Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Scotch, scotch, scotch, down to my belly ..."

A week or so ago, I wrote about smoking cigars. I don't smoke them often, but when I do I smoke good ones. The same goes for whiskey. Aside from a Jack & Coke every now and then, when I drink whiskey I prefer it straight up and top shelf. Sometimes middle shelf will do. Some of my favorites are Single Barrel Jack (bourbon), Crown Royal (Canadian), Jamison (Irish whiskey), Chivas Regal, and Macallan 12 ( both Scotch). This weekend I tried five whiskeys that I have never had. Cheap? No. Please forgive me for not giving detailed descriptions of how they taste. I'm a rookie whiskey connoisseur.

The first thing I tried was The Glenlivet 12 years. I had two because it was that good.
Saturday evening I tried two different whiskeys. J&B and Dewar's White Label. I wasn't crazy about J&B, but Dewars was pretty good on the rocks.
Sunday night I tried a new bourbon on the market from the makers of Makers Mark. Makers 46. This came highly recommended by a fellow whiskey drinker. This tasted like the original Makers Mark but a bit smoother. Smoother even though it's 94 proof. Excellent drink. I had it again Sunday.

The cherry on the pie, the icing on the cake, the blue ribbon winner was the Macallan 18. This was similar to the 12 year old version, but this had more of a kick. It finished very nice though. It wasn't what I was expecting, but good. I had to pay to experience this delight. About $50 to be exact, but it was worth it. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Today is Meg and my first wedding anniversary. I am bummed that she is not here with me right now, but we had a good time while she was here with me. Where amI? I am at an EMS conference in Savannah until Tuesday. What does one do at an EMS conference you might ask. Drink. Everyone drinks a lot. Haha, just kidding, but not really. I love coming to these conferences because I get to mingle with folks from my profession that I only see once a year. I get to hear great lectures from nationally renowned speakers. Still, it sucks to not be with Megs. It's only a couple of days.  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rum. Rumpelstiltskin?

   I may have a new sippin' rum. Captain Morgan Private Stock. Since I was introduced to Ron Zacapa and Ron Botran, two fine Central American rums, I have been quite a rum elitist. The only problem with these two rums is they are hard to find around here. I typically only get a bottle of these when my father-in-law goes to Guatemala. Captain Morgan Private stock gives these two exotic rums a run for their money. It has a bite, but then it's oh so smooth. It has a sweet taste too which some drinkers may not enjoy, but I enjoy a touch of sweet if I'm not mixing it with anything. 
   This rum is the standard 40% alcohol, but the other night it sure as hell felt like more. I had what would equal about three shots, and I was out (I did also have a beer and two glasses of wine). Meg had about one shot on top of a couple glasses of wine and she was lit. I must reiterate, this rum is not for mixing folks. That would be a waste of good rum. Have I given up on Zacapa and Botran? Heck no, but in between Danny's trips to Central America, this will do just fine.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


   I'm not obsessed with blogging or anything, but I feel like I should blog about something since I haven't blogged since Saturday. So ... what does someone blog about when they've had a boring week? I could blog about my anniversary since it's coming up Sunday, but my lovely wife has this whole anniversary week theme; I don't want to steal her thunder. I would blog about work, but my current position as an instructor does not yield many exciting adventures. So let me tell you about my inability to deal with boringness.
   I know so many people that LOVE doing nothing. Sitting around watching TV or napping suits them just fine, but I fidget if I have nothing to do for more than an hour. Where did I get this characteristic? I don't think I was always like this, but I was a busy body as a kid I guess. I was always playing ball, or capture the flag, or something until bedtime. I blame it on my job. My current position as an instructor, although not as exciting as fighting fire, is extremely busy. I am non-stop from 0600 until 1700, and my day is typically planned out minute-by-minute. I am so use to having things to do all the time that when I don't, I have a difficult time adjusting.
   I have been getting better. Now that two of my favorite shows are back (House & Always Sunny), there are at least two nights a week that I do nothing but watch TV. I put my computer down (except during commercials) and chill out. Anyone have any suggestions?  

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Why smoke cigars?

   There are many reasons to smoke cigars, and depending on who you ask, they may be very different. For some, they grave the taste and the essence of the cigar. Others may simply be feeding a need for tobacco. For some cigar smokers, it is simply an excuse to do nothing; it is an excuse to sit around with good friends and shoot the shit. I fall into that category.
   Don't get me wrong, I like GOOD cigars. I would not consider myself a cigar aficionado by any stretch of the imagination, but I grew out of my Swisher Sweet and Black & Mild phase long ago. I want something enjoyable, and I'll spend $6 to $10 for a quality cigar. I want a good taste and pleasant aroma, but smoking a cigar gives me time to just sit down and chill out. The size of the cigar dictates how long I'm going to chill out. Sometimes I enjoy sitting by myself with a cigar and class of bourbon, but more often than not I enjoy a cigar while hanging out with good people and close friends.
   The golf course is a great place to hang out with good friends and smoke good cigars (and drink good beer when I don't care about the score), but sitting out behind the fire station or around a camp fire is where it's at my friend. You can learn so much about people while smoking cigars and talking about random things. Heck, with a nice long cigar you can solve all the world's problems. It is amazing how many new and good ideas I have heard about things while sitting around smoking. I think smoking a cigar puts everybody in the same frame of mind. Not with opinions necessarily, but everyone seems to be a little more open to thoughts and ideas. Everyone is more relaxed and easy going. Everyone is doing the same thing ... nothing. Just sitting around smoking a cigar and enjoying each others company. I am not encouraging anyone to pick up a bad habit, if that's what you call smoking one or two a month, but for those who need an excuse to take a break, walk into your local cigar shop and have them recommend one.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Show 'em the Big Red Truck

Today I visited my niece's pre-school to talk about being a fireman. For the past three years I have been teaching eighteen through thirty year-old adults, so it was a drastic change to talk to 4 year-old kids. Although some of the adults act like kids. I caught myself more than once speaking over their little heads about technical aspects of the job. It is important to remember when conducting PR's for little kids, just show them the big red truck and put on your firefighting gear.  The stop, drop, and roll routine is a smash too!

Monday, September 13, 2010

"Sounds like somebody has a case of the Mondays..."

   Well I sure as hell do! First of all, who likes getting up to go to work on Monday? At 0445??? At least I enjoy my job. Secondly, I feel like crap. I guess even my super immune system cannot withstand everything. Thirdly and most significantly, what a sh---y weekend for Atlanta sports fans. Braves LOST, Falcons LOST, Georgia Tech LOST (not that I care much about that), and worst of all, the DAWGS LOST!!! What's up with that? I was really looking forward to gloating about UGA's superiority to all the Tech fans I know. I did have a great time in Columbia though. It was my first UGA away game, and it was ... different. Although I had a great time, I certainly wished we were in Athens.
   Traffic in Columbia was terrible. We didn't have time to park and tailgate which may have been a contributing factor to the loss. I mean, tradition is tradition and we broke it. The stadium was nice. Our seats were as far up as you could go, section 507, row 43, (literally, if you went any further up you'd have a 200 - 300 foot drop), but we still had a great view. We saw every play that the Cocks made, and every tackle the Dawgs missed. That's not fair. It's early in the season. The fans were slightly obnoxious, but honestly UGA fans can be way more obnoxious to opponents. At least the Braves get a few chances to set things right this week.

Here's to the week getting better! Go DAWGS! Go Braves! 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Drinkin' Alone

   There is nothing wrong with drinking alone!!! I just finished running for an hour, and I feel like I deserve it. I think it was like 5 miles or something. Sidney Marcus to Peidmont to Peachtree to Lenox to Buford Hwy. So I am sitting on the back deck listening to iTunes, missing my wife, smoking an amazing cuban cigar, and drinking some top shelf Central American rum, and it is a b.e.a.utiful evening. I have to go to bed soon though, because I am getting up early to go Columbia, SC for the game with my best bud. I hope the DAWGS spank the COCKS. Haha, I said cock. I actually said spank the cocks.

Remember to take a moment tomorrow!!! All gave some, some gave all.

Never Forget

   On the morning of September 11, 2001, the United States experienced it’s worst terrorist attack in history. Four planes took off with 265 people who would never see their families again. American Airlines Flight 11, United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 77, and United Airlines Flight 93. At 0845 hours Flight 11 crashed into the North Trade Tower. Eighteen minutes later, Flight 175 crashed into the South Trade Tower. At 0940 hours flight 77 crashed into the west side of the pentagon, and at 1007 hours Flight 93 crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after the passengers fought back against the terrorists. The South Tower collapsed at 0959 hours, the North Tower at 1028 hours, and Tower 7 collapsed at 1720 hours. A section of the Pentagon collapsed at 1010 hours. 
   President Bush and the US armed forces acted swiftly, but nothing will take back the actions of the radical Islamic faction. 2976 innocent civilians lost their lives including 343 FDNY firefighters and paramedics, 23 NYPD officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers.
   Tomorrow marks the 9th anniversary of that faithful day. Think back to the weeks and months after the attacks. Think how united we were as a country as we mourned together. In front of every house waved the US flag. In my lifetime, I cannot think of any other time where people were more proud to be an American. How proud we were to prove that nothing could beat us down. We rose up and proved that no one anywhere can take our liberty. It brought out the best of us at the worst time in our lives.
   Tomorrow, take a moment to reflect on the men and women who died. Think about the civilians who were working to provide for their families. Think about the bravest of the brave that died in an effort to save others. And think about those serving our country to keep us safe and prevent anything like this from happening again.

Never forget. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. For more details and statistics, please visit the links below.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back Roads

   Do you ever take back roads just to do something different? Sometimes I just get the urge to go another way. Maybe it's a little longer, but it's different scenery so it can make the drive seem shorter. Plus I mix it up so no one can predict my travel pattern, and this keeps me safe from any potential ambushes.
   How 'bout this ... do you ever take a road that you have no idea where it goes? I have never done that, but I always think, "where does that go?" One day, when I have absolutely nothing to do, I will try that. Of course it would be more fun if you are somewhere unfamiliar. I mean, it's not going to work if you are in your home town and know every road. Duh.

Be safe in your travels! 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Return from the Wild!

   Three nights in the wild South Carolina woods, and I am home unharmed. I realize some of you wonder how that is possible. Surviving the rough KOA camp grounds of Anderson, SC. Let me tell you, it wasn't easy. HA!
   Hardly what you'd call "roughin' it." Air mattresses, electricity, shower facilities, free WiFi, but what a great time. How can sitting around a campfire hanging out with friends and family not be? Especially when you throw in some good whiskey (whisky) and a great Cuban cigar.
   I also discovered a new beer, which is now my favorite. Wolters Pilsener Premium. I found this beer at Tower liquor store on Peidmont Rd. for $5!!! Unbelievable, right? I assumed it would be nasty at $5 for a sixer, but man was I wrong. I am not a beer connoisseur, so don't expect a fab right-up describing the taste. I would describe it like Miller Light with more flavor. No bitter after taste and it goes down so so easy. As for the cigar ... a beautiful Trinidad which I snuck across the Canadian border last year.
   All in all, a great trip. Spent some time by the pool, spent some time on a boat, spent all weekend with the person I want to spend all my time with.

For some great picture of our adventure, visit my beautiful wife's blog.  

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Are you a "checklist" person?

   Don't you hate that feeling that you are forgetting something? I'm making a checklist for our camping trip this weekend at Lake Hartwell as I do for most trips or adventures, and I can't help but thinking I am going to get there and realize I have forgotten something. I know I'm ridiculous ... I should just relax. I guess it's my meticulous nature or my OCD, but I am a "checklist" person.  I get physically anxious thinking about things not being perfect. I walked around REI yesterday for an hour wondering what do I need, what do I have - getting more and more frustrated.
   The biggest problem I have with organizing my camping gear is it's all spread out between our apartment, my parents house, and my friends house so it is difficult for me to assess what I have and what I need to buy. Man how I want a house so I can keep all my stuff in one location. This disorganization is very frightening. Not to mention my boat which is sitting in my uncle's garage.
   I like things to be perfect. I like to have a plan. I like things to be neat and clean. So where did I get my need for perfection? My anal-retentiveness? I would have to say I get a lot of it from my father. When I was growing up my dad put a lot of planning into things. I remember when we use to go to the lake we would spend all morning checking out the boat and getting things together. He would get so frustrated if we got there and things weren't perfect, and I am the same way.  He pays close attention to details so everything goes smoothly without a hitch. Although this can be annoying to some, I think this mentality has helped me in my professional life as well as personally. "Do it right the first time and you won't have to do it again."
   I grew up in a very clean, organized home. Now-a-days, if things aren't clean and tidy around me I have a hard time thinking and getting organized. My mother kept things so clean growing up, and I took that for granite. It took getting married and getting out on my own to realize that. Just ask my wife ... I am always cleaning and picking up to the point of annoyance.
   So between my need for a well thought out plan and perfection, and my need for cleanliness, I consider myself a "checklist" kind of person. Are you a "checklist person? What does being a "checklist" person mean to you?