Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Outliers: The Story of Success

Malcolm Gladwell has written another great book. This time Gladwell observed some of our greatest rags to riches stories and explains how these stories involve more than hard work.

According to Outliers, there are multiple reasons that people become successful and part of it is due to when they were born.

Think about that for a moment. There is a specific month or year that a person can be born in order to be successful. Gladwell observes this fact in the Canadian hockey league. Over ~90% of the players that go to the NHL are born in January or February. Why is this true? Because the junior leagues draw the age line at the end of December. So if you are born January 1st you will have almost a year more of experience than the kids born in November or December.

Now this is just one of the points Malcolm Gladwell makes for the book. He discusses how Korean pilots became better pilots after speaking English and why the Beatles and Bill Gates were so successful.

I am a fan of Malcolm Gladwell so try out at least on of his books when you get the time.

How it was consumed: Audiobook.

Rating: 8/10

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.




Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chocolate-Nana Recovery Treats

Molly Langteau at SuperFood Me posted a super delicious recipe for Chocolate-Nana Recovery Treats. I have known Molly ever since the Langteaus moved to Dallas so it was a delight to have the opportunity to review a Taste of Molly. 

After running in the Dallas Turkey Trot, I had the pleasure to enjoy some Chocolate-Nana Recovery Treats. The majority of the Langteau's (including Molly) participated in the run so this was a satisfying victory snack.

Molly wanted us to have a treat for after the race so she made an impromptu recipe that turned out really well. You will have to go to the blog to get the official recipe but I did help write down some of the items.



I know; I write like a doctor. 

The end result gave us a tasty and healthy treat. Sadly I only had a chance to try one since they were eaten so quickly.

I highly recommend you go the the FoodMe blog and check out this reciepe and others by Molly Langteau, health chief extraordinaire.

Rating: 8/10

SuperFood Me is a wonderful blog that posts health conscience food recipes.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Finals and Projects

Alright gang,

I have finals and projects due these next 2 weeks so I am going to be way to busy to post. I will be back after December 18th. Until then read some geeky www.xkcd.com comics. Love yall!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dead Guy Ale, Rouge Brewery

This beer makes me proud to be an American and makes me want to visit Portland, Oregon even more.

This darker colored beer is brewered in the style of a German Maibock. Dead Guy Ale has a bit of spice as well as a sweet malty taste that makes you want more.

It has won many awards for more than two decades but here are some of the ones in the last 5 years.

2010 Australian International Beer Awards—Silver
2010 Asia Beer Awards—Silver
2010 BrewNZ - Bronze
2010 Northwest Conference (Thirsty Beagle)—2nd
2009 World Beer Championships—Gold (Best of 2009)
2009 Australian International Beer Awards—Bronze
2008 Great International Beer Festival—2nd
2008 International Beer Challenge—Top 50
2008 World Beer Championships—Gold (Best of 2008)
2007 NWBN Reader's Choice Award—Best Bock
2007 Great International Beer Festival—2nd
2007 World Beer Championships—Silver
2006 World Beer Championships—Silver
2005 World Beer Championships—Silver
2005 21st Beverage Dynamics Pkg Awards—2nd Wearables

Can the world be wrong?

I saw this at Costco a while back but you might be able to find it at Kroger.

How it was tasted: From the bottle.

Rating: 8/10 Great

Friday, November 25, 2011

Spaten Oktoberfest

Even though it has been over a month since the beginning of Oktoberfest I am still enjoying this Bavarian beer. In fact I have been pushing my father's beer boundaries lately and I had him try this extraordinary beer. The verdict was he loved it. This means a lot from a man who usually drinks Shiner beers if he even has a beer at all. So good on ya Dad.

This beer has a smooth crisp kick which welcomes in the colder weather. Unlike most beers I drink this has a light taste but still exciting for the taste buds.

I know it is late in the season for an Oktoberfest beer but if you haven't tried it yet go buy it now before the season is over. Every beer lover's 2011 is in need of a traditional Oktoberfest beer.

How it was tasted: Out of the bottle while working on computer programs

Rating: 9/10

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dead Zach Day 4

So I am still busy... but here are some more super cool links.

http://binaerpilot.no/
This is a site that has a lot of free techno music. Our gaming group will be using some of the songs from the site.

Here are a few that will probably make the cut.
forever.mp3
roykmaskin.mp3
goof.mp3

In other news...


Why Is China Building These Gigantic Structures In the Middle of the Desert? 


The Fantasy game

Serenity Valley Fireflys 6  Alderaan Rebels 4
Vulcan Velocity 11  Canton Jaynes 2
Qo’noS Raiders 3  Arrakis Barons 2
Mordor Crows 8  Coruscant Empire 0






Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In Time Review

 In Time stars Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde, Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Galecki, and Vincent Kartheiser. I knew this film could go one of two ways. It could have been the next Inception or it they could have wasted my time. Sadly this was the latter.

In Time had way too many time puns to be considered entertaining. Some of the puns are TimeKeeper, Your time is up, lets clean his clock, and many other puns that I am trying hard to forget.

Also the movie tries to be cute by having the two renegaded characters quote each other from a previous time in the movie as if it is an inside joke. "You can do a lot in a day." and "You can't steal what has been stolen" is the two I remember. This came across as trying to hard besides cute.

This movie was way too long as well. I don't think it would save the movie if they made it shorter but it sure would have helped. The movie is 115 minutes.

Another problem with the movie is that it was too preachy. I get it people in other countries are practically slaves living day to day. You can see this at http://slaveryfootprint.org . That is a pretty cool site and gets you thinking. On the other hand, this movie just makes you think "Why did I waste my time with such a below average movie if my time is so valuable?" Maybe if they didn't bluntly hammer this point constantly I would have been alright with it. I mean it is on of the messages behind the movie and it is an important message but use some more grace or art or something.

Also there is a scene in the movie where the daughter quickly guesses her father's safe combination. She says something like this "Well it isn't my birthday. You always regretted that day didn't you daddy?" That line was sort of out of no where if you watch the movie. In fact there is a time where her dad tries to save her a few times. She continues with her thought "Try 02-12-18-09. It's Darwin's birthday". Of course it is right. Who would need a second guess? The father has said that the rich and poor gap is a survival of the fittest once during the movie... obviously it is Darwin's birthday. You know all those fat cats justify their actions via Darwin's quote so why not base your safe combination on it?

At times the plot is too obvious or just straight up unbelievable. I understand it is fiction but things like when the daughter of a rich man stocks a poor guy who just received a lot of money is odd. Then by some chance Timberlake plays a few hands at one table and meets that same person when she beats her father at a poker table. Then this stranger is invited to their home where Timberlake takes the 25 year old daughter (Though she could be anywhere between 17-40 because of the physics of the world) skinny dipping outside her fathers house where he is having a party. This woman, who has never swam nor has gone in the ocean before, follows this stranger naked into the ocean. Maybe she wants to die or has mental issues but odd character actions/reactions like this takes you out of the fantasy of it.

On a similar note it was hard to provoke emotion when a persons clock stopped. I am sure a lot of directors would have this problem as well but it was another bit that was annoying enough to take me out of some of the moments.

I expected more form the guy who wrote/directed Gattaca. That movie is pretty cool if you have never scene it. I tried to give the movie the benefit of the doubt by assuming it was ruined by Hollywood suits who forced the writers or directors hand. Or maybe by a director who only like the idea of the script went on a random movie tangent but after seeing the final scene of this movie,

 SPOILER ALERT that doesn't affect the story line or matter too much


They continue to rob banks for the rest of their lives...


SPOILER ENDS

You realize that it was directed and written by the Andrew Niccol.

I have so much more to say about this movie but I am sure this will do.

Rating: 3/10 Not worth the time

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dead Zach Day: Remember remember the 7th of November



With so much work to do I need some more buffer for this week. So here are some super cool things I have found!


I decided to be part of the next Batman movie. You know. It isn't a big deal.

Dark Knight Rises Needs Your Voice!Composer Hans Zimmer wants your chant for the upcoming film.

I am very happy that I got into the University of North Texas Graduate School pursuing a Masters in Computer Science!

Dick move Brolly.

This song was in the american version of the movie


It is pretty cool but the following video is probably my favorite non-Super Bowl commercial ever. 



Alright back to the grind stone. Hope yall found a small chunk of Zen in here. I know I left it somewhere...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale

This Amber-colored ale is one of the better beers I have had from Blue Moon. I think the original isn't that great but this beer makes me more interested in visiting their brewery.

Harvest Pumpkin Ale doesn't taste like a pumpkin nor does it have a strong spicy taste. According to the bottle it has both plus a sweet taste. Flavor beers are never easy to make. If it taste too much like the ingredient you put in the beer you start to lose some of the other qualities that can make a beer great. Shiner Holiday Cheer is a little to fruity for me but just fruity enough for some people (fruitcakes?). The same thing can be said about Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat.

Blue Moon was able to mix up all the spices, cloves, nutmeg, pumpkin, and sweetness to make a fine fall beer. Harvest is only around from September to November so pick up a 6-pack today and tell me what you think.

How it was tasted: from the bottle.

Rating: 8/10 Great

Friday, November 4, 2011

Shiner Kosmos

Shiner Kosmos is named after the man who founded the Shiner Brewery. Kosmos Spoetzl was born in Bavaria, which is where most of the most savory beers come from.
Luckily for Texas Kosmos ended up building a brewery here in Shiner, Texas. Kosmos over came Prohibition and as of As of 2010, it was the fourth-largest craft brewery and tenth-largest overall brewery in the United States. If you have ever tried their beers you would know why.

This lager has an aromatic dry  taste with a slight hoppy taste. I would encourage anyone who has never had a Shiner beer to buy the Shiner family pack to try out all of the different beers. I wasn't a fan of the Shiner Blonde but my other friends love it.

You won't find Kosmos on tap anywhere but Shiner beers are something everyone should try.

As they say, prosit!

How it was tasted: out of the bottle from the family pack

Rating: 7/10 Good

Monday, October 31, 2011

Dead Zach Day 2

Midterms are fun! Also attempting to get into graduate school is fun but I know that you guys NEED your ToZ(Taste of Zach).

So here are some cool links to keep you from starving.

Scientists Reconstruct Brains’ Visions Into Digital Video In Historic Experiment
http://gizmodo.com/5843117/scientists-reconstruct-video-clips-from-brain-activity

Two chatbots

Justin Bieber 800% Slower
Feeling stressed? Try listening to this. I don't like Justin Bieber but this slowed down version is pretty cool.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Applebee's Bahama Mama

This mix drink is pretty sweet in a good way. The banana liqueur adds quite a smooth taste. This was a recommendation from a fellow Phi Sigma Pi member Marjolyn Varano. I think that most people will not want more than one of these since that may be a bit too much sweetness for one night but I think everyone should try one if you don't mind mix drinks. So if you end up at Applebee's during Sunday's happy hour give it a shot.

How it was tasted:At Applebee's with some Phi Sig brothers in a glass as seen in the picture

Rating: 7/10 Good

Ingredients
1 oz (28 grm). rum - light or dark
1/2 oz (14 grm). banana liqueur OR melon liqueur
1/2 oz (14 grm). coconut rum
1/2 cup (125 ml) orange juice
1/2 cup (125 ml) pineapple juice
1 tbsp (15 ml) grenadine
fruit for garnish

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fat Tire New Belgium

There is nothing like the copper color of this Colorado amber ale. This is one of my favorite Thursday night beers thanks to the specials at Greenhouse in Denton. $2 for a Fat Tire and free jazz music sounds about right to me.

Fat tire has a sweet after taste that makes you want more. I partook in this beverage while enjoying jazz music and writing short stories, and poems. It is hard to deny a high rating of a beer when you have such a great combo but the beer can not be judge on the atmosphere alone. Else one could rank Keystone way too high just because they had a good time. Yes the ambiance of a bar should serve only as an accent or the proverbial icing on the cake.

The website declares that this beer was inspired after a bike tour to all the brewery's in Belgium. I have yet to make such an alcoholic adventure but the drink seems to honor the taste of the few amber Belgium beers I have had.

I know I shouldn't rank a beer so high but with the combo of the price, atmosphere and the simple yet satisfying taste, and the fact it is fairly easy to find makes this a great beer. This is one of my favorite beers in the USA. It is a beer that one can love early in their beer drinking days and a beer that a veteran beer snob wouldn't turn away.

How it was tasted: in a pint glass, from the tap at Greenhouse while listening to jazz music.

Rating: 9/10 on my list of favorite beers.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dead Zach Day 1

Named after some of the posts of a webcomic I use to follow religiously when I was younger. Every so often the creator will just have too much to do or will get sick or for what ever reason could not post his comic on the regular upload days. So I decided to do some filler here due to midterms.
http://megatokyo.com/strip/27



Also here is a small ode to Dennis Ritchie. He was the man who created the C programming language and the UNIX operating system. This man is a legend to all Computer scientist and should be remembered as much as Steve Jobs was. As many have tweeted on the day of his death "His pointer has been cast to void *; his process has terminated with exit code 0." I regret never getting to meet the guy.

Here is the most relaxing song in the world according to scientist:
http://soundcloud.com/justmusiclabel/marconi-union-weightless/s-kttxT 

Here is the article about it:
 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2049948/Most-relaxing-song-UK-band-Boffins.html

Here is a song by The Kooks I have heard recently. It is pretty cool.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCMykkcoyu8

See yall soon I hope.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Brett Fowler reviews Terra Nova

THE HYPE: Out of all of the fall shows, I have to say, this one had my “Welcome to Caprica City” panties moist at the mere mention of Jason O’ Mara, dinosaurs, time travel, that one dude from “Avatar,” and freaking Declan from “Degrassi” in the same sentence. Buzz for the pilot was strong, some even going so far as to claim this would be the next “Lost….” I’m not sure if they meant that as a compliment or an insult though… On second thought…
This device helps alleviate the smell of shit.


THE D.L.: It was probably an insult. If you’re a fan of watching old people try to take a shit before they've taken their Metamucil, listening to Dakota Fanning scream at Tom Cruise about aliens for two whole hours, and/or just happen to hold a fond appreciation for sticking firecrackers up kitten’s anuses, then this might just be the show for you. Because honestly, chances are quite good that you’re either painting portraits of clowns in a jail cell right now or the inspiration behind Shia LeBeouf’s riveting portrayal of a mentally retarded kid in that one obscure Disney movie (holla at ya boi, Tru Confessions fans!). This ain’t rocket science Terra Nova writers. Really. How can you possibly fuck up a show about dinosaurs and time travel so royally? I’m not sure what third grader you were consulting for that whole plot line about pterodactyls swooping down and pecking the Terra Novans to death (obviously one who had stayed up late to watch Pterodactyls starring Coolio on SyFy), but did you really have to pull out the amnesia card by your third episode? The pilot had potential, I’ll give credit where credit’s due, but this show jumped so bat-shittingly crazy over a shark by its second episode that Spielberg is gonna need a much bigger boat if he wants to save this one big pile of shit. Loaded references ya’ll!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Binding of Isaac game

From the creator of Super Meat Boy and Braid comes an odd interpretation of an old bible story and a Zelda dungeon crawler.

You are Isaac a child who runs away from his mother since she is trying to kill him, because you know, God told her so.

Isaac has to explore his basement in order to find items to help him fight off bosses, enemies and finally his own mother. Now this sounds like it can get boring fast but the amount of items that you can get combined with the fact that each level is randomly generated makes this game infinitely playable. After going through it a few times new items are unlocked as well as new characters which makes you come back for more.

The game does slow down if there are too many enemies on the screen at once but the over all game play is solid. Over all, for $5 this game is a steal and everyone who has ever played a Zelda game should give it a shot.

How it was taste: On my gaming PC.

Rating: 8/10 Great


Super Meat Boy Super Meat Boy
Super Meat Boy is a tough as nails platformer where you play as an
animated cube of meat who's trying to save his girlfriend
(who happens to be made of bandages) from an evil fetus in a jar wearing a tux.



Braid Braid
Braid treats your time and attention as precious; there is no
filler in this game. Every puzzle shows you something new
and interesting about the game world.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Ode to Steve Jobs

I know you have seen news about Steve Jobs everywhere but as a computer scientist and a nerd in general I have to pour one out for my homie. To the left is a picture of an iPod I have had for about 4 years and it still works great.

I am a PC. I am not one of those fat stupid people that the Mac guy makes fun of. That Mac guy was sort of a douche.

Even though I am a PC I have always appreciated the simplicity of Steve's products. People think Albert Einstein said the following but E.F. Schumacher, who was another smart man, said

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."

I think Steve was able to do this in spades. He knew what the customer wanted without asking them and made the format so easy that even your grandmother could use the product. For an example see the iPad.



Steve Jobs was a visionary and changed the world with the little time he had here.

Don't get me wrong, he did lock down his OS in order to keep this simplicity and to make the Customer Service the number one in the world (who know what your problem is when you install random jailbroken apps). Steve Jobs was very strict with people and made sure everything happened his way but he had these products he wanted to get to the world and he wanted to make sure they were flawless.

Well good on ya Steve. I am still a PC but you helped connected a generation who didn't even want to look at a computer.

If you still miss Steve Jobs go to http://www.apple.com/stevejobs/ and e-mail him something nice. Don't worry there is an app for that.

 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pilsner Urquell

I didn't know that the Czechs could make a good beer. I have been drinking mostly Bavarian beers since I frequent the Bavarian Grill in Plano but like the many tasty beers of the states I have learned good beer knows no bounds. 

Pilsen (Plzeň), Bohemia, in the Czech Republic was where the first Pilsner was made. It was developed in 1842, and was the first bottom-fermented beer.

Pilsner Urquell has a smooth texture and has a slight crisp taste. While reading "The New York Times Practical Guide to Practically Everything" I learned that Pilsners are one of the best summer beers and I definitely agree. They don't have a strong taste and they don't fill you up. Pilsners are very refreshing during the Texas summers. I just wished I discovered this beer earlier. 


Rating: 9 on of my favorites list.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Irish Car Bomb with Maker's Mark

Picture is from
http://www.jacobgrier.com/blog/archives/1440.html
I claim no rights to it. It is pretty pimp though.
 
An Irish Car Bomb is the American name for Guinness, Jameson, and Bailey's Irish Cream.  Please DO NOT order this drink by name in Ireland. It is like ordering a 9/11 shot or a Pearl Harbor drink.

FYI don't order a 'Black and Tan' in Ireland either. Those were the colors that the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force wore. Aren't you glad you read Taste of Zach? Else you might be spitting out your own teeth in Ireland. So let us call this drink a Taste of Ireland. Seriously spread it around. Forget calling a drink after the IRA.

Now for this review I must admit that I am cheating. I used Makers Mark besides Jameson and I used too much Baileys on the shot. I know this is blasphemy and St. Patrick couldn't save me now but I had all the materials besides Jameson so I took the leap in the name of science and Irish-American relations!

The amount of Bailey's in this drink is important. If you have too little Bailey's it will taste like straight liqueur, yet if you have too much the drink is too sweet. I played it safe and did the ladder. When you find the perfect medium you can hear the angels cheering you on while you finish your pint of deliciousness .

The Taste of Ireland goes straight to your head due to the fact that you just chugged a beer and a shot in quick succession, which is a good thing. If you have the money and the ingredients I highly recommend to start at least one party night a month this way(depending on how many party nights you actually can have in a month).

I know this is the correct way to celebrate the Irish on St. Patrick's day. Turning a Bud Light green is just a smack in the face to the Saint himself. I will have to review this mixed drink again but I must say that I enjoyed it.

How it was tasted: Maker's Mark Whiskey, Bailey's, and Guinness poured in a British glass and a plain shot glass.

Rating: 9 on my favorite's list

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hoegaarden

This unfiltered wheat beer is the first beer I really liked in the USA. Sol was the first beer I loved but our summer fling was propagated in Cancun. My good friend Andy's fiancé introduced it to me in the states while chilling at her place.

During this time I didn't like dark beers like I crave now. This was a simpler time before I realized how good Guinness was. Hoegaarden is a light tasting beer(not in the bad low calories way) and has a hint of orange peel and coriander. I think this beer would be a good way to ease in any novice beer drinker into the world of great tasting beers. This white wheat beer has a crisp taste as well as a natural cloudy presentation.

I recommend that you try this unique white beer with a friend who doesn't like beer to see if this will sway them. If it doesn't get some better friends.

Rating: 8/10 Great

Monday, September 26, 2011

Austin City Limits Saturday Part 2



Skrillex blew my mind at 5pm at the Google+! There are no words that can describe there music but it got people jumping and grooving. It was definitely a change from the previous bands.


Sadly ACL's YouTube page doesn't have any of these guys songs. It is probably because Skrillex's music rocked so hard. The above gives you some of the songs they played there.

After that lesson of "Noises you didn't know you liked", we grabbed some food and caught some of Cee Lo. We didn't get to hear all of his songs but we did get to see him sing "Fuck You". That is something you can tell your kids. Again YouTube is no help here but I assume you know the "Fuck You" song.

I am so happy I didn't miss TV on the Radio, another face melting band, at the Google + stage.
Love this song
KXT plays this song but I didn't know it was this super band. 

Yeah the music was kicked up a notched. The only way to do ACL.

We grabbed some beef sandwiches from Salt Lick *drooling*. It was actual beef and not some "sloppy Joe" concoction. T'was delicious with there secret sauce. 

Like I said the park is huge and the stages are at opposite ends of each other. Google+ and Bud light are pretty close and AMD and Honda are pretty close but the rest of the stages you have to trek to get to. We high tailed it to AMD to see My Morning Jacket. I didn't know My Morning Jacket had such a southern rock sort of sound but it was very groovy.

There are no words to describe the epicness for this Saturday. My Morning Jacket was the rich dessert to this tasty day of music. In my opinion it couldn't have ended any better.

Rating: 10/10 a full day of great bands on a day that could have been super hot but turned out to have just enough rain to cool the crowd with out causing the whole place to be a muddy disaster. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Austin City Limits Saturday Part 1

Me and Andy got to ACL early so we could see The Antlers. They put on a pretty good show for a band I didn't know that well. We are even on a Youtube video but you can only find us if you are a pro at Where's Waldo.

We are at minute 2:43.

Andy is a fan of the Antlers and a fan of Young the Giant so we stuck around to get a good spot for Young the Giant at the AMD stage. In between the Antler's show to the time Young the Giant started the stage area got packed. You can see from the videos below.
Cough syrup is probably my favorite. 

It was in the 90s F but luckily it started to sprinkle during the Young the Giant concert. We were grateful that the sky continue to drip on us for an hour or so. I am a fan of rain especially when it is hotter than 95 degrees Fahrenheit and you are surrounded by sweaty, energetic fans(people, not the cooling kind). The rain was sublime.

Antlers and Young the Giant make a really cool show by themselves. I think they have a similar chill groove and know how to please an audience. But I payed for 3 days of non-stop face melting, mind blowing, epic music. And so as the day stretched on these things continued to happened.


The Honda stage was close to the Young the Giant show so we voyaged over there to see City and Colour who had a tres bein Canadian show. 
Can you imagine having the rain slowly drip on you and cool you while you are surround by a sea of music fanatics and while listening to the above song? I don't have too because I was there. But I still think about it.


We back tracked back to the AMD stage to catch Iron and Wine. Sadly we couldn't hear them that well but they are a good band. If you know there music it doesn't sound as cool on a big outdoor stage. It was still nice to see them though.
I do have beard envy of the singer, Samuel Beam. Keep rocking it Beam!

Saturday Part 2 will be up by the end of this weekend with the review of the whole show. Thanks for reading and I hope you found some cool new music. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Austin City Limits Friday

These next few posts will be all about Austin City Limits and the odyssey I had. I encourage you to take the time and listen to all the music videos. Enjoy!

Friday: With my sunscreen and my flask of Jameson, me, Andy, and Lindsay headed for ACL. Luckily we got to the concert early enough to get some good spots. In fact we arrived in time to see some of Big Boi at the Bud Light stage.

It is hard to describe the size and the amount of people at ACL. Zilker Park is 365 acres of music, food, and people. Over 70,000 fans attend the festival each day and it was quite the sight to see that many people in one place. People brought their own flags which reminded me of South Padre. Some of the "flags" we saw there included a skeleton Stewie Griffin, A blow up doll, and an "OU Sucks" flag. There must have been at least 50 or more flags per stage.


After this we headed to the Google + stage to see Foster the People. Needless to say they put on a great show. When I started hearing "Pumped Up Kicks" on the radio 24/7 I thought maybe Foster the People was some one hit wonders that made it big fast. They easily proved me wrong.



Right after that we headed to the AMD stage for Bright Eyes, another great band to see live.



After Bright Eyes said their farewells we grabbed a bratwurst and headed back to Google+ to catch the last half of Pretty Lights.

Now if you can't tell from the above videos, Pretty Lights is a killer band. Sadly there is only some many hours in a day so we didn't get to hear a bunch of their songs. 

Lindsay wanted to see Kanye West so we headed to the Bud Light stage to prepare. I didn't know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised and entertained. He had most of his songs choreographed by  professional dancers dressed up in "artsy" attire (it was hard to describe).Also the fact that he split up his show into 3 acts which was pretty pimp as well.



After that we went back to Andy's place and crashed.

Bands that I wish I could have seen as well: 
Santigold


Cold War Kids


ColdPlay



Rating for Friday: 8/10 I wasn't there the whole day so it could have been better but I would do it again in a heart beat. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Foster Oil Can

A while back I went to the Hyena's Comedy Night Club with some good friends. I have been there 2 times and both times I had fun and laughed. The only problem with the place is they require that you buy 2 items during their shows. Most of the drinks are priced about how you expect any downtown Dallas "club" to price their drinks. So I ordered a Foster's since I needed a review for it and Foster's had the cheapest beer per volume ratio.

I have not had a Fosters for years. When I hear the word "Australia" I don't think of delicious brewery's, I think of koalas and bearded dragons(which are super cool). After drinking this beer from the oil can I realize Foster's isn't Australian for beer, it is Australian for domestic average lager. I would say this beer isn't much better than your Bud Lights or Miller's of the world. It is a smooth pale lager and probably good for tailgating since it is 5% ABV and the oil can is 25.4 oz but your average beer snob can go on living without trying this beer.

