Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Climb to T-shrit Tuesday

During the late 90s one of my main forms of entertainment was going to see the band Widespread Panic. I managed to pick up a few t-shirts then too. The one on the right has lyrics from the song Climb to Safety. Notice J.B., Panic's front man, is wearing a baseball jersey in the image on the t-shirt. I can't recall which song the lyrics from the shirt on the left are from?

Here is the first t-shirt that Sally ever bought for me. Appropriately
it says, "Rock n Roll will never die."

That's 48 shirts displayed and 317 remaining.

Let's visit my old friend Jack Handey and his book Deeper Thoughts again;
"Weather they ever find life there or not, I think Jupiter should be considered and enemy planet."

I wonder what Jack thinks about Pluto defrocked status? Perhaps I can find his e-mail address and ask him.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Flying Dog, Road Dog Porter

Let's get back to sampling some beers; There are two breweries who's beers I constantly keep in stock, these are Flying Dog and Magic Hat. I'll should be writing about these two breweries for a few weeks to come. It's about time for me to restock my supply of Flying Dog drinks which I usually buy in the mixed twelve-pack, which is marketed as Stray Dogs. I still have a few stashed away which I hope to share here.

Today I'll share my thoughts on Flying Dog's Road Dog Porter. Road Dog, like many dark beers, has a sour smell. (Maybe my nose has a limited range of smell references?) It pours a dark brown body with a good foamy beige head. The first sip reveals the flavors of the dark malts that are already apparent to the eye. I also detect a taste very similar to prunes in the mix.

The malty texture and tastes remain throughout until the last few sips turn a bit more bitter. Flying Dog has produced a good, if not great, Porter which is a mouth full of chocolatey malt flavor. While not as creamy as a Fuller's Porter, Road Dog is more economical and a admirable example of an American Porter.

I'm givin' Road Dog Porter 4 out of 5 pints.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Two by Frederik Pohl

I found these a various used book sales and haven't gotten around to reading either one of them. The art work is certainly indicative of the type of genre fiction which I intend to archive with this project.

The Best of Frederik Pohl
Copyright 1975, Frederik Pohl
Introduction: A Variety of Excellence copyright 1975,
Lester del Rey
Book Club Edition: March, 1975
First Printing: June, 1975
Cover art by Dean Eillis
Ballantine Books, A Division of Random House, Inc.
201 East 50th St. New York, N. Y. 10022
Simultaneously published by Ballantine Books, Ltd.
Toronto, Canada

The Space Merchants, Frederik Pohl & C. M. Kornbluth
Copyright 1952, 1953, Rediffusion Television Ltd.
A condensed version of the novel appeared in Galaxy magazine
under the title Gravy Planet.
First Edition: May, 1953
Ninth Edition: August, 1976

Next up for Paperback Friday is Fletcher Pratt.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Let's get ready for T-shirt Tuesday!

Here we have a shirt I bought this past winter. Blue Mountain Pizza is in Weaverville, N.C. where some of my in-laws live. I have only eaten there a few times but I love the place. Plus, it was Christmas time and I was in the spirit of giving, things to me and my money to others.

Here's another shirt I bought last fall. We live about fifteen miles from the Bass Pro Shop in Sevierville, Tn. and we finally went to the place last fall. My conclusion, they didn't have a thing that I couldn't find at Wal Mart. But, I don't hunt or fish so I probably missed a few exclusive items. I'll blend in with the natives with my Bass Pro Shop shirt.
45 shirts displayed, 320 theoretical shirts remaining.

So, I was wrong about Jack Handey . He's not Al Frankin at all, he's a real guy that helped Steve Martin write jokes. Steve introduced Handey to Lorin Michaels and the rest is television and publishing history. Jack's wife is actually named Marta too.

"I think a good gift for the President would be a chocolate revolver. And since he's so busy, you'd probably have to run up to him real quick and hand it to him."

I am afraid to comment on this one, due to the impending election and all.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Margarita Monday: Sassy Ann's; a Fanatical Recycling Endorsement

No matter where ya live, there is always some place that claims they make "the best Margarita in town." I am of the opinion that this claim is usually falsified. It is an attempt to sell a Margarita or multiple Margaritas. The claim should usually read, "we sell a lot of Margaritas" to our regular clientele when they need a break from drinking Bud Light. Personally, I pull no punches in regard to Margaritas, I could probably make the best Margarita in town and I can tell you where to get the best Margarita in Knoxville.

But this post isn't about the best Margarita in town, it is about "the claim." Any hole-in-the-wall can make the claim, fortunately, with the help of my lovely assistant Sally, we have found a hole-in-the-wall that can actually backup "the claim." We have an old bar in Knoxville named Sassy Ann's which I've heard of since I moved in to town and finally visited for the first time last month.

Sally had visited Sassy Ann's a few years ago, before I moved to Knoxville, but we had not been there together. As we were out this past Saturday celebrating her birthday we chose to include a visit to Sassy Ann's in the festivities. Sassy Ann's makes the Margarita claim and we wanted to submit them to our Margarita snob test.

First, I would like to point out what makes Sassy Ann's unique. I can find very little about the history of Sassy Ann's on the entree-net but I would guess that it has been opened nearly 15 years, if not longer. So, this doesn't make it an old, established business but it is in a Victorian era house which is, understandably impressive.

