Author Archives: Ray

Pencils Are Unsustainable?

What goes into the making of a single pencil? In 1958, Leonard E. Read asked himself that very question — and wrote an elegant explication: I, Pencil, simple though I appear to be, have a profound lesson to teach. And I can teach this lesson better than can an automobile or an airplane or a…

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The Art of Being Interesting

The first installment of Whiskey Wisdom is ready at last — and at no cost! It’s brief but penetrating, and so download it now: PDF, ePub, or Kindle.

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Are You Fascinating?

Well, are you, punk? Or are you boring as hell? How, furthermore, can you tell? How can you tell if you’re an inveterate bore, or if you’re just in a kind of long-term funk? Much of what we hear about commanding attention and the power to fascinate is theoretical and abstract, a sort of psychological…

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The Most Interesting Dog in the World

His bite is louder than his bark, which is saying a lot …

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Whiskey Wisdom: 5 Bullshit Notions That Will Suffocate Your Wild Potential And Kill the Living Beast Within You

The following are five bullshit notions bartenders often hear that would kill the living beast in anyone: 1. You’re not smart enough Then educate yourself. As you know, it’s never been easier. Remember your ABC’s? A. Always B. Be C. Cogitating Always be cogitating. The truth is, it’s always, in principle, been simple to educate…

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Whiskey Wisdom and the Secret Key to the Lock of Life

For you, the secret of life was never a secret, quite, because for you it always seemed natural — not necessarily easy, of course, but obvious, and obviously right. It never mystified you, perhaps because you learned long ago that your body is a ship, your brain the pilot at the tip. Which is why…

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Whiskey Wisdom: Five Things Strong-Minded People Never Do (Even When They’re Drunk On Whiskey)

  Strong-minded people don’t necessarily avoid whiskey. They just know how to handle it. Like intelligence, this is an acquired skill. Scope out these characteristics of the suave, the sophisticated, and the strong-minded: 1. They never lose sight of their living potential Do you still possess, as you did when you were a child, that…

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Whiskey Wisdom: How to be the Smartest Person in the Bar

(The following is excerpted from Whiskey Wisdom: A Bartender’s Guide to Living Ravenously) You can spot her from a mile away, the smartest person in the bar — or, if not quite from a mile away, nonetheless from very far. She doesn’t necessarily think of herself as smart. Still, her brain is carefully crafted —…

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Putting the Cock Back in Cocktail: I Wish You Love

In bartending, as in life, the fundamental things apply. And time goes by. Thank you for watching.

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Moonraker, Mountain Dew, Moonshine, or White Lightning?

This article first appeared in the Coloradoan newspaper. If it shed any light on the subject at all — and it doesn’t remotely — I might be tempted to elaborate on the actual term “moonshine,” and where it originated: i.e. rural England (circa 1780), when country smugglers hid illicit barrels of French brandy in shallow…

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A Green Fairy Named Absinthe

This article first appeared in the Coloradoan newspaper, which took a tomahawk to it and ruined it. You won’t like absinthe if you don’t like black licorice. Absinthe — mint-green star in a constellation of multicolored bottles, over-proofed, over-hyped, overrated, mythologized, mystified and then demystified — won’t, all reports to the contrary notwithstanding, make you…

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The Book of Dog: One of Us?

If Dog had a name, what would it be? Brought to you by the College of Subversive Knowledge. Subscribe!

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Wodka!

This article first appeared, in slightly altered form, in the Coloradoan newspaper. The Polish call it wodka. The Russians call it vodka. The word itself comes from the slavic voda — meaning “little water” — and, like water, vodka is colorless, odorless, and often enjoyed ice-cold. Distilled from fermented potatoes, or fermented grains (like rye…

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Political Cow: Episode 3

Here’s another method by which you can demonstrate that health care isn’t a right: Brought to you by the College of Subversive Knowledge.

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Political Cow (Episode 2): Demonstrating in 60 Seconds that Health Care is NOT a Right

At last, Episode 2 of Political Cow, in which cow discusses one of the many ways one can quickly and easily show that health care is not a right: Brought to you by the College of Subversive Knowledge. Subscribe!

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