From the Bar – a few Belgian ales and a movie

beerI have now been on this planet for 50 years.   I really wish I had been on some other planet during this time but alas technology has not cooperated.

For my birthday, we went to have really good cheap french fries (cooked in beef fat) and expensive Belgian beers. This was an extra treat since we’ve also been on the South Beach Diet for the last 4 weeks and haven’t had much in the way of carbohydrates (I’m happy, I’ve lost 10 pounds).

I had two beers. One was a Rochefort 8. This is a trappist ale, not quite as sweet and complex as the Rochefort 10 (or as alcoholic 9.5% as opposed to 11.3%) but very much the dark beer that tastes of caramel, dried fruits and rich yeasts. My second was Bink Bloesem, another rich beer, not quite so dark or strong (7.1%) but wonderful with the tastes of fall fruit and spice. It has pear syrup in it.  I love that our local Belgian café, Café Bruges, uses all of the fancy glasses for the beers. I have a bit of a thing for fancy things to drink out of. My mom had a cordial set that she never used and kept at the top of a tall cabinet. My younger self risked life and limb climbing up to get a little glass to drink from when she wasn’t around.

My husband had Echt Kriekenbier and a Boon Kriek. The Echt was excellent, 6.8% alcohol, a touch sour with a strong cherry aroma. It is based on an ale, not a lambic   The Boon was wonderful, like cherry pie and it has cherries in it, and is a lambic.   It is a low alcohol beer, only 4%, eminently sessionable. The only kriek we’ve had that we like better is what we’ve had up at the Selin’s Grove Brewing.

We watched Jupiter Ascending this weekend. I really liked it. It was fun, fast and was pure space opera. I really have no idea what people are looking for in a movie like this. Movies don’t need deep plots, or world-moving emotional displays. I’m more than happy to have a strong female character who likes science, who doesn’t freak out more than necessary, and who can take care of herself along with her friends. The movie is just beautiful, btw. Watch this and John Carter to see the good guys win and the bad guys lose. That seems to happen so little anymore.

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13 thoughts on “From the Bar – a few Belgian ales and a movie

  1. Happy 50th, Vel!

    OK, if you look at Jupiter Ascending as simple space opera then sure, it was OK. Just wish there were more hard SF films being produced. Someone has to turn Robert Reed’s works into moving pictures.

      1. This is true. Hard to make something thrilling if the ship has to take twenty years to accelerate to three-tenths of the speed of light, and 100 years to then slow down 🙂

      2. I’ve also encountered that all supposedly hard SF I read is nothing more than one interesting bit of techonology and then proceeding to show that humans are jerks no matter what. We used to get subscriptions to Analog and Asimovs and that’s all they seem to print.

      3. Greg Egan is an awesome hard SF author, and Robert Reed is, in my opinion, the best writer I’ve ever come across… although i’d avoid his earliest works.

      4. I’ve tried reading Reed. I have to confess he makes my skin crawl. I think I may find hard SF something different than you do. What you call hard SF, I find to be speculative fiction. I find Niven, Brin, Pournelle to be hard science fiction.

      5. looked at some of his writings on his website, rather randomly. I generally know if I will like something within a paragraph or two and his openings were just a bit too odd for me.

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