National Treasure: Book of Secrets

I got to see the second installment in the National Treasure franchise today and really enjoyed it. All of the previous cast members were back and the chemistry was definitely there.

The movie picks up a little while after the last one ends and has Ben Gates and crew hunting for a new treasure with clues hidden around the world. There’s a bad guy who’s a little less two dimensional than last time to work with, and a nice twist involving the President.

The ending was fun, kind of a happily-ever-after, but I think we’re in store for another sequel because I really want to know what’s on page 47.


A friend gave me this one a while ago and, being a little burned out on sci-fi, I decided to change up the genres a little. Legal/political thrillers have been a guilty pleasure for a while now, with John Grisham and Tom Clancy leading the way. Well… John Nance did a good job with this one, that’s for sure.

The story starts out with an ex-president about to be arrested in Greece for what turns out to be a torture warrant. The rest of the book is a series of legal and aviation moves to keep the President from being arrested and sent to Peru to face trial. The action is pretty much non-stop and, other than a happily ever after ending, no major complaints. I’m probably going to check out a few more of his books.


I went out to see Beowulf tonight and was treated to a 3D version using some newer technology. No more red/blue glasses, this one used polarized glasses and was in full color. The perspective was interesting, without many of the sight gags that 3D movies have unnecessarily added. There were a few, but not too many and they weren’t obnoxious. As for the story, it’s been years since I’ve read the original so I won’t comment on that aspect, but it was entertaining and pretty faithful to the story as I remember it. The CG was well done, it’s amazing to see how much it’s improved since the days of Tron and The Last Starfighter.

Amazingly Slow Fermentation

I finally got the latest batch of my 50 wt. Wheat out of the secondary and into the keg this evening. It was a two week secondary fermentation, but the final gravity is down to 1.013, which is close enough to done that I’m not going to let it go any further down. I think that the cold snap we got threw off the fermentation. The chiller worked too well and I’m thinking that the yeast slowed down a little too much.

Now I’ve run in to a problem. I’ve got three kegs in the fridge, one almost empty, but still three kegs. My CO2 system has only two taps on the low pressure side, so I’ve got two kegs hooked up to the gas end, the stout and the new batch of wheat, and the old batch of wheat and the stout connected to the taps. It’s not ideal and I think I’m going to be upgrading that part of the system at some point.

White Night

In this installment of the Dresden Files we find Harry trying to track down a serial killer while also keeping a handle on the war between the wizards and the vampire courts. Oh and he is also still struggling against the influence of the denarius. The story line didn’t go the way I thought it would and the ending, while not exactly a cliff hanger, definitely opened a new window on the way the author is taking the series. I’m looking forward to the next book.

Desolation Island

The final page of the fifth book in Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series, Desolation Island, was turned this evening. As I’m starting to get familiar with, the endings are sudden, with very little denouement. But along the way we follow Jack Aubrey on his way to Australia, transporting prisoners, including one of some value. Alas, it wasn’t to be that easy, as he has to avoid a superior foe intent on stopping him and the aftereffects of the final battle with that ship. This book seemed a little shorter than the others had and read a little quicker than them. Maybe I’m getting used to the author’s uncompromising use of 19th century terms, maybe it was just a shorter book. Either way it was an enjoyable read.