Now that the dust has settled a bit and Charlotte is on a pretty good sleep schedule, I’ve had a little more time (and energy) to work on some other stuff besides my day job. My good friend Chris and I have been collaborating on a music project off and on for the last couple years and have started giving it more focus lately.
We call our project Soundwave Prophecy. I added a music widget on the right side. You can also visit us on Reverb Nation. We’ll hopefully have a dedicated website up soon as well. Give us a listen. We hope to be making a lot more music in the near future, provided we all survive The Rapture this weekend.
Needless to say, I felt compelled to share a few of my favorite beers from the past year. Note: these aren’t necessarily new beers in general, just new beers to me. I think it makes most sense to break them down into category; it’s only fair to the beer, after all.
If I had to pick a favorite style of beer, this would be it. My top three favorites from 2010:
Ninkasi Total Domination
Ballast Point Sculpin
Stone Emperial 14
It was tough to pick just three. I think I’ll need to write up a complete ranking of my favorite IPAs at some point.
I hadn’t really tried many Belgian beers until this past year. I really have been missing out. Luckily, I’ve discovered this huge, tasty world of beer and I ain’t turnin’ back. It’s also fair to say that there are many different kinds of Belgian beer and it would only be right to have a top three inside of each kind, but that will also have to be a different post for a different day.
St. Feuillien Saison
Belgian (U.S. brewed)
North Coast Brewing Le Merle
Goose Island Matilda
The Lost Abbey Judgement Day
Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin
St. Martin Cuvee De Noel
Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale
I’m looking forward to what 2011 brings to the world of craft beer.
I’m pretty happy with my current car audio set-up, so I thought I’d share it. The goal here is simple: Add bluetooth for both music streaming and hands-free phone calls.
My car is a 2001 Lexus IS 300. The stock audio system came with a 6 disc CD changer, tape deck (!) and your standard am/fm receiver. As any good gadget junkie will admit, a plain old CD player will just not cut it. I’d been thinking about upgrading my set-up for a while but I just wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. I finally figured it out a few months ago and pulled the trigger.
The first step was to replace the stock changer/receiver. I’ve always been a bit hesitant to do this because it would change the look and may affect future potential sale of my car (in a negative way). I’ve always felt this way when it comes to most after-market stuff for cars. I decided to pull the trigger anyway.
I went to a local car audio shop and had them install the most inexpensive receiver that was capable of streaming bluetooth, which was the Sony Xplod BlueTooth CD Receiver. I opted for the mic upgrade so my bluetooth calls would have a higher quality. The mic is hardly visible and sits just underneath the rear view mirror. After one hour for installation and a few hundred dollars later, I was all set up.
I needed a secure place for my phone, so I picked up the car dock for my HTC EVO. It’s not the cheapest option on the market, but it’s the best one available IMO, and keeps my phone safe and secure, in a visible and easily accessible location.
Now that I’d got all the hardware situated, it was time to figure out what software would be best for playing my music. I’d been testing out several android music apps and ultimately chose to use mSpot, which is one of the music-in-the-cloud options currently available. It’s a pretty straight-forward service: upload your music collection to the cloud, pay a monthly fee if you need additional space (I opted for the $4/month option), and access your music from any browser or phone.
So now I jump in my car, slap my phone into the dock, and I’m streaming my entire music collection from the cloud wherever I go. Lately, I’ve been hooked on using the “shuffle” option and seeing how quickly I can figure out which artist and song is playing.
The theme of this year’s San Francisco Giants baseball team, which has been adopted by everyone from the fans to the players and coaches themselves, is “Giants baseball – torture!”. As long as they continue winning as they make their way to the team’s first NLCS since 2002, I’m completely fine with it. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the Giants 2010 Anthem, you should: