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Subject: Mustique #47 - Knowing your mules
(Posted on Feb 13, 2014 at 02:05PM )
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When is a mule not the mule you thought it was? When you are in Mustique at your sister's wedding is when.

These four pictures below should make it pretty straightforward for anyone still perplexed, so as to enable sussing out the differences between the animal, human drug transporter, Kawasaki MULE vehicle, and that fabled cocktail with the Moscow handle slapped on the front end.



Note the simple cocktail (made with vodka, ginger beer and lime, on ice, and ideally in a copper mug as above), ain't even from Moscow, but is rather a good ole born-and-bred USA concoction dating to 1941 that became popular a few years later in the 1950s. So much for truth in names and marketing, and kinda like why the news ain't always makin' sense either.

There are some casual tips for those mulling getting into that line of "transport" work (and not the one competing with the animal) if things are a little slow on the work front around where you are.

Like Bob mused back on that wedding day, it would be kinda nifty to be in a situation with all four at play simultaneously. You could be enjoying the drink with the other two live ones over witty repartee, taking in tricks of the "transport" trade and optimizing the use of various cavity spaces over body packing, all the while riding on board that 4-wheeler. It's probably a better idea to be letting someone else do the driving though.

Maybe if you don't want to be doing all of that in the same-name places in Norway or Nigeria for added effect, you could choose to pull it off in Bishop, CA, the so-called "Mule Capital of the World," when they have that annual Bishop Mule Days festival (website) in the run up to Memorial Day. Turn it into a four-way global mule convention of excellence and party hearty.

Bob ain't gonna bother to get into the 80s game, M.U.L.E., or the software model / framework. That is strictly for you real die-hard mule keeners out there. So today, you can say you learned a tad about different mules, without needing to go to the trouble of some average single guy attending weddings in places around the world.



Subject: Singapore #77 - Swedish Snaps Songs
(Posted on Feb 12, 2014 at 01:06PM )
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You know you have a diverse group of friends when you find yourself singing Swedish drinking songs at a wedding in Singapore with a bunch of Chinese folks spread around your table. You don't fight the situation, suck back the snaps / aquavit, and sing along as best you can.

While we all sang in English at the time to make it easier for the assembled international collective, you just know for sure that these tunes sound way way better in their original language. To prove it all, some of the energetic Swedes present decided to let us hear the difference in their native tongue.

Three songs, and three shots of snaps went down in quick succession. This type of Swedish snaps drinking song is called a snapsvisa, and is usually short and simple (to be sung with vigor) so as not to have too much time between you and your next shot (or song).

How strategic of them sly Swedes. It was probably all about getting oiled / lit up more quickly and letting that Scandinavian shyness slip swiftly away into the shadows.

Here is Hell and Gore (or Helan Går in Swedish), considered by some to be the Big Mama or Daddy of all these songs.


No offence to the lads in the version above, but some may find this more impromptu, feminine version as sung here by Malin Akerman to be a little more endearing and charming, if less boisterous. Who do you want to be out belting back shots and singing these songs with at the end of the evening when all is said and done?


Last, this interpretation of "1, 2, 75, 6, 7" with sign language as added accompaniment makes it a little more interesting (and tricky if you want to try both deliveries simultaneously). Note the numbers in Swedish are much more musical in nature. After a couple shots already down the hatch, this litle ditty can prove to be a real challenge if you try and sing it more quickly (and in Swedish too if you are an English speaker).


When faced with a tough, spur-of-the-moment choice in life, like choosing between a shot from the red/black label bottle of snaps (O.P. Anderson) or a shot from the touch-of-green label bottle of snaps (Läckö Slotts Aquavit), what is one to do?


Decisions, decisons. Take 'em both down between the rounds of songs and shots, and cover the bases, Bobbolin(o/a). That's what you do.

After a few, no doubt everyone present felt much better about their singing capability. Still, I wasn't about ready to quit my day job, no matter what that was. Somedays, it felt like attending weddings all over the place was Bob's part-time job.

To all my Swedish, and wannabe (with) Swedish, friends out there, Skål / Skol!



Subject: Mustique #47 - Gettin' all ''rill'' with gin and tonic
(Posted on Feb 4, 2014 at 09:09AM )
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A "proper" gin and tonic, as somebody was once lectured to in gang-bang fashion at his sister's wedding in Mustique in 2000, is supposedly made with lemon, and NOT lime. And it should never be made with both of those citrus garnishes, despite what one particular punter professed to prefer. However, the real case can be made for all three possibilities, depending where you are.

Hey, Bob reckons if you are British then you must know for sure. The cat in this Telegraph piece really looks like he knows the drill on G+Ts and the proper garnish, from having whacked back a few over the years at home and abroad. Plus, when you're a writer, and your full name is James Gerald Warner of Craigenmaddie, then it must be gospel, even though you may actually be a Scot.

The English cast at that intimate tropical wedding were also going on about Gordon's Gin (note it is made in Scotland) and Schweppes tonic water both being mandatory for the optimum result. Some contest that Gordon's isn't good enough anymore, but there are others who still do swear by it as here. Bob will let you decide on that for yourself.

As for juniper and the other botanicals at play generally in gin, he likes this piece that mentions turpentine being used back in the day for the masses. Nice one there! Talk about putting a little extra sumpin' in your jump juice to make it more "hi-test" to squeeze out a little more horsepower per pour.

Maybe the Spanish way is the method to follow per this posting.

At the end of the day, Bob still likes lemon AND lime together. Besides, the colors look very cool.


Add a long stick of black licorice for extra color mojo action in your glass, and presto majesto, you have yourself a bonafide Bob N. Boguslavksi "Jamaican Flag" gin and tonic.


Note Bob just made this last bit up, but it sure sounds (and would look) mighty fine. And that ain't no coink-e-dink neither now, so remember you heard it here first. It's completely up to you whether you want to consider chewing that stick down as you go, or just keep reusing it as a garnish, untouched, in your refills.

Bob so totally agrees with one NYC friend (still not married either, but he's a divorce attorney and knows reality a little too close on the exit side of that game) that there is a reason it's called GIN and tonic, and not the other way around. So you need to make sure you put a "rill" healthy dose of booze in there. If you ever order one in a bar or club in Spain (and some other places outside North America), you will know they be doin' the deed right as well. And hey, if you are splashin' it out and doin' bottle service and a bit of V.I. action in some domestic club, cuz that's how you roll and you a player, then you can pour your own measure and keep to the spirit on that, pardon the pun.

Suck back a few of these Spanish (or equivalent) stength / size bad boys, and you'll be getting all kinds of "rill" good insight into how stuff works for "rill" as Courtney Stodden (or a close enough impersonator) spouts forth


Think "rill" and be "rill" is all I can say. Use "rill" good ingredients too. Bottomline, folks, no matter how you like your G+Ts, just make sure they are "rill" strong. That way, they'll be "rill" good, and the world will quickly seem a better, kinder, and gentler place.


That's what this single, wedding-guy, traveler-adventurer-cum-poolside bum believes, no matter where he is at in the world.




Subject: Barcelona #62 - Chopsocky cinema and that Ghanaian proverb
(Posted on Jan 31, 2014 at 04:22PM )
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That Ghanaian proverb quoted in the book is a classic that has long vexed Bob since Ananse first told him of it years ago.

"It requires a lot of carefulness to kill the fly that perches on the scrotum."


It opens up a whole line of questioning, and makes one wonder if whoever came up with it meant to believe it applied only against their own set of cohones cum huevos, or someone else's too. Who knows on that? That's why Bob figured one might want to have a more swift and skilled set of hands take a swipe there, if in fact a swipe, slap or short sharp shot of any sort was indeed the optimum strategy here. But Bob ain't here to question the wisdom of that tproverb to begin with.

Ergo the four chopsocky cinema stars thrown out there as a non-exhaustive shortlist of example candidates suitably skilled for the task, but only two could be trying that on their own set.



Lo Lieh had the same birthday as yours truly does too (but he was just a little older is all), Connie Chan Po-chu and Cheng Pei-pei were born six days apart, and as for Bruce Lee, most know about that cat, so his name should have tipped the hand of the other three in the context of the discussion. A lot of flicks were made between all four, but as far as Bob knows, there was never a scene there anywhere involving flies on someone's scrotum. Geez, some of them were into swords and stuff as well, so you can just imagine some other potentially interesting solutions that might come into play with such implements/weapons in such a scenario.

It all reminds Bob of that line from the 1970s TV series, Kung Fu, when Caine is told many a time by his Master that "When you can snatch the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave." It seems Master had the good sense to NOT envision, yet alone allow, multiple learning attempts along the way with flies located strategically somewhere else on his body. But as with many things in life, and after a lot of hard work, training and practice, that "time to leave" eventually comes, and you head off to the next set of challenges.


This Mail & Guardian (South Africa) piece from 2011 touches on a few more proverbs from other countries on that continent that are cut from the same cloth and looks at them a little bit deeper. Whaddup with all that?

