Thursday, October 29, 2009

Live Blogging World Series 2009 - I'm Going to Bed

10:59pm: Chase Utley just grounded into a double play to end the inning. Phils still down by 2. I was up super late last night waiting for Delta to deliver our delayed luggage from Germany. The son of a bitch delivery guy didn't get here until 1am, but I was still high from watching Cliff Lee's shining gem of a game. Tonight, I'm tired, and the Phillies are currently losing. So it's time for bed. I will dream of a victory, and wake to the reality of a loss. Series tied 1-1, and we're headed to Philly.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Live Blogging Game 2 of the 2009 World Series - Expressed Written Consent of Major League Baseball?

10:28pm: Does Major League Baseball approve of my live blogging? If I criticize the league, do I risk a lawsuit? Why are the Phillies losing? Who lies in Grant's tomb? Many questions remain.

10:43pm: It looks like the Phillies just caught a break with a bad call by the ump. Ryan Howard short-hopped a ball, but it was called an out, as if he caught it in the air. He clearly did not, upon slow-motion replay. Thank God the game is not played in slow motion.

10:48pm: Uh oh. Mariano Rivera is in the game. Pitching. For the Yankees. To the Phillies. This gentleman athlete is practically unhittable. I may go to bed soon and cry myself to sleep.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Live Blogging 2009 World Series - Nothing Really INteresting is Happening

9:28pm: Mark Teixeira hits a solo shot to center. But I didn't really want to write about it because I'm a Phillies fan. I decided to stay true to the live blogging credo - which is, blog what happens in actual reality, during or soon after it actually happens. So as much as it pains me to write about it, Teixeira did, in fact, hit a home run. I shed a tear.

9:42pm: Phils don't look great against Burnett this inning, although Ruiz just ripped a double to center. He is a short, stocky man. He's babyfaced, but I bet he can drink and curse just like a sailor. I would like to be friends with him.

9:50pm: Pedro about to face Jeter after getting Jose Molina to ground out. Let's see if Jeter can take a break from being the coolest guy in New York, and play some ball.

9:50pm and 12 seconds: Jeter crushes a double to left, proving that he can look good and play ball at the same time.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Live Blogging Game 2 2009 World Series - Pedro is my Daddy

8:17pm: Just kidding. My daddy is Michael Rathmill.

8:19pm: Pedro looked pretty good in the first inning, striking out 2 of the 3 batters he faced. He is throwing an 86 mph fastball, which is sort of Grandma-like. But it seems to be working for him.

8:21pm: Phils score a run. Matt Stairs is the slowest and oldest guy in the league. He's on first base. He will only make it to second if Pedro Feliz hits a home run.

8:42pm: Raul Ibanez, the second oldest and second slowest guy on the team, just made a wicked-awesome diving catch for the 2nd out of the 2nd inning. He is, no doubt, somebody's daddy.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Live Blogging 2009 World Series - Phillies Win!...Game 1, That Is

11:19pm: Jimmy Rollins throws the ball away on a pretty standard double play ball. Taffy legs Mark Teixeira is safe at first. Jimmy really didn't have to hurry that throw. Oh, and some Yankee dude scored on the error, ruining the Phils' shutout. But Cliff Lee is still without an earned run on the evening. He is a superstar. Cliff Lee for Philadelphia City Council President in 2012.

11:29pm: Cliff Lee. What else is there to say? He just struck out A-Rod and Posada back-to-back to close out the game. He is an officer and a gentleman. He is a scientist and a philosopher. He is a lover and a fighter. Cliff Lee for Pennsylvania Attorney General in 2014. The sky's the limit for this barely human manimal.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Live Blogging 2009 World Series - Phillies Keep Rolling

10:41pm: Raul Ibanez laces a two out single with the bases loaded, driving in Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino. I drink a glass of water, and do a little dance to celebrate.

10:57pm: Cliff Lee strikes out another Yankee - it doesn't really matter who - and gets Melky Cabrera to pop out to end the 8th inning. This is ridiculous. Lee is not human. He is something else entirely. He has the speed of a cheetah, the agility of a puma, and the strength of a gorilla. He is a cheemarilla.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Live Blogging 2009 World Series - Cliff Lee is a God

9:41pm: A couple great things just happened. One, my Chinese food finally arrived. Second, and perhaps slightly more importantly, Chase Utley crushed a Sabathia slider for his second home run of the game. Phillies lead 2-0. My shrimp dumplings are delicious - if a little bit cold. Everything's good.

10:02pm: Cliff Lee continues to dominate. He is probably a cyborg, or some sort of superhero. I'm not sure which. There's also a chance that he's 100% robot, which could lead to some sort of suspension or fine. I'm pretty sure fielding any machines or computers is against the rules. In any case, Lee is super-awesome.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Live Blogging 2009 World Series Game 1 - Continued

8:51pm: Chase Utley is a certified genius with the bat. He just launched a solo homer off of Sabathia. If I were a woman - or a gay man living in one of several states including Vermont and Massachusetts - I would marry him.

8:53pm: Where the hell is my Chinese food? I'm getting worried that the delivery boy is injured, or worse - he delivered my food to someone else.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Live Blogging the World Series - Game 1

7:58pm: I got home from work just in time to see Sabathia's first pitch to Rollins. It was totally uneventful. Then Rollins chipped a weak-ass bunt right down the first base line. But then again, isn't every bunt "weak-ass" by definition?

8:09pm: Phillies have the bases loaded. And....and...and Raul Ibanez grounded weak-assly to the second baseman.

8:25pm: I'm super hungry. Where is my Chinese food?

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Our Trip to Paris – Part 1 of However Many Parts I Feel Like Writing

The iconic Eiffel Tower (as seen through the lens of my iPhone): a giant-ass Erector set.

Jaimi and I went to Paris for 4 days. We just got back yesterday, after a grueling 17 hour trip – which included 1.5 hours at baggage claim. Long story short, I believe our luggage is still in Frankfurt, Germany, enjoying a stein of lager at the airport bar. But that’s a story for another day.

All in all, we had a great time in the City of Light. Yes, I was referring to Paris, France and not Paris, Texas. The food was excellent. The public transportation was efficient and relatively well labeled. The people were far less obnoxious than I had expected. And the croissants were way, way better than those at Dunkin Donuts.

I think there are a few observations worth mentioning, and then I’ll move on the details of our trip. I’m sure you’ll find it all very thrilling.

First of all, and perhaps most importantly, the French butter everything. The sandwiches are slathered with the stuff. The pastries are 80% butter by weight. The meat and fish are cooked in it. The ladies use it as a facial moisturizer. And the museums use it to preserve their precious works of Renaissance art. I’m pretty sure some of the buildings are held together with a mixture of butter, sand, and gravel.

In any case, it makes for a very delicious experience. Which brings me to my next observation. Croissants are perhaps the most crumb-producing of all pastries. The feathery layers of buttery, crisp dough simply fall apart in a melt-in-your-mouth avalanche of fine, lightly browned flakes. The shit gets all over the place. And Parisians eat these things all the time. So my question is, how do they clean up all the crumbs?

My sweater was covered with crumbs after just a few bites. It’s impossible to avoid. So what about a French office or home where numerous people are consuming croissants on a daily basis? Do dogs clean up the mess? Do they vacuum twice a day? Are the sexy French maids busy sweeping up crumbs with their feather dusters?

This remains a mystery to me.

A few other things:

- Many small dogs, but very few large ones. And yet, plenty of dog crap on the sidewalks. I’m no scientist, but I believe it is a physical impossibility for those little dogs to have produced solid waste of such length and width.

- Starbucks has the best coffee in the city – although not quite as bold as in the US - even if it costs 6 bucks for a grande.

- Cell phones seem to work in the subway. Either that, or Parisians love to talk to themselves while holding their phones up to their ears. I’m not sure which is more plausible.

- We bought a 1.5 liter bottle of water for 30 cents at Carrefour. I don’t know what was wrong with the stuff, because every other bottle of water was 2 euros for 0.5 liters. Were we drinking toilet water? It was hard to tell from the label.

I have many more details to relate about our trip, but it’s getting late. Again, it was a great time, and we really enjoyed the French hospitality. Paris is a marvelous city, and the French should be awful doggone proud of their capital

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Monday, October 19, 2009

The Case of the Mysterious Exploding Beer Bucket

It could be the title of a Hardy Boys Mystery, or perhaps an Encyclopedia Brown story, if any of them were old enough to drink. Scooby Doo could be involved too, if a beer-colored ghost was somehow implicated.

Or maybe an episode of CSI Miami. I can picture it now. An intricate pattern of beer splatter covering the walls and ceiling. Detectives take photos, collect evidence, and interview neighbors. Ballistics experts are called in to determine the velocity of the beer spray, thus determining the force required to propel the beer skyward.

Also, there’s a dead body found in the dishwasher. This is network TV, after all.

But no, the real story of the exploding beer bucket is not any kind of mystery. It happened to me this past weekend. The cause was less a mystery, and more me being an idiot.

Allow me to explain - if I can unstick my sock from the beer-crusted floor in order to make it back to the computer.

Okay, I’m back. So as you may know, I consider myself an amateur beer brewer – a homebrewer, if you will. I’ve made beer several times, and it’s always turned out better than I’ve expected. It was as if I couldn’t ruin a batch, even if I tried.

That streak of not ruining beer ended on Saturday.

First things first. I took my package of Wyeast liquid yeast out of the fridge before mixing together the grains, malt, hops, etc., per usual. I smacked the inner nutrient pouch in order to give the little yeasties a little something to snack on. The idea is, the yeast start to eat the nutrients, producing some carbon dioxide and causing the yeast packet to swell. That way, you know the yeast is good to go – ready to get all up in that barley soup and start a party.

So the packet didn’t swell. I left it out for hours. Nuthin. But I had already begun to boil grains and the malt and the hops and the brown sugar – which I had previously caramelized. This was going to be the Cadillac of homebrews. But the yeast decided to stay asleep. Or to die. It’s sort of hard to know.

So instead of wasting an entire 5 gallon batch of barley malt, hops, sweat, caramelized brown sugar, blood, chocolate malt, and tears, I decided to grab the only other yeast I could find – Fleischman’s baker’s yeast. Yeah that’s right. The dry-powdered crap you use to make dinner rolls. Or rye bread, or pumpernickel, or whatever.

Apparently, and according to the internet so it must be true, baker’s yeast is bred to produce a lot of carbon dioxide, but not a lot of alcohol. So that’s pretty goddamn terrible for beer. Also, it supposedly imparts so odd flavors to the brew. Furthermore, you don’t use it to make beer because it makes the shit explode. Keep in mind I added two packets. Not one. But two.

And explode it did.

I had sealed the fermentation bucket as usual, and left for a casual dinner soiree in Fort Greene. That was around 8pm. By 1:30 pm, I received a call from Jaimi who had returned to our apartment earlier after seeing a movie with her friends. I was then informed that the lid of the bucket had exploded. And worse yet, it had woken her up. There was no way she was going to help clean up the mess now.

Thank God she hadn’t been sleeping on the fermenting bucket.

When I got home about 45 minutes later, the devastation I encountered was complete. A thick layer of beer foam, or “krausen” lay on the floor surrounding the bucket. The lid of the fermenter was thrown to the ground, coated on both sides with the sticky brew. Splatters and splashes ran up the wall to a height of 6 or 7 feet, and ran along the floor in a radius of several meters. Charred helicopter wreckage smoldered in the distance, near the TV. Half of a burned-out Humvee lay upended just past the sofa.

Anyway, it was a pretty big mess. And I was pretty pissed at myself for trying to freestyle homebrew with bread yeast.

All of that being said, I did reseal the bucket, and will wait to see if this stuff actually becomes some sort of drinkable beer in a week or two.

Moral of the story: don’t use baker’s yeast to make beer. Unless you want to construct a WMD

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Myth of the Groom Shower

So Jaimi had her bridal shower this past weekend in Philly. It was a smashing success. Apparently, we really made out like criminals considering the number of nice gifts she received. They were technically bought off of OUR wedding registry, but from the looks of it, the gifts were really for her – except, perhaps for the ice cream maker. I’m gonna use the shit out of that thing.

