Believe It or Don’t!

January 22, 2014

How cold is it?

The governor of Kentucky has more degrees than Kentucky did this morning.

Zero! Snow!! Ice!!! Folks, this not why I live here – I’m a three-season kind of a guy.

Costume Department…we have a problem.

The first contingent of 150 Swiss Guards arrived at the Vatican today in 1506. Male fashion in Rome has never recovered its composure.

We have birthdays of interest;

–          Trombone master J. J. Johnson was born today in 1924.

–          The creator of Conan the Barbarian and Kull the Conqueror, Robert E. Howard was born today in 1906. If you have not read Mr. Howard’s action-packed prose, you have that to look forward to. I would start with the short story “The Grey God Passes” or “The Tower of the Elephant”. You can thank me later.

Drink 4cast 4 2day

Another birthday will be our libation inspiration for today.

Actor Linda Blair was born today in 1959. Ms. Blair’s harrowing performance as the possessed child in The Exorcist has cost me some sleep over the years. Let’s celebrate her birth anyway with an;

Exorcist Cocktail

1 ½ oz. Durango Tequila

¾ oz. Blue Curacao

¾ oz. Lime Juice

Shake all ingredients in a shaker half-filled with ice cubes.

Strain into a cocktail glass and serve.

Pass the pea soup.




You Can Get Anything You Want at…

December 13, 2013

Alice’s Restaurant!

It’s a big day for music today in a variety of ways. Arlo Guthrie released “Alice’s Restaurant” today in 1969. Go ahead and sing; “Walk right in. It’s around the back – just a half-a-mile from the railroad track.”

More Music!

Today in 1988, three men ended their 29-hour all-466-station subway ride in New York City and to quote that great philosopher Groucho Marx; “I don’t for the life of me know why.”

What does this have to do with music? Well, it reminded me of another folk song from the hootenanny days. It was by one of those interchangeable guy groups; Limeliters, Chad Mitchell Trio, Brothers Four, AcoustiKats, whoever. It tells the woeful story of a man named Charlie who is trapped on the Boston subway system when they raise the fare while he’s riding and he lacks sufficient funds to get off the train. It’s called “The Man Who Never Returned”. Sing it if you know it and are not ashamed to show your age; “… His fate is still unlearned. He may ride forever ‘neath the streets of Boston.”

The things that stay with you…

Here are a couple of non-musical things we can celebrate today.

–          The ice cream cone was patented today by Italo Marcioni in 1903.

–          Today in 1983, Martha Layne Collins was inaugurated as Kentucky’s first female governor. I think of Gov. Collins every time I drive to Bowling Green on the Martha Layne Collins Bluegrass Parkway.

–          A quick high-fashion note; the clip-on tie was designed today in 1928 – the guy had nuthin’ better to do.

–          Today in 1843, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens was published. It has done well.

Drink 4cast 4 2day

Again, more music!

I’m told today is Violin Day. I don’t know why and I don’t care. But it gives me the chance to use this cocktail recipe.


1 ½ oz. Grey’s Peak Vodka

1 oz. Peach puree

1 dash Apricot bitters

Club soda as needed

Garnish with a wedge of fresh peach

Shake the vodka, puree, and bitters together and pour over ice into a Collins glass. Top with club soda and garnish.

Raise a toast to poor ol’ Charlie.



Dick the Bruiser and the Loch Ness Monster!

November 12, 2013

Nessie got her picture taken!

Today in 1933, Hugh Gray took the first known photograph of the Loch Ness Monster. However, it seems Nessie ordered no prints. This is important. It means Nessie had no parents, cousins, aunts, nor uncles to send pictures to. She is alone in those waters. It’s a sad thought, but I’ll sleep better.

Two titanic sports stories!

–          Dick the Bruiser beat Mad Dog Vachon in Omaha to become the champion of the NWA. I’m guessin’ these were not their given names at birth. Their parents must have been so proud.

–          William “Pudge” Heffelfinger became the first professional football player on record. Today in 1892, Mr. Heffelfinger (no, his name was not on his jersey) played in his first paid game ($500!) for the Allegheny Athletic Association (and you thought your AAA membership had something to do with cars!). It proved to be a good move for the AAA. They went on that day to defeat the Pitts Athletic Club 4-0 (two safeties?).

We have many birthdays of interest.

–          Sculptor Auguste Rodin was born today in 1840. Mr. Rodin gave us “The Thinker”.

–          We have actors! Ryan Gosling (1980), Kim Hunter (1922), and radiance-personified Grace Kelly (1929) share this birthday.

–          Jazzman Buck Clayton (1911) and my favorite play-by-play guy Al Michaels (1944) were both born today.

