Friday, June 17, 2016

I am the Law! Reading Judge Dredd, Part 1

I first read about Judge Dredd in 1981 the pages of Fantasy Empire #1, a semiprozine focused on British science fiction and fantasy. I had bought the magazine for its Doctor Who cover, but it also included articles on Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (which I think I was already a fan of), the Prisoner (which, despite this article, I didn’t really discover until years later) and Judge Dredd. For whatever reason—and I can’t recall what those reasons might be, 35(!) years later—the Dredd article really had an impact, and made me want to check out his series.

At the time, exposure to Dredd in the US was limited to a couple of reprint volumes from Titan Books, focused mainly on the work of Brian Bolland. I bought the first Dredd volume, which collected Bolland’s earlier stories, including the first Judge Death tale, and the two-volume collection of the Cursed Earth. If memory serves, my local comic store also got a volume collecting the second Judge Death story (the first appearance of the other Dark Judges) and other stuff. There were also some other collections of 2000 AD material, like Robo-Hunter and Nemesis the Warlock, but I remained focused on Dredd.

I remember being fascinated by the high-energy storytelling and the weirdness of Mega-City 1. And this was probably my first real experience with an anti-hero. I understood that Dredd was the main character, but not necessarily a hero to admire. I don’t know that I entirely got the satire at that point, but I could see that there was a lot of humor to the series. In short, this series about the adventures of a hard-line fascist cop in a huge post-apocalyptic future in an overpopulated Mega-City covering the entire east coast, was like nothing I’d ever seen, and I loved it.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Adventures in Smoking: Makin' Bacon

As my next step in learning how to smoke meat, I decided to make my own bacon. I had read on that she made bacon using Bill Gillespie’s Smoking Bacon and Hog Cookbook. The book sounded like it would be a good resource as I learn how to smoke, so I purchased a copy for myself.

Unlike Grillgirl, I didn’t want to use expensive Kurobuta pork belly for my first attempt. So we purchased about three pounds of regular pork belly at the Butcher Block. (My wife loved watching them use the band saw to cut our portion off.) As a side note, one of our initial concerns about making our own bacon was being able to slice it, since we don’t have a meat slicer. I had the idea to ask the guys at the Butcher Block if they could slice it for us if we brought it in. They said they could, and that was the final obstacle in our way cleared.

Friday, June 3, 2016

What's in the Box?!?: Gentleman's Box, Smuggler's Bounty, Nerd Block, and Firefly Cargo Crate for May 2016

It’s time for another subscription box round-up! Here are the subscription boxes I received since my last round-up post (excluding the second Ghost Post box, because that deserves its own entry).

First up: the May Gentleman’s Box! The inspiration for this month’s box is “Our Favorite Soul King,” or Ray Charles.