Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Gone for a Walk

A long, long walk.

Here's my wish list while I'm gone:

-- a gold medal for the US Women's Soccer Team

-- the Pirates win at least eight out these eleven home games

-- Mike Wallace comes to his senses and gets into camp

-- Goodell, et al. stop playing hardball and get the real refs signed up

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Recipe: Cocktail Hour

And now, for something really different.

It's that lazy time of summer when we've all been too hot for too long. No longer motivated to go out and actually do things, most of the time, after a long, hot day, all I want is a drink. Those of you who know me know that I am generally a beer drinker, but these are two great refreshing vodka cocktails I have been enjoying (and serving to happy visitors) for the last couple of weeks. Naturally, you can use whatever vodka you like, but I like to keep things hyper-local, from the produce I buy to the beer I drink, so I've been using Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka -- made with locally grown potatoes, distilled and bottled right in Glenshaw.

The first drink, a spicy mango concoction, comes courtesy of Rob, a distiller at B&B. It is bubbly and fruity, but also has a serious bite, thanks to the ginger beer and the arbol chilis. It's a party in my mouth.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dear NBC, You Suck

Exhibits A and B
For many years, I have maintained that Starbucks makes coffee for people who don't actually like, you know, coffee. I suspect that the baristas breathe a secret sigh of relief when confronted with this order:  "large coffee, please," because I see all manner of complicated drinks --- things with whipped cream and syrups and all sorts of other crazy stuff essentially designed to mask the coffee flavor in coffee. I submit Exhibits A and B, pictured to left:  the Starbucks' Toffee Nut Frappuccino and Mocha Praline Frappuccino, respectively. And I rest my case. (Mocha Praline? Really? Who thought up that combo? Paula Deen?)

A week into watching the 2012 Summer Olympics from London, I can say with authority that NBC is to sports what Starbucks is to coffee -- all frothy and foamy and treacly sweet with very little coffee (or in this case, actual competition.) I don't need caramel syrup in my coffee and I don't need personal backstories to create interest in a sporting event.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Burnett Effect

Back here at Bucco Central ... At the start of this baseball season, I was adamant that a winning season -- not a 81-81 finish -- but an actual winning season would constitute success for your Pittsburgh Pirates. Anything less than 82 wins would be a failure.

The Pirates have, so far, exceeded expectations and, in fact, for the Pirates to finish 82-80, they would have to finish the last 59 games of the season at 23-36. So that would actually suck, right?

But the Pirates are not going to go into a 23-36 slump. They are going to remain relevant. They will not go into that good night because Allan James Burnett will not permit it.

Last night, with the Pirates reeling and keeling after two bad losses to two really bad teams, Burnett did exactly what he said he would do -- stop the bleeding. Early in the day, I was running some errands and I was thinking about the Pirates and Burnett, which made me think, "Okay, AJ, you asked for it. Can you do it?"