gridlore: One of the "Madagascar" penguins with a checklist: [x] cute [x] cuddly [x] psychotic (Penguin - Checklist)
Meme: Comment to this post and I will pick five things I would like you to talk about. They might make sense or be totally random. Then post that list, with your commentary, to your journal. Other people can get lists from you, and the meme merrily perpetuates itself.

From  [personal profile] kath8562, I got:  

Wine Wine has actually been part of my life since childhood. My parents enjoyed good wines, and we were all taught at an early age how to properly sample a glass. I'm not really a connoisseur, but have learned enough to understand different varietals, viticulture regions, and the importance of the terroir on the final product. When drinking, I p[refer good reds like Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir. I dislike overly sweet reds. Not a huge fan of white wines; when I do drink them I prefer extremely light, crisp wine like a good Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc. I do need to try to sample more local vintages from the Livermore and Santa Cruz Mountains AVAs

Army Ah, the best of times, the worst of times. I had a lot of fun in the Army, saw some amazing places and things, and grew quite a bit. Unfortuantly, my own demons caught up with me. I am still amused that the one job skill I came out of the service with is being an expert janitor.

Color I never really developed a good sense for color. I'm terrible at matching things, tend to wear black and darker colors simply because I know they match (mostly) and leave all more complicated matches to those with a more refined taste. My favorite colors are black, orange, and red.

Party It's funny, but I rarely really have a good time at a party unless I'm running it! Being in a group of people, many of whom I know only slightly or not at all, really sets off my antisocial tendencies. But, if I'm the one running around to make sure that everyone has a drink, and that the chip dip hasn't run out, I'm able to enjoy the party a little more. A big part of this is my utter inability to remember faces. I may have known you for years, and still not recognize you. I do miss the Traveller parties we used to throw at Baycon.

Monster For me there is only one monster: Reed–Sternberg cells. These are the monsters that lurked in my body for years, turning my own lymphatic system against me. The monster that turned my body from being me into being The Thing that I was locked in battle with. The monster that still plague my nightmares almost 20 years later.
gridlore: Doug with Kirsten, both in nice clothes for a wedding. (Me - with Kirsten)
Home from feasting at La Fondue.

Oh, my God. NOM

We started with the cheese course. We had the 4 Cheese (Ementhaler, Gruyere, Fontina Surchoix, Champagne) option, with bread and various veggies to dip. I could have been happy there, but we had a Yelp deal that gave us the  Le Freak C’est Chic. This meant our meat course had everything they had to offer:

  • Garden Vegetables

  • Bronze Turkey

  • Wild Boar

  • Chicken

  • Tiger Blue Shrimp

  • Alligator Tail

  • Swiss Chicken

  • Pacific White Shrimp

  • Black Angus File Mignon

  • Chicken Japonaise

  • Tuna Saku

  • Colossal Shrimp

  • Teriyaki Sirloin

  • Sea Scallops

  • Dungeness Crab

  • Spiced Fish

  • Himalayan Beef

  • Lobster Tail

  • Pacific Live Catch

  • Free Range Buffalo

  • Wild Antelope

  • Savage Duck

  • Kangaroo

  • Kobe Wagyu

  • Fondue Chinoise Cheddar

  • Free Range Venison

  • Fondue Chinoise Swiss.

Probably missing a few there. I tired almost everything, and with six glorious dipping sauces everything I tasted was awesome. Add in a bottle of Kenwood 2009 Yulupa Cabernet Sauviginon and we had a glorious meal. So amazing that we barely had room for the chocolate fondue with champagne. I'm honestly amazed that Kiri and I were able to walk out under our own power.

This was a $300 dollar dinner that we got for about $140 including tip. Well worth it.
gridlore: One of the "Madagascar" penguins with a checklist: [x] cute [x] cuddly [x] psychotic (Penguin - Checklist)

Please spread the word. It's for anyone who enjoys wine.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Wine & cheese)
Thanksgiving wine has been acquired.

Little Penguin Pinot Grigio and Fetzer Valley Oaks White Zinfadel.

With [ profile] isomeme bringing a Riesling, we should be set for the insane number of people that might be at my sister's place.

BevMo is a dangerous place for a wineaux.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Wine & cheese)
Well, technically. We were actually out on Treasure Island to enjoy Fleet Week's Parade of Ships and the air show. How we came to be there requires something of an explanation. We're on the mailing lists of several wineries and wine distributors. I got an offer for VIP tickets from one of the distributors through the SFGate. A bit too pricey, and [ profile] kshandra had plans for today with [ profile] murphymom. A few days later, those plans were canceled, and Kiri grabbed us regular tickets. Still very cheap.

Fleet Week is one of those events that overwhelms San Francisco. The traffic jams and lack of parking, especially down on the Marina Green and Crissy Field are legendary. I expected the same problem on T.I., so we got an early start. Upon arriving, we were shocked to find almost no one there. I think the incredibly tricky nature of getting on and off the island might scare people away. (One lane exit from the bay bridge that immediate goes into a tight turn then a blind merge, getting back on the bridge means coming to a complete stop then trying to get right into a freeway traffic lane. Not for the faint of heart.) We stop to admire Bliss Dance, an amazing statue that was first shown at Burning Man last year, then went in search of our party.

Their building is in the middle of the island. No line of sight to where the events were happening. Evidently, they advertised that the planes fly right over their building. Yes, when they pull out from performance runs, but that's not what we came to see! I cam to see ships, and Blue Angels zipping along at 300knts 15 feet above the bay, inverted, with the pilot playing the violin. Filed with despair and disgust, we went back to the seawall and waited. The parade of ships did not disappoint. Seeing a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier appear out of the fog was impressive as hell. Sadly I hadn't printed the list of ships so I was stuck on identifying them. But still, seeing the USS Carl Vinson bearing down on you is not something anyone would soon forget.

After about two hours up there on the rocks, I was starting to react badly to the weather. It had been predicted to be much warmer with less winds, so I had dressed accordingly. When I started getting chill cramps in my legs, I knew I was done. Walked back to the car (where Kiri had wisely retreated to long before) and we decided to at least get a glass of wine before leaving. Drove back to Treasure Island Wines got in, got a glass of a really nice white. While at one of the standing tables I got in a great conversation with a fellow disabled guy who worked for a company Lord&Sons has heavy business with, and he was shocked to learn that Benicia branch had closed. Kiri wanted a grilled cheese from her new church and I needed to sit down. Here's the first suck. There were about 40-50 plastic chairs, all of them reserved for "VIP" ticket holders. I sat down because I really had to at that point, and immediately got scolded. I told this officious woman I was disabled. No budging. So I told her that telling a disabled man that he can't sit on an empty chair when over half the chairs were empty made it almost certain I wouldn't be giving them my business any time soon. I saw a lot of that, people coming in, drinking a glass, getting told off, and leaving. The second suck was you could not see anything. A B-2 Spirit did a low, slow, pass over the island and we had to run around the corner to get any sort of look at all. When they said "wine-tasting and viewing" I expected what other groups were doing, setting up on the island's west side so people could see!

But we did get some pictures.

It's either a frigate or a Cylon raider. Bloody fog!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Baseball - ATT Park)
Inside Scoop SF » Drinking at the ballpark: a critical view

One of the best things about AT&T Park is the wonderful food choices available to the fans. From traditional ball-park fare like hot dogs, peanuts, and soft drinks to some really good high end food. I'm a "hot dog, garlic fries, and beer" man myself; but Kirsten has tried many of the other offerings and raved about them.

That being said, I'll freely admit that we've barely scratched the surface when it comes to the drinks available for Giants fans seeking relief from their daily dose of Torture. There's a restaurant (used to be the Acme Steakhouse, but ISTR they've changed the name) with a full bar attacked to the park, and I know they have at least a dozen beers on tap.

Someday when we're rich and have Club Level seats I'll go on a season-long quest to try every potent potable offered by the concessionaires. It will be a noble quest! All y'all can come along for the foodie portion of the quest.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Wine & cheese)
Our dinner from tonight. Spaghetti with Vodka sauce, and Garlic/Parmesan Monkey Bread. Really good food. Alas, the Chardonnay was a little too acidic.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Wine & cheese)

Calistoga appellation gets the OK

After holding their breath for six years, Napa Valley winemakers can now put the name "Calistoga" on wines made from grapes grown in that historic town, federal regulators have ruled.

The decision (read it here in PDF) ends a long slog through regulatory red tape, and completes a crucial piece of the valley's intricate system for labeling its wines — one that stands to make bottles from the area even more valuable.

"We're all fired up," said James "Bo" Barrett, proprietor of the Chateau Montelena winery, who began petitioning the Treasury Dept. in 2003. "I didn't realize it was going to be a federal project, but it turned out to be one."

The decision by the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which regulates U.S. wine and wine labels, will allow any wine made from grapes grown in the Calistoga appellation, surrounding the town in northern Napa County, to include the name on the label starting early next year. A state law backed by Napa vintners requires that the words "Napa Valley" also appear on labels.

"Today's a good day for us," said Terry Hall, spokesman for the Napa Valley Vintners, the trade group that represents many of the valley's top wineries.

The vintners' group said that the approval came about in large part because of efforts by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, to press the bureau to take action.

The petition to add Calistoga to labels, officially launched in 2005, hit a major snag in November 2007, when the bureau announced it was considering changing the rules for the approval process for place names, or appellations.

Good decision. Calistoga has unique soil conditions and weather that produces interesting wines. This brings the number of California appellations to 94.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
Great food, good wine, great company. And having ten people jammed into my mom's place made things lively. No leftovers, we ate the bird to the bone and destroyed every side dish, including the Potatoes of Searing Death.

Today, we're doing The Winchester Mystery House.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Me - Google)

  • Saw the oncologist Thursday. Got to see the results of the PET scan.

  • My guts are amazingly cool. Knowing that bits of my spleen had regrown is one thing. Seeing them on a computer screen? Awesome.

  • My bladder (and kidneys, to a lesser extent) were bright on the scan. Turns out that they were already sweeping the radioactive sugar from my body.

  • Fear my Glowing Bladder of Death!

  • As cool as it was, the results were still inconclusive. So a needle biopsy is going to be scheduled.

  • We've ruled out some of the major malignancies like pancreatic cancer. If it is a cancer, it's probably a return of the Hodgkin's or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

  • Let's hope for "Doug is just weird"

  • Finally got my truck into the shop. We had an appointment two weeks ago, but then I got this flu bug...

  • I really like the Ford dealership. They care about the vehicles they service, and explain things in clear terms.

  • Darby got a clean bill of health. I'm happy to have my ride back

  • [ profile] kshandra is happy that she doesn't have to get up at Oh-God-Thirty to drive me in anymore.

  • I'm determined to de-clutter our lives. We're pack rats and have been hauling boxes of junk around for two decades.

  • To that end, today I'm taking a chainsaw to my RPG collection, including the Traveller stuff.

  • I have some rare/collectible stuff. It's all going to go up on eBay at fire sale prices.

  • At this point I really don't think I've touched some of the stuff on that shelf in years. It can go.

  • And we could use the money, and the space.

  • My plan is to get the living room done. Cleaned, organized, and not looking like a major earthquake just hit.

  • Then do the bedroom. Then the spare room/storage space.

  • Each step will be accompanied by eBay/Freecycle/Goodwill dumping of crap.

  • Hell, we still are hauling around the Win 3.1 box!

  • Still dithering about Thanksgiving wines.

  • Work continues to be a source of amusement and annoyance. We're really starting to see the winter slow down in construction affecting our volume of orders.

  • We've started using a hand held scanner for signatures. When it works, it's great.

  • Is it too early for a microwave burrito?

  • There is no Civ IV note. The Civ IV tag is a lie!

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Wine & cheese)
Fascinating article in today's SFGate about "orange wines", white wines that are allowed to bathe in contact with the skins and seeds for a time before fermentation. This results in a wine that has the acidity of a white with some of the tannic notes of a good red. Need to track down a few bottles.

Evidently the next big wine for Thanksgiving dinners is Champagne, especially Rosé Champagne. Intriguing. But I think we'll stick with Riesling and/or Pinot Noir. Maybe Shiraz.

My Wineaux moment of the day. One of the guys I work with is also a big vino fan, and we were discussing how to deal with heavily tannic wines and the merits of ordering the house wine when at a restaurant. This was in between my two trips to this one site. When I got back, I apologized to the materials guy, and explained the delay.

He was a wine fiend too. Construction sites, hotbeds of viticulture mavens!
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Wine & cheese)

  • I'm really craving a big Southern breakfast. Scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, bacon, sausage and ham, and grits with butter.

  • The Raiders are amazingly bad.

  • I'm in a weird place right now. There might be a serious medical problem, up to and including a return of my cancer, but I need to wait on tests to be sure.

  • This leaves me a bit flustered and removed.

  • I'm ignoring the baseball playoffs until the Dodgers (spit) are eliminated.

  • On the other hand, the 49ers are doing well.

  • I'm working on three stories right now. Two that really should be novels, and one short.

  • This seems to work for me, as the stories are all quite different.

  • Being a Wineaux, I'm already thinking about what to bring for Thanksgiving.

  • It's going to be a big year, about eight adults and two small fry.

  • Luckily, all we're on the hook for is the vino.

  • I'm thinking a nice Pinot Noir and either a Riesling or Gewurztraminer. I think we have a drinkable bottle of each already.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin -  Wobble)

  • 11.5 hours. I had to do both my route and and cover the East Bay.

  • Thank Halford Victor's truck has a tape player, so I could use my iPod.

  • Otherwise, there would have been blood.

  • I'm about to finally quit Usenet. Had enough of the morons.

  • Tomorrow going to the family party for the Emergency Back-Up Niece (who is turning 4) and the Niece of Last Resort (who is going to be 2!)

  • [ profile] kshandra braved the Disney Store for the requested Princess/Fairy themed gifts.

  • Christmas? They're getting G.I. Joes and kiddie camouflage. Fight gender stereotyping!

  • Drinking a Zin that was gifted to us by [ profile] redc1c4. Even with opening and pouring long before dinner, it was still a touch acidic.

  • Part of this weekend is going to be dedicated to pre-loading the suitcases for the trip.

  • Which is ten days away. Ack!

  • Speaking of Red; my take on Obama getting involved in the Cambridge police incident. It was stupid, his comments only fanned the flames, and his apology today was totally inadequate.

  • Red can now die happy having seen me criticize a Democrat.

  • Am I back on Prednisone? I've been eating salsa like it's going to be illegal next week.

  • When I actually was on Pred, I would eat salsa constantly. If I ran out of chips, I would eat it with a spoon. Two or three jars a day.

  • Three glasses of wine? Yeah. Toasted.

  • Pablo Sandoval just made an amazing defensive play.

  • All hail the Kung-Fu Panda!

  • Bed soon. I had a hell of a day.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Distracted)

  • My day in a nutshell.

  • What really sucks is I went to Lodi for nothing. A poorly-written Return order meant that I went after something another office was retrieving already.

  • At least I got to drive through Lodi's wine country. Very pretty this time of year.

  • Which reminds me, I need to grab a bottle of Earthquake.. something

  • Been rewatching the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Helm's Deep always makes me scream. You do not build a long, straight ramp up to your gate! You put a 90° turn or two in there to prevent the enemy from bringing up a battering ram. You also build a section that you can raise.

