You Still Don't Know Jack

You Dont Know Jack Box ArtI remember back in college, we’d have hours of fun playing this game. This was when they had online episodes and I had all the CD versions of the game as well. A great little three player trivia game. The online versions even preceded the whole flash gaming craze. They were done in flash, but at the time the most complex flash games looked like stuff you’d seen on the Atari back in the day. But trivia doesn’t need complicated graphics, just sharp text and a soundtrack. The soundtrack, of course, was what made the game.

But when Jellyvision folded, I forgot about it, more or less.

The other day, I ran across my old CD’s and tried to get it working again. It had some minor problems with XP, but nothing that searching the internet could not fix.

In the process of that search, I discovered that You Don’t Know Jack is back!

Jellyvision has reformed and has spent most of the year publishing new online episodes on their website: http://youdontknowjack.com. Most of them are “Dis or Dat” episodes, which are short, but they have loads of full episodes too. Well worth a play through.

Enjoy!

Status update

You know, I really need to get in the habit of posting here at least once a week. I guess I’m just busy or lazy or something like that. Anyway, I figured a status update is in order, so I’ll run over a few quick one-liners to let people know what’s up.

First, for all the people in town this weekend, I won’t be here. Sorry, heading to a wedding on Friday. Be back late Sunday. This means I’ll miss Sunday Funday yet again, which I do hate to do. I do plan on going to the Saucer this afternoon though, for a little while.

Last weekend was a blast. The South Main Arts Festival was a heck of a good time. Although the art itself was rather expensive, the various food shops were spectacular. Had a good time at the various costume parties as well. Didn’t get any pictures, but Paul did, so that’ll do, for now. I’ve got some stashed somewhere, I’ll post them eventually.

The weekend before that I was in Atlanta, doing a combination beer festival and bachelor party. This event told me two things: a) I’m getting old and creaky, b) I can still hold my liquor with the best of them. While the pain was for lack of a better term, immense, at least I was still able to drink for 13 hours straight and remain mostly upright, with only the occasional stumbling. Pictures of some parts of this will be posted soon.

The weekend before that, my dad was in town for our local block party, or as I want to call it, the bi-ann-sou-mai-con. He had a good time, and got nicely wasted. Went to the Metal Museum the next day, for their annual Repair Days thing. Got some iron work he brought repaired, and then he left early, but not before picking up many pieces of Gus’ chicken to take back to mom.

The weeks before that I probably did some things too. Just not particularly important ones.

I will resolve to update more often in the future, I swear.

Minor highlights of the life of Otto…

Let’s see, haven’t posted here in a while… what to say…

Lorelle invited me to make some guest posts this month on her blog. I wrote a short little technical ditty about how to integrate Microformats and WordPress Themes. If you’re into WordPress, or CMS’s in general, it’s worth a look. Since I use this site as a sort of test bed, I might also mention that it’s currently showing nine, count ’em, nine different microformats. And a few other things that aren’t microformats as well.

Went to the Art on Tap beer festival this last weekend. Had a hell of a good time, but was rather disappointed in the food selection. Also, it was one of the only beer festivals I’ve ever seen where all the beer was poured out of bottles. The exception was the homebrews poured by The Bluff City Brewers, which were all really good. I recall getting back to the Saucer, I don’t quite recall going home. So clearly, I had a good time. Paul posted some shots of the fest, some of which include yours truly.

The Rapscallions won at Trivia tonight, amazingly enough. Pete has clearly been making the questions harder, as we only scored 79 out of a possible 160-something. Still, that was enough for a tie, and we won the tie-breaker. $50 in the pot for the next party!

I received an invitation to the wedding of Chris, a friend of mine currently living in Atlanta. I kinda wonder about it, the wedding reception is at a beach resort in Alabama, but it’s in November. Anybody know what the weather is like at Gulf Shores in November?

Along with the invite, I received a summons from Zach for the Bachelor Party in October. Unfortunately, I’m told that it’s the same day as the Great Decatur Beer Tasting Festival. That’s just poor planning, man. Although, a beer tasting in the afternoon, followed by a Bachelor Party all evening… I’m not sure I’m capable of that anymore. I’m not as young as I used to be. Still, it’s doable, and damnit, I think I’m going to have to try. And then this weekend, I have the Cooper-Young festival to cope with. Along with a keg party a block away from the festivities.

Oh yeah, and Raiford’s is reopening, with Raiford back at the turntables. Now that I live about 2 blocks away from that point, I can see many 40’s in my future.

So, the fall is looking busy.

