Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
This weekend was pretty relaxed… and surprisingly chilly for the Bay area. That being said… the temperatures were still in the 40’s & 50’s during the day… and frosty in the 30’s for overnight… but compared to the -15 stuff back home in Utah… or the torrential downpour of snow & sleet at NFL games on the East Coast, we’re pretty f**king lucky out here. Here’s the version of SF Snow from the coldest it has been in my three-year tenure here…
Saturday, we moved our Mead to 2nd fermentation carboy… pretty easy & standard stuff… but just thought that I’d share with ya…
We followed it up with a lunch consisting of Bacon & cheddar burger patties that I found at Safeway… they were pretty good…
Last week, the Wingman introduced us to a fun horror parody movie on Netflix called “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” starring Tyler Labine & Alan Tudyk as two rednecks on a fishing trip at their dilapidated cabin in the woods… and then through a few acts of confusion… a group of preppy college kids think they’ve abducted one of their classmates… so now they attack Tucker & Dale to get her back. It’s actually REALLY hilarious& plays on all the usual horror clichés… but adds a little real world application… but not a whole lot of common sense… I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good horror parody… but without all the grotesque, sexual references that you get from all the “Scary Movie” episodes… though I enjoy those as well. Think of it as a cross between “Shaun of the Dead” and “Cabin in the Woods”. Not shabby company if you ask me.
A non-parody horror flick that I saw the other night was “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane” starring Amber Heard and directed by Jonathan Levine (“50/50” & “Warm Bodies”). Apparently this movie was made back in 2006… but wasn’t widely released until September 6th, 2013… so that… might indicate the kind of movie that it was right off the bat. If they thought they were going to make a lot of money… or any money given the shoestring budgets of horror flicks, they would’ve released it. However, I was still curious… and let’s face it… Amber Heard is HOT!!! Anyway, the premise is that a group of “cool kid” high school kids invite good girl Mandy Lane (Heard), who got REALLY HOT junior year, to a party at their secluded ranch in Texas. All the guys (and maybe the girls) are planning on popping that sweet virgin cherry of hers… but there’s one problem… partygoers start disappearing… and then reappearing as corpses. I won’t lie… it’s a pretty standard horror flick, though it might’ve been intriguing if it was released 7 years ago… but there’s really no surprises or anything. The only thing really unique about it is the way that it’s shot… but it’s mostly just the use of lens flares (not quite JJ Abrams, but noticeable) and some of the scenes are really dirty & grotesque to a point you almost feel like you can smell it… but that’s kinda what you expect. Anyway, it’s okay… but not great by any means. Did I mention that Amber Heard is hot? She’s in other movies like “Drive Angry” and “Rum Diary” though if you wanna see her… or my personal recommendation, the underrated “The Joneses” opposite David Duchovny & Demi Moore. You’re welcome.
Last night, I was able to get in on a preview screening of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” starring… well, you know, everybody from the first Hobbit movie. This was the 2nd of three movies in the Hobbit trilogy… and it picks up were the 1st movie leaves off… with a bunch of dwarves, a wizard & a hobbit named Bilbo on their way to the Lonely Mountain to take back the dwarvish homeland from a fire-breathing dragon named Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, sorta). Along the way, they battle giant spiders, orcs, elves (then join forces), and are thrown in a dungeon a few times yet always miraculously escape. Then they come to meet up with Smaug… and he’s basically invincible. Fun fact: That description I gave you… was for a 161 minute movie. That being said… it did NOT feel like it was that long. When it ended, I was expected a lot more given the run time that I knew going in… but it leaves off on a cliffhanger of course… because there’s a third movie to be released next holiday season. Now for this portion, the movie is exactly what you would expect. Magic, dark forces, lots of talk of honor & vague phrases, walking, sword play, arrows, axes, more walking, scenery of New Zealand, hot elvish chicks (Evangeline Lilly), talk of weed, more walking, etc. The fight scenes are pretty epic… but it seemed weird that at times they were almost too fast to pay attention to… and then would slow down quite a bit (specifically the barrel chase scene where it goes all over the place defying all logic & physics) but overall the pace of the movie seemed a little off at some points. However, I know it’s tough to keep people interested for five minutes let alone 160… so yeah, I would definitely recommend this if you liked the first four such movies. I’m excited to see the last movie too. Besides, there’s a f**king dragon voiced by KHAAAAAAAN in this one. How bad could it really be?
