Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holiday Press Release

We, foolishly, had some major errors in the F.R.I. office computer. These errors kept the computer at the repair shop for nearly a month but we hope to continue normal operations soon.

In the mean time, Happy New Year to everyone!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Paperback Friday: Butler & Carter

Erewhon by Samuel Butler
First published in 1872.
This edition published 1996, Wordsworth Editions Limited.
Erewhon is one of the 501 Must Read Books and I aquired it through Paperback Swap.

Sky Pirates of Callisto; Copyright 1973 Lin Carter.
Published by Dell Publishing Co. Inc, First printing January 1973.
I found this one at McKays Used Books in Knoxville for 90 cents.

When the Green Star Calls; Copyright 1973 Lin Carter.
First printing July 1973 Daw Books, also found at McKays for 75 cents.

The Years Best Fantasy Stories: 2; Copyright 1976 Daw Books, Inc.
First printing August 1976.
I found this one at the Sweetwater, Tn. Flea Market for $1.oo.

The Barbarian of World's End: The fourth book of the Gonwane Epic.
Copyright 1977 Lin Carter. First printing May 1977 Daw Books.
This one is probably from McKays too.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

F.R.I. Year End Report

This first week of November seems as good a time as any for the 2010 Year End Report for Fanatical Recycling Inc.

1. The problem with T-shirt Tuesday is keeping track of the shirts that have already been featured. Hopefully, this problem will be resolved during the remaining days of the 2010 calendar year so that T-shirt Tues. can click along in 2011.

2. Paperback Friday should resume this Friday, NOv. 12th.

3. What I'm reading: I'm actually finishing The High King by Lloyd Alexander. I hardly ever read any series of books in order but I've read the last four books of this series since the beginning of Oct. I suppose I'll finish reading Janet Evanovich's How I Write next. The book is literally about how she writes, as it is mainly passages, as example, from her Stephanie Plum books. I have read none of Evanovich's novels but if syrupy romance is your thing, How I Write may be an effective learning tool for you. This stuffs not really my area of interest, I discovered this book while working at a book warehouse earlier this year.

4. Scott, one of our fellow OSR bloggers has mentioned a personal ban on buying books in 2011. This is a policy which I also need to adopt. Knox, Co. Tn. is blessed with the most amazing used book warehouse, Mckay Used Books. I'm always able to find great deals on old paperbacks there, usually at prices from $2.00 to less than $1.00. This has allowed me to purchase no less than five books each month. I have a bookshelf full of books and need to buy no more in 2011, with a few exceptions. I'll write of the exceptions as they occur.

5. What is Fanatical Recycling Inc? F.R.I. was created as a writing outlet for ideas and opinions which are not related to table top role playing games, related literature, ideas or new rpg material. F.R.I. has become a journal of my personal interests, beer, music, old paperbacks, Margaritas, travel, etc.

I had hoped to use F.R.I. to write about my opinions of modern culture. I can't say that I have political opinions; I can only say that I have a philosophy. I have learned that other people rarely listen to "philosophical" ideas which they do not already share and this has placed my philosophies into the deep recesses of my personal consciousness. Perhaps, throughout 2011, I will be able to record some of these opinions and philosophies through F.R.I.

6. Welcome to Zanazaz our second, visible, F.R.I. follower.

7. Lastly, this is my 95th blog post since I started blogging on Oct. 29, 2009. That's nearly two blog articles each week and it is a lot more writing than I was doing before I started the Polyhedral Dicebag blog.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Paperback Friday: Bradbury -- Brunner

Three to the Highest Power; Ray Bradbury, Chad Oliver & Theodore Sturgeon
Copyright 1968 William F. Nolan. First Avon printing February 1968.
Dedication: For Anthony Boucher, who discovered Oliver and promoted Bradbury and Sturgeon.

I found this one at the Friends of the Knox Co. Library sale a few years ago and read it right away. The book contains one short story by each of these authors and is excellent old school Sci-Fi reading.

The Elfstone of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Copyright 1982 Terry Brooks. First Mass Market Edition: Published by Ballantine Books January, 1984.

I got this book for twenty-five cents in Birmingham, Al, sometime between 2001 – 2005 but haven’t read it yet.

The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner
Copyright; 1972 Brunner Fact and Fiction, Ltd. Fourth printing by Ballantine Books May, 1976.
I got this one at the Friends of the K. C. L. sale too. I imagine I’ll read it soon since it’s one of the 501 must read books.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Do you know this man?

Mr. Thompson visited Knoxville this past Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010 and this year he brought his band along. Richard Thompson is one of a handfull of musicians which Sally and I try to see every time they come to town and he never fails to earn my limited entertainment dollars. He and his band could certainly give younger musicians a run for their money. In my rather critical opinion, any younger pop or rock musicians who are not paying attention to Richard Thompson should just hand up their insturmants.

The following video, I believe, is from a performance just eleven days ago on 10.4.2010. For further reading, there is this little bit that I wrote on my, now, rpg blog earlier this year.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Other University Shirts

Here are three more shirts from schools other than U.T. I always wanted an East Carolina shirt as a young man because there's no such place as East Carolina. There is a North Carolina and a South Carolina, but there is no East Carolina. As it turned out, my wife’s nephew is an East Carolina alum. Go Pie-rates!

25 shirts presented, 340 shirts to go...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Paperback Friday; Anderson & Bester

I was at one of the local libraries last week and found another Poul Anderson book for twenty-five cents in their book sale.

The Earth Book of Stormgate by Poul Anderson, original copyright 1956. Copyright Poul Anderson/Berkley Books 1978. This is a collection of Anderson's short stories which originally appeared in various Sci-Fi magazines over a span of twenty years.

Now we move on to the books in B by author's last name:
The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester, copyright 1951 Galaxy Publishing Corp, Copyright 1953 Alfred Bester. Winner of the original Hugo Award 1953.
This editon copyright 1987 Nelson Doubleday under arrangement with Simon and Schuster.
A member of the 501 Must Read Books list.

The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester, copyright 1956 Galaxy Publishing Corp. This edition copyright 1961 Signet Books.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

UT shirts

Since moving to Knoxville in 2007 I've purchased a few shirts to help me blend in with the natives. It just seemed appropriate, since I live in a college town, I should have some apparel of the home team. Wal Mart was a big help with this too when I found a Tennessee vs. Bama shirt for $2.00. I also found a neat old school t-shirt design at a store in "the mall." I like the slate blue color of the shirt too. Then the Lady Vols won the women's NCAA Basketball Championship a few years ago and Sally got another shirt for me. Honestly, I hardly ever wear any of these shirts. I wore the slate blue shirt with the football player to work about a week ago and a co-worker said, "Oh no, football already!" I replied, "Oh yeah, I just like the shirt and didn't even associate it with the approaching football season." I do wear the grey UT shirt which I posted earlier quite often.

22 shirts presented, 343 shirts to go...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Michelob on Monday

Remember when Michelob came in a bottle like this? Of course Anheuser Bush has changed the bottle now. The new bottle is pretty standard with reinforced glass at the bottom of the neck. I can't understand why they would change the bottle since the old design was an icon of American beer culture and the new bottles is obviously manufactured exclusively for the Michelob line. Ah well, we don't drink the bottles do we, the packaging has very little to do with the product it contains.

I also remember the Michelob always had a very fresh taste too. The beer was less hoppy than Budweiser and, in fact, tasted more like Miller Lite. I was shopping for beer last weekend and was going to purchase a Yeungling twelve-but I noticed, the Michelob twelve-pack cost only fifty cents more than Yeungling. What the heck, let's relive the beers of the past!

Michelob produced a good foamy head unlike most American style Largers. The carbonation also lasted ‘till the last sip. The beer tastes much as I remember but with a hint more hops. I suspect, due to the clean, less sweet taste, that Michelob has a bit more barley than a Budweiser. The big American breweries have made an art out of producing beer with a minimal amount of hops and barley which is the reason I mainly avoid the mega-breweries. The cold carbonated, sweet and sour qualities do make these great beers for the heat of American summers. This weekend I went back to my European Lager knockoff brand, Hollande. I'll be enjoying the full hops flavoring with no complaints. I enjoyed the Michelob too but I've had enough of that style for a month or twelve, or twenty-four.

-Near Beer Monday: Part 2-

I got an idea when I noticed the bill boards of Bud Light. The Bud Light ad theme is now "Here we go!" The plot of the t.v. ads seems to be; "We have some schwill, here comes trouble" or "Irresponsibility due to malted corn products." So, I thought, why don't they just call it "Here We Go" Beer?

Beer for people who just like to pee a lot.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Second Anniversary

This Monday, August 30th, will be the second anniversary of my marriage to my lovely assistant Sally Ruth Pangle, or as I've been known to call her; Sally Wally Hot Tamale. She and I are very philosophically compatible, a point which was proven by our anniversary gift exchange today. I thought she would buy a book for me as a gift which she did. I was surprised because she did not get the book which I had anticipated. She got me Spectrum 1: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art. She also purchased the Agent Orange recording Living In Darkness and it was a very big surprise. I listened to this cassette tape quite a bit in my youth and had the CD on my Amazon wish list. She also surprised me with a gift card for one of my favorite local restaurants, Veg-O-Rama. I would say that Veg O Rama is one of our favorite restaurants but I know Sally isn’t as fond of it as I am. But, the Agent Orange CD and the Spectrum volume were both real surprises!

I got Sally a hammock and a hammock stand for our tree encircled backyard. (White Pines and White Maples) I'm certain she'll enjoy lying in the hammock and reading and alternately taking naps . I also got her the book Drawing Down the Moon, the Art of Charles Vess. I feel the fact that we both received fantasy art anthologies as anniversary gifts is not ironic, but it is indicative of how compatible Sally and I are.

Happy Anniversary Sally Wally Hot Tamale, Happy Anniversary to us!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Paperback Friday - Poul Anderson

I thought I'd start posting these pulp scans in alphabetical order this week. Most of these are books that I have not read. I'll provide some details for the books which i have read. So, we have Poul Anderson this week and these are two of his works from my shelves which I have not read.

The Broken Sword: originally published 1954. This edition published 1977, Del Rey.

Ensign Flandry: copyright 1966, Poul Anderson. The edition published 1979, Ace Science Fiction. Dedicated to Frank and Beverly Herbert.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pop Culture Shirts

Posting four shirts at a time will help get through the shirts quickly. But, I'm beginning to wonder if I do have 365 shirts?

This week have four shirts with pop culture themes. The top left is a Hard Rock Cafe T which was a hand-me-down from a relative. The dragon disign is on the back of that one. Top right is one of two Rolling Stones Tees. The black one was purchased from K-mart in the past five years. Below the map of the U.S. it says, "North American tour 1981." The front of the shirt has the R.S. lips with an American flag tounge. The red Stones shirt I purchased at a resale shop here in Knoxville. The bottom left is a Napoleon Dynamite Tee from Wal=Mart. I just wish that shirt was blank rather than having Napoleon's name as part of the design.

19 shirts down and 346 to go.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Lady Chatterley’s Lover wrap-up

The Penguin Twentieth Century Classis edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover is 302 pages long and I threw in the towel after 213 pages. I had heard enough of Lady Chatterley’s self centered complaining about her marriage. She admits that she no longer loves her husband Clifford. He was paralyzed during World War I and is confined to a wheelchair. His is a situation of potential misery but he makes the best of it and is truly happy with his intellectual pursuits. Connie Chatterley, on the other hand, is self serving and obsessed with fulfilling her sexual desires. After 213 pages I had read enough of Lawrence’s social theories and complaining about the plight of the labor classes. At that point in the book Connie had planned to take a holiday with her sister, I was tired of waiting for this trip while reading about Lady C’s dalliances with the groundskeeper.

I’m sure this was one of the first English novels concerning the topic of modern sexuality and it was certainly one of the first, on this topic, to become accepted as literature. Lawrence has also written Study of Thomas Hardy (1936) and I would like to offer that Lady Chatterley… is a reworking of Jude the Obscure with the addition of sex scenes. It’s the Twenty-first Century now and I don’t need D. H. Lawrence to explain human sexuality to me. If Philip Roth has learned anything from Lawrence it is to keep his stories short and to the point. If Lionel Fanthrope has learned anything from Lawrence it is to ramble on like an Irishman on holiday.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Paperback Friday

Today I introduce another of my luxuries, along with t-shirts and beer, I love books. One of the reasons I'm the luckiest man in the world is because I'm married to a reader too. I'm also lucky that we have a great retail book warehouse here in Knoxville where I can find these pulp novelties, often, for one dollar or less. So, on Paperback Friday, I'll post the covers of the books from my pulpy fantasy and sci-fi collection.

This week we have two works from the genius that is Lionel Fanthorpe. Mr. Fanthorpe wrote under many pseudonyms and, I suppose, he could be known as the king of the modern pulps. I'll occasionally find his books at McKay Used Books and bring them home for later consumption.

Here is Time Echo, published by Arcadia House in 1964.

Orbit One, Arcadia House 1966.
Both these books indicate that they are duplications of "the original text of the hardcover edition." I honestly doubt that either of these where ever printed in a hardcover edition.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Real Beer Shirts

Here are four more shirts and these are some of my most prized recent acquisitions, the real beer shirts. We have The Union Jacks beer challenge completion shirt at the top left. At top right is the Great Smokey Mnts. Brewgrass Festival shirt from 2008. We missed the festival last year but will get to attend again next month. The bottom row has a shirt from Molly Macpherson’s Scottish Pub in Savannah Georgia and a beer themed shirt from Khols.

15 shirts down and 350 to go!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lady Chatterley's Lover

I've had this copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover for at least ten years. It's an old copy of the book I salvaged from a home fire at a friend's house. I found the book recently while cleaning my library and thought; I should read it and send it off with the other paper for recycling. I've read half the book and I'm not too excited about reading the rest of the story.

Lawrence reminds me of James Joyce because he tells vivid stories of human struggle but who really wants to explore that much detail? Lawrence admired Thomas Hardy and Lady Chatterley's Lover is basically the same plot as Jude the Obscure but with sex scenes. Thus the novel lives up to the qualities of literature through analysis of the human weaknesses of class struggle, codependency, financial struggle, selfishness and sexuality.

I'm certain I'll finish reading this "fine" piece of literature during the coming week. D. H. Lawrence will earn a place on my personal see-saw of literary figures. I think he will sit on the end with James Joyce and help hold Herman Hesse aloft.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hands off policy toward Eddie Money

And a definite ears off policy too. I have a thirty mile commute to work each day and I get to listen to a radio station called Jack FM. I work even further out in East Tennessee where all the radio stations are country, pop, sports, new talk or worse. About five miles into my drive I can't receive radio stations from Knoxville. Jack FM is a pretty good compromise; they just play "a bunch of songs in a row." Their play list is a good mix of music from the 70's to the present but often the rotation gets bogged down and I'll hear the same batch of songs form one day to the next.

Friday one of Eddie Money's songs came on for the umpteen-millionth time and now Mr. Money joins the ranks of musicians I refuse to listen to during my drive time. Most of the music I will not listen to was the popular music from my adolescence. These tunes evoke all the fun awkwardness that is High School and I'll change the radio station to avoid them.

Eddie Money was just added to this list after I saw him performing during half time for a BCS bowl game last fall. Eddie's catalogue had some groovy tunes, "Sh-sh-sh-shackin," Two Tickets to Paradise, Take me Home Tonight and Baby Hold on to Me which I believe was the tune I saw him perform on T.V. He was obviously lip-syncing the tune which I think is the lowest form of celebrity bailout. Mr. Money looked washed up performing in a trench coat with a giant marching band as his supporting musicians.

So I've added Eddie M to the other musicians I intend to keep my ears away from; Journey, Foreigner, Boston, Kansas, Styx, Nickleback, Linkin Park, Creed and any versions of the songs "American Woman" and "Lean on Me." A visit to the Jack FM/Knoxville website will reveal that Kansas and Styx will be playing at our minor league baseball stadium this fall, further proof these groups are washed up.

Here's a nice tune I'll take over all those mentioned above.

Monday, August 9, 2010

B-movies Revisited

I was at Wally World this past weekend getting some new tires installed on the Corolla so, of course, I had to rummage through the $5.00 DvD bin. I found one disk which contains two sci-fi films; War of the Worlds 2 and Invasion of the Pod People. I always choose to purchase these cheap flicks, for $5.00 ya can’t go wrong, right? My lovely assistant and I watched the Invasion of the Pod People last night and I wish I had my $2.50 back to send on a gallon of gasoline.

This movie had all the qualifications of a bad, bad movie; bad acting, bad dialogue, poor plot progression, terrible soundtrack quality, bad set selection, scenes of people talking on cell phones, scenes of people in cars, stock footage and really bad special effects. When I see films like this I think, this was someone’s film school project. The truth is it was probably an independent film festival project or made for Showtime.

To describe the acting as bad is using creative license on my part. There wasn’t much acting in the film but there was a good bit of reading of cue cards or Teleprompters. The people in the film look at the side of the camera in every scene. The soundtrack had a lot of unexplained noise in a few scenes. The noise, which I figured out was supposed to be the pods multiplying, was so loud that the dialogue was unintelligible.

The plot of the film would have been difficult to follow if I hadn’t read the description on the DVD cover. The characters of the movie supposedly worked for a modeling agency. The story the film presents is; There’s a company named Blockthorn that does something and one guy, the boss, wants something done and yells at his employees about getting it right. Then some of the employees become obsessed with a strange plant. One of the employees is attacked by a pod from the plant and then keeps sharing the plant with her coworkers.

The camera angle may be on a conversation but the dialogue might as well be, "Hey officer friendly will you help us with these plant people. Oh look, they are playing Frisbee in the park," as the actor speaking looks out of the shot rather than at the other actor. Yes, this movie was so bad that I wanted to turn away. But we suffered through to the end which left the plot open as if they intend to make a sequel.

Then there’s the sex. Of course these pods from outer space know about seduction and use it to acquire their pod victims. I was very surprised that the first scene in this film from Wally World was a sex scene. There where at least four sex scenes with topless ladies. Some one slipped this one past the censors at Wally World. But these scenes were bad too 'cause only in low budget films do folks have sex without taking their pants and skirts off.

Invasion of the Pod People is just bad. I wouldn’t recommend that anyone watch this film. I wouldn't even put this film on the B List, it is more of an F List product. The folks who made it are probably laughing all the way to the bank and I hope this film was the low point of their careers. I just wish, that once, I could get the money that is spent to produce films like this one. I’d use it to make a film with some lego figures with better results. Hum…? (having a light bulb moment)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

T-shirt Tuesday returns

So here's what was in the laundry. A Denver Broncos shirt I got when we were in Colorado in June. A shirt which says, "Super Donor." I was given this when something was spilled on my shirt at a friend's house. An Xmarx.com shirt. This is a local Battletech model builder and I always get his shirts as a door prize at our local gaming con. Lastly, a KnoxGamers t-shirt. The Knox Gamers logo is "Die trying." I've been wearing a lot of white shrits during this late summer heat wave.

