Just when you think you have seen it all before, life will surprise you. For a moment, anyway. The closer you look though, the more you realize that so many so-called innovations are really just variations on a theme. I guess they are right when they say that the more things change, the more they stay the same and there really is nothing new under the sun. So, with a nod toward Ecclesiastes and evolution, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Sandfly.Continue reading
The more things change the more they stay the same or so they say. It sure feels that way lately. I grew up in a world where the tenuous peace of the cold war depended on the concept of “mutually assured destruction”, as MAD as that sounds. That is how we lived, though. They had enough missiles to destroy us many times over and we had even more than they did. Everyone knew that they could not push the button because no one would survive if it ever came to that. It is a particularly unsettling way to live. Knowing that every little provocation came with the threat that life as you know it can be destroyed completely on the whim of a madman. So with a look back to a way of life I through we had learned better than, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Final Countdown.Continue reading
There are a lot of arguments that can be made for innovation and ingenuity, after all, that is how we move forward. I am a big supporter of lifelong learning and being adaptable enough to change your opinion when the facts change. That said, a thing should be what it is. I cannot stress this enough. Maybe as I approach the half century mark I am getting bit stodgy, but the older I get the more I find myself turned off by new versions of old things that only loosely resemble the original. So, with that in mind, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Irish Old-Fashioned.Continue reading
O’ you lost and forgotten child,
cup of memory from a time more mild.
When winter’s chill was not yet come,
you were born and placed in the album.
There you waited, your story unwritten,
blind and lost as a newborn kitten.
Will you join us as we explore the past?
Remember the forgotten, their part recast.
While the spring winds blow and thunders clash
Help us mix the Autumn Ash.
I must have looked like I needed help. Perhaps, I did; most of us usually do. We’d been out walking the hills of County Waterford through the more than mist but less than rain and, perhaps, looked a bit worse for the wear. So when she looked at me kindly and said, “Sit down, while I make you a nice cup of tea.” I sort of shook my head to politely say no. You know that apologetic head shake you give when it sounds nice, but you don’t want to be any trouble? That was the one I used, which she promptly ignored. A few minutes later she returned, a cup of hot Irish Breakfast tea in hand, with lemon and honey. “Take this,” she said, “for the comfort that’s in it.” So, with a nod to the kindness of strangers, many years ago on a foggy day in Ireland, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Hot Irish Toddy.Continue reading
My grandfather would have been 94 today. He wasn’t much of a drinker, not opposed to it, he just rarely had a thirst. Sure, he’d have a beer on a hot day if one was offered, but he didn’t keep it at the house and the whiskey in the cabinet was mostly for sharing with others. The only real story I remember hearing of him drinking involved him trying to have a quiet drink while camping only to be given away by a telltale “glug-glug-glug” pouring sound coming from behind the truck. So, choosing a drink that reminded me of Pa was challenging. Well, that’s not exactly true, but none of you are interested in learning how to make sweet tea. So, with a grateful eye to the man who walked this road, only 50 or so years before me, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Bourbon Smash.Continue reading
The Twelve Drinks of Christmas: Volume 2, Drink 3
It’s not always easy to slow down and relax during the holidays. I know that everyone is supposed to be taking a little more time for friends and family, but it sure feels rushed, doesn’t it? There is so much to be done, decorating the house, getting the right gifts, going to holiday events, juggling schedules, baking cookies and watching Christmas movies, or at least feeling like we should be doing al those things. Folks have got a lot on their minds, not the least of which, is trying to figure out how to pay for it all. It can get hectic. So, in the spirit of giving ourselves a little gift, let’s take a moment for a short tropical escape as we stand and make Coconut Eggnog.Continue reading
It is amazing what we think we know. I don’t mean things we have opinions about, statistically speaking at least half of those are wrong anyway. I am not talking about misinformation or folks who just don’t want to hear the truth or that surprisingly attractive brand of willful ignorance, though those are bigger problems than ever. Nope, I am looking squarely in the mirror and contemplating things I know to be true, only they aren’t. So, with a nod toward lifetime learning and doing better when we know better, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Haberdasher.Continue reading
I went to a funeral today. My great uncle passed quietly in his sleep at the age of 97 while I was out of town. I accompanied my grandma as she said farewell to her brother and could not help thinking how most of that generation is gone now. The people I grew up looking up to, the leaders of the family. All those great aunts and uncles, stepping up to take their turn as elders before moving on to whatever comes next. It gives one pause. Lin Manuel sang, “I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory” in Hamilton, and I get it. Though it never used to cross my worried mind, the older I get the mori memento-ing I find myself doing. So, with thoughts of that undiscovered country, I am not ready to explore yet, won’t you join me now as we stand and make, the Fernet Ramos.Continue reading
It turns out that a whole lot of life is about managing expectations. I get that. I know it, yet I fail time and again. I can’t help it. I get excited about things and truly believe they are going to be the greatest thing ever or, when I am riding the opposite side of my bipolar coin, I get down about things and truly believe they are going to be terrible, no matter what. This is not only wrong, but wrongheaded, which is worse. I have studied all the science, I understand the how’s and why’s and, intellectually, I know better. Still, when it comes to managing life, it feels like I’m riding a rollercoaster, even when the actual journey is way more merry go round. So, in the spirit of exceeding or failing to live up to expectations with little middle ground, won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Paper Plane.Continue reading