Showing posts from February, 2013

Batch 19 Pre-Prohibition Style Lager

I like ales. It may be a personal failing, but that's the way - as they say - the cookie crumbles.

Lagers and I have had a hot and cold relationship, as there are too many bad ones out there. Few and far between are the lagers (with their heavy malt and very sparse hops) that are distinctive and pleasing. Today's attempt comes from the people at Coors. Yes, the people who "brew" the swill known as Coors Lite and the Banquet Beer that I would not even drink at a banquet. They brew the assaults to the tastebuds known as Zima, Keystone, and Turbo 1000.

However, they brew the perfectly acceptable (if somewhat bland) Killian's and Blue Moon. So, where does this Batch 19 fall in the series of hits and misses?

The claim is that this is "inspired" by a pre-prohibition recipe. So, the lies start.

The bottle is kind of odd. I'm not sure if those ribs are for her pleasure or if they are supposed to be period accurate. As the recipe is not actually a pre-prohib…



Why do I let Netflix pick movies for me? This one had high ratings, so I figured they couldn't be completely off. Could they? They had a contest to find a better picking algorithm, and they have invested millions in it - or was it thousands? Anyway, it was way more than I spent.

Well, I have had a few stinkers recently. Sinister looked like it could break that pattern. It had a decent budget and even had an 'A' list actor - Ethan Hawke. Hell, they had "could have been president" Fred Thompson as a supporting actor.

Well, hello predictable crapfest. First off, why is it like 50% of leading characters in movies these days are writers? Does anyone in Hollywood ever venture outside to see what regular people do for a living? Oooo, the tormented writer who is always working so diligently to try and get the next big story out there; how I sympathize with your plight. Except... no, I don't. If it's such a hassle, go out and get a regular job.

The story isn&…

Eurofix - Murfreesboro, TN

I own a Volkswagen. In fact, I own two.

I had an issue with one of my cars, and - through a complicated series of circumstances - I had gotten a quote from both the VW dealership here in Murfreesboro and Eurofix which is just down the street. I expected the dealership to be expensive with the replacement of an auxiliary fan, and Eurofix quoted me significantly lower, so I told Eurofix to have at it.

First off, the people at Eurofix are very nice. They are very accommodating and excessively polite. If you want water or the kind ear of a professional at dealing with worried and angry Volkswagen owners, you should swing by.
However, that's where the underwire bra snaps. I had previously had an unfortunate experience with Eurofix misdiagnosing my car and then charging $200 for a fix that did nothing. Nevertheless, I don't like the dealership after they broke my car when fixing it once and then gave it back to me without telling me. So, I gave Eurofix a shot.

First, they replaced t…

Magic Hat Pistil Dandelion Ale

I am not a hippie. I mean, I'm in favor of peace, I am in favor of love, but I'm not really a dope guy. I'll support other people's right to smoke it - even recreationally - but I have no desire to partake myself. It seems hippies is who Magic Hat is targeting by plastering the label with retro-60's style artwork and brewing it with dandelions kind of tossed into the vat with the actual beer.

I'm pretty sure I've voiced an opinion about beer makers throwing in various buckets of whatever they have lying around to try and make a "special" beer. I'm not in favor of the edible detritus of whatever brewery happens to think that... oooo, this will taste good, let's use it! But I can understand someone liking the taste of - I don't know - elderberries? And then thinking that it would offset the bitterness of the hops if used in the right quantity. But dandelions? Have you ever eaten one? Ever wonder why you haven't?

The beer looks good. I…

One in the Chamber

What the hell happened to Cuba Gooding Jr? Does he have some kind of issue where he can't tell if a script is worth doing? Dude! You did Jerry Maguire and As Good As it Gets! You have your selection of movies! Did you even try out for War Machine in the Iron Man movies?

Instead, you go for a straight-to-video film co-starring Dolph Lundgren? Look, I like Dolph as much as the next guy, but he's not heavily sought after for his acting chops. When I pick up a Cuba movie, I expect to be impressed with the acting. Are you just trying to break the mold of what people should expect from you?

