Tech Thursday: The Web is Fragmented!

The Web may be Dead, but there sure are a lot of people out there vying for that "shrinking piece of the pie" - or, so says N-Map/Gizmodo. I'm again floored by the visual representation provided by this article, but the best part is playing with the interactive tool N-Map provides. Here's one fun analysis (goes to show you where our society's priorities are - eh?)

Happy Friday! National Geographic's Drives of a Lifetime

From one of my favorite magazines, Natty Geo Traveler, I want to present an older article called Drives of a Lifetime. There are some really awesome driving trips in there - Cascade Lakes and Mount Hood in Oregon, Italy's Amalfi Coast, Vermont's Cheese Trail, Provence in France, and on and on. I love these lists. Happy Friday!

Tech Thursday: The Web is Dead

Wait. What?

My thoughts exactly. Apparently, we both fell into the "Isn't the internet the web, and vice versa?" trap. I'm here to set you straight. Well, Wired and Wikipedia are (were? see above.) here to set you straight. According to Wired, the Web is Dead (someone help me make that rhyme - it's too darn close to rhyming to not do so). Now don't get me wrong. I'm sure there's tons of goodies found in Wired's piece, but I can't get over that initial headline:

"The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet."

Nor, this very neat graph:

When reading through both sides of the debate, I personally fall into the "blame us" category. If someone had asked me 10 years ago (after, of course, explaining to me that the Web and Net were different) if I would pay a premium to some power-that-is to get what I wanted, when I wanted ("push technology"), I would have told them to bugger-off. Ask me today? I say, Yes! Yes! Yes!

Beer Wednesday: Hoptopia by Hermitage Brewing Co

Back with another review for Wet Wednesday. This is another tag team gchat review by Aaron and myself, just like the Le Freak review. I should warn that we are serious windbags who talk about extraneous subjects in this particular review. If the format does or doesn't do it for you I'd like to hear about it.

This week we tried Hoptopia by Hermitage Brewing Co. It is labeled as a double IPA, but as you will see below we questioned that style name. It is 8% ABV and costs $3.49 for a 22oz bottle at BevMo!, which is a pretty good price.

(photo courtesy of Aaron)

Music Tuesdays via Grace Boyle - Rio by Hey Marseilles

Another fun song and even more fun video this week.

We're going with a back to back Grace selection. Why? Cause she rocks. And this is the 2nd anniversary of her blog Small Hands, Big Ideas, so this is like our anniversary gift to her.

Beer Learnin' - the Bruery Tasting Room

Over the weekend I visited the Bruery in Orange, CA (technically it's in Placentia). They have a really cool tasting room there in the back of their warehouse. It's in a random little commercial park off the freeway. There are no other restaurants or bars nearby, so when you drive up it's all empty and bleak looking outside. Then you turn a corner, walk into the warehouse, and the scene reminds you of Beerfest when they walk into the Beerfest competition for the first time - totally awesome.

Weekend Comedy 8/15

The PGA Championship - the Forgotten Major

It feels like the PGA Championship is golf's least-loved major. Or maybe it just feels that way to me because I forgot to set my ESPN Best Ball lineup like an idiot (after placing 421st for the US Open and being the top 5% for the British - dammit!). The PGA Champ is like the Australian Open of golf. It's the Rodney Dangerfield compared to other majors.

If you had to rank the majors in order of prestige, it would go Masters, US Open, British Open, then finally the PGA. Why is that? Is it like the Belmont Stakes and the triple crown, where it only matters if someone is chasing a golf Grand Slam? Is interest lessened this year because Tiger seemed to be slumping? Am I just bitter because of the Best Ball thing? Let me know.

Beer Wednesday: Cuvee van de Keizer blue by Gouden Carolus

The Cuvee van de Keizer Blauw (blue) by Gouden Carolus is a big beer. I mean BIG. Not dark like a big imperial stout, but big in the sense that it's got a very heavy mouth feel, it's thick and viscous, and it's super sweet and rich. It was described to me as a quadrupel, but since I don't know exactly what that means I'm going with the description I see online of a "belgian strong dark ale."

