Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The other day Stacey was gifted a bottle of this elixir. BECHEROVKA.
Read some of the stuff I dug up. Sounds like things could get strange?

So what is the big fuss about? Many people will tell you that the presence of thujone from wormwood gives the drink psychoactive properties, but they may well be mistaken. Laboratory testing has shown that the amount of the substance needed to produce any effect is 8.5 mg, equivalent to an entire bottle of Hills (for example), but by the time you've drunk that much, you may well be either dead or passed out under a bar. Absinth purists will tell you that the pleasant effects are due to a "delicate balance of herbs" though they will also tell you Czech absinth "strays furthest from the original recipe" or even "isn't absinth at all."

Becherovka was created around the same time as absinth and also as a health tonic, but this time by a pharmacist from KarlovĂ˝ Vary named Josef Becher. The herb-based tonic was called the "English Bitter" and was sold as a remedy for stomach ailments, much like every other famous alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink. Becher soon started selling his "drops" in half-liter bottles and the "blend of fifty herbs and spices" became an immediate marketing success when the Austrian emperor took a fancy to it and the court in Vienna began ordering 50 liters of Becherovka monthly. Competing alcoholics boosted the sales and it soon became the Czech Republic's most successful and individually recognizable spirit. The taste is a little like Jagermeister but with a much more cinnamon-based flavor, more delicate and less sweet. Even though the drink is as strong as most vodka at 38% alcohol, Becherovka is a sipping drink and should not be downed, but instead taken in a double shot with your beer and savored, though the aftertaste may be a little too strong for some. On a side note, Becherovka is also reputed to have aphrodisiac qualities, though you would be hard pressed to find a traditional spirit anywhere in Europe that isn't. Whatever other qualities it may have, most agree that it is the best spirit the Czech republic has to offer, in terms of taste at least. Recently bartenders have been preparing a drink called a 'beton', which comprises a shot of Becherovka with tonic and lemon, for those who like their drinks long. The success of the first Becherovka cocktail has led the company to publicize a whole range including the popular Red Moon, which combines the spirit with blackcurrant juice. Radost FX has several becherovka based cocktails on its menu

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I have launched my own line of Tee shirts

O P TEES, as in other peoples tee shirts.

I buy 2nd hand shirts and tag them with my custom graphics. To apply my designs

I make a template from cardboard and when it wears out I will replace with new design. I will

make about 20 shirts per template.

I look for shirts with text that I think will go well with current template. I hand print

each shirt then wash before the ink completely dries. This gives me a worn look to match the

2nd hand tee shirt..

O P TEES are $20 ea. that includes s/h

Stayed tuned for photos of all available shirts coming soon.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


This is what I have spent the morning looking at the last two times I've had a space at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market. I set up my tent and my art and this guy sets up an outdoor kitchen. With a portable pizza oven in tow. These are truly beautiful pies and they taste as good as they look.

Moto Bene for the time being is oven-craft street pizza. It says so right there on his business card. It also reads "Have Fire Will Travel". And they will. Currently if you wish to have a taste of these awesome pies you got to catch Moto Bene at one of the local green markets they set up at weekly. The principle of the operation tells me this is the design. Work the markets for about a year, get the word out and then go bricks and mortar.

It's working. Moto Bene is moving 50-70 pies every Saturday between the hours of 8:30 til 12:30 or til sold out, whichever comes first. $3 a slice $12 a pie. Folks line up steady most of the morning because this guy, the pizza dude, the one running the show knows what he doing and more importantly he knows what going on around him. Once he has his fire going he starts hitting the vendors. All vendors at the Peachtree Road Market are local and produce their own product. So pizza dude is walking around grabbing fresh basil, chorizo, mozzarella cheese, tomato's, eggs all kinds of food stuff. Hell he used pink eyed peas on some pies last Saturday. Usually his first couple pies each morning have a nice, farm fresh egg that has been wood oven poached in it's center. Some of the produce he uses was harvested only 6-8 hours earlier. The meats and cheeses are all handmade, all natural and very fresh. All produced by people whom pizza dude knows by name. That's why it's so damn good. Cause pizza dude knows that by using simple methods and the very, very best ingredients you can not go wrong

You can find Moto Bene Saturday morning at the Peachtree Road Market, Tuesday at the East Atlanta Market every Thursday May thru November from 4:00PM to Dusk. Or at the Dunwoody Market. 1551 Dunwoody Village Parkway
Dunwoody, GA 30338
Wednesday, 8am-12:00noon

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

St. John day 2

Got busy here in Atlanta lately. Drunk and infested with poison ivy. Haven't felt like sitting up much, less trying to write, but I did want to tell you more about our trip to St. John Island a few weeks ago.

One of our traveling companions, Stacey and myself got to the island Friday.

We get up Saturday morning and don't do much. I know we mixed bloodies and spent time on the balcony. We are all three multi tasking. Reading, eating, drinking and conversing.

