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The idea behind this blog is to share my opinions about Post-Apocalyptic Literature, Films and Ephemera as well as my random nattering on a regular basis.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Return Of Wastelander!

After a three year absence from bringing the rock Wastelander once more pulls themseleves from the blastscape of The Infernal City to unleash thier brand of Atomic Rock upon us Neo-Savages. They drug themselves from glowing radioactive crater, braved the sand leviathan and rocked the house!

Also looks like they are in the mood to brave the world outside and record a new album. Help them out if you'd like.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Musical Interlude the Thirty-First

Ellende: Berge

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

When You're Alone

Knew there was a reason I loved Doritos. Here's reason #1:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Hungry Games: Catching Fur

Can't help myself. Thank you Leila and your Bookshelves of Doom

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Why did you cut me down?

A final curse from the former shade tree in the front yard composed in fungus? Yikes! Glad it's not my house.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Free Apocalyptic Books (twenty-two)

Same drill. These are free but for an undetermined length of time. Get them now in other words.

2) Wanted by Jason Halstead

3) The Sapporo Outbreak by Brian Craighead

4) imperfect by Tina Chan

5) Kellie's Diary #1 by Thomas Jenner and Angeline Perkins

6) Breakers (Book 1) by Edward W. Robertson (repeat offering but if you're a fan of the apocalypse you need to read this ... now)

7) Vices (The Vices Series) by Amy Solus

8)  Hive by Griffin Hayes

9)  When Gods Fail by Nelson Lowhim

10)  WICK (Wick Series) by Michael Bunker and Chris Awalt

11) Pyramids by Kay Barrett



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Pumpkin Amber Recipe

In honor of Halloween (Playlist will be posted later) 

Here's my pumpkin amber. It's labor intensive but worth it.

The day before you brew:
First get 8 sugar baby pumpkins (the ones used to make pumpkin pie). Cut them in half and clean the seeds out. Don't worry about the 'stringy' parts just get most of the seeds. Bake these in the oven at 350 for an hour or so or until the flesh of the pumpkins get soft.

Scoop all the pumpkin flesh out and split it between two cookie sheets, should be about two inches thick. Put the cookie sheets back into the oven and roast it at 350 for another 30 minutes or until the top of the pumpkin begins to brown and caramelize.

Put the cookie sheets aside. You're done with day one.

The day of the brew:
12 lbs Maris Otter
4 lbs Munich I
2 lbs Biscuit
.5 lbs Special B
1 lb Carapils

Heat 8 gallons of water to 165 degrees

dough in and hold the temp at 155 degrees for 90 minutes.


while the kettle is sparging put one cookie sheet's worth of pumpkin in a kettle (5 gallon one) and then fill it with water. Heat the water to 180 degrees while stirring it occasionally to break up the larger chunks.

Put two full and unbroken cinnamon sticks into the collected runoff and put the whole thing on to boil.

When the water has reached 180 and the first kettle is done sparging, use a large strainer and pour the pumpkin water through it and into the grain bed. Mix the water into the grains hold for ten minutes and sparge again. Put the pumpkin you've stained aside.

While the first pumpkin water is sparging repeat the steps with the second sheet of pumpkin.

Strain and sparge as before.

Put both parts of the pumpkin into a large kettle and mash it with a potato masher. Fill the kettle with water and heat to 180 and repeat the steps from before. Collect the pumpkin still.

Repeat one more time. When this is done you should notice that the flesh of the pumpkin is more whitish in color.

Fill the kettle with more water (just water this time) and heat it to 180. Pour it into the grains. Collect the runoff again and top up the boil kettle. Collect 14 gallons in total.

Begin the boil.

When a stable boil is reached begin the 60 minute boil:

Add 1.75 oz Newport hops (60 minutes)
Add 2.75 oz Cascade hops (30 minutes)

at flame out (zero minutes) add following spice mix:

8 teaspoons Cinnamon
7 teaspoons Nutmeg
6 teaspoons Allspice
4 teaspoons ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons cloves

Monday, October 21, 2013

Aging my Wasteland Rucksack

What better way to age and wear in a rucksack than to wear it daily and use it as bookbag? Also patches sewn on are all apocalyptic. Pictured here is my Wastelander patch and a patch I made from my tribe's sash at Wasteland Weekend, The Scavenger's Cooperative.

Close up of The Scavenger's Cooperative patch:

And yes I do get some strange looks at the elementary school where I student teach. But hey needs to get broken in somehow.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Student Teaching, Week Two ... Apocalyptic Style

Today I may have just had the best one minute conversation with a student ever.

Da Kid: You know something (looking at a globe), if the Earth stopped turning this side would turn into a desert and the other side would freeze.

Me: (pointing at the area vertical to the equator) .... but what of this area right here?

Da Kid: (eyes bulge a bit) People would rush there!

Shame he was too young to read Final Impact by Yvonne Navarro because that's pretty much what happens after an asteroid strike.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Free Apocalyptic Books (twenty-one)

Same drill. These are free but for an undetermined length of time. Get them now in other words.

1) 5 Blanks by Michelle Erickson and StravenLite

 3) Barrow Road by Elizabeth Jones

4) Desolate - The Complete Trilogy by Robert Brumm

5) From the Fire by Kent David Kelly

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Master Chef goes Mad Max

My guilty pleasure since Revolution, Defiance and The Walking Dead have taken a break has been Master Chef. I really have no idea why but I really like cooking shows. It paid off last last night during the the season finale where they chose the Master Chef. I had been firmly Team Luka ... right up until this moment:

(I do apologize about the crappy television recording. If I get the chance to share a better clip I'll update. For now this is the best I have.) 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Musical Interlude the Thirtieth

The world slowly decays
Destruction fills my eyes
Harboring the image
Of a spiraling demise
Burning winds release their fury
Simulating judge and jury
Drifting flurries of pain

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Free Apocalyptic Books (twenty)

Same drill. These are free but for an undetermined length of time. Get them now in other words.

2) From Ash by Trevor Zawalich


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

I have no idea if MS MR has read Dark Inside, or if the song Hurricane is about that book. I do know it fits exactly.

Welcome to the inner workings of my mind
So dark and foul I can't disguise
Can't disguise
Nights like this
I become afraid
Of the darkness in my heart

Also I guess it could simply be about a person who is confused. I like mine better.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Wait Will Be Worth It

The day has arrived my friends. After constant encouragement and good natured nagging Sue Beth Pfeffer, who wrote a very fine (and in some places entirely gut wrenching) trilogy about a disaster that unfolds after the moon is hit by an asteroid, has continued the series. I enjoyed the first three books so much that I reviewed them twice. The first time as the inaugural post on my blog and then a second time when the third part was released (because I read it again). She really did intend to leave it as a finished trilogy.

I couldn't take no for an answer and kept asking her to write another part ... three just wasn't enough. After some thought she agreed to write just one more part. Then the wait began. Constant lurking on her blog and encouragement given. Then after several false starts the time had come; a finished manuscript was in the publishers hands and due to be released.

Those who know me are aware of the difficulty of gift giving for me. I just have a hard time thinking of things I want. Well this book The Shade of the Moon was being released very close to my birthday. So without a second though I placed it at the top of my list and contented myself with the wait.

Then I get a note from Sue. She would like me to have a copy. It arrived today. Now since I am so difficult to shop for and since it was on my gift list, I'll need to wait until Thanksgiving (my birthday this year) to open it.

I am positive though that the wait and anticipation will make the reading all the more enjoyable. But you folks are lucky. You can just go out and buy a  copy of it yourself and set to. I recommend that you do. She's a fine author. Also if the book does very well she just might be convinced to write a fifth part. I for one would love to see what happens when Miranda's daughter seeks out her mom's journal.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

“Wossit?” Gog stared entranced.
“The Builders made it,” I said. “It’s a thousand years old.”
Row and Red Kent came over to see.
 “I’m told they call it a watch,” I said. “And you can see why.”
In truth, I’d been watching it a lot myself. It had a face on it behind crystal, with twelve hours marked and sixty minutes, and two black arms that moved, one slow, one slower still, to point out the time. Entranced, I had opened it up at the back with the point of my knife and gazed into the guts of the thing. The hatch popped back on a minute hinge as if the Builders had known I would want to see inside. Wheels within wheels, tiny, toothed, and turning. How they made such things so small and so precise I cannot guess but to me it is a wonder past any man-made sun or glow-light.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

“The ones who built this road . . . if they’d make me a castle—” Thunder in the east cut across my words.

“If the Road-men built castles, we’d never get in anywhere,” Makin said. “Be happy they’re gone.”

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Musical Interlude the Twenty-Ninth

Hot and burning in your nostrils
Pouring down your gaping mouth
Your molten bodies, blanket of cinders
Caught in the throes

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

Free Apocalyptic Books (nineteen)

Same drill. These are free but for an undetermined length of time. Get them now in other words.

1) Tin by Parker Zane

2) The Chop Shop by Christopher Heffernan

3) City of Nevaeh by Johannes J Visser

4) Damnation Day 1 - Hell's Angel by Val Cornishhttp

7) Desperate Times by Nicholas Antinozzi, Sue McInnis and Steve Peterson
8) Malediction by Paul Westwood

9) Thirty Years Gone by Louis Bertrand Shalako

Ready for Wasteland Weekend ... doesn't know it

Recent conversation with my buddy The Chad.

Me: You know Chad, your truck is nearly perfect for Wasteland Weekend.

The Chad: Wasteland Weekend? The hell is that? It's more Mad Max I think.

Me: O.o   .... yup and then a couple of those rusty chains wrapped around the front bumper (pointing) and the old weathered cow skull or the boar skull there would round out the deal.

The Chad: A couple shot gun blasts would also be cool.

Me: Yes, yes it would.

The truck in question:

(I think the flat black rattle-can paint job seals the deal) 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Acid Sky Oatmeal Pale

Greetings again fellow wanderers. As many of you know I have been brewing the perfect stout to drink and reminisce about better times. I am of course talking about Dinty Moore Wasteland Stout. I'll admit it's a very bold beer and not really something you can drink a lot of. With that in mind I set about brewing a beer that was a little more lite and had somewhat more drinkability.

That beer is Acid Sky Oatmeal Pale.

The first attempt at the brew looked like what I wanted ... very much like the yellowish, thick scudding clouds that blanket our ruined world. But on sampling, it turned out that it was lacking in the proper amount of hop bitterness and that 'extra something special' to set it apart from the rest of the swill that gets foisted upon us.

The second attempt with more of a hop punch, the addition of a couple extra pounds of 2 row, Victory malt, and Serrano peppers, proved to be the exact thing to both separate it from the pack and to live up to the name Acid Sky. 

Not wanting to be greedy and withhold this glorious beverage from Wastelanders who are distant I am once more providing a very simple step-by-step guide so that you too might enjoy the lighter side of the apocalypse.

Grain Bill  (10 gallons):

16 Lbs. 2 row 
2 Lbs Crystal 20
2 Lbs Victory Malt
1 Lb CaraPils malt
1 ½ Lbs Rolled Oats
2 Lbs Naked Golden Oats

Hopping Schedule (90 Minute boil):

2 ½ oz Newport ... 90 minutes
½ oz Chinook ...  30 minutes
½ oz Cascades ... 30 minutes
½ oz Chinook ...  15 minutes
½ oz Cascades ... 15 minutes
½ oz Bravo ... 5 minutes
½ oz Chinook ... 0 minutes
½ oz Newport (per 5 gallons) ... Dry Hop

Other Ingredients: 

Serranno Peppers: 14

Step by step:

Coarely crush all grains.

Heat  7 ½ gallons of water to 165 degrees. Mash in and stabalise the temperature at 154 degrees. Hold the temperature there for 60 minutes. Raise temperature to 168 degrees and mash out. Sparge to collect 14 gallons.

Start the boil.

Follow hopping schedule above.

Cut six of the Serrano peppers in half length wise and then twice across (give them a very rough chop).  Put the chunks into into a mesh bag seeds and all (dry hop bag works well). Tie it off and, during the last 10 minutes of the boil, drop it into the kettle. When you stop the boil pull the bag of peppers out ... then add the flame out hops.

Cover and rest for 10 minutes. Chill and ferment. Primary ferment one week. Secondary for two weeks (Dry hop with ½ oz. Newports per five gallons).

NOTE: This beer will need to be kegged. When you keg it, drop four whole Serrano peppers into each keg. I sampled the brew every week or so until it had reached the heat I was after. At five weeks it was hot without being way too hot. In other words, you knew there were peppers in it and and could feel them ... but it wasn't painful. At that point I opened the keg and removed the peppers. The aroma of the pepper from the ten minute boil gives the impression that it will be face melting ... but the heat is very mild after five weeks. However if a more flavorful experience is something you want, add more peppers to the keg and let them soak longer. A word of warning here though, the longer it soaks the hotter it will get.

So there you have it Wastelanders,  a very simple recipe that will give you very tasty beer that both looks and tastes like an acid sky. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

World War Z Reviewed in Haiku

Explosive at start
But zombies that don’t eat brains
Stick to Walking Dead

One more:

Warm Bodies Bloodless
Wanted Battle of Yonkers
Perhaps Just Read Book

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Looks more family friendly in real life

Today is my fourteenth anniversary and we decided to take a random trip to the beach and indulge in some of the local shellfish. What could be better than spending your anniversary digging razor clams right? Yup ... I know, I'm a hopeless romantic huh?

Anyhow the clam dig was at Ft. Stevens Park on the Oregon Coast. True hardcore apocalypse fans will recognise this as the site where 'the man' and 'the boy' ended their journey in the movie version of The Road. I'll refresh your memory:

While there I took some pretty great photos as well.

If you look closely you'll see a group of young rapscallions busily digging in the larger portion of the wreck. It certainly looks a lot less ominous in reality. That last photo was an attempt to stand where 'The Man' stood as he first viewed the ocean. Also I did manage to get a clam that day. It was very small ... that's true. But it is the only one that was gotten today.That is also true.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Musical Interlude the Twenty-Ninth

Alright. Show of hands here. Who knew that Billy Idol's Dancing With Myself was apocalyptic? Don't be embarrassed. Even a PA superfan like me wasn't aware of it. I wasn't aware he dancing alone because everyone had snuffed out (or were zombies). Also the electric shock part was reminiscent of the video by Foster the People 'Helena Beat'.

Anyhow here it is.

When there's no-one else in sight
In the crowded lonely night
Well I wait so long
For my love vibration
And I'm dancing with myself

Monday, May 27, 2013

Free Apocalyptic Books (Eighteen)

Same drill. These are free but for an undetermined length of time. Get them now in other words.

1) Fate's Haven by Daniel Dennis

2) Ash On Our Altar by Eric Henn

3) On the Road: Book Two (Life After War) by Angela White and Kim Fillmore

Apocalyptic Book Club Field Trip #1

The Willamette Valley Apocalyptic Book Club meets on a sort of regular basis at different restaurants in the general area of Salem, Oregon. Sometimes we meet in Albany, sometimes we meet in Salem. We never have had a specific book that we read and then discuss. It's always a run down of what we've read and if we think that the other members would like it. Meetings always end with browsing a book store.

I guess now would be a good time to mention that the club only has two members (though we wouldn't stop anyone interested in joining to come along). So yeah it's just me and my buddy Deathrattle hanging out being Apocalypse Dorks.

Also about a month ago I read a thread on Megaton's Forums and immediately began planning the very first Apocalyptic Book Club Field Trip. 

I thought that since they were brewers and they had an apocalyptic feel, that they would appreciate a fellow brewer who also has turned out a couple of PA brews. I decided that they needed to sample my Dinty Moore Wasteland Stout. I wanted to bring them some of my Acid Sky Oatmeal IPA (tasting notes and recipe to follow) as well, but as of this posting it is in secondary fermentation and not ready to drink.

The trip was yesterday. Deathrattle, his buddy Luke, and I drove down to Medford to visit Apocalypse Brewing and had a pretty fantastic time. With the exception of the long drive and the brewery visit, it was a typical PA book club meeting: Lunch and then book store browsing. The brewery was what made the trip though.

Now to start with, the brewery is very small. They are a barrel and a half operation. Works out to a capacity of 50 gallons. Those of you who have been to Deer Island Brewery for either the Teach a Friend to Homebrew or the Big Brew days will know that they have the same capacity. It's small in other words.

That's the heart of the brewery. They have a beer sculpture that a friend of theirs welded for them (exactly like Scott welded the ten gallon brew sculpture for Dart Creek and I thank you) You can see the pump that drives it on the lower bar and also the plate chiller on the floor near the pump. A really nice compact system as well.

I never intended for this to be a brewery tour though. I've gone on a couple of tours since I got seriuos about brewing and it's always the same. It's pretty much like what I do in the driveway at Dart Creek ... just on a larger scale is all. The real intent of the trip was to find out if the name was gimick or if the brewers were PA fans.

I left thinking that they were somewhere in the middle. It's somewhat a gimmick as evidenced by the couple who stopped in from Idaho just because of the name. But as I talked with staff and asked them about the name I learned that the head brewer Nick is of the mind that you should be able to brew even after the shit hits the fan. If you run out of propane you can use a wood fire for example. Also all of his ingredients are locally sourced so that in the event that supplies become difficult to find he's not completely out of luck. For me just personally .... i wish he'd been more of a PA dork like me and that the decor of the place more closely resembled their name and the names they've given their beers. 

They do have a really excellent start though:

The tap handles are all faux pipe bombs:

Great murals:

Lastly each of the beers are named apocalypticly (and me with my All Hail The Crimson King shirt from Wasteland Weekend) :

The Tunguska Event
Blast Radius  
Fallow Fields
The Sixth Seal  
Devastated Sky   
River Runs Red

Since I was driving I was only able to drink a Blast Radius at the brewery. I took a growler  home of The Sixth Seal though. I've been drinking it the whole time I've been writing. I'm nearly done with both this post and the growler. It's very hoppy and tasty. And I am very hammered.

As far as the trade in kind went, I think they would have gone for it if I had asked. But since I'm a brewer I know how much work this takes. I didn't mind paying for a pint, the growler fill and two pint glasses.

As far as the Dinty went I think it was well received. One of the dudes told me that it was great but that because of all the grains that it required he'd never be able to brew it commercially. Well guys my offer stands. Let's work out a trade. I'll give you five gallons of Dinty for your guest tap if you'll trade for a five gallon keg of Blast Radius or The Six Seal.

Final thought: Great beers, good atmosphere, and friendly staff and customers. If you should ever find yourself in Medford, Oregon and have a thirst, stop by and raise a pint .... embrace the chaos.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Apocalyptic Commercial

Saw this a moment ago on the tv box:

Monday, April 22, 2013

Free Apocalyptic Books (Seventeen)

Same drill. These are free but for an undetermined length of time. Get them now in other words.

1) Claws by Ricky Sides, Frankie Sutton and Jason Merrick

2) Incompatible by Chantelle Feasel, Erica Feasel, Eileen Feasel and Derik Irvin

3) NEW LIFE by Ben Fuller and Sarah Fuller

4) The Eclective: The Apocalypse Collection by Tara West, R G Porter, P J Jones and M Edward McNally

5) Last Night on Earth by Jake Arky, Khairani Barokka, Natanya Ann Pulley and Amelia Gray