Monday, January 30, 2012


"...wild rumors abound, wherever there is any adequate reality for them to cling to."
—from "Moby Dick," chapter 41 of Moby-Dick by Herman Melville.


A new yearlong reading project begins.


Originally, it seemed that The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck was the natural next book and project to ruminate upon. The scope and structure of Steinbeck's masterpiece seemed the terrestrial companion to Melville's oceanic tome.

Then, however, The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick was published.


The more than 8,000 pages of The Exegesis have been edited, arranged, and curated by Philip K. Dick scholar Pamela Jackson and author Jonathan Lethem, and distilled into almost 1,000 pages of presentable material.

It appears that two of the most referenced works in the first hundred pages of The Exegesis are Ubik and VALIS, so they were the first two Philip K. Dick novels that I read.

Now, it is time to continue to read in The Exegesis, to revisit Ubik and VALIS as necessary, and to read other Dick novels as necessary (Radio Free Albemuth anyone?). Additionally, various Philip K. Dick biographies, articles, and scholarly papers will be delved into.


The "Wild Rumors of Reality" begin.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


One week later mostly melts away.

Friday, January 27, 2012


One week later is a shambles, shattered, fragments.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


One week later is laughable.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


One week later is mere memory.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


"In comparison to my life in the inter-connected dreams, this life is lonely and phony, and worthless; unfit for an intelligent and educated person...In the dreams, I see what a full life really consists of, and it is not what I really have."
—page 278, VALIS by Philip K. Dick, as found in VALIS and Later Novels (The Library of America).


"Maybe they’re just dreams, he thought. And maybe I’m just dreaming this dark cluster of houses and the dogs barking and this stream murmuring peacefully in its motionless current and this urge I feel to go and break into that house jutting out on the river bank, just waiting for me."
—page 230, The Galley Slave by Drago Jančar.


Yggdrasil and Niflheim, superimposed on Black Walnut and Puyallup.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Mímisbrunnr, the Well of Knowledge.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Snow and cold, Puyallup, Washington.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Sunset, Wednesday 11 January 2012, Edgewood, Washington.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Sunrise, Wednesday 04 January 2012, Edgewood, Washington.

Monday, January 09, 2012


Sunrise, Tuesday 03 January 2012, Edgewood, Washington.

Thursday, January 05, 2012


10² Highly-Hopped Barley Wine Ale, a Barleywine by Fish Brewing Company.

22 ounce bomber bottle served in a snifter.


The pour is a deep brown body, with an aura of brick red (almost a ruby red). There is no real head of which to speak, only a nearly non-existent ring of ivory.

The nose is beef broth and leather, cocoa powder and dust, figs and a hint of cherries.

The similar tongue is bitter and shifting on the flavor, long and drawn out. This is followed by a warming on the tongue that makes its way well into the throat. Wow!

Additional flavors are varnish and brown sugar.


This barleywine is complex and shifting, thick but not oily.


This bottle is an excellent experience.


As it warms: more brown sugar, more of a buttery mouthfeel, and smoother, more intense alcohol.


This bottle is way too much for one person and one sitting. On the second half of the bottle on another evening, I discovered even more sweet brown sugar and some green apple on both the nose and tongue.

As I stated before, this is an experience. I will be returning to the wonder and joy of the 10².

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


Mac & Jack's Cascadian Dark Ale, a CDA/Black IPA by Mac & Jack's Brewing Company.

32 ounce growler filled from 99 Bottles tap, served in tulip glass (1/2) and Samuel Adams glass (1/2).


These tasting notes are "rougher" than some. Compare them to those of Pelican Bad Santa.


Mac & Jack's CDA possesses a “darker” nose (and is less hoppy) than Bad Santa.

More malts, more chocolate, a hint of espresso, and more cream.

No hint of mint.

This is very similar to Bad Santa, and a good CDA, although Bad Santa is more nuanced and complex on both nose and tongue. With that said, this is also very enjoyable and drinkable. My guess is that this would be more accessible to a greater number of beer drinkers than Bad Santa.


After more thought (or meditation, which is what it really was) upon this ale, it is almost like a liquid Oreo cookie—dark chocolate graham with a hint of whipped cream for the frosting center. Next time, I'll have to pair it with Oreos or vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


Bad Santa Cascadian Dark Ale, a CDA/Black IPA by Pelican Pub & Brewery.

22 ounce bomber bottle served in a tulip glass.


The pour brings a black body and a finger-thick head of light brown to the glass. Minor lacing is left behind upon each drink.

The nose is citrus peel and chocolate malts. The flavors are many and varied—roasted malts, citrus of grapefruit and lemon peel, dark chocolate, whipped cream, and a bit of stew/broth to undergird the other flavors.

The mouthfeel is thick and hearty, even as a crisp cleanness makes itself present, before finishing with a hint of cocoa chalkiness.

As it warms, the hops become a bit more piney and grassy, and there is almost a chocolate mint flavor that presents itself.

As far as I am concerned, this is a spectacular black IPA, and one of my current favorite beers. If you find it, make sure you pick up a couple of bottles!


Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick.

For the newcomer, this is a helpful introduction to themes encountered within the pages of Moby-Dick, as well as the life of Melville.

For the convert, each brief chapter acts as a meditation, a devotion, for this "one book that deserves to be called our American bible" (9).

For everyone, it is a tribute from an admiring and passionate reader to an author influenced by Owen Chase, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Shakespeare, the Bible, and his own whaling experiences.

For me, this was a wonderful and quick read filled with gems of observations and lines of inquiry. I enjoyed seeing the themes and set pieces that we were equally intrigued by, as well as those that we differed upon.

This is definitely a book that I will be returning to and opening again and again.

Monday, January 02, 2012


Timmermans Framboise, a Lambic by Timmermans.

12 ounce bottle served in some small glass found in the home of the parents.


I didn't drink the whole thing. I actually inherited about half of it, when The Sister found it "too much like beer" and not enough like Lindemans Framboise for her liking.


The color is pinkish-brown with a white head (which is all the more brilliant due to the contrast). The glass is filled with light and lively bubbles.

This lambic smells like my memory of Frankenberry cereal, primarily raspberry and grain.

The flavor is boldly raspberry, with yeast and grain making brief appearances in the background. The flavors are nicely balanced, however, working well together.

This is quite nice.

Sunday, January 01, 2012


Snow Cap Ale, a Winter Warmer by Pyramid Brewing Company.

22 ounce bottle served in shaker glass. 7% alcohol by volume. $2.79 per bottle at Fred Meyer.


The pour delivers a brown body with a reddish-brown aura and tan head, which quickly departs.

The nose is mostly beef broth with a hint of floral.

The flavor is beef broth, candied sugar, ginger (I checked it against The Wife's spice rack), other spices (although none too powerful), and dark malts.

The mouthfeel is medium-heavy, but not thick or oily.

This is a good, solid beer at an inexpensive price. For what it's worth, it's a good beer. It's not showy or over-the-top, but it is a good option for a meat-and-potato dinner (or stew!).