Month: May 2010

Brews You Can Use

michelob-ultra-pomegranate-raspberry-051710-lg-25539504Hung Morning

Small hangover this morning. A client hosted a “dry run” for its new restaurant/bar. Oberon is always good, especially when it’s free. I’m paying for it this morning, though. * * * * * * * I’d always wondered about this: “Irish distillers, like their U.S. counterparts, spell their finished product with an ‘e’ whereas Scotland, Canada and Japan spell the name as ‘whisky.’ There is no definitive answer as to why this might be the case, but there are those who suggest that it dates back to the late 1800s when the distillers of Irish whiskey wanted to differentiate their high-quality product from poorer Scottish examples.” * * * * * * * Esquire presents: Nine of the Worst Beers in America. It’s a worthy list. Just reading it is making my hangover even harder to endure. This morning’s picture is Worst Beer Number 5. * * * * * * * Whew, that was scary for a moment: What!? 95,000 Barrels Are Leaking Daily. I thought it was a story about kegs, but it’s nothing that catastrophic. It’s just a story about that BP thing. … Read the rest


streetsign.jpgThursday Miscellany

I guess we have an Arab Miss America, which is fine with me, but this line from the Detroit Free Press puzzles me: “she is the first open Arab American to win Miss USA.” Are there closeted Arabs? Doesn’t their olive-color skin color give it away? I mean, it’s not like they’re just hiding Judy Garland CDs under their coats. And are those closets big enough to fit Arabs and lesbians? * * * * * * * And yet more questions: Is she Catholic or Muslim, or Arab or Pole-ish? If she says she’s Catholic, does she get stoned to death by the Muslims? Does she get stoned to death by the Muslims anyway because she wore a two-piece bathing suit and danced on a pole? * * * * * * * Gold going down? Jon Nadler, senior analyst at, argues that gold prices will fall to $800 despite any short term upside. When Kitco is talking like that, listen. They’re precious metal dealers. * * * * * * * Damn. And I was in good mood last night: “the truth is 90% of congressional incumbents will probably be reelected.” * * * * * * * The easily-offended Maureen Dowd asks a good question, and it makes me snicker: “Why, she asks, is Elena Kagan is called ‘unmarried’ instead of ‘single’? Why are women subjected to this humiliating distinction?” * * * * * * * It reminds me of the story about a woman who is standing in a grocery line. A drunk behind her is staring (and staring and staring) at her basket of groceries. He finally slurs, “You’re single aren’t you?” A bit startled, she says, “Yes, I am. You can … Read the rest


gangstersMore Conspiracy Seeds

So, a man on the inside comes forward and says, “The big boys are artificially manipulating the gold and silver markets.” It’s a fairly damning accusation, from a guy (I’ve been led to believe) with the credentials to make the allegations. He is then nearly whacked in a suspicious hit-and-run. He wasn’t killed, but he thinks it was an assassination attempt.

I heard all that on podcasts over the past six weeks, but wasn’t sure what to think. Then yesterday, a friend sent me a link to the story, which in turn links to the New York Post. Now, the Post is probably the most sensationalist of the NY rags, but the Murdoch paper is reliable, so I am now officially suspicious.

I’m not (yet) willing to believe the big banks are actually murdering people, but regardless, it’s highly interesting stuff. I’d think that, if J.P. Morgan Chase wanted to kill someone, they’d just poison his food in a way to make it look like a heart attack, but the timing of the hit-and-run and the post-chase are just too bizarre to write off instinctively as a mere coincidence. … Read the rest


Greek GodsDollars, Happiness, Mass, and More

Oh oh: “The beneficial impact of last weekend’s $1 trillion “shock and awe” intervention by Europe to save Greece and safeguard the Euro is fading-even more quickly than officials had feared.” That’s not some renegade Gold Bug blog talking. That’s from the revered Financial Times, a publication that Axel Merk says, if you can subscribe to only one financial publication, this is the one. When FT talks, people (should) listen, but central banks won’t. Of this, I’m fairly certain. * * * * * * * Funniest headline from my weekend readings: The Euro or the Yugo? * * * * * * * No wonder I’ve been grouchy lately: “Internet Use Makes Us Happier, Says Mental-Health Study.” The kid functions have zapped my computer time, hence my sour disposition these days. * * * * * * * I stopped going to weekday Masses once the little league season started early last month. I started going again two weeks ago when things lightened up at work a little. I noticed a remarkable uptick in my mood (except for a few days when I didn’t get much sleep) that I wasn’t anticipating. It reminded me of Thomas Merton’s observation in The Seven Storey Mountain about going to Mass every day shortly after his conversion. A friend remarked to him that he seemed awfully happy. Merton didn’t even realize it, but upon reflection, he knew it was true, then realized that the uptick in his emotions started with his quotidian Mass resolution. * * * * * * * Cold showers, too, might improve your mood. It’s less painful to go to church, but the cold shower might also have health benefits. (PG link). * * * * * … Read the rest

Something for Sunday Morning

“Holiness means the eager acceptance of every trial sent them by God. . . It is the philosophers’ stone that changes into gold all their worries, their troubles, all their sufferings.” de Caussade, Abandonment.

Whenever I fear that I’m getting too holy for my own good (chuckle), I read this mini-meditation on my iPhone and remember that I’m oh so ridiculously far away.… Read the rest

Brews You Can Use

white grapesGrappling with Grapes

My grape vines arrived yesterday. I opened the box and read the instructions: “After the plants are set, select the largest, strongest cane and cut it back so that two nodes or buds remain. Cut off all other canes.” Great. What’s a “cane,” a “node,” and a “bud”? I looked at the vines, and I just see a bunch of sticks. Any help is greatly appreciated. A quick internet search served no immediate results, but I’m sure there’s a grape-grower glossary out there someplace. * * * * * * * And that is a legitimate BYCU piece, by the way, because grapes are used to make wine. I have no wine plans, but you never know. The newest issue of Gilbert Magazine features a visit to Santa Maria Winery in Iowa. It sounds like a great place that uses imported grapes and grapes they grow themselves. I’m linking to the website. Maybe they’ll notice a ton of hits coming through, then they’ll ask their grape gardener to respond (email link on the left, or use comments box) to my question above and maybe offer other helpful hints. I ain’t counting on it, but hope springs eternal. * * * * * * * Go to Seattle right now: It’s Beer Week there. May 13 to May 23. That’s 11 days, but if you’re drunk, you can’t count. They should declare May 13 to 20 as Beer Week, then 21-23 as Hangover Weekend. * * * * * * * Might be worth a try: “Batch 19 is inspired by the last batches of beer brewed before Prohibition made it illegal in 1919. When the 18th Amendment was ratified in 1919, breweries across the nation were shut down and many brewing recipes lost. It wasn’t … Read the rest

No Blogging Wednesday

Iron Man 2 with big kids last night. No time for blogging. Just these pics from our Mother’s Day trip to the Lake Michigan dunes and Lunker’s Fishing Store in Edwardsburg, Michigan (and its assortment of weird stuff).

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