Plunder....

…. The effervescent Glenn B from over at Ballseye’s Boomers asked an absolutely magnificent question the other day in my comments to my post about arriving back from Scotland…..

… and seeing that such subject matter as his question pertains to is so very dear to my heart, I suppose that I should give you Scotch connoisseurs out there a little information on the two beautiful malts that I brought back with me….

…. The first malt was bought at The Royal Lochnagar Distillery just outside Ballater…. It caught my eye as soon as I began checking their well-stocked shelves…. T’was a Talisker, gentle people…. casked in 1992 and bottled earlier this year by the uber-secretive distillers who run the only distillery on the Isle of Skye…..

..... the malt itself is just about as tasty as they come… and being that it is also a limited run “Distiller’s Edition”, it is only available at shops within the United Kingdom…. Indeed, none of it is ever allowed to be exported….. so it shall make a perfect ‘thank you” gift for a fellow blogger who enjoys a snifter or two of The Amber Nectar….

… secondly – and for my OWN personal consumption – I ran across a mysterious, bourbon-casked & port-finished Bowmore at The Whiskey Castle in the teensy village of Tomintoul…. The village is a regular visit of ours when we hit that area, and while out wandering the highlands one day, we suddenly found ourselves there once again….. and after methodically checking their wares, that old familiar feeling crept over me and I had to have a bottle… and Bowmore being my favorite of all the single malts from smoky, peat bog covered island of Islay, I picked one up… it was affectionately dubbed “Dawn”…. and it had two little brothers sitting beside it, too…. named “Darkest” and “Dusk”…. I decided on the lightest of the three, and I have not been disappointed in the least….

… I’d also like to add that I was pleasantly introduced to a single malt called “Clynelish” for the first time during this trip… as a matter of fact, my Father in Law took great satisfaction in handing me my first snifter – and between he, I, and my Brother in Law, we managed to put quite a dent in Aberdeenshire’s Clynelish reserves over the next five days….. but, ahhh, that is a tale for another day…… if any of you have ever enjoyed Highland Park - the Whiskey from Orkney - then you will seriously love some Clynelish.....

…. but, mercy..... all this writing of whiskey has made me begin a fierce salivation for some Bowmore…. And hey, when one has an itch, it is best to scratch it, no?..... trust me, people, it is……. so I’m off to hold down some patio furniture and watch the sun set with a fine glass in hand……

… I hope that y’all are off to do the same…..

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Guns....

… my goodness, children…. what a fine, fine, fine morning it is…. bluebirds are a’chirpin’, the sky is cheery and cloudless, and I am more wide awake at 10:15AM than I have ever been at any other 10:15AM before or since…. Yep, I know, I know…. but really, I just am THAT damned happy….

… I called up my buddy that’s in the Witness Protection Plan a few minutes ago… I need him to perform some minor surgery on a Romanian AKM that has recently fallen into my happy little paws, so I am off out the door in a bit to visit him at his secluded mountaintop location…

…. I’m even picking up a dozen or so of those raspberry-filled Krispy Kremes for us to snack on while he sorts out my assault weapon…

…. It should be quite a nice afternoon….

…. Besides, nothing says ‘contentment‘ around here quite like raspberry filling, hot coffee, and 30-round magazines….

…. So before I set off, I will give you gentle people a wonderful representation of Scottish weather… I like to call it ‘A Scottish Rainstorm Approaching The Royal Lochnagar Distillery On A Random Afternoon In May While I Was Shopping For Whiskey’….. but then, maybe that's just a bit longwinded…

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... clicken to embiggen, as usual.....

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Rings....

…. Well, here I sit….. steadily plodding through this season’s various photographs of The Olde Country while The Missus blasts dialogue from ‘Braveheart’ northwards from the living room……

… I’ll give props to Gibson for his choice of blue eye-makeup in the flick, but I still disdain his brutalization of the Scots tongue…. Shit like that should never have made its way onto film, if you ask me….

… sure, I do a passable imitation of The Rev. Ian Paisley when I’m half-in-the-bag, but you don’t see me doing it in a forum that is viewed by billions, now do you?..... of course not...

…. Anyway, be that as it may and forsaking all others, I did happen to see a wondrous sight when I first touched down in Scotland this past week….. what glorious revelation did I witness, you ask?.... well, right there as I stole out of the arrival lounge, ole Mr. Paisley and Martin McGuinness (formerly of the Provisional IRA) were both beaming forth from the television and speaking from the same podium… side by side….

… I tell you, it does cheer the soul to see such things…… but for the life of me, I would never have imagined witnessing such a spectacle in my lifetime…… but hey, I’ve been wrong before… so there you go…

… I’m off for a bit, though – the hammock in the back yard is whispering my name and I must obey…. So I will leave you with a photo of one of my new Scottish friends….

