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Category: beer

06/13/08 09:38 - 73ºF - ID#44644

Beer corporate raid

It is kind of funny that the last real American mega brewer is going to be gobbled up by foreigners.
Although they are right in that no one really drinks "American" beer anymore unless it is light or low-carb, it does bring a significant end of an era. The consolidation of the 70's and 80's are going to leave us without a true national brew. Miller is South African & Coors is 1/2 Canadian. Really the only beer large scale national company will be Pabst and their collection of brands of yesteryear. Yea, they tried to do this when they bought Rolling Rock, but in doing so they did alienate the drinkers of the brand. Come one I drank to because it came from Latrobe, PA, not New Jersey where it originates now.

Yea, I do always find an appreciation for Michelob, but the real stuff is hard to find without light or ultra on the bottle. Then again I a friend of mine compared it to whole milk, "It's good when you have it, but you just can't drink it everyday."

it was Bud's fault for never really branching out. They could have bought out the smaller old man beers, but they only came up with brew products that never went anywhere. L.A. Beer, Bud Dry, Ice Draft (although I do miss Bud Ice Draft)

There is only real one weird thing in my mind. Is Busch going to survive Bud? I mean when Schlitz when faded away in the 1980's after people stopped drinking it, the secondary brand "Old Milwaukee" survived & is actually still thriving today. Actually Old Milwaukee is the best selling brand for Pabst. The only thing I can think of is that there are still a bunch of guys still thinking of this commercial: the ultimate misogynist beer as sex commercial ever!


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Category: tech

06/12/08 01:12 - 65ºF - ID#44625

computers + Vegas

I can't wait to try this out
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Category: issues

06/09/08 09:31 - 79ºF - ID#44599

planes, trains & automobiles

In kind of the spirit of (e:metalpeter) 's last post I have my own thoughts on the issue, but more so from the transportation side of things. This was influenced by listening to On Point this morning during my drive in to work. It was titled, The End of Affordable Air Travel?

It really reinforced some major points to me, the one being that at some point we are going to go back to flying as a luxury as it was back before regulation. Flights will be sparse and some cities will lose their service all together. The effect on tourism and even say grandparents visiting their kids and grandchildren are going to be major issues. So if someone is really family oriented taking that job down in the Southeast or Southwest may not happen, unless their family moves down with them. Who knows it may lead to someone taking a lower paying job in WNY just so they may see their family often instead of once every 10 years. Yea, you can make the point of keeping in touch with iChat, but really does it make up for a real hug or your grandma's fresh baked goodies?

What really gets me is that with airfare going through the roof taking that trip elsewhere may not be cost effective anymore. If it is going to cost $400 to fly to a city that you can drive to within 8 hours flying will lose out in the end. Going through the B.S at the airport just isn't worth it.

That's where I hope we may have a resurgence with train travel. I remember seeing a special on PBS about the (WIKIPEDIA - Pioneer_Zephyr) and realized what we could have had if train travel wasn't squashed by cheap oil for decades. It would really come in handy now wouldn't it? Could you imagine the Central Terminal if it wasn't piecemealed off 28 years ago? Especially if we had real "High Speed Rail" like they do in Europe & Japan? Not that "higher than the freight train thingy we have now between NYC & DC" Laying the track for a rain system is costly, but once is set up it is a kick ass way of moving people around efficiently in regards to a carbon footprint.

So in the end I think people are going to eventually fall back into the cities by circumstance not by choice (e:metalpeter) We will be like the French, in where the Rich live in the inner city & the poor live in the 'burbs. Some of the sprawl had to deal with people chasing "the best & newest." So where do you build a new house? Out where there is space, especially since you're going to build a McMansion with a 3 car garage & a storage place for that 40' "Dick Boat" and the R.V. You won't fit 3 cars, a camper, boat and jetski in that city lot. So you destroy a forest and build on a swamp so you can squeeze all of those toys in your property. Because you are chasing the next "best of the best" product like the newest line of spring fashion or the newest best high tech device. You wouldn't believe the amount of peices of furniture, rooms and kitchens that are bought and remodeled just so people can show them off to their neighbors. It got beyond utilitarian living & just became a pissing contest of "I have a Ralph Lauren ______ 2005 edition Blah. When it would get to be 2015, time to remodel & change everything even though everything works & is still functional. It's funny as I remember when my older generation of my family all died off they still had most of the same stuff they had when they first moved in to the houses they had. My mom hustled my great uncle's 1950's kitchen table & chairs along with the old school oven. The only reason why he got rid of the 'suffocation death trap" white latch refrigerator was it broke in the 80's & parts were not available any longer. My point is the stuff they had worked just fine & they never felt the need to remodel. Ironically when they passed the stuff they had was extremely valuable, since it was authentic & should have never survived our consumerism culture.