11 shirts down, 354 shirts to go.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Beer Review that was not and a beer quote.

Monday I took this photo of the Michelob Hop Hound to prepare to write a review of the beer. There are two glasses of beer because the label of the Hop Hound claims the beer has a "unique amber color." I thought, "there's nothing unique or amber about this beer." I showed this beer comparison to Sally who asked, what is the other beer and she was surprised when I told her it's my homebrew.

I didn't do the beer review because the Hop Hound turned out to be flat and nothing worth writing about. So, which beer's Hop Hound and which one is homebrew, you tell me?

"In my opinion, most of the great men of the past were only there for the beer." A.J.P. Taylor, British Historian

Monday, July 19, 2010

Magic Hat Monday

Today I'll be giving a review of Magic Hat, Odd Notion Summer 2010. Each season the Magic Hat brewery makes a new style of their Odd Notion label. The summer beers tend to be wheat beers and the cool season beers tend toward dark ales.

Odd Notion Summer 2010 pours with very little head retention. The fragrance of the beer is like a white wine, like muscadine. The body of the beer is very clear and unlike many wheat beers which are cloudy. The initial sip tastes of wheat and carbonation. The flavor is not hoppy or bitter; I wonder if this is some hybrid of barley and wheat malts? The pallet remains slightly sour and light to the end. I may finally be a wheat beer fan after twenty years of beer drinking.

For the record, I'm the one who ranked Magic Hat #9 and Terrapin Hop Karma in the top five beers in North America.

Wow, I really need to polish that table.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

T-shirt Thrusday

The heat of the summer has gotten to me, when I arrive home from work I just wanna lay around. After completing a new adventure for Encounter Critical last week I haven't done anything productive with my spare time. Well, I did make a few pages of notes for the next EC adventure but I still haven't organized them. I don't want to let the blogs bog down either, so I'll attempt a few blog posts before I get lost in that adventure design.

This week’s shirt contains the image of a mythic man who, for me, is a very important cultural icon. No, it is not President Obama or Che Guervara but the Buddha. This is one of my favorite shirts ever which I've owned for fifteen years. Obviously, I don't wear it very often and, this time of year, it's too hot to start wearing it, I'd sweat and the shirt would start falling apart.

I present to you; the Buddha shirt. Perhaps I'll write that blog about why I love customer service today?

7 down, 358 shirts to go.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Two more for T-shirt Tuesday

Here are two more of my old t-shirts. The one of the left is a t-shirt from Bonnaro 2004 which I attended with some of my old college buddies. Yes, we where old college buddies in 2004 too. The graphics of the shirt display some of the lyrics from the Grateful Dead song Tennessee Jed. Tennessee, of course, being the state where the Bonnaro festival is held. This shirt has various small holes in the front which I always manage to put in my shirts. I guess I snag the shirts on plants while I'm gardening?

You can see, the shirt on the right is a Budweiser shirt. I got this shirt from one of my stepsons when he was ready to retire the shirt. I don't advocate the consumption of beverages from the Anheuser-Busch breweries but it is an All-American brand and well represented on a t-shirt. The shirt is rather stretched and dirty and I had to wash it with bleach once after I wore it to mow the lawn. Lawn mowing is usually what I do in these old hand-me-down shirts.

These two are the last of the old and nearly worn out shirts which I have to share. Now we'll be getting into the old and well preserved or new and worn regularly section of the shirt collection. Six down; 359 shirts to go.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Margarita Monday, or not?

The FRI staff had our usual round of Margaritas this weekend. In fact, we had Margaritas last Tuesday, before our weekly rpg, when we went to dine at Senior Taco. There was nothing fancy to our Margaritas this weekend so I will not discuss the mix, I believe we used Jose Cuervo Martarita Mix and the Margaritaville Lime Tequila.

As will become evident with further posts, I'm a sucker for snazzy pack ageing and new ideas so, I just had to try the Smirnoff Blueberry Lemonade.

I know the idea of this drink creates images of wine coolers and the idea is justified. It's been years since I've had one of these, frou-frou, bottled drinks but the idea of mixing blueberry and lemonade intrigued me and the drink wasn't bad. This isn't to say I'm ever going to buy a pack of them but it really wasn't bad as an experiment. These drinks are marketed as malt beverages rather than wine coolers. As I understand they are made from malted corn and rice (the adjunct liquors of light beers.) This creates a whole new category for these former wine coolers, now they fall into the near beer category along with the MGD 64 I just had to try a few months ago.

My honest opinion of the Smirnoff Blueberry Lemonade is that it is not a bad drink. It tastes mainly like lemonade with just a hint of blueberry in each sip. I like blueberries but I wouldn't have thought of putting them in lemonade. If you don't like blueberries but you do like lemonade, don't shy away from this drink, the blueberry flavor adds just a bit of sweetness to the sour lemonade flavors. The drink could even be used in a Margarita mix and I'm likely to give it a try some time, maybe with more blueberries? Nah, I know that no one else would like a Blueberry Margarita.

A second product, that I noticed while in Colorado, is Frida Kahlo Tequila. I had never heard of this product and was intrigued by the image of Frida Kahlo on tequila packaging. This combination is culturally appropriate, in my opinion, but since I'm not Latin American I really don't get a vote. A brief internet search indicates that this tequila markets for $36 to $75 dollars and had, of course, created some protest associated with using Frida's image for marketing. I don't want to get involved in the politics of this issue. I'm just presenting the product to say, "Look at this." If you like modern art and you like adult beverages, here it is.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Beer Quote of the day.

As I think I've mentioned, I get the Beer of the Day calendar each year. Each page contains a description of a new beer and a beer fact, beer quote, beer history or trivia. Yesterday, Thursday July 1st contained the following beer quote which I wanted to share with you all.

"When I heated my home with oil, I used an average of 800 gallons a year. I have found that I can keep comfortably warm for an entire winter with slightly over half that quanity of beer."

-- Dave Barry

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

T-shirt Tuesday, again

Here are two more old shirts. The “Used Cars” shirt I’ve had since the late 90s. It was a gift from one of my co-workers at that time. The used cars on the shirt are VW Beetles covered in snow. The “Used Car” sign also has the VW logo. I was dedicated to driving VWs, at that time, until I decided that I really wanted to work for a living and had to start driving a truck.

The second shirt is for the Nintendo game Star Wars: Pod Racer. I bought this shirt off of e-bay around 2000. I’m really no fan of Star Wars, Episode 1, but the shirt was cheap and, after all, represents Star Wars and Nintendo. I’ve worn both of these shirts fairly religiously over the years and they both may be ready for the rag bag around 2011. Four shirts down, 361 to go.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Margarita Monday: 2010 Vacation

My lovely assistant, Sally Bally Whoa Wally, and I just returned from our vacation to Colorado. We went on the B&B tour. No, not Bed & Breakfast, we went on the brewery and book store tour. (Which is a story for another time.) We dined at Juanita's in Boulder twice and enjoyed the food and the Margaritas each time. I have the mysterious ability to make food, and Margaritas, disappear. While I remember that the food at Juanita's was very good, I don't remember the details because I ate entirely too fast. I did have the Chile Relleno which was suggested by our friend, and current Colorado resident, Scott. I'm a sucker for good Chile Relleno but I've really got to eat slower and enjoy my food. The half liter of Margaritas was $17.50 and was much more economical than paying $7.50 for each drink.

Here we are over looking Boulder.

Down in Denver we got to eat at Jack n Grill and of course we had a jumbo Margarita too. I'd seen the features on Jack n Grill on the Travel Channel and wanted to be sure to eat there while we were staying in Denver. I'm pretty sure I had the veggie burrito and devoured it.

The Margaritas at both of these restaurants where good but not as good as our favorite Latin American restaurant in Knoxville, Chez Guevara, which translates; House of Guevara. Chez G has the best Margaritas, they are so good I’ve considered asking them for their recipe. I know they use fresh oranges because they are always slicing them at the bar. Perhaps we’ll get to visit Chez G this weekend and provide a report for the next Margarita Monday.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fanatical Recycling Endorsements

And what I mean by "endorsements" is, these are items we, at FRI, endorse and recommend for entertainment, education and enjoyment for everyone. Our first endorsement is for the Hubert Smith Radio Show, a local talk show featuring news and intelligent, truly open minded discussions of local politics and culture. I listen to Hubert's program on the University of Tennessee listener supported radio station, WUTK.
The Hubert Smith program is quality radio and one of the distinguishing features is the old school R&B music which is featured along with their news topics. This combination of great, classic music and intelligent commentary is a win - win situation for everyone.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Margarita Monday; on Tuesday

Last week, my acquaintance, gnotions, pointed out the traditional Margarita ingredients for what I would call a “Top Shelf Margarita.” My wife will not allow me to use cheap tequila so they’ll be no problem in that area. We don’t drink that much either. We each had two drinks from the batch yesterday, well, it was Monday of course.

We generally use the Margaritaville Island Lime tequila. Sally recently bought 30 – 30 brand Reposado which we enjoyed. I bought Two Fingers brand tequila once but Sally wasn’t fond of that brand. Baring the availability of any other brands we would probably use Jose Cuervo. For orange liquor I occasionally use Grand Marnier but use Triple-Sec most of the time.

Yesterday I attempted to recreate the blue Margarita. I made a small batch of traditional Margaritas, preped the Margarita glass with salt and ice then filled 1/3 of the glass with Mnt. Dew Voltage. Now the trick is to attempt to keep the drink blue but get it to taste like a Margarita, rather than tasting sweet like the Mnt. Dew. I settled for flavor over color and Sally thought I had used the green Mnt. Dew.

