Saturday, June 12, 2010

Three Hearts and Three Lions

I am suddenly having a hankering to have another read of Poul Anderson's classic, Three Hearts and Three Lions.  Though Anderson was most well known for his science fiction, he demonstrated he was also an able fantasy writer as well.  Though the book was written five decades ago, it strikes me as fresh and poignant today as it was then.  Some topics on the human condition do not change.  Besides the interesting influence it had on the RPG hobby and other fantasy writers, it is just a darn fine read.  Around 250 pages, accessible and easy to read but with a hidden depth of character it is long a favorite of mine.  

What say ye in the RPG hobby?  Does this story of the Dane and the Swan May resonate for you?  How many of you old timers have read this before, and how has it influence you or your game?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A dead guy, a black sheep on its back, and who put the apple in the beer?

I got a variety of beers for my birthday a while back, I took some notes but did not get to posting them all.  Doing some catch up.

First up, my favorite beer from this very fine brewery.  If you like real beer, I have no doubt you will enjoy a Dead Guy from Rogue.  Coppery in color, slightly cloudy, medium head, well balanced, right amount of carbonation for the recipe, lightly spicy, a little honey sweet, and very drinkable.  Not the kind you would crave on a sweltering day but a fine brew with food or by itself.  Highly recommend by me.  Its availability in the eastern US is increasing, and not all that unusual to see it in bottles in specialty pubs or even on tap.

Why would you name an ale after a black sheep that cannot right itself?  Sounds suspicious in a 'I am afraid of the real answer' kind of way.  Regardless, Riggwelter was a nice surprise.  A very complex ale with loads of subtle flavors.  Among them I found chocolate and coffee, which in my experience are usually in stouts and not ales.  You are likely not to have more than two at a sitting, or maybe even only the one.  I recommend this not with food, but on its own when you are in the mood to enjoy the myriad of flavors with a drinking partner doing the same.  Move on to another brew after you are done to clean the palate.

The last of the trio is another Rogue brew, Kells, an Irish Style Lager.  The beer is golden in color, crisp and mild in flavor.  The kicker, and I do mean finish kicker, is the crisp apple after taste that only lasts a moment on the tongue.  Given the price of Rogue ales on this side of the country, I will not be having this often but I recommend you give it a try on the novelty alone.  If the brew was half the price, well... I would be drinking much more of this over the summer.

That is all for now, no disappointments here.  Cheers!
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