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2681  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Crock Pot cooking on: April 16, 2009, 03:36:58 PM

Quote from: mytocles on April 16, 2009, 04:28:28 AM

I'm not a fan of salt except on two things - steak and corn on the cob. 

You forgot potatoes.

I ought to excavate our crock pot and resurrect some old recipes. Slow-cooking makes great soups and stews -- anything where you want the flavors well-blended.
2682  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: A double barrel pump shotgun on: April 16, 2009, 03:32:52 PM
I have a 12-gauge Ithaca over-and-under double barrel that keeps my lawn child-free. I guess the side-by-side pump can fire faster because it doesn't need to be reloaded after each shot. Handy if you're being attacked by a whole gang of street urchins.
2683  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New Colonization! on: April 16, 2009, 02:14:26 AM
I started a game as the French, using mostly default settings from the "Play Now" menu. I won an Economic victory on the first turn. Boy, that was easy!

I did get another CRC error on a different file. Now downloading for the third time. The Civ Fanatics thread has some chatter about version problems and file host problems. Hard to say if that's what's going on for me. The mod loaded and the game started up just fine. 

Oh well. Will try once more.

2684  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Season 2 on: April 14, 2009, 10:29:37 PM
Unsurprising, but sad anyway. I am now down to watching only one TV show (Lost) with one other on probation (Parks & Recreation).
2685  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Season 2 on: April 13, 2009, 09:27:36 PM
It started out weak as it tried to reconcile with the movies and placate the fans. I almost abandoned it when it was just car chases and fight scenes. But once it made peace with itself and found its own footing, it delivered some pretty solid sf. As disappointed as I was to learn that it's very likely going off the air, I don't see how they can bring it back now. The writers really wrote themselves into a corner.

I'll say this, though: When I eventually rent the new movie DVD, it will be very hard to take it at face value and pretend that the TV series never happened.
2686  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I may have just become a believer in universal healthcare on: April 13, 2009, 06:21:43 PM

Quote from: Farscry on April 13, 2009, 04:42:03 PM

Quote from: Brendan on April 13, 2009, 04:18:45 PM

the facts that've been presented in this thread (20% of the country has no insurance, we spend more per capita on health care expenses than countries with single-payer or national insurance systems, and we lag seriously behind other industrialized nations in all of the typical health metrics)

These are the points along with the point I made earlier in the thread that I have yet to see any free-market/for-profit health care system advocates address effectively in any manner.

In Massachusetts, we are required by state law to have health insurance. If you are judged capable of affording it, and choose not to buy it, you can be fined up to $900. (That money goes into the state's Commonwealth Care fund). Some young, healthy people would rather pay the fine than the premiums, so we do have some voluntarily uninsured residents.

Companies that employ more than six people have to provide subsidized group health insurance. Those who choose not to are fined $300 per worker, and that money goes into the state's Commonwealth Care fund.

Citizens who can't get employer-subsidized insurance and who can't afford to buy their own policy are eligible for Commonwealth Care subsidies. The coverage and subsidy options vary according to income.  

Under this system, >95% of Massholes have health insurance obtained from for-profit insurers.  

Because we've only had near-universal coverage for a couple of years, it is too early to see any cost containment benefits. We don't have enough private physicians to accommodate all of the newly insured, and old habits die hard, so many of the poorest continue to visit hospital ERs. It could easily take a decade before we know how well this is working out.  

It's not exactly a "free market" system, but this is how you can get universal coverage without nationalized health care.
2687  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I may have just become a believer in universal healthcare on: April 13, 2009, 03:51:56 PM

Quote from: Blackadar on April 13, 2009, 02:00:38 PM

 Franly, we found their literature bewildering - I couldn't tell you if something as a simple broken leg was covered.  It appeared pregnancy was covered - there was nothing in there about some optional rider.  And no, I'm not a doctor and I don't have the knowledge or time to ask on every single thing if something is covered or not.  Fault me for assuming it was if you want, but beyond a few basic things, do you really know what's covered in your plan?  I doubt it.

