Sunday, December 26, 2010

2011 predictions: Barokepunk

What will be big in 2011? The answer is Barokepunk. Behold!

Artist's rendition of a young Barokepunk in full regalia

What is Barokepunk? An offshoot of Steampunk that I invented and hope to profit therein. At this point you might be old and have a jitterbug and wondering what Steampunk is. Well I'll tell you. Steampunk is an arts and crafts decorative movement. It focuses on taking Victorian aesthetics and combining them with modern sensibilities, and lots of gears and goggles. Think Martha Stewart with a hard on for brass.

Hey baby, do you know what time it is? Lolz!

Is that guy on the right Steven Spielberg?



Now you might be wondering what is punk about steampunk. Nothing really, why do you ask?

Steampunk is big business, and all the fashion designers are starting to take notice. Just look what happens when New York finds out about what nerds in Peoria are doing in mom's basement:

Do you think this will sell well to the urban market?

This photoshoot cost more than an XBox 360 and Gears of War, I guarantee you.

I think some of the charm of steampunk is stripped away when these sorts of people take it and make it into a production. Remember, nerds in mom's basement started this.

If Steampunk is merely an arts and crafts decorative movement focused on Victoriana, why not another era? I guess there is already a 1930s-40s version of this called Dieselpunk. So much for my Decopunk idea (or is it Dekopunk?). But there is no Barokepunk. Until now. Behold...


Replace Victorian with Baroque and presto, Barokepunk

This stuff writes itself, really. Hey, like anything these days a fashion statement has to become a lifestyle. Because only nerds living in mom's basement dress in steampunk fashion, it is a "subculture". And any lifestyle choice has to have its own music. Steampunk music was invented to cater to the fashion tastes of some socially awkward people, so Barokepunk will necessarily have to have music as well. Good news, it is already here. I give you the godfather of Barokepunk: Mister Yngwie Malmsteen!

Awe yeah!

Now maybe you think I am being too critical of Steampunk, or am exploiting the creativity of some people. But really, I'm just stating the obvious. I mean do you think these guys like role playing games and got picked on in high school?

Wait, is that Diedrich Bader from Office Space?

WTF? All you white people look the same!

10 to 1 they were not class president or captain of the football team. And if New York fashionistas can exploit the creativity of steampunk why can't I? By the way any and all use of Barokepunk is the intellectual property of Mister Booze. I am open to negotiating royalties for the use of Barokepunk, but remember I don't like Scotch whisky.

Finally, why weren't nerds this hot when I was in high school?

WTF? Why aren't you dressed like this?

Mind = Blown!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wrap it up

This time of year can be stressful. Christmas was a holiday invented by Satan to lure man into worshiping the mall, which is a really stressful place. I feel your pain. I have been working a lot and trying to faithfully execute all my yuletide obligations.

File photo of Mr. Booze working late on Christmas eve.

So I hope you take a little time for yourself today to pour a glass and enjoy this time of year. The darkest days are behind us. It only gets brighter.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Stay warm

Well, it’s happening again. I blog it, everyone buys it. Remember when I told you to get a bridgecoat:

I almost got a Navy bridgecoat, but they aren't quite long enough. Close, oh so close, and cheap. Plus those have epaulets, which are awesome.

This was about 2 years ago. Well, the fashionistas have taken note. I saw this in the store today:

You see! They even called it a "Captain's coat". The least they could do was give me a free coat and a bottle of whiskey.

Also, about a year after my original coat someone posted a link to this gem:

It is only 59 dollars, so please buy me one for Christmas. Thank you.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Everything is terrible

Life is futile. Unemployment for people without a college degree is sky high. So go to college? Not so fast my friend. New grads are jobless and buried under debt.

Over the past year, for example, the unemployment rate for college grads under age 25 has averaged 9.2 percent, up from 8.8 percent a year earlier and 5.8 percent in the first year of the recession that began in December 2007. That means recent grads have about the same level of unemployment as the general population. It also suggests that many employed recent grads may be doing work that doesn’t require a college degree.

Maybe go back to school for a graduate degree? Maybe go to law school...what else can you do with an English degree?

The monetary rewards of pursuing a law career aren't what they once were. What, an observer could wonder, became of those rare $120,000 associates' starting salaries discussed during boom times?

"They don't really exist now," White said. "The average starting salary for law students has gone down dramatically. There are fewer starting jobs in the six figures and more in the five-figure range."

Some new law graduates may be looking at starting salaries as low as the $40,000s, White said.

And those getting any job are probably the lucky ones.

So America is ruined. I guess we should be more like the Chinese then?