Dogfish Head Beer Tasting – Review

I had a thoroughly enjoyable time at the Flying Saucer last night. They had a Dogfish Head beer tasting event, where we got to try five different Dogfish Head beers along with a five course tasting meal to go with the beers and such.

First: By far, my favorite was the Midas Touch. It was an excellent beverage, extremely smooth. The contents of it are unusual (as with all Dogfish Head beers), and it had a flavor which I’m somewhat unable to describe. Very mellow and mead-like, but not overpoweringly so. Strong as heck (9%) but you can’t tell at all. A very complicated beer.

Second: The Festina Peche, which was not a beer that I was expecting them to have. It’s a wheat beer, but they called it a “Neo-Berliner” which was new to me. It had the most variation in flavor of any beer that night, very sweet at first, turning almost sour by the 4th-5th taste. High in carbonation (for a beer), but surprisingly low in alcohol (only 4.5%). Excellent flavor though, and I will pick it up again when I find it.

Third: The 90 Minute IPA. For those of you that know me, you probably know that I hate IPA’s. Really, really hate them. However, the 90 Minute IPA really does an amazing job of hiding the hop flavors with the sweet flavors at the start. I did discover that if you block the sweet flavors by eating some bread just before taking a drink, then it’s extremely hoppy. All the hop flavor comes out when you can’t taste the sweetness.

Fourth: Raison d’Etre. This is one I’ve had many times before, it’s a beer made with green raisins and Belgian yeasts. It’s a good beer, but many people don’t like it because it’s slightly sour flavored and very malty. Note that by ranking this 4th, I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m just saying that the other three were better. :)

Fifth: The 60 Minute IPA. It’s a pretty average IPA, but with a lot more hops than per normal. The hop flavor is immediately apparent as it’s way overhopped. I have to say that while I can drink this beer, I don’t really care for it much. It’s a high alcohol beer (6%) for a low alcohol price, and that’s a good thing. It’s also a much better beer than many others on the market. However, it’s very much an IPA with a huge amount of hops, and I don’t care for that style of beer myself. But if you like IPAs, you’ll love it.

Unranked: The 120 Minute IPA. Mikey was lucky enough to procure the “Golden Ticket” and thus win one of the coveted bottles of their heavy-duty IPA. We also procured a couple of other floating bottles, so I got to taste this one fairly well. The short of it is that that it’s very strong. At 18%, it’s not messing around when it comes to the alcohol. It’s also very heavily hopped, but honestly, the alcohol hides that flavor. Again, I tried the bread trick, and it worked, you can really taste the hops when the sweet alcohol is hidden from your palate. I do not recommend doing this trick on this beer however, as it tasted like I had chewed on a handful of hop pellets. It’s that strong. On the whole, however, it’s a good beer, but it’s more like a fine wine. Sip it. Slowly.

The food was delicious as well, and whoever thought of mixing the Peche wheat beer with orange sherbet is a sheer genius. Same goes for the Beef Stew and the 90 minute IPA.

The guy from Dogfish Head mentioned that they’re bringing their beers into more Memphis liquor stores. Apparently we have a 6% law I did not know about, so you’ll likely only be able to find the stuff in liquor stores and not general grocery stores. Some of their beers are well worth the extra trip, so I plan on making some liquor store runs soon and seeing what I can find.

Great Amazon Deals

Found a neat post a while back that described how to mess with Amazon’s URLs to find the best deals, like everything in a category that was 90% off and such. Then this morning I found a post with all the URLs pre-made for you. Very neat.

So, here you go:

Apparel & Accessories : 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Beauty: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Bed & Bath: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Books: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Camera & Photo: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Cell Phones & Service: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Computers & PC Hardware: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Computers & Video Games: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

DVD: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Electronics: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Furniture & Decor: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Gourmet Food: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

GPS and Navigation: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Grocery: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Health & Personal Care: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Home & Garden: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Jewelry & Watches: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Kitchen & Housewares: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Magazines & Newspapers: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Musical Instruments: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Office Products: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Outdoor Living: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Pet Supplies: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Shoes: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Software: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Sports & Outdoors: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Tools & Hardware: 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Toys & Games : 90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10%

Grocery Shopping Online

I know that I’ve talked about Amazon Grocery before, last year in fact, but I got an email this morning from them basically trying to drum up interest in it again, and so I had another look.

