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Smithwick's

I traveled to Ireland about four and a half years ago, and again, about a year and a half ago. Both times, I rejoiced in the delicious beers that were available on the emerald isle. Kilkenny, Caffrey's, Murphy's, Guinness, Beamish, and my favorite of them all: Smithwick's. After my first trip to Ireland, my friend, Amanda visited Ireland with her family, and just before she left, I told her that she needed to try Smithwick's(pronounced "Smithix") when she got there.

She called me at three in the morning from Dublin, and exclaimed how much she loved it. That settled that.

About six weeks ago, the state of Missouri got with the program, and started offering this exceptional beer for sale within its borders. The deal was authorized by people dressed like this.

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With all this in mind, I arranged a meeting of the minds at O'Dowd's on the Plaza in Kansas City, in order to drink and assess this beer.

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As you can see, it pours dark, with a thick, creamy head. I must admit, however, it's not as tasty as I remember it being in Ireland, but it's the closest in flavor to its original of any european import that I know. Before I fully realized this, however, it was gone, and we switched tables.

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Upon my urging, we finished our drinks, and left for Harry's in the River Market, but not before getting a crazy shot of Nathan.

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As well, Geoff, the birthday boy, noticed (after I showed him) that the current date was precisely seventy years after the one listed on this poster we saw.

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Then, we went to Harry's, and got a couple candid shots. The first picture is Josh, my new roommate, making nice with a nice girl named Myra.

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Here are Josh's friend, Josh, and Geoff's friend, Erp.

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I don't know who these people are.

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Ratings (out of ten):

Flavor: 8 (It has a creamy taste, like Guinness without the stout flavor.)

Body: 9 (Its heady texture and creamy... what-have-you, stay with you.)

Aroma: 7 (It actaully smells great, and smells almost exactly like it tastes.)

Smoothness: 9 (I could drink this beer all night, if not for the fact that...)

Price: 4 (...it costs over four dollars, which is high in Kansas City. I still need to try it at Buzzard Beach.)

11:29 PM, Sep 2, 2004
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The Biggest of Apples

Here I am, one hour into the future, in the Brooklyn apartment of my generous friends Joel and Susie. I arrived in town last night, and was taken to a local watering hole that specializes in having roughly a ton of beers on tap. Even with this in mind, we still managed to get up at 6:30 this morning, with no alarm. Today, I plan on heading into the "city" to look around on my own, while Joel takes care of some business, and Susie goes to work. Expect pictures.

6:00 AM, Sep 3, 2004

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New York Pictures

I have finished the page of the pictures from my recent trip to New York. You can find them in the pictures section.

7:41 PM, Sep 7, 2004

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Underground Paris

I just spotted this, courtesy Kansas City transit advocate Heidi, last night. Simply amazing.

10:03 AM, Sep 9, 2004

4 comments »»
Dry Stout

For your beer this week, I took advantage of a Friday afternoon at home, and ambled on over to Tanner's. I wasn't really in the mood for anything complicated, and luckily, Tanner's doesn't have anything of the sort. I always enjoy going into a bar when it isn't busy. You get to see all the people that decent people scoff at, while they're still sober.

Just before leaving, I had been carrying on in the kcgeek IRC channel in a rather, "zany," manner, such as to bring the false impression upon various people that I had already been drinking. I informed the folks on the channel that I was heading to Tanner's for a beer, and was met with the following reactions.

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Not one to disappoint, I walked straight over to Tanner's, and had the friendly bar steward pour me a glass of Boulevard Dry Stout, which has always been one of my favorites, here in town, and a glass of Flying Monkey for demian.

The big buzz, these days, is an unhealthy diet style, involving the deprivation of your body of carbohydrates, in order to quickly and dangerously have your body eat through your fat instead of carbohydrates. For those of you out there with this ridiculous, self-destructive hangup, stout is the beer for you. Lower in carbohydrates, and in calories, than any other real beer. (note: anything with "lite," "light," or "ultra," in its name is not a real beer.)

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The beer pours as black as night, not even translucent, while demian's beer sat patiently, waiting for me to finish.

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And finish I did! I celebrated by paying and tipping.

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Ratings (out of ten):

Flavor: 7 (It definitely tastes like a stout, but admittedly, Tanner's supply was not the freshest, and you could tell in the slight unpleasant, out of place bitter tinge.)

Body: 9 (Thick and creamy, this stuff gets noticed, until you've had four or so.)

Aroma: 6 (My nose is stuffed up, so I like to imagine that it smells like pepperoni pizza. I know from previous experience, however, that it does not.)

Smoothness: 8 (This is what separates this stuff from Guinness. It goes down very easily, so you can drink this all night without even knowing what you're getting yourself into.)

Price: 7 (I don't rightly recall what it cost, but the total for the two beers was $6.25, so it couldn't have been much.)

3:00 PM, Sep 10, 2004
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Web Based

The whole website can be managed from web interfaces I've built, now. I have done some rather annoying work on the site, in order to get it all working in such a way that the layout and posting method can all be handled or changed easily. It's all a process, and working on this website, writing the whole thing by hand, from the ground up, has been very valuable to me. I'm glad you've been along. Both of you.

I stayed in last night, still feeling a slight headache from Friday night, when Nathan and I met up with Josh in Westport. Lots of walking, bus rides, and a short cab ride on the way home. I spent last night on another downloading spree, getting a copy of Harold and Kumar, an Aqua Teen episode, and a couple of songs from Cake's new album.

Otherwise, things have been quiet. Geoff's been in Alaska all week, so I drove myself to work every day, and worked full, five-hour days all week. I know. My life is hard. I need a dentist.

3:32 PM, Sep 12, 2004

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Redid Picture Index

I just redesigned the pictures page. Enjoy. Here's a Link, to exist alongside others prevalent on the page.

9:43 PM, Sep 12, 2004

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Another New Layout

I know I said I wouldn't mess with it again, but what do I know?

If the picture in the menu on the left is gaping over the side, then just reload the page. That means that you have looked at the site recently(good for you!), and that image's old size is cached in your browser history. If you don't know what that means, just hit F5, stop asking questions, and do as you're told!

5:04 PM, Sep 14, 2004

5 comments »»
Education Dilemma

Recently, there has been a discussion on a local website, exploring the various reasons for the inadequacy of our system of public education in America. Numerous reasons were cited, and perhaps some were even right, but what the discussion led me to, but couldn't answer, was the following question:

Why do teachers pay for insurance?

I'm not talking about conventional, everyday insurance, like that which protects one's automobile, home, health, or wallet from injury expenses. I refer to some kind of insurance for which classroom teachers are liable, presumably for the safety of the children in their classes. Is that what the insurance is for?

What seems obvious to me is that the safety of children in school is the responsibility of the body that governs the school- the school district, the diocese, the committee, whatever -and to push the financial responsibility upon those who can least afford it, and for whom the responsibility hardly applies, in my opinion, is a backwards way of thinking. It's prohibitively expensive, and leads hapless teachers into joining unions that don't seem to do a whole lot, in the way of improving the lives of their members.

This leads me to another question:

What else do teachers' unions do for their members, besides pay their insurance?

The primary responsibility of a labor union is to represent and promote the interests of its members, in the form of better pay, working conditions, health arrangements, and to enforce the benefits already acquired. The reality, however, is that teachers are still some of the worst-paid people in America, and only through long tenure in a major suburban school district, can they seem to make any money.

Could someone tell me what the teachers' unions are doing that helps their members? They don't seem to be of any use, from what I've seen, and seem to maintain membership by blackmailing people with this odd insurance situation. At the same time, I'm not in the education industry, and I don't have a finger on the pulse of these things. That's why I'm asking anyone who reads this site to fill me in on the subject.

Any input would be appreciated.

9:01 AM, Sep 15, 2004

14 comments »»
What the?

I'm sure you are familiar with websites that name themselves, based on popular misspellings of the names of major websites. I have seen Ebya, Googl, Microsot, and my favorite: Yagoo!. These pages, in case you don't want to load them up and enjoy popups and worthless ads, squat on these erroneously typed domains, hoping to generate hits through people's clumsy fingers.

I was informed yesterday of a website that has just recently come into being. Yes, unless some other meaning can be discovered of the word, bahua dot com has an evil shadow. Renae pointed out to me that if you take your browser to bahau.com(don't click if you don't want to be offended, or fired, if you're at work), you will be whisked away to one of those anonymous-looking porn index sites with which the information superhighway seems to be paved.

I did a bit of research(ie: I ran a whois command), and found the following information on this site:

Registrant:

e:bOOm, S.A. Apartado 6092 Lisboa, Lisboa 1601-901 Lisboa PT Created on: 28-JUL-04

Technical Contact:

Morales, Vilma administration@eboomsa.com

So they're Portuguese! I think it's entirely possible that Mister or Miss Morales registered this site by sheer coincidence, but I like to think that someone in faraway Portugal is trying to feed off the "popularity" of bahua dot com. One thing that I hope this teaches you, dear reader, is to use a bookmark for this page.

9:44 AM, Sep 22, 2004

5 comments »»
Another New Car

I went to Jack Miller Subaru tonight and purchased a new car. I was tired of paying the, "highest bills ever," for the WRX, and found that it's still in good condition, and worth a good trade, so I traded it for the next lowest grade: the Impreza 2.5 RS. I might post pictures of it sometime, but it's doubtful. I don't look at the purchase as a life improvement. I look at it as a necessary budget cut.

First Friday is this weekend in the Crossroads district, here in town, and for the first time since April or May, I will be attending. I have been out of town every other time since then. With all the new bars and restaurants in the area, it promises to be an excellent time.

Also, Karl Denson is coming to Davey's on the 9th.

10:16 PM, Sep 28, 2004

12 comments »»
Password Change

I wrote this thing so you can change your password if you like. If you don't remember your password, just send me an email, and I'll set things aright for you. A permanent link to that page will be in the comments interface, for future reference.

4:15 PM, Sep 29, 2004

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Computers That Die

I ordered a new motherboard for my linux machine this week, a Shuttle of some kind, and it arrived today. As I commenced surgery on the old machine, taking it apart to put the new motherboard in, I saw the reason for the trouble I'd been having. To bring you up to speed, Vesuvius, as this machine is called, has had heat issues for as long as I've had it, and has had to have its cover off all the time, to avoid the heat alarm going off. Most recently, it's been dying inexplicably, and with no warning or sign of what happened.

This got to the point that If I would turn this machine on, it would start making randomly paced, pitched, and long beeps, as if a game of pac-man was running merrily inside the case. Not one to press the issue, I turned it off, and guessed that the motherboard had had it. It indeed had, as I found out today, when I tried to detach the power supply cable from the motherboard.

Dead Computer

Definitely a very dead machine. My only guess is that somehow, long ago, the burnt piece, which wasn't burnt at the time, pressed its copper wires into the plastic of the plastic housing of the power supply plug, slowly melting through it over a period of two years, to the point that the coppser wires came into contact with the metal rods that provide electricity to the motherboard, causing a neat little devastating electrical circuit.

Anyway, it's dead, and now I need to go and buy a new power supply.

6:19 PM, Sep 30, 2004

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