Monday, October 31, 2011

Colcannon - Hearty, delicious, healthy and cheap

I like to post about dishes that really stand out for 1 reason or another. This stands out for several. First its cheap, the ingredients you probably have in the fridge (or have something close). Its filling, which is good because I'm always hungry. Its healthy, it has Kale how could it not be? Lastly its really f***ing good.

A traditional Halloween Irish dish, Colcannon was originally made as a cheap year-round staple. It can be made beforehand, reheated or pressed into patties and fried into a pancake. It can be the main or a side dish and the best part is, it can be made from leftovers.

Here's the short version:

Leftover mashed potatoes
Some sauteed Kale (see below for that recipe)
Sauteed onions (yellow or white, You could try a purple onion, but I always find them too strong tasting)
Garlic - I used pre-chopped in that big container you get at Costco
White and Black Pepper
Thyme (I used dried)
Shredded Scallions/Leeks (I didn't have any so I didn't use any)
Pecorino/Asiago/Parmasean/Romano cheese - Just like in Olde Ireland! Although I don't see any reason you couldn't use any actually Irish cheeses.
Leftover crispy Bacon (When I usually cook Bacon for Breaky, I make a bunch and just leave it in the fridge)

Combine leftover Mashed Potatoes with the Kale and Onions (I used about 6 small potatoes worth, a large bunch of shredded then sauteed Kale and about 1/4 white onion) with a large spoon in a mixing bowl. Add a handful of crumbled bacon, shredded scallions/leeks to taste, a tablespoon of garlic, 1 teaspoon each of ground black and white pepper, a half teaspoon of ground thyme then mix into a paste.

Then in a well buttered/Pam'ed/Olive-oiled baking pan, spread out that paste and cover with grated cheese, I didn't cover entirely, just a thin layer because the cheese will burn before the inside is hot (if you're cooking from fridge temp ingredients). You can always add more cheese later. You'll notice I didn't really add any salt for 2 reasons. That cheese can be really salty, and salt was used in the Kale. You can always salt to taste.

Leave in the oven at 400-425 until the inside is hot (test with a fork).

Eat like a Finnegan, then go farming, build something or do some kind of manual labor.


Sauteed Kale:
A bunch of chopped/rinsed Kale (regular, tricolor, whatever)
Put in a deep frying pan with a little bit of water and olive oil on the bottom, add some salt, garlic (powder or chopped) and drizzle some olive oil over it. Put on high for a few minutes and cover to start it steaming lower heat and toss around for another 2 or 3 min
stop cooking when its as bright green as this ----------->


Earlier related links ->

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I love puppies

"I evolved from a ruthless hunter/scavenger, got any bacon?"
Really interesting article about the evolution from Wolf to domesticated dog.

From WSJ:
As the story goes, these tame wolves bred with other tame wolves and became juvenilized. Think of them as wolves-lite, diminished in strength, stamina and brains. They resembled young wolves, with piebald coats, floppy ears and shorter, weaker jaws.

But it was never clear, in this old account, just how we got from the scavenging wolf to the remarkable spectrum of dogs who have existed over time, from fell beasts trained to terrorize and kill people to creatures so timid that they flee their own shadows. The standard explanation was that once the dump-diver became a dog, humans took charge of its evolution through selective breeding, choosing those with desired traits and culling those who came up short.

The first major challenge to the consensus came in 1997, when [s]cience plac[ed] the origin of the dog as early as 135,000 years ago. Their date was based on analysis of mitochondrial DNA, which is passed on to offspring through females and is believed to change little from generation to generation; it allows scientists to calculate the time when populations or species separated genetically. This analysis suggested that wolves could have become dogs wherever in Eurasia they associated closely with early humans, and that even after the split was made, dogs and wolves continued to interbreed.

Academics aside, click the source link, good stuff.

Source ->

Missed out on the real Camel Trophy?

Reenact it with remote control cars!

