LOBKOWICZ BARON—Toasting our little grads

Congrats to our two little graduates, who rocked grades K and 2 this year. Obviously their accomplishments call for a toast, but when I suggested it, my parents accused me of appropriating the occasion as a drinking excuse. “Never!” I protested, while sidling over to our one bottle of red wine on the counter. But they nixed it and instead shared a solitary beer.

Baron beerMy mum had bought only one bottle of this Czech dunkel, LOBKOWICZ BARON on the weekend after watching a fellow customer load his entire basket with the stuff. He raved about it, pointing out the excellent price ($2.17/bottle) and describing it as dark and “sweet but not too sweet.” It sounded normal enough, so Mum shot out her hand and grabbed one before the dude could empty the shelf, and before long it was beckoning yours truly from the fridge.

Advancing to grades 1 and 3 is a big deal that warrants free-flowing liquor, I maintained, but it was not to be, so I will tell you about my tiny portion of LOBKOWICZ BARON. As promised by the dude in the liquor store, it was dark brown with persistent tan foam and a doughy aroma. Accompanying notes of malt, caramel, and yeast was a somewhat unwelcome metallic note all the more evident because of the beer’s simplicity. To be honest, it tasted like my dad made it, which I wish he had, because then we’d have a garage full of the stuff.

Overall, LOBKOWICZ BARON is friendly and uncomplicated, quite mainstream and, being on the sweet side, a good pick for drinkers who dislike being shit-kicked by wayward hops. But LOBKOWICZ BARON is very ordinary, and therefore inappropriate for significant occasions such as today’s. Certainly V, who was touted for her “inventive spelling techniques” and P, whose stint as “Goat Three” of “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” won her accolades, would side with me and advocate hitting the sauce early and wantonly. Too bad they are not in charge. But one day they will be.


ANALOGUE 78 KÖLSCH—Once again, beer keeps me out of trouble

My Fellow Inebriates,

When WordPress let the following comment through, I thought its spam filters must be drunk.

…stop using your harsh bathroom tissue. Buy premoistened wipes or pads instead. Do you use garlic at home?…

But Holly Hayden’s message actually  made sense in response to 5 Ways to Help Your Anus Thrive. Goodness, she was actually proposing help for the ragged anuses at LBHQ.

“Stop using your harsh bathroom tissue.”

Given that throughout history people have used everything from leaves/twigs to corn husks to wipe away their nightsoil, TP doesn’t seem so harsh. But point taken. Miss V in particular dislikes the harshness of Kirkland Signature toilet tissue, a product we’ve taken to buying in bulk at Costco because she enjoys unspooling entire rolls into the toilet while nobody’s looking.

“Buy premoistened wipes or pads instead.”

Done and done. Almost no one with young kids can avoid prepackaged wipes. In just the way disposable diapers sneak into the diaper bag, especially with a second kid, premoistened wipes assert their must-have status in short order. You get to the point where, if somebody else’s kid sticks a hand down a diaper and emerges with a handful of excrement, and the parent doesn’t have a premoistened wipe, you think they’re a total asshole.

farting guyBut according to an itchy-bottom expert, wet wipes can cause rashes. Especially in body areas that transition from external to internal, “such as the lips or the anus,” or indeed the lips of the anus, sensitivity to methylchloroisothiazolinone/ methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI) or kathon CG, the chemicals most often found in wipes, may induce mind-bendingly awful ass rashes, which then devolve into further hell as you “treat” them by wiping instead of using TP.

I did an informal poll of LBHQ to see who exactly is using these wet wipes.

Miss P: No. Miss P likes to squat and dash, using nothing, and leaving everything behind for later discovery. Hemorrhoids? No.

Miss V: Yes. Miss V feeds wet wipes to the toilet despite their obvious indigestibility, making for later surprises of the plumbing kind. Hemorrhoids? No.

My dad: Refused to be interviewed. Hemorrhoids? Not that I know of, which is to say, inconclusive.

My mum: Yes. Takes wet wipes to the park so other parents won’t think she’s an asshole. Hemorrhoids? “None of your bloody business,” but no.

Scarybear: Shits in the woods, he says, which means outside by the cedar trees. No one has ever seen him leave the house. Hemorrhoids? How could someone as ornery as Scary not have hemorrhoids?

“Do you use garlic at home?”

For what? OMG, my fellow inebriates, what is my spammer suggesting? What would one do with garlic vis-à-vis hemorrhoids? Insert them up one’s ass??

I had to know, so I clicked on Holly’s link.hemorrhoid feedback form

My WordPress spam filter might have tied one on, but gmail’s was sober. It put my “H Miracle Alternative Remedy Handbook” straight into the spam pile. And when I retrieved it, it was just a tease.

hemorrhoid miracle end of sample

Luckily I don’t have a functional anus, but I know most of you do. Should you insert garlic into it?

My new friend Holly may have been reticent to share her hemorrhoid wisdom without a credit card number, but Lainey Penninger was not. Her instructions were as follows:

Insert the garlic clove into your rectum like a suppository. Adding lubricant will make it easier to insert. Simply use your index finger and insert the clove inside the rectum approximately two inches. Leave the garlic suppository overnight… Repeat three times per week to decrease hemorrhoid symptoms. The garlic clove will naturally be expelled when you have your next bowel movement.

Holy crap, people, I’d never thought about doing this. Have any of you ever done this? Would you like to?

garlic cloveWe have garlic in the fridge, but none of the humans wanted to be a guinea pig. So I thought I’d find Scarybear and insert some garlic up his cavity while he was busy watching The Matrix for the hundredth time. But I got distracted by a bottle of PHILLIPS ANALOGUE 78 KÖLSCH. Unbeknownst to me it had arrived in a Phillips sampler pack that included DR. FUNK DUNKEL, a beer my dad found so awesome that he asked my mum to buy it again, little knowing that she would instead abide by the LBHQ beer-tasting agenda and buy a four-variety pack so we won’t run out of brews to review and have to post two weeks of cat pictures again.

Analog-78At first my dad was disgruntled at receiving only three DR. FUNK DUNKELS and nine randoms. I suspected hemorrhoids, but you can’t blame those for everything. No, my dad thought he’d tried the Phillips sampler before and hadn’t liked it. Which was a total hallucination, as the box has never been in our house before. Again, I suspected hemorrhoids—this time the hallucination-inducing kind. This he denied, so I guess I got my interview.

Fact is, when we got those Phillips beers chilled, they were damned fine. ANALOGUE 78 pours silky straw-colored with a film of white head and quick bubbles that waft bakery crust, faint citrus notes, and earthy hops. The aroma falls within typical parameters: nothing outlandish, just crisp and uncomplicated.

On the palate ANALOGUE 78 is clean and refreshing with peppy carbonation, easy bitterness and restrained malt. A quintessential summer beer, the stuff is more quaffable than its marketing materials (“our version of the long-play album”) purport. It was gone in a blink.

Needless to say, any thoughts of garlic were also gone. Not that stuffing garlic up Scary’s ass was one of my better ideas…


And the award goes to…DR. FUNK DUNKEL

My Fellow Inebriates,

We have fallen off the wagon.

Not that wagon. That wagon has left town.

The writing wagon. First we went away for the holidays, then the computer needed a brain transplant, then my parents got super-busy…next thing you know this blog had become an afterthought—with the abysmal stats to show for it.stats Feb 2013

Not that it’s ever had great stats! Even after being Freshly Pressed (which turns out to be a bit like the Oscar curse), this space is less a blogging thoroughfare than some random, deviant alleyway into which a lapse in judgment might propel you. My stats suck so much, MFI, that I don’t even really look at them anymore.

So I couldn’t have been more surprised to receive a nomination this week.

Very Inspiring Blogger award

Egad, what the hell is that? Flattering, no doubt, but the majority of LBHQ’s inhabitants shudder  to think what sorts of activities this blog inspires. But we’ll take it, right?

The kind nomination came from ONCE A PERSON, NOW A PARENT (resonant, wouldn’t you say?). Even though I was never a person or a parent, it resonates with me—at least at the intersection of family life and alcohol (and there is one).

These awards come with rules, which my two neurons usually forget or mangle somehow, but the gist is you have to:

  1. Display the award.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 bloggers for this award and notify them by linking to one of their posts.

Before I distort these rules, I should mention my neurons have been bathing in PHILLIPS DR. FUNK DUNKEL, a Bavarian dark lager my dad found this evening. After flagellating each other for a while, the two brain cells decided we would nominate 4 fellow bloggers so that we could spend some time explaining why they inspire us and still have time to flood ourselves with more DR. FUNK DUNKEL.

2742_drfunkWhich is to say we like it. Neurons 1 and 2 agree—it pours a dark but clear chocolate hue with tan froth that laces the glass generously and lingeringly while issuing agreeable caramel, malt, and coffee notes, plus some more basic roasty-toasty chords with perhaps a little metal. Victoria-based Phillips Brewing Company has a definite “house” tasting note, and while it’s present in DR. FUNK, it’s not amped up. Sniff this stuff and you’ll want more.

On the palate DR. FUNK is crisp and punchy with a delicious malty payoff: chocolate, coffee beans, and nuts with nicely balanced hops that linger pleasantly. The mouthfeel is creamy despite generous carbonation, creating the sort of equilibrium that couldn’t otherwise be communicated across my solitary synapse. This dunkel offers all sorts of interesting stuff without any big taste departures; it’s a pleaser without sucking up. And the ABV? At 5% DR. FUNK isn’t the creeper my brain cells and I favor, but as with our newfound award, we’ll take it.

7 things

Okay, so 7 things about yours truly. This is a toughie, because I want to share 7 new(ish) things, and let’s face it, I have bugger-all going on.

  1. I sleep with my eyes open, especially when Fluffy the possessed bear is nearby.
  2. The song “How Soon Is Now?” by the Smiths is often stuck in my head.
  3. One day I would like to visit the Creationist Museum and join one of its willfully fact-blind tours. Maybe I could ride one of the animatronic dinosaurs (the way people did 6000 years ago)… 😉
  4. The funniest book I read last year was “The Corrections” by Jonathan Franzen.
  5. I really hope my parents dissuade 7-year-old Miss P from joining Brownies. It seems to be all about conformity.
  6. Sometimes I like one of the kids better than the other, and just when I start feeling guilty about it, my preference shifts to the other.
  7. BONUS FACT!! I lack a functional anus.

And now for the nominations:

A Clown on Fire. All those things I should be doing with this blog, Le Clown is doing, and more. He has a hell of a community, a zillion comments per post, and too bad if you’re offended. Le Clown sets the bar for carnies like me.

Artstormer. Life without art would be almost as meaningless as life without alcohol. I never miss an Artstormer post.

Beerbecue. If you thought my reviews got a little tangential, check out beerbecue’s. The difference is, he brings everything into focus, PLUS he actually knows about beer. All while breathing the eucalyptus-and-gin kavorka of Barry the koala.

Cider Monger. Who knew what a multiplicity of ciders existed beyond my local booze shop? Cider has been badly neglected at LBHQ but reading Cider Monger will get us educated.

That’s it: 4 nominations. No matter how good your blog is and how much I admire it, my paws are tired of clicking on that little “link” icon. Besides which, nominating just 2 bloggers would make this shout-out sufficiently exponential, 4 ensures everyone everywhere will get a nomination even if they’re just standing around scratching their genitals, and 15…15 might collapse the whole goddamn universe.