Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gear Update 2 & Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale

A few words on more of the items I've brought with me.  I dunno; is this something people like to read about?
Many of you probably know, I don't like to wear watches.  I think they're a) largely unnecessary in a cell-phone age and b) a silly and potentially expensive exercise in man-jewelry/status symbols I don't care to partake in.  However, cell phones are not a viable option and wall and dashboard clocks are in short supply here.  A watch was a mandatory item for our deployment so I had to get one.  This Casio has been alright; it's not huge, the buckle band is tough and not failing like a velcro one would have.  Plastic magnifying face is unfortunately raised and staring to scratch, but otherwise going strong.  I don't think this is destined to become an heirloom "the watch grandaddy wore in the war," though.
I was never issued a liner for my snazzy silicon-impregnated nylon poncho the way everyone else has since Vietnam (it seems).  So when I finally got frustrated with using the lightweight sleeping bag I was issued, I order a military-spec one from Amazon for myself.  It's just as nice and useful an item as people have said.  Keeps my torso warm, while letting my feet air at night.  Provides insulation from my hot-running laptop. Can easily add several degrees of survivability to the 3-piece sleeping bag system we were issued and packs down really small.
Hector, like my laptop, occasionally shows his age.  So far his fits have been alleviated with normal troubleshooting and patience.  I don't use him/it much here; I don't need music to work out or sleep.  It will be quite handy when/if I get R&R.  The pink leather case still draws comments, though.

From Yorkshire’s oldest Brewery, Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale is a classic and proper English brew complete with a white rose as part of their logo.  I liked it a lot, but I think by their nature brown ales don't wow the palate enough to warrant the specialty bottle/price treatment.  This is the brown ale with the highest pedigree, but if I ever stumble upon it again, I may just pass it over to try something new or stock up on something cheaper.
“Samuel Smith’s of Tadcaster has the richest, maltiest and nuttiest of brown ales”
~Michael Jackson’s Beer Companion

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