Cold Fingers, Cold Beer

Holy shit, being a writer can be numbing! That’s what I discovered a week and a half ago when I strolled around my neighborhood as darkness was settling in. Earlier that day my region had received its first snowfall of the winter (I live in a town near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). Dedicated journalist that I occasionally am, I decided to see how the powdery white stuff looked in moonlight, and to document my walk in words and with photos.

Well, it took me only a minute to realize that I wasn’t in a winter wonderland. Yeah, there were several inches of snow on the ground, but the effect was much less charming than I’d thought it would be. And what I’d been hoping especially to see — softly glowing snow clinging to tree branches — was virtually nowhere to be found. The day’s steady breezes had emptied the trees.

There were some worthy scenes, however. For instance, a number of households had not yet taken down their Christmas lights, so I stopped to admire those displays. And, 20 minutes into my walk, I watched a few kids sledding down the hilly front lawn of an apartment building. They were having fun. But you know what? I wasn’t! And that’s because my f*cking fingers were freezing!

Sure, I wore gloves during most of the walk. But I had to take them off every time I decided to snap a photo. Otherwise, there was no way I could have aimed my phone’s camera properly and pressed its button. Thus, my hands were exposed intermittently to 25°F (-4°C) air.

That shouldn’t have been enough to cause my fingers to become comatose. But somehow it damn well was. So, after being on the streets for almost half an hour, I knew I needed to get inside. Picking up my pace, I strode to my block. In front of my next-door neighbor’s home though, I chose, like a fool, to torture myself a little more by photographing the Moon, which was peeking through a tangle of tree branches. Then I walked the remaining 50 feet to my house, where I struggled to muster enough finger coordination to insert the front door key into its designated opening. Ten seconds later, finally, success! In I went.

Yup, having cold fingers sucks. Big time. On the other hand, having cold beers is a pleasure. In fact, it’s one of my greatest pleasures. I’d be in mourning if beer disappeared from the face of the Earth.

Though I’d enjoyed beer for many years (mainly mainstream lagers, such as Budweiser), my appreciation of the beverage rose to a higher level when, in my late 40s, I discovered that there were far more styles of beer on the market than I’d realized, and that the quality of many of them was steps above what I’d been used to. I have the craft beer revolution to thank for all of that. It began in the 1980s and really took off during the following decade, which is when I fell under its spell. Today, the revolution is at a high point. I mean, so many breweries worldwide produce primo beers.

Some of my pals.

Stouts, porters, pilsners, India pale ales (IPAs), and on and on . . . I pretty much like ’em all. And I look forward to downing one of them with dinner most evenings. I’m salivating right now, thinking about which brew I’ll have tonight. A quick look into the frig tells me my choice likely will be the Dogfish Head brewery’s 60 Minute IPA, an aromatic and seriously bitter quaff that’s refreshing as hell. I tell you, in these times of climate change, COVID, authoritarianism and racism, to name but a few problems bedeviling humankind, it’s wonderful to have something to look forward to.

The time has come to wrap things up. I’ll do so with songs that mesh, title-wise anyway, with this narrative. First up is Cold Fingers, by the late great Tony Joe White. Much of his music, Cold Fingers included, sounds primordial, as though it was born in our planet’s bowels. Tony Joe was something else. And then there’s Blake Shelton, a country music star and a pretty talented cat. Generally I’m not a big fan of today’s country music, overblown as much of it is. Though Blake’s Straight Outta Cold Beer leans in that direction, it tells a realistic story and packs a wallop. I like it.

Thanks for reading, girls and boys. Feel free to comment. Here are the songs:

143 thoughts on “Cold Fingers, Cold Beer

  1. Jeff the Chef January 25, 2022 / 9:12 am

    I recently went to an outdoor event at which there was cake – which explains my presence – and a few folks were saddled with having to slice cake in 25 degree weather. They were doing it bare handed, and I could guess that handling a knife and frosting with gloves on could be problematic. But I tell you, I would’ve chanced it. They could barely get their fingers to operate correctly! Poor saps! So I can understand what you went through with your camera. In other news, hell yeah to the world of craft beer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 25, 2022 / 1:52 pm

      Troegs is a brewery in Pennsylvania. If their beers are distributed where you live, and if you like hoppy beers, then buy their Blizzard Of Hops. It’s great.

      Like

  2. stargazer January 25, 2022 / 4:14 pm

    Haha, maybe snow is more charming in Christmas movies than it is in real life. Personally, I like a bit of snow, but I prefer when it disappears quickly again (which it normally does) since London isn’t equipped to deal with serious snow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 25, 2022 / 6:17 pm

      Hi. As a child I’d go sledding and ice skating (I grew up near New York City. We had many snowy and cold winters). It was fun. But, no longer am I a fan of winter.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pam Lazos January 26, 2022 / 11:36 am

    Cold hands, warm heart, cold beer! I think you made the best of a snow day, Neil!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 26, 2022 / 2:31 pm

      Hi Pam, and thanks. By the way: the Troegs brewery is somewhere in your vicinity I think. If anyone in your family likes hoppy beers, I think they would like Troegs’ Blizzard Of Hops. To me, it’s great. Take care. See ya.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pam Lazos January 26, 2022 / 3:45 pm

        Me! I like hoppy beers. 🍻 My husband not so much. He’s more of a Guinness man. On your recommendation, I will check out the blizzard 🌨 Neil.🙏

        Liked by 1 person

  4. chattykerry January 26, 2022 / 1:35 pm

    Fingerless gloves and hot chocolate??? Cairo had fantastic locally brewed beer – you had to hold it up to the light to check for cockroaches in it. Still tasted great, perhaps it was Keto beer?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 26, 2022 / 4:11 pm

      Hi. I’d like to try Egyptian beer. But I’ve never seen it distributed anywhere in the USA. In the States, you can find beers from Japan, Germany, and a bunch of countries. But not Egypt. Thanks for stopping by. See ya!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Americaoncoffee January 27, 2022 / 4:17 am

    Great reflection and lots of Brest!

    Like

  6. alhenry February 1, 2022 / 4:07 pm

    I’m catching up here, Neil! Especially enjoyed your line “I chose, like a fool, to torture myself a little more by photographing the Moon, which was peeking through a tangle of tree branches.”

    That moon-through-trees-at-night gets me too every time. I have dashed inside to get my camera on countless occasions only to find the “perfect snap” was lost as the moon had slithered this way or that by the time I reached the back deck again. But here’s to the undaunted–your moon pic came out A-OK. As for all the great brews available now, I’m a big fan of most IPAs and more than a little partial to Newcastle Brown Ale. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 1, 2022 / 5:16 pm

      You know, we live in absolutely golden times when it comes to beer. I’m with you on IPAs There are so many good ones out there.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. cindy knoke February 9, 2022 / 12:50 am

    You are very clever and funny. I know for a fact you can take photos with clumbsy mitten fingers, because I just did it, for the first time ever. The photos were neither better, nor worse, just the same, with clumbsy fingers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 9, 2022 / 9:14 am

      Hi Cindy. Not only did the cold make my fingers go half-numb that night, it also damaged my phone’s battery. Ever since then, the battery has been losing its charge noticeably faster than it ussd to.

      Like

  8. Helene Brennan February 12, 2022 / 3:50 pm

    I can certainly relate to the cold photographer’s hands! And I must admit, I like my Guinness and white wine chilled – everything else room temperature. Funny how we all have our little idiosyncrasies! Enjoyable post, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Silver Screenings February 13, 2022 / 1:52 pm

    Some great tunes here, and thanks for the introduction to Tony Joe White. What a great voice!

    P.S. Loved all the photos, especially the one of the kids sledding down the hill.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 13, 2022 / 4:18 pm

      Hi. Around 15 years ago I saw Tony Joe White in a club in Philadelphia. Although he was a fairly big name and had been performing for many years, only about 40 or 50 people were at the show. Maybe fewer than that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Silver Screenings February 13, 2022 / 5:14 pm

        No way – really? Such a small audience? Well, you’ve done your part in helping to spread his name and good music. I’m a new Insta-Fan, for example!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. ckennedy February 27, 2022 / 2:48 pm

    Those are great photos! I am ready for the cold to go away, though. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 27, 2022 / 5:06 pm

      The older I get, the less I like cold weather. I can understand why some people in cold, snowy areas move to warm climes eventually.

      Liked by 1 person

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