the ablution block

28 February 2006

Roger This - Kicking Television.

Tuesday 28/02/2006. Frankie's not here yet, and he's not giving Fritha any positive signs of being ready to move along soon.

I'm at work, with the network down. I've cleaned my desk (and desktop), so there's little more to do than to wait it out, for a while at least. What better way, to do that, than to sit back and listen to Wilco's 'Kicking Television' (recorded live at the Vic Theatre, Chicago. May 4-7 2005). At $35 for this double-cd set, it's a steal.

With a track listing reading like a "best of", and a live edge rather than the marketing man's chrome touch, this work cements Wilco as one of my favourites. Superb, emotionally raw, rock and roll with melodies and lyrics as sublime, and as simple, as anything I've ever heard. This is more, to me, than the jingle-jangle pop rock we're constantly hearing out of the UK at the moment, it's magical rhythm and blues on the edge of a mental breakdown or a mid-life crisis. These guys always sound like a band having a lot of fun. Their talent is wide ranging, like a pinch from each of the The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Nirvana and Morrissey.

Not only are Jeff Tweedy's songwriting and lyricism simply outstanding, his smarts, sense of humour and irony of self are each worth the price of the ticket/cd in themselves. I just can't help but hope that Tweedy's moved past his drug issues and the underlying problem, once and for all, so that we can enjoy more many Wilco albums into the future. Better that than he go the way of some of the other late greats...

Wilco played with the Rolling Stones, in Atlanta, in September last year. It's a real shame they're not coming along for the NZ tour. I'd pay the full price just to see them, even with the muff switch on.


22 February 2006

I got realbeer comments...

A comment!

I guess people would rather complain, than thank me for information. Hopefully their wallets do the talking for Three Boys Brewery, even if their keyboards aren't.


21 February 2006

Why dogs are great

5 simple reasons why dogs are great:
  • If I get home an hour late, she is an hour happier to see you. That's a great thing after a hard day at work.
  • Every day she takes me on a walk of at least 5km. That's good for my health.
  • Dogs are an amazing amount of fun for so little investment. That's good for a laugh, and easy on the pocket.
  • She looks after Mum and Frankie, while I'm at work. The thought of them all is good for the soul.
  • All she really wants and needs is something to eat and a family to be with. That's a good lesson, for us all...


16 February 2006

Condor Italia

This beast sure beats waiting for a bus...

Riding to work has been fun, thus far. It certainly kick starts the day. It's also a fantastic way to wind down after the office - no need to talk to anyone, unless you feel like it. The bus, though it does all the work, brings with it certain social obligations.

Riding the thing home is a little more precarious than the way in. Straight into the tight buzzing traffic around Wellington's waterfront.

Three Boys Brewery

My first syndicated post, at realbeer, was published this morning. I know it has been read but will anyone comment?


11 February 2006

January Beer of the Month: Monk's Habit

A nice quiet spell of New Years Day was well spent, sitting on the back deck, drinking Steam Brewing's test run of bottled "Monk's Habit" (more commonly seen, on tap, at the Cock and Bull pubs). It has become a regular feature of January and Febuary evenings...

My notes (also posted at
Tasted 01/01/2005. 330ml bottle from Steam Brewing, via mail. 7%.
Red-brown, a little murky, slightly woody appearnace, with hints of green (at a certain angle, in a certain light). Light-tan, very lacey, disappearing head. Big caramel hit on the nose, as I pour, that is overtaken by grassy, resinous, woody, sea water, aniseed and a touch of chlorine. Complex, at the least. Toffee comes in later. Flavour is a dry astringent toffee, that suggests kettle caramelisation, with a very bitter middle that is balanced by some subtle caramel sweetness and a peppery spiciness. Finish is toffee and pine. Medium weight, soft carbonation, saliva inducing bitterness. Full on. More of an American IPA, I think, than trappist. A touch more sweetness, on the nose and in the mouth, would benefit this one but it’s a very well-made beer. 3.7/5.
Re-rate 26/01/2005 - Tried again, warmer, delicious, more malt balance in both the aroma and the flavour, lost that chlorine-like sharpness that I was getting when colder. Way too drinkable for 7%. Upped from 3.7 to 4.1/5.

Other notables beers (marks out of 5, in brackets) from a very high-quality beer month in January:
  • Epic Pale Ale (4)
  • Erdinger Pikantus (3.9)
  • Pink Elephant Mammoth (3.9)
  • Limburg Czechmate Pilsner (3.8)
  • Hoegaarden Julius (3.8)
All notes at yalnikim on ratbeer.

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January - whew!!!

January, whew! Where did it go?
It was a windy month, and it sure blew by. Almost everyday, at some time, I thought about posting some thoughts and then, predictably, moved on to something else.

I picked up my new bike, finally, and managed to get in a few rides. What a machine. Soon after bringing it home, I completed a near perfect summer quadathalon - a long walk with Fritha and Wendy, lunch and a few beers at Bar Edward's, then a leisurely bike ride around the peninsula and a quick plunge in the chilly waters of Worser Bay.

We're now approaching 'D-day', with only 3 weeks to EDD. Master Frankie could join the fold at any time, and Fritha is hoping for sooner rather than later. The house is ready and, I guess, mum and dad are as ready as they can be.

February, hopefully, will be more productive on the blogging front.