Hellllllooooo Boston!!!

So this weekend I am in Boston for PAX East, actually that’s where I am writing this. I. Am. SO EXCITED to be here!!! The people are great, the atmosphere is incredible and the cosplayers are breathtaking!!!

 

At Logan International Airport baggage claim.

At Logan International Airport baggage claim.

 

I am seriously having the time of my life, and I get to be back on my favorite coast (hello my beloved East Coasties!!!) So here is a preview of the things I will be reviewing here!!!

  • Virtual Gaming Orb from here.
  • Rooster Teeth‘s panel
  • People, Location and Atmosphere
  • Food Access (Because the words Food and Good are totally interchangeable)
  • My first Cosplay Experience!!!!!! Woohooo!!!
  • And much, much more. Tune in!!!

NOTE: If I took a photo of your Cosplay you can find your amazing costumes here or here!

Now, it’s 3pm here and the day is far from over. I’m going to go play ^_^ See you all soon!!!

Lack of posts

Hey guys, sorry for the lack of posts, it’s been crazy busy between work and renovating the new condo. I will post the Alesmith Brewery Review as well as the newest Street Art Sunday as soon as I can, but first I need gratuitous amounts of sleep. 

Magic Hat Artifactory

My mom at Magic Hat Brewery in South Burlington. Hi mom!!!

My mom at Magic Hat Artifactory in South Burlington. Hi mom!!!

While we were in Vermont this past week we did some really awesome things but one of my favorite days was going to the Magic Hat Artifactory. Now I’ve been to a few pretty incredible Breweries in California since moving here, and maybe it’s just that I am really partial to Vermont, but I have to say this may be one of my favorite Breweries that I’ve personally been to.

When you get to the Brewery the first thing you’ll notice is a small silo with a rustic door that has the Magic Hat star for a window to peep in through. To the right of the silo are these large metal doors that look both slightly daunting but they drag you in with curiosity. What could they be hiding behind these large doors? Then you finally enter the building and it’s like entering an entirely different world. Everything is presented to look as though you just stepped into a mid-50′s Circus and the posters are so. Freaking. Cool! If you are a gamer just imagine being in a Brewery in Rapture from Bioshock.

Totally love it.

Totally love it.

Unfortunately we couldn’t go on a guided tour (they are offered on the weekends and you can find the hours here) but the lack of a guided tour didn’t leave us disappointed. We took a self guided tour, watched a fabulous short on the process of brewing a fine craft beer like Fat Angel or Heart of Darkness and finally made it to the brew and bottling part of the tour. 

Where they make their elixirs.

Where they make and bottle their elixirs.

When you walk into the industrial part of the tour you are instantly surrounded by warm air that smells divine. The smell of Hops, Barley, Yeast and the various other ingredients they use in their brews is enough to make anyone thirsty. They didn’t seem to be brewing anything when we went but we could watch the labeling process and enjoy the rich smells. We could start identifying which smells were dominate in each beer once we got to the tasting bar just by sitting and watching the process for a little while. It was impressive and incredibly inspiring, I started debating on what it would take to start brewing my own at home in San Diego.

Beers I tried:

Heart of Darkness – An excellent stout with a bittersweet chocolate under current. ABV: 5.7% IBUs: 30 SRM: 80. Note: Seasonal beer, only available October – January.

Maple Chocolate Stout – This one was my favorite, we ended up buying a growler of it. Made with local chocolate and maple syrup it is a very very smooth stout. This beer you can only get in the Brewery as a Draft. ABV: 7.2% IBUs: 50 SRM: 70. Note: Seasonal, only available October 15 – March 31.

Steven Sour – A fantastic Sour IPA made with three different types of Hops and Passion Fruit. ABV: 5.6% IBUs: 85 SRM: 5.8. Note: According to the site it is only available in November but the Brewery had it on tap. I can imagine this is a popular one with IPA and Sour Beer fans!

Single Chair: A light ale that is perfectly balanced in every way. Perfect for just getting off the slopes as well as a hot summer day. ABV: 5% IBUs: 17 SRM: 3.5. Note: Only available in Variety packs January – February but available on draft all year long.

Beer Jargon Explained:

ABV – Alcohol by Volume and simply represents the portion of alcohol in the total volume of the beer. The higher the percentage the higher the alcohol content

IBUs – International Bitterness Units describe the concentration of the iso-alpha acid in the beer. The higher the number the stronger the bitterness.

SRM – Standard Reference Method which is used to describe the color of the beer, the lower the number the lighter the beer.

 

(edit: just had that it pointed out to me that Artifactory was misspelled, whoops! Too much craft beer!!!)

Street Art Sunday’s: Vermont

So this past week I was in Vermont and I got a couple of photos of some local Graffiti. Because it was winter I couldn’t get to a lot of the places that house some of the incredible Graffiti that exists in Vermont but I did get a couple of photos of at least one piece of Graffiti: Image

 

Image

ImageImage

 

Dear Alaska Airlines,

Are you kidding me?

Are you kidding me?

Dear Alaska Airlines,

We started off with a beautiful relationship, your reviews were good, your tickets were more than reasonable, booking through you was so easy. When my flight was cancelled due to the weather in Boston I understood, after all I cannot be angry at you for acts of god, when you rebooked me for three days later I was a little frustrated but I got it. I appreciated your willingness to work with me and the woman on the phone was so kind.

We finally landed on Boston, got our luggage without a hitch and enjoyed our vacation without very many bumps. Then it came to our return flight. This has been the worst airline experience I have ever had and I’ve flown through O’hare. We got to the airport to find that our flight had been delayed 2.5 hours, no biggie, I can wait. I’m a pretty patient person and I work Customer service myself, I am REALLY understanding. We got through TSA, made it to our gate, sat for a little while and then got another notice. Now our flight which was supposed to depart at 6:55 was leaving at 10:07 instead of 9:55, I promptly went up to the desk to figure out what was going on because I was curious. I asked very politely what was going on, was it the weather, was there something wrong with the plane? Very quickly and very rudely I was blown off by one of your customer service reps. I took a deep breath and went back to my seat. At this point I had been at the airport for over four hours, and again I am a pretty patient person so I wait two more hours.

Now normally waiting six hours for a new flight isn’t so terrible and I bring extra activities just in case but when in that six hours I get seven texts with continuous flight changes I get nervous. I want to know what is going on with my flight like any normal passenger so I go up and ask again and yet again I am very VERY rudely blown off. The Desk attendants looked at me as if I were just an annoying customer who was just being a nuisance. This is not how we treat customers in customer service no matter how annoying they are. I have been patient, I have been kind, I have been polite. This is NOT how you treat me. I need to know what is going on, my family is getting worried and they need to know what is going on. I have to work tomorrow, I need to know if I need to call my boss and call-out of work. This is not unreasonable to ask what is going on and what time the flight will actually be departing.

So I go back to my seat and I wait. And wait. And wait and wait and wait to find out that we will be boarding at 10:11, maintenance just has to check over the flight. I get a little worried with this announcement but it’s pretty regular for them to check the flight over, especially because apparently this same flight (But you have no idea if they really traded planes) had issues in Portland, OR. Really? Suddenly the captain comes up and announces “We don’t know what is wrong with the plane, we don’t know how long it will be until it is fixed.” Excuse me? At this point it’s been seven hours, soon to be eight hours that you have kept me sitting here in the dark about what is going on with my flight. My patience is wearing thin but I’ve been really good about being extra polite because you have enough angry customers and screaming children on your hands. You have a rough job, probably more stressful than mine and I work in a Restaurant. This isn’t your fault, but you aren’t exactly working with me either.

My boyfriend and I looked at each other with equal frustration, listening to phone calls and announcements about it only being 15-20 minutes more before getting on the plane. Right. That’s what we were told at least two more times before that and in between your announcements and when we got to the airport I had received 12 notifications on my phone of flight time changes. Twelve changes bouncing anywhere from 9:45-10:45 and eventually turned into 12:45. We were sitting next to the front desk where we could hear them say that they were *JUST* starting to troubleshoot the plane around 11:20, the plane that may or may not be the same plane that broke down in Portland. I cannot even express to you how wrong it is to give someone a boarding time when you have no actual idea when that boarding time may be.

Finally we made it onto the plane around 11:50 pm which means we had been at the airport at this point nine hours. At least we were on the plane though, at least this was progress to just sitting there getting absolutely no answers at all. One would think that once everyone was boarded and the captain (who was the only polite person in our entire experience) announced that we would be taking off shortly that shortly wouldn’t mean us sitting on the ground for another 50 minutes. I understand that everyone’s luggage had to be loaded, that wasn’t the issue. The issue was that I had completely lost my patience at this point and was trying not to kill the girls with high-pitched, ear-piercing, giggles in front of me (admittedly this is not your fault.) The issue was that even though I had lost all patience I was STILL nicer than the flight attendants on board. I still remembered to smile, say please and thank you and joke to make things just a little easier for everyone. I provided better customer service than your own hired attendants. After all of this mess, all of the waiting and the being blown off and the rude desk staff the last f#$&ing think I wanted to listen to was a flight attendant who had forgotten her own manners. At no point did anyone offer to have us send a survey of our experience so we could receive a discount for our inconvenience, which is fairly typical of most airlines. No one offered us a customer service number we could use, not that it was of any use because when I finally got the number and called it turns out that you are only open 8am-8pm Monday through Friday. As a major airline might I suggest 24/7 customer service, I don’t know and maybe it’s just me but that seems like a pretty reasonable idea.

These are basic things that SHOULD be used to repair your relationship with a customer who would have loved to give you her miles and money had good service been offered and had someone actually tried to talk to me about the problems that did arise. I travel just about every two months to somewhere, I fly a LOT so I am always looking for reasonable airlines. You could have had a dedicated customer who only used you when it came to the west coast. Unfortunately this past experience has completely soured our potentially beautiful relationship and I do not regret to inform you that I will not be flying with you again, I hope that for the sake of the future costumer that you go above and beyond to repair these issue. 

Less than amused flyer,

-Sarah

 

UPDATE: Thank you Alaska Airlines for responding incredibly promptly to my post!