Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!
This is 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. A new Battle gets posted on the 1st and 15th of each month and six days later, on the 7th and 21st, I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.
Friend? Foe? Stranger? No matter, ALL are welcome. So pull up a chair, pour yourself 24 oz. of DOG BITE High Gravity Lager (or the poison of your choice) and turn it up to Eleven!
[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Saturday, January 23, 2016

TOP 10 FAVORITE BEERS (Or, MY TOP 10 GOES "UP TO 11") - Part 1 Of 2

"An alcoholic is someone you don't like who drinks as much as you do."
~ Dylan Thomas

"I called a detox center - just to see how much it would cost: $13,000 for three and a half weeks! My friends, if you can come up with thirteen grand, you don't have a problem yet!"
~ Sam Kinison

The following is a true story, and while you're watching it unwind itself, you might as well listen to Todd Snider singing 'BEER RUN'. It's a live recording. I'm not sure if he had his dog on stage next to him at the time, but very often he does. Well-behaved dog, too! Claps his paws in all the appropriate places and even collects tickets at the door before the show starts. Good boy!


In my 'Battle Of The Bands' (BOTB) Results post of Jan. 7, 2016, I linked to an old 'STUFFS' blog bit titled 'NOTES  FROM  AN  UNNOTEWORTHY  VACATION'. That blog bit is super-long, but to this day I think it's one of the best, most entertaining and humorous things I ever posted. It was all about a vacation that Nappy and I took together to Vegas and Reno in 2008. Below is just one of the stories I told in that blog bit. Remember this, you'll need it later:

Friday, Sept. 19, 2008: 
8:00 AM: 
We get a two-for-one deal at the Circus Circus all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. While we’re eating, I call Nappy’s attention to an extremely large woman and I say, “Watch, they’re going to fake a kitchen fire any second now and tell us everyone has to leave at once.” Nappy says, “Don’t make fun of people.” Within minutes, he points out a man in the far booth whom he says looks just like an older version of Alfred E. Neuman. “Don’t make fun of people,” I tell him.

On the elevator ride back to our room, a couple gets in with us. She’s tattooed and stands about 5’5”, weighing maybe 240 pounds; her boyfriend is a couple of inches shorter and weighs perhaps 15 to 20 pounds less. She gets into the elevator car and stands next to me in the back. He enters after her and kind of squeezes in between his girlfriend and myself, and then he takes her hand in his. I get the distinct impression he’s trying to send me the message that he’s there to protect her should I get some crazy idea to grope her inappropriately. And really, forget groping – if I had even inadvertently brushed up against her while our elevator car was in free-fall in the shaft as we were plummeting to our deaths, it would have been “inappropriate.”

When Nappy and I exit the elevator I say to him, “Now that was an interesting couple.” Nappy says, “I ain’t sayin’ nothin’. As tempted as I am, I ain’t sayin’ nothin’!” I protest: “Hey, I didn’t say anything derogatory! All I said was ‘That’s an interesting couple.’ Interesting can mean a lot of things, so I wasn’t making fun of them!” But Nappy just reiterates: “I’m tempted, but ain’t sayin’ nothin’.” I can only laugh… hard!

Last day in Reno, Baaabeee!...


On Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, I rode my bicycle to the Rail City casino in Reno to watch some NFL Football and drink some beer.

From the moment I walked in I could detect a slight burning smell. This wasn't the odor of cigarettes or even the odor of burning grease in a pan. It was that peculiar, sharp scent of something like burning carpet fibers or something like that. 

It wasn't really pronounced, but I noticed it right away. This casino has two different bars, a restaurant and an all-you-can-eat buffet, and several different gambling sections. I walked into a totally different section of the casino and again I could detect that slight sharp smell of fabric (or something like it) burning. I stood there and looked around at all the people and no one seemed to be aware of it. The dealers, bartenders, security guards were all going about their usual business, seemingly oblivious.

I thought: Well, it must be nothing. Maybe I'm just imagining it.
So I found a seat at one of the bars, put some money in the video poker game and ordered a beer. 

For close to 90 minutes I watched football, drank beer, and played a little video poker. By now I had forgotten all about the odor because I wasn't smelling it anymore and it was as far from my mind as was October 11, 1967 (Who knows what happened on that day? I might have watched some Roy Rogers on the boob tube.)

Then SUDDENLY! - UURRR!-UURRR!-URRR!-UURRR!... Loud alarms are blaring and white lights throughout the casino come on full blast and are flashing on and off, on and off. Then a voice comes through the Rail City casino public address system. He's loudly telling us that there's a fire in the casino and everyone needs to leave immediately but safely. He keeps repeating the message while the lights flash and the alarms go UURRR!-UURRR!-UURRR!-UURRR!

I get off my bar stool and I start to walk toward the nearest door, but then I remember I have to ride my bike about 30 minutes to home. And like I said, I'd been renting beer. There was no way I was going to make that ride unprepared, without first returning some of the beer I'd rented from the bartender. So I turned and headed for the restroom first.

I took care of business, washed my hands, and was walking out of the restroom when some man behind me said something about the fire alarms and the evacuation. I didn't pause, but merely glanced back for a moment. (To this day I'm not sure what he looked like, but I think he was tall and maybe in his 60s.) And I just said back to him, over my shoulder, "Aww, some fat guy was probably eating too much at the buffet and they decided to close it down."

This guy behind me started howling with laughter and slapped my back like it was the funniest thing he'd heard in a very long time.

Moral of the story? It doesn't hurt to prepare your jokes 7 years in advance.


On January 9th, I Emailed the above to my brother, Nappy, which started the textversation that follows...

Nappy: Hahahaha. that's hilarious!!!

Me: Amazing, huh?

Nappy: I'm sure he's told that story to his friends a million times now.

Me: Protly he has!

Nappy: I was laughing out loud.

Me: Better to be lucky than good.

Nappy: Yeah. When it's said in real time it's funnier than you and me just joking about it. Thinking of that guy laughing and slapping your back...

Me: Thank God I decided to take a leak.

Nappy: Thank God you had beer so u would have to take a leak.

Me: Yes! Thank God for beer!

Nappy: THAT'S the moral of the story.

Me: Methinks yer right.

Alright, folks, now that my beer credentials have been established, head on over to PART TWO of this blog bit to discover what I consider to be my Top Ten (plus one) favorite beers of all time. You can get there by scrolling down or by clicking HERE.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


  1. Al Bondigas here. Man, I can't believe that trip was seven years ago. Good song by Todd Snyder.

    1. It was also 7 years ago that the Airheadzona Cardinals were in the Super Bowl. It'll probably be another 7 years before they even get close enough to sniff it.

      However, that's an organization that doesn't even deserve to win a Super Bowl, so I don't feel too bad for them.

      I just hope Carson Palmer enjoys selling used cars. Although I'm sure he'd fumble his way through THAT job, too. Worst "big game" quarterback I've ever seen. The word "choke" doesn't even come close enough to doing justice to the Pee-Wee Football he plays when the pressure is on.

      It's a good thing I really don't care about the Cardinals or football all that much. Imagine what I'd write if sports were still a really big deal to me.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

    2. Yeah, I hear ya. When they, or any other team I sort of half ass follow loses, I'm depressed for all of 5 minutes. Then my stinkin life goes on. Remember when The Dodger's used to at least get into The World Series once in a while? Now, you know every year they get in the playoffs they will be done in the first round. But, don't the trees look full?

    3. HA!-HA!
      Yeah, the trees look full.

      But I told you the weather wouldn't matter. The Cardinals were gonna look like last year's warmed over pile of crap (with a kernal of corn or two in it) no matter what the temperature was.

      POOH left a funny comment in the Part 2 of this blog bit. (I think he may have lost his sense of humor though. It's probably with that lost joke book he used to hide under his mattress so his Ma... and the rest of us... wouldn't find it. :O)

      ~ D-FensDogG

  2. Funny how it seems people rarely take a fire alarm to seriously unless they actually see something on fire. I've never seen anything on fire when a fire alarm has gone off. I guess someday I'll probably die in a fire or have to be rescued.

    One of the most fun things about going out in public is making fun of people. My wife gets a bit irritated at me and tells me people are probably making fun of me too which is probably true. If I saw me I'd probably make fun.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. LEE ~
      Yeah, I think fire alarms, like car alarms, have "cried wolf" too many times for some of us to take them very seriously anymore.

      I do know, however, that there really WAS a fire of some degree somewhere in the casino, because two fire trucks rolled up as I was unlocking my bicycle from the bike rack.

      I was back in that casino about a week later though and didn't see any sign of damage.

      I thought it was very odd that I actually smelled it immediately upon entering about 90 minutes before the smoke detectors detected it. And no one else appeared to notice it except me.

      One needs to keep their snark up, and the only way to do that is with practice. That's the ONLY reason I even leave my house anymore. To seek people for snark practice.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  3. I wanted you to know that I read both installments of these (plus the very entertaining comments), but I really don't have anything to add. I stopped drinking beer several years ago when I figured out that alcohol often just amps up my migraine. I can drink some wines without feeling the damage, so I have a glass now and then, but everything else... nyet. So, I've not tried any of your Top 11 and chances are I won't. But, I still enjoyed the post very much:)

    1. Thanks, GIRL WONDER!

      The migraines were probably being amped up because you just weren't drinking ENOUGH beer.

      But, really, ladies drinking beer... I dunno, I guess that's just one area in which I am unreasonably, illogically sexist, but it just kind of turns me off. Can't begin to explain why.

      Of my Top 11 beers, I think the only one you would possibly like, anyway, would be the 'SUMMER SHANDY'. Maybe the 'SUMMERFEST', too. The rest are really strong, so unless you loved the taste of beer in general...

      Glad you liked the comments and the posts. I tried to include sumpin' for almost everyone.

      ~ D-FensDogG

    2. And there you have it... I don't really like the taste of beer in general. Ha! If I'm going to suffer from a worse migraine due to alcohol, give me a Captain Morgan's and Coke please!

    3. What?!! Do I look like a bartender to you?!!

      ~ D-FensDogG


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