Sunday, August 11, 2013

Speaking of Beer..

With my previous post about the New Glarus beer it occurs to me that I should perhaps explain the rating system. The basics of it is a 1-10 where 1 is totally undrinkable and 10 is what I consider a world class beer that you should always choose to drink if available. For the break down however here goes:

1:  Perhaps the simplest of the ratings, it is just plain wretched and undrinkable. Even the smell of it is off, if it is spoiled or otherwise damaged or if it is just as it is. Generally I would expect this to be a ruined beer that either escaped quality control for a professional or something that is so old and ancient that it perhaps ruins the brand.

2:  Still pretty much awful. While you may be able to have a few sips of this you will not get more than a few down your gullet. While this may or may not be spoiled it is something you will never get past the first sip or two. In fact you will probably just spit it out.

3: Not really great here either. You will be able to swallow but some lingering off flavors remain on your palate, or perhaps just right away hit your taste buds. The smell is off and while it may be only marginally drinkable its something you would not really want to finish the whole beer.

4: Drinkable, but nothing you would recommend. It will not be a beer you want to try again but it does the job. Consumable for sure but recommendable, probably not. This also is a beer that misses the mark or is a major disappointment in flavor or style profiles. Still its not a beer that you would dump, perhaps cook with or its a beer you would drink after you have *ahem* had a few and your taste buds are a bit.. muted.

5: An average drink. Not anything to write home about (or write a blog about if you had to) but nothing bad either. May be a slight disappointment for a hyped beer, could be confusing to the taste buds for too much going on at once, could be too much of something. (bad bitterness, too malty, sweet, etc.) It is still a solid drink however, and one that I would see drinking again, particularly if the price is right.

6: Something that could either just miss the intended mark or something that is a pretty tasty brew that you would quaff regularly if the price point is right. It may be a bit off in terms of either style or flavor but still something that you would drink if available. You just are not going to rush to the liquor store to pick up a bottle or sixer of it. Another way to look at it is its a solid tasting beer and one you will be hard pressed to go wrong with at least with in season!

7: This is where it starts to shake the lesser beers from the rest. To earn a 7 The beer must be outstanding. The flaws must be small if at all. This also should be a beer that is relatively easy to find (if you are in the Midwest) or at least be priced in a reasonable manner for the amount you get. This should also be a beer you can consume on a regular occasion, at least with in the season it is released. This is a beer that you would consider a stand by and commonly stock when available.

8: This is a superior beer in nearly all aspects. It should have zero flavor flaws, be true to style with in reason, be something you would gladly drink again and be something you would give to anyone else that either appreciates a good beer or someone you would want to show that there are more beers out there than the BMC lagers.This is also a beer that you would stock constantly if  you are able to and something that even a novice drinker would say "Yep that is a tasty beer!"

9: This is a world class example of beer. It hits all the style points, is a pleasure to drink and is one that you would hand over in a heart beat to someone that can appreciate it. It is also a drink you would horde and pick up as much as you can just so you can have more of it. It meets the definition of a beer that you would always love to have on hand. Its also likely a multiple medal winner if its an established drink or one that would take home the gold with out a doubt.

10: Is there this holy grail out there? Probably. To me its every positive thing about beer drinking, availability, taste, cost or memories associated with it. This is a beer that you would drive hours to go get. This is the beer everything else in the world is compared to.

Some notes however:

Limited Releases: This is likely to have a slight impact on the beer scores. A beer that is very hard to get a hold of will be judged by its flavor but the availability is something that will harm it slightly in some aspects if it is not worthy of moving mountains to obtain. If its limited to a single area or a single day of the year for release, well it may be a damn good beer but its going to be damn hard to share. If this is truely a world class brew, so be it but any defects will stand out much more readily due to the nature of the drink.

Storage problems:  I will try to be fair with this one, For example if I suspect that the stock is old or not well cared for I'll note it. However I would also hope that the distributors are watching the conditions of which their beer is stored at if the retailers are not doing so. Some Breweries take care to make sure flagship beers at the very least are not stored improperly.

