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Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Good, accurate booze advice from Ray Smuckles

Lying on the floor of my bedroom is a bottle of Jim Beam my cousin gave me for my 21st. I'm not a drinker of wide experience but it turns out I hate bourbon. I'm now 22 and short on funds for what I DO like (scotch, guinness.) So how do I get this damned bourbon down me as pleasantly as possible?
Anonymous, Internet

A-ha! You say you hate bourbon, but you do like Scotch! I think we have the keystone which will unravel this puzzle.

Jim Beam is a good bourbon which you can drink straight, along with the other name brand American whiskeys such as Jack Daniels, Knob Creek, Ancient Situation, etc. I’m guessing that if you like Scotch but don’t like bourbon you are turned off by its relative sweetness. Certain palates find the extra sugar in bourbon medicinal. Drinking it over ice reduces this sensation somewhat, but if you still find that you can’t stomach its extra sugar we’ll do something counter-intuitive and mix it with three parts of cola. I think you’ll find that anyone on earth can enjoy a nice, sweet bourbon and Coke.

I DEFINITELY helped you with this advice.

I used to be a big vodka martini man (Belvedere or Grey Goose [are] my preferred labels) but I've moved to another country where it's tough to get anything better than Absolut, which I personally find very over-rated. I like gin and tonics, and am considering a move over to gin martinis, i.e., with Bombay Sapphire or some other top-shelf brand. Is it possible - or wise - to make such a big switch? I love the whole martini experience, but won't do it without top-flight hooch.
-JM, Sydney

Dear JM,

You would be surprised to hear how many people scoff at such a question. Not me, though. It’s all about the sugar, and boy do I hate a big-bodied gin or vodka. Crisp is the name of the game, and I am ready to slap anybody who does not belong in the game, completely slap them on their faces and the sides of their heads/ears. I will slap them.

It sounds like you’ll need to move over to an extra-dry gin martini, and the down-low on gin is that the ~80 proof Plymouth or Gordon’s are the best ones going. Tanq and Bombay are way too strong at like 95 proof, tasting too harshly of alcohol. Either way, take these shaken with a twist in a chilled glass.

Note from your Editor: Ray's Place, a weekly advice column (or column about whatever he feels like writing about) appears every Wednesday on Achewood.

Adventures in Spell Checking

I have fans, dear reader, I have fans. Believe it or not! In fact, I have one special fan who never hesitates to point me to spelling and grammar errors and for this I am always grateful cuz i am too darm lazy to proof my own work sometimes. Well, tonight I decided to try out the spell checker on the blog-o-matic and much to my amusement found that artificial intelligence can really be funnier than the regular kind.
When the blog-o-matic got to the name of our good, if old and addled governor murkowski, it suggested, accurately I might add, the seldom used but delightfully thoughful "morasses."
Better still, when it encountered the name of the high priest of pissing contests, massa limbaugh it suggested, wistfully perhaps, the archaic medical phrase, "lumbago."

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Frank's first can of worms. Hope he has some ketchup.

Troopers raid Native pulltab operation in Barrow

By RACHEL D'ORO, Associated Press Writer

ANCHORAGE (July 1, 5:15 p.m. ADT) - Authorities have raided a pulltab operation owned by the Native Village of Barrow, fueling a long-simmering dispute between the state and village leaders who say they have a federal right to conduct gambling without an Alaska gaming permit.

Alaska State Troopers and a gaming compliance investigator seized 2,500 pounds of pulltabs, a cash register, business records and other items Monday from the tiny wooden building housing the operation. Troopers said the state has received complaints about illegal gambling conducted by the Eskimo tribal group.

Village officials said Tuesday the shutdown is temporary.

"We plan to open right back up in a couple of weeks," said gaming manager Mabel Kaleak.

The raid followed a May 21 letter from Attorney General Gregg Renkes to the village that it stop the pulltab operations or face legal action. The investigation is continuing and no charges have been filed, said Richard Svobodny, senior assistant district attorney in Juneau.

The state contends the pulltab operation is illegal because the village has not had a state gaming permit since 1999. It pays no state gaming taxes or fees and it offers prizes exceeding the allowable limit.

Village officials said the issue is one of sovereignty.(more)

Who says Canada is a nation of automatonic Liberal lingually-confused technocrats who worhip political correctness? Not I, Sir!

Yukon employees protest porn investigation

The Associated Press

WHITEHORSE, Yukon - More than 200 demonstrators turned out Friday for a union rally protesting an inquiry into Yukon government employees who sent or received e-mails deemed pornographic.

Participants at the Yukon Employees Union held up signs such as "Welcome to Salem" and other witch-hunt references.

"The government should realize the effects that this has caused people," said Brenda Hansen, an 18-year government employee.

The government has investigated employees whose names have appeared as either senders or receivers of e-mails it has discovered with pornographic pictures. The computers of the people have then been checked for explicit materials.

The government has sent letters to employees being investigated.

The first meeting is an initial interview. If the government decides the person should be punished, there is a disciplinary meeting.

Hansen she's been affected even though she has not received a letter or suspension.

"Morale is totally down. The fear, the apprehension is so high that it gets to the point where you don't even know whether to say 'Good morning' to someone for fear that they're going to fall apart to tears."(more)

Here are a few things worth looking at

I may not have been blogging, but I have been browsing.
Here's a guy who is the closest thing to Hemingway our times may have, yet. I found his recent piece in the New York Times magazine about the terrorist prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba compelling. Better still is his first person reportage from inside the walls of Sing Sing.

And one of my all time favorites (from when I was a kid and he was writing in the NatLamp), P.J. O'Rourke takes a good, hard look at "Hillary's" new book in the Weekly Standard.

Let see if we can get some traffic back to this sucker

It's nearing Fourth of July weekend, and that can mean only one thing- the elites fishing in the shadow of the oil rigs off Kenai. Lisa Murkowski and Commerce Secretary Don Evans are planning to interrupt their river trip to dedicate a Home Depot store in Kenai. I couldn't be prouder to be an American.