This kind of uncertainty is one of the worst aspects of our system. When my doc recommended a colonoscopy due to my age, I called the insurance company and was told that it's 100% covered because I'm over 50. When I showed up for the procedure the clinic refused my $20 copay because it's 100% covered (less any deductible, which would be billed separately). Four months later I got a bill for $1000 from the lab that biopsied the tissue samples. Two weeks after that I got a bill for $1800 from the gastroenterologist.

Both of these must be mistakes, but it's going to take some time and telephone calls to put it right, and even then I'm at the mercy of the insurance company. What am I going to do if they say that it wasn't covered due to some technicality? I have been through situations like this many times with many different insurance companies. Their bias is to deny claims.
2688  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on: April 13, 2009, 03:41:55 AM
I'll wait for Pride and Predator.
2689  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Parks and Recreation on: April 13, 2009, 03:38:34 AM
I got a few chuckles out of it. It's staying in the recording schedule for a few more weeks.
2690  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: New Colonization! on: April 12, 2009, 06:49:55 PM
Thanks for that link. I might give this one another look soon.

(edit) Or maybe not. "Extracting Nap_uniform.tga
bad CRC b9787f96  (should be 0b3c8495)"

That's just a graphics file, isn't it? Will it crash the game if corrupted?
2691  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I may have just become a believer in universal healthcare on: April 12, 2009, 05:11:58 AM

Quote from: brettmcd on April 12, 2009, 01:28:19 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on April 11, 2009, 09:48:16 PM

Quote from: brettmcd on April 11, 2009, 06:54:20 PM

Quote from: Blackadar on April 11, 2009, 06:08:49 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on April 11, 2009, 04:32:11 PM

We lost our health, dental, and vision insurance when my wife was laid off. Massachusetts law requires us to have health insurance. And, if your coverage ever lapses for more than 90 days, future insurers do not have to cover any of your pre-existing conditions. By the time you're in your 50s you have amassed a pretty impressive record of "pre-existing conditions" (virtually everything you've ever sought treatment for). So, going without insurance is not an option.

We aren't poor enough to qualify for the state-subsidized Commonwealth Care plans, which are just the barest coverage anyway. That leaves us with COBRA. COBRA lets us buy our old insurance at the group rate for up to 18 months. That brought us a brand-new $850/month bill at the same time that our primary income went away.

Obama's recovery package includes a 65% COBRA subsidy for nine months. That kicks in next week, and will be retroactive to February. This means that we'll get a couple of months for "free" as retroactive federal subsidy money is applied. Then we'll pay only 35% of the $850 premium for a few more months, until the subsidy runs out. Then we'll have to pay the full $850 again until COBRA expires. If she's still unemployed after 18 months, we'll certainly be poor enough for the state insurance plan.

It looks to me like providing health insurance through employers is the basic flaw in our system. The system needs to somehow decouple insurance from employment. Losing one's job is traumatic enough as it is.

Yep, I've been there before and I feel for you.  I had to drop coverage for my family at one point after working for a couple of crooks who took the money and ran.  I agree that health coverage needs to be uncoupled from employment.  What's really stupid is that without coverage, you'd probably not seek medical help for a small ailment because of the expense.  But if it turned into something really big, you'd get it treated at a huge cost that you couldn't afford.  In essence, anyone who is insured is already paying a premium to cover the cost of those who aren't. 

How will nationalized health care change any of that?   People who have insurance now dont go to the Dr for small ailments, or preventative care, how will a flawed nationalized system change that in any way?   I also dont see how a huge decrease in income that the massive taxes needed to pay for this system will be a good thing either.    The only people who will gain is the employers who will no longer have to provide health care, and people who dont work or contribute taxes at all.    The people who already work and have health insurance will see worse health coverage and a smaller paycheck.   Sorry if I dont want to endorse that plan.

