January 31, 2008

Evil dad strikes again.

As you all know we've been having trouble with Boopie. It's been a while since I've posted about it, but things have NOT gotten better. Since before Christmas we have been getting letters, calls and notes from his teachers telling us he is acting up in class, not doing his homework, failing tests, etc, etc, etc. It's to the point I'm more surprised when I get home to not have a note. As it is he failed four finals and three classes this semester.

Over the time we've had to gradually take things away from him. It started with the cellphone, went to video games, no TV, Grounded from the phone in general, grounded from friends. He has the opportunity to earn all of it back if he gets his grades up and we stop getting reports from his teachers. Now his daily life consists of going to and from school and studying.

Right after Christmas I came home after work to discover he had been playing the Wii. I had caught him playing video games a couple weeks earlier. After catching him playing the Wii, I told him that if he was caught playing video games while grounded from them again, I was going to sell his game system. Since then I know he was playing them behind our backs, and I caught him once. I just gave him another warning that time. Then yesterday happened.

The schools were closed again yesterday. They say it was because it's cold, but truth be known it's actually because the teachers and the admin really don't like working a full week. Since he was going to be home all day and I know it would just be mean to not let him do anything, I told him he could watch TV. There was no computer, no video games and no friends. He told me he understood.

When I got to work I realized I had forgotten my wallet and cell phone at home. At lunch I ran home to get those items. When I came into the house I caught him playing his Playstation 2. The controllers all out and even though he had turned off the TV, the game system was still on. He had jumped up and started pretending he was making a fort for him and his brother to play when he got home. I asked him if he was playing video games. He gets the same look on his face right before he tells a lie, and that look crossed his face. Before he had a chance to just push my anger button by lying to me, I told him I knew he was and explained how.

I took his PS2 console to work with me before I left and told him when I got home we'd gather up the rest of it. When I got home we had a long talk about his behavior and decision making. I didn't pull any punches, and asked if he honestly thought he wasn't going to get caught. Apparently, he didn't think he would. And he didn't think I'd actually take the game system from him, especially since Guitar Hero 3 and the controller for it was a gift from his Grandmother.

That left me with a decision. Either I just ripped the system out of his room and stored it away and gave it back to him later, thus letting him know that I was serious about the consequence or I take the game system and sell it. I decided that with everything else I was going to do as I had said.

So today on lunch I took his PS2 all the controllers and games for it and sold it. I got a decent amount of money for the system and controllers and no he doesn't get that either. It's now my money. I didn't feel good about doing it, but I needed him to know I was serious. When I got home, I showed him the receipt so he could see that I sold the game and the system.

To be honest, I'm not sure he cared.

Posted by Contagion at 06:09 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

That makes three!

It seems that for reasons unexplainable to man, I have again spawned. Long time reader Petey has started his own blog, Peteyís Powderhorn.

Iíve known Petey for four years and consider him a good friend. Heís one of my many re-enacting and drinking buddies. Well I guess technically re-enacting buddies are drinking buddies, but hey does it really matter? Heís a nice guy with a good heart and a good head on his shoulders. Itís only taken me 2 years to get him to actually start one.

So go over and give him a chance. Just a warning, he is promising to be like Graumagus in the earlier days with fire and venomÖ after he getís his blog legs.

Posted by Contagion at 08:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 30, 2008

Tejas

We have another beer from ďThe History of Beer in AmericaĒ collection that my father gave me for Christmas. Tonight Iíll be doing the Tejas by MDII in Rochester, NY. I still have no definite information regarding this brewery. I know that one of the subsidiary breweries for Berghoff in Monroe, WI made the same beer under this name for Samís club in the past. But now we are in Rochester, NY and Iím not sure.

Tejas.jpg

Against we have our standard 12 oz brown bottle. It has a tan label on it with a map of Texas on it. The name of the beer is prominent across the front of the label. There is a description on it of the beer, ď A fine bock beer with a creamy texture and malty body.

It has a nice dark amber coloring to it. It is clear that light passes through easily and you canít see any cloudiness at all in it. The head was a nice inch thick made of large bubbles that lasted for a while. It faded after 15 minute3s to a film on top of the beer. There is no lacing at all.

The scent was weak. A slightly sweet malt aroma mixed with a hint of roasted nuts. Nothing really stood out about the scent. Roasted malts with caramel tones made up the flavor. It was very simple and kind of weak. There really is not much taste to it at all. There is a week aftertaste that fades to nothing quickly.

The mouthfeel is very light. There is a slight creaminess you donít normally get with a light-bodied beer like this. Itís very easy to drink and goes down smoothly.

Tejas is a pretty generic beer. Nothing fancy, no frills and I really wouldnít go out of my way to grab one. However it is easy to drink and again would be a good meal beer, as the flavor wonít taint the taste of the food. Iíll give it 3.5 out of 10.

Posted by Contagion at 07:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How sweet, fresh meat.

63%

Huh, I didn't think I'd score that high, but hey. I'm not saying I wouldn't do it, because to be honest if push comes to shove and it was a matter of survival, I probably would. That and I've always wondered what human flesh would taste like.

Posted by Contagion at 06:46 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

It just keeps getting worse.

I woke up to the news McCain won the Florida primary. He is the only "conservative" I know that would actually make me seriously consider voting for a liberal candidate. It's not that I think that Romney and Huckabee are good, or even satisfactory, it's just that they are much better than John "Amnesty for all" McCain.

After every election I get a new sense of loss and a growing sinking feeling that I'm witnessing my country die a slow painful death. GAH! I'm pretty much convinced that the U.S. is standing on the crumbling edge of the pit of ruin. It's only a matter of time before our weakened, pathetic, useless, incompetent government takes away more of our rights, takes away more of our money, or allows us to be attacked.

Actually I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if things keep going the way they are you will see another attack on American soil by either a foreign enemy or a revolt of its own citizens.

Posted by Contagion at 07:21 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 29, 2008

Lack of useful information.

Illinois moved up its spring election to next Tuesday so that we can be more important in the primaries. Actually all it does is move is to ďSuper TuesdayĒ with a ton of other states. Besides being the primary, we have other elections going on at the same time. Of course those are all local ones. Iíve seen posters, signs, fliers and hand bills regarding the candidates and Iíve come to a conclusion.

They are trying to win on name recognition only.

There is nothing on any of their signs or handouts that tell you a damn thing about them or their position on anything. You really need to go out and do some searching on these individuals. Then to top it off, if you find their websites, some of them still donít state a whole lot of anything. Yes, there are a ton of endorsements from other people in the community for them, but nothing that really tells you what these individualsí stances are on the different platforms or issues that involve the local community.

In one election I didnít like any of the officials that Iíve heard of due to past experience and tried to find if anyone else is running. I couldnít find anything. I checked the website for the county clerkís board of elections and they had nothing. Iím still waiting on a phone call back from them. The only thing we have is the overly biased local media. Which is pushing one candidate over another. Itís a good thing I donít trust them either.

What really irks me is that I just now really noticed this, and itís not just true on the local level. If I look at the presidential candidates unless you are looking at the ďbig two partiesĒ you have a hard time finding anything out for third party or independent candidates wanting to run right now.

And people wonder why Iím so damn surly when it comes to politics.

Posted by Contagion at 06:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I guess if you didn't know better.

Miss Beatrice, the church organist, was in her eighties and had never been married. She was admired for her sweetness and kindness to all. One afternoon the pastor came to call on her and she showed him into her quaint sitting room. She invited him to have a seat while she prepared tea. As he sat facing her old Hammond organ, the young minister noticed a CUT -glass bowl sitting on top of it. The bowl was filled with water, and in the water floated, of all things, a condom!

When she returned with tea and scones, they began to chat.The pastor tried to stifle his curiosity about the bowl of water and its strange floater, but soon it got the better of him and he could no longer resist. "Miss Beatrice", he said, "I wonder if you would tell me about this?" pointing to the bowl. "Oh, yes," she replied, "Isn't it wonderful? I was walking through the Park a few months ago and I found this little package on the ground. The directions said to place it on the organ, keep it wet and that it would prevent the spread of disease. Do you know I haven't had the flu all winter."

As sent to me by blogless buddy Smokepoles.

Posted by Contagion at 05:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

That's a big difference.

It's 44 degrees this morning as I'm getting ready to go to work. We have a winter storm warning in effect. This evening it's supposed to get down to -7.

Yea... a fifty degree difference in temperature over the afternoon. It's going from unseasonably warm to ungodly cold.

I love this time of year!

Posted by Contagion at 07:26 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

January 28, 2008

I'll take movies for 150.

Harvey, my semi-retired and only remaining Blog father has tagged me with a movie meme. Since heís semi-retired Iím surprised he actually did a meme, let along tagged me with it. Then again he didnít actually tag me. Sure he did at the end of his post but he didnít send me an e-mail or comment letting me know. I had to stumble across it on my own. Sadly enough looking at this meme, I think Iím going to blow a lot of people out of the water. I love movies and have watched quite a few of them.

SUPPOSEDLY if you've seen over 85 movies, you have no life. Mark the ones you've seen. Copy this list, check the movies you've seen, add them up, and include the number in your post title.

()Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x)Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
() Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club
(x) Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
(x) Universal Soldier
(x) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
(x) Along Came Polly
(x) Deep Impact
(x) KingPin
() Never Been Kissed
(x) Meet The Parents
() Meet the Fockers
(x) Eight Crazy Nights
(x) Joe Dirt
(x) KING KONG
Total so far: 16 (Thatís not a good start)

(x) A Cinderella Story
(x) The Terminal
() The Lizzie McGuire Movie
() Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
() Dumber & Dumberer
(x) Final Destination
(x) Final Destination 2
(x) Final Destination 3
(x) Halloween
(x) The Ring
() The Ring 2
() Surviving X-MAS
(x) Flubber
Total so far: 25 (Getting worse)

(x) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
(x) Practical Magic
(x) Chicago
(x) Ghost Ship
(x) From Hell
(x) Hellboy
(x) Secret Window
(x) I Am Sam
(x) The Whole Nine Yards
(x) The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 35 (Perfect section!)

(x) The Day After Tomorrow
(x) Child's Play
(x) Seed of Chucky
(x) Bride of Chucky
() Ten Things I Hate About You
() Just Married
(x) Gothika
(x) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
(x) Remember the Titans
() Coach Carter
(x) The Grudge
() The Grudge 2
(x) The Mask
() Son Of The Mask
Total so far: 45 (Just doubled Harveyís score!)

(x) Bad Boys
() Bad Boys 2
() Joy Ride
(x) Lucky Number Slevin
(x) Ocean's Eleven
(x) Ocean's Twelve
(x) Bourne Identity
(x) Bourne Supremecy
(x) Lone Star
(x) Bedazzled
(x) Predator I
(x) Predator II
(x) The Fog
() Ice Age
() Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
() Curious George
Total so far: 56 (Uh oh!)

(x) Independence Day
(x) Cujo
() A Bronx Tale
(x) Darkness Falls
(x) Christine
(x) ET
(x) Children of the Corn
(x) My Bosses Daughter
() Maid in Manhattan
(x) War of the Worlds
(x) Rush Hour
(x) Rush Hour 2
Total so far: 66 (Almost to geek mode!)

() Best Bet
() How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
(x) She's All That
() Calendar Girls
() Sideways
(x) Mars Attacks!
(x) Event Horizon
(x) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
(x) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x) The Terminator 2
(x) The Terminator 3
Total so far: 76 (9 more to go!)

(x) X-Men
(x) X2
(x) X-3
(x) Spider-Man
(x) Spider-Man 2
(x) Sky High
(x) Jeepers Creepers
() Jeepers Creepers 2
(x) Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
(x) Freaky Friday
(x) Reign of Fire
(x) The Skulls
(x) Cruel Intentions
() Cruel Intentions 2
(x) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2
(x) Shrek 3
Total so far: 93 (Wooo Hooo, Soy un perdedor!)

(x) Swimfan
(x) Miracle on 34th street
(x) Old School
() The Notebook
(x) K-Pax
(x) Kippendorf's Tribe
() A Walk to Remember
() Ice Castles
() Boogeyman
(x) The 40-year-old-virgin
Total so far: 99 (One shy of triple digits)

(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Total so far: 105 (Gah, it keeps going!)

() Baseketball
() Hostel
() Waiting for Guffman
() House of 1000 Corpses
() Devils Rejects
(x) Elf
(x) Highlander
(x) Mothman Prophecies
(x) American History X
() Three
Total so Far: 109 (A lot of movies I didnít want to see in this grouping)

() The Jacket
(x) Kung Fu Hustle
(x) Shaolin Soccer
(x) Night Watch
(x) Monsters Inc.
(x) Titanic
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
(x) Shaun Of the Dead
(x) Willard
Total so far: 117 (Maybe I should quit?)

() High Tension
(x) Club Dread
(x) Hulk
(x) Dawn Of the Dead
(x) Hook
(x) Chronicle Of Narnia The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
(x) 28 days later
(x) Orgazmo
(x) Phantasm
( x) Waterworld
Total so far: 126 (Iím starting to get depressed)

(x) Kill Bill vol 1
(x) Kill Bill vol 2
(x) Mortal Kombat (Itís Grauís fault for this one!)
() Wolf Creek
(x) Kingdom of Heaven
(x) The Hills Have Eyes
() I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
() The Last House on the Left
(x) Re-Animator
(x) Army of Darkness
Total so far: 133 (Gah!)

(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
(x) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage (I know it as The Ewok Adventure)
(x) Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total so far: 141 (So I like Star Wars)

(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
(x) The Matrix Revolutions
(x) Animatrix
(x) Evil Dead
(x) Evil Dead 2
() Team America: World Police
(x) Red Dragon
(x) Silence of the Lambs
(x) Hannibal
Final total: 150

If there was ever any additional proof needed that I donít have a life, or that I really, really, really like movies; this about does it. Iím just glad it didnít ask me to list which of these Iíve owned or the number of times Iíve watched some of these movies. There are some movies on this list that Iíve never heard of, then again Iíve probably watched more unknown movies that most than most people.

So whom am I going to tag with this piece of tripe?
Well Iím going to hit:
Bruce of Back to the Batcave: Dangers of being BlogSpawn.

Virtue of Rantings of an Indentured Servant: See above excuse.

