Monday, June 30, 2008

Books, books, books

I was having a less than stellar dad moment the other day, and the lovely and talented Kirstin (yes, I think she's both things even if she says "sneakers") sent me off to the book store before I,  a) gouged out my eyeballs and b) put both girls through the pasta maker.

I loaded up on stuff for our impending summer travels.  I think I found a few good ones:
- Ghengis Khan and the Making of the Modern World  (mmmmmm, nerdy)
- The Pirate Queen (about Elizabeth I and the beginning of England's overseas empire, the start of the slave trade, and robbing the Spanish of all their silver. Nerdy, but intriguing)
- The Scarlet Pimpernel (you cretins will probably remember this story as Daffy Duck's The Scarlet Pumpernickel.  I'll be honest, so did I.  But now I've got the real thing)
- Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (I read it a long time ago, and it's so good it's worth another go)

I also finished a bunch of books lately.  Here they are, in ascending order of quality:
1) Benjamin Franklin, by Walter Isaacson.  Franklin might be the most intriguing guy in American history: printer, inventor, statesman, etc..  And you'd be right, as long as you didn't read this book.  With all of the breathless vacuity of Thomas Friedman telling you about his own summer vacation, Isaacson managed to make me yawn out loud in boredom on page 27.   "And then this one time, when he was 18, Franklin totally went to Philadelphia.  And then he wrote these stories under assumed names, and they were totally funny, and people really thought they were funny, so he was really funny."  You can almost hear him giggle when you read it.
2) The Closing of the Western Mind, by Charles Freeman.  Kind of a fun intellectual history of the world from roughly Paul to Thomas Aquinas.  Needless to say given the title, Mr. Freeman does not treat the rise of Christianity very well.  He documents a string of intellectual hiccups that plagued the (very secularly minded) bishops and emporers as they tried to shoehorn Christianity into a religion they could use to keep the Roman Empire from falling apart.  Sometimes it runs a little dry, as there are only so many ways to tell me that Paul was a misogynistic sociopath with an inferiority complex, but it does a nice job of illuminating how official Christianity deviated from its origins as a couple of Jewish guys in a supper club.
3) A Farewell to Alms, by Gregory Clark.  This is by an economic historian that I dig, so take my positive review with a grain of salt.  This is big-picture history on how Europe converted itself from a mud-caked hive of human ignorance into the effete cigarette-smoking gaggle of pansies we know and love today.  He pushes aside traditional economic explanations (in short - a) luck, b) the steam engine, c) Parliament) and proposes that in some sense Europe evolved into a modern economy.  He documents, without getting too mired in data and figures, that in fact it was the rich people who had all the surviving children between 0AD and 1800AD, even though poor people had more babies (that quickly succumbed to the mud-caking before breeding themselves).  This means that the cultural norms of rich people (thrift, hard work, tight pants, ruffled collars) spread through society and replaced the cultural norms of poor people (lice farming, hooch drinking, poor dental hygiene).  After a sufficiently long period of time, Europe had a bunch of thrifty people who worked hard to produce lice-free ruffled collars, and these anal-retentive wank-jobs were the kind who liked to stay late at the mill to improve the efficiency of the water-mill.  Once this got underway, you get economic growth on a broad scale.  He doesn't really get into where the effete cigarette-smoking came from, but I guess he had to leave something for the sequel.

This is fantastic

The American Family Association, as you might guess from the name, is one of these proto-fascist organizations that fetishizes the mythical past of hunky-doriness in family life.  You know, before Jimmy Carter invented gay people.  Anyway, to illustrate the abdication of intellectual integrity that is required to belong to the AFA, here is their news item on the Olympic trials held this weekend:

Homosexual eases into 100 final at Olympic trials.
Tyson Homosexual easily won his semifinal for the 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials and seemed to save something for the final later Sunday.
His wind-aided 9.85 seconds was a fairly cut-and-dry performance compared to what happened a day earlier. On Saturday, Homosexual misjudged the finish in his opening heat and had to scramble to finish fourth, then in his quarterfinal a couple of hours later, ran 9.77 to break the American record that had stood since 1999. […]
Homosexual didn’t get off to a particularly strong start in the first semifinal, but by the halfway mark he had established a comfortable lead. He slowed somewhat over the final 10 meters-nothing like the way-too-soon complete shutdown that almost cost him Saturday. Asked how he felt, Homosexual said: “A little fatigued.” 

You'll notice something kind of strange. It's quite obvious that they aren't saying that this man IS a homosexual, but from the article it appears that his NAME is Tyson Homosexual. And odd moniker, to be sure. Of course, if you paid any attention, you'd know that in fact the winner of the Olympic trial in the 100m was one Tyson Gay.

The AFA, in their infinite spite-filled plague on reason and freedom, have decided to auto-correct their AP wire feed to replace every instance of the word "gay" with the word "homosexual". As it is quite likely that most staffers at the AFA cannot actually read, it isn't too surprising that this slipped by them. Of course it leaves open the question of why the AFA feels the need to keep the word "gay" off of their site, but finds "homosexual" to be alright.

Even more importantly, it points out clearly that the only way to pursue intolerant bigotry is to actually edit the truth. We can't have things like facts getting in the way of our blind hatred, now can we?

How am I not divorced?

If you were paying attention, I posted up the map of soda/pop/Coke the other day.  You'll also agree with me, I'm sure, that the correct term is "pop", and the rest of the country can go to hell.  Well, this site has a list of hundreds of dialect differences across areas of the U.S.  In comparing Wisconsin with New Jersey, you can see how people from New Jersey tend to use the wrong vowel sounds, in addition to their insistence on using the wrong words or pronunciations for common items.  Here are a few examples from the study:

In NJ, you eat care-a-mel candy, while in WI we eat car-ml candy.  How inefficient is that third syllable?  In NJ, they go to great lengths (and love to rub your face in the fact) that Mary/merry/marry have distinct vowel sounds, while in WI we are much more efficient in simply pronouncing them all the same (look, there is a reason that context matters).  NJ people wear sneakers but in WI we put on our tennis shoes.  People in NJ can be catty-corner from you, but we know that the correct term is kitty-corner.  In WI, we can use either dinner or supper with equal ease, but in NJ they are too rigid to use the word supper at all.  And of course, in NJ you'd get a drink at the water fountain, which is a waste of extra syllables when you can just say bubbler.   And while the study doesn't seem to indicate this is a problem, from personal experience I can tell you that in NJ they somehow climb up on top of the other people and wait "on line", when we all know that you are actually waiting "in line".

And every night I have to listen to this kind of Apache spoken in my own house.  I hope I can save the girls before they are on line with their sneakers, waiting to get mAAArried to the guy who live catty-corner from them in college and took them out to dinner (but not supper!) before ordering car-A-MEL for dessert.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Information for life

I don't know what to say. This works on so many levels. It's from this site, which is just random graphs of stupid stuff. Here's some more excellent material:

song chart memes

song chart memes

song chart memes

I want a Pop

We all know that most people in the U.S. use the wrong word when ordering carbonated beverages (it's Pop - not soda, and certainly not Coke). Here's a map that demonstrates where to find the true believers and where to find the infidels. (Yellow is soda, blue is pop, and red is Coke)

Some things on this made me scratch my head. First, how confusing is it to live in North Carolina? Look at the mish-mash of names; some places use pop, some soda, some Coke. Seriously, are there little isolated clusters of Midwesterners huddled together sipping their pop, hoping the Soda Gestapo doesn't burst in on them?

And if this map is right, then I have to seriously re-jig my thinking on the whole eastern half of Wisconsin. I don't recall hearing the word "soda" a lot in my time there. But if it's true, maybe it explains why you can't trust anyone from Sheboygan. Or Manitowoc. Or Fond du Lac, Waukesha, or Racine. We already know the Kenoshans are just cheese-eating pornographers, but this just seals the deal. Cede them to Illinois and be done with it.

Oh, and Shawano. Sons of bitches.

We're #1

I think Kirstin and I should rent ourselves out to cities who want to be ranked as great places to live. Right as we were moving out of Rhode Island, we saw that Providence was ranked as one of the top places in America to live. Now, on this site, you can see that Kiplinger's has ranked Houston the #1 place to live in America (apparently humidity is now part of the index). My only argument is that I don't believe our cost of living is only 88/100, with 100 being the national average. It's just as expensive to buy food and gas here as it is in RI or Chicago or anywhere else. It's gotta be the house prices.

