My toast for this New Year’s Eve

B&W photo: Man holding a glass of wine in a toast -- 'Cheers to the people who love us, the losers who lost us, and the lucky bastards who get to meet us.'

Let make this new year a great one.


I have truly been accepted by my American in-laws

Photo: Joey deVilla and his Christmas 2018 present: an ammo box!

Click the photo to see it (and that super-festive background) at full size.

Never mind what side of the gun debate you’re on for just a moment — the important thing about this gift is that it’s proof that they have truly accepted me into the fold. And isn’t that the True Spirit of Christmas?

The gift reminds me of this Saturday Night Live skit:


It’s happening!

Anitra and I have booked a last-minute flight to Toronto, just because the opportunity and some good flight tickets came up. Let me know if you’d like to catch up! We arrive late Boxing Day afternoon, and return to Tampa late New Year’s Day afternoon.


“No, Mr. Claus…I expect you to die!”

Cue the slow heavy metal music! Click the photo to see it at full size.

Have a safe and merry Christmas, everyone!


The making of a “Smokestack” cocktail at Copper Shaker in St. Pete

From left to right: Joey deVilla, Lyssa Adkins, Alistair Cockburn, Anitra Pavka.

On Monday, Anitra and I were at the Copper Shaker in downtown St. Pete to attend the Agile Social and celebrate the birthday of computer scientist Alistair Coburn, agile coach, and co-signer of the Agile Manifesto. I ended up playing some accordion for the party, and you can read more about it on my tech blog, Global Nerdy.

The Copper Shaker has a great cocktail menu…

…and one of the cocktails I had was the Smokestack (on the menu pictured above, it’s midway through the right column). It’s a Boulevardier-like whiskey cocktail made of WhistlePig rye, maple syrup, Peychaud’s bitters, a maraschino cherry, and maple smoke. The process of adding smoke to a drink made for some great photos, which appear below.

The bartender took out a maple plank and a blowtorch, a sure sign that interesting things were about to happen:

As you might expect, doing this creates maple smoke, which the bartender quickly captured in a glass:

The tricky part is quickly flipping the smoke-filled glass over and then pouring the drink into it. The bartender did this masterfully, in one smooth motion:

The end result was a smooth, smoky glass of joy:

The Copper Shaker is located in downtown St. Petersburg at 169 1st Avenue North, between 1st and 2nd streets. You can find out more about them on their website.


Paul Ryan and the dirty little secret of “identity politics”

Here’s the dirty little secret of “identity politics”:

👏🏻 All 👏🏼 politics 👏🏽 is 👏🏾 identity 👏🏿 politics. In the end, it’s about people, and who are we but what we do and what we are? When Paul Ryan uses the term identity politics are actually saying “These people do not share my skin color or ancestry, and therefore don’t count.”

Read more about Paul Ryan’s cognitive dissonance here:

And before you state that I’m genetically or ethnically incapable of being able to relate to Paul Ryan’s ancestry, you might want to read this.


Almost everyone loves “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse.” ALMOST.

First, let me get this out of the way — Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an amazingly great movie, and quite possibly my favorite Spider-Man in either big- or small-screen form (at the very least, it’s tied with Spider-Man: Homecoming in my mind). Go watch it!

Almost every review I’ve seen is positive. Hell, even the Washington Free Beacon (who do both kinds of politics: conservative and neo-conservative!) and Focus on the Family  (the worst thing they can say is that there’s a graffiti scene) love this film. But there are two notable negative reviews, and both are expected.

The first negative review is from Seattle Weekly, which is only a little unexpected because disliking something immensely popular is more of a Portland thing. Stay wacky, Pacific Northwest!

The second comes from a more expected source: National Review.

In case you’re fortunate enough not to be familiar with National Review, it’s the “respectable” magazine aimed at conservative super-patriots. I’ll remind you that the best description of a super-patriot comes from a panel in MAD magazine from the ’60s:

The review is written by Armond White, their resident nonwhite-film-critic-who-doesn’t-like-nonwhites (he also hated Black Panther). Here’s how he closes out his review:

The review shouldn’t be all that surprising, as National Review was once considered the conservative bible, and I’ll remind you of the best practical definition of conservatism: