Friday, July 31, 2015

Rock's Coolest Uncle, and Bhangra Beat Mob

A fantastically cool video's been making the rounds of the social web this week, as 1,000 Italians got together to record a cover of the Foo Fighters' 'Learn to Fly' in hopes of enticing Dave Grohl, et al, to come to their town to play.

If you haven't seen it, check it out:



It reminded me, actually, of a similar performance pulled off just over a year ago in Brooklyn. In honor of the annual Make Music New York festival, NPR Music commissioned a piece by Sunny Jain, leader of the awesome bhangra-funk combo Red Baraat. And asked volunteer musicians of all kinds to learn the piece and show up at the Brooklyn Public Library to play the world premiere live.

As with 'Learn to Fly', the results are enough to put a smile on your face and a hop - or in this case, a funky beat - in your step:



People, on occasion, are pretty damn awesome.

(And as an aside, if you don't know Red Baraat, go and listen to some of their stuff. My gift to your ears.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Not Even Dildos Are Safe From Patent Trolls

Comingle is a leader in the field of teledildonics, which, as the etymologists among us have already surmised, is the combination of telemetry and dildos. Specifically, the use of computers and similar devices to remotely control a dildo. This (relatively) safe for work video provides an example.



All of this is made possible through open-source software that allows you to make your own dildo and customize the input means. Comingle even provides some ideas for the device, which they call the Mod:


I can't believe I never thought of this--controlling a dildo with a Wii joystick or even more remotely through the internet! Nikola Tesla would be proud.

Anyway, I know all of this because a company called TZU Technologies sued Comingle in the Central District of California, alleging infringement of US Patent Number 6,368,268, titled "Method and device for interactive virtual control of sexual aids using digital computer networks." The face of the patent lists various references cited including "Virtual Sex Machine, www.vrinnovations.com" and an article titled "Cybersex: An online sexual revolution." These were cited by the inventors--the examiner went out and found "FUFME, Fuck U Fuck Me Product Info" on his own. Seriously, check the highlighted portion:


I'm sure the file history is enlightening. Suffice it to say that not even dildo purveyors are safe from patent trolls these days.

Perhaps the only unsurprising fact in this post is that Comingle has taken to Twitter asking for teledildonic enthusiasts to provide them with prior art to help invalidate the patent. People have twat back some responses, including this remarkably NSFW video from 1993 involving kinky Europeans and a dial-up.

I'll keep you abreast of this matter's comings and goings as they develop.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Fearless Prediction: Imitation, Flattery

The Indiana Pacers made news this week when they announced that they'd wear Hickory High uniforms several times over the next few seasons, an homage to Hoosiers as that great film celebrates its 30th anniversary. Notwithstanding the pressure that puts on Donald Sloan (who'll wear Jimmy Chitwood's number 15), the move was met with widespread approval.

That nearly universal positivity will undoubtedly translate to dolla dolla bills, ya'll, and since no good idea goes unstolen, the Pacers' play will spark a run on similar promotions across sports. The G:TB investigative team has already heard from a number of franchises across the sporting world about their plans:

In Portland, the Blazers intend to leverage the tenuous same-state connection between Oregon State and Scott Howard's high school mascot and appropriate the Beavers uniforms worn in Teen Wolf. No word on whether P.J. Carlesimo will be asked to come back and don a jersey to make the look work.

On the other side of the continent, the Knicks are grasping at whatever straws they can, realizing without acknowledging the fact that they don't have anywhere near the number of players they need to make a run, even in the tissue-soft Eastern Conference. They'll play in Jesus Shuttlesworth's Lincoln High uniforms, hoping that a) the Jesus connection will have a positive impact, and b) Ray Allen might be convinced to play for them.

Changing sports, but staying with a theme of offensive futility, the Mets have decided that they won't be making any trades that would require incremental payroll. Instead, they're going to wear New York Knights uniforms, welcome David Wright back from the disabled list, and carve a lightning bolt into his bat. He may not be The Natural, but he's pretty dreamy. Just ask Clarence.

Football franchises want in on the action, too. The fictional town of Ampipe, Pennsylvania stands in for Johnstown in All the Right Moves. And Johnstown, less than 70 miles from Pittsburgh, is a rugged, gritty Western Pennsylvania town. The Steelers suiting up in the Ampipe Bulldogs' gold and black is geographically, historically, and colorfully appropriate. Stef Djordjevic would be proud, wherever he is now.


Speaking of geographically appropriate choices, the denizens of the Gulf Coast are already buying up the Saints' homage to The Waterboy. It doesn't hurt that Drew Brees wears Bobby Boucher's number nine. Saints coach Sean Payton has reportedly embraced the tie-in wholeheartedly, planning to wear a bucket hat in honor of Henry Winkler.


"Let them play. Let them play" You'll remember that from The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training, when the Bears stole the show during an exhibition in the Astrodome. And even if you don't remember that, the Houston Astros certainly do. Jose Altuve will be wearing the actual uniform originally donned by Tanner.


Outside of J.J. Watt, nobody's ever heard of anyone on the Houston Texans roster, even many of the Texans themselves. A franchise in need of an identity, in a state owned lock, stock, and barrel by that team in Dallas, the Texans are undergoing a makeover. Who better to emulate than Burt Reynolds' badass Paul Crewe? And what better to demonstrate toughness than to wear a prison squad's uniforms? Frankly, this The Longest Yard tribute is probably our favorite.


Finally, another franchise that's essentially invisible is borrowing unashamedly from an iconic film to boost its fortunes. The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced plans to wear Charlestown Chiefs uniforms from Slap Shot. (It's okay to admit that you didn't realize that the Columbus Blue Jackets were an actual National Hockey League team. Someone should make a quiz podcast about sports team nicknames.) Reg Dunlap may even come out of retirement.


We can be certain that these aren't the only tributes that'll follow on the heels of the Pacers' inspired move. Major League Soccer is researching the issue, but having a hard time coming up with anything other than Victory as a model. Keanu Reeves is badgering Bill Belichick about using The Replacements' togs. And expect to see Shaq on the set of TNT's NBA studio show wearing his old Blue Chips uniform.

The possibilities, they're most excellent.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Danimal Checks In from China

Sure, he's back in the States now, but that won't stop us from running this enthralling filler post. These are the emails rob and I receive from what I can only assume is a very jetlagged Danimal when he emails from across the globe...

Subject: Ni  Hao mother effers
Missing my gtb like crazy. 
You're probably in need of some filler. Just a hunch though. 

Xoxo


***********************
Subject: Sunny day in Tianjin
This place is such a effing dump.


*****************************
Subject: Yo
Love me some Mankattan sponge cake bitches!

Some post trip additions....


Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Greatest

Today, Pedro Martinez formally takes his rightful place among baseball's all-time legends. In actuality, he's been there for years.

Perhaps my favorite athlete in the years since I crossed the line from boy to man (it's an indistinct line, really), Pedro remains for me one of the most compelling examples of athletic arrogance, that indefinable but obvious quality that separates the greats from the mere goods. Though he stood just 5'11 and weighed less than 190 pounds, he was an intimidating as Randy Johnson in his own way, his countenance and bearing telling hitters that he knew that they knew they had no chance.

In honor of this day, and his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, we're running back something we wrote about him four years ago. Viva Pedro.

April 8, 2011:


I took the kids to the National Portrait Museum last weekend. Ostensibly, the trip was part of our ongoing effort to fight against the perfectly natural urge to completely take for granted the immensely interesting and diverse cultural opportunities in our area. But Daddy had an ulterior motive.

Peter Gammons called it "duende", from the Spanish word that, roughly translated, means having soul, an authentic expression of emotion. I always loved that description as attached to Pedro Martinez, the most remarkable athlete in my experience as a fan. Pedro's duende manifested itself in a loose-limbed, heavy-lidded arrogance, as this slip of a man whipped a baseball from his long fingers towards the artificially-muscled sluggers of his day, besting them again and again.

In 1999, at the height of the steroid era, Pedro was 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA, 313 strikeouts and 37 walks. His ERA in 2000 was a ludicrous 1.74, more than 2.5 runs lower than the league average. From 1997 to 2003, he strung together what Gammons describes as "the most dominant stretch of any pitcher in major league history".

Like many of the greats, Pedro held on long enough for us to watch his gifts diminish. And though he was still more than serviceable in his final years with the Mets and Phillies, he wasn't Pedro. Nobody could be.

Gammons himself donated Susan Miller-Havens' portrait of Pedro to the National Portrait Gallery, where it hangs today in a wing of other new additions to the museum's collection, near Ann Landers and a tribute to Hunter Thompson. In it, Pedro wears a Sox cap with a uniform of indeterminant provenance that features a Dominican flag, combining his U.S. glory days with the work he continues to do in his native country.

Duende, it seems, stays with a man.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Dave Tries (and epically fails) to be a Hipster Douchebag


Greetings from Sea Isle City, my favorite beach town on the East Coast. I should be writing this in an air-conditioned coffee shop, sipping on some kind of exotic coffee brewed from a rare Guatemalan bean, while I sit on a high stool at a comfy little table, accessing the free wifi . . . but, alas, I'm not. I'm writing it in the bedroom of our condo, and it's rather warm (the AC is broken) and I'm slugging down iced coffee.

This is the story of a dream deferred.

The day started wonderfully. My wife and Ian went on a kayaking excursion and my brother brought Alex to the arcade and then to the beach, so I was left with no kids and some free time. And I had done my requisite beach time earlier that morning: I went for a jog and watched the dredging machines, I took my cousin's paddleboard out on the ocean, and I swam some laps. So I was tired and ready for some screen time.

I decided I would pack up the laptop-- my trusty MacBook Pro-- and walk down the street to the hip little coffee shop, Red White & Brew. I would get a coffee, sit at a little table, edit some audio for my podcast, and do some blogging. I would be a total hipster douchebag. I had never sat down in a coffee shop with anything other than a book, and this was very appealing to me . . . to wear my headphones in public, snip some things, amplify some things, normalize the audio, upload it to Soundcloud and write a little post about it. All while drinking coffee in a cool little place, watching people in swimsuits making their way to the beach. Perhaps someone would ask me a question, and I would take off my headphones and say, "What was that? Sorry . . . I was just editing some audio for my podcast. On my MacBook Pro. You wouldn't believe how old it is, but it gets the job done. Never gets a virus." The person would think to themselves: what a hipster douchebag. And I would think to myself: mission accomplished.

But Red White & Brew provided none of this. They didn't have wifi, they didn't have comfortable little tables, and they didn't have AC . . . or I couldn't feel it. It's actually cooler in this breezy bedroom, though I'm not particularly comfortable, lying on the bed with my MacBook Pro perched on my lap. And my mom just asked me something about throwing wet bathing suits in the laundry. You can't be a hipster douchebag when your mom is asking you shit like that.

So that was my big chance to be a hipster douchebag, and I blew it, but my kids are going to 4H camp in a couple of weeks and there's a hip little coffee shop in Highland Park and I'm going to try again. I will keep you guys posted on my progress and maybe I can even take a "selfie." Meanwhile, my mom just walked into the room and plopped a bunch of my kid's bathing suits on the bed and sang "laundry service." Not very hip at all.

Episode 5 of The Test is called "Everyone Fails" because I fail, Cunningham fails, and even Stacey fails . . . and she made the test. So give it your best shot, listen up for a new character, and tell us how you did. Good luck . . . you're going to need it.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Public Service Announcement

Today is National Hot Dog Day. As a service to our readership, and the public at large, here's a piece that tells you where to find free/cheap dogs all across this fine nation.

And here's a picture of a Ben's Chili Bowl halfsmoke, my favorite hot dog in all the world.


The Teej and BaconBaking vote for...


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

So What'd We Miss?

As hard as it is for me to believe, it appears that the world kept spinning while I spent eight glorious, responsibility-free days paddling down a river and then downing a canoe full of Red Stripe and PBR. At the time of this writing, I'm going on 206 hours since I last combed my hair, shaved, or checked email.

