Thursday, February 23, 2006

I'm getting a job in international shipping.

So who else is not paying enough attention to the port controversy? You know, that Dubai Ports, a company owned by the United Arab Emirates with major responsibilty over, surprisingly, the ports of Dubai, has bought London-based Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co., one of the largest shipping companies in the world and currently in charge of port security for six eastern seaboard US ports (see right). So, the UAE, who supplied some of the 9/11 hijackers, wants to do buy the company who secures some of our ports. Hmm.

What's more is that they have ties to Norton Lilly shipping, which also does extensive shipping in the Middle East. Apparently Dubai Ports, through "senior executive" Edward H. Bilkey ("well respected" international shipping exec and former president of Norton Lilly), was bewildered over the security concerns expressed in Congress. Whew, that and the consolling words of our don't-worry-I'll-protect-you-remember-hurricane-Katrina- president takes care of all my worries.

Make sure you check out the Dubai Ports Kid Zone. Fun games with Captain Hamad!

I'm not so worried about terrorism, but who is getting rich (or richer). Shipping is a HUGE industry, and is internationally intertwined in literally everything. One big shipping company (Dubai Ports) is buying another big shipping company (P & O Steam). And here's a shocker: Halliburton (with a prominent, er, government official as former CEO) has several divisions located in Dubai and the UAE, and with a serious vested interest in international shipping. Follow the money, folks.

If you're looking for something to do this weekend in the Twin Cities, the Star Tribune has a great listing of beer-related items to check out, whether you wanna take a trip to New Ulm for Bockfest or saddle up to the Happy Gnome for their amazing beer selection. I also learned of a new brewery in town, Surly Brewing. They have a great story, and seem to have an even better marketing strategy. Look for Furious and Bender on tap at selected bars around town, including the Gnome.

Those are my thoughts for the weekend, as the Olympics come to a close. Congrats to Japan for their first medal in figure skating, even if it meant giving Sasha Cohen a silver. Crazy that she took two spills and still earned a medal. You go girl.

Risking my manliness.

I'm taking some significant personal risk with this post, and have an admission to make: I'm excited to watch the Olympics Ladies Free Skate this evening. Of course, who doesn't like watching beautiful women in, um, leotards perform insane feats of athleticism? But I was especially taken by Sasha Cohen's short program the other night. This photo says it all about her style and determination, like "I'm going to KILL the competition." And she did. (Ok, "kill" is probably not accurate: she's .03 points ahead of he nearest competitor.) She is tough, spunky, and whether you like figure skating or not, she's a thrill to watch. Tune in tonight at 7pm CT on NBC to watch the event.

And before I risk losing any more of what little manliness I have left after that post, let me just say a quick word about a new beer I tried (beer and figure skating...who woulda thought you'd ever hear those two words together?). LogJam Microbrewery out of Tomahawk, WI, has a number of great beers (I couldn't find a website for them; I called the Tomahawk Chamber of Commerce and they thought that they've been bought out--anyone have a clue?). I just tried the Swede Saw Red Ale (there are those reds again!). Deep amber color, and a sweet caramel scent upon the pour, which was a little flat. It didn't have much carbonation at all, and I think if it had been creamier it would have been better. Still, an easy drink, and more importantly, my wife liked it; whenever I can find one that we both like it automatically gets put into heavy rotation in our house.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Shocking news -- our government covered-up/lied about global warming.

Why do I even continue to get angry over news that our president--a wholly-owned subsidiary of oil companies--would supress scientific research about global warming, glaciers, climate, and pollution? I mean, it seems to me that global warming is real and is happening, with or without scientific proof. The New York Times has been following these developments, and other news organizations are beginning to pick up the reports as well.

2008 can't come soon enough.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Big Change.

I know what you're more CD reviews, lost commentary about a few of my favorite links, no more email's possible, but I'm making the switch to for you, inspired in part by my friend Claudia and her blog. You'll now be able to leave your comments and search for my blog on Google. And for me, I'll have to learn a little HTML, which could come in handy some day. Until then, you'll have to forgo the reviews and snappy remarks, but I'll get there. There may be some changes each time you visit, like new colors and rearranged side bars, so pay attention. But the theme will stay the same. Beer, politics and my life. Enjoy.

To catch-up, check out my old blog over at Friendster.

On a personal note, my sister and her husband were in town for her baby shower. Love 'em. It's always nice to see your relatives make good life decisions. And my brother-in-law Sean is good friends with the owners of Three Floyds Brewing, and shares the benefits of his relationship with me. Three Floyds used to make it to Minnesota, until a major distributor went out of business. It was a painful period in Minnesota, with many great beers ceasing to find their way to the shelves of local liquor stores. Three Floyds never made it back.

Three Floyds like their hops, but they use them wisely and skillfully. Sean brought me a Brian Boru, Floyds red ale just in time for St Patrick's Day. I'm a huge fan of red ales (another great one is Mesabi Red from Lake Superior Brewing, which I had this weekend at a welcome home party for John Lesch at the Happy Gnome.) Brian has a dry hoppy nose, present in many of Floyd brews, and lingers through-out the beer. The maltiness of the red balances it out well, and carries it though to the end, and makes it easy to drink another....and another. If you're expecting a Killians, well you had better look elsewhere. Besides, Killians is owned by Coors, which sucks for many reasons, so you shouldn't be drinking it anyway. (An interesting side-note: I had a Killians in France this past summer, and it was a truley different beer than the one found state-side. It was 6%, and no where did it mention "Coors." Hmm.)

The Brian only comes in 22 ounce bombers, and truth be told, that's a lot of beer for just sitting at home. Still, Three Floyds is solid, and it's easy to drink all 22 ounces by yourself. I can't wait to visit my sister, Sean and their new child this summer, and sample the wares at the brewery. They live blocks from it. If you live in Minnesota, where you can't even get a 6-pick of Alpha King, this is a great prospect. I love Sean for many reasons, and this is one.

Bottling my wine this week. I'll keep you posted.

I stumpled upon this week. From the makers of, this tells you what your house is worth, and your neighbors, compared to others in your zip code, city, county, state, and U.S. They use information from your county's property tax records (public and on-line in most states), and give you the option to customize your house to figure out a more exact valuation. Need to know what the value of your house might be worth if you re-modeled your kicthen or got a new roof? And it's all free. God I love the Internet.

That's all I got. So leave me a comment. Now you can.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Right now my blog exists here. I may be moving it to blogspot in the future.