Saturday, October 28, 2006

Zing!

Dave's still got it.

Movin' Out

I am moving to a new place this weekend, and since my computer/internet situation is a bit tentative, this may be the last time you see me for a while. I'm hoping that I can continue my streak of at least one blog per month, so hopefully November will allow me to get in at least one entry until things get situated.

Until then, please feel free to go back through the archives. I think you'll find that my words of the past ring as true today as they did way back in 2004. I know. It seems like we were different people then. We were young and full of hope (until that year's election, that is). It was an age of innocence. When the Miami Heat had not yet won a championship, and we would still count on Horatio Sanz making us laugh for hours upon end every Saturday night.

But it's a new era. Nothing is promised anymore. Will I ever blog again? Who knows. Will I survive the arduous trek 0.6 miles away from my current house to my new apartment? Doubtful, especially on a shitty, rainy day like today. But if I don't make it, you'll always have this: my manifesto, my doctrine. You can always count on my glorious, shining, sesquipedalian prose. Combinations of letters and sometimes numbers and some punctuation, meticulously cobbled together to form stunning words. Those words arranged in an orchestral menagerie of compelling thoughts and ideas -- known as "sentences" -- that burst forth with such gusto that the monitor can barely contain them.

No, dear reader, twas not some bad cathode ray tube that ruined your monitor: it was me.

So in my absence, please go back in time through the years and marvel at what verbosity, wit and, yes, brilliance I have provided for not only you, but for anyone with a computer and a broadband and/or dial up internet service provider. You don't have to say thanks.

You are welcome.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Opposite of Sluggish

Say what you want about the new Sabres' uniforms (I like the colors, the logo is still way too abstract for me) but the Buffalo Sabres tied an NHL record tonight by winning their first ten games of the season. Now, granted, this might not be quite as impressive as the 1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs (whose record they tied, but who lose points for bad grammar) because it's not possible to have a tie game anymore, and the Erie County Assassins have won a few games in shootouts.

But this team -- named after a blade from the city where William McKinley was assassinated in 1901 -- are dominating all their opponents. It's only 1/8 of the way through the season, but they have it all. Four solid lines on offense and defense. Speed. Finesse. Toughness. Penalty killing. And a solid one-two punch at goaltender. Goalie Ryan Miller is becoming a breakout star. And he's an American for Pete's sake!

They are so deep. They don't have one major star (although Chris Drury should be one and Maxim Afinogenov is possibly the most electrifying player in the league at the moment), but they are so full of talent that they could be hard to stop if they stay healthy. According to today's ESPN Fantasy Hockey tracker, they have 5 players in the top 40 in the league. (#6 Miller, #13 Drury, #29 Thomas Vanek, #32 Daniel Briere and #37 Afinogenov).

It just makes me that much sadder that their entire defense went down in the Eastern Conference Finals this past summer. I'm hoping they bring the City of Good Neighbors (and those of us fans in the Flower City and the Salt City) a sorely needed championship.

Personally, I have led sort of a sad-sack life. I know, I know. You would think that I'd be on top of the world. Well, it's true that many areas of my life along the way have been lacking. But the area that has been the most bone-dry is my sports teams. There have only been three championships that any of my teams have won in my waking memory: the 1986-87 and '95-96 Rochester Amerks, who won the Calder Cup, and the 2003 Syracuse Orange(men), who won the NCAA Tournament. The Bills will clearly never win one in my lifetime, no matter how hard I hope and pray for them to.

But this year, the Sabres actually have a shot. Let's bring home the hardware, gents...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Random Videos (Malkmus, Zero 7, The Shins)

Here are a couple of cool videos...all of them computer-generated it turns out.

"Destiny" by Zero 7
is one of my all-time favorite songs. I could literally listen to it over and over and never get sick of it (and I have). And the video (with the rotoscope/rotoshop visuals) just sells the sadness and otherworldliness of the song. It's one of the saddest and yet most hopeful songs I know.



I don't understand any of the lyrics of "So Says I" by the Shins, nor do I completely get the cold war/penguin imagery. But I think it's an awesome video and I love how rollicking the song is.



This is an awesome video for "Jo Jo's Jacket" by Stephen Malkmus (formerly of the ├╝ber-indie band Pavement). Is it about Yul Brynner or Moby? The song is kinda poppy, but the video is just cool and wacked out.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sick T.O. Death

I have fucking had it with Terrell Owens.

