Tuesday, November 15, 2011

iPhone Beer apps

i've been searching for quite some time now for the perfect beer app. All i really want is an app where i can log the beer that i've tried, and either give it a simple rating, maybe read about the beer and perhaps give a detailed reaction to my beer consumption experience. Why is that so hard? A good beer app should have a large archive of beers or at the very least the option to add beers to their archive, an easy rating system, an intuitive app design, and maybe even be fun to use. To be fair, i should note i started this last month, so the apps may have updated in that time, but here's a brief  review on a few of them.

Beer Cloud  = D
A resource for descriptions of beers. The more i used it the less beers it seems to have in its database. Furthermore, there is no option for tracking or rating beers.
New Belgium 1554 -Found
Highland Gaelic Ale - Not found.
Mother Earth Sisters of the Moon - Not found

HopChart = C
The idea is to check in to your beer, rate it, earn points. Somehow, it just doesn't seem to flow as an easy user experience. The searches don't seem to easily produce what you're looking for. While it does have Twitter and Facebook compatibility, the overall lack of appeal to check in just makes the app forgotten. 
New Belgium 1554- Found
Highland Gaelic Ale - Found
Mother Earth Sisters of the Moon - Not found

Brewvault = B+
If this app focused more on simply what i want without all the extra jibberish, it would probably be a good app. It's too difficult to monitor my vault and even difficult within the app to make that function useful. 
The app makes it too hard to get straight to the point of reviewing a beer. If they accentuated the notepad feature and allowed you the option to rate as you add to your notebook, it would flow smoother. The event tasting tab seems like a good idea, but it could use a brief pop up note saying what the purpose is and how to utilize it. One other flaw is having to search by brewer then beer within the notepad, rather than just typing in a beer like Shiner Oktoberfest. i didn't know the brewer (Spoetzl) and without it i couldn't locate my beer right away. However, if you do know the brewer, it does have a nice drop down list of beers from that brewer. After playing with the app more, it actually all works from the search tab. You can add to notebook or review from there, either detailed or brief number ratings per category. This app does have a community section but without a link to Facebook is it really a social app? It also doesn't make it easy to see what others are saying about a particular beer. 
New Belgium 1554 - Found
Highland Gaelic Ale - Found
Mother Earth Sisters of the Moon - Found

Untappd = B+
The easiest app to jump right in. Simply click on Drink Up, search for your beer, add a location utilizing Foursquare listed locations, a comment, a quick rating, and that's it. The only downside is the lack of in depth review option. i'm a sucker for badges and this app rewards you (in badges) for drinking more. The Facebook connection allows you to see what other 'friends' are drinking and even toast them. Pretty cool. 

New Belgium 1554 - Found
Highland Gaelic Ale - Found
Mother Earth Sisters of the Moon - Found

Saturday, June 25, 2011

People i hate.

1. i may as well start with Tyra Banks. Admittedly, i have seen more ANTM than most dudes probably should, and yes i just used the abbreviation for America's Next Top Model to demonstrate how much i have watched. If you wonder why i hate Tyra Banks, you obviously don't watch. She does some of the most asinine things and thinks just a tad too highly of herself. Does she still have a talk show? Awful.
Quick clip capturing her asininicity

2.  this person. i do not know this person and don't actually hate them as a person, but i'll let you determine why they make this list. Probably deserves a full mini-rant.

3. Smokers at the drive-thru. Especially in the winter when the smoke gets sucked in all the way across the pharmacy. Back when they were contemplating putting a drive-thru in pharmacies, i'm sure they were very concerned with the importance of not inconveniencing smokers when they need to fill their asthma or blood pressure medications. Most of the time when i ask them not to smoke at the drive-thru, they are apologetic, unfortunately i tell them they are already on my list.

4. Smokers that think their cigarette butts belong on the ground wherever they happen to finish their cigarette. Perhaps one day if they get lost out in the world, they can just follow their trail of litter to find their way home.  Just once i want to see someone's car go up in flames as a result of a throwing their cigarette out the window while driving.

"Kind of a harsh lesson, don't you think?" (name that movie)
Please note: i do not hate all smokers. Just the inconsiderate ones. i have a very small part of me that enjoys the faint smell of cigarette smoke in the open air outdoors. Probably because it reminds me of concerts or my dad.

5. Lawn care and construction workers. i'm not really a fan of loud noises while i sleep and unfortunately i sleep during the day when these creatures are most active. One day before going to sleep, i watched them building the house directly behind us and one guy was just hammering on a single board not connected to the house. It looked like his particular job was simply to make noise and piss me off.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Best Music of 2011 (1st quarter)

Typically, i'm content with downloading and discovering any music that may or may not be new music, as long as it is new to me. Starting in January, i've attempted to actually purchase and/or acquire some of the new releases of 2011. i call this 1st quarter because i wrote this at the start of April, but for whatever reason, never posted. If i actually looked over the list again, it may have changed, so i won't.

i'd say my favorite discovery was the self-titled release by Grouplove. Feels perfect for summer and i probably could have put four of the six songs from this album on my ten favorite.

My top ten songs that i deemed worthy of recommendation  (No particular order).
1. The Decemberists - "Rox in the Box"
2. Tapes 'n Tapes - "Freak Out" 
3. Bright Eyes - "Shell Games"
4. The Submarines - "Birds"
5. Grouplove - "Colours"
6. Grouplove - "Naked Kids"
7. Wildlife - "Stand in the Water"
8.  Allie Hughes - "Not the Stars"
9. Smith Westerns - "Weekend"
10. Alexander - "Truth"

Alexander and Cage the Elephant had several decent tracks on their albums that were equally good but didn't stand out,

Other songs i enjoyed:
The Dodos - "Black Night"
Cage the Elephant - "2024"
Cage the Elephant - "Rught Before My Eyes"
Cake - "Long Time"
The Bewitched Hands - "Work"

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Scared to turn the light on.

While one of my few skills around the house actually includes changing light bulbs, we don't use one of our lights out of fear of the day it burns out. It's a ceiling fan light in the middle of our main living room with high ceilings. We typically only turn it on accidentally or on special occasions like for out of town guests. How can you get up there to change those lights? If i had one of those long ladders, even it has to be leaned against something which doesn't work in the middle of the room. i don't get it. It's preventing me from enjoying my everyday life.

In other news, Megan is working for CVS. I tried to warn her, but so far she doesn't mind. Can you believe i've almost been doing nights for 3 years? Holy hell. How much time have i wasted on my off weeks? At least i get a paycheck for the time i waste working. What is time not wasted actually accomplishing anyway?

Exciting news for me. Fountains of Wayne will have a new album in August. Yes they have never been the friendliest band. No not just because I called the lead singer the wrong name after a show once. Either way, always some of my favorite music to listen to, despite our differences. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ten years of Butler Basketball

The shots just didn't go in. i was so confident that Butler was not going to lose and we would have won on just a decent shooting night. Matt Howard and the other seniors deserved to end with a national championship. That's what hurts the most. One of the 5 principles of the Butler Way derived from the "Non-Negotiables" according to Dick Bennett "Thankfulness: Graceful gratitude for every experience, each high win, low loss and hard practice. The pleasure of realizing that each occurrence is a teaching opportunity, a lesson that can be applied to a future challenge." On first thought, the experience gained would be applied to the game of basketball, but for this group of seniors, that was it. Somehow the tragic shooting night from hell will have to be translated into a life lesson off the court. The Butler seniors all took blame.  

But maybe it was my fault. While i wore the same unwashed shirt/jeans as the previous games. i wore a brand new pair of socks, didn't make everyone sit in the same seat as the night before on the couch, relocated the Butler basketball bone the day of the game, and maybe i should have went with the Bulldog boxers. i even denied friends from coming over to watch the game as not to introduce any type of jinx. One reason i decided not to go to Houston was simply because i have seen Butler lose in person to finish their post-season NIT and NCAA tournaments every year since 2002. i figured if i wasn't there, it could not end in a loss. But as the dude at midmajority.com says, "It always ends with a loss."

In the past ten years i've driven over 6698 miles for Butler basketball, not counting regular season games or Horizon League tournaments. We've participated in two NIT tournaments and made six NCAA appearances resulting in two Sweet Sixteens and finished as the National Runner-Up two years in a row. Not bad for a mid-major. i am definitely thankful to be a fan of a team that has seen as much success as we have and can't wait to see where the next 10 years will take us.
The past 10 years - who we lost to  (miles i traveled per tournament):
2002 - Syracuse (NIT) 66-65 OT (649 miles...not counting additional miles for a stop at Niagara Falls)
2003 - Oklahoma (Sweet 16) 65-54  (486+810 = 1296 miles)
2004-2005 - no post season tourney
2006- Florida State (NIT) 67-63 (845 miles)
2007- Florida (Sweet 16) 65-57 (526+277 = 803miles
2008 - Tennessee (Round of 32)76-71 OT (490 miles)
2009 - LSU (First round) 75-71 (93 miles)
2010 - Duke (Championship game) 61-59 (568 miles)
2011 - UConn (Championship game) 53-41 (405+704 = 1109 miles)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Minor League Shenanigans

Minor league baseball is just not meant to have a huge following. Who really wants to watch players that just don't have what it takes to play in the major league of any sport. That's why they have a never ending array of stunts, gimmicks, and random ploys to bring in fans along with well-priced food and beer. Okay, so it really can be a good time, but the extra incentives are still vital for people to be interested.

Coming soon to the home of the Gastonia Grizzlies (of the collegiate wood-bat summer Coastal Plain League...if i say so)  just down the road is none other than the first player to ever hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in a single season....Jose Conseco. Not only will he be there for a meet and greet VIP hang out session with all you can eat and drink, you can also participate in a softball Home Run Derby! Sounds pretty sweet. All of that for just $50. If you make the finals, you will get a chance to hit after Jose Conseco. You could be his next Bash Brother or maybe just a Roid Relative. Maybe he'll sign the picture of his infamous ball off his head home run. Fortunately for him, i pretty much stopped watching baseball when he was still on the A's so i'd still be impressed to see him.

Other fun minor league fun...
  • Human Home Run - man will be shot from cannon from home over the fence after the baseball game. It sounds pretty cool, plus i've never actually witnessed someone's death. 
  • "Jose Canseco Juice Box Night—Jose Canseco finished his tarnished career with the Long Beach Armada and long time rivals Fullerton Flyers. The Flyers gave 500 boxes of juice away when Canseco came to town, mocking the release of Canseco's book, Juiced. "

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thanks be to Mint

i use two credit cards on a regular basis. Basically so it doesn't appear quite as large because it is divided on two bills. i always hear about those scams where bad guys charge small amounts to people's credit cards unknowingly. Geniuses. Just $1 to 100,000 credit cards is a decent payday. Do it once a month and life is good...until you get sent to federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.
Despite my knowledge of these potential fraudulent activities, i typically don't peruse my statements too intently on a regular basis.  Every once in awhile, i go through them using the Mint app on the iPhone. In doing so this past week i noticed two charges from Buy.com on the same day at the end of December. i order so many random unnecessary items from so many different places online, it's hard to keep track. However, i would remember two purchases the same day from the same company. After not finding any order history through Buy.com...apparently i don't even have an account. That's what they get for making it so damn easy to use other payers (paypal, google, even amazon).
So to Paypal i went where i found the two payments for the same item. If you must know, it was a 12-month Xbox Live card. i still have no clue why they got paid twice, maybe there was confusion since i purchased the item from Buy.com via Ebay using Paypal. After just one email to Buy.com, they apologized and said they saw both charges but only had one linked to any purchase. i guess they thought i was trying to get in my charitable donations at the end of the year. Either way, they told me they would refund the money. i was very satisfied with their speedy response to my concern. So no hard feelings. Moral of the story...you should be using Mint to monitor your financial well-being.
i suppose i should probably keep an eye on my statement to see if i ever actually get my refund. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Incredible and Edible.

In an attempt to make some sort of breakfast the other morning, i came across two easy recipes. The easier or the easiest (which is in turn the easiest of them all) was the Breakfast Burrito. It gives me an easy way to use up some additional taco shells that are leftover from taco night and a super easy breakfast that isn't cereal. You can click the link for the official directions, but basically you just:
1. Put a paper towel in a cereal bowl
2. Put your taco shell on top of paper towel
3. Break egg into taco shell (*hardest step)
4. Gently fork it up a bit
5. Microwave for 30 seconds
6. Fork it up some more
7. Microwave an additional 15 to 30 seconds
8. Remove from microwave
9. Lift by holding paper towel and set on counter
10. Add salsa, cheese, whatever.
11. Fold it up.
12. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Work sucks, i know. (it's not really that bad)

Nights at CVS have become very un-nightly meaning there is work to do the entire night. It may sound odd to complain about having something to do the entire time while you're at work, but it is so far from the position that i signed up for. Two years ago, i would fill maybe 20 scripts on a 'busy' night, but now it can easily be 120 or so with DreadyFill™  (for those of you just tuning in, this is in reference to the automatic monthly prescription refills that pop in to the computer ever night) and especially if there are a few pages left in the cue upon arrival. In all my complaining, i would never wish to be on the day side and i don't blame them for ever leaving work to do. As with any company, the goal is to do as much as possible with as little as possible. i'm not sure i could deal with that nonsense for any extended length of time.

Why the hell does the Emergency Department have to send 6 people over at one time? Having 9 scripts as waiters working by yourself is a real pain in the ass. Newsflash to everyone who feels the need to tell me that they just came from the ER, no shit, nobody is just here hanging out because they heard there is no wait to use the back massaging chair late at night.

i used to be much calmer in my everyday life, but at work every little thing pisses me off. Nothing is worse than bending over to pick something up and having my pens fall out of my pocket! Oh my God, it pisses me off just thinking about it.  i mouth silent swear words so often at night at the smallest annoyances and give the middle finger to the computer screen for asinine, unnecessary actions that waste my valuable time i could spend simply not doing unnecessary work, it's ridiculous. 

Why in the hell would you send DreadyFill in before 1 AM?? Sure it gives you 30 minutes extra to start working on it, but then you have to wait until 1 AM to filter through the 3 goddamn pages of rejections because half of them are simply based on the fact that the insurance is in the central time zone and think we are somehow transmitting from the fucking future. Then every time there is a prescription that gets filled or is rejected because somebody filled a prescription that is already on ReadyFill (DreadyFill) and failed to remove the scheduled refill, an empty vial (preferably 40 dram) get's thrown angrily yet harmlessly to the floor. i try to call the help desk at least one night per week i work in hopes that they will come to their sense.

Seven to nine nights used to be no problem, but the angry pharmacist seems to erupt around night six these days. Oh well, more work for me equals an actual contribution to the betterment of our store and hopefully the shit i do makes life easier for the unimaginable hell that is working days in the pharmacy.

Last night, everything just went wrong. There were a few pages in the cue when i arrived, which is fine, i can handle that. But for some reason i kept grabbing the wrong bottle not realizing it until i scanned them and kept having to go back and forth to get the right one, there was a compound hiding underneath the stack of scripts. Luckily there was only one rush of people (last week, every night they didn't stop coming), but then i got a paper cut, the robot ran out of labels, the printer ran out of labels, Medicaid patient came right at midnight when Medicaid goes down for at least an hour, some drunk chick tried to hand me her pregnancy pee stick and confirm the results as she explained her sexual history, got to answer pharmacy questions for someone who doesn't even use our pharmacy, got to enter 2 prescriptions for someone who decided they had to have brand which we didn't have so backed those out...on top of the usual happenings...i'm going to bed, one more night to go.