High Stakes Poker
Six retired Floridians play high stakes poker in the condo clubhouse.
A member of the group, Meiers, loses $5,000 on a single hand, clutches his chest and drops dead at the table.
Showing respect for their fallen comrade, the other five finish playing the hand standing up.
Finkelstein looks around and asks, “So, who’s gonna’ tell his wife?”
They cut the cards, and Goldberg “wins” the duty. They tell him to be discreet, be gentle, not to make a bad situation any worse.
“Discreet? I’m the most discreet person you’ll ever meet. Discretion is my middle name,” he says. “Leave it to me.”
Goldberg goes over to the Meiers’ apartment and knocks on the door. Mrs. Meiers answers and asks what he wants.
Goldberg declares, “Your husband just lost $5,000 playing poker, and is afraid to come home.”
“Tell him to drop dead!” says the wife.
“Will do,” he says.
Especially true when it comes to relatives… and Dragons!
I’m Fine – How are you?
There’s nothing the matter with me,
I’m just as healthy as can be,
I have arthritis in both knees,
And when I talk, I talk with a wheeze.
My pulse is weak, my blood is thin,
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.
All my teeth have had to come out,
And my diet I hate to think about.
I’m overweight and I can’t get thin,
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.
And arch supports I need for my feet.
Or I wouldn’t be able to go out in the street.
Sleep is denied me night after night,
But every morning I find I’m all right.
My memory’s failing, my head’s in a spin.
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.
Old age is golden I’ve heard it said,
But sometimes I wonder, as I go to bed.
With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup,
and my glasses on a shelf, until I get up.
And when sleep dims my eyes, I say to myself,
Is there anything else I should lay on the shelf?
The reason I know my Youth has been spent,
Is my get-up-and-go has got-up-and-went!
But really I don’t mind, when I think with a grin,
Of all the places my get-up has been.
I get up each morning and dust off my wits,
Pick up the paper and read the obits.
If my name is missing, I’m therefore not dead,
So I eat a good breakfast and jump back into bed.
The moral of this as the tale unfolds,
Is that for you and me, who are growing old
Your Essential Guide to Beer
It’s been a long while is we visited the Leprechaun’s Libations Locker and since summer is about to get into full swing I thought we’d spend a few minutes discussing what is probably the number one summer time alcoholic beverage, namely beer.
See, beer isn’t just beer, like wine, whiskey, rum and tequila there are multiple types of beer and knowing a little about them and your tastes can help make summer drinking and dining much more satisfying.
Miller Genuine Draft
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Caloric Range: 135-155
Chances are this is the class of beer you’re most familiar with. The biggest producers of American lagers, MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch InBev, collectively control close to 80 percent of the domestic market. Of all beers, these are the lightest in color and most heavily carbonated. Their closest relatives are the pilsners, but unlike pilsners, which rely solely on barley and hops, these recipes veer toward rice and corn, crops that add little flavor but keep costs low. Plus, a true pilsner is more bitter, with somewhere between 25 and 45 International Units of Bitterness (IBUs). American lagers, with scores as low as 8, are clearly more mellow. [Read that last line have little or no taste and character. However this also makes them a good choice for cooking with since they will get stronger as they reduce but without overpowering your dish]
Sam Adams Light
Beck’s Premier Light
Caloric Range: 55-125
In terms of flavor, these beers aim to replicate American lagers, but they adapt the formula with two key modifications: less alcohol and fewer carbohydrates. Whereas a typical American lager has about 5 percent alcohol, light lagers typically fall between 2.5 and 4.2 percent. And compared with the 8 to 15 grams of carbs in the average American lager, a light lager normally has anywhere between 2 and 9 grams. That makes them your best option for cutting calories. Of course, like American lagers, they lack the complexity of other beer styles. In fact, with the lightest loads of hops and barley, these are considered the least flavorful of all the beers.
Victory Prima Pils
Lakefront Klisch Pilsner
Caloric Range: 120-170
This is the beer that influences the brewing recipes of American lagers, so if you like the core domestic beers like Bud and Coors, you’ll probably love the proper pilsners. Born in the Czech Republic city of Pilsen, these beers are pale, light, and crisp. It’s a profile they earn through a simple recipe that relies on four primary ingredients: barley, hops, water, and yeast. (By comparison, Budweiser adds less-flavorful rice to create its brew.) Pilsners, like the American lagers, are tan and gold in color, but they tend to have slightly heavier bodies and less carbonation. Authentic pilsners are difficult to come by in the US. Look to your local microbrew or imports from Europe.
