Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Year End Report

Here we are at the end of 2011 and it's been another banner year at Fanatical Recycling Inc. We did a lot of recycling and rated a few beers, didn't bitch about culture too much, but there's always more room for that, and we didn't do any restaurant reviews. One local bar barely escaped a disrespectful post, we didn't sell any F.R.I. t-shirts and, in fact, T-shirt Tuesday is still in the lurch.

So, as C.E.O of F.R.I., my number 1 priority for the new year is to reach some level of resolve with T-shirt Tuesday. I have come to the conclusion that I do not have 365 t-shirts, I believe I have around 100 shirts. We will, collectively, see what we can determine through the T-shirt Tues project.

Other things that didn't happen on F.R.I. this year; I didn't write about our wedding anniversary or our vacation. For our wedding anniversary, back in August, we went over to Maggie Valley, N. C. for a weekend getaway which was nice. Sally and I have been on vacation this week in Myrtle Beach, S.C. and we'll be going to Gainsville, Ga. to celebrate N.Y.E. with a few of our old pals.

Myrtle Beach has been nice too. We have been shopping, went to the beach and collected some shells. We've played in the indoor Lazy River at the condo. I've been playing Danger D.J. on facebook and Sally's been learning her way around her new Kindle Fire. Neither one of us eat seafood so we haven't done that. We did eat at a great place called Nacho Hippo at Market Commons. It was good, if you come here, go there!

More beer on Monday has been clicking along this year. I always have plenty of craft beers to taste and write about. But, occasionally other responsibilities keep me from writing about a new beer each week. I will put more effort toward this thread in 2012 too.

Paperback Friday, an archive of artwork from old paperback novels, has appeared again belatedly. I'll work on finishing the book images which I have scanned and then start over, since I've acquired more paperbacks since this project started.

I could talk and blab about plans for this blog as if it were a real business but, "that's all I have to say about that." I wish you all a Happy New Year and I'm sure to be back typing some smart ash comments again soon.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Haffenreffer Private Stock

I have well established my weakness for off-brand beers, lesser known breweries and small regional labels. I've found another one of these while on vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Haffenreffer Private Stock Malt Liquor from Latrobe, Pa.

Private Stock pours into a hazy golden corn like body with a fairly typical foamy head. There are very noticeable floral, apple juice aromas flowing from this brew. The first sip is a surprising taste, much like cider, which returns with subsequent sips. This is a very sweet brew rather than the often dominant hops flavors more common in malt liquors. It is probably too sweet for most but I find it is a refreshing change from my usual drink selections. I'm sure that Private Stock is brewed with a blend of corn, rice, wheat and barley malts but they have a good recipe.

The Private Stock slogan is, "Malt Liquor with the import taste," and it does taste much like a hefeweizen. I can't really give Private Stock a very high rating since it is so unlike beer styles traditionally on my drink menu. But, I can give Private Stock a 3 out of 5 pints.

I also found some funny Photoshop work while searching for Private Stock images on the entree-net. Other Private Stock fans would have you believe that it is enjoyed by Sean Connery

and Christopher Walken.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Paperback Friday: G - J

Here are the book covers I have scanned for authors whose last names begin with the letters G to J.

Planet in Peril by Pamela O'Neill & Kim Mohan
Ace Science Fiction

There is very little traditional publication information in this book. There is an ISBN but there is no publication date but contains the imprint. "New Infinities Productions, Inc." This is book 1 of Gary Gygax'z Cyborg Commando and, thus, I'm filing it here under the letter G.

I found this book while on vacation last year and apparently paid $3.00 for it. I had never heard of this title or series before and purchased it because it includes Mr. Gygax's name in the credits, of course I have not read it yet.

Robert Heinlein: The Rolling Stones
A Del Rey Book, Published by Ballantine Books
Copyright; 1952 by Robert Heinlein
First Ballantine Books edition: June 1977
This edition published by arrangement with Charles Schribner's Sons.
Cover art by Darrell K Sweet
dedication: For Lucky and Doc and Barbara

This book was a recommended read at discussion I attended on Classic Sci-fi Novels at ChattaCon a few years ago. I found this copy at McKay Used Books for $3.50 but haven't read it yet.

John Eric Holmes: Mahars of Pellucidar
Copyright 1976 by John Eric Holmes and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
An Ace Book by arrangement with Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

I think I discovered this book through a blog post and found it on Amazon. I believe I paid about $4.98 for it and haven't read it yet. I've got plenty of reading to do in 2012!

John Jakes: Brak the Barbarian
Copyright 1968 by John Jakes.
First published in book form in the U.S. by Avon Books, 1968.
Reprinted by Tandem Publishing Ltd, 1976. (in the U.K.)
Published by arrangement with the author.

I found this one on Paperback Swap dot Com and read it shortly after I received it. I also wrote a review over at The Polyhedral Dicebag. The book's now posted at Paperback Swap for any who might want it, just search for ChrisnSally at PBS and I'll mail it to ya.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Paperback Friday: Charles Fort

Here's an icon of weird science. I got each of these books for twenty-five cents or less.

The Book of the Damned
Copyright, 1919 by Boni & Liveright
Copyright, 1941 by Holt, Reinhart & Winston, Inc.
An Ace Star Book by arrangement with Mrs. Tiffany Thayer

I bought this one for a dime at the Decatur Book Festival, Decatur, Ga. a few years ago. I purchased another old paperback at the time titled, Seven Masterpieces of Gothic Horror. If this book was actually printed in 1941 it has been well preserved.

Wild Talents; Copyright 1932 by Charles Fort
An Ace Book by arrangement with Mrs. Tiffany Thayer

I got this one at the Friends of the Knox Co. Library book sale earlier this year which means I probably paid 25 cents for it, I remember it was in the sci-fi and fantasy section. I read a bit of it while prepping for this post and the first section deals with spontaneous combustion and simultaneous deaths. Pretty weird stuff and, I think, going so far as to chronicle this info and have it published is even weirder.

I'm pretty sure that my copy of this book was published in the 1960s or 70s but there is no other date on the book except 1932. My archiving of the book cover certainly seems justified since I couldn't find this cover by an Internet search.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Craft Beers of the Southeast U.S.

Yeah, beer. And as far as that goes, I live right over the mountains (Appalachian) from Asheville N.C. which is the craft beer mecca of the South. Here are two links that will provide more information about our regional craft beer culture.

Brewery boom in Waynesville, N.C.

Bruisin' Ales, a world class beer store in Ashevllle N.C.

I should also mention that there are three craft breweries here in Knoxville. These are Woodruff Brewing, Smokey Mnt. Brewery and Marble City Brewery. We also have a pretty dang good beer store of our own, Bearden Beer Market. I should, of course, mention my favorite local pub; Union Jacks.

Now ya'll know where to go to enjoy a pint when you're in our neck of the woods!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Highland Brewing Cold Mountain Winter Ale

Cold Mountain is Highland's perennial Winter Ale and pours a dark malty brown. The first sip tastes of dark chocolate. This is not a Hershey's chocolate but something more exotic, perhaps like a dark German chocolate. This chocolate body dominates the beer flavor to the last sip, an excellent pairing of hops and malt combinations.

I really don't know what style to call Cold Mountain? Is it a Stout, a Porter or a Brown Ale, I don't know? I estimate that this is not quite a stout but is a unique and superior brown ale style. I'm giving Cold Mountain 4.75 out of 5 pints only because all beers can't receive a perfect score.

Other beers I've been drinking this fall include New Belgium's Snow-day which is an Indian Brown Ale style, another great offering from Fort Collins. I recently had a Mendocino Oatmeal Stout which was an excellent, very flavorful creamy stout. I highly recommend that my fellow beer lovers find and enjoy these beers.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Where do I start?

I ask this because I have two unrelated issues to mention and I don't want to imply that these are categorically similar. I'll start with the good news; I was wrong, as is often the case, we did not have an S.E.C. football wrap-up. I should have titled that article; End of regular season S.E.C. Football Wrap-up. So, Roll-Tide or Geau Tigers, I really don't know who to support. Perhaps I should support Les Miles 'cause if he wins the National Championship he will have truly earn the title of Mad Hatter.

Second, I'm sad to report that, I have another photo example of cultural decline. Once again I have an example from the world in which I work everyday. The sign says, "Free holder with plant purch's." I asked the cashier if they had plant perches and he said he wasn't going there.

And one more cultural observation, Staind sucks and the band that once gave us this song is now wimp rock too.

Monday, November 14, 2011

S.E.C. Football Wrap Up

So, our reigning national champions now have four losses for the season. I thought the Tiger's might, despite the odds, maintain their time honored role as giant killers but, after their game against Georgia this weekend, I don't have high hopes that they will be able to beat Bama.

That's a wrap.

Who won that Stanford / Oregon game?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fox Sports News

After attempting to learn the scores of SEC football games on Fox Sports News Radio this evening I would like to suggest that they change their name to Fox Sports News and Commercials! Need I say more?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Legend Lager, Legend Brewing Company, Richmond, Va.

Now here’s a good beer! Look how clear and gold it pours. It is deceiving, it appears to be a pilsner style but it is a Marzen. I don’t know how Legend did this but there’s a definite malty flavor that is leaning toward chocolate in this clear golden beer. I guess most folks don’t associate the full body of Oktoberfest beers with chocolate flavor but in the beer world, I’m tellin’ ya, that’s how we describe that rich malty flavor. This beer really surprised me right off the bat.

Legend Lager even smells malty. As the beer warms the flavors thin a bit and it takes on the subtle malt flavor of a cream soda. I only have one of these because it is the one they snuck into the Starr Hill mixed twelve- pack. Legend Lager has all the qualities that were missing in the Love Wheat Beer, rich malt body with fruity flavor elements.I will definitely buy more of these beers very soon.

