Monthly Archives: October 2013

First Aid Kit

If you are as accident-prone as I am, then you should probably have a first aid kit somewhere in your house. A first aid kit is a collection of medical supplies like gauze pads, Band-Aids, antiseptic sprays/wipes, tweezers, aspirin, space blankets… basically everything you need to keep you alive until you get to the hospital. If you don’t have one, you should go get one. Right now. This review can wait. You don’t want to be caught unprepared and there are a billion ways that you could get hurt at any given time. A first aid kit will at least give you a fighting chance to survive in this fucked up world. People get hurt and injured all the time, and a first aid kit could be the difference between life and death. Plus you can always raid it if you’re desperate for a Halloween costume.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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The New Hundred-Dollar Bill

The US Federal Reserve recently updated the hundred-dollar bill. The old design was starting to show it’s age, plus it was vulnerable to counterfeiting. The new hundreds are instantly recognizable and harder to forge. They are more colorful and have more advanced security features, including a spiffy new blue holographic security ribbon. It’s a significant upgrade and a major improvement from the old design, but American money still pales in comparison to bills from other countries. The new hundreds look cool, but the Federal Reserve needs to step up its game if it wants to compete with the rest of the world. Euros look cooler. Canadian dollars look cooler. Even Mexican pesos look cooler than American money. The hundreds are the best designed bill that we have in our arsenal, but it’s not that impressive compared to other currencies. We are behind the times.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Krave Pineapple Orange Beef Jerky

Pineapple Orange is yet another one of  Krave’s gourmet jerkys. This is a very sweet and fruity beef jerky, as you would expect. It smells citrusy, but the odor of cooked pineapple can’t be ignored. It’s reminiscent of a holiday dinner, with meat and fruit scents fighting for your nose’s attention. The jerky is not as moist as I expected, it was pretty dry and slightly crumbly around the edges. It smells better than it tastes. It’s kind of dull on the taste buds, plus it was really dry and hard to chew. It takes like it’s past the sell by date but it’s not. This was a disappointing purchase. Krave has a lot of jerky verities that are better than this one, but this is one of the flavors you should avoid.

Critically Rated at 8/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Slamming the Door on Your Finger

Slamming the door on your fingers is painfully stupid. It hurts like a motherfucker, and you feel like an idiot because you know how they work, you’ve been opening and closing them your whole life. It only takes a split second to slam the door on your misplaced finger. You scream in agony and jump around trying to shake away the pain. You hope that you aren’t going to lose a fingernail because that makes a bad situation even worse. Not only does it hurt like a bitch, but everyone will also see your missing fingernail and ask you what happened, and you’ll spend the next few weeks telling your sob story to family, friends, and strangers. Slamming the door on your finger reminds you that there is no such thing as a safe routine, that sometimes the universe wants you to suffer.

Critically Rated at 4/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Aquafina Flavorsplash Berry Loco

Aquafina Flavorsplash Berry Loco is a sparkling nutrient enhanced flavored water beverage. Doesn’t that sound appetizing? And scientific? It tastes vaguely of berries. It says on the label that it is a four berry blend flavor. I can’t figure out what four berries it’s supposed to be flavored like. It has a pink hue to it, so I’m guessing that strawberries and raspberries are two of the four flavors. I don’t know why they call it Berry Loco. It doesn’t really taste like berries, much less crazy ones. It has zero calories and a very slight aftertaste. It’s drinkable and refreshing, but I would still take a Vitamin Water over it. It’s alright, but it’s pretty forgettable at the same time.

Critically Rated at 9/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Falling Off Your Skateboard

If you ride a skateboard, you are going to fall off of it. That’s how it works. It comes with the territory. You’ve never really skated if you’ve never fallen off. I was skating to the store the yesterday and hit a small pothole in the sidewalk. My wheel came to a dead stop and I kept going. I flew off my board and landed heavily on my side. It wasn’t too bad, just a skinned elbow and a little road rash, but I’m still pretty sore today. It feels like I got hit by a truck. Not a semi-truck, more like a small F-150 but it still hurts. I wasted my fall yesterday. Nobody saw it. Falling off your board sucks, but it’s worth it if you have a witness. It’s nothing to be embarrassed of or ashamed about, and it kind of becomes a shared experience when somebody sees you fall. Personally, I think that in the age of YouTube and Fail Videos, any fall that isn’t recorded is a complete waste.  Let’s think about it philosophically for a second… like if a tree falls in an empty forest, does it make a sound? Well, if a skater falls and nobody sees it, does anybody care?  Nope.

Critically Rated at 10/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Rap God by Eminem

“Rap God” is the latest single from Eminem and it seals his legacy as one of the best rappers of all time. It is his magnum opus, his masterpiece. It’s distinctly Eminem. It has a dope beat, a catchy hook, pop culture references, witty lyrics, and sound effects. He uses some rhymes that he’s used before, but he gets away with it. Eminem can rap like Tupac, but Tupac can’t rap like Eminem. Nobody can. That’s not an insult to Tupac or Biggie or Chuck D. Eminem is just capable of doing things that nobody else can do and he proves it in this song. He changes pitch and tempo and has a way of making rhyme that shouldn’t rhyme. He spits out rhymes so fast that you can’t even hear what he is saying, but you still know that he is saying it. He might be pretentious and full of himself, but he’s earned it at this point. This is already one of his the best songs in his library. Even someone who doesn’t like rap can appreciate his skills.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Batman R.I.P. (comic)

Batman R.I.P. is a comic book arc written by Grant Morrison with art by Tony Daniel and covers by Alex Ross. It was first published in Batman #676-681 and it’s hard to write about because it’s so hard to read. This is very layered story. There are a lot of things going on and you will be lost if this is the first Batman comic that you’ve ever read. It’s not for beginners. The basic plot outline involves a group of villains called the Black Glove trying to destroy Batman by breaking his mind. They cause Bruce Wayne to lose his sanity, but the world’s greatest detective is prepared for everything. He’s not going to let a little case of the crazies get in the way of justice.

Grant Morrison had been planting the seeds for months in earlier issues and it’s nice to see how he ties things together. The story is much bigger than this one arc and spills over in Final Crisis and other DC titles. It’s a very good Batman story, but I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece. A classic maybe, but not a masterpiece.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Bear Republic Big Bear Black Stout

Bear Republic Big Bear Black Stout is a beary good beer. Sorry about the obligatory bear pun, I had to say it. Now on with the review. This is a delicious and ideal stout. It has a rich roasted malt aroma with chocolate, coffee, and caramel notes. It tastes even richer than it smells. It has a roasted malt backbone with bittersweet chocolate flavor as well as caramel and coffee. It finishes slightly hoppy which gives it a nice balance. You can’t really taste the alcohol, but the label assures me that it’s 8.1%. It’s more drinkable than most stouts. It’s smooth and creamy, and it will warm you up on cold nights. This is another great beer from the Bear Republic Brewing Co. Good job brewmasters, keep it up.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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The Price is Right

The Price is Right is a game show where the contestants have to guess how much the prize costs. You win by getting as close to the actual retail price as you can without going over. It’s currently hosted by Drew Carey, but Bob Barker will forever be the true face of the show. The Price is Right is one of the most popular game shows amongst college kids, senior citizens, and kids who fake being sick so they don’t have to go to school. They play a lot of different pricing games, but nothing is more popular than Plinko and the climatic Showcase Showdown. I want to spin the giant wheel just one time before I die. I’ll admit that I don’t watch the show much anymore because Drew Carey seems like an imposter. I grew up watching The Price is Right with Bob Barker. I spayed and neutered my pets because he told me to. I even went to a taping during his final season as host, and that was probably the last episode I ever watched (because how can you top that?). It’s been a staple of daytime television for over forty years and there’s no end in sight. There’s no better way to spend a sick day than to wrap yourself up in a blanket while watching The Price is Right.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Divider Stick

A divider stick is a piece of plastic that you find in grocery stores and convenience shops near the cashier. You put your groceries on the little conveyer belt and use the divider stick to create a temporary boundary around your stuff. It separates your items from everyone else’s inferior products. We use them because we are weird and oddly overly protective of things we haven’t bought yet. When the cashier starts to ring up the person if front of you, you should take his divider stick and give it to the person behind you. It’s polite and it’s etiquette and your mom wants you to do the right thing. You can also use the divider stick as a makeshift weapon in case of a robbery, but I wouldn’t recommend it because they aren’t very formidable.

