Category Archives: Review

Extant

Smart, sexy, intriguing sci-fi. Starring Halle Berry. Deep and multi-threaded. Well written and well acted.

I’m watching it via AmazonPrime. You should watch it any way you can.

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt3155320/

On second thought don’t start watching it. You won’t be able to stop … and sleep will be a thing of the past.*

 

 

* if you have the ability to binge-watch it as I am doing via AmazonPrime.

Death in Paradise

My newest diversion … watching Death in Paradise on NETFLIX. British TV. Murder mystery. Crime solving. Humor.

A British inspector is transferred to Saint-Marie’s police department, but he hates the sun, sea, and sand. The series follow his investigations into murders on the island.

Actually the reviews below aren’t that favorable and include spoilers … but I am only on the second episode and I am enjoying it so far. I guess all shows eventually run their course.

Watch it if you can … (or not)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_in_Paradise_(TV_series)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1888075/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pvmf6

Photo editing on iPad

One of the first apps I got for my iPad (and iPhone) was ArtStudio by Lucky Clan (http://www.luckyclan.com/) from the Apple App Store. Not being familiar with Photo Shop, I can’t make a feature by feature comparison, but I can state that ArtStudio does everything I have ever needed it to do. The price is right at $4.99. Below are screen shots from the App Store. As you can see it is rated quite highly.


   

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 

Anyway the Mrs wanted to put pictures of son number two on the wall of “the office”. We had many pictures of him as a child, but none as an adult. Then I realized that I had pictures of him I had taken at the wedding of son number one a few years ago. One of them is the picture below. Unfortunately it appears that a dwarf in a hat is growing out of his shoulder.


 

So using Layers, surgically trimming of the edges (digitally), and applying Gaussian blur to the background I was able to clean up the image. I include a screen shot below of the layers.


 

The final image is below. I used the native iOS photo app to tweak the rotation and cropping of the edited image.

What do you think?

 

 

I love technology.

 

The SEVENTY2

Just ran across this on INDIEGOGO. Looked interesting. You might agree.

95% of survival situations are resolved in 72 hours. But those first 72 hours are extremely critical. With this in mind, our kits are carefully curated to provide you everything you need, and nothing you don’t to get through those vital 3 days. We aren’t weighing you down with things you will never use, and we don’t sell you things that aren’t going to help. Just the essentials, organized so even the most inexperienced among us will have the tools and instructions to change their situation for the better. https://unchartedsupplyco.com/company/our-story


https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-seventy2-the-world-s-smartest-survival-kit-backpack#/

https://www.unchartedsupplyco.com/

Scooba dooba gone

Alas poor Scooba we barely knew you.

The Kraken is sad.

A trip today to the iRobot website, fails to show the Scooba. iRobot has dumped the Scooba Floor Scrubbing Robot in favor of the Braava Floor Mopping Robot.

  

It was inevitable I suppose. “This town ain’t big enough for both of us.” When iRobot paid $74 million for the company that made the Mint back in 2012, the fate of the Scooba was sealed. 

I was never that impressed with the Mint. To me it seemed like nothing more than a robotic Swiffer. Yet with a price well under half that of the Scooba, the much simpler Mint … now rebranded as the Braava … was destined to fly of merchants shelves.

In related news CatBeard Manor has also recently employed the services of a Roomba 980. Let me just say that this baby … I have named it WALL-E … is pulling out more dirt and cat hair than my Dyson ever did.

Release the Kraken

I have decided to call my new toy tool The Kraken, mostly because I love saying “Release the Kraken.”
 

Below we see the Scooba 450 in action, as filmed by one of my Arlo wireless security cameras. Note the infrared eyes on the front of The Kraken. These are invisible to the naked eye, but detected by the infrared-sensitive Arlo camera.

  
And now with the camera riding The Kraken … yee haw ride ’em Arlo!

  
From more info see:

http://www.irobot.com/For-the-Home/Floor-Scrubbing/Scooba.aspx

http://www.arlo.com/en-us/

Power of gold …

MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015) Gold

I ordered one of the new MacBooks. It arrived on Thursday. 

For many years I have not had a computer at home, just various iPads and iPhones. This was all I needed for my online activities. I had multiple computers at work, I didn’t need one at home.

All of that changed a week ago Friday. It is easier to update one’s resume on a laptop than on an iPad.

Let’s just say that I was as excited as a little girl with a new pony to get it, but don’t take my word for it …

“and a hard drive of five hundred and twelve megs” megs??? I hate it when I do that … Gigs! Not that bad considering it is all solid state.

  

Wish me luck on coming up with a kick-ass resume otherwise I may end up like this guy

 
  

One millimeter

[begin rant]

One fucking millimeter. There I said it … millimeter … or if you prefer millimetre.

iPhone 6s   The only thing that’s changed is everything

No … not everything.

My old iPhone 5s died. OK so it didn’t really die, but the female charging port on the phone got damaged from accidentally ripping the charging cord out of the phone … one … too … many … times. Getting the phone to charge involved just the right amount of ceremonial incantations, fiddling with the Lightning connector, and careful positioning of the iPhone and cord. On the Monday before my birthday the phone died and would not charge. So I ordered a new iPhone 6s Plus, which as luck would have it arrived on said birthday. (Happy Birthday to me, etc., etc, etc.)

I love everything about it … except …

Sir Jonathan Paul Ive, can I call you Jony?

So Jony, the whole world knows how fucking brilliant you are. There, I did it again … brilliant. Yes, you … are … brilliant. You’ve even been knighted for brilliance, for Christ’s sake.

You are brilliant … and you are obsessed. Obsessed with industrial design. Obsessed with elegance. Obsessed with perfection. You are also obsessed with thinness. Obsessed.

But when does obsession cloud judgement? When does the obsession for thinness negate superb industrial design?


One fucking millimeter. If you had made the iPhone 6 series one millimeter thicker, the camera lens would be flush with the case … like the iPhone 5 … and EVERY other iPhone before it. No one … and I do mean no one … would have noticed or cared if the iPhone 6 series was one millimeter thicker.

What could you do with an extra one millimeter of thickness? Make the case a tad thicker and stronger. Make the battery thicker and add a few extra minutes of run time. Who knows? Who cares?

The important thing is that one millimeter is the difference between a smooth backside and one with an ugly zit that keeps the phone from laying solidly on on flat surface without rocking. One millimeter means not worrying about scratching fine old wooden finishes. One millimeter is the difference between obsession and … perfection.

Any chance of fixing this in the iPhone 7?

[end rant]

iA Writer

I have had iA Writer for a while now and have used it off and on with satisfaction. It is extremely minimal. Nothing to distract the writer from his or her words. Best of all – for 100 word stories – in includes word and character count prominently at the top. Enhanced keyboard as well.

  
iA Writer is the quintessential writing machine for iOS, Mac and Android. Writer is designed so you can keep your hands on the keyboard and the mind in the text.

 

   
   

Available for iPad, iPhone, Mac, and Android.

https://ia.net/writer/ios

Laphroaig 18 – Review

Tipple&Text

Laphroaig 18 2

Laphroaig is my favorite Scotch distillery. I’ve at least tasted most of their regular line-up (the Triple Wood was one of my favorites up to this point and my review of it can be found here). But, since Scotch is so expensive in the States (and always going up in price) I don’t keep a lot of it stocked in my bar.

I love the level of peat in Laphroaig’s. However, as I’ve begun to try more and more whiskey my tastebuds have evolved. I’ve begun to enjoy the drams from the more delicate side of the Scotch aisle.

I’d heard the Laphoraig 18 was the mellow giant sibling of the Laphroaig 10. So, when I connected with a fellow blogger, Josh, over at A Dram Good Drink, and conducted a sample exchange, I was sure to get a few samples of this fine tipple. Without further adieu I present…

View original post 394 more words

Octomore 7.3 Review on Malt-Review.com

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I dearly love Bruichladdich Octomore hyper-peated malt whisky. I bought a bottle of the Octomore 6.3 and 7.1 from thewhiskyexchange (could not find locally here in Texas) and ended up buying a second bottle of the 6.3 to hold in reserve. The 7.1 was good, just not 6.3 good. I haven’t found 7.3 online yet, but I will most defiantly be searching for it.

  
Mark at malt-review.com just reviewed Octomore 7.3   Check it out

As it stands, the Octomore 7.3 is still very good. I liked 6.3 – I like this one a lot more. It’s lost the earthiness and replaced it with more elegance. And it’s the first Octomore I might consider as a more social, sharing, great night dram – as opposed to something more brooding and introverted, which have felt typical for the rest of the range. 

I am looking forward to finding me some 7.3 🙂

As much of a fan of smoky, peaty whisky that I am, I realize that smoky whisky may not be for you. For those of you that do not like smoky whisky (or even if you do like it), I encourage to first read my OCTOMORE 6.3 post, followed by my OCTO X Whiskey Review post. I hope you will get a chuckle.

The Martian 3D

I just saw The Martian in 3D on the wide screen.

Excellent. Seriously excellent. The cinematography was superb. So was the acting. Although there was scrupulous attention paid to the scientific and technological aspects, it did not in any way overshadow the human drama. There was humor. There was frustration. There was elation. Aspects of Apollo 13 and Castaway were strong. There were even reminisces of 2001 A Space Odyssey (without the monolith, monkey men, or crazed computer). I would see this again in the theater.

I previously posted that I had listened to the unabridged audio book. The movie was true to the book, somehow condensing 10hr 53min down to 2hr 21min without loosing anything. Yes, yes the book goes into much more detail on the underlying science and isolation of Mark Watney, but you can read the book later.

GO SEE THIS MOVIE IN 3D


  


  

  

GO SEE THIS MOVIE IN 3D

  

  

http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/the-martian

Blue Buffalo

If you have been reading my blog long enough, you know that the Mrs suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and diabetes. She is a shut-in and cannot cook. So the cooking, shopping, cleaning, etc. by in large fall on me. OK, so we got a maid who comes for a few hours, one day a week. That helps some, but still leaves me with a lot to do. I also have a full-time job (at least I have a full-time job – for that I am thankful).

Anyway, in an effort to get a grip on things I signed up for Amazon Prime. It’s fantastic, I never have to leave the house to shop. I can order everything I need from Amazon and get it shipped free to my door within days. What I love most is that everything is ALWAYS in stock and I can find even the most obscure items or brands with ease. I also have Amazon Subscribe and Save, which let’s me schedule automatic re-supply shipments of the necessities of life (you name it, they gots it).

So now I had everything but food squared away. I suppose we could subsist on MREs, but we wanted something healthier, cheaper, and better. We discovered Blue Buffalo. It is fantastic. The food is delivered once a week. It is fresh food that you prepare with step-by-step instructions. All natural ingredients, no by-products. Three different two-person meals at a price that is cheaper and more convenient than delivery or even fast food. Healthy. Nutritious. Delicious. Seriously, you should check out Blue Buffalo.

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Oh wait, did I say Blue Buffalo? I meant Blue Apron.

OCTO X Whiskey Review

OCTO X
08.8/ 2064 PPM
88% ABV

From the website:

Peated to an exospheric 2064 PPM, eight times that of the previous record holder OCTOMORE 06.3/, this extraordinary dram embodies its Islay origins and carries its phenol count like a Falcon soaring into the sky.

TASTING NOTES

Character
Mind blowing in potency with perfect balance. The texture is like molten gold straight out of the furnace, the taste rich with an intense character that can only be found on Islay and the Atlantic beaches of sunny Florida.

Colour
Vibrant yellow, blinding in its brightness. 

Nose
It opens with a roar of ignition, thundering pulsing waves of searing heat driving a scorching hurricane onto the beach and incinerating the wild plants before it. Notes of charred concrete and superheated rebar drift across the nose, followed by an onslaught of smoke as if all of the peat bogs of Scotland were ablaze at once. Ozone and a hint of unburned kerosene dance in perfect harmony with the strong uplifting peatiness of the Islay grown barley. It is literally unlike anything else.

Palate 
Heat. Heat and flame and more heat. Heat infused with smoke and heat and more smoke. The lips and tongue are reminded of the sensation of smoking a pipe – an exhaust pipe. As the heat builds it is accompanied by the spontaneous detonation of road flares and flash bangs. It is a taste like no other, a whiskey on fire, uncut, unfiltered, unthrottled. This is scorchery.

Finish
Long and hard. The ears continue to ring long after lips, tongue, and throat have lost the ability to feel pain. It evokes memories of every rocket that ever exploded on the launch pad or during flight. Join us as we look to the past while rocketing into the future.

Mood
The heat and smoke just keep increasing to the point where it is driving you crazy with joy and you want to call the paramedics and tell them what is happening. Relax and keep it to yourself – no one will believe you. 

• • •

OCTO X is the result of a unique collaboration between Bruichladdich – the makers of OCTOMORE and SpaceX – the worlds preeminent commercial space launch company. After traditional roasting at Bruichladdich’s Port Charlotte distillery, the malt is flown by chartered private jet (flying non-stop zero-G parabolas) to the SpaceX launch facility at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on the South Florida East Coast. Here it is lovingly shoveled into the flame trough of the SLC 40 launch pad for a second roasting during the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket. 

After launch, the roasted malt is then returned to Islay for additional roasting, fermentation, and distillation. For five long slow years it rests in octuple-charred barrels of American White Oak breathing in the sea air of Islay and mellowing the fires of its birth. It is then “finished” in the reclaimed fuel tanks of a used Falcon 9 first stage.

The name OCTO X pays homage to the Octomore farm from which its barley was produced, the OCTOWEB engine arrangement of the latest generation on Falcon 9 rocket, and of course SpaceX without who’s cooperation this unique dram would not have been possible.

Sláinte

  

 

 • • •

 

This is of course a work of pure fiction. Parody. Satire. 

As you know I love peated whisky. The smokier the better. The Islay whiskies are the smokiest of all. My whisky cabinet is replete with a variety of Islay whiskies. When I can find it (and afford it) one of my favorites is Bruichladdich OCTOMORE. I am also a big fan of Elon Musk and SpaceX. A quick search of this blog will reveal many posts covering Bruichladdich, OCTOMORE, and SpaceX.

While researching my post on OCTOMORE 06.3/ 258 PPM I ran across a YouTube review of OCTOMORE by someone who clearly did NOT like peated whisky. That got me thinking about writing a review for a fictitious peated whisky that was so clearly over the top that even peat lovers would get a chuckle out of it. OCTO X is this whisky.

This post is a tribute to Bruichladdich and SpaceX, whose forward thinking are propelling us into the 21st century and beyond.

See also  OCTOMORE 06.3/ 258 PPM

OCTOMORE 06.3

From: http://www.bruichladdich.com/the-whisky/octomore/063-258-ppm

OCTOMORE
06.3/ 258 PPM
ISLAY BARLEY 2009
64% ABV

FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME WE ARE PROUD TO RELEASE OCTOMORE WHISKY DISTILLED FROM 100% ISLAY BARLEY AND HARVESTED IN 2008 BY FARMER JAMES BROWN AT LORGBA, A SINGLE FIELD ON HIS OCTOMORE FARM.

Peated to a stratospheric 258ppm, the highest ever released in the industry, this extraordinary dram embodies its island origins and carries its phenol count with an effortless grace.

High on the hill above Loch Indaal, Octomore faces the rage of Atlantic weather systems and once housed its own farm distillery, most likely producing a very heavily peated spirit from home-grown barley.

In homage to its origins, this is Octomore of Octomore.

  

TASTING NOTES

Character
Mesmerising in its potency – with perfect balance. The texture is like warm honey, the taste rich with a depth of character that can only be found on Islay.

Colour
Autumn sunshine – citrine.

Nose
It opens with the call of the sea, the thundering west coast waves driving a gentle mist onto the moorland and tempting the wild plants to release their unique aromas. Notes of myrtle, meadowsweet, mint and heather flowers drift across the nose. Wild thyme and red clover dance in perfect harmony with the strong uplifting peatiness of the Islay grown barley. It’s exhilarating, and seriously dramatic.

Palate
When the heat of the peat fires cool there is a spontaneous detonation of soft red grapes, cherries, Russian toffee, bitter chocolate, maple syrup and mellow oak. It is a taste like no other, a whisky cut loose, unhindered, unchanged. This is sorcery.

Finish
Long and strong, it warms the soul and lifts the heart. It evokes memories of those early years when the sweat of men instilled the spirit with a unique character. Join us as we look to the past, celebrating our Islay DNA while journeying into the future in a never-ending quest for the rainbow’s end.

Mood
The flavours just keep evolving to the point where it is driving you crazy with joy and you just want to tell the world what is happening. Relax and keep it to yourself – it’s not for sharing and when the glass is empty you will feel like the ultimate warrior.

Available from The Whiskey Exchange

 

Santa, are you reading this?

iTextEditors

What do you use your iPad (or iPhone) for? 

Ever had a need to edit text files or code?

Brett Terpsta maintains a list of iOS text editors and features that is nothing short of phenomenal. Titled iTextEditors, this webpage lists each text editing app in a dynamically filterable matrix of features.