And that’s the point. It’s her bridal shower. I have absolutely no problem with that whatsoever. I got to hang out with my dad, brother, and nephew for a couple hours while the girls sipped mimosas, played pin-the-tail-on-the-unicorn, and gossiped about how cute the Jonas Brothers are. Or whatever it is girls do at bridal showers.

But still, I can’t help but feel I’m missing out. I mean, we’re both getting married. To each other. At the same time. So why can’t I also get some kind of shower. Sure, there’s the bachelor party – and it’s going to rock, by the way. (Vegas, baby!) But she gets her bachelorette party too, so we’re even on that front.

I want a Groom Shower.

Instead of a cute, little brunch place, or some type of highfalutin sculpture garden, it would have to be held in a sweltering, bat-infested cave. Or on a rocky outcrop overlooking a lava floe. Or maybe in a Cold War era fallout shelter, hidden deep within the Great Smoky Mountains. Or maybe at ESPNZone.

In any case, the locale would be all man. All the time.

There wouldn’t be any mini quiche, mini cheesecakes, or champagne. Rather, the code of the Groom Shower would allow for beef/wild boar/rattlesnake jerky and whiskey to be the only sustenance on the menu. The only sustenance, that is, besides the heavy, wholesome, nourishing vapor of testosterone that would hang in the air, and repel all herbivorous creatures like deer, and chipmunks – but attract predators such as grizzly bear, jaguars, and mountain lions.

We would wrestle these predators into submission as part of the entertainment. There would be no charades. No truth or dare.

And even if there was truth or dare, it would be only dares, and those dares would be incredibly dangerous. For example, I dare you to drive that jeep at 80 miles per hour toward that cliff, and jump out right before the vehicle plummets over the edge. And also, you’re blindfolded. And unconscious.

Finally, the gifts wouldn’t be flatware, salad bowls, cake slicers, or salad spinners. Groom Shower gift-giving would feature a literal shower of heavy and dangerous objects, including samurai swords, suits of armor, flat-screen TV’s, kegs of beer, and trained, drug-sniffing German Shepherds - all released from a platform 30 feet in the air, directly above the groom's head. Whatever gifts the groom catches without injury to himself - or to the gift - are his to keep.

And that’s my idea of a perfect Groom Shower.

Subscribe to my sweet feed


Thursday, October 01, 2009

Ardipithecus Ramidus – Really, Really Old Bones, or Another Hoax?

So these scientist guys found a bunch of old bones in Ethiopia. (It was reported in the New York Times, so it must be pretty important.) And these guys claim that these bones are way, way older than the previously discovered bones from some crazy ape lady named Lucy. I’m still not sure how they knew her name was Lucy. It’s not intuitive that Lucy would have been such a popular name 3.2 million years ago. I’d imagine names that sounded a lot more like grunts, chirps, barks, or growls would have been commonplace. Like, for instance, Barbara, or Geraldo.

In any case, these new super-old bones are supposedly about 4.4 million years old. That would make them younger than the dinosaurs, but older than the automobile. So what in the hell did these ape-like people drive and/or ride to work?

And that’s just an example of where I have a big problem with this so-called “scientific discovery.” Things just don’t add up. Sure, I think evolution is pretty sweet. We were amoeba, then we were fish, then dogs, then people. I totally get it. Survival of the fittest, and all that. God got things rolling, then took a breather right before the first platypus was born, or hatched, or whatever. And then took another break just before the 4th Die Hard film was produced. That one sucked compared to the first three.

But you show me a pile of dirty, smashed-up, old-as-balls bones and tell me it’s the skeleton of our oldest known ancestor, and I’m just supposed to accept it? You become a superstar of paleoanthropology by digging up a bunch of brittle bones, and expect me to sit idly by while you collect your endless riches through paleological endorsement deals AND anthropological record contracts?

Well, I may not know the name of whoever made the discovery of these really old bones, but if I ever learn your name or names, I’m going to…well. I’ll probably ask you where I can go dig up some really old bones and become a superstar of paleoanthropology.

Okay fine. The truth is…I’m jealous. The oldest thing I’ve ever found was a penny from 1909. I received no accolades for that discovery.

Subscribe to my sweet feed