Friday, 240a

Guinness times Two.
Boddingtons times Three.
Only one Three-Gen for being 'Matthew,'
From Chad P. & Katy C.
'P.' for "Parliment,"
'C.' for "Sir. Yes, sir."
One more for blue passing me by,
Then home to Jose Olé.

(any rhymes are purely coincidental at this time of night.)


I came. I saw. I bought comics.

Home from SDCC. 3 days of being of living comics and comic related entertainment. It was awesome.

Day One, we got to the con around noon, and stood in line for about 30 minutes to get our badges, and we wandered the floor for about 5 hours. I met Lou Ferrigno, Brian Posehn, Bryan Lee O'Malley, and took a ton of pics of and with a bunch of people dressed up in goofy ass costumes. We went from end to end, and back and forth checking out every booth. I bought a little bit of shit here and there. I found Brian K. Vaughan as he was finishing up his signing at the Dark Horse panel. We shot the shit for a sec, and back to wandering around. Once we left, we started drinking. We hit an Irish bar called Blarney Stone that was pretty cool. Got some Guinness, then walked up to Rock Bottom where we cheaped our way to a decent dinner of apps and $3 pints. On our way out of the place, we ran into Mike (who we were camping next to), Nick I., and a friend of his, and shot the shit for at least 30-40 minutes til we all left.

Camping was awesome. We got in, set up our tents, drank Captain & Cokes for a while. We neglected to think about bugs and such, so my ass got eaten alive. My legs and arms literally look like I have chicken pox. We went to sleep around 2am, planning to get up around 8, when at 515, I feel like there's bugs in the tent. They start poking at my head, when I realize there's got to be dozens of them. That's when it dos on me that they aren't bugs. They're raindrops. It starts pouring. I scramble out of my tent to put the rain fly on (which I almost left at home), and once I'm back in the tent, lying down, it stops raining. Saturday morning, I woke to the smell of pancakes and breakfast. It smelled delicious, and I was ready to get up and have a cup of coffee. I woke up a little more, figured out it was the people at another site, and got pissed that there were no coffeehouses at the campsite.

Got to the con around 11, helped out Mike getting some swag to sell off for a profit, then off to the Simpsons panel, to hear Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, and the rest of the Simpsons senior staff to hear about the upcoming season and the upcoming Simpsons movie. They showed clips. Funny...

More to come. I don't have enough stamina to continue.

Check out my Comic Con pics on Flickr


Off to Comic Con '06, bitches!

Why I'm still up at 215 when I'm leaving in 6 hours, I dunno. There's been so much little crap to get ready (plus a store run), that I just can't seem to get to make it to bed. I'm printing directions and various itineraries for the weekend, so I don't forget about anything. This weekend's gonna be sweet. I've built and tore down both tents, and we're stocked up on snacks and booze. I've got enough dough to satisfy nearly any impulse buy (though I hope I just don't end up coming home with a bunch of dumb garbage. Awesome garbage is okay). I've got my new camera, my new haircut, and a pocketful of shekels. I'm ready to rock. See you all on Sunday night, with a shitload of pics. Check my Flickr page, which is now a Pro account, cause I've taken some fun pics already in the last week. Here's my photo sets page, but there's more pics in the general pic area.

Jeff @ Flickr

And on that note, here's my new cut:


It's saturday morning. My brother is on his way home from AZ. Should be here in about two hours. I've been watching old eps of Star Trek on G4, mostly because it's the only thing on. I love Scott Pilgrim, too. I bought the first Scott Pilgrim graphic novel last week, read it in one sitting. Bought the second just the other day, and I'm two chapters in. Read it. It's good.


HoX Beer Review #4: Bombardier Ale

Wells Bombardier Ale

I figured this beer would be a contender to Newcastle, the beer that really kicked up my love for beer when I first started drinking. At a glance, it looks like Newc, maybe a little darker. A rich brown with some deep red tones. Clear, too. As clear as a brown liquid can be. Holds a head pretty well, too. It's got a nutty aroma, more than anything. A little coffee, too. I expected more malt on the nose, and I was surprised that there wasn't any.

It tastes good. If I were in England on St. George's Day (whatever that is), I'd have one. That said, it's not great. Upon first taste, it really fell short. It's not really flavorful. It's bitter, and not in a good way. There's not much else to it. The aftertaste does leave a something to be desired. Again, it's just bitter. There's nothing else to it. My first impression of this ale is that it's only really perpetuating the notion we have in the US of the milquetoast Englishman.

...20-30 minutes later...

The funny thing about this ale is the deeper into the glass it get, the more I like it. The more it warms up, the more enjoyable it is. It tastes and smells better. The richness I've been expecting is coming out in waves. It's got much more of a complex flavor, and a powerful nose. I've never really taken much stock in beer served "warm," but this one sure should be. Here in the US, we like our beer ice cold. The more flavor in the beer, the warmer you should drink it, like Wells' Bombardier Ale. Less flavorful beers, like MGD (which I enjoy), need to be consumed ice-fucking-cold to experience the "flavor." Why? Because there isn't any, so the warmer it gets, the worse it tastes. Ever drank a warm MGD? Exactly. A beer like Wells' Bombardier Ale gets completely covered up at fridge temperature. The closer it gets to room temperature, the more it shines. There's no place I know of that would serve this beer at 65°, so if you see it in a bar, I'd pass this one up for a Newcastle, if you're looking for a brown ale. Unless you're in a proper pub. In England. Then add another +0.1 to "aroma" & "mouthfeel", and +0.2 to "taste," and feel good about ordering a pint. This is not, however, a beer to drink after a long, hot, Southern California Summer day. I'd gladly take an ice cold MGD over this one.

Here's my attempt at a new scoring system:
1.0 is perfect in each category,
0.1 is the complete opposite of perfect.
Use your imagination for everything between.
The perfect beer would be scored "4.0/4"

Wells Bombardier Ale

Appearance: .8

Aroma: .6

Taste: .6

Mouthfeel: .6



10 Days til Comic Con.

10 days til Eric & I go, anyway. Campsite's booked. Gonna pick up tents from Chris soon. I'm even buying a digital camera so I can take an assload of pics. This camera: Canon PowerShot SD600. It's sweet. And Comic Con is gonna be awesome. I spent two hours there last year. This year, I get 3 days. I hope I have enough money.


HoX Beer Review #3: Hitachino Red Rice Ale

Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale, by Kiuchi Brewery

I went to the store looking for a different beer. In my last two reviews, I've tried two Belgian Ales (whether they're actually from Belgium or not), and I wanted to try something different. Something from a different country. How stoked was I when I saw Hitachino Red Rice Ale, from Japan, on the shelf?

"Red Rice Ale?" you ask? Well, they make sake from rice, and that's just wine. I'm sure it's not much of a stretch to make beer. Upon pouring, it looks like your standard pale ale at first glance, albeit a little cloudy. On a second look, it's a little lighter in color. Like there's some pink in there somewhere. On the nose, it smells a little like fruit. Say, strawberry. It's more subtle I expected. It was driving me crazy until I placed it. That is to say, it smells more like an India Pale Ale than a regular ale. It's not overly bitter like an IPA, though. It's slightly sweet on the tongue, and it's smooth as hell. Goes down really easy. This beer is delicious. There's no reason why you shouldn't buy this beer.

I've researched the Hitachino on a few sites, and the general consensus is that it tastes like sake. Even says so on the Kiuchi website. I think I need to go against the grain on this one. Just because this Japanese alcoholic beverage is made with rice, it doesn't mean that it's going to taste like other rice-made Japanese alcoholic beverages. I've never had red rice sake, so maybe it's similar in some respects, but if my memory serves me correctly, it's not like any sake I've had the pleasure of drinking.

At 7% alcohol, don't plan on going anywhere for a minute or two. Not that you'll want to. It's an excellent sit-around-on-a-Summer-afternoon beer. Too bad I'm writing this on a Sunday night.

I've been buying all my beers for these reviews in the 'tall-boy' size, somewhat inadvertently, but it's allowed for one and a half to two glasses of whatever beer I'm testing, which has been perfect. Especially for the Hitachino Red Rice Ale. If I could find this one in a sixer, I would buy it without thinking twice. If I ever owned a kegerator, I wouldn't hesitate stocking it at least once with Hitachino. And if it were in a restaurant, I'd buy it if I were eating anything besides a steak. Chicken. Fish. Kobe beef burgers. It's all fair game.

Expect at least $8 for the 720mL version.

Let this be the official installation of the "Best of 5" rating system for beer. I'm happy to give Hitachino Nest Beer Red Rice Ale:

5 out of 5


Be patient, beer fans...

Though I can't really drink, this illness hasn't curbed my desire to do another beer review. I went out and bought some ammo for the next one.

From left to right:

Bombardier Ale (England)
Delirium Tremens (Belgium)
Hitachino Red Rice Ale (Japan)
Young's Double Chocolate Stout (England)

I dunno when it's gonna happen, but it'll happen soon.


I'm sick... again.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been fighting some kind of throat problem. It started out so bad two weeks ago, that I couldn't talk. My shit hurt so bad that speaking was impossible. Well, I got on some meds, and it got better. Or so I thought. Slowly over the last 10 days, I've been finding my throat more scratchy and more sore. Mornings have been the roughest. I finally went to the doc's today. An ear, nose, & throat specialist, and he just happens to be a trombone student of mine. He said I've got an infected lengual tonsil (a tonsil at the base of the tongue), so he prescribed me some mean antibiotics. That said, they haven't kicked in yet (I've only taken one dose). I'm in immense pain 100% of the time from this. Sitting and watching TV makes it hurt. I can talk, but I don't want to. It's hard to eat, drink, and I'm not even going to try playing trombone. I'm gonna shoot for a beer later, but I'm in no rush. Just took some Advil, too. See if that helps. I've officially bailed on rehearsal tomorrow, and I've got nothing to do until Sunday when I have to go into work. Hopefully this'll cool out a little bit by then.

If anyone makes a dick sucking joke, come on over and suck on mine.


Protect ya neck.

Here's the European ad for the new white PSP. Which of the Sony Ad-wizards thought this was ok? Sure, it's creative, but it's got to be the worst execution of any ad I've seen, ever. The caption for this ad reads "PlayStation Portable. White is coming." More can be seen at guardian.co.uk


Happy 4th! Now come to my house!

An impromptu 4th Of July celebration is happening at my house. Right now. There's beer and a little BBQ. If you wanna come over, then come over. Just call if it's before 530, cause there's a parade. Bring food & shit if you wanna eat.


HoX Beer Review #2: Fat Tire Amber Ale

Tonight's Beer: Fat Tire Amber Ale

Miss Barbara and I went to the Cheesecake Fac'ry for a little dinner. Unintending to review a beer tonight, I ordered a Fat Tire Ale, from New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, CO. I've heard either recent radio ads for it, or I've heard friends talk about it, so I was swayed by outside influences. It's a Belgian-style ale, and seeing as how I enjoy my Belgian Ales, how could I not like this? "Belgian-style" is just the same as "Belgian," right? When I noticed the "Belgian-style," I immediately made this analogy:

Belgian-style Ale : Belgian Ale :: Processed Cheese Food : Cheese

I was actually surprised when this ale turned out to be good. Usually I'll order a beer I've never had before, and 9 times out of 10, it's not good, or at least not up to my standards. Drinkable, but not enjoyable. This beer was different. I like a beer with a fair amount of malt and hops flavor, and this had it in spades. You know that caramel-y flavor that some ales have? That aspect of the flavor was what sold me on this beer. There's some bitterness also, but I like that. It's not too bitter, so don't worry if you're not into that. A caramel & malt flavor profile is something that really endears me to a beer. If I had to say anything bad about it, it's that it only tastes a little bit like what I've come to expect from a Belgian ale.

If you're looking for something new to try, and something you can probably get at nearly any supermarket (or at least a TJ's, or BevMo), go for a Fat Tire Amber Ale. I'd buy it again. It gets Four out of Five.

Expect around $3 for the 22 oz. bad boy you see here, and around $8 for a sixer.


Superman Returns Review

I've been looking forward to this movie for a while. There's been a lot of speculation and shit talking about this movie over the last year or two, and a lot of bullets dodged. I never thought I'd be glad that Bryan Singer left X-Men 3, but after this afternoon's viewing of Superman Returns, the X-Men can go fuck off for all I care.

This move is supposed to be a sequel. The premise is that after the events in Superman 2, scientists think they've discovered the remains of Krypton, Superman's homeworld. Superman takes 5 years trying to discover if Krypton does indeed remain. When Superman comes back to Earth, he finds things have changed, including Lois Lane engaged for 4 years or so, with a 4 year old son.

Superman Returns is the most amazing comic book movie to date. I watched every second of the Two hours and Forty-five minutes, waiting for what would happen next with the anticipation of a child on Christmas morning. Branden Routh played the role of Superman/Clark Kent to a "T." Now, I'm not ashamed to admit that I've never completely seen Superman or Superman 2. If you're thinking about giving me shit about that, hold your breath. No knocks on the great Christopher Reeve, but Branden Routh IS Superman. He's perfected the benevolent Superman demeanor. Also, His Clark Kent is what Kent should be. Clumsy, bumbling, average. And funny. The first scene where Superman saves the day was one of the most amazing in the film. I nearly cheered during the scene, and I was almost brought to tears when it was over. Seeing my childhood hero on the big screen, becoming more ingrained into the very fabric of modern American mythology, was more emotional to withhold than I could've ever anticipated. The effects looked REAL: flight, heat & X-ray vision, strength, breath. There wasn't one time where I thought "oh, that looks animated." The acting was very, very good. Much better than your standard comic book movie. Kevin Spacey was great as Lex Luthor. There's a time or two where he lays the bastard act on a little thick, but for the most part, he's spot on. Kate Bosworth portrayed very well the working woman who's too busy for her own life, and she now has a family to make time for. Parker Posey (Kitty), James Marsden (Richard White), and Sam Huntington (Jimmy Olsen) were outstanding as auxiliary cast members. I would've liked to see Kal Pann (Stanford) say a little more, tho. If I were to rate this mmove out of Ten, I'd give it a Nine-Plus (9+/10), but since I like smaller numbers (and stealing other people's images, I happily give Superman Returns Five S-Shields out of Five: