Of Bars, Booze, and Bartending - Proving "Coughlin's Law" Invalid Since Feb '05

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Merlot To Go!

As a public service, I'm writing this post to inform Ohioans of the new "Merlot-To-Go" law, which goes into effect this Thursday, September 21st.

This new law allows customers to take home the unused portion of a bottle of wine they have purchased for on-premise consumption in a restaurant.

Legally, that is... we all know you've been doing this for years anyway.

The only requirement is that you inform your server that you wish to take the bottle with you; the server will then take the bottle to the bartender, who will re-cork and place a special re-sealer on the bottle. The bartender will then place the bottle in a bag; as long as you transport the bottle in your trunk (or behind the last seat, out of reach of the driver, if you don't have a trunk), you're good to go with your merlot! Or, hopefully, you have better taste in wine, and rhymes, than that.

It's reasonable to assume that many servers and bartenders don't know about this new law yet... feel free to inform them.

The great thing about this law is that you are no longer limited to wines offered by the glass at your favorite restaurant. You can purchase any bottle you like, have a glass with dinner and take the rest home with you. You no longer have to drink that shitty Chardonnay offered by-the-pour, my friends.

Enjoy the wine, and the new, enlightened Ohio laws, Buckeyes!

I could feel hot flames of fire roaring at my back
As she disappeared, but soon she returned
In her hand was a bottle of wine, in the other, a glass
She poured some of the wine from the bottle into the glass
And raised it to her lips
And just before she drank it, she said
Spill the wine and take that pearl
Spill the wine and take that pearl
Spill the wine and take that pearl
Spill the wine and take that pearl

- Eric Burdon and War, "Spill The Wine"

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Bronson Arroyo Is Hot All Over Again

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Nice outing by Bronson this afternoon... eight shutout innings against the Cubs; he's 4-0 in September with a 1.13 ERA. Not the best time to get hot all over again, but I'll take it.

Arroyo Makes The Mark of the 'Z', and the Enquirer makes up funny headlines

And, you know, I've been meaning to write about this, but I keep putting it off...

I attended Arroyo's concert at The Carnegie last week.

You know that saying, If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all?


Of course I'm loathe to pick on the guy; he's been my favorite Red this season, and besides, Michael Stipe can't throw a curve for shit, right, Covington?

Although it definitely wasn't my bag, a few of the people there seemed to enjoy themselves. A lot. One even taunted the audience, shouting, "Cincinnati is sooooo boring!" I suppose that's one way to look at it, although that particular fan didn't sound like she was from Boston. I bought a CD anyway, and I still feel kind of dirty about it... hopefully Everybody's Records got a healthy cut.

Fortunately, my lingering memories of the evening involve a rediscovered appreciation for the 859. Big shout-out goes to the staff at the Down Under, for being uncommonly kind, and allowing me to rudely eat the potato chips you had prepared for yourself. I was pretty hungry, and the many Harps I consumed at the show had already taken their toll. The first casualty of beer is etiquette, clearly. Instead of scolding me, you invited me to dip your chips in honey-mustard dressing. I'll be back.

These are the things that happen to me when I get a new baseball crush; next summer, I think I'd be wise to just go to the ballpark and avoid the side careers of my favorite players. In that respect, I guess I'm happy the season's winding down.

Thanks, Reds Fans! See you next time...

I can see you
Your brown skin shinin' in the sun
You got that hair slicked back and those Wayfarers on, baby
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

- Don Henley, "Boys of Summer"

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Friday, September 15, 2006

As If You Needed Another Reason To Drink

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Alcohol Use Helps Boost Income: Study

Alcohol use also helps boost the income of bartenders, which is why I am 100% supportive of alcohol use.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years

One thing is for certain... 9/11 isn't about me, and has nothing to do with me. Here in Cincinnati, we watched just like the rest of the world did, but we weren't a part of it, other than we were Americans, and we were all experiencing this together, and at the same time. I didn't plan to write today, because anything I say will come off as trite and inappropriate, I imagine. I'm just some schlub barkeep, after all.

But... last night, on the eve of this sad anniversary, while many were watching the much-maligned docudrama "Path to 9/11" on ABC, and while probably millions more were watching "The NFL-Manning Bowl" on NBC (I can't blame them), I watched "9/11" on CBS. This was a documentary by French filmmakers, the Naudet brothers, and James Hanlon. Originally making a program about rookie, probationary firefighters, the filmmakers were about two months into their work when they found themselves in the center of Ground Zero on September 11, 2001. The film was especially notable since it contained the only known footage of AA Flight 11 hitting the first, north World Trade Center tower, and the subjects of the film were among the first to respond at the scene. I've always felt that this movie was intensely moving, the best of the 9/11 films thus far, and I've never forgotten it since I first watched it on CBS in 2002, I believe.

For the fifth anniversary of that day, the film was updated, and I was interested in watching it again to see what had become of the firefighters. The original focus of the film, "probie" firefighter Tony Benetatos, is now a member of New York's HAZMAT team, telling us that following 9/11, he was determined that if another attack should ever occur, he wanted to be right in the middle again, so that he could do something. It was interesting to learn that the attacks brought the Naudet brothers closer, into an unbreakable bond, as they tell us. (There is an astounding scene in the film where the brothers, each thinking the other is dead, are reunited at the firehouse.) One of them married shortly thereafter, at the same Duane Street firehouse. They shared their footage of the wedding, and spoke about their deep, continuing bond with the men of Engine 7, Ladder 1.

There were sad stories as well. Many of the firefighters who responded first, survived and then spent weeks at the recovery site are now very ill. Many of them suffer from "survivor guilt" and admit that it is difficult to talk about. Others retired soon after the attacks, moving far, far away from New York City. They have yet to return to the city they once called home.

Watching this documentary stirred up feelings I haven't felt since the months after the attacks; those firefighters were the bravest and they remind all of us what true sacrifice, and real leadership, looks like. They reminded me that there are still reasons this country, and humanity, should remain hopeful. Seeing them again allowed me to put away the anger and disappointment I have felt for a very long time now.

I am surprised by the way I am feeling today.

As my memory rests, but never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends
Summer has come and passed, the innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends
Ring out the bells again, like we did when spring began
Wake me up when September ends

- Green Day, "Wake Me Up When September Ends"

Friday, September 08, 2006

Great Moments in Bartending

I just love to experience nights like this... bartending really does provide an interesting window to the world.

Two middle-aged men, strangers to each other, dining at my bar. Both are travelers.

Over the Steelers-Dolphins game (boo!) they strike up a conversation. In short time, they realize they were classmates at the same high school in rural Nebraska. They stayed for hours, catching up and putting on quite the buzz.

Good tippers, too.

A toast to strangers, everywhere. Cheers!

Monday, September 04, 2006


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This was sad, sad news to wake up to on a lazy Labor Day holiday:

Stingray kills "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin

Say what you will about Steve Irwin, but I just loved the guy. He took the least-cuddly, least-loved animals in the world and made you admire them, want to learn more about them, and, most importantly, respect them. The first time I ever saw him on TV, he was on the ground, eyeball-to-eyeball with a deadly Australian Brown Snake. I thought he was insane, and fell for him immediately. I'm one of those people who is a little nutty when it comes to loving critters, so I truly admired his energy, his bravery, his goofiness, and his unapologetic devotion to nature and conservation, most notably in the achingly beautiful country of Australia.

Wasn't he everybody's favorite Aussie (besides Dirk) ? I'm tellin' ya, we're probably as choked up about the loss of the Croc Hunter over here as you are in Oz.

I can't believe how bummed I am at the news. Wilderness just lost one of its best friends, and it is my sincere hope that Steve never knew what hit him when that stingray flipped and attacked Just hope it was quick, you know?.

I lift an oilcan of Fosters for ya, mate. Cheers to Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter!

Update: Anyone remember this ESPN commercial where UF's Albert E. Alligator met The Crocodile Hunter? Adds a smile to a sad day.
Source - AlbertBanks

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