Friday, September 25, 2009

Mindless Beer Trivia - Guinness Turns 250!

Thursday, September 24, 2009 probably seemed like any other day to many of you.....

But did you know that on September 24, 1759, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease for the St James' Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland thus kicking off the 250 year rein of Guinness? Yep, that was "250 years" ago.

Arthur Guinness leased St. James's Gate for £45 per year in 1759 and
it has been the home of Guinness ever since. Guinness, the largest brewer of stout in the world, also claimed the title as the largest brewery in the world for many years. It owned most of the buildings in the surrounding area, including many streets of housing for brewery employees, and offices associated with the brewery. The brewery also made all of its own power using its own power plant. How economical and forward thinking was that?

In honor of Arthur Guinness and Guinness beer, Arthur's Day has been commissioned.

Arthur's Day has been described by Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen as "an excuse for having a great party." Pub-goers across Dublin — as well as cities around the world including Kuala Lumpur, Lagos, Cotonou, Hong Kong, and New York — raised their glasses in tribute to Arthur at exactly 17:59 p.m. to mark the year the drink was begun. Ireland has issued a stamp for the event.

I wonder what it looks like???

"Guinness is Good for You"
(Reformed Irish orthography: Is fearr de thĂș Guinness)
(Literally: Guinness is better for you)

Across the pond, Jim Koch - founder of Boston Beer Company, hasn't been around for nearly as long as Arthur Guinness and Guinness beer, but he's got a few things to say about drawing/pouring beer and the "A,B,C's" of beer.

Thanks for the pointers Jim. Maybe in about 200 or so years they'll have a special day for you too. I doubt that I'll be around.

But it sure looks like I missed a great party this year!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Courageous Video Mondays! Dan Hartman

Some Days it's hard to get out of bed... Today was one of those days.

Following a very busy weekend, this morning was further complicated by the constant reminder of last years' collapse of Lehman Brothers. It seemed that every bit of news announced how shares nosedived in London and New York last year as traders dumped stock following the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers. - -- Just when folks were starting to see a glimmer of hope.

We all know the rest of the story regarding the Banking industry.....

In spite of this recurring news, I decided not to be deterred. I figured, I'd enjoy my day regardless of the doomsayers and revel in the good news of the day. I also decided that I needed some syncopated motivation!

I went slightly Old School 80's...... With a hit song from Dan Hartman (from Harrisburg, PA).

The song - I Can Dream About You -was a hit song from the 1984 movie Streets of Fire.

It reached #6 on the U.S. charts and was Hartman's second big hit following the 1978 success of Instant Replay. I wasn't a big fan of the movie but I liked the song. For those of you who were big fans of the movie, here's some trivia that you possibly didn't know:

"I Can Dream About You" was actually sung by Winston Ford, whose vocals were convincingly lip-synced by Stoney Jackson.

Stoney Jackson

Here's the Video:


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Courageous Ideas! Winkers Jeans make your butt look .......

I totally get this gimmick! Not that I expect everyone to go out and buy a pair but....

Wait a second. No Butts.... Until you watch this video.

And that's what is great about this idea.

"People with No butt need not apply"

In other words, if you don't have a butt or "junk in your trunk" these jeans probably won't work for you. Now I'm not necessarily an expert in this field so don't take my word for this without questioning my logic, butt the way I see it, (pun intended) if you've got a tiny butt then I don't think you'll be able to generate the kinetic energy needed to make these pants wink.

Who remembers their Freshman Physics?

The kinetic energy of an object is the extra energy which it possesses due to its motion. It is defined as the work needed to accelerate a body of a given mass from rest to its current velocity. Having gained this energy during its acceleration, the body maintains this kinetic energy unless its speed changes. Negative work of the same magnitude would be required to return the body to a state of rest from that velocity.

Thus - The resulting booty-shaking winking action

Have you noticed that the models are on the fuller side?

Fuller = more Mass which equals a larger M = more kinetic energy.

Besides, when have you seen a clothing line use full-figured people to model the clothes they are selling? Only when the target market is the full-figured variety. Otherwise, they use those ridiculously skinny, anorexic looking, Abercrombie & Fitch, need a milkshake, donut, and a double cheeseburger, sized models.

Butt that's the whole point. If you have a big Butt, who cares? Everyone walking behind you will be watching the eyes winking and be so distracted, they won't notice the size of your "money maker."

So, if you've ever mouthed the words:

"Honey, do you think these pants make my butt look too big?"

then Winkers might be the right fit for you.


Go out and get a pair! Find them at Winkers LLC

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Dow Jones Industrials, 9/11/01, and - 1 World Trade Center

As we live through the eighth anniversary of 9/11/01, It's hard not to remember the events and tragedies of that fateful day. From a financial perspective, I find it a bit ironic that the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at roughly the same level 8 years ago as it will today. On September 10, 2001 the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened at 9603, saw a high of 9672 and a low of 9494. It closed for the day at 9606.

Today I watched as the average bounced all over and around this level.
In just a few minutes the market will close and I'm looking at a DJIA number of 9607. I won't have this post finished before the market closes but I'm pulling for 9606. Why? Because in my own little numerology world, 9606 is a great number. Again you ask Why? Because 9+6+0+6 = 21! And in my book 21 is a great number.....

Oh well, the market just closed and it looks like the final number is going to be 9605.41

(go ahead - round that number up to 9606)

Now that's just freaky!

(or really poor investment performance)

Here's the chart for the DJIA over the last 8 years.

For comparison sake, .... look at the chart for the past 30 years:

It looks like the overall upward and positive trend of the DJIA somehow fell off track around the year 2000 and has been searching for a true course ever since. It tried to gain some steam in 2003 but fell off again in 2008. If you look carefully at 2009, it appears that we may be gaining some upward momentum again and are headed higher.

Only Time Will Tell.....

But I'm hoping that the DOW will charge higher well into 2013 which just so happens to be the projected completion date of 1 World Trade Center
(formerly known as the Freedom Tower).

(We need collective positive thinking- Help me out!)

Artist's rendering of 1 World Trade Center with Midtown Manhattan and the Empire State Building in the background.
Learn a lot more about 1 World Trade Center by following this link:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Weekend!

For many, the Labor Day Weekend in the United States represents the end of the summer with pools closing and picnics and BBQ's tapering off. There are great sales in all of the stores everywhere. Summer clothing is ushered out and Fall stuff hits the shelves. Out here in Cali, we're fortunate enough to have several months of great weather still ahead of us.

This year, Labor Day Weekend has been a nice relaxing experience for me. I've actually enjoyed driving around the city. The traffic has been light and the weather has been perfect. I've noticed a great improvement in the air quality and the fires seem to be relinquishing their grip a little. The past few days I attended a fabulous party, played golf with a friend who was visiting for the weekend, and caught up on some reading and blogging!

Suffice to say - I have a new appreciation for "Labor Day Weekend" and the opportunity to rest and take a break from laboring. In response to my newly acquired appreciation, I decided to check into the history of Labor Day. I learned that it's actually a Holiday that we borrowed from our neighbors to the north. According to Wikipedia, Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September. The holiday originated in Canada out of labor disputes ("Nine-Hour Movement") first in Hamilton, then in Toronto, Canada in the 1870s, which resulted in a Trade Union Act which legalized and protected union activity in 1872 in Canada. The parades held in support of the Nine-Hour Movement and the printers' strike led to an annual celebration in Canada.

In 1882, American labor leader Peter J. McGuire witnessed one of these labor festivals in Toronto. Inspired from Canadian events in Toronto, he returned to New York and organized the first American "labor day" on September 5 of the same year. The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City. In the aftermath of the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the US military and US Marshals during the 1894 Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with Labor as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. Cleveland was also concerned that aligning a US labor holiday with existing international May Day celebrations would stir up negative emotions linked to the Haymarket Affair. Currently, all 50 U.S. states have made Labor Day a state holiday


So there you have it. A bit of history and some rest and relaxation. Now all of you reading this (and me) get back to work!

