Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from S&B

I want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.  This is the first year I am not doing a turkey ( Sad smile remember THIS and THIS?), but instead….I am doing Duck.

It should be interesting, as this is my first attempt…..what can go wrong?

Supreme Cut Duck Breast in Grand Marnier

Serves 4

Prep: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Oven Preheat: 350 degrees

Supreme Cut Duck Breast

  • 4 Supreme Cut Duck Breasts
  • Grand Marnier Sauce
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Orange Zest
  • ¼ Cup Sugar
  • 1 Ounce Gran Marnier
  • 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch

Season duck breast with your salt and pepper.
Cover wing bone with foil.
Bake in oven at 350 degrees for ½ hour.
Brush Duckling breast with Gran Marnier Sauce and continue baking until done. Internal Temperature should be 140 to 150 degrees.

Gran Marnier Sauce
Heat orange juice, orange zest, and sugar. Bring to boil on medium heat. Add Gran Marnier. Turn down to simmer. Thicken with corn starch. Mix with wire wisk until smooth.

Serve with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Fresh Asparagus

I am varying the recipe by doing a whole duck vs just the breasts.  Should be interesting.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without the WKRP TURKEY DROP.  Enjoy and have a great Holiday Season.



WKRP Turkey Drop - Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Traveling PSA

The TSA has issued a list of Thanksgiving food that won't make it through the checkpoints

There are certain Thanksgiving foods you won't get through the airport checkpoint. The Transportation Security Administration says no to cranberry sauce; creamy dips and spreads; gift baskets with salsa, jams and salad dressing; gravy; jellies and soups. Also on the list are wine, hard liquor and beer. You can avoid a problem by putting those items in your checked bag. Pies and cakes are ok ... but may face additional screening. You can find out more at the TSA website.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Classic Johnny Carson (Ed McMahon)

I know some of you younger whipper snappers have only grown up with cable/satellite TV.  When I was younger, there were only 3-5 stations: ABC, NBC and CBS… an independent (we had Channel 55) and/or PBS if you were lucky.

Anyway, they had a captive audience then…and programming was much better.  Case in point, Johnny Carson.  Forget Leno & Letterman, who cares about The Daily Show or Jimmy Kimmel…back in the day, Carson was KING.  His shows were funny from start to finish….and it was a special thing to be able to stay up and watch him with my Dad after the evening news.

Here is a classic clip featuring Ed McMahon…..

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Star Wars PSAs

I was a really big Star Wars fan as a kid.  Still am.  The prequels had their moments, although some of it was killed for me then (a pox on you JarJar)….the rereleases also had some good and bad.  I remember a time when you couldn’t watch an hour of TV without something from Star Wars being run out in front of you…..including these two PSAs -

The first is pretty funny….a droid smoking.  What was Lucas thinking?  Oh wait, I’m sure he got a big tax write-off for that one.  The second looks like they just used cut footage and then suited a few guys up for the end….add voiceover and there you have it, a commercial.

In reality, if you are going to have a PSA….you need to do it like this-

Aging Tobacco to an Extreme

2.5m-year-old tobacco found

PALEONTOLOGISTS in Peru have discovered fossilised tobacco in the northern Amazon that dates back to the Pleistocene Era 2.5 million years ago, the scientists said today.

The compact block of tobacco, about 30 square centimetres was found by scientists from the Meyer-Honninger Paleontology Museum earlier this week in the Maranon river basin in northeastern Peru.

"This discovery allows us to establish that the plant dates back to the Pleistocene Era, and confirms that it originated in northern Peru," the museum said.

Tobacco was smoked and chewed by Native Americans long before the arrival of European explorers in the 15th century, the scientists said.

It was also used for therapeutic purposes - in everything from eye drops to enemas - and for rituals, such as blowing smoke into the faces of warriors before battle and on women before intercourse, they said.

Read more:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Goat Night is approaching

Ok, who remembers our last Goat Night?  It’s that time of year again….Debi has bought the meat for us and I just got the order of wine.  Now we are just starting to settle on night.

Stay tuned for more information.


Sarah Palin Drinking Game

For the record, I want to say that I actually like Sarah.  She’s Kookie and Funny, and she is stirring up politics a bit. 

However, being a blogger has some immense moral responsibilities… to be an equal opportunity offender, coupled with the new Sarah Palin “Reality Show” premiering tonight, I thought I would include the rules for the new Sarah Palin drinking game.

You might recall the State of the Union Drinking Game from an earlier post…so here is the latest.


From the Daily Beast

There's no need to enjoy the premiere of Sarah Palin's Alaska on Sunday night sober. The Daily Beast's drinking game provides a boozy way to get through Sarah's adventures.

There’s no better way to celebrate the first episode of Sarah Palin’s Alaska (TLC) than quaffing some Alaskan ale with your caribou sausage. So here’s the inevitable Daily Beast drinking game that’s guaranteed to get you tipsy by the time Palin reaches Mount McKinley. Bottoms up, you betcha!

1. Sip when Palin stands atop an Alaskan mountain like Simba in The Lion King.

2. Chug when Palin equates U.S.-Mexico border security with the 14-foot fence she built to block journalist Joe McGinniss’ view.

3. Sip when Palin’s children refer to her “Sarah.”

4. Chug when you find yourself thinking of The Osbournes. Or Into the Wild.

5. Sip when daughter Piper complains about her mom being addicted to her BlackBerry.

6. Chug when you catch yourself thinking about the Palins’ carbon footprint.

7. Sip when a plane lands in Palin’s backyard.

8. Sip when said plane takes the Palins to mingle with grizzly bears.

9. Sip when Palin says of (actual) Mama Grizzlies, “They’ve got a nature that humankind can learn from.”

10. Chug if you find yourself rooting for the bears.

11. Take a shot when Palin takes a shot (with a large rifle).

12. Sip when she asks husband Todd for advice on tax policy.

13. Chug when Palin impersonates Marlin Perkins.

14. Sip when Palin closely monitors daughter Willow’s morals by installing a gate at the bottom of the stairs.

15. Sip when the Palins stop being polite and start getting real.

16. Finish your drink, and restore your sanity, when Palin climbs Mount McKinley.

An Early Thanksgiving

Earlier this week, Alby asked if it would be cool to host Donnie’s going away party at our house.  You see, Donnie is joining the Army and is leaving on Tuesday for Basic.  Without any hesitation (other than saying I would have to ask “The Woman”), I of course said yes.  But this lead me to wondering what to fix.  The Harvs were bringing quite a bit of stuff….so I was wondering what to add to the menu.  Enter a timeless classic……

Bourbon Honey Glazed Ham


  • 2/3 cup bourbon or whiskey (I used Maker’s Mark)
  • 1 cup clover honey
  • 1/3 cup molasses (they were hard to catch and get into the cup)
  • 1/2 cup 100 percent fruit orange marmalade
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 (5-pound) whole bone-in smoked ham, fully cooked, unsliced
  • 1/8 cup whole cloves


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan, heat bourbon, honey, molasses, and marmalade over low heat for 15 minutes or until reduced by half, stirring occasionally. (When measuring honey and molasses, spray measuring cup with nonstick cooking spray to keep measurements accurate.) Set aside.

With a sharp knife, cut a diamond pattern on the fatty part of the ham. Stud whole cloves in each diamond, at points where lines cross. Spread half of the bourbon glaze over the ham and roast for 30 minutes, uncovered. Baste occasionally with remaining glaze and continue to roast for another 15 minutes. Let ham stand for 20 minutes before slicing.

I chose to use Maker’s Mark in the recipe because of it’s unique (somewhat sweet) taste and I would get another Christmas Ornament as well.  Win/Win.  Hell, it mixes well with honey, so might have to try it as a Hot Toddy.

So far, all the prep work is done…….so I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Cheers -



Saturday, November 13, 2010

A blast from the past and look to the future

A friend of mine (Sean) posted a picture that really made me reminisce of days gone by.

Back in the late 80’s, my parents shopped at an IGA Store (Bob’s IGA in Huntington).  In case you didn’t know - IGAs were founded in 1926, bringing together independent grocers across the United States to ensure that the trusted, family-owned local grocery store remained strong in the face of growing chain competition.  There were the original Anti-Walmarts.

General Generic Beer  - Pale LagerAnyway, as a younger kid (around 13-15) I would often see amongst the other generic products, something that caught my eye – BEER.  Not just any old beer, but a white can with big black letters – BEER.  My parents never bought it (my Dad was a Miller “the Champagne of Beers” guy) but later in life I did dabble in those white cans a time or two.  For a 16-18 year old, one a budget and looking for a cheap night out….they were great.  Now, as an adult….I doubt it. 

As an adult, I would do my research and come across a page like THIS, where I learn that General Generic Beer (as it as known by) is actually a Pabst Brewing product (Strike one right there) in a Pale Lager style (why not just say watered down piss….Strike two).  When you see that it rates a 1 out of 20…..well, I think that it leaves little to the imagination of the taste.

Back to the picture that Sean posted. 

I actually like the name, and find it funny they make it in a “Light” format as well.  Produced by the City Brewery (Melanie Brewing Company in La Crosse Wisconsin), I doubt that this beer is going to make any headways into refrigerators of America (especially with a rating of 3 out of 20).  I do think they are focusing on the those hit hard by the current recession….but I fail to understand how these new mass market beers can be making profit, when there are established “cheap beers” like STAG out on the market (at least it scores an 8 out of 20).

Oh well, to each his own…..and thanks Sean for pointing this one out.  What a trip down memory lane.  If any other readers spot something interesting….please pass it along.  I would love to use it.


Hey Simon….this is in your neck of the woods

And this boys and girls is why I do not miss Indiana… many amateurs. 


Police Arrest Man For The 5th Time With Excessive BAC Levels

EVANSVILLE - NEWS 25 went deeper into the incredible story of Travis Hornback, trying to learn why a repeated D.U.I. offender was allowed to allegedly drive drunk again.

Last week, Hornback was nabbed for being driving with a blood alcohol level more than seven times the legal limit. NEWS 25 learned he was arrested again just Thursday, with an even higher alcohol level.

Evansville police told NEWS 25 for the average person, a blood alcohol level that high would most likely be fatal. Authorities said Hornback is showing some of the highest levels they've seen.

Just before 4:30pm Thursday, at the intersection of North St. Joseph and West Maryland, Evansville police said they found Travis Hornback passed out, behind the wheel of his pick-up.

"Somebody saw him at an intersection. He had fallen asleep inside his vehicle, with his vehicle running at the intersection," explained Corporal Steve Green with the Evansville Police Department.

Officers said they found an empty liter bottle of mouthwash inside Hornback's truck, and his blood alcohol level registered at .586, more than seven times the legal limit.  A week ago, on August 30th, we told you officers busted Hornback behind the wheel with a blood alcohol level of .546.

He was taken to the hospital and allowed to walk away.

"If we watch him or we monitor him, or we guard him at the hospital, it's a case-by-case basis," said Evansville's Assistant Chief of Police Robbie Hahn said last week.

Officers told us they would pick-him up later, after issuing a warrant, but NEWS 25 learned that never happened.

"When we received it and had it ready on September 1st at that time, it was ready for an officer to sign it and a judge to review it, but that didn't take place until September 7th," said Camala Cooley, Vanderburgh County Deputy Prosecutor. 

Cooley told NEWS 25 officers did not show up to sign Hornback's warrant until six days after it was processed.

He was never picked-up for his August 30th D.U.I., and Thursday he was busted for his latest.

However this time, officers waited at the hospital for Hornback to sober up enough to take him to jail. This is Hornback's fifth D.U.I. since 2002.

Prosecutors said the repeated offender could now face up to 23 years in jail for his two latest felony D.U.I. charges. Hornback is being held in the Vanderburgh County Jail on a $32,500 bond. He's due back in court September 15th. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

4th sign of the Apocalypse

So now we have come to the 4th Sign (the first being me starting this blog and maintaining it for over a year and here are Number 2 and Number 3) and it is getting more evident that the end is neigh.

So what could be such a convincing sign?????  How about me quoting Martha Stewart?  Pray for our souls………………

Stock up on essentials for a complete bar

From The Detroit News:

A well-stocked liquor cabinet is a good host's secret weapon. Keep these basic types of alcohol, mixers and tools on hand, and you'll be able to offer guests a wide range of drinks.

Beer. Ales and stouts are good choices for winter, whereas lagers taste most refreshing in the summer. Unopened beer can be stored at room temperature and then chilled before serving. Once you've chilled beer, though, it must be consumed before it warms up, or its flavor will be spoiled.

Wine. Store wine on its side or upside down, below 70 degrees and in a temperature-controlled wine fridge if you have an extensive collection.

Vodka. More of a surefire crowd-pleaser than gin, vodka is your No. 1 must-have clear liquor. Sip it chilled and neat, or use it for vodka martinis, vodka tonics, greyhounds, lemon drops, Bloody Marys or White Russians. Store spirits at room temperature (below 80 degrees), and try to use open bottles within a year, since they may spoil over time. It's fine to chill vodka in the freezer for a party, but it begins to thicken after a few months in there.

Whiskey. Bourbons and lighter rye-based whiskeys are best for sipping and mixing. You'll be able to make Manhattans, whiskey sours, old-fashioneds and mint juleps.

These extras complete bar

When shopping for parties, restock your basics and add these extras if you want to offer a full bar or special cocktails.

Gin. A must for true martinis (which are always gin-based), gimlets, Negronis and Tom Collinses.

Scotch. Whiskey connoisseurs will drink it straight, while cocktail fans can have a rusty nail.

Rum. It's the basis for most tropical, fruit-based drinks, such as mojitos and mai tais.

Tequila. Keep silver tequila on hand for margaritas, Bloody Marias, tequila sunrises and shady ladies; and extra-aged, or anejo, tequila for sipping.


Consider brandies such as Cognac and Armagnac, or offer an outside-the-box idea, such as pisco.

Mixers. Store vermouth, sodas and juices in the refrigerator. Other mixers do best at room temperature. If you're serving a signature drink or two, let those recipes dictate your extra mixers.

Modifier spirits. These spirits complement your base liquor and add the main flavor to a cocktail. The most important: sweet and dry vermouth, for martinis and Manhattans; bitters (Angostura and Peychaud's are the classics); and Cointreau, an orange liqueur that provides the sour flavor in drinks such as cosmopolitans and lemon drops.

Juices. Cranberry is a staple. (You can get the white variety if you're concerned about spills.) When using fresh-squeezed orange, lemon, lime or grapefruit juice, strain out the pulp, which turns drinks sour.

Sodas. Always have tonic water and club soda on hand. Ginger ale is also practical.

Sweeteners. Make simple syrup by boiling sugar with water. Or you can use agave nectar in place of simple syrup, but do a trial run with your cocktail recipes because you may need to adjust quantities to offset its sweetness.

Garnishes. Cut fruit as close to party time as possible, so it stays fresh. You'll need limes for margaritas, gimlets, mojitos, daiquiris and cosmopolitans; lemons for any type of sour, lemon drops and Tom Collinses; oranges for old-fashioneds and screwdrivers; and olives for martinis.


All these items can be found at a good kitchen-supply store, unless otherwise noted.

Rabbit, waiter's friend and bottle opener: The Rabbit uncorks wine in a single swift movement. A waiter's friend, also known as a captain's knife, gets the job done, too, and usually includes a bottle opener.

Jiggers or measured shot glasses: Jiggers range in size from .5 ounces to 2 ounces. Keeping all those cups on hand can be a pain, so you can just get a 2-ounce measuring cup, which has markings for every half-ounce.

Boston shaker: A two-piece shaker consisting of a pint glass and a stainless steel base. This is the shaker most professionals use.

Long-handled bar spoon: Used to stir cocktails that contain only spirits (like martinis) because it creates a smoother drink than shaking. (Only shake cocktails containing juice and other ingredients, which require more vigorous mixing.) A bar spoon generally holds a teaspoon.

Zester: Great for making fancy twists of garnish more quickly than with a paring knife.

Hawthorne strainer: A stainless steel strainer with a spring that secures over a shaker. When pouring, place your index finger over the tab to stop large pieces of ice or fruit from falling out of the shaker.

Julep strainer: This strainer with multiple holes rests perfectly inside a glass and is used for straining stirred cocktails.

Muddler: A pestle-like tool used to crush herbs, fruits and sugars inside a mixing glass. It's especially handy for mojitos and old-fashioneds.

Cutting board and paring knife: For chopping fruits and making twists of lemon or orange peels to add to drinks.

From The Detroit News:

Star Trek brings out the Geek in all of us

How can you not love Star Trek.  The premise was mind-blowing back in the 60’s and I personally think TNG was the best of the franchise.  Here are some  Rare Next Gen Pics of the cast and crew from behind the scenes.  My personal favorite is below.



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran’s Day

Still as moving as it was when I posted this last year, I thought I would again share something passed on to me from a friend.

This friend is one of my nearest and dearest.  One who I would go to the ends of the earth for if he asked.  He and I went over the humps at Basic, lived in open bays and did flutter kicks in AIT, went our separate ways and finally reconnected later in life.  He came to see me off at Frankfurt when I ETS’ed and has been a guest in my home.  He’s one of the few that have really known me my entire adult life, and I love him like a brother.  Of course I am talking about CW4 Gordon Miller.  “Chief” is still in the Army, although he is in the swansong of his career.  For his friendship and sacrifice to this country, I hope he realizes that all he needs to do is ask…although I know he never will.  That’s the way he roles.  Self sacrifice is his middle name.  He is and always will be my “Gordo” and I salute him.   Thanks Man….Happy Veteran’s Day.

The rest of this post is actually a speech his daughter wrote.....please read, remember and share with your friends and veterans. 

