Friday, December 27, 2013

My Great-Grandfather's Birthday


Nearly two months ago I wrote a post about my great-grandfather. Today, I would like to write a very short follow up post, as he was born 113 years ago on this very day. You can really tell the measure of a man's legacy, when you are still celebrating his birthday many years after he has passed away.

Till next time,

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Review of Founders' Sweet Repute

Founders Brewing Company’s Sweet Repute, which just hit the shelves on December 2nd, is a complexly flavored barrel-aged wheat wine. Sweet Repute is actually the 8th, and highly anticipated, installment of Founders Backstage Series thus making it the newest member of a venerable family that consists of Blushing Monk, Canadian Breakfast Stout, Curmudgeon’s Better Half, Frangelic Mountain Brown, Bolt Cutter, Doom Imperial IPA, and Mango Magnifico. Sweet Repute checks in at 12.6 percent Alcohol by Volume, and if you have been searching for a sweet, heavy, and delicious treat to keep you warm throughout the brisk winter season, then Sweet Repute should most certainly be at the top of your shopping list.    

On Founders Brewing Co.’s website, it is described how one should take their time while consuming Sweet Repute, in order to maximize their experience, as the Founders brewing team has “painstakingly choreographed” each layer of its characteristics and claim their beer gets better with each sip as the new flavors “unfold” [1]. After the drinker has consumed this highly nuanced beverage, they will find themselves in agreement after having experienced a barrage of flavors detonate in their mouth.   

Founders proceeds to describe how this product is “one-hundred percent barrel aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels and bourbon barrels,” for a period of 16 months, and then subsequently blended using “carefully calculated ratios” [1]. Therefore, it is needless to say that Sweet Repute is an artfully and meticulously crafted brew that is to be respected and drunken properly.         

When poured into your favorite beer mug, Sweet Repute is a picturesque beer. It is a medium-brown copper color, and it is more translucent and less opaque than other Founders heavyweights. It pours a terrific head, which Founders itself describes as “stubborn,” which will hang around until the beer is nearly finished. The drinker may find that the beer makes his or her lips somewhat sticky.

The aroma is sweet, mild, and nutty. After a single whiff, the drinker will be bombarded with a complex array of impeccably balanced scents consisting of caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, marshmallow, cotton candy, and maple syrup. It smells like one might imagine the inside of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory would smell like. The slightest hint of bourbon is also present, and it will enter the drinker’s nose and warm them to their core. 

The taste is in line with the aroma as it shares the commonality of being sweet, delicious, and intoxicating. It is moderately sugary, and the drinker may momentarily think that they are drinking a syrupy pancake breakfast in a bottle. New flavors will emerge with each sip, and the drinker may feel compelled to write down all of the distinctive flavors that come to his or her mind. As one might expect, it also has a mild bourbon aftertaste.

At any rate, Sweet Repute is a phenomenal beer that is sure to be appreciated by premium beer connoisseurs of all sorts, and should become an instant favorite of those who have been known to have a sweet tooth.    

References/Further Reading
1. "Founders Brewing Co." Founders Brewing Co. Web. 08 Dec. 2013. <>.

Disclaimer: This is not intended to promote or encourage the use of alcohol. This is merely an evaluation of a product.  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holiday Season to All!

Dear readers,

I just wanted to take a moment to wish each and every one of you a very happy Holiday Season! I am very thankful for all of you who have followed me, added me to your circles, and read and commented on my content. I have been writing my blog for more than seven months now, and plan to continue keeping at it, improving it, and writing new and better stories as time goes on. Please let me know what topics you would like me to cover in 2014. Thanks again and have a great Holliday Season!

Till next time,

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Movie Recommendations: Grumpy Old Men and Grumpier Old Men

I would like to strongly recommend the uplifting comedy Grumpy Old Men (1993) as well as its sequel Grumpier Old Men (1995). Both films are loaded with laughs and are sure to pick you up whenever you are having a bad day. The movies feature a pair of cantankerous gentleman in their late 60s: John Gustafson (Jack Lemmon) and Max Goldman (Walter Matthau). Max and John are neighbors who have known each other since childhood, and they have been feuding with each other since the 1930s, but apparently their rivalry hit a fever-pitch several years before the events of the first film after John married a woman named May. Max claimed that May was his first, and that John stole her from him. However, at the start of the first film, John and May are now divorced, and it is later explained that Max went on to marry another woman named Amy who has since passed away. 

The first film takes place in snowy Minnesota during the wintertime, and a large portion of the film focuses on Max and John enjoying their mutual hobby of ice fishing, and shows them trading insults, and playing childish pranks on one and other. However, tensions arise when a woman named Ariel (Anne Margaret), a recently widowed art professor, moves into their neighborhood and Max and John both become infatuated with her. I don't want to spoil the film for you, so if you want to find out what happens after that you're going to have to watch the movie! It is important to note real quick, however, that another important subplot of the movie focuses on the relationship between Jake (Kevin Pollak), Max's son who is is running for mayor, and Melanie (Daryl Hannah), John's daughter who is on the verge of going through a divorce.

The second film takes place the following summer, and it is not quite as good as the first, but it still gets the job done. At any rate, these are two fantastic comedies which star three very funny men who are sadly no longer with us (the third being Burgess Merideth who plays John's hilarious 94-year-old father in the movies). If you are in the mood to laugh, then you should definitely watch these two movies!

Till next time

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Manly Book Recommendation: Man Crafts from Popular Mechanics

It has been a few months since I have made a manly book recommendation, and therefore I would like to remedy that by suggesting the book Man Crafts: Leather Tooling, Fly Tying, Ax Whittling, and Other Cool Things to Do by Popular Mechanics. It is a really interesting book that will teach you all kinds of cool and helpful manly skills. It is broken into eight separate chapters which are entitled: Coping Saw Carpentry, Leathercraft, Bookbinding, Block Printing, Axe Craft, Tin-Can-Craft, Braiding & Knotting, Fly Tying, Cartooning, and Lettering.  

I enjoyed every chapter of this book, but my personal favorite section would have to be"Axe Craft." In the beginning of this chapter, it is described how, in the days of our ancestors, the axe was the most important tool known to man. Moreover, it is also described how it was not uncommon for the axe alone to account for the entire toolbox of the Pilgrims. It is then described how the axe was responsible for clearing forests, providing warmth, building houses, and erecting forts. However, it is then described how -- in today's world --the ax-craft is unfortunately on the verge of becoming a lost and forgotten art.  

In this chapter you will proceed to learn how to safely use an axe, how to split logs, how to make joints (Cross lap, Mitre, Bound Cross Lap, Open Mortise, Semi-cross Lap, Butt, Forked Cross), and learn how to make all kinds of other cool things, including, but not limited to, picture/mirror frames, plant baskets, bird houses, clocks, etc.

Be sure to pick up a copy of this manly book if you have a chance, and add a couple of new manly skills to your resume!  

P.S. - The axe is the quintessential survival tool as well -- Brian Robertson, the main character in Gary Paulsen's book Hatchet, would have been doomed if it had not been for his trusty hatchet. Can you think of a better tool to have with you if you were lost in the wilderness? I know I can't! 

Till next time,

Man Crafts: Leather Tooling, Fly Tying, Ax Whittling, and Other Cool Things to Do.New York: Hearst, 2009. Print.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Remarkable Survival Story

Hey Guys,
I was recently perusing news articles, as I was looking for something interesting to get my creative juices flowing, and came across a truly remarkable survival story. Sitting here as someone who has cited the novel Hatchet by Gary Paulsen as one of his favorite reads ever since he was 11, and has been a massive fan of The Walking Dead ever since it first appeared on AMC on Halloween of 2010, I think that it is safe to say that I have always been a fan of survival stories as I have always found the subject of man's innate ability to survive to be a very interesting topic. However, the story I am about to share with you is far from fictional, and although this story occurred more than six months ago, it has only recently come to light. Moreover, it is not about surviving the wilderness or zombies either, but is about a man who survived underwater...for nearly three days! 

Back in May, Harrison Odjegba Okane - a Nigerian cook who was working on a boat which carried a dozen passengers before it was capsized in the Atlantic Ocean off of the Nigerian coast - found a way to survive for nearly three days after he discovered an air pocket. The accident would claim the lives of all of his comrades. 

Okane, bereft of any food or water, had merely one bottle of Coke-a-Cola to sustain himself throughout the entire 60 hour ordeal. As the temperature reached freezing levels, Okane would keep the faith by reciting the latest psalm his wife had sent him via text message which read: "Oh God, by your name, save me...The Lord sustains my life."

It had been assumed that all of the passengers had perished, and therefore when South African divers arrived to recover the bodies, and Okane's hand appeared on the monitor of the rescue boat, it was assumed that the hand belonged to a dead man. However, when a diver went to grab the hand, he later reported that "the hand grabbed him."

More than half a year after this traumatic experience, Okane believes the fact he survived is nothing short of a divine miracle.    

Read the full article from Fox News, which I have paraphrased, right here: 

Till next time,