I love beer.  Growing up, my parents never really drank much, but one time my dad let me have a sip of Bud Light and I swore it was the grossest thing I had ever tasted.  Even in high school, when I went through my "let's be rebellious and get drunk" phase, I wouldn't touch the stuff.  However, after college, I really began cultivating a taste for beer and now it is my favorite beverage.

A lot of my friends also really love beer, and so it was only a matter of time before someone suggested that we do a blind taste test of beers!  Will gets credit for the idea, though there may have been co-conspirators.  Will decided our first beer tasting test should compare and contrast different wheat beers.  The participants in the taste test were:

Will, Colleen, Kevin, Josh M., other Josh, Jimmy, Tim, and me.

During the blind taste test, we evaluated the beers based on taste, aroma, and appearance, ranked them in order from most liked to least liked, then tried to guess which was which.  Will then scrupulously tallied the results which are below.  If you don't enjoy beer, you'll probably want to skip the rest of this post...although, you've probably already skipped it by now.
#1 Upland Wheat Ale
Upland Brewing Co. - Bloomington, IN
Score: 38 points
Taste: #1
Aroma: #5
Appearance: #2

Who loves it (ranked it #1 or #2)? Carrie, Josh M., Jimmy, Will (we have local tastebuds)

#2 Mothership Wit (Belgian White)
New Belgium Brewing Co. - Fort Collins, CO
Score: 37 points
Taste: #1
Aroma: #3
Appearance: #7

Who loves it (ranked it #1 or #2)?  Will, Tim, Colleen
#3 312 Urban Wheat (Urban Wheat Ale)
Goose Island Beer Co. - Chicago, IL
Score: 33 points
Taste: #4
Aroma: #2
Appearance: #3

Who loves it (ranked it #1 or #2)?  Kevin

#4 Kellerweis
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. - Chico, CA
Score: 33 points
Taste: #5
Aroma: #7
Appearance: #6

Who loves it (ranked it #1 or #2)?  Colleen, Carrie (must be girly)

#5 Gumball Head (American Wheat Ale)
Three Floyds Brewing Co.- Munster, IN
Score: 31 points
Taste: #3
Aroma: #1
Appearance: #5

Who loves it (ranked it #1 or #2)?  Kevin, Jimmy, Tim (must be a little bit gay)

#6 Blue Moon (Belgian White)
Blue Moon Brewing Co. - Denver, CO
Score: 31 points
Taste: #6
Aroma: #6
Apperance: #1

Who loves it (ranked it #1 or #2)?  Josh M., other Josh (must be Joshy)

#7 Bud Light Golden Wheat
Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. - St. Louis, MO
Score: 21 points

Taste: #7
Aroma: #4
Appearance: #4

Who loves it (ranked it #1 or #2)?  other Josh

Will correctly identified 4 out of the 7 beers, which was the best of anyone.  Although, I think we all agreed on was that it was very difficult to discern the subtle differences between the beers (especially since we administered this test during the Super Bowl during which we all had the taste of chili-cheese dip and bacon weave fresh on our tongues).  Some of us were really surprised by our ranks and our guesses.  Overall, it was a pretty interesting test and we'll probably do it again sometime.

That's all for now.  Drink responsibly.


the whiski

Looking for an optimistic mid-winter sweet treat?

Try this.

I like 3:1 ratio of Ski to whiskey, but you can do 2:1 if you're feelin' bold or 4:1 if you're feelin' wussy.

I just found out you can find Ski at the 7-eleven in Bloomington.


good business.

Have you heard what Pepsi did in lieu of spending millions on Superbowl ads this year?  They decided to give that money away through a grant competition.  Check it out!  People propose ideas for how to spend the money, and other people, like us, can vote for the causes we think are most worthy.  Thumbs up, Pepsi.

While Coca-cola spent millions ($3 mil on the ad space alone) for their Simpsons commercial (which was admittedly pretty entertaining), Pepsi reached into its deep international conglomerate pockets to "refresh" the world, as they say (1)

Now, I am not so naive as to think that Pepsi's Refresh Project is a selflessly philanthropic act.  It is a marketing strategy to improve its brand's image and identity in order to sell more product and increase profits.  However, that is what businesses do - they advertise to sell more and make more.  Why not help others in the process?

Take Miller High Life, who spent its $3 million in ad dollars to promote its brand by highlighting small business owners across the country.  Go to their website (if you are 21 or older) to view the commercial and to learn more about the small businesses they highlighted and others that didn't make the cut.  Chicago public radio did a piece about the baseball card shop owner mentioned on the commercial.  He said the response has been "overwhelming" since the commercial aired last Sunday (2).

Miller is challenging the age-old marketing strategy that only meat-heads and boobies can sell beer.  Now High Life is the beer of the "little guy" trying to make it in a world of big business (not to mention bailouts and bonuses).  By choosing High Life, you are supporting your neighborhood "little guy."  Perhaps this new message will convince a frat boy somewhere that he can drink beer and care about more than football and boobies (I would like to use the word "boobies" as much as possible because it is funny).

To be clear, I am not advocating an increased consumption of either soda or beer.  I believe these things should be consumed in moderation, and that we should all buy soda and beer that has been produced or distributed by smaller more local companies (3) when possible (supporting local economies is always better).  However, I applaud this shift in corporate advertising and hope others will follow. 

Stay tuned for more beverage-related posts....boobies.

