September 13 – A-Sample

The Gun Show

Over the last two years, the Sip Advisor has become a bit of a gym rat (and not the type that wants to sleep with weightlifters!). As a result, I’ve been witness to some mind blowing behaviour that drives me crazy. Here are the Top 5 exercise room pet peeves:

#5: Letting Weights Smash Together

My theory is, if you can’t let the weight come down slowly, you’re lifting too much. This may not be a completely correct line of thinking, as some people prefer a maxed out lifting regime, but no one in the gym wants to be startled by the loud sound of weights clashing against one another just cause some prick wants to be a big shot and overexert his lifting. I think a perfect punishment for this exercise foul would be a guillotine-style decapitation at the hands of someone lifting too much to let the weight down easily.

gym-cat

#4: Unneccesary Devices

The only device a person should be bringing to the gym with them is something to play music. I can’t count the number of times I see someone sitting on a piece of equipment, staring at their phone and either texting away or holding a long conversation with someone. If you want to do that, get out of the gym and let me have access to the equipment and a work out free of listening to your latest drama. I also despise the folks that bring a laptop to the gym, thinking everyone wants to hear their tunes, you master of human audial enjoyment. Worse is the person who watches a movie and has to awkwardly balance the machine as they exercise.

#3: Using Multiple Machines at Same Time

I know that some people like to work out by rapidly rotating through a few machines, but in a small gym like the Sip Advisor’s apartment has, that means that you’re using up a majority of the possible stations all for yourself and it’s hard for someone else to get in and do their own reps when you’re not sure when this person will be done and how long you might have to wait for your next set. What’s worse is if two people are swapping in and out of the same machine and are taking it up for long periods of time, largely because they’re spending more time chit chatting than pumping iron.

gym-treadmill

#2: Using Machines to Hold Possessions

I really don’t understand how people can be this rude. Do they not realize that others might want to use that bike or bench that they have their jacket laid out on… and on that note, why the hell did you bring a jacket to the weight room in the first place!? It’s not like you had to travel far to get there when it’s within the same building that you live. Did you have a need to look fashionable amongst people wearing kits stained with sweat? Oh, you want to rest your precious iPhone on a bike seat like it’s the freakin’ holy grail?… well, then don’t mind if I “accidentally” destroy it with my rockin’ gluteus maximus!

#1: Not Putting Equipment Away

This one really draws the Sip Advisor’s ire. How hard is it to return whatever equipment you used back to the place you found it? So many times, weights are strewn across the gym floor and mats and those stupid massive rubber balls are left to roam the room. What pisses me off the most is when I’m trying to put heavy weights away, but I’m blocked from getting as close as possible to the rack by a wall of discs and dumbbells, making me have to lurch in awkward ways to return what I was using. These folks are the worst of society and should be barred from the gym until they can prove their rehabilitation and good behaviour.

Super Saturday Shot Day: A-Sample

A-Sample Shot

  • 0.75 Zubrowka Vodka
  • 0.75 Gatorade
  • Garnish with Pills

I would never criticize how anyone chooses to work out (to each their own), but I do want to share one of the funnier exercise routines I’ve ever witnessed: Some dude came in and grabbed one of those big rubber balls before doing two whole sit-ups on it. He then went over to the bike and pedaled for about a minute, before hopping off and returning to the ball again for another pair of sit-ups. He finished with a handful of push-ups and left the gym… and the jerk never put that stupid ball away!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Given the subject of today’s post, A-Sample (what athletes provide for drug testing) was the perfect shooter to pick for the article. Better yet, I wanted to make sure Gatorade was an ingredient and everything really came together. I used Zubrowka Vodka, because it’s made with Bison Grass and to the Sip Advisor, nothing says bulking up like Bison Grass. One problem is that the Gatorade is too light to cover the booze, but this is otherwise a decent shooter.

Jamaica – Au Pair

Dread Heads

Reggae music was born in Jamaica in the 1960’s and has since traversed the globe thanks to acts like Bob Marley and The Wailers. Let’s take a look at some of Jamaica’s greatest musicians from the genre:

Bob Marley

Marley’s influence spread well beyond his music, as he became a figure of the Rastafarian movement and even helped warring political parties come to agreements. “I Shot the Sheriff,” “No Woman, No Cry,” “Could You Be Loved,” and “Buffalo Soldier,” highlight the long list of hits Marley is credited with. Prior to the 1976 Smile Jamaica concert, an attempt on Marley’s life was made, but he only suffered minor injuries. Marley died of cancer on May 11, 1981, He was only 36 years old. There is a statue of Marley in Kingston, Jamaica and many of Marley’s children have entered the entertainment business, carrying on dear ol’ dad’s legacy.

Bit Da Sheriff

Jimmy Cliff

Born James Chambers, Jimmy Cliff acquired his recording name from the cliffs that surrounded his childhood village of Adelphi Land in St. James, Jamaica. Cliff’s first hit, “Hurricane Hattie” came at the age of only 14. Working with producer Leslie Kong, Cliff released one successful track after another until Kong passed away. Cliff also appeared in the movie The Harder They Come, which brought reggae to new audiences. He was the face of the genre until usurped by Bob Marley. Cliff was enshrined into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

Toots Hibbert

Dubbed ‘The Skafather,’ Hibbert is the leader of the band Toots & The Maytals and he might as well be, given he can play every instrument that makes up the ensemble. In 1966, Hibbert found himself in prison thanks to a possession of marijuana conviction, but his experience inspired one of his best known songs “54-46 That’s My Number.” With The Maytals, Hibbert wrote the first song to actually use the word reggae with 1968’s “Do the Reggay.” Hibbert received the Order of Jamaica in 2012 and still performs to this day, at the age of 71.

Peter Tosh

Amazingly, Tosh was self-taught on the guitar and he even helped Bob Marley learn to play the instrument. Joined by Bunny Wailer, the three formed the Wailing Wailers. After Tosh split from The Wailers and began a solo career, he released “Legalize It,” his pro-marijuana anthem. This, and Tosh’s defiant personality, led to beatings from Jamaican police. Tosh was even signed to the Rolling Stones record label before returning to his own. On September 11, 1987, Tosh was shot and killed by a man who he had given money to, when that man and three accomplices went back to try and get more cash from the artist.

We Be Jammin

Bunny Wailer

The Wailer in The Wailers, Bunny Wailer has been described as the best singer among the band and equally talented with writing songs, yet failed to achieve the same level of international fame as his bandmates. This could be the result of Wailer disappearing from the world’s eye for approximately three years after the Wailers disbanded. When he reemerged, Wailer didn’t miss a beat, going on to win the Grammy for Best Reggae Album in 1991, 1995, and 1997. Newsweek named Wailer one of the three most important figures in world music, along with King Sunny Ade of Nigeria and Brazil’s Milton Nascimento.

Gregory Isaacs

Known as ‘The Cool Ruler’ (which the Sip Advisor has to admit is a pretty wicked nickname), Isaacs is credited with over 500 albums, including many compilation releases. In the 80’s, Isaacs fell into drug troubles (who didn’t during that decade!) and served a six-month sentence for possession of unlicensed firearms. The drugs took a toll on his smooth voice, but Isaacs kicked the habit and worked in the industry up to his death in 2010, at the age of 59, following a lengthy battle with lung cancer. Today, the Gregory Isaacs Foundation carries on the artist’s charitable work and legacy.

Jamaica: Au Pair

Au Pair Cocktail

  • Muddle Apple Slices
  • 1.5 oz Appleton Rum
  • 0.75 oz Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka
  • Top with Ginger Ale
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Dash of Orgeat Syrup
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

Reggae music has shared a long association with marijuana, so if drinking isn’t your cup of tea, you can celebrate the songs in your own way!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (5 Sips out of 5):
This cocktail was a knockout spectacular. The Appleton Rum is so nice, as you get a hint of it at the end of each sip. Despite more than two ounces of booze, you can barely taste any liquor, thus making for the perfect recipe. This was my first opportunity to use the Orgeat Syrup Mrs. Sip and I picked up recently and it was a very welcome touch to the drink. I can’t advocate for this cocktail enough!

Poland – Zubrowkatini

Lest We Forget

While we prefer to take a light-hearted look at virtually everything we cover here at The Sip Advisor, it would be criminal to not touch on the Auschwitz Concentration and Extermination Camp in Poland, as we make our way through the country. So, let’s trudge through this major blemish on human existence and I promise we’ll have a drink together when it’s all over:

There were actually three Auschwitz camps built during the Nazi occupation of Poland. The first camp held Polish political prisoners with the first exterminations taking place in September 1941. Auschwitz II–Birkenau is where most of the execution of Jewish prisoners took place, as the Nazi’s enacted their ‘Final Solution’ plans. Finally, Auschwitz III–Monowitz was a labour industrial camp which served the Nazi war effort.

Auschwitz_Birkenau

A minimum of 1.1 million prisoners were killed at Auschwitz with approximately 90% of them being Jewish. Other victims included the Polish, Romans, and Soviets, although the Nazi’s weren’t exactly picky. The gas chambers were host to mass executions, using the pesticide Zyklon B. Others died as a result of the deplorable conditions, which led to starvation, diseases, and medical experiments.