"Nationalized healthcare" is a strawman. I have not heard anything out of Washington that doesn't preserve for-profit medicine and private providers.

Sorry Nationalized health insurance, which is pretty much the same thing.

How is universal insurance coverage the same thing as nationalized medicine? Under the Mass. model, companies with more than 6 employees have to either subsidize health insurance or pay the state to do it. Everyone gets their insurance from a private, for-profit company and the main cost burden remains on business. There are no massive tax increases.   

It's not a great solution -- insurance still depends on employment, and any cost savings from universal coverage will take years to appear. A lot of small businesses will not grow beyond six employees so that they can avoid the requirement. But it's really got nothing to do with the socialized-medicine bugbear that you're invoking.
2692  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I may have just become a believer in universal healthcare on: April 11, 2009, 09:48:16 PM

Quote from: brettmcd on April 11, 2009, 06:54:20 PM

Quote from: Blackadar on April 11, 2009, 06:08:49 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on April 11, 2009, 04:32:11 PM

We lost our health, dental, and vision insurance when my wife was laid off. Massachusetts law requires us to have health insurance. And, if your coverage ever lapses for more than 90 days, future insurers do not have to cover any of your pre-existing conditions. By the time you're in your 50s you have amassed a pretty impressive record of "pre-existing conditions" (virtually everything you've ever sought treatment for). So, going without insurance is not an option.

We aren't poor enough to qualify for the state-subsidized Commonwealth Care plans, which are just the barest coverage anyway. That leaves us with COBRA. COBRA lets us buy our old insurance at the group rate for up to 18 months. That brought us a brand-new $850/month bill at the same time that our primary income went away.

Obama's recovery package includes a 65% COBRA subsidy for nine months. That kicks in next week, and will be retroactive to February. This means that we'll get a couple of months for "free" as retroactive federal subsidy money is applied. Then we'll pay only 35% of the $850 premium for a few more months, until the subsidy runs out. Then we'll have to pay the full $850 again until COBRA expires. If she's still unemployed after 18 months, we'll certainly be poor enough for the state insurance plan.

It looks to me like providing health insurance through employers is the basic flaw in our system. The system needs to somehow decouple insurance from employment. Losing one's job is traumatic enough as it is.

Yep, I've been there before and I feel for you.  I had to drop coverage for my family at one point after working for a couple of crooks who took the money and ran.  I agree that health coverage needs to be uncoupled from employment.  What's really stupid is that without coverage, you'd probably not seek medical help for a small ailment because of the expense.  But if it turned into something really big, you'd get it treated at a huge cost that you couldn't afford.  In essence, anyone who is insured is already paying a premium to cover the cost of those who aren't. 

How will nationalized health care change any of that?   People who have insurance now dont go to the Dr for small ailments, or preventative care, how will a flawed nationalized system change that in any way?   I also dont see how a huge decrease in income that the massive taxes needed to pay for this system will be a good thing either.    The only people who will gain is the employers who will no longer have to provide health care, and people who dont work or contribute taxes at all.    The people who already work and have health insurance will see worse health coverage and a smaller paycheck.   Sorry if I dont want to endorse that plan.

"Nationalized healthcare" is a strawman. I have not heard anything out of Washington that doesn't preserve for-profit medicine and private providers.
2693  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: [back up your HD] I am an idiot on: April 11, 2009, 09:41:51 PM
MozyHome is free.
2694  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: I may have just become a believer in universal healthcare on: April 11, 2009, 04:32:11 PM
We lost our health, dental, and vision insurance when my wife was laid off. Massachusetts law requires us to have health insurance. And, if your coverage ever lapses for more than 90 days, future insurers do not have to cover any of your pre-existing conditions. By the time you're in your 50s you have amassed a pretty impressive record of "pre-existing conditions" (virtually everything you've ever sought treatment for). So, going without insurance is not an option.

We aren't poor enough to qualify for the state-subsidized Commonwealth Care plans, which are just the barest coverage anyway. That leaves us with COBRA. COBRA lets us buy our old insurance at the group rate for up to 18 months. That brought us a brand-new $850/month bill at the same time that our primary income went away.

Obama's recovery package includes a 65% COBRA subsidy for nine months. That kicks in next week, and will be retroactive to February. This means that we'll get a couple of months for "free" as retroactive federal subsidy money is applied. Then we'll pay only 35% of the $850 premium for a few more months, until the subsidy runs out. Then we'll have to pay the full $850 again until COBRA expires. If she's still unemployed after 18 months, we'll certainly be poor enough for the state insurance plan.

It looks to me like providing health insurance through employers is the basic flaw in our system. The system needs to somehow decouple insurance from employment. Losing one's job is traumatic enough as it is.
2695  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Pirates Seize Ship Crewed by Americans on: April 11, 2009, 05:06:11 AM
This is escalating.

Quote
The high seas drama turned more complex and potentially deadly in its third day as both pirates and American forces rushed reinforcements to the scene several hundred miles off the coast of Somalia. The crisis stemmed from a thwarted attempt to take over the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama freighter and is testing the new Obama administration.

The pirates summoned reinforcements, calling in four commandeered ships with hostages from a variety of nations including the Philippines, Russia and Germany, according to the Somali in touch with the pirates.

Threatening wholesale slaughter = summoning reinforcements? That's a new one on me.
2696  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost returns next week! [Spoilers!] on: April 11, 2009, 04:37:42 AM

Quote from: Qantaga on April 11, 2009, 02:31:19 AM

Quote from: rittchard on April 10, 2009, 06:21:14 PM

Also rumored, Juliette may be going soon - as she was cast on the new V series.
     
Noooooooooooo! frown
   
She's my fave.

+1. She has enormous talents.
2697  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Parks and Recreation on: April 10, 2009, 10:23:31 PM
I have it on the DVR but haven't watched it yet. Enjoyed the BBC Office series, have never seen the American one. Parks & Recreation is billed as more political, which I will probably like. I'd like to find a new comedy to watch since all of my current shows are getting canceled, so I'll give this one a few episodes to grab me. I didn't like The Office until the third episode either.
2698  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Beer] Spring ales finally making their appearance on store shelves... on: April 10, 2009, 10:19:03 PM
I can't recall if I've seen the Point label before or not. Their site says they have one distributor in Boston, so it might be around. I'll try it if it's not overpriced.

I've had Red Hook's ESB before. Not bad, not impressive. I've never tried their seasonals. I'll watch for the Copperhook.
2699  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: It's Tax Time! on: April 09, 2009, 07:18:12 PM
...and our state refund showed up in my bank account this morning, just four business days after we e-filed. Impressive!
2700  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Beer] Spring ales finally making their appearance on store shelves... on: April 09, 2009, 01:53:39 AM
Tonight Chili's was serving Sam's Summer Ale.

Yes. Summer.

This thread is now closed.
2701  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Hottest Book: Pride and Prejudice... and Zombies!! on: April 09, 2009, 01:30:33 AM
There is already a movie in the works, which I think is by the same people who are bringing us Pride and Predator.
2702  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Pirates Seize Ship Crewed by Americans on: April 08, 2009, 02:46:44 PM
We've got, like, a 300-ship navy, right? Seems like we could find a dozen or two that aren't busy.
2703  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: It's Tax Time! on: April 08, 2009, 04:00:36 AM

Quote from: PeteRock on April 07, 2009, 09:12:51 PM

We owed $1800 to the feds but received $1100 back from the state, so we paid out $700 just the other day to settle up our tab.  After a few minor tweaks to our withholding we should come pretty close to breaking even next year, which is right where we want to be.

Come April I always wish we just had w-2 income. Our federal return was 28 pages long (with worksheets). That's impossible to fine-tune.
2704  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Housing: Buy or Rent? on: April 07, 2009, 08:28:50 PM

Quote from: Ridah on April 07, 2009, 06:12:18 PM

Also don't forget about paying property taxes every year once you own a home. Not to mention homeowner's insurance.

Homeowner's insurance won't cost much more than renter's insurance. You are buying renter's insurance, aren't  you?
2705  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Housing: Buy or Rent? on: April 07, 2009, 01:07:28 AM
When we first bought our house the mortgage payments were staggering -- fully double what we'd paid in rent, plus we had to pay PMI and escrow our insurance and property taxes. 20+ years and two refinances later our mortgage is less than half of what we'd have to pay in rent. Rents are inevitably going to keep rising. Your mortgage should not.
2706  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: It's Tax Time! on: April 06, 2009, 03:36:21 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on April 05, 2009, 07:21:15 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on April 05, 2009, 05:52:57 PM

assuming that the COBRA subsidy kicks in as scheduled.


errr.... should we getting G.I. Joe ready?

The evil former employer has until 4/17 to notify the COBRA administrator that we are eligible for the subsidy, whereupon the amounts that we should have gotten in March and April will be applied toward future medical insurance bills. That means we will get a couple of months of insurance without making further payments, and when the bills do start coming in again they will be only 35% of what we had to pay in Feb, March, and April. (COBRA is the law that says your former employer has to let you stay in their group health plan for18 months, although they don't have to pay anything toward your premiums anymore. You get to keep your old health insurance and pay the group rate, but you owe 100% of the premium.)

We know that the evil former employer will wait until the last possible moment, and then pretend that they have never heard of this law. I don't know what recourse we have if they simply refuse to report our eligibility. G.I. Joe could be useful there.
2707  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Beer] Spring ales finally making their appearance on store shelves... on: April 06, 2009, 12:50:04 AM

Quote from: Doopri on April 05, 2009, 09:05:01 PM

ironrod i have a bar right near me with 65+ beers on tap smile i LOOOOOOVE the place

and where was this?  it sounds like it was a pretty big tasting event...??? i hate you for not making the post YESTERDAY because with all the new england beers im guessing it was somewhere that couldnt have been too far away

Sorry I didn't cross-post; I have a spring ales thread going at OO. It was at Curtis Liquors in Weymouth. My packie. They do one in the spring and one in the fall, and each one is better than the one before.
2708  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: It's Tax Time! on: April 05, 2009, 05:52:57 PM
Yesterday was Judgment Day. Thanks to making aggressive estimated tax payments on top of a 20% reduction in our taxable income, we are getting back nearly $4000 combined federal and state.

It could not have come at a better time. We can now afford to take a week's vacation in July, repay the money I had to borrow to make our mortgage this month, and repay some credit card debt that my wife racked up last month. There will be enough left over to cover our May and June budget deficits, assuming that the COBRA subsidy kicks in as scheduled.

Man, I am so relieved that tax season's finally over. Our income ought to decline by at least another 25% this year, and Obama exempted our first 6 unemployment checks from federal taxes, so I can safely reduce our estimated tax payments for the rest of '09 by quite a lot.
2709  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Beer] Spring ales finally making their appearance on store shelves... on: April 05, 2009, 03:45:32 PM

Quote from: mori on April 05, 2009, 03:46:54 AM


Shmaltz Brewing. Have you had the Coney Island Lager? I think that is one fantastic lager. Better than Sword Swallower and probably their best beer.

Otter Creek. I have had their Pale Ale and thought it was good. I guess I will try their other beers only in make your own 6-packs.

I really want to try Troeg's beers someday. I hear such awesome things about their beer especially the Nugget Nectar.

They were primarily New England beers. I was a little disappointed that Magic Hat wasn't represented, but I know most of their lineup anyway.

I passed on Coney Island because I don't like lagers in general, and there were so many beers to taste that I had to be selective. Now I wish I'd tried it. I thought that the lady pouring the Troegenator was calling it "Terminator," which would have added a whole 'nuther layer of awesomeness.

I intend to give Otter Creek's new introductions a fair chance since they replaced their brewer.

Quote from: msteelers on April 05, 2009, 02:36:21 PM

I picked up a six pack of Sam Adams White Ale yesterday to see what the fuss was about (plus it was on sale for $7 down from $9.50). Unfortunately, the beer didn't hold up to my expectations. In fact, it reminded me of the beer I brewed myself a couple months ago. The same beer that was so bad I had to pour all of it down the drain.  crybaby

While the White Ale itself wasn't undrinkable, every sip made me wish I was drinking a Yuengling.

Around here, bars all offer the standard crap taps (Bud, Bud Light, etc -- flavorless pale yellow beers), plus Sam Adams lager and Sams Seasonal. Of those defaults, Sams Seasonal (the white ale right now) is really the only choice, with Sams lager being an emergency fallback. When Sams seasonal rises above mediocrity, as I believe it did this year, it means that virtually every local bar and restaurant will have at least one draft that I will enjoy. I never buy it bottled, though, because there is always something better.
2710  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So family guy on 3/29 had the full star trek TNG cast on it... on: April 05, 2009, 03:26:04 AM

Quote from: Harkonis on April 04, 2009, 07:03:17 PM

I always laugh at the chicken fight.  I find the fact that it went on well past the point of being funny quite funny.

That must have been the same theory behind Conway Twitty. It was funny for about 10 seconds, then rapidly grew painful. Which I suppose might be funny in a meta laughing-at-the-audience way. 
2711  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Beer] Spring ales finally making their appearance on store shelves... on: April 05, 2009, 03:17:44 AM
Today was the big tasting. Bigger than I expected, in fact: at least 21 brewers represented at 11 tables, and they were pouring very generous samples. I tasted maybe half of the beers offered, avoiding styles and brewers that I know I don't like. And ate more of the free food than was good for me: deep-fried macaroni-and-cheese is wicked good.

Here's a data dump from my notes. I was using a 5-star scale, but I wasn't consistent about it.

Sierra Nevada: I've mentioned their ESB as one of my favorites already. I liked their porter and stout, too, but neither was extraordinary.

Newport Storm:
Spring Ale is "Very nice. Undistinguished, but nice."
Amber Ale is "yum."

Wachusett Brewing Co:
IPA **
Summer Ale "bleah"
Green Monsta: "Just hops"

Sebago Brewing Co: Now this was a surprise. I'd never tried anything from them before.
Frye's Leap IPA: ****
Lake Trout Stout ***
Full Throttle Double IPA **

Ipswich Brewing Co:
Oatmeal stout: **
Dark Ale **
Pale Ale *
IPA *
Summer Ale "meh"

Peak Organic: I'd never tried anything from them, figuring "organic" was just a marketing gimmick.
Amber Ale **** "Heavy espresso, smooth winter beer"
Nut Brown Ale *** "great fall beer, nutty."
IPA and pale ale were both meh.

Harpoon:
Their UFO wheat beer is always one of my summer favorites. This year they polluted it with coriander and orange peel and rebranded it UFO White. Horrible stuff, but I hate belgian ales. Fortunately, regular UFO will still be available too.
Leviathan Quad was awful (another belgian).
Leviathan Baltic Porter *** "chocolaty, smooth".
Leviathan Imperial IPA ** "double IPA 9.5% ABV, huge. wow".

Victory: The beautiful girl pouring the beer warped my judgment.
Hop Devil IPA: ** "Yet another hops sledgehammer"
Hop Wallop *** "higher ABV, good balance"
Sunrise Weiss *** "Bright, citrus, very good for summer"
Wild Devil: *** Nice clean refreshing, same as hop devil but different yeast"

Atlantic Importing Co: These were all expensive single-bottle beers. I didn't try any of them. Mostly belgians.

Shmaltz Brewing Co:
Human Block Head: "Too winey"
Coney Sword Swallower: ** Steel hop lager
Lenny's RIPA: *** Double IPA, malty.
Rejewvenator: Too big and thick for me.

Otter Creek: I never like anything from this brewery, and their spring ale was one of the worst beers ever -- boring and flat, as I said a couple of posts ago. Well, I must not be the only one. They hired a new brewer four months ago and they were showing his Imperial Stout. 10.6% ABV, very creamy, nice winter beer. The guy from the brewery agreed with me that their spring ale was terrible...in fact, it was their old brewer's last beer.

Long Trail: Their coffee stout was the only one I didn't know. Didn't like it.

Innis & Gunn: Another of those expensive big-bottle beers that I ordinarily shun; this one had very pleasing oak, vanilla, and whiskey flavors. Great with a cigar.

Allagash White is another belgian ale. Didn't like it, so I didn't try the Double or Triple.

Blue Moon Rising Moon: This has been mentioned as a competitor to Sam Adams White Ale for spring. I didn't like it as well -- "a little too sweet" I wrote. But I'm comparing a bottle beer with a draft, which isn't really fair.

Leinenkugel: I skipped this table. I've never had a Leinie I liked. Novelty beers.

Cisco: Didn't like anything from them. My only note is behind Whale's Tail: "boring".

Troeg's Brewery: (At this point my notes become unreliable)
Dreamweaver Wheat: ** "yer basic wheat beer"
Rugged Trail Nutbrown: ** "yup, I'm officially drunk"
Troegenator Double Bock: **** "OMFG I like a bock. Or maybe I'm just drunk"
Flying Mouflan: "9.5% ABV, hoppy, thick"

Anheuser Busch: Skipped this table, I already know I don't like Shock Top, Hoegaarden, or Stella Artois. Didn't know they merged with Miller.

Skipped a couple of tables of imports like Presidente, Red Stripe, Peroni, etc.

I did buy a bottle of Mekhong Premium Spirits from Thailand. It's a rice whiskey flavored with Thai spices. Think of it as an Asian version of Southern Comfort. I bought it because my wife wanted the free T shirt, and she had been kind enough to hang around for two hours to serve as my designated driver while I tasted beer.

CONCLUSION: There weren't many spring ales on display, and nothing I tasted today dethroned my Sierra Nevada ESB or Magic Hat Hi.P.A. for spring seasonal. In fact, I was not impressed with most of the summer brews either. At least I found a lot of things to avoid.
2712  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost returns next week! [Spoilers!] on: April 04, 2009, 05:10:15 PM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on April 04, 2009, 03:23:07 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on April 03, 2009, 04:10:19 PM

Here's a complete WAG: In the series finale, the Losties will somehow cause the plane crash that started the series. The entire story will be a closed circle with the end leading to the beginning.

I believe it's been established that Desmond caused the plane crash that started the series when he decided to stop pressing the button, but chickened out when the time flipped over to a string of symbols.  Locke retrieved a daisy-chain printout from the "Pearl" station that logged the results of Desmond's activity, and the crash of the Oceanic flight corresponded exactly to Desmond's dereliction of duty.

-Autistic Angel

I had forgotten about that. Oh well, it was a good theory except for being completely wrong.
2713  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: There is no life on Mars on: April 04, 2009, 03:58:36 AM
Thanks for the tip. I don't buy DVDs, so I dearly hope that Netflix will buy it for me.
2714  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Frosted Mug + Beer = Heaven on: April 04, 2009, 03:52:42 AM
I used to have some stainless steel tankards with glass bottoms. Those babies would take a chill in the freezer like no glass can do. And PeteRock was right: It killed the flavor. I eventually sold them off.

A bar that's now defunct used to serve beers in frozen mugs, but their freezer's gasket leaked enough to let in water vapor, so the glasses came encrusted in ice, both inside and out. It killed the flavor of the beer. And once, when I hoisted a frozen beer for a first quaff, the bottom of the glass separated with a loud SNAP from the body, dumping the entire contents into my lap.

The ales that I favor benefit from opening up in a pint glass, and suffer from being overchilled. If I'm drinking a citrusy summer beer on a scorching day, though, frosted mugs make me happy despite the danger.
2715  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Lost returns next week! [Spoilers!] on: April 03, 2009, 04:10:19 PM
Here's a complete WAG: In the series finale, the Losties will somehow cause the plane crash that started the series. The entire story will be a closed circle with the end leading to the beginning.

That's how I'd write it, anyway.
2716  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: There is no life on Mars on: April 03, 2009, 02:46:47 AM

Quote from: Creepy_Smell on April 03, 2009, 01:54:24 AM


I still liked the series in general. I never really watch cop/csi shows but liked this one.

I need to go watch the original UK one at some point.

QFT. I had warmed up to the characters and especially the setting. I wish the BBC show was available on DVD. Loved Rose's line "Oh man, look at those cavemen go" and Sam's "Why does it keep coming back to David Bowie?" The ending wasn't what I expected...and that's a good thing. While it did effectively tie everything together and fit the facts as we knew them, the Wizard of Oz aspect was kind of cheap.
2717  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: home heating help - forced hot water on: April 02, 2009, 03:27:28 PM

Quote from: Teggy on April 02, 2009, 02:43:31 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on April 02, 2009, 01:11:39 AM

We have old-school radiators, not baseboards, but it's the same old technology. You are looking for a petcock that bleeds off air. It should be a little nozzle with a handle on it, like a miniature spigot. Open the valve, let the air hiss out, close the valve when it starts spewing water. 

Where would this be located, exactly?

I don't know where you'd find it on baseboard pipes. Mine are on top of the radiator at the opposite end from the water pipe. Each radiator has its own bleeder valve.

(edit) See if this link helps: http://www.home-wizard.com/maintenance/baseboardheating.asp

The first question addresses bleeding off air.
2718  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Current State of Wine Tasting... on: April 02, 2009, 01:19:49 AM

Quote from: Scuzz on April 01, 2009, 08:33:39 PM

Why would a winery charge more at the winery? Wouldn't that discourage the knowledgable wine drinker?


Tourists are their primary market, and they get a premium for the winery ambiance. Tastings are free every Saturday at our local packie. They open some very good wines and sell them at bargain prices...but you're standing in a liquor store. Despite the plebian setting, these tastings are well attended by serious winos.
2719  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: home heating help - forced hot water on: April 02, 2009, 01:11:39 AM
We have old-school radiators, not baseboards, but it's the same old technology. You are looking for a petcock that bleeds off air. It should be a little nozzle with a handle on it, like a miniature spigot. Open the valve, let the air hiss out, close the valve when it starts spewing water. 
2720  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Neighbors can be distinctly un-fabulous... on: March 31, 2009, 09:52:03 PM

Quote from: kathode on March 31, 2009, 07:14:51 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on March 31, 2009, 04:58:09 PM

Quote from: ScubaV on March 31, 2009, 04:05:52 PM

Where's the TL,DR?  Wall of text crits you for 90000000, you die.

 nod

I'm curious what problem a simple box fan solves. But I'm not THAT curious.

They're essentially white noise machines, and can do wonders for drowning out ambient noise.  I have an air filter/fan thing next to my bed and run it at nights.  Can't do a lot for loud bass sounds (not much can) or particularly annoying parties but it's great for ambient stuff like light traffic noise and people walking down the halls and talking. 

Oh, so the wall of text says "I have loud neighbors." Got it.

This thread reminds me that I need to replace my box fan. Last summer it fell out of the window one time too many, and now the blades are unbalanced. We live off a busy street so I need the white noise, too, but now it sets up an awful clattering. In fact, it got so bad that I actually had to use the air conditioner a couple of times. Probably could have bought a new fan for what the electricity cost. And now I just remembered that I threw away that old air conditioner, too. Damn. No way I can afford to replace it this year.

(Home Depot wishlist updated).
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