Critically Rated at 10/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Tell Them I Say Hi

You’re hanging out with some friends when one of your mutual friends calls you from out of state. You have a brief conversation and you mention that you’re with a couple of people, and he tells you to “Tell them I say hi.” You say you will, you hang up, and you don’t tell them that he said hi. And why would you? He doesn’t really expect you to tell them that he said hi. He just said that to acknowledge their presence, that he remembers that they exist, and they are his friends too. He doesn’t want to me to actually tell them that he says hi. I’m always worried about telling them that he said hi and then they say to tell him hi back. And I do, and then he tells me to ask them how they are doing. And I do, and then they say they are doing fine and to ask him how he is doing. And I do, and then he tells me to tell them that he is good and that they should come out the next time he’s in town. And I do, and then they tell me to tell him that sounds like fun and that he should shoot them a text soon. I don’t want to be the messenger. I’m not an owl. If you want to tell them hi, do it yourself and leave me out of it.

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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A Person’s Laugh

A person’s laugh is like a fingerprint. Each one is unique. You can recognize your best friend’s laugh in a crowded room. You can tell when they are genuinely laughing or if it’s just a pity laugh. Some people chuckle, some people guffaw, some have amazing, theatrical laughs, and some have awkward, annoying squeals. But a person’s laugh is always a happy thing. A person’s laugh is a sign of good times, of enjoyment. Laughter is one of the best things on earth, and the sound of a person’s laugh is usually enough to lift your spirits. Unless they are laughing at you. Then you feel like running away and crying.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Troll (Internet Lingo)

A troll is someone who posts comments online for the sole reason of pissing people off. They live under bridges and steal your Wi-Fi. They live to annoy people. For example, you’ll complain about your lousy day on Facebook and a troll will comment on your post saying he’s glad that you had a bad day and you probably deserve it. If you write a blog post about how amazing your vacation to Paris was, a troll will tell you that Paris sucks and that you should have gone to Amsterdam. A troll has no valid arguments or points, he only has poorly thought out insults written in caps lock. Everyone is guilty of trolling from time to time, but some people are only on the internet to troll other people. And that’s sad. Trolling is bad, but trolls are worse.  It’s one thing to correct a friend and make fun of them for misusing a word, it’s quite another thing to bash a stranger for having a different point of view than you.

Critically Rated at 1/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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A Dog That Gets Tangled In Its Own Leash

My friend has a little dog that he takes everywhere because he pretends that it’s a service animal. The dog is really cute and adorable, but it’s dumber than a rock missing a chromosome. It has a habit of getting tangled up in its own leash. If you tie the leash around a table leg while you eat, the dog will start walking around the chairs and table in random directions until he gets all wrapped up and stuck because he doesn’t know how to backtrack. Then he will start whining and crying until someone rescues him. Then he gets tangled up again as soon as you look away. It’s fun to laugh at a dog that gets tangled in its own leash, but it becomes a hassle to constantly be untangling a dopey canine every few minutes. But I’d still rather deal with a dumb dog than a smart cat.

Critically Rated at 9/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Driving While Being Zoned Out

You’re driving home from work. It’s getting late and you’re really tired. You see the street signs and street signs slowly rolling by but none of them register. All you can think about is crashing on your couch and watching a movie before bed. Then all of a sudden you shake your head and snap back to reality. You realize that you were just driving while being zoned out. You realize that you have no recollection of the last five minutes. Even though you were driving, you were just a passenger. You weren’t paying attention to the road or any other cars, you were just cruising. Consider yourself lucky that you didn’t run over any cats or pedestrians or crash into a median. Lots of people are able to drive while being zoned out. It’s kind of crazy how half of you brain can shut down but your body can still function and react to things you aren’t aware of. Maybe we should let our subconscious have more control of our day-to-day lives.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Big Blue

Big Blue is a blue beverage from the same company that makes Big Red. I’m trying it right now for the first time, and I think that it has a bubblegum flavor. At least, I’m guessing that is what it’s supposed to be. It just tastes blue to me. Blue is a fun flavor though. I’m not complaining. It has a very sweet, sugary, syrupy taste to it. I wouldn’t recommend it after you run a marathon. It’s not a thirst quencher. I don’t like to say soda pop, but Big Blue is the definition of a soda pop. It’s cheap and delicious and decidedly unhealthy. It costs 99 cents for a 20oz bottle. What a bargain. You’d be a fool not to get it.

Critically Rated at 10/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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