July 21, 2012
Ours will be an order of Academia, Philosophers, Scientists, and People of Learning. We shall be an Order of people who wish to see joy and wonder in the world while understanding the glory and awesomeness of the laws of Nature, those data that have lead us to understand Nature, and respect for the orders and laws of the Physical World. We shall live and thrive without those Laws and Rules and Societies that have limited those that have come before us.
We are an order rooted in Ethics.
We are an order rooted in Liberty.
We are an order rooted in Joy.
We are Ethical Hedonists.
And to find Joy where there is Pain, where there is Suffering, we maintain strength through comedy and awareness. We help those we can, we reach out to those that need us, and we support each other. We support ourselves.
We are The Order of Sarcastic Scribes.
So who wants to be a TOSSer?
July 1, 2012
I even had a Canuckistani reader today. Awesome. So happy Canada Day to all of my followers, friends, and family who are proud Canuckistanians. I’m sorry I’m still behind on my writing (including and article on being a good ally from the point of view of an ally) bit I’m still waiting on my new laptop screen.
So, happy holiday, please consider sharing (namely, the blog with other people), And I hope to return to regular posting soon!
June 26, 2012
I am in an unfortunate position – I’m waiting on a new laptop screen so I can come to Starbucks to write. Until then, I’m reading on my Kindle. And I have now internet connection at home, so if I use my external monitor I can’t upload anything.
On top of that, I’m trying to mobilize my circle of friends and supporters to help me get my own space. I need to get out of the place I’m in now for a variety of reasons and I need your help to do it. So please consider donating or even just telling other people about my blog. If you’d like all of the details as to why I need help, you can message me on Facebook through my page to the right, on Twitter @Luarien, or you can find me on G+ as Daniel A. Samuelson (my picture is a bunch of gears). For now, I’m posting from my phone, so it’s unlikely I’ll post much.
Thank you for your support so far and I hope you will continue to enjoy my work.
So, I don’t know what to do. Notes Part 2 is looking at having a whole chapter of exposition. Which I don’t want to do.
I’m considering having Part 3 be a flashback section, to explain the foundation of the current story, but Part 2 is only 7500 words right now. That’ll be expanded in editing, but will it go far enough to support itself?
What should I do?
April 14, 2012
I’d like to start something new here, something irregular, and discuss something a few of you may know that I’m rather passionate about. In short, I adore beer. Beer’s historical importance cannot be overstated, its social value cannot be properly quantified, and its variety cannot be defined. To that end, I explore as many forms of beer as I can with an interest in the unique, the obscure, the delicious, and the intriguing.
Yesterday, with my girlfriend, I sought out such an experience and I was bitterly disappointed.
There’s a brewery a fair bit of a drive from my stomping grounds in Orange County called I&I Brewing. They’re a small brewery in an industrial park with a tiny taproom. When we went in, they had perhaps ten styles on offer, including 3 different India Pale Ales (A standard IPA, an Imperial IPA, and a Double IPA). We decided to sample five of the beers (The Imperial IPA, a Strong Ale, a Tea Pale Ale, a Peach Wheat Ale, and a Cherry Stout) and got one of their (rather attractive) glasses. Mostly because plastic makes beer taste funny and that’s the alternative if you don’t purchase one of their glasses in their taproom.
Before I go any further, there’s one thing I do want to say about the brewery is that they’re not bad. They succeed in making the base beer styles they set out for, but I’ll get into the general problems with the beers as we go further. They do show potential, though, to be at least a solid addition to the microbrew cosmos. I don’t, however, forsee anything amazing coming from them.
The first beer we tried was the Peach Wheat Ale. I feel like it’s bad for me to really get into the flavors in this beer, the peach elements, or the wheat elements since the beer was thoroughly skunked. From the brewery. In their taproom. It was more than disappointing. But in the interests of fairness, I tried not to let this color my impressions of the other beers.
Next we tried the Pekoe Tea Pale Ale. I’m sure a few of my readers will note that Pekoe is not a type of tea, but a size of tea-leaf in the strange East India Company’s tea measuring system. All I could tell from the name was that it was a black tea of some kind, and the flavor of the beer didn’t help at all. There could have been some herbal elements, or flowery elements, that come from jasmine teas or darjeeling teas but it was drowned out by the saminess of the ale. There was a distinct Miller-esque edge to the beer, as if it were brewed with rice or too much adjunct, and it wasn’t nearly hoppy enough. A good Pale Ale is hoppy, even just a bit, and in California it’s surprising to not find any hops in a local Pale Ale (we are the home of Stone Brewery and Sierra Nevada, neither of which shy away from hopping anything). All in all I was disappointed. It wasn’t even a good pale ale, regardless of the lack of tea flavor.
