Predicting the Traffic

As a long time Atlantan, I’m used to the bad traffic and worse commutes and I’m also quite familiar with our fascination with weather. Be it rain or (god forbid) sleet or snow, we take our severe weather seriously, what with all the Doppler radar and meteorologists and “weather centers” on local TV. I’m looking right at you, Glenn Burns.

Today’s commute (oddly quiet down 75 from Smyrna to Midtown) got me to thinking about a little chocolate & peanut butter mashup of our car quagmire and our love of obscenely obsessive coverage: Traffic Forecasts!

It seems to me that we’re on the verge of 2010, we ought to have the technology. What’s stopping us.

Exhibits A & B:

Where does that leave us?

If you’re like me, you absolutely love the Summer (when the kiddies are out of school), major holidays and any time you can take a back road.

Of course, if I lived in town I’d have different patterns and behaviors to love and hate, but the highways are my current touchpoints.

Still, I’d love to see Mark Arum or Captain Herb standing in front of the green screen doing the chroma key dance and talking about historical patterns, the tie-ins to the weather (cross promotion opportunities!) and construction.

It seems like a slam dunk. They can produce that kind of TV/Radio now, they know about all the events and they’ve got the weathermen on that angle. Plus, shouldn’t some kid at Georgia Tech be working on this for a senior thesis?

Anyhow, rant over. Enjoy your commute tonight.

Happy Monday!

Georgia (Beer) On My Mind

I <3 beer.
Which is to say I love beer.
Would marry it if that didn’t violate my current nuptial status.

I’ve even just had a nice jolt of dopamine by hitting the “save draft” button while editing this very entry.

Clearly, I’m in desperate need of Mmmm, Beer [hear Homer say it: mp3].

What got my beer tooth tingling was a particularly tasty cask ale – Saint Arnold Elissa IPA – that I drank at Ginger Man in Austin, TX during SXSWi. The beer got me thinking about cask ales and drinking good beers regularly (apart from the all-too-seldom Monday Night and the stash in the beer fridge) at places local, knowledgeable, inviting and well-stocked.

My normal haunts have rotating selections – places like Taco Mac, Varner’s and Smyrna World of Beverages – but I feel like I’m doing a disservice to beer-drinking by not branching out enough.

So after checking out the cask situation in the local two things happened:

  1. I did the whole 5 Favorite Beers on Facebook
  2. Garrett emailed me about the grand opening of Hop City Craft Beer & Wine at the new 5 Season Westside this Thursday, April 2.

So now I have a conundrum. Go drink some free beer and eat some free food at a beer establishment on Thursday (and hang out with some very cool, like-minded folks) or do I go the Social Media Club Atlanta meeting at Manuel’s and do the same thing in a different venue with different folks?

I know, I know. Rough life, huh?

I think I’m leaning heavily towards the grand opening, only because I saw some of the Social Media Club folks in Austin and I’d like to sample the new wares/digs over Manuel’s (which I already know/love).

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some new sites and tools I’m using in my beer quest:

  • Beer Counter for iPhone
  • Worked like a charm @ SXSWi and I managed my (over)indulgences.

  • 97 Bottles
  • A beer rating social network that ties in nicely to OpenID and my other social accounts. I’ve been looking to jump ship from RateBeer to BeerAdvocate for some time (damn you, locked-in ratings!) but I’m giving this the old college try.

  • BJCP Styles for iPhone
  • No self-respecting beer snob should leave home without a copy of the rules.

Since I’m cobbling together a big beer post, it’d be great if folks wanted to vote in the AJC/Evening Edge’s 2009 Beer Bracket Final Four for the best IPA. It’s down to the Final Four and Atlanta’s own Sweetwater IPA is in the running, having already captured the judges’ votes and looking for a win amongst readers.

And if you’ve got a few seconds more in your day to devote to beer-related clicking, take Monday Night Brewery’s survey [via JohnMcNicholas].

Until Thursday, drink a beer for me.

Monday Night Brewery

I’d be remiss if I didn’t blog about the great time I had attending my first (but not my last) Monday Night Brewery event.

For those not in the know, Jeff, Joel and Jonathan are working hard to start their own brewery and, as enterprising entrepreneurs and fellow beer drinkers, they pass along the savings to us, the Atlanta beer community, by hosting a “party” every Monday Night.

Get it?

Monday Night Brewery?

Moving on.

After helping the J’s rename their Swashchuckler IPA to their Eye Patch Ale I(Eye)PA I’ve felt compelled to drink their beers, notably the I(Eye)PA but I haven’t had the time.

The usual suspects: Work. Wife. Kids.

So I planned on attending the December 8th brewing with Tony, Garrett and Russ only to be denied by a virus. Just my luck.

I went stag the next week, this past Monday, December 15th.

I found Jonathan, Jeff and yes, even Joel to be quite pleasant. Great guys, in fact, to welcome strangers and “regulars” alike to their home to partake of their beer.

I found a cool group of regulars – Colin, Matt and Melanie. I also met Brad, a fellow newbie/virgin, and Garrett who was supposed to attend on the 8th.

I had some fantastic beers. Not a one was bad, but I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t like the Eye Patch Ale the best. I’m an avowed hop head, which skews my views, but I was impressed by the floral qualities and drinkability of this IPA.

I also had a good, though a touch too-cold Milk Stout. It was fine if you let it warm in the glass. Plus, it was a very mild December evening, so waiting for the Stout to acclimate wasn’t bad, there was plenty of excellent company and conversation.

The third beer was their Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale which a lot of folks pegged as their favorite. I’m not a huge Scotch Ale fan simply because the style is very subtle, similar to English Brown Ales, but I still appreciated it. It would make a fine session beer though, but the Stout and IPA were “wow”ers.

My one regret: not taking any pictures with the camera I had in my back pocket. Instead, all you get is one blurry iPhone photo.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

If you’d like more, Mark Larson has a few from that night and Monday Night Brewery is heavy on the social media, so you can check them out on their blog, twitter or Flickr.

If I don’t blog again this year, drink some good beer for me and have a safe and happy holidays!


There’s a thread here, but I don’t want to be too obvious about it. You be the judge.

  1. I’m going to try and catch up on Breaking Bad
  2. I enjoy Brian Cranston, AMC has me hooked on Mad Men (we started late, but caught *that* marathon) and, despite the Twitter kerfuffle, I think their broadband offerings/extensions are cool.

  3. Most TV networks don’t get social networks
  4. Or they do grok it, just not *enough* or in the right way. Everyone is equally guilty, but folks are trying.

  5. The Outbreak *is* interactive TV
  6. Minus the TV, of course. *This* is how the internet changes everything. Found via Twitter, of course.

  7. Don’t like the Horror of The Outbreak (it’s zombies), you can still find Old TeeVee on New TeeVee (the internet) without breaking the law
  8. How to Know if You Should Fire Your Social Media Consultant
  9. Good advice for folks who peddle Social Media wares and those who would hire them.

  10. Broadcast Ratings Down
  11. Not all that shocking or earth-shattering considering the most recent strike (plus some of the factors above) but a good perspective on the shifting.

  12. Social media as customer service
  13. Church of the Customer is always good.

  14. Local: ATL Social Media Calendar
  15. I’m remiss in my tweetup and APWBWGTTD attendance.

There you go.