Boudicca of Boudiccaís Voice: Because she spawned me with Harvey and Grau.

OddyBobo of Bobo Blogger: Because I still owe her.

Caltech Girl of Not Exactly Rocket Science: Because after her stint in Jury Duty, this should be easy.

Posted by Contagion at 07:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Ingrates

What the hell is wrong with people these days? When I was growing up, my father told me that if you get paid to do a job, you do your best at it no matter what. Iím trying to install that sense of work ethic into my boys. It just doesnít seem to be like that for most people. Well most people in my company.

Most of the people there want to know what the company is going to do for them if they do their job. Not if they go above or beyond, but just to do what they were hired for and expected to do. They want things like special certificates for meeting standards, or prizes, or food bought for them or in one personís words ďPaid vacations to someplace exoticĒ Yea, I kid you not, they wanted the company to buy them an all expense paid trip to Cancun just for meeting standardsÖ to keep their job. They demand incentives and rewards for doing the minimally required for the job.

In other words, their getting a steady paycheck isnít enough. Now to give you an idea, basic entry for our company is a data-entry position that starts at over $11.35 an hour. With that you get 18 days of Paid Time Off (PTO, which can be used as vacation or sick time), one floating Holiday. Health Insurance, dental, 401K with company match and once a year company bonus if certain goals are met. The insurance while maybe not the best, but still damn good, isnít badly priced starting at $49 a month for family coverage. Sure our coverage used to be better and prices cheaper, but with the cost of health care itís still damn good and a might bit better than most out there. As long as you perform to the standard and donít violate any company policies you will get an annual raise. After five years you get 23 days of PTO, at ten you get 28 days. After five years you have almost 5 weeks of vacation, if you include your floating holiday.

Yet all of that isnít enough. They continuously want more, Heck these are the same benefits I get. The only difference is that I have to pay more for them because Iím at a higher level of pay. Which is hilarious because everyone in that company thinks that management at my level makes some insanely large amount of money, which isnít true. In fact I have employees that make more money than I do. The ones that donít have the potential to make more because they can get overtime, Iím salary. Yet, they donít feel the company is compensating them enough, they want more.

And when they do get more, they donít appreciate it. Due to business needs weíve had a lot of overtime the last three months. Weíve had a lot of people that were coming in on weekends and staying late trying to help us keep up with our customers. The management decided that we were going to do something nice to show appreciation for the employees by cooking breakfast and serving it to them last Saturday. I ran around for two days pricing and buying stuff for breakfast. We served them at their desks Pancakes, Sausages and Orange Juice. Saturday morning I cooked 18 pounds of sausages. I also helped with cooking pancakes. Three weeks in advance we sent out a notice to the employees asking them to fill out an ďorder formĒ so we knew how much to buy.

Right off the bat we started getting complaints. ďWhat, no toppings? Canít you guys get whipped cream and fruit to go on it?Ē ďNo Bacon? Can we have bacon instead?Ē ďCan we have French toast instead?Ē ďIíd rather have waffles.Ē ďCan I get eggs instead?Ē Okay, I can understand some of that, but seriously itís free food. We were doing it because we wanted to do something nice to say ďThank You.Ē We choose what we did because it was going to be the fastest, easiest and less messy meal we could make for almost 200 people.

While we were getting ready to cook a person from another department whoís management did their gratitude breakfast the weekend before was complaining that they didnít come in on that Saturday so he didnít get anything. The individual then made the comment, ďThe supervisors should come in every Saturday and cook them breakfast. Thatís why they make the big bucksĒ The individual was rubbing their thumb and first two fingers together in my peers face when they said it. When my peer asked if they were kidding, the response was, ďNoĒ. Fortunately I didnít witness it because I think that would have made me come unhinged.

Then while we were cooking people were complaining on everything from portion size. Three 4-5 inch pancakes, 2 sausage links and a bottle of Sunny Delight. I know itís not the biggest breakfast but we had a budget and we couldnít go over. We ended up doing so and I fronted some money out of my own pocket to cover the difference. Some complained about the taste, there wasnít enough syrup, not enough butter, too greasy, their sausage wasnít burnt (yes, Iím not kidding. Someone came in and complained that their sausage wasnít burnt.), they didnít get their breakfast as soon as they arrived, etc, etc, etc.

There was a ton more today at work of people complaining. I just started to tune it out so I wouldnít go off on any of the ingrates. Then to make it worse I was in a meeting today where they were talking about the feedback the employees had given on recognition and it was brought up again that multiple employees feel that the management should spend at least $5.00 each week to buy items for their staff. I think that was the last straw for me.

I donít think Iím going to go out of my way to do anything like this again. Iím done, why should I try to do something nice only to get complained at. Itís not worth it.

Posted by Contagion at 07:04 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

January 26, 2008

Pings not working

I've noticed for about a week now that when I update a post my pings don't seem to work. None of the readers or blogrolling picks up when I update. I've checked my list of blogs to ping and it seems to be up to date. Does anyone have any ideas?

I want to make sure all of you know when I update with words of wisdom and insight.

Posted by Contagion at 01:07 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Now that's cold

Okay we've been in a cold snap here for a while. I woke up most days this week to negative temperatures and on Thursday there was a -33 wind chill. Yet I shudder to think what the temps are for this video labeled Newfoundland Frozen Waves.

The text with it states:

"This strange weather phenomenon happened in Newfoundland where the waves were actually frozen as they crashed on the beach."

Well I'm not scientist, but to me it looks like the waves are moving ice pack to shore where it's piling up. I'm sure the wave action is freezing on the rocks adding to the build up, but I don't think it's so cold that the water is flash freezing. If it was, you'd think those people watching would have frost bite on their exposed skin in a matter of seconds as well. Especially since some of them don't seem to be bundled all that warmly. But as I said, I'm not a scientist and maybe the waves are actually freezing as they hit shore. Either way, I don't think I'd want to be sitting there watching it too long.

Posted by Contagion at 12:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I'll slap the snot out of her!

Here is a fun little time waster for you. The whole purpose of this game is to slap the ever loving snot out of the other females in the house to take control. It takes a little bit of getting used to the controls. When you can slap, when you can evade and when you can retaliate. I haven't beaten it yet, as the last lady is a pain the arse!

Give Rose & Camellia a try, just don't get too wrapped up in the game and actually start smacking the women in your house around for real! (Grin)

Posted by Contagion at 12:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

These look fun to play.

And now for something I think all of you board game lovers out there might appreciate. (Looks at Shadoglare). How about The Worlds Most Controversial Board Games. That's right, controversial board games. There's a couple on here that I find hilarious and wouldn't mind trying to play, just to see what it's like. Ones like Public Assistance, Why work for a living and Capital Punishment.

However, they probably are a pain in the arse to play and not very fun.

Posted by Contagion at 12:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The carbon monoxide makes it taste great!

I love grilling. Hell I even think I'm fairly decent at it. Nothing that I would brag about, but I do take a certain amount of pride in the fact that friends and family ask me to do the grilling for special occasions. Yet, I just can't get past this. little invention.

exhaust burger.jpg
The Exhaust Burger

That's right, the exhaust burger.

