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In Living Commentary

Covertly carry emergency cash with the True Utility Cashstash Cash Capsule.

In Living Commentary

Celebrate surviving another "apocalypse" with Ale Asylum's Ambergeddon. recommends, Dec. 22, 2012

Conceal emergency cash, catch the Bucks in action or wet your whistle with a beer, wine and more with this week's edition of Recommends.

Cayman Jack margaritas – After trying a wide range of syrupy, super-uber-sweetened and cloying "malt beverages," I've become extremely skeptical. But I gave Cayman Jack a chance because the label says they use organic limes, 100 percent blue agave nectar and pure cane sugar in their pre-made and bottled margaritas. And I'm glad I did try because these are tasty citrus bevvies – with 5.9 percent alcohol – that are sweet, but not overly so and they have none of that chemical sweetness that you pick up in many of these malt beverages in a bottle. My only fear is that because you can't taste the alcohol you just might forget about the booze content and end up wastin' away in Margaritaville when you're supposed to be watching the kids or finishing up that big report for the boss. – Bobby Tanzilo

True Utility Cashstash Cash Capsule – If you're like me, you rarely carry cash anymore. Usually, that's not a problem, but there are times when a credit card won't cut it. An inconspicuous, cheap and easy solution is the True Utility Cashstash Cash capsule, a tiny $6 tube made of aircraft-grade aluminum. Inside this little cylinder, you can cram exactly one bill (so choose wisely), or perhaps a few small pills or a copy of your ID. It's sealed with an O-ring so it's totally waterproof. Yes, at airports you'll probably receive extra scrutiny because people will think you're smuggling drugs, but for those times when you really need some emergency cash, it's probably worth that inconvenience. – Andy Tarnoff

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – The Milwaukee Bucks remain near the top of the Central Division standings and play host to the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday night. Normally, games with the Cavs aren't that exciting, but the Bucks have beaten them twice this year on a buzzer-beater by Brandon Jennings and by just four points. The games have been close, exciting, and you've got the one-on-one matchup between Jennings at the Cavs' Kyrie Irving. Jennings wants to make the Eastern Conference All-Star squad this year and knows Irving is one of the players that stands in his way. This should make for another fun night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. – Jim Owczarski

Ale Asylum's Ambergeddon – Ah, another "apocalypse" has come and gone. Why not toast to your survival with the added irony of Ale Asylum's Ambergeddon amber ale? The Madison-based brewery has packed more than its fair share of malt and hops into this one, resulting in a flavorful detour from your average brew. It's ale-y, it's IPA-y, and it really packs a punch. Do yourself a favor and stock up in preparation for the next threat of extinction (just in case). – Renee Lorenz

Piccini Chianti Classico 2009 – When our neighbors invited us over for lasagne, this great Chianti Classico seemed like the perfect choice to bring along. And it was a hit for its explosion of ripe berries and its gorgeous mouth feel. It made me look like a wine genius. The grapes – 85 percent sangiovese, 10 percent merlot and 5 percent ciliegiolo – are grown on Piccini's nearly 1,000 acres in the heart of the Chianti Classico zone (as they have been since 1882). Like its roots, this DOCG wine feels like a great family wine. It's bright, with a deep purple color and a satisfyingly long finish that's paved in cherries and blackberries. But, drinkable as it is, the Piccini has a noble, rather than rustic, character. The Piccini Chianti Classico retails for $15.99, but peel the price tag off before you serve it and folks will think you paid twice the price. – Bobby Tanzilo

Tree-trimming tips – This is a hint you have to save until next year, probably. Or if you still need it this year, go ahead. I always end up in a minor argument when it comes to stringing Christmas tree lights. It's blank here, no it's blank there. Well, in an old issue of Ladies Home Journal (don't ask) I found this amazing tip: stand about five feet away from your tree. Squint your eyes. The blank spots will jump out like they have been highlighted with a pen. It's amazing. Then you can just move a couple of lights without any battles. It's a surefire thing to find the blank spots in any tree. Just repeat until you squint and there are no blank spots. Amazing. – Dave Begel


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