Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The joys of Absynthe......

absinthe is one of my favorite drinks here are some examples of ways to make the use of that particular



Pour the absinthe into a Champagne flute or coupe.
Top with the Champagne.
Flavor: Bubbly

Base Spirit:
Cocktail Type:
for more information click here.

Pix by Wikipedia..

Friday, January 06, 2017

How was Christmas in the Soviet Union/ Russia?

While we here in the US are completely done with the holidays, tomorrow is Christmas in Russia. So here is an article about the Christmas Celebration which comes a week after New Year than before. –SJ Otto
Translated to English by Google.
From AlternativeWorld/ Mundo Alternativo:

In the Soviet Union, a place so different from the rest of the world, also celebrated Christmas. With many quirks, but in a way very similar to the rest of the western countries. In the West the party went from being a religious celebration to being a "secular" vacation where families get together, giving a greater attention to consumption. In the Soviet Union, too, the secular character prevailed.

In the USSR, and even today in the countries that were part of the 15 Soviet republics, it is more important to commemorate the new year than Christmas itself. Until the year 1492, the new year was on the first day of March. This year was changed to the beginning of the year on September 1. It was Tsar Peter I, who put January 1st as the beginning of the year in 1700, fitting then with the Western calendar. During the 19th century many of the Christmas traditions, such as the Christmas tree itself, came from Russia. In 1914, Tsar Nicholas II forbade many of these traditions by being at war against Germany.
With the Revolution of October adopts in 1918 the Gregorian calendar, to be in agreement with the rest of the world. It is for him that the new year is celebrated before Christmas, since the Orthodox Church (still today) is guided by the Julian calendar, which gives rise to Christmas Day on January 7. Since then, the celebration of the new year has become more important, while Christmas is reduced to a more private religious celebration.

Between 1929 and 1935 Christmas was banned due to disagreement between the state and the Orthodox Church. In 1935 the Christmas is celebrated again. The Bolsheviks, seeing that in the capitalist West rich children enjoyed elegant Christmas trees and gifts, while the vast majority of the children had to settle for looking enviously at the rich. This makes in the USSR decided since 1935 to celebrate the new year with priority, with special attention to childhood. So that in the Christmas traditions, dedicate the gifts and the Christmas tree within reach for the children.
The Christmas trees were set up in the squares, theaters, schools, palaces of the pioneers, etc. Small houses were also set up in the houses. These in which they were decorated with all kinds of adornments made of glass or porcelain, headed by a red star at the top of the tree. Families would gather and devote themselves to many foods, sing songs of Christmas, and put into practice ancient pagan traditions of when the celebrations of winter were celebrated.

Day 1 was celebrating a big children's party. The children gathered in their homes the presents that appeared on the tree. Soon in a public place or in a square, the presents were given to the children before beginning a journey of collective jokes where the child was the unique protagonist. Those responsible for distributing these gifts were "Ded Moroz" (Grandpa Frosty) and his granddaughter "Snegurochka" (Snow Maiden). The "Ded Moroz" is the Russian equivalent of Santa Claus, and is always accompanied by his granddaughter. By receiving the gifts the children make promises concerning their behavior or studies.
The largest and majestic tree was installed at the entrance of the Kremlin, it was the tree of the USSR, and there came the Muscovite families as tradition. Lights and decorations with flower wreaths and papers made the streets look beautiful, the shop windows were filled with their finest produce, and people bought many things for dinner. In that sense, the Soviet Christmas was exactly the same as in the West. During the holidays, typical songs were played, films of the time, as well as Christmas cartoons where they mixed old traditions and Christmas tales with new entertainments for the children, the young inhabitants of the Soviet Union.

Last night of the year the families would gather for dinner and drink. It was tradition to bring new clothes, to eat and to drink a lot, with much noise, laughter and euphoria. "It will pass the year just as you will receive the other," commented all the Soviet families. Television was broadcasting the bells of the Kremlin, and at the end the bottles of Soviet champagne burst. Then the television relayed a special program with the main artists of the moment, and other celebrities like Yuri Gagarin in 1962.

