“Peak foliage” is an elusive target here in New England. You can track previous years, watch the swinging temperatures and doggedly follow the state’s own Maine Fall Foliage Conditions website, but the moment the leaves hit their wildest, Fruity-Pebbles-iest crescendo can come and go in a single weekend.

When things hit their peak, there’s no place I’d rather be than the White Mountains of New Hampshire. …

2020 was a weird year — or, if not weird, then definitely different.

In some ways, this difference was actually good (see: an overdue national conversation about police violence and white supremacy; the impeachment and subsequent voting-out of a terrible president). But I imagine we’ll look back on 2020 overwhelmingly as a Year of Bad.

I felt this badness – a sense of desperation, of hopelessness, or dread mixed with boredom – creep into my reading habits. I’ve made it a goal over the last few years to really increase the number of books I read, and despite spending a…

Learn how to stop eating it like an amateur and start schussing like a star

Skiing, once seen as a sport enjoyed exclusively by the rich, has evolved into a popular pastime with a much broader fanbase, welcoming the rich, semi-rich, and kids in school programs that get them hooked with all the subtlety of an opioid ring. Perhaps you’ve been bitten by the “ski bug”* and want to get out on the trails with your local friends and/or WASPs!

*also known as alpine illness, downhill disease, mountain malady and “carver’s lament”

Stuck on where to begin? Don’t worry, moron…

Photo: https://flickr.com/people/rayinmanila/

Published 13 January 2020

Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family.

My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family, and they will be allowed to do so once they have completed The Trials of Severance.

While The Trials have never…

Or: Another nerd yelling “You can’t do that in Star Wars!”

Narrative experiments, classics revisited, genre fun and lots of comics.

Last year I read 19 books. This year I read 60.

That’s more than a book a week, which is surprising — probably to me more than anyone else. Last year, when I realized I had averaged more than a book a month, I felt like giving myself a big pat on the back. I didn’t think I could ever top that Barry Allen-esque speed.

The difference, I guess, is that this year I decided I wanted to read a lot of books. That’s it. …

in which two old friends discuss three beers from Atlantic Brewing Co.

Image: www.atlanticbrewing.com

Jake: Atlantic Brewing Company was started in Bar Harbor in 1991 — “on the eve of the microbrewing revolution,” according to their website.


J: I know, right? Have you spent much time in Bar Harbor? How do you feel about it?

T: Well, Jake, I love Bar Harbor, and all of Mt. Desert Island, to be completely honest. I get the bourgeois and the tourism, comes with the territory with an area that gorgeous. Acadia is the most beautiful place on Earth. Now…

in which two old friends discuss three ciders from Angry Orchard

Image: www.angryorchard.com

Jake: Are you a cider fan?

Travis: Love me some apple juice, ever since I was a young buck. Now, all adult like, the fact that it’s also an adult beverage is nothing short of fantastic. I’ve tried some here in the states, like Woodchuck, but I really sank my teeth into the style on a trip to England. It’s an American misconception that cider has to be sweet and overtly juice-like in character. This is just in poor taste — or, ahem, the “common tongue.” Cider, or cidre…

in which two old friends discuss three shandies from Traveler Beer Co.

Image: www.travelerbeer.com

Jake: Before we even crack things open — shandy. Shandies. Shandygaffs, according to Wikipedia. You familiar with the style?

Travis: Yes. It was first introduced to me years ago by a “Brittishmen” fellow, he mixed a Smirnoff Ice with a Budweiser, somehow making both awful beverages more palatable, and called it a “turbo-shandy” with a high-pitched pretentious laugh, I still hear it today. He further explained to my primitive American ears how “shandies” were combinations of beer and other carbonated fluids, or “soft beverages” I guess. The man…

“I don’t read as much as I used to,” is a common refrain I hear from my friends, and I’m no exception. When I think back to my teenage and twentysomething years, I feel like I always had my nose in a book, dispatching towering stacks of them with ruthless efficiency.

Maybe I’m looking back with rose-colored glasses—because the stacks are certainly still there in my apartment—but I don’t feel like I read as much as I used to. So this year, to be proactive, I resolved to read more.

I had a few advantages in my corner. My brother…

Jake Christie

Writer, mostly. www.jakechristie.com

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