Wednesday, February 24

It's what we drink around here

CBS This Morning
For those poor souls who have never heard of Vernors Ginger Ale, let alone tried it, I shall endeavor to give you a brief history.

Vernors is a ginger-flavored soft drink and the oldest surviving ginger ale brand in the United States - although there were a lot of commercial ginger drinks prior to 1866.

Vernors is a highly carbonated, sweet "golden" ginger ale that gets its color from caramel and has a robust flavor similar to ginger beer. The golden style was common before Prohibition, when "dry" pale ginger ale became popular. 

According to company legend,
Detroit pharmacist James Vernor experimented with flavors in an attempt to duplicate a popular ginger ale imported from Ireland prior to the start of the Civil War. When Vernor went off to serve in the Civil War, he stored the ginger syrup base of 19 ingredients in an oak cask.

Vernor joined the 4th Michigan Cavalry on Aug. 14, 1862 as a hospital steward, was promoted to second lieutenant on Sept. 20, 1864, and was discharged on July 1, 1865. After returning in 1866, he opened the keg and found the drink inside had been changed by the aging process in the wood. It was like nothing else he had ever tasted, and he allegedly said it was "Deliciously different," which remains the drink's motto to this day. 

Some stories say it was created in 1866. However,  James Vernor, Jr., admitted in a 1936 interview that the formula was not developed by his father until after the Civil War was over. This was confirmed in a 1962 interview with former company president, James Vernor Davis. According to the 1911 trademark application, Vernor's ginger ale first entered commerce in 1880, not 1866. (As a reference, Coca-Cola was first sold on May 8, 1886, and in 1893, "Brad's Drink," became an overnight sensation. On Aug. 28, 1898, it was renamed "Pepsi-Cola.")

For most of its history, Vernors was a regional product only sold at soda fountain franchises. Later Vernors was bottled for home consumption. Vernors was not mass distributed nationally until the 1960s. Even after expansion, Michigan accounts for 80 percent of Vernors sales. Michigan, Ohio and Illinois are the highest-selling states, but it is also popular in Florida and Arizona, which has many retired mid-western residents.

A number of slogans have been associated with Vernors over the years. Advertising in the early 1900s used the slogan "Detroit's Drink." It began using the slogan "Deliciously Different" in 1921, and for a time in the mid-1980s Vernors used the slogan, "It's what we drink around here."

It is what we drink around here.

Tuesday, February 23

Life is like a beautiful Melody

American Girl
I honestly don't know how I'm going to survive until this summer when Melody Ellison is released.

American Girl has been doing an excellent job this week promoting Melody because of Black History Month.

Because February is Black History Month, your daughter may be learning about Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights movement in school. But even in our own changing times, civil rights issues and the social climate of the 1960s may be difficult for her to fully understand. That is why we are so proud to introduce our compelling new BeForever™ character, Melody, whose story reflects the changing face and history of the nation during that important era.

Nine-year-old Melody is growing up in Detroit in the mid-1960s, a time of great energy, optimism, and change for the African American community. She is a singer and loves to perform in church, with her family, and in her community. Her stories are set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, which was gathering momentum, and the music scene, including the success and popularity of Motown Records and its artists.

As Melody gains more awareness of racial inequality and her sense of community grows from her extended family to include her neighborhood and, ultimately, all African Americans, she is inspired by Dr. King to have a dream of her own: to lift her voice for fairness and equality.

Because many girls are interested in music and performing, as well as starting to find their own "voice" and express their opinions, they'll find Melody's stories engaging and entertaining. You'll love that they're educational, too, helping your girl connect with the past on a more personal level. Come meet Melody Ellison and introduce her to your girl today!

But what is Momma most excited about? Vernors. Melody constantly drinks ginger ale in her first book, especially Vernors - a Detroit invention and midwestern favorite. And what did Momma spot on the table during yesterday's CBS This Morning broadcast? A teeny-tiny bottle of Vernors!

So what's the deal about Vernors? That will be a lesson for another day.

Tuesday, February 16

Wednesday, February 10

The next generation

I am so going to crush this!

First Wil Wheaton at Phoenix Comicon 11, and now his mom.

Well, his show mom.

Gates McFadden was cast in 1987 as Dr. Beverly Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation as a widow balancing motherhood and a career as well as Captain Jean-Luc Picard's love interest.

McFadden was replaced by actress Diana Muldaur as the Enterprise's Chief Medical Officer
at the end of the first season. (Muldaur's character, Dr. Katherine Pulaski, didn't make it to the third season.) McFadden was persuaded to reprise her role, which she retained through the remainder of the series.

McFadden reprised her role for all four TNG movies and also provided her voice for personal computer games Star Trek: A Final Unity and Star Trek Generations. Also, McFadden directed the TNG episode "Genesis" (her only directing credit to date) and choreographed the dance routine in "Data's Day."

I shall be dressing as the doctor herself.

Wow, that makes two Doctors in one weekend!

A River Song runs through it

Who is coming to Phoenix Comicon 16?

Known for roles in some of the most popular television series in both the United States and the United Kingdom, 2008 saw Alex Kingston in one of her most beloved recurring roles to genre fans when she guest-starred in the fourth series of Doctor Who. Her debut as the character River Song was in the two-part episode "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead.” Originally thought to be a one-off, River Song was such a hit with fans she has since appeared in 15 episodes of the series ... and counting.

So what shall we wear?

Clementine plans to wear an outfit inspired by the one worn by Mels as she regenerated into River Song.

I shall be dressed as the 11th Doctor - fez and all!

Momma will be busy!