Also if my calculations are correct this post should automatically pop-up while I am at Austin City Limits. There will be reviews for some of the bands at ACL later on this month.

How it was tasted: out of the 25.4 oz Oil Can

Rating: 6/10 Above Average

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ninfa's and Spiderman

Baylor beats TCU! So naturally the whole stadium rushes the field. Good times were had by all.

I had a hell of a labor day weekend  but I can't forget about how me and Preston kicked off the fabulously fun Friday. Our fuel was Mexican food and tasty drinks from an old Baylor hang out, Ninfa's.

You are given 2 types of free salsa before you eat. One is a mild red salsa and the other is a delicious avocado and tomatillo green sauce. The green is my favorite and I have on many occasions enjoyed just that and the mixed drinks. Ninfa's has any Mexican food you can think of including random meats such as quail and everything I have tried has met my expectations.

 I have met the owner and his son an it has been and still is very much family owned and operated. This combined with the nice ambiance of the inside decor makes Ninfa's a must eat at restaurant for those who love Tex Mex or Mexican food.

Ninfa's Rating: 9/10


Ninfa's has many different and unique drinks. In fact they don't have margaritas they have Ninfa-ritas... GET IT! They are so clever. Though after having a couple of these you don't mind the "wittiness" of the phrase.

Before attending the Baylor game me and Preston ordered a Spiderman like we use to do during happy hour while we attended Baylor. This drink got me through good times and bad times. The Spiderman margarita mixture is a super drink that can save you from the terrors of sobriety. If you ever are in Waco and you don't really want to eat at Ninfa's at least treat yourself to this Texas gem. This appetizing avenger is almost a dessert due to its sweetness but I say this in the best way possible. It isn't too sweet to order 2, in fact that is exactly what I did.

How it was tasted: The picture to the right shows the actual drink. It has sugar around the rim and comes in a frosty mug.  

Spiderman Rating: 9/10

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hotter'N Hell part 3 The Campground

So after dinner we ended up back at the tent. Even though it was only about 9-10 we decided to get ready for bed since we would be up at 5:30 or 6:00am at the latest. I took a shower at the only community showers. You can tell that this place was used to was cattle and may still be used for that purpose when the convention center isn't in use. So I hosed myself off and headed for bed. I ended up sleeping for a while until 3:00am when the music started blaring. Luckily I had my earplugs in because, according to my Dad, the music had been going on since 1am. To say the least my Dad didn't get any sleep.

I headed to where the music was playing hoping I could get them to turn it down. It took me about 3 minutes to get to the origin of  where the top 40's station was comping from. After talking to someone about it they turned down the volume on the speaker and I headed out. Sadly the further I got the louder the music got. It turned out they had many different speakers there and there is a good chance they turned the volume back up on the other one as well. I head back to ask again and after talking to 4 different people I finally got them to turn it off... for an hour. This was probably one of my least favorite things about the race

The race itself was AMAZING! Though it is called Hotter'N Hell me and my Dad were use to biking in the middle of the day besides starting at 7:05 AM so we were fine. Though the race doesn't have the best scenic view I still had a blast passing by slower bikers and tailing others adding to the already long snake of fast bikers.

In the end I enjoyed the actually bike race a lot and I will be ready to go farther next time.

Rating: 9/10

Monday, September 5, 2011

Guest review by Brett Fowler! Djarum Cherry Cloves.


WHY DJARUM CHERRY CLOVES TASTE LIKE THE RAINDROPS OF A SHOOTING STAR
by Brett



First off, under federal guidelines I must start off this review by explaining that cigarettes are whack. They have lots of ingredients in them which can lead users to do crazy things. However, history and scientific experiments by Stephen Hawking and Charles Darwin have proven time and time again that not smoking cigarettes can lead to angry rants at police officers about the how the Holocaust didn't exist. Likewise, second hand smoke can also lead to accidental pregnancies of retarded kids, but sometimes those retarded kids can turn out to be really cool people, like Leonardo in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? or Rainman from Rainman. And last, but not least, smoking can also cause ugly people to look like, ten times cooler than they actually are, not a shabby side-effect. But don’t take my word for any of these things, just absorb them into your brain.


