What’s in yours?

Our old refrigerator started making a sound Alan diagnosed as a death rattle recently, and the thought of it going toes-up in the middle of the most stressful week of his work year drove us to Sears last weekend for a replacement. It was delivered Wednesday. Looking at its pristine, LED-lit interior, I considered styling it like a refrigerator ad, with a crown roast of pork and a whole, pristine cake, just for the hell of it. But instead, I put all the stuff from the old fridge inside and now I offer you this intimate glimpse of our family’s refrigerated life:


It’s pretty full, I know, but that’s the way it usually is. In the bottom drawers: Kale, beets, way too much spinach, celery, garlic and a red bell pepper. In the meat drawer: Sliced ham, Italian sausage, chicken filets and way too much bacon. Up top, citrus, yogurt, a pie crust (secret shame! Pillsbury!), pico de gallo, leftovers and a lone Lender’s bagel (don’t blame me; Kate likes them). And yep, there’s plenty of likker in there, too. Did I mention it’s auto-show week?

Every so often I’ll see a magazine feature where a reporter/photographer team takes us into the refrigerators of famous people, and even when it’s allegedly a surprise pop-in, they always seems suspiciously perfect. Maybe the rich and famous employ servants to color-coordinate the fridge and stack all those pop cans and bottled juices. But this is my actual fridge as of Wednesday morning.

The sweet vermouth is due to an excess of bourbon in the house at the moment. We’re fooling around with manhattans this winter. Last year it was vodka cocktails. We are not alcoholics. For the first time in my life I have a through-the-door water dispenser. GOD I FEEL RICH.

OK. Since we’re already into all-caps, I also feel the need for a YOU FUCKERS roundup. I was reading about the retired cop who shot the man in the movie theater for texting. He certainly is a fucker, but I’m thinking the all-caps YOU FUCKER has to be reserved for the people who made him so crazy and paranoid that he felt the need to pack heat to watch a movie. Unfortunately, that is pretty much the entire culture, except for all of us. Too many FUCKERS.

Have you heard of the Shriver Report yet? Apparently Maria Shriver — born into wealth and privilege and never left it for even a minute — has discovered her own gender, and wants to uplift it. So she made a report, and it was bound in book form, and she presented it to the president! And then, because there is no media story that cannot be made even more appalling, she did a piece for NBC News about her own report, and how she presented it. And then, because this report is truly in touch with the American woman and how she works today, guess who is in the report, quoted as an expert on gender-based pay inequality? Beyoncé! Because even though Queen Bey earns on a roughly equivalent level as her husband, she has to dance around in revealing clothing in high heels, I guess.

You can’t make this shit up.

Here’s Shriver, that FUCKER, presenting her report to the president. You can tell from the look on his face that he’s going to cancel all his afternoon appointments and read this thing from cover to cover:


Jon Hamm isn’t a FUCKER, but he plays one on television, and he’s back at it. April, folks.

And with that, I have some chores to do. I will not have to clean the refrigerator, though.

Posted at 12:30 am in Media, Same ol' same ol' |

61 responses to “What’s in yours?”

  1. Crabby said on January 16, 2014 at 12:47 am

    No such thing as too much bacon.

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  2. MarkH said on January 16, 2014 at 1:26 am

    Crabby said it. So did Bourdain. Good enough for me.

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  3. annie said on January 16, 2014 at 2:14 am

    Am I the only person in America who does not like those double door refrigerators? The shelves are too narrow and too deep–food gets lost in the back.

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  4. MaryRC said on January 16, 2014 at 2:20 am

    Love Manhattans. Sometimes you want a crisp cold Martini with something salty and sometimes you want a sweet Manhattan with a maraschino cherry.

    Whatever the reason for the shooting, the movie theater killer is apparently pleading self-defense. He claimed to police that he was in fear of being attacked so it sounds as though he’ll use the Stand Your Ground defense. A very small part of me hopes that he’ll somehow get away with it and force all those people who think it’s only the Trayvons of this world who get shot for no reason to realize that, yes, it could be their white middle-class ass next.

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  5. Deborah said on January 16, 2014 at 2:35 am

    The refrigerator here in Santa Fe had to be replaced because the old one kept freezing everything except what was on the top shelf. Since I started the “reduce” campaign (my one word resolution for 2014) I’m buying a lot less food. Part of that is because we’re on a weight loss program, Little Bird has already lost 11 lbs. I’ve lost 4 and have a couple more to go before my jeans feel comfortable again. Little Bird wants to lose 20 more lbs. I’m sure she’ll do it, she’s a good cook so she makes even diet food taste delicious. She has also started back ice skating which burns calories like crazy. Plus we both walk like maniacs.

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  6. Dexter said on January 16, 2014 at 5:04 am

    We have the same style refrigerator, and eerily many of the same ingredients. You prefer high pulp , we drink “some pulp”.
    I’ve known for many years that vodka is kept in the freezer by many, but when I had it around I never did that. That was when Old Man Bush41 was a-fixin’ to “crispy-critter him up some” Fedayeen Saddam troopers on the way to Baghdad.
    The filtered water through the door is a nice option. We have three buttons, cubed, crushed, or water in a slow stream.
    You folks here on this blog are frequently using kale. I haven’t bought it for home use in years. Today, I bring some home and re-educate myself as to how to prepare it. We also have a green bell pepper, a large pack of bacon, and I ate the last Lender’s bagel with a schmear hours ago. The schmear here is always plain Philadelpia Cream Cheese. I added a little orange marmalade for decadence.
    I had recorded the NBC Nightly News Maria Shriver segment and upon playback, I obliterated the report. I bet I only skip reports on the evening news a max of two times a year. That was #1 for 2014.

    I got lucky. Tuesday dusk, I was driving back from Dog Park. A short ways from home my van began lurching, dying, lights flashing on the dash like an airplane being flown by a drunken Denzel Washington. Some strong boys were handily walking on the street and they helped me push the van home. I was sure the engine was toast. I never had a catastrophic engine failure like that that didn’t result in a trip to the junk yard or an engine replacement. All it was was worn-out alternator brushes, a buck fifty, back hauling dogs tomorrow.

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  7. Pam (the sister) said on January 16, 2014 at 6:04 am

    I hope you purchased an Extended Warranty on the fridge. If not, you should get one. They don’t make them like they used to.

    POTUS looks bored. We should have a Caption Contest on that photo.

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  8. Deggjr said on January 16, 2014 at 7:31 am

    In Curtis Reeve’s defense, he might have feared the popcorn was covered in trans-fat.

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  9. beb said on January 16, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Heading into work this morning i saw something unusual. The sky was completely overcast. It was a dark, gloomy morning that made me wish I could have stayed in bed. But as i was turning east I saw a single, narrow band of white stretching across the heavens. Apparently a single rift in the clouds just wide enough to let a little light through.

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  10. Mindy said on January 16, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Annie – I’m with you. Side-by-side doors and I are not compatible. Nothing besides vodka fits on the shelves. And Pam, you said it. Warranties are a must. My house is where brand new washing machines come to die, so now I’m all about warranties.
    My current fridge has the filtered water dispenser but it’s the traditional top freezer model. One must open the large door and hold the button with one hand and a glass in the other at an odd angle in order to keep from watering the floor. The filtered water is great but the accommodations are not. I’ll be shopping for large appliances soon – doing the divorce bit – and there’s more to consider than I’d imagined.

