Archive for the ‘obits’ Category

DT #357, 23 December 2014 (Fair Exchange Cab Sav – Shiraz)   1 comment

Fair Exchange Cab Sav - Shiraz

 

No more work is done
But Mad Dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the sun.
…… an edit of Noel Coward in memory of Joe Cocker …..

Name: Fair Exchange Cab Sav – Shiraz
Type: red wine
Recipe: Lasagne-esque chillies rellenos
Venue: house

Review/notes: This is the last bottle of the backpack full of Fair Exchange CS-S I bought as back-up wine at Thanksgiving and it has been a pleasant surprise, pairing well with just about anything we threw at it.

It was also the last day the Chemistry Research Lab would be staffed until New Year and by the time I returned from my lunch run to the Six Bells I found the lab was more-or-less abandoned.  I’ll be in at least once during the closure this year, always the most pleasant time since things are largely quiet.

2014-12-23 Six Bells lunch run

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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DT #343, 9 December 2014 (Two Ravens Cabernet Sauvignon Touriga Nacional)   Leave a comment

Two Ravens Cabernet Sauvignon Touriga Nacional

 

Mass spectrometrists:
They’re creepy and they’re kooky.
Well, mostly creepy.

Name: Two Ravens Cabernet Sauvignon Touriga Nacional
Type: red wine
Menu: Chicken covered in a pesto of turmeric, garlic, and cilantro, roasted sweet potatoes, and a Thai style slaw.
Venue: house

Review/notes: An impulse buy because it was on deep discount, this held up well against the heavily spiced and sweet and sour dishes.

Synapt G2Si flying home

1/2 million £ flying to the second floor

 

A new mass spectrometer delivered to Physical and Theoretical Chemistry was flown into place via a crane, today.  But the real Oxford Mass Spectrometry news has to be the roll out of @michaeltmarty ‘s hash tag ( #UniDec ) for some spectral deconvolution software — help make this trend by Tweeting rude-to-obscene photos (like this or this or even the pic below) with the hashtag #UniDec (go on, you know you want to). [UPDATE 12 December 2014: #UniDec got me blocked.]

Blockage in my UniDec

Oh, yeah…the haiku: Pugsley died.

instrument cock

 

After the stress of this delivery, I did a short run around the University Parks:

2014-12-09 PTCL crane run

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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DT #307, 3 November 2014 (Castelliere Pinot Grigio)   1 comment

Castelliere Pinot Grigio

 

Tom Magliozzi.
Are there convertibles there?
That’s today’s puzzler.

Name: Castelliere Pinot Grigio
Type: white wine
Venue: house

Review/notes: Grand to have my life back!  Awoke at 3 a.m. with my sinuses draining (some in a form similar to small, desiccated amphibians down my throat, others as a viscous, polymerising liquid via my tear ducts), and could not open my eyes (due to the polymerising phlegm that had encrusted them).  Seriously, I had a quarter-inch thick rusk over the entire area and had to feel my way down to the bathroom to rinse my face just to loosen the mask.

It’s not entirely over but I can live with the coughing and sore throat.  There’s an appetite! I should apologise about my assessment of the Nigella recipe…it was actually lovely (I can taste again!).

The wine was dry and fruity and a bargain.

While I’m back from the dead I have just read the sad news that Tom Magliozzi is gone for good. I started listening to Car Talk in the mid-1980s and have even occasionally chased down podcasts of the shows whilst living here and in Holland.  Tom and Ray were like big, goofy, middle-aged uncles or cousins to the folks of my generation…condolences to Ray and the rest of Tommy’s clan.  I do have a couple of questions, though…what color is your casket? Have you tried smacking it with a broom handle?  Can you make the noise of the crypt?  Okay, I done…I’ll be down at the Horseshoe Road Inn if you want more of this.

don't die like my brother

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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DT #266, 23 September 2014 (Palm)   1 comment

Palm at the Hop Inn Swindon

 

If I had faith, Mom
Rotting in hell this birthday
Would be a comfort.

Name: Palm
Type: Belgian ale
Venue: The Hop Inn, Swindon

Review/notes: Walking with Jackie to her job, she asked what the date was.  “23rd,” I replied.  Then, after a shudder, “oh, right, it’s mom’s birthday.”

After her own brief shudder, Jax asked, “How old would the old bitch be, now? It must be in her 90’s.”
“No, only 87, but there’s a LOT more fire than that many candles could provide where she’s sitting.”
“Yeah, and it’s always 5 minutes till 5.”
“And, she’s destined to carry a massive ice cube that always melts just as she reaches the glass.”
“Liquor stores are all closed.”
“The tabs for the childproof lids on the pharmaceuticals have all broken off.”
“It’s ‘No Smoking.'”

Ahh, how we laughed. I could tell lots of fun stories about mom (she shot me in the face–by accident–while firing on the television in my room because I “don’t spend enough time with family”), but here’s the one we referred to in our little riff, above.

We made an obligatory visit not long before moving to Holland because my dad wanted to sort his estate and my sister, who had systematically and repeatedly stolen from them (granted, he sired a child with her, as well…this could get really complicated if I go on), wasn’t deemed the best Executor of our parents’ final wishes. Jackie only went every other trip like this so only saw them every three-to-four years but we consoled ourselves that Mom’s giant bag of drugs would be worth exploring.

Mom generally worked three or four GP’s at a time for prescriptions and had pharmacists up and down the Georgia coast filling them. Prone to migraines, I would occasionally be struck with a bit of a tension headache (imagine that) which would prompt her to toss the Giant Bag generally my way and say, “there’s something in there for what ails you.” She often would follow this by lobbing a gigantic copy of the Physicians’ Desk Reference a few feet my way. [The PDR is the Bible of the scrip-head.] For reference sake, you can’t have a drug problem if your Doctor prescribed it for you.

So, Mom sat around this particular afternoon and Jackie was mixing us a couple of beverages at a normal-to-quite-strong pour when she asked if Jane wanted one. “No, thank you darling. I’m waiting till 5.” Five. FIVE? When that sank in, I looked at Jackie whose mouth was agape; she felt my gaze and shook it off and brought me mine. Turns out, Ma got it in her head that even if you drink a bottle and a half of bourbon everyday, your can’t be an alcoholic if you wait till five pm to start.

It was a quarter past two.

Mom started chain smoking, lighting one off its predecessor (yes, even faster than the 60-a-day habit normally dictated). Her watch became unbearable, sliding on and off her wrist then suddenly was slammed on the table next to her chair as her foot tapped away at a disco cadence. We made trips out to my dad’s workshop where he was pounding rum and not pretending 5 makes any difference. When he or the south Georgia heat became a nuisance, we would go back in the house to hang with Mom.

At about 4:55 pm, Mom creaked out of her chair and started lining up her drinking tools: a glass that would hold close to a fluid quart, a shot glass (that wouldn’t be used, seeing as the standard measure is third of a glassful–it was just there for show), a bunch of ice trays, a 1.75 liter bottle of Early Times, and a half empty bottle of club soda (which would last until the Early Times was just vapour). Then, she put both hands on the countertop, exhausted. And, watched the clock till 5.  Victory.  One 5 o’clock at a time.

So, today’s tipple is in Jane’s honour. I got a Palm, an old favourite from my time in the Netherlands, the last day of which tenure I received notice that mom died. Actually, that’s been in dispute since the 70’s when a friend posited that maybe she died in the 1950’s but all the chemicals provided an illusion of animation. We wondered if switching out some of our favourites from the Giant Bag for placebos might be a worthy experiment to test this theory but the delicate balance of pharmaceuticals, nicotine, and grain neutral spirits might result in a conflagration of Biblical proportions should it be upset too dramatically. It was simply too big a risk.  Besides, the bitch was armed.

Anyway, I got a Palm: because in the Deep South until the 1980’s, anything you did with an open Palm couldn’t be considered child abuse.  Happy Birthday, Mom.  Say, “hi,” to Dad.

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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DT #223, 11 August 2014 (Percheron Cinsault)   Leave a comment

Percheron Cinsault

 

Oh, insomnia.
Or, “Oh Captain! My Captain!”
Not, “Nanu Nanu.”

Name: Percheron Cinsault
Type: red wine
Venue: house

Review/notes: Picked up the bottle on the way home and we listened to the rain hit the porch roof while we drank it.  Evening gave way to night and the rain had the unusual effect of keeping me awake for a change so I read online newspapers from the States.

When I was stationed at DINFOS (the Defence Information School), Adrian Cronauer was everyone’s hero in the broadcasting cadre.  This was 4 years before “Good Morning, Vietnam” showcased that Robin Williams was worth taking seriously…it took a few years longer for yours truly to do similar.  So it came to pass that a little after midnight I found the first announcement of Williams’ death.  I KNEW I should have picked up two bottles. RIP.

young-robin-williams

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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False…REDO [DT #217, 5 August 2014 (Kourtaki Retsina) done before as DT 029]   1 comment

Kourtaki Retsina

 

{Note…just searched to make sure; lo and behold Kourtaki was actually DT #029.  I like this post, though, so I’ll just put in a new one this afternoon.}

 

It was a late night
With the Fourteen/Eighteen War
Commemorations.

Name: Kourtaki Retsina
Type: white wine
Venue: house

Review/notes: At 10 pm, the lights were extinguished signalling the hour a hundred years ago that Britain declared war on Germany.  We got keyed up at a ceremony and decided to stay up reading War Poets and blathering on about WWI.  Here’s a bit of contemporary art work to go along with it, Nevinson’s “Paths of Glory”:

Nevinson C R W  - Paths Of Glory

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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DT #156, 5 June 2014 (Mary Jane) and Farewell Fredo   Leave a comment

Mary Jane at the Britannia

“I’m a free born man…”
He was often heard to say,
“…Of the USA.”

Name: Mary Jane
Type: bitter
Venue: The Britannia, Oxford

Review/notes: Very hoppy and citric ale to go with a fish and chips lunch at the turnaround point of a run.

A hasher from Tucson, Fredophile, passed away yesterday.  Lumbering and obnoxious it was always a joy to see him on his rare visits during my tenure with the jHavelina’s and Mr Happy’s.  If his funeral cortege takes a direct route without veering off into a stand of jumping cholla or a strip club or into a bar you can be sure his soul has already left the corpse.  On-on, buddy…regards to BusJob and Prof (late of the Bicester Hash).

Thoughts with Jilldo and co, as well as the jHavelinas and Huachucans for whom this is a sad loss.  Apologies to all for forcing the Pogues into Haiku structure for this entry, but a great song for a wake.

Mary Jane at the Britannia pump clip

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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