Saturday, February 03, 2007

Listen to the Wombat

He speaks the truth.

Hat tip to Nathan Singer for the heads up.

BTW, Nathan's upcoming novel, In the Light of You, is awesome. Brutal, unflinching, and it rocks. Watch for it.

Friday, February 02, 2007

From the Innovations Desk

Milk beer to go on sale in Japan: A brewery here has succeeded in producing a low-malt beer with milk, after the drink was suggested as a product that would help use up surplus milk.

The drink, called 'Bilk' will go on sale on Feb. 1. It reportedly has a fruity flavor that its brewers hope will be popular among women.

The idea for the drink was conceived after dairy firms threw out a huge amount of surplus milk in March last year. The son of the manager of a liquor store in Nakashibetsu, whose main industry is dairy farming, suggested the idea of producing the milk beer to local brewery Abashiri Beer.

The 31-year-old factory head of the brewery was against the idea, saying that fermentation would be difficult because of the high starch content in milk, but went through a trial and error process to produce the drink anyway.

Since milk has a low boiling point, the brewery took care to control the temperature during the boiling process so the milk wouldn't boil over. After they put beer yeast and hops into the drink and began the fermentation process, the beverage looked and smelled like tea with milk. However, when fermentation was complete and the drink cooled down, it had the same color as beer.

Show of hands: How many people here realized that surplus milk was a problem?

Another show of hands: Would anybody here actually be brave enough to try this stuff?

I'm sorry, there are just some things that God meant to be separate. Beer and milk, for example.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

R.I.P. Molly Ivins

Fuck, Fuck, FUCK. First Barbara Seranella and now this.

It's very possible I wouldn't be writing at all if it weren't for Molly Ivins. Her collection of columns entitled Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? was a huge influence on the pieces that eventually led me to writing my own newspaper column, which led to some well-meaning soul saying "you oughta write a novel," and so on. Molly had a true gift for skewering the idiots in power with a stiletto wit, driven by a passion that punched right through the blather and bullshit.

Her last column closed with this call to arms, no doubt written with a full appreciation that her time was drawing near:

We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous.


Okay, Now I Get It

'Bare Nekkid Mainers' Enjoy Buff Bowling: (AP) OLD TOWN, Maine: When members of the Bare Nekkid Mainers rent the Old Town Bowling Center, all they really need are the shoes. 'Hey, you can't go skinny-dipping at this time of year,' Hessa, who organizes the gatherings and wanted to be identified only by her first name, told the Bangor Daily News.

Self-described naturist nudists, the Bare Nekkid Mainers belong to an international organization and participate in nudist events throughout the year.

The group used to bowl in Albion, but their venue there closed.

During the three events held at the Old Town center since September, the one-story building was closed with its windows and doors covered. Signs announced that a private party was in progress.

'I have absolutely no problem with it, and I hope nobody else does,' Charles 'Chip' Carson, the center's owner, said Monday. 'They just happen to like having a good time without their clothes on.'"

Well, who doesn't?

Still, on one occasion earlier this month, a man apparently ignored the signs and entered the center with his 8-year-old son.

"I tried to stop him," Hessa said Monday. "He walked through two doors that were covered in paper and had signs."

That'll learn him.

He apparently saw a nude male playing pool and went to police.

"One of our officers went over there to check," Old Town police Capt. Kyle Smart said Monday.

Police found no violations, and after checking with the city attorney and municipal officials, concluded there has been no wrongdoing.

"We're not doing anything sexually explicit, and we're not out there doing it on Main Street," Hessa said.

About 60 households belong to Bare Nekkid Mainers, and several dozen people have participated in each bowling event in Old Town, the newspaper said.

Sixty? How the hell many people can there be in Old Town? This has got to be, like, at least a quarter of the population. What's in the water up there? And can it be bottled for national consumption?

Carson turns the thermostat up to make his patrons more comfortable and says the events are handled like any private party.

Who says you can't find good customer service anymore?

"Everybody's laughed at it, to be honest with you," he said.

Nudists in Maine. A hardy and resourceful group. God love 'em. And God Bless America.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Welcome, Bare Nekkid Mainers!

According to sitemeter, one of the most popular Google searches leading people to this here corner of cyberspace is "Bare Nekkid Mainers." Up to now, it's been taking them here.

Um...I'm not sure what that means, but welcome new Hellions!

Right Winger Yearns For Another 9/11

Conservative Talk Show Host and Fox News Contributor Mike Gallagher:

Seeing Jane Fonda Saturday was enough to make me wish the unthinkable: it will take another terror attack on American soil in order to render these left-leaning crazies irrelevant again. Remember how quiet they were after 9/11? No one dared take them seriously. It was the United States against the terrorist world, just like it should be.

What a great American. He wishes death on thousands of his fellow citizens, just to make a point to Jane Fonda.

Of course this is the same great American who led a group of "counter-protesters" to Cindy Sheehan's vigil in Crawford, Texas to shout "We don't care!" at the families of dead soldiers.


Bush Says Missing '-ic' Was an Oversight ;

A lot of folks noticed Dubbya's little dig at the Democratic Party during the recent State of the Union Address in which he engaged in the childish little Republican game of refusing to call the party by its correct name, calling it instead the "Democrat" party, even as he piously wished for bipartisanship. Now the Weasel-in-Chief calls it an honest mistake:

"That was an oversight," said Bush, who frequently uses the formulation. "I mean, I'm not trying to needle. Look, I went into the hall saying we can work together, and I was very sincere about it. I didn't even know I did it."

Bush also said he "didn't mean to be putting fingernails on the board," while noting that the parties need to work together on addressing problems with the Social Security system. "I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town," the president said. "And I'm sorry it's the case, and I'll work hard to try to elevate it. So the idea that somehow I was trying to needle the Democrats, it's just -- gosh, it's probably Texas. Who knows what it is? But I'm not that good at pronouncing words anyway."

As our African-American brethren say, "Nigga, please."

You don't know why there's so much distrust? How about this, asshole:

"However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses."

Or this:

"Suggestions, for example, that we should withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq simply feed into that whole notion, validates the strategy of the terrorists."

Maybe one way to build trust is to apologize for slurs like that. Until then, go fuck yourself, Mr. President, and have a nice day.

Monday, January 29, 2007

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

WSJ's Washington Wire treats us to the news that the White House has a new pastry chef. His name is William “Bill” Yosses and I must admit, he has an impressive culinary resume. But the best part is, the man who'll be whipping up Dubbya's Strawberry Shortcake and Creme Brulee is also the co-author of--wait for it--

Desserts for Dummies.

Too perfect.