Woodstock for Christmas?
Maybe not. “Taking Woodstock” had potential, but movie reviewer David Medsker wasn’t overwhelmed.
If this hadn’t been a true story, and not just any true story but one centered around the mother of all Boomer events, there is a good chance this movie doesn’t get made. Take Woodstock out of the equation, and you’re left with a premise that is all too familiar, the ordinary person who does something extraordinary. To make matters worse Elliot, despite a steady-Eddie performance by stand-up comedian Demetri Martin, is one of the least interesting characters in the movie. When the entire third act focuses on Elliot’s spiritual awakening (it also hints at his sexual awakening), the movie screeches to a halt.
The DVD might be a good gift for a baby boomer or a die-hard Woodstock fan, but you might want to check our DVD recommendations in our Holiday Gift Guide before settling on this one.
Strength and power have a positive influence on muscle endurance
Mike Furci explains this fitness tidbit in his latest “Did you know . . ” column.
Fernando J. Naclerio and fellow researchers performed a study using 14 firefighters to determine the importance of strength and power on a muscular endurance test. The physical test the firefighters were to perform for a job entry requirement was a maximum repetition test on the flat barbell bench press with 40 kg in 40 seconds.
The subjects performed a progressive test of eight sets of two to three repetitions during the first part of the study. The first and second sets were performed using a low load of 25 percent to 45 percent. The first set was always performed with a lower load than the second, which was performed using 40 kg. As subsequent sets were performed, the load was increased. The third and fourth sets were performed with a moderate load of 50 percent to 65 percent of their one-rep maximum (1 RM); the firth and sixth sets were performed with 70 percent to 80 percent of 1 RM; the seventh and eighth sets were performed with 85 percent to 100 percent of 1 RM.
To prevent fatigue from being a factor, the second part of the study (which was the max rep test) was performed 72 hours after the first part. Researchers found the 1 RM to have the greatest degree of influence in the firefighter’s performance on the 40 kg max rep bench press test. Interestingly, the degree of power produced in the progressive test using 40 kg had no correlation with the subject’s ability in the max rep test.(J Strength Cond Res.2009;23(5):1482-1488)
We’ll be writing more about this, but don’t wait until the holidays are over to start working out. Imagine how much better you’ll feel over the holidays if you’ve already started (or improved) your fitness and health program. Sure, you’ll be drinking and eating more than usual if you’re like most people, but at least you won’t regress too far.
Escaping the “Anywhere, USA” phenomenon
In his latest cigar review for Partagas – Spanish Rosado, Bob Hritsko addressed an interesting topic in the introduction.
Whether you travel a little or a lot, you can’t help but notice the “Anywhere, USA” phenomenon. This is the term that I have for the incorporating and franchising of Americas cities, where no matter what city you are in, it is getting more difficult to find something original, especially restaurants, bars or even retail stores. Whether I am in Dallas, Charlotte, Las Vegas or anywhere, there they are — McDonalds, Starbucks, Applebee’s, Chili’s, etc. They can usually be found near the suburban malls with all the stores you know, right across the street from the Holiday Inn, Marriott Courtyard, etc.
Many of you know that I will often seek out cigar-friendly bars and establishments in the cities I visit. The draw of doing so is simply to escape the boring, repetitive convenience of traveling to Anywhere, USA, at least once in awhile. I have found the cigar-friendly establishments to be often unique venues in themselves; all the big chains have to be politically correct and ban any type of smoking, so they don’t upset their mainstream client base. The other advantage of a cigar-friendly joint is that it tends to be a little more social in nature, as a smoke is a commitment of a chunk of your time. If you are in a hurry and want to be left alone, a cigar lounge is not the place for you. Chatting with the folks in these establishments will usually provide you with the local information about other original places to experience in town.
I recently had the pleasure of doing so recently in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., visiting one of the original cigar bars in Florida, Macabi Cigar Bar on Las Olas Blvd. Once inside this dimly lit, quaint bar, I knew I stepped off the beaten path. The founder/owner, “Pat” Patel, was on hand to greet me. The plentiful selection of cigars was presented openly along the walls of the bar, a concern at first, as I wondered if the cigars could be properly cared for and maintained in this atmosphere. I was assured that the humidity and temperature were monitored. I selected a Partagas cigar and settled in for an excellent selection of beers on tap.
We’ve lost quite a bit over the years as our country has become dominated by suburbs and strip malls. Like Bob, many of us appreciate it when you can find a unique spot. That’s why cities like New York and New Orleans still have so much charm – you don’t have to look hard at all.
Posted in: Cigars, City Guide, Lifestyle, Vices
Tags: Anywhere USA, Applebee's, Bob Hritsko, Chili's, cigar reviews, Fort Lauderdale, Macabi Cigar Bar, McDonalds, New Orleans, New York, Partagas – Spanish Rosado, Starbucks
A holiday beer doesn’t make the cut
Our beer reviewer, Mike Barkacs, wasn’t too impressed with Delirium Noel.
I tried to love this beer. I just can’t. I try it every year, hoping the otherwise fabulous Brouwerij Huyghe can get it right. I love Delirium Tremens, and anybody that can come up with that obviously knows everything about brewing beer. How can they possibly get their Christmas beer wrong? It’s meant to be a gift to all their loyal beer loving customers. Not that it’s awfu — I doubt they could make an awful beer even if they tried — but this Christmas Ale falls so far below expectations that you may just want to re-gift it to the crazy uncle.
It looks, and smells, like it might even surpass expectations. And the 10% alcohol could make for a very merry Christmas season. It’s a deep reddish amber, but not as dark as many big Belgian dark ales. The head fades quickly to lacing, but that’s not unusual in most Christmas beers. While not being clear, it would be hard to call it cloudy. Maybe a thin, sedimentless fog. The aroma is both complex and entirely unusual for a Christmas ale. You expect to find a load of spices, tons of alcohol and plenty of malt. Those are there, but they are way back behind an almost saison-style earthiness. Then a load of strange fruits for a Christmas beer, the most prominent being banana, of all things. None of this is the least unpleasant. Unusual for the style, maybe, but very promising.
But that’s the point where the Noel loses me.
You can go read the rest of the review here.
Here’s one site’s recommendations on the 10 best holiday beers.
Posted in: Beer, Lifestyle, Vices
Tags: bad holiday beer, beer reviews, best holiday beers, Christmas beer reviews, Christmas beers, Delirium Noel, Delirium Noel review, holiday beers, Mike Barkacs
Miami Dolphins Cheeleaders in Ed Hardy Fashion Show
We recently check out the Ed Hardy Swimsuit Fashion Show, and here are some more great photos from the event. This time we have some beautiful Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders modeling Ed Hardy swimwear and other fashions.
Posted in: Lifestyle, Models, Sports, The Opposite Sex
Tags: chearleaders fashion show, cheerleaders, cheerleaders slideshow, Ed Hardy, Ed Hardy swimwear, Miami Dolphins, Miami Dolphins Cheeleaders, NFL cheerleaders