Oregon Brewers Festival 2008

Oregon Brewers Festival 

Day one of the Oregon Brewers Festival has come and gone.  We didn’t get into Oregon until late on Thursday afternoon so I was unable to attend the Brewers Dinner on Wednesday night or the Widmer Brunch on Thursday morning (that is followed by a “parade” of beer brewers and lovers that kicks off the festival).  We did make it into the brewfest as the sun was beginning to set and I started in the IPA section.  Ninkasi Brewing Company, Laurelwood Brewing, Terminal Gravity, Amnesia Brewing, and Hazel Dell all had IPAs pouring (listed in the order of my preference from favorite to least favorite).  Surly Brewing Company is presenting Coffee Bender – a coffee flavor American Brown.  It’s very good and appeals to my love of coffee – but it is a very special release and they steep only 20 gallons at a time, so don’t expect to find this on the super market shelves.  

PogsBeerfest: As I’ve mentioned before, Oregon does brewfests right.  There is no cover charge, just purchase a mug and some pogs and you’re good to go.  Mugs are $5 and pogs are $1.  A pog is worth a taste, 4 pogs will fill your mug.  The show special includes 2 mugs, a program, a festival pen (for taking notes) and 37 pogs for $50.  In the early days of the festival, it’s easy to taste and taste again, in the later part of the festival, I anticipate the lines will grow long and brew-festers will choose to fill their mugs to avoid waiting in line more often than necessary.  You might also want to load up on pogs before the festival gets crowded as last year the lines got extremely long for purchasing pogs (in fact, I had a friend who bought $100 worth of pogs and sold them at the back of the line for $150.  

Beer Buzz: Each year at the festival, a “Buzz Beer” is born.  This is the beer that everyone is talking about, and inevitably, runs out before the festival comes to an end.  I wasn’t able to determine just which beer had the buzz this year,  but one prediction pointed to Quilter’s Irish Death by Iron Horse Brewery.

Beer Gear: I wasn’t overly impressed with the brewfest merchandise this year, but you’re bound to find something that fits your style if you look hard enough.  That said, Beer Northwest Magazine has a booth at the festival and is offering a year’s subscription for only $10 (4 issues).  This is a great deal for a good Northwest brew magazine. 

The brewfest runs through the weekend (July 24 through July 27) and the weather is as perfect as Rogue beer is balanced.  If you are in the Portland area or are able to get here; the Oregon Brewfest is the place to be this weekend.  Otherwise, the CrapMonkey video from last year’s festival is located here and I will continue to update my Flickr Brewfest Set through the weekend.

Extensions for Windows Beta 2

Extensions for WindowsI installed beta2 of Extensions for Windows and I am pretty impressed.  The exstensions suite is customizable in the sense that users may install only the utilities that are desired, but I find that I have uses for all that are included.  Extensions offered out of the gate include a Screen Capture Utility, a Virtual Drive creator and manager, a Shortcut Manager, a File Compare Utility, a Find and Replace Utility, a Disc Analyzer, an Explorer Extension, a Task Manager Extension, and FTP client, and a File Converter.  The Shortcut manager is a very convenient way to create, modify or remove Windows keyboard shortcuts.  My favorite extensions so far are the Explorer extension – which is like the Windows file explorer on steroids.  It enables tabbed explorer windows, side by side explorer views and a host of other helpful options.  Most of the extensions are available by clicking on the Extensions Icon in the system tray.  However, a couple of my favorite extensions are accessible by right clicking on files. Right clicking on image files gives you an “extension” option that allows you to quickly convert or resize images (See image below).  Doing the same on office documents lets you quickly “print” the document to a PDF.  This is cool, and so far the bugs I’ve encountered have been minor and the installation did not appear to slow my machine down.  So far, I give Extensions for Windows two opposable thumbs up!

Extensions for Windows

Is Your Computer Equipt?

EquiptIn mid-July, Microsoft will begin selling office programs to consumers on a subscription basis.   This is a bold new business model for Office that is rumored to start at about $70 per year.  The price seems reasonable for what you get (especially when I consider that I spend over $100/month on my cable bill), but you be the judge.

Equipt will include:

  • Word 2007
  • Excel 2007
  • PowerPoint 2007
  • OneNote 2007
  • Microsoft Office Live Workspace
  • Windows Live tools (Mail, Messenger, Photo, etc)
  • Windows Live OneCare
  • Upgrades and Updates

What do you think?  Good deal or bad deal?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.

The CrapMonkey Podcast Episode #129

It’s hot in Seattle!  I’m not complaining, but it’s a short show cause it’s just too hot in the Crapmonkey “Studio” to stay for any length of time.  Looking for something to do this weekend?  The Rails to Ales Brewfest is coming up in Cle Elum on Saturday, July 12th.  If you’re not down with heading that far East, you might just go as far as Redmond and visit the Sub Pop 20th Anniversary Concert (July 12 & 13).  Personally, I’m looking most forward to the Oregon Brewfest coming up at the end of the month (Click here to view a video I produced at last year’s brewfest).  In Tech news, Bill Gates retired this week.  A great retrospective collection of videos is located on Microsoft.com.

The Song of the Day is Rooftop by Sunday Morning Music.  They are not together anymore, but you might want to keep track of former members, Jeff Fielder and Zach Harjo.  The Website of the day is viewzi.com and we close the show with a song called 4th of July by Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers.