Brenternet (The World as seen by Brent Moore)

Trying to appeal to the highest common denominator. I can't give you 110% effort, but I will give you 107.4% effort. If you're a spammer and leave me a comment, I will make fun of you. I use twice as many semicolons compared to most other bloggers

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Location: Smyrna, Tennessee, United States

As the title implies, I am Brent K. Moore. I married MariLynn Simons on Sept. 25, 1999. we attend Stewart's Creek Church of Christ. We have five pets, a dachshund, Slinkie, a malamute, Juno, and three rabbits, Ebunny and Ifurry, and now Houdini.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Steve Carrell's Sweat O'Gold

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I consider myself to be somewhat of a soda connoisseur. Mountain Dew has always been one of my favorites, but anytime I see something different on the store shelves, I feel the need to try it. Here are some of my recent soda purchases since the last time I brought it up on my blog.

Sierra Mist Undercover Orange

Brand new on the shelves is a variant of Sierra Mist called Undercover Orange. It's a mandarin orange flavor and is Undercover as a tie-in to the upcoming Steve Carrell movie Get Smart. Brent's useless-to-you Flavor Rating: 3 of 5 stars.

Cheerwine Bottle (90th commemorateive edition) Sundrop bottle

90th anniversary commemorative bottle of Cheerwine. Then, a typical bottle of Sundrop.

Boylan Grape and Orange soda bottles

Boylan grape and orange

Replica 1899 Coke Bottles

Coke reproduced these replica 1899 coke bottles. Back then, they had cork for lids instead of bottle caps, but I won't hold that against them.

Stewart's Key Lime Soda

Stewart's Key Lime soda. If heaven could be expressed in liquid form, this would be it. I love it. Why does a 4-pack have to cost 4 dollars? That's outside of my recreational soda price range budget. Side note, I just learned that Key Lime is a specific type of lime. I had always assumed that Key Lime Pie was a type of lime pie made famous in the Florida Keys. Brent's useless-to-you Flavor Rating: Best. Drink. Ever.

Mountain Dew new retro hillbilly design

Somehow, I had missed Mountain Dew's Special designed 16oz. Aluminum Bottle set called Green Label Art. I got this one, as it's a retro design since Mountain Dew advertisements had a hillbilly moonshiner in the 50's.

It's at this point that I look and see I've got lots of sodas to cover, many of which became rather commonplace eventually, but my first one was a novelty at the time.

Vault Red Blitz. Mountain Dew Game Fuel. 7up Pomegranate. Kroger house brand Mango.

Over the last couple of years, I've noticed the grocery stores have added aisles of Mexican products, such as Barrilitos soft drinks. To me, they aren't unusual compared to what you have found here for years.

Examples include the Tropical Punch and the Peach Sodas. I like them all.

except for this one. This is an Apple Soda. Nasty. Couldn't drink it. Rivals Dr. Enuf as the worst soda I've ever had. Brent's useless-to-you Flavor Rating: -2 out of 4 diamonds, with a bonus bitter frownie face.

Hank's Gourmet Orange Cream Soda. Personally, I think the name Hank and Gourmet are probably mutually exclusive in a product title. It makes up for it's tastes-like-every-other-limited-quantity-orange-soda-ness with a distinctive metal bottle escutcheon. Brent's useless-to-you Flavor Rating: B+

Frostie Blue Cream Soda. Yes, that's a little inset of Santa on the bottle. I suppose this is a good way to celebrate a blue Christmas. Quick reminder: Blue drinks are never blueberry flavored, as that would be too obvious. Brent's useless-to-you Flavor Rating: 82/120

I like how Jones soda is becoming a bit more mainstream. Their 12 packs aren't overly expensive, despite not having traditional soda flavors. Their Strawberry Lime is good. Brent's useless-to-you Flavor Rating: Two Thumbs Up in a Circle.

ALE81 is rather famous in Kentucky. It's a fruity Ginger Ale. I wish it would dip down into middle Tennessee. Brent's useless-to-you Flavor Rating: ESFP

Hansen's Energade. I don't remember it at all. I just remember the can looks like it is the official drink of some middle eastern country. Brent's useless-to-you Flavor Rating: I for Incomplete

Here's one not available in a can or bottle (at least around here). It's Spezi. There is an actual name-brand Spezi available in Germany. My wife and I were at a German Restaurant in a medium-sized country town and they make spezi the home-made way: One part coke, One part orange soda, and a hint of Mello Yello. Tasty.

