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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Lagunitas New Dogtown Pale Ale

Lagunitas New Dogtown Pale Ale

Taken on my kitchen counter.  My counter thought this was a Pale Ale, too.  Until I spilled a bit on the pour.  It , too,  found out it didn't know anything about Pale Ales.

What do you know about APA's, craft beer hater?  I thought I knew a lot and I apparently know nothing.  I'm going to review the Lagunitas New Dogtown Pale Ale and this beer proves it.  APA?  How about this is more like an IPA.  This clocks in with the same ABV as it's big brother Lagunitas IPA at 6.2%.  That's like you're little brother whooping your ass.  The IBU for their IPA is 45.6.  The IBU for this is currently not listed anywhere.  You know why? Because this APA has a higher IBU than their IPA.  And they can't publish that fact.  That's like you're little brother whooping your ass and taking your girlfriend.  That's the truth.  Taste it.  You think you know APA's? DUMB. As some have said, this is like Hop Stoopid LIGHT.  If Lagunitas made a light beer.  Hater. 

I poured this from a 12 oz. bottle into, again, my tulip.  If you don't have a tulip or don't know what one is, you probably need to quit drinking beer and start a flower garden.  It is zee greatest drinking vessel in ze vorld.  

Appearance:  Super light copper in color.  Like a brand new penny fresh off the press.  Like most Lagunitas brews, i'm getting nice lacing effect on the glass.  I'm going to start calling this the "Lagunitas Doily Effect".  

Smell:  As I swirl the glass, I immediately get kicked in the face by grapefruit.  Typical of Lagunitas.  If they were a supervillian they would be way too predictable and they would get caught by the League of Craft Beer Super Friends every time.  Pineapple you say?  That's ALWAYS the 2nd step!!! And the bit of pine on the end?  HO HO!  The final part of their plan!  No surprise there.  But you know what?  It works.  So they would also probably get off the hook every time based on the effectiveness of their work.  If I were that judge, I would let them off.  Nothing this right can be wrong.  EVER.

Taste:  You get juicy, bitter grapefruit and a sliver of tangerine on a malt cracker.  Top that with a bit of a pine sauce to give you a nice bitter back end.  You could serve this beer as hors d'oeuvres at your next party you rich bastard.  

Mouth Feel:  Medium, smooth mouth feel and the carbonation is spot on.  Nice and bitter and it refreshes.  Beer pr0n.  Put it in your mouth.  

Overall:  So let's see.  So far in this review I've coined the term "Lagunitas Doily Effect".  I've also created the League of Craft Beer Super Friends and in the process made Lagunitas a super villian based on their line of APA, IPA, and DIPA formulas.  I've also referred to this as "Beer pr0n".  Yeah, for an APA this is phenomenal.  APA's should aspire to this level of greatness.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The 6 Most Epic Examples of Facial Hair in MMA!!!

The world of MMA is rife with truly epic facial hair. Some say a good beard hides a fighter's chin so it's harder to get knocked out.  Others say it makes the fighter look that much more epic when knocking someone out. This list will look at fighters with the most recognizable and awesome facial hair.

6. Andrei Arlovski

Sex Panther of the Face.
Andrei "The Pit Bull" Arlovski is a former UFC Heavyweight champion from Belarus, or as it is translated "White Russia".   So he's a "White Russian".  But make no mistake, people from Belarus are NOTHING like the "drink" enjoyed by women and effeminate "men" in bars all over the country.  As if that's not enough, Andrei is well known for a) his vicious style of fighting including victories over Tim Sylvia, Justin Eilers, Jake O'Brien and Roy Nelson; b) his fanged mouth guard, and; C) his epic as fuck beard. I'm sure this beard does wonders for his personal life.  However, in the ring this beard could be considered Sex Panther of the Face, however, because it is apparent with his 15-9 record, 60 percent of the time it works every time.

5. Kimbo Slice

Old Dutch.  And he's not even Dutch.
Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson rose to fame on the internetz by way of backyard BBQ fights on Youtube, earning him the namesake "The King of the Web Brawlers" by Rolling Stone. After a loss to D Class MMA fighter Sean Gannon (2-1 record), Kimbo decided to have a go at MMA; thus, bringing Kimbo, and his signature Old Dutch, into the spotlight for the rest of the world to marvel at.  Many proclaimed his beard should not be permitted because a) it was so full that it hid his chin, making it harder to hit and;  b) after the 14 seconds it took Seth Petruzelli to TKO him made people claim he had a "suspect chin".  His beard may have (partially) helped him with his stand up but sadly, his beard couldn't help his ground game.  After just two losses he was cut from the UFC.  Word is he's going to try his hand at boxing.  Yeah, that suits him better.

4. Dan Severn/Don Frye

Voltron and Megazord.
Number 4 has to be a tie. Dan Severn is an MMA fighter and was a UFC fighter when that shit was still in diapers. His 1994 match and ultimate defeat at the hands and legs of Royce Gracie is one of the most famous matches in all of MMA history. Don Frye is a retired MMA fighter, former UFC champion and a training partner of Dan Severn.  Both men were actually training partners as Don Frye began wrestling as a freshman in 1984 for Arizona State, where he was trained by Don Frye and again in 1995 when Frye helped train Severn for the Ultimate Ultimate 1995. 

The mustaches that these two former MMA fighters possess are probably two of the most epic examples of keratin and protein to grace the area between the upper lip and nose of a man in all of history and the fact that they trained together makes it doubly so. If the lip brows of these two combined into one singular mustache, it would be like Vultron and the Megazord combining to form the most powerful facial hair in the universe. To make things even more epic, Don Frye fought Godzilla in the 2004 movie Godzilla: Final Wars.  Vultron and Megazord, indeed.

3. Brock Lesnar

Brock's Viking War Beard.
Lets face it.  Brock Lesnar is as close to a modern day viking as any man is ever going to get.  The dude is cartoonishly gigantic, he's like a berserker frate trane (yes, that is spelled right and the nod goes to Middle Easy) when he gets in the ring, he kills large animals in the snow with his hands, and for a brief period of time, he sported a beard that looks like it was made for raiding villages and soaking up the blood of his prey.

Despite all appearances, however, Brock did not have the same defense percentage or hit points as a viking as he lost his title to Cain Velasquez via a lot of punches.  He received a nice new facial scar (which is pretty epic in itself, but that's a separate list all together) and in the process performed some of the most recognized acrobatics to ever occur in the Octagon.  He did some sort of backpedaling spinning cartwheel maneuver as he was trying to regain contact with reality after being punched by a giant Mexican.  There's a million and a half gifs online of it.  Look it up.  Google it.  It's hilarious.

2. Evan Tanner

Motherfucking lumberjack. 
Evan Tanner (February 11, 1971 – September 8, 2008) was a former UFC Middleweight and USWF Heavyweight champion.  He was the first American to win the Pancrase Neo-Blood tournament. He was an avid outdoorsman. He beat Robbie Lawler and Phil Baroni (twice).  He was an outdoors man.  He was a Goddamn bad ass. And his lumberjack-esque beard could kick the ass of any other lumberjacks beard ever. Despite the size disadvantage (according to reports) it could most likely whip the ass of Paul Bunyon's beard and then kill Babe for Tanner to eat for dinner.

On September 3, 2008 Evan rode into the desert region west of Palo Verde, California to go camping.  Sadly, he would not ride out.  Per wikipedia:

"Some people expressed concern about Tanner's well being going into the desert alone. Tanner responded to concerns about his plans for a desert adventure in a post on August 27, 2008.

'It seems some MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) websites have reported on the story, posting up that I might die out in the desert, or that it might be my greatest opponent yet, etc. Come on, guys. It's really common down in Southern California to go out to the off-road recreation areas in the desert about an hour away from LA and San Diego. So my plan is to go out to the desert, do some camping, ride the motorcycle, and shoot some guns. Sounds like a lot of fun to me. A lot of people do it. This isn't a version of 'Into the Wild.''
Tanner had recently purchased a dirt bike, and on September 3, 2008 he rode into the desert region west of Palo Verde, California to go camping. According to Tanner's manager John Hayner, Tanner called that afternoon to say that his bike had run out of gas, and that he would accordingly walk back to his camp. Temperatures that day reached 118 °F (48 °C), and friends became concerned and reported Tanner missing after he failed to contact them.  His body was discovered by a Marine helicopter on September 8, 2008.
The Imperial County coroner determined Tanner's time of death to be sometime between late September 4 and early September 5, but the legal date of death was recorded as September 8, 2008. Tanner's body was found near Clapp Spring with empty water bottles. Tanner had reportedly intended to refill his bottles at the spring before heading back to the provisions at his campsite, but the spring was unexpectedly dry, and Tanner text messaged a friend informing him of this. However, Evan felt he could make it back to camp if he traveled during the later hours of the evening, refusing offers at that time to send help. Friends were told that if they had not heard from Evan by the next morning and could not reach him by 8am, they then needed to contact Search and Rescue.
Rescuers found Evan at a spot where he stopped to rest. During that rest, he succumbed to the excessive heat, slipping over onto his side into the position that rescuers found him in. An empty water pouch was nearby. According to the military article that was posted, Evan's motorcycle was at his camp, and within his provisions were ample supplies of water.  The Imperial County sheriff's office official cause of death was cited as heat exposure".
I'm an outdoors man and an avid survivalist and, in this situation, you accept the help. If you don't have the water (which you should have in MORE than ample supply if you are heading into the desert) and your only water source has dried up, take the help.  It's sad because he would still be here today if he had.  Let that be a lesson. The world lost a great fighter. And truly one of the most epic beards to ever grace the Octagon.
1. Epic Beard Man

He sure as fuck will.  Call the Amba Lamps.
Although not technically an MMA fighter YET (there are talks of him entering MMA, mostly by him where he will rematch his foe from the bus fight) 67 year old Epic Beard Man, aka Thomas Alexander Bruso, had to appear on this list because Epic Beard is his fucking NAMESAKE. He rose to fame on Youtube with a video depicting him and his beard destroying a hoodlum, simply known as Michael, on an AC Transit bus somewhere around February 15, 2010, at approximately 3:00 p.m EST.  Yes, motherfuckers know it down to the TIME. The beat down was so nasty it has spawned a ridiculous amount of internet memes and even a Mortal Kombat style fight gif, complete with blood and energy bars.  He's even wearing a Raiden hat.

And I say him and his beard because the beard completely fucking deserves credit.  It was what made this ass whooping all the more spectacular.  Had he not had his beard and done the same thing, he would simply be referred to "The Old Guy who beat that black guy up on the bus".  Anyway, if he were to rematch "Michael", I predict the same results.  Ass whippin' by an epic beard.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Bullshit Cartoon Review: Max and Ruby

If you are a parent, you are oft required, FORCED, to watch television programming that you wouldn't watch with someone else's eyes.  But, It's part of the job description.  You would probably rather be kicked in the dick repeatedly by a roided up kangaroo then watch some of the crap they put on TV for kids today.  The cartoons of today are so horrible, that if He-Man, Lion-O, Snake Eyes and M.A.S.K. decided to team up and clean house on the cartoon characters of today, every TV in the world would explode in awesomeness. But, alas, it is what it is.  Our kids enjoy this shit.  So, today here's a review about a rather popular TV show: Max and Ruby.

The Plot

Max and Ruby is a show based on the Max and Ruby children's books written by Rosemary Wells.  It's Canadian.  In Korea it's called Maegseuwa Lubi.  There are two main characters: Max and Ruby.  Max is an instigating fuck 3 year old bunny who can only speak in one or two word phrases (which he repeats the whole damn episode) and Ruby is his older 7 year old, "responsible" sister.  Episodes usually revolve around her trying to accomplish some sort of goal or project and Max (seemingly) doing everything he can to show her otherwise.  By the end of the story a 3 year old has a) usually outsmarted his older, more "intelligent" sister REPEATEDLY as she attempts to get him to cut his shit out and; b) manages to HELP her accomplish her goal with all of his seemingly counterproductive activities. And that word he repeats OVER AND OVER throughout the episode... Well, if you have at least the intelligence of a pubic hair, you would know that the word(s) he repeats over and over reveal that he knew what was going down all along.

Fucking Instigator.

One thing of note about Max (voiced by Tyler Stevenson) is that he has a huge selection of toys. Actually, they are more like his minions, rather than his toys. In some cases, they are the pointless focus of an episode.  Like his firetruck that he seems to lose every other frigging episode.  And his toys all appear to have minds of their own. Which is terrifying.  One toy that appears in most episodes is his red lobster, which is so smart that he was actually fucking TERRIFIED of it at first. It actually chased him around the house feeding on his fear and horror.  I could swear he was dropping "bunny pebbles" from his trademark overalls as he ran from this thing for most of the episode.  This toy teaches children the meaning of fear. It's also his most "intelligent" toy.  In one episode, this damn thing can climb up the leg of a table to the table top to steal a muffin ON FUCKING COMMAND. If any of my kids had a toy that could steal on command I'd be both RICH and pretty damn nervous.  He also has wind up robots that walk around robotically repeating shit like "RED ALERT!" for an annoyingly long period of time and are usually used by Max to destroy any hopes Ruby has of ever accomplishing anything ever. As an aside, the kid who does his voice acting probably has the easiest job in all of television because he just says the same one or two words over and over the whole damn episode. My 3 year old son speaks in full sentences (most of the time) and this kind of leads me to believe that Max is autistic. He has impaired social interaction and communication (he is constantly trying to screw Ruby up and can only speak one or two word sentences), and he exhibits restricted and repetitive behavior (he constantly repeats the same fucking one or two word phrases over and over). Yup, this sunuvabitch is autistic.

Uptight Bitch.
Ruby (voiced by Rebecca Peters) is usually trying to accomplish some activity or goal, like creating a poster for her Bunny Scout meeting (which was almost fucked by the Max's robots) or collecting berries for her grandmother (which Max consistently ate, to her dismay. Just smack the fucking kid already) or some other trivial task.  And, thanks to this Rebecca Peters lady, speaks with a VARIETY of speech impediments.  She puts the emPHASIS on the wrong sylLABLE of words, strings words together in one long run on or just straight up mispronounces shit.  It's almost like she's in the sound booth of the studio trying to lip read someone saying her lines TO HER instead of reading them from a script.  Kids may not notice this, but as an adult I question the credibility of the casting director for this cartoon.  She's also extremely bossy and uptight and basically acts like a cunt to Max the whole episode (probably because he's autistic, he's always trying to fuck her over, and her grandmother always sides with Max).  Which leaves no wonder as to why he's always meddling in her shit.  One episode in particular stands out when they went to the mall to buy Max some new overalls and he spotted a dragon shirt he wanted instead.  She refused to acknowledge his desire for said shirt, was insistent on getting him some more overalls, and at the same time was trying on various dresses that SHE WANTED.  Bullshit.  Get the kid the dragon shirt.  He would probably take care of it a lot better than he does his shitty overalls.  Those things get jacked up every episode.  But, in typical Max fashion he slips away while Ruby is trying on dresses, finds himself a dragon shirt, gets himself on ice cream and ends up spilling ice cream on the dragon shirt, therefore, requiring that they buy it.  Well played.  Well played.  Ruby also has an OCD with saying the entire brand name of Max's toys such as "your Rescue Ranger Emergency Ambulance" instead of just calling the fucking thing "your ambulance".  Overall, she is probably in the top 3 most ANNOYING CARTOON CHARACTERS OF ALL TIME. EVER.


The only authority figure Max and Ruby have is a schizo grandma.

Another thing of note is that Max and Ruby's parents are completely absent and basically never even mentioned in the cartoon.  We are led to believe a 7 year old and a 3 year old live in a house ALONE with no parents and are fending for themselves successfully. It's Ruby who feeds, clothes, and bathes Max. My theory on this is that this is the terrifying end result of the Peter Cottontail story: the parents luck ran the fuck out and they were finally killed raiding one too many farmer's gardens, and the kids are living in the house hiding out so as to stay out of the bunny orphanage. Luckily the parent's had money, which the kids are now using to live.

Basically, the only authority figure they ever reference is their Grandmother, who appears in a few episodes.  Max is often her cohort when she is planning something and even though Ruby believes that Grandma won't like Max's ideas, she usually sides with Max when he dupes Ruby and when Ruby assumes Grandma will dig her ideas better than Max's.  To me, that is straight up choosing sides.  It appears as though the two don't have parents at all and the only authority figure they have chooses favorites (probably because he is autistic).  Ruby is going to end up with serious issues as an adult and will most likely end up abusing all of her future boyfriends both mentally and physically.  That's if she doesn't end up a lesbian so that she can take her anger issues out on another woman (most likely her friend Louise. More on that in a minute).  PICTURING HER GRANDMOTHER THE WHOLE TIME.  Anyway, one thing about the grandmother is that she gets excited over trivial shit at the wrong possible times.  For instance, the episode where her and Max STOLE Ruby's favorite toy duck Mrs. Quack so that she could  knit it a sweater or some shit.  Max and Ruby were supposed to go hang at her house but Ruby decided before they could go she had to establish an impromptu detective agency to find the toy.  Max was repeating "Grandma" the whole fucking episode while Ruby searched for clues.  Grandma got tired of waiting and decided to bring the duck back while exclaiming "RUBY YOU DID IT! YOU SOLVED THE CASE OF THE MISSING DUCK!" NO. She the fuck didn't.  You got tired of her incompetence and brought the fucking duck back.  And it was supposed to be a secret and your partner in crime was giving you up the whole episode.


Future Lesbian.
Louise is Ruby's best friend who frequently appears in the show and quite possibly a future lesbian and love interest for Ruby. She has a cousin named Morris who also appears in the show and is friends Max. Consequently, these two 3 year olds manage to outsmart the fuck out of Ruby and Louise on a constant basis.  She also kisses Ruby's ass every chance she gets, often at her own expense.  

