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The modern business meeting might be better compared with a funeral, in the sense that you have a gathering of people who are wearing uncomfortable clothing and would rather be somewhere else. The major difference is that most funerals have a definite purpose.
It's roughly a half mile hike out to Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River. But, when the mercury is into triple digits and you're stumble-bumming along in your bathing suit with flip flops, it *seems* further. The kids were troopers.
For most of the trek, the trail is pinkish sand which gives way to eroded Navajo Sandstone, etched with other-worldly, free form designs. Mrs TWC is putting on her brave face, but you notice she's also standing between the kids and the precipitous drop of about a thousand feet into the river.
To capture the full effect of Horsehoe Bend, you really need a wide angle lens (I think).
This is, quite simply, a stunning wine, comparing favorably to any wine from any region in the world.
TWC has reviewed the 2002 Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Merlot a couple of of times over the years and the only thing that has changed is that it has gotten more better, a technical term I learned from The House Blond when she was six.
The Lapostolle is dry farmed in Chile on sixty year old vines by the Marnier family, the same folks who bring us Gran Marnier.
This Merlot is a splendid wine, bone dry and rich with black fruit and hints of dark chocolate. On the palate, it is almost the liquid velvet of an excellent, properly cellared Cabernet. The wine is substantial, an opulent, thick, purple-running-to-black color that is somewhat Bordeaux-like, with an earthy feel on the backside. It is till tannic enough to prove that it isn't finished yet and you may get another three years of bottle time.
Today this is a hundred dollar wine, but you can pick up a 2007 for around twenty bucks US. Memory is slippery, but I suspect TWC coughed about fifteen dollars for this wine, which was excellent out of the gate as well.
I've had wines costing four times as much that wern't nearly as good. You'll regret it when you've gotten to the dregs.
Catena is an Argentine wine from Mendoza, which Robert Parker and company enjoyed well enough to bestow 90 points. TWC found it more in the realm of old time low end Chilean cabernets that were a little to peppery and a little too sweet.
Pair this wine with beef jerky, preferably terryaki. I know, sounds like a snark and a snide, but it isn't. The intense flavors of the jerky honestly enhances the wine. Wine Harlots likes jerky with Pinot. So there.
The 2007 Catena Cabernet Sauvignon presents a deep, dark violet color
with reddish hues. The nose offers intense, focused aromas of ripe
cassis and black currant fruit intertwined with notes of tobacco, cedar,
and a touch of eucalyptus. The mouthfeel is full and concentrated with
layers of rich black berry flavors and elements of frosted mint,
espresso and graphite.
I don't know. The Catena is priced in the high teens ($18.00 US), which puts it outside of the semi-official TWC price/value rating system. Not enough bang for the buck.
Labor Day, when we pretend to care about other people’s jobs while frolicking at the beach.
Election Day, when we pretend we’re making a difference by voting.
Flag Day, when we pretend the government is America.
Veterans Day, formerly Armistice Day, when we pretended that World War I made the world safe for democracy.
National Teachers Day, when we pretend our children are getting an education.
Earth Day, when we pretend that making the government more powerful will make the environment cleaner.
United Nations Day, when we pretend to believe all those inane statements about world peace.
The Constitution was supposed to spell out what government can do and
what it can’t do. The government’s few legal functions are listed in
1, Section 8. It was a revolutionary document, in that no government
history had ever had its duties and restrictions so carefully
Despite frequent violations of the Constitution by the
document did its job reasonably well for the first hundred years
— making America the freest
As late as 1887, when Congress passed a bill providing
federal relief to
drought-stricken Texas farmers, Grover Cleveland vetoed it, saying,
find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution."
But that was about the last gasp for limited, Constitutional
Because the Constitution wasn’t self-enforcing, it depended on the
intentions of politicians, something
Thomas Jefferson specifically warned against in 1798 when he said.....
questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man,
bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."
TWC believes that the American southwest saw the freest time in America. From the close of the Civil War until the advent of Jim Crow and the Income Tax Amendment, roughly 1865-1913, we were a free and prosperous people. It was a time when no government agent demanded your papers, there was no income tax, all the vices were legal or tolerated, your property was yours, and money had value and stability over time.
Earlier this week Mrs TWC was on the road again and unbeknown to Moi, Katie casually borrowed my phone and sent the following message to her mother.....
What are we getting Katie for her birthday?
A few minutes later she has a comprehensive list. She then deletes both messages, but the guilt sets in. Her brother, figures out the grift in a heartbeat. Her father is livid.....
Dammit! Every birthday gift is going back to the store!
Mrs TWC is highly amused and The Boy is impressed with her brilliant con.
That was yesterday and today it's her birthday, which also happens to be election day at junior high. In her final day of campaigning, she's stumping for ASB vice-president wearing her a shirt emblazoned across the front.....
Not just that, but on this very day in 1620 the
Pilgrims set sail from England bound for the New World. The timing
always puzzled me even as a school kid. Were they betting it wouldn’t
get cold and stormy?
Katie plopped into this world in a hurry, whereupon Dr Byrne immediately handed me the scalpel. Umbilical cords are tough, sinewy, and thick. You have no idea, Gentle Reader, it is far easier to cut a radiator hose or a fan belt with a dull utility knife, than an umbilical with a razor sharp, surgical steel implement that was designed for just such work. Once the doctor began to question my masculinity, the job smoothed out.
Later that day That Boy would ask.....if it's Katie's birthday.....where's
her birthday hat at?
Daddy loves you, Happy Birthday.
Katie's Ice Cream Cone, Paige Blouin, 4th of July 2001
Katie at Maui's Red Sand Beach, TWC, dusk, 07-02-03
Amphetamine Annie is the girl who brought Chimney Rock Cabernet Sauvignon to my attention in the first place. That was sometime back in the 1980’s when California was blessed with a plethora of near perfect grape harvests.
A bottle fetched somewhere around $15.00 US in a decent eatery. About half that at the Whiskey Store. It was well priced and pretty well made. We watched the price climb until it wasn’t worth drinking anymore. Before that happened I stocked up a half dozen bottles or so. This was the last one. End of an era. Surprised me when I unearthed it last week.
Sediment is Noticeable in the Curve of the Bottle on Both Sides
A modern Chimney Rock Cabernet goes for $25.00 to $40.00 a bottle. A tad overpriced, IMO. A 1990 Chimney Rock goes for a buck thirty today. The Boy thinks I'm nuts for drinking it instead of selling it. He's prolly right, cuz it wasn't anything to write home to Ma about.
You might argue that it was past its prime or wasn't stored properly. Perhaps, but while the wine was good in 1993, it wasn't stellar, and it is very difficult to put your finger on exactly why age wasn't more kind. It wasn't the cork, though.
Generally, but not always, storing the bottle on its side with the neck of the bottle lower than the bottom will keep the cork wet and reduce the incidence of spoilage. This cork is well preserved, was easy to remove, and showed no sign of crumbling.
The wine is medium bodied and dull brick in the glass. It is still a little tannic, though smooth, almost flat, with a hint of fennel, cedar, and licorice. That's it. Definitely not a hundred and thirty dollar wine. Worth drinking? Certainly. But only because TWC bought it for $6.99 way back when.
Sidebar: Justin Baldwin, of Justin winery, way out there on Chimney Rock Road in Paso Robles, was a tad disappointed that the Chimney Rock moniker was already taken when he set up shop. He didn't miss getting it by much, but you know how that goes. A miss may as well be a mile as Aunt Jeanne used to say, which really doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but you get her drift.
Got me some indelible Kodachrome moments of The House Blonde and The Boy snaffling up Chardonnay and Merlot grapes, which hung loosely in thick, ripe clusters from the arbors at Justin. I'd boost them up above my head and they'd grab as many grapes as they could stuff into their tiny mouths. There is a mistaken assumption that wine grapes aren't good to eat. Many are quite tasty. Didn't care for Mission Grapes, though we might have been pilfering them a bit too early in the season.
Mrs TWC wrote this in response to the way in which public education reacted to the criminal terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The essay appeared September 15, 2001 on Mrs TWC's blog and was reprinted elsewhere a number of times. I've quoted from it several times, but never posted it. In re-reading it yesterday I realized that it is as salient as the day it was written......
I have a three year old and a five year old and I want them to feel safe. Having said that, the media coverage of the impact of the terrorist attacks on America's children is sickeningly trite and leaves one with the impression that our school children are extremely coddled. I have been following Education Week's coverage of the terrorist attack "Terror Touches Schools," which has collected newspaper stories about terrorism and children from around the nation.
Dropped the House Blond off early Friday morning so she could help decorate the junior high school for Patriot's Day. Like the Orwellian-titled Patriot Act, I'm not sure that referring to this day as Patriot's Day is entirely appropriate. But it is a brave new world, Girls (shrugs).
There were already a couple of dozen kids taping up red, white, and blue crepe paper bunting along with dozens of American flags. Looked more like an Independence Day celebration than a somber remembrance of the tragic terrorist attack that occurred on September 11, 2001.
At The Boy's high school it was a bit different. A moment of silence followed by business as usual.
In years past, the elementary school invited the parents, decked out the entire school in red, white, and blue. The principal read GWB's
proclamations and then
called out for the old soldiers, the young Corpsmen, Iraqi & 'Nam
& firefighters. They stood and we applauded. The kids sang God Bless America and God Bless the USA, folding chairs filled with
serious faces singing patriotic tunes.
We were told that these
First Responders, a recently minted term that implies something that
makes me a
I don't have anything against firefighters or Marines, it's
the American spirit is more Todd
Beamer than it is sitting on your hands in helpless terror waiting
for the arrival and instruction of public officials. Help that may never come at all.
We honor those who lost their lives that day and we remember because of the sheer magnitude of the carnage as well as the implications of that criminal act of terrorism. But we've lost more than that. Since September 11, 2001 our liberties have eroded at an alarming pace. We've allowed it to take place in exchange for a little bit of government supplied Security Theater.
America is no safer nor is it more at risk than it was nine years ago. But you, Gentle Reader, are significantly less free than you were on September 10, 2001.
The pictures of The Boy and The House Blond in years past.