Take Care… Hurricane Earl

August 31, 2010

Hey Cisco the blogging cat here…

Just a quick word to the wise… We’ve been warning you for some time that given the unusually warm water off our Cape Cod coast, a serious storm might just head our way. Now there’s Earl (and another behind…)

What is it that you humans say? “Uh oh!”

Sooo… Keep your eyes and ears open…

Are you prepared???

Two cats blogging, stocking up, and getting ready to boogie just in case…


Wine Glossaries

* Nat Decants: A thorough glossary from Natalie MacLean, noted wine writer, speaker, and judge.
* eRobertParker.com: “The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Fine Wines”
* GLOSSARY of Wine-Tasting Terminology (Version 1.4 – Jan. 1995): A thorough collection of definitions from Anthony Hawkins.

Beer Glossaries

* ratebeer: Now that’s a straightforward name!
* beer-pages: Roger Protz and Tom Cannavan say that “it’s all about beer”.
* alphaDictionary.com: A fine collection of Beer dictionaries.


Math Series Sum Contest Over, BBQ Fini, New Contest

August 30, 2010

UPDATE: ASTRONOMY CONTEST CLOSED… WE HAVE A WINNER!

Hey, Cisco, the HSS blogging cat here…

First things first… The “Add Up Whole Numbers Starting with One and Keep Going Until the Sum Equals 5,778” Contest is over. Roby Whitehouse came up with the correct final digit in the series (107), and hence is our winner. Roby, either contact me, or stop by the Harwich Spirits Shoppe and claim your prize. That’s $25 worth of quality wine and/or beer…

Onward… Well, the BBQ went off without a hitch, though it was sparsely populated… Your loss…

There were free burgers, pot salad, cake… All there for the taking… As I said, your loss…

But what about that next contest??? There’s yet another $25 worth of HSS beer and wine hanging in the lurch… (Contests like these have their pitfalls – we can’t make them “Google Easy”, but then again we can’t make them impossible. The yet unsolved anagram contest was a good one… Hmmm…)

OK… How about this? What star is roughly 26,220,000,000,000 miles  away from us? Hint! It’s a lot easier to find a reliable answer if you work in light years vs. miles. Now, here are the rules…

*You must be 21 years of age or older to enter.

* Only answers submitted on this blog as comments are allowed.

* Prizes will take the form of either a “Bruce’s Wine Pick” (an apx. $25 value), or a $25 HSS gift certificate. Sorry, but we can’t ship the wine, so you’ll have to either pick it up or we can we can mail you the certificate. Certificates are only good for beer and wine.

* Employees and their immediate families* are ineligible.

* Bruce reserves the right to change the rules as appropriate to each contest. (e.g. one contest may be a “first correct answer wins” type and another may involve a pool drawing of correct answers.) Our call. In this case, the contest is ongoing… First correct answer wins.

* The judges’ decisions are final.

There… That ought to keep you busy! Just keep in mind that after our most recent contest, readership is up… You have competition!

Two cats blogging by the racks…


Wine Glossaries

* Nat Decants: A thorough glossary from Natalie MacLean, noted wine writer, speaker, and judge.
* eRobertParker.com: “The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Fine Wines”
* GLOSSARY of Wine-Tasting Terminology (Version 1.4 – Jan. 1995): A thorough collection of definitions from Anthony Hawkins.

Beer Glossaries

* ratebeer: Now that’s a straightforward name!
* beer-pages: Roger Protz and Tom Cannavan say that “it’s all about beer”.
* alphaDictionary.com: A fine collection of Beer dictionaries.


BBQ Today Rocky Horror Style, and the Contest Waits

August 28, 2010

{Read the following in your best Robin Williams voice…}

Good Morning Harwich Port!

{Alright, enough Robin Williams…}

But how’s that for a wake up call?

