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Wednesday: [w] A null thar nan eileanan, gu dhĂ Ameireaga gun teid sinn...

(...A null rathad Shasuinn agus dhachaidh rathad Eirinn.)

Here are a couple of things. Since time moves differently in this apartment (yes, I will have you know that my apartment is a teeny tiny little Domain, and, the moment I exit, I will transform into some sort of haggard sack), you need never know that I've just realized what time it is in the outside world. From my perspective, there have only been a couple of hours.


But I digress. Here are some things.

[Personally, I quite enjoyed this one Apocalyptica/Nina Hagen thing I heard while last in Paris]Oh, man; today's QC just reminds me, once again, that I'm boring and, well, old*. See, I know from genre explosion -- used to collect it -- but I couldn't give you any contemporary examples of what on earth that's supposed to mean. I'll think Big Daddy, or Sacred Cows by the Swirling Eddies (or Argyle Park's Steve Taylor and Stryper covers, if we're in that space), or... you know, stuff.

No, wait, I have one. It's like copping to enjoying boy band super sentai teams in its way, because "real" fiddle fans aren't supposed to enjoy this sort of thing and real anything else fans didn't dig anything but "Sleepy Maggie." But I want to know, if we're dealing with things with bows and strings, why Apocalyptica's Metallica project got pulled out, while Ashley MacIssac didn't. (A friend once described Ashley as "a goddess," and I agreed that he was.) hi™ how are you today? and Helter's Celtic (and parts of the albeit overproduced eponymous album, particularly "To America We Go") are, at their best, bloody masterful reworkings of traditional material into rock and dance arrangements. Or perhaps I'm overextending the meaning of "cover songs." It's been known. (Also, "I Don't Need This" really should have been a breakaway hit for the overstressed. I digress.)

And what of Rachel Barton Pine? Maaaan. Apocalyptica's disappointing, but the concept has been executed well. By her. Oh, yes.


The other thing:

[Ten bucks says this gets co-opted into the Apartment Communications Scheme.]Peanuts?!

Look. You have to understand, I'm travel karma person. Travel karma girl. Ever since I turned eighteen, it has been my karma to go places. Life conspires -- regardless of my circumstances at any given time -- to put me on planes and trains, into cars, onto busses. (Rarely onto boats. I fear crossing the ocean, and aviation obviates the need for direct contact with it.) I rarely know well in advance where I'll go, or for how long, but I have to go places. And, since I'm stuck in Britain these days, lately, that tends to involve the use of the airplane.

And peanuts?

I think peanuts are a lie from the devil.

See, we could use the protein provided by this pungent salt-delivery mechanism, especially when placed in situations where the layover is just not going to happen, or the money simply isn't there for a burger or a steak or a lump of your preferred vegetarian protein source at or near the airport, or you're on a long-haul flight and the meal in coach is completely inedible, or whatever.

But some people are allergic to nuts. Very allergic to nuts. Therefore, you really don't want to have that sort of thing circulating through the filtration system -- you can't go to the hospital while you're on a plane. It's just bad.

I'm sympathetic to this. I am. I have a rare food allergy going on myself (rare enough that it makes people giggle to hear about it, but to something avoidable enough that it doesn't much impact dining choices), and I know I wouldn't unexpectedly want to be hit with that in the air while I'm trying to get to America from Heathrow.


I have also subsisted for hours and hours on the alternative snacks which have sprung into being on American-operated air carriers in recent years. Pretzels? Yep. Weird-ass cheese-like Chex-mix thing? Oh, yeah. And have I gotten that spacy sort of headache thing you get when all you eat for hours is small doses of refined wheat flour, and all you drink is water or diet soda?

You bet.

I want to know who these peanut-carrying airlines are. I want to know if they operate international flights. While I am greatly fond of American Airlines (having, you know, legs longer than a popsicle), I am telling you: you could seduce me with real peanuts. And a commitment to real peanuts. Especially in this age, where actual food is becoming more of a premium than a guarantee for even the long-haul flights, where they offer me pizza (no, no, never offer me pizza) as a sort of lunch, or bags with withered bagels in them, at best? I would love peanuts.

I would love them.