They have really expanded their product line. Plus, with the addition of their “Subscribe and Save” thing, the prices are basically the same as you’d find at the store. It’s a neat idea, to have a regular order of the crap you always have to remember to buy anyway on an automatic order basis. Simple stuff like laundry detergent, toothpaste, cereal, and yes, even toilet paper. :)

So I set up a few automatic orders for various items. The automatic orders get 20% off their normal price, and they’re all free shipping, so it’s a pretty good deal. Definitely worth checking out.

I also found that somebody had made a Bonnaroo Wish List while I was browsing around over there. I thought that was quite clever.

Beer is the basis of modern static civilization

Not my title. It’s a quote from Charlie Bamforth, Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Brewing Science at the University of California (which is possibly the greatest professorial title ever).

More on the subject at Scientific American.

Some good quotes here:

Because before beer was discovered, people used to wander around and follow goats from place to place. And then they realized that this grain [barley] could be grown and sprouted and made into a bread and crumbled and converted into a liquid which gave a nice, warm, cozy feeling. So gone were the days that they followed goats around. They stayed put while the grain grew and while the beer was brewed. And they made villages out of their tents. And those villages became towns, and those towns became cities. And so here we are in New York, thanks to beer.

And this one explains my theory of Sunday morning brunch:

He who drinks beer sleeps well. He who sleeps well cannot sin. He who does not sin goes to heaven. The logic is impeccable.

Good stuff.

Birthday fun and a Celebrity Sighting…

Yesterday was my birthday. Yay me!

So I go over to Sleep Out Louie’s last night to meet up with whatever people feel like showing up. I hang out there for about 4 hours before getting hungry. Rebecca was kind enough to bring me a bunch of cookies, which I totally was not expecting, but nevertheless, food was calling me. I suggested Sushi, Rebecca and Chad agreed, so we went over to Bluefin.

I like Bluefin. It’s a really neat place, what with that weird electric fusion type atmosphere. I kinda wish we’d snagged one of the couch areas, because those are cool IMO, but we sat up front, close to the sushi. We ordered a crapton of sushi and Frank got a flatbread pizza of some kind.

All of a sudden, Chuck comes over to us and says “dude, that’s Tommy Lee Jones”. I have to have him repeat it, because at this point I’m thinking that I misheard him, being quite drunk like I am. And he says to me, “Tommy Lee Jones is at the back table having dinner.” So I get up and walk to the bathroom, which involves passing within about 5 feet of that far back table, and sure enough, Tommy Lee Jones is sitting there with a couple of other people browsing the menu and having drinks.

I’m not the kind of jerk who bothers people having dinner, so I wander back to my table and finish my meal. We wonder why he’d be in Memphis and such, but can’t think of a reason. Later I hit the internet to discover that he’s in town to film “In the Valley of Elah“, but at the time, I just thought it was kinda neat.

So we have a hell of a meal, I eat 2 rolls and a bunch of Nigiri, Chad ends up paying for it despite my protests (well, it was my birthday), and then we head over to the Peabody lounge for some end of evening drinks. On our way out of Bluefin I notice Tommy Lee Jones still sitting back there, annihilating what appeared to be a giant plate of sushi, although I might be mistaken on that. It was some distance away from me at the time, plus I had added Sapporo and some sake to my libations at this point. Anyway, we walk over to the Peabody, picking up Paul along the way.

They make some really good coffees at the Peabody, which is why I like it as an evening ending place. Very laid back, some guy playing piano, sitting on the couches and enjoying an Irish Coffee. Nice.

All in all, a good night, I’d say. Not the strangest birthday I’ve had, but one of the more laid back and entertaining ones.

Manny the Manatee

The news over the last week has been somewhat entertaining around downtown Memphis…

It started out with a couple of fishermen seeing something on Monday in the Wolf River Harbor (slackwater harbor that’s connected to the Mississippi river here downtown). Turned out that it was a manatee.

The TV stations even got it live on video.

So officals cut off boat access to the harbor and called people in Florida to try to figure out WTF to do about it.

On Tuesday, they became concerned about it being too cold for the manatee to survive. Activists got involved and got people from Sea World to come up and check it out.

They got here Wednesday, and became concerned as well. So they decided to attempt a rescue on Thursday morning.

Somewhere along the way, it picked up the rather lame name of “Manny”.

But on Wednesday, the manatee became trapped between a couple of barges, and there was naturally concern all around. They ended up deciding to wait until Thursday anyway.

Then Thursday rolls around, and they can’t find the damn thing.

They tried again this morning, with no luck. Now here it is this afternoon, and they are searching lakes and such nearby, with no success. For four days this giant sucker has been rolling around the harbor, then gives them the slip right when they actually want to find him.

Many of the above links have video links on the bottom left, if you want to watch the news reports.