Sunday, December 30, 2007

Equate Nite Time--Original Flavor

Appearance: Deep green...almost glows.
Smell: Old School Medicine
Taste: Medicine with notes of honeydew and paint a bottle of the blue MD 20/20 that's been opened in your fridge for over a year
Mouthfeel: thick and burning
Drinkability: N/A

Overall Grade: F
The Old School NyQuil flavor is awful. I'll always go for the cherry flavor, no matter which generic variation I try.

Vicks NyQuil Cherry Flavor

Appearance: Pours like a thick red juice.
Smell: Mediciny laced with essence of cherry
Taste: Sour cherries with a thick medicine aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Thick, producing a slight burning a bottle of old wine or MD 20/20
Drinkability: Must be chased by a ton of water

I've been alternating between a bottle of Vick's Cherry flavored and Equate (Wal Mart Brand) Original flavor (review to follow). This is the better of the two. I'll review strictly based upon taste, as it's hard for me to tell if either are doing their job.

Overall taste grade: D+
PQ: 0.91

Friday, December 28, 2007

I was making balloon animals...

Ocean, Mountains, Rocks and Car Bombs

Yesterday we decided to take a walk towards Kaena point, the Northwestern-most spot on Oahu. In the parking lot, we saw a group of men holding hands in prayer. After they left, Sonya and the boys said a little prayer of their own.

We didn't get too far, as the boys were walking on their own...lots of rocks and hills to distract them. Those rocks weren't going to throw themselves, so now I have a sore arm trying to hurl big rocks into the ocean.

It was a very windy day.

Here's the highlight of the trip, at least for the boys...a bombed out car. This was the biggest piece of litter we found, but not the most common. Like much of Hawaii, the ground here is littered with Heineken glass. They love their Heineken in Hawaii. Heineken's advertising campaign locally is "Keep Hawaii Green". They've taken that slogan to heart here, peppering the roadways with broken glass. This shit's everywhere. Too bad, because this looks like a fun spot to ride a mountain bike, or better yet a BMX...though dodging the glass would be a real hassle.

Not shown in this picture is the mobile meth lab the boys found. Sonya's describing how it works.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Brew Masters Private Reserve

Finally opened the much anticipated 2007 Brew Masters Private Reserve from Budweiser. This 46.5 ounze lager born on 15 Oct 07 weighs in at a hefty 8.5% alcohol/volume.

Here's the label description:

"Decades ago, Budweiser brewmasters started a holiday tradition carried on to this day. Once each year, the brewmasters create a rich, flavorful reserve brew, prized for its unusual smoothness. This limited edition brew is then shared exclusively with family and close friends. Introductin Brew Masters Private Reserve Vintage 2007. This year's brew, a blend of four malts balanced with Bavarian Hops is copper in color, with ruby highlights and a rich caramel aroma. The enticing taste of the 2007 selection is a malty Doppelbock, full and quite smooth, with a classic noble hop finish - perfect for the holidays to share with your family and friends."

This was a damn good beer. Hard to believe Budweiser created this brew. I give it a solid B+. Sonya gave it a B...not sure why she couldn't give it higher marks. I can't find any real flaws with the beer. I've had a few Doppelbocks, but am no expert on that beer style. This was one smooth beer, and I could hardly tell by taste that it packs an 8.5% wallop. The only downside to this beer is that it's only sold in 46.5 ounce magnum bottles. At $11.50 each, it's not cheap. I guess it's like buying wine.

Strap's PQ =13.3
Sonya's PQ = 12.1

**Note that this beer was $.2473 PPO. Very high, so it skews the PQ. This is definitely a "special occasion" beer. I'll buy again in '08.

Also watched Superbad tonight...funniest movie I've ever seen. I talked Sonya in to agreeing with me there...couldn't convince her the Brew Masters' a B+.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Bavarian Wheat

This was the last beer of the Michelob Ales and Lagers sampler pack and hands down the best. Overall grade = B. It tasted just like a Hefeweizen should. Only critique was it was slightly bitter. I have one other Hefeweizen in my fridge--a Gordon Biersch. The Michelob kicks its ass.

PQ = 36

The sampler pack has a PQA (PQ Average) of 30.9.

Merry Christmas

Once a year I get to wear my festive holiday t-shirt.

Monday, December 24, 2007


I also tried the Porter last night. Overall, a C+. I like a good Porter, especially the one I brew or Kona Brewing Company's Pipeline Porter (brewed w/ 100% Kona Coffee). The beer was very drinkable, smooth...hops weren't too strong. It was somewhat creamy, leaving a slight aftertaste of butter...or maybe margarine. That's the only downside to this beer. Without the butter aftertaste, would've been a solid B+.


I had planned on cracking open the Brewmaster Reserve tonight, but Sonya came down with the flu...I definitely need to share this monster brew.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Michelob Pale Ale

Give this one a B-. The Pale Ale is my favorite style of beer, as I'm a huge fan of Hops. It's hard for me to pass up on a Sierra Nevada, as they seem to do it best. Like their Marzen, Michelob's Pale Ale is a watered down version of the style. The beer was hoppy, but didn't have the same bite as a Sierra Nevada. The beer poured very clear, and you can tell that Michelob heavily filters their beer. For this style, I like a little sediment.

Although this doesn't compare to my favorite beer, it's still a mighty tasty beverage. If Anheuser-Busch sold this beer at Budweiser prices, I'd start drinking it on a regular basis.


Michelob Marzen

This is the first of the Anheuser-Busch specialty beers I've tried. Overall, I give this beer a C+...nothing special, but I'd drink it again if you handed me one. Seems a bit watered-down...granted not as watery as a Budweiser or Michelob Ultra, probably a bit too filtered for my taste. For this style of beer, I prefer the Sam Adams Oktoberfest.

I'd use the standard beer rating scheme I see on, but I'm not quite certain what they mean by "mouthfeel"...feels like beer to me.


Saturday, December 22, 2007


Was looking for something different yesterday and ran across these beers at the local Class Six. It appears Anheuser-Busch has gotten into the specialty beer market with its release of a Michelob variety pack (includes a Pale Ale, Bavarian Wheat, Marzen and Porter). In the center, we have the 2007 Brew Masters' Private Reserve--a rich, malty Doppelbock that features a toasted malt flavor and ruby red highlights.

I was just on the Anheuser-Bush website and noticed all the specialty and so-called microbrews they're producing. They also have a big hand in the import market. They practically own the American beer market.

Reviews to follow...

Latest Poll

Poll: Mitt Romney Is Candidate Most Voters Want To Get Into Bar Fight With

Friday, December 14, 2007

Crazy Ride

Warning...this is a rant.

Hadn't been able to ride in a couple of weeks, so was anxious to get on the bike this morning. Met up with another rider, Casey and headed to climb one of Oahu's steeper hills, Tantalus. Weather report called for a slight chance of rain and 30mph winds in the afternoon....however, as I've learned recently, weather forecasts for Oahu are notoriously inaccurate. It began pouring as we reached downtown Honolulu in the middle of rush hour. Aside from the heavy rain and pools of water, the ride to the base of Tantalus was uneventful. The five mile climb was great...took it fairly easy, as my legs aren't back at full strength. Got to the top, and the wind started to really pick up. As we started to descend, the wet roads, cool winds, wet socks made the ride very interesting...descending sucks to begin with, but cold feet and slick roads make it even more miserable....not to mention the truck that decided to drive in the middle of the road...we can call that near death experience #1. Aside from that, the climb was great and worth the trip out..on the other hand, the trip back made me never want to do it again. As we re-enter town, traffic was still pretty thick. One car attempted to cut me off, just after the driver laid on his horn as a 70 year old woman crossed the road. As we stop at the next traffic light, the car decides to weave around us and make a right hand turn in front of it turns, the Hawaiian woman sticks her head out the window and calls us "Fucking white trash!"...I couldn't tell if she removed the Marlboro from her mouth to utter this ironic slur. As we get into town, the rain starts to pickup...this time it's raining sideways, and it's damn cold. So, we have to get off the road for a few minutes...during the next leg of the ride, I had 2 cars cut me off. Normally this is now big deal...they cut me off, I yell, they give me the finger, I tell them I love them, we move on. The rain and wet brakes add another element, as I have very poor reaction time. At this point, I'm hyper-vigilant and ready to get on a highway with a bikelane. Turns out those are pointless, as many cars decided to block them out stop lights and the city finds it okay to sweep trash into the lanes. As we're riding down the bikelane, I'm riding about 10 yards behind thing I know, I see a truck ease over into the bike lane, nearly pushing him over the curb. We both yell at the guy, but doubt he could hear as he was glued to his cell phone.

I've had some shitty rides before, and usually have a couple of run-ins with idiots when riding through the city...this ride seemed unusually bad. Not sure if I'll be doing much riding through Honolulu, especially during the week. It's too bad, as it's necessary to pass through there in order to get to some of the better rides on the island.

Was in Borders tonight thumbing through Bicycling Magazine...found this article on bike-car crashes. It's too bad that some folks show more empathy towards drivers...doesn't make much sense to me.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Honolulu Marathon

Sonya and I ran the Honolulu Marathon last Sunday. Earlier in the week, I was feeling good about how well I'd perform at the marathon...thought for sure that I'd finish under 4 hours. Despite all the hardwork and preparation, it all does come down to how well you perform on that one day. Things weren't looking good Saturday morning when I woke up with a sore throat. Did all I could to combat it throughout the day but didn't have any success...felt a little bit of a fever when I went to bed. Still, I felt decent enough prior to the race start. The weather sucked, and there were some massive downpours right before the start...the road was wet and it was still humid. Standing at the start in the middle of 27,000 people didn't help cool things down. I started off at my planned pace...probably wasted a bunch of energy weaving around all the Japanese tourists running with their video cameras and Hello Kitty backpacks. Things were going OK the first 3 miles, but I did notice that I was drinking a lot more GU20 than normal...then there was a downpour...then my ipod broke...then i had to stop to forward to mile 13...I was on track for my 4-hour marathon. I'd planned to do the first half in 2:05 and the last half in 1:55 or better. When I tried to pick up the pace, got the first indication that my quads were stiff...not good as I knew full blown cramps weren't that far away. Time to reassess goals...I was able to keep up my pace until about mile 18, then it all fell apart...walking through water stations, 11 minute, 12 minute miles...then Sonya passed me looking super strong. I finally crossed the line at 4:26...17 minutes after Sonya. Oh well. I still beat Oprah's time, and was 9 minutes faster than my first marathon. This one hurt a lot more though...I could barely walk afterwards...lots of pain.

Luckily we stayed nearby at the Hale Koa hotel the night prior and of the marathon. Here I am about 2 hours after the race.

Here are my toes.

Best part of these races is that you burn a lot of've got to replenish. So, we went out for a few beers at the Yardhouse. We were crazy...barhopping like the old days. Had a whopping 6 beers at 4 Waikiki bars. We were wild!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Law of Time

Thought it was time for me to shift out of the Gregorian calendar paradigm, so I ordered a 13 month calendar.