All in all, Bob think such psroverbs are best left to thinking about, and not actually attempting them at home alone, or together with friends and family. Some things in life, you don't necessarily need to experience. Maybe you also just don't let flies have much access to the jewels to begin with if you can help it at all. Even when you're some single guy sippin' on cava at a wedding in Spain, you can still reflect on the deeper things in life, in between all the other goings on of the day and night.

Gong Hay Fat Choy or Gong Xi Fa Cai--take your pick.

新年快樂     新年快乐

It appears that this entry and Chinese New Year are just pure coink-e-dink.



Subject: Westport #94 - Subprime made easy for all
(Posted on Jan 29, 2014 at 04:07PM )
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Around the time of that mid September 2007 affair for Bob and Natasha, rumblings were emerging from the financial markets about all that global money crammed inside the US subprime mortgage market that was making financial institutions and hedge funds alike a fortune up until then. It was a massive feeding frenzy, and it was supposedly all bullet-proof safe, paying out high returns, and was endorsed by the brightest minds and leading lights in the industry. Yeah, sure.


Then we all saw what happened thereafter by the fall of 2008 when the crisis hit full on. Bob's chat over a drink with Tristan Alford, then at a purposely anonymous hedge fund, and a former colleague of Bob "The Banker," was tied to this. Tristan knew what was coming down the pike, and had the good sense to want to get out of Dodge while the getting was good to preserve some of his wealth, and keep that Mrs. of his happy with her high-end baubles, haute couture, and gal pal spa getaway weekends with her "Ladies Who Lunch" set, or LaWLu as Bob prefers. A great gig if you can get it!

Since that time, and the subsequent market meltdown, a lot of analysis, debate, and discussion has happened about the whole subprime crisis, and numerous books, TV shows and even movies have covered the topic 25 ways to Sunday.

This great little presentation is still one of Bob's favorites for explaining subprime to just about everybody and their dog in very simple terms. One can well forgive the couple of spelling errors with "traunche" (tranche) and Caymen (Cayman) Islands for the otherwise humorous insight.

This shorter animated piece is a little more serious, but also very good.


These two cats below, Bird and Fortune, also did a bang up job explaining it all with typical British flair and sophistication.


Alas, John Fortune passed away this past New Year's Eve, but he wasn't on the lads' DeathList 2013 roster.

When this single guy is out there hitting weddings all over the place, the topics of conversation aren't always just fluffy and funny. There's real other stuff going on out there that surfaces every now and again and is worth bringing to light.



Subject: Chile #30 - 43-Man Squamish
(Posted on Jan 28, 2014 at 01:41PM )
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MAD Magazine was one of Bob's big favorites back when he was a kid, and its sense of humor has a longstanding impression on him to this day, and his writing style. The piece on 43-Man Squamish from MAD #095 (June 1965) was definitely one of the more memorable pieces for him, and you can see it all in gory detail right here as a scanned image from the original issue. It was that crazy college sport those two kooks George Woodbridge and Tom Koch dreamed up, and it was explained with absolute clarity and brilliance.

By the time you are done processing it all you'll be an expert on all the positions from Grouches, to Brooders, Wicket Men, Niblings, Frummerts, Over/Underblats, Finks, Leapers and the Dummy. You'll know how they all mesh together in dizzying formations on the flutney, and how it is all about the Pritz and controlling things with the Frullip.

You'll know your Snivels and Ogres, and the very important difference between a Woomink and a Durmish, and surprisingly, why imitations of Barry Goldwater (hello Tea Party!) also may play a part in turning the tide of a match, but only if you are a Fink.


Was Draja Druvnik really one of the best at the game, judging by his big endorsement deal back in the day? No idea this side, and you could probably debate that for hours on end with those in the know.

The rules of gameplay and interpretation therein are where the action is really at, and if it all makes complete sense to you, then you are ready for a job as a German rocket scientist (even if you haven't learned that language yet, and only speak Swahili, cuz, clearly you got it all going on upstairs).

If this all sounds too complicated, or you can't find enough palookaheadz in your college to field a full squad, you can always opt for the much simpler version, 2-Man Squamish, where the object is to lose.

But after all of that, Bob's biggest takeaway from the whole mess was that certain special "wise old Chilean proverb" as immortalized there, and which has haunted him for decades (and maybe still does), until he actually got to Chile for the first time as a single guy on some wedding adventure junket.

It would be uberkool to see it played in Squamish, British Columbia, just up the road a bit from Vancouver on the way to Whistler. There's probably some reason out there somebody created that shared naming kinship between the place and the sport. Maybe Woodbridge and Koch should have added that to the mix.

As Bob always says to folks traveling that highway, "Don't forget to stop in Squamish."