Chasseur.....

..... I spent the better half of the afternoon locked in mortal combat with a obstinate weed-eater, ten fire ant mounds, and a ditch-line of unruly weeds....... and how'd your sweltering, steamy, sticky Sunday go?..... hmmm?.....

... it's all good though..... and actually it's time for a long, cool shower and a gin & tonic...... with a nice chicken a la chasseur baking in the oven.......

.... after all, one cannot spend the entirety of a day dressed as Che Guevara (except armed with a weed-whacker instead of an old Soviet rifle.), without sitting back, taking stock, and enjoying the spoils of your labor afterwards, yes?....

.... anyway, speaking of dinner, Wikipedia says that the dish I'm preparing tonight was present on the menu during the first run of the original Orient Express back in October of 1882.....

..... who says we ain't kultcha'd around here?......

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Photos.....

..... I have labored, you know?....... figuratively & literally....... six thousand photographs, trips to foreign climes, backyard mosquito swatting, and what to post?....... very, very little that is not (on one level or another) more than just a little bit belittling.....

..... good lord, here's an example...... I awoke the Missus yesterday morning and she immediately retired to the deck with a book in hand to await the arrival of her bacon and eggs..... and halfway through the cooking, there came a frantic series of pecks upon the full-length glass of the back door...... so, as you do, I laid my spatula aside and set off to investigate...... and indeed, it seemed that she had something to show me......

..... and after a few minutes of pointing, eeew'ing, squinting, and squatting on the deck like Johnny Bench, I finally saw it....

..... a large, hideous, hunter spider had a daddy longlegs by the forehead and was slowly sucking his brains out.... hell, I was traumatized........ the stout little one holding fast over the large spindly one whose legs were doing that wavy "come hither" thing that Vincent Price used to do in movies sometimes when he was luring some hot, scantily clad B-movie starlet towards a place she'd ought not to go ...... it was mesmerizing....... the little one - with its fangs buried deep - adjusted them every so often..... pumping the left, then the right.... then the left again...... all while the frail, dainty legs of its victim clawed and scraped at the empty air....... running away in slow motion - but getting nowhere fast..... soooooo, yeah.... life and death while the bacon sizzled and the eggs bubbled........

.... I mean, just imagine my level of startilization at having been faced with such a sight as that?......

.... and good god, people..... startilization isn't even a word!....... but it sure as hell FELT right to write it.........

.... anyway, here are three still shots (and one action shot!) of Scotland's National Sport...... what?.... y'all didn't think that I would actually be taking photos of tourist attractions, pretty scenery, or famous buildings, did you?....

.... a fine pint of 80 shilling beer in the bar of The Kildrummy Castle Hotel...

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.... a fine pint of John Smith's Bitters at the bar of The World's Smallest Hilton in Ballater..

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.... a gentle Speyside single malt in its native environment...... de-corked, of course...

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.... an anxious group of fine, fine gentleman.... upstanding, all.....

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...... hey, a boy has got to stay hydrated, no?..... especially when on vacation!.....

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Cartoons.....

.... you know, it's been a long, long day here at The Compound...... the flowers are blooming, the birds have been chirping....... but some weird shit has been going down.........

.... but, with all else that could or should be said tonight?...... I am - after having spent the past two hours watching re-runs of "Family Guy", left with this as an example of just why everything is so very, very wrong these days.....

..... for those of you out there in the audience who may be lactating at this time, I sincerely apologize.......

..... and as for the other scenes that panned out tonight?........ let me just say that I never want to see ANY of the Griffins naked EVER again.......... EVER.......

.... not even Lois........

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Tired....

.... good evening, boys and girls...... I hope that you are all well and fit, happy & well-fed..... as for me, I have had what most people call A Very Bad Day...... so I am off to toss in a Mr. Waits album and pour myself a large Scotch & water, put my feet up, and let the evening wash over me until bedtime.....

...... sing along if you wish...... sorry about the 'Sin City' stuff, but it was the first version of his song that I found.......

...... after all, tomorrow is another day........ time to write this one off, folks.......

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Root Beer......

.... conversation today turned slightly odd as The Missus and I headed towards the movie theatre for the Sunday matinee.....

.... we'd been running a bit behind, so I pit-stopped at the Wendy's in Athens just before climbing up onto I-75 to allow for her to procure a cheeseburger.... (I had already breakfasted late courtesy of the Hardee's in Etowah.... so I wasn't yet ready for lunch.)....

... in the course of events, I ordered a drink only..... a Barq's root beer..... and this is where things began to get odd.....

.... normally I shy away from fizzy drinks..... but today, for reasons known only to Great Jeebus himself, I ordered a root beer.....

.... it didn't completely agree with me.... and I ended up burping all the way to the theatre.... but it did bring up two curious words during the drive.... Sarsaparilla and Sassafras..... I mean, honestly, how often do those two words come up in conversation?....

.... so we paused our conversation while we sat through the movie..... and then began again once we'd dropped the top on Sylvia and started the drive back home........

...... the end result?....... that scene in 'Little Big Man' where he is reminiscing about the elephant head spigot that dispensed sarsaparillas......

.... unfortunately, I was unable to find that particular scene on youtube this evening....... but I DID find this little tidbit that just absolutely cheers my soul........ sure, it has nothing to do with spigots, per se, but one does have an imagination..... so the word of the evening, gentle hammerheads, is sassafras........ behold....

...... I swear..... that is one helluva movie........

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Meats......

..... you know, in great and giant scheme of things, there are only certain things which actually matter.... which things those things are, of course, is a matter for great and eternal debate......

.... but in that vein, I take as a 'for instance' a conversation that I had the other day with my Missus while she was contemplating venturing outside to stroke her favorite cat - Fred.....

.... to the best of my knowledge & remembrance, the conversation flowed very much like this......

"awwwww.... I need to go and pat Fred!"
..... "no, actually, I fed him a can of tuna on the back porch this morning.... he is just fine, I assure you.... finish your broccoli..."
"nooooooooo, he needs me.... just look at how he sits and stares in that window on the kitchen door!..... he wants his mommy!"
....... "no.... he is sitting there because I just cooked a bunch of ham for you and he can smell it....... that is all..." ....
"nooooooo, little Fred loves me!...... he wants more of this morning's leftover bacon, I bet!! .... or maybe some of my ham!!"
..... ".... didn't I just say that?..... he doesn't want YOU.... he wants BACON.... he can SMELL it.... he is an ANIMAL..."
"awwww, he is so CUTE!..... yes, (pecking on the glass) yes, you ARE!...... you want some BACON, Fred?.... you want some HAM!?"
..... "you know, this is quite tedious, but I just have to say it...."
"what?"
..... "cats are the most mercenary of the pet species..... I mean, of the 'normal' pet species....... ".....
"what do you mean?"
..... "you see that animal out there?...... you feed him, pet him, empty his damnable litter box, and do you truly know why he loves you?"......
"he loves me because I love HIM."
...... "no, he does NOT...... he only loves you because YOU are made out of MEAT...... and in the end, his orgasmic pipedream is that you die in a heap one frosty morning while feeding him leftover bacon so that he can slowly and steadily gnaw on your carcass for days and days and days........your cat only loves you because you are made of MEAT.... and cats want meat MUCH more than they want a clean litter box or someone to occasionally stroke their necks....."
"You are so mean."
..... "no, not really..... hey, happy Valentine's Day..... did you like your card?"...

..... is it a good thing to burst someone's bubble like that?....... to focus them on the realities of life?...... that whole life, death, (lunch), and The Grave kinda thing?......

.... or is it more important to recline back and let your ears feast upon the sumptuous, liquefied, golden purring that comes from some domesticated beast absolutely and completely immersing itself in expressing pleasure?.......

..... the jury is still out here, obviously, but I am certainly leaning towards the side of the beast..... hell, I'd hate to imagine waking up to finding The Missus as a night-torn carcass that the lionesses had just finished with...... all in the name of "give Fred another kitty treat, I think he deserves it!"......

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Helen.....

. Were off in the morning towards Helen, Ga. and morning cant get here soon enough..

. But for your enjoyment, I found this little clip on youtube. And let me tell you.. it is just one of the MANY reasons to come to blogtoberfest trust me.

that and the sauerkraut. Oh, and the beer and the interesting folks who carry blogs that youll meet there..

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Razing....

. As many of you may know, one of my most favoritest things to do while drinking beer and schlepping through the Ardennes (and the rest of Europe) is to find ancient castles and storm them in a fit of mock-bezerker rage and then claim them for the Great State of Tennessee.. its quite fun, let me tell ya.. and to date, I have successfully stormed about fifteen castles, towers, monasteries, and other minor fortifications throughout Holland, England, Scotland, Belgium, France, Germany, and Luxemburg. many while armed with only a rolled-up newspaper & a fierce grimace, I might add.. but hey, I am a conqueror at heart.. and youd be surprised just how well a heavy slap from a copy of the Times of London works in subduing a bookish, be-spectacled castle tour guide.

anyhoo, in my most recent expedition, I managed to capture the fortress of one Godfrey de Bouillon. Some of you may recognize the name there, of course, as he was eminently involved in the First Crusade and later became the first king of Jerusalem or defender of The Holy Sepulcher if youd rather either way, despite his fame & legend, I had very little trouble wresting his mountain-top castle away from his dilapidated minions and making it my own.

of course, the way was made a wee bit easier by the fact that he died in Jerusalem in 1100, but that is not really the point.. hey, a castle is a castle.. and theyre made for stormin.

. This trip I even managed to convince my dear ole Father-in-Law to assist me during two particularly daring day-time assaults. Indeed, there was even a war correspondent there to document our bravery.. see?...

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.. oh yeah, we kicked ass. That was he and I boldly rushing the gates of the monastery in Clervaux, Luxemburg. heres a better shot of it

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. those trappist-addled meditating monks never stood a chance, people I even shot a few German tourists in the chest with my finger-gun just for good measure and to instill that extra little-bit of fear that you need to conjure when taking a walled city by force..

but the true jewel in the days crown was the assault on ole Godfreys pad

heres a shot of my Father-in-Law and I about to clasp each other in celebration of our victory like real men.. Godfrey's castle was ours!...

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.... trust me, folks... my life would kill most people.....

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Elegant....

... morning in Clervaux.

coffee, white sugar, dark sugar, fresh spring water, double cream, chocolate covered peanuts, raisins, & almonds. and a silver spoon..

not a bad way to begin a morning, if you ask me

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Belgium...

Good morning, rubberneckers...It's your old Uncle Elisson here, filling in for Eric while he fills his gullet with 800 different varieties of Belgian beer...mercy...I hope the Belgians have laid in some stores, for it will be a long siege...and both Eric and the lovely Fiona have been known to bend the elbow on occasion...

The Belgians are quite an interesting lot, consisting of both Flemings and Walloons...they know how to do up a mess of mussels quite nicely, thank you...and there is something to be said for a country that has a chocolate shoppe on nigh every street-corner...

The beer - did I mention the beer? - is of an extraordinary quality and variety...nondescript lagers like Stella Artois...lambic-style ales fermented with wild strains of yeast...Trappist ales possessed of amazing flavor and alcoholic strength...I do hope Eric's liver is prepared for the onslaught...

...one of the unique products to be had in this little country is the fruit lambic, in which macerated fruit is added to a lambic for a secondary fermentation step...cherries (the famous Kriek Lambic)...raspberries (framboise)...peaches (pche)...black currants (cassis)...don't be fooled, rubberneckers...these are manly drinks despite their fruit content...nothing quite sets off a fiery dish of Hunan Beef quite like a cool, astringent Kriek Lambic...it is also perfect for washing down the local specialities...

Carbonnade Flamande, that's the ticket...hearty hunks of beef, stewed in the local beer...

...I foresee an extended session with Helga upon Eric's happy return...

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Grumpy....

. A few days ago while wandering around in a soft, velvety haze courtesy of Indian cuisine and a few Newcastle Browns, I happened to find that I had mysteriously arrived at a bookstore.

I ventured inside and milled around for nearly half of an hour nothing really caught my fancy, honestly. I even hit the poetry section in a fit of desperation and was still let down. my goodness, people, what is this wonderful world of ours coming to?... I searched the (albeit meager) selection of poetry and there was not a single tome by Robert W. Service, Ogden Nash, or Sassoon!... and taking up their rightful place on the shelves of a fine store servicing a college town?.... Henry friggin Rollins and Walt fuggin Whitman.

. I swear, folks the further I venture from my compound here, the more depressed I get.

all was not lost that evening though, and I finally found a copy of Fodors Guide to Belgium. And as I think it quite rude to venture into a selling-establishment, hang around looking interesting for nearly an hour, and leave hundreds of greasy thumbprints on a wide selection of their merchandise without actually intending on buying something, I escorted the little gem up to the cash register and made my purchase.

since Ill be in Belgium shortly on holiday, I figured it was an excellent choice of reading material.

. And I am very, very happy to report that I now know where Ill be dining on the evening of the 15th of September.. Taverne Falstaff in Brussels. Heres what the handy little guidebook has to say about it

Students, pensioners, and everyone in-between flock to this century-old huge tavern with an Art Nouveua terrace and legendarily grumpy waiters.

legendarily grumpy waiters.. good god, people, I can hardly wait.. and here I've been hearing people say that Belgium was boring!....

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Handcuffs.....

.. todays Quote of the Day comes from this absolutely wonderful YouTube clip. brace yourselves, rubberneckers, and behold

Damn. They itch.

indeed, indeed. One can only imagine. I have to admit though, that's some serious leg action Mr. "Bleep" has got goin' on...

the really funny thing?.... Im pretty sure that hes been to at least one blogmeet.. probably two....

h/t to reader "B"

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Losing.....

.. ever have one of those days where no matter what you do you just can't win?.... a day where your heroic straining against epic forces is all to no avail?..... no?.... well, let me just tell you now, friends, they suck..

the other night my friend (The Guy That Is In The Witness Protection Program) soundly beat me at five games of 8-ball in a row. And by the end of the night, he was getting pretty damn cocky about it, too. so for your evenings enjoyment, heres a clip of the final time he stuck the allegorical knife in

Me: . You want to film this last little bit?
Cameraman: urgle *nodding head*
Me: . Well, let me turn the soundtrack up..
*crack*.. *plop*..
TGTIITWPP: . Awww. I really haten that fuckin happens..

.. as for the camera going out of focus, I have no excuse. Much like me not having any excuse for getting my tail thrashed on my own table all evening.. but in my defense, I was not the cameraman that day. for those of you who dont know, thats me standing by the window in the white shirt.

. Oh, and extra bonus points for identifying the song that I turned up. Mark?... hey, I know youre good at this stuff..

and with that, Im off, children yall have a good night.

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Success....

.. well, since I know that you gentle readers are absolutely riveted to hear about my battle with the pastry, I guess that I should fill yall in.

. First, I loaded up a big pot with some olive oil, chopped garlic, and a whole diced onion once that was simmering nicely in the pot, I diced up two sirloins and rolled them in flour, salt, and pepper. Once coated, I tossed them in the pot and seared the livin Hades out of them until they were nice and brown. Next, I added two cups of cheap red wine & two cups of beef broth and simmered the concoction for two hours..

after two hours, I added a cup of water (as the gravy was getting a bit too thick). I also added a packet of Liptons Beef Stew mix..

. Simmered it for two more hours.

. It was asmelling pretty awesome, but I gotten a bit bored with all of the stirring, smelling, and watching, so I tossed in about two cups of chopped mushrooms and a few handfuls of diced carrots just to break the monotony.. and then simmered it for two more hours (until the poor carrots were tender)

. So, six hours into the fun & games, and the diced sirloin finally gave up and was beautifully tender. the gravy was thick, brown, and damned tasty, too..

I then decanted the whole mess into a casserole dish and began draping slices of filo pastry buttering them as I went.. all in all, fifteen layers looked about right, so I stopped and placed the experiment in the oven @ 350 for twenty minutes (until the top of the pastry was browning).

behold, gentle rubberneckers!.... my homemade Scottish Steak Pie!....

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it was a definite hit with The Missus.. sure, it was a bit of a pain to have to spend so much time, but it was worth it in the end.

I served it with freshly baked steak-fries & a refreshing glass of milk (it does a body good)

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so now, if you will excuse me, Im off to go sweat with the oldies & the college students at the YMCA

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Pies....

. The Missus was up unusually early today on her day off, and we managed to fit in lunch & a trip to the YMCA well before noon.... we finished the Pilgrimage to Altar of Healthiness by stopping by the local foodmart afterwards and loading up for tonights din din

and as of right now (4pm EST), I am happy to report that I am very, very pleased with the progress of my aforementioned Scottish Steak Pie. And for you doubters out there, hey, by 7pm, I am going to be totally kicking some filo pastry-ass.. trust me.

and no, I am not using a recipe. As a matter of fact, I just walked by, tasted the meat & gravy, and then tossed in a shitload of mushrooms simply because it was required. that is the way that cooking is meant to be done, friends.. by using the tongue and not a scrap of paper.. now, hey, I know that is a pretty broad statement and I will concede that there are times when a meticulous attention to detail needs to be used but when cooking for the sheer FUN of it, it is always better to play off the cuff after all, I have Dominos pizza on speed-dial and if the meal is disgusting, I can always have a three-cheese large in my happy little hands in twenty minutes or less and Ive been known to chuck a days work into the garbage disposal before, and I definitely have not problems doing it again in the future..

but yes, back to the beef.. thus far?... I am quite happy. And the pastry is nearly thawed and yes, photographic evidence will be produced tomorrow. Either of one kick-ass steak pie. Or of one freshly-delivered pizza

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Mysterious....

. tonight, the warm, dark air will find me hunched over my gas grill slowly flipping exquisitely sauce-slathered pork ribs.and the sweet, vinegary smell of my special-mix Carolina mustard sauce will waft gently across the countryside triggering involuntary spasms from every man, woman, & beasts salivary glands.

. Indeed, I reckon that if a wandering coyote caught a whiff from a mile away, hed be dead from dehydration before he could make the jog to my grill. Yes, hed just be slobbering THAT much in anticipation.

. It is as my dear Cousin Brad once proclaimed about my ribs sauce. theyre so good that if you placed one on top of your head, your tongue would beat your brains out trying to get to it.. .

.his words, not mine, gentle reader of course, he might have just been trying to make me feel better build me up, you know?.... but still, I do grill a mean rib..

my Sainted Mother and my Brother will be arriving for the grubfest, and Im stoked. Shes bringing devilled eggs and corn on the cob.

by the way, in the course of stowing 6lbs of boneless pork ribs in the refrigerator yesterday, I had to do some quick cleaning to make enough space.and as I was fumbling around in the fridge, I noticed a bottle of Marie Sharps Habanero Pepper Sauce. And the bottle says that it was made in Belize. a mystery, indeed.. but knowing me, I would never have bought such a hot sauce. so that means that someone actually brought it to my house so, give it up, hammerheads. Confess!....

I didnt throw it away since it obviously isnt mine.. but hey, who felt the burning desire to bring condiments to my house?... and a condiment that Ill never use in a million years on top of that!?

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Famous....

. I dont know about you guys, but I think that we definitely need to get Anthony Bourdain drunk on Chatham Artillery Punch down by the Chattahoochee at this Octobers Jawja Blogfest..

sure, we might not end up on the Discovery channel, but itd make for one incredible adventure..

so go ahead yall someone make The Call..

... who knows, they might even send in Bear Grylls to see if he can handle hanging with us for three days without gnawing one of his legs off to escape......

... I hear that Chatham Artillery Punch has medicinal qualities, though... so if he does gnaw himself a'loose, he can at least cleanse the wound by dipping it in the punch for a few seconds.... it might be brutal, but it would sure beat the hell out of wrapping a piss-stained tee-shirt around your head in the middle of the Utah desert..... I'm just sayin'....

... hey, stranger things have happened......

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Canopy....

. Yesterday was a hammock day here. one of those rare days where the temperature in the shade hovered between slow-bake and comfortable.

. The area where the hammock sits is umbrellaed by a double layer of forest canopy. dogwoods down low from the 15-30 foot range. and three mighty poplars straight and limbless for probably 60 feet, they branch out high and stretch upwards to nearly 100 feet.

the sunlight that eventually falls is diluted just enough to completely civilize the act of hammock-laying even on the warmest of summer days.. allowing the hammocker to swing with just the faintest hint of perspiration.

. a slight breeze helps, as well, of course. and add in a tall, iced glass filled with a little gin and a splash of tonic, and even the occasional adventurous mosquito becomes that little-bit less irritating.

word, rubberneckers...... sloth is a sin which must be approached with an open heart, a contented mind, and at least one alcoholic beverage..

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Riverfront...

. a million families, their grandmother, and their grandmothers little yappy dog were in Chattanooga yesterday milling around in various queues waiting to see the penguins. at least it seemed that way.

. Stalwarts that we are, however, we managed to bump up our perseverance to a record-breaking level and stiff-upper-lip-it through. And hey, the penguins were kinda cute. In a smelly, fishy kinda way

. The high point in watching them - as they dipped and glided through the water was when one of the blonde-haired youngsters up in front witnessed one of the penguins do a #2 whilst submerged inches from the glass

the black and white bird hesitated for only a moment and then sprayed a sandy, milky substance from its backside. The underwater current immediately caught it and began distributing it towards the floor. A attentive Momma who was holding her 2-year old daughter gasped audibly. I laughed and the little blonde-haired boy clapped his hands excitedly and screeched, look Mommy!... that penguin made SNOW!

ahhhh, blissful innocence. that amazing world where Mother is never more than two steps away, she always has treats & wet-wipes in her purse, and penguins fart snow

after spending some time with the flightless birds, we explored a few pubs down by the riverfront it was misting with a slow, warm rain, so we sought shelter in a tiny pub on Broad Street..there, with The Missus still glowing from memories of frolicking penguins, we settled in with a few pints of Newcastle and watched South Africa blow a 14-0 early lead to Australias Wallabies. Eventually losing 25-17.

all in all, it was an enjoyable day. oh, and I mentioned that a Springbok rugby jersey would be the perfect birthday present for me. I dont think that she was listening though.. I suspect Ill get undershirts from Banana Republic again.. but hey, that'll be cool too....

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Speyburn.....

.. well, Im just back from another lightning raid on the city of Knoxville. The old place never knew what hit it I zipped in, grabbed all the loot I was after, and was half-way back to Sylvia before the dinging of the cash registers faded..

among a few of my more interesting purchases was a monstrously large bottle of exceedingly cheap single malt Scotch. Hey, it might not be any good (and I will be sure to let yall know one way or the other.. ), but the way I looked at it, hell, Id have given 20 bucks just for the bottle even if itd been empty.. Speyburn, it is called. And the bottle?.... its a 1.75 liter behemoth, friends.. I mean, just check this bad boy out..

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.. oh, and I also finally managed to track down the cologne that The Missus likes for me to wear.. good God Almighty! . I had no idea that it was so damn thin on the ground here in the rustic, scenic, provincial backwater that I live in. but after hitting every shop in Chattanooga and coming up with nothing, I finally managed to track it down in the Giganto-Dillards that they have up in Knoxville.

. So after suffering through the ordeal of smelling like soap and shampoo for the past month, I am now happy to report that I am right back to smelling the God always intended for me to smell. sell, thats what The Missus is forever saying, and shes always right..

. Now that Im smelling good, I suppose that I should break into that bottle of Speyburn and see if I can find a piece of patio furniture to hold down after all, after having spent the last few evenings creating toe-curlingly good meals in the compounds kitchen, Ive been let off the hook this evening.. indeed, after evening meals consisting of fillet steak & roasted potatoes, pot roast, and grilled ribs & baked beans, tonights gnoshfest has been requested Gortons fish sticks and Heinz beans left plain. Not exactly my idea of a good time, no, but it certainly breaks the latest trend of spending hours working on a meal..

actually, Im pretty sure that itll still be yummy just on a different level.

....You gotta feed your inner-child once in a while, I reckon..

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Nary a Peep

from Eric in his booze laden trip to Scotland. Fair Scotland, home of Scott's Tissues. Place of the great distilleries of Cutty Sark, Chivas Regal, Sit Chivas, Cutty Shark, and Glenliver. He must indeed be lost while munching on the hedgerows, or bushes. Never giving a thought to those that maintain this august body of work. Or piece of work. For this, I expect a Haggis-on-a-Stick franchise at least.