Veteran’s Day Speech
For as long as I can remember, Veteran’s Day has been celebrated at my school by everyone meeting in the gym to hear some people speak about the importance of the day. We salute the former soldiers and the current ones that come to our school to commemorate the day. But when I was little, it started out as just another assembly, just another day. It wasn’t until I was in early middle school that I learned what Veteran’s Day really means.
It dawned on me when I was talking to my father, who has been a soldier in our military for twenty years. I only get to see him in the summer sometimes, and other times we talk over the phone. I had called him one day just to talk to him and it was shortly after Veteran’s Day in sixth grade. After we talked about what he was doing for a while, we moved on to what I had been doing.
“Well,” I said slowly. “We went to a Veteran’s Day assembly not too long ago.”
“That’s cool.” replied my dad. “So, who was there?”
“Just some old dudes that had retired from the military, all our teachers, and all the other students.” I replied thinking back. It was at that moment, which a question popped into my mind. “Dad, are you a veteran?”
“Yeah sweetheart,” he told me plainly. “Veterans can be anyone that has fought for our country.”
“Even if they’re still fighting?” I ask.
“Yeah.” he replied back. It was then that I realized how Veteran’s Day really affected my life. It wasn’t just about an assembly anymore where my school met to observe the day of veterans. It more than that now; it was about my family, especially my father.
As a child, I was narrow-minded; I never looked at the big picture. I never paid attention to what we were going through as a country, which was of course until the September 11th attacks. I remember everyone turning on their TVs and watching the news. I didn’t care at first; the news bored me at the time. What got my attention was when some of the teachers started to cry. I was confused and when I got home I asked my mom about it. She told me that the Twin Towers in New York had been attacked by terrorists. Terrorists, it was a new word for me. I was in third grade at the time, and “terrorists” wasn’t something they taught you back then. However, I still understood the word “Terror”. Then she told me how the attacks had killed a lot of people. Death was something else I was familiar with. I live by a country road and a few of our family dogs had already been killed by speeders. When I imagined the death of the attacks that day, I imagined the feeling of losing one of the pets that had loved deeply. But it wasn’t dogs that had died, it was people. People like you would meet everyday. When I asked why the attacks happened, my mother just told me it was because some people were angry with the U.S. When I asked what we had done wrong she told me that we were just living freely. We had freedom that most others didn’t have.
Then I remembered something my dad told me once. Soldiers protect our nation, and something just as important; the freedom we live by everyday. In the years to come, I learned just what he meant by freedom.
The origin of our freedom lies with the birth of our country. As our country started, I learned that we broke away from England and became independent. Our forefathers created the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, each stood for the freedom that we as a country stand for today. After that we fought England for our freedom and won, making independence official. But it didn’t get any easier after that.
We fought with ourselves in the Civil War and continued to fight other countries. Finally, the entire civilized world went to war. World War 1 took place from 1917 to 1918. After this war, in 1919, President Wilson proclaimed that November 11th would be celebrated as Armistice Day. This day was originally made to honor the veterans of World War I. But after World War II took place from 1941 to 1945, and the Korean War took place from 1950 to 1953, Congress decided to change the name of the day to Veteran’s Day. This is so that all veterans that have served can be honored. This was approved in the year 1954 and has been so ever since.
Since then, we have fought in the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and even now continue to fight in the Iraqi War. Men and women of our country have fought and died to protect our country and its beliefs. We’ve also fought to aid others who share our values of a better way of life. We may not have won every time, but we’ve stood our ground.
Veteran’s Day is especially important to me because I get to thank my dad. He’s not just my father; he’s a man that is risking his life for me almost everyday. Why? So I can have the freedom to be a Christian. So I can speak out on what I believe. So everyone can assemble to honor veterans on Veteran’s Day. Without our veterans, we wouldn’t be the country we are today. We would be just some other country who is suffering under the tyranny of a dictating government. I for one would not like that life. Where I would have no voice, where what I feel and think doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone has an opinion and no one’s opinion is greater than anyone else’s. Some might think another’s opinions are incorrect or unjust, but everyone has a right to express themselves by their voice, to express their opinion.
I would like to end by thanking our veterans who have fought and others who have died for our beloved country. The men and women who have taken on the task of taking up arms and fighting for their freedom; but not just their freedom, for everyone’s freedom. The freedom that we are given at birth; what we deserve in order to live a fulfilling and purposeful life. So, thank you veterans. I hope my words have encouraged everyone that has listened and I hope that we’ll keep fighting no matter what. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

More on the Marines

Hey….I’ve said it several times before- “It’s MY blog, and I will post want I want too”.  So to further celebrate the birthday of the USMC, here is a video and a news story-

First a Birthday Message -

Secondly, a story-

Marine who pulled local Marine's body from ambush may be first living Marine in a generation to receive medal of honor



Dakota Meyer may be the first living Marine to receive the Medal of Honor in a generation.
In September last year, while in Afghanistan, Corporal Meyer went into a kill-zone to pull out the bodies of four soldiers to bring their bodies back to their families.
One of those fallen Marines was Michael Johnson of Virginia Beach. His father, Robert, found out last night.

He says, "I feel like Dakota deserves this and I felt like it's been a long time coming."
The Marine Corps has recommended Meyer for the Medal of Honor.
He and his fellow Marines were greatly outnumbered with 150 insurgents firing on them. But Meyer selflessly went into the storm of enemy bullets raining down so the Johnson family would get to properly bury their son.
"We owe him a tremendous debt. He brought our boys back. He brought his brothers back," Robert says.
Meyer was interviewed by the Marine Times, showing he's as humble as he is courageous.
He said, "I feel like the furthest thing from a hero. I feel like I let my guys down because I didn't bring them home alive."
However, Robert says, "They're all like that you know? They're just platoons and platoons like that will lay down their lives for one another.
Seven other military members have been awarded the Medal of Honor since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began. But Meyer would be the first to live to receive the honor.

From 1 Year Ago–Happy Birthday USMC

Here is a blast from the past....but on an appropriate day.

Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corp.

Sadly though, the Tinderbox has closed here in CoMo and no one has heard from Kevin in a long time.  If you have any info on him, please pass it along….I’d love to drop him a line.

On a positive note, this past year we have had one Marine added to the family with Brian C.  He has done us proud as one of the latest additions to the Military from the S&B extended family.

Also, someone I served in the Army with was also a Marine as well….so a shout out to Marika (and Marika….isn’t your daughter MCJRROTC?).