  • And what idiot built a drain that large when you have freaking caves you could run the drain water into?

  • I do like the orc Olympic torch bearer.

  • Of course, the Rohirrim generally fail as warriors. You have an army marching towards you, largely foot mobile. Send out cavalry raids to harass them. Ride to within bowshot, loose a flight, ride away. Do this multiple times over the course of a couple of days. You won't cause many casualties, but you will degrade efficiency and slow their march.

  • But then Théoden King seems to be a bit of a prat in all things.

  • Maybe it's time to reread the books again. It's been 20 years.

  • Wow, Wikisurfing is addictive. Look away from the LotR pages, Doug.

  • Let's go Giants!

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)

  • In three days I cranked up a couple of hours of overtime. None of it caused by a lot of work to be done. All of it caused by our corporate inability to organize an orgy in a whorehouse.

  • But something must be working right, because I got a bonus check today. That was a shock, to say the least.

  • Got home and YASD'd a perfectly ascendable Samurai.

  • Wow, Calvin Klein commercials are still pretentious and stupid.

  • It's hard to yell at someone when your lower plate has floated completely loose.

  • Luckily, I growl well.

  • Riesling or Pinot Noir for dinner tomorrow... I just can't decide!

  • Foo Fighter on Top Chef tonight. This should be fun.

  • Speaking of food, I should eat something.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin - Eat you)
Got back in from a reasonably easy day at work to find that we were having one of our periodic Friday buffets. For all that Adam drives us crazy, the man does something with Tri-Tip that makes it heavenly, even cold. The smell alone was making me crazy, so I did what any reasonable man in my position would do. I got a nice big plate of food, took my lower plate out, and ate.

This got a few looks.

It really needed a nice, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, but a cold Coke had to do.

Tonight, after Kiri gets home, I'm moving our little bench to block access to our door. We didn't buy candy (mainly because neither of us want or need to deal with the inevitable leftovers) so we're hiding.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)

  • Made my final payment on the dentures today. And at the same time made an appointment for impressions for the relining. The wheel turns.

  • This could be bad for my wallet. Space: 1889 was one of the great GDW RPGs. Mars and Venus as they should have been, damnit!

  • I'm slipping into one of my periodic melancholy fugues. They don't last long, but I'm really happy I work alone and [ profile] kshandra has a social life that doesn't require me.

  • Wine has been acquired for Thanksgiving. [ profile] baka49er like Rieslings, and they tend to go well with big dinners. I don't think two bottles will be necessary, but if more people are there (looks at [ profile] isomeme) we have a couple of good red options.

  • The 49ers have fired Head Coach Mike Nolan and replaced him with Mike Singletary. He still has those eyes.

  • I'm trying to get excited by the World Series, but meh. How long until Spring Training?

  • 58 days until the Metallica concert.

  • This week has lasted forever. I'm actually dreading tomorrow, because there is a potential for me needing to drive across five counties (My service area, more or less.)

  • We're out of food. I see a big Costco run this weekend.

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin -  Wobble)

gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Penguin -  Wobble)
Robert Mondavi 2006 "Private Selection" Cabernet Sauvigion.

This is good shit.

It took four or six glasses to decide this.
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Wine & cheese)
Tonight we decided to open the Herding Cats Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay to go with garlic-enhanced chicken and stuffing.

Very nice. The chenin blanc gave a nice tartness on first taste, while the ending was quite smooth and effervescent throughout. Forget what you expect with chardonnay wines, this is not a wine for sipping on a warm evening. I'd definitely pair it with a meal, although keep the menu light. Alcohol content is 13%, and it hit us both hard. The pairing is 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Chardonnay. Interestingly, we both noticed small bubbles in our glasses. Not a sparkling wine, but there was a small bit of carbonization.

This was our first South African wine, and we were pleasantly surprised. [ profile] kshandra and I both give it 3 penguins out of 5.


gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)

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