Friday, August 26, 2011

Cheeseburger in Paradise

I'll admit it.  I'm a cheeseburger addict.  That's a step up from connoisseur.  Or a step down, depending on your perspective.  In any case, I love cheeseburgers.  This guy's got nothing on me.  If I could only pick one food to have for the rest of my life?  Yep, cheeseburgers.  Steaming, juicy, tender burgers piled with trimmings.  Man, my mouth is watering already. 

I'm going to give you a run-down of my favorite burgers and then I'm going to ask about yours.  I need new blood (okay, that analogy is a little disgusting in this context).  But you catch my drift.  If the Ultimate Cheeseburger is out there and I'm missing out, I want -- no, need -- to know about it.  And consume it.

Disclaimer: I'm a simple creature with simple tastes.  "True" connoisseurs will try to convince you the best burgers are made with "gourmet" ingredients, like this and this.  No.  In the Burger Realm, simplicity rules. 

With that in mind, here we go:  

5. Portillo's Bacon Burger. 1/3 pound with mayo, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickle and ketchup. And bacon. Lots of bacon. Char-broiled to perfection.

4. McDonalds Angus DeLuxe.  This selection may surprise or even anger fellow burger addicts, but I'm sticking to it just as it sticks beautifully to my ribs.  This bad boy is 100% Angus beef (the champagne of hamburger meat), topped with cheese, onions, mayo, mustard, crisp lettuce, tomato slice, and crinkle-cut pickles.  Add to it the special spices seared into the beef, and it tastes like music in my mouth.

 3. Culver's ButterBurger. Fresh, never frozen, Midwest-raised beef, seared on a grill to specification. Topped with real American cheese made in Wisconsin and served on a lightly buttered, toasted bun.  Most burger lovers will tell you the bun is as important as the beef, and in this case it makes the sandwich.  Sheer delight.

2. Fuddrucker's Build Your Own Burger.  Am I dead?  Is this heaven?  There's a place where you can build your own burger?  Genius.  The beef is juicy, the buns baked fresh daily, and the toppings...oh, the glorious toppings!  They have everything from cilantro to salsa, cucumbers to catsup.  Fuddrucker's is Burger Bethlehem.  I like mine with Swiss and Cheddar.

1. Gangster Burger, Gangsters Bar, Hazel Green, WI.  This was a surprise discovery during a weekend excursion a few years back.  And, really, what better place to find the best cheeseburger in the world than Dairyland?  This goodfella boasts 3/4 burger, lettuce, tomato, onion, and American & Swiss cheeses.  But the kicker here is the tangy Gangster sauce.  I don't know what's in it and I don't want to know...but it is exquisite.  I'm not going to post a picture of it; I'm keeping this one to myself.  But if you find yourself in that little pocket of the world with a rumbling stomach, do yourself a service and try one.  Wash it down with a ice cold domestic draft and you've reached Americana Nirvana. 

So there you have it.  Now what about you?  Tell me what I'm missing, please.  Please!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thirsty Thursday!

Welcome, folks, to Cold Brood's Thirsty Thursday!  On tap today: beer.  Yes, the carbonated beverage made of hops, barley, and water.  One of the oldest known beverages, beer has thousands of variations and derivations.  It has embedded itself in the global consciousness (and unconsciousness, depending on how much you drink).  It's here to stay.  

In honor of football season (of which beer is a mainstay), this space will be dedicated to reviewing a new beer each week.  Today, I want to spotlight a few I've tried before launching the review post next Thursday.  I will also be taking suggestions as to what to sample.

Now I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer...well, just about anything.  I'm not picky.  Sometimes I'm in the mood for a dark stout like Guinness.  Per its website, this Irish concoction may appear black but is actually a very dark shade of ruby.  It sports a sharp, robust tang and is available in several varieties including Bitter, Extra Smooth, and Extra Stout.  Some studies argue Guinness may be beneficial to the heart due to "antioxidant compounds" that slow cholesterol deposits on the artery walls.[1]  What's not to love?  I'm sold. 

If a dark stout is too harsh for your palate, consider a Black and Tan.  This is a blend of a stout and a pale ale and serves to take some of the tang out of the dark beer while presenting a completely separate flavor.  Two beers in one glass?  Awesome.  Beware, though.  There is a very specific way to pour such a mixture, which involves a spoon, to ensure the beverages properly separate.  Seldom do I attempt such an operation; I leave that to the professionals.  Remember though: pale on bottom, stout on top.  Enjoy.

Sticking with imports, I also favor beers from south of the border.  Dos Equis takes top prize here, and not just because this guy drinks it.  Corona with a wedge of lime is a close second.  Jamaica's Red Stripe's soft taste makes it easily drinkable.  And I would be remiss not to mention the only domestically produced beer in my birth country of Belize: Beliken

Then there are the endless number of specialty beers provided by micro-breweries.  Where to begin?  Samuel Adams offers several seasonal and specialty beverages alongside its traditional Boston Lager.  The company even designed its own glass that is said to optimize the drinking of their product. 

Chicago's own Goose Island offers over twenty varieties of beer ranging from Oatmeal stout to Demolition, its Belgian strong ale.  On the occasions I indulge in such a luxury, I select GI's 312 Urban Wheat Ale from a tall glass with fish and a salad.  For you teetotalers, Goose Island also bottles an excellent (if pricey) soda pop line

Usually, though, I settle for a simple domestic Pilsner from the likes of Miller Brewing Company or Anheuser-Busch.  People are often viciously loyal to their brand, so it is with caution I will say my basement bar has been stocked most recently with Busch Light.  Cheap and with fewer calories than its peers, I find a decent balance here.  Is it zen?  No.  But it does the trick.   

So what's your favorite beer?  Let me know!

Whatever your beverage, let's raise a glass tonight.  Cheers, folks.  Let Thirsty Thursday commence!

[1] Guinness could really be good for you (BBC News). 13 November 2003.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

15 Best Opening Lines In Books

Being a voracious writer makes me a voracious reader by default.  Reading and writing go hand in hand; to be an effective writer, one must read.  A lot. 

I have compiled a list of the top 15 lines from scores of books I've devoured in my brief time on the planet.  Each of these awakens something in me and, I imagine, any true lover of books.  In no particular order:

1. Call me Ishmael. - Herman Melville, Moby Dick

2. Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can't be sure. - Albert Camus, The Stranger

3. The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed. - Stephen King, The Gunslinger

4. You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter. - Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn

5. 124 was spiteful. - Toni Morrison, Beloved

6. It was a pleasure to burn. - Ray Bradbury, Farenheit 451

7. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. - George Orwell, 1984

8. All children, except one, grow up. - J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

9. A screaming comes across the sky. - Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

10. All this happened, more or less. - Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five

11. Through the fence, between curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting. - William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

12. Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. - Daphne Du Maurier, Rebecca

13. As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. - Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis

14. In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit. - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

15. You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings. - Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein

Honorable mentions:

To begin at the beginning: It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black. - Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood

It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York. - Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories. Over the main entrance the words, CENTRAL LONDON HATCHERY AND CONDITIONING CENTRE, and in a shield, the World State's motto, COMMUNITY, IDENTITY, STABILITY. - Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Did I forget some?  Got your own?  Disagree?  Let me know.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Anyone who's ever shared more than casual conversation with me has at one time or another been subjected to my worldview and specifically the place of human beings within it.  This will undoubtedly make its way into this blog with greater frequency in the coming weeks, but suffice to say, folks, it ain't good.  The issue that holds pole position is our ever-expanding population.  Believe me, allowed to run unchecked, we are facing a major implosion within the next century.  This planet simply doesn't contain the resources required to support this many people. 

Okay, I'm stopping myself before this becomes a rant.  What I want to do today is look at one by-product of a human population running amok.  Ready?

Everyone is becoming anonymous to everyone else.  If you don't believe me, check out the percentage of people who've commented as ANONYMOUS on these blogs thus far. 

It used to be you could walk down the street of your town and be greeted by pretty much everyone.  Now, people go out of their way to avoid you.  To each other, we're just so much walking meat.  There are just too many of us now.  We're everywhere.  We have finally achieved what so many writers of science fiction have predicted: we are all just cogs in the Great Machine, cold, impersonal, efficient.

Or, heck, maybe it's just me.  Maybe I'm just being melodramatic, cynical, nihilistic, or all of the above.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thirsty Thursday: Name Your Favorite Vampire Story

Good evening, folks!  Yes, it's that beautiful day of the week devoted to all manner of beverage.  Precious, thirst-quenching, life-giving fluids.  Today I'd like to focus on the most nefarious of drinkers, the ever-popular vampire. 

The original supersucker has a long and storied history.  Tales of vampires have manifested in one form or another for centuries in nearly every culture.  And while they vary greatly in form, from mindless fiends to sophisticated socialites, they all share one thing in common: a lust for blood.  In their newest and arguably most popular incarnation, vamps have even become teenage hearthrobs.  More on that later.

So what's the big deal about these reprehensible creatures?  What's the allure?  I mean, aren't they just walking parasites? 

It would be easy to say that Dracula is the best vampire story ever told, and it was certainly a starting point for me.  One of the first books I can remember reading was a watered-down children's edition of the Bram Stoker's masterpiece.  A villain who drank the blood of the innocent and turned them into mindless minions?  How oogie!  I was hooked.  (Though, really, what editor thought it would be acceptable to release a version of one of the scariest books of all time for six-year-olds?)

A vampire story that pre-dates the old Count, though, is Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's terrifying and provocative CamillaOne of the first works of horror to explore homosexuality, this was a major inspiration for Bram Stoker's work.  Hammer Films even adapted it into the chilling 1970 film The Vampire Lovers.

But my all-time favorite vampire story has to be Richard Matheson's I Am Legend.  None of the film adaptations quite capture the horror of the book, which surprises me considering the cinematic prose Matheson employs.  The uglies here have fallen to disease, which makes them crave blood and fear light.  Yet they remain intelligent creatures who gather outside the house of plague survivor Robert Neville in coordinated attempts to coax him out. 

The genre received a transfusion when Anne Rice published the Vampire Chronicles, which at 12 volumes and counting has, in this writer's humble opinion, far outstayed its welcome.  The series would have worked better as a trilogy or, at best, a pentalogy with the conclusion of Memnoch the Devil.  But, like Rice's immortal characters, the series just goes on.  And on.  And on.  Living forever is just...well, boring. 

Lastly, I would be remiss to mention Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, which just plain sucks.  Forget the pun; I'm not wasting one on these books.  Aside from limp prose, tin-ear dialogue, and cardboard characters, the effect sunlight has on the vampires is that they...sparkle?  And the author doesn't even have the courtesy to go into the biology behind this choice.  

But none of the aforementioned beefs are my biggest one with Ms. Meyer's work.  That falls to the central romance.  We have a) a naive 16-year-old girl and b) a vampire who looks like a GQ cover model but has the life experience of a Centenarian.  The word "pedophile" comes to mind.  If I ever catch my daughter with someone over a century her senior, there's going to be hell to pay.  What could they possibly have in common?  Oogie indeed.  Figuring how this series became a global phenomenon is above my pay grade.

Also, and this is the last space I'll waste discussing it, the woman hasn't even read Dracula!  There are several books that an author must read to effectively be able to write in the horror genre; Drac is one of them.  Call it research or paying your dues.  Either way, it must be done. 

There are still many avenues one may travel in this very tired genre.  I still love a good vampire story, on the rare occasions I can find something original.  Take, for example, Lorna D. Keach's "Slut Dracula" -- fun, fresh, flat-out hilarious.  Check it out if you can spare a minute or two of your life.  If not, I understand.  After all, you're merely mortal.

So tell me: who -- or what -- is your favorite bloodsucker?  I thirst to know.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

On God and Politics (and Professional Sports)

Michele Bachmann.  Ever hear of her?  If not, you will.  She is running for president of the United States of America in 2012.  That's fine; she meets the qualifications.  Running for the nation's highest office is a decision not to be made lightly, of course. 

Except Ms. Bachmann didn't make that decision.  God did.  According to her, God wants her to run

Pardon me, but that's [expletive] scary. 

What Ms. Bachmann (and anyone else who's ever done something because an invisible exterior force advised them to) essentially did in making that statement was remove any sense of accountability on her part.  Sink or swim, it's not her fault.  It was God's. 

If she somehow first wins the Republican primary and then, through America's likely misplaced resentment of President Obama, manages to gain the White House, we are in for dark times.  Why, you ask? 

Someone who lays personal accountability on a sacrificial altar can do whatever he -- or she -- chooses.  Here are a few statements someone in Ms. Bachmann's mindset could conceivably utter upon being handed the keys to the Oval Office:

1) Those pesky Ruskies keep slandering us; let's invade!  Oh, and why not toss a few ICBMs at North Korea for their Godless insolence on the way. 

2) Rights for homosexual Americans?  Ha!  All you have to do is pray the gay away

3) Drill, baby, drill!  God told me that off-shore drilling is the way to go and damn all the critters we might kill along the way. 

4) The economy is still shaky.  If it recovers, it's because God has taken pity on America and set us again on the path of glory.  If it crumbles, it's to show us the error of our ways. 

5) The long-term unemployed?  If God wants them to eat, He'll send them food.  If He wants them to drink, He'll send rain.  If He wants them to work, He'll send jobs. 

These are just a few of the thousands of issues Ms. Bachmann could potentially use to alleviate her presidential responsibility.  The words "God wanted me to" could be her ultimate legacy.  Is this the kind of person we want leading our country -- someone who could move to append or repeal legislature based on whimsy? 

It is also completely unreasonable, in any profession, to suggest God has taken a special hankering to you.  Pro sports, for example.  How many times do you see baseball players cross themselves before stepping up to home plate?  Most likely they are asking the powers that be to not let them get hit anyplace too painful by a 92-mph fastball, but I suspect more than one slip in this little addendum: "Bases loaded, God.  If you could pluck this one out of the park, I'll be your BFF."

And then, as happens all too often, the player who has just demonstrated fealty to his higher power gets hit.  Or strikes out.  Maybe he didn't pray hard enough? 

My favorite athlete who believes God is his number one fan is former St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner, who thanked his lord and savior first after winning Super Bowl XXXIV.  God is a Rams fan?  No no no, that can't possibly be true.  Because the next year, God apparently switched His allegiance to the Baltimore Ravens.  He had forsaken Kurt.  Or He is just a fairweather fan. 

Either way, there is little logic behind assuming God upholds little ol' you above any other.  What appears as humility is actually hubris of the highest degree; therein lies the deception.  When people happily relinquish control of their lives to an invisible puppetmaster, that's when I stop listening. 

Like I said, that's [expletive] scary.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Adventures of Weird Beard the Pirate

Facial hair.  For centuries, men have been growing, cultivating, sculpting and styling their beards, mustaches and sideburns.  Am I the only one who finds this strange?  Not that I haven't been guilty of it myself; I rather enjoy sporting a mountain-man-esque growth on my face during the colder months.  (I can't attest to it making an iota of difference; my face still feels frozen when braving the sub-zero winds of mid-January in the north country.) 

But why do we do it?  Is it a preening tactic to draw a mate?  Is it a self-image thing?  Is it a subconscious attempt to inspire beard-envy in those incapable of growing one?

The argument can be made, I suppose, that both men and women (and children, at the behest of their parents) also style hair for perhaps similar purposes.  Whatever 'do we choose, we like the way it looks.   It makes us feel better about ourselves (exception: the mullet, which only serves to make other feel better about themselves). 

The way I see it, there are countless ways to fashion facial hair.  Allow me to highlight a few:

1) The Full Beard.  This one's easy.  Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow.  Usually reserved for the homeless, the I-don't-give-a-damns, and professional athletes.  Unruly.

2) The Half Beard.  Full Beard, lopped midway up.  Less wild than its big brother.

3) The Groomed Beard.  Perhaps the most popular sub-heading in the Beard category, this one is trimmed frequently, often professionally.  It is tame.  It is sometimes dyed to eliminate gray.  It exudes sophistication, confidence, experience. 

4) The Full Goatee.  Popularized in the mid-90s by young professionals hoping to give their fresh-from-the-dormitory baby face a less youthful glow in order to nail job interviews, this one is still in full swing today.  Look for it in college sports arenas, board rooms, and your local tavern.

5) The Half Goatee.  There are several sub-headings in this category.  Two of the trendier are The Splitter and The Chinny-chin-chin.  Each can work to the benefit (or detriment) of the wearer.

6) The Handlebar.  The high-maintenance mustache!  From Wild West icons like Wyatt Earp to pre-World War I leaders like Archduke Franz Ferdinand, this conversation piece usually required the use of Mustache Wax to achieve maximum curvature.  The Handlebar enjoyed a resurgence in the 1970s, most likely due to Oakland A's relief pitcher Rollie Fingers.  With its archaic look and styling time, The Handlebar always seemed like more trouble than it's worth.

7)  The Fu Manchu.  Named for Sax Rohmer's criminal mastermind, this style of facial hair has been embedded in the global consciousness since the early 20th century.  Nearly 100 years have passed since Dr. Fu Manchu first strutted onto the page wearing his infamous whippy whiskers and never has it been more popular.  (Note: I have never actually seen anyone except the good doctor able to pull this look off).

8) The Porn 'Stache.  We all know what this looks like.  Don't deny it.  Who among us hasn't found themselves completely transfixed by the giant woolly worm pasted to the philtrum?  This style emerged in the 1970s via adult movie star John Holmes, was perpetuated to great success by Tom Selleck in Magnum, P.I.,  and evolved into a popular choice for donut-chomping cops across America.

9) The WTF?!?  This is an all-encompassing category for truly odd facial hair.  These styles go beyond all sense of good taste and exist solely to draw the eye in sheer bewilderment.  Check one out here.  And here.  And, yes, even here

So why do we do it?  Who knows?  Who cares?  Men the world over have made their mark with their whiskers and one thing is for sure: facial fashions are here to stay. 

Now I want to know what you think of facial hair.  Guys, do you shape your whiskers?  Scrape them away?  Let them grow like weeds in an untended garden patch?  Ladies, do you like a fistful of facial hair on your fellow, a five o'clock shadow, or do you like a clean-shaven man?  What are your favorite facial fashions that I didn't cover here?  Let me know! 

Until then, Happy 'Staching!  Jolly Weird-bearding!  Merry Fu-Manchuing!

Note: I was invited recently to an event called Mustache Fest that takes place in Chicago and is now in its fifth year.  Per its Facebook page, how it works is simple: "You grow a stache, or obtain a fake, and come ready to celebrate the object that turned Tom Selleck into Magnum P.I.; the growth that made Mike Ditka Da' Coach; and the fur that took Geraldo Rivera into Al Capone's vault."  On top of that, you get to hear some great local live music.  What's not to love?  Count me in!  I guess I better start working on the 'stache.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Happy Friday, folks.  I just read a great piece by Elizabeth Bluemle over at PW and it served to reignite my frustration with the way people of the modern age abuse language.  There's just no respect for it anymore.  Is it laziness?  Stupidity?  Apathy?  Sorry, none of those are acceptable excuses. 

Today's blog will be a column I wrote for The Observatory that was never published.  The editor never explained why, just asked me to submit an alternate piece before deadline.  My guess is it was a touch too abrasive to be read by the good citizens of my county.  Maybe the editor thought it struck a little too close to home.  In any case, here it is now - a year later, but no less relevant.  Or fraught with frustration.

You've heard people say, "This country is going to hell in a hand basket!"  Of course you have.  And they're right.  But don't blame our fall on Obamacare or illegal immigration or soaring oil prices.  Blame it on widespread apathy toward humanity's greatest invention. 
            What is this invention, you ask?  The written word, of course.  The very foundation of civilization.   
            Imagine a world without writing, where complex instructions and documentation could only be transmitted orally.  Where would we be?  My guess is not far beyond the Stone Age, tapping out arrowheads with chunks of quartz and years from grasping the fundamentals of agriculture.  In other words, not at all civilized (which is not to suggest being uncivilized is worse, but that is an argument for another day). 
            I'm merely noting that since we are indeed civilized, we should grant total respect to the textual medium that helped us get where we are.   
            In America's earliest days, before spelling had been standardized, people paid little mind to how they wrote words (those who were literate, at any rate).  "Spelling" or "speling" would have been equally acceptable.  Fortunately, we pulled ourselves together and homogenized our language into something coherent, concise and decipherable.  And thanks to Merriam-Webster, we have concrete knowledge of how words are supposed to appear. 
            Today, though?  Today, spelling seems to be the last thing people can be bothered with.  Scanning my friends' Facebook updates, I see "to," "too" and "two" used interchangeably.  "Your" and "you're?"  Don't get me started.  "Breath" and "breathe" -- one is a noun and the other a verb.  How did these simple differentiations slip out of common knowledge?  Maybe I just need smarter friends. 
            Am I being too hard on folks?  Let me put it this way.  If you want to use our language, shouldn't you want to use it correctly?  It's the same reason I use a calculator when figuring sums; I want to do it right.  Writing is something most of us do daily, whether emailing the boss, making out bills, or a writing a letter to the editor.  Shouldn't we want flawless spelling, no matter the task?
            And believe me -- I'm not tooting my own horn.  There are loads of words that give me trouble.  But if I'm unsure, I look it up.  It only takes a few seconds and makes all the difference. 
            Ah, here it comes: the Spell Check Argument.  Word processing programs have completely superseded the typewriter, including the ability to scan documents for spelling errors.  Unfortunately, Spell Check works like a fishing net with a hole in the webbing: it will catch most of what you want it to, but a few whoppers are still going to slip through. 
            A professor once told me (after discovering a spelling error on a paper that both Spell Check and laborious proofreading failed to catch), "Mr. Gudmunson, if you can't spell correctly, you shouldn't be writing at all."  At first I was indignant, but after some consideration I concurred.  I don't worry about messing up advanced algorithms because I don't do advanced algorithms.  But I do write every day and thus feel it is my duty to ensure I write, well, right. 
            Another professor told me, "Learn to write effectively and you can have anything you want in life."  That starts with proper spelling.  And while I can't say I have everything I want, I can say I'm on my way.  


