Sunday, October 26, 2014


Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Tuesday night was the SF Homebrewers Guild Meeting where we had a guest speaker from Cerverceria de Mateveza, which is a small brewery here in the Mission District. We’re doing another collaboration brew with them this year & we discussed ideas for a Brown Ale that they would “mass produce” (I think 3 barrel system) with our help & consultation… and then people interested in watching how the brew is made can check it out & we would have a release party several weeks later when it’s ready. More details to come but it sounds like a lot of fun. Aside from that, we’ve had a LOT of interesting in our Learn to Homebrew Day next weekend so with the new Guild members, family & friends, we could have anywhere from 10-30 people showing up. I’m guessing more around 10-15  based on past RSVP’s but still, it should be a lot of fun.
Wednesday, I stayed at home sick as a dog. Basically what happened was I went to work on Tuesday & by lunch time, I had a little something in my throat… like if you slept with your mouth open, just a little dryness… then about the time my shift was over, I was sneezing a little bit… and then by the end of the guild meeting, I was starting to get cold shakes & stuff. Yup, your boy got ebola. Okay, it wasn’t quite that bad… but even after drinking a bunch of juice & medicine, I wasn’t going anywhere Wednesday morning. I tried, but the ladyfriend was looking out for me… and my coworkers… by making sense. So I basically rested all day, drank juice & was back to work on Thursday (still about 80%) but perfectly fine by Friday. Yay!
While resting up, I watched a movie from 1990 that I really hadn’t seen before called “Darkman” starring Liam Neeson, Frances McDormand & directed by Sam Raimi (“Evil Dead” trilogy & “Spiderman” trilogy). Basically from what I understand, this movie came out a year after the original Batman with Michael Keaton & Tim Burton… and the whole dark superhero thing was looking to be capitalized on… and there was this director guy Sam Raimi who made these weird & innovative action movies with the first two “Evil Dead” movies (third one “Army of Darkness” came shortly after)… and he wanted to do something like Batman… but even darker. Apparently Raimi wanted to make “The Shadow” but couldn’t get the rights… and wanted Bruce Campbell to play the lead Peyton, but the producers didn’t think he was big time just yet… so basically he had to improvise and came up with the character of Darkman. The plot is that there’s a scientist named Peyton (Liam Neeson) who is working on synthetic skin in his home laboratory / studio where he occasionally hangs with his business suit girlfriend (McDormand). Girlfriend finds memos about her boss bribing zoning commissioners or something, tells her boss that she has the proof at home… and so boss sends hired muscle to get it… beating the crap outta Peyton, then blowing up him & his lab in the process. Now, horribly burned & disfigured, Peyton is taken to a hospital as a John Doe… they disconnect his nerve endings because the pain would be too much… but the lack of pain gives him both super strength… but also leaves his brain a bit of mess constantly feeling rage, sorrow & all kinds of emotions… so basically like Wonder Woman on the rag… but if she were the dude from “Taken” twenty years younger & horribly burned. Now, Peyton wants VENGEANCE!!! Oh… and to get his girlfriend back… so he uses his synthetic skin technology that only lasts for 99 minutes in the light to A) Set a tangled web of vengeance against those who destroyed his life; B) hang out with his girlfriend at carnivals & ice cream shops & sh*t; and C) Continue tangled web of VENGEANCE!!!
Now, with my new format, I’d usually tell you what I liked & what I didn’t like… but honestly, there wasn’t a whole lot that I didn’t like about this movie… especially by 1990 standards. I suppose the main reason that it wasn’t a bigger hit was that it was rated R due to some pretty violent imagery & some adult language (“TAKE THE F**KING ELEPHANT!!!”) that doesn’t really appeal to kids but fine if you’re an adults. Overall though, it was a pretty intriguing story, even if it was kinda hastily thrown together in response to Batman. Sam Raimi’s style is VERY prevalent with the wild & excited cuts and angles that we know from the Evil Dead & Spiderman movies… but maybe even on steroids a little bit here to give you a sense of what Peyton’s going through. Some of the effects are a little wonky by today’s standards… but this was 1990 so you can easily look past most of it. Liam Neeson does a great job of acting… and my only remark is that… the accent’s pretty bad at this point still. I mean… it works out pretty well when he’s Darkman, you know, not having lips & stuff… but some of the dialogue in the first act is like Lucky the Leprechaun trying to sound like he’s from Jersey or something. You know who REALLY steals the show in my opinion? The bad guys! The muscle man is named Durant, played by Larry Drake… and he’s just pure badass. He’s imposing, has a collection of fingers, has a kind of smooth, suave sophistication to his heinous brutality… and apparently he’s so badass that even though (spoiler alert) he gets blown up in a helicopter/tunnel collision, apparently there’s a sequel that I’ve yet to check out called “Darkman II: Return of Durant”. That’s right, in the sequel, the hired goon gets as much billing as the hero. That’s like the sequel to “Batman Begins” being called “The Dark Knight: Joker, B**ches!!!” Heck, even the girlfriend’s boss character who hires him is basically a perfectly sleazy, cheesy, smart, brash, cruel 1980’s businessman who not only hires goons to kill people in order to get a piece of paper… but within minutes is trying to console the “widowed” girlfriend… and then in the end, you find out that he’s actually a pretty street-wise little badass in his own right. Anyway, I highly recommend that you check this movie out if you haven’t already. It’s pretty damn good in my humble opinion.
Saturday night, we kegged our Pumpkin Ale & it looks pretty magnificent...


Also, see how much of our Imperial Stout has already blown off? It's only been a week...
...and a few humble brags about the view by my apartment on a beautiful World Series day, free of monsters & megamovie megadisasters here in the Bay Area...

Things are looking great for Learn to Homebrew Day next weekend with about 25 RSVPs (so about a dozen may actually show) and it’s going to be a great mix of new or interested homebrewers, a few seasoned vets, family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and just beer enthusiasts in general. That will also be the filling of a Halloween Party sandwich on Friday night & Saturday night. No rest for the wicked… but hey, wicked people have the most fun. Have a great day everybody!!!

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