In Conclusion

All in all, I have to say that this show is pretty "interesting".  But not interesting in the literal sense, like it holds my interest.  Interesting in the sense that as a parent I see it for what it really is: the dysfunctional relationship between an autistic brother and an uptight bitch of a sister who have no parental figures (save for the schizophrenic grandmother who chooses sides) and their struggle to survive.  Would this be something I watched at their age? No.  Hell no. I was busy watching shit like He-Man and Thundercats and G.I. Joe and Ninja Turtles and Transformers.  Awesome shows about ass kicking and kicking ass.  Shows that still endure in our memories even today.  Shows they are remaking into NEW shows and movies and shit. But with the crap cartoons that are on TV today this is about what they are left with and this probably wouldn't be a show that would EVER be remade into ANYTHING.  But, for now they seem to enjoy it.  And in the end, that's all that matters.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lagunitas IPA Maximus

Lagunitas IPA Maximus

Hops gangbang in a bottle. 
Time for another beer review and today the beer of choice is Maximus from the Lagunitas Brewing Company.  This one comes in at 8.2% ABV, an O.G. of 1.080 and an IBU of 72.41.  Now, first off I have to say I love this brewery.  A lot. I'm rarely disappointed with their beers and this one is no exception.  And if you look closely they always have some cool story (Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale) or in some cases (Maximus) non sensible shit they put on the label.  It's entertainment in a bottle.  Even the ingredients list is interesting:  Hops, Malt, Hops, Hops, Yeast, Hops, Water, and Hops.  You can tell they love brewing because they have fun with it.  They aren't all serious and shit. So, let's get to it.

Appearance:  This beer poured into my tulip a gorgeous copper color with less than half a finger of head and some decent lacing.  At 8.2% ABV, and it being a DIPA, that's not surprising.  And you can always tell when your glass is cleaned properly by the lacing.  Mine is definitely cleaned properly.  Overall, a very attractive beer.

Smell:  Right off the bat you get grapefruit and citrus peel.  Two things I love.  Swirl your glass a bit and it punches you right in the face.  Its a citrus fruit street fight and you just got dragged into it.  You get the floral and piny hops in the nose pretty good, too.  I also detect a teeny bit of pineapple in there.   It's got a super sweet smell to it.  Sort of like Dogfish's 90 Minute IPA.

Taste:  Man, this is good.  I've seen various reviews for this and it's gotten B's.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but these people are obviously imbeciles.  This is a damn good DIPA.  To me this is like an alcoholic ruby red grapefruit juice.  SUPER juicy, bitter, and sweet all at the same time.  And, surprise! Malts that weren't evident in the smell.  I love surprises.  It's got a sweet maltiness right in the middle of the taste profile, which adds balance to the juicy, bitter hops. Again, I get citrus rind, grapefruit, and pineapple from the hops as well as some pine lingering on the back end.  So we have citrus punching you in the face, whilst caramel malts are working your torso area and pine stomps you in the dick.  You will get a beat down from this beer.

Mouthfeel:  (In a Russian accent) Slick like oil or snake with medium bodies.  The carbonation is not too high, not too light.  It work like Russian housewife to refreshings your palates.  Strong like bull.

Overall:  To save some time,  read the intro between "Time for another beer review and today the beer of choice is Maximus from the Lagunitas Brewing Company.  This one comes in at 8.2% ABV, an O.G. of 1.080 and an IBU of 72.41.  Now," and up the the "So, let's get to it" part.  And then I'll add that this will be a regular in my fridge.  So, overall, it's fucking awesome.

Graphic representation of Maximus in image form. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

On Survival, Awareness, Psychology and Mortality

When I was younger, just like a lot of young boys, I used to look at various websites depicting death and carnage and what not like and and the like.  It's a morbid curiosity I think every person has gone through at some point.  My buddies and I would sit around, with our beers purchased for us by the neighborhood "hook up guy" and look at various ways people have bitten it and go "MAN THIS ONE IS EFFED UP!!!".  And you wonder, "Did this person have any idea that this was going to happen? Did they see this coming?" Chances are the answer is no.  Unless they were intentionally committing suicide they had no idea death was waiting to shake their hand.

Pondering on that, no one can EVER know when it's their time.  I would put money down on the bet that a lot of those deaths occurred because these people weren't aware.  I believe that moving without being aware and knowing is wasted movement.  They didn't pay attention to what was going on around them.  People are creatures of comfort.  They like thinking they are safe in their home, or their car is going to get them from A to B, or they can walk down the street and not get mugged or shot or raped.  They have a mentality that nothing bad is ever going to happen to them and that if they are ignorant to certain things, they can't be affected by them.  They read about it in the paper or see it on the news but they don't think it will ever actually happen to them.  As the old saying goes, "ignorance is bliss".  They are living but they don't know how to survive.  This is a fatal flaw.

I grew up with a survival mentality.  I had a father who was a survivor in the "streets" (he lived a HELL of a life and that's all I'll say about that) and I had a grandfather who was an outdoorsman; he knew how to survive in the wild (he is a purist in the sense that he only hunts with a bow and is HUGE on primitive survival).  Both men knew how to survive in their respective environments and they knew how to do it very well and I was lucky enough to have both men teach me their ways.  Learning those skills from a young age makes you very aware of what is going on around you and it's something I believe EVERY person should learn and know from a very young age. Knowing how to survive in any environment is INVALUABLE.  The real comfort is in knowing how to survive if your lost on a hike, your plane goes down, or your lost at sea.  Likewise, if your car craps out in the middle of  an unfamiliar neighborhood and you know how to carry yourself properly so as not to look like a potential target and have the ability to spot potential threats to your safety. I call this "Total Survival" and it's absolutely ESSENTIAL for keeping your ass alive in today's world. You have a survivalist mentality and no how to survive no matter what environment you are in where ever you are.

It's one thing to know how to build a fire with a flint and striker, or even a bow drill, or how to build a dead fall to catch some food and build yourself a lean to or wickiup to sleep in.  But, when you are in an urban environment where most of the time you are surrounded by people who possess lower moral and ethical standards then yourself it is essential to know how to handle yourself.  I've been a martial artist for a LOOONG time.  I've learned many different martial arts and I've done so for a reason.  You never know where or when your physical person is going to be threatened and how the fight will go down.  Real fights are nothing like the choreographed bullshit you see on the movies and TV; they are BRUTAL. I've studied multiple different martial arts from Boxing to Kenpo, Aikido to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Japanese Jujitsu; I'm a student of all arts martial and combat and I did this for the reason that no I wasn't limiting myself.  Wherever the fight went I could handle it.  I can stand with you or if you want to go to the ground I'm just as comfortable there.  It's nice to know those fundamentals. I've used those fundamentals to aid me in actual altercations.  I've knocked people out and I've choked people out.  I've had brawls and I've ended fights in a few seconds.  Those situations are wonderful and very fulfilling in a sense that you knew how to apply those fundamental skills well enough that you didn't have to think.  They were just there when you needed them and you were able to apply them to a real world situation to defeat your opponent.  However, you will also learn by fighting you learn that no matter how much martial arts skill you have, when you are faced with someone who literally wants to take your head off, you do what you have to do.  Throat, eyes, ribs, nose, solar plexus, groin, knees... nothing is off limits and everything is about ending that fight as quickly and efficiently as you can with as little damage to yourself as possible.  That is also the essence of survival.  No matter how crafty you are in the woods or how slick you are at hustling in the street, if you can't protect your ass, those skills don't matter.

On the other side of the coin, you can be the slickest cat on the street, but if your dropped on a mountain in the middle of nowhere with nothing but the clothes on your back and the shoes on your feet, no amount of fighting prowess is going to save you.  Sure the agility, stamina and situation assessment skills you learn from martial arts can't hurt, but they are not going to get you shelter, food, water or rescue.  You can't run down and choke out a deer, you can't go Zangief on a bear and you can't kick down an oak or a willow to build a wickiup to sleep in.  These are skills you develop over many years of use and practice.  If you can assess your situation and know your basic needs as they pertain to survival, you know you need protection from the elements, where you can aid your cause in obtaining rescue and water and finally food. How to build a fire for warmth (and most often for sanity). Your chances of getting out alive increase many times over.  Learn to build a fire from many different things.  Learn to build traps for food.  Read and learn to identify edible, medicinal and poisonous plants.  Learn about dangerous wild life.  Learn to tie knots. Everything is invaluable

In addition to actual skills, (and in some cases in complete lack there of) a WILL to survive is necessary.  I say in some cases a complete lack of because there are stories of people who have had ZERO survival training or experience but what they did have was simply the PSYCHOLOGICAL WILL to survive and they were able to do so. The story of Helen Klaben and Ralph Flores is an example.  They were just regular guys who had no specialist training and made the error of flying their plane in weather they knew they shouldn't be flying in.  The odds were very against them as they failed to take advantage of learning how to handle themselves should their plane go down and it did.  The reason why they survived was their spirit. Their will.  They did what they had to do and they got out alive. You can have all of the skills in the world in your respective environment but if you run out of hope and the will to use those skills, it's just as well that you even had them.  Because you will probably end up dead.

Another skill to have that is imperative to survival is observation.  Just being observant.  Noticing things how they are and exactly when they change and how that change is in relation to you.  My wife calls me a detective all the time because I can pick up on subtle changes to things most don't notice simply because I observe EVERYTHING.  People look at things every day.  But they don't really observe.  Where is the Pepsi emblem in relation to the word Pepsi on the front of the bottle.  I bet you had to look because you didn't remember.  You may drink it everyday and still not know what it even looks like. You see the emblem without taking into account of the composition and layout of the icon and the word Pepsi itself, but if asked later down the line you don't remember.  That's where observation comes in.  Observe people and do it often.  Learn how they react to things. See how they handle certain situations. And observe people at all levels in life, from the homeless guy on the side of the highway exit to the CEO of your company.  Observing lets you know how to communicate with and handle people effectively and, therefore, survive.  I observe everything.  If I notice something is off, I'll say so. It's saved my ass more than once.  In the wild observe what the clouds are doing, how the animals are behaving, etc. This will allow you to determine what upcoming weather might be like.  You could observe patterns in animal movement that may allow you to more easily catch yourself a meal.  Observation is critical.

Another aspect of survival is to open your mind.  Know what COULD happen even if it hasn't and in a lot of situations there's no indication it will.  I'm on various news websites daily such as CNN and other, more conspiratorial websites called and the like reading about conspiracy theories on everything from government to extraterrestrials, to cryptids and the paranormal.  Some of it is obvious crap.  But I run into A LOT of info that blows my mind and could very well be feasible.  So I add it to my aresenal and I move on.  There is no limit to the amount of knowledge you can (and SHOULD) gain when it comes to survival.  Get out there, open your mind, read, sort the bullshit, absorb it, practice it and use it.  ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.  And a lot of times it WILL happen.  And knowing about it before hand can help you survive it.

To sum it all up:

Survival - Learn to survive WHEREVER YOU ARE.  Learn to survive not only wooded mountainous areas but learn learn desert survival, swamp survival, cold weather survival, water survival, learn street survival, learn to defend yourself and ALWAYS be ready for whatever the world throws at you.

Awareness - ALWAYS BE AWARE.  ALWAYS FUCKING BE AWARE.  Don't be ignorant and think it can't happen to you because it can and it will.  Educate yourself on your surroundings.  Know where to go and where not to go.  Be aware of what and who is around you.  Don't walk through an unfamiliar area with your head down and your shoulders slumped.  You will be marked.  Walk with your head up and scanning your surroundings.  Don't get yourself in a position where you will get yourself killed. Know where you are at in relation to potential threats and know how to gtfo or if you absolutely have to, be aware of how you are going make sure that THEY want to gtfo.  In addition, awareness means knowing what could potentially happen in ANY given area and being prepared for it.  If your plane crashes, and you are aware of where the flotational devices are and the oxygen masks, where the weakest part of the plane is and where the emergency exit is, you have a better chance at surviving.

Psychology - The psychological aspect of survival: I survived, I survived for a reason, and now I'm going to keep doing every damn thing I can do to survive. This is critical.  You could have all the skills in the world, MacGuyver.  You could build a compound with some bamboo, paper clips, chewing gum and a shoe string, but if you aren't mentally there for the fight you should just count yourself out.  YOU HAVE TO HAVE IT. Also called the "Will to Live".

Mortality - Mortality occurs when survival and awareness  and the will to live fail to coexist.  Those people mentioned in the first paragraph who appear on those websites died because they weren't aware of what was going on around them and they were killed in a car wreck or shot or stabbed or fell off of a building or just weren't paying attention and had a pole rammed through their head.  They thought the guy on the corner with the overcoat and silly grin on his face was just being overly friendly.  Or they didn't know that they had to store leftover food stuffs 300 yards from a camp and a bear came in and ate them. AKA - DEAD.

When a basic survival mentality and awareness, with a will to keep it moving coexist, and wasted movement is absent, your chances at living a long and happy life are that much better in the end. And in todays society, this should be something taught in schools as a required course.  But that's just my opinion.  See you at the end of the world. Whenever the hell that is.  But you can be sure I'll be there. Surviving.  And waiting to fuck shit up.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Victory Hop Wallop

Good as hell.

For this posting, I'm going to review a rather fabulous beer (I say fabulous with a staunch record of heterosexuality).  This particular beer is called "Hop Wallop" and it's brewed by an awesome brewery out of Downingtown, PA called Victory Brewing Company.

I've pretty much NEVER been disappointed by a Victory brew and Hop Wallop is no exception.  This is a fantastic beer from a fantastic brewery and if you are a hop head, one you need to try NOW. On to the review.

Victory Hop Wallop
Victory Brewing Company
Downingtown, PA, USA
American Imperial/Double IPA
8.5% Alc. / Vol.


12 oz. brown bottle with a bottled on date.  Per the story on the label: "Horace 'Hop' Wallop headed West a broken man. For in the City of Blues a Miss LuLu Belle Lager had left him thirsting for more.  Drawn by wild tales of riches to be had in the gold mines, Hop pressed on westward.  His last nickel spent on a prospecting pan.  Hop's hunger got the best of him.  Two fistfuls of barley and three of some wild and wayward hops tossed in a pan with some clear water was to be his meal.  But sleep overcame him and he later awoke to a bubbling, cacophonous concoction.  Overjoyed with the beautiful ale that he had made, Hop realized the secret of the green gold he had discovered in those fresh hops.  Celebrated far and wide, Hop Wallop lives on in this vivid ale with his words, "hoppiness is happiness".  Enjoy!"  A beer with a backstory.  Fucking innovation in the craft beer world.  That's more back story than most characters in today's Hollywood movies have.  This isn't just a beer brewed and put on shelves for the enjoyment of craft beer lovers all over the USA.  No, this is a beer with a fucking story, which makes you appreciate and love it that much more.  And when it's gone you genuinely grieve, because given the backstory of the mascot Horace "Hop" Wallace and the epic story behind the creation of this beer (his jilting via Miss LuLu Bell Lager leading to his adventure West and nearly starving to death) makes you relate to it.  It brings a tear to the eye.

I am drinking this from my tulip.  If you are a craft beer drinker and you don't have a tulip GET YOU ONE!  Otherwise, all of your efforts are useless.

A side note is that Bill Covaleski, co-founder and head brewer, does all the artwork for the beer labels himself.  This is fucking awesome.  Not only does he brew it, but he's doing the art for the labels, too.  Phenomenal. This dude knows what's up.


Awesome white head on this rather clear colored beer that leaves a nice sticky lacing down the glass.  It's like the bubbles are little mini Spidermen leaving webbing down the side of the glass as they are chasing Dr. Hoptopus in his attempt to steal the gold that gives this beer it's gorgeous hue.


Loads of citrus and loads of pine.  Orange, grapefruit, and pine cones.  All day.  It's like you spent the night in a citrus grove and instead of coffee when you woke up you took some pine cones and fruit from the trees and had this for breakfast.  Super aromatic beer.

Taste and Mouth Feel

Medium body with a nice crisp mouth feel.  Taste is identical to the smell: Citrus including orange peel, a bit of lemon, grapefruit and tons of pine.  It's a tongue twister.  Citrus pine cone punch to the face.  Say that 5 times fast.  And do it while drinking this beer.  It's like trying to conjure Jesus at a seance.  Not gonna happen. A small malt backbone is there right up front to keep the hops in check, like a manpon with mudbutt, but the hops are definitely doing work throughout the rest of the experience.  Despite the 8.5% ABV, there is no alcohol burn to speak of.  Fantastic balance in this beer.


As hell.  If you are a hop head, this is a phenomenal beer that is a fantastic example of the DIPA style.  Maybe even an example of what DIPA's SHOULD be like going forward.  And this is an East Coast IPA.  The West Coast is known for their IPA's but Victory is putting them on notice.  If you haven't had this beer yet and you consider yourself a hop head, go ahead and cry yourself to sleep every night until you get the chance to try because YOU ARE missing out.  

Overall, this beer is the shit.  Everything about this beer is awesome, from the appearance to the balance in the taste.  The name itself accurately identifies what this beer is about.  You will get a wallop of awesomeness right in the face.  Hope you have a cast iron jaw!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Have Too Much Time On My Hands...

I'm a sucker for classic cars, and, I can't lie; this is fucking awesome. I really like this. I mean REALLY. And if I could afford one of the new Camaros I would have this done PRONTO. I know, I know, the Judge is a Pontiac but Pontiac is adios and you "make do" with what you have. And I wouldn't exactly call this "making do". Besides, the new Camaro IS based off the Pontiac GTO chassis, so technically it is a GTO and it looks pretty damn sweet. And the Judge is one of the baddest cars ever made. I just imagined a scenario in my head that goes something like:

Scene - Dusk. Sean rolls up to a stop light in his Judge. A modified Honda Civic is sitting at the light. Because there is a shit ton of these in Miami. Sean's window is down and the driver of the Civic looks over, doing a double take to make sure he is really seeing what he thinks he is seeing.

Tuner Driver - "OYE! Mira! HA! Where did you get that done? Is that a Judge?"

Sean - "Indeed. And the Jury. And the Executioner."

The light turns green, then I drop it and fishtail all epically and smoke the tires and I'm gone. I'd probably get "Jury" over the rear quarterpanels and "Executioner" put on the back so when people see the me pass they get the whole effect. Yeah, I have too much time on my hands.