Reputations:  I'm human and I'll do my best to give a honest taste feed back or recommendation on a beer. A highly reputable beer will not gain positive points  because of the reputation, and if I think the reputation is overblown I'll say as much.

Scoring: I may also adjust the scoring as I do a few informal reviews. I want truely exceptional beers to be in the 8-9 range. I want a great beer to be a solid 7. The average beers I want to be a 5-6 and so on and so forth. If I see that my scale is sliding too far one way or another I will revisit this and adjust it.

New Glarus Berliner Weiss

Every now and again I suppose I can give my take on some of the craft brews I sample. Today's activities outside involving splitting logs calls for something that is light and refreshing beyond the Miller/Budweiser/Coors stuff so I cracked open a bottle of New Glarus's previous specialty Berliner Weiss. This stuff seems to be about the perfect drink to have one or two of on a hot afternoon. If you did not know there is a series that New Glarus releases every few weeks it seems that they don't ever promise to brew again. They call it their Thumb print series.  (Though I expect if there is enough call for it they would again.  Here is their current list..) With out getting in to it a whole lot due to the fact its not available except as residuals in stores and the fact if you are outside Wisconsin you just plain won't find it it fits the bill as a wonderfully tart and crisp beer. True to the style you will not find a bite of hops to this or a malt overload. Champagne of the North indeed.

I'll give this one a 9 of 10. It is very true to form, one that is drinkable very often, the only thing that dings it in my book is the more limited availability, even for Wisconsin and the fact it is not likely a beer that you would think of consuming year round. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Global Cooling?

Well since every other swing of hot tempratures are given cause for the global warming crowd to celebrate, what about this from It appears that its not so warm right now.... 
Gosh, 40s at night in July?
And just think a year ago when it was 90s nearly every day it was a daily cry for global warming.
In fact over all this year has been rather cool come to think of it.
Must be Global/ change or acid rain, or overpopulation.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Not Guilty

     Some of the first bits of fall out that I already see, and have seen from day one of this whole Zimmerman fiasco is that it is very easily delineated along party lines, IE if someone voted for Obummer, they are outraged he was found not guilty. Even with all the evidence presented. They wanted him found guilty to assuage feelings instead of evidence. If they voted for someone else they are generally breathing a sigh of temporary satisfaction. 

   But now do we wait for riots to start? More people randomly attacked with Justice supposedly being the call? Its sad when parts of society look for any infraction, real or otherwise to use as an excuse to harm others in these "uprisings"

Hopefully people will remain calm.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Oiling the frozen gears.

Well, it seems that I am possibly back in action. It has been about two years with out a post for various reasons, from I would only be repeating what others have had to say to there is hardly any time in the day. Now that at least for now I'm at a pause for school, Job is clanking along I may get back in to things. This time with the addition of cooking and home brewing involved.

The true irony of this is that I still read the blogs I follow every day and I follow some damn good ones!

More to follow.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


So, the losses of the Republicans in 06 and 08 were a solid rejection of the Republican/Bush polices. The huge losses of the Democrats in 2010 were not a rejection of Obama/Democrat policies. The fighting in Wisconsin with all the recalls for the Republican's was a solid rejection of Walker/Republican polices. The Republicans holding on despite millions spent form out of state groups is a ..rejection of Walker/Republican polices and not the Democrats at all.

Goodness if one can't see though the smoke and mirrors this all could be confusing.

Friday, August 5, 2011

More on the AR 15

I'm running a bit behind schedule with updates, classwork and VA Hospital visits and little hellions keep me pretty busy. However I did get a chance to test fire that previously mentioned AR 15. I just dropped a scope on to it from another AR 15 to see how it shot, so I was not doing more than a testing of it. 25 yards, solid bench leadsled rest had five shots all touching each other. 100 yards, and using a bit of Kentucky windage had four shots in a one inch cluster with one called flyer. This was shot with 10 stamped Lake City 55 grain Ball ammo.

My general impressions on it is it is flawless in operation. The Surplus Ammo    upper bolt, bolt carrier, upper receiver and lower receiver are more than acceptable for the task at hand. For those that have not done a lot of this work those parts are -tight- fitting. And putting the upper receiver on my rock river arms lower is even tighter still. And it takes a good covering of lubrication on the bolt and other internals and a few minutes of manually cycling the action to break the parts in properly. However at the range there was not a hitch. I fired 25 rounds though it and everything operated as it should. My one complaint about the parts from Surplus Ammo was the firing pin retaining pin (cotter pin) bent up on me a bit and due to the newness of the whole assembly I found it difficult to put in to position. However an order to had replacements for a few years on hand. It is actually something I would suggest to anyone that has an AR. Replacement bolts? Firing pins? If you have anything made in the last 20 years your wasting money. Get the firing pin retaining pin, a few extractor springs and the extractor retaining pins for a replacement repair kit.

Other impressions are the DPMS basic trigger/lower kit is rough. While it is to be expected with any basic single stage trigger, I will be taking it apart to do a bit of polishing to take up the gritty feel to the trigger. This rifle shows great potential which is not unusual for most AR 15's. Here is a hint, generally speaking unless you really have some slop between the upper and lower receivers the name brand does not matter. So long as the upper and lower are in the specs needed you have all the basics that you should care about. The barrel and trigger are the most important things for a high accuracy rifle.

Because I was asked I will give the approximate price for the items and the retailer I went with for each part. provided the following:

Gas tube roll pin       2.00
DPMS Barrel  200.00
DPMS gas tube   12.00
Model 1 Free float handguard  35.00
Model 1 Buttstock Assembly A2 style   55.00

Shipping approximate on these items    20.00 parts:
Lower Receiver Parts Kit  (I got mine on sale for 105.00 each, currently 120.00)
Upper Receiver assembly assembled, with Bolt and Bolt Carrier group  170.00 (A steal. More on this later)

Shipping approximate 25.00
Transfer fee for lower 25.00.

Comes up to 649.00 for the approximate cost to build for me. Pricing is a bit closer to 700.00 now. Again this is a very basic heavy barreled rifle. If I make any adjustments it will be a new fire control group, and the addition of buttstock weight to help balance the rifle more. I would also look at a ventilated free float tube if I was planning on this being a prairie dog /high volume shooting rifle. Also a sling swivel in the hand guard would allow the use of normal slings. (Or I could drill and tap it for inclusion of one)

The bottom line is if you want a plain fun plinking rifle its hard to beat the manufactured ones out there by various companies. They will do your three gun shoots, basic pest control, target shooting and anything else just fine. It would be hard to build your own cheaper due to shipping, but you can do it. However if you want to customize something out or do a heavy hunting rig or anything else it is possible to do it cheaper, generally than what others offer. The catch is the investment in to the proper tools to do it. Tools are never cheap but I have been fortunate enough to accumulate everything over the past few years.
I had mentioned the steal of a deal for the upper receiver and bolt assemblies. First of all assembled uppers range from under 100 to 150 depending on the brand. That is just the receiver shell. And you get to pick from several different caliber options. Their lower receiver prices are not bad either, very competitive with anything else you will find. That is once again

Their prices are as competitive with ammunition out there as you will find, stellar service. Fast shipping, but keep in mind for those of us in flyover country and the east cost, this stuff is coming from Washington so shipping transit times are a bit longer than most of us are used to. However give them a look.

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2. I have not received any compensation for any of the reviews or links provided, this is strictly my opinion and my opinion alone.
3. I am not legally liable for any damages to anyone's respective firearms or responsible in anyway for someone screwing something up. What I provided was a list of what I did, not how I did it. If in doubt seek a competent gunsmith.
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