The Man Cave

The Man Cave
Jack's Man Cave (Click on the photo to enter the Cave)
Showing posts with label Beer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beer. Show all posts

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Those Two Foreign Kids Who Moved to the Neighborhood

Those Two Foreign Kids Who Moved to the Neighborhood

Another stark reminder of an era gone by


I have a friend who is a fellow attorney. He's about ten years older than me.  When I took up guitar twenty years ago, he went to the guitar store with me and helped me pick one out.

That's because even though my friend is 5'4" tall, balding and weighs 145 pounds, when he plugged in an electric guitar at my loft, he unleashed a torrent of rock n roll licks like he was Jimmy Page.

After I picked my jaw up off the ground, my friend told me this story.

He told me about two kids he grew up with in his neighborhood.  They came from some foreign country and they could barely speak a lick of  English. The boys' parents could not speak any English at all.

The one kid played classical piano, and the other learned guitar.  The young one hated the endless piano lessons and played drums instead, whenever he could.  But the older brother who had the guitar got jealous of the drum kit and insisted they switch.

They switched.

The two kids formed a band. My friend learned guitar, but he was not good enough to be in the band. The brothers played at backyard parties, and my friend has tape cassettes of the shows.

As they got older, but before they could drive, my friend's mother drove them all to see concerts in Los Angeles, and sometimes on the Sunset Strip.

Leaving the show, my friend would ask the younger brother what he thought of the famous guitarist they just saw.  

"He's okay I guess," was the usual response.

The brothers' band had a rival band they played against in contests and with whom they competed for shows and parties.  The brothers stole the lead singer.  Or something like all that.

My friend the attorney is Jewish, and he grew up in Pasadena, California.  The lead singer of the rival band was also a Jewish kid from Pasadena, whose father was a doctor. 

His name was David Lee Roth. 

I know exactly where I was the first first time I heard Van Halen.  I was sitting in a treehouse with a few other kids, in the orange grove behind my house.  The song was "Running With the Devil."  The music started with the ominous bass heartbeat.  It was terrifyingly alien-sounding, and exhilarating at the same time.  It was unlike anything  I had ever heard before in my life- and I had listened to A LOT of Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath.

Van Halen's music, attitude, and image are the living incarnation of halcyon Southern California in the late 1970s and early '80s.  When you listen to Van Halen, no matter where you are, you've 'got a beer in your hand, and your toes in the sand . . . '

Will we ever know such a relatively blissful, carefree time again?


I doubt it.

Rest in Peace Edward Van Halen

© Copyright Jack Clune 2020

Thursday, July 23, 2020

3 Things My Wife and I Do That Drives the Other Insane

3 Things My Wife and I Do That Drives the Other Insane

Pantomimes, doggy bowls, and tile plagiarism


I'll be the first to admit it. I do a thousand things that drive my wife nuts. I should probably be put in an insane asylum for some of my daily failures of basic human hygiene and dignity.

That's not what this article is about, though. This article is more light and airy, and about the more idiosyncratic things that she and I do, that drive each other insane.

My wife and I have known each other for over twenty years now, and we've been married for nearly fifteen. Let's just get down to it, shall we?

Things I Do

1. Asking for the bill at a restaurant

When I need to get the waiter's attention to get the bill, I use my beloved grandfather's time-honored method:

I wave my hand until I make eye-contact with the waiter, then I use my one hand like I'm writing with a pen, and I hold the other hand flat like it's the bill I'm signing.

When I did this on our first date, I looked over at my wife and her eyes were bulging out of her head.

"Did you just seriously act like you were signing the bill to the waiter?" my future wife asked.

"Yeah, that's how you do it. My Grandad showed me that." I said.

"I'm not sure I can go on another date with you," she said.

2. Mansplaining songs

Every time a song like Lou Reed's "Walk on The Wild Side," comes on the radio, I feel it is my duty to mansplain the background of the song. I pretend like I'm explaining it to my kids, but I'm really mansplaining it to my wife for the ten-thousandth time.

"Walk on the Wild Side"

"You know, David Bowie wrote this song . . ." I say authoritatively.

"Me and Bobby McGee"

"You know Kris Kristofferson wrote this song. He was a Rhoades scholar . . "

"Take it Easy"

"You know, Jackson Browne wrote this song . . ."

Each time, my observation is met with a resounding "We know! For the ten-thousandth time, we know!"

