Submit…and see what others think?

My friend Scarybear has not emerged from his depression following the End of Days fizzle. You’d think he’d be happy to live another day to watch TV and eat pizza, but really, he was all geared up for the Apocalypse.

He’s really getting the whole house down, so I tried to cheer him up. The world might not literally be ending, but civilization probably is…

submit your vomit 1

Right? What could better signify the end? My favorite bit: “Report as Inappropriate.” That just has my furry brain cells…perplexed.

All I can say is, if you have vomit to submit, these are the guys … not Liquorstore Bear, okay anonymous spammer?

GRAY MONK LATITUDE 50 (2009)—Safe from meteors, at least for now

My Fellow Inebriates,

You may be thankful that my friend Scarybear’s End of Days prognostications petered out after December 21, but the safe passing of that date threw him into a funk that’s been intolerable for everyone at LBHQ. For months he’d thought of nothing else. Despite his avowals that our annihilation would be tragic, he enjoyed the notion of Earthlings’ hubris biting them in the ass, with fireworks to boot.

Mayan calendar jokeThankfully no one will ever give Scarybear weapons or a job at a nuclear power plant. And that’s fine with him, as long as he has television. But the children’s programming that invariably knocks his shows off the schedule has contributed to his depression. He hasn’t even been able to generate any excitement about his own upcoming birthday.

So, with apologies to an entire city of Russians enduring sub-zero weather with no windows in their houses because of the sonic boom generated by yesterday’s meteor strike, the incident has given Scary a new lease on life.

“Dude, you have to see this!”

Holy crap, my fellow inebriates! And it seems Russians really dig these in-car cameras, because that meteor was captured by countless drivers as it hurtled 10-13 mps through the atmosphere with the shock-wave force of 30 Hiroshimas, setting off a sonic boom that shattered windows for miles. Over a thousand inhabitants were injured—mostly due to flying glass shards—in the most thunderous such event since the 1908 Tunguska Event.

In the aftermath, the biggest emergency is lack of windows. Chelyabinsk is on roughly the same latitude as Edmonton, with weather to match. Glaziers are being flown in for urgent repairs.

“Dude, that could have been us,” said Scary. “Or at least it could have been our Uncle J.”

Uncle J doesn’t know we call him that, but he does indeed live in Edmonton, meaning a mere lucky spin of the globe put him out of harm’s way. Which is still a vapid observation on Scary’s part.

“And dude,” Scary continued, “have you noticed these things always happen in Russia?”

Chelyabinsk impact areaWell, it is the largest freaking country on Earth. Still, Scary pointed out, by far most of the planet’s surface is not-Russia. The odds of a meteor blasting through not-Russia were much higher than the odds of the strike happening where it happened.

“So what does it mean, Scary?”

“I’m still thinking about that,” he said. “But dude, did you notice the time stamp on the video?”

I hadn’t noticed. (I was drunk on GRAY MONK ESTATE LATITUDE 50.)

Russian meteor time stamp big


Russian meteor strike time stamp

“Whoa, Scary, either that guy’s camera clock is wrong or hundreds of Russian drivers are involved in a conspiracy to shock us with footage about a meteor strike that happened a month and a half ago instead of yesterday.”

“I know, right? Why would they do that? I have to think about it some more.” And Scary was happy for the first time since the Mayan calendar ended.

2009-gray-monk-estate-winery-latitude-50-white-20110606090751-285871Relieved that no loss of life had been reported, I continued drinking LATITUDE 50. This popular white wine blend is pleasantly off-dry with a pale lemon tint and richly layered tropical aromas. Yet another recommendation from our favorite liquor-store consultant, it coats the palate with substantial texture, letting loose mango, apricot, and sweet citrus notes. While delicious chilled, LATITUDE 50 really comes into its own once it rises a few degrees, and ends with a lingering finish. For fans of solid foods it would probably be an excellent accompaniment to light dishes such as poultry or even spicy cuisine, although those foods would of course soak up some of its 12.7% alcohol, leaving you less value for your $13.99.

“Dude!” said Scary.

“Leave me alone, I’m drinking.”

“Dude, if that wine were ‘Latitude 55’ you might not be enjoying it right now.”

“Scary, if I were enjoying a beverage from latitude 55, it would be vodka.”

Leaving aside Scary’s lack of empathy and even schadenfreude at yesterday’s meteor event, the impact is a grim reminder of the knife-edge on which our little planet exists. Just hours before, a small asteroid had squeaked by Earth with 17,000 miles to spare, and over 9,500 celestial bodies make regular near-Earth passes.

“The whole thing illustrates two things,” said Scary.


“I don’t know yet, but one of them has to do with the time stamp on that video.” Scary scratched his ass. “Oh wait, I know the other thing: When a really killer asteroid’s about to hit, the government will never tell us.”

STORM WATCHER—The last drink before Armageddon?

My Fellow Inebriates,

If you’re like me (and I hope for your sake you’re not) you must be wondering exactly how the Apocalypse will come, as well as the exact moment. New Zealand chimed in earlier to say it had made it to December 21, but that was 12:01 a.m.—a little optimistic if you ask Scarybear, who will no doubt maintain his apocalypticity until Pago Pago has crossed into the safety of December 22.

Which happens to be Miss P’s seventh birthday. Note that Scary did not advise against making a cake, which throws his confidence in global annihilation into question. For if we were going to blink into non-existence on the 21st, surely it would be torture to observe the cake’s preparation knowing you’d never get your greedy paws on it.

“But the cake will be in the fridge. The fridge is the safest place,” Scary insists. “Didn’t you see Indiana Jones when he survived a nuclear bomb blast by getting inside one?”

Note Scary says “Indiana Jones.” Not “the character Harrison Ford plays.” Indiana Jones.

scary 2Scary has always struggled to separate action and sci-fi characters from the actors who portray them. Throughout his pre-literate years, Scary believed in Jean-Luc Picard, Jack O’Neill, Seven-of-Nine, Morpheus and Agent Smith, Han Solo, Sarah Connor, and RoboCop. Only when challenged by the subtitles in Heroes did he become literate, read the end credits on his shows, and reluctantly admit the possibility that these were characters. And even now, he forgets. He sees continuity between Angel in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel in Angel, then wonders why Angel switched jobs for Bones. So of course the “nuke the fridge” scene in The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull seems fully plausible to him.

Okay, well, it might work if you had a lead-lined fridge rather than the cheap piece of shit that came with our house. But what about the beer in the fridge? OMG! The bottles would shatter. And that’s why we have to finish our supply of STORM WATCHER WINTER LAGER.

storm watcherVancouver Island Brewery isn’t renowned for departing from mainstream flavor. While its winter offering can be found in the Craft Beer section of our local booze shop, it differentiates itself from macro beer mainly by location and scale—not with oddball tasting notes or niche beers. (For a great dissection of “craft versus macro” and whether it matters, check out beerbecue.) Vancouver Island Brewery has often tended to be very “safe,” and while it’s expanded somewhat into beer-nerd territory, its winter lager is a fairly predictable offering. Which isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes you just don’t need a surprise. Especially on Apocalypse Eve.

The color is reddish amber with minimal head and patchy lacing. On the nose there’s… well, beer aromas—slightly sweet and malty, but not much going on.

STORM WATCHER hits the palate with a wash of…beer. Decent beer. There’s some toffee sweetness and a pat of honey; moderate hops, carbonation, and mouthfeel; and a friendly, lingering finish. It’s pretty good, but not a stand-out. There’s nothing to wonder about, no odd flavors you can’t place—just nicely harmonized hops and caramel malt. Overall: yummy enough.

But do we want this to be our last drink ever?

Huh. Not really. But the alternative is to dig the Canadian Cream* out from the back of the fridge and put it through a strainer to get rid of some unexpected curds—the very sort of pre-Apocalypse surprise I didn’t want.

So much for my teats. (Actually, I don't think the lumps are curds; they're more like lumps of cream that separated because my mum decided to use organic, unpasteurized, unhomogenized cream.)

So much for my teats. 

And the last word goes to Scary: “You should buy cans, weirdo. And put them in the fridge right away.”



*If you decide to make your own Canadian Cream, make sure you use homogenized whipping cream 😉