Weekly Roundup: The Dark Hemingway Edition


What do you do with a bunch of rum and grapefruit juice, anyway? If you’re my pal Chris from Canada, you Google around until you accidentally stumble on Hemingway’s favorite cocktail. But since Chris isn’t the kind of guy to follow someone else’s recipe blindly, you mix it up a bit. This is The Dark Hemingway:

  • dark rum ( gosling black seal )
  • real grapefruit juice ( not from concentrate )
  • fresh lime juice
  • lots of ice
  • dash of dark maple syrup

Stir well, or shake….garnish with a slice of lime. After three of these, “with maybe too much rum”, Chris found that he’d fallen asleep and missed the end of the movie he was watching. I’d call that a success.

Saturday night is just a few hours away, so stir up a Dark Hemingway while we cover this week’s contributions.

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Out, Darned Spot!


In 1807, Thomas Bowdler published The Family Shakespeare, “in which nothing is added to the original text; but those words and expressions are omitted which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family.” And no, the famous line isn’t changed to “Out, darned spot!” but rather “Out, crimson spot!” which in fact is a bit of an improvement to the original text as it makes it perfectly clear to younger people that Lady Macbeth is referring to the king’s blood.

There are two major editions of The Family Shakespeare; the first one was largely or entirely the product of Harriet Bowdler and omitted a few plays (Romeo and Juliet chief among them) entirely because they could not be thoroughly sanitized without becoming incomprehensible. It was published anonymously, because Harriet did not think it appropriate for women to have their names on a public document. For the second edition, Dr. Thomas Bowdler put his name on the book and reversed some of Harriet’s more enthusiastic changes, in addition to restoring the deleted plays. Readers who are curious about the Bowdlers and the critical response to The Family Shakespeare can read more here.

As with Rudolf Diesel, society has paid Thomas Bowdler the supreme compliment of lower-casing him; one can occasionally read that something was “bowdlerized”, meaning that it has had the offensive (or exciting) content removed. The massive changes in social norms over the past fifty years means that we’ve changed what and how we bowdlerize; today we focus more on violence than sex, where the Greatest Generation censored sex more than violence.

The newest chapter in Dr. Bowdler’s legacy, however, isn’t about sex or violence; it’s about a word.

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I’m Not Sick, But I’m Not Well


“Sick bike, man.” This was a much younger fellow, parking his red Honda next to me earlier today. Because I am forty-five years old my first thought was to listen carefully to the big Kawasaki’s idle, to figure out what I’d missed, to uncover the audible diagnosis that my fellow rider’s stethoscope had picked up as sick. But he meant sick bike, that’s all. Sick means good.

His bike was very healthy. An NC700X, the sensible adventure-ish bike with an engine made by cutting the Honda Fit’s inline-four neatly in half. It has a trunk where the fuel tank should be. Same bike my ex-wife’s husband rode until he moved up to a red 2014 Interceptor in October. I like the reasonable utility of it. When I was this fellow’s age, I rode a Ninja 600R. But that was back when you could buy a fast used sportbike for under two grand and actually insure the thing before turning twenty-five.

Society has cucked these twentysomething men, and I’m not just talking about the process by which they have to get written consent in triplicate and enter a Facebook-official relationship just so they can use the requisite dental dam to go down on some pink-dyed-hair 250-pound Women’s Studies major with garbage tattoos and a pitbull attitude. Even if they could afford a real sportbike, they couldn’t insure it. The same is true for ponycars and hot hatches and whatnot. We Gen-Xers like to bitch about the kids but we forget that we were the last generation to be permitted any sort of entry into adult jobs, responsibilities, identities. And that’s why the guy who buys a Ninja or a Mustang GT now in 2016 isn’t the same kind of person who bought one in 1996 — he’s the same fucking guy, actually. Yet we still resent the Boomers, and rightly so, for being the last generation to have access to wealth, retirement, respectable society, and blameless drunk driving.

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Made In The USA, Black Friday Edition: $79.95 Basic Black New Balance 993


You want a great pair of shoes? Today’s the day. Click this link to get to Joe’s New Balance. (I don’t get anything, but you have to use their email promo.) Choose Made In Usa. Choose basic black 993. It’s $99.95. After your 20% off, it’s $79.95.

If you’ve ever wanted to own a set of the best all-purpose casual shoes out there, now’s the day. For another ten bucks or so, you can get some of the color combinations, if you like, but this all-black 993 is new to the site and I think it’s pretty neat!

Happy shopping, everybody!

Made In the USA: Noble x Massdrop In-Ear Monitors


It’s the kind of thing we’re told just doesn’t exist anymore: American-made earphones. (Sorry audiophiles: In-Ear Monitors.) Noble Audio still makes them, however. Although their traditional entry-level set is $399, they’ve coordinated with Massdrop to build a special set for $249. If you use earphones for more than brief periods, it’s worth checking these out. I’ve already ordered mine. When you register through my referral link, you give me the chance to get fun stuff. So far, referrals through this site have gotten me: a Pilot fountain pen, several American-made Vapur water bottles, and a titanium spork! You know you want me to have more titanium sporks, so get shopping!

(Last) Weekly Roundup: Caution, Driving! Edition


My son gave this to me over the weekend — it was something that he wrote up shortly after we wrapped up PCOTY testing. I’d let him sit on my lap and steer the AMG C63-S around our little neighborhood. He was pretty good at it; I never had to correct his line. A few of the parents in the ‘hood were a little worked-up about it, but those are the same parents who get upset that my 7-year-old is riding an electric motorcycle around while their kids of the same age still have training wheels.

After the jump, we’ll have John Baruth’s first foray into road-test writing, as well as the usual roundup of what his father and uncle have been up to.

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Wednesday Night Video RETURNS!

It’s been fourteen months since Patrick and I cranked out a video for our, um, fans. I want to very clearly put the blame on him; although I’ve been fairly busy with racing and writing and whatnot, Patrick has been in a stage production and like three different bands during that time. But we will let bygones be bygones. Tonight’s tune is off the first Izzy Stradlin record: “Shuffle It All”. As is always the case, we meet up around 9PM and do the video at 10PM and then we have a few drinks. Or vice versa. Anyway, here you go. My brother, were he to watch this, which he will not, would castigate me for having the lyrics on my Kindle Fire. What can I say. I could not remember them.

Happy Wednesday, everybody!