I have to say this really bugs me. I’m catching up on Game of Thrones, I bought the DVDs for Seasons two and three, after hanging around my bro-in-law’s house some years back and catching the first season. It was good. And I’ve gone a bit video since the last big book edit. Being a fan of the series (I’ve read all the books, reviews coming), I’m watching these characters and getting into the story, enjoying how they moved such a monster of a story arc onto video — tighter, quicker -paced, just as hard hitting. The casting has been excellent and the acting superb.
I first heard about Bunnahabhain while walking around Edinburgh back in 1992. I had been making my way down to high street from Nelson’s column on a Sunday. Not much was open, the skies were leaden, the city quiet. It wasn’t late but the light dim — it was November in Scotland, and that means short days. I was making the most of a day off after having done some business with Heriot-Watt University. Heriot-Watt is notable for being the college where James Bond went to school. I heard that from another Bond fan, I’m not entirely sure this is so, but we’ll let it go for now. What is certain is that they are involved in the country’s business education and especially the whisky business. They even had their own bottling of whisky, and I brought back a sample. I have the bottle still, but the spirit is long gone, so no solid review of that, though I remember not being too taken by it at the time.
OK I am a sucker for wacky humor. I found some at Bookshelf Battle. “I swear, I’m not sure there is anyone on Earth who isn’t trying to push a book. My space craft crash landed in the backwoods of that planet one time and the drunk unshaven hillbilly who pulled me out of the wreckage tried to sell me a copy of his book entitled, “101 Drunk Unshaven Hillbilly Poems.” My sentiments exactly. I was trying to figure out how to say “Every damn fool thinks he can write a book* and every damn fool is on the internet” but the Alien says it better. Give it a follow for some off-the-wall stuff, comments on space and cosmology and even some book reviews.
*Your humble blogger included…I do not miss the irony.
I recently reviewed a book on my future fiction blog (here) which was essentially a celebration of pulp genre – unabashedly raw, rambunctious, and disgusting in parts. A lot of folks liked it, giving 4 & 5 stars on Goodreads. It was a little over the top for me and I wondered if maybe I’m behind the times. I miss things. We don’t have cable — that was a conscious decision before having kids — though we do have internet. (That was not a superfluous decision in the beginning!)
One might be tempted to bemoan the callow ‘modern era’ as being desensitized by video games, violent movies and sex on TV. Take Game of Thrones. I first was introduced to GOT on an airplane, when the gent next to me opened his laptop and started playing the first episode. Look, this was coach, it is hard not to see naked women cavorting in my peripheral vision. He was on the aisle, too, so there were a good 5 rows with a view. I thought he had something from Bob Guccione going over there. I was rather taken aback. Later, I discovered it was Game of Thrones, available to anyone on HBO. Yeah, things had gotten pretty steamy on cable since I had last watched it.
Bushmills white was the first whisky I actually savored. I was young, and impressionable, and thinking myself sophisticated — yet without means of acquiring sophistication. I’d muffed an opportunity to get my life together enough for higher education, so I worked a series of jobs and looked where I could for inspiration in our small town. I had read a book by Jack Higgins, The Eagle has Landed, in which a character named Devlin (an Irish revolutionary) helps out some Nazi paratroopers. It’s an outlandish plot delivered with aplomb and I remember Devlin favoring a specific Irish whisky, Bushmills. As fortune would have it, the local liquor/convenience store across from which I worked had Bushmills in stock and a compliant late-night clerk who would sell us adult (but not adult enough for America) working stiffs some booze.