But while I was incommunicado and then inebriato, things happened. Vitally important things, mundane things, really stupid things. Here's a rundown:

Our old friend the Large Hadron Collider helped scientists prove the existence of the pentaquark, using maths. The subatomic particle had long been theoretically assumed, but only now confirmed. Noteworthy to those of us who know the Collider's dark secrets: pentaquark sounds more than a little satanic. This seems important.

Mere days after zman called Tesla's Insane Mode to our attention, company founder Elon Musk went one better. "No one was asking for ludicrous model because it's too ludicrous," said Musk in a call with reporters and stock analysts. Zman called it plaid in a message to me. Whatever you call it, the newest Tesla Model S can get to 155 mph 20% faster than any previous version, and goes 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds. Stupid.

I'm sad to say that new music doesn't come out on Tuesdays any longer. With the overwhelming majority of music purchased digitally, and music's increasingly global marketing, the industry has decided to release new albums on Fridays. As the story in the link above notes, this sucks for record stores (if such thing still exist), but it's generally supported by consumers. Kinda bums younger me out a little, though.  

A U.S.-led coalition of nations reached a nuclear deal with Iran that seems way too complex for me to really understand. The people I generally agree with seem to support it, and the people I generally think are reactionary assholes with no ideas other than bombing our enemies back to the stone ages seem to really hate it, so I guess my initial take is that it's a good thing. One of my normal barometers for complex policy issues, James Fallows, is optimistic, as are contributors to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. That's good enough for me, because in truth, like 98% of Americans, I have no idea. That won't stop 98% of Americans from having an opinion.

Our man Marcus dropped 21 on the Heat in NBA Summer League play. Heat check, indeed.

Finally, and probably most importantly, NEW SEUSS! The good doctor's wife found a manuscript he'd written in the late 50s or early 60s while cleaning his office after he passed in 1991. It finally made its way to print. What Pet Should I Get is available in stores in 7/28, but hit the review circuit while we were away. Talk about burying the lede.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Cauc Hop Revisited

It's been just over six years since G:TB's 1st Annual Caucasian Hip-Hop Artist Invitational. Perhaps unsurprisingly we never revisited this topic, and I'm too lazy to do so fully. But I posit that there are two artists who deserve to be seeded in the top half of the draw: Action Bronson and El-P.

Action Bronson continues to come up large. He's at the point where he even dominates his cameo appearances. He merely gets a "featuring" credit on "Driving Gloves," a new track from Gangrene (i.e., the Alchemist and Oh No) but it's pretty clear he's the star of the show.



If you made it to the end of that video you saw the reference to Meow the Jewels, a Run the Jewels spinoff project in which El-P remixed RTJ2 using only cat sounds. We've mentioned this lunacy here before and I wasn't sure if it was a joke or not. It appears to be real, based on the following from SoundCloud.



I'm not much of a prognosticator, but if these guys couldn't pull off at least 7 or 8 seeds then the legitimacy of the Cauc Hop undertaking has to be called into question.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Urbont Live!

I don't have an update on Jack Urbont's appeal, but I do have an update on Urbont himself. In the video below he performs each of his Marvel songs with a brief preface explaining the back story.



I love how he cannily notes that he wrote these songs on spec (as opposed to works for hire). His interpretation of the Iron Man song (starting around 1:55) is a bit jazzier than the version from the show. He seems like a nice guy, but clearly he's nothing to fuck with.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Test Episode 4: Take It and Get All Sweaty

This is my favorite episode of The Test so far. There's yelling and lying, gender issues, sweat, anxiety and judgement, and it's all generated by a few questions about numbers (that's right, we revisit "number sense" again, simply because it drove Stacey and Cunningham so batshit crazy last time).

If you're not able to make it to OBFT XXII, this is the next best thing; so sit back, play at home, and see if you perspire as much as Stacey. Good luck, no googling!



Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Gheorghe Guestie: Guatemala Giving


Two years ago my sister and I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful country of Guatemala. We hiked, swam, and shopped. It was an amazing adventure that I will never forget. We were inspired to travel there because one of my good friends from grad school had moved there, in part, to save the world. I’m posting this on GTB, to ask for your lunch funds, or if you are feeling flush on pay day, your happy hour funds to help the NGO she is working with.


While there is beauty in the country there is also extreme poverty. Much more so than I have seen in other parts of the world. My friend Andrea’s NGO is trying to help through education. Her story is below:
For the past 4 years I have been volunteering for an NGO in Guatemala. In late January, I became part of their team.
CasaSito is a small, but powerful NGO which provides support to Guatemalan youth so they can attain an education through a financial scholarship, psycho-social support, extra-curricular and pedagogical activities, and art. Our programs respond to the social, educational, and cultural context that our youth face.
Paulino is one example of the excellent work CasaSito does. He came from humble beginnings and without hope for a future other than cyclical poverty. Paulino began to receive a scholarship in 2009 and now he is a university student earning an auditing degree and working in his profession at a local NGO. He is providing a pathway for a better future for himself, his family, and community as a whole.
We have an opportunity to raise significant funds on July 15 for kids like Paulino. Today, July 15th, the organization Global Giving will match your donation by 30%. For example, with $100 donation, GG and an additional $30.
Regardless of the donation size, your collaboration will have an impact on our youth. 
Please visit www.casasito.org to learn more about our work. And here is the direct donation link: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/support-8-youth-succeed-in-schooll-and-society/

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Happy Bastille Day

Zut alors!  Sacre bleu!  It is Bastille Day 2015.


No, not that Bastille.


Yeah, that one.


Oui.



Bien sûr.  And finally . . .


The closest thing I ever witnessed to the storming of the Bastille was a brutal battle of pelting each other with wok sangria and the fruit contained within it.  Vicious.  I mean, you ever get wok sangria in your eyes???  And then La Tolteca carnage.

Friends . . . let none of us stay confined in life's prison cells, particularly the ones we have created for ourselves.  

The adventure of life is calling, so storm your own Bastille and be free -- like the oppressed French citizens in 1789, and like that time my girlfriend dumped me while I was living on Cape Cod.  She liberated herself from her cell that day, and though I think she lacked a high degree of foresight and really any sort of a sense of humor, 'cause man, if you don't get how funny that whole thing with her sorority sister was, you're just aren't trying . . . uh, but it was still her own small Bastille that she stormed.  And man, her small Bastille could get really stormy, one time the guys across the suite thought I had murdered her, but really it was just . . .

Stay free.

Enchanté,

Le Clarence

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Test Episode 3: Zman Gets a Shout-out From Stacey . . .

Here is the third episode of our epistemology podcast: The Test. This time, Young Cunningham delivers the goods; her questions are about TV and technology, two things that she cares profoundly about (i.e. phones and shows).

I should warn you that Stacey and I flail a bit on this one, and you might too . . . though while I am taking the quiz, I claim (typically) that I am "crushing it," as I always think I know all the answers . . . until the teacher hands me a D+.




Anyway, download it and play along at home . . . or in the car, or while you go for a run, or as you pretend to take care of your children. They might even learn something.

Zman gets a shout out around the nine minute mark. More episodes to come . . .

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Duality of Man and Cars

For almost 30 years I've been following cars about as avidly as some of you follow sports. During that time I've seen some really cool cars and some really stupid cars, and I've realized that cars reflect the duality of man.



This duality extends to automotive accessories and features. One of, if not the, stupidest automotive trends ever is at its acme right now: matte black paint. Applying matte black paint to any car makes it look like shit. No cars look better in matte black. The other day I saw a Mercedes CLA45 with matte black paint and black rims in my parking lot. It costs over $50,000 and it's normally a pretty car. The one I saw looks like it has been beaten up and abraded all to hell. Here's the general idea.


Just plain stupid. On the other side of the duality coin, Tesla now equips their S P85D models with a feature called "Insane Mode." It does this (keep the volume down at work):



So if you're looking for a new car, get one that has shiny paint and Insane Mode.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Stream of Gheorgheness

I'd planned to write a post tonight, sat down with my laptop, turned on WODU Studios for a little ORF Rock with Les Coole and Penny Baker as my audio, flipped over to NBA TV for some Marcus Thornton Summer League action, and...completely drew a blank.

But I'm a fighter, a scrapper, David Eckstein with a keyboard and a little more pigment. I'm not giving up that easily. People want me on this blog. They need me on this blog.

And so, for you, I fight on, stream of consciousness style.

I wouldn't fight on if I saw a Tarantula Hawk, though. I'd run screaming from that demon bug. According to invertebrate biologist Ben Hitchens of Texas Parks and Wildlife, “There are some vivid descriptions of people getting stung by these things, and their recommendation—and this was actually in a peer-reviewed journal—was to just lie down and start screaming, because few if any people could maintain verbal and physical coordination after getting stung by one of these things. You’re likely to just run off and hurt yourself. So just lie down and start yelling.”

That same peer reviewed paper, written by Justin Schmidt, inventor of the Schmidt Sting Pain Index (King of Pain being the highest possible value. Think about it.) tells the story of another scientist who managed to trap ten tarantula hawks, and then tried to grab one: “Undeterred after the first sting, he continued, receiving several more stings, until the pain was so great he lost all of them and crawled into a ditch and just bawled his eyes out.”

Oh, and these things procreate by stinging and paralyzing tarantulas, dragging them into a burrow, and then laying an egg on the spider that hatches so the baby wasp can eat the tarantula alive, "focusing on non-essential tissues to keep it alive for as long as possible—perhaps weeks".

Gaaah.

Speaking of Marcus Thornton, as we were, I've now watched a grand total of two NBA Summer League games in my life, on his account. He only got about five minutes in his first action against Utah, but he played significantly more minutes against Philadelphia, as Marcus Smart rested. Thornton was fine, having no trouble getting his shot off against NBA (or at least summer NBA) competition, but nearly every one of his jumpers was short. He handled the ball well at the point, got beat off the dribble a couple of times by T.J. McConnell, had a steal that he converted into a coast to coast layup. He finished with seven points on 2-11 shooting in the C's 76-62 loss, but generally looked like he belonged.

In Summer League, anyway. I'm guessing the C's will send him to the D League or to Europe for some strengthening and seasoning, which is probably the best thing for him at this point.

But a W&M player held his own against a bunch of players with much stronger pedigrees. And I need a Celtics 27 shirsey. Or some Maine Red Claws gear.

Speaking of Maine, I leave Saturday morning for Grand Lake Stream, and my date with the St. Croix River. Right now, the weather forecast calls for highs in the high 70s and lows in the high 50s. Which is nice. Less nice is the 40-60% chance of rain each day of the four-day trip.

There will be no blogging from me, as Grand Lake Stream has a population of 109, and a cell tower population of zero. I will say hello to Yogi and Boo Boo, should I have the opportunity to meet them.

There were a number of incredible, indelible memories from the U.S. Women's National Team's comprehensive throttling of Japan in the Women's World Cup final. Carli Lloyd going all Pele, for one. The diminutive Megan Klingenberg, a girl after my own heart, dominating the left side of the defense. Morgan Brian, the youngest player in the entire tournament, completely controlling the tempo of the match from her holding midfield position. But for my money, this was the best:



Abby Wambach's embrace and kiss of her wife, Sarah Huffman, at the end of a long, emotional (and final) tournament for the greatest scorer in women's soccer history seemed almost a coda to the summer's celebration of legally-sanctioned love. And it was noteworthy for the fact that the Fox Sports cameras lingered on it as if it were no big deal.

Because at the end of the day, it was no big deal.

Love, and the U.S.A., wins.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Department of Self-Evident Statements: Special Report

I trust all members of the G:TB family had a relaxing, munition- and booze-filled long weekend celebrating the birth of our nation. And while I'm quite certain that this august readership doesn't need much in the way of advice on drinking, I do wish we'd posted this particular news item before July 4th's long day's journey into night. Or perhaps more precisely, I wish I'd heeded the simple wisdom offered in a recent Atlantic story.

According to the headline, The Best Way to Day-Drink Is With Low-Alcohol Brews.

Well, I mean, duh.

There's a reason that Red Stripe is the quaff of choice at the annual Outer Banks Fishing Trip (Coming to a North Carolina beach resort town near you in less than two weeks), and it ain't the Jamaican beer's complex flavor. The lager checks in at a manageable 4.7% ABV, far below the potency of your average beer snob's typical tipple. By way of comparison, some of my personal favorites:

Dale's Pale Ale: 6.5% ABV
Ithaca Flower Power IPA: 7.5% (and the cause of my Sunday discomfort)
Firestone Walker Wookey Jack: 8.3%
Stone Arrogant Bastard: 7.2%
Ballast Point Sculpin: 7.0%
Long Trail Limbo IPA: 7.6%

Now, in the relatively recent advent of session IPAs, a beer connoisseur has a choice to make. Founders makes a highly drinkable session ale called All Day IPA that's a manageable 4.74%. The aforementioned Stone just released its Go To IPA, 4.5% ABV with a tasty West Coast flavor. No longer must we sacrifice flavor for volume.

But until those fancy brewhouses sell bombers at Tortugas' Lie, I do believe I'll stick with Red Stripe. Hooray, beer.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

July Fourth Fillerpalooza Open Thread

Maybe one of you jackalopes has a post coming down the pike, but I saw nothing in drafts, and felt you have been subjected long enough to pics of my Posehn-esque mug long enough, so pull up a stool and down a few cold ones - It's Filler Time.

For the hell of it, I googled "most patriotic thing ever" - a few of my favorite images are posted below. So think of this as a hybrid "ghoogles"/filler post (hashtag postcount, amirite).

See you all in the comments, where I expect to be regaled with fun fourth adventures and hijinks.

Loadin' up the family truckster for some holiday weekend fun.


Please stop doing this to dogs


C'mon, it's Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick 'em up, we zip right out again. 

And of course no patriotic post would be complete without these two very important music videos:





And finally, in lieu of spending time with a real NBA celebrity this weekend, one who draws fans two decades after his heyday...



...we were around one who was sitting all by his lonesome on a bar patio in front of a crowded bar on a holiday happy hour afternoon.  There is only one Gheorghe Muresan, people.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The many faces of Brian Posehn


"Well, I can't believe that actually worked."

Those seven words were spoken very loudly to a coworker over a remixed 20-second clip of Baby Got Back at roughly 12:30 am last Friday night in downtown Miami, when, after months of prodding by the likes of rob, Mark, and even my wife, I decided to try my hand at (pseudo)celebrity impersonation for the first time ever.

After three and a half days spent in a Miami hotel (the very lovely Intercontinental, right on the water), a co-worker and I decided around midnight Friday that we had to at least hit the town. The plan was to go to South Beach, but we encountered some fellow conference attendees in the lobby, and a local friend of theirs. After very little convincing, South Beach was scrapped and we all headed to a place called The Blackbird (I think. It was on Brickell). We pulled up, andddddd...then we realized it's Miami at midnight on a Friday. Line was 50 to 60 people deep, there was a hefty cover charge, this wasn't to be.

As we stood on the corner trying to figure out where to go to next, alcohol-inspired brilliance struck. The decision was made on the spot to tell the bouncer I was Brian Posehn, and see if that got us in. The worse that could happen is a laugh and a "Hell, no", and we move on. I stood about 8 to 10 feet from the club entrance, and we sent someone to the bouncer with a pic of Posehn on the phone. After a brief moment of explanation, the bouncer looked in my general direction, I acted relatively disinterested, and then....he waved us all in. No line, no cover, no hassle. I gave the bouncer a thank you head nod, and then we entered some club that I assume is like all Miami clubs: music blasting, booze flowing (as well as plumes of smoke flowing), and hot as f'ing hell because the club is actually outside (!).

"Well, I can't believe that actually worked."

Thank you, Brian Posehn.
'til we meet again...