Friday, June 25, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Odonata Beer Co. and the Saison Ale



Normally, I'm not one to wax philosophical on the qualités of beer. However Odonata Beer, a relatively new company in Sacramento, looks to put the city on the map. Sacramento breweries, while they remain locally celebrated , don't reach outside the city in terms of availability and exposure. I firmly believe that Odonata can make it happen, as the gentlemen behind the company have the tools: experience, connections, and desire. Most importantly their product is tops.

The first word that comes to mind when drinking Odonata's Saison Ale is balance. I won't get into the flavor hints or spice varieties or blah blah that I could pretend to have noticed. So, what did I notice? The color stood even and it wasn't murky, too thick, or too watery. The carbonation was also perfect; no where near flat but not bubbling like champagne. It's citrusy but not stringent, it's drinkable in simple sips and not a gulping drink. The Saison Ale is a drink to be savored, optimal for the summer.

For now Sacramento can count themselves lucky, being the only place in which to enjoy Saison Ale. Yet, with a little luck and plenty of good brews Odonata should be able to reach out of California's Capital.






Saturday, May 1, 2010

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is absolutely amazing. Cristina and I killed 5 hours there, seeing all the exhibits and some special shows. We got our aquatic photo skills on and snapped some real winners. Zissou & Cousteau inspired:


Leafy Sea Dragons - Phycodurus eques























Sea Otter - Enhydra lutris



















You guess!


















C&P - Awesomus Maximus

Monday, April 19, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Super Ultimare Hard to Find Rarest of the Rare

In nerd language the term "rare" conjures up many things; and I ain't talkin' steaks. Depending on the level of "rarity" it can lead to nerd jealousy or nerd indifference. A platinum issue of some 90s comic or the first issue of Spawn are not really nerd rarities of the purest sort. While the first appearance of Catwoman (Selina Kyle's first appearance as The Cat in Batman #1 Spring 1940) is a true rare collector's item. Modern day rarities are really manufactured, through limited pressings and hype. Spawn 1 (1992) was onced valued at over $100-$200 depending on the year and a highly graded in perfect condition issue can fetch a pretty penny, still under a $1,000. However one can obtain said issue for less than $20. In 50 years, I don't think Spawn will be anything popular, but Spider-man, Hulk, Batman, etc. will grow in nerd rarity.

Enough about comics, miniatures in the Star Wars realm contain their own rare and very rare products. The rarest of these can be had for under $20. Value is subjective and to the nerdiest completing his/her set or wanting to make their RPG game as "real" or "cool" as possible- must have super rare items.

Very rare- Jedi Knight Luke & Rancor:






































Just rare- Han Solo & Lobot:














I imagine that SW miniatures will retain a small value over the years, only because they are Star Wars. However, the RPG SW audience is small in comparison to comic or antique collectors. There's no denying it though, the Rancor is an awesome figure and it's super-duper rarity makes it even cooler!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Office Baby

Has NBC's "The Office" jumped the shark? Viewers seem to feel that the story lines are off base and wild. However, I disagree. I think the story lines are similar to what they've always been and the characters really haven't changed (with the exception of Jim and Pam). I believe the novelty of the show is wearing off. It's the same awkward situations, goofy jokes, and unreasonable behavior that The Office has always exhibited. It seems to me that you could take any episode from this season and put it into any of the first few seasons (continuity aside) and it would be just as funny as many episodes of yore.

Unfortunately, Jim and Pam have become boring. Cristina noticed it far sooner than I. They aren't as funny or captivating as they once were. It seems that the marriage and baby saga aren't enough to carry them. Simply, they aren't very funny and turn their scenes into a snooze-fest. Michael Scott, is effectively the same character he's always been; and Dwight Schrute is in the same boat as Michael. Yet Michael and Dwight's gimmicks are tiring. During this last episode Michael acts like a dork during the pregnancy and parks Jim's car in an ambulance only zone. Nothing unusual and not exciting or new. Dwight smashes up Jim and Pam's house, fighting their black mold, only to install new cabinetry: clever but not hilarious.

The Andy and new secretary tales prove annoying. I don't think viewers feel the same pull for them as they did with Jim and Pam. Andy and the new secretary are caricatures, we laugh at them not with them. What the show needs more of is Creed. He is old, maniacal, and non sequitur- in short, humorous. Ryan on the other hand is plain awful. Ryan's lines are dry, his teaming up with Dwight was contrived, and his clothing is the only thing jumping sharks.

So what can make the show better? When I think of long lasting TV comedies I think of Mash and Seinfeld. The Office is no Mash. Seinfeld is the great comedy from which to learn. It involved eccentric and normal people doing different things and meeting different people. It was their goofy interactions with a normal outside world that kept it going. Seinfeld jumped the shark when the cast was arrested, but that was the final episode- a perfect coup d'état. The office in which they work is the one place that is stale and subjects viewers to the same type of jokes and routines. Think about when Jim and Pam visited Shrute Farms, when Michael held the rabies race for a cure, when Andy, Michael, and Oscar went to Canada, or when Michael drove his car into the lake whilst following the GPS. Funny, funny, and funny. Otherwise they can deliver a series finale that leaves them all in dire straits (maybe Dwight snaps and goes postal or they are sued because Michael does something irredeemably outrageous).

This past episode shortly involved a hospital and Jim and Pam's house. Boring places that added little depth to the comedic routines. Although I did find the baby mix-up scene a knee slapper. Lastly, what irritates me the most is that The Office one hour "special" removed 30 Rock from this week's line-up. Homie don't play 'dat, 30 Rock is the funniest show on television right now (excluding Mash reruns).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Catching Up

The concept of time is one we understand but never control. So it goes for yours truly. With the lack of time comes the inability to fit it all in, in particular- films. And to be more particular- super hero films. That's right finding the time to watch the glory of Super Heroes in cartoon and live action form can prove troublesome when the clock isn't going your way. However, I have found an imbalance in the force that is allowing me to watch a surplus of action packed adventures whilst rolling on my bike indoors. In short, I've enjoyed the likes of Hulk (TV show from the 70s), Planet Hulk, and Superman Batman: Public Enemies.

I will spare the details of Hulk (starring Bill Bixby), as it needs no introduction, but will entice you with the fantastic cartoons. Planet Hulk and Superman Batman: Public Enemies are 4 star comic adventure cartoons. Highly action packed these movies delivered characters we all know and love at the top of their game. The story lines are neat and the developments prove fun. If you have Netflix, add it to the queue and be prepared for some awesomeness that is Hulk smashing and Batman/Superman delivering cans of whoop ass across the DC Universe.

The movies had their lackluster moments though. Planet Hulk dragged in some parts and the story line had some minor annoyances, nothing of which to worry. Superman Batman : Public Enemies suffers from animeish art that makes Clark and Bruce look one in the same, in regards to physique and square jaw-ness (again not that big of a deal).

If this doesn't get you in the mood for the Superman Batman movie, nothing will- complete with Gil Kane punching-esque punches!




And ofcourse, Planettttt HUUUUUUUUULLLLKKKKK!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Credits

Is this from Star Wars Monopoly? Check out these Galactic Empire bucks/credits:


If I were Darth my monies would not have a beaten up or fixer-upper Death Star. Then again it is only worth 1 credit/buck. Maybe the 5 spot has the whole beast in all it's glory. Moreover, the 1,000,000 note would have Darth sans Helmet. I need to print some of these to carry around in my billfold.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

I'll take'em all, please

Brilliant work is often delivered few and far between. However several Americana WWII style posters à la la Star Wars are available here:

http://www.newlaunches.com/archives/darth_vader_needs_you_to_suppress_the_rebel_alliance_.php
I am a man of simple pleasures and this fulfills a number of them. Cliff Chiang your genious truly know no limits - to the empire!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

San Francisco Beer Week Highlights

San Francisco Beer Week manages to stretch itself into two weeks to a month; however I was there for a few days with my buddy Chris. For your viewing pleasure I offer several take-aways from the expedition.

Good/Great
  • Food carts in Dolores Parks, especially Magic Curry Kart (Twitter: @magiccurrykart) and a grilled cheese cart, that pleased me so much I didn't even catch the name.
  • Beer ice-cream or any ice-cream at Humphry Slocomb. They played The Misfits' Static Age whilst I dined on superb Winter Ale creamy goodness, multiple thumbs up.
  • Rosamunde Sausage Grill - vegan sausages with toppings galore, tasty beers on tap too.
  • Church Key - last time I went there it was loud, annoying, and had a lame bartender; this time it was low-key, had a good bartender, and was enjoyable. Worth ducking into if it isn't blaring music and isn't crowded.
  • Golden Boy Pizza - My favorite place in the world to have stellar pizza and beer at an extremely low price. GB caps off any night in spades.

Bad/Ugly

  • Sushi & beer pairing at some place not worth naming. Food proved lackluster, closer to Southern fried comfort food than traditional Japanese. Pairings made no sense and all courses and beers were on the table together... awful.
  • "Book of Eli" - this movie blew chunks. D+
  • Some guy who played pool like he was in Street Fighter. Seriously, it was Super Bowl Sunday and we're in a bar, he's wearing sports clothing sipping on ice water while doing pirouettes and jump kicks after taking a shot. It was weird and embarrassing.

Other things escape my mind, however most negatives of the trip had positives (minus the aforementioned). All in all it was a busy and laughter filled journey, but now it's time for constant cycling training and minimal beer (gasp)... until next year.

If you are looking for a more beer centric post check out my pals at the beergeek.com.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Comic pad


I can't say I'm all that impressed by the ipad. It doesn't do much of anything new, revolutionary, or easier. If I didn't already have a laptop and a smartphone it might be worth looking into. However, it's implications in the realm of comic book enjoyment could prove life changing. While having multiple comic boxes worth of reads in the storage of one easy to use device is enticing; it doesn't justify the price tag. To be honest, I would use the ipad for other things but it's main pull is it's comic friendliness. As next generation tablets appear and competitors take shape the price will drop and a universe of comics could easily be in my grasp! Or I could just move back home and read the universe of comics my dad has collected for over 50 years. Until I either of those take shape I'll stick with my limited monthly reads, trade-paper backs, and eye-straining pdfs.