Monthly Archives: September 2013


Yesterday we went outside of the city, something we rarely do and something we have not done in a long time. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember how beautiful New England can be, especially when it’s just starting to turn to Fall.

We drove down two lane roads that were closely hemmed in on both sides by trees that were just beginning to show tinges of reds and oranges. Light would filter down through the leaves and then we would turn a corner and the trees would fall away to show a pond with the light hitting in just that right way.

We passed cranberry bogs and U-Pick Farms where cars lined the roadway as families picked over trees and chose pumpkins for Halloween. We passed small signs in front yards advertising that this house was for candy apples and this one would be a great place to stop for firewood (Cheap!). There were yard sales and white church steeples and it was Norman Rockwell reborn in the 21st century.

There is no doubt that’s where I want to be, some day; out and away from the city. I just don’t know that’s the case quite yet.


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Beer Review: Samuel Adams Fat Jack

It’s been a long while since I’ve done a beer review and, in all honesty, it’s probably been a long while since I’ve actually spent any time thinking about the stuff I’m pouring into my stomach. It’s time to slow down and think about what I’m drinking. And we’re going to start off with something season appropriate.


As I’ve mentioned before, Sam Adams has a series of limited edition beers that they only release in their larger bottles. I’ve reviewed one or two in the past and they can range from very nice to solid, but underwhelming. They’ll rarely hit one out of the park, but they’re dependable, more complex than average and will allow your typical beer drinker the go outside of their comfort zone without gettin’ too crazy.

Fat Jack is a great example of a Sam Adams craft beer and it’s high on my list of pumpkin ales. A lot of pumpkin beers rely too heavily on spices leading to a lackluster experience. When all you have seasoning your beer is an overabundance of cinnamon, your beer is going to lack any true depth. Most of the pumpkin beers I’ve tried have started off with a strong burst of flavor and then quickly peter out into nothing.

But Fat Jack is solid through and through. You can tell from the color that things are different. Instead of the pale orange typical of its breed, it’s a deep amber color. It has a spiced smell, but it’s not sharp or overwhelming.

It’s a deep, rich beer, with a lot of flavor of pumpkin in addition to the usual assortment of spices. It’s well rounded, bold and heavy, in terms of flavor. From first to last, you get a strong pumpkin ale with a great start and a strong finish.

All in all, this is one of the best pumpkin ales you can get, right up there with my favorite, Pumking. Do yourself a favor this Halloween season and check it out.

I give it a Great Pumpkin and the original Black Christmas.




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Halloween Anti-Climax

With Halloween rapidly approaching and with my promise to not celebrate Halloween rapidly faltering, I am stating now, unequivocally, that I am not doing any crazy, wacky Halloween stuff for my blog.

No posting every day. No Thirty-One Days of horror. No five hundred horror movie reviews.

I refuse to burn myself out on this. I refuse to make myself hate a holiday I enjoy.

We’re keeping it simple: I will occasionally blog about Halloween and horror and that’s all I’m promising.










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Filed under Halloween: Rock and Shock, 31 Days of Spooktacular, Spoooky Beer Reviews and More

Pushing Back the Boundaries

Lately, it’s been important for me to push my boundaries more and more; specifically with regard to things that give me the jibblies. I’m not talking about scary movies and horror comics; I’m talking about social anxieties and the fact that I would cheerfully be a shut-in if I let myself.

A long time ago, I learned that anxieties are insidiously hard to deal with. When you back away from the things that frighten you, it becomes easier and easier to back away every time you face something that scares you. You’re giving the fear positive reinforcement. Clearly, if you have a fear of being shot by muggers or eaten by savage bears, you should probably continue to indulge in that particular fear. But when it comes to irrational fears, phobias and anxieties, it is incredibly important to make a stand against that fear.

And then, even beyond that, you need to throw yourself headlong and do things you would otherwise not do, to push the limits and extend the boundaries. You cannot, I cannot continue to let myself be hemmed in by irrational and borderline ludicrous anxieties.

It’s become a constant thing, a tiring thing and also a fun thing, because it turns out sometimes you try something and you actually enjoy it and have fun and then, maybe, you can do it again.

And sometimes it’s terrible and awful and you want to crawl in a hole and never come out, but, guess what, now you know you can take it and move on. You take a couple of hits and you keep on trucking and that’s an important lesson too.

I try, sometimes not as much as I should, to improve myself in some small way. Sometimes a very small way, but it’s the trying that’s important.

And the occasional success.


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