Archive for the ‘Beer’ Category

Web bound

January 21, 2010

I handed in my notice at work today.  I’m headed to a digital media company doing web related work.  It’s another exciting and scary situation I’m putting myself in.  Looking forward to the challenge.  Hopefully I’m up for it. (hansoninc.com)

I’m finishing up my first week of 2010 with Hopslam in the fridge.  It’s been a wonderful week.

CodeMash was awesome.  I’ve gotten a few new directions to explore in my side projects.  I got a little taste of Ruby, which I need to continue.  Plus I won a Scala book, and have started reading that.  Not to mention that I talked to another person who said I need to learn Groovy and Grails.  Looks like my year is going to be busy.

I don’t know if you noticed the new page I put up related to my Android apps.  I created a Google Android app that displayed the CodeMash schedule.  I really enjoyed creating the app and am trying to come up with a new idea for phone app development.

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How do I get funded for one of these studies?

December 18, 2009

How come I’m never approached to do one of these studies about drinking Bell’s beer? I love the part about how sticking to vodka over whiskey “would not improve your performance at work the next day.” Classic!

The Beers of PitCon '09

September 30, 2009

Had some good ones.

Warsteiner Premium Dunkel – I’ve mentioned this in passing before.  This is an excellent utility beer.  Goes good at any time.  Highest Darkside of the Moon, probably a Time or Money.

Bell’s Octoberfest – Last year this was growing on me.  This year I’m appreciating it more.  There’s still the occasional bottle that just doesn’t hit it, but overall this is pretty good.  Rank it as a high Darkside of the Moon.

Bell’s Oberon – What I would consider as probably the signature beer from Bell’s.  Even though it’s supposed to be a summer seasonal, it seems like I’ve found it available year round.  It’s good and from a mini keg it’s even better.  This would be probably a mid Darkside of the Moon.

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA – This is such a _great_ beer.  This rivals my love for Bell’s HopSlam as my favorite all over beer.  The 60 minute version of this is a big step down with nothing special about it.  But the 90 minute is amazing.  I need to try the 120 minute version, but at $7.99 a bottle, I won’t make a habit of it.  I had the 120 on draft years ago, but that was before I became such a hop-head.  The 90 minute gets an Animals Sheep rating.

Widmer Bros Drifter Pale Ale – A delightful pale ale brought as a tribute to Pit Champion Zion’s Hope from the honorable Toolbox stable.  This was quite a treat that had a slight fruity surprise that I’ve not had in a pale ale.  I’d need to do some more research to be sure, but we’ll give this a preliminary rating of a low Darkside of the Moon.

Looking forward to having some more this weekend when #4 comes back for a second go of A Victory Denied.  Write up for that will follow before Friday.  Hopefully.

Beer equilibrium and flow

May 12, 2009

Note: I’m not endorsing drinking in any way as a way of achieving a heightened sense of being.  As always, never drink and drive or set a bad example for your kids.  I don’t claim to have the G-variant gene.  This is only a post comparing what they found with some strange feelings I’ve encountered in my life.

I’ve known about this G-variant gene for years.  I always called it beer equilibrium and never knew there was an official study pertaining to it.  Amazing the things that universities spend money on.

Beer equilibrium is that place after drinking x number of beers where you achieve flow.  Flow does not require alcohol to be reached however.  Flow is very common in the programming world when a programmer becomes so engrossed in what he’s working on that the rest of the world around him ceases to exist.  There is only the problem, and all the intricate possibilities are clear.

I’ve achieved the programming flow sober and alcohol induced.  Most of Pit was coded by me sitting in a hotel room after a few beers.  Yeah, it may be crap code, but the bits flew from my fingers and everything was clear.

Flow is that feeling of playing Civilization until 3am and not being able to recall the last 4 hours going by.  There is only you and the problem at hand, the rest of the world dissolves away.

The other most prominent flows that I’ve achieved of the beer equilibrium (BE) flavor is while playing pool or golf.  A certain amount of beer consumed does something to relax me enough that the club becomes the extension that it’s supposed to be.  Drives, chips, everything just happen the way they’re supposed to.  The tricky part with BE, is maintaining it.  Consume too much and the golf game returns to the craptastic game it normally is.  It’s a fine line (as eluded to in the article) between being in the creative state and going over the edge to the tired side.

Flow is an awesome state of being, the sober version even more so than BE.  If I can ever get my ducks in a row here at home, I hope to achieve some programming flow on some personal projects.

Tidbits

May 6, 2009

It’s been a year since I announced my new(current) job.

I can’t freaking put into words how much I hate the Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks!

I neglected to mention the passing of Dave Arneson, another of the co-creators of D&D.  He passed away about a year after Gygax.  I’ve heard some stories about who actually created the thing but I’ll keep those to myself.  Here’s a nice tribute from Wizards of the Coast.

I tried Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale tonight on draft.  It was quite delicious.  They age it in barrels that were used for bourbon.  You can actually taste the bourbon.  It’s a very light, smooth bourbon flavored ale.  Very potent though at 9% alchohol.  It’s served in a bourbon snifter.  I can’t recommend this one enough.

I so hate the ducks.

I have Van Helsing on the tube muted at the moment.  I’m thinking that’s supposed to be Dracula?  I’m sorry, but a feminine looking guy with a pony tail just doesn’t incite vampiric fear into me.

This kind of relates a little of how much I hate the quackers.

Kate Beckinsale, however, would provoke my chivalric demeanor.  Watched her in Underworld:Evolution last night also.  I’m so sad she’s not in the third one.

Nothing worse than a playoff game decided by an official.  That was an extremely early whistle, and actually the puck was across the goalline before the whistle blew.  I know that the ref can dissallow a goal just for the fact of having the intent to blow the whistle, but that kind of crap should be reviewable.  Did I mention I hate the Ducks, or more truthfully, any team that Pronger’s on.

I’m coaching soccer again this spring.  We lost our first game on Saturday.  I think we’ve got a better team than in the fall, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we lose every game.  I don’t know why.  Everybody works pretty well together, we’ve had very little problem getting them to buy into the working together through passing.  I’m a lot more relaxed than last season.

V-day and code tinkering

March 2, 2009

The year has been flying past so far.  Here’s some catchup.

We had a very nice Valentine’s Day here.  The amazing wifal unit had a pretty cool gift awaiting me on the table when I woke up.  In one of those clear plastic box like thingies that roses come, were six(!) bottles of Bell’s Hopslam lying ever so gently on a bed of peanuts.  There were six there, but there was another six hidden in the garage.  What an amazing women!

We had some shopping to do that day and ate an early supper at Applebee’s.  The FloydWing’s don’t normally partake of dessert when eating out but we decided to splurge given the day.  We let the girlywogs get an ice cream float and we got this triple chocolate thing that came with ice cream on the side.  This thing was to die for!  It was a brownie-like piece of cake (I don’t normally care for brownies), covered in a chocolate sauce, that had some other kind of chocolate caramel sauce hidden inside it.  And it was warm.  If anyone was watching us eat this thing, they probably thought something was going on under the table.  It was so good!  I’d recommend you save room the next time you’re at Applebee’s.

I took President’s Day off since the girlywogs were off.  It was a pretty good day.  I got up at my normal work time to get some personal development time in.  I played around with the Spring Integration tutorial that talked about in an earlier post.  I’m still trying to figure out how the heck step 10 worked.  I made the Gateway interface, referenced it in the config.  There was no class that implemented the interface, but somehow it still worked.  Blows my mind.  I’m gonna need some additional exploration with that.  I’ve found another tutorial that I hope to go through soon.

I also started some work on an idea I’ve had for years.  I’ll devote a whole post to that someday.  Needless to say I used part of the Google Collections Library to make reading a file as simple as stepping through a list.  This article shows how to use the AbstractIterator from the library to wrap a Reader and step through a file line by line.  Some pretty cool stuff.

Slammed!

February 3, 2009

Last weekend provided me with a very spiritual experience.  I’ve been a beer snob since probably late 1997.  It was then that I discovered a whole subculture where quality was more important than quantity.  It’s probably a small part of the reason why I’m still here, as the mass produced stuff was going down far too easily back then.  I’ve slowly switched over to preferring one hearty porter or flavorful pale ale over to the self destructive behavior of my youth.  Not that relapses haven’t occurred.

For years, Rogue has been my favorite brewery.  Their Dead Guy Ale or Left Hand Brewing Company’s Black Jack Porter have been the beers I’d count as my favorite.  As years passed, I’ve probably moved more to the hop loving side of the spectrum as opposed to the more malty beers.  Pennsylvian high hop beers became the beers I’d haul back from my frequent treks to Pittsburgh.