Labor Day is over!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Philadelphia Cheese Steaks!

Getting back to my Planes, Trains, and Automobiles trek..... (Continued from there)

After spending the morning shopping and touring in the Big Apple, it was time to head off to my next destination. From New York City, it was a nice train ride from Grand Central Station through New Jersey and down to Philadelphia. It was pretty relaxing reading the newspaper and listening to music on my MP3 player. I'll be honest with you, I had two things on my mind during the train ride:

  • Checking into the Doubletree Hotel (Doubletree Hotel Philadelphia) and collecting my Cookies.

  • Getting cleaned up and heading out to find a Philly Cheesesteak!

    1. The check-in went quickly and before I knew it I had munched down my delicious cookies (Yum!), cleaned up, and was ready to head out for dinner. (You've got to eat those cookies while they're warm)

      The caloric splurge didn't bother me much because I decided a good way to burn off a few calories was to forgo the taxicab ride and walk to my next culinary delight. So I headed left out of the hotel entrance and walked towards South Street.

      Back in the day when I visited Philadelphia on a more regular basis, South Street was the place to go. I was surprised at how the environment had changed a bit. Instead of a younger, hipper, livelier crowd, there seemed to be a low-keyed more local and older (30s -40s) crowd. People didn't appear to be just hanging out. They seemed to be headed somewhere special or casually strolling and window shopping. I was pleasantly surprised when I passed by an unfamiliar but interesting site so I snapped a few photos.

      A collection of tile, glassware, bicycle parts, bottles, cans and a variety of many other items. Definitely an artist's rendering of something - I speculated.

      It was dark and the place was closed but I later learned that this fine work of art was Philadelphia's Magic Gardens - 1020 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147 -sometimes referred to as PMG. After doing some searching on the Internet...

      Here's what I learned:

      Philadelphia's Magic Gardens is a folk art environment, gallery space, and nonprofit organization that showcases the work of mosaicist Isaiah Zagar. Located at the site of Zagar's largest public mosaic installation, the Magic Gardens includes a fully mosaiced indoor gallery and a massive outdoor labyrinthine mosaic sculpture. The installation, primarily consisting of found objects and contributions from the community, covers half a city block with myriads of tile, texture, and color. A walk through the labyrinth will reveal sculptures from Latin America and Asia, bicycle wheels from local South Street shop Via Bicycles, Zagar's hand-made tiles, and mirrors of every shape and size.

      Follow these links to learn more about Philadelphia's Magic Gardens -
      Click Here

      Or about Folk Artist - Isaiah Zagar Click Here

      Isaiah Zagar

      "I built this sanctuary to be inhabited by my ideas and my fantasies."

      (Poetry from the maze of mosaics at PMG)

      The above two photos came from Photo Journalist Gabe Kirchheimer

      He has an extensive collection of premium photos on display.

      You can see more of his photo's by following this link: Gabe Kirchheimer's

      or stopping by his site at:

      So with all of the artsy - fartsy stuff done, it was time to get down to some real business. The business of finding an awesome cheesesteak. I had really talked this treat up and I was looking forward to the encounter. As I remembered, there were two competing places that always got my business. Jim's Steaks and Ishkabibble's. I wondered if either was still around. After walking a few blocks on South street I crossed paths with two local young ladies who were headed to the Whole Foods Market. Just on a whim I asked: "Where's the best place to get a Cheesesteak?" Their reply was surprisingly chatty. One suggested I try Jim's Steaks..... (score I thought, it is still open)

      Just out of curiosity, I asked about Ishkabibble's. The other gal jumped in.... "Oh that's my favorite place to go. I usually send tourists to Jim's for the atmosphere and experience but frankly, I always go to Ishkabibble's."

      Interesting - I thought. As fate would have it, I walked by Jim's Steaks first. The place was jumping. Steaks, peppers, and onions were on the grill. A soft smoke from the meat filled the air. There was a line formed inside against the wall and people were hustling upstairs in search of seating.

      Jim's Steaks - South Street

      Just to compare, I walked a few more steps and crossed the street to find Ishkabibble's.

      Things were a lot more subdued at Iskabibble's. There were a few people seated inside enjoying dinner and a short line at a walk up order station facing the street.
      I decided to go with the action and headed back to Jim's. I walked in and after a short wait started my order. My order of Steak, Onions, and Swiss cheese, was loaded expertly on a bun and was served up quickly with an equal portion of Philadelphia Attitude!
      No problem,
      I smiled....
      I'll take a Heineken with that order too - PLEASE!

      I sauntered upstairs, located a seat, added some pepper to my creation and proceeded to partake of this local treasure.

      Not bad I thought. I'll rate it 7/10 points on the taste... the meat was a tad bit chewy...

      But I'll give the experience an 8/10 points.

      Just for the record - The next time I'll try Ishkabibble's.

      Here's what

      Catherine A. from Philadelphia writes on Yelp; 09/03/2009 about Ishkabibble's:

      Whenever a tourist stops me in the vicinity of South Street and asks me where the best cheesesteak is, I send them here. Everything I've ever had from here is delicious. My personal favorite is the chicken cheesesteak, with american and fried onions, but I love their sweet potato fries, I love their cheesesteaks, I love their Gremlins, I even love their veggie burgers. I especially love watching the line for Jim's across the street as people stand by for a sub-par steak and I order, receive and eat my steak before they get in the door. Makes me smile every time.

      Schucks. Wish I had read her review prior to my trip.........

      Thanks for reading. Watch for my next stop. Gettysburg, PA.

      Sunday, September 6, 2009

      BOBB'E Says! - Spotlight on Bobb'e J. Thompson

      You could say that Christmas is coming a little early for young Bobb'e J. Thompson.

      Bobb'e Thompson - Merry Christmas Jake & Josh' Premier

      If you're not hip to Bobb'e J. Thompson, (Check out that spelling) here's some background information:

      Bobb'e has had an impressive career in front of the camera since the young age of five. Bobb'e rose to fame as a child actor well before his teens, initially with a small but colorful and energetic supporting role as Tupac in My Baby's Daddy (2003). He subsequently appeared in television and film productions such as "The Tracy Morgan Show" (2004), Shark Tale (2004), "That's So Raven" (2004), and "Joey" (2005).

      He joined up with Vince Vaughn in the holiday comedy Fred Claus (2007) and then starred in the hit comedy Role Models as the hilarious, wisecracking Ronnie Shields, for which he was nominated for Best Breakthrough Performance - Male at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards.

      Furthermore, 2009 is proving to be a break out year for Thompson. He appeared in Land of the Lost with Will Ferrell and the family comedy Imagine That, in which he plays a junior extortionist that hazes Eddie Murphy. Thompson is also a semi-regular on NBC's "30 Rock," in his role as Tracy Jr., the son of Tracy Morgan's character.

      And who doesn't want to be a Nike star???

      Nike recruited Thompson for multiple commercials as Lil Dez, who gives NBA greats Kobe Bryant and LeBron James a run for their money while babysitting. Up next for Thompson is Snowmen with Ray Liotta and his current hosting gig on the Cartoon Network show Bobb'e Says.

      Here are a few YouTube clips from Bobb'e Says:

      Okay Bobb'e, that's some pretty solid advice and your show is generating lots of buzz. So at 13 years of age with all of this wisdom and criticism of these "geniuses", will you be heeding your own advice? Keep in mind the media is very unforgiving when Pop Stars make mistakes. Don't turn into someone who says "Do as I say and not as I do." And please don't turn into one of these guys:

      BOBB'E Intrepid says - Bobb'e, you're a young man with a promising future; Don't do drugs, excessive alcohol, crime, and other silly things and end up with your face on a mugshot.
      Enough Said!

      See more of these celebrity mugshots at:

      (anyone recognize the guy in the first photo?)