Yes, I could bring them. You are missing the point, because I have already stuffed my carryon full of strawberries and vitamins and water and (on return, anyhow) Luna bars. And I don't think they'd be happy.

Are these regional carriers, with the peanuts? I'm going to cry.

I bet Eric got peanuts on his flight.

* Yes, I know. Not that old. Yet.

Posted by Wednesday Burns-White at May 26, 2005 8:18 PM


Comment from: Wednesday posted at May 26, 2005 10:45 PM

The definitive not-top 40 Ashley MacIssac track, for the curious? Is "Fairy (Including Tullochgorum)" from Helter's Celtic.

Danger, Will Robinson.

Comment from: ItsWalky posted at May 26, 2005 11:23 PM

Man, I travel by plane like every second Tuesday, and all I get are stupid pretzels. *shakes fist*

I feel your pain.

Comment from: Ben G. posted at May 26, 2005 11:33 PM

Southwest Airlines, baby. And, naturally, there's even a review of the tasty legumes online.

Comment from: Wednesday posted at May 26, 2005 11:34 PM

Oh, god! The last time I flew Southwest, they only fed me pretzels!

I think.

I'm pretty sure it was late 1994.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at May 26, 2005 11:58 PM

Yep, I got peanuts on Southwest. Otherwise, don't really like 'em. Seating is literally first come, first serve, so if you have a tight connection you end up with no overhead bin space.

Comment from: Merus posted at May 27, 2005 12:33 AM

I recall getting peanuts on Qantas flights, early '90s. They may have stopped that policy, however, considering people with peanut allergies apparantly have to be clinically isolated from peanuts or else they explode. It's kind of frustrating, especially since they used to be honey peanuts.

Comment from: je.saist posted at May 27, 2005 1:35 AM

I have to admit, I'm surprised that I would ever seen anybody else in the webcomic world linking Steve Taylor or Stryper...

even more so in that I purchased the "tribute" albums also linked and that said tribute albums will probably never be played again...

Comment from: e-monk posted at May 27, 2005 1:39 AM

Southwest definitely has peanuts.

On the subject of international flights, I flew American from Dallas to Zurich 6 month ago. I remember that on the flight from Houston to Dallas, I had some honeyed peanuts. But I don't remember if we had peanuts on the cross-atlantic flight. It could be that the flight was a code-share flown by Swiss, and so - no peanuts.

Comment from: miyaa posted at May 27, 2005 2:15 AM

A fellow travel karma person! Neat!

Yes, Southwest does do the peanuts thing. In fact, I prefer Southwest for all my incontinential flights. They just do a better job than the first-class fare on other airlines (which I suppose is why Southwest just seems to do better than the others). I've heard that JetBlue does also serve peanuts too.

On the off-chances that I go out of the country, I'd recommend JAL, that is Japanese Airlines. They do peanuts, and also sushi and other Japanese delicacies.

Comment from: Ray Radlein posted at May 27, 2005 4:54 AM

When the moment is right, I will finally reveal to the world that I own a pair of Ashley MacIsaac boxer shorts.

And "Rusty D-con-STRUCK-tion" is the definitive song.

Comment from: Neftaly Hernandez posted at May 27, 2005 5:06 AM

JAL/peanuts = awesome. Upon request, they gave me a "case" of peanuts (think peanut cluster-bomb). Sadly, they lack in both leg room and decent in-flight entertainment.

Comment from: royal h posted at May 27, 2005 8:06 AM

Screw the peanuts. If you ever get a chance, fly Midwest Airlines. In addition to the pretzels/beverage routine, you get first-class seating throughout the cabin and fresh chocolate chip cookies. Mmm... cookies...

Comment from: kirabug posted at May 27, 2005 9:55 AM

I don't remember if I had peanut on my flight to Colorado (from Philly) - I don't think so. But the "snack" consisted of some ring bologna, cheese, mustard, and a very tiny roll, which when properly assembled made a pretty darn good sandwich for an "airline snack". Oh, and a fairly big bag of cheesy fish crackers. That, combined with the brand-new airplane and the tv-in-the-seat thinger has pretty much locked me into Frontier for all my "don't mind passing through Denver" needs.

