Monthly Archives: October 2007

Delirum tremens

Blonde and a bit cloudy, with a resilient head, Delirium tremens is a very tasty Belgian. It drinks smooth and crisp. Well, it’s smooth, trails slightly yeasty but not in an offensive way, and I like it. Other than that I’ve been totally distracted during this so that’s all I’ve got. I’ll update with a photo when I get a chance to upload it.

rick

Is google losing their edge?

I love Google. I use a number of google applications. Google’s search is and has always been fantastic. I have a gmail account and a picasaweb account. Blah, blah, google’s does a lot of great things and makes my life better. Thank you google!

However, I’m feeling more and more that google just isn’t getting it like they used to. The internet has changed, it grows more dynamic, more personal. But while new sites keep popping up that enable users to do more, google looks the other way. They are building and building, or more likely buying and buying, but they aren’t reaching out, they aren’t connecting. I have two examples of this that I think are very relevant.

First, Blogger. Every blog on Blogger should have an RSS feed. Natively. Period. Authors should have the option to turn them off, but RSS is the real deal, and having to use a feedburner widget is a hassle.

Second, PicasaWeb. I love my picasaweb account. The interface is clean and fast. But the community seems tacked on. And that’s not even my real problem. My real issue is that Google has not built partnerships with other sites. Everywhere you go, you can integrate your flickr data. But with picasaweb, there’s nothing. I can’t go to moo.com and use my existing photos on picasaweb to make cards, I have to select them in iPhoto, export them, and upload them again. Same with sites like dopplr.Hassle!

I keep getting a Microsoft feeling from Google. Like the people who really ‘get it’ have lost to business, marketing, and management. Like they have a 20-year plan and can’t reel it in enough to see what’s actually happening today. Acquire, assimilate, devour.

Weekend guest

We had an unexpected guest this weekend. Driving down Sand Blvd. after picking up some food for dinner Saturday, a small dog darted across the street in front of me. I turned off to follow and see if there was a sign of his owner around, but he was on his own. He did have a small leash dangling behind him and a collar, but no tags. A passerby and I got him into my car and I took the small dog home. He was nervous, and Augie was pretty worked up about the guest, but they sniffed and got on just fine. Little puppy dog was a total sweetheart. I put notices on craigslist, the animal shelter, and Dove Lewis, and put some signs up around Sandy the next day, but didn’t hear anything.

We got pretty attached to the little guy, and finally saw an ad that his owner placed on craigslist. So I called him, and he came and picked Pumpkin up. Decent fellow, they were happy to be reunited. So Pumpkin, cheers, and Augie is missing you.

Alameda East Village Amber

The Alameda Brewhouse has released their ales in bottles to ease general consumption. Which is really nice because that way I don’t have to actually go to their brewhouse to enjoy their tasty beers.

The brewhouse is a family-friendly joint on NE Fremont in Portland. Sometimes a bit too family-friendly for my taste, a fact that may change someday, but its foundation remains solid so far.

The East Village Amber pours a thick but temporary head out of the bottle. Photos seconds aparts looked showed a dramatic difference in thickness, like time lapsed flowers opening. The beer is amber-hued and lightly clouded.

This beer is extremely drinkable. Its body is fairly light, and exhibits almost no stickiness. After passing my tongue, the flavor disipates quickly, leaving a light hint of lemon that makes my mouth water. The amber malt is the primary scent and flavor, but there is definately a fair hop presence. It might be just a bit sweet, but it works really well.

Overall, this is a really tasty beer. Well-flavored, not over the top, and easily consumed for a broad audience.

Timbers 4, Toronto 1

Woohoo! Great game tonite, beautiful day. The Timbers faced MLS’s Toronto in a post-season friendly, and what fun it was.

The Moist crew showed up in force, and the Army was bitchin tonite…they were loud. The beginning of the game was distressing, as Toronto looked to be outclassing the Timbers pretty well. But the defense was solid, and Timbers snapped a sweet goal chipping the Toronto keeper to open it up.

Within a minute, it was 2-0 with an excellent looping shot far post. Toronto got on the board shortly after with a blast off a deflected shot, bounce off the crossbar. At the end of the half, the Timbers caught Toronto’s keeper way out of position and passed the ball in. The second half was exciting as well, with a single shot penetrating Toronto’s defense, for a 4-1 final. Awesome match. Bring MLS to Portland.

Broadway Brewery & Grill: Experience the westside on the eastside

Something’s wrong with NE Broadway. There are a lot of cool little businesses along there. I love the Rose and Thistle. But for the most part, they are underperforming. Almost every stop along NE Broadway is a bit too…bland. I gave this some thought awhile ago, and my conclusion then was that Broadway and its surrounding area is the westside invasion. A few weeks later the Broadway Brewery and Grill opened up. The BB&G is an offshoot of the Old Market Pub, a microbrew joint down off SW Garden Home, and one that I’d never been ecstatic about. Mostly the food is extraordinarily bland.

I’d managed to avoid the BB&G since it opened a few months ago, but cruised in there Saturday afternoon with my brother. It is extremely typical, with birch veneer and flatscreen TVs. The bartender was very nice. We split a calzone. The crust was baked perfectly, kudos to the chef, but, the calzone was very bland. Just like with the Old Market Pub, they are able to take something that sounds fabulous and make it very white bread.

I won’t say much about the beers, except that I got a bloody mary instead of a beer today. We sampled the Granny Smith, which I’d thought would be a cider (instead an apple-brewed beer), but it wasn’t inspiring as a beer either.

So this started out as a rant about Broadway catalyzed by a visit to the Broadway Bar & Grill, but it turned into a bit of review. Overall, the BB&G is a fine sports bar, but not a destination for me.

Hair of the Dog Fred

Fredbeer. That’s how I’ve always known this classic Portland microbrew. You could easily swap classic for potent because holy crap this baby’s got bite…it’s tempting to order Fred on the rocks.

The aroma is rich and amazing, scented smoothly of light malts. Fred pours a rich, beautiful head that lasts and lasts. The body is a a bit heavy, giving it a slightly syrupy character. My first tastes of HOTD’s Golden Special Ale, I find that the strength is a bit of an affront. These guys go big. Serious hops, strong, big malt That’s how Hair of the Dog rolls. Big. Continuing to sip, however, Fred opens up some subtlety. A light spice, caramel, strong bitterness that melds to the malts nicely.

Batch number 69, btw. And notice the dog’s helmet in the picture. You can almost make it out if you click on the picture above and then maximize it, the emblem is a pair of swim fins. To be square, I wasn’t paying attention and poured straight into my glass, a nice firm pour. Well, this is bottle conditioned, so there’s sediment at the bottom, hence I should really go get myself another bottle for a solid review. In the meantime, you can see what Fred has to say.

St. Peter’s English Ale

St. Peter’s English Ale comes in a sweet old-style medicine bottle. This organic ale from England opens with a nicely rounded bitterness and has an interesing fruity finish. It drinks clean, not syrupy at all, and has a nice light carbonation with the medium body. This beer is less sweet than typical English ales, and a bit more bittered than I typically find in the genre. No complaints here.

The aroma is lightly malty and fruity, with a nice hoppy aroma from the Hallertau hops. The flavor runs a bit towards a Belgian as well, which is pretty fun.

Overall, this is an enjoyable English ale. And it’s really a nice English ale to checkout if you’re a fan of the West Coast IPAs. The bottle’s pretty cool too.

Storm: the next generation of virus

Storm is a next step in evolution of computer virus. Basically, it’s more organized than your typical trojan horse or virus, having three (?) different roles: breeder, brain, and drone (my terminology). The drones are the most common, and basically install on your computer and await instructions from the brain. The breeders try to spread, and the brain acts as a command and control center.

The scary part is that lying dormant, this thing has access to pretty much everything (secure or no) you do on your computer or the internet with that computer. In the meantime it’s just waiting for instructions.

I wrote a lightly fictionalized description, and Bruce Schneier has the frightening article at Wired.

So, what can you do about it? Well, make sure that your anti-virus software is up-to-date. Also, never open attachments from someone you don’t know. Make sure that your OS is patched. Mac and Unix (Linux, BSD, etc) are currently much safer than the alternative, but that doesn’t mean to be complacent.

Bigtime rollout

After quite a bit of work I’ve got a new version of beerdrinker.org ready to rock. Some of the new features are pretty obvious…a new banner and some random photos. But there are other new features. I’ve included a feed of my latest ficlets so at least you can tell I haven’t been slacking too much if I haven’t been posting. Then there’s the beer grab bag on the right, so if you’re ever thirsty and not sure what to consume, just checkout that doodad and let you thirst be forever quenched. Then there’s a bunch of new stuff under the hood. WordPress 2.3, some tagging tools, pretty permalinks (I was a bit late on that adoption), and more.

So, I’d love to hear what you think of the new look and other features. If something doesn’t look right or is just plain broken, or if you think something’s really cool. I’ve done a ton of (simple) customizing on the theme and I’m happy to share.

And thanks for the callout, Jack…I can only hope that y’all visited when I wasn’t busy breaking it.

Upgrade!

Upgraded the site, and got a new theme, and made a new banner…it’s just a trial run, but let me know whatcha think (I know, I need to clean it up a bit). cheers.

Fall Dwell

It’s been an interesting Fall so far. I’ve got a few fairly exciting projects in the works, and there’ve been some bizarre twists, so I’m not going to put anything on digital at this point.

But looking out the window, my mind wanders. The squirrels have been extra-busy this Fall. I’m thinking that’s an indicator that winter is coming early, and it’s going to be pretty serious about it when it shows.

The birds are out and about,

and the leaves are falling

Here’s hoping for a great ski season!

Lazy Boy Brewing IPA

Lazy Boy…just jumped out at me tonite as I picked up some veggies to make a lentil curry. “Locally Brewed,” they claimed. Where the heck is local because I’ve never heard of you. Everett, WA. I guess it’s kind of local. But what about those guys getting their Vermont bottle deposit back? Enough of that crap…I’m caring about what’s inside the bottle.

A lightly amber-hued IPA is what I found. The first taste had a slightly unpleasant sharpness to the bitter, but it really wasn’t overpowering, and I’m finding this IPA to be pleasant and refreshing. It is definitely not one of the uber-hopped mega IPAs, which is totally fine for me. The flavor does not linger, that bitterness slowly but surely fades to black.

Pretty good, the Lazy Boy is a great option to check out as an alternative to your standby IPA.