NG Vs. Virtusphere!!!

I will not blame you if you do not watch this entire video.

 

So as a bunch of my readers know I got to go to PAX east for my first time ever this past weekend. Not only was this my first PAX but it was also my first Con ever. Of all time. It was super exciting and very shiny. For a lot of people PAX is the Panels and Expo floor, waiting in line just to get a chance to play some of the hottest new games before any of your friends do, for others it’s Cosplaying some of the most incredible and realistic costumes you will ever see in your life. For me? It was a lot of trying not to get too overwhelmed with all of the awesomeness that was sucking me in like a wild vortex and part of this awesomeness was testing the Virtusphere.

The Virtusphere is the brain child of Ray and Nurulla Latypov, brothers and inventors who have been made famous with their advances in computer technology and it feels much like running around in a human sized Hamster Ball. With a diameter of ten feet you have a lot of room to play with and according to the site you can punch, kick and run a fairly decent speed without worrying about tripping on anything.

My personal experience with it was this: Due to this being a demo at a gaming convention I got a very very basic show of the true abilities of the gaming sphere goodness which basically means: I got to walk around in a virtual world that looked much like something out of World of War Craft if it were made in 2001 (this year was one of my favorites when it came to graphics.) It was tricky to control, and disorienting to say the least. According to the guy who helped me get into the sphere it tends to work best when facing north, although good luck staying in one pointed direction. At one point I ended up in the air and I got to look down on the sample world as a whole and I was really impressed. The gaming world was larger than I thought when I was on the “ground” and although it felt like I had been walking through the world for a while, I had barely covered any of the actual game.

The Virtusphere is used for training military, fitness clubs, medical centers, museums and colleges (But wait! There’s more!) as well as many other fields of industry. I am just glad it doesn’t fit into my living room; Goodbye world, helllllooooo Killing Floor!

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!!!)

Introducing the soon-to-be-famous: Pat Dowling!

So the other night at work I had the pleasure of meeting Pat Dowling. Pat Dowling is 26 but his music ability goes beyond his years. Every sound you hear comes straight from him and his beautiful guitar. This video hardly does justice and because I was at work I wasn’t able to get a better video of him doing his thang, I did however get his Soundcloud information and you all should totally check this future rock star out, you’ll be thoroughly disappointed if you don’t.

Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain

So a few days ago I got up extra early to hike Iron Mountain. It was a cold kind of rainy morning which was perfect because this entire 3.5 mile hike has no shade the entire time. All the trails … Continue reading