Sunday Sesh #5 – James Squire Jack of Spades

Bit late in coming this week, but here’s today’s Sunday Sesh, brought to you by James Squire’s Jack of Spades Porter.

I’ve ventured into the dark ales a bit over the last couple of weeks, and this one is now one of my favourites. Next time I’m at the Bottle-o I’ll be grabbing myself a carton.

Little bit of history on the porter, as it’s a variety I haven’t come across until now. Apparently, it was one of the first “engineered” beers, being made from a combination of old (stale or soured) ale, a new ale and a weak one. It’s name came about because it was popular with transportation workers (porters) in the 1700s.

This one from James Squire is made on roasted barley and they say has “hints of malt chocolate and roasted coffee.”

Well, I’m not sure about that but it poured well with a creamy head and no real bubbles. It’s when you drink it that it really surprises. It’s a little tingly on your tongue, like sherbert, and very refreshing. It’s not as heavy as it looks and was surprisingly easy to drink.

At $17.99 for a 6-pack, it’s another top-shelfer.

After last weekend’s whinge-a-thon, I thought I’d go for something a little different this week and talk about writing. Nanowrimo to be exact. It’s been a while since I’ve spoken about Nano, but since there’s less than a month left before it begins, I figured I better get cracking. I decided, since my desk is where all the action will happen, I’d better give it a good clean.

My desk before…
and after the clean-up

As you can see by the before and after pictures above, it’s a far cry from my usual mess. In the second photo, you can see the hat which is part of my Nano Super Writer Disguise, and the frames in the background are my Nano-cartas – the two documents which remind me what I think represents good writing, and what I hope to avoid as bad writing. I’ve also got my reference books ready to go – two dictionaries, a thesaurus, a baby name book and the Nano bible “No plot? No problem.”

The document box under my hat contains my various notes on “Pandora’s Box/Elysium”. I have a habit of jotting down notes on random bits of paper, but I’m trying to kick that habit. So I don’t get too lost with plotting on that WIP (not my Nano WIP) all my notes go into that box, and at the end of the week, I go through them all, transfer the best of them into a note book, turf out the bits of paper and start again. It’s a slow process, but I’m getting there. I just have to teach Wifey to leave my note books alone…

A little bit off track now, but still on writing – I ordered my Christmas present last week. Yes, you read right – I ordered my own Christmas present. Not because Wifey’s bad at buying presents (she’s quite good as a matter of fact), but because it’s a new release, and I figured I might be waiting a while to get it. What did I get? I hear you ask.

A newly-released kindle e-reader from Amazon. Amazon have just released their latest suite of readers – a basic model for $US79, two touch-screens $US99 (wi-fi) and $US149 (3G), and a colour touch-screen model called the Fire for $US199. They also still have the previous models of the Kindle Keyboard available for $US99 (wi-fi) and $139 (3G) – the basic model is the only one currently available to us here in Aus, with the rest hopefully soon to follow.

Why am I excited about this? Because Amazon have just increased my potential reader market. Cheaper e-readers means more people seeing what it’s all about, and that means more people looking for e-books. I’m not sure how long it will take to get my shiny new toy, but I am sure of one thing – since it’s a Christmas present, there is no way Wifey will let me have it until Christmas day, so you’ll have to wait (just like me) for me to give you my verdict.

If you’ve been trying to decide whether or not to buy an e-reader, now is a good time to be getting one. As for me, there’s only one thing left to do – finish my damn book and get it onto Amazon.

until next Sunday’s Sesh,


PS Notice I just wrote the whole Sunday Sesh without mentioning that Manly won the NRL grand final (until now) – this was the one time I hoped the Kiwis would triumph (sorry Nat). But, kudos to the Sea Eagles – they were the most consistent team through the finals series, if not the season, so it wasn’t an entirely surprising result.

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