Saturday, October 15, 2011

The B-Daddy Channel - Covers Edition

My nephew, Kevin, is a talented young musician. He will be playing guitar in a production of Tommy by The Who. We were discussing Pinball Wizard, and decided that deciding between The Who and Elton John for best rendition was the most difficult covers question we had ever heard. So I leave it to the readers to decide.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Time Warner Cable - High Speed to Nowhere

Time Warner Cable (TWC) is the worst service provider ever. I have had nothing but problems with them over the years, but lately it has just gotten worse. As soon as AT&T U-verse comes to my neighborhood I am going to switch service. A brief litany of their stupidity.
  • When I switched phone service from AT&T to save dollars, they didn't install my service on time, leaving me without land line service for days.
  • They lied about the price I would pay for my new telephone service. They quoted me a rate for my second line that wasn't actually available. I ended up cancelling the second line because it was so expensive.
  • When TWC installed the new phone service they were unable to make every phone jack in the house work, even though they had all worked with AT&T.
  • The installation is an ugly mess in my bedroom.
  • During the recent power outage, they lost all phone service. They are totally dependent on SDG&E in San Diego, with no back up power. My neighbors were gracious enough to let us use their phones to check on Mrs. Daddy's folks.
  • But even if they had power back up, my phone would still have died, because when TWC installed my phone modem, they didn't install a battery back up.
  • When I asked that a battery back up be sent to me, they have twice said it would be shipped. After five days, when it didn't show up, I called back and they said the order was cancelled. They offered to charge me $30.00 to have a technician deliver it, when it should have been installed in the first place.
  • Their chat room technician said that I should visit the TWC store, but the help desk said not to do that, regarding the battery.
  • Every few months, I trek to the TWC to replace my digital cable box, as they start to act up.
  • They are misleading in their commercials about free HD. If you want ESPN in HD for example, you have to rent their box for $8 per month per box.
Why they stay in business is only because the city grants them a monopoly as cable provider in their service area. I wouldn't invest in their stock, because if we know anything about technology, its that technical change disrupts monopolies.

Beer Review - Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale

Yesterday we had a little barbecue and Dean brought by one of my favorite beers, Bear Republic's Red Rocket Ale. Someday I'll get around to a top 10 beer list, like Max, but this ale would certainly be on it. (Off the top of my head, I would also include Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Avery Salvation Golden Ale, Delirium Tremens, Alpine Ale, Shiner Bock and Highway 78 Scotch Ale.) Bear Republic also makes an excellent IPA, Racer 5.

As you can see from the picture, Red Rocket pours a dark amber-brown, with a head that is full but disappears quickly. But don't let that fool you, it's full of flavor. It has just a hint of sweetness to balance much more hoppiness than expected from an amber ale. Red Rocket is fairly complex, and always takes me a few sips to absorb all of the different flavors embedded. At 6.8% ABV, its not too boozy so its a nice companion to a bbq meal especially steak. Although not a San Diego beer, it is from California, Healdsburg to be specific. Craft beer is one of the few growing industries in our state, and also the least regulated, figure that.