Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Democrats oppose African American

appointment to Senate. Figures.

Ultimate Black & Tan

For my last post of 2008. The ingredients are a DogFish Head 120 Minute IPA and a Brooklyn Brewery Chocolate Stout. Both are about 10% ABV. Didn't get the total separation I wanted but that's ok. Here are some pictures documenting the process.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The first Hank 3 Tour Dates

Here. Nothing close yet to CT, but here is hoping.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Got drunk with MC

Which is always a pleasure. Liberated a bottle of 12 year Old Johnny Walker Black, which had been in my mother's cupboard for about a decade which means that I am drinking 22 year old scotch (I am a CPA, I can validate that number). Here is a new twist, instead of commenting about liquor and food pairings here is a liquor v. liquor pairing, Rogue Smoke Ale with a Johnny Walker Black chaser, nice!

Municipal Pension Funds in CT

Are being administered by those with little to no training reports the Connecticut Post.. Maybe Senator Chris Dodd (D-Countrywide) or Barney Frank (D-Fannie Mae) can investigate this....oh wait.....

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Last 2008 Christmas Post

and a little Christmas news

Christmas Beer Review

Spent some pleasant time with the family, the presents have all been opened and enjoyed. Time to get off the street and do a little drinking.

1) V.Z.W Sint Benedictus Abdij - Bruin Biere Trappist Achel - 8% ABV - This really reminds me of a Rochefort 10. Very good. Had not seen this around before, got it from Mountainview. I am assuming Bruin means brown, not the hockey team.

2)Berkshire Brewing Company - Imperial Stout - 8.5% ABV Another very good stout. Stout is one of two good things to come from winter (the other being a barleywine!)

3) Ithaca Beer Company - CascaZilla - Monstrously Hoppy Red Ale - Truth in advertising this is very hoppy indeed. 7% ABV, nice change of pace from the heavier Winter Beers.

4) River Horse Dry Hopped Pale Ale And to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Kinks - Father Christmas

From Ida

Track Santa

Via Norad

Christmas Poll

What will you be must grateful for to end this Christmas Season?
The end of Bruce Springsteeen butchering "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" on the radio?
Obama beach photos? free polls

Christmas in a Beer Joint

Adam points the way (figures)

Holiday Beer Review!

I am packed with a bunch of beers, so here goes to bridge Christmas to New Years. My liver may fall out.

1) Unibroue - Don De Dieu - 9% ABV A lot of citrus flavor here. This would be a great summer beer with a hefty kick.

2) Fort Collins Brewery - Chocolate Stout only about 5% ABV. Where's the alcohol!

3) Now a trip to Belgium - Westmalle Tripel 9.5% ABV - This is very good and way too smooth. This has a pear taste to it ..... not sure if that is what I am supposed to taste, but it is following up with Westmalle Dubbel was surprised that this was darker, wasn't sure if that was to be the case. The Dubbel is maltier than the Tripel 7.0 abv. I like the contrast in styles it was good to have them back to back.

4) Eel River Brewing Company - Ravens Eye Imperial Stout - Certified Organic - Who cares at 9.5% abv. Seriously though, a very espresso like flavor. Very good.

I think Plaxico Burress

would really enjoy meeeting MC. Obviously they are both supporters of the Second Amendment!

What the f**k is wrong with the UK?

Check this abomination out. Via Mark Steyn @ National Review.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Tree Photos

In lighting variations

Friday, December 19, 2008

Congress Gives Itself A Raise

Via LGF Well Chris Dodd has to pay his mortgage somehow! Thanks to Ida for pointing out the misspelling

Snowstorm Beer Review

I was able to do two important things before the snow storm started today, went to Ancona's and got a 4 mile walk in. I am descending into the beer cave for the rest of the day.

1)Clipper City Brewing 10% ABV This is my first beer from these folks. I went to the Wine Thief in New Haven as the place had gotten some good reviews on Beer Advocate. The selection is small but most importantly they had something that I hadn't had before. I really like this beer, very malty and very smooth. I'm going to have to look for more from this brewery.

2) North Coast Brewing - Old Stock Ale 2007 11.7% ABV. As for the link I know it goes to the 2008 offering but this beer has aged VERY well. Wish I could say the same about me!

3)North Coast Brewing - Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout A fitting tribute to the Mad Monk ABV 9%.

4) Flying Dog - Gonzo Imperial Stout - 9.2% ABV had this on tap with the Gator at the Ginger Man last week. Starts malty and finishes hoppy! Who knew!

