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Internet Explorer bug fixed!

For those of you still using Microsoft Internet Explorer, you may have had difficulties reading Looka! since the WordPress changeover and, more recently, seeing the sidebar. If you’ve given up on us because of that — and are still, I hope, glancing at your RSS reader — please come back! The bug’s fixed (gaah, stray comment tags!), all is well, and IE users will have a trouble-free Looka! reading experience from now on. (But it would behoove you to switch to Firefox. And if you’re a Mac user, Safari works great.)

We now return you to your regularly scheduled weblog. Don’t let this distract you from reading “Go forth and conquer,” Wesly’s first Looka! post, if you haven’t already.

Happy Repeal Day!

For those of you who might not be aware (a diminishing number annually, I fervently hope), there is an other winter holiday to celebrate, “the most joyous of all winter holidays,” as my friend Tatsu said yesterday.

Happy days are here again!

Repeal Day is December 5, and celebrates the anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition, the “Noble Experiment” that was anything but. Prohibition brought about myriad ill effects to the country and the world, including the loss of every job in the brewery, winery, distillery and hospitality industry that relied on making and serving alcoholic beverages, the criminalization of millions of Americans who simply enjoyed having a drink, and the wide expansion of a criminal underclass to provide liquor to the masses (without caring too much about whether or not that liquor would poison you).

Getting rid of and recovering from all those ills (and to this day we’re still recovering from the ill-effects of Prohibtion) and having the freedom to have and enjoy a drink is well worth celebrating, don’t you think? We have our friend Jeffrey Morgenthaler to thank for coming up with the idea to make this a widely-celebrated national holiday, and it’s getting more and more well-known every year.

A bit of history, shall we?

Continue reading …

Please welcome Wesly to Looka!

You’ve seen the boy’s name mentioned here enough times, and even got to read a bit of his writing here and there (such as when I was, um, too blotto to clearly remember the end of certain meals).  He’s an excellent writer too, and I thought it was a shame that more folks didn’t get to read his stuff.

So, after much suggesting, wheedling, cajoling, pleading, coaxing, flattering, obsequity, bewitching, bothering, alluring, urging, perseverence, ass-kissing and just plain nagging (“Ahh, ya will … go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, GO ON!!!”), Wesly Moore has agreed to become a (semi-)regular author and contributor to Looka!, when he feels like it.

He’ll be writing about … well, whatever tickles his fancy, be it cocktails or food or travel or whatever.  Now that I’ve publicly put him on the spot, I suspect he’ll have to come up with something soon.

Please make him feel welcome.  And of course, Team Chuck ‘n Wes means more free content!

Vacation! Seeyas in two weeks.

What, vacation already? Jeezus, he’s only after gettin’ the blog up and rolling … barely three weeks and already he’s fecking off out of town?

Well, yeah.

So, Looka! is likely to be rather unattended for the next two weeks. I may try to make a few brief posts via the WordPress iPhone app, but I certainly can’t guarantee that.

As we’re still figuring out how the new digs work around here, strange things might happen, like legitimate comments to posts getting caught as spam. For that reason I highly encourage to you register for this site as a subscriber if you plan to be a regular participant in the comments (and I hope you do!). Go to the link on the right-hand sidebar under “Looka!dministration” (yeah, I know, it’s silly and I’ll probably change it) and click the “Register” link. You’ll be prompted to enter a username and email address, and a temporary password will be mailed to you. You can change it when you log in, set how you want your name to be displayed, etc. By registering you’re telling the system that your email address is legit and you’re not a scumbag spammer, fit only to be boiled in a vat of molten chewing gum (which is actually too good for spammers).

So … where the hell are we going? (Oh right!)

This evening Wes and I are taking off for a two-week trip to Europe — London, Shropshire in rural western England, then on to Paris for a few days, finally ending up in Barcelona for four days. We got amazingly cheap flights and are staying with friends for the first 2/3 of the trip, which is the way to travel and keep it affordable. Ah yes, the patented Chuck-’n-Wes-mooch-off-your-friends-as-much-as-possible method.

We’re particularly excited to visit our friends John and Fiona, namesakes of the Hoskins Cocktail (who, sad to say, never actually met gaz regan), who’ll be taking us around London for a couple of days and then whisking us off to their home in rural Shropshire and stuffing us full of pork.  (Mmmm, bacon butties …) Also part of the plan while we’re in London is to meet up with our friend Jay Hepburn of Oh Gosh! and hit a few of his favorite London cocktail bars. (Rumor has it that Morgenthaler will be there too … hoo!)

Then off to see our old friend Dule in Paris, where fantastic food, wine, cocktails, art and everything that is the City of Light awaits.  Finally Barcelona — Gaudí, tapas and … well, everything!  I’m still kind of overwhelmed by the prospect of it all, and I really wish we had more than two weeks to do this.  (Limited vacation days and not being independently wealthy, sigh.)

There should be tons of food and drink porn when we get back.

Cheerio, au revoir y hasta la vista!  See y’all the first week in November.

Voilà … Looka!’s spiff new look!

Finally, this place is gonna start looking a bit more like it used to!

As of today, we’ve got the basic look of the blog down.  The theme is based on the free Vesper theme by Valen Designs, which had the kind of layout we were looking for, if not so much the exact look.  (I wasn’t really down wit’ da urnge.)

The custom Looka! theme was designed by my friend Marleigh Riggins Miller of SLOSHED! fame.  Not only is she a terrific cocktails and spirits writer and drink-maker, she’s a very talented graphic designer — the kind of stuff she does for a living — and she did a really lovely job.  It’s still a work-in-progress, and over the next few days or week or two we’ll roll out other features, including navigation along the header with links to full archives, an about page, a list of cocktail recipes (i.e., the old “Cocktail of the Day” feature, which I will gradually import into WordPress going as far back as I can), a page of links (instead of that really long frakkin’ sidebar) and maybe some more.  We’ll see!

I also want to thank my friend Jay Hepburn of Oh Gosh! (the UK’s premier cocktail and spirits weblog, in my humble opinion) for his preliminary work in helping get this place ported to WordPress.  He’s meeting Wesly and me at the Connaught Bar in London next Thursday, and I think there’ll be a drink or three there with his name on ‘em.

Onward and upstairs!

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