Friday, January 14, 2022

Friday Night Videos

Friday Night Videos

Ah, the 80s. The source of so much good music as well a so many questionable aesthetic choices. The Romantics' "Talking In Your Sleep" is a prime example. Great song? Check. Attractive, scantily clad women? Check. Garbage bags taped together as a set backdrop? Check. 1950s biker jackets? Check. Problematic hair? Checkmate.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... The Kinks.

Now Playing: Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd Jazz Samba
Chicken Ranch Central

Thursday, January 06, 2022

History Briefs!

I haven't discussed the Chicken Ranch in a while, but the History Briefs podcast tracked me down anyway and had me on an episode to discuss the infamous Best Little Whorehouse. It was fun to once again talk about this thing that consumed six years of my life. Here's the episode information:

The brothel known as the Chicken Ranch, sat between Houston and Austin for 60 years and was no secret. Trouble brewed when the house of ill-repute had the misfortune of being the target of a TV news sensationalist giving the Governor no choice but to order it be closed. Even then, the brothel may have been quickly forgotten had it not been put in the spotlight by The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, a stage play and later a major motion picture. But how much of what you know of the chicken ranch is true? I chat with Jayme Blashcke who spent years studying the true story and shares what he knows.
Give them a listen here: History Briefs Episode 8: The Chicken Ranch.

Now Playing: Les Baxter Exotic Moods of Les Baxter
Chicken Ranch Central

Monday, January 03, 2022

A Moment of Tiki: Okolehao and Moai Carving

Happy new year, folks! I'm back to kick off 2022 with an all-new episode of A Moment of Tiki... plus an older episode from November that I forgot to share here on the blog. What can I say? I'm nothing if not consistent.

In episode 37, I do a quick exploration of Okolehao. Okolehao is Hawaii's indigenous spirit, first distilled on the islands in 1790. Hawaii was a major base for U.S. whaling ships of the era, and the first crude stills were jury-rigged from the try pots the ships used to render the blubber from whales into oil. This is where the spirit gets its name: ʻōkole ("butt") + hao ("iron"). Okolehao has traditionally used roasted roots of the ti plant has the primary fermentable, but other sugar sources on the islands, such has sugar cane and pineapple, have also been used alongside ti root. Following World War II, cheap, unaged whisky from the U.S. was more economical to use so ti flavoring was added to the imported white dog spirit and sold as Okolehao. By the early 2000s pretty much all commercial production of Okolehao had ceased and it was nearly impossible to find. Thanks to the craft spirits movement, though, a small handful of distillers in Hawaii have begun producing versions of this heirloom spirit once again. On this episode of A Moment of Tiki, I sample some from Island Distillers out of Honolulu. I also give it a try in the Polynesian Paralysis, a classic mid-century Okolehao cocktail recipe out of the book "Beachbum Berry Remixed."

Then in episode 35, I take an old pecan log and attempt to carve it into a Moai based on those from the island of Rapa Nui. I use a combination of chain saw, angle grinder and die grinder. Of these power tools, I used the chainsaw and angle grinder (with a Kutzall Extreme shaping disk) to rough out the shape, then finessed the details using my die grinder with some Saburrtooth burrs. Because I am dumb, I left the log exposed outside for several years, which meant insects and fungus had gotten to work on it, which caused some issues. The log was also pecan, which turned out to be one of the hardest woods native to North America. Probably not the best planning on my part, but hey, I make the mistakes so you don't have to!

Now Playing: Willie Nelson One Hell of a Ride
Chicken Ranch Central

Friday, December 24, 2021

Friday Night Videos

Friday Night Videos

Best Christmas song? Or best Christmas song ever? It's not a jolly holiday until the Kinks' play "Father Christmas."

Previously on Friday Night Videos... The Royal Guardsmen.

Now Playing: The Mona Lisa Twins Christmas Album
Chicken Ranch Central

Monday, December 20, 2021

Pufferfish ornament giveaway!

pufferfish ornaments
My latest episode of "A Moment of Tiki" is now live, and just like last year with Tiki Bob, I'm having another end of December giveaway! This year I've made pufferfish ornaments, just perfect for a tikified Christmas tree, Festivus aluminum pole or (to be totally honest) hanging year 'round in the the home tiki bar. They're cute. They're economy-sized. They're not cuddly, however.

I've made three different color variants to be given away free of charge, on my various social media platforms. And hey, if you don't win one, I lay out the how-to steps in my video for "A Moment of Tiki," so it's win-win for everyone! Here are the links:

All pages have their own rules for entry clearly stated. Good luck! The puffers need new homes for the holidays!

Now Playing: Frank Hunter White Goddess
Chicken Ranch Central

Friday, December 17, 2021

Friday Night Videos

Friday Night Videos

As a kid I loved the Royal Guardsmen, in particular their holiday tune, "Snoopy's Christmas." I remember back in college asking Sneaky Pete during one of his sing-alongs at the Flying Tomato if he knew it right after he'd performed "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron" and he'd never heard it. I miss those Sneaky Pete sing-alongs. But here's a rare video of the Royal Guardsmen performing the song on TV. Dig that glockenspiel player!

Previously on Friday Night Videos... Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra.

Now Playing: Various artists The Best of Christmas
Chicken Ranch Central

Tuesday, December 14, 2021


Way back in the early days of my tiki adventure, David invited me to be a guest on his Texas tiki-centric podcast titled (appropriately enough) "Marooned: A Texas Tiki Podcast." That experience led directly to my launching A Moment of Tiki, so if you were unsure of who to blame before, now you know.

But I digress. After nearly four years, I assume the trauma has faded from David's memory, because he returned to the scene of the crime for another podcast interview with me. I know. I'm baffled as well. Regardless, you can let my rambling soapbox soliloquies get into your ear holes at this link: Here's what David has to say about this outing:

Lagoon of Mystery Home Tiki Bar
Aloha, tikiphiles! Thanks for joining me for another episode of Marooned: A Texas Tiki Podcast. My guest this episode is long-time friend of the podcast and host of A Moment of Tiki, Jayme Lynn Blaschke.

It's been almost four years since Jayme's first appearance on the podcast and he was long overdue for his return.

To keep up to day with Jayme, you can follow him on Instagram, @lagoonofmystery. To follow A Moment of Tiki, you can join the A Moment of Tiki Facebook Group. To keep up to date with my tiki travels, you can follow me on Instagram, @davidphantomatic. To keep up to date with the podcast and the comings and goings of the tiki world, you can join the Marooned: A Texas Tiki Podcast Facebook Group. Until next time, okole maluna, y'all!
If you're a glutton for punishment, you may find my original interview from January of 2018 at

Now Playing: Elvis Presley If Every Day Was Like Christmas
Chicken Ranch Central