Blue Moon Belgian Wheat
New Belgium Sunshine Wheat Beer
Sierra Nevada Kellerweis
Bud Light Golden Wheat
Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat
Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat
Caloric Range: 150-170
Wheat beer is created when the brew master thins out the barley with a significant dose of wheat during the fermentation process. In the US, there are a handful of microbrewers experimenting with wheat lagers. Not in Germany, though. The traditional German wheat beers are always produced as ales, and you’ll recognize them by the words “weiss” or “weizen” on the label: weissbier, dunkelweizen, weizenbock, and so on. Compared with barley, wheat carries a heavier load of protein, which plays out as a thicker head in your mug. That protein—along with the fact that many wheat beers are served unfiltered—also helps create the distinctive cloudy look.
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Bass Pale Ale
Anchor Liberty Ale
Schlafly Pale Ale
Caloric Range: 140-180
The American pale ale is predated by the English bitter beers, but today some of the world’s best versions are coming from domestic microbreweries. Craft beer sales spiked by 12.4 percent in 2009, and now capture nearly 6 percent of the beer market. It’s still in the niche category, but it’s a niche with enough support that you shouldn’t have trouble digging up a local brew. Although to a lesser degree than in a lager, pale ales are crisp and carbonated, but with the bitterness of a pilsner. Amber ale is a close relative; it’s just a couple shades darker and leaves a stronger caramel impression on your taste buds.
Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
Redhook Long Hammer IPA
Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA
New Belgium Ranger IPA
Caloric Range: 180-240
Looking for an ale with a little more oomph? This could be your beer. IPAs, or India pale ales, bring in loads of hops to cut through the sweetness of the barley, often leaving a lingering bitter taste on the tongue. The strongest variety—both in terms of bitterness and alcohol—is the imperial IPA, an ultra-heady brew that cranks the hop levels to maximum. Despite being high in calories, hop-heavy beers have advantages. Researchers at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University found that IPAs were significant sources of polyphenols, a class of antioxidants that can lower your cholesterol and decrease your risk of cancer. Now you can officially drink to your health.
Fuller’s London Porter
Samuel Adams Honey Porter
Black Butte Porter
Flying Dog Porter
Caloric Range: 140-220
These beers aren’t quite as dark as stouts, but they generally fall outside the brown-colored beer spectrum. Of course, you might still sometimes find a light-colored porter sold as “brown porter.” With beers this dark, the lines sometimes blur, but they are defined by strong barley flavors with mild hops. The key to both color and flavor is in the roast of the barley; craft beers generally are blends of brown, chocolate, and black malts. This can play out on your palate like toffee and roasted nuts or sweet licorice and toast. These are medium- to full-bodied beers that go down thick and smooth. Think chocolate milk.
Sierra Nevada Stout
Beamish Irish Stout
Samuel Adams Cream Stout
Caloric Range: 125-230
This is easily the darkest breed of beer, often pushing toward completely black. Like porters, stouts pull much of their flavor from the sugars in roasted barley, but they balance this with a slightly heavier reliance on bitter hops. Casual drinkers are sometimes put off by the color, but generally these beers are very palatable. They’re creamy with undertones of coffee and chocolate, and many of them are served with slightly less alcohol than the average full-bodied beer. Guinness Draught, for instance, delivers only 4 percent alcohol. But be warned: Those labeled “extra stout” are a stronger breed and often carry alcohol loads as high as 8 percent.
Sometimes when I reflect on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. I think, “It is better to drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.” Babe Ruth
“I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.” FRANK SINATRA, quoted in The Hangover Survival Guide
“When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.” Paul Horning
“24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not.” H. L. Mencken
“When we drink, we get drunk. When we get drunk, we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin. When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. So, let’s all get drunk and go to heaven!” George Bernard Shaw
“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Benjamin Franklin
“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.” Dave Barry
BEER: HELPING UGLY PEOPLE HAVE SEX SINCE 3000 B.C.! W. C. Fields
Remember “I” before “E,” except in Budweiser. Professor Irwin Corey
To some, it’s a six-pack; to me, it’s a Support Group Salvation in a can! Leo Durocher
One night at Cheers, Cliff Clavin said to his buddy, Norm Peterson:
“Well, ya see, Norm, it’s like this: A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine! That’s why you always feel smarter after a few beers!”
The Mechanic and the Heart Surgeon
A mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the motor of a Harley-Davidson when he spotted a well-known heart surgeon in his shop. The surgeon was there waiting for the service manager to come take a look at his bike.
The mechanic shouted across the garage, “Hey, Doc, can I ask you question?”
The surgeon, a bit surprised, walked over to the mechanic working on the motorcycle.
The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, “So Doc, look at this engine. I open its heart, take valves out, fix ’em, put ’em back in, and when I finish, it works just like new.”
“Yes, so what’s your question?” the doc asks.
“Well, how come I get such a small salary and you get the really big bucks, when you and I are doing basically the same work?”
The surgeon paused, smiled, leaned over, and whispered to the mechanic, “Can you do it with the engine running?”
Every damned day Impish makes me call and ask for Carlos! If he answers I get stuck eating tacos for lunch.
So we got drenched again in Houston over the weekend. Early Sunday morning saw some serious Texas style T-storms with rain drops the size of grapes falling at machine gun rate and aided by gusts up to 40mph. Predictably there was a lot of urban flooding. Here’s how we’ve learned to take it in stride and turn the negative into a positive.
We call it ‘Parking Lot Rafting’
Who knew low riders actually had a practical side?!
Can’t make it to the beach/river/lake? Don’t worry, after it rains and the clouds move out you’ll find the beach/river/lake has come to you!
Bold emphasis is mine and will serve in place of any comments I might make, largely due to my apparent inability to articulate myself on this subject sans excessive amounts of extremely inventive colorful and down right profane language that would give the devil himself cause to flinch and blush.
To some, Memorial Day marks the start of summer.
But to veterans and their families, Memorial Day is one of the most difficult and hallowed days of the year. A time to reflect on our fallen heroes and to think of survivors of wars gone by.
Lost, injured or home safe and sound, our military and veterans communities are facing grave challenges that deserve national attention. Yet, as this Memorial Day approaches, stories about Benghazi, the IRS, and the Department of Justice’s seizing the phone records of AP and Fox reporters are taking up almost all of the focus in Washington.
After the Memorial Day observances conclude and before Washington returns to business as usual, we need to ensure we are doing right by those who have served to protect our nation.
(CNN) — On Memorial Day, nearly 900,000 veterans had disability claims pending with the Department of Veteran Affairs, including almost 600,000 veterans who have been waiting for more than 125 days for a response. Those figures represent a more than 613% increase since President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, when 85,000 veterans were in the backlog for more than 125 days.
VA benefits were put in place to support service-disabled veterans who, as a result of their injuries, need health care and financial support. But our men and women returning home now aren’t getting that support. They’re asking for help, but so many are not getting it.
There’s been some recent movement in the right direction. Since March, the VA has decreased the backlog by 3.2 percent, according to the IAVA’s analysis of Veterans Benefits Affairs reporting. That the backlog has been reduced for six consecutive weeks is a positive development and reflects the VA’s new urgency to fix the backlog problem with new initiatives. Yet, to eliminate the backlog by its public goal of 2015, the VA must do far better.
Veterans need the aggressive leadership and decisive action of Obama, who has been silent on the backlog, to bring the backlog down to zero. This is something that 67 senators and a bipartisan group in the House are calling for, along with more than a dozen veterans service organizations.
The president (much as I hate to say it) rightfully displayed (for once) prompt leadership in responding to another critical issue for service members: military sexual trauma. A Pentagon report released in early May revealed that an estimated 26,000 cases of sexual assault occurred last year, a one third increase over the previous year.
Additionally, during this past month, three officers responsible for leading sexual assault prevention efforts have been embroiled in sexual misconduct cases themselves.
These incidents have served as a wake-up call for all Americans. We can’t ask our fellow citizens to put their lives at risk for us if they’re not safe themselves. A group of lawmakers, led by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, is proposing new legislation to combat this problem. The Military Justice Improvement Act would remove oversight of sexual assault cases from the chain of command and allow victims to report their assaults to an independent prosecutor.
This is an important piece of legislation that is quickly gaining bipartisan support and should be implemented immediately. It’s sensible and can help change the military’s culture for the better.
This Memorial Day, we also must continue our work to prevent suicides among those who served. The numbers are sobering: according to Army reporting, 109 active-duty and reserve servicemen and women have taken their own lives this year. Among all veterans, 22 veterans commit suicide every day. That’s 22 veterans. Every day.
Despite what we know about veterans’ suicides, a recent report from the VA inspector general’s office found that about a third of veterans considered to be at high risk for suicide don’t receive the recommended follow-up care after they’ve been discharged from VA inpatient mental health care. That is unacceptable.
We must continue to push for an expansion of programs that connect veterans to mental health resources while also fighting to erase the stigma that prevents many veterans from seeking mental health care in the first place. Ensuring that our service members are thoroughly evaluated and properly diagnosed is crucial to ensuring that they’ll be able to cope with, and overcome, the physical and mental injuries they may have sustained while serving our country.
We need the country to get behind us if we’re going to take care of these men and women who have taken such good care of our country. The president’s leadership is essential, but he needs a battalion to lead.
And when Memorial Day is over, join our effort to ensure that our elected officials stand with us and take meaningful steps to support veterans and their families.
Honor our men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice by doing right by their brothers and sisters among us.
Based on/taken from CNN OpEd article: What we must give back to soldiers By Paul Rieckhoff, Special to CNN updated 1:59 PM EDT, Mon May 27, 2013 with editing and additional facts/comments by Lethal Leprechaun