More Straight talk »

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Flooding....

I rolled out of bed early this morning and found my way into town. I breakfasted at a small, Mom & Pop type joint and carried home a huge Styrofoam box of gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, and sausage for The Missus..

she was incredibly pleased..

her love of bacon is so complete and abiding that it really should be under the study of a team of neurologists & biochemical engineers. Im quite sure that they could given sufficient time, funding, and an infinite supply pork bellies probably find a cure for a shitload of diseases just by tapping into her noggin as the endorphins flood it..

. it is an amazing thing to watch, trust me. and hell, I dont even have any equipment

. she tells me that I have a very similar reaction when given a bottle of Glenmorangie.

anyhoo, Im off to enjoy the cloudiness of today and attempt to prune the magnolia it certainly needs it..... and it is an excellent excuse for bagging on hitting the gym today....

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Nachos....

. Well, were all back safe and sound.. Nashville was, as per usual, a total blast. Tootsies had an incredible band playing as did the Stage on Broadway and many other places. and we enjoyed chilling to Def Leprechaun playing at Mulligans down on 2nd Ave..

it was a cold, drunken walk back up the hill to The Sheridan though, but I suffered through it. and, as most god-fearin men do, I rose early and toured the grounds of the state capitol in the crisp morning air while everyone else slept off their over-imbibing from The Night Before..

a word of warning to those reckless ones among you, though. steer clear of the pulled-pork nachos that they serve at B.B. Kings place. While they are extremely yummy going down, youll pay for them come the next day two or three times.. and hey, I was blessed with the constitution of a rutting rhino and they still worked my innards like a hillbilly on a banjo..

. So take it from me, yall, youve officially been warned..

.. anywhoo, tomorrow and Tuesday are down-days for our merry band of miscreants, so there might (perhaps) be more content here. then again, I wouldnt exactly hold my breath on that if I were you guys.. the Brother in Law has expressed a deep-seated desire to fire my black guns again, so one of those evenings thatll be taking place

you know, whoever said that firearms arent fun just didnt have the right teacher, boys and girls.. its all in the wrist, Ive heard it said. Or perhaps, its all in picking the right kind of targets to blast.. I forget either way, well be photo-documenting the bursting of some balloons very soon at a website near you..

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Bushed....

... well, I'm back.... and I am bone-tired..... I ate enormous amounts of wonderful food, drank my weight in adult beverages, and just generally had one big, ole whale-of-a-time..... but yes, I know that I promised y'all some photos...... here goes...

... this is the Brother in Law kicking back in the observatory reading about Lewis and Clark after breakfast....

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... here's a shot of the western slopes of the mountains from up near the North Carolina line as I looked back down towards the Tennessee Valley..... pretty, no?.. hey, it's home.....

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... and hey, did y'all see this?.... shameful stuff... see, when I am left to my own devices, I am actually quite a shy creature.... as is shown in this typical photograph of me pondering deeply the Questions of The Universe and The Great Mystery of It All....

pondering_things_small.jpg

... whew... I'm worn out.... more photos of the actual lodge tomorrow...... it was incredible... I cannot recommend it highly enough....

... so goodnight, y'all.... be careful... play nice.... and remember to take your vitamins......

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East...

. good morning, rubberneckers.. I hope that this fine morning finds you all well and quivering in anticipation of another beautiful day.

. the Sun is peeking across Starrs Mountain here and the coffee is hot and strong. soon the temperature will rise to convertible-range, and my small party of adventurers and I will drop the top and head eastwards into the mountains. Destination: Santeetlah, North Carolina, and an exquisite lodge tucked away in the Appalachians about 50 miles directly towards this morning's rising Sun.

what were the words that famous fellow once used?.... go East, young man. go East? something along those lines, I believe my memories of those childhood history classes fail me at times..

and I know that you gentle souls will find it hard to fathom, but the next two days promise to be filled with a form of luxury that is seldom enjoyed even around my lair. Sure, sure, I do alright. and my home is as comfortable as can be allowed without breaking the states various narcotics laws, but where I am headed this afternoon takes countrified-poshness to a whole new level.

Im torn though as to what my wardrobe should entail. On the one hand, I am leaning towards my moleskin trousers and a nice, crisply starched button-down shirt. And on the other, perhaps I should go all Rajah on the Carolinians and bedeck myself in the easy folds of my white silk Punjabi. mercy, folks decisions, decisions. being a Libra does truly suck sometimes..

.. one thing, though, is a certainty. I shall spirit away a fine bottle of cask strength, 16-year old Bowmore into my cherry-paneled apartment, and sip upon it once my bar tab grows to frightening proportionsafter all, my Scotch collection rivals even that of the lodge where well be staying..

. and dont you guys & gals worry my promise of photographs still holds.. Tuesday evening, friends Ill post photos Tuesday evening. you have my word. always remember that no matter what, yall can trust Uncle Eric.. its what Im here for..

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Snowbird....

. I drove The Missus and her Brother across the Cherahala Skyway yesterday afternoon, and boys and girls, it was amazing.. our high point was 5,235 feet and the views were incredible.. we snapped quite a few photos of the journey and I will post them later tonight so for now, yall will just have to take my word for it. the eastern slope of the Appalachians was a sight to see.

after 45 or so miles, we dropped down into the hamlet of Robbinsville, NC and stopped at The Snowbird Mountain Lodge for an adult beverage. We decided right then and there that were heading back to the Snowbird to spend the night on Monday. Hey, any bar that can claim to have a 150 year old Grand Marnier is definitely a place where I would feel at home..

as for right now, Im off in search of lunch for myself and The Brother in Law. I will be back later with photos of yesterdays trip. so watch this space.

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Dubya....

. I caught a glimpse of our beloved leader this afternoon down in Chattanooga.. hed just finished having a vigorous lunch at Porkers BBQ. no, really. See, hed delivered a speech on his new Healthcare ideas earlier, and he probably must have felt a bit famished so, as you do, he nipped on in for some good ole Tennessee pulled-pork

my goodness, rubberneckers how fantastic is that?. Healthcare and BBQ on the same trip. youve just got to love that. hell, if I were the President, Id have BBQ and macaroni and cheese at least once every day. and garlic & cheese biscuits.. and a few nice tumblers of single malt to take the edge off of those late-nite international homeboy-freakout calls.

... Anywhoo, here are a few snaps that we took today as we tried to make our way past all the security

..... here's GW waving in my general direction as he walks towards his custom Caddy.....

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.. and here is a Officer of the Law who didn't really give us the warm & fuzzies about having his photograph taken while he was busy guarding the Prez.....

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boys and girls, it took us FOREVER to get to the bar in the Easy Seafood Company.. but still, the photos turned out pretty good, no?.... and the seafood sampler platter was well worth the wait.. and hey, I got to see the President of the United States..... all in all, a pretty groovy day....

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Roses....

. many of you heathens who visit this humble blog enjoy spending a few quality hours a week with a corked bottle and we here at The Compound are deliriously content with that.hey, a bit of tipple in the evenings can be a wonderful end to a lovely day..

and as such, my liquor cabinet is stocked fairly well indeed, I tend to pride myself on being able to produce just about any mixed drink that a guest of mine might require from the noble, trustworthy Gin and Tonic to the mythic Singapore Sling.

when it comes to bourbon, I normally only have a single bottle of fairly nice stuff.. and I tend to lean heavily on the owners of the local liquor store in regards to what is fairly nice stuff as I hardly ever drink bourbon but still, I try to always remain semper paratus when it comes to my guests comfort & enjoyment..

Scotch, on the other hand, is to be found in great abundance at my home. at the moment, for instance, I have eight different malts and three blends in various stages of drinkage..

in short, we loves our spirits around these parts. And THAT is why I must tell you about my latest discovery..

see, while I offer a variety of whiskies, I always leaned towards simpler measures when it came to the less subtle liquors; vodka, gin, and tequila for me, three liquors = three bottles of booze. Grey Goose vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin, and Patron tequila. Simple. but not any longer.

. I have recently discovered a new gin that is a must for any mixologists treasure chest. Hendricks Gin. It is, by far, the most unusual gin that I have ever had the pleasure to pour

. Im not going to attempt to write a review since my speech and verbiage is not nearly as flowery as the gins flavor instead, I am simply going to say that you should try it. its not for everyone, of course, and it says so on the bottle with the declaration of preferred by 1 in 1000 gin-drinkers but for the sake of pure, unadulterated novelty, you just have to try it. itll build you a gin and tonic like youve never tasted before.

... trust me...

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Plans....

.. the weatherman told me two things a few minutes ago that have seriously harshed todays mellow. first, he says that tonights low will be 19 degrees. which, of course, sucks. secondly, he says that the Sun shall set at 6:02pm.. and my dinner guests will be arriving at half-past 5.

normally?... these two random factoids would not bother me in the least. And were it not for the fact that my evening companions requested me to grill ribs, I would be supercool.. but they did. unfortunately..

so if anyone needs me, I will be in my garage grilling ribs in the dark. with a big jacket on. and possibly some kind of hat..

. Indeed, the only real, honest Saving Grace of the whole deal is that some mystery-person replaced the empty bottle of Titos Texas Vodka in the shot dispenser with a 10yr Old Glenmorangie last night. so I shall be grillin, chillin, and swillin if all goes according to plan..

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Friends.....

. good God, people, I feel like Ive been to a blogmeet..

. Yesterday a group of my Brothers childhood friends came to visit. It was an incredible thing to sit and watch eight 30 year old men morph back into high school seniors over the course of six hours, two large pizzas, and a case of beer, but I witnessed it happen.

and now?.... everyone has left. all brave souls are safe and accounted for. the pool table is covered back up, the balls stowed, and the garage has been swept out and I am bone-tired..

time to nuke a Stouffers frozen lasagna, mix up a gin and tonic, and try to regain my senses..

I aint as young as I once was. and that, gentle reader, is a stone-cold fact. but hey, it sure was fun to pretend for a little while..

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Bubbles....

it is nearly 3:30 in the afternoon and Im enjoying a glass of champagne. Why?... well, as wise men once said, waste not, want not, right?.... besides, the bottle that I uncorked last night survived the initial sippings fairly intact. and it seemed such a shame to let half a bottle of bubbly get thrown out. and seeing as Im a full-blooded Hillbilly, I have no qualms whatsoever about drinking half-day-opened booze hey, I never claimed to have THAT much class

anyway, I watched the ball drop in Times Square courtesy of NBC last night and then, as quickly as I could, I popped a cork, took a quick sip or two, finished watching Bruce Willis save the world in Armageddon, and then collapsed into bed

winter evenings around here are dark, cold, and quiet. even on New Years Eve. and I was anxious to see what The Sandman had in store for me once I hit dreamland..

I wasnt disappointed either

mercy, never underestimate the power of a pleasant dream. It can change your outlook, focus your sensibilities, scare the crap out of you, and excite you to the point of wetting your pants. all while you happily snooze under a pile of warm blankets.

.... but I suppose that is their purpose, really. To allow the mind a free rein to create new worlds and play or relax safely in them..

.. the first day of a new year, wow cool, damp, and overcast here. but hey, the evening will arrive before we know it and with it, sleep and rest. so for those of you who dream while asleep or awake I hope that 2007 gives you an opportunity to see at least some of your dreams to come true

as for me, this new set of months is going to be quite a ride many, many new things are on the horizon for me and my family. and while Id like to imagine all of the surprises flowing smoothly over us as we live, I know that it will be a rollercoaster instead. but hey, a rollercoaster is exciting and it is NEVER boring..

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Football!...

. Go Vols!... Go Auburn!.... Geaux Tigers!... Go Hawgs!.... Go Gators!.... GO SEC!!....

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2lbs....

. yesterday, just before noon, I fried up a pound of Wamplers Farm Sausage mild, of course, and laid it aside on a stack of ultra-mega-maxi-multi-absorbent kitchen towels I then took one of those enormous bricks of Velveeta and sliced the entire glob into twenty or thirty fairly large hunks. this was then microwaved in short, controlled bursts until the Velveeta was suitably melted

. I then began a fifteen minute culinary voyage of alternately stirring in spoonfuls of cooked, freshly-drained sausage and nuking and re-nuking.

once all of the sausage had successfully been assimilated by the melted cheese, I added half a jar of some cheap salsa that I had laying around..

. Boys and girls, that was my lunch. and it was heavenly.....

I gorged myself on that golden, gooey mixture until the beast within me was satiated. and then I settled back to watch an evening full of College football

by the time that the Gamecocks whipped Houston, I was beginning to feel the approach of Mr. Hungry again.

.. well, just take a wild guess at what I had for dinner, rubberneckers. any guesses?.... thats right, hammerheads, leftover Velveeta-stuff!!!....

so yesterday?... I drank three pots of coffee. and I ate 1lb of sausage and 1lb of Velveeta. and 2 cups of salsa. and forty or fifty tortilla chips..

I cleansed my palate after lunch with a Coca-cola over ice and again in the evening with a gin and tonic..

. I think I should probably start taking some sort of vitamin or supplement.... lest I develop scurvy or rickets or something

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Tonic....

you know what I really, really need right now?... a 6-foot USB extension cable. Im tired of my new webcam only being able to barely see around my monitor with my new desk/chair/workstation set-up..

so help out a Fellow Traveler, friends.. hey, Id do it for yall, you just know I would.

. actually, I started a new diet a few days ago by following an old recipe that I had attached to my refrigerator with a Knoxville Zoo magnet years and years ago.. here, check it out.

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pretty much sums up where Ive been lately, rubberneckers Peace on Earth, indeed..

. anyway, I leave you gentle people with a few select lines from the very end of Chapter 17 of Douglas Adams masterpiece - Life, The Universe And Everything

.None of these facts, however strange or inexplicable, is as strange or inexplicable as the rules of the game of Brockian Ultra Cricket, as played in the higher dimensions. A full set of rules is so massively complicated that the only time they were all bound together in a single volume they underwent gravitational collapse and became a Black Hole.

indeed. Indeed yall think about that for a while and get back to me.

... and by the way, I hope that each and every one of you enjoyed a merry Christmas.... however big or small your collection of friends and family....

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Chow....

... you know, I just realized something.....

Grilled pork chops
Diced garlic
Ground black pepper
Steamed broccoli
Grated cheese
Milled corn meal
Boiled sweet corn
Fried yellow squash
Mashed potatoes
Minced onions
Chopped lettuce
and Sauted mushrooms

now I need me something to fricassee.. yes sir, I surely do.....

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Mushrooms....

. last night my often-buried adventurous side reared its head and I threw together a recipe from scratch. these little forays into culinary mayhem are typically hit or miss though but I am pleased to say that last nights finger-food was a resounding success..

. heres what I did.

I de-stemmed ten large mushrooms, washed them, and painted them lightly with olive oil. then I took five of the stems and chopped them finely... adding to the chopped stems a tablespoon of chopped garlic, I fried the mixture slowly with more olive oil until the stems were soft and the garlic was translucent.

I then added that slowly-fried goodness to a cup of cream cheese, two table spoons of bleu cheese, a half-cup of parmesan, a teaspoon of ground black pepper, and mixed it all up nicely. this delightful goo was then spooned into the upturned mushroom caps and the whole shebang was baked at 375 for twenty minutes.

. good God, people

those puppies got delicately nibbled on all evening while the merlot flowed.

all in all, not a bad way to watch old reruns of Simon and Simon.

today, well, Im off to have lunch at Aubreys in Maryville yall have fun.

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Damp...

. the Sun is out now and the clouds have cleared a bit. but the leaves are still too damp to rake bad luck, I suppose as they surely do so need a good raking. and then a good burnin. but they'll just have to wait for more favorable conditions.... patience is, after all, a fine virtue...

so what should I do when labor isnt possible on a Saturday morning?... why, head to Maryville for beer and pasta at Aubrey's, of course. and then catch a movie.

I tell you, its hard to have fun in a place like this, but I do endeavor to give it my very best shot.

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Failure...

I was taught to cook by an Italian. and he gave me only a handful of rules to play by no measurements be creative.. and remember that herbs and spices create a deeper and more complex flavor the longer you let them simmer together

and for the most part these rules have stood me well.. I have lived these thirty-four years with very, very few complaints ever rising up from the visitors to my dinner table

I will admit, though, that I created the most hideously monstrous meatloaf last night that has ever been baked by man or beast so while some others were off hobnobbing with the sweetened, upper-crust of Atlantas finest, I was humbly sitting in my meager home staring down a badly boiled porcupine meatloaf and both it AND I ended the evening stewing in our own juices.. rejected and dejected

it all started harmlessly enough, I suppose some television show was on the tube and the Missus overheard the meatloaf is a distinctly American dish! this, of course, prompted her to query as to why I had never made her a steaming plateful of such a distinctly American dish in all of our long years of marriage hey, I thought it was a pretty good question myself. so I gladly took on the task and began searching the nooks and crannies of the internet to find a suitable recipe.

I settled on a fine one that included stirring minute rice in with the ground beef and allowing the fat and other mollified liquids to perk the rice to plump perfection (thus the porcupine reference in the recipe which, I must admit, seems exceedingly strange to me I mean, what in the Great Livin Hell does a porcupine have to do with minute rice?)

anyway, I had no minute rice but I DID happen to have a bag of Mahatma and figured that would do just fine well, Brothers and Sisters, I was wrong. Very, very wrong. and add to this miscalculation that I only read the recipe once (due to my Italian teachers rules), and you can see where this trainwreck is headed.

in a nutshell, well, I added too many diced onions, I didnt have an egg and used some olive oil instead (for the binding, you know meatloaf has gotta bind evidently), I added too much ketchup and decided at the last minute to throw in some Heinz 57 sauce as well, and then I made my second-biggest mistake. I didnt add enough breadcrumbs.

. anyway, I mixed all that stuff together, spread it into a casserole dish, and tossed it in the oven at 350 for an hour and fifteen minutes and as I sat on my couch reclining in contentment at having kicked my first meatloafs ass, I was at peace with my gin and tonic.

indeed, even the normally quiet Missus remarked half-way through the cooking at how glorious my latest achievement smelled. I nodded in silent acceptance of such well-earned accolades and sipped my drink.

if we could have eaten the smell, we would have been alright for when the oven was finally opened and the dish removed, the sight was both ghastly and nauseating.

.. the meat now brown and lumpy was covered in small volcanic-looking craters and among the craters were bits of charred onions and between the fire-curled onions lay the rice. rice that had not had time to cook rice that protruded from the burnt, warty surface of the loaf like hundreds of tiny broken bone fragments from some decaying, repeatedly run over by logging trucks, July-in-South-Carolina roadkill

yes, it was that bad here, have a look.

meatloaf_small.jpg

.. did we work up the courage to eat it?.... of course we did. we are, after all, adventurers at heart but will I attempt a meatloaf again?... probably not.

but take it from me, people if a recipe calls for minute rice make sure you use minute rice. Your stomach, your teeth, and your pride will thank you.

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Longing...

my Brother in Law has momentarily ceased his world travels and is back at the familial nest after quite a number of years away, he has finally made the break from Bangladesh and is now back in bonnie Scotland just in time for winter, I might add

I had occasion to speak with him briefly a few days ago over the telephone, and as you do, we immediately began comparing recipes both of us being men who know our way around a kitchen.

.. and as our tales escalated while the minutes ticked on, we shared our collective woes me bringing up my failed curry attempts and he bemoaning the lack of quality pork in Muslim nations but it was his last tale that left me speechless

see, it seems that no matter how far away you remove a Scot from their native land, the deep desire to eat haggis can never be fully stifled. I was amazed, but not shocked I mean, after five years in the US of A, I myself have been forced to scrounge Our Glorious Nation via the interweb for the rich delicacy. all in the name of satisfying a hungry Wife and in the end, I found my haggis in New Jersey for the dear Brother in Law though, he was not so lucky. so he did what any stranger in a strange land would do when hankering for some haggis. He made it himself from local ingredients

and from the sound of it, it wasnt half bad of course, he had to use a goats stomach instead of a sheeps, but he made-do. And as he was rattling off the ingredients, it sounded rather yummy ground beef, black pepper, rice (instead of oats ala Scotland), green chili peppers (everything in Bangladesh has chili peppers in it), diced onions, garlic all stuffed inside a goats disemboweled stomach and boiled for a few hours

he even remarked that apart from the copious amounts of fat that he had to floatingly skim off of the boiling tureen it turned out quite tasty. and even though it didnt really please the palate like authentic Scottish haggis, it was just close enough to slake his jones for the homeland..

while not really my cup of tea, I can see where he is coming from the moral of the story?... who knows? but perhaps it is this never, ever, EVER underestimate the power of alcohol and homesickness combined. with enough jars in you (and a powerful enough pine) youll find yourself traveling down some weird and stony paths, rubberneckers.

and that, my dear, dear friends, is The Truth

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Ouch....

... ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow.....

... whoa.....

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Wax...

... it is a true thing that each day brings forth new challenges'.... and today is no different.... only weirder....

... but for the life of me, I really have no idea how to tackle today's journey....

... so does anyone know how to successfully remove red candle wax from white carpet?....

.... and before you ask, no, it wasn't my fault...

... honest...

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Sniffing....

... whilst observing a hummingbird approach, back-off, and re-approach an empty hummingbird-feeder on the front porch this morning, I was gently reminded that I am again falling victim to the craving...

... hello, gentle readers, my name is Eric... and I am hopelessly addicted to Indian food.. and it has been nigh-on three months since I have partaken of the velvety sauces, pungent meat, and buttery, garlicky, cheesy naan bread which I so dearly love....

.... but the ethnic desert in which I reside offers little in the way of slaking my primal longing... sure, sure... I can mix potions and elixirs here at home... chop up some lamb... don my silk Punjabi and mix up a pitcher of 50/50 gin and tonic.... but there is something magical that will be missing... I know if before I even try....

.. for it is not just the meal on a plate that I am yearning for... but the broken English... the lilting, staccato voice and smiling eyes that greet your hungry heart as you gaze up from the cheaply printed menu.... and the hand-polished brass ashtrays on the table... the gaudy, Bengali-embroidered tapestry that drapes the wall behind your booth.. and the twangy sitar music that softly coats everything in a memory of old, black and white photographs of the Taj Mahal at Agra....

... but today I plan to safari northwards with pure and perfect purpose.... see, a little birdie told me that the Knoxville now sports a Restaurant of India.... I nearly swooned when the news entered my delicate ears... but now my soul is buoyed and itching to search the place out... I don't even actually have the directions or an address, but that is of little consequence...

... after all, any Indian restaurant that is worth it's salt can be sniffed out from a five-block radius... and hey, Knoxville isn't that large... so the plan is just to drive around with the top down and let my nose guide the way... bird-doggin' at a whole new level, people... and I am stoked....

... so wish me luck... while I am still fairly full of youthful exuberance and a quiet confidence, I still need all the help I can get...

... and that reminds me... a big Happy Birthday shout-out to my homeboy Elisson... rock on, bigman... you may be closing in on That Ancient Age, but you still have the heart of a twelve year old.. and long may it continue to be so....

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Tasmania...

... yesterday as I saintedly attended my grill, I heard a loud, prolonged yelp' echo from the patio area of Hell's Half-acre... a patio that I knew was placidly comforting The Missus - ensconced with reading book and glass of wine...

... and being the dutiful Man of The House and Protector of All Things that I am, I responded by immediately arriving on the scene ready to do battle with whatever beast/bug/varmint/assailant that had accosted The Missus... yea, verily.. backyard shrieks always illicit an armed response in the evenings.. just in case...

.. but I rounded the corner of the house to a startlingly comical scene... Fred the Cat was halfway up one of the dogwood trees and was gazing downward - perfectly transfixed by the antics of The Wife.... the Wife was standing at the base of the tree looking at the ground... in her left hand, an open book and lit cigarette... in her right, a half-full wine glass.... And she appeared to be running in place...

.. it was amazing... almost like one of those cartoons that you see of the Tasmanian Devil - his legs pumping a million times a minute and his torso absolutely still... and yet there she was... feet alternately rising and stomping with an incredible vigor.... while her book, cigarette, and wine glass maintained their perfect stillness....

... as I approached her wigging-out body at top speed, I quickly saw the problem.... The Wife - after 40 blissfully peaceful years on this spinning planet - had finally been introduced to Mr. Fire Ant... and, Ladies and Gentlemen, she was not amused....

... I took her inside and tended to her stings... and all is well now... as a matter of fact, I just checked out her lower legs and feet a few minutes ago... not a single sign that she was ever attacked could be found.. incredible.... Had that been me, I'd look like a damn smallpox victim by now.... complete with weeping ulcers and puss-filled pustules..

... but regardless, those ants are history.... word up, rubberneckers... it does not behoove anyone or anything to piss off a Scot...

... although I still can't understand how she managed to read, smoke, and get stung all at the same time while never spilling a drop of her wine....

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Grillin'....

... tonight's schedule of events contains the following enigmatic key words...

... grill, ribeye, gin, tonic, salad, Caesar, potatoes, eggs, Devil'd....

.... oh yeah.... the Garden Fairies visited this morning... and the smell of sizzling flesh will mingle flawlessly with the dazzling aroma of freshly cut grass....

... I can hardly manage to curb my enthusiasm... Hell, I've got sewing-machine leg just thinking about it....

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Gravy....

... while the Missus fights off remnants of a nasty chest cold by lounging luxuriantly on the settee, I have been tasked with the creation of a rich, Scottish steak pie - which, I am told, is the ultimate comfort food for a broken and/or ill Montrosian... we shall see, I suppose.... pastry-toppings are not my forte...

... so once again we are off to break new ground... stretching my skills just a bit..

... hey, it's all good... adventure comes in all shapes and sizes... and evidently - sometimes - with gravy and carrots.....

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Variations...

.. I've spent the last five hours whipping up an evening meal for the Missus... initially I had offered to boil up a big pot of beef stew for tonight's dinner and she had agreed... but then my imagination got the better of me and I decided to work a variation on the theme...

... so this evening, the vittles will consist of delicately boiled new potatoes... and Beef Bourguignon ... yeah, I know.. I surprised myself too...

... anyway, the mixture is simmering away in the oven now... and should be ready in about three hours... I'll be sure to keep you hammerheads informed as to just exactly how much hedonistic pleasure I gleaned from the whole culinary adventure later tonight....

... as for me, it's time to rest on my laurels and enjoy a cocktail...

... if you gentle, kind readers have enjoyed your Sunday only half as much as I've enjoyed mine up until now, well... you guys are definitely living right....

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Pie...

... the Wife has informed me that I am to play chauffer today... that I am to slide Sylvia's top off, exposing her supple, gently curving interior, and direct her towards The Fox and Hound pub in Chattanooga... there, I am told, I may sup upon baked ziti with mountains of cheese... and, with a great boldness of spirit, Newcastle Ale on tap...

.. I tell you the honest truth here - it is a task I shall not shirk.....yea, even though the beastly Sun baketh my redheaded noggin to the temperature of the aforementioned ziti.... and melteth my Maui Jims to my fevered forehead, I shall persevere... it is just the right thing to do...

... it's hard to have fun in a place like this, but I always give it my best shot.. and that, in the end, is all you really can do....

... I think those guys even have Key Lime pie on the menu.... and the promise of pie always makes a hard drive in a convertible a little more bearable...

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Meat...

... grilled ribeyes, baked potatoes, and a fresh salad are for dinner tonight... and I am currently knee-deep into a bottle of Jon, Mark and Robbo's "Smokey Peaty One"... it's not bad, neither... quite tasty and yet still easy on the olfactories..

... the only problem with my little scheme is that, even though the eveningtime is here, it is still hotter than the surface of the Sun outside... and manning a grill is going to suck mightily....

... and yes, by the way, thanks for asking... I have managed to talk myself down from my earlier knee-jerk reaction to charities being decidedly uncharitable.... hey, live and let live... that's what I always say....

... in any case, I'm off.... my garage and the soothing melodies of gently frying steak beckon me...

... it is the little things that you must enjoy, after all... and that I can cook a steak AND lose ten pounds due to profuse sweating, well, it's a bonus.... not that I need to lose ten pounds, but still.. I'm just sayin'...

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Mother...

... today is my sainted Mother's birthday.. and in celebration of this shining day, we are off to broaden our horizons a wee bit... and being hillbillies, it's not that hard to do.... see, each new encroachment of civilization brings with it new opportunities to stretch our limited cultural references..

... in short, we're off to eat at a new Japanese restaurant... hey, it should be fun... I've heard tell that them Nips juggle your shrimp and steak and stab it with their wakizashis right there at your table... hell, I can hardly wait to see that... I mean, what could be nicer than having a bunch of ninjas serving you dinner?...

... besides, entertainment around these parts is pretty scarce...

.. anyway, I've heard they have sake too... so today is going to be a lot of fun... copping a buzz and watching swordplay over lunch... do I know how to have a good time or what....

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Town...

... hot damn, I'm gong goin' going to town...

... no, really....

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Tonight....

... it's blurry, sure.... but you can blame the photographer for that..... but here is a shot of me missing a bank of the 8-ball.... a side-pocket miscalculation.... bloody typical, really....

tonight_small.jpg

... but still, a great time was had by all..... Gary and Paul were in fine form... me?..... well, you win some and you lose some.... but that is always the case.....

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Dancing...

.. informed via email today by my buddy James in Scotland, I am happy to hear that today is the summer solstice... damn, and I don't have a thing to wear...

... I hate it when holidays sneak up on me like this...

.... although I have never celebrated Solstice Day before, this year will be a first... I just have to figure out what I need to do to properly accentuate the day.. perhaps a bonfire and some quasi-religious bugle-blowing.... maybe some naked dancing on the patio?... sloshing wine and padding my little feet on the smooth, flat patio stones with a pagan beat?.... I just don't know.... goodness, I hate being unprepared like this...

... any suggestions would be greatly appreciated....

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Dutiful...

.... after a taxing morning of sitting on the patio drinking coffee, the Missus informed me that I was to take her to lunch this afternoon... being the dutiful husband I am, I closed ranks, found the keys, and asked where she'd like to sup.... "Tellico", she said... "I want to sit by the river and eat lunch.."... and well, that is exactly what we did... oh, and here's the view from where I sliced my sausages today...

bistro_lunch_small.jpg

...a nicer little nook to gnaw on a pulled pork sandwich can't be found for a good seventy miles, people... and that's a fact... so if you ever find yourself in Tellico Plains with a twenty in your pocket and an appetite, I highly recommend you give them a visit... it's downright civilized...

.. the only downer to the whole afternoon was when I received a phone call from Thunderman... chit chat was enjoyed for a while - as I am as polite as the day is long.... and then he asked me what I was up to... well children, you should have heard the string of frothing obscenities that was thrown my way... that boy can cuss... it nearly put me off my venison...

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Decisions....

.... after sawing off some dead limbs today, I sat out on the patio and contemplated the meaning of life for a while.... I sipped a ceremonial rum and Coke and kicked back.... the wind chimes were going peacefully and the sweat was slowly drying off my back... and the more I thought about it all, the more I really began to wish that I could buy Soren Kierkegaard a beer... or mix him up a snazzy gin and tonic while he relaxed under the umbrella....

... although, I kinda doubt he drank... but still, I'd offer....

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Sweating...

... spent the morning driving up Knoxville for a lightning raid on one of their liquor stores... did pretty good too... no casualties.. in and out in under five minutes.... the place hardly knew what hit it... my guerrilla-booze tactics are well honed....

... but it never fails though... buying a crate of firewater always leaves me tired and hungry.... that said, I guess it's time to treat myself with a fried Spam sandwich and a bowl of Chef Boyardee Beefaroni... mmm mmmmm... living high on the hog, people, it ain't for the faint of heart....

...besides, I need my strength built up for this afternoon's planned activities... loping dead limbs off of the dogwood trees on the backside of Hell's Half acre while the Missus swings languidly in her hammock...

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Lunch...

... I'm off to the garage to grill something... I may be away some time...

lunch_small.jpg

... damn, I'm glad it is summertime...

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Irn-Bru...

... you know, I just love getting fan-mail... and I like it even more when I get something that just makes me get all misty... like today, for instance... fresh from the SWG mailbag, I found the following missive from an old Jarhead buddy of mine...

Good afternoon sunshine,

I see you're back from the highlands of the UK and yet I haven't heard a word from you. I was so looking forward to some pictures of our old stomping grounds not to mention the unique flavor of my favorite UK beverage, IRN BRU. I can only assume you have decided to ignore me and forget our last communications. I did receive a phone call at my house with a caller ID of TN, but there was no name. I was thinking it was you as you are the ONLY person I know in that state, but alas, there was no message left at my humble abode. Once again, this leaves me to believe you don't consider me worthy of your time. If this is the case, may all of your guns rust, your alcohol turn to sugar water, and your seemingly endless supply of cancer sticks dry up. If this is not the case, please forgive my ramblings and drop me a line at your earliest convenience.

XOXOXOXOXO

Dustin C. Holland
Postal Inspector

... I'm telling you, nothing charms me out of my little white cotton socks like an email ending in XOXOXOXO... seriously.. .

... anyhoo, while I do love getting mail from my old buddy, I just wanted to take this opportunity to point out the insidious evil of the drink Mr. Holland mentioned.. namely, Irn-Bru... (pronounced "Iron Brew".. and made in Scotland from girders, evidently...)...

.... see, once upon a time, my friend Dustin used to be a fine, upstanding individual... a veritable pillar of the community... went to church regularly, paid his taxes on time, helped little old ladies cross the street, etc... but after years of swilling Scotland's Finest Soft Drink, he is reduced to calling me Sunshine, blowing me kisses via email, and wishing my guns would all rust... where will the madness end?!?... but that is the power that this drink has on people.. it'll bend the straight and tarnish the golden.. and the weak-willed and wayward are drawn unswervingly into its mighty clutches... yes, yes, it's just that bad....

... luckily for me, I did manage to smuggle a bottle back across the border for Dustin.. so the threats against my firearms, booze, and cigarettes will largely be brushed off... but honestly, people... politicians rail on and on about the evils of hard liquor, sniffing gasoline, and free-basing diesel fuel... and what they REALLY need to be worrying about is a bright orange cola that tastes like liquid bazooka Joe bubblegum.... because, you know, if that stuff could corrupt Dustin, then no one is safe... no one...

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Funerals....

... after dinner last night, the subject of funeral arrangements came up.... what a strange way to end an evening... my Mother insisted on going over her simple plans again.... what exactly we were to do once she checked out; everything was pre-planned in her mind... the type of flowers... the type of casket.... all elements completed and performed as cheaply as possible.... even down to her wishes not to be buried with any of her jewelry on..

... the Wife piped in after a pause and made her wishes known.... Cremation.... cremation, with her ashes taken back to her native land... and then scattered along a small stretch of Montrose beach... a place where she was always content and at peace....

... the mood was quite somber and mellow... deep thoughts had obviously been painstakingly expressed....

.. but once those two were finished, they both looked at me.... as if it were my turn or something.... so I pondered for a bit and sipped my Scotch... and then, I spoke...

... "well, whatever happens, there won't be much left to bury.. I'm sure that the donor surgeons will have picked my carcass nearly clean trying to harvest all of my wonderful organs... so I guess I should just be cremated too... maybe you guys should just have a big bonfire and send me out ala' Funeral Pyre... roast marshmallows or weenies or something and have a party.. I don't want anyone crying when I die.. "

.. taking in a draught of my Talisker, I watched the ladies for a reaction... and after a few seconds of waiting, it came.... "well, dear... that sounds fine.... but Honey, I'm not sure it would work out all that well... I mean, just imagine... the line of people who'd be waiting to toss a celebratory urination on your corpse would be immense... they'd end up putting out the bonfire.. "...

... and as I sat there slack-jawed at the sheer audacity, the two of them giggled like schoolgirls...

.. goodness, people... see what I have to deal with after cooking two women a fine dinner?.. a long line, indeed.... a very, very long line.... but what a visual... I did laugh and laugh.... Damn, I think I should invite my Momma over for dinner more often....

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Omens...

.... the Wife and I drove up towards Knoxville today and lunched at Aubrey's... excellent food and Newcastle Brown on tap.... just about as good as it gets here in eastern Tennessee... so I highly recommend their lunch..

... on the way back we hit every backroad I could think of through three counties... dusty roads where tarmac often turned to gravel.... and fields or woodlands ran right up to the ditchline... you sure can tell it is Summertime in the countryside, though... terrapins were crossing the road at every curve..

... and now I am back home safe and sound... The Guy in the Witness Protection Plan just called and said he's on his way over to shoot some pool.. I haven't seen him in ages, so I'm stoked... well, and I do plan on wiping the table with him... we'll see how it goes... it sounds like a storm may be coming in... the Sun is shining but there is thunder in the distance... I'll take that as a good omen....

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Plague...

.... I was just out back enjoying a wee siesta when a cloud of tiny, red beasties descended upon me like a screaming horde of chipmunks on a coke-addled biker... yes, yes, it was that bad...

... I ripped off my shirt and swatted about six hundred of them to death with it before I retreated to my medicine cabinet via my liquor cabinet...

... now I am inside the house sporting a fresh sheen of Skin So Soft and an icy gin and tonic... I will not be denied, campers... if I am attacked again, I will attempt to capture one and discern his phylum... why?... well, because I just know you rubberneckers are interested in whatever critter that's brave enough to harsh my mellow....

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Home....

.... long flight... long lay-overs... 36 hours without sleep... and now a thunderstorm... 1:30am and the lightning is everywhere.... the rain will be here any minute.....

... God, I missed Tennessee.... I'm going to sleep like the dead tonight....

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Howdy...

... greetings from Scotland, gentle readers.... I trust you all are well and fine and getting exactly what each of you deserve....

... oh, and many thanks to Brother Jimbo of the Rest Stop for holding down the fort while I was away... the man is a talented man among talented men... but that Playskool Razor joke was just a bridge too far...

... by the by, I will attempt to post everyday from now on out.... after all, I wouldn't want Jim to get TOO comfortable with my Tennessee neighbors while I'm gone... I fear the poor man doesn't really know how they get after a few stiff drinks (once they get to know you)... and I worry about him losing his heart to the wily ways of a handsome backwoodsman... hey, it has happened before...

... so anyway, here I is... pecking away at the keyboard from the lovely city of Montrose... smelling the salt air of the North Sea... etc.. y'all get the point...

... this is going to be a new project for me, though... a blow by blow travelogue of sorts... exciting stuff... riveting stuff.... you know, like what I had to eat for lunch and such... besides, I know what a short attention span you retards have... so I'll try to keep everything short and sweet..

... but right now I'm running out of time... see, I'm off to a black-tie choral concert tonight and I need to polish my cowboy boots before mingling with the locals... so I'll fill everyone in with the gory details of the past week tomorrow some time...

... for four days Royal Deeside never knew what hit it, people... just trust me...

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Crabs...

... well, today has been just full of little surprises... and you know, that's just wonderful.... sure, one would imagine that it would be hard to scare up enough mischief on a quiet Sunday evening... leisurely sipping iced-tea on a secluded woodland deck.... but then, one would be wrong...

... I received a call around noon with a command on how dinner arrangements should be... hey, I'm cool with that... and the menu item?... what delectable meal was requested?... a bacon sandwich.... yes, people, a bacon sandwich...

... good God, I love my life... my Missus wants a bacon sandwich for dinner... Kaiser roll, hickory-smoked bacon fried crisp, freshly sliced onion, slabs of 12-month old English cheddar, lashings of mayonnaise.... it is a thing of beauty, gentle reader, it really is....

... oh, and when I reached into the fridge for the bacon a few minutes ago I saw a large container full of Cajun crab dip... swiftly reaching the end of its shelf-life... so what did I do?... hmmm?...

... well, Fred and Ginger are slurping it up right now out on the porch.... heh heh... those kitties don't know what they're in for later tonight.... the poor little dears....

... you know, it really is hard to have fun in a place like this.. but I do try so very hard to keep myself entertained...

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Colonial...

.... been cooking today, and the house reeks of curry powder, garlic, and coconut milk.... those poor, poor chicken breasts.... I imagine that never once in their entire little East Tennessee chicken lives did they ever imagine checking out this way... slowly percolating themselves off into that sweet oblivion that is korma...

.. my naan bread is a bust though... but hey, it always is.... but that doesn't stop me... nope... when it comes to eventually conjuring up the perfect naan bread, I am dogged in my efforts.... but I'm thinking that it takes some sort of celestial-aligning for me to get that crap to rise properly... perhaps a sacrifice of some sort... or maybe some chants or a tribal-style dance...

... anyway, I think I'll go and slip into my silk Punjabi and read some Kipling out on the patio... that always freaks the neighbors out... the Punjabi, that is, not the Kipling...

.... I do so love my Saturday afternoons....

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Downtime...

... good morning, rubberneckers... I trust y'all slept well and had pleasant dreams...

... if not, well, it is probably because you each have a guilty conscience.. repent!... I'm hearing confessions in about half an hour.... and the line starts to the left..

... anyway, I just got a mail from Jimbo of The Rest Stop... his site is busted and he claims it isn't his fault.. which sounds dubious at best.... still though, he wanted me to be sure and tell you tards that his site is down until further notice..

... so there, you have been told... and it is a pity, too... his story about Hector's Home-invading was quite popular...

... now, about those confessions.... you know you can trust Uncle Eric...

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That time again...

... charcoal suit... kilted knee... leather-soled shoes... bad haircut.... tumbler of scotch... leather sofa... pints of ale... cigars from the bar... cufflinks.... baby blue shirt... Jazz Night at The Links... Montrose, Scotland... dazed and confused.... half-Windsor knot... tab collars... strangers taking photos... feet up.... late at night... beyond fun.... where's my jacket?.. and my scarf?... it's freezing out side.... it'll happen again in May...

xme_and_duncans_knee_small.jpg

... if you want a bigger version... well, here you go...

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Higher....

... I was reminded today via email of the infamous Scottish Flag Pole Climbing Incident of 1998... good Lord... I had completely forgotten about it, actually...

... but the guy on the other end of the email reported that he had found video evidence of the climb... and according to him, I was the first of our group to try... and the only one to actually get to the top of the 40ft pole and back down without breaking any bones...

.. my first thought?... holy shit, I must have been hammered... 2nd thought?... you really can't make this crap up....

... but you know, I hate it when people tell me stuff like that out of the blue... I really, really do.... I mean, why bring it up all these years later?... at the time, climbing that flagpole just seemed like the right thing to do... and hey, it wasn't just me either... everyone ELSE thought it was a good idea too... mercy....

... I always get blamed for everything.... dammit... and now there is a video of it all....

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Knights....

... way back in the day, a friend of mine once introduced me to a poetic drinking game.... simply known as "In Days of Olde when Knights were Bold"... and oh, the fun we did have... especially as the nights wore on....

.. the basic premise of said game is to offer a toast between rounds.... with each partier trying to best the previous toast... and each toast beginning the same way.... so as today is St. Patrick's Day and everyone is pretending they are Irish for a day... I offer you a simple toast...

"In days of olde when knights were bold, and women wore white lace....

We'd tie them up in silken bonds and make them sit on our face"....

.. heh heh... cheers, people... and happy St. Patrick's Day... hey, even I am wearing green today... see?... and I ain't even a smidgen Irish...

green.jpg

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Back....

... well, that was fun... Nashville, I mean.... what a very pleasant town....

... Saturday afternoon I sat myself at the bar of the Big River Grill and placed my order... thirty seconds later I see an old mate of mine at the OTHER end of the bar with his wench crawling all over him... him lost in the dying throes of the Kentucky/South Carolina game... and her completely adrift in his manly manliness...

... needless to say, we hooked up... and spent the next eight hours drinking toasts to the fact that we had parted ways over a year ago.. well, that and he was lamenting the nail-biter Kentucky had lost .... hey, it is always good when you can meet up with an old friend and drink together about how happy you've both been after a year of NOT seeing each other!....

... anyway, the result of our happy reunion nearly got me whipped by a fairly large cowboy-type... and him crucified by his doting date... it was an evening just as it should have been... near misses and lucky breaks...

... still, I really can't complain... it was good to see him again... and it was good to be crawling back up Broadway again...

... oh, and to the Dentist from Selma, Alabama who bought me the Scotch... thanks, killer... you started the Ball of Oblivion rolling... in short, Ed, old buddy, you are the man... it was a true pleasure letting you bum cigarettes off of me.... and I enjoyed our conversation immensely.... next time I'm down in Selma, you owe me a carton of Camels... and a free cleaning....

... and to the big cowboy at The Stage on Broadway?... terribly sorry, big guy... I was out of line... and it had been a hard week.. and a lot of bridges (and water under them).... so I trust all is forgiven.... I really am a saint most of the time... honest.... Peace, brother...

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Social Decline....

.... for the past six weeks, there has been very little activity in the Eagle Glen Social Club.... instead of the guys dropping by en masse at the appointed hour on a Wednesday, they have trickled in one at a time throughout the week... begging off shooting pool and cracking a beer.. or just calling in to touch base... this Winter has seen the club members ride the scary Rollercoaster of Life with lots of white knuckles and quite a few smiles... but the result is still the same... Wednesdays have become sleepy evenings here at the casa..

... the reasons for the change are quite diverse... overwork, sickness, extra responsibilities... even falling in love... hey, it's good to see my buds having their ups and downs....

... but last night though, the club was reopened... that's right... the Guy in the Witness Protection Plan showed up with his family in tow and graced us for a few hours... my pool shooting has certainly gone downhill, people... he AND his son wiped the table with my sorry self... it was bad...

.... Ahh... it's all good, I guess.... but I can see the writing on the wall... I've watched us over these past two years... how we have slowly changed every Wednesday... bit by bit... from fierce competition in the beginning.. to camaraderie.. to friendship... and then to casually dropping by just whenever... like Wednesday has expanded to include each day of the week... anytime, day or night....

... in a way, it is the end.... and soon I suppose the Social Club will be disbanded... after all, it was created to add structure to our fun.. and now, well, I guess you can't shoehorn friendship into an allocated slot of time... it is a constant thing... a continual thing... and it really doesn't matter if it is Wednesday night or not...

... but hey, it is kinda sad though... Hell, I was just about to get tee-shirts printed up and draw us up a charter...

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Jo Guest...

... ever have a moment of fleeting fancy that you just could not resist?... an itch that just had to be scratched?.... maybe while on an internet shop or watching that crap channel that sells cubic zirconium stones the size of marbles?... or what about while rummaging around e-Bay whilst a little too ginned up?... well, yeah, me too... and the little treasure arrived a few weeks ago...

... it's kinda depressing, really... but I am now the proud owner of a truly gigantic poster of one Miss Joanne Guest... sucker is huge, too... 4 feet X 6 feet... what I was thinking when I bought it is beyond me... surely I was in a combined state of drunkenness and horned-up insanity... that can, after all, be the only explanation.. but regardless, she is here... snuggled in a shipping tube that is leaning against a corner of the blogroom...

... of course when I unpacked her I was full of anticipation... especially because I had no recollection of ordering her to begin with... she was truly a surprise... and trust me, people, the smack that struck me in the back of the head as my wife gazed on as she was unfurled is now a thing of myth and legend...

... anyway, although she is here now, I have to admit that I've always had a soft spot for Miss Guest.. which is strange, really, because blondes just don't do it for me... but there is just something about the way she arches her back that is absolutely enthralling... the girl must be double-jointed or something... believe me, ladies and gentlemen... I've seen videos and the girl has real talent... special abilities, so to speak... of course, she's never done any hardcore work... and hey, I am torn over that... one the one hand I do respect her immensely for only getting her tits out and showing some skin... but another part of me wants to see her nailed by a guy sporting a woody the size of a toddler's arm... over and over again... in slow motion..

.. but be all that as it may, here I sit with my bigger-than-life poster of Joanne Guest and no place to put it... and no recollection of buying her...

... so, while most of my tales end with some great, mind-bending view of society in decline, a fart joke, or something wonderfully insightful about the frailties of humanity and living life to the fullest, this post isn't like that.... no... it is different....

... for today, I must get shed of my poster of Miss Guest... lest I myself become surplus to requirements around these parts... I'll show you the photo in just a moment... her pinned down with my old autographed cricket bat and pet Gila Monster..... which, yeah, I know is just wrong... had I had my way I would have pinned her down with something else..

