Friday, January 29, 2010

The day….the liquor died

Today is one of those dark days in American history. 

On this day, Jan 29 1919, the 18th Amendment was enacted.

Through groups such the Prohibition Policy and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (to name a few), and posters such as the one below, several states began going “dry” leading up to the 65th Congress of 1917.  It was there that  the dries outnumbered the wets by 140 to 64 in the Democratic party and 138 to 62 among Republicans, paving the way for an amendment to be ratified by 36 of the 48 states.


So began 14 years of misery, corruption and crime that (IMO) mar the historical landscape of the United States as much as other travesties.

In fact, many of our social problems have been attributed to the Prohibition era.

Mafia groups originally limited their activities to gambling and theft until  the “Roaring 20’s”, when organized bootlegging manifested in response to the effect of Prohibition.

A profitable, often violent, black market for alcohol flourished. Powerful gangs corrupted law enforcement agencies, leading to racketeering. Stronger liquor surged in popularity because its potency made it more profitable to smuggle.

This also brought about what we now today know as NASCAR in the late 30’s, when out of work “Moonshine Runners” migrated to the Daytona Beach.

It further had an impact on breweries, when only 1/2 of the pre-Prohibition Breweries reopened upon ratification of the 21st Amendment.

When will the government learn you cannot invade so deeply into people private lives and try to enforce their values and morals upon them?

It continues today with the “War on Drugs”, a monumental failure that encourages crime, abuse, corruption and strain on federal/state coffers.  Sound familiar?

So, tonight and lift a pint for the poor souls who had to live through this hell.  Luckily, it was repealed and we could go back to being the drunkards we are.


PS – as a side note.  I did learn that Laphroig was one of the few scotches that was allowed to be imported.  Due to it’s high peat content, it was thought unpalatable and was prescribed for medicinal purposes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Some of the best Commercials

With the Super Bowl coming up, I thought I would hit on some great commercials to get us all in the mood.

Some of these are fricken HI-LAR-I-OUS:

Smirnoff Vodka


Tuborg Beer

William Lawson Scotch

Jameson Irish Whiskey



Carlton Dry Cider


Which one is your favorite?

State of the Union Drinking Game

Come on everyone….play along.


Obama says "let me be clear" Do one shot
Obama says "change isn't easy" Do one shot
Obama says "make no mistake" Do one shot
Obama says "Let me be clear, change isn't easy, make no mistake." He's screwing with you to get you drunk, so five shots
Joe Wilson yells something Do two shots
Obama yells back Finish the bottle
Obama says "jobs" Do one shot, two if you're unemployed
Obama says "health care" Do not drink, you will not be given a replacement liver
Nancy Pelosi claps like a seal Do one shot
Nancy Pelosi becomes a seal STOP DRINKING FOR THE LOVE OF GOD
Obama mentions Bo Put beer in your dog's water bowl
Michelle Obama wears a slinky dress Go immediately to the HuffPost Style page for close-ups
Joe Biden nods-off/laughs inappropriately/starts talking before the speech is over Do three shots
Obama uses the term "Congressional leadership" Do two shots carefully as all that laughing will make it difficult to swallow
Obama says he's "fighting for you" Do one shot, two if you believe him
Obama mentions Haiti Text “Haiti” to the number 90999 and donate $10 to the Red Cross


As taken from the Huffington Post

I’m Here



Lately, Beer and Liquor producers have been several things to get their name out into the market.  From making mini-movies to tell their story to appearances on the History Channel.

I’ve already posted Johnny Walker’s story (very excellent) and “How they make scotch (from Laphroig)…but Absolute Vodka has really stepped it up in this medium.

Partnering with Spike Jonze, the vodka manufacturer wants to bring us “A Love Story in an Absolute World”.

This is not Spike’s first first foray into shorts sponsored by alcohol distributors.  In 2006, he did a series of shorts called the “Miller Auditions”, the most famous being PENGUIN (found HERE), so this should be an interesting matchup….especially after his work on “Where the Wild Things Are”.

As for “A Love Story in an Absolute World”…WTF does that mean?

The movie appears to be a 30 Minute Love Story between Robots.  Yes ROBOTS.

The trailer looks interesting, with great representations of the “bots”, far better than “ I  Robot” IMO, and has some pretty seamless CGI.  I like the fact that the main male role has a head that looks like a 486.

