Wet Wednesday - From Across the Pond Version

This is a first for me, a Wet Wednesday post. I wish it was due to a more momentous libation, but it just so happens I'd like to tell you about one of my favorite beers to drink. Good ol' Kronenbourg 1664, one of the few non-vine beverages out there that can legitimately claim to be good and French.

I recently returned to Kronenbourg's homeland, after spending 3 years in San Francisco frantically searching the microbrew/imported shelves whenever I wanted a pull from a 1664. My, how times have changed. If you are a French bar and you don't have Kro on tap, then - mon ami - you just aren't trying hard enough. The stuff is everywhere...and did I mention it's ON TAP?? In the City, a Kronenbourg was an occasion (usually shared with my fellow Franco-beer-ophiles Matt and Paul). Here? It's a Tuesday night in Montparnasse. And you know what? I'm not sure that one is better than the other.

Over there, I savored the crispness and clean finish, always wondering when I'd next be willing to commit to a 6-pack (they were only sold in 6-packs). Here, I still appreciate that it doesn't leave a wheaty or hoppy aftertaste later that night or the next morning. And I love that it can be the go-to choice no matter where I go. Reconnecting with my Frenchness has been as much about defaulting to 1664 as it has been about looking forward to 5 weeks of guaranteed vacation and protesting in solidarity (if not philosophical support) of those condemning the raising of the retirement age to 62.

Vive la France. And Vive Kronenbourg 1664 on tap.

Weekend Comedy 9/25

I try to make FIWK a Penny Arcade comic news feed (I love every one)... but I couldn't help myself this week

This Week in Sports: I'm addicted to the NFL

In a good way... not a bad way. Although, is any addiction really a good thing? Is being a workaholic bad? What if you're a CEO? So my strategy last week of finally picking against the Chargers for the first time in four years failed miserably. And honestly, it's the Karma that I deserve for picking against the Chargers. So from here on out, I am picking the Chargers ATS (for my pick 'em group where I pick every game...I'm still going to use discretion as to whether I include the Chargers in my FIWK picks). As for my quick thoughts on the other games...

Tech Thursday: Interactive TV

Disclaimer: I'm tooting Nielsen's horn with this one...

Disney/ABC is premiering their newest Fall drama, My Generation, tonight @ 8PM. I really have no desire to watch the show; however, I the interactive aspect of the show has received some rave reviews. I'm not sure if I'm quite on board, but imagining a world in which we can make fun of each others' football picks real-time (and not through Gmail), while sitting on our respective couches entertains the hell out of me.

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Music Tuesdays - Monster by Kanye West ft. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver and Nicki Minaj

Pretty entertaining song featuring a hilarious line about sex with a pharaoh and an absolute tour de force feature by Nicki Minaj... enjoy it?

This week in sports: The Chargers are favored by 7?

The Chargers lost 21-14 to the Kansas City Chiefs last week. The Jaguars beat the Broncos. I am a huge Chargers homer. Bill Simmons correctly pointed out what I texted Royce on Sunday; that the deluge at Arrowhead Stadium significantly increased the randomness and led to a fluke upset. Jacksonville features two UCLA alumni in Maurice Jones-Drew and Marcedes Lewis. This week the Chargers opened as 8 point favorites and it was bet down to 7.5 then 7. (Another interesting line move: Philly opened as a 3 point favorite over Detroit and is now favored by 6.) I haven't picked against the Chargers in years. What does all this mean?

Beer Wednesday: Bourbon County by Goose Island

I had the Bourbon County Stout by Goose Island a while back, and it was intense. But it was a good intense. At the time I could barely drink more than half my glass. Then I found myself thinking back and pondering it for the next week or so. Which I take as a good sign.

Here are my quick notes from when I drank it:

Insanely dark (pitch black), smells like car oil; super alcoholic (bourbon) at first, transitions nicely, has a vanilla extract and coffee bean finish

If that sounds heavy and complex, it really is. The car oil smell reallyyy put me off at first, and the super alcoholic first impression backed that up. But it moves into such interesting flavors on the palate, and it is so viscous, that I couldn't help but be intrigued.