 

Touching (or clicking on) the app name opens a pop-up window with additional information not captured by the feature matrix. Touching the More info … link takes you to a review of the app.

  
  
I am currently using his page to decide which text editor(s) might be worth adding to my stable of apps. 🙂

http://brettterpstra.com/ios-text-editors/

Minnetonka Deerskin Moccasin

Minnetonka Men’s Double Deerskin Softsole Moccasin

No not Mini Tonka
  

Minnetonka

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000XAZUQQ

  

Why did I wait so long to buy a pair of these. Well, I admit that the Internet in general and Amazon in particular has made it really easy to find and buy stuff not generally in stock at local stores. In the last few months, since I sprung for the Amazon Prime membership, I have been been checking Amazon first for EVERYTHING I want or need. No longer do I have to go from store to store looking for that particular thing that no one has in stock or in the right size. Now I check on Amazon first and if they have it … I don’t leave the house. The other day a delivery man looked at all of the boxes and asked the Mrs if we were moving in. “Yes, yes we are,” she lied. 🙂

My god, are the Minnetonka Men’s Double Deerskin Softsole Moccasins comfortable. But don’t take my word for it, read the other people’s reviews.

 

Go ahead. Splurge. Treat yourself or a loved one. Think early Christmas shopping.

Happy Aniversary

To me …

  

Jack Reacher | Lee Child

My wife and I listened to the entire unabridged Jack Reacher series (in order) via Audible.com. The reader, Dick Hill, is excellent. The nice thing about Audible is that you can listen to your purchases on any and all of your devices. I don’t know what genre to classify the Jack Reacher series as … it is part detective story, part mystery, part action. Highly readable and/or easy to listen to. We lost many a night’s sleep due to the inability to wait for the next day to find out what happened next.

 
Jack Reacher Books Full-Length Novels in Order 

From http://leechildbooklist.com/jack-reacher-books-in-order

  1. Killing Floor
  2. Die Trying
  3. Tripwire
  4. Running Blind (also known as The Visitor in the UK)
  5. Echo Burning
  6. Without Fail
  7. Persuader
  8. The Enemy
  9. One Shot
  10. The Hard Way
  11. Bad Luck And Trouble
  12. Nothing To Lose
  13. Gone Tomorrow
  14. 61 Hours
  15. Worth Dying For
  16. The Affair
  17. A Wanted Man
  18. Never Go Back
  19. Personal
  20. Make Me

EAGLE TORCH Lighter

When I bought my gas station coffee this morning, I also made an impulse buy of the EAGLE TORCH lighter.

 

   

  
I don’t smoke, but I have always wanted one of these things … and there it was just begging to take it home with me. It was like – seven bucks. When I lived in Colorado and had a much more active outdoor life, I always carried a lighter … sometimes the ability to start a fire is the difference between life and death. This little guy looks like the perfect thing to carry in my daily bag and would be an excellent edition to a bugout bag. Review below (not mine, but to the point).

  

I may need to pick up a few more of these …

Dear WordPress re: WP for iOS 5.3.0.2

An open letter to WordPress regarding WordPress for iOS 5.3.0.2

In a word – not to put it too delicately – the new version of WP for iOS … SUCKS makes me unhappy 

So much wrong, so little space to rant.

  • Preview does not work (1). Embedded videos no longer preview; only the text for the embedding displays.
  • Preview does not work (2). The “preview” does not show the banner and other attributes as it used to.
  • Selecting a post to “preview” does something that forces you to “update” or “discard” even if all you do is attempt to “preview”. What is getting changed?
  • Previously set links appear to be missing
  • Keyboard is funky. Undo … doesn’t work. Delete key was inserting newlines.

The above is my experience using WP for iOS 5.3.0.2 on an iPad Air 2 with iOS 8.3.

Since I am a beta tester for WordPress, one might think I would have seen these problems ahead of time and reported them, but alas every single beta release I have attempted to install over the past few months has CRASHED ON OPEN. I have reported this to WordPress many times, but with no fix suggested. But that is a tale for another time.

I maintain my blog exclusively via iPad/iPhone. The new release version is a major set back for me. Maybe this performance is specific to my environment, if so, I am a single unhappy user. But if others are experiencing a similar user experience … how many other unhappy users are out there?

How I long for the days when I was happy. It seems so long ago, but it was only yesterday.

So Happiness Engineers … I challenge you to once again make me happy.

  
UPDATE 1

After several attempts to preview this post I got the following:

  
So rather than pasting in the loooooong password I got from WordPress many moons ago, I tried typing it in directly.  Ah Ha this new password does not appear to allow spaces (no space bar). My old password supplied by WP had spaces after ever four character quartet (ie. ab1c de2f gh3i jk4l).

  

Now I am even more unhappy that I have to change my password. 😦

UPDATE 2

I uninstalled / reinstalled WP from the App Store. Used my old login ID and password; it was accepted. Preview still does not work. I am still unhappy.

UPDATE 3

OK, this is weird. If I select a “published” post (like this one) it immediately provide the update option. Preview fails with or without updating … BUT if you try to back out and choose Discard the “eye | gear | update” changes to “eye | edit”. Clicking the “eye” yields a correct preview.

HOWEVER, if you choose a “draft” post and try the same logic you get the “Error: The password field is empty.” dialog shown above, requesting login.

So … the functionality is there … sort of … but jumbled and defective.

Still not happy, but I do enjoy troubleshooting. All of this has a strange déjà vu to it.

The Martian | Andy Weir

 

  

OK 

I had my joke

Time to be serious.

This is one fine book. I am listening to it on audio book from Audible.com

  

Eleven hours

Unabridged

I like audio books. Easy on the eyes. Accessible while driving to and from work. Multi-tasking friendly. 

Whether in hardcover, paperback, eBook, iBook, or audio book … READ THIS BOOK. Unless of course you hate science fiction. (Why would anyone hate science fiction?)

The Martian is in the same class as Apollo 13Castaway, and Gravity. It is a satisfying survival/rescue story replete with lots of techie goodness, human compassion, bureaucratic assholery, and will-to-survive. Prior to seeing the movie trailer, I was unaware of this book. The movie, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon is looking better and better.

http://andyweirauthor.com

http://andyweirauthor.com/books/the-martian-hc

  

  

Islay and malt

Despite the name of the BBC Travel article below, it is actually mostly a review of my favorite peated single malts from Islay.

Islay (Ī – la)

Bruichladdich (Broo – ik – laddie)

Laphroaig (La – frō – āg)

Lagavulin (La – ga – vū – in)

(True Scotsmen, please correct my pronunciation as needed. I hope I am close.) 

   

http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20150511-why-you-should-never-drink-whisky-on-the-rocks

  
 

Walther Weed Whacker

Cold, wet, rainy, miserable. It’s late fall / early winter on the Texas Gulf Coast. Temperature in the 50s for the foreseeable future. Add to this that the backyard of Cat Beard Manor has become quite junglefied. The Calla Lilies have encroached the walkway to the back door. I’m carrying in all of the groceries from our Christmas food shopping and getting tired of brushing against the cold wet leaves each time I go in and out the back door.



But wait, I have the Walther® Mach Tac 1 Machete given to me over the summer. Never had a use for it. My trailblazing days are but a distant memory.

It was like attacking warm butter with a searing-hot knife. So very satisfying. Like spindly-legged green zombies hacked off at the ankles. I’ll clear the carnage away later when it’s drier.





See also:

https://contrafactual.com/2014/06/16/tactical-machete/

SOG

SOG Specialty Knives and Tools

I am not a collector of knives and tools, per se, but I do appreciate well made technology. SOG is one of these companies … with a history. I discovered SOG while investigating various multi-tools. They have an excellent selection of very well built and functional multi-tools. (http://www.sogknives.com/tactical/multi-tools.html)

After much back and forth I finally decided to order the black Powerduo Multitool shown below.


http://www.sogknives.com/tactical/multi-tools/powerduo-black-oxide.html

Below are some fascinating videos on the history of SOG.

Take point  

Interview w/ Spencer Frazier

http://www.sogknives.com

Remember, try to restrain yourself. You probably don’t need to buy them all.

The True “Hero” of Breaking Bad

A year later … spoiler alert

Nicholas Conley

Before we begin:

WARNING, THIS POST CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE BREAKING BAD FINALE.  YOU ARE NOW WARNED!

breakbad_duo

 Some straight like you, giant stick up his ass, age what, 60? He’s just gonna break bad?

– Jesse Pinkman

If there’s one thing that last Sunday’s epic Breaking Bad finale, Felina, demonstrated, it was that—from the beginning to the end, from the start to the finish, the plunge to the crash—Breaking Bad was a Greek tragedy about a man named Walter White, as he went from Mr. Chips to Scarface, repressed high school chemistry teacher “Mr. White” to commanding drug kingpin “Heisenberg.”  In the end, Walter’s story finally comes full circle; he returns “back from the dead,” moving through the landscape like a ghost, tying up all of the loose ends that his reign of terror left behind.

But even though Walter has always been our protagonist, our eyes and…

View original post 2,312 more words

Ardbeg Uigeadail

I like this one too 🙂

Buffalo Whiskey Guild

uigiRecently, we here at BWG have inadvertently relegated our Ardbeg consumption to their special annual releases (you can read all our Ardbeg reviews here) and seem to have overlooked some of their more regularly available stuff. That has been a mistake… Ardbeg Uigeadail’s nose is like an enchanted forest of flavors. It starts off with a beautifully complex blend of earth, oak, moss, wild blackberries and raspberries and Ardbeg’s typical, ever present, but not overpowering peat smoke. The palate is a fresh, hand-picked bouquet strewn over smoked wood chips. A few drops of water open up the fruity and floral notes, while adding a creamy texture to this smokey mountain of flavors. The finish is smooth and warm with some sharp cracked peppercorn and fading peat smoke. Uigeadail is beautifully complex and balanced. For BWG it’s by far Ardbeg’s best regular offering. Available in store and online at Gates Circle Liquor for $106

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The Classic Laddie Scottish Barley

This just appeared in my reader … My favorite distiller …

Buffalo Whiskey Guild

scottichbarleyBruichladdich, one of BWG’s favorite Scottish distillers recently discontinued their “Laddie 10” flagship bottling and replaced it with The Classic Laddie Scottish Barley. We loved the Laddie 10 (you can read that review here), so we were not happy to learn of its departure – however, we were equally as excited to sample its replacement. This unpeated Bruichladdich pours a deep honey gold, a few shades darker than its predecessor. The nose is classic Bruichladdich, salty and floral with a caramel, banana sweetness. The palate is clean and balanced, with sea salt caramel taffy and a lavender bouquet. It has a nice oily mouth feel which leads into thoroughly warming finish that lasts a good while. A touch of water broadens the palate with more floral notes, while maintaining its salty-sweet bite. There is no age statement on this Laddie bottling and the abv. has been punched up to…

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Dos Maderas P.X. 5+5

My latest impulse buy …

Dos Maderas P.X. 5+5

Extremely Smooth. Once you understand how Dos Maderas P.X. 5+5 is aged, you’ll have a full appreciations of it’s deep mahogany color, a reddish brown hue like brilliant sapphire. The heavier caramel rum aromas are lifted by sweet traces of sherry …
Read the full review at Rum Gallery. Seriously, if you like rum and haven’t tried Dos Maderas P.X. 5+5, go read the review now.

Not bad for an un-educated impulse buy. Definitely in the same league as Ron Zacapa Centenario 23. I suck as a reviewer, but I know what it like. This is sweet, delicious goodness. It is like fine double casked scotch made from sugar. Mmmmm …

En Español (mostly)

 

Num, num, nummmmmmm …

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Rum Goddess …

… from the lower east side

Last month while making a pilgrimage to my old stomping grounds to attend to family matters, I hooked up with Pegasuspilot after a 27 year hiatus. I introduced him to OCTOMORE, and he introduced me to Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 rum. I left him with the open bottle of OCTOMORE and he gifted me with a fresh bottle of Zacapa.

As I write this I am finishing the Zacapa (drunk from a silver cup … also gifted to me). Thankfully the Zacapa is a fraction of the price of the OCTOMORE and apparently available locally.

I have never fancied myself to be a rum drinker, but Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 is sweet nectar of the gods. Bottled at 40% ABV, “FROM VIRGIN SUGAR CANE & BOTTLED AT HIGH ALTITUDE”, Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 from Guatemala is a treat that anyone can afford. This is sipping rum that can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in mixed drinks. If you like rum, look for it. If you like single malt scotch, look for it. It is a delicious diversion. To me it doesn’t taste like traditional rum. It is sweeter and smoother.

Oh no … I just poured the last drop of Zacapa into my silver cup. Yum yum yum. Thankfully the mellowing agents in Ron Zacapa Centenario 23 won’t allow me to be sad.

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So good, you’ll do the Swinburne Stomp