It was brought to my attention last night as I was leaving the R.E.M show. There weren't too many suckers like myself that parked & paid $20 to drive home. Most of the people were crossing the bridge on Lakeshore Blvd to catch the Go Train or the TTC. Yea, that was a good time last night :-) but seriously I wish I could afford to live in Toronto and ditch the car, but that is another post sometime...
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Category: money

06/07/08 12:48 - 82ºF - ID#44572

What a day for the ages

Oil up more than $10 a barrel in one Day!!!

Yea, in a sick way I kind of enjoying it. I own shares of UGA the U.S. Gasoline Fund Exchange Traded Fund. It is basically a basket of Gasoline Futures Contracts, so when the price of Gas goes up, so does this Fund. Hey, I just wanted in on a piece of the action. It's a still a capitalist kind of society until next January when most likely things will change drastically. Not because of some grassroots mandate, but by circumstance. This is only the begining. 30 years of an economic boom fed by an easy money orgy is not going to be corrected by 6 months of "flat" growth and bounce back like some bad cold recession like in 2001. This is going to be 1930's time and as prices for everyday things explode like Wilhelm Germany things are going to get ugly.

From my perspective things in this country are going to go left for a very long time. Everyone is going to be affected, heck even Ed McMahon is going to lose his home and he is supposed to be that "Great Depression Generation" that kept saving every penny they made, kept a cellar filled with canned goods & stole all the condiments from the restaurants they went to.

Then again it is what we signed up for when the Alpha Males on Wall St came up with these "innovative" products to make "Joe 6 Pack" a mini Donald Trump. No one complained about inflation when Real Estate Prices shot up to the stratosphere & people had to sign their lives away. What perfect timing was it when the changed the bankruptcy laws right before the top of the slippery slop started to turn? Everyone wanted to keep their profits private when their house doubled or tripled in a few years. Now they want to nationalize the losses when they owe the bank more money now that their mortgage is under water?

It makes me wonder if America is really the ultimate capitalist society that it claims to be? Money like life is a Zero Sum game, the losers pay off the winners, the Credits balance the Debits. Right now it seems that no one wants to pay off what they owe. It may be true that we never want to go too far to the left, since Americans are always for free enterprise and such. But with powerful market forces at work I leave you with this one thought.

What if in the ultimate free market Capitalist way a Hedge Fund cornered the market on some life saving Pharmaceutical Drugs keeping them out of reach of the public; With the intention of holding them on pure speculation that they price would go up? It would be a free market with those with access to capital using their leverage to gain more capital, thus making a profit...

These are interesting times, it will be interesting to remember when before the return to strict regulation people used to drive up the cost of shelter, heat, food, ect.
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Category: canada

06/01/08 11:17 - 53ºF - ID#44512

not much going on here

For the most part I really was a bore this weekend. The only thing I really ventured out in doing was going to check out this attempt at an outdoor festival in Niagara Falls Ontario called Springlicious
It really wasn't all that rocking when I stopped by on Saturday afternoon, although the weather had something to do with it.
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Although I have to say one good thing, it was a good feeling to sample food without being attacked by strollers as is so common at any outdoor event in Western New York.

What really surprised me is how much the Niagara Falls Ontario downtown has deteriorated. Queen St is starting to look like any burned out downtown in western New York. For the most part the only thing down there is City Hall and Orchid formerly the Daily Planet.

We then just decided to hit a Real Tim Horton's and do something else. What came next was a stop at the Penn Centre in St. Catherine's. It's just lately I have been feeling less and less Canadian for some reason. It could be the absence of seeing another U.S. plate when I was driving a bit deeper in the Niagara Region. The dollar & customs going back in the U.S. has the lion's share of why Americans just don't visit anymore. The problem with that is being Canadian and feeling part of the country is a core part of my being. Lately I just feel it slipping away on many levels. SO what did I do? I bought a Roots hoodie and I made sure that it featured the lettering Canada on it somewhere. The next thing I did was I stopped at the beer store to buy a 12 pack of Carling Black Label. Canadian beer prices are not cool as it was $20 for a 12 pack of beer that is on par with PBR.

Anyway when ever I have free time and resources I plan on messing around in Canada this summer. It really gets into gear with the R.E.M. concert next weekend, of which I currently have an extra ticket is anyone is interested.


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Category: thursdays

05/30/08 09:21 - 69ºF - ID#44494

my take on the square

Originally a comment, but I decided to post it due to size.

I wasn't too thrilled about the square last night. To be honest I was there for a grand total of 35 minutes and left. The masses really got to me to be honest. The smoke was as if you were indoors and I just couldn't stand all the people walking aimlessly with a beer in one hand and a cell phone in another. Oh, and those "hot topic" kids on Main st really pissed me off.

All I can say is I'm glad that there really isn't anyone I' too crazy about on this year's schedule. To be honest if there was someone was passionate about, I'd flip. Trying to focus on an artist is tough in the "world's biggest outdoor happy hour" environment. At this point I am happy to pay to see a concert to be around liked minded people, not kids trying to distract themselves or people just there taking up space for something to do. You could throw Lance Diamond up there on stage and still get the 10,000 people crowd. It's all about drinking, free entertainment, and trying to get a phone number, all while trying to to look good in doing so. I can go to Chippewa any weekend for that, if I really wanted it.

The biggest surprise of the night was the amount of people squeezed into Tim Horton's! Not even in Canada do you get so many people getting their coffee & donuts at one time. Yea, it was cold so coffee was in order I suppose.

In closing I just didn't get a good vibe at all from the first Tats.

At this point I wish I could attend more Tuesday's in the Gorge at Artpark. You wont' have to deal with the punk kids or homeless looking people. Shit, I must be getting old & snobby :-/
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Category: economics

05/20/08 12:51 - 45ºF - ID#44396

opposite ends of the spectrum

Lately my viewing habbits have gravitated towards the Showtime Network. Surprisingly the biggest draw for me has not been weeds or some crazy movie, but documentaries. This one Maxed Out (SORRY GOOGLE VIDEO IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE. LINK WAS -4840432044369494646) sucked me in totally this weekend. This is why the Republicans are going to wander the desert for the next 30 years. In the middle of this doc they show how the unwinding of the bankruptcy laws in this country effectively brought back the Debtors prisons a la Charles Dickens. Two of the main characters of this show Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey are interesting twist to the whole thing. For the most part I can't stand Suze, but to me Dave Ramsey has been the shining light of the Fox Business Channel. The economic climate has finally caught up to his message, "It's cool to be Frugal."

So on one end we have the average people succuming to slavery by the banks and on the other we have the Uber Capitalists. They're kind of the people that (e:hodown) sees on a daily basis in NYC.
Yes, it's long but it does show the pinnacle of what everyone is striving for in the New York Metro Area. Those are the people everyone wants to be or pretends to me at least in their mind. It's kind of ironic that the financial "products" that some of that crowd came up is the fuel that indirectly is helping us burn $4 gas in our cars. To me it's kind of shocking to see the people that can burn though cash like it's nothing be Neanderthals. Since it always that the higher class of people the more civilized or gentrified, but in reality the ultra wealthy may have always been this way, we just never saw it on TMZ.

In the end we need to tilt ourselves to the left, a la FDR style.
We are going to have to turn to civic sacrifice to turn things around for everyone as the decession deepens. That means higher taxes on the corporate/hedge fund crowd & all sorts of other middle class building initiatives.


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Category: allentown

05/17/08 03:37 - 58ºF - ID#44375

Bar Fight!

Yea, I almost got into one last night in allentown and of all places it was F'n Gabriel's Gate Ironically we went there since my Ex saw some old co-worker across the street @ Frizzy's and didn't want to get into it with her.

We get to the bar, of which all the stools were taken at the time. We order a couple of beers and then wait for a couple to cash out their bar bill as they were heading to a table. There is this old guy literally stuffing his face with chicken wings at the end of the bar, but I think nothing of it.Then for the next 30 minutes we watch the Celtics lost to the Cavs. The weird guy goes away to the bathroom and comes back 20 minutes later to the same spot at the end of the bar. Then all heck breaks loose. He then marches to my stool 5 down and starts getting into my face saying, "You moved my beer!! That is a rotten thing to do!!!" Now to be honest I though he was saying that I stole his beer, but nothing I said to the contary did anything but make him more angry. At one point I thought we were going to go at it, but he backed away. From what my ex tells me he then proceeded to stand behind me chugging his beer. The next thing is that a guy that was watching this unfold at a table behind us comes up to me and tells me , "that guy is getting ready to BUST THAT BEER BOTTLE OVER YOUR HEAD!!!" I turn around and the guy is bright red!!!

My thought is, "I am going to get into a fight @ Gabriel's Gate with a 55 Year old Gay Guy!!!" I put down my half finished Heinie & immediately leave. As a precautionary measure I ready myself on the right side of the door nest to the iron gate. The decision is made, if this Fucker comes across the line of the gate, I'm taking him down UFC Style on the sidewalk. Well he did follow me outside, but he just looked at me on the front of the steps, sneered at me and then walked away towards Coulter Bay.

