Monthly Archives: June 2012

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “BP” Edition

Howdy folks, and welcome to another Friday. My my, where does the week go sometimes? (Other than spending too much time at work, working around projects at the house, etc. Well, that… and tinkering around in the brewery trying to come up with new recipes to brew)
So, let’s see what this particular day brings us, shall we? And when we get to the end, we’ll cover what that BP up there in the title really stands for.

  1. Now I know that this can come across as harsh, or cold… but I’m a big believer in the theory that “Stupid should hurt”. That’s the universe’s way of telling you that you are frankly, being stupid. And I have to say… I think a story about a man being charged after shooting marbles at a police speed cameraprobably fits the bill. Did you not think they would figure out it was you? What part of “camera” made you think they wouldn’t be able to spot you?
  2. Of course, not to be outdone by their neighbor to the north, 4 people in North Carolina were upset with the quantity of illegal drugs they had purchased and decided to do something about it by calling and complaining. One small problem… the person who they woke up in the middle of the night by calling several times? Turns out he wasn’t the seller of said drugs. Turns out, he was a sheriff’s deputy. This is where we insert the obligatory video of Red saying dumbass.
  3. Changing gears a bit from stupid to…. well, I’m not entirely sure. You see, it appears the authorities in Vienna, Austria have recently stopped a major crime. The theft of 9.5 tons of garlic. Now, this is one of those articles that really leaves out way too much info. Things like, who in their right mind needs 9.5 tons of garlic? How did they load it all into the vans? And most importantly… what in the world were they planning on cooking with it all?
  4. Staying on a subject I’m fond of (Food!)… here’s another one that really doesn’t give you enough info. America’s 10 best burger cities. Now, I’m not here to complain about the cities that were picked. I just don’t like the list in general. It doesn’t tell you what the criteria were (personal choice from what I can tell), and it seems to bounce around from In and Out Burger type fare to gourmet burgers. Not really an apples to apples comparison in my book. And for the record, I don’t think it’s important to be a great burger city. I think it’s far more important to know where to get a great burger in the city you’re in!
  5. Lastly… in the “Am I reading this wrong?” department is an article talking about workers who would give up “free coffee, alcohol and even lunch breaks for the opportunity to work from home, even just once a week“. Wait… I’m on board with giving up the free coffee (The stuff here is horrible anyways, so that’s probably a plus), and I’m okay with the lunch breaks…. but where the heck are these people working that they have alcohol on the job???? Things you need to put into the article, people!

Okay folks,  that’s five and I’m done for another week. So, what was the “BP” in the title all about? Well, it sure isn’t about British Petroleum. And it isn’t batting practice, either. No, beach party isn’t it, even if I am seeing the Beach Boys in concert this weekend. BP is Buster Poindexter. Why? Because right now, and for the last few days it has been, and is “Hot! Hot! Hot!

Have a great weekend folks!
-Beer

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Jobbie Nooner” Edition

Howdy folks, and welcome to another Friday post filled with… stuff. Been a rough week around here, with my co-blogger and I seemingly having a competition that neither of us wanted to have, nor win. More on that, and a bunch of other… stuff to cover this week. Shall we what’s rattling around in Beer’s brain this week? (Consider yourselves warned!)

  1. “Hey Beer, you called this the Jobbie Nooner Edition. Shouldn’t you be on the lake right now?” Well, technically it’s on an island in a river, not a lake. But to answer your question in two parts… Yes, I *do* believe I should be on a lake right now but hell no I don’t want to be anywhere near that mass of humanity. I’m not a big fan of drunken crowds. When you add in a bunch of people operating boats while drinking (Note: Many attendees are responsible boaters. This is a case of a few nitwits giving everyone a bad name), well… I’ll pass. I know the boating skills of the general populace in my area. I’m not overly impressed when they’re sober. Let alone when they’re drinking. However, it is a big party. And it is a big tradition around here. If you want more info on it, check it out here. Before you go though.. let me warn you of one other reason I choose not to attend. Remember folks… What is seen, can never be unseen. If you catch my meaning.
  2. So, LeBron James finally won an NBA championship last night. I’ll admit, I didn’t watch. I was watching paint drywater boil um, actually, I don’t know what I was watching. But I know it wasn’t basketball. That being said, now that he has a ring, I’m sure some of his critics will get off his case. And I’m sure none of the ones who do will likely be from the Cleveland area. I haven’t checked yet this morning to see if LeBron got trashed out on twitter by NHL players the way he did after game 4 though. That was good for a laugh.
  3. Speaking of the NHL… They have the first round of their draft on tonight. Once again I think I’ll spend my time watching paint dry or water boil. Sorry, but the NHL draft is far closer to the MLB draft than to NFL or NBA drafts. Even the first round doesn’t wind me up. Why? Simple really, just like baseball – with the exception of one or two kids (Who you’ve never even heard of unless you’re some uber geek fan) the draft goes like this. Team goes up to the podium, drafts a kid that fans can expect to (hopefully) see on the big club’s roster in 2-4 years, and goes and sits back down. It’s not the NFL where you know these guys are probably on the team when the season fires back up. Again, yes there are exceptions but for the most part that’s how it goes down. Pretty much the most excitement you can hope for is on the trade front.
  4. As I mentioned in the intro, stuff’s been breaking lately. And I have to say, in a competition that no one truly wins… My co-blogger won. I lost a hot water heater. My co-blogger lost his A/C. On two of the hottest days of the year. So yeah, he “won”. Fortunately we’re both back up running at the moment. Which means that we’re now waiting for the next thing to break.
  5. Which leads to one other observation. Over the past week, we’ve been hit by a heatwave. And so I couldn’t help but think of ways to try to beat the heat. And then when I an article about New York having an ice cream shortage, I thought… “That’s just mean”. I also figured, “well, at least they can go for a swim”. Then I saw the next two articles… Which are enough to make you afraid to go back into the water. For freshwater… We have the 300-plus pound alligator gar. And if that thing didn’t have enough teeth for you… How about the great white sharks off the coast of Massachusetts? Yeah, I’m gonna go find a swimming pool. Or a slip and slide or something.

Okay folks, I’m done complaining about stuff and I’m off to get ready to make some more beer this weekend. Yep, because nothing beats the heat like standing over a kettle full of boiling sugary liquid! In the meantime… some Ice Cream to keep the rest of you cool.

Have a great weekend folks!
-Beer

Living With…..

My co-blogger and I like to consider ourselves as being fairly knowledgeable and on the leading edge of technology.  We both own our fair share of tech toys (although I think I have a ton more than he does).  The one thing that we both noticed is that when a new item comes out there are usually a handful of reviews on the item at launch.  We figure that the reviewer usually spends only a few days, maybe a week with an item as they write their review.  We decided to try a new thing called “Living with..”.  These reviews will be based on our actual experiences with items that we, just like you would, spent our own hard earned cash on and use in our actual lives.  That one time introduction being said, here is our first review:

Logitech Squeezebox™ Radio

What the heck is it?: The Logitech Squeezebox Radio is a compact digital music player radio with a built-in speaker.  It allows you to stream internet radio, your personal digital music library and online music services.

Why did we purchase it?:  I had made the purchase after one of our local radio stations stopped broadcasting “old time radio classics.”  I had gotten addicted to listening to the old stories of Dragnet, Fibber McGee and Molly and Suspense.

Fancy Technical Stuff:  There really isn’t anything too technical about this device.  It’s basically a radio that uses the internet to get broadcast instead of an antenna.  If you know how to hook up a wireless device to your network at home, that’s probably the extent of your technical need for the basic usage. You can connect it to your network via an Ethernet cable as well, but if you’re like most people you won’t have a port near where you would like to listen to it.  If you want to use the device to play your musical digital library, you will need to install some software on your PC or home server.

Cool Stuff:   

  • You can stream almost any radio station you can name.
  • The amount of free musical services available is also pretty decent.  They have Absolute Radio UK, Pandora, BBC Radio and Mediafly just to name a few.
  • I’m no audiophile, but the sound that comes out of the one speaker is pretty decent.  It’s not like a high end system, but it sure beats anything from the iHome audio series.
  • You can also purchase a battery pack to take it anywhere you need, but I just use the AC plug.
  • There is also a smartphone app that allows you to remotely control your device.  There isn’t a ton of options on the app, but it does come in handy.
  • You can program up to six presets that will allow you to instantly go to that streaming audio source from a cold start.
  • If you own more than one device you can sync them so they play the same.
  • You are able to use this an internet radio device to connect to your stereo.  It can act as a tuner and not use it’s speaker if needed.
  • Seems to have an active support community on the web.

 

Boo Hiss Stuff:

  • Can be a tad bit quiet if you have a big room
  • Some of the earlier versions of the software were a tad bit buggy.
  • Every once in a while the squeezebox main server will go down for maintenance and you lose all radio abilities.  I’ve learned to follow them on twitter and learn of any planned downtime.
  • Not a problem with the device, but some internet radio stations just seem to disappear  into the great unknown.

Well, was it worth it?  I truly believe it is worth the price.  I use this device on a daily basis either by listening to old time radio classics or listening to my Pandora stations.   Heck, even my kids get into the act by going in my room and firing it up when they are upstairs.  It’s one of those rare devices that actually delivered on what I wanted and thought I was getting.  It definitely made me a happy llama.

 

Living with … lessons: 

Update the software to the latest version immediately.

For those who love old time radio, here are some streams I connect with:

Antioch AM 1710 http://radio.macinmind.com/

Old Time Radio Fan http://www.otrfan.com:8000/stream.m3u

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Wind up for the Weekend” Edition

Howdy folks and here we are yet again with another edition of Five Thoughts. We’ve wrapped up another week, and I have to say… Life seems to really be picking up steam lately. Not entirely sure how I feel about that. There’s something to be said for slow and leisurely rather than break-neck and off the tracks. Still, that’s not the subject of this blog so let’s see what Beer’s brains has for us the week. (I don’t always know what I’m going to write once I start typing – I don’t get filled in ahead of time, either).

  1. First off, congratulations to the Los Angeles Kings who won the Stanley Cup earlier this week. As a result, PB and Kingkielbasa ended up tied for the most correct picks. And although I had picked the Devils, I am glad to see them get the win. There are some very good hockey people who have been in and around the game for a very long time with that organization. And now they finally get a ring. Of course, I can also list off a bunch of reasons why this year’s playoffs was a disaster for the league, but that’s another post altogether.
  2. Speaking of sports leagues, and things that are bad for the league…. The commissioner of the NBA decided he wanted in on the buffoonery. Now, I’m no big fan of the NBA, or of sports personality Jim Rome. However, David Stern’s response to Jim Rome asking something an awful lot of people have mentioned… the belief the NBA draft may have been rigged, was an utter embarrassment. even so, I’ve already seen several lawyers take up the NBA commissioners response was a textbook example of a “loaded question”. One you can not answer without incriminating yourself. Apparently they’re trying to make the argument that Mr. Rome’s questions was a similarly “loaded question”. While it may be true that “Have you stopped beating your wife?” is a loaded question, I’ll tell you what else it is. Utterly Classless and Inappropriate from the commissioner of a sports league. Any attorney who wants to argue that point, should probably ask themselves why their profession sometimes has the reputation it does.
  3. Okay, let’s shift from that to sandwiches! Everyone loves sandwiches, right? I mean, you gotta eat! Yep, no trouble here. Nothing at all. Nobody at all calling 911 to report that the deli is making their sandwich wrong. Yes, you read that correctly. Someone was so concerned that a deli wasn’t making a sandwich the way they wanted it, that they called 911 and asked the dispatcher to send someone over to help. Personally, I’m surprised someone who thinks calling 911 over a sandwich dispute is even capable of ordering a sandwich on their own! Let alone being able to tell if it’s made correctly. Or, as Red would put it…. Red?
  4. I mentioned this next bit of news to a couple of friends, and had to immediately restrain them to keep them from running off to the local bars and clubs. Seems they misinterpreted the headline.
    Study: Cougars making comeback as sightings rise across Midwest
    You see, they’re talking about the big cats. Not the slang term that you’ll find over at urban dictionary. And if you do own are bar or club? I can guarantee you that you don’t want one ofthese cougars in your establishment.
  5. Thought that last one was cheap? How about this one? I’m going to close by wishing all the Dads out there (Including my co-blogger) a happy Father’s day this weekend. Folks, don’t get dad a tie. Buy him a fancy beer, a bottle of scotch, a video game… anything but a tie. Or just take him out to dinner. Dinner would probably be appreciated too. Me? I’ll probably be living up to my pen-name and making some beer!

Okay folks, that’s five and I’m done for the day! Since we talked about Fathers, I feel the need to grant some equal time. So here’s something for Mom.

Gotcha!

Have a great weekend folks!
-Beer

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Weathered and Worn-out” Edition

Good morning folks! Happy Friday. Since I was unable to make good on my threats from last week (That being to schedule another boondoggle and get a guest writer in here), let me welcome you to another edition of Five Thoughts. We took this week’s title from a couple of things. A few weather related posts, and just feeling flat out “worn-out”. Not to mention the depression I felt when I realized this is the first full work week I’ve put in in nearly a month! I really do need another vacation! Anyhow, let’s take a look at some of what was silly and/or strange in the world this week, shall we?

  1. We’ll start with something slightly weather related. And with that, the Beerbarrel’s “Congratulations Captain Obvious!” award goes to the brain surgeons who figure out that the city with the highest potential financial damage from a hurricane would be… New york City. Wow, really going out on a limb there, huh folks? I mean, it’s only been said before. It’s only the single largest city on the east coast. And it’s only right up on the ocean in a low lying area. Sad thing is, they probably got some sort of grant to re-state the obvious. So maybe I actually should congratulate them. Maybe they’re smarter than I realized.
  2. Speaking of flooding, and things looking weathered…. A well worn dock bearing Japanese markings washed up on shore in Oregon. Speculation is that it was washed out to sea in the March 2011 Tsunami that struck Japan. However, we aren’t talking about your typical dock you have up at the lake. This baby is 66 feet long and made of concrete! And this best part of the article? This massive hunk of concrete and metal was designed to FLOAT!
  3. Sometimes, things get dirty. Or dusty. Or whatever. What usually happens next though is generally pretty mundane. You clean things up. Often times, certain tools are used. Such as a vacuum cleaner. However, sometimes even cleaning with a vacuum cleaner is not mundane. Like when you’re cleaning up inside a nuclear powered submarine. Or when said vacuum sparks a fire that caused over $400 million in damage to said nuclear submarine. Yikes. It does beg the question though. What were they cleaning that caused the vacuum to start the fire???
  4. Speaking of fires, and heat… I would not to be anyone connected with the Belmont race course this weekend if the race does not go off as planned. I’ll Have Another has a chance to win horse racing’s triple crown… but a labor dispute is putting the race in jeopardy. While I understand the fact that a signature event being threatened is an effective negotiating tactic, ruining someone’s chance to achieve something that hasn’t been done since 1978 can be summed up in two words. Not Cool. If something happens to cancel the race, you just know there’s going to be lawsuits.
  5. Lastly… I’ve been debating on using this one for a while. I’ve joked about it, made references to it, outright mentioned it. What am I talking about? I’m talking about one heck of an earworm. (Or an ear tick, as a my co-blogger called it. Noting that it goes in but won’t come back out). I’m talking about Red Solo Cup. Which just missed out this week on being named video of the year at the country music awards. Why even mention that if it didn’t win? Well, even its singer openly described it as “the stupidest song I have ever heard in my life.”And yet it got recorded by him anyways. Seems to be working out for him.

Okay folks, that’s five and you’ve probably got a song stuck in your head now. And if you don’t… well, how about now?

Have a great weekend folks!
-Beer

Complete useless internet item of the week…

Sometimes…the world scares me…this is one of those times……

Finnish Weirdo from Zak McKee on Vimeo.

Five thoughts on a Friday – The “Back from the Lake” Edition

Howdy folks, and welcome back to another “Beer is fresh back from vacation and totally unprepared for this post” edition of Five Thoughts. So, having been honest and gotten that out of the way let’s see where we land this time. Shall we?

  1. Yesterday was a sad day for hockey fans in Detroit, as well as around the league. Nick Lidstrom has decided that 20 years is enough for people adding a gratuitous ‘n’ to his name and has called it a (very well distinguished) career. No more number 5 in the lineup for the Red Wings. If I can make one small suggestion for when they hang that number in the rafters…. Do it at the 5th home game of the year. (Why does my brain come up with stuff like that?)
  2. Like a lot of people – Beermaker did the road trip thing this past holiday weekend. Unlike a lot of people, I ended up in between two forest fires in northern Michigan over the weekend, one in the Seney wildlife refuge and the other being called the Duck Lake Fire. So, now I can cross that off a list that includes tornadoes, water spouts (that was actually pretty minor though) as well as a class three hurricane. So, who wants to come along on the next trip and see if anything else happens?
  3. Apparently today is National Doughnut Day. That means the chance to score a free doughnut! And no self respecting fan of Homer Simpson can let that go by without mentioning it. Or thinking of this video.
  4. Like just about everyone else on the planet, I heard about the “Naked man killed by police while eating another man’s face” story. And I was going to leave it alone. Too weird, too easy, too… eeeewww. Then I checked CNN this morning and find this headline…  Sheriff: Maryland student, 21, admits eating housemate’s heart, part of brain What the heck is wrong with these people?? I think maybe the zombie thing has finally maybe gone a bit too far.
  5. Lastly, I’m going to have a little fun at the expense of my co-blogger who fills in for me when I’m off on my boondoggles. You see, you can usually tell who’s writing any particular “Five Thoughts” post by the title. It’s pretty simple actually, because even though we base things off of the number five – this little feature isn’t about math. At least I don’t think it’s about math. Specifically, it isn’t about arithmetic. You see, it’s an “edition” of Five Thoughts not an “addition”. Because I’m pretty sure that would make it “Six Thoughts”.        Drum roll please!!

Okay folks, that’s five and I’ll try to do better next time. Unless I can con someone else into covering for me so I can be off on another boondoggle. In the meantime, one last story from the road. We awoke Saturday morning to a very calm setting. The winds were still and as a result there was a blanket of smoke that had descended on our location. Being as we were up at the lake, I took the opportunity to make a joke about what we were seeing. There was smoke… on the water. And the joke failed miserably. I need to upgrade my traveling companions knowledge of musical history, apparently. So for those who are still wondering what I’m going on about? Have you been living under a rock your whole life? I’m talking about Smoke on the Water!

Have a great weekend folks!
-Beer