Between 2003 and 2009, the average starting salary for migrant laborers grew by nearly 80 percent; during the same period, starting pay for college graduates stayed the same, although their wages actually decreased if inflation is taken into account.

What to do? I have three recommendations:


Whisky Exchange (10/09)


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sunny Brook bourbon redux

Remember when I found a bottle of Sunny Brook bourbon from the mid 80s? Well here is a related anecdote about a bottle of Sunny Brook from the 40s.

The day after Pearl Harbor, Gerald Baden's father, Hank, went out and bought the bottle of 86-proof whiskey and brought it to his Pure Oil service station in downtown St. Paul.

The verdict?

Old Sunny Brook, the Pearl Harbor Day bottle of straight bourbon whiskey bottled in Louisville, Ky., "was the old standby," he said. "It was pretty good whiskey."

Pretty good indeed.

Swing and a miss

Saturday I drove into Detroit. Not Greater Detroit Metropolitan Area. Detroit, Detroit. It was a special occasion, and owing to circumstances out of my control I did not have my camera with me. Sometimes I wonder if some social occasions are best to savor without pictures; like a fine meal the memories of the experience fade into a vague happy mush. Still, I would have liked to throw my hat into the ring. I know a lot of talent has spent its time in the D, and maybe I don’t have anything to offer. But I feel up to the challenge.

The trip did yield a happy prize: St. Julian brandy. A full review will come eventually.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The more things change

I just wanted to remind you that 2011 is fast approaching, and with it the 19th anniversary of the release of Gwar's America Must Be Destroyed.

My Grandson's a superhero, just back from the war in Iraq

Almost 20 years later and this song is still topical. Who would have thought?

The spirits diffusion

So it looks like the wine boom across the US is starting to generate a brandy boom. The first step is to learn how to make a good product, which comes with time and experience. But they are laying the foundations in Wisconsin:

Wollersheim Winery, the state's largest winery, located in northwestern Dane County, has begun making brandy.

That's not all.

At the Door Peninsula Winery between Sturgeon Bay and Egg Harbor, a distillery is part of a $1.5 million expansion project. The German still is scheduled to begin operation in May for the production of vodka, cherry vodka, gin, brandy and whiskey, said Rob Pollman, chief operating officer of the winery founded in 1974.

The craft spirits movement is taking root across America. In other news, Fortune Brands, which owns Jim Beam and various other liquor brands, is splitting off the liquor business. So while you might see consolidation, if say Diageo decides to buy it up, but also diffusion as new brands pop up. So it goes.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This is not medical advice

So apparently Lemmy is a diabetic.

When I got diabetes they said you better stop drinking

No surprise, really. Just look at his breakfast habits

Now I'm not a doctor, so don't in any way interpret this as a medical diagnosis or medical advice. Always consult a licensed medical professional for health matters. Howevah...

Do you know how much sugar is in Jack Daniels and Coke? 39 grams of sugar! Health experts recommend no more than 40 grams of sugar a day. So if Lemmy has more than one (highly likely) then he is getting way more sugar that he should in a day.

Maybe this isn't the cause of his diabetes. But why take a chance?

Also I found this to be a curious habit here:

I drink milk everyday at some point; that’s my insurance against the dreaded disintegration of the stomach

First, what is the dreaded disintegration of the stomach? And how does milk help? Is there any medical basis for this?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Season's greetings

I invented a new drink for December. Mix:

some brandy (Christian Bros VSOP is my mixing brandy of choice)
a bit of hazelnut liqueur (is there anything besides Frangelico?)
a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon
some milk

As usual use your own discretion in making the ratios to flavor.

I've had it cold and it is good; and the next step is to try hot milk to make it a hot, soul warming drink. I haven't come up with a name yet. Sound off in the comments.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The most wonderful time of the year

The office is introducing all kinds of terrible ideas for holiday cheer including secret Santa. Get this: we're supposed to secretly give someone who is working mandatory 10 hours of overtime a gift. Won't that be fun?

You know what? Fuck you Christmas. Fuck your stupid gift giving bullshit. I'd really like Christmas if it wasn't for the fucking presents. And Nutcracker. Fucking bullshit.

They shove Nutcracker up your ass because it is free. No seriously Tchaikovsky has been dead so long the music is public domain, so commercials chose to use it over and over again to save money. At least Dean Martin isn't free. Baby it's cold outside. Grab yourself a glass of brandy and bundle up.

