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Archive for February 2006
Exciting Weekend
Posted February 24, 2006 at 01:32:31 PM by Bean in the Beer category
There's quite an exciting lineup on deck for this weekend.

Richo's Public House, Sportstime Pizza, and The New Albanian Brewery are starting Gravity Head '06. It's a month-long event during which they bring in kegs upon kegs (and casks upon casks) of high-gravity microbrews and imports. The lineup is impressive - the ABV ranges from 7.2% all the way up to about 15%. I'll be spending a few evening there in the upcoming week as it's importent to get in on the selections early, before they blow foam.

Saturday, Stef and I will be taking the plunge for the third consecutive year. This will be the coldest yet. Not too much else to say about that, really.

Sunday, I'm planning on heading to Perfect North for some ski and/or snowboard action with a few ducks. This will be my last ski trip this season - so I expect atleast a few injuries.
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Lost: One of Them (S02EP14)
Posted February 16, 2006 at 07:47:01 PM by Bean in the Lost category
First off: I am sick, out of town, and generally just in a bad mood, so this will be a short blog. So solly. Last night's ep was mediocre in my opinion. It was Sayid-centric. Here's a few plot points.

Hurley has been hoarding food. A fat guy? Hoarding food? Who knew?!

Sayid met Kate's step-father during his service in the first gulf war. We even see a picture of a young Kate. Go here for more deets.

The Countdown
Well, we were expecting the counter to reach zero, and it did. But did we really expect to see any kind of closure? Of course not. We get a few glimpses of some strange symbols (turns out they are glyphs and are not uncommon - here's a random web image that someone found that matches), but then Locke somehow reverses the process by typing the number late. How convenient.

Also, Sawyer squished a frog and Sayid found some rich baloonist in a trap and beat the shit out of him.
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Itchy and Scratchy
Posted February 16, 2006 at 08:06:10 AM by Bean
I've had a cold or a flu for the past three days. I Zicammed it up, but still came down with enough of a bug to make it hard for me to sleep well. So two days ago, I did what any red blooded American would do - bought some NyQuil. I decided to go with the Walgreens generic version because it was cheaper and it came with 6 doses of Day and 6 doses of Night.

Two nights ago, I popped an adult does of the Night formula and hit the sack. It helped me fall asleep fairly quickly, but about an hour later, the nightmare began. ALERT: Stop reading right here if you don't want TMI. I woke up with a terrible itch in what I will call my "nugget pouch." What do you do to an itch? You scratch it. So I did, and it felt better - for about 3 seconds. Then it came back. I went to the bathroom to check things out, but everythign appeared normal. Back to bed. Itch. Scratch. 3 seconds to try and fall asleep. Itch. Scratch. Etc. This continued for abour 5 hours. Needles to say, I didn't end up getting much quality sleep. By about 6am, the itch was gone, but it was time to get up.

Being the sleuth that I am, I thought that it might be the medicine - but I wasn't sure. So I decided to take the medicine again last night to aleviate some major coughing. It did not help the cough. It did make my pouch itch somethin' terrible.

It's 7am now, and the itch is gone. Morale of the story: Fuck a bunch of Walgreens medicine.
Round Steak
Posted February 14, 2006 at 09:06:06 AM by Bean in the Recipes category
My mom always made this when I was a kid. I decided to try it out last night and it turned out great.

Start with some kind of steak. If you use a good cut, there is no need to tenderize it, but if you get a tougher, cheaper steak, get the butcher to run it through a tenderizer or else do it yourself. Oh yeah, you'll need to peel some potatoes and boil them in water with a small amount of beef boulion added. These will be for the accompanying mashed taters. Back to the steak: cut it into either strips or smallish, flat chunks. Bread it in Kentucky Colonel Seasoned Flour (no egg wash needed) and then pan fry it in hot oil. It won't take too long, but you want to make sure to get the edges crispy.

Once your meat is cooked, pull it out of the oil and set it aside. Add more seasoned flour to the remaining oil and leftover bits to make a thick, medium colored roux. Cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly to keep it from burning. Your taters should be about done now, so drain them, but be sure to save the water/broth you drain off. Slowly add this broth to the roux and stir the bejeebus out of it to make sure you don't get chunks. Continue adding broth until it's a little thinner than you want it to be, then add the steak back in and let the whole shebang simmer while you finish up the taters (with milk, cream, butter, or whatever you like).

Add some brown'n'serve rolls and you've got yourself a bangorific meal.
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Mobile17 Ringtones
Posted February 13, 2006 at 08:04:58 PM by Bean
Stef got me, among other things, a subscription to Popular Science for Christmas. I flipped through my first magazine this evening and found something I thought I'd pass on to all of my best blog buddies.

Mobile17 is a free ringtone service. Now, I don't know a whole lot about cell phone accessories and features, but I was under the impression that most ringtones cost extra. Either that, or you had to have a special accessory kit or cable or something to put your own audio in there. Well, if that was indeed the case, it isn't any longer. Mobile17 lets you upload any mp3 file you want, pick a starting offset and length, and get it sent right to your phone either as an email attachment or a picture, which you can then save to your phone as a ringtone.

The service is only slightly crippled in the free version. You have to wait 45-60 minutes for your ringtone to be sent to your phone (depending on traffic). For a small "donation" you can get credits, which allow you to get it right away. I am currently waiting on my new Man of Constant Sorrow ringtone to filter down to my phone. 8 minutes to go.
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Lost: The Long Con (S02EP13)
Posted February 09, 2006 at 09:21:58 AM by Bean in the Lost category
Last night's episode of Lost was a good one, as always. It focussed mainly on character development, not so much on "island mystery." Here are a few of the high points in my opinion.

Bad People
Sawyer and Charlie carried out a "long con" on the island in order to humiliate Locke and Jack. Charlie wanted revenge on Locke for punching him and turning the whole group against him and Saywer wanted to get back at Jack for stealing his stash of goodies. Once they had all of the guns, Sawyer strode into camp declaring that he was the new sherif in town (the only one armed) and let everyone know that Jack and Locke were no longer in charge. Nobody knew Charlie was in on it. Anyway - when Charlie asked Sawyer how in the world he came up with the elaborate scheme that resulted in them getting the weapons cache, Sawyer replied that he was just a "bad man" and that he'd never done a good thing in his life. It's beginning to be a reoccurring theme - are the Losties all bad? Do (did?) the others only take the "good" ones? Don't know.

Sawyer's Backstory
We already knew he was a conman. But damn, just when you think he's actually going to call it quits and stay with his chick - he doesn't. It's hard to tell what exactly happened with him and his partner (who threatened to "put one in his ear" if he didn't follow through with the con) but it is clear that he just could not change his ways. I was almost sure he was gonna try to run away with her and end up getting her killed in the process - but lo and behold, he's just a bad ole conman.

The Radio
Hurley attempts to cheer Sayid up by giving him the shortwave radio that Bernard was carrying. At first, he refuses. After realizing that Hurley was really just trying to befriend him and help him out, Sayid rigs up some kind of antenna and they both use it to tune in some radio station while chillin' on the beach. They pick up a faint signal that's very "big band" and Sayid declares that it could be coming from anywhere in the world due to the whole ionosphere bouncing and whatnot - and Hurley jokes that it could be from anywhere in time - referencing the old timey sound of it. After some research, I found out that the song was Moonlight Serenade by Glen Miller (a WWII era classic) and the radio call letters were WXR which was a Coast Guard Radio broadcast in Kodiak, Alaska circa 1945.

Lot's of WWII/military references in this second season. Kate's Dad is an army recruiter. Ana carries a US Army knife. Zeke had a WWII era Luger. The door to the bunker as well as the interior of the bunker the Tailies find looks very similar to a quonset hut. The music and radio station mentioned above. Not sure where it's going.

Twins were mentioned in two seperate instances in this ep, and have been a theme in both seasons. The first was when Ana and Jack were walking on the beach - Ana mentioned that Scott or Steve wanted to join their "army" and Jack corrected her, noting that one of the twins was dead. Also, Hurley finds an unpublished manuscript in one of the suitcases and starts reading it. It's titled "Bad Twin". Aparently, it's going to be released, and is already available on Amazon. Read this thread for deets.

