Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Efes Malt Beverage

I got the urge to review some bad-tasting beer, so I picked up some NAs my last time downtown.  The fruity NAs I bought back in July are still in my fridge...the Bud Green Apple NA has made me leery of fruity NAs.  This fear has driven me back to drinking good old-fashioned alcohol free beer.  Efes is a beer I first tried back in Incirlik, Turkey.  There were 2 beers available downtown, Efes and Tuborg.  They also had the "Tuborg Special" which came in a red can.  It allegedly had a higher alcohol content than the black bottle Tuborg, but neither were marked...so as far as I'm concerned, the high alcohol content was just a legend.  Tuborg was the far superior beer, and at the time seemed drinkable.  Efes was pure pisswater.  It's one of the worst beers I've ever had.  It's been 8+ years since I've tried one, and I can't quite describe the taste...I do know that I wasn't able to finish my first can.  If the law of NA holds true, Efes Malt Beverage will make me spew my chow hall dinner all over this computer screen.  I opened the can shortly before sitting down to type this review...I'm starting the review before the sip, so I can capture my pre-drink thoughts.  Truthfully, the beer smells horrendous, and I'm afraid to taste it.  The taste of Efes Malt Beverage may drive me to opening up a Holsten Pomegranate just to cleanse the palate.  The smell is a mixture of skunked beer and rotten tomatoes...sort of reminds me of Bud & Clamato, only without the clam. 
It's been about 15 minutes since I opened the can...still stalling, googling Efes.  Their English website is still under construction.  If you can read Turkish, here's their official site.  I noticed on their corporate site that they also brew a beer called Marmara...I vaguely remember drinking it in Istanbul and thinking it was OK, even good when stacked up against Efes.  They didn't server Marmara in Incirlik.
Just checked a co-workers NA beer ratings....of 34 NAs he's rated, Efes NA ranks #33.  He ranks DAB NA #1, just above Haake Beck and St Pauli NA.
This is going to suck.
Some more websurfing...apparently they do have an English website.  It's called Dream in Efes...I clicked on the "Eye Candies" link to see what would happen.  Weird...there's a girl holding a rope, a guy holding a stick of fire, a girl on a magic carpet, a mermaid, and a dude on a stage looking like an American Idol contestant.  That's the Efes dream?
Ok..enough stalling.   Here goes...
I just took several sips trying to discern the taste. It's very hard to describe.  It's like a mixture of dishwater and beer and is only slightly more drinkable than the Bud Green Apple.  Time to head to the bar to get a Warsteiner...if for only to get this taste out of my mouth. 
Grade =  F
PQ = 0

Saturday, September 27, 2008

still jocks

hot half marathon

yesterday a half marathon was held here. due to some silly rules regarding safety and consuming water during ramadan, we had to run 7+ laps of a 1.8 mile loop. 50 or so people showed up to do the run. started at 6am...although the weather has improved lately, and we've actually had some cool mornings, yesterday was a bit humid. the run started fine...one guy took off at the beginning, and he wasn't to be seen again until he started lapping everyone. i hung with a group of about 10 people up at the front for awhile...only a couple of these guys looked like real runners, others looked like they were in over their heads. after a mile or two of that, i decided to slow down, knowing i'd need some energy when the sun came out. the goal then became to catch as many of this group as possible before ending the race. i ran alone until about mile 6, then i started passing guys that fell out of the lead group...at that point, the sun had came out and the temperature was rising quickly. caught a couple more of them during the next few miles. at mile 10, there were about 5 guys in front of me...then the superfast guy laps me. as you're running in circles, you can pretty much tell where everyone's at in the race...the loop converges in a sort of figure 8, and several points in the race there are no obstacles, so you can see pretty far away. at mile 11, i see one more guy from the lead group...he was about 1/2 mile away. this was my last reachable target. i caught him with 1/4 mile to go in the race. i picked up the pace thinking he didn't have enough energy to sprint. i was wrong...with about 100 yards to go, i hear him charging forward...my legs were stuck in a much lower gear...not enough time to rev up to a full sprint. he catches me in the end...so i finish in around 6th place...maybe 5th...i didn't count all the guys at the finish line. we had race numbers, and they called out times, but no one sent out results. time was 1:48:56...i was happy with that...most of my running over the past 5 months has been on the treadmill. i'm far from comfortable in the heat.

i don't have a related graph for jon, since i don't have a way to download from the garmin to my mac. so i'm including this graph as a substitute.

Monday, September 22, 2008

beef porcupines

finally broke down and tried one of the f'd up dishes at the chow hall...beef porcupines.  google it.  it's a dish for kids containing hamburger meat and rice.  when cooked, the rice sticks out the sides, making the ball o' meat look like a porcupine.  kids love that.  unfortunately, i'm not a kid.  i'm an adult.  unfortunately, there were no other options today...i could've done PB&J, but the bread's been especially bad lately--falls apart as a try to apply the PB.  after weeks of eating either PB&J or tuna sandwiches, I needed some variety.  porcupines provided that variety.  here it is accompanied by squash casserole...it's the squash covered in orange and white stuff.  the porcupine is covered in a sauce that reminds me of spaghetti-o broth....and that's what this tasted like, spaghetti-o's with rice replacing the noodles.  the squash casserole did have a mushy-squash and white flavor.  i can't describe it...somewhat creamy, somewhat chunky. 
about 15 minutes after the meal, the porcupine got angry...in my stomach. 
i've resisted the porcupines for 5 months...it's a slippery slope. porcupines lead to frozen pizza pucks which lead to thousand-island-shrimp salad, which leads salisbury steak, and ultimately...to corn dogs for breakfast.
32 days to go.

kashi replenishment

when the chow hall launched it's kashi embargo, sonya went out and bought a giant box of kashi.  this is a new flavor, Go Lean Crunch! Honey Almond Flax.  it packs a whopping 8g of fiber per serving!

Friday, September 19, 2008


this family looks hardly vice-presidential...more like a family gospel band on the verge of falling apart due to their secret dysfunctionality.  i hope we keep them out of DC.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

latest salads

the oranges in the tuna salad didn't go over so well, so for this week's version they added olives and more lettuce.
pasta salad was just too boring, so they added ham, pickles and doubled the mayo.


jack got his first modeling gig...advertising for the skuut.  he's in the last picture...look past all the safe kids wearing helmets with both feet on the ground to find him hauling ass down a ramp, sans helmet.

Monday, September 15, 2008

don't look if you're easily offended

this is the bathroom at work.
yesterday, the urinals flooded all over the floor.  someone walked inside, tracking mud in...now the floor's pretty nasty.  most have ignored the "out of order" sign posted above the urinals, and the stench is worse than usual.  the fan in the bathroom doesn't work, so there's no airflow in the room. 
it was probably the same guy that's posting his artwork and witticisms all over the door of stall #2.  i do have to admit, i'm learning a lot from his writing. 
i didn't take photos inside the stall...thought i'd spare everyone of that.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

shooting stimpy

i'm finding new ways to kill time here...one new find is MS Excel based games.  over the past couple days, i've been "shooting stimpies"...an addictive game where ren shoots stimpy out of a cannon, and you hope he bounces a long distance.  there are various aids to help him bounce further.  you'd say this is all luck, as the bouncing aids are placed randomly on the course.  however, there's some strategary involved, as the programmer added a variable known as "fart-power"...you have to strategically use your one start-up fart to give stimpy that added boost.   you can pick up more farts along the course by landing on cans of powdered toast, but you must use them wisely. 
my record is 2540ft, leading all the local stimpy shooters...this particular game wasn't that good, as i lit the fart off too early, sending stimpy into a pile of kitty litter at 261ft.
38 days left

Friday, September 12, 2008

what i'm doing out here

garmin footpod...working properly?

after running outside on 31 August, the humidity came back.  i put the footpod back on my shoe and hit the treadmill on tuesday.  amazingly, my 5 mile treadmill run registered as exactly 5 miles on the footpod.  after having errors of up to 15%, i thought this was an anomaly.  so, i decided to apply the scientific method, and test a couple of variables to see if i could isolate the problem.  this was a steady 5 mile run at a comfortable pace, with no variations of pace.  on the next day, i decided to see if speed was the issue.  i used the treadmill as my constant, running on the same treadmill as tuesday.  i started out the run at the same pace as the day prior, and kicked up the pace from 8:34/mile to 6:49/mile for 2 x 1-mile intervals.  the 405 was reading the same pace as the treadmill for the first 1.5miles, then i kicked up the pace...for the entire run, the 405 read +/- .01-.02 of what the treadmill displayed, and by the end the difference was negligible.  so, variable speed was not the issue.  on friday, i decided to use another treadmill.  did a steady 4 miles on this day, with a few variations of speed in the last mile.  again, the readings were near the same.  on sunday, i tried yet another treadmill, this time for 10miles...on this day, the garmin read .05 miles ahead of the treadmill...that's an error of .5%...not bad.  to top it off, for the first time, the 405 gave a reading faster than the treadmill.  so far, i've had 6 accurate treadmill runs in a row.  today, the humidity dropped, and it was nice this morning.  i took off the footpod for an outdoor run.  i may have jinxed the footpod by removing it from my shoe. 
i've attached a graph for jon...this was one of the successful indoor runs. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

strategic Kashi reserve

the main chow hall has been out of Kashi cereal for the past 2 days.  i've had to resort to eating Special K, which does not have a fraction of the fiber that Kashi packs. i inquired about the sudden lack of Kashi, and i was told that all the Kashi was near it's expiration date.  it was thrown out, and they will not order it again, as the demand is low.  the 2nd chow hall (near my office) didn't get the Kashi destruction order. they still have a big stash, so i started hording.  seeing that i've eaten 2+ bowls of Kashi every day that i've been here, i need to stockpile ~86 bowls in order to get through my last 6 weeks.
the lack of edible breakfast options is incredibly frustrating.  occasionally there is edible fruit.  sometimes they have yogurt.  they ALWAYS have corndogs, chicken cordon bleu (a glorified hot pocket), or microwaved pizza pucks. 
corndogs?  do adults eat these things?  for breakfast?  you can justify serving corndogs for breakfast, but no high-fiber cereals?  you'll serve corndogs for breakfast, yet tell us that we need to keep fit?  why not take away the unhealthy food? i'm not allowed to run on certain roads, out of safety concerns...why can't the same safety standard be applied to breakfast corndog consumption? 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


merle and earl have made their preferences known...sorry louis winthorpe iii.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

gravy burger

i like gravy....i like burgers...and i never throught of combining the two.

tuna + egg + orange = yum

they can't serve just plain tuna here.  they livened it up with the orange segment.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

newspaper box


the poll shows a few votes for graphs.

here's a recent outside run...last sunday was bearable, so i did an easy 8 miles. since the only "safe" course is a 1.8mile figure 8, that's 4 figure 8s and some change. i tried to mix it up as much as possible, but there are only so many permutations of the 2 loop course. i've included a map (without imagery) to show the course.

the humidity came back this weekend, so it's back to the treadmill

Friday, September 5, 2008

America F**K Yeah!

from today's menu....
For Lunch:  Hamburger Parmesan

For Dinner:  Salisbury Steak w/ Mushroom Gravy
the best part of chow here is the variety.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

awkward man hugs

i'm not one for hugging...especially with dudes.  it's not that i'm a homophobe or anything, i just find the man-hug an awkward gesture.  it always seems forced, yet when a dude initiates a man-hug, you can't reject it, else you'll make the man-hug initiator even more comfortable and create an awkward silence.  man-hugs should be reserved only for good friends, and should only be dealt out when it's been a long time since the last meeting, or that you know it will be a long time before you see the dude again.
man-hugs are even worse when it's with someone that's not even a close friend or relative, but a co-worker...or even worse, your boss.  my old boss left this place on sunday.  it seemed like every day he had some sort of farewell event...farewell flight, change of command, farewell hand-shake, farewell toast, farewell dinner, final briefing...really, we said goodbye to him enough.  anyhow, at 3 of these events, he was in a man-hugging mood.  so, in the span of just a week, i got 3 man-hugs from the guy.  i've known people for years, that have not man-hugged me that much.  each time as he was man-hugging others around, i thought of ways to escape the clutches of a man-hug, but eventually gave in.  the whole thing seemed odd, as i didn't really hang around the boss too much...he was always busy schmoozing his boss.  i'm sure his boss got something more than the 3 man-hugs i received...