Category Archives: Tutorial

How To Enjoy A Guinness At Home

I’m going through my Photobucket looking at old stuff, and I’m in the “scooter club days” strata. For all the posting I did on scooter forums, I didn’t really talk a lot about scooters. Mostly I would wind people up over silly shit, and post crudely manipulated pictures of my friends doing obscene and (to me) hilarious things. A couple of those windups were truly transcendent, and I wish I still had them on record. Some douchenozzle stole my old laptop, so I don’t, so there it is. But I do have some pictures.

One of the sets of pictures I found on Photobucket was a tutorial I did on how to drink Guinness from a glass in your own home. I can’t remember why I would do such a thing, except that I feel very strongly about a good pint of the black stuff. It’s not particularly funny, or really funny at all, but seeing it reminded me of some of those funny things from back then. So I guess I’m a joke tease.

But, in an effort to knock a certain post from its position in my top 3 of most frequently visited entries, I am going to post those pictures with a facsimile of the advice I originally gave with them. Ready?

PIC-0023The first thing you need is a good pint glass. This being the United States we have to settle for 16oz pints rather than Imperial pints, but that’s OK. This is my Stella pint glass from the Genuine Scooter Company. Any pint glass will do, but one with pictures of other stuff you like that’s not beer are best. Or no pictures at all, if those exist in places you shop. The cheap ones from Wal-Mart break really easily, so I don’t recommend them.

PIC-0024Next you need a can of quality beer. It doesn’t have to be Guinness Draught, but were not talking silly straws and little paper umbrellas here, either. I prefer beer that shares key advertising adjectives with interracial fetish porn: “black”, “thick”, “strong”, and “makes White people act strange”.

PIC-0025Some American professional bar tenders will tell you to pour straight into the glass. Screw that noise. I am a professional beer drinker and want to maximize my beer to foam ratio. Tilt the glass at an approximately 45˚ angle for the first part of the pour.

PIC-0026Crack open the can and immediately begin pouring the beer into the glass. Aim the stream of beer for the side of the glass, and don’t let it fall too far. Avoid the sort of antics that tempt you with wine bottles and tea pots where you try to see how far apart you can get the two liquid containers in some dexterous display of wotsit, because this affects how the beer ultimately turns out, and that is Serious Business. Pour the beer until the level reaches the lip of the tilted glass and then stop. Just like in that picture up there.

PIC-0027Set the glass down. The beer will now “cascade”. This is a fancy term I picked up from a little cardstock instruction manual that came with a pint of Guinness I got on Saint Patrick’s Day 1999. It came with a free pint glass and explained much of what I’m teaching you now, but not nearly as entertainingly. So anyway, this is something that needs to happen, and it can’t be rushed.

PIC-0028Go do something else for a minute. Like warp back in time eight years and play Solitaire on an old version of Windows. I don’t remember what version is pictured, but I do know that I tried like hell not to have to upgrade to it. I used Windows ME for a LONG time, because it could not be permanently killed. It was a zombie-like operating system, in that every time my roommate’s ridiculous porn addiction finally gave it enough internet-herpes to make it crash, a system restore could bring me back online in the time it took most computers to boot up. When I finally got rid of that old Compaq Pavillion there was absolutely nothing wrong with it, other than it was old and not a MacBook. But the point is, you’re letting the first pour of your perfect pint of Guinness settle comfortably in its new home, getting everything ready for its partner, the second pour, to arrive.

PIC-0030Now we gently pour in the rest of the can. The half an inch or more of foam should steadily recede to no more than a quarter of an inch by the time it reaches the top, and every bit of precious liquid in the can should fit into a standard sized pint glass. If you don’t know what a pint is and think, like several bartenders I have come across in my travels, that one of those crumby red plastic cups is a quality beverage container, then you will have messed this up and will now be cleaning off your counter top. When you’re done with that, throw out all your red plastic party cups, it’s time to grow up.

PIC-0031Isn’t that beautiful? Of course it is!

PIC-0033I have heard the argument that when you pour the whole beer straight into the glass in one go, the resultant three inches of foam acts as some kind of magical quality control device. What’s really happening is that you’re getting charged for a full pint of beer and getting to drink about 10oz of it. Or if you’re in a completely ghastly place you’ve just paid something like $7 for a red plastic cup with 5oz of flat, piss-yellow, sour beer hidden beneath a smelly layer of undrinkable bubbles. Just pay the man, drink it, and go somewhere else. When you pour a glass of quality beer into a real pint glass the RomanticAntihero way, you get a thin but strong layer of foam that should look like fresh pancake batter. And if you’re into the idea that a head of foam locks-in the magic, then be happy that this thin but strong layer will remain in the time it should take you to drink the whole glass.

PIC-0034By all the gods, this is some good stuff we’ve got right here!

And there is that. I mentioned scooter forum shenanigans earlier, so I think I will post a couple of the pictures I made back then. These are two of the mostly SFW pictures I made, the language being the only offensive thing about them. There was a week or two where funny Craigslist ads were in style, mostly in response to the terribly inaccurate and obvious scam attempts involving the wave of cheap, Chinese knock-off scooters flooding the market at the time. Here were two that I did:



Comedy gold, yes?

I did eventually sell The Hate Machine, though. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I felt like an abused spouse, always convincing myself I deserved the punishment because I needed someone to control my behavior, and finding ever more creative ways to have “accidentally hurt myself” to tell my friends and co-workers. A hot-rod vintage bike is just not an appropriate thing to own when you have an unsteady amount of discretionary income and little to no mechanical skill.

So that’s all about how I prepare beer to drink. Just another one of those “just because” blog entries.

Because, that’s why.


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Filed under Personal Reflection, Right Living, Scooters, Tutorial

How To Make Your Own Dice Bag

So I was sitting in my hobby room tonight trying to figure out what article I was qualified to present to the Librarium as penance for my LPC failure, having some trouble. I’ve done a couple of tutorials that I wasn’t able to submit while the Librarium was down, but it didn’t seem right to recycle something I’ve already done. Not penance enough, right? But there’s not a lot that I can do that’s not already covered or really basic. I tried to think of things that were peculiar to my skill set, and the it hit me: my dice bags.

1. So we’ve all got gobs of d6 in various colors, and we need them all. Didn’t get on the bandwagon for the cool B&C dice bag? Don’t feel like paying a lot of money down at the FLGS? Have I got a deal for you!

2. Two squares of craft felt from the hobby store, about 99¢ a piece. For a two color bag you need two, obviously, but for a one color bag just the one.

3. I’m going two color. I cut the pieces in half, and now have two different colored rectangles of roughly the same size.

4. Holding them together I round off the two close corners. This doesn’t have to be perfect. Think hand grenades and government work.

5. Hold the two pieces flat against each other, and then use straight pins to stick them together.

6. Have some button thread and a sewing needle. Make sure it’s button thread, or stronger, because ordinary sewing machine thread will be too thin.

7. On the square end make a basic stitch, leaving about a thumb’s width free on the ends. I just push it through once and then tie it off in a square not and trim the excess down.

8. Begin a simple loop stitch, at least an 1/8″ into the fabric, making sure to get both sides somewhat equally, and space the stitches about 1/4″ apart.

9. I use long lengths of thread because I hate to run out. It’s easy for the thread to twist and knot up as you’re pulling the thread through, so I keep a finger through the loop as a guide to keep that from happening. It’s a righteous pain to untangle a knot in your needlework because you were in a hurry and got sloppy. Trust me.

10. When pulling tightly on the thread don’t pull from the needle, pull the threads themselves from below the needle to keep the metal of the eye from wearing through the thread. This is especially easy to do if you hold the needle in your lips and the thread gets damp. Bad times if it breaks.

11. As you make your loop stitches along the edge, pulling each firm (but not too tight), pull out the straight pins as you go along. You’ll probably poke yourself in the finger tips, so make sure the kids or your ma aren’t listening…

12. Once you get the hang of it, this part goes quickly. I find the steady pace and attention to method relaxing, sort of like painting minis.

13. When you get to the end (don’t forget to leave the thumb’s width free!) make a final stitch, then carefully pull one of the threads back out of it. Tie these two loose ends together in two square knots then trim down, leaving about 1/4″.

14. Lay two separate pieces of cord for your drawstrings. I got a handful of colorful cord from the hobby store, but shoelaces will do in a pinch. Make sure that both ends are on the same side for each cord, but that each cord has its own side (is that confusing?).

15. Carefully fold down the loose ends (what we left the thumb’s width for) with the drawstrings at pressing at the very top.

16. Slowly stick straight pins through to hold the flaps down, mind that you A. only go through the top layer of fabric, and B. don’t run a pin through a drawstring. You want the straight pins as close to the drawstrings as you can get without crowding them.

17. When both sides are secured with straight pins, make a stitch through all four layers on one end. Keep the drawstrings on the opposite side of the straightpins when you’re making your stitches. For this first stitch leave about four fingers length free when you trim the loose ends of the thread.

18. Stitch a simple through-and-back type stitch (these are not technical terms I’m using…) as you go around each side. Leave a decent bit of room as a channel for the drawstrings, maybe 1/2″ or so. I don’t know how to make these stitches neatly myself, but I’ve convinced myself it doesn’t really matter. Go all the way around, and then tie off the extra to the tail you left on the first stich, trimming the ends down after to 1/4″ or so.

19. Going back to the drawstrings, tie a square not in each end, trying to keep the two sets even. Again, if you’re not tying each cord to itself to make two circles, you’ve screwed up somewhere and will have to be creative to fix it. But you’re probably fine, so let’s keep going, because the next step involves fire!

20. Cut the loose ends off the drawstrings, and if you’ve used a synthetic material you should carefully melt the ends with a match or lighter to keep them from unraveling at a later date. FFS do not set your bag, yourself, or anything but the very tips of the loose ends on fire! Get them wet to make sure they’re not hot, because you don’t want to melt the craft fabric, which is probably acrylic based.

21. Tuck the knotted ends into the channels you’ve sewn. This is purely for looks.

22. Turn the whole contraption inside out, so that the stitches and knots are hidden and the whole thing looks clean and neat.

23. Fill your new dice bag full of your many dozens of various colored little d6!

24. The hobby store should have a wide variety of colors and designs, and if you play many other wargames or RPGs you’ll probably have a ton of dice, like me. The orange and black bag is for my 40k dice, the colors chosen to match my Chaos Space Marine warband’s colors. The black and white checked bag was recently created for my RPG dice, because I was tired of pouring out pounds of dice a couple of times a week depending on what game I was going to play. This whole process took me less than the length of an ‘Erasure’s Greatest Hits’ album, so they’re easy to knock out once you’ve got the knack of working with needle and thread.

I certainly hope this is useful or interesting to my brothers of the Legio, helping them to keep their necessary gaming accessories well disciplined and ready for transport in an instant’s notice, as well as due penance for my crimes against painting this year.

Ave Dominus Bellum!


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Filed under Hobby, Right Living, Tutorial