Archive for April, 2008

Death by Taurine: Energy Drink Reviews Part IV

Posted in Death By Taurine, humor, reviews, soda with tags , , on April 29, 2008 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

The saga continues…

Death by Taurine has been a surprisingly popular article series for my blog. I wrote the first one as a lark back in 2006 when I became fascinated with the whole energy drink industry. Since then the whole series has consistently appeared at the top of my blog’s traffic reports. So, since everyone seems to still be interested in this crazy topic of energy drinks, I thought I’d continue the series with Part IV. If you missed the first three installments, check out the whole group here. You’ll find reviews of Red Bull, Full Throttle, Jolt and many other popular energy drinks. When you click the above link, Part IV will be first in the list and Part I will last in the list and at the bottom of the page. Scroll down to start from the beginning.

Drinks groupIn the first three installments, I tasted and reviewed several of the traditional and more popular energy drinks. This time, however, I thought I’d try something different. I’m tasting and reviewing the newer alcoholic energy drinks that have flooded the market. In case you haven’t noticed, beer companies are releasing energy drinks with alcohol in them, some as much as 2 beers worth of alcohol. These have piqued my interest so I thought I’d give reviewing them a shot. FYI to everyone, I am of legal drinking age so no laws are getting broken. I’m just a ridiculously handsome guy, over 21, drinking energy drinks filled with taurine, vitamin B and alcohol. Let’s get started.

First, the rules. I’m going to drink the first one, wait an hour, then write the review. Then I’ll move on to the second one, wait an hour, then the review. I want to make sure I’m spacing these out to get the full effect. Okay, everyone ready? Then let’s get this party started.

Bud ExtraBud Extra- The first drink I’ll taste is from Budweiser and it’s called “B to the E”. I’m not kidding, that’s the official title, but it has an alternate name, Bud Extra. So I’ll just pop the top and let ‘er rip. Tastes like a can of Budweiser. There might be a slight Red Bull-ish aftertaste. Interesting. I’ll continue drinking and return in an hour with my final analysis.

[1 hour later] Okay, not bad. I’m feelin’ pretty good. Got a nice buzz on, feelin’ no pain…this is what I’m talkin’ BOUT! Man, I could totally have another one of these. That’s the mark of a good drink, you have one and you immediately are ready for another. Nice. Too bad I only bought one for this review. Crap. Hey, it’s time for Round 2, SWEET! Let’s go…

Sparks- Sparks is made by Miller and it is another of the more popular alcoholic energy drinks. There are like three versions of the Sparks drink and I’m not sure what this. Nor do I care because I’m ready to pop this top and throw down the juice. Hmmmm….like Red Bull, Sparks is filled with Taurine, Ginseng, Vitamin B, but unlike Red Bull…it’s rockin’ some serious al–kee–hol! Haha! Whew, let’s throw some of this bad boy back and see if this can of Sparks is, like myself, ready to Par-tay! Mmmmm…nice flavor. A little more Red Bullish in taste than Bud Extra. I like it. I’ll just continue drinking this and see you in an hour.At Table

[1 hour later] Maaan, whew! These cans are like double the size of normal beer cans. With two of these bad boys down I think I’ve had the equivalent of 4 regular beers, and I’m just getting this little shindig started. I know it says 1 hour later to the left there, but it’s really about 45 minutes later. I got tired of waiting for another energy brewski, so I’m drinking the next one, it’s called Sparks….no wait, I just had Sparks, right? No…yes…whatever.

Tilt- Allright, I don’t really remember who or what makes this one. The can is silver and it has writing on it, so that’s good enough. Time to pop the top and down the hatch…..awesome! This one hits the spot! WOO HOO! I might have found the winner, bitches. Look out energy drink bitches…this silver can of something is gonna ROCK YOUR WORLD!!! WOO HOO!!!

