Friday, June 27, 2008

Vacation: New Belgium Brewing Company

OK, it's come to my attention that some members of my family have read some of my posts and gone, "Uh, what is he talking about ?" I promise this blog post will be a little more straight-forward than some in the past.

I've been in Colorado all of this week. I'd made the decision to take next week off to drive out here to see my aunt and uncle in Longmont, but as luck would have it, my job took me to Colorado Springs a week early. So I was able to get a plane ticket out on company expense and spend time with family/friends after escaping Colorado Springs (and not a moment too soon, either. If I'd seen one more reference to the Focus on the Family Visitors' Center in CS, I'd have lost my temper.) Anyway, I talked Dick and Isabel into going to the New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, just up I-25, with me yesterday. To put it mildly, a good time was had by all...

The logo of NBB with all the employees' signatures. This is the new wallpaper on my cell phone.

A shot of the golden soda inside one of the ultra-high-tech, state-of-the-art, uber-spiffy brewing vats.

These are actually hand-blown glass fixtures for a chandelier in the staircase leading up to the balcony overlooking the packaging plant.

My Uncle Dick, Aunt Isabel, me, and 4-oz. samplers of Mothership Wit. (part 2)...

Some facts about NBB: They are the 8th-largest brewery in the United States, yet they only distribute to 18 States. Wrap your mind around THAT for a minute.

They are the only brewery in the US powered completely by wind turbines.

They have their own water treatment and methane-recycling facilities, much to the relief of the city of Fort Collins.

They are not publicly traded, but you start getting employee-owner stock options after ONE YEAR on the freaking job.

All new employees get a key to the brewery on their FIRST DAY, and they get a six-pack of beer per week. ON THE HONOR SYSTEM.

They put on a Tour de Fat festival every year in several major cities. Our tour guide said they had something like 7,000 people for the one in Fort Collins last year, and ended up taking a grand total of TWO bags of garbage to the landfill. When was the last time you could say that about your family picnic? These people REALLY know their stuff about environmental conservation.

I ended up getting some goods at the souvenir shop, including a cycling jersey with the logo for Fat Tire Amber Ale on it, but I did not leave with what I really wanted.

A job application.

What a cool place.

Up next: a test ride of a Moots in Boulder (and maybe a tour of their factory in Steamboat Springs).

Spin easy, friends.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Andrew Sullivan had a recent series of blog posts that made me laugh out loud--something I'm not prone to doing unless it's a real zinger. The subject:

Why do people touch their own lips?

One of his readers wrote:

I say this as a retired psychotherapist of many years. The reason we touch our lips is to see if we are still there. It is out of insecurity. The most basic first experience was oral contact with our mother. Our mouths were the first sensory experience that we had, was our first contact with the world. It is our most basic way of identifying ourselves and our existence.
While another one retorted with my lol moment:
Dunno about you young moist-behind-your-ears folks, but us old folks touch our lips to make sure our damned dentures are properly set.
I'd buy that second guy a drink, but I'd be afraid they'd slip out and fall into the beer mug.

John Freshwater fired from teaching

For those of you who don't know, he's a Christo-fascist twerp of a science teacher who looks like he was trained as an infiltrator by the Discovery Institute. The guy had the nerve to use a cross-shaped piece of metal and an electrical device to demonstrate some electrical principle...and in doing so, burn a cross into some poor kid's forearm. And that's only the tip of a considerable iceberg, which his fellow self-righteous twerps are, of course, spinning into "HE GUT FIRED FER HAVIN A BIBLE ON HIZ DESK!!! GOD-HATERZ!!! KILLEM!!! KILLEM!!!

I hate people like this.

A Marine speaks out against torture

To Andrew Sullivan. His comments echo those of Lt. Col. (ret.) Dave Grossman in his book On Killing.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Quote of the day.

Being afraid of cycling is like feeling guilty about sex, except one keeps you from getting on and the other keeps you from getting off.

Blogger BikeSnobNYC

Salman Rushdie's birthday

From Garrison Keillor's "Writer's Almanac:"

When Rushdie published The Satanic Verses in 1988, most Western critics didn't notice that it would be offensive to Muslims. In the book, Rushdie makes a lot of obscure jokes about the Islamic religion, he names the whores in a Mecca brothel after the Prophet Muhammad's wives, and he suggests that the Koran is not the direct word of God. The book was banned in India the month after publication and then subsequently in other countries. It was also publicly burned. There were bomb threats called in to the publishing house. Translators of the work suffered assassination attempts; the Italian translator was wounded, the Japanese translator killed, and the fire set by Islamic extremists to the Turkish translator's hotel left 40 people dead.