Sassy Ann's is not elaborately decorated by an means, nearly every surface is covered with the simplicity of wood-grain. I can't imagine that anyone would ever describe the interior of Sassy Ann's as "nice." I can't imagine that anyone would describe the exterior as nice either but every bar tends to be run down. Bars always have dust in the corners, there's always a leaky pipe somewhere and some loose or broken ceiling tiles. This is part of the appeal of bars, that they have the "lived in" look, and what better place to feel like home than an old home. Sassy Ann's has character and a welcoming atmosphere. Even before I ever visited the place I knew, from my many friends who had told me of Sassy Ann's, that it would be a relaxed, friendly and enjoyable watering hole, greatly worth visiting...

And they don't make a bad Margarita either. The Margaritas at Sassy Ann's come in a pint glass. I didn't watch the bartender make our first round of drinks and my first impression was that it was sour. But it was a good sour, fruit juice sour not sweet n sour mix sour. Sweet n Sour mix is a sure road to a bad Margarita, it's so easy to attempt to make Margaritas with the mix and no fruit juice. If you don't have, at least, lemon juice in a Margarita you're not doing it right. These Margaritas had a good sweet and sour taste combination from fruit juice which earns Sassy Ann's the right to "the claim." Then I watched the bartender as he made Margaritas and learned that they use no Sweet n Sour mix but use orange juice as the base.

The Margarita blend at Sassy Ann's is very simple. A simple blend that earns them right to the claim, one of the, Best Margaritas in Knoxville. If your ever in Knoxville be sure to visit Sassy Ann's. In fact, contact me and I'll be glad to introduce you personally. If you're a Knoxville resident and have never been to Sassy Ann's, you need to put it on your "Things to do in 2012" list.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Paperback Friday: Miller & Norton

Here are the book covers that I currently have scanned for Walter Miller and Andre Norton.

The View from the Stars
Copyright 1964 by Walter M. Miller Jr.
First Ballantine Printing: January 1965
Ballantine Books, Inc. , 101 Fifth Ave. New York, N. Y. 10003
The View from the Stars is a collection of Mr. Millers short stories which first appeared in the pulps form 1952 to 1954. I read this one last year. These tales certainly testify to the talent of a writer who would win the Hugo Award for for his novel Canticle for Leibowitz which I also have but have not read.

A Canticle For Liebowitz
Copyright 1959, Walter M. Miller Jr.
Parts of this book appeared in a different for in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, copyright 1955, 1956, Fantasy House, Inc.
J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia & New York
Book Club Edition

"a dedication is only
a scratch where it itches --
for Anne, then
in whose bosom Rachel lies
guiding my clumsy song
and giggling between the lines
-- with blessings, Lass

Quag Keep by Andre Norton
Copyright 1979, Andre Norton
A DAW Book by arrangement with Antheneum Publications.
A Margaret K. McElderry Book.
First DAW printing, September 1979.

I have read Quag Keep twice. Once during the '80s, as a school boy, after reading a review of the book in Dragon magazine. Quag Keep is, of course, set in Greyhawk and was the first novel I ever read where the characters are rpg players who become their game characters. I read the book again within recent years, it is a light fun read, not unlike simple joy of a R. E. Howard novel.

The Time Traders by Andre Norton
Publication Date: 1958
Publisher: Ace

Ms. Norton's novel The Time Traders is one of the 501 Must Read Books and I found it through Paperback Swap. (Canticle for Leibowitz is also a 501 Must Read Book.) The Time Traders is available through Google Books, Project Gutenberg and I reviewed it at The Polyhedral Dicebag and compared it to Howard as well.

Next up on Paperback Friday will be Frederik Pohl.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More of what Santa brought me

Of course I got more shirts for Christmas and then bought one while at Myrtle Beach. I got the Justice League, Batman and Star Wars comic book shirts for Christmas and purchased the Tilted Kilt shirt in Myrtle Beach. These shirts, and the blogs, seem to make me an official middle aged fanboy. (almost middle aged) A fanboy of comics, sci-fi and beer.

These four make 42 shirts displayed with 323 remaining to reach the proposed target of 365. Not that I intend to own 365 shirts, I had only speculated that I own that many. Hopefully we will all know how many shirts I actually own by the end of this year.

How about some more obscure humor by Jack Handey from his book Deeper Thoughts, the sequel to Deep Thoughts. "It's easy to sit there and say you'd like to have more money. And I guess that's what I like about it. It's easy. Just sitting there, rocking back and forth, waiting for that money."

I have long suspected that Jack Handey is a pen name for Al Frankin. I'm gonna research the theory right away.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Fuller's London Porter

This past month I had the pleasure of consuming some Fuller’s London Porter. Fuller’s London Pride is among the best selling ales in England and, by my analysis, their Porter is also World Class. The pour produces a bubbly beige head and a beautiful dark chocolate colored body of liquid. The smell is a bit vinous, like a malt vinegar.

The first sip betrays my nose. The dominant flavors are chocolate malts with no hint of vinegary sourness. Any hops are in recession too in this full, unsweet chocolate body. As the liquid warms the chocolate sweetness becomes more pronounced and is almost syrupy at the finish.

I have long preferred Porters to Stouts and Fuller’s London Porter is a great one to prefer.

Grade: 4.9 out of 5 pints

Here's a funny photo I found while searching for London Porter images.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cheesy Bread, Cheesy Brand

Dear Domino's Pizza,

If Cheesy Bread is the best product you have to lead your marketing chamaign, you might want to rethink you whole business model. But if your goal is to be the McDonald's Corp of the pizza service industry than I think your current campaign is on track.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year's Resolution - of sorts

If I here that dang Adele C D one more time it's gonna become a Frisbee.