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Sunday, February 28, 2010

And The Winner Is... has just issued the top 24 cities in the world for drinking beer, albeit a very subjective one as no one actually ventured around the world drinking beer in each and every city as a scientific experiment, gathering data to substantiate their findings. Therefore, the validity and reliability of this survey should be taken with a grain of hops. I did see, however, that I am within crawling distance of two of them. Anyway, without further ado, here is the list of the top 24 (in no particular order):

Portland, Oregon
Brussels, Belgium
Bamberg, Germany
Dublin, Ireland
Cologne, Germany
Atlanta, Georgia
Munich, Germany
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Asheville, North Carolina
Boston, Massachusetts
Montreal, Canada
San Diego, California
Fort Collins, Colorado
Madison, Wisconsin
Portland, Maine
New Orleans, Louisiana
San Antonio, Texas
Key West, Florida
Seattle, Washington
Burlington, Vermont
Northampton, Massachusetts
Baltimore, Maryland
Whatever city you happen to be in

No matter if you agree or disagree with any city on the list, I think the last one should be on everyone’s list.

Sir Lance, who is looking for a map, a cooler and his “get out of jail free” card so he can go find his own 24 top cities - in the name of science, of course.

Enjoy It!

When reaching halftime ...just now, during the ongoing Leaque Cup Final at Wembly, between Manchester Utd and Aston Villa, I did that classic male thing of flipping channels from the couch....and bumped into a hammy old Disney Film called 'In Search of the Castaways'...and on the bit that was on....Old French roue Maurice Chevalier was cooking al fresco and singing to his bedraggled companions, an optimistic ditty called "Enjoy it".

All of which made me think, that it is a classic KMSA song....and that Disney for all his weirdness, was quite Zen in his own way...

So here are the Lyrics and I hope you Enjoy it!!

In Search Of The Castaways - Enjoy It

Why cry about bad weather? Enjoy it!
Each moment is a treasure, enjoy it!
We are travelers on life's highway, enjoy the trip
Each lovely twist and byway is bum and dip

If there's a complication, enjoy it!
You've got imagination, employ it!
And you'll see roses in the snow,
Joie de vivre will make them grow,
Voila, that's life, enjoy it!

Ta-e-da-di-da-ya-da, Enjoy it!
Ta-e-da-di-da-ye-da, Enjoy it!

Hurricane comes your way, enjoy the breeze
You're stranded in the jungle, enjoy the trees.

If there's a complication, enjoy it!
You've got imagination, employ it!
This world's a cornucopia,
Why it could be, Utopia?
Voila, that's right, enjoy it!

Why cry about bad weather? Enjoy it!
Each moment is a treasure, enjoy it!
We are travelers on life's highway, enjoy the trip
Each lovely twist and byway is bum and dip

If there's a complication, enjoy it!
You've got imagination, employ it!
And you'll see roses in the snow,
Joie de vivre will make them grow,
Voila, that's life, enjoy it!

Sir D (who is now going back to his soccer game on a Lazy Sunday Afternoon in the UK) of O

Friday, February 26, 2010

Slams and now math?

Math Poems?

I didn't jump on the "Da Vinci Code" craze; didn't read the book or even see the movie. But, from my understanding, one of the first clues left for the novel's hero and heroine was a fibonacci sequence . Fibonacci is also something I vaguely remember from grade school math class. Go figure!

What does all this have to do with writing poetry?

It seems that there is a new crazy out there that utilizes the fibonacci sequence in poetry -- sort of like Haikus.

The allure of the form is that it is simple (and you all know that I love simple because I am, well, simple minded). Yet, like haikus, it is restricted. The number of syllables in each line must equal the sum of the syllables in the two previous lines. So, start with 0 and 1, add them together to get your next number, which is also 1, 2 comes next, then add 2 and 1 to get 3, and so on. Some people stop at eight, but it can go in indefinitely. One math geek turned poet said he like Fibonacci poetry because it reminded him of "what a computer scientist would call the 'resource constraints."

A variation on the theme would be to let the sequence regulate the number of words.

According to one article: Even those who were not compelled by the idea of Fibonacci poetry could not resist the challenge. When asked for her insights, Judith Roitman, a poet and math professor at the University of Kansas, wrote in an e-mail message that she "found the phenomenon pretty uninteresting." But she then went on to write:

no doubt
will not find
it interesting
to talk to me about this stuff.

