Did You Ever See a Nervous Beer Drinker?

on Thursday, October 30, 2008

This is from an ad from the early 1900s that Erin has framed and hanging in her kitchen:

Nervousness comes from two causes.  One is half-fed nerves.

The malt in beer is a food to them; the hops a tonic.  The slight percentage of alcohol is an aid to digestion, and that means more food.

Another cause is the waste that clogs the nerve centers.  That waste results from drinking too little to properly flush the system.

The habit of beer drinking gives the body the needed fluid.

That is why beer is prescribed for nervousness.  That is why beer-drinking nations scarcely know what nervousness is.

But drink pure beer -- Schlitz beer.  Bad beer may be worse than the lack of it.

Half the cost of our brewing goes to making Schlitz pure.  Ask for the brewery bottling.

The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous

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Oh, the Irony!

on Monday, October 27, 2008

At the end of the week I didn't have much coffee sitting around the shop. I had the usual leftovers from the previous week's roasts, but less than I typically would. Saturday morning I got a call from Jule's Bistro begging for coffee to be delivered that day! I went to my shop and fortunately had just what they needed with nothing left in my shop but a bit of Ethiopian Yergacheffe and some decafs.

Sunday I met the Vorks for lunch and brought Ken 2 lbs. of the Ethiopian I had, leaving only a little over a pound. Jeff and Stacie apparently came in either late Sunday or early this morning and took the last of it.

So I got here this morning and didn't have any coffee to brew unless I wanted to drink decaf, which I didn't. I called Stacie and she brought me a cup from the Local Blend while she did other errands.

Yes, we have no coffee -- until I roast more.

Winter Blahs

on Friday, October 24, 2008

I think I might be setting myself up for a bad case of the winter blahs this year because it's already starting to set in. The weather lately has been cold, wet & rainy. It seems like 2 seconds after I get home in the afternoon the sun goes down. When it's like this it's hard to motivate myself to do anything: go for a walk, do the dishes, shave.

I find myself thinking of the long winter ahead and I dread it -- for the first time in my life. I like winter, for the most part, it's got it's own beauty: frozen lakes, snow-covered hills, and once in a while hoar frost that makes everything look like a frosted cake. But it also has bitter cold, biting wind and tons and tons of darkness. Those are the parts I like the least.

There is a beauty that can be found on winter nights, to be sure. The skies are never clearer, and if there are clouds they sometimes seem to glow.

So I know I can find the beauty of winter, it's there all the time if you just look. I hope we get a lot of snow for two reasons, it only snows when it's relatively warm and I like the days when we get snowed in,
"Oh, sorry, I can't work today because I can't get out of my driveway."
Plus the sight of the world blanketed in snow is a wonder to behold. And even if the car won't move, my snowshoes will carry me downtown to the White Horse.

Okay, I believe I've pep-talked myself into not hating winter this year. Besides, come March it will all be over.

Just Damn Angry

on Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I am very angry at my brother for his bullshit parroting of the radical right. I hear it all the time from others and it annoys me, but when it comes from my own family, and from someone who, up until now, I had always thought of as being thoughtful it really makes my blood boil. The whole thing started on Facebook, but I am ending it here. One thing I've learned is that you can't change the mind of a fucking sheep.

The block quotes are what he said, the others are my responses.

Did y'all know that slobamma accused our troops of bombing villages and murdering civilians? He did. He doesn't support the troops, he thinks we're war criminal.

Why not check your facts rather than parroting what the radical right tells you?

Because he actually SAID it. I don't care if it was "out of context", he SAID it.

What he said was this: "We’ve got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there."

And he had the numbers to back himself up: The Associated Press concluded: "As of Aug. 1 [2007], the AP count shows that while militants killed 231 civilians in attacks in 2007, Western forces killed 286. Another 20 were killed in crossfire that can't be attributed to one party." Even President Bush admitted that there were too many civilian casualties, saying: "The president [Afghan president Hamid Karzai] rightly expressed his concerns about civilian casualty. And I assured him that we share those concerns."

As far as the right wing is concerned; how am I a radical? I'm only telling the truth.

You are not telling the truth, you are merely parroting what the radical right says.

A vote for that muslim bastard is a vote for the end of this country. He is NOT the man for the job. He DOES hang out with terrorists, and has a minister that hates America. His ... Read Morewife [sic] said that she has only become "proud of her country" since Barry started running. I don't know about you, but that sounds like she doesn't like this country too much.

HE IS NOT A MUSLIM!!!!!!! If you learn nothing else, at least get that one fact through your thick skull. There is NO PROOF WHATSOEVER that he is, was or ever has been. And even if he were, so what? This "all Muslims are terrorists" crap belongs in the sewer because it is complete shit.

Regarding Rev. Wright, you need to look at all the white, conservative revs who've said EXACTLY THE SAME THING.

Regarding Michelle Obama, her comments were taken out of context, she used the term "really proud," not just "proud." And why shouldn't she be? For the first time in her life a black man has an excellent chance at being elected President.

And the criticisms I hear about Sarah Palin are the same ones I could make about slobamma. HE doesn't know enough to be a GD dog catcher. At least Palin has solid conservative values, you know; like smaller government, lower taxes, more friendly to businesses both big and small, an aversion to having the government pay for everything people don't want to pay for themselves.

Another bullshit argument. Obama is a sitting US Senator for the state of Illinois and a community activist and organizer. Obama's VP choice should have enough experience for you. As for conservative values, then vote on that line, not on bullshit argument after bullshit argument. GW was the governor of Texas, big fucking deal.

Allowing people to make choices about how to use their own property without interference from the EPA, or the GD Sierra Club, or f**king PETA.

PETA will never influence national policy. The EPA is a governmental organization, not a PAC. The Sierra Club is a lobbying organization, just like your beloved NRA.

If we have two plots of land next to each other I wouldn't want you launching poison into the air and into the ground water just because you can -- and that's what happens without regulation.

The flip side is to have influence from Big Oil, the pharmaceutical lobby and all those fat cats. When is the last time de-regulation brought about anything positive? *cough* $700 billion bailout *cough*

Allowing the free market to develop alternative energy without government hand outs (free markets ALWAYS to better than the government).

Where did you get that tidbit? Tax incentives are not handouts.

Ending welfare as a way of life instead of assistance for hard times... Read More.

I won't argue that more steps need to be taken, but Clinton made great strides towards that goal when he was POTUS. And NEVER FORGET that YOUR OWN MOTHER was on welfare as a child.

That the people have a say in how their children are educated without having the GD PC police breathing down their necks.

So children should be taught that God made the earth 6000 years ago? That there is such a thing as Intelligent Design? That being gay is a lifestyle choice?

Children in public schools should be taught facts, not religious dogma. People who want to have their children learn anything listed above need to send them to private schools that teach only what they want, without any pesky facts getting in the way.

You used to be a scientist, what happened?

The realization that the Constitution does not GRANT rights, it PROTECTS them from government interference, because the rights are God given (as per such nut bars as Tom Jefferson).

When you start legislating from your Bible you lose. Read the Constitution. Also, Tom Jefferson was a Deist, not a Christian.

THOSE ARE CONSERVATIVE VALUES. Not mean spirited, nor "racist" nor "jingoistic" or any other "ism" you might care to attach to us. I came be these beliefs honestly, and with intence [sic] examination. And I find that these principals are far more logical than 90% of the liberal crap I've been hearing since the 60's.

I rest on what I've said.

Please give me SOME credit for being smart. And give me some credit for being dedicated to the succsess [sic] of the greatest country God ever granted us on earth.

How can I when you recite verbatim the crap you hear on so-called talk radio? And God had nothing to do with it.

