The focus is red wine and to get right to it without distraction, click The Wine Commonsewer Speaks. The rest of the enchilada is just enough of an
eclectic mix of commentary on culture, food, tax, and econ 101 to
distract from the focus on red wine.
We appreciate your patronage.
TWC's Theme Song:
Tax & Accounting Offices of Michael R Snell
Accounting & Tax Consultation for the Discriminating Client
We will not sell, share, or otherwise disclose your email address or other personal information obtained on this site to third parties unless compelled to do so by subpoena.
Your email address is not required in order to leave comments. If you provide your email address, it will not be displayed with your comment.
Michael R. Snell & Associates will not disclose any client information to third parties without the client’s permission unless compelled to do so by subpoena.
A note from our crack legal team at Dewey, Screwem, & Howe, LLP.....
All tax and other information appears here as a courtesy to readers and clients. Please understand that we are not rendering legal advice and that each individual should consult his or her own tax professional before acting upon any of the information contained herein.
Effective June 21, 2005, regulations issued by the Treasury Department governing written communications, including email communications, between all tax practitioners (including attorneys) and their clients that have the issue of tax as a material element of the communication must include the following disclaimer:
As required by United States Treasury Regulations, you should be aware that written information contained on this site cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties under United States federal tax laws.
This site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of a variety of issues including but not necessarily limited to, taxation, politics, human rights, economics, and science. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as is provided for under § 107 of the US Copyright Law.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, said material contained in this site is made available without profit for research or educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
I would prefer to be out in the sun getting my hands dirty, but tax work keeps me indoors this time of year. Now and again I sneak out, if for no other reason than to give these tired eyes a rest. This is what I came across this morning.
Also called Peruvian Lilly, they're not impressed with hot afternoon sun or cold weather. This one grows in a pot on the front porch where it enjoys some morning sun and afternoon shade.
Alstromeria also show an amazing range of colors, like purple.
Like everyone whose ever bought a house, we had driven by Casa de las Rocas Grandes a half dozen times or so while it was in escrow. We knew the view was good, but it seemed like a curtain of foggy drizzle obscured it from our excited eyes.
Our road curves around from behind the mountain to where the house is stapled to the side of the hill. Actually, the foundation is rebarred into solid granite with epoxy, but you sort of get the allusion. Unlike tonight, which is about a cold, well digger's butt in the Klondike kind of evening (the wind is biting), it was a warmish devil-wind sort of night and as we rounded the curve we saw it. The car was stunned, too. It simply stopped in the middle of the road.
Tonight is stormy, if it don't rain, I'll put in with you, but so far, not a droplet. You are looking northeast from the Casa and there are at least a dozen cities out there. Azusa and Glendora to the left, Upland, Ontario International, & Chino. Riverside closer in, and Jack Benny's Cucamonga, where Zinfandel was once king, distant right.
Temecula, the redheaded stepchild (am I allowed to say that?) that much of the wine world snickers at, is making some absolutely stunning Zins from some of the leftover old vines in the Cucamonga Valley.
When we was vagrant yoots we'd sometimes ditch school and drive to Mt Baldy. It took hours and the last of it was mile upon mile of stoney soil sprouting silent, barren grapevines, waiting for the warmth of spring. That's mostly little pink houses these days. And a Bass Pro store.
The Cucamonga Winery, reported to be the first in the valley, dates to 1933 and operated until 1975 when, big surprise, rising taxes forced the sale of the 800 acre property.
The peak nearby is likely Mt Baldy and Route 66 should be just a few miles away. The winery was located near what is now West 7th Street.
Cucamonga Winery wines included Barbera made with 100% Barbera, which was considered among the best Barbera’s in California at the time. Also made were Zinfandel, Burgundy, Chianti (pretty sure it was straw bottle), Grignolino, Claret, Barberone, Sauterne, Chablis, and Rhine Wine, Dry Muscat and Vermouth.
TWC had a hot date Friday night (which was exceptionally clear here) and on the way up the hill (no civilization, no lights, no houