Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's all about the beer(d), man!

I've decided to take the (More) out of my blog name and just go with the original title. Why? Several things have changed over at the new and improved AOL GameDaily, one of which is the removal of titles from the blogs. So, with that... this now becomes the MAIN home for "Ramblings of a Mad Man."

Over the 4-day turkey festivus I was fortunate enough to try out some rather lovely new brews. Not only am I lucky to have my folks living in the area (aaaaah!) but they're also aficionados of fine beer... who just so happen to run a liquor store not five minutes from my house! Often times they get sample beers from the sales guys. In this case they dropped off two international dandies: Lion Stout brewed by the Ceylon/Lion Brewery in Sri Lanka, and Saxo Blonde Belgian Ale brewed by Caracole in Belgium. These two beers are complete opposites (Lion is a bold, dark stout, while Saxo is effervescently wheaty), but both are exceptionally tasty. If you can find them, give 'em a whirl.

My good friend Renee, who is also a beer connoisseur - just not the "beer snob" that I am - found a veeeery interesting brew from Fort Collins Brewery called Z. If you dig BBQ as much as we do, this is perhaps the best set o' suds I've ever stumbled across for just such an outdoorsy occasion. It tastes like BBQ, smoky flavor and all. I highly recommend this adult beverage for all your summertime get togethers (and wintertime if you're brave enough to fire up the Que)!

Beer Fact of the Day: "... in the religious mythologies of all ancient cultures, beer was a gift to women from a goddess... and women remained bonded in complex religious relationships with feminine deities who blessed the brew vessels." Hell ya! (taken from 365 Bottles of Beer for the Year)

Beer Quote of the Day: "Whoever serves beer or wine watered down, he himself deserves in them to drown." (a medieval slogan demanding all pubs of the day sell untainted beverages)

Oh, an while I'm on the topic... I'm but an amateur when it comes to beer knowhow. If you REALLY wanna talk brewski technicalities, you need to go check out Ed Sealover's Beer Run Blog. Ed is The Gazette's resident beer critic. When he writes about beer he does so in a way that makes you feel like you're drinking one down as you read his column.

Lastly... I'm sportin' a new contemplative, professorial, "thinking" Mountain Mad Man look if you will. OK, so I got tired of shaving every day - sue me! Plus, it's getting darn nearply here in Colorado. In fact, we're due to be hit by another right hook from Ole Man Winter tonight (temps dropping down into the minus regions, along with 6" of the white stuff). When walking Osa (our spoiled Alaskan Malamute) at 5:30 in the AM, it's kinda hard to keep the face warm and the beard helps!

Whatcha think?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Not Dead...

... just really busy. When is Thanksgiving NOT busy though, right? I mean, aside from stuffing your face for 4 days straight with a meat that releases a chemical (tryptophan) known to cause drowsiness, there's the realization that in one month Christmas (not "Holidays" or some other PC crock of crap verbiage) will be upon us. Which means the year is almost over. I coulda sworn I was JUST toasting in 2006.

Anywho... until such time as I have time to write another outrageous blog o' fun, check out the trailer for the kick ass new flick called Pathfinder coming in January!! Go to the site and watch the QuickTime version. (Thanks for telling me about it Nay!)

Oh, and check out the new trailer for this upcoming game called Hellgate: London. WOWZER!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Focus... it's all about the focus!

My WTF file doth floweth over this week boys n' girls! Lock and load (you'll appreciate the irony of that in few minutes)... cuz it's time to get all Dirty Harry on some more of the bumbling baboons here in the Springs!!!!!

First on the docket... Focus on the Family. Or as Captain Dobson and his Rampart Rangers would say - focus on the target with your military assault rifle. If you happen to read our little village's newspaper (The Gazette), you may have seen the YourHub pull out section in Thursday's edition. Did you read it? If not, go ahead and click -> Cult With its Own Highway Sign.

But wait! Before you read that little gem you first need to clickety click over to the Colorado Springs Independent website and read this article, How Focus on the Family Deals with 'Difficult Guests'. Be prepared, it's disturbing.