[30 minutes later] WOO HOO!! MAN THAAT WAAS THE LASTY ENRGY BREUW I HAD….WTF?! I DON’THAAVE ANYMOREEE…WWAIT I THINK I HAVEE AN RED BULLL IN THE FRIDGEY-FRIDGERSON…..YEPPERS, THER IT TIS, YALLLLLLL. AND HER’S A BEER,YO.. HAHA I CNA MIX RD BULLLZ AND MY BEERR AND HAVE A NEW ALKEYHOLIC ENRGY DREENK! AWESUME! I MITE HALVE TO SSELL THIS ITS THAAAT GOUUD. MMMMMNMMNMNMNN.

[30 minutes later] thaaaT caAn UF hommadie bruew wentu quielckly. im st1ll naut feelinG anYthieng. WYF?1 THEIZSE drEEnks r SPosed 2 haVVE alCAHAUl!11!!!1 AHAAHA!1!111 I cEE SUM BAKARTI 151 HiddoN n mie kabinet. BARTNDR, ROUEOND OF SHUOTS ON ME!!!!!11111

[10 minutes later] a;dlkf ;a;;oobviqa;n qehjnleroucuya[oif neepoifpodlajhd papdofiaF!!! !PAEDIUQ;P PADOIFH APAO APAODIFA PAODF PA0DA-VOP KIDFNQ;’ER,KE PEKQTRQPFIOAJDAP[ADOIUPADOF P IF F ~~~~

Man Down

[5 minutes later] I”MADFAFHJffffffffffffffffffffffffffff FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF ffFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF____>>>>~~~~~

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It’s Passover 2008, time to get your Kosher Coke!!

Posted in Coca Cola, holiday, pop culture, soda with tags , , , on April 22, 2008 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Well, the Jewish holiday of Passover started on Sunday and lasts all week. If you were reading this blog last year then you know of the soda scavenger hunt that happens every year around this time by soda enthusiasts.

Passover 2008

To recap, during the Jewish holiday of Passover, Coke and Pepsi will release kosher versions of their flagship products (Coke, Sprite, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Diet Coke). Part of the process includes having the soda manufacturing process approved and blessed by a rabbi. Another part of the process includes removing High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) from Coke, Pepsi and Sprite and using real sugar. In the late ’70s, Coke and Pepsi stopped using real sugar to sweeten their non-diet sodas and switched to HFCS because it was cheaper. For most soda enthusiasts, this changed the drink’s taste. Now, during Passover, for anyone going to look for it, you can find Coke, Pepsi and Sprite as they were made back in the ’70s with real cane or beet sugar (sucrose).

It’s fairly easy to find kosher Coke in my area. If they aren’t identified in a separate Kosher display, they are recognizable by their yellow caps with the Jewish Passover mark on top. Here’s what I found at my local supermarket in the Coke aisle (there was no separate Passover dispay):

You can see 4 bottles of Coke. They are all very similar. Actually, the water beads on the Coke labels are slightly different, but everything else is the same. The two bottles on the left are kosher Coke made with real sugar, identified by their bright yellow caps. The 2 bottles on the right are regular HFCS Coke, with the usual red caps. Check out the ingredients list from the yellow capped kosher Coke:

You can see it is sweetened with sucrose which is real sugar. With 2 liter bottles it’s really that easy to identify. With cans you have to search for the Passover mark on the fridgepack. I don’t think the ingredients list on the fridgepack will necessarily say it’s made with sucrose.

I’ve been doing this search for a few years now. The Coke is easy to find. I have yet to find Kosher Pepsi or Sprite. From what I’ve heard this year, Pepsi is using white caps with the passover mark on the top, but I’ve found nothing but the Pepsi Stuff blue caps on all the Pepsi 2 liters. I’ll have to look a little harder. Sprite should have a yellow cap just like Coke, but I have yet to find that one either.

When I bought kosher Coke last year, I also bought a 20oz of regular HFCS Coke to do a taste test. The difference in taste between the two is noticeable. Honestly, I have to say I prefer the HFCS Coke to kosher Coke, but that’s probably because I’m so used to the HFCS sweetener. I don’t normally drink non-diet sodas, but this is a fun little exercise to do each year…for me, at least.

