranges thrown by Jai Alai players the other day. Genius.

Today I'm drinking Steelhead India Pale Ale, a Double IPA brewed by Mad River Brewing Company in Blue Lake, California. The label says "From the Heart of the Redwoods".

There is a very nice citrusy grapefruit and hoppy aroma, with a little malt in there too. The flavors unexpectedly start out sweet and malty with some caramel mixed in, but shortly afterward the hops, grapefruit and lemon flavors come in and start a fight. This beer is also a little spicy with black pepper and you taste some pine flavors as well. Medium body and carbonation, and a good amount of bitterness too, about right on all three areas. The 8.6% alcohol content also makes itself known along the way, a little more noticeable that I'd have liked, but not bad. You end with a dry and bitter aftertaste that lasts quite a while. Pretty smooth beer and nice flavors all around. Check it out!

Jackass Number Two (Unrated)

South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season

Too Fat to Fish

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Redpoint Ale

One of my friends recently got called for jury duty and was all pissed off about it. He was trying to figure out how to get out of it, which I think is a very typical response to that notice in the mail. Remember, though, it's actually an honor and a duty to serve in that capacity, so instead of being angry, figure out how to get past the small intrusion on your life and job, and go into the court with a positive attitude. You wouldn't want anyone to get a trial like those American journalists in North Korea and Iran, so your presence is essential.

I've served on jury duty three times. The first was in Yonkers, NY City Court. After they got through their terribly disorganized selection process, I was an alternate juror on a criminal assault case. Basically, a trouble-maker teenager was being chased by two cops and he ducked into a building in his apartment complex, allegedly flushed some pot down a toilet, and when he was confronted by the two cops (when someone finally let them in the door), there was a struggle. Apparently one of the cops got hurt during that struggle. All very believable events. However, one fact that came out during trial was that the hurt cop was around 500 pounds and the kid on trial was about 125, which made some circumstances change. During testimony, one of the jurors started crying and we had a recess. She was dismissed apparently because some of the testimony related to something that happened to her personally. So I was an instant non-alternate, and actually after testimony was over became the foreman. The one other thing I remember about that trial was taking notes for two straight days only to be reprimanded by the judge and having my notes confiscated. Apparently that was a no-no (and I wish they'd have said something sooner). In the end, the kid got convicted on one of five charges, the least serious.

Jury duty two was in Miami-Dade County Court. Now this waiting room, although you couldn't leave, had movies to keep us busy courtesy of the tax payers. I caught My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Maid in Manhattan that morning before being called. Felony drunk driving case. When questioned by the defendant's lawyer prior to final jury selection, I honestly answered his questions. I told him that I thought I could be impartial but that I felt drunk driving laws were about 100 times too lenient based on an experience my grandmother and great-grandmother had being hit. I guess I was not a good bet for his guy facing 20 years. Not selected and released with a certificate of participation and the gratitude of the court.

Jury duty three was in Broward County Court. As I was being called with 20-30 other potential jurors to be questioned, the case was resolved with some kind of deal. That's all we were told and we were given a pat on the back on the way out. Released again.

Today's brew is Redpoint Ale brewed by one of my favorite breweries, Avery Brewing Company in Boulder, Colorado. They put a nice little quote on the side of the bottle. "Redpoint Ale. Ahhh, Success!! It's taken a lot of time and effort to create this unique, rich red ale with a distinct hop bouquet. Enjoy our achievement in celebration of your own accomplishments. Cheers!" I think I'll do just that.

Malty, a little floral and slightly hoppy aroma. The flavors start out malty and earthy, with some slightly sweet caramel hints. You can also taste a little roasted and nutty flavor. Then the hops come in and give this beer a decent bite. Medium-upper level carbonation is noticeable. The finish is a little dry and there is a metallic aftertaste as well. Good simple beer, but not a favorite and not one of the best from Avery.

Mental Floss Presents Be Amazing: Glow in the Dark, Control the Weather, Perform Your Own Surgery, Get Out of Jury Duty, Identify a Witch, Colonize a Nation, ... Girl, Make a Zombie, Start Your Own Religion

3 x 5 ft US United States Nylon Flag Embroidered stars - sewn stripes
Contempt of Court Pepper Hot Sauce, Judicial Flavors, 6 fl oz

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Purple Haze

So the Sears Tower is now the Willis Tower, huh? I bet a lot of people in Chicago are psyched about that. But whatever, I don't know why people are so in love with the Sears name and even attach it to that building anymore. Sears bolted for the suburbs in 1992 meaning they've been absent from that building for almost as long as they once occupied it. Maybe it's time for some new blood in there. Personally, I will call it the Willis Tower and act like I don't know what people are talking about if they mention the Sears Tower. That's the way to make friends and influence people.

However, I do know what they are going through. Despite not really caring one way or the other, I still live 5 miles from Dolphin Stadium and don't think the words Landshark Stadium have left my mouth yet (minus jokes). I still call some female high school friends by their maiden names, which they love as well. Sentimentality.

This afternoon I'm drinking Purple Haze, a raspberry wheat beer brewed by Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs, Louisiana. After watching some old performances, I'm guessing this beer wasn't the inspiration for Jimi Hendrix and his Purple Haze. Use your imagination. Anyway, it's super-duper hot outside so I'm hoping this is refreshing and delicious all rolled into one beer.

There is a raspberry, candy-like aroma to Purple Haze. Lots of raspberry and wheat flavors open up this Abita Experience. It starts out sweet and a bit tart, then some powerful carbonation drives that down a little bit until the sweetness disappears leaving only a decent raspberry aftertaste in your mouth. The drinkability is very good, although a few more and the raspberry surely would be extremely annoying. To sum this beer up: light-bodied, fruity with carbonated (artesian) water, lots of water. Was a decent beer but my impression is that Abita had non-beer drinkers and even beer haters in the back of their minds when brewing it. "Hmmm. Maybe we can convert some new customers."

Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix

LEGO Architecture Sears Tower

Jimi Hendrix Incense- Spanish Castle Magic

Friday, July 17, 2009

Two Hearted Ale

Online shopping is great for many reasons. Convenience, price shopping, selection, etc. But probably one of the greatest reasons is so you can buy things privately without bumping into your neighbor in the drug store line with your pregnancy test or newest sex toy. I am not talking from experience, but certainly have an imagination. Those old commercials that promised discreet shipping in an unmarked box or your next Penthouse magazine coming in privacy packaging really had something going on.

As an affiliate of Amazon.com I was looking at some of the products that they have available online yesterday, and I think that many fall into these embarrassing categories. I'm going to show you a handful of examples from a few different categories so you know what I'm talking about. If you are interested in seeing the products, click them. Or don't. It's amazing how everything is available online!

Sex.

Berman Center Athena Waterproof Mini Massager

K-Y Intense Arousal Gel For Her .34fl-Ounce Boxes

Doc Johnson Lucid Dream #14 Multi-Speed, Waterproof G-Spot Vibrator, Twist-bottom Control


Bondage.

Black Leather Wrist and Ankle Cuffs Restraints Bondage

30 Inch Black Leather Studded Flogger Whip


Apparel.

Crotchless French Knickers.

California Exotics Vibrating Clitorus with Crotchless Panty

Sneak Peek 2-pc. Set.


Personal Health.

Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor Test Sticks, 30-Count Box

THC Marijuana Dip Test (10 tests)

Alcohawk Precision Digital Alcohol Breath Tester

Depends adjustable underwear Small/Medium, Case of Four-18 Count (72 Pants)


How-to Information.

How to Enlarge your penis

Sex/How to: Nina Hartley's Guide to Better Cunnilingus DVD PLUS ID Juicy Lube Sexual Lubricant

The Anal Sex Position Guide: The Best Positions for Easy, Exciting, Mind-Blowing Pleasure

There are probably a hundred more categories and thousands of products in each of those. I am just too innocent to know what they are. Enlighten me.

So after you guys get your whips, KY, marijuana drug test, crotchless panties and how-to books, be glad you got them delivered to you in an unmarked box. You can buy anything online. And don't forget to lock the door to your house. Your neighbors are still nosy.

Friday night. Time for my Two Hearted Ale brewed by Bell's Brewery in Comstock, Michigan. The label says it's an IPA and you know, I never in a million years would have guessed that this beer was an IPA from its packaging or label (except where it told me). So I was pleasantly surprised as I am really IPA ready.

Floral, hoppy and citrus aroma with a touch of maltiness in there. Wow! Quite the bitter lemon and grapefruit citrus punch to start things out flavor-wise. A little rough, although it was nice after a few sips and turned out to be a plus. Good bite! Some pine flavors are also present. There is a decent amount of carbonation and the 7% alcohol content is present but good. Crisp, refreshing, cleans the palate. It also ends a bit drier with a slight metallic and alcohol aftertaste. I guess I'm on the fence with this one. It was good, but there are other IPA's I like better. See you tomorrow!