Overall, the Robots look cool (and a little creepy…which I like)…and I am still trying to figure out the rats around the coffee table.  It is definitely not a film I would normally check out, but it’s got a booze sponsor and is about Computers/Robots….so I am intrigued. 

To Glenn…this does not make me an Artsy Fartsy guy, no matter what you think.

Here is the trailer.

A better copy can be found the movies Website (HERE), although I am still trying to figure out why you need age verification for that…..because the Absolute Brand is being used in the name?  Give me a break.

Hopefully this will release near CoMo so I can see it, otherwise I will just have to revisit later and catch it on HULU or YouTUBE.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Haiti and Whiskey

I knew I could get your attention.

We all know of the events on January 12 , when an earthquake rattled Haiti and quite literally destroyed their country.

Now, I do not subscribe to the belief of the Italian Disaster Chief  (HERE) that the US hasn’t done enough, or is reacting wrongly by sending troops in.  In fact, this is probably one area I think the US has excelled, far more than any other country in the world…..but that is getting political, and that is something I try to avoid here.

In addition to the bad press that Italy is giving, there even has been a spate of Facebook status’ calling for America to look inward:

Shame on you America: the only country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed without eating, elderly going without needed meds, and mentally ill without treatment - yet we have a benefit for the people of Haiti on 12 TV stations.and major cable stations, movie channels. 99% of people won't have the guts to copy and...... repost this.

Again, I’m not an advocate here (probably to the shock of many of you), but instead saying that we (as Freemasons, Americans, Christians or just being good people) should be helping anyone, in any way we can. 

Be it through the local Food Bank (here is ours in Columbia MO), to the Red Cross (many of you have heard my Elisabeth Dole rant), to just chucking your change in the Fireman’s Boot.  It all adds up and helps someone, somewhere.

Please give.

Now I know you are wondering….how does this tie to Smokes and Booze.

Well, first…just creating awareness can go a long way to helping.  But today, I was further inspired by a news article (HERE). 

In it, we learn of Wismond Exantus, the 24-year-old Haitian man who survived being trapped, for 11 days, when when a 4 story building collapsed upon him.


How did he survive you ask?  Through the only thing he could reach:  A bottle of whiskey, some beers and a few bags of chips and candy.

People, that is a determination to live. 

Myself, I would have abandoned hope….drank the whiskey in one night and given up.

Instead, Wismond rationed his meager supplies (using the whiskey to help him sleep), stayed calm and dreamed of riding horses and swimming in the ocean.

How could I not speak out for this guy…..he survived on what we take for granted.

Tonight I raise a toast to you Wismond…I pray that you are doing well, and that your country is soon rebuilt.  I know I will do my part.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy 75th Birthday Beer can

As I noted in an earlier post, today is the 75th Anniversary of the Beer can.

Here are a few videos of what Beer Can tricks to commemorate the event.

Friday, January 22, 2010

RIP Connie

Well tonight is one of those nights. 

You know how it is…up late, drink in hand (Old Masters) and searching on the internet.

Tonight I was attempting to track down some old friends when I lived in Augsburg…only to find an OBIT for one of them, Mrs Connie Smith Christiansen.

I first met Connie in 1992.  I had just transferred to Project Trojan in Augsburg and was awaiting my security clearance to transfer over.

Her husband Mike was also assigned to the TRISA as our Electrician.

This was following the “living on the streets” days, and I think Connie and Mike both filled those parental roles for me in Germany.  They both took me (and to a slighter extent G & J) under their wing, providing a bit of home and comfort in a country that at times could be a bit odd.

How does this relate to Smokes and Booze?  Because these two did just that.  As I started to say, the first time I met Connie….it was 8:00AM and she was drinking a screwdriver and had a hip flask ready to pass around to everyone. 

I later learned that going to lunch over at their house in Gersthofen meant AT LEAST 3 or 4 Cocktails. 

If you went anywhere with them, Connie always had your favorite drink in a plastic cup for the roadtrip (she was against traveling with glass in the call….something that has stuck with me to this day). 

Multiple excursions to Weisbaden had us spending many a night in the bar (see my article HERE referencing that Hotel Bar), and at no time did I feel I was being spoke down to because of my age (at the time, I was the youngest person working for MANTECH).

To give people an idea of how much they consumed, if you were ever in Europe with the Military….you recall Ration Cards (dont ask if you dont get it…stupid rule).  They would go through BOTH of their monthly allotments in Cigarettes and Hard Liquor a month.  G & J at the Shoppette wouldn't even mark theirs because they were always out and bumming from others.

But don’t get me wrong….they were great drunkards and awesome people.  I contend that there has never been a more caring woman that walked the face of the earth (and ment it) than Connie.  Her and Mike would do anything for you and there was never a negative moment with them.

Under their watchful eye, I went from Minor League drinking to the Pros…..and I would gladly thank them for it today.

Connie passed away in 2003, I’m assuming off the disease/illness she contracted in Germany back in 1996.  It appears that Mike was later stationed at Harrogate (in England) and they both spent some time there….with Connie continuing her love for fishing.

In 2005, Mike returned to England to create a legacy in Connie’s name with the Nidderdale Angling Club.  Even in death, she wanted to give back.


Connie……you were definitely one of the best.  I owe you and Mike so much for making me who I am today.  I pray that you found peace and rest at last….and tonight, I’m having a drink for you.

RIP “Ma”

Booze in the News

Recently there have been several news stories involving various alcohols (and mixers) and it all culminates into a very special anniversary this weekend. 

  • First we have “Why beer is the latest hope in fighting against cancer”. As a few of you know, I support Pints for Prostates and this story plays right into their wheelhouse. 

    Throw in that IPAs are also a favorite of mine, plus the group Alcohol Concern recommends 3-4 “Units” a day for me…and things are looking up in the world.
  • But Vincent never went to no Burger King -“Burger King plans beer-selling Whopper Bar in South Beach”.  I will be in Miami when this taking place, so I will have to head down to SoBE and check it out….possibly with a review.  At $4.25 per beer though, that is a little steep, but if I order beer as part of a Whopper combo  its only $7.99 — roughly $2 more than the same combo meal with a Coke.  We’ll have to see how it goes….maybe it will make the food taste better..


  • The next story up for grabs…. ”Scots 'drink 46 bottles of vodka'”.  The headline here is a bit misleading, and should read “Scots drink the equivalent of 46 bottles of vodka a year”. 

    The story itself is some “We drink to much because it is cheap” piece and really goes to show how the commies have infiltrated the media (the even use Vodka vs Scotch in an article about SCOTLAND).  Personally, if people want to drink it up….I say go for it.
  • For a bit of the unusual - “No Bull:$200,000 in energy drinks stolen from Navy”.   Maybe they were going to ship them to Scotland for their “46 Bottles of Vodka” :P

     Actually, that is a shitload of mixer, and I really throw the

     story in here for two friends….I wonder if they will read 

     this and get the joke.

  • Only in Sweden – “Students stage beer pipeline protest”.  Does it really need further comment?image
  • And FINALLY….This Weekend, the Beer Can celebrates it’s 75th Birthday.  Wow.  Something we take for granted today sounds like it had a rough start.  There is even a blurb HERE  on the History Channel (at the end of the video).  Krueger’s Finest Beer started everything rolling after Prohibition, and I don’t believe the Beer Industry has looked back since.  If it wasn’t for Krueger’s, then we never would have evolved to Guinnes with the Widget….and what a sad place the world would be then. 


So, I hope you enjoyed the reading and I look forward to the next blog post. 

Raise a toast to the Beer Can with me this weekend and be safe.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Green Goose



I just saw the Green Goose Facebook page and followed a link to the Goose’s Website.

It’s hard to believe that the Goose has been (and still is) open for 25 years.

So many memories… much money spent.

The Goose in Ansbach

    • Buckets
    • Goose Cards
    • Scott asking the legless girl to dance
    • Bitch Boxing
    • Glenn’s run in with the Polizie
    • Last Beer in Germany (the first time) with Scott and MPs taking away our fest mugs
    • Before going to the Gulf
    • Coming back from the Gulf
    • Heavy Metal Madmen
    • Trough Urinals
    • 4x4 Dance floor
    • MORE Buckets
    • Pubes in a beer
    • Shots of water
    • More Homeless
    • Do you have blankets?

The Goose in Nuremburg

    • Jeremy’s first night
    • More Homeless
    • Finding Shaw (Shaw is the Devil)
    • Buckets
    • NYs with Jim and Gary (who thought it was a dump)
    • Great Music
    • Falling down the stairs
    • Being drug UP the stairs
    • The cubbies in the back
    • Tinnitus
    • Roses
    • Fights on the street

I could go on and on….the Goose was such a special place, not just me for me….but 1000’s of American’s who were looking for some great music, buckets of booze and a little bit of Americana.