While out searching for Kosher Coke and Pepsi, I did come across a new soda flavor that I think was just released on Monday. It’s called Sierra Mist Undercover Orange and it’s a promotional flavor for the movie Get Smart starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway. Check it out:

Sierra Mist Undercover Orange

I also found the Sierra Mist Free Undercover Orange flavor. They are both pretty good. The orange flavor is very subtle. Almost as part of the aftertaste. Not bad. Not as good as Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash, but still good.

So it’s time to get on the stick, people! Get out there and get your kosher Coke and Pepsi before Passover is…well, over. And be on the lookout for Sierra Mist Undercover Orange, it’s worth a try!

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My Guide to Savannah, Georgia Part II

Posted in books, Georgia, movies, pop culture, reviews, roadtrip, Savannah on April 17, 2008 by Paxton

Okay, today is Part II of my guide to Savannah, GA. If you missed Part I then go ahead and click here to get caught up (even if you already read it, go back and relive it, trust me, it’s just as awesome during the second read through).

All done? Good, then continue reading to hear more about my schoolgirl-like crush on Savannah, GA.

Forsyth ParkSo, after reading Part I, I bet you are thinking to yourself, “Fine, Pax, we get it, you and Steph eat a lot. Wonderful. What else is cool about Savannah?” I would answer that this is a great question (although your tone was rather rude). Honestly, there’s a good mix for everyone. If you enjoy shopping, they have some of the newer stores the young kids are loving today like Gap, but the City Market has the coolest nick-nack and souvenir shops. On our first trip to Savannah we went into this souvenir shop that was having a book signing by an author that lives in the Savannah area named Murray Silver. He was promoting his book Behind the Moss Curtain which included short stories centered in and around Savannah. Steph and I got to talking to him (it wasn’t busy at all in the store) and he mentioned that he had written the book Great Balls of Fire on which the Dennis Quaid movie was based. My ears perked up and I said, “What, What?” I loved that movie. I asked him about writing the book and what it was like. He talked to me about meeting Jerry Lee Lewis and the difference between the book he wrote and the movie. It seems the studios changed the tone of the book completely when they made the movie. The movie was much more over-the-top and tongue-in-cheek whereas the book was a little bit more harsh with Jerry and the tone was a lot darker. He said he may still have a few copies of the book at his home and if he found one I could have it, if I returned the next day. I thanked him and said I’ll be back the next day to see him. Like I said, I returned the next day and *BAM* he slapped the below paperbound tome of awesomeness in front of me (click on the pic for a bigger view):

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My Guide to Savannah, Georgia Part I

Posted in books, food, Georgia, movies, reviews, roadtrip, Savannah, TV shows on April 11, 2008 by Paxton

This is the article I was trying to finish last week and couldn’t do it. There was just too much to talk about. Well, I think I got it all in. It got a little long, so I’m cutting the article in two. Part I is today.

Hope you enjoy!

Bird GirlThe weekend before last, the wife and I made our third visit to Savannah, GA. It was for her birthday. It is one of our favorite places to go because there is so much history in this little city and there’s so much to do. Lots of great restaurants, cool site-seeing tours and many places of interest can keep one busy for hours. History buffs can appreciate all of the early American history and buildings and Hollywood buffs can appreciate all of the Hollywood movies and tv shows that have been filmed here. When we lived in Birmingham, AL, we were a whopping 6 hours away, but now that we live in Jacksonville, FL we are only 2.5 hours away. And we love it.

One of the things my wife and I love about the city is the atmosphere. It’s quintessential Old South. Spanish moss in the trees, old Victorian style mansions, small streets, old architecture and many historical places of interest all lend a wonderful all-around aesthetic that causes one to get lost in history. It really is great to just walk around the neighborhoods and look at the old style homes and buildings. Steph and I could do just that, walk around for hours looking at old buildings. It really is amazing.

Wet Willie'sWhen we first get to Savannah, we love to walk Riverstreet. It runs right along the river (obviously) and has many shops and restaurants in which we love to go and browse. Our favorite place to stop on Riverstreet? That would be Wet Willie’s. It’s a daiquiri bar that serves up like 10 tasty alcoholic daiquiris that Steph and I love. They have one daiquiri called Call-A-Cab that is really good and the strongest one they serve, as well as a banana one called Monkey Shine. When Steph is in “vacation mode”, however, she reaches for the White Russian daiquiri. With ice cream, coffee flavoring and grain alcohol it tastes like an Irish coffee latte (gross, in my opinion, but who am I to judge?). Me? I summon to my outstretched hand, Shock Treatment. It’s very similar to one of my favorite mixed drinks of all time, the Blue Hawaiian. It’s 150 proof grain alcohol, Blue Curacao and lemonade (FYI…a Blue Hawaiian adds coconut and is “on the rocks”). It’s tart enough to contort your grill into a cartoon-like pucker and strong enough alcohol-wise to put you on the floor if you aren’t careful. My kind of drink. Funny, this is usually Steph and my first stop when we get to Savannah. Even before eating (which is surprising). After Willie’s, we wind up stumbling out into the light of day like newborn babes as we make our way to our other destinations.

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Hulu: New video site ROCKS!!

Posted in humor, movies, technology, TV shows, websites with tags , on April 4, 2008 by Paxton

I got lazy/busy this week and couldn’t finish the article I was working on that I planned on publishing today. Sorry about that, however, I have become completely infatuated with the new video site NBC launched a while back. It’s called Hulu.

Hulu Video Site

NBC got tired of their content getting streamed on YouTube and they weren’t getting a dime, so they decided to open their own video portal. I believe Fox is also a partner in this. They offer high resolution clips and episodes of popular tv shows from both NBC and Fox. It’s unbelievable some of the stuff you can find out there. They have episodes of Doogie Houser, MD and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For free. They even have 2 seasons of one of my favorite shows of all time; Arrested Development. It’s awesome.

The site is very different from YouTube in many ways. Like I said, the resolution is higher. Also, users can’t upload videos so, thankfully, you won’t see some jackass trying to light his own farts on fire or some idiot in face paint singing to his favorite ’80s metal ballad. You get nothing but good content from NBC and Fox tv shows. They also have a fair amount of movies to choose from. You should check it out. The site was in beta testing for a while and I became a member of the hulu beta testing team a few months ago, but it looks like anyone can go out there and watch videos now. Go, see what I mean. It rocks.

Here are some awesome clips I found on Hulu that I found today. Some of these I’ve never been able to find on YouTube.

Unfortunately, WordPress won’t let me embed Hulu videos yet, so I’m just providing the links.

EZ DateSaturday Night Live – E-Z Date– One of my favorite fake commercials from Saturday Night Live. Advertising the “dating” service EZ-Date, which lets you “make connections that will last a lifetime…in one hour increments.” Hilarious.

Really with Seth and AmyReally?! with Seth and Amy– Great segment from Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. Seth and Amy tear apart Michael Vick after he gets busted for marijuana possession at the Miami airport. See the two other Really?! segments here.

MacGruberMacGruber– From Saturday Night Live. Great take-off of the tv show MacGuyver. MacGruber’s drunken rendition of his own theme song kills me everytime.

Al Queda9/11 Conspiracy Theories Ridiculous claims Al Queda– From the great fake online newspaper, The Onion, comes their video “news” segments which look like a CNN news show. This one interviews a conspiracy theorist who believes the US Government perpetrated the 9/11 attacks even when confronted by a member of Al Queda who claims they did, in fact, do it. Really funny skewering of 9/11 conspiracy theories.

Wife DiesWhite House Press Secretary Spins Wife’s Death into Positive– Another video from The Onion. This video involves the White House Press Secretary giving a news conference after his wife’s death. When reporters begin asking questions about her death, he keeps trying to spin it back to the President’s agenda. Sad but funny, too.