Thursday, June 25, 2009

Troops getting beer and pizza for July 4

Here’s some patriotism for you: Beer and pizza, born on the Fourth of July.

MillerCoors has decided to donate 8,000 cases of beer to U.S. troops in the Middle East, according to

The beers – all 192,000 of them – will be shipped in time for the troops to celebrate Independence Day. No word on whether those brewskies will remain chilled on the way over.

The donation is being made through Pizzas 4 Patriots, a nonprofit which will send 25,000 pizzas from Pizzeria Uno along with cases of Coors Light and Miller Lite.

The beer and pizza were scheduled to be loaded onto a DHL jet at John F. Kennedy International Airport last weekend. DHL, a shipping company, is another corporate sponsor of Pizzas 4 Patriots.

MillerCoors is a joint venture formed last year that combined U.S. brewing operations for Molson Coors Brewing Co. and SABMiller PLC, according to

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The New Suburban Glossary: Premature Acceleration

premature acceleration: This typically happens when a driver is too eager. The left-turn traffic light turns green, yet the driver in the straight-ahead lane lurches forward while his light is still red. If another driver sees this, but she is kind, nurturing, and just happy to close to another driver, she might act like she didn't notice the premature acceleration. But alas, once the driver has lurched forward, it is kind of hard for him to act as though nothing happened. Fortunately, researchers are studying new ways for drivers to avoid premature acceleration.

5 Books to Read Before College

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sadie and the tree frog in the tub

Sadie, age 3, was sitting in the shallow water of the bathtub. Sadie likes to pick up bugs and other small creatures, but apparently she had visited Ripley's Aquarium recently and had seen the terrarium of poison dart frogs -- or something.

We all heard: "AIIGGHH! There's a frog! There's a frog!"

Her sister Audrey (age 7) and I ran into the bathroom. A cute, little, green tree frog was perched at the far end of the white tub. Sadie had her back against the faucet at the other end and was staring at the frog.

Audrey bent over the tub and started trying to catch it.


Me and Audrey: "No no, it's not poisonous...."

Sadie: "IT'S POISONOUS! IT'S POISONOUS! It'll bite! Audrey, it'll bite!"

Audrey continued to try to capture the frog, who was flitting between the edge of the tub and a little steel basket on suction cups about an inch above the tub's rim.

Me and Audrey: "Sadie ... this kind isn't poisonous... look at me Sadie... Sadie, look at me... this kind's not poisonous."

Sadie calmed down a bit -- I think she started to believe us.

Audrey was still trying to catch the frog, who now jumped into the water and started zipping around the perimeter of the tub with a marvelous ease and swiftness, an effortless motion of legs for a quick glide through the dirty water only a 3-year-old can provide.

The little green frog went behind Sadie's back and continued its loop back to the far end of the tub. Sadie seemed more worried about Audrey's attempts to capture the frog. I don't know if she had even noticed that the little green daredevil had gone behind her back.

Finally, Audrey captured the frog, but only with one hand.

As she turned toward the bathroom door, the frog wiggled free and began hopping down the hallway toward Audrey and Sadie's bedroom.

Then Audrey used two hands, cupped the frog from the hallway floor, and took it outside. She wanted to put it in a bucket so she could show Mommy.

When she saw through a window that Mommy was inside, Audrey started yelling about the frog through the glass. Then she brought it back into the house. This time, the frog remained in Audrey's hands.

Eventually, the frog was released outdoors, and I began to wonder, and worry about, how the heck that thing had slipped into the house.

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Coffee and beer

I think both coffee and the darker beers -- browns, porters, stouts -- should be full-bodied and hearty while staying far away from bitterness.

This can be a little tough for American tastes (not to offer a comparison with any other cultural-national identity).

I remember talking to a woman, while I was standing behind the counter at the dearly departed Living Room Coffee Bar & Used Books in Myrtle Beach. She did not like Starbucks's coffee. We carried on a mutually affirming rant against Starbucks's bitterness.

I assured her that a coffee from Timor, which I had fresh in the big Fetco air pots, would avoid bitterness. It was darker, and full-bodied, but not bitter. The label of the coffee, roasted by Larry's Beans, noted smoothness and a walnut tone.

I thought I was about to make a convert.

But when she tried it, her response was, "No. No." She looked disappointed. My beautiful Timor coffee did not surpass Starbucks, not to her tastes anyway.

So she left, and while I might be confusing her with someone else, I think she wanted directions to Dunkin' Donuts.

So the difficulty in communicating -- darker beers as well as full-bodied coffees -- continues on.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Unusual vodka flavors

From one of the sidebars with my Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka cover story in the Weekly Surge.

Sweet tea flavored vodka makes sense to most of the folks we know.

But some flavored vodkas don't sound like such great ideas – peculiar at best.

We dug up a few unusual flavored vodkas and gave them thoughtful consideration.

Bakon Vodka: Comedian Jim Gaffigan once said, “To improve other food, they wrap it in bacon.” Now he must be weeping with joy. A product of Seattle-based Black Rock Spirits, the bacon-flavored vodka is only available in Washington state – so far. “This is the only vodka you’ll ever want to use to make a Bloody Mary,” the Bakon Web site boasts.

Charbay Green Tea Vodka: Everyone knows that green tea provides outstanding health benefits, and Napa Valley distillery Charbay offers just what you’d expect from California: The right to get smashed under the pretense that drinking Green Tea Vodka is really good for you. No word on how much better you'll feel in the morning if you go with a non-green-tea vodka.

DoubleEspresso Vodka: Maybe this will help if you’re tired – tired of relying on that same old Red Bull and vodka pick-me-up. Apparently concerned that its own Espresso Vodka won’t do the trick, the Van Gogh Vodka company also offers a Double Espresso Vodka, complete with “double caffeine,” to make sure we can party all night and at least 'til noon.

Three Olives Grape Vodka: If you want to spike grape Kool-Aid, why not just add Everclear?

Rehorst Citrus & Honey Vodka: The classic home remedy for sore throats with a new twist: vodka instead of whiskey. Rehorst has taken the two dominant flavors in TheraFlu Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough and added them to the potentially antiseptic flavor of vodka. Rehorst Citrus & Honey Vodka is now available in the cold & flu section of your local drug store.

-Colin Foote Burch


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