Dating Profile Photo Failure

December 10, 2011

Come on, you have to be fucking kidding me with this, right?  It is bad enough that this photo is taken by pointing the iPhone at the bathroom mirror, but couldn’t she have taken her toiletries off the countertop? Or at least cropped all of that crap out of the photo? And while she gets some credit for wearing what appears to be a nice dress and a fancy necklace, any chance of looking classy or sexy or whatever look she was going for is shot to hell by posing while standing in the fucking tub. You don’t need professional glamour shots for a dating profile, but you should have some dignity.

Do you think I have a shot with her?

Guest Post from the WarriorBard

July 5, 2011

I am giving over my blog for the day to my father, who wrote the following at his Warriorbard blog:

Grammy, Caroline, and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital

Uterine papillary serous carcinoma has a sterile, almost arid sound to it. Stage 3C neither limits nor expands it. It just classifies it.

Grammy [many of you know her as Amy, the long suffering wife of Kevin Smith] was diagnosed with it and operated on in August, 2009. She lost her hair during the subsequent chemo-radiation-chemo cycle.

Caroline, our middle granddaughter, had her hair cut that Christmas just so she could say “I love you Grammy”. Not quite 10 inches of her light brown hair went to “Locks for Love”.

A tiny spot was discovered on Grammy’s lung this March past.

By May it had gone to her liver, her lungs, her lymph nodes, and her stomach. This time it was classified as Stage 4. There is no Stage 5.

She began anew her trips to the Chemo Café. There, the drip, drip of the man made poison was begun to stanch the flow of the other poison.

Caroline’s birthday is in April. She has a pool party in June hoping for better weather.

She told her mom that rather than presents for herself she wanted to raise some money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Grammy had told her that whenever she was feeling bad during her chemo she thought about the children getting their drip, drip at St. Jude’s. St. Jude’s makes it as easy as possible for these kids. St. Jude’s relies on people like Caroline to pay for the stuff that goes into the IV, into these kids.

Caroline has so far raised over $2,500.00.

Now that I have your attention I ask you to continue her “It’s A Wonderful Life” moment.

Please send her a check payable to:

St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital

Her address is

Caroline Hanson
2110 Country Brook Lane
Allen, TX 75002

Most of you know me as an acid-tongued curmudgeon who takes no prisoners. I have told many of you that I don’t seek to convert but, rather, I seek to confront. It is true that if I catch myself saying something nice about someone I bite down very hard on my lower lip. If that doesn’t work I picture myself in a 4 man shell with Michael Dukakis and Alpha Gump and the ghosts of Bella Abzug and Teddy Kennedy fighting for the 4th seat. Hillary Clinton is in the coxun’s chair, rope’s end in hand, trying to steer us clear of the never ending “vast Right-Wing conspiracy” shoals. That always gets me back to basics.

I promise to go back to being what I am known and loved for after this note.

Thank you,

Kevin Smith

I am Caroline’s uncle.  She is a sweet kid, just turned ten, hates doing her multiplication tables, loves her pets, is a finicky eater, looks exactly like my sister did at age ten, and more often than not, she tolerates me and my nonsense.  My mother’s illness has been difficult for her and raising money for her Grammy means a lot to her.  If any of you reading this can be generous, please help her out by sending a check or money order made out to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.


Sierra Nevada Rocks!

December 15, 2010

The folks from Chico have long been among my favorite brewers, and two recent releases have done nothing to cool my ardor for them.  The Estate Homegrown Ale is made entirely from ingredients grown by the brewery, and it is a fresh tasting, subtly hoppy ale.  It poured a hazy orange with a creamy white head, nice lacing up the side of the glass and frisky carbonation.  The hops were fruity and sharp, and the malts were fruity as well, with some plum and citrus.  I wanted to grab some more of this, but by the time I got back to my local beer emporium, it was all gone.  I am glad I grabbed a bottle when I did, 8.5/10.

I was a big fan of the Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale, so I had high hopes for the Northern Hemisphere edition.  Although not quite as good, the Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale was still a fine drink, with some piney and resinous hops, balanced by some bready and sweet malts.  It had a mild apple cider aftertaste that was very nice.  I did not love it, but I did like it, 7/10.

We will now resume our regularly scheduled programming

August 23, 2010

I took a little break from writing, beer, and writing about beer, moved halfway across the country, tried not to die from heat stroke, largely succeeded in that endeavor, and reassessed, recharged and rejuvenated.  The usual hijinks will return soon.

Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest

July 19, 2010

Another winner from the good folks at Sierra Nevada.  Using hops from New Zealand, the Southern Hemisphere Harvest is a big citrus and pine hop bomb, more of a sipping IPA rather than a chugging beer.  To be honest, the flavor is so intense that finishing the bottle by myself was not quite challenging, but not exactly easy either.  The fluffy two fingered head stuck around to the bottom of the glass, and the creamy mouthfeel and bubbly carbonation helped bring out the malty aftertaste.  It only clocks in at 6.7 % ABV.  Given the intense flavors, that ABV might have been higher.  I am giving this an 8/10.

Elysian Brewing’s Avatar Jasmine IPA & Loser Pale Ale

April 28, 2010

Washington’s Elysian Brewing Company’s beers have started to pop up with increasing frequency here in North Jersey, and I can’t complain about that.  The beers I have had have been uniformly good.

