Oh, The Weather Outside Is Frightful….

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 4:52 pm

For the two or three of you who sporadically tune into Uncle Andrew dot Net from outside the Puget Sound area, we’ve been in the grip of one mean mother of a snowstorm for the last few days. It started off peaceably enough with one of our typical bouts: two inches of snow on the ground, during which the local news outlets shit themselves and plastered the air/eyewaves with “STORM WATCH ’08” coverage.

But instead of washing away in a subsequent and wholly typical thaw, the cold—and by association, the snow—decided to stick around. In fact, it decided it was having such a great time that it invited a mass of frigid air down from Canada and dumped another five, six, ten inches on us. Margaret and I took a brief constitutional around our neighborhood amidst a torrential down—uh, drift—this afternoon, and it was quite a sight to see. Brisk winds last night formed distinct patterns in the snowdrifts, like the wind-sculpted sands of a desert dune. The temperature got just high enough to cause the top layer of flakes to collapse into a substantial crust of ice that the foot punches through with only grudging capitulation. It’s a veritable Winter Wonderland out there. Thank God we don’t have to go out in it, at least until tomorrow. Margaret has her usual gig in Renton, while I have to travel down to Olympia to get some last-minute computer wrangling in at work and go to a doctor’s appointment. I’m hoping that either the rain will come in early this afternoon and start the process of washing this all away by the wee hours of Monday, or barring that, that the snow will continue to fall well into tomorrow morning, providing a reasonable barrier against the compacted snow and ice on the highways and encouraging as many commuters as possible to take a snow day. I’m cautiously optimistic about my chances of surviving the trip—all-wheel-drive, plus four years of living in Pullman—but driving under such conditions is rather stressful, even when it isn’t one of the three remaining days before Christmas and the highways are likely to be thrombosed with insane last-minute holiday shoppers. I’m going to bring my extra-warm parka, a thermos of coffee and a sack of Ibuprofen. And maybe a gun.

I wanted to throw out a little addendum to my last post about beer and beer substitutes. One of the underlying themes of that post was the concept of “drinkability”. Well, imagine my surprise when I came to the realization that Anheuser Busch has already incorporated that buzzword into the campaign for their signature reduced-calorie astringent, Bud Light.

There a more than a few ads in this campaign, but this one amuses me for a couple of reasons. One, because two of the three examples of why Bud Light is more “drinkable” than other beers use a metaphor involving water—hoses, rain, hail—and the third of the three is about the shape of the delivery device allowing for easier drinking….a problem addressed years ago by the pioneers who brought you the Mickey’s Big Mouth.

Given that this particular brand purports itself to be the front runner in the very arena to which my last post was largely dedicated, it seemed only meet to give the stuff a try and compare it to the other contestants.

Like the other macrobrews we tested that day, Bud Light’s self-styled drinkability would seem to be based directly on its uncanny resemblance to fizzy, lightly adulterated water. It is by no means the nastiest-tasting of the bunch (that honor continues to rest on the capable, 24 fluid ounce shoulders of the Miller Lite), nor is it the fizziest. It has more flavor than the Rainier or the Pabst—primarily a yeast note—but less of a chemical tang than the Miller. All in all, not a horrible experience, but nothing I would pursue again. Margaret used a lot of the leftovers from the last taste test in a mammoth batch of cheese sauce, which was probably the very best use to which it could be put. Not sure what we’re going to do with the rest of the Bud. Sidewalk de-icer, maybe.

To summarize: if your idea of a fine beer is one that will almost totally bypass your taste buds and just get right down to the business of blurring your vision and distorting your sense of physical attractiveness (both your own and others’), I would say Rainier is the way to go. It tastes damn near like distilled water and goes for about the same price.

Leave a Reply

All comments containing hyperlinks are held for approval, so don't worry if your comment doesn't show up immediately. (I'm not editing for content, just weeding out the more obvious comment spam.)

All portions of this site are © Andrew Lenzer, all rights reserved, unless otherwise noted.