The Music Still Hasn’t Stopped

Posted by Jim on Jun 12th, 2015
Jun 12

With the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead and the special anniversary concerts coming up, a lot of people on the Internet are praising the band and compiling ideal setlists. I’ve decided to do the same, although this isn’t necessarily what I’d want to hear if I was going to one of the shows this summer. This is more of a dream compilation featuring songs from the many eras of the Grateful Dead. I don’t think it could ever be played how I picture it in my head.

I: Bertha, Row Jimmy, Help on the Way > Slipknot > Franklin’s Tower, Sugar Magnolia > Iko Iko, Brown Eyed Women, Jack Straw, Deal, Blow Away

II: Playing in the Band > Dark Star > Sugaree > Cryptical > The Other One > Cryptical > The Wheel > Going Down the Road Feeling Bad > Not Fade Away, And We Bid You Goodnight

E: Box of Rain, The Music Never Stopped > Hey Jude Finale

Sidebar Updates

Posted by Jim on Jun 9th, 2015
Jun 9

I’ve made a long overdue update to my sidebar lists. Nissa and I have a baltic porter (named after the great jazz song) that will be ready to drink in a week…just in time for Nissa’s birthday. Sure, a strong, dark beer isn’t what you think of as the warm summer months roll in, but it’s a style I’ve wanted to brew for a while and a name I had to use. To get away from the dark malt beers, we are preparing to brew two seasonally appropriate beers in the next week. First up is a simple blonde ale. Second is a standard summertime saison that we will use a yeast we’re culturing from a bottle of De Blaugies/Hill Farmstead Le Vermontoise.

I’ve also updated my list of upcoming races. At the end of the month, I’m running the second Craft Brew Races 5k to be held in Portland. I won a bib in the lottery for the 40th Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC in October. As a training run for that race, I’ll head to Hampton, NH to take part in the Smuttynose Rockfest half marathon. Lastly, I am also running the Thunder Road marathon in Charlotte, NC in Novemeber. The last three races I’ve listed I will be running with my mom. She is also running the Mainly Marathons race in Sanford on August 24*. After finishing Thunder Road, she will have qualified for the Marathon Maniacs! Way to go Mom!

*Mainly Marathons is running a promotion right now where you can enter one of their races for free if you’ve never participated in one of their events! Check it out on their homepage.

Alto & Tenor ≥ Baritone & Soprano, imho.

Posted by Jim on Jan 26th, 2015
Jan 26

I wrote up this post almost two months ago with the hopes of adding a few more examples. I haven’t gotten around to do that, so I’ll post it as-is.

After the recent death of Bobby Keys, I spent some time thing about my favorite rock n roll sax solos. The sax solo is a time-honored tradition, and I’m sure there are many lists already compiled that would be a much more interesting read than anything I could come up with, but I did think about one aspect of the sax solo that probably doesn’t get nearly enough attention: the sax player shout out by the front man. So, here is a list of some of my favorite shout outs.

Slow Progress

Posted by Jim on Nov 18th, 2014
Nov 18

I wanted to add a new item to the sidebar: a graphic displaying my progress towards running a marathon in all 50 states, plus DC. Unfortunately, the image generator used by this app seems to be a little slow. I don’t want to have to increase load times for every page on this site, so for now, I’ll simply put the image here. Maybe I’ll start including it on Facebook whenever I post one of my post-marathon status updates.

Create Your Own Visited States Map

Is this a triumph?

Posted by Jim on Nov 14th, 2014
Nov 14

Take a look at this new security robot outlined in this post:


After reading that is uses laser scanning to monitor an area, I’m a little scared to say I immediately thought of these guys:


Somebody call Chell.

A Commercial Free Experience

Posted by Jim on Nov 13th, 2014
Nov 13

I was just introduced to a piece of software that will be very helpful to the staff and students of Falmouth Middle School. AdwareMedic is a small Mac utility that removes Adware from any system it is run on. In my role as computer tech for Falmouth Middle, I have seen lots of Adware. Occasionally I spend the time needed to search through the system to remove unwanted files, but most of the time, the students’ laptops are so infected, it’s easier for me to reimage the device and let the student start over. We’re a Google Apps school, so all student work is supposed to be backed up to Google Drive, which makes reimaging an easy process, although a long one. I’d rather get the student’s device back into his or her hands as quickly as possible, and I think AdwareMedic will let me do that. It’s made the same person who runs The Safe Mac, a blog I’m going to start reading.

More Cheaters

Posted by Jim on Nov 12th, 2014
Nov 12

Another article that ties into my last post; specifically, about cheating in marathons.

Chickamauga Marathon Winner Disqualified for Impossible Splits

Interactive Results

Posted by Jim on Nov 6th, 2014
Nov 6

I just came across this personalized results page for the Portland Marathon that I ran last month. I really like that it gives a visual representation of my position at various times throughout the race, as well as where I finished it the various divisions (age, gender, overall).


Portland Marathon Results Graphic


Speaking of running, I created an account at Athlinks, a race results community. I need to track down my results from some Smuttynose 5k‘s I ran in the mid-to-late 2000’s before it will be complete. There are some provisional results that haven’t posted yet as well, mainly because race directors spelled my name wrong in the results, or the races were so small they have never been linked to the site (I’m looking at you Moxie Days 5k).

I also keep an updated profile over at the Marathon Maniacs site, but I believe you need to be another Maniac to see it. If another Maniac comes across this post, please comment!

I was introduced to Athlinks because it was mentioned in this very interesting New Yorker article. It is about a supposed serial marathon cheater—a guy who has admitted to fabricating an entire race, complete with results. The article is worth reading even if you aren’t a runner.

What’s the opposite of Speed Reading?

Posted by Jim on Oct 14th, 2014
Oct 14

I don’t think there is a collectively recognized term that answers the question posed by this entry’s title, because, let’s face it, reading is never exciting when it’s done slowly. Deliberate, careful reading is reserved for dense academic texts, not for the reading material we consume casually. This cannot be said for the moving image—slo-mo can be used to great effect is visual media.

Below is a video from CineFlix that compiles their ten favorite uses of slow motion in films. Check it out!

Although I think the site relies too heavily on recent films for its compilation videos, regularly falling back on its tendency to show what’s hip instead of what is historic, I have to say I was happily surprised to see the inclusion of Leni Riefenstahl shots from a film other than Triumph of the Will. I was mostly angered by the use of the credit sequence from Reservoir Dogs instead of the real classic slow walk shot: the hangar entrance from The Right Stuff. But then I thought to myself “maybe there is a reason it wasn’t included.” I sought out the clip on YouTube:

As you can see, the famous walk shot isn’t actually in slow motion. It is merely the number of shots the this one that inspired that use slo-mo (such as the Monsters Inc. example mention in the CineFlix video). This is a case of me remembering something in slow motion that took place in real time. It reminds me of a story I heard while watching a football game years ago. There is a classic shot of Joe Namath leaving the field after winning Super Bowl III that is always shown in slow motion. See the video here at NFL Films.  As you can see, even in this video, he waves his finger in slow motion. The NFL announcer I remember told his audience that the Namath video is shown in slow motion so often, everyone remembers it happening in slo-mo. This is what has happened to me in regard to The Right Stuff. That made me smile.

Maine Dream-Team Project

Posted by Jim on May 7th, 2014
May 7

Inspired by this series of posts on If My Coaster Could Talk, I did some ruminating on what brewery collaborations I’d like to see Maine’s breweries involved in. Some of these ideas have been in my head for a while now, others took some thought. The ideas others came up with were quite impressive—many of which I would enjoy seeing come to fruition—but I don’t think you can talk too much about beer, so I’m presenting my responses to these questions as well.

Question 1: What is your all Maine brewery dream team-up? And why?

The greater Portland area has so many new breweries that it is easy to get overwhelmed by the selection and forgo all of the great beer that is being brewed elsewhere in the state that doesn’t get trucked down here on a regular basis. A dream collaboration would allow for some of these less hyped breweries to showcase their talents to all of us in Cumberland and York counties by teaming up with brewers that have name recognition or established distribution channels. Therefore, I propose a Penobscot Bay three-way: Marshall Wharf, Andrew’s Brewing and Rock Harbor Pub and Brewery. All three are located on the beautiful stretch of coastal Route 1 between Rockland and Belfast, which gives them regional unity. Each brewery has their own pub (Andrew’s just opened) where their small batch beers are served almost exclusively, which shows they have an experimental side to exploit in their collaborative brew. Lastly, each brewery has one of the qualities I mentioned above; Marshall Wharf has beer geek credibility, Rock Harbor has little to no distribution or name recognition in southern Maine, and Andrew’s can get its bottles and kegs across the Portland area. I’m sure these three could make something special that would end up in bottle shops and beer bars throughout Maine.

Question 2: What would your Maine + U.S Brewery Team-up look like?

It may very well be that no dreamt up collaboration can top one that has actually happened. Isabelle Proximus, the five-way collaboration between Allagash, Lost Abbey, Russian River, Dogfish Head and Avery, is one of the greatest beers ever made in America; a beer of such renown, legend and rarity, it is a true example of a white whale. But if I have to come up with an answer to this question, let’s not shoot for the moon, but think of something a little more accessible. My favorite kind of beer is a hoppy red ale, so I’d like to see Maine Beer Co., makers of Zoe; Lagunitas, makers of Lucky 13; and Tröegs, makers of Hopback Amber to collaborate on an exceptional example of the style. Those three beers are some of my favorites. A combination of them would be heavenly. Brew it in Hershey, PA to use Tröegs’ hopback, but be sure to distribute it here in Maine. Do What’s Right, make this beer for me.

Question 3: What would your Maine + International Brewery team up look like?

A collaboration across the seas needs to be very innovative in order to justify all the expenses, and when I think of an innovative Maine brewery, I immediately think of Oxbow. Most of what they produce can be lumped under the classification of farmhouse ale, but no two of their beers are alike. They use a wide range of interesting ingredients (local spelt, interesting hop profiles, grain from artisanal malt houses) and have a history of collaborations yielding excellent beers. They also make a beer that I believe is unique to Maine: Sausuga, a rice ale with Brett. Imagine what would happen if Tim and Geoff took their Sausuga recipe to Japan and brewed it at the Kuichi Brewery, home of the Hitachino Nest line of beers? Their experience aging beer in distilled sake barrels could only improve one of the best ales to come out of Newcastle. I’m sure whatever these two innovators brewed up would be epic.

Question 4: Free for all! Anything goes here as long as there is 1 Maine brewery involved.

If time, space and money were disregarded, I would love to see a collaboration between the Lively Brewing Company and Brouwerij Mort Subite. Lively Brewing is the beer making side of the Ebenezer’s family of beer bars. Chris Lively and Michael Lacharite are making some excellent beers in Brunswick. Brouwerij Mort Subite is a very small Belgian brewery specializing in wild ales. They are owned by a company that is itself owned by Heineken, but don’t let that deter you. I said time and space are no object in this scenario, so I want this collaboration to be with the mid-80’s incarnation of the brewery, when they were producing the Eylenbosch line of wild ales. Chris Lively has a rather large stash of Eylenbosch Gueuze bottles, all made and cellared since 1984. It is an exceptional beer. A combination of the flavors Mort Subite was able to concoct at that time, along with Chris and Michael’s interest in wild ales could only lead to a beer that would blow the socks off any unsuspecting drinker walking into Ebenezer’s. And of course, the beer would have to be released as part of an epic, multiple course, multiple hour Belgian Beer dinner, prepared and presented as only Chris Lively can do.

A lot of information online about Brouwerij Mort Subite is only available in French and Dutch, but here’s one site in English.

There are a few collaborations I’ve dreamt about that didn’t quite make the cut in my responses as they aren’t entirely fleshed out ideas, more like sketches, but I wanted to write them out nonetheless.

  • A collaboration between Alan Pugsley and any one of the smaller Portland based breweries to make an ‘only the location of the brewery makes it inauthentic’ authentic English mild. Ringwood would be the yeast, but it wouldn’t be a rushed fermentation, and the beer would only be served via traditional cask, following strict CAMRA standards.
  • A series of brews made with Mike at the Great Lost Bear (who has brewed at Sierra Nevada) and the various Portland area breweries to be served exclusively at the Great Lost Bear, perhaps for a special occasion; Portland Beer Week comes to mind, or perhaps the Bear’s 35th anniversary, which takes place this year.
  • Freeport Brewing needs to team up with someone to make an imperial, barrel-aged version of their chocolate porter.
  • I’d like the breweries of Maine to collaborate more with our state’s large population of homebrewers. Perhaps a series of brews and recipe kits made in collaboration with Maine Brewing Supply?
  • I’d enjoy more locally made beers aged in barrels used by locally distilled spirit makers. I imagine In’finiti has plans to do this entirely in house. And speaking of Maine’s only combination brewery and distillery…
  • I know it’s not a collaboration, but I really, really want to see In’finiti brew a DIPA using only Galaxy hops. It would be named To In’finiti and Beyond, because Toy Story and Buzz Lightyear are awesome and ripe for exploitation via beer name. I’ve already brewed my own Galaxy IPA and named is Space Ranger IPA, but only In’finiti can give Buzz’s catch phrase the beery justice it deserves.

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