But the weekend before last, I found the one true beer to rule them all.  I was so utterly blown away by the perfectness of this beer, I can’t even give it a proper review.  You have to experience it.  As most can probably tell, I’ve become a big fanboy of Bell’s Brewery since moving north of the border.  I’ve not tried one of their beers that I wouldn’t have again.  So it happened last Saturday that I saw two new selections at Flick’s that I hadn’t tried yet.  The Hopslam Ale and the Third Coast Old Ale.  Being the hophead that I am, the Hopslam was the obvious choice.

And it’s changed my world.  The smell of those sweet hops fills your nose and begins filling your now floating head with an explosion of endorphins.  It really is almost enough to just sit there with your nose in the glass.  Once you realize that you’ve had this stupid grin on your face and your nose nearly touching the golden liquid for the last five minutes, you decide it’s time to actually taste it.

That’s when there’s no turning back.  The hops explode all over your tongue.  The grin turns into a big smile.  The eyes close.  And you know what a viking in Valhalla must feel like.  The flavor takes an IPA and moves beyond it.  I’ve had the 60/90/120 minute versions of Dogfish Head IPA.  The 120 goes over the reasonable limit of what extreme hops should be and becomes too sweet.  The 90 is probably close and the 60 isn’t as far.  While those are all good, the Hopslam achieves utter hop perfection.  I found myself not wanting to have another sip each time because I didn’t want to finish it.  I wanted it to sit and maintain this perfection forever.  But of course I continued.  I find myself with this same feeling when thinking of drinking one of the six pack I picked up this weekend.  That feeling of not wanting a good thing to end.

But this good thing will end.  Soon.  Checking out their site, I found that this is one of their seasonal specialty beers.  It’s only available in January and part of February.  If this stuff was available year round, I’d probably never give another beer review here again (which would probably make most of you happy).  There would be no reason to ever buy a different brew again.

So once it’s gone, and the depression passes, the quest for a substitute to tied me over until next January will begin.  But in the mean time, this beer gets a rating of Meddle – Echoes.  This is the highest honor I can bestow in my scale.

Word of warning:
This is a potent piece of liquid bread.  The alcohol by volume (ABV) in HopSlam is 10%.  I realized this after getting about halfway through that first bottle.  It was quite a surprise to be feeling something so soon.  So keep this in mind.  Carve out a lot of time and don’t drink too many.

Stupid Law

January 30, 2009

I don’t understand whatever law it is that requires brewery web sites to make you answer whether you’re over 21 or not.  What does it matter if they aren’t legal to drink?  Are teenagers somehow becoming intoxicated while looking over the selections at Budweiser’s site?  Is asking that question really preventing underaged kids from answering “yes” or entering a birthdate to gain access?  Or maybe the brewery’s are trying to show some kind of responsibility by asking their visitors.

While poking around my favorite brewery’s site, I didn’t really see anything questionable that I would be concerned about my underage child seeing.

Why don’t the freakin porn sites have to put up this crap question?  You can probably end up with a face full of material you wouldn’t want your kids seeing by accidentally clicking the wrong button.  Luckily, it hasn’t happened to my kids yet, that I know of.  But maybe having that super secure and foolproof question pop up, would stop any chance of it.

Blogged in accordance with the German Beer Purity Law of 1516

January 22, 2009

I gave the Warsteiner Premium Verum a spin.  I love it’s Dunkel brother (who I once spent a week at a hotel in Columbus writing Pit code with) so I had high hopes.  This pilsner didn’t dissappoint.  It’s easy drinking and another excellent choice for the “bred on Bud” man.  I’m still more a fan of the Dunkel, but partaking of both would be an enjoyable evening.  I just don’t know if I can find it easily around here.

I’m giving this a low to mid Darkside rating.

I think I’ve found the new tag line for this blog.

A year removed from the beginning

January 21, 2009

Today is an anniversary of sorts.  It was a year ago that I started the Part-Time Developer series.  I believe it made it 6 in length before things started moving in a hurry for me.  I’m in the process of lining things up for some similiar home work.  Yes I’ve been hinting at it for a while now, but it is coming together.

The year since that post was pretty hectic but I came home with a smile on my face today.  Why?  I had a good productive day at work and it just put me in a good mood.  It’s so nice to have those days.

I had the Indiana Amber from Oaken Barrel Brewing Company the other night.  It was very tasty.  If you like Killian’s Red, which it seems like most beer drinkers do, I think this would be an excellent choice to start coming over to the darkside of craft brews.  This is one I’d love to find a 6-pack of for a proper review.  I’m giving it a mini rating of a strong Darkside of the Moon.