Greetings from 53.5° north latitude, on a weekend that seems chilly after the record-setting summer we have had so far. The record set was 15 days of 30°C or higher in a year. The previous record was set in 1961. It is not hard to imagine another few days at or above 30 before the summer is over.
If I was saying this instead of typing it, I might subconsciously stay "I can even" believe how hot it has been. I point this out because of a great YouTube channel I found this week. Rachel's English highlights how American English is pronounced in practice, and not just how it should be pronounced. For example, the video I came across highlighted the various ways "can't" and "can" are used, stressed, and in some cases, mangled. I can even begin to say how interesting this was.
There is some good analysis of how American English is spoken on her channel, and it really made me think about how and what I say.
I was able to finish two books this week, one fiction and one about the fictions we create we get emotional. (Well, that is just one point in the second book, but I thought it was a clever segue.)
Book #27 for 2021 was "Nemesis Games" by James S.A. Corey. This is the fifth book in the Expanse series and is by far my favorite to date. Big characters caught up in and creating massive plot points that impact the entire solar system, all wrapped around a core story of humanity and how much we matter to each other. If you are familiar with the Expanse books, you will know how each chapter switches the focus of the third-person perspective. I particularly enjoyed how this book capitalized on that format to highlight how each individual coped with the crisis of the moment. This was especially powerful toward the end of the book as the characters convened in one place and everyone was reacting to the same moments. Good stuff, and definitely looking forward to the next book.
Book #28 was "Dare to Lead" by Brené Brown. There is a lot of useful information in this book and I am very glad I read it. However, much like my previous reviews of the Cal Newport books, I cannot really say it was an enjoyable read and I had trouble getting into a flow. I think the problem is that there is a lot of filler in these books. The anecdotes are useful to a point but spending three pages of first-person exposition from an interviewee has me flipping through the pages and therefore losing engagement with the book. But even with this, I took a lot out of the book and there is a lot of personal time and investment I will make to ensure I really put the learnings into practice.
A tangential learning from this book is that I might be engaging with books like this in ways that do not work for me. To wit, I do own a copy of the book, but I listened to about half of it on an audiobook. The anecdotes and personal stories are better in audiobook format, especially as Brown narrated the book herself and she was a very engaging voice. However, the bullet points and substantial checklists of items to process are much better in a book in a visual format. I will keep that in mind for the next non-fiction book I read.
Time in the saddle was cut short this week by something that I knew was going to happen eventually but was still disappointing when it finally happened.
My bike frame on my 2017 Giant Revolt 2 broke, as you can see in the picture. I am not sure how it happened, but it has been weakened for a long time. Luckily for me, the actual moment it broke came when I was moving slowly through our neighborhood. I was able to unclip and hop out before crashing. Unfortunately, there is a global bike shortage right now, so I do not know when I will get a new bike. I still have my winter bike, but that needs to be cleaned up and serviced so for the time being, my rides are going to be limited to the amount of time I can stomach on the stationary bike in the basement.
I was hoping to make it to Portage La Prairie this week, but the broken frame squashed that goal. I did make it to Brandon though. According to Wikipedia, Brandon is the second largest city in Manitoba with a population of about 48,000 and has a municipal airport with the IATA code of YBR.
Here is the updated progress chart.
I had six new beers, bringing my total to 792 in my personal quest to drink one of each beer in the world.
Beer #787 was the Red Magil DIPA from Tailgunner Brewing Company in Calgary. This had a nice mouthfeel and carbonation. It tasted like spicy pineapple juice and was a bit too sweet for my liking. (3.25 / 5)
Beer #788 is another from Calgary, this time from New Level Brewing, a brewery that gets a lot of their inspiration from death metal. Their Hellion Lager had a bit of maltiness and a decent taste but had the sweetness endemic to lagers that I do not like. (3.25 / 5)
Moving back up Highway 2 to Edmonton, Beer #789 was my fourth beer from Analog Brewing. The Loot Box Hops is a rotational-hopped West Coast IPA. I had the most recent version hopped with Sabro. I like this quite a bit. The hops added good flavor without being overly bitter. Looking forward to their next version of this beer. (3.75 / 5)
Beer #790 was the Raised by Wolves IPA from Driftwood in Victoria. I liked the pine and resin flavor combined with the fruitiness. Lot of flavors in this and quite easy to drink. (3.5 / 5)
Beer #791 was yet another from Calgary, this time from Village Brewery. Village is a solid brewery with decent beers, but beyond their Blacksmith Dark Ale, I have always found their beers to be just decent. Their 2021 version of the Father beer is a New England IPA and like their others, it was decent. (3.25 / 5)
Last up was the only import beer in the last two weeks. I posted two weeks ago about a beer from Florissant, Missouri from the Narrow Gauge Brewing Company. For Beer #792, I had their Fallen Flag American IPA. This was not as good as their King Fallen Flag Imperial, but still quite good. I am definitely liking their beers. One more to go in the fridge. Hopefully, it is as good as the first two. (3.75 / 5)
One note: I had an Alley Kat brewed Blonde Ale for Fort Edmonton Park but it does not show up on Untappd. Hopefully it appears soon. For the record, it was not that good. (2.75 / 5)