Bar Renovation Guide

Restaurant, Bar, Counter, People, Food

Being a tiki bar owner now for over 5 years I’ve learned things that I wish would have done and things that I’d never do again. I would like to share with you my Opossum Poop and improvements to my tiki bar.

First I want to discuss a few things that I learned building my own outside pub. The weather conditions in your area will determine how you build your bar. Here are ideas you need to pay attention to if you’re building an outside tiki bar.

Your Climate- If you live in a place which has warm summers and cold winters, then you’ll encounter the very same obstacles that I came against. Make sure that you use treated wood for any surface that comes in contact with the ground. That is why you have to use treated lumber; it shrinks less and will last much longer. Anytime you have wood that is exposed to the weather you need to pay close attention to the sort of wood you use and proper treating of the timber after it is installed.

Insects- I used white cedar logs to the construction of my roof construction because cedar is supposed to be less vulnerable to insect damage. Okay, throw that out the window, I went along for three years with no insect problems until last year. I noticed wood dust and compact chips lying on my bar top. I thought it was coming out of thatch breaking or falling apart but to my surprise I’d carpenter bees! After inspecting my white cedar logs I discovered holes around 3/8 inch bored in some of my logs. I knew I had to address this situation immediately and after doing some research I called an exterminator. A carpenter bee appears almost identical to some common bumble bee except no hair abdomen and the males can’t sting. They love natural cedar! May sure you employ either wood preservative or a great Valspar varnish for your logs.

Bar Top- There are several diverse opinions about what to use on your bar . It’s advised that you use marine plywood for the bar top, and for good reason. I used the next best thing I thought, oak plywood. The oak plywood was fine for the first couple of years, applying about ten coats of marine varnish. This would be fine except the edges of the plywood are extremely difficult to seal. To solve my problem I implemented glass tile into my tiki bar top using waterproof glue and grout. The marine plywood is very expensive but well worth the money.

Palm Thatch- The life of your roof on the tiki bar will definitely be dependent on your weather. You can figure on replacing your thatch palms at least every two years. The only way which you can eliminate this problem is to purchase high quality commercial synthetic thatch. The popularity of outdoor restaurants with tiki thatch roofs has developed a need for this synthetic thatch. I just re-thatched my pub with sealed thatch that will give you an extra two years of additional life.

Securing Your Bar- One thing I want to mention here, is anchoring your pub down is a must item. I’m fortunate enough that my bar is sitting on a concrete apron around my pool area. I used drop in concrete anchors to prevent my bar from blowing over in high winds.

Champagne

Champagner, Toasting, New Year'S Eve

Price range: Money seems essential when picking bubbles to drink, I think this isn’t necessarily the case. Drink what you like, don’t be dictated by cost. In saying that, it’s thought that the more expensive the fall, the finer the bubble beads are that is a sign of high quality champagne.

I’ve attempted some extremely expensive champagnes rather than appreciated them all, while one of my favorites is below $50. Can you feel a enthusiast should try bubbles throughout the purchase price range? I do.

Opening time: I think champagne shouldn’t be open for over 24 hours. Using something like a champagne saver can help keep the bubbles more, if only for a couple of days. I suggest it’s advisable to start a jar on a Friday night and spread it on the weekend. Or even better, have some girlfriends over on Saturday afternoon and start a few bottles for the day.

The biggest problem you may have is heat, which will permit you to be dehydrated, giving you a headache. Avoid drinking at the spa, on the edge of the pool or on the vessel when in sunlight.

When from the hot weather of the heaven we live in, I believe we could afford to go down a couple of degrees.

Is Champagne from France: Technically it’s. There are a number of rules to be followed to be considered: a secondary fermentation of the wine in the bottles to make carbonation, there are explicit vineyard practices, sourcing of the blossoms and special pressing regimes. While this looks like a great deal to worry about, you do not need to! Someone else does. They follow the customs to deliver to us the beauty of the product that just an enthusiast may like.

I challenge you to become an enthusiast in something and let us know what that is so that we may learn from you.

What’s the best way to learn about champagne? Proceed to your regional specialist and have a conversation, join a champagne tasting class or take home some bottles and enjoy them with friends or loved ones. Cheers.

Roman Vintage

Purple Grapes, Vineyard, Napa Valley

The Romans understood terroir and were very cautious about where they planted vines. It appears that there was an abundance of these in the Mediterranean region.

Roman wine production was heavily influenced by both the Etruscans and the early Greeks.

After harvesting the grapes, individuals would trample on them This may not have been sterile, but it was the best way the Romans understood to press wine. Following the trampling, the wine was transported to be pressed in a torculum or wine media. The grape juice has been strained to eliminate the grape seeds and skins.

The next stage in the manufacturing process was to move the liquid into the enormous jars or amphorae in which it might ferment. Occasionally these vessels were buried in soil, sand, or water. Occasionally these juices were boiled before storing them in these vessels.

If the end result was to make a top quality vintage wine, the wine could stay in the vessels for between 10 and 25 years.

But, wine was usually left for between 9 days and a few months.

Pliny the Elder wrote about the Roman way of producing growing and wine vines in his job,’Historia Naturalis’ interpreted as Natural History. He wrote that Italian wine has been the very best in the world, or at least in the known world.

However, the Romans and their compatriots cornered the wine market, disallowing other competitors from other countries beyond what is now called Italy. So other nations like France, Spain and Portugal weren’t permitted, formally, to make wine.

However, because the Roman Empire grew, the export value of wine could diminish, as grapes were cultivated in different areas of the empire, especially in what is now France and the Iberian peninsula.

The Romans drank wine at any time of day and night, but it was diluted with water since it had been more powerful than wines of today.

Wine production continued, but it fell out of favour before the Renaissance, when there was a revival of interest in classical culture.

Thus wine from the Roman Empire had its ups and downs, but fortunately, the artwork of wine-making survived.

Beer and Lobster

United Kingdom, Scotland, Auburn

Christopher Columbus was aware of the present competition between the European kingdoms for trade routes to the East Indies and the spice trade. He believed he could reach the East Indies by sailing westward. He made several proposals to European monarchs and eventually the expedition was financed by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.

Columbus found the New World. He sailed around the beautiful islands of the Caribbean, convinced that he had found the East Indies. He claimed it all for the Crown of Castile and called the people Indians. He began a chain of events which would affect the world’s history for the next 500 years and more.

Puerto Plata, the city on this gorgeous lush island where we had an unforgettable holiday was first founded in April of 1493, and the settlement was called La Isabella.

The Dominican Republic is an exotic isle of green foliage in the turquoise Caribbean Sea. The trade winds blow the hot warm atmosphere that carries the music of the magical Meringue and the aroma of the uniquely divine and fascinating cuisine

It is a popular vacation Mecca that has grown exponentially in the last twenty years or so. Santo Domingo is the capital city of the Dominican Republic and the people at the time of our trip was over 5 million. We also visited a few villages close to Puerto Plata where we’ve met some of the kindest and happiest people.

Two days per week the resort chef did a sea food cook out on the beach. The beach was set up with plastic tables and chairs. Lobsters floated in an ice bucket beside the enormous grill. Another bucket was filled with countless bottles of beer coated with ice.

Puerto Plata’s real estate development was on steroids in this time and we planned to test it out in the morning before the BBQ. We met a realtor who was advertising a large condominium development. We spent so much time with the agent that by the time we got to the hotel the lobster grilling was over.

Luckily for me, I had yet another opportunity to have lunch at the grilling before we had to depart. I made the most of the lunch. I was the first to book a table for both of us.

I was sitting on a seat, my feet dug in the warm sand, a plastic table in front of me covered with a paper tablecloth. The waiter served me a big lobster, ready to eat, followed by a bowl of steaming hot butter flavoured with garlic and herbs.

I had been waiting for this… shells cracked, tossed all over the desk, my hands and face covered with warm garlic butter… enjoying my food – it was amazing! I was like a mischievous child, happy to generate a big mess and enjoying myself!

It was great to be a child again if only for a brief time. Try it. I suggest it!

This was the most sensuous meal I’ve ever had. Can not you just see?

Dreams come in all shapes and sizes and this was a happy dream come true for me! Columbus had a terrific dream and it came true for him in more ways than he ever dreamed of.

Burger Origins

Hamburger, Food, Meal, Tasty, Dining

The Hamburg steak as it was called in the 1800’s was served to the voyages from Germany into the USA. The meat patties were cooked and served on two pieces of bread. To attract lots of the sailors and European people to their eating stands sellers. They would provide the Hamburg style steak on the menu.

With Hamburg steak firmly embedded the American culture in the late 1800’s claims of how it served in the modern standard is based on Congress girl Rosa DeLaurao.

This is a contested fact. We’ll provide you a few more names and areas of the Hamburger in america.

Fletcher Davis of Athers Texas sold hamburgers from the cafe in the late 1800’s before taking them into the World’s Fair in 1904.

Frank and Charles Menches seller at a county fair ran from their sausage sandwiches and began using beef instead. It was recorded this happened in 1892 in the Summit County Fair in Akron Ohio.

In 1885 Charles Nagreen currently called hamburger Charlie who made sandwiches which were easy to eat while walking in the Seymour Fair that he was just 15 years old at the time.

In 1995 Governor Frank Keating proclaimed the first true hamburger on a bun was made and consumed in Tulsa Oklahoma.

With 40 billion served up in america alone has truly become America’s favorite sandwich. It may not have ever occurred because in 1906 Upton Sinclair’s Journalistic book”The Jungle” detailed the unsavory areas of the meat packing industry in the usa. Ground beef became subject to much scrutiny because it was easy to add meat scraps, additives and fillers

It became the direct way for the fast food hamburger success. The White Castle restaurants gleamed with cleanliness bringing the hamburger standing along with it.

Lots of you have your own favorite recipe to the beans of your choice.

So the next time you pull into your favorite fast food restaurant, fire up the grill or place one on the George Forman grill you will know a little of this development on the Hamburger.

That is some fantastic information regarding ground beef and the way our food always has a little history behind it.

Enjoy cooking outside

Smoker, Smoke, Steak, Grill, Tenderloin

Do you want to enjoy the summer sunshine outside with the audience out in your garden as opposed to feeling lonely in your kitchen? Do you want to enjoy the night breeze and cook as well? Are you planning a normal barbecue party? Grill smoker combo is the best option to enjoy; without missing the soul of the party.

This combo is the combination of both grill and smoker which allows you to choose the type of flavor we need within an instance, said as the best alternative for last minute planners. These are the best choices for people who don’t have the luxury of space and money to enjoy a separate smoker and grill.

You will find grill smoker combos heated via charcoal which is hard to clean up but are cost-effective. Electrical grill smoker combos are less messy but pricey compared to charcoal heated ones. Charcoal heated grill smoker combos can give smoky flavor than any electric grill smoker combo can offer.

The meat is smoked in a long and horizontal chamber that’s put alongside the heat source as opposed to above it. This design makes it easier for the griller to maintain heat without moving the food from the grill to add coal or any fuel. The firebox placed in the combo feeds smoke into the room that provides the meat its flavor, tenderness and crispy outer layer.

With a combo is more complicated and needs practice. There are particular basic tips to create a excellent flavored crispy recipe. You can easily become an expert in using it by following these tips to perfection.

The majority of the combos have an inbuilt thermometer which may be inaccurate as it measures the grill rather than the cooking room temperature. So it is better to use an extra thermometer to monitor the temperature in the cooking chamber and fuel is added conveniently. Coal is the best choice of fuel. Cold meat can give better taste than meat at room temperature since it can absorb smoke. We can add moisture to the smoky meat once it seems dry. This will let the meat stay juicy and absorb more smoke. Cooking with these can take time and want the patience to find the tastiest, tender and succulent meat.

Grill smoker combos may be used in lower temperature and for longer periods. This slower and more cooking makes the food more tender, crispy and yummy.

Restoring Dubai World

The Palm, Atlantis, Dubai, Hotel, Mall

The chips are in and the stakes are hot. They should be, for in contention is among the world’s most beloved cities-the emirate of Dubai. Just at the start of the week, Dubai World emerged from a first meeting with its creditors- asking them for a standstill on US$22 billion of its debt for at least six months. The truth is the whole affair was conducted under an atmosphere of strict secrecy and security, with attendees requested to be tight lipped about the proceedings. What has emerged is that the Dubai World executives formed a Committee to make a presentation for their situation in asking the moratorium. They were presumably assisted by executives from Deloitte and other auditors. What will happen now is that the request will be considered in the light of this demonstration and the recouping of the assets and liabilities, undoubtedly redrawn to demonstrate their ability to remain solvent even after the debt has been repaid.

What’s amazing is that even this hasn’t sent enough positive signals throughout the region. In the end it just might be required to pay back the debt or part of it so as to stop the negative opinion that has echoed all through the world.

If that happens, another question is whether Dubai will recover from its current crisis and will that recovery be for a short or a long term. Analysts are divided on the issue, but it is clear that Dubai’s Government will itself have to do something in this respect, rather than to wait for the discussion of market forces. It’s known that market forces are driven by consumer and business sentiment, and when that sentiment remains negative or there’s uncertainty about future actions, markets will see a loss of value. If anything, the Dubai Government could have supported Dubai World in this period of crisis and given a positive sign to the world. By first announcing that it would encourage the entity and after withdrawing its support, it caused mass confusion and in fact set in motion rumors that the emirate itself was at risk of defaulting because of overextending its plans from the boom period. Nothing could be farther from the truth as both Dubai World and the Government of Dubai are well equipped to deal with any financial emergency.