The Legend Lager gets a 5.1 out of 5 pints, the highest score I have yet to award a beer.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Four Weeks of Wheat Beer on Tuesday

The last of the wheat beers for this month is In Heat Wheat from Flying Dog Brewery. It poured with plenty of carbonation and a foamy white head. The first sip is a mouthful of clean malty refreshment. There is plenty of malt sweetness to balance out any would-be hops sourness.

As the drink warms the flavor becomes more pronounced and a bit of citrus bitterness comes to the flavor foreground. This is a much better balanced wheat beer then some I have had recently and I recommend it highly.

Score: 5 out of 5 pints.

The Beer of the Day Calendar recently had a wheat beer review, it explained the three basic categories of wheat beers: Bavarian hefeweizen, Belgian Wit and American Wheat. In Heat Wheat is a great example of the American Wheat style.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Rock n Roll shirts begin & more Deeper Thoughts

At least a small majority of my T-shirt collection are shirts for rock n roll bands. Two bands dominate this section, Widespread Panic and the Grateful Dead. I have a few Phish shirts too. Here’s one shirt for each of these bands to make the shirt count 38 with 327 shirts left to display.

Last week we had Melville, this week we have Jack Handey's take on D. H. Lawrence;

"Marta talks about sensuality, but I don't think she'd know sensuality if it bit her on the ass."

There are those contractions again and who is Marta anyway?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Starr Hill Brewery, The Love Wheat Beer

This beer poured clear and golden with plenty of carbonation. It smells like vinegar. The first sip tastes of vinegar and lemons and it is difficult to distinguish these two flavors. The carbonation settled down quickly and the best I can say for the flavor is, it tastes like a margarita mix without sugar.

I can't help but wonder if this beer has been sitting in warehouses and supermarkets for too long? The "best by" date is September, could this mean September 2010? The Love has an overall score of "B" at the Beer Advocate web site, that's out of 97 reviews. This beer has a bit more sourness than I can appreciate in any beer, Belgian or microbrew, but maybe Starr Hill is on to something?

I have to give this one a score of 1 pint out of 5 pints. I believe this is the lowest score I have yet to award.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Glory of Their Times

A friend of mine loaned me this book;

I read it in about two weeks. It is a compilation of interviews with Major League Baseball players who played professionally before the first World War. The book concludes with interviews from men who played before and during the first World War and the Depression. This was a time when the Giants and the Dodgers both played their home games in New York State and a team called the Braves played in Boston. Each chapter, an interview with an individual player,begins with a quote from another book or publication which is revelant to that player. The chapter on Fred Snodgrass begins;

"Often I have been asked to tell what I did to Fred Snodgrass after he dropped that fly ball in the World Series in 1912, eleven years ago. Well, I will tell you exactly what I did: I raised his salary $1,000." John J. McGraw, My Thirty Years in Baseball

John McGraw, Mr. MaGraw to his players, was the manager for the New York Giants. This book is a great window into another era, and to as many errors as well.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beer shirt Tuesday & Deeper Thoughts

I have acquired three more T-shirts this summer and each is beer related. I got a shirt for the Knoxville area Humane Society which reads "Yappy Hour." This one is from Union Jacks where they were collecting $10.00 per shirt for the Humane Society. Then there is the "Break Fluid" shirt which came from Wal-Mart for $6.00. The shirt has an image of a tub of ice and bottles and cans of beer. Lastly, I found one of those "Life is full of important choices" shirts at the Goodwill Thrift Store for 98 cents. The important choices on this shirt are various beer brands on tap handles. This brings our count to 35 shirts presented and 330 shirts to go...

Also, I found the Jack Handey book. It is actually titled Deeper Thoughts and is the sequel to the book titled Deep Thoughts. Here's Jack's version of Moby Dick;

"I think a good novel would be where a bunch of men on a ship are looking for a whale. They look and look, but you know what? They never find him. And you know why they never find him? It doesn't say. The book leaves it up to you, the reader, to decide. -- Then, at the very end, there's a page that you can lick and it tastes like Kook-Aid."

Enough said.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Four Weeks of Wheat Beer, pt. 2

Up in Crozet, Va. they have a little brewery named Starr Hill and, a couple of weeks ago, I purchased one of their mixed 12-packs. I believe that, normally, the 12-pack should contain three lagers, three IPAs, three pale ales and three wheat beers. I may have missed some promo material or they have a practical joker working in the packing room 'cause this pack contained a lager and a Hefeweizen from the Legend Brewery in Richmond.

I'm not complaining about this situation because this allows me to sample these Legend beers without purchasing the individual six packs or one of those $8.98 mixed six packs that all grocery stores have now. So, I bring to you all the Legend Hefeweizen.

This one pours very clear, it looks more like a pilsner than a wheat beer. The aroma is citrus, coriander and cinnamon. The first sip is like a dry, white wine, very light on the tongue and lightly carbonated.

The wheat and hop bitterness increases with continued sipping, citrus flavoring remains. It's like a Margarita without the balancing orange juice sweetness. I believe I could use this brew in a Margarita mix...

