Thursday, September 29, 2005


This past Friday was the inaugural 1st Annual Lazy Friday: a round of golf during the day, and several rounds of quality beer afterwards at Lazy Boy Saloon in White Plains, NY. We hope to do it again next year sometime in the early fall, and maybe sign on some more people to join us. Anyway, the LZB Saloon advertises that they have over 350 beers (a typo on their site says "35" . . . interesting), but I think they're hoping someone won't call them out on that. However that's exactly what we did, much to the bartender's chagrin. Rob ordered about 5 beers in a row which were on the menu, but they didn't have in stock in their basement refrigerator. It got to the point where the bartender was tired of going downstairs and looking, and she took the menu away from us. We weren't the typical "Friday happy hour" customers, since most people were ordering Miller Lites and Heinkens. But we did get to sample a few tasty brews. Here's some of what we tried (with its rating in parentheses):

Delirium Tremens AleFuller's London PorterFuller's 1845
Hacker Pschorr Octoberfest Lager (2.87/5)
Blue Moon Belgian White Ale (3.07/5)
Paulaner Octoberfest (3.46/5)
Brooklyn Brewmaster's Reserve - Saison de Brooklyn
Fuller's London Porter (4.10/5)
Fuller's 1845 (3.88/5)
Delirium Tremens Ale (3.58/5)

The Fuller's London Porter was the best one that I had, a great smoky, chocolatey porter that was truly satisfying. The Delirium Tremens, a Belgian ale, was also excellent. Among the beers on their menu that they didn't have: Stone Smoked Porter, Rogue Shakespeare Stout, Ayinger Octoberfest, and Hand Pulled Fuller's. We finished up the night with a few light beers next door at James Joyce: Guinness, to be more precise. All in all, it was a good night. We're going to try the rest of the beers they have next time we visit (ha ha). Someday we should trek over to Brooklyn for Happy Hour . . .

We asked about the Westvleteren beers on the menu, but they didn't even bother to look for those, and for good reason. The Beer Advocate and Rate Beer websites agree that the Westvleteren Abt 12 is the best beer on the planet. Now I know why it's so treasured: it's impossible to get your hands on it. Here's the info on the beers made at the brewery of the abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren.

The Westvleteren Trappist* is exclusively sold in the abbey from 10 am to 12 am and from 2 pm to 5 pm.

WARNING: There is no trade on Fridays, Sundays, official holidays, from January 1st to 14th and the week after the third Sunday of September. Due to the limited production we cannot always sell all kinds of Trappist beer. Just get informed by our beer phone.

We sell per crate of 24 bottles. The prices (without empty bottle charge) are:

Trappist Westvleteren Blonde (5,8 vol.% alc.) 19.00 euro
Trappist Westvleteren 8 (8 vol.% alc.) 23.80 euro
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (10,2 vol.% alc.) 27.00 euro

Empty bottles and crate: charge 6.5 EUR (crate 4.10 EUR, 0.10 EUR per bottle). Empties are only taken back when undamaged. The wooden crates should be kept in a dry place.
Westvleteren Trappist is only sold to individual customers. Every customer promises not to sell the beer to others. One can drink the beer in the meeting centre 'De Vrede', in front of the abbey. In this room visitors are informed about the brewery and the brewing process .
All accept the lager beer, Trappist beer can be conserved for years. If given time, the beer continues ripening. Bottles should be kept in vertical position in a dark place, in a temperature between 12C and 16C.
"As every man we must be able to live. So we have to try to earn our living and let others share in what we have to abstain from. Indeed, we have to live 'from' and 'with' our brewery. But we do not live 'for' our brewery. This must be strange for business people and difficult to understand that we do not exploit our commercial assets as much as we can. We are no brewers. We are monks. We brew beer to be able to afford being monks."

Father abbot
(on the occasion of the consecration of the new brewery)
*The name 'Trappist beer' is protected by law and can only be applied to beer brewed by trappist monks in their monastery. Among all Belgian beers only six are allowed to use the name of Trappist Beer: Achel, Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle and Westvleteren. Only these six beers are brewed in a Trappist Abbey.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Yankee baseball player Derek Jeter has been sent a threatening letter, that allegedly accused him of being a "traitor to his race" for dating white women, and warned him "to stop or he'll be shot or set on fire". Jeter's mother is white and his father is black, making him "bi-racial" (or whatever the official PC term is). So which race is he a traitor to exactly? Whom is he allowed to date? I'm not following. Not only is this a threatening letter, it's also moronic. You know, it's idiots like this that make ALL racists look bad. If you're going to be a racist, at least take a few minutes to check your facts.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


(I think that means "dust".)

Congratulations to Kris and Julie Salo, who got married in France on Saturday, September 24, 2005. Someone once said (maybe Jimmy Kimmel on "The Man Show", but I'm not sure of that) that it's not so much a wedding but a penis funeral . . . but I'm not going to say that here. Well, Kris has already determined that this site is Rated R, so maybe I WILL say it . . . nah, I won't. Where's the "erase" button? All I see is "pig up", "ca-tarl"? All this hacking is making me thirsty, I think I'll order a tab (hits 'Tab' key). Okay, enough comedy jokes!

Best wishes to the two of them.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - Singer-songwriter Tom Waits said Thursday he has filed a lawsuit against a unit of automaker General Motors Corp. and a German advertising agency for allegedly using a soundalike in a series of European ads.

The 55-year-old singer, whose distinct, gravelly voice has won him two Grammy awards, filed the civil suit this week with a state court in Frankfurt, listing Adam Opel AG and the advertising firm McCann Erickson as the defendants. Andreas Schumacher, Waits' German lawyer, said the singer was approached numerous times about doing the ads last year, but declined, citing a policy of not doing commercials. He said the firm then hired a soundalike and the ads aired earlier this year in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway.

"We have sent copies of the lawsuit to McCann Erickson and Opel," Schumacher said. Waits is seeking damages and any profits derived from the ads for violating his personality rights, Schumacher said.

"Apparently the highest compliment our culture grants artists nowadays is to be in an ad - ideally naked and purring on the hood of a new car. I have adamantly and repeatedly refused this dubious honor," Waits said in a statement. "While the court can't make me active in radio, I am asking it to make me radioactive to advertisers."

Ralf Specht, the manager of McCann Erickson in Frankfurt, said the agency spoke with Waits in May and had changed the music in the ad campaign. He said the company had not gotten a copy of the lawsuit yet. An Opel spokesman said he couldn't comment because the company had not received a copy of the lawsuit, either.

Waits' albums include the Grammy-winning "Bone Machine" and "Mule Variations." As an actor, he has appeared in "The Outsiders," "The Fisher King" and "Bram Stoker's Dracula."

Friday, September 9, 2005


I frequently find myself in a rant-rut at this time of the year. My complaints and jokes end up being pretty repetitive, not to mention redundant, with the most popular ones being tried and true classics like: "Where did the summer go?", "Why does everything have to be about marketing?", "Why does anyone care what [insert name of actor/celebrity/athlete here] has to say about anything?" and "Why is this jackass in the left lane?" But I'm going to bust this one out earlier than ever before, because I'm being forced to. While I was driving home on Wednesday, and I heard a radio commercial for the "Radio City Christmas Spectacular". You have GOT to be shitting me. It's September 7th! Do you think they're giving us ample time to formulate our holiday entertainment schedules? I just hope all the tickets haven't been sold yet!


As all the fun is being systematically sucked out of every major league sport, there's something so completely ordinary about all the teams I've been rooting for lately. Between the unproven Eli Manning leading the Giants, the lackluster Mets' leaning too heavily on Pedro to bring them to the promised land, and the Devils losing their two most notable defensemen, there's a really good chance that all of them are going to finish their respective seasons with a 50% winning percentage. Yes, the dreaded "500 Club", which leaves the fan with nothing really positive or negative to say. They're not good, they're not bad, they're at .500. It's the "meh" of team accomplishments. But I'm okay with it, because it insures that I won't lose sleep over it, or waste time on it. Going into the season, if I expect the team to lose as much as they win, it allows me to not really care too much about it. So as we kick off another NFL season, all I can say is "LET'S GO . . . meh."


Since "hockey" is in the name of this blog, I just thought I'd mention that according to the NHL 2005-2006 schedule, the Detroit Red Wings do not play Boston, Toronto, or Montreal at all this year. That's right, they only play half of the Original Six teams, because of the new emphasis on division games; to fill the void, they play their bitter rivals, the Columbus Bluejackets, EIGHT TIMES. In fact, they don't even have to travel to the Northeast once all season, the closest they get is in Washington. Which brings me back to my original point, that the NHL is really doing all it can to WIN THE FANS BACK! Welcome to the new NHL! Good work, Bettman, you fucking moron.


I just wanted to give "big ups" to the United Way of New Orleans, for their massive 14.2% overhead that they deduct from all Hurricane Katrina (and other) donations, which has garnered them a two star/42.07 rating (4 star/0-70 scales, respectively). And also I would be remiss if I didn't say thanks to PayPal, for making a $0.30/2.9% profit on every donation processed through their website. It's great to see that despite a complete catastrophe, the American enterpreneurial capitalism machine is still alive and well!

Monday, September 5, 2005

Mea culpa runneth over.

Mea culpa runneth over.

I’ve heard enough apathetic apologies, and I’m tired of them. With pneumatic regularity, some politician /actor /high profile person makes a statement that he or she believes to have merit, only to find that someone’s feelings have been hurt, and thus an apology must be issued, usually through the “publicist” When is someone going to grow some balls and say, “I said what I meant, screw anyone whose delicate sensitivities were harmed” The latest came from David Well, who “apologized” for his tirade against baseball’s commissioner and his incompetent office. Never mind that his apology was tepid at best, the fact is that Bud Selig is a joke of a commissioner and deserved a public verbal flogging. Wells of course said he was “sorry” and he “made a mistake”. Bullshit. A mistake is trying to carry the water hazard when you should have laid up. Wells has been flapping his fat gums about every topic for his entire adult life. It’s what he does. To apologize for saying what you really think is the definition of cowardice.

Government Failure in New Orleans

The disaster in New Orleans is simply not comprehendible for those of us who have not seen it first hand. I’ve felt guilty this whole week for being able to live my life without disruption while these poor people don’t know if they are going to live to see tomorrow. Needless to say, the usual media suspects have already taken to placing blame upon the Bush administration. It’s hypocrisy at its peak. If Bush had done what needed to be done, that is send in the National Guard and declare Martial law before the storm hit, they would have been wailing and gnashing teeth over his “violations of civil rights”. Unfortunately, Bush hesitated and there was a delay in getting supplies and rescue teams into the city. I honestly doubt many could have been saved, but perhaps some could have been. I suspect far more lives would have been spared had the mayor of New Orleans provided some public transportation out of town. Apparently, it never occurred to him that many of his fellow citizens had not the means. We’ll never really know, but I do know this: we don’t live in a sitcom and every situation is not resolved in a half hour, but that is what our culture has come to expect.

I agree with the media on one count, there was a failure of government in New Orleans, but a failure of far greater proportion than they imagine, and it has little to do with George Bush. What we are seeing in the aftermath of Katrina is the colossal failure of the Great Society. This is what forty years and trillions of dollars spent on government programs of every sort has given us, a massive sub-culture of the impoverished, utterly dependent on the federal government for everything, including their very existence. I always thought it would take an Act of God to make people realize that public assistance programs do little good while they rob people of hope. I didn’t realize how horribly right I was.