I don’t know if this is something that’s endemic to just English-speaking populaces or what, but what’s with people trying to use foreign words and phrases when they obviously have no idea what the word or phrase means? Do they think it makes them sound more intelligent or something—’cause trust me, it doesn’t (or are you simply choosing to ignore the snickers and giggles around you?).

Today’s example: the French phrase au jus. Everyone knows what that means, right? I mean, take Quiznos and their new Steakhouse Beef Dip sandwich, advertised as being served with a delicious “pan-roasted au jus“. Mmm mmm mmm, gotta love that yummy au jus, don’tcha?

Well… no. The phrase au jus literally means “with juice”, as in the natural juices that are produced while a meat is cooked. So you can talk about serving a prime rib au jus, and that is indeed some tasty eating. To say something is served “with au jus” simply makes no sense. And you’d know that if you actually knew what au jus meant instead of just blindly throwing around a culinary term just to seem all hoity-toity.

The phrase that I’d guess 99 out of 100 people are looking for is jus lié, which refers to a sauce made of slightly thickened meat juice. But if you can’t be expected to know what au jus means, trying to throw around jus lié would probably make your poor little head explode.

Always too soon

Cloyd Randall “Randy” Covington (1953–2004)
Rest In Peace

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see.

“Amazing Grace” (words by J. Newton)

Game 3: Clemson

Well that was certainly unexpected.

Sure, A&M was coming off of an impressive shutout win over Wyoming. But come on, it was Wyoming—if I recall correctly, they finished last in their conference last season—so we’re not talking a powerhouse here. But then came Clemson. A ranked opponent (uh-oh). A fast opponent (uh-oh).

A completely overmatched opponent, as it turned out. Final score: A&M – 27, Clemson – 6, the Aggies first win over a ranked opponent in the Franchione era.

The Aggie defense that throttled Wyoming the previous week showed up again, holding a much more potent Tigers offense to only 250 yards and a single touchdown. For the second week in a row, the Aggie offense cracked the 500-yard mark and this time got to show off a suddenly potent rushing attack as well (over 300 yards, including a pair of 100-yard rushers). And for the third game in a row, the Aggies committed no turnovers, forcing four turnovers of their own. (The Aggies are now plus-7 in the turnover department this season, a startling turnaround from last year.)

Coach Fran has said you can never call a game a landmark game except in hindsight, which is true. But this game certainly becomes a leading candidate.

Texas A&M is now 2-1 (0-0 in Big XII play). Next game: Saturday, Oct 2 vs Kansas State in the Aggies’ conference opener.

I think I’ve gone blind

Completely by accident, I picked up a bottle of Diet Coke with Lime at lunch the other day instead of my normal Diet Coke. (Yes, I know the DC with Lime bottle has a neon green top, which a normal Diet Coke bottle doesn’t. Let’s just ignore that little fact, shall we?)

All I tasted was lime. Great big gobs of artificial lime.

Oh dear god, but what a vile concoction.

It’s almost here

If you haven’t figured out by now how much I love the Firefox browser, you haven’t been paying attention to me. (And if you haven’t figured out by now that you just really shouldn’t be using Internet Explorer as your browser, you haven’t been paying attention, period.)

Anyhoo, Firefox is at long last nearing its official 1.0 release, but to whet your appetite, the 1.0PR (Preview Release) version is now available. I won’t rattle off the whole list of why you should be using Firefox—you can read it for yourself.

Just get it already. I don’t know what else to say.

Full disclosure: I’d be remiss in not mentioning the one problem with FF 1.0PR that’s bit me so far. It used to be that when I clicked on a link from some external program (such as the equally faboo Thunderbird e-mail client from the same folks who bring you Firefox), the link would open up in the existing Firefox window, if one existed. However, upon upgrading to 1.0PR, something was a bit off, and a new browser window would consistently open up to display the link. A number of workarounds have/had been proposed on various forums, but none of them worked for me.

But I finally found a workaround that… well, works. By making use of the Tabbrowser Preferences extension for Firefox, I can once again force links to open in an existing window. It’s not perfect—I occasionally see a brief screen flash when I click on an external link, as a new browser window tries to open up but is immediately and automatically closed—but it’s quite workable. (By the way, the TBP extension is pretty cool in its own right, letting you config all sort of behaviors related to Firefox’s ultra-useful tabbed browsing. It just happens to solve my issue as well. Bonus, baby!)

Given that this is a known issue, I expect it to be resolved before too long, perhaps by the 1.0 official release. Regardless, it’s no reason for me not to love the latest Firefox release.

Follow-up (Oct 08, 2004): Ask and ye shall receive. As expected, the external links bug I mentioned above has been fixed in the latest Firefox nightly builds. In fact, I’ve been running the 20041005 build for a couple of days now, and it works like a champ (with no need for the Tabbrowser Preferences extension any longer). So yes, the official 1.0 release will have this fixed for sure.