First, I'm sure you're wondering about the rest of those Samuel Adams beers I wrote about the other day. I liked the George Washington Porter, which was a strong, thick dark beer. The James Madison Dark Wheat Ale was pretty good too. It was noticeably thinner than the Porter. I didn't like the 1790 Root Beer Brew at all. I had a few sips, said, "Yuck!" and poured the rest down the sink. Three out of four ain't bad, I guess.

Second, on the new 8 GB iPod Nano: This is the best thing since sliced bread. I've had it for a couple of weeks and it lets me carry an astounding amount of music around with me at work. With m0re than two thousand songs to choose from, I can't complain that there's nothing to listen to.

I'm also getting a chance to get re-acquainted with some parts of my CD collection that I haven't listened to in a long time, as well as finding the holes in it when I find that I don't have a certain song that I want to hear. Usually it turns out to be something that I had on cassette at one time or another.

Today, listening to some early Beatles albums (Beatles For Sale, Help!, Please Please Me), I was reminded of the sheer songwriting genius of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Most of the best songs were theirs, and the ones that didn't hold up so well were the ones that others had written. There's some mediocre stuff on those albums, but the ratio of hits to mediocrity is very high. And these guys were putting out two albums a year, plus singles, in the early '60s. They were amazingly prolific.