Showing posts from April, 2021

100 Days In, How's Everyone Feeling?

You know what I like best so far: that I don't have to give a single solitary shit about what the President of the United States is doing at any given moment of the day. I don't have to wake up to huge, frothy spoonfuls of rage and screaming, ready to be forced upon me from every conceivable corner like a goose being fattened up to be foie gras. I noticed this weird energy almost immediately and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I assumed it was COVID: Biden took office in the depths of the pandemic and people (understandably) had other things on their mind. There might still be something to that, I suppose, but I really think that it's the fact that people aren't being screamed at 24/7/365. Cable news viewership has tanked. People might be remembering that there are other, more important things in life to deal with than "what dumb shit the President said today" and "what (usually turns out to be complete bullshit) scandal the media is raging abou

Serial Saturday #2.5: The Docks

Sarah followed Mendrika out of her apartment building. "I left so much behind." "Better to leave some stuff behind than your life," Mendrika said. He held up an arm and she stopped and waited as he whistled, sounding like a nightjar. From across the street, two figures emerged from the shadows. Sarah stiffened. "Relax," Mendrika told her. "They're friends." The two men were dressed in dark clothing. "This is Piet and Barau. They're going to watch our backs while we get you to the docks." "Which way are you we going?" Sarah asked. "The fastest way? Up to Toliara Avenue." Sarah shook her head. "That's too visible. Let me take you the back way." "We're kind of on a schedule here," Mendrika said. "That's why we don't have time to argue," Sarah replied. She started off in the opposite direction and after she heard some muttered curse words behind her, footsteps soon fo

The Rise and Fall of The Super League

It was Dennis Bergkamp.  More specifically, this goal: I was fourteen. The World Cup was in France. England and Argentina had played one of the best matches I think I've ever seen- going at it hammer and tongs for ninety minutes plus the thirty minutes of sudden death overtime. (Which they should absolutely bring back!) Argentina had a man sent off. England had David Beckham sent off and it all came down to penalties and it ended as it inevitably did: England lost on penalties. At the time, European soccer viewing opportunities in America were few and far between. You could random La Liga matches on ESPN mid-week, and if you had Fox Soccer you could get more matches. (I seem to remember watching a random match between Aston Villa and Middlesborough at some point in high school.) But the ability to actually sit in America and watch a decent majority of one team's games? Pretty much impossible for the casual viewer. Everyone in high school at the time loved Manchester United,

Squawk Box: Collateral/Young Wallander

The thing about Collateral that stands out is that it's four episodes and that's it. Less of a television series and more of a Limited Series, you don't worry about hanging plot threads or when the next season is coming out-- you get four episodes and that's it- and you know what? You're fine with that. You don't need more than that- because it allows the series to focus on the story and the mystery. Carey Mulligan stars as Kip Glaspie, who is assigned to investigate a murder of a pizza delivery man, Abdullah Asif who is gunned down on the street of a London suburb after delivering a pizza to Karen Mars (Billie Piper) the ex-wife of Shadow Cabinet Minister David Mars (John Simm.) Glaspie immediately starts questioning the motives of  Regal Pizza's manager, Laurie Stone (Hayley Squires) after she discovers that Abdullah wasn't meant to deliver the pizza and his colleague Mikey Gowans (Brian Vernel) was. The key witness to the shooting Linh Xuan Huy (Kae

Netflix & Chill #95: Godzilla vs. Kong

I have not seen Godzilla: King of the Monsters or Kong: Skull Island. I think the last Godzilla movie I actually sat through was the 1998 one featuring Jean Reno and Matthew Broderick and that god-awful Diddy track that sampled from 'Kashmir.' I think I did sit through Peter Jackson's version of King Kong, which wasn't bad either- but in general, outside of Pacific Rim- which to me was cool because Voltron, giant robots, etc- these movies are not my jam, generally. I've got nothing against them. But when the Eldest Kiddo is hearing about Godzilla Vs Kong at school and we just got rid of cable, we figured why not give HBO Max awhirl and give it a watch. So, we did. Five years after the last movie, Kong is living in a giant dome on Skull Island being monitored by an organization called Monarch (I'm assuming this ties back to prior movies, but having not seen them, it meant nothing to me- but I just went with it, because you can't worry too much about plot wi

Serial Saturday #2.4: The Ghost

" Dadatoa ? Uncle Mendrika?" He spread his arms wide, grinning... " Zanak'anabavy! " ~ Blink. She was one hundred fifty million miles away and five years younger and someone was pounding on their front door. Sarah had been huddled on the couch for days now, glued to news reports coming in from all the fronts. Her mother rushed from the kitchen and lunged for the controller. "Turn that down!" "But, Neny-" "Turn it down," she repeated. "Iza io?" "Mendrika," came the reply. "Open the damn door." Her mother flung the door open and her uncle came in, uniform torn and dirty, rifle slung across his shoulders. "Uncle Mendrika, your eye!" Sarah said, noticing the eyepatch across his right eye. Her mother blanched. "What happened?" "Start packing." "What?" "Start packing," he repeated. "But-" "The Consolidation Fleet sailed sooner than we thought.