(I'm skipping the numeric rating on this one since I drank it a few weeks ago.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Daily Affirmation; Who needs Jack Handey part 2

So, I’m driving home from work Monday and I pass a sign on I - 81 which indicates that the birthplace of Davey Crockett is located off the next exit. This of course brings the "born on a mnt. top in Tennessee" theme to mind and I think of how different the trees are now. I doubt ol' Davey would recognize every tree now. Mountain men like Crockett and D. Boone would probably try to make some Mohicans or twine something out of kudzu.

Of course, Boone N. C. is right over the Appalachian range from I -81 and I'm wondering if Boone and Crocket ever met and which one fought and/or died at the Alamo with Jim Bowie. Then I have to think of the Daniel Boone theme song and realize it qualifies as the worst composition ever with an opening line of "Daniel Boone was a man..."

I'm no Sam Clemens but what were the alternatives they had in mind when this line was composed? Daniel Boone was a woman, was a Canadian, was a Martian? Of course Daniel Boone was a man or you wouldn’t have been writing about him! He was a “man” from the pioneer period of U.S. History so we’re not gonna be writing any songs like;

“Daniele Boone was a woman, a might influential woman.
She could bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan
and sheriff Hamblin Co. all three!!”

I don't wanna get on a soap box about this "Theme Song," a product of Disney I believe, I just wanted to share this very random, odd and funny thought . I hope some of you got a laugh out of these ideas.

I will share more of Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts with you when I locate my copy of his book again.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Four Weeks of Wheat Beer

Before we have an official season change, from summer to fall, I better take the time to write about some of the summer ales I've enjoyed this year. I know I have made notes about three different wheat beers and I'm sure I can find a fourth to feature in; Four Weeks of Wheat Beer.

This week’s lucky subject is Satsuma Harvest Wit from Abita Brewery, Abita Springs, La. I purchased this one at Bruisin' Ales over in Asheville, N.C. and need to slow down long enough to search for it in the Knoxville beer market. I bet it is available at Bearden Beer Market, while supplies last.

This cloudy brew has a strong smell of citrus dominated by fresh lemon and the first sip is like carbonated lemonade. The light wheat malts offer a hoppy presence rather than the typical liquid weight of a barley malt. It's like a light beer from South of the Border but with more lemon like hop flavors.

The flavors and carbonation remain strong until the last sip. I suggest pairing this drink with fish, chicken or Alfredo pasta dishes. This is a great, fresh summer ale and I wanna go buy a case or twelve pack of Satsuma Harvest Wit.

I give Abita's Satsuma Harvest Wit a 4.75 out of 5 pints. (Cause they all can't be perfect.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The 18th of the month is a good day for me

Or, in this case, the 16th of the month is a good time for me to throw some teases on the ol blog. Here's a random idea I've been thinking of using as a soapbox; three things symbolic of the decline of civilization as we know it, flip flops, lounge pants and wife-beater under shirts. Wearing any combination of these pieces of apparel indicates no intention to go to work or accomplish any task that might be considered labor.

I was thinking of this while driving to work today because these are very popular clothing items in E. Tennessee. While thinking and driving I passed by another icon of E. Tn. culture the discount beer and tobacco store. The tobacco must be cheap at those places because they always advertise brands with which I am unfamiliar, like Pyramid or Tahoe. I have occasionally visited one of these shops to get a six pack and a lottery ticket and their beer prices are higher than the price at the grocery store. This confuses me since the shops are called “Discount Beer and Tobacco.” So, I’m gonna ask them. I’ll look at the grocery store price and go to the discount shop, while buying my Miller Lite or Pabst Blue Ribbon I’ll ask the clerk about the discount. Then I’ll take a photo of the shop and share our Southern Culture with all.

On a more positive note, all the way around, I have three summer beers to write about and hope to start these posts next Monday.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday morning affirmation: Who needs Jack Handey?

I love my wife because; she doesn’t complain when I leave the garden shears in the kitchen over night.

Friday, June 24, 2011

52 Beers in 52 weeks project postponed.

It's been an exciting couple of weeks for me, I exercised my rights as a free agent and I'll now be pitching in the starting line-up for the Pittsburg Pirates. Ah, yeah, I did exercise my rights as a free agent but I'm still not making big league money... we have to live the dream. I've had a busy June and had a stretch earlier this month when I worked nineteen days in a row. I can now say that it was worth every minute. But, during my climb to the next rung of the 9 to 5 ladder my weekly beer reviews fell into obscurity if not shame and near destruction.

I do hope to jump start the Fanatical Recycling Times and type the notes for a few beers I've had and not shared with my loving audience. Keep the faith and I'll attempt to keep you all posted.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Old Hickory Brewery: Brown Mountain Light

So, it ain't Monday and I skipped last week, it's sad that my job prevents me from keeping a regular blog post schedule. Of course that's another story, anyone hiring in the beer industry?

I enjoyed this brew on tap at my favorite local pub Union Jacks. Brown Mnt. came out of the tap with a solid, foamy head. The barkeep stopped the pour to let the head settle down before she filled the glass. There are definitely some vanilla and buttery flavors in here. The color is a light gold, it is at least as light as an Anheusere Bush product and lighter and more transparent than Corona. Without a Budweiser for comparison, this is the lightest beer I have ever seen. I keep starring at the pint glass and determine that the appearance of this brew reminds of of a cider.

Just when I think that the vanilla may be a sensory mirage from the restaurant next door, I taste vanilla again in my next sip. Brown Mnt. Light is a great example of what a craft brewery can do with the American Pilsner style and remains reminiscent of the beers for Milwaukee and St. Louis. It remains refreshing to the last sip and ends with a bit more buttery taste.

I have to give Brown Mnt. a 4 out of 5 pints because it's just so darn light.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Finally, T-shirt Thursday & Deep Thoughts!

Two more Tees in an attempt to begin to ol' shirt count again. These are the only two comic book related shirts in my collection. I read Marvel comics nearly exclusively as an adolescent. Lately, I've been catching up on the backlog of DC comics which I never read in my youth but I'm not gonna run out and buy a DC related shirt. (It's not the best photo ever...)

32 shirts presented and 333 more to count.

More Deep Thoughts;

"If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let 'em go, because, man, they're gone." -- Jack Handey

I assume he is speaking of metal keys rather than figurative keys (ideas.) I never realized that J. H. used so many contractions?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sierra Nevada Summerfest

This week I have to take a break from writing about our regional craft beers. I had intended to feature Highland Brewing Co's Cold Mnt. Winter Ale but I often enjoy a beer and fail to take notes while drinking it. Cold Mnt. Ale is a very complex plot of a beer and I wouldn't want to write about it based on my memory alone so I'll have some Sierra Nevada Summerfest and write while I drink.

I'm certain that the beverages of the Sierra Nevada Brewery need no introduction. I actually heard a fizzy release of gases when I opened this bottle of Summerfest. It pours with a tiny bit of white head which quickly vanishes. The beer in the bottle had a distinct pilsner aroma which I don't detect from the beer in the glass. On the tongue I detect more body than is found from mass market Am. Style Pilsners and more hops as well. I even detect a hint of wheat beer flavoring which doesn't surprise me.

Craft breweries have a talent for making very mellow light beers reminiscent of the Canadian Lager style. I can only describe these taste impressions as "fresh." That taste of freshness is the reason that Sierra Nevada Summerfest is another seasonal beer I'd like to have available all year.

This one is very difficult to grade, I don't wanna give all the beers an A+. But, I've been reviewing some of my favorite drinks; 5 out of 5 Summerfest pints!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Highland Brewing Co. Oatmeal Porter

Continuing with my appreciation of regional craft brews I return to the Highland Brewing Company's stock for one of their Oatmeal Porters. Highland beers are avaliable at most grocery stores in the Knox Co. area.

The Oatmeal Porter smelled malty and almost chocolaty while still in the bottle. It produced a bit of beige head when poured and smelled very malty from the glass. The first sip is bubbly and thick on the tongue but not syrupy thick. Full bodied, to say the least, I get an impression of coffee flavoring rather than oatmeal. Hops are not apparent to my taste but are certainly blended well, covering any unwanted sweetness in the malt. (The hops strains are not listed with the info on the bottle.)

This is a dark, solid beer in a style that's an old favorite of my own. I highly reccomend this beer if it is avaliable in your neck of the U.S.
4.75 our of 5 pints.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Old Hickory Brewery: Ruby Lager

Here's another brew from North Carolina, another liter from the Old Hickory Brewery. Ruby Lager pours a dark caramel color with a bit of white foamy head. The liquid is as dark as a cola or, again iced tea. The caramel malts are apparent to the nose as well as the eyes. For a lager, this is a very full bodied beer and I even detect hints of chocolate malt. This dark lager reminds me of the Oktoberfest style and is indicative of the inventive nature of our regional craft brewers.

Ruby Lager gets the full 5 out of 5 pints, get one/some if you can!

--Ruby Lager image borrowed from the Old Hickory Brewery.--

Friday, April 15, 2011

Paperback Friday: Alan Dean Foster

Splinter of the Mind's Eye
Copyright 1978, The Star Wars Corporation
First Ballantine Books Hardcover: Feb. 1978
First Paperback Edition: April 1978
Cover Art by Ralph McQuarrie

I read this book when I was just a lad, when the book was first released. When in college I traded my copy of the book at some used book store. Then I found the book again at McKay Used Books for $1.25. I haven't reread the tale yet.

The Day of the Dissonance
Copyright 1984 by Thranx, Inc.
First Printing: September 1984.
A Warner Books Edition

I found this one at the Goodwill Store last year and so far it's just been collecting dust. I'm not a big fan of A. D. Foster as owning only two of his books should indicate. I have read one of his Star Trek Logs and wasn't impressed by the storytelling. I also recall owning his novel Glory Lane but I can't recall ever having read it. I suspect I may have owned that book for the silly cover art alone. I often see Glory Lane on the shelves at McKay Books but have yet to purchase a copy, only time can tell...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Old Hickory Brewery, Piedmont Pilsner

This week I get to feature one of my favorite local beers. Piedmont Pils from the Old Hickory Brewery which is just across the Smokies/Blue Ridge Mnts. in Hickory, North Carolina. In North Carolina Piedmont Pils is available in liter bottles and available on tap and in a pony kegs at Union Jacks in West Knoxville.

Thanks to a recent visit to Asheville, I happen to have one of the liters in my fridge. This light gold brew pours with a foamy head. I gave it a quick whiff and it had a rather typical "light beer" smell. The head fades quickly again, I believe, typical for the style.

The first sip offers a more floral pallet then I'd expect from an American Pilsner. The body of the flavors is a sweet malt taste but balanced with just the right amount of bittering hops. The floral flavor fades as the liquid warms up, the resulting flavor is reminiscent of a clean tasting Pabst Blue Ribbon. Old Hickory has given their own micro-brewery of meaning to the term "Great taste, less filling."

Now I can't wait to have another Piedmont Pils on tap at Union Jacks, I'm giving this Pils a 4 our of 5 pints.

Now, it has occurred to me, since I live in such a Mecca of great beers, there's no reason I can't feature 52 beers in 52 weeks. I'll work up an image to promote this idea and post the results accordingly.

(The image of Piedmont Pils in a pint glass was borrowed from the Old Hickory Brewery.)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey

"Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself. Mankind. Basically, it's made up of two separate words; "mank" and "ind."
What do these words mean? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind."
-- J. H.

I thought he said, "we have to look at the word ITSELF?"

Paperback Friday: Philip Jose Farmer

Flesh; Copyright 1960, Galaxy Publishing Company
Copyright 1968, Philip Jose Farmer
First Paperback printing, May 1969.

The guy on the cover of this book looks like a young James Taylor.

The Fabulous Riverboat
Copyright 1971, Philip Jose Farmer
Berkly Medallion Edition, April, 1973
Eighth Printing

For the unholy trinity of Bobs:
Bloch, Heinlein, and traurig --
may I meet them on
the banks of the River,
where we'll board the
fabulous Riverboat.

I found these two at the Friends of the Knox Co. Library Sale last month. I got Flesh because after reading These Lawless Worlds I thought I'd try anything. And, it's by P.J.F. so I feel certain that it will be an enjoyable read.

To Your Scattered Bodies Go
Copyright 1971, Philip Jose Farmer
Berkley Medallion Edition, September 1971
Eleventh Printing

1972 Hugo Award, Best Science Fiction Novel of the Year

I bought this one a couple of years ago at the same book sale and read it right away. I may read these other two after I've finished reading through my Lin Carter library. To Your Scattered Bodies Go is one of the sci-fi books on the 501 Must Read Books list.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Highland Brewing Co. Little Hump Spring Ale

I like beers from all over North America and from all over the world. My fridge and garage are generally stocked with beers from various Micro Breweries from around the country but I need to dedicate some time to sharing the fruits of the many local breweries that are near to my home in East Tennessee.

So, I'll start with Little Hump Spring Ale from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. This beer really surprised me. When I think of a spring/summer seasonal ale I expect a drink like Sierra Nevada Summer-fest Ale or, the long lost, Pete's Summer Ale. The Little Hump poured like any of these other drinks but the first sip was a direct hoppy hit to my taste buds. I was expecting a much lighter assault of hops in a Spring Ale but, they brew it, I just drink it.

The carbonation was consistent and refreshingly bubbly and the American hops remained on the pallet to the last sip. The hops strains for Little Hump are Amarillo, Cascade and Simcoe and they have been used to make a great beer. I'm starting to call this style (including Flying Dog's Doggy Style) Classic American Pale Ale due to the additional flavoring hops when compared to a British Pale Ale. (Sam Smith or St. Pete's)

Little Hump wasn't as light on the pallet as I expected but it is still a great beer. My grade for this one is 3.75 pints out of 5.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Paperback Friday: Gardner Fox

Gardner F. Fox; The Hunter out of Time
Copyright, 1965, Ace Books, Inc.
New York, N. Y.
This is actually a first edition of this paperback that I acquired through Paperback Swap dot com.

Kyrik: Warlock Warrior
A Leisure Book, April 1975
Published by Nordon Publications, Inc. New York, N. Y.
Copyright, 1975, Nordon Publications, Inc.

I have not read either one of these books yet but I am currently reading the trade paperback edition of DC Comics Crisis On Multiple Earths which was also scripted by Gardner Fox.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Two new shirts from the 2010 holidays

Here are two new shirts I got this past winter.

The gray Stroh's shirt is courtesy of Wal Mart. It was $5.00 and I have to represent my old school beer brands. The slate blue Knoxville shirt I was given by my wife. She received it as a promo item for a seminar that she attended. She says the shirt is too large for her and she knows how much I love t-shirts! The logo design leads me to believe that it is a product of Yee Haw Industries here in Knoxville but the label is just a generic t-shirt brand label.

30 t-shirts presented & 335 more shirts to count...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Paperback Friday: Lester Del Rey

Here are two old novels by Lester Del Rey that I found through Paperback Swap dot com. I haven't read these yet either.

