Month: November 2008

Black Friday

The NYT writes about “the annual Black Friday insanity”:

bq. A 34-year-old Wal-Mart employee was killed, the police said, after being knocked down and trampled by a wave of shoppers who broke down the doors of the store at the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, N.Y. Several other shoppers were hurt, including a 28-year-old pregnant woman who was taken to the hospital, police said, after the stampede occurred just after 5 a.m.

In lighter news, there’s plenty of stupid people:

bq. “I’ve been doing this for 17 years; this year, it feels smaller,” said Tracey Darwish, 37, who was waiting in line at the Wal-Mart in Columbus to buy Madden ’09, the football video game for PlayStation 2, for $39, marked down from $59. Ms. Darwish said that in the past she would “spend thousands of dollars on Black Friday” — even withdrawing money from her retirement account.

She waited in line for Wal-Mart to open to buy Madden ’09 for $39. Yet anyone can go to Amazon and buy it “for $39.99”: But even dumber, she takes money out of her retirement account to buy Christmas gifts. What an idiot.

This woman is “cutting back” by buying an electronic corkscrew, because when times are tough and you’re unemployed, opening a bottle of wine can be unbearable with the non-electronic corkscrews:

bq. Rosemary O’Brien, 55, of Newport, R.I., glanced over the selection of silver-wrapped electronic corkscrews at Bloomingdale’s, retailing for $39.99. She said that she was trying to cut back after her business, Freedom Yachts, recently closed.

And she’s betting on not having to pay the bill:

bq. “I am paying a lot with credit cards, and I’m hoping the banks go out of business and I won’t have to pay them back,” Ms. O’Brien said.

In other words, she’s hoping that _all_ banks go out of business, not just her bank. And Americans wonder why they’re all in debt and can’t get ahead.

Thanksgiving 2008

We had a quiet Thanksgiving, just the four (that’s still weird to say) of us. I watched all three blow-out football games and tried to keep Havana and Hudson from bothering Gay in the kitchen.


We sampled several beers that I’ve received from a beer-of-the-month club my brother gave me for Christmas last year and found a couple good ones — Gay liked the “Saranac Caramel Porter”: and I liked the “Shipyard Prelude Special Ale”:

Hudson at 3 months

Today Hudson is 3 months old. He’s still a much easier baby than Havana was. He’s quiet and rarely cries (just like his dad). He can roll over when put down on his tummy and is patient as Havana pokes, prods and hugs him. He even sleeps through the night, i.e., 5 hours, on occasion which is much earlier than I remember Havana sleeping through the night.


Dogfish Head in The New Yorker

The New Yorker has “an article”: on craft beer, specifically on Dogfish Head:

bq. “I looked around and saw three breweries basically ruling the United States,” he told me. All but one per cent of the beer sold in the U.S. was still made by Miller, Coors, and Anheuser-Busch, along with mid-sized and foreign breweries such as Pabst and Heineken. And while craft breweries made wonderful beer, they were mostly focussed on classic German and British styles, such as pale ale and Pilsner. Calagione had something else in mind. “I’d read a copy of Michael Jackson’s ‘World Guide to Beer,’ and I thought, Holy shit! There are people out there making beer with fruit! There are Scottish ales made with heather flowers! Maybe I can make a living making beer that isn’t like anything else.” It was an opportunity to play David to the beer industry’s Goliaths, he says. “It was the same kind of thing that got me kicked out of prep school.”

Republican party: ship of fools

“The Economist”: on why the Republican party lost. Their lack of ideas:

bq. The Republicans lost the battle of ideas even more comprehensively than they lost the battle for educated votes, marching into the election armed with nothing more than slogans. Energy? Just drill, baby, drill. Global warming? Crack a joke about Ozone Al. Immigration? Send the bums home. Torture and Guantánamo? Wear a T-shirt saying you would rather be water-boarding. Ha ha. During the primary debates, three out of ten Republican candidates admitted that they did not believe in evolution.

Continue reading “Republican party: ship of fools”

Anheuser-Busch is foreign beer

It’s official, InBev has completed its acquisition of Anheuser-Busch. America now makes only the best beers in the world. Of the top 50 breweries in America, here are my favorites and their ranking in size:

1 Boston Beer Co. Boston MA
2 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Chico CA
7 Deschutes Brewery, Inc. Bend OR
9 Full Sail Brewing Co. Hood River OR
13 Anchor Brewing Co. San Francisco CA
20 Stone Brewing Co. Escondido CA
21 Rogue Ales / Oregon Brewing Newport OR
25 Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Milton DE
28 The Lagunitas Brewing Co. Petaluma CA
44 Anderson Valley Brewing Co. Boonville CA
46 North Coast Brewing Co. Inc. Fort Bragg CA

Peter Schiff versus talking heads

Watch this compilation of financial shows with Peter Schiff starting more then two years ago predicting the housing crash, the credit crunch and a long recession while all the other “experts” literally laughed at him and called him “pessimistic”:

Ben Stein, proving that bad actors should not go on TV pretending to be economists, even declared Merrill Lynch “an astonishingly well-run company” — less than a year later Merrill Lynch doesn’t exist anymore, they were so well-run.

And it’s all mostly Fox News, which again, proves that if you watch Fox News and believe what comes out of the speaker your brain is filled with falsehoods.

Scott Green is a lousy referee

The Steelers won and the extra touchdown that was nullified wouldn’t have made a difference. But the refs in the game were worst I’ve seen in many years.

They correctly called the touchdown and had the players line up for the extra-point attempt before the refs in the booth stopped it to review the play to see if Polamalu scored. The result of the review was that there was nothing to review, but then the refs on the field huddled and decided, without a review, to declare the game over and the touchdown nullified.

This play was obviously a legal play and a touchdown, a novice football watcher could have seen this was clearly a touchdown. Watch the play:

Where was the “illegal forward pass”?!? Both were clearly backwards passes. And minutes after the game, the head ref, Scott Green “admitted he screwed up”:

bq. “We should have let the play go through in the end, yes,” Green said.

What changed in the few minutes between his two decisions? Did he look at a review of the play? Did his memory of the play change?

They also called a pass-interference on the Steelers that was clearly not pass-interference — the offensive player ran into the Steelers player and the Steelers player was flagged. And they called a holding penalty on another Steelers touchdown where the Steelers blocker fell down and brushed the side of another player — the Steelers had to kick a field goal.

I generally don’t like to blame the refs since there are always bad or questionable calls in every game — life’s not perfectly fair. But these refs sucked. I hope the Scott Green and his team of refs never ref another NFL game.