August 29, 2014

From the Land of Sky Blue Water...

That's the title of a post over at Powerline today. I hadn't heard it in years, maybe decades. I knew it was from an ad for beer, but I didn't remember which one. So I hit the old search engines, and found a youtube of the ad itself. Turns out it was for Hamms beer.

I got curious to see if that brand still exists, so I looked it up. It was acquired by Heublein, who sold it to Olympia Brewing. Which was acquired by Pabst. Which in turn was acquired by Miller. Miller was purchased by South African Breweries. Which merged with MolsonCoors to form MillerCoors.

Gad. Made me wonder which other classic beer brands from around here still survived. Blitz didn't, I know.

I went to a private high school, the ritziest in town. There were two kinds of students there: bright kids on scholarship (me!) and rich kids. The two familes who owned Blitz had their kids there when I was there.

Anyway, Blitz Weinhard was purchased by Stroh, who sold it to Miller. The brewery was shut down in 1999. (Sob.)

The Olympia brewery in Tumwater was shut down. The Rainier Brewery in Seattle is no more.

I never drank any of these, back before I quit drinking entirely 19 years ago. (It wasn't good for me; I couldn't control it.) But I do remember that Blitz and Rainier had some really clever advertising back in the day, and... you know... home team and all that.

Seems like the brewing industry has undergone some ridiculously large amounts of concentration while I wasn't looking. I know Budweiser isn't an independent company any longer. (Lessee... search search search... Owned by someone called "Inbev".)

My favorite beer was Anchor Porter. My god, Anchor Brewing is still independent!! So I guess there's hope.

Actually, while all this consolidation of traditional brands was going on, little bitty craft breweries were springing up all over the place like mushrooms. I bet there are more breweries and brewing companies now than there were when I was in college.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 01:01 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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July 12, 2014

Torpedo, please

They're going to refloat the Costa Concordia next week, and if all goes according to plan, they'll tow it to Genoa, where it will be scrapped.

Greenpeace has announced that it's sending the Rainbow Warrior to block the movement to Genoa. They want it to go to a nearer port.

Imagine our joy.

I thought that sucker had been sunk. By the French? Something like that? (Aha; that was the First Rainbow Warrior. This is the third one.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 05:18 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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What a concept

"Army to replace 9mm pistol with more reliable gun packing better 'knock down' power"

I've got an idea: How about this one?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in System at 03:37 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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July 09, 2014

Oh, dear...

I knew she was evil, but I never suspected it went this deep.

Bert was a piker...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 07:18 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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June 28, 2014

Tank police

James Poulos asks, "What's Next, Police With Tanks?"

Hey, we otaku have already been there! (And they had catgirls, too!)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 10:30 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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June 25, 2014

Whenever you make something idiot-proof...

...they invent a better idiot.

(Or... you can never make something idiot-proof because idiots are so ingenious.)

UPDATE: Though I must admit you'd have to work pretty hard to invent a better idiot than Eleanor Holmes Norton.

UPDATE: TVTropes: "What Does This Button Do?"

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June 08, 2014

We're all doomed

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That's from this questionaire for which they want American otaku to answer.

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June 06, 2014

D-day

A scene like this makes me feel a bit ill.

Every cross is over a coffin, and in every coffin is a dead man. All those men, nearly all young; they had lives ahead of them, and they could have loved others and been loved, been happy and made others happy. All that was lost in an instant when a bullet came the wrong direction.

This is just one cemetery; there are countless others. Half a million Americans died in the war. (Which was relatively few compared to the USSR and the UK, but that's as may be.) All those men gone, leaving crying women at home. All that potential vanished in an instant.

If there had been no war and all those men had lived, how much different would this country be?

It doesn't make me feel as ill as does reading about some of the butchery in WWI (e.g. Verdun) but it still hurts. The only thing that is any consolation, any comfort at all, is that these men didn't die for nothing. And many men did come home; some maimed, some broken, every one changed, but most OK, to return to their lives and to make a future for themselves and for us.

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Oh, really?

NY Daily News:

The tallest roller coaster in the world is currently the Kingda Ka at Sex Flags in Jackson, N.J., which is 456 feet tall.

I guess those New Jersians really know how to party.

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June 05, 2014

DC3

Here's a nice article about the DC-3 (AKA C-47), IMHO the single finest aircraft design of all time.

The plane was designed in the 1930's, and hundreds of them are still flying. Not just flying, they're working. These are not museum pieces; they are out there delivering passengers and cargo.

When I lived in Boston, PBA (a small regional airline) owned a DC-3 and flew it between Boston and Provincetown. I regret I never tried to fly in it.

But I have flown in a DC-3, the one-and-only time I tried skydiving, about 1977. It was at an airfield about 40 miles west of here, and when the time came I sat in the open door (with my static line connected) and then pushed out and turned into the prop blast. That plane belonged to the skydiving company and it was empty inside. All the furnishings had been removed. (It didn't have windows either, so it's possible it was a C-47 rather than a DC-3.)

(In case you're wondering, I hurt myself landing. About a month later when my leg had healed, I went out and tried it again, but when the time came I couldn't force myself to do it. So I knew it wasn't for me, and I never tried it again. However, I'm glad I did do it once.)

The DC-3 was, and is, an amazing aircraft. I'm hard pressed to think of any other aircraft going back that far which is still in use as a working plane, except maybe the Catalina.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 04:46 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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