First, there is an interesting editorial by Paul St. Pierre, "A voice from the grave's edge", apparently published in The Vancouver Sun. It's a most accurate and succinct write-up of the direction North American culture has taken in my lifetime. Whether one considers the changes in the USA since 9/11 or the Maoist speech controls in Canada, it's obvious to anyone who thinks that the world is changing, and not for the better. Ayn Rand seems less like a novelist and more like a prescient every day.
St. Pierre writes:
Our Canada is now very close to a condition in which everything that is not compulsory is forbidden. We have become prisoners of the state. Like modern jail prisoners, all our needs for balanced diet, climate-controlled shelter, approved and tested medication, mental health counselling, higher education, suitable entertainment, grief counselling and consensual safe sex are available free. The inmate lacks only freedom itself.
This one is well worth the read.
Second, I've been greatly enjoying West Coast beer, and really have to mention the seasonal offering from Alaskan Brewing Company. I discovered Alaskan's beers when I moved out here, and I've become a real fan. Alaskan Amber Ale is not the best beer I've ever had: but it's very, very good. And at around $1 per bottle at Costco (about the same on sale in Safeway or Fred Meyer), it's a real winner. Listen, I take beer seriously, and I've been drinking this stuff almost exclusively for the last month. Smithwick's and Guinness are better, but not much. This is really good stuff, and at a price point where I can't justify not buying it.
And this last summer, I enjoyed several bottles of the incredible Alaskan Summer Ale. It's nice to have a "summer ale" that's light in colour rather than taste.
But today I bought a 12-pack of Alaskan Winter Ale, and it's amazing. Check out the colour of this nectar:
|From Alaskan Winter Ale|
This is an insanely good beer. This is the sort of brew the ancient Teutons dreamed they'd drink in the halls of their pagan gods after dying in gloriously in battle. If you like beer and you have access to Alaskan ales, you need to get some of this.
Next to Sarah Palin, this is best thing to come out of Alaska.