Archive for July, 2009

Smuttynose Hanami Ale

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

HanamiHanami Ale   

Smuttynose Brewing Co., Portsmouth, NH

According to Smuttynose, this is an ale brewed with cherries and other natural flavors…O.K.
The color is a deep pinkish amber.
The aroma is sweet, cherry pie…Oh yeah!
First sip-CHERRIES!!!  This is not an ale with a subtle cherry flavor, this is all cherry with other subtle flavors falling in.  I can’t tell if it’s all sour cherry or cherry with a lemon finish.  There is a quality ale carrying these huge fruit flavors.  If you like fruit beers, especially cherry, then this beer is for you.   I happened to have lasagna with this beer and they complimented each other very well.  I imagine this beer could step in anywhere a red wine could go.  Hanami Ale would also go very well with dark chocolate, cherry cobbler, or chocolate covered cherries.


Hanami Ale gets  9  bananas!

Bell’s Amber Ale

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

bellamberBell’s Amber Ale
5.8% ABV
Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Comstock, MI

Golden Amber in color

Great Amber Ale, malt lays comfortably over the top of the hops, perfectly balanced for the style.  This is THE amber ale.  Crisp and clean, malty goodness.  Bell’s proudly states that this is their flagship beer, and rightly so.  Bell’s makes some quality beer but I’ve had sediment in every brew from them so far.  They are not pasteurized, so maybe this is the norm.  It doesn’t seem to affect the flavor.  If it does affect the flavor then I really want to go to Michigan and try these beers fresh!  Highly recommended, give all Bell’s offerings a shot!


Strong 9 bananas!

Georgia to Concede 2009 Georgia-Florida Game!

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

I read a column in the paper today that basically said The Dawgs would have an o.k. year in 2009, but we don’t have a prayer against Florida.  The columnist implied that Coach Richt said, ‘If we couldn’t beat Florida with Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno last year, how can we win with Joe Cox and Caleb King?’   I hear they are already fitting the crystal trophy to fit Urban Meyer’s little cloven hooves.  We are in a rebuilding year, can’t we just skip the Florida game?  Is it fair to put our poor, little, down-trodden Bullpups up against the mighty Gators and the glorious Tim Tebow?  I just hope the repeating national champion Florida Gators take it easy on us.  At least keep it close Mr. Meyer, maybe within 40 points…Puurrty Please?  Can we  forfeit?  It would give our players some much needed rest so we could finish out the season strong.  Actually, should Florida even have to play any of these games?  I mean, what if the Mighty Tebow twists an ankle or something, landing after his descent to the field?  Why take that chance?  We all know they’re going to win it all…Right?   Right?

You know what I think would make Tebow’s uniform look better?  Lots of beautiful red streaks, all over his helmet.  Walk into Jacksonville on Cloud 9,  gators…And bring Herbstreit with you!!!  There’s a reckoning coming this Halloween!

I can hear the mullet headed, jean short wearers now, “Heyyyyy!  I thought ‘is monkey lacked ‘dem gators???”

Marriage and Divorce

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

bananasI heard a commercial on the radio, the other day, that really disgusted me.  It basically said that if you are a married man, struggling in your career, it is better to divorce your wife now rather than waiting until you’re successful.  Because when you are successful, you will have so much more to lose.  What a piece of shit!  I know the economy is rough, but is it really necessary to encourage divorce,  just to drum up business?

 All that P.O.S. Is thinking about is his $5000, not the damage and life changing event he is promoting.   And if kids are involved, you think the P.O.S. cares?  Of course he does, can you say custody battle?  CHA-CHING!!!
Marriage is hard enough, as it is.  We don’t need these pointy-tailed, pitchfork totin’ anti-cheerleader types, on the sidelines, putting ‘easy outs’ in our face.  There is no ‘easy out’!  You either put your nose to the grindstone and do the work to make a marriage work or you divorce, and spend the rest of your life working to repair the damage done.  You also pass on that legacy to your kids, and they get to spend their lives working to repair that same damage.  I’m not saying that divorce is never the answer.  I know that sometimes, a marriage can be too far gone to save, and divorce is inevitable.  What I am saying is that today, in our society, divorce is much more common and too frequently looked at as an easy way out.

On a positive note, at Talking Monkey’s Wedding Ring Rental, business is good.

How to Hit a Golf Ball

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

bananasFor those of you that think golf is just hitting and chasing a little white ball around, here is how I hit a golf ball.

Tee it up, not so high that I swing under it, but high enough so that it hits right in the middle of the driver. Step back, look at the shot, line up the shot, approach the ball. Put left, big toe even with the ball and far enough away so that my back will be straight, my arms will run in a straight line with the club, not too close but not too far away. Grip the club. Wrap left pinkie around the end of the grip, make sure club balances between palm and pinkie, then place thumb down the center of the grip and let the other fingers fall into place around the shaft. Knowing that my default grip is a little weak, twist left hand a little more to the right until the head of the club is slightly closed. Interlock right pinkie and let fingers of right hand loosely wrap around the shaft making sure the left thumb sits snugly in the middle of the right palm, right thumb goes straight down the shaft, same as the left. Move my right foot up, even with the left, making sure they are a little farther apart than my shoulders are wide. Address the ball, make sure I’m the right distance from the ball, where the head of the club rests comfortably on the ground, keeping my body and arms in the optimal position, the ball should be a little past center on the face of the club, towards the toe. Now waggle. Loosen grip, break wrists back and forth, make sure my knees are perfectly bent, sway left to right to loosen my hips, make sure my back is straight but loose, make sure my feet are comfortable in their shoes. Look up and visualize the entire shot. Look back down at the ball and pick a concentration point on the ball to stare at to keep my head down! Visualize the entire swing in your mind and pause and relax. Use core muscles to start the long sweeping backswing, don’t break wrists until the last moment, let my weight transfer smoothly from the left foot to the right, don’t take the club too far past parallel, pause. Pop my hips, launch my downswing, again starting with my core muscles, pulling my arms through. Let weight start naturally shifting back from the right leg back to the front, building up all this power that will be released when my wrists finally release, all that torque, all that power. Let the head of the club come through the swing and end up right where it started, just above the lowest point of your swing, on the way back up, releasing all of the built up energy into the ball, which is now egg shaped, instead of round. Let my eyes follow the head of the club up as my follow through mirrors my backswing, keep looking up until my eyes find the ball again and follow it to see where it goes, as I hold the perfect follow through stance. Wait untill the ball comes to rest, put the driver up, and go do it all over again.

That’s option A.  Option B is to go through all of the motions listed above, lift your head up right before you hit the ball, to see where it goes.  Top the son of a bitch, and watch it shoot straight into the woods.

What is it about Golf?

Monday, July 20th, 2009

bananasTalk about mixed emotions, the 2009 British Open was a roller coaster!  It hurt my heart to watch Tom Watson’s collapse on the 18th hole, but I was happy to see Stewart Cink get his first major championship.  In the press conference after the championship, Watson admitted that he hit the perfect shot with the wrong club.  And what about Andy North’s jinx?  He stated that Tom Watson would make the putt, and win the tournament.  We all know what happened next.

The most interesting point I heard was Curtis Strange’s breakdown of why the game goes away with age.  I, like most people, assumed it was the physicality that went away.  Flexibility, strength, etc.  Strange said it was the ability to focus that went away.  The ability to maintain that mental toughness, and remain in the zone for the amount of time it takes to win a golf tournament.  Jack Nicklaus added to this point in a phone interview, during The Open coverage.  Basically, he said that it is in the hands, that you don’t have the feel that you did when you were younger.  You could hear in Jack’s voice that he was rooting for Watson, but he just didn’t think he had it.  If you really watched The Open, you saw Watson lose that tournament early on.  Watson was not making putts all day, leaving everything short.  He dropped 3 strokes and was pretty much out of it, but luckily the field fell back to him.  When he walked up the 18th fairway, he knew he had stolen one, and he knew it was over.  When he hit that 8 iron 2nd shot, he knew he couldn’t have hit it any better…that was the problem, it should have been a 9 iron.  That’s when he started to realize that the tournament was still over, but with a different result.  The playoff was obsolete, the tournament ended on 18.  So Watson only gets to win 5 British Opens.  I don’t think he’s looking for any pity.  And who knows, can he do it again next year at St. Andrews?  We’ll see.

What is it about golf that we love so much?  Is it being outside, enjoying the weather?  That’s part of it, but we still play in the heat, rain, wind, etc.  Is it the competition?  Yes and no.  It’s fun to compete against others, but I think the major competition is against ourselves.  We have the opportunity with every shot to be great, at least for that one shot.

The fraternity of golfers is made up of hackers, bad golfers, good golfers, great golfers, hustlers, club pros and touring pros, but we all have one thing in common.  We love golf and we hate golf.  It all depends on when you ask us.

A bad golfer thinks, “I hope I don’t miss this putt.”

A good golfer thinks, “I have to make this putt.”

A great golfer has already made the putt.

Wherever you fit in, just keep playing.  Well, gotta go, it’s my turn.  God I hope I don’t miss this putt.

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

Saturday, July 18th, 2009



Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

18-20% ABV


As I pick up my goblet to take a sip, I hear an old Knight say, “You’ve chosen…wisely.”
This is mecca for beer lovers.  I know that technically it is a beer, but there is so much more to this beverage!  It drinks like a port or a brandy.  The aroma is very telling.  I smell hops, malt, alcohol, many layers.
The taste-There they are, hops galore!  But not in your face.  You can taste plenty of woody, citrusy hop flavor, but it is more than balanced out by the huge malt and alcohol.  This beer is sweet!  The hops and sweetness spiral together through your mouth giving you appropriately timed tastes of each, but the overall impression and finish is sweet. And it lingers.  My teeth taste good, my tongue tastes good, my lips taste good!  I don’t want this one to end.  I’m going out of state at the end of August, and I will return with more of this delicious contraband to put away in the cellar.  I think a 10 year old 120 would be amazing.
I have a note from Florida to Georgia here, “Please don’t change your beer laws.  We are making a killing!”
I’m just saying, I can’t buy an 18%ABV beer in Georgia, but I can get a bottle of 200 proof Golden Grain??? (Sorry, let me get this soap box out of your way.)
Anyway, loved the beer, go find it and buy more than one, so you can store some away.

Solid 10 bananas!

The Sports Fan Transition

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

thinkingchimp2I wasn’t a huge sports fan when I was a kid.   There’s an infamous story of me convincing my mother to leave a Georgia game to go buy “The Jacksons: Victory Tour” tickets.  I  was only 10 or 11 years old, but I’m still a little embarrassed.

I was never really good at sports, so I didn’t get into them enough to become a big fan, back then.   Now I love sports…Seriously, I do.  I remember my first big goal in Elementary School basketball.  The County Line Rebels were inbounding the ball in a close game against the hated Statham Elementary.  Somehow I was left all alone.  I mean all alone, there was nobody around me!  I yelled to my teammate, who was inbounding the ball, “Throw it, I’m Open!”

He did throw it to to me right at the top of the key.  I dribbled, took a few steps and layed the ball in perfectly, outsmarting all 5 of our opponents on the court.  I was ten feet high running back down the court, until I looked over at my coach.  She was shaking her head and screaming “NO!!!” with this strange, perplexed look on her face.  My gait slowed and the weight of my feet grew exponentially as I realized I had scored a goal at the wrong end of the court.  All my teammates just stared at me and shook there heads.  The game was close, we only lost by 1 point.  That was the closest we came to winning a game that season…Or the next.  Surely they’ve won a game by now, it’s been 20+ years.

My next great sports moment was, ‘The Hit’, I got in little league baseball.  I was always better at being hit by the ball than actually hitting the ball.  In one game, this hulk of a kid was pitching and had hit like 5 out of 7 batters before they pulled him.  His replacement was swinging on deck, over by our dugout so I started to talk to him.  I said, “Man I am glad you are in the game.  I’m up next and I did not want to get hit by Andy!” 

Now, I don’t remember him verbally responding, but I do remember the immense pain in my calf/shin when he threw that fastball low and inside to me.  I screamed and cried, and wouldn’t look at my leg because I knew it had been snapped in half.  The doctor ran out onto the field and carried me off.  Turned out I was fine, but mighty sore for a while.  I know you did that shit on purpose, Dietzel!

So anyway, I got hit many more times and became much more focused on avoiding contact between my body and the ball and less concerned with making contact between the ball and the bat.  Ironically, the hulk I mentioned earlier had grown a few feet and was now on my team.  We were in a very important and close game and I was next up to bat.  My seemingly seven feet tall teammate told me simply, “Either get a hit, or I’m going to kill you.”   Now that’s motivation!

I don’t remember the count, and I don’t remember the pitch, but I remember the feeling when my bat made contact with the ball.  It was a line drive just over the head of the opposing first baseman and down the right field line, rolling all the way to the fence.  Man, I was wide open, running towards first.  My coaches were going crazy, our bench erupted, and I was on the way to an easy triple, possibly an inside the park homerun.  I rounded first and was on the way to second when I noticed what the other players had been complaining about the whole game.  The infield had recently been sanded with about 2 inches of very loose sand and my upper body was suddenly way ahead of my feet, which were trapped in quicksand.  I think I was only about 5 feet from second when I finally landed on my face and chest, knocking my breath away.  I got to my feet as quickly as I could and staggered to second.  I was safe, but that was as far as I was getting.  I think I did eventually get batted in, but my moment of glory was severely diminished. 

In Middle School, I was probably one of the best 5th string cornerbacks that ever played for the Bullpups football team.  In one of our first practices, I was having a lot of trouble keeping my pants up.  They were a little big and I had to pull them up about every 10 seconds.  During one play I sprinted diagonally across the field, closing in on our tight end, who was streaking down the middle of the field.  I hit him and wrapped up, but he was a good bit larger than me and proceeded to push me down the field.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw a black blur that was our insane middle linebacker, wearing a Mean Joe Green jersey, flying through the air to assist with the tackle.  His helmet landed squarely on both of my wrists and we all went down in a clump.  As I got up, I simultaneously realized that:

A.  My pants were down around my lower thighs.

B.  My hands didn’t work any more.

I spent the rest of that practice trying to pull my pants up with the two noodles that used to be my hands and wrists.

I wrestled in high school and, unfortunately, earned the nickname of Fish.  I spent most of my time flopping around on my back.

I played on the golf team in high school and shot a record 72 in a tournament one time.  The coach pulled me aside and said, “Son, that’s enough, there’s really no need to play the back nine.”

Eventually I did become a rabid sports fan.  I was raised on Georgia football, but was too young to really appreciate the 1980 National Championship season.  I have been impatiently awaiting the next one ever since.  I was drawn into the NFL by Mike Ditka, Jim McMahon, Walter Payton, The Fridge, Richard Dent, Willie Gault, Matt Suhey, Mike Singletary, Kevin Butler, and the rest of the 1986 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears.  I was also a huge fan of Dan Marino, Joe Montana, John Elway, and many, many other Superstars in the NFL.  I always cheered for the Atlanta Falcons and jumped on the bandwagon with both feet during their amazing playoff run to the Super Bowl in 1996.

I became a huge fan of Nascar after attending my first race at the majestic Talledega Motor Speedway.  Bill Elliot was my driver and I followed his progress religiously every weekend until his effective retirement.  If you loved Bill, you subsequently hated Dale Earnhardt.  I regretfully cheered when Sterling Marlin got into Dale at Daytona, and put him into the wall.  I didn’t know at the time that his wreck was the perfect storm and would tragically end his life.  I never liked him as a driver, but definitely respected his accomplishments, talent, and ambassadorship for the sport.  Jeff Gordon’s immediate success annoyed me to no end, especially when he won the Winston Million; a feat that only Bill Elliott could claim for a long time before that.  I have since grown to admire Gordon’s longevity and continued success through many different challenges.

I loved the run the Atlanta Braves in the 90’s and early 2000’s and think now we may be in the midst of a long period of rebuilding, hopefully returning to the top of the National League soon.

It has been an enormous pleasure to watch Tiger Woods dominate the PGA, and look forward to him returning to the top of his game.

Moral of the story, I have noticed a huge shift in my fanship as I have gotten older.  You start out being a fan of people that are older than you that you can look up to, and admire.  Now, when I hear reporters talking about players that are too old, and past their prime, they are usually younger than me.  I have become a different type of fan, but don’t worry.  I’m not going anywhere.  Go Dawgs, Falcons, Braves, Hawks,  Tiger, and whoever my next favorite Nascar driver is.

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Sunday, July 12th, 2009

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Nuptial Advice

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

bananasWhat did the priest tell the melon when he asked for advice on his upcoming nuptials?

“You know, you cantaloupe.”