Jan 232013

For as long as I’ve been politically aware, there has been a constant bleating about the importance of moderation and bipartisanship. While some problems are conducive to meeting in the middle, some aren’t, and I see nothing inherently noble in declaring oneself a moderate. There are some things I hold fast on, and they are things about which I anticipate never changing my opinion (or indeed, even allowing that opposition can be valid).

One of mine is a voter ID law. There is no reasonable, or even coherent, objection to requiring voters to show identification. If you oppose such a requirement, you’re wrong.

I’m making notes, both mental and physical, on my list for a near-future post. It is not a long list so far, and I don’t expect it to get that way. For most issues, there are reasonable opinions, held by reasonable people, that nevertheless differ.

Watch for my list of exceptions soon.

 Posted by at 9:19 am
Jan 212013

rammerjammerI ran into a good salesman at Fresh Spirits today.  I got my half-gallon of Yellowhammer Hop Revival, and spotted a display of something called Rammer Jammer.  Looked like soda at a glance, but closer examination revealed “LIGHT BEER” on the can.

“Folks get that for novelty, but I’ve had several come back and get more, saying it’s pretty good,” the guy said.  It was $6.99 for a six-pack.  All right.

Well, guess what?  It’s straight American light lager.  It has its place—like, super-cold on a grass-cutting break, or wandering around at a music festival when nothing else is available—but I wouldn’t go anywhere near “pretty good” describing it.  It’s heavy on the corn (remember Red Dog?), and pretty sweet.  As you can see, it’s pale yellow and clear as ginger ale.  Poured the biggest head I could with it, but it dissipated quickly, and of course there was no lacing.

The label reveals that it’s actually brewed and packaged by Minhas Craft Brewery in Monroe, Wisconsin, for Rammer Jammer Beer Company in Birmingham.  It also reveals that it’s 4.2% alcohol by volume, and 90 calories a can.

Skip it.  It’s just mainstream American beer, and if that’s your thing, you can spend less money than this.


 Posted by at 8:59 pm
Jan 202013
  • Boys are outside enjoying some Christmas presents (bike, scooter) for the first time.  Amazing how inconsistent the weather has been with such activities.  And this is the last day for a while, if the forecast is accurate.
  • All eight of my Upward basketball players scored in yesterday’s game.  That rocks.  Go Thundering Herd!  I’m so enjoying these young men.  What a wonderful time.
  • Halftime as I type in the NFC championship.  I’m fully expecting the Falcons’ tenuous secondary to fall apart down the stretch, so I’m hoping the offense can keep scoring.
  • Lea and I went to Grille 29 for the first time last night.  We grade it a solid A.  Service was excellent, and the seared ahi tuna appetizer was out of this world.
  • I had two Blue Pants Knickerbocker Ales with dinner.  It’s a fine effort.  I’m proud of the Huntsville-area brewing scene.
  • Talking about The Hobbit tomorrow with BamaDan and crew, if we can swing it in the schedule.
  • I’m making friends with Windows 8—indeed, writing this post—on a nearly four-year-old netbook I bought from Melanie for $100.  Spent $82 more on it—went to 2GB RAM, new battery, new power adapter—and it’s trucking along.  It’s the little beater that could.
 Posted by at 4:14 pm
Jan 182013

Time and again, we have seen heroic efforts in species conservation pay off.  The California condor continues to recover.  The bald eagle, our nation’s symbol, has thrived to the point of coming all the way back to a status of Least Concern.  There are once again thousands of gray wolves, in four distinct populations.

It’s time to rally again, folks.

We need to save the pubic louse.

Apparently, the popularity of the Brazilian wax and related depilatory procedures (in both sexes) is devastating pubic louse populations.  We are thoughtlessly destroying this animal’s natural environment.

Now I’m certain we don’t want to pretend to be justified in determining the relative values of the world’s creatures.  If we have learned anything over the past few decades of conservation education and awareness, it’s that all species are important.  All animals bring their respective unique majesties to the mosaic of life.

So let’s save the crabs!

 Posted by at 3:32 pm
Jan 172013
  • It’s called post-viral cough, and it sucks.  My lovely wife and I are both “enjoying” it.
  • RIP, Mr. Drummond.  Conrad Bain is dead at 89.
  • The 2014 Corvette has shown itself.  I have significant reservations about the gigantic holes in the front fenders.  Love the rear end, and the interior looks promising as well.  This debuted as the “Corvette Stingray,” which makes me hope there is just a “Corvette” in the works.  A car with, say, a fixed roof, cloth interior, more conventional suspension, and a half-strength stereo, with a base price of $39,995, would be a good idea.  GM needs to move the demographic of this car downward.  There is a real danger emerging of most people who want a Corvette not being able to afford one.
  • Had a marvelously tasty lunch at Anaheim Chili yesterday.  There are nine standard recipes available, with a rotating tenth chili-of-the-day.  There is also an extensive beer list, including local brews, and our service was excellent.  I’ll definitely go back.
  • Has enough about Manti Te’o’s pretend girlfriend emerged for us to have the whole story?  I’m not sure it has.  This feels like it has a twist or two in it yet.
  • I have changed my standard ringtone.  This is a momentous occasion.  I do not do so lightly.  It has been the them from Twisted Nerve for several years.  It is now Splendido, aka “Nothing But Furniture.”
  • I’m becoming a risk to plunge on the Surface RT even if there isn’t a price drop.  When I defiantly and haughtily went looking at what I could get that was comparable, I’m beginning to think it might not be so overpriced after all.  Looking like a Type Cover, not a Touch Cover.  It’s only $10 more, and frankly, I need key travel.  Two weeks to go.
 Posted by at 12:01 am