Having said that, in the short term the Government could assist businesses in getting credit to complete the outstanding jobs. The present credit crunch means that new jobs are facing funding difficulties in getting their projects off the ground. Everyone in the building industry knows that there’s a considerable lag between the booking and the completion of projects. Secondly, by minding the longer three year visa for employees, Dubai would signal it is prepared to take on expatriate employees again for the completion of old projects and starting new ones. As things are Dubai lodging sector is going downhill, with lodging in Dubai becoming a buyer’s game. Except for Dubai marina apartment, Dubai condos and Dubai villas- which has seen some consistency or even appreciation in value, in general Dubai flat rent, Dubai Apartments, and Villas in Dubai have depreciated in value over the last couple of months. A further dip in the industry is expected by March-April 2010, after which the sector is expected to recover by 2011. However, it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen, and that is why the Government should take action to see that Dubai is back on track again- the sooner the better. There is too much at stake.

Turkey, Bridging West and the Middle East

Map, Syria, Aleppo, Refugees, Asylum

After some time reviewing the Honduran constitutional crisis, I have chosen to test another example of a state where the constitution has generated controversy: Turkey. Although I think Turkey has turned out to be a success in bridging Islam and the West, I need to be clear that Turkey is not a country with no faults. Its refusal to accept responsibility for the Armenian genocide during World War 1 is deplorable. Also, Turkey’s suppression and attempted forced assimilation of its Kurdish citizens and their culture is inexcusable.

Notwithstanding these two issues, Turkey represents an Islamic country that is a modern secular democracy, fully inclusive of woman’s political rights. This country’s secular constitution was instituted in the 1920s and 1930s by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of Turkey’s republic from the remnants of the Ottoman Empire. Atatürk is the father of the nation and his legacy remains in full force today.

Turkey is integrated with the west being a member of such organization as NATO, the G20 and the OECD. The country is a parliamentary representative democracy with three branches of government such as, executive, legislative and independent judiciary. Turkey has good relations with the West, and is currently reaching out to other areas of the world. 1 interesting truth that differentiates this country from most of the Islamic world is its relationship with Israel.

A major controversy surrounding the Turkish democracy is the army’s involvement in government. The Turkish army has taken on the role of the guardian of secularism and the constitution. The country’s current ruling party, the AKP, has been carefully treading towards a more Islamist stance. In response to the AKP’s politics, the military issued a statement in 2007 that made it clear it’s still a power broker. The statement entailed that the army is going to be a party in all arguments over secularism and warned they are ready to perform their responsibilities to protect the features of the Republic. This proposal was annulled by the constitutional court and resulted in the AKP receiving a fine.

Although controversial, there are many who claim this deeply instituted secularism and contemporary approach has resulted in Turkey’s financial success, considered both a”developed” country and a regional power. This issue is divisive within the country, with many claiming that the present system of army enforced secularism is anti-democratic. If the country compromises on its secularism, could that be the first step towards a religious state? If so, is the current alternative not preferable to a model like the theocracy in Iran? At least under the current model democracy and personal freedom exist as long as religious based laws are not changed or instituted? On a comparative basis, in spite of its issues, is the Turkish system not preferable to many other people in the middle east? My hope is these questions fuel constructive dialog around the search to improve coexistence among nations and religions of the world.

Berlin, 30 yrs later

Berlin, Olympia, Olympiad, Olympic Games

On this date twenty years ago, November 9, 1989, the 28-mile Berlin Wall falls as jubilant crowds gathered, some climbing on top of the wall to break off large pieces. Just two years before in West Berlin, then President Ronald Reagan stated in a speech,”General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Over two more years following this speech, the Berlin Wall will be no more.

The Inglorious History of the “Iron Curtain”

On August 13, 1961 barbed wire fencing is constructed together with concrete barriers and the border between East and West Berlin is shut. The Berlin Wall ultimately became a 96-mile long barrier positioned around West Berlin. Just two weeks later, the first recorded breach is tried as 19-year-old border guard Conrad Schumann successfully escapes to West Germany. Gunter Litfin a young tailor’s apprentice is the first person to be shot and killed in an escape attempt on August 24, 1961. During the next years, over 10,000 people attempted escapes with about 5,000 of those succeeding.

