‘Beer’ me

The only fake beer worth drinking.

When the gub’nah announced The Clampdown v2.0 on Friday I didn’t think much about it.

Seemed obvious it was coming, the grownup equivalent of your mom delivering a dope-slap to the back of your head for acting the fool. I can see one of those coming a mile away and my mom’s been dead since 1995.

Since I’ve actually been minding my manners during The Plague, following Michelle’s Big Book of Rules and whatnot, I figured to just keep on keepin’ on. No dope-slap for me, thanks all the same. Lookit me, all like being a good boy, an’ shit.

I’d done my chores, gotten outdoors for a bit of essential aerobic exercise, and endured the gub’nah’s weekly video tongue-lashing. It was definitely beer-thirty. But I was out of my preferred fake ale, and so, with some spicy tacos and taters on the dinner menu, I figured I’d toddle down to Total Wine and fetch me some more.

Total Wine is your basic one-stop shop. They have my Clausthaler Dry Hopped and Herself’s La Vieille Ferme rosé. Zip in and out like a great big road runner. Meep meep!

Assuming you’re popping round at some oddball time and day, that is — not at 3:30 on a Friday just as the gub’nah is announcing that come Monday, the retail drawbridge will be pulled up and the moat restocked with alligators, piranha fish, and electric eels.

Holy hell. The parking lot looked like Shea Stadium during that 1965 Beatles concert, and inside was worse. Plus they were completely out of my near-beer.

I managed to escape with my Subaru intact and motored on over to Kelly’s Liquors in the Mountain Run Shopping Center, the second of just three options for Clausthaler Dry Hopped in the Duke City, Wholeazon Amafoods being the third.

That parking lot was a hair less batshit, but only thanks to greater capacity; it serves an entire shopping center, with a Smith’s, a Walgreens, and all manner of other retail opportunities. But there was a big ol’ boy standing at Kelly’s door directing traffic in and out of the shop, of which there was plenty.

I took a deep masked breath, shot to the cooler for a case of hoppiness, paid, and beat feet. On the way to the Subaru I heard the big fella respond to a question about what might happen come Monday with, “Naw, we’re an essential service.”

Boy howdy. I’ll drink to that. As long as the gub’nah will let me, that is.

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48 Responses to “‘Beer’ me”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Given the number of people we ran into at Total Wine on Friday, shortly after the Governor lowered the boom, it certainly should be an essential service. What the F is there to do for the next two weeks except find a quiet place to bicycle and then go home and drink?

  2. Pat O’Brien Says:

  3. Libby Says:

    Liquor stores are essential businesses in New York State. Only beer can be sold in grocery stores. Good that you got your hands on your favorite beverage. Enjoy!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Libby, in New Mexico you can buy it all in the grocery, and thus the liquor-store people were really pissed off when The Clampdown v1.0 shut them down but not the Smith’s, Albertsons, Wholeazon Amafoods, etc. It was a bug, like ruling that bike-repair facilities were non-essential while letting auto-repair shops do bidness as usual.

      Thing is, everybody thinks they’re essential. Nail salons, barber shops, gyms, massage parlors, free-range rumormongers. …

      • khal spencer Says:

        What’s even worse is that in Nevada, the brothels are considered non-essential. Harumph….

      • Libby Says:

        That makes no sense about the liquor stores.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        Libby, the whole response to this pandemic makes no sense. I simply must believe that most Americans think that people over 65 are expendable to maintain economic growth and their freedom to do whatever they want. We have a president who is refusing to accept an election. Welcome to a shit hole country.

        • khal spencer Says:

          Trouble is, we old farts have to go out to shop for essentials, so its virtually impossible to self-segregate unless like my old (and now really old) Ph.D. advisor, you have a set of trusted youngsters who can buy food and stuff and launch it over the battlements. So that means controlling what everyone else does.

          Aside from that, at least in NM, the hospitals are filling up fast. So unless we want to leave people sitting in the street with Covid or something else, we have to tamp this down. Yeah, it sucks.

          Still, if we close places like Total Wine, which at least in Santa Fe was well run during the pandemic, it means folks are going to congregate in “Smith’s, Albertsons, Wholeazon Amafoods” etc. There is no simple fix other than everyone being careful, which as Larry’s wife used to say, runs into that other problem.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Paddy me lad, I’d go a little further and say a sizable percentage of Americans don’t give a shit about anybody but themselves. There is no age restriction. They’re gonna do what they wanna do, when they wanna do it, and dare you to stop them.

          “A nation of laws,” me bollocks. We’re a nation of lawbreakers.

          Anyone sampled the “senior hours” at their local grocery? I do most of my food shopping at Sprouts, which doesn’t use ’em. I’m there once every 10 days or so, always at some oddball hour, and no matter what I plan to cook over the next 10-day period I usually grab an extra can/box or two of some non-perishable staples to pad the pantry “just in case.” It’s a hangover from our Weirdcliffe days.

          • Pat O’Brien Says:

            Word. I avoid senior days at the grocery for two reasons. First, to allow those who really need the discount to get in and out more quickly. Second, to avoid the seniors who want the discount just because someone else is getting it. Those folks act ugly and are not pleasant to be around. You are right about no age restriction. There is a good supply of beans, rice, and coffee in the pantry, and always a spare case of Miller 64 in the garage.

          • Pat O'Brien Says:

            PS: My mentioning people over 65 was based on 80% of the people who die from COVID-19 are over 65. That applies nationally and in most states. Arizona is at about 75%, but I expect that to rise based on current pandemic data here. You are correct that there are a good many people over 65 that are entitled assholes that only care about themselves. Kinda reminds me someone, but I’m not sure who?

          • Shawn Says:

            I made a visit to my local modestly large grocery store on Monday night just after 9:00PM. It was a little busier than I would have preferred but the 40 or so people in the store tapered down to about 25 after about 15 minutes. There was plenty of room to limit my pacman like movement. Shopping late in the evening is much better for me versus showing up at 7 AM and interacting with 100+ seniors.

  4. Peter W. Polack Says:

    Liquor stores are considered essential services because if liquor sales were halted, emergency rooms would be inundated with alcoholics suffering the effects of cold turkey.

    Just imagine what would happen if sale of tobacco products was suspended…

    This is not a joke.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Aw, there’s always Listerine (54 proof), vanilla extract (75 proof), Sterno (a.k.a. “squeeze”), and what have you for the desperately thirsty.

      I once knew a dude who would drink Scope mouthwash — about the same ABV as schnapps — if he couldn’t get anything else. The drunk with the best breath in town. …

      They might give you the evil eye at Albertson’s if you stumble in at drunk-thirty with a Mason jar of change and mumble, “Yeah, gimme six-pack a’Scope and a couple shooters of vanilla extract. …”

      Addiction is fun, innit? Gives you something to think about between nightmares. Oh, those glorious, hungover mornings, which were a lot more like afternoons, or occasionally evenings, fumbling through the ashtrays in hopes of finding a longish butt, or p’raps a few short ones that could be mined for the remaining terbacky so’s I could roll a handmade.

      “Hey, who wants to hit The Riviera for a red beer? Sure, I could do a little bump first (snort).”

  5. khal spencer Says:

    While we are on the subject of self-absorbed asshats, interesting article here:

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      A screed indeed. I never read the offending Bears Ears piece, and I guess it’s been canceled from the Innertubes, so we’ll never know whether it was a felony or misdemeanor.

      My two cents: I’m not interested in bike touring right at this particular moment in history, whether we’re talking Bears Ears, Bibleburg, or Buffalo. Too much can go too wrong too fast. Better to stick close to home, even if it makes the blog boring.

      Mia's Bughouse

      • khal spencer Says:

        I had a bunch of plans for this year. Retire, take the motorcycle and its big saddlebags to Buffalo to see my 86 year old (and in poor health) stepdad and my younger brothers, do some serious bicycling. Instead, I’m sitting in Fanta Se but so far, neither of us has caught The Bug, which might make future travel, aside from into the Hereafter, irrelevant.

        I missed that story too as about the only sort of bikepacking reading I do is in Adventure Cycling, but agree with the Bikepacking retraction. It would seem rather hideous to write about someone’s gallivanting around Navajo/Diné country while local people are dying in poverty and not having The Orange Asshole’s ability to get the best medical care on the planet at the drop of a cheeseburger. A little humility is in order these days.

        Stay home, ride locally by yourself, find new rides, and write about it for others in your community. Don’t crash. Hospitals are busy enough as it is without any “hold my beer” stunts going awry.

        • Shawn Says:

          I seem to hear a little repeated logic here that was passionately professed (and perhaps a little too critically) at us a few months ago by a velo-afficionado somewhere over in the land of tasty pasta and great bike history. Although that profession was falling on the choir’s ears, the content was wise. But wisdom is not what man always relies upon and those who may not have the benefit of the guidance of a wise choir, are now reaping the consequences of the carelessness of a misguided unwise leader.

          On another frothy though: Damn ! I forgot to check out the beer aisle for the Clausthaler at my local grocery store last night. I don’t recall trying any of it in the past but I’ve been looking out for a NA brew that is a few cogs up from sharps and o-doodles.

          • Pat O’Brien Says:

            If you like a Pilsner like Pilsner Urquel, I suggest trying the St. Pauli Girl NA. It’s my fave so far.

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            Most of the NA beers are too sweet for me. The Clausthaler Dry Hopped is less so. It tastes more like a real beer to me … after seven years without a real beer, that is. The Clausthaler Original is second best, but you need a little squeeze of lime in there.

            I’ll have to have a go at the St Pauli NA, since it’s widely available and I can’t remember if I’ve tried it. Buckler is bearable; Kaliber, less so. I’ll try the Guinness 0.0 if Diageo ever (a) makes it available Stateside and (2) gets the contamination issues solved.

          • khal spencer Says:

            IIRC, that set of comments was made by someone literally confined to home and fuming at those of us who were at least able to get out and ride (in my case, because I am on the edge of a small city, not in the midst of millions of humanity). I saw some of those comments and thought they were a cheap shot. But the bottom line, as a pen pal of mine who writes about gun culture says, is don’t do stupid things at stupid times with stupid people. That eliminates a lot of the risk.

            If I was under literal house arrest, I’d soon go bonkers.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        “Man plans, God laughs.” I love that proverb.

        I sure as shit didn’t plan on breaking an ankle and riding crutches and a splint into Bug Season. But I could hear God laughing just the same.

        • khal spencer Says:

          No kidding, O’G. Or to paraphrase that old Helmuth von Moltke quote, no plan survives the first contact with the adversary.

          I’m glad I had my crash and burn season in 2016 instead of this year during Bug Season. I spent enough time in the OR or X ray that I could stand around and give directions to other patients.

          • JD Says:

            Hey folks……relax, stay safe/healthy/sane and demonstrate by your example what that means. And …… by doing so, look forward to many more years of whatever lights your fire.
            Falling into the abyss of near-term satisfaction/lack of self-discipline/unwillingness to support the “greater good”, and narcissistic ME FIRST actions only works in reality TV shows……right??
            Take a look at Michael Beschloss’s “Presidents of War” book. What we’re seeing now and will see for the coming days until 20 January 2021 is certainly not new, but it might be considered 6-Sigma outside the historical norm. 🙂

          • Patrick O'Grady Says:

            Ayuh. All we can do is lay low, wear the mask, wash the mitts, and wait for a vaccine. Risk management.

            Shuckens, ol’ Sue Baroo and I haven’t left the ’Burque city limits in 2020. And on the bike I don’t get more than two water bottles away from El Rancho Pendejo.

          • Pat O’Brien Says:

            I try to get lost in a song, but always fall back out. Works sometimes, but flow is hard to find when you are trying something new. I could get me some flow fairly regular on a bike, especially on some trails.

  6. khal spencer Says:

    Speaking of masks, this came out in Nature a couple months ago. Its written pretty clearly, as opposed to some journal articles. Most co-authors at UC Davis, a couple at the Icahn Med School in Mt. Sinai.


    Efficacy of masks and face coverings in controlling outward aerosol particle emission from expiratory activities

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      An executive summary in plain English would have been nice. The cloth masks they tested were made from t shirt material which is knitted not woven. The CDC recommends against using knitted material of any kind, but, instead, to use 2 or 3 layers of tightly woven cotton cloth. That is what Sandy’s used to make ours. And they fit well. We wash them in hot water an Dawn detergent after every outing, not just once a day.

      • khal spencer Says:

        The paper was published in Sept. but received by the journal in June, which means the work was done early in the year. The t shirt fabric was based on a CDC paper which was probably relevant at the time.


        • JD Says:

          In depth research takes time/resources, writing and publication of results takes time, criticism on the web takes very little time……and may go on longer than the research/writing/publication effort.

          In the case of COVID, I think the scientists/medical experts/researchers are learning more each day and fortunately sharing that information.

          Whether leaders and the populace at large are willing to accept and act upon that information will form many future behavioral/political science case studies extraordinaire.

          None of which will be used in public policy determinations in the future (a la the current debacle). Fervently hoping I’m WRONG!! 🙂

        • khal spencer Says:

          This whole research project is a work in progress and we are flying by the seat of our pants and I mean the scientists.

          The home made masks are of variable quality, they may or may not be fitted correctly since there is no training on how to wear a mask, and even if one is wearing one properly when sedentary, as the Nature article shows and I can attest from fifteen years of high quality respirator training that was required for my job in a nuclear facility, they can leak like hell when exercising, talking, hollering, chewing gum, or doing other activities such as screaming and pulling down an obelisk or shouting at a Trump rally while bending over to pick up the 15 rd clip you dropped.

          Few, if any of us make our own auto engine air intake filters. We buy them from a reputable company that quality tests their efficiency at stopping particles of a given size range and even then, some stuff gets through. We don’t do that with masks. Maybe FRAM, K&N, Purolator, AC Delco, et al should be mandated by a newly sworn in Pres. Biden to start making standardized Covid mask filters with properly adjustable tight fitting facepieces to go with them. Even with immunization shots in development, this Bug will be with us for a while and I don’t think the economy will sustain itself much longer in near total shutdown.

        • Pat O’Brien Says:

          Like you all said, COVID-19 is a fast moving target and the scientists learn something new about it every day. I understand that a research piece like the one Khal provided can be be useful for a long time even as new facts are learned. However, it is my opinion as an ex-technical writer that any scientific work can be explained in plain English. And it should be done for any publication, even for an audience of other scientists and specialists, because many times the people who manage or fund the research are not experts. I could distill the findings in that article to an executive summary of a few paragraphs, with some illustrations or charts, that k would be easily understood. As it is written, it is useless to the layman. This is a common problem in the fields of science and technology. Alan Alda knows it, and that is the whole purpose of the NPR program, “Science Friday.” Now to claim down from my screaming yellow soap box. Patrick, what do you think?

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Paddy me lad, I am always in favor of simple language in writing. We are simple people. Writing in secret code is fun if you’re only writing for your secret club, but for a general audience that dawg won’t hunt.

  7. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Changing subjects how a second, por favor, have you seen this shit. Only in a shit hole country.


  8. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Somehow a very bad (evil bad, not otherwise) woman weaseled her way into this canvas board position. Thankfully the Detroit Free Press outed her previous skullduggery this past year and she is catching hell from all quarters. Only reason she changed her vote to certify was total fear for both her wallet (legal fees) and possibly her life. And now, with right wing gun nuts volunteering to protect her, and some hidden help with legal fees, she wants to reverse her vote! I’m all for taking names and looking further under the kimono when it comes to tRump supporters. Sumpin’ t’aint right with em. Dig deep enough and while most are just plain lacking in moral character, the rest of em are trying to gain a leg up by whatever means possible. And the balance of em.? Grifters and deplorables as noted by Our Humble Narrator. Stay tuned…this is Michigan where poisoning the water is one thing but poisoning the mind is easier cause we have a lot of weak minds here.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Here’s the Freep article, which reports that one of the roadblocks to certification — Republican Monica Palmer, a member of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers — was the subject of an ethics complaint “accusing her of running a ‘dark-money PAC’ to promote candidates for the Grosse Pointe Board of Education. The complaint came with calls for her to step down from the Board of Canvassers, which would also review the results of those elections.”

    • khal spencer Says:

      Thank Campagnolo that I am a left wing gun nut.

      • Herb from Michigan Says:

        You wouldn’t fit in here with our gun nuts Khal. They like to strut around the Capital with their body armor and weapons menacing Democrat legislators and yelling about the governor who is trying like hell to save a few (thousand) lives from Covid. However I would much welcome you to come out and set those toy soldiers straight.

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