Massachusetts Voters, Please Vote NO on Question #2


If you read this blog and live in Massachusetts and are not already aware, there is a ballot initiative question when we vote on November 8th regarding the expansion of charter schools in the Commonwealth by up to 12 new schools per year. The initiative offers no means for paying for this expansion so it would inevitably…

Remembering W.P.Kinsella


The Canadian author W.P. Kinsella died on Friday, September 16.  H’es most famous for the novel Shoeless Joe which was adapted into the film Field of Dreams.  From the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, if you’d asked me my favorite author, I would’ve said Kinsella.  It’s been a long while since I read a Kinsella…

Podcasts of the Week for the Week of September 18


Too tired to write up descriptions but here are the best podcasts I listened to last week.  Propublica – Inside an International Court of Money and Mystery Politically Reactive – Shaun King 99 Percent Invisible- Making Up Ground Fresh Air – Cats Fresh Air – Abby Wambach

Song of the Week: “Tired By Kids” by Poitín


Today, we are halfway to St. Patrick’s Day as celebrated on the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast.  Thus this week’s song is an Irish folk tune from halfway around the world in the Czech Republic, where the band Poitín is one of the most prominent members of the Irish pub music scene. I can related to…

Beer Review: Goose IPA


Beer: India Pale Ale Brewer:  Goose Island Beer Company Source: Draft Rating:  ***(7.4  of 10) Comments: I generally shy away from IPAs, but apparently I’ve listened to Sound Opinions enough times to give Chicago’s flagship craft beer a try.  This copper ale had a thin head and a grainy, floral aroma.  The taste was a…

Music Discoveries: Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings


I’m a fan of soul, funk, and R&B of the 1960s and 1970s, so naturally I’m drawn to Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. The band keeps alive the sounds of an earlier music with new songs that sometimes sound eerily as if they’ve been hidden in a vault for decades. Nevertheless, there’s a strong musical…

Bands I Broke Up With


Recently, the All Songs Considered podcast rebroadcast an episode called Breaking Up With Your Favorite Bands.  It’s all about the moment when your realize that the band or artist you loved so much, you just don’t love anymore.  It could be them, it could be you.  You might still love the old stuff, or you…

Albums of the Months: August/September 2016


I never got up my AOTM post for August, so here’s a two for one. Ratings scale: ***** – An all-time classic album (highly recommended) **** – Great album (recommended) *** – Solid album (consider buying or streaming/downloading top tracks) ** – Weak album (only consider streaming/downloading top tracks) * – Poor album (not recommended)…

Book Review: What Were the Twin Towers? by Jim O’Connor


Author: Jim O’Connor Title: What Were the Twin Towers Publication Info: New York : Grosset & Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Random House, [2016] Summary/Review: Following on the Hurricane Katrina book, my son and I read this history of the World Trade Center in New York City.  The book is a full history of the Twin Towers…

Book Review: What Was Hurricane Katrina? by Robin Koontz


Author: Robin Koontz Title: What Was Hurricane Katrina Publication Info: New York New York : Grosset & Dunlap, An Imprint of Penguin Random House, [2015] Summary/Review: I find it easier to work through difficult issues through books so I was impressed when my son picked out out this history of Hurricane Katrina written for children.  The book does a…

Book Review: Beatlebone by Kevin Barry


Author: Kevin Barry Title: Beatlebone Publication Info: New York : Doubleday, [2015] Summary/Review: This novel is rooted  in the fact that John Lennon bought an island off the coast of Ireland and is premised on the idea that he went to visit the island in 1978 for primal scream therapy.  Getting to the island is most of the…

Photopost: Bronx Park


My family and I finished up the summer with an extended long weekend visiting my mother in the Bronx.  We took the time to explore New York and have a lot of fun. On our final day, we visited the New York Botanical Gardens and the Bronx Zoo, both in Bronx Park.

Photopost: Playland


My family and I finished up the summer with an extended long weekend visiting my mother in the Bronx.  We took the time to explore New York and have a lot of fun. We spent our third day at the historic Playland Amusement Park in Rye, NY.

Photopost: Circle Line Cruise


My family and I finished up the summer with an extended long weekend visiting my mother in the Bronx. We took the time to explore New York and have a lot of fun. We continued our second day with a cruise around Manhattan on the Circle Line with a knowledgeable narrator teaching us about the…

Photopost: Empire State


My family and I finished up the summer with an extended long weekend visiting my mother in the Bronx. We took the time to explore New York and have a lot of fun. On the second day, we visited the observation deck on the Empire State Building, a first for everyone in the family except…

TV Review: Stranger Things (2016)


Title: Stranger Things Release Dates: 2016 Season: 1 Number of Episodes: 8 Summary/Review: The hit of the summer is an homage to horror and thrillers of the 1980s, mixing the film aesthetic of Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter with Stephen King’s “kids and monsters in Maine” formula transferred to Indiana.  There are also elements of later works like Twin Peaks, Donnie…

Photopost: Meet the Mets


My family and I finished up the summer with an extended long weekend visiting my mother in the Bronx.  We took the time to explore New York and have a lot of fun. Here are photos from the first night when my son and I went to see the Mets take on the Washington Nationals,…

Podcasts of the Week for Labor Day


I neglected to submit a POTW post last week, so here are two weeks worth of podcasts worth listening to! 99% Invisible – On Average I’m once again recommending 99PI, because while it’s a cliche to say that no one is average, the science bears it out.  Not only that but it’s actually dangerous to assume…