I don’t know if the one in Ansbach is still open (I can’t find if it is), but the Nuremburg is….and is definitely worth the trip. 

For those of you who’ve been…post your stories below.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Moving Day

So, TommyG from over at Days of Booze has finally decided to step up in the world and move from JC to Columbia MO.

I knew I was doomed when I got the Facebook Message “Can I bribe you?”.  I should have just ignored it….especially since I helped him move last time.  But, instead (being the good friend and brother) I said sure.

TG was to pick me up after getting the UHaul, and we agreed it would be at the off ramp here in Ashland (Tommy didnt want to drive the UHaul more than he had to). 

Since I was looking particularly scruffy that day (decked out in days old beard, hunters orange ball cap and my ND Jacket that I have had for 10 years), coupled with TG’s joke about “Rules of the Road”, I decided to get us some MALT LIQUOR to start the day.

How little did I realize what a mistake that was.

The two I chose to kick us off with, SPARKS and Jungle JOOSE.

The SPARKS was particularly attractive in it’s 4-Can, un-environmentally safe plastic ring configuration.  At $4.25 (Gas Station Prices) for 4x16oz of Premium Malt Beveragey Goodness….how could we go wrong?


The Jungle JOOSE had a really cool can, and held promise of 9.9 ABV, taurine, ginseng and “certified colors”…PLUS CAFFINE!?!?!?!  Could this be my coffee replacement?


TG and Rex picked me up at the appointed spot (with me holding a brown paper bag) right on time.  The only thing I want to say about the trip to his house is that one of the “Rules of the Road”….is we don’t talk about the “Rules of the Road”.

Upon surveying what needed to be done, we decide to try the SPARKS and have a drink before we started.

Rex and I each had one, while others there politely declined (“Ewwww…I can smell it from here”).

How did it taste?  I can honestly say it was one of the worst drinks I have ever bought.  Sweet Tarts, Antifreeze and grain alcohol would be a pretty good description.  In fact, if I mixed those together myself, it would probably taste better.

Rex (who I’ve never seen turn down a drink in his life) only drank one (since he started it) and could drink no more.  The mighty Rex had fallen.  In fact, throughout the day, Rex would double over and comment on how shitty the stuff made him feel.

Meanwhile, Tom cracked open the Jungle Joose and took one sip….only to put it down and say “Enough”.  His review can be found HERE.

Since nobody else would drink the SPARKS (or touch the can for that matter), I finished the rest of the 4 Pack (it was paid for and it WAS Booze).  Actually, it got better the more of a buzz I got….but I would never try to choke down another one again. 

I tried the Jungle Joose as well….only to think TG has snuck some CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP GIN, mixed with stale, out of date Red Bull and cat piss into the can without me noticing.   Holy Crap was it awful. 

Needless to say, I went zero for two on my picks….but hey, I was the Homeless Schlep picked up at the onramp….what can you expect.

In the end though…..TG was successfully moved (with me only pissing off D 4 or 5 times)and now he OWES me.  Also, he couldn't resist a little SPARKS once we were loaded up and heading to Columbia, especially once he was behind the wheel or the UHaul. 



I love Camera Phones.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dinner and Booze


One of the “Problems” with New Year’s Eve is all the left over booze. 

Now if it is beer or liquor, no worries….just set them up and I’ll knock them down.  But what do you do with the leftover Champagne?

This year at the bonfire, the Champagne of choice was Barefoot Bubbly, of which my favorite was the Brut Cuvee.

The Brut Cuvee was the 2009 Gold Medal Winner in the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition and is a really good DRY Champagne with a classic nose and a great aftertaste of green apples.  I have no idea how much it cost (Debi bought) and I didn’t drink any on NYE because I was pulling a Charlie long before midnight.  However, I had some later and I really enjoyed it.

Now, back to the originally posed question, what to do with it.  It seems odd to just sit down and drink a bottle of Champagne……well, that is if you are not in Germany (where they call it Sekt) or at a strip bar (where it costs you $150 for a little bottle).  How about cook with it?

I found an interesting recipe online and decided to give it a go…

Pork Chops in Creamy Champagne Sauce with Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes



  • 4 medium red potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
  • 4 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 pork loin chops (about 5 ounces each)
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 cup sparkling wine or dry Champagne
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk


Place potatoes and garlic in a medium saucepan and pour over enough water to cover. Set pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook 8 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and return potatoes and garlic to pan. Add sour cream and mash until almost smooth (or lumpy if desired). Stir in parsley and season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork with salt and black pepper and add to hot pan. Cook 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove pork from pan and set aside. To the same pan, add shallots and cook 2 minutes, until soft. Add thyme and tarragon and cook 1 minute, until fragrant. Add sparkling wine and cook 1 minute. Whisk flour into milk and add to pan. Return pork to pan and simmer 3 to 5 minutes, until pork is cooked through and sauce thickens. Serve 4 pork chops with all of the sauce and mashed potatoes. Reserve remaining pork for rice.


My Personal critique of this one -

Flavors were great.  Everything meshed well, even the steamed asparagus that I threw in myself. 

Everything else I did exactly as called for in the recipe.  So there were a few problems. 

  • The mashed potatoes were a little firmer than I liked, so next time….more milk/sour cream.
  • The sauce was thicker too.  This could be rectified by more champagne.
  • Debi doesn't like Tarragon.  Oh Well.

Aside from that, I thought the food was good and I would definitely make this again.  We still have 3 bottles left :)

Public Service Announcement

My favorite beer is Guinness and I'm joining the Pints for Prostates campaign in using the universal language of beer to reach men with an important health message. Prostate Cancer. No Joke. Get Tested.

Monday, January 11, 2010

This Day in History – Jan 11 1964

The US Surgeon General warns against smoking for the first time.

Wow, 5 years before I was born…the Surgeon General began it’s warning crusade and yet today….smoking is still puffing along.

Great Job there, it’s working like a charm.

Here is a brief history of warnings on cigarette packs in the US -

  • Caution: Cigarette Smoking May be Hazardous to Your Health (1966–1970)
  • Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined that Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health (1970–1985)
  • SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy. (1985-)
  • SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Quitting Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks to Your Health. (1985-)
  • SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Smoking By Pregnant Women May Result in Fetal Injury, Premature Birth, And Low Birth Weight. (1985-)
  • SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Cigarette Smoke Contains Carbon Monoxide. (1985-)

Who would have thought that when the Native Americans (he….can I take them to court for introducing the white man to this?) first brought tobacco to Columbus’ attention, which lead to its spread all over the world, that today we have to have labels telling is it is bad.

We KNOW it is. You and I know it, everybody knows it…yet, we still continue to smoke.

And do you know why? BECAUSE I CAN.

I grew up in a smoking family. My father was born and raised on a tobacco farm and both my parents smoked well into advanced age.

I had a brief foray into cigarettes when I joined the Army (Smoke’m if you got’m), but I let that pass as a fad.

I wasn’t “Hooked” or “Addicted”. I could and did quit when I wanted to.

But later in life, I picked up cigars because (like drinking), I ENJOYED them.

Even now, I could quit in a heartbeat….and have often debated on it based on the sin taxes levied against me.

But I choose not to, no matter what the naysayers say.

And who are the naysayers? I’m glad you asked.

The Surgeon General.

The Surgeon General of the United States is the operational head of the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC) and thus the leading spokesperson on matters of Public Health in the federal government. The Surgeon General's office and staff are known as the Office of the Surgeon General (OSG). He (She) hold the rank of Vice Admiral and is in command PHSCC, one of the seven uniformed branches of the military AND one of only two that has no enlisted personnel.

So, a “Uniformed Service” under the command of a “General” (who is actually an Admiral) which has no “working” force and is comprised entirely of officers.

To me that sounds like a cluster f***. Oh wait, after reading these warnings all those years, it’s apparent that it is.

Look, when stores have to label individual cigars, things have gone to far. The wasted manpower and resources to do this, so that people can ignore (which is what everyone does) the ridiculous labels, is insane. Mother’s continue to smoke while pregnant, under aged kids are not charged for breaking the law by smoking and the government wants to reallocate my wealth via taxes to “bolster” a broken healthcare system.

We know smoking is bad. We enjoy it. Get out of our lives and let us live it.

Today is the anniversary of Cigarette labels. Another attempt by the establishment to influence the people. Why can’t they just let us live happy lives?

Enjoy the day and Smoke’m if you Got’m

Friday, January 8, 2010

Count Duku Sings about Booze “Rocky Horror” Style

Ok, I’ve seen some weird stuff, but I never thought I would see this.

Christopher Lee is a villain called Mr. Midnight…who is trying to prevent the return of the alcoholic Captain Invincible , here by tempting him with a fully stocked bar.

Words escape me.


Has anyone ever seen the full movie?

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