The top 10:
1. Houston
2. Raleigh
3. Omaha
4. Boise
5. Colorado Springs
6. Austin
7. Fayetteville
8. Sacramento
9. Des Moines
10. Provo

On reflection, doesn't this seem a lot like a list of "cities in the U.S. that you had forgotten about?" There are lots of great things about Houston, but we really better be ranked higher than Omaha, right? But at least that crap-hole Dallas didn't show up. And do you think Des Moines is at #9 due to all the job prospects there filling up sand bags?

Is Income Getting Riskier?

Recently research showed that, on average, income was getting more volatile in America. The variance in earnings is getting higher, meaning that people are more likely to experience a really bad outcome (losing a job or having a big pay cut). And this obviously makes people nervous.

But a few points to note on this:
1) Higher volatility means that bad outcomes are more likely, but so are good outcomes (getting a big bonus or having your business take off). Volatility means that both extremes are more likely.
2) Further research shows that most of the increase in volatility for the average American is driven by increased volatility for a very small group of Americans. And no, it's not those at the bottom of the income distribution. The people who already had the riskiest incomes (e.g. small business owners) were responsible for the entire increase in average volatility. In other words, the typical working Joe has not seen any increase in volatility. But if you own a small business, your prospects will swing around much more than before.

Does this matter? I would argue that it does not. People who start small businesses do so precisely because they are high risk. The only way to become Bill Gates is to max out the credit card and start Microsoft in your garage. Risk and reward are related - you can't earn big profits without taking the plunge. So the fact that riskiness is rising for small businesses probably means that those who "win" will actually do even better - meaning that more profitable businesses are being created, and maybe this means more jobs.

Yes We Can

This kind of innovation is what will solve all of our problems. Modern science at its finest - and yummy toast.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Float test

Maddie did the first of her three float tests last week. She gets thrown in the pool, in clothes, and has to backfloat for 5 minutes and then get herself out of the pool. Two more times (each with progressively more clothing) and she'll "graduate" to the next class. With the amount of time they spend in pools, Abby and Maddie could both actually be composed of chlorine and sunscreen at this point.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ballet Recital

This took a while to get around to posting, but here is the video of Abby's ballet recital last month.

Popsicle Cute

Something not involving laproscopic surgery.

What a Couple of Days

Things have been a little crazy down on the ranch. We're speeding towards July at warp speed, at July means travel - first to Wisconsin for the Zimmermann family reunion (and the bratwurst-induced coronary to follow), then I'm in Boston twice for conferences, and then we go cross-country from Houston to New Jersey (God help us).

So with all this looming, I wake up from a dead sleep last Thursday morning at about 5:30am because Kirstin is kneeling on the floor, rocking back and forth in incredible pain. Severe shooting pains in her stomach, and she had been up half the night already. Everyone's had a bad stomach bug and the attendant - how do I say this - loss of bodily fluids. This was different. Most of her bodily fluids were still inside, and the pain was different.

During a relatively calm period, Kirstin drove herself to the hospital, where they ultrasounded and CT scanned her all over and figured out....nothing. No kidney stone, no appendix problem. Nothing. They gave her some pain-killers, and wanted to keep her for observation. Just like most of us, the thought of killing time at the hospital sounds like a terrible idea, so she came home and passed out on the couch for the afternoon. She ate a little, and the pain seemed to be receding. Maybe this was just a really bad stomach bug?

Then it came back. By 7:30pm she was back on the floor, essentially in the fetal position. I got the girls to bed and our friend Bea came over to stay with the kids. I took Kirstin back to the hospital, and by the time we arrived she was essentially screaming from the pain. After what felt like 6 hours (and was actually about 15 minutes), the doctor tells us that because the scans are so inconclusive, our only option is to go in. That is, use a knife on Kirstin's stomach and literally go look around for something wrong.

So medicine involves rummaging through your insides like a purse? Where are those keys anyway? But with nothing on the scans, it was all they had. So Kirstin signs the consent forms (in what has to constitute the least kosher legal agreement ever - "You sign and we'll push the Demerol through the IV"). Essentially knocked out, she finally gets some relief and we wait for the OR to open up.

An hour later they're wheeling her into surgery and I'm now in the coldest waiting room in North America (I later found the thermostat was set to 58 degrees). The biggest worry going into this (for me, at least, Kirstin was so doped up that they could have lopped off a foot without her noticing) was that they didn't know what they were looking for. If it's not a kidney stone, or the appendix, or some other obvious problem then we're looking at an extended hospital stay and the possibility of liver or gall bladder complications.

In a remarkably short time the doctor comes out with a sheet of pictures. The surgery was laproscopic - meaning they put three little holes in her belly and shoved in a fiber optic camera along with tiny instruments to do all the cutting and grabbing stuff. The pictures are incredible - HD quality - and there is one of her tubes all twisted up. Let me be clear about twisted. Imagine you are wringing out a dish towel - now think about what it looks like when you are at maximum wring. That's what her tube looked like, it was twisted around itself a full five turns. FIVE turns. We have our culprit. They had to take the tube out because it was so screwed up around itself that they couldn't straighten it out (leaving aside the question of how exactly one unwinds a tube inside a woman using only tiny grabby tools that enter the body in a cylinder the size of a pencil).

The ultimate cause of this was a cyst on the tube. It shifted, and as it shifted it wrapped the tube around itself - over and over again. To give you an idea of how painful this all is, let me offer you a few paraphrased quotes from various doctors during this process:
  • "That is the single most impressive show of pain I've ever seen"
  • "A knife wound is less painful than what you wife is feeling - with a knife wound or gunshot your body would at least have gone into shock and your brain would have shut out a lot of the pain"
  • "Let me give you an idea of how much this hurts. Grab your scrotum. Now twist it a full 360 degrees. That's painful. Now give it four more full turns. That's what your wife was feeling."
Kirstin ends up in spending the night at the hospital recovering from the surgery and I head home to sleep a very little. By 9:30am on Friday she calls to say that she can head home if she keeps her breakfast down (and this is only because the anesthesia can leave you nauseous). By 11:30am we've got her back. This is not an example of HMO's kicking people out of hospitals. She really was okay to come home. The only outward signs of surgery are three small scars on her belly - they look like someone took a staple gun and shot her three times. It's unbelievable how they can do all this with such limited damage to the body.

The worst part of it for Kirstin is probably the gas. They literally pump you full of CO2 to spread out the organs and innards, and so now she's left with a gigantic bubble of gas floating around her insides that will slowly dissipate. She can't lift anything, or work out for a while, but other than that she's remarkably alright. Her body is working hard to fix itself, so she's pretty tired, but that is almost par for the course given her days with Abby and Maddie.

If there is one good thing that came out of this, it's that the whole stress of traveling this summer has just evaporated. Whatever happens, happens. If we forget something, we can buy a new one or live without it. If we're late somewhere, or early, or we get lost, big deal. Sometimes it takes a serious kick in the pants to recalibrate the stress meter in your life.

Of course, this all might have been a ploy by Kirstin to get attention just prior to Father's Day, but that's a long shot.

Friday, June 6, 2008

I had one of these

This guy just crushes almost every 23-year old girl I ever met in Chicago.

Knock knock

Oh hi, how's it going? It's me! Every girl ever. I'm really looking forward to this date. I'm not nearly as attractive as you remember me being because when we met the bar was dark and you were drunk. Come on in.

Let's start off with the unavoidable tour of my incredibly typical post-college-girl apartment.

You'll notice that I went ahead and purchased everything that Ikea and Pier 1 have ever produced. There's my decorative birdcage over there even though I don't have a bird, and there's my gay wicker basket with bamboo poles in it. I don't know what the hell that's thing's all about, but I bought it.

Hey check it out, I have more candles in here than a Roman Catholic Church. Doesn't it smell like Hazelnut!? If I were to light all of my candles at once you could see my apartment from space! I fucking love candles!

Come on into the living room.

Oh, I see you met my cat there. That's "Freddy Paws Jr." Why don't you pet him and act like you like cats even though you hate cats? There you go. Oh, he took a little swing at your eye there huh? Yeah, he'll do that. Hey, let's check out the kitchen.

Hey look at my refrigerator. There are pictures all over it! Look at all these pictures of me and my equally vacuous friends from college! We were so crazy! You can tell we're really good friends because our faces are all pressed up against each other like that.

And check it out, we're holding up alcoholic beverages to the camera in every single picture. That's to prove that we were partying. College was so fun! But of course I don't talk to any of these girls anymore because now they're all bitches.

Let's go back into the hallway!

Hey, before we leave I'm going to go in the bathroom for ten minutes for some mysterious reason. Why don't you sit awkwardly in my big, stupid, round papizan chair over there while you wait for me. It's like you're sitting in a hug! Be right back...

Sorry that took a half an hour, I don't know what the hell I was doing in there. Let's go!

