Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sad Sad Sad News

Just got a text message. I'm about to cry.

Your Ringback Tone "Chip-man & T../Peanut Butter.." will expire in 14 days. Reply with "Y" to extend or "LIST" for more choices.
So, unless I reply with a Y, there'll be no more Peanut Butter Jelly Time, when you call me.

Hooters Trivia = We Fail

Last night was the regional final for Hooters, Are You Smarter Than a Hooters Girl.

The trivia is hard. You aren't really competing against Hooters Girls, but against other patrons (and their sneaky methods of cheating... err, sneakier methods of cheating). We, didn't win.

While we didn't win, it's still a nice evening spent with girls dressed up as though they are in Hit me Baby One More Time, by Britney Spears, video. Which ain't that horrible.

On a beer note, the Champaign Hooters has a slightly better selection than most other Hooters's. We walked in, I asked for a Boulevard Pale Ale, the girl looked at me like I had a dick growing out of my forehead, then went and looked, and they didn't have it. So, I asked what the Sam Adams draft was, she went and looked, White (um, no thank you). So, I got a Fat Tire...mmmm... or not mmmm. Paddy came in from smoking and ordered (instantly) a Boulevard Pale Ale, she looked at him funny too. So he (and Kridz) got Killians. I then switched to Sam Adams bottles.

We were accompanied (and also driven there) by Smart@ss last night. We rode there in the E-Van which was probably more comfortable, and less likely to be blown off the road than the Aveo.

So, here's the questions (if you know all of them, you shoulda been there!)

1. What type of star is the sun classified as?

2. What was Istanbul named previously?

3. What was then name of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn's town.

4. What date (day/month/year) did Julius Ceasar die?

5. What golfer is credited with inventing the Sand Wedge?

6. What country is credited with inventing Ice Cream? A. England B. Iceland C. Germany D. China

7. Name one of the two brothers of Wyatt Earp who were with him at the OK corral.

8. What is the name of this painting by Picasso, about a town that was bombed by Germany during the Spanish civil War.

9. What do you call a quadrilateral who's 4 sides all have the same length (not a square).

10. What does DNA stand for.

*Ninja Text Answers*

1. Yellow Dwarf
2. Constantinople
3. St. Petersburg
4. March 15, 44
5. Gene Sarazen
6. China
7. Virgil or Morgan
8. Guernica
9. Rhombus
10. Deoxyribonucleic Acid

*End Ninja*

We didn't do very well :(

Pseudo Honesty will get you nowhere!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Champaign and Urbana Softball information

If you are looking for info on joining a league, in Champaign/Urbana. Here's some links.

Wendls (formerly the Brickhouse) is First Pitch Baseball.

Wendls league signup has been extended to March 31. Good luck trying to get a sponsor.

Champaign Parks District (Dodds/Parkland)you are probably too late to start a team for here, but you can give it a shot anyway. Champaign Parks

There is another league, run by Vashoune Russell, out of Boomerangs (formerly the guy who ran softball at Brickhouse). This will be played on the fields on Washington. I don't have any contact information on that.

I don't have any information on Rantoul Softball either, sorry.

that Cingular (AT&T) Commercial, redux

By now, you probably know my feelings on that Cingular Commercial. Well, I'm not sure if they changed it, or what they did to it (or why they did it) but last night, while watching the NCAA Men's basketball tournament (do I haveta put a copyright or trademark symbol behind that?)that frakking Cingular Commercial was on several times.

I pretty much know all the words to it by now.

BUT, last nights was different.

If you look at the screen shot (exactly half way on youtube) you'll see it says; "ANOTHER SALE IN DALLAS!"; the other text message sent between the seller (distributor) and the brewer include, "BOSTON LOVES US".

Here's the original.

Here's the one I saw last night.

At 11 seconds, there the first commercial said, "BOSTON LOVES US" it now says "SPAIN LOVES US" (just noticed, it's a different phone too). The 15 second "ANOTHER SALE IN DALLAS" has been removed.

The end of the commercial now says "Best Coverage Worldwide".

So why was the commercial changed? Did they think it would be a good commercial for showing their world wide coverage?

I still get pissed off about that commercial.

In other commercial news; tonight is the final episode of Battlestar Galactica. How many Extenze commercials will we be treated to? The commercial normally pops up, after some commercials, and they have a sci-fi promo, where (I think) a christmas bulb smashes into the Sci-fi Logo, and then a buncha elves pop out; then one waves a magic wand at you, and boom... extenze commercial.

I hate that commercial as well.

At least SAVE BY ZERO is gone.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tix sold out says that they are sold out.

I'm not sure what time this happened (I just woke up), but if tickets went on sale at 4:30, it's less than 6 hours, which is about the same amount of time that you would have stood in line. So, is there really a difference?

Dark Lord Day Tickets

I think I got my Golden Tickets ordered. Horray.

Paddy should have his, Kridz should have hers. Everyone else, I wish you luck.

Here's who else I know that got tix today (everyone got 2).

Noah & Jenn
Big Brad
Eric (7S beer class instructor extraordinaire) & his wife
Sammons (got 2 but his wife didn't get any)

That's all I know for now.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dark Lord Day Emails #3 and 4

Hopefully you've signed up for the ability to purchase tickets tomorrow, for Dark Lord Day. If not, GO SIGN UP. , (the info you really want to know)

Here's the info from their last email.

1.) The price for Dark Lord bottles will be $15 per bottle,
just as it has been in years past. And for those of you
that are wondering... we're keeping the color of the wax top
a surprise for now.

2.) If you purchase tickets you may: use both tickets for
yourself, use one and give the other away, or give both of
them away. Please be responsible and considerate with your
tickets - we're trying to increase access to Dark Lord, not
provide a new market for scalpers.

3.) Regardless of whether you purchase tickets or you are
given tickets by a friend, the absolute max number of
tickets per person is two. Do not show up to buy Dark Lord
bottles with more than two tickets in your hand and do not
use two tickets and then get back in line again with more
tickets. We reserve the right to reject tickets for any
reason - so be considerate of others and play fair, both at
the event and during the ticket sale.

4.) The number of bottles available per ticket has yet to
be determined - we have a good idea of how many we'd like
to be able to provide per ticket, but we have to get closer
to the Dark Lord Day event (April 25th) to see our exact
yields. We want to make sure that everyone that gets a
ticket gets a reasonable number of bottles per ticket but
we don't want to quote an exact number until we're sure
that we'll hit that production mark.

So the biggest question is... WHAT TIME DO TICKETS GO ON SALE. (Yes, I know you've waded through all this to find out the answer to that question).

As we indicated on the FAQ we're choosing not to reveal an
exact time such that we can reduce our chances of the site
going down - which hurts everyone's chances of getting
tickets. We don't want thousands of people all hammering
the site at the exact same moment. But we also don't want
people waiting around all day for us to open the sale.

So what we can tell you is this: you should check your
email in the morning on St. Patrick's Day. Most people -
depending on your time zone and sleeping habits - should
have an email from us waiting for them once they get up. If
it's not there by the time you get it up it should be there
shortly thereafter.
Ok, so, that means instead of me staying up until just after midnight (and having the Dark Lord Day Ticket Purchasing Party) that I instead will be staying up all night checking my email every five minutes. I guarantee, I won't be the only one doing it. There will be quite a ruckus going on in the house when it happens, as I'll be waking Paddy, and Kridz, and calling Skot and Big Brad.

So, tonight, I'll be up all night, checking email. This will be fun. If anyone else wants me to call them when the tix go on sale, drop me a note, email me, or send me a text message.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Black Dog Smoke and Ale House

Last night, Paddy and I were getting ready to go on our adventure, and then Paddy started bitching "I'm hungry" and "my stomach is rumbling" and even more "I'm hungry". So we had to stop somewhere to feed him before heading to the Pig (as they don't have food, and a candy bar just wouldn't shut him up).

So, we stopped at the new Black Dog Smoke and Ale House, on Broadway (formerly Todd and Johns). The outside looks the same, it's hard to change bricks. The inside is VERY different. It's well lit, and bright; Paddy said he'd never seen the place so bright. Just from the lighting, it's a different place. The dart boards in the front are missing, but that's not a problem, it provides for more tables. With the better lighting, the place seems... cleaner; but it probably is. There is 1 cooler with specialty beers, in addition to the under the bar coolers that have the usual fare of light American lagers. There are also several taps, however they are not in the middle of the bar, but at the far end, toward the kitchen area. I don't remember there being anything too remarkable on tap.

I went with a Fullers London Porter (can). I had to ask for a glass, which I thought kind of odd, as this is definitely not a drink from the can beer. I ordered the porter, as I couldn't remember the last time I had it. Paddy had a draft of Alpha King. I was rather impressed with their selection. Not that there was a Crane Alley or Blind Pig variety, but that the beers that were there seemed to be selected specifically to go with the food. There were several stouts, which will compliment the darker meats. There were pales and IPAs that will cut the spices in the sauces. In my opinion, the beer that they have that will go best with their foods, would be the O'Fallon Smoked Porter. I don't know of a beer that would go better with smoked meat than that smoked beer (although some of the O'Fallon aged smoked porters might be a better beer). It didn't look like that beer was drank to much, as the column of them in the cooler was longer than the other columns. I'd think this to be an issue with familiarity of the beers by the staff. If a patron asked what beer would be best with the food, I'm not sure if the bartenders would be able to answer that question.

Paddy and I both ordered the beef brisket platter. I had mine with beans and the coleslaw. Paddy had it with the sweet potato fries and potato salad. The beef was very good, and was a huge portion. It may have been a tad on the dry side (for my taste) but it was still good. Black Dog has two sauces, their main is a vinegar based, but they also have a sweeter sauce. They give you the sauce on the side (at least for the platter) so you can add as much or as little as you'd like. Paddy got both sauces, whereas I just had the house (vinegar). Both were really good. Paddy wasn't too impressed with his potato salad, and didn't care too much for the sweet potato fries. My beans were good, but maybe a bit too smokey. They had an odd taste, which seemed to be from the smoke. It was as though they had liquid smoke added, but I'm sure they didn't. They had been smoked so long that it seemed like fake smoke (if that makes any sense). Now, don't get me wrong, they were good, but not necessarily my favorite beans ever.

I'm not able/qualified to compare this place to other BBQ places on the merits of their food. But I can say that if you want to get good BBQ with some appropriate (and good) beer, this is probably the best place in town for that. It wasn't too expensive, my beer and food came to about $15. Which isn't terrible. So about $30 for both Paddy and I, which I guess wouldn't be a horrible cost for an evening.

We didn't make it to the Pig for their Bells night, but we did make beer school, and then the Tossers were awesome. Oh, the beans made me burp all night, and it wasn't beans that I was burping, but smoke, which was a rather odd feeling.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Your (ok, MY) Thursday Night Lineup

Thursday, March 12, at the Blind Pig, they will be having a Bells night.

On tap will be Hopslam, Best Brown, Amber, Kalamazoo Stout, and Two Hearted ale. So, that'll be from around 7 to 830. The Pig has a sampler platter of 5 beers, conveniently, there will be 5 Bells' on tap.

At 830, head around the corner to 7Saints for beer class. This will be the third week in a row that the class will be about Southern Tier beers. Granted the previous two weeks were canceled, last week, Eric had to pick up the bartending shift as someone called in; the week before it was canceled due to everyone who normally attends being either out of town or sick. So this week it's Southern Tier beers. Gemini will be offered along with several other of their beers. Last week, I brought in a bottle of series 2, in the Cuvee line. The week before, I brought in a bottle of the Back Burner Barleywine. I've still got a bottle of Oat, and of Krampus in my fridge that I'll bring along. (On Saturday at Trashmore's we drank my bottle of Chokolat, and of Jah-va). Cost is $10.

