Posted by PintofStout on 15th October 2012
I find myself saying today, “Man, I’d like a drink right about now.” I say this fairly often while having a trying day at work. Yet, when I leave work and go home where I’m free to have a glass of Scotch or a beer, I often don’t. At first, I thought it was because I didn’t feel comfortable having a drink for therapy like that; it just seemed seedy and sad. Today, though, I think it may just be the atmosphere where one is free to imbibe that I long for, that atmosphere being the polar opposite of being in a stressful work environment. So, when I get home, seeing A__ and the kids decompresses me enough that the desire for that escape is already diminished. It was never about being drunk anyway, but just being in a place where one could imbibe and relax, chill out, and laugh about what a shitty, shitty day everyone had.
So I’ll go home tonight and feel refreshed. Maybe I’ll have a drink. At that point, it doesn’t really matter. Cheers.
Tags: booze, family, relaxation, scotch, work
Posted in Beer, Introspection | No Comments »
Posted by PintofStout on 27th December 2011
I’ve not the time or energy to rant about Christmas or the election right now. I have covered it before, though, which will follow below for your reading pleasure.
With the holidays comes happy reunions with old friends, here is a post about our life trajectories: The Rocky Bottom.
Also there is some sort of astronomical mumbo-jumbo about a solstice </sarcasm>: Rage Against the Dying of the Light.
Christmas as we know it doesn’t quite match what any one side of this culture war over Christmas says it should be: Yule Celebrate Christmas and Yule Like It.
The topic of religious belief, which nonsensically bleeds into scientific belief, was covered last election when Mitt gave some speech about how he doesn’t have two heads or feed on human flesh because he is a mormon: No Votes For Non-Believers.
(A fine article from Michael Shermer regarding this is here: http://www.skepticblog.org/2011/12/20/e-pluribus-unum/ ).
I won’t link any more election stuff. That is easy enough to find here. Even though it is two days ago and, therefore, may as well be a year ago, I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas or otherwise enjoyable month of December.
Tags: Atheism, Christmas, Election, Politically Correct, religion
Posted in Atheism, Beer, Blogfood, Left Libertarian, Philosophy & Politics | No Comments »
Posted by PintofStout on 14th February 2011
Valentine’s Day: the celebration of red-hued things, hearts, and unlimited cheap garbage displayed isle after isle, commercial after commercial so that someone can feel validated and loved. Like the commercialization of other holidays such as Halloween, Easter, and Christmas, the mass production of Valentine’s Day takes a simple, noble, sentiment and cheapens it with gaudy lipstick, fishnets, and the cheapest hooker costume it can find – which could make Halloween the celebration of this very phenomenon.
The sentiment behind Valentine’s Day all centers around love. What could be wrong with that? (It actually had much bawdier begins, as told in today’s Writer’s Almanac). Showing and demonstrating love is a wonderful thing and easily the best answer to the “meaning of life” question. The holiday is marketed as a shortcut to this noblest of endeavors, though, in the tradition of other failed shortcuts (Christopher Columbus and the Donner Party spring to mind). So, like a drunken game of “telephone”, the message coming through is hardly a shadow of the original.
I was going to write about the spontaneity of romance and stuff and realized I could only give a shitty paraphrasing of what Katie Pizzuto at Gonzo Gastronomy has already written:
I like pre-scheduled displays of love about as much as I like an un-anesthetized tooth extraction…maybe even less. Last time I checked, romance existed in a sort of self-contained state of organic spontaneity.
This – and the rest of what she has written (seriously, you should read it) – is the message. In this age of information, the message is the first casualty.
Tags: food, Gonzo gastronomy, Holidays, Love, marketing, Romance, Valentine's Day
Posted in Beer, Blogfood, food | 1 Comment »
Posted by PintofStout on 5th February 2011
I’ve written previously here and here about the band Ceann and some of our experiences in hanging out with them. We always found their songs original and fun, surpassed only by the stage presence of the lead singer, Patrick. No matter if the crowd was rowdy or dead, Pat always managed to engage them and entertain with self-deprecation and by insulting the crowd. He, along with the other members of the band, were always very cordial and friendly after the show when we’d chat, whether we were in Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, or Youngstown. We have fallen off of catching shows lately, for obvious reasons, but we’ve followed them from afar via their email updates.
