Driving a Porsche from the Hertz Dream Collection

It had been yet another long week of cold 20-degree weather and snow. Spring and warm sunny days seemed to be a cruel fantasy. The cold had me stalking the house, grumbling and moody, to the point where the dogs just stayed out of my way. Then my savior came in the form of an email: “Hey, are you available to go to Florida for four days to attend Porsche and Hertz’s press trip to Sebring?” You’re damn right I was!

It was a system shock: leaving cold and snowy Cleveland, and two hours later deplaning in sunny Orlando. Hertz had provided a beautiful black 2014 Porsche Cayman coupe for my stay. It was my first time behind the wheel of the new Cayman. Like all Porsches, it was fast, drove like a slot car, and made me feel like a race car driver on holiday. I got several compliments on my car during my stay in Florida. I felt a bit guilty. After all, it wasn’t my car. Buy a shiny black Porsche if you want to be a mini-celebrity.

This highlights the Hertz’s Dream Car collection, where any citizen with a credit card can rent for the weekend a series of highly desirable super cars. Depending on the location, Porsches, Ferraris and even Lamborghinis are available for hire for the right price. Hertz has a long history of loaning out the era’s fastest cars. In the ‘60s, the famous Shelby GT350H “Rent-a-Racer” could be had for a weekend on the track. The Dream Car is a modern interpretation of that idea.

Of all the makes in the Dream Car collection, Porsche and Hertz seem to be the best-suited partnership. Porsches are driver’s cars that have a unique quality in supercars: they’re comfortable and practical, which make them great rental vehicles. Both Porsche and Hertz focus on the driver’s experience. Renting a Porsche for the weekend gives you a luxury car that’s designed to be driven, not coddled and babied like some of the Italian ilk.

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What has been your best bet?

With March Madness in full swing, many people have been geared up to fill out their brackets, while others are putting bets on multiple games. Events like this and the Super Bowl certainly raise the excitement level, and it gets many of us thinking about our best bets over the years.

One of my all-time best bets involved the Super Bowl matchup pitting the undefeated New England Patriots vs the New York Giants following the 2007 NFL Season. The Patriots looked unbeatable, yet there was something about the New York Giants that made them the perfect matchup for the high-flying Pats – their pass rush! Going into the game, some experts were pointing out that if the Giants front four could pressure Tom Brady without resorting to blitzes, then the Giants had a real chance to win the game, let alone cover the point spread. With that in mind, instead of taking the points and the Giants, I decided to go with the money line on the Giants to win outright, which gave me a much better payout given that the Pats were big favorites. The Giants won of course 17-14, as their defense got a pass rush and slowed down that many thought was an unstoppable offense. The win was even sweeter several months later when I ran into one of the most notorious gamblers – Pete Rose – who was complainign that there was no way the Patriots should have lost that game. He called the money line bet stupid, but he didn’t have much of an answer when I simply pointed out that it was a winning bet.

As for March Madness, my favorite bet involved taking Kentucky over Duke in 1992 even though I wanted Duke to win. Christian Laettner famously won that game on the incredible shot in overtime, but I already had my bet won as I was getting plenty of points with Kentucky. So I got to celebrate that incredible shot watching the game at Caesar’s Palace, while also celebrating a winning bet.

You can check out these top 5 best bets for other great examples and follow #bgoBestBets on Twitter as well.

  

Time to Upgrade to a Men’s Watch

Whether you just finished college, recently got hitched, or just celebrated your Bar Mitzvah, you are now officially a man. While your $20 Timex Ironman has been reliable, it is past time to retire it.

You know the watch I’m talking about…the one you got from your Aunt on your eight birthday; the one with twelve different features (most of which you never used).

You’ve spent five times the original cost of the watch on battery replacements, and the nylon band, well, it smells pretty rank. Pay attention, because these will be the deciding factors while trying to decide which men’s watch to buy.

Is it Practical?

First and foremost, purchase a watch that is practical. It sounds like I’m joking, but I’m not. When contemplating the complexities of purchasing a watch, consider both your lifestyle and the usefulness of the watch. Below is a watch that I think you will find—umm, rather useless.

Black Movado watch leather

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Drink of the Week: The Blackthorn Cocktail (Harry Craddock Version)

The Blackthorn Cocktail.I totally blew it last week, St. Patrick’s Day wise. I decided, therefore, to atone for my sin this week with the most severe Irish whiskey based cocktail I could find. And so we present the Blackthorn Cocktail, which sounds a little bit like it was named after the villain of a 1950s swashbuckler with Burt Lancaster or Stewart Granger.

This drink appears in, among other places, Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book, but finding a human being who’s actually had one today will be a challenge — even many cocktail bloggers seem to avoid this one. Superstar booze maven Gary Regan adapted it into a more popular version which, to begin with, substitutes sweet vermouth for the dry stuff used in this version. Maybe we’ll get to that one eventually, but I don’t hold with some of the disdain this Blackthorn Cocktail has generated. It might not be sweet treat, but neither is a martini, and we like those, right?

The Blackthorn Coctail

1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey
1 1/2 ounces dry vermouth
1/2 teaspoon absinthe
3 dashes Angostura/aromatic bitters

This is an easy one. Just combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with your usual massive amount of ice. Shake, yes, shake this drink vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Toast the classic cocktail purists who, for once, allow us to shake a drink that contains no citrus. Aye and begorrah!

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I admit that the Blackthorn Cocktail is what you would call a sophisticated drink, it’s definitely not for everyone. On the other hand, it’s actually no more inaccessible than a 50/50 martini (i.e., 50% gin and 50% dry vermouth) or a Dry Manhattan, both of which have their share of similarities with the Blackthorn.

It does have that tiny bit of absinthe — a classic case of a little going a long way. Here, however, it goes just the right distance,. I should note that my 1/2 teaspoon of the formerly notorious wormwood liqueur is different from the original Craddock version, which calls for three dashes. Maybe I should just purchase an eye dropper, but I have no idea how I’m supposed to get a dash out of an ordinary, non-squirt top bottle. Anyhow, I liked my results this way. The licorice-like flavor of anise centers this drink.

I tried the Blackthorn Cocktail with two different Irish whiskey brands. Generally speaking, I prefer Bushmills  — love the stuff, actually — but the more assertive flavor of Kilbeggan worked very nicely and resulted in a somewhat livelier drink. As for my vermouth, I did most of my Blackthorns with Martini, which was very good. Thirsting for more adventure, I finally got around to trying the cocktails hipster’s choice these days, Dolin Dry Vermouth. It’s a less dry dry vermouth, if you follow me, that actually puts me a bit in mind of the now either hard to find or all but nonexistent stateside Noilly Pratt Original Dry Vermouth. It’s maybe a bit more complex and sells for roughly double the price. Similarly to when I used the Killlbeggans, the Dolin made for a slightly livelier, crisper libation.

  

Praying for poker

There’s a new kind of bible in town – and it’s unlike anything you’ve seen before.

We all know games of cards for what they are – a social pastime that can get men and women together in a variety of situations, from informal game nights to fighting to the death poker rounds. Poker, by its very nature, is a game, and is often overlooked in the media, save for a few references in Robert DeNiro movies.

Lights, camera, action

This is to become a thing of the past however, as the geniuses over at Titan Poker have added a new facet to their world of online gambling. The poker addicts have fused the controversial topics of religion and gambling, coming up with a recipe for laughter – the poker bible.

As its blurb states, The Poker Bible is a humorist book made up for poker fans connecting both the world of the Bible and its scripts and that of the poker game. The Bible, as it is so blasphemously known, has also been transformed into a tongue in cheek cartoon movie, with a trailer voice over so familiar you might just think you’re listening to Morgan Freeman.

Watch this trailer and you might just think you’re watching Morgan Freeman.

Not quite so black and white

So how exactly can the chalk and cheese topics of gambling and religion be married up into a new fad? Well it would appear that the two are not quite so different after all. In fact, many people think that poker evolved just 150 years ago, when in reality, the game has been proven to have dated back to biblical times.

Keeping everything very tongue in cheek, Titan Poker’s Poker Bible mirrors the words and phrases of the original Christian bible, and even has its own set of commandments by which to live (for the really keen poker players among us.) ‘Thou shall not bluff frequently against thine neighbor’ is just one of the cheeky rules, others of which include ‘honor your dealer’ and ‘remember to play the right cards and keep them holy.’

poker-and-the-bible-cover-1

While it may not get you into heaven, the Poker Bible is the poker fan’s go to guide for the rules and regulations of poker, without having to get too bogged down in the details. If good old fashioned praying and church attending isn’t working out for you, you may just find yourself a little more fortunate in life if you stick to this good book.

  

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