After beer school, it's time to head over to the Highdive. The Tossers are playing, they go on at 10:30.

I saw the tossers, back in ... um.. a couple of years ago, when they were the opening act for The Reverend Horton Heat. My brother, and my buddy Jay, and I sat out back drinking with members of the band, while the second act was on, and during most of the Reverend, as you could hear better outside, and there wasn't a huge crowd. They put on a good show. Tix are $12.

So it's a full night of drinking beer, followed by drinking beer, followed by good Irish folk, punk, rock-n-roll... oh with beer. (Granted HighDive doesn't have the best beer selection in town, but by the time you get there, you'll probably want to switch to water).

Friday, March 6, 2009

Revco Sex-o Olympic-o

It says (up there) Beer Drinking and Other Thinking. Well, here's some other thinking.

Revolting Cocks put out a new release on Tuesday. This one is entitled Sex-o Olympic-o. Overall, this is a pretty good album (do we still call it an album? If it's downloaded what do I call it?)

The album is available on Itunes. It's also on Amazon. hmmm, iTunes has it for $9.99 and Amazon for $8.99. Sadly, it wasn't on EMusic on Tuesday, it might be up there now, but dunno (websensed here at work). I'm gonna haveta check tonight.

Ok, so now about the album. I like it. I like it lots. Granted it's somewhat difficult to think of it as Revolting Cocks, but if Al says it's Revco, then it's Revco. I may have my ideas of what I think something should be, and what something's been in the past, but ultimately, what something is, is what the owner says it is.

I still love "I'm Not Gay". It was one of my favorite parts of the Ministry concert back in May. The song gets better with age. "Cousins" is now one of my top played songs. It's a nice little ditty about incest with a cousin. "Why walk down the street when you can walk down the hall?"

Lude Ferrigno is a nice touching song about everyones favorite Hulk.

Cursed with the inability to hear
But blessed with the power to pleasure women at random

Lude Ferrigno

No other man, can make his mark upon the world
By changing into a green monster
All the songs are pretty darn good. I guess the biggest question is, would I buy this album if it was a different band name, other than Revolting Cocks? Probably, I buy everything that's on Al's 13th Planet label. Would I buy it if it weren't 13th Planet? Probably, but I don't think I'd be listening to it as much.

Like beer from a specific brewery, you expect good things from them. 13th Planet has some outstanding artists on the label. Ministry (obviously), Revolting Cocks, Prong, Ascension of the Watchers, and False Icons. Ok, so they are all pretty much incestuous, with someone from each being in Ministry, but they all have a different style.

Revco now is the (what I'd assume) dance club stuff. Ministry is (was) the modern industrial. Prong is the straight metal band. AotW is kind of ambient. False Icons reminds me of late 80's early 90's industrial.

It kind of reminds me of Three Floyds Brewery. Ministry is Dark Lord; big, strong, black and powerful. Revco is Alpha King; it's got a citrus aroma, so it's a little fruity, like Revco. Prong is Dreadnaught; in your face, you probably aren't ready for it. AotW is Behemoth; a slow sipper, something to drink and listen to in a big comfy chair, while reading a book and maybe smoking a cigar. False Icons is Black Sun Stout; it's not quite as powerful as Dark Lord, but it's available more often, and you could probably drink more of it without your head exploding.

So, go out, get yourself some Alpha King and sit down with the new Revco. It's probably best to be watching a porno with the sound turned off, while you are listening. If that's not available (or not your thing), maybe some pro wrestling. But then if porno ain't your thing, you probably aren't a huge revco fan anyway.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Beer Wars, the Movie

Got this email from Noah recently.

Thought some of you would be interested in this. There's a new documentary called Beer Wars coming out. In the director's words, the movie is a "no holds barred exploration of the U.S. beer industry that ultimately reveals the truth behind the label of your favorite beer. Told from an insider’s perspective, the film goes behind the scenes of the daily battles and all out wars that dominate one of America’s favorite industries." You can check out the trailer and other info here:

The theater release is being done a little differently. There will be a one-time showing at 400+ theaters across the country at 7 pm on Thursday, April 16 (that's the night after April Beer Club for the chronologically challenged). Apparently the documentary will be followed by a live roundtable discussion of the beer industry hosted by Ben Stein. And, lo and behold, one of the theaters hosting this event is our very own Savoy 16.

I have no idea how quickly tickets for this will sell out, but you can pre-order now on Savoy 16's web site. Here's the link to that:

Please pass this on to any others you think may be interested.

I've bought two tix.

Here's the list of theaters. If you want to see if it's in a theater near you.

Monday, March 2, 2009

That Cingular commercial really gets me pissed off!

You've probably seen it. If not... here it is.

This commercial angers me (probably more than the whale angers Tro-jon, but that's another story).

Here's the dialog.

"You sure can brew it," says the sales guy.

"Question is, can you sell it?" counters the brewmaster.

This commercial sums up pretty much everything I hate about the way beer is distributed in America, and beer laws. When I see that commercial, all I can think of is the 3-tier system. That archaic system, originally put in place to prevent breweries from having too much power, has instead put too much power in the hands of the distributors. Mostly, it's taken the power away from consumers.

How many states now will not allow beer sales on Sunday? Why do they do that? Mostly because modern politicians are too afraid of the religious community to make that change.

Georgia politicians are too afraid to even vote (thanks to Monday Night Brewery for link)

The stupid laws about the three tier system, are what kept Bells out of Illinois for several years. Well, Bells is now back in Illinois. It made it into Chicago about a year ago, and just now it's making it's way downstate. Why did it take so long to get here? It's not like the trip is that bad (well, unless you are coming from Chicago, because they really hated to have to come down here when the Bears played here). No, the problem getting here was once again the distributor (my opinion).

I've heard from a couple of bar managers now "Fuck, Bells". I've wondered, why the hostility towards them? These managers told me that they were told that the only way that they would be able to get some of the more interesting (better) Bells beers, like Hopslam, Expedition, Double Cream... would be that they would have to have Amber on tap... permanently.

In Champaign-Urbana, having a beer like Bells Amber on tap... permanently makes no sense. There are bars that have outstanding beer selections here, but tap space in this town is at a premium. Blind Pig and Radio Maria are 2 of the only ones that have 20 or more taps. Everyplace else is significantly less, between 8-10. Forcing Amber into a bar, so that maybe they can get a 5 gallon of Hopslam once a quarter, is just plain mean and wrong for consumers.

Ok, so far, I'm angry at distributors; I'm angry at religious people who think that selling beer on Sunday will somehow tarnish their day of worship. I'm mad at politicians who won't even vote for fear of a religious uprising.

FYI, Georgia, you lost whatever taxes there are on my most recent purchase of beer; which wound up being about $330. So, whatever taxes there are on that amount went to North Carolina, instead of to you. Additionally, you lost tax revenue from the breweries because I couldn't buy their beers on premise.

I've never bought beer in Alabama, and I doubt I will.

Tennessee, you lost money from me too. Because your stupid state doesn't allow beer and liquor to be sold in the same store, well, unless the beer is above a certain ABV, but then, most of your liquor stores don't carry beer because people don't go there to get beer.

Indiana has lost money from me too, due to no sales on Sunday.

Back to the commercial...

It was on TV on Friday night (I think). Kridz and I were sitting there, and I started laughing at myself. As I was watching it, I wondered how many people see that commercial and think about the three-tier system. I wonder what Cigar City Brewing thinks about that commercial?

Let's look more at the commercial. The distributor makes sales in Boston, and Dallas? Where is this brewery located that would make sales with that kind of distribution? Where did they get copper a copper brew house?

I guess that's enough ranting about that commercial.

Wait, one more; who would get into a full blown brewing operation without having existing sales? Did they just brew and brew and brew and then have stuff sitting around? No wonder there's banks collapsing. If they are giving money to upstart breweries that have no customers... what if that guy couldn't sell?

Ok, now that's enough ranting.