Especially the festivities in the war years were harsh. In 1942, Leningrad surrounded by Nazi troops, the Soviet authorities decided to celebrate the feasts even in those apocalyptic circumstances. The object was to disturb the life of the children as little as possible in the midst of those brutal circumstances. In those years, soldiers celebrated the New Year by painting the tanks with a New Year's salute. Ded Moroz handed the presents in the Red Army uniform. But if there was a special party, this party was the one in 1946 where the sadness of the lost family mingled with the joy of victory.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Celebrity Deaths in 2016: Some of the Many Famous Figures We Lost This Year

Maybe it just seems like we lost a lot of famous people this year. There were a lot of them. It may not be a record year but to me it seems like it is. In addition to a lot of famous people dying, I lost several close friends. Tim Pouncey a local Kansas writer died last February. His wife died two months later. Tim and I colaberated on a lot of our writings, mostly looking at each other's work and giving ideas. I had a few other friends die also. -SJ Otto

From NBC News:
The world lost superstar musicians, stars of stage and screen, some of the greatest athletes of all time and larger-than-life political figures in 2016.
Here's a look at some of the many famous figures who died this year. Click through to read full obituaries.

For more on this click here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

We will remember Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher was a great actress. We will miss her not that she is gone.-SJ Otto

Carrie Fisher, the actress, author and screenwriter who brought a rare combination of nerve, grit and hopefulness to her most indelible role, as Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” movie franchise, died on Tuesday morning. She was 60.
A family spokesman, Simon Halls, said Ms. Fisher died at 8:55 a.m. She had a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles on Friday and had been hospitalized in Los Angeles.
For more click here.


With the arrival of dark winter nights, it’s time to fill your cupboard with scotch to keep you warm? And as we all know, with the bad weather come dreaded head and chest colds that never seem to leave for the entirety of the three winter months. And what is the perfect cure? A delicious Hot Toddy, of course! So if you’re looking for a dram that will warm your bones this winter, check out these five Scotch whiskys for wintertime.


Matured in oloroso sherry casks, this is a spicy and sweet dram that will definitely light a fire in your belly. It begins with a healthy dose of sweet nuts and cloves that create a lovely warming scent. These are joined by orange and tangerines, which lend a wonderful tang as well as sweetness to the spices.
The flavors continue to become fruitier, with lots of cherries and raisins. The cherries are dark and smooth and also bring in a sweet marzipan flavor. Of course, the fruits are bolstered with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. This will definitely have you heated up on a cold winter’s night. The warmth continues into the finish, where it’s joined by a slight hint of toasted oak wood and dark chocolate.


What could be better in the winter months than a wonderful blast of peat smoke? That’s exactly what Ardbeg offers you with Uigeadail. Nothing warms you better than a good smoky expression, and Uigeadail has plenty of that. It’s smooth and easygoing and begins with a nose of licorice sweets and thick toffees. These are sugary, with a slight hint of caramel in the background.
They are given a great blast of spice on the palate that combines well with the peated tang that comes from the smoke. The smoke is filled with memories of sitting by the fire on a windy December evening and will make you pine to sit down with a dram in hand just listening to the storms outside. The finish has a great cigar smoke hint to it, with a background of sweet black treacle coming through.

3. LAGAVULIN 16 YEAR ($110)

Continuing in the smoky vein of Ardbeg, there’s the Lagavulin 16-year-old. This is a dense, smoky and well-peated malt perfect for chilly temperatures. The peat smoke on the nose of this dram is exquisite and swirled together with sweet, spicy sherry notes and a hint of wooded vanilla. There’s a slightly briney tone to this expression, with the slightest, salty hint of ocean air.
On the palate, the spices really come to life and bring some dried fruits with them. There are raisins and apricots with some crisp apples in the background, all dusted with a warming note of cinnamon and nutmeg. The oak also comes through more on the palate, with the wood turning sweet against the spices. This expression finishes with more fruity sweetness, all wrapped in a curling whiff of peated smoke.


Taking a step away from the smoky palates, Glen Grant The Major’s Reserve is sweet and nutty on the nose, with lots of fruit and caramel coming through. There are crisp, ripe apples that give a nice bite as well as bananas and peaches, all combining with a sweet, sugary overtone. These flavors come together well on the palate, where they have a wonderfully smooth and creamy mouthfeel.
The fruits have a slightly spicy note to them, with a little hint of cinnamon coming through. There’s also a distinctly nutty flavor, with hazelnuts and almonds making an appearance. These flavors perfectly compliment the sweet fruits and make for an ideal late-night dram in front of the fire. The finish has a delicate and long linger, with a last nod toward spices and fruits.


Kilchoman Distillery itself is a relatively new member of the Islay clan, being the first distillery to be built here in 125 years. But it definitely turns out some incredible Islay malt. The fifth edition of its 100 percent Islay range is light and fresh on the nose, with a gentle whiff of peat coming through. This is continued onto the palate, where it’s given a sweet edge, with lots of caramel and toasted oak present. The flavors melt together over a peat fire, and the finish is long and soft, with a gentle mouthfeel and one final blast of peat smoke.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas 1914 In no man's land/ Bad Religion - Father Christmas

Here are my last two Christmas ditties for 2016. Enjoy them. -SJ Otto

Bad Religion - Father Christmas

Friday, December 23, 2016

John Lennon -"Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"

This is one of my favorite Christmas time ditty. I especially have liked John Lennon as one of my favorite song writers of all times. I'm really glad he wrote his own Christmas song. -SJ Otto

Thursday, December 22, 2016





Step 1
It takes more than a great Margarita to advance in the competition. You'll need to take a tequila quiz. But luckily, you’ll have access to a video that covers the story of the spirit (and the answers to the quiz.) Be sure you to watch closely, because acing it will bring you closer to the last tequila-producing hacienda in Mexico.

Step 2
Sometimes a cocktail says it all. But in this competition, you also have to share who you are, where you work and some more basic info before starting down the Road to the Hacienda.

Step 3
This competition isn’t asking you to make just any cocktail. Only variations on the classic Herradura margarita will be accepted, so you’ll need to know what that means before starting your recipe. So it would not be wise to skim over this section.

Step 4
Once you’re well-versed in the Horseshoe Margarita, you’ll be asked to submit your own. The winning recipes will remain true to the classic horseshoe style, but also bring in elements from where you come from. So use locally-inspired ingredients, techniques or whatever helps your margarita stand out.

Don't forget to try some Sparkling Wine.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Ramones - Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)

Buy I Am Pol Pot for the holidays

As the holiday's approach many of you are looking for that perfact gift—one that is not just a lot of junk that no one really needs or wants. How about a book. And that brings me to I Am Pol Pot. Here is an historical interpretation of what the former dictator of Kampucheamight  have been like if he had written his own auto biography.

From Amazon; this book is a steal at $19.16.
But for those who need something a little cheaper trie buying it as an i-books, for $8.99.
Just click on those hyperlinks and the book is yours. Buy it as a gift or for your own library.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Goodbye Greg Lake- 1970s progressive rock scene

Greg Lake was a great musician and composer of the 1970s progressive rock scene. He is best known for his work with Emerson, Lake and Palmer. He was also part of the band King Crimson, which has always been one of my favorite progressive rock bands. He died last week, of cancer. His contribution to rock music will not be forgotten. -SJ Otto

Greg Lake, of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Dies at 69

Greg Lake, a singer, guitarist and songwriter who was a founding member of the 1970s progressive-rock bands King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, died on Wednesday in London. He was 69.
The cause was cancer, his longtime manager, Stewart Young, wrote in a post on Mr. Lake’s Facebook page. His death came nine months after Mr. Lake’s former bandmate, Keith Emerson, committed suicide.
Mr. Lake was a seminal figure in the movement to Europeanize rock ’n’ roll by blending it with classical music and presenting it with symphonic grandeur. “In the Court of the Crimson King,” the first King Crimson album, has often been cited as the first progressive rock album and the model for the others that followed.
The movement reached its swelling, grandiose climax in the work of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, whose adaptations of classical compositions and lengthy tracks, given operatic expression in lavish stage shows, epitomized the vaulting ambition of a style that was vehemently repudiated with the rise of punk in the late 1970s

For the rest click here.

I Believe In Father Christmas - Greg Lake

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

It’s time for educational toys- this Christmas

It is time to think about toys. And the only thing better than toys for children are educational toys for children. So check out the Wonder Workshop. This is the best place to try for toys this season.

Just click here.

Alice Cooper - Santa Claws is coming to town