If you know of other Marines, post their names in comments below.

Happy Birthday US Marine Corp

On this day in history, 10 Nov 1775, the Continental Congress formed the Continental Marines,planning to draw them from among Washington's army in Boston and send them to capture supplies from Halifax, Nova Scotia.
However, Washington was unenthusiastic about the plan and suggested the Marines be recruited in New York or Philadelphia instead. Captain Samuel Nicholas was commissioned as the Continental Marines' first officer on 28 November 1775.
What does this have to do with Smokes and Booze? EVERYTHING!
When Cpt.Samuel Nicholas enacted a decision of the Continental Congress to form the Continental Marines,he based recruitment at a tavern. Not just any tavern, but Tun Tavern, famous as a meeting place for prominent organizations and people, such as -
-St. George's Society
-the firt meetings of St. John's No. 1 Lodge of the Grand Lodge of the Masonic Temple
-St. Andrews Society
-Benjamin Franklin
-George Washington
-Thomas Jefferson
-The Continental Congress
So much history, in one Bar. Amazing.

Sadly, Tun Tavern burned down in 1781, but there is a historical marker near the location and a themed restaurant at Quantico.

Often, Taverns are overlooked at their significance in early American History....a place where people could meet, discuss, rest threir weary bones. A gathering point of the community. So much of Americana as we know it started in pubs, bars and taverns across the country....and today is a great example.
If you happen to stop by the Tinderbox today, say something to Kevin....our resident Marine. I'm sure it would make his day.
Cheers and Happy Birthday to the Corp.

Beer and Turkey

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, here is a pretty good article on pairing beer with Turkey.  It outlines the different styles of beer and how they mesh with various methods of cooking our Thanksgiving Bird.  Give it a gander (oh wait, that is for geese) and let me know how it works for everyone.

Brooks on Beer: Pairing your Thanksgiving turkey with beer

Jay R. Brooks
for the Bay Area News Group

Posted: 11/10/2010 01:00:00 AM PST

My 6-year-old daughter asked me to guess her favorite holiday recently and naturally, I expected her answer to be Christmas or her birthday. So I was surprised when she announced it was Thanksgiving -- because, she said, of the turkey. I couldn't agree more.

Of course, part of the reason I love turkey so much is because it pairs so well with beer. Beer really brings out the flavors of that main course, but it also complements the many side dishes that make up the Thanksgiving feast.

Most Thanksgiving turkeys are roasted, which brings out caramel and even smoky flavors. If you glaze or brine the bird, that adds additional flavor components, and stuffing brings herbal and spicy notes to mix. That's a tough melange of tastes to pair with just one quaff. Happily, many beers are up to the task.

The barley in beer is roasted, so it also produces caramelized flavors. Several traditional styles lean toward the malty side, and a delicate hop spicing or alcoholic strength can yield an ideal match.

The beer served at Munich's annual Oktoberfest -- an Oktoberfest beer or märzen -- is one such beer. Most are made year round now, so a German or craft märzen should be easy to find even though Munich's festivities ended weeks ago.

Some darker beer styles are also great choices, because their malt lends a more roasty character. A German-style dunkel, for example, brings out chocolate, nutty, toffee and bread-y flavors. Belgian-style dubbels -- which are also very malty, although slightly stronger -- are also some of my favorites, especially Westmalle Dubbel or red label Chimay Premiere.

If you smoke or grill your turkey, a scotch ale, porter or brown ale -- I'm particularly loving Sierra Nevada's new Tumbler Brown Ale -- will complement the bird better because of the increased caramelized flavors found in those beer styles.

If you prefer your beer spicy, a Bière de garde may be your best bet. They can be difficult to find, but well worth the effort. These beers are typically sweet and malty, delicately spiced, and great with food. A few to look for include Avante Garde from Lost Abbey, Perdition from Russian River Brewing and Oro De Calabaza from Jolly Pumpkin.

My personal favorite Thanksgiving beer is Anchor's Our Special Ale -- also known as their Christmas Ale -- which is a different beer each year. The spices are a closely guarded secret, but this is usually a brown ale with delicate to strong spicing, depending on the vintage. As a result, I've found it matches the whole meal just perfectly.

If, on the other hand, your turkey is spicy -- perhaps cooked in a Cajun or Southwestern style -- you may need something hoppier to match the heat, but it should also have a good malt backbone. An English-style IPA would be ideal for that, although the rye in Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye makes it complex and sturdy enough to work, too. If you don't like hoppy beer, a dubbel or a doppelbock would also work well.

If you want to keep things simple, an amber ale or lager has just enough malt to work. Similarly, a strong golden ale, such as Duvel, North Coast Pranqster or Russian River Damnation, is a great choice too.

No matter which brew you choose, your guests will be thankful. Beer really is for the bird.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Veteran’s Day is approaching….

…so to lead up to it, I have a few Veteran’s Stories to share.

The first is Ed Trey, a WW2 and Korean War Vet who played football against a President (Ford) in highschool, met Patton, received a Bronze Star (with V) and retired as a Lt. Colonel.

The last line in the story still brings a smile to my face.  Here’s to you Col Trey…Cheers- Smokes and Booze salutes you Smile


Scotch helped decorated soldier survive war

A decorated U.S. Army veteran of two wars, Edward L. Trey, 94, has enjoyed a full life.

He can thank British soldiers -- and Scotch whisky -- at least in part for that. During World War II, off the coast of Anzio, they saved him from a watery grave.

Trey said he was perched on the back of a landing craft in the Mediterranean Sea when his ship hit a mine. It was loaded with members of the 83rd Chemical Mortar Battalion based at Camp Gordon, Ga.

"It blew the center of the ship out. I spent five hours in the water and nearly froze to death.

"At one point, I looked up to the sky, and I said, 'Goodbye, world!'"

He re-enacted the moment, glancing above as he threw his arms up in the air.

But the British ship came along and delivered him to a British hospital, where he received five days of medical care.

"They sent down a ladder for me, fed me scotch by pouring it down my throat and thankfully I recovered," he recalled one afternoon last week at his Frederick home.

His worst fear? "Being captured by the Germans," he said.

Trey took part in five amphibious launches while serving in WWII from 1942 to 1945 and retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

He endured 541 combat days while in Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, Austria and Germany.

"Wherever they needed mortar fire, we went," Trey said. "We were a portable unit" responsible for transporting high-explosive mortar shells.

His unit started with 1,010 men and lost 800 to 900 in action, he said.

Honored with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for Valor, Trey's military service didn't end with WWII.

He later was recalled to duty during the Korean War.

Last Thursday was a particularly busy day for Trey, who enjoyed a visit from historian Terry Lowry, author of "Bastard Battalion: A History of the 83rd Chemical Mortar Battalion in World War II."

A neighbor stopped by later as well, to bring him a container of homemade spaghetti and a bag of cookies still warm from the oven.

Trey welcomed the stream of company, as the sounds of "Bonanza" played on the television.

Trey moved his wife and growing family to Frederick in 1955. They raised four sons and a daughter while he worked for 16 years as a packaging engineer in the biolabs at Fort Detrick.

Trey's military service began at an inopportune time, he said. He was only two semesters into his college career when he was drafted.

"They pulled me out," he said. "They called. You came."

He boasted of two men he encountered in vastly different kinds of combat. Both men's achievements would have chapters devoted to them in history books.

He met Gen. George S. Patton while serving in WWII. "He was a rough customer, all stars and bars and his pearl-handled pistols," Trey said.

He met former President Gerald R. Ford in Michigan, many years before Trey was drafted into the Army.

"I played football against him in high school," he laughed. "I played football with a future president."

Reminiscing once again about his frigid time in the sea, Trey said the whisky revived him -- and still does today.

"I just got me a big jug to keep me going over the weekend," he said, pulling out a bottle of Clan MacGregor. "Can I pour you a glass?"

World’s Most Expensive Beer (brewed in Modern Times)

Most Expensive Beer - Antarctic Nail Ale sets world record
  PERTH, Australia--The Nail Brewing Co. sold a bottle of limited edition Antarctic Nail Ale, created with melted Antarctic ice, for $800 at an auction benefiting the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society - setting the new world record for the Most Expensive Beer Produced in Modern Times.
  (enlarge photo)
The World's Most Expensive Beer, of which only 30 were bottled, was created at the Nail Brewing headquarters at Edith Cowan University in Perth with melted Antarctic ice that the anti-whaling org brought back with them from an earlier campaign.
"Over 90% of beer is water, so the Antarctic Nail Ale could possibly be the world's oldest and purest beer," brewer John Stallwood said.

Previously, the Guinness World Record for the most expensive beer was held by Scottish brewery BrewDogs, for their $765 high-alcohol beer, a 12-bottle run of 55% ABV beer, served in a bottle wrapped in roadkill - a choice between a taxidermied grey squirrel or stoat. (#@&%*)
"It is great to sell the most expensive bottle of beer in the world but it is all about a good cause," added Stallwood.
   "It is also good that a beer about saving the whales is now most expensive beer in the world rather than high alcohol beer sold in animal carcasses. I think future beers that sell for over $800 won't just be unique but will also be for good causes."
Antarctic Nail Ale was brewed by Nail Brewing Australia at Edith Cowan University. Thanks to Captain Paul Watson, The Sea Shepherd, Kevin McGinty, Jeff Hanson, Kim Frost, Brendan O'Sullivan (ECU student and Gage Road Brewer), Hugh Dunn, Clay Millar, Jon Luff (ECU staff), Justin Fox (The Monk Brewery), David Brain (video) , Andrew Burton (Expocopy Graphic designer), Cindy Butcher, John Stallwood (Nail Brewing Australia).
  The Guinness world record for the Bitterest beer was set by Peter Fowler, 58, who created the eight per cent beer The Hop, rated for its bitterness at 323 International Bittering Units.

Guinness World Records also recognized the largest house made entirely out of beer mats: Sven Goebel used over 300,000 coasters to create walls and furniture for the house.

This Day in History–Nov 9th 1997

Michael Paul Lookinland (Bobby Brady from the Brady Bunch) is charged with Drunk Drinving in St George Utah.  Blowing a .258, the 36 yr old former child star looks like he is trying to revive his career by being cast as a live action Ned Flanders.

Monday, November 8, 2010

3rd sign of the Apocalypse

I never thought I would come to say this, but today I am defending Miley Cyrus.

I know I know…everyone is asking themselves two questions-

1. How do I know about Miley Cyrus?

2. Why would I defend her?

Both are relatively easy to answer.  The first is due to James.  Being eight, I have been teasing him that he either has a crush on her or is getting Hanna Montana toys for Christmas/Birthday for almost 5 years (since he was old enough to know better).  That’s what Dad’s do….we find something to give our kids crap about Smile

The second is just as easy to answer….because I am defending her right to have a drink. 

You see, Miley is 17.  While a hearty debate could be had if she should or shouldn’t be allowed to drink in the US, this is not the issue.  Instead, she had her picture taken drinking a Corona in Spain…a country that basically has no drinking age.  Since she is a celebrity, entire the International Institute of Alcohol Awareness.

1105_miley_cyrus_Splash_EX2bAs reported on TMZ -The International Institute of Alcohol Awareness is complaining that Miley Cyrus put herself and others at risk this week by indulging in that ice cold Corona at a nightclub in Spain.

Even though officials in Spain told us 17-year-old Miley didn't break any laws ... the head of the International Institute for Alcohol Awareness, James E. Copple, is concerned other young people will follow her lead and engage in "risky behavior associated with underage alcohol consumption."
Copple tells us, "The young people that see her as a role model could mimic the same behavior and as a consequence will go out and become intoxicated, putting their safety at risk."
Copple noted ... according to his organization, "85% of young people who drink, drink to get intoxicated."

So basically, the IIoAA wants to mandate their form or morality, utilize Miley’s “slip-up” to promote their own personal agenda and to finally use publicity to force her into a very public apology (wait for it) that they can trump out in front to show they were “Right”.

I don’t use profanity that much on my blog….but in this case FUCK THEM.

First, she broke no law.  She was legally drinking I a country that finds it ok to socialize and drink.  Having lived my impressionable years in Germany…..I know I drank quite a bit before I was 21, and that didn’t affect me (wait, I write a blog about Smoking and Drinking…scratch that).

Secondly, Celebrities are NOT role-models.  They are people like you and me, who have been thrust into positions/jobs that they make tons of money.  Are you telling me that if you were made that kinda payolla you wouldn’t indulge too?  Get real.  If this is such a big deal, then why are they not going after P-Diddy for Ciroc?  As an entertainer who has an influence on the Black Youth of America (and Youth of the world), shouldn’t he be targeted too?  Long time readers here know that I don’t like his vodka (Here), his marketing (HERE) or his videos (HERE)….but at no point have I stated he was a role-model and should be targeted for his business or personal life. 

Finally the way the IIoAA operates.  Kids do not go to Mr. James E. Copple’s website (apparently the only person that works for the IIoAA) and check the latest news on Alcohol Awareness.  Instead, these sites are visited by Teachers or Clergy who want to trump out stories in front of kids from an authentic sounding source.  Personally, after checking Mr. Copple’s credentials…..I don’t think he is qualified to find his way out of a wet paper bag, let alone providing any advice on drinking.  Instead, he wants to hide behind the title of his organization and use it as a soapbox for morality.  In fact, 2,500+ site are quoting this guy on this case alone.

To me, the hypocrisy is that “Mr. Diddy” sold between $100-$200 Million in records in 4 years (93-97).  He is one of the more influential hip-hop stars in Music and he has become a successful businessman to boot.  So why is it, there are no stories about him on the IIoAA site?  Why are they not screaming that he drop his product line or to stop promoting it with his image?  I’ll tell you why, because Mr. Puff Daddy has an established clientele and they could care less about the IIoAA.  Puff would lavish in the additional publicity and probably make a video jab at the IIoAA.   Meanwhile, Miley is in her swansong years.  Her popularity is starting to wane.  Therefore she will make at some point a public apology (thus giving credit to the IIoAA) in an attempt to maintain good publicity just a little bit longer.  Personally, I think she should do what she wants, cut ties with Disney and enjoy life.  She could learn a lot from Emma Watson (who also liked Corona, but has really got her life on track to succeed)

In the end, as long as the media needs a source to sensationalize a story (and make sales), organizations like the IIoAA will be right there to provide for them. 

Nice strong-arm tactic there bud.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ever wonder how the “other half” live?

Here are a few interesting excerpts from the book “We Are Amused: A Royal Miscellany” by Brian Hoey, published by JR Books.  The book details some of the quirks of the British Royal Family, but it wouldn’t be mentioned on S&B if there weren’t a few interesting nuggets:

  • The Queen’s favorite drink is gin and Dubonnet (two-thirds gin to one-third Dubonnet) with ice added. But she doesn’t like the sound of ice cubes banging against each other, so Philip invented a clever device that turns them into tiny ice balls that rub gently together.
  • When dining together, the Queen and Philip drink sweet German wine. He also enjoys a glass or two of Double ­Diamond beer (which, although it hasn’t been on sale to the public for years, is still available to the Ind Coop brewery’s royal fan).
  • Princess Anne is teetotal — drinking orange juice or Coke at state functions.
  • Charles prefers fish to meat. ­Nothing containing nuts is allowed on his table and he doesn’t care for chocolate puddings.
  • As for her cuppa, the Queen likes a special blend made by R. Twining & Company with milk but no sugar; she uses a sweetener instead. Her husband prefers coffee, made by the Savoy Hotel coffee department.

Who knew the Queen was a gin person.  I’ll have to ask Simon if she had a flask of Beefeaters when we saw her in London Winking smile

To me….this is being responsible ;)

Ok, the one missing element of this story is….DID THE POLICE CATCH THEM?

If it was just “Reported” and then the cops followed up with check at the home, then I the woman is an idiot for admitting anything.

Oh Well

Mom admits letting boy drive after she drank

Read more:

MINDEN, Nev. - A Nevada woman has admitted letting her 12-year-old son drive her car because she was drunk.

The Gardnerville Record-Courier reports 35-year-old Misty McCollister awaits sentencing Dec. 14. She pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted child abuse or neglect.

McCollister was arrested Oct. 17 near her home after a witness reported seeing a car weaving in and out of its lane and varying its speed.

The witness told sheriff's deputies he passed the vehicle and saw a child in the driver's seat. Another woman and a 7-year-old child also were in the car.

McCollister told District Judge Dave Gamble that the other woman refused to drive because she didn't have her glasses, so she put her son on her lap so he could drive them home. She admitted to drinking all that weekend.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

This day in History 11/6/1988

Beatle/boozehound Ringo Starr checks into an alcohol rehabilitation center. While many consider Ringo the least talented Beatle, he has shown exceptional acting ability in his "Atouk zug zug Lana" role (Caveman, 1981).

A Michelangelo-

"Ham saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren who were without. An Shem and Japeth took a garment, and laid it out upon both their shoulders, and went backward, covered the nakedness of their father, and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness."

Michelangelo evidently neglected the chronological sequence of the Noah series, for Noah's offering should have come directly after the Deluge. Instead, Noah asleep and mocked by his sons is the first fresco that meets the eye as one enters the Chapel through the east door. It occupies a small field between the four ignudi. But the sleeping Patriarch has surely been placed at the end of the first row of frescoes for some good reason. The degradation of the Patriarch, who resembles a Roman river god, and was yet chosen by God to outlive the Flood and ensure the survival and redemption of mankind, was due not to an overdose of wine but to human loss of spiritual memory; to the hypnotic sleep of man oblivious to his origin, enacted here by the father of the race. The sons who stripped and ridiculed him do not know what they are doing and understand neither themselves nor their fate. Noah's devotion and piety pacifies the Father and gives unto God what is God's. For his sake the Eternal has decided to redeem mankind. If the sons mock their father it is their own shame, not his; it is the fall and the inexorable karma of the race which men in their blindness neither see nor understand.

With this biblical motive Michelangelo gives us a blinding insight into his lifelong grief over the human condition. To see in his work nothing but a preoccupation with problems of composition is surely petty and short-sighted. These are self evident and he solved them as best he could, but his main concern was with mankind and his own soul.

The composition, top-heavy on the right, is not altogether a success. The unattractive way in which the face of the son on the extreme right is outlined is a relic of Quattrocento imprecision which the artist will soon discard. Too little emphasis is given to the motive of redemption symbolized by the Beloved of God digging his vineyard to the far left. The vat in the centre dominates the scene like a nightmare.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Random Amsterdam Pics


I wanted to include some Smokes and Booze related pictures from Amsterdam.  These are just random pictures and have nothing to do with the reviews of places (such as FIRST BAR REVIEW, THE HEINEKIN EXPERIENCE, BOLS or THE ICE BAR), but just some neat stuff we saw in the city.

Feel free to check these out and click to embiggen.


Here are some cool beer and distillation stained glass windows-

Window 2Window 1


DebiThe next shots are some of the people I was with.  The first is a shop we found while looking for “Sumo Sushi and Grill”, an all you can eat sushi place (where I ate 40 pieces for breakfast).  How could I pass up a picture of my lovely wife Debi and the Lampshade Horse?  What I thought was cool, not only does the horse have a lampshade on his head (I think all horses should), is that he is 1/2 in and 1/2 out of the shop.

ShoeSo what happens when you have a group of people running around Amsterdam looking for a place to eat?  If you say that you stumble upon a huge wooden shoe, then you win a prize.  Here I am with Anthony mugging for the camera.  I think Debi has a better shot of this, if I find it…I will post.



….I don’t’ even want to know what Simon is up to here. 









Heiniken XColdI bet you are wondering what the most overhyped thing in Amsterdam was….well here ya go – Heineken Extra Cold.  Basically you are getting Heineken as cold as you would get it anywhere in the US.  All marketing and no delivery.


Vodka 1Here is another “Dead F&#K” …the Vodka Museum.  This dump should not be confused with the Amsterdam Vodka Museum .  Instead, this is basically a store (not much of a museum) that has unique vodka imports and specialty bottles.  There is no Air Conditioning and the place was sweltering.  Considering how much Debi loves Vodka, I thought we would be in there for hours, instead….15 min Machine Gunlater and we were out the door.  I can save you the time and show you the best thing in the place……The Machine Gun Bottle Set.

Greatly overpriced, it is still cool…..just not $250 cool.  By Red Army Vodka, I’m sure you could find this product somewhere on the internet much cheaper.



How could we pass up a bar named Getto?  Well, if we would have seen the Rainbow flag outside….we might have skipped it, but then I wouldn’t have gotten to try Jupiler Beer, “The Most Popular Beer in Belgium”. Jupiler is a 5% beer on par with Stella Artois.  It didn’t jump out at me, but it didn’t make me sick either… that is a plus.  The Barman here was really nice, and the lifestyle choices of the clientele was not up in your face…so if you were not paying attention, you wouldn’t notice.  It felt good to be in a place of open-mindedness and tolerance for a change….very relaxing.

Finally, every trip has an inside joke….and here was one of ours

Free Adam

Hope you enjoyed and please check back for other pics and stories from “The Trip”

Amsterdam–First bar review

The first bar I want to review was one we found our first day exploring. 

The Het Elfde Gebod of Amsterdam is located near the Centraal Station in Amsterdam and was right around the corner from our hotel.


A fairly unassuming and traditional looking bar (without the billowing smoke of marijuana flowing out), we decided to give it a try….especially as it literally opened as we walked by.  It was fate.Bar

Inside was a clean and elegant (although somewhat small) bar that purported to have over 100 different kinds of beers, specializing it seemed in Belgium's.

I think Debi was in heaven.



I won’t go into reviewing every beer I drank (I would be here far to long), but I will say the selection was excellent and the barman definitely knew his beers (especially later when Anthony came in and they broke the Beer Bible).  I was particularly impressed that they had the specialized glass for each brew, and if I were going to pick a favorite, I would say the Guillotine . 

I know Debi made some friends there (she has pictures of them somewhere), and the good thing was it being local to our hotel….thus, when Simon and I actually had to work, we had a good meeting place fairly close.

If you are a small group, I would highly recommend this bar…..although to have full disclosure, I will include one negative story about this place. 

During the conference, after our evening event we decided to go out for a few more drinks.  I will let Simon describe the Pied Piper Scene of everyone waiting for me to go drinking, but for the time being lets just say I had 20 people ready to go.  Thinking I had the perfect spot scoped out, we headed to the “Gebold” only to be turned away at the door.  It appears they wanted to remain a local bar and not have a load of tourists come in.  To say that they lost a lot of money (and repeat biz from that particular group who then kept going to the “Piano Bar”) is an understatement.  There were some serious drinkers in that crowd, and I can only imagine an easy $2K for them that night (at least).  That being said, I still enjoyed the bar….and as I said, would highly recommend if you were in a small group.

Finally a post

I want to say sorry to everyone for not posting in such a long time.  It’s not due to lack of will or content…..but time.

Since the Amsterdam Trip (and I have tons of material from that) I have been really busy with the day job, so this has taken a backseat.

Things are starting to slow down again……so I thought I would start with this article I saw the other day-

Halloween Reveler Dressed As Breathalyzer Busted For Drunk Driving

In the most amusing meta moment from the Halloween police blotter, a Nebraska man dressed as a portable Breathalyzer machine was arrested for drunk driving.

Matthew Nieveen, 19, was busted early Monday for DUI and being a minor in possession of alcohol. Nieveen, pictured in the police photo (click to enlarge) at right, was collared after a Lincoln cop pulled over his Ford F-150 after the teenager was spotted driving erratically. Though cops identified Nieveen, they decided to black out his face in a photo snapped post-arrest.

Nieveen’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the state’s .08 limit (though he wasn’t supposed to be drinking in the first place). A search of his truck turned up a bottle of vodka and beer.

Last Halloween, an Ohio college student wearing a similar Breathalyzer costume was busted for drunk driving and underage drinking.

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