Thursday, January 19, 2017

One Day and a Wake Up

Finally! The Freedom Bird is coming!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Book Review - The Lost City of the Monkey God

Douglas Preston usually writes techno thrillers both alone or in partnership with Lincoln Child, but this is a true, modern day adventure story that combines technology and Indiana Jones in the search for a legendary city hidden in the mosquitia jungles of Honduras.

The book starts with the summary of previous searches for the "White City". Some of these "searches" were fake adventure writing. This brings us to the present day and the use of LIDAR to search for archaeological sites. There is a brief education on the technology and this leads into the logistics involved in getting a survey crew into the jungles.  The middle of the book covers the actual investigation, discovery and the difficulties of operating in the virgin jungle.

The discovery unleashes a rash of academic jealousy. The petty politics of academia make office politics look pale in comparison. But more than that, the explorers came down with a rare tropical disease and the story then moves to their treatment and how diseases devastated native populations when the old world explorers arrived.

If you like true adventure stories, this makes a great read

Friday, January 13, 2017

It's Rubber Ducky Day

For all you rubber ducky fans......

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

16 Days and a Wake Up

It's been a long time coming but the end is in sight. Endeavor to Persevere!

Head Count

The Kingdom beheaded 5 criminals in the final month of the year. Four were for murder and one was for drugs. This brings their 2016 total to 145 heads.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Movie Review - Manchester by the Sea

I haven't been to too many movies lately because Hollywood is putting out too much crap. Also, the local theater is a hang out for young thugs so it has to be a good movie for me to go see it.

 Manchester by the Sea is a small town in Massachusetts on the coast and a little north of Boston. It's not quite to Gloucester but along the way there. I'm familiar with the area as I went to college in Boston and used to scuba dive off of Cape Ann. Enough of the personal history.....

Let me be straight up about this movie - it is NOT a feel good movie. It is a movie about personal tragedy and dealing with loss. as the trailers will tell you, Casey Affleck's character is called back to his hometown to become the guardian of his 15 year old nephew. The movie uses a series of flashbacks to tell you how he came to leave home and what happened to his brother. Some may say that the acting is stilted but to me it seemed that the characters acted exactly the way I would expect real people to. Because of that, the pace is a little slow and much of the emotional interplay is done with facial expressions and body language than dialog.

While the area can be picturesque, the story takes place in winter when the scenery is bleak and trees are bare which adds a depressing note to an already sad story line. The  characters are realistic. They do not live in chrome and glass beachfront houses but in wood frame mid century cookie cutter houses furnished with second hand furniture and cheap paneling. They are clearly people stuck in the low middle class who have little hope of improving circumstances who have to deal with real problems.

I think selecting Affleck was an excellent casting choice. He fits the part well and got a Golden globe nomination for Best Actor. Michelle Williams also got a Best Supporting Actress nomination but she was only on screen for less than 10 minutes out of a 2 hour movie so I thinks that is a stretch.

If you can handle a depressing movie with a good story line and decent acting, you may want to catch this one.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Royal Lochnagar Selected Reserve

I received this bottle as a Christmas present in 2010 and planned to open it after a Republican victory in 2012. That never happened but now I get a second chance.

The Lochnagar distillery became "Royal" after a visit by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. It is located conveniently close to Balmoral in the Scottish Highlands. The distillery is owned by Diageo who also provides us with Johnnie Walker, J&B, Guiness and other fine beverages. The non-select grades of this whiskey used to be the main component of Vat 69 and they now make up the base for Johnnie Walker Blue.

This version comes in a wooden presentation box but was discontinued in 2012.

Color: Dark amber. (Coloring may have been added)
Nose: Grass, Hay, Flowery
Palate: Smooth and sweet
Finish: Lingering and warming

This whiskey looks like it might be peaty but it is not. It has a unique sweetness to it that is different for scotch. It is also a fairly expensive whiskey so if someone offers you a dram, do not turn it down.