This is the blog for Matt Hollingsworth. I'm from Ojai, California. I've worked in comics for 22 years as a color artist.

This blog will largely be used to show my daily life as I live in Samobor, Croatia and as I travel around the region. Lots and lots of photos! Leave me a comment, will you?

All content on this blog is copyright 2013 Matthew Dale Hollingsworth and cannot be copied or used for any purpose without my consent.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Something blasphemous has been done to Ožujsko, the beer from which my nickname, Žujo, is derived. They have changed their packaging. And the new packaging is in green glass and plastic.

I am not upset because of the LOOK of the packaging. I couldn't give a shit what it looks like. What I care about is flavor. And packaging beer in green glass is the worst possible thing you could do to a beer. This effectively ruins the beer.

The reason for this is chemical in nature.

Beers are given bitterness by something in hops called "isomerized alpha acids". When ultraviolet light hits a beer for too long, it provides the energy necessary to cause a chemical reaction that combines those iso alpha acids and some trace sulfur in the beer into a new compound: 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol. This is a sulfur compound. And sulfur is funky shit. Skunks use this same chemical compound for self defense.

Anyway, while the green glass itself does not cause this to happen, it *does* virtually ensure that it will happen. Brown glass protects a beer pretty well while green glass doesn't really protect it at all. So, when the beer is packaged and then sits in the light somewhere, which usually happens before it gets to you, the beer is "skunked".

This is avoidable. The fucking brewer shouldn't be bottling in green glass. More than likely, what's happened is Ožujsko lost some market share to Tuborg or something. And Tuborg is bottled in green glass. And a lot of "cool" beers are too. So, Ožujsko has a new look! But fuck them. Stupid assholes.

If you want to compare, go find yourself a bottle of Ožujsko that's in the brown glass before they're gone. And find one in green glass. Hell, buy 2 of the green glass variety. Take one and set in your window sill in the sunlight for 2 or 3 days. Then chill it. Take 3 glasses and pour the 3 beers and compare. You'll see what I'm talking about. It's fucking horrible, skunky, sulfurous shit. If you're not in Croatia and want to test the same thing, do this same experiment but use Heineken in the green glass and Heineken in the can (which is obviously way better).

For some reason, some people like this skunky taste. But I don't like sulfur. It's disgusting.

So, naturally, I will no longer buy Ožujsko. Ever. Until they change packaging to something acceptable. Wanna join me in this crusade? Easy! Please STOP buying Ožujsko. NEVER buy it in green glass. Maybe they'll lose some sales and the stupid assholes will go back to brown glass.

One caveat here; some brewers remove this hop compound or use other means to ensure this does not happen even though they bottle in clear or green glass. Miller Brewing is one of these. And I've never tasted a skunked Stella Artois, but I HATE Stella so don't drink it often enough to be a proper tester for this.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I've been into Gypsy music for five or six years, but never really explored it too far. But lately I've found myself using iTunes more to randomly wander around and check out Gypsy and Klezmer music. I like the "people who bought this also checked out these guys" feature, whereby you can wander from band to band and listen to part of their song to see if it's worth buying or not.

With all that in mind, these are the guys I discovered yesterday.

Zagnut Orkestar

When I first heard them I thought they were from the Balkans. They sound partially like that. And their album is called "Sedam Mačaka", which is "Seven Cats" in Croatian. But, upon searching, I found they're from New York. They have elements of Klezmer, Gypsy, Jazz and other music in their songs. It's pretty nice stuff if you like any of that kind of music.

Monday, April 09, 2007

We then went to Rafaelo to drink with some of our pals. Nothing unusual, just some drinking debauchery.

Esad at Rafaelo.


The sexy Rafaelo girls.


Esad gives Nina love.

My pal Domagoj.



Nina and me.

Domagoj and me.

Joža and Markoni.


Markoni, Maja and Danijela being retarded.

Me, Maja, Danijela and Domagoj also being retarded.

Giving Danijela love.

Happy Easter, Sretan Uskrs!

On the Saturday before Easter, I had a nice, lazy day.

Nara and I slept in, lazily, then had a slow morning. Early in the afternoon, I walked her to the train. She went to her home town to hang out for a long weekend with her family. I met Esad for coffee outside at a local cafe. It was like summer and I wore shorts and a T shirt and sandals. Nice!

Esad's new apartment.

Esad invited me to come out to Zaprešić, which is where his new apartment is. He bought this place while it was being built, and they recently finished it. The area is not fully populated yet as they're still finishing the building. Downstairs are spots for some stores and cafe's, but they're also still being worked on.

The view from his deck looking to the right.

The view, looking to the left.

Work area.

Esad at his new front door.

Esad's building is further back here on the right.

Zaprešić is a 20 minute bus ride from Gajnice, where I live. It's further from the center and is around the other side of the mountain in the north of Zagreb. So, if you've seen any of my pics in the hills of Gajnice, Zaprešić is on the other side of that same area. It's not old like Samobor, but is near there too. Samobor is on the other side of the river Sava, to the South West. The infrastructure of Zaprešić is all new and reliable, but the town itself lacks the flavor of Samobor. It's nice, though, and the building Esad is in is really well made and roomie. So, it has it's benefits.

Near the apartment, walking to Trajbar.

The forest near Trajbar.

Anyway, we took the bus there and walked around a bit. We wandered to a restaurant near where Esad lives called Trajbar. It's a horse ranch of some sort, the kind of place where they have horse shows with jumping and that sort of thing.


It's near some forested area and is very green, and they have an outdoor deck. So we had a leisurely lunch outside in the warm spring weather. The trees were brown and leafless a few weeks ago, but spring has really sprung now and everything is much more lush and green. It was a nice, lazy afternoon.

Esad at lunch at Trajbar.

Me, working on my beer gut. Not angry, though you can't tell!

Our lunches.

Sunset in the forest.

Later, we made our way to Gajnice for some drinking, but that's for the next blog entry.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A quick post just to show the kitties. They're happy here in Gajnice, all fully adjusted to life and digging the warmer weather and sun.

The cats, Hukwe and Said, enjoying the sun on one of our beautiful spring days.