Vernors in Massachusetts!

posted in: beverages, quirky | 0

There is a God, and he loves us. If you doubt that, consider this: It’s now possible to buy Vernors Ginger Ale in the Boston area!

Vernors is my favorite summer beverage, if you don’t count craft beer. Aged in oak, it tastes like no other ginger ale. It’s got a great gingery fizz that smacks you in the nose, with undercurrents of vanilla. I grew up with it in Ohio, and didn’t realize how good I had it until I lived where you couldn’t buy it. For years now, I have either dragged a supply back with me from Ohio if we were out there visiting family, or I have paid an exorbitant amount to buy a summer supply online.*

But thanks to the opening of the first Wegmans supermarket in not-too-far-away Newton, I no longer have to do that. Because Wegmans, bless them, has brought Vernors to Boston. What a great supermarket!

God is good. Truly.

*If you live where Vernors is unavailable, check out the Vernors Store.

It’s not five cents a bottle anymore!

Snow! On April 16!

posted in: quirky | 0

Yeesh, wasn’t it just yesterday I was driving in the truck, a little overly warm what with the Spring weather we’ve been having? Well, I was up later last night than I should have been, worrying over some stuff that should be simple in this chapter. And when I finally stumbled downstairs at 4 a.m.to take Captain Jack out for his last visit to the tree before bed, what do I find but snow on the ground, and still coming down!

This had got to be the weirdest weather year I can remember.

Which Is More Interesting: Space Elevators or Kate Upton in Zero Gee?

posted in: quirky, space, sports | 0

Too much snow, and other tiring distractions! Let’s think about something else for a change. Which is the more compelling of two stories that came across my radar the other day, both from space.com:

The coming reality of space elevators?

http://www.space.com/24739-space-elevator-tether-technology.html

Or the effect on supermodels of being photographed in skimpy swimsuits in zero gravity?
http://space.com/24726-kate-upton-zero-g-sports-illustrated.html*

You decide! (For what it’s worth, I like both of them.)

*You can see more photos in the series at http://swimsuit.si.com/swimsuit/models/kate-upton/zero-g-photos/1. Watch Kate get launched through the airplane by the photo crew!

Why Is Craig Shaw Gardner Writing Dinosaur Porn?

posted in: ebooks, quirky | 0

Or is he? I didn’t even know dinosaur porn—excuse me, erotica—existed, until Craig told his tale. It seems his innocent fantasy ebook, Temporary Monsters, was temporarily removed from the shelves of the Amazon Kindle store because—apparently—someone at Amazon thought it might be dinosaur erotica. Craig says no. To quote from his blog: “I therefore state, for the record, that my book contains ABSOLUTELY NO HUMAN/DINOSAUR EXTRA-MARITAL INTERACTIONS OF ANY KIND!” Can we trust him? I dunno, he seems to leave in the possibility of human/dino relations within marriage. What does that say?

But as Craig says elsewhere in his blog, go to Amazon and do a search on “dinosaur erotica.” Then read some of the reviews of the books that come up. I don’t know about the books, but the reviews are hilarious.

Then forget that and give Temporary Monsters a try.

Another World Milestone!

My wife Allysen texted me this afternoon to alert me to the arrival of:

11/12/13 14:15

Did I marry the right woman, or what? 

Okay, it only works in parts of the world where dates are expressed as Mo/Da/Yr, but still.

It was kind of a strange day, meteorologically. We had snow flurries in the morning, or so I hear (I was asleep). What’s strange about that is, just a few days ago I was walking around in a short-sleeve shirt. Then, this afternoon, I noticed that the sky was mostly a thick overcast, with a band of clear sky just above the northwest horizon. The demarcation between the overcast and the blue was a ruler-straight line, with no visible movement. I had a great, big-sky view of it as I drove north out of Boston on the elevated freeway.

Several hours later, it looked exactly the same. I took this picture, using the Panorama app on my phone.

Click image to biggify

The line looks curved from the fisheye effect, but in reality it was straight as an arrow shot by the Arrow. Here’s a regular shot.

It was still that way at sunset, when the edge of the overcast was lit with a beautiful pink glow. Wish I’d caught that.

Go, Buckeye Band!

Back in my high school days in the Buckeye State, I played in my school’s marching band—first on clarinet, then bass drum, then snare drum. I vividly remember how difficult it was to keep our marching lines straight, stepping eight to five*, even when the band was just marching down the field. (*Eight to five means eight measured strides to every five yards.) With that in mind, prepare to be impressed when you watch the Ohio State University Marching Band perform a routine they called the Hollywood Blockbuster Show—especially the T-Rex from Jurassic Park!

You can skip the first minute or so, which is the other band getting off the field. Watch in full screen!

  

Space Beer!

posted in: beer, quirky | 0

The indomitable Dogfish Head Brewing Company has done something I’m pretty sure no other brewer has yet attempted: cooked up a special brewsky with real, pulverized moondust in it—Celest-jewel-ale! How’s that for rocket juice, Tom Corbett? I’m sure it has special medicinal qualities! Unfortunately, you can only get it at one location, Dogfish Head’s Rehoboth Beach brewpub. Well, blast my rocket wash!

Here’s my very own Dogfish Head keg tap handle, which I won at a raffle at my favorite beer and wine store

A Bird in the Kitchen…

…is worth how many in the claw? 

I got up this morning to the sound of Captain Jack howling and scrabbling frantically around the living and dining rooms. What I found when I arrived was a terrified bird flying back and forth in the room, arousing great interest from Jack and Moonlight (the cat). Finally it flew into the kitchen, and I managed to get a few pictures.

Who can tell me what kind of bird this is?  Gray, with a spotted underside, and (though you can’t really see it in these shots) a longish, narrow beak. You can biggify by clicking on the images.

I opened the kitchen window screen, and after a few minutes the bird found the opening and shot out of the house like a rocket. I’m still not sure how it got in—maybe through a torn screen in my office, up on the third floor. If so, that meant it found its way down the hall, and down the narrow stairs, before meeting up with the local guards.

All’s well that ends well.

Space Travel for Animals?

Being on retreat doesn’t mean I don’t still get interesting links. First, we have a frog joining the space program, probably not voluntarily:

That’s from The Atlantic, which has more details. This is the recent launch of the LADEE moon probe, on a Minotaur rocket, from Wallops Island, Virginia. Pity the poor creature. But it did have a fleeting moment of glory.

And second, we have some cows who did not seem to enjoy the test launch of a SpaceX Grasshopper rocket. Looks like they didn’t stick around to watch the landing. But you should.

 
A rocket landing on a tail of fire is how God meant us to come back to Earth! All that’s missing is tail fins on the rocket to complete this Golden Age SF vision of space travel.
The retreat is going very well, by the way. Making good progress on the book. 
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