In the previous posts I’ve written of them, I always questioned what the end game was for them. Would they be more than a hard-traveling road band? It seems they were starting to find a groove with trips to Ireland, new recordings, and new venues. I don’t have any idea what kind of living they made from it, but by all accounts the band was Pat’s life. It presumably made him happy. It also took him to Vermont recently for some shows in Killington from which he wouldn’t return.
Pat died from a weather-related car accident on February 1st, thus bringing Ceann to it’s end. His founding bandmate, Marc, put together a memorial toast last night in one of their regular bars on the South Side of Pittsburgh, the same place the Sunday bar crawl for the Pittsburgh Makes Me Drunk video started several years ago. It was comforting to see the place fill up with meandering folks all brought together by Pat in some way. Some were close personal friends and some were fans of many years, but the line between friend and fan is pretty blurry. It truly felt like what a wake should be. Laughs, drinks, reflection, and celebration to compliment the sadness. A moving toast brought some tears to my eyes. I wasn’t close to Pat, but he left his mark on A__’s and my lives. It is truly tragic when a creative talent driven by passion is cut short before realizing their full potential.
Tags: Ceann, Irish music, pittsburgh
Posted in Announcements, Beer, Youngstown | 3 Comments »
Posted by PintofStout on 22nd December 2010
I know I’ve discussed this before (Chrismas 2005), but the secular versus religious versus the politically correct (which is to say, absurd) aspects of December are tiring. Whether it’s Christians loudly paying lip service to a concept of religiosity while swimming joyously in secular tradition and pagan symbols, or atheists who try not to celebrate the holiday in any way at all, everybody has an axe to grind about how and why we celebrate something – anything – in late December. Just as Christianity started from the conglomeration of various sects and religions in Rome, so Christmas has evolved from various religions, practices, and folk traditions. Chastising people for not paying the proper lip service or being too consumerist while hauling the screaming kids to sit on Santa’s lap in the midst of maxing out the credit card at the mall is just ludicrous. Likewise, if actively avoiding any semblance of the current traditions of Christmas due to the immutable advocates for any particular origin you probably don’t agree with, just fucking relax.
As a child, I grew up with lots of long-standing tradition around Christmas that had little to do with Christianity beyond decorations and the lyrics of some carols. Personally, everything revolved around a long break from school and, oh yeah, presents! You can roll with the other events as they come, but the focus was pretty clear. As I’ve grown older, it has become more about giving gifts than receiving them, not out of a sense of obligation, mostly, but because gifts are given to those we care about this time of year. You just do it. The blood, sweat, and tears comes from the economics and logistics of this desire to show material affection. The time spent in finding and knowing the perfect gift for someone is truly the expression of love. Does any of this have to do with Jesus or Pagans? No. Even Santa is just a tool for explaining this whole tradition to the young.
Christmas has risen above Christianity, or the Yule of Pagans, or even the Mother-of-All-Hallmark-Holidays (days for the sole purpose of commerce). It is a tradition in and of itself stemming more from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” than the biblical gospels. Like any tradition, people have their own family or cultural twists they add to it. Some of these twists involve their religion more than others; some don’t include religion at all. Carols that sing about religious stories? Fine. I like some Gospel music for the music, too. All of this stuff is in the DNA of my Christmas tradition, but it isn’t the tradition itself. The Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, all those awesome cartoons, getting and decorating a tree, hanging a stocking, visiting friends who come back home, feasting with family, and trying to find that one perfect gift to tell someone you love them enough to notice; these are in my Christmas tradition’s DNA. The tradition is Christmas, just because it is Christmas. This is the only reason I need.
