talon: (Default)
2011-05-09 10:10 am



It's bad enough that I'm not allowed to fly - and what a pain that was going to my son's wedding half a continent away. What should have been a 2 day trip became a grueling 7 day journey by car - now they want to take away my ability to take train trips?

If they keep this up, soon I will be left with going on foot!

I'm already limited to attending conventions where I can travel by train or car in about 10 hours. Trains go farther and faster, giving me a slightly wider range. If our government takes train travel away from me, I'll only have SoonerCon and FenCon.

That's not the reason why I want to do OctopodiCon, but it is certainly a compelling reason to proceed with it.

talon: (Default)
2011-05-09 11:05 am

American Breakfast Culture

As one who was raised German, I appreciate a good breakfast. We wouldn't have just one breakfast. No, in my part of Germany, we would have 2 or 3 breakfasts. The first breakfast was tea, coffee, or hot milk with a slice of bread. That bread could be a slice of graubrot, or knackebrot, or even a slice of leftover cake (assuming such a thing existed!). We ate that even before we were fully dressed, as we were putting ourselves together for the day.

Once we were dressed, we'd eat a "real" breakfast. In winter, that would be soup, a slice of meat (usually ham), potatoes (usually fried with an egg, sometimes as potato cakes), and sauerkraut or green beans. In summer, it might be chicken cutlets with berries and asparagus or creamed herring with an onion salad.

Then, we'd get our third breakfast as we left to do chores or go to school or work - a cup or piece of fruit and bread spread with butter and jelly or nutella, or a twist of sugar so we could dampen the bread and sprinkle the sugar on.

There was very little variation. It was the same thing day after day. We never ate breakfast anywhere but at home, and only with family and the occasional overnight guest.

In America, breakfast is entirely different. At home, it's often a quick thing - a bowl of cold cereal (sometimes hot, and usually instant), or pop tarts or toaster strudels or frozen waffles or pancakes. Breakfast is often eaten away from home, and there are breakfast meetings, and we meet up for breakfast or brunch. The varieties of breakfast foods available in restaurants is breathtaking, especially from a European point of view.

Breakfast buffets with omelets, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, sausages, ham, steak, bacon, pancakes, fruited pancakes, waffles, hash browns, tater tots, toast, French toast, stuffed French toast, fruits and puddings, pound cakes, muffins, biscuits, croissants, Danish pastries, tortilla wraps, salsas, huevos rancheros, eggs benedict, egg mcmuffins, crumpets, butters and jellies, and more are a very American thing. Europeans are constantly thrilled and amazed at our breakfast spreads and the number of people eating them.

And we offer breakfast 24 hours in some places (like IHOP - a restaurant dedicated to breakfast foods - unheard of in Europe). We have restaurants that are only open for breakfast and lunch - also unheard of in Europe, where restaurants are open for dinner, and maybe for lunch, but rarely for breakfast.

Breakfast is the American meal.