In conclusion, let me just say

Free-form Slam
To restrictive Fibs
Take out your Moleskines and begin

- - -

To write
And doodle
In Moleskine journals
And to Think, Drink, and Be Merry

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar

Thursday, February 25, 2010

An Angel's Feather...

Yesterday, I introduced you to Shane L. Koyczan (born 22 May 1976). He is a Canadian slam poet who was part of the 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies.

In 2000, he became the first Canadian to win the Individual Championship title at the National Poetry Slam.

I though I'd link one more of poems here... just in case you think Slam Poets don't speak our language.

Shane Koyczan, "The Crickets Have Arthritis," Words Aloud 2007, Canada

Sir Bowie "not a poet -- especially a slam poet, and know it" of Greenbriar

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

keep exploring... we are more

It's Winter Olympics time and I have to admit that I'm mesmerized by one sport in particular: Curling. A sport believed to date back to the 16th century, curling entails gliding large, polished granite "stones" across ice hand-groomed by athletes wielding brooms and hi-tech pads.

I don't know why; it's really not all that exciting. I guess, in part, it's because it's the ONLY game in the Olympics I can see myself doing and not slamming to the earth and breaking bones.

Speaking of slamming (how's this for a segue). How about the Vancouver Poetry Slam and Shane Koyczan.

Who is Shane Koyczan? I have no idea.

All I know is that he's been getting a lot of press for his part of the opening ceremony of this year's Winter Games.

So, without further adieu, I present We Are More by Shane Koyczan
Canadian poet Shane Koyczan performs during the opening ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, February 12, 2010. Photograph by: Jerry Lampen , REUTERS

When defining Canada

you might list some statistics

you might mention our tallest building

or biggest lake

you might shake a tree in the fall

and call a red leaf Canada

you might rattle off some celebrities

might mention Buffy Sainte-Marie

might even mention the fact that we've got a few

Barenaked Ladies

or that we made these crazy things

like zippers

electric cars

and washing machines

when defining Canada

it seems the world's anthem has been

"been there done that"

and maybe that's where we used to be at

it's true

we've done and we've been

we've seen

all the great themes get swallowed up by the machine

and turned into theme parks

but when defining Canada

don't forget to mention that we have set sparks

we are not just fishing stories

about the one that got away

we do more than sit around and say "eh?"

and yes

we are the home of the Rocket and the Great One

who inspired little number nines

and little number ninety-nines

but we're more than just hockey and fishing lines

off of the rocky coast of the Maritimes

and some say what defines us

is something as simple as please and thank you

and as for you're welcome

well we say that too

but we are more

than genteel or civilized

we are an idea in the process

of being realized

we are young

we are cultures strung together

then woven into a tapestry

and the design

is what makes us more

than the sum total of our history

we are an experiment going right for a change

with influences that range from a to zed

and yes we say zed instead of zee

we are the colours of Chinatown and the coffee of Little Italy

we dream so big that there are those

who would call our ambition an industry

because we are more than sticky maple syrup and clean snow

we do more than grow wheat and brew beer

we are vineyards of good year after good year

we reforest what we clear

because we believe in generations beyond our own

knowing now that so many of us

have grown past what used to be

we can stand here today

filled with all the hope people have

when they say things like "someday"

someday we'll be great

someday we'll be this

or that

someday we'll be at a point

when someday was yesterday

and all of our aspirations will pay the way

for those who on that day

look towards tomorrow

and still they say someday

we will reach the goals we set

and we will get interest on our inspiration

because we are more than a nation of whale watchers and lumberjacks

more than backpacks and hiking trails

we are hammers and nails building bridges

towards those who are willing to walk across

we are the lost-and-found for all those who might find themselves at a loss

we are not the see-through gloss or glamour

of those who clamour for the failings of others

we are fathers brothers sisters and mothers

uncles and nephews aunts and nieces

we are cousins

we are found missing puzzle pieces

we are families with room at the table for newcomers

we are more than summers and winters

more than on and off seasons

we are the reasons people have for wanting to stay

because we are more than what we say or do

we live to get past what we go through

and learn who we are

we are students

students who study the studiousness of studying

so we know what as well as why

we don't have all the answers

but we try

and the effort is what makes us more

we don't all know what it is in life we're looking for

so keep exploring

go far and wide

or go inside but go deep

go deep

as if James Cameron was filming a sequel to The Abyss

and suddenly there was this location scout

trying to figure some way out

to get inside you

because you've been through hell and high water

and you went deep

keep exploring

because we are more

than a laundry list of things to do and places to see

we are more than hills to ski

or countryside ponds to skate

we are the abandoned hesitation of all those who can't wait

we are first-rate greasy-spoon diners and healthy-living cafes

a country that is all the ways you choose to live

a land that can give you variety

because we are choices

we are millions upon millions of voices shouting

"keep exploring... we are more"

we are the surprise the world has in store for you

it's true

Canada is the "what" in "what's new?"

so don't say "been there done that"

unless you've sat on the sidewalk

while chalk artists draw still lifes

on the concrete of a kid in the street

beatboxing to Neil Young for fun

don't say you've been there done that

unless you've been here doing it

let this country be your first-aid kit

for all the times you get sick of the same old same old

let us be the story told to your friends

and when that story ends

leave chapters for the next time you'll come back

next time pack for all the things

you didn't pack for the first time

but don't let your luggage define your travels

each life unravels differently

and experiences are what make up

the colours of our tapestry

we are the true north

strong and free

and what's more

is that we didn't just say it

we made it be.

-Shane Koyczan

And if you want to hear/see one of Shane's awesome slam poems:

Sir Bowie "pushing out of the hacks to start his day" of Greenbriar

Monday, February 22, 2010

Great Quotes from Great Leaders: George Washington

In our continuing series, "Great Quotes from Great Leaders", we look at George Washington (1732-1799), founding father of the United States of America, who's birthday we celebrate today.

"Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience."

"A slender acquaintance with the world must convince every man that actions, not words, are the true criterion of the attachment of friends."

"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence."

"Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder."

"Friendship is a plant of slow growth and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation."

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

"It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there are pains to bring it to light."

"Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble."

From one Founding Father to another, I salute you George. May your dollar continue to rise against the Euro!

Sir Hook the Colonial of Warrick

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Does an iPhone Shit in the Woods? Postscript to 2 Days of Posts

"Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change."

Which will you be today?

Sir Hook Who's Keeping His Gray Beard Past Lent of Warrick

Saturday, February 20, 2010

iSat, iShat, iDropped

In the category of a "Glorious Death", my iPhone met an unfortunate demise at my own hand, and other assorted by-products of my body.

After completing my meetings yesterday in Columbus, Ohio, I decided to go for a late lunch-early dinner at the Old Bag of Nails Pub. After ordering my Spinach Salad with Blackened Scallops and a pint of Great Lakes Irish Ale...I slipped my iPhone into my back pocket and headed for the toilet to make room for my feast.

Sparing you the size and dimension of the generated waste, which I will say was considerable, I was ready to begin the cleansing process when I heard another "Blunk"! I quickly realized that the sound was not generated by my body......iSat...iShat...iDropped...iPhone!!!!!!!!

It was amazing how quickly the desire to save my beloved overcame my disgust to see it floating on top of my last meal!

After several &**%5$t$! and wiping it down, there was no saving my iPhone. It joined my iPod and Gwyneth the First in the happy unknown in Columbus, Ohio.

Fortunately there is an Apple store near by, and being a ProCare member, plus armed with one hilarious story, I was quickly given a replacement for free.

What? I can't hear you! I seem to have a Turd in my ear! And no, they don't have an App for that!

Sir Hook the Toilet Fisherman of Warrick

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tiger Comes Out of the Woods: An Editorial

As I travel north on business today, I awoke to the clatter of the upcoming news conference with Tiger Woods today at 11am EST.

Will he apologize? Who will he apologize to? Does he owe the public an apology?

It's all BULLSHIT! What Tiger Woods does in his own life is his own business. Not that I agree with how or what he did, but just because he is a multi-million dollar public figure doesn't set him apart from the average Joe in being held accountable.

Hell, we could fill every 900 channels of Cable 24/7 to air individual apologies for what Tiger Woods chose to do.

No, when Tiger Comes Out of the Woods today, the only public apology he owes is to himself for being a man who makes poor decisions. Because, if indeed he is a sex addict...why the hell would he need anybody else to fulfill his desires than the gorgeous creature he is married too? (See above picture)

Skank or Scandinavian...that is the question of the day.....Tiger! Now, get your ass back on the course and in your wife's bed.

Play Ball (Not with them)

Sir Hook the Editor of Warrick

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Joyous Life and A Glorious Death

Passing through Ash Wednesday into the days of Lent is one reason to review and embrace our mortality. The ashes placed on foreheads, at least in the Catholic church, are made from the burnt palms left over from last year's Palm Sunday celebration.

Life's celebration meets the kinetic energy of fire and turns into ashes...a great metaphor for living a joyous life and ending in a glorious death.

I know people who are afraid to live, usually because they fear death...which always seems puzzling to me...when we all will meet the fate of death at the end. They might as well already be dead.

I learned to embrace a glorious death from my mother, who at the age of 42 finally succumbed to the ravages of cancer; however, it never extinguished her joy of living. Hers was a glorious death...not only because how she lived and died...but because it gave me a road map on how to live life fully and die gracefully.

The Viking culture was one that embraced the ideal of a glorious death. Life was not worth living if you were afraid of dying.

More recently, the debate on whether to continue the Luge competition after the death of Georgian racer, Nodar Kumaritashvili, at the Winter Olympics set the stage for the polar opposites of this argument. He died a glorious death...doing something he had a passion for. There was no better way to celebrate his life and death, than to continue the competition in which he died to participate.

I for one, hope to be so lucky as to die doing something I love. And if not, at least have the grace to crown my life with a glorious death.

So, during this Lenten Season spend some time asking and meditating on, "Do I have the courage to live a joyous life and embrace a glorious death?"

Sir Hook Who Chooses a Joyous Life and is Dying a Glorious Death Everyday of Warrick

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday, Magic Hat and Lucky Kat, and Random Acts of Kindness Day!

Today, of course, is Ash Wednesday (the first day of the Christian season of Lent and a sign of penitence).
Today, Christians go to mass and receive ashes on their foreheads in the sign of the cross. It is a reminder of from "Ashes to Ashes and Dust to Dust". It means that we came from dust and we shall return to dust, referring to our earthly bodies, not our souls.

During 46 days of Lent, Christians fast and give up things they like. Perhaps it is for that reason that the Tuesday before is a time to party it up, and

Yes, Fat Tuesday (also known as Mardi Gras Day or Shrove Day) is a day when people eat all they want. Nowhere on the planet is Fat Tuesday celebrated more than on Bourbon Street in New Orleans -- home of the NFL World Champion Saints.

So, while store owners were busy coating their storefront poles with Vaseline to keep wild and rowdy revelers from climbing them, thousands ate, drank, and were merry.

Lady Suzanne and I met up with Sir James of Taylor and Lady Gwendoline of Kensington at a Mardi Gras party in the old section of downtown Evansville. Sir James was the official photographer; however, he was already into is 20th or so Jello-shot when we met up with him. So... no photos downloaded this morning yet..

Lady Suzanne and my beer of choice was Magic Hat's Lucky Kat (more for the label than anything. Can you say "Beer Kitty, Kitty...."?)

Lucky Kat is just one of the many interesting elixirs brewed at he South Burlington, VT brewery.

"Lucky Kat purrs as he pours with a grin on his mangy face and a grin in his searching eye," as described on the web site. "He sits on the fence he calls home, dividing up from down. Is he an imperial beast or a pale soul from the east? Only he knows and we know only this: if you reach out to pet him he'll bite back with a big, hoppy kiss."
(above image from Sir D)

I love their poetic descriptions. Here are a couple more:

Blind Faith: An ale of enlightenment created to aid in deciphering the puzzles along life's road, and to interpret signs in the voyages of the spirit. It was our take on an India Pale Ale: a deep-golden amber ale with a rich up-front malty nose finishing with a big, hoppy bite.

Feast of Fools — Our Holiday Offering: In pre-Christian times, the celebration of darkness and light was marked with great halls filled with smoke & mirrors. Guilded goblets brimming with seasonal brews were lifted to lips, speaking a language no longer known. The winter wind finds its way through heavy wood doors. The present connects the past through the brewer's art and a new beer is born: Feast of Fools... A perfect dessert beer brewed exclusively for the holiday season. Hand bottled, champagne corked. Our inky, rich, black stout, with an addition of raspberries.

Vinyl — Scrumptious Spring Lager: Vinyl sails in on her shining wings as the spinning sun returns. She is the season-shifter, bursting from her cocoon to sing the ancient song of vernal yearning and to summon Spring's sweet green return... Her metamorphosis becomes our own.
Her thirsts are shared by all. Drink in her mysterious elixir as the revolution blooms again... Visit Vinyl!

Their web site is a must see:

In addition to Ash Wednesday, today is also "Random Acts of Kindness Day" (always February 17th).

Random Acts of Kindness Day is celebrated by performing a few random acts of kindness on as many people as you can. Though no one seems to know the official creator or the origin of this day, the originators have truly helped to make the world a better place.

Evidently, many organizations and groups have declared other days to be "Random Acts of Kindness Day". These declarations are usually local, one-time events, often for fundraisers.

So, Be Kind, Be Thankful, Be Merry, for we are all soon dust again.

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Citius, Altius, Fortius" : Faster Higher, Stronger.

In keeping with the present Olympic ideals, and a further chapter to a previous blog on the KMSA, a controversial Scottish brewery has said it has reclaimed the title of the world's strongest beer from German rivals - with Sink the Bismarck at 41%.

BrewDog, of Fraserburgh, made headlines last year when it unveiled a 32% beer called Tactical Nuclear Penguin.

However, Schorschbrau released the 40% strength Schorschbock.

BrewDog said its newly released 41%, Sink the Bismarck, would cost £40 for a 330ml bottle and would only be sold online.

Alcohol Focus Scotland had previously expressed concerns about BrewDog's approach.

Alcohol Focus Scotland chief executive Jack Law said: "Over the past few months BrewDog have continued to produce stronger and stronger beers.

"By commenting on this irresponsible brewing practice we only serve to add to their marketing and therefore we have no further comment to make."

But BrewDog's managing director James Watt said the company was doing all it could to promote a new and responsible approach to beer drinking.

He added: "It's ignorant to assume that a beer can't be enjoyed responsibly like a nice dram or a glass of fine wine. A beer like Sink the Bismarck should be enjoyed in spirit-sized measures."

BrewDog was previously branded irresponsible for an 18.2% beer called Tokyo, which it then followed with a low alcohol beer called Nanny State, then Tactical Nuclear Penguin.

For my own part, tonight I have decided to treat myself to the "Best Ale in the World".....well who could resist that come-on line when its printed on a bottle amongst a row of beers.

This is just a modest 8.5% Old Tom from the Robinsons brewery in Stockport, and with a first few sips, I can say that at just £1.69 ( $2.70 ) for 330ml it is a rather splendid Winter warmer and very very delicious.

I have chosen to pour it into my very own Character Glass, I got from the MidTown Tavern in Harrisburg Pa many years ago..... that of a pants down Full Moon ( yes, real class from the USA ) and no doubt, after a long hard day at work, having this with my evening dinner will mean that I will shortly be spark out on the couch, ready to take on the world again tomorrow.

Sir Dayvd ( where next?...the world's second best ale? ) of Oxfordshire

Monday, February 15, 2010


Normally I have to work hard to make any satirical articles i write stay within the realms of belief and comedy at the same time...but with the nature of the media today it is getting increasingly difficult to tell what is real and made up.

Take for instance the piece below, which is appearing in even all the serious broadsheets today... about the records that are appearing on the Vatican Top Ten. Whether they are actually ON the Pope's i.god....sorry, i.pod, i somehow doubt...but like some of our politictians recently, it seems the catholic church is trying to cross the bridge of modernism before it collapses and leaves them stranded in the dark ages.

Choral music and canticles make up its normal areas of interest, but the Vatican has extended its musical tastes to issue a list of the top ten pop and rock albums of all time.

The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Oasis are among the British artists featured in the chart in the the Holy See's newspaper.

L'Osservatore Romano, said the 10 albums were the perfect listening material for anyone who found themselves marooned on a desert island.

The paper said its "semi-serious" list including the likes of Michael Jackson, U2 and Carlos Santana, was offered as an alternative to the cheesy tunes that feature at the San Remo festival in Liguria, in north-eastern Italy, which starts tomorrow.

Aside from British and American artists, the only other nationality to be represented in the list was Ireland, with U2's Achtung Baby, released in 1991. No Italian groups or singers appeared in the top ten.

L'Osservatore Romano wrote in an editorial yesterday (Sunday): "A little handbook of musical resistance could be useful during this time of the year in which, in addition to having put up with the rigours of winter, we have to endure a rising tide of musical festivals.

"So as not to be totally overwhelmed, and to remember that an alternative exists, our modest guide can point you on the road to good music."

The newspaper admitted that identifying the 10 best albums in the history of pop music was not "easy" and inevitably the choice might seem "partial".

Until recently the staid and stuffy journal of record for goings-on at the Vatican, L'Osservatore Romano has recently tried to strike a more contemporary tone, commenting on everything from the Harry Potter books and films to The Simpsons and James Cameron's blockbuster Avatar, which it called overly-sentimental and derivative.


1. Revolver by the Beatles

2. If I could Only Remember My Name by David Crosby

3. The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd

4. Rumours by Fleetwood Mac

5. The Nightfly by Donald Fagen

6. Thriller by Michael Jackson

7. Graceland by Paul Simon

8. Achtung Baby by U2

9. (What's the story) Morning Glory by Oasis

10. Supernatural by Carlos Santana

The biggest smile in all this must go to John Lennon, whose quotes in an interview he gave in the USA in March 1966, will now be used all over the world again...

"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We (The Beatles) are more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."

Rock and Roll

Sir Dayvd (who likes to now picture John and Paul meeting, as they did, at a Church Fete in Woolton) of Oxfordshire

Saturday, February 13, 2010

You Say Mardi...I Say Pardi!!!!!

Are you ready to PARDI?! Tis the season, which most people refer to mistakenly as Mardi Gras. We are actually in Carnival at this time. Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, which is the one day that is officially "Mardi Gras". In the UK that day is known as Shrove Tuesday, which is the official Feast Name for the Knights of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale.

The Carnival season, founded by European Catholics and brought to the Americas, begins on the Feast of Epiphany and ends on Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the 40 days of Lent.

The Carnival season traditionally is a time to forgo social conventions, party, dance, have parades, drink and eat excessively...and other wise indulge oneself in an orgy of senses as the solemn Lenten days approach. Of course, I don't have to change my character to celebrate Carnival and Pardi Gras!

Lady Allwinky and I frequent our neighborhood tavern, Knob Hill, weekly. The Knob is known for one of the better Mardi Gras adventures. Here's Lady Amy of Knob presenting a thirsty Sir Hook with an Evansville original...a Fishbowl of Beer...filled with yummy Newcastle Ale!

Lady Allwinky gives me that "look" as I ask her if she wants to earn some more beads!

Lady Gina of Knob, playing the part of Court Jester, kept us entertained as we indulged on Oysters, Gumbo and Jambalaya...washed down with Fishbowls of BEER!

Lady Good Golly Miss Molly of Knob has obviously earned many beads through the night...but be careful how you ask her...she just might Kick Your Arse!

I was given beads for not taking my shirt off! In the States, Mardi Gras is synonymous with New Orleans, the French Quarter and Cajun food.

It was a slight rub of salt in the wound to be a Colts fan and celebrate Mardi Gras New Orleans style. But, what the hell, if you can't beat them, join them! I raised my Fishbowl of Newcastle to all the Knights and Ladies of the Realm and drank to all your health, hopes and dreams.

My health is surprisingly good. My hope is to celebrate this season next year with a Colts Super Bowl victory. My dream is to have a rematch next Super Bowl with them "Who Dat" Saints and kick their Cajun Ass!

Here's looking at you kid! Now PARDI!!!!!

Sir Hook the Pardi Gras of Warrick

Friday, February 12, 2010

There are two sure bets this Winter Olympics:

While the U.S. is digging out of record snow falls this week, Vancouver's Cypress Mountain is blooming. That's right: There is NO SNOW!

According to once article I read, The city’s PR squad has regrettably pushed the green Olympics angle! Cute, but not funny. So, my bet first bet is that you'll tire of seeing countless video sequences of snow being trucked into venues.

Time for a beer Vancouver, you’ve done all you can.

My second bet is that you'll tire of seeing Molson Beer sponsorships -- everywhere. Yes, Molson, which has brewed beer in Canada for 222 years, is the official beer of 2010 Winter Olympics (Vancouver 2010’s official Olympic beer sponsor is half-owned by U.S. beer giant Coors).

Let the games begin!

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Toby or not Toby, That is the Question!

This evening while watching TV over dinner, I chanced apon an antiques programme that showed the making and history of that quintessential English beer related item, the Toby Jug, or Toby Mug, and I wondered why I'd never thought to write a KMSA blog on them before, and then in a pause of deja vu, I wondered if I actually had. Still it was interesting researching these fun items and in doing so I discovered a startling twist to the whole story, that I will reveal at the end of the blog and sit back and await confirmation from the FF's, to see if it is true, or just a figment of Wikipedias imagination.

Toby jugs are popular around the world and always associated with England. Many English Pubs have adopted the name. The first Toby Jug, was developed and popularised by Staffordshire potters in the 1760s. It is thought to be a development of similar Delft jugs that were produced in the Netherlands. Similar designs were produced by other potteries, first in Staffordshire, then around England, and eventually in other countries.

It was a jovial, seated, male figure, with a mug in his hand and a tricorn hat which made a pouring spout. He was dressed in clothes of the time; a long coat with low pockets, waistcoat, cravat, knee breeches and buckled shoes.

No one really knows why he was named 'Toby' although it is possible he called after Sir Toby Belch a character in Shakespeare's Twelth Night. Or maybe it was after a song popular in 1761, around the time the jug was first produced in a traditional, brown salt glaze version. The song 'Brown Jug' featured 'Toby Fillpot'. and they are also sometimes known as a Fillpot (or Phillpot)

For the purposes of the blog I have stayed with the photos of the classic antique Toby's, but naturally, in a commercial world an endless parade of Toby style characters have been created since; from Hitler to Santa Claus, and covering every possible feature and famous face inbetween.

Jugs depicting just the head and shoulders of a figure are also referred to as Toby Jugs, although these should strictly be called "Character Jugs".

So this is where I unveil my intriguing twist, because in the Wikipedia account of Toby Jugs ( under Jugs ) it claims that...... " Toby Jugs are collectible". and that "Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is the most high-profile collector of Toby Jugs, with his collection said to be the largest in North America." (Is this actually True???? I ask my esteemed drinking friends in Hoosier land) If it is it is an amazing beer related fact, if it is not then i have found my first Wikipedia falsehood.

That aside....The American Toby Jug Museum is located on Chicago Avenue in Evanston, Illinois, if you boys are ever up that way.

So I am now on the hunt in flea markets to find a quality original Toby Jug, in which to put my ale, and toast the long line of drinkers from down the years.

Sir Dayvd Belch of Oxfordshire

Toby, Toby and my other brother Toby

The Founding Father's as the Tres Toby's!
Created by Sir Bowie

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Not that Knights need another reason, but...

Could a beer a day keep osteoporosis away?

Drinking beer may actually benefit your bones, according to a new analysis of 100 commercial varieties of suds.

Turns out beer’s is a good source of dietary silicon, which is key for bone health.

According to one study, pale-colored malts may be the better choice if you want to strengthen your bones, since these had more silicon than the darker beers, like the chocolate, roasted barley and black malt. Non-alcoholic beers had the lowest silicon levels of any of the brews tested.

The report was featured in the February issue of the “Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture” (which is one of my favorite bathroom reads).

Of course, some studies have reported that consuming more than a couple of alcoholic beverages a day could be detrimental to one’s health. So, as with everything else, moderation is key.

This bare-bones study is no joke, but this is:

Sir Bowie "this wrsit bone is connected to the finger bones, the finger bones are connected to a mug of delicious liquid silicon" of Greenbriar

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Joust Monday Mourning. Who Dat Sad Hoosier?

Super Joust Sunday left Colt Nation digging large tooth picks out of their mouths and eyes as the Saints knocked us off our high horse. Super Joust Sunday left us to deal with Super Joust Monday Mourning!

Who dat sad Hoosier? There's the rub....the sad Hoosier's on the Colts where actually natives of New Orleans. Peyton Manning, son of Saint's hero quarterback legend, Archie Manning, watched his fathers team take his chance for a 2nd Super Bowl Championship away. Reggie Wayne, a New Orleans native, drops two passes, one for a touchdown and allows the spike in the heart interception.

The recipient of that interception, Traci Porter, is a Louisiana native who played his college ball at Indiana University. And Drew Brees, who played a spectacular game for the Saints, played his college ball in Indiana at Purdue University. So the happy Saints where Hoosier sports heroes. Oh the irony!

Perhaps the real secret weapon was divine intervention. The Vatican allowed the Catholic Churches in New Orleans to display the Saints flag on the Holy Altars at Mass yesterday. A Saints banner was sent to, and displayed during Mass at the Papal Altar at St. Peter's in Rome.

The real differential came in embracing a philosophy of risk versus reward by the Saints coaching staff. As General Patton said, "The only good defense is offense." The bottom line is that the Colts played not to lose, while the Saints played to win.

Lesson for the Colts...and really for all who want to succeed in life....don't be afraid to take risks, always go on the offensive (even when on defense...the real key to the Colts lack of success), and play to win "balls to the wall".....ALWAYS!

Sir Hook Who's Balls Are Being Scraped Off the Wall this Monday Mourning of Warrick

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Think you'll have fun watching the Super Bowl today? Wanna Bet!

I'll be one of the estimated 20 million Americans attending a Super Bowl party today. In additions to the copious amount of food and beverage consumed, I bet that there will be a lot of betting goin' on. In fact, that's probably one of the most interesting things about the Super Bowl -- at least from a few of my betting friends' perspective -- the staggering array of "prop bets" that are available for today's game.

Here's a look at some of the more interesting props on offer (according to various sources):

How long will it take Carrie Underwood to sing the national anthem? - The ‘over/under’ is set at one minute and 42 seconds on this one.

Will there be a missed extra point? FYI: There were 1,185 extra points attempted in the regular season this year. Just 20 were missed. That means that 98.3 percent of extra points were successful. That means that +1000, the price paid if an extra point is missed, is a long, long way from providing any value.

First sideline reporter to appear after kickoff. The price for both Solomon Wilcots and Steve Tasker is at -115.

Color of Gatorade dumped on the winning coach - This is another one of those crazy props that could only exist for the Super Bowl. For the record, yellow is favored at 1/1, with clear water a close second at 7/5. Red is the longshot of the six choices at 25/2.

Number of times Archie Manning will be shown during game - The total here is 2.5 (This really seems low to me, especially if Payton is having a great game).

How many times will CBS show Bourbon Street during the game - The total is only two here, and the ‘over’ is only at -110 (It's gotta go over if the Saints are doing well).

Kim Kardashian - There are several props involving Kardashian, Reggie Bush's girlfriend (who cares).

And this one is for Sir Hook: Will a member of The Who smash a guitar? (A great line from one blogger: "Can you use a walker and still smash a guitar?") Anyway, for the record, ‘yes’ is at +135, and ‘no’ is at -165.

The bottom line is to have fun and please play responsibility.

Super Bowl Post: Take Two

Now, what Super Bowl blog wouldn't be complete without a few facts and figures stolen off the web. I trust fellow Knights will contribute to:

8 million: Total pounds of popcorn consumed on Super Bowl Sunday.

28 million: Pounds of potato chips consumed (293,000: Number of miles of potato chips, laid end to end, consumed during the game).

53.5 million: Pounds of avocados consumed (11.8: Depth, in feet, of guacamole consumed if it were spread across the football field).

1 billion: Number of chicken wings consumed on Super Bowl Sunday.

325.5 million: Gallons of beer drank by Americans that day (493: Number of Olympic-sized swimming pools that could be filled with all that beer).

20%: Increase in ant-acid sales the Monday after the game.

7 million: Number of employees who will not show up to work Monday.

Oh, and here is an intersting fact for Sir Dayvd: Number of languages in which the word "football" doesn't mean "soccer"? Yes, you know it: 1.

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar