The Great American Beer Festival

The Great American Beer Festival (10/11/2007) was pretty awesome.

I’ve never seen so many different beers before in my life, and therein lies the problem. Being of the analytical sort, I was completely overwhelmed with my choices of beer. I knew I couldn’t taste them all, but I was unprepared for a coming with a methodology to taste what I could.

In short, I was frozen with the overwhelming task of trying to sample beer.

I basically decided that the best course of action was to follow those I knew. I followed Trevor around for a while before breaking off to go find some food.

The floor is ordered by region, which is makes it nice and easy to find the beers I knew I wanted: Alaskan Amber, Full Sail, and Buttface.

For whatever reason, The Ram didn’t have Buttface on tap! So I had to settle for the Blonde (yea, I know…poor me). Nick introduced me to the strongest commercial beer in the world: Samuel Adam’s Utopias. Holy crap. I’m not quite sure what it is, but I can assure that it does not go down like beer, and at 25% ABV1 I wouldn’t expect it to go down like a normal beer either. Oh, and at $100 a bottle, it ain’t cheap either.

I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do for next time. I’ll definitely need a better plan.

Other notes:
There is a purposely sour beer floating around the GABF. I don’t remember it’s name. I think it’s out of Nevada, but I’m not sure.

ferg_characture There was a free caricature artist there, Alan J. Lewis, he drew a picture of me and we chatted for a while. He’s not like most caricature artists who draw really fast. He took his time and we chatted for a while. We eventually got to talking about the Northwest and how I was from Seattle and he wanted to move to Portland. It was pretty cool and he even drew the Space Needle in the background of my caricature.

Do not drop your sampling glass on the floor. It makes a “tink tink tink” sound and everybody turns and boos you.

There are few things more amazing then a bunch of drunk people watching the Rockies play post-season baseball.

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1 Alcohol by Volume

The Bet

The Rockies and Red Sox are playing the World Series (in case you didn’t know). Seeing as I’m going to school in Colorado and my good friend Jeff is going to school in Boston, I figured we’d make a little bet.

Every Christmas Break, we all go to Cheese Cake Factory to get together.

Thus the bet comes into place.

Let it be known that Andrew Ferguson and Jeffrey Staples have a bet for dinner at The Cheese Cake Factory not to exceed USD$ 20, loser pays.

Rockies World Series Ticket Clusterfucks

In case you haven’t heard, the Rockies are going to the world series after winning 20 of their last 21 games and sweeping both the Phillies and the Diamondbacks in the divisional playoffs.

To help makes things for the thousands of fans wanting tickets, the Colorado Rockies decided to only sell tickets online. Fair enough.

Well on Monday, millions of people attempted to buy tickets to the World Series at Coors Field. I was one of them. Using my tablet in the middle of Digital Logic, I was going to try and snag a couple of Rockpile tickets (Rockpile Tickets to the World Series: $65/each). Well, I sat there for about 10 minutes, a battle waged against server timeouts. I finally gave up.

The story reported later that night went something like this:
From colorado.rockies.mlb.com:

This morning, after more than 8.5 million hits on the Colorado Rockies website, Paciolan (Pack-ee-o-lan), Major League Baseball’s ticket vendor, experienced a system wide outage that impacted all of its North American customers. As a result, the Colorado Rockies have suspended the sale of 2007 World Series tickets scheduled to be played at Coors Field.

By this morning, the report had changed a bit. “System wide outage” turned into “external malicious attack” and eventually the Paciolan/MLB was playing the role of victim to a denial-of-service attack.

Yea, DOS my ass. Drew calls BS on this one and I have to agree with him:

From www.thedenverchannel.com:

Drew Curtis, the owner of Fark.com, called the denial of service claim “bogus.” Curtis, who has been on the receiving end of DOS attacks, told TheDenverChannel, “If they notified their upstream provider that they were under attack, the upstream provider could have shut that off in no time flat. They’re lying.”

Curtis said the heavy traffic Monday was likely coming from ticket brokers.

“Scalping is big money, big enough for scammers to develop utilities to open thousands of simultaneous connections attempting to buy tickets. I suspect that was at least part of the problem.”

Confident they’ve beefed up their network enough blocked the culprits, Rockies tickets went back on sale today at noon local time, kind of. I got on a campus computer1 at 11:45am and was online trying to get tickets until 1pm, when I had to leave for a meeting.

I spent wasted over an hour of time either looking at a 120 second countdown timer assuring me that the systems were under severe loads and I would be ushered in in the order I arrive or this screen:
timed_out.JPG

That screen, my friends, is a server timeout screen. In short, I was blocked again. Rocktober has frozen into Mocktober.

I looked for a report on a local news site saying that ticket sales would be suspended again because gremlins had been mucking around in the systems again; no such luck.

Tickets were selling, apparently. But at the appalling rate of 1500 per a minute.

So here’s what I don’t get. Pick any A-list music performer (U2, Dave Matthews Band, The Police, etc). Most of those performances sellout within minutes, like eight minutes. 60,000 tickets gone in a flash at a rate five times faster then Rockies were selling tickets. How come they never have any issues?

Let the scalping begin!

For more information on the squirrel with big nuts: http://www.fark.com/farq/about.shtml

1We sit on the FRGP Network, which, for the sake of this post, well call A Really Fast Connection™