Beer Reaction: Genesee Cream Ale by Genesee Brewing

Time for another impromptu beer reaction from this last weekend. I tried a bottle of Genesee Cream Ale by Genesee Brewing Company that a friend gave me. It didn't change my life, but I did kinda like it.

Interestingly, Genesee promotes this ale as having "the flavor of an ale and the smoothness of a lager," and explicitly contrasts their cream ale with "standard American lagers." While the comparison works, that's not the angle I thought of when I drank the beer. I looked at it more as a light-bodied, easy-drinking ale that does not bring the flavor complexity of other, darker ales but is still easy-drinking. This beer is not very malty and there is basically no hop component. I found it slightly too sweet in a rich, syrupy way to pound back several. As one-off bottle I enjoyed it.

Genesee Cream Ale has 5.2% ABV and costs about $6.99 for a 6-pack, which puts it at a pretty competitive price point (both the Mendocino Eye of the Hawk ale and the Downtown Brown ale linked above are right there, among many others). My feelings are much more in line with the Beer Advocate reviews (overall: C+) than with the ratebeer reviews which seem absurdly low... 11 pts out of 100? 4 out of 100 for the style? That's too low - it isn't offensive, it's just not amazing. Get it if you want to try something different but still easy-drinking.

Tech Thursday: Mobile Credit Accounts

Our tech savvy co-author Scott has referred me to the following Bloomberg article, titled by Bloomberg BW as Scott "Smartphones May Replace Credit Cards".

The article discusses an initiative headed up by the phone companies, but also confirms that the credit card companies themselves are working on mobile phone payment solutions. Between the two groups it sounds like this functionality will definitely arrive at some point. Hopefully the competition will lead to good deals for the consumer.

Beer Wednesday: Norwegian Wood by Haandbryggeriet and Morke Pumpernickel Porter by Beer Here

Scandinavian beer reviewin' time! The inimitable Wally's Wine (& beer) in West LA stocked these beers recently, so I had the chance to try them. Norweigan Wood is by Haandbryggeriet (Hand Brewery, I'm told) in Norway, and the Morke Pumpernickel Porter is by Beer Here located in Copenhagen, Denmark (or maybe in Norway... different sites have conflicting info). I've never had a Scandinavian beer before that I can remember, but these two are a great place to start. First up - Norwegian Wood. And yes, I chuckle every time I say the name.

Impromptu Beer Reaction: Ale of the Hermit by Hermitage Brewing Co

I have to admit - and this will shock you - that I drink more beers than just those that we review on Wet Wednesdays. Many of those beers don't bear a public reaction because they're well known and not as interesting, or maybe they simply aren't that great and I don't want to waste your time reading about something you probably don't want to put in your mouth.

Sometimes, though, I find a beer which I want to talk about but doesn't seem ripe for a full on Wet Wednesday. I drank the Ale of the Hermit by Hermitage Brewing Co. the other night and had just such a reaction. I thought it was smooth and malty, with a little funkiness but enough to scare me. The Ale of the Hermit tastes mild, which I didn't mind, and the slight caramel and roasty flavors were pleasant to me. But as we know I am a fan of smooth, easy-drinking beers with mild flavors. That's how my palate rolls. I was surprised to see this beer get some very negative scores at ratebeer, so maybe it's not for everyone.

Ale of the Hermit is listed as a "Belgian strong ale" and has 8% ABV. I paid $3.49 for a 17oz bottle at BevMo. I'd recommend Ale of the Hermit to beer drinkers who likes a strong beer with a smooth flavor profile.

Music Tuesdays - A New Name and Must Be the Moon by !!!

A New Name:

Must Be the Moon:

Seriously, the band name is !!! - all the YouTube videos put (Chk Chk Chk) next to the name. Is that how you're supposed to pronounce it? Found them via Neekoh, who runs the fashion blog LiveLoveLA. Thanks Neekz!

I put up both videos cause I wasn't sure which was a better representation of their energetic, dance music style. Which do you prefer?