If I'm determined to make a blue Margarita I'm gonna have to try a different combination of ingredients. We'll be in Colorado next week so I'll bring back some tales of Rocky Mnt. Margaritas.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

T-shirt Tuesday; part 2

Just a quick t-shirt submission during this busy week. This specimen is the sandard issue University of Tennessee, Volunteers t-shirt.

When I moved to Knoxville a few years ago I had to acquire a U.T. shirt or two. I have owned this shirt for a year or two as it's a hand-me-down from my wife's brother-in-law. The shirt was nice and worn-in when I got it and I liked it immediately. I got the black paint on it this past winter when I was working at the book warehouse.

An update on last week's shirt; there was no Cowboys shirt in the rag bag. The Panic shirt's resting with a rather dirty Meat Puppets shirt and a worn-out Las Vegas, Hot, Hot, Hot, shirt. (We went to Vegas in 2007 and I paid $2. for the shirt and wore the print off or it in about twelve months.)

Oh yeah, the Beer Par poll didn't get much traffic. I'll play with the poll option when I've acquired more readers.

T-shirt Tuesday

This first entry is the proverbial “Having a Good Time” Widespread Panic t-shirt. “Having a Good Time,” is the chorus of one of Panic’s earliest songs, Porch Song. I’m pretty sure I mail ordered this shirt in 1996 but it may have been ’94 or ’95. This shirt qualifies as the most ragged shirt in my collection and it’s very close to retirement. The collar is torn away from the back of the shirt (see the bed spread through the back of the shirt.) and there a rips throughout the design on the front. I’ve worn this shirt to who-knows-where and to a least one Panic show at Red Rocks. The shirt’s had its’ own good time and has earned a quiet retirement on the rag pile, resting near an old Dallas Cowboys T. I’ll wear it to my game night tonight and allow it to retire since we will not be seeing Panic at Red Rocks when we visit Colorado later this month.

Now that I have this whole ugly T-shirt count in swing I can fire off five to ten in quick succession and we’ll get to 52 shirts, one for each week, in no time!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Margarita Monday

Back in 2008 I decided that I wanted to learn how to make Margaritas and I’ve discovered that it is actually a simple process. I was in search of the proper ingredients for making Margaritas, in search of a superior Margarita to the buckets and bag mixes that are so popular during the summer months. To top this all off, we found an Icee machine which shaves ice at Target for less than twenty bucks and we’re on the way to Margarita Lane! Once I had the basic Margarita mastered I wanted to make a blue Margarita. How do ya do that you ask? Just add blue Mnt. Dew to lemon juice and Margarita mix, they tend to be a little sweet or sour so that combination wasn’t a complete success.

This year Mnt. Dew has introduced a lime intensive style and today I used it in a new Margarita recipe. This new Mnt. Dew flavor is called Distortion and here’s the combination of ingredients I used;

12 oz. Mnt. Dew Distortion
8 oz. Lime Gatorade
4 oz. Tequlia
2 oz. Lemon Juice

Mix all ingredients, shake and/ or stir. Serve over ice or shaved ice in appropriate stemware, salt and lime slices are optional. Enjoy and don’t sing too loud…!

Oh yeah, this made about 4 servings of drinks.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

We celebrate Seis de Mayo!

My grand-daughter’s birthday is May 6th so, of course, the F.R.I. family celebrates Seis de Mayo. But this post is about the beers of Cino de Mayo. Each year, for the past three years, I’ve gotten the beer of the day calendar and around May 5th Mr. Papazian and company reviewed Corona or one of the appropriate Latin American style beers. I’ll admit that the beers from south of the border are honest stuff. These drinks are not marketed with any pretentions i.e. “Here we go!” They are simply wet and sweet, light beers.

I don’t have the beer of the day review handy any longer so I’ll refer to Michael Jackson’s Beer for reviewing Sol. None of the Mexican big three, Corona, Sol and Chihuahua, are covered in this volume. Carib, from Trinidad, is referenced and I can tell by the golden color that must be much like a traditional Latin American lager. Mr. Jackson says Carib has, “a pale golden straw color… with a neutral balance between malt and hops, sweet and bitter. “ I can assure you that, “neutral Balance between malt and hops,” is a nice way of saying that this drink is beer flavored water. For example, Mr. Jackson summed up Miller Lite in one sentence, “ No hop aroma; lightly sweet malt, no fruit or bitterness; crisp at finish.” He describes Budweiser as, “a light, balanced body, but without distinct flavors.”

Why the domestic macro-beer bashing? Because this is the style that the Latin American lagers imitate and, like the North American examples, Sol has no notable aroma. (Yes we, beer snobs, smell our beer.) Carbonation abounds but there is no head retention. The flavor is light and crisp at first with a hint of hop bitterness finishing with cereal sweetness. Over all, an honest drink but not worth more than one dollar per serving.

Beer Par; a poll

This has nothing to do with Beer Pong which I know nothing about. It’s just another random thought I have just about every weekend. What’s your beer par or how many beers do you need before your ‘fridge is below par?

My beer par is high to moderate. We had eleven beers in the fridge today and I felt I needed to buy more beer. There was no Yuengling which is my cheap beer, the one I drink when I’m doing yard work or just feel like having a “Beer.” We had three Terrapin India Brown Ales, not a style you want to drink everyday and the remains of a Michelob mixed 12-pack. (I’ll include details about the Michelob styles soon.) I promptly went to the local grocery and got a Yuengling 12-pack and a mixed 12-pack of the moment.

What’s your beer par?

Fanatical Recycling Brand Humor

There’s been a missing dog poster hanging in our neighborhood for about a week. The dog in question is a Yorkie and this reminded me of a one-liner I asked Sally about in reference to my job. I work for a third party provider for a large retail chain. Some folks, even friends, think I work for the chain because if I’m at work, I’m at one of these store locations. The particular big box retailer has chosen to ignore the laws of logic and human decency and allows customers to bring their dogs into their stores. This is not just at one location but at every location of this chain in which I’ve worked and I’ve been in every location in my region.

It occurred to me that one possible explanation is that there’s been a canine liberation movement but I failed to get the memo or view the various news flashes. This C.R.M. or Canine Rights Movement makes me want to take my cat out in public. But cats, unlike dogs and, according to some recent snappy e-mails, Democrats have a mind of their own and want nothing to do with visiting the grocery or local bar or park.

So, not to offend my friends who own lap dogs as my mother owns one as well;

Why do people who own lap dogs always own more than one, do they taste like chicken?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fanatical Recycling Product Line

Inspired by J. Rients of Jeffs Gameblog, we introduce the first in our line of Fanatical Recycling brand products.

We've really stepped in it this time!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Open Letter to Exotic Dancers

This one is over due by a month and more.

Dear Ladies, Please don’t tell me that you “work hard.” You target perfect strangers for private dances that are anything but private at fees well higher than what most people make in an hour. I admit that your job requires talents that are limited to few who are young, beautiful, bold and dexterous but I would not describe your profession as hard work. Construction Workers work hard, mechanics work hard, factory workers and people who stand on their feet eight hours a day work hard, and accountants work hard.

It is only fair that I admit that I can laugh at myself as well as criticize others, I wrote this fictional account making light of the hard working dancer argument.
See this gaming forum comment.

Next at the ol’ FRI; we’ll celebrate Seis de Mayo or review a beer or both.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fanatical Recycling Business Plan; part 2

Things we do well at FRI.
• Make Beer
• Review Beer
• Review Restaurants
• Observe American Culture
• Comment on observations of American Culture
* Make a good Margaritta (Out of nearly any thing)
• Recycle

Coincidentally, we’ve missed a few restaurant reviews this spring. Like that last Mexican place we ate at in Straw Plains where my food arrived at the table a few degrees above ice cold. I hope you can all profit from my mistake, never trust a Mexican restaurant that doesn’t have a bar.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fanatical Recycling corporate staff development:

Requirements for candidacy for executive positions at F.R.I.

1. Candidate must have turned twenty-one in prison.

2. Candidate is expected to provide a sufficient response to the following two questions.

Question one.

Question two.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cultural Observations

We think we are pretty Anglo-Saxon with last names like Aiken, Bell, Coleman, Creel, Grant, Hopper and Hopper, then you find out that your next-door neighbors name is Nick Sullivan.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Corporate Letterhead

Fanatical Recycling Inc.

You name it, we've stepped in it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

New Hire Training Analysis

Subject arrived at work at 12:20 pm and offered that they had washed their cell phone with their laundry as an explanation for tardiness, thus, showing lack of distinction between personal problems and their responsibilities as an employee. As of 4:00 pm, subject has not completed the only task they were assigned for the day. ‘ Beginning to suspect that subject is unemployable by Fanatical Recycling Inc, their affiliates or mother company.

Note to self,

Hybridize an annual plant which will flower, at least, through the spring and summer, is drought tolerant, will not grow past three feet high, will produce prolific blooms in the shade and does back flips and whistles Dixie.

Open Letter from a little fan in Knoxville, Tn.

In a related issue to my last blog here's an open letter to NCAA Football coaches. Thanks, Coach Chizik, for sticking with us after your first season, 2009, as the head coach of the Auburn Tigers football program. War Eagle! (I had to take this photo quick 'cause Brook didn't want to wear the cap.)

Monday, April 5, 2010

An open letter to Crimson Tide fans in East Tennessee,

Did your regular cap break down so you got a temporary replacement or was Wal-mart out of Volunteer Orange?

Open Letter opens!

My wife, Sally, likes cats because they are always making cookies and crap.