My Ex was laughing her ass off that of all Fucking places I was going to get into a fight with an AARP member at Gabriel's Gate!!! Of all the shady ass places I've been to drink I actually can't believe that I had to experience this at this of all places! It's a fucked up world where you feel safer with 21 year old fratboys drinking on Chippewa. I guess if you're dealing with people that may be packing you don't pull that kind of drama when you're tripping balls.

Anyway to close the night we ended up checking the newest incarnation of the Jupiter Room now "The Bend." All I can say is I really like what they have done to the place. I actually felt comfortable in there without the vibe of throwing down ;-)


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Category: politics

05/15/08 08:05 - 59ºF - ID#44354

Things shaping up

Today I cam across a couple of interesting stories regarding where things are likely to head. The first one that grabbed my attention is the story that the Republicans are looking to go back in to the wilderness. and to me it couldn't happen to a better group of people. It sort of sounded like something that I said back a while ago in November

It will just be like shooting fish in a barrel. Deregulation Capitalists will be kept far away from sharp objects and Washington for decades after this mess really gains momentum.


They totally ran the country into the ground. All of their principles that they stood for were just ignored when they became inconvient. In the end the only two things that remained were lowering the tax burden for the higher income brackets & for the most part putting abortion back into the dark ages. Really if you're not sexually repressed looking for suggestive logo's on coffee cups or living in a McMansion in Tom Reynold's district you don't have a reason to support those people any more. The majority of the middle class that was bullshitted into voting for them against their best interest have finally woken up. Sorry, no more student loan aid for your kid, but we can abolish the estate tax so some family can pass 500 Million to the next generation. Thank God it is coming to an end. I actually respected the Country Club Republican Party when they were just the loyal opposition.

Now to make sure whoever comes out of the Democratic juggernaut wins without any doubt, we may have a viable third party Candidate
to split the Republican vote. With him setting up a run he may splinter enough El Rushbo listeners to the point where Hillary may even win hands down even if she Steals the nomination EEERRR, wins the nomination. Just like the way Bill got in with Perot splintering the conservative red state vote.



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Category: sports

05/15/08 12:19 - 56ºF - ID#44343

Hateriots Apology

Apology

On Feb. 2, 2008, the Boston Herald reported that a member of the New England Patriots [team stats]' video staff taped the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI. While the Boston Herald based its Feb. 2, 2008, report on sources that it believed to be credible, we now know that this report was false, and that no tape of the walkthrough ever existed.

Prior to the publication of its Feb. 2, 2008, article, the Boston Herald neither possessed nor viewed a tape of the Rams' walkthrough before Super Bowl XXXVI, nor did we speak to anyone who had. We should not have published the allegation in the absence of firmer verification.

The Boston Herald regrets the damage done to the team by publication of the allegation, and sincerely apologizes to its readers and to the New England Patriots [team stats]' owners, players, employees and fans for our error.



Seriously, can we move on with things now? I think that the damage has been done when they lost. Having that hanging over their head with the potential of a congressional investigation most likely distracted them enough were they lost the big game. They lost a draft pick & the big game, that's punishment enough. So they taped the lousy Bills, Browns, Chargers, Chargers [Cheerleaders] and Jets. They really gained a competive advantage from checking out hotties from SoCal do leg kicks.

I just love how these tools on Sports Talk Radio are calling in saying that it is an NFL Conspiracy to protect their product and hence bottom line. These must be the losers that sleep with aluminum foil helmets at night so the government won't read their thoughts. Better yet the egos of former players or fans that just can't stomach that someone is better, smarter and more wealthier than they are. So they attempt to rationalize it through some crazy conspiracy theory.

Personally I am not a Pats fan. I really don't care about them personally. All I wonder is what would have these overweight slobs be saying if say Dick Jouron was caught doing something & the Bills 1st round pick was taken away by the league? The whole "The world is trying to F**k Buffalo" paranoia that overtakes this area would just be freaking insane.

In the end maybe it's just me and my ego isn't out of whack. There are people in this world that are better, smarter, stronger and richer than I am. If someone went to an Ivy league school, drives a BMW, has a hot 6' 100 lb blonde trophy S.O. and a ton of $; I don't secretly begrudge him. I am honest happy for him or her given the circumstances. But for the typical male where status is the measuring standard and everything, you can get his kind of poisonous envy that just has taken a life of it's own for the last 6 years.

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