Archive for March, 2006

Scotch whisky, and the new Belle and Sebastian album

Mar 17, 2006 in Pop Culture

For St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to buy a $45 bottle of scotch whisky. (I had no plans, and besides, I’m 1/4 Scottish, and not at all Irish). Having only very recently gotten into Scotch, I decided to dive in and buy a bottle of peaty, smoky Laphroaig (pronounced La-froyg, easier to pronounce than to spell.)

About a half-bottle later, I can definitely say that I’d like to take a trip to Scotland, if only to check out the square foot of land I just acquired. On the Laphroaig website, you can register to claim a square foot of land at their distillery. (The UPC from the bottle is required.) This aerial photograph shows the approximate location of my “plot.”

Quite precise, eh? Supposedly, if you visit the distillery, they provide you with size 12 boots to pace out the exact location of your plot. Oh, and they give you a dram of whisky as “rent.” (A dram is an informal term for a small amount of whisky, not necessarily related to the imperial unit of measurement.)

As an interesting aside, the Bruichladdich distillery (a neighbor of Laphroaig on the isle of Islay) has produced a limited quantity of 184 proof whisky (92% ABV), based on a centuries old recipe.

‘In his travel notes of the Hebrides, explorer Martin Martin (so good, they named him twice!) described a quadruple-distilled drink he called “usquebaugh-baul,” or perilous whisky…

“The first taste affects all the members of the body. Two spoonfuls of this liquor is a sufficient dose and if any man should exceed this, it would presently stop his breath and endanger his life,” read Martin’s description.’

Apparently, the distillation of this powerful spirit led the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency to monitor the distillery a few years back, under suspicion that the distillery could possibly be producing chemical weapons.


Since we’re discussing things Scottish, I must declare my love of the latest Belle and Sebastian album, The Life Pursuit. I’ve been listening to B&S since the days of If You’re Feeling Sinister, and in my opinion, The Life Pursuit is their best album since The Boy with the Arab Strap.

Of course, with every B&S album, there are fans (or shall we say detractors) who feel that the band’s latest album isn’t quite as good as Sinister (considered by many to be the band’s definitive album.) To this I say, of course not. The Life Pursuit is better than Sinister! Seriously, if I hear one more person compare the latest album to Sinister, I’m going to punch them in the face. That album came out eight years ago. Grow the fuck up already.

Belle and Sebastian played the Ryman in Nashville last week, which was the highlight of an otherwise uneventful Spring Break. If they come to your town, I urge you to see them. They’ve become quite the consummate performers in recent years. And oh yeah, buy the new album. Listen to it a bunch, it’ll grow on you.

The World’s Largest Burger

Mar 17, 2006 in Current Events

Clearfield, Pennsylvania — the town where I was born — claims the dubious honor of being home to the world’s largest burger. Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub had already captured the world record for the world’s largest burger at 6 lbs. The new, improved burger now weighs in at a whopping 15 lbs. It’s free if you can finish it in 5 hours.

Myself, I want to move to the town with the world’s largest veggie burger. Does such a thing exist?

Sex toy drive — Help a repressed state legislator today!

Mar 03, 2006 in Current Events

As reported in this week’s Nashville Scene, two Tennessee state legislators, Sen. Charlotte Burks (D-Monterey) and Rep. Eric Swafford (R-Pikeville), have proposed a bill banning the sale or display of sex toys.

As John Spragens remarks, while legislators were occupied with restricting the right of adults to legally purchase dildos and vibrators, Tennesseans “died from a lack of health care, remained poorly educated and were among the most obese state populations in the nation.”

Aside from being ridiculously narrow-minded, the proposed sex toy ban would decimate a lively cottage industry — everyone knows how popular those women’s lingerie and sex toy parties are in the South! Not to mention that Nashville’s Hustler Hollywood, the Purple Onion and the World’s Largest Adult Bookstore would have some empty walls.

I propose that Burks and Swafford be educated on the joys of vibrating, phallus-shaped objects. Someone in their district(s) should send them a sex toy. For Burks, I recommend a rabbit vibrator. For Swafford, a vibrating butt plug.