June 25, 2019

  • Colder is Better and Other Wise Words

    I once again want to tackle the myths that seem to stubbornly hang on regarding beverages. Call them what you will, but most are nothing more than rumor, second-hand innuendo, and wives’ tales that somehow get accepted as fact by the uneducated masses. Just because some bartender at your favorite club swears it’s true because it happened to his friend, doesn’t make it so. So strap in and learn a little something about what actually goes on in your glass so you don’t make the beverage mistakes that do result in a lousy tasting product. The issue at hand that…

  • Brown Bread Conundrum

    I was having breakfast with friends, and one of them asked the waiter for wheat toast. His response was, “The only choice we have is white or brown, and I don’t know what the brown is.” There was an awkward silence as everybody waited for my friend’s answer. She was clearly confused. Her cheeks flushed as she imagined every eye in the restaurant was on her, every patron wondering what was taking her so long. She searched the faces of her friends at the table for any simple sign of support, but found none. She sat naked and alone. “White,”…

  • The Wino’s Geek Speak Part Deux

    I began explaining some style definitions and descriptive terms commonly used by winemakers as they discuss and evaluate the labors of their fruit. Here I continue on with the topics of taste and smell that were cut from my last column to be pasted here for your enjoyment. Bitterness, Astringency, and Tannins What many people run in fear of when mistakenly saying a wine (particularly reds) is too dry are overly tannic wines that leave a bitter flavor and extreme puckering astringency. Many people confuse bitterness and astringency. Bitterness is a flavor. It’s somewhat difficult to describe without making you…

  • A Winery’s Best Friend

    I’ve easily been to over 100 tasting rooms at various wineries around the world. I’ve probably easily been to over 200. I can’t really say as I lost count a long time ago. How many wineries I’ve been to isn’t important though, as this article isn’t about how much wine I’ve had to drink. I wanted to talk about something I think is a must have, necessary, arguably mandatory requirement for having a great winery: cool pets that give a friendly greeting and enjoyable experience to everyone that visits the winery. Most tasting rooms, especially the ones in the well…

  • Eau, That’s Schnapps

    I recall having a conversation with a woman while out wine tasting one day several years ago. She was very excited because she was taking a trip to Germany, and one of her scheduled events was touring about a few schnapps distilleries. I struck up a conversation with her on the topic since I’m a fan of all tasty beverages, had just been to Germany, and enjoyed a few schnapps while there. It seems she was a big fan of the sweet, syrupy, flavored liqueurs that most Americans associate with schnapps (we spell it with two P’s, the Germans only…

FEATURED WORLD EDITION

Financial Struggle

May 12, 2016

Excentric World staff members take a look at the continuing financial struggle Americans are facing. One clever out-of-work, member of the 99% of Americans was unable to join in any Occupy movements, but chose another way to make a statement. The owner of this mailbox set found that the only way to survive in today’s economy was to stop receiving bills, not stop trying to pay them, just stop receiving them. Perhaps it was also a totem symbol revealing the fact that mortgage bills skyrocketed and paying them was out of reach. These home owners have chosen to “Occupy” their…

Flustered

May 12, 2016

BONE HEADED CRIME NEWS: A suspect entered a Chase Bank branch in New Hudson, MI wearing a hooded sweat shirt, sunglasses and winter gloves. He handed the teller a small piece of cardboard that read, “Give me your money.” When the teller asked him where his bag was, he got flustered and left without the cash. TYPICAL GOVERNMENT NEWS: Surf City, N.J. – The Army Corps of Engineers, which accidentally dumped sand filled with old military ordnance on Surf City’s beach, now wants the town to help pay to remove it. Some suggested detonating the munitions, believing it may improve…

Note from Santa

May 12, 2016

I’m sitting, watching shoppers with Their yuletide kids in tow, And thinking of a Christmas Eve Some 30 years ago. A simple one-room cabin on A deep Montana lake, A wild goose in the oven, and Snow drifting, flake by flake. Before the evening ended, we Left cookies for Saint Nick, And snuggled down together with A stove-warmed bedtime brick. We crawled out Christmas morning to The wood fire’s flickering light, And stared, astonished, at the gift That Santa left last night. For scrawled in charcoal on the wall, These blackened words, forsooth: “Believe in The Impossible, For there, you’ll…

On Humor

May 12, 2016

(curmuj”un), n. origin unknown 1. crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone who points out facts in an engaging manner. “All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl.” — Aristotle “Total absence of humor renders life impossible.” — Colette “Humor is always based on a modicum of truth. Have you ever heard a joke about a father-in-law” — Dick Clark “A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things…

On Politics

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj”un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “Sir, I would rather be right than be President.” — Henry Clay “Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” — Paulo Freire “Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.” — John…

More on Politics

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj”un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” — Mark Twain “We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.” — Winston Churchill “A government which robs…

Aging and Death

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj”un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “First you forget names, then you forget faces. Next you forget to pull your zipper up and finally, you forget to pull it down.” — George Burns “So my choice is ‘or death.’” — Eddie Izzard “I was with this girl the other night and from the way she was responding to my skillful caresses, you would…

Commentary

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “Those are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.” — Groucho Marx “She had lost the art of conversation but not, unfortunately, the power of speech.” — George Bernard Shaw “The nice thing about being a celebrity is that if you bore people they think it’s their fault.” — Henry Kissinger “Camping is nature’s…

Virtue vs. Decadence

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “Nobody is more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart; for his purity, by definition, is unassailable.” — James Baldwin “Every man knows his follies and often they are the most interesting thing he has got.” — Josh Billings “The good people sleep much better at night than the bad people. Of course, the bad people enjoy…

Stealing Not Done by Clown

May 12, 2016

CRIME WAVE NEWS: Ronald MacDonald, an employee at a Manchester, N. H. Wendy’s Restaurant has been charged with stealing money from a safe. The 22-year-old MacDonald was detained at the store until police arrived after the crime was witnessed and reported by the manager. The sad part is the local paper felt it necessary to say he wasn’t related to Ronald McDonald, the clown. INDIANA INTELLIGENT DESIGN NEWS: Indiana Police were trying to determine the origin of a runaway ostrich that led officers on chase through neighborhood streets and yards. The bird eluded officers in St. John for about two…

Love

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “I recently read that love is entirely a matter of chemistry. That must be why my wife treats me like toxic waste.” — David Bissonette “Love is foolish…but I still might try it sometime.” — Floyd, Age 9 “You can’t buy love, but you can pay heavily for it.” — Henny Youngman “Ah, sweet pity. Where would my love…

Hold Up!

May 12, 2016

CRIME NEWS: A robber who used a rusty pitchfork to stick up a South Carolina bank got away– and so far, finding him has been like looking for a needle in a haystack. The man, wearing sunglasses and a mask, entered Security Federal Bank and threatened employees with the 4-foot-long rusty pitchfork. The man took an undisclosed amount of money. The robber dropped the farm tool as the man got into a white van driven by a woman. No customers were in the bank during the holdup, and no one was injured. Locals are calling the event the American Gothic…

Getting Older

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “In the old days, it was not called ‘the Holiday Season’; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukka’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukka!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!’”…

Alternatives

May 12, 2016

BUSINESS NEWS: The value of Taser Company stock has been lost because of increasingly negative news coverage of the Taser gun, which uses 50,000 volts to stun its victims. There has been a heavy focus on incidents where suspects died after the gun was used on them. Taser contracted pathologist, Dr. Cyril Wecht, to review the cases and issue an independent opinion that other factors, such as drugs, caused the 40 so-called in-custody Taser-caused deaths. ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES NEWS: A new Excentric survey of adult Americans found that 36% of us use some kind of alternative or complementary therapy. The number…

Marriage

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “The world has suffered more from the ravages of ill-advised marriages than from virginity.” — Ambrose Bierce “Insurance is like marriage. You pay, pay, pay, and you never get anything back.” — Al Bundy “I hate work. That’s why I got married.” — Peg Bundy “If variety is the spice of life, marriage is the big can of leftover…

Imprisoning

May 12, 2016

CRIME NEWS: One year ago, officials from Mexico City launched an ambitious crime-busting project crafted by Rudolph Giuliani. The former New York City mayor earned a $4.3 million dollar consulting fee. After implementing his strict law enforcement changes, Mexico City has seen a 28% reduction in squeegee windshield washing, a whopping 36% reduction in jay-walking and the prostitutes have relocated to a better section of the city. PRISON NEWS: The nation’s first faith-based women’s prison opened a couple of months ago near Tampa, Florida. The program combines vocational classes with worship, and creates an environment that allows and encourages self-reflection,…

Politics and the Status Quo

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “There is no Energy Shortage. There is no Energy Crisis. There is a Crisis of Ignorance.” — R Buckminster Fuller “To be a great politician you need the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.” — Winston Churchill…

Extreme Weight Loss

May 12, 2016

EXTREME DIET NEWS: A man who once weighed more than half a ton has lost 321 pounds under the care of doctors and hopes to lose 450 pounds more. Patrick Duel, 42, of Valentine, Neb., weighed 1,072 pounds when he was admitted to Sioux Falls, Avera McKennan Hospital eight weeks ago. Subway sandwich shops is looking for a new sponsor and hopes to use Duel whenever he is able to actually fit into one of their shops. GENETICS NEWS: Procrastinating monkeys were turned into workaholics using a gene treatment to block a key brain compound, researchers report. Blocking cells from…

Relaxing

May 12, 2016

There are so many kids here, all looking hale and hearty, And in a moment of weakness, I thought I’d throw them a party. Okay, got to think of the problems. Would the fuzz come cruising by, maybe, to complain about the noise? Would all the girls be holding hands, or worse, with all the boys? I rather hope so, because a certain amount of Gallic frivolity Always adds a little something to the evening’s jollity. Rolling around in the hay is a pleasure that comes to mind – Boys and girls having the fun that’s so very easy to…

The Joy of Gingerbread

May 12, 2016

Kath works in New York City in The Carnegie’s sweet dell. She plays a little music for A maestro named Maazel. But, each December moment she Can steal from bed and bow, She fiddles with molasses over Bowls of ginger-dough! She kneads it with her fingers, and She throws it on the floor! She rolls it out on hands and knees From kitchen sink to door! She cuts out walls and windows, and Bakes gables, doors and roofs, Then sticks them all together with The glue of reindeer hooves! This year she’ll craft a Gothic church With Handel in a…

Success

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure.” — Earl Wilson “If we do not succeed, then we run the risk of failure.” — Dan Quayle “Success is the child of audacity.” — Benjamin Disraeli “Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.” — Albert Einstein “The Lord gave…

Leash-free

May 12, 2016

POOCH CORRECT NEWS: The town of Hillsboro, Oregon has built a leash-free dog park named for Hondo, a police dog killed ten years ago chasing a suspect. A fire hydrant was painted as an American flag, as a further tribute to him. The hydrant had to be removed after a number of people complained that dogs did not respect the flag, refusing to salute and by doing what they normally do on fire hydrants. HAUTE CUISINE NEWS: Tim Janus, of New York City, has won the world burrito-eating championship by eating 10-3/4 eighteen-ounce burritos in 12 minutes. Other competitors included…

Ruined for Good

May 12, 2016

There’s something to be said, I think, For living in a place That’s been completely ruined by The lofty human race. Take trees. Yes, trees! Please take them all! Their worth is under par! Once gone there’d be no leaves to rake Or sap upon my car. And birds. Yes, birds! Just beaky nerds! They’re dirty, loud, and mean! I’d love to walk in silence on A sidewalk that stays clean. And, flowers! What a crock they are! Without their lurid blooms, No allergies, or killer bees, Or sweet and cloying fumes. I’ve had enough of all this stuff. And,…

Government Solutions

May 12, 2016

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” — Otto von Bismark “When George Washington threw the dollar across the Rappahannock River, he didn’t realize he was establishing a precedent for government spending.” — Harold Coffin “The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.” — Milton Friedman “Now more…

Inside The News

May 12, 2016

BIRD FLEW NEWS: A spokesman for the NJ Transit said train officials reported a dozen or so wild turkeys waiting on a station platform in Ramsey, about 20 miles northwest of New York City. A spokesman for NJ Transit said, “Clearly, they’re trying to catch a train and escape their fate.” The only question was why the birds would want to head for Suffern, NY. FONDER FODDER NEWS: Thailand has come up with yet another, seemingly unlikely way to capitalize on this globally loved, bamboo-munching animal: panda poop, turning it all into notebooks, fans, bookmarks and key chains. Now when people read stories…

Astrology for the Weak

Horoscopes for September 2-8, 2012

CAPRICORN (January 19 – February 16) This month, try not to worry too much if people around you are confused or even unwilling to help. Remember, after all, they are just family and close friends. AQUARIUS (February 16 – March 11) Whether you’re looking for a partner of some sort or just somebody who ‘gets it,’ this month is a good time to scout. Of course, you probably still won’t “get it.” PISCES (March 20 – April 18) Sometimes you feel like you’re freer than the wind, riding high on great ideas and executing plans like there’s nothing to it….

Horoscopes for December 7-13, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) Holidays are coming and relatives are on their way to invade your home. This time, you’ll be prepared. Gift certificates to restaurants and hotels are great ideas. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) A small piece of dust will land on one of your eyes, leaving trails and triggering flashbacks from the 60s. You’ll recover with a love for tie-dye and paisley. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You will be questioned this month in the disappearance of your senile uncle-in-law. You’ll stick to your story that you dropped him off to shop at Super…

Horoscopes for November 30-December 6, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) Two new moons have been found around Pluto, the planet astrologers want demoted to a star. Pisces will support Pluto by mooning everyone Dec 23rd. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) You’ll learn of Festivus, dash out to find an undecorated aluminum pole and spaghetti, practice wrestling and airing your grievances. You’ve never been so happy. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) December is traditionally a month for celebrating friends and family members home. Your family, resembling the Grizwalds, will hit the casinos for days. CANCER (June 21 – July 22) You’ll start wearing a…

Horoscopes for November 16-22, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) Once again, things will take a turn for the worse in November. And, once again, you will blame everything on a co-worker, a neighbor, a relative or a pet. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) Your Halloween costume was such a big hit at the office party, you will think it fun to wear it once a month. Others will think cross-dressing is more disturbing. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You will find that the older you get, the more you want to take a nap in the late afternoon. For most government workers,…

Horoscopes for November 9-15, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) You’ll learn of Festivus, dash out to find an undecorated aluminum pole and spaghetti, practice wrestling and airing your grievances. You’ve never been so happy. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) December is traditionally a month for celebrating friends and family members home. Your family, resembling the Grizwalds, will hit the casinos for days. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You’ll start wearing a large silver cross around your neck after Christmas. Everyone will think you found religion. Little will they know, you just found the cross. CANCER (June 21 – July 22) Chanukah, Christmas,…

Horoscopes for November 2-8, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) Your Halloween costume was such a big hit at the office party, you will think it fun to wear it once a month. Others will think cross-dressing is more disturbing. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) You will find that the older you get, the more you want to take a nap in the late afternoon. For most government workers, this is fine, but not for taxi drivers. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You will recall your parents saying “Your day will come.” Well, it’s coming this month. If not this month, soon. But mark my words,…

Horoscopes for October 26-November 1, 2014

CAPRICORN (January 19 – February 16) In October, you may be of two minds about something. This will come as a great relief. Until this October, you were of three or more minds about most things. AQUARIUS (February 16 – March 11) You going to fall in love with yourself all over again this October. Like before, you will get along well for a while, then fight, leading to a painful breakup. PISCES (March 20 – April 18) Some forecasts show that your fashion choices, your musical taste and your overall style have everyone buzzing with admiration. Other forecasts say…

Horoscopes for October 12-18, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) You will find happiness in October. Unfortunately, this will happen right before you lose your keys, your mate, your job and finally your sense of self respect. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) People say they can tell a lot about a person from their handshake. While you may want to strengthen yours, you will definitely want to get rid of the curtsy. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You will describe yourself as a take charge kind of person. You will be more successful when you are also a take cash and checks kind…