Sunday, July 17, 2011

Moongazing, Scrabble, & Vanilla Porter

I made it through the internet drought intact, though it appears we will not be compensated for the days without service.  I really missed having chat contact with Sarah and folks along with generally being able to read about the news or whatever topic came to mind.  It's been just over one Lunar month since the eclipse.  Somehow I find it easier to keep track of time here by the moon rather than the Julian date.  I imagine this comes from many things: our irregular work and sleep schedules, constantly adding/subtracting to find out what time/day it is for you all in the states, but also the simple fact that without the moon it is really dark here at night, so its status is particularly noticeable during those evening trips to the latrine.

Last week my platoon had a lot of guard duties and my roommate and I played Scrabble on the Kindle through most of them.  It might just be the most valuable 99 cents I've ever spent on Amazon.  The benefits are that it tabulates your score and checks the dictionary automatically, saves your game if you ever need to quit suddenly, and is, of course, way more portable than the regular game.  Some drawbacks; only one game can be saved at a time, only one person can look at the screen at a time (so one cannot plan out their next play during someone else's turn), and the curious dictionary it uses.  I have the New Oxford American English dictionary on my Kindle, but the game clearly uses some other reference that can be quite frustrating.  Its selection of Latin, French, and Spanish words that it will allow is bewildering at times and can really change the course of a game.  Still, an excellent way to compete with each other and quietly kill time.

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter is the best product out of the Denver, Colorado brewpub (and barbecue!) I've had so far and worthy enough to be included in the beverage assortment Sarah and I gave my brother for his 21st birthday last month.  It's robust without being too bitter or heavy and still looks good with the dark body and tawny head.  The vanilla flavoring compliments the porter characteristics in the right ways for me.  But I am also a person who would choose vanilla ice-cream over most other flavors in the world, so weigh that assessment accordingly.  This is one I've purchased a few times; I hope it's available in your area.
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