Wednesday, September 25, 2013


In the news this week, select Sam's Clubs across the country are offering Jack Daniel's Tennessee Sipping Whiskey by the barrel.

It still makes me giggle when I call it "sipping whiskey"!

I mean, who really sips this stuff?

Yes, for only $7,680, you can own an entire barrel of Jack!

A little something for that hard-to-buy-for Captain on your Christmas list, perhaps?

But as cool as that sounds, here's what you need to know before you pull out your membership card:

1) "People in the know" have told me you don't actually get a barrel of booze. You get the barrel, but the barrel is empty - the booze has already been bottled.

Which is just fine. I mean, what are you going to do with a  full barrel of whiskey? Bob for apples?

2) If you haven't been "sipping" your whiskey, you might not have noticed that the price is a little steep. Assuming the 50 gallon barrel is full, that equals 252 bottles (750 ml per bottle). At Sam's Club prices (see photo above), a bottle of black label Jack Daniel's costs $19.98.

Do the math and you will discover you are paying $2,645 just for the barrel!

But it's still a cool gift for that special someone!

And if that special someone is the Captain, you'll receive a hand-written thank you note and a bottle or two of Jack in return!

The Captain can't stand that stuff... but the barrel would be cool!

And now, this Public Service Announcement:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

Judge Not...?

Happy Friday the 13th! I hope you have a great day! Regardless, my blog post should make you feel better about yourself today.

At the risk of sounding judgmental, I feel the need to comment on an item in the news this week.

You may have heard of the recent moratorium in the porn industry in California. Since mid-August, at least three porn stars have tested positive for HIV. The first, an actress named Cameron Bay.

This week, Cameron gave an exclusive interview to Huffington Post. This is her story:

A year ago, Ms. Bay was down on her luck and, by her own account, was hoping to re-build her life. She started working as an escort.

[Cue loud screeching sound.]

She is trying to re-build her life by becoming an escort?! How bad was her life before?

[A little research via the internet shows Cameron Bay, under a variety of professional names, has been working in porn since 2010. She has appeared in Playboy, Hustler, and on several dot-com porn sites.]

But wait. Let's not judge. Go ahead, Ms. Bay. You were saying?

Then, a few months ago, she landed her first role in a porn movie. The script called for her to have sex with ten men.

And she did.

Without condoms.

Even though that is the law in California.

[What you hear now is the sound of the Captain banging his head on the table.]

Claiming to be new to the industry (see resume above) and naive to the ways of the world, Cameron feared she would be replaced if she complained.

"Oh, Ashley!"
Certainly understandable. You don't want to lose a great job like that over a little thing like protection from life-threatening sexually transmitted diseases!

And apparently there is an abundance of women lining up to be filmed having kinky sex with ten men at a time!

After having sex performing with the first five men, Cameron developed a severe kidney infection. She sat out for weeks before returning to complete the film.

The final scene involved BDSM (go ask your mother!) and anal sex (go ask your father!). She was told a condom was optional. She decided to leave that up to the guy.

Captain's Note to all the women of the world: This is a bad idea! A very, very bad idea!

Cameron decided to see a doctor when she heard that a co-worker tested positive for Hepatitis-C. To her dismay, her test results came back positive for HIV. She felt compelled to go public with the discovery because (again, in her words) the porn industry is so small.

She obviously hasn't spent a lot of time surfing the internet!

Naturally, Cameron has no idea from whom she contracted the illness - did I mention her boyfriend stars in gay porn and has since tested positive as well? - and she laments that her career in porn movies is now over.

So now she has come forward to warn other women who might also be seeking the glamorous life of the porn celebrity. And she is challenging the industry standards of once-per-month HIV testing.

Cameron's take-away from all of this - had she known then what she knows now, she would have insisted on the male performers using condoms.

Nothing about the exploitation of women? Nothing about self-esteem issues? Nothing about the dangers of having sex with multiple (sexually active) men at the same time?

Alas, another promising career cut short.

Now all Cameron Bay has to look forward to is expensive medication for which she cannot get insurance coverage, and a life of solo web-cam porn.

I know, right?

Say it with me: "What? And give up show business?"

Nope, no judgment here.

Actually, what I am feeling is a profound sense of sadness for Ms. Bay and other women like her who believe the porn industry is a good way to re-build their lives.

My friends, it is not.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

“Making your way in the world today
takes everything you've got;
Taking a break from all your worries
sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go
where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came;
You wanna go where you can see
our troubles are all the same,
You wanna go where
everybody knows your name.”

That moment of nostalgia was brought to you by an article in today’s Huffington Post.

Yes, the Captain knows how to read!

The article that inspired this blog post is titled, “10 TV Friend Cliques We Wish We Could Join”. The link takes the reader to a series of pictures that represent famous groups of friends on popular television shows.

Okay, in this particular case, the Captain didn’t have to read anything!

Have you noticed how internet newspapers are relying more and more on photographs and video reports rather than printed stories? I appreciate the technology, but it disturbs me just a little bit that one day we might not actually need to know how to read!

But I digress…

As I flipped through the images of this featured story, I noted that I have enjoyed some of the shows (“How I Met Your Mother”, “New Girl”, “The Big Bang Theory”), but not others (“Glee”, “GIRLS”, “Dawson Creek”).

Much to my surprise, “Cheers” was not on the list.


Of all the television shows I have watched, there is no other place – no other “friend clique” – I would rather go than to the Cheers bar.

Now, I don’t want everyone in the bar to shout out “Capt. Dave!” whenever I enter. But I always appreciated the apparently welcoming atmosphere on the show.

The ensemble cast was eclectic and quirky, but since it was a bar, everyone was welcome there. Sure, there were the regulars – Norm (the down on his luck accountant) and Cliff (a mailman), and Dr. Crane (a shrink). And when Frazier Crane married Lilith, she was welcomed there; whenever Cliff found a girlfriend – odd as that sounds, she was also welcomed. And there were also lesser characters at the bar that Sam and the rest of the staff knew by name.

Here’s a little “Cheers” trivia for you: during the eleven years the show was on, there were 10 primary cast members, 35 others with recurring roles, and 781 guest stars!

Don’t laugh! That may win you a beer some night in a Trivia contest!

I don’t see that so much in other “TV friend cliques”. For instance, the friends on “The Big Bang Theory” are brought together either by proximity (Penny lives across the hall from Sheldon & Leonard) or by work (Howard & Raj work at the university with Sheldon & Leonard) or by relationship (Bernadette is Howard’s girlfriend and Amy Farrah Fowler is Sheldon’s girlfriend). No one else has successfully broken into that clique.

Likewise on “New Girl”, the core group of friends shares an apartment. Yes, CeCe has joined the ensemble as the friend of Jess and the love interest of Schmidt. But again, no one else has broken into that clique.

Even on “How I Met Your Mother” – a show I still love to watch – the clique is tight. Outsiders – even boyfriends and girlfriends – have a hard time breaking into the group. There have even been episodes based on the group’s dislike of Ted’s latest girlfriend and Robin’s latest boyfriend, usually because their presence disrupts the clique. It is a very closed group.

So my vote is still for “Cheers”! Where everybody knows your name… Where they’re always glad you came… Where you can see our troubles are all the same…

Now let me say a word about churches.

You knew I would, didn’t you?

How many of our churches are “friend cliques” and how many are truly a place “where they’re always glad you came”?

Oh, I’m sure most churches will describe themselves as “friendly”. Back in the days when we tried to “market” churches, many even labeled themselves “the friendly church!” I never got the chance to visit one of those to test the claim.

But what I have found is that most churches are “friend cliques”. We are friendly to our friends, but outsiders have to really want to be there and work hard to find their place in our tight little Sunday School classes, Bible studies, fellowship groups, and accountability groups. Sometimes we’re so closed to newcomers we don’t even tell them when some of these opportunities are happening.

“Everybody already knows that!”

One reason we don’t want to do evangelism (yes, I’ve heard this actually come out of a church member’s lips): “I already have enough friends.”

Many churches attempt to train their members in “hospitality evangelism”, how to welcome people so they will feel at home there. We attended one such mega-church a few years back and, by the book, we were greeted 10 times between the parking lot and the auditorium.

Did I feel welcome there? Not in the least. The “greetings” we received were fake and hurried. No one showed any real interest in the large (family) group of strangers walking up the sidewalk. And at the end of the day, no one really knew we were in the crowd.

To be fair (because the Captain always tries to be fair), in a church that size, it is hard to tell who the visitors are. But in spite of ten different people shaking my hand even before I entered the building, not a one even asked!

I realize that not everybody is outgoing and always cheerful. I am rarely outgoing and cheerful! So I realize that not everybody wants to be my friend. But if they’ve accepted the task of being a “greeter”, that is exactly what they should be! You want to find people for that job who simply love other people!

One church I worked at while I was in college had a large man with a Santa Claus beard who faithfully took up his volunteer post at the entrance every Sunday morning. No one asked him to, he just did it. His smile was genuine, he didn’t mind stopping to talk to visitors, and the back-breaking bear hug he gave to everyone was genuine!

He truly liked other people!

And why is that important? Because…

“Sometimes you want to go
where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came;
You wanna go where you can see
our troubles are all the same,
You wanna go where 
everybody knows your name.”

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Giving a shout out to fellow blogger, "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal"! 
These guys are a crack-up!

You can check out their daily cartoon at the link to the right, under "Flotsam"!