Monday, August 30, 2010

Michelob on Monday

Remember when Michelob came in a bottle like this? Of course Anheuser Bush has changed the bottle now. The new bottle is pretty standard with reinforced glass at the bottom of the neck. I can't understand why they would change the bottle since the old design was an icon of American beer culture and the new bottles is obviously manufactured exclusively for the Michelob line. Ah well, we don't drink the bottles do we, the packaging has very little to do with the product it contains.

I also remember the Michelob always had a very fresh taste too. The beer was less hoppy than Budweiser and, in fact, tasted more like Miller Lite. I was shopping for beer last weekend and was going to purchase a Yeungling twelve-but I noticed, the Michelob twelve-pack cost only fifty cents more than Yeungling. What the heck, let's relive the beers of the past!

Michelob produced a good foamy head unlike most American style Largers. The carbonation also lasted ‘till the last sip. The beer tastes much as I remember but with a hint more hops. I suspect, due to the clean, less sweet taste, that Michelob has a bit more barley than a Budweiser. The big American breweries have made an art out of producing beer with a minimal amount of hops and barley which is the reason I mainly avoid the mega-breweries. The cold carbonated, sweet and sour qualities do make these great beers for the heat of American summers. This weekend I went back to my European Lager knockoff brand, Hollande. I'll be enjoying the full hops flavoring with no complaints. I enjoyed the Michelob too but I've had enough of that style for a month or twelve, or twenty-four.

-Near Beer Monday: Part 2-

I got an idea when I noticed the bill boards of Bud Light. The Bud Light ad theme is now "Here we go!" The plot of the t.v. ads seems to be; "We have some schwill, here comes trouble" or "Irresponsibility due to malted corn products." So, I thought, why don't they just call it "Here We Go" Beer?

Beer for people who just like to pee a lot.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Second Anniversary

This Monday, August 30th, will be the second anniversary of my marriage to my lovely assistant Sally Ruth Pangle, or as I've been known to call her; Sally Wally Hot Tamale. She and I are very philosophically compatible, a point which was proven by our anniversary gift exchange today. I thought she would buy a book for me as a gift which she did. I was surprised because she did not get the book which I had anticipated. She got me Spectrum 1: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art. She also purchased the Agent Orange recording Living In Darkness and it was a very big surprise. I listened to this cassette tape quite a bit in my youth and had the CD on my Amazon wish list. She also surprised me with a gift card for one of my favorite local restaurants, Veg-O-Rama. I would say that Veg O Rama is one of our favorite restaurants but I know Sally isn’t as fond of it as I am. But, the Agent Orange CD and the Spectrum volume were both real surprises!

I got Sally a hammock and a hammock stand for our tree encircled backyard. (White Pines and White Maples) I'm certain she'll enjoy lying in the hammock and reading and alternately taking naps . I also got her the book Drawing Down the Moon, the Art of Charles Vess. I feel the fact that we both received fantasy art anthologies as anniversary gifts is not ironic, but it is indicative of how compatible Sally and I are.

Happy Anniversary Sally Wally Hot Tamale, Happy Anniversary to us!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Paperback Friday - Poul Anderson

I thought I'd start posting these pulp scans in alphabetical order this week. Most of these are books that I have not read. I'll provide some details for the books which i have read. So, we have Poul Anderson this week and these are two of his works from my shelves which I have not read.

The Broken Sword: originally published 1954. This edition published 1977, Del Rey.

Ensign Flandry: copyright 1966, Poul Anderson. The edition published 1979, Ace Science Fiction. Dedicated to Frank and Beverly Herbert.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pop Culture Shirts

Posting four shirts at a time will help get through the shirts quickly. But, I'm beginning to wonder if I do have 365 shirts?

This week have four shirts with pop culture themes. The top left is a Hard Rock Cafe T which was a hand-me-down from a relative. The dragon disign is on the back of that one. Top right is one of two Rolling Stones Tees. The black one was purchased from K-mart in the past five years. Below the map of the U.S. it says, "North American tour 1981." The front of the shirt has the R.S. lips with an American flag tounge. The red Stones shirt I purchased at a resale shop here in Knoxville. The bottom left is a Napoleon Dynamite Tee from Wal=Mart. I just wish that shirt was blank rather than having Napoleon's name as part of the design.

19 shirts down and 346 to go.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Lady Chatterley’s Lover wrap-up

The Penguin Twentieth Century Classis edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover is 302 pages long and I threw in the towel after 213 pages. I had heard enough of Lady Chatterley’s self centered complaining about her marriage. She admits that she no longer loves her husband Clifford. He was paralyzed during World War I and is confined to a wheelchair. His is a situation of potential misery but he makes the best of it and is truly happy with his intellectual pursuits. Connie Chatterley, on the other hand, is self serving and obsessed with fulfilling her sexual desires. After 213 pages I had read enough of Lawrence’s social theories and complaining about the plight of the labor classes. At that point in the book Connie had planned to take a holiday with her sister, I was tired of waiting for this trip while reading about Lady C’s dalliances with the groundskeeper.

I’m sure this was one of the first English novels concerning the topic of modern sexuality and it was certainly one of the first, on this topic, to become accepted as literature. Lawrence has also written Study of Thomas Hardy (1936) and I would like to offer that Lady Chatterley… is a reworking of Jude the Obscure with the addition of sex scenes. It’s the Twenty-first Century now and I don’t need D. H. Lawrence to explain human sexuality to me. If Philip Roth has learned anything from Lawrence it is to keep his stories short and to the point. If Lionel Fanthrope has learned anything from Lawrence it is to ramble on like an Irishman on holiday.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Paperback Friday

Today I introduce another of my luxuries, along with t-shirts and beer, I love books. One of the reasons I'm the luckiest man in the world is because I'm married to a reader too. I'm also lucky that we have a great retail book warehouse here in Knoxville where I can find these pulp novelties, often, for one dollar or less. So, on Paperback Friday, I'll post the covers of the books from my pulpy fantasy and sci-fi collection.

This week we have two works from the genius that is Lionel Fanthorpe. Mr. Fanthorpe wrote under many pseudonyms and, I suppose, he could be known as the king of the modern pulps. I'll occasionally find his books at McKay Used Books and bring them home for later consumption.

Here is Time Echo, published by Arcadia House in 1964.

Orbit One, Arcadia House 1966.
Both these books indicate that they are duplications of "the original text of the hardcover edition." I honestly doubt that either of these where ever printed in a hardcover edition.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Real Beer Shirts

Here are four more shirts and these are some of my most prized recent acquisitions, the real beer shirts. We have The Union Jacks beer challenge completion shirt at the top left. At top right is the Great Smokey Mnts. Brewgrass Festival shirt from 2008. We missed the festival last year but will get to attend again next month. The bottom row has a shirt from Molly Macpherson’s Scottish Pub in Savannah Georgia and a beer themed shirt from Khols.

15 shirts down and 350 to go!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lady Chatterley's Lover

I've had this copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover for at least ten years. It's an old copy of the book I salvaged from a home fire at a friend's house. I found the book recently while cleaning my library and thought; I should read it and send it off with the other paper for recycling. I've read half the book and I'm not too excited about reading the rest of the story.

Lawrence reminds me of James Joyce because he tells vivid stories of human struggle but who really wants to explore that much detail? Lawrence admired Thomas Hardy and Lady Chatterley's Lover is basically the same plot as Jude the Obscure but with sex scenes. Thus the novel lives up to the qualities of literature through analysis of the human weaknesses of class struggle, codependency, financial struggle, selfishness and sexuality.

I'm certain I'll finish reading this "fine" piece of literature during the coming week. D. H. Lawrence will earn a place on my personal see-saw of literary figures. I think he will sit on the end with James Joyce and help hold Herman Hesse aloft.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hands off policy toward Eddie Money

And a definite ears off policy too. I have a thirty mile commute to work each day and I get to listen to a radio station called Jack FM. I work even further out in East Tennessee where all the radio stations are country, pop, sports, new talk or worse. About five miles into my drive I can't receive radio stations from Knoxville. Jack FM is a pretty good compromise; they just play "a bunch of songs in a row." Their play list is a good mix of music from the 70's to the present but often the rotation gets bogged down and I'll hear the same batch of songs form one day to the next.