Go ahead and vote for your boy McCain. But vote because of something you actually believe in and for reasons that are sound and true, not because of something you heard someone else say in a commercial or on Faux News.

Voting is the important part, not repeating slanderous bullshit.

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Update! No Longer Worried

on Monday, October 13, 2008

I just heard from Jewel.  Although everything is not 100% fine, there is no need for drilling or surgery.  She has a mild concussion and a little whiplash from when she passed out at work (must've hit the floor pretty hard), but there's no sign of an aneurysm or a tumor.

She should be able to treat this whole thing with drugs (which she probably won't take for long, she's stubborn, remember?).  Between her daughter, her mother, her friend Tracey and me we'll make sure she takes them if we have to go there and poke them down her throat.

What a relief!  Now I can look forward to having her outlive me.


on Friday, October 10, 2008

My dearest friend, Jewel, the friend I've known the longest, the friend who knows me best inside and out, is going in for an MRI today.  She has suffered from migraines for as long as I've known her and she stubbornly doesn't allow them to slow her down much.  Yesterday she was at work and she passed out and hit the floor, she "coded" for 32 seconds.  Her co-workers did CPR and brought her around and drove her to the Emergency Room at the St. Cloud Hospital.

Long ago she had a skull fracture, I can't remember how it happened, if I had to guess I would say it was from fighting with one of her brothers, but I could be wrong.  Regardless, it has left her with bone spurs on the inside of her skull and they are apparently poking her in the brain.  That's the most likely cause of the migraines.  One of them is located near the base of the skull where all the nerve endings travel through.  They need to do an MRI to see if that is indeed the case, or if it is potentially something worse like a brain tumor.

She refused to be admitted to the hospital (I mentioned she was stubborn, right?) and spent her day gathering wood for the winter.  She worked slowly, admittedly, but still worked.  Then she made sure all her life insurance papers were up to date (they weren't, they hadn't been changed since before her daughter turned 18).  The doctors at the hospital prescribed a drug with the possible side effect of heart attack(!) and something to help her sleep.

Today she goes in for the MRI to see what's up.  After that they can discuss treatment options, but from what she told me they aren't that wonderful.  The drug option is something that would dissolve the bone spurs, but for a woman approaching 50 the idea of taking something that reduces bone mass isn't so wonderful (I told her I'd rather see her on crutches than in a coffin).  The more drastic option is to drill into her head to release the pressure.  The problem there is that she won't do that (I told her I'd put her head under a fucking drill-press and do it myself if it meant keeping her alive).

Jewel has DNR printed on her drivers license, that means Do Not Resuscitate.  If she is in a coma or if she's experiencing some sort of cardiac arrest she is supposed to be left alone.  Left to die.  That means no drilling.

I'm not a praying man.  I generally expect the worst, but hope for the best.  I hope she's okay.  I hope this is magagable.  I hope she doesn't die!  I love her dearly and this whole situation scares the hell out of me.

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Upstaged by a Damned Kid

on Friday, October 3, 2008

Ann Michels sent me this in an email. The later research is from here. Enjoy.