Next we sampled the Cherry Stout. The nose was rather nice, thick and chocolaty with a heavy current of maltiness. A solid stout, in other words. When we tasted it, it was a stout. A decent stout. A successful stout. However, it wasn’t a Cherry stout. There were no cherry elements, either red or black, and there was no lingering flavor to the beer at all. Again, there was a bit of a Miller quality to the beer with an almost obscenely clean finish. It wasn’t that interesting, and it wasn’t that inspiring.
Next we sampled the Imperial IPA, which like the stout was a success at the basic style. It was, in fact, an Imperial IPA with hints of hops and an overarching malt flavor. It didn’t do anything interesting, though, and the hops weren’t strong enough to really meld with the maltiness. The malts were the entire flavor, for the most part, and there wasn’t a floral finish or a bitter finish to it at all. Again, like the stout, it had an extremely clean finish. While many may enjoy the sudden ending of the flavor, part of the enjoyment for richly flavored beers for me is the lingering taste, the after taste, and the way that flavors can shift across the palate after swallowing. None of these beers had that.
The last beer we tried was the Strong Ale. Again, they succeeded at the Beer 101 elements here. It was a strong ale, that’s indisputable. However, it wasn’t a good strong ale, it wasn’t an interesting strong ale, and it suffered from the lack of palate fascination. There were no lingering flavors for the most part and it was like drinking almost a pure malt, no texture or interest in the flavor. It also had a bit of the flavor of adjunct to it, a bit too much of the flat, bland flavor that comes with a lack of spicing. Overall, disappointing.
At the very least, they can brew beer and they succeed at the base elements. They have potential to get better if they get a little more adventurous and hone their styles a little more. If they were asking me, I’d say cut down the beers to just five or six and really perfect them before branching out. Explore methods to do more with palate tastes, especially upper and lower palate differences and lingering flavors after swallowing.
I&I feels like a homebrewer that’s just turned into a business. This isn’t bad, and it’s an important part of microbrewing, but they’re really not ready for the big show yet. I wish them the best of luck and hope that, in a few years, I can try them again and be impressed with at least one beer.
April 13, 2012
I have just finished reading the Belgariad for the…fifth time, I think. Next I’m tackling the Grand Admiral Thrawn trilogy. I’m kind of out of ideas for today, so instead let’s talk about what you enjoy. Specifically, the kinds of fantasy that you enjoy. The setting that I’m most enamored with right now is Royan, my fantasy setting, and I’m culling ideas from as many great fantasy settings as I can. So tell me about the settings and world and fantasies you love.
Tell me how to write a better fantasy.
March 14, 2012
Occasionally, having a very limited diet makes things difficult. In this case, I’ve been suffering from food poisoning or a stomach flu for the past day or so and I think I’m largely back to normal but it’s after a day of being violently ill and asleep for most of it. I also missed out on a few things I wanted to do yesterday and I’m not sure when I’ll have the chance to do them again but, c’est la vie, there’s always tomorrow no?
Today I’m going to be trying to relax and hanging out with some of the local atheists in Orange County, which if you happen to be going to OCA tonight I’ll see you there! If not, well, I’ll think about you all the same. I’m going to try to do some writing, I think, but I don’t know if I’ll get any done. Given how my stomach still feels. At some point I’m going to try to eat solid food again too; yesterday I consumed only ginger ale and I’ve just added green tea to my consumables list but no solid food. Not yet.
Now, other than that. A big thanks to Aly Hughes for the nomination for the Liebster Blog award. I’m not exactly sure what to think yet, between being sick and being surprised, but I’m both honored and touched. I didn’t think anyone would think that much about my blog so soon into it, given I started it in early January. Hopefully, though, this is a milestone in my road to success as an author. I’d be a lot happier if that were so; I could use a real apartment with running water and electricity. And a regular internet connection that isn’t through my phone.
I hope your day finds you well. Feel free to discuss whatever you’d like in the comments if you feel like commenting.