May 2012 Archives

First The Money, Then The Game

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For our Wednesday night cocktail, I made an old standby. From the New Classic Cocktail book comes this twist on the "Cuba Libre" (or, as I just call it, a rum and coke):

First The Money
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tsp. white creme de menthe
  • crushed ice
  • 1 oz dark rum (I used the old standby, Myer's)
  • 3/4 oz Toussaint coffee liqueur (I've never seen this so I do as the book suggests and substituted Kahlua)
  • Cola

Cut the lime into wedges and muddle in a highball glass with the creme de menthe. Fill the glass with crushed ice and add the rum and Toussaint. Top with cola.

I had a recently opened 2 liter bottle of kosher Coca-Cola (the kind with the yellow cape and real cane sugar), so that's why I wanted to make this. It is a very nice variation on a straight rum and coke. Even that tiny bit of creme de menthe adds a real pop to it. Went down smooth while sitting on the deck on a warm summer eve.

Bell's Oberon AleOur beer tonight was Bell's Oberon Ale, which my friend had "imported" from Pennsylvania. I enjoyed it - a little fruity and a little fizzy but a very nice drinkable 5.8%ABV summer ale.

For our co-op computer gaming, we decided to punt playing Serious Sam 3 on Mental level, as it still wasn't enough of a challenge and we had had enough of tweaking the parameters. So we moved on to Dead Island, which was on sale a couple weeks ago for US$12. Spectacularly brutal game, with some slight nods to RPG lite, with things like levels and skill trees. Still pretty easy though, with almost no penalty, besides a cash one, for death. It doesn't really even penalize you for wandering off alone, which is unfortunate, as we did tend to split up - not much of a co-op game if you don't have to play it together! We have only scratched the surface, so perhaps it will get harder.

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Friday Drabble: Rain Haven

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drabble-150x150.pngA drabble is a very short story of exactly 100 words. Feel free to join in and write your own drabbles on Fridays and tag them with "friday drabble" and on Twitter with the hashtag #fridaydrabble.

Rain Haven

The cold, dreary rain come down in sheets as he slogged his way across town. The forgotten umbrella remained dry on the back seat of his car, as the rivulets of water ran down his face and underneath his collar. Avoiding puddles at this point was useless, as their vastness defeated him and his shoes were soaked through anyway. A harsh wind sliced right through his all too thin summer jacket. He continued his slow trudge across the slick city streets.

As he reached for the door, it opened and she handed him a warm towel and a hot toddy.

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A Beer, a shot and a shotgun

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A quick recap from last night -

We had our weekly cocktail and beer with co-op gaming last night. The cocktail for the evening was from one of my favorite cocktail books (I do have a lot, don't I?):

New Classic CocktailsNew Classic Cocktails by Allan Gage :

In this one, he gives the recipe for a "classic" cocktail and then shows another twist on it. Here, the "classic" cocktail is the Tijuana Sling. But we had the twist:

Border Crossing
  • 1.5oz gold tequila (I used my favorite, Cazadoras)
  • 1oz lime juice
  • 1oz clear honey (I actually used agave nectar)
  • 4 dashes of orange bitters (Fee Bros.)
  • 3oz ginger ale

You mix everything but the ginger ale vigorously and strain it into a highball glass with plenty of ice. Top it off with the ginger ale and add blueberries and lime wedges as a garnish.

It was very good. I might cut back a tad on the agave nectar and, probably, add a little more tequila (never a bad thing), but I can see how this would be quite refreshing on a hot day. It was a warm evening and it helped.

1554 Enlightened Black Ale by New Belgium BrewingThe beer was from New Belgium Brewing, the 1554 Enlightened Black Ale. It was a very nice "session" (5.6% ABV) ale, very malty and smooth. We let it warm up a bit while we drank our cocktail and it was perfect. This was an "imported" beer, as New Belgium beers aren't found 'round these here parts. But my buddy has in-laws who come up from PA and they brought him a couple six packs. Very nice.

The Black Ale went very nice with our Serious Sam 3: BFE co-op gaming. 3 of us are replaying the game on the "Mental" level, which is as hard as it gets. The monsters are mostly invisible, only briefly appearing when they are hit. We've been having fun, although we might have to ratchet up the difficulty a little bit. When we did the first play through, on the Hard level, we made it tougher on ourselves by having to share the armor and health powerups. We've set this one to not share, so everyone gets their own health & armor, but that may be too easy. I like having to negotiate who needs the armor and health.

Well, we played until Steam started hiccuping and kick my remote buddy off. Michael and I played a bit more but called it a night, as we had already finished the 4th level (out of 12).

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Hockey Loss

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The big C took another good one today. My hockey buddy and my friend Mike K passed away this morning after a long battle with pancreatic cancer and he will be sorely missed.

I started playing with Sunrise Hockey about 20 years ago, picking up the goalie pads after a long hiatus. It was, and still is, a great group of skaters who play twice a week, Tuesday and Friday mornings from 6:30am to 7:30am. They didn't seem to mind a goalie who was both rather a beginner and rather rusty. And Mike was the guy in charge, even well before I got there. You know, the guy that holds it all together - collects money, pays the rink, keeps the maintenance guys happy and runs a tight ship on the ice. The sort of guy that, without whom, these sorts of pick up leagues fade away after just a few years.

But Sunrise Hockey has been going strong for well over 30 years and Mike was a big reason why. His presence on the ice was impressive too. A big guy, not too smooth a skater but when you got hit, you stayed hit. Of course, we play a nominally non-checking game, but, as I like to say, it is non-checking, not non-contact. And Mike was solidly built and not afraid of contact. His shot always tended to fool me too. Not a hard one, but he was always looking down at his stick so I couldn't follow his eyes. And it was hard enough and on target enough, to always make it a tough save.

He also took full responsibility for keeping the ship running smoothly on the ice too. When one player began to take things a little too seriously, he formed a committee and brought it to that player's attention. That that player chose to leave instead of reforming was his loss, not ours. And everyone I ever invited to play with us always wanted to come back for more. It's a good, hard skating, fair group of guys, formed in Mike's image.

When he stepped down to fight his cancer 18 months ago, you know how well he had done his job, as it has continued to run smoothly since. We were all confident he would be back on the ice, and his visits over the past year gave some light to that hope. But we got word the other day that he had a relapse and so his final passing this morning wasn't a complete shock.

But our locker room will be a slightly darker place without him, his spirit and his humor. And while Sunrise Hockey lost a great player, the world lost a great guy and I lost a friend and a mentor. I know he is somewhere right now, throwing thunderous body checks and riding herd on a fractious group of hockey players, right where he should be.
big mike.jpg

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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