This will be the shortest update on record in over two and a half years making these updates. Very little writing, no new books, only one new drink, no segments completed on the cross-Canada virtual tour, and only one new word.
On the bright side, there are less than three weeks until vacation and hopefully that time will be filled with writing, beer, and reading. Until then, or at least for now, here is the update for this week.
I have been listening to a lot of music lately, but most of it was not new, or even new to me. Tidal has been great, and we re-subscribed to SiriusXM for the vehicle. I have to admit that I did not think too highly of SiriusXM when we first bought the new car in the spring, but I have really grown to like it. I picked up the subscription as an early Christmas gift for my spouse but use it all the time as well.
One notable album on SiriusXM this week has been the new release between Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Their new album "Raise the Roof" is really good with Plant's and Krause's vocals contemplating each other very well. I am not a huge Led Zeppelin fan, but I have always like Plant's solo work, and have been a fan of Krauss since "Forget About It" in 1999. Raise the Roof is laid back with moments of real intensity, and my favorite parts are with Krauss as the lead singer with Plant providing haunting background vocals. "Trouble with my Lover" is a great example of this.
There was one new beer this week, another from Edmonton's Trial & Ale, this being their "A Saison Apparent" (4.0 / 5). My number of unique check-ins on Untappd is now up to 835.
This was my favorite from Trial & Ale so far. Nice fruit flavor with funk from the Brettanomyces without being too ripe. Really good stuff, and I feel my enthusiasm for this brewery is definitely warranted.
New word, singular, to be exact. This one sounded evil and foreboding, but was actually quite domestic, literally and figuratively.
Greetings from 53.5° north latitude after taking a week off from posting. Life has been mostly consumed by work in the past fortnight, leaving little time for anything else. I do not have much to talk about but thought I would post a brief update just to not completely lose momentum from my forced habit of regular writing.
All that is on the agenda is a quick virtual tour update, a handful of new beers, and a few words. Even so, time to get to it.
Cross-Canada Virtual Tour:
The cycling is picking back up, albeit very slowly. Most of the progress I am making on the cross-Canada virtual tour is via walking, which is good but awfully boring. I was able to close off the Ignace-Upsala segment, so I am now homing in on the final segment of this leg towards Thunder Bay.
Upsala was named after Uppsala in Sweden. Note the difference in spelling. Upsala, Ontario was an important fur trade settlement, and was eventually connected via road with the TransCanada connection from the twin cities of Fort William and Port Arthur, which coincidentally, are now a single city named Thunder Bay. The Wikipedia page does not provide any more information, so it appears that Upsala is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it location on the highway.
Here is the updated progress chart.
Seven new beers to report, bringing the total unique check-ins on Untappd to 834. Karlovačko Lager (2.0 / 5), Cabin Luminosity (3.0), Collective Arts IPA No. 17 (3.5), Collective Arts Mai Tai Sour (3.25), Delirium Red (3.75), Delirium Nocturnum (4.0), and Dandy in the Underworld (3.75)
The winner this week was the Delirium Nocturnum, which was a treat to drink. On the opposite end of the scale was the Karlovačko which was so disappointing after the really good lagers I have had lately. Plus, I learned that orgeat (pronounced \"or-zat\"), which is highlighted on the Collective Arts Mai Tai Sour can, is a non-alcoholic almond-flavored syrup that is commonly used in tiki and classic cocktails, most notably in the Mai Tai.
Three new words this week. Can you pick which one came out of COVID research?
Welcome to November where it is definitely not November-esque weather yet. It was a pretty quiet week, with only one item of note and a lone beer to comment on.
The item of note was an interview with Yuval Noah Harari on 60 Minutes. Harari is known for his books "Sapiens", "Homo Deus", and "21 Lessons for the 21st Century". I have read Sapiens and Homo Deus and am a fan of Harari as a result. The interview certainly delves into territory consistent with those books, with statements such as "Within a century or two, Earth will be dominated by entities that are more different from us than we are different from chimpanzees", and how today's technology will allow us to "a new species of human".'
While interesting and thought-provoking, the main takeaway for me was Harari's comments on the importance of data. Harari commented that "data is worth much more than money". Interviewer Anderson Cooper's soundbite was that "data is the key". Harari raised concerns about how biometric data, data about what is going on inside our bodies. Inside of the surveillance we allow upon ourselves now - surveillance of what we read, watch, eat, date - Harari warns that we are moving to surveillance of our body and our health. To his credit, Harari does acknowledge the power of the data we have about our bodies. He says that our times are not just dystopian, but also utopian.
The interview is worth watching, whether you are a fan of Harari and have not yet discovered him.
As an aside, Cooper's "data is the key" soundbite instantly reminded me of Ben Kingsley in "Sneakers".
"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think... it's all about the information!" - Ben Kingsley as Cosmos, in "Sneakers"
I am going to rewatch that movie for the first time in well over a decade. It will be interesting to see how well it holds up.
Just one new beer this week, bringing the unique check-ins on Untappd to 827. This was the Deschutes Royal Fresh Imperial IPA. 3.75