Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Schlitz and Giggles

While buying essential liquids at my favorite liquor-mart today I did a double-take - was that Schlitz long-neck bottles? Yes indeed. On a long and entirely worthwhile quest to sample as many beers of my dad's generation as possible, hopefully on tap or in bottles, my only brush with Schlitz was chancing across a $5 12-pack of cans circa 1999; it was swill, and low-grade swill at that. But now Schlitz is trying a comeback with the original recipe which was abandoned circa the late 1970s - they sped up the brewing process, had hops problems that kept the brew from foaming, and the death knell came when they tried to fix the foaming problem with a seaweed derivative that over time hardened into chunks at the bottom of the bottle... a turnoff to even the least choosy beer drinkers. So now they're back with the "1968 recipe" and a bottle with a 1950s style logo. And the first bottle's pretty good. Now for the next five.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How Drive Car Good Down Road

(I stole this image from another Blogspot user and I DON'T CARE!)

I feel it's time to gently share a few observations I've made while traveling the highways, byways and whyways (why did I take this route???). So here goes.
1) Why it's called a "merge"/"acceleration" lane - the concept is that you pace your speed to merge (ie join the flow) of traffic. This isn't accomplished by stopping at the end and CERTAINLY not by stopping at the beginning of the lane and looking helplessly at the cars streaming past. Hint: adjust your speed in the lane so as to pop into a gap between cars as you reach the end of the lane.
2) Making a right-hand turn. This is especially noticed on my highway commute home. You do not need to slow to a stop before turning - your car WILL NOT fall over. Practice taking your right turns a few miles an hour faster each time you do so. When you hear rubber screech and hubcaps fly off, back it off a bit.
3) Similarly to #2 - when going through a parking lot in your big-ass SUV you do not need to slow to one m.p.h. to cross a speed bump. Although you clearly do not know this your SUV has features such as a rugged suspension system and increased clearance between wheels and fenders that, ironically, make it ideal for hitting speed bumps at 30. Any slower and you're cheating yourself.
4) Conversely to #3: Slow the fugg down in parking lots - especially you damn kids that are texting, chugging Red Bull and watching Tokyo Drift on your dashboard DVD player! Ever had to clean a bird out of your grille? Yucky, right? Believe me, cleaning a toddler out of the grille is much worse.
5) What's up with this? I drive @25 miles of a two-lane US highway every weekday. A lot of people coming the opposite direction pull right to the point they're almost in the gravel shoulder when they meet oncoming traffic. Which can lead to all kinds of unpleasant things. Here's a tip: just stay to the right of that line down the center of the road, and I will too - and we won't collide!!!
I'm sure I forgot a thing or two - but will add them as I think of them. You've been warned.