I started off by professing my love for Mountain Dew. I also really like their Taco Bell Eexclusive Baja Blast. There have been times I'd go to Taco Bell just to get Baja Blast. The best part is MariLynn doesn't like it at all, so she'll never drink any of mine. She says she thinks it's what carbonated Windex would taste like.

Mountain Dew can be romantic. It just has to be served in stemware from a dimly lit restaurant.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Introducing the New $2 Bill

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April 21, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The first new $2 bill was issued by the Federal Reserve today. President Jefferson's portrait continues to be featured on this redesign of the $2 bill. "The redesigned $2 bill's enhanced security features help ensure we stay ahead of counterfeiters and protect your hard-earned money," Assistant Director Michael Lambert said. "It only takes a few seconds to check the new $2 bill to make sure it's genuine. If you know how to check its security features, you can easily be confident it's real."

To commemorate the first new $2 bill, Lambert walked into a local Starbucks and ordered a Tall Latte. Surprised at the cost, he then tried to fish another 86 cents out of his pocket. Falling short, he then turned over the second new bill to complete the transaction. Befuddled, the cashier had to ask his manager where he was supposed to put these two new bills in the cash register.

Today, Federal Reserve banks will begin distributing the redesigned $2 bills to customer banks, which will then distribute them to businesses and consumers. The new $2 bill designs will circulate first in the U.S. and gradually spread to other countries as international banks place orders for them from the Federal Reserve. You don't have to trade in your old bills for new ones, in the unlikely event you ever had an old one. Both the new $2 bills and the older-design $2 bills will continue to maintain their full face value equivalent to 200 pennies or 4 half dollars.

The new $2 bill incorporates state-of-the-art security features that are easy to use by cash handlers and consumers alike. Hold the bill to the light to check for these features:

* Watermarks: There are now two watermarks on the redesigned $2 bill. A ginormous number "2" watermark is located in a vacuous space to the right of the portrait replacing the previous watermark portrait of President Jefferson found on the older-design $2 bills. A second watermark – a column of three smaller "2"s – has been added to the new $2 bill design and is positioned in the nebulous area to the left of the portrait. It's pretty cool if you ever get to see one.

* Security Threads: The two embedded security threads run criss-cross and are now located to the right of the portrait on the redesigned $2 bill. The letters "USA" followed by a motion-shifting number "2" in an alternating pattern along with a holographic U.S. Flag are visible along the threads from both sides of the bill. The threads glow a trippin' shade of purple when held under ultraviolet light and changes to red when viewed at a 30-degree angle. This thread feature alone costs the treasury about $1.78 per bill to produce.

As with the redesigned $5, $10, $20 and $50 bills that preceded it, the new $2 bill features an American symbol of freedom printed in the background. The Great Seal of the United States, featuring an eagle and shield, is printed in pink on the front of the bill. Additional gratuitous design elements include:

* The large, easy-to-read number "2" in the lower right corner on the back of the bill, which theoretically helps those with visual impairments distinguish the denomination, has been enlarged in the new $2 bill design and is printed in highly unpopular pink ink.

* The oval borders around President Jefferson's portrait on the front and the Declaration of Independence vignette on the back have been removed. Both engravings have been enhanced. Jefferson's new portrait makes him look less careworn.

* Despite the fact it looks stupid, small yellow "02"s are printed to the left of the portrait on the front of the bill and throughout the Declaration of Independence vignette on the back.

* Also, The words "Silver Certificate" have been removed.

The new $2 bill's most hebetudinous design difference is the addition of light pink in the center of the bill, which blends into off-white near the edges. Because color can be duplicated, consumers and cash-handlers should use the key security features – on the new $2 bill, the watermarks and security threads – not color, to check the authenticity of paper money.

Fun facts:

* The reason for the 0's to be there on the yellow "02"s is not because the Bureau of Engraving and Printing likes to carelessly throw around insignificant digits. We request that mathematicians please stop sending us hate mail. It's really an anti-counterfeit method called "EURion Constellation." We'd tell you all about it, but we're lazy, so we'll link to the Wikipedia article.

* Vending Machines still won't take them (unless you're buying a coke at Monticello).

* All the new anti-counterfeit measures are nice and everything, but it's not like anyone will ever try to fake one.

* If a $2 bill could talk, it also would say, "Goodbye!"

* 50,000 will be minted in 2008.

* Roughly 49,500 of them will be bought by collectors forthwith.

* Contrary to urban legend, a Where's Waldo is not hiding in the Declaration of Independence depiction on the back. Instead, look for William Whipple and Button Gwinnett.

* The new bills will be printed in one press at the U.S. Treasury location in Fort Worth, TX on alternate Thursdays.

* You'll still likely never see one.

* If you happen to get one and try to spend it, the dude behind the counter at Taco Bell won't believe it's real.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Smyrna Air Show

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It's been a long time since I went to an Air Show, despite the fact that one of the country's best air shows had been occasionally held just a county away in Smyrna, TN all the years I was growing up. About 15-20 years ago, I went to the Smyrna show with my buddy will and his dad. Then, a couple of years later I went to an Air Show in Waco, and that's it. From there, I went a decade without really thinking about it. About 5 years ago, on a day I didn't even realize that the show was going on, my wife and I were at Percy Priest lake and in the mid afternoon I kept seeing all these military planes fly over. Then, the next time there was a show, I was busy that weekend.

Now that I live in Smyrna, I live about 3000 feet from the end of the runway. Thanks to my new photography hobby, I wanted to be there and had the date marked in my mental calendar ever since the date was announced. Then the Blue Angels flew into town. I work late nights and sleep late into the day. On Thursday, the Blue Angels were there to awaken me from my day's sleep before work. I ran outside and got this picture:

Blue Angels are waking me up

Now I really wanted to go to the show. I drove to work and saw two of the Blue Angels pass each other above the Wendy's in town. On Friday, it rained early in the day, while I went to town hall to buy my advance ticket. In the afternoon the skies cleared and they were back at their practice. I spent about 20 minutes in the front yard and took these pics:

Air Show Anticipation

Now, I can't wait. Saturday gets here. By my own standards, I wake up four hours early to go to the airport that's so very close, but they haven't built a road directly from my driveway to the airport entrance and it takes me 45 minutes to get somewhere that's less than a mile away. At least I wasn't one of the poor souls who came in from the interstate.

Six hours and a nasty sunburn later, I have taken 1300 pictures on my Canon camera. 93 of them are online-worthy and many of my favorites are shown below. If you would like to view all of the photos, Click Here to see the thumbnails, or Click Here to view the Slideshow, which will take about 8 to 10 minutes. Or, you can click on any of the thumbnails below to view larger versions.

This B-25 vintage military plane might possibly be the prettiest plane I've ever seen. For $5 you could go in to the plane and see the cockpit and sit in the front bay and pretend to shoot the gun. I like the plane but I wouldn't pay to get in.

Pacific Prowler

This is the first time I've ever described a picture with the words "Children exit through the plane's lips"

Children exit through the plane's lips

Red Eagles:
Red Eagles Red Eagles Red Eagle #3

Gene Soucy

Gene Soucy #3 Gene Soucy #4 Gene Soucy #2

Shockwave, a three jet-engined powered truck, was a real crowd pleaser. Using up 120 gallons of fuel, it can go about 300 MPH.

Shockwave jet-powered truck

The Skytypers are vintage World War II planes.

Skytypers #1 Skytypers #2 Skytypers pass by near each other

Julie Clark has a patriotic theme with Red, White & Blue smoke coming from her plane.

Julie Clark with Red, White & Blue smoke Julie Clark with flag back on land

Air Force's F-16 demonstrates it's flight capability.

F-16 lands F-16 F-16 taxis

Gene Soucy brings out Teresa Stokes, a wingwalker. This seems to me to be an insane thing to do. In the first picture, she turned upside-down on the top wing.

Wingwalker standing on her head Wingwalker Wingwalker #6

Then the Blue Angels do their thing. They stretch out their performance by having their C-130 ("Fat Albert") fly around for a bit.

Blue Angels C-130 Fat Albert Blue Angels C-130 Fat Albert flyover Blue Angels C-130 Fat Albert

Now the stars of the show, the six F/A-18 Hornet Blue Angels:

Blue Angels flys parallel, one upside-down Blue Angels Diamond Formation #2
Blue Angel #6 taxis back Blue Angels, one solo passes diamond Blue Angels delta formation approach Blue Angels Blue Angel