PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

Why I Love Fall

Like any sane northeasterner, I look forward to the coming of fall each year, because I like everything about fall: the fresh pancakes and maple syrup with fruit shipped up from Chile; the air conditioners I get to pull out of windows and return to their homes two floors down via tight stairways, testing my back (fun!); the rains that cause riverbanks to flood and replenish the moisture and nutrients in our basements.

Bring it on, all of it! I love the way my bicycle brakes work intermittently in the rain, because that adds excitement to my otherwise boring commute. I love the increasing darkness! Pumpkin bread and pumpkin beer!

Okay, I don’t like pumpkin beer, actually. That’s where I draw the line with fall. Rain, fine, but pumpkin beer? No, I’m sorry.

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What Goes Around...

My reputation as something of a history buff distinguishes me from very few men in the critical 51-110 year old age group that history advertisers target. And yet I tend to train my lens less on major world events, like wars and tsunamis, than on the mundane and commonplace.

For instance, what about urinals? There must be history there. It’s not like God gave us urinal-producing trees to pluck our urinals from. (Yes, I’m aware, if urinals grew, they would do so on the ground, like cabbage or watermelon, not in trees!).

Well, with the internet allowing any old fool to publish anything he wants, the blogger can quickly pivot from a treatment of the history of urinals, the bait so to speak, to an anecdote about this one time when, en route to the west branch of the Penobscot River in Maine, he stopped at a brew pub for his last bit of sustenance before heading into the wild, and the men’s room urinal was actually a repurposed beer keg!

Maine urinal

What a hoot.

There is some synergy here, as beer makes the average blogger (not me) need to pee, and also I’m going to be in the woods, where basically everything is a urinal. 

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Women's World

As the world inches ever closer to being ruled by women, I was thinking that I, as man, could take solace in the fact that we men still do certain things better than women.

For example, it’s clear to me that men are far more determined, laser-focused, and uncompromising when it comes to drinking beer. I’m not saying that we’re “better” beer drinkers; just that we put more time and effort into thinking about, making plans around, and ultimately executing on the consumption of beer.

Meanwhile, what are women focused on? Talking about reproductive rights, equal pay for equal work, gun control – that sort of thing. Like that’s going to get you anywhere! Don’t these women understand that far more people drink beer than vote? If you want to get people to the polls to swing the vote in your favor, maybe you should be drinking more beer with the voters. That’s what we men are doing.

Of course, with a World Cup Final that pits the US v. The Netherlands, many women are going to be taking time off from their work trying to save humanity from doom to watch the event. We men aren’t going to slack off! Let me say unequivocally that as I and many of my male friends watch the game, we will continue to maintain our focus by watching with tankards of ale an arms-length away.

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While I Slept

Nine months ago – maybe more like 10 – I was a gainful beer brewer, extracting sugars from malted barley like a champ, boiling down the resulting wort with some Belgian candi sugar and mild hops, crashing the sweet liquid’s temperature down to what is tolerable to a hungry, awakening yeast cell, and then pitching the yeast like a fireballer in the ninth.

Do you know how many brewing awards I won? None. That was part of my art: to win no awards while brewing award-caliber beer.

Then I decided to stop brewing for a bit to put an addition onto my house, and it’s as if the whole beer industry fell apart. I come back from my brewing hiatus to learn that Boston Homebrew Supply has shut down. Zounds! How is a fellow supposed to surreptitiously brew a beer while his wife, who doesn’t read this blog (I think), is in Chicago doing who-knows-what with people from work? “In a conference.” Ha! Probably brewing beer with the gals, secretly, as we all know that women are poised to take over everything, including beer brewing.

But anyway… where was I? Oh yeah, Boston Homebrew Supply and its proprietor, Tom Casey, are no longer. Well, Tom himself still likely exists, but his venture and its website are now history.

Alas, I am made to go to the Modern Homebrew Emporium in Cambridge, or get my grains delivered in the mail, thus burning more fossil fuels and foreshortening the survival of our species by some fraction of a day. But at least we’ll have beer as we lurch forward toward the abyss.         

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J'Biden Era Haikuage

 

People's Arms. That's right!

200 million shots

In 100 days

 

We are good people

But we still have far to go

Repair. Restore. Heal.

 

There's nothing new here

The Affordable Care Act

We're restoring it 

 

America's Day

Democracy is fragile

The world is watching 

 

Strategy is based

On Science, not politics

Truth, not denial

 

 

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