Allllrighty then... now go back and read the "Cult" article. It follows up on the "Difficult Guests" article. Don't worry... I'll wait. I'm not going anywhere.

(thinking as you read) Better make sure I have enough beer for the weekend. Can't run out of Sam Adams while I partake in my Battlestar Galactica Marathon (only one of the best shows on TV!)... Need to fill the other propane tank so I don't run out of gas while deep frying Thursday's tasty turkey... Must not forget to watch the OSU/Michigan game on Saturday... Who cares about Air Force? As long as Fisher DeBerry is coach, they're never going to win. I respect the guy, but the option offense?! Notre Dame sure gave 'em a lot of "options" didn't they?! Lose, lose... oh, and lose!

Oh... you're back! Watcha think of ole man Dobson and his Holy Army now? Does this look like a guy who could lead an insurrection? A mass suicide maybe (did I just see the ghost of Jim Jones' face in that pic?), but not a "holy" war. Nope, that's why they're hiring a "Security Officer." But why? And what in God's Amazingly Green Earth does Dobson and his Rampart Rangers need 2,000 firearms for exactly? Scary thought isn't it?

Pretty darn interesting that the two major "religious" (one has to wonder if they know what that term really means) factions in this state have come under scrutiny at nearly the exact same time. "There are no coincidences, only the illusion of coincidence." What do you all think?

Moving on to the next WTF item... Fran and I were driving to work Friday morning, dodging falling Cosmix cranes, and laughing along to The Bob & Tom Show on KKFM like we normally do. During one of the commercial breaks Chuck Squire, the morning DJ for KKFM, reported on the recent plea bargain of one Joshua Patsch, an ex-marshal for Green Mountain Falls (up the Highway 24 pass from the Springs). You can read the whole article in Friday's Gazette, or click here if ya tossed it into the trash (although if you didn't read the Go! section and how bad ass the new Bond is - shame!), but here's the gist of what went down...

In August of 2005 Patsch was fired for - hold on to your mouse boys and girls - taking guns from the precinct evidence locker, selling them (for about $1,200) and pocketing the money for himself. Yup, you read that right. Oh, but it gets better! Instead of getting a felony theft conviction (which would have earned him some righteous time in the hoosegow), Patsch was allowed to plead guilty to a petty offense of official misconduct. Do ya know what the potential penalty for this plea bargained charge is? Max of six months in jail and a $500 fine. Know what he got? 500 hours of community service, and... that's it. Owie, that slap on the wrist really (didn't) hurt.

In the end we have multiple people to blame here. Aside from Patsch, who got the ball rolling, we have the "Special" (my ass) prosecutor from the Pueblo District Attorney’s Office who made the deal. He declined comment after the hearing on Thursday by the way. Gee, imagine that. Finally, we have the last clown (you'll know why I'm calling him this) in this circus... the "dishonorable" (and this) District Judge Patrick Kelly, who just so happens to be a former police officer. But here's the real kicker! Drum roll please... Judge Kelly also called for Patch's record to be sealed after six months, making him eligible to become a police officer again. Can you frackin' believe THAT?!

I come from a law enforcement background. Members of my family have been cops, I have a degree in Criminal Justice, and was a private investigator for several years. Some of my best friends are or were cops. I respect them. Not all cops are bad cops, just like not all Raider fans are criminals or all Bronco fans are complete assmonkeys. Making blanket assumptions about a group of people is as bad as what just happened under the big top here with Patsch. But if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and walks like a duck... well, it's gotta be a damn duck now doesn't it?!

On to more enjoyable things...I'm going to start a new section devoted to one of my favorite things: beer! As many of you know, I'm a beeraholic. Not just any beer will do though - only microbrews. Yes, I am a bona fide beer snob. In this section I'll include links to some of my favorite brews, interesting beer quotes and facts, and pictures of sojourns to the many beer festivals in this great state of Colorado - a true beer lovers paradise. So let me start from the beginning. To prove my love of beer, I present for your approval... my "beer room."

Beer Quote of the Day: "I drink when I have occasion, and sometimes when I have no occasion." (Miguel De Cervantes, from Don Quixote)

Beer Fact of the Day: According to legends, Tommyknockers were mischievous elves who slipped into Idaho Springs mining camps along with Cornish miners who arrived there in the 1850s. (taken from 365 Bottles of Beer for the Year calendar)

Microbrewery of the Day: Saluting those mischievous lil elves, I give you Tommyknocker Brewery up in Idaho Springs, Colorado. They got some seriously strong beer, so lovers of mass produced swill, er... I mean "beer" (i.e., Coors, Bud, etc.) probably won't be able to handle this stuff. My faves are Black Powder Stout (during the winter) and Jack Whacker Wheat (during the summer). I have some Ornery Amber in my beer fridge, and I have no idea who left it (I'm not a red/amber fan).

Until next time... Prost!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Tank God it's Friday!

Back in the day I used to be a paintball fanatic. As I've mentioned, I was a certified comic book collecting, sci-fi reading, cyberspace cruising, Star Wars watching, paintball flailing GEEK.

My buddy Steven, who was part of our merry band of Star Wars geeks lo those many years ago, found this - the ultimate paintballer's dream... Tank Paintball Wars!!

If that don't get ya stoked baby, nothing will!

In case you haven't seen it yet, the new trailer for Spider-Man 3 just hit the net. To quote my amigo Steven, "I think I just wet myself." This will undoubtedly be the ultimate Spidey flick! Take a gander and see for yourself!

Like many of you, Fran and I tend to watch the occasional reality TV show, such as American Idol. The first few episodes of each new season are usually filled with a plethora of seriously disillusioned people as they try to get on the show. For some ungodly reason, these wackjobs literally think they can sing... when many times they make the screeching of an alley cat sound harmonious. Who in their life told them they were good enough to go on a show watched by millions? It's absolutely hilarious watching these - say it with me now - sheep argue with Paula, Simon and Randy on the virtues of their "outstanding vocal talents" even as the three judges are trying to stop the profuse bleeding gushing from their ears. Take these "singers" for example...

Last season we saw Chris Daughtry get booted unceremoniously near the end, for no apparent reason other than he's a "rocker." Forget the fact that he was without a doubt the best damn singer on the show. Apparently American Idol simply can not allow a "rocker" to win. Instead they got Tylor Hicks, a 29 year old who looks like he's 59. Admittedly, the guy has a good voice and the charisma (which is the real reason he won), but... come on. Thankfully, Chris didn't let that stop him. On November 21st, his new album entitled Daughtry (which is also the name of his new band) comes out. Check out clips from his 12 new songs here. This thing is gonna RAWK!

Have a great weekend... it's only a few hours away from Beer:30. Tank God!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pan's Labyrinth

My good buddy Steven passed this trailer of an upcoming film along to me, which I had heard nothing at all about.

Pan's Labyrinth is the new film by Guillermo del Torro (who directed the fabulous films Hellboy and Blade II). It comes out December 29th, and looks absolutely mesmerizing.

The Castaways, a Pastor and Politicians...

Is anyone else as disappointed with the fall finale of Lost as I was? I mean, it was OK, but it didn't have the POW! that it should have had. Maybe it's because I'm now used to the weekly jaw dropping ending to virtually every episode of Heroes. But you'd think that the folks at Lost would want the last episode to end on such a mind blowing cliff hanger that you'd be forced to come back - IN THREE MONTHS - to watch what happens. Not the case here. Sad really.

Found this cartoon about Pastor Ted and his "friend" that pretty much sums it all up. I find it ironic that the other big wig religious leader here in the Springs, James Dobson (the same Dobson who accused Sponge Bob of promoting homosexuality) of Focus on the Family, has decided to back out of counseling Mr. Haggard because he doesn't have the time. Hmmm... wonder what the REAL story is behind that because something don't smell right. In case you missed it, Mike Jones - "the male escort", was on KVUU 99.9 radio yesterday morning. You can hear the whole thing here, or read about it here.

You may have noticed that I haven't said diddly about the election. It's because I simply don't give a rat's ass. I didn't vote this year. Now, some may call me to task on not doing my "civil duty", or that I take for granted the right to vote that our forefathers fought for during every war we've ever been involved with. To that I say... bullshit.

I don't take any of those things for granted. But a lot of other people - people who vote - do. It's obvious by the direction our country is headed. Pull your head out of the sand (or your ass, depending on how blind you are) for a second and take a gander. It's not a pretty picture.

The fact of the mater is our country's political system is a joke. It lost my respect long ago, and has done nothing to EARN back my vote. I'm not going to vote for the sake of voting. There isn't a candidate on any ballot anywhere that I'd vote for. Every last one of them is a crook, double speaking to tow the party line, or is controlled by some special interest group somewhere. I'm tired of voting for the lesser of two evils. And don't get me started on how difficult it is to understand the plethora of referendums, propositions, bills, measures... and whatever else they call 'em. They've made it so you have to have a law degree to truly understand what you're voting for (that's by design by the way). To that I say... bullshit.

Politics today is a "profession." The Founding Father's who created the groundwork for this great country are rolling in their graves right now because they NEVER intended it to be that way. You were supposed to serve your country and countrymen, and get on with your life. Like most things in this world though, things start off with great intentions... but man always screws it up.

As for your vote counting? Well, before I moved here to this great state, I lived in the not-so-great state of Calexico, er... I mean California. Oh sure, it's pretty, with great weather... but that's all its got going for it. The cost of living is outrageous and the traffic and overpopulation is out of this world. Back in 1994 a proposition was on the ballot - the "infamous" Proposition 187. It was designed to deny ILLEGAL immigrants social services, health care, and public education. Key word being "ILLEGAL" here folks. It passed with 58.8% of the vote. Guess what? Some conservative mamby pamby judges overturned it. We the people voted... and it didn't matter a damn bit.

So, on election day... when you're forced to have an interpreter standing there explaining to you what you're voting on, and you're deciding on whether to elect Sleazy Politician A or Sleazy Politician B... buck the vote and tell 'em all to go to hell.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hypocrites, Hypochondriacs and High-Def

A year ago the wife and I sprung for a Toshiba 62" high-definition television. We had some issues with it during the summer, when the power supply crapped out on us and we discovered - much to our chagrin - that the local "authorized" service provider for Ultimate Electronics was run by a bunch of retarded baboons. It took 3 months to fix. But that's a sordid story for another time...

What I want to rant about today is the inability of our local television stations (mainly the CBS affiliate, KKTV, which is my fave station ironically) to keep their High-Def broadcasting functioning. I know it's not just a problem at our house either because this very same hit/miss/working/not working randomness is happening with a friend of ours on the far south side of town as well.

Take for instance yesterday. My St. Louis Rams were playing (poorly) the Kansas City Chiefs in the early game (11am). NFL games are broadcast in HD, but not this one. In fact, even the first 15 minutes of the Broncos game wasn't in HD. But magically, around 2:30 PM, the broadcast popped into HD and stayed that way the rest of the night. And it's not just NFL games. Over the last several weeks we've noticed this random HD/not HD broadcasts occurring during our favorite shows. Why?

Before the NBC affiliate here (KOAA) finally got off their collective asses and got their HD working (after promising to have it ready to rock for the Olympics, and never did), KKTV had the best, most reliable HD service in "our little village." Not anymore. It's now actually the worst. I have no idea what's going on, but it's REALLY starting to tick me off. Did some rats get up in there and chew on the cables or what? GET IT FIXED NUMNUTZ!

Speaking of imbeciles... I don't know if you anyone else saw the new advertising campaign for Haggar (not Haggard, as in Ted - I'll get to him in a minute) Slacks yesterday during football, but it's hilarious! "Making Things Right with Pete & Red." If you want to see the uncut version of the one we saw yesterday, click the play button below... and be prepared to laugh your ass off! These guys are my new heroes!

Trap a mime with Plexiglas?! CLASSIC! There are three other commercials in this series that are equally as funny. One about washing the car, another on how toss your daughter's boyfriend out a window, and lastly... giving back dog crap! Go here to check them out!

While we're on commercials... why is it that when you watch a commercial for some new drug that half the commercial is spent listing the side effects? Why the hell would ANYONE take a drug to fix ONE problem when it causes 14 others? We've turned into a country full of hypochondriacs.

Lastly... wonder how the folks over at New Life are going to cover up, er... I mean deal, with the fall of their drug buying (but never using - ya sure right!), paying for sex from a male prostitute, Pastor. Ouch. And his wife is going to stand by him "until death do us part"? Or at least until the hubbub dies down. Then... ADIOS pervert!

Hypochondriac, hypocritical sheep. Nice.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Another One Bites the Dust!

And another one gone, and another one gone... another one bites the dust!

Ironic that a musical group led by an openly homosexual man (in Freddie Mercury of the rock and roll band, Queen) would be the most appropriate "farewell" song for the now ex-Pastor Ted Haggard of New Life Church.

In case you missed it, he's been dismissed by the Church. Check out the press release here.

All I have to say is, there's a reason I no longer go to church. I don't need any man, especially a hypocritical one - for what goes on behind closed doors no one knows - telling me how to "improve" my relationship with God or live my life, when man is the most vile and infallible thing on the planet.

I believe in God. I believe in the Bible. I've accepted Jesus as my Savior. That's all I need, thanks.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Strap in boys and girls... 'cuz I'm about to introduce you to one of my tirades that folks over at GameDaily have come to expect from "The Mad Man."

First on the docket... The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and their latest list of potential inductees. The list includes: R.E.M., Chic, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Van Halen, Patti Smith, the Dave Clark Five, the Ronettes, soul singer Joe Tex, and the Stooges (the early group of Iggy Pop). Now, most of those I'm down with. R.E.M. I can understand, even if I never did like their stuff a whole lot. Van Halen defined rock and roll in the '80's. It's a travesty they haven't been inducted before now. Dave Clark Five and even Iggy Pop to some extent. But how in the hell does Chic, Grandmaster Flash, and soul singer Joe Tex (who may have been great) rate as "Rock n' Roll"? They don't. I have nothing personal against any of those people or groups, but they are simply not rock and roll! Grandmaster Flash is a DJ/MC/rapper (can't spell "crap" without "rap"). I'm appalled that a rapper is even being considered as a nominee. Especially when the likes of Van Halen isn't even in there yet. And Chic? While I dug their music back in the day, they were a disco band. Which is NOT rock music. Inducting Chic and Grandmaster Flash into the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" is like inducting Johnny Bench or Babe Ruth into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. it doesn't make any sense! Not only that, but it completely taints the validity of the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" itself.

It's ironic that I made a comment in a Blogger forum the other day about Colorado drivers. Ironic because my wife and I nearly get T-boned by a blind @$$ driver the very next morning. A driver who not only didn't fully stop at a stop sign, but somehow did not see me coming and nearly plowed straight into us... when I had the right of way and no stop sign to stop at! I actually had to slam on my breaks and honk my horn in order to avoid the crash. Idiot. This state has the absolute worst drivers I have ever seen! And I've seen a lot. If they're not tailgating your ass, they're going too slow in the fast lane (even though that law has been in effect for some time now) while driving Miss Daisy, or they think because they have a four wheel drive they also have four wheel stop. I've had three 4x4's while living most of my life in California, and know how to drive 'em better than 95% of the people who live at 6000+ feet and who have snow during the winter. GET A CLUE PEOPLE!

While I'm ranting... what the hell is the deal with native Coloradoans not liking people from California and Texas? Can someone please explain that to me? Having done business in this state for 4+ years now, and dealing with some natives... I have my theories. You wouldn't like 'em. It'd just give you one more reason to hate us.

Guess I spoke too soon about my show Kidnapped. It's not even going to air another episode on Saturday's. It got pulled completely from the schedule. Good idea NBC. Brilliant! You keep your studio exec favorite Friday Night Lights around while viewers leave in droves. That's right... nice execs ya got working there. Might as well just throw another insipid reality TV show up. Maybe something inane, so the drooling sheep will flock to it in gaggles.