Your car exhaust is a barbeque now.. Stop the car when you are hungry, install the device to the exhaust and back to drive,, You'll have a hamburger in no time. This way you don't need fuel for cooking while commuting and a large amount of energy would be saved.

Seriously, have we gotten so lazy that we need to cook meat while we are driving? What if you get stuck in heavy traffic, will you have a chunk of charcoal? Would anyone ever use something like this.

I know that the exhaust doesn't directly heat the burger, it's just used to heat the metal, but still. I can't picture this as tasting very good. Plus the clean up seems like it would be a pain the butt.

Posted by Contagion at 12:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 25, 2008

Will the rebate work?

By now everyone has heard of the rebate that the government is going to be giving all of us. Does this move strike anyone else besides me as not just a bad idea, but also as kind of fishy? Itís almost like the government is trying to buy happiness from the public by throwing money at the huddled masses. Actually itís more like they are trying to distract us like a laser pointer does a cat. I just canít help to thing they are trying to soften us up for something horrible coming down the road, besides the election, or if they are trying to draw our attention away from something they donít want us scrutinizing too muchÖ like the upcoming election.

With that being said, really do any of you think this is a good idea? Do you really think this is going to solve our economic problems? Does throwing money at a faltering economy with rising inflation really solve the problem? Now of course I like the idea of getting some of my hard earned money back from an overspending government. Iím not going to lie and say Iím going to turn it down. I just donít think this is going to have the effects they want.

Sure at first it will. People will use that money by impulse spending it away, kind of like our government. Then they will be back in the same boat. The ones that could use it to help get out of debt, probably wonít. Want to bet youíll see a large jump in the HDTVs sales to the lower class by June? Especially since in 2008 High Definition is going to be the government mandated standard. (Iíd go off on this, but it deserves a post of itís own.) Either that or they will use the money to buy a Wii, Xbox or Playstation 3. To be honest I donít know how they will use the money. I do know from first hand experience that most individuals in the lower cast tend to view this money as a windfall that they can blow instead of using to better their situation.

If they really wanted to help our economy they would bring it back to an industrial base instead of a service base. When our economy was the strongest we had a strong manufacturing backbone to our society. Most of the jobs worked in a field that the parent company actually made something. Today we are in a service base economy. Most of the jobs in the U.S. are now with companies that donít make anything, but provide a service to get the items you want or services you need. The company I work for is a fortune 500 company and there is not one factory anywhere that we own. We sell a complete service for billions of dollars a year. Thatís all we do. I can actually count on my fingers the number of friends I have that do work for a manufacturing base company. Two of them actually work for a company that all the manufacturing is done in other countries. Another two work for a company that has some manufacturing here in the States, but are owned overseas.

Because of this we are exporting our wealth to other countries. We are dependant on other countries making the items we need and want. If we can transfer it so that we are making more of our own products and not as dependant on foreign countries to do it, I think you would see a turn around in the economy.

Posted by Contagion at 06:57 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

January 24, 2008

bleak future.

Itís been two days since Thompson has pulled out of the presidential race and since then Iíve done a lot of thinking. Itís not that I thought Thompson was perfect or that I agreed with him on everything, quite to the contrary. I only agreed with him on about 65-70% of the things. I know Iíll never find a politician that I agree with 100%, but the major issues are ones that I did agree with him on. Itís just that he has been the first candidate in a long time that I actually felt that I was voting for, not against another.

Now Iíve been sitting here in a funk. Iím scared, Iím scared for my country, Iím scared for my job and Iím scared for my family. I look at the list of candidates and the current front-runners and I shudder. Romney, Huckabee and McCain for the Republicans and Clinton, Obama and Edwards for the Democrats, just thinking of any of those names with the term President in front if it almost makes me cry in frustration and anger. To think that out of the 300 million Americans, these were the best we could come up with is just down right frightening.

And the American sheeple is going to vote one of these mentally myopic individuals into the top office of the land. Well the 65% of the public that votes during an election year will at least. The other 35% will just complain about who is in office. Why are we going to elect these pieces of living bio-waste? Because of that 65% that actually vote, most of them are too narrow minded to think about voting outside of the way the government wants them to. Meaning they will only vote Democrat or Republican. They wonít even look at a third party candidate. The government (I.e. Republicans and Democrats) wants it that way. Face it folks, the two parties are in bed with each other. As long as they stick together, they wonít lose power. And thatís what itís really all about. They want power.

Me, I donít know. Iím going to look at third party and independent candidates to see if there is anyone there that might be better then the laughable six. If enough Americans do the same thing, maybe just maybe we can send a message to the parties that we want, nay we demand better candidates then what they throw at us.

But folks mark my words, if things keep going down the grim path we are headed; there is trouble for America. Be it another attack on our soil, another civil war or even a long overdue revolution. Maybe not in the next four years, but it is coming. It is coming.

Posted by Contagion at 06:57 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 23, 2008

Berkshire Springs Stock Ale

My father sponsored tonightís beer review. For Christmas he bought me a case of beer labeled, ďThe History of Beer in AmericaĒ. It came with a book and 8 different kinds of beers. When given a gift like that, itís hard not to crack into it right away. After drinking the backlog of beer given to me by readers, I decided it was time to crack it open. The first one Berkshire Springs Stock Ale by MDII in Rochester, NY. I canít find anything on them, so I think itís a cover name for a larger brewery that seems to have made this beer for Samís Club.

Berkshire springs.jpg

The standard 12oz brown bottle once again makes itís appearance. There is a maroon label with an oval logo on it. The name of the beer is on the top of the oval and the type cuts the oval in the middle. The bottom of the oval claims ďMade from best malt & hopsĒ There is a brief description of the beer in the middle.

The color is a clear golden yellow. It poured a finger width white head with large bubbles that faded quickly to a film and then nothing. There is no lacing on the side of the glass.

A very simple mix of hops and citrus is the first thing I noticed when smelling it. There is a hint of malts to it, but itís barely detectable. As you sip this beer you get a balanced mix of hops and malts. Itís not very complex, but a good taste. There is a slight bitterness that fades away quickly. After a couple of drinks you can get a hint of butterscotch on the tongue.

This is a medium bodied beer. It is pleasant and easy to drink.

This isnít the fanciest beer Iíve ever drank and it definitely isnít the plainest. Itís a good drink and would probably go well with a sandwich or a pizza. Iíll give it 4.5 out of 10.

Posted by Contagion at 06:43 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Fear me!

I found this over at Technicalities. She found it over at One for the Road.




Your Superpower Should Be Manipulating Fire



You are intense, internally driven, and passionate.

Your emotions are unpredictable - and they often get the better of you.

Both radiant and terrifying, people are drawn to you.

At your most powerful, you feel like the world belongs to you.



Why you would be a good superhero: You are obsessive enough to give it your all



Your biggest problem as a superhero: Your moodiness would make it difficult to control your powers

What Should Your Superpower Be?

I'm not sure about the moody part, but I will admit that on occasion I do try to throw a fireball at someone that has pissed me off.

Posted by Contagion at 05:08 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 22, 2008

What, they can't work a full week?

