All posts by Runaway Jim

Journey to the Holy Land

and by “Holy Land”, I mean Bethel, NY.

This past Memorial Day weekend, I traveled to Bethel, NY to see Phish play three nights at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Bethel Woods is located on the property that was once part of Max Yasgur’s farm, the piece of property where the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was held in 1969. Visiting Bethel was like a pilgrimage for me, having been quite interested in Woodstock and the 60’s hippie culture since I was about 10 or 11. This post is mainly about my visit to the area, along with some pictures, and what it was like being there, and my thoughts on the venue. I will cover the three Phish shows in another post that will follow. Continue reading Journey to the Holy Land

Woodstock 2011?

OK, not really. But I am going to be spending this Memorial Day weekend at the site of the original 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Phish is playing 3 nights at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. It’s on the site of Woodstock. I, personally, am pretty pumped for it. I have been obsessed with Woodstock since I was a kid. I remember one of the first cassette tapes I bought was the Woodstock soundtrack. I think I was 10 or 11 at the time. I plan on visiting the museum there as well. Expect some reports of both the shows and the experience of visiting a place with such rich musical history.

Sugar Shack Porter

It’s been 2 weeks since I brewed my Sugar Shack Porter, my 8th batch of homebrew. It’s a maple porter, if you didn’t get the reference. I used a quart of Vermont Grade B syrup in the boil for this one. I just racked it to the secondary. After brewing, my original gravity came out 10 points high at 1.076. When I checked my gravity today, it was exactly what it was supposed to be at 1.019. Instead of being just over 6% ABV, it’s going to be about 7.5% ABV. I don’t have a problem with that. Continue reading Sugar Shack Porter

Waco or Wacko? You decide…

Came across this article about Bill Nye (remember him? The Science Guy) giving a presentation in Waco, TX about… you guessed it… science. I’m gonna start off by saying that, while I am not religious in any way (I consider myself a bit atheist and a bit agnostic), I have absolutely no problem with people who practice religion and actually believe what they practice… so long as they have some common sense about it. Heck, even the Catholic Church admitted that the story of the world being created in seven days wasn’t completely accurate, that the story is just a story to make a point and to explain something that couldn’t previously be explained. Continue reading Waco or Wacko? You decide…

Jazz Jam at Roots Cafe

Last Thursday, I went to the Roots Cafe on Westminster Street in Providence to check out a free show that Scott Murawski announced on Twitter that day (though apparently, it was known before then). Roots Cafe has only been open for a month or two, so I got double the excitement in seeing a new bar/restaurant/venue in town and also checking out some live music. Continue reading Jazz Jam at Roots Cafe

Speed Up Your Internet Connection

I came across this article on Lifehacker recently. It got me thinking. I had been using the OpenDNS servers and then Google’s Public DNS servers for a while now because they both advertised that it could speed up your internet experience. Now that there are so many location-based services and location-based load balancing, it seems that they may not necessarily be faster. So I tried the tool, Namebench, mentioned in that Lifehacker article. It turned out that if I switched back to Verizon’s (I’m a FiOS user) DNS servers, I could, in fact, speed up my internet. In fact, Namebench told me it would be about 500% faster by switching. So I switched my DNS servers in my router and will hope for the best. Keep in mind that you may not notice a huge difference, but when it comes to large downloads from services that use location-based mirrors determined by the DNS lookup, those might actually be noticeably faster.

Brewery Growing Pains

Recently, Rhode Island has seen a couple breweries pulling distribution out of the state. This happens somewhat regularly, but it’s interesting to look at the specific breweries that do it and their reasons for doing it. While my last post was about breweries being bought up by larger breweries/companies or merging with other small breweries, this one is going to take on those who remain independent, but are still growing in both popularity and brewing capacity. Continue reading Brewery Growing Pains

Thoughts on Brewery Buy-outs and Mergers

Earlier this week (or maybe it was last week, I don’t remember), the beer world was abuzz with the news the Anheuser-Busch/InBev had an agreement to buy Goose Island (the brewpubs were not part of the deal). Commentaries are split between this being a good thing, this being a bad thing, and not having an opinion until we see what happens. Here’s my take on this particular deal and on brewery mergers and buy-outs in general. Continue reading Thoughts on Brewery Buy-outs and Mergers

Are Rare/Hyped Beers Good for Craft Beer?

Fellow beer blogger, Josh from Lost in the Beer Aisle, recently reviewed Founders’ Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Before he got to the actual review, he gave a little rant on rare beers. I commented on his post, but figured I should probably write it a bit better and go deeper into my thoughts. So here I am wondering if rare beers are actually good for the craft beer industry or could they cause problems for the industry. I may not actually answer the question. I’m more thinking out loud and looking to start a discussion. Continue reading Are Rare/Hyped Beers Good for Craft Beer?