Thursday, December 20, 2007

Re: the last post...

I sure like commas, don't I?

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Countdown to the Return to Anarchy...

Mistress K has a Great Idea! An idea which, shamelessly stolen from her, I've implemented at the top of the sidebar to your right.

The timer is counting down the days until Sept. 4 '08, the last day of the Republican National Convention when, presumably, those former non-political libertarians will lay aside their "Ron Paul Revolution" signs and return to being anarchists once again.

I, of course, have my doubts, cynic that I am. Political action is a drug, and after mainlining it for a couple years, I think many libertarians are going to be hooked. I also suspect we'll see some sort of "Write-In Revolution" attempt after Paul fails to receive the RNC nomination.

Also, I imagine many, after their "successes" with the Paul campaign (with the "Money Bombs" and all), will be politically reinvigorated, and will rejoin the LP with a renewed hope in political means. I bet Carl Milsted and his ilk will latch on to the Paul "successes" too, and cite them as an example of the superiority of moderation. Heaven forbid we see a surge in the LRC as well as the LP, but it's a distinct possibility, considering the underlying moderationism that seems to be a primary tenet of the libertarians-for-Paul movement.

Anyway, I'd be a bit sickened to see a herd of libertarians rubberbanding back to anarchism with the failure of their experiment in political action... It's supposed to be a philosophy of principle, not expediency.

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Cheap drinks...

Wow...

I went to a wedding Saturday; after the ceremony, some of us retired to the American Legion across the street for drinks (the groom's idea... he's a member). I got a Woodford Reserve Manhattan for $2.80. Can you believe it?!? She may've rung it up wrong, but all the drinks there are super cheap.

I just wanted to brag about that. :P

Good bourbon, btw.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Mixology Monday (Barely)

It's about a quarter till Tuesday right now, actually, but hey...

Gin... I actually bought a bottle specifically for this. I mean, I've always wanted to try it, but (as I am the world's best procrastinator, when I get around to it), I had to wait until I had a "deadline" to actually get some. Sick, isn't it?

I wanted to try a Pegu, but I spent so much money on booze this last week (8 six-packs of Bridgeport IPA, two bottles of vermouth, a bottle of Bombay gin and a bottle of Maker's), I couldn't bring myself to buy Cointreau too (sorry, Doug). Maybe next week. :)

What I did try, I was happy with... which brings us to the drinking part. My favorite.

London Dry Gin (Neat):
A little bit of Bombay (Original)
Glass

Interesting. Not bourbon... but what is, really? I grew up in Juniper country, so the aromas were... nostalgic, I guess. Very interesting.

Dry Martini:
1.5 oz. Gin
.5 oz. Dry Vermouth (M&R, until I go to the city, or get off my lazy you-know-what and buy something nicer online)
Lemon peel garnish

Not exactly my new favorite drink. I love (LOVE) sweet Vermouth, and I don't mind Gin, so it must be the dry vermouth that throws me off this one. I made it pretty wet; maybe I'll try some different ratios, but I can't see this as a regular. Just like in my Manhattans, though, I love the aroma from the lemon peel. No orange bitters yet... see the note about laziness; I could see how they could round out the drink, though.

Sweet Martini:
1.5 oz. Gin
.5 oz. Sweet Vermouth (M&R... see above)
Dash Angostura bitters (no orange bitters yet... see above)
Lemon peel garnish

Much better. I still prefer the Manhattan, but this is going into the rotation. There's something about red vermouth... Maybe it's complexity, maybe I've just got a sweet tooth, I dunno. But it's good stuff. The Angostura, as in any drink, adds a nice je ne sais quois... It may've helped the dry martini, but I didn't want to fsck up my nice clear drink.

Gin and Tonic:
Highball full of ice
1.5 oz. Gin
Top with Tonic water (Schweppes here)
Lime (or Lemon) wedge

Now we're talkin'! See last week's post for more of my feelings for the Gin and Tonic. Love it, love it, love it. Here in the summer (roughly 4/5ths of the year) it'll be a BIG regular. I think God made bourbon and beer on the first day... on the second, He made Gin and Tonic (they really, naturally, go together... every other Gin drink is simply a bastardized G&T). Good stuff.

I leave you tonight (this morning, now) with, again, a quote from The Man:
It is a curious fact, and one to which no one knows quite how much importance to attach, that something like 85% of all known worlds in the Galaxy, be they primitive or highly advanced, have invented a drink called jynnan tonnyx, or gee-N'N-T'N-ix, or jinond-o-nicks, or any one of a thousand or more variations on the same phonetic theme. The drinks themselves are not the same, and vary between the Sivolvian 'chinanto/mnigs' which is ordinary water served at slightly above room temperature, and the Gagrakackan 'tzjin-anthony-ks' which kill cows at a hundred paces; and in fact the one common factor between all of them, beyond the fact that the names sound the same, is that they were all invented and named before the worlds concerned made contact with any other worlds.
--Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
G'night.

Edit: I can't believe I was too tired last night (this morning) to remember to give a *ahem* "shout out" to the host of today's (yesterday's) MxMo... so, thank you, Jay at Oh, Gosh! (best url EVAR!).

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Don't say I didn't warn you...

I told you I procrastinated...

Anyway. Recent blogworthy things:

Flying: I got to ride in one of these yesterday. Very, very cool. I enjoy fixed wing flying (and to tell the truth, once we were in forward flight, there wasn't a lot of difference), but I've always been fascinated by choppers; the way they move, the places they can get into, the fact that someone actually was able to make machines like that fly. Love 'em.