There was a riot in Kashmir over the book, and the Ayatollah Khomeini saw scenes from the riot on Iranian television in which police shot demonstrators. After that, the Ayatollah announced that "all zealous Muslims of the world" should try to find Rushdie wherever he was and kill him. The order of death came from Iran's leader on Valentine's Day, 1989. The Ayatollah promised martyrdom for any Muslim who was successful in killing Rushdie, and another religious leader promised a million-dollar reward, doubled if the killer was Muslim.

Rushdie had to go into hiding for nine years. On the first anniversary of the fatwa, he wrote, "I feel as if I have been plunged, like Alice, into the world beyond the looking glass, where nonsense is the only available sense."

The death sentence was finally lifted in 1998. Rushdie later said, "The experience taught me ... a lot about the human capacity for hatred. But it also taught me the opposite: the capacity for solidarity and friendship. ... My Norwegian publisher was shot three times in the back and ... his first reaction, upon recovering from the bullet wounds, was to reprint the book. That's courage."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Atheist quiz

Via Abbie Smith of ERV. Check her out (her blog, guys, her blog...)

Q1. How would you define "atheism"?

The realization that religion doesn't make sense, so don't bother with it.

Q2. Was your upbringing religious? If so, what tradition?


Q3. How would you describe "Intelligent Design", using only one word?


Q4. What scientific endeavor really excites you?

All of the above. Seriously.

Q5. If you could change one thing about the "atheist community", what would it be and why?

I don't consider myself a part of any real "community," so I don't know how I would answer this.

Q6. If your child came up to you and said "I'm joining the clergy", what would be your first response?

To pull up every instance of Dan Savage's "Youth Pastor Watch". Then call him a fucking idiot.

Q7. What's your favorite theistic argument, and how do you usually refute it?

"Everything happens for a reason." I wanna barf every time I hear this. My counter: Who says?

Q8. What's your most "controversial" (as far as general attitudes amongst other atheists goes) viewpoint?

I truly don't know.

Q9. Of the "Four Horsemen" (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris) who is your favourite, and why?

PZ Myers. Two words: acid wit.

Q10. If you could convince just one theistic person to abandon their beliefs, who would it be?

The Pope. The ultimate coup.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Olbermann: Special comment on John McCain

"I don't know if I'd want him as Vice President. He and I have the same strengths. But to serve in other capacities? Hell, yeah!"
--Senator John McCain, on DICK CHENEY.

That right there is sufficient reason for me to contribute to Obama's campaign. And to send this blog post to anyone who thinks McCain is still the "maverick" everyone seems to think he is. Because if you brag about having the same strengths as Dick Cheney, you're snuggling up to evil. Period.

Obama shovelling sandbags

Via Sullivan:

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert Reax

Tom Brokaw

"Our gravity is off here."
Keith Olbermann

"This is a loss to the country."
Barbara Walters

"I think we lost the quarterback."
Chris Matthews

Tim Russert: Dead


Style criticism aside, the guy knew how to hold someone's toes to the fire. He'd call people out on their evasion attempts, and wouldn't let people get away with BS.

The Lance Armstrong of RAAM

RAAM: Race Across America. As in BIKE Race Across America.

Sound Crazy?

Jure Robic will do nothing to convince you otherwise.

Tom Boonen's Cat

more cat pictures

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jason Whitlock rules

The most unflinching commentator in sports. Here's a little gem on the latest NBA officiating crap:

(David) Stern is worried about the media. Why?

ESPN, the worldwide leader, has no real interest in exhaustively examining Donaghy’s allegations. Not when there is a Barry Bonds or O.J. Mayo or Miguel Tejada to embarrass and expose.

Why hold a league’s billion-dollar feet to the fire and jeopardize a lucrative relationship when you can cherry-pick cheating and lying athletes to blame for sports’ ills?

So the NBA has crappy officiating? So what else is new?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The wit of Katie Halper on John McCain

Sorry, ERV, there's a new love in my life:

Dear ex-Hillary fans who are showing their support for her by ignoring her call to support Obama and supporting McCain,

First, I'd like to congratulate you. You've asked yourself WWJMD and you've decided to vote against your own interests and principles while furthering Senator McCain's. Before you're allowed on the band wagon, we are asking you to sign the following oath. A McCain presidency will mean different things for different people, so we have tailored the oaths accordingly.

No more the rest yourself.

BMW with cloth skin

Olbermann: Communion as a weapon

Shame on you, Keith, you're late to the party on this one. Sullivan had it here May 16th.

But it's still more reason to shake your head over the Catholic Church. They denied communion to an Obama supporter who is as staunch an opponent of abortion as you'll find because Obama supports abortions. Never mind that Obama believes that personal responsibility should be taken to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place, thus reducing the number of abortions. But birth control is verboten by the church, because it might give people the crazy notion that sex doesn't have to be something to fear, let alone be as dangerous and risky as possible.

I can't rant about this enough. The Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church is completely fucking clueless. They forbid both abortion and the means by which it could be prevented. Stupid, stupid, STUPID!!! They define George Carlin's comment that these people are not pro-life, they're anti-woman. "They believe a woman's primary role is to function as a brood mare for the State." Or the church, in this case.

You people make me fucking sick.

Olbermann beats O'Reilly

For a full week, no less. But Kos's real money quote to me is this:

Memo to MSNBC -- get Rachel Maddow her own show NOW. Could you imagine her leading into Olbermann? That would be programming gold.

Or, for that matter, afterward. Can you imaging what a boon it would be to the GLBT community to have someone who's just plain awesome (a term I don't use lightly) taking on Hannity and colmes?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Takes a licking...

Via Olbermann:

(B)est advertisement for a watch, Bulova. In 1941, British Navy Lieutenant Teddy Bacon threw a line from his ship HMS Repulse to the shore at Gibraltar Harbor. His wrist watch flew off and into the soup. Lieutenant Bacon left the description of the watch and his address with the harbor master. Last week what arrives in the mail? The watch. They were dredging the harbor and they found it, 67 years later and it still runs.

So, machinery superb, quality of wrist band, not so hot.


Skateboarder Has Terribly Painful Landing - Watch more free videos

Antarctic condom shipment

Hey, it's awfully long down there.

Winter, I meant a long winter, what did you THINK I meant?

Boonen tests positive for cocaine

Choose your role models carefully.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Icky Children's Toys

It's not exactly Herpes or Gonorrhea, but kinda cute: plush children's toys shaped like bacteria, fungi, and creepy crawleys. Check it out.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Olbermann: Special comment on Hillary's "assassination" comment

A concise explanation of why I am an Obama supporter, and a Hillary despiser:

Friday, June 6, 2008

Letter to Andrew Sullivan

Someone needs to take a bow:

We ridicule people who believe absurd things for non-religious reasons all the time, and nobody bats an eye. Think about how the media represent believers in alien abductions -- if you believe that aliens in UFOs are currently invisibly abducting thousands of Americans, you're branded a lunatic. If you believe that God is planning to invisibly abduct millions of Americans a few years from now (and that you will be among the elect), you have a good shot at a political career in the South.

First the minivan... the SUV is in rapid decline. Number of people who should be surprised: zero.

Good luck on the resale value, folks.

Send a Christian Email After You're Dead

Because we all know you need to let your loved ones know that they're still going to hell unless they get their shit straight.

(Off topic, I remember George Carlin once pondered why we always say that the deceased is smiling down on us rather than that they're screaming up at us).

I wish there was a way to shame people like this, but there's no way to shame a con artist. Not that all religion isn't a con, but this takes chutzpa to dizzying new heights.

Via Sullivan.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Air Force Chiefs Forced Out

I know, obvious pun. Money quote:

The Air Force has endured a number of embarrassing setbacks over the past year. In August, for instance, a B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and flown across the country. The pilot and crew were unaware they had nuclear arms aboard.

The error was considered so grave that President Bush was quickly informed.

At which point he continued reading from a children's book for another 7 minutes. Oh, wait, wrong airplane story.

Hillary to end campaign.

Say it with me:


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Road to Roubaix

I can't wait for the DVD.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Quote of the day.

"a person as bitter as myself requires a lot of alone time in the morning in order to come to grips with the fact that I am a) alive; and b) must once again eventually interact with other people at some point during the course of the day."


I swear, that guy has to work in customer service.

Drunk driver plows into bike race

My friend, Amy, sent me this one. Her description is the only one possible.


And I hate to sound bloodthirsty, but I hope someone got this on video, because it needs to be shown to every American motorist every single time they get their driver's license renewed. Pay attention, people!

Monday, June 2, 2008

How to make a fundamentalist feel stupid(er).

Someone really needs some fan mail for this. It's a translation guide on how to speak to Christians.