Friday, May 27, 2011

Bottom shelf treasures

Mister Booze crossed the horizon and reached through the fabric of the space time continuum and pulled some treasures from the bottom shelf of yesteryear.  I hope to have a full report after the weekend.  Cheers!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Megadeth = Dad rock

I'm going to come out and say what everyone is thinking.  Megadeth at some point became a dadrock band.  Just check out this video for Motocyco:

Totally dadrock.  Yeah you're tough riding your Harley on weekends when your ex has the kids.  Motocyco, that's you when the insurance office closes for a 3 day weekend.  It's going to be crazy man.  A six pack of Heineken, some baby back ribs, and The Lethal Weapon on DVD.  Anything can happen!

Yeah crush 'em! That's what you do on summer evenings on your 40 and over softball league.  You'll show 'em.

And you know you're a badass when you crank Walk Alone in the church parking lot at the bake sale.  All those old church ladies get grumpy, but like you explained to Pastor Jones, it is a Christian song about walking with the Lord.  Deal with it.

So what do you think?  I think Megadeth became Dadrock with Cryptic Writings (or as I call it Craptic Writings).  My wife thought Dave sounded tired on The System has Failed, like he would rather be doing something else than making heavy metal.  And I agree.  I almost feel sorry for Dave.  What if your career was doing something that you eventually grew tired of doing?  I can see getting tired of doing something after 30 years.  It is easy for me to get into dirty old school thrash metal because I hate my life.  But what if you had a mansion with horses and a wife and kids that made every day awesome?  How hard would it be to channel that angst you felt when you worked at a gas station making minimum wage and drank bottom shelf whiskey and spent most nights with Miss Michigan?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Homebrew report card

Time's up!  Put your pencils down.  And how did you do, blueberry and pomegranate blend?  Let's see, first we check the nose.  The smell is off.  A sour smell.  I blame the baker's yeast.  The taste is ok, smooth but also a bit sour.  I thought the juice blend was a bit sour for this project.  I will try a straight grape juice blend before I condemn this project entirely.  Still, it is a drinkable alcoholic beverage.  I'd guess I hauled 3 liters worth of hooch for less than 5 dollars.  I'd grade this a "gentleman's C".  Ok, maybe C-.  Also, I don't have a hydrometer so I don't know how strong it is.  I'm guessing maybe 13% but who knows.  Perhaps it just needed more sugar.  Sugar is fungible in these kitchen projects...

I think this strain of yeast would be better served brewing a beer or something made from cereals rather than fruit though.  Maybe it is worth it to get that winemaker's yeast.  I wonder if that is something teenagers today can buy?  Surely you don't need ID to buy yeast, right?

At the very least you could easily mix this with Diet Coke or something.  Probably a cola, though Coke is too expensive these days.  Is this the poor man's Kalimotxo?

Monday, May 23, 2011

This one is for the furries?

It should surprise no one that Japan is leading the way in marrying man and machine.  The human robot hybrid got one step closer with these (inadvertently?) furry lifestyle headbands

Oh Japan...First this and then next people and machines become one.  Eventually we'll end up with giant mechs fighting Godzilla and leveling Megatokyo.  And who wants that?  Nobody.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ensemble Organum

I might have mentioned this before, but if you've ever heard "Gregorian Chants" and you haven't heard le Ensemble Organum you are doing yourself a disservice. 

Led by Marcel Perez, le Ensemble Organum has spanned a number of styles.  Occasionally they dabble in historical reconstruction, such as the Old Roman Chants.  The results, by the way are fantastic.  Meticulously researched, the ensemble married Greek drones (ison) to Western liturgical chants; it probably was that way at some point.

Did you notice the drone?  Sounds quite a bit different that the Gregorian Chants you usually hear.

They perform quite a wide variety of styles within the liturgical chanting world, though sometimes their albums are expensive or hard to find.  Always quality stuff if you ask me, which you did by reading this blog.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The end of times

Remember last year when I told you about the world ending?  Well looks like the lamestream media finally got around to reading through my blog archives and now everyone is "buzzing" about the world ending.  Yes, the world is ending this weekend.  And I know the first question that comes to mind is "what should I be drinking?"  Well, fear not brave souls, for Mister Booze is here to comfort you in your time of distress.

Firstly, since there will be no Monday you don't have to slum around on the bottom shelf this weekend.  At first you might be thinking it's single malt Scotch time, but I want to caution you to be judicious, you don't have much time.  In that case I recommend opening your reserves of...

New Glarus Spotted Cow.

Beer?  Yes, because there is no Monday you don't have to worry about all those carbs.  Because God doesn't care how fat you are. 

Allright people, see you on the other side.

Terry Centenario

I had an opportunity to try another Brandy de Jerez recently.  This time it was Terry Centenario.  This caught my eye for two reasons.  One, it is purportedly the best selling brandy in Spain.  Two, the bottle comes wrapped in that netting they use to hang big sausages in the deli.


You know what I'm talking about.  Why do they do this?  It is so strange.  I don't know, but there it is.

So how is Terry Centenario?  Not bad.  I think that for the price (20+ dollars) it isn't exactly a buy.  I liked it, especially as the ice melted.  The flavors were good, but it is still short of the standard bearer Veterano.

Funny, I was told that bodega Terry also makes Fundador, the worst tasting Brandy de Jerez I've had.  I guess those Terry folk aren't all bad.

Still, it is almost worth it just for the bottle.  It seems like something the Most Interesting Man in the World would drink when he's not drinking Dos Equis (he doesn't always drink beer).  Stilling around in his den with a cigar and a snifter of brandy...

File photo of Mr. Booze thirty years from now.

Also, I'd like to take this moment to criticize Spanish brandy makers for doing a very poor job at branding and marketing their product.  Most booze genres depend on a strong flag bearer in order to raise the status of all the spirits.  Take for example Scotch.  Your entry level Scotch is Johnnie Walker, and it is priced at the standard bearer entry level price:  about 20 bucks for a fifth.  You can find it in every bar and liquor store.  It sets the example for the brand and it is a good representative.  It is smooth and free of harsh rubbing alcohol notes and fusel oils.  You know that if you go cheaper you run the risk of rotgut.  You can branch out into different blends and reach different flavors that may be more to your liking, but it is a deviation from the flag bearer.  The same thing is true of Irish whiskey.  Your standard bearer is Jameson, a solid whiskey all around that costs about 20 bucks and sets the tone of Irish whiskey's flavor and Irish whiskey as a brand.  As Jameson's fortunes have risen, so too has it raised all Irish whiskey.  I could go on about the entry level American whiskey (Jack Daniels) or Bourbon (Jim Beam) or single malt Scotch (Glenfiddich), but I think you get the point.

So is there a standard Spanish brandy?  The closest is Fundador, which I think is terrible.  It is the most widely available in stores.  But it isn't any good, and that is probably doing more to hurt Brandy de Jerez in US markets than the lack of ad campaign funds.  What I think Spanish brandy needs is a good flag bearer to run some good ads and try and break into the US market a little.  But it must cost about 20 bucks for a fifth and be a good representative of the genre as a whole.  I think the best fit would be Veterano because it is so smooth and drinkable.  Centenario is a decent brandy and could go a lot further than Fundador.  They also need a good way of branding themselves.  What sort of identity can Spanish brandy represent?  Should they go for the sophisticated market?  The cigar bar crowd?  A hip alternative to Cognac?  Or the everyman brandy, the Joe Sixpack's brandy for those summer afternoons relaxing by the barbecue?  Probably not the latter but I'm not in charge of PR.

Note to the Spanish bodegas:  put me in charge of your PR.  I will basically run The Most Interesting Man in the World commericals for you, but with a different guy and less silly.  You will sell a lot more.  Thanks.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Threading the needle

My apologies in advance; this post is less humorous than I intended.  These last few days and next few days I will attempt to juggle some very difficult personal items.  The soundtrack to this spring was supposed to be my Nippon Girls:

Oh my lovelies!  Sometimes the best laid plans of mice and men...shit the bed

So I don't mean to reblog this but the best music in the world right now is Pallbearer:

Big thanks to the collective wisdom of the internet for this!

And he knew there's no hope for redemption

Only the dead are smiling

Keep your chin up!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Did I used to be stupid? A homebrewing experiment

I've understood the basics behind fermentation for a long time.  You need three ingredients:  water, sugar, and yeast.  The yeast float around in the water and eat the sugar, releasing alcohol as a waste product.  This is really basic stuff.  Knowing this, why did I ever bother with a fake ID when I was younger?  I wasn't going to bars.  Why not just brew my own booze in my dorm room?  Way easier and cheaper.  I would have made my room the Goldeneye/Street Fighter 2 mecca.  Maybe it is because I knew nothing of cooking and didn't realize that they sell yeast in the grocery store.  Anyone can simply buy the stuff.  Yeah, I know you want brewer's yeast not baking yeast.  But I'm sure the baking yeast will do in a jiffy.

Back then the interwebs was a dark place, full of shitty geosites webplaces and terrible midi files that played in the background when you loaded a site.  These days kids have everything handed to them.  Like this awesome tutorial on how to make your own dorm wine.  Man if I was young again I would kick so much ass...

So I'm running a little experiment to see if I am truly a more enlightened person now than I was back then.  I went to the store and bought some cans of Old Orchard 100% juice blueberry and pomegranate.  It is the frozen stuff and has no preservatives.  Preservatives will kill the yeast, duh, so only use preservative free juice.  It is also less then 2 dollars per can, so very much recession/college student pricerange.  I was hoping to get mango because when was the last time you drank mango booze that wasn't some overpriced mangotini crap?  But I didn't see the mango stuff at the store.  Oh well, maybe next time.

2 cans of juice is less than 4 dollars and yields 48 fluid ounces.  That's about 1 1/2 liters, which is decent for a first brew.  Granulated sugar is like 3 bucks for a big bag, and yeast is three bucks for a big jar.  But the sugar and yeast will give you many yields, so maybe a dollar's worth of sugar and yeast gives you a yield.  So maybe 5.50 for 1.5 liters of hooch.

For the carboy I'm using the big 4 liter Carlo Rossi wine jug.  Even as a youth I could get these:  my old man loves that Paisano.

If you were a youth needing a big carboy on the cheap and your dad doesn't like rotgut wine, you'll have to stick with the plastic jug.  I hate drinking from plastic.

So I'll see how long it takes to make wine with no instructions (other than the website I liked, the information therein I already knew).  I'll see if it tastes better than malt liquor.  I'll see how easy it is, how cheap it is, how strong it is, etc.

Are college kids still making fake IDs?  Or are they smart and making their own hooch?  After all college is more expensive now than ever.  And since high school is like a prison I'd wager that the more intrepid kids are making their own pruno but what do I know.  I'm thinking that the time it takes to ferment is probably the weakest part of this project, but I had nothing to do in high school.  Especially those lazy halcyon days of summer.  Shoulda spent my time loading up the back of my closet with bottles of hooch.  I coulda run that place like Al Capone.

This is what booze know-how looks like

Friday, May 13, 2011

Morbid Angel humor

The other day I posted an album review of Morbid Angel's newest release Illud Divinium Insanus by cutting up reviews of their previous albums and pasting it together to form a new review.  I thought this was fitting because it is reminiscent of how their albums sound lately; a generic pastiche of their former material.  Apparently the post was deleted by the powers that be because they came from AllMusic, the undisputed leaders of shitty, generic album reviews.  Sorry that you did not get to enjoy the joke.  Though the real joke is calling Formulas "their best record to date".  LOLZ.

