I thought I could get the bathroom done in three days. Yep. Started on Monday. Help from a friend who agreed to set the tile I figured no problem. Well it’s Saturday and the Bathroom isn’t finished. The toilet is in, the tub is tiled and works but as in all rehabs it’s what you don’t see that will crush your spirit. Like the previous owner who decided to thinset the toilet. That took a sledge hammer and 90 minutes of chipping away the base from the floor. Like trying to find a plastic washer for the tub handle you already own. And of course the biggest oops – I dropped the toilet moment. CRASH!!! That truly sucked not to mention the dozens of trips to hardware stores. Now I wait for my son to wake from a nap so as I can finish the drain for the sink (gotta cut the drain pipe shorter) I figured I take a moment to post. Bathroom remodels. Yes they still suck and take longer than you think. I sooooo need a shower. Hey I can finally use my own!
In my quest to try as much whiskey as possible in this life time I have banded together a group of like minded drinkers in order to afford some of the more expensive bottles out there. Our first venture was a purchase of the Jim Beam Distillers Masterpiece 4th edition which retails in Chicagoland at around $200. This Jim Beam is taken out an then extra aged in an additional barrel. This one was aged in Pedro Ximénez casks which have worked some special magic on some single malts like Glendronach. So the question is how was it? Well to start with it smells great. You get the usual bourbon smell plus the addition of those sherry overtones. It really explodes out of the glass. It is one of the best smelling whiskeys of the year so far. The color is a nice dark rich amber. The taste is huge reflecting it’s 100 proof content. It’s got some heat, sweet, a tad bit of caramel as it fills the pallet with it’s sherry inspired flavor. This is a really great bourbon. But here is the big question. Is it worth 199.99 plus tax? In my world of Bourbon drinking it’s all about value. Pappy Van Winkle 15yr at $70 has incredible value. Not so much when folks pay $700. So while this is an amazing and full bourbon I don’t see enough value in it to make that reach at $200 when I can find great bourbon around $100. Make no mistake this is excellent work by Fred Noe and the folks at Jim Beam. I give it an A as a whiskey. In terms of what value I place on it I would have to say a B+. For most of us it’s well worth trying but perhaps not buying.
I listened to our current governor Bruce Rauner say that “It’s the political class vs. the middle class” today on the radio. He was talking about the state budget. The message is that our Gov. Captain Carhart himself is standing up for the middle class. While politicians in this state are mostly self serving Bruce’s position on unions is abundantly clear. They are the cause of many of Illinois fiscal problems. Well I have a question for dear old Bruce. If the middle class is made up of many, many union folk how can you be for us when you are clearly against us? How do you say you’re for the middle class but against unions as it is unions who created and maintain the middle class? Which leaves us with the truth about Bruce Rauner. He is for one class and one class only. The upper class. The 1% of the 1%. Most of all he is out for the greater glory of Bruce Rauner. If you doubt this look at the $38 a vote he spent to get in office. Next time he’s spouting this silly rhetoric please remember how well he pays members of his staff (now the highest paid civil servants in their positions ever!) while trying to cut the wages of all other civil servants (middle class). Actions speak louder than words Bruce. The middle class is hearing you loud and clear.
I have just came back from a wake that many of us have attended. The unexpected loss of a healthy, happy individual that we knew. Gino was my neighbor and an all around good guy. Quick with a smile, a story and a laugh. The last time I saw him I waved leaving the house as he played with his granddaughter on his front lawn enjoying a perfectly sunny and warm spring day. The two of them were having a great time. I was running off to pick up my daughter or some such thing. Little did I think that was the last time I would see Gino. Five days later my neighbor called to let me know Gino had passed. While we are all busy planning vacations, work schedules, summer camps, etc. we often forget how fragile life is. Thanks for being part of my life and my neighborhood Gino (you made a great late night after block party cheeseburger!). My thoughts are with your family today. You will be missed by all who knew you. God bless.