Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

31 October 2006

The Don's First Beer Review - Alaskan Summer Ale

Recently my lovely wife returned home from a trip up north to visit family in Anchorage Alaska. When she returned, she brought back a few bottles of local beer from the Alaskan Brewing Co. Deciding to jump on the beer commenting bandwagon, I have decided to review each of the 3 different types of beer she brought back. I have already had one, but that was a year ago, so I will give it another shot. Either way, last night we tried one of the bottles she brought back. Heeeeeerrrrrrreeeeeee we go.

  • Alaskan Summer Ale
  • According to the "Flavor Profile" of this Summer Ale on the Alaskan Brewing Co. Website, the beer tastes as follows.

    Alaskan Summer Ale balances a softly malted palate with the clean freshness of Hallertauer hops. In the tradition of the style, neither overpowers the other. Both hops and malt come together to refresh and renew the palate. The straw-gold color and easy drinkability are an enjoyable way to celebrate summer.

    Fuckin' really? Whatever the flavor profile is supposed to tell me, my American watered down light beer drinking ass enjoyed this brew. Upon receiving my glass from my wife (and telling her next time I wanted service with a smile), I quickly noticed there was no over powering odor. My beer did not smell like a pack of Juicy Fruit, so it had scored already with me. I also noticed its golden color. Clearly I would not need a knife and fork to enjoy my glass of beer. And while I don't have the first goddamned clue as to what hops taste like, or malt tastes like, they were apparently mixed correctly for me in this beer. I despise bitterness in my beer, and while this example had a slight hint of bitterness to it, it wasn't over powering. I think the flavor profile tries to say that in beer dork terms, but I cannot tell. Almost as important, there was not a nasty bitter aftertaste. It was a delightful glass of beer, and I actually wished she was able to bring more home with her. If you're ever in our Northern most state, be sure to check out the Summer Ale. If you are up there in the winter, I guess you will be S.O.L. and you deserve to be if you go to Alaska during the winter.

    Coming up, I will review Alaskan Amber. I've actually had this before, but will drink it again before I review it. Also, there is some dark porter or some shit Brenna brought home. I'm sure I will rip that to shreds.

    20 October 2006

    Yankee Fan Remixed

    Last night, my beloved NY Mets fell to the St. Louis Cardinals in game 7 of the NLCS. Congrats to the Cards. They came to play. The Mets had plenty of chances to win in the 4 games they lost. No excuses. The Mets failed to execute. They had the bases juiced in the bottom of the 9th with 2 out and the Mets star player stuck out with his bat on his shoulder. Again, all the credit to the Cardinals. The Mets have a solid core and if they can get some healthy pitching maybe '07 will be the year they break through.

    Never the less, once the Mets lost, my biggest concern was Asshole Yankee Fan. And as I write this, at 6:37am Eastern Standard Time I have already had one encounter with Asshole Yankee Fan and I know there are plenty more coming. My initial encounter went like this. A co-worker and non-Yankee/Met Fan asked me if I was ready for my beatdown from Yankee Fans. I said that I'm ready but Yankee Fan has nothing to say technically since they were chucked out of the playoff's a couple weeks back. Then real Yankee Fan who sits near me and also doubles as Asshole Yankee Fan piped up. He said Yankee Fan has nothing to say? "How about 26 World Championships". Fucking perfect. How could I forget when Asshole Yankee Fan (AYF) has to break out the 26 titles to justify them talking shit. I fire back with them living in the past. A defense they love to use against anyone else when they talk about their teams last WS win. Of course this is unacceptable to Yankee Fan. That interrupts his double standard.

    So, while your Don has to deal with this BS all day long. Think of me. I'll be looking for Real Yankee Fan as well to a good ole baseball discussion. Show yourselves and counteract your asshole brethren.

    *And for the record, I am representing today with my NY Mets Jacket and my NY Mets David Wright Jersey. I haven't seen any Yankee gear around here since they lost.

    12 October 2006

    Yankee Fan - Dissected

    With another early exit from the Post Season this year by the New York Yankees, I figured this was as good a time as ever to break down Yankee Fan. Why you might ask? Because over the past couple of years I have had a shift in teams and in effect fans that I really don't like. Chowd Nation has eclipsed the Yankees for number one on that list. Don't get me wrong, I'm no friend of Yankee Fan in general, but some are legit. Because of this, I decided to break out and dissect Yankee Fan and break them down into two different categories one with a few subcategories. Heeeeeeeere we go.