As you know I don't like reviews that give normative values to music; with the youtubes at your disposal it is possible to just listen to the album before you buy it and decide for yourself. 

As for the new album itself, from what I hear on the youtubes it sounds good but not great.  I like it better than Heretic, and about as much as Domination.  I've never heard anyone call Domination their favorite.  Of course I've never heard anyone call Formulas their favorite either.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Remembering the 90s: Joe Satriani

If you haven't heard, Joe Satriani plays guitar in the Dad Rock band Chickenfoot.  But for you kids that don't know; before he starting coming out of the speakers of your dad's Blazer as he drives you home from your baseball game, he was a solo guitarist in the 90s.  One of the original fingerwizard instrumental guitarists.

This is pretty much what life was like in the 90s.  Everyone saw this commercial, but few knew that the song playing was not written for the commercial.  It was just Satriani (or Satch as he is known) trying to capture the spirit of the times.  You see, everyone was happy in the 90s because everything was going great in the USA.  Satch's desire to make the soundtrack of our times was immense.  He even went so far as to record a techno album.  So 90s!  Back when everyone was taking Ecstasy and going to raves.  It is actually my favorite techno album.  Suck on that Moby.

It was the soundtrack to countless hours playing SSX on the PS2.  *sigh*

So now you know.  And just so you know, Joe Satriani has another fingerwizard guitar album out called Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards.  Which, yeah, Joe knows his demographic.  Nerds.

I'll bet old Satch has no idea that there was a movie out with a similar title around the same time.  God bless you Satch.  You keep the dream of the 90s alive.  Keep on writing the soundtrack to people staring at computer screens and toiling away, dreaming of riches far away...

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Many years ago I found a hilarious webcomic called Leisuretown.  I lost the link and couldn't find the website for many years.  Google webcomic animals American masturbator and see what you get.  Yeah, but don't google that, because I found the website for you.  You're welcome you lucky dog.

So what is Leisuretown?  Well it is zoo animals going around town working and doing very bad things.

Are you enticed yet?  Good.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

When skies are gray

Do you sometimes have rain in your heart?  Are the clouds dull and gray?  Does the sound of good cheer grate at your ears like so many nails across a chalkboard?  Then the last thing you want to hear is some upbeat jerk like Mozart or Mendelssohn dancing through some arpeggios all carefree and gay.  Funny thing that classical music, it is sometimes hard to find a soundtrack to gray skies even though there is a lot of it.  Here is a something for your overcast soul:  Myaskovsky.  Ah those Russians, they know what sorrow sounds like.  Delve into the string quartet in D minor...

Maybe today is a bad day to be alive?  Thank God they aren't all breezy lightweights.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

From my childhood: shitty Star Wars spinoffs

When I was a child, Star Wars was popular.  I was too young to have watched the movies in the theater, but the movies were popular none the less.  I knew the story and probably watched the movies on TV at some point.  I even recall watching a droids TV show and eating terrible tasting Star Wars cereal for the C3P0 cutout mask on the back of the box.  But even as a child, I remember Ewoks:  The Battle for Endor being a big pile of shit.

First, where is Luke Skywalker?  That was the whole point of Star Wars for me as a child.  Watch Luke cut things up with a lightsaber.  The force.  Spaceships and blasters.  Instead it was magic and wizards and Ewoks.  Total crap.

Who wants to watch some old dude?  Where is the adventure?  Bullshit.  Even as a child I thought it was crap.  And it was.  Throwing in scenes from Empire Strikes Back in the trailer?  Talk about bait and switch.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring jewels

In between sneezes, gazing from a sudafed haze, the jewels of springtime blossom. The green buds are open and life begins anew. In this town, tulips seem to be the flower of choice. So let it be tulips of spring.


There is much work to do.  The winter slumber is over.  Rise up, awaken, and begin.


Make haste, for time is short. In five months it will be over and time for the harvest. No time to dwell on that.


Everything is opening.  Do you feel alive?