Twinkies R.I.P.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hostess has filed for bankruptcy, so it looks like the end of Twinkies, for the time being. There are all sorts of suggestions as to why this is happening, from changing eating habits, to a greedy union. Looking at the epidemic of obesity and how much processed foods people eat, it is hard for me to believe that people don't want this kind of food. I am not a huge fan of Twinkies, though I am saddened that 18,000 people have lost their jobs. One story that isn't getting a lot of press is how much money the higher ups at Hostess were making. From another article:
BCTGM members are well aware that as the company was preparing to file for bankruptcy earlier this year, the then CEO of Hostess was awarded a 300 percent raise (from approximately $750,000 to $2,550,000) and at least nine other top executives of the company received massive pay raises. One such executive received a pay increase from $500,000 to $900,000 and another received one taking his salary from $375,000 to $656,256.
Yep, must have been greedy unions. I am not a business expert, but it looks like a lot of upper level mismanagement. It also looks like they knew things were getting bad and figured to get as much as they could before the company went belly up.


Bastion of Democracy

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Finally, this past Saturday, four whole days after the election, Florida was called for Obama.

This is, of course, after waiting nine hours to vote, some voters finally leaving the polls at 1:00 in the morning.

Say nothing of over 340,000 ballots yet to be counted in Arizona, of course (unsurprisingly, many of those votes were cast in infamous Maricopa County).

This is in addition to instances of voter suppression and intimidation, from voter i.d. laws that had to be struck down to SCOTUS poised to possibly strike-down the heart of the Voting Rights Act.

An Oregon poll worker was fired for allegedly changing ballots, filling-in blanks with Republican candidates.

In some areas, Dems were told to vote in the wrong place.

Voting machines switched votes, as voters watched, from Obama votes to Romney.

Flyers were mailed to Ohio voters, giving not only the wrong precinct information (do people not proofread???), but the wrong election date.

I could go on, but the point is made.  For all of our bluster about freedom and democracy, we're not that good at running elections.  Waiting in line until 1:00 in the morning is not something a Secretary of State should be proud of.  The fact that votes were being counted almost a week or more than a week after the election is something to be ashamed of.  I hate to quote Aaron Sorkin, but he's right in this fictitious TV speech:

And with a straight face, you're going to tell students that America's so starspangled awesome that we're the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom, Japan has freedom, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium has freedom. Two hundred seven sovereign states in the world, like 180 of them have freedom.

Until we get our shit together as "the world's foremost democracy" maybe we should STFU about it.  I understand a little mayhem; it's one day where all of a sudden a bazillon people all show up to do the same thing.  But my heavens, some of this shit is orchestrated.

I submit to you, in case you forgot, PA House Majority Leader Michael Turzai:

Let's get our shit together and have serious conversations about how we get people to vote, about how we encourage people to vote, about non-partisan redistricting, about voter registration.



Wednesday, November 07, 2012


Also, thanks to everyone who came over last night.  Smitty's Pub converted to a fine election night war room, and the beer was passable.


Tracking the Election Results.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

If you are a complete mathematical and political nerd and want to track and predict the election results faster than anyone else in your house, visit Sam Wang's helpful guide to political geekdom.

Complete with graphs!



Get off your dead ass and go vote.  Now!

While I clearly endorse Obama, those readers in Michigan should vote NO, actually vote HELL NO, on Proposal 5 and 6.  Do NOT turn us into CA with restrictions on raising taxes and please don't preserve a billionaire's bridge monopoly.

Go now.

Still here? 

Go vote.


Smitty's Pub 2.0 - Update

Friday, November 02, 2012

The phones are going wild, folks.  Pledges are rolling-in for the Nitro Upgrade for Smitty's Pub.  Pledge now in the comments section before you're left out of the party.

60% of the way towards a stoutier stout!


Smitty's Pub Upgrade, Version 2.0

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Remember a few weeks back, when I mentioned I wanted a stout faucet and nitro system, so I could finally drink certain beers the right way, like my Chocolate Milk Stout?

Let's make this a reality.

Since I doubt I can do a Kickstarter project for my own enjoyment, I thought I'd usher-in a new era here at ATK:  Beerstarter.

This is simple.  Smitty's Pub needs an upgrade; a version 2.0.  This includes a nitrogen keg system and a stout faucet so big beers can be enjoyed with those lovely cascading bubbles, and the Hell I'm living through now of suffering through pint after pint of big stouts pressurized and dispensed on a CO2 system can finally cease.

And you, dear ATK member, can be a part of it all.  You can make this happen.

How? Easy.  Pledge money towards the goal in the comments section of this and subsequent posts.  A mere $289.99 is all that's needed to re-launch Smitty's Pub.  If I get enough pledges by November 31, 2012 (a time after which I will have brewed and started fermenting Nestle's Nemesis), we'll get the system.

Why?  Because when the pub is re-launched, and the first keg of Chocolate Milk Stout is ready on New Years Eve...You, dear member, will get an invitation to the Smitty's Pub New Years Celebration and Smittys Pub 2.0 Re-Launch Extravaganza, in which pint after pint of Nestle's Nemesis (my name for the recipe) is consumed.

I've kicked-in seed money, and will use the progress bar below.  Look!  We're just over 1/3 of the way there already!  It's like a race; when the beer is ready to be kegged...will it have to suffer CO2?  Or will a lovely canister full of Nitrogen be ready and waiting a beer worthy of its tiny, creamy bubbles?

$100; 34.5% towards drinking stouts the right way

The rest, loyal beer enthusiasts, is up to you.



Potential Drunks

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