The Music of John Williams

I struggle enormously with the fact that children a generation from now may not find the films of my youth relevant any longer. I dread the day that I show a child Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic park or E.T. and watch boredom descend upon them in the viewing. However, I have come to realize that though the images themselves may fail to capture a future child’s mind, there is one common aspect that is attributed to each of the film’s mentioned that will always remain timeless and continually be capable to capture the mind’s of youth and adults alike; the music.

A week ago, my wife and I had the extreme pleasure of sitting in the Gallery of the Devos Performance hall to watch the Grand Rapids Symphony perform the music of John Williams. To say that the music was performed faithfully, wonderfully, and enthusiastically does little to capture the achievement of the performance, but I will elaborate by saying that each time my eyes closed I again became the ten year old kid that simultaneously ached for and feared adventure. Magic exists, and it’s spell is cast by each note played by the wonderful Symphony in this wonderful city.

I will not spoil the show for those who plan to see it in the future, but I will say that both lifelong fans of Williams’ work, or those who could simply use some magic in their lives, will undoubtedly leave the performance feeling like they can fly.

The Monthly Malt – Highland Park 12 Year

This month, our panel of seasoned and amateur tasters tackles the Highland Park 12 Year, an island Scotch that they themselves describe as “Rich with well balanced malt and s subtle floral smokey aroma”.

Again, the primary function of this series is to showcase that there is no prescribed professional vocabulary that must be used to describe things(beverages in this case). Listen to their thoughts by clicking below.

Highland Park 12 year is currently available for $49.96 in Michigan.

Hard Working Hand Warmers

When the mercury drops, you need something to elevate your spirits as well as your internal temperature. I humbly submit my suggestions:


Click Here to see the Yellowknife Trigger Mitts from Duluth Trading Co.

Click Here to see the whole family of Stanley products.

The Monthly Malt – Forty Creek

The monthly malt is a new monthly series in which you can hear candid perceptions of whiskey as it is tasted and smelled for the first time. The panel of tasters will be comprised by novice and experienced whiskey drinkers in order to gain the broadest perspective. The goal of the series is to showcase the fact that there is no prescribed professional vocabulary for describing the taste and smell of whiskey. Or, more simply, to do away with the sometimes “stuffy” nature of simply enjoying a beverage.

The first whiskey we taste is Forty Creek a wonderfully affordable bottle that will satisfy Bourbon, Scotch, or Canadian Whiskey drinkers alike.

Duluth Trading Co. Firehose Gear Bag Review

A truly exceptional bag is beyond a mere convenience, in fact, it constitutes a necessity for those who journey through this world. The firehose gear bag from Duluth Trading Co. is quite possibly the most versatile, rugged, cool, and practical bag I have ever had the pleasure of owning. This bag, as well as any of the other wares offered by Duluth Trading co. are, for lack of better terminology, mid-westerner armor! Don something of their make and you will most assuredly be ready for anything mother nature has in store.

Glutenberg Gluten Free Beer

In my continued efforts to sympathize with those who suffer from Celiac disease, I have continually tasted and profiled each beverage within my reach that bears the moniker of “Gluten Free Beer”. Beer emphasized due to the fact that there are little in the way of GF offerings that match the flavor profile of those beers we Americans consider in the realm of BEER. This is particularly troublesome for those who lust for the taste of “craft” beer and are thoroughly shocked by the taste of nationally available sorghum based GF beer that taste nothing like their barley based inspiration. I previously wrote a series of blogs in which I detailed the many offerings of GF beer, how they were made, and how they tasted relative to their barley laden kin. My conclusion from the series was that those that ask, “How does this taste?”, are actually asking, “Does this taste like beer?”. Unfortunately I was forced to theorize that those who suffered from gluten intolerance might best be suited by tempering their expectations of what beer tastes like that they wouldn’t be disappointed in something in a beer simply because it tasted different than they were used to.

Enter, the mold shattering beers of Gluenberg. These Canadian Captains of industry have released a full line of American Craft style beers that boldly stand in the way of physiological or self imposed gluten embargo’s and let the levy beak. Hear why I not only think their beers are the best GF beers for the craft enthusiast, but simply some of the best damn beer I have had in a while.

For those who would like to know about other GF offerings, here are links to my previous writings.

A perspective on the National offerings of Red Bridge, New Grist and Lakefront.

Unity Vibrations makes a very cool GF beer based on Kombucha.

Widmer Brothers of Oregon has found a way to remove gluten from traditional beer.

Finally, Epic Brewing co. released a wonderful GF beer that came close to being a pale ale.

Any Port In a Stormy

There is a lot to be said about feeling intangibly cool in a piece of clothing that is also practical. There is even more to be said about a piece of clothing that meets the above requirements and is made in Michigan. There is a slew of massive words to be slung about that piece of clothing also offering a LIFETIME guarantee. The Stormy Kromer hats and apparel have been proudly made in Michigan since 1903. Those who already own them belong to what may seem like a secret society of mid westerners that greet one another as old friends at the mere “tip of a hat”. I have little more pride for any of my clothing than I do for my Stormy Kromer gear. Please allow me to assault your ears with my praise of the company.