By the way, if you haven’t already, check out our (Dizzy & mine) new blog about our homebrewing adventure entitled Terrible Lizard Brewing. That blog is specifically made for basically anything beer-related… including our homebrewing updates, reviews of breweries, books, TV/movies, festivals, and various other adventures all regarding BEER!!! There’s also some of our artwork, design ideas, hilarious photos & stories, and all the other stuff that you’d expect from this blog… just with a higher ABV. Coming up this weekend… we go on a bus-driven brewery tour across the Bay with the SF Homebrewers Guild on Saturday… and then we will start our first all-grain batch of beer on Sunday… and it’s a Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter, which should be quite epic AND amazing.
That should do it for today. After next week’s update, there may be a slight hiatus while I go back home to Utah for the holidays… but I assure you that I’ll be back in time for early 2014. That reminds me… I’d better start on the $tevies for this year. LOTS of competition in a few categories… so we’ll have to see how those turn out. Have a great week everybody!!!
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Well, it’s the time of year when we should all be grateful for many, many, many, many things. Here are a few things that top my list:
· My Family – I spent Thanksgiving with basically my new family… and in two weeks’ time I’ll be in Utah with the rest of them for Christmas
· My Friends – I’m glad that I’m apparently able to surround myself with good people wherever I go
· My Lady – She’s amazing… can’t really say enough about her
· My Health – This one has really hit home recently when a few friends & coworkers have been dealt some seriously life-changing blows… and I wish them all a speedy recovery & send them my warmest wishes
· My Mind – Like my health, I’d better enjoy it while I can… family history is less than promising
· My Country – “America… f**k yeah!” Say what you want about the state of absolute decay that it’s going into because of ridiculous leadership on just about all levels… but it’s still better than where over 90% of the rest of the world’s population lives
· Beer – “The cause of… and solution to… all of life’s problems”
Now that we’ve got those major things out of the way… let’s check out the news…
The Mad Tipper - Before Aaron Collins died, he gave his brother, Seth, a mission: Eat, be merry and leave a giant tip. On Wednesday night, Seth Collins of Lexington, Kentucky, did just that, leaving a $500 tip for a Friendly's waitress in Springfield, Vermont. It's part of a nationwide tour that Collins is carrying out in the name of his brother, who died in July 2012 at the age of 30. In a story provided by the Eagle Times of Claremont, the Friendly's waitress, Julie Bombria, said she thought she was going to faint after getting the generous tip. "This is the nicest thing anyone has done," she said. In his will, Aaron Collins asked his family to give his money to people in need. His cause of death is still unknown, according to the newspaper. Through his family, he's given away 81 tips throughout the Midwest, Pacific and Mountain West regions and is now in New England. Initially, Seth Collins took family and friends to dinner at a Lexington restaurant, gave their server $500 and recorded it. Aaron's wish was fulfilled but far from over. Seth Collins put a video of his first tipping spree on Facebook and started getting donations from around the world. The total's up to $50,000. "(Aaron) thought it would be a one-shot deal," Collins said. "I was going to do this like three or four times, but people were so compelled that they kept giving money. I'm going to give it back on behalf of my brother." He is on his way to Maine, then he will work his way down through New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and the Mid-Atlantic. "Being on the other side of the table and giving away $500 tips is very rewarding," Collins said. So if you’re on the East Coast, keep your eyes out for Seth. Man, it would be nice to give money like that willy-nilly. It’s a good story about helping others in need… that are really in need…
Not just, for example, a heavy-set man standing in a BART station saying, “Five bucks… five bucks… five bucks… lots of people in need… five bucks… five bucks…” I indulged this gentleman (dressed in a suit of course):
$teve: “What are you selling?”
$teve: “What are you selling for five bucks?”
Man: “Nah man, I’m hungry… and cold. I need five bucks.”
$teve: “Really? Not even messing around with change anymore? Going straight for five bucks?”
Man: “Everything expensive…”
$teve: “Oh I KNOW! Believe me, I KNOW! Well, good luck with that…”
Man: (under his breath) “F**k you!”
$teve: “Happy holidays to you too!”
Yes, I know I sound like an asshole… but seriously? Granted there are a LOT of homeless people here in the City… but as I get older, my feelings toward them goes from pity & a longing to help them… to actually having met a few… and that just led to bitter resentment. Some are drunken, belligerent asshats… some are drug addicts… some are mentally unstable… some are honestly just f**king lazy… some are just preying on human emotions to support them… some of them it’s their f**king “job” & they go home to houses better than where I live. True story. Anyway, that’s basically why this next story REALLY irks my gurken…
Christmaspocracy - 11-year-old entrepreneur Madison Root was selling bags of hand-picked mistletoe in Oregon’s Portland Saturday Market to help pay for her braces… but was told to stop because she was violating a city code. The young salesperson told KATU 2 news, "I wouldn't think that I'd have any problems because people are asking for money, people are selling stuff, this is a public place." But the private security guard for the Portland Saturday Market said she was violating Chapter 20.12.020, which makes sales without permits illegal. Madison’s father, Ashton Root (I'm assuming either her mother or brother is named Dakota by the way), was with her at the market and told The Oregonian that the guard said she couldn’t even give away the mistletoe and ask for donations… but begging for money would be okay. (LOOPHOLE FOUND! Beg for money… then throw mistletoe at them & call them “Obama’s c**ksucker!” It’s perfectly legal here!) Mark Ross, Portland Parks Bureau spokesperson, explained that begging is a protected form of free speech. "We totally understand the rule…But here she was selling mistletoe and all around her were people playing music for money, or asking for money for pot, or just spare change. We’re allowing people to beg, but not to sell; it seems like there should be some sort of exception,” Ashton said. Madison agreed, “I don't want to beg! I would rather work for something than beg." From a f**king 11 year old... AMERICA!!! After KATU’s original story spread, Madison’s business took off. In just two days orders streamed in, some for 20 or 30 bags of the mistletoe at a time. A fellow entrepreneur, McKenzie Cook, also took notice of Madison’s plight telling the station, "I saw Madison's story on KATU and I was so moved." So moved that McKenzie offered Madison $1000… for one night. Wait, no… sorry, just to help pay for the braces I think. The fellow Oregonian started his business McKenzie Farms, the second largest Christmas tree farm in the country, with no trees and felt, "This girl is what America is all about." Madison launched her own website which is taking donations for her braces fund and her “special cause of supporting the entrepreneurial spirit for kids of all ages.” Thanks to the mistletoe sales and McKenzie Cook’s contribution, Madison recently got her top row of braces. As her business takes off the pre-teen has been making media appearances and is planning an event on December 14th by the Saturday Market called, “Kiss Off Portland.” AMERICA!!! At the event the young entrepreneur will be speaking about making a difference in the city laws. The effort that began to fund her braces became a lesson in civics and Madison has developed her own platform saying, "People should be able to work for money. People should be able to try hard to make a living.” Needless to say, I agree.
I feel like I shouldn’t have to elaborate on this… because if you don’t understand the core concept, then there’s probably no way that I’m going to turn you. Mental illness & the physical inability to do something is one reason… but just giving up, not even trying & expecting the world to take care of you… that’s something that I just can’t stand. I’ve had a job since I was 15… and went to school for many years. Granted I had a great family to help set the foundation… but it wasn’t easy. I feel like I’m better for it obviously… and maybe it’s just me… but I see a lot of “kids” nowadays and how entitled they think they are… and it just makes me fearful for the future. Learn a trade… or two… or three. Give more than you’ll get this holiday season… and to people who deserve it… not just because they’re related. Also, don’t just give them sh*t. Give them something that they’d actually use or would be helpful to them. If they roll their eyes or give you guff that they wanted some piece of sh*t, take it back & give them the back of your hand. Okay… maybe not that extreme… but inform them that you care for them & this is a gift because of that… and if they don’t like that, THEN you ask them “What did the five fingers say to the face?” SLAP!!! Whatever… rant over.
On that note, I just wanted to wish everybody a HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! Hopefully you find this blog a little helpful… as it’s wrapped with Love & sprinkled with bacon on at least a weekly basis. Have a great day everybody!!!
Monday, December 2, 2013
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
The Wingman has come… came… and now gone. Yes, the time here was brief & seemed to fly by even faster… but I’m REALLY glad that he was able to come out, visit & just relax and kick it for a few days during an otherwise extremely stressful time. So I’ll sum up the long weekend that was… and maybe even throw in a few photos… though Facebook is probably were most of the good ones are (i.e. pictures with ME!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!)
Wednesday – I worked until the early afternoon, then I met up with the Wingman in Chinatown where he was doing some shopping… and then we visited Rogue Ales Public House for some fine beverages & burgers. I feel like I’ve elaborated on Rogue enough… but that’s some good stuff. We then went back to my place since he had walked a half-marathon during the day… and watched Netflix & HuluPlus the rest of the night and basically doing our own Mystery Science Theatre 3000 routine.
Thursday was Thanksgiving so we went to Izzy’s aunt’s for dinner… but first, a few hours of football & we brought our patented homebrews to share with everybody. The response was unanimous that our beer was REALLY good… and some felt that our Pumpkin Ale was probably the best beer that they’ve ever tasted. Granted, these were mostly ladies in their sixties & above… but that also means that they have a lot of drinking experience. We were expecting some harsh criticism from the aunts… but they both LOVED them… so we left them a few to thank them for dinner. The food selection was also great… not nearly the artery-clogging array that I’m used to but still pretty good. It wasn’t vegan and it wasn’t deep fried… so a nice middle ground. Thank you ladies!
Afterwards, we headed back to my place to watch movies including “Blanconieves” which is a Spanish silent film retelling of “Snow White” that came out last year… which apparently was the “Let’s have every studio do a version of Snow White” year of Hollywood. The premise was the story of the girl raised by her evil stepmother, etc from the famous Disney version… but set in 1920’s Spain… and involves Bullfighting… which was why we watched. That’s right… bullfighting dwarves. I know what you’re thinking… and it sounds like a horrible movie… but it was actually VERY well done… and I REALLY enjoyed it. I highly recommend that you check it out. It’s a very well done silent film. Granted, there are a few surprising deviations from the original tale… but it’s well worth it… and did I mention the bullfighting? And hot Spanish chicks? Check it out!
Blackout Friday – While others woke up early or started the night before to get some “deals”, we decided to sleep in a bit, then head over to Izzy’s side of the bay in El Cerrito to check out Clothing Broker. You may remember this as the place that caters more to the African-American demographic when it comes to suits & other fine clothing… but it’s about the only place in town that can accommodate the giant proportions of myself & the Wingman… and their prices are about a quarter of any of those Men’s Wearhouse or Joseph A. Bank sale prices. I found some nice dress shirts & ties since I had recently bought a few suits there, but the Wingman got to try on the selection as well. We also stopped by Coit Tower to give him an overview of the city... but it was closed for renovations.
Afterwards, we visited the Albany Taproom for some refreshments, then Nation’s for a lunch consisting of burgers & pie, then to Elevation 66 Brewery for some more refreshments, stopped by Speakeasy Ales & Lagers for more beverages & some links courtesy of The Missing Link, and then finished off the night back at my place with a pizza from Café Avellino’s (Lombard Special) while watching movies. Oh, we also ordered some Ho’s Thursday night. Ho’s of course being the decent Chinese place that delivers to my place in the Presidio.
Saturday – We went out to the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building to get some fresh produce & fine cheeses… and then yeah, was pretty lazy the rest of the day. We also checked out the Christmas decorations at the Hyatt Regency...
Dizzy had to work & we’d been walking a lot the past few days… so the Wingman & I chilled and watched yet more movies like the classic “Revenge of the Nerds” and Hulu original series like “The Wrong Mans” & “The Awesomes”.
One of the shows we watched was a short-lived TV series from a few years back called “The Cape” starring David Lyons, Keith David, Martin Klebba, Vinnie Jones & Summer Glau. Apparently it only lasted 10 episodes before getting pulled from the air due to a lack of viewership. A cop (Lyons) is framed as a criminal mastermind named Chess and after an explosion during a trap is thought to be dead as he goes into hiding… and tries to clear his name & save the city. How does he do this? He is saved by the Carnival of Crime (David, Klebba & others) and they nurse him back to health… and train him to use a cape made entirely out of spider silk to become a superhero from a comic that the cop’s son reads called oddly enough… The Cape. Feel free to read that again. Criminal carnies teach him to be a superhero… including giving him a special cape made out of spider silk. Okay, it’s not the greatest premise in the world… but you’ve read comics, right? Anyway, there’s the REAL Chess who’s still orchestrating evil plots to take over the city and/or world… and the Cape must clear his name so that he can save his family… but he also gets to meet them from time to time as The Cape… and they don’t seem to recognize him despite he’s not using a goofy “Dark Knight voice” or anything like that… and he basically has a Zorro mask. So I can see why it didn’t last long… and the dialogue & story isn’t exactly gripping… but at the same time, I’ve seen a LOT worse on TV. Oh & Summer Glau stars as the Oracle… er, I mean Orwell who is helping The Cape on his quest by looking up information & providing assistance in a pinch where The Cape can’t be seen. Okay, it’s kind of a ripoff of Batman in many ways… but hey, don’t let that stop you from checking it out on Hulu or something like I did. It’s okay.
Sunday – We watched football and finally drank Adam Carolla’s signature beverage Mangria in a delightful concoction known as “The Bro’se” which consists of his standard Mangria red… and his new delightful white peach flavor. It was dangerously good… but be warned, it’s 20% alcohol so it’ll sneak up on you… and headaches are a possibility, especially if you’ve been drinking mostly beer & mead the past few days. Dizzy also amazed us with some incredible sandwiches consisting of local goods… Boudin sourdough bread, hickory smoked bacon, Big Bay Bleu Cheese & various dates from the Farmer’s Market… BEHOLD!!!
After football, we quickly headed over to Sutro Baths to show the Wingman before his flight… and we got there just at sunset…
Then it was off to the airport so the Wingman could return home to Utah, just in time for yet another cold spell & winter storm warning. Sorry bro… but we’re glad that you got to come visit if only for a long weekend. You’re more than welcome back any time!!!
That’ll do it for tonight… More fun stuff coming up soon. Have a great day everybody!!!
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
This weekend was pretty awesome… we set out Friday in the early afternoon. I left work early at 3 PM… so I could basically spend the first hour in traffic to go one mile to get on the Bay Bridge… then another 45 minutes to get out to El Cerrito. After that though, the next 220 miles or so took about 3 hours (please don’t do the math CHP). What did that lead to? Getting to the Alice Cooper concert right at showtime of 8:30!!! The man is still a great performer at the age of 65 or so… but yeah, here are some pictures…
After the concert, Dizzy & I went to Great Basin Brewing Company on Virginia Ave to check out some of their local brews. They were REALLY good. Icky IPA was fantastic, Nevada Gold was a cold lagered kolsch/pale ale mix so a great all-day drinking beer, Jackpot Porter was good… and there was a milk stout that we tried as well that was very easy to drink. If you’re in Reno, check them out.
Saturday, we met up with Chick’n’Wing and went to the National Automobile Museum in downtown Reno near Harrah’s Casino. Here are some great pictures…
By the way, if you ever see this alley... go down it...
Go in here... The Awful Awful...
This will await you...
Fun fact: This is the original Reno sign you see in old movies...
Mmmm... where the streets are paved with pork...
Hell yeah I want a copper Rolls Royce...
The original electric car... didn't last long...
That night we went to First Bar for a scavenger hunt… but Chick’n’Wing had broken her arm the weekend before… and it’s was about 12 degrees outside, so we just decided to chill at the bar & have a few drinks while everybody else ran around for a few hours. It was great to catch up. It was my first time seeing her since the divorce to Wingman (flying in tonight oddly enough) but glad that she’s doing okay & enjoying the Reno atmosphere… which I do kind of miss. You know, cheap beer, redneck fun all around, a stone’s throw from Lake Tahoe, what’s not to like really?
Sunday, Dizzy & I drove back to San Francisco, and that night we watched “Orca: The Killer Whale” starring Richard Harris (Dumbledore) and Bo Derek (briefly). Released in 1977 right after “Jaws” success, I’m surprised that more people haven’t heard of this movie… I really didn’t until checking out movies like “Blackfish” and orca documentaries… but yeah, I liked it. Basically the story is about a fishboat captain (Harris) who sets out to get some quick money by snagging a few killer whales for an aquarium who will pay handsomely (any really). However, while trying to capture one… he inadvertently injures a female… like really bad… and then it runs into the fan of the boat… and then they hang it up and try to take it to shore… and the female was pregnant so the human-like fetus pops out… and all while the male watches. The captain is distraught by the whole thing… and eventually releases the severely injured body of the female so that he can get the ship into port… but now the male if full of the purest male emotion of all… VENGEANCE!!! He wants to exact his revenge… but how can you do it when you’re limited to the vast ocean? Well, how about destroy all of the boats in the fishing village besides the captain who murdered your family… and then blow up the town? That’ll make him come to you, right? Or the captain could just move to the coal mines or something, change of profession… but that’s not nearly as good of a story. Anyway, I say check it out. It’s not bad for a nearly 40 year old somewhat-ridiculous horror flick… but there will be some parts that scratch your heard… and the dialogue is very bad at some parts. I like tales of VENGEANCE though… and this fits the bill nicely.
Anyway, that’ll do it for tonight… as I’ve gotta go pickup up the Wingman from the airport for our own Thanksgiving Weekend shenanigans!!! Have a great Thanksgiving everybody!!!