Now if I had to kill myself slowly every single day, I’d like to smoke a good cigarette. None of that baby shit like Marlboro Reds or unfiltered smokes for me, no siree. Give me a pack of Djarum cherry cloves and up hook my breathing tube straight to the source of my emphysema-filled lungs. Also, please place my cats, Sir Thomas Gantroy III and Dexter “Dexedrine” Morgan beside my death bed, put some throwback season 2.5 Battlestar Galactica episodes on my telly while you're at it, and then let me peace the fuck out for eternity.


But Brett, you sound kind of batshit insane, why should I trust you when you tell me that Djarum cherry cloves are roughly the equivalence of shower sex with a young Brazilian boy in his prime? Well, they are one of the same my friend—both are full of stamina, girth, and body. Also, both have the aftertaste of sweet, delicious ass. 


The best way to describe smoking a cherry clove is… who am I kidding? It’s beyond words. How can I explain this tangibly? Well… When the clover-y taste of cloves dances on my tongue, I feel like for one night, just one peaceful night, I may not have to masturbate as I cry to the sweet, sweet tunes of “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.” And damn, that song can be INTENSE.


So next time you feel like you just want to stick a gun in your mouth and blast your brains to shit across your bedroom wall, ask yourself this: Have I smoked a Djarum cherry clove yet? If you haven’t at least once in your existence, your life will have been in vain. If you have in fact smoked a cherry clove before, well, just remember to leave a can of Spot Shot by your bed before you go. It’s just common courtesy. 


RATING: 3.14159 (that’s pi you AP Calculus drop-out, and you know what? It goes on to infinity, just like the experience of smoking a cherry clove cigarette.)
***
Brett has a wicked cool blog at http://www.crapthatwillblowyourminds.com/

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hotter'N Hell part 2 El Norteno

That Friday evening after we toured the Convention center we decided to grab some Mexican food that was close by. Parking and driving anywhere was pretty out of the question since this small town was flooded with 14,000+ extra people. Luckily this place was no more than a 2 minute walk. Very ideal after a long day in the heat, fixing bikes, setting up tents, etc. Though it was late and we had not eaten anything besides the Clif bar samples for a while (that was one of the highlights of the trip, Clif is pretty good) there is no doubt that this was one of the better hole in the wall Mexican restaurants I have eaten at.

Though the place looks big the right side is for To-Go food and the left side is for sitting down. There were about 10 tables inside and they had a small TV with some Spanish soap running. The walls were decorated with a variety of items and the whole place definitely had the vibe of a whole in the wall Mexican restaurant. There were only 3 people working. One cook/To-Go guy, One waitress, and the waitress's kid who would help every so often. We were the only ones in there at first but as soon as people saw us go in about 10 others took the chance at this Spanish named venue. Sadly this slowed things down but in general the service was OK considering all of the above

I ordered a chopped steak melted with some white goat cheese and fresh veggies on top. It was very good and kept getting better the more I ate it. My dad ordered some Pork taco items that he said he liked. I order a Dos Equis but I was surprised they didn't have any Sol, one of my favorite Mexican beers. Then again it was probably more expensive and it didn't look like any beer advocate from Wichita Falls was going to El Norteno for a unique beer.

Rating: 8/10 Great

I will eat here again next year if I do Hotter'N Hell next year.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hotter'N Hell Review Part 1 Bono's Chophouse and Saloon

Bono's Chophouse and Saloon

http://www.bonossaloon.com

My father and I ended up at Bono's around Decatur Texas on the way the the Hotter'N Hell in Wichita Falls. This place was probably the best thing we could have hoped for on that 3 hour car ride. There wasn't much else on the way besides what we could of gotten in Denton. This place was big. The picture doesn't do it justice but the roof seemed to exceed what I would have though had been a sensible height. It was pretty neat and you could tell it was the towns cool place to go on weekends to listen to bands. Bono's must be fairly new and if it isn't it at least least looked that way.


 Me and my dad ended up with buffalo burgers(with the works + Jalapenos and Mushrooms) with sweet potato fries. Needless to say it was delicious. It took a while for it to come out (20-30 minutes) considering that there were only 2 other tables in the whole place but the food sure hit the spot. We ended up doing the same thing on the way home except I tried the beer battered fries which were pretty good as well.


 Rating: 9/10

Since the second time around they were able to make the burgers a little faster I decided to bump the to a 9. I am a sucker for wild game plus they had tons of barbecue I would love to try again some time. I don't think I am going to make the 40 minute drive out there from Denton anytime soon but If I am 10 minutes away I will definitely check Bono's out again.