Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Samuel Smith - Taddy Porter

A quick review of Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter...

Those of you who know me know that I prefer the stouts and porters. Except on the hottest days, I find a nice ale to be my beer of choice -- and the more color, generally the more I like it.

So it should come as no surprise that I like the Taddy Porter from Samuel Smith.

This beer sets the standard for me for porters. It's got a ton of flavor, but it's neither too sweet (malty) or too bitter. There's none of the mouth-coating feel of a cream porter or oatmeal stout, yet it has a great smooth finish. A hint of tang when you first sip it gives way to great deep toasted taste.

If you haven't had a porter, I highly recommend this one as a great benchmark.

I agree with the late, dearly missed Michael Jackson, who called this "one of the five greatest beers in the world". Believe me, Mr. Jackson had a much bigger perspective than me when he said that!

I give it a rating of 5 on my 1 - bad to 5 - outstanding scale.

Video-holic - St Pat's videos new and improved!

Alright, I admit it, I've got a real problem when it comes to messing with these St. Paddy's Day videos. It seems the more I mess with them, the more I want to keep messing with them. I hope that doesn't get in the way of your enjoying them (too much)....

If you haven't checkd them out yet, please do and let me know what you think.


Gibby's St Patrick's Day - 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Gibby's - Aurora, CO

Now this place looks like fun -- maybe too much fun for a geezer like me...

But they do have a poker tournament.

Gibby's Bar and Grill - Columbus, OH

Another in the series on other Gibby's pubs or restaurants around the world...

This time we're in Columbus -- in the "Arena District"... Looks like it might be a fun place to stop next time I'm in Columbus, which would be the first time I'm in Columbus.

Do you know about a Gibby's somewhere? Send me the info -- and a link or a photo, and maybe a review, and I'll be glad to post it.

Gibby's Restaurant

In case you think "Gibby's" is a novel name for a pub/restaurant/whatever, here's the first in what will hopefully be a continuing thread of other Gibby's past and present.

To kick this off, here's a classic Gibby's right here in Chicago. Not much to find about this place, but the postcard sure makes it look like this place was happening, eh?

Rick's Joke

You asked, I deliver... Here's the joke Rick told on St. Paddy's Day.

Shamus and Murphy fancied a pint or two but didn't have a lot of money. Between them, they could only raise the staggering sum of one Euro.

Murphy said 'Hang on, I have an idea.'

He went next door to the butcher's shop and came out with one large sausage.

Shamus said 'Are you crazy? Now we don't have any money left at all!'

Murphy replied, 'Don't worry - just follow me.'

He went into the pub where he immediately ordered two pints of Guinness and two glasses of Jameson Whiskey.

Shamus said 'Now you've lost it. Do you know how much trouble we will be in? We haven't got any money!!'

Murphy replied, with a smile. 'Don't worry, I have a plan, Cheers!'

They downed their drinks. Murphy said, 'OK, I'll stick the sausage through my zipper and you go on your knees and put it in your mouth.'

The barman noticed them, went berserk, and threw them out.

They continued this, pub after pub, getting more and more drunk, all for free.

At the tenth pub Shamus said 'Murphy - I don't think I can do any more of this. I'm drunk and me knees are killin' me!

Murphy said, 'How do you think I feel? I lost the sausage in the third pub!'

Saturday, April 12, 2008

"The blog of unnecessary quotation marks"

I'm not sure, but I'm certainly hoping that the quotation marks in the title of this posting are unnecessary. That would be so, oh, "ironic", wouldn't it?

In any event -- if you have pet peeves that other folks find weird, you might enjoy the mighty way this blogger has embraced her peeve. for the record, blogger Bethany Keeley denies this is a peeve - she says she just finds the inappropriate use of quotation marks "funny."

Hey, when it comes to pet peeves, there are only a few legal ways to deal with your peeves. Laughing at people who commit the acts that peeve you is probably the safest...

You go girl!

You know what's making me laugh a lot these days?

People in the left lane of North Avenue west of the intersection at Randall who still haven't noticed that it's the LEFT lane that goes away (sorry, this makes sense to the local folks, honest) since they widened the intersection. Wake up people -- there are two signs posted there!

Friday, April 11, 2008

St. Patrick's Day - 2008

From Gibby's St Pa...

Well that went by fast, didn't it? After weeks of preparation, the night whizzed by almost as fast as my wedding night. I won't go into too much detail about THAT night here - at least yet.

Now about St. Patty's Day here at Gibby's...

Last year, those of you with more omega 3 oils in your diet will remember that we ran out of food before we ran out of hungry people. Now, generally, I believe in the old adage -- "you snooze, you lose" -- but in Ann's mind, that was a no-no.

So this year, we were peeling spuds, and cooking off beef, and frosting cupcakes, and...

...did I say we?

Oops. I helped a little, but anyone who's spent time with Ann in the kitchen will tell you it's better to let her be.

But I digress... About the party.

What a great time! Folks showed up fairly early and that helped lower my anxiety. We'd decided to have an "Open Mic Competition" instead of our Trivia Quiz since I had gotten so much grief over the answers last time. Geez, the questions are supposed to be hard!

My brother Alex (Buddy) and I decided we'd put together a few songs and so we spent some time practicing in the weeks before the party. That was a lot of fun and a great excuse to spend more time with my brother... So the night of the party, I was itching to get going.

About 7pm, Ann had the food out. As you'll see in the photos linked below, there was plenty. Shepherd's Pie, Guinness Beef Stew, Irish Sausage Rolls, cupcakes, soda bread, corned beef, cabbage -- even colcannon!

The crowd hit the food hard, and it survived (we had a ton of Shepherd's Pie left - yum!).

About 9pm, we kicked off the Open Mic Competition. Buddy and I tuned up and hit the stage. We had a carefully choreographed set list and even some special sound effects for our first number -- Wish You Were Here. I took the standard Pink Floyd opening -- you know the sound of a radio dial being changed from station to station -- and added some local flavor to it. I added in a bunch of cuts, mostly from TV, including Bozo, Twilight Zone, David Letterman, etc. It came out pretty good, if I don't say so myself.

Ann was in charge of the sound effects. I hit the lights, she hit the button, and off we went. For a couple of rank amateurs, we did pretty good (links to the video here somewhere), or at least the crowd was drunk enough to make us think so. Ann kind of missed her cue at the end of WYWH -- you know, the wind blowing noise -- but eventually we got through it. Then it was off to the next song - Margaritaville. I thought the harmonies were better than it sounded on the video, but hey, I manage computers for a living!

Buddy did a great job on Good Riddance ("Hope You Had The Time of Your Life") and we finished with one of my favorites -- I Wish I Were Back Home In Derry. The Bobby Sands song.

After that, the other contestants hit the stage. Next came Mike Cattrell. He did "The Jolly Tinker" kind of Karaoke style, and nailed it. Of course, it helps he's 100% Irish...

Next came Rick Brown, doing a bit of stand-up and relating the story of the two drunken Irishmen, and the sausage trick for free beer. I'll take the time to post it one of these days.

Then came Tom and Naomi. Naomi acted as Ed McMahon for Tom's Karnak the Magnificent -- huge turban and all. I've got to say Naomi is a natural onstage... Tom's not bad either. The Karnac jokes were great and the crowd had a great laugh.

Finally, we finished with Betsey and Tom Simpson. They started with a great version of Mother by good old Pink Floyd (a trend?), did a wicked rendition of Willin' (I understand one of Betsey's all-time faves), and finished with Brown-Eyed Girl.

I couldn't help myself for jumping in at the end and doing my own impersonation of aging chubby Van Morrison. The crowd chimed in and everyone had a great time.

Then it was time to vote for the best -- and Mike came out the crowd favorite. No arguments there, he did great. He won the first ever Gibby's Cup.

Besides the cast of regulars, my sister Pixie and her husband Buzz came out. They did a great job videotaping the whole shebang as well.

Here's a picture of Pixie standing with Ann behind the bar.

And Buzz talking with Rick (aka Green Monstah) Brown...

Well we had a blast, and I hope you did, too. We're already planning the next get together, so stay tuned!

I can't help myself

I really don't think you have an oberwhelming urge to eat the same places I do, listen to the same music I do, look at the pictures I've taken and so on and so on.


But I just can't help sharing.


So, if you find something here that's interesting, cool.

If you find something you want to argue about, cool.

If everything you see here irritates the hell out of you, cool.