Top 10 Reasons Summer Can Suck It

I really wanted to write a Mardi Gras post this year, detailing all my various adventures, but what is there to say, really? I went wild for about 2 1/2 weeks, with all the crazy things that you can imagine go along with that.

But now, we are almost done with Lent, the payment for all of our debauchery. Austerity, as a reparation for revelry. Even though I feel it unfair that Lent is so much longer than Mardi Gras.

As a sort of consolation Mardi Gras prize, both for you and myself, here is a blurry photo I took. It is of a Friday the 13th float from the Crewe of Columbus parade this year, who rolled on Friday, the 13th of February, with the appropriate theme of “Run, Run, Run”. If you follow me on instagram, you’ve already seen it. My bad.

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So there it is. Mardi Gras 2015 at Bayou Babylon Dot Com. Summed up with a terrible photo.

Moving on, it is now hot as balls down here on the Gulf Coast, and I hate it. HATE IT. And it will be this way for another 6 months, at least.

I know that already complaining about Summer is lost on most people, especially everyone that just got some snow last week and have been buried in that devilish white powder (snow, not the other one) for months. It is true that Winter here is extremely mild, which makes it easy for me to say that Winter is my second favorite season. I honestly think it only got below freezing here maybeeeee twice.  Well, probably more than that, but I know I could count them on my hands.

Like most people in the Winter, I spend the Summer hunkered down indoors as much as possible, and just try to survive it, hoping I don’t die before Fall and Halloween.

Not that Spring gets any love, either. Allergies, and just the threatening way the temperature creeps up daily, make Spring my 2nd most-hated season of the year. Screw you too, Spring, but at least you have crawfish season as a saving grace.

My full-on hatred is reserved, of course, for Summer. I spend every day thinking along the lines of this video. My favorite parts? “The Lord is outta control,” and “I’m gon’ slit somebody’s throat over this heat”.

Shit, shit, shiiiiiiit.

With that, here are the top ten reasons that Summer can go back to the Hell it came from:

10. Sun
I know it’s kind of a given that the Sun sucks and we all hate it, right? That’s why it’s so far down the list. I am using “the Sun” as a catch-all for all the varying sun-related maladies, both mild and severe. Sunburn, skin cancer, blinding you on the way home from work, etc. Plus, generally speaking, it is the cause of every other reason that Summer sucks on this list.

09. Yardwork
The only reason this isn’t higher on the list is because I am more lazy than frugal. Meaning I pay someone to do my yardwork for me. Still, yardwork is the worst. I guess, more accurately, it’s the 9th worst.  Trimming bushes, edging, pruning limbs, cutting grass. These are things that man is not meant to do, but are required by various evil organizations all over the world (HOAs), and busybody neighbors.
Don’t get me wrong, I see the irony in paying someone to do my yardwork and hating it so much, but then sweating my butt off in a gym or walking around the neighborhood. Like I used to always say on fitfordragoncon: driving somewhere and paying to walk/run when you have a sidewalk in front of your house is ludicrous, but we do it anyway.

08. Humidity
I know that most people do not really understand humidity where they live, even in the Summer. Here, it means you are sticky 24/7. It means you walk outside and are immediately wet. It means your lungs must learn to breathe water at a very young age.
“It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity!” Right? I’ve been all over these great United States, and I promise that 100° in Texas and Arizona feels a million times better than 80° with 100% humidity. It is oppressive. It weighs you down and makes you feel miserable and gross.
Humidity is what makes you seriously consider putting a ziploc bag full of ice in your boxer briefs.

07. the Beer
For the most part, Summer seasonal beers are awful, sweet, fruit-laden, sodas with a tiny bit of alcohol in there. It’s like every beer brewer decides that making wine coolers is really what people want in the Summer. It’s why I have some pumpkin beers stowed away, just waiting for the peak of miserableness this Summer. (Also, I plan on having a patented VeggieMacabre “October Sunday” at some point this year).

06. Long Days
I apologize for this, but I’m going to reference a videogame here. The Templar in Diablo 3 says something along these lines, “The Sun is a literal, and figurative, enemy of evil and darkness.”
I’m not gonna go off about pagan customs here, even though I kinda want to, but suffice it to say, I like the night more than I like the daytime. I take the longer days full of sun as a direct offense. The sun needs to know its place and stay hidden for at least half of the day.
I’m not saying I’m a moon-worshipper, or evil, or anything silly like that. I’m just saying that I like waking up when it’s still dark and coming home from work when it’s dark. I like the idea of the darkness ruling for half the year. Maybe that is some deep down, hidden, goth inside of me talking, but I just plain like nighttime more than daytime.

05. the Clothes
Being an overweight person is a bummer. I know, I know. It’s my fault. Get over it.
But being overweight in the summer is an even bigger bummer.
While everyone is out in their revealing clothes, you’re trying to figure out a way to both “conceal” and not burst into flame in the Sun.
At the beach, your pasty, flabby, fishbelly draws unwanted attention from the worst types of people, who think they’re better than you, which is infuriating because they all probably suck harder than a vacuflo system choking on an Ed Hardy shirt.
Skinny people don’t really get it that easy, either. The fact is, summer clothes are not nearly as attractive as winter/fall clothes.
As I’ve always said, you wear more clothes, so you have more of a chance to get something right.

04. No Good Holidays
My cousin always says that I just go from one event to the next, and he’s more or less right. I like to have something fun to look forward to and all the best holidays/events are in the Fall and Winter. What does summer have? 4th of July? Great. Standing outside, grilling over a hot fire, in thousand-degree heat, getting a sunburn and sweating your ass off. I do like fireworks, but they’re not enough to make me enjoy this holiday. Neither is my latent patriotism. 4th of July sucks, face it. It’s just a little taste of a holiday. Enough to keep us going until the real holidays.

03. Kids
The Kids are out of school, and I hate kids. We don’t have kids for a reason. It’s because kids are stupid and annoying. And during the summer, they are fuggin’ everywhere. I count the days until school gets back in and I can go to the grocery store without having the Little Rascals scurrying underfoot, getting in everyone’s way, while their parent tries to figure out which honeydew melon is the best. I hate parents too.

02. Power Bills
In the summer, we go from having money to do stuff to having no money whatsoever, because our power bill goes completely apeshit. If you have Central Air down here, and let it rip, it will never turn off. NEVER. You are blowing dollar bills out of your air conditioning vents. That’s not a problem, if you’re rich, but for normal people like us, the Summer presents a time of forced austerity.
I know our power company offers a program that averages out your power bills, so you have the same bills all year, but I honestly prefer to have a break in the Fall and Winter months because that’s when everything happens (see #4). I need low bills for Christmas and Halloween and Mardi Gras. For 4th of July, I can buy enough Black Cat bottlerockets to blow up our neighborhood with very little funds.