Uploaded by redhotjazz1


Born Frank Robinson, 1940, Detroit, Michigan

The history of 20th century entertainment is littered with child prodigies; from Shirley Temple in the 1930s, Toni Harper in the 1940s and Frankie Lymon in the 1950s. On the whole, although precociously talented, child entertainers were usually saddled with inferior, childish material that, while perhaps cute at the time, were usually novelty acts that grew tiresome pretty quickly. Some couldn't handle the swift drop in popularity and turned to drink or drugs, while others retired gracefully and concentrated their energies in other directions. One such was that tiny bundle of Detroit dynamite, "Sugar Chile" Robinson. Born Frankie Robinson, the youngest of six children, in Detroit in 1940, "Sugar Chile" began pounding on the family piano as a toddler - he reputedly banged out a recognisable version of Erskine Hawkins' Tuxedo Junction at the age of two - and by 1945 he had been "discovered" by pianist and bandleader Frankie Carle. Within a year he was asked to play at a Whitehouse party for President Harry Truman, had guested with Lionel Hampton's Orchestra and even appeared performing the title song in the 1946 MGM romantic comedy film "No Leave, No Love". It was not until July 1949, however, that he made his first records for the Capitol label, when, in the consummate company of jazz veterans Leonard Bibbs on bass and drummer Zutty Singleton, Robinson took his first two releases into the Billboard R&B chart in late 1949; Numbers Boogie made it to number four, while Caldonia (What Makes Your Big Head So Hard) only reached number 14. His subsequent national tour broke box-office records eve rywhere and it is claimed that his appearance at Chicago's Regal Theatre remains the biggest one-week attraction of the theatre's entire history, easily beating the jazz royalty of the day like Count Basie and Duke Ellington. Robinson toured with Basie in 1950 and made a celebrated musical short with the Basie Sextet and Billie Holiday in Hollywood in August to showcase his hits. The Christmas season of 1950 witnessed Sugar Chile's first European release and Christmas Boogie c/w Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer sold well enough to spark a European tour in 1951, including rave reviews for his spot at the London Palladium. He was a big hit on US radio and TV all through 1951 and then, while still in his pre-teens, Robinson's career was suddenly over; his last single release was issued in August 1952, shortly followed by a 10" compilation LP of boogie woogie that featured many of his 1952 recordings.

Apart from a few radio transcriptions and film soundtracks, "Sugar Chile" Robinson's complete recording career - a period of just under three years - has been reissued in its entirety on one 2003 CD compilation, "Chronological Classics 1949-52". If he really was only nine years old at the time, the performances from his first session such as Vooey, Vooey Vay, Caldonia and Numbers Boogie were quite astonishing. As with other child stars, like Toni Harper, Robinson was frequently burdened with immature material, but even nursery rhyme knock-offs such as Sticks And Stones, Christmas Boogie and (Rock-A-Bye) Baby Blues were transformed into entertaining performances with hip and clever touches. The youngster acquitted himself as a pianist exceptionally well on the few instrumentals, particularly Lazy Boy's Boogie, and for variety he occasionally switched to organ or celeste on later sessions.

Once the hits had dried up and he was released from his Capitol Records contract, there were one or two more reports in the trade papers of the day - he was reported in August 1954 as playing The Blue Note in Chicago with modern jazzer Gerry Mulligan (!) - and then nothing! What happened? Did his voice break? Did the novelty of an infant boogie virtuoso suddenly lose its appeal when he hit 12? Was he really found out to be an adolescent midget in disguise? Last year it was announced that a 62 year-old "Sugar Chile" Robinson had been rediscovered living in Detroit, where he has worked mainly outside music for almost 50 years (although he is rumoured to be the same Frank Robinson who co-owned the obscure Detroit-based soul label, Lando Records, in the 1960s) , and was brought out of retirement to pound the ivories once again at a music festival which celebrated pre-Motown music from the Motor City.

Robinson graduated from Olivet College in Michigan in 1960 with a degree in psychology, but went into his Uncle Frank's chiropractor business instead. He worked there with his uncle until the latter died in 1992. While still working at the family business, he also ran his own Lendo/Lando and Autocap labels in the 1960s, having minor hits with Rufus Wonder (Little Stevie's cousin) and The Superlatives, and between 1962 to 1996 worked part-time selling television commercials for local broadcaster WGPR-TV. Since his retirement, he plays piano and organ on Sundays and Festival Holidays at the Christ Temple, Church of Christ Holiness in Colgate Street, Inkster, Michigan, but has been tempted over to the dark side to play a couple of Detroit blues festivals in recent years. In November 2007 he performed at the Rhythm Riot in Camber, East Sussex, England.

CD: The Chronological Sugar Chile Robinson, 1949-1952 (Classics 5052, released in 2003). 24 tracks.