Clickable link ->

Source ->

Camel Trophy wiki ->

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Just like my grandma used to make- oh wait. My Gramma is German, she didn't make this. So here's how I did. (full disclosure, I don't really measure)

Oven Roasted Meatballs
1 lb of ground turkey/venison/beef/pork/veal
ground thyme
Chopped garlic
Parmesan cheese
bread crumbs
1 large egg
onion powder (or a bit of onion soup mix, or 1/4 of a chopped yellow/white onion)
a few tablespoons of olive oil (more for leaner meats)
a squirt of ketchup

Mix all that together into a large bowl (USE YOUR HANDS) and add bread crumbs as needed to dry out the "paste". Mold into slightly larger than a ping pong ball sized meatballs, and place into a oiled baking dish. Cook at 400 degrees for 20 min or so then remove and turn (with a tongs) and rearrange to ensure even cooking. After 20 more min, do that 1 more time. Then leave them in until they're gooey on the inside and crispy on the outside. (oh and I used a gravy mix... for SHAME)

Roasted Potatoes and Parsnips

chop up potatoes and parsnips, toss together with olive oil salt and pepper, put in oven until crispy (yeah that one is easy)

Roasted Broccoli

Really? (I'll give you a hint, its shredded Pecorino cheese on top, don't use any salt if using that super-salty cheese).


Skip to the 29 min mark...

I love this show.

Top Gear Season 5 Episode 9
Source -> BBC/Top Gear via (I don't own any footage)

NJ will be getting a Formula 1 race, it already has the track...

I couldn't be more excited for this. I love Formula 1, but its hard/annoying/difficult to watch on this side of the pond. Coverage on networks usually being ignored in lieu of OTHER racing series'...

 Its being reported that they have signed a 10 year deal with Formula 1 to host the Grand Prix of America near Weehawken, NJ along the Hudson. This. Is. Awesome.

From the BBC article:
"The race will run on existing roads through Port Imperial and at the top of the Palisades in Weehawken and West New York.
He said "up to 100,000 people" were expected to attend across practice, qualifying and race day.
West New York attorney Joe DeMarco said: "It will provide a very challenging course.
"They compare it to Spa in Belgium but it will have the feel of Monaco."

 Location of the track ->,+Weehawken,+NJ&hl=en&ll=40.778982,-74.00882&spn=0.01334,0.027874&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=56.375007,114.169922&vpsrc=6&hnear=Port+Imperial+Blvd,+Weehawken,+Hudson,+New+Jersey&t=h&z=16

Click any of the many source links below for more.

Source(s) ->

Related Links ->

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

So she looks like this AND likes the sauce?

Christina Hendricks... wow.

Consider this post my shrine to her.
An excerpt from the Men's Health article:

Why She Likes the Hard Stuff
Never assume that a lovely woman likes girly drinks; Hendricks is anything but a Cosmopolitan woman. Just listen to her muse about the pleasures of a good pour: "I like mine simple, on the rocks," she says, noting that Johnnie Walker Black is her label of choice.

"It's incredibly smooth on the tongue. A touch of caramel flavor. It warms everything inside." Her husband spurred her interest in the hard stuff: "I always thought it was sexy when he ordered scotch and I'd take little sips of his drink."

I'll get right to the point, more pics! ->


Source ->

HD Helmet-cam footage of a firefighter's day at the office

From the Daily Mail:
This is the mind-blowing moment a firefighter enters a burning house for the first time.
These striking images capture the real-life everyday battle rescue workers face to save lives and property, seen, as never before, in stunning cinematic footage.
Firefighters in Detroit donned helmets mounted with HD cameras to film this short documentary as they went about their dangerous day-to-day work.

BURN - Footage shot with Contour HD helmet cameras from Tom Putnam on Vimeo.

Source -> via

Related link ->

How are people REALLY using Siri?

Source ->

Modern day Johnny Appleseed has planted over 13,000 trees


Gene DeSantis has made it his mission to plant trees all over Baltimore, he's up to ~13,849 so far.

From Treehugger:
Despite the fact that most folks in town might not know Gene DeSantis by name, the fruits of his labor are nearly everywhere. As a community volunteer working with Baltimore's Parks & People Foundation, DeSantis says he's personally planted an amazing 13,849 saplings in public parks and sidewalk planters throughout the city. 

Gene has planted trees in just about every neighborhood in Baltimore. He's brought them to parks big and small, sat them along streets, dug spaces for them in tight corners, inserted them next to tall buildings and plunked them down by gurgling streams. He never accepts any sort of payment. Says he doesn't need to. Satisfaction comes from watching them grow and knowing that he's fulfilling a personal commitment he made many years ago. 

