Mixer Mania #16 – Carmaggedon

As we feature orange soda, OJ Simpson (aka Juice) pops into my mind. I once did an article on famous vehicles from TV shows and movies. Today, we look at infamous real-life vehicles, including the controversial Hall-of-Fame member’s white Bronco ride.

1993 Ford Bronco

The earth seemingly stood still on June 17, 1994, as OJ Simpson (along with friend Al Cowlings) engaged the police in a chase, while inside the soon-to-be infamous white Bronco, with a gun to his head. Later, Simpson would incorporate a Bronco into his one-off prank show, Juiced, trying to sell the vehicle, signed bullet hole and all. The Bronco was recently rediscovered and is now house at the Pigeon Forge’s Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Tennessee.

Ford Bronco Escape

1934 Ford Fordor Deluxe Sedan

Bonnie and Clyde’s bullet-riddled death car became famous when the pair were stopped in Louisiana and a shootout ensued between the outlaws and a group of Texas officers tracking them. The vehicle now sits at Whiskey Pete’s Resort in Primm, Nevada (40 miles south of Las Vegas)… a perfect reminder of the consequences of gambling big and coming out on the losing end.

1911 Gräf & Stift Double Phaeton

There is only one vehicle in history that played a role in starting a World War. That dubious distinction belongs to this auto, which Archduke Franz Ferdinand was riding in when he was assassinated. The vehicle can be found today in Vienna’s Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, where it has remained for more than a century. The vehicle’s licence plate of AIII 118, has been said by some to mean Armistice 11/11/18, which is when World War I ended.

1955 Porsche 550 Spyder

Actor and pop culture icon James Dean’s final minutes were spent racing down the road in his Porsche, dubbed ‘Little Bastard’. Ironically, Dean had already been ticketed for speeding on the fateful day, as he was breaking in the car to return to his passion of motor racing. Sadly, that wasn’t enough to slow him down and he later slammed into a car that turned in front of him, killing the star almost instantly. Some believe the car carried a curse with it.

James Dean Porsche.jpg

1994 Mercedes-Benz S280

Much of the world mourned together when the news came in that Princess Diana had succumbed to her injuries following a high-speed crash inside a Paris tunnel. Sorrow turned to anger, when it was revealed Diana and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed were being pursued by the vulture-like paparazzi, leading to the catastrophe. The crumpled Mercedes was kept for investigations and inquests for more than a decade before finally being destroyed.

1961 Lincoln Continental X100

One moment, president John F. Kennedy was riding through the streets of Dallas, Texas, waving to onlookers and in the next moment, he was dead. JFK’s fateful ride took place sitting in a Lincoln Continental, which was used for another 15 years and now sits in the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. Curiously, Ronald Reagan was also entering a Lincoln Continental when his attempted assassination occurred. This vehicle should be avoided at all costs.

Mixer Mania #16: Eliminator

Eliminator.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Whiskey
  • 1.5 oz Tequila
  • Top with Orange Soda
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

It’s sad that all of these vehicles are associated with death and tragedy. Are there any vehicles, which have earned our attention through positive history?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
What an aptly named drink, given the subject of this article. There is actually a James Dean drink, which uses Orange Soda, but it is a punch. I went with unflavoured liquors, hoping to allow the Orange Soda to flourish, but it still ended up a little hidden.

Sip Trips #97: Baby on Board

Well, the cat’s finally out of the bag (that is such a weird saying… I mean, who puts a cat in a bag anyway): Mrs. Sip is pregnant! That has meant some great changes at the Sip Advisor offices, which I will delve into in future articles. Today’s post is about how we recently celebrated our big news, with the Great Cocktail Reveal party!

After taking a couple months to let our friends and family in on the secret, we were ready to reveal the gender of our little one in grand fashion. There was only one fitting way the Sip Advisor should learn of this detail and that was through either a pink or blue cocktail being poured by Mrs. Sip, who learned of the sex a couple weeks earlier.

Gender Reveal T-Shirt

Along with the cocktail being prepared for me, we also put together two pink and two blue recipes for our guests and let them make their wager through their beverage of choice. Each serving was garnished with either a pink or blue tuft of cotton candy, completing the presentation. Here are the tasty, yet simple cocktails I created for the event:

Blue Bubbles

  • Vodka
  • Bubble Gum Soda
  • Club Soda

Brilliant Blue

  • Tequila
  • Berry Blue Blast Juice
  • Lemon-Lime Soda

Pretty in Pink

  • Vodka
  • Pink Grapefruit Juice
  • Club Soda

Pink Danger

  • Tequila
  • Watermelon Juice
  • Lemon-Lime Soda

So, now that I’ve got your attention, I bet you’re wondering what the results were. Well, come late September (due date is estimated to be September 27th), Mrs. Sip and I will be the proud parents of a baby girl! While I’m still adjusting to writing lines like that, we are ecstatic with this development in our lives and can’t wait to meet the new addition to our family!

October 24 – Friendly Ghost

Happy Haunts

Some people are really into haunted houses, buildings, and areas, but the Sip Advisor would prefer to keep his distance from any ghostly dwelling that is not located at a Disney theme park. That said, these places can be incredibly fascinating and I don’t mind learning about them from a distance. Here are some of the most haunted places around the world:

#5: Poveglia Island – Venice, Italy

Can you imagine an island being so haunted that it has been abandoned? Such is the case for Poveglia Island, which sits near the maze-like port city of Venice. During the days of the Bubonic Plague and later the Black Death, Poveglia became a quarantine site, where countless numbers of sick folks were sent to die. These unfortunate souls are said to haunt the island, while there are also rumours of an asylum existing on Poveglia, during the 1800’s, where patients were treated horribly. Locals will not go to the island, believing that they will be cursed if they go ashore and fisherman will not work in the area, with fears that they will unearth dead bodies in their operations.

funny-haunted-house

#4: White House – Washington D.C., USA

Despite a history dating back more than 200 years, one wouldn’t naturally think of the American president’s residence as a site of ghostly activity, but it is in fact home to countless paranormal doings and is one of the country’s most haunted homes. Among some of the sights and sounds witnessed at the White House are Abraham Lincoln standing by the fire in the bedroom named after him; Andrew Jackson laughing or swearing up a storm in the Rose Room; and Abigail Adams floating through the East Room, where she hung the presidential laundry. And nothing is spookier than soiled undergarments!

#3: Banff Springs Hotel – Alberta, Canada

I always like to get some Canadian content into these articles and the Banff Springs Hotel seems like the perfect location to achieve that, thanks to tales of a family being murdered in room 873 (which has since been blocked off by bricks) and a tragic bride, who is often seen with flames coming from her wedding dress. Finally, there’s the ghost of Sam Macauley, the resort’s former bellman. Apparently, his spirit has remained on the job, helping guests to their rooms, while even unlocking doors and turning lights on. He only disappears when visitors try to tip him or make conversation with him. That’s my kind of bellman! While lacking the sex and murder of American Horror Story: Hotel, this site is still pretty damn spooky.

Next-time-youre-in-a-hotel

#2: Tower of London – London, England

Home to some of the most gruesome events in history, the Tower of London is a must-see attraction when visiting the metropolis… but you might get more than you bargained for (even with the pound’s exchange rate!). Some of the Tower’s ghostly inhabitants are quite infamous, including Anne Boleyn, who was beheaded in 1536 and has been seen roaming the site sans skull. Another area of serious paranormal activity is the attraction’s White Tower, where two small children have been spotted on numerous occasions. It’s rumoured that the apparitions are former princes that were deemed illegitimate and murdered, their skeletons found underneath a staircase.

#1: Sea of Trees – Aokigahara, Japan

Globally known as the Suicide Forest (as if that wasn’t enough to send chills down your spine), this woodland, located at the base of Mount Fuji is believed to be haunted by those that ended their lives amongst the overgrowth. The forest has become such a popular suicide spot – averaging 100 suicides each year – that signs can be found at entrances to the forest, pleading with distraught people, reading: “Your life is a precious gift to your parents” and “Please consult with the police before you decide to die”. A yearly body search is performed by police and volunteers, to clear the forest of remains.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Friendly Ghost

Writing this article confirms that the only spirits I want any experience with are of the alcohol variety! Have I missed a favourite haunted locale of yours? Let me know, although I may leave the ghostbusting to you!

Flavour Revolution – Chocolate

Running on Empty

Not to send anyone into a panic, but there are those out there (you know, scientific folks) who say that we are running short on chocolate. This is because of the costs involved and the commitment (up to five years) to grow cocoa beans. This may lead the treat to become quite costly in the future, which is why the Sip Advisor is downing chocolate bars like there’s no tomorrow… because there might not be. Here are some other commodities that are rapidly disappearing and may eventually cease to exist:

Wine

While there seems to be new wineries opening every day, across the globe, and demand for wine has increased greatly, production of the drink has fallen by 5%. Many smaller outlets just won’t be able to keep making whites and reds and people’s thirst for wine just won’t be satisfied. There are some that think the issue is more of an “Old World” wine problem and that “New World” countries such as the U.S., Australia, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, and New Zealand will close that gap.

wine-is-like-ductape

Tequila

Sticking with alcohols, fans of margaritas and general shot craziness should be concerned. Blue agave, the plant that is used to create tequila takes 12 years to reach maturity and worse, in 2007, disease struck Mexico’s agave crops, causing 20% to be destroyed. While there is a current stockpile of tequila, prices will certainly rise and with many farmers switching over to growing corn instead, who knows what the future holds for the taco and burrito accompaniment.

Coffee

While I’m not a coffee fan (in fact, I’m a member of the anti-coffee lobby), I can only imagine the horrors of a world where those that drink copious amounts of coffee each day just to function, don’t have access to their fix. We’re talking zombie apocalypse here, people! The issue stems from droughts, high temperatures, and diseases which have affected coffee bean crops. Much, if not all of Arabica beans could disappear by 2080, if these trends continue as predicted.

coffee-crack

Bacon

I may not care about coffee, but I certainly have a crispy spot in my heart for bacon. The salty pork product is a splendid addition to everything from sandwiches to salads and even works as a vodka flavour. Sadly, this king of all meats is seeing decreased production thanks to farmer’s cutting costs, a 2012 drought across the Midwest United States, and a little something called the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus. A worldwide shortage looms on the horizon and that is a world I don’t want to live in!

Water

When not drinking beer, wine, or a cocktail, the Sip Advisor can routinely be found with a glass of water nearby. I love the clear stuff and I think we can all agree that it’s pretty important to the survival of the world. As for the problem, I’ll put it this way: we don’t have enough water to turn it into wine and take care of that other item that is diminishing. The scary stat of the day is that by 2025, it’s estimated that two-thirds of the world may be forced to live with little to no water.

Flavour Revolution: Revolve

We have also exhausted the world’s gold supply, but that really only concerns Scrooge McDuck and his money bin swims. Over the years, the Sip Advisor has written a lot about chocolate, so finding the right subject for the Flavour Revolution project was a tough decision. I hope you enjoyed the article and didn’t scare you too much about the future.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (??? Sips out of 5):
For those curious, I found some good Chocolate Whiskey recipes at the Bird Dog Whiskey website

September 5 – Freight Train

Chooooooo-Wooooooo

Today marks Pa Sip’s birthday and in honour of him, we’re going to look at some of the greatest fictional trains. Pa Sip has long been a hardcore rail fan, so what better way to salute the man I shared some of my first drinks with!

#5: Casey Jr. Circus Train – Dumbo

“Casey Junior’s coming down the track, coming down the track, with a smoky stack. Hear him puffing, coming round the hill, Casey’s here to thrill, every Jack and Jill.” The fun part about this Disney parks attraction (based on the 1941 movie Dumbo) is finding yourself in the ‘Wild Animals’ cage. That’s exactly where a few of us ended up after nearly getting booted out of the resort, many moons ago!

Railroad Crossing

#4: Thomas the Tank Engine – Thomas & Friends

Created in 1945, by Rev. Wilbert Awdry for his The Railway Series of children’s stories, Thomas the Tank Engine quickly became the most popular character, becoming the titular train when the books were adapted into a TV series in 1979. Thomas, along with all the other charatcers from The Rail Series, was based on a real vehicle, in this case a London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Billinton 0-6-0 E2 Class.

#3: Orient Express – Murder on the Orient Express

While this was a real train and route (originally spanning Paris to Istanbul, existing from 1883 to 2009), it is perhaps best known for the fictional work, Murder on the Orient Express, written by mystery novelist Agatha Christie. The book, written in 1934, sees detective Hercule Poirot forced to solve a murder aboard the train. If reading isn’t your thing, the novel has been adapted into a film three separate times.

train track ends

#2: Polar Express – The Polar Express

Written and illustrated in 1985 by Chris Van Allsburg, this train received mainstream attention with the release of a movie based on the book in 2004. The locomotive picks up children on Christmas Eve and takes them to the North Pole for front row seats to Christmas prep. Allsburg based the train on one he played on as a child (the 1225, like 12/25), which was used for the film, including recorded sounds.

#1: Hogwarts Express – Harry Potter

Connecting the Muggle (real) world to the land of Hogsmeade, this is the locomotive that gets future wizards to and from school each year. To board the train, one must have access to the hard-to-find Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station in London. This magical train has been turned into an attraction at the Universal Studios resorts and in Florida actually takes guests between the two parks.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Freight Train

It’s interesting that almost all of these trains were first introduced in book form. Perhaps Mrs. Sip is onto something with all her reading and such. Anyhoo, happy birthday Pa Sip… I hope you have an amazing one!

August 22 – Salty Chihuahua

Dog Gonnit

The Sip Advisor is a cat man and if I’m being completely honest, I’m not very comfortable around dogs. It is National Dog Day in the U.S., this Wednesday, though and that got me thinking about what I’d do in the future if my little sippers wanted a puppy. So, here are the Top 5 canine breeds the Sip Advisor would make an exception for… in the name of love!

#5: St. Bernard

I know what you’re thinking. The only reason the Sip Advisor wants a St. Bernard is so that he doesn’t have to retrieve liquor on his own accord. What you don’t realize is that these dogs also come in handy if I get buried under an avalanche of empty bottles and cans! The St. Bernard – famously portrayed in the Beethoven series of movies – is incredibly adept at rescuing folks trapped by snow. Legends also claim that a St. Bernard saved the Manchester United football club from bankruptcy in the early 1900’s, when J.H. Davis purchased the team after unsuccessfully trying to acquire captain Harry Stafford’s dog.

St. Bernard Drunk

#4: Collie

These regal, beautiful looking pups always put a smile on my face. I’m specifically thinking of the Shetland Sheepdog (or Sheltie), but other members of the breed are totally welcome in the Sip Advisor’s good books. Border Collies are also famous for their search and rescue work, so I’m beginning to see a bit of a trend here. I mean, how can you not like this type of dog? Hell, Lassie is even a Collie… and a Rough Collie at that! Shelties are highly intelligent and to be honest, would likely outwit me!

#3: Shar Pei

One of my favourite fictional dogs of all time is Satchel Pooch of the comic strip Get Fuzzy. The lovable oaf is a Shar Pei-Labrador Retriever cross, but we’ll forgive him for an ancestry he can’t control! My favourite aspect of Shar Peis is their rolly-polly body type and wrinkled fur, particularly as puppies. They look so adorable, especially when they snuggle up into a tight ball and almost disappear into themselves. As the name suggests, the breed comes from China and translates to “sand skin”.

Shar Pei Hasselhoff

#2: Jack Russell Terrier

Perhaps the most famous terrier was the ever-animated Eddie on the hit comedy Frasier. Played by a father and son duo for the duration of the show’s run, the dog was heavily featured on the sitcom. Eddie’s not alone, though, joined by other iconic Terriers, including Wishbone, Milo (The Mask), and Uggie (Nintendo spokesdog). One issue that could arise is that these dogs have a high energy level and are in constant need of exercise and stimulation, which may not jive with the Sip Advisor’s preferred lazy lifestyle!

#1: Golden Retriever

This is another breed of bigger dogs that I’d be cool with, given their awesome personalities and behaviour patterns. I’m also down with labs of all colours… no racism here! The Golden Retreiver seems to be the presidential dog of choice, as both Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan brought them to the White House. The pooches’ names were Liberty and Victory, respectively. Other popular media to feature Golden Retrievers, include Up, Homeward Bound, Full House, and the Air Bud franchise, of course.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Salty Chihuahua

  • Rim glass with Salt
  • 1 oz Tequila
  • 0.5 oz Grapefruit Juice

The noble German Shepherd narrowly missed making this list. I mean, you gotta love The Littlest Hobo, particularly the theme song, which is a treasured memory from many kids’ childhoods.” Maybe tomorrow, I’ll want to settle down. Until tomorrow, the whole world is my home!”

August 15 – Time Bomb

Time Transport

I think it’s safe to say that we would all love to have access to a time machine. To be able to go back and fix our wrong turns or relive some of our finest moments would be an amazing ability. Now that we’ve decided we want to go back in time, all we have to choose is the vessel for our travels. Here are some of the greatest we’ve been introduced to:

#5: Phone Booth – Bill & Ted’s

When Bill and Ted desperately need to pass their history presentation (thus leading to the survival of the human race, of course!) a time machine is required to go back through the ages and learn from the legends themselves. The time machine was originally to be a 1969 Chevy van, rather than a phone booth, but that would be too close to Back to the Future. Today, none of this would be possible, given the phone booth is a thing of the past… plus, space would be kind of tight for multiple travellers.

Time Travel Hitler

#4: Toaster – The Simpsons

This is one of my favourite Treehouse of Horror segments, which finds Homer sent back into the time of the dinosaurs, trying not to alter anything from the past, knowing that it could have dire repercussions on his present and future. While he narrowly misses a perfect life, worrying that donuts don’t exist, he settles for an alternate reality that is close to the present he remembers, with the one difference being that the rest of his family eats with extending forked tongues, resembling a lizard.

#3: Hot Tub – Hot Tub Time Machine

I’ve always loved chilling out (or better put, warming up) in a hot tub, with a beer by my side. Had I ever experimented with the Russian energy drink Chernobly – and spilled it all over the hot tub controls – I may have ended up back in the past, reliving a portion of my younger life. At least Chevy Chase was on the case as the mysterious repairman, trying to help the gang get back to their present. I have yet to watch the sequel to this franchise, but it’s high on my ‘to do’ list for more histrionic learning.

time travel kitty

#2: Ocarina – Legend of Zelda

How can one little instrument produce so much beautiful music… and songs that really help our hero Link! The ocarina can change day into night and vice versa, summon a horse, and make it rain (the weather, not the cash at the strip club style… although it would be entertaining to watch Link throw rubies at Princess Zelda!). Perhaps the ocarina’s most important feature is that it helps Link jump throughout time, utilizing the Song of Time. We would all love to skip those awkward puberty years!

#1: DeLorean – Back to the Future

The DeLorean can take people back into the past, as well as years into the future – so long as you can get it up to 88 miles per hour… oh, and also have access to a flux capacitor! Early drafts of the film’s script called for a laser device to induce time travel, but a vehicle was eventually incorporated into later edits, with the DeLorean selected thanks to its unique appearance. Despite the popularity the car enjoyed, following the movie’s release, production of the vehicle had already halted two years prior.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Time Bomb

  • 1 oz Tequila
  • Splash of Cranberry Juice
  • Garnish with a Cranberry

Honourable mentions go to the TARDIS (Doctor Who), the WABAC Machine (Mr. Peabody and Sherman), Timmy’s Wheelchair (South Park), and Binary Code (Futurama). Even Superman was able to reverse time by simply flying really fast and spinning the earth in the opposite direction of what gravity dictated. If only it was that easy!