In a speech presented at the Berlin Wall on June 26, 1962, President John F. Kennedy says,”There are many people in the world who really do not know, or say they don’t, what is the best issue between the free world and the Communist world. In this same speech he admits,”Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner). Finally after months of protracted negotiations, both sides reach an agreement that allow West Berliners to visit relatives in east Berlin. Three years later, negotiations for more access between both sides of the city fail as East German officials order stricter control on the boundary and build additional sections to the wall.

In the seventies and eighties, many important events occur which will finally bring an end to the Berlin Wall and Communism. In 1977, three teenagers are killed during a clash between protesters and East German authorities. Reform escalates through the seventies and culminate in an agreement between the Communist government and striking shipyard workers in Poland. The strike is directed by Lech Walesa who helps to bring about the formation of trade unions, finally leading to the anti-Communist Solidarity movement.

In early 1989, the last remaining parts of the”Iron Curtain” are dismantled as Hungary disables their electric alarm system, cuts through the barbed wire on the Hungarian-Austrian border, and finally reopens the border with East Germany. Three weeks later, 13,000 East Germans escape to the West through Austria. East Germany’s leader, Erich Honecker is forced from office just 38 days later. On November 4, after weeks of demonstrations, one million people gather at a rally in East Berlin. Five days later the Berlin Wall came down.

On December 3, 1989, George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev run a shipboard summit at Malta. Afterward, in the press conference, Soviet spokesman Gennady Gerasimov says,”From Yalta to Malta, the cold war ended at 12:45 pm now.” In the next years, Communists in Prague step down, Hungary elects a non-Communist government, Germany unifies, Lech Walesa is elected president in Poland, and the Soviet Union dissolves. Due to the events and efforts of so many people devoted to independence, the Berlin Wall is no more and millions are now able to live free.

Cuba’s 50 yr Drama

Havana, Cuba, Capitol Building

He’ll certainly allow Americans to fly into that abused island and bring some relief from the oppressive communist regime. Their political and economic conditions have remained fixed in time during that half century as if a gigantic time machine had stayed stuck in 1959.

While nobody in Cuba dies of hunger and nearly everybody can read and write (their literacy rate is among the highest in the world), an individual can easily ask”what for?” There’s absolutely not any freedom of any sort except to laud the virtues of this fantastic pioneer, or, as it’s called in another dictatorship, our Beloved Great Leader (North Korea). Cuba and North Korea are just two examples of massive brainwashing, although a great deal more so in China’s neighbor. Cuba has the”chance” of having the United States next door, and the superpower’s influence, notwithstanding the blockade, has been the difference among the populace. Cubans still maintain some contact with the mainland, whether clandestinely or through American relatives.

While working in Mexico, I had the opportunity to speak to Cubans residing in that nation; some had to come back to the island, while some had migrated permanently. A surgeon said that her yearly salary was the equivalent of $30, but she added that everyone received free education (considered among the greatest the world), and that the food was heavily subsidized, as was leased (no personal property permitted ), and healthcare. I could perceive an undertone of deep dissatisfaction in their comments concerning the whole lack of freedoms and choices. The surgeon spoke about the first time she entered a grocery store in Monterrey, Mexico; her eyes widened with shock. She had never seen so many products and so many options on the shelves.

Very few Cubans have their own landline telephone (9 percent ) and much less have a mobile phone (1 percent ). Although many have televisions (70 percent ), who wants to listen to Fidel’s endless tirades (he loved to listen to himself when he was still in control) up to 3 hours? Who wants to see the official government’s propaganda machine?

China, the giant communist regime, had the wisdom to change its totalitarian dogmas to permit some token of capitalistic industry. Cuba is only starting to know, under Fidel’s brother’s control, that people have an innate drive to have something. Raul Castro has invited the Cuban people to voice their criticism of the government, a measure that received very little response as individuals doubt seriously that the regime could really act upon the recommendations.

The lack of opportunities in Cuba is very hard on youth. The island has among the highest suicide rates in the world. Again, what is the point of getting free education all the way to school if the government tells you what to research and if there are no outlets for your abilities? The term apathetic is the adjective most commonly heard when talking of young Cubans. Regardless of occasional desertions among athletic teams that travel to other countries, most young Cubans don’t need to abandon their island. What they need is more freedom to come and go as they please and to have the opportunity to voice their concerns.

President Obama has already expressed his desire to initiate discussions with the Cuban authorities. The ridiculous blockade ought to be eliminated for two major reasons: Cubans already get American products through third parties (European countries), and an open trade with Cuba are the best way to topple that odious dictatorship.