Beer festivals are a wonderful invention…

How can you go wrong with a beer festival?

I mean, it’s truly a brilliant idea to start with. You take about 5000-7000 people, pack them into a park area roughly the size of a city block, then give them unlimited free beer for a few hours. Taster glasses, of course, because we’re not here to get drunk but to try new and different brews.

So I went to the Raleigh Beer festival this weekend, and tried, oh, about 70-ish of the beers that were available. Lots of local brews, which I was happy with. I did not know North Carolina had so many microbreweries, but there were freakin’ dozens of them represented there.

The entire crew at the Raleigh Beer Festival

Met some new people, had dozens of people compliment me on my choice of t-shirt (good choice dad!), and had a lot of quality brews.

Notably good was the beer from Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill, NC. Their Blueberry Wheat was excellent, and I quite liked the Old Well White too. The Leaderboard Lager was quite good as well, albeit a very plain and simple beer. Something you could drink a lot of, a quality lager. I sampled most of their beers, and those really stood out to me.

The Foothills brewery from Winston-Salem was excellent as well. I worked my way through their entire lineup that was there, and it was very good all around. The Pilot Mountain Pale Ale was extremely good for a simple brew, and their IPAs were awesome as well. The Hoppyum was quite hoppy in particular, but the double IPA that they had was extreme in this respect. I like IPA’s, but after a few of them I feel like I’ve been chewing on grass for a while, so I appreciated their Pale Ale a bit more. Also, I’d been to the Dogfish Head booth a number of times already, and their 90 minute IPA had already done a number on me there.

Mimosas The next day we got mimosas.

The girls (and Rob) got theirs with pomegranate juice. I needed my OJ fix a bit too much for that sort of thing.

Also, note to self, cherries have hard pits in them that are not tasty to crunch.

Anyway, good time all around. Would have been perfect if Northwest had not screwed me over on the flight home to the tune of 3.5 hours worth of delay, but still I had a good time. Rob and Mandy’s place is awesome, and I hope to go back sometime soon. If only to visit Top of the Hill and try all the rest of the excellent beers that I missed out on this trip. Plus, gotta try that pool out. 🙂

More bacon goodness

Just when you thought you had had enough bacon, Texas once again brings us the perfect side item to go with steak.

Chicken Fried Bacon
(photo by carabou)

Yes, chicken fried bacon. Bacon and fried, together at last! Truly, this is a glorious day in the cholesterol clogged hearts of all men.

And for those of you who think that mixing it with a couple pounds of steak seems a bit insane, then I tell you sir, that you must see the following film, and learn the ways of the steak and bacon side item.

Originally found here.

Going to miss the zombies!

Dang! Now I find out that I’m gonna miss the zombies too!

Few posts back I relayed that I was going to a beer festival weekend after next weekend. Today, Paul posted more information about the big zombie attack … and it’s scheduled for that Friday.

I saw the zombies last year when they did it. They come down Beale Street, and then make a left onto Main and come down to right around where I live. It was a lot of fun to watch last year, but a bit chilly out and so there was not a lot of people out on the streets. Since they do it during the South Main Art Trolley Tour, and it’s probably going to be nice and warm out, then this seems like it will be a good one. You know, lots of carnage, riots, random destruction… followed by an afterparty.

I’d even be interested in getting all zombied up myself if I was going to be here. Maybe I could be zombie bum.

Oh well, I hope Paul gets a lot of good pictures.

Nukes are good for you!

Well, okay, not really. But apparently, despite a big nuclear explosion destroying most of it, the Bikini Atoll is doing okay.

Bye Bye Bikini Islands

According to the NewScientist, the Bikini Atoll is making a comeback that was somewhat unexpected. After 50 years, the coral reefs have grown back and there’s a thriving ecosystem underwater where the islands used to be.

Now, I expect this is mostly because nobody has been diving there since the place got vaporized. I mean, who wants to see nice glowing fish and then come out only to find that you’re now glowing as well?

Still, it’s probably safe for general usage. They say that the radiation levels are the same as any Australian city. Which isn’t saying much, quite frankly. Any radiation the aussies pick up in their seafood is probably quickly flushed from their systems due to sheer levels of beer consumption.

I’d dive the Bikini islands though. I think it’d be great. Although you have to stay away from the coconuts though, they’re saying that those are radioactive as all hell.

On the other hand, you could make nuclear Pina Coladas. Gotta be worth a try.

Look at what Dad brought me!

The finished piano-bar:

(click any of the pictures to see it larger)

Closed Piano

It looks good closed, but then you can break it open to show off the keyboard too (not working yet, but soon):

Piano with keys showing

And then, of course, you can whip out the full on bar:

Open Bar

Nice. Dad did a damn fine job, I have to say. The bottom section also is removable, to reveal more shelf space and such. Very cool, very good work. I’m extremely happy about how it worked out.

Thanks Dad!

Just my luck…

Right when I decide to leave town for a few days, the state decides to screw me.

Tennessee is having a sales tax holiday from April 25th through April 27th. I guess they do this for school supplies and clothing and such, but that would not stop me from taking advantage… except that I’m going to be in Raleigh, NC for the World Beer Festival that weekend.

Oh well, I guess a weekend of quality beer drinking is way better than getting a new wardrobe on the cheap.

Anybody else reading this going to the festival? Or any other beer festivals? Leave a comment, let me know.

One of my new favorite sites

Well, now that Paul has let the cat out of the bag on Garfield minus Garfield, I figured I’d post up a good one too.

Photoshop Disasters is a blog that has the latest and greatest advertisements which, through the horrifically poor use of software photo editing programs, made terrible, terrible blunders in their images. Some of them are subtle. Most of them are not. Most of them are, in fact, so bad that you wonder how anybody could miss them.

Been reading it for a couple weeks, and after looking at it, you kinda start to notice poor photoshoppery in everything you see. Walking around downtown and seeing advertising becomes a hilarious venture into the world of the insane.

Hey, it’s worth a look.

Game night tonight!

Final Four Logo

Go Tigers!

Planning on watching the game tonight over at the Red Rooster, should be a good time. The Rooster is a nice place, good food, cheap drinks, handy location… I give it the Otto Seal of Approval. This is much like the Good Housekeeping seal, except that it means less housework and more drunken stumbling.

Watched the semi-final games over at Chad’s condo on Friday, and had a much better time there than over at the Flying Saucer. Here’s the thing, watching a game at the Saucer just really sucks. When it’s packed, yes, there is a lot of energy about, but it’s also freakin’ packed. It’s virtually impossible to get a waitress to bring you a beer, if you’re sitting inside then it’s too hot, if you’re sitting outside then it’s too loud from all the crowd, and in either place you can’t see the screens worth a damn. The audio is desynched from the projection screen because of the delay on the non-HD broadcast (and all the screens around the outside are non-HD), it’s hard to see the projection screen anyway during the day because it’s not bright enough… The list goes on. I’m sorry, but when I want to see a game, I kinda want to see the game. Crowd energy is nice, but pointless cheering when I can’t see or hear the damn plays is rather stupid.

This is why I think the Rooster is a better choice. They have a larger bar area with three bars, so getting beer is easy. All the screens around the place (dozens) are widescreen HD. The bar is dark even in the day, so the projectors show up nice and bright. The beer is cheaper on game days than even the Saucer on a Monday, and it’s good beer too. The crowd is just as large, but more into the game (it’s much more of a sports place), so there’s not as much idiocy as the Saucer has on those days…

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Saucer, but it’s not a place I think of when I think of watching sports. It’s a beer bar, in the truest sense. I go there to drink beers and play darts and sit at the window and play trivia… and that’s it. I wouldn’t go there for sports. I wouldn’t go there for food (often). I like the Saucer a lot, but I know its limitations.

Terrorism, it's everywhere!

At what point did terrorism become the basis for all law enforcement?

I mean, when you see the Attorney General saying that software piracy and other IP related crimes fund criminal syndicates and terrorists, then you have to wonder if the government of our country isn’t off its meds or something.

If any future leaders of the world are reading this, let me remind you that the public is not stupid. People as a group can be completely idiotic, but individuals are generally relatively smart people with pretty good bullshit meters.

This sort of stuff flies perfectly well when you’re at a rah-rah rally sort of thing, because the mob mentality kicks in and people will cheer damn near anything at that point. But when your speech gets translated into text and shoved onto the internet, and individuals read it word by word, then they realize that you’re a complete jackass who either a) has no idea what the fuck he’s talking about or b) is just pandering to the group/mob mentality.

Is it really too much to ask for our leaders to actually have a clue as to what the hell they are talking about?