The Avatar Jasmine IPA is brewed with dried jasmine flowers added to the boil.  Having had some flowery beers recently, I cannot claim to have picked up any jasmine in the aroma or the flavor, but it did not matter with this excellent IPA.  The hops are herbal and grassy, and there is a touch of lemon on the tongue.  The malts are a subdued caramel, and complement the hops perfectly.  At 6.3% ABV, this is a smooth drinking IPA.  I am giving it a 7.5/10.

The Elysian Loser Pale Ale is another winner.  Brewed as a tribute to Seattle’s Sub Pop Records*, this pale ale poured a burnt orange with some nice lacing running up the glass.  The hops had notes of pineapple and herbs, but were mild and muted and went nicely with the creamy maltiness.  This was a smooth drinking pale ale, perfect for the cool spring evening that I knocked it back on, 7/10.

*Hag was a huge Sub Pop fan back in late eighties, especially their ‘Dope and Fucking Guns in the Streets‘ series, but then again who wasn’t?

A Tale of Two India Pale Ales

April 22, 2010

Whenever I am in a bar or a store with a good selection and I am dithering over what to drink, I usually end up getting an IPA.  India Pale Ales generally have the right combination of flavors to please your taste buds and are usually low in enough in ABV that you can have a few and slake your thirst.  IPAs have become the standard bearers for most American craft brewers, and with good reason.  They are usually drinkable enough for the casual beer drinker to enjoy, yet still interesting enough for the beer dork to sniff, swirl and text their impressions to other beer dorks.

There are several elements I associate with IPAs.  First, IPAs are more aggressively hopped than other beers that do not have ‘imperial’ in their name.  Second, the malt profile is elevated a bit due to the aggressive hopping.  Third, there is usually some wood, generally oak, in the aroma and the flavor. Fourth, IPAs tend to be among the more affordable offerings for any given brewer.  My guess is that IPA sales are the bread and butter business of most craft brewers and those sales finance the more exotic offerings that many craft brewers produce.

The Fire Island Red Wagon IPA is a decent example of an IPA.  It poured a dark amber, with a nice head.  The hops were earthy and fruity, but not as bitter as I normally like my IPAs.  There was nothing outstanding or particularly memorable about this beer, yet I can easily see myself polishing off a six pack over the course of an evening.  That is one of the wonders of IPAs.  Even if they are not great examples of the genre, you can still pound them back.  The Red Wagon IPA gets a 6/10.

I have extolled the virtues of Dogfish Head before, and I am going to do so again right now.  The 60 Minute IPA is pale amber and slightly cloudy with some grassy hops aroma immediately apparent, and some light citrus notes on the back end. The light caramel malts bring some sweetness to the bitterness of the hops.  This is an excellent beer, as enjoyable as they come, 8/10.  My only complaint is that at nearly twelve bucks a six pack, this is pricey for an IPA, especially when you get other IPAs which are almost as good for well under ten dollars.

Saranac Root Beer

April 15, 2010

Saranac is a brewer in Upstate New York.  I will get to their beers soon, but I had their root beer the other night and it was outstanding.  Sweet, cold, nicely carbonated, and hell yes that is vanilla ice cream in the mug.  The ice cream hit the root beer and it all foamed up into a sweet, sticky, delicious mess.

River Horse Hop-A-Lot-Amus

April 15, 2010

Cool Stuff about New Jersey:

*R. Stevie Moore, the greatest rock star since Elvis retired and took that job in the 7-11 in Reno, lives in a basement in Bloomfield, New Jersey.

*The greatest television talk show and variety show host of all time, the great Uncle Floyd, is a New Jersey native, and still makes his home here.

*New Jersey is the only state in the USA that has an indigenous elephant population.

*The World’s Largest Waterfall is located in Paterson, New Jersey.

*The Bayonne Bridge: Not just the longest bridge on record, it is the largest man-made structure ever, with the Great Wall of China a distant second, and the Canals of Mars a distant third.

*The first paved road constructed after the fall of the Roman Empire was the New Jersey Turnpike, specifically the Holland Tunnel Spur.

*The Loch Ness Monster is an overgrown salamander, and Sasquatch is a candy ass.  Everyone knows that the coolest cryptozoological creature is the Jersey Devil.

*The only brewery mentioned by name in the Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights, and the Gettysburg Address is New Jersey’s own River Horse Brewing Company.

The Brewer’s Reserve Hop-A-Lot-Amus is River Horse’s stab at an Imperial IPA.  It is unfiltered so it is a nice cloudy pour, dark amber in color, with a magnificent foamy head.  The hops are up front in the nose and the taste, balanced by some caramel notes from the malts.  It clocks in at 8.5% ABV, but the alcohol was hardly noticeable.  This is a nice beer, not the best example of an Imperial IPA, but very drinkable.  I am giving my Jersey Homies a 7/10 on this one.

Music in Jersey City

April 13, 2010

Some music I came across while riding my bike in Jersey City. The first clip is a group from a synagogue singing at a ceremony honoring Jewish Veterans of WWII. The second clip is a bagpiper outside a wedding in the Catholic Church down the street from me.

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