    1.) Real Yankee Fan - By far, real Yankee Fan is the minority. In this day and age, to find a true Yankee Fan is like trying to find a gallon of gas for under $2.00. Good Luck. However, these fans do indeed exist. Locating them is fairly easy as well. Unless they're young, these fans remember the lean '80's and early '90's years of the Yankees. Despite this, they remained fans never jumping to another teams bandwagon only to jump back when business in the B-X picked up. They usually have a story of how they became a Yankee Fan - They're dad or grandpa took them to the games when they were young or watched the games on TV or listened to them on the radio. The bonding between young and old. Maybe their family are lifelong Yankee followers. Maybe as they were getting into baseball they started liking the Yankees for their name, their colors, anything other than the fact they usually win. You can have a great baseball conversation with this type of Yankee Fan. They are knowledgeable about their team currently and in their history (before 1996 that is). These fans will break your balls about your team and such but they respect the fact you might be a Mets Fan, or a Cubs Fan etc. You can joke in return with these fans and its all in fun. They understand that they are not better than everyone else if they are a Yankee Fan.

    Its this kind of Yankee Fan that has it tough. The rest of the Yankee Fans give real Yankee Fan a bad name Real Yankee Fan has to suffer all the Anti-Yankee backlash, because the backlash never seems to fall on the fake fans. Real Yankee Fan has to deal with Chowd Fan. As mentioned a few blogs back, Chowd Fan for the most part is an asshole. Chowd Fan is happier if the Yankees don't win the World Series than if the Red Sox do win it. A great example is this. I was talking to my good friend Ken the other day. He is a Real Yankee Fan. We can talk baseball and its always enjoyable. He mentioned how Chowd Fan is piling on saying that the Yanks should win it all because they have the number 1 payroll in MLB. Riiiiiiight. Last time I checked, the Red Sox had the number 2 payroll in MLB. By that logic Chowd Fans team should at least finish second…in their own division. Instead they finished 3rd, but don't let logic get in the way of dumbass Chowd Fan. Chowd Fan will also pile on about the Yankees choking and such. Whether they did or not (they did), what did Boston do? They coughed up a 4 1/2 game lead in like a week, then got done in their yard 5 straight times by the Yanks. They finished what, like 12 or more games back? That is a choke. That is typical Red Sox team too. Strong all year … right up until August hits…then its back in the tank. Anyway, it was things like this that made me sift through all the Yankee BS and separate the groups of fans. Real Yankee Fan should not be treated like other Yankee Fans.

    2.) All Other Yankee Fans - I hate to say it, but if I did not break down Yankee Fandom…a stereotype would prevail. And that is this. That Yankee Fan is a fucking asshole. Its Yankee Fans like this that ruin it for the real fans. These fans are the reason for the unprecedented backlash the Yankees receive for being … well Yankees. Lets face it. Being a Yankee Fan is not exactly the toughest thing in the world to be (with the exception real Yankee Fan might have it a bit rougher than the rest). You're a fan of a team that wins all the time for the most part. They average a World Series Championship less than every 5 years. They have an owner that will spend whatever it takes to put together a winner. *Disclaimer* - One of the biggest knocks against the Yankees is the fact their payroll is outrageous. Hey, I agree, BUT nobody is forcing the Marlins owner, or the Royals owner, or the Devil Rays owner to act like they are running a team in Tel Aviv. Any real fan of a team would never say they would not want an owner like George willing to spend to put a winning product together. They may not want his meddling, but they would want his desire to win and put the best product on the field he can. The rest of the crap about George is up for debate.* Lets hit the subcategories now…

    A.) Asshole Yankee Fan: Just what the title says, this is Yankee Fan who is a complete asshole. They are arrogant. They make excuses for the Yankees when they lose. They belittle fans of all other teams in a manner other than good natured ribbing. They act superior. These are the fans that act like THEY make the decisions for the Yankees. They act like THEY are playing short, or third, or left when "talking baseball". These are the fans you want to kick in the cocksucker more than anyone else in the world. Also, Real Yankee Fan can also be Asshole Yankee Fan (for those in Crapchester, see Dom in E.R.), but it’s a rare thing.

    B.) Wannabe Yankee Fan: This group is usually regulated to the younger generations among us. The ones who don't know much about the team or even the sport yet they are Yankee "Fans" because they know the Yanks are good (usually) and they are popular. These are the people buying the red Yankees hat and the light blue one and the green one and the orange one and the yellow one etc. All adding a bit of "flair" to their supposed favorite team. This might also include female Yankee Fan who likes the team because Jeter is "hot".