Source ->

Monday, October 24, 2011

Feet washed ashore identified

Such a weird story.

short version:
Over a dozen human feet (usually still in the shoe) have washed ashore over the last few years on British Columbia beaches. Now at least 1 has been identified. The consensus is that they were once attached to people who have been killed in the areas many nearby rivers/bays, the foot detached once the body rotted enough and the buoyant sneaker helped it be carried to the beach.

Click the source link(s) for more.

2009 ->
2010 ->

Source ->

Internet speeds and costs around the world, Infographic

Source ->

Netflix "explains" Qwikster to NYT reporter, chaos ensues

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot...

Here's the short version:
Netflix had a lot of happy(~ish) customers paying $X/mo for a 2-part service. Then they split that service into 2 "companies" and charged $0.8X for each of those services*. Oh and one of those services they didn't own its corresponding Twitter handle, that didn't help. A month(~) goes by, they see the reactions, and reverse the split.

Much bigger summary without questionable math*
Funnier summary

Click the source links for more. &

*Aware my math makes very little sense

Earlier link ->

Was the Declaration of Independence illegal?

Thats the (Semi-serious) question by a BBC Panel.

From the BBC:
At least, that was what lawyers from the UK argued during a debate at Philadelphia's Ben Franklin Hall.
American experiment The event, presented by the Temple American Inn of Court in conjunction with Gray's Inn, London, pitted British barristers against American lawyers to determine whether or not the American colonists had legal grounds to declare secession.
For American lawyers, the answer is simple: "The English had used their own Declaration of Rights to depose James II and these acts were deemed completely lawful and justified," they say in their summary.
To the British, however, secession isn't the legal or proper tool by which to settle internal disputes. "What if Texas decided today it wanted to secede from the Union? Lincoln made the case against secession and he was right," they argue in their brief.
A vote at the end of the debate reaffirmed the legality of Jefferson and company's insurrection, and the American experiment survived to see another day.
It was an unsurprising result, considering the venue - just a few blocks away from where the Declaration was drafted. But did they get it right? 

Click the Source link for more.

Source ->

Occupiers having issues with crime, creeps, vagrants, people with the same "goals"?

I try to steer away from hot button issues, including politics on this page, but I can't take it anymore regarding the groups of "Occupy" people in cities around the U.S.. If you want to bring credibility to a cause, this really isn't the best course of action. I'm all for being expressing your opinion about something you disagree with, but at least know why you're there. Indiscriminate chants of "banks are bad" and spitting on a Coast Guard member because they're in uniform? How does that even make sense? Let me be very clear. I fully agree that the financial system is broken and the level of both apathetic inefficiency (in every single financial institution, starting with Bank of America who I REALLY don't like) and fraud needs to be addressed. However, this definitely isn't the way to fix it or even to raise awareness. This is just what happens when dreamers don't have anything to do for a few months.

Specific event as an example: Blocking the Brooklyn bridge doesn't effect Wall Street, it effects the hardworking people that you're supposedly in support of. Do some more research.

Also, shootings are up too. Can you guess what the prevailing theory is?

Financial workers only make up 43% of the 1%, Why aren't they protesting doctor's offices?

But I guess they still rely on banks for their funding. Just not the banks that they hate.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Qaddafi is dead

Khaddafi has been caught and killed in his Libyan hometown of Surt. As the graphic video below shows, the reaction is anything but solemn. It only cost the US $1B.

After the successful raid, The deposed Libyan dictator was said to have begged for his life and screamed "don't shoot!", which frankly I'm not sure why people are surprised by that.

From the Daily Mail:

  • Gaddafi tried to flee in a convoy hit by American drone
  • Vehicles were also shelled by Nato fighter jets...
  • ... before being driven back to his compound in Sirte
  • Gaddafi in final attempt to flee before final push by rebels
  • 'Found in a hole' wearing military-style clothing, shouting 'Don't shoot'
  • Rebel forces executed him in front of a baying mob
  • His body was paraded through the streets of the city
  • Eldest son Saif shot in leg in Sirte day before - some reports say he is dead
  • Other son Mutassim confirmed killed in Sirte
  • Reports say Gaddafi will be given secret burial
  • US President Barack Obama hails 'momentous day' in history of Libya but warns of 'difficult days ahead'

Clickable Link ->

On a related Libya news note, mass graves are still being found all over the country. So anybody saying it was unfair to kill him, etc please click that link and THEN make a comment.

Sources ->,7340,L-3877174,00.html

Earlier Links ->

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My heart will go on

Joking aside, the Titanic is an incredible story (No not the movie, what actually happened).

WWTDD claims to have a few pictures of the actual iceberg that sank the doomed ship and claimed the lives of over 1500 people, 99 years ago.

See them below, in addition to a pic of people escaping the disaster in lifeboats. You'll notice the lifeboats are not actually full. This will become an issue later in the film adaptation of the event.


Yeah I'd like a better source than just "Pacific Coast" too, but I figured it couldn't hurt to post these before that materialized. Also, didn't this happen at night*? Why was a 1912 era camera able to capture these so clearly?

*rhetorical question-  It did.

Source ->

Related (that's a stretch) link ->

NYC MetroCard usage by origination

I love statistical analysis like this.

Add caption

Short version, the WSJ has published an interactive map of how/where each different type of MetroCard is used on the New York City Transit system.

Click here for the map ->

Related link ->

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

9 Always Sunny plots that actually happened


Here's the short version:

1) The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis
2) The Gang Gets Invincible
3) D.E.N.N.I.S. System
4) Sweet Dee's Dating a Retarded Person
5) Dennis and Dee Go On Welfare
6) Dennis Looks Like A Registered Sex Offender
7) Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody's Ass
8) Underage Drinking: A National Concern
9) Sweet Dee Gets Audited

Terminally ill cab driver becomes a mummy

This is a true story.

A terminally ill British cab driver has recently been mummified. Let me elaborate.

61 year old Alan Bimms was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, being a big fan of documentaries, ancient egypt, history in general he agreed to have his body mummified after seeing an advertisement for a TV show wanting to film the process. Using historically accurate mummification methods, his body is now going to be around for a loooooong time.

I gotta say, that's pretty awesome that he was able to get that creative with his body post-life. Rest in Peace.

From the Dailymail:
Over a period of several months following his death in January, Mr Billis’s internal organs were removed and kept in jars, with the exception of his brain and heart.
His skin was covered in a mixture of oils and resins and bathed in a solution of Natron, a salt found in dried-up river beds in Egypt.
After a month in a glass tank at the Medico-Legal Centre in Sheffield, which houses the city’s mortuary, his body was taken out, placed in a drying chamber and wrapped in linen.

Dr Stephen Buckley with mummified Mr Billis

Source ->

Monday, October 17, 2011

Spa in Vancouver offers gift certificate to rioters who turn themselves in

From Consumerist:
To qualify for a $50 "Calm Down & De-Stress" gift certificate, former rioters need to show photo ID, describe how they were involved in the riot (i.e., looting, arson, etc.), then apply their fingerprints to the certificate before turning themselves in to the Vancouver Police. Only after the police provide the rioter with an official arrest form will their gift certificate be activated.

I'm not a marketing major and I am in support of this idea but, are hockey-based rioters the same crowd as spa people?

Earlier link ->

Sources ->


So now that I've made my thesis statement, here's the gist. I hate pennies. I completely see the merits of a larger percentage of change in our currency a la UK and Eurozone, but pennies are stupid.

From the article:
The U.S. Cent, or penny coin, has almost no purchasing power today. The cost of making the pennies (1.26 cents each) is higher than face value, and the melt value of pennies ranges from more than 2.4 cents for the pre-1982 copper pennies, to nearly a full cent for the zinc pennies. However, the penny is a very sentimental coin to most Americans, and many people fear that eliminating the penny would raise prices because things would need to be rounded to the nickel.

Rounding-up prices wouldn't matter - The anti-penny folks rebut the rounding-up argument by pointing out that we wouldn't pay more for each item we buy, only for the total price of what we buy. Even if you shop 2 or 3 times a day, (which most people don't,) and even if the rounding goes against you 2 times out of 3, (which it shouldn't,) we're still only talking about a 3 or 4 cents per day at the most! Most people throw more than 4 cents' worth of pennies into the jar (or trash) each day anyway!

Pennies < minimum wage - A recent New Yorker article pointed out that pennies are so worthless now that it doesn't even pay the federal minimum wage to stoop to pick one up off the street unless you can do it in 6.15 seconds or less.

Years ago Australia got rid of their penny, rounding software on every cash transaction at the POS. Turns out that it ends up evening out, and they don't have to carry around stupid, nearly worthless change.


Sources ->

How to never get lost in a city

(Without GPS)

I'm so confused

Here's the short version.
1) TV Satellite dishes - point to a stationary point in space, usually the same direction

2) Religious Buildings - Christian churches are normally aligned west-east, with the main altar at the eastern end to face the sunrise. [Christian] gravestones, too, are aligned west-east. Mosque and Synagogue instructions at source link.

3) Weathering - this one thats some prior knowledge, eg the wind comes from the southwest in the UK more often than from any other direction.

4) Flow of people - (especially during rush hour) - following a crowd in the late afternoon will take you towards a station or other transport hub

5) Road alignment - this one requires a bit of prior knowledge of the general area you're already in

6) Clouds - this one I really don't agree with

Source ->

How to quit

by this guy...

takeways: always have a wind ensemble

Source ->

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Indy Car driver Dan Wheldon dies in Las Vegas race

English Indy Car driver Dan Wheldon, pictured below, has died in a massive 15 car Indy crash. He was one of the most popular drivers in American open wheel racing. He leaves behind a wife and 2 sons.

From ESPN:

 Dan Wheldon, the 2011 Indianapolis 500 winner and one of the most popular drivers in open-wheel racing, died Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in a horrific multi-car crash only 11 laps into the IndyCar Series season finale.
Officials decided to call the race, but the drivers did a five-lap tribute to Wheldon. IndyCar Series CEORandy Bernard made the officials announcmeent of Wheldon's death without further comment.
"IndyCar is very sad to announce that Dan Wheldon has passed away from unsurvivable injuries," Bernard said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family today. IndyCar, its drivers and owners, have decided to end the race. In honor of Dan Wheldon, the drivers have decided to do a five-lap salute to in his honor."


Update, it gets sadder -

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

Wifey made this for me tonight for dinner, with the only meat that should ever be in a Shepherd's pie... Lamb (the "Shep" part should give that away). It was based on a Gordon Ramsey (deconstructed) recipe linked below, but with a few changes. Mostly because she couldn't get the wine open, extra Worcestershire sauce and added ground Oregano. Turned out AWESOME.

Pearl onions have been added to my growing list of underrated foods.

Stranded ship playing Jenga with teetering containers, spilling toxic fuel oil

Yes that's a pretty big spoiler in the title.

This is really sad, because some idiot tried to take a shortcut without properly charting his course, (at this point) Maritime New Zealand estimates that between 220 and 330 tons of heavy fuel oil have spilled from the hull, and that isn't slowing down anytime soon. A large crack has also appeared on the Starboard side as well. The remaining shipping containers being balanced so perilously on the edge have made it nearly impossible for salvage crews to safely work on the deck. Currently 3 tugboats are attached to the stern in order to (hopefully) remove it from the reef.

Lets put this in perspective, for every dual-flush toilet kit, every time you carpool, every time you raise your thermostat by 3 degrees, every time you use public transportation and every time you recycle a can: its like throwing a pebble at the Sherman tank that is the problem.

Sources ->

Monday, October 10, 2011

Better bathroom design to combat infection

Full disclosure, I'm under the firm belief (being married to a Biologist might help in that regard) that the ONLY way to safely combat against disease is exposure, exposure, exposure. Having said that, you don't necessarily want to expose yourself to every infectious entity...

- kids going to pre-school and being exposed to other kids
- kids getting chicken pox at a young age
- Having the occasional cold
- MOST immunizations*

- Anti-bacterial soap at every sink
- cleaning EVERYTHING with bleach
- Staph infections (see Bad #1 and #2)
- freaking out that a child must always be wiped down with hand sanitizer bc you believe a cold virus is fatal


Are bathrooms inherently poorly designed? Most (public) bathrooms are designed around fire code requirements, available building space and building code (# of stalls, etc) requirements, not cleanliness.
Even things like electric hand dryers can actually promote infectious growth instead of hindering it (see source article).

Think about this, can you walk into the bathroom at your work, use it, wash your hands (hopefully with REGULAR soap), then leave without touching a dirty surface (I'm not talking about using an additional paper towel to open the door)? Doubt it.

From the wired article:
There’s a surprisingly large amount of literature on reworking bathroom design to prevent hospital injuries — moving beds closer to toilets, adding handrails and alarms — and especially to forestall fallsamong the elderly. There seems to be much less on whether altering the architecture of bathrooms — adding signs like Purrington’s, removing door handles, installing sensor-driven faucets — can make a difference to passing infections along.

Earlier related link ->

Source ->

*I do not take medical advice from former eye-candy on MTV's Singled out, nor should you.

Forest boy update.

Quick catching up:
A ~17 year old boy calling himself "Ray" turned himself into Berlin authorities after claiming that he walked due north for ~2 weeks using using a compass after burying his father in the forest (who he claims died suddenly). He said that he had been living with his father in the forest (estimated to be on the Bavarian-Czech border) for over 5 years after his mother "Doreen" had died in a car wreck. Initially his story appeared to be bizarre but genuine.

This story has taken an interesting turn.

Not only do a Swiss couple claim that he is their grandson, yet he refuses a DNA test, but now German police are doubting his story that he's lived in the forest for ~5 years. "Ray" claims that his mother died in a car wreck over 5 years ago, but German records show that nobody named "Doreen" in all 16 states has died that way. Originally it was thought that he was British, as Ray speaks English but only rudimentary German (like me?).  If it turns out that he is indeed Swiss, the Swiss government could be charged for his care.

Ray has said he "just wants to make a new life for himself" but refuses to be photographed for identification purposes. The above image is an artist's rendering.


earlier link ->

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I'm Back! - European Holiday post.

After a brief ~1week(-ish) hiatus, I'm back.

Look kids...

Wifey and I were on a European Vacation, a Eurotrip if you will with the rest of my family. First we went to London to visit a friend of ours for 3 days, then MUNICH for OKTOBERFEST! This was Wifey and I's 4th time at the glorious event.

Our tour of London was a lot of fun, we probably did 4 days of sightseeing in 2 days. Also nice was staying with friends who knew the areas. I've been to London before, but its not really the same as going around with a local. I gotta say, their pub culture is exactly what I need in the USA. There are few things as good as a local cask ale.

the Gerkin!

London really is a fantastic city. Its efficient, has great food and a good business attitude. I honestly could live there (says the guy who is saying the same thing as anybody who goes on a good holiday says). I was a bit discouraged at the amount of Land Rover Defenders I saw (2) but then again, it was a city center.

We went for a great Curry in Dulwich (HUGE FAN OF INDIAN FOOD), had a great Sunday roast in Herne Hill, We also stopped for a pint at the Half Moon Pub, highly recommended.

After a few days we were off to München, full disclosure, I'm an Oktoberfest enthusiast.

gotta love Windows live's photo stitching app

The rest of my family went to Berlin while we were in London. My mom's side of the family is Bavarian, so......

Wifey and I went to one of the outdoor biergartens for my favorite Münchner  bier, Augustiner-Bräu.

I love everything about Oktoberfest, besides the obvious (the bier), the food, the attitude and the clothes are all fantastic. How can a red blooded guy not love a Dirndl? Yes I wore my Lederhosen. Like Louis Tully in Ghostbusters, I was born to wear this (as a half Bavarian).

We had a great time in all of the tents, but probably my favorite tent was Hofbräu. I don't care if thats touristy, its awesome.

Ok less talky, more pictures.

My sisters clearly had no fun at all

good Hendls waiting to happen

For the first time (for me) at Oktoberfest, I actually went on rides. Eventually I'll post the video my brother took of the roller coaster, which actually were better than you'd think. Wifey grabbed the below pic of me dominating the bumper cars.


Aloisius the HB angel

"you're going to get hop-ons" -G. Bluth

All and all, I flipping love Oktoberfest. If you like bier, hearty food and/or are German (well, Bavarian), GO.

Words of advice:
-Learning even a little bit of German goes a very long way
-as an American, please for the love of god, be polite ("DANKE")
-When drinking in the tents, don't just order food when you're hungry. Grazing is key
-The half-chickens are the best thing you will ever eat. If you don't agree you are wrong.