5) Harpoon Leviathan
9.5% ABV - Smokey and good, really enjoyed this one.

6) Great Divide Titan IPA 6.8% ABV VERY Hoppy and Aromatic. Very Good.

7) Blue Point Brewing Company - Light mild spicy winter offering. More taste please!

8) Avery White Rascal Or as Al might say White Devil! Another one that I was not impressed with.

9) St. Bernardus Tripel 8.0% ABV, Ahhhh Belgium, just a little too carbonated though.

10) Great Divide - Old Ruffian Barley Wine - 10.2% ABV Malty & Hoppy. Very different than the Clipper City Offering. I may have to do more research on what I like better!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Joe the Plumber

Has a site. Via Instapundit.

Bloody Beer!

I actually met the purveyor of this concoction last Sunday. That is indeed her in the picture.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I survived Sunday as well

As I mentioned in the previous post, I headed back to the city on Sunday to see the Uconn Women play against Penn State. This included a trip to the Blind Tiger Ale House in Greenwich Village where I had my first halfway decent Cask Ale (Gravity) Chelsea Hoppy Holidays and had a real good Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale (Stone Brew).

The Blind Tiger is much more of a neighborhood bar than the Ginger Man, Gator you might not like this place. I met a few of the locals and b.s'd for a while. Classic menu item there was grilled cheese with tomato soup made with buttermilk. How can you not like that!

On the way back from Grand Central I did stop at the Ginger Man, which was much less crowded than Friday. I saw the Jets really pull one out against the Bills and had a great beer from Goose Island (Bourbon City Stout) which would get your attention.

Anyway this weekend was an alcoholics delight! Yay Beer!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Weekend Beer Review Part 2

Survived last night's drunkfest with the Gator and am starting early today. Thanks to Gator though for the beer education it was very informative!

I have descended into the beer cave (patent pending) only to emerge tomorrow to head back to the city to see the number one womens basketball team in the country play. There may be a detour to here. By may that means definitely and detour does not mean going about 35 blocks out of my way! So for everyone I am going after my liver with a vengeance!

1) Already reviewed but ahhhhh Trappistes Rochefort 10!

2) Lump of Coal Dark Holiday Stout - ABV 8% I think this is a straight up Stout, no chocolate or other nonsense. Very good!

3) Gouden Carolus Tripel - ABV 9% - Can you imagine, me , Adam, Cooney & Gator in Belgium? I would suggest a law against that be passed immediately!

4) Rogue - Festive Ale (Belgian Style) - Don't really remember this from last night but I like the Rogue brews. That's my story I'm sticking with it!

Ray Davies Set list

First though the Ginger Man was great, we had the Butternuts (no joke) Snapperhead IPA (Gravity cask) - Not that hot, Flying Dog Gonzo Porter - which was very good, A really good Belgian which I forgot the name of and an Avery Hog Heaven Barley wine which was great.

Thanks to Adam for the list below, as you can see there were quite a few Kinks songs.

Ray Davies
Friday, 12th December, 2008
Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY:

(Ray Davies and Bill Shanley)
I Need You
Where Have All The Good Times Gone
Father Christmas
I'm Not Like Everybody Else
See My Friends
Dedicated Follower Of Fashion
Morphine Song
Sunny Afternoon

(Joined onstage by Milton and Karin)
The Getaway
Dead End Street

(Joined onstage by the rest of the band)
Vietnam Cowboys
Celluloid Heroes
Working Man's Cafe
Come Dancing
The Tourist
Johnny Thunder
The Village Green Preservation Society
All Day & All Of The Night

Encore 1-
Low Budget

Encore 2-
You Really Got Me (with slow version intro)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Weekend Beer Review Part 1!

Heading to see Ray Davies in the city tonight with the Gator. Going to stop by The Ginger Man beforehand. That said off to a couple of samples that I have had this week.

1) Weyerbacher Winter Ale 5.6% ABV - Very good, rich & malty. As I think I have previously said I do like these winter ales and may be on pace to try them all.

2) Tommyknocker - Oaked Butthead Bock. I couldn't even find this on their site only there regular Butthead Bock was there. I liked this as well (have a given a bad review lately?) At 8.1% it had a bit more of a kick than the one above.

3) Avery - Out of Bounds Stout Very good, hints of chocolate and a bit more hoppy than you would expect from a stout.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The unseen Yankee Stadium

Here Great job by the New York Times!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

28 years

Adam as usual does a good job commemorating the 28th anniversary of John Lennon's murder. Alfred in the comments section is his usual abrasive self.

The guy from Boston

My friend Ed sends me this from The Guy From I know we've all seen the various e-mails on this subject but this take is a clessic! Caution lots of profanity.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Weekend Beer Review!

I think I have mentioned that I was going to take a sabbatical from this as it really isn't a healthy hobby. That said I have approximately a dozen beers to review. I guess I forgot to look up sabbatical in the dictionary.

1) Great Divide - Hibernation Ale. This is an English Style Old Ale....I like this style. It is very malty and robust, very drinkable (what the hell does that mean?)

2) Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine 15% ABV - Not sure if this was what to buy if I wanted to take a sabbatical. I probably should have used a shot glass rather than a pint glass for this monster. This beer is deceivingly smooth.

3) Augustijn Ale - ABV 8% I really like these Belgian Ales. I am certainly enjoying this one! What sabbatical!

4) Southern Tier Brewing - Imperial Choklat Stout - 11% ABV. I am a real fan of this brewery and I really like this one. I would never have thought that chocolate and beer would work, but it really does. This is the first one I have had that rivals Brooklyn Brewery's Chocolate Stout.

5) Konigshoeven - Quadrupel Trappist Ale - Why the hell did I ever waste my time drinking Bud? This is outrageous just for the taste! Not sure what Quadrupel means (other than 4) Really want to hear Adam's thoughts on this as he is a regular beer cave contributor!

6) Hopack Brewery - Very hoppy offering - Import.....USA beers are better!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Where's Al?

Inquiring minds want to know! Al's Palace

UPDATE: He's back with a vengeance, although a bit abrasive!

Potent Quotables

Via AOL. Ryan Adams disses the Killers which begs the bigger question, who are the Killers? Wasn't Ryan Adams some guy from the 80's who sang in a movie featuring Whitney Houston?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Beer review - All Weekend Edition!

This is going to be an epic, check back for updates.

Added the picture above,stopped by Carlson Craft Brewery today (Sat 11/29)and met brewmaster Andrew Carlson and his wife. Had a brief sampling of beer (His great Gammal Ol). As is my want I bought a t-shirt and a pint glass (you can't have too many pint glasses). Anyway for a bag for my items they gave me an empty 25kg Gambrinus Specialty Malt sack. I gotta figure out what to do with it so it is properly utilized in the beer cave! The Carlson's are very nice and I recommend a trip to see them.

1) Carlson Craft Brewery - Yule Ale - From Branford, CT nice mellow seasonal offering this would be great with a big piece of Chocolate Cake.

2)Avery Brewing - Old Jubilation Ale - Great coffee finish 8% ABV. Avery is a great brewery.

Southern Tier Krampus coming next after Thanksgiving Dinner. They suggest that this should be enjoyed in a Brandy Snifter. I actually have one of those. Will see how it works!

3) Southern Tier Brewing - Krampus Imperial Helles Lager. Very hoppy, 9.0% ABV. Very good & aromatic.

4) Samuel Adams - Chocolate Bock - 5.5% ABV. An adult Chocolate Milk!

5) Southern Tier Brewing Company - Cuvee Series 1 - I am sure we will get a lesson from Adam as to what a Cuvee style is.
This is very mellow but with an 11% ABV very potent! This is Oak Aged and I very well may have had this in a brandy snifter. Series 2 and 3 to come out later 08 beginning 09.

Went on a beer buying binge today so will be back with some more reviews later on (i.e. probably tomorrow)

6) Chimay Blue. I keep a detailed list of the beers I have tried & reviewed and was surprised that this had not been included. 9.0% abv very malty extremely rich. I need to try the other varieties as well.

7) Great Divide Brewing Company - Fresh Hop Pale Ale - 6.1% ABV According to their label, this is supposed to taste grassy & citrusy, you know what they are right. This is a great beer! Well done!

Happy Thanksgiving

Instapundit links to this great WSJ article.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Brooklyn = Beer Part 2

A Photo essay!

Brooklyn = Beer Part 1

Last weekend I went to Brooklyn, to check out the Brooklyn Brewery. This documents the parts I remember. I got off the "L" Train at Bedford at N. 7th St. The first bar I went to was Spike Hill. Good Place, unpretentious, had an Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing. Really enjoyed, this thought it was an import when I first saw the name. I wish I had gotten a picture of this place.

Mugs Ale House I am reasonably sure I am not banned from there. Had a Lagunitas Hop Stoopid, very good! Fun to order, I want a Hop, Stupid! I had a Southampton Alt Bier, which was great as well. Finally, I had their Cask conditioned Chelsea Gotham Stout

Some random Brooklyn Pictures are above.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Gates is kept on as SecDef. This was not the change we were promised! Where is Kucinich as the Secretary of Peace? CHANGE NOW!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekend Beer Review

1) Rogue - Shakespeare Stout - 'tis the season for stouts I guess. I like the Rogue stuff and this in no exception. It says it has a chocolate taste but I thought it was more coffee like. Anyway I liked it and recommend it.

Victory Brewing - Old Horizontal - 'tis the season for barleywines I guess. 11% abv and disturbingly subtle. I can see being horizontal with this!

3) Green Flash Brewing Co. Trippel - Very good Belgian offering. 8.5% ABV.

4) Finally getting to the beers I brought back from Syracuse. Middle Ages Brewing Wailing Wench I had this as cask conditioned ale at the Blue Tusk. Still am not sure what cask conditioning is supposed to do but I really like this one!

5) Another Middle Ages Offering, Dragon Slayer Imperial Stout, I feel like I am back in the 80's when Dungeons & Dragons was hot with the MA names. That said a very good stout 9.5% ABV. Another coffee style beer!

6) Finishing up on the Middle Ages Brewing brews - Druid Fluid. Their barleywine, Very good!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Obama Voter = Moron

This is a must read from Powerline.

Armory Square

Had the pleasure of going to Armory Square in Syracuse the Friday before the Syracuse/Uconn Football game. My favorites in order are as follows:

1) Empire Brewing Company - Had a great IPA, good stout and a barleywine. I went back for a second time to finish the night off with the barleywine. I think that was the one the put me over the edge.

2) Blue Tusk - Had a couple of beers here. Very busy place. Had an Ommegang Rouge which was something fruity. I don't see this on their website so hopefully i am remembering tis correctly. I also had a Cask Conditioned Wailing Wench from Middle Ages Brewing. Not sure what the point of that was as I thought it was just warm and flat.

3) Clarks Ale House - Had something very hoppy there. Really liked it and I wish I had written down what it was. Very laid back crowd. Cool bartenders.

4) Syracuse Suds Factory - Had a nice stout there.

Glad I cabbed it back and forth as there is no way I could have driven back!

Monday, November 17, 2008

By the way

Discovered this station on the drive home from Syracuse. I really liked it.

Weekend Beer Review

OK several days late.

Went to Syracuse this (past) weekend and the beer review could not be done real time as I did not have my computer with me. That said this beer review is going to take a bit of a different format. The hotel chain that I normally stay at does not have a bar so I decided to use that ever useful tool I found the wonderful Galeville Grocery that had a great selection of microbrews. Highly recommended. I bought a bunch of Middle Ages Brewing Co.'s offerings from that store which I hope to review shortly. By the way, Carlson Craft Brewery should be releasing its Yule Ale shortly.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Status Drunk!

Actually this was the most sober I was during the weekend.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In Flanders Fields


In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army
In Flanders Fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

This is especially for my good friend Don Walters who was at the war to follow the great war and was part of D-Day, Mr. Martin who was at the Battle of the Bulge, Mr. V. who I believe was in the Pacific theater during WW2 and my Father & Uncle who served during Korea. Their service allows me to live the life I do today.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Whole Lotta Love

Feeling a bit indulgent......

Interesting Thought

Some more rational responses exist here and here.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Really Speical Beer Review!

To Adam! St. Bernardus Chritmas Ale 10.0% ABV Very good, very potent! To you my friend cheers and happy birthday!

Weekend Beer Review

Didn't do much drinking yesterday as I was the designated driver for the Mule Show. I do have an arsenal in the refrigerator though so tomorrow could be interesting. As an aside, the beer review goes on a road show next week as I am heading to Syracuse for the Uconn/Syracuse football game. I will be visiting Armory Square where I intend on going to the Blue Tusk, Clark's Ale House & Empire Brewing Company. I will surely stop at Galeville Grocery to have some reinforcements at the hotel room. That said I do have some items to report on this week so away we go!

1) Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale. Very nice & Spicy. Gator gave me this one which I cracked as soon as I turned off the ignition yesterday.

2) Rogue Yellow Snow IPA
- Rogue always comes through. Very hoppy. I don't undersatnd their labels though.

3) Brooklyn Brewery - Winter Ale - At first I didn't like this. I think it was because I did not let this properly chill. I let this last beer from the six pack chill overnight and that was the issue. I really did like it. Very nice, nutty robust flavor.

Gov't Mule

Went to last night's Gov'tMule at the Chevrolet Theater in Wallingford, CT. It was only me and the Gator going last night last year's participants, Adam is in exile in upstate New York most likely involved in treasonous activity and Matt was predictably unpredictable. I had spoken to Alfred earlier in the week. Alfred stated, in his particularly abrasive style, that he would not pay to see a band that that "pot head white boy" liked. As I am the designated driver for these shows I was a bit discouraged as I figured the entertainment quotient of drunken friends would be significantly impaired. Gator though filled the void admirably. More on that later.

Opening for the Mule was this Brit three piece band called Back Door Slam. They all looked to be about 15 and Gator thought (from looking at there MySpace page) that they were some sort of jug band. They were however an impressive power trio whose influences were clearly Cream, Stevie Ray Vaughn & Robin Trower. I would encourage people to check them out. One thing though was that I could not understand the lead man as he was talking between songs. Gator as only he could put it said "The f**king Brits can't even speak their own language!"

I probably should have mentioned our seat location. If you were up top facing the stage we were in the right wing (I do not belong in the left wing) technical in the front row as the real front row consisted of a single seat. I had the base drum pounding at me all night long but I did get used to it.

The Mule was very good although they seemed to be a bit different. Gator agrees and since he has seen them more than me he could probably articulate the difference better. Anyway I don't know the titles to the bands songs but I did note the covers below which were very good (and eclectic):

All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix
St. Stephen (Tease) - Grateful Dead
Sugaree (full song)- Grateful Dead
How Many More Times - Led Zeppelin
Stay with me - Rod Stewart
Rockin' in the Free World - Neil Young (Warren was joined by the lead guitarist of Back Door Slam for this one.

Mule played for about three hours and it was a very good show. During the intermission as Gator was out "recreating" one of the roadies walked over to where I was sitting and gave me the set list for the first set. I gave it to Gator for a keepsake.

As for Mister Gator he was in rare form last night. He started off slow, couple of Long Hammer IPA's. He did disappear several time when I suspect some dabbling in substances of a recreational nature were occurring. Towards the end of the show Gator wanted to get his groove on. I thought he was going to jump on the stage! There were three security guards he was pushing the envelope with. They finally relented and let him dance in the aisle. That wasn't good for me as Gator stepped on my foot in his haste to his dancing stage. No harm though I still have all five toes. After the show there was the obligatory experimenting with Nitrous Oxide and we left Wallingford with Gator (passenger side window down) howling at the moon on the ride home. I did get some good Gator philosophy on the ride home on the meaning of Christmas which was pretty much a meld of Santa Claus & Grinch philosophies!

Anyway it was a fun night, hopefully the reader has enjoyed this and I look forward to Mule 2009!

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Messiah is an Idiot

Via VodkaPundit.. Apparently Barry O. is going to require compulsory community service. Since most Americans I know can't wait to start the simplest of civic obligations (Jury Duty) this should be fun. And "W' was supposedly stupid. By the way can we pay people to do our community service? I know nit wits in Black Rock who have contributed nothing to society, maybe there should be a correlation to community service and what you actually produce.

Update: I am the designated driver for tonight's Gov't Mule show. Does that count as community service?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Michael Crichton RIP

Via Drudge. He was one of my favorite authors. Obviously best known for Jurassic Park his book were always intelligent and well written. He pissed off a lot people with his book "State of Fear" in which he sought to debunk global warming. The best part of the book was by the way he skewered the rich and famous and Hollywood types who would take private jets to meetings to discuss environmental crises!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Don't know it it's over yet

Have been watching Pajamas Media TV for most of the night but will defer to Powerline's judgement here. So congratulations to President-Elect Obama and I hope that his tenure for four years shows the same number of terrorist attacks on America since 9/11/01 under President Bush, namely zero. Update just heard a bunch of fireworks outside so I think I have received the wireless aural confirmation that I was looking for!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Weekend Beer Review

This will be a little light on specifics as I went to the Great World Beer Festival Brewtopia 6 yesterday at Pier 92 in NYC. I had bought a ticket for the 12-4 session. I got there around noon and when I saw the line I figured I would get in around 3pm! I was wrong the line really moved and soon I was in and the drinking started! I do have to say the people running this really did a great job. Brewtopia is the brain child of the Reichenbach bothers who own Hop Devil Grill & David Copperfields. As I entered the hall I was given a glass that I guess based on the markings was only to be filled to 2 oz. but most of the brewers blew that hindrance off. I had offerings from Brooklyn Brewery, Flying Dog, Schmaltz, Stone Brewing, Belfast Bay Brewing and so many others. I probably stayed 1.5 hours as I was starting to feel the effects of doing the 2 oz. beer shooters. I actually found a real useful website the Gotham Imbiber from reading some of the literature there. This was the first beer fest that I have been to and hopefully it is not the last. Just too make sure I didn't loose the buzz on the way back I stopped at St. Andrews for a Chimay and a single malt. I did have some beers left over from Half Time last week and bought a few new one's so here goes:

1) Victory Hop Wallop - 8.5% ABV very Hoppy as the title would have you believe. Very good.

2) Gritty McDuff's Christmas Ale Very good and robust! From Portland, Maine. By the way I heard Carlson Craft Brewery is coming out with a Christmas Ale as well. Can't wait to try it!

3) Rogue - Red Fox Amber Ale they don't even have this listed on their site. Very tasty and aromatic.

4) Steamworks Conductor Imperial IPA. Drank this last night after coming back from Brewtopia. Don't remember it!

5) SlyFox - IPA. It is Sunday and I remember this one. Very good.

6) Victory - Baltic Thunder. A nice Porter. 8.5% ABV. There is a great line from "The Quiet Man" relative to Porter. Enjoyed this as well.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

By the way!

The new Hank III album " Dand Right, Rebel Proud is very good!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Weekend Beer Review!

Went to Half Time Beverage in Poughkeepsie NY. Well worth the drive from Bridgeport. Based on what I bought I may not survive the night. Here goes:

1) Original Schlenkerla Rauchbier - 5.2% ABV. I figured I would start off easy. This is a smokey beer similar to the Fort Collins Z I tried a few weeks back. German import (duh!). Very good and smokey. The Fort Collins Z compared well with this authentic German Import. Gotta love those Germans!

2) Grand Teton Brewing Co. Sweetgrass 20th Anniversary Double IPA Bottle Conditioned 7.5% ABV. The label says Sweetgrass is a region north of Yellowstone National Park. Thank God I was reasonably sober when I opened this as for some insane reason the top was sealed by wax. Serviceable IPA. Nothing special.

3) La Binchoise - Artisan Amber Ale. 9% ABV - Very Smooth ale...heading for another Belgian.....

4) Urthel Hopit - ABV 9.5% - Brewer is Hildegard van Ostaden. This is very good. Belgium meets IPA. Looking forward to pursuing this brand!

5) Brasserie des Geants - Goliath 9% ABV Belgian Blond Ale - Very good light & drinkable!

6) Others tried - Arcadia Ales Hopmouth Double IPA,Left Hand Brewing Company Double IPA, Brother David's Double Abbey Style Ale,Stone Vertical Epic Ale and Victory Storm King Stout.

Could the Obama Campaign survive a Sarbanes-Oxley review?

I have been reading with interest the various reports on Powerline and NRO relative to the Obama campaign accepting donations from fictitious individuals via credit card through its website. I should say that I have not verified the individuals’ claims and I don’t believe Obama is remotely qualified to be President based on his slim experience and his vision for America.

Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) was enacted in 2002 as a result of the various corporate scandals including Enron, Tyco, World Com etc. You can read more about the act here, but basically management (who sign the annual report) is responsible for establishing and maintaining a set of internal controls and the independent auditor is responsible for testing and rendering an opinion on the internal controls. I do remember watching the Congressional hearings at the time just thinking how absolutely ignorant Congress was related to financial statements, corporate governance and the role of the independent auditor.

Briefly on my qualifications relative to what is written below. I am an accountant with 20+ years experience in a variety of industries. I have passed the CPA exam (although my license is inactive). For the last 5 years I have been working in the internal audit function for several public companies on a consultative basis. This included documenting procedures, documenting controls and controls testing on a SOX and operational basis. What has been discussed on these blogs is a situation where donations from fictitious names with fictitious addresses have been made to the Obama campaign. Apparently something called the Address Verification System (AVS) would have to have been consciously disabled in order for this to happen.

There are two types of what I would call hard internal controls. They are preventive controls and detective controls. A preventive control inhibits an erroneous activity from occurring. An example of a preventive control would be “Campaign donations by credit card from fictitious or ineligible individuals are systematically inhibited via the Address Verification System as a valid address associated with that card is required.” A detective control would reveal that an error or questionable transaction has occurred after the fact. An example of a detective control would be “Campaign finance staff review a daily listing of credit card donations and investigate credit card donations made from fictitious (or deceased) personnel and investigate credit card donations associated with fictitious addresses.”

Preventive controls are considered more robust than detective controls as the questionable transaction is stopped up front rather than revealed after occurence. If the AVS had to be consciously disabled to allow these types of contributions to go through I would consider it a serious breach of internal control. If as part of SOX testing this type of control breach were detected the individual responsible for disabling the control would certainly be fired. Powerline also reports that a New York Times Blogger has stated the following: “Yet when Times reporter Michael Luo wrote it up for the Time’s campaign blog, he somehow missed the point ‘To be fair to the Obama campaign, Luo wrote, officials there have said much of their checking for fraud occurs after the transactions have already occurred. When they find something wrong, they then refund the amount.’” As an auditor that might be the single dumbest statement I have ever heard.

Auditors also consider controls termed soft controls. Soft controls are commonly referred to as entity wide or tone at the top controls. Basically what this means is that Executive Management sets a tone (example) for ethical behavior at the Corporation. An example of a soft control would be a published Employee Code of Conduct that employees have to annually certify compliance with. (I wonder if campaign employees have to sign codes of conduct?)

I would certainly consider a Presidential Campaign to be equivalent to a publicly held company with the nominee as the CEO. If the activities above actually occurred relative to credit card donations I would say that there is a serious tone issue at the Obama campaign. As Obama is the CEO of his campaign I wonder if he would be comfortable certifying like CEO’s do that his campaign has established and maintained a system of internal controls. Remember if elected and based on the current economic situation, this man with the help of a Democratic Congress will probably usher through sweeping corporate regulation the likes that this country has never seen. Do we want that from someone who has a campaign that looks like it might not be in compliance with corporate laws that currently exist? We’ll see on November 4th.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Biden's a classic

Alfred amongst a host of others links to this. And Palin's supposed to be the rube. I hate to say it, I almost feel sorry for Barry carrying along Biden.

Red Sox Nation

Can go into hibernation now, thank god.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekend Beer Review

Started late this weekend but here goes:

1) Delirium Tremens - Huyghe Brewers 8.5% ABV. Very good, lighter than others that I have had but a lot more crisper as well. Not sure where Gator found this but it is very good. Thank you. By the way, delirium is probably where I am headed next week if I head here.

2) Nostradamus Belgian Brown Ale - Br. Caracole - 9.5% ABV - My first indication was yuck but as I continued this grew on me fast. Caramel taste, a bit smokey. I like it. I've noticed some distinctive differences in Belgians in the lighter and darker styles. Perhaps Adam can opine on the differences.

3) Back Burner Barley Wine Style Ale - Southern Tier Brewing 10% ABV. Very potent, vey good and more important, very tasty.

4)IPA - Southern Tier Brewing. Very good IPA to compliment the above!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the Plumber

Maybe having a job might influence this election more so than having a uterus. I do doubt it though. By the way as Al notes there might be bigger isssues with an Obama Presidency at least according to Reverend Jackson, but hey why let your brain rule your uterus?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Weekend Beer Review!

Pickled some green tomatoes today without burning down the house or slicing my finger off.

Now it is time for me to get pickled. Will be updating throughout the weekend, so check back.

1) Sierra Nevada Wet Hop Ale - 6.7% ABV - I think wet hop means that the hops are still fresh and not dried or aged or whatever the hell the brewer does to the stuff. That said this is very good and sharp. Highly recommended.

2) Glacier Harvest 08 - Harpoon 100 Barrel Series - Another "wet" hop style. 6.7% ABV. The Sierra Nevada version is much better.

3) Avery IPA - Very good. Most of Avery's stuff is high test. This is a nice change of pace.

4) Gammal OL (Old Ale) - Carlson Craft Brewery their new offering that just hit the stores. Very crisp ale. Caramel in flavor. I really like what these guys do. From Branford, CT.

5) Unibroue 15 - Not sure if I reviewed this earlier. Pretty Sure I had the 17. The 15 is supposedly better. May have to do a head to head!

Recommended Store

The Angry Pepper Bought a couple of bottles of Hot Sauce but wimped out when in came to the 6 million Scoville Unit offering. Heading back there next Saturday.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Imperfect Man

Pitches the perfect game. 10/8/56.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Obama's mentor.

