Saturday, January 16, 2021

Pic(k) of the Week: The 964

The 964

Coming or going?

Moving east, Locomotive 964 decouples from a long queue of freight railcars, as seen from the Pullman Trail, in the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, USA, late in the afternoon on 29 December 2020.

Information, please!

The skyscraper seen silhouetted to the west (in downtown Atlanta) is SunTrust Plaza. At 869 feet (265 meters) and 60 stories, it's the second-tallest building in the state of Georgia.


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

YFGF is back.

Make America Drunk Again

YFGF (pronounced YiF Gif) was down for a while today. It was only a slight burp. Drinking has resumed. Carry on.


Saturday, January 09, 2021

Pic(k) of the Week: A pleasant Saturday afternoon

A pleasant Saturday afternoon

About to enjoy a cocktail in the alley, at Independent Distilling Company in Decatur, Georgia, USA.

Social distancing and all that: so very 2020. To be precise: 5 December 2020.

Then, this happened:
On December 29th as part of the CARES act, the FDA issued a set of two fees to craft distillers that created hand sanitizer during the pandemic. The program would require distilleries to pay a $14,060 Monograpah Drug Facility Fee as well a $9,373 Contract Manufacturing Organization Facility Fee.

Beyond the simple fact that $23,000+ is a ton of money for a small business, especially during a pandemic, the fee was also to be due almost immediately: on February 11. If distillers, who didn’t know about the fee at all until 29 December, didn’t stop selling sanitizer and de-register themselves from the FDA eDRLS system by 31 December, then they would also be charged the same fee again in 2022.

Then on New Years Eve, Brian Harrison, the Health and Human Services Chief of Staff reversed the mandate: “Small businesses who stepped up to fight COVID-19 should be applauded by their government, not taxed for doing so. I’m pleased to announce we have directed FDA to cease enforcement of these arbitrary, surprise user fees. Happy New Year, distilleries, and cheers to you for helping keep us safe!

For distillers, many of which made hand sanitizer as a way to give back to their communities during a difficult time, not make a profit, the announced reversal was a welcome relief in the final moments of 2020.
Forbes (1 January 2021)

Local libations


Saturday, January 02, 2021

1st Pic(k) of the Week for 2021: Spinach Soup (recipe)

Spinach Soup

Laimingų Naujųjų Metų! 

To begin 2021, here's some hot Spinach-Potato Soup. It's thirty minutes from prep to eat and no animal need be slaughtered to enjoy it.

In fact, I did enjoy the soup, preparing it on New Year's Eve, with a non-flavored saison ale on the side. You might as well, or with a white Burgundy or other unoaked chardonnay.



  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed.
  • 2 cups washed, chopped spinach
  • 2 cups of veggie stock (or water)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha (or other preferred hot sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • salt, cracked black pepper to taste (or white pepper to avoid dark flecks in the soup!)
  • 1 dash smoked Spanish paprika
  1. Sautée onons, garlic, and celery in olive oil for 3-5 minutes. Set aside. 
  2. Bring 2 cups of veggie stock (or water) to boil. Add potatoes. Reduce heat to simmer (easy boil). Cook for 15 minutes (or until potatoes are cooked through and beginning to crumble). 
  3. Add spinach (submerge in liquid with wooden spoon) for the final 1-2 minutes of the simmer.  
  4. Remove from heat. Add onion/garlic/celery to pot, with lemon juice, hot sauce, and curry powder. Hand blend until potatoes are completely blended and soup is 'creamy.' S/P to taste. 
  5. If too thick, add in more veggie stock (or water) 1/4 cup at a time, reblending, and tasting. (It's easier to add more liquid afterward than to remove too much added beforehand.) 
  6. Garnish with a dash of smoked paprika. Serve. 
— Adapted from a recipe by Jennifer Debth at Show Me the Yummy.


Saturday, December 26, 2020

Pic(k) of the Week: Happy Celebration 2020.

Happy Celebration 2020

I began this damnable year with a beer. Let me end it likewise but with a celebration for a better year, next.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Chico, California / Mills River, North Carolina.

The brewery released the beer in mid-October 2020 for the winter season. My particular bottle —which I purchased and sampled (uhh, drank) on Christmas Eve, 24 December 2020— the brewery had packaged on 16 October.

From the bottle's label:
Fresh hop 1 IPA.
6.8% alcohol-by-volume.
We first brewed Celebration IPA in the winter of 1981. Each year, we use only the first fresh hops of the growing season to create this complex and robust ale. Layered pine and citrus hop aromas balance delicately against rich malt sweetness to shape this bold, wintertime classic.

From me:

Bright hops, citrusy and piney, chased by an off-dry biscuity middle and a white pepper finish. Two months after bottling, the hop aroma might have been a bit diminished but not the overall hop presence and not the firm malt backbone. Indeed a holiday celebration.

And, so, to all my readers: Linksmų Kalėdų tau ir tavo! (On the off chance you're not fluent in Lithuanian, that's "Happy Christmas to you and yours!") 2