Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Bees Knees Week Sept. 25 - Oct. 1

Barr Hill Gin, the perfect base for the Bee’s Knees cocktail, is partnering with bee and pollinator organizations to help save the bees.
Join them in raising awareness and funds for this essential cause.

For more on this click here.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Good bye Martin Landau

Martin Landau was a very talented actor. He will be missed by his many fans. Possibly his best work was that of Bela Lugosi in the film Ed Woods. (SJ Otto) From The Hollywood Reporter:

His résumé includes 'Mission: Impossible,' 'Tucker: The Man and His Dream' and 'North by Northwest.' It does not, however, include 'Star Trek.'

Martin Landau, the all-purpose actor who showcased his versatility as a master of disguise on the Mission: Impossible TV series and as a broken-down Bela Lugosi in his Oscar-winning performance in Ed Wood, has died. He was 89.
Landau, who shot to fame by playing a homosexual henchman in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 classic North by Northwest, died Saturday of "unexpected complications" after a brief stay at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, his rep confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.

For the rest  click here.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


No one understands the intersection of drinking and culture quite like the Italians do. From morning to night, there’s a drink for every moment. Go ahead: Drink Italian. It’s a way of life.
That precious time between finishing work and starting dinner goes by many names, from cocktail hour to happy hour. The Italians call it aperitivo hour, which is a cornerstone of the country’s rich, vibrant cocktail culture.
Those hours, usually between 6 and 8 p.m., shouldn’t be spent hunting down the best drink specials. Celebrate aperitivo hour by drinking something truly special. Follow these steps to enjoy Italian cocktail culture before dinner.


The simplest way of lending Italian authenticity to your aperitivo hour is by picking up a bottle of a true Italian aperitivo. That means Aperol, Campari or Cinzano 1757. Each of these were traditionally thought to stimulate the appetite, but that’s not the reason they’re perfect for pre-dinner drinks. Aperitivos are also light, vibrant and relatively low in alcohol content.
They can all certainly be enjoyed on the rocks, but why not have some fun with these Italian originals?


Stocked up on your apéritif of choice? Good, because you’ll be using it to mix an authentic Italian cocktail for guests to enjoy as they wind down from a long day. Picking Aperol would make you a real crowd pleaser, since the fizzy, bright Aperol Spritz is Italy’s most popular cocktail with a straightforward 3-2-1 recipe of three parts Cinzano Prosecco D.O.C., two parts Aperol and one splash of soda water.
Should you prefer something a little more classic, you can grab Campari and make Italy’s most iconic cocktail, the Negroni. The simple 1-1-1 (equal-parts) recipe will allow you to mix up a great cocktail without spending more than a moment away from your aperitivo hour guests.
Of course, there’s no need to choose just one of these amazing and authentic spirits. You can always make an Americano, featuring an irresistible mix of Cinzano 1757 sweet vermouth and Campari.


Italy’s cocktail and culinary cultures are impossible to separate, and why even try? Explore the lighter side of Italian food to pair with your cocktails.
You can save the heavy pastas for dinner. Aperitivo hour is the perfect time to enjoy cured meats, cheeses and fresh vegetables. Even putting out some nuts or olives is enough to add a taste of Italy to your evening.
For the rest click here.

Friday, June 30, 2017

What does the Fourth of July holiday mean to me?

By SJ Otto
This Fourth of July I know what is important. We need fireworks, plenty of meat to cook out with and lots of beer.

For the fireworks we have day time things, such as firecrackers, smoke bombs, snakes made of glowing ash and parachutes (Those are the tubes that explode and send up a paper parachute with a weight to make it fall and look like a man is parachuting).
We all love the sound of firecrackers in the morning and afternoon. By nightfall, we want to send up rockets. We want to hold Roman Candles and sparklers. We want all types of exploding showers of sparks and colored lights.

Then there is the afternoon Bar-B-Q. I really like the brats myself. Then there are hamburgers, hotdogs and maybe some filet mignon. They are all good with Bar-B-Q sauce. Other needed foods include chips, devilled eggs and potato salad.

Then a nice smooth beer seems in order. For those who want a little more alcohol we can have whiskey, rum or vodka shots. Wine coolers are a must for some women. Some guys like them too.
So now we are ready for a great day of cooking out and enjoying the hot weather. (A swimming pool helps with that.)
We are now ready for great Forth of July celebration. I'll be reporting with more on this later.   

FREEDOM TIME, 4th of July Special

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