Around 3 p.m. we become a party of 5. Companions wife and 2 kids arrive the same way Stacey did the night before. Since the weather is dank and wet we decide to stay close to the condo. I stay real close as in on the balcony. The balcony is one floor off the street which is directly below. The beach is directly on the other side of the street. We are in the perfect spot. I sit and read and watch people walk by. The others head up to the pool and hot tub with a very expensive bottle of champagne. Everybody is happy!!

For dinner it's the Lime Inn. Our "host/traveling companions", if you will and you should, have been to St John about 20 times. They know all the spots. Beaches, bars, restaurants they know them all. This is one of their favorite spots. The Lime Inn is owned and operated by a young lady we had read about and happened to meet earlier in the day. St. John really is a small Island. I ate a whole fish roasted. It was wonderful. Bone in, head on and caught a few hours ago. It had a jerk glaze.

We walk back to our condo, you can walk everywhere. We grab drinks and take a walk up and down the beach. It's really nice. Nightspots on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other.
We plan to rent a car for a day and drive to some favorite beaches, bars and restaurant.
For now we all going to bed.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

the aura of the far Northland

Again, why I love this guy. You can't own him.
Auburn University thought they owned him for a couple years. WRONG.
The latest on the good Dr. John.

"I can get this project done in 2 years but I have a contract to work at
Northern Tier for 10 weeks this summer." jd

"Can't let you do that." auburn guy

"And I can't let you own me for 12 months on a $15,000 salary." jd

"Sorry" auburn guy

"So am I. I'm flying to Minnesota on May 27." jd

That's basically how it went with my major professor at Auburn. And he
basically said, "Don't come back."

The pull of the lake country where I teach a history program in a
fashion that allows me to practice the arts of music and theater is
overwhelming. And they pay me to do it.

When I got here, I saw Jay Timmerman.
"Hey Jay! What number is this for you?"
"Its my 13th or 14th season. Can't remember."

I'm sitting at the table with the chef one day and I say, "Hey
Christian, have you ever been here before?"
"Yeah, I was a youth participant in 1988."

"Really? That was the first year that I was a guide here."
Christian goes home and checks his map and low and behold there is a
signature on it that says, "6 August, 1988. John Duke."
I was his guide! But I don't remember him - he was 14 and I was 21 at
the time. There are roughly 350 crews that go through here in a summer
and there are about 60 guides. I could explain the math if you wanted
but the chances of one guide getting a particular crew is about 6 out of
350 or about 2%.

To get here this summer, I left my car in ATL and bought a 500 dollar
Geo Metro in Minneapolis. I met this guy in the hood by taking the bus
from the airport. It doesn't look pretty but he was a damn good
mechanic and the car runs like its made for the race track. Its peppy
and gets about 40 miles a gallon. We became good friends and I drank
beer with him for about 2 hours while he put a side view mirror on the
driver's side.

This is my last summer. I swear as God is my witness! At least for a
while. Can't wait to get back to my own hood.

Over and out.

John E. Duke

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Last week I caught the MARTA train to the airport, where I caught up with a friend and we caught a plane to St. Thomas, USVI.
In St. Thomas we grabbed a bottle of vodka, a bottle of tequila and a taxi. The taxi took us on a 30 minute ride through St. Thomas to the Red Hook Pier. At the Red Hook Pier we had a margarita then caught the ferry to St. John Island. In St. John we got a ride to our condo from the nice lady who handled the property. She actually took us by the grocery store which was huge.
We settled into our condo with this awesome view.

We are staying on Cruz Bay. Cruz Bay is a small inlet compared to the bay I grew up on. But it's much cooler than the bay I grew up on. The ferry comes and goes from Cruz Bay. It's just a 5 minute walk from our end of the beach to the other end where the ferry docks. The water is clear and blue. There are bars and shops everywhere. There is a street market and tons of restaurants. Here is a view from the other side of Cruz Bay. Looking towards our condo.

Later that night Stacey followed our tracks and we met her ferry about midnight. It was fun to sit on our balcony waiting to for the first sight of Stacey's ferry coming across the Caribbean Sea. When we did see it we grabbed a drink for Stacey and walked up the beach to meet her. As we walked up the beach Stacey walked down the pier towards us and the beach. Perfect timing! I handed Stacey her drink and she handed me her suitcase. I slung her suitcase over my head and we headed back up the beach. What a way to receive and be received on St. John Island.



God Hates Shrimp

Shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, mussels, all these are an abomination before the Lord, just as gays are an abomination. Why stop at protesting gay marriage? Bring all of God's law unto the heathens and the sodomites. We call upon all Christians to join the crusade against Long John Silver's and Red Lobster. Yea, even Popeye's shall be cleansed. The name of Bubba shall be anathema. We must stop the unbelievers from destroying the sanctity of our restaurants.

Leviticus 11:9-12 says:
9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

Deuteronomy 14:9-10 says:
9 These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat:
10 And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you.

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