This beer is extremely well-rated at both ratebeer and Beer Advocate, which makes sense because it's their kind of heavy beer. It is 13% ABV and I don't know the cost because I didn't buy it, my buddy did. I do recommend it to heavy beer fans, but only to them.

Music Tuesdays - Marvin Gay singing the national anthem

That's right people, I just went old school. This is Marvin Gay singing the national anthem at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game. When a singer can do this with the national anthem, you know they are something special.

Happy Friday! White People Problems

I was inspired to post this because our friend Natalie is having white people problems today. Exceptionally long line at the fancy cupcake bakery or something. And it reminded me that "white people problems" and of course "double rainbow" are my two favorite new terms of the last year. In fact, this white people problems video is a double rainbow, to use the appropriate parlance. (Yes, that phrase just earned me 170 points on the douche scale.)

What are your favorite new pop culture phrases of the year?

Tech Thursday: "The Social Network"

This week's post will be a bit different; Vanity Fair just posted a great piece on Sean Parker, one of the co-founders of both Napster and Facebook. I really can't add much to the piece, other than that it's fascinating that a single man can be at the center of so much change. Parker definitely is right about technology (not business or government) being "the real driving force behind large-scale societal shifts." Is anyone out there interested in watching the movie? Does this 'character' piece make you sway one way or the other?

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This Week in Sports: I know more about the NFL than I do about writing blogs

I was going to do a separate post on each division, but life and work keep getting in the way. So a quick story, then a lot of little thoughts that hopefully incorporate most teams and divisions. Drew Brees was drafted with the first pick of the second round by the Chargers the same year they drafted LaDainian Tomlinson. Before Brees was an All-World QB and Super Bowl champ, he was quite pedestrian at best. He was fine, but never great and closer to disappointing than pleasing. The Chargers did the right thing in drafting Philip Rivers three years later. But Rivers held out (like all Chargers first round picks did for most of this decade) and this slight lit a fire under Brees's ass and he got good...well better. For the next two years the Chargers are having to decide between Drew Brees and Philip Rivers. The former with more experience and comfort in the offense, the latter with the far superior physical skills. In that second year Brees injures his shoulder in the pointless last game of the season during the final year of his contract and the Chargers let him walk away. Even though I wish we had won the Super Bowl, I have no regrets and hold no ill will on either side. You have to remember your history and how things played out to understand that they really did happen the right way. Let's go Chargers!!

Now, the predictions of the bold and the boring:

Beer Wednesday: Bitter American by 21st Amendment

While in Napa last week we visited a fantastic bar-restaurant in downtown Napa called Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin' BBQ. (Quick aside: this place was awesome. The bbq was amazingly delicious, they had wine tastings, and they had a solid beer list. And it had a cool ambiance. Wish there were a bar like that near me.) One beer we tried was the Bitter American by 21st Amendment Brewery, based out of San Francisco. It caught me off guard because it was very good, which I was not expecting.

Music Tuesdays - Naive by the Kooks

A couple years old, but a song I keep coming back to cause it's more fun and unique sounding than most pop songs (maybe it's the heavy British accent)

Weekend Comedy 9/4

The Double Rainbow Song is meant to champion the awesomeness of the original double rainbow video, which I just assume everyone has seen by now.

Tech Thursday: Tibiwangzi!

I've always wondered how Asia's youth (more specifically, those with character-based languages) would be affected by the Western-centric PC and mobile worlds. This brief article (and quoted study) from AFP (China Youth Daily) shows that many of those who grew up with the computer have been affected, and have been affected more severely than you may have imagined: 83% of those surveyed "admitted having problems writing characters"

Wet Wednesday: Developing your palate

Sutter Home White Zinfandel is delicious. It's cheap, tastes good, it's wine, it's alcoholic. It is very easy to drink. It's a little sweet, but very light. It can go with a meal or you can drink a glass by itself. A single glass can get a lightweight tipsy, while an experienced drinker could probably polish off a bottle him or herself.

Cabernet Sauvignon is difficult to drink. There is such a wide variety that you never know how your bottle is going to taste. It is often the most expensive wine on the menu, so if you get it wrong, you have a bad taste in your mouth AND you spent a lot of money in the process. And even if you do get the right bottle, there are many people who just don't like cabernet sauvignon.

So why is a cabernet sauvignon a good wine and a white zinfandel a bad wine?