Thanks Jeff……you made my night
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Hell, I even remember watching re-runs of MASH and saying “Wow, that’s Patrick Swayze”.
But, before all that…..we have this 1979 Disco PBR Commercial.
Watch a star at work.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Wow – 10 Years. Seems like only yesterday we were buying an extra ticket so that new born James could have a seat at the midnight showing (and YES, we really did).
Now Empire magazine is getting the gang back together for an interview……with (what appears to be) Maker’s Mark.
It's ten years on since four little hobbits set off from the Shire on an epic quest that spanned Middle Earth and took in vast battles, demonic monsters, wizardry, Orcs and, ultimately, enough Oscars to fill the Lonely Mountain. It's ten years that have seen the rise and fall and rise again of two-part prequel The Hobbit, now firmly in production in Wellington, offering moviegoers an imminent return to Middle Earth.
Obviously this all called for a big celebration so a celebration is what Empire is having. The new issue is more bursting with revelry and nostalgia than a Friday night at the Prancing Pony. There's tall tales - well, tallish tales - memories; behind-the-scenes pics from Aragorn himself, Viggo Mortensen; Oscar night reflections from Ian McKellen, Peter Jackson and Mortensen; and rarely-seen concept art.
Best of all, though, is a gathering of the four hobbits themselves: Elijah Wood (Frodo), Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee), Billy Boyd (Pippin) and Dominic Monaghan (Merry). It was so momentous it called for its own trailer - and here it is for your perusal pleasure. Sadly the Nazgûl got stuck in LA traffic.
I love food, and I LOVE Whisky – so THIS ARTICLE fits right into my wheelhouse.
Here are a few snippets -
“The most sublime pairing I can think of is a delicately fresh, fleshy oyster with a few drops of Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength. Another unforgettable combination is a Glenfarclas 40 Year Old with an aged (for at least four years) Gouda cheese. For something completely different, try roasted pineapple served with a long peppercorn ice-cream and Glenlivet Nadurra.”
“And don’t try to pair smoky whiskies with smoked foods – as the strong flavors clash terribly.”
The Oyster/Laphroiag combo sounds AWSOME, as does the Ice-Cream Dish.
I know 44 Stone is on the cutting edge with cooking with beers and pairing whiskys, but I would love to see it going to the next level.
MMMMMM…..Now I’m hungry and thirsty.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Politics aside, I love the smoking bit at the end -
I thought I would share some pictures and thoughts from our recent trip to Brussels.
The first place that caught my eye as we were walking around was a bar called Celtica – The Original Celtic Pub. I want you to just take it in for a minute how much beer is being loaded in at 10AM. This bar seemed to have everything I was looking for while in Brussels – Beer, Irish/Celtic Theme, Beer, Music, a smoking room and Beer. Never before had I wanted a place to succeed as much as this. Sadly, they failed miserably.
We took approximately 20 customers out and this was the location we chose, only to find the music horrible le (the one man band was screaming when we came in), a very local scene, a bar that would not run a tab and they did not accept credit cards. We would have dropped AT LEAST 1000 Euro a night (if not more), but they were not very accommodating. Big Disappointment.
Also on the first day, we stopped and ate at the Greek Restaurant PLAKA. Excellent food and the biggest bottle of generic Ouzo I have ever seen. Prices were low and it was almost more than we could eat. Two other interesting facts
1. Simon says he can never get a picture of me not making a face
2. On our last day- Simon, Jim and I were roaming Brussels (after finding AsianSnakeWine.Com – Story HERE) looking for somewhere to eat. After wandering for hours, where did we end up on a whim – you got it…..PLAKA.
Of course, no trip to Brussels would be complete without seeing the Manneken Pis. What, you’ve never heard of him? Well, let me assure you before you leave Belgium….you will have seen at least 1 MILLION of them in all the tourist shops around the city.
Wikipedia has a good write-up (including the various legends).
Finally, the nights in Brussels are very beautiful…..especially after a few pints. The Grand Palace at night is something not to be missed, and of course….if you are tired, just grab yourself a Guinness and plop right down in your cardboard recliner.
Finally, I have only one word for our little excursion to the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert at approximately 4AM.
I like this guy a lot……maybe I should offer him a job at S&B or in TS.
Monday, October 24, 2011
The real question is, how many pages can I have dedicated to AsianSnakeWine.com? The answer is….not enough.
You can read several of our stories on this fraudulent product -
And several others……but now, not only am I a blogger – I am an investigative reporter.
