OM420 - Cask 263

This week, Ken and John talk about:

Drinking alcohol (OM420)

Neither John or Ken drink alcohol for various reasons. Ken has had alcohol in food, and he has sipped drinks only to discover then that it wasn’t virgin and sent it back (see OM412). John on the other hand drank all of the alcohol of a normal human lifetime and Ken’s, but he concentrated it into a much shorter period. He had all of the booze, and he compressed it into a period between the ages of 15 and 26.

One of Ken’s kids not being able to look at taxidermy (OM420)

Ken has a kid who will not look at taxidermy and can’t go to any national history museum dedicated before 1960. The other night his family went to a restaurant on Capitol Hill, only to find out that the whole thing had a hunting lodge theme and they had to seat his kid facing the corner.

Ken not wanting to spend money on luxury items (OM420)

Ken doesn’t want to spend the money if the thing isn’t worth it, no matter if he can afford it or not. People want to be seen doing that in order to appear as a person of status and taste. Is this bottle of wine that costs 200 times as much really 200 times better or is it 1.5 times better? Ken has a hard time with luxury goods for that reason. Does he really want the seat on the plane that costs 3 times as much but is only slightly better, and both seats are going to Dallas? He has a lot more upgrade miles right now than he used to, and he surely likes to send John photographs of himself sitting in those big wide seats.

Ken’s Mickey Mouse watch (OM420)

John might make some mocking reference to Ken’s Mickey Mouse watch and Ken will get a stern look on his face and say: ”It is actually a nice watch! It is a Seiko from the 1980s that they don’t make anymore!” (see OM390)

John thinking about expensive old watches (OM420)

When John looks at pictures of a beautiful old Rolex watch he loves everything about it: The connection to the 1960s/70s and the idea of a handmade Swiss machine. They are beautiful and they convey a kind of thing that is different from a new Rolex: Taste and old-school elegance. But there is no part of John that needs to tell the time almost under any condition except on Wednesdays when they record the show. The cheapest available Rolex is probably $7000, which is more than John has ever paid for anything.

He keeps hoping that he is going to inherit someone’s Rolex, but he has looked at all the men and women in his family and although a couple of his cousins have Rolexes he is not in the line of succession to receive them. If every cousin died at the same time he might get a lady’s Rolex and he would wear the shit out of it! John loves the notion of an expensive watch, but he doesn’t know how rich he would have to bet to believe that a $10.000 watch was worth the money. It is a form of men’s jewelry, one of the few things that a man can adorn himself with. A woman can have a $50.000 necklace or earrings, but a watch is the one thing a man can wear that says: ”I am a flashy guy!”

John’s relatives running the Knudsen Erath winery (OM420)

John’s uncle Cal owned the Knudsen Erath vinery in Oregon. All through John’s childhood their wine was on the dinner table in their family, and they would go down to the winery where he would have tastings. His home had a giant cellar with wines from around the world and he would spend a lot of time in France, learning the trade. He later got into champagne and his brand of champagne was Argyle from Oregon, which became a very successful sparkling wine, but it is not a champagne because it is not from the Champagne region, it is from whatever the hills are called there in Dundee. You can still buy it!

John’s cousins have now taken back the old vineyard after they previously had stopped making Knudsen Erath and had sold the grapes to other winemakers. Just recently they took the house back from Erath himself and they started their new brand Knudsen Vineyards. John doesn’t drink, so he doesn’t benefit from it, but although they are his first cousins they won’t give him any money.

John grew up around wine and he went to his uncle’s wine cellar as a kid, marveling at the old dusty bottles and the exotic looking French labels that evoked the feeling of old Europe, unknowable distinctions in taste and color, and people sitting at the table, swishing their wine around in the glasses. As a kid it felt like this is what adulthood looks like and this is what sophisticated people do. One day he would graduate into this!

Fancy labels, Lil Yachty have his own cereal (OM420)

When Ken was a kid he thought that A.1. Steak Sauce was very fancy because the label looked like a wine label. The other night Ken was at dinner with some friends who knew the sommelier at this place and he was bringing over wine where the label looked like fun Etsy potato stamp art, and Ken asked if this was the thing now and wine labels no longer looked like A.1. Steak Sauce, but they kind of do and this one was an exception.

The other day John was at the grocery store and saw a whole collection of wine for sale with Snoop Dog’s face on it. It was not exactly cheap at more than $20 a bottle. Ken went to the extremely cursed grocery store near their house and they had breakfast cereal with Lil Yachty’s face on it: "Lil Yachty’s Reese’s Puffs", as if he has been part of the creative process. John doesn’t know who Lil Yachty is. He has a song called Reese’s Puffs Rap.


John has never put anything in a hotel safe. They are fun to play with. Maybe he should put his phone in there and then go watch Sex and the City, which is what you do in hotel rooms.

Alcoholics are always looking for a reason to drink, and this also happened to John. The late 1990s was the first time he John became aware of single-malt whiskey because there were articles written about it.

Ken doesn’t drink coffee.

Coffee has undergone a transformation: Most of the people John knew in the 1980s were still drinking Folgers Coffee and we didn't we see the explosion of interest of coffee as a connoisseur item in the US until the 1990s.

John stopped drinking in 1994.

John has tried the coffee that went through a civet’s butt (Kopi Luwak). One time Jonathan Coulton bought him a $15 cup of coffee, back when you could still get that for $15, and it was incredible, it gave him a radical buzz and John was flying and was very into it!

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