Friday, January 30, 2015

Groundhog Day

Monday, February 2 is Groundhog Day.  The day that a large rat comes out of his hiding hole to give an unintelligent response as to what's in store for the near future*.  But this is more a comment on humanity than it is the rodent.  The Global Warming alarmists fervently swear that your failure to drive a Prius will cause untold weather disasters throughout Earth for the next hundred years.  Meanwhile, the Channel 8 Meteorologists can't even get the forecast for the coming weekend right on a regular basis.  In light of those two issues, maybe asking an over-sized squirrel for advice on the changing of the seasons isn't so ludicrous after all.

   *not to be confused with a Marshawn Lynch press conference

Groundhog Day is also a very underrated film starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell (who was on my official "list" for several years running).  If you haven't seen this flick, then you really should give it a shot.  I highly recommend it.  You'll even see today's cocktail featured at one point.


2     oz        Sweet Vermouth
twist            Lemon

Fill a rocks glass with ice
Add sweet vermouth

Twist lemon over the glass


OK, I'm just kidding.  Don't really drink that abomination.  Our pal Bill will show you why at 0:31 - 

Want something remotely Groundhog related?  Then try this:

Trust me, it's MUCH better.  Not even Andie MacDowell is worth the former...


Friday, January 23, 2015

Gin & Tonic

Tonic water originally started as a way to consume quinine, which is an effective prophylactic (no, not that kind) against malaria.  Tonic is quinine dissolved in carbonated water with a little sweetener added to it.  One of the neat things about quinine is its phosphorescent qualities. It glows under UV light.  
 So, y'know, next time you're at a Rave you know what to drink.


2     oz        Gin
4     oz        Tonic
squeeze      Lime

Fill a rocks glass with ice
Add liquor & tonic
Stir lightly
Add a squeeze of lime 

Friday, January 16, 2015


BOILERMAKER originated with the profession of actually making boilers from iron or steel.  This is one of the cases where the English language mimics German in that the word defines itself (for example, the word "Schweinefleisch" literally translated means "swine flesh" or "pork" - "Schweinefleisch, das andere weise fleisch.").  Professional Boilermakers are typically part of the worker's union International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers.  There has apparently never been a single Language Arts major in their guild or they'd have a catchy acronym.

THE BOILERMAKER is a 15K race/charity fund-raiser held annually in Utica, NY.  The top prize is $7000 (which, y'know, would almost be enough to get me interested in running 9 miles...almost).

THE BOILERMAKERS are Alumni of the University of Purdue (and the official mascot). Purdue began as an engineering school in which the students, as part of the coursework, were expected to work in the on-campus forges where they would smith their own designs from raw materials.  Contrast that to today's college student work ethic.

A BOILERMAKER is a hell of a way to start an evening.  A boilermaker is simply a shot of whiskey with a beer chaser.  If anyone tells you it must be a certain type of whiskey (or beer), then feel free to punch them in the face.  If you've had a few Boilermakers already, you won't even care that they are punching you back.  If someone tells you to drop the shot glass of whiskey into the beer to make a Boilermaker, let me know so *I* can punch them in the face (that's not a Boilermaker, it's a Depth Charge).  Boilermakers are whatever you want them to be, so let your freak flag fly:

Good choice.



Friday, January 9, 2015


A total of 9 earthquakes ranging from Richter 1.6 to 3.6 hit the greater Dallas area on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  The first earthquake, a magnitude 2.3, hit around 7:37 a.m. Tuesday and was centered near the former site of Texas Stadium - the demolished prior home of the Dallas Cowboys. 

Yup.  Earthquakes.  In Dallas.  

While the initial reaction is one of shock (shake?), after the novelty wears off we're all left wondering "Why is this happening?"

The first, obvious answer is Plate Tectonics.  That's the theory that the continents we all know and love used to look like this:
While I'm sure all of that togetherness would make the hippies happy, Geology is really a rather boring subject, so let's visit some of the more exotic theories about the quakes.

From the lifetime of the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras in the 5th century BCE to the 14th century CE, earthquakes were usually attributed to "air (vapors) in the cavities of the Earth."  Thales of Miletus, who lived from 625–547 (BCE) was the only documented person who believed that earthquakes were caused by tension between the earth and water. Other theories existed, including the Greek philosopher Anaxamines' (585–526 BCE) beliefs that short incline episodes of dryness and wetness caused seismic activity. The Greek philosopher Democritus (460–371 BCE) blamed water in general for earthquakes. Pliny the Elder called earthquakes "underground thunderstorms." [source]

Maybe it was supernatural.  Based on the site of the first quake, Texas Stadium, perhaps someone is coming to collect Jerry Jones' soul from that deal he made 25 years ago.  Let's consult our expert panelist:

And then there's fracking.  Ah yes, fracking.  I have a little trouble with this one.  Not because of the science supporting the pro-fracking or con-fracking sides, but because it sounds like a Yosemite Sam curse word.  Saturday morning cartoons aside, maybe we are screwing around with the ground a bit too much and Mother Nature is warning us to back off.  I have another little piece of evidence about fracking that I collected last weekend that I'd like to share with everyone:
Frack away, baby!  Frack until you're sore.


1       oz       Gin
1       oz       Bourbon
3/4    oz       Absinthe

Add all 3 ingredients to a martini shaker 1/2 full of ice
Shake vigorously
Strain into a chilled cocktail (martini) glass

 "Rackin', frackin', carn-sarn rabbit!"