It's a given that I'm looking forward to the next ep. Battle lines are drawn - most of the main characters are taking sides. Oh, and here's another interesting read on people's theories about the dog, Vincent.
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Photo Longevity
Posted February 08, 2006 at 08:30:55 PM by Bean in the Flashbacks category
I love digital media. It warms my heart to know that the following photo gems will be around for a long time. Each one brings back memories for me, and maybe for some of you. Enjoy:

Dirtass wearing a classic T.

Ranglog diggin' for a suprise!

Ken Rossi or Big Z? Nobody knows for sure (except me).

My old roomey Pete, looking mad. I still have the pictured blue and white blanket.

What happened when JCTMH passed OTE early one night. Luckily he was still alive enough to pose.

Some fat bass my buddy Bilal and I caught in hikeschool.

Ladamien Roblinson (D-Rob) at the first ever BeanFest.

Stutzenator - during rangoons bachelor party. Note the homemade shirt.

Me, Koji, and Piss toasting a Yuengling at the first MartiFest.

My old buddy Melba playing pool at my apartment in Indy circa 2001-2002. Note that she is wearing my college beer hat (which I still have).

A great vacation in pre-Katrina New Orleans.

The night I proposed to Stef (she said yes).

Posted February 08, 2006 at 09:31:57 AM by Bean
So, I read about on Balls' Blog (prompting his re-addition to the blog links block, infact) and signed up. Fun stuff. Here is my most recent series. Read them in order:


You basically get to choose backgrounds, characters, text, and narration. It's a blank canvas is just waiting to get ducked up. MAWCTBABAI. Kudo's to whomever figures that acronym out.
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Beer Tasting
Posted February 07, 2006 at 01:35:55 PM by Bean in the Beer category
Yes, you are correct, my last 2 blogs have been about beer. And this one is too.

Last weekend, Stef and I went to Richmond for Stacie's birthday, and while there, I talked to her dad about an event that he helped host the weekend before. It was called "Best of the Midwest" and it was a beer tasting.

From what he told me, this is how it worked:
Some dude rented out the Shriners's club house for an evening for $150. He then sent a Shriner to pick up $75 worth of beer - 10 sixpacks of microbrews. 30 people or so attended the event, each shelling out $20 for the night ($600). The guy running the operation talked about each beer as they were passed out (each bottle was split among 4 people I think) and walked the tasters through a wide range of beers. There was also a raffle for some beer paraphanelia which brought in an additional $140 (for about $20 worth of crap) which was donated to the Shrine club as a "tip." The Shrine bar was also open (run by a Shriner volunteer) - they took in about $40. I think the whole thing lasted 2 hours, and from what Steve said, everyone had a pretty good time. The Shriners made $320 and from what I surmise, the guy running the deal made $375.

Now, I'm not sure how it all worked, legally. I assume that the whole thing operated uner the Shrine Club's liquor liscense. Steve told me that whenever the club is rented, the Shrine always provides the alcohol (marked up, of course) but that they didnt have a problem with buying specific items so long as a list and ample funds were provided.

As you can probably guess, I would love to put on one of these. I really want to get started planning and gauging intrest in my area, but I want to make sure it's all legal first. I'm going to contact a few local lodges (Elk's, Moose, etc.) and see if they can help me sort through the legalities.

Here's how I'd run mine:
  • $20 per person (drivers get in free and get free soda and whatnot)
  • Free chips, pretzels, etc.
  • Cash bar (if the club offers one)
  • 12 beers, chosen and thoroughly researched by me.
  • Each bottle get's split between 4 people (comes out to about 36oz of beer per person)
  • 4 beers, break, 4 beers, break, 4 beers, done.
  • During the breaks, turn on some music (if the club offers it) and "mingle"
  • I'd talk about each beer, point out some of the flavor components in each, and talk about the individual breweries responsible for them.
  • I'd bring various samples of malted barley, hops, yeast, etc. to pass around and/or taste.
  • I'd give a little talk on homebrewing at the end - and if it is at all possible, samples of my own brew for free (to everyone present).
Is this a stupid idea?
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Blood, Sweat, and Beers
Posted February 06, 2006 at 03:11:10 PM by Bean in the Beer category
Nick sent out a link to The Outdoorsmen - Blood, Sweat & Beers a few days ago, and I've been thinking about it on and off ever since. Check it out. Watch the trailer, then come back.

Are you as fascinated as I am? I hope so. I'd really like to put something like this together for all of us aging twenty-somethigns. I'm thinking late Spring or early Summer, find a nice big spot in the woods, near either a large stream or a lake, and make a weekend of it. Leave the wife and kid(s) at home, and come gather with your brethern to celebrate sheer manliness - Outdoorsmen style.

Nothing planned yet, just kicking around the idea. Holla back if you want in or if you have any suggestions on how to plan this shindig.
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Beer, Brewing, and B-Dubs
Posted February 01, 2006 at 09:28:52 AM by Bean in the Beer category
Last weekend, Stef dropped me and a carload of brewing equipment off at Andy Barkley's house in Indy on her way to Richmond. It was 9am when I unloaded the car, and there was only one thing on my mind: beer.

Hicks had driven down the previous night and his brother was on his way. The four of us planned to brew up 20 gallons of premium homebrew beer while "freeing up space" in Barkley's beer cooler and fridge by drinking as much as possible. I'll go ahead and aleviate the suspense and let you know that our plan panned out well.

The way it usually work is as follows: Whomever hosts the brewing event pledges as much homebrew to the day as is required. On top of that, the visiting brewers are supposed to bring samples of their own homebrew and/or a sampling of "good" beer from the liquor store. As it turned out, I physically did not have room in the car for extra beer or a cooler (I brought a lot of equipment and whatnot). Good thing Hicks (the elder) brough some. We ended up with plenty. Coffee Stout, IBADS Red, Barkley's Wit, Chimay, CHIPA, and a splattering of domestic and import styles kept us chock full of beer. Of course, we ordered Domino's pizza ($5 pizza deal) for lunch.

We brewed two beers - the first of which was an old standby: St. Chuck's Porter. It's probably my favorite IBADS hombrew and I am pretty sure we've brewed it 4-5 times. At the beginning of the mash, we realized that our thermometer broke when we were heating up the water. It looked like all of the lead pellets sank to the bottom, and there was no break in the mercury tube (or whatever is in there) so we brushed it off and had Hicks (the younger) stop by the homebrew shop and grab a replacement. Other than that, the first beer went off without a hitch - starting gravity was 1.052. Next up was a new one - a Classic American Pilsner (CAP) that Andy formulated and titled "My Father's Goate". I have no idea. Anyway, it's a simple light lager and it, too, was brewed without any major problems and also ended up at 1.052. We finished with plenty of daylight left, cleaned up, and got ready for dinner.

I heart Buffalo Wild Wings. A good beer selection + lots of wingie sauces + trivia = hard to beat. Jen drove the four of us into town and we grabbed a big table. Bad Andy (not to be confused with Andy Barkley) and Sarah met us there for trivia, grub, and a few drinks. We also went to Coldstone Creamery for desert (BANG). Around... 11 maybe (?) we headed back home where Stef was waiting. Then it was inside for some polite chit-chat and straight to bed.

Here's the pics I took throughout the day. Don't miss the picture of the Hicks Brothers and the subsequent movie of them shotgunning beers.

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Movie Review: Flightplan
Posted February 01, 2006 at 09:09:08 AM by Bean in the Movies category
Stef brought home Flightplan yesterday, so we popped it in around 9. The beginning was pretty hard to follow, tumbling between flashbacks and present time (I think?), but once the movie got going it was fairly interesting. Jodie Foster's character boards a giant plane with her daughter after her husband's death in Germany, eager to get back to the US to begin their greiving and recovery. Mid-flight, her daughter goes missing and nobody else on the plane even admits to having ever seen a "daughter". It's a mediocre movie, but the plot twists and extreme suspense kept us aboard until the end. Overall, if I had to rate it on the trachbang scale, it'd probably get a Score.
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