I’ve actually held off blogging, as I was worried that I might let it slip that I was making a trip to Brussels Belgium earlier this month. Normally I don’t mind people knowing where I am going or what I am doing, but I didn’t want key information to disappear from the web before I tracked it down. What information you ask…..sit back and pour yourself a drink.
I recently realized that the main address for AsianSnakeWine.com was based in Brussels.
A very basic address is listed at the bottom of every page of their site.
What I wanted to know, is what is their REAL address? This can be found ONLY on the Conditions of Use page -
Now we are getting somewhere.
I did try and reach out to AsianSnakeWine.Com on their customer feedback page back in August-
Notice when they say that they only have a Warehouse in Belgium. I posted a follow-up comment (that they kept deleting), asking if the product ships from Thailand, why do they need a warehouse in Belgium? I guess they don’t have an answer (but I have a theory coming up).
Fast Forward to three weeks ago – We arrive in Brussels and have a great week (more posts on that to come). We did have some free time one afternoon, so I went with two friends in search of 4 rue de la Presse, Brussels 1000, Belgium.
On the map, it didn’t look to far from our hotel…..so off we went.
After a stop at the Cathedral of St Michael, we followed my fantastic “Map” almost directly to the address.
Here are some pictures -
So, what is at 4 rue de la Presse, Brussels 1000, Belgium? Absolutely NOTHING. Well, that’s not fair – There are some offices (not a WAREHOUSE like they said on the feedback), but they are all Ghost/Virtual Offices. Don’t believe me? Look at this Website for Burotel – Fully serviced Virtual Offices, Flex Offices and Meeting Rooms. In fact, they advertise Domicilation – ie, a fake address to receive mail (and a service to forward it on) and give airs of having a prestigious address in Brussels.
Asian Snake Wine does not exist at this DoJo.
I should almost re-title this post AsianSnakeWine.Com Fraud Part 2.
My personal theory is that the main players at AsianSnakeWine.com are somehow tied to the political infrastructure of the EU in Brussels. As some type of diplomat, they have access to various channels, resources and funding, without having to be “based” in Thialand.
I challenge any consumer who stumbles on this page to ask yourself – With the evidence presented above, (plus the links HERE, HERE and HERE), how can you believe in/trust a company that has so many shady dealings?
Spread the word – There are buttons below for Twitter, Facebook and Google. If you +1 this on Google, this could help raise us in the search engines (we are already on Page 1, but at the bottom). Do your part and help me help others.
It had been some time since we were last there (it always seems we show up on a Monday) and I was excited to try their current Tap Lineup (picture lifted from the 44Stone FB page).
I am familiar with all the breweries represented, but this was the first time I had seen Modus, Hobgoblin and He’Brew on tap in Columbia.
He’Brew Genesis 15:15 –
Not as sweet as most barley wines, 15:15 has a heavy Malt and Brown Sugar taste. Hints of fruit (Dates and Raisins) and vanilla round out the profile and make this a very interesting offering. While not something I would normally order, I could appreciate the complexity and craftsmanship that went into its creation an I think it would make an excellent dessert drink.
Added Trivia – Genesis 15:15 Passage is very fitting – “And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age”
This is a beer I frequently pickup from HyVee, but had never had on Tap. From Ska Brewing in Colorado, Modus Hoperandi is a perfect beer for the HopHeads out there. From the slightly cloudy pour, you can pick up a nose of citrus, pine and hops that carries through as you drink. An excellent beer that I am very excited to have available here in Columbia. Great Addition.
I had been introduced to Hobgoblin way back in the day by Kevin at the Tinderbox (we still miss you). He was always good at bringing in unique beers for the various seasons, and I am happy to see 44 Stone carry on in that light.
From Wychwood Brewery in the UK (glad to see the English represented), this clear dark brown ale has a chocolaty nose and carries with it a full bodied toffee and chocolate flavor. Malty overtones almost hide the hints of smoke, but compliment a slightly hoppy finish.
Hey, I’m entitled to some indulgences from time to time <Grin> and to wrap the night, I went with something on the high-end side. I’m glad I did.
The nose of this fine whisky reminded me of roasted vanilla beans, caramel and a hint of coconut. I was totally surprised by the satiny and viscous mouth feel that blended beautifully with flavors spice, berries, toffee and oak (with just a wee bit of sea salt). Without a doubt, one of the creamiest Scotches I have ever had….and well worth the money. Outstanding choice by Dave to add to the list.
Finally, it wouldn’t be fair to not mention the food. I really love the menu offerings at 44 Stone. They are constantly looking for new ways to challenge the palate and the current special sets a very high bar -
TheO’Fallon Pumpkin Beer Marinated & Grilled Lamb T-Bone Chops (5oz each), Balsamic Honey Glaze, Blue Cheese Butter, Mint & Sweet Pea Pesto, Roasted Butternut Squash with Baby Spinach, Truffled Yukon Gold Potato Hash
The picture doesn’t even come close to doing this justice. Perfectly seared on the outside, cool rare goodness on the inside. Each bite was delicious. To say I was in awe of the flavor combinations (in particular, the Mint and Sweet Pea Pesto) would be an understatement. I would rate this as one of the best entrees I have had all year, which is saying something if you knew some of the places we have eaten lately. If you like lamb, you are doing yourself a disservice for not immediately heading over to 44 Stone and ordering this dish.
In closing, I think it goes without saying that we had a great time. Everything about the evening was awesome (although my son says they should yell more in the kitchen, like Gordon Ramsey). A big thank you to Dave and the staff for being great hosts…..and please keep us in mind when you do the Whiskey Dinner.
From Mike L.
I would like to share with you an experience that I recently had regarding drinking and driving. As you know, most of us have had brushes with the law on our way home before. The other night I was out for dinner and had a few too many drinks with some friends. Knowing full well I was struggling, I did something I have never done before. I took a bus home. I arrived home safely and without incident, which was a real surprise as I have never driven a bus
Sunday, October 23, 2011
I often try to stay away from Politics here at S&B, and it usually takes something pretty glaring to bring it up…..today is one of those days.
You see, with all the problems in the world, from wars to the economy, US Senators are trying to pressure Major League Baseball into banning tobacco use during games.
My favorite quote from the article -
''The use of tobacco by big league ballplayers at a single World Series game provides millions of dollars worth of free television advertising for an addictive and deadly product,'' wrote Dr. Cynthia Simmons, the public health authority for Arlington, Texas, and Pamela Walker, the St. Louis interim health director. They said that with tobacco companies banned from advertising on TV, they ''literally could not buy the ads that are effectively created by celebrity ballplayers using tobacco at games.''
Give it up people. Unless you target ALL entertainment (although they try with the MPAA basing ratings on tobacco use) leave sports alone. Kids idolize the MTV reality shows and music artists more than sports stars these days…..but nobody is going after them. Leave Basesball alone and focus on more important issues……like the job market.
Friday, October 21, 2011
In my continued post of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly- We go with the Bad.
What is Bad you may ask? How about BAD Science.
By Bad Science, I mean the crazy research people put out there and claim as fact.
Take our own University of Missouri – where they have fount that “As many as one in five students save their calories for alcohol” thus creating a new eating and drinking disorder called Drunkorexia.
Really? Drunkorexia? College Student would rather spend money on booze than food? Someone paid money for this research? They even threw in Substance Abuse, Sexual Assault Victims and Eating Disorders.
This strikes me as research where the student knows what the teacher wants to hear, then tailors it to get an A……just saying the right buzzwords and talking points.
Meanwhile, in the UK, we have the Daily Mail doing an experiment on the impact of drinking and smoking on your looks. Oh the humanity. We take the opinion of a “forensic artist” (ie, someone who cant get a real job in the video game industry), and have them alter a picture of a 40 something to that of a 50 something…..all the while blaming smokes and booze, yet telling you just the right products to use to fix it.
To coin a phrase from Simon…..For Fucks Sake.
Its all BS. People need to quit being so meddling and vain. Enjoy Life. Drink up and Party while you are young. Smoke if it makes you feel good, toss back 5 or 6 shots if you want. In the end, life is to short and fake “science” from the media and being put Universities is just another way of pushing others moralities on someone else.
Why cant we all just get along?
Today I am running a quick series of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly-
First we start off with the Good, and nothing says good like “BEER IN SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE”
but of course, to have Beer in Space, we need to save water….enter those Crazy Cats down under in OZ….where they are brewing beer with 40% Less water.
RESEARCHERS have developed an improved variety of malting barley sure to please beer lovers.
And the improved malting barley could reduce the amount of water involved in brewing beer by up to 40 per cent.
The team, led by Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Wall Biology director Professor Geoff Fincher, developed the not-so-thirsty grain by reducing the thickness of its cell walls after identifying the genes involved in their formation.
Under current malting practices, barley has to be immersed in water for up to 24 hours to ensure it is properly prepared, which requires massive water use.
This is because barley's thick cell walls make it difficult for water to penetrate.
"In the case of malting of grain, it's thought the cell walls slow down the rate of water uptake," he said.
The University of Adelaide plant scientist, named the industry leader of the year at this week's BioInnovationSA awards, said the development of barley varieties with thinner cell walls could cut water consumption and accelerate the malting process by up to eight hours. "Once we know the genes (that make up the cell wall) we can reduce the amount of cell wall components so the wall get much thinner," Prof Fincher said.
The breakthrough promises to reduce water usage in the brewing industry.
Because of Australians' fondness for beer, it could also have significant benefits for Australian water consumption, he said.
"If the technology was used right throughout the industry it would save enough water to serve 30,000 people," he said.
Prof Fincher was one of only 12 leading brewery scientists in the world to attend a scientific conference at the Carlsberg Brewery in Denmark last month.
"I spoke to them about how changing technologies have been applied in brewing," he said.
"And of course whenever you interact with the industry you get ideas about the current problems."
Finally, it is USC Week – Go over to SubwayDomer.com and read the story on Freeing the Jeweled Shillelagh….then hit up @CoachBrianKelly on Twitter (with Hashtags of #BeatSC and #Smokesandbooze). Break out the Guinness, its time for war. Go Irish, Beat SC!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
For as long as time and yeast have existed, the great philosophers of the world have argued one vital question: Beer, can it ever be bad?
Turns out that when it's smothering you to death, yes, beer can be evil.
This day, Oct. 17, marks the shocking anniversary of beer's sudden revolt against its human makers. The setting was London in 1814 at the Meux & Co.'s Horse Shoe Brewery, a charming production center of black beer that had slaked the thirst of tradesmen and farmers since the days of George III. The centerpiece of the plant was a mammoth maturing tank standing 22 feet high that contained 3,555 barrels of porter, which was "sufficient to supply more than a million persons with a pint of beer each."
According to Jim Hughes' entertaining account of the London Beer Flood of 1814, building oversized beer-containment vessels was a popular pastime among the English:
At the time of the calamity porter was one of the most popular choices among the London beer-drinking classes, and they liked it aged. Indeed, some porters could spend up to two years quietly maturing in massive oak vats, acquiring all kinds of interesting flavours before being blended with younger beer at the alehouse, according to the customer’s taste. Breweries competed with each other to see who could build the biggest vat, even holding opening ceremonies, one of which was reported to have included a dinner for 200 people inside the the vessel! (Emphasis mine.)
Indeed, who wouldn't want to swim in this vat of pure heaven?
The King Kong mug of ebony suds had a hidden flaw, however. The hoops holding it together were defective and had become weak, making structural failure only a matter of time. The worst-case beernario began in the afternoon of Oct. 17 when an 800-pound hoop fell off the vat and clattered to the floor. An employee took a look at it but apparently did nothing. That turned out to be a mistake.
The vat creaked and squeaked, swelled and cracked until finally exploding around 6 p.m. in a delicious outpouring of unfinished porter that built up into a tidal bore of beer that smashed through the walls of the brewery. The buffaloing beerwave crashed into several other tanks of beer, which disintegrated and added their contents to the brewswell until the wave's crest maxed out at 15 feet.
The residents of the impoverished parish of St. Giles had not undergone preparation for a beernami and were caught completely by surprise, in some cases being lifted right off the ground and dashed into walls. Two buildings collapsed and several unfortunate souls were buried under beer-soaked debris, while others were made senseless from the reeking alcohol fumes. It is probably an urban legend that a ninth person died after heroically trying to drink the beer away, but I choose to believe it, anyway.
From there on, fermented chaos reigned. According to this not-fact-checked history from H2G2:
Fearful that all the beer should go to waste, though, hundreds of people ran outside carrying pots, pans, and kettles to scoop it up - while some simply stooped low and lapped at the liquid washing through the streets. However, the tide was too strong for many, and as injured people began arriving at the nearby Middlesex Hospital there was almost a riot as other patients demanded to know why they weren't being supplied with beer too - they could smell it on the flood survivors, and were insistent that they were missing out on a party!
The resolution of the catastrophe was probably not all that the victims' relatives had hoped for. The brewery was found not responsible for the accident, with a judge ruling it an "act of God." The owners even got back the excise tax they had paid upon the spilled porter.
For months afterward. the blocks around the brewery stunk like a Delta Tau Chi frat pad after a righteous kegger. Today, the Dominion Theatre sits upon the old brewery site, the Horse Shoe Brewery and the fad for aged porter having dropped out of existence in the 1920s.
After a hiatus due to recent business trip, we are back in business. I’m in the process of writing a three part piece (or more) on the trip, plus I have 5-9 reviews to place. So it will be a busy week.
In the interim, I have some quick things that had been sent over while I was gone to get everyone back into a boozy mood.