Thursday, September 30, 2010



All pours were five ounces into the Fremont Oktoberfest souvenir tasting mug (pictured above).

Beer name (Alcohol % by volume)
Style as listed in Fremont Oktoberfest map/flier.


Big Al Tripel (8.9)
Belgian-Style Strong Ale.
Big Al Brewing of Seattle, Washington.

Yeasty, spicy. Good tripel.


Oaktoberfest (4.5)
Vienna Lager.
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. of Paso Robles, California.

Watery, butter flavor. Meh. Hoping for more.


Deschutes Oktoberfest (5.0)
Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon.

Nutty, yeasty, malty. I would like it to be a bit bolder in flavor.


Mystere de la Saison (6.9)
Other Ale (Saison).
Fremont Brewing Co. of Seattle Washington.

Excellent. Yeast. Spice, sage perhaps. A hint of paper pulp.


The Stranger Big Double Trouble (8.5)
(Imperial) IPA.
Lazy Boy Brewing Co. of Everett, Washington.

Yowza. Apple on the front, bitterness throughout, celery on the finish. The bitterness leans towards stinging nettles and pine needles and/or resin. Excellent.


Heavy Horse (6.2)
Scotch Ale.
Big Sky Brewing of Missoula, Montana.

Too watery for a Scotch, in my opinion. Weak on flavor. Not bad, but nothing to rave about. I've had better.


Lucille IPA (7.2)
Georgetown Brewing Co. of Seattle, Washington.

Top notch. Pine resin and orange bitters. Over-the-top hops. Fantastic. It's like a bitter version of Manny's Pale Ale on overdrive.


Little Sumpin Wild (7.7)
Belgian IPA.
Lagunitas Brewing Co. of Petaluma, California.

Yeast, cloves, heaven. The best Belgian today. Subtle, yet complex. Slight alcohol burn on the finish, but I'm okay with that. It works. Excellent x 2.


Plus, sips of two Laurelwood Brewing Co. of Portland, Oregon brews: Organic Free Range Red, a NW ESB, and Workhorse IPA, an IPA. Both were complex and worth having again for full effect.


Also, my beer buddy for the day had me try a sip of Manny's Pale Ale (Georgetown Brewing Co. of Seattle, Washington) to test his hypothesis that Manny's is a good ale on its own, but the flavor is off if had after another beer. I love Manny's, but he is correct. Other beers seem to influence its flavor, and not necessarily in a kind way.


Another piece of heaven (or, rather, a bunch of pieces of heaven sliced up and mashed together): a veal bratwurst from Zieglers Bratwurst Haus. Served on a big ol' bun and slathered in sauerkraut and yellow mustard. Mmm!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


What will I be doing in my free time for the next few days?

Poring over the latest edition (volume 12, number 3; October 2010) of Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies!

Monday, September 27, 2010


Troy's Work Table will be reading aloud chapter four of Moby-Dick ("The Counterpane") as part of the Banned Books Week Read Out! at Puyallup Public Library. He'll be doing such dressed up as Herman Melville.

Join TWT and others as they read books that have been challenged or banned in libraries throughout our great nation. Support intellectual freedom and the right to read whatever you want without interference by participating in an event near you or reading a challenged/banned book.


Moby-Dick has been challenged and censored from its very beginning. It was initially published in two versions: a censored British version in October 1851 and the "original" American version in November 1851. Since that time, it has been challenged for homoeroticism, violence, perceived anti-Christian theology, and (most recently) not conforming to community standards.


Banned Books Week Read Out!
6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Thursday 30 September 2010
Puyallup Public Library


Learn more about the Puyallup Public Library HERE.

Learn more about the PPL's Banned Books Week Read Out! HERE.

Learn more about Banned Books Week HERE.


Visit these other sites:

American Library Association.

Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Controversial and Banned Books.


One of my coworkers discovered a praying mantis outside our offices today. The conversation went something like this...

COWORKER: "Have you ever seen a praying mantis before?"

TWT: "Yeah. In Eastern Washington."

CW: "Have you ever seen one in Western Washington?"

TWT: "No. I don't think they live on this side of the mountains."

CW: "Well, I think there's one outside on the wall."

TWT: "Cool! I want to see it."

[TWT rushes outside like a ten-year-old boy, nearly knocking over Coworker.]

CW: "Right there."

[Coworker points out the insect.]

TWT: "That sure looks like a praying mantis."

[Both stand around staring at the mantis until the scene and the moment become awkward.]

CW: "Okay. I'm heading back inside."

TWT: "Me too."

[Coworker departs. TWT lingers.]

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Some new links have been added. You can visit them at the following links now or visit them later in the sidebar.

Under "BOOKS - Litblogs"
* A Common Reader
I like that the author reads and then writes about what interests him. As the tagline of his blog states: "...reading for my own pleasure rather than to impart knowledge or to correct the opinions of others." That is a refreshing stance.

Under "BEER - Craft Beer Adventures"
* The Pour Fool
This Seattle PI blogger writes mostly about wine. However, the beer reviews are well-written and informative, even if somewhat infrequent.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I won a pair of tickets to Fremont Oktoberfest as part of a random blind drawing for 99 Bottles Club members. My friend Chris and I headed up to Fremont on a lovely early fall day—clear skies, sunshine, low 70s, not too humid—to enjoy sampling some microbrews.

Beer Tent 6: Alaskan, Baron/Three Skulls, Big Al, Goose, Kona, Redhook, Firestone Walker. Big Al's Tripel was excellent.

Each brewer offered one or two ales or lagers. Each token filled up your five-ounce mug with your choice of brew.

Woody, the Deschutes Brewery Traveling Barrel, and Woody's Lounge.

A veal sausage bratwurst, smothered in sauerkraut and yellow mustard, was the perfect companion to an Oktoberfest/Märzen.

We are very happy at this point—beer, brats, beautiful weather.

The crowds quadrupled in the nearly four hours of our time at the festival. We were glad to head home when we did, before long lines and noisy drunkards became the norm.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


The neighbor's house is being demolished, two-and-one-half years after her death. Her son also decided to remove most of the large trees in her yard. The large fir that once sat in the middle of her front yard—like our own black walnut tree or the other neighbor's monkey tree, each situated right in the middle of our front yards—is coming down.

The sky opened up as limbs disappeared. More sky appeared as the trunk diminished. Houses we haven't been able to see from our yard or front window are now visible. Street lights a block over now shine their weak light upon our street at night.

Something so familiar—the neighbor's yard, her home, conversations with her in her living room—have all changed. Some things have died or disappeared. Others have been reframed, refreshed, renewed.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Photograph by The Child.

Today was a true Troy's Work Table day. All of the major categories were included: books, art, beer, and wanderings.


A round of disc golf at Fort Steilacoom's Northwest Course was just what was needed today. It supplied some wonderful late summer weather, much needed exercise, and the opportunity to throw discs into plenty of trees. The Child and I even had some fun pretending we were throwing discs from a closed tee platform (as seen above).

My red Discraft Stalker seemed to try hiding from me on half of my tee drives today. It would hit a tree and "disappear" into brush or tall grass or behind another tree. It definitely got a workout, but one that was rather brutal. It looks like additional time at Fort Steilacoom DGC is needed!


Today was a true Troy's Work Table day. All of the major categories were included: books, art, beer, and wanderings.


The Weekly Volcano ran a brief review of a new hot dog restaurant in the (almost) ghost town that has become Tacoma's Freighthouse Square. Dog & Deli make one mean Chicago-style hot dog, with all of the trimmings. They also offer other namesake city hot dogs, with condiments to match each city's actual hot dog cuisine. There were more than twenty different types of hot dogs—Seattle, Atlanta, Coney Island—in addition to cheese steaks and other hot sandwiches. It was nice to find a good local hot dog joint that I can also take The Child.


Today was a true Troy's Work Table day. All of the major categories were included: books, art, beer, and wanderings.


Oktoberfest Lager, an Oktoberfest/Märzen by Bayern Brewing.

12 ounce bottle, served in a mug.

This Oktoberfest offering pours like a mug of root beer,—with a brown body; a light brown, sand-colored head; and some large bubbles of carbonation. The carbonation quickly settles down and the head dissipates, leaving behind the aromas of malt and autumn leaves.

I may even detect a hint of root beer, although that is likely due to association from its visual display.

The primary flavors are malt, leaves, earthiness, and beef broth. Secondary flavors are a hint of bitter chocolate and molasses lurking in the background. The broth flavor is what attracts me to the Oktoberfest and Märzen lagers, and it is done very well here.

This isn't as sweet as Boulevard Brewing's Bob's '47 Oktoberfest, but definitely another great Oktoberfest experience. The bonus is that I am enjoying it on the official opening day of Munich, Germany's Oktoberfest 2010 from which it derives its name.


Today was a true Troy's Work Table day. All of the major categories were included: books, art, beer, and wanderings.


On our way to play a round of disc golf at Fort Steilacoom Disc Golf Course, The Child and I decided to stop at the offices of the Weekly Volcano to admire their tiki, adorned with new ivy growth.


Today was a true Troy's Work Table day. All of the major categories were included: books, art, beer, and wanderings.


A visit to Tacoma Book Center yielded the hardcover Everyman's Library edition of The Complete Shorter Fiction by Herman Melville. I was especially interested in getting it for the 200 pages of uncollected stories and sketches, which includes "Hawthorne and His Mosses," a fawning review of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Mosses from an Old Manse." It was a great find in near mint condition.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


The members of Les sardines have been meeting together for two years. We originally began as a writing workshop called Writing House that was offered by a friend that each of us had taken previous creative writing classes with, at University of Washington Tacoma or Hugo House or in his home. Our twelve weeks together as a group provided us the chemistry and wherewithal to continue on at the completion of the workshop.

Seven of the nine WH participants founded Les sardines as a way to provide feedback for our work and discipline and deadlines for our writing lives, as well as a forum for publishing our own literary journal, Les Sar'Zine. (We have recently had the other two WH participants join our ranks.)


The evening was hosted by two of our members. D. acted as host and grill-master (and one of the two desserts). L. provided most of the side dishes, decor, dining-ware, and dessert. The rest of us provided drinks and conversation.

It was an evening of wonderful company and a spectacular meal—plum and cherry wood-smoked chicken, garlic pudding, roasted potatoes, corn, green beans, lentils, bread, apple pie, chocolate torte, various cheeses and olives and figs. The beers on hand were Bridgeport Hop Czar Imperial IPA, La Caracole Nostradamus Belgian Brown Ale, and Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale. There were also a myriad of wines, although TWT was preoccupied with the barley beverages.


It was a great way to celebrate our time together as writers, and, now as friends. Here is to another year together: Cheers!

Friday, September 10, 2010


This is what $16.85 of Puyallup Fair food looks like. We decided to purchase kid-sized portions for The Child, which gave us a slightly healthier meal and less stomachache.

The curly fries were seasoned better than in years past, making them the highlight of the meal.


This is what 2009 Puyallup Fair food looks like.

This is what 2008 Puyallup Fair food looks like

This is what 2007 Puyallup Fair food looks like.

(You should be able to sense a theme.)


Today was the Puyallup Fair Parade, where the rodeo bulls are run through the city streets. This year they had volunteers prepared in case one of the cattle decided to enter a convenience store, as happened last year.

It was also the opening day of the fair, where all of the cheapskates (such as Troy's Work Table) can get in free for the first two hours. The Child and I donated our cans of green beans and peaches for the Puyallup Food Bank and entered the gates of the world's eighth largest fair.

We wandered animal barn upon animal barn, until we could no longer look at another row of livestock. Then we ate fair food and wandered home.

The lead bull of the parade was a bit scary, running at a good speed and weaving back and forth from one side of the street to the other, looking for a break in the crowd. Thankfully, everyone survived this running of the bulls.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Imperial Pale, an Imperial Pale Ale by Powerhouse Restaurant & Brewery.

On tap, served in a 10-ounce miniature pilsner glass.


The Powerhouse has a consistent stable of beers that is bolstered by a damn good selection of pub food—fish tacos, pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, pasta dishes, baby back ribs, salads. It also happens to be my neighborhood pub.

While I enjoy all of their lager and ale offerings, I find that their boldest, most complex, and best offerings are those that are at the low and high end of the alcohol content spectrum. That means that their Belgian White (4% ABV) and Brass Monk (8+% ABV) are good representatives of what constitutes their best. I find that their Imperial Pale follows suit.


The board in the bar reads:
IMPERIAL PALE • Dry hop ale inspired by WA-HB Jody Chinn • 1.088 O.G. • 9.3% ABV

In other words, a beast.


I don't know who Jody Chinn is, but I want to meet him or her. This beer is inspired by his or her creation; I can only imagine what the original is like!


The body is orange and quiet, with only a few bubbles of carbonation. The off-white head gives way to a thin ring and leaves behind a few bands of lacing.

The nose is of biscuits and hard alcohol (rum or such), with hints of flowers and cherries. The tongue is of bitterness and grass, caramel and the light graham cracker flavor of baby teething biscuits. There is a strong, bold bitterness and an alcohol bite that is like a viper strike in its initial hit, but like lingering venom in its finish.

This is excellent stuff. It is not quite as bitter or citrusy as an Imperial IPA, but what it lacks in over-the-top flavor is made up for in complexity as it engages the entire mouth. The faint sweetness dries and dries and dries.


If you are in the South Puget Sound region, then visit the Powerhouse for their Power Dip and a "pint" of Imperial Pale.

Thursday, September 02, 2010


I've been traipsing along through David Mitchell's Black Swan Green, a coming-of-age tale set in the year 1982 and the village Black Swan Green of Margaret Thatcher's Great Britain, while the Falklands War is raging. I find the socially awkward Jason Taylor, the literary kin of Christopher John Francis Boone in Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Oskar Schell of in Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, to be someone that I would enjoy hanging around. His stammer, his navigation of his social/school milieu, his relationships with his parents and sister, and his strange partition of himself into various personalities that keep informing us of their presence (Hangman, Maggot, Unborn Twin) make him intriguing and compelling. I keep wanting to learn more about who he is.