The View on the Way Down Might Not Be Half Bad

Killarney ParkWhile I can be potentially as pessimistic as any American about the ability of our elected officials to shepherd us through these difficult and dangerous times, on this rare occasion, I applaud the combined  political aplomb of both Democrats and Republicans. By keeping a crisis weary nation focused on the possibility of going over the so-called fiscal cliff on January 1st, they have effectively shifted our attention away from the pending December 21st end of the world supposedly prophesied by the Maya. This clever bipartisan manuever will ensure that Americans will press on with their holiday plans, thus insuring a robust fourth quarter in consumer spending. Now as to whether or not Mr. Boehner or President Obama can marshal their troops in order to deal with our long-term fiscal concerns, in the event that the Mayan timetable proves to be no more accurate at predicting the future than my 2011 Worlds Cutest kittens calendar was–is well beyond my powers of prognostication.

I find myself equally puzzled by the prospect of this nation enduring further economic hardships as a result of government inaction caused by the irrational self-serving behavior of a handful of political hacks that have no true sense of either patriotism or public service. So the big question remains, are we better off striking that grand bargain, or would we be better served by taking a leap of faith off that pecuniary plateau?

The results of the November election strongly suggest that Americans long for those compromises that will restore stability and faith in the marketplace. But as is often the case, deals that are acceptable to both parties, while they make for great signing ceremonies, tend to inadequately address our problems. So perhaps a bit of a free fall after the first of the year might not be such a bad thing. I’m all for giving a new Senate and Congress the chance to spread their wings. Who knows, they may even take the nation to new heights.

But just in case they are unable to live up to my optimistic metaphors, and we hit our heads on the next dept ceiling and come crashing down to the canyon’s floor–here is a bit music from our friend Matt De Blass to help soften the landing.

Matt De BlassClick on Matt’s picture or the title to hear his original uplifting Irish ditty – “Bartender I’ll Have What the Man on the Floor Has Been Drinking

Posted by: Chris Poh

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Forget 2012…the World Can’t End Before 10,759 A.D.

You can forget about  Nostradamus, the Bible code, the Mayan calendar 2012 scenario and all that other end times malarkey. The answers to mankind’s future lie not in the written ravings of a Frenchmen or the ancient texts; but can be found in a simple document penned in the city of Dublin in 1759. 

It was there that  Arthur Guinness put his signature on a sacred pact that allowed him to lease the dormant brewery at St. James’s Gate for the next 9000 years. The very funds that made this tenancy possible came to Arthur by way of an inheritance from his Godfather, the Reverend Arthur Price, Archbishop of Cashel. Even someone with a rudimentary understanding of the relationship between Ireland and its clergy would know that this was a covenant between Heaven and Earth, and the terms of that agreement are sacrosanct.

Since we now know that the folks at Guinness are releasing a special anniversary stout this spring to mark the 250th year of production at the original brewery, we can calculate that there are approximately 8,750 years left on the lease and that mankind’s stay on planet Earth is good until at least 10,759 A.D. Although, based upon our continued unreasonable behavior, it’s probably not to early to begin to negotiate an extension.

Today over 750,000 “pilgrims of the perfect pint” visit St. James’s Gate each year. Recently Madeleine Best Henn, a contributing editor to American Public House Review, visited the Guinness compound in Dublin. Click here to read her account.

And for those of you who can’t travel to Ireland for that spot-on pint of Guinness, here is the secret of the perfect pour, courtesy of the pros at Diageo.

For the perfect pint, tilt the glass to 45 degrees and carefully pour until three-quarters full. Then place the glass on the bar counter and leave to settle. Once the surge has settled to perfection, fill the glass to the brim. This is the legendary Guinness ‘two-part pour’. It takes 119.5 seconds to pour the perfect pint.

The Perfect Pint - Image by Matthew Trevithick


Posted by: Chris Poh

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