Boopie had the day off of school today. Not for a holiday, not because he was sick, it was because the Rockford Public Schools decided to close today. Was it because of cold weather? Was it because of the snow? We don't know. When I woke up this morning, it wasn't that cold and the snow had stopped. Hell even the side roads were being plowed. His school doesn't start until 9:30 so it's not like they wouldn't have the main roads plowed.

The only reason I can think that the schools would close is the administrators wanted to make it a five day weekend. That's right, they haven't had school since last Thursday. Friday was an institute day, Monday was Martin Luther King Jr Holiday and today was a snow day.

The local rag newspaper, The Rockford Register star states that:

"The decision to close Rockford schools wasnít made until 5:45 a.m. today, interim Superintendent Linda Hernandez said.

She first talked with Transportation Director Gregg Wilson at 4:15 a.m. At that time, she said, both thought it might be possible to have a normal day. By 5:45 a.m., it was clear there were too many streets still full of snow to send out the buses, Hernandez said.

ďIt was a late decision, and I felt bad about that,Ē she said. ďBut it was the right decision. There were too many streets that were not cleared.Ē

Normally, the decision to close schools is made by 4:30 or 5 a.m., she said.
The missed day of school will be made up June 4."

I live on a street that seems to be one of the last ones plowed in the city. Yet we were able to make it out of our driveway and to work with no problems. Hell no one at work even called off for severe weather or being stuck in the snow. Sure, we got 8.7 inches of snow since yesterday afternoon, but it really wasn't that bad. Many of the school districts around us didn't close, even the rural ones.

Honestly, why do I even bother trying to send my kids to the local schools. I really need to move to a better district.

Posted by Contagion at 05:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

This is not a good week.

First my Packers lose in the NFC Championship game and then today I see that Fred Thompson has withdrawn from the Presidential Race. Which leaves me in a quandry. There is no one else running under either ticket that I like or am willing to give my vote to.

Bah! I hate politicians. Not a one of them is worth a damn thing and the last three presidents we've had should have been left in the baby diapers their respective parties found them in. Looking at the primaries, I'm pretty much sure that the next President will come out of the same cloth.

At this point I'm almost wondering if I should start a write-in campaign for the Presidency. Contagion for President! I want less government, less spending and more individual rights.

If there is anyone out there that thinks they can sell me on a candidate that is currently running, go for it. But I want arguements for voting for your candidate, not voting against another.

Posted by Contagion at 03:39 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 21, 2008

F@#K THE MANNINGS!

F@#K ELI
F@#K PLAXICO BURRESS
F@#K AMANI TOOMER
F@#K THE GIANTS!

Yes, I have hate in my heart today. To give credit due, the Giants out played the Packers. Especially their offense against our defense. We gave up too many opportunities and made too many mistakes that the Giants capitalized on. Part of it is I think that the cold actually got to the Pack. Maybe if Mike McCarthy would let the team practice outside they would have been a little bit more accustomed to the cold. But I'm going to let this go other ways I'll be angry again for the rest of the night.

To help me get over my anger and frustration Ktreva took me down to Fritz's for an afternoon of drinking, conversing and just having a good time. I'm telling you all Fritz's is just a good place to go, chill and unwind. Plus they have the best Bar Tender during the days that I've ever had. And that's saying a lot. As I was down there slowly blowing off steam at the disappointment of my team losing to the Giants something dawned on me.

What am I going to do for the Super Bowl now. I was going to host a party if the Packers made it to the big game. Well obviously they didn't. I don't think I know any Giants fans well enough to get an invite to their party. Even if I did I'm still in a quandary about who I'm going to root for.

I have the Patriots and Tom Brady, whom I have an insane amount of dislike for and would love to see them lose the game just to shut up some of the fair weather and band wagon fans. Then again I would love to see Eli Manning loose because I have no respect for the whiny little beaotch after his stunt when he was drafted. For those of you that don't know, he was drafted by the Chargers and then threw a temper tantrum until he was traded to the Giants. Yeah, you know what. Most people are just happy they made it to the NFL, it takes a real loser to complain about which team is going to be paying you an insane amount of money for a rookie.

Right now I can't decide who to root for... or against. If I had my way both teams would loose.

Posted by Contagion at 06:47 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 20, 2008

I need to find this Range.

This is the perfect combination. Scantily clad women shooting fully automatic firearms. Trust me guys, it puts some wiggle in their jiggle.

More videos from the "webcam girls" channel at Heavy.com

It was until the third time watching this that I realized they all really need to work on their aim.

Posted by Contagion at 10:12 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

BAH!

I love cold weather, but dammit this is starting to harsh my mellow. Right now it is -7 with a windchill of -23. Which would be fine if I was staying inside, but I wanted to go shooting today. I was going to take some friends out to the range and have some fun. Since the only good ranges that I can get on are at least an hour to an hour and a half away, I called them to make sure they were open. One of them actually states to call before coming as they may not open if the weather is bad.

Sure enough the first one I called said they where not going to open today due to the temperatures just for safety reasons. They are an all outdoor range. The other has a heated outdoor area, but they are further north. They say they are pretty much open all the time. Just to play it safe I called them and the guy I spoke with said that they were currently open, but they are thinking of closing shortly because of the weather.

I decided not to risk the drive for a closed range. Called my friends and canceled the trip. We'll have to reschedule for a different weekend. What sucks about this is that it's been an annual tradition to go shooting on Martin Luther King JR weekend for years. BAH!

At least now I'll be able to stay home and watch both games.

Posted by Contagion at 09:35 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 18, 2008

It's not like it's the Holy Grail.

I don't subscribe to Sports Illustrated because I only follow football and to be honest I don't care about what they do the rest of the year. Yet, on occasion, I find that I want to get a copy of their magazine so I can read the stories. This week happens to be one of those occasions. Brett Favre is on the cover. It's a picture taken from last weeks game.

SI Cover.jpg

I've been all over looking for this issue and I can't find it anywhere. Apparently all these collectors and wannabe fans are snatching them up hopping they will be worth something some day. These jerks also prevented me from getting the December 10th issue.

Bret Favre.jpg

So if there are any of you out there that can find either one and want to buy it for me, I'd be really grateful!

Posted by Contagion at 05:34 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

January 17, 2008

TV time

Back in '97 I upgraded to what I thought was a huge TV. For years I had a 13 inch color TV, which Clone has now. When I finally graduated from college and was out of my parents house for a year, I bought myself a 27 inch TV. That is the largest TV I've ever owned. That TV died about four years ago and I ended up buying another 27 inch TV because it fit in the entertainment center that was had. I was fine with that TV all these years because it's all I needed.

That was until last year. I started hanging out with some friends from work to watch football on Sundays. It would rotate at who's house it was held. No matter how much I offered to host the "Football Sunday", they would always pass because I had a small TV and it wasn't in HD. Which in all honesty was fine by me. That way I didn't have to clean up before and after.

What changed was when the Packers started doing really well this year. I started saying, "If the Packers make it to the Super Bowl, I'm hosting the party." They are my team and unless another Packer fan wants to host it, I'm going to watch the game in the house of a Packer fan. I even talked Ktreva into letting me buy big screen TV if the Packers made it all the way.

