Friday, April 30, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 21 -- The Second Book of The Chronicles

published by Zondervan

Started: April 27
Finished: April 30

Notes: Since I've just finished reading The First Book of The Chronicles, I'm going ahead and reading this book from the Bible.

Mini review: This one turned out to be a condensed version of the history of Israel and Judah from the death of King David to the exile and then return of the Israelites to Israel and Judah. All of this was pretty much already covered in The First and Second Books of the Kings.

Going Super over at Black Gate

At Black Gate this week, I take a look back at ye olde Marvel Super Heroes RPG, also commonly known as FASERIP.

Over at Rogue Blades

My Rogue Blades article this week suggests that while we talk a lot about fictional heroes, let us not forget the heroes in real life.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 20 -- The First Book of The Chronicles

published by Zondervan

Started: April 23
Finished: April 26

Notes: I've been spacing out my Bible readings so I won't get burned out, but now it's time to get back at it.

Mini review: Much of this was made up of lists. List of genealogy from Adam to David, lists of priests and their various duties and their families. But some of this was a condensed version of the life of King David.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Beer of the Week: Saranac Black Forest

Beer score: 6.9

Company: Saranac

ABV: 5.5
IBU: 20

This beer comes and goes in the market, so sometimes it can be difficult to find. This used to be a staple Saranac brew, but back in 2015 they dropped it, then brought it back. It's sort of seasonal, I suppose, but whenever you're lucky enough to find it, it's worth a try.

It's dark when you pour it, and it has a pale, foamy head. It's hardy going down and has a good, strong flavor that's not unlike burnt caramel, maybe toffee, but not sweet.

This is a solid beer for beer snobs who have moved just beyond the novice stage. I wouldn't call this an overly unique drink, sort of a typical dark beer, if there is such a thing, but still, it's a good beer.

Friday, April 23, 2021

At Rogue Blades this week

My Rogue Blades article this week is about being the hero you want to be by playing tabletop roleplaying games. Enjoy!

Books read in 2021: No. 19 -- Savage Worlds Adventure Edition Roleplaying Game

Started: April 18
Finished: April 23

Notes: During the last decade or so I've played one version or another of the Savage Worlds tabletop RPG on various occasions, always just using the rules as I picked them up from play. This wasn't too difficult because Savage Worlds is to some extent based upon the rules used for the Deadlands game, which I'm quite familiar with having played that game a lot back in the '90s. Still, as one of my regular gaming groups is planning a couple of upcoming campaigns using the Savage Worlds rules, I thought maybe it was time I actually read one of the rules books from beginning to end so I would know more of what I was doing.

Mini review: Reading this makes me look forward all the more to starting a campaign with this game in the coming days. Once players get used to this system, I think they'll find it provides faster player than a lot of RPGs out there. It's also a bit more deadly in combat, from a character's point of view, but also less so at the same time, meaning the fights themselves tend to be more realistic than in some systems but the healing options are generous. If that made sense.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Beer of the Week: Niksicko Pivo

Beer score: 5.9

Company: Trebjesa Brewery

ABV: 5.0

This one looks not unlike a typical American premium beer with a light golden color.

That being said, it has a pretty powerful bitter flavor, especially for a brew that looks and smells like Budweiser. There's too much carbonation for my taste, but this isn't an awful beer. It's what cheap American beers want to be.

Comes to us from Montenegro.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 18 -- The Devil in the White City

by Erik Larson

Started: April 9
Finished: April 18

Notes: I've been wanting to read this one for a while now since its a about the serial killer H.H. Holmes who was active in the U.S., specifically Chicago, in the 1890s. I had thought this was fiction, but it turns out it is not but is based upon various writings and forms of the time.

Mini review: For those seeking a true crime book with lots of information about H.H. Holmes, they will be disappointed. This book is mostly about the builders and the building of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, though perhaps a fourth of this book focuses on Holmes. If interested in Holmes, there are better, more informative books, such as Depraved by Harold Schechter. Also, though not difficult to read, this was a rather dense book in its style, making it not the most enjoyable of reads. Still, there was interesting information here, so I'm glad I picked up this one.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Monday, April 12, 2021

Beer of the Week: Hell's Belle

Beer score: 7.2

Company: Big Boss Brewing Co.

ABV: 7.0
IBU: 30

This one has a nice, light floral quality to it with a very pleasant scent that wafts up from the glass. There is just a hint of almost IPA-like bitterness on the tip of the tongue when drinking this, and there's also a hint of spice and sweetness. Very restrained in its fruitiness, but there are citrus undercurrents here.

Light enough you could drink several in one sitting, but does have a complex flavor that keeps you guessing.

Comes from the Big Boss Brewing Co. of Raleigh, North Carolina. The bottle says this is a "Belgain Style Ale," and that's right on the nose, almost like a white ale.

Friday, April 09, 2021

Talking 'Invincible' over at Rogue Blades

My Rogue Blades article this week does a little study of the animated super hero show Invincible.

Books read in 2021: No. 17 -- The Woman in the Coffin

Started: April 7
Finished: April 9

Notes: I was intrigued about this novella after the author penned an article over at Black Gate about his influences, including silent German expressionist films of the early 20th Century.

Mini review: Those with a fondness for occult tales set in the Victorian era will find much here to enjoy. Kidnappings, mesmerism, even murder abound here. This was a fun read and should not be overlooked.

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 16 -- Sleeping Beauties

Started: March 21
Finished: April 7

Notes: I just finished a collection of spooky stories which I did not find all that spooky, so I thought I'd turn to the king of horror and his youngest son to see if they can give me a fright or two.

Mini review: A damn fine novel, and not in need of shortening as some of Stephen King's works are. Somewhat long and expansive, but that was needed for this tale in which all the women in the world (or nearly all of them) fall asleep and can't be woken. Also, a cocoon of sorts wraps itself around the women, and if anyone tries to wake them, they go mad and attack those who attempted to wake them. Nearly all the story takes place in a small Appalachian town and a women's prison, and there is some horror here but ultimately this is fantasy. And there's a somewhat bittersweet ending, though it's not really a dark one. One of my better King reads of recent years.

Monday, April 05, 2021

Beer of the Week: Breckenridge Imperial Avalanche Amber Ale

Beer score: 6.2

Company: Breckenridge Brewery

ABV: 9.0

The good folks at Breckenridge Brewery don't produce this beer all the time, it being one of their former staples from decades in the past. Still, they occasionally brew a batch, though at times it has gone by slightly different names, and I was fortunate enough to try it again recently after not having it in more than 10 years.

This is something of a red ale, fairly sweet with little fizz. It goes down smooth and easy with a watery texture.

Worth tasting, and might even make a good regular drinking beer, especially with salty bar snacks like pretzels. Also, this would be an excellent brew for beginning beer snobs to cut their teeth on.