Mixology Monday: Malort Highball

So, Malort. More specifically, Jeppson's Malort . (No, I don't know how to do the little umlaut thingies over the 'o' so just deal with it alright.) A future post will, of course, go into the full review of Jeppson's Malort- but since I've got a bottle of it now and it's Mixology Monday, I figured, why not have an adventure and see what it can do in cocktail form.  Shout out to r/cocktails for the inspirational post and since I had all of the ingredients for a Malort Highball, I decided to give it a whirl. Here's the recipe, by Paul McGee: 1 1/2 oz tequila 3/4 oz lime juice 3/4 oz orange juice 1/2 oz Jeppson's Malort 2 oz ginger beer Shake all ingredients except ginger beer and strain over fresh ice in a Collins glass. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with crystallized ginger. So I did it and this is what it looked like: As you can see, I did not garnish it with crystallized ginger, but I included everything else and you know what? I think this might b

Serial Saturday #2.3: The Apartment

Sarah adjusted her lemba as she walked back down the avenue toward her apartment. It had been a perfect night. A hiragasy troupe from Terra had been touring all the cities of the diaspora on Venus, and New Toliara had been their final stop. The merchants had stayed open late. Someone- she suspected Andry- had shipped in kegs of Three Horses Beer. Everyone had come to the zocalo. Moments like this were rare in the diaspora, but when they happened, you learned to savor little slices of home. The women in their brightly colored lembas , matched by the men in their vivid suits. The brassy horns and drums of the hiragasy dancing. People laughing, talking, children running everywhere. Sarah stopped and sat on a bench under her favorite baobab tree. She slipped off her shoes- new ones that had given her a nice set of blisters. The street cleaners would have already been through, so on an impulse, she decided to go barefoot the rest of the way. She liked the feel of the vibrations of the c

The Future of Writing

If we combine enough publishers we get publishing Voltron. That’s just science. — Michael Mammay (@MichaelMammay) March 30, 2021 On the face of it, who the hell am I, right? I'm just some random dude with a blog. There are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of random dudes with blogs out there. It's not like I know much of anything at all. I'm just a random dude with a blog who likes to grapple with big, deep ideas sometimes. Sometimes that's not always pretty, but sometimes it's fun and you know what? After participating in a fascinating discussion about this very issue in one of My Friendly Neighborhood Discord Servers, I figured it might be fun to break out some ideas and look at... The Future of Writing! [Impressive Fanfare, Theme Music, etc] Initially, when considering this question, my brain went immediately to two points. First, the internet- if it hasn't already (see: music, movies, television, etc) will disrupt a lot of the standard creative art

Boozehound Unfiltered: Glenmorangie Nectar d'Or

It's been a while since I've dipped into the Glenmorangie range. I know I've had the Quinta Ruban but I cannot for the life of me recall whether I've ever tasted the sweet goodness of the Nectar d'Or.  A quick check of the archives of this iteration of my blog reveals that I have not reviewed it since at least 2016. A quick check of my former (now retired) blog reveals that I have reviewed the Glenmorangie La Santa before. So this is shiny, it's new and man, it's delicious. In the world of single malts- I really do like Glenmorangie. Glenfiddich is widely available locally as well. I'll admit this: it's been a while, thanks to COVID since I've had the pleasure of hanging out with fans of single malt. But my experience is that a lot of them tend to love Islays. I love an Islay now and again- and while the beer metaphor may be inaccurate when it comes to the world of single malt- but if you don't want to sip on the whiskey equivalent of a high

Serial Saturday #2.2: The Power Converter

"How can you have the job you have and be afraid of heights?" "Shut up, Andry. What are you even doing here, anyway?" "This power converter feeds two of my largest berths and I want to see which cheap ass corporation made it so I can never do business with them ever again." The elevator rattled to a halt and Sarah clutched at the side to steady herself. "Why the hell do they put these things down here?" "That's easy," Andry said. "If we have to do major work, we can get maintenance rigs down here and if there's a fire, it's easier to contain." He extended a hand to her. "Come on." Sarah took a deep breath. He guided her out of the elevator to the railing of the gantry. They both reached down and clipped the carabiners attached to their safety harnesses onto the railing.  It had been a week since the walkway collapse and the power converter underneath Maromokotro was still causing problems. The anti-gravit

Bookshot #141: Extreme Ownership

You listen to enough podcasts these days and sooner or later you'll hear an interview with Jocko Willink on one of them. And if you hear an interview with the guy, you'll soon hear about how he gets up every day at 4 am to work out- and probably, you'll hear about his books, Extreme Ownership and The Dichotomy of Leadership and finally, I figured I'd heard enough about them that it was time to actually read at least one of them, so I snagged the audio version and gave it a whirl. Interspersed with accounts of both Willink and his co-author Leif Babin's time in Iraq serving with the Navy Seals, Extreme Ownership methodically breaks down the leadership lessons that both men developed through Seal Training and their time in Iraq. I don't have a lot of experience in the whole genre of 'self-improvement' books but this one stands out right away. First, there's a lot of real world experience- and I suppose since we're dealing with Navy Seals, we sho