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… I do so love me some sheep that are bold enough to wear earrings….. these days – even in the ancient cradle of the mighty Cairngorms – it’s all about the style and attitude…. and that little fella had both in spades…

.... oh, and before I forget, I would like to thank Elisson & SWMBO for the pre-vacation hospitality.... and Bejus, Richard, Bitterman, Velociman, Elisson, and Captain SQL for keeping the pages ticking over while I was away..... you guys rock...

... and I'd also like to thank Rube for making the effort to hook up with The Missus and I while we were in London, and Groanin' Jock for buying a few wonderful rounds of drinks while we were hanging in Montrose... it was a true pleasure, gentlemen.......

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Safe....

…. Well, hammerheads, I’m back….. yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m sure that y’all missed me…..

…. I see that my scandalous collection of guestbloggers managed to keep up the joint while I was away swilling pints and sipping nips, and for that, I am truly, truly grateful… .

…. Hey, I am in y’all’s bloggy-debt….

…. Except for you, Richard, you bastard…… indeed, we were most certainly Not Amused by the horrific photoshopping of my manboobs that you created….

….. so, yes…. I’m home once again… and I shall begin pseudo-bloggy decompression of my epic European odyssey on these very blogpages in the very near future….

… so stay tuned, rubberneckers…. I even have video of The House Guards marching up and down the square ala Monty Python’s ‘Meaning of Life’……

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Vacating....

…. Well, rubberneckers, it looks like I’ve managed to find a few housekeepers to show up here while I’m away….. which is good, of course… they are fine, fine bloggers….. and the mix should be incredibly interesting……

… as for me, well, I have bags to pack, etc…. so y’all must excuse me while I beg off to The Old Country….

…. A few of my ancient relatives hailed from Scotland long ago….. and I plan on looking up a few records pertaining to them….. and at the same time, I will make sure that I photograph most of my exploits as best I can……

…. calm, pleasant stuff like that little doggie’s statue near the grounds of The Grefriar’s in Edinburgh…… “Greyfriar’s Bobbie”, actually….. because I do know how much y’all love little yappy dogs…..

… in other news, I honestly believe with all my heart that De La Hoya got robbed last night…. mercy, I surely do love to watch that guy beat people up… watching him punch people in the face truly is a work of art…..

.... catch y'all on the flip side, rubberneckers...... I'm off!...

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Soon......

… well, boys and girls, the time has come for me to – once again – venture forth into The Land of the Great Golden Haggis… (deep-fried, of course, with a side-order of deep-fried Mars bars and chips)…

... yes, indeedy…. The Missus and I will be leaving for Scotland on the 7th of May and not returning until the 18th…..

…. I’m in the process of trying to line up some quality entertainment for you rubberneckers, but we’ll see… I definitely have not been up to serving the tables properly around here for a while, and I figure that finding good wait-staff might be a bit of a chore….. but like I said, we’ll see….

… in other news, I disassembled a Hoover 9000-XM-Ultramaximegasuck-Carpet Cleaner Of The Gods this afternoon with great zeal….. broken belt on the supersucky bit….. so I need to head over to Lowes in the morning to get a replacement belt….. can’t leave for Europe with a un-vacuumed carpet, now can we?....

… which is kinda funny, really, when you think about it…. I mean, two years ago I left for Europe with a fresh passport, a fresh knife wound, and a fresh wad of hundred dollar bills that I used to pay for my tickets out of the country while wearing dark sunglasses and muttering nervously, “just give me the first flight out of the country, ma’am…. I gotta be in a new time zone before the pain meds stop working…”

…. You guys should have seen the look on that clerk’s face….. it was classic....

… anyhoo, now y’all are in the same boat as I….. figuratively speaking…. Oh, and it’ll be an airplane, of course, not a boat… but y’all know what I mean…….

… I’ll be happily visiting with Elisson and the beautiful SWMBO all evening on May 6th and enjoying their wonderful hospitality……

… so if anyone needs me while I am away, I will be at The Craigendarroch Hilton until the Sunday following May 7th….. and then I shall be in safely perched on a stool at The Market Arms in Montrose most evenings until time to fly down to London on the 17th….

… there I hope to meet up with Rube and Anna for pints and sausages in a pub – hopefully in the Whitechapel area so that we can all soak up some “Ripper” history… otherwise, I’ll be quite happy to see them wherever….. the morning of the 18th sees us jetting across the Atlantic towards Hotlanta once again…. and a quick Audi-ride back to Tennessee……

… all in all, it should be quite a nice trip….. Scotland is, after all, the land of Scotch..

… as for the guest “entertainment”, I will have to keep you hammerheads posted…… times are hard out here on the bloggy-range these days…. too many sneaks popping up barbed-wire range fences…..

…. In any case, I will find someone to hold down the proverbial fort while I am away eating Indian food and sipping warm beer…. And if I don’t manage to scare up some guys and gals to keep y’all entertained, well, you’ll just have to wait for me to return……. I’m sure I’ll have lots of photos and stories about watching seagulls swirl when I get back….. I know how much you hammerheads love reading about swirling seagulls…….

… so there you have it…. Vacation 2007, Part I….. Part II will be in September… most likely…..

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