Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

Saranac Caramel Porter: The Worst Beer Ever.

28 March, 2008

Rant on:

The title says it all. And while the claim “Saranac Caramel Porter is the worst beer ever” is my opinion, I will also say that I have never found anyone who likes it. In fact, everyone I know who has bought it wishes that they never had.

Sorry, Saranac. I do enjoy your pale ale and IPA.

Rant off.


Airline karma

6 February, 2008

Rant, and not that anyone cares, but:

Well, most of you know I have been on a trip out west to shut down “the estate.” I have returned from this trip with my faith in family and fairness restored, regardless of how things ultimately turn out. I do, however, have a couple of things to share regarding my air travel. By luck of the draw, I had emergency exit seats from CHO to IAD, from IAD to Denver, and from Denver to SNA. Total travel time from CHO to SNA was 12 hours, plus rental car time. On my return trip, from SNA to SFO and from SFO to IAD, I had 3 seats to myself, which meant I could lie down and sleep on the flights, which I did, and I hope I snored loudly to pay back the Italian brats who kept waking me up by tickling my feet and the screaming baby in the row ahead of me. All in all, it was a good flight. I highly recommend bringing shotgun ear muffs and a hat that covers your eyes on all flights.

I never would have thought that the last leg of my flight, which is a mere two hour drive by car, would have been canceled. As a result, I missed my class, pissed off my girlfriend, who was in the area but could not pick me up, and brought a rain of bad luck to her family for twenty-four hours. Still, I am back safe and sound, and nobody got hurt. We also enjoyed a great bottle of wine.

In the future, I will drive to RIC or IAD and leave my car there. I will be able to take direct, non-stop flights, and I will not be stymied by last second flight cancellations. Better to take a car and put it in long term storage than suffer layover after layover for the sake of flying out of the small and seemingly-convenient CHO, which has it own charm–it is small and has free wireless, and you can show up 30 minutes before your flight and still get on it. But the fact is this: CHO to IAD: 2 hour layover; IAD to Denver: 2.5 hour layover. Same on the way back. SNA to SFO: 2 hour layover; SFO to IAD: 1.5 hour layover with canceled flight and consequences. Next time I will drive to the airport and book a nonstop flight. My commute time will be cut from 12 hours to 7 hours.

Rant over.

Beef is not a euphemism for cow

14 January, 2008


An aspiring vegan recently claimed that “beef” is a euphemism for cow–suspecting some sort of linguistic camouflague concealing the fact, and assuaging our consciences that, we are consuming an animal. This is a patently false claim, one that I hear often, and perhaps one I even made during my 11 year stint as a vegetarian.

The false argument:

  • Beef euphemizes cooked cow;
  • Pork euphemizes cooked pig;
  • Venison euphamizes cooked deer

Other culinary lingo blatantly contradicts the claim:

  • Rabbit = cooked rabbit;
  • Chicken = cooked chicken;
  • Turkey = cooked turkey;
  • Fish = cooked fish (sushi is simply a borrowed loan word–like tofu–not a euphemism);
  • Liver = cooked liver (usually preceded by the type–chicken… or calves… or pork…;
  • Brains = cooked brains

Still, there are true culinary euphemisms:

  • Fries (or “Rocky Mountain oysters”) = cooked testicles
  • Sweetbreads = cooked thymus gland (the first use occurs in the mid-16th century)
  • Pluck = (Scottish) that which is first “plucked” out of a sheep upon slaughter, which is the liver, heart, lungs, heart, etc.–the traditional mammalian ingredients for hagus.

Dudes,… English has a huge linguistic, technical, and culinary vocabulary, influenced by many factors, not the least of which are economic/culinary class societies (English nobility = Francophile eaters and adopters of French culinary terms), the Norman invasion, the industrial revolution, and many other events that have created a language with the largest vocabublary and nuance on the planet.

Rant over.