May 5, 2011: Viva Benito!

Viva la Cinco de Mayo!

I was at the Tav on the Ave in Mankato on this date in 2000, and a local TV crew was in the bar to do a story about how college students want any excuse to drink. He targeted me - because I was clearly in my cups - and asked me what Cinco de Mayo meant.

I told him about how Napoleon invaded under the guise of collecting debts when his real plan was to slow the growth of America. I told him how Benito Juarez rallied Mexico and turned back Napoleon's forces. I went on and on, giving even the most unnecessary of details, because my friends were dying laughing and the look on the guy's face was priceless.

When the story went up, my piece was cut in favor of a few idiots shrugging. Seems a little dishonest, but that's the story they wanted to tell, so whatever.

60 thoughts on “May 5, 2011: Viva Benito!”

  1. Spooky, great story. Tip: Don't interview drunk History majors about the reasons for drinking on certain holidays. (Though I'm guessing you were a theater major, so even with knowledge of your major, the KEYC guy would not have been prepared.)

    I remember a similar drunken but lucid rant I once made about something mathematical that I had been working on as an undergrad. I wish someone had been recording it, I think I said it more clearly there than I ever did while typing it.

    1. On my birthday one year, I distinctly remember trying to impress a girl with my knowledge of the Scottish Enlightenment. I don't remember much else from that birthday, but I most definitely remember Adam Smith, James Watt, Lord Kelvin, and others making an appearance.

    2. Also, now that I think of it, 2 years ago* in Dublin a bunch of the American (and one Canadian) students took the Irish classmates out on Cinco de Mayo. When asked what the deal with Cinco de Mayo was one of the other Americans said "It's Mexican Independence Day." I interjected "Actually, that'd be the Grito De Hidalgo. Cinco de Mayo was the Battle of Pueblo...blahblahblah...but we just use it an excuse to drink. Actually, in that sense it's a very American holiday. We saw something we liked and just took it."

      *Gah! 2 years already?!

  2. Twins are now 5-1 in two-game series, and 6-17 in three- and four-game series.
    Three of the next five series (half of the next 12 games) are in two-game series.
    But in after that, their next 2-game series is Sept 14-15, in KC.

  3. From my daily fantasy email this morning:

    Jonathan Broxton woke up and felt soreness in his elbow after blowing the game Tuesday night. He's been shut down and the Dodgers are looking to find an MRI machine that can fit his 300-pound frame.

    Can the Dodgers afford using a XXL MRI machine?

  4. Day game alert: the Rock Cats have a doubleheader starting right about now. You can find the broadcast here.

    1. Thanks, Jeff. For those like me listening, make sure you click the "WTIC2" link in the left hand sidebar, not the "Listen Now" on the upper right. The former will get you the ballgame, the latter news talk.

  5. The Barbarians are at the Gate! Adande:

    This is no longer about the Mavericks, though. While they deserve credit for overcoming a 16-point deficit in Game 1 and being the steadier of the two teams in Game 2, they're not putting together a series for the ages.

    They were outrebounded and lost the points in the paint and second-chance points categories in Game 1. The Lakers had the same number of field goals as them in Game 2, and had more rebounds and fewer turnovers.

    Even after the Lakers put up a 13-point third quarter, they still trailed by only six points entering the fourth.

    The game was there for the taking, a series split to be had, all kinds of negative numbers to be avoided. And the Lakers … just … couldn't.

    The urgency of the situation couldn't sharpen their resolve, the few roars from the mostly stunned crowd couldn't inspire them, momentum was as elusive as the horizon.

    "It looked like Dallas had more energy out there on the floor than we did," Phil Jackson said. "That's a concern."

    Not about the Mavs. This is why people hate the 4ltr. I watched that game last night and J.J. Barrea absolutely carved up the Lakers. He repeatedly got into the lane and scored or passed to open shooters. Dallas absolutely destroyed LA last night.

    The West is wide open. The path to the title for LeBron & Co. is even wider.

    1. I know it's Sid - but I did enjoy this little tid-bit in his "Jottings" section.

      Former Timberwolves shooting guard Corey Brewer played a key role in the Mavericks' 96-94 Game 1 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday ... played only eight minutes but scored five points in a little over two minutes of the third quarter as the Mavericks closed a 16-point deficit. Brewer also had one rebound, one assist and one steal in the game, and his plus-minus was plus-11, the highest of any player for either team.

      Brewer isn't a starter, but I always appreciated his hustle.