Drinking: Finally got some gin, and have been experimenting with that. I'll probably participate in next week's MxMo and expand on my experiences then, but for now I'll say that the Martini isn't bad, but it's not my favorite drink, and the Gin and Tonic... well, I'm thinking of running off with the Gin and Tonic, maybe raising a little family. Get a dog.
"... then I decided that I was a lemon for a couple of weeks. I kept myself amused all that time jumping in and out of a gin and tonic."
Arthur cleared his throat, and then did it again.
"Where," he said, "did you...?"
"Find a gin and tonic?" said Ford brightly. "I found a small lake that thought it was a gin and tonic, and jumped in and out of that. At least, I think it thought it was a gin and tonic."
"I may," he added with a grin which would have sent sane men scampering into the trees, "have been imagining it."
--Douglas Adams (aka The Man): Life, the Universe and Everything
Politics (Why does Firefox mark "politics" misspelled?): Wendy McElroy had a blog entry the other day about the Free-Market News Network bitching about the Cato Institute running favorable articles about Fred Thompson instead of supporting Ron Paul. Two (supposedly) libertarian organizations disagreeing on which Republican is the best. I haven't worked that one out yet.

It doesn't bother me all that much, since I'm a non-voting anarchist, but it still boggles the mind a bit. I mean, I don't know much about what's going on in the LP lately, but I can only assume Kubby's leading, and I've only heard a bit about him over at Tom Knapp's place. It seems like all the libertarians in the country (even some of the "non-voters") are lining up to punch Paul's name on a ballot. These people joined the "Party of Principle"... why, exactly?

It's all very strange; I'm not ready to get out my tinfoil hat yet, but like the man said, I smell a rat. Especially after the "Portland Purge" last year. Very weird happenings. Ah, well.

Later.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Todays meal...

Had lunch with Mistress K today... always a pleasure. I haven't actually made this meal in a while, but I'm planning on it for this weekend. It's a favorite.

Meat and Veggies in beer (original name, huh?)
Ingredients:

1 lb. red meat, cut into strips about one inch thick (mutton, beef or, preferably, game meat)
1-2 pints dark beer (brown ale is about perfect)
1 large onion
1 large bell pepper
2-3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional Ingredients:
Splash of cider vinegar
Handful of wheat flour for thickening

Directions:

Rub meat with salt and pepper
Place in a large, heavy pot with 1 pint of beer
Add a splash of vinegar if you want for taste
Simmer for 50 minutes

While it simmers:
Chop the garlic and cut the vegetables into strips
At 50 minutes, add veggies and garlic to pot
Continue simmering for 5-10 minutes;
Beer should be boiled down to a thick sauce... if it gets too thick, add more beer; if it's too thin, turn up the heat to boil it down (adding a bit of flour helps as well)

Cook Time: ~1 hour

Servings: 4ish

Notes/Serving suggestions:
This is a medieval recipe for mutton in beer that I found while looking for ways to cook with homebrew and tweaked a bit; mainly to include more veggies. Boiling the beer down carmelizes the malt sugars, which really compliments red meat, particularly game meat (elk is great for this recipe). It also is a delicious sauce; I'd serve this with chunks of sourdough bread for "mopping up".

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Monday, October 1, 2007

To answer your question, Sunni...

Yes, it's good... in that way only bourbon can be. As you said, nectar o' the gods.

As good as Maker's? Hmm... Is moonlight as good as sunshine? Is air as good as water? Is a meadow as good as a sandy beach? :P

It's as good as Maker's, at least. It's hard to say exactly (I bought the Knob Creek 'cause I was out of Maker's, so I couldn't do a side by side tasting... I should've), but the KC seemed spicier than the MM (I think they use a regular rye based grain bill, rather than being wheated like Maker's). Still very smooth, though... absolutely drinkable neat. But I love the spiciness... especially in this week's drink (Which is was actually cool enough last night to have one of.).

Speaking of, btw, this week's drink is... The Manhattan! (And if any cocktail geeks are reading this, I just know they're screaming at their monitors: "But the Manhattan's made with RYE, you blaspheming idiot, not bourbon!") (I'm working on getting some rye to expand my booze horizons, but it's hard to stock up a bar when you live in the sticks... I'm a small town guy through and through, but I need better liquor and beer selections. Ah, well... At least I don't have to deal with liquor board nazis like some.)

Anywho...

The Manhattan
2 oz. whiskey
1 oz. sweet vermouth (vermouth is our friend)
1-3 (dozen :-) dashes bitters

Stir well with ice. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with a Maraschino cherry (No, no, not that kind... put the fluorescent fruit away.) or lemon peel (Jac's personal favorite).

Enjoy spiced nirvana...

Editor's note: Never order a Manhattan at Applebee's. I know, I know... I should've known better, but the waiter came up when I was on the phone and I just said the first thing that came to mind; I nearly slapped myself the moment the words "Manhattan with a twist" left my lips, though. And when he brought my dad's drink and said "They're working on that Manhattan... she's never made one before" I almost reached for my butter knife (I don't know if I'd've used it on him or me, though.). Lessons learned:

A. Vermouth is NOT the modern bartender's friend... I saw the big green M&R bottle come out from under the bar, but I think she was teasing me. There was a whisp, MAYBE.

2. Bitters? What're those? Not a hint of 'em. I don't expect bartenders to psychically discern my preference for a heavy dose of bitters, but is it unreasonable to expect at least a token amount as, y'know, maybe a tribute to the drink's RECIPE?

And finally, the "cherry". The less said about finding Rudolph's nose in your drink, the better. I don't know why they never hear me (second time, by the way... at least the guy at the hotel that one time used vermouth) when I say "with a twist"... maybe I need to speak up. But he heard "Manhattan", right? It can't be all my fault..?

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