Friday Video – Nazareth, “Holiday”

From the moment that Lord Gerardo proposed the idea of a Friday video feature on this here blog, I blurted out, “You realize that I’m going to feature ‘This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ to Glide’ by the Kings once a month, right?” And G was totally down with that, as he loves that song as much as I do. The band’s guitarist Mister Zero even made a fantastic video of the band playing the song, culling 20 years of concert footage and even their appearance on “American Bandstand” into one incredible video. It would be perfect.

There is just one small problem:

Yep, in another brilliant display of Finders vs. Keepers, that clip is not available for embedding, or even allowed to be viewed at all on YouTube. For now, anyway. Hopefully they’ll be able to sort this out, because we’re dying to show you that clip. Fortunately, we have another clip that’s just as good. Fans of early MTV – as in first-year MTV, which was unlike any other year in the network’s history – will recognize this one. Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone.


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Drink of the Week: Kentucky Lemonade from Maker’s Mark

Our friends at Maker’s Mark were kind enough to send us a bottle of their signature Kentucky Bourbon along with some great drink recipes. We chose this one as everyone gears up for Memorial Day and the unofficial beginning of the summer season.

Kentucky Lemonade
Yield – 1 serving


* 1 1/2 parts Maker’s Mark
* 1/2 part triple sec
* 4 parts of lemonade
* 2 parts lemon & lime soda


Pour Maker’s Mark, triple sec, lemonade and soda into a shaker. Shake and pour over crushed ice.

You’ll easily recognize Maker’s Mark as it’s sold in squarish bottles and sealed with red wax that drips from the top. The signature look is one of many reasons this is a great addition to your home bar. Try the drink above for your cookout this weekend and your guests will be very happy . . . and refreshed!


Grüner Veltliner: The wine you should drink all summer

This week’s Happy Hour entry is a wine review to get you ready for summer. Gabe Sasso takes a look at several wines from Grüner Veltliner. It sounds like the kind of wine your lady friend would like as well, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

One of the wine varietals that has been making its presence known the last few years on U.S. shelves, wine lists, and the like is Grüner Veltliner. This is a white grape that’s predominately grown in Austria. It’s a grape that often produces crisp, aromatic wines that are particularly well suited to pair with a wide array of foods. Depending on the style in which it is made, as well as the provenance of the grape source, the wine can also have the propensity to age quite well. Other wines from Austria are starting to find more room on our shelves too. On the red side of things, Blaufränkisch is a noteworthy varietal that we should be seeing more and more of, as time goes on. Grüner Veltliner, though, is the entrée for many wine lovers into the joys and complexities of Austrian wine. Today I’ll look at three examples that provide excellent quality, and value, and a cross section of Grüner Veltliner styles.


Say hello to your friendly neighborhood Gillette Pro!

Disclosure: Sponsored Post

Everyone talks about how great it is to be a work-at-home writer, but it’s a slippery slope. Once you lose that daily physical interaction with fellow co-workers, you soon realize just how little upkeep you need to perform on your person. Your morning shower suddenly turns into an every-other-morning shower. Your office attire downshifts from professional to semi-casual to, “Do I really need to wear pants today?” And your shaving habits…? Well, let’s just say that Grizzly Adams’ attorneys called, and the phrase “image misappropriation” came up.

Maybe that’s why, when Gillette contacted me and offered me the opportunity to serve as a so-called Gillette Pro, I decided it might not be such a bad idea to say, “Sure, why not?” Mind you, their offer of sponsorship may possibly have expedited my acceptance…but I digress.

For the next several months, I’m teaming with Gillette and serving as a…hmmm, what’s the best phrase to describe this gig? I’ve heard the term “spokesblogger” bandied about, so I guess that’ll work as well as anything. It would be disingenuous to suggest that I’m doing this entirely out of the kindness of my heart (I believe I touched on that moment ago), but beyond simply assisting in spreading the gospel of Gillette in a sponsored-conversation format, I’m getting the chance to step outside of my usual pop culture comfort zone and get a bit more personal. That doesn’t mean you should expect to see a piece entitled “What Shaving Means To Me,” because, well, that’s just a bit too on-the-nose, don’t you think? But with that said, I have been cultivating and chopping whiskers for the better part of 25 years now, so I’ve amassed a decent stockpile of material on the topic…some of it even worth reading!…and I plan to start writing my first column just as soon as I feed the family of birds who’ve taken up residence in my beard.

You know, come to think of it, this Gillette Pro thing really couldn’t have come at a better time.

Look for my first post in the series on Tuesday.


AMP Energy and the WEC launch the “Hometown Takedown” competition

If it seems like the good fights never come to your city, now’s your chance to do something about it. AMP Energy and the WEC are sponsoring the Hometown Takedown, a competition that will allow consumers to choose where the next great WEC event happens. AMP Energy proudly sponsors the best WEC fighters, including Urijah Faber, Chad Mendes and Joseph Benavidez. With more than 30 eligible areas across the country, it should be easy to find a kickass location to see your favorite fighter in your hometown. Just in case there’s nothing close, or in case your city doesn’t win, they’ve got you covered. AMP Energy has partnered with the WEC to offer an all-expense-paid trip to see the Hometown Takedown.

Today we’re premiering the new spot above featuring Faber, Mendes and Benavidez. Urijah Faber is thrilled to be a part of it. “I’ve always said I’ll fight anyone, anywhere – and now I’ll get a chance to with the help of MMA fans nationwide. My partners at AMP Energy created the ‘Hometown Takedown’ contest which gives MMA fans in 30 cities across the county an opportunity to bring a fight to their hometown this December. No question, we’re giving fans unprecedented access to the sport and athletes while raising the awareness of the WEC on a national scale. MMA fans just need to get involved and vote often for their area.”

Pat Santangelo, Assistant Marketing Manager for AMP Energy, said, “I’m not sure if the ‘Hometown Takedown’ is the first time a major sport has allowed the fans to decide where an event will take place, but I can’t think of another instance. With the help the fans and our partners at WEC, Hess, Maverik, and Versus, AMP Energy is going to bring the best MMA fighters to the most hardcore fans, wherever they are.”

Voting is simple. You can cast a ballot for your hometown on the web or by texting your vote to a secret number, available only at Hess and Maverik stores across the country. Those who vote will be automatically entered to win the event package, representing either Hess or Maverik for the world’s fans. This is your chance to bring the WEC to your backyard. Get the word out, and get voting!