The Ryder Cup is 3 weeks away, but The Onion and OHB (Open Hockey Blog) are already all over it!
European Golfers Taking Ryder Cup Way Too Seriously, Says American Squad
August 31, 2006 | Onion Sports
KILDARE, IRELAND — During a press conference yesterday at the K Club, site of the 2006 Ryder Cup, Team U.S.A. captain Tom Lehman said that players on the European squad are "taking this whole international Ryder Cup golf tournament thing way too seriously." "[European captain] Ian Woosnam said he is strategically going to pick and choose which of his players play together, and then try to match them up against us so that we are at a disadvantage—something that, apparently, his players really get into," Lehman said. "Whatever happened to going out there and having a little bit of fun on the golf course? Guy's a tight-ass, I tell you." The U.S. team, which has won only one Ryder Cup in the last five years, reaffirmed that their traditionally poor performance in the event is due both to the inconvenience it poses to their schedules and to "really not giving a shit."
Golfweb has posted their 2006 U.S. Ryder Cup team capsules. That's nice, but here's mine:
1. Tiger Woods (Age: 30/World Rank: No. 1/PGA TOUR wins: 51) - This youngster is a pretty good player, hits ball really far, enjoys taste of opponents' blood.
2. Phil Mickelson (36/2/21) - This hefty lefty has goofy grin, a cute wife and kids, and a tendency to melt like a creamsicle in a muffle furnace under pressure.
3. Jim "Hitch" Furyk (35/4/11) - Accurate shooter but frustrating to watch line up a putt, bionic arm creates unorthodox swing, knows how to get his SRIX ON!
4. Chad "Not Michael" Campbell (31/21/3) - Finished 3rd at Masters, favorite Campbell's Soup is "Grilled Chicken and Sausage Gumbo".
5. David Toms (37/12/12) - I have the least confidence in this guy, he hasn't really looked that great this year.
6. Chris DiMarco (37/13/3) - This guy is pumped! Seriously, he is totally stoked to be in the Ryder Cup! Woo hoo!
7. "Stevie Ray" Vaughn Taylor (30/55/2) - We have a guy named "Vaughn" on the team? Really?
8. J.J. Henry (31/72/1) - Doesn't hit a lot of fairways, doesn't putt well. Same here! Why am I not in the Top 10?
9. Zach Johnson (30/36/1) - Now we also have a "Zach" on the team? "Dude, let me tell you, Zach, Vaughn and I were so wasted at the Spring Fling last year, and this chick comes over who was rushing for Kappa Delta Chi so we started talking and she showed me her back tat, she was hella hot."
10. Brett "Slippery When" Wetterich (33/57/1) - Solid ball striker (308.7 yards per drive-4th), once ate 5 huckleberry pies in one sitting.
CP. Stewart "Kitchen" Cink (33/39/4): After being named Captain's Pick, fought Tiger down the wire at Bridgestone, finally losing on 4th playoff hole.
CP. Scott "Walk" Verplank (42/34/4) - Still uses persimmon wood and feather stuffed sheepskin balls, favorite show: "Matlock".
Thursday, August 31, 2006
The Ryder Cup is 3 weeks away, but The Onion and OHB (Open Hockey Blog) are already all over it!
Monday, August 28, 2006
I realize that I can be painfully verbose sometimes. So as a change of pace, I'm going to hit you with some one-sentence-long wrist shots.
If you're broke and in a foreign country, just confess to a murder that you didn't commit and you get a first class ticket back to the States!
Unable to beat The Amazing Race for an Emmy (new season 9/16 @ 8:30 PM), Survivor plays an amazing race card.
This is a hilarious headline: EYEBROW WAX HERPES LAWSUIT TO PROCEED
We need to stop "celebrating" dubious "anniversaries", especially when it's a hideous coin with the WTC on it.
Speaking of coins, STOP STARING AT ME, TOM, it's creepy.
