Archive for March, 2012

The Origins of Eggnog

March 30, 2012

Gather ’round, children. It’s time for a magical tale…

Every year around Christmastime, millions of people around the world drink a special drink known as “eggnog.”

Some people drink it with plenty of whipped cream and cinnamon and delicious nutmeg on top. Others drink it straight from the jug.

Still others put all sorts of fermented alcohols and distilled liquors in it.

Some have a large punch bowl at the office Christmas party, and others sip a small mug quietly in their homes, surrounded by friends and family.

It truly is the drink of the Christmas season.

What you may not know is that last week, March 25th to be exact, precisely 9 months before Christmas day, is when the process of making all the eggnog for the year begins.

Just after the first day of spring, when the temperature is around 70 everyday and love is starting to fill the air, a select group of farmer called “Noggers” evaluate all their roosters and dairy cows they have on hand.

They find the highest quality cocks and cows and split them off from the rest. These animals are taken to a secret facility that is either isolated in the middle of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan or in an expanse of tunnels underneath the town of Butte, Montana.

I still can’t be sure. No one can.

But the animals are shipped to that facility where they are treated like kings and queens for the rest of their days. There, they are fed the finest fresh cut grasses and handpicked grains. They are given tons of space to roam and be happy, cows and chickens mingling together in the way people in society would.

This is very important, because letting the animals grow natural bonds between each other and find a suitable eggnog partner is important to the taste of the finished product.

People always say that love is in the most important ingredient. For eggnog, that’s actually true.

Once the chickens and cows have paired up with each other, Noggers put the pairs in private, candlelit rooms to let the magic happen.

Each room holds a rooster and a cow that, over time, have grown to love each other very much. I don’t think I need to go into detail about what happens when they are alone.

Soon, the cows udders begin to swell in anticipation of the upcoming birth of the natural chicken/cow hybrid. The noggers go to great lengths to hand-milk the eggnog from the cows, store it in centuries-old wooden pails until they can bottle it and send it to the store.

The cows end up laying some very brown eggs, too. Ones that never hatch, but the hormones from being pregnant with these eggs make the cows produce the eggnog until Thanksgiving when the eggs comes.

So, the eggnog is shipped to stores and the eggs are saved for Easter when the Cadbury company puts them on the shelves…

ghjr

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This is not included in the 500 word limit.

Thanks to Daniel Bollinger for twisting an offhand comment I made at work into this post.

I genuinely woke up at 11:10 this morning and realized I hadn’t written this, but I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

So… ta-da! Eggnog and Cadbury Creme Eggs. At once.

Take that.

Truly ghjr

Pooping in Wallman Hall’s Penthouse

March 26, 2012

I’m sure most all of you have had to use the bathroom in public before.

I mean, unless you are some sort of hermit that never leaves the house, or if you are one of those people that absolutely refuses to touch a toilet seat that isn’t yours. Those things happen, you know.

Either way, pooping in public is one of the shared experiences of basically every person on Earth.

Whether it be a tree in the Savannah, an executive restroom in a high profile bank or a port-o-john on a construction site, bathrooms are the meeting place of the world.

Naturally, some are better than others. There is a small Exxon station somewhere between here and Virginia Beach that is possibly the most heinous room I have ever entered.

Of course, when nature calls, you best pull off the road and pick up the phone.

On the other hand, the bathroom at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh may be one of the nicest bathrooms I have ever used.

However, there is one that I (among a few other in the know) hold very dear.

It’s not the toilet at home. It’s not the one at my parents’ house that I spent over 21 years crafting fine memories upon.

It’s the one in the penthouse of Wallman Hall on the main campus of Fairmont State.

Now, if you had asked me two years ago to talk about this, I probably would have denied any knowledge. Why?

Well, I used to have to spend a lot on time on campus. Some days stretched well over 12 hours. Five of those days a week made for a long semester and guaranteed that I’d need to poop on campus at least once a day, generally twice.

So, I needed a stable, reliable toilet, one that I knew I could drop into any time of the day and it would be open.

Introducing… Wallman Hall’s Penthouse Bathroom.

With a healthy mix of people not realizing it was there and people thinking student weren’t allowed to use it, I (along with a couple others) had free reign of the bathroom, and with only one toilet and one urinal, that’s a good thing.

Oh, those were the days. Not worrying if a toilet would be free. Knowing you had plenty of leg room and privacy if you needed to grunt or talk on the phone.

What? I talk on the phone and poo at the same time.

Either way, that bathroom, while small and usually tidy, was the best chance for respite and luxury on the campus of Fairmont State.

And now, everyone knows.

Of course, I only have class one day a week now, so I don’t need to use it that often.

May as well spread the love, right?

And by “spread the love” I meant “spread the word,” not “spread the poop.”

That would be icky.

Seriously. I don’t want that. At all.

 

ghjr

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This is not included in the 500 word limit.

Thanks to Tristram Salisbury for helping my blow the lid off of this hot case.

Now everyone knows where we poop.

They’ll be swarming us for autographs and what-not.

 

Truly ghjr.

Robes

March 23, 2012

Welcome. Have a seat, won’t you?

Oh. How silly of me. Of course you are already sitting.

Would you like a drink? I have a fine assortment of aged scotches, if you are interest. On the rocks, perhaps?

Three cubes?

Why don’t you retrieve your pipe from… well, wherever it is that you keep it when you travel. Left inside breast pocket? No, it’s not a good guess. It’s just the proper place to carry it.

No, no. I have some fine imported Peruvian tobacco leaves that I am willing to share. Here’s a cleaner and my tobacco bag.

Nonsense. Be generous with it. Take as much as you need, but don’t pack it too tightly. You know it will be the Devil to keep it lit if you pack it too tightly.

Are we all settled in now? Good. I have something to show you.

No, please. Stay seated. I’ll fetch it and bring it here for you.

Just a moment now.

I would love for you to try to on. Yes, it is real silk, hand crafted by the tiniest Asian fingers money can buy. From what I understand, the silk worms are from the area surrounding the Yangtze River. Each worm is bottle-fed unfiltered wildebeest milk and fed exactly 1.3 grams of genuine Dutch tulip petals each day.

The silk is gathered by teenage lepers who have been blinded with a rusty spoon, seeing as they are not worthy to look upon the fine silk before it is woven into the sheets of fabric.

Actually, there are many people jumping at the opportunity. You just don’t walk into a restaurant and get a job as the maitre d’ if you are leprous. It’s probably the most lucrative job a leper can have.

Well, go ahead. Put it on. See how it fits.

Oh, the lining? It’s real velour.

Let yourself go. Feel the velour on your skin.

No, I’m not sure where the lining comes from.

You caught me. I don’t know how velour is made. You brash devil.

Do you like it? Good. Smoke. Drink. Enjoy it for a while.

Yes, it does match mine. Perfectly. I bought two for myself long ago, but I’m not getting any younger, and I wanted to share this fine gift with someone before my time on this world is over.

No, no. I don’t have any health problems. Why would I? I smoke fine tobacco and drink aged scotch everyday. What bad could come of that?

I just want you to have this robe. No catch. My time on this world has been long. I have enjoyed all the finer things. I just want to pass that along to a young buck such as yourself.

You have many women to love and many drinks to drink. Be careful if you do either in that robe.

Stains don’t come out of silk.

ghjr

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This is not included in the 500 word limit.

Thanks to Sam Jones for this one.

I had a ton of fun with it. Honestly, I felt like Ron Burgundy most of the time I was writing.

Of course, in this house full of leather-bound books, it’s hard not to feel like him sometimes.

 

Truly ghjr