Thursday, January 18, 2007


Wow... Belle's Hopslam. In the words of Eric Idle of Monty Python fame:

"...This is a bottle with a message in it, and the message is BEWARE! This is not a wine for drinking -- this is a wine for laying down and avoiding."

(Replace "wine" with "beer")

While the taste is 'oh-so-yummy' I feel obligated to warn you that consuming more than one and a half Belle's Hopslams before mounting your trustee steed , er... I mean "driving your car", might be grounds for arrest.

The "Rate Beer" review pegs it at 9.5% alcohol, and goes on to say, "A biting, bitter, tongue bruiser of an ale. With a name like Hopslam, what did you expect?"

Amen, brother.

If you find a sixer, buy it right up and take it home for drinking. Or, if you have a local pub where you can find it, get yerself a designated driver and drink a few...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Dream #2

I'm a passenger in a car with someone, I don't know who but it's a guy, and we are driving towards the mountains. It seems to be that we are somewhere in the desert driving toward a distant mountain range, somewhat like driving towards the Tetons. The driver remarks that "Even the little mountains look really big." I reply, "We should go over there and walk by the little mountains."

Next scene, I'm walking on a path that's following the road, alongside the 'little mountains." Both sides of the path are lined with tall chain link fence, but every so often the fence on the road side either has a break in it, or changes into a regular waist-high chain link fence. I'm walking alone. On the other side of the road is an identical path, but instead of people, buffalo are walking on the path. I'm watching the buffalo, and they seem to go through a series of gates and "channels" before continuing on their path, in the same direction I am, but on the other side of the road. Now there's a girl walking with me, I don't know who. I'm watching the buffalo and I notice that the mountains have now turned into the Sierra's, and the buffalo have turned into hairless wooly mammoths with buffalo ancestry. I comment to the girl with me, "I've been up there, that's Banner Peak" and point to a mountain top. She shrugs as to say 'big whoop." I turn to look at the buffa-mammoths again, and now there are three or four teenage boys walking on the mammot-low path. (Sorry... can't decide what word I like best to describe the mammoth/buffalo hybrids.) I begin yelling to the boys to get on the human path before they get eaten, but they just laugh at me and start playing with the mammalows. (I think I like that one.) I turn around and the girl is gone, which is strange because we're in a section of fence where there is no exit.

The path continues, and every time I look back at the mammalows, they are a little bit bigger, but never threatening. The boys who were playing with them are gone, but I didn't have the feeling that anything bad happened to the boys. They appear to be gentle mammalows. Suddenly the path turns to the right, away from the road, and the fence gets taller, leaving no option but to follow the path, which leads right into the front door of a log cabin, which ends up being a little shop selling Indian touristy junk.

I start shopping for touristy junk, then the alarm goes off, signaling that it's time to get the boys ready for school...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Dreamland, part 1

With nothing much to write about lately, I thought perhaps I'd jot down a few outlines of some recent dreams I've been having. As a general rule I either don't dream at all, or I have never really remembered my dreams, for the most part. For some strange reason; however, I've been having some strange dreams and remembering them quite vividly the last week or two. I'll submit them here as they come, and perhaps one of you dream-deciphering freaks can tell me what they all mean.

I start out leaving the house with my lovely wife and my mother-in-law. We get in the car, and my wife says we need to stop by "a house" for a minute. We pull up to a house that as far as I know I've never seen before. I park in the drive, and the three of us get out of the car and walk up the walk, up a short set of stairs, and into a sort of breezeway. My wife or mother-in-law (I don't remember which) tells me, "Wait here, we'll be right back" and the two of them leave me in this breezeway and disappear through some double doors into the main part of the house. I wait what seems like forever, and some man (?!?!) who I don't know comes through the doors and says, "It will be a while longer..." As he speaks, he leaves the doors open behind him and I can see into what is a huge banquet hall, where people are all seated at tables, eating and talking. I didn't see anyone I knew at the table, and most of them seemed like old people. Picture a bingo game, but with food instead of bingo cards ... that's what I saw. I walk outside, looking for something to do while I wait, and there are kids EVERYWHERE. (When we had arrived, the yard was empty.)

I walk down the aforementioned stairs and begin walking along the driveway, towards the car, when I step on something that is hissing. I quickly realize that I've stepped on a lit fuse of some sort and I take off running up the driveway. I get to the top of the driveway, near a sort of detached garage that more resembled a stable, and there is an explosion behind me. The roman candle (as I now realize it was) that I stepped on has erupted, and is firing balls of fire in my direction... I run away from the shooting balls of fire, but get struck on the inside of the right bicep, then I get shot in the ass by a ball of flame, which sticks to my right ass cheek and continues to burn into my buttflesh (a word?) as I roll on the ground screaming and crying like a woman. the burning continues, as does my decidedly unmanly wailing and crying, rolling on the ground.

Once the roman candle stops shooting, I run over to where the kids are, and grab up a HUGE armload of fireworks, saying, "I'm going to tell your fathers!" I stomp toward the house with the armload of fireworks, and get to the back stairs, which I find have dissolved. (Yes, I wrote the stairs "dissolved" ... it's a flippin' dream, work with me here.) I have to climb up onto the patio, doing a crazy mantle move with an armload of fireworks, then flop onto the patio, somehow without dropping a single bottle rocket.

I walk into what I can only describe as a mud room in an old farmhouse, and stand there asking all the people walking by (suddenly, this mud room is like grand central station) where I can get rid of the fireworks, but no one answers. In frustration, I throw the armload of fireworks into the clothes washer nearby, and turn it on, saying, "This will take care of it."

My wife appears, and says she's been looking for me, and she's ready to leave, as soon I change shirts. (Because of course I have a shirt in this strange house...) I take my shirt off, and the skin on my torso is all beginning to fall away and peel off. My wife and I shrug at each other, and I put a new shirt on, and we go home.

At home, I again take my shirt off in front of a mirror (Which anyone who has seen me shirtless knows automatically makes this a nightmare rather than a dream) and the flesh is continuing to slough off, leaving only muscle behind. My wife shrugs and says, "Well, at least it's only your fat that is melting off." but then goes on to suggest that I see a doctor about the burnt hole on my ass cheek from the roman candle. I reach back and feel a melted crater where my right ass cheek once was and say, "Yeah, I'll go to the doctor."

About that time, my kids wake me up and ask for toaster waffles before it's time for school.

So... let's hear it from my dream-deciphering friends... what the hell does this one mean?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year "The Villages" style...

Yep, I rang in the new year at Sumpter Landing in The Villages. My wonderful parents were entirely too smart to leave their very nice retirement home and head to the town square (Sumpter Landing) for the festivities... my fifteen year old daughter and I; however, are decidedly less wise, so at about 9:00 we hijacked the golf cart (don't DARE call it a "go cart") and headed out for a night on the town, leaving mom and dad to screen Napoleon Dynamite with the boys.

First, parking was a nightmare... even with two to four golf carts cramming into every car-sized parking space. We drove around the square a few times, marveling at the old fogies dancing and liquored up beyond any reasonable level, and finally found a place to park.

As we walked the two or three blocks to the village square, almost run down by two or three different golf carts, dad's parting words, "Watch out for drunks in golf carts..." reverberated in my head. Arriving in the square I was amazed at the number of old folks gathered around... I'm no expert in crowd estimation, but if there weren't 800 people or more there, I'd be shocked. It was like St. Patricks day at the Dublin Pub ... with a somewhat "grayer" topside. Drunks EVERYWHERE ... dancing, stumbling, yelling "happy new year!" As we passed a couple of bemused Sheriff's deputies, my daughter said, "Shouldn't they have Paramedics standing around instead? For when one of these dancing old people goes down?" (She has the wonderful wit of her father.)

We left long before the bell tolled midnight... I had a long drive ahead of me in the morning, and it was becoming more and more out of control. I haven't seen that sort of debauchery since Ozz Fest '05... thank heavens the Ozz Fest tradition of the ladies walking around with their bare breasts painted hasn't yet hit The Villages...