Enough already. What once was a skilled NFL wide receiver has become a punchline. He is a silly, pathetic nothing. He is a cipher. A shallow, sad, lonesome man who would probably kill himself if it weren't for the national spotlight. (And some still contend he tried.)

Athletes with super-sized egos are nothing new. For every Barry Sanders or David Robinson, there are twenty Deion Sanderses and Ricky Hendersons. Athletes often make the mistake of reading their own press, believing that just because they make large salaries and have their names in the newspaper, they can be assholes to everyone they meet. It's not a new phenomenon.

And the wide receiver position in football has become a hotbed of super-sized egos of late. They go from the fun-loving (Steve Smith, Chad Johnson) to the megalomaniacal (Keyshawn Johnson, Randy Moss). But none can touch the man cleverly nicknamed "T.O."

Terrell Owens
is everything I hate. Not only in sports, but in humanity. There is nothing redeeming about him. He is a stupid, inarticulate, arrogant prick with six-pack abs and mediocre hands. He parlayed one great play (The Catch II, video here), some semi-creative touchdown celebrations and a heap of offensive stats into a "persona" that transcends football and puts him in the mainstream media.

But why? Why is Owens (I refuse to cave to his lame "T.O." self-moniker) so popular? Is it because he's a great intellect? Because he is witty? Because there is something fascinating about his character? He would certainly like you to think so. But the truth is, he's a dumb hillbilly who hoots and hollers. And simple-minded sports media like ESPN positively eat it up.

Owens has a penchant for hijacking the news. Whenever things are too quiet around the "T.O." camp, you can count on him doing something outrageous! Though he is widely regarded as being one of the elite receivers in the NFL (despite a season and a half of mediocrity), he constantly claims disrespect. Yet, this man who commands respect for himself everywhere he goes is so quick to act disrespectfully to everyone who dares not kowtow to his every self-promoting act. The man who once stood mockingly on the Cowboys' star in the middle of Texas Stadium yearns for all the respect he wouldn't pay to any other human being.

Greg Knapp. Donovan McNabb. Jeff Garcia. Andy Reid. Hugh Douglas. Steve Mariucci. You could start an expansion football team with the roster of people Owens has crossed in his 10.5 seasons in the league.

There are three things you need to know about Owens, and thereby demystify him.

1) He grew up a lonely child. Boo hoo. Oh poor little Terrell. He grew up in Alabama to a strict grandmother who made him come straight hom from school. She didn't show him love or affection. Put on your fucking helmet and get over it. Does Owens think he's the only one to grow up through a lonely childhood? Is he the only one who ever got beaten? Is he the only one whose parents were strict? Most people learn from this and grow out of their woe-is-me phase and learn to live. Besides, Owens's grandmother, Alice, is the one who made his life a living hell. Yet to this day he swears by what a great grandmother she was and that he would do anything for her. Pick one, Terrell, pick one. Not all of us who felt lonesome as children have thousand-dollar bills to dab away the tears. You poor, poor sad little bitch. Oh, and not all of us make our childhood traumas national media events when we feel we are not getting enough attention.

2) His so-called "T.O." persona was created by ESPN and other sports media. How many of us remember our first real glimpse at Owens being that time he was miked up and kept yelling "Who can make a play? I CAN!" and "LET'S GO, T.O.! LET'S GO T.O.!" When I saw those videos, I realized that this wasn't just someone who is beating his chest. This man is pathological. Whether it is the phony suicide attempt (and yes, I sincerely believe he wanted it to look like a suicide attempt so he would be on the front page of the papers again) or exercising in his driveway while shouting "no comment," the man is simply miserable if he doesn't have a camera on him. But rather than being an interesting outspoken athlete like, say Jim Brown, Muhammed Ali or even, say, Darren Daulton, Owens comes off like an ignorant negro, keeping stereotypes of chest-thumping, collar-popping young black men alive. He has never offered a shred of insight, intelligence or non-Owens related commentary to the national dialogue. He is an empty vessel, and yet sports media constantly spelunks through his psyche, searching for wisdom, finding cobwebs and tired cliches.

3) He's not even that good. Yes, I said it. He's good, don't get me wrong. But he's not a modern day Christ. Here is a list of receivers that I would take over him right now: Marvin Harrison, Steve Smith, T.J. Houshmanzadeh, Lavernues Coles, Torry Holt, Andre Johnson, Jerricho Cotchery, Roy Williams. Owens (as of this writing) is ranked 28th in the NFL in both receptions and receiving yards. That is not an elite ranking.

And put stats to the side for a moment; he is simply just not as incredible as they say. Just last night in the Cowboys' loss to the Giants, Owens dropped a crucial fourth down pass. Before this play, Owens was visibly berating his teammates, coaches and everyone else within earshot because he wasn't getting the ball (a common custom with this idiot). But on a key play where they needed him, he dropped it. And then proceeded -- after that pathetic drop -- to laugh it up on the sidelines as if to say, "Well, we all make mistakes." Meanwhile if he were open and the pass wasn't thrown directly into his solar plexus, smoke surely would have puffed out of his ears.

Even on his best days, he can't quite get it right. In Super Bowl 39, Owens had an excellent statistical game, but proceeded after the game to thump his chest a little more, chastising those who didn't think he could do it. You would expect him to be sad for losing the Super Bowl, but he was just glad he proved his doubters wrong. Even in his best game, where he caught 20 receptions against the Bears in 2001, his defining play was the pass that bounced off his shoulder pad in overtime, causing the Bears to intercept the ball and return it for a game-winning touchdown. A statistical machine he is (or was); a champion he is not.


I'll bet Owens doesn't have five friends in this world. So calculated, so self-conscious is he that I'll bet he can't trust anyone, save for his beloved grandmama who locked him in a closet and beat him with a belt. Anyone who has taken a chance on him has paid for it (you're next, Jerry Jones). He is the poster boy for the spoiled, arrogant athlete. I'm sure he worked very hard to get to where he is now, but he has burned more bridges, and used up more goodwill along the way than our current presidential administration. And he will never win a championship. Write it down.

So much potential. So much opportunity to be great. Instead, he's a walking tabloid. And after this stop in Dallas, he may have used up his chances.

Get walkin' Terrell. We've had enough of you.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Herbdome: Enjoy Your Baseball While It Lasts, Suckers

It was quite a week. And by quite a week, I guess I could mean quite a shitty week. But I hope it wasn't shitty for you. Don't let my shittiness somehow reflect shittily upon you. Aw shit, let's just see what my crew is up to...

    Sports:
  • The Landlord thinks if you think Dennis Green's meltdown after performing the choke of all chokes, you should check out Lee Elia's infamous meltdown when he was with the Cubs in the 1980s. Nothing quite compares. Danny even included a transcript!
  • Willie Moe previews Week 7 of the NFL. Take a drink every time you see the word "Kitna."


    The Arts:
  • Electric City Paul digs deep to find his inner Keanu. (And a fine 53-week anniversay to you sir!)
  • Call him Willie Swordplay, cuz he's bringing some Silly Wordplay. Willie Moe brings some class to this motley bunch with his '80s Baseball Book Club.
  • And looks like Danny is doing some writing of his own. And getting paid for it????!?!?!?!?!!!!??!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
  • Don C. takes on Boogie Down Productions and Mobb Deep for lyrical content.

    Beer:
    Both Danny and Javen wrote of delicious beer.
  • Danny speaks of the Flossmoor Station Brewing Company in Illinois, and boy does it sound like a great place to derail. I haven't taken a "derailment day" off from work in a while.
  • Bojangles continues the Midwestern theme with a post from the Chicago Tribune (aka. The Trib) about Wisconsin brew road trips. I'll bring the High Life!
Just a note, completely off-topic. As of today, I am getting about 97 hits a day on this very website, which is an ungodly, astronomical number considering I update it maybe once every two weeks, can't write and don't even own a computer. Anyway, the search words that have been leading people to my blog are "Buffalo Sabres" and -- for some reason -- "Cat Stevens." In fact, I would say that "Cat Stevens" gets more readers to me than anyone. This is fascinating to me for three reasons.

First, I only have a small picture of Cat Stevens in the sidebar on this blog, and I don't think I've ever mentioned anything about him elsewhere.

Second, isn't his name Yusef Islam now?

Third, when the hell did Cat Stevens make a comeback among internet users? I have at least four of his albums and even I never look up his name.


I made a mix cd tonight. Below is the track listing. I don't have a name for it yet. It might be my most eccentric CD yet, due to the fact that there is no theme and I added a bunch of weird-ass songs. Here's the track listing. I know this is not at all intersting, but I'm doing it for posterity.

