Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Santa Fe Pale Ale 'close second' to Sierra Nevada

I was recently in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and ate at the Catamount Bar & Grille, where I ordered a pint of Santa Fe Pale Ale.

Santa Fe Pale Ale reminded me of Sierra Nevada and Bass -- I loved it.

I'm not alone in my opinion. At a dinner party in Albuquerque the next day, I talked with a fellow who lives in Santa Fe. He said Sierra Nevada is his favorite beer, but Santa Fe Pale Ale is a "close second."

Sante Fe Brewing Company is the oldest microbrewery in New Mexico.
I also tried the microbrewery's Santa Fe Nut Brown. It was good, with the smoothness and malty sweetness I expect from nut brown ales, but not the depth and variety in the flavor profile that I had hoped for. Still, a good, solid nut brown.

Digg this

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Sadie Elisabeth Burch, age 2

Digg this

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Historical anatomy images online

Shop Amazon - Thanksgiving Dinner and Desserts - Prepare the Perfect Feast

Fascinating and creepy anatomy sketches from old medical texts.
The sense of dark intrigue while viewing anatomical atlases from yesteryear.
The U.S. National Medical Library has posted a big chunk of its Historical Anatomies collection online.
Dive into weird and wonderful presentations of the human body at .
As for the praying fellow above, he is a fan of the N.C. State Wolfpack, begging God for a football win. Notice he's been there a while.
Actually, he's an icon for the religious life -- we're already dead, even as we seek the eternal.

Digg this

Paglia on religion and the arts

In an article in the Spring/Summer 2007 edition of Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics, Camille Paglia wrote about the relationship between religion and the arts, and how respect for religion can revive the arts. What follows in an excerpt from Paglia’s article; thanks to the folks at Mars Hill Audio Journal for posting it on their Web site.

Paglia wrote:

For the fine arts to revive, they must recover their spiritual center. Profaning the iconography of other people’s faiths is boring and adolescent. The New Age movement, to which I belong, was a distillation of the 1960s’ multicultural attraction to world religions, but it has failed thus far to produce important work in the visual arts. The search for spiritual meaning has been registering in popular culture instead through science fiction, as in George Lucas’ six-film Star Wars saga, with its evocative master myth of the “Force.” But technology for its own sake is never enough. It will always require supplementation through cultivation in the arts.

To fully appreciate world art, one must learn how to respond to religious expression in all its forms. Art began as religion in prehistory. It does not require belief to be moved by a sacred shrine, icon, or scripture. Hence art lovers, even when as citizens they stoutly defend democratic institutions against religious intrusion, should always speak with respect of religion. Conservatives, on the other hand, need to expand their parched and narrow view of culture. Every vibrant civilization welcomes and nurtures the arts.

Progressives must start recognizing the spiritual povery of contemporary secular humanism and reexamine the way that liberalism too often now automatically defines human aspiration and human happiness in reductively economic terms. If conservatives are serious about educational standards, they must support the teaching of art history in primary school — which means conservatives have to get over their phobia about the nude, which has been a symbol of Western art and Western individualism and freedom since the Greeks invented democracy. Without compromise, we are heading for a soulless future. But when set against the vast historical panorama, religion and art — whether in marriage or divorce — can reinvigorate American culture.


For something that looks a little like the marriage of religion and the arts, check out this interview with Nicora Gangi, along with images of two of her paintings, at .

Digg this

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Myrtle Beach Moment, No. 11

It's the Fall Pilgrimage for bikers here in Myrtle Beach. We planned to go to Myabi for dinner, and when I parked in the back, I got a view of the stunt show going on behind The Dog House bar. This was around 5:30 p.m. this afternoon. The power line is in the foreground, by the way.

I used my Canon Xti Rebel for the pics, and then tweaked levels, contrasts, etc., with the Adobe Photoshop Album Starter.

Digg this

Man stole two truckloads of beer

From the Toronto Star:

A Vaughan man has been charged in connection with the theft of two truck trailers of beer last month.

More than 100,000 cans and bottles of beer were taken Sept. 19 from Moosehead brewery's shipping partner on Dixie Rd near Hwy. 401 in Mississauga. The estimated retail value of the stolen beer was about $200,000, police said.

"Two were stolen from Mississauga and two were from Brampton," said Peel Region Const. J.P. Valade. "All of them contained different types of beer."

Police traced the stolen beer to a Rowntree Dairy Rd. warehouse, near Pine Valley Dr. and Hwy. 7, where they recovered 1,100 cases, some of it from earlier thefts.

Pullara Calogero, 59, is charged with two counts of possession of stolen property relating to the Mississauga thefts. Police are looking for other suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 905-453-2121 ext. 3313 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Digg this

Foster's ad: fat trucker, Slovenian blondes

"FOSTER'S GROUP has created the unlikely partnership of a bevy of Slovenian blondes and a fat Aussie truckie to star in a blockbuster ad for its market-leading brand in the booming low-carbohydrate beer category," reports Australia's Sydney Morning Herald.

