August 2013 Archives

The F-1116 Get's A New Paintjob

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My buddy Russ over at Kenowa Body Shop just recently painted the Philco Advanced Design F-1116 fridge that I picked up for parts back in October of 2010. It looks mighty sharp!


The Wet and The Dry - A Drinkers Journey

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791178654.jpgI just poured myself a glass of Single malt Scotch. It's a recently acquired habit, Scotch. Due mostly in part to reading The Wet and The Dry by Lawrence Osborne. No stranger to Scotch, I've drank Johnnie Black for years, but it's mostly a winter thing, and it was the only bottle of Scotch in the bar. Some books are hard to read without drinking that which the protagonist is drinking. 

Last month Jessica, from Random House, contacted with an offer to read Osborne's book. Released July 23rd, I had it in my hands early enough to review it well ahead of the release date. Well that is, if I read books like some people. I received Brian Greene's book The Elegant Universe:Superstings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory as a Birthday gift at Founder's back in February of 2011, it's a fascinating book, and I am almost done reading it. In the late nineties I was walking through Grand Central Station, and a book in the window caught my eye - McSorley's Wonderful Saloon by Joseph Mitchell - it was one of the best books I have ever read, well except for the last few chapters that are fiction, I never got to those. Then there is the classic by Jack London, John Barleycorn, I hope to finish it before I die. I honestly can't recall the year I started reading it. Also a great drinking tale. So yes I love a good drinking tale, but you could probably age a Scotch Whiskey in less time than for me to finish it.
One can't help but think that the author's reference to the wet and the dry extends beyond the two states of drinking, and to his own sense of humor, when he states on page eight "a Muslim alcoholic gives me hope that the human race can be saved". Taking us on a Journey though the Arab drinking world, Osborne meets a variety of colorful characters. East and West, Wet and Dry, Alcoholic and Prohibited. Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, and ritual ecstasy joins us on the journey to a land where buying scotch is like "buying unwrapped pornography in a Walmart Supercenter in Salt Lake City".

The book starts out a bit slow, but before long you are in for the long haul. While books like Mitchell's draw a picture and pull you in, Osborne's is unique. It's unique because he reveals to the reader a large candid window into his personal life, his drinking journey. His fascinating, insightful, clumsy, stumbling, and at times even thieving, reproachable, and pathetic journey. He shares a world foreign to most of us, a world where drinking is banned for the Muslim, and it would seem in some cases, for everyone.

Osborne's taste is by no means limited to Scotch, however one of the later chapters where we visit the single malts of Islay, the island of Jura, and the seafront castles Laphroaig and Lagavulin - well it is by far my favorite. So it is that I am drinking Scotch.

If you enjoyed John Barleycorn you'll love this book. If you want to travel the world with your libation of choice safely seated on the nightstand next to you, then this is the book for you.


The Brewmaster


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