Brews You Can Use

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Before BYCU, a moment of commemoration: This is my 6,000th post. Yes, 6,000. I don’t know whether to celebrate or bemoan that I don’t have a life.

I think the longevity is finally paying off, though. It would appear that TDE brings in over 2,000 visitors every weekday (not sure what it does on the weekends, but it’s probably not far off the weekday pace). I’m grateful. Then again, the increased traffic has brought an increase in combox attacks, which I dread. I welcome an open forum, but I typically refuse to engage in a combox debate with anyone. It takes too much time, the medium (for some reason I’ve never figured out) inflames rhetoric, and the medium is too limited for meaningful exchange. Alan Jacobs said it well:

Take, for instance, the problem of comments. . . . At the bottom of each post will be the hyperlinked word “comments,” usually followed by a parenthesis indicating the number of responses to the post: click on the word and you get to see all those comments. That’s where the real conversation is supposed to take place. And sometimes it does; but often it doesn’t—or rather, the conversation just gets started and then peters out before it can really become productive. And this happens not because of inertia, but largely because the anatomy of a blog makes a serious conversation all but impossible.

If long-time readers see me ignore an attack, it’s not for lack of a response. It’s simply my peaceful preference for family time and beer bottles.

Speaking of which . . . Brews You Can Use:

I like the novel–and grassroots–form of justice:

An Internet campaign to ban Britain’s treasury chief from the nation’s pubs has struck a chord with the country’s harried drinkers.

Earlier this month, treasury chief Alistair Darling raised taxes on cars and cigarettes, but it is his new alcohol duties — which raised the price of a pint of beer — that have gotten Britons’ backs up.

So when a pub landlord in Darling’s home town of Edinburgh barred the chancellor from his establishment, drinking holes across the country followed suit, posting pictures of the white-haired, bespectacled treasurer above the big red word “barred.”


75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition is Monday. Or is it? This website explains the historical record differently:

This year we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the modification of the Volstead Act on April 7, 1933, which allowed beer to legally flow once again in the United States of America. Not to be confused with the repeal of prohibition on December 5th, 1933, April 7 marks the date when beer was the only legal libation in the United States.

My edition of The Oxford Companion to United States History doesn’t address this historical distinction, and I’m not terribly inclined to dig further. If anyone cares to set the record straight, the combox is open.


March Madness? Cool. Beer Madness? Maybe even cooler. Of course, I’ve never drank any of the Final Four contenders, except Ommegang Hennepin.

A 4,000-year-old skeleton has been unearthed by experts working on building Britain’s biggest ever greenhouse – clutching a pint of beer. With pic, though I don’t see the beer pint angle.

No wonder I’m feelin’ smarter all the time: Drinking too much wine damages the brain more than beer or spirits, scientists have discovered.

Interactive beer quiz. Pretty cool.

15 Uses for Vodka. I have no idea whether any really work:

1. To remove a bandage painlessly, saturate the bandage with vodka. The solvent dissolves adhesive.

2. To clean the caulking around bathtubs and showers, fill a trigger-spray bottle with vodka, spray the caulking, let set five minutes and wash clean. The alcohol in the vodka kills mold and mildew.

3. To clean your eyeglasses, simply wipe the lenses with a soft, clean cloth dampened with vodka. The alcohol in the vodka cleans the glass and kills germs.

4. Prolong the life of razors by filling a cup with vodka and letting your safety razor blade soak in the alcohol after shaving. The vodka disinfects the blade and prevents rusting.

5. Spray vodka on vomit stains, scrub with a brush, and then blot dry.

6. Using a cotton ball, apply vodka to your face as an astringent to cleanse the skin and tighten pores.

7. Add a jigger of vodka to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo. The alcohol cleanses the scalp, removes toxins from hair, and stimulates the growth of healthy hair.

8. Fill a sixteen-ounce trigger-spray bottle and spray bees or wasps to kill them.

9. Pour one-half cup vodka and one-half cup water in a Ziploc freezer bag and freeze for a slushy, refreshable ice pack for aches, pain or black eyes.

10. Fill a clean, used mayonnaise jar with freshly packed lavender flowers, fill the jar with vodka, seal the lid tightly and set in the sun for three days. Strain the liquid through a coffee filter, then apply the tincture to aches and pains.

11. To relieve a fever, use a washcloth to rub vodka on your chest and back as a liniment.

12. To cure foot odor, wash your feet with vodka.

13 Vodka will disinfect and alleviate a jellyfish sting.

14. Pour vodka over an area affected with poison ivy to remove the urushiol oil from your skin.

15. Swish a shot of vodka over an aching tooth. Allow your gums to absorb some of the alcohol to numb the pain.