30 Days of Music Roundup


Here are all my answers to the 30 Days of Music meme published over the past month on my Tumblr blog Portals of Discovery.  Enjoy! Intro Day 01 – Your favorite song at the moment Day 02 – Your least favorite song Day 03 – A song that makes you happy Day 04 – A…

Retropost: Happy Halloween


I don’t have anything new to say about Halloween, but I was looking back and saw this post I wrote 3 years ago. The funny thing is that after finishing this post, I went to bed and a couple of hours later my wife told me she was going into labor. And so my son…

Beer Review: Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale


Beer: Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale Brewer: Shipyard Brewing Company Source: Draft Rating: ***(7.8 of 10) Comments: Another fine pumpkin ale from a New England brewery.  Basically it’s like pumpkin pie in a glass with sweet & spice scents and tastes.  It goes down smooth and is a nice brew for the season.

Beer Review: Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA


Beer: Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA Brewer: Harpoon Brewery Source: Draft Rating: ****(8.5 of 10) Comments: Served in a small glass, this beer has an orangish tint and a thick head.  Aromas are floral and citrusy.  There’s a fruity & hoppy flavor that has as a quality that reminds me more of a liquor than a…

End of Summer Soccer


Major League Soccer played their final regular season games the past week spelling the end of summer soccer.  The playoffs have begun but for the first time in a decade the New England Revolution will not be participating in them.  What a year to start following the Revs after all those years of post-season success…

Book Review: The Story of the Madman by Mongo Beti


Around the World for a Good Book selection for: Cameroon Author: Mongo Beti Title: The Story of the Madman Publication Info: Charlottesville : University Press of Virginia, c2001. ISBN: 0813920485 Summary/Review: A familiar story of post-colonial Africa where a newly independent nation suffers tyrannical and wasteful governments, the nation is divided by civil war, and…

Photopost: Ward’s Berry Farm


Visited Ward’s Berry Farm in Sharon today for some hay-riding and pumpkin-picking.  Here are my gourd-eous and artsy  photographs from the pumpkin patch.

Beer Reviews: Old Chub


Beer: Old Chub Scottish Style Ale Brewer: Oskar Blues Brewery Source: 12 fl. oz can Rating: **** (8.6 of 10) Comments: Having enjoyed Dale’s Pale Ale on tap, I figured it was worth it to buy the expensive beer in a can.  Oh my is it worth it.  The thing about Scottish Ales is that…

Footy Report


Another fine weekend of European football.  The Revolution won too but I didn’t watch due to the MLB playoffs.  It was a very sport-filled week. Fulham FC 1:2 Tottenham Hotspur (16 Oct 2010) – I tuned into this London Derby live from Craven Cottage but alas the feed cut out for several minutes, including the…

Beer Review: Southern Tier Pumking


Beer: pumking Imperial Pumpking Ale Brewer: Southern Tier Brewing Co. Source: Draft Rating: No stars (3.2 of 10) Comments: I could say something about the attractive color of this beer served in a special tear-drop glass but OMFG it tastes like cough syrup!!!  Sweet and nasty and I just couldn’t finish it.  I’m seriously wondering…

Beer Review: Long Trail Harvest


Beer: Long Trail Harvest Brewer: Long Trail Brewing Co. Source: Draft Rating: * (5.9 of 10) Comments: This is an attractive copper brown ale with a thick head, but I was a disappointed by the taste.  It was weak and flat with a few hints of chocolate.  I expect something heartier from a beer of…

Beer Review: Dale’s Pale Ale


Beer: Dale’s Pale Ale Brewer: Oskar Blues Grill & Brewery Source: Draft Rating: ** (6.7 of 10) Comments: Here’s a beer I’ve been avoiding because it comes in can yet is really expensive.   I found a place serving it on-tap and gave it  a try.  The beer has a nice malt/hops balance and leaves good…

International Draws


The past week has been dominated by international team games, including Euro 2012 qualifying and both the US men’s and women’s teams hosting friendlies in Philadelphia. USA 1:1 China (6 Oct 2010) – The second of two games versus the People’s Republic as the US women tune up for the World Cup 2011 qualifiers (the…

Book Review: Beneath the Lion’s Gaze by Maaza Mengiste


Around The World For a Good Book selection for: Ethiopia Author: Maaza Mengiste Title: Beneath the Lion’s Gaze Publication Info: New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2010. ISBN: 9780393071764 Summary/Review: This is a beautifully written yet difficult to read book about Ethiopia in the 1970s.  Difficult to read mainly due to the violence and…

Photopost: Topsfield Fair


Today we went to the last day of the 2010 Topsfield Fair, America’s oldest fair dating to 1818.  Our time was limited and we were guided by a toddler, but I think we got a good sense of the fair and had a great time.  The Kiddie Land area had a lot of rides my…

Support Sharon and Team McGraw


I have an awesome friend name Sharon.  Today is her birthday but that’s not what this post is about.  I’m writing because in exactly one month Sharon will be running in the New York City Marathon.  Sharon’s story is inspiring in that just the past two years she’s lost a lot of weight, got in…

Retropost: Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa


In tribute to Mario Vargas Llosa, the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature winner,  here is my review of his great novel Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter that I first published here on 25 July 2008: Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (1977) by Mario Vargas Llosa represents Peru in my ongoing effort to read a work…

Sister City’s Soccer


I discovered this week that Barcelona is a sister city of my hometown of Boston, MA.  This gives me a good reason to support FC Barcelona for what better way to foster goodwill and cultural exchange than through sport?  It also means I don’t have to feel like a heel of a frontrunner picking one…

30 Days of Music


If you follow me on my Tumblog “Portals of Discovery” you’ll  know that I’m participating in a meme about music by answering a question about a song every day in October.  If you don’t this post will help you keep up with this fun project.  My first song went up today.  I’m going to consolidate…

Beer Review: Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale


Beer: Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale Brewer: Smuttynose Brewing Co. Source: 12 oz. bottle Rating: *** (7.1 of 10) Comments: This beer has a thick, respectable head and a cloudy, pumpkin orange color.  The spices are apparent in the aroma but there’s also an acidic scent there too.  The pumpkin flavor is there but also more of…