Showing posts from February, 2020

He Should Be Here

I've been trying to write this every year for the past ten years. There are some things you just can't put into words, which for someone who writes so damn much is kind of maddening. I'm not a big 'writing is therapy' kind of a guy- some people are all about that, but it's true: writing is therapy. Getting the words down on the page helps. For this, I've just never been able to do it. So, two quotes: "There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." Hemingway is not my jam. There was always that period of time in college where you knew somebody that was obsessed with either Hemingway, Kerouac or Charles Bukowski. I was never one of those people. But this quote. Man, for this one- he gets it right. "Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem." Christ, I hate this quote. The language is so cold, clinical and detached. It's not wrong, of course- it's absolutely correct, but it d

Squawk Box: Undone/The Mandalorian

Squawk Box returns for February with a two-fer: Undone from Amazon Prime and of course, The Mandalorian from Disney Plus. Undone caught my eye mainly for the animation-- made using rotoscoping , it looks absolutely gorgeous so I wanted to check it out. What I found wasn't just beautiful animation, but a tightly focused eight episode first season which explores the nature of reality. When Alma (Rosa Salazar) gets into a car crash, she discovers that she can navigate through time using the power of her mind. Her father, Jacob (Bob Odenkirk) appears to here and offers to teach her how to harnass this power to investigate his murder, reset the timeline and hopefully bring him back to life. Alma agrees and the two of them begin a reality warping journey through the moments of Alma's life trying to piece together what happened to her father back then and uncover the meaning of some family history and some secrets along the way. In the meantime, the other people in Alma's

Boozehound Unfiltered: Glen Moray

Boozehound Unfiltered is back for 2020! So, before we get into the nitty-gritty of the Glen Moray 12-Year-Old Single Malt, I suppose I should digress a little and explain what I'm going to do going forward with this feature. A couple of birthdays ago, the Missus got me a set of Tiki Glasses. She then followed that up with Smuggler's Cove an excellent bible on all things Tiki (if perhaps slightly unhelpful for beginners in the Tiki Life). I've sort of decided to mitosis this feature up. Going forward, you should expect to see some Tiki-specific posts, some cocktail related posts and some straight-up reviews of bottles of whiskey and other goodies I pick up along the way. As part of my general and annual New Year's Goal for better health, I'm going to be cutting back on my alcohol consumption as well. I used to be pretty good about only having a wee dram or a cocktail on my days off. That has turned into damn near a nightly thing, which isn't bad, per say- b

The Caucuses Weren't A Disaster They Just Played One On TV

Hey, here's a secret for all y'all...  the Iowa Caucuses actually went pretty well. Reporting the results is where it all went sideways. I wasn't particularly impressed by the State Party's Response and I was even less impressed with the DNC's response to all of this. The Missus and I came out to caucus in Iowa City's 17th Precinct. 800 people showed up to caucus, so getting us all in there was something of a logisitical nightmare, but once things got going, they went pretty well and by 10pm, we were all done and dusted. Sanders and Warren cleared the first two rounds comfortably and we rallied enough Biden folks on the 2nd Alignment that we got Amy Klobuchar to viability by the end of the night. Apart from being cornered by a Yang Ganger for a sales pitch (they had a decent contingent of people-- more than I expected to be honest) the experience was overall good. For all you can say about different ways of voting, caucuses do have their drawbacks, but I got

Netflix & Chill #73: Some Like It Hot

Watched On:  Amazon Prime Released:  1959 Starring:  Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe Directed By:  Billy Wilder Rotten Tomatoes:  Tomatometer 95%, Audience Score 94% Pick:  Mine So I was searching for inspiration yesterday at work and tripped and fell down a rabbit hole of articles listing the 100 Best Movies on Netflix, then Amazon Prime and finally Hulu. And, on a whim- having decided that Aguirre, The Wrath of God would be a little too heavy for a Saturday afternoon, I went with another cinema classic: Some Like It Hot . I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a huge cinema buff. I watch movies and over the years I've found 'classics' that just blow me away and that I currently own, somewhere. ( Lawrence of Arabia, The Lion In Winter- Gandhi , if you want to count that one.) But when faced with a choice of ingesting the classics or watching whatever I feel like, I'm usually one to follow my Id and just watch what I feel like. Why then

This Week In Vexillology #301

Well, guess what? We've finally reached the end of our Lost Archives. It's taken us I don't know how long to get here, but we're down to the last official entry and a bonus one I stumbled across and thought would be a good idea. Our first offering, comes to us courtesy of the Scottish Independence Referendum-- the prospect of Scotland leaving- and this was well before Brexit and the mess that followed- raised the interesting question: what was going to become of the Union Jack without Scotland? This 2014 article from the Atlantic floated several possible designs and these three were my favorite: First, giving Wales some love. Wales is the only Constituent country of the United Kingdom not to be represented on the Union Jack. It's kind of hard to sneak a dragon in there, but as it turns out there are some pretty decent opportunities to get Wales in there. There's this one: I kind of dig this one for it's simplicity. You're changing out blue and re

Free Write Friday #17: Music/Depth

Free Write Friday is back with another double shot of #ThemeThursdays-- featuring last week's offering, 'Music' and this week's offering of 'Depth.'  Enjoy! Music The sound of music brought Chelsea back to consciousness. Opera again. She tried to sit up, but realized that they had strapped her to the gurney again. He was there. He had never mentioned a name, but in her head, she had started to call him Needles. He looked like a corpse, tall and rail thin with sunken cheeks and sallow eyes. "Oh good," he said. "You're awake." Chelsea said nothing. She was starting to lose track of the time. Her mind was getting foggy now. Sometimes the lights were on constantly, driving her mad, crackling and sizzling constantly above her head. Sometimes they turned the lights off and she was plunged into inky blackness. She had no idea where she was. She had no idea what day it was or how long she had been there. The last thing she remembere

Impeachment: Where The Points Are All Made Up and The Facts Don't Matter

I'll be honest: I didn't bother paying any attention whatsoever to the Impeachment mess because at the end of the day, I knew it wasn't going to matter and the outcome was more or less foreordained. And hey- look! I was right. In an election year, politicians are motivated by one thing and one thing only: keeping their jobs. Now, granted, in the case of the Senate, only a third of them are up for re-election this year, but voters tend to remember these things and in these days of partisan hysteria that we live in, if voters forget, some helpful political action committee is going to come along and remind them again when the time comes. It's not a bad motivation, keeping your job. You, I and the rest of America are probably motivated to keep our jobs, whatever they are. But when you take that and combine it with the current levels of partisan hysteria that keep the internet smoldering like a massive dystopian tire, of course the politicians are going to play their pa

Bookshot #127: The Steel Bonnets

It's been gathering dust on my bookshelf for years, but finally, I sat down and read The Steel Bonnets , which tells the story of the border reivers that dominated the border between England and Scotland for centuries- their peculiar, rough and tumble way of life reached it's peak in the 16th Century before being swept aside by the forces of political unification that united the two kingdoms when James I took the throne of a united kingdom following the death of Elizabeth I. Why read a book about what to many would seem to be a relatively obscure subject ? Well, it's sort of where my people are from. The Nixons ran along the Middle March of the border with the Armstrongs- but also mixing with the Elliots and Croziers as well. As the borders grew more wild and unruly over the centuries- the clans developed sort of a rough code that sort of governed their raids- and every cross border raid to steal horses or rustle sheep would provoke a response in one form or another. They