Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Today is the Summer Solstice!

We are influenced by the five elements of earth, water, fire,air and ether, both internally and externally. Evening Flow on June 21st will feature an asana flow for balancing the five elements in the body and mind. We will end with meditaion for intention setting for the summer season. Happy Solstice!!
This is a complimentary class!! Please join us. There will be drawings for free massage, yoga classes and more!!

—If you couldn't make it to the event above, here in Wichita, buy yourself some mead, build a small outdoor Solstics fire and have a few drinks. Oak leaf wine is good also. Enjoy the longest day of the year. -SJ Otto

And let's not forget the beauty of the drink of mead.....and in this case, Oak leaf mead....

Sunday, June 18, 2017

It's Father's Day—This one is special for me!

By SJ Otto
It's Father's Day. I'm a father myself, with a son who is almost 40. He lives in Portland Oregon. I still have my father, but I won't have him much longer. He has lung cancer and has about six months to live. He is 91. So today we can celebrate the three generations in my family. I have no grand kids.
This is likely my father's last Father's Day with me. I hope to make the best of it. Mao Zedong once said:

"Living is transformed into dying, lifeless matter is transformed into living beings. I propose that when people over the age of 50 die, a party should be held to celebrate, for it is in inevitable that men should die- this is natural law."[1] 

I think that is appropriate for my father. My mother died a day before her 80th birthday. Both my parents have had fine long lives. I'm sorry to see my dad go, but I'm grateful for the years we have had together.
My Dad and I have had our differences over the years. My Dad used to be a Republican, a kind of Dwight Eisenhower Republican, so the far-far-far-far-far to the right Republican Party political trend has turned my Dad off the Republican Party for now. I have always been more to the left so we used to argue about politics a lot in my younger days. Now we argue a lot less and agree a lot more. I'm still farther to the left than my Dad, but that seems to matter a lot less than it used to. Today my Dad and I have a real good relationship. I don't remember it ever being better than it is today.
So today, my brother, my Dad and a few other relatives will get together to Bar-B-Q some meat and sit around the back yard talking about the good ol' days. My son will probably call me on the phone this afternoon to say "hi" and "happy Father's Day." From what other men about my age told me the other day, "getting a phone call from your son or daughter is about the most you can expect out of Father's Day." And for me that is just fine. I'm always glad to hear from my son.
My wife, Cam Gentry has already lost her father several years ago. Cam really looked up to her father, even though he was a lot more conservative than her. Her Dad landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day, during World War II. He was one of the lucky survivors. I know my wife still misses her Dad every year on Father's Day.
Father's Day is one of those little holidays. But this year I will make the best of it. Next year it may just be me and my sontwo generations, of the men in my family. I do have five living brothers, so for all of us the Father's Day situation is the same except for the one other son and the three daughters two of my brothers have. And those two brothers have grand kids.
So to all of you who have a father, or grand father, or great grandfather, etc., be sure and make the best of it. It doesn't matter how long we and our fathers live, it matters most what we do WHILE they are alive. 
My Dad and some of his sons and grand sons.

[1] "INSTANT WISDOM: BEYOND THE LITTLE RED BOOK," Time, 20 September 1976, Vol. 108, No. 12, p. 38.

Some sorta Father's Day (or Dad Day) songs

By SJ Otto
It's Father's Day and I wanted to find some cool Dad Day songs. These have some mentions of dad's in them. I'll will continue to look for more. But for now here are at least thress sorta dad songs:

Pink Floyd - Free four

Country Joe McDonald Hold on it's coming

Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall (Part 1)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Oak leaf wine- a great recipe

By SJ Otto
Several years ago I entered a bottle of oak leaf mead to a brew fair contest and it won best of show as well as best mead. I rarely win such honors so I was amazed to hear that I won.
As it turns out those tree leaves in folk's yard, if they have oak trees, make a really great wine. I got the recipe out of a book on Druidry, The 21 Lessons of Merlyn by Douglas Monroe.[1]
It turns out that Monroe's book is not all that accurate. But no matter where he got the oak wine recipe, it is worth passing on.
To begin with fill a pail with oak leaves, fresh off of a tree is preferred. Ad one handful of rose buds and one handful of chamomile.
Next put 10 cups of water in a large crock pot. Bring to a boil and then pour the boiling water on the leaves. Cover them, with a cloth, and let them steep for 12 hours. 
After the 12 hours, strain the liquid over cheese cloth or something like it. Next get the crock pot back out and put in 10 more cups of water. Ad 6 cups of honey. Then bring to a boil. Now poor the leaf liquid in the crock pot. Let the mixture cool and when it is room temperature, ad some yeast. To get the most alcohol out of the mixture ad some Champagne yeast. It has a high tolerance to alcohol and will allow the alcohol level to get real high. Put a lid over the crock pot so the alcohol does not escape. A fermentation lock may be used after the mixture is poured into a gallon jug if the brewer prefers that method. Otherwise just let the mixture ferment until it has enough alcohol to be a wine. That usually takes two to three weeks.
Then use a siphon hose to bottle the mixture into wine bottles. The wine can be aged if the brewer wants to make sure it is the best it can be- maybe a year. Or if it taste OK just poor a class and drink! It has a rich dark taste.

[1] Douglas Monroe, The 21 Lessons of Merlyn, (Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, Minnesota), 1993, p. 339.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Obituary- Our tribute to Gregg Allman

Who didn't like the Allman brothers at one timie or another. We will all miss Gregg Allman. Here is a fitting tribute to the lost and late rocker. And below that is one of my favorite ditties. -SJ Otto

From Bilboard:

Allman Brothers Manager Bert Holman Talks Band Archives in Wake of Gregg Allman's Death: 'There's a Great Deal of Material'

Gregg Allman performs on stage on the third day of Azkena Rock Festival at Recinto Mendizabala on June 25, 2011 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.
He may be gone, but we have not heard the last of Gregg Allman, who passed away on Saturday (May 27).

For starters, the album Allman was working on with producer Don Was will come out this fall, likely in September, with more details on that expected soon. And The Allman Brothers Band's archives still have plenty to yield via the group's own label and RED distribution, according to band manager Bert Holman.
"We'll keep putting things out as long as there's an appetite for it," Holman, the Allmans' manager during the early '80s and since 1991, tells Billboard. "There's a great deal of material [left], and still a lot of interest in hearing these things, we think. We're working on other stuff right now in the creative pipeline."

For the rest click here.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Good bye Roger Moore

Many of us hate to see Roger Moore go. He was a good James Bond and he was enjoyable as The Saint. But people get old and then they die. So we honor a great actor of spy film and TV. -SJ Otto

Roger Moore, the dapper British actor who brought tongue-in-cheek humor to the James Bond persona in seven films, eclipsing his television career, which had included starring roles in at least five series, died on Tuesday in Switzerland. He was 89.
The death, attributed to cancer, was confirmed in a family statement on Twitter. His family did not say where in Switzerland he had died.

For the rest click here.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Contributed by 

I’m at Native, a hot new cocktail bar in downtown Singapore, and there’s a bug in my drink. A lot of bugs actually, but I suppose I should have been prepared for that when I ordered the Antz cocktail—a mix of Thai rum, coconut yogurt, salt-baked tapioca and locally foraged weaver ants. The garnish, a liquid-nitro-zapped basil leaf, cradles a tiny mound of more dried ants, only these guys are bigger, crunchier and more prone to getting stuck in your teeth. And did I mention they’re local?
The brainchild of owner-bartender Vijay Mudaliar, Native opened last year with a promise of sourcing its ingredients from within an invisible line that stretches across Singapore and its neighboring southeast Asian countries. While many of today’s new high-concept bars take their cues from New York and New Orleans, Native is a wholly original conceit: a bar of and for the region it serves.
“I was inspired by the restaurant D.O.M. in São Paulo, which uses ingredients available only from the Amazonian region,” says Mudaliar. “We have a very similar climate, and the more I looked, the more I found that we could take advantage of all the amazing things growing and being made right here at our doorstep.”
Mudaliar isn’t the first barman to bang the locavore drum, but he’s certainly taking the game to new heights. “The idea grows like a ripple effect,” he says. “I started to think, Maybe I can extend this ideal to the spirits I use. Then before I knew it, our cups were being made by a local potter, our aprons and furniture were done by local craftsmen, and the bar’s playlist features a mix of local and regional musicians.” Even our coasters at Native are made from dried lotus leaves, cut by hand, and ground into compost when they’ve passed their use.”
For the rest click here.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Some Mother's Day songs

Pink Floyd - Mother

John Lennon - Mother

Motherely love, Mothers of Invention

Monday, May 08, 2017

Ramona’s Bar—The wild west and hippie days combined

By SJ Otto
There are a lot of historians who wonder what it was like to live in the old west. That was a time of near anarchy. There were many people who didn’t feel bound by the rules of law. Cowboys could come in to town and enjoy sex with a prostitute, gamble their money away and get as drunk as they wanted on liquor and beer, in the local saloon. Sometimes gun fights rang out.
A lot of that freedom was the focus of some of the old cowboy bars. People gambled and drank in them. They were often close or connected to the houses of prostitution. We get a glimpse of those bars on such old TV shows as Gunsmoke. But in the 1970s there were also bars where there seemed to be very little law and order. People went to these bars and did what they wanted.
That brings me to a bar called Ramona’s. The bar was located in Perry, Kansas. It’s gone now, but in its heyday it was a wild bar, in the late 1970s. The bar was owned and run by a big time drug dealer called Robbie Shaw. He was in the bar, many of the times I came in. He had some nice looking female bar tenders who were always pleasant to do business with.
The floor was straight unpainted wood. The walls were unpainted wooden panels that gave the place that air of simplicity. On the wall opposite the door was a mural that took up the entire wall. It was a painting of a train being robbed by bandits on horseback. It was painted to look like the 1800s. One of the bandits was painted to look like the owner, with a cowboy hat and red bandana. Robby was a tall well-built man, with long dark hair. On most days he wore plaid shirts and blue jeans.  He looked a little like Charlie Manson, only not as creepy looking.
The bar was a medium sized. It was a beer bar, which meant it was only licensed to sell beer of 3.2 percent or less of alcohol. At the time 18 year olds could drink that beer in Kansas legally and that is the only thing they could drink. That type of license was cheaper than a regular club license. Also for most of the 1900s Kansas did not have liquor by the drink. People had to join a club, if they wanted to drink liquor in a club. On one particular day some friends and I went to Ramona’s at about 1pm in the afternoon. I sat down at the bar and ordered a draw. Ann, the bar tender at the time, came over and handed me a gin and tonic.
“It’s Robbie’s birthday,” she said.
I just drank the drink and didn’t question it. Ann was one of my favorite bar tenders. She was a little over five feet tall, stocky but not fat, blond and she always wore overalls. I found out, one year, why she always wore the overalls. We both met up at a skinny dipping lake and it turns out she had boobs that went down to her waste. I figured out that she had a hard time finding clothes that fit her.
But, as with all the women there, she was laid back, friendly and dressed casual as everyone else did. She always remembered me by name. All the waitresses were like that.
The town of Perry was a small quiet town of less than 1,000 people tucked away in Eastern Kansas. Ramona’s was located on the town square. It had a small brick front face and class doors. A sign with the name of the bar was over the door with the drawing of a woman.  There was little outside the bar to give away what was inside. Inside it was filled with grungy looking hippy types and bickers. All the men, and most of the women, had long hair, wore blue jeans and the dress was always casual. A lot of men wore beards. A few people wore leather or denim vests. At least half of the patrons were carrying concealed pistols. That was before it was legal to conceal and carry a gun. Most of the patrons had pot on them, as well as other drugs. If there is one thing that was really different about the old west bars and this one, it was that 70s gunslingers often smoked pot and took other drugs as well. At that time, cocaine was the main trendy drug people used besides pot. It was not unusual to see people snort cocaine on a table over by the back of the bar. Smoking pot nearby the bar was expected. Shaw oversaw his own pot fields, which is where he got the money to open the bar.    
One night some young guy Robbie didn’t know, walked up to him and started talking to him. Robbie didn’t like strangers, so he took out a small 22 pistol and started shooting it into the air. The man immediately ran out the door.
Robbie was like a gangers and he was loud and outspoken. He once said loudly, “I don’t know why anyone would oppose nuclear power. The Russians have it and no one protests it over there. Maybe they are on to something.”
He was clearly a right-winger. One night I was talking about left-wing ideas and he pointed to a swastika tattoo and said: “You see this? What do you think it means?”
“Right-wing,” I answered.
“That’s right.”
My grungy street friends and I often walked through the doors of that place. There were plenty of tables to sit at and order a pitcher of beer. They didn’t have many craft beers back then so it was Budweiser. There was a pool table back along the back wall for those who wanted to play and the actual serving bar was on the north side of the bar. There was a big empty room attached to the north side of the bar. It had only chairs and tables so people could meet for a private affair or a meeting. I once attended a meeting for one of the Big Eat parties that local hippies had been putting on for the last ten years.
The Juke box had the usual mix of some country music and some common rock tunes.
It was not unusual for bickers and others to fight out in front of the bar. Sometimes there were gun fights. I used to get really drunk at this place and I’m sure I’m not the only one who did.
Maybe there was a danger to getting drunk around other people getting drunk who carried guns. No one ever knew what was going to happen at this place. It was a fun place to come to. Between the danger and the drugs and alcohol, it was like being at a carnival.  There were not prostitutes, but it wasn’t that hard to pick up a woman for a night of fun, at least on the nights when many women were there.
The old west was like a carnival when the cattle drives came to them for the end of their trips. That is how Ramona’s was. It was a little like the old west, but also like a free-for-all for hippies.

After a few years they shut Ramona’s down. There were too many gun fights out in the street and it scared a lot of towns people. The city council refused to renew its license. The fun came to an end. But I won’t forget my many days and nights at Ramona’s.

More stories like this can be found in Memoirs of a Drugged-Up, Sex-Crazed Yippie.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Buy I Am Pol Pot for summer reading

Want something interesting and challenging to read this summer? How about a I Am Pol Pot. Here is an historical interpretation of what the former dictator of Kampuchea might have been like if he had written his own auto biography. Written as a series of journals and news articles, this book will let the reader see Pol Pot’s Cambodia from inside.

From Amazon; this book is a steal at $19.16.
But for those who need something a little cheaper try buying it as an i-books, for $8.99.

Just click on those hyperlinks and the book is yours. Buy it for your own library.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Sweet Allie B/ Limestone Beer Co. for food and beer

By SJ Otto
One of the newest restaurants around today, here in Wichita, KS, is Sweet Allie B's. The place has sandwiches and wraps, but also has some dinners such as lasagna. I’ve tried several of their dinners, including lasagna and quiche and they are pretty good for the price. It hand an almost home made taste and texture.The atmosphere there is cozy and the main dining room is small. They also have a brunch menu, a full bar and a brewery located there. Limestone Beer Co. is located there also. I have tried their porter and it is very good. I definitely can recommend both the restaurant and the brewery.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Plus-Size Woman Rocks String Bikini for the 1st Time in 25 Years

A curvy woman who hasn’t worn a two-piece bathing suit in more than two decades is showing off her bikini body in some gorgeous beachside photos.
In the images, Sarah Sapora, 38, a Los Angeles-based blogger, wears a turquoise Cacique plus-size bikini by Lane Bryant while she dances and laughs in Malibu with a male model friend.
“The last time I wore a low-rise bikini I was 13 years old at ‘fat camp,'” Sapora wrote in the sponsored post titled, Show up. Play Big. Wear the Bikini; Lessons from a Plus Size Wellness Blogger About Being Free in Your Fat Body. “It wasn’t even mine; I borrowed it from a counselor and wore it just long enough to lay on a towel by the tennis court during rest period for 45 minutes that single summer day. Someone snapped a photo of it. I remember seeing it once, but that’s it. It’s taken me 25 years to feel that free in my body again.”
For the rest click here.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017


This is a subject close to my heart because I've always loved mezcal. It is one of those drinks with magic myths attached to it. But even without the myths, Mezcal is a tasty drink. I always buy a bottle during summer. -SJ Otto
From Liquor.Com:
Contributed by Kelly Magyarics
There’s much to learn about mezcal—so much that even certified master mezcalier Josh Phillips admits he’s not even remotely close to knowing everything. One notion he likes to squash as quickly as possible, though, is the misconception that mezcal is tequila’s smoky cousin. “We don’t carry many overtly smoky mezcals,” he says. “Instead, we try to emphasize everything else that is going on in the category.” Smoke, it turns out, is not its most interesting characteristic by a long shot.
“Mezcal is a product that is thousands of years old and made across an entire country. Every year, we learn new things, and that is what makes it exciting,” he says. To that end, the partner and general manager of Espita Mezcaleria in Washington, D.C., replicates for his staff his master mezcalier training. While the official program, overseen by the Mexican government, teaches denomination of origin, Phillips doesn’t believe that paints the whole picture. His proprietary version certifies “Espita mezcaliers” in three levels. To date, five staff members have completed the entire program, while several others have finished the first or second level.
Josh Phillips
Level one of the program focuses on the D.O. and legal definition of mezcal. (The short version is that it’s an agave distillate from regions in nine states in Mexico made from an approved list of agaves grown in those states, bottled between 35 and 55 percent ABV in an approved pH range and produced in a number of different approved styles.) It also covers how other regional styles differ from it and ends with a written test. “Most of our pre-shift meetings touch on topics this test covers, and we also have a written primer that all staff members get upon hire so they can begin studying from day one.”
The second level focuses on mezcal’s applications in the culinary and cocktail world. During a blind tasting of varietally typical ones, staff must identify five varietals or styles. “We’re not interested in identifying a brand as those change constantly, but if someone can’t identify a Tepextate versus a Mexicano versus a Tobala, they won’t move on in the program,” says Phillips.
For more click here.