Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New bar - updates

The last photos I took of the last bar reno. Hopefully I'll get back soon and take photos once the owners have filled it in with trinkets and crazy crap.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Another Bar

Here's another bar I'm working on. I've found that I really like building home bars. There's something awesome in making a spot where friends and family can sit and get sloppy drunk all over each other. It's not quite done, but it will have oak/birch top, plywood sides, maple and glass shelving, 1" stone backsplash, cherry prep deck, inset lighting, mini fridge and a functional sink. Hopefully they will let me add a tv and a sound system and some accent lighting, but they have been a bit tough to convince on a great many things on the build (such is the life of a contractor). More pics upon completion, but here is the current state of affairs.

The new bar cont...

Well the bar is much farther along. So far along that it made the cover of GAMEROOM magazine for the Christmas issue!

I got caught up in the build, and the subsequent parties, and have even built a second bar for a guest of out fall golf tournament.

Features: 3 tap cobra head beer tower, industrial ice machine, oak top and bar rail, deep round sink, 26" HD tv with digital cable and color changing LED lighting. Also, a PC multimedia system and Harmon Kardon Stereo keeps the tunes a-pumpin. A brick wall addition, small arcade selection, dart board and wine cellar finish the mood. Since it feels like we are in the arctic, there is a heated floor system under the new tile. All in all a great little spot to drink, dance, fall down, play a game of chess, or catch the game.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Starting renovations on a new bar for my house. Can never have enough bars I say. This one started out as a basement bedroom. The oldest daughter moved out and I decided that since it is a walkout basement, and this room looks out onto the pool, that this would be better served as a semi-public drinking and gambling den! Oh my wife was so pleased....

Pics as things progress. There will be a few cool additions to this.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm an author!

See me in Gameroom Magazine!

I'm the new renovation columnist for that publication. Kinda neat really. We'll see how it works out. My first article appeared in the May issue. Part 1 of 3!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Oh I gotta get me some of this

This stuff sounds awesome. Tequila AND cream? Oh my cappaccino is going to be out of this world when I get my hands on this!!!


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Booze tree

I got this thing for xmas, and while I thought it was a bit silly, and to be honest not too well made, I've found that I totally love it. Seems that I like vodka by looking at the picture, and I guess I do for my mixed drinks (although there is 1.75 liter bottle of bacardi just behind the lime vodka). Anyway, this is a nice way to get your drink on in an instant, withouth having to deal with those pesky screw caps and corks. Oh, and the problem with pourers, which I will go into later.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Oh right.

I also have a bar. I think everyone should have a bar. Remember how I was talking about environments? Well if you're going to serve booze, you should have a small place for it. Mine is out by the pool. In fact, it's so close to the pool that you may just, someday, accidentally, fall in. Fortunately it's filled with water so it doesn't hurt too bad. Good spot to duck a searching swarm of bees too. I know that for a fact. Bees can't swim you know. They can freeze solid, then warm up and fly up and sting you on the nose, but swimming, well that's just not their thing.
ANYWAY. I also got an ice machine for the bar. It came from a real bar. Crazy thing, it will make 300 lbs of ice a day. That's a lot of ice. Perfect if you like ice.

I should maybe mention that I'm a contractor and renovator. I build things. So I built a bar. I have plans for 2 more bars IN the house, but for now I have to settle for the one that's outside.


Crossing the US/CANADA border used to have one perk. The duty free store. Why? Because for some reason, the customs people think it's funny when a Canuck goes and buys 5 cases of beer at a time. Like there's a hurricane coming and Imma gonna need some beer. Anywho, they usually have a killer deal: 5 cases for the price of 4. Kind of their way of apologizing for the cavity searches. Well this time I got my 5 cases, and not only did they charge me for all 5 cases, but then they went and stuck $70 in taxes and duty on top! So all told, my 5 cases of beer cost me $200!! And it's LIGHT beer!!! For that, my dog says WTF.

Ahh I almost forgot!

This one is an oldie and a goodie. This is a drink recipe I got from my high-school-summer-daze friends. It sounds gross, but it's not when you try it. Here goes:


6 cans or bottles of beer.
1 mickey of gin **
1 can of frozen concentrated lemon or lime juice ***

Pour everything together and mix and serve.
This makes a very nice summer drink. The beer adds the carbonation and a certain flavor (that hides the gin flavor completely). Named thusly because before you know it, you're climbing a porch!

** A mickey is 13oz.

Mickey (13oz)
Twenty sixer (26oz)
Forty (40oz)
Sixty sixer (66oz)
Texas mickey (~101oz)

***The concentrated juice must be the kind that takes 2 cans of water to prepare. My personal choice is limeade.

I should mention

One of my favorites. A Blue Vodka martini thing. Not sure what the real name is, or if I even have the recipe right any more, as I got it from a bar some years back, but here goes.

1 shot Vodka
1 shot blue caraco
1 shot banana liqueur,
Combine and shake in a martini shaker filled with crushed ice, then pour and add 7-up and lime.

The martini shaker should be frosting up (literally!) in your hand before the drink is ready to pour. Mix and match the lime and 7-up to taste. I prefer to use the lime-vodka from Smirnoff instead of fresh limes. I think I've also taken to doubling up on the vodka, and just topping up more 7-up. Now that I think of it, I've made pitchers of this stuff, left the ice in, and just drank it through a straw.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I think a lot about environments. Environments of comfort. I like to be comfortable. It's not all about alcohol, but a good spot to enjoy alcohol is good. I feel that the color of the room you are in can influence the enjoyment of the alcohol. That leads to an interesting link between a well coordinated room and a fine alcohol happy. Sounds strange, but as I said, 40 years on this planet, and a good number of those spent thinking about drinking. I've found that if the room I'm drinking in is all in good order, then I have a better time. Like an irish pub, if it's full of wood tables and beer signs, and all is in good order. If the pub instead has cheesy vinyl chairs and old movie posters, then my 'chi' is off. Same with home. It's not right to hunker down and enjoy a good drink, unless you're in a comfy chair, in a non-cluttered room, well you just won't get the absolute most out of your drink.

Last post

for today. I have a dog. It's a good dog. She's called CABO (oddly enough). She's a German Shepherd. Just a pup. Having a dog is nice. The kids like the dog, I like the dog, probably the dog likes the dog, even the neighbors like the dog. Well I assume they do, I never asked them, but I haven't seen any of them try to kill her, so I'll just go with my intuition.
Everyone should have a dog. They teach tolerance and humility. I never thought I'd have tolerance of something peeing on my carpet, but it seems I do. I mean, I must as I haven't seen myself trying to kill her, so I'll just go with my intuition.

That brings up an interesting point.

I've got a hot tub. It's nice. It looks like this:

I may mention it from time to time because I like it. It's very calming. Jets and waterfall and the crazy booming stereo that keeps my neighbors up.

Everyone should have one. I honestly believe that. Hopefully someday everyone will have one. Sooner or later I'll go into painstakingly boring details, but let's just say that 7 years ago I was more or less a penniless bum, wracked with debt. Not a super-happy-fun-guy. Today, I'm not penniless. My goal is $20,000,000 by age 55. Peace of mind and happy thoughts. Oh and no debt, that's nice too.


That rum is from Trinidad. Aged 8 years. Has an AWESOME bouquet or bucket or whatever they like to call the 'booze stench'. Smells good, and tastes just fine. Time for a soak in the hot tub. Sweet.

Treat time

I stopped by the happy store on the way home (from now on know that the liquor store is the 'happy' store, and that there's a HUGE one near my house).
Anway, stop interrupting. So I wandered in, and grabbed a fresh bottle of CABO (we can only get reposado CABO here, and I said to stop interrupting). On the same shelf was a tequila shaped bottle of rum, never noticed it before. So I grabbed it. It's mine now, and no matter what you say, Imma gonna drink it.

Now for the occasion, I am not going to use a spoon, I've pulled out two of my favorite Mexican trinket shot glasses. You know, the ones they charge you $5 for, when you know they're getting them for about a peso, but I digress. I've also got my crystal whiskey glass (or today known as a rum glass), and I plan to sample both. I'll let you know if the chemical reaction prolongs life or shortens it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

You will find

that a lot of my posts will revolve around alcohol. I wouldn't call myself an alcoholic, as I can go days, months, years without taking as much as a sip. However, plunk one other person into the mix, and I can drink more than a thirsty band of gypsies. (That's not a slight against gypsies, as I am in awe of their ibibing powers).
HOWEVER, I will say that once I got past drinking to get drunk and falling into ditches, I got into having a drink for the enjoyment of drinking. I now break it into 3 categories:
1) Drink to see flying squirrels. I think this is the first kind of drinking that anyone gets into. The purpose of this kind of drinking is to see how many drinks you can consume before you see a flying squirrel or soil yourself.
2) Drink to euphoria. You want to keep the 'buzz' going as long as possible without hitting level one. This is a very enjoyable method of drinking.
3) Drink to enjoy the drink.

For the first level, you can drink pretty much anything, and most do. Who hasn't stolen a little bit of booze out of each bottle in your father's liquor cabinet to make a sizeable bottle of crap. Hell, I think you can drink heated shoe polish and you'll still see the flying rodents.

For the second level, I have found that there are 3 factors to keep the 'buzz' going. This is my preferred method for sitting by the pool for an entire day. You don't want to overdo it and stop having a good time. 1-use drinks with lower levels of alcohol in them. I find I can do some mixed drinks with 17% alcohol in them (such as malibu rum). I can judge how my happy feeling is going, and add or lessen the alcohol content. You can't stop drinking entirely, or upping the achohol content by a large amount to get the buzz back. 2-keep a bit of food in you. (pretty simple) 3-CRUSHED ICE. I can't stress this enough. Get a lot of ice and a good ice crusher, and keep lots of ice in your drinks. This hydration allows you to drink all day without getting tired or dehydrated. Very important for the all day glow.

For the third level. For this level you really have to spend some money. Cheap booze is designed for mixed drinks. Fine booze is designed for drinking straight, or at the most...on the rocks. For whatever reason I only enjoy expensive tequila via the tequila spoon, for everything else I really prefer a proper, crystal glass. The experience is half the enjoyment, so I like to get completely comfortable before I enjoy a great drink. Then just concentrate on the drink and the experience. A good quality liquor should have a very plesant taste, although it still takes some getting used to at first. Once your palate is accustomed to a certain type of alcohol, then you can just enjoy it.

So there's my tips for flying squirrels, from 40 years of borderline alcoholism.


...and there's really nothing wrong with a spoonful of tequila every now and again. The more expensive the tequila, the better. I tend to like Cabo Wabo, but it certainly applies to much more expensive tequilas. I don't know what it is about tequila. It makes me happy. I've got about 10 different bottles in my home office. But just a spoonful. A spoonful you can drive, talk, function normally, you name it. Screw cod liver oil, I say try tequila! The biggest benefit to the more expensive tequilas is the fact that they taste oh-so-good. I had a sample out of my friend Dan's $500 US bottle of tequila. It's got its own wood and steel rocking sling, and I tell you, you don't even know you've swallowed it until it's about a foot down your throat. Then you get that warm happy tummy. Brilliant. But just a spoonfull.

(notice I don't specify how bog the spoon is).

Tequila Spoon?


Now while I suppose I don't know why or how anyone would find or read this. However, I have a lot of insight and perspective on life and the enjoyment of the wonders of living. I figure that if I can help even one person, somewhere, find a bit more enjoyment, then what I know isn't wasted. Seems like a noble enough cause. Who knows, I might even mean it! :)