      1. True that, but I'm pretty happy that he was all it cost to get Anthony Randolph.

  6. Guess who the best center fielder and left fielder are this season so far according to Total Zone fielding runs above average? Stunner!

        1. That line would have him in 3rd offensively for your Minnesota Twins. He'd be leading the team in HR's and tied for the lead in RBI.

          1. I see him 4th (.695 OPS being lower than Kubel's .919, Span's .720, and Thome's .708). Luis Rivas' Career OPS would also be higher than any '11 Twins other than those three.

  7. Okay, I finally got A, but I dug a bit so I won't disclose until others have a chance to guess.
    A, B, and C all play different positions (at least most of the time), so I wonder what the standard positional adjustment would be.

        1. Never has a cheap, replacement-level player garnered so much attention as Luis Rivas.

            1. Punto's been worth 10 fWAR/7 rWAR. Rivas has been worth 0.2 fWAR/-2.8 rWAR. And Punto's made over $14M playing baseball, which seems a smidge above replacement-pay. Rivas has made $4-5M, over about 9 years, which is pretty close to league minimum per year.

              1. Yea, but how many times did Rivas slide head-first into first base??? Huh? Huh??

    1. Derek Jeter, master of the English language:

      "Upset? You mean like I want to fight somebody?..."

      Maybe I'm nitpicking because I dislike the guy, but jeez, learn what context means to word definitions, jerk.

      1. You'd think after the '01 WS that Jeter would know what it means to be upset.

  8. To the nation's homebrewers, I thought this was pretty cool. I generally don't deal with clones, but it might be fun to try to re-create one of these brews that I've had before with the limited info they give.

    1. That is pretty awesome.

      On a related/unrelated note, I've been meaning to send an inquiry via e-mail, but this will work. What is your (or any citizen homebrewers) response to a batch that doesn't ... uhm, turn out? What I mean is, for whatever reason, the result is terrible - d*mn near undrinkable. I can't bear to throw it out, but it seems like one or two bottles of this last batch will give me a hangover...without the pleasant buzz that generally precedes one. And, it doesn't taste all that great either which is what has me tempted to go all Eliot Ness.

      1. If you go all Eliot Ness, make sure you have the right stuff to accompany the destruction.

        What style is it and can you describe the taste? I would give it a couple months to see if any of the off-flavors mellow out. Otherwise, you can always boil a shit load of brats. (or some other fine culinary venture.)

        1. Just so we're on the same page, my current homebrew setup is a beer kit, i.e., hopped extract and city water. I'm sure the quality (or lack of quality) of the ingredients is at least partially at fault. Nothing that I've made thus far has been great - though it has all been drinkable until now.
          The style was supposed to be this lager, though it was a lager in name only. No "lagering" actually took place. Some other things I did wrong: overkill on the additional fermentables (too much sugar) and I left it in the primary fermenter for nearly a month; long after the yeast had done its thing.
          Based on very cursory research, the best way to describe the taste is to say that it's overly alcoholic and perhaps soapy or solvent-like?
          I'll happily give it a few months to see if it mellows out. Maybe it'll be drinkable by the time I step up to malt extract brewing. If not, I'll tackle brian's suggestion and/or serve brats (both excellent ideas by the way).

          1. My guess would be a combination of too high of a starting gravity due to the sugars added and high fermentation temps over leaving it in the fermenter for too long. I've left beers in the primary for 2-3 weeks before without any real negative effects. Another thing to remember with the added sugars is that they will ferment completely, whereas the mashed malt in the extract will not, so you'll be thinning the final product and cranking the booze factor without adding much else. With a light lager like that, it'll be really noticeable when too much is added. Its better suited for beers that already have a high gravity wort from grains alone, like triples and barleywines.

            But yeah, I'd give it some time. That type of flavor could certainly come down a bit.

            1. Thanks for the analysis. What's the deal with the mashed malt not fermenting completely, why is that?

              Also, I assume I should I just leave it in the dark, cool cellar like I would with anything else, correct?

  9. I can't say specifically about why, but I believe it mostly has to do with the types of sugars in the wort. Sucrose is a pretty simple sugar, so it is highly fermentable.

    If you can keep that thing fermenting somewhere that is about 60º F, you'll help it out a lot. Mine sits in my basement (or when I'm lagering, in my beer fridge.) which stays between about 50º - 65º F year round, although I have to wrap a towel around it to keep the light out.

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