Oh yea, the movie. Well, it was filled with some bad acting, some mishandling of firearms, and some ambiguous moral choices. It was about what you would expect for a Dolph movie that went straight to video. If you want mindless violence, it'll fit the bill.



I like security. I like technology. Time to put these two things to work.

LastPass is a great service. I say it's a service, because it's definitely more than just a program that saves you time and effort while also making you more secure. It uses The Cloud (use your best James Earl Jones voice). "But Tim," you may find yourself saying at this point, "why in the world would I trust my passwords in The Cloud?"
That's a good question. It's the kind of thing you need to consider before sending your information (especially login credentials) over the internet to a third party.
The Good:
Rest your mind, internet stranger. The passwords are encrypted locally before they ever make it to The Cloud. They use your LastPass password or phrase to encrypt them first - so make sure your LastPass password is a good one. After you establish that good password or passphrase, you're ready to use the app.
The application works as a plug-in for most of the major bro…

House of Cards

I've been a Netflix subscriber for years. Yes, I had my issues with the whole Quickster debacle, and I changed my subscription as a reuslt, but I keep a couple movies coming to the house and the streaming service. Their streaming tech is second to none. It sends an HD image to my house and very, very rarely runs into any kind of buffering issue in the process.

The wife and I watched Lilyhammer (Netflix's first foray into making their own series) and were generally unimpressed. So, I wasn't exactly waiting on the edge of my seat for the next Netflix-sourced "series". And what is the deal with a series? It made sense to have an actual series when it was on TV, supported by commercials, but this is essentially a long movie and subsequent series will be sequels. It just seems like Netflix is catering to the old way of doing things rather than doing things for the new media.

So, like the previous series, Netflix is throwing a bunch of money at it to get this thing to …

Flat 12 Bierwerks' Pogue's Run Porter

I have often said that a good porter is a thing of beauty. Bad porters overwhelm their taste with the brown malt (like most brown ales do). Good porters can echo the creaminess of a stout and finish with the unique bitterness of the brown malts.

"This stuff is made by guys" proudly reads the label. I'm not sure if I could tell the difference between a beer brewed by a guy and one brewed by a gal. Taking them at their word, I would say that these particular guys know a bit about beer. I've never had a beer from the Flat 21 Bierwerks before, but I'm impressed with this example., It's got a bit of a kick of brown ale bitterness at the end, but not so much that it spoils the taste.

It's got a good head on it - not too thick, but enough that you have the mouth-feel of the carbonation. The bubbles are more dense than you would expect with carbonation, but they are not nearly as dense as a good nitrogen head. It's the weekend, so I went for another. On the f…

The Tunnel

The producers would like you to believe this is based on a real event. It was not. I mean, it was based on the same true events that spawned the Blair Witch Project that the producers were clearly looking to duplicate but in Australia. The events transpire in abandoned railway tunnels under Sydney. The premise is that the government was planning on using the vast store of water that had flooded much of the railway system to combat a drought. Suddenly, the government abandons their plans and won't respond to questions about it, so a media crew goes to investigate.

It's actually a bit of a cross between Blair Witch and Quarantine. I kind of liked both movies, but the effect of the first person camera coupled with an unknown enemy kind of gets old. You need new tricks to make it compelling. The interviews interspersed with the camera footage was a nice touch, but the horror just wasn't there. Maybe I'm just not as susceptible to being scared by these movies at this point…

Left Hand Brewing Nitro Milk Stout

Yet another brew from this Colorado brewer. This time, it's a milk stout. I have not tried too many of them, as they are closely related to the imperial stouts. Any regular reader of the site or anyone who knows me or anyone who has heard me yell about them in a bar knows that I'm not a fan of imperial stouts. A milk stout, however, is different.

The first whiff is all imperial stout, and that doesn't start me off right. But I endure. Pouring the beer, it's noteworthy that there is pretty much no head on this beer, even when you pour it directly down the middle. Once you pour and get past the aroma, you take a swig. It's sweet. It's very sweet. I'm no expert on brewing, but I understand that the nature of milk stouts makes them this way so much that they are often called sweet stouts.

When you take a long draught, you hit milk. It reminds me of the taste and feel of my beloved Guinness, but it adds more of that sweetness. It's certainly not unpleasant, …