–          We have a quartet of birthday singers. Ruby Nash Curtis was born today in 1939. Ms. Curtis was the “Ruby” in Ruby and the Romantics. Booker T. Jones likewise in 1944. Mr. Jones was the “Booker T” in Booker T and the MG’s – duh. Neil Young was born today in 1945. Mr. Young was the “Young” in Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. And Jo Stafford was born in 1917. Ms. Stafford was the “Jo” in Jo Stafford – whatever.

Drink 4cast 4 2day

Another birthday will inspire our daily cocktail recipe. Composer Alexander Borodin was born today in 1833. Mr. Borodin is, perhaps, best known for his opera Prince Igor. Besides being flat-out beautiful, it serves as the basis for the Broadway musical Kismet. Many of the melodies in Kismet are lifted totally from Prince Igor and why shouldn’t they be – “Stranger in Paradise” is beautiful in whatever language you choose, as is “Baubles, Bangles and Beads”. Let’s toast Mr. Borodin with a;

Prince Igor’s Nightcap

1 oz. Stolichnaya Coffee Vodka

1 oz. Royal James Gin

1 oz. Light Cream


Mix all ingredients with cracked ice in a shaker and serve in a chilled, stemmed glass.

Sprinkle with grated nutmeg.

Sing big! “…be a stranger no more!”




Batman, the Pony Express, & Sleepin’ Late – All Noble Aspirations!

October 24, 2013

I’ll explain shortly, but first;

–          Today in 1946, a camera on board the V-2 No. 13 rocket took the first photograph of Earth from outer space.  An odd thing to celebrate, but these photographs always put things in perspective for me.

–          At the Garrick Theatre in Detroit, Michigan, Harry Houdini gave his last performance today in 1926.

–          On this day in 1901, Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to go over the Niagara Falls in a barrel – on her 63rd birthday! Annie certainly knew how to show herself a good time.

We have birthdays today!

–          It’s a big day for “big” singers. Operatic baritone Tito Gobbi (1913) and the Big Bopper, J. P. Richardson (1930) were both born today. “Hello Bay-bee!”

–          Other musicians share this birthday; bluesman Sonny Terry (1911) and Rolling Stone Bill Wyman (1936).

–          From the world of the stage; playwright Moss Hart (1904) and actor Kevin Kline (1947) were born today. Mr. Hart will give us our quote of the day; “So far as I know, anything worth hearing is not usually uttered at seven o’clock in the morning; and if it is, it will generally be repeated at a more reasonable hour for a larger and more wakeful audience.”

–          The creator of Batman, cartoonist Bob Kane was born today in 1915. I suppose his quote of the day would be something like; “Wham! Zap! Biff!”

Drink 4cast 4 2day

On this day in 1861, the first transcontinental telegraph line across the United States was completed. This pretty well spelled the end of the Pony Express. But before it goes, let’s celebrate it with a

Pony Express Cocktail

1 ½ oz. Sazerac Rye Whiskey

¾ oz. White Tea Liqueur

¾ oz. Lemon Juice

½ oz. Maple Syrup

Combine ingredients, stir and garnish with a lemon peel.

Ride’em cowboy!




It’s Ed Wood Day!

October 10, 2013

Some of my favorite things happened today.

George Gershwin’s opera “Porgy and Bess” opened on Broadway today in 1935. “One of these mornin’s, you’re gonna rise up singin’. You’re gonna spread your wings and you’ll take to the sky.” I’ll celebrate that.

And if we’re going to the opera, we could wear a tux! The tuxedo dinner jacket made its American debut at the Autumn Ball in Tuxedo Park, New York today in 1886. I love to wear a tuxedo. If creation had taken just one more day, I believe we’d all be born in tuxes.

Two of my favorite songwriters were born today; Johnny Green (1908) and John Prine (1946). Mr. Green gave us “Body and Soul”, “I Cover the Waterfront” and “Easy Come, Easy Go”. Mr. Prine gave us “Muhlenberg County” and a gazillion (I counted) other songs that resonate perfectly with my generation and its geography.

Should an angel happen to drift to Earth and happen to decide to play the piano, I suspect the angel would play like Thelonius Monk. Mr. Monk was born today in 1917. We’ll ask Mr. Monk for our quote of the day; “I don’t know what other people are doing – I just know about me.”

Edward D. Wood, Jr. was born today in 1924. Screen director/writer/actor par execrable, Mr. Wood gave us such timeless classics as PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, GLEN OR GLENDA?, and DEVIL’S NIGHT ORGY. Inexplicably, none of these have yet been made into Broadway musicals. Go figure. He also launched the film careers of the Tor Johnson and the Amazing Keskin. Thanks, Mr. Wood…I think.

Drink 4cast 4 2day.

I’m returning to our trusty tuxedo for today’s libation.

Tuxedo Cocktail

1 ½ oz. Dry Vermouth

1 ½ oz. Royal James Gin

¼ tsp. Maraschino Liqueur

¼ tsp. Anisette

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Maraschino cherry for garnish

Pour all the ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice.

Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish with cherry.

Straighten your tie.




Lipstick, Gambling, & Charles the Bald!

September 27, 2013

Things that make you go hmmmm;

–          Today in 1822, Jean-Francois Champollion announced he had deciphered the Rosetta Stone. According to Monsieur Jean-Francois, it read; “D R I N K Y O U R O V A L T I N E.” ….not really…

–          Lancaster, Pennsylvania was the capital of the United States today (and only today) in 1777. I guess one day is all it took!

–          Today in 1954 featured the nationwide debut of the television show “Tonight” (later “The Tonight Show”) hosted by Steve Allen on NBC. No, I was not his first guest. This leads us, however, to our;

Quote of the Day (#1)

It’s from the very bright Steve Allen. He explains; “I used to be a gambler. But now I just make mental bets. That’s how I lost my mind.”

Quote of the day (#2)

The definitively lovely Gwyneth Paltrow was born today in 1972. She offers this personal definition; “Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.”

Words to ponder.

And things that make you go ZZZZZZZZ;

On this day in 1905, the physics journal “Annalen der Physik” published Albert Einstein’s paper; “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?” introducing the equation; E=mc squared. Some light reading for the airplane…yes? Oh wait. They didn’t have airplanes then.

Drink 4cast 4 2day

I know you thought I missed the key event of this date, but no, I was saving it for today’s drink recommendation.

Ermentrude of Orleans, consort of Charles the Bald, was born this day in 823. I know you think I make these things up, but you’d be wrong about that…most of the time. Let’s toast them with a glass of Bald Peak Cabernet Sauvignon. It was just too good to pass up.

Who loves ya baby?




It’s a Very Cool Day!

September 5, 2013

Way, way cool;

–          Today in 1698, in an effort to “Westernize” his nobility, Tsar Peter I of Russia imposed a tax on beards for all men except the clergy and the peasantry. I gotta ask; what about the bearded ladies?

–          Kentucky’s own Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) was awarded the gold medal for his first place finish in the Light Heavyweight division of the boxing competition at the Olympic Games in Rome today in 1960.

–          Also in sports, today in 1906, the first legal forward pass in American football was thrown by Bradbury Robinson of St. Louis University to teammate Jack Schneider in a 22-0 victory over Carroll College (Wisconsin). Actually, I’m a little conflicted about this one: my money was squarely on Carroll College, but I had Bradbury Robinson on my fantasy team.

–          The first Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon (“Trolley Troubles”) was released by Universal Pictures today in 1927. That just sounds like something worth celebrating. Besides, I may put Oswald on my fantasy team as well – a lucky rabbit couldn’t hurt.

There’s a bunch of cool birthdays too;

–          Former Kentucky Wildcat, Nazr Mohammed was born today in 1977, as was World Series hero Bill Mazeroski in 1936.

–          Outlaw Jesse James (1847) shares this birthday with outlaw songwriter Louden Wainwright III (1946). Sing! “…stinkin’ to high heaven.”

–          American composer John Cage (1912) (we won’t be singing any of his tunes), actor Raquel Welch (1940) and comedian Bob Newhart (1929) were all born today, as were

–          Film director Werner Herzog (1942) and Scottish songster Al Stewart (1945).

Drink 4cast 4 2day & Quote of the Day

Today was the day in 1957 Jack Kerouac’s ON THE ROAD was published. Kerouac’s novel depicted a new America, connected physically by cars and highways, and separated philosophically by age and culture. Mr. Kerouac inquires of us; “Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?”

One of the mainstay party beverages of this penniless “beat” generation is the inspiration for today’s drink recipe. Before you go on, please keep in mind that we’ve all matured a bit (for better or for worse) and that not even Jimmy Buffett wants to grow up to be the old Jimmy Buffett anymore. Drink responsibly, folks…and don’t drink on the road.

Wine Spodie Odie


1 (5 lb.) package of ice (preferably 1 large block)

2 liters Polar Club Soda

For each guest;

1 favorite fruit

750ml of their favorite wine


  1. Go out and buy a brand new plastic garbage receptacle.
  2. Bring it home and wash it well.
  3. On the day of your “Spodie Odie” as your guests arrive, put in the block of ice and add club soda.
  4. Have glasses ready.
  5. As guests arrive, have them add their chosen wine, chop or slice and add their favorite fruit.
  6. Add a ladle, spread blankets on the lawn, turn on the tunes, and invite your neighbors so you don’t keep them up!


Doesn’t it sound awful?




Lemonade or Lovecraft?

August 20, 2013

Yuk or yum?

We’ll get to the lemonade shortly.

First though, grab your NECRONOMICON!

Pulp writer H. P. Lovecraft was born today in 1890. Mr. Lovecraft dominated the horror pulp magazines in the 1920’s and 40’s. His first book, however, was published after he died. Since that publication, Mr. Lovecraft has become revered by ghost story fans around the world.

He wrote of bleak places with mysterious, pre-human histories of perhaps extraterrestrial origins. He hinted at powerful interstellar gods whose malignant earthly remnants were absolutely to be avoided by sensible people and thus were resolutely pursued by soon-to-be-doomed seekers of forbidden knowledge. You wanted neither hurt nor help from Mr. Lovecraft’s gods: you really only wanted to be overlooked.

As far as I know, none of Mr. Lovecraft’s works have been turned into musicals – go figure.

Quote of the Day

It has to be this cheery little observation by Mr. Lovecraft. “The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.”

There are a couple of other birthdays of interest today.

–          Former UK football coach Rich Brooks was born today in 1941. Coach Brooks did it right and he did it well.

–          Another sci-fi/fantasy author was born today. Greg Bear (1951) gave us the brilliant and scary BLOOD MUSIC. I highly recommend it.

Drink 4cast 4 2day

Finally the lemonade! It’s National Lemonade Day, but I’m not sure this is what they had in mind.

Loco Lemonade Cocktail

1½ oz. Durango Tequila

1 oz. Grenadine

4 oz. Lemonade

½ oz. Lemon Juice

Build over four ice cubes and squeeze a lemon over the top.

Listen! I think I hear the call of Cthulhu! Run you fools!




Louie Louie Versus Diction!

August 8, 2013

Louie won.

Loowee looowi!

“Oh no, bay wiggaah go!”

Today in 1963, the Kingsmen released “Louie Louie”.

It was banned by many radio stations for its supposedly obscene lyrics. How could they tell? The singer’s crystal clear diction (not) revealed little nastiness. Finding filth in this recording is like listening to an ink blot.

I, however, actually sang this song for several years with a local rock group. Electricity had just been invented – before that, our guitars were of the air variety.

I know the real lyrics and will be happy to share that knowledge with you, but then of course I’d have to kill you.


“Afaa lill girl aquoizesee

Withahttuh I’ll nevva leeagginn”

Wait! That’s not all!

–          Today was a big day for another song with far more decipherable lyrics – though I’m not sure they’re any more comprehensible. “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini” hit number one on the pop charts today in 1960. You’ll be hummin’ that one all day. You can thank me later.

–          Today in 1876, Thomas Edison received a patent for his mimeograph machine. Oh, that piquant bouquet!

–          It’s also the day of birth in 1922 of actor Rory Calhoun. Will we ever forget his delicious performance as the proprietor of MOTEL HELL?

Our Quote of the Day

…comes from actor Dustin Hoffman. Mr. Hoffman was born today in 1937. He confides; “I decided to become an actor because I was failing in school and needed the credits.”

Drink 4cast 4 2day

Keep singin’!


Reenaats ndazeye sail th’see

Hingah girl cossint’lee”

Absolute poetry! Let’s have a;

Louie Louie Cocktail

3 oz. Southern Comfort

1 oz. Grays Peak Vodka

1 oz. Durango Coffee Liqueur

Stir and serve in a cocktail glass.

Just crank it up to eleven and forget the words!




Stop Floggin’!

August 5, 2013

So said the United States Army today in 1861 when they abolished flogging as a punishment.

Stop Drivin’!

So the first traffic light said when installed today in 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio.

On a much more positive note

–          Kentucky’s world-renowned writer, Wendell Berry was born today in 1934.

–          Lexingtonian Doug Flynn had a big day for the Mets today in 1980. Mr. Flynn smacked three triples in one game.

–          The Beatles released “Revolver” today in 1966. Let’s all sing! “We all live in a yellow submarine”. I know I have friends who believe this to be the greatest rock album ever released, but seriously…a yellow submarine?

Quote of the day

Novelist and poet Conrad Aiken was born today in 1899. Mr. Aiken states perfectly how I feel when surrounded by my friends; “Music I heard with you was more than music, and bread I broke with you was more than bread.”

Drink 4cast 4 2day

My favorite country torch singer was born today in 1943. Sammi Smith gave us “Help Me Make It Through the Night”, “Saunders Ferry Lane”, “There He Goes” and “Kentucky”. Ms. Smith could have you cryin’ in yer beer quicker’n anybody I know (or at least spelling funny).

And that’s a good thing since today is also International Beer Day!

Let’s celebrate with a;

Sheltowee Hop-a-Lot IPA

Sing! “It’s 32 and rainin’ here this mornin’ and I’ll make a bet that rain’ll turn to snow.”