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.