2017 Whisky Wind-down, 346: Not My Whisky

[Editorial note: You probably remember 2016 Whisky Wind-down. Hell, it basically just ended. Am I saying 2017 is already so bad that it’s time to start a similar countdown already? No. I am not. However, some days beg to be noted in time. Also, some days call for a stiff drink.] 

Today’s dram: Ruskova Vodka Real American Whisky

Today’s tasting notes: Blarg. Gak. <string of expletives>

Today’s thoughts: Appropriately enough, I woke up sick today. Psychosomatic? Could be.

At any rate, I hadn’t been awake long when my phone rang. T-Mobile customer service. Without getting into the specifics, I’ll just say the company and I have an ongoing billing dispute. They’re wrong, of course. The service reps — I talked to three, over the course of 90 minutes — acknowledge the problem, but say they “can’t change that in the system.”

All in all, it was a frustrating experience, being in the right but still unable to make a positive change. Powerless before the needs of the corporation. Pay up or lose.

Which is, again, appropriate enough for the day at hand.

All the facts in the world don’t matter if one side has power and the willingness to use it.

All the reason in the world doesn’t matter if the other side is unreasonable.

Try as you might, the inertia of the system will carry you away, regardless.

Today’s notes on the immediate future: And so … I drank my selected “whisky.”

I poured a second.

After a bit, it got easier.

I mean, if you have low expectations.

No, lower than that. 

Afterward, I went to my happy place. 

Not the bar. 

My other happy place: the kitchen.  

There, I baked Christmas cookies.

What with travel, various sicknesses, and other conflicts, this weekend is the earliest I have been able to coordinate gathering with my family to observe the holiday.

It’s harder than it used to be, and I don’t just mean the scheduling. 

See, try as I might, I can’t convince some of them we’re better off, by far, than we were eight years ago, and the next four years bode poorly for all of us.

(In fairness, try as they might, they can’t convince me of the opposite, either.)

We resolve these differences mostly by ignoring them. 

At least we agree on cookies. 

Today’s toast: Nostrovia, comrades! “May the wings of liberty never lose a feather.” –Jack Burton

2016 Whisky Wind-down, 8: American Classics

Today’s dram: Bulleit Bourbon

Today’s tasting notes: Bite. Such bite. But it gets sweeter as you sip. Benefits of a high rye content. Good stuff. 

Today’s thoughts: Despite the spelling, Bulleit is pronounced “bullet” and is as American as your favorite cliché. 

I make my favorite cliché mostly for holidays. This year, with the help of my five-year-old nephew, I successfully completed the task.   

Today’s deep-dish thought: It’s only pie. Relax. 

Today’s toast: To the bakers: May your calculations be correct and your pies rise as expected. 

We Don’t Need No Water

Tweets like this weren’t funny even before this guy got elected to lead the country.

I’ll get some flak for saying this, but it isn’t disrespectful to burn the flag.

It is disrespectful to suggest that the rights of someone choosing to burn a piece of cloth should be tossed to the wind under a would-be despot’s say-so.


Yes. Exactly. Now, what I want to know is, how do you expect me to respect you when you scream louder, make more noise over that symbol than you do over the very rights it represents?

Get mad about the flag being burned.

But also get mad that hate crimes are up in the wake of our presidential election.

Get mad that the VP-elect thinks it’s okay to try to “convert” LGBT youth to be straight.

Get mad that the president-elect has made more time for his foreign business partners than taking intelligence briefings.

Hell, get mad that the president-elect is spending time on Twitter picking fights with reporters and actors and comedians and activists when there are far more important things going on.

Get mad that the same people so upset over this expression of free speech shrug their shoulders when asked about the surge of another unpopular expression of free speech — white supremacy.

Finally, get mad about a president-elect who openly talks of punishing citizens for an act that is protected by our nation’s constitution and legal precedent.

Then talk to me about how much that flag really represents.

I Ain’t Afraid of No Zeitgeist

Along with most of the nation, I spent some time last night watching our annual grand football spectacle.

I’m not exactly a hard-core football fan — I understand the game and can enjoy it — but watching the Super Bowl is practically a requirement of American citizenship.

Terry Border made a great point about that obligation last night:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js I tend to agree. Skipping either event feels like opting out of our culture.

Mind you, there are times when I’d feel just fine opting out of our culture. It’s not like I need to burn a few hours basking in the glow of millionaires pummeling one another in between commercials for terrible beer and the new shows on Fox …

But then what would I have to talk about with coworkers the next day in the office?

I suppose it’s good and necessary to have common cultural touchstones like the Super Bowl, other sporting events, rodent weather reports, and so on. Otherwise there would be even more awkward conversational pauses around the old water cooler.

Me, I prefer the new water cooler — Twitter.

Why wait for the office when you can enjoy wit,

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js whimsy,

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and ruminations

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js in real time.