Brawny

I’m tempted to say that I’ve got what plants crave, but that’s Brawndo and not Brawny. Entirely different cosplay.

As it stands we’re two days away from Halloween and I’ve dressed up as a more hirsute version of the Brawny Paper Towel Guy.

Old guy had a 70’s pornstache, new guy is clean shaven and me, I’ve got a full beard & glasses.

Past:

Old & Brawny
Pornstache

Present:

New Brawny Guy
Clean-shaven & Brawny

Future?:

Am I Brawny?
The glasses are working against me.

Maybe it’s better if I buy that Brawndo t-shirt for next year and purchase the paper towels for Thursday night. What do you think?

Not sure I can outdo Don Draper or The Dude or Magnum P.I. this year, but what I lack in creativity I’ll make up for in facial hair, plaid & laziness.

Happy Halloween!

I’m 37; I’m not old

There’s something different about this birthday. Something altogether Pythonian.

I’m 37; I’m not old.

I’m also a prime number for the first time since 31 and the last time until 41. Good times.

Here’s some more mathematical information on prime numbers and, pertinently, the number 37.

Speaking of numbers I’m now less than two weeks away from running my first full marathon, the Atlanta Marathon on Sunday, October 27, 2013.

26.22 miles
42.195 kilometers
A long way from home

I had made a promise to myself that I’d run a marathon before I turned 40 so I’m making good on my promise.

Remember: I’m 37; I’m not old.

I guess what I’m admitting is that I’m having a difficult time turning 37. I realize (or rather I’m fighting against) that 37 isn’t “old” but there’s no denying that I’m getting older. Happens every now – enough times that I can see the pattern.

The running will help me, I think, in the long term but it’s going to suck in the near term.

In the meantime I keep on keeping on.

Quoting Monty Python.
Looking up prime numbers on the internet.
Running.

What I really need is a Feltron-style annual report on my life that will make me feel better through the magic of data visualization and USA Today-style color palettes. Barring that, here’s a neat recap of the results of a recent running survey from Brooks.

Until next time.

Happy Birthday to me!

Cell phones I have owned

Now that Microsoft has purchased Nokia’s devices & services business, it’s got me thinking about the cellphones I’ve owned over years.

  • Nokia 3360
  • I’d have to dig through a stack of papers or a dusty drawer in our filing cabinet to see just when I got this phone from BellSouth Wireless (pre-Cingular; way pre-AT&T) but it was roughly the year 2000. I know I had graduated from college, Jenn and I were married and that we went to every cellphone store (ha!), even Sprint with their walkie-talkie-style system(s) before deciding on this phone.

    I’m pretty sure we used BellSouth Wireless so that here folks could go in on a “family plan” with us. We got consecutive phone numbers (which we still use). Makes things terribly easy to remember when filling out forms or telling other parents our digits.

    I only made calls and played “Snake” on this phone. I did, however, customize it with a UGA faceplate. From what I hear, modern “smartphones” such as the Moto X and potentially Apple’s rumored “iPHone 5c” will have some colorful options.

    For a clunky candy bar, this was a fun first phone. No camera, no data plan but “Go Dawgs!” all the way.

  • Sony Ericcson T616
  • Of all the phones I’ve had before and since, I think this was my favorite one.

    It had a colored screen.
    It had wireless internet.
    It had a camera.

    I was gobsmacked.

    I can’t seem to track down the first picture I ever took with that phone, but here’s the first one I uploaded to Flickr.

    I really did dig that phone. It felt great in my hand, it was snappy for its time and it felt like the future when I texted my first photo.

  • Motorola RAZR V3
  • I thought this phone looked a little bit like Neo’s phone from the original Matrix movie.
    I thought this phone would be cool based on the commercials I saw.
    I thought flip phones would be cool again.

    I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Great in theory but horrible in practice, this was arguably the “best” phone I had owned up to that point, but I remain unconvinced. From the build quality to the buttons to the actual interface & services, this was a janky mess.

  • iPhone 3G
  • Mind: blown

    Now serving as the primary music device in my daughter’s bedroom.

  • iPhone 4
  • Dropped in a pool.

    Used as a secondary gaming device (mostly Temple Run) for my son when we go on trips.

  • iPhone 4S
  • Still with me but the power button doesn’t work. Ready, willing & able to upgrade.

With three previous generations of iPhones under my belt, I’m also anxiously awaiting the Apple event of next week (Sept. 10th) to let me know when I’ll need to queue up for my new phone and just how magical it will be. ;-)

I’m actually quite curious about how the new generation of “wearable” devices – along the lines of the Pebble & now Samsung smartwatch – will change my relationship with technology.

I’m firmly ensconced in the Apple ecosystem now, but I have an Android test handset for work which I like a fair bit. I’ve even gone so far as to recommend the new Nexus 7 tablet to my father-in-law, despite holding out for a future retina iPad mini for myself.

Whatever happens I’m sure I’ll love my next phone just as much as I once loved these phones. How could I not? I have it with me all the time – and that may be the most salient point of all.

Muppets Most Wanted

Better. Bolder. Bigger.

That’s the pitch for the upcoming (Spring 2014) Muppet film from Disney, Muppets Most Wanted.

No Jason Segel or Amy Adams this time but we do get Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell & Tina Fey. I’ll take it.

Here’s the trailer featuring Scooter singing “Moves like Jagger”. Do with that what you will.

The plot of the movie – a European jewel heist – seems exactly like The Great Muppet Caper to me. So a sequel that’s a re-make of a sequel?

Come at me, Muppets.

Vacation challenge: Craft beer in cans

Before heading off on our annual Summer vacation to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina I made the executive decision that I wanted to drink only craft beer in cans the entire week. With the growth of canned craft beer beyond stalwarts such as Oskar Blues I figured I was in for a real treat. I wasn’t wrong.

Craft Beer Cans
The canned craft beer in question in a pre-consumed state.

Here are the results of my extensive and enjoyable research:

  1. Carolina Brewery Sky Blue Ale
  2. Easily the best of the bunch. A German Kolsch – not a style you find very often, canned or otherwise – that truly suits warm weather. Spritzy, refreshing and flavorful. A million miles away from the fizzy yellow crap I saw all around me. *Cough* Michelob Ultra *Cough*

  3. Red Hare Brewing Long Day Lager
  4. A local (to me) brewery whose beers I haven’t been truly fond of, but at the beach, in a can, this one really shines. Something about the hops and the flavor. I think in other settings it seems almost too subtle as to be indistinguishable from other things but on a hot day in the sun you could appreciate that subtlety.

  5. Anderson Valley Brewing Company Hop Ottin’ IPA
  6. Hoppy beers, especially IPAs, make sense for me in the heat. Good enough for the British empire in India, good enough for me. This one is a new brewery to me, but they’ve been around since 1987. It’s a really good American, West coast interpretation of an IPA. I think the can mentioned something about awards but they get points in my book for being a solar-powered brewery. Very apropos for beach drinking in cans!

  7. Anderson Valley Brewing Company Summer Solstice
  8. Another beer from Anderson Valley that I’m less excited about, mostly because of the “natural flavor added” note on the can. I’ve seen the style of this beer listed as a Cream Ale but their website calls it “cream soda for adults”. Appropriate for the setting, strategically, but tactically all wrong. Pass.

  9. New Belgium Fat Tire
  10. A great brewery. A solid beer. What could go wrong? Just not right for the weather and the locale. Would’ve preferred Ranger or Shift in the can, but I got the Fat Tire at a Wal-Mart supercenter in Bluffton. Beggars can’t be choosers.

This was a very solid group of beers. The Sky Blue & Hop Ottin’ IPA being standouts and I gained a new-found respect for Long Day Lager.

The only one I’d stay away from in the future is the Summer Solstice. As for Fat Tire – as noted above – it’s a great beer, just not for the beach.

One of the many reasons I’m already looking forward to next year’s beach vacation is the opportunity to try even more craft beer in cans.

And if my personal beer revelations aren’t enough for you, check out this Andrew Sullivan blog post on the “Great Microbreweries of China” or this link my brother sent me on “Innovative ways to open beer“.

Cheers!