(1) Coca-cola sucks for many reasons.  Don't ever buy it (Coke, Sprite, Mr. Pibb, Dasani, Odwalla, etc.).
(2) You can read an article about Tim's Baseball Card Shop here.  I'm not sure how long it will be up though.  You can also view his website at timsbbcardshop.com
(3) Double-Cola (makers of SKI) is based in Chattanooga, TN and bottled in many places in the midwest.  It is an Evansville, IN tradition.  I found this sweet mid-century photo of a DC driver in Evansville. 


Super Bowl? More like Pooper Bowl...

Yesterday, we all went over to Jimmy's condo to watch the big game, dressed in blue, and with our best snackies in hand.  I even made this sweet Colts slutty tee (you are supposed to wear it without the white shirt underneath and with more skin showing on the sides).

Tim made some little smokies, I made some pretzels with white chocolate and blue M&Ms on top, and Josh made some bacon wrapped tater tots (or Bacotots as I like to call them).  Louis and Leah brought blue rice krispy treats, cheese puff things, and the ingredients for blue Tom Collins (sweet and sour mix, gin, and some other liqueur.)  Colleen made BBQ wings, Guff made chili cheese dip, and Will made the infamous Baconweave (bacon weaved together to make a large mat, then wrapped around some italian sausage and smothered in BBQ sauce). 
Okay, so the Indianapolis Colts were defeated, but I was personally consoled by the gross amount of greasy fatty junkfood I had just consumed.  Food is better than football, half-time shows, and commercials.

Here is a post-game picture of me being sad, Josh being pissed, and Tim being...Tim.
Congratulations Saints and Saints fans (and Tracy Porter, even though you were on the opposing team this time, I still love you).

Peyton, there's always next year (I'm saving my slutty tee)...


go cotes.

Good Luck tomorrow, Peyton Manning!!!


twenty ten resolved.

Welcome 2010!  I am a little late with the "New Year" blog, I know.  But here it is, nonetheless. 

I do not have any resolutions for this year, but if any of you think of some for me, let me know, and I'll do my best to resolute them.

Also, I am super excited that we can now start saying "twenty-ten" or "twenty-eleven" instead of "two thousand and nine."  I've been waiting for this since 1999.




Long before I had a blog or a Myspace account or a Facebook account, I had a livejournal.  Colleen (texmexbean) was the original LJer and I wanted to read all her incredibly insightful and clever posts, so I started my own.  I wrote in my livejournal for about 2 years before I abandoned it for less demanding forms of social networking.

I had almost completely forgotten about livejournal until, yesterday, when I noticed that a friend had commented on my blog using her livejournal account.  I was immediately catapulted me back in time, and had to look up my old account.  After spending about 20 minutes trying to remember my username and password, I was reunited with my 22 year-old ramblings.

If you are a glutton for punishment, you can take a peek at my livejournal, but I wouldn't recommend it.  It is pretty embarrassing just how obnoxious and whiny I could be (I am probably just as obnoxious now, but don't tell me, I'd like to remain in denial).  However, I did stumble across a few witty gems every once in awhile, mostly comments left by my very funny friends.

I'll just share some highlights.

1. I once wrote a livejournal entry about how I wanted to stop shaving my armpits, but was afraid of what people would think of me.  It was an all around annoying entry, but  jeffy6toes' comment made it worthwhile:
i didn't know asians had armpits like white people do. cool. i want to say that every other week i put an attachment on to my electric razor and trim up my body hair. i trim my sideburns, neck, eyebrows, shoulders, nipples, naval, pubics, and probably most importantly my armpits. i trim my armpits because when i go to the beach i don't like when hair sticks out real far. i really don't think that anyone should be expected to shave so close that they lose important body oils-male or female-face or pits or legs. trim...just trim like i do. it's not gross. let's lose the expectation to be smooth and silky. let's also keep each other in check and not let our buddy's body hair get gross. icky!
2. Once, when I was living in Chicago, I went to a Bulls game .  I wrote an entry about the game and titled it "if i wasn't dating a white indie rocker, i'd be dating a big, black basketball player."  To which texmexbean replied:
if i wasn't dating a mexican indie rocker, i'd be dating a white indie rocker.
Oh, that Colleen and her racist remarks...

3. Another time, I wrote an entry about my life in Chicago and asked my friends for some job referrals.  husbandandwife responded with this:
i know this dudelady named Debbie that does some work in chicago and might need some help. i think she is an electrician or something. i just remember hearing something about red-lights, but i didn't catch the entire job description. i think she hangs out downtown, at night mostly, in case you bump into her. i'm sure you'd be good at whatever kind of work she needed help with. i guess it pays pretty well.

tell her i sent you. she should remember me from all of the prostitution i've paid her for.
I'll let you guess who "husbandandwife" is.

Thanks for enduring the stroll down memory lane with me.  In all my reminiscing, I remembered that I had started a blog back in 2006.  I only wrote 2 posts before forgetting about it completely.  I decided to merge The Salty Side blog with it and just see what happened.  I am not getting rid of this domain name yet...unless I decide to....

You might want to check it out, guy.



not your ordinary cybergiveaway.

So....this chick, Rachel Thurston has some sweet photography on her website: www.rachelthurston.com

She it totally glam. 
She also happens to be giving away a prize to some lucky commenter on her blog.  I hesitate to even tell you about it because then you will all enter the contest, thus decreasing my chances of winning.  But then I thought that if my friend Jennie was nice enough to post about it on her blog so that I could enter, then I really should tell you all about the giveaway as well.  So...I'm like paying it forward...or something like that.

Anyway, check out Rachel's photography at her website, then check out the contest mentioned on her blog post from 1.28.10.  (or don't bother checking out the giveaway if you don't want to...I mean seriously it's like a way dorky prize that only dorks would want....really...)