"Three years after quietly launching Pure Blonde, the company last night twisted the cap off a $3 million ad campaign marketing the beer as the purest drop to be found."

Read the article, and see a pic, at:

Digg this

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Me, vodka cocktail judge, this Monday evening

From my Beerman column in the Weekly Surge:

At 6 p.m. Monday, I will join three other judges at Droopy's, 5201 North Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, to choose the Myrtle Beach Signature FireFly Cocktail.

FireFly Vodka, based in Wadmalaw Island, is flavored with muscadine wine. The folks at FireFly have held a competition for drink recipes that reflect Myrtle Beach in originality, taste, and presentation. Chef Miles Huff and his culinary class at Trident Technical College in Charleston narrowed the entries down to five final recipes.

Now it's up to me and my fellow judges, FireFly owners Jim Irvin and Scott Newitt, and Mixin Dixon of The Sound 107.1 FM, to choose the best one.

Droopy's will offer free FireFly samples along with special FireFly drinks. Come out and see us.

Digg this

Myrtle Beach Moment, No. 9 and No. 10

This fellow was huddled up against the rain today at Barefoot Landing, a shopping-dining-entertainment complex in North Myrtle Beach.

The Myrtle Beach area has been getting extended spells of steady, moderate-to-heavy rain today, but that hasn't stopped the bikers who have come to town for the annual fall rally.

I hear a siren in the distance, and it's a reasonable guess that there has been another traffic accident.

Venders and bikers currently dominate chunks of the parking lots at Broadway at the Beach, Colonial Mall, and Barefoot Landing.

Here's a pic from the parking lot in front of the Hard Rock Cafe at Broadway at the Beach. Note the "Bike Parking Only" sign. We see a lot of that sign during the spring and fall rallies.

Digg this

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Eating & drinking in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.

Another married couple invited my wife and I to spend a weekend in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., recently.

We met them on a recent Friday at the Giggling Mackerel at 65 Causeway Drive.

We found the Giggling Mackerel, and climbed a couple of flights of wood stairs to meet our friends on a deck bar above the restaurant.

Stepping onto the top reoriented the entire day - the breeze blew, the sun set, and the music played. The girl barkeep was cute and friendly. We could see the Intracoastal Waterway and the cars passing over the bridge.

The hostess called our names for dinner downstairs. We made it without tumbling down the steps, and I went for the Red Stripe. It was $3.75 per bottle, and could have been a couple of degrees colder, but a wedge of lime and a rack of ribs for $16.95 made up for it. The Giggling Mackerel also had seven domestic beers for $3 per bottle, and four other premium bottles for $3.75.

The next day I got a properly chilled Pabst Blue Ribbon at Sharky's at 61 Causeway Drive. Sharky's also had outside seating, but we opted for inside that afternoon. The PBR bottles, at $3 each, were very cold, thank God. We also got a half-pound of fried shrimp for an appetizer, $13.95. And then we had another.

Then the server told us the last chilled PBR had been served (to us), so instead of drinking a warm one, my buddy got a Pacifico for $4. I got Summer Bright Ale from Breckenridge Brewing in Colorado, at $2.50 per bottle. I had never seen this American Wheat Pale Ale before. It had a touch of that hop spiciness that hinted toward an India Pale Ale, giving it an interesting flavor with a light enough body to drink all the summer-day long. That one's definitely a keeper.

Our group decided that a pound of fried shrimp didn't make a dinner, so we went over to Cinelli's Pizza & Ristorante at 14 Causeway Drive. We sat at tall tables near the seven-seat wood bar with colorful hanging lights. Here I ordered a pint of Anheuser-Busch's Skipjack Amber. To get an idea of what this American All-Malt Lager tastes like, think of Yuengling and then take the malt a little more toward caramel, and make the hops a little bit crisper. Good stuff, $3 a pint.

Digg this

Books I'm reviewing for real publications

I'm reviewing The Book of Vice: Very Naughty Things (And How to do Them), by NPR's Peter Sagal, for DoubleThink, the quarterly magazine published by America's Future Foundation in D.C. The review should appear in the Winter 2008 edition. You can visit the magazine's Web page at AFF also has an online-only publication called Brainwash, which you can find at

I'm also reviewing a slightly denser book: Brain, Mind, and Human Behavior in Contemporary Cognitive Science: Critical Assessments of the Philosophy of Psychology, by Jeff Coulter and Wes Sharrock. This review will appear in the March 2008 edition of Appraisal: The Journal of the Society for Post-Critical and Personalist Studies. You can visit the SPCPS Web site at

Meanwhile, at, I will soon post a book review of Praying with Beads: Daily Prayers for the Christian Year by Nan Lewis Doerr and Virginia Stem Owens.

Digg this
Links Add to Technorati Favorites