Valiantly rescuing the Mint Julep from the Clutches of Woodford

A few years back, this video (presumably sponsored by Woodford Reserve bourbon) was released:

Any Gentleman or Gentlelady Adventurer viewing it would naturally feel an increasing sense of horror as each step in creating the “Mint Julep” is described by this attractive, well-meaning, though woefully misinformed young woman.

Fortuantely one horrified Gent has taken matters into his own hands to correct the misinformation. This from Jeffrey Morgenthaler:

For bravely setting the record straight on this subject, the LGA has voted to grant Mr. Morgenthaler our prestigious L. Farley Falernum Memorial Award for Mixological Integrity.

And, in order to atone for their sins in this matter, we would also like to publicly call on Woodford Reserve to send Mr. Morgenthaler a case of their finest bourbon to be used as he sees fit, and – why not? – to send one to the League as well for having the idea. We encourage all LGA members and sympathizers to boycott their product until they acquiesce to our demands.

Congratulations, Mr. Morgenthaler, and keep up the good work.

Quam bene vivas refert, non quam diu!

Chaphopapallooza II: Reconciliation

Some time ago, our own Dr. Dunteman reported on a quarrel between Professor Elemental and Mr B, the Gentleman Rhymer, two practitioners of rap’s most gentlemanly sub-genre, Chap-Hop. Well I’m happy to report that boeuf appears to be over (for the time being), with each MC making a guest appearance in the other’s most recent video. To wit:

Automotive Adventure – Why now is a great time to be a car guy…. err, Automotive Gentleman

In one of our podcasts (back when we all lived close enough we still did podcasts) it was pointed out that I have a mild affliction for cars.  I’m not sure where the mania stems from, but I’ve always thought it was fun and see no reason to change.  I have owned my fair share of automobiles and have driven just about everyone’s car that I know.  There is just something about them, the speed the power, the profound engineering that goes into making great big heavy things fast – and they are faster now than ever before.

Case in point – I grew up with pictures of the Lamborghini Countach on my wall – the LP500s and 500QV to be precise.  It was my dream car, nothing embodied speed, power and pure sex appeal to me more than that car.  I remember it being the primary reason I loved to watch Cannonball Run 1&2 over and over.  Didn’t hurt it was pretty girls driving it in the movies either.  But that car, that was pure speed, had a huge V12 engine and a body that was shaped like a knife.  It put out 420 horsepower, weighed 3,280 pounds, went from 0 – 60 in 4.9 seconds and had a starting price of almost $100,000 in 1985 – that is more than $205,000 in today’s dollars (says my friend, the internet).

Fast forward to today and you can get a 2013 Mustang GT that has 420HP, weighs 3,622 pounds, does 0 to 60 in 4.3 seconds and cost right about $30,000 base.  What a difference 27 years makes.  It astounds me that for that price, I can get a Ford that is by all accounts a heavy car and out run my Super Car Hero of my youth.  Hell, if you really wanted to count your pennies, you could spring for the 2013 Mustang GT500 which has 650 horsepower and can go over 200MPH (something my Lamborghini never accomplished).

I admit, I had a political worry when there was an administration that was pushing the green initiative hard and putting stricter standards on the car manufacturers.  But, for every Prius I see, I also see the new age of speed and muscle and it feeds my soul.  The automotive landscape has become more extreme and that is not a bad thing.  On one end you have the hyper frugal and on the other you have the hyper powerful and an ever growing mix of vehicles in the middle sweet spot.  That is a wonderful thing, when you can have a hybrid driver getting his +40 MPG at 65MPH sharing the road with 200MPH muscle cars getting their 12-14MPG (highway of course).

As a self-proclaimed car nut, am pleased at what I see out there – I just wish I had more time and money to sample all this automotive excitement.  In the end, it doesn’t matter what you choose to drive, as long as there are the choices for us all – only two rules: 1) if you have the option, drive stick and 2) please observe left lane courtesy, it is the gentlemanly thing to do.

If life is about moving to the next adventure – why not move there really fast?  I personally like moving with a big thundering engine under the hood, but that’s just me.  As they say, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey – and there is plenty out there to make the journey its own adventure – Drive On I say.

And in case you were wondering, given the choice, I would still take the Lamborghini – if I didn’t, my ten year old self would come kick my ass.

Bolos

I have always enjoyed bolo ties, and have frequently defended them as an accoutrement worthy of a Gentleman Adventurer. But a recent Google search made me realize just how out of the mainstream that may put me. As you can see from the screenshot below, Google apparently considers Bolo Ties to be slightly less popular than Bolo Yeung, whom you may recognize as the Buff Chinese Guy from… well, any movie in the 70s or 80s that featured a buff Chinese guy.

Google prefers Yeung to ties.

Now I have always appreciated Mr. Yeung’s work in Enter the Dragon, Bloodsport, and his other motion pictures, and I mean him no disrespect, but are my Western-style string ties really that far removed from being relevant or popular? I see snap-front Western shirts, cowboy boots, and hats everywhere these days, so why not my beloved bolo?

Gents, I say it’s high time we bring bolos back. Wear yours with pride. And while you’re add it, go watch Bloodsport again. That movie kicks ass.

The author at a film premiere, sporting a bolo tie from his personal collection.

The Strangest Day of My Life (My Birthday, Friday the 13th)

The strangest day of my life occurred exactly eleven years ago today, on my birthday, Friday the 13th of July, 2001. The day began in Malanville, Benin, a small, dusty West African border town, and ended when my traveling companion and I declined an offer from door-to-door hookers at the Hotel Moustache in Niamey, the capital city of Niger on the edge of the Sahara Desert, and went to sleep.

I think of this now, because this morning my dear friend, fellow Gent, and aforementioned traveling companion, Col. Andrew S. Trimlett wrote to wish me a happy birthday, and reminded me that it is once again Friday the 13th, and my birthday, and that the day could get weird. I’ve told the story of that day often, but this is the first time I’ve put it down in print.

Andy and I spent the month of July in 2001 traveling around West Africa by bus and bush taxi. The trip was Andy’s idea and something of a lark. He had developed an interest in the region in a class he took at San Diego State. I loved the music. Benin is the birthplace of Vodou. Fun, right? That was pretty much our decision making process. We booked roundtrip tickets to Cotonou, Benin, and developed a vague plan of making a circuit through Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, and then back to Benin. Then, after a week of travel, we decided to add Niamey, Niger onto our itinerary, because… well, I’m not sure why. Because nobody we knew had been there, and it was on the Niger River on the edge of the Sahara Desert, and here we were, so why the hell not?

Which is why we found ourselves in Malanville, the border post between Benin and Niger on the morning of my twenty-third birthday. I knew it was Friday the 13th, and I’ve always been a magnet for strangeness, so I warned Andy: “This day might get weird.”

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