Greetings from No Limits, TX

Hi all, just a quick check-in from No Limits, TX where I’m at Texas Motor Speedway for IndyCar weekend. For my international friends who might not know what that is, IndyCar is more or less the North American equivalent of Formula 1 – it’s the highest caliber of open wheel racing on this side of the pond.

Anyway, forgive me if I’m late to the party for Song Lyric Sunday or Sunday Social this week. Got a lot going on so I’ll be pretty scarce. Don’t miss me too much!

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Fly The Rainbow Flag

June is, of course, pride month. Honestly in some ways it saddens me that we even need a “LGBT+ Pride” month. Why should we? Why shouldn’t people be free to freely love? Why shouldn’t people be free to express their true inner selves? I just don’t get it. To all the naysayers who love to bitch about how we don’t have “cishet pride month” or whatever the fuck, just be glad you don’t need one.

This hits close to home for me. In addition to flying a blue flag, I fly a rainbow one too. Not only am I autistic, I am also part of the LGBT+ community.

My sexual orientation has been the subject of a lot of speculation lately, so I’m going to put that speculation to rest. Yes, my last relationship was with a woman. I’ve also dated men in the past.

However, my relationships are platonic friendships at best. There’s nothing sexual about them. To be totally honest, the mere thought of sex grosses me out, regardless of who it’s with or what type of sexual behavior it is. It’s just…ugh. The mere thought of it makes my skin crawl.

So to finally put the speculation to rest, I suppose the best descriptor for me is “bi-romantic asexual.” I can have relationships with either but sex with nobody. Maybe it’s another sensory processing thing related to autism (I know many on the spectrum seem to be more asexual)? Who knows.

As for now though? I am perfectly content single and have no interest in dating or marriage at this time. I don’t see that changing anytime in the foreseeable future. However should it happen I would hope that when it does society has changed enough to not question mine or anyone’s relationship or sexual practices (or lack thereof – there is still a lot of stigma surrounding confirmed bachelors/bachelorettes). I know progress is slow in these matters.

Whoever you love or whatever your neurotype, rest assured I support you all and it is my hope and prayer for all people that we all can live and love in peace someday.

Blessed be.

Beer Review – Kindred Spirits

This offering from Innis & Gunn in Edinburgh, Scotland is, true to its name, a stout aged in Irish whiskey barrels. It weighs in at 6.1% ABV and an unspecified IBU or gravity rating.

Pours a near opaque brown color with a thin ring of tan head that sticks around. Rich oaky whiskey notes tickle the nose up front supported by dark chocolate and roasted malts. Flavors follow the nose almost exactly – dark chocolate and a tinge of vanilla start things off while a heavy oak takes over the back of the palate with that distinct sweet warmth of Irish whiskey on the finish. A hint of an espresso on the aftertaste. Surprisingly light on body and fairly high carbonation. It drinks easily enough and the ABV is low enough to kill a few without overdoing it.

This beer was pleasant enough, though I wish it had some more substance and a thicker consistency. If it had those couple of things it would be excellent. The flavors were nice but it just left me wanting something a bit more. Rating: 3/5.

Have you had this beer? What did you think?

Bonus Song Lyric Sunday 6/3/18 – It’s a Big Old Goofy World

OK, are two SLS submissions against the rules? I hope not, because apparently the theme was actually supposed to be simile, not smile (source) . I almost wish it would have been the former because I know the absolutely perfect song for the theme “simile” as this song contains almost every simile in the book!

So without further ado, my bonus submission for today is “It’s a Big Old Goofy World” by John Prine (written by Prine):

Up in the morning
Work like a dog
Is better than sitting
Like a bump on a log
Mind all your manners
Be quiet as a mouse
Some day you’ll own a home
That’s as big as a house

I know a fella
He eats like a horse
Knocks his old balls
Round the old golf course
You oughta see his wife
She’s a cute little dish
She smokes like a chimney
And drinks like a fish

There’s a big old goofy man
Dancing with a big old goofy girl
Ooh baby
It’s a big old goofy world

Now Elvis had a woman
With a head like a rock
I wished I had a woman
That made my knees knock
She’d sing like an angel
And eat like a bird
And if I wrote a song
She’d know ever single word

There’s a big old goofy man
Dancing with a big old goofy girl
Ooh baby
It’s a big old goofy world

Kiss a little baby
Give the world a smile
If you take an inch
Give ’em back a mile
Cause if you lie like a rug
And you don’t give a damn
You’re never gonna be
As happy as a clam

So I’m sitting in a hotel
Trying to write a song
My head is just as empty
As the day is long
Why it’s clear as a bell
I should have gone to school
I’d be wise as an owl
Stead of stubborn as a mule.

There’s a big old goofy man
Dancing with a big old goofy girl
Ooh baby
It’s a big old goofy world

Ooh baby
It’s a big old goofy world
Source: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/johnprine/itsabigoldgoofyworld.html

Lo and behold this song actually has the word “smile” in it too so it fits BOTH themes! Talk about a hell of a bonus track. Anyway, I hope I’m within the rules for this one. Sue me if I’m not, and I guess it works out in the end because I’ll probably be MIA next week as next weekend is IndyCar Weekend at Texas Motor Speedway in No Limits, TX, so enjoy your two for this week and I’ll catch you all two weeks from today!

Song Lyric Sunday 6/3/18 – Closest Thing to Heaven

Our theme for Song Lyric Sunday is “smile.” Well, something I could definitely use after the week I’ve had – my week has been complete shit!!!

Anyway, nothing makes me smile quite like a song from my favorite band, so while this song does not have the word “smile” in it, it definitely makes me smile. In contrast to the normal dark, heavy primal scream theory lyrics that made this band famous, this one is quite light-hearted and is sure to make anyone crack a smile.

With that, I present to you the song “Closest Thing to Heaven,” a song off the 2004 album Everybody Loves A Happy Ending, which was the first album released by this duo after a decade of separation – a duo that needs no introduction whatsoever (written by Roland Orzabal, Curt Smith and Charlton Pettus).

28 days of rain
Flash floods in February
Back in our boats again
Bath water and the baby
What am I gonna do?
There’s been a lot of drinking
Looking at ghosts of you
While all the world is sinking

10,000 miles into the atmosphere
My body shakes
Is there a welcome here?

Closest thing to heaven
How do you do it?
Closest thing to heaven, heaven

Throw your arms round the world
Make love your destination
Here we go boys and girls
Act like a generation
Give me that ball and chain
By now it must be hurting
Dragging your feet again
Just like a beast of burden
When one and one and one make two
I know I’m high because I’ve captured you,
yeah…

Closest thing to heaven
Yeah, it’s you
Closest thing to heaven, heaven

Look the world right in the eye
Eat the countries that are making billions
Sweet as homemade apple pie
Saved by crumbs for all the starving millions, yeah

Closest thing to heaven
Closest thing to heaven
How do you do it?
Closest thing to heaven
Uhh, hey
Closest thing to heaven
Source: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/tearsforfears/closestthingtoheaven.html

Hope that made everyone smile.

Cigar Talk – When to Smoke Cigars

Any cigar enthusiast knows that there are many variables in deciding what cigar to smoke – what kind of flavor(s) are you in the mood for? What have you had to eat or drink over the course of the day? What time of day is it? Do you prefer mild, medium or full bodied cigars? What are you going to be drinking with your cigar? It all figures in.

So when do you smoke cigars? Well, any time of the day of course. I never miss the opportunity to chill out with a cigar whenever I get one. There’s just something so relaxing and meditative about the ritual. In theory you can smoke any cigar at any time of the day. That said, not every cigar is “right” for every time of the day. Here are my opinions of what kind of cigar to smoke when and what to pair with.

Morning

In the morning when your palate is still a little groggy and getting woken up from your night’s sleep, you have to gently wake it up along with your body. As such, you’re not going to wake up first thing in the morning and smoke a Padron Serie 1926 Maduro first thing unless you fancy burning your palate out and getting nicotine sickness first thing in the morning.

On the contrary, you want something nice and light to start your day with a nice cup of coffee. Think a milder cigar for your morning smoke. Many love Connecticut shade cigars in the morning for that reason – they do tend to be fairly mild. I’m not much of a Connecticut fan myself so I normally reach for a Blanco Primos Classic – a very budget friendly stick with three wrapper options, all of which fall into the mild category and are the perfect jump-start to my day.

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Some other cigars I like to smoke in the morning include the Marrero Tesoro Mio Barberpole, Oliva Connecticut Reserve (one of a very few Connecticut cigars I like) among a few other milder options. After such a cigar and a couple of cups of coffee my palate is nicely woken up and ready for some breakfast.

Mid-Day/Afternoon

About mid-day you’ve had your breakfast and sometimes lunch and you’re fully woken up. At this point, a cigar in the aforementioned category wouldn’t be enough to cut through the flavors you have on your palate but the cigars in the next category would likely still be a bit much and a bit harsh. As such, in the middle of the day you want something more along the lines of a medium-bodied cigar – something to pair with a nice glass of wine with your lunch or maybe even a stronger coffee as some pick-me up. Think like a Padron 3000 series in Natural – a medium-shade wrapper (though wrapper shade doesn’t always correlate with body or strength) that will have some taste but won’t dominate your palate too early on:

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Some others I like mid-day are any of the JNV cigar lines, the CigarObsession 2nd Third and stuff like that which is not going to overwhelm you.

Evening

So now you’ve had your day’s food and some drinks and your palate has remnants of that on it. Now’s the time to reach for that heavy-hitter that will really cut through what’s left on your palate and that will stand up to a nice stiff drink. Take this example I had last night – a Marrero Fuerte.

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You can handle it and it’s about the only thing that will cut through a stiff drink. Some others I love are the aforementioned Padron 1926, CO Final Third, Blanco JT Limitado, RoMa Craft Neanderthal, Oliva Serie V among other heavy-hitters. Since you have food in your belly, you can handle the typically higher nicotine concentrations of these types of cigars also.

So that’s a general guideline that I and many other cigar smokers follow in selecting a cigar to have at a certain time of day. The point is to select a cigar that will give you smoking pleasure, regardless of the time of day. It should also be noted that descriptors such as mild, medium and full do not correlate whatsoever with the quality of the cigar. It all depends on the blender’s desires for the flavor and intensity of a particular blend. Construction, ease of draw and even burn are what figure into the quality of the cigar.

Anyway, that’s a wrap for today’s topic. If you agree or disagree, that’s fine too. Remember cigars are about your enjoyment and nothing more. So cut, light and kick back, no matter what your choice.