Notice how this "hero" of the Sixties stepped on the flag in a 2 x 4 alley so he could not be seen. Hey if you want to step on the flag that is your right. At least be a man about it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Giants Win The Pennant!

57 years ago today. Russ Hodges call still gives me thrills. Enjoy!

Weekend Beer Review

This could be a scary weekend as I picked up a bunch of (I think) new for me at Amity Wine and Spirits. I will be in the city tomorrow and plan on going to the Gingerman. I blame it on the Yankees who by not making the playoffs have left me unsupervised. I figure when Dear Leader takes office that is the type of excuse that will fly.

That said:

1) Coney Island Lager Freaktoberfest - Anyone who knows me knows I love Coney Island. This is very good. I have enjoyed the various October varieties and this in one of the best! It must be that good NYC water.

2) Big Ale IPA - Ballast Point Brewing. This place is in San Diego. How did I miss it. This is a nice light IPA, 6.0 abv. Very enjoyable.

3) Southampton Biere De Garde - French Farmhouse Style Ale - Not sure of the ABV. This is more of a light IPA to me. I like it!

4) Ale to the Chief - Avery Brewing - silly sentiment on the label (e.g., free us from foreign entaglements, what President has brought the troops home from Korea in the last half century?). Very Good & Strong (8.75 ABV), what you would expect from Avery!

5) Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout - Great Divide Brewing Co 9.5% ABV - This way too sweet for my tastes. I think I have another Great Divide in the fridge so we will see how that works.

6) Rogue Imperial Stout 2008 11% ABV ....Very good, didn't have that overall sweet taste that some of these craft brews have. Very enjoyable!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm voting Democrat because.....

Hopefully Alfred didn't beat me to it via LGF.

1958 World Series

Powerline is recapping the 1958 World Series between the Yankees and Milwaukee Braves. Game 1 is chronicled here. These gentlemen are daily must reads.

Game 2 is here.

Game 3 is here.


Fannie Mae eases credit limits during Clinton's term? I thought it would have been Bush's fault. By the way if you hear someone ranting and raving about Bush and the current economic crisis ask them if they can define the following:

1) Community Redevelopment Act
2) The law noted in the article above (Thanks Don!)
3) Define a mortgage backed security
4) Define the mark to market accounting standard

If they can't they can't possibly have an enlightened opinion.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Anatomy of a Scandal

Via Instapundit, this give a nice little history of our current financial woes.

This is interesting as well (via the Corner)

Hat tip to Alfred as well. Alfred can be somewhat abrasive but is usually on target!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Weekend Beer Review

Let me preface this by saying that I may go on an absolute tear tomorrow. I hit $125 on various Golden Star football pools (RIP DEW) and am going to spend most of that ill gotten booty on destroying my liver. On that note:

1) Avery Brewing - Collaboration not Litigation...I can't read much of the fine print but this is very good. It is supposed to be some variation on a Belgian Ale. I think it tastes like an IPA!

2) Xtra Gold American Tripel Ale - Captain Lawrence Brewing Company Nice American Belgian. Adam if you can get your hands on one you will like it. Brewed in Pleasantville, NY.

3) Seahorse Pale Ale - Rogue Brewing - Very nice light summer ale.

4) Extreme IPA - Rockart Brewery - Very good IPA from Vermont.

5) Duchesse de Bourgennen - A Flemish ale...way too perfumey for my tastes!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Oh Boy

I don't think it was in my best interest to find out about this place

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Via Yahoo. Sounds like Democrat taliking points to me.

On Tuesday, Ahmadinejad also lashed out at Israel, saying "the Zionist regime is on a definite slope to collapse, and there is no way for it to get out of the cesspool created by itself and its supporters."

The Iranian president is feared and reviled in Israel because of his repeated calls to wipe the Jewish state off the map, and his aggressive pursuit of nuclear technology has only fueled Israel's fears.

He said that six years after Saddam Hussein's regime was ousted in Iraq, "the occupiers are still there."

"Millions have been killed or displaced, and the occupiers, without a sense of shame, are still seeking to solidify their position in the ... region and to dominate oil resources," Ahmadinejad said.

The Final Week Part 11

The Final Week Part 10

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Final Week Part 9

These were taken at the approach of the Macombs Dam Bridge from Manhattan to the Bronx. I like the juxstaposition of the two stadiums but I really like the submarine sign.

Sunday, September 21, 2008