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NUTHIN' UP MY SLEEVE!: A cow moose rests Tuesday in 3 feet of snow beside the Logan River just west of Tony Grove. / Photo by Mike Sweeney

Today's word on journalism

Friday, March 10, 2006

Help Wanted: U.S. Defense Department Seeks Better PR Officers

"Our enemies have skillfully adapted to fighting wars in today's media age, but . . . our country has not adapted. For the most part, the U.S. government still functions as a 'five and dime' store in an eBay world."

--U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, on why al Qaeda is winning hearts and minds, in speech to U.S. Council on Foreign Relation (Thanks to alert WORDster Mark Larson) WORD Note: The WORD will take the next week off for Spring Break, sleeping in and seeking wisdom. Return: 3/20/06

The mystery of a bowl of red

By Megan Sonderegger

February 21, 2006 | What is the difference between a bowl of chili from Hamilton's and a 99-cent cup of chili from Wendy's?

I couldn't tell you. Perhaps it's because I'm not a chili expert or perhaps I'm not accustomed to high class food as some are, but when sampling the various assortments of beans and who knows what else, my taste buds blended and everything seemed just about the same.

So what's the difference? I would say the price.

If you get a bowl of chili from Hamilton's you'll probably have to pay a hefty wad of cash to sit comfortably while you eat, whereas Wendy's you order, they hand you the chili in a brown paper bag and kick you to the curb. Classy? No. Worth it? Perhaps. It depends on your societal situations. If you go on a date with someone it may not be wise to pull through a drive-in, ask her loudly to pick one thing from the dollar menu and then order two cups of chili and some water, if it's free.

At the same time I wouldn't suggest you take your date to Hamilton's in order to impress with the expectation that she is going to order chili, because honestly who really does? She'll order the steak and shrimp, you'll order the chili and you'll spend the next month rummaging through your couch cushions for loose change to survive on.

I learned while volunteering at the Chili Cook-off my definition of chili definitely offends the definitions of true chili lovers who use words such as exquisite, delicacy, smoky and mysterious to describe their bowls of beans. When asked, the best response I could muster was a blank stare and a thumbs-up sign, an obvious disgrace to chili aficionados.

I guess I could have made up the names of some spices and commented on the length they probably had to wait before the peppers were at their best or the aroma of the truly magnificent chilis, but I guess I'll just have to wait for the next cook-off.

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