Saturday, May 12, 2012

My 100th post - a short one - I didn't want to muck it up!

Listening to my favorite "this could be a fun Saturday night" song.

Hell is somewhere I don't want to go,
Hell is somewhere I don't want to go,
But if I go, well, you're coming too,
Yeah, if I go, well, you're coming too!

The Historical Inebriant:  Absolute 100
             (In case of emergency, break glass)

Thanks to all of you who have been reading, I hope you have enjoyed it!
Fun stuff coming for summer 2012 so please keep reading!

Friday, May 11, 2012

No woman, no cry

On this day in 1981, Bob Marley died of complications from lung cancer and a brain tumor at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, Miami. He was 36 years old.

The Historical Inebriant:  Myers Original Dark Rum
                                      (100% Jamaican Rum)

The sound quality fades a bit at the end, but I love the start of this live video.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

On this day in 1908, Mother's Day is observed for the first time in the United States, in Grafton, West Virginia.

Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis was a pacifist and social activist during the Civil War. She appealed to mothers on both sides of the conflict to care for the injured soldiers without discrimination.   After the war, she championed the cause of worker health and safety as the industrializtion of America was in full swing.

When she died in 1905 her daughter, Anna Marie Jarvis, sought to have a day established to honor mothers in America and the contributions they have made. In 1907,  Anna distributed white carnations for each mother at her mother’s church in Grafton, West Virginia.  In 1908 she held a memorial to her mother in Grafton, West Virginia on May 10, marking the first celebration of the day in the US.  She would then campaign to make Mother's Day a national holiday and in 1914 the Mother's Day holiday became official in the US.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Der Krach - Or, the depression formerly known as Great

Today marks one of the single most important events of 1873, "Der Krach" in Vienna. Not a performance by the punk rock band Der Krach*, but "The Crash" of the Vienna stock exchange. The one event that heralded the arrival of what was to be known then as the Great Depression.

Of the many factors leading up to the crash, a major contributor was Germany's decision to go on the gold standard and cease minting silver coins, causing a sharp fall in the demand for, and the value of, silver. Many of the European banks were large holders of silver that was soon worth considerably less. Also, the German currency was now backed by gold and more desirable. A cascade of currency crises would make their way through Europe.

In the United States the post Civil War boom in railroad construction was at an end. Once the 2nd largest employer, the railroads would not need so many workers, and since many of the railroad companies were the subject of massive speculation and market manipulation, within the next 2 years many of these new businesses were bankrupt. The lack of demand for steel, caused prices to fall substantially. Markets were closed for days, banks failed and unemployment reached 14%. The Great Depression, which after the depression of the 1930's was historically renamed The Long Depression, was worldwide and lasted for almost two decades.

Times are tough now, but if it makes you feel any better, it's happened many times before and worse.  My advice, pour a glass, listen to some tunes and read about The Long Depression, it might just make you feel better.

The Historical Inebriant:  The Silver Sage

  • 1 3/4 oz : Patrón Silver
  • 1/4 oz : elderflower liqueur
  • 3/4 oz : fresh lime juice
  • 3 slices : cucumber
  • 2 whole fresh sage leaves 
  • ginger ale 
Smack sage to open up aromas. Tear in two and muddle well with cucumber and elderflower liqueur. In a mixing glass, add remaining ingredients and ice. Shake and strain over ice in a highball glass. Top with ginger ale. Garnish with cucumber and sage leaf.

*Not to be confused with "Der Klash"

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How do the Angels get to sleep when the Devil leaves the porch light on...

On this day in 1900, Tom Waits wins a $2.5 million lawsuit against Frito-Lay, which had used a Waits sound-alike in a commercial.

For those unfamiliar with the soft crooning sounds of Mr. Waits critic Daniel Durchholz described it as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car."

The singer testified during the trial that he was shocked, embarrassed, and "very angry," the first time he heard a corn chip radio jingle that imitated his voice. "Somebody had studied me a little too close," Waits said. "It was the equivalent of all the scars, dimples, the lines all being in the same place. . . . It was a little spooky."

I've attached a clip of one of my favorite songs of his.  It features a smokey bar, a woman, and hard drinking.  In other words typical Waits.


Steve Carter, who actually sang in the commercial, testified during the trial he deliberately tried to copy Waits' voice. As the saying goes, imitation is sometimes the sincerest form of flattery.

The Historical Inebriant:  Bushmills Irish Whiskey
                                      (Straight from the bottle)

Although Poetry Awareness Month was April, this stuff just never gets old!

I'd like to leave you with one more of Tom's songs..."Tell me brave Captain, why are the
Wicked so Strong...How do the angels get to sleep when the Devil leaves the porch light on!"

Monday, May 7, 2012

a war-cry against you as shall be remembered forever!

On this day in 1429, Jehanne la Pucellee,  (Jehanne d'Arc, Joan of Arc) arriving on the battlefield just nine days prior, ends the Siege of Orléans.  She would lead the final charge (after having an arrow pulled from her shoulder) in a victory that marked the turning point in the Hundred Years' War and kept England's Edward III from occupying the French throne .

For years prior to Joan's arrival at Orléans, prophecies had circulated in France regarding an armed maid who would rescue the country from the English. In 1429, some already knew of Joan, who, at the age of 12, saw visions she identified as Saint Michael,Saint Catherine, and Saint Margaret, who spoke to her instructing her to drive out the English forces from the land. Upon her arrival, hopes and expectations were high.

There is one fabulous excerpt from a website a about the days leading up to the attack that I would like to quote:

Jehanne decrees that there is to be no fighting in honor of the holiday to celebrate Christ’s ascension into heaven. Jehanne sends the English one last message, delivered by an arrow. The message says, "You Englishmen, who have no right in this Kingdom of France, the King of Heaven sends you word and warning, by me Jehanne the Maid, to abandon your forts and depart to your own country, or I will raise such a war-cry against you as shall be remembered forever. And this I write you for the third and last time, nor shall I write further. I would send you my letter more decently, but you detain my heralds. For you have kept my herald Guyenne. Send him to me, and I will send you some of your men who were taken at Saint-Loup, for not all were killed."

The arrow is shot, and the archer shouts, "Read it, here is news." The English read the letter and reply, "Here’s news from the whore of the Armagnacs (a major party of the French). Jehanne begins to sigh and weep abundant tears, calling the King of Heaven to her aid. Later she is comforted, she says, because she says she has received news from her Lord. I believe she wept not because she was insulted, but because the English had rejected God’s will. And she wept because now she is confronted with the horror of the deadly business of war; a war that will take many more lives than her first battle did the day before, and had already left her in great anguish.

Steven R. Kanehl

By coincidence or in tribute, on this day in 1718, the city of New Orleans, Louisiana was founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville.