Saturday, April 24, 2010


I have no idea why, but I've seen more hawks in urban settings than in rural ones. I've gone on hawk-viewing expeditions to Hawk Mountain, PA, and managed to miss every raptor. Yet I've spotted several hawks feeding on the lawn at my parents' house in West Chester, PA. I even saw one getting entangled in a scrubby pine tree next to a parking lot off Route 70 in Cherry Hill, NJ.

At present, there is a live webcam showing three eyassers (baby hawks) in a nest in Philadelphia, PA. This nest of Red-tailed hawks is on a window ledge of the Franklin Institute. You can see the busy traffic beyond the nest on the Franklin Parkway. There is also a Facebook site for the Franklin Institute hawks, called Franklin Hawkaholics. It's worth a look.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Two Beers

It's opening day for the Phillies, who beat the hapless Nationals 11 to 1. Plus, Duke won the NCAA and the Eagles traded Donovan McNabb. With that much sports going on, you've got to have a beer or two.

Of late, I've been trying different beers. Several younger friends of mine have had to give up drinking beer, so I realize my alcohol-swilling days may also be numbered. Or maybe it's just an excuse to drink more.

I already have some experience with a variety of beers. I once managed a bar that sold 90 different kinds of beer, and I tired every one. The place also had an all-female staff, except for me. (That sounds more fun than it actually was. As the only male, I was the doorman, bouncer, and had to change all the beer kegs.)

Tonight I want to make note of two remarkable beers that I just tried:

Innis & Gunn Original Oak Aged Beer is a fine lager from Edinburgh. Its taste is pleasant...but its scent is astonishing! Its aroma is so strong that you'd swear you wear a child again, suspiciously sniffing a beer and wondering how anyone could drink such a stinky thing! It's a grand experience.

Rogue Old Crustacean Barleywine Style Ale is from Oregon's Rogue Brewery. I never thought I'd encounter a beer that I couldn't drink, but here it is. It's as bitter as coffee left in the pot for six hours. Barleywine Style Ale is one of my favorite types of beer, but I can't stomach Old Crustacean. The 750 ml bottle is pretty cool, though: black, with a replaceable stopper.

But do try the Innis & Gunn if you ever get the chance.