Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Well, let's get the day out of the way first, eh? Went down to the Honda dealer this morning to get my tires re-aligned as the last time I was there they didn't have the program in their computer for my car's make. They also told me it would be about 200 dollars the first time I went down, so I was pretty blue... until they told me to go without paying. Apparently Honda eliminates all charges if you have to wait two weeks because they don't have a part; who knew? Anyway, this cements in my mind that Honda is the nicest auto manufacturer out there right now, as all of the Honda places I've gone to have had great service and customer support. Yay corporate shilling!

We also had some really weird weather patterns here- fast moving storms that drop solid waves of rain for 5 minutes, complete with thunder and lightning, and then clear up into a sunny day, then repeat the process again three more times on the same day. It's getting kind of annoying, as we can't mow the lawn or go bike riding for fear that the ever present storm clouds will at any moment unleash their fury on our world. And finally, had really, really good sushi today- it even came in its own little wooden boat! Hint- eel is awesome, and soy sauce mixed with wasabi is also awesome.

So, reviews. First we will have our inaugural Brew Review! If you will recall me mentioning it earlier (Road Trippin' In the Northeast, Part One! -ed), I had some very interesting brews up in New Hampshire. The first of these was a brew from the Tuckerman Brewing Company, which is based in the very heart of the White Mountains and is named after the famous Tuckerman Ravine on Mt. Washington. The beer I tried, their Pale Ale, was amazing. Unlike most pale ales, which tend to beat you over the head with their hops, the Tuckerman Pale Ale combined the aroma and tang of hops with a sweet, rich flavor that mellowed the hops enough to truly taste all parts of the beer together. This beer rekindled my love of Pale Ales and, if I may, rekindled my hope in humanity.
Rating: 2 double jointed thumbs up.

The other beer I had was the Sea Dog Bluepaw Blueberry Wheat, which is brewed in Maine. It is what I would classify as a "girly beer", as it has more of a fruity taste than a beer taste. To quote my mom, "It doesn't taste like it has any alcohol in it!" It does, however, taste pretty good, at least to me; the flavor I think of when I drink it is Post Blueberry Morning cereal, but in a good way. Still, not exactly my favorite, but definitely drinkable and a recommendation to all of those non-beer drinkers out there.
Rating: 2 thumbs up.

Next on our reviews hit list is our inaugural Book Review! Today we will be looking at a book that I received as a graduation present from my elementary school friend Brian Kardon, who now goes to MIT. The book is The Best Science Writing of 2007, and is an incredibly informative and enjoyable book. Every article located in it looks at the topic at hand from both a scientific and a humanistic angle. By this I mean they include the history and facts behind the research, but also deal with how the research has or will affect humanity and looks at the journey the people being influenced by the research have made. Some of the stories are quite funny; having the great-great grandson of Charles Darwin report on the Intelligent Design trial in Dover, Pennsylvania by acerbically painting the ID defense team as a "dysfunctional family" filled with liars and bimbos is a riot. Some of them are quite sad; the tale of an incredibly intelligent and faith filled man succumbing to Alzheimer's one bit at a time is heart wrenching not only because of his own awareness of his diminishing mental faculties but the post-death autopsy scenes that are spliced in showing a brain that has been ravaged by a disease with no cure. All of these stories are well written, and all are on extremely topical and relevant issues.
Rating: two double jointed thumbs up

And finally, not quite a review of Batman: Gotham Knight. For those not in the know, Batman: GK is to the Dark Knight what the Animatrix was to Matrix 2: a series of short anime written by American writers and directed by Japanese directors about the time period between Batman Begins and Dark Knight. All of them show a different part of the whole that is Batman. There is the public's reaction to Batman in the first clip, depicting him as an inhuman force that cannot be understood. Later we see Batman as a man who must deal not only with physical pain, but the painful knowledge that he failed his parents and must constantly guard the night to prevent himself from failing an entire city that is given over to sin. Plus, the fact that many of the voices are from Batman: The Animated Series is just freaking awesome. All in all, it's actually a pretty good look at Batman from a psychological perspective (though the first clip is pretty weird, but I like it because it references a B:TAS episode) and I would recommend checking it out, if only on SurfTheChannel.

Well, that's about it for now; until next time...

"It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races."
- Pudd'nhead Wilson, by Mark Twain

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