Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Beer is a Many Splendored Thing

21 clever quips

redhook beer brewery washington Today’s is National Beer Drinking Day.

I swear.

I heard it on the news this morning. They would never report on something this important if it wasn’t true.

Weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, definitely, but never this.

steamworks beer vancouver

There are many a day I enjoy a Tanqueray and tonic, too.

Sometimes, an icy Bombay Sapphire martini (up with a twist, please) does the trick, but only one – thank you.

In the summer, I dig lazing about with a mojito. Or perhaps, three. What can I say. I like mint.

But beer. Nectar of the gods, in all your hoppy, malty, flavorful incarnations. Thank you for the days. And nights. Not so much the belly, but I forgive you. Love takes work, and if loving you requires working out -- so be it.


So to you, I raise a glass. And you, too, friends – whether we’ve ever clinked glasses and tipped one back together or not.



Friday, September 23, 2011

The Sky is Still Falling

5 clever quips

Latest word is that the satellite will crash sometime today.

Maybe tomorrow.

Somewhere between the Arctic and Antarctic circles.

Gee -- thanks, NASA!

Thanks to my loyal reader, Cheryl of Deckside Thoughts, for this classic Saturday Night Live sketch about Skylab that sorta reinforces the point of my last post.

Unfortunately, just not the point about sexy multi-boobed space aliens.

Have a safe weekend, friends.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Sky is Falling

14 clever quips

If you are reading this, plummeting space junk has not pulverized you. Yeah, you!

satellite crash artEarlier this week, NASA officials reported that a 6-ton atmospheric research satellite is tumbling to Earth at a roughly, oh, a gazillion miles per hour and could strike at any minute. I'm not surprised that this is news to you. The mass media have been oddly restrained considering the 12,000-pound mass of fiery death hurdling toward us. And these are people who whip up mass hysteria about far more improbable doomsday scenarios involving Mayan prophesies or a Michele Bachmann presidency.

Instead, the biggest topic on most news shows this past week was about was how Two and a Half Men killed off Charlie Sheen's character. If only the writers had him die under a school-bus sized hunk of molten titanium that dropped from the sky instead of being splattered by a plain ol' Parisian commuter train …

You think at least one broadcast would have dug up a "disaster expert" for us. There's only a few hundred of them out there, unshaven and panhandling, since Irene-ageddon. Think of the economic stimulus if we were all told to again have our "to go" bags ready, this time not just with a 7-day supply of Power Bars but Kevlar helmets and asbestos undies. Instead, the little the media did report consisted of statistics about how unlikely it is falling space-age metals will permanently dent your noodle. (For the record, the odds are 1 in 31 trillion, which is exactly the same chance of survival TV critics, gave Two and a Half Men … eight seasons ago.)

Contrast this to 1979. That's when word came that the space station Skylab would come crashing down. Church attendance rose. Media outlets offered rewards for recovered debris. One of my elementary school buddies and I, armed with binoculars and wearing plastic replica Major League Baseball batting helmets for protection, sat on the steps in my front yard, peering through the July leaf canopy looking for flaming streaks in the sky. This week, when my kids learned about the falling satellite, they couldn't even muster excitement over the possibility of a wayward chunk causing an early school dismissal.

This is all further proof of how bored Americans have become with outer space. After centuries of fantasizing about advanced civilizations with sexy multi-boobed aliens and living on Mars, we boldly went where no man has gone before and turned up … rocks and gases. As a result, this summer NASA put the Space Shuttle out of its misery and Hollywood hasn't considered putting a new "Star Trek" series on the tube in years.

Today, Gene Roddenberry turns in his grave; the rest of America just turns over and hit the snooze button.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Seasonal Breakup

11 clever quips

Dear Summer,

I'm so over you.

Maybe not physically. No -- definitely not, physically. I still yearn for your warmth. That's what happens when you thin your blood for three months with daily infusions that are three parts India pale ale and two parts avobenzone.

That will pass, though. I'll just continue to compensate by donning socks every waking moment, just as I have done this first post-Labor Day week. It's the first time I've had to do that since June. JUNE! Even though those leather sandals I bought this spring still have a good couple weeks of tread left, I'm willing to send them on a premature permanent vacation.

Speaking of near-death experiences ...

The minivan is in an annual state of seasonal disaster that's even worse than usual, thanks to you. Your enormous tropical disturbances and steamy jet stream waters last month sent us packing two days and an entire case of beer early from the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Two adrenaline-stoked adults, two exhausted children and one confused Labrador retriever speeding off a barrier island at the ungodly August hour of 5 a.m. Then, 10 hours later, we arrive back at our Connecticut home only to discover, via an iPhone app, that the little dotted line projecting Hurricane Irene's eye shows her passing all of two miles from our house.

That was the last straw. For every pleasant yin you brought a much darker yang, my former friend.

Those picturesque afternoons and evenings on the back deck, sharing a cocktail or bite with family and neighbors? It was a sneak attack on my arteries and belly. You and your savory grilled meats, aromatic cheeses and sweet, sweet mojitos. I'm feeling my bad cholesterol level rising at the thought of that misbehavior you encouraged. My wife and son aren't happy about the golf-ball size welts your little winged terrorists left on their legs and arms, either.

The free tickets fate handed us to experience the many rides at that amusement park? They came with intolerable summer road repair standstills on I-84 and almost equally long waits inside. As for your other promised entertainments, those overpriced, underwritten 3-D family movies you pumped out every weekend ... promises not kept, ex-pal o’ mine.

The weeks of relaxation at home while our tween did sleepaway camp upstate? Ended early in an infected big toe and a nasty infestation of head lice. Sure, my thinning locks escaped the little critters, but just who do you think had to delouse the rest of the clan for an hour or so every day? For two weeks straight!

Summer, I'm going to hold a grudge against for you for some time.

At least until it stops raining.

And I get around to finally shoveling out the minivan. That's when I'm sure I'll start finding all those unintentional souvenirs you left behind.

The crumpled parking passes to the minor league baseball games.

The seemingly infinite grains of sand from along Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.

The X-ed out sheets from the many rounds of travel bingo (how is it we never found a "bird on a wire"?).

The receipts from Gopher Ice Cream and Rita's Ice.

The collection of tiny pencils from golf courses both big and miniature.

Ghostly zinc oxide fingerprints from children and their pals.

All right, Summer, you had your moments.

Same time, next year … right?

Your friend,



My Uncool Past