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My middle child, Michael, turns 21 today. He's a great kid, albeit an aloof kid. While growing up, I'm afraid he thought his middle name was "Michael" and his first name was "WTF".

Take it easy tonight, Michael.

The Real Relief Effort Needed

While Hurricane Dorian's up-to 220 mph winds were battering the Bahamas, one brave soul there ventured forth to issue a dire message to the world: “Send beer.”

A Nassau tourism web cam captured the moment the unidentified beach-comber ambled out onto the sand to scrawl the message at around 1:30 p.m. – around the same time the monster Category 5 was harrowing Great Abaco Island about 90 miles north after making landfall there around 12:40 p.m.

The New Agriculturalists

The twins have also sold beef to local breweries, which then expressed interest in sourcing more ingredients from the Bruggers' farm. This led them to start growing hops on some unused acres.

The brothers also converted an old milk barn into a distillery where they make whiskey with excess grain they don't use to feed their cattle. The operation will start its first commercial batch in an 80-gallon still this October.

Upstream Farms works in partnership with the family farm, but they are separate entities. The Brugger brothers say this structure gives them the freedom to take risks, without having to worry about whether it will affect the family operation.

World's First Brussels Sprouts Gin


Why worry about eating your vegetables when you can drink them – yes, in the tippling sense – instead? Brits can sip through their Brussels sprouts with a tonic mixer this holiday season. In preparation for Christmas, a Scottish distillery has made what it's billing as the "world's first Brussels sprouts gin."

A Fitting Tribute

I just hung out at a dive bar last night. One of my favorite things to do.

The dive bar is to the United States what the pub is to England; an unassuming and uncomplicated coat stand on which the country's cultural touchstones can be hung and enjoyed. To look at the wall in any good dive bar is to find the detritus of a happy nation: discarded license plates and road signs of a still-yearned-for era; faded baseball cards of sentimental import to the owner; advertisements for gasoline and automobiles and soft drinks and fast food; war or police memorabilia the regulars' fathers would have recognized; political paraphernalia from long-dead candidates of varied repute; invitations to concerts and meetings both local and remote. America's dive bars represent living scrapbooks for a country that never was and always will be.


Everything you need to know about bourbon in 60 seconds. Well done . . . packed with information. Your friends will think you're a mini-expert tonight at the bar.