Glynsky

pluckin’ ‘ell…

Dear diablog,

The Brexit Express is heading for the station and, sadly, the vote gets closer. Sadly because I enjoy more and more the utter bollocks being talked about as ‘being relevant’ and in particular the load of tosh from the Stay side – amply illustrated by Engine Room here.

So, it is getting very close to decision time  and –

I had intended to write a series of 3 posts – one for in, one for out and one to compare and balance my OUT, OUT, OUT.

What the EC has become is not what we voted for in 1975. Free trade area YES, political union NO – never.

On reflection, however, I decided it was pointless. Who cares what I think? Who reads diablog that it might change their mind? The world around me is full of wanker breast beating touchy feely arseholes who couldn’t decide whether to pull out a splinter from their thumb in case it infringed the Rights of Thorns.

Maybe it is me who is the wanker. Maybe using a whistle in the school playground is ‘aggressive’, maybe the gagging of freedom of opinion in British universities is a good thing, maybe the USA isn’t (politically) a shit hole of a nation populated by ignorant warmongers – maybe I should learn to love my fellow man.

Naaah – they stink, I’ll stick to women.

So, what to do. I feel I must write something but there’s too much to say.

Pictures speak a thousand words so any one who wants In…

 

Continue reading

ER

Craft beer since 1845

Dear Reader,

The headline is almost a verbatim copy, taken from a German family owned brewery. Their slogan: craft beer since 1862. I changed the numbers to fit an English brewery, Fullers. More about them later.

First, let’s get to craft beer, or the recent hype about it.

For many decades the brewery industry went through a phase of consolidation. On a global scale this is ongoing. The No. 1 brewing concern, Anheuser Bush InBev, itself a result of countless mergers and acquisitions, wants to merge with the No. 2, SAB Miller, again a conglomerate of many breweries. Together the two companies will have a market share of 30% globally.

In the late 20th century, enough people got upset with what some call TV beers. Those beers, heavily advertised on TV, had become tasteless. To appeal to the masses, the brewers dropped all character and taste. The running joke then was:

What does American beer have in common with having sex in a canoe?

Both is fucking close to water.

Today the jokes go like this:

Yet, even then you could find tasty beers in America. Avoiding the watery beverages pretending to be beer like Budwiser, Coors, Miller, etc.,  my favorites were Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Brooklyn Lager, Samuel Adams, and the imported Bass Ale. And in Europe you could find fine beers almost everywhere. Avoiding the TV beers like Carlsberg (Denmark), Heineken (The Netherlands), Kronenbourg (France), Warsteiner (Germany), there were hundreds if not thousands of great beers.

So in the late 90s people in significant numbers dropped those TV beers in favor of products from what was called micro breweries. And during the 2000s the trend went from micro breweries to craft beer. As a result you can now find thousands of beers. Many of those are really bad, a few are really excellent.

What people seem to have forgotten, many excellent beers have been around for centuries. Bass Ale, the oldest English trademark, is a prime example. There is no need to try all those craft beers, if you have proven beer champions.

And that brings me back to Fullers. On a recent trip I had the great pleasure of tasting their beers. The result: their London Pride is delicious. And their London Porter is brilliant.

Fullers has been around since 1845 and London Porter is the mother of all porters. And – to my surprise – it is the mother of all stouts, including world famous TV beer Guiness. If you like Guiness, I encourage you to try a London Porter. It is so much better.

London Porter is a very tasty beer, excellent in winter. And it goes extremely well with your steak, or game, or a any rich meal. Occasionally I now substitute red wine with a London Porter. It is that good.

Next time you want to try one of those fancy craft beers, why don’t you try one of those old, proven, classic, beers. Crafted since 1845. And many even longer.

Cheers,

Engine Room

ER

Corrections

Dear Reader,

First I thought, Philippa’s recent post here, was a satire. Unfortunately, it isn’t funny, not even remotely.

My next thought was, to ignore it. Because it is UKIP propaganda by a Russian wanna-be politician. Read the Wikipedia article on Bukovsky.

Unfortunately, the video wasn’t marked as UKIP propaganda, so I thought a comment would be appropriate.

But then, diablog is among other things about debate. And out of respect, here are some corrections of the most blatant lies in that video.

1. EU politicians are not “appointed by each other”. They are appointed by your elected national governments. If you have shmocks there, blame the government you elected, not the EU.

2. To gain EU membership, a country has to apply. By the way, the UK was rejected the first time through a veto from France. That isn’t “created by coercion”.

3. The EU does not want you to “give up your national identity” or “suppress your national feelings”. If such things exist at all. The UK isn’t a nation state, neither is France,  nor Spain, nor Italy, nor Germany. To mention just a few. The EU actually fosters diversity and protects minorities. Just ask the Belgians, Sorbs, Welsh, Scots, Basques, and other minorities within Europe. Feel free to educate yourself here. It seems needed.

Now let’s get to the most blatant lie.

The English voted on EEC (predecessor of the EU) membership in a referendum in 1975. Feel free to read about it here.

If Bukovsky did not know, you should, Philippa. I guess you were around then and maybe even allowed to vote.

Although not paying its full share, the UK has been a full member of the EU with full voting rights. If your elected (!) politicians send  incompetent and/or incapable people to Bruxelles, blame them or yourself, not the EU.

By the way, blaming the EU for everything that might be wrong in your country, has been the only European politics of the UK governments of late. For example, since the 1950s the UK regularly promotes immigration. And then blames the EU for problems with immigrants. What a bad joke that is. Almost as bad as blaming the European Constitution on Human Rights, which was written mostly be English legal experts and judges. That is beyond stupid.

I could not care less, whether or not the UK leaves the EU. But that video is way below the level of Trump, Berlusconi and other shmocks. Or as Glynsky calls them buffoons. It certainly is below the standard of diablog.

Stay sane,

Engine Room

ER

When was music still good?

Dear Reader,

If you put people of different age into one room, they are likely to disagree when music went bad.

The oldest guys will insist on ‘decades ago’, the middle aged ones will say something like ‘after the 80s’, and so on. The millenials might consider the noise published by Kayne West and others still music.

Now it can be settled.

This website: http://polygraph.cool/history/ allows you to listen to all top 5 chart hits from 1958 to 2016.

You can listen and find out, when music turned repetitive. Who copied from whom. Who created something new.

I am certain, our music lovers at diablog will have a ball.

Stay tuned,

Engine Room

ER

To brexit or not to brexit?

Dear Reader,

After a weekend of code reading – three other websites got hacked and needed cleaning – I almost had it with the internet. When I got back to the fun part of life, I noticed a dozen SPAM comments on diablog. And unfortunately one of Philippa’s

phillipa-real

got caught in there as a false positive. Sorry for that, Philippa, your comment is up now here.

Prior to that, Glynsky and I were debating again. We just love it. Not that it changes much, or anything at all. It is fun, an intellectual exercise. This time the topics were:

  1. Great cars, we agreed mostly.
  2. The potential Brexit, we did not agree at all.

Now, the POTUS, aka Barak Obama, already collected negative points, when he “meddled with British affairs”. His advice was, do not leave the EU. More about the reasons later.

I do not really care that much, whether you will leave the EU, or not. But Glynsky asked for my opinion. And maybe I can add some food for thought from the outside.

Update: Before we get serious, here is an amusing piece (Monty Python says hi):

Let me start with the positive implications of a Brexit:

None

Continue reading

ER

Amateur night

Dear Reader,

If you come to NY, please come prepared. The reason I am asking you, kindly, is what I call an amateur night.

I had visitors. From out of town. Big eyes. Big mouth. “Show us The City. We can take it.”

So, we started the night at McSorley’s, with a few beers. Side note, McSorley’s has the most beautiful Irish women in town. Just beware of their brothers. And it is the oldest Irish tavern here.

On to a few Bass Ales. I know, you English pretty much gave up on it. I still love it. Next, a few Brooklyn Lager. There is a reason you come to NY. Have the local brew. And then I needed something stronger.

So I ordered a few Singleton. My company skipped that, I had them all. Next up, The Balvenie. Again, I had to drink that one alone. That’s when I asked my guests: “Why don’t you take advantage of your hotel rooms?”

They accepted quickly and gladly. Which left me with a bottle of Barbera D’ Alba. All by myself. Life is good.

If you come to NY, I beg you, come prepared. No amateurs, please. This is a professional town.

Stay tuned,

Engine Room

ER

Repeat after me …

Dear Reader,

Related to the news about Twitter from yesterday here, today comes this headline from the Wall Street Journal: Facebook Steps Up Efforts Against Terrorism

The social media are nuts. And even some of our beloved commentators missed some points of my earlier post. So, let me make it clear:

You are NOT under attack.

There is NO reason to be afraid.

If you don’t take my word for it, shall we have a look, what scientists have to say?

A short while ago The New Yorker had a brilliant article, Thinking rationally about terror. Please, I beg you, read it.

The next important issue: trying to prevent ‘hate speech’ neither works, nor does it help.

If people cannot make themselves heard, if there is no debate, they will go underground, or they will choose more drastic actions. What did the Palestinians do in the 70s? What did the Mujaheddin do in Afghanistan to get attention? Destroying culturally important artifacts. What did the Irish do? Bombing London.

Trying to silence people with what might be or are extreme opinions, either drives them underground. Like Ayatollah Khomeini had tapes distributed through Koran schools. Or it turns them towards violence. It has been proven over and over again.

And finally, who defines “hate speech”? Let’s not forget Paul Chambers, the poor guy who joked and needed the IamSpartacus movement.

And with that said, I will start early my weekend of travel, fun, parties, drinks, food – and most importantly – great company.

Stay tuned,

Engine Room