When entering Auschwitz, prisoners were told that if they worked hard, they would be freed. There was even a banner overhead, en route to the camp that said: “Work Makes One Free” or “Work Brings Freedom,” depending on which translation you find. The sign was stolen in 2009, but found two days later in northern Poland, cut into three pieces, with the believed intention that the sign was to be sold to a Nazi memorabilia collector.

Ironically, 300 Jewish workers were brought in by the Germans to lay the foundation for what became the Auschwitz camp. Sounding like a professional wrestling gimmick match, the camp was surrounded by two rings of electrified barbed wire fences, as well as watchtowers. Auschwitz was the only Nazi camp to tattoo numbers on the left forearm of their prisoners.

Auschwitz Sign

Only 15% of the up to 7,000 Nazi SS members who worked at the camp were later convicted of committing war crimes. Camp Commandant Rudolf Höss and others were executed for their roles in the atrocities. Höss was even executed at Auschwitz, which is like being forced to return to the scene of the crime. In all, the Auschwitz Trials led to 23 death sentences, seven life sentences, and nine other sentences of varying lengths. Only one acquittal occurred, with SS doctor Hans Münch being released when a number of survivors testified on his behalf. Others involved in the operation of Auschwitz were tried in later hearings.

Infamous German doctor Josef Mengele (aka the ‘Angel of Death’… shouldn’t he be known as the ‘Devil of Death’!?) was based out of Auschwitz, where he performed a number of appalling tests on men, women, and children and had a fascination with twins, using them in many of his experiments. He would go so far as to infect one twin with a disease and then kill the other when the sick twin died to perform autopsies on both. He also preferred using dwarfs in his research.

Of an estimated 802 attempted escapes, 144 prisoners successfully fled Auschwitz during its reign of terror. There was also an unsuccessful uprising on October 7, 1944, led by prisoners (known as Sonderkommandos) working at the gas chambers, using explosives smuggled into the camp by women working outside its walls to destroy one of the crematoriums and the gas chamber connected to it. Unfortunately, the revolt was dealt with quickly by the Nazi SS, who only lost three men in the fighting.

Auschwitz Workshops

One famed successful escape involved four prisoners stealing SS uniforms, weapons, and a vehicle, and driving straight through the camp’s main gate without issue. Another couple tried a similar plot two years later, but were captured, tortured, and executed.

The Allies failure to bomb the Auschwitz camp or the train lines leading so many to their deaths has always been a controversial topic. While some argue the Americans and British should have and could have done more, others experts point out that an accurate and precise attack on the site wasn’t possible without great losses.

The Auschwitz camps were finally liberated on January 27, 1945, a day which has since become International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In 1979, on his first tour of his home country, Pope John Paul II performed mass on the train tracks leading to Auschwitz.

Pope at Auschwitz

Anne Frank is perhaps Auschwitz’s most famous prisoner, thanks to the release of her diary years later. Sadly, she actually survived the camp, but died in March 1945 from typhus at the Bergen-Belsen camp. Her father lived until 1980, as he too was left behind when the German’s abandoned Auschwitz. Other well-known survivors include writers Primo Levi, Viktor Frankl, Elie Wiesel (who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for his work condemning ethnic violence), and Simone Veil, who became President of the European Parliament from 1979-82. The oldest known Auschwitz survivor, Antoni Dobrowolski, died in October 2012, at the age of 108.

Today, Auschwitz is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to a museum, with exhibits that include prisoner pictures, their belongings, canisters of the Zyklon B pesticide pellets, and more. The location is visited by more than a million people each year.

Poland: Zubrowkatini

Zubrowkatini Cocktail

Mrs. Sip has been to Auschwitz with her sister, while the two of us visited the Mauthausen Camp in Germany in 2007. It was an eye-opening and humbling experience. To finish our travels through Poland on an upswing, here’s a link to a collection of Polish jokes.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
It seems nearly every recipe involving Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka incorporates Apple Juice into the ingredients… until I found this drink. Every time I see Crème de Menthe or Peppermint Schnapps in cocktail recipes, I’m skeptical about how well it will work out. This rendition wasn’t that bad at all. It gives me hope for future experimentation!

