Hawaii Vacation, 2014

2014-09-09 18.27.39

I’m back from Hawaii! Maybe you didn’t know I was gone? Well, I was. D and I spent seven days on the Big Island of Hawaii. What did we do? Some swimming, some snorkeling, some hiking, some running, and a few touristy things. At some point, when I figure out how, I’ll put up all the pictures from the trip. In the meantime here are some highlights. I guess I should put a slow internet connection warning on this post, there are a lot of pictures following this

One of the many beautiful sunsets I saw.
One of the many beautiful sunsets I saw.
Purple flower found on lava rocks
Purple flower found on lava rocks
Rock arch, Kona side of the Big Island
Rock arch, Kona side of the Big Island

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My Day at the Alternative Press Expo

It's like Comicon but no comics about people in tights...

I attended APE this year in San Francisco. APE is a lot like Comicon down in San Diego except that the artists and writers at APE don’t have a deal with a big named publisher and/or they don’t write comics about men who wear capes and women who fight crime in their panties. From walking the floor and browsing tables it appears that comics can be, and are, about just anything! There were comics set in the past, present, and future. There were funny comics, serious comics, comics drawn well and comics drawn poorly. There was even a guy there who was selling every Jack Chick publication?!

The crowded west hall at APE

I hadn’t intended to purchase anything at APE, but once I met up with internet friend, Nich Maragos, who knows a lot more about this stuff than I do, was only too happy to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for the art with me which lead to some purchases. Which by itself isn’t a bad thing seeing as the holidays are coming up and I know a number of people who would appreciate some good graphic novels. I also had the opportunity to meet and talk to several artist/writers: Craig Thompson, Kate BeatonShaenon K. Garrity, Jason Thompson, Shannon Wheeler, Elle Skinner, Scott Campbell and so many more who’s names have slipped my mind or cards I’ve lost.

Craig Thompson signing copies of Habibi
Shannon Wheeler at a discussion talking about his like alternative comics

What else? Oh, I ran into Tim Schafer at the Double Fine booth and he was nice enough to hit me in the chest with his yo-yo, while we were there we also lamented the fact that they couldn’t market anything with a muppet on it due to Sesame Street’s strict licensing agreements. Shannon Wheeler was more than happy to share with those who talked to him original pieces of Too Much Coffee Man panels as well as endless humorous anecdotes about his time in the industry. I especially enjoyed his story about how in the 90’s when every comic was selling with some gimmick (foil or holograms) they wanted to do something but wanted to keep costs way down and so went out with guns and shot a bunch of comics, the larger the caliber of bullet the more damage done to and cost of the comic =P

A panelboard for Too Much Coffee Man the Comic

Finally, and this might be the best part of APE is that when you purchase a comic or book after talking to the author they’re more than happy to personalize it for you!

Craig Thompson's Habibi
Mystery Solving Teen graces the title page of my copy of Kate Beaton's Hark a Vagrant book
Paige Braddock draws Batman into my copy of Martian Confedercy #1

All in all I had wonderful time at the Expo and I’m hoping I can make it to next year’s.

PS – again, I want to thank Nich for letting me taglong at APE and Shivam for hosting us and many other friends afterwards.

Beer of the Week #1: Midas Touch

Cause beer is golden?
Midas Touch by Dogifsh Head Craft Brewery

I like drinking beer. I like drinking beer more than I like drinking wine and slightly less than I do drinking ciders. I’m not quite sure where hard liquors fit in that rating system, but it isn’t important. I’m kind of a snob though and am not content with merely swilling done the child, mild piss that is bulk brewed American beer regardless of how difficult it is to make said beer taste the same wherever it is brewed. My hat off to the brewmeister for being so technically proficient it’s just a shame what you’re brewing is so tame and boring…

Anyway, I’m lucky enough to be a member of a food co-op that has a phenomenal beer selection (their wine selection is pretty good too) as well as to live in a city that can support a beer tasting room. So, I’m never at a loss when I want to try new beers. Seeing as I’m doing all this drinking I might has well share my findings with everyone else.

A note: I’ve never done this before and so I’m not going to pretend I know how this works. My process here is going to be much like wine sampling: sniff, swill, spit, repeat, and then swallow (sounds dirty, I know. Grow up.)

The first beer of the week? Midas Touch, a handcrafted ancient ale with barley, honey, white muscant grapes & saffron. From the brewer’s website:

This recipe is the actual oldest-known fermented beverage in the world! It is an ancient Turkish recipe using the original ingredients from the 2700 year old drinking vessels discovered in the tomb of King Midas. Somewhere between wine & mead; this smooth, sweet, yet dry ale will please the Chardonnay of beer drinker alike [sic].

That is fascinating! And would have helped me purchase this early if any of that had been printed on the label!

I have the strangest pint glasses...

Back to the tasting; let me… where are my notes?Ah, here the are! This is what I wrote down, “lovely, rich amber color, hoppy aftertaste, subtle hints of wine and fruit… Wish I was better at describing beer to folks.” Don’t ever say I wasn’t honest with you dear reader! Despite the ancient recipe, honey, and grapes this beers flavors were mild to medium and were easily overwhelmed by the hop finish. I imagine it is at its best chilled extra cold and enjoyed outdoors with some BBQ.

Rating (out of five):

 

Berry Picking Patch 2011

Boysenberries

D and I went to the local u-pick berry picking patch this weekend, Impossible Acres (I love that name if I had a farm I’d name it that too). Turns out it was a great time to go too! Both the raspberry and boysenberry bushes were heavy with delicious berries and they hadn’t been picked over dozens of times (we normally go later in the year and have to really work through the bushes and thorns to get a decent amount).  Berries aren’t  the only thing available at the picking patch. They also have multiple varieties of cherries, peaches, apricots, tomatoes, apples and pumpkins (those last two are not currently in season. You knew that, right?)

Rows of berry bushes, to the left are stone fruit trees

Most of what we got has already been used up in the making of smoothies, cakes, and for snacks. D and I are definitely heading back to Impossible Acres before the end of the season, I don’t know how many times. It’s just enjoyable to spend an early afternoon walking through a garden with D picking fruit as we go along. The amazing things we do with them once we get home aren’t bad either. Below are some more pictures from the excursion.

We made smoothies with all the boysenberries. Oh! and cake too

 

D picking some boysenberries (stop staring at my wife's ass!)

 

Bing cherries? What do I know? I'm no fruitologist

 

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Who's that dashing, good-looking fellow picking cherries?

 

This cherry tree was literally being pulled down by the amount of fruit on its branches

 

Fresh peaches

 

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All of this for less than $11?!