Saturday, February 23, 2013

Whiskey ... is like art

I am pleased; so, so pleased to learn I like ORDINARY whiskey. I found a couple of websites where whiskey drinkers list their favourite brands and then describe in detail how much they enjoy the flavours.  There are things like hint of vanilla, smokey palette, and peaty nose! Then I started reading how different people rated some of the best known and most expensive brands. It was amazing to see that so many whiskey snobs have differing opinions on the SAME brands… the same EXPENSIVE brands. I’m talking about stuff that runs at $200 a bottle. I’ve never spent that much. I have purchased $100 whiskey… One was Oban and the other was Talisker. I have to admit I like the Oban better, even though the Talisker is made on Skye, close to my ancestral home.
Obviously everyone’s taste is so different. Just because one guy likes a single malt, it doesn’t mean EVERYONE is gong to like it.
So here’s the thing. I have tasted some brands that people just get all excited about and I think, blah. No big deal. I mean, some expensive whiskies are fabulous … while others are just ho-hum. That’s me and my taste. I don’t add anything… sometimes a piece of ice. But when I make ice I used filtered water.
Recently, a friend bought me a bottle of Ballantynes as a gift. Now this whiskey is an old favourite for so many people because it is a blended whiskey. It has been around for years. I wasn’t sure that I had tried it before, only because when I try something new, I like to try something a bit more expensive. The Ballantynes is always on the bottom shelf.
Well I finally the cracked the Ballantynes and I was absolutely delighted. The bottle design is a bit old-fashioned, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But this stuff is very nice, very smooth and I like the flavour, which is a tiny bit sweet, with honey and caramel. Of course, I had to have a second glass.    So, I guess whiskey is like art. To each his own.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bored, disinterested maybe...

It can be annoying to read a book and come across a word that you’ve never seen before.

That happened today as I was reading Ken Follett’s novel, Fall of Giants. One of the characters, Maud, discovered that conversation was stultifying. Hmmm. As a popular novelist, Follett does not need to impress us with such big words. Ordinary people do not speak this way. I was not expecting to need them, but the e-reader includes several digital dictionaries. On the e-reader, you just touch the word and the dictionary comes to your aid. The first dictionary did not know the word. The Oxford Dictionary described stultifying as “cause to lose enthusiasm and initiative, especially as a result of a tedious or restrictive regime…” Blah, blah, blah. C’mon Follett, you can write better than that!
He could have written that Maud became bored or disinterested. Of course, now that I know the word, I can’t wait to use it among a group of writers at a meeting where we might be discussing the chances of Justin Trudeau becoming Liberal leader. |”Sorry fellas, but I find this whole topic …uh… stultifying!” Seriously though, a good writer doesn’t need to insert big words to get the message out to the reader. Indubitably.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I like my reader...

Well the verdict is in. I like the e-reader. Just finished reading Battle Cry, the classic book about the US Marines. The nice thing about that book is that I was so engrossed in the story, I barely noticed the function of using the e-reader. It just flows very easily by swiping a finger across the page, then the next page appears. I also like the fact that once I see a book I want, I click on it on the Internet page, and within 30 seconds I have paid for it and the book is downloaded onto my computer and onto the e-reader simultaneously. Instant gratification. I am thinking I had better be wary of the spending too much money, too easily. On the other hand, I have received an e-mail outlining how I can now borrow E-books from almost any public library in Ontario. Everything is online. How cool is that? So for the next week or so, I will be reading Ken Follett's Fall Of Giants. I just ripped through about 30 pages and it's a good read. So I have poured a glass of whiskey and now I am going back to the book...

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

I am so "with it" ...

Well I have finally gone and done it. After chatting with a co-worker about how much she enjoys her E-reader, I was convinced that I should get one … considering how much money I have been spending on books lately, I figured an E-reader was worth the investment. So as I began searching the net to get an idea about what was out there, I was suddenly reminded I had plenty of Airmiles. So I checked the Airmiles website and that solved that issue right away. It arrived today. My new SONY PRS-T2, which is even Wi-Fi certified. So I have signed up with the SONY reader service and I plan to buy a book or two this week. My plan is to buy something I really want to read so that I can convince myself I like this new device. If not, somebody is going to get a slightly used E-reader at Christmas! I will let you know what I think.