Shiner Bock

When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.

Recently, I posted about my misadventures in acquiring a kegerator so that I could always have ice-cold Shiner Bock on tap.

A few weeks ago my plans were thwarted at the last minute. It was devastating.

In response to my story, photogoot had the following to offer: Before today you just "wanted" a kegerator... Now I suspect, due to the nature of all human males, you now "need" a kegerator. and if necessity truly is the mother of all invention I look forward to how you satisfy this now burning need.

Well he was absolutely correct.

Over the course of the past 2 weeks I began assembling the requisite parts to build my own. I did plenty of research, found local vendors to keep me stocked in CO2, found the best keg prices in town and, finally, put it all together.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the drax0rator:

Search & Destroy

Race Car in the Red

As I do most mornings, I got my kick-start by downing a Monster Lo-Carb.

Despite this, I was still dragging ass this morning when we left the house.

Naturally, when Eric suggested we stop for a Monster refill I readily agreed.

As we were checking out, the clerks suggested that we try this new product: RedLine. Subtitled "The Ultimate Energy Rush," RedLine comes in a puny 8 oz. bottle. It looked to me like any one of a hundred other "energy" potions I've seen and tasted before. Needless to say, I usually fiund myself disappointed and have in recent months stuck with the tried and true Monster Brand Energy products.

Well the fellow behind the counter mentioned that he tried one the other day and had lasting energy throughout the day so, more out of curiosity than anything, I bought a couple of bottles. One each for E and I.

The bottle is filled with warning labels. Among them:

Caution! Read entire label before drinking.


Do not drink if you're pregnant or nursing.

Do not use if you have or have a family history of: heart disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, glaucoma, prostate enlargement, difficulty urinating, or seizure disorder.

Do not use if you're taking any prescription medication.

Do not use if you're taking any over-the-counter medication.

Do not use if you are more than 15 pounds overweight.

Always begin with one serving (4 oz. daily to assess tolerance.

Ingredients of RedLine include an unknown glowing substance which fell to Earth, presumably from outer space.

Do not taunt RedLine Energy Drink.

I quickly ignored these warnings and had the bottle downed by the time Eric started the car.

Before we left the parking lot... time slowed down. I was watching the world through a tunnel. Objects in the center of the tunnel were tinted blue while objects at the edge - objects that we had already passed - were red-shifted.

When we arrived at work I found that my co-workers had aged 30 years overnight. To combat this, I ran at top speed around the planet. The world turned backwards and time reversed.

I must be careful not to travel at such speeds.

Later, back at work, I sat at my desk and threw my jacket carelessly on my desk, knocking over a stack of about 10 books. I picked them individually out of the air and restacked them before the first one hit the ground.

I felt that I had to share this wondrous discovery with you, my friends. I sat down 22 seconds ago to begin typing this missive. I am now typing at 712 words per minute with 104% accuracy.

Please, try a RedLine, but please do be careful not to break space-time.
Shiner Bock

Training Day

Buffalo, NY - 10:37am

The windows partition on my laptop has crapped out. Corrupted registry. I don't have the media on-hand to fix it right now, so I've booted into Linux. Unfortunately, I don't have the drivers set up to run the Sprint data card, so I'm depending on Ernest's cellular network card wireless router, which I can't really pick up from a car away. At the moment I'm assuming that I'm offline until Boston.

We arrived in Chicago at about 1630 Sunday. Ernest and I both had issues sleeping in the 'roomette' the previous night, so our first order of business was going to the Amtrak ticket desk and upgrading to the deluxe sleeper.

Afterwards we checked our luggage in the First Class Lounge in Union Station and headed out on the town.

We went looking for a Walgreens so E could fill a perscription and I could find some NyQuil. Lucky for us there was one just a block away. Unlucky for us it was closed on Sunday.

We asked around and discovered that there was a 24 hour Walgreens in Greektown about 6 blocks away, but as we were standing on the corner looking up at the Sears Tower, we decided to hop up to the top and have a look around.

Afterwards we hailed a cab, dropped off E's script, and headed over to Gino's East - supposedly the Gold Standard for Chicago Deep Dish Pizza.

I'm not a food critic, so my description probably wouldn't do it justice... suffice to say that it was well worth the trip. I was particularly fond of the 'Meat Mountain Mouth Monsterous Meham Mouth Explosion'* pizza, which I washed down with an ice cold Shiner Bock.

That being said, and I'd probably be shot for saying this back in Chicago, I think I prefer the deep dish from Chicago St. pizza across the street from work in McKinney, TX. I'm planning on calling the owner later today to let him know that I prefer his pizza over the admittedly very good and deservedly world-famous Gino's East. I reckon he'll get a kick out of hearing it.

After picking up some goods at the drug store we taxi'd back to the train station and boarded.

I spoke to Jess for a while and uploaded some photos before sinking into a NyQuil induced haze and sleeping very soundly for the next 9 hours. For those of you thinking about taking a long train ride... I highly recommend the upgrade from the standard to deluxe sleeper. The air in the room was nice and cold and I was rocked to sleep like a baby.

Next stop of consequence: Albany, NY. I think I'll nap until then.

*It's not actually called that, but it should be.

P.S.: As I was writing this the leftover pizza box fell from its nest above the sink and hit me in the ass. I don't know if it's a sign from the pizza gods or the train gods, but I took the hint and am eating it now. After looking around carefully to make sure nothing dangerous could fall on my skull, I'm going to have to stand behind what I said earlier... Gino's East makes me hungry for my little Chicago pizzaria in Texas.
Dallas Skyline

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Somewhere in Arkansas... The train rumbles and rocks through the night. Next stop, Little Rock.

It is hot as hell in my sleeper room. The woman explains that its winter time. It'd be silly to have to AC turned up. I explained that we were in Texas. She wins. I sweat.

Dinner service was nice. Salad, bread, flat iron steak, baked potato, raspberry white chocolate cheesecake - complementary for passengers in sleeper cars and unexpectedly good for travel food.

We boarded the train about 7 hours ago. Only 48 more to Boston.

One hour in STL at 0830. Apparently not at Union Station.

Six hour layover in downtown Chicago tomorrow night. At Union Station. Possibilities abound.


0929 Sunday - Alton, IL

I miss my family.

A decent sleep was nothing more than a tease last night. I kept waking up just in time to catch myself against the wall as the train rolled to one side or the other. Turbulence on the rails.

Breakfast in the dining car - coffee and omelet with a view of the Gateway Arch. It went a long way towards making up for the mostly sleepless night - and the coffee has given me enough energy to nap.
  • Current Mood
    hot hot
Skeletor Bitch

Turkey Day

Those of you who know me in RL know that I do not cook. My greatest culinary accomplishments to date include Kraft Mac & Cheese and ramen noodles.

With that in mind, I decided to take on the task this year of preparing the holiday turkey.

I thought there was a decent chance of this ending in utter disaster resulting in bologna sandwiches and stuffing for all.

Undeterred, I went ahead with sage advice (read: recipe) from my TV pal, Alton Brown.

I brined the turkey in a large stock pot in a solution of water, kosher salt, brown sugar, and orange juice concentrate for 8 hours.

With the oven preheated to 500 degrees, I rubbed down the cured bird with Canola oil and let it brown for half an hour.

After removing my poultry from the superheated chamber, I reduced the heat to 350, covered the turkey with foil and then put it back in the oven entirely undisturbed for ~2 hours.

With bated breath I waited 20 minutes for my project to rest.

When I cut into and sampled the turkey it was, in a word, fantastic.

The meat was juicy and flavorful throughout, and fell off the bone. It was easily the best thing I've ever put in my mouth.

I'm never eating another turkey that isn't prepared in this manner. In fact, I may never eat anything else at all.

Everything else pales in comparison.

Thank you for reading my shameless self-promotion.
DS9 - Sisko

Magic. Smooth.

As many of you know, I am wont to shave my head from time to time. Last Saturday I took the clippers to my head and then cleaned it up with a frilly purple razor that smelled of lilac. I really need to find my Mach3.

Later that evening, at a driveway party, a neighbor and I were discussing depilatory creams for maintaining the look. I mentioned that I had tried Nair before with less than stellar results - specifically severe chemical burns.

He suggested I try a product called Magic Smooth, a depilatory cream found in the "Black Cosmetics" department at the grocery store. It seems that black men often have issues with shaving because of a high incidence of ingrown hairs. Magic Smooth is formulated as a hair-removal cream meant for sensitive skin so that one could use it on one's head in lieu of shaving.

My wife was running to the store the next day and I asked her to pick some up.

Later I sat on the couch reading the bottle aloud: patch test, do not use soap to rinse, wait 24 hours between applications, designed for black men, etc etc.

I had a good bit of 5 'o clock shadow on my head, so I decided to do the 'patch test' to see how well it worked. As I began to rub it into my head, my son interrupted me, saying that he didn't want me to use it because he wanted me to look just like I do now. "Aww, it's ok boy", I said, "it'll just take the little bit of hair off so I'll look like I did yesterday after I shaved".

"No Daddy, I don't want you to turn black."

I'll mention in postscript that the ensuing patch test showed absolutely zero result. You couldn't even tell I had done anything. Upon further inspection, I noted that the bottle actually said: Formulated exclusively for black men. I guess I don't qualify.