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  11. Dorothy said on January 16, 2014 at 8:41 am

    We had to get a new fridge when we moved two months ago. Mike’s new employer is GE so we got an employee discount when purchasing GE appliances. I didn’t want a side-by-side but Mike really wanted one, so I relented. The freezer is on the bottom. Now that I’m used to it, I’m glad we got this one. It’s pretty keen. Being an engineer, he measured the opening carefully and ordered the biggest one that he felt would fit perfectly. I think it was within 3/4 of an inch to fit the space. I was so damned smug watching the guys slide it into the spot because I just KNEW they were going to have to take it back, and we’d need to order the next size down. To my amazement they fit it in and I swear to you, I don’t think I could fit five pieces of paper into the narrow slit on the left side.

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  12. nancy said on January 16, 2014 at 8:51 am

    I saw that band of light on the eastern horizon this morning too, Beb. It reminded me the days are getting longer. (It was 21 degrees — I had to cling to *some* hope.)

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  13. Julie Robinson said on January 16, 2014 at 8:55 am

    We’ve never had one of those water/ice models and it would make me feel rich too. But you know what would make me feel richer? A frig that also dispenses sparkling water. It belongs to some family members in Florida, and they keep a steady supply of limes to squeeze into the water. It’s very refreshing, and if I lived in that heat, I’d want one too.

    Maria Shriver makes a lot of choices I don’t understand, Ahnuld being one. But as much as I don’t care for her, he really screwed her career when he announced for governor without consulting her. So I guess I’m cutting her some slack.

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  14. Heather said on January 16, 2014 at 9:18 am

    I like those vintage-looking Smeg refrigerators in ice-cream pastels, but would I every pay $2K for an appliance? Hell no. One of the benefits of having a carpenter boyfriend with DIY talent is that he finds me gently used appliances and installs them for free. I’ve got a new-to-me dishwasher (stainless steel interior!) and stove so far. No need for a new fridge yet.

    I love me a whiskey cocktail but I am afraid I have become that most pathetic of beings, the two-drink drunk. If I have one, that’s it for the evening. At least with cocktails. Wine is no problem, but I generally prefer to have it with some type of food.

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  15. Tim said on January 16, 2014 at 9:30 am

    The ex-cop in Florida probably was exercising the unstated but implied “you’re pissing me off” subsection of the “stand your ground” law.

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  16. Bitter Scribe said on January 16, 2014 at 10:18 am

    From what I understand, the other guy threw a bag of popcorn at him. Sounds like provocation to me.

    Seriously, I think that’s what he’s claiming. Maybe he and his lawyers are laying the groundwork for an insanity defense.

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  17. Sue said on January 16, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Spring is coming. I’ve got 7 tulips peeking out so far (hopefully all 14 will come up), on a stand placed next to a west window. Bought the bulbs (Triumph variety, good for forcing I hear) on clearance in early November, tossed them in the fridge until New Year’s day, then planted them to welcome the new year and get me through the winter. Tiny bits of green, a lovely sight.

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  18. Bob (not Greene) said on January 16, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Also in the non side-by-side camp. Our fridge just died (actually it was on Dec. 23 and we were hosting Christmas dinner, so that was a pain), and we, like Nancy, went to Sears for the replacement. Actually, even if we liked the side-by-sides, they are too wide for the space we have. We opted for a bottom freezer model. And we specifically stayed away from the water dispenser this time. Tap water is fine.

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  19. Dorothy said on January 16, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Same here Bob. Ice cube maker, definitely. But I can get water from the faucet.

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  20. basset said on January 16, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Our Sears fridge lasted us close to thirty years with no problems at all, after the flood we replaced all our kitchen appliances with Frigidaire and a Maytag fridge, side by side with water and ice through the door and a bottom freezer because Mrs. B. is four foot eleven.

    Maytag has been fine but the Frigidaire stuff was a mistake, washer and built-in microwave started giving us trouble within a couple years.

    And you know that Sears doesn’t make their own appliances, just rebrands others’ products, some built specifically for them. Here’s how you can find out who made what:


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  21. Dave said on January 16, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Maria Shriver, she’s right in the same camp as Chelsea Clinton and Jenna Bush. NBC seems to hire these folks, although, as I seem to recall old discussions here, there’s certainly many talented unknowns who never get those sorts of opportunities.

    Something bad is always happening in Pasco County, FL. I read the Florida news all the time and that’s a neighboring county to Pinellas County, where we go. This is an awful story but, oh, the comments one can read. Now, there is a couple who’ve come forth saying they’d had a confrontation with the same man over texting but there are comments accusing them of being attention-seekers. And how do they really know it was the same man? It’s unbelievable, the things people think. Much like eavesdropping, one wonders how some get through their day.

    Meanwhile, in Elkhart, someone killed two people in a grocery store.

    We have a side-by-side refrigerator, since it’s just the two of us, we have plenty of room and like it fine. I hesitate to say that it’s eight years old, or maybe nine.

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  22. Charlotte said on January 16, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I pretty much grew up in the party tent business, and there is no love for Maria Shriver (or her mother or aunt, both of whom are famous for not paying their bills). One of my buddies, who had relocated from the DC office (he has some priceless White House stories) to the San Francisco office was apoplectic when Ahnuld won. “That bitch followed me west?!” he yelled into the phone. “And now I have to go deal with her again?!”

    Mmm. Manhattans. They tend to be my winter go-to as well Nance. Next summer I’m going to play with making my own cherries though — have a grove of sour cherry trees down the street. I did buy some fancy-pants “natural” maraschinos from Michigan, which taste no different than the el-cheapo ones alas.

    And driving in this morning was a glorious sight — the Crazy Mountains are one of those ranges that change appearance a lot — some days they look a long way away, some days they loom over town. This morning was a looming morning – and clear. Gorgeous white mountains with pink morning light on them and blue sky. It’s why I left the midwest and never wanted to go back …

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  23. Minnie said on January 16, 2014 at 11:28 am

    A few winters back my mixology project was perfecting the Manhattan – up, not too sweet. Only I have Heather’s alcohol tolerance. Hard to A/B them when you’re tiddly after A.

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  24. alex said on January 16, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Gorgeous fridge, Nance. I wanted double doors when my old top-mount croaked this past summer and wanted a bottom freezer too. It would have required a total kitchen remodel to make it fit, however. We also went to Sears, naively expecting that they would maintain a big stock, but we in fact had to wait a week to take delivery.

    Haven’t been posting much. My computer’s hard drive went kaput and they tell me they can’t extract my data from it. Still awaiting repair.

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  25. Connie said on January 16, 2014 at 11:52 am

    In college I sold those Sears appliance warranties over the phone. I wouldn’t buy one.

    My mom’s drink was a Jim Beam Manhattan with a little extra cherry juice.

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  26. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 16, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Mixing bourbon with anything other than a cube or two just seems wrong. This is not a theological judgment, I’m just saying.

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  27. brian stouder said on January 16, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Caption contest entry:

    Ms Shriver: “errr..woopsie! I guess I ate too much pate de foie gras!”

    The President of the United States: “Goddamn, Maria – I thought you just stepped on a goose!”

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  28. Dorothy said on January 16, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Brian I thought that was a comment from Cooz. Pretty good! Speaking of Cooz where is he today? I’m unofficially taking headcounts more often these days after losing Pros and I get nervous when I don’t see the regulars…

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  29. 4dbirds said on January 16, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    We eat the same jam.

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  30. 4dbirds said on January 16, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Speaking of appliances, I got rid of my front loaded washer. I thought it was pretty jee whiz at first but then it stank, and leaked. Went back to a top loader. Ahhh, I’m happy.

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  31. Minnie said on January 16, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Jeff(tmmo), that’s my preference, too, omitting the ice. My present standby is Eagle Rare, partly because of it’s name and bottle art mention my favorite charismatic mega-fauna.

    Suggestions for a mid-to-upper-price bourbon, anyone? Since I don’t need much at a time, a bottle lasts a while. I like to relish every sip but don’t want to pay excessively for marketing. The discussion on this topic a few days ago passed with not a lot of comment, probably because we were all reeling over Prospero’s passing. Blanton’s and Buffalo Trace seem popular here. A friend swears by Knob Creek, another by Woodford Reserve.

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  32. alex said on January 16, 2014 at 1:09 pm


    “Equal pay for equal work. That means your cleaning ladies deserve the same hourly rate as Hollywood call girls.”

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  33. beb said on January 16, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    The only nice thing about getting up at the ungodly hour I do to go work (clearly I’m a night person) is every Spring and Fall there’s a month or so when the sun is just coming up and it paints the clouds with the most wonderful, delicate shades of rose and purple. It’s like driving through a different Art Noveau painting every morning.

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  34. beb said on January 16, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    And in wacky, non-Onion news – woman makes $30,000 a month selling bigfoot slash-porn.


    Penthouse Letters has nothing on her!

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  35. Andrea said on January 16, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    I’m not a fan of side by sides, either. Prefer the bottom freezer. How do you fit pizza boxes in a side by side?

    Re: Maria Shriver. I agree absolutely that she was born to wealth and privilege and has maintained that status her whole life. However, if she wants to raise up the plight of women in poverty, or facing inequities in the work world, why would I complain about her taking on the task? Celebrities often use their celebrity to sell products we don’t need or raise a few bucks by crooning to a dictator on his birthday, etc., ad infinitum, — I am happy to see Maria and Beyonce at least faking a social conscience and empathy for those who aren’t walking around in Louboutins.

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  36. brian stouder said on January 16, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Good God!!

    Our Proprietress is woefully underpaid

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  37. Jolene said on January 16, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    I think we’re being too tough on Maria Shriver. First, consider what a person born rich and well-connected might be doing. Paris Hilton, anyone? Apart from marrying Arnold, a mistake she has paid for mightily and publicly, she’s been working a long time to bring the real facts of women’s political and economic circumstances into public discussion and to try to influence people in a position to make change.

    And she has focused on some fairly unsexy issues. For instance, in connection with this most recent report, she’s been arguing that one change that would improve life tremendously for many woman workers is access to sick leave, which many hourly workers do not have. Obviously, anyone can get sick, and many employed women are also responsible for the care of children and elderly parents, who also get sick. Without sick leave, women workers must sacrifice income or possibly even lose their jobs, leaving them in even worse circumstances.

    In the TV reports I’ve heard, she’s also emphasizing the importance of women learning to think of themselves as providers, an outlook that might lead people to stick with education and delay child-bearing, thus improving their own circumstances and those of their children.

    I don’t know what sort of advocacy efforts follow from the publication of this report, but I doubt her efforts end with its publication. She’s working on this enterprise with people from the Center for American Progress, which is, perhaps, the most prominent progressively oriented think tank/advocacy center in DC. More about her project and the center here: http://www.americanprogress.org/

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  38. Deborah said on January 16, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Today has turned out to be a very sad day, Little Bird found out this morning that a good friend of hers died last night. His death was not a surprise, he had cancer and had lived a relatively long time in spite of it. Nonetheless she is taking it hard. This guy was one of the wittiest people I have ever met and apparently he kept the good humor to the end. She last heard from him a week ago, but since then he was in terrible pain and had to go into hospice care. We’re going to take a good long hike up in the mountains to let her work through it.

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  39. beb said on January 16, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    A sad day, indeed. My sympathies to Little Bird.

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  40. Dexter said on January 16, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    JeffMMO: Old Bert used to step up to the bar and order the same thing nearly every time: “Wild Turkey, water on the side, and I’ll mix it!” Meaning, of course, the bourbon was too good to dilute in the glass. I never heard the phrase “water back” until I saw it used in a movie, then I kept hearing it all the time in bars. An old bartender friend always offered “you want a beer wash?” when I ordered a shot of booze. He was the last of the old time bartenders, he’d draw a half glass of draught beer and not charge for it when you ordered a shot. Bert frequently ordered “a short beer” when we were “making the rounds and signing the books” at the Vets and the Moose and the Eagles in Bellevue (I had simply forgotten the Mardi Gras Tavern and the Eagle, Dave.)

    My son-in-law has a filtered water system in his ‘fridge as well. He claims he cannot drink straight tap water nor make Keurig cuppas with it. I can’t tell the difference in Columbus/Hilliard water from the taste of the filtered water.

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  41. Dexter said on January 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    So sorry, Little Bird. My sympathies to you.

    My wife has been on the phone all day…the pastor of her church (I don’t go much at all anymore) is retiring Saturday; he really is mostly done with everything now, and a church member passed away last night unexpectedly…she utilized a breathing machine for apnea and at age 50, just passed away in her sleep. Scary, eh? The mother-in-law of the deceased keeps calling my wife for prayer and guidance, as I guess the situation has confused the older woman and the son is deep in grief.

    And also, Scout, I know you loved your pet cat so much…I am sorry for the loss you endured.

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  42. Julie Robinson said on January 16, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    My sympathies to you, Little Bird, and to Mindy, who all the way upthread at #10 mentioned she was doing the divorce bit. Those are both rough situations, and I wish for you both grace and peace. Deborah & Mrs. Dexter, the same for you, as you help in the mourning process.

    We’re getting hit by another snowstorm today, and though it’s not going to drop more than an inch or two, the roads are horrible already. Three weeks ’til Orlando.

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  43. Scout said on January 16, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Little Bird, I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. I hope you find peace in your walks in nature with your Mom.

    I was wondering about coozledad too. He wasn’t around at all yesterday and when I checked he last posted on Tuesday in the afternoon. Like Dorothy, I get hinky when the regulars are too quiet.

    Thank you all again for the kind words and thoughts after the passing of Scout the Kitty. He was such a love and I miss him. Having people (even ones I’ve never met in person) be so supportive means a lot.

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  44. Dave said on January 16, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Yep, sign the book, another phrase I hadn’t thought of in a long time, Dexter.

    The Mardi Gras was owned by a fellow named Louis Castrovince, he was also an engineer on the railroad in Bellevue, man never had hardly a word to say, you could run all the way from Bellevue to Peru with him and he’d not say a word, that’s 183 miles of silence. He also never wore a belt, he actually wore a rope around his waist, tucked through the belt loops. I always wondered about that and why. Lot railroaders went in the Mardi Gras, though. For awhile, I lived only about a block away, around the corner, practically, on Kilbourne Street in a large house across the street from a drive-through carryout (State Route 18).

    I don’t think you missed any of the bars, Dexter, did he also take you to The Corner, east of town, or out to the bowling alley, also east of town. The Corner, at the corner of Route 613 and 4, was a big hangout for railroaders, in a way that wouldn’t happen today, with all the testing, alcohol and drug. It was close to the dormitory, so all the away-from-home fellows would go there. Today, the railroad would have them all fired and in rehab.

    The man who ran The Corner for the first few years I was around Bellevue served a roast beef sandwich that was wonderful and he had the hottest horseradish that I’ve ever ate. It went straight to the brain. Good stuff, if you could get through it. I probably couldn’t eat it today.

    I don’t know if it’s still there, I know that Johnny’s is a parking lot now, gone.

    Sympathies, also to Little Bird and for Scout and her kitty. Hard to lose those friends.

    Apologies for straying from the subject, Dexter made me think of Louis, who I hadn’t thought of in years.

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  45. LAMary said on January 16, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    I love the filtered water thing on my fridge. Before I have my first coffee in the morning I have a glass of very cold water from the fridge door and I instantly feel better.

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  46. Dorothy said on January 16, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about your friend, Little Bird. One I my first friends I made on the Internet is nearing death. He was born a Pittsburgher and wound up the Superintendent of schools in a town in Iilinois. He resigned from our WWF games about a month ago that broke my heart. We did meet a few times and I was glad for that. His wife is a sweetheart. I wish I could visit and make them laugh but things have gotten rather grim. Cancer is my least favorite word these days.

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  47. 4dbirds said on January 16, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    My sympathies to Little Bird, Scout and Mindy. Peace to all of you.

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  48. Dexter said on January 16, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Dave, there was a place across the street from the Moose that either had a stone front or a rustic huge fireplace inside, but that was on the west side…can’t recall the name. It was the first beer joint inside the city limits from the west. I just do not recall The Corner bar. I don’t think we ever went to the bowling alley bar…I’ll ask my brother sometime, he’s the one who lived there. My brother was also fond of the guy who ran the photo and gift card store there, name was Harold Hunter. He hit it off with my brother because both were photography nuts, brother Bob was a photo-shoot guy for George Woodard. (Sorry for the message-board style reminiscing with Dave, I know this is not blogging etiquette.) So Dave, send your Facebook page name to nance and maybe she’ll be good enough to post it to my Facebook page .

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  49. Dexter said on January 16, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Dave, here’s Harold Hunter’s obituary. Quite a life, I say.

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  50. Jolene said on January 16, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    I’m sorry for the loss of your friend, Little Bird. I hope you find comfort in your memories and in the knowledge that his suffering has ended.

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  51. Little Bird said on January 16, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Thank you to all of you for your kind words. My friend was amazing, he was the coolest friend one could hope to have. Funny, smart, and generous to a fault. I wish I could attend his wake.

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  52. MarkH said on January 16, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Jeff @26 – WORD. When I learned to tend bar in Columbus many, many years ago, Victoria Station made sure their bartenders had some training and expertise from the distilleries. One day it was whiskey. As we learned how it was made, we also learned how bourbon, scotch, sourmash, maybe a Candian here and there, are pure and should always stand on their own. Water and soda are OK, manhattans and old fashioneds have a legitimate following, but that’s it; anything else like sour mix and soft drinks absolutely destroy it. I used to cringe at the crackerbrains who’d order expensive whiskey like Jack Daniel’s with Coke. To mitigate the obscenity, I’d pull the green label, sometimes only to hear, “Hey! Jack Black! Don’t gimme that green shit!” Like he’d know the difference. I’ll drink most bourbons and sourmashes, always on the rocks, have no affection for scotch.

    An interesting whiskey story here is that Wyoming now has its own whiskey, sort of. A local lawyer couple (the husband is the brother of our current governor, both grandsons of former senator/governor/unoffical saint, Cliff Hansen) partnered with another attorney, gathered capital to start the distillery in the remote Big Horn Basin.


    So in 2008 they made the big announcement complete with the hiring away of the master distiller from Maker’s Mark. After an aging process of six years, we’d have our first heavenly batch. What could go wrong? Well. Impatience resulting in hubris for one thing. The got so full of themselves from the public pressure to launch the stuff, they decided four years was enough. So Christmas of 2012 they were off and running with people lined up out the door in Kirby to scarf it up. With not enough supply to meet demand, not much made it to the retailers and there was a lot of bootlegging of bottles, if you will after the distillery ran out. A buddy of mine made advance arrangements for multiple cases costing a small fortune. Holiday tasting parties sprung up, especially around here. After the first sips the whole thing landed with a universal thud. Maker’s Mark this stuff wasn’t. Nor was it even Old Grand Dad, Old Forester, or even Old Crow. Oh, people were polite to each other about it alright; no one wanted to admit their extreme disappointment. After all, this was WYOMING whiskey, dammit! But underneath all the high complements to each other was the whispered common description: turpentine. Now the best thing about it is the attractive label. The next batch, the six-year version, is due Christmas 2014. We’ll see how it turns out.

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  53. alex said on January 16, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Well, I’ve got my computer back. New hard drive, none of my data on it, and cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the data off of a 64gig ScanDisk where I saved it a few months back. Anyone have any experience with this stuff? My computer’s a MacBook Pro.

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  54. Little Bird said on January 16, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Here is a short bit about Bill, the friend I lost, to sort of give you an idea how funny he was.
    Many years ago, when the Underground Wonder Bar was still on Walton, and the building across the street was barely even foundations, Bill was outside smoking with a friend. They got into a mock argument and Bill threw his shoe at the friend. A fairly expensive shoe if I remember this right. Anyway, he missed by a mile and the shoe landed in the foundations of the building going in. There was zero chance of recovering the shoe. The friend laughed and asked Bill what he was going to do with only one shoe. So Bill did the only sensible thing he could do. He threw the other shoe.
    It also landed in the foundations. So whether Bill knew it or not, there’s a very large building in Chicago that stands as a memorial (at least to me) for him. The next time I’m in Chicago, I’m leaving some flowers there.

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  55. Deborah said on January 16, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Here’s the building where Bill’s shoes are buried under http://www.chicagoarchitecture.info/Building/1413/The-Elysian-Chicago.php

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  56. Little Bird said on January 16, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    It’s pretty freaking big, as far as memorials go.

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  57. Dexter said on January 16, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Excellent memorial for Bill. My friend Jen in Savannah lost her husband to a horrible, aggressive cancer; they had only a few years of happiness before the dx.
    Both of them were hardcore GB Packers fanatics. Once they went to a game at Lambeau Field, and they had attended other closer venues like Tampa and Atlanta and Nashville.
    Dan was adamant; he wanted his ashes scattered on the Lambeau turf in Green Bay.
    Jen signed up for a summer tour of the facilities the year Dan died. When the tour commenced, the guide emphasized that there were to be no cremains scattered on the field, this would necessitate an arrest and fine; the Packers had been down this road too many times.
    Undaunted, and inspired by Andy Dufresne, she had put cremains into her jeans pockets and secured the slit-out pocket bottoms with clips. When the time came to walk around the playing field on this empty-stadium tour, she unleashed the clips and Dan slowly fell to earth, at home with his beloved Packers forever.
    Jen is that kind of person. She’ll do anything to help out a friend in need. Back in 2004 she flew off to Australia, on a whim, to visit a friend.

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  58. Minnie said on January 16, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Little Bird, so sorry to hear about your friend, Bill. That is a mighty monument to his sense of humor.

    Mindy, strength. You’re right that there’s more to it than just ending a partnership.

    Scout, again, I hope your good memories will help you through.

    MarkH, better luck with the six-year-old.

    Hope any worries about Coozledad are unfounded. I’ve had enough bad news today – gone (in separate circumstances): an aunt by marriage, a cousin, and another cousin’s partner.

    As for Manhattans, I use rye. Bourbon is for sipping, water back.

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  59. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 16, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    Minnie, Woodford Reserve is pretty awesome. But I think Evan Williams is all I need most days I’m looking for an amber beverage. Maker’s Mark is too sweet, Knob Creek trying too hard. Bulleit Rye impresses me, and their bourbon is not bad at all. WR is just too pricey for my wallet, but I’ll accept it as a gift. And I have a soft spot in my heart for Bushmills, which goes back to my last year of college, in a misty, valedictory sort of fashion. Maybe once or twice a year.

    Mark’s 6 year sounds interesting.

    Little Bird, my best to you. Been through funerals too many recently here, old friends and new, just buried a 98 year old this morning who was so gently ready to go. But it’s all sad, and all part of the life we lead as we look for a life that goes on.

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  60. Sherri said on January 16, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    Tell me again how important embassy security is to Republicans: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/silly-smear-public-policy

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  61. jcburns said on January 16, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Alex, is your data baked up onto that drive via Time Machine? Then read through all of this.

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