Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Books read in 2023: No. 3 -- The Book of Hosea

published by Zondervan

Started: Jan. 30
Finished: Jan. 31

Notes: It's time to get back to some Bible reading. I'm near the end of the Old Testament now, entering the shorter works of the later prophets.

Mini review: Most of this is the prophet Hosea and God calling upon the Israelites to return to God or to face awful consequences, which seems a common thread for most of the prophets.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Beer of the Week: Deep River Chocolate Stout Nitro

Beer score: 7.7

Company: Deep River Brewing

What is a "nitro" beer? It's a beer than contains more nitrogen gas and less carbon dioxide, at least compared to most beers. Usually these beers are nitrogenated (if that's a word) before being put in a keg or bottle or whatever.

This one ... is quite awesome. It came with a moderate foamy head that was smooth, smooth, smooth. It gave off scents of coffee, dark chocolate and burnt maple.

One of my criteria for a good stout is that you can hold it up to the light in a clear glass and still not see the light. You couldn't see the light here, so for me that's a winner. The color itself is that cool dark chocolate not unfamiliar to many an excellent stout.

The taste is much like the smell, burnt maple, coffee, dark chocolate. And the taste is fairly light, not overpowering. However, this isn't an extremely strong or thick stout, reminding me in texture more of a porter. One of the smoothest stouts I've tried over the years.

All that being said, normally I prefer a stout at room temperature, but this one I preferred chilled. When I first got this beer, it was quite cold, and I fell in love with it. However, as this beer sat on my table and warmed, the flavors seemed to become a bit dull for me. But maybe I'll just have to try this one again. Whatever the case, this beer would have scored higher for me if it had remained as good as it had when it was still cold.

Books read in 2023: No. 2 -- The Bahá’í Faith: The Emerging Global Religion

by William S. Hatcher and J. Douglas Martin

Started: January 12
Finshed: January 30

Notes: One of my girlfriend's family members is a believer of the Bahá’í faith, and I know only some basics of that belief system. Curious to know more, I asked and this family member suggested this book as a basic introduction, and he let me borrow it.

Mini review: As best as I can tell, here are a list of the basic Bahá’í beliefs:

1.) The oneness of humanity.
2.) The unity of all religions, with most major religions seen as a succession of stages leading up to the Bahá’í faith.
3.) Harmony between science and religion.
4.) Equality between all races and sexes.
5.) The eventual establishment of a world-wide order, sort of a religious government.

There's more to it than that, but those seem to be the basics as I understand them. There is a lot to be commended here, much which I wish other faiths would learn, but I also see a lot to be concerned about. At its heart, I find this basically liberal social engineering with trappings of spirituality, and this ignores the various dangers of such.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Beer of the Week: Double Diamond

Beer score: 6.2

Company: Carlsberg
ABV: 2.8

This is a very hard-to-find beer nowadays. It's not been available in bottle or can in nearly 20 years, but it does still exist on tap in a very few places. Fortunately for me, not only did I get to drink it in the bottle back in the '90s, but a friend recently offered me some from a keg.

When you pour it into a glass, it forms a huge, foamy head. The beer itself is kind of a golden citrus color in the glass. The smell is slightly sweet, perhaps with hints of ruit.

On the tongue it has a little kick and a fair amount of carbonation. The taste is sweet with a hint of hops bitterness along with some citrus and caramel qualities.

A nice, clean beer but nothing extraordinary. That doesn't mean it's a bad beer ... not at all. I'd drink another.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Beer of the Week Blast from the Past: Oxford Class Amber Ale

Beer score: 6.2

The Oxford Brewing Company brewed this when I taste it back in the '90s, but unfortunately that brewer is not longer with us. Still, I've a few notes about it.

Had a fruity flavor but only a little sweetness. The taste didn't stay around long. Had a complicated taste/texture that true beer snobs would appreciate.

A decent beer. Better than average, but not great.

Too bad it's no longer with us.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Books read in 2022: No. 35, Books read in 2023: No. 1 -- No Name

by Wilkie Collins

Started: Nov. 15, 2022
Finished: January 12, 2023

Notes: I kicked off my fiction reading in 2022 by trying my first novel from this 19th-Century author, and I generally enjoyed the book, so I thought I'd wind down the year and start the next one by reading another from him.

Mini review: That was a long read, the longest I've had in years, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Collins might be my favorite of the Victorian authors of whom I've read. Here a pair of sisters lose their inheritance after the deaths of their parents, and one sister settles into a life of trying to recover that inheritance by any means possible, up to conning people and scandal. This is not an action novel, but very much in the vein of later soap operas to no small extent, but the characters are all interesting, the plot moves along fairly quickly, and the ending is as perfect an ending for a novel as I've experienced. I'm sure I'll be reading Wilkie Collins again.

Monday, January 09, 2023

Beer of the Week: Schneider Weisse Hefe-weizenbier

Beer score: 4.2

Company: Schneider Weisse
ABV: 5.4
IBU: 14

The bottle of this German beer say it is the "original" hefe-weizen, but I thought that was a shame because I'd had better.

Pours a somewhat cloudy orange-amber color while giving off scents of slightly sweet, fruit and bread. Formed a nice lacy head in the glass.

There are definitely strong flavors of bread and citrus and banana in tasting this one. It's extremely sweet with a little carbonation.

Honestly, it sounds better than it really is. It's not an awful beer, but as I said above, I've had better. I wouldn't want to drink this on a regular basis, but it's something different to try.

Saturday, January 07, 2023

My second graphic novel

I had fun creating my first graphic novel, Murder Giraffes, with Comic Life 3 software and art generated by Midjourney AI, so I decided to do a sequel, Tiger World. Both are available in print and in e-book form.

Monday, January 02, 2023

Beer of the Week Blast from the Past: Fort Collins Brewery Chocolate Stout

Beer score: 8.3

Drat it! Here's another great beer that's no longer with us, as the brewer went out of business a few years back.

This stuff looked like dark maple syrup as I poured it into a glass, and it even had a bit of a burnt syrup smell to it. The only way I could see light through this beer in a clear glass was by holding it up directly next to a bright light ... otherwise, this drink was dark, dark, dark.

Quite smooth on the tongue with a nice, frothy head. Had a cool, roasted bitterness that stout fans would love. There were hints of chocolate and coffee in the flavors.

Truly an excellent stout.