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thirsty Thursday

How fortunate that I began Cold Brood on a Thursday. Or Thor's Day, if you have a handle on Norse mythology. Being of Norse origin, I tend to fancy myself a distant relative of the thunder god.  Of course, my lineage is probably not so grand as that. A Viking pillager is more likely. Or perhaps a weapons master, fashioning the finest oaken clubs in the land of ice and snow. Or (likeliest of all) my ancestors were lowly fishmongers. In any case, one thing is certain when it comes to persons of Norse origin whether you're a god, a pillager, a man-at-arms, or a fisherman: we like to drink.

It's in our blood.

From the pithiest mead to the bubbliest champagne, imbibing is part of our culture. Now please don't scramble up your soapbox and pontificate on the dangers of alcoholism. How American of you. Everything in moderation, right?  I no more excessively indulge in drink than I do ritual Satanic mutilation. But there's nothing quite like pouring a cold pilsner at the end of the day. Or two. 

But my thirst does not end at alcoholic beverages. Oh no. I also appreciate the crisp refreshment of a good cola.  Pepsi preferred - it's lighter, sweeter and less acidic than its big brother Coke. I took the Pepsi Challenge and never looked back. I will admit that Coke makes an acceptable substitute in a pinch (or out of desperation for a quick caffeine infusion). 

A variety of juices are also pleasing to the palate. Orange, apple, grape, cranberry. In that order. Nothing quite cuts through the morning mouth-film than a tall tumbler of Minute Maid High Pulp. Like sunshine in a glass, it is. 

And I would be remiss if I left out water. Clear, simple, life-giving water. Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats ice-cold water on a hot day or after strenuous exercise.  Out of a bottle or straight from the tap.  Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow. Delicious. Refreshing. And hopefully well-filtered from the nearest treatment facility.

So, on Thirsty Thursday, I raise my glass to your health.  Salud.

(Note: You may notice no mention of coffee as a beverage of choice in this blog. I do occasionally partake of the hot stuff, but find myself more suited to cold drinks. Must be that whole land of the ice and snow thing.)


Having spent the better part of the mid- to late-aughts feverishly blogging on, and considering said website's swift descent into dot-com hell, I decided today to take a bold step and start an honest-to-god, sawdust-on-the-floor, good-and-proper blog.  Why not?  There's a whole world of folks nothing at all like me tapping out their thoughts in cyberspace for everyone to read.  What's one more? 

I'll make you a deal.  In return to being subjected to the cavorting creatures in my mind here at Cold Brood, I will provide you with endless hours of entertainment, thought-provocation, debate, humor, horror, and cold-brewed insight.

Brief disclaimer: I cannot promise you will be at all entertained, provoked to think or debate, or find the least bit of humor, horror, or insight in any of the blogs to follow in this spot.  However, I do hope you'll check back every so often.  Leave a comment and let me know what you've taken away from that day's blog or just to say hello.  Yes, I even invite the occasional anonymous detractor to leave their flaming bag of doggie-doo on my cyber doorstep.

So, shall we?  Let's.