3. Buying gear

I buy gear like I'm trying to forget growing up during the Great Depression. I admit I take the "having-the-right-tool-for-every-situation" thing way too far.

When the Amazon box arrives at the door, here is what usually happens.

"What the hell is it today?" asks my wife, bringing the box into the man cave.

"Oh, this wasn't even a fun purchase. This is just something I really need for our ski trip," I say cutting open the box with secret delight.

"A shovel?" What the hell do you need that for?"

"It's not just a shovel. It's a backcountry avalanche rescue shovel. See, it fits inside the backpack I got yesterday," I say, demonstrating.

"We're going to Big Bear Resort for one day, you buffoon!"

Things She Does

1. Dishwashing

I finish my IPA beer, and I take the last gulp with a flourish, then belch loudly and contentedly.

Next, I lovingly and painstakingly wash my special $12 beer glass that I bought at the brewery. I use the brush that we keep in the plastic basket in the sink. The glass is too fragile to put in the dishwasher.

My wife comes in the kitchen with the dogs' bowls. She grabs the brush and starts swirling it around the bowls filled with remnants of wet and dry dog food. She makes sure to catch every scrap of food, scrubbing deep to get the sticky parts.

"Are you kidding me?" I say with my jaw hanging and feeling faint.

"What?!" she says.

"You clean the dog bowls with the same brush as us?" I say incredulously.

"Oh gimme a break, their mouths are twice as clean as yours!"

2. Sleeping with the window open to "get a little air"

I climb into bed, timing it almost perfectly to when the "Real Housewives" is ending.

"Can you open the window, and let some air in?" my wife asks.

She's reached a stage in life where, let's just say, she likes the bedroom to be . . . cold.

The "window" is actually the full-sized door out to the patio. The door/window is on my side of the bed.

"Um, it's raining outside. Actually, it's storming," I say meekly.

"It's too hot in here. Open the window please," she says.

Fast forward twenty minutes later. The rain is splashing on my face, like Gilligan and the Skipper.

"Can we switch sides?" I ask meekly.

3. "They used 'My Same Tile' in [the bathroom, the courtyard, the entryway]"

My wife is very talented at envisioning, designing, and lording over the workers to bring her interior designs to fruition. She is proud of her design choices, but sometimes, it gets a little out of hand.

"Come up here," says the text on my phone. I am in the man cave.

"As soon as the [World Series Game 7, UFC Fight, Basketball Playoff Game] is over," I text back.

"Whatever. Rude!" she responds.

When the game is over, I go upstairs to the bedroom. My wife turns on the DVR, puts on a "House Renovation Show- Chicago Edition", and fast forwards to a two-second clip.

"See that?!" my wife says.

"What? What am I looking for here?" I ask.

"See what tile she's using there?!" my wife asks, looking at me expectantly.

"Yeah?" I say. Confused.

"That's 'My Same Tile!' She's using my tile. The same one I used in the bathroom!"

"Oh. Wow!" I say, still kind of confused.

"She's using 'My Same Tile!'" my wife shouts again.

Two weeks later. Another Renovation show in a different city.

I'm dead asleep, with the wind and rain splashing my face. Suddenly there's a violent nudging at my back.

"Wake up! Wake up!" my wife says.

"What's wrong?! What's happening?!" I say, terrified and reaching for my tactical flashlight.

"Look it's 'My Same Tile' again!"

© Copyright 2020 Jack Clune 

Saturday, July 11, 2020

What We Need Now Is A Lot More Empathy

What We Need Now Is A Lot More Empathy

Entitled jerks and loudmouths take note


I'm telling you, this Pandemic is really pushing people to the brink of civilized behavior. Just this weekend, I saw people acting so boorishly, it made me want to weep for where we are headed as a society.

This story is a follow-up to an earlier story.

. . .

Grocery shopping- Vons, Chula Vista

On Friday, my family was out on a walk, when one of our Boxers stuck his snout into a bee that was on the ground, and he got stung on the nose. His whole face swelled up. Now, this has happened before, and we know to give the dog an antihistamine pill, and he feels better right away.

Luckily there was a Vons grocery store nearby, so I ran in to buy some peanut butter and some Benadryl pills. Well, the Express line was packed with about 20 people in it. They were buying 40 oz. beers, and People magazines, potato chips, and all sorts of crap.

So I ran down to another aisle that looked wide open. Right when I get to the aisle, this chubby guy in "Stone Brewing" T-shirt, rolls up, with his cart filled with like, 10,000 items. He can barely push the cart.

"Sir, can I cut in front here, I have a medical emergency going on," I ask the guy.

You should have seen the sour puss on this schlump.

"There's an Express line right over there, what's wrong with that line?" says the Prick.

"Sir, are you serious? It'll just be two seconds here, and I'll be right on my way" I plead with the guy.

Nope. The jerk made me wait behind him. It took even longer because he had to sign up for a Vons Member Card.

. . .

"The Henry" Restaurant- Coronado, California

This afternoon, Saturday, my family and I are enjoying a nice meal on the patio, socially distancing, and frequently cleaning our hands with hand sanitizer. At the high top table six feet away from us, a commotion breaks out.

"Why is it my problem that the keg is out!?" yells this bloated, red-faced guy, embarrassing his cute family stuck there sitting with him.

"Sir, I'm so sorry, it will just be a moment, they're working on it right now," says the poor waitress.

"I don't care if they're brewing a special batch just for me! I'm thirsty now! Bring me a free beer while I wait!" says the entitled bastard.

"Sir, I'll have to ask my manager . . ." says the waitress.

"Well . . . Chop, chop!" says the Prick. "And if the manager says no, tell 'em to come over and talk to me. I want to tell them about this idea I have for when the keg runs out."

. . . 

During these difficult times, I think people should take a good look at themselves in the mirror, and decide if they like what they see. What we all need now is a lot more empathy.

© Copyright 2020 Jack Clune

Friday, July 10, 2020

Selfish Shoppers, Empty Kegs, and Member Card Hell

Selfish Shoppers, Empty Kegs, and Member Card Hell

Cutting edge solutions to major societal problems


During the Pandemic, I've had time to sit and think of solutions for some of the serious problems with our society. Here's what I have come up with so far.

1. People at the grocery store, who come up behind you with only two (2) items

Whenever I go to the grocery store, I load up my cart to the max and head to the checkout stand.

Inevitably, some person lines up behind me, with only two (2) items in their hands. Then they give me the puppy dog eyes to let them cut in front of me. Why don't these people go to the Express checkout line where they belong? Because they are trying to drive me insane, that's why.

Who goes to a grocery store for just two (2) items? Those people need to be charged extra for their groceries, and the difference should be credited to me. Or they should be permanently banned from the store. Unless it is me and I'm in a hurry.

2. When the keg runs dry

You order a beer in a restaurant, only to have the waiter come back and tell you:

"I'm sorry, but the keg just went out, and they're changing it. It'll be a few minutes."

Then the waiter puts everyone else's drinks on the table, and turns and runs away as fast as he can before you can change your order to another brand of beer.

So for ordering "the wrong thing" you are now thrown into the Purgatory of delayed, forgotten, and misplaced orders.

Everyone else gets their order and is having fun. Everyone tells you

"Geez, just have some patience!" or "What's the big deal?"

Because it's you that is suffering, and not them. They usually finish their drink before yours even comes.

Why not turn this most tragic of situations upside down, and make it a special occasion? Don't the restaurants make like 1000% profit on every beer sold? Couldn't they afford to turn the "tapping of the keg" into a joyous occasion, rather than a tragic one?

What should happen, from now on, is balloons and ticker tape should fall from the ceiling, and the waiter should announce with a bullhorn:

"HUZZAH, my fine fellow! Your beer is on the house, lucky you!"


"Is there any other item on the menu I can bring you for free, you Lucky Bastard, You!?"

That's what should happen.

3. "Member Card" Hell

"Do you want to sign up for the Catheters Plus member card and get 15% off today's purchase? You would save $27.00!"

Every time I'm just trying to buy a "Hola!" magazine, or a pair of pants at a brick and mortar store, they want me to apply for a "Member Card." They want me to give them my email, and social security number.

Then the store promptly turns around and sells all my information to teen hackers on the dark web, making $2,700 on the $27.00 I saved.

To rub it in, they train the cashiers to roll their eyes at me, and actually make me feel guilty and stupid for not applying for the card.

The new rule should be, any time a store asks you to apply for their "Member Card" and you decline you automatically get 65% off your purchase.

That's all I have for you now. I've got to go to the store. We're out of whipped cream and peanuts.

© Copyright 2020 Jack Clune

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