Archive for category Men

Scotch: It’s Cake for Men

I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly. . .

- Anchorman Ron Burgundy

This one goes out to all the ladies. If you have a man who loves Scotch, my hope is that maybe what follows will help you to understand him a little better.

At the ripe old age of 36, I have become a Scotch Man.

I was previously a Whiskey Man, but I feel like I am part of a new club, as it were, you know, “running with the big dogs” now. I keep asking myself why it took me so long. I could have been enjoying it all this time. I guess it’s better to have found it late, then never to have found it at all.

My analogy for what Scotch means to me at this point in my life, goes like this:

Imagine that you have never had cake before in your entire life. Ever. No cake. None. Never in your entire life. Now, imagine going without it for 36 years, and all of a sudden you try it for the first time. Think about it. I mean, it doesn’t even have to be good cake. Imagine taking a bite out of that beautiful cake triangle. You close your eyes as you savor the taste. You find the most delicious combination of frosting and cake, and savor it over and over again. Isn’t that one of life’s little treats?

Cake.

It’s one of the most beautiful words in the English language.

That’s what Scotch is to me right now in my life. It too, is a new, delectable treat to be savored. The rosy fumes coming up from the glass, the taste as it goes down, the finish. The smell alone relaxes me. It’s a beautiful thing.

That’s the good news. . . . There’s one little problem, though. Let’s go back to our little cake analogy.

What would you want to do after you have tasted cake for the first time? . . . .

That’s right, you’d want to try every possible flavor of cake on the planet. Chocolate with Chocolate frosting, Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Raspberry Marble with Vanilla Frosting, and the ever-popular “Death by Chocolate” Cake.

“Why is that a bad thing,” you ask? Well, let’s apply this idea to trying out every Scotch on the planet:

Have you ever looked at the price tag on a good bottle of Scotch? If you have been reading my posts, you know that I’m the type who enjoys the finer things in life. A cheap $10 bottle of Scotch simply won’t do. . . . No. . . . I’ve got to try all the good stuff. The 18+ year Scotches. You know, the Scotch that at one point flows over the thighs of virgins as part of the distillation process.

I mean, I’m fucking loaded, but I’m not that loaded. I’m not the type that can afford to bathe in the stuff.

Mmmmmmmmmmm. . . .  Scotch bath. . . . . . . . . .

Anyway, my plan is three-fold:

  1. Buy the good Scotch as I can afford it, and drink it only on the weekends. In other words, put myself on a Scotch ration/budget, which is either fucking awesome or horribly pathetic, depending on your attitude about booze.
  2. Order Scotch at bars to try out different brands, which is still expensive on a per-glass basis, but at least I’m not blowing ~$100 per bottle on it.
  3. Get advice from you people. Suggestions are, of course, welcome.

So that’s my plan anyway.

It’s very exciting for me, and it really enhances my life. I can’t wait to try out new Scotches. It’s an adventure for me.

Well, it’s getting late and I have a Scotch bath waiting for me. See you next time.

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Bryan’s Cigar List

Want to know what real men smoke? Well, your brother Bryan is here to help.

I’ve smoked a wide array of cigars. And here are some of my favorites. I’ll order these in 3 price grades: Low  ($6 – $15 per cigar),  Mid ($15 – $20 per cigar), and Pretentious Douche ($21+ per cigar). Except for my take on the Davidoff, the descriptions are taken from the cigar’s official websites:

Low:

  1. Ashton 8-9-8 – (Mild) Ashton 8-9-8 Natural cigars are blended with only the most select, fully-aged Dominican tobaccos capped in silky, sweet-smelling Connecticut Shade wrappers. Patiently handcrafted at Tabacalera A. Fuente in the Dominican Republic, Ashton cigars are marvelously mellow and creamy for a truly luxurious smoke.
  2. Kristoff Ligero Robusto – (Medium) Assembled with only the finest master blenders of cigars today, the Kristoff Cigars are made with the spirit of Cuban Cigar making in mind. The entire line is fashioned with only the best Cuban-Seed tobacco from Nicaragua. The wrappers are Habano Cuban-seed. The Fillers and binders are both Nicaraguan and Dominican. Because of the quality of the construction and tobacco used in making the Kristoff line of Cigars, each cigar is a model of cigar perfection. The wrappers are smooth – yet have a rustic, flavorful look. The Corojo Kristoff has a corojo wrapper and the Maduro Kristoff has a Brazilian wrapper. Most avid cigar smokers taste coffee, pepper, and toffee in these cigars. The draw is nice and the burn on the cigar is even. These are truly great cigars that are meant for aficionados. A true taste of cuba in cigar legal in the USA!
  3. Oliva Connecticut Series Torpedo – (Mild) Oliva Reserve Connecticut cigars offer you the rich, earthy flavor of prime Nicaraguan longfiller tobaccos balanced by a silky, mild-tasting Connecticut wrapper. Starting with a mellow, nutty base, the smoke is incredibly creamy, then smoothly builds into a pastiche of sweet wood flavors, notes of coffee and a light dash of pepper in the mix. Presented in 5 popular shapes, these are great ‘start your day’ cigars that can be enjoyed anytime. One of Oliva’s best cigars to-date. Order some now.

Mid:

  1. Ashton VSG Torpedo – (Medium) For those who desire a powerful and intoxicating flavor with a complex rich finish, look no further than the Ashton VSG. The VSG is blended exclusively for Ashton by Carlos Fuente Jr. using 4 to 5 year old aged Dominican tobacco taken from the finest and most fertile plants. The distinct flavor of VSG comes from its wrapper grown on a private estate in Ecuador owned by the Oliva family where this proprietary wrapper leaf is grown for the Fuente Family exclusively for Ashton VSG. The leaf is taken from the higher primings and matures slowly by sunlight filtered through the region¹s natural cloud covering. The result is the rich intoxicating wrapper which has made the Ashton VSG the most in demand cigar on the market today.
  2. Rocky Patel Decade Torpedo – (Medium) Perfection takes time. For the Rocky Patel Decade, it’s the perfect blend 10 years in the making. The silky Decade showcases a gorgeous, dark Sumatra wrapper surrounding a secret blend featuring only the finest tobaccos in the world. The result is a rich and toasty medium- to full-body smoking experience. Complexity, balance and elegance earned the Rocky Patel Decade ratings of 91, 92, 93 and 95 points – an instant classic.

Pretentious Douche:

  1. Ashton ESG 22-Year Salute Torpedo – (Medium) For twenty years, Ashton has worked tirelessly to produce one of the highest quality, most consistent cigars that are sold anywhere. To celebrate twenty
    consecutive years of increased sales and overall growth, Robert Levin and Carlos Fuente Jr. have teamed up to create the Ashton Estate Sun Grown, or ESG for short. Such a special occasion called for a very special cigar. The ESG uses a unique Dominican wrapper grown on the Chateau de la Fuente farm in the Dominican Republic. This wrapper has never been used on any other cigar. The blend is the creation of Carlos Fuente Jr. who is a master blender and has created the most sought after cigars in the world. With ESG the bar has been raised once again.
  2. Davidoff Millenium Blend Churchill – (Mild-Medium) FUCKING EXQUISITE!

As you can see, Ashton is one of my favorites.

All of the above are great for any occasion, but I only occasionally smoke the “Pretentious Douche” category for obvious reasons.

All of the above also have some good tastes when combined with various spirits. Whiskey, Scotch, or Wine are always good companion drinks. They cleanse the palette to allow for a more tasty smoke with each puff. Scotch in particular.

Speaking of which, my drink of choice as of late has been Scotch, about which you can expect a post coming up soon.

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WTF Was I Thinking? Service @ The Dealership? Shame on me…

My car’s state safety inspection recently came due.  No Biggie.  My car, a Subaru, is only 6 years old, nothing to fear, right?

Rather than taking it to my trusty mechanic whom I’ve know since, well forever, I chose to take it to the dealer because I had a COUPON…

Drop the car keys in the night drop box with the coupons, of course, and away I go.  Not a care in the world.  Inspection is free with my COUPON…

10:30 AM – 2 hours after scheduled start time.  “Mr Swain, Your oil’s changed , tires rotated (Another coupon…) but I’m sorry your car did not pass the safety inspection.”  Wha? (Insert your own cartoon sound effect here)

All I heard after that were “brake pads, blah, blah, blah, rotors rusted out, blah, blah, blah, not safe, blah, blah, blah, $980!”

How could this be?  I drive the car daily, Shouldn’t there be some sort of sign that brakes are going bad?  Oh yeah, there is…that squealing sound they make…like 16 months ago when I had them replaced or maybe the awful sound rotors make when there’s nothing left on the pads (I was young and didn’t know better once…no COUPON here…)

So my dilemma begins, trust the mighty auto dealership, or the guy I’ve known my whole life who just inspected my brakes three months ago… Hmmmm… what to do…???

So when I take my car from the dealer (Didn’t have to pay for the failed inspection thanks to my handy-dandy COUPON!), it’s parked in what they call a “drive-thru,” subsequently all I can think of is the Joe Pesci line in Lethal Weapon 2 or 3 about Leo getting F’ed at the Drive Thru!

Fast forward to Day 2 of the stand off between myself and the safety of my family…

Mechanic who checked the brakes in April checks them again… fine, no safety hazard.  Brake pads – almost new, rotors – only slightly rusted… blood boiling.  Damn COUPON!

So they tell me I need new everything on the phone but to skirt the legality of it all they only write “Needs New Rotors” on the inspection form.  (Yes it passed the second inspection with no changes.)

Why did they have to be so stereotypical?  I hate when they do that.

I guess it was their bad luck that I just had my brakes checked and they dupe a lot of people this way.  Get them in the door with a -COUPON- and have them grab their ankles.

So what do I do?  Call the “Better Business Bureau”?  Rat them out in the blogosphere?

Way to go Reedman Toll!

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Andy vs. The Pootomac

Well, my relaxing Saturday was shattered by the sound of my son shouting “Hey Daddy, the toilet is exploding!” I’m sure most parenting experts would agree that this is a bad sign. So I ran upstairs and saw about a ½ inch of water on the bathroom floor with varying sizes of feces floating around. And more was gushing out of the toilet. It looked like the engine room of the Titanic except that instead of seawater it was toilet water and there were turds in place of icebergs. From the manner in which the rest of the family was looking at me, I knew it was one of those nasty jobs that everyone expected Dad to fix. (Sure to be forgotten by the time Fathers Day comes around). So I walked in, gagging from the floaters and the smell and turned off the valve to the toilet.

Now the flow of water was stopped but I needed a mop and bucket to clean up the floor. You would have thought that I had asked for a rod of plutonium. I ask for the mop and bucket and everyone scatters… and never return. I’m waiting… waiting… waiting… all while standing in the middle of this vast Pootomac. Finally my wife comes back and hands me a mop… but not a real mop, mind you. It’s a mop handle with an old towel attached to the bottom. My Mother-in-Law, God bless her,  is one of the few human beings whose cheapness rivals even my own, and this “franken-mop” is one of her cost savers. Let me tell you, it did a great job of just swirling around the poo-water and creating nasty little currents around my feet. But, it didn’t do much in terms of soaking up the water. Without any other option, I kept at it and in about 20 minutes I had the floor generally dry.

But the most formidable task still remained…picking up all of the loose crap from the floor. I asked for gloves, wipes, and bleach…and again I waited…waited…waited… until someone finally brought me what I needed and I started to work on cleaning up my personal “Craptrina”.  While I’m doing this, I start to wonder who the actual Poopetrator might be. My son of course claimed innocence, saying he just took a pee and that the toilet was “already filled” with crap. Hummmmm, do we have a Ghost Pooper? My brother claims to have a Ghost Cat, so I suppose a Ghost Pooper is possible. But I believe a key part to solving this mystery appeared when I lifted up the toilet seat and saw the top of the bowl covered with partially digested corn remnants. There is only one person in the house who has a favorite meal of “Mashed Potatoes, Corn and Ketchup” and that is my son. He still claims innocence but as they say on CSI, “Follow the evidence.”

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The Male Voice

When word got out that I would be writing for this site, many of my female friends had a laugh about it. They asked me why I wanted to do something like this. Because I don’t think men have a voice anymore. They agreed (how perceptive of them). They then informed me that men have had a voice for hundreds of years and it was now the age of the female perspective. The oppression is over. Okay, but I don’t see how replacing one oppression with another helps matters. But let’s not worry about that right now. However, let me clear up a few things, though.


I’m forty years old. I had no hand in the hundreds of years of oppression they spoke of. At the very least, I wasn’t here for 160 of those years. A few of said women told me I am paying for the sins of my fathers. Oh really? My grandfather fled Poland with his wife in the early 1900’s to escape the grip of communist Russia and being drafted into the Russian army. Once here, he worked his ass off providing for his wife and 11 children. My father worked his ass off providing for his wife and three sons. In a time of “babies’ daddies,” every man should think about being as sinful and oppressive as my fathers. But once again, that’s neither here nor there. I must pay for their sins and not have a voice. But now that I’ve been afforded one; I’ll not waste this opportunity.


So, now here we are… the age of the Vagtastic Voyage. And look how well it’s going. Let’s review the score card. We had Thomas Jefferson and you had Weezy Jefferson. We had Mark Twain and John Steinbeck. You have Jodi Picoult and Janet Elefontthebitch (I think that’s her name). We had the funniest, wittiest person alive in Johnny Carson. You have Oprah and Ellen. An overweight black woman who kisses all the right asses and isn’t ashamed of it and a skinny, gay white woman who is undefeated in Rutger Hauer look-a-like contests. We have Whoopi Goldberg; you have everyone else on The View. And of course that includes the dried up one who talks like the teacher from the Peanuts cartoons. We have Barack Obama, and you have Thelma from Good Times. We have…okay, you win that last one. We have Batman, and you have Wonder Woman.


There is something about Wonder Woman that is amazing. She flew an invisible jet. I drive a visible car. I have gone on walkabout more than several times in a mall parking lot looking for that car. Never, in comic book or television series, did Wonder Woman ever aimlessly walk around looking for her fuckin jet. She also had a magic lasso that made you tell the truth once she threw it around you. All I ever had were some old neck ties and clothesline rope that I would use to… forget it.


So, I think you see my point. I’m not saying the only voice should be the male voice. I respect and honor the female perspective. In fact, it’s one of my favorite forms of amusement. But we need to hear from both sides. Not just one. We need that balance. We need the guys to not look at the map and have no clue where they’re taking us, and we need women to tell those guys they missed the exit five minutes after they passed it. Without both…we’ll never get anywhere.

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