Copyright 1956 by Lester Del Rey
First Printing: June 1956
Fifth Printing: February 1974
Ballantine Books, Inc. New York, N. Y.

To Frederick Pohl for insistence, persistence, assistance -- and existance!

Moon of Mutiny
Copyright 1961 by Lester Del Rey
First Printing, November 1969
Signet published by New American Library, Inc.
New York, New York

To Paul Waterman

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

2011 T-shirt Tuesday Premier

2010 was a good year for a few athletic teams of which I am a fan. The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in my life time, but nothing can compare to the, long over due, return of the Auburn University Tigers to the NCAA Football National Championship victory!

My family supplied me with these shirts as gifts during the Winter Holidays. There is the orange SEC Championship shirt, the gray National Championship game shirt and the blue National Championship shirt. But we all know, the SEC had an off year this past year, only ten of our twelve football teams went to bowl games! I say, War SEC and may the best team win the BcS Championship!

28 shirts done, 337 shirts to count, 1 Collegiate Football National Championship awarded

Monday, March 14, 2011

Flying Dog K - 9 Winter Ale

The K 9 Winter Ale pours with a nice head, now that I didn't tilt the glass while pouring the beer. I can smell those winter spices right away with a caramel malty smell dominating all clove and coriander flavors. The first sip is a very fruity, caramel taste and I immediately love it. If it were available, I would drink this bubbly raisin flavored malt year around. Flying Dog has created art in a bottle and I'm left searching for my next glass of this masterpiece.

5 out of 5 pints of love for the Flying Dog K 9 Winter Ale.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Paperback Friday: Chalker & de Camp

A Del Rey Book, Published by Ballantine Books
Copyright 1978; Jack L Chalker
First ed: November 1978
Sixth printing: dec 1984

A Del Rey Book, Published by Ballentine Books
Copyright 1939, Street & Smith Publications, Inc.
Copyright 1941, Henry Holt & Co. Inc.
Copyright 1949, L. Sprague de Camp
First Ballantine edition: August 1974
Third Printing: August 1979

Publishers note: This story, in a shorter version, appeared in the December, 1939 issue of Unknown.

A Del Rey Book, Published by Ballantine Books
Copyright 1951; Wings Publishing Co. Inc. (abridged)
Copyright 1953; L . Sprague de Camp (complete version)
First Ballantine Books edition: March 1977

I found these two de Camp books at McKay Used Books in Knoxville, Tn. I got The Quest for the Well of Souls from Paperback Swap. I read the Tritonian Ring right after acquiring the book but have yet to read the other two books. Lest Darkness Fall is one of the Sci-Fi books on the 501 Must Read Books list.

Monday, March 7, 2011

No beer this Monday.

There's no beer review this Monday as I have sinus congestion which is not helpful when tasting and smelling things. In fact, I had a Firewater IPA on Friday night and it didn't seem too hoppy? I certainly hope to write about a beer for you all next Monday.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Terrapin W-N-B Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout

When I was a younger beer drinker I preferred porter nearly exclusively to stout but our tastes are prone to change and I now love these microbrew dark beer styles. This one pours with slightest head and smells like coffee. The first sip is like coffee ice cream. The head quickly disappears but the carbonation is still hiding in this creamer liquid to tickle your (my) tongue. Each sip seems to sweeten with definite hints of lactobacilious malts.

There’s really no hops flavor that I can detect. This beer’s just full bodied roasted oatmeal malt. Near the end of the drink the Imperial alcohol throws an 8.1% abv curve ball to my head. The "W-N-B" in the title stands for "Why not beer" and the contents of this beer answer, "there's no reason why not." A very strong five out of five pint rating.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Paperback Friday: Jo Clayton & more

What’s the purpose of Paperback Friday? It’s a feature where I share with the readers of Fanatical Recycling the mass market Fantasy and Sci-Fi paperbacks which, literally, spill out of my bookshelves. My interests focus mainly on the more notorious Sci-Fi writers like Jack Vance, Brian Stableford, E. C. Tubb, Poul Anderson and Michael Moorcock. Of course, when shopping the various used book bins across America, I also pick up random mass market Fantasy novels. I feel that the cover art for these novels is worth preserving, as relics of these respective genres, this is the purpose of Paperback Friday.

Jo Clayton: Maeve
Copyright 1979 by Jo Clayton
First Printing: June 1979, Daw Books

Theodore Cogswell: The Third Eye
Copyright 1968; Theodore Cogswell
A Belmont Book – Sept. 1968
This is a collection of sixteen episodes published in various pulp ‘zines from 1952 to 1962.

Jarrod Comstock: These Lawless Worlds; #1 The Love Machine
Copyright 1984 by Jarrod Comstock
First Printing: April 1984, Pinnacle Books

I purchased all three of these at McKay Books in Knoxville, Tn. I’m currently reading These Lawless Worlds.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Barley Wine for Monday

I have not had a lot of experience with the Barley Wine style of ale and recently found a seven ounce bottle of Rogue’s Old Crustacean and brought it home. I did look up an explanation of the style in a few of my various beer books and learned that Barley Wine is to ale as Malt Liquor is, supposedly, to lager. (Malt Liquor is no longer a higher gravity version of lager as the name once implied.)

