We made a weekend trip to the Napa Valley last month, carefully balancing some wine tourism with kid tolerant activities.
On our first night in Calistoga, I ordered a glass of this Cabernet at a family-friendly restaurant. I primarily chose ti because it was local. It was fantastic: Slightly fruity, but that was balanced out by some other business. I asked to see the menu again after dinner to remind myself of what I’d ordered and the waitress talked me into buying a bottle. (I confess that once I had the bottle in my hands, I was charmed by the vineyard‘s aol.com email address.)
When I opened the bottle a couple of weeks later, it was good, but less striking than the glass I’d had at the restaurant. Tricia and I both had a glass and I re-corked and shelved the bottle. I poured a glass the next night and it was much better, perhaps better than the glass at the restaurant. Lesson learned: let it breathe. I may break out the crystal decanter we received as a wedding gift for further experimentation.
This bottle came from my “Instant Wine Cellar”, a collection that I won at a fundraiser for my son’s school. We’ve tread lightly as we’ve dipped into that collection, generally saving the higher end bottles for sharing. This was one of the first bottles we opened on our own that made a big impact.
The label copy makes much of the wine’s extended oak barrel aging period. That is with good reason; the oak dominates the wine’s complex layering of flavor. This bottle was fantastic and I gather that it would have improved if we’d held it for a few years longer.
The grapes came from my Dad’s hometown, though Husch is located one valley over.
Though there are over 100 cardinals who are eligible to be elected the next pope, I feel that the winner is likely to be one of the following eight:
John Paul III
Paul John I
There is a new busker outside Peet’s today. He is sitting up on the seat back of his parked car — a green Saturn convertible two-seater, wailing a Leonard Cohen song with no amplification. He’s accompanied by the car stereo which plays an organ arrangement of the same song.
Benjie and I walk through our little farmers’ market, previewing each stand before making our purchases. There is a music booth at the corner, where a different solo musician is stationed each week. As we approach that corner, Benjie ducks behind me and tangles his arms around my legs. Though likely dressed down from what she might wear at a club gig, the guitar player’s outfit is drawn from the same wardrobe. She is not dressed for sex appeal, but enough of the elements are present that my five year old recognizes something is happening and it makes him blush.
“Who are you hiding from?” I tease.
“I don’t know,” he answers.
I told the 911 operator that a car had just rolled over in front of my house.
She asked, “What is the car’s color and make?”
I stammered for a moment, trying to puzzle out how to respond in a way that would clarify the apparent misunderstanding. I was sure that I’d spoken clearly. The car was upside down. Its color and make would no longer be its most distinguishing features. I said, “I don’t know. It’s dark and I’m on my way out there.”
The driver was laying in the street with his arm pinned under the roof of the car. In the darkness, I read the print on his t-shirt as blood pooling across his chest. I was sure that his arm was flattened to pulp.
My neighbor was already standing over him. He asked, “Is there anyone else in the car?”
The driver answered, “No. Just me. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I messed up.”
A group of neighbors tried to lift the car off of him. We barely nudged it, but he got his arm free. Then he jumped straight up and fell straight back down to the pavement. He tried to stand again and I grabbed hold to keep him from crashing to the ground. He careened backwards several steps, pulling me with him. When his feet stopped moving, I regained control and eased him down to the sidewalk into a seated position.
I could see more clearly after getting him away from the car. His shirt was clean. The only blood that was visible was a scratch on his face. When the police came, I told them his arm was injured. He would need first aid. He said, “No. My arm is fine, and demonstrated that he’d retained his arms’ full range of movement by stretching them out and back in an aerobic fashion.
The moon, waning one day past full, is rising behind the Starbucks across the street. This doesn’t feel right. Last night at around this time, it was shining bright through my bedroom window keeping me awake. That window faces east and — I’m hesitating here while I get my bearings — I’m facing south. Santa Clara takes a bend somewhere between here and home, but that (plus the daily shift in the moon’s course as the Earth’s rotation overtakes — or falls behind — the moon’s revolution) doesn’t seem like it’s enough of a shift to explain the difference between the positions of yesterday’s and today’s moons.
I lost my sense of direction when I moved to the Bay Area. When tasked with knowing what direction I’m going, I must turn my body so that the hills are to my right and The Bay to my left, so that I’m facing north. Then I’m able to draw the other compass points in my head.
It may be the Bay Bridge’s fault. In my head, it runs parallel to the Golden Gate Bridge.
It seems now that the moon is actually setting. I’m having trouble even with up and down.
Windows 7′s default icon for an image file is a snapshot showing two flowers in muted orange and yellow. When I logged onto my computer at work this morning, my desktop was cluttered with files, half of them screenshots accidentally saved there due to missed mouse clicks. For the first moment that the icons appeared on screen, each of them showed a cached thumbnail version of their image. The thumbnails then disappeared and were replaced by the default flower icon in a pattern that cascaded from the top of the desktop to its bottom and from its left to its right. Just after the last flower bloomed in the lower right corner of the screen, the thumbnails started to re-render. Each flower quietly dropped away, following the same left-to-right and top-to-bottom pattern, the pattern broken in two or three places when a larger file took longer to load and its flower lingered on screen for one moment longer than the flower that came after it.
BBC: “Science has discovered a fifth moon circling the dwarf planet Pluto.”
A moon is defined as “a natural satellite of a planet”. If Pluto is no longer a planet, then its satellites are not moons. You don’t get to have it both ways, science.
My favorite ASCII character is the bell. This character was used in early five-bit character sets, first developed in the Nineteenth Century. It was used to signal a telegraph terminal to ring a bell, alerting the receiving telegraph operator that a message was coming in. Though it’s just a vestigial remnant of the immediate successor to Morse Code, there is still a slot reserved for the bell in modern character sets.
Your Inkjet printer will not ring a bell when fed a bell character, but many Unix/Linux or DOS-based command prompt terminals will sound a tone when called on to print a bell to the screen.
In your browser, a bell looks (or sounds) like this:
You’re probably seeing a rectangle, an empty space, or an oval with the letters “BEL” inside.