If anyone has any secret Santa ideas sound off in the comments. Otherwise someone will have a holly jolly Christmas full of Pez.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Indian whisky watch: spurious liquor

So far there is no news on how soon Officer's Choice whisky will make its way from India to America. However, the closest thing I could find to a tasting review is HERE under the title "bad, smelly whisky"

Money quote:

"Prohibition and Excise sleuths uncovered three cases of manufacture and supply of spurious liquor in the city under the “Officers Choice” brand."

Apparently two bottles of Officer's Choice were reported by "
a consumer, Mr G. Satyapal Reddy, who purchased a bottle of Officer’s Choice whisky from both Reddy Wines and Gopal Wines in Bowenpally and found the liquor smelt and tasted bad."

So yeah, Officer's Choice spurious liquor. Coming to a retailer near you.

Monday, November 22, 2010


On the 250th anniversary of the death of J.S. Bach the University of Michigan school of music performed 24 hours of Bach without interruption. I went to a party that night and, after a heavy dose of binge drinking, wandered my way to Hill Auditorium and listened for several hours. I wanted to hear the fugues. I remember my excitement as the staff wheeled the organ onto the middle of the stage and plugged it into the pipes.

The Frieze Memorial Organ, built for 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition with over 4,000 pipes.

Did I mention that it is a beautiful building with perfect acoustics? No seriously I have never heard better acoustics in any venue. Though I must say not the most comfortable seats for passing out at 4 AM. Sadly I woke up the next morning with a wicked hangover and missed the rest of Bachfest. I had not yet discovered the healing power of ramen noodles.

And now said University of Michigan is allowing you dear readers to download all of Bach's organ pieces for free. Click HERE

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Homemade Pizza

Tonight I made some homemade pizza based on some dough recipes I found online. All I had to buy special was the yeast. The wife had the flower and I used some pasta sauce in lieu of pizza sauce or tomatoes. However, I chose to buy unglazed ceramic tiles from the hardware store (49 cents a piece) to put on the top and bottom of the oven to recreate a real pizza oven. It is an old internet trick.

Not bad for my first time out. A little too doughy, needs a bit more salt. Though you know what this means. It means I will have to find just the right cheap red wine to go with homemade pizza. Because everyone is poor and thrifty these days, Mr. Booze represents living well on the cheap.

There are many recipes online, but I used this one because it was expedient: no waiting overnight. Also it was at the top of the google search.

The locus for this project was here:

I'm trying to refine the art of living well on the cheap, so forgive me if you don't think this is as interesting as coats or Bach on the electric guitar.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I find the Skymall magazine to be the most fascinating and wonderful publication. I find no end of curiosities as well as many remarkable items that shall soon become Christmas and birthday gifts for family and friends.

There is so much in Skymall that I would like to curate a tour through the wonderment.

I wonder what it says of society today that so many gadgets are made to relieve headaches and migraines? Think for a minute that our language has a special term for a particular sort of headache, the migraine, while it hasn't come up with a word to describe two people living together in a monogamous relationship that aren't married or a gay couple in a married relationship. Cohabitation could mean a married couple or several other things and partner is such a broad term it can mean anything from a professional relationship to someone you dance with.

The proliferation of gadgets and the development of the term migraine indicates that a great number of people suffer from them and that relief is out of reach for a large percentage of sufferers. Therefore new products have developed in order to fill that gap, for it is the law of supply and demand.

Or rather, it is the law of demand and supply. You see, supply does not spring forth ex-nihilo but rather from demand. Demand drives supply, whether the supply can even truly exist or not. Demand for gold drove the alchemists of yore and demand in face of a lack of supply drives a similar alchemy today. Let's have a look at the alchemy of Skymall.

My personal favorite alchemist innovation in Skymall is the gadget that will age a bottle of wine the equivalent of several years of cellar slumber in a matter of seconds.

All by the power of magnets!

The box lists whisky as well. No need for oak barrels apparently, magnets can produce the same effect. One's Johnny Walker red can become Johnny Walker blue in mere minutes? Demand and supply.

Other items that demand a second look can be useful. Note I did not say practical. Observe the solar powered cell phone charger.

How will those solar cells absorb photons in your pocket? Perhaps if you are at a picnic you might be able to juice up via the power of the sun.

Other items you might want in your home include the peeing baby fountain and giant Moa.

And what woman doesn't want falsies for her butt?

Women who wear this should be sued for false advertising

Yet I have to tell of things I am buying for loved ones. The Taun-Taun sleeping bag, the movie reel clock, and the Wonder Woman cuff bracelet are all on the list. There is truly something for everyone. Aren't you jealous?

Some things offer a supply to which there is no demand or, if there is a latent demand, it is imperceptible to me. For instance the Orbitwheels have all the charm of the jump to conclusions.

Will it be the next big thing? Only time will tell. In the mean time, please buy me one of everything in the Skymall magazine. Thank you.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Irish whiskey: Origine

I went to the grocery store the other day and wandering through the isles I saw a new Irish whiskey: Origine Irish whiskey. The label says it was established since 1780 but since this is a Cooley whiskey it goes all the way back to the 1980s. It was priced at 18.99. I'm not sure if it was for a fifth or a liter. My blood sugar was crashing and it looked like a huge bottle to me, so it could be a liter, but probably just a fifth and low blood sugar.


Upon careful inspection of the photo and sugar in my gas tank I can see it is 750 mL

Tasting reviews are sparse. There is this review that compares the flavor to Styrofoam and yet gives it 84 points. And that's why I don't like tasting reviews. The store jerk stocking the shelves shook his head and said "nasty". So there's that. I didn't buy any, but I will probably get a bottle eventually, and I'll let you know if it tastes of Styrofoam.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Regional treats

Yesterday I forgot to post the "regional treats" I mentioned in the header. Muh bad. Apparently there is a new Chicago whiskey:

The organic whiskey, named for the distiller's son, is aged in American oak barrels and comes in four different varieties: rye, oat, dark rye, and dark oat

Of course I won't be able to go to Chicago and have a drink and report. Fuck. I'm getting married that weekend. Also, I haven't researched to see if they are related but there is a new distillery in Evanston.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More Indian whisky and other regional treats

Maybe we were premature in declaring the 21st century to be the Chinese century. Maybe it is truly the Indian century. Another Indian whisky is looking to hit US shelves this year: Officer's Choice.

Guala cap!

I'm not sure what the officers are choosing. But there it is. I encourage you to go to the homepage and study it well. If hipsters get a hold of this everyone will be drinking "the OC". The amount of kitsch is perfect for the US market. Tasting reviews are non-existent, which is weird because there were loads of Amrut reviews before they hit the States. It is apparently a blend of "Indian malt spirits and the best selected Indian neutral spirits".

I'll keep an eye out for it and see if it the best Indian whisky I've ever had or only the second best Indian whisky I've ever had.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Czech beer

I went to the liquor store looking for some Polish beer. I couldn't find any in 6 packs, only 12 packs. I didn't want to gamble on that much beer, so I bought some Czech beer instead. Staropramen. Not bad, but I think it sat on the shelf too long and had started to sour a little. There was some dust on the bottles. I'd say it was a good beer 3 weeks ago.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Miami Fever is back!

So for a while my favorite photographer, Miami Fever, was missing on the internet. I thought he might be dead or something. But he's back, and some of my favorite pictures are back online too. Or maybe they never left and I am only finding them this time. Or I already posted them and forgot. Have a look:

cat tee

Canon 200mm f1.8? That's crazy. Shot wide open in broad daylight? Crazy!

Oh Miami!

His photostream is still short a few thousand from the glory days, but definitely worth the trip.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wine and Taco Bell, first try

Burritos and Black Swan Shiraz. Verdict? Fail. The Shiraz was too bitter for the sweet, sweet taste of burritos. You definitely need a sweet wine to go with Taco Bell.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New linky for you

I recently discovered a new blog that looks really promising. I usually don't pimp another linky like this, but I wanted to call out dsfcb by name. This is the blog that has the 33rpm Metallica rips that I sought and found earlier. Lots of good stuff there, check it out.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lessons from the Dude

At least once a year I watch The Big Lebowski and, within a week, end up drinking White Russians and taking a bath. I don't usually do either. For some reason I try and compress the two activities into one.

Taking a bath while drinking a White Russian is a bad idea. The drink just sits in your stomach curdling in the heat. Remember that the Dude never drank in the bathtub, just smoked. So don't try and drink in the bathtub. That's my advice.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wine and fine dining

Recently I posted the following question to my friends: what wine goes best with Taco Bell?

The answers were as follows:

-box wine
-Old Lady white zin + fiber pills
-Calcu 2006 blend

I haven't given it a try, but I plan to soon and I'll definitely put a fine dining food and wine review up here when I do.

You'd think, with all the wines out there and all the stupid descriptions of their taste and what food should be eaten alongside, that there would be some food reviews with helpful suggestions for Taco Bell wines. Surprisingly, there is very little. I was able to find one good review and that's it.

It's enough to make you think that wine drinkers are a bunch of foul food snobs. Some people look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them I enjoy a good cheap Merlot to go with my pizza. Wine is cheap people. Less than ten bucks a bottle? Your dollar for alcohol ratio is comparable with Schlitz.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Field notes: the fruit of the vine

It came as news to me that one could distill vodka from grapes. But that's exactly what the folks at St. Julian winery have done. Now normally when you tell me you distilled a spirit from wine you're telling me you made brandy. But this raw, unaged brandy is being sold as "vodka". Don't ask me how it tastes, I didn't have time to stop in. I just spotted the billboard.

I'm curious as to the brandy though. Aged 2 years in Hungarian oak and 2 years in French oak. I might have some field research ahead of me.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Filler post: Dokaka

I'm super busy, so no real content. Therefore, youtube poop:

Just as funny today as ten years ago.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The gods of the internet provide

Behold I sought, and found that which I had sought, for the gods of the internet doth provideth. That which ye seeketh, the google can find. And verily that which thou desireth can be downloaded.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

On another quest

Some time ago I came across Metallica's Ride the Lightning slowed down to 33 rpm. It was awesome. The closest analogue is Bolt Thrower. So intrigued, I went searching for more. The only viable link I found was to part 2 of Master of Puppets at 33 rpm. No part 1 to be found anywhere. If anyone has any wisdom to shed, my eyes are wide open.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Whisky review: Amrut single malt

I finally nabbed myself some Amrut single malt. Mostly it was for a party. There was a Scotch and cigars session planned and I don't care for Scotch, so a suitable alternative was needed. I figured what better way to duck out of Scotch whisky than with novelty? So novelty it was.

The single malt iteration of Amrut is 46% alcohol. That is a bit stronger than your typical bottling, and I feel really needed a bit of water or ice chilling to open up the flavors. Otherwise it tasted much like a single malt whisky. Smooth, which it should be for the price. But no exotic flavors jumped out. The other drinkers expressed the same sentiments. No curry taste here. Just whisky.

At home a more careful tasting with more time for the ice to melt opened up more subtle flavors. The misses thought she tasted cardamon or anise. Now I love anise, and maybe there was a hint of some exotic Indian floral notes therein, but I found it to be largely just a decent single malt. None of the bitterness I find in most Scotch whisky (Sorry Glenlivet) so it definitely worked for me with the cigars (and steak, my lord the steak). But not really some crazy flavors either.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Set your calendar

Kids, set your calendar. Mark up May 21st, 2011. Why? Because it is the end of the world, duh!

Of late I enjoy the ministry over on Family Radio. On it a man who I believe is developmentally disabled gives rambling sermons about the Bible. What is fascinating to me is that his ramblings usually don't mention the whole "the world is going to end" part. Usually that is the gimmick. Just listen to Jack Van Impe. That's all he talks about! But Harold Camping is not your usual evangelist.

Enjoy the trainwreck. "The fragrance of death unto death". It is so incomprehensible it might as well be in Spanish. I know many Spanish words and most of the grammar rules, but I can't follow a conversation much better.

2011 people! It is all over on 2011.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Available now: Bane Jelic

I mentioned before that I like a Serbian guitarist named Bane Jelic. His stuff is hard to come by, but apparently you can now buy his new album. It is a rock album with vocals, much like how Steve Vai likes to do vocal albums (wasn't his best vocal album the one with Devin Townshend?).

What do you think? Good? Bad?


Update: Bane has a couple of albums that he recorded but hasn't released, including a "goth metal" album.

What do you think? Is it good or bad?

I really wish I could buy his newest instrumental shred album "East-West". But the interwebs have failed me

To me this stuff is grade A shred all around.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The beginning of the end

A while back I read a story about a Russian man who had a fir tree growing in his lungs. Maybe things are crazy in Russia, but that story made no sense. Plants growing in your lungs? How can that even happen?

But it happened again, this time here in America.

They are evolving. We are doomed.

I guess this is sorta like that M Night Shylaman movie "The Happening", or at least what people tell me. I never saw it and probably never will because he's a one trick pony of a director. Still, this is kinda crazy. Maybe the plants are rebelling and we are all doomed?

Whiskey review: Sunny Brook bourbon

I found a bottle of Sunny Brook bourbon at the liquor store. It was probably bottled in 86, based on the label. After Jim Beam/Fortune Brands bought National Distillers it was discontinued. So how does it taste?

It tastes a lot like the other two bottled in bond bourbons I've had. That would be Old Fitzgerald and Old Grand-dad. The taste is rather between the two. By the price, 11 dollars for a liter, I'd say it is a good deal.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Casual Friday

It's casual Friday, and you know what that means. That means we all get to wear jeans. Even Dave Mustaine. Fuck yeah.