Of course, I'm travel-karma impaired, having not yet successfully left the country or visited the Pacific, so others may know better.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at May 27, 2005 10:18 AM

I'll resist commenting on the two strips and instead comment on airline food.

I just flew JetBlue last week, and unless I misheard them, they serve almonds, not peanuts. However, those might be up your alley too. I preferred to go after the blue potato chips, which were quite tasty.

However, I'd like, just once, for an airline to try to serve something that's cheese-like that does not taste like American cheese. Which isn't even real cheese. I understand that real cheese might be an issue, what with storage problems and all. But I know we can make decent processed cheese spreads (I'm partial to port cheddar spread myself). Why don't any appear on flights?

Comment from: Sean Neakums posted at May 27, 2005 10:51 AM

I flew London-Melbourne with Malaysia Airlines recently; peanuts were served.

Comment from: Karacan posted at May 27, 2005 11:22 AM

Oh, there's seriously people who don't like Apocalyptica?

That reaction actually really surprises me - at least from the crowd which usually listens to music of that direction.

Anyway, most german in-land airlines still offer peanuts for snacks. We don't get tea, though. ;)

Comment from: Phuul posted at May 27, 2005 12:42 PM

I fly fairly regularly to and from Las Vegas. No not to gamble but visit my girlfriend. I almost always fly America West. On exactly one flight in the past two years I got honey roasted peanuty goodness. The flight attendants where giving everyone at least two bags, I managed to score four. The flight home? Pretzels. Dammit. Never happend again.

I think that their is an elaborate gaming system that the crew uses to determine if peanuts will be served. It probably involves several types of dice, lookup tables, trading cards and possibly some form of ritual sacrifice.

Comment from: John posted at May 27, 2005 12:43 PM

"I'll resist commenting on the two strips and instead comment on airline food."

That does seem to be the trend.

Which is unfortunate, because I enjoyed both the featured comics. When I saw the thumbnails here, I thought I'd get to hear more about what makes them work.

Instead, we get legumes.

Steve Taylor is cool, though.

Comment from: kafziel posted at May 27, 2005 1:58 PM

So, what is this mystery allergy?

C'mon, the people demand personal medical information. How else are we gonna know what to spray you with?

Comment from: Misha Grin posted at May 27, 2005 2:10 PM

Wait... are we talking about THAT Swirling Eddies? Like the Swirling Eddies that was the not-so-great cover name for Daniel Amos for a while? Camarillo Eddie and Arthur Fahrdie and the rest? THAT Swirling Eddies?! The fact that your discussing Steve Taylor in the same paragraph gives me hope that it may be so.

And I miss Steve Taylor. I know he's probably happy doing production work and all now, but to go out on a high note like Squint, and then just NOTHING. NOTHING!! *weeps*

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at May 27, 2005 2:20 PM

Well, to be perfectly blunt, the two strips mentioned here are pretty divisive. Both cater to a subset of geeks (music geeks for the former; video game geeks for the latter), although their audience does extend beyond their base constituencies. But to people who don't like either/or (like myself), the strips have some fatal flaws that have nothing to do with the basic premise.

Keep in mind that I'm not backing off because I'm afraid of a debate. I've had numerous discussions about QC with my wife. Given that I don't have to share a bed with anybody else, I'm not afraid of what might come up. However, since Wednesday did start by using QC only tangentally, it makes sense it comes up tangentally in the comments.

Trust me, I've been saving up a nice QC rant for when Eric or Wednesday compliments a part of the strip that drives me batty (q.v. Eric's snark on the giant cinnamon bun Penny Arcade strip). Just that today isn't that day.

Comment from: Kristofer Straub posted at May 27, 2005 2:36 PM

I think I've figured out your weakness, Eric! You just love strips that use Blambot Casual.

Comment from: quiller posted at May 27, 2005 2:54 PM

When I have to fly, I always look to see if I can take Midwest Airlines first. I had a lunch flight and got a tasty salad in a bread bowl, and they have fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, and they have wide seats and extra leg room.

Comment from: Dorkboy posted at May 27, 2005 3:25 PM


If they serve peanuts, they also have pretzels. They all have pretzels.

Peanuts just bring the funny more than pretzels.


Comment from: Wednesday posted at May 27, 2005 4:39 PM

Misha: Yep, those Swirling Eddies.

John: Dude, Eric's finishing the damned Shortbreads. I'm not going to steal his thunder. On thunder weeks, I back off into the little corner.

Karacan: I've met a fair few people who aren't really down with Apocalyptica, or only liked that one album. For myself, I only developed a passing interest when I saw they'd collaborated with Nina Hagen on something, and my attentions were too taken up with tracking down a copy of nunsexmonkrock.

Everyone who digs Midwest Airlines: alas, they don't fly to Heathrow. Or Gatwick. Or even Stansted.

Straub: Errrr...

Comment from: Wednesday posted at May 27, 2005 4:41 PM

Oh, and: Ray? Rusty D-con-STRUCK-tion?! No, that's just the secondmost definitive song on hi. (The firstmost definitive song on hi is "Wingstock.")

Comment from: Sven8705 posted at May 27, 2005 4:52 PM

Since I live in Denver, I use Frontier Airlines for my flying needs. Its cheap, they have Mountain Dew and they have Sunchips! I loves me some sunchips!

Comment from: tfinniga posted at May 27, 2005 6:50 PM

Last time I flex Frontier (a few years ago) they came down the aisle with a peanut cart. The top was a big bin of peanuts, and they'd scoop out cupfuls.

Comment from: quiller posted at May 27, 2005 7:28 PM

Does SouthWest fly to Heathrow? I didn't think they were international either.

And yeah, the biggest problem with Midwest is they fly limited cities and limited times. So I've only ever gotten to fly on them when flying to Nebraska (and actually only coming back from Nebraska to LA, I missed the flight going out and had to transfer to United instead, bleah).

Comment from: Kristofer Straub posted at May 27, 2005 7:57 PM

Sorry, Wednesday, I forgot your [w]. Websnark loves the Blambot Casual.

Comment from: JediLora posted at May 28, 2005 2:02 AM

Last time I flew Southwest, I got melba toast, a little wedge of spreadable gouda cheese, and a Coke can written in Spanish.

I love that airline, and wish desparately it would go international, just so that I could fly to London for under a hundred round trip. (They'd do it, you know they would.)

Comment from: Bookworm posted at May 28, 2005 2:11 PM

Wednesday - I was wondering. What's your food problem? Mine is both hereditary and nearly impossible to work around with general processed foods.

Onions. It's like being lactose intolerate - the enzymes don't work quite right.

Try buying broccoli, cheese, and rice mix. It's got onion in it. Everything has onion in it, no matter how idiotic or worthless it might be to the product.

Comment from: miyaa posted at May 28, 2005 7:07 PM

I have a similiar allegry problem with corn. It's not severe, but it's bad enough to cause stomach-flu like symptoms and I have thrown up every once in a while. And corn syrup is used in a lot more processed foods than you'd think.

And I thought having every processed meal include onion in was a direct response to Emeril Lagasse. That or Outback Steakhouse.

Comment from: JB Segal posted at May 30, 2005 3:23 AM

You know, I just went and listened to the Rachel Barton Pine. From the samples there, I don't see it.

I love genre-bending covers. Really, I do. I have a couple of Pickin' On albums, some of Ashely's stuff (though yeah, it's hard to call modern versions of trad tunes 'covers' - though, you know, the Morris On albums, The English Dancing Master, Steeleye Span's first 15 years, Fairport Convention's similar timeframe, and so on... - what's all of that (other than "FolkRock")), a love of Richard Thompson's 1000 Years Of Popular Music and on and on and on, and I still think Apocalyptica do a damned good job at what they started out with. The one real dud track for me is the one with vocals on Cult.

RBP's music seems (again, from 40-80sec samples) precious. A sort of middle-american (said in a snotty East-Coast Bos-Wash Corridor sort of way) nod to cultural diversity. "Look, we can make this horrible noise pretty" and such like.

Now, there was a cellist - whose name I'm blanking on right now; I last saw him touring with Simon Shaheen, I think - who used to be a NYC busker. He'd do a solo-cello (w/effects) cover of Hendrix' cover of the Star-Spangled Banner. That was FABULOUS.

RBP? Nice. But enh.

... And peanuts are yummy.

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