Wow! Thanks for opening my car door for me! I'm totally going to blow that meaningless gesture out of proportion and delude myself into thinking that you're a really good guy because that's what I want to believe.

Well, here we are at the restaurant. No thanks waiter, I don't need to see a menu, just bring me some expensive things. Hey I know, while we wait, I'll tell you all about my unspeakably boring job. I hate my boss. He's a jerk! I might get another job. Maybe something in pharmaceutical sales.

Now let's talk about my family. I love my family. I want you to love my family. I want my family to love you. I want you to make love to my family! I want you to go golfing with my semi-retarded brother Travis. That would be so God damned cute!

Wow! I can't believe I ordered all this food! I have no intention of eating any of it. No thanks waiter, we don't need a box. Just throw it out.

Hey, I've got an idea, let's go to a bar and have an after dinner drink! It'll be great, it will be just like how we're drinking here, only it will be louder and we'll have to stand up. Come on!

See, isn't this better? Oh hey, what a coincidence. Look over there! It's a group of my friends that I knew was going to be here. Let's go over there so that they can judge you!

Hey, I have to go to the bathroom for a half an hour again for some reason. You can stay here and talk to my unbelievably hideous friend Christine! Christine's so ugly she scares kids! Talk to her! She has a job and a family that she wants to talk to you about too. Be right back.

I'm back! Sorry I was gone for three hours, there was a line. I want to go home now.

Well here we are at my door again. This was really fun for me and not you. You should pretend like we're going to do it again sometime! Maybe I'll see you at Target a few months from now and we can avoid eye contact because you never called me. Here, have this awkward goodnight kiss that's as empty as my soul. Good night!

Blob me baby

I so want to do this:


So the headline of this article says it all.

"Physicists have 'solved' the mystery of levitation"

I think it's gonna be cool to be alive for the next fifty years.


It's about time someone got around to providing some economic security for people who won't be "Raptured". You know, Revelations and pits of hell, etc. etc.. Those of us (ok, you) who will ascend to heaven and sit at the right hand......(you get the picture) can set up an e-mail that will be sent out to those of you (ok, me) who are drowing in rivers of our own blood.

That e-mail will contain whatever message you wish, as well as any documentation that you desire your non-Raptured associates to receive (e.g. instructions for picking up your mail and feeding the cat. You know, things you'll be too busy harp-stroking to get around to).

The best part about the site is that it is called "You've Been Left Behind". As if the rivers of blood weren't enough to clue you in, don't miss that handy e-mail from your self-righteous Raptured asshole neighbor telling you "I told you so" and that you are bound to endure an eternity of suffering (as if knowing self-righteous Raptured assholes wasn't bad enough).

Oh, and don't forget to empty the litter box, you heathen.

On the road again

This guy is an Iraqi War veteran who lost an arm in a helicopter crash, and now he is making a cross country drive to see America with his dog, Rocky, riding along in his beat up old Suburban named "The Pinto Bean". The blog is pretty funny, and if you go down to the bottom, you can catch a picture of the mangled heap of slag that was his helicopter. Yeeesh.

Monday, June 2, 2008


2-2. Red Wings score to tie it. Great tip by Datysuk. This might be it - now there's blood in the water.

He Hit the F*$&-ing Post

I'm watching game 5 of the Cup finals right now. 2-1 Pens. Rough first period - I really thought the Penguins would fold up after game 4 (especially after the 5 on 3 went so badly). But the Wings seem to have the pace back, and Fleury has had to make some incredible saves to keep the Pens in it. Which is scary enough -because if he gets hot this could become a problem.

Datysuk just tipped the cross-bar, and I really thought that puck had gone in. The Wings gotta get it tied up - if the Pens get it to 3-1 then Fleury probably keeps them in the game and we're back to Pittsburgh for game 6. Gotta put your foot on their neck when their down.

Random thought while watching: is Nick Lidstrom now one of the 5 best defensemen ever? Bobby Orr, obviously, is #1. Then, in no particular order, I'd have to include Denis Potvin and Larry Robinson. Doug Harvey and Ray Bourque have to be on the list somewhere, don't they? So who would you kick out of the top 5 to put Lidstrom in?

I know this is sacrilege, but I think Bourque might have to move out. Is there something Bourque could do that Lidstrom can't? So let's call it
1. Orr
2. Harvey
3. Potvin
4. Robinson
5. Lidstrom
6. Bourque

(Paul Coffey? No thanks, you have to actually play defense, not just skate fast.)