You didn't get the memo? Well jeez I'm sorry. Dave got the memo.

Here he is on the Arsenio Hall show wearing jeans, because it's casual Friday. His sleeves are rolled up because Friday is still a work day and there's so many files to work doggone-it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I wanted to love you

I wanted to love you from the moment I first laid eyes on you. You looked so perfect. You completed me. And then I came to learn you were tragically flawed. Could I overlook your defects? Was it in me?

It was not.

The Sony NEX-5 could have been the one camera for me. All the versatility and power of an interchangeable lens system. Like a digital rangefinder, but smaller and possibly a better focusing system. The ability to use just about any lens imaginable. The sheer power of the DSLR's APS-C image sensor. 1080p video. I could ditch the camera bag forever and take pictures just as well. Maybe even better.

But it doesn't have manual controls. I can't whirl through aperture, ISO, and shutter settings like a dervish. Feverishly my hands can take my 20d from low-light to day-light settings and back in seconds. Like some nerd working on a rubik's cube.

Insert Rubik's cube snark here.

I can't give that up. Not even for this:

Sony E - Leica M Mount Adapter for NEX-5


Monday, July 26, 2010

Stay healthy

You may have heard Zakk Wylde's health problems require him to stop drinking.

"I mean, I’d drink beer while lifting weights. That’s Black Label Society style for you right there. But the doc told me if I kept this up, I’d be dead by the time I was 50. So I stopped drinking. No big deal.”

But what does Lemmy have to say?

Jack Daniels and coke. You know Jack Daniels was Sinatra's favorite drink. He drank a fifth a day and had a pack a day habit. Dead at age 82.

Editor's note: Jack Daniels is not bourbon

Why can Lemmy keep motoring on and Zakk can't? Maybe it is luck. Or it could just be the whiskey? I'm not a doctor, so don't interpret this in any way to be medical advice.

But I'll take my chances with the good medicine.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Liquor store time machine

I keeping going to the liquor store and finding more oddities. Brandy from Moldova and Albania. Irish whiskey that I'm positive is from the 80s. Now I walk in and find another whiskey from the 80s. Sunny Brook bourbon. The label says National Distillers, which were sold to Jim Beam in 1987.

Think about it: the first atomic pile was in this town. That nut Fermi probably opened a rift in the space time continuum here. Doesn't that explain so much?


The guardian of quality for generations is apparently a train conductor.


So I'm thinking that the next time I exit the store I will be in the year 1985 and I'm going to end up on some zany adventure. Wish me luck. From the future.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bargain Bin Saraceno

Yesterday's post over at metalsucks gave me fond memories of a summer long gone. I can't remember the year exactly, but I think it was back in 2001. 2001 was fun times. Will we ever see their like again?

Back then I used to comb the bargain bins at music stores looking for bargains. Bargains! I found a few gems, including a Venom box set from way back when Black Metal was out of print and you couldn't even buy it through some mail order distro let alone Amazon. I rolled the dice on a few discs, including two by a guitarist named Blues Saraceno.

I bought the albums Never Look Back and Plaid for a buck a piece. I remember them as being a bit like Satriani, but not quite as enchanting. This is back when Ozzy had replaced Zak Wylde - a student of Randy Rhodes - with Joe Holmes. Another student of Randy Rhodes. So my friends joked that in the future Ozzy would run out of Rhodes students and end up with students of Blues Saraceno playing guitar in his band.

Not sure what "Frazin'" is, but the classic Ibanez through a shitty solid state in the 1980s tone is great.

Jitterblast is like the poor man's Eruption. Bask in the glory.

Weather channel smooth jazz and frizzy hair like Kenny G? Was this a virus that infected 80s shred guitarist? That would make Blues Saraceno it's second victim.

Not sure what the audience was for Plaid. Post glam shred must have been a very sad time for Blues. Is that irony? It is kind of funny that he replaced that guy that replaced CC Deville in Poison. That's worse than being the replacement Dick on Bewitched.

That was a good summer, by the way. I didn't own a car and I biked everywhere and while some people think that makes you a loser I was a lot happier biking than I am now driving everywhere in my car. I biked to the mall that day that I bought Blues Saraceno at the music store that is probably empty now. The mall itself is probably gone too. It is a shame really and I wish I could have those days back. That's why I am so old.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Some people hate the heat. I don't. When it is sultry and the sun is beating mercilessly and the air seems to suck the life out of you, beads of sweat turn to rivulets under your arms. You hope to God that Old Spice holds out for a few more hours. Some people hate that. When you lie awake at night with a thin layer of sweat glistening under the oppressive red glow of the alarm clock and every fabric you touch is stuck to your skin like glue, some people hate that too.

I ask: if you never get so hot that you sweat, and never get so cold that you need a do you know you're still alive? Seriously, maybe you are stuck in the Matrix? Maybe you are some cyborg or clone? Maybe this is all just a dream? Have you ever had a dream where you felt each hair on your arm collecting a tiny bead of moisture at it's base on a sultry afternoon? I haven't.

And when I think of heat I think of Miami. I've never been there, but I've wanted to visit for years. It was the art of Carlos Ramos, aka Miami Fever that drew me there.

Miami Fever had a profound affect on my own style as a photographer. He was very unorthodox from what I'd read in books and magazines. Every shot was wide open, using fast and exotic lenses, even in the brightest of summer days. It had a dreamy, almost impressionist feel. His subject matter was insanely fascinating. Sure, there are a lot of hot girls and hot cars in his photostream. But often it was more than that. Here are some good primers:

Almost painterly

Sadly there used to be so much more. At one point his photostream was over 1,000 pictures. All my favorites were taken down, so I can't even show you what I loved and influenced me most. He used to have the full resolution pictures up too, but so many thieves stole his art and sold it as their own. So now all we have are a few small resolution pictures.

I wish I had saved my favorites so I could share them with you. His website hasn't been updated since he moved to the Dominican Republic.

Still, I hope you find yourself lusting for Miami after viewing what's left of his pictures. If so remember the craving involves merciless sun and sultry nights. Maybe turn the AC off tonight and try to imagine what it must be like to see women wearing bikinis to the grocery store. Imagine what it would be like if you were still young and cool and burned like gods of the sun.

Obligatory ICP post

Much like blogging about your cats or children or complaining about your wife, blogging about ICP has become bad form. Mostly because there is little substance besides LOLZ at Juggalos. It is like blogging about that hobo sleeping in his own piss. Sure it is funny, but that goes on every night. It isn't exactly blog worthy is it? To be fair there are were plenty of newsworthy Juggalo posts. I had no idea there were Juggalos south of Toledo until a few years ago when ICP became internet fodder for my boyz @ metalsucks and IllCon. I was actually a bit surprised they were still around. I mean I remember them building a following when I was in Middle School. That was about 100,000 years ago.

But the most noteworthy thing about this Juggalo post is the observation a friend of mine made.

I would never have guessed that the ache that happens when you realize how quickly time is passing by, could be brought on by the latest Gathering of the Juggalos infomercial.

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

Too bad my phone ate my blog post I wrote earlier today. Maybe you'll get some substance tomorrow?

Also, WTF could a Juggalo seminar be like?

This but with clown makeup?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Murphy summer

Call it fate. Call it coincidence. Whatever it may be, I am in the midst of a Murphy summer. It began when I found my lost copy of Feeding the Machine while packing. Then it was lost again. Now it is rediscovered again. Then I discovered a clutch of Murphy's Irish whiskey from the 80s. Coincidence?

Today I played Convergence for the first time in many years. I had forgotten that Devin Townshend sang on two songs. I forgot that one song has vocals very similar to Alice in Chains. I did remember about the Chuck Billy song.

Devin singing

Alice in Chains sounding

Chuck Billy

Man, what a killer album. Plenty of instrumental songs that don't miss vocals at all, some good vocal songs, and did we mention guitar solos? Oh yeah, there's guitar solos. What else would you expect from an album with a dude giving his guitar a post-coitus hug on the cover?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Autumn splendor

Autumn is a lovely time of year. The trees put on their magnificent display. The shadows seem to emerge from every corner. The air takes on a cool, crisp quality. The...what's that you say? It's midsummer? Autumn's a long ways away? Well screw you, I'm blogging it anyway.


Yeah, I'm going to post that Type O Negative video too. But first I'm going to do something a little different...

I've been searching for a good autumn drink. Something that warms the soul. Apple cider and brandy is my first choice, perhaps with some spices added like clove. For the mixing I use the Christian Brother's VSOP, which has a nice vanilla flavor. I find it far superior to the regular VS and I used to get it silly cheap. 8 bucks a fifth silly. I suppose it is as good a time as any to drink Jagermeister, though I haven't bought any in years.

I'm looking for a good harvest wine. I haven't been big on wine because my girlfriend can't drink it - she's allergic to sulfites - and I don't want to drink a whole bottle myself. For that reason I stuck with screw tops, which really limits selection. However, I recently acquired a re-corker, and I'm open to some autumn harvest wine suggestions.

Autumn incites my imagination towards Eastern Europe. I'm hoping the Eastern European brandy I saw is worth it. Speaking of Eastern Europe, we need some good music to accompany our drink. I'm going to try something new on the blog...

I recommend, if you're in a Transylvanian mood, some Transylvanian folk music. First up is Okros band, from Hungary. The music seems to pulsate. The mp3 posted below is from a disc I ripped from the library. The names wouldn't populate from the internet, so it is a rare disc I'll wager. I suspect it might have fallen out of copyright, or never had one to begin with, which is why I am sharing this. The name Okros band and album title Koszoru have no hits from google shopping. If I am mistaken, please let me know and I will yank the mp3. I only got so far as renaming the first track. After that you're on your own.

Shout out in the comments if you are interested in the whole album, otherwise this is one mp3.

This is pretty similar to what you'll find on the mp3.

I also have Hungarian folk music from Transylvania, featuring Mihaly Halmagyi and Gizella Adam. I like the fiddling, but the drumming is maddeningly irregular. Though Gizella's occasional singing is like some ancient peasant from before the industrial revolution. Wonderful.

This is similar to what I have on CD. Let me know if you are interested in hearing it.

Also, fun unembedable documentary here.

...and finally

your moment of zen.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Field tests

I took the bottle of Murphy's Irish whiskey camping. It was drunk, and subsequently it drunkened us. So here is my limited appraisal: it tastes a lot like Paddy's Irish whiskey. This isn't a surprise, in retrospect, as they both claim parentage at the Cork distillery. So where is Murphy's from? I think it is entirely possible that some warehouse or distributor in the region had a case collecting dust and shipped it to a liquor store in the manufacturing district. I think it is possible that this bottle is from the 80s. The label looked really old, and the distributor on the label either went bankrupt or relocated out of New York.

So there it is.

I also brought a bottle of Old Grand-Dad bottled in bond. I wasn't sure how it would go over. After all, I don't enjoy the typical smokey, peaty Scotch and most whiskey drinkers seem to. But it seemed to go over well. Hey, it is Joe Paterno's favorite bourbon.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Murphy's Irish Whiskey

I got on the train and rode down towards the industrial park. I wanted to see the old train depot. I read that the old stockyard is closed, but I wanted to see what was left of it. I also recall seeing a picture of cattle being unloaded in a stockyard in town. Maybe some of it is still open? Wouldn't that be a sight?

I walked past a steel factory and a steel barrel factory and decided to stop in the liquor store where I once found Veterano brandy and once came up empty handed. Well no Veterano, though there was some brandy from Eastern Europe. I think it was from Moldova. I realized I'd never had brandy from Eastern Europe. The label described exotic spices and I was for a moment imagining a gypsy camp outside of Budapest and a lady in a maroon scarf hands me a bottle from inside her dark green caravan...

Where was I? Ah yes, well they had some strange stuff but nothing as strange as the bottle of whiskey at the very end of the shelf. It was partially obscured by another shelf. There it was: Murphy's Irish Whiskey. At first I thought it was another new Cooley whiskey. But then I saw that the label was old. It said Cork distillery. That's where they make Paddy's. Well that's where they advertise as making Paddy's. All the IDL brands are from the New Midleton distillery, including Jameson, which is in county Cork and built in 1975.


The back label is merely instructions on how to make Irish coffee.


Web sleuthing has brought me to this discussion on the Irish Whiskey Society's forum. One individual claims that they stopped shipping it to America in '88. What? Does this liquor store have bottles of whiskey from a defunct brand that have sat about since the Reagan administration? Should I buy more? Inquiring minds want to know. There is one review online, don't know how old it is.

Well I'll drink some this weekend and let the mystery unfold.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

City in a garden

What should you do if it is sunny and 75 degrees? If you're watching the world go by, perhaps look a little closer.


The Conservatory. I wonder how these grounds will look in October. I imagine they will be marvelous.


Come with me and relax in the Monet gardens. I hope you brought your snifter of Cognac. As long as we are going all Parisian, you might as well please your hipster friends with a little Django.

Yeah, I know...hipsters...still it is the Monet gardens

When in Rome and all.


See what lies through the next door. We're exploring new avenues and new possibilities. Besides, you don't have a job. You ain't got shit to do.


Out here we're a city in a garden. Though from afar this building looks abandoned I assure you it is not blight. They are still open for business making things. But be careful you don't fall into that trap of doing stuff and making things. Not on a day like this.


Otherwise you'll end up a busy bee. Remember: working is for suckers.