Ugh, it’s Fall. It’s also the end of September and that means it’s time for another WUMF.
It’s that time of year, if you don’t have enough excuses to drink beer, whether it be New Year’s, St. Patrick’s Day,… Tuesday. In any case, I’m having another beer swap at work and wanted to tell you about it.
Now we had one a couple of months ago which was geared more towards wheats and whites. I brought Penn Brewery’s Summer Berry Wheat. Others included Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat, Ithaca Apricot Wheat and Victory’s Moonglow Weizenbock. Overall, I wasn’t as impressed as the first round of our swap, which promoted Craft Beer Week.
For this one, I’m bringing Victory’s Festbier and hopefully, I’ll be introduced to some more great beers. Also, in Denver, the Great American Beer Festival is taking place. This all got me to thinking.
Craft beers are nothing new. They’ve been around for a long time. And maybe it’s just because I’ve been recently exposed to the culture and didn’t notice it. Maybe I’m like someone who discovers that the little arrow next to the gas pump icon on your dashboard indicates which side the cap is on and thinks that I’ve discovered the cure for cancer and must share my wisdom with everyone. My point is that it seems like the craft beer industry is hitting a upward trend and I wonder why that is. After all, we are not exactly in the best economy and here we are spending a little more on beers than say Miller Lite and Budweiser.
Perhaps it’s a solidarity thing. After Anheuser-Busch was acquired by Belgium’s InBev it seemed like one of the last great American products was gone. They (InBev) laid off over 1000 workers and gave executives stock options that were potentially worth millions. It was a slap in the face to the American way of life… outside of Wall Street, that is. Maybe the craft beer industry is a way to get back at that offense. We’ll spend more money on locally brewed beers than throw money at companies who don’t stay inside the US. Or… it could be that craft beers, on the whole, are better than Budweiser.
Gambling in Pittsburgh
Last weekend, one of my friends from back in the day came to visit and stay with me and the misses and the monster. He and his girlfriend camped out in my recently emptied, but not renovated Red Room and we took in some gaming. On Saturday, we went to Dave and Buster’s for lunch and then in the evening we hit the Rivers Casino. Now, my buddy is a gamer in the sense that he loves poker and shoots a lot of pool for tournaments. He had been down from Williamsport area before to see the newly opened Pittsburgh casino and only had the option of playing video poker. Table games hadn’t come about, yet. This time around he headed for the Poker Room and we didn’t see him for about an hour. Meanwhile, I needed a dry run for next month when I go to Vegas… long story, there.
Anyway, since the regular table games were packed, at least there were no seats at the $10 table, which is almost too rich for my blood, I opted for playing slots with my wife and my buddy’s girlfriend. We hit the ATM before playing and took out $100. That was our limit. I gave my wife $50 and I took $50. She dropped $12 into the slot machines and came up with nothing. I dropped $20 into some of the more traditional slots and saw it dwindle to about $7.00. I took that over to another slot machine called Jungle Wild, I think, and coupled it with a $0.35 credit slip I found laying around and decided to just blow the rest of the $20 I started with on slots.
The Jungle Wild machine had a feature where you could get five free spins and that paid off in spades. My wife usually plays the minimum bet because she likes it simple. Me, I take the maximum number of combinations for a single cost per line. I managed to get the five free spins and turned my $7.35 into $38.26. Not bad. I then spent about twenty minutes watching people at the $10 Black Jack table, waiting for an opening. Finally, I got to sit down next to this little old Asian lady who didn’t speak English that much. I bought in for $40 and figured I’d be done in about 20 minutes. I say that because on my first hand, I had double aces. I split that and ended up with an A3 and another double ace. Now, I made a huge mistake because I meant to say, no more splitting… which I think you can’t do anyway. However, I made the sign for ‘Stay’ and was left with 14 and 12 against a dealer showing a King. DOH! I could potentially had another $20 added to my stack. For all us amateurs, it pays to learn a bit about gambling. Don’t be a Yinzer who wanders into the casino after a Pitt/Notre Dame game and has no clue how to play the tables. Know what the signs are and know what the rules are. It will help you. Like I said, this was a dry run for Vegas.
Anyway, after about a half hour they announced that they were raising the table to $15 which was more than I was willing to spend on a hand. So, I figured I’d play out the table minimum and leave once it changed. My little old lady friend even threw me a dollar chip to put on the Natural 20 spot which I told her not to do because it seems like a sucker bet. My buddy and the girls showed up and I handed my wife $40 in chips. I said, don’t lose those. Meanwhile, I had $40 on the table, still. I was doing pretty well and I should have left at that point. My buddy was not so lucky. He sank $100 at the Poker Room and his girlfriend sunk $100 in slots.
Once I lost the chips I had on the table, I walked away even. My buddy had a couple of dollars left and I told him to hit the slot machine I had done earlier. He put in a dollar and in one $0.80 spin, he got the five free ones which turned his dollar into $90. Not bad for dropping $100 on poker.
In all, we ended up spending $2 of our money and that’s just fine by me. I have no delusions about making a fortune at the casino. I just like to have fun.
Speaking of losing your shirt. Boy, what happened there? 72-90 record. Better luck next year and thanks for raising prices. Maybe, one day, you could lose on purpose, likeYankees do.
I don’t know what to think here. I’m a diehard fan but I’m beginning to believe there is something to be said for the Super Bowl hangover theory. Maybe the lack of an offseason has lead to a gelling problem for the team but the offensive line is in shambles, there are far more injuries this year, across the league even, and it’s not even October. Someone put Troy Polumalu in bubble wrap until January. Once again, the fines or lack thereof in some cases are ridiculous. Haynesworth has yet to receive a suspension for violating the conduct policy… something that Roethlisberger got six games for allegedly doing, yet he was never charged. Hmm, could it be that Haynesworth plays for New England. Couldn’t be, right? Goodell has probably burned all the security footage of the incident with the same match as the Spygate tapes.
We got Malkin back on the ice and it’s nice to know he’s back to producing. Let’s hope Sid gets back soon and in the best shape he can be in for the season. I know he’s been subjected to a lot of criticism of the years and it just screams justification over this concussion thing. But you know what? The people who criticize Crosby are the same ones who’ve never dealt with that kind of thing before. There are people who have come forward and said that their quality of life was reduced dramatically after a concussion and not even one obtained in the manner that Crosby got his. You don’t mess with that kind of thing and let’s hope there is no long term damage. The kid’s not even 30 yet.
Take care and we’ll see you next month.