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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Beer!

A shout out to fellow beer bloggers Deano and Don .

According to their blog, Deano and Don sample a new beer every Sunday.

"We're determined to try everything that looks interesting and report on it here. It's hard work, but -- we're committed."

In addition to some good reading, here is another outlet for Knights to share our beer experiences with the world: The Sunday Beer Club Contributor Hall of Fame

"Many to thanks to the following friends who have helped supply Sunday Beer Club with interesting and new beers. Without friends like this, our world would be a dryer place!"

Check 'em out at:

Have a great Sunday Beer,

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Writing is on the Wall

An unusal blog written on a wounded computer...but the old Knight is still battling the trojans.
When we were in Liverpool we kept coming across random questions written hugely on buildings... When I got home...I tracked them down to this Video:

I await your comments.
Sir Dayvd (The Fighter) of O

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Microsoft 666?

I received an email from Sir Davyd; seems he's having some computer problems.

While he waits for tech support to perform a cyber exorcism (or whatever it is they do), I thought I would pass along this bit of computer news:

Your computer may be possessed by a demon, a leading minister warns.

“While the Computer Age has ushered in many advances, it has also opened yet another door through which Lucifer and his minions can enter and corrupt mens souls,” said the Reverend Jim Peasboro, author of The Devil in the Machine. Demons are able to possess anything with a brain, from a chicken to a human being. And today’s thinking machines have enough space on their hard drives to accommodate Satan or his pals. “Any PC built after 1985 has the storage capacity to house an evil spirit,” the minister confirmed.

The Savannah clergyman says he became aware of the problem from counseling churchgoers.

“One woman wept as she confessed to me, ‘I feel when I’m on the computer as if someone else or something else just takes over.’ ” The minister said he probed one such case, actually logging onto the parishioner’s computer himself. To his surprise, an artificial-intelligence program fired up — without him clicking it on. “The program began talking directly to me, openly mocked me,” he recalls. “It typed out, ‘Preacher, you are a weakling and your God is a damn liar.’ ” Then the device went haywire and started printing out what looked like gobbledygook.

“I later had an expert in dead languages examine the text,” the minister said. “It turned out to be a stream of obscenities written in a 2,800-year-old Mesopotamian dialect!”

The minister estimates that one in 10 computers in America now houses some type of evil spirit. Rev. Peasboro advises that if you suspect your computer is possessed, you consult a clergyman or, if the computer is still under warranty, take it in for servicing. He says, “Technicians can replace the hard drive and reinstall the software, getting rid of the wicked spirit permanently.”

You can read more at:

In the meantime, you can always go back to the holy Moleskine.

Good luck Sir Dayvd!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's Been a Hard Days Knight

Well Knights and Ladies.. I'm sure you have missed me.....but I have been on a Mega Music ~ work related Magical Mystery the freezing Foggy the Maddest City in the whole of the UK ; Liverpool, where due to its unique location on this isle, it is an asylum for party going hedonists.

And will not be getting all the blurred censored photos and memories and lost nights of Intelligent fun...Treble Shots at half Shot Prices...and Music, mini skirts and heels
(no not on me) till my ears bled....

What I did do though...seeing as you are Beatle Freaks like me, and this IS the Beatle City.. is wrap up warm and take a Trip round the sites of Beatle Land...

Well, where to start. How about John Lennon's Childhood/teenage home 'Mendips'...where he and Paul used to write their first songs in the glass porch, below the small upstairs window, because his Aunt Mimi, didn't want the noise in the house.

Its is now a National Trust House (sadly closed in winter) and is situated near the Village of Woolton. a few miles out of Liverpool, on a main road suburb. Half a mile away, up a lane is the entrance to the grounds of a Victorian orphanage where John used to go and play, against his aunts wishes, and he'd reply, "They can't hang you for it"...which later ended up in the song as "Nothing to get Hung about."

These gates are a weird unkept (or kept as they were when he was there) Memorial for Beatles fans.

A short way up the hill lane, brings you to the church of St Peter in Woolton, where McCartney and Lennon first met at a Church fete, and over the ensuing months used to hang around the graveyard sunbathing and writing their very first tunes. Here you will find the grave of Eleanor Rigby, which sank into Paul's subconscious to be used later as a song.

