Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

I got together with some friends to go see the third installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series this afternoon. I really enjoyed it, despite what the so-called critics said. There was very little recapping of the story up to this point, so make sure that you’ve got the events of the first two securely in your mind when you go. The movie was also a little darker than the previous two, but still had that quality that has made the series so much fun to watch.

Oh, make sure you stick around after the credits…

The Tombs of Atuan

This is the second book in the Earthsea world and is just as good as the first, unlike that abysmal so-called adaptation that the SciFi Channel did a while ago. In this book we get to know a priestess and the ancient powers that she serves and Ged makes an appearance near the end of the book. It’s short, a quick read, and really enjoyable. I really wish I’d read these before I watched that series. In fact, I could have done without watching it at all.

Spider Man 3

I’ve made a vow to keep up with movie releases this year and so headed out to see Spider Man 3 tonight. The movie was good, definitely on the same level as the previous two installments, with some new villains, some old ones, and a heck of a lot of action. The CG effects are very well blended with live action, and with a little suspension of disbelief aren’t visible. All in all, a good film.

The only complaint I had was the audience. We had way too many pre-teens in the theater, and I’m sure that given a few more years they’ll be able to be out in public without causing problems. But for now they’re a good explanation of why some species eat their young.

28 Weeks Later

I finally got away to go see 28 Weeks Later tonight. It’s the sequel to 28 Days Later, and picks up just about where it left off. The Rage virus infection has run its course and NATO, led by the US, is starting recovery and resettlement operations. Unfortunately, a monkey wrench is thrown in the works in the form of another outbreak of the virus. The situation degrades quickly and continues to spiral out of control until the end of the film, and I promise that you’re not expecting what happens at the end.

If you haven’t seen 28 Days Later, rent it first, then go and enjoy.

Luna Marine

I pre-ordered the last Harry Potter book and in order to get free shipping I picked up this second book in the Heritage trilogy. I really enjoyed the first one and wasn’t disappointed with this one. There’s very little in the way of a recap of the first book so you really should have the events of it fresh in your mind when you start this one.

It picks up with happenings a little closer to home. The world is still dealing with the revelations of exactly what’s on Mars and now it looks like there’s even more alien technology on the moon. Except that what’s there is a lot newer, and threatens more damage to society with what it means for humanity. Unfortunately it’s not in US hands and it’s up to the Marines to fix that.

More Mead Making And Brewing

I got my second batch of mead started today. It’s pretty much the same as the previous one, except that I’m using Wyeast’s 4632 Dry Mead yeast. It’s a test now to see how the two different yeasts work with the same recipe.

I also got the dunkelweizen bottled. I’m thinking that I may have cut out a little too much hops but even without aging it tastes good. Two weeks in the bottles and I’ll be posting an update.

The First Batch Of Mead

I had a bunch of friends over for a mead making demo today. I’ve had that honey sitting around waiting for this, except for the 1 pound which got put in the dunkelweizen I just started. So after getting everything ready, we commenced mead making. The recipe is pretty close, OK, darned near exactly Beerkrafter’s Spiced Mead, but here’s exactly what went in mine:

  • 18 pounds cotton blossom honey
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 5 teaspoons yeast nutrient
  • Wyeast 4184 Sweet Mead Yeast

The directions are as follows:

  1. Clean and sterilize everything
  2. Mix 2.5 gallons of water, the honey, the vanilla bean, and the pumpkin pie spice together in a large kettle
  3. Heat the mixture to 160 degrees and keep it there for 20 minutes
  4. Chill as fast as you can
  5. Pitch the yeast
  6. Wait…

Another batch of beer

I did another batch of beer today. It’s a modification of the last wheat along with a few new techniques. So here’s the recipe:

  • 6 pounds, United Canadian wheat extract (60% pale/40% wheat)
  • 1 pound, Briess 80L crystal malt
  • 1/2 pound, Paul’s roast barley
  • 1 pound cotton blossom honey
  • 1.5 ounces, Cascades hops (boil)
  • 1/2 ounce, Cascades hops (finish)
  • Wyeast #3942 Belgian Wheat Yeast

I also mixed things up a little, finally purchasing a hop bag instead of trying to strain the hops out after adding them directly to the wort.

Also, this was the first time I used a wort chiller and can’t believe I waited as long as I did. That thing was amazing. I had the wort down to about 75 degrees in a little over 5 minutes. Extremely impressive.