The Beer List: Orange Vanilla Bullsicle by Bolero Snort

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It has been long insisted that honesty is the best policy, and if I am to share in that sentiment, at least for the moment, then I have something to confess: I had to look up exactly what “milk sugar” is before writing this review. Turns out it’s the non-scientific name for lactose. Now that we have that out of the way, there’s a little brewery located in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey called Bolero Snort, and said brewery uses the stuff in at least some of its beers. Keeps with the cow and bull theme that Bolero Snort employs as far as naming is concerned, and is even worth a knowing chuckle. Continue reading

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Brewery Special: Icarus Brewing

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On Friday, January 13th, 2017 – the luckiest of all days – a new brewery will open its doors in the town that I used to call home. Nestled in the heart of the industrial park in Lakewood, New Jersey, Icarus Brewing Company will bring about the free flow of lovingly-brewed beer to the local masses. Everyone has heard the oft-cited chant “location, location, location!” in relation to business planning, and Icarus Brewing has not only heard it, but has taken it to heart. In a brilliant act of positioning, the brewery has set up shop in one of the world’s largest industrial parks, creating a perfect spot for an after-work pint for the park’s thousands of employees. Also just a stone’s throw away from towns such as Brick and Toms River, and seated right near an entrance to the Garden State Parkway, Icarus Brewing’s home base makes for a convenient draw for not only the beer-loving denizens of the Jersey Shore, but also for those from further-off lands.  Continue reading

The Beer List: Forever Unloved (FU) Sandy

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Three years ago this past week, Hurricane Sandy brought New Jersey to its knees. Although the recovery is still ongoing, the citizens of the Garden State banded together to restore what had been lost or destroyed, and set out to simply help their neighbors. New Jersey’s own Flying Fish Brewing Company joined in on the efforts by donating a cool $75,000 to relief organizations, as well as some of the proceeds from sales of their brand new brew Forever Unloved (FU) Sandy. Continue reading

Hurricane Sandy: A Retrospective (Part II)

Just days prior to the storm, I scoffed when I was told that I should fill up my gas tank, or buy batteries and flashlights. “It’s not going to be that bad,” I thought, “We’ll just get a day of wind and rain, like every other time a ‘hurricane’ hits New Jersey.” I mocked the mouth-breathers when I saw the bread aisle in my local Shoprite the night before Sandy hit. “Maniacs, the lot of them,” I muttered aloud. Continue reading

Hurricane Sandy: A Retrospective (Part I)

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It was almost as if we had been chosen. Nature decided that we needed to be punished, and what happened is something nobody at or near ground zero will ever forget. At the end of October 2012, Hurricane Sandy made its way up the Atlantic coast after battering everything from the Caribbean on up, and while out to sea, the “superstorm” made a sharp left turn and a subsequent beeline for New Jersey.  While American forecasters struggled to predict where the storm would make landfall, if at all, the European models correctly asserted that the massive storm would hit New Jersey and New York directly. At one point, Sandy was a Category 3 hurricane, which weakened to a tropical storm, and got a second wind and strengthened back into a Category 1 before slamming the Jersey shore.  Continue reading

Essential Power Ballads, Vol. 1

Since I love 80’s music, and since I’m also a huge sap, I have decided to start a series for like-minded readers of The No Seatbelt Blog. Welcome to my guide to essential power ballads! Each volume will feature five tearjerkers that are loaded with lyrics of love and heartbreak, loud choruses and louder guitars. If you’re a fan of those songs from the 80’s (and a few stragglers from the first couple years of the 90’s) that made you pull out your lighter (or cell phone, nowadays) and sway while you sing along at the top of your lungs, take a trip down memory lane with me. Volume 1 of Essential Power Ballads begins now… Continue reading

All Roads Lead To Insanity

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Welcome to New Jersey, a magical place where you have to pay to drive on the roads, so that they may be eternally under construction. A place where the police circle mall parking lots, scanning license plates at random just to see what they can dig up. One night, you might come out to your car after work at one of those malls to a $130 ticket on your windshield because your registration was expired by three days. New Jersey is the most densely-populated state in the nation, and that mere fact makes the task of driving here one not for the faint-of-heart. Continue reading

Death and Taxes: Part II

Originally published on 7/12/11 at The Only Podcast That Matters (theonlypodcast.com)

Change is an unstoppable force that shifts our thoughts, actions, priorities, and traditions. Sometimes it energizes us, while other times, it inhibits us. Sometimes we can prepare for it, yet other times we cannot. One things we can always do is question it. People will always be curious as to why things evolve the way they do, on every level, from individual to mankind at large. Continue reading