Monday, November 29, 2021

Beer of the Week: Straub Lager

Beer score: 5.4

Company: Straub Brewery

ABV: 4.1
IBU: 8

Pours a light, golden color from bottle to glass, followed by scents of bread and a very light sweetness.

Goes down extremely smooth, almost too smooth. However, there's not a lot of flavor. Oh, there are hints of grain and maybe corn in the taste, but not much. It doesn't taste bad, but honestly, there's not much taste at all.

People who like water will enjoy this beer. That sounds flippant, and this isn't an awful beer, but it's also not a fantastic beer. Would it quench your thirst? Absolutely. Will it hit the spot if you're in the mood for something super light? You bet. But if you're wanting something with a lot of flavor and textures, this isn't the beer for you.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Beer of the Week: Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss

Beer score: 5.7

Company: Leinenkugel

ABV: 4.9
IBU: 13.9

Not Leinenkugel's best beer, but still a pretty decent drink.

The smell has a corn texture to it with the barest hints of honey and maybe lemon.

Pours like liquid gold with a touch of orange in the color. In the drinking, this one has plenty of sweetness and some banana flavor, with a little fizz.

A good thirst quencher. Those who don't like sweet beers might want to stay away from this one. Though I didn't find this beer overly sweet, I know others who have.

A good wheat beer that's light enough for pounding down a few. I've also found this one goes well with sea food.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 42 -- Fizban's Treasury of Dragons

from Wizards of the Coast

Started: Nov. 17
Finished: Nov. 19

Notes: This D&D books is allegedly full of information and rules about all things pertaining to dragons, including magic items, character-creation rules, monsters, and more. I prefer this type of supplement over adventuring modules, so I'm expecting to enjoy this.

Mini review: This one proved quite interesting and could be a boon to players, but especially to Dungeon Masters. There are a few rules here for dragon-related character creation and magic items and spells, but a lot of this is a collection of dragon-related monsters along with information about lairs. A DM wanting to run a high-level game involving dragons will want to search out this book.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 41 -- The Wild Beyond The Witchlight

from Wizards of the Coast

Started: Nov. 17
Finished: Nov. 17

Notes: This is a newer adventure module for Dungeons & Dragons, the focus here being on the Feywild, the land of the fairies in the D&D universe. I mainly picked this up for a few new character creation rules and the like, but I'll see what else it has to offer.

Mini review: Being an adventure module, there's not much here to add to the rules, but there is one long, somewhat complex adventure for beginning characters who will then level up to about 8th level by the end of this adventure. That being said, there are a few new rules, and there are some interesting takes on portraying carnivals and fairs within a D&D world. Not a necessary book for D&D players and Dungeon Masters, but one that could be of interest to those who love all things having to do with the Fae.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 40 -- How NOT to Write Female Characters

by Lucy V Hay

Started: Nov. 16
Finished: Nov. 16

Notes: I don't necessarily think I have any problems with writing female characters, but being male myself it's not impossible I have some blind spots, maybe even many blind spots. Either way, I thought this book might open my eyes and perhaps give me some things to think about. Who knows? I might learn something new.

Mini review: A brief read, but one that offered lots of ideas without being preachy. I'm not sure I'm exactly doing anything wrong with the female characters in my writing, but this book gave me some things to think about for the future.

Books read in 2021: No. 39 -- How to Market a Book: Overperform in a Crowded Market

by Ricardo Fayet

Started: Nov. 5
Finished: Nov. 16

Notes: What drew me to this particular e-book was that it seems quite comprehensive. Most book marketing materials I read tend to focus on one area or even one site, but this one seems rather expansive. So I thought I'd give it a go to see what I learn.

Mini review: Thinking about marketing doesn't exactly excite me, but the writing style here is quite solid and the flow moved fast enough to keep me from becoming too bored. All in all, I knew much of what was presented here, but there was also quite a bit new to me, especially the sections on how to market to sites other than Amazon. I won't say this book will show all the so-called secrets to book marketing, but this book can open one's eyes to a lot of possibilities, especially for beginning authors.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Beer of the Week Blast from the Past: Breckenridge Brewery Mountain Wheat

Beer score: 5.0

Here's another beer that's no longer with us, but fortunately I've some old notes about it that I've saved.

Looked like pale gold in the glass. This one was so light it almost seemed tasteless at first, but it went down easy enough and had an interesting light, golden texture that a real beer snob could enjoy. And that flavoring lingered for a while, too.

Not a great beer, but not a bad one, either.

Monday, November 08, 2021

Beer of the Week: Carling Original Lager

Beer score: 3.4

Company: Carling

ABV: 4.0

Unfortunately, this is a weak, American-massed-produced-tasting lager that is also thin without much flavor. I've been told this beer is better from the tap. It would almost have to be. This one is evidence the British can indeed make not-so-great beer.

At least it has a faint beer-like smell to it, and it appears lightly gold in a clear glass. But the flavor is barely there. Watery, so I suppose at least it could quench one's thirst.

Thursday, November 04, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 38 -- The Book of Job

published by Zondervan

Started: Nov. 2
Finished: Nov. 4

Notes: I have to say, I'm excited about this one. Job is one of the most interesting books of the Bible, and one of the more complex. I've read it in whole or in part numerous times over the years, and always take away something new from it. Also, many Biblical scholars believe it to be the oldest book of the Bible, written even before the works of Moses, and I find that intriguing.

Mini review: As I said, I always see something new when I read this book. This time, though I recognize God's words to Job can seem harsh (and God never really answers Job's questions), I have to wonder if God was speaking like a scolding parent to a child, that God spoke harshly in order to warn Job of the dangers of questioning God. Maybe, maybe not, but that's what came to my mind this time.

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 37 -- The Case for a Creator

Started: Oct. 18
Finished: Nov. 2

Notes: I've read a couple of other Strobel books and I have to say he's not really won me over, but I'm giving him at least one more chance. I enjoy studying Christian apologetics, and Strobel is a decent enough writer, but I find much of his writing covered better by other authors, and I always feel Strobel leaves out important and often obvious questions which need answering.

Mini review: I have to admit, this is probably my favorite of Strobel's works that I've read. I'm probably drawn more to this book because much of it is based upon science and scientific reasoning. That being said, I'm not necessarily convinced the argument that science hasn't discovered something or figured out something necessarily means an intelligent designer is the ultimate cause. Still, there's much here to consider, and this book was good at pointing out areas in which modern science still does not have answers.

Monday, November 01, 2021

Beer of the Week: Salty Turtle Oktoberfest

Beer score: 7.2

Company: Salty Turtle Beer Company

ABV: 5.5

Recently I was in the Outer Banks area of North Carolina and had the pleasure of stopping in at a beer and wine bar known as The Growler. There I had the good fortune to try this beer.

As readers of this blog might know, I'm not usually a big fan of seasonal or holiday brews, but this one might change my mind. Truly, it was one of the best autumn beers I've tried in years.

I feared this one might be overly sweet, but truly it had little sweet in it, though there was a strong, cool bitterness that was yet not overpowering. Quite smooth and a quality thirst quencher. There were the barest hints of blonde here, which probably is what helped smooth things out, plus a touch of citrus.

Yeah, I'd drink this one again.