full sail india pale ale

My friends Deezy and The Tree Hugging Hippie have both raved about Full Sail India Pale Ale (IPA). Being an IPA aficionado, I filed their praises of Full Sail in the back of my mind. A few weeks ago, I found one six pack of Full Sail IPA at Ansley Wine Merchants while picking up booze for Thanksgiving.

Bright was my initial impression of Full Sail IPA. The brew finishes with a nice piney aftertaste. However, there is not as much grapefruit goodness in the middle as I like, but overall, the IPA is pretty good.

Full Sail stacks up well against Smoove D reference IPA Loose Cannon, but will not displace it in heavy rotation. I like Full Sail’s IPA and it will occupy a spot in my fridge on occasion.

southern tier brewing unearthly india pale ale

On a previous tour of Southern Tier Brewing, Phin poured us a taste of a new imperial India Pale Ale (IPA). While I enjoyed the sample, I like the finished product - Unearthly IPA - much better.

The flavor of Southern Tier’s Unearthly IPA is thick with a multitude of complex notes, like the 10,000 Maniacs. Balance is excellent, the citrus of the hops combines with plenty of big pine flavor. The sting of alcohol is muted and almost hidden in the mix. Southern Tier Unearthly IPA is highly recommended.

Goes well with Phish, The Who, and pre-Icky Thump White Stripes.

255 tapas lounge review

After several attempts, Mr. Coffee from the Coffee Loft convinced me I should try 255 Tapas Lounge with him. This started off badly for a number of reasons. First, I hate tapas. The term itself is Spanish for ripping off stupid Gringos. When I pay money for food, I like to feel full - for some reason, I am always hungry after eating small plates. Also, in Atlanta, small plates do not often come with small prices.

Second, the owner of 255 Tapas Lounge, Courtland Jackson, came off as a dick when quoted in the Atlanta Urinal Constipation. Mr. Jackson essentially called all the white people in Ghettoberry Hood racists[1]. However, in his defense, the quality of reporting in the Atlanta Urinal Constipation consistently rates slightly above mentally deficient. For example, in the article, the paper did not even get the number of lanes on Peters Street correct. [ Update: Mr. Jackson's response* - Ed. ]

the beer

While chilling at the bar waiting for Mr. Coffee to show up, I enjoyed gazing at the hottie bartender and sipping a Guinness. The bartender was wearing fashionable glasses - hot women with glasses drive me crazy.

However, the Guinness I ordered was severely overpriced. The cost was over $7.00, which for a glass of beer is fucking ridiculous. Who, besides Wall Street pigmen living like fat cats on the backs of the taxpayers has that kind of money in this Bush Economy™?

the food

Despite the diminutive serving sizes, the food was excellent. I ordered the ring tower and crab tots. Both were very flavorful. The crab tots in particular were extremely zesty and an interesting take on a low brow side. I enjoyed them very much.

In contrast to drinks, food prices were in line with the portion size and quality of the food. 255 Tapas Lounge is recommended for the food, but bring a fat wad of cash to drink.

the service

Service was fucking awful. Several young attractive waitresses passed Mr. Coffee and I by, while others promised to return and take our orders, but never did. In frustration, we dragged our starving selves to the bar and used our last bit of strength to order from the aforementioned hottie bartender.

notes:

1. Original Atlanta Urinal Constipation article.
* As the poster did not leave an email address, Propeller Skies can not guarantee Mr. Jackson actually wrote the comment. However, the response does seem legitimate.

255 Tapas Lounge on Urbanspoon

google adspam

In an effort to leverage synergies and monetize clickstreams like a motherfucking riot, I added Google Adsense to the Prizz. I was not expecting to make a shit ton of money, but was hoping to at least pay the monthly hosting bill. Instead, the pathetic amount of revenue would not even buy a motherfucking cup of bourgeoisie coffee at Starbucks. Google Adsense sucks donkey scrotum.

Adspam is a far better name for Adsense. Google alleges that Adspam will serve up advertisements relevant to the web site content. This may be true on Mars, but all I got on the Prizz were come ons from slimy spam merchants hawking Adderall, online pharmacies, and ringtones. Seriously, does Google Adspam think Propeller Skies readers are fucking retarded enough to click these links? And what the fuck do they have to do with Propeller Skies? Google Adspam is a bunch of bullshit and is not recommended.

three floyds gumball head wheat beer

The Hockey Player brought some tasty bombers from Three Floyds Brewing the last time he was in town. Three Floyds products are unobtainable here in the Dirty South, to the point that I had never heard of them. Based on the beers I have sampled and what the internet says, Three Floyds Brewing is totally tubular. How The Hockey Player figured this out is beyond me, as that mofo drinks shit like Jeppson’s Malort.

Alert readers will recall I hate wheat beer, but recently have had two positive experiences. I might reconsider my position on wheat beer, but Gumball Head is no ordinary wheat beer. This is wheat beer hopped out the ass and I like that a fuckton.

Gumball Head reminds me of Campari - the hops come on strong and bitter and then fade to an aftertaste reminiscent of grapefruit. While imbibing this delicious brew, dreams of nubile midwestern blondes kissed by the midsummer sun danced through my head. Three Floyd’s Gumball Head is highly fucking recommended. Thanks to The Hockey Player for hooking a cracka up.

terrapin variety pack review

Alert Prizzo Skeezy readers will recall Terrapin Rye Pale Ale has been mentioned a few times up in this bitch. Terrapin also makes a few other beers, so I picked up a variety pack on the way to The Beaver’s flat to chill.

golden ale

The Golden Ale was the second beer I drank from the variety pack. I was expecting a conservatively hopped ale. What I got was flat out disgusting. The smell and initial taste were fine, but then a nasty flavor I could not quite taste took over. Terrapin Golden Ale is about as drinkable as a golden shower. I struggled to finish the bottle.

india style brown ale

While I was anticipating an explosion of conflicting flavors from the seven kinds of malt and five different hop varieties used to construct the India Style Brown Ale, I was pleasantly surprised. While I consider that many ingredients severe overkill, the brewers at Terrapin balanced them nicely and produced a unique brown ale. Terrapin India Style Brown Ale is recommended.

rye pale ale

Terrapin Rye Pale Ale is highly recommended. I like pale ales and this one is an excellent example. I lost my notes, so try one to see how it tastes.

sunray wheat beer

I have documented in the past that I hate wheat beers. Like is too strong a word for how I feel about Terrapin’s Sunray Wheat, but this is a decent brew. The first impression is rather bland, as it tastes like wheat beer with honey. However, I particularly enjoy the citrus finish. For those who are into wheat beers, Terrapin Sunray Wheat is recommended.

carver’s review

To celebrate Halloween, The Man held a costume contest and provided a free lunch. Not wanting to see my colleagues in tasteful costumes*, I suggested having a rebel lunch to a few folks in my group. Suggestions were solicited like prostitutes, a vote was taken, and Halloween lunch was held at Carver’s.

Carver’s serves southern food, which I am not particularly fond of. I was less than enthusiastic, but thrilled to see Carver’s offered barbecue pork, which I ordered. For sides, I consumed mashed potatoes with ham and cheese along with macaroni and cheese. I like cheese.

The barbecue pork was flavorful and tender, but not at the same level as my favorite Rolling Bones or Fox Brothers. While the macaroni and cheese was decent, the mashed potatoes with ham and cheese were off the hizzle fo’ shizzle. The food is on the tastier side of decent, portions are large and lunch costs under $10.00, an important consideration in this Bush Economy™.

Carver’s is an Atlanta institution and certainly worth visiting at least once. If I worked nearby, I would take lunch there more often. Carver’s gets three macaroni and cheeses out of five.

The food at Carver’s is far superior to the flavorless dreck served by Mary Mac’s tea room. Therefore, Carver’s is a much better place to take visitors.

notes:

Visit Carver’s Country Cookin’
* There might be two or three I would like to see in tasteless (read: slutty) costumes, but the vast majority of them, not so much.

Carvers Country Cooking on Urbanspoon

mr. beer review - part two - test beer results

Alert Propeller Skies readers* will recall I cooked up a batch of beer and dumped it in my shiny new Mr. Beer fermenter about a month ago. The beer finished fermenting a week ago and I bottled it.

After bottling, the beer takes a week to carbonate. However, letting the bottles condition for longer lets the yeast do something, but I forget what. The important part is the brew is supposed to taste better after it sits for at least three weeks, hence the waiting.

However, I have the patience of a three year old. With a bad fucking case of attention deficit disorder. So after a week, I put a bottle in the fridge for consumer product safety testing. Allegedly, this was to make sure the beer came out all right before I invite a bunch of homies over for a tasting, but I really just wanted to try a bottle. Since I am opposed to sharing, the tasting may never actually happen.

I poured a glass prior to calling AT&T Premier to exchange my craptastic Blackberry Bold. Happily the yeast cooperated and farted out plenty of carbon dioxide - the beer had a nice foamy head. Even better, the beer tasted like a lager, exactly as it was supposed to. The beer was definitely better than an average macrobrew and leads me to believe there might be something to lagers. Overall, this was a tasty beer and I am excited about my first homebrewing effort.

I am looking forward to ordering some West Coast Pale Ale and American Devil India Pale Ale kits, as well as extra hops, and getting my brew on. [Smoove accomplished this before actually finishing this post, so the shipment should be in by the time this is live and uncut on the internet - Ed.]

at&t premier

The Man that keeps me down has a large contract with AT&T, which means I have access to AT&T Premier. Theoretically, Premier offers a discount on phones. Unfortunately this discount applies only to phones no one wants. There is also a marginal break on plans, which for me works out to a couple of bucks a month. So Premier is not worth going to any extra trouble.

Activating the phone through Premier was even more of a pain in the ass than using Itunes to activate my Iphone. While the customer service representative answered promptly, was nice enough, and even spoke English, I wasted 20 minutes of my life getting the Blackberry Bold activated. Normally, while holding, I just put the person on speakerphone and continue surfing on company time. However, the AT&T Premiere customer service person felt the need to come on the line every two minutes, utter some vague phrase about updating my account*, and ask if I would mind holding for another two minutes. After the tenth time, this was pretty fucking irritating.

When the activation was finally accomplished, I discovered the Blackberry Bold sucks. AT&T’s return policy clearly states, “new equipment purchased directly from AT&T may be returned or exchanged at any AT&T owned retail store.” So, I stopped by my friendly neighborhood AT&T store with the intention of swapping the Bold for a 3G Iphone. Surprise! Equipment ordered through Premiere has to be mailed back. Fuckers.

After driving home, I called the AT&T Premier customer service line to arrange a return. Again, someone answered right away and spoke English. Unfortunately, I was put on hold every two minutes, yet again. This time, however, the excuse was different - the customer service guy needed his manager to come over and approve the exchange. I have no idea why, since AT&T’s clearly states, “If the equipment you purchased directly from AT&T does not meet your expectations, simply return it either to a store or by mail within 30 days from the date the equipment was purchased or shipped. ” Forty minutes of holding later, the exchange was finally approved.

This really should have been a simple process. I fail to see why the AT&T store was unable to trade out the Blackberry Bold for a 3G Iphone. That certainly would be what I expect of a service named Premier, especially since they do this for the plebes. After all this**, I have concluded AT&T does not actually want customers.

notes:

* I guess that is what they call pushing a button in this day and age.
** Granted, this was nothing compared to Comcast’s infamous customer disservice, but one would think Premier would go a little smoother and be extra convenient.

blackberry bold (9000) - epic fail

Alert Propeller Skies readers will recall that I hate my Iphone. So I eagerly anticipated the release of the Blackberry Bold. After voting Tuesday, I stopped by my local AT&T store, which had none available. So I ordered a Blackberry Bold from AT&T Premier. Friday, my Bold arrived. Unfortunately, the Bold is a piece of shit. After this experience, I am forced to conclude smartphones are still an immature technology. Because I need a smartphone, I am exchanging the Bold for a 3G Iphone.

browser battle royal: blackberry browser versus safari

I gave up my perfectly fine Nokia for a smartphone a year ago so I could trade stocks wirelessly while The Man keeps me down. Hence, the most important feature I need is blazing speed. After that, I require a web browser that can properly render pages and run Javascript.

The Blackberry Browser is unacceptable. In addition to being slower than a Q-tip driving a Buick in the left lane in Florida, the Blackberry Browser refuses to render the Optionsxpress site. Unfortunately, Optionsxpress is the one site I absolutely need the fucking Bold to render. The Blackberry Browser is completely hopeless, as I can not even see my positions, let alone trade. Fail.

Back to the lack of speed - the poor performance of the Blackberry browser makes AT&T’s shitty EDGE network look fast. What the fuck is the point of paying up for 3G and only acheiving EDGE speeds? I am beyond disappointed with the Blackberry Browser.

Hoping to salvage the Blackberry Bold, I downloaded Opera Mini. While Opera Mini solved the speed issue and did successfully render Optionsxpress, the lack of zoom levels between microscopic and fogey made the browser worthless. In full page view, the account positions screen was unreadable, but zoomed in, I was unable to see more than three columns - not nearly enough to be useful. I had a similar problem with the order entry screen, at a readable zoom level, the form and quotes would not both fit on the screen.

The Opera Mini interface for filling out forms is fucking terrible. When entering data, the browser opens a whole new blank screen. Both the Blackberry Browser and Safari allow data entry right on the page.

Safari is the motherfucking bomb diddy. I have yet to encounter a web page that Safari fucks up. Additionally, text on the Iphone is almost always readable and Safari has multiple zoom levels. Unfortunately, the Iphone suffers from slow internet syndrome, caused by AT&T’s hopelessly lame EDGE network of glacial slowness. I expect the 3G Iphone to remedy this problem, as I have played with The Photographer’s and speed is not an issue.

Total knock out: Iphone.

sms scrimmage: bold versus iphone

The feature I use almost as much as the internet is text messaging. While the Bold can send multi-media messages, a feature bizarrely absent from both Iphone models, the Blackberry SMS interface is not nearly as nice as the Iphone’s. Messages are stored in order, with a the sender’s name or number and a brief excerpt. While easier to keep track of than a steaming pile of random messages shown one at a time, this falls short of the Iphone’s interface.

Sending a message on the Bold requires two steps, which is unnecessary. After composing a message, the trackball must be clicked, bringing up a menu where the send option needs to be selected. This is a waste of time.

I absolutely love how the Iphone stores text messages by sender as conversations, with the entire text of each message shown. Sending messages on the Iphone is quick, as a send button is right on the touch screen where the message is composed. No wasted clicks.

Slight advantage: Iphone

operating system smackdown: blackberry versus iphone

The Blackberry Bold’s operating system reminds me of Windows 3.1 - while the home screen has pretty graphics, the rest of the icons and menus are plain and appear to be from 1991. Additionally, the Blackberry OS seems to be kludged together from various parts of operating systems past, unlike the Iphone OS, which maintains the same feel throughout.

In contrast to the cobbled together feel of the Blackberry OS, the Iphone OS is seamless. Everything works together and the interface is from the current century, with several nice graphical touches. Finally, the Iphone OS has plenty of shortcuts and time saving features, which make it easy to live with. For example, when using an application on the Iphone and a text message comes in, a dialog box with an excerpt of the text appears, with options to go to the SMS screen or ignore the message. Not so on the Blackberry. The active application must be exited and the SMS screen opened manually, wasting time.

Advantage: Iphone.

clash of the input devices: keyboard and trackball versus touch screen

I find the virtual keyboard on the Iphone perfectly fine when sitting still. In contrast, the Iphone’s virtual keyboard is impossible to use while walking and difficult to type on when riding in a car. One reason I was excited about the Blackberry Bold was the inclusion of a keyboard.

The Blackberry Bold keyboard is awesome. In contrast, the trackball fucking sucks. Even after cranking the sensitivity up to maximum, I still found cursor movement too slow, especially in the browser.

The touch screen on the Iphone is excellent. I especially like that navigation is quick, as is zooming. Making selections on the Iphone’s touch screen is much easier and faster than using the trackball on the Bold. However, as mentioned previously, I am not a fan of the virtual keyboard.

Advantage: neither. I really like the keyboard and form factor of the Blackberry Bold. An ideal smartphone would be the shell of a Bold with the guts of an Iphone, with a touchscreen in place of the weak sauce trackball.

phone skirmish: blackberry versus iphone

I hate talking on the phone, so this feature is the least important thing to me. However, I do occasionally need to use the phone, so I will compare the two here.

Call quality on the Blackberry Bold is excellent on both ends. While spending 40 minutes on hold with AT&T’s allegedly Premier customer service, I could tell no difference from a land line. The same held true on a half hour call with my brother. I had no idea AT&T’s network was that good.

The keyboard is a crucial advantage, as phone numbers can be dialed directly from the home screen on the Blackberry Bold. Additionally, contacts can be accessed from the home screen, a time saving feature I appreciate. Finally, the Blackberry Bold has a much better ringer - I can hear it, even when outside.

Iphone call quality is mediocre. I have to crank the volume to maximum anywhere with any background noise. Dropped calls are also an Iphone issue, prior to using the Bold, I blamed AT&T’s network.

Dialing a number using the Iphone irritatingly requires at least two steps - getting to the phone screen and then selecting the keypad. Same deal with contacts, which are only accessible from the phone screen. Finally, the Iphone ringer is useless, almost half the time I do not hear it and miss calls. The ringer is especially difficult to hear outdoors. Profiles might mitigate this, but strangely the Iphone lacks them.

Total knock out: Blackberry Bold.

conclusions

Sadly, the piss poor browser is a fatal flaw and even the excellent phone component can not save the Blackberry Bold. The Blackberry Bold is not recommended.