.... anyway, the bidding starts at three dollars..... so, who wants her?.... trust me.. she's worth more than three bucks..... hell, I paid fifteen for her myself not two weeks ago...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(15) | TrackBack (1)
» Boudicca's Voice links with: Can't Take My Eyes off the Carpet

Sunday Snow...

... well, well.... it's actually snowing here.... unbelievable.. a dusting fell last night, and now more has started to fall.. large flakes... slowly falling and finding their resting place in the grass.... from where I sit looking out the window, they swirl slightly before hitting the ground... I guess that means that we have a slight SSW wind sneaking around the corner of the house... it's quite beautiful, this falling snow... the pattern in the distance is of slightly slanting flakes... but closer to where I sit, well, they are caught in the vortex created by the breeze...

I guess this is my Sunday morning entertainment... watching the snow fall while nursing a cup of coffee and a mug of orange juice...

... maybe I will wander outside later and see if I can make a snowman... I haven't done that in years... then again, perhaps I should celebrate this first snowfall by mixing a cocktail with it... maybe gather some snow and squeeze it hard into a ball.... then plop that baby into a martini glass and cover with a freshly shaken Cosmopolitan... after all, it is Sunday... and all I have to do today is cook a pork loin this afternoon...

... I so do love it when it snows...

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Chow...

... a typically relaxed late-morning again... hey, I know all you hard-working individs out there just hate it when I say that... well, too damn bad... that's why I say it in the first place... and just to stick the knife in a little deeper, as I type this the house is filled with the pleasing aroma of my bolognaise sauce contentedly percolating on the stove... you guys should be so damn lucky....

.. I truly love to cook.. the act of creating something that has depth.. it's like art almost.. the more crap you add to the recipe, the stranger and more interesting the flavors become... today I'm cooking with cheeses.. it's a well-practiced variation on my normal theme....

... anyway, a few months ago, I showed T1G how to make my spaghetti... he was half in the bag at the time, so he probably doesn't remember... and seeing as I've just finished prepping the sauce, I guess I'll share portions of the recipe with everyone... of course, I'll leave the secret ingredients out... they are, after all, secret...

... first off, as I've said many times, the most important thing about creating a sauce is to have the right music playing in the background... shitty soundtrack, and the sauce turns out bad.. don't believe me?... try cooking with ABBA in the background... your dog wouldn't even nibble the most exquisite morsel were it prepared by someone under the influence of ABBA...

... when T1G was here, we cooked to Dire Straits "On Every Street" album... it was New Ground... sure, it turned out alright.. but I should have stuck with my tape of bullfighting music... which brings me to today... today shall see our spoons being shimmied to the groove of John Mellencamp's "Uh Huh"... a fine and well-proven soundtrack to sauce making... although not as productive as bullfight tunes, it does add a certain peppery flavor to the finished product...

... ok, ok... put on some music and play along.. listen and learn...

... let us start off with stuff you'll need...

*a pound of ground beef
*1/3 cup of chopped garlic
*olive oil... any kind will do... nothing around this house is "extra virgin", so it really doesn't matter..
*a large onion
*ground cloves
*vanilla extract
*two bay leaves
*basil and oregano in unbelievable quantities...
*grated parmesan, mozzarella, asiago, and romano cheese..
*any kind of spaghetti sauce you want to use.. (after we're through with it, it'll be totally unrecognizable...)
*pasta.. I like to use rigatoni.. the sauce is going to end up incredibly thick.. if you use a wuss noodle like spaghetti, the sauce will just push right through.. rigatoni will grab hold of the sauce with its little folds and hang on... I like that in a pasta...

... oops, gotta go... time to stir the sauce...

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cooking...

... lazy, lazy Sunday here... overcast sky.... I'm making Chicken Parmesan again for dinner tonight... but I'm not sure if it'll work out right... I've lost my CD of bullfighting music... and Guns and Roses is in caddy...

... I've been listening to the Kentucky Headhunters all afternoon.... never tried cooking Italian food while listening to them... might turn out a bit strange.... word, people... never underestimate the importance of having the right background music when cooking... you heard it here first...

... anyway, sitting here now, I'm yearning for my coonskin cap... saw a six point buck in the back yard yesterday afternoon... he was gnawing on my muscadine vine and looking wily... varmint... his days are numbered..

... that just about sums up my day... some cooking... some drinking... some music... no drama... a few History Channel documentaries... all the while plotting the demise of fluffy forest creatures with a high powered rifle...

... all in all, even with the occasional speed-bump, life is pretty damn good...

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Toe troubles....

... I think I had a stroke or something a few days ago

... isn't one of the symptoms of having a stroke that some piece of you goes numb?... I woke up Monday morning and nearly fell when I tried to get out of bed... see, the left side of my right big toe was numb... I ended up lurching around like a Village of the Damned extra till late afternoon when I finally figured out how to walk with a half-numb big toe... and it's been that way ever since... no, not the lurching, the numbness...

... so, what is/was it?... stroke?... blood clot?... flesh-eating virus?... signs of a midnight abduction by alien foot fetishists?...

... I don't know, but it sure is weird.... I've never had random body parts just go on strike like this before... and of all the parts that I have offended over the years (and that have a legitimate reason to form a picket line), why the lowly toe?... it's not like I go around kicking the Hell out of stuff... for the most part, I leave the bastard alone...

.. I'd have expected this crap from my liver or kidneys... but never from a comfortable, well-socked toe... I always thought he was happy...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(17) | TrackBack (1)
» Boudicca's Voice links with: Funny Stuff Now and Upcoming

More on Barbarians...

... that's right, rubberneckers... not only is it "Barbarian Weekend" on The History Channel, but y'all are getting it here too... hey, what can I say, I'm bored... anyway, I was just reading that one in four humans on the face of the planet have a direct bloodline back to Genghis Khan... yeah, let that one sink in for a minute...

... done?.. good... now say it with me... "DAMN!.. now that is a legacy"...

... sure, sure... say what you will, but something tells me he was "conquering" more than huge tracts of land and the occasional uppity Sultan... then again, maybe he didn't conquer those darlings after all... Hell, for all we know, the damsels lined right up when they saw his armored camel come galloping over the horizon.... catch my drift?...

... see, even back then, the ladies got all weak-kneed over the badboys.. power, safety, money, a little bit of ruthlessness thrown in for good measure, and those furry dark-age knickers were getting dropped by the bushel load... and now look at us... clean-shaven.. reading glasses... high cholesterol... what a damn depressing lot we have become...

... it's always at these pleasant times of the afternoons when all the great mud puddles of life get slowly clearer through liberal use of Lagavulin.. sorry that you guys are having to bear witness... but still, Genghis Khan?... 1 in 4 people?... damn... and I hear tell that no one knows where he was laid to rest on the Steppes... easy way to find him?... walk across Mongolia reading a copy GQ Magazine aloud, and then listen for the vibrations of him spinning in his grave... yeah, talk about a civilization in decline...

... that said, I totally retract what I spouted in my previous post... I'm not a barbarian.. Hell, I'm not even a badboy... shit, I even have table manners... and apart from the occasional antics after too much Barley, I'm really a fluffy-bunny type guy... totally harmless... well, a fluffy-bunny type guy with lots of guns...

... but still... 1 in 4 people... that's just amazing... and even though I know it isn't true... I'd like to imagine old Genghis would at least enjoy sipping a fine Scotch with me on the deck before ransacking the house and barbecuing the cats...

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Lunch....

... well, wonders never cease.... just when I thought it was safe to sleep till noon and enjoy a recliner-based lifestyle, I got the call yesterday...

.. shocking, I know... however, it promised to be only an accidental blip on my hedonistic radar screen.. so I'm not too stressed out... it was only one day of toil... see, it seems my local government needed my services for the day... installing a new workstation computer.... I handled it.. after all, when one's government needs them, well, you just have to step up...

... actually, I'm not too bitter about the situation... it was a beautiful day for tooling into town with the sunroof open on my way to the office...

... as for today, it's all very civilized... I'm off to a coffee shop in town for lunch... a leisurely stroll around the courthouse square in the sunshine to walk off my turkey panini... and then back home in time for evening cocktails... complete with swizzle sticks, no less...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(4) | TrackBack (1)
» from Jhony links with: :-)

Safe....

... a steady trickle of trick or treaters visited the casa last night... various ghouls and goblins rang the doorbell and shared in the fruits of my candy dish... and one in particular stands out.. a wee tike of about three who was dressed as a pumpkin... cleaving unto his Momma's breast and crying bloody murder... poor lad... his brother was dressed in a mask that squirted blood on occasion.. quite gory, if you ask me... and hey, I don't blame the little pumpkin guy... as I had just woken up from a lambkin dream on the couch myself, and it freaked me too..

.. ahh, but candy is the ultimate pacifier... once his bro doffed the mask and grabbed two chocolates from the bowl, the little pumpkin acquiesced and even smiled as I handed him a miniature milkway... Momma smiled gratefully at me, and daubed at the mascara streaking her blemishless face....

... of course, as big bro slid the mask back on and headed towards Momma's mini-van, pumpkinboy began wailing again... burying his orange-painted face into protective embrace of his Mother's white cashmere sweater...

... I poured myself a large Lagavulin and laughed out loud after they'd gone... and as I kicked my feet up onto the ottoman and sank into the couch, I closed my eyes... oh to be young again... when squishing your face between two fluffy bosoms would provide the ultimate safe-haven from the beasts of the World...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(6) | TrackBack (1)
» from Jhony links with: :-)

Morning...

... well, rubberneckers.... where to start?... to be honest, I have no idea... it was awesome...

... bleary-eyed, I sit here... coffee in hand... still in disbelief that some of my favorite people made the long journey to my house and partied hardy... and best of all, my sleepy little neighborhood is still standing... albeit covered in beer bottles, lost clothing, and cigarette butts... it still stands...

... in a word, gentle readers, my humble home has just survived being hit by a blogger-tsunami... the likes of which I have never read about on the internet before... it was marvelous and overwhelming...

... and damn, I want to do it again...

... more later when I can focus my eyes better on the screen....

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(23) | TrackBack (2)
» Blog o'RAM links with: Mulling Spices
» Tammi's World links with: Part 1

Brutal...

... well, folks.. last night saw one of the most brutal beatings in the history of billiards... Cousin Brad and I played for about five hours and I lost only three times... two of which were when I inadvertently scratched on the eight.. yeah, it was rough... but hey, I am nothing if not gracious and humble in victory..

... and it wasn't that Brad couldn't open a can of whoop-ass from time to time... it's just that when the game came down to the final shots, his luck would tuck tail and skedaddle like Yankees at 1st Manassas.. leaving me in command of the table...

.... ahhh... it's all good though...

.. you know, some people say "you can't win them all", and that is true... very true... but losing them ALL still has a bit of a sting...

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Bodies.....

.. spent the day washing curtains, sipping Becks Dark, and watching Tennessee battle themselves Alabama... hey, it happens..... glad they brought Ainge in to throw an interception though... that was definitely a high-point.... ahh, Hell.. enough about all that....

.. I'm getting ready to hit the sack now.... and as I type this, comedic dialogue from "Arsenic and Old Lace" is bouncing off the darkened walls of the living room....

... the Better Half reclined.... sipping Australian merlot while lip-syncing one of her favorites.... yeah, Cary Grant again... not the car this time, of course.. the real deal.... the dapper Mortimer....

... cycles... cycles.... remember the scene when the old Aunts say that Johnny can't bury his latest victim in the cellar because they already have twelve bodies down there?.... remember the guy who thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt?....

... indeed... no room at the Inn, people... we're all Ambassadors to someone...

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just another Wednesday...

... with a well-drugged Babe in the sack of the Master Bedroom, tonight's Social Club gathering went off without a hitch.... not as many faces as usual, but still an interesting group.... oh, and we kept our normal yelping, cursing, and music playing at a civilized decibel level... lest we disturb the Sleeping Goddess..... hey, I knew y'all were worried...

.... and for those who are inquisitive about my billiard skills this evening, Biker Steve whipped me good.... but that's ok.. three games to two in eightball.. Hell, he was the Better Man tonight....and life, as ever, soldiers on...

.... that is the point, right?... we keep on keeping on.... damn the torpedoes, and all that?....

... ahh... it's cool.... just as it should be..... sometimes you're the windshield.. sometimes you're the bug. and sometimes you're the husband... and sometimes you are the patient...

... well, I suppose it is acceptance... that's the real yardstick... acceptance.... once you get past that, you're cookin' with gas....

... we are what we are.. and we are WHERE we are.. and we all built our own castles and took our own roads.... today, tomorrow, or ten years from now, we all have to understand where we've been and how we ended up where the morning finds us....

.... as for me?.... after kicking out the last of the players and ensuring my Treasure was safely asleep.. well, I have no complaints... no complaints at all..... and in saying that, I am saying volumes....

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Never again....

.... well, it is finished...

... damn, I hurt all over.... 8am start and finishing just as dusk fell at 7:30pm.... the working life does not agree with me, I suppose... soft, and all that.... we broke for lunch at 3:45... truly, I am beat down..

... I never knew that screwing could be so painful...

... be that as it may, the site was dedicated, of course, with laphroaig (me)... and dickle (my Uncle).... toasts were made and sawdust swept... chests were thumped and phonecalls made... hey, it was an event...

... now?.. time for a shower, ibuprofen, and more Scotch.... all three, incidentally, make me feel much, much better...

... that said?... NEVER again.... never ever again...

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A Real Cool Hand....

... in preparation for my upcoming weekend, I am re-watching Cool Hand Luke and purging myself with bee pollen and gin...

... all said, I should be daisy-fresh by morning.... God knows that by Sunday I'll be slummed like a 7th Avenue gutter after the Sailors have been through...

... but some things you just have to do.. right?... besides, I'll be meeting my mates, my friends, and quite a few I admire greatly....

.. and so, sing with me, gentle readers... for tomorrow, I shall be walking just that wee bit closer to them.... Blog Gods.... meeting at the Oracle...

I am weak but thou art strong
Jesus keep me from all wrong
I'll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to thee

Chorus:
Just a closer walk with thee
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea
Daily walking close to thee
Let it be, dear lord, let it be

When my feeble life is o'er
Time for me shall be no more
Guide me gently, safely o'er
To thy kingdom's shore, to thy shore

When life's sun sinks in the west
Lord, may I have done my best
May I find sweet peace and rest
In that happy home of the blessed

... fitting, no?... A Closer Walk With Thee Them...

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$1,000....

... last night, in between shots, the deal went down.. a cool grand exchanged hands... not my hands, of course, I was merely an observer... still, it was a sight to behold... 10 crisp bills... the object of lust was a handmade Bowie knife... moose leg-bone handle... seductively curved 12-inch blade... artistry in metal, people...

... very nice... but a little too rich for my blood...

... after the deal?.. more shots, talk of cowboy hats, and sipping Absinthe raw... always a surprise, you know?... you just never know how an evening will idle down...

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Bind me not...

... since some bloggers have braved my Wednesday night gatherings, I suppose it is proper to make this announcement here... although, I must say that it pertains more to non-blogging cretins that hang at my house mid-week... anyway, here goes...

... we, the loosely bound group known as the Eagle Glen Social Club, have agreed to add a new law to the Rules of Wednesday Night....

... any agreement - written, verbal, implied, cajoled, or guessed-at while shooting pool on a Wednesday - is to be considered null and void until verification of said agreement can be made in the sober light of day...

... in other words, if I get well oiled on cheap busthead and offer to buy your car, do not go out at first light the next morning and have the title changed.... and THEN expect me to actually buy your damn car from you....

... sure, there is taking advantage, and then there is Taking Advantage... so, hark, people... from here on out, all wheeling and dealing is performed at the peril of the wheeler and/or dealer...

... I hate that it has become necessary to write this down, but trust me.. this post is simply a precaution... having one's weekly constitutional is very, very important... and nothing should get in the way of nursing a good buzz...

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I'm not laughing with you...

... last night the gang were in rare form... foul language flew, flasks were drained, and backs were slapped... a sterling time was had by all... last Wednesday I was in NYC so the Social Club didn't meet... last night?.. well, having had two weeks between Gatherings, they were certainly ready to go...

... I spent most of yesterday setting the railings for the deck with my Uncle... tightening bolts, leveling... ensuring that each post pointed proudly towards Heaven at the perfect angle... and today I plan on finishing up the laying of the decking.. it should be fun...

... on a side note, I discovered a new angle to increase the pool-shooting pleasure yesterday evening... obstacles... see, I had stacked eight 2X12X12's under the table... merely for convenience.. heh heh... one could actually see the cloud of bitching and moaning ascending towards the sky with the naked eye... toes were stumped as rednecks jockeyed for position to take shots.... word... woe unto the man who wears sandals... which incidentally, was dear Cousin Brad... poor bastard got about half-lit and it seemed to kill his short term memory... every time he circled the pool table, he'd slam one of his toes into the immovable stack of 2X12's and then lope and prance like a man possessed for a minute or two.. it was classic..

... say what you will, people.. but I am a simple man... and I must say, I do not delight in the misfortune of others... but I did laugh.. yes, I did...heartily and with a gusto borne of cheap Scotch... this is the boondocks of Tennessee, after all... we gotta find our entertainment where we can...

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Sorting it all out...

... well, I'm trying to decipher some of the drunken hieroglyphs I just found in my luggage... notes, I think, jotted on bar napkins.. just charming... but hey, would you expect anything less?... well, it is proving more difficult than I imagined...

... firstly, while in NYC, I spent every night in The Beekman Towers... a truly wonderful hotel and an art deco masterpiece... tile and marble and arches circa 1928... I had a large, comfortable, and self-contained suite with a great view of the East River and the UN Building... not a bad place to watch the world go by and relax after an afternoon walking the city... I highly recommend it...

... the whole time I was there, an area of three blocks surrounding the place was closed to traffic... cops, firemen, FBI agents, Secret Service, and U.S. Marshals absolutely oozed from every doorway.... Hell, we had at least three armed and suited men in our lobby at any given minute... diplomats everywhere too.... 60th anniversary of the UN or some such... we even saw the President Bush's motorcade... there I stood on the sidewalk along with Ambassadors, UN flunkies, and the news cameras.... to say I stuck out would be a gross understatement...

.. verily, one doesn't see cowboy boots very often unless they are being worn by some Saks junkie with a Sugar Daddy.. and their boots ain't Justin's either... pointy-toed Dolce & Gabbanas... that's just wrong... I mean, I doubt that even the Marlboro Man could walk through Times Square without getting his manly haunches pinched by some wafer thin boot-wearing wasp with a goatee...

.. which reminds me.. I did the obligatory tour of the men's department of Saks.. sixth and seventh floors... Jesus... I've never seen so many duckies doddling for 70 dollar handkerchiefs in my life... not my bag at all, but well worth the experience... to each his own, and all that... but why any grown man would buy 200 dollar underwear is simply beyond me... I didn't buy anything, of course, but it was definitely an education...

.. you know that other half we all keep hearing about?.. yeah, they shop at Saks... the rest of us?... salt of the Earth, people, that's what we are... salt of the Earth...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(4) | TrackBack (1)
» Drunken Wisdom links with: Misfits in Manhattan

Back...

... whoa....

... word, people... if you have never visited Manhattan, you're missing out... truly..

... it's the only place I've ever seen that will fill you with pride, rejuvenate your belief in humanity, scare the living hell out of you, and disgust you beyond words... all within fifteen minutes... all day.. every day....

... paying 35 bucks for a ham & cheese omelet on 49th Street ranks as one of the most legally decadent things I've ever experienced....

... anyway, it's 2am.... I'm going to bed...

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Scofflaw, or Why Tailgate Camping Sucks

One of the reasons I visit Eric's site is the drinking stories. Nothing like a good drinking story.

And this, what I'm getting ready to post? It's nothing like a good drinking story. Mostly because there wasn't nearly as much drinking (from a personal standpoint) as I'd have wished.

It's a re-run of something I posted quite a while back on my site, but I figure it fits the bill here.....

Well, BSTommy and his friends went camping this weekend. We wandered up to the Chilhowee forest near Benton. Judging from the number of folks who had beaten us to the punch, I'm guessing that many of my sevens of loyal readers had decided to camp this weekend, too.

We found a spot at the Lake McKamy Overflow camping area. Basically, it's a big field where you can go set up tents. No sites in the woods. No-legal-to-camp-in private sites to be found. No illegal-to-camp-in private sites, either. Actually, we looked there first. We looked high and low. And high again. And we wandered to the Overflow.

Paying to camp in a field. Even if that field belongs to the Forest Service. What a gyp. I can sleep in a field at my house, dammit. For free, even.

But it's actually closer to the lake than the normal place we camp. So it's all good, I guess. It was the lake we went for.

And we camp. As only we can. Mostly we fart, torment each other about our various insecurities, and stare absently into space.

We spent the biggest part of the day at the lake, where the sun baked us to a find golden brown crisp. And what the sun didn't sap out of us, the hike back to the Benton Falls and the skeeters took the rest.

Come supper time, we build a respectable campfire, and dine on a fine repast of hot dogs, hamburgers, potato chips. Most importantly, we break out the beer.

This is when we realize that the group has made a mistake. A mistake along the lines of "We thought you were bringing beer." See, I brought a couple of sixpacks, thinking that everybody'd be chipping in, bringing their fair share. But apparently, it was believed by the rest of the crew that Yours, Truly was bringing the whole supply.

If there is a lesson to be learned here, it is that Communication is Key, people.

Well, there's a minor dispute as to whose fault this bullshit is. We decide that we're all too tired to make the drive for more beer. We settle in to enjoy each other's company, beerless. And all the while, we watch a group settle in around us. I say that, as we'd taken the corner space of the overflow field. These pricks take up two spaces to the left to us and two of the three to our right. I later came to suspect this group was a reunion of friends who'd attended Duke University. Regardless of their education, I also believe these Blue Devils were a group related to the conspiracy to keep Big Stupid Tommy (and friends) from having a good time by being generally loud and obnoxious.

It also did nothing to deter me from my long held belief that Duke Sucks.

Actually, they weren't that bad, person to person. Mostly they just seemed like a lot of Type A personalities who don't know exactly how A.) to have a good time or B.) communicate without being loud and talking over the other person.

We were able to have our conversations (look at Jason's cartoonishly large feet; Steven's an asshole; Tommy's just stupid, Why does Julie hang out with us?) in spite of things without too much interruption.

It was a great source of entertainment, when a member of the aforementioned group wanders into our site thinking that it's her site. She's wondering, slurred and confused, where her wine is.

We told her to try the veal.

An ACC comeback: "What?"

I should mention our beer again. Remember how woefully short we were. We brought two (2) six packs. Two.

Just two.

And a couple were gone by the time we got down to the "sit around the fire" stage of the night. So splitting them among the four of us, none of us could have had that much to drink. Especially spread out over a two hour time span.

Well, not too long after the fun drunk from next door asked where her wine was (and not too long after the same tripped and fell over a folding chair at her site), we decided to see how quiet the lake was around midnight.

It was quiet. Very nice. No Duke University people. No anybody. I had half a mind to drag my sleeping bag out there, and bed down for the night there. We spent a couple of hours there bullshitting and laughing.

We conjectured on an odd light off the woods nowhere near where there should have been a lantern. Probably it was somebody camping on the bike trail since all the sites were full. But it was, momentarily, the object of a little bit of conversation.

A bit after midnight, we decide to wander back to the campsite, fully ready to drift off to dreamland. We're walking across the field, and in the embers of our campfire, we see somebody nosing through our site.

Who's this asshole in a hat? I ask.

More Straight talk »

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A Bad Idea...

... hey, I'm all for dressing for an occasion... and if the occasion is having a few beers at Oktoberfest?... you don the lederhosen.. it's just that simple... nothing says "Bring Out the BEER!" like leather pants...

... why do I bring this up?... tradition, people... tradition... some things are just need to be left alone... see, a fella named Landinger is designing skirts for beer-drinking men to wear at this year's Munich throwdown... yeah, skirts...

... in a word, that's just wrong... hey, I have no problem with men wearing skirts.. after all, I got hitched in a kilt... but breaking a hallowed tradition that spans centuries just because some Teutonic reveler wants a little comfort?... no... ten times, no... I say suck it up, people... just say no to "drinking skirts"... it's the slippery slope to oblivion... trust me..

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Plastic Jesus...

... after a few conversations today, I somehow feel violated.... tattered... sure, it's not all that strange of a feeling for me lately... but today's stir was harsh... no biggie, really... I shall steel myself like that proverbial duck's back..

... still, there is but one thing for it, I suppose... I've just gotsta get me one of these...

... I quote The Cool Hand for posterity's sake...

goin' 90, I ain't scary... because I got the Virgin Mary.... ensuring me.... that I don't go to Hell

... indeed... let's hope it works out better for me than it did for Luke at the end of the movie..

... and be sure to sing along, children... every little bit helps... and Paul gets his groove on near the end... so be sure to listen to it all the way through... the banjo was bucking him pretty hard in the beginning....

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Bengay...

... it is quite possible that I may have imbibed too much last night... I really can't remember, but it is possible... the amber nectar was flowing freely.... Wednesday's are always a hoot...

... anyway, a few weeks ago, I was gifted with a four-bottle liquor tree... that may be the wrong name for it, of course.. a stainless steel free-standing lazy Susan type thing... wherein one places four bottles of alcohol, inverted, and it dispenses perfectly measured shots....

... two things, totally unrelated, bring me here to the keyboard this afternoon... a random thunderstorm which chased me from my labors... and that shiny booze dispenser... see, it is nearly cocktail hour...

... oh, and on a totally unrelated note, I crawled out of bed and made coffee a few hours ago... I've swilled a few cups since.. had lunch.. watched some television, and was just beginning to get my head around the afternoon's light when I headed back to the bedroom...

... upon opening the door, the stench of Bengay wafted up from the sheets and pillows.. at once, over powering me and forcing most of my eyebrows to fall out... strong stuff.... funny, too... but here's the rub... I don't remember having it applied to my bony ass last night...

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You just never know...

... well, notch up another strangitude to a Wednesday night... one of the usuals is freelancing as an arms dealer....

... while sipping Dalmore with my buds and testing out the new felt on the table, I actually purchased a firearm... .357 magnum Smith & Wesson "Highway Patrolman".... I didn't need it, of course, but it just seemed like the thing to do.... crazy stuff....

... these Social Club gatherings are becoming a warped combination... once they were of the speakeasy form... my humble garage providing an oasis in the dry-county desert... but lately a heavy dash of Juarez swapmeet is surfacing.. one never seems to know what will happen next... surreal?.. for sure, rubberneckers... especially as the evening crawls on... the longer they stay, the weirder things get.. but, hey... with an open mind, a few shots, and the right attitude, it just gets more and more entertaining every week...

... I'm all about the flexibility.. y'all know that, but damn... Lord help us... we're certainly pushing the envelope....

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Marley, mon...

... last night's festivities began bizarrely and continued to orbit the surreal all evening... the timbre of the Social Club meeting was a'kilter from the start... I can't put my finger exactly on it, but personally?... well, I blame Bob Marley... I mean, have you ever seen three full-grown whiteboys attempting to dittybop to reggae?.... shameful stuff... hell, and that was early on... the whole sordid affair climaxed when we started playing air guitar to "Exodus"... it was all downhill after that...

... indeed, Bacchus was smiling down on us gentlemen.... eventually, we made our way indoors once our billiard abilities had been snuffed, and discussions of recent conquests took place.. not by me, of course... I'm pure as the driven snow... but the others engaged... everything from late-at-night fumblings to being propositioned in the mini-mart... oh yes, children, the honor of many a local debutante was mulled over with knowing nods and evil grins... shock and awe, people... shock and awe... through much of the conversations, I sat completely stunned... were my hair longer, I am sure that it would have curled at some of the descriptions of decadence...

... in summation?... a very pleasant time was had... and there is no doubt in my mind that had we stuck to Zevon and Young - as we normally do - the evening would have maintained a steadier course... but, oh my... listening to reggae certainly took steamy tell-alls to a whole new level...

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Home alone...

... I fended for myself last night when dinner approached... and I did a pretty good job... no frozen Stouffer's lasagna for me, no, not last night... I even took pity on the pizza delivery guy and saved him from braving the jungle-like heat and humidity to deliver me a fresh pie... instead, I ate donuts... six of them, actually...

... Krispy Kreme's finest fresh raspberry-filled donuts.. and they were awesome...I know this may be a Southern thing, but I find it almost impossible to adequately sing the praises of Krispy Kremes..

... of course, I followed the fine meal with a one-a-day vitamin... you know, just to keep the ole bod in fighting trim..

... afterwards, I comfortably sipped two extra-dry martinis as I watched Fox News froth about Robertson's recently acquired foot-in-mouth disease...

... home alone... hey, I'm all about the finer things in life...

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breaking the mood...

.. if you ever find yourself snuggling on the couch late in the evening while watching X2 with your Significant One... and if they happen to wistfully ponder a question... and then they answer it themselves.. and then propose the selfsame question to you... be very careful what you say... it is easy to allow the bonding of peace, serenity, and adult beverages to lull you into a false sense of security... for instance..

.. as Wolverine was slashing his way through fifty heavily armed kidnappers at the X-Men's base, I heard this from my Dear above the screaming of the recently knifed...

... "those mutants rock... if I could have those super powers, well... I'd want to be Wolverine... yeah... Wolverine... he kicks ass.... dear?... which mutant would you like to be?"....

... now listen closely... what ever you do in this situation, do not say the following...

... I took a sip of my Scotch, and placed the tumbler gently on the ottoman... I craned my neck as if deep in thought for a moment.. and as I lit a cigarette, I gave my answer.... "that's an interesting question.... hmmm... probably which ever one is doing the nasty with Storm on a nightly basis"..

... that is the wrong answer... trust me on that...

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Awesome Hotdogs...

... the Wife and I drove down to Cleveland yesterday just for the hell of it... actually, that's not true.. we were on a mission to buy Cadbury's chocolates, but I like to think we just went for the hell of it...

... there is a deli in the downtown area... Mom and Pop type thing.. innocuously called The Gardener's Market... which is kinda funny in itself in that none of the stuff they sell is grown, produced, or remotely connected with a east Tennessee garden... it's all imported.... the proprietors aren't locals either... from Canada, I think... anyway, their wee shoppe is packed to the gunnels with British food... chocolate, rice, sauces, and teas... just like the stuff you'd find on the shelf of a Safeway or Sainsbury's.... I highly recommend it if you ever find yourself in Cleveland for lunch....

.... we make the journey down there every few months for the essentials.. for me, that is big jar of Branston Pickle... and if you don't know what Branston Pickle is, you simply have not lived... go forth and acquire some immediately.. that stuff completes the perfect cheese sandwich like nothing else on earth... but for the Wife, the trip is to fondle, squeeze, and purchase nearly everything else in the shop...

... indeed, the owner sure loves to see us come in the front door...

... damn... where was I going with this?... what's this all about?... crap.. I forgot where I was headed with the story about driving to Cleveland.. maybe I'll remember the rest of the story later... damn, I hate it when that happens... anyway, it's Wednesday and I'm off to shoot pool with the usual societal rejects... if anyone needs me, I'll be in the garage...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(3) | TrackBack (1)
» Closet Extremist links with: So I finally got off my ass...

Woe..

... sweet Lord... two things recently have struck chords with me.... first, Fox news has Mr. T on this morning.... I thought that bastard was dead... and I've never fully forgiven him for pushing Burgess Meredith down those stairs... I'm glad Rocky kicked his ass for that... you should always be kind to old people, you know..... but how the times have changed... no more mohawk... stars'n'stripes do-rag instead.. the man's lost his shtick.. shameful stuff.... and on top of all this morning's mischief, I notice that the Thunderman was poking fun at me the other day.... what is this crazy world coming to?... it seems he doesn't feel my pain....

.. you know that pain, right... that embarrassment of being woefully unemployed?... poor and shiftless?... feeling the oppressive guilt and jealousy of all you working people?.. sitting and reading poetry and sipping Scotch all day long?... Jesus, ever been bereft, people?... hey, if it'll make you rubberneckers feel better, I'll put up a tip jar... then y'all will have no excuse....

... yeah, whatever.... listen... my life is not meant for everyone.. I am made of strong - yet remarkably flexible - stuff... it takes a special breed to handle being me.... and that is a fact... trust me, y'all can't handle the full truth of my existence... were I to disclose it completely, you people would go blind, or deaf.. or something... hell, Thunderman couldn't even hang ONE DAY in New Orleans recently... you want to talk shameful?... that's pretty bad....

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Belly-up...

.. I recently found this blog... or it recently found me, I forget which... but after visiting, I knew I'd found a drunkard kindred spirit...

... I prefer Bombay Sapphire to Tanqueray, but still... if he's buying, I'm sipping....

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Fruit...

... the muscadine vine that I discovered in the Spring is finally putting out... she's bearing fruit for her very first time... I couldn't be happier... not too many, though... just enough to casually walk by and graze upon when touring your kingdom in the afternoon....

... one of my dear Uncles, wise in the ways of the forest, once told me that the wild vines would not produce fruit so long as they are on the ground... bowing to his greater knowledge of the ancient secrets, I purchased a trellis... that wiry sprout has climbed it all Summer and now I have muscadines... of course, I can not vouch for the truth in his tale... after all, it was not until we cleared half an acre of rainforest that I laid eyes upon the wee sapling... so the premise remains unscientific.. still, I do have fruit now... so there you go...

... next year, of course, she'll be rocking and rolling... sporting enough succulent fruit that I'll be able to make some homemade jailhouse busthead and get royally hammered on the patio... well, at least according to the almanac and Uncle Jim...

... after all, it is just for such pleasures that we toil... and I hear that Velociman has limes...

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Wounds...

.... this afternoon, I found myself attending the first function that my Surname-side of the family had held in quite a while... the eldest of my Father's family was having her 65th birthday party and all and sundry were invited... it was a very pleasant affair... kids of all ages jumping into the swimming pool... adults of various vintages milling around catching up on each other's lives...

... and it was in this blissful familial scene that I was asked to open a box of soda pop... a harmless act normally... but in this case, it triggered a set of events that I'll likely never live down...

.... see, I carry a knife.... no big deal really... most adult males of the Tennessee species carry one... the things are useful, after all... one never knows when he'll need to sever a seatbelt, open a surly box, or split the occasional watermelon.. and God forbid he ever have to defend himself.... so when asked, I simply whipped mine out....

... this prefaced gasps and "oohs" from the ladyfolk present... one even remarked thus... "damn, boy!... no one needs a knife THAT big!"... and with that, the audience to my box-killin' took notice.... all stopped..... all gazed at the blade I had miraculously produced from my seemingly unarmed trousers....

... well, someone asked to see it.... so I duly handed it over.... and before I could retrieve it, Cousin B began the tale of the wounding episode that took place in my kitchen once... of course, during a Wednesday Social Club Gathering...... horrified aunts.... belly-laughing uncles... various and assorted cousins scrambling for safety as I was forced to showed my scar...

... twas quite horrible, I assure you... those tales are normally only told to a select few.. the ones who will appreciate it... you know, the people who come around on any given Wednesday.... tonight, however, I was outed....

... the worst thing though, was when Cousin B began describing how he superglued it all back together.... that was too much for the squeamish among the bunch.... hey, at the time it was THE thing to do... superglue has antiseptic properties.... but today on the veranda?... well, it wasn't exactly the way you want to have your 65 year old Auntie celebrating her birthday....

.. for everything, it seems, there is a time and a place..

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(7) | TrackBack (1)
» basil's blog links with: Late Night Snack: 8/12/05

Last night....

... last night's festivities went well... my newly acquired "liquor tree" got plenty of exercise... it's like a four-bottle lazy Susan for dispensing perfectly measured shots... nice... a stainless steel work of art, it is.. and it spins... heh....

pool_small.jpg

... Biker Steve kicked tail, though... and I ended up losing overall... 7 to 5 in eight-ball... moonshine was involved as best I can remember...

... anyway, today is the day to finish work on the patio.. hopefully, that is.... so I am off to the back 40 to sweat out the poison...

... hey, that which doesn't kill us only makes us stronger, and all that...

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Goodbye....

... this week is starting off alllllll wrong....

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(6) | TrackBack (1)
» Random Fate links with: After the precedent...

Crazy People...

.. actions often speak louder than words... this gentleman, for instance, has it going on... and had it happened in Tennessee, I would have sworn that he had been at my house on a Wednesday or two...

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Blogcrawl...

... I was just sitting here having an ice-cold sapphire gin and tonic, and a wee fruit fly fell into my drink... in the blink of an eye, I snatched up the magical mixture and retrieved the poor devil... deader than Hell, he was... pickled in an instant.. you know, there is some strange comfort I feel just now.. I'm not sure if it is that I have self-protecting drinks.. or the fact that I am far, far superior to a common fruit fly... but yet, it is a comfort...

... that reminds me, Contagion's Blogcrawl is kicking off in a few hours... I appear to have the jump on the rest of those losers.. I mean, c'mon... my Saturday night libations have already claimed lives...

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The hits just keep on coming...

... well, another poolnight has come and gone... I was well and truly stomped 8 to 5 by Biker Steve as his main squeeze watched on.... nothing like being crushed in your own garage in front of a woman you hardly know... still, it's all cool... you can't win them all.. being humbled by the hand of a tattooed martial arts expert is not for the faint of heart... but I can deal... Hell, I always have...

... sometimes the shoe is slid onto the other foot... and he is the recipient of the asskicking... but not tonight.... just another evening with friends... crazy people, of course.. insane, even... but still friends...

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Afteraction...

.... the peaceful Sunday morning calm of Eagle Glen was shattered at 10AM EST today... T1G's green Harley was the culprit as it rumbled to life... heh.. I do believe we woke up the chickens.. anyway, he's off on his return journey of 12+ hours... I do not envy him the ride....

.. we toured the mountains and National Forest around Tellico Plains yesterday.. and snuck in dinner at The Bistro by the river... crab bisque, grilled salmon, and pulled pork sandwiches, people... seriously good eating...

... afterwards, we talked and drank and laughed till late into the night... subjects varied from blogs, bloggers, and blogmeets... to mortars, Mothers, and motorcycles... I even managed to teach T1G the secrets and finer points of the perfect Gin and Tonic...

.. even though we had a great weekend visiting... we couldn't help but be envious of Christina, Denny, Velociman, Zonker, Sam, Yabu, Dash, Kelley, Key, and Shoe... trust me, people... many, many glasses were raised in their honor... and I know they had a good time... I just hope they all stayed out of jail...

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an evening with T1G...

... last night, T1G watched on as I prepared my world famous spaghetti... he was impressed... I think that Tammi might get paid back for all of her Mexican Manicotti labors by having T1G actually prepare HER a meal for a change when he gets back...

... anyway, after the meal, we had a few drinks and settled in to watch Zulu... see, T1G had never seen that movie before.... being a former Marine, I discussed one of the books from the required reading list for NCOs... The Defense of Duffer's Drift... this brought the movie Zulu to the conversation... when I found out his life had managed to stay bereft of Zulu's pleasure, well, we just had to watch it...

... hey, what was I supposed to reward 12 hours of riding on a Harley with?...

... besides, I think he enjoyed it... either way, he's still asleep and snoring like a freight train in the spare bedroom... if I listen carefully, I can hear the dishes in the kitchen at the other end of the house rattling.. heh... being glutted with my spaghetti sauce, topped up with Shiner Bock, and forced to watch Zulu is hard on a man, I guess....

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Pretty in Pink...

.... Breaking News!.... the four horsemen of the apocalypse have been sighted in New Orleans.... truly, the end is near.... word, children... it ain't pretty... but I'm still jealous....

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Another Visitor...

... I just received a telephone call from a truly deranged man... a man who has just driven a Harley for 12 hours... in the rain... at night.. from northern Illinois to Knoxville, Tennessee... I can't believe it... 12 hours at night in the rain... damn, the things people do to come and shoot pool... y'all never cease to amaze me...

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often misunderstood...

.. half-asleep on the couch last night, a rare moment of clarity crept in quietly... allowing me to see a brilliant flash of genius... beautiful in its subtlety.. .... Everyman's secret wish... simple, really... but as true as any proverb brought down by a prophet from on high... yes, I'm talking about Cingular's latest advertisement...

... being a victim of shortsighted, religiously overwrought, dry-county legislation, this Tennessean could relate perfectly... and droopy-eyed, the often heard one-liner bypassed my normal brain activity and struck my unconscious core....

... "more bars in more places"...

... indeed... if they promised that as their campaign slogan, you could color me onboard for Cingular's gubernatorial run... and no, I'm not talking about those damn cell phones...

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Ouch...

... whoa... still alive... but only just.... hangover the size of Nebraska... 1968 Glenfarclas did it.. Blackfive is evil... you've all been warned...

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Another Wednesday...

... today is Wednesday, and it should prove interesting... the original drunken Irishman is scheduled to arrive this evening for a meeting of the Eagle Glen Social Club.. that's right, children... Matt of Blackfive shall be given the pleasure of hanging with the infamous band of curious people who arrive at my house on any given Wednesday...

... actually, they are a fine group... and we're pretty stoked about getting to welcome Matt into our fold... sure, we may not be a fair and balanced slice of East Tennessee Hillbilly culture... but we sure as Hell ain't boring...

... and here is a thought to ponder... if you've read this rambling blog for very long, you're probably just as warped as we are... and you'd fit right in even if you don't shoot pool... after all, a few brave bloggers have already made the trip, and they all survived to tell the tale... that kinda makes me smile...

... Jimmy Buffett had no idea how true it was when he penned the words... "we are the people our parents warned us about"...

.. but that's just it, I guess... I never would have imagined that shooting pool in my garage with friends would become such an Institution... one of these days, I think I'll design a tee-shirt...

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Been there...

.. this post speaks to me on more levels than you can possibly imagine....

"Um... yet another "hypothetical" q2uewstion:

eSay that you 3were sdharpening a knife, and wehile honing the blade, you managed to make a nice incisdion through a finger... let'sd juwt sday your ring finger on your left hand. The bleeding hax sdtopped, but the finger juet saeemd to flop around a bit too much. You decide that it'ds probably a xsdmart thing to do sxdomething more... what type bandage ewould you usae? WSponge Bob, or Po32wer Rangerx? And do you week further axsisdtance?

Hypothetically, an immediate anw3der 2ould be appreciated."

... at the time of my accident, we used Super Glue...

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Mothers & Drinking...

... you know, I really enjoy the way Skippy runs with a story... certainly a unique perspective.... here's the last line...

"Jesus, that was a pretty good editorial, huh? Fox News should give me that shithead John Gibson's job."

... yep...

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Poolnight...

.. Biker Steve and his lady companion came over last night for billiards and libations...good times, people... lately, Steve has taken a shine to malt liquor thus he brings his own refreshments with him.... I stock very few beers and a malted variety is not among them.. anyway, totally unrelated to the malt liquor, he showed up with his hand bandaged from a fresh slash... Cold Steel in action again... his six inch Voyager made quite a work accident...

... it didn't seem to slow him down though, and he proceeded to wipe the garage floor with me... 8 games to 1 in 8-ball, and 7 to 7 in 9-ball... hey, we all have our down-days, I guess... then again, malt liquor is a mystery to me.. perhaps that foul elixir is the reason for his recent resurgence... I guess we'll find out next week...

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Drinking with Washington...

... soon, our Independence Day will be upon us.. a day that once saw brave men sign a document that would forever change their lives and shape the world... a world that we live in today... if anything, this should be a day of personal reflection... regardless of social status, bank account size, race, religion, or sexual preference, it should be a day of introspection.. interspersed liberally with moments of celebration, fun, and family... but also weighted with reverence... for it is true that every member of our society lives within the protection that those visionary men created

.. once upon a time, the most powerful army of the planet saw drummers beat "The World Turned Upside Down" as it surrendered Colors and Men to an army of dreamers.. it is truly hard to imagine their courage, strength, guile, and tenacity... but it does make me wonder.... see, I sit here now reclining in my soft sofa... a fresh tumbler of Talisker in my hand... and Dire Straits booming from the stereo... free... happy... and wondering what I would say if Washington, Knox, Jefferson, or Henry were here today... I mean, just imagine for a moment.. would they be proud of the American that I am?... just a typical, everyday citizen and veteran who votes, pays his taxes, and tries to enjoy life.... sure, I'd pour them a drink and offer them a seat at my table... Hell, I might even open up a bottle from my prized wine collection... after all, they'd need some heavy lubrication to handle hanging with me at my house..

... and that is just my point... I can't help wondering what they would think of me and how I live... and how I have lived my life... my personal freedoms taken to excess as often as possible (and with great pleasure, I might add)... my public freedoms crimped in ways that their Constitution never dreamt of... I have a feeling that after reading the papers, checking out Fox News, and chatting with me for a few hours, I'd need to do a booze run up to Knoxville... why?... well, if our Founding Fathers saw where we are today, I think they'd make short work of my liquor cabinet...

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Send me Scotch....

... trapped between the double-glazed window and the storm screen in my blogroom window, there lives a macabre community... I watch them every day... cannibalistic, incestuous, and brutal... .. I first noticed them three years ago... tiny little things even when fully grown... common house spiders... how they got in there, I have no idea... but the problem is that once they got in.. after a few days of growth, they were too big to make it back out... the tiny holes of the screen locking them in their prison.. thus, they were trapped...

... now, here's the deal... just about every other critter is too large to penetrate the screen... so guess what's on the menu for the spiders... can't guess?... the only other crawlie that is around, rubberneckers.. baby spiders...

... it's the same way every year.. the hatchlings hatch and start scurrying around for lunch... but there is none to be had... it takes a few days, but they catch on... eventually turning to eating their brothers and sisters to survive... it's quite a sight, and I see it all right from my comfy blogchair... like right now, for instance.. it's early Summer and two camps have arisen... each holding the high ground in opposite corners.. each with a Big Momma spider and loads of wee ones... occasionally, Big Momma spider will brave a raid over to the other fortification and snatch a spiderling... suck the guts out of the thing, and rush back to her corner.. it's all cool, though... the other Big Momma does the same thing from time to time...

... by the end of Summer, they'll all be dead.. as Autumn approaches, both Big Mommas will spin another egg sack in their corner fortification... and next year it will start all over again... life between the screen and the double glazing...

... the really strange thing is that, yeah.. I know they are just spiders, but I really feel like that in watching them, I'm reading their blog... crazy stuff... now I just need to figure out how to leave comments...

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A Misspent Day..

... I spent most of the day stepping and fetching... doing my good deeds for my fellow man... out of character?.. sure.. but, hey... I was provided with a chance to eat a kickass lunch out on the town AND I was saved from lawnslave duty... not bad in my book, people...

... anyway, after a quick stop at McDonalds for coffee, I dropped off the paperwork for my Uncle's DD-214, ARCOM with V device, Purple Hearts, and Bronze Stars at the Veteran's Affairs office.. after 40 years, maybe we can get the ball rolling for him now...

... after that, I took my Cousin's shotgun over to my gunsmith's house in Tellico... what a ride... Highway 39 is one twisty piece of asphalt... taming her in the afternoon sunshine with the sunroof open was a true cherry moment.. I swear, the people who built that road must have been following a copperhead.. once I arrived, The Master had the work finished in about half an hour... the once proud "Turkey Gun" was now a badass personal defense 12ga... 18 and 1/4 inches.. nice... scary, but nice... I suppose that is the point of chopping down a pump 12ga...

... I'll deliver it back to him tomorrow.. but tonight has already begun... my World Famous spaghetti (cooked on four continents) is percolating away on the stove.. each fragile bubble bursting with the promise of seriously good eatin'.. the Bowmore is being laid on as I type this, and I'm content... later tonight, I will fall asleep on the couch watching Young Frankenstein... at least that's my plan... personally, I think it is a good one.. after all, all that driving in the fresh air just wore me out....

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... an evening with HBO..

... composed on the couch yesterday whilst sipping Bushmills....

... Winona Ryder just does it for me... yeah, I know... and yeah, I feel dirty about it... but I can't help it... she just casts a spell on me.. especially in the role of Mina in Bram Stoker's Dracula... what a totally killer babe... sure, I know she has that whole kleptomaniac angle working in real-life, but still... there is just something about her sipping that Absinthe and getting funky with the Undead that makes her skin all that much more creamy.... those eyes that much more dreamy...

... Bloody Hell... as far as modern movie cheesecakes go, give me Mina and Rowena Morgan from Mr. Holland's Opus... yeah... either one.. or both... what a set of bookends those two would make.. those two movie babes do it for me every single time... now, don't get me wrong... Mr. Holland was a saint, and that is a fact... and Dracula?... well, I'll be the first to admit that he was no pillar of the community... after all, his moral turpitude is legendary... but he sure had great taste in eyecandy...

... see?... there is always an admirable trait to be found... always.. in everyone... you just have to look a little harder to discover it in some of us...

.. by the way... as I just wrote that last sentence, Winona just finished sucking blood out of Gary Oldman's nipple... see what I mean?... she's definitely a keeper..

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Sake...

... I almost bought a bottle of Sake yesterday in Knoxville... I came to the aisle, and long I stood... reading those wacky Japanese labels... much like Mr. Frost peering into the undergrowth, I suspect... divining which road to take and still be one traveler.... after all, I've never sampled the Sake.. it is an unknown quantity... part of me understands that booze is just booze... and a dead brain cell is a dead brain cell regardless of how it met it's reaper.... in the end, however, I chose not to choose the road less traveled by.. instead, I suppressed the urge for exotic booze.... (yeah, I know... a rare moment of discipline)... and I made my way to the ever-friendly Scotch section...

... the question remains, though... am I missing out on some great delicacy here?... should I boldly venture forth in search of a Sakebuzz?.... here, children, I am uneducated... so, steer me, gentle ones.... yes, you heard that right... I seek guidance... is my bar incomplete without some rice squeezings?... and if so, what brand would be a fitting representative?.. after all, we take our libations seriously around here...

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Still Alive... barely..

... survived another meeting of the Eagle Glen Social Club... two special attendees capped off the festivities... (and I am told that they documented some of the debauchery - Lord, Help Us..).. more details to follow later...

... Rube and Anna want to put some rounds down range, and I aim to please... so, we're off to do some shooting this afternoon... right now, though, I've got to go and cook breakfast for the campers...

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a few highlights...

.... wow... what can I say?.... two days of mayhem, laughter, high-octane booze, and friendship... just as a blogmeet should be... those of you who missed it, definitely... well, missed it...

... sitting here thinking, there is too much to go over in a blog post... you really have to attend a "workshop" to get the whole effect... dry words on a computer screen... even with photos added, simply do not do justice to the "event"... still, I will give you a few random memories & highlights that are emerging as I drink my coffee...

... Acidman kicked my ass in the Texas Hold'em Tournament.. actually, the bastard put me out FIRST... yeah, it was bad... but it was nothing that a few stiff drinks of Catfish's Johnny Walker couldn't heal... heh... Rube and I managed put a monumental hurtin' on that bottle...

...Christina let me put her panties in my pocket... blogdaughter, indeed... heh heh... she also misdealt on the ONLY hand where I had a pair in the hole... the next flop showed my OTHER pair of eights... after that, my luck never recovered... dammit... still, she is a fine woman.. so, naturally I forgive her...

... Dave, Acidman's brother, showed up on Saturday.. and children, that man is a guitar-playing dynamo... at one point in the evening, we had 30+ people jammed into our hotel room... five guitars playing, and everyone singing... I bet they could hear us in Savannah.... a great, great time...

... Thunderman brought me a bottle of Laphroaig... the man is a Gentleman and a Scholar... oh, and I've never seen anyone drink so much "punch" and still be coherent.. I think he was taking vitamins or something...

... at some point, I remember Velociman chasing me with the bullwhip... I took some photos in between the pistol-like cracking of the whip... no, really, I did... but somehow I seem to have lost my camera... coincidence?... you be the judge... anyway, he, Catfish, and myself played half-rubber for a while... I took a lot of ribbing from the peanut gallery for not being able to catch the damn ball... but, I shut them up when I hit a grand slam off of Velociman's pitching... it ALMOST made up for getting pelted so bad in the Hold'em tourney...

... Denny arrived and did two things almost immediately... he picked up my guitar, and started yelling for a drink... I happily dipped him a cup of punch, and he lit into playing that guitar... the man is a maniac... us less-than-average guitarists had to keep telling him to SLOW DOWN... he is so good at finger picking that he just runs off and leaves us... heh heh.. after a few drinks, he was more our speed...

... a while later, I was hanging out back recovering from the half-rubber match when Anna showed up... she greeted me with a big hug and a kiss.. which, of course, I enjoyed.. and then I replied... "excuse me, ma'am... but who are you?"... heh heh.. Rube's better half!... it was wonderful to finally put a face to the Augsburg blog we've all heard so much about... Rube quickly appeared, and we immediately dove into a Scotch bottle together... just as it should be...

... Ms. Feisty's friend Susan was absolutely wonderful... being a fellow redhead, we hit it off wonderfully... I'm not really sure how it is possible, but I believe she is my long-lost sister... check out the photo... heh heh...

susan_eric.jpg

.. my two favorite Jawja girls were in attendance as well... Key and Kelley... two buxom young lasses... trust me, folks... I have met them both quite a few times now, and it is always a pleasure.. Kelley is infinitely huggable, and Key is even more squeezable... it's worth going to a "workshop" just to meet those two again...

... Miss Sadie and the Irish Lad were a VERY pleasant surprise... I was thrilled to finally get to meet her... although, I have a feeling that the Irish Lad was a bit overcome by all us loud, wise-assed, half-drunk Southerners... but he's built like a weightlifter, so we gave him a wide berth... Sadie, on the other hand, is built for sin... mercy...

... another sneaky surprise was Miss Michele and her beaux Kevin... she was the photographer of the day... that woman should be a sniper or something... she could sneak right up on you and catch you on film doing the most stupid things imaginable... check out this photo she stealthily snapped of me groovin' to the tunes... heh...

ericthinking.jpg

... I can also report that I had the distinct honor of meeting the incredible Mr. Helpful.. he is a fine man... I really wish that I had gotten the chance to speak more with him.. maybe one of these days I will make it out to Seattle to hang with that legendary guy...

... Dax was on the scene early, and stayed late... I swear, children... the man is a mountain.. anyone who can be up at the crack of dawn (mainly because he never went to BED), for two days straight is a trooper... plus, he plied my poor, dear Wife with redheaded sluts until her Scottish accent began to resemble Gaelic... heh heh... once again, just as it should be....

... oh, Sam and Barbie... what a pair... late on Saturday, Barbie teamed up with Kelley to sing along with us guitarists... they quickly earned the nickname of the "Blogettes"... along with a few solos.. namely "St. James Infirmary", Barbie quickly showed us just how well she could sing... Sam just sat back and beamed like the lucky guy he is... those two are beautiful people..

... I met Ms. Flynny of Divine Innerbitchin' in the ante-room of where we had our dinner... I was heading for a smoke, and I saw her... I recognized her from Velociman's photos, and she saw me in an instant... unfortunately, I didn't get much of a chance to visit with her... but, rest assured, gentlemen, she is a doll...

... Ms. Moogie, and Mr. Ward... holy cow... I have read Moogie for a while now, and I had no idea what she would be like in person... she is a rocker, children... she was one of the last bloggers I spoke too before heading to bed on Saturday night... and, well... let me just say this... she was REALLY enjoying herself!... as for Mr. Ward, he is a man of mystery... I had not read his blog before, but I intend to start now... the man has a wit that'll cut you to the bone...

... it was also an incredible honor to have been part of a Ceremony for Ken and Barbie... two great people who truly deserve the happiness they seem to have found in each other... rock on, you two.. the pleasure was all ours...

.. and finally, Jimbo from the Rest stop... entertainer, chauffer, and story-teller.. the man is a good one... he was kind enough to give the Wife and I a lift to and from the airport... so, we got a chance to talk about all of the other bloggers behind their backs... heh heh... I definitely owe him a trip to New Jersey... Jimbo, my man.. as always, it was a pleasure...

... so... there you have it... much, much more happened.... but, hey... if you want to know all of the gory details, come to the next one... what happens in Jekyll (for the most part), STAYS in Jekyll... and to all who attended... thank you all... I had a wonderful time....

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(18)
» The Brier Patch links with: The Whip Came Down
» The Brier Patch links with: The Whip Came Down
» Fistful of Fortnights links with: Georgia's Pearl.
» Velociworld links with: ...And All The Sinners, Saints...
» Parkway Rest Stop links with: “I Didn’t Want it to End.”

..relatively safe...

.. well, I have returned... and I'll give you rubberneckers a few details tomorrow.. but right now, I just wanted to say that High Ceremony was just performed here... after this weekend, Thunderboy has now been given his correct title on the sidebar...

... see, some call him Zonker.. but, not I... to me, he will forever be known as The Thunderman... Artillery Punch-style... viva la Thunderman, children... whoa...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(13)
» Thunder And Roses links with: Hyde the booze...Jawja bloggers in Jekyll

... Hard Luck..

... I have a confession... I have never managed to see the end of Alien Resurrection... either due to late-nite viewings, or alcohol intake... I've just never arrived at the ending... well, that changed today... and quite frankly, all I can say is WHOA...

... what a fucking way to go... that monster?... holy shit.. sucked into the vacuum of space through a pin-prick... blood, guts, bones... all turned inside out, and for what?.. munching a few spaceguys?... the poor thing... misunderstood, that's what he was... that Sigourney Weaver is one cold-hearted bitch... Hell, all the monster wanted was a hug from Momma.. a few warm meals... some gentle fondling of Winona.... you know, to find some inner peace... but, damn... the beast was doomed from the beginning.... I mean, seriously... I, for one, can relate...

... my eyes have been opened, rubberneckers... they really have... that monster got a bad rap..

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Feelin' Shaky...

.. well, in spite of the foul weather, we managed a full house last night... Brad and Brad-lite showed up.. as did Biker Steve and the whole "Witness Protection" Family... a great time, as usual...

... I awoke this morning with a very sincere need for some of Velociman's patented Earthquake Pills, though...

... which reminds me... have you ever had one of those nights that starts off, quite innocently, like this...

bar_early.jpg

... and ends up like this?...

bar_late.jpg

... heh... yeah, me neither...

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Celtic Pride...

... well, children... today is Tartan Day... a time for all bloggers with Scottish heritage to stand up, be counted, paint themselves blue, grab the nearest haggis, and party down....

.. ok.. maybe not... but still, today is Tartan Day... and as such, I've dug through the old archives and produced a treat for you... mmm mmmm.... hand-raised, and slaughtered by the kind folks of Kearny's Scottish Butcher in New Jersey..

... that photo just goes to prove that with enough Scotch, you can eat anything... and nothing says "I Love You" quite like a well-cooked sheep's stomach...

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Chicago, Part II...

... where to begin... ahhhh, yes... another bar & restaurant.. this time a classy joint called Ba-ba-reeba... a tapas bar... actually, my first taste of that kind of cuisine... but their Happy Hour started at 3pm... so it was a very nice choice...

... once Matt and I got his broken vehicle squared away and found my "stolen luggage", we skedaddled back to his place to change and get cleaned up... we arrived at the front door of Ba-ba-reeba, and Blackfive told me to go ahead and go in... he had to run down the street to a pharmacy... his noggin was still thumping from Tuesday morning's fun... anyway, feeling bulletproof, I headed into the bar...

... seated in the corner and looking incredibly suspicious were The Laughing Wolf and That 1 Guy... by the way, Joe (T1G) is like a friggin mountain... I'm not a small guy, but he towered over me like a giant oak.. I had a flash that maybe the whole Wang deal wasn't such a good idea... but after a few handshakes, I realized that his sense of humor was even bigger than his physical stature.. so the knee-jerk reaction of imagining him slamming my face repeatedly into the tabletop was replaced by watching him jovially slam gulps of Guinness down his gizzard.. the relief in the room was palpable..

... Blake, The Laughing Wolf, I had met before, and it was a pleasant sight to see him again.. ominously, though, after our greeting he pointed to a backpack that was stashed in the corner.. "I've got us some Scotch for later", he grinned... heh.. a man of high character and moral fiber, he is.. but, alas.. after the previous night's activities, I cleaved unto the beer all evening... (with the exception of two shots of tequila as we left our final bar and parted)... but maybe next time, Blake..

.. we hadn't been there long when Teresa and Tammi arrived... being the upstanding guy, I asked them if they'd like a drink. and in a flash, an Appletini was presented to the tall, redheaded goddess... seriously, folks... if you ever meet Tammi.. you will quickly become a fast friend if you can magically conjure a steady flow of Appletinis... as for the platinum-haired, ever-smiling beauty, Teresa... she dropped the shocker of the evening when she asked for an Amaretto Sour... a woman of taste and culture, she is..

... next to show up was Graumagus of Frizzen Sparks... a Guinness-drinking fiend if ever I saw one... between him and That 1 Guy, you'd be wise to start buying stock in Guinness... if either of them pop their clogs, the consumption of that Irish brew will plummet in the northern United States... yeah, I know you don't get stock tips here very often, but trust me.. run with it, children.. you won't be sorry...

... the tail-end Charlies were Mr. Bad Example and his wonderful Wife, Smiling Dynamite... what an absolute pleasure to meet them.. they seemed like the two happiest people on the planet all night... and Mrs. Dynamite can work a pool table, too... but that is a story for another time...

... after a wonderful meal of various seared hunks of flesh, Mr. Blackfive directed us towards a few local watering holes... we pub crawled for blocks.. laughing and drinking... telling jokes, stories, and lies... at times, we'd get some one-on-one time with each other as we caught someone heading to the bar or jukebox.. we talked of blogs, books, writers, and our families... music, The Military, friends, and travel... we asked questions, and quoted each other.. we took notes - mental and written, and shuffled blogrolls.. but most of all, we simply enjoyed meeting each other... as with every blogmeet I have ever attended, I met some incredible, interesting, and truly talented people.. my thanks goes out to you all.. the pleasure was all mine...

.. I could go on about all of the wild fun we had... but the rest of you would just get jealous... so I will keep the small pleasures, moments, and memories of that night to myself... I actually started to list them here in this post, but decided against it... because in the end, if you want to know what REALLY goes on at a blogmeet... attend one... some things have to be lived to be appreciated.. and writing about them is just not the same...

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Chicago, Part I...

.... first off, let me just say that my Chicago adventure was broken into two distinct episodes... Monday night/Tuesday morning where Matty and I hit the town... and Tuesday night/Wednesday morning where we hooked up with some great bloggers for dinner and drinks.... as such, I shall dedicate two separate posts to my sojourn... why?... well, because the tales are too long to include in one post....

... that being said, due to National Security issues, the whole sordid tale of Matt and I on the town will be slightly sanitized to protect us... however, I will say this... either he, or myself are destined for great things... perhaps curing cancer... foiling terrorists... or something equally heroic.. verily... Divine Providence is the only answer to how we survived... God must surely be keeping us safe for a reason...

... airport... Navy Pier... beer & a chicken sandwich... swapping Search and Rescue stories... sunshine and sunglasses.. an Irish pub.. friendly locals... 4pm... more pubs.. name-dropping begins... Matty knows everyone... another Irish pub... dinner at Indian restaurant... Vietnamese bar.. Le Colonial.. gorgeous bartender and waitress... (thank you, Ladies)... more name dropping.. "aawwww... what a nice Southern accent".... "you don't know the half of it, baby"... double Taliskers on the rocks... again... and again... 11pm.. taxi... Irish pub.... South Side.. WTF... flattened tires... unfriendly locals at 4am... two inebriated palefaces... a recipe for disaster... circle the wagons.. abandoned vehicles... escape and evasion... scars, cars, and sixty bucks... phone calls neither of us remember making... Indian Country, part II... taxi... escape...

... break to morning....

... 10am.... slamming water from a children's sippy cup.. hey, it was all I could find... Matt writes this... where's the car?... is there a car?... trouble.. big time.. search begins... Indian Country at noon.. frantic search... topographical landmarks... Cook County Jail.. drunken memories.. gravel parking lot... success... amazement... disbelief... wrecker.. tow truck.. too surreal for words... time to meet the bloggers... holy shit...

... ok, now... you, gentle rubbernecker, can take or leave the random words above as you wish... the whole story is saved for face-to-face meetings... there is simply no way in HELL that I can do the story justice in a written media... however, I can tell you this... adventures such as Monday night & Tuesday morning are the things of which Legends are made... yea, verily... the luck of the Irish.. and the luck of the Redhead is not to be underestimated...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(9)
» Drunken Wisdom links with: Mish Mash

Last Night's Results...

.. last evening's Social Club gathering ended up being a very subdued affair... of course, it didn't begin that way... no, of course not.. it began like a house-on-fire... see, I was beaten sorely in my first two games.. and as they say in those old baseball recordings, "the crowd went wild".. cheers, jeers, questions of my manhood & parentage... oh yes, they were happy little campers in having beaten me...

... why the losses?... I have two great excuses, and I shall use them now.. I had not yet been given sufficient time to get my buzz on, AND I was hungry... so, I retired to the kitchen when the cute pizza delivery girl arrived, and slammed a few slices down while chugging my second Scotch of the night... after that, people, it was on....

.. I held the table for the remainder of play.. two more hours, undefeated.. heh.. I shut those bastards up hushed the crowd...

NOTE... this is not the norm.. usually, the thrashing I get is almost equal to the amount of thrashing I hand out.. last night was a fluke.. but, by God, it felt good...

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Friday Booze Blog...

.. Moxie calls, and, well, we belly-up...

... this month, in honor of St. Paddy's Day, I give you the Green Fairy...

absente_small.jpg

... here's a better view, should you be so inclined..

"Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks. Great success shooting the knife into the piano. The woodworms are so bad and eat hell out of all furniture that you can always claim the woodworms did it."

- Ernest Hemingway

... boy, does THAT sound familiar... heh..

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An Evening Out...

.... the old man rocked Knoxville, and that is a fact... he is a true old-school entertainer.. and it is impossible for me to praise Buddy Guy too much... at 70 years of age, you would never know it... BB King sits in a chair on stage while he plays... Buddy wanders through the audience from the balcony... to the back row.. to the foyer... imagine the shock of the guys standing in line at the bar when Buddy Guy ambles over... heh... he roamed, children... it was awesome... he is pure energy...

theatre_bg.jpg

... at one point, on the balcony, he took off his guitar and handed it to a little blue-eyed, blonde boy... "you play guitar?... well PLAY it, son!", he laughed... and he handed his guitar to the kid... I couldn't believe my eyes... with one almighty strum, the kid let it roll.. the worst E chord in the history of electric guitar... the crowd went wild... laughing and smiling, Buddy took the guitar back, and strapped it on... "Keep practicing kid!"... holy shit.. can you even imagine?!?... I guarantee you kid went home and practiced last night...

... the opening band was alright... they had a lead guitarist playing a sunburst Les Paul who looked exactly like Uncle Fester... but, damn, he could play.. the drunk guy who sat behind me kept yelling... "PLAY it, Fat Boy!!"... and "Work it, Fester!"... and Fester did...

... Calhoun's catered the event, and pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, and cole slaw was available in the foyer next to the bar.. what better food can you think of to go with the blues?... it went down well with a couple of Killian's... in short, a wonderful time was had by all... I highly recommend a visit to the Tennessee Theatre if you get the chance.. the place is decked out to the nines... the restoration performed a miracle, and the place is a work of art.. you really have to see it to believe it...

... on the downside, I feel I have to complain about something... well... maybe complain is too strong of a word.. perhaps disappointment is better.. for one, Buddy didn't do an encore.... he also did not play "Mary had a little Lamb".. one of my all-time favorites... other than that, I got my 40 bucks worth out of the deal... oh, and before I forget, the bar at the Tennessee Theatre only has two brands of Scotch, and both leave a bit to be desired... next time, I'm taking a hip flask...

theatre1.jpg

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Escapism.. it's beautiful..

.. well, I'm off for an evening in Knoxville.. eating pulled-pork sandwiches, listening to some Chicago electric blues, and enjoying a few drinks in a newly renovated Tennessee Theatre..

.. I tried to find a Buddy Guy song for you rubberneckers, but all of the ones I had were on cassette.. so, you'll just have to make due with SRV playing a song written by Buddy...

.. enjoy, children... I'll give you the scoop on the concert in the morning...

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Semper Gumby...

... of note to a very few readers, the weekly drinking party meeting of the Eagle Glen Social Club has just been rescheduled from Wednesday to Thursday Tuesday.. why?.. because I have better things to do than eat pizza and play pool with you retards... I'm headed to Knoxville for an afternoon of blues and beer... heh.. unemployment sucks?.. indeed..

... you see, gentle rubberneckers, unlike a lot of organizations, we staunch Social Club members are quite flexible in the timing of our festivities... we can party anywhere, anytime.. it's just how we're built.. and as such, spontaneous bouts of binge-drinking often occur at the slightest provocation...

... that said, Thursday Tuesday will do nicely... besides, I just heard Buddy Guy is going to be in town on Wednesday.. and I just got front row seats... so, screw you guys... come over Thursday Tuesday instead..

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Battered...

.. once upon a time, I writ about my Wife's first reaction to seeing a genuine Tennessee opossum up close and personal... it scared the HELL out of her... today though, it seems she has bloomed....

... this morning, I was told a tale of true weirdness bravery... you see, a battle took place last night around midnight... I, saintly, of course, was well into my bed and missed the action.. so, what you are about to here are the words of the only eye-witness.... the story of a drunken Scottish lass conquering a mighty possum...

.. evidently, the poor beast entered our garage and scared the cats onto the pool table.... from that vantage, they proceeded to watch the errant possum scarf their dinner, defecate in their "comfort noodles", and hump their play toys... when the Wife heard a scratching on the door (as the cats are wont to do), she assumed her darlings wanted some luvin.... so, she flicked on the light and cooed in her Scottish lilt... she got nothing.... just more scratching...

... upon opening the door, a fat, dirty, and totally shocked possum sat licking it's balls.. and then, it casually looked up...

... what happened next is the killer.... normally, the Wife would have freaked out, screamed, and slammed the door... this was not the case last night.. last night, she kicked the bastard... the possum roused itself from the nut licking, and ambled off the stairs (possums can't move that quick, and a loping stagger is about the best they can muster).. anyway, it ducked underneath the stairs and refused to budge... the Wife, feeling her oats on a fine Merlot, began by yelling.... which escalated into assaulting the poor varmint with "Orange Clean".. yes, she squirted that shit into the poor, hissing beast's eyes... then, onto more violent outbursts... poking, jabbing, and whacking the vile creature with then end of a broom.. when this didn't work, her addled mind came up with a cunning plan... she'd freeze the guy out... dashing to the refrigerator, she reappeared with a large tray of ice... which she threw at the possum.. (yeah, I thought that bit was extraordinarily strange too)... so, there you have the scene.. a possum.. drooling, hissing, and blinded by a household cleaner.. punched, prodded, and thumped by a broom handle... and then covered in ice cubes...

... good God, children... my house is one strange, strange place...

.. eventually, she was victorious.. once the possum's eyes quit watering and it could see again, it left of its own accord.. I doubt it will come back.. however, I do see in this story a portent of things to come... I have seen the dark side, rubberneckers... I just hope that Orange Clean doesn't burn as much as I imagine...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(18)
» Gut Rumbles links with: i'd have shot the bastard

a Strange Tale..

... in between insults, curses, and belly laughs, conversation rambled towards my upcoming visit to Chicago... I've got to admit, I am pretty stoked with the idea of a quick getaway to a new town I haven't explored yet... I've only been to Chicago once, and I stayed in the outlying neighborhoods... a short tale of which I recounted here... (just scroll down to the post entitled "Theme of the week - Drinking")

... anyway, in the course of babbling last night, Cousin B chimed in with a cryptic warning...

... "Whatever you do, don't go to a bar called Coyote Ugly"

.. there was silence in the garage...

... he continued, "a friend of mine went up there a while back... when he walked into the place, women were dancing on the bar... well, he ambled over and ordered a beer from the bartender... and just as he was handed his drink, one of the women dancing above him slipped a dogs choke-chain over his head, and leaned back... strangling him, and pulling him nearly over the bar.. all of a sudden, another woman comes up behind him and starts flailing him with a belt, or whip, or something..."

.. shocked and awe'd by this story, we normally rambunctious group of lads just stood there, jaws agape and minds whirling...

... "evidently, this is a normal thing for the bar... guys get off on it.. but my buddy?... he was pissed.. after the first whack on the ass, he began drawing the line in.. bringing the chick holding the strangling-line to within punching distance.. see, he couldn't turn around to face his assailant until he had worked himself loose from the strangling lady... well, he almost had her within range when the bouncer grabbed his arm.. boy, was he mad.. can you believe that they threw him out of that bar?... Chicago is full of crazy people, man... you'd better be careful up there.. and whatever you do... don't go to a bar called Coyote Ugly..."

.. heh... now, let me ask you... after hearing that story, how on Earth can I NOT go to Coyote Ugly now?...

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Just Imagine...

... last night, I grilled some boneless pork ribs out on the deck that were so good that if you placed one on the top of your head, your tongue would beat your brains out trying to get to it...

.. and the baked beans weren't too bad either...

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For Lovers...

... for all of the loves of my life... past and present.. Happy Valentine's Day...

.. this song was written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer... and this version is being performed by Robbie Williams.... enjoy..

It's quarter to three, there's no one in the place
Except you and me
So set 'em' up joe, I got a little story
I think you should know
We're drinking my friend, to the end
Of a brief episode
Make it one for my baby
And one more for the road
I got the routine, put another nickel
In the machine
feeling so bad, won't you make the music
Easy and sad
I could tell you a lot, but it's not
In a gentleman's code
Just make it one for my baby
And one more for the road
You'd never know it, but buddy I'm a kind of poet
And I've got a lot of things I'd like to say
When I'm gloomy, won't you listen to me
Till it's talked away
Well that's how it goes, and Joe I know your gettin'
Anxious to close
Thanks for the cheer
I hope you didn't mind
My bending your ear
But this torch that I found, it's gotta be drowned
Or soon might explode
Make it one for my baby
And one more for the road

... peace, Brothers & Sisters...

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Boozeblog...

... Moxie's idea sounds like fun... actually, I am making a booze-run to Knoxville tomorrow to refill the liquor cabinet... still, I guess I could direct her attention to this gorgeous creature from a few weeks ago.. mmm... nectar of the Gods, it was..

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(4)
» The Brier Patch links with: I'm Downtown With This

Wednesday again..

... well, Wednesday is here again, rubberneckers... the meeting of the Eagle Glen Social Club shall once more discuss the issues of the day.. set many wrongs aright.. enjoy a few drinks... and shoot some pool... we are unchangeable.... even though our circle has been rocked of late... we have found, over the past three Wednesdays, that we are not the same as we once were... we are different, these 18 months on, and it is a good thing.... our group has not really been whole for the past three months... some have strayed from the fold.. some pieces of our puzzle have been lost...

... it is truly sad... it really is... and, if the truth was known, my heart really isn't in the mood tonight.. distracted, disdainful, and brokenhearted, am I... but, it is Wednesday... and they are coming anyway.. why?... because it is Wednesday.. and they need this just as much as I do...

... we made a pact last weekend... no matter what happens... good or bad.. life, death, prison, or divorce... we will not stop... these Wednesdays have evolved from their drunken beginnings... and now represent a Greater Thing... an unspoken bond of friendship that can weather these storms...

... I am a lucky, lucky man.. as a matter of fact, the Social Club really isn't mine anymore... it is ours... we have each other...

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"I am THE SHIT"...

... I have just spent the day driving to Nashville and back... 8 hours in a Lincoln LS with two of my favorite women... but still, 8 hours.. damn... the return trip, of course, was through a snow/ice storm over the Cumberland Plateau... yeah, just think white knuckles...

.. anyway.. I get home... check a few blogs... and then wander through for some TV... there, I find the Wife sitting on the couch muttering to herself... under her breath...

... "mumble, mumble... ABBA CD... "

... "what?", says I... "you talking about your car again?"..

.. "I have SO gotta find my ABBA CD.. it would be PERFECT"...

... "babe, if you play ABBA in the CTS-V, your tires will all go flat... ABBA was not meant to be played in that car"..

... "no WAY!... ABBA blasting at full volume would kick ASS in that car... oh, and when I get those fuzzy dice... damn, baby... I will be THE SHIT"..

.. the shit, indeed.... man, it sucks to be me sometimes.... if she buys a Barry Manilow CD, I'm slitting my wrists...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(9)
» Fistful of Fortnights links with: Six Degrees Of Smut

Ode to Tom...

... I am just back from a booze-run to Dixie Lee... we needed some supplies, you see... anyway, I listened to Mr. Waits sing "Tom Traubert's Blues (Four Sheets to the Wind in Copenhagen)" most of the way up to Lenoir City... man, that song kicks... it got me thinking about how he writes... here is an example of my quick attempt to write a song for Tom to perform.. just imagine his scratchy voice and beatnik rhythm singing this...

...the jukebox played and strangers swayed to tunes soaked with whiskey... dark-haired wiles and blue-eyed smiles take turns...in a place I shouldn't be.. so, light another smoke Old Bushmills' folk, and settle into the corner... cigarettes and whiskey and thoughts that you missed me.. we've been here before, baby... that singer's got range but I'm outta change and I'm ready to hit the floor.. another night out on the town when I'm down and the bartender continues to pour.. the music stops, they're calling the cops... time to get home to my Lady....

... what?... shut up... hey, this is my blog, and I am bored on a Saturday afternoon... I'll write crazy lyrics if I want to...

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400 Horses...

.... I need a drink.. a big one, children... what began as an innocent trip to Ruby Tuesday's for lunch.... has ended with a new car for the Straight White Wife sitting in the driveway... but oh, not just any car... a damn RACE car...

... go ahead, guess what kind it is.... you want some hints?... a four hundred horesepower engine... ahh.. Hell, enough with the hints.. it's a Cadillac... a V-Series... one of the fastest stock cars on the market.. anywhere... even the leather seats have suede down the center to keep your ass from sliding off when you reach mach two...

... I need a drink...

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The Club gathered...

... another meeting of the Eagle Glen Social Club has come and gone.... homemade lasagna, cheap beer, and the welcoming back of the Guy in the Witness Protection Program... he's recovered from all of his surgeries... and, it was good to see that he finally managed to drag his broken ass to a Wednesday Poolfest... it was a pleasure to have him back...

... oh, and just in case you were wondering, yes... yes, my rubberneckers... I held my own.. heh... I didn't totally dominate, but I didn't roll over and play dead either.... what?.... hey, a man's gotta find the middle-ground sometimes...

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Hidden...

... another still morning... a light frost on the ground.. and fresh coffee is in the pot.... I so enjoy these Sundays..

.. last night, I cracked a bottle of champagne and made dinner... I fell asleep on the couch watching the 9/11 Commission's report...

... the misty fog outside my window now, veils the forest behind my house... obscuring my view of the mountain... and yet, I know the mountain.... and the trees are out there... in a few hours, the Sun will have burned the mist away, and I will see again.. I know what lies there, and it will be revealed... it is the very nature of things...

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Wednesday...

well I've lost my equilibrium
my car keys and my pride
the tattoo parlor's warm
and so I huddle there inside
the grinding of the buzz saw
whatchuwanthathingtosay?
just don't misspell her name, buddy
but she's the one that got away

Tom Waits, 1976

... enough said...

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Further to the theme...

.. I've been sitting here thinking.. yeah, I know... a bad thing to do on a Sunday evening.. but, I think that this is a window to the soul, children... see, I've met a helluva lot of bloggers over the past year... and I've had drinks with most of them... Hell, on about half of the occasions, I was making the drinks for them...

... way back when I started this joint, Blackfive had a post up about people he'd like to have a drink with... I was honored enough to be on that short list.. alas, we haven't made that party happen yet.. but, I have a feeling it's coming...

... therefore, let me give you a few insights into the drinking habits of some bloggers (and spouses) that I've met... I've witnessed these gentle people consume these things with my very own eyes.... behold...

... dear Kelley.. Newcastle Brown Ale...
... wily Key Monroe... Bud Light...
... musical Mammamontezz... some kind of crazy blue stuff...
... intrepid Velocibride... a SWG-made Appletini..
... sweet Georgia.. the PBR Goddess...

... the Acidman... Kentucky bourbon right outta the bottle...
... barbin' Catfish.. ditto..
... Velociman... dry Martini...
... Jim o'Rest Stop.. anything and everything that was handed to him...
... Dax Montana... Georgia's finest Apple Brandy...
... Grouchy Old Cripple.. Vodka... neat...
... Geoffrey and Gordon... whoever's beer they could grab..
... Zonker... damn, Thunderboy... I can't recall what you were drinking...
... Evil White Guy.. cold beer & more cold beer...
... Single Southern Guy... Rum and Coke..
... Closet Extremist... Very Old Bartlett's Barton's... a man of taste...
... Big Stupid Tommy.... Sam Adams on tap...

.. now, if I let my imagination wander a bit... I can almost see it... yes... my crystal ball is broken, you see... but the image is becoming clear in my scotch glass... when I meet these bloggers, they'll be ordering... hmmm....

... Harvey... flaming jello shots...
... Matty O'Blackfive... 16 year old Lagavulin... neat...
... feisty Christina... spanish rioja...
... mindbending Queenie.. red wine & a STEAK...
... DramaQueen... a double Silk Panties...
... mirthful Sadie... a Cosmopolitain... with a twist, of course..
... Mia... a mimosa... with umbrella...
... my other Mia... a Shirley Temple... with a shot of vodka on the side..
... The Redneck... Glenmorangie and water... and liking it...
... Sandy from The Dirty Ashtray... six Miller Genuine Drafts...
... UptownGirl... a Cherry Martini...
... The Bitterman... a Corona... no lime..
... Teresa.. a shot of Jose Cuervo...
... The Wandering Hillbilly... 25 year old cask-strength Macallan...
... Divine Innerbitchin.... a Rhett Butler
... Jack... a double Aberlour...
... and Boudicca... she'll spoil herself.. with Champagne...

... dammit... my scotch glass just went dark... there shall be no more sooth tonight, children... besides, I need a refill....

... hey, no one ever said that my crystal ball scotch glass was perfect at predicting the future... I may never meet some of you guys... but, if I do... I'll bet my prediction was right....

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(33)
» Mamamontezz's Mental Rumpus Room links with: Cocktails, anyone?
» Gut Rumbles links with: he's been thinking again
» A Single Southern Guy In America links with: Calling On My Neighbors

Drinking..

.. courtesy of Rube... I give you a meme...

Five Historical People I'd Really Like to Go Drinking With

Edgar Allan Poe
Ernest Hemingway
Lee Marvin
Humphrey Bogart
Robert Service

... actually, the list should be longer... close runner-ups were Nathan Bedford Forrest, Ogden Nash, Thomas Jefferson, Neil Armstrong, John Wayne, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Alan Alda, and the guy who played Radar on MASH... then again, I like drinking with most people... so, the list is kind of irrelevant... but, it was fun to make...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(5)
» Divine InnerBitchin' links with: Scotch, Bourbon, or Beer?
» Evilwhiteguy's Blog links with: I'm Not Really Into Memes, But...
» Evilwhiteguy's Blog links with: I'm Not Really Into Memes, But...

Drink This..

... Sadie proposed earlier today that I needed to make myself a Straight White Southern Sailor... I checked my ole bartender's guide... guess what?.. yeah... it wasn't in there... luckily, Miss Sadie had posted the ingredients...

Straight White Southern Sailor:
One shot Rum
Two shots Scotch
8 oz Orange Juice.. oh, screw the juice...use Tang instead. Speak many curse words. Maybe afterwards, drink some Apple Brandy by the Chattahoochie.

... being the obedient blogger that I am, I struck to the task.. I used a dark rum from the Dominican Republic.. a cheap blended Scotch from Perthshire... and OJ... unfortunately, I didn't have any Tang... however, I feel that the desired effect shall be experienced... thanks, Sadie... it ain't that bad actually...

.. behold, children... the creation of a Straight White Southern Sailor....

equipment_small.jpg

... for a close-up, click here...

draining_small.jpg

.. and here...

product_small.jpg

.. and for the concoction in all of its glory... click here... oh, check out the penguin cocktail shaker.... yeah, your eyes do not deceive you..

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Squeeze revisited...

... last night I spent quite a while in the blogroom listening to some old Tom Waits stuff... I googled the lyrics, and read along as he growled out the words... you know, despite being a hard-bitten, hard-living singer... most of his songs were incredibly complex and poetic... specifically, "I Can't Wait To Get Off Work" .... "Tom Traubert's Blues"... "Bad Liver and a Broken Heart".... and "Invitation to the Blues"... he may be an acquired taste, but it is really excellent stuff.. I highly recommend it... now, go forth and google the lyrics..

... some of you rubberneckers may remember back when I posted "Pasties & a G-String"... a personal favorite of mine.... but in it, I couldn't seem to figure out what Tom was meaning by "Portland through a shot glass, and a buffalo squeeze".... well, I get up this morning and check the email to find this little nugget from Loyal Reader Bob...

"A "Buffalo Squeeze" is the term that originated to describe the driving of a buffalo herd into a canyon with progressively narrowing walls and with no exit (The term is now used to describe using this same process on wild horses). The narrowing walls would slow the herd of stampeding beasts and eventually stop them as the canyon walls finally came together. Now facing the wrong direction and with no escape they were at the mercy of the pursuers.

In the modern idiom we'd recognized Buffalo Squeeze as the origins of "Squeeze Play" or "puttin' the 'squeeze' on someone ... "

.. many thanks, Bob... many thanks... it all makes perfect sense now.... I appreciate your wisdom... and quite frankly, I am still in shock that someone left a comment here that used the phrase "modern idiom"...

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Off to Georgia...

... have fun, rubberneckers.... I'm away to drink visit with my blog heroes again...

... remember, play nice....

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Tore Down

... whoa... not only was last night a glorious poolfest... but The Single Southern Guy and Friend arrived late.... damn, people.... what a night.... I be tore down today.... shine was shared up till 2AM..... you know, hangovers are alien to me... but today, the spaceships have landed..... thanks, Adam.... this is a new experience.... I shall do my best to enjoy it... you bastard....

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(4)
» A Single Southern Guy In America links with: SSG Returns Under Adult Supervision

Elegancia..

.... what's happening tonight?... not a damn thing, that's what.... you see, the Wife is working... mheh.. 9 to 9... the poor, sweet darling... so, I've got Stevie screaming... I'm sampling an exquisite 1992 Macallan Elegancia... and the guys are coming over for pool in two hours... I be set.... do I feel guilty?... not one little bit... I was born to do this....

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An Experimental Martini...

... after meeting that crazy Zurich babe at the airport bar in Newark... I started to do some thinking... most specifically, about her interesting order of a "Bloody Caesar"... a Bloody Mary with a dash of clam juice... I'd never heard of it before, and I must admit... I was a little more than intrigued... clam juice, indeed... what a crazy idea... obviously babes from Zurich are out there, man...

... but still, with my mind working overtime, what did I happen upon in Scotland?... olives, baby... olives stuffed with anchovy paste... well, I simply could not pass them up.... I bought them...

... I know what you are thinking... what does one naturally think of when looking at a brand new, fresh jar of olives?.. ahhh... I'm sure you already know the answer...

... that's right.... "show me the way to the vodka"..

... exactly...

... so.. now that my drink has been created... and sampled... I need a name for it.. that is, of course, if someone else hasn't already attempted a dirty Martini with anchovy & olive... if you have, let me know what this drink is called... otherwise, give me an idea for a name...

... so far, I have been luckless... all that the brave tasters have given me so far is... Damn Nasty Martini... a Vodka Caesar (in keeping with the Bloody Mary theme) ... and a Kitty-tini... yeah... our cats are mysteriously drawn to anyone who drinks this drink....

... and remember... even though this drink sounds bad.. it's actually pretty good... besides, after two of them, you don't care WHAT those olives are stuffed with....

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Cocktails And Chimay: Tales From The Bar Scene

Myth: The bar scene is full of booze-filled, drooling, slobbering fools that only want to sleep with you. They will slip roofies into your drink or do anything else to get you in bed with them that night, and the establishment itself is all smoky and grimy. Men will grab women's asses of their own volition. It is highly likely that someone will throw up on or in front of you. High probability that you too will leave throwing up, and most certainly smoky and grimy as well.

Oh soothsayer, what bars are you going to? Obviously the ones for those newly minted drinkers. Those places that are named after bodies of water, the Yucatan, and various derivatives of the word palm, snail, fox, desert, or a combination of the words bad, four, girls, and play. No doubt many tasteful drinking establishments exist in your city, especially if they exist where Sadie lives. Pick a decent place in a good neighborhood, and keep your wits about you. Take a friend or two for safety, keep an eye on your drink, and use your intuition and common sense. And do it for a change of pace, if only for an evening. Then come home and comment on Straight White Guy, of course:-)

Sadie's Hypothesis: The bar scene isn't so bad since all the freaks got tired of it and logged online.

Proof 1: What you see is what you get.

No one in a bar can really lie about hair color, height, weight, or resemblance to Jimmy Fallon. In a bar, you don't waste weeks chatting with some allegedly ideal man, to find out that he is forty-two rather than the thirty-five year old claim. No worries of meeting and then seeing the obvious signs of a poorly-hidden marriage. In the bar, such clues are easily spotted, and this is long before you form the sacred mental connection that has been known to happen online. Most importantly, say it with me, physical chemistry.

Proof 2: Just because you're drunk doesn't make you an idiot. One can have fun with one's intellect.
Perhaps Sadie was the only person who recently sipped Peroni while leafing through Loose Cannons, Red Herrings, and Other Lost Metaphors and scrutinizing the etymology of the word "moonshine" while my friend Irony, decided just now to tell me he hated that nickname and wanted something different. [Sadie had no idea, hence the name Irony. No one looked at me oddly, and I did what I felt comfortable doing. One can loosen up and talk straight in the ambiance. Conversation abounds with a friend or two, and you will be surprised how the time passes so quickly. It is also true being intelligent tends to attract intelligence. Take the Book of Questions, so you and your friends can have an absolute blast with these frivolous mindbenders. You just might attract a few people you'd like to get to know.

Proof 3: Observations Only Lead to Learning.

If you truly want to find a mate, you can watch other people's attempts. Depending on whether they sink or swim, adapt your method. It will make your cyberself more well-rounded and balanced. And as a writer, real and tangible situations happening before my eyes are splendidly, strangely erotically pleasing to me. These people are full of life and mystery, so much fodder for thought. Why is the ditzy waitress [hereinafter Kirstin Dunced] wearing red cowboy boots this week instead of last week's red sneakers? Why does an intelligent man such as Irony appear to lose a few IQ points during the duration when Ms. Dunced stops by to check on our drink status? Sadie will find out.

Proof 4: Supplication and Civilization are Underrated.

Irony, who apparently has no bladder, once went to the bathroom four times within a period of three or so hours of revelry. Three out of those four times, Sadie was approached by men. Not once did anyone ask me to show my tits, nor did they inquire if I wanted to screw. Nope. Two men offered to buy me a drink after introducing themselves. One stopped by to compliment my hair and smile. This is so much nicer than being complimented online, where every guy I chat with only mention the sinfully awesome bod. No one online compliments my face or hair, and no one met from online has done so either. To them, it has been all about the bod, baby. When you are eye-to-eye with someone, it's so much easier to get a nice compliment other than one blatantly tit-or-ass oriented. Hiding behind a computer screen, people will give the strangest compliments because [1] They feel a lot braver, and [2] They for some reason think this flatters you. Who cares if in-person compliments are more polite due to societal convention? It is damned nice anyway.

Proof 5: Chimay is a way fucking better drink than that piece-of-crap you make at home in the blender.

Indeed, that Belgian beer is hella good. Nuff said.

P.S. Props for one of my sexy feature writers at the House of Mirth for writing another very provocative must-read essay.

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by | Permalink | Bullshit(3)
» Mirthful Ones links with: Mentions of the Morn

Shack-Shakers, indeed....

... I am impressed... I drop in here after a night of drunken revelry, and I am shocked... the house is shaking, but nothing is broken yet... you guys rock...

.. by the way, have I mentioned lately that I'm on vacation?... heh... that being said, I feel I should provide a brief glimpse of what we're listening to at the Straight White House right now... and, yes... it's ok to dance, children...

...I said little Honey-bunny, tell me what's your 20?... I got my rabbit ears on, and I wanna get chummy-chummy... "

... The Legendary Shack-Shakers, people... more than likely the long lost relatives of Sadie and Velociman..

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(3)
» Mamamontezz's Mental Rumpus Room links with: Ah, Wednesday.

The Corner House....

... for those of you seedy European-types who might read this blog... here is an announcement.... I will be at The Corner House pub... in Montrose, Scotland.... on November 10th.... between 1700Z and 1900Z.... raising a few glasses to the health of the United States Marine Corps... afterwards, friends and I will form ranks... and march across the street to The Indian Cottage where I shall eat curry... and, of course, drink Tiger Beer....

.. so, if anyone wants to make the trip to beat me, meet me, eat me, or treat me, now is your chance.... this is a one shot deal, children.... make the best of it.... you may never get this chance again.... after all, I shall be totally unarmed.... and, anyway.... Aruba is already beckoning for a visit from Eric next year....

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(5)
» Fistful Of Fortnights: Interviews & Essays links with: The Straight White Guy Interview

Pasties & a G-string...

... this morning has dawned dark and dreary.... a steady downpour of slow rain from gray clouds.... the Witch of November is here, people... and, she's not a happy camper.... luckily, I still have the fiery glow of last night's Social Club gathering to keep me warm....

... with that said, here are a few quick notes of the occasion.... our first FEMALE billiards-bandit was present last night... a hard shootin', hard drinkin' broad, she was..... she fit in perfectly.... but, as a guest of Biker Steve, they conspired to gang up on me at Cutthroat... cheating bastards..... they crushed me... so, after I quickly surrendered, I mixed them an Ingrid... heh... payback is a bitch.... and an Ingrid is a beast....

... anyway, after we retired to the den, lively conversation was achieved... having our first fairer-sex visitor certainly changed the tone of the gathering... it sure was fun.... mixed company, people... it sure as Hell lowers the tone... well, mixed company and shots of moonshine....

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(4)
» Fistful Of Fortnights: Interviews & Essays links with: The Straight White Guy Interview

Harvest Moon...

... another fine Wednesday is in the bag, children..... last night's Social Club gathering was a real event.... for those of you tards who have had your head in the sand, a full lunar eclipse happened last night.... so, being adventurers at heart, we grabbed the old telescope, and dragged it out into the driveway.... what a sight....

... in between shooting pool, mixing drinks, and running out to check the status of the eclipse, we had a blast... Bike Steve was in rare form... for once, he didn't bring beer... so, he was on cranberry juice and gin.... a lethal concoction.... Cousin B was sipping his beers... I was on the Scotch... and, just as the eclipse reached it's zenith, the Straight White Wife arrived with pizza and chicken kickers.... hell, it doesn't get much better than that....

... although tame... as far as Wednesday meetings are concerned, three drunks... standing in the dark... trying to locate the moon in a telescope.... well, we did have some comedic moments... but, it was worth the effort... good friends, good weather, good booze... and, good food.... and thus passed another meeting of the Eagle Glen Social Club... with an eclipse of the Harvest Moon...

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Social Club...

.. the gathering is starting... be back later... heh...

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Gone...

... it is time... Lord, help us.. I'm SO looking forward to this...

.. and, just remember, people... we ARE the people our parents warned us about...

.. heh... if I am alive, I'll see you Sunday...

.. later, gentle ones...

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Nearly Empty...

... have you ever arrived at that strange place in the evening... where... upon deciding to do a tequila shot... you notice that the bottle is almost empty... and yet, knowing you will be getting up at 5AM does not matter... somehow, the urge to stow a nearly empty bottle... well, it just doesn't seem right... so, glasses are lined up... the bottle is emptied.... and, a few more shots than were originally planned are downed... I have...

.... in short, a good night was had by the Social Club... and yes, 5AM came early....

... Update: the girls just called and sang Happy Birthday over the speaker phone... good grief.... still, their hearts are in the right place...

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Field Trip...

... I'm heading out to the mountains today, gentle readers... I have been invited to play guitar, grill steaks, and drink beer on the banks of the Hiwassee River... and, I just can't turn a deal like that down... but, of course, I'll be back long before the Vols meet Auburn at Neyland... I wouldn't miss that for anything... if the Vols kick ass, this could turn out to be a very interesting season for the Orange and White...

... anyway, I'm looking at today's adventure as a practice round for Blogtoberfest.. when, as is the plan, we'll be drinking beer, and playing music on the banks of the Chattahoochee.. oh, and swordfighting... and half-rubber... and... uh.. other stuff... heh... I'm off to practice...

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Changing...

... yesterday's Poolfest finally degenerated, children... it's been on the way for a while now, and last night... well, it finally gave up... I must confess... not a single game was shot... much beer was consumed... much Scotch was sipped... jokes were told.... but, alas... we didn't even make it into the garage.....

... for the last few weeks, my Wednesday's have contained, incrementally, less and less pool... and, of course, this was being offset with increasing amounts of sitting/standing around shooting the breeze instead... now, don't get me wrong... everyone had a good time.... but, methinks I need to re-name my Wednesday Poolfests... perhaps I need to re-designate the whole mission of the thing... instead of the original blood-n-guts billiards beatdown, it is becoming a true social gathering of some diverse individs.... hmmm.... who'd have thought that it would turn out this way?.... my garage slowly morphing from a battleground of egos... to a social gathering the likes of which is seldom seen...

... it just goes to show you, people... with the right frame of mind, a few frames of pool, and copious amounts of booze, all things are possible...

... with all that said... I'd say we have arrived..... so, welcome to the Eagle Glen Social Club...

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Poolfest!...

...ahhh... Wednesday afternoon... I just got the call, and the usual braggarts are headed this way.... all but one, that is... The Guy in the Witness Protection Plan is laid low... so, we'll be sending a few drunken phone calls his way... he's being forced to stay the night at the hospital after outpatient surgery... the poor bastard... so, he's none too happy... we'll raise a few glasses in his honor...

... as for the others, the plot is thickening, children... it seems that Biker Steve, Cousin B, and Cousin B-lite have all decided to attend Blogtoberfest.... I prepared a short reading list of blogs for them, and they've been checking out some of you party-goers...

... so, if you are still on the fence about attending in Helen, let me just dangle this piece of cheese:

not only will Eric the SWG be there.. .but, Luuka and her entourage will be too ... Biker Steve, Cousin B, and Cousin B-lite The Guy who needs a new Nickname... (I was just unceremoniously informed that he no longer wishes to be called Cousin B-lite... hey, who knew?)... anyway, I'm off to pot some balls, and knock back some Scotch... later, people...

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AK-47 Vodka...

... I gotsta get me some of this... I mean, who could ignore this pitch?...

"Promoters of Kalashnikov vodka say it is "made from grain harvested in Russia and water drawn from Lake Ladoga north of St Petersburg" and is best drunk with friends."

... drunk with friends, indeed... color me sold...

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My Recipe...

... ok... it seems that my decision to put off gardening was very well appreciated.... cooking was, after all, the correct path... so, I suppose I should now offer up the goods... behold, children.... Straight White Chicken Parmesan.....

...here are some things you'll need... in no particular order....
1 bottle of Blue Nun
2 cloves of garlic
lots and lots of butter
breadcrumbs
basil, oregano, black pepper, lemon zest, mozzarella & parmesan cheese, cloves, bay leaf, vanilla extract....
2 chicken breasts
Extra Virgin olive oil
1 jar of tomato sauce
tape or CD of Spanish bullfighting music
tape or CD of The Best of Guns and Roses
fettuccini pasta
garlic bread/toast

More Straight talk »

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Update...

... for those of you who are interested, Luck was definitely not a Lady last night... she was a gin-swilling crackwhore... hanging all over Biker Steve and The Closet Extremist like a second skin... it was truly disgusting... in short, people, Cousin B and I got crushed... we hadn't played that horribly in months... I think that we won two of ten games played... yes, it was that bad... personally, I blame the snubbing I got from Lady Luck on not having any Scotch... but, I could be wrong...

... as for now?... we be set, children... a lightning raid on Knoxville has been accomplished... and, we have scored a victory.... so, with cabinets bursting again, I am settling in for the evening... a meal of greasy chow mien noodles has just been consumed, and I can hear the strains of the Sponge Bob song drifting in from the Front Room... hell, how can I resist that, I ask you?... quite simply, I can not... thus, I am off to commune with Squidward for a bit... he motivates me... I speak his language... and, I know in an episode coming soon, he'll bash Bob's brains out with a crowbar... color me riveted...

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Poolfest...

... Wednesday again, and it finds me unprepared... I can NOT believe that this has happened to ME.... I'm fresh out of Scotch, and I've only 2 fingers left in the bottom of an old bottle of George Dickel... woe is me, children... we poor shooters shall be forced to survive the night... subsisting solely on Absolute, Patron, Bombay Sapphire, and Cap'n Morgan... hell, they won't like it, but it will have to do... I mean, what do they think this place is, anyway?.. a Bar?...

... as a matter of fact, I am thinking of instituting a new rule for these quagmires... every loser of a game deposits a buck in the Booze Fund... I think I'll try it out tonight, and see how expensive it gets.. most of the money will come from MY pocket anyway... with that said, Luck, be a Lady tonight... or, I'll make you go home with Biker Steve...

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No Pool Tonight...

... word up, children... there shall be no Wednesday Poolfest this evening due to a Hail and Farewell party being held at my house... never fear, we'll be back next week... this week, however, in honor of the Dominicans jumping ship and moving to Chicago... there shall be lasagna, cocktails, and drunken singing... but, no pool... so, if you are reading this, don't show up at my house tonight... come next week instead...

..thank you for your support...

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Wildlife...

... with bait like this, I think they'd have caught me too...

"They set a trap using as bait some doughnuts, honey and two cans of Rainier Beer. It worked, and the bear was captured for relocation."

.. as a rule, I don't hang with bruins... but, something tells me that I could get along with this one...

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Field Trip...

....... sociable creature that I am, I'll be kicking it with some bloggers tonight... we'll be knocking back a few beers at Applebee's in Athens TN after 5:30 this evening... anyone who wants to tag along, feel free to drop on by... I'll buy you a beer, and we'll eat some nachos... evening jacket optional... shoes and shirt required... hey, we gotta have SOME standards...

... which bloggers?... well, that's a surprise that I'll share with you later tonight... after the fact, of course... but, I'm looking forward to meeting up with them...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(5)
» Uptown Girl links with: What's Going On?

Yep, Wednesday...

... once again, the Tiger that is Wednesday Night has leaped upon the back of the screaming week... we have arrived safely at another poolfest.... half of the workweek is officially over... the crowd shall be here momentarily... there is one interesting point of note this week, however... and, it is just a wee bit frightening.... see, Biker Steve is bringing his new toy... Cold Steel, children... 38 inches long, and sharp as a razor... he plans on giving us some sort of ninja-type demonstration of it's capabilities.. decapitating a few captured cardboard cones... I've seen the Cold Steel DVD already... these things are bad medicine.... the ultimate weapon to instill fear in any attacker... (other than a crazy look, a wild hairdo, and a straight razor)...

... still, personal defense is something that all of the Wednesday night group hold dear... but, somehow Steve seems to have taken it to that next level... upon seeing it initially, I must say, it makes you want to flee rather than attack the person holding it.. anyway, I sense a photo op of Biker Steve with his Katana.. and, me with my dull USMC NCO Sword... maybe... maybe not.... I don't want to get into swordplay while half-drunk in my garage.... either way, tonight.. as is the norm, shall be full of interesting goings-on... if I end up tomorrow with all my fingers, I will let you all know how things went down...

... later... I'm off to the garage...

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Saturday Evening Blues...

... I've just spent the afternoon recovering from my adventure on the range... it was very enjoyable, and it provided some sorely needed anger management therapy... now, it is just after 5 in the evening here at Straight White House... there is absolutely nothing on television, the Wife is still at work... and all you bloggers are out doing other stuff instead of writing... bastards... so, I've decided to play some guitar... want to hear a bit?... word up, kids... it's not for the faint of heart... a little Saturday evening blues for you... if you be so inclined... anyway, click if you dare...

... hey, it ain't much, but it's all you're getting tonight... besides, Harvey was the one who asked for it... if you want to blame someone, blame him..

... with that said, take it easy, people... I'm headed out onto the deck to play to the cicadas, and drink Scotch...

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by Eric | Permalink | Bullshit(3)
» Bad Example links with: NOT QUITE MUDDY WATERS
» Closet Extremist links with: I heard the guantlet hit the ground
» Closet Extremist links with: ...and I picked it up!
» Bad Example links with: GODDAMN TELEMARKE... ERIC!

My Afternoon...

... as a man on the edge who's lost his muse, I've just spent the entire afternoon watching the Rocky Horror Picture Show on DVD... and drinking Absente (Absinthe refined).. hey, it worked for Degas... quit laughing, you bastards, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do...

... anyway, right now, my mind is filled with only one searing thought... what is it?... what great epiphany have I stumbled upon?.... maybe this is the TRUE window to my soul..... I just don't know... but, what I DO know is this... I really, REALLY want to have 24 undisturbed hours alone with Janet Weiss and some chocolate sauce... I think it would be good for my soul...

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An Ingrid...

... last Wednesday's shooting match was different than most... normally, we just cuss, drink, yell, listen to music, and shoot pool... all in all, a pretty raucous time... but, this past Wednesday, everyone acted like total gentlemen... it was an impressive thing to witness, children.... why this change in character?... we had new people.... the Dominicans had come... a Husband and Wife team... fresh from the Dominican Republic... I work with them, and they had decided to give one of my Wednesday Night Fiascos a try.. heh... they enjoyed themselves... and, we enjoyed having them... BUT, the usual crowd of troublemakers refused to make trouble... hell, they were POLITE... Ingrid asked me, at one point, why everyone was being so nice... (she'd heard my tales of Poolfests-past)... I just looked at her.. scanned the rest of the room... and said, "well, Honey... they are being nice because they just don't know you yet.... come a few more times, and you'll be getting heckled just like the rest of us....

... but, dammit, that is NOT what I wanted to share with you people tonight... nope... what was the inspiration for this post?... well, I made my first Ingrid... a libation for Ingrid, incidentally.... so, as her Husband was drinking beer, she sidles over and asks if I would mind mixing her some kind of chick drink... well, what is a gentlemen to do, gentle ones?.. Me?... I immediately waltzed her directly to the kitchen to begin fulfilling her request...

... but, it wasn't that easy... first, she asked for a Cosmopolitan... but, I'd finished the last of the cranberry juice on Monday.... so, she asked for an Appletini... but, we'd downed all of my Apple Pucker on Saturday... dejected, I asked her if she'd trust me to make her a drink similar to those she'd asked for.. she agreed.... I didn't use my book... so, I don't actually know if this is a drink someone else has made, or not... in any case, I dubbed it an Ingrid, and she loved it... feel free to try one yourself... if you like sweet, knock-you-on-your-ass cocktails, this one will fit the bill... heh.. and, her husband thanked me the next morning.. how's THAT for a testimonial?...

An Ingrid
1 shot of Absolute Vodka
2 shots of Apricot Brandy
1 tblsp of Banana Schnapps
1 tsp of Sweetened Lime Juice

... shake with ice, and strain into a cocktail glass... garnish with a maraschino cherry...

... she seemed to like it... but, if any of you budding young barflies know of an actual drink with this recipe, please let me know... otherwise, it will remain forever... an Ingrid...

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What a Night...

... first of all, let me just say this.... any time you have a party... and wake up in the morning on the couch fully clothed... with your fly down... well, children, it MUST have been a good party...

... I played the dutiful host... kept the wine glasses filled... grilled the chow.... Ribeyes, boneless pork ribs, and skinless smoked sausages.... the Wife made the salad, and baked the potatoes.. but, I have to say... having guests over is sometimes heard in the colloquial as "entertaining".. well, I certainly didn't entertain.. I might have "hosted", but the Colombians were providing the entertainment... they had brought with them some South American dance music.... one word, gentle ones... "Wow"... I have never seen so much ass-jigglin' in my entire life... word up, people... South Americans dance like there IS no tomorrow... if you ever have any over for dinner, be sure to move all of your breakables to a safe place... it was one helluva night... and, a good time was had by all...

... one of the comments to the post preceding this was from the vivacious Uptown Girl... she queried me on my grilling secrets...well, while I am assuredly not an expert, I am more than happy to share my slight insight into seared flesh for her...

... so, here are my "Tips For Grilling".... oh, and before you start getting all excited, my Tips are quite simple, really... anyway, here they are.... start off with quality meat.. spend that extra 5 bucks, and get the good steak... hell, you only live once.... second, don't over marinate... if you meat is of a good quality, it doesn't need any other flavors.. I use a little Worcestershire sauce, and nothing else...after all, you want to taste steak, not additives...thirdly, cook it slow on a low heat.... this especially applies to ribs.. I marinated the pork ribs in a Caribbean Jerk-style sauce... cooked them for about 20 minutes, and they were divine... and, lastly... the number one tip for backyard grilling is... keep it rare, people... over-cooked equals tough... you might like it in your man, but you don't want it in your steak... no toughness... there... easy, right?... add in a few excellent bottles of 1997 Rioja... some Cha Cha music... and, copious amounts of ass-jigglin'... and you'll have yourself a night just like I had.... easy-peasy... now, go forth and grill in peace... thus speaketh Eric...

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Grillin'...

... the Colombians are coming over this afternoon for a visit... they don't speak English very well.... and, my Spanish is non-existent....so, I've opted to grill them some cow flesh... Ribeyes, to be precise... the universal language, people... seared meat... from the time the first primeval Cave-dweller grunted his incomprehensible approval after accidentally dropping his leg-of-woolly-rhino in the campfire, seared meat has been the equalizer of men... should be fun, I suppose... after all, I am fluent in Steak...

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Pooltable Report...

... another exciting night of misadventures was enjoyed yesterday... even a new style of gaming was tried... instead of cutthroat, or team play... we attempted the "winner holds the table" approach... why?... well, that's a strange story...

... Biker Steve arrived first... he and I played fairly well... but, when Cousin B showed up, as per the norm, everything went to hell in a hand basket.... after serving up the appropriate tribute for the new Jag, we Gentlemen retired back to the kitchen to get out of the heat... so, as tends to happen in said kitchen when the crew is visiting, drinks started being mixed... Steve and I created a mixture, children, that will knock your head off.... four shots of 90 proof Peach Schnapps, and 4 shots of Absolute Vodka... shaken with ice... and, served in a cocktail glass... wow.... as you can imagine, the mad billiards skilzz of Steve and I went down hill rather quickly... still, the sight of Biker Steve holding a martini glass was worth the effort... some people just don't look right... it doesn't sit well with his tattoos.... we're all about diversity here, people.... but, some things are just wrong... but, as a result of those peach schnapps bombers, Steve and I just decided we needed to sit and watch... instead of play... so, letting the winner hold the table gave us more of a chance to just relax... and, at the end of the day, relaxing is exactly what these Wednesday Poolfests are for...

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Comment Party...

... sometimes, the most innocent actions can have unintended results.... see, it all started when I jumped across the bar to make myself a drink... next thing I know, we've got an inebriated nekkid women slowly riding a mechanical bull... now, THAT is a party... heh.... and, be sure to read the comments, children... around #10 or so, it starts getting sticky....

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An Explanation...

... it has just been brought to my attention that some of you.. you know who you are... have no idea what in the HELL I was talking about in this post.... so, I must rectify... shit, it seems like that is all I ever do around here anyway.... so, to answer your FIRST question... Johnny Winter is an albino Caucasian dude.. a self proclaimed Bluesman of the highest caliber... and, once upon a time, he cut an album with the inimitable Muddy Waters... interestingly titled "Hard Again"... heh... thus, my statement stands true that Mr. Winter is the absolute whitest man I have ever seen... you don't believe me?.. go over to his website, and check him out...

... secondly, I made the offhand remark about getting more fun out of John screaming... than I did outta Mr. Water's singing... this too, I understand, confused some of you retards... so, like the kindhearted gentleman that I am, I will explain.. listen to THIS SONG... Mannish Boy, children... a classic.. and, extremely good shit... but, if you listen closely, you'll hear ole Johnny screaming like a schoolgirl in the back of a Chevelle on a blind date with a well-hung linebacker...

... dammit, people... don't make me explain EVERY thing.... get a friggin library card or something...

UPDATE:... Winter is actually CREDITED on the album as "Johnny Winter - Guitar,/miscellaneous screaming".. so, there...

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In Retrospect...

... yesterday afternoon, two of the usuals came over for a few games of pool.... Cousin B, and Cousin B-lite... we had a blast... however, a few things of consequence have been decided this morning...

.... mainly, under no circumstance is Cousin B-lite to be turned loose unsupervised near the liquor cabinet... I don't know what in the great living HELL he was mixing, but whatever it was, it was just plain dangerous...

... secondly, Johnny Winter is absolutely the whitest guy I have ever seen...

... interestingly enough, nachos and burritos actually go really well with shots of frozen Rumplemintz.... but, it is not a very good idea to marry them together on a Sunday night at 11 O'clock...

... and, lastly... when you are listening to Muddy Waters, and you start paying more attention to Mr. Winter's random screams than you do to Muddy singing... all is lost... the Blues suddenly becomes quite funny... in a half-drunk with a pineapple-drink kinda way..

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A Slice...

... one could say that I have a more narrow vision than most... but, it is with purpose, gentle ones.... behold...the view from my Wednesday ensconcement... in a vaguely western direction... sadly, the rest of the photos from Wednesday reveal entirely too much of the debauchery... even this one, while daylight was still present, had to be edited... oh, children... the tales those photos tell... shocking... shocking.. after the Sun fell, Bacchus passed out in the corner... WE did not... hell, I've got the photos to prove it...

... but, there is always a bright side to every trainwreck... what am I talking about?... personal growth, people.... see, up until now, my interesting little existence only allowed me to extort nickels and dimes... but, after downloading these photos from the digital camera... well, things are looking up.... something tells me I am a rich man... oh, yes....

small_slice.jpg

..click HERE for a better view....

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Wednesday again...

... the battle will soon be on, gentle ones... now that the new fan is up, crying should be kept down to a minimum... hell, at least when they lose now, they can't blame sweat as the scapegoat... no, sir... not any more...

... that being said, I will leave you with a point to ponder... from Anacreon...

... "War spares not the brave but the cowardly"...

... and, so it is, people... cover me, I'm going in...

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Rick and Georgia...

... whoa... Brothers and Sisters.... whoa.. a fabulous night was had.. Rick and I grilled a few ribeyes... the Wife and Georgia prepared the salad and potatoes... the beer started flowing... and, well.. the rest is History...

... two finer people have never graced the Straight White House... it was a pleasure to be a host to you guys..... Safe Trip, Rick and Georgia... enjoy yourselves... you have all of our Best Wishes..

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The Aftermath...

.... well, when you have to make a few phonecalls the NEXT morning to see if you actually survived the night without killing someone... you know you've had a good party.... anyway, I did the telephone and e-mail rollcall this morning, and it seems that all concerned were alive and well.. heh... another successful mission.... Wednesday's rock, people.... it was quite a night... everyone was in attendance.... Cousin B... Cousin B-lite, The Guy in the Witness Protection Plan, Biker Steve... the whole bunch....

... actually, we were entertained by a great tale from The Guy in the Witness Protection Program... at one point, someone called Dave the Blade from Jersey was mentioned... something about disposing of disrespectfuls... a garbage barge... and, the dark of night.... New Jersey is not on my vacation list this year, Jimbo...

... as for blogging?... well, it might be over for the day.... I have just feasted upon Halibut.. fresh steamed green beans.... tiny steamed potatoes.... and 1/2 gallon of melted butter..... so, I'm nursing a full belly, a slight hangover, and a large Scotch.... time to watch some movies, and enjoy the evening.... hell, Thursday is almost as pleasant as Wednesday....

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Wednesday Poolfest...

... tis that time again... such a sacrifice I make.... oh, the horror... the HORROR, children... forcing myself to dine early.. dutifully brushing off the pooltable.... laying out the camel colored chalk.... getting the wee jukebox jamming.... pouring myself a double Glenmorangie... and, starting to welcome the boys to the slaughter.... man, my life is really hitting a low point here... this is such a chore... heh...

... still, I had my mojo working full tilt today at work... so, if the groove holds, tonight will be a night of record class whoopass delivery... who's yo Daddy, indeed.... gaze upon my works, ye mighty, and despair... word, people... it is on...

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Storm's Comin'...

... home at last, and just in time... the rain is here.... the heat of the day has passed.. a sweltering 92 in the foothills of the Cherokee National Forest was endured today.... for some reason - known only to the Straight White Wife - the windows are open... a breeze is coming through as the rain plays havoc with the fescue.. my poor lawn... beaten into submission by big ole fat rain... still, I suppose it will mean less to mow... once it's washed away... or, rather.. less to watch the gardener mow while I'm having my Saturday afternoon libations... such agression in those raindrops... screaming through the dogwood leaves as if Rangers over St. Mere-Eglise... only to splat themselves into oblivion upon the stony altar that is my vile acre....

... still, this Time provides for entertainment.. of sorts.... when the power finally gives up the ghost, and the thunder is rolling, I'll make my move... after all, with no WE channel... or Lifetime Network, I might stand a chance of getting into the Straight White Pants of the Straight White Wife.... and, per prior agreement in these matters, Scotch and Thorogood are proper motivational material before the rumpy-pumpy... so, I leave you with some George... feel free to sing along before the power caves...

... Howlin' For My Baby....

...sing along, children... you'll enjoy it... nothing like a little George to make you feel playful..

She's hot like red pepper
Sweet like cherry wine
I'm so glad she love me
Love me all the time
She's my little baby
Sweet as she can be
All this love she got
It belong to me
If you hear me howlin'
Callin' on my darlin'
Say Hoooo-ooo-ooo-wee

Every time she kiss me
She make the lights go out
Burnin' in the mornin'
She make me jump and shout
This bad love I got
Make me laugh and cry
Makes me really know
That I'm too young too die
If you hear me howlin'
Callin' on my darlin'
Say Hoooo-ooo-ooo-wee

Every time she kiss me
She make the lights go out
Burnin' in the mornin'
She make me jump and shout
She my little baby
Sweet as she can be
And all this love she got
It belong to me
If you hear me howlin'
Callin' on my darlin'
Say Hoooo-ooo-ooo-wee
Hoooo-ooo-ooo-wee

She's hot like red pepper
Sweet like cherry wine
And I'm so glad she loves me
Love me all the time
This bad love I got
Make me laugh and cry
Makes me really know
That I'm too young too die
If you hear me howlin'
Callin' on my darlin'
Say Hoooo-ooo-ooo-wee
Hoooo-ooo-ooo-wee

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Disappointed...

... I just have to get this off my chest, people.. you are all a huge disappointment... with, of course, the exception of Gooseman and The Sicilian... the rest of you are indeed, weak-stomached little babies.. and, quite frankly, I expected more moral fiber from you all...

... good God, people, eating Haggis is a time honored tradition.. in keeping with the best graces of a fine living... from the time of the most primitive Celts... right through to today's modern Scots... Prince and pauper alike have dined with glee upon the exquisite floppily-doppilies of the noble Haggis... eating a Haggis is a rite of passage... a ritual that must be savored.. you must learn to look beyond the ingredients, glasshoppa.... you are eating history when you sup upon a Haggis... Rabbie Burns wrote sonnets to it, fer chrissakes... and, many a Burns Supper would be a mere facade of tradition if it didn't cook the old bag every January 25th.... but, like I said... you all have disappointed me... I always figured that brave, inquisitive, and adventurous Souls read this humble blog... instead?... what do I find?... squeamish little weiners... afraid of a bag full of sheep innards.. oh, woe is me, dear ones... woe is me... so, I shall leave you with the Immortal Bard... run and fetch your Chamber's Scottish Dictionary, children... he uses some wild words to praise The Haggis....

Address to a Haggis, Robert Burns

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
'Bethankit' hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect sconner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit:
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her grateful prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!

... Slainte, children... Got Haggis?..