Two Years Ago: Boulevard “Long Strange Tripel” ale

Having completely recovered from my India Pale Ale experience the other night, I ready a glass of the third in the Smokestack Series of ales from Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company[*1] .

The Long Strange Tripel ale is lighter in color, and in flavor than either of the previous two entries in the Smokestack Series that I’ve sampled.  It is of course a more full-bodied beer than the mass market Bud/Miller/Coors stuff, and probably a bit more full than Boulevard’s Wheat beer.  It is not bitter at all (danke Gott) and I deem it most agreeable.

Now, all I need is a Jackrabbits win in men’s basketball vs. San Jose State tonight, and the evening will be complete.

Four Years Ago: Bush Didn’t Lie

In the words of the December 28, 2005 Chicago Tribune editorial[*1] :

On Nov. 20, the Tribune began an inquest: We set out to assess the Bush administration’s arguments for war in Iraq. We have weighed each of those nine arguments against the findings of subsequent official investigations by the 9/11 Commission, the Senate Intelligence Committee and others. We predicted that this exercise would distress the smug and self-assured–those who have unquestioningly supported, or opposed, this war.
. . .
After reassessing the administration’s nine arguments for war, we do not see the conspiracy to mislead that many critics allege. Example: The accusation that Bush lied about Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs overlooks years of global intelligence warnings that, by February 2003, had convinced even French President Jacques Chirac of “the probable possession of weapons of mass destruction by an uncontrollable country, Iraq.” We also know that, as early as 1997, U.S. intel agencies began repeatedly warning the Clinton White House that Iraq, with fissile material from a foreign source, could have a crude nuclear bomb within a year.

Was the case for war overstated? Yes. Was there sufficient casus belli to go to war? Reasonable people can disagree. I think yes as well. Saddam was as brutal a tyrant as this world has ever seen. His only difference from monsters such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot is that he “only” killed hundreds of thousands instead of millions. Saddam’s removal from power was in and of itself a good thing.

Both kneejerk war hawks and Bush Derangement Syndrome[*2] sufferers would benefit themselves and the entire national political debate by reading and comprehending this outstanding series of editorials by the Chicago Tribune. Sometimes Old Media remembers its true calling and purpose. Are you listening, New York Times?

Via Steve Antler[*3] and Instapundit[*4] .

Two Years Ago: Boulevard “Double-Wide India Pale Ale”

On December 27, 2007, I posted:

I admit up front–I don’t care for India Pale Ales.  I find them too bitter for my taste.  And the second in the Boulevard Brewing Company’s[*1] Smokestack Series of ales doesn’t disappoint there, with an IBU of 55, it’s quite bitter to my palate.  But it shares a lushness with the previous entry, the Sixth Glass ale, and has a sweetness which is unusual in an India Pale Ale. 

Boulevard’s web site[*2] warns that this one is “not for the pedestrian palate.”  I’d have to agree there–if your tastes run to Bud or Miller or Coors or any of the mass-market American beers, you probably won’t care for the Double-Wide.  If however you’re a bit adventurous in your beer consumption, and don’t shy away from sampling microbrews or obscure foreign beers, you’ll find this one interesting at least, and possibly more.

Three Years Ago: Re-engaging the world

On December 27, 2006, I posted:

I haven’t been posting much lately–ever since the November election in fact.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  First, I really didn’t have much to say.  Second, college basketball season was starting and that always provides me with a huge distraction (and, much entertainment) during the late fall and winter months.

But, with Christmas now behind, I’m beginning to re-engage with the world, and so to post my thoughts here.

The biggest thing I notice is how little changed with the U.S. election results.  The Jihadist threat remains, although Ethiopia is in the process of demonstrating in Somalia that the Jihadists have a very, very vulnerable glass jaw, should they be opposed determined resistance.  Of course, we know this, but our problem has always been that our resistance to Jihadist fascism is anything but determined.  The laughable Iraq Study Group report is a classic example of feckless appeasement.  We shall see if it is remembered in the same breath as Chamberlain’s “peace in our time” prelude to a world war.

Elsewhere, Iran and Syria continue to make trouble.  Iranian agents have been detained in Iraq, and bombs and weapons of undisputed Iranian origin are routinely found in Iraq.  Yet, no one in power is willing to call Iran to account for these acts of war.  Syria and Hezbollah continue to work to destabilize Lebanon.  So far, the world is letting them do it.

Israel continues to send stronger and stronger signals that it will not tolerate a nuclear Iran.  Nobody is listening.

Meanwhile, the scandal-ridden Democrats are set to take power in Congress.  Too bad that nobody wanted to focus on Murtha, Jefferson, Hastings, and the rest of the corrupt Democrats, being so focused as they were on sending the corrupt Republicans home.

So, maybe it’s time to get back to those Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVD’s, House, Dr. Who, and Battlestar Galactica on TV, and those rascally Jackrabbits and oh so orange Lady Vols basketballers.  There’s only so much “realism” you can take in one dose.

Two Years Ago: Boulevard “The Sixth Glass” Ale

First of a series of four “Smokestack Ales[*1] ” from the beloved Boulevard Brewing Company right here in ol’ Kansas City Mo.

It’s . . . yummy.

Its color was a robust reddish-brown in the wine glass from which I partook of its charms.  It has a bit of a thick feel in the mouth, not at all bad.  A bit creamy, actually.  It has not a harsh taste in it at all, being a mellow, well-behaved ale–actually, a bit sweet.  The 750 ml bottle is not nearly enough but at the same time, probably quite enough for an evening’s beverage enjoyment.  Trust me, you don’t want more than one bottle, unless you’re with friends.  Whoo, it’s starting to take it’s effect on ol’ filbert here.   Very nice.  I’ll be going to bed soon.

I’ll give it a full 10/10.  Very, very good.  If you see it in a liquor/package store near you, snap it up.  Good stuff, Maynard.

One Year Ago: Merry Christmas!

Yes, it’s been a while since the last post . . . a fairly eventful week (in a domestic kind of way) here at the Palatial Abode. Since The Shot, my heel’s been somewhat better, and Janet’s mending nicely from her hip arthroscopy.

I started up a batch of hard cider from the world-famous Broadland (SD) orchards. A couple of pictures:

The recommended yeast
Cider on the stove

My South Dakota State Jackrabbits are a Top 25 team in women’s basketball[*1] , and the long-suffering men’s basketball team got a huge road win at Iowa State[*2] . Go Rabbits! (I got this Jackrabbit logo trophy statue thing because I’m a rich and influential donor–yeah, right!)

Jackrabbit trophy statue thingie

We cooked up some seafood bisque[*3] , fauxtatoes[*4] (I go kinda heavy on the cream cheese and butter), cranberry-orange relish, Jello(TM) molds, and some eggnog for today’s Christmas dinner over at Snookums’ parent’s place. Soon, we will indeed go “over the river and through the woods.”

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Peace On Earth, Goodwill Towards Everyone!

The “Bollywood to South Beach” Voyage

This is the front page for our dispatches from our “Bollywood to South Beach” cruise on the Regent Seven Seas Voyager, from October 29-December 18, 2009.

Here are the individual posts, collected all in one handy location for your reading pleasure. As we travel, we’ll be adding posts so you can follow our journeys.

(Click the Read More to see all the post links . . .) Part 1, Mumbai, India
Part 2, The Seven Seas Voyager enroute to Cochin, India
Part 3, Cochin, India
Part 4, Cochin, India
Part 5, Male, Maldives and Port Victoria, Seychelles
Part 6, Praslin Island, Seychelles
Part 7, cruising the Indian Ocean
Part 8, Mombasa, Kenya
Part 9, Mombasa, Kenya
Part 10, Mombasa, Kenya
Part 11, Mombasa, Kenya
Part 12, Mombasa, Kenya
Part 13, Mombasa, Kenya
Part 14, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Part 15, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Part 16, Richards Bay, South Africa
Part 17, Richards Bay, South Africa
Part 18, Richards Bay, South Africa
Part 19, Richards Bay, South Africa
Part 20, Cape Town, South Africa
Part 21, Cape Town, South Africa
Part 22, Cape Town, South Africa
Part 23, Walvis Bay, Namibia
Part 24, Walvis Bay, Namibia
Part 25, Cruising the South Atlantic Ocean
Part 26, Jamestown, St. Helena, U.K.
Part 27, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Part 28, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Part 29, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Part 30, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Part 31, Salvador de Bahia, Brazil
Part 32, Fortaleza, Brazil
Part 33, Crossing the Equator
Part 34, Bridgetown, Barbados
Part 35, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Part 36, Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
Part 37, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

The “Bollywood to South Beach” Voyage, part 37

The Bollywood to South Beach Voyage – Regent Seven Seas Voyager, October 29-December 18, 2009

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Thirty-seven

December 17 (Thursday, Day 50, Crossing the Tropic of Cancer) –


We both woke up around 9:30 and hurried upstairs for our last leisurely breakfast. Christiaan saw Snookums coming and immediately found her a chocolate doughnut and ordered Filbert’s two pots of hot water. There wasn’t much of a breeze and we were mostly in the shade but it was still quite warm so our breakfast wasn’t too long.

More after the jump . . . Filbert worked on putting photos in the journal in the Observation Lounge and Snookums attended the auction in the Atrium. Voyager has an auction twice a year of items donated by passengers as well as Regent and the proceeds benefit the Crew Welfare Fund. Passengers donated items that they bought and no longer wanted or had room for like African paintings and wooden and Regent donated dishes from the various restaurants and a housekeeper’s apron signed by all the housekeepers and things like that. Snookums was the only bidder on size-12 black cocktail dress for $10 and at the end of the auction there were a few items that were leftover and up for grabs. She also got a black and purple casual dress from the leftovers (although it never made it to the auction). When she tried them both on, the black cocktail dress was way too big but the black and purple casual dress fit quite well so she was happy. Snookums’s mom can probably alter the black cocktail dress to make it fit perfectly.


Stuff for sale
Auction on the courthouse–er–atrium steps

Filbert had two of his meal replacement bars for lunch and Snookums ordered a tuna salad sandwich from room service. There was a German sausage buffet by the pool but it poured for about 20 minutes during the time it was scheduled so it might have been cancelled. The rain turned into a partly sunny day. Snookums went up to the pool bar to find Oscar, the bartender that has been saving “Coke Reward” codes for her from all of the 12-pack boxes of Coke products. He gave her a bunch of them so now she can get more free magazine subscriptions or Holiday Inn points or other free items.It started pouring rain around 3 PM and that’s when the swells came, too. The sea was so calm and it was kind of neat to actually see the swells develop. Snookums went to her final workout class and did make her goal of going to the gym 22 times for an hour each time. While Snookums was working out, Filbert started the packing process but said he had to take it kind of slow since he was getting a little queasy from looking down into the suitcase and then back up again.We had a nice dinner with Joel and Monica and Kay and Marleen but everyone left the table around 9:30 PM for their rooms to finish packing. We got to turn our clocks back one last time which was good since we needed that extra hour to finish our packing. The $12.50 travel scale that we purchased from the boutique didn’t work and the boutique was closed so we put that on our “to do” list for tomorrow.

December 18 (Friday, Day 51, Ft. Lauderdale, FL) –

We had our alarm set for 7 AM but ended up waking up around 5 AM since the ship was bouncing up and down so much. It wasn’t rolling or pitching, but was “jumping”. Filbert looked outside and Ft. Lauderdale was very close. The ocean was pretty calm but the ship was going 2 knots. Obviously the captain got to the port too early and had to cut our speed to almost nothing which caused the bumpy ride. Oh well. It was raining, too.We ate breakafast around 7:30 and Snookums was disappointed that there were no cinnamon rolls and that the doughnuts were the yucky peanut butter ones. Christiaan managed to find her two cinnamon rolls from somewhere on the ship so she did get them, albeit 20 minutes later.Snookums went to the front desk to inquire about what to do about the broken luggage scale and was happy to find that the boutique manager just happened to be there, too. The boutique manager had to do some checking but ultimately gave us $12.50 back so we were happy.We took a cab ($12.10 was the metered fare) to the Ft. Lauderdale airport rather than using Regent’s transfer service that cost $60 per person. We also skipped the shuttle service van that was waiting outside the port terminal that was charging $11 per person to go to the Ft. Lauderdale airport. The 10-minute ride was uneventful and so was Southwest check-in.

Holiday candy at the Ft. Lauderdale airport courtesy Southwest Airlines

Our flight was 30 minutes late due to the severe rainstorm. We didn’t think that was any big deal until we got home and unzipped our four suitcases and found that just about everything in them was soaking wet! Snookums started doing load after load of laundry. Nothing was ruined, but that sure put a damper on our trip. Other than that, we had a fine time and met lots of great people. Our next cruise will also be on Regent (ms Navigator) for a 20-day Panama Canal cruise with Snookums’s parents and sister. We are interested in seeing what the 450-passenger ms Navigator is like compared to the 700-passenger ms Voyager. For now, though, we’re glad to be home! (Note — We did weigh ourselves when we got home. Snookums gained one pound and Filbert gained ten and already got back on his diet.)

Next: hey, there is no next! We’re home! Oh, we might get around to posting some kind of finale sort of thing, but it’s Christmas and we’re going to get into the holiday spirit–at last. So, until the next Journey . . . see ya!