FoBAB 2017 Volunteer Signups Now Open

I’ve attended FoBAB (Festival of Barrel Aged Beers) a few times now. Each year it seems to get bigger, better and even more fun. Wood & beer make a great couple. There are also ciders, meads and a few surprises on-deck each year.


View from the stage during a session last year. 

I was introduced to Off Color Brewing’s “Dino Smores” a few years ago at FoBAB. Goose Island’s Proprietors Stout is usually there and I sampled a Samuel Adams Utopia once. Here is a video I shot at last year’s event to give you an idea of the scale and level of activity that goes on during one of the FoBAB sessions.

The 15th Annual FoBAB happens this Nov. 10 & 11. That is a 4-hour drinking session on Friday afternoon, on Saturday afternoon and on Saturday evening. It is one of many events put on by the IL Craft Brewers Guild. FoBAB 2017 will involve over 150 breweries. Nearly 350 individual beers will be pouring at tables within the expanded 24,000 square foot space at the UIC Forum this year. Tickets are $85 each, but you can get yours for free if you’re willing to volunteer.

The National Wood Aged Beer Competition also happens during FoBAB. Wood and barrel-aged beers are submitted from around the world and are professionally judged by industry leaders and certified judges. If you can’t attend the awards ceremony you can totally watch the live stream. Here is last year’s feed (audio starts around minute 9).

Volunteer slots are open for the entire weekend.

Interested? Pick your preferred volunteer slot and corresponding session attendance time. Make sure you can make it to the required training date(s) before the festival. Submit! Then cross your fingers for acceptance.

Just like it said in the volunteer email that went out this week: “All slots are on a first come, first serve basis so do not delay in signing up.”

Cheers! And see you there?

Don’t Waste Your Money When Donating to Relief Efforts

Looking to donate your hard earned money to various relief organizations, but want to make sure your money is going to a reputable outfit? Check out Charity Navigator. They provide hard stats on various charities yearly financials, how much goes to actual relief efforts vs overhead costs, etc.

Charity Navigator has been around for over 15 years. They’ve rated nearly 8,500 non-profits based on various factors that judge how much money that a group takes in and how much of it actually goes towards the organization’s stated goals. Here is a snippet from their website:

Founded in 2001, Charity Navigator has become the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. In our quest to help donors, our team of professional analysts has examined tens of thousands of non-profit financial documents. We’ve used this knowledge to develop an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 8,000 of America’s best-known and some lesser known, but worthy, charities.

 

Specifically, Charity Navigator’s rating system examines two broad areas of a charity’s performance; their Financial Health and their Accountability & Transparency. Our ratings show givers how efficiently we believe a charity will use their support today, how well it has sustained its programs and services over time and their level of commitment to good governance, best practices and openness with information. In the not-too-distant future, we plan to also rate charities’ reporting of their results. We provide these ratings so that charitable givers/ social investors can make intelligent giving decisions, and so that the nonprofit sector can improve its performance.

One of the best things about Charity Navigator? They don’t solicit donations from charities they rate in order to avoid impact or perceived to impact on said ratings. Various annual reports and articles are published by the group that can be helpful to donors and potential donors as well including the CEO Compensation Study, Metro Market Study, and features on groups helping with various tragedies in the news.

Go. Research. Donate.

Refocusing

My friends know me as the guy with more than enough to do. Between family, hobbies, work and responsibilities there is never an unfilled moment if I want it that way. I’ve hit exhaustion and burn out several times and come back stronger. Smarter. More prepared for the future. It always seemed less in focus to me than I would have liked. That changes now.

This redesigned and relaunched website about me is just that. I’ve dumped some great things that I was involved with for years. Things that I enjoyed, but didn’t get me closer to where I want to be in the future. Others are less important projects I’ve set aside to focus on my main three: BreweryFinder.org, DaddysGrounded.com & Cheap360Tours.com

I can’t wait to find out what the future holds. Let’s find out together. There are a 1,000 reasons my life’s tagline is Always Learning,

Budweiser’s Bud & Burgers is in Chicago This Week

I got a sneak peak at Budweiser’s Bud & Burgers in Chicago. It’s in town this week for a three-day, burger and beer-centric restaurant event. This pop-up concept invites diners to pair Budweiser with a rotating menu of creative burgers created by some of Chicago’s own chefs including Graham Elliot and Art Smith. You can find the ticketed event at 151 W. Erie St. at North LaSalle Street. It’s being held in the space that Tavernita used to be located on Tuesday, July 26 through Thursday, July 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.

img_2069

Bud & Burgers has partnered with the Folds of Honor Foundation to provide one hundred percent of the event’s proceeds to its mission to honor veterans through future education. Folds of Honor is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to families of military men and women who have fallen or been disabled while on active duty in the United States armed forces. Their educational scholarships support private education tuition and tutoring for children in grades K-12, as well as higher education tuition assistance for spouses and dependents. Founded in 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, an F-16 fighter pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard who served three tours of duty in Iraq, Folds of Honor is proud to have awarded more than 10,000 scholarships in all 50 states, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, including more than 2,500 in 2015 alone. For more information a Folds of Honor scholarship, visit FoldsOfHonor.org.

 

#BudAndBurgers media preview in #Chicago. @Budweiser @redeyechicago @chicagotribune

A post shared by Brewery Finder (@breweryfinder) on

 

Inventive variations on burgers and French fries will be the starring attraction, while vegetarian options will provide tasty choices for everyone. Live DJs, bags games and cooking demos will add to the overall upbeat experience, offering guests an opportunity to spice up their lunch routines.

There is no cost to attend the pop-up, however registration at the event is required and will include a ticket fee of $4.50, which will benefit Folds of Honor, as well as a $1.50 processing fee. Bud & Burgers is sponsored by Budweiser, Redeye, Chicago Tribune and Metromix Chicago.

Five Remote Job Sites You Should Be On Right Now

Unsplash_Remote2

Looking for a Remote Position? Here are the websites to focus on when searching for that perfect remote employment.

There are hundreds of job sites out there for everything under the sun (and a few up in space). I’ve spent far too many hours jumping from site to site without finding exactly what I’m looking to do. That changed when I started spending some time on the sites listed below. Sign-up, apply and find a new gig today. Just remember to move fast. Some of these jobs won’t last long:

Remotive.io

Remotive.io is a newsletter on remote tips & jobs sent every two weeks to 20,000+ remote workers. They also regularly update a list of 200+ startups that are currently hiring remotely. They have a jobs board [free] and a Slack community [paid.]

We Work Remotely

We Work Remotely is the “best place to find and list jobs that aren’t restricted by commutes or a particular geographic area.” They have RSS feeds for each remote job listing category that you can use with your favorite RSS reader or IFTTT to send you an email if you don’t want to remember to visit the page every day.

Angel.co

Angel.co is the place to connect with startups around the world. They have both remote and in person positions so remember to have the “Remote” filter on when searching. You can use the site to apply to jobs privately. Only the companies you apply to will see you’re looking for a job. Salary and equity options in the company are displayed before you apply. There is also a useful startup salary tool. Angel.co is great too because there are no recruiters to deal with when applying. Your application goes straight to the startup’s founders.

RemoteOK has over 500,000 user visits each month searching for remote jobs listed from companies all over the globe. They also offer a daily/weekly/monthly email list featuring all of the new jobs added to the site. It can be a bit tricky to navigate, but the jobs listed make it worth it.

Velvet Jobs

Velvet Jobs covers all sorts of positions, but has a listing of currently over 1,300 jobs classified as remote. The service is free when creating your profile and searching. It does push a subscription fee in order to apply for jobs, but I have been able to search Google with keywords in job listings on Velvet Jobs that I like and apply directly to the company for free.

Joel’s Interstitial Plugin for YOURLs

I use YOURLs as a way to help keep my brands intact on various links and stories I use on a regular basis from my professional blog, dad blog and beer directory. I approached Ozh, lead developer on YOURLs, about creating a plugin to display an interstitial ad between users clicking on a shortlink and visiting the target site. He developed it for me and I’ve been using it for a couple years now.

There are added featured I’d like to see made on the project, but Ozh has expressed to me that he is no longer interested in developing it. I’m releasing the code now via GitHub in hopes that other YOURLs user can help implement these (and other) upgrade to make the plugin even more useful.

Included Features:

  • Ad is displayed between a user clicking on a shortlink and being redirected to the target URL

Features for Future Releases:

  • Image previews when sharing on social media
  • Improved ad blocking avoidance

If you find it useful I’d love for you to buy me a beer as a thank you. Thanks for your interest in the free plugin. Download it or help improve it today at: https://github.com/joelgratcyk/yourls-interstitial-plugin

How To Get That ZIP of MP3s, WAVs or Other Audio Files Onto Your iOS Device

Let’s say you just downloaded that rad new album from your favorite indie band. They are likely distributing their music on their own through a service like Shopify or PulleyApp and have given you a ZIP file in exchange for your hard earned money. Here is how to take that ZIP file (assuming it has audio files and an album cover in it) and get those new tunes onto your iPhone or iPad. Let’s face it, its not as easy as iTunes store but it does help support your local music makers.

FIFDownloadLink MxpxDownloadLink

1.) Download the ZIP file

The first thing you’re going to do is download that ZIP file. This most often happens with an email sent from the band’s store with a download link in it. Click on that link and let the file download to your Mac or PC. Remember where your browser saves files so you don’t have to go hunting for it. Usually its just in a “Downloads” folder, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.

NYE_Unzip_Pic

2.) Unzip the ZIP Folder

If you have a modern computer this process may have already happened. You’ll know if you see a folder with the same name as the ZIP file. If not, just double click on the zip and it will automatically expand.

Still not working? Try downloading the free StuffIt Expander for either Mac or Windows. Install. Drag. Drop. Done.

iTunes_Import

3.) Import the Files Into iTunes

Open iTunes. Click on “File” and then “Add to Library…” From there you’ll select the file(s) you want imported and then “Okay.” Wait a few seconds for the files to import into your library and you’ll be on to step 4.

iTunes_Get_Info

4.) Make Sure the Album Information and Cover is Correct

Sometimes you’ll get music without a cover or correct ID tags. Hey, it happens. You can fix this by selecting the song(s) you want to update, right-clicking on them and selecting “Get Info.” Update any fields you’d like to change. You can go to the “Artwork” tab and upload any JPG you’d like to assign as an album cover if one wasn’t provided in your download. Click “Okay.”

iTunes_Sync

5.) Sync the New Music to Your iOS Device

Now that the music is in your iTunes library all you have to do is sync them to your iOS device. Make sure that the “Sync Music” check box is selected. If you have “Entire music library” selected then you’re good to go. Just select “Apply” and you’re set. If you have “Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres” selected you’ll want to make sure to go to the Artist and/or Album area and select the music you want synced first. Then you’ll want to hit “Apply.”

If you don’t see the “Sync Music” option at all, but instead see “iCloud Music Library is On” you’re basically set. Make sure you’re signed into your Apple ID on both iTunes and your iOS device. The songs will show up shortly thereafter.

The founder of 5-Hour-Energy wants to change the world, again.

The world will be saved from climate change, poverty, and dirty politics because of people like Manoj Bhargava, founder of 5-Hour-Energy. He’s focusing on projects like transforming sea water into drinking water and independent sources of electricity for the 3rd world. The new film “Billions in Change” focuses on these projects and more.

The world is facing some huge problems. There’s a lot of talk about how to solve them. But talk doesn’t reduce pollution, or grow food, or heal the sick. That takes doing. This film is the story about a group of doers, the elegantly simple inventions they have made to change the lives of billions of people, and the unconventional billionaire spearheading the project.

Billions In Change

Interested in seeing the whole film? You can see it here.