    C.) New Found Yankee Fan: I'll use an example here from work. This dude one day starts talking baseball to me. I always wear Mets gear so he knows I'm down. He tells me he went to his first baseball game over the weekend…at Yankee Stadium. Hey, I've been to the Stadium and I loved it. You walked in and just felt the baseball history there. Yankees or not, it’s a great place. At that point he decided he was now a Diehard Yankee Fan. Over the course of the next few weeks he started taking on the persona of Asshole Yankee Fan. Talking shit. Acting like he had been a fan forever. Acting like he knows all there is to know about the Yankees. Crapping on me and the Mets just because. When you crack back he gets all defensive and bitches even more.

    D.) Fake Ass Yankee Fan: This is Yankee Fan who is only visible when the team is on a winning steak, has a large division lead, or is making waves in the hot stove report. They are also the Fan who you cannot find when the Yanks lose more than 3 games in a row. Nowhere to be found the day after the Yanks get tossed from the playoffs. Nowhere to be found when you might wanna talk a little junk to payback guy for all the crap he has given you.

    Whew! While I could go on, these are the major categories of Yankee Fan. And to Yankee Fan…I know a comparison like this can be done for the Fans of every team, its just Yankee Fan tends to go to the extremes. I have yet to meet a Royals Fan, or a Pirates Fan, or a Padres Fan I seriously wanted to bring harm too. Actually I don't think I have ever met a fan from any of those teams but thats besides the point. To all my real Yankee Fans out there, your Yankee brethren all owe you an apology for the stereotype you must face. Keep your heads up and I look forward to talking baseball with you. To the "other" Yankee Fans. Keep your head up too, so we can all land a haymaker right on that collective chin of yours.


    09 October 2006

    Never Forget Buck O'Neil

    This past Saturday, the world lost a former Negro League baseball player, an outstanding baseball guy, and an even better person. Buck O'Neil past away at the age of 94.

    Ordinarily I don't really care if a famous person, or a celebrity, or a sports guy passes on. In my little corner of life, they really don't matter because they don't know me, or care about me etc. I'm sure that some of my favorite athletes or actors or musicians knew me on even a slight personal level, they would forget me before I was done talking to them. Knowing what I know about Buck, if he knew me and he remembered me, he would care.

    As a baseball fan, Buck means the world to the game of baseball. He lived and played baseball in a time most of us can never imagine or a time we could not relate to. None of us have ever been told we could not attend a certain High School or a certain University because of the color of our skin. None of us have ever been told that despite having the skills, we cannot play baseball at the highest level because of the color of our skin. Buck faced off of that and persevered. He played in the Negro Leagues. In 1962, Buck became the first black coach in baseball when the Cubs hired him. There was a great quote in a story the AP ran about O'Neil's death. "He saw Babe Ruth hit home runs and watched Roger Clemens throw strikes. He talked hitting with Lou Gehrig and Ichiro Suzuki."

    Buck never slowed down. He embodied baseball and he spent every day of his life living baseball. Most of us as kids dream of doing something like that, he actually did. Whether he was helping to make known and keep alive the memory of the Negro Leagues or just talking baseball to any number of a group of kids, he was right at home. Baseball could not have had a better ambassador then Buck.

    This past February, a 12 person committee was formed for the sole purpose of voting on whether or not Negro League players (and pre- Negro League players) should be in the hall of fame. I don't think anyone who knew Buck thought he would be left off that list…but he was. I have no idea who sat on this 12 person committee, but they should be shot. He fell one vote short of being voted in. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig should have put him in right after that vote came up. He didn't. Buck never even worried about not being selected for the Hall. It rolled off his back like everything else. Incredible. If Bud Selig has any class (and this might be a long shot) he will use his power as Commissioner to allow Buck O'Neil to enter the Hall of Fame. Something that should have been done when Buck was alive.

    In early November, a 95th birthday part was scheduled for Buck. Celebrities, baseball figures, friends etc were all to attend. The Newspaper says the party is still on, but it will be a tribute instead. Good for them. It will be a shame if Buck's memory dies with him. Baseball and all sports in general need more faces like Buck O'Neil around. At a time when sports seems to be about greed, illegal performance enhancing drugs, off field incidents, and god knows what else, guys like Buck help you remember everything good about the game that you love.

    04 October 2006

    Amber Alert! MLB Style

    Taking a break from piling on Soccer (and if you want some personal amusement, you can see Soccer Fan right here (the action starts almost half way down and goes on for quite awhile) getting completely bent out of shape because a friend of mine posted a link to my blog on the Rhinos forum), I thought I would bring up a very concerning matter among fans of baseball. Where has Chowd Nation gone?

    Since 18AUG, Chowd Fan has been harder and harder to find. Since the MLB Playoff's started yesterday, they have all but disappeared. It was just two short years ago that the Red Sox won the World Series and Chowd Fan was seemingly everywhere. During the World Series you couldn't walk 20 feet without seeing some girlie sporting a brandy new Red Sox hat, or some dude with a new red sox hat driving over it, washing it, tearing it etc. trying to make it look like he has had the hat for years proving he is a true fan. Because of this, I'm issuing an Amber Alert…MLB Style.

    Now I will be the first to say, the world is a much better place with Chowd Nation missing. There is not a more annoying, pathetic, malcontent, fraudulent group of fans in sports today. From their slogans of "Cowboy Up" to their even more ridiculous "sand in their clit" crybaby "Why Not Us" crap these fans should stay missing. They did make a small appearance in September to back Big Papi's cries that he deserves the MVP and Derrick Jeter doesn't. Right. This is just another thing that pisses me off about Chowd Fan and player because they make me stick up for the Yankees. Jeter is a solid player, has 4 rings, has his team in contention for the World Series, contends for a batting title, has almost a hundred RBI's from the 2 hole…oh and he plays the most demanding position on the field, short stop. All while Papi bats .270 with 50 bombs (and yes, that impressive) but he does it hitting in front of ManRam. I wonder what Ortiz's numbers would be if he was batting ahead of say Mark Loretta. Oh, and Dave doesn't own a glove. Shut your piehole Dave and Chowd Fan. The late season tank job your team masterfully completed down the stretch was just perfect and I would have to say that a real MVP would have stepped up and stopped the bleeding. And spare me the injury talk. The Mets roster has been in shambles for the better part of the year. The Yankees were playing with a handful of rookies long before the made the trade for Abreu. And I really don't want to hear how bad it was losing Varitek. Dude was hitting .240 with about a dozen bombs. Not exactly an offensive catalyst and his injured ass can still be a team leader while his ass in on the bench. I never thought I would find a group of fans who I couldn't stand more than Yankee Fans. Of course there are legit fans of both teams and I enjoy talking baseball to them (my man Ken G. here in Rochester being one of the few legit Yankee Honks I know - You have to be to sport a pink Yankee shirt in public), but Chowd Nation has just send everything over the falls. However, being the Humanitarian that I am, I am concerned for their well being. I would much rather know they are in hiding with their tail between their legs, than completely missing.

    To help out, I have started searching high and low for the Chowds. I've rounded up some fellow concerned individuals and I have even started a campaign involving pictures and milk cartoons. Please keep an eye out, and if you see them contact the number shown!

    02 October 2006

    Rochester Soccer Fan's - You Got What You Deserved

    This past Saturday Night, Rochester Soccer Fans got exactly what they deserved…a shutout loss in the championship game of the USL Division 1 Soccer League. The Rochester Raging Referees did not achieve the holy grail of of all aspiring Soccer Champions.....they did not get the big pouch of Capri Sun and they did not get those yummy Sunkist Oranges.

    Despite a lackluster new home stadium and a season filled with ties, the referees managed to still make it to the finals where they were cut down by the Vancouver Whitecaps. Hey, losing in Soccer is better than winning, but not to a team filled with players with names like Gord, Logan, Liam, Cole, Aiden, and Horton. Perfect. A non-sellout crowd of 9,547 fans sat in the cold and rain and watched the Whitecraps score 3 goals and their goal blocker guy drink up Timmy H coffee all night while Crapchester's sputtering offense completely shit the bed. And wait a minute. Not even a sellout crowd for the Championship game? What is this, an Atlanta Braves Home Playoff game? Here in "Soccer Town USA" we couldn't even sellout the game? Surely the cold and rain would have kept a large number of the local hoods the inside making that stroll through the ghetto to get to the stadium a tad bit safer.

    All I know is that another shitty Soccer season has ended. Thankfully. Now I will have more time to focus on the fact that the giant aluminum abortion that the Rhino's play in, is a complete waste of money. This thing makes the Fast Ferry seem like a good idea. So Ref's, Soccer Fans, and all associated things like Violence, murder, riots, looting, shooting, blood bombs, urine bombs, ole chants, eat it. Soccer sucks. The Rhinos blew it (first team to lose at home in the title game). And you all got what you deserved.