The Third Annual Beer Challenge

Posted by: Ryan 10 months, 2 weeks ago
Categories: Family, Friends, & Life Food & Drink

On Christmas Eve, my family held the 3rd annual beer challenge.  This is a competition where we each bring a six pack (or similar) of beers and then hold a blind taste test and ultimately select the best overall beer.  The winner is awarded a sampler pack of all the contending beers.

On this third year, there were several first occurrences:

Competition aside, this is always a fun event.  It adds some variety to Christmas time.  And, it's a good reason to gather in Barone's (the downstairs bar) and share beers together.

I'm looking forward to next year.  We've already discussed some potential rule changes, such as banning IPAs from the competition and displaying the cans for each beer during the taste tests.

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Abco’s Buffalo Chicken Wing Recipe

Posted by: Ryan 1 year, 4 months ago
Categories: Food & Drink

Our friend Abby (aka abco) made these wings for us once and I thought they were great.  I had been struggling with making my own hot wings, so I asked her for the recipe.  She was nice enough to share, and since then I’ve done a little bit of iterating on the details (not to improve, but rather to dial it into our kitchen gear and preferences).

Here’s the recipe:



That’s it!  They come out crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.  The Franks sauce is a mild heat, especially after mixing it with butter.  Enjoy!

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Back from an unplanned hiatus

Posted by: Ryan 1 year, 6 months ago
Categories: Family, Friends, & Life Food & Drink

It seems that I took an unintentional hiatus from my own blog. I haven’t posted in about 3 weeks, and that makes me sad.

I’ve actually written a few posts over the past few weeks, but I was ultimately not very happy with how they turned out - so I didn’t publish them.  I plan to rewrite one of those and publish it soon; it’s music related.

Since I haven’t posted in awhile, here is a catch-up post about some recent happenings:

Government Emails

I am still getting the spam, but far less than I was receiving originally.  Although you can sign someone up for a gazillion email newsletters in 30 seconds, they only let you unsubscribe from them in little batches.  The state department never responded to my help request.


For the past 5 months, my computer has been mining cryptocurrency whenever I’m not using it.  Just last week, the amount of currency it has mined ticked over 1/2 of an Ethereum (which is presently about $300).

Jess’s 30th Birthday

On the weekend of April 13, we traveled to NYC with a group of our friends to celebrate Jess’s 30th. It was a fast paced weekend, because we wanted to pack a lot into a two-night visit. Jess and I were humbled by all of our friends who made the long trip into the city to join us.  There were many highlights, but one thing that stood out in my memory was a Korean fried chicken joint named BarKogi.

My Parents’ 40th Anniversary

On April 21, my sister and I organized a surprise party for my parents’ 40th anniversary. Honestly, Casey took the lead on orchestrating this.  It was a success, and it seemed like everyone had a good time.


This past weekend, we mostly had to hunker-down so Jess could focus on her final paper which is due on Thursday.  We had plans to go to a Red Sox game on Saturday evening, but that plan fell through - we still had our friend Casey lined up to watch Violet, so we used that time to get a few drinks at a place called Hojoko.  We both recommend Hojoko to anyone  craving a cocktail or Japanese food in Fenway/Boston. 

Machine Learning

With the help of the tool I developed, I was able to classify several thousand images over the course of a few nights. I recently fed those images back through the neural network to retrain it. But, I haven’t tested the newly trained neural network out yet.  It should be much smarter, but I won’t know until I give it a practical test.  


According to the Waltham subreddit (yes, that exists), someone spotted arcade cabinets being hauled into a closed storefront on Moody St.  It turns out, a store known as Game Underground is opening on Moody St. later this month. They have (or had) an arcade in Natick where they also sold pre-owned video games and hosted video game tournaments.  I am hoping they make this place an arcade/bar hybrid, which would work well on Moody St.

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The Second Annual Beer Challenge

Posted by: Ryan 1 year, 10 months ago
Categories: Family, Friends, & Life Food & Drink

Last Saturday, my family held the 2nd annual beer challenge.  This is a competition where we each bring a six pack (or similar) of beers and then hold a blind taste test and ultimately select the best beer.

For the second year in a row, Casey won the challenge.  Congrats Casey!  You are a true master beer picker!!  The winning beer was #NO FILTER by Thomas Hooker Brewery.  It's a very tastey IPA.

My family is clearly a group of IPA drinkers.  Last year everyone brought IPAs to the challenge.  I proposed a special honor to be awarded to the first person to win with a non-IPA.  Maybe next year!

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Smoke this Ribfest

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 1 month ago
Categories: Food & Drink
We met Sam and Natasha in Cambridge today for the 'Smoke This Ribfest.' It was a BBQ rib festival. We had a great time and ate a bunch of ribs. At the end we could vote for the best rib. I'm not sure what everyone voted for, but it sounded like the ribs made by the taco shop 'Lone Star' were the general favorite of our gang.
Now you might be wondering why I posted a picture of Holy Smokes - the BBQ joint from Turners Falls. The main reason is because I failed to take a picture of the festival in Cambridge. But it's also because Sam and I were talking about Holy Smokes, and he said that name was a triple pun. 'Holy' because it was an old church, 'Smokes' because they made BBQ, and 'Holy Smokes' because that's what someone might have said when it burned down in 2007.
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Blue Apron, first try

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 3 months ago
Categories: Food & Drink
Jess ordered a chicken curry dish through Blue Apron...and it was great! We cooked all of this stuff. I am surprised the plantains were good. Would recommend.
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Dinner is on the Table

Posted by: Jessica 2 years, 4 months ago
Categories: Food & Drink
We have been stepping up our dinner game recently and getting a little out of our comfort zone. Here Ryan seared some salmon in the cast iron pan after making his own spicy honey soy glaze. The salad is courtesy of me. It was delicious!
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Bloody Marys

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 4 months ago
Categories: Family, Friends, & Life Food & Drink

We went to Moody street for breakfast boozes with our special friend Abby. In case you're wondering, yes that's a Slim Jim in Jess's drink.

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Castle Rock Doughnuts

Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 4 months ago
Categories: Food & Drink Travel
While there are likely other "more important" things to post about, I choose to instead post this picture of delicious doughnuts from Castle Rock, CO. They tasted as good as they looked.
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Posted by: Ryan 2 years, 5 months ago
Categories: Family, Friends, & Life Food & Drink
Jess, Carmen, and Giuseppe enjoying some snacks from Bova's.
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