Showing posts from December, 2020

Boozehound Unfiltered: Ezra Brooks Bourbon Cream

Hey, it's a Boozehound Unfiltered post! I've been going pretty heavy with cocktails of various flavors for a few months now so I haven't been able to get one of these posts in- but the holidays have been good to me, Booze-wise, so expect a truimphant return of these posts as we head into 2021- but now that's done, let's talk about this month: Ezra Brooks Bourbon Cream. I've been hearing about Bourbon Cream on and off from fellow whiskey drinkers for a few months now- but it seemed curiously hard to find- or at the very least, it didn't spring off the shelf when I went looking for booze these past few months. I suppose at the outset that we've got to make it clear: this isn't the delicious, delicious biscuit from the UK -- that takes it's name from the Royal House of Bourbon.  So what exactly is bourbon cream? Strangely enough, there's no entry in wikipedia for the stuff- as of yet-- but Black Button Distilling offers the kind of, "Thank

Netflix & Chill #89: Olympus Has Fallen

There have been three of these movies, believe it or not and this was the first one and let me tell you: this movie is absolutely fucking ridiculous and you know what? That's okay. There's a certain flavor of action movie that is absolutely preposterous but there's guns and explosions and one man fighting against impossible odds to defeat the bad guys and you just sit back, watch it and enjoy and shovel popcorn into your mouth and wait for the inevitable vengeance of the good guys to happen. Olympus Has Fallen is one of those action movies- but it's well made and looks stylish as hell.  The movie opens with the First Family- President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart), First Lady Margaret Asher (Ashley Judd) and their son Connor (Finley Jacobsen) are heading out to leave Camp David to go to a Christmas Party- the head of their Secret Service Detail is former Army Ranger Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) who maintains a close, personal relationship with the family. On the way t

Serial Saturday #14: Locally Raised Steaks

Please enjoy Part 14 of my ongoing serial, Murder In Kinmen : Locally Raised Steaks... "Whoa there, Boy Scout," Shan said. "You want to go easy there?" Wei-Ting shook his head and poured himself another shot of kaoliang. They had just gotten back from Xiamen and his hands were still shaking. Not only had he committed a crime, but if anyone found out it would be... Wei-Ting shudded. Very bad. Worse still, it could cause... an incident. And if that happened, then he could say goodbuey to his career in law enforcement. "At least wait for the food to get here," Shan said. "You're gonna love it." "What did you order again?" "Steaks," Shan said. "Locally raised steaks from right here in Kinmen." "Oh," Wei-Ting said. "We have cows here?" "Sure do," Shan said. "Good ones, too." Shan had picked the restaurant. It was in theback end of the county and looked like just another worn old

The Prisoner and The Assassin: New Cover Announcement

 Big news, sports fans: No, it's not my new book- it's my very first book. Available with a shiny new cover from multiple e-book sellers here and I've got a shiny new paperback edition available on Amazon as well.  So, why a new cover? That's a more complicated question-- when I wrote this book and it's sequel, I'll be totally honest with you all: I had no idea what I was doing and this book (and it's sequel) are a little bit rough around the edges as a result. Now, many people will say that if it isn't good, then you shouldn't put it out into the world- but these two books were my "let's see if I can actually do this" books. And over the course of taking what was a mountain and a half of words that just sort of fell out of me and turning them into stories, I grew quite fond of these characters and these books and the covers I had for them just did not do them justice. I tell stories. I write. Whether it's on this blog or working

The Hangover, Part III: Iowa Thoughts

Being an Iowa Democrat means constantly defending Democrats to Iowans and then defending Iowans to Democrats. — C.J. Petersen (@cjforiowa) November 14, 2020 If Democrats nationally were disappointed with the Blue Tsunami and it's failure to appear, Iowa Democrats were downright gloomy. and for good reason. Things didn't get better for Iowa Democrats- they got worse. Losing one (and what looks to be two) Congressional seats. They didn't claw back anything in the State House races and in fact their problems in the Senate got worse-- in the meantime, Kimmie is presiding over on an ongoing trainwreck of this state's COVID response and her approval rating is in the basement. And Iowa Democrats didn't even walk away with a glimmer of hope anywhere that I can see. I suppose this post-mortem is going to be focused more on Democrats, but I think it's important to note that while I'm still technically a registered Democrat, that's because I haven't gotten ar

Serial Saturday #13: An Apartment In Old Amoy

Please enjoy Part 13 of my ongoing serial, Murder In Kinmen : An Apartment In Old Amoy Wei-Ting was five minutes late. The apartment building was in an older district of Xiamen, right beside one of the lakes that used to be the old harbor back in colonial times when the British had the run of the place. His head was spinning as he walke dup the steps and opened the door to step into the lobby. Pei-Shan had narrowly avoided a prison sentence after agreeing to testify against the other four cops in Tainan City, but how was she still a cop? That was the question that Wei-Ting couldn't shake. How could you be a party to something like the destruction of evidence and a network of bribery and still wear the uniform? Who was Pei-Shan, really? You deserve to know the people you're working with. Tan's words again. But did he really know Pei-Shan? The Tainan City PD had been the tip of a very large, ugly iceberg that had taken down judges, KMT big wigs, and even a member of Parliamen

The Hangover, Part II: National Thoughts

Whatever the outcome, I thought the election results would be something that didn't fit the narratives being peddled by the media on the left and the right- and sure enough, that thought turned out to be more or less correct. There's good news and bad news to be had all over the political spectrum and some interesting possibilities out there- assuming we have politicians and policymakers talented enough to actually take advantage of them. (My Magic 8 Ball says: "Unlikely.") Let's start with the overall good news stuff though: Ranked Choice Voting had a good election showing . In general, I feel confident in RCV in that I think it would reduce partisanship and allow more independent voices to break into politics. I like that and I hope it continues to spread-- it's one of the more realistic political reform efforts out there that I think could really make a difference. (Unlike say, abolishing the electoral college or the ever present dream of "getting mone

Tiki Tuesday #5: Kaieteur Swizzle

I suppose before we get to the actual drink itself, we need to introduce the concept of Rum Swizzles . The original Rum Swizzle is hailed as 'Bermuda's national drink' and basically, it's rum, fruit juice and what wikipedia refers to as a 'flavored sweetener' such as grenadine or falernum. They're generally shaken or stirred with icy.  The concept of a swizzle- which is pretty much rum + ice + something else have been kicking around since the mid-18th century- references to them have been found in such diverse locations as Fort Ticonderoga in New York, Saint Kitts and Barbados in the Caribbean or even Great Britain. The exact origin of the Swizzle seems to be up for some debate as well: A 1909 book by Edward R. Emerson said they came from Saint Kitts. Another author (Frederick Albion Ober) noted in 1920 that a great drink hailing from Barbados was the swizzle, where the combination of liquors, sugars and ice were "whisked to a froth by a rapidly-revolve

Netflix & Chill #88: The Hobbit Trilogy

So after plodding my way through seven hundred odd pages of The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear , I decided that I needed a change of pace for the Eldest Kiddos bedtime book, so I went back to an old favorite, The Hobbit . I haven't read the book for years- but naturally, the Eldest Kiddo being a child of the 21st Century was very excited to learn that there were movies based on the book. We got through enough of the book that we could watch one of the movies and naturally now we've got through enough of the book to watch a second movie, so then I had to revist one of the more irritating film trilogies in existence: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.  We'll get to the first Hobbit movie in a second- but I had to do some advance research on the latter two because I was some astonished to discover that The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was rated R (at least the extended edition is- n

Serial Saturday #12: The Ferry To Xiamen

Please enjoy Part 12 of Murder In Kinmen : The Ferry To Xiamen... Pei-Shan stared at her sister in shock for a moment before she spoke: "Shit." Mei-Shan grinned. "Watch your language, Pei-Pei." "Don't call me that," Pei-Shan said, irritably. Mei-Shan rolled her eyes. "Well, we can't have a conversation out here. Come on downstairs. We'll talk there." She started walking toward the spiral staircase in the corner and, reluctantly, Pei-Shan followed. "What if I don't want to talk to you?" "Are you still sore about what happened in Tainan City?" Mei-Shan rolled her eyes. "I don't see-" "You don't see what the big deal was?" Pei-Shan was incredulous as they walked down the staircase. "I derailed my career by falling on the grenade of a botched NSB operation to keep you out of jail. Not a big deal at all." "Well," Mei-shan said as they emerged downstairs. "Your cou

The Secrets of The Tower, Part Two

 "Aw hell, look at this one! She's just a kid." "I hate it when we get kids." "I hate that they make us recruit from planets like these. It's bullshit." "It's the rules, man, they need recruits." "I know." Tan woke suddenly, aware of the voices around her and wondering where she was. It was dark. No, she realized, there was something blocking her vision. A blindfold? It felt heavier. A helment. She tried to raise her hands to take off the helmet but couldn't. "She's awake," the first voice said.  The second voice sighed. "Should we try?" "Yeah." Tan felt hands on her head and then the helmet was gently lifted off of her head and two faces came into view. "Where am I?" Tan asked. "Where is the Great Goddess Shanter?" "We'll take you to her, kiddo," the first voice belonged to a woman. She was stocky and muscular and there was a long scar running across he

The Secrets of the Tower, Part One

"Tan!" Her father's shout from across the field made her jump. He was leaning on his hoe, glaring at her. "Quit your day-dreaming and get back to work." "Sorry, paipai," she called back. She hefted the hoe and brought it back down into the dark red soil with a satisfying thunk . Her paipai was correct, of course. There was no point in daydreaming when they had work to do. If they didn't get the crop of calina seeds into the fields before the rains began, there would be no crops to harvest by the autumn and no food to tide them over for the winter. Tan was not yet old enough to hunting with her brothers, so she was stuck on field duty with her father and the other farm hands. if she was lucky, she'd get a year, maybe two of hunting before her mother would bring her into the farmhouse, stick her in the kitchen and then they'd find her a husband and pack her off to another farmhouse where she would have children and run a house until it was he