Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I think about theology too much. I know, I should be posting this at www.AwesomeBrewers.com but that site is temporarily down. Once I get Awesome Brewers back up, I will re-post this there,http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif since this story is actually about beer.

I had an hour and a half drive from the customers location to my hotel by the airport today. That, combined with the techno station on XM, and the beautiful Connecticut countryside, is a formula for theological pondering. I spent the whole drive refining my heretical philosophy of moral evolution.

It goes something like this. Moses, Abraham, Issac, and Jacob were retarded. Lets not even go back to the time of the Judges, Cain, or Adam. SRLSY, these people were so mentally challenged that they could not hold down a job at McDonald's. Before you think I sound all high and mighty, let me remind you, yes, I have read "The Horse and His Boy." I don't want Aslan to tear the shit out of my back. I get the whole "pride" issue. That is not what this is about. I envy Cain and Moses. I wish I could look at a field of barley and see a miracle, instead of thinking about genetically modified 6 row versus traditional 2 row grains. But that is not what this post is about. This is a beer post, not a theology post. To make a long thesis short, it goes something like this: As humanities intelligence grows and evolves, so does the moral standard that God holds us too. What is a sin now, was not necessarily a sin 2,000 years ago. As we grow, the need for divine intervention decreases. Theologians replace prophets, acceptance of medicine and science replaces miracles, and reasonable atheism replaces golden calves. Free will is the only gift God gave man, and He wants the choice to choose Him to be just as neutral today as it was thousands of years ago.

Sorry! This really is all about beer, I promises!

I only told you that story so I could tell you this story:
I had just come to the end of a long drive. My mind was a whir with deep (to me) theological musings. I stopped at a gas station to top off the rental car before I returned it. On the other side of the gas pump was a mid 90's Mustang Cobra. The body was beat to shit, but it had nice tires. The teenage couple leaning on the classic American muscle shuffled, and looked me up and down. As I started pumping my gas, the chick approached me. "Hey, we need help. We drove to a beach camping trip and then learned, on the way back to Massachusetts, that the fuel gauge is busted. Can you spare a dollar to help us get back home?"

I looked over at the dude, and he looked down at his shoes in shame. "Seriously?" I replied, "How old do you think I look? I have to get going."

She stomped closer, "No one wants to help us because they think we are druggies! Look!" She showed me her forearms. "We are not on drugs, we just need to get home." I snorted. "Really? I know a thing or two about drugs. Just because you don't have track marks does not mean that you are not looking for your next fix." Her boyfriend looked up, "no, man, it's not like that." His girl shushed him, "I am for real. We just need a few gallons to get back home."

Then I started thinking. Joy and I recently had a good laugh at first world problems. I had just spent an hour and a half masturbating my Christian faith, and here were a couple of stupid 17 year olds asking me for help. I was 17 once. I am stupid now. How can I fault them for doing both at once? I reached into my wallet and gave them a dollar. On my way to the front desk, to pay for the gas, an old black man walked up to me. "Hey man, I am a Vietnam vet. I need some money for food." I heard the roar of an American V8 and looked back and saw the young lovers pealing out of the parking lot.

I hesitated for a second. "No man, I am for real! Here," He pulled out his VA ID card. "I am homeless. I just need some change for a dollar burger." Shit, I thought, he pulled the VA card.

If you don't know, my wife makes her paycheck by helping to perpetuate war, and I make mine by helping to clean up afterward. I felt like I owed the vet something, so I looked into my wallet. I had a twenty and a single. SHIT, I thought, this is my beer money! It's kinda hard to expense "random, needy people in a parking lot." I gave him a dollar.

As I drove away, I thought about that. It is all good and fun to theorize about heretical theologies, but what does it mean if you refuse to live by the most basic Christian principals? What right do I have to question the status quo, if I can't even live up to the quo? How can I say that we are held to a higher moral standard if I can't even care for my neighbor? I was not ready to go to bed, so I went to a hole in the wall liquor store. I was looking at "all the beers." Coors, Miller, Bud. They also had all the indy beers like Boston Lager and Mikes Hard Lemonade. Then I saw something in the corner of the cold case. It was behind a 12 pack of Mad Dog. There it was, a six pack of Lagunitas Little Sumpin'. I wanted to ask the proprietor about this diamond in the rough, but he was from India and didn't speak any English.

I love Lagunitas. I pray that Awesome Brewers will, one day, be like them. I pulled into the hotel parking lot and turned up the radio. Liquid Metal on XM was doing a melodic medal set. I could not turn off the radio in the middle of that. The parking lot overlooked the Bradley International Airport and the sun was setting. It was beautiful. The combination of nature and architecture was somewhere between Ayn Rand and C.S. Lewis. Combine this with the fact that I realized that my seat belt clip could open beer bottles, and that explains why I spent almost an hour in my rental car in the parking lot.

I just popped the top on another amazing 64.2 IBU, 1.076 OG, tasty beverage. I only have two questions:
1. What right do I have to call myself a Christian?
2. Do I always pick yeast that attenuates too far?

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

If there is anyone who who is still here, all my writings have now migrated to: http://www.awesomebrewers.com/

Monday, October 04, 2010

My Halloween Party invitation:

http://www.awesomebrewers.com

Stop on by if you happen to be in McKinney TX.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Man, I saw way too many thongs tonight.**

Ok, that sentence gives the off the exact opposite vibe I was going for. Let me explain:

With less then 4 hours of sleep under my belt, thanks to Dollar Rent A Car, I headed off to work. I knew the the main focus of our latest install was the mental health ward, but I did not realize how much time I was going to spend behind the electromagnet sealed doors. Doing a wireless survey is a lot like the opposite of looking for a well with a divining rod - you have no idea what forces are at work, and you want everyone to think they understand what you are doing. I had to leave the hospital with a 1000% Lynx guarantee that the mental health ward had acceptable -db scores for the wireless panic buttons. I think they will be all right. But, this assurance is at the cost of my sanity. I will not tell you the story of the man who told me, in old testament fashion, the lineage of a used car lot. I will not tell you the story of a woman who always knew exactly what temperature it was. I will tell you the story of the man who laughed at people who thought he was talking to trees.

I was one of those people.

He corrected me.

I will never be the same. If you thought this was deep, let me help. I did not have this thought until I met the clairvoyant prostitute. No, not in the hospital, I met her in the bar.

~Back to the man who laughed at people who thought he was talking to trees~
I was walking around with a beeping suitcase, acting like I knew things about -db, when I saw a guy talking to a tree. I stared at him because I felt superior. I knew that I didn't talk to trees, so I had to be better then him. Then he made eye contact. It was one of those moments when you wished that there was no God and that your great grand parents where those fish who swam into a cave and liked the food. After a lot of blind fucking, you could have been born, withought sight, but with the evidence of eyes. That would have been easier. Instead this guy in the loony bin talked to me.

"Have you ever talked to trees? They will think you are crazy! HAHahaha!"

He laughed for a long time. It was the laugh an evil comic book villain would have. It will never leave me. Who are "they?" I wish that were the last sober thought of the day. Unfortunately, a lot happened between that moment and the drunken moment I am living in now.

I want more Yuengling. It truly is the Bolsheviks beer. I just drove all over tarnation to get some Yuengling. BTW, I hate KevinO. But that is another story.**

On my way from the hospital to the hotel I called my brother, Adrian. After work on Friday I am driving up to Lawton America to attend my little brother, Daniel's, wedding. This is the most depressing thing I have ever done in my life.

I hate Jessica, his fiance. I really hate her.

In fact, I have never hated any other human so deeply. I am good at looking at the silver lining. I almost felt sorry for the clairvoyant prostitute at the bar tonight. Ok, ok, she was probably not clairvoyant. But she sure could read minds. This was probably, only the 3rd time I had actually met a prostitute, and she was good. Not good looking, mind you, they never are. (Although this would be the second thong I would see today. It was more attractive then the first, which belonged to the woman who always knew what temperature it was, but still not worthy of Girls Gone Wild.) She was just good at what she did, you know - reading minds and all that. I watched, just to observe her habits, as she made her mark and went out to the parking lot "for a smoke" aka to give a dude a BJ for $20. I think she just did this to show her powers. I watched her bum free drinks off several travelers. I watched her make eye contact with the locals and duck under their stares. We had a dialog going on, in our heads. I predicted her every move, and she flipped me off behind the back of some big fish in a little bowl. I did not truly believe in her super power until she got kicked out. As the manager asked her to leave, and she walked to the door, eyes tearing up, I thought, "this is a human being. If you prick her, will she not bleed?" My empathy almost took over, and then I looked over my shoulder. She was outside the window smoking a cigarette. She winked at me, and we both flipped each other off in unison. I shit you not. I wish Fox Mulder were there, because she is proof of supernatural powers. She truly could read minds.

As much as I was ready to see the good nature in this mutant hooker, I cannot, for the life of me, see any good in the woman my brother is about to wed. It gets worse. Adrian just found out this week that he was supposed to be the best man. Jessica does not let Daniel talk to his family. All communication either goes through her, or her family. When Adrian demanded that he be allowed to talk to Daniel, alone, before he accepted, Jessica decided that he was not worthy. So, Adrian is not going to the wedding, and I just learned that I will be asked, hours before the ceremony, to take his place. Yes, I know there is more then hours before the event, but I still have not been asked. So, I am being clairvoyant, not exaggerating.

The last thong I saw tonight was at the bar. This is KevinO's fault.** Did you know that in PA you can only buy beer at bar after 10pm? That whole sentence just sounds weird.

BTW, I have 18 Yuenglings in my bag. Whoever wants to come over on Thursday can help me finish them. I can use all the counseling I can get before Friday.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I found my home tonight. I love hippies. Mad Anthony's brew pub in Fort Wayne Indiana is amazing. It is tucked away, just outside of down town, in an antique drug store. Run entirely by hippies, they have 10 beers on tap. The patrons are mostly struggling musicians and everyone was extremely friendly. Between freely handing out samples of all the beers, talking about the local music scene, and commenting on the fact that I was in possession of illegal clove cigarettes, they went out of their way to make sure everyone who walked through the front door felt welcome and like a regular. I want my brew pub to have the same atmosphere. A few people in the corner were playing cards, some middle aged guys were watching the Olympics and talking about politics, the musicians were talking about the indi music being played, and a couple of collage guys were looking at hotties on their phones. Everyone was drinking microbrew and everyone treated me like I had been coming there since 1960. I don't know. Maybe it was something in the beer, but I want bring this feeling to Dallas.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Perl helps private investigators bring criminals to justice.

I was sitting in a bar, wearing my “I know regular expressions” xkcd t-shirt, and a guy walked up to me and slapped me on the shoulder.
“Perl! Where did you get that shirt? Talk about the story of my life. A steroid dealer who had several NFL players on his frequent buyer program found out that his girl-friend was tipping off police, so he murdered her and then killed himself. The girls family hired us to go over 80GB of data to find out if there was evidence to support a wrongful death lawsuit.“

And they use Perl to grep through all this data!

Hmmmm. I guess I shouldn’t be so excited about that. It’s still cool, though.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A fifteen story tall post modern structure interrupts the seemingly endless plain of northern South Africa. In the near desert that was once Botswana, sheet metal shacks and small huts congregate around the monstrosity, like pagans bowing down before the blasphemy that defies the natural order of its surroundings. Paul walks through the market on his way to the bank. It has been a two day journey from the coast, and he is anxious to get there, but every step that brings him closer fills his mind with fear and paranoia. He stops at a venders cart and orders a beer. The dark skinned local pours a straw colored liquid out of an old plastic milk jug into a cup made out of a Coke can. Paul tosses a few Euros down and pounds the tepid brew. As he walks away he wonders if the fact that he didn’t regret wasting perfectly good money on that swill was proof that he really was an alcoholic.

The lobby of the bank was surprisingly cool, and clean. The center of the building was open, so you could see elevators ascending and descending, taking patrons to and from the offices that overlooked the lobby floor. People of all nationalities paused and enjoyed the refreshing atmosphere. After making a deposit or withdrawal, most of these individuals would have a long trek ahead of them. This place was an oasis in more ways than one. Paul took it all in for a moment before beginning his climb up one of the staircases. For some reason he was just not in the mood to take the elevator. He sighed as he took the last step onto the fourth floor. Hundreds of terminals with dark curtains suspended on what looked like circular shower curtain rods loomed before him. About a third of the terminals were in use and only about half of the clients cared enough to close the curtain around them. Paul waked by a fat middle aged elderly Korean man who was checking the contents of his digital safety deposit box. Apparently he felt no shame about retrieving his illegal Hentai, because he left the privacy curtain wide open. Paul cocked his head to one side as he walked by and watched the Asian’s monitor. He thought about informing the manga connoisseur that there were never actually any tentacle Digimon, but decided against it.

Paul smiled as he thought about the similarities between picking a terminal and picking a urinal. You should leave at least one open space between you and the next guy. He wondered if they thought about this when they decided how many terminals to install. He picked a suitable terminal and scanned in his thumb prints and entered his password before inserting his drive and uploading the key. There was no need to close the curtain. He was simply going to withdraw the file from the safety deposit and close the account – no need to view any of the contents here. After the download, he shoved the drive in his pocket and closed the account. As he started his descent down the stairs, he looked up at the executive offices on the higher floors. “What a shame,” he thought, “somewhere up there is Kevin O’Neil. Even though this is the first time in years that we are on the same continent, I have never felt so distant.” Paul grinned as he mulled over just how witty his thoughts were.