Poland – Warsaw Cooler

Da Freakin’ Pope

Poland has a ton of famous folks to offer as fodder for this Around the World project. Sure, the country can lay claim to dignitaries such as director Roman Polanski, astronomer Nicholas Copernicus, scientist Marie Curie, and musician Frederic Chopin, but the man born Karol Józef Wojtyła in Wadowice, Poland tops them all. That’s because he’s better known as Pope John Paul II… which, I’m led to believe is a pretty big deal. From this point forward, as we learn about the Pontiff, I will refer to his as JP2, his rapping name:

Despite considering a career in theatre as a young man, JP2 became an ordained priest in 1946. 32 years later, at the age of 58, he ascended to the position of Pope, becoming the first Polish Pope ever, as well as the first non-Italian Holy Father since 1522. In between all that, he was appointed Archbishop of Krakow and made a Cardinal (and here I never knew he played baseball (St. Louis) or football (Arizona)).

pope ready to rock

JP2’s reign as Pope lasted more than 26 years, ranking him second all-time for longest tenure as the head of the church. He certainly lasted longer than John Paul I (aka ‘the smiling pope’), who died one month after being appointed. At 58 years old when elected, Wojtyla became one of the youngest Popes in history.

When JP2 made his first trip back to Poland, after becoming the Pope, in 1979, 300,000 people came out to see their famous countryman. At one point during his visit, the crowd applauded for 14 minutes straight. I’m lucky to generate my own slow-clap whenever I serve a drink and nobody seems willing to join in with the ovation.

JP2 was an avid writer and averaged 3,000 penned pages per year during his years at the very top of the church. Combined, his works would equal 20 bibles in length. JP2 can also speak eight different languages. As you little sippers have seen over the years, I struggle with one language and it’s my native tongue! Another random tidbit: JP2 created World Youth Day in 1986 and it has since been celebrated around the world. As someone who is no longer a youth, it kind of sucks to be excluded from this party.

Pope with Bush

In 1981, JP2 was shot in the stomach, right arm and left hand by Mehmet Ali Agca (from Turkey), as his procession entered St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican City. Doctors needed over five hours of surgery to repair damaged done by the attack and the Pope remained in hospital recovering for two and a half months. The assassination attempt occurred on the feast day for Our Lady of Fatima and after he survived, JP2 placed one of the bullets used in his attempted murder in the crown of the Lady of Fatima statue. Shortly after being released from the hospital, the Pope decided to meet with his attacker, although their discussion was kept confidential.

The Popemobile already existed before this attack in various forms, but following the assassination attempt, the vehicle was outfitted with bulletproof glass. Oddly, the site of the murder plot, St. Peter’s Square, often hosts events where the Pope’s vehicle is open air.

popemobile

In 1994, JP2 was named Time Magazine’s ‘Man of the Year.’ This is an honour I’m still holding my breath for, although I’m starting to feel a little light-headed. Of the Pontiff, Time wrote: “His power rests in the word, not the sword… He is an army of one, and his empire is both as ethereal and as ubiquitous as the soul.”

Pope John Paul’s career was filled with apologies to groups harmed by the Catholic Church. In total, he delivered more than 100 public admissions of guilt involving subjects including the African slave trade, Protestant Reformation and burning people at the stake, crimes against women and women’s rights, inactivity during the Holocaust, and, of course, Catholic sex abuse victims. The only time I ever apologize is when I don’t have time to scarf some potato chips and I leave my potato bros hanging.

Making Mrs. Sip furiously jealous, JP2 travelled more than any other Pope in the history of Popedom. If you added up all the miles (775,000) he traversed over his career, you would have been able to travel to the moon and back three times. He appeared in 129 countries and was even the first Pope to enter a mosque.

Pope Computer

A fan of sport and the outdoors all his life, JP2 didn’t give up skiing until he was 73 years old. Can you imagine a dude roaring down the mountain dressed in all white and with that extravagant hat on his head!? Better yet, do you think they converted any of the chairlifts into a bulletproof, Popemobile style transporter!?

JP2 passed away on April 2, 2005 from heart failure, cardio-circulatory collapse, and septic shock. He had also waged a long battle with Parkinson’s disease and was 84 at the time of his death.

Poland: Warsaw Cooler

Warsaw Cooler Cocktail

  • 1 oz Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Spiced Rum
  • 0.5 oz Triple Sec
  • Top with Apple Juice
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Simple Syrup
  • Drips of Honey
  • Garnish with an Apple Slice

Pope John Paul II sure led a controversial life, but he was easy to cover than Roman Polanski would have been. Something about that long standing sexual assault case would have been too glaring to not spend a fair bit of time and words on. To the Popemobile, my little sippers!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I’ve wanted to try the Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka for some time and here the opportunity finally presented itself. The Vodka is very interesting and I’ve already gone ahead and enjoyed it in various cocktails, particularly Caesars! This recipe was pretty damn good. It was a touch sweet, but nothing too dramatic. Them bison’s make some good booze!