Monday, November 28, 2022

Beer of the Week Blast from the Past: Krakus Beer

Beer score: 5.1

It's another beer that's no longer with us. This one was brewed by the Zywiec Brewery of Poland.

The taste was weak at first, but it grew the more you drank. Was not an exceptional beer, but not an awful one. Fairly smooth and had just a touch of carbonation at first, but it grew to the point of slightly annoying. The taste was grainy with some sweetness.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Beer of the Week: Blatz Beer

Beer score: 2.4

Company: Hand Family Companies
ABV: 4.9

Been around forever. Pours a light golden color like an old-school premium beer. Smells a little sweet, perhaps a little fruity. However, that sweetness soon turns watery and week. Too much fizz, but fairly easy to swallow.

Nothing to write home about, but by far not the worst of the cheap beers on the market. An old favorite for some, bringing back nostalgia of the past. Not always easy to find, though it depends on where you live.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Books read in 2022: No. 34 -- The Book of Daniel

published by Zondervan

Started: Nov. 12
Finished: Nov. 15

Notes: I've read much of this book of the Bible over the years, but I don't believe I've ever read the entire thing from front to back. So here goes with this prophetic work.

Mini review: Daniel interprets dreams for kings, survives being tossed into a den of lions, and foretells events of the near future ("near" for him or the Jewish people at the time, about 200 B.C.). Interesting material, but not overly expansive upon Judaism or Christianity.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Beer of the Week: Jenlain Blonde

Beer score: 5.3

Company: Brasserie Duyck
ABV: 6.8
IBU: 25

I'd had high hopes for this one, and though it's not an awful beer, it did not live up to my expectations.

Pours quite clear and golden into the glass. Has a nice foamy head of size. Smells of rice and corn with perhaps a little honey.

The taste is not as sweet as other beers from Jenlain, but there's still some sweetness. Again a touch of honey with more of a cheap beer taste than I like, keeping those rice and corn sensations going.

This is drinkable, but nothing you'd want to drink regular.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Books read in 2022: No. 33 -- Ghostly Tales & Legends Along the Grand Strand of South Carolina

by Blanche W. Floyd

Started: Nov. 9
Finished: Nov. 12

Notes: Whenever I travel, I like to visit a local bookstore and pick up a book by a local author. In this case, I grabbed this one while visiting the Myrtle Beach area in South Carolina recently. Plus, it's not been that long since the Halloween season and I didn't read enough spooky material for that time of year.

Mini review: This one really wasn't all that spooky, but it did have some basic but interesting historical information about the region. There were some ghostly tales here, but the author seemed to brush most of them off in one form or another.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Books read in 2022: No. 32 -- Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City

by K. J. Parker

Started: Oct 31
Finished: Nov. 8

Notes: I've heard good things about this series, so I thought I'd give it and its author a try.

Mini review: What a fun read! I don't normally think of fantasy as "breezy" literature, but this was about as close as I've experienced. An engineer who happens to be a colonel in an imperial army finds himself the highest ranking person in a besieged city and he has to find ways to keep the city from being overrun. Sounds serious, and it is, but it's also loads of fun with humor that isn't over the top. I'll have to give this author another read.

Monday, November 07, 2022

Beer of the Week: Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter

Beer score: 6.2

Company: Sea Dog Brewing Co.
ABV: 5.6

This one pours a dark reddish color while giving off aromas of hazelnut and coffee, perhaps with a little sweetness.

Has a very strong coffee and hazelnut taste with just a tad bit of maple included. Tastes like burnt caramel popcorn to me. Frothy and very thick for a porter, almost stout level.

Too bitter, in my opinion, and would score higher if the bitterness were a little more under control.

Definitely not a beer for beginning drinkers.

Saturday, November 05, 2022

Experimenting with the future today

Like no small number of people online of late, I've been experimenting with artwork that's created by Artificial Intelligence. For the most part I've been making use of the Midjourney engine over at their Discord page.

Let me say right up front, I more than realize the controversy surrounding AI-crafted art. I understand why no few artists and other creative types are against this artwork. Really, I get it. As a writer and designer, technology has been working to replace me in one form or another for the last 30 years. Hell, I used to be a newspaper journalist, and that industry is all but dead nowadays.

I'm sorry, but the ship has sailed. The cat is out of the bag. And there is no going back.

Instead of railing against it, perhaps it's time to start trying to find ways to make use of AI within the art communities. Because the possibilities could be fascinating, even endless.

For myself, I see how art from AI could be used for book covers. I've even toyed with the idea of writing a graphic novel utilizing AI art.

Also, as I've pointed out elsewhere, health issues these last few years have put a damper on my writing abilities. Yet with AI art used for a graphic novel, I could potentially keep making stories while the AI would handle much of the heavy load of creation.

Anyway, whether like me you find the possibilities of AI art interesting or you hate it and want it destroyed, below are a handful of examples of the AI art I've recently come up with. (PS: You can click on the images to see larger versions with more detail.)