So I've been watching and planning on how I'm going to do this when the opportunity fell into my lap. One of my peers at work bought a 50 inch HD TV a couple of years ago. It's too big for her room and her and her husband both decided to get a smaller TV. So they decided to sell the one they have. They wanted it out so they put a price on it of $600.00, which includes the entertainment center for it. Yea, I jumped on that. I didn't really ask Ktreva's permission, but the TV they have is a $1,600.00 TV normally. There is no way in hell I'm going to find a deal like that in the stores. All I have to do is go pick it up.

I called in a couple of favors from people I've helped move stuff in the past year and we are going to go pick it up on Saturday. The only problem is that now I have to get rid of the entertainment center we currently have. Fortunately it's falling apart and old, so I'm not worried about preserving it. I'm thinking firewood for over the summer.

Posted by Contagion at 07:05 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 16, 2008

Caffrey's

T1G of Drunken Wisdom brings this weekís review to you; he gave me this beer to review while he was home over the holidays. Let no one say he is anything but a generous man, and with a blog name Drunken Wisdom, you have to figure he knows a thing or two about beer. Tonight Iím reviewing Caffreyís by the Thomas Caffrey Brewing Company.

Caffrey's Irish Ale

Like a lot of beers from the UK, this came in a 16 oz nitro can. Itís mainly green with a gold ring at the top. There is a modern stylish Celtic knotwork symbol on the can with the signature of Thomas Caffrey in red under it. The name of the beer is on a black banner on the top third of the can. It was the color scheme that inspired me to drink it out of a Lambeau Field glass from Curlyís pub. Donít ask how I got the glass.

As is typical of nitro can beers, this one has a nice thick creamy white head. When itís poured into the glass the nitrogen bubbles put on a cascading effect that is rather impressive. The head leaves a thick creamy lacing on the glass that lasts as long as the head does. It is considered an Irish Red and has about the typical reddish-copper coloring to it. To be honest I was expecting a slightly more reddish hue to it, but it looks just like a proper beer should.

The smell is a very meek combination of sweet malts and floral hops. There is a slight fruity hint, but I am unable to make out what kind of fruit. It has a mild taste, mostly of malts. One really canít detect the hop taste at all. With almost no aftertaste, itís easy to see why someone would drink quite a few of these.

It is a full-bodied beer with a silky and smooth feel to it. It is much thicker than the looks lead you to believe.

I know T1G really likes this beer as was talking about it a lot while he was home. Itís not a bad beer, I could see ordering a couple dozen in a pub, especially if I was eating a meal. However, I really wasnít all that impressed. The weak taste left me wanting more of something else that had more flavor to it. It really could use some more hops to balance it out. Overall itís not a bad beer, but nothing I would go out of my way for. Iím giving it a 4 out of 10.

Posted by Contagion at 07:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 15, 2008

Life imitating art.

I love the theater. When I was younger my parents would go out of their way to expose me to the theater. They would take me to various venues to see different shows. We went everywhere from High Schools to small town productions to big city shows. In High School and College I even did some acting. Nothing that was all that great or memorable. Hell, most of the time I was just happy if I had a line or two instead of just being part of the ensemble. My biggest roll could only be considered a bit supporting part of a play I did in college. I had the fourth most lines in the play.

Now I'm going to admit to something that I think even my friends that read this might not know. Part of my love of theater is a love of musicals. That's right, I like musicals. I had parts in Hello Dolly and Oklahoma, okay I was mainly in the chorus because my voice was so bad they wouldn't give me a singing part where people could hear me solo. Even though it's been over 15 years, I still know a lot of the songs and still sing them.

The reason I'm admitting to this is because if I didn't, the story I'm about to tell wouldn't be nearly as funny.

It started last week when I picked Clone after work. He asked if we could have pizza for dinner. It wasn't that he asked for pizza, it was that he did it in that sing-song voice that only a young child can do. So I responded to him... in song. We had an entire conversation about having pizza for dinner in song on the ride home. It was just like in a musical. For no apparent reason the characters bust out in song to explain part of the story. In our case we busted out in song to argue over us having pizza for dinner.

Flash forward a couple of days. It's morning and I'm making sandwiches for Ktreva's and my lunches. Clone comes walking in, looks me in the eye and in song askes, "Daddy, please make me a sandwich. I am so hungry, I need it for lunch!" Of course I had to respond in song, "Clone, you don't need a sandwich, for you are going to grandma's and she feeds you lunch!" Of course this started a fifteen minute argument, in song, over whether or not he gets fed at grandma's.

Ktreva comes walking into the kitchen in the middle of our performance with a dumbfounded look on her face. She looks at Clone and I with that "what the hell are you doing" look on her face. Then proceeds to laugh her arse off when I tell her she walked into "Contagion's House, the musical!"

But that's okay, because when she's not around Clone and I converse in song.

Posted by Contagion at 06:44 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 14, 2008

BEST GAME EVER!

Just about everyone has seen pictures or clips of sporting events being played in horrible weather conditions. If you haven't, than you've heard stories about one. What do you mean you haven't? Well on December 31, 1967 in the hallowed grounds of Lambeau Field. The mighty Green Bay Packers faced off against the the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Championship. The temperatures at game time were 13 below zero with a windchill of -46.

Here are some facts from that game:

* Officially, the field's $80,000 heating system failed due to cold. Unofficially, some say, Lombardi turned it off.

* At one point during the game, the ball froze to the field during break in play

* Officials could not use whistles to stop play. They froze.

* The team canceled marching band performances after noticing blood on a few of the musician's faces.

* Packers fans several times during the contest leaned over the front row to unplug the Cowboys' heated benches.

* After the game, several fans passed out soon after warming up. Their thawed systems finally registered the alcohol they'd consumed to keep warm during the game.

* One fan, an elderly gentleman, died due to exposure.

This game will forever be known in the NFL histories as "The Ice Bowl".

Now you've heard a story about football being played in harsh weather conditions. Why did I bring this up. Well flash forward just over 40 years later to January 12th, 2008. On the Hallowed grounds of Lambeau Field, the Mighty Green Bay Packers faced off against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks coached by Mike Holmgren, the coach that lead the Packers to the Super Bowl in 97 and 98. The man even has a street named for him in Green Bay.

They were captained by once Brett Favre backup, Matt Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck just four years earlier on the same field had faced Green Bay in a playoff game that went into overtime. When the Seahawks won the OT toss and was asked to choose, Matt said, "We want the ball, and we're going to score." And what a beautiful score it was when he threw a touchdown for an interception.

This year was going to be different. In front of a record setting crowd Green Bay took the field with the snow gently falling to the ground. And I was there to see it.

I took my father up to the game on Saturday as some time for the two of us to spend together as Father and son. Folks, I can tell you that this was the best football experience of my life. When we arrived at the stadium the snow was gently falling. At one point of the game it was coming down so hard I couldn't see across the stadium to the seats on the other side. When the snow started to gather they had three guys with brooms come out between the plays and brush off the yard lines. That quickly turned to six guys with brooms, then 6 guys with shovels. Next they brought out a gator with a snowblower attachment and finally it was a full sized farm tractor with a huge snow blower attachment. This was just so the officials and coaches could see where they were on the field.

As we sat in the stands, snow was starting to gather on the fans. Most of us had at least a good dusting of snow. Others were just down right coated in it as the largest flakes I've ever seen fell from the sky. It was a surreal moment watching my team play in that environment. To see a guy get tackled on the 30 and slide all the way to the 15. As one unbelievable play after another happened before my eyes.

Sure the first five minutes was horrible. 20 seconds in to the game we gave the ball over to Seattle on a fumble and they scored. Two plays latter we fumbled it to them again. And again they scored. After five minutes of game time we were down by 14 points.

Then it happened. Brett Favre once again took to the field and lead the Packers to a touchdown and what started a might offensive and defensive come back. The Packers trounced the Seagulls er Seahawks 42-20.

I can honestly say this was the best football game I have ever been to in my life. Everyone I talked to said the same thing. The chances of us being in the stands for a game like this are almost impossible. It really wasn't that cold, temps in the low 30s and no wind. The snow was beautiful and amazing. The intricate play of the teams in the condition is what really made the game fantastic.

The fact that the Packers won, was just the icing on the cake.

Posted by Contagion at 08:02 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 10, 2008

Pick 'ems and Sal Cap Results for 2007

I'm a little late in posting this, especially since the regular season football has been over for 12 days now. It's time to show the results of both my Pick 'ems and Salary Cap leagues.

Pro Football Pick 'Ems
pickems 2007.bmp

Yea that's right. That's me in the number one position! (Does happy dance!)
I'd give Quality Weenie (Last Year's Winner) credit for second place, but she had to be disqualified for picking against her favored team. When the league was started it was clearly stated that each player must pick their favored team. Which we know from last year is Detroit Lions (Since I had to buy her the prize). Thus Second place goes to Tony's Tigers, a friend from work.

Salary Cap Football
salcap 2007.bmp

This year's winner is Sensational Simians, AKA Bruce of Back to the Bat Cave. He took a clear lead early on and just rode Tom Brady to the Championship like a cheap whore. Not that I'm complaining, I did the same thing with LT last year. Second place is Gott, aka Jeebus, AKA T1G of Drunken Wisdom.

Congratulations to the both of you, Bruce you're prize will be coming soon.

I hope to see everyone play again next year.

Posted by Contagion at 07:02 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Illinois Gun Owner's Lobby Day 2008

You may all remember that last year I participated in the Illinois Gun Owner's Lobby Day (IGOLD) last year. I just received an e-mail that this years scheduled IGOLD is on March 11th. The website for IGOLD hasn't been updated yet, but I assure you the e-mail is legit.

IGOLD 2008 is officially set for Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mark that day on your calendar, schedule a vacation day, personal day, whatever you have to do to be in Springfield on that day!!

With the Illinois General Assembly back in session all the anti-gun owner bills of 2007 are back in play. The Illinois State Police are setting their own rules on FOID card requirements bringing a whole new meaning to the words "subject to police power" in the Illinois State Constitution. Cook County is trying to expand Chicago's firearm registration style gun control to the whole county plus trying to shut down all firearm retailers and gun shows in Cook County.

Now is not the time to sit idly by and wring our hands. NOW is the time to show up at the Illinois State Capitol and let our voices be heard - the voices of Illinois Gun owners - loud clear voices that we have had enough infringements on our rights - we'll budge no further. In fact, not only do we stand our ground, we want ground back that's been lost.

48 STATES ARE NOT WRONG!!
WE WANT OUR RIGHT TO CARRY FOR DEFENSE OF SELF AND FAMILY RECOGNIZED IN THIS STATE WITH A RIGHT-TO-CARRY LAW!!


Last year more than 1,500 Illinois gun owners swarmed the Capitol complex lobbying state legislators for firearm owners rights and the need for a Right to Carry law in Illinois.

Like I need to state this, but hell yea I'm going. If any of you from Northern Illinois would like to join me, just let me know and we'll work out details.

Posted by Contagion at 06:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 09, 2008

Mendocino Autumn Seasonal Oktoberfest Lager

Bruce of Back to the Batcave sponsors this weekís beer. He gave it to me a while back, but since I was doing themed beers in December, I hadnít touched this one. Since it was one he wanted me to review, I saved it until now. Tonight I will be reviewing Mendocino Autumn Seasonal Oktoberfest by Mendocino Brewing Company.

Mendocino Oktoberfest.jpg

The delivery package was the standard 12 oz brown bottle. The label has the name across the top with Oktoberfest in a decorative oval. The bottom of the label has a picture of the sun rising over a villa with a giant hawk sitting on top of it to one side. A limited edition lager logo is in the right lower corner. The neck label has a brief description of the beer on it.

It pours a dark amber/orange color. There is a clearness to it that lets light pass through it easily with out any sign of impurities. The thing white head that formed while pouring disappears quickly into nothing. Not even lacing is left on the side of the glass.

The smell is a mix of hops, toasted grains and caramel malts. Itís not something one would think of when smelling an Oktoberfest. Caramel malts and a good hop backbone combine to make the flavor. The taste is light and unassuming. What aftertaste there is goes away quickly.

This is a light bodied beer. It is a bit heavy on the carbonation side, yet it is still smooth to drink.

Overall this beer was more of an amber ale than an Oktoberfest. I prefer a bit more flavor to my beers, but this isnít bad. Iíd have no problem drinking another couple. Overall I give it a 4.5 out of 10.

Posted by Contagion at 07:12 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 08, 2008

Here comes sensitivity class again.

Blew a gasket at work again. I think I kept it pent up way too long. There has been a series of incidents that really pissed me off, but instead of blowing up, I rolled with the punches and just tried to be a team player. Maybe my personality isn't one that should do stuff like that, or maybe I should try more stress relieving activities. Unfortunately I can't get to the range as often as I liked, even I am starting to worry about my drinking and I think Ktreva is annoyed by how many times a day I try to give her a ride on the ol' love rocket.

Most of the problems started two months ago when I went to Tennessee with Bloodspite. While I was away my peers volunteered my people to handle a project that not only would take forever and a day to complete but would tie up at least 2 people a day, every day until it's finished. Than one of my highest producing employees gave birth taking her out of the office for 2 months. A lot of my people had vacation time making me even more short staffed. We had to give up people to help other areas and there was no one to assist me. There were days that I actually had 3 of the 17 people that work for me working on our daily work.

Then my grandmother died. While I was out of the office then a decision was made that three of my people would assist another arena everyday until they get caught up, be damned what my workload was. Rumor has it that it was stated that the decision was made while I was out of the office because "Contagion wouldn't go for this if he was here." Then they didn't even have the common courtesy or respect to advise me of the situation when I returned. I had to learn it from my employees and when I asked about the plan I was blown off.

Yet, I kept rolling with it and doing my best to keep everyone appraised of my situation and what I'm trying to do to correct it. Right now I'm back logged so badly that I'm in violation of state law and the company is paying fines. No matter what I said, no one else seemed to listen. Until today that is. I finally got them to understand that my unit can't handle everything dumped on them, I can't get assistance for them and I need to start pulling resources back to correct the situation.

Well one of my peers whom had the assistance I was providing pulled got upset and sent me a nasty e-mail stating that I wasn't looking at the big picture and taking care of our customers. The is the peer that had the assistance pulled from my area when my grandmother died.

I came unglued.

I responded with a rather lengthy e-mail explaining how I took offense to what they implied and I felt they were out of line. I explained the entire situation so she could see the big picture. It took me an hour to type it. Not because it's that long but because I had to re-write it three times. I was so mad the first three that it was really nasty and insulting. Even the copy I sent was pretty bad, but I couldn't make it any nicer. I wouldn't make it any nicer.

I'm fully expecting to get called into an office tomorrow, but I'm sticking to my guns. Even after cooling off I still want to go throttle the bitch.

Posted by Contagion at 06:35 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

January 07, 2008

I'm wearing shorts!

The weather here has been crazy the last couple of days. Yesterday Rockford Hit 60 degrees, and on the ride home tonight I hear we set a record high for today at 63 degrees. 63 degrees in January, okay... that's just wrong. To make matters worse we had a severe thunderstorm come through that produced a tornado. Yes, a tornado in Northern Illinois in January. This is just freaky.

A popular local attraction was destroyed by the tornado, or so the news says. My main thing is that I haven't heard from Graumagus. His house is out in the area the tornado touched down. One of the news reports I heard advised that some of the houses in his community were damaged. Nothing serious, but there was some storm damage. I'm sure everything is okay with him and his family, but it sure would be nice to hear from him just to know for sure.

Posted by Contagion at 07:01 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Winter Camp

I got back from Fort Obie Winter Camp yesterday. It was a lot of fun. It was good seeing the guys again and choking down a beer or twelve. I was seriously over prepared for this event. Based on my experience with these guys and some of the stories they've told I was expecting an over-period correct event with no modern stuff. Come to find out, this is a relaxed event meant just as an excuse for the guys to get together during the off season.

I brought a ton of food with as I wasn't sure what the eating arrangements were, only to get there and find out that I really didn't need to. However, my contribution to the snack table of pepper cheese, pickled mushrooms and herring fillets in mustard sauce was much appreciated. And even though Will made fun of me for bringing a cutting board, they all sure seemed to use it, especially when slicing cheese.

Speaking of Cutting the Cheese. You stick that many mean in the same place all drinking beer, eating bean soup, pickled stuff, cheese and sausages at night you get a symphony of body noises. Holy crap! I would wake up in the night to hear everyone snoring, blowing arse or burping. Add to that the couple that talked in their sleep, it got a little unnerving. To hear someone mutter in their sleep, "Don't worry, it'll be over soon. It's not going to hurt" really creeped me out! I was rather happy I was sleeping with a knife.

Saturday night, reader and commenter Petey decided that his mission in life was to make my eyes water with his gaseous emanations. There are a couple of benches at the fort that aren't going to need to be sealed because he gave them a good shellacking with his arse juices. If that wasn't bad enough, most of the time I was sitting right next to him. There was a couple of times someone broke wind that I really wished I had no sense of smell.

It was a great time and we all had fun. The weather was warmer than I would have liked. I kid you not it hit the sixties on Sunday and was in the mid forties on Saturday. That warm weather melted all the snow turning the ground to mud. It really sucked. Plus I sleep better when it's colder.

Posted by Contagion at 06:28 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 04, 2008

Starting the season early.

Itís January fourth, the temps outside are in the 20ís and Iím doing something Iíve never done before this weekend. Iím re-enacting in January. Thatís right; Iím starting my season four months early. After getting voted into the ONW Company I decided that Iím going to actually participate in their winter camps. Iíve been invited in the past, but never felt right in attending because I wasnít a member.

Right now Iím getting ready to head out. Iím pretty excited as I have a very bad case of the Rendeflu (The illness re-enactors get when they are long away from a re-enactment or Rendezvous). Which is pretty funny since itís been only two months since the Ball and two and a half months from my last re-enactment. Normally the Rendeflu doesnít hit me until February, usually right after the Super Bowl.

Now Ktreva and the boys arenít joining me for various reasons. Ktrevaís biggest reasoning is that, ďItís cold and youíre insane for wanting to camp in this weather!Ē I on the other hand figure Iíll spend most of the time in the cabin, only leaving to use the out house. Itís the only time when you look forward to being the second person having to use it so the seat is warmed.

Iíll be back on Sunday! Donít have too much fun.

Posted by Contagion at 06:31 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 03, 2008

New Years Eve.

Okay it's been a couple of days and I'm sure some of you... okay maybe one of you... is wondering what happened. Well it was fun, I think. Honestly I really don't remember. Hell, I don't remember who all was there.

I have a traditional of being a little socially lubricated, it helps me overcome my shyness. This year was no exception. The first guests showed up a little after 5:00. I remembered guests showing up regularly after that up until someone noticed a wooden box I had in my office. I explained it was Shut the Box, an old pub game. After a very quick explanation of the rules, as it is a simple game to play, they decided they wanted to play. After the first couple of rounds others joined in. The next thing I know some arsehole decided that just taking a drink of beer for the loser wasn't good enough, it had to be shots. After that everything went down hill.

I have no recollection of the rest of the night. Well except playing drunken Wii at 2:00 in the morning. Apparently I was calling people on the phone, texting people, talking to people that called me on the phone and much more. I don't recall any of it. Allegedly I was rather amusing.

So if you received a phone call from me, a Text message from me or I spoke to you on the phone that night. I apologize for anything I may have said or done that could be construed as offensive. If you just found me amusing, than I'm glad I could be of assistance!

Posted by Contagion at 07:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A wee bit nipply

They've been talking about how cold it's going to be today all week. I just ignored it figuring that, yeah it gets cold during the winter.

I had to re-evaluate my assessment as I watched the exhaust pour out of the four inch tailpipe on my truck like a spy car pumping out a smoke screen. If that wasn't bad enough, I had to giggle as the exhaust froze on the windshield of the car behind me thick enough to impede their vision.

Now that's cold!

Posted by Contagion at 06:16 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 02, 2008

St. Benedict's Winter Ale.

I was originally going to review this beer last week, but I was so busy being anti-sober that I forgot to do my beer review. When I asked Ktreva if I should do it at 8:00 AM on Thursday she told me no. She lost 5 points off of her enabler card. Tonightís beer is the last in the winter themed beers I was doing in December. Shadoglare of Refractional Darkness was kind enough to sponsor tonightís review by providing me with St. Benedictís Winter Ale By Stevens Point Brewery.

St. Benedict's Winter Ale

The delivery method was a 12oz brown bottle. The neck label has the breweryís logo on it. The main body label has a picture of a Monk (St. Benedict I assume) sitting in a monastery reading a book by candlelight. The name of the beer is on a blue banner across the middle of the picture.

The ale has a nice dark brown color with slight copper tones to it. It poured a quarter inch tan head made up of a mix of small to large bubbles that rapidly dissipated into a ring around the glass. There was very minimal lacing.

When held to the nose you get an aroma of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and roasted malts. A hint of alcohol can also be detected. The taste is much like the smell. You have all the spices and malts that combine to give it slight biscuit undertone. There is enough alcohol in this beer that you can feel it warm on the way down.

This is a light bodied beer; there really isnít much to it.

This beer pleasantly surprised me. I was expecting something kind of awful, but it really turned out pleasant. I could see someone sitting next to a fire on a cold winterís evening drinking one of these. I give it a 5 out of 10.

Posted by Contagion at 08:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack