Ya Won’t See This on the World Poker Tour!

August 2, 2013

Never lose a dime playing poker. Guaranteed!

But you could lose your life!

That’s what happened to Wild Bill Hickok today in 1876. He was killed during a poker game. He was holding a “Dead Man’s Hand”, two pair; aces and eights. I wager the Royal Flush Girls kept their smiles on the whole time though.

Going up?

Today in 1892, Charles A. Wheeler patented an escalator, instantly thrilling every slinky on the planet.

The Roller Derby becomes possible!

The world’s first roller skating rink opened today in 1875 in London.

Our Quote of the Day

One of my favorite actors, Peter O’Toole was born today in 1932. I can watch his spirited performances in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, THE RULING CLASS, BECKETT, THE LION IN WINTER, and MY FAVORITE YEAR over and over again.

Mr. O’Toole gives us this grim piece of information; “The only exercise I take is walking behind the coffins of friends who took exercise.” TMI, perhaps.

Drink 4cast 4 2day

I’m told today is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day. I’ve got just the thing for after the parade.

Ice Cream Sandwich Cocktail

3 Oreo Cookies

1 ¼ oz. Crème de Cacao White

1 oz. Half-and-Half

2 scoops Vanilla Ica Cream

½ scoop Crushed Ice

Combine ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.

Serve in a tall glass.

Garnish with another cookie.

I scream. You scream. We all scream…




Harry Potter’s Best Friend

July 31, 2013

J. K. Rowling was born today in 1965. I continue to harbor a belief and hope that Ms. Rowling will write more about Harry, Hermione, and Ron.

Quote of the Day

Actually, I’ve chosen two quotes for today; one serious and one foolish.

–          Our serious quote comes from Ms. Rowling. “If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

–          Today in 1930, the radio mystery program “The Shadow” aired for the first time. The Shadow was constantly informing us; “The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows…bwah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah!” I love that. I wonder if I can make “bwah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah!” into a ringtone?

Breathing suddenly became possible.

Today in 1774, Joseph Priestly discovered oxygen.

We have two other birthdays of interest today.

–          Gary Lewis, drummer and vocalist for Gary Lewis and the Playboys was born today in 1945. Go ahead and sing; “This diamond ring doesn’t shine for me anymore.”

–          University of Kentucky quarterback extraordinaire Tim Couch was born today in 1977.

Cocktail 4 2day

Given my fondness for The Shadow, I think we’ll celebrate his day of birth with a;

Black Shadow Cocktail

1 oz. Blue Curacao

½ oz. Crème de Cassis

Top up with Champagne





The Ol’ Lefthander

July 30, 2013

Rounding third and headin’ for home

Today in 1928, the youngest player in Major League history was born. Joe Nuxhall had a fine and lengthy career as a pitcher; mostly for the Reds. Mr. Nuxhall had an even longer and more storied career as a radio announcer and convoluted interviewer for those same Reds. I miss him.

Drink 4cast 4 2day

The number one spot on the rock ‘n’ roll charts today in 1966 was “Wild Thing” by The Troggs. This was a song in the lyrical spirit of Cole Porter and Noel Coward – no one ever said. It does however, give us an opportunity to knock back a;

Wild Thing Cocktail

1 ½ oz. Durango White Tequila

1 oz. Polar Club Soda

1 oz. Cranberry Juice

½ oz. Lime Juice

Pour all the ingredients into an old-fashioned glass with ice.

Garnish with a slice of lime.

Sing (or growl)! “…I think you move me…”




I’m in Hot Pursuit!

July 26, 2013

No, that’s not a small town outside Shelbyville.

A career sheriff from Kentucky!

Today in 1926, actor James Best was born in Powderly, Kentucky. Mr. Best had over 180 appearances on film and television. Schlock sci-fi fan that I am, I cherish his performances in the exquisite films; THE KILLER SHREWS and THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS. But Mr. Best made a long and successful career playing sheriffs. He was Sheriff Gruner in HOW THE WEST WAS WON, Sheriff Bert Hamilton in SOUNDER, Sheriff Vern Schaler in BONANZA, Sheriff Elkins in BLACK SPURS, Sheriff Scotty Wade in THE QUICK GUN, and of course Sheriff Roscoe Coltrane in THE DUKES OF HAZZARD.

As Sheriff Coltrane, he was never happier than when he was in “hot pursuit” of furthering Boss Hogg’s nefarious schemes.

A nuanced portrayal…not.

Quote of the day

It comes from Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger who was born today in 1943.

“People get very thoughtful when they are in cars.”

I would guess that to be less true during a hot pursuit, though.

Drink 4cast 4 2day

Here’s one for Hot Pursuit Day.

Boss Hogg Cocktail

¾ oz. Mount Gay Special Reserve Rum

¾ oz. Goslings Black Seal Rum

1 oz. Ron Diaz White Rum

1 oz. Banana Puree

1 oz. Blackberry Puree

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice.

Shake well and pour into a tall glass.

Garnish with an orange slice.





Dog-Lovers! Look Up!

July 22, 2013

I’ll believe it when dogs fly.

Will two dogs do?

Today in 1951 Dezik and Tsygan became the first dogs to make a sub-orbital flight. You know, my pup is an old dog now but in her gleeful youth I witnessed her achieving sub-orbital heights several times. What’s so special about Dezik and Tsygan?

Head scratchers…

–          Today in 2010, the Stonehenge World Heritage Site announced the discovery of a possible new henge, the biggest discovery at a major monument in over 50 years. A thousand thoughts  spring to mind;

  • What? Were they using it for a picnic table?
  • I will be bold and guess that they found it in the last place they looked.
  • I think I used to drive a Henge.

–          Jimi Hendrix quit as the opening act of the Monkees’ tour today in 1967.

  • Jimi Hendrix? …and the Monkees??
  • The Monkees?…on tour??

Sing! “They say Ruby is like a dream.”

–          Today in 1844, silent film actress Ruby Lafayette was born in Augusta, Kentucky. Ms. Lafayette appeared in about 30 films including; THE PHANTOM HORSEMAN (1924), BEAUTY IN CHAINS (1918), POLLY OF THE STORM COUNTRY (1920), and THE YELLOW DOG (1918). I’ve not seen THE YELLOW DOG. Thus, I cannot testify as whether the dog flew or not.

Our quote of the day…

…comes from birthday boy and comedian Albert Brooks.

“When I die, if the word ‘thong’ appears in the first or second sentence of my obituary, I’ve screwed up.”

Drink 4cast 4 2day

Given today’s big news (dogs in the sky!) and the recent hot weather it makes sense to gulp a;

Flying Dog Ale




Let ‘er fly!




To the Moon, Alice!

July 21, 2013

I remember Jackie Gleason emphatically saying this on “The Honeymooners” about 50 years ago (no exaggeration this time). Today his character, Ralph Kramden, would justifiably be condemned for his threats of domestic violence, but at the time this seemed funny stuff.

We can and do grow…as doubtful as that seems some days.

Hallmark says today is Moon Day.

That’s fine by me.

Today in 1969, the lunar module of Apollo 11 touched down on the moon’s surface and Neil Armstrong took his first steps.

I cannot overstate how profoundly this affected me. I’ve never been prouder of our country. We decided to do this amazing thing and we did it. We identified the mission and provided resources to brightest people we had and they led us to the moon.

These were bright people, not perfect people. We didn’t keep score on everything did and said off-duty. We did monitor what they did on the job. I don’t know whether these bright, imperfect people were liberals or conservative, Republicans or Democrats, Wildcat fans or Cardinal fans, Christian or Muslim, animal, vegetable, or mineral…or whatever. I don’t recall remotely caring about any of that. I cared about them doing imaginative, bright work. They did that just fine.

Let’s do things like that again!

Quote of the day

What else could it be? Neil Armstrong; “This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Drink 4cast 4 2day

Happy Moon Day!

Blue Moon Cocktail

¼ cup Grays Peak Vodka

¼ cup Blue Curacao

¼ cup Whipping Cream

2 tbsp Torani Vanilla Syrup

1 tbsp Cointreau

1 cup Crushed Ice

In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.

Pour into four martini glasses.

Garnish with orange slices.

WARNING! One of my friends who gleefully resists growing up will take Moon Day as a chance to do something outré out his car window on the highway. Please don’t encourage him. As Tom Waits puts it; “He’s from a good family, but he’s developed ways about him that just aren’t right!”




Gonzo Advice!

July 18, 2013

It’s national caviar day!

When’s the parade?

Speaking of whistles…we were weren’t we?

The oldest musical instrument in the world was unearthed today in 1995 in the Indrijca River Valley in Slovenia. The 45,000 year-old relic, a crude wind instrument, is a bear bone with four artificial holes along its length.

I was feeling a bit like a 45,000 year-old relic myself the other day.

Lots of Kentucky birthdays today

–          An unforgettable UK basketball player, John Pelphrey was born today in 1968 in Paintsville.

–          Boston Red Sox left-fielder and Louisville native Mike Greenwell was born today in 1963.

–          Bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs was born today in 1954.

Quote of the Day and Drink 4cast 4 2day – all in one!

Another Kentucky birthday will inspire our refreshment today.

Today in 1937, gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson was born in Louisville. Mr. Thompson managed to write to us about fear and loathing in a way that made us cry…with laughter. His advice? “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” We’ll toast his day of birth with a;

Purple Russian Gonzo Cocktail

1 oz. Opulent Vodka

1 oz. Blue Curacao

1 oz. 7-Up

3 dashes Grenadine

Pour ingredients into a shaker filled with ice cubes.

Shake until chilled.

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Watch out for those flying black things outside of Barstow!




I’m Still Doin’ the Rhumba, Baby!

July 17, 2013

I can’t seem to quit!

That was Nicolette Larson’s complaint in her rendition of “Rhumba Girl”. Earworm alert! I’ll be hummin’ that song all day.

I believe it was Mary Kay Place who counted as one of Ms. Larson’s accomplishments the fact that “she can sit on her very own hair”. Well, Ms. Larson had a lot more going for her than that. Her recordings of “Lotta Love”, “Give a Little”, and “Dancin’ Jones” never fail to make me smile. Her duet with Neil Young on “Four Strong Winds” is killer as well. Ms. Larson was born this day in 1952. It’s OK to sing now; “Give a little, care a lot. Try to use the love you’ve got.”

Three more birthdays caught my eye.

–          Country growler Red Sovine was born today in 1917. Mr. Sovine gave us the trucker ghost saga of “Phantom 309”. “’Did I say sumthin’ wrong?’ I said with sort of a halfway grin.”

–          The always interesting and often creepy Donald Sutherland was born today in 1935. My favorite of his film efforts? That would “M.A.S.H.” (the film).

–          Writer Erle Stanley Gardner was born today in 1889. Mr. Gardner created Perry Mason. I’ll be hearing that opening music for the rest of the day as well.

Quotes of the day

We’ll have one serious and one not so much – you figure out which is which.

One from Donald Sutherland; “What the nation’s built on is discussion, contradiction, and growth – and at the moment you can’t discuss anything.”

And one from birthday girl Phyllis Diller (1917); “Housework can’t kill you, but why take a chance?”

I just don’t know what to say about this

Today in 1914, Giants outfielder Red Murray was knocked unconscious by lightning after catching a fly ball, ending a 21 inning game. The Giants won 3 to 1. Talk about your fireworks after the game!

Drink 4cast 4 2day

This one’s for Nicolette Larson.

Rhumba Cocktail

2 oz. Jamaica Dark Rum

1 oz. Royal James Gin

1 dash Grenadine

Fill a shaker with ice cubes.

Add ingredients.

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Sing! “My mama catches us doin’ the rhumba, my mama’s gonna pitch a fit!”




Ronstadt, Rembrandt, & the Flying Cross Chop!

July 15, 2013


…was born today in 1606.

It’s a big day for Linda Ronstadt.

–          Ms. Ronstadt was born this day in 1946.

Another birthday and our quote of the day

Today is the birthday in 1966 of the beautiful and talented Irene Jacob. Ms. Jacob was quite fine in the films; THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE and THREE COLORS: RED. Both films were directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski who suggests; “Maybe it is worth investigating the unknown, if only because the very feeling of not knowing is a painful one.”

Drink 4cast 4 2day

–          One of the stars in the world of masked Mexican wrestlers; Mil Mascaras was born today in 1942. Mr. Mascaras, El Santo, and Blue Demon made up the “big three” in the Mexican luchador world. For the aficionados in the audience, Mr. Mascaras innovated the “Flying Cross Chop” which has so enhanced the aesthetics of masked Mexican wrestlers. I can’t tell you how deeply it troubles me that I know things like this.

–          It’s also the day of birth (1951) for the uber-macho Jesse Ventura.

Well this must celebrated with a;

Hammerlock Cocktail

1 ¼ oz. Crème de Cacao White

¾ oz. Triple Sec

3 Dark Chocolate Cream-Filled Cookies

½ oz. Grenadine

1 oz. Milk or Cream

2 scoops Vanilla Ice Cream

Crushed Ice

Put ingredients in a blender.

Blend until smooth





Real Courage & the View From a Ferris Wheel

July 11, 2013

Quotes of the day.

–          Perhaps my favorite writer (but ask me again in an hour) is E. B. White. Mr. White gave us the completely charming children’s books CHARLOTTE’S WEB and STUART LITTLE. And then there’s his ELEMENTS OF STYLE which threatens to make decent writers and thinkers of us all. Mr. White was born today in 1899. He said;

“I see nothing in space as promising as the view from a Ferris wheel.”

–          Harper Lee’s masterpiece TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was published today in 1960. In it, Atticus Finch explains to his daughter;

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”

Drink 4cast 4 2day

Today in 1880, Maurice Vernon was born in Lexington. His parents were British and after his schooling at the Kentucky Military Institute, the family returned to England. Mr. Vernon grew up to be a playwright. He wrote “Me and My Gal”, “The Bamboula”, “The Princess and the Dancer”, and…wait for it…a play entitled “Mr. Wu”. This is the play we’re interested in today. “Mr. Wu” went on to about six film productions including a silent version featuring Lon Chaney Sr. in the title role. That, I think, qualifies Mr. Vernon to be our Kentucky writer…sorta. We’ll celebrate today with a;

Wu Wu Cocktail

2 oz. Grays Peak Vodka

1 oz. Orange Juice

1 oz. Cranberry Juice

Pour the vodka over ice in a highball glass.

Add the juices and serve.

One more thought from Ms. Lee’s Atticus Finch; “I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”