Just a couple of quick notes…

First, this afternoon (Sat, 8/28/10) there’s a free, pot-luck BBQ behind the Harwich Spirits Shoppe in Harwich Port. It will start some time in the afternoon and end sometime after it starts. Don’t ask for details because there virtually are none. We don’t know what’s going to happen because Da Gizz is in charge… Think of yourself as Brad or Janet and you’ll inadvertently run smack dab into Frank-N-Furter right off Rt. 28. About the only thing we do know is that Bruce will incinerate some hot dogs… After that, we’re on our own. (Who knows… maybe someone will bring some meatloaf???) It’s just a jump to the left…

And the contest goes unsolved… OK… Time for Cisco to bring in a few ringers… You had your chance…

EDIT: WE HAVE A WINNER… CONTEST CLOSED! Congrats to Roby Whitehouse!!!

See you at the BBQ maybe, and bring your toast…

Two cats blogging…


Wine Glossaries

* Nat Decants: A thorough glossary from Natalie MacLean, noted wine writer, speaker, and judge.
* eRobertParker.com: “The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Fine Wines”
* GLOSSARY of Wine-Tasting Terminology (Version 1.4 – Jan. 1995): A thorough collection of definitions from Anthony Hawkins.

Beer Glossaries

* ratebeer: Now that’s a straightforward name!
* beer-pages: Roger Protz and Tom Cannavan say that “it’s all about beer”.
* alphaDictionary.com: A fine collection of Beer dictionaries.


New Wine Room, Contest Rolls On, and Free BBQ

August 25, 2010

Hi,

Cisco the blogging cat here…

Well, Da Gizz had to do it; he just had to add yet another wine room. See block illustration below…

Now, before you go jumping ugly on me and “enlightening” me to the fact that there’s more than beer and wine in the joint (we’ve also got “in season” liquor that is stacked against the walls (in some places floor to ceiling), let me remind you… I know… I live here. The above is just a non-scale rough – something to give you a feel of the store. Now here’s a couple of construction shots of the new Sistine Chapel… The first is looking from the front of store to the back. The new wine room is on the right.

The next is the view looking from the storage area in the back to the front of the shoppe…

And here’s the new “Oenophile Cave”…

I’m telling ya, Bruce is going completely nuts! You watch, you just watch… He’ll have this refuge packed to the scuppers in no time. Sigh… Where is a cat to sleep?

And on a more depressing note… We still don’t have a winner in our weekly wine contest… You wimps!

Finally… You are intending to show up for next Saturday’s free, behind-the-store, PM, pot-luck BBQ aren’t you??? If for no other reason, you’ve got to watch as Da Gizzz turns plain hot dogs into little tubes of ash. Amazing! The late Billy Mays couldn’t have done it better.

See you in the sawdust and the charcoal by the racks,

Two cats blogging


Wine Glossaries

* Nat Decants: A thorough glossary from Natalie MacLean, noted wine writer, speaker, and judge.
* eRobertParker.com: “The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Fine Wines”
* GLOSSARY of Wine-Tasting Terminology (Version 1.4 – Jan. 1995): A thorough collection of definitions from Anthony Hawkins.

Beer Glossaries

* ratebeer: Now that’s a straightforward name!
* beer-pages: Roger Protz and Tom Cannavan say that “it’s all about beer”.
* alphaDictionary.com: A fine collection of Beer dictionaries.


Wimps Flee New Contest that Promises $100/Hr – $300/Hr Type Prize

August 23, 2010

Oh no... Math!!!

CONTEST CLOSED! WE HAVE A WINNER!!! That’s right, Cisco the Harwich Spirits Shoppe blogging cat is calling all you readers out there a bunch of wimps…

I track the stats for this site, and I know how many readers stop by, and nobody wants to enter this simple contest. Depending on the method used, it should take you anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to earn a “Bruce’s Pick” $25 bottle of wine or $25 gift certificate good for beer and wine. By my math, that’s like working for $100/hr to $300/hr just to win a prize. So why do I call you wimps? Here’s why. There are several ways to solve the problem… (See details here.) Just start adding sequential whole numbers together beginning at 1. (1+2=3; 1+2+3=6; 1+2+3+4=10; 1+2+3+4+5=15; 1+2+3+4+5+6=21;  1+2+3+4+5+6+7=28; etc.) All you have to do is tell me via a comment on this blog what the last number in that additive sequence is to make the sum equal to 5778… That’s it. Depending on the method used, it should take you anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to earn a “Bruce’s Pick” $25 bottle of wine or $25 gift certificate good for beer and wine. By my math, that’s like working for $100/hr to $300/hr just to win a prize.

So why do I call you wimps? Here’s why. There are several ways to solve the problem…

* You can manually add up the numbers on a calculator or on Windows Calculator. As a test, I just added up the numbers of 1 through 20 in less than one minute.
* You can surf the Web, and discover that others have come up with a formula for this problem.
* If you’re familiar with spreadsheets, you can write a quick one and have the answer within minutes.
* You can do the algebra yourself and create your own equation.

But nobody seems to be doing this. Why? Are you stupid? No, you’re reading this aren’t you? Are you afraid of the Web? Nope – again, you’re reading this. Is the prize not worthy of a few minutes of your time? Of course not! It’s a good prize. So why is no one entering? I’ll tell you why! Because you’re all a bunch of sniveling, bed-wetting, jackwagon wimps straight out Mamby Pamby Land! I’ll bet the color yellow makes you sad!

Man oh man, it’s a sad day when you get rightfully dissed by a cat on a blog!

Two cats blogging by the racks…

P.S. Don’t forget our upcoming pot luck BBQ next Sat… That is unless burnt hot hogs make you sad too…

P.P.S. I just solved the contest problem using Windows Calculator – seven minutes flat. And I’m just using my paws on the numeric keypad! By my calculations, if I were eligible, I would have just won $25 in 7 minutes. That’s an hourly rate of $214.25/hr… Now if I can only find a way to get Da Gizz to give me the prize and keep me busy for the other 53 minutes!


Wine Glossaries

* Nat Decants: A thorough glossary from Natalie MacLean, noted wine writer, speaker, and judge.
* eRobertParker.com: “The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Fine Wines”
* GLOSSARY of Wine-Tasting Terminology (Version 1.4 – Jan. 1995): A thorough collection of definitions from Anthony Hawkins.

Beer Glossaries

* ratebeer: Now that’s a straightforward name!
* beer-pages: Roger Protz and Tom Cannavan say that “it’s all about beer”.
* alphaDictionary.com: A fine collection of Beer dictionaries.


The Video Behind the Harwich Spirits Shoppe Talk Blog, Contest, BBQ

August 21, 2010

Hey!

Cisco the cat here…

Over time, we’ve gotten some questions about how we make our videos. (Just look at the tutorials in the sidebar to the right.) In a moment Panchita and I will do our best to explain… But please first understand that what works for our hardware, software, and level of expertise may not work for yours. So always keep a good backup, and don’t blame us if your system bursts into flames and chases you around the room if you try to follow in our footprints.

That out of the way, here’s what we did to make the moving pictures work via YouTube…

  1. First, we wanted to use Windows Movie Maker for editing. We’re both serious Microsoft folk and we wanted to work in WMM. Tuck that away for later reference – you’ll see why.
  2. The natural next step was to take the video using a tripod and then get it on to the PC.
  3. Once the vid was on the computer, it was just a matter of editing in WMM and then dispatching the masterwork off to the cyber ether right? Not quite…

Here are the Agents of Befuddlement:

  • Our first Flip Video produced AVI files; our current model (a Mino) creates MP4…
  • Regardless of the file type produced by the camera we still wanted to shrink the beasts and maintain some degree of quality. We opted for WMV files. (EDIT: It turns out that MP4 are smaller than WMV files.)
  • Now, my machine being an XP Media Center box, could handle both MP4 and AVI, and the native WMM could save to the WMV format. (EDIT: XP with WMM cannot handle MP4s.)
  • But, the wife’s computer (being an MS Vista brute) couldn’t handle MP4 stuff until she installed Windows Live.
  • To make the cheese even more binding, Panchita’s work computer is running XP Pro, and there ain’t no way to get that version of WMM to recognize MP4 files.
  • Add to that mess the fact that there are at least five versions of XP, and six versions of Windows Movie Maker and we’ll both see you at the bar.

I hope you can see the storm a brewing… If we were going to use Windows Movie Maker, we’re going to have to either get lucky and have the right foundation OS and WMM, or we were going to have to find a third-party app that could handle the conversion of file types for us.

Phew! I hope that makes sense!

After a ton or research, I found the solution for US. Any time an XP or a Vista machine just doesn’t want to recognize a file type like an AVI or an MP4, we just sick the free “Any Video Converter 3.07” on ’em. From what we can tell by the user reviews, and our own experiences, this is a pretty slick piece of software. Just remember, this is our own experience, and downloading can be tricky! You’re completely on your own to find and test what works for you!

But there you have it in its own discombobulated way… Get the file off the cam and into your computer. Next convert to WMV, edit, and save… Then on to SendSpace, YouTube, or whatever! (Jeepers, I hope I’ve got that series of steps right!!! Arghhh… You’ll figure it out.)

See you by the clapboard in the racks,

Two cats blogging

P.S. Don’t forget our math contest. There’s $25 bucks just waiting to be had!

P.P.S. And be sure to leave the calendar open for our free BBQ, this upcoming Sat, August 28th. We’ll start sometime in the afternoon and go ’til whenever.


Wine Glossaries

* Nat Decants: A thorough glossary from Natalie MacLean, noted wine writer, speaker, and judge.
* eRobertParker.com: “The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Fine Wines”
* GLOSSARY of Wine-Tasting Terminology (Version 1.4 – Jan. 1995): A thorough collection of definitions from Anthony Hawkins.

Beer Glossaries

* ratebeer: Now that’s a straightforward name!
* beer-pages: Roger Protz and Tom Cannavan say that “it’s all about beer”.
* alphaDictionary.com: A fine collection of Beer dictionaries.


New Series of Contests

August 19, 2010

EDIT: CONTEST CLOSED!!! We have a winner… Roby Whitehouse!

Well, it had to happen… Da Gizz got bored and wants a new series of contests… Here are the rules and the skinny…

* Roughly once a week (give or take), Harwich Spirits Shoppe will post a contest here on this blog. You must be 21 years of age or older to enter.

* Only answers submitted on this blog as comments are allowed.

* Prizes will take the form of either a “Bruce’s Wine Pick” (an apx. $25 value), or a $25 HSS gift certificate. Sorry, but we can’t ship the wine, so you’ll have to either pick it up or we can we can mail you the certificate. Certificates are only good for beer and wine.

* Employees and their families are ineligible.

* Bruce reserves the right to change the rules as appropriate to each contest. (e.g. one contest may be a “first correct answer wins” type and another may involve a pool drawing of correct answers.) Our call.

* And speaking of which, the judges’ decisions are final.

Alrighty then… Are you ready for the first contest? This one will in fact be a “first correct answer wins” type with no time limit…

Imagine adding a series of sequential whole numbers starting at 1…

1+2=3

1+2+3=6

1+2+3+4=10

1+2+3+4+5=15

1+2+3+4+5+6=21

You get the idea… So, following that pattern what would make the following true for “x”?

1+2+3+4+5+6+…+x=5778

Put another way, what is the last number in that sequential addition series of whole numbers starting at 1 that will push the sum total up to 5778???

Hint… There are a ton of sites on the Web that talk about this kind problem, and the solution is surprisingly simple… A little bit of insight,  a few guesses, and a smidge of paper/calculator work and you’ll have the answer.

See you by those quizzical wine racks…

Two cats blogging


Wine Glossaries

* Nat Decants: A thorough glossary from Natalie MacLean, noted wine writer, speaker, and judge.
* eRobertParker.com: “The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Fine Wines”
* GLOSSARY of Wine-Tasting Terminology (Version 1.4 – Jan. 1995): A thorough collection of definitions from Anthony Hawkins.

Beer Glossaries

* ratebeer: Now that’s a straightforward name!
* beer-pages: Roger Protz and Tom Cannavan say that “it’s all about beer”.
* alphaDictionary.com: A fine collection of Beer dictionaries.