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In late winter the bulbs produce long sword-like deep green leaves that look similar to the foilage of Lillies of the Nile. Then it all dies back in spring.
Once you've forgotten, on some warm, late summer morning you're delighted with a single, leafless stem containing multiple flowers protruding a foot or so out of the parched ground. This one fought it's way through a tangle of overgrown Rosemary.
The kids like to drift off to jazz and my boy, as he is nodding off to Na-Na land, will always check to see if I'm sitting at my desk by shouting out from his room Good Night Daddy, to see if I'll respond. If the answer is, Good Night Sonny Boy, or I Love You, he's gone within a minute or so.
The Old Man had a sweet '53 Chevy convertible when I was a kid that he used to call a Cop Magnet. It was a red Bel Air and slicker than cat you-know-what. Because my folks were yet to be enlightened by the annointed, I sometimes rode standing up in the back seat when the top was down. Don't know how I survived it.
And the worst beatin' I ever got was for unzipping the back window on a warm winter afternoon. With sunset, the temperatures plummeted and Dad just couldn't get the window zipped back up. Guess he wasn't impressed with the prospect of driving to work at zero dark thirty in twenty degree weather with the back window open to the breeze. Lordy. I thought I'd seen the end of my short life.
In retrospect, the car seemed a little out of character for him too as he wasn't much for crowing.
As Number One Son, Jake, would say, it was tight. Dad and Mom and I looked cool as cucumbers cruising around on hot summer days.
The car looked pretty much like this (asking price: 37 Large) and we were all a little sad when the man with a fist full of cash drove it away that Sunday morning before church.
Long way around the barn to say that when Ma was here last week she gave me the 1959 registration to that Chevy.
Four Bucks it cost the Old Man to buy the 1959 tags on a six year old car.
So, I do the math, and in today's dollars the entire cost to register that six year old car should be (drum roll) $25.55.
Hey, I've got a five year old car. My fee was $168.00 AFTER the car tax rollback that reduced DMV fees by two thirds. Almost SEVEN times as much, and we rejoiced that it wasn't the $500.00 we were expecting. And the roads still suck, Boy Howdy, let's give Sacramento more money.
Californicate may be the poster child of what happens when Reefer Madness meets government spending, but all of this is coming to your town soon.
TWC recomends across-the-board NO on every Californicate spending proposition on the ballot this year. If they were your kids you would have cut them off a long time ago.
It's okay, but in that simple statement lies the the entire burden of disappointment. The 2003 was spectacular. The 2005 isn't.
Granted, the 2005 I sampled isn't a Reserva, but still, what a difference two years makes. Okay, maybe that's all it is, the difference between a reserve and the ordinary. Fifteen or twenty bucks vs under-ten, US.
Somebody send me a 2005 Reserva and we'll see how that works out.
Just okay, cherries, spice. A little zin-like. A little fumey. Better with air (let it breath a while).
Hope I have some of that 2003 Reserva stashed somewhere.
UPDATE: After sitting in the bottle with a Houdini cork in it for 24 hours the wine has improved quite a bit. It has become positively Zin-like and could probably pass for a zin if carded.
Miguel Torres is capable of making good and even great wines. One of the best wines TWC ever tasted was a 1982 Torres Gran Coronas. Unfortunately, Tormenta Cab isn't one of them. It's not even average, nor is it a good value despite it's under-$10.00 US price tag. It's actually, well, tormented, coming close to Monty Python's assessment of Austrailian table wines thirty some years back. Sorry Mal.
This is not a wine for drinking, this is a wine for laying down and
Touted as a wine that is born of untouched, uncontaminated nature, Tormenta joins the growing ranks of organically produced wines. It comes with a gorgeous lable depicting a thunder storm born lightening strike.
Born like the storm, under the clouds and the wind of the southern continent.
I was sold right there but ended up pouring the bottle down the sink. Breathing didn't help.
It may be that because Torres is a big producer with operations on three continents, that the production sometimes gets in the way of the quality. Or the marketing department is better than the winemaker. Or marketing provided a black bag salvage operation for this clinker.
Pushing lesser quality wine out the door can be problematic with many big operations, but with other firms, such as Washington State's Chateau St Michelle and, notably, Beringer's success under Swiss giant Nestle's patronage, it doesn't have to be that way.
Yes, part of Beringer's success is connected to the prodigious quantities of White Zin it sells year after year. Doubtless the Cabs and Chards we enjoy from Beringer are all the better as a result of the capital investment that sales of White Zin provided. 2500 acres of prime Napa vineyard doesn't come cheaply.
And speaking of Oz, Beringer is owned by Foster's these days.
The Wine Commonsewer
Speaking of Fosters and of interest to the guys: This is an amusing and R-rated (nudity and adult themes) viral ad for Fosters. Do not click the link if you think you will be offended because you definitely will be. It is not for kids, your mother, your pastor, or people with refined sensibilities.
TWC isn't sure that things were better when Life Was Black & White, but nostalgia for a simpler, better time is always popular.
You may have already seen bits and pieces of this kind of stuff in some of those widely distributed cutsey emails, but this thirteen minute video is a cut above anything I've seen.
It's a montage of clips from the early days of TV and includes soundtracks, stills from many popular shows, as well as advertising voice-overs. America's first TV generation will find it particularly interesting.
It's Katie's special day and she happens to share it with legendary bluesman (come on, you can’t say bluesperson, it sounds idiotic) B. B. King and jazz great Charlie Byrd.
She's a sweet little girl with a warm heart and an easy laugh. She can climb a twenty foot rope cat-quick and she just nailed the Californicate standardized tests. 'Spose I'm biased, but I ain't lying.
That's four-year-old Katie at the Red Sand Beach on Maui at dusk. This is one of TWC's favorites and has not been to Photoshop or otherwise altered in any way.
Sheriff John is also singing for our neighbors to the south, Chile, and a handful of former
banana republics in Central America, who, by now, are well into
celebrating Independence Day (Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican
In Mexico, El Grito began last night with cries of Viva la Independencia and Viva Mexico, echoing Father Hildago's 1810 call for independence from Spain (he had the good sense to arrest all the local Spaniards before ringing the bell).
Many participants will dress in traditional garb (including TWC's favorite, the serape) and indulge in traditional foods such as mole poblano along with guacamole and chips during fiestas taking place all across Mexico.
Bella Sera means beautiful evening in Italian and the vintner's marketing strategy is superb. The wine is Italian and the website, which is loaded with recipes and ideas to make any evening beautiful, evokes everything winos love about wine. It entices and invites until you've been seduced.
At long wooden tables everywhere, friends come together casually to share a glass of wine, plates of antipasto, and lively conversation. Yet you don’t have to live in Italy to enjoy such an evening. You can
bring the heart of an Italian twilight into your own home with only a little effort. Imagine: a few beautiful twilight hours, a few relaxed guests around your own table, and delicious plates of antipasto.
This is how the winery describes the wine.........
Bella Sera’s 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon is well-rounded and fruit
forward. It is a balanced, full-bodied wine with a rich ruby color and
aromas of cherry and raspberry. This vintage demonstrates flavors of
spice, black plum and cherry that linger nicely in the mouth.
The wine itself isn't anything special and may well be the most bland cabernet TWC has ever experienced. It is, however, reasonably priced at $6.00-$8.00 US. If you try really hard you'll find the spice on the back side and a little on the nose (a ghastly term to be sure). Roll a little bit around in a large glass and you may catch a whiff of it.
Bella Sera is straw-bottle Chianti with a modern marketing stragedy. It's an inexpensive cab without the cloying sickly sweet taste that is often passed off as cherries. I can see Fat Clemenza enjoying this wine in a short glass tumbler, Italian style. Yes, with a big family-style bowl of pasta with red sauce. Yes, a red checkered, oil-cloth covered table with one wobbly leg. Guess there'd be some Italian sausages too.
As many of you suspected, the government puts the arm on your family for a bigger slice of the pie than any other living expense you incur.
In 2006, Americans will work 77 days to afford their federal taxes and 39 more days to afford state and local taxes. That makes taxation a bigger financial burden than housing and household operation (62 days),
health and medical care (52 days), food (30 days), transportation (30 days), recreation (22 days), or clothing and accessories (14 days).
The rule at Casa de las Rocas Grandes is to never put any portable phone back on the cradle to recharge. Annoying as that might be, it pales in severity when one considers the engineering brilliance required to produce a telephone that begins a continuous mantra of stutter ringing at 2:00 am from the floor in the living room with the sole intent of nagging you into hanging the got dang thing up to charge.
Briiiinnggg Briiiinnggg. Battery's dead. Come hang me up, idiot.
You don't get to pick a ring tone neither.
Who thinks this stuff up? Why haven't they been shotgunned?
I tossed the offending phone on the boy's pillow at zero dark thirty this morning. Might help his memory.