What do you do when you’re bored?

I’ve been working in the U.S. for almost six months, and I tend to buy books when I get bored. I spend hours reading reviews and researching authors, then go to amazon.com and try to limit my purchases. Because I’m in the States, I’m buying from amazon.com instead of amazon.ca; books are cheaper down here. I bought these:

Cherry beer. No shit.

I bought Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat beer today, and it actually has a cherry flavor; it’s brewed with cherries. It’s good! It’s not sweet: slighty spicey with a little dry finish; you can feel your tongue drying out. I don’t think I’d drink it regularly, but it’s a nice change. It cost me $7.00 U.S. for six bottles at Kroger’s.

Beatles Song Analyses

This is a cool reference for Beatles’ fans:

In 1989 the American musicologist Alan W. Pollack started to analyze the songs of the Beatles. He published his first results on internet. In 1991 — after he had finished the work on 28 songs — he bravely decided to do the whole lot of them. About ten years later, in 2000 he completed the analysis of the official Beatles’ canon, consisting of 187 songs and 25 covers.

Here’s an example from Rocky Raccoon:

Compositionally, the song is a clever triumph of formal articulation over rote monothematicism by virtue of controlled, subtle variation in a number of departments. That’s an excessively highfalutin way of saying, gee, the whole three and a half minute track is played out over the same unvarying eight-bar chord progression, and yet, rather than sounding painfully monotonous, it creates the impression of a something developed with the full formal scale and variety you typically expect from a "song"!

(via J-Walk Blog)

Tim Hortons’ reply, Part 3

It took them two days to reply, which I’m pleasantly surprised about:

Dear Ms. Cairns:
I would like to thank you for taking the time to contact us via e-mail regarding the quality of coffee you received at our location in Warren, Michigan.
The product you received in no way reflects the high quality standards that we set for our stores. In certain areas of the USA, cup sizes do differ from those in Canada. In regards to your cream and sugar portioning issues, we have instructed the District Manager to follow-up with the Van Dyke Store to re-calibrate their cream and sugar machines.
At Tim Hortons we strive to achieve customer satisfaction through friendly and efficient customer service, a high level of product quality and cleanliness in our stores. For this reason, we appreciate the time you have taken to let us know of your experience.
We look forward to serving you better in the near future! The Tim Hortons internet site at www.timhortons.com may also be of interest to you.
Yours Truly,
The TDL Group Corp.

I get that "Ms." all the time. It used to be worse when I had long hair.

Why scotch isn’t beer

I was recently asked:

A few nights ago a friend and I dropped by a pub for a pint. While I was ordering my beer, I heard a guy talking about how scotch and beer have the same ingredients, that they’re only brewed differently, and that if you let beer age for 15 years you’d end up with scotch.
Is this true? How can scotch and beer be the same thing? I have my doubts.

Short answer: scotch is distilled, beer is not.

Scotch and beer have the same ingredients (except beer often uses hops) and processes up to a point. Both start with barley and sometimes other grains, which is turned into a malt by soaking it in water until it sprouts. It’s then dried to stop the sprouting. Most scotch distilleries use peat to dry their malt, giving it a smokey flavor. Beer breweries often just use a hot oven. Once groundup, it’s then soaked with water and yeast to produce a wort. From there, the processes change for scotch and beer: scotch is distilled, beer isn’t.

I wouldn’t want to drink beer that’s been aged for 15 years; I doubt it’d be drinkable.

I think I may create a scotch site to add to the other 1,810,000 out there.