Friday one of Eddie Money's songs came on for the umpteen-millionth time and now Mr. Money joins the ranks of musicians I refuse to listen to during my drive time. Most of the music I will not listen to was the popular music from my adolescence. These tunes evoke all the fun awkwardness that is High School and I'll change the radio station to avoid them.

Eddie Money was just added to this list after I saw him performing during half time for a BCS bowl game last fall. Eddie's catalogue had some groovy tunes, "Sh-sh-sh-shackin," Two Tickets to Paradise, Take me Home Tonight and Baby Hold on to Me which I believe was the tune I saw him perform on T.V. He was obviously lip-syncing the tune which I think is the lowest form of celebrity bailout. Mr. Money looked washed up performing in a trench coat with a giant marching band as his supporting musicians.

So I've added Eddie M to the other musicians I intend to keep my ears away from; Journey, Foreigner, Boston, Kansas, Styx, Nickleback, Linkin Park, Creed and any versions of the songs "American Woman" and "Lean on Me." A visit to the Jack FM/Knoxville website will reveal that Kansas and Styx will be playing at our minor league baseball stadium this fall, further proof these groups are washed up.

Here's a nice tune I'll take over all those mentioned above.

Monday, August 9, 2010

B-movies Revisited

I was at Wally World this past weekend getting some new tires installed on the Corolla so, of course, I had to rummage through the $5.00 DvD bin. I found one disk which contains two sci-fi films; War of the Worlds 2 and Invasion of the Pod People. I always choose to purchase these cheap flicks, for $5.00 ya can’t go wrong, right? My lovely assistant and I watched the Invasion of the Pod People last night and I wish I had my $2.50 back to send on a gallon of gasoline.

This movie had all the qualifications of a bad, bad movie; bad acting, bad dialogue, poor plot progression, terrible soundtrack quality, bad set selection, scenes of people talking on cell phones, scenes of people in cars, stock footage and really bad special effects. When I see films like this I think, this was someone’s film school project. The truth is it was probably an independent film festival project or made for Showtime.

To describe the acting as bad is using creative license on my part. There wasn’t much acting in the film but there was a good bit of reading of cue cards or Teleprompters. The people in the film look at the side of the camera in every scene. The soundtrack had a lot of unexplained noise in a few scenes. The noise, which I figured out was supposed to be the pods multiplying, was so loud that the dialogue was unintelligible.

The plot of the film would have been difficult to follow if I hadn’t read the description on the DVD cover. The characters of the movie supposedly worked for a modeling agency. The story the film presents is; There’s a company named Blockthorn that does something and one guy, the boss, wants something done and yells at his employees about getting it right. Then some of the employees become obsessed with a strange plant. One of the employees is attacked by a pod from the plant and then keeps sharing the plant with her coworkers.

The camera angle may be on a conversation but the dialogue might as well be, "Hey officer friendly will you help us with these plant people. Oh look, they are playing Frisbee in the park," as the actor speaking looks out of the shot rather than at the other actor. Yes, this movie was so bad that I wanted to turn away. But we suffered through to the end which left the plot open as if they intend to make a sequel.

Then there’s the sex. Of course these pods from outer space know about seduction and use it to acquire their pod victims. I was very surprised that the first scene in this film from Wally World was a sex scene. There where at least four sex scenes with topless ladies. Some one slipped this one past the censors at Wally World. But these scenes were bad too 'cause only in low budget films do folks have sex without taking their pants and skirts off.

Invasion of the Pod People is just bad. I wouldn’t recommend that anyone watch this film. I wouldn't even put this film on the B List, it is more of an F List product. The folks who made it are probably laughing all the way to the bank and I hope this film was the low point of their careers. I just wish, that once, I could get the money that is spent to produce films like this one. I’d use it to make a film with some lego figures with better results. Hum…? (having a light bulb moment)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

T-shirt Tuesday returns

So here's what was in the laundry. A Denver Broncos shirt I got when we were in Colorado in June. A shirt which says, "Super Donor." I was given this when something was spilled on my shirt at a friend's house. An shirt. This is a local Battletech model builder and I always get his shirts as a door prize at our local gaming con. Lastly, a KnoxGamers t-shirt. The Knox Gamers logo is "Die trying." I've been wearing a lot of white shrits during this late summer heat wave.

11 shirts down, 354 shirts to go.