Posted in Food & Drink Mine

New Belgium Abbey Ale

The New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado is best known for their Fat Tire amber. But New Belgium makes a lot of beer as one of the first generation of commercially distributed American craft breweries, going all the way back to 1991; it’s now the third largest craft brewery in the United States. Their second most recognized beer was the second one released; New Belgium Abbey Ale. New Belgium Abbey Ale is a Belgian dubbel (that’s double in English) style beer. It’s called an “Abbey” beer because Abbey Ale’s creation was inspired by the beers brewed at Trappist monasteries…

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Posted in Books Mine

Jólabókaflóð: An Icelandic Christmas Tradition

Iceland is not a huge country, but it has a millennia long rich literary history, beginning with the Old Norse Sagas. Everybody in Iceland reads, and everyone buys books, and just about half of the people of Iceland have written (and often self-published) books. Every year, there’s a traditions of Jólabókaflóð, or “Yule Book Flood,” a reference to the national Icelandic practice of giving books to friends and family, who then spend Christmas Eve staying up and reading their new books. Jólabókaflóð started because of World War II; import tariffs and currency problems, among other difficulties, made gift-giving difficult. But…

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Posted in Mine

SOPA and PIPA: It Isn’t Over

First, we want to link to a video from Cory Doctorow, a writer, and someone whose career and income are tied to intellectual property rights, and the ‘net: This isn’t a fight against government, is the thing. It’s a fight against organizations like the MPAA and the RIAA, who wrote the legislation in the first place: Reeling from a broad Internet backlash, the Motion Picture Associaton of America has conceded that DNS filtering will not be included in the anti-piracy bills now making their way through Congress. “DNS filtering is really off the table,” said Paul Brigner, the MPAA’s tech…

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Posted in Mine There

Grilled Fresh Pacific Northwest Salmon

I admit that I’m really loving easy access to fresh, locally caught, salmon. At this time of year in particular, when it’s simple to buy a fillet or a couple of salmon steaks, and take them and a bottle of wine to a local park for grilling, it’s pretty hard not to love salmon. For those of you interesting in grilling your own fresh salmon in a simple, but delicious fashion, go read MacAllister Stone on do-it-yourself salmon grilling: When I first moved to the Pacific Northwest, I could not eat enough salmon to suit me, and at the time,…

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Whedon, Rimbaud, and Cicero: Introduction to the Angel Rewatch

The central question informing the character of Angel is asked during season 3, first in the episode “Amends.” Angel’s been having really bad dreams. Except they’re also teh sexy and over-the-top with all the blood and pain and dying and the—wait for it—decadence of Angel’s sordid past. So a suicidal and tormented Angel asks Buffy (BtVS, season three, “Amends”), “Am I a thing worth saving, huh? Am I a righteous man? You can read MacAllister’s response in this introduction to a series of re-watching Joss Whedon’s Angel.

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Posted in Mine There

Julie and Julia: A Meditation on Film, Julia Child, and Cooking Blogs

Even though the film Julie and Julia came out in 2009, I’ve only just now seen it. Written and directed by Nora Ephron, and based in part on the blog Julie Powell started in 2002 at Salon. I liked Julie and Julia very much. Meryl Streep is fabulous, (as usual), so much so that now I have to double-check to make sure I’m looking at images and video of the real Julia. Stanley Tucci is wonderful as Child’s spouse Paul Child. I wish there had been less of Julie the cooking-blogger (though she is well-played by Amy Adams) and more…

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Posted in Food & Drink Mine

Kona Brewing Pipeline Porter

You know those seasonal beers? The ones released for just a few months, then retired? I’ve lost my heart to one—Kona Brewing Company’s Pipeline Porter. Pipeline Porter was publicly released last September, but I, for my sins, only discovered it last week, and it’s going to be “retired” in March. It’s a typical Porter, dark, rich, with a barely discernable hint of hops (made with Warrior, Millenium, Horizon and Perle hops). Pipeline Porter’s malts include Pale, Carapils, Victory, Caramel 80, Extra Special, Chocolate Malt, Dark Chocolate Malt, and Roasted Barley. The alcohol level is a reasonable 5.4%. Pipeline Porter’s main claim…

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