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Serendipity and tweaking things

I have been using MovableType for this blog for a while and I have not been truly happy with it. It works well enough that I cannot really complain but it just seems more complicated than I needed. In addition, it just did not have a theme that I could use out of the box that I liked. I prefer a theme with light text, dark background and navigation on the left. This is not a common thing and although I can make my own theme, it takes time. I have precious little time right now and would rather spend it on stuff that's more interesting than reinventing the wheel.

I dug around a little bit and ended up looking at Serendipity. It has a few things going for it. First, it looks pretty simple to install, maintain and operate. A feature that I particularly like is that when I am logged into the blog I see little edit buttons next to each item. I do not have to go to the admin side and relocate an item when I want to make an edit. It also has theme that matches my desires fairly closely. I think I will have to tweak it slightly but nothing drastic. There's also the added bonus that it is BSD licensed. I prefer license that I can easily understand and the BSD license, in its various incarnations, covers that rather well.

I've installed it on a test site and if things go well, I will move this blog over to it. After that, I have some stuff to consider. I have a couple of domains and a few different blogs. I have been thinking about consolidating them a bit. I am the only one who ever posts or visits the sites so making my life easier is really the only concern. It might also help me get back on track with a few of my goals. One of which is to simply post more stuff here. You'd finding time to do something you enjoy would not be so much work. :-)


We finally tried the Smashburger that opened up on 28th street. I am not sure what I think of the place. It certainly feels like they are aiming for a high end fast food chain. It has the look and feel of one, certainly. You walk in and order than find a place to sit. They bring your food and clean up after you. The food was good and had some variety including an olive burger and a Boston Cooler. I thought the variety was better than a place like Red Robin even if Smashburger did not have the number of menu items. However, when all was said and done I am not sure that it was particularly memorable. If we went back it would be to get a Boston Cooler. The burgers themselves were merely good and not worth the money.

Xingu Black Beer

The next one up in the journey through the grab bag of beer was Xingu Black Beer. The label was entertaining for no reason. I think it was mostly the caiman that was mixed in with the other miscellaneous. The beer certainly looked the part. It definitely poured out black. However, it certainly didn't taste like what I was expecting. You could taste the malt and describe it a bunch of different ways. However, it wouldn't really matter to most people since the flavors were not that intense. I could probably drink it on a regular basis without thinking much of it.

I doubt I'll try it again. It just didn't do anything for me. It was interesting to try but unless you're looking for a Fisher-Price style "my first dark beer", I am not sure its worth any effort to find. It is another example of a beer that is no better than what you would find taking a tour of the beer aisle your local grocery store.

Cucapá Obscura

Another beer from the gift pack, Cucapá Obscura.

This one is a Mexican Brown Ale. I'm not sure why but this one was in a can instead of the bottles the others were in. The can was entertaining because it seems to play it up as a limited edition dark beer. My first thought was that this was a brown ale and not terrible. On the other hand, I didn't get tired of it either. I cannot say if the flavor would grow on me after a few of them since I only had the one.

I am not a huge fan of Brown Ale's and this one isn't exactly going to get me to run out and buy a six pack. The price is really the thing with this beer. If you get it reasonably cheap than it is worth a shot. Oddly, the thing that sticks with me the most is that its a beer from Mexico that's not Corona, Modelo or any of the other forgettable beers I have tried.

Life imitating Art

The average consumer wants the Tricorder from Star Trek so they buy iPhones and the like. Unfortunately, the average government wants the surveillance system from the thriller of the week.

Yanjing Beer

I got a pack of ten different beers for Christmas. I figured it would fun to take some notes and see what I ended up with.

The first up is Yanjing Beer from the Beijing Yanjing Brewery Co, product of China. I have to say this was not a particularly auspicious start. I did not see anything on the label that classified the beer as anything other than a one-size fits all beer. The packaging was fairly generic looking green bottle with a generic Chinese motif. The taste was not offensive or particularly spectacular. In the end, I've had it before under a dozen different labels.

Yanjing is a generic mass market beer that would end up the shelf next to Budweiser. I'm sure its a perfectly serviceable beer if you just got done mowing the lawn or you're hanging out with your buddies watching the game. However, what is the point? You'll fine plenty of other choices that are at least good, at least as cost effective and much easier to find.

I am thinking this one was included to bring down the cost of the ten pack.