Christmas beer ratings

Here’s how I’d rate the various Christmas/Winter beers I tried over the holidays this year:

  1. St Arnold Christmas Ale
  2. Boulevard Nutcracker Ale
  3. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
  4. Abita Christmas Ale

This isn’t to say that the Abita was bad, they were all good beers but somebody had to come in fourth.  In fact it was probably a very well-made beer, but it was not really to my taste.  I’m a malt guy rather than a hops guy so the more hops a beer has the lower down on the rankings it will land.

So since I’m a malt fan I’m looking forward to the starkbierfest and the start of Bock/Doppelbock season.

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Super Bowl entertainment

I read a rumor that the Black Eyed Peas are going to be the entertainment at the next Super Bowl. Given the recent choices (The Who, U2, Springsteen, etc) I thought “Their career peaked less than 20 years ago, how can they be the choice?” Then I realized their career peaked on Oprah so maybe they’re the perfect choice.

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Supporting local businesses

Here’s a situation. There are two local businesses. One is a coffee roasting business. It is a small locally owned business that seems to employ just the owner and one other employee. The other is a huge multinational company (i.e. Starbucks) with a local retail store.

If your goal is to support the local economy, is it better to give your business to the small roaster that employs two local people (and is locally owned) or to the large chain store that employs thirty local people (but is corporately owned)?

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Adidas takes the cake again

After the quarterfinal round of the Jersey Manufacturers’ World Cup, Adidas has taken an insurmountable lead.  With only 12 points left to be awarded in the four remaining matches, Adidas has a 19 point lead over Nike.  With Nike’s 18 point lead over Puma, the standings are all locked in place.

The only question now is whether Adidas or Nike can catch Brooks for the points-per-team trophy.

Standings:

  1. Adidas 68 points
  2. Nike 49
  3. Puma 31
  4. Brooks 6
  5. Umbro 5
  6. Joma 1
  7. Legea 0

Points per team:

  1. Brooks 6.00 points per team
  2. Adidas 5.67
  3. Nike 5.44
  4. Umbro 5.00
  5. Puma 4.43
  6. Joma 1.00
  7. Legea 0
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End of the group stage

They have wrapped up the group stage of the jersey manufacturer’s world cup. Joma has moved out of a tie for last — otherwise the standings remain the same:

  1. Adidas 50 points
  2. Nike 40
  3. Puma 22
  4. Brooks 6
  5. Umbro 5
  6. Joma 1
  7. Legea 0

Now let’s examine who is getting the best value for their money.  What manufacturer has been able to manage the most points per team they entered in the competition:

  1. Brooks 6 points per team
  2. Umbro 5 points per team
  3. Nike 4.44 points per team
  4. Adidas 4.17 points per team
  5. Puma 3.14 points per team
  6. Joma 1 point per team
  7. Legea 0 points per team

As you can see Brooks and Umbro have been getting the most bang for their buck, and both of their teams are still in the tournament so they have the opportunity to widen their lead.  Puma has been a bit of a disappointment so far but if things go right for them in the knockout stages they may be able to catch up.

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Folklore corner

Now in folklore corner… the story of Washing Bay

At the southwest corner of Lough Neagh there is a semicircular bay called Washing Bay. The creek that flows in to the lough at that point is called the Holy River. I used to wonder what was up with those names, and I ran across it in a book a while back. The story doesn’t seem to be on the web so I figured today was a good day to post it, as you will see.

I had always figured that the ‘washing’ in Washing Bay came from the fact that the local populace used to come wash their laundry there. But the actual reason ties in with the Holy River. From time immemorial the Holy River has been held to have healing powers. The story is that every year on the eve of the feast of St. John the Baptist you could be healed of what ailed you by the waters of the Holy River and the Washing Bay. If you washed your afflicted body part in the river or bay on the appropriate day (June 23 as the feast of St. John the Baptist is on June 24) and tied a red rag in the branches of a tree overlooking the river or bay, by the time the rag rotted and fell off you’d be cured.

At it’s height just before the famine in the mid-1800’s, there would be hundreds or thousands of bathers from all around Ulster washing in the bay on June 23. I would be interested to know if anybody is down there today, but I know the custom still lives on a little bit. There is a nature trail that runs along the bay and along the Holy River and along the river you can see a few red rags tied in the branches of the trees.  Now those may be ‘props’ to enhance the Washing Bay Experience but they may be a bit of old folklore hanging on in a corner of rural Ireland.

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Predictable

Pat Lang at the Sic Semper Tyrannis blog was able to foresee the Gen. McChrystal brouhaha that’s blowing up today.

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