Category Archives: Rant

Useless information about today

Today was the airing of the original episode of Family Ties. Growing up, I remember tuning in to watch this show every week. I was a huge Alex P. Keaton fan. So much so, that I use to get dressed up in skinny ties. I even believe that his character led me career path wise to where I am now. Say what you will about those tv shows from the 80s, but I never knew that I was growing up in an end of an era for well written sitcoms. Boo to reality tv….BOO!!

The “Good” Cheese

Wow! It’s Wednesday and the Beerbarrel has a new post up! How in the world did that happen??!?!?!?  Anyways… It deals with a question we’ve been pondering here at The Beerbarrel for a while… so enjoy!

There’s a book out called “Who Moved My Cheese“, this post has absolutely nothing to do with that book, or that cheese. We’re talking about the Good Cheese today folks, we’re talking television and pop culture stuff. Specifically the “cheesy” stuff that you remember in a fond way. The GOOD CHEESE . The stuff that doesn’t seem to get made anymore.

So what constitutes good cheese? Well, first off, it has to be cheesy (Ok, I’d say that’s a given). Obviously not real. Of course, this instantly rules out *any* reality television show. Sorry, those just come across as far too “scripted” or “staged” to be *real*. Want real? Watch the news. Go outside. Stay at work.

Good cheese can really be just about anything. Music, Television, Movies, you get the picture.

Want examples? Ok, let’s start with TV. Lots of good cheese there. Sadly though, most of it qualifies as aged cheese. For example, the 1980’s were a golden age for cheese in general. Lots of good cheese to be found there.

The Archtype of 80’s TV Good Cheese?

A movie from a bit further back?

How about some all time cheese?

Ok, I think we’ve established “Good Cheese”. So…what the heck happened?

The stuff today doesn’t even come close. Now, I realize and understand that nostalgia often plays a role. Let’s not forget that although it’s viewed almost comically today, Jaws was viewed as almost “Hitchcock” like in terms of horror films when it came out. Of course, these days it’s more about the one-liners like “We’re gonna need a bigger boat”.

But a lot of the TV shows? You knew they weren’t real.

Knight Rider? A sentient, talking Trans Am? C’mon. That’s cheese.

The A-Team! Right. 100,000 rounds fired from assault weapons and not a single person wounded. Same with the Storm Troopers in Star Wars.

What about CHiPs? Yeah, because there are always random 45  airborne car pileups in the middle of the day. Fun to watch, yes. Real? No. I was in a 6 car accident on an interstate last year. Not one of us went airborne. Very disappointing.

So, how did we get from all of that to the reality tv we have today? The writer’s strike? A change in what viewers wanted? Possibly. What with all the channels available now,  you had to find a way to grab attention. Maybe we’re finding out what’s at the bottom of the slippery slope. “Who can be the most outrageous” seems to win the ratings these days be it television, movies, or music/radio. Economics? Probably. Cheaper to produce and slap onto the air if you don’t need scripts and actual actors? (Ironic that they don’t have actual scripts, considering how scripted they seem!) Or was it something different altogether? Who knows, we sure don’t.

Let us know what you think, and what are some of your favorite bits of “Good Cheese”.

Later folks!

Making sense of the US Census

“Hey Beer! That doesn’t seem like a very comedy oriented title!”

Well, I’m only on my second cup of coffee – cut me some slack! Just kidding, actually. I’m on my third cup and it was just a little play on words for an honest to goodness serious topic (At least as serious as we ever tend to want to get around here).

Today, we’re going to talk a little about the U.S. Census boys and Girls. For those of you not familiar with it, it’s (in a nutshell…) something that happens every 10 years as the government tries to count how many people are living where.

That’s not what I really want to talk about today though. I want to talk about the radio ad that I keep hearing that is really bothering me.  You see, they have to run a lot of advertisements to convince people to fill them out and send them in. Apparently a lot of people are convinced the Evil Empire is out to do something with the data collected (Like it isn’t already mostly available publicly).

So we end up like the radio spot I keep hearing. And there’s one line in it that just really bugs me, “It’s just 10 questions and should take you about 10 minutes”.  (Those of you who get the longer form are excused from the upcoming rant.

I got the 10 question form, and if it took me FOUR minutes I would be shocked. Let’s review the questions shall we? I took these straight from the 2010 Census website.

  1. How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?
    (I trust everyone should know this one. If you don’t, well….. yeah.)
  2. Were there any additional people staying here April 1, 2010 that you did not include in Question 1?
    (Just in case you were the person who didn’t know, apparently. Or you managed to find some extra people living at your home in between questions 1 and 2).
  3. Is this house, apartment, or mobile home: owned with mortgage, owned without mortgage, rented, occupied without rent?
    (Again, this should be something you already know. If you don’t know… ouch.)
  4. What is your telephone number?
    (The ONLY way this could be tricky is if you have no phone)
  5. Please provide information for each person living here. Start with a person here who owns or rents this house, apartment, or mobile home. If the owner or renter lives somewhere else, start with any adult living here. This will be Person 1. What is Person 1’s name?
    (We come to the longest question. If you have a lot of people this form may take you ten minutes. It asks for names. It may also take you 10 minutes if you have an Eastern European name made up of 22 letters including 19 consonants. Still, you DO know who’s living in your house, right? Please say yes.)
  6. What is Person 1’s sex?
    (“I don’t know” is not an option. There is a box for male, and a box for female. Pick one, only one. Again, this should not be a difficult question to answer).
  7. What is Person 1’s age and Date of Birth?
    (How old are you and what is your birthday. You really should know these anyways.)
  8. Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin?
    (If you are, you’re probably aware of it, otherwise the answer is no. It’s not complicated. Move along)
  9. What is Person 1’s race?
    (Despite vehement arguments to the contrary, this is not a NASCAR question. Talladega, Daytona, or Bristol are not valid answers. They included check boxes on this question, that was probably a good move.)
  10. Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else?
    (They include check boxes again, if it applies you check it. Another easy one.)

Hey, look at that, we’re done! See? Easy.

So, if you get it, fill it out will you? It actually helps with a lot of stuff, and it is not hard to do. Besides, it’s a chance to show how smart you are by getting all the questions right for once!

Later Folks!


47.23 – If star player breaks any rules intended to make the game of hockey more attractive to “greater” public, all possible penalties and fines will be waived.  Rule will be called “Bettman Godmode” for future reference.


Can someone please explain to me the purpose behind camouflage paint on a truck?  I mean it’s not like you can use it as a blind or something.  I mean it’s not like the glass won’t reflect light and give away the “position” of the truck.  Or the fact that the big V8 engine won’t be rumbling as you sneak up on a herd of deer.  Am I missing something?  Just wondering….

Be safe.

Toys R Us

Can someone explain why when you are a kid, Toys R Us is the greatest place ever; however, when you become an adult it becomes an overpriced dirty store?  I mean I remember when I was a kid and walking through the doors of  Toys R Us was like walking through the gates of what I imagined Heaven would be like.  Now, when I go up there with my kids, man, it’s a different world.  They have to be one of the dirtiest stores around and the price of their toys…geez.  I hate to say it but you can go to that “bullseye” store and you can usually get some seriously better prices.  Oh well, I’m off to go yell at the kids on my lawn.

Be safe!