The Beer Corner: Blue Point Brewing Company Hoptical Illusion

The newest beer I tried out for The Heap’s Beer Corner is Hoptical Illusion, an India Pale Ale (IPA) by Blue Point Brewing Company out of Long Island, New York.

This beer was chosen because I wanted to try out a different IPA, since I do enjoy that style of beer. As usual, poured at fridge temperature into my official beer tasting mug!

Pouring: A smooth pour, a slight hoppy smell emerges, small foam head forms once contents are completely poured

Smell: Slight hoppy smell noted, but actually seems to dissipate. The normal aroma of beer, nothing special.

Sounds: A foamy head forms, and you can hear it if you put your ear to it. Beer sounded normally active for a beer that forms a head.

Sights: A white foamy head of 1cm forms, and dissipates away as you drink. Color is a light amber, and beer is translucent. Also appears active, as you can see a lot of bubbles emerging to the top!

Taste: Was quite noticeably bitter at first taste. Decently smooth, but lacking the slight creamy texture of other favored IPAs. Left an undesirable aftertaste.

Overall: This beer did not offer the greatest experience… I was looking forward to trying this one since I do like IPAs, but it was just a bit too bitter for me. Probably the first beer in a long time that I struggled to finish. I did not enjoy it at all, but I will make it a point to give Blue Point another chance when I go to restock in the next few weeks. Would not buy again.

4.5 / 10 Bags

Nostalgia

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Here at my high school playoff football game! So muched has changed since I went to school here. I was reminiscing with a fellow alum at how compared to now it was a dump!

Going into the 4th quarter, Jesuit was down 21-7 and not looking good. Defense can’t hold the Robinson rushing attack. Also, the starting qb was benched for the third quarter. Just faked a punt and drew a pass inteference penalty… getting interesting!

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The Heap Reviews: Faster

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s expected return to the action genre hit theaters Wednesday, as he finally escapes the clutches of fluffy Disney scripts. Faster anoints Johnson’s character, only known as Driver, as an arbiter of vengeful fate, as he attempts to avenge the murder of his brother.

The movie begins with Driver in a prison cell, where the audience finds out that he has been in for 1o years. Driver is pacing back and forth like a caged animal, anxious to get out.

What ensues is 90 minutes of moderately packed action with subtle moments of humor. Faster does not try to be anything but what it is advertised as, a revenge rampage. There are no distractions (to the movie at least) by scantily clad women, or unnecessary sex scenes. There is no exasperating attempt to construct a dark, complex character. The plot is very linear, and the line is going downhill. There is no stopping fate, now that Driver has become the deliverer of fate to the murderers of his brother.

That’s not to suggest that the plot does not get a bit complex. Vigilante justice is often met with police resistance, as is the case in this movie. Billy Bob Thornton does a spectacular job doing what he does best- playing a slimeball. It’s a race to see if the police can catch up with Driver before he doles out punishment to all offenders, and who ultimately completes their mission.

There is also an assassin sent to eliminate Driver before he gets to kill all of his brother’s murderers. This wildcard of a figure adds to the overall suspense and thrill as the pursuer is being pursued twofold.

The prevalent themes of the movie were of forgiveness as well as pushing the limits. There are many clues that reveal Driver as a symbolic supernatural force, particularly one of righteous punishment. He’s referred to as a ghost and demon numerous times, not to mention the many times he survives in the movie. He makes quick work of the murderers, often killing them immediately with a shot to the head. He wasn’t interested in suffering, only delivering a death sentence of retribution. Ultimately without spoiling the movie, Driver may not ultimately forgive, but he is able to regain some semblance of  humanity through compassion and reflection.

I particularly enjoyed how the movie parallels the assassin, the Cop (Billy Bob Thornton’s character), and Driver as going through the same ordeal. Cop is addicted to dope, and the movie deals with how much is he willing to do to satiate with addiction. The Assassin is a killer for sport and ego, and his motives are in question as he pushes himself to the limit to see if he can get the job done. And obviously, Driver pushes his need to avenge to the limits of humanity. Like the title implies, when does one reach the limit? Or do you go faster until oblivion?

Overall, I thought the film was awesome. It is enthralling, dark, and entertaining. It is emotionally engaging, and it certainly sparks up one’s imagination for it one were in the same situation. Would you spare the murderers? Or shoot them all in the name of vengeance? I appreciated how tasteful it was. It was not overly grotesque nor saturated in gratuitous “nudie shots.” And of course, any movie that showcases a Chevelle SS and a GTO is ok in my book.

The movie was strictly business, just like Johnson’s character. It got the job done. As long as you don’t go in expecting an Best Film Oscar contender, you should leave feeling satisfied.

7.5 / 10 Bags

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Now the Waiting Begins!

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After a full morning of preparations, the turkey is finally in the oven! I also prepared my aunts recipe for sweet potatoes! There is the before picture for the turkey, and my sweet potato dish is complete!

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The Van Beckons

I had to share this commercial. I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about it. I don’t understand why, but man, this commercial makes me laugh like a mad man… especially when the panther flashes up, and the pyrotechnic explosions occur at the end. Nothing like a satirical take on 80s and 90s rock to appeal to the average family man who might dread the idea of driving a van.

Again, I have no idea why I find it so funny! It has to be the epicness of the music and effect… not to mention the guy’s acting.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Columbus Blue Jackets Unveil New Third Jersey

Steven Stamkos Curtis Joseph #31 of the Toronto Maple Leafs makes the save on Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning on February 12, 2009 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Steven Stamkos;Curtis Joseph

The Heapmaster is a HUGE hockey fan. The Lightning have been tearing it up lately and I am finally making it to a game on Saturday! I can’t wait to finally return to The Forum. It’s been way too long.

I’m also a big fan of jerseys- histories, changes, additions. The big news today is that the Columbus Blue Jackets finally unveiled their third jersey. The concept of the third jersey has an interesting history in the NHL. The concept was most rampant in the 90’s  when it seemed that everyone and their mother was having a third jersey. (This seemed to usher in the “black era” in the NHL where EVERYONE tried to incorporate black into their color scheme)

The 90’s and early 2000’s were an experimental period for jerseys. Most concepts were horrendous, with giant alternate logos, crazy color schemes, and all sorts of abstract ideas. Here are some brutal ones:

The Dallas Stars had a classic one, nicknamed the “Mooterus” after the female reproductive system…

The Mooterus: NHL fans have a great sense of humor

The Anaheim (formerly) Mighty Ducks had a terrible one:

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Yes, this is a real jersey.

The Islanders might have faced copyright infringement charges.

Hey, isn't that the Gorton's fisherman?

The point is is that Thirds are historically bad, especially back in the day when a hockey jersey seemed to be a canvas for amateur designers. Thankfully, after the lockout, third jerseys took more of a throwback for most teams and less ostentatious and bizarre.

So here it is, the new Columbus Blue Jackets jersey:

This is third jersey perfection. I like the omission of red instead of using the usual color scheme for the team. It gives it more of a timeless look. The use of the circle crest is excellent, not to mention the use of the cannon as the main fixture of the logo.

A lot of the “leaking” information hinted at keeping a navy blue sweater. I wondered how this would work and be unique enough being that CBJ has a navy home jersey already! The attempt at delivering a tasteful “throwback-ish” distince sweater was wonderfully executed!

Kudos to the designers of this jersey!

The Beer Corner: Dogfish Head Raison D’etre

The newest Beer Corner review is of Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre!

This beer was chosen because I am a fan of the Dogfish Head IPAs and I wanted to try something else they crafted. Served from a refrigerated bottle into my official review mug.

Pouring: A smooth pour, no interaction with air, as no head forms during or after pour. Strong raisin scent emerges as you pour, can be overwhelming

Smell: Distinct smell of raisins fill the air and is quite powerful. I was not close to the mug and could smell it. Was quite surprising.

Sounds: Since no head forms or there is not activity during the pour, there is no noticeable sound

Sights: No head forms after poring. Color is a robust brown, and is fairly transparent. No noticeable particles in liquid.

Taste: Like the color, it is very robust. You can easily taste the raisins. Sweet at first, moderate and enjoyable taste of alcohol, hint of a bitter aftertaste.

Overall: I love the DH IPAs (60 min and 90 min) and as I stated above, as interested in a different style of crafting from this brewery. It certainly was not what I expected (in a good way) and I was very surprised and how enjoyable the beer was. The raisin smell is surprising and strong. At first I couldn’t figure out what I was smelling, and then realizing it was the beer I just poured! An effort that would make the Belgians proud! Delicious. Would buy again.  Have to appreciate the beer’s “wordplay” with the name (The French “Raison” pronounced closely as raisin) Also, at 8% alcohol by volume, a nice little buzz.

8 / 10 Bags.

 

Brad Childress Fired, A new Favre Watch Begins

Earlier this afternoon, Brad Childress was mercifully fired by the Minnesota Vikings after a 3-7 record into this season. Not really a surprise after a team many expected to be neck and neck for the NFC North crown with the Green Bay Packers has a solid 1 game lead over the Detroit Lions in the race for the NFC North basement. (Luckily, the Carolina Panthers have the NFL basement locked up)

Instead, the circus has been in town for the past two years in the Twin Cities. Starting with Childress’  courtship of Brett Favre after the Jets offered a cordial “no thanks” to Favre and his ego, to this offseason’s continuance to stroke Favre’s ego, the Randy Moss situation and mismanagement of the team eventually lead to his demise.

As many other sports journalists are writing, with Childress’ head delivered, so too should Brett Favre’s be, right there on a silver platter. Some argue that his legend is dead. Is he playing for stats? Records? Money? Veteran leadership opportunities? Brett is a hall of fame quarterback in the green and yellow. The past three years have been a farce. Favre benefited last year from the opponent’s fear of their rushing game, not to mention one of the best defenses in the league. Both have been ordinary this season, and that’s being generous.

So Favre was left to be quarterback. It’s what everyone wanted, right? the problem is that he has nothing left to prove. Nothing but unsubstantiated hoopla. A consecutive starts streak, yard, touchdowns sacks… you name it… all in the name of Brett Favre.

My favorite was how he wanted to bring a Superbowl to Minnesota. Riiiight. It takes a team to get there, and right now, Brett Favre is the team. And all that is is a name, a name of old that can only play like he is old. 2011 starts today for Minnesota, it should be Tavaris Jackson time- at least for the rest of the season. Whether he is or isn’t the guy is topic enough for another entry, and one that I won’t do being as that I don’t care about the Vikings or Favre.

Lastly, I think one very important fact is getting lost amid all of this chaos and instability at the head coaching position around the league.

The packers have now delivered the knockout punch to TWO coaches! The Cowboys promptly fired Wade Phillips after the Pack stomped all over Dallas, and now Childress. And believe it or not, they have the chance to deliver 2 more by the end of the season! Week 13 brings the 49ers to Lambeau where Mike Singletary has been on the hot seat after a horrendous start. The last week of the season has Lovie Smith and the Bears coming to town. It seems that it is Playoffs of bust for Chicago this year. We’ll have to stay tuned to see if the Packers can take out any more head coaches!

The Beer Corner: Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic

Welcome to The Heap’s newest segment, The Beer Corner! I’ve always been a beer lover, and I’ve come to learn about an appreciate all different types of beer and its intricacies such as appearance, taste, smell, and so on.

In town, we have a few stores that carry different craft and imported brews. One In particular, Total Wine, has literally an entire aisle of single bottles of beer! So what I will do periodically is go and “create my own custom six pack!” Thus, since trying new beers is sort of a hobby, why not blog about it, right?

 

Our first review is Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic!

Our first sampling actually occurred as an accident. I had initially bought this beer for my girlfriend (since she isn’t a fan of beer, but likes fruity ones!). She ended up not liking it so I had to drink the rest!

The beer was refrigerator temperature and poured from a 12 oz bottle into my official Beer Corner mug  (unfrozen).

Pouring: Pours smoothly, and you can notice the hint of fruity aroma while the mug fills up. Almost no head forms when poured.

Smell: Once poured, you can smell a cranberry aroma, but also, there is a more than expected scent of alcohol.

Sounds: Since no head forms or there is not activity during the pour, there is no noticeable sound

Sights: No head forms after poring. Color is reddish and beer is cloudy with noticeable particulates. Color is not as prominent as expected or experienced from other lambics I’ve tried.

Taste: Textbook Sam Adams Taste (hint of bitterness), Cranberry taste is not as strong as experienced in other lambics. Alcohol taste is much more noticeable and borderline overpowering. Minimal aftertaste.

Overall: It was an enjoyable bottle of beer. While lambics aren’t usually my cup of tea, Sam Adams’ venture into this Belgian style is commendable. I think it could have used more of a fruity taste, and maybe more of a reddish hue to really give it more of an authentic look and taste. Probably not something I’d crave or by a six pack of in the future.

6.5 / 10 Bags.


Garage Sale: Take 2

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Here we go for our second garage sale! Finally getting all of our crap out of the garage! Word from mom is if we don’t sell it, it’s gone to charity!

Also hoping to get rid of our old dining room set, china cabinet and entertainment center! Send them my way if you know anyone in need of some furniture!

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