Lying to your kids

This guy, Paul Graham, asks a cool question: why do we lie to our kids? In particular, why do we go out of our way to lie about some things ("Fluffy went to live in the country") but not others ("Candy will rot your teeth").

Most parents would say that you lie to protect your kids. Protect them from what? From the truth that life is pretty capricious, unfair, and unsafe. That shit happens. Always did, always will. Shit will happen to your kids, it will happen to my kids.

But can't you protect them without lying to them? Can't you tell them that shit happens, but shield them from the shit for as long as possible? So why do we pretend that shit doesn't happen?

It seems to me that the things we lie about most involve bad things of a particular sort: bad things that are done by one person to another. And why don't we want to tell our kids about the fact that people do shitty things to each other? I can think of a few reasons:
1. We don't want to give them ideas
2. If they think people do bad things to other people, they might believe that the parent could do bad things to them. And we want to be trusted implicitly and completely (why? because we want to be the boss all the time)
3. They'll be too afraid to extend themselves with anyone else for fear of being hurt

#3 seems interesting - because we all know that some people are going to take gigantic dumps all over our kids some day. Both Abby and Maddie will get broken up with one day by some loser d-bag (that I of course disliked from the start) and will feel awful. But if I tell them early on, and hammer in to them, that people will hurt them, they'll be less likely to get involved with the d-bag in the first place. So why don't I tell them this?

Because the same reaction that gets them involved with the d-bag will get them involved with their best friends and the love of their lives. Every relationship starts the same, even if they all end differently. So if I told Abby and Maddie the truth about life, I'd probably prevent them from experiencing the great highs of life, even if they'd also avoid the great lows.

And don't think that you can lie to your kids and also give them the greatest highs. Here's something that I'm convinced of: I will not be intimately involved with more than 1 or 2 of my kids best days in life. I'll walk my girls down the aisle, but I'll never make their heart flutter like it will the day they meet that guy. I'm not down on this, because what I lose in amplitude I'll make up for in volume - I get to be there for 900 of their best 1000 days. But not the top 10, not quite.

So that's why I lie - because they need to be naive enough to assume things will turn out right and stupid enough to try things that rationally might not work.

Why Build Cathedral's?

Classic case of a trivial question leading to some interesting conclusions. At Marginal Revolution, they have a string of comments discussing why medieval peeps were shelling out their ducats for gigantic churches, rather than buying things like.....soap, or a goat, or perhaps a little of that exotic spicy pepper stuff imported through Venice that might actually mask the distinctive waft of death from the pot roast.

Bryan Caplan likens cathedrals to fashion magazines - they were a way of duping everyone into the feudalistic system (it's a really strained comparison). Tyler Cowen thinks more of public spending - building cathedrals as economic stimulus.

I'm inclined to think that it's conspicuous consumption by bishops. Remember most of the guys in charge of churches were not the most pious types, and probably purchased the bishopric to fill the time, since they were 2nd sons without a claim to family land. You can't run anyone through with a lance, so why not build a cathedral just a little bigger than your enemy? Makes him look cheap.

It's just a pissing contest. And it's not over. Come to Houston one day and take a look at the "church" that Joel Osteen built inside the old basketball arena. It's glorified dick-swinging (sorry mom) glossed over with the veneer of religion.

Information for Life

RateBeer does one thing, and does it well. You can probably guess.

Their top 5 beers in the world are:
1. Three Floyds Oak Aged Imperial Stout
2. Westvleteren Abt 12
3. Narke Kaggen Stormaktsporter
4. Struisse Black Albert
5. Surly Darkness

They're a little heavy on the stouts, and apparently a few interns at Three Floyds have a lot of free time on their hands.

As a public service, I present to you my own top 5 list of beers (most of which you could actually find in a store somewhere)
1. Leinenkugel's (take the boy out of Wisconsin....)
2. Buzzard's Bay (finally something good coming from southeast Mass.)
3. Bellhaven (if it's not Scottish, its CRAP)
4. St. Arnold's Lawnmower (local to Houston - and very tasty)
5. Molson Canadian (from over the border, not the watered down American version)

News Story of the Day

This is the actual first paragraph of this article:

A homeless woman who sneaked into a man's house and lived undetected in his closet for a year was arrested in Japan after he became suspicious when food mysteriously began disappearing.