Drinking for Vengeance Preview

Ah yes, this is more like it...the mini-season DfV set squarely between Drinksgiving and Whiskey Season. Consumption at a brisk and unrelenting pace, wielding the heavy hand at local bars, and resulting in a great deal of pain the next morning.

A big word of thanks to Preservation Pub, Back Room BBQ, and Urban Bar. You saved our asses on Thanksgiving proper simply by opening your doors. My sour ass found refuge in your Lowenbraus, Newcastles, and Yuenglings. Mackey and the Royalty put on a clinic in Jager and Jamesons.

Most places close down so that their weary employees can enjoy the holiday with family and loved ones. These few joints buck the establishment and provide a necessary outlet for those of us that desperately need a ennui-killing mini pub crawl. Thanks folks, you came through in a pinch. So with that, let DfV begin...


Get off my land

Yes, I get it. It's Thanksgiving. Again. Year in and year out, I grit my teeth as acquaintances extol everything they are grateful for...usually listing their earthly possessions and worldly goods in a manner that's much more 'look what I've got' rather than sincere gratitude.

It's not limited to my religious friends either. Oh no, my atheist compadres also will bore me with a litany of shit. I'm sure God enjoys the irony of both groups being quite like the other in this regard.

I'm quite aware that being a 30-something means I still don't know shit. I'm dumb like an extinct species. What I can tell you is that I learned from a precious few good people what to be thankful for. Surviving Normandy or Hue. Pulling through a nasty life-threatening illness. Eating some meat when you've had more than a year or two of beans and garden grown potatoes. Having a roof over your head that's not a canvas or built to house hundreds. Nearly all of these things I learned from my paternal grandfather, a man in every sense of the word...a man whose shoes I wasn't fit to shine(largely because I've always had shoes). The economy may suck ass, but pick up a history book and look back a few decades if you want to see real Goddamn monetary distress in the world.

I'm thankful on Turkey Day for the things I'm thankful for 24/7/365. I encourage everyone to go into a private room and recount what makes you feel grateful. It's just as valid in the dark as when you drop leaflets from your warplanes.

I'll buy a beer for someone who just tells me, flat out, that this Thanksgiving they are thankful for beer, bird, and football*. This is one American who won't find you a shallow prick. You're being more honest than most. I refer to this holiday and the days around it as Drinksgiving, but I'm not going to tell every asshole I see about it in obnoxious detail and for that good readers-- give earnest thanks. Because, I really don't know shit.

* in fucking hi-def of course


Off Topic – Comcast Sucks II

A while ago I expressed my dissatisfaction with Comcast. Late this summer as football season approached I reluctantly signed up for internet and cable TV service. During the three months I’ve been back with them I have had at least three HBO outages (they cut me off), zero correct bills and woeful customer service. I should disclose that internet service has been good, so that’s nice. The worst part though is dealing with inadequate customer service. It isn’t the rep’s fault, the organization keeps a pool of phone jockeys to deal with routine technical and billing issues, then keeps the customer at arm’s length when it comes to more complicated problems. It’s similar to the phone-hell switch board process you go through just trying to reach a live person. Once you get through you have to explain every detail only to be told that a supervisor will have to be advised of the problem and they will work on it. Bullshit. Once I did speak with a supervisor and was promised a follow up call about my issue but I never got the call. The latest billing error doubled my monthly bill and the rep told me there was a note in my record stating that a supervisor had been contacted to authorize the correction but guess what, the supervisor never made the authorization. I have no doubt that I’m on their “black list” of people to fuck with. Die Comcast, just die.




The second annual drunk breakfast is in the books. We drank a lot of Irish coffees, a significant number of bloody Marys, vodka/juices, good beer and later just straight whiskey. We also had plenty to eat - biscuits and gravy, sausage links, eggs, hash browns to begin, and then a robust round of pancakes before decadent eggs Benedict completed breakfast. Overall things went a little too close to plan, not something we normally expect when we put together these types of gatherings. Next up: Deep Fried Feast.


Before and After

What a good night. Mellow Gold-esque. Leading into our 2nd annual drunken breakfast feast I have been priming my liver for what will be a full onslaught of boozing and bad behavior. Never far from peak performance it doesn't take much to get in form, but I figured that I better not leave anything to chance, else my aged body turn against me, so I went downtown to the brewery last night for a taste of Irish whiskey. I had just a single shot along with a few beers after I sampled a sub sandwich from their newish late night menu, and everything was perfect. Never one to quit when I'm ahead I decided to walk over to Preservation Pub for a couple more drafts. Just a few, nothing more, and it turned out to be a nice, mellow night. Enough so that I slept in longer than expected and required some high-octane java to get me going. I decided to try Remedy in the Old City for a cup o'joe and it did the trick. DBII will not offer this sober option of coffee. Bring on the Jameson.


