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Archive for March, 2020

When I was in college, someone introduced me to pure grain alcohol through a product named Everclear.

Everclear is legal moonshine and it will burn going down when you drink it. We could buy it by the pint at the K&B drugstore.

Pure grain alcohol will also burn if you spit it into a fire. So I did, at every fraternity party where we had a fire going.

I’d stand by the fireplace sipping until someone asked what I was drinking. Then I’d take a sip and spit it into the fire. It would flare up. “Moonshine,” I’d say, “Want some?”

It was fun. But what we really used it for was to make “jungle juice.” (Google it, if you’re not familiar. I don’t have time to explain.) It ate the galvanize off of the garbage can we used to make jungle juice.

Fast-forward 45 years. Coronovirus has caused hoarders from all over (and a couple of nitwits in Chattanooga) to buy up all the hand sanitizer in Middle Tennessee.

The local news had a segment on how to make your own using liquor with a high alcohol content, along with aloe vera to make your own hand sanitizer. 

“Everclear” was the first thing that popped into my head.

I drove around town looking for aloe vera gel, but everywhere was sold out. But the local pharmacy had glycerine in a small bottle, so I bought one and then stopped at the liquor store and picked up a pint of “Golden Grain” pure grain alcohol, 190 proof, 95% alcohol by volume.

When I got home, I took out my 1-cup measuring cup. I poured the alcohol to the 2/3rd cup mark and then added glycerine until the mixture rose to the 1 cup line. I poured it into a mixing bowl and added 5 drops of peppermint extract essential oil then whisked it all together until it was fully blended.

I put some in a 3-ounce bottle I bought to use when I fly (but never used). The rest went into a cleaned out Dawn squeeze bottle. I use the small bottle whenever I venture out, putting a few drops in my hand after every stop at a store.

Everclear killed a lot of my brain cells in college. I eventually partied my way to a 1.8 grade point average, so I dropped out and went to work offshore. By then, I’d moved on to something a little mellower, Jack Daniel’s. I eventually quit Jack, too, and went back to college and earned my degree when I was 30.

But some of those brain cells were really just put into hibernation and when the right circumstance came along, woke up and reminded me.

I guess you never really forget what you learn.

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I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am growing old. By the CDC’s measure tonight, I am elderly and should stay home, which I have been doing. For the most part.
 
I have 3 rooms in my house and with only one of them — the bathroom — is there rarely any question why I walked in.

I am forgetful, to say the least.

 
Because I live alone in the woods in the middle of nowhere, there’s no delivery service outside of FedEx, UPS and the Postal Service for me. So I go into town every few days to buy perishables because, well, they perish if not consumed in a day or two.
 
Ice is one of those. I know. I can make my own. But for $2, I can buy a bag that fills a quarter of my freezer. So I buy it. Twice a week.
 
Tonight, I picked up some Diet Dr. Pepper, and some low-carb snacks to go along with the healthy food I bought yesterday. And a bag of ice, which I put on the floor of my car behind the driver’s seat. The rest of the groceries got loaded in the back of the SUV since I have no trunk. 
 
When I got home, I had to pee really bad, so I started to race into the one room where I never forget why I’m there, but saw a tree and remembered I live in the woods. Yay, me. Yay, tree. Crisis averted.
 
Afterwards I grabbed the groceries and went inside. I put them away, stripped down to my drawers (because I live alone in the woods in the middle of nowhere) and started watching TV. NCIS: New Orleans had a double feature tonight, so I settled into my recliner to watch.

About halfway through the first episode, I got up to get something to drink, opened the freezer to get some ice and … Ice. Shit. It’s been in the car for an hour.

I grabbed my keys from the bedroom, slipped on some shoes and ran out to the car thinking along the way that I was smart to buy rubber mats when I bought the RAV4. But it’s 40 degrees outside and the ice hadn’t started to melt. Another crisis averted.

The rest of the evening has been uneventful. Until now. Shit. Where did I put the car keys?

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