Being on the ground in the area brings it home to you how close all the boys lived in their youth..the whole area forming a triangle between Lennon's house, McCartney's house, and the schools up by Penny Lane.

Paul McCartney's House in Forthlin Road.

Sat in the rain at Penny lane pondering the fact that the Beatles song is actually based on sites seen on Allerton Road (off which Penny Lane runs), and that Penny Lane is mainly terraced red brick houses. Allerton Road didn't scan as a lyric so Paul used Penny Lane, as it also sounded like a girls name.

Then its catch a bus just as the the College going Beatles did..and go to the Liverpool Institute of Art in the south centre of the city.

Where a music lesson could be heard going on through the lighted open windows in the upper storey.

Of course no blog on the Fab Four would be complete without a stroll down Mathews Street, the street of the Legendary Cavern Club.

Straight in through the door and down the winding Stairs and a few beers and cheers with an old Buddy, Stew, who now lives back in the city and met up with us for a few ales. People get up and perform Beatles Songs and the records of the lads early shows are played in between, and you can just about sense the tangible excitement of the atmosphere, even tho its not as dank and sweaty as it was back then (and they serve Ale).

As the evening progressed, and our group grew and grew and we wandered from bar to bar sampling the music and heady hearty pleasures this City has in abundance, there was talk of Music really being a Religion; the way it gives us strength through the bad times, gives us joy in the good, how it uplifts us, and with words, sometimes help us make sense of things around us.

It felt too like a Pilgrimage, that, places like the Cavern club are really Churches of that Religion, and how the four lads who grew up in this hardy Northern town and who, "set out to save the world from Boredom" really believed it too.

Sir Dayvd (who was seen to be overly merry on occasions) of O

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Knights, Have It Your Way!

Come mid-February, Burger King will open its second restaurant catering to adults craving a nice cold beer along with their burgers and fries.

Exclusively at the Whopper Bar South Beach, customers can pair their premium Whopper sandwiches with an array of Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors beer products, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Bud Light Lime and Miller Lite. “We are pleased to offer our guests the option of pairing America’s Favorite Burger with a great American beer in this ideal destination,” said Chuck Fallon, North America President, Burger King Corp.

The world’s first Whopper Bar opened its doors in March 2009 at University CityWalk at Universal Orlando Resort.
Don't live in one of those two cities? Good news: BKC is targeting other carefully selected, high-traffic destinations for future Whopper Bar locations both at home and abroad, including some airports, tourist attraction and sports venues.

There you go Knights, adult "happy meals" -- guests can expect to pair a Whopper sandwich with a brew and fries for a cost of only $7.99.

Sir Bowie "I'll havea Whopper, fries and brew; Hold the Whopper and fries" of Greenbriar

Monday, January 25, 2010

Victory on Sir Winston Day!

Break out the Romeo y Julieta cigars and join Sir Winston Churchill in celebrating Victory yesterday...KMSA's official Feast of Sir Winston...and the Indianapolis Colts victory over the upstart New York Jets for the AFC Championship.

The Colts personify some of Sir Winston's quotes:

"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."
"Courage is going from failure to failure with losing enthusiasm."
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
"It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time."
"Difficulties mastered are opportunities won."
"It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required."
"I never worry about action, only inaction."
"Courage is the finest of human qualities because it guarantees all the others."
"Never, never, never give up."

Indeed, this was their fines hour! Peyton Manning with the patience and courage that is required in battle, slowly and methodically took out the much touted Jets defense to once again prove the critics wrong. He indeed was able to master difficulties and turn them into opportunities to win!

One of his weapons of choice was Pierre Garcon, a Haitian-American, who used the negative energy of the catastrophe in his homeland as inspiration to play his best. Pierre set an AFC Championship record with 11 (hard earned and impressive) catches and scored one of the touchdowns.

Pierre has brought much attention to the needs of the Haitian people and will use the power of the Super Bowl to continue to help his people. (A side note: we learned yesterday at Mass that our Sister Parish of Grand Basin was unharmed and that our adopted school daughter, Elirose and her family have survived!)

So, take to heart the examples that Sir Winston, Peyton Manning and Pierre Garcon personified on Sir Winston Day...and remember that YOU DESERVE VICTORY!

Sir Hook the Victorious of Warrick

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Morkel looks perfectly in synch today, like a recently serviced grandfather clock, just tick-tocking away at the batsmen outside off-stump.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the movie "Avatar" and the invented Na’vi language. Seems that "Avatar" writer-director James Cameron brought in a USC professor named Paul R. Frommer to create an entire functioning language for the tribe of 10-foot-tall blue aliens who inhabit Pandora, the setting for the film's conflict.

Now, fans are working hard to bend their tongues around the invented vocabulary and syntax.

I was reminded of this when Sir Hook sent me a link to the live text commentary from the cricket match between South Africa v England -- 4th Test day three.

I laughed as it brought back some great memories of the two of us (with our wives off to the side rolling their eyes at us) reading the sports page in London and trying to figure out exactly what Cricket is, how it's played, the rules, and terms. We really got a kick out of the colorful -- though incomprehensible to us -- reporting of the action. Sir Dayvd tried and tried to help us, but what read like a elementary "Dick and Jane" book to him...

was to us, well, like reading Na'vi.

Here are just a few examples (the numbers are GMT Time):

0758: This first session could be key for the entire series - England are teetering on the brink here, they must be hoping Kallis will weigh anchor and play one of those innings of his where he acquires barnacles. Here come Kallis (7) and Amla (73), we'll have play in a couple of minutes.

0802: Sidebottom bowls the first ball of the day - plenty of shape, Kallis right behind it. A short-leg and two slips in for Kallis, it's Cook under the lid. Bit of extra bounce for Sidebottom and Kallis takes his right hand off the handle, and that's a maiden.

0840 - 235-4 Dumniy stands on tippy-toes and crunches Sidebottom through mid-wicket for a couple. That's some super-charged fielding off his own bowling from Sidebottom, preventing a single before flicking the ball towards the non-striker's end while still prone. England full of beans this morning... shouldn't have said that, beans make me feel a little bit sick... and sweetcorn...

0922 - 269-5 New ball, and England take it immediately, Jimmy Anderson with the shiny one in his hand. Just three slips and a gully in for Boucher, as Anderson gets a bit of late away-swing. Sharp single from Boucher courtesy of a drop into the leg-side. Little short from Anderson in that first over.

1438 - 21-1 Trott whips off his legs for four - you have to say there's been a lot of questionable behaviour in this Test, that ball ended up resting on the boundary rope, yet Parnell didn't own up to it. "There'll be eye-gouging on the cricket field next," roars the chap sitting next me, who tends to exaggerate. That's a diabolical stroke from Trott, in any circumstances, a nervy, swordsman's twirl outside off-stump, before he picks up four off the back of his bat, Trott ducking a bouncer but leaving his periscope up. One for Trott with a deflection to third-man, before the crowd get on Strauss's back as he goes for a gentle spot of gardening.

1508 - 31-2 A watery, Turner-esque sunlight over the ground now, and we've got shadows for the first time in some time.

1523 - 44-2 That's a horrible delivery from Strauss - the ball reared up off just short of a length and struck the England captain on the bat handle, like opening a letter bomb.

1600: That's all for the day, it's officially stumps. Thanks for the chat, join us again tomorrow...

For the complete play-by-play transcript:

Oh, and if you really want to learn the Na’vi language, you might want to check out one of the dozens of on-line "courses." Here's one that will have you speaking fluent Na’vi language in just a few months:

Sir Bowie "Sure, I can learn to speak a complex, made-up language in just months; however, I'm convinced speaking Cricket is next to impossible" of Greenbriar

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sugar & Spice & All Things Nice

When I was a mere lad of a knightlet, all over the British Isles people used to relish a frothy, fizzy, gingery, beer which was made at home. All you needed was a bit of sugar, ginger, water and a ginger beer 'plant'.

But it wasn't a typical green, leafy kind of plant. It was a sloppy, white mass that lived in a jam jar.It would be regularly 'fed' with sugar and every so often the liquid would be tapped off, diluted and bottled. The liquid would ferment in the bottle, producing the fizz. After about a week or so it was ready to drink.

The plant was treated like a chain letter. As it grew it was halved and passed to family and friends.

No one has ever worked out where the first ginger beer plants came from, but the mystery of its identity was solved by a pioneering scientist in the late nineteenth century. Harry Marshall Ward studied how plants and microorganisms live together in symbiotic relationships.

He became curious when a friend at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, gave him a ginger beer plant. As the years passed he built up a whole collection of ginger beer plant specimens and painstakingly identified, separated and attempted to grow the different organisms within the mixtures.

His analyses revealed that it was a type of organism new to science. He described it as a 'composite body', consisting of many microorganisms living together. Not all of these microbes helped in making the beer, but two organisms were present in every sample, and seemed vital to the production of ginger beer. One was a fungus he named
Saccharomyces pyriformis. The other was a bacterium, which he named Bacterium vermiforme, and is now called Brevibacterium vermiforme. Together, they produce the essential ingredients of traditional ginger beer: carbon dioxide and alcohol.

A fulsome account of how you can make this delicious drink can be found at;

The brews we made were never alcoholic, ( although it seems it could be ). maybe we were too young or impatient to get to that stage as all we wanted to do was drink the stuff and divide the plants and make dozens more. Gradually the joy of owning a "pet" plant, largely died out in the playgrounds of the island... and apart from a few cans of commercial soft drink Ginger Beer, it became, with the rise of Coca-cola, a rarely seen drink.

So you can imagine my Joy the other night, when on a Soccer advertising hoarding on TV I saw advertised ALCOHOLIC GINGER BEER !!!, at which point I all but fell off the couch, as the marriage of my childhood taste and my grown up desire, appeared tangible before me.

So I give you Crabbie's Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer, and I raise a glass to the marketing man who realised that there is a whole army of grown-up baby boomers out there, to whom the memory of growing their Ginger Beer Plants in the 60's now means Crabbie's has a ready made market for their product.
Sir Dayvd ( always keen to let things become alcoholic ) of O.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Is It Cold Enough, Part 2

Further to Sir Lance's blog on whether it was cold enough outside, watching the Saturday NFL Round Up programme the other week.... I came across an amusing diversion called The NFL Top 10 which was a list of the greatest bad weather games of all time. It was a blast.

There was the Freezer Bowl between the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Diego Chargers in 1982, when the wind chill factor amounted to a reading of -59F.
Side judge Dave Parry said he got so close to one of the pitch side heaters he burned his hair, clothes and eyebrows and didn’t even notice.

The next season, New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins played the Snow Plough Game, which was won when Patriots coach Ron Meyer ordered a John Deere Model 314 tractor on to the pitch to clear a path for his place kicker John Smith to make the only score of the game. The NFL later outlawed the use of ploughs during a match.

Top spot went to the 1967 Championship Game, or the Ice Bowl as it is known, between the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys. Not taking wind chill into account temperatures dropped as low as -25F during play, the whistle froze to the referee’s lips and members of the band were taken to hospital with hypothermia. There were other games played in blizzards, some in torrents of rain. This would have been whiskery ground to NFL fans but, to a novice like me, it was great fun.

And I thought of it the other day when bad weather all but wiped out England’s domestic fixture programme. Not because American sportsmen braved worse conditions, but because spectators did.

There were 50,861 at the Ice Bowl, 46,302 braved the Freezer Bowl, while 500 volunteer fans received 10 dollars and a free ticket to help clear the stands for the thousands who watched the Snow Plough game.

America, as we know, has some highly litigious citizens. A cup of coffee served at the wrong temperature can turn into a million-dollar law suit. So how is it that these legendary bad weather matches — and one of the NFL top 10 dated from 2001 — went ahead when in England a frosty pavement within a five-mile radius of the stadium provokes a telephone call to the Premier League?

I've often wondered why they play the Superbowl Final in the depths of Winter, ( so it doesn't clash with Baseball i suppose ?) But could it be that followers of American sport accept a degree of personal responsibility when going to a game? And is it not also true that, given the opportunity and less official interference, ours would, too?

Sir D ( who tips his hat to mad USA sports fans ) of O

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Halftime: Public service accouncement

While the football games play in the background

here are some January to-do ideas:

(being reminded by the tragedies in Haiti and elsewhere around the world how quickly lives can change)

take the time to write down every bit of information you would need to recreate your lives
in case of natural disaster / fire / theft

-- those names of contacts, phone numbers, account numbers etc. you would need to have access to if your home vanished, purse or wallet were stolen, or someone stole items from your house or car (also the VIN and plate numbers for your cars)

-- for each person: Social Security #, driver's license #, student ID#, birthdate

-- take pictures of items and record serial numbers / file with records of purchases

(friends recently came home from out-of-town Christmas travels and found the "Grinch" had broken in and cleaned out their house of all electrical/computer things -- the insurance company needed numbers and receipts --those things that we plan to organize-- someday)

We did the Emergency Information Sheet after the tornadoes we've had here and the pictures of complete houses blown away. It took a couple of days to gather all the information for our family of four. And then I went to my mother's and we wrote out one for her.

Make a couple of copies and put in a lock box or with a trusted friend/family member who lives at least a couple of miles away from you - far enough away to be safe. Do not just store on your computer. Print out copies.

*remember to update as you buy / sell / change account information

**reminder for Sir James of Taylor who is turning 50 on Monday -- check your driver's license -- when does it expire?
Have a Happy Birthday too -- still celebrating from last night's party? We had fun!

Lady Suzanne, who is going with Sir Bowie to get new passport pictures this afternoon because we need to renew our passports this month!

and who is taking off the "hat of responsibility" now and going to see if Dallas is still losing - go Vikings!!

Hooky's NFL Natural Selection Poll: Season 2-Sunday

Hooky's NFL Natural Selection Poll goes into today's action at 50/50...with an accurate prediction of the Colts victory, but the close call game that became a blow out left this staff of stooges crying Cardinal Red. Should have used Cardinal Fang!

Oh well, on to today's gridiron action. First up the Dallas Cowboys vs. the Minnesota Vikings.

America's Team from the 70's still inspires a loyal following of lovers and haters today. Them "Boys" from the Lone Star state employ it's symbol as their logo. Like the Colts, it's clean, simple and effective, but lacks a certain degree of creativity. We give it an 8.

The Texas girls who have put "Cheer" into "Leaders" own the NFL Cheerleading squads in marketing and ability. Nothing less than 10!

Rowdy the Cowboy, their team Mascot is an effective representation of their name; however, his resemblance to W cost him 2 8!

Midnight Cowboy, Rough Riders, Gay Caballero...this buff shot leaves it all to the bisexual imagination. 10!

Dallas Cowboys total score = 36

Next up, the Vikings. Rape, pillage and plunder are favorite past times for this barbaric hoard! Nothing says it better than their logo. A classic 10!

Same for the image of the historical Viking; however, this illustration is hardly historically accurate, so we must deduct two 8!

The Viking Cheerleaders don't have an excuse to dress so modestly because they perform in a dome. Obviously their Lutheran roots inspire their conservative dress. Cute, but not award winning. 7!

At least the burly Mascot has the good taste to take on much younger women. If he can stay out of prison, we'll give him a 9.

Minnesota Vikings total score = 34

The second game today features the New York Jets vs. the San Diego Chargers. The New York Jets logo is a classic football logo. Virtually unchanged since the days of Broadway Joe...we give it a 10!

The Cheerleaders might say New York, but don't let these Jersey Girls fool you. You gotta love them or they'll kill you! I give them a 9 just because I like life!

The Mascot only inspires one response at the Poll...WTF!!!!!! 5!

Then the Jets Defense, number 1 in the NFL drops Napalm on the masses...a 10!

New York Jets total score = 34

The San Diego Chargers logo is electric. 10!

The Mascot sports a very clever design; however, in today's issues of Steroids in's obvious his physique is inspired by the "Juice". 8!

The Cheerleaders...California Girls...with classic little school girl uniforms and an infectious girl next door smile...10!

You either have to be a crack baring, card carrying union electrician, an electrical engineer or a nerd to understand how electricity works. I just know how to flip the switch. 8!

San Diego Chargers total score = 36

So, there you have the Sunday Hooky picks: Cowboy's and Chargers victorious. Actually, I wouldn't mind seeing Bret Farve have a great day...and personally I'll be rooting for the Jets to beat the Chargers; however, the Oracle has spoken!

See you next week for the Conference Championships to see who goes on to the Super Bowl.

Sir Hook an Obvious Natural Selection of Warrick

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hooky's NFL Natural Selection Poll: Season 2-Saturday

Today begins the Divisional Playoffs...the NFL's final 8 teams squaring off for their bid to win this year's Vince Lombardi trophy.

Once again the Sports Pundits at Hooky's NFL Natural Selection Poll take the field to predict the winners of today's two games. Invented by Sir Hook of Warrick last year, Hooky's NFL Natural Selection Poll was more accurate than ESPN's and correctly predicted the final 2 teams for the Super Bowl...only to lose by selected the Cardinals over the Steelers. So, let's get to it.

As you may, or may not recall...Hooky's NFL Natural Selection Poll gives points to each teams logo, cheerleaders, mascot and natural identity to determine overall points. In case of a tie, each team will employ their selected secret weapon to garner points for the final selection.

This afternoon's game features the Arizona Cardinals vs. the New Orleans Saint.

The Cardinals made it all the way to the Super Bowl last year. Let's see how they do today? The Cardinal logo is a classic, and since we are partial to the teams original origins as the St. Louis Cardinals and Kurt Warner was the St. Louis quarterback who took them to the Super Bowl we give them a 10.

Last year, Cardinal Fang, was selected as the natural selection; however, in light of all the controversy in the Catholic Church (and I can speak because I am a Catholic) we selected a real Cardinal. Now, it's quite evident that Cardinals are good at protection, but a center would have to be nervous taking the snaps. And, why is he holding his mitre over his crotch? I give him a 5 at best.

Last years Cheerleader remains on the squad, and remains a "HOT" selection...we give her a 10 for the energetic, smiling, squat with cleavage!

The Mascot personifies the bad ass image of the logo perfectly. Beside, he's cool enough to make the stage with Fergie and the Black Eyed Peas. 10!

Total Arizona Cardinal score = 35

The Saint's Logo is the Classic Fleur de Lis...too French for my taste...which means it gets a 5.

The Cheerleaders "Kick it up a Notch" with their saucy Cajun Spice! As I was once told on a business trip to Louisiana, "You've never had a woman until you've had a Cajun woman!" 10!

The Saint of New Orleans is Saint Louis IX. He was one kick ass French King who led two Crusades and died on the second one. For blending Church and State, with a little muscle to boot, we give St. Louis a 10!

OK, so you don't want to show up at the stadium dressed like a Saint, so enter GUMBO, the dog Mascot named after the classic Cajun dish. I like Gumbo, so we'll give them a 9!

The New Orleans Saints total score = 34

Being totally unbiased, my favorite team enters the playoffs tonight against the Ravens. The Colts logo is simple and powerful, yet not as creative as others. The iron horse shoe has conquered the world and helped me to pass away the summers in backyards across the country for decades. 9!

The Cheerleaders get better every year. The past decade as seen them transform from Midwest Chic to Ride Em Hard and Put Them Up Wet! 10!

What personifies energy better than a Colt! Try and catch me if you can! 10!

The one miscue for the team is the Mascot. Of course, how do you do a Colt? They go for comic relief, but it doesn't quite say, "I'll Kick Your Ass". 7!

Indianapolis Colts total score = 36

The Baltimore Ravens play football like their bird...dirty, aggressive and enjoying carnage! Their logo combines elements of the States Coat of Arms, designed by the English Catholics who founded the State named after Mary. Coat of Arms are cool...10!

The cheerleaders are also down and dirty...Baltimore style, yet, lack the full attention that other squads inspire...we give them a 7.

The Raven are named because of Baltimore native, Edgar Allen Poe. The Raven is one tough bird, but still rates lower on the natural selection scale compared to an eagle or hawk. 8!

The Ravens mascot gets it right. Cuddly yet Kick Ass! 9!

The Baltimore Ravens total score = 34

So, the Saturday Results are in:

Cardinals 35 vs Saints 34 : Cardinals WIN a close one!

Colts 36 vs Ravens 34 : Colts WIN!

Sir Hook, Founder of the Hooky NFL Natural Selection Poll, of Warrick

Tasty Friends and Old Spam

Have you ever planned one of those nights with friends that was to be so special, so magical, so memorable that it was sure to go down in the annals of social assemblages? You know, a uniquely themed party that went over so well that you could not wait to share it on, say, a world-wide blog such as this?

Well, this isn't one of those stories.

This is a story of old friends, Spam, Marmite, and Monty Python.

First and foremost, it's a story of old friends – some of which have known each other for nearly a quarter of a century (more on that later).

For nearly as long as we've known each other, a few Python fans in the group have been suggesting a Monty Python Flying Circus night. It took a few years – over two decades – but we finally got around to having one. Last night, armed with Spam and a stack of Monty Python DVDs, Lady Suzanne and I invaded Kim and Larry K's home on the north side of Evansville. Joining or merry band were Mike and Debbie V; Mark and Ann T; Dave and Ellen C, unfortunately couldn't make it. (Note: Pictures are being withheld at this time to protect the innocent).

On the menu? Of course:

Avocado and Spam Dip
Honey Baked Spam (dotted with gloves)
Fried Hot and Spicy Spam Sandwiches (with spicy English mustard and an assortment of cheeses)
Green Eggs and Spam (green deviled eggs)

Other dishes from guests included shrimp scones, and English cheddar with tart apples.

[Editor's note: Amazing what a missing comma can do. Make that ...included shrimp, scones, and...]

We also introduced the group to Marmite from England. This stuff is a sticky, dark brown paste with a distinctive, powerful flavor (more like chewing on a salt block if you ask me). Like the British company's marketing slogan says: "Love it or hate it." We found that 6 out of 8 couldn't spit it out fast enough; however, Larry and Mark went back for seconds.

Next, refreshments.

We offered up

Boddington's Pub Ale, Strongbow Cider, and

Yes, Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale (Black Sheep Brewery, New York).

After our fill of delicious fare (“delicious” being a relative term) we headed off to watch a few episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Mike V and I, the two instigators of this evening, couldn't wait to introduce the rest of the group to the hilariously funny Flying Circus sketches. We practically had our finger on the remote's “pause button" fully expecting to momentarily pause action to wait for the group to pick themselves off the floor, wipe the tears of laughter out of their eyes, and compose themselves before moving on to the next side-splitting gag.

What really followed was a couple of painfully quiet hours, sprinkled with only a few giggles.
Even the Dead Parrot
and Spam sketches couldn't save us!

At one point Mike turned to me and whispered something like, “It seemed funnier when we were kids!”

Soon (not soon enough for some, I'm sure) it was time to depart the world of absurdity and back into reality. “So, same time next week?” I offered. Groans.

Nevertheless (I don't know if that's the right introductory word, but I've always wanted to start a sentence with it), there is something bigger than Spam going on here.

I mentioned early on in this disquisition (yes, I own a thesaurus), that this group has been together on-and-off for over twenty years. We've seen births of our children (well, not seen the actual births, but you know what I mean) and those children grow up into adults. We've waved good-bye to friends who have moved away. We've supported each other through the trials and tribulations of parenthood – not an easy task. We've congratulated each other on successes, hugged each other in difficult times, and cried with each other at the passing of loved ones.

Old friends, as a Harry Chapin songs goes, mean so much because they see where we are and know where we've been.

Old friends are rare and valuable.

Like Marmite, we don't always have the same taste (in food, movies, opinions...), but we'll always be there for each other.

And hopefully someday, someday when we're all sitting in our rocking chairs at the Happy Valley (yes, pun intended Larry and Kim) Retirement Home, one of us will say in a shaky, old person voice, “Remember that time we watched Monty Python and ate Spam?” and we'll have a good laugh about it.

Sir Bowie “ who loves Spam, spam, spam, spam.... and old friends” of Greenbriar

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pub Games on TV in the 1970's

Its funny how a chance remark on a radio or in a pub can bring back something long forgotten, and how that remark can nowadays send you to Youtube to suddenly recapture your long lost youth.

In this case it was the words were "Freddie Trueman's Indoor League."

Fred was a total Yorkshire Hard Nut ( like my father ) who was the best and most dangerous Fast Bowler that Cricket in this country ever produced.

The Yorkshire TV company had a hare brained idea to try and bring Pub Games to TV audiences, and to introduce this they chose none more hard, beer drinking Fred, the poster boy of Pub night life.

As TV outside broadcasts were in their infancy and cameras were huge, they forewent the atmosphere that would be gained in a small beery pub and held five types of games : Darts , Skittles, Shove ha'Penny, Bar Billiards and Table Football in what appears to be a school Gym.

The whole thing tanked after one series, simply because of the complex nature of the games... and that they were, apart from darts, really only interesting to the people taking part. Darts of course survived to the fine sport it is today.

So here below are the 4 installments of the show I could find online... to bring back memories of the Lamb and Fountain...and to help Bowie in his quest to make a Table Skittles set.

Sir Dayvd ( who is now off to the Pub for real ) of O...