  1. "Pro Football In America" by John Facenda (NFL Films)
  2. "The Beast and Dragon, Adored" by Spoon
  3. "Los Angeles" by the Rosewood Thieves
  4. "Everybody is Someone" by Lifehouse
  5. "You Can Bring Me Flowers" by Ray LaMontagne
  6. "Never Did No Wanderin'" by the New Main Street Singers (from A Mighty Wind)
  7. "Blue Diamonds" by the Long Winters
  8. "My Heart" by The Blow
  9. "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant" by Billy Joel
  10. "The Avalanche" by Sufjan Stevens
  11. "What To Do With Michael" by Mike Viola/Candy Butchers
  12. "Pyramid Song" by Radiohead
  13. "Learn to Live With What You Are" by Ben Folds
  14. "Holiday In Cambodia" by the Dead Kennedys
  15. "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" by Gordon Lightfoot
  16. "Lonesome Road" by the Rosewood Thieves
  17. "Superstar" from the Jesus Christ Superstar Original Recording
  18. "Winding Road" by Bonnie Somerville

Maybe some of the songs do have thematic similarities. Huh, go figure.

I just watched the Cardinals beat the Mets in the NLCS. I want to send out my sincere condolences to my Metsfan friends. Tough loss. I would have liked to see them in the World Series again. But now I will root whole-heartedly for Detroit.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dear Departed

I haven't used this forum in quite a long time in praise of a movie I've seen, but I have to put something out there about The Departed, the newest Martin Scorsese film that is drawing rave reviews for its dark, hard-boiled plot, deep cast and nuanced performances. I love this movie so much, and it's possibly the best movie since The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

Let me just throw out a couple of tidbits about my thoughts on the man himself. I consider Scorsese to be probably the greatest American director, and I'm pretty sure the greatest living director. When it comes to intensity, use of dialogue and violence, I'm not sure any director comes close. (Only Stanley Kubrick, Joel & Ethan Coen and Quentin Tarantino, respectively, can compare in each category.) In my very humble opinion, you could make the case that Marty made the best movie of the 1970s (Taxi Driver), the best movie of the '80s (Raging Bull) and the best movie of the '90s (GoodFellas, which I think might be the best American movie I've ever seen).

The last decade hasn't been as transcendent to Marty, as he's contributed flawed (but still often compelling) cinema like Bringing Out the Dead, Kundun, Gangs of New York and The Aviator. All the films were interesting, and some had some exhilarating moments (the opening of Gangs of New York, the flight scenes in The Aviator), but none felt like a Scorsese flick. The last true Scorsese movie was Casino.

I can say with authority that The Departed is a Scorsese movie. It has all the elements. Of course, for those of us who know and love old Marty, those elements are:

  • A blazing rock soundtrack (usually involving the Rolling Stones for some reason)
  • Crackling, profane, vulgar dialogue
  • Lots of bloody violence
  • A sweeping cinematic scope, both in visual presentation and in narrative
  • A flawed (blonde) female protagonist
  • Slow motion, freeze-frame and tracking shots

It's the movie Scorsese fans have been waiting for. Instead of New York's Little Italy, it takes place in the Irish neighborhoods of Boston. In the great tradition of Scorsese villains (Jimmy the Gent, Nicky Santoro, Max Cady, etc), Jack Nicolson's Frank Costello might be the most terrifying yet. He oozes nihilistic power, a portrait of someone with nothing to lose, but the bloodlust to get everything he wants. He is funny, but horrifying; repellent, but charming. I think it's one of Jack's five best performances, and that's saying something.



The movie does what the best Scorsese movies do: it grabs you by the throat in the first five minutes and never lets go. The first scene shows Frank Costello recruiting a young Boston boy to learn the ropes of his gang. Costello is a menacing, intense presence, and you could see how a working class boy could easily be sucked in. But there is no let-up. The movie doesn't simply have a riveting beginning and then settle in (like Infernal Affairs, the excellent but slightly inferior Hong Kong movie upon which The Departed is based). It starts intensely, and then just builds upon the intensity, with no break, no pause, no indication that "we are going to start the real movie now." It's simply relentless.

If you don't know, the plot of the movie in a nutshell is this: Matt Damon is a member of an Irish gang who goes through cop school to become a mole for Costello's Irish gang. Leo DiCaprio is a straight-arrow cop from a working class (i.e. violent) family who is coerced by the cops to become a plainclothes undercover cop. Neither young cop knows about the other, and the film is a cat and mouse game wherein each cop must try to not get caught.



Scorsese's brilliance is exhibited in the contrast between the ivory-tower, white-collar police big shots, and the dirty, low-level Irish hoods. The cops live in high rise apartments with balconies, and work in pristine metal buildings with views of the entire city. The hoods hang out in townie bars, burst into unsuspecting drug dealers' filthy apartments, and kill with impunity. In some ways, they couldn't be more different. But in other ways, they are identical. Both groups go through ethical crises, yet both have a certain working integrity about them.

Something has to be said about the acting in this movie as well. Every single performance is perfect. Matt Damon is a flawless mix of detached malice and conflict. DiCaprio's character falls apart at the seams but in some ways relishes his role as a good guy who has to play a bad guy; as if somehow his "id" is allowed to sneak out a little at a time. Mark Wahlberg and Alec Baldwin steal the scenes they are in. Every performance is essentially flawless. And Scorsese, the virtuoso that he is, somehow finds a way to mix the horror and the humor of death in several scenes, many of which are both shocking and funny simultaneously.

Essentially, if you love Marty Scorsese's movies, you will love this one. It's a return to his days of glory. And while I'm not quite ready to anoint it as the best movie of the 2000s yet, it's possibly the best movie of the year, and certainly merits attention as a prime example of excellent movie making for the decade.

Welcome back Marty.

By the way, here are Scorsese's ten best movies, in order:

  1. GoodFellas
  2. Raging Bull
  3. Taxi Driver
  4. The Departed (I don't care if this is premature)
  5. Casino
  6. The Last Temptation of Christ
  7. Mean Streets
  8. The Aviator
  9. Gangs of New York
  10. The King of Comedy

Rent all of them.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Herbdome: Baseball and Such

I am totally stealing this from Deadspin, (which, bee-tee-doubleyou, is the best site on the internet) and I readily admit it. It's a cross section of some of the topics some of my boys have been blogging about. Most of it is baseball related. Ick.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Beer Enlightenment

I don't have any beer, and it makes me sad.

There was never a time in my youth that I thought I would ever become what I am, which is a Beer Advocate. I never thought that I would ever even like beer, let alone love it. Let alone find not only a sense of community, but an unusual serenity in enjoying it.

It used to be that when I thought of beer, I thought of a foul smelling mug of some foamy, malty concoction that my dad would drink at one of his parties which I could scarcely bear to look at. It was usually Genny Cream Ale, the flagship brew of the commonwealth of Rochester, New York, the jewel of the Genesee River.

My father, while not strictly a drunk, was a fan of the alcohol. He has been sans-spirts for about 6-7 years now, and though I still love him, I miss the nights he would come home from work and gently drift away on the couch after work with a deep snore and a divine calmness on his face. In his later years, he was a screwdriver man, but early on he was a fan of beer, as I remember. In fact, there were many times when my parents would host a Casino Night or some such spectacle, and a beer-ball would be present. (In this case of course, "casino night" meant a night my mom and dad would invite a bunch of their friends over and dad would somehow always end the night wearing nothing but an undershirt and holding a handgun. I miss those nights.) Ah, the beer ball, what a relic of the 1980s.

But given this pandering to mass consumption, my first and formative impression of beer was of a stale and smelly yellow liquid, bitter to the taste buds and nearly impossible to choke down. (I think my dad snuck me a Genny Cream back when I was about 7 or so. Sorry mom. I didn't want you to find out this way.) But given the questionable element with which my father was associating at the time, I assumed beer was for nothing but low-lifes and hooligans. At any rate, my initial impression of beer was unimpressive.

But things change. And when one goes away to college to live on ones own, one tends to experiment. So one William H. ended up going to school and was exposed to beer. The beer, I believe, was Keystone. Or maybe Rolling Rock. What do I remember about it? I remember that I had to choke it down and that it had almost no redeeming qualities other than it made my face feel numb and made me all giggly. Its qualities as a social lubricant far outweighed its qualities as a delicious elixr. Many of my best male friends have been gained with the assistance of beer.

But even to this point, beer was the means to an end. It was never something consumed for pure enjoyment; it was a conduit through which to get inebriated. Sloshed, bombed, ripped, tanked, wasted. It was a vessel by which you would start slurring your words and end eating Doritos at 3AM and watching some crappy late night movie back at the dorm with a dozen of your most wasted friends. Beer was not the destination, it was just the path.

For years I treated beer as such. It was a fizzy yellow liquid, about $15 for a case. It was usually about 5.5-5.9% alcohol, with little deviation between the Buds, Millers and Coorses (or BMC as we Beer Advocates call it). Basically, back then, I would look at the choices available to me in the local Wegmans, and then maybe look at the unit price of each one, and decide which was the best value. Whatever would give me the most beer for my buck would be my selection.

Brief aside: it is amazing how the palate operates. On one hand, most people can identify great food vs. mediocre food. When we are babies, we eat whatever we are given, but when we grow older, we can tell the difference between good beef and mediocre beef. We can tell if the food at a restaurant is simply passable, or mouth-watering. We do not have the same sophistication with beer. Maybe it's the fact that we are not "allowed" to enjoy beer until we are 21, but many people tend to stunt their growth beer-wise early on.


One day -- and I'm not sure what day it was -- I grew up. I realized that all beer was not the same. I realized that the purpose of beer was not to get tanked, but to drink beer. I realized that I had been drinking the beer version of McDonald's my whole life, but had been missing out on the gourmet beers on the menu.

It was an awakening.

Because now, and over the last year, I no longer drink to get drunk (which, let's face it, was the only reason to do it in the first place). Now I drink to enjoy. I drink to find out whether a beer has dominant malt or hops. Whether beer has a fruity flavor or if it's bitter. Whether it's smooth or "chewy." Just tasting a beer and immediately identifying the style is a strangely satisfying sensation. Being able to tell the difference between a Belgian White and a Hefeweizen, or between a Pale Ale and an IPA, is such a pleasure. Yes, I do make notes of the different properties of beers as I drink them. Yes, I do sniff the inside of the pint glass. Yes, you could consider me a bit of a "nerd" when it comes to beer. I've been called worse.

But much as a hungry man has a hankering for a porterhouse, I too have the almost constant yearning for delicious beer. This does not, I submit, make me an alcoholic. Because whether or not I actually get drunk off of beer is purely inconsequential. (Although try telling that to a State Trooper.) The beer is now the thing. If it should happen to give me a slightly light-headed sense of euphoria, so be it. I could do without it. If you put ten delicious beers in front of me and told me I would not feel the slightest buzz, I would gladly sip each one down with the exuberance of Ray Milland in The Lost Weekend, but with the fervor and meticulous eye of Paul Giamatti in Sideways.

Mr Bohall and I have had this discussion, and I would have to agree with him. Though wine has its place, with its foreign names and fancy looking vineyards, beer is just as majestic, just as refined, and just as well-crafted. Wine, with its sweet or dry fruitiness, may be a more palatable to delicate or uninitiated taste buds, but beer (in my experience) has just as many various styles, just as many deviations in ingredients, and is made with just as much care. (Plus, President Jimmy Carter made it legal again to brew beer at home in November 1978. No wonder he's considered our greatest president!) Beer also ages, just like wine; it's just usually better to let the heavy-alcohol beers age longer.

Yes, I have drank beer with a pen and a pad. Yes, I know what IBUs are. Yes, dammit, I do believe in the tenets of the Reinheitsgebot! Well, plus yeast, and other stylistic exceptions. (And no, that doesn't mean I'm a white supremist.)

We are in the midst of an American brewing revolution. In the last decade alone, the United States microbrewing industry has given us some of the finest beers in the world. I would have to say that to my taste, Americans are leading the way in high quality beermaking. If we could only get people to shell out the extra couple bucks for a six pack of Dogfish Head (instead of a half-case of Bud) or a 22-oz of Middle Ages 10th Anniversary. Even the middlebrow selections, like Magic Hat, Long Trail or J.W. Dundees are a good step up.

Even if you are a person who doesn't like beer (a.k.a. a "wuss"... just kidding), there is at least one beer style for everyone. Once American society starts embracing beer as a dignified beverage, and not just an excuse to show stupid Bud Light commercials, we may finally pull ourselves out of this lowest-common-denominator culture and into an age of true enlightenment. Of course we'll have to add fine arts, good music, thought-provoking literature, innovative humor, important films, appreciation for history, political awareness, work ethic, conservation and dexterity in math and science. But beer's a start.

Finally, a Shannon Kid Makes Good

Many congratulations and 'nuff respect go out to my little sister, Eileen, who just got her first "real" (her words) job. She will be teaching a communications course at RIT this coming Winter Semester. By a stroke of good luck, she will be finally using that damn Master's degree she is always talking about. (Don't worry, the other three of us won't let it go to her head.)

Good job, Beans. Now finally you might be able to beat me in Trivial Pursuit: College Communications Course Edition. Maybe.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

9/11: Loose Change

This is long, but totally worth it.

It's about 1 hour and 20 minutes, and it's a blow-by-blow analysis of why 9/11 may have been an inside job, used to instill fear in Americans and give our president and his co-consipirators power. I am not one who usually falls prey to conspiracy theories, but this is one of the most compelling and convincing documentaries I've ever seen.

If you have the time, I highly recommend it.