Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Traditions

With our extended family getting so large, we have had to develop systems to spread Christmas visits. For example, we have the 3 grandsons over to our house on the eve of Christmas Eve for an overnighter and present opening on the 24th. Even though they are all teenagers now and one is in college, they still look forward to this tradition. Our TV playlist always includes "Die Hard", because Christmas does not start until Hans Gruber drops. This year we added an educational show and watched the origin of Festivus by watching Seinfeld. (I've had a Festivus Pole for several years and they expect me to put it up in the foyer) If you want to learn about Festivus, go to Seinfeld, Season 9, Episode 10, "The Strike".

I hope your Christmas brought you as many laughs as we had.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The 12 Yats of Christmas

This is a traditional New Orleans Christmas Song. A "Yat" is someone born in New Orleans. The etymology of the word comes from the traditional greeting, "Where y'at?"

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Ardbeg Kelpie

This is another whiskey from Ardbeg on Islay. Ardbeg was founded in 1815. They were bought by Hiram Walker in 1977 but closed in 1981. Hiram Walker was bought by Allied Lyons in 1987 and production resumed for use in blending only to close again in 1991. They were sold to Glenmorangie in 1997 and then were named distillery of the year in 1998. In 2005 they were established in the House of Glenmorangie as part of LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy).

This whiskey in named for a mythical sea monster and is one of seven offerings.

Color: Pale amber
Nose: Strongly peaty
Palate: Peppery
Finish: Very long. The unique taste lingers.

Coming from Islay, it is strong in peat and seaweed. This may not be a whiskey for everyone but it is unique and worth a try.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Finland Centennial

Today marks the 100th anniversary of Finnish independence. The break with Russia then triggered a short civil war in 1918 between the Whites and the Reds. Here are some ideas if you want to celebrate the day. 
And to get you in the mood, here is Sibelius' Finlandia

And the National Anthem with lyrics.


Do you think that they haven't produced a decent western since "Lonesome Dove"? Well, IMO, Netflix has succeeded with "Godless".

Jeff Daniels ("The newsroom") plays the leader of an outlaw band that has robbed a train of a mine payroll and then slaughtered the entire town. One of his men steals the loot and takes off with it with the gang in hard pursuit. He escapes but is wounded and ends up at the farm of a widow played by Michelle Dockery (Remember her from Downton Abbey"?) She lives on the outskirts of a town populated almost entirely by women. The town got that way because all of the men died in a mine accident. The sheriff of the town is played by Scoot McNairy ("Halt and Catch Fire") who at first arrests the gunslinger but then goes off in search of the gang led by Jeff Daniels. His sister is the defacto mayor and is played by Merritt Wever ("Nurse Jackie" and "Walking Dead"). She has to  organize the defense of the town when Jeff Daniels realizes that the guy that stole his money is in the town.

The writers do a great job of character development using flashbacks to explain the history of each character and how they became who they are. It may seem a little confusing at first, but just bear in mind that all will be explained in due time.

The show runs for 7 one hour episodes. It is one of the best westerns I have watched in recent years.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Head Count

Saudi Arabia let out all the stops and beheaded 20 for murder and drugs in November. They must have been busy as they did 6 in one day. This brings their year to date total to 123.

Submarine ARA San Juan

Argentina has called off the search and rescue mission for their missing submarine . The submarine went missing on November 15 while on a routine transit. It came to light that the captain reported a leak through the snorkel which shorted out some batteries in the bow section. He reported that the problem batteries had been isolated and he was continuing in a submerged condition. Approximately 10 hours later an underwater explosion was heard on subsea listening networks.

We can now assume that another 44 submariners have been lost and the only thing that remains is to find the location of their final resting place.

FYI.....ARA stands for "Armada de la Republica Argentina"