Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I haven't been active on the blog scene lately as I have just started at a new hospital in my other life...as well as continuing to help out at my old hospital; so burning the candle at both ends has left little time for blogging here. But now that I am more or less acclimated, I will try to update more often. In addition, we are working on an all new Brain Gravy website type experience, which will include show notes, beer and booze reviews, and our own general rants and raves...
Oy...look at the time.....time to get back to work!!!! Ciao for now!!!!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I don’t know how many people read this blog or how many people follow tech like I do, but something has happened recently that really makes me question the ethics of both Facebook and Google.
There is no question how much both these services have worked their way in to the public eye. Search without Google just seems crazy and let’s face it, there are a ton of people, my wife included who cannot imagine a life without Facebook. However, recent events leave the ethics of these companies in serous doubt.
Facebook implemented a new security protocol that leave many of its users’ privacy wide open, not to mention the recent risks found in the games Facebook makes available i.e. Mafia Wars. Google has CEOs saying “privacy is dead, get over it”. When it comes to these kind of arrogant statements, along with the statement “if you’re not doing anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about.” from a previous post, that makes me really feel like opting out of these services for good. I know this includes blogger. “Do no Evil” Google…remember?
Tell me what you think. Is Google and Facebook evil?
Here are a couple of articles written by far more talented writers than I.
Please do some checking around.
Have a great week everyone.
Monday, December 7, 2009
I imagine this will bet pulled, but I just have to say…I AM NOT A FUCKING CRIMINAL, SO STOPPING ASKING TO SEARCH MY SHIT WHEN i WALK WHEN i AM LEAVING THE STORE…just saying.
I have started denying people access to my search my bags when I am walking out of a store. After all, if I am not doing anything wrong I don’t have anything to worry about, right? Wander how long until I run out of places to shop. Does anyone ever stop to think that whole idea of “If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.” reeks of a police state.
I have a Stone Smoked Porter in the fridge. I think I should drink it. This will be a first time for me and I can’t wait. I hear it is like liquid steak. Not liquefied steak, just steak flavored liquid with alcohol in it .
Short post, got to get to work. Have a great week everybody, and never let the bastards get you down. Google that.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Brain Gravy 2.0 Episode 4 is now uploaded! This is our Hoppy Thanksgiving 2009 episode where we review two amazing beers from Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, NY., their Hennepin and Three Philosophers.
-Three Philosophers may be the perfect Thanksgiving beer!
-Other show notes:
- Two Thanksgiving recipes using beer (Thanks to the Homebrew Chef )
- A reminiscing about Patty Smyth and Scandal
- Where's Mr. Whiskey?
And a Hoppy Thanksgiving to everyone from Brain Gravy!
Friday, November 20, 2009
I was not blown away by what else they offered. They listed the Rogue Chocolate Stout on tap, but was told they "just ran out" when I asked for it. They had replaced it with the Rogue Dead Guy Ale, which, I have to admit, was darned better on tap than out of the bottle. I followed that up with the Erie Rail Bender Scotch Ale, which, I have to say, was the first time I had had the Rail Bender, and, I really liked it. It definitely reminded me of the Oskar Blues Old Chub; it was so good, my friend drank it the rest of the night. (My friend, for the record, is a former Bud drinker whom I am slowly converting into a craft beer geek!) I then moved on to the Flying Fish Dubbel. I was pleasantly surprised: It reminded me a lot like the Hennepin. It was thoroughly enjoyable. With one beer left for the night, I decided to go for the Abita Purple Haze. Excited to try this wheat beer, I was once again told they were "out" but they did have the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. I started to feel like the Monty Python cheese shop sketch, and was ready to get really annoyed.
What stopped me? The bartender was a sweet young woman who looked great in a bustier. Her breasts were pretty much falling out of her top. She was very nice, and had absolutely no beer knowledge. Later on last night, two more bartenders came to work as the place got busier, both also looking quite nice in their bustiers, and also with little to no real beer knowledge. So..was I going to argue with that? Hells no! I just finished the night with a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and called it a night.
Overall, I thought from a purely beer experience, I'd give it a B minus. The more exciting beers (to me) were out...all beers were served cold, all the beers were served in pint glasses (the dubbel should have been served in a chalice) and the bartenders had no beer knowledge. From the perspective of a dirty old man, it was very nice. The use of the Hooters formula really distracted me from the fact that these bartenders knew nothing. And, it was a real fun night out with my friend. So, overall, it was a really nice night out.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
My father rarely said clever things or said much that would be described as a deeply prophound. I imagine this little obstacle is what prevents him from making the jump from being a writer, and being a successful writer. It is a lot like a mechanic that doesn’t really know much about motors. One thing he did say that will stick with me always is, “When it comes to creating, “keeping on practicing your bad habits, after a while it becomes style.”
Well it is Wednesday, and as many of you know, Wednesday is my Friday. So that means Saturday is my Sunday and Sunday is my Monday. If you’re keeping score I have 2 Saturdays. Figure that out. For now we are only going to worry abut Wednesday i.e. Friday. My wife was good enough to pick me up a six of Tap Rooms No. 21 Red Ale. Good Stuff so far. As usual I have to have a little time with it before I can say for sure.
Next week is Thanksgiving, and can’t wait. Oyster dressing is on the horizon folks, and I have to tell you…I love oyster dressing. Also my annual night before Thanksgiving festival will be under way. I don’t know about you all, but the night before Thanksgiving I love to work up a nice drunk so when I wake up the next day, I am staving. Come to think of it this is a bad idea for health reason, but screw it, Thanksgiving only come once a year.
By the way, I was watching some movie on the Lifetime network the other night. This is what I find funny. Those films are so low budget they can’t afford to buy the rights to the original music so they get some starving musician to put together a song that sounds like the song they want, but isn’t exactly it. Keeps them from getting sued. The funny thing is these songs sound like absolute crap. Check it out sometimes when your bored. That is about the only time it is a good idea to watch Lifetime…garbage.
Send me a link to your favorite youtube videos. I want to see them firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well that is it for me for a few days. I hope you all have a great weekend and hope to see you around the web.
Friday, November 13, 2009
In any case, most of my plans for the weekend fell through, which, in hindsight, I think is a good thing, because, at this point, I have no energy to do any of the events that were planned. Tomorrow night, we are recording the next Brain Gravy episode, which means I get to go on a beer run later. The problem is that I can never just pick up the beers I am supposed to buy....I always see a few other tasty items, and just can't resist. I am hoping the Oskar Blues Ten Fidy is going to finally be at my local go-to craft beer store....a case might be in order...although I think if I brought home a case, my wife would castrate me! Our second refrigerator has slowly become my beer fridge; it is so stocked with beers, that there is no room for anything else, which is a source of constant fighting between my wife and I. However, I do have a secret weapon: I throw a few bottles of her favorite wines her way, and the beer fridge fight is done!
In any case, Happy Friday to everyone out there!!! I will be on Tokbox later celebrating this glorious event with a few of my favorite beers, and hopefully a few of my favorite people. Cheers!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
In any case, the one part of Baltimore that retains most of its old school charm (remember...Baltimore is known as Charm City) is Fells Point. Although there is some new construction and renovation of the periphery of Fells Point, the heart of this part of Baltimore is untouched. The 100+ bars in an 8 block radius, the cobblestone streets, the regular cast of street characters...it is perhaps my favorite place on the planet! (mind you...I haven't been to many places....and this is just my opinion). Fells Point is the home to three of my favorite bars: DuClaw, Max's on Broadway and The Horse.
DuClaw is found at the mouth of Fells Point at Bond Street. Its one of the first sights you see as you enter the Point from the Waterfront. Its in a perfect location, being a stone's throw from the Harbor. Picturesque, with lots of windows and an open feel, it is, to me, the way I start all my trips to Baltimore. The food is excellent; I would put it in the category of a higher end gastropub. Generous portions, good price. But what makes this place is the beer. I strongly recommend you go the website (linked on the name) to get a full description, but suffice it to say their beers are excellent. I always go for the sampler menu, which includes their 6 year rounds and anywhere from 4-6 seasonals. This time around, I brought home a growler of their Mad Bishop, which is their seasonal Oktoberfest.
Max's on Broadway or Max's Taphouse, is located on Broadway in the heart of Fells Point. It is located right by the Broadway Market with a great corner location. The fun begins when you enter Max's. It features a long bar running the length of the place. It features over 100 beers on tap and about 200 in bottles. Plus, they serve the beers at the temperature they were meant to be served! What always amazes me about this place is how the bartenders know exactly where each of the tapped beers are located! Its outrageous to see the bartenders running like madmen back and forth along the bar! This weekend I had the Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout on tap and the Oskar Blues Ten Fidy on tap. The BCS was excellent, but I have to say the Ten Fidy was OUTRAGEOUS on tap!!! You have to watch it at Max's...you can get wicked polluted very quickly (like I did!).
Last, but not least, is the Horse You Came in On, or The Horse. Its this delightful little dive bar on Thames Street. Its famous for being the place that was the favorite of Edgar Allen Poe. For me, its my favorite dive bar on the planet! The atmosphere is not to be missed! The beers and drinks are just okay, and they do have live music, which is hit or miss, but the atmosphere makes it as fun a place as I've ever been. Fun bartenders, barmaids dressed their slutty best, with old wood bars and floors, brick/cement walls....its wonderful!!! The Horse is a great place to spend a bunch of time in for just a darned good time!
Well...that was my weekend. I love Baltimore. I love Fells Point. And my wife's reluctance to move there is weakening....I'm planning on going back in about a month, weather permitting, for another gruelling weekend! Cheers!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
We turned the corner and find ourselves facing the Thanksgiving holiday. Much like most of you I will be spending my time with family and doing my best to act like a viable part of society, but we all know the truth. While everyone is sitting around talking about the mandarin details of their grueling likes I will be thinking about beer.
So I would like to open the floor up to each of you. Please help me. What kind of beer should I buy for Thanksgiving. Please keep in mind, I have to make it through a whole day of jeering and glad handing members of my family I don’t hear from or see that often and I will most likely be playing some poking that night, so please don’t bog me down with some hi alcohols beers. Please help me pick out some nice full flavored ales.
Thanks in advance for your suggestions. I will let you all know how it goes.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Having all the nice new free agents are nice; we couldn't have won this championship without them, but, to me, the sweetest thing is what has been dubbed the "Core 4": Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and, of course, Mariano Rivera. These are the four players who have been there since the start of the glory days and were all there back when we won in 1996. The best part: they are all home grown! Each of them drafted and nurtured by the organization. And, in an era where players change teams like most of us change socks, its a blessing to be a fan of a team that had the foresight and money to keep these players New York Yankees! I acknowledge us Yankee fans are spoiled by rooting for a team that has such wealth and spends the money; however, let us never forget these are the rules allowed by Major League Baseball, so don't blame us for having owners that want to win!!!
So...once again....in the words of the immortal John Sterling..."Ballgame over! Yankees win! THE YANKEES WIN!!! Congratulations to our 2009 World Series champions, the NY Yankees!!!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
In this episode we review an array of Pumpkin Beers and Crown Royal. Unhinge your cerebellum, grab a beverage and give us a listen. Cheers!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Well here we are the eve of my favorite night of the year. Oh yes, it’s Halloween. Who does not have great stories of Beggar’s Night? Running wild in the streets and grabbing mass amounts of candy from total strangers. Excellent.
How many of us had to take their candy to the local hospital to be x-rayed for razor blades and needles?
How about that crazy lady who lived in every neighborhood that handed out candy that was covered and cat hair and smelled like cat piss.
Who can forget such great classics such as throwing eggs at the house whose owner handed out that shit candy? You know the stuff I mean, the ones that looked like Metropolitan ice cream and those marshmallow peanuts. What about that old woman who, despite all the warnings on TV took the time to cook up those home-made goodies that parents wouldn’t let us eat because it may be poisoned?
I remember all that and so much more. “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.”, and Christina Smalls dressed like a valley girls tripping in her mother’s heels, giving Seth and I a perfect shot of her underwear. Fuck that was awesome.
Some day I will tell you all about the time my best friend and his wife came to a Halloween party dressed as Mickey and Mini Mouse. He got so drunk on the “jage” he passed out in the middle of the living room floor with his arms wrapped around a jock-o-lantern filled with jello shots. serial I think you call it.
Tomorrow night my wife and I will be handing out candy and drinking hard apple cider by the firepit. We will be dong our part to make a safe and fun night for the trick-or-treaters.
It is my honest wish to all of you, have a safe and happy Halloween and look out for one another.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
What do I mean? I mean that ordering beer on the internet has got to be frustrating and a major dilemna, at least for me, for this reason: shipping costs! I just tried to order some beers from a website called Liquid Solutions. They offer coffee, tea, but feature BEER!!! They have a nice selection of over 700 beers, which is, to me at least, an impressive number. They are, of course, missing the one heavy hitter I am dying to get, which is anything from Three Floyds, as well as Goose Island, but I am not surprised at things like that. I have been dying to try Russian River's Pliny the Elder, but, of course, with my luck, it is out of stock! So I went to order a few beers I can't find here by me in New Jersey, including the Russian River Damnation and the Rogue XS Old Crustacean. I never like to go crazy when trying an unknown site, so I decided to order about 5 bomber bottles of different beers. So far so good....
The cost of the 5 bottles came to be about $41.....not bad....but because of the way they ship the beer, the fucking shipping costs came out to be $38!!!!!! Now, personally, I have a hard time paying as much for shipping as I do for the beer. So the website nicely shows the schemata of the shipping boxes, giving you the friendly reminder that in order to save shipping costs, order more beer. Well...to fill the boxes then runs into costs of well over $100, depending on the beer one buys.
UGH!!!! I want some of these beers, but Mr. Cheap Jew (yes...I am Jewish....) in me doesn't want to pay for all that shipping, and I really don't want to buy a lot of beer from a place I am unfamiliar with yet...maybe I'll just take the plunge...or maybe I will take a visit this weekend to my incredible beer store, the Oak Tree Buy Rite Liquors, which is about an hour's drive, but does have over 900 types of beer, where the shipping will be free, and I will get that free drinking vessel when I spend over $100.00.
Ok...had to rant...hopefully I am not alone with my dilemna...
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Last night, as I said, was an education for me. I learned a great deal about gin: its history, how it is made, the different types of gin. I learned a great deal about the martini, including its history, shaking vs. stirring, different garnishes and the importance of the olive, vermouth ratios, etc. I myself did a spectrum of bad to good gins, starting with a martini made with Seagrams gin (very bad), moving on to Bombay Sapphire gin (very good) and ending with Hendricks gin (my Hendricks deflowering, and an unbelievable top shelf gin). It made me sad that it took so long to finally try Hendricks; or maybe that was a good thing, because I'd probably be drinking a lot more martinis than I have in the past....
It was a blast recording, but I will get the final evaluation from BuBBy in the near future: things that seem to be going great when a bit under the influence don't always translate in the sober state, but I think last night's content was spot on. We covered so much ground, that I think this will end up being a two part episode. In any case, I just wanted to jot down some thoughts, get them out there, and I do look forward to another Hendricks martini later this evening....and you should too!!!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
BuBBy is a little burnt out with work, life, etc and that's
about as creative of a title there will be for now.
The new direction of the podcast is reviews for the Gravy of the Brain and reviews it is. (For those who need a hint as to what we are talking about, its ALCOHOL!!!) In this episode we drink the Founders Breakfast Stout, the Southern Tier Mokah and some Cognac.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Hello everybody. It’s your old pal Mr. Whiskey. Had a great start to my vacation over the weekend. Got a chance to meet up with an Internet buddy and share some beer…thank you Paradox. The most notable beer we shared was Stone Imperial Russian Stout. I have to tell you, that is some smashingly good stuff. I will be grabbing some more this week.
I am settling in and watching the Broncos and the Chargers tonight. On that subject of football. Over the last few years “Monday Night Football” has really struggled with announcers, I honestly think they finally have it right.
Tonight I am enjoying Rogue Dead Guy Ale and thinking about joining my buds for Martini Monday at www.tokbox.com.
I am off work for the week so I plan on doing some sampling and some other fun things. Tomorrow is $6.00 movie day, so I am thinking of checking out “Zombieland”. Or maybe I will just sleep in, get some Chinese food, and watch movies.
Finally, here’s what sucks. My Xbox red-ringed. a couple of weeks ago. I was planning on getting some game time in while I on vacation but obviously life has other plans for me.
Well, that’s it for me so far gang. Have a great week and remember, Live, love and drink beer.
The weekend was an okay one. We took off a week from recording an episode, because we have the editing on the next episode well in hand by BuBBy, with the third booze episode recorded. In a production meeting last night (ok...it was myself, BuBBy and Z shooting the shit, but future episode concepts were discussed, making it a production meeting as far as I am concerned), what was exciting for me was the fact that we will not just talk about beer, but plan to also talk about other types of alcohol, which, for me, is fantastic, because it means that I will get to educate myself, since what I know about alcohol outside of beer can fit inside a thimble...so the goal for me will be to educate you, our loyal listeners and blog readers (all 7 of you by last count) as I educate myself.
The next episode we tentatively plan to drink and discuss the classic martini, with Mr. Whiskey wanting to do Gibsons. Luckily, we have resident martini and gin experts BuBBy and Z, and maybe we'll throw in a special guest. I was already warned by BuBBy that if I show up with appletinis, I am off the podcast...so I will be going out and buying a bottle of Hendricks sometime this week to supplement my Bombay Sapphire Gin. Other episode concepts are being whiteboarded, and we will all look forward to sharing our future drinking adventures with you!
Until next time...peace and love!!
Friday, October 16, 2009
For me, it means all of that and more. It means I get to stay up half the night if I want. It means I get to indulge in one of my favorite habits: the drinking of fine craft beers and hanging out with friends. The beauty of the latter is that, to me, we live in this wonderful age where there are no longer any sort of geographical boundaries to friendships anymore. Thanks to the internet, flash technology and clever companies and websites, I get to talk to wonderful friends all over the world in real time. I am in New Jersey, and I get to talk to friends in Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Maine, Minnesota, California, Canada...all in real time!!!! It truly is a wonderful thing!
Our technology of choice is a website called Tokbox. It allows video conferencing in real time an allows up to 20 people in a same window chat, although, I have to admit, it does better with 10-12 people at most. The video resolution is darned good, and the audio quality is very clear (except for me...I tend to have some degradation over time, where I start to garble, which has been affectionately named by BuBBy as "Darthing" because it sounds like Darth Vader. Luckily it clears up with a reboot..but I still need to get a new analog to USB adapter..). Tokbox also allows us to share videos and pictures right in the chat window. Its a wonderful technology, and a far cry from our early days on Userplane (the less said the better about Userplane these days...).
For those of you who know us, you also know that we are craft beer fanatics...and, as such, have refocused our podcast to include a great deal about beer and craft beer reviews, although we also like to drink and talk about booze in general; mainly drink...yeah...lots of drinking...
So, as today is Friday, I look forward to later tonite, where I will grab a good craft beer, probably keep my Jagermeister close at hand for a few shots, settle in, and enjoy a wonderful night of hanging out with my friends. Come look us up and join us if the mood so moves you. Cheers!!!!!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Episode 8 is actually our first beer episode, with episode 9 in the editing room and episode 10 already recorded! (I was going to say taped, which I do often; its just a product of my age....).
We also hope to have companion posts here on the blog, which might involve anything and everything. BuBBy promises a scathing expose on hand sanitizers, and JJJENNNNN threatens to give her view of Frankenberry...
So...fasten your seatbelts...we are back!!! Hope you all enjoy!