You know the summer is almost over when the NHL Atlantic Division preview is out!
My dad has finally entered the world of HDTV with this SONY projection LCD TV. Nice!
Either Jeff George is back in the NFL, signing with the Oakland Raiders, or I dreamt about it last night after playing too much Tecmo Super Bowl.
Should SI's Paul ' Dr. Z' Zimmerman sue the creepy German guy from DaimerChrysler for not only stealing his name, but also his entire look (including the white mustache)?
Posted by Jeff K @ 10:34 PM
Milwaukee has been rated as the Drunkest City by Forbes Magazine. They determined this by rating each city based on the following categories: state laws, number of drinkers, number of heavy drinkers, number of binge drinkers and alcoholism. What about "date rape" or "waking up with ugly people"? Oh well, here's the Top 35:
35. Nashville, TN
34. Charlotte, NC
33. Miami, FL
32. New York, NY
31. Orlando, FL
30. Indianapolis, IN
28. Detroit, MI
28. Atlanta, GA
27. Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
26. Norfolk, VA
24. Tampa, FL
24. New Orleans, LA
23. Los Angeles, CA
22. Phoenix, AZ
20. Washington/Baltimore, MD
20. San Francisco/Oakland, CA
19. Portland, OR
18. Houston, TX
16. Kansas City, MO
16. Cincinnati, OH
15. Denver/Boulder, CO
14. Las Vegas, NV
12. Seattle, WA
12. San Antonio, TX
11. St. Louis, MO
9. Providence, RI
9. Philadelphia, PA
8. Pittsburgh, PA
7. Cleveland, OH
6. Chicago, IL
5. Austin, TX
4. Boston, MA
3. Columbus, OH
2. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
1. Milwaukee, WI
If your city is not on this list, you've got some work to do. New York at #32? Las Vegas not in the Top 10? Very disappointing.
Derek Jeter : Tiger Woods :: Alex Rodriguez : Phil Mickelson
I'm sure I'm not the first to make that analogy, but I'll be the first to blog it, by damn! It pretty much speaks for itself, but humor me as I belabor the point. Jeter and Tiger are mentally focused leaders, proven clutch performers, with gaudy championship resumes to prove it. A-Rod and FIGJAM have possibly the most raw talent of anyone in their respective sports, but they don't have that mental toughness, and more often than not will completely fold in a big spot. The former just want to win, while it seems as if the latter are preoccupied with being well-liked. At least FIGJAM has won SOMETHING; as for A-Rod that remains to be seen (but ironically, he can't do it without Jeter).
Speaking of, ol' Tiggs has made it 4 tourneys in a row, beating Ryder Cup captain's choice Stewart Cink on the 4th playoff hole of the Bridgestone Invitational. However, I just had to mention what a horrible job CBS did televising this thing. Because of the impeding inclement weather they moved up the tee times, so Tiger ended up teeing off at 11 AM (instead of 2 PM), but instead of showing it in an earlier time slot, they showed it as if it were "live". (Apparently, CBS couldn't pre-empt the Agassi/Roddick "Kid's Day" exhibition match, featuring a humorless Ellen Degeneres in the umpire chair--no, I'm not joking.) I was watching it with my family and was only half paying attention until the final few holes, but it wasn't until the playoff when CBS finally admitted with an onscreen disclaimer that the action was "recorded earlier". The broadcast then turned into a complete mess, as they cut out the time between shots and showed a whole bunch of the action out of order. One moment they were on the 18th green, and after a 30 second commercial they were suddenly on the 17th fairway; as they hit their approach shots on the final hole, it went from overcast, to another short commercial, and then to suddenly pouring rain. What a crappy way to treat the audience that was tuned in for this tournament, by not showing them taped coverage and passing it off as live. I've come to expect horrible televised baseball, hockey, and football games, but when they start botching golf broadcasts, that can't be a good sign.
Posted by Jeff K @ 2:40 PM
Thursday, August 24, 2006
That's right, it's Snakes on a Sudoku. And don't be fooled by imitators, this is the OFFICIAL SNAKES ON A PLANE PUZZLE BOOK! And watch out, because there's over 1,500 snakes in the book! Which means, well, absolutely nothing. It's a puzzle book. Ugh. This is probably the most ridiculous movie tie-in I've ever seen, to accompany the most ridiculously overhyped movie ever. Even Samuel L. Jackson would probably say, "That is some fucked up repugnant shit."
Actually, it's not marketing hype, it's internet hype, which is as nebulous and creepy as the Internet itself, and maybe marketers will learn a lesson here (although, probably not). This movie, which by most accounts sucks out loud, only grossed $1 million more ($2.2M if you count Thursday) in its opening weekend than "Anacondas: Hunt for the Blood Orchid". (I'll wait a moment to let that sink in.) I can't think of anything more pathetic. The word of mouth (word of mouse?) surrounding this flick was built up by computer geeks who couldn't leave their computers long enough to see the movie, proving that web buzz = bullshit. What's even more pathetic is that B-movie may have made more money, if everyone wasn't already tired of the jokes. But the underlying problem is with the new online MySpace generation: they're all blog and no action. Everyone online talks a big game, but they're all full of shit.
Posted by Jeff K @ 8:43 AM
Monday, August 21, 2006
The Simpsons won a Emmy for Best Animated Show at the 58th annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards, for the episode The Seemingly Neverending Story. Producer Al Jean said during the acceptance speech, "This is what you get for not mocking fun of Scientology", explaining their win over South Park's "Trapped in the Closet", which skewered Tom Cruise and his religious affiliation. Everyone is screaming "conspiracy", but everyone knows "South Park" has stopped being "funny" and decided to just be "shocking" about 5 years ago. And as I recall, that Simpsons episodes was one of the funniest from last season.
IN YOUR FACE, SPACE COYOTE!
Posted by Jeff K @ 10:42 PM
$8.75 for a warm beer? Where do I sign up? Oh, Yankee Stadium, never mind. The Daily News actually found the warmest beer to be Coors Light, at over 55° from a vendor in the bleachers (where the most turnover of beer would be, I'm guessing). In a stroke of genius, they've forbidden the use of ice in the vendor's bins. Somehow, they found some Miller Lite in a cooler at 33°, but unfortunately that doesn't prevent it from still tasting like Miller Lite.
If you're a Yankees fan who's thinking about moving to Connecticut (or wish to stay away from Red Sox Nation), check this NY Times article first: Where Do Rivals Draw The Line?, which traces the possible border between Red Sox and Yankees fans through western New England.
From the everything goes to hell file: they're considering "pitch counts" for Little Leaguers. As this S.I. kid would say, no fucking way. Meanwhile, there's a kid on the Saudi team that is listed as 6'8", 254 lbs. There's no way he's 13.
Watching preseason NFL football is like smacking your sister: you just don't do it, if you have any sense. Someone tells me Eli Manning looked good the other day--uh huh, just give me a call after Labor Day when they COUNT. The only thing I'll say is that the onscreen "scoreboxes" for the new ESPN and NBC football broadcasts are just atrocious. I'll need a whole separate blog entry for this.
This photo shoot of LPGA golfer Natalie Gulbis is the oddest one I've ever seen--not that I'm complaining. I think I could marry a chick who dresses up to make me dinner.
Posted by Jeff K @ 5:13 PM
Sunday, August 20, 2006
There are several captions you could come up with for this photo from the second round, but here's mine:
courtesy AFP/File/Timothy Clary
Geoff: "Ugh, this is so awkward, no one's talking to me or making eye contact. Let's just get this overwith so I can put another shrimp on the barbie."
Tiger: "Must destroy all opponents . . . must destroy all opponents . . . "
Phil: "Gosh, I sure do like pancakes!"
