Laughing at The Horror of Being Alive

A Weblog by Heidi and Stu
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Old Fashioned

Wednesday, April 14

So when I got back from that grueling experience below, I mixed myself a Martini Perfect.

The "perfect" refers to the dryness of the cocktail, being between somewhere dry and sweet. A martini cocktail consists of gin and vermouth. Gin being pretty much 100% dry, the way to control the dryness of the cocktail is by varying the amount and type of the vermouth. These days, martinis are almost always mixed with dry vermouth, and if you specify a dry martini, a bartender will sometimes just "rinse" the inside of the glass with vermouth, or if he's trying to be cute, wave the vermouth bottle over the glass without actually pouring any in. Here the term "perfect" denotes that both dry and sweet white (bianco) vermouth are used.

I am reliably informed that this recipe is extremely close to the original cocktails mixed at the turn of the last century. Furthermore, if you want to impart a more pleasing flavor to a martini, the inclusion of orange bitters and a touch more vermouth seems to me like a far more rational choice than nasty olive brine.

1 part gin (Bombay Sapphire)
1/8 to 1/4 part dry vermouth (Noilly Prat)
1/8 to 1/4 part vermouth bianco (Cinzano)
Dashes orange bitters (I know of only one existing brand, Fee Brothers, although some say you can make your own)

Mix liquid ingredients in a beaker and stir vigorously with very cold ice. Strain into frosted cocktail glass. Twist lemon rind over the glass and drop in.

Sunday, April 11

I work as a logistics analyst for a large waste hauling company, and I recently needed to perform a time study of a commercial trash route. These are the trucks with the forks on the front that lift up the dumpsters and empty them into the compactor on the back. So I got up at 2:30 AM to ride along on a planned 13 ½-hour route. It was actually very interesting to see what these truck drivers experience throughout the day. Especially impressive is the way they are able to keep track of all their customers (100 or more per day), and any special considerations, stopped service, or extra pickups that are needed. The driver generally has to make 3 trips to the landfill to unload during the day. On our route, this was a 2 ½-hour roundtrip. Fortunately, I was in what they call the "sleeper seat".

In the afternoon, about 11 hours into the route, things got a whole lot more exciting when the trash in the compactor caught on fire. Fortunately, we were near our depot, so we hauled ass over there, the driver holding down the airhorn the whole way. We dumped the trash in the middle of the parking lot and were able to put out the fire on the truck. A few more minutes and the truck would have gone up in flames. It took the fire department about half an hour to put out the 10-foot high pile of flaming trash.

Stu's Stuff
What I'm reading now:
'Post Captain', by Patrick O'Brian
What I read last:
'The First Man In Rome', by Colleen McCullough
If the above seems out of date, I've almost certainly reverted to either Patrick O'Brian or P.G. Wodehouse
Web Art & Design
Orisinal (online Flash games)
Coudal Partners
Presstube (daily doodle)
Exploding Dog (cartoons from submitted titles)
Others' Writings
Kevin Whited's Reason Forum (Houston-related) "chronicling the high cost of our legal system"
Pathetic Earthlings "Science, Politics & Single Malt Whiskey"
Century Research Foundation "Testing the Limits of Good Taste"
Favorite Columnist:
John Derbyshire (@ NRO)
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