Locations for Fine Beer in the Houston Area

Circa 1998.

Memories led me to dig this up. It’s a list of establishments that make, sell, or serve good beers in the Houston area.

I maintained this list for fivemap of Texas with Houston highlighted years.  I received lots of emails from locals and travelers because of it’s presence. It even made it into some dead-paper references, including at least once at the Houston Press.

It was initially hosted by Tenagra.com, and I left it there after acquiring shirl.com because initially I didn’t have a web hosting provider, just the domain, and later because moving things about on the internet might get people lost back then.

I should include this review on my résumé:

… Bill Shirley’s labor of love is one of the most useful to foodies. It’s an exhaustive, encyclopedic, thirst-provoking list of Houston’s microbreweries, brewpubs, pubs, bars and even home-brew clubs.

Without further ado, or comment, from the way back machine we have Location for Fine Beer in the Houston Area.

Beer and Probability

I took up a friend on joining her at a West Galveston beach house this past weekend.  I used the opportunity to get down there a little early and check out the Board Game Island and to ride my bike around the town and the sea wall.  Board Game Island is a cafe a few blocks off the Strand that has many board games for its visitors to borrow while there.

I had a nice sandwich while there, though they were out of bacon, what’s up with that?  They also serve beer and coffee.  The beer selection was a bit minimal, and the St. Arnold Weedwacker was server almost room temperature in the bottle (likely due to the face that the waitress was quite young an unfamiliar with beer – though she did know to offer some that weren’t listed in the menu.) Continue reading Beer and Probability

Crawl On In

As you may or may not know, I drive a car with no back windshield.  It only costs a few hundred dollars to replace; I can easily afford to replace it.  I don’t mind it being out.

rear view of Subaru Forester without a back window
Back window: unneeded.

It got knocked out by some drunk douchy 20-somethings in a Jeep. They were drinking coronas and headed for some velvet rope bar in Mid Town after asking the parking lot attendant at the Continental Club where it was. They projectile-disposed of their bottles and one took out my back window.  I was parallel parked on a side-street.

Anyway, I drive my 2000 Subaru Forester around without a back window.

I parked it overnight in upper Montrose last week.  A few blocks from Cecil’s bar.  In the morning it was clear that someone had “broken in”.  Not actually broken anything, but illegally entered my car by crawling in the back window.

Normally my back seats are folded down. They had been placed back up to better access the literal junk that’s in my car and needs to be thrown away.  All the junk (empty bottles and cans, junk mail, junk food wrappers, free newspapers, …) was nicely shuffled and aerated.

All my insurance and business cards were knocked off the sun visor. The manual was dutifully removed from the glovebox, as was the air pressure gauge and spare pen.  The drugs I had in the car (ibuprofen and Benadryl – both car cooked into unknown pharmaceutical forms) still remained.  The cash ($2) in my ash tray and checkbook remained behind.  There were several phone charging cables that remained.

I noticed the passenger door was unlocked, no doubt their egress.  I also noticed the eyeglass holder was empty.  My cheap sunglasses has been increasingly annoying me lately.  I have been meaning to replace them.  The annoyance of their catawampus alignment hadn’t quite co-incided with my presence at a place to replace them.  I dug through the detritus before leaving and could not find them.

That bastard had stollen my crappy sunglasses.  Good riddance, and thanks dumb ass bastard.  Did you really think I would have anything of value in an unlockable car?

I drove straight to the grocery store for some breakfast, some Dr Pepper, and some new $10 sunglasses that fit quite nicely.

Marriage Equality is a No Brainer

Today there are two very important cases being discussed at the US Supreme Court.  Whether the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed under President Clinton is constitutional.  It’s not, and Clinton has publicly said as much recently.  And whether California’s Prop 8, which bans gay marriage, is discriminatory with be discussed as well.

HRC logoIt has long been my contention that the discussion of marriage equality for non heterosexual couples is largely hindered my nomenclature.  The meaning of the word marriage is doing (at least) double duty.  I propose we retire the word and replace it with two others: r-marriage and g-marriage.  Or minimally, footnote our discussions to clarify what it is we are saying when we say “marriage”.

For millennia there has been r-marriage.  Marriage within a religious context.  It is sacred, and for many it is a bond before god that will not be broken until the death of one of the members.

For several hundred years we’ve been living under law that attempts to separate church and state.  Despite that we have legally defined g-marriage, Government Marriage.  This is something that requires government documents, and government fees, and when the relationship is terminated more government fees and documents, and perhaps facilitation by government judges.

There are hundreds of other rights conferred to people who are g-married.  These rights have nothing to do with religion; they could mostly be boiled down to fiscal issues.  These are the rights that are under debate.

No one is trying to change anything regarding r-marriage.  Churches will not be forced to marry anyone they believe is unworthy before god  to be married.  No one!

I question whether the government should even acknowledge marriage.  I would abolish it.  But that’s a radical point of view.  As mentioned, there are hundreds of laws referencing these 2-person bondings.  Removing the g-marriage concept would effect all these historical laws.  Indeed I wonder if the limit of the relationship to 2 people will continue in the distant future.

But there is no doubt the laws conferred by our secular legal system should not be confined by the moral codes of any religion.  Accordingly, there is absolutely no reason to restrict g-marriage on r-marriage’s standards.  Any two people should be able to marry under the eyes of our government, and under the eyes (or not) of any god they espouse.

When you hear people arguing about this issue, try to mentally flag when they’re using the word to mean one thing or the other.

Kill the 2WIRE – Renaming your U-verse Router

AT&T U-verse modems all come pre-installed with default names (2WIRE123) and default passwords (10 digits).  That is boring, and not easy to remember.  Picking your router from all your sheep neighbors can be difficult if your urban density is high, and the 10 digits are not the ones you need.

If you connect your computer to the modem directly with an ethernet cable, you can manipulate these things.  There is a default IP address for ALL routers.  If they’ve politely implemented it, you can access it at – though there are other addresses used by different manufacturers.  The U-verse modems have a quite nice interface to manipulate the settings. (I’ve recently found that http://gateway.2wire.net/ might get caught by the modem as well.)

Continue reading Kill the 2WIRE – Renaming your U-verse Router

Willy the Hillbilly

willy the hillbillyHave you seen this hillbilly at your local grocery store?  It cracked me up so much I had to buy a 12-pack.

My caffeine of choice is Dr Pepper, but I enjoy a Mountain Dew now and then, and particularly like their recent Voltage, which was raspberry and citrus.

I also particularly like the sodas that are made with cane sugar rather than corn syrup.  This one turned out to be not as good as I hoped, but still decent.

Apparently this one became available in December and is for a “limited time only” – it says so right there on the can!