01. Critters
There are a lot of critters in the Summer. I once told a friend of mine in Connecticut to “Come back down here, where it’s still wild!”
I meant that in numerous ways, but one of those ways was how the critters around here go absolutely bananas in the Summer. They all come out, and they’re all irritated because it’s just so damn miserably hot. Snakes being the worst, but also possums, raccoons, termites, carpenter bees, fire ants, jellyfish, etc.
In the Summer, the absolute worst animals come out to play. It’s like a who’s-who of the members of the Wild Kingdom that you don’t want to meet.
For instance, we have a lot of wood around our mostly-brick home. In the Spring and Summer, carpenter bees come out and drill holes and tunnels into all of our wood. They do this so they can lay their eggs in there and provide a seemingly safe environment for their larvae. The problem is that woodpeckers are smart and know that those tasty bee larvae are in there… so they tear up your wood to get at them for supper.
Man has been struggling against such pests for centuries, and it will never end. Nature must be conquered and subdued for us to live in a civilized utopia, with only those critters who won’t bite us and send us, hallucinating, to the emergency room.

So that’s it. The top 10 reasons that summer can toke on my wiener. I know some people love summer. Hell, my wife loves it. But it’s just not for me. Like I’ve said, during the Summer I consider myself to be “an accomplished indoorsman”.

Can’t we just fast-forward to September? Until then, maybe we can all go for a dip in the ocean together, while wearing thick black tshirts and broad-brimmed straw hats. Or lay in the dirt on the beach like a bunch of idiots.

I guess I have my October Sunday to look forward to. Let’s all raise a fruity summer beer to made-up holidays!!!

summer

HATE IT.

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Abita Christmas Ale Taste Test

Like a lot of folks, I have what I call a “Beer Lost & Found”. It could also be called “the Wayback of the Fridge”.

It’s where you look when you’re desperate for a cool one, but are broke and possibly already a bit “festive”. You push past the old pickles, the baking soda, and the monster that has grown to life in an old rubbermaid. Then your fridge, true companion that it is, produces a miracle beer seemingly out of the cold, smelly ether of the backalleys of its bowels.

Sometimes it’s a homerun. Sometimes it’s a High Life or Keystone Light. Whatever it is, it makes your day and prompts a quick, covert hug for your buddy, the refrigerator.

I was in such a predicament the other day. Searching for gold in a barren wasteland of abandoned leftovers for the diamond in the rough.

The fridge, in all of its benevolence, conjured up a Grand Slam: an Abita Christmas Ale from last year!

It was then that I read this and came up with the idea for this post:
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And if you can’t read that enormous picture, allow me to paraphrase: “Abita Christmas Ale is awesome because it’s different every year.

I thought I would put this to the test. Then I told my friend Roy about my idea, saying that, “I don’t know if I believe ’em. I’m gonna try it.”
His response was loaded with abhorrent common sense. “It’s gonna taste different regardless. It’s a year old!”

The idea of “aging” beer is lost on me, really. Granted, I have a 12-pack of pumpkin beer which I plan on drinking on a miserable summer day in 2015, but the only way a beer will make it past a few days in our house is if it hides in the back, which will only save it for so long, as this post shows. You’re really only delaying the inevitable by being elusive, scaredy cat beers.

Getting on with my test, regardless of Roy’s sage advice and poo-pooing of my plan, I went out and picked up a sixer of this year’s Christmas Ale. Because tasting beer is fun and it doesn’t need to make sense.

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The beer on the left is from last year. The one on the right is this year’s vintage.
They look, more or less, exactly the same. Except for one small difference:

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I am guessing that used to say, “Best By 04/08/14”. That is a date that has passed, which means this one may not be at its best, but does beer ever truly go bad? If it’s kept sealed? I don’t know. Like I said, they usually don’t last long enough for me to find out, but according to the two pours shown above, there hasn’t been much loss in carbonation.

20141218_162128This year’s is best before March. 5 days after Saint Patrick’s Day. This beer had to know it was doomed. If it made it through December, it wouldn’t have a chance of sneaking by Paddy’s Day.

Do they taste different? Well, I guess I would say yes and no. The newer one is obviously fresher tasting. The head on the older one dissipated much faster.
But, as much as I hate to say it, last year’s Christmas Ale just tastes like an older, flatter, version of this year’s.

Then again, as I have pointed out numerous times in the past, my palate is about as unrefined as they get. I couldn’t even name two different kinds of hops or malts, and have no desire to pursue that sort of wankery. I, more or less, separate consumables into two categories: “like” and “don’t like”.

Does this mean the Christmas Ale is a bad beer? Not at all. In fact, it ranks pretty high on my Abita list. It and the Grapefruit, which is their seasonal “harvest” beer for Christmastimes, are both really good, to me.

Just fyi, the bottom tier Abita beers, in my mind, are actually their old standards like “Purple Haze” and “Turbodog”.

In the end, all this means to me is that the recipe is a great one, so there’s no need to change it. If it is truly different, last year’s recipe and this year’s are pretty damn close.

In closing, I haven’t proven a furgin’ thing. Except that drinking beer, and pretending to be productive by doing it, is really fun and mentally fulfilling.

Have a great Christmas and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and break from work, which is the true reason for the season.

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Top 5 Pumpkin Beers

Now that I’ve reviewed some seasonal coffee, it’s time to move on to one of my other favorite seasonal beverages: beer.

I don’t know when I first started seeing, or noticing, seasonal beer hitting the shelves. It seems like it kinda snuck up on me. One minute, there was the same old beers year around. Next thing I knew, I was seeing 12 packs with snow and jingle bells on them.

To take it back even further, I don’t remember when the whole craft beer thing started. I mentioned it in my Dragon*Con recap, but I remember when I was in college going into a place that boasted “20 beers on tap!!!”

It all seemed so exotic. And it was about imports, not craft American beers. American beer was seen as bullshit, even Sam Adams.

My first beer was a Miller Lite. I can’t even fathom what the future looks like when, 20 years from now, people will be waxing nostalgic about their first beer: some local beer that the brewery only made like 2 kegs of.

I can still go back to Miller Lite. In fact, I drink enough Miller Lite during Mardi Gras that I could probably float myself out to the Isle of Joy on it.

And it never fails that someone is gonna give us shit about it. “Ha! Miller Lite!”

Which is where this post wades into treacherous waters. It’s one thing to say, “This is the best seasonal coffee!” because there aren’t a lot of coffee snobs out there, and the ones that are out there are, more or less, laughable (sowwy).

But beer snobs are everywhere these days. You can’t even have a cup of Bud Light at a minor league ballgame without some bearded asshole popping out and saying how he wished they had that new steamed monkeyshit beer.

So I fully expect someone to disagree with my choices for “top 5 beers” (of any sort).

And that’s fine, but let’s please keep a level head about these matters. To paraphrase my friend Doug (whom I quoted in the last post), “It’s just beer, man!”

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Moving on, I want to express how tough it was to narrow down the field of competitors. It also hurt my feelings a bit to exclude other Fall seasonals (Abita Oktoberfest) and focus on pumpkin exclusively.

No matter how much pumpkin backlash I see online, I will never hate the pumpkin.

Although I want to discuss something real quick: it seems that a lot of people think of pumpkin as a Thanksgiving flavor, while I think of it as being firmly a Halloween flavor. I don’t think I’ve ever associated pumpkins with Thanksgiving more than Halloween. Jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin patches, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, etc.

All that stuff is Halloween. Thanksgiving is turkeys and orange leaves. Here’s a fun fact: my birthday is on Thanksgiving Day this year… and it sucks. It rolls around like that every few years, and I hate it.

So before we get to the top five, let’s review:
– beer snobs are assholes. no one wants to be an asshole.
– pumpkin flavor is awesome. don’t join the backlash bandwagon. Halloween!
– as always, your tastes may vary

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Honorable Mention: Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale. I really, really wanted to include this one, but I just couldn’t with a clear conscience.
I love this beer. It’s the first pumpkin beer out (usually), for which it won me a bet this year. It’s available most anywhere (bought some in a gas station a couple days ago). It’s affordable ($13 for a twelvepack at my local Publix).
I also really like the packaging. I like the name. For some reason, I associate the word “harvest” with “scary time”. I think I watched “Children of the Corn” too many times as a kid.
I know there will be people out there who are like, “Blue Moon is owned by Coors!” and I hear ya. I like to drink/eat locally too, but sometimes you just need a Blue Moon Pumpkin.

 

#5. New Belgium Pumpkick
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In case you missed it, that raven has a cranberry in its mouth. That’s because New Belgium, who brought you perennial favorite Fat Tire, decided it was a good idea to throw some tang into their pumpkin beer, in the form of cranberry juice.
Does it work?
Depends. I like this new wave of “sour” beers, and it almost seems like New Belgium wanted a little bit of that trend to sneak into their brew. If you like a little sourness in the back of your throat, you will like this beer. The spice and pumpkin hits you hard at first, but on the way down you get that cran-tanginess.
I like the packaging also. It looks like that jack-o-lantern is contemplating whether the raven would be good to eat. I’m such a sucker for a jack-o-lantern on anything.

I know I’ve mentioned my method for picking out wine before: find one in my price range with a cool label.

I, more or less, do the same thing with beer and, while this one doesn’t hit a homerun with me, it does have a jack-o-lantern and a raven on it, so it’s at least a double.

 

#4. Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin
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Yeah, you read that right, “Pugsley’s Signature Series”. I don’t know if it’s meant that way or not, but I am taking that to mean Pugsley Addams made this beer.
Shipyard also makes the ever-popular Pumpkinhead beer, which possibly has the greatest label art of all time.

Unfortunately, I like “Smashed Pumpkin” better. The label is still good, just not as good. I mean, seriously, how could anyone compete with the Headless Horseman at Halloween?

And on that note, these labels are all clearly Halloween-oriented, not Thanksgiving, further cementing my thoughts that pumpkin is a Halloween flavor. People love dat Halloween.

This one is 9% also. So there’s that.

The taste? It’s good! It has a heady alcohol taste, as you would expect from a 9% beer, but it’s not beating you over the head. I also appreciate that Shipyard seemed to take care not to overdo the spices, in an attempt to cover up the strong alcohol flavor.

I’m not sure if “Smashed Pumpkin” is a reference to the band or not. My wife hopes it is, while I hope it is not. I’m hoping it is a reference to the time-honored tradition of smashing the shit out of pumpkins on Halloween night.

 

#3. Samuel Adams Fat Jack
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Double pumpkin. DOUBLE. PUMPKIN. That’s twice the pumpkin.

I first discovered Sam Adams Fat Jack last year, and I was really hoping to see it come back this year.

Look at that label! Somehow, this fatass Jack looks both friendly and menacing. And I think he’s holding a spoon. Is he about to eat himself? Is he about to eat you? Maybe he just wants some ice cream. Regardless, I love this guy, warts and all.

The taste is, as you would imagine from the “double pumpkin” moniker, a strong pumpkin flavor, and that’s what sets this one apart, in my opinion. You get more pumpkin than spices.

As we all know, the predominant “pumpkin” flavor this season is “pumpkin spice”, not just straight-up gourd. Keep that in mind. If you want spicy, and don’t really like pumpkin, you may not like this one, but I love it.

Plus, it’s 8.5%.

 

#2. Southern Tier Pumking

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I haven’t had a lot of Southern Tier stuff, but I have had about a bazillion Pumkings.

Most of my friends claim this as the end-all, be-all, of pumpkin beers. I guess it is aptly named, if you feel that way. Personally, I truly love it. I count down the days until it shows up at my local package store. I start asking about when it will show up sometime in June. Not kidding.

As a side note, people always think this is a local, or at least regional, beer because it is called “Southern Tier”. Then they check out the label and it is from Yankeeland. I don’t care. They make a helluva pumpkin beer, and one that I may not have tried if it hadn’t been recommended to me, just because I don’t think that label is too great. It’s not even as good as the label on their “other” pumpkin beer, “Warlock”, which is a pumpkin stout.

It really doesn’t matter. It could have a white label with “Pumking” written on it in Sharpie and I’d still buy it.

A strong, spicy, pumpkin flavor and it’s 8.6%. I honestly can’t say enough good things about this beer, which has earned its current place at the top of most people’s pumpkin beer lists.

 

#1. Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale
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My personal favorite, recommended to me by an employee at my local, is Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale, brewed by Stevens Point Brewery in Wisconsin.

Remember in the coffee post how I talked about the difference between pumpkin spice flavor and pumpkin pie flavor? Well this one is absolutely on the pumpkin pie side of that equation.

It’s weird, because I’m not a fan of any of the other Whole Hog series of brews, but they really nailed it with their pumpkin.

Coming in at 7.5%, Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale tastes like a beer, but also tastes like you’re drinking a pumpkin pie. One that isn’t too sweet, but is a perfect balance of pumpkin and spices.

The only problem is that it is expensive, and I know that is a taboo subject when it comes to craft beer, but it is one that most people must, at the very least, consider. Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale comes in fourpacks, which will run you about $15. I realize that’s still a lot cheaper than drinking at the bar, but paying over $3/beer for something to drink at home on the couch seems pricey, to me.

But really, almost all the beers I’ve mentioned are roughly in the same price range, so I don’t know why I’m making a big deal out of it with this one. Maybe it’s because I want it to be so cheap that I can drink this pumpkin ale exclusively, throughout the year, cutting out water, or anything else, entirely.

Go buy some now and drink it at work, in the parking lot. You won’t regret it. Even if you get shitcanned.

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Well, that’s it. I did it.

Picking my favorite pumpkin beers is like picking my favorite movie. It really just can’t be done. All five of these are solid contenders and I wouldn’t kick any of them out of my fridge, where they’re currently sharing space with a twelve pack of Lone Star.

Like picking a favorite anything, next week this order may be completely reversed, or I may be burned out on pumpkin. It’s not likely to happen, but that possibility is still there. My favorite movie or television show changes daily!

I hope you enjoyed this top five, and I encourage you to check out the rest of the blog, if you’re new here, or backtrack through my old blog, Fit for Dragon*Con, linked to on your right there.

Happy First Day of Fall! Cheers!

 

 

 

 

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Six Fall Seasonal Coffee Reviews!

“Tradition is the illusion of permanence.” – Woody Allen, “Deconstructing Harry”

 

Even though it’s not even really here yet, I love this time of year. The cooler temperatures that aren’t here yet. The scary movies on tv that aren’t here yet. The blown-out, over-the-top Halloween sections of stores that aren’t here yet.

One thing that is here, and has been for over a month already, is pumpkin spice.

And I love that too.

Despite a lot of recent Pumpkin Spice backlash that I’ve seen lately on the internet (“derp. white girls, derp.”) , Pumpkin Spice and Pumpkin-flavored stuff has now wormed its way into my Fall tradition. I suspect it’s a part of a lot of people’s traditions, now.

I find this odd because Pumpkin Spice is a newish thing on the holiday scene, or at least it seems that way to me. I know I’d never heard of Pumpkin Spice Lattes (the most infamous butt of the slew of “Pumpkin Spice White Girl” jokes and memes) 10 years ago.

Regardless of where it came from, Pumpkin Spice appears to be sticking around for a while, as it seems to pop up in new products every year.

Pumpkin Spice is Tradition now.

And if tradition really is the illusion of permanence, then pumpkin spice may be the salve to smooth out our wounded lives.

Tradition gives us a sense of our own time and place. It’s our own marker on the long yardstick of our lives. Most importantly, to rephrase Woody Allen, it fools us into thinking that things will be like this forever.

We’ll have this job forever. We’ll have our house forever. Our family that is alive right now will be here next year to enjoy this tasty Pumpkin Spice coffee together again.

I know I’m putting a lot of weight on the shoulders of something so irrelevant as Pumpkin Spice coffee, but I do believe that it’s the things like tradition that keep us going.

My cousin once said to me, “I love it! You just go from one event to the next! Once this one’s over, boop! you’re on to the next one!”

And he’s totally right. I look forward to the traditions. One after the other.

The traditions take our mind off of going to work every day. Paying our bills. Possible World War 3.

Because even if WWIII breaks out, and Des Moines gets nuked, Target will roll out their Archer Farms Pumpkin Spice coffee next year, and all will be well.

We are willfully asleep, and tradition helps to put us there.

And I love it.

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The other day I went to Target.

My wife goes to Target at least once a week. I do not ever go, unless it’s the holidays (September through December, basically).

My mission on this day was simple: Pumpkin Spice coffee, after twitter friends (Perky and Veggiemacabre) had alerted me that it was available.

I got there and was, admittedly, a little skeptical. The spot up front, the prime real estate, was still ocupado with “Back to School” bullshit. There wasn’t a corn made of candy anywhere in sight.

Determined, and trusting my internet friends not to lead me astray, I made my way to the coffee aisle.

I turned the corner and, jiminy crickets!, Pumpkin Spice had seemingly muscled out every other kind of coffee and was presenting its colors like a peacock in heat.

I’d never seen so much Pumpkin Spice coffee!

I couldn’t help myself, I started stuffing bags into my red basket. Tetrising them in, so they’d all fit, being careful to avoid the Starbucks and Dunkin “Yankee” Donuts brands.

I took them all home and, in a pumpkin spice feeding frenzy, opened every one of them.

“What have I done?” I asked myself, after my Pumpkin Spice-craving nasal passages had been filled and the beast inside was satiated.

“I never do this!”

And it’s true. One of my pet peeves is when my wife, or a guest, opens a new bag of coffee when the old one isn’t finished yet. I don’t really know why. Can coffee even get stale? Whatever. There’s something good in there that I don’t want let out until it’s time.

Only one thing to do.

DRINK THEM ALL.

Or, ya know, at least try them all.

And at least I can parlay this into a blogpost. So, here they are, IN ORDER from my least favorite, to my favorite, the coffees I blew my checking account on that day:

 

#6. Archer Farms Pecan Pie

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Gross.
I know I already tweeted this but, ya know that chemical taste that flavored coffee that is trying to be really sweet has? This has it in spades.
It’s really a shame, because I love Pecan Pie, but things that are irl really sweet just really shouldn’t be forced into being a coffee flavor. Pumpkin Spice works because it’s a spice.

I don’t know how flavored coffee is made, but I assume they just throw some syrup on the beans when they roast them. They probably also expect you to put some creamer in there with it, to smooth out the Toxic Avenger taste, but as I’ve said countless times before, I don’t think you should have to add anything to make it edible. It should be good on its own.

If you can’t drink Scotch straight, without ice or soda, it’s not good Scotch. Period. Sure, adding the ice or soda might be how you prefer to drink it, but it should also be able to stand on its own.

Same principle here. This stuff will probably get pushed to the back of the coffee shelf in our pantry, reserved for that coming day when I wake up, look in the pantry, and think, “Shit! We’re out of coffee! I knew I shoulda gone to the store yesterday! Wait. Here’s this stuff. Fuck it.”

#5. Archer Farms Autumn Roast

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This is an unflavored coffee. I like it because it lets people who aren’t into flavored coffee (me, outside of the holidays) get in on the seasonal fun.

I really don’t know what else to say about it, and I guess that’s why it’s next to the bottom of the list. It’s good, but that’s it.

If you just want a good, solid coffee that has the word “Autumn” on the package, pick this up, but like my friend Doug told a customer at his coffee shop once, “It’s just coffee, man!!!”

#4. Stud Muffin Pumpkin Spice

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This one is a good entry into the Pumpkin Spice pantheon.

I don’t know if it’s the power of suggestion or what, but this one definitely has a sort of “muffin-y” taste to it. It’s not very sweet, and has a sort of bran flavor to it. The pumpkin spice is definitely in there, but not overpowering at all.

I think I prefer my Pumpkin Spice to be strong and robust. This is the perfect solution for someone who likes pumpkin spice, but doesn’t want it causing a ruckus in their mouth.

And it might make you poop. Even more so than other non-bran coffees.

#3. Apple of My Eye

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Before Pumpkin Spice wrestled away the reins, Apple was in firm control of the Fall flavor palette.

Cider.
Bobbing for apples.
Caramel apples.
Other apple things.

This was the flavorface of Fall and, to be honest, it’s nice to see apple trying to make a comeback as the current underdog.

I know I said in my last post, “Fuck Apples”, and I still mean it, but Pumpkin Spice may be getting a little big for its britches and it’s always just nice to see someone challenge the current undisputed champ.

Apple of My Eye Apple Crisp coffee is perfect. I’m not lying. The only reason it isn’t number one is because, unfortunately, I like pumpkin more than apple (I think it’s the jack-o-lantern connection, honestly).

It’s a lighter, unassuming roast that has a just the right touch of apple flavoring. It tastes like Fall. It tastes warm and inviting, but not overbearing. It be all like, “Come on in here and have a sit and chat with your dad in front of the fireplace.” While a lot of flavored coffees be more like, “TASTE ME. DO IT NOW!!!! FUCK YOU, THIS IS WHAT I TASTE LIKE.”

Know what I mean?

#2. Archer Farms Pumpkin Spice

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This is my go-to pumpkin spice coffee. It is exactly what you want in a pumpkin spice coffee, and isn’t $10/bag like the Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks brands.

And as a bonus, they sell it in big bags. Stock up now, so you can have an October Sunday sometime next May.

In general, I like the Archer Farms/Target brand. They offer high-end shit at beer prices, or something like that. I’ve had a ton of coffee this morning. My head is audibly buzzing. My synapses are firing too fast for their own good. I don’t think they can see where they’re going.

The Archer Farms Pumpkin Spice has a terrific aroma in the bag, but smells even better when brewing. It’s a strong pumpkin spice flavor/aroma without that chemical “beat you over the head” thing.

My main experience with “flavored” stuff is with pipe tobacco. In the pipe tobacco world, heavy toppings and flavors are usually used to mask the flavor of cheap tobacco. With this Archer Farms Pumpkin Spice, it seems like they used good coffee, despite it being a lighter roast. There’s not any of that cheap coffee funky bitterness hiding in there behind the spice, in other words.

#1. Sweetie Pie Pumpkin Pie

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Holy shit. This stuff is flippin’ amazing. I really don’t know how they did it, but it does taste like pumpkin pie.

As I noted in my review of the Pumpkin Spice Shave Stick, there is a marked difference between “pumpkin spice” and “pumpkin pie” scents and flavors. Don’t believe me? Go get a shaker of pumpkin spice and shake it out on your tongue.

There are notes of graham cracker in here, for chrissakes! How did they do that bullmess?

It’s sweet, but not cloying. It’s piquant, but not too overpoweringly spicy.

Go get some. It rules. It smells amazing, tastes like pumpkin pie, and it’ll turn your brain into a misinformation superhighway.

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So that’s it. The coffees I got that fateful day in my local SuperTarget, reviewed.

TL;DR
– Tradition makes us feel good.
– For better or worse, pumpkin spice has made its way into our lexicon of seasonal flavors
– Apple is ok too
– PUMPKIN PIE. CAFFEINE. helluva combo.

 

 

 

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Dragon*Con 2014 ReCap

It was one week ago today that I was headed up to Dragon*Con for what I had promised would be my last one.
And after Dragon*Con 2014, I plan to keep that promise.

Not that I’m saying I didn’t have fun. I did. How could I not have fun hanging out with a bunch of my fellow weirdos, seeing people I have immense respect for (Terry flippin’ Gilliam) talk about their passions? All in an environment that encourages 24/7 partying?

Dragon*Con is fun. There is no doubt about that.

The problem is this: Is it fun enough to outweigh the costs?

And I don’t mean a monetary amount, although that is part of it. Dragon*Con costs me and my buddy about $1,000/each to attend every year, between the hotel room, tickets, drinks, food, and various sundries. Is it worth $1,000? I clearly thought so five years ago, so what has changed?

Well, for one, I have changed.

But I also think Dragon*Con has changed, too.

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Thursday, August 28th

If you followed my old blog, “Fit for Dragon*Con”, and remember my Dragon*Con 2013 recap, you know that I drive all the way over to Pensacola to pick up my official Dragon*Con Buddy. It’s out of the way, I know, but now it is tradition.

We went to our usual breakfast: Chik Fil’A, which is also tradition now. Last year I got something that was, basically, everything they had in the kitchen on a bagel. I never go to Chik Fil’A, but on Dragon*Con Thursday, it is a must for a late breakfast. This year I got a breakfast burrito, which actually wasn’t that bad. It came with a side of “fruit” which was almost entirely made up of chopped apples.
Apples fucking suck. Fuck apples.

Then it was on the road up to Auburn, where me and Dragon*Con Buddy (DCB, from now on) went to college. We had plans to meet up with some old cronies at a restaurant that almost all of our friends worked at, at one time or another, including me.

I ordered a salad. Because I am a gross fatass.

The food was good, and we had some beers. I was sorely disappointed that the only Abita they had was Purple Haze.

Speaking of beers, I remember when I was in college, this place was known for having a ton of obscure beer. In 2000, this meant they had about 12 taps that were loaded with imported beers. Obscure shit like “Guinness” and “Stella Artois”.

It’s weird now to think back to those times, what with the craft beer boom and whatnot.

I digress.

We made it to Atlanta (Falcon Country, which kinda grosses me out) without any problems, but when we went to our hotel…

See, we’ve stayed at the Marriott (a host hotel) for the past few years, but this year I was unable to snag a room within the 3 seconds they were available. I blame my geriatric computer I was using at the time which, instead of transferring my credit card information in a timely fashion, sat down on the internet ethereal couch and pooped all over itself.

You can imagine my reaction to that. I almost took its Metamucil ass outside and beat it into a million pieces with a hammer.

As soon as I realized I wasn’t getting a room at the Marriott, I began scrambling for a room elsewhere, preferably within walking distance of the Con.

I got one, but it was at the “Holiday Inn Centennial Park” and it was actually more expensive than the Marriott and several blocks from the action.

 

Once we got to the Holiday Inn, there was a problem with our reservation, which is always frustrating, especially after navigating hellish Dragon*Con/Football traffic. I won’t get into it though, because a blog about how terrible traffic is and hotel problems is about as much fun to read as a blog about fitness.

The next part of our trip was, personally, one of my favorite moments.
We rolled up to the Sheraton, where in previous years we’d waited in line for hours to get our Dragon*Con badges.
That was not the case this year. We were ushered in by some friendly nerdlingers and waited in line for a grand total of about 10 minutes before we stumbled out a little bewildered by what had just happened. “Did we really just get our badges in 10 minutes??? Really??? I bet any minute someone is gonna come out here and take them from us for some unknown reason.”

It was awesome. I don’t know what they changed, but somehow they had spun gold out of a hairball.

It was then time for another Dragon*Con tradition: meeting some Atlanta friends at Trader Vic’s in the basement of the Hilton.

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Trader Vic’s is a famous tiki bar. Not sure if you knew that.

It’s always a moderately bad idea to meet here on Dragon*Con Thursday. However, it does get you acclimated, immediately, to what the rest of your weekend is going to be like.
It’s hot.
It’s crowded. So crowded you can’t really move, actually.
It’s expensive. A gin & tonic and a beer: $20.

Atlanta, you are Atlanta. Not New York.

They also have the same band every year, who thinks they’re real clever by playing ironic cover songs. Dumb.

I spent the rest of the evening, and coincidentally, the rest of the weekend, swigging from my flask of Scotch. I think that’s why I can always remember Thursday so clearly: it’s the only day that I spend completely sober for almost the whole day.

Oh, I almost forgot: we decided on Thursday to go home on Sunday. Mostly to save a little money, but also so we could have Labor Day to do whatever we wanted to do, besides spending our holiday driving home. In retrospect, this was one of the best decisions of my life.

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Friday, August 29th thru Sunday, August 31st

I know, I know.
I’d like to do a day-by-day breakdown, but I honestly can’t really remember all the things we did. Dragon*Con is always such a blur of activity and drinking that I can never recollect what we did, or when we did it.

I know on Friday we saw Patrick Stewart, who I kept referring to as “Mon Capitan Jean-Luc Picard” in a dirty French accent. I’m sure this got annoying, but it was a case of, “I am drunk. You did not laugh as much as I think you should. Therefore, I will repeat myself until I get the reaction I deserve.”

Patrick Stewart was really only one of two “must-see” people this year at Dragon*Con for me. My buddy and I saw a Next Generation panel (almost everyone but Picard) a few years ago that was kind of a bust. One of the panelists got miffed and walked out. That was a bummer, but Levar Burton and Brent Spiner were great.

the bright dot on the right is Patrick Stewart.

the bright dot on the right is Patrick Stewart.

On Friday we also went to a panel for “Snydecast“, which is a podcast featuring one of the funniest motherfuckers to ever walk the Earth: Dana Snyder, who does the voice of Master Shake on ATHF and Granny on Squidbillies, two of my favorite shows.

A few years back, Dana was part of the greatest panel I have ever seen in my entire life. It was an ATHF panel where they had puppets and did a reading from the show, but the best part was when they turned Dana Snyder loose with a Granny puppet to interact with the crowd. It was hilarious, it was crass, it was creative… it was everything you could ever want from a panel.

I also learned during this Snydecast panel that they are part of “Drunk On Disney”, which as a guy who loves WDW and loves drinking, found relevant to interests. In fact, I drank my way through this panel. Discreetly, so as to avoid being called out by the panelists, which they made clear they were all about.

Try as I may, I could not avoid detection forever, and ended up being front and center in a video Dana Snyder shot for his wife.

After the Snydecast panel, we got in line for a Battlestar Galactica panel. I made a lame joke about, “It’s not Dragon*Con if we don’t go to at least one BSG panel!”

We’ve been to a BSG panel every year, but we’d never seen Tricia Helfer (aka #6),  or Kate Vernon, who was also going to be there.

All in all, it was a fairly mediocre panel, but like a lot of my Dragon*Con experiences this year, it was probably just sourpuss, glass half empty, me. But I can’t help but compare it with the first BSG panel we went to, where Edward James Olmos led the crowd in a “So say we all!” cheer.

I also never got the nerve to ask my question. A question that I’ve had planned for years now, but have never gotten up the nuts to ask at the panel…

“Mr. Richard Hatch, if Tom Zarek’s rebellion had succeeded, do you think he would have made a better president than Gaius Baltar?”

Mr. Hatch, if you’re out there, feel free to respond, that would make my month. Anyone else is also free to weigh in, of course.

That night we made a mistake and decided to go to a panel that was called “Celebrity Improv”, because it featured James Urbaniak and Dana Snyder, along with a couple guys from MST3K.

A sure shot, right? Wrong.
We thought it would be the funny famous people doing improv. Instead, we got one funny famous person at a time, paired with two guys who were not nearly as good, with the whole thing hosted by another unfunny guy that reminded me of all the dudes who were really into anime when I was in high school. At the end we were supposed to vote on which “celebrity” did the best job. I refrained from voting because I felt like all the genuinely funny people had been dealt a bad hand to deal with, and couldn’t really turn it loose like they maybe would have been capable of doing if they’d all been together at once.

 

 

On Saturday, after almost getting trampled while trying to make our way through the parade crowd, we saw Terry Gilliam, a hero of mine for several reasons. He’s hilarious, he has a unique vision (which sometimes can be boiled down to, “What is reality, really?”), and I feel like he’s a genuine diy success story. I love seeing uncompromising artists succeed because it makes my innate stubbornness seem sorta legit.

He talked, mostly, about his new film, “The Zero Theorem”, but he also spoke a bit about his white whale, “Don Quixote”, which was very interesting.

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this time, the shiny dot on the right is Terry Gilliam

 

Saturday night, we went to the “GONZO Quiz Show”. We pondered exactly what was so “gonzo” about it. Was Gonzo the Great going to show up? Hunter S. Thompson’s ghost, maybe? Or maybe the questions were all going to be about Gonzo.

In the end, gonzo, of course, just meant it was gonna be “cuh-razy”.

You would think we would have learned our lesson from the night before. The lesson being that a bunch of funny people, thrown together with random unfunny people, does not a great panel make.

However! Doc Hammer was there, and he pretty much carried the whole show. I know this is a dumb, sophomoric question, but I really wonder what sorts of drugs are Doc Hammer’s favorite. My buddy said “prescription pills” while I leaned more towards the party end of things with “c-c-c-c-cocaine”.

The Quiz Show was better than the improv, mostly because of Doc Hammer and the host was better, also.

 

While all this was going on, I somehow found time to get souvenirs.
I got a couple of Warehouse 13 autographs for a tattoo artist friend of mine, who said he would tattoo me for free, in exchange for Warehouse 13 shwag.
I got Bob Camp, creator of “Ren & Stimpy” to autograph a print for my wife, who is a big fan.
I got a few Frazetta prints because they were 3 for $20 on quality paper.
I also got a screenprint poster from a guy in the Artist Alley for my wife, and got him to sign it.

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Every year, before Dragon*Con, I say I am going to take a lot of pictures, and I never do. Partly because I’m just too busy to stop and snap photos, but mostly because I’m not the kind of guy who is going to take someone’s picture without asking, or receiving consent in the form of “I’m gonna stand here and pose while you all take pictures of me in my costume”. Since I don’t talk to strangers, this results in very few pictures.

But, what few I did take, I will now share with you….

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This next one is my personal favorite costume photo, that I took. I like it because the guy is just some dude. I mean, he’s not a professional costume maker/designer, but he wanted to be Godzilla really bad, so he got together some foam rubber and made it happen. That’s the kind of costumes I like the most. The ones that are somewhere between “crappy store-bought whatever” and “movie-quality realism”. The ones with a heart and a soul, that some fan just spent a year putting together, and it’s still not perfect.
I caught this guy in the lobby of our hotel and he was super nice. Godspeed, Gojira.
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Aaaaand here’s a few pics from the Dragon*Con parade, taken from the safety of a parking garage after spending one of the worst 20 minutes of my life trying to get through the crowd.

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Um, as you can see, I like the ECTO-1. It was definitely the highlight of the parade, for me. The last pic is of one of the few actual “floats” from the parade, and it was sponsored by a local haunted attraction. It was awesome and had glowy jack-o-lanterns all over it.

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Overall, we had fun. We left on Sunday and I was glad because I was fed up with the heat, the crowds, our crappy hotel (the tv didn’t work half the time), and the lack of things that I wanted to do.

I really think it’s mostly a case of Dragon*Con burnout. We never ran into anyone that was a jerk (like that one year) or anything. It just felt, this year, like the expense and hassle was just simply not worth it.

To recap:

– Hotel was too expensive and kinda shitty (after taxes and parking, about $350/night. I could stay in the Contemporary at Walt Disney World for that much.) Plus, having to walk 2 or 3 blocks to the action was extremely inconvenient when we’re used to having our room upstairs to visit whenever we need a flask refill or a little respite from everything.

– Too crowded. ‘Nuff said.

– Too hot. For some reason, I felt like I was covered in sweat for 3 days.

 

However, despite these things, we did have fun, but I think that has more to do with hanging out with good friends than with Dragon*Con.

Oh! And speaking of hanging with good friends, I finally got to meet my buddy Brandmed in person at Dragon*Con! Brandmed and I have been “internet friends” for a few years now, having met on X-Entertainment, which was Dinosaur Dracula before Dinosaur Dracula. Brandmed and I have been trying to meet up at Dragon*Con the last few years, but it never seemed to work out. This year, however, one of the main highlights of my experience was meeting him and his sweet wife in person!
Here we are!
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The internet is a weird place, but I know I’m not telling you anything. It can be so awesome, when you meet people like Brandon or WillBill, but then you hear catfishy horror stories all the time. I think people my age and older are at a higher risk of this than others. We didn’t grow up with the internet. It became a thing when we were adults, so we don’t really know any better, which can be good sometimes, but could also land you in some shit if you’re not careful.

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Anyway, friend, it’s time to wrap this up. Both this post and my brief love affair with Dragon*Con. I’m ready to move on, which is obviously why I changed domains.

You may say that I’m too hard on Dragon*Con, or that I’m old and bitter, and you’d be right. Dragon*Con is awesome, if it’s for you. If you’re young and semi-nerdy and like to party. But it’s just not for me anymore.

I’m also ready, in more immediate terms, to move on into the Halloween season with this blog. Dragon*Con has acted as my “summer closer” for years now, and it will this year also. Time for pumpkin spice, ghost stories, sweatshirts, and Saints football.

I also think that if I have to type “Dragon*Con” one more time, I may kill myself. That asterisk is just too cumbersome for my hen-pecking fingers to get to.

 

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A Very Fall Shave

Last night, before I left work, I drank a million cups of coffee. Consequently, I couldn’t sleep for shit last night and woke up at 5:20am this morning. Being as I had about 8 hours until I had to be at work, I figured I had time for a long, relaxing, luxurious shave.
And being as I am of the opinion that indulging in Fall seasonal items will eventually give this long oppressive Summer the hint that it has worn out its welcome, I decided to go full-out Fall with today’s shave, using two new items I haven’t even used yet!

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This is my new “Pumpkin Spice Shave Stick” from Mystic Water Soap.
I know most of my 5 or so readers probably are not into “wet” or “traditional” shaving, so I will attempt to briefly explain how a shave stick works.
A shave stick is a stick of shave soap. The nice folks at Mystic even put it in a tube for you, unlike some other shave sticks, like Arko or Palmolive. You rub the shave stick on your wet face, leaving a film of shave soap behind, and then face-lather with your brush, which just means you rub your shave brush over the soap, creating a lather.

I ordered this shave stick based on reviews I read online at Badger & Blade and elsewhere. Namely, that this pumpkin spice scent was actually closer to a “Pumpkin Pie” scent, as it had more sweetness and less spice than some others. I also read that Mystic is an artisan soap maker, which basically just means it’s one person, in their house, making this stuff and selling it on the internet.

This shave stick is also tallow-based, meaning it contains animal fat, so stay away from it if you are vegan. Unfortunately, tallow makes for a superb shave soap, producing a thick lather with incomparable slickness.

This shave stick did not disappoint. Upon opening, my nose was met with a sumptuous scent of pumpkin pie. It was, true to the reviews, heavy on the sweet and vanilla, but with distinct pumpkin and spice notes also.

I loaded a new Feather blade into my Merkur 34c and put my brush in the hot water to soak. I used my Parker Black Badger brush, which has swiftly become my day-to-day workhorse brush.

I wet my face and rolled a little edge of soap out of the tube.
20140819_064757Ok, let’s be honest. This was the most unpleasant part of this morning’s Fall shave. It looks like a turd. If you showed me the picture above and said, “Look at this guy holding a turd!” I would believe it. Sure, it also looks like pumpkin pie, but maybe a little browner, and thus a little more on the turd side of life.
Two things about when I began to rub it onto my face:
1. I got a strong odor of oatmeal cookie that wasn’t there when I first opened it. This isn’t a bad thing, but the sweetness really blossomed once I started rubbing it on my 2-day scruff.
2. It didn’t stop looking like doodoo. Once again, if you showed me a photo of my face post-rub and pre-lather and said, “Look at this guy with shit on his face!” I would definitely believe it. Sort of an orange-ish brown film was now on my face, kinda grossing me out. Of course, I don’t know what else you could expect from an all-natural pumpkin-spice soap, so there’s no helping that.
Not that it matters anyway. This portion of the shave lasts less than a minute until it’s on to lathering it up and really seeing what kind of performance it is going to deliver.

I fished my soaked brush out of the basin, shook it a couple times to get rid of the excess water, and began lathering my face up…

Magically, my thin film of Doo Doo Brown was turned into a massively thick and chunky lather, that smelled like heaven to me, as a person who, like a lot of people, is completely enamored with pumpkin anything.

And this is after three passes!

And this is after three passes!

I got so much lather that I actually did a 3-pass shave, whereas I normally only do two (a 3-pass shave is basically where you shave 3 times in a row).
The lather was so thick, so rich, so sweet-smelling, and so slick that I kinda had a hankering to just keep shaving all day, over and over, culminating in the unheard-of 100-pass shave.
Seriously, I can’t recommend this shave stick enough. Even if you aren’t into the wet-shaving hobby, and make no mistake, it is a hobby, it may be worth it to get one of these sticks and a cheap brush, just to immerse yourself in damp leaves, plastic, cool air, distant cries of “trick or treat!” and hot pumpkin pie just for a few minutes. A nice escape from the oppressive heat and humidity of the Deepest South, in other words.

I think the only thing that kept me from shaving for forever and ever and ever, into perpetuity, was my excitement over using my new “Jack-o-Lantern Pumpkin Whiskey Aftershave”!
I’ve had this stuff for several weeks now, and have yet to use it because I was waiting on just the right moment. That moment came at roughly 0600 this morning, on an already-hot August day.

I got this stuff from Nevermore Body Company and, unfortunately, it was the last one they had listed on etsy.
20140819_054359Post-shave, I hit my few nicks with an alum block and shook out a small puddle of the Jack into my palm…

20140819_055013As you can see, it has a sort of milky appearance. I should note that, like many artisan aftershaves, you need to shake this stuff up before using it, to properly mix all the ingredients.
The milky appearance was a little off-putting, but the scent was heavenly. A stronger spice presence than the soap was definitely there, with cloves and cinnamon in the forefront, a little pumpkin in the middle, backed by a slight whiskey chaser.
I rubbed it between my hands and applied…

YEE-OWCH! This was certainly a strong burn, which I guess could be attributed to the presence of both whiskey and cinnamon. It didn’t last long and I honestly enjoy a nice burn with my aftershave. It lets me know it’s working and I find it refreshing, in a weird way.

The scent went on strong, but didn’t overstay its welcome, lasting only in my nose. It’s been two hours, and I am only getting occasional whiffs of pumpkin and spice, which is just how it should be, in my opinion. My face is still very smooth and tight, but not too tight like you would get with an alcohol-heavy aftershave. I don’t feel like I’m gonna tear my skin just by talking, in other words.

OVERALL:
I highly recommend both of these products to anyone and everyone! Ladies, there’s no law that says you can’t use this on your legs. I’m really hoping that Nevermore will have more Jack-o-Lantern aftershave this year so I can stock up and enjoy what my buddy VeggieMacabre calls an “October Sunday” occasionally throughout the year.

If you want a smooth, slick shave with a scent that instantly transports you to Halloween night (and who doesn’t want that?), seek out these products immediately!

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Unboxing the August 2014 Dinosaur Dracula Funpack

Punk rock can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. To some, it may mean stealing change to buy some malt liquor and passing out in a squat. To some others, it may mean going to Warp Tour and riding skateboards with your shirt off.

But to me and my friends growing up in the 90’s, punk rock meant a certain code of ethics. It meant diy records, fanzines, booking tours of people’s houses for your band, shunning any sort of monetary or standard definition of success, and, in general, just doing things your own way and in the most honest way possible.

A big part of that was supporting your friends and what they do.

Whether it was buying your friend’s record, or helping them put together their zine, supporting each other and keeping it all going and alive and vibrant was an essential part of being “punk”.

Hell, even if it was someone that you didn’t know personally (which is half of my blog/internet buddies), you still supported them in any way you could, if you liked what they were doing.

Like a lot of people in the 90’s, I did a fanzine. It was called “Gamma Green”. Don’t look for it. It mostly featured stuff about music, with some social commentary thrown in for good measure.

My other friends all did their own zines, also. We would put them together, trade them, mail them away, and just give them away to people who might be interested in that sort of thing.

When I first started doing a blog (fitfordragoncon.com), I saw blogs as the natural successor to the fanzine. It was easy, it was cheap, and it let anyone who felt like they had something to say, say it. You could share them with your friends. You could write guest columns for them.

Granted, I still don’t think that blogs will ever hold the same spot in my heart as zines did, and still do. Blogs just can’t quite capture that spirit of a cut-and-paste zine that someone poured 6 months of their life into.

Still, as an aging person who grew up in the activism-charged punk and hardcore scene of the 1990s, I feel like “Support” and a certain “punk” ethos is very much a part of who I am.

In that frame of mind, and against my better judgement, I am now presenting my first-ever vlog.

I want to be perfectly honest: I don’t really like 99% of vlogs. I really don’t care for unboxing videos.

My wife has a subscription to a makeup box. She watches videos of people unboxing their makeup boxes.

It’s boring, it’s awkward, and I can’t fucking stand it.

Therefore, I will keep this video up on youtube until I get the September funpack in the mail, or I just can’t live with myself anymore.

So. SUPPORT.

You can subscribe to Dinosaur Dracula’s monthly funpacks HERE. Apologies to Matt, for making such a shit video.

But, HERE IT IS ANYWAY:

P.S.
Don’t tell my wife about this video. This is just the sort of thing she’d never let me live down.

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