The Old Crustacean pours clear and coppery. It looks like southern sweet tea but smells of hops and nuts. The first sip is all Rogue, full of hoppy flavor. The sour, alcoholic taste reminds me of the citrus hops flavor of Stone Brewery’s Arrogant Bastard Ale. I can feel the alcohol, 11% ABV, after the first few sips.

This seven ounce sample of Barley Wine is just enough to reintroduce me to the style. Barley Wine is not an everyday beer style, rather an untraditional beer to be reserved for more traditional special occasions. I give Rogue Old Crustacean a five out of five pints as a drink to celebrate weddings, holidays, promotions, births or political over throw; Viva Egypt!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Atwater Brewery; Vanilla Java Porter

Vanilla Java Porter has all the characteristics of it’s namesake style. The color is so dark brown that it is almost black and the flavor is reminiscent of a Black Lager. V.J.P. doesn’t have the showy head of foam like many Porters but is does have a big, deep, nutty coffee flavor. Delicious!

This one was bottled in April of 2010 and hasn’t been sitting around long enough to lose the carbonation, but all three of the V.J.Ps that I’ve opened this winter where light on the bubbles. Atwater certainly has a great recipe for this Porter and the low carbonation is fitting. Each sip is a mouthful of java flavor. I don’t taste the vanilla which must be adding some sweetness to the powerful coffee flavor. Vanilla Java Porter is a real sipper and is a good bit more bitter than a Fort Collins Chocolate Stout, Guiness or Magic Hat Howl. On a scale of 1 to 5, I give Vanilla Java Porter 3 and a half pints.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Love List

limpery over at the blog Aldeboran has posted a list of his love interests. This isn't a list about potential mates but a list of what he loves about life and I'm inspired to follow his example.

Things I love about life:

I love my wife.
I love my family and friends; the Creels, the Morgans, the Gollihers, the Hamners & the Browns.
I love my stepsons, my granddaughters and their mom.
I love our cat.
I love my new friends in East Tennessee and all my old, and new, friends on Facebook.
I love freedom.
And, I love beer.

This is the short list version; I may add some more when they come to mind.

Oh, of course, I love reading.

Monday, January 17, 2011

We must have more beer on Monday!

On Christmas day I discovered a new beer available on the shelves at Walgreens Pharmacy. I don't usually buy beer from Walgreens but, it has been proven, that I'm a sucker for snazzy packaging and a bargain. This beer is Big Flats 1901 Lager. I should also mention that I have a weakness for old style American beers too. As much as I complain about Budweiser and refuse to have Coors Light in my home, small house beers like Big Flats remind me of my college days when cheap was a good indication that we'd have beer to drink.

The Big Flats label has a red ribon which lists it as a "Lager Beer." Well, a pils is a lager and this is definitely a pilsner style brew rather than a premium lager. Big Flats forms a nice head when poured into a pint glass but there's no head retention.. The flavor is the standard cereal grains and the sweet taste seems to increase with each sip. I'm beginning to see where the tradition of the frosted mug originated, the sweet taste seems to increase as the beer warms. I have had several of these beers over the past few weeks and I believe that Big Flats is best when consumed straight out of the can. There's no hops flavor to mention, just good ol' lawn mowin' beer.

Now, I have written about mediocre beers in three of my four beer reviews. Beginning next Monday I will limit the beer entries to quality brews, I promise. Next week’s beer will be a porter from an American micro-brewery.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter Wonderland at minimum wage.

The weather outside is frightful and all that good mess. It was beginning to snow as I was leaving my temp job recently and one of my co-workers commented, "let's hope it sticks." I'm thinking to myself, "we just worked two short weeks in a row so you people just make less than your requisite $265. a week but you wanna miss more work?" As the guy who made comment is standing out in the snow, waiting for his carpool to arrive?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year at minimum wage.

At my “regular” job I’m a Merchandising Representative. If the title sounds snazzy, I’m here to explain the deception of snazzy titles. Merchandising Rep. only means that I’m employed as a whippin’ boy for a third party vendor. Simply, my employer sells their product to a big box retailer and I travel to these stores to merchandise and, or represent the product. Too further complicate matters; I’m employed by a nursery, a vendor and grower of flowering plants and other landscape material.

Of course, flowers and landscape plants only sell during warm weather, so I’ve taken a job through a Temp. Service too supplement my income this winter. This job is at the distribution warehouse for a local media wholesaler. My co-workers are also employees of the Temp. Agency and they are nothing if not consistent. They are consistently entertaining, to me, and consistently criminally negligent. (More on criminal negligence later.)

At the warehouse we “sort” the media all day. This is much like sorting produce, putting apples with apples etc., but the media is sorted by the title. One day we were sorting some travel guides, the title was Barcelona. I made some comment like; “I would love to visit Barcelona,” to which my co-worker replied, “I’ve never heard of it.”

If I could only write as consistently as these people entertain me I'd have a real bang-up blog.