Seriously, two of those three guys are wearing their gamefaces, looking locked in and focused . . . while FIGJAM has that goofy grin. Go ahead and root for him if you want, he's all yours.
As for the final round of the PGA, Rob put it best when he said "Luke will melt on Sunday". There's no doubt about that. In fact, having attended Northwestern and being familiar with the Chicago area is only going to HURT him: he knows where the best pubs are, and probably visited one with his brother/caddy last night. Personally, I'm more scared of a quiet, solid Canuck player like Mike "Li'l Lefty" Weir than any flashy-pantsed European. I think it's nice of us just to let the Europeans play AT ALL.
In closing, I just saw Tiger arrive at the course, and he's not wearing oxblood, salmon, or maroon today. He's wearing red, and he looks pissed. Good luck, everyone else!
UPDATE (8:16 PM): Well, that's it, Tiger won it. Shocking, shocking news. No one else had a chance. I would rather be locked in a cage with an actual tiger than have to face this guy in competition. I can't wait to find out who won his Buick.
Posted by Jeff K @ 4:18 PM
Friday, August 18, 2006
Note to TNT: from your voluminous advertisements during the 88th PGA Championship, I understand there are Law & Order shows that I apparently CAN NOT MISS. And since I haven't watched one episode of Without a Trace, I therefore DON'T KNOW JACK. Yes, your world premiere of some Affleck movie might make you think that YOU KNOW DRAMA. But holy crap, just show the freaking GOLF already! It seemed that every shot was on tape delay because of the incessant commercials. If you truly KNOW DRAMA, you'd know that there can be plenty of it during a LIVE SPORTING EVENT.
In between the ads, we saw Tiger make his move at Medinah in the dank, rainy weather, creeping up to finish just 1 behind second round leaders Henrik "Not Lundqvist" Stenson, Billy "Paranoid" Andrade, Luke "Skywalker" Donald, and Tim "Lumpy" Herron, all at -8. Oggs played well with Tiggs and Figgs (yeah, I'm not sure what I'm saying either), finishing one back. Billy Mayfair is just two back after recently recuperating from surgery for testicular cancer (yipes!).
Notables not making the cut: Veeger, Freddie, Monty, Padraig.
It should be an interesting moving day tomorrow.
Note: AOL is streaming the Par 3s, which was quite enjoyable last year.
Posted by Jeff K @ 11:31 PM
Thursday, August 17, 2006
This preview is not going to be as extravagant as the previous ones (and I blame that on Kris visiting from France), but it will have to do. The PGA Championship is upon us once again (man, it was a quick year), and here are a few notes:
Course: Medinah C.C. #3
Location: Medinah, IL
Par 3s/4s/5s: 4/10/4
Greens/Fairways: Bent grass
Defending Champion: Phil Mickelson
Jeepers, that's a long course, the longest ever for a major tournament. Back in 1999, it was "only" 7,401.
NOTABLE GROUPS (1st/2nd rounds, EDT):
8:50a.m./1:55p.m.: Retief GOOSEN, SOUTH AFRICA/Chad CAMPBELL, Lewisville, Texas/David DUVAL, Denver, Colo.
9:30a.m./2:35p.m.: Phil MICKELSON, Rancho Santa Gay, Calif./Geoff OGILVY, AUSTRALIA/Tiger WOODS, Windermere, Fla.
As previously reported, this is going to be a traveling circus, in which the players will have NOTHING to talk about. This is one of those rare times I'm glad I won't be in the gallery.
2:15p.m./9:10a.m.: Sergio GARCIA, SPAIN/Fred COUPLES, Silverleaf, Ariz./Ernie ELS, SOUTH AFRICA
This is a great trio obviously overshadowed by the Tiger And Phil Show (With Special Guest Geoff Ogilvy). Medinah is where Sergio, back during the 1999 PGA, made that great approach shot from the base of a tree on the 16th, and fruitily scissor-kicked his way into the highlight reels. Because of Sergio, that tree is about to die, and as a result of that bad karma, Los Pantalones Feos will not win his first major this weekend. So there. Not that I'm a tree hugger or anything.
2:35p.m./9:30a.m.: John DALY, Dardanelle, Ark./Jeff SLUMAN, Hinsdale, Ill./Vijay SINGH, FIJI
Sluman's been playing well, Veeger hasn't, and Daly is smoking more than ever. I don't think these guys have anything to talk about either.
DARK HORSES: Lucas Glover, Jerry Kelly. Also, Brett Wetterich, who is in the Top 10 Ryder Cup standings, and I haven't seen him swing a club. You may have noticed something: there are no freaking Europeans in my picks. That's because they always disappoint me in the end. This should get them ready for their Ryder Cup spanking!
MY PICK: Tiger Woods. Well, duh. He's scary focused right now, and I can't pick against him.
THURS 8/17: TNT 2-8 p.m. ET
FRI 8/18: TNT 2-8 p.m. ET
SAT 8/19: TNT 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
SAT 8/19: CBS 2-7 p.m.
SUN 8/20: TNT 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
SUN 8/20: CBS 2-7 p.m. ET
(Yes, it will be in HD on both TNT-HD and CBS. Woo hoo!)
Posted by Jeff K @ 1:15 PM
Monday, August 14, 2006
TIGGS, FIGGS and Geoff Ogilvy (not yet at "one name" status), who have each won each of the three majors this year, will be teeing off together at the PGA on Thursday (8:30 AM CDT) and Friday (1:35 PM CDT). It should be funny, though it doesn't mean much unless it's the final pairing. I bet no one says a word to each other, although I would love to see a fight. Imagine how crazy the gallery is going to be on those two days? I don't even want to know. Combine the Tiger Wave and the Phil Love Fest, it will be like a tsunami.
Here are the Complete PGA Championship pairings (.pdf). More on this coming up in the 2006 PGA TOURNAMENT PREVIEW EXTRAVAGANZA.
Kimberly Kim is youngest U.S. Women's Amateur winner, at age 14. I don't have any comments, I just wanted to say KIM KIM. Ha ha!!!
I agree (in part) with this Sportsline.com article: let's leave Michelle Wie alone. After firing her caddy for playing shitty at the Women's British Open (yeah, it was obviously his fault), and "withdrawing due to heat exhaustion" at the John Deere (she probably tanked it because she didn't want to be embarrassed by missing the cut), it's clear that she's wilting under the pressure that's been put on her. I think her parents and/or her agent should be fired, or at least they should stop forcing her to play against the men. You've made your point, now Wie's THIS CLOSE from going Capriati on you. Yes, she's very talented, but she's only a 16 year old KID. Let her relax and she's sure to win a few LPGA tournaments; don't turn her into just another Nike-sponsored marketing gimmick.
In a sobering note, Darren Clarke's wife, Heather, has died of cancer at the age of 39. Best wishes to him and his family. I've always liked Clarkie, he seems like a great guy. He and his good friend Paul McGinley have both withdrawn from the PGA, which could have Ryder Cup implications for the latter. But hey, this is something that's certainly more important than any sport.
(Tiger & Phil photo courtesy of Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)
Posted by Jeff K @ 3:40 PM
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Wednesday, August 9, 2006
Tiger Woods. I don't know what else to say about this guy after he won the Buick Open last Sunday by shooting four consecutive rounds of 66 (a nice rut to be in). When he's focused and in the zone, there's no one that can touch him. And when someone like Furyk starts to put up some good numbers down the stretch (he finished with a 63), he reels off 3 birdies to give himself a little room, and doesn't look back. Now he's won 50 PGA tournaments at 30 years and 7 months, faster than anyone else in history. Oh, by the way, the gallery on the 17th hole at Warwick Hills in Grand Blanc, MI is fucking out of control. I understand wanting to shout crap after a guy hits the ball and you've been drinking for 7 straight hours in the hot sun, but this is just plain stupid: one drunken moron threw an apple on the green after Tiger putted. Of course, the main reason people like this are starting to show up at golf events is due to Tiger's popularity. Ugh. Good thing football season is starting up again, now these idiots can go back to throwing stuff at their Detroit Lions.
The paragraph below is the funniest thing ESPN's Bill Simmons has written in about 3 years (he's gone down the toilet along with the rest of the network), AND it's about FIGJAM "People's Champion" Mickelson:
"To spruce up the always-lame PGA Championship, every player has to go caddy-less and carry his own bags for 72 holes. Now that's a major! Like you wouldn't watch just to see who was fading by Day Three, or to see Mickelson fighting off tears and saying things like, "This is a wakeup call, maybe I need to cut down on the carbs" after shooting a 92 and throwing up on the 14th hole."
I'm not going to see the new Will Ferrell racing movie because it inexplicably doesn't make fun of NASCAR (as I predicted). What a wasted opportunity. Ferrell's character in the movie is sponsored by Wonder Bread, which isn't so ridiculous when you consider one of their current drivers is sponsored by LITTLE DEBBIE SNACK CAKES. Not so funny now, is it? Eh, I guess NASCAR is a punchline already.
I'd like to give INHD's Beer Nutz show another chance, since they just recently did some pretty good shows in Milwaukee (I can't think of anything better than the "river beer cruise") and Chicago (although I missed most of this one, they did copy me and visit the Map Room). I just have to get better at ignoring the stupid co-hosts, and I'm sure it would be a good show. Of course, I never catch it since it's on opposite Deadwood.
Speaking of, why aren't you watching Deadwood? I crammed the first two seasons in about 2 weeks, and I'm glad I did. The entire show, and the acting, is phenomenal, and there's only 3 episodes left. If you've never watched it or don't have HBO, go rent the Season 1 and 2 DVDs from Netflix. You'll thank me later.
Stephen Baldwin, born-again-Christian and anti-porn advocate, is moving out of Nyack. And no, it's not because he couldn't prevent a adult store from opening on Route 59 (a mile from Romantic Depot, hmmmm); it's because he owes a "crapload of back taxes to the government". Not only had he sworn off strip clubs and porn, he also hates Bono. Here's a link to his overpriced Victorian house (now at $3.2 M, down from $3.4 M). As Dennis Miller would say, "Born again? Well, excuse me for getting it right the FIRST time!" Hey Steve, just go back to being the brother of a pretty good actor.
Don't forget these DVDs are coming out this month: Simpsons Season 8 (August 15), and MST3K Volume 10 (August 29). Keep 'em coming!!!
Little known fact: in case Boston and New York tie for the AL East crown, the winner will be decided by the YES Network's Boston vs. New York Poker Challenge.
Posted by Jeff K @ 4:50 PM
Tuesday, August 8, 2006
Friday, August 4, 2006
This is fun for a little while, and then it gets tiring. It's the Euphemism Generator! Spank that reload button again and again until you pass out!
Some of the ones I got:
"angering the furniture"
"stretching the squid"
"chastising the Polish wombat"
"pinching the paisley pipe"
"massaging the sheriff"
But I did not massage the deputy! And I'm spent!
I was thinking that a "sports euphemism generator" would be fantastic. Right now, we're limited to the old "running the bases" metaphor (although I like using the term "going from first to third"), but the possibilities here are limitless. For example:
"punting the pigskin"
"choking up on the fungo"
"pounding the peleton"
"getting hammered in the crease"
"squeezing home the Big Papi"
Be sure to leave your favorites in the comment section, if anyone is actually reading this.
Posted by Jeff K @ 3:30 PM
Thursday, August 3, 2006
To me, summers in Maine will always mean warm days on a white sandy beach, cool sea-breezy nights spent being bitten to death by mosquitoes, all the while knocking back a few ales--what could be better? Well, I was kind of disappointed by this Shipyard Brewery offering. In the past, I've recommended this one to everyone who's looking for a good easy drinking summer brew. Maybe it's gone downhill in the past few years that they've contract brewed it (they used to make everything at Federal Jack's Brewpub in Kennebunkport, but now they also make it in Portland), or my tastes have changed.
It poured a nice orangey amber color, with a white head that dissipated leaving some wispy lace. CO2 bubbles abounded in the bottom of the glass. The odor was lemon, alcohol and . . . soap. Yes, soap. No, I wasn't hallucinating and poured a big glass of Sun Light Dishwashing Liquid. The biggest problem is when I tasted it; there was a nice malty bitter bite to it, some spicy hoppy notes, some citrusy sweetness . . . and soap. GODDAMMIT. I couldn't get it out of my mind, so I kept tasting it. I had to have another one, maybe that was a bad batch (this one had a "best by" date of 10/06), or I used a tainted glass.
Take #2, poured into new glass rinsed with copious amounts of water. Fuck. It's soapy. Screw it, I guess it's just not that good. Sure, it's easy drinking, with a medium mouthfeel and a crisp, dry finish, but I just can't recommend quaffing a whole bunch of these. I'm calling this one Soapyard Summer Ale from now on. Oh well.
P.S. I would recommend their Blue Fin Stout in a second, but not as a summer brew.
Yes, I admit, I'm a coffee achiever. I drink about 3 cups a day, the first one being the most important one, which I've found I can't cope without. I guess I've turned into a coffee snob as well, being that I refuse to drink the coffee-like swill that's offered for "free" at work, and I tend to buy the more expensive stuff when I grind and brew it at home. The bottom line is that I enjoy drinking coffee. I don't drink enough of it to make me jittery, it doesn't keep me awake at night, and although I use half-and-half I don't add sugar (which is the main problem I have with 13 year olds starting the habit). It also reportedly helps your memory, which could always use a boost.
I'm not at all worried about my caffeine intake, but somewhere in the Far East those crazy people have come up with a labeling system, much like our Homeland Security terrorist alert scale, with red indicating "high" levels of caffeine (200 mg or more), and "yellow" (100-200 mg) and "green" (< 100 mg) indicating lower levels. For my money, I want as much caffeine as they can possibly fit in those little beans and eventually drain into my cup. Although, that might change if turn into Cicely Tyson and slap someone full in the mouth after a particularly rich tasting cup of Ethiopia Sidamo:
Hey, if David Bowie, the Wilson sisters and Ken Anderson are coffee achievers, just think what I can do! The main problem is that although coffee providers are finding cheaper ways to produce coffee (i.e. obtaining inferior Vietnamese robustica beans instead of quality arabaca ones), the price of coffee is rising steadily. Starbucks was initially criticized for their outrageous prices, but it didn't take everyone else (including Dunkin' Donuts, who used to be a bargain) to fall in line. But honestly, is there anything that IS getting cheaper anymore?
(Allow me to digress: when the media talks about the price of a barrel of light sweet crude being "at a record high", why don't they bother to adjust for inflation? Okay, it's $xx a barrel today, but how does that compare to 1980? Relatively speaking, I bet it was way more expensive then.)
Regardless, I'm willing to bet that with or without inflation, the price of coffee is at an all-time high.
On Monday, the NY Daily News had a USA Today-style "infographic" illustrating how the price of drinking a 3.4 cups of coffee a day (the national average) adds up over the course of a year. They compared the price of Starbucks (8 oz cup), Dunkin' Donuts (10 oz cup) in 10 cities, and compared it to home brewed "supermarket" coffee (8 oz cup), and determined the yearly cost was approx. $1700/$1500/$56, respectively. How is that possible? I understand the Starbucks/DD prices (and even that sounds low to me, since 3 cups x 365 days @ $1.79 each is almost $2000), but how did they come up with only $56 a year if you make coffee yourself? Even without factoring in the price of milk/sugar/filtered water, etc. that STILL can't be right. Conveniently, the numbers aren't in the online version of the article, but that smells like a steaming pile of bad math to me. I wish someone would by a calculator before printing this crap in a major newspaper (that is if you consider the Daily News to be a "newspaper"). Personally, I'm looking forward to their next hard-hitting article: over one year, the price of buying popcorn at the movie theater once a week vs. popping it at home using feed-grade kernels over a campfire amounts to $860 vs. $0.17! Fantastic!
This info-tastic blurb made me want to determine how much I spend on coffee, which we've narrowed down to somewhere between $56 and $2000 a year. In my case, David's Bagels alone gets about $350-400 from me every year just from my lunch time coffee purchasing. I only buy a cup of coffee from Starbucks or DD maybe once or twice a week, which is about $150-200 a year. All of my morning coffee I brew myself at home, mostly from whole bean Peet's and Starbucks varieties. Now, I realize that this is not the cheapest way to go, but as much as I want to enjoy cheaper "store brands" like Eight O'Clock 100% Colombian (Consumer Reports top rated), they just don't do it for me. Overall, I would estimate that I spend about $250-350 on home-brewed coffee, adding on $50 for half-and-half and Brita water filters. All told, that's about $800-1000 a year I spend on coffee. Wow. That's a lot.
Despite their high prices, I have to admit that I like Starbucks, and the burnt roasted taste of their beans. Plus, I've never had bad service or a bad cup of coffee there (and I've been to hundreds of them). And I'm sure a billion other people have brought this up, but it's an interesting side note in this whole conversation. The official Starbucks terminology for their coffee sizes is: tall = small, grande = medium, venti = large. This makes perfect sense, since "tall" is their shortest cup, and in Italian "venti" means 20, and "grande" means large. Wait, that makes no sense at all. Who came up with this? I'd gather that some marketing types just started reading off words in an Italian dictionary until they found ones that sounded "marketable". (See, it wouldn't have been a proper blog rant unless I took a shot at marketing.)
In conclusion, unless there's some "mad bean" disease directly attributable to cofree, I'm going to continue to drink it. It gives me the time to dream it, then I'll be ready to do it! I'm a coffee achiever! Now where the hell is my triple espresso, I ordered it over 30 seconds ago?!
Posted by Jeff K @ 4:00 PM
Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Following JK's review of a German Weisse, I finally got around to opening mine up for a taste.
Thurn und Taxis (it looks like an "R" on the bottle, but apparently it's an "X"), is a Weissbier that is from the city (as far as I can tell from the bottle) of Regensburg, which is somewhere in the independent country of Germany.
It is a "Hefenweizen," which is a type of wheat beer. It's much darker than other wheats that I have had the opportunity to taste (basically limited to Hoegaarden and Bruges). 5.3% alcohol by volume, 50 cl bottle, and of course it conforms to the 1516 Bavarian purity law.
As you can see from the picture, the head is nicely formed of a light white-to-off white color. The head is surprisingly resistant...It's been about 20 minutes since I poured this into the glass and I still have a 1/2 inch head or so. God bless those Germans.
It's quite good (although I've always like wheats in small quantities - too much (even 3 or 4 pints) makes me feel quite sick). Julie seconds this opinion. She picked up the glass with some hesitation, but was surprised to like it.
I caught a tiny hint of bubblegum somewhere around my 5th sip, but since its been elusive. Very yeasty in the beginning, but I guess once you get used to it, the yeast becomes less of an issue. I'm not good at describing taste, but I can tell you what I like and not - this I do like. The aftertaste has just the smallest bitterness to it.
Overall a decent Weisse. 8 thumbs for the Germans.
Here's the ratebeer.com review.