Tags: Christmas, family, Solstace, tradition, Yule
Posted in Atheism, Beer, food | 3 Comments »
Posted by PintofStout on 3rd December 2010
This blog has traditionally focused on political venom and personal insights, but today I am swinging into less heavy matters. Outside of the political blogsphere – and probably bigger – the sports blogsphere is likely the largest community online. Not surprisingly, both of these realms involves fanatics – or fans, for short. I’m not throwing my voice into the sports blogsphere, but I do want to comment on fandom.
Perhaps it is ignorance, ambivalence or the dominance of hyperbolic marketing in our culture, but there is a frequent tendency to abuse and overuse words. It is to the point that the word “hero” actually shuts off my brain and I stop listening to anything following it. In regard to sports, the word “fan” is used without discretion, thus glossing over and lumping together the drunk guy with bare painted chest in sub-freezing temperatures and the guy sitting on his couch with some mild interest in the outcome of a contest. One of these is a fanatic; the other is a spectator.
Of course, the spectrum of interest in sports and their outcomes is larger than fanatic, spectator, and downright disinterest. The ancient enterprise of gambling and the relatively new take on gambling that is fantasy sports add whole new dimensions to the entertainment. Still, it is possible to enjoy the entertainment of professional sports (I include the extorted labor of collegiate athletes as professional) without letting it dominate your identity.
I watch the Pittsburgh Steelers when it is convenient, especially if it becomes a social event. I barely follow what else happens in the league only to understand the Steelers’ place in it. I indulge in some football talk among friends and listen to a very minimal amount of talk radio on the way home from work (mostly for hockey talk). I am a spectator of football. A fan spends a much higher percentage of time and money…
(My focus is shit. I can’t seem to write coherently without straying in a million different directions. I should just post this as is, messy thoughts and all. Maybe I should start a blog for just raunchy toilet humor. Throw in some sports. Write short, incomplete sentences with bad grammar and spelling. Poop. Haha. I have given up. A posted, this will go. It’s only a blog.)
The absurd amount of money some athletes are paid can’t even dampen the awe at some of the amazing athletic feats they pull off, or the grace with which they perform, or the drama created by the suspense of competition.
Tags: Discarded, fart, sigh, sports
Posted in Beer, Blogfood, Retarded Hyperbole, Sports, Uncategorized | No Comments »
Posted by PintofStout on 8th November 2010
As my step-dad says, let me give you some humor. Yesterday, after helping Augie put the siding back on my house (which was taken off to cut a big hole in the wall, into which we put a sliding glass door; real nice, too) I set about to clean up the yard. The landscaping of our house has been neglected pretty severely since about, oh, last year. It had gotten to the point where abandoned houses on our street looked slightly better than ours, so with a modicum of inertia and a scant few hours of daylight (or a few hours of scant daylight) I was going to try to remedy this situation.
Our yard, this monument of laziness and neglect, would surely have been confiscated by the state if there were Landscape Services Department tasked with keeping homeowners scared and ensuring the welfare of lawns everywhere (alas, there is no such state entity…yet). The grass that had taken root in the mulch surrounding our house had outgrown the actual intended landscaping and would have covered the windows if it hadn’t died first (not my fault, though; it died on its own). The trench where the new sewer line was run last fall and sank mightily during the winter had been filled in, but never planted. Some grass and weeds had sprouted there as ugly as can be. The hole and trench where the water line was connected to the house this summer, along with the refilled, sunken hole from the grinder pump installed last fall were filled as well but were also never planted. These are all in the side and front yard, essentially the only stuff really noticeable from the street. In the back, the pile of leftover dirt that I used to fill trenches had grown the grass/weed mix on the sides where the dirt wasn’t scooped. It looks like a bike ramp or something where I scooped out the middle. Then the “nice” grass that hadn’t been filled in the last two years (and the garden patch that never got tilled into a garden this year; also growing a mix of clover and horseradish with the grass/weed mix) just grew normally for, I don’t know, two months or so. I was going to tame this. Some of this. Maybe just the parts I could reach with the lawnmower and not involve any other implement like a wheelbarrow. Or Rake. Just the parts that would take me until nightfall and not destroy me.
Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: fall, humor, lawncare, This Old Dump, wordiness
Posted in Beer, Retarded Hyperbole | 2 Comments »
Posted by PintofStout on 10th September 2009
For those on a reader not subscribed to comments or who don’t pay attention to the recent comments section in the sidebar, I was chosen by the writer of www.traumasurvivor.org as the worst rant of the week. Yea!
Apparently, the logic I used to say that without a victim there can be no crime was just too scary and…logical. Of course, by saying DUI law is an excuse for the trampling of freedom at the hands of police and courts, a.k.a. the State, I am condoning – even encouraging – drunk driving and any resultant injury or death therefrom.
Clearly this person is otherwise a very smart person, and puts forth what would actually be a persuasive argument if only the end result of that argument would cause the blood to flow far deeper on our highways.
His theory seems to hing on the fact that people on our highways shoud die for his right to drink and drive. He says “I agree that preventing harm is important” and yet thinks that if trauma injury or death in 50% of drunk drivers, he thinks thats ok.
I think it is clear that I had not said or even implied any such thing. It is also obvious that some of the statements pointed out as hyperbole in the original post (Cocktail of Thoughts of DUI Law…) were meant to be obvious hyperbole. At any rate, the post was a thought exercise. Perhaps our presenter of awards would benefit from a jog of the ol’ gray matter. In this exercise, I cannot say whether B__ was playing Devil’s Advocate or not (it should be on his resume as job experience he does it so much).
Let’s delve into the Wilk’s comments and see if there are any arguments to rebut. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: DUI, law, logic, risk, Trauma
Posted in Agorism, anarchism, Beer, Blogfood, Discordianism, Left Libertarian, Media & State, Philosophy & Politics, Retarded Hyperbole | 3 Comments »
Posted by PintofStout on 24th August 2009
It was Friday night after a long couple of weeks; busy with overtime at work, family visits, and house work piling up. A__ and I had ventured to Lanigan’s in New Castle for the music of Corned Beef & Curry and some adult beverages. The Guinness was cold and refreshing, smoothing the edges roughed up by the preceding events. The music overtook and drowned out the cacophony of other things ringing in my head. I relaxed and slipped into a carefree joy.
Also at the bar that night was a benefit for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, who were promoting a 5K run/walk in October also to benefit the MS Society. I forget how it came up, but I ended up committing to A__ to register and run in that race. I had not run consistently (more than, like, three times over a two week period) for 15 years (and 70 pounds ago). What have I gotten myself into?
I have about 53 days until the race. What I need is a montage, so I can train like Rocky Balboa, arrive at the race, get my butt kicked, and somehow come away with a victory – or at least some sort of noble victory. If I can complete the race that would be victory enough. If I can raise some cash from sponsors for the MS Society, that would be all that much better.
I made a Facebook page to follow my progress in training and fund raising. I haven’t actually registered yet or looked into the fund raising aspects, but that will be something to post on the Facebook page when the time comes. So follow along, donate (check back for details), or come run with me (there is a big party afterwards!).
Fat Man Running
Promote Your Page Too
Tags: charity, Fat Man Running, Monster stomp, MS Society, running
Posted in Agorism, Announcements, Beer, Blogfood, Sports, Youngstown | 3 Comments »
Posted by PintofStout on 27th July 2009
After a long day in my cubicle staring at a computer screen, I came home and had the last three servings of my Christmas whiskey. The Redbreast irish whiskey (pure pot still) that A__ gave to me was most fine. I won’t pretend to be able to artfully or intelligently give a review of the whiskey beyond the fact that I really, really liked it. It was smooth and rich and downright delicious. I could have shed a tear when the last drop came from the bottle, but instead I penned (or keyboarded) a poem, “Whiskey Chaser”.
So long my flavorful Redbreast, may we meet again someday.
Tags: Poetry, Redbreast Irish Whiskey, whiskey
Posted in Announcements, Beer, food, Poetry, Reviews | No Comments »