Review: Greenbeard the Pirate Pig

20140204-1Rating: ★★★★☆
greenbeardthepiratepig.ca

All educational and child-rearing specialists agree on the importance of reading to your kids about pirates from an early age. But they sometimes forget to mention that sharing the true exploits of François l’Olonnais with an impressionable toddler can lead to less-than-desireable results. This is why we need books like Greenbeard the Pirate Pig to ease our youngsters into the basics of high seas shenanigans without prematurely exposing them to more advanced subjects (like cannibalism.) Continue reading

Review: Caliche Rum

Rating: ★★★★☆
Caliche Official Site

calicheA sippable white rum – rare, but not unheard of. But even on the shelf, Caliche stands apart from its pale brethren with its mottled glass bottle, neck wrapped in hemp. It gives a rustic, tropical appearance usually reserved for aged rums, and makes this the only white rum I can think of that indeed looks piratey (a necessity for those of truly distinguished taste.)

While white rums generally equate to un-aged, Caliche is in fact a blend of aged rums using the Solera system. This results in a rather layered flavor profile. To the nose you’re met with fruit, while on tasting a creamy vanilla sensation dominates. The finish lingers and warms with alcohol burn that’s surprisingly gentle yet persistent.

Caliche is a class act, no doubt. It’s quite excellent straight up, and when sipped in moderation is damn near refreshing (not a quality I generally equate with rum.)

Bestselling author Keith Thomson is looking for a few good pirates, artists preferred.

Just sharing a press release/opportunity for any fellow pirates/artists! ~Bilge

The author of the New York Times bestseller Once A Spy, is asking readers to submit their original photographs, paintings and drawings for a chance to be featured as the cover image for the digital edition of his modern-day pirate adventure Pirates of Pensacola.

How to enter: If you haven’t already read the book, you can sample the first fifty pages for free at http://www.scribd.com/doc/133700015/Pirates-of-Pensacola-by-Keith-Thomson-Excerpt and http://www.KeithThomsonBooks.com. Next, send your original artwork in high resolution jpeg to PiratesofPensacola@gmail.com by May 24. Full cover designs using original artwork will be accepted. Keith and crew will review the entries and choose three images that best capture the spirit of the book. These three finalists’ work will be showcased at http://www.KeithThomsonBooks.com and on the Official Keith Thomson Author Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/KeithThomsonAuthor) during the week of May 27th. With the help of his pirate fans Keith will then choose the grand-prize-winner whose artwork will be used as the cover image. The grand prize winner and first runner-up will each receive a genuine piece-of-eight coin and the second runner-up will receive a signed first edition of Keith’s next novel, 7 grams of lead.

Keith hopes that his fellow pirate fans will enjoy contributing their swashbuckling images and that the contest will give readers a way to join the pirate adventure and possibly find some treasure along the way.

Keith created the current cover image for Pirates of Pensacola. It was used for the digital edition that Thomson donated to the Worldreader organization, a U.S. and European nonprofit that makes digital books available to children and their families in the developing world. Keith subsequently published the e-book on Amazon and Kobobooks.

Contest details and a complete list of the official contest rules are available at  http://www.keiththomsonbooks.com.

Black Sails Trailer

I’ll just come out and say it – when it comes to pirates, Disney has run its course. They kicked serious ass with Curse of the Black Pearl, but it’s been in decline ever since (first gradual, and then with On Stranger Tides damn near freefall.) If pirates are going to level-up in the near future, it’s going to be up to someone other than the mouse. And this new trailer for Black Sails… I’d say we have a contender in the running.

Hoist a Grog to Guybrush and Gang…

So Lucasarts is shutting down. The same gang that brought us LeChuck, Guybrush Threepwood, Elaine Marley, Murray, Herman Toothrot, Stan, Kate Capsize, the Cannibals, a three headed monkey, that Scottish barber guy, Fester Shinetop, Meathook, Walley, the sword master, the guy that taught you how to fight the sword master, and the pirates you fought to learn your insults before you could fight the sword master. And that’s all just off the top of my head.

So long, Lucasarts – you done good!

Dreadcrew of Oddwood Winter Tour

Winter Tour flyer oddwoodLooks like we’re all in for some relief from the winter doldrums. Wait, did I say “all”? Scratch that – just the lucky bastids on the west coast – the rest of us will continue to enjoy our weekly “blizzard of the centuries.”

I haven’t seen Dread Crew perform in several years, but as I recall they were FACEMELTINGLY AWESOME! So, yeah… catch a show if you can.

For more info on Dreadcrew, I bet their website is all sorts of useful. It’s www.thedreadcrewofoddwood.com. Buy some of their genius albums while you’re at it – they’ll rock your stripey socks right off and then scrape the barnacles from your gums like a sonic laser of pirattitude.

Review: Dance Macaw

Rating: ★★★½☆
Buy it Now
Dance MacawIn the world of pirate music, Marooned has always seemed to me a band apart. Neither in-your-face pirate-core (too soft and subdued in nature) nor background easy listening (too stand-out in its sharply contrasted male and female vocals), their music is at once understated yet domineering – somewhat like a passive-aggressive pirate captain with a penchant for morbidity. Continue reading

Caribbean Rum Under Attack

I’ll be honest, mates – numbers and figures make my head hurt. But take a gander at Cap’n Jimbo’s writeup about massive rum subsidies that provide an unfair competitive advantage to three huge rum producers at the expense of the little guys and I think you’ll agree it looks a right mess. An excerpt:

Then things got much, much worse when the USVI instituted a “rum war” against Puerto Rico last year. What happened is almost unthinkable. The USVI gave Diageo nearly $3 Billion – not million, billion! – in subsidies. These subsidies were so rich that they amount to more than double the cost of actually producing rum! Diageo is actually being paid to produce rum. The USVI also gifted Fortune Brands (Cruzan) $1 Billion, yes billion – for all manner of free improvements and facilities, including a guarantee that Cruzan can buy molasses for just 16 cents/gallon – far under the market price of $2.00/gallon that the Caribbean producers must pay.

The risk is that we lose the small rums we all love, and are left with naught but a few mega-rums, one of which is Bacardi of all things (crikey, I might have to go back to drinking water instead.)

You can read the full article over at CanadianWhisky.org, and then consider signing the petition. But whats more, keep buying your favorite rums, mates – they need our support, now and always!