Loose Ends

I finally got around to cleaning my kegerator last week with the help of our brewer friend. He provided the powerful caustic and cleaning tank that we used to sweep the lines in a matter of minutes, which is easier than doing it with a home cleaning kit. In addition to that we switched my puny, factory-provided regulator to a used, bigger regulator that I hope will help with some foamy pouring issues. I’ll know once I actually refill the keg and try it out, hopefully in a day or two in time for Drunken Breakfast II.

Speaking of, DBII is scheduled this week for another gathering of early morning cocktails and gluttonous food consumption. About half a dozen friends will meet at 8:00 a.m. to start the day, except instead of productive work there will be productive boozing. Bloody Marys, Irish Coffee, Screw Drivers, beer and wine top the list of drinks/cocktails; biscuits and gravy, pancakes, hash browns and various meats and eggs are on the food menu. The neighbors may have reason for concern. We’ll try to give an accurate recount of the event if possible.


What's the difference?

What's the difference between us and them?

Because we drink here!

UPDATE: SKM, you mean this guy?


Cash Only

A big peeve of mine at the bars these days is the bastard practice of pre-authorization of credit cards for a set sum in advance of the tab. Most banking institutions will count this as a pending charge on your account, and heaven only knows what rotten practice each individual credit card company will pursue. In short, long after you have left the bar you still feel like you haven't paid. Days after the final beer, last call, and the hangover you haven't yet finished the ordeal. I realize this practice is not new, nor is it illegal or unethical. You are after all, making a decision on where to drink and part of that process is the style of management said bar utilizes. However, just because a bar has a legal leg to stand on doesn't make it "cool."

It's not unusual for a bar to hold a card for the tab, I grant that. Even fine with it, although my regular bars would get crucified if they asked me for a card. The truth is that some places get ripped off on a frequent basis and creativity with opening and closing a tab can keep the place in the black and won't make the employees unhappy. We as patrons deserve some of the blame for running out on tabs, miserly tipping, drawing arrogant birds on the receipt, etc. However, if I give a card and then opt to pay cash when leaving-that should be the end of it. Instead I've got an uncomfortable hand in my wallet for a few days even after I should be in the clear. Two places that I visit on a semi-regular basis have this misguided policy.

What relevance does the photo have with the post? Absolutely none, but I've wanted to use it for some time and have zero idea how to work it in to a usual topic. Maybe some loose connection to the Governor of Colliefornia and their credit/cash woes? Whatever.

I thought about whether or not to post this...complaint is the term, since the offenders are two bars that we have reviewed positively. I'll not identify them since I really enjoy both establishments and realize I am coming off as a nitpicky bastard. Just airing a grievance in advance of Festivus. Looks like I'll be taking a Adam Jones-ish wad of cash* and make it rain after each beer.

*No more than 20 US dollars


You say it's your birthday

Happy Birthday to a great drunkard. The foggy memories of when you trashed this town in a constant debauch remain firmly entrenched in downtown Knoxville lore. Your trail of tears will not be forgotten.


Dry Keg

I love my kegerator. The only way it could be better is if it were magical and refilled itself. It would also be nice if it cleaned itself too but that’s just being unrealistic. As things go my keg is currently empty and the lines need to be cleaned, so I have some tasks to do. Refilling is easy, the cleaning requires a bit more labor. In the mean time I have taken the opportunity to try a few craft beers.
I’ve sampled the Stone IPA more than a few times and love it as a substitute for my usual Woodruff IPA. The Lobster Lovers was new to me and strong, coming in at 9.5%. I had this the other night after a few pints downtown and woke up on my meast-like couch in the early morning wondering what the hell happened. Like a lot of high alcohol beers I’ve tried, the taste can be overpowering if not outright bad. I really didn’t care for the flavor but that didn’t stop me from drinking every drop of it. However, I would not recommend this beer. Perhaps that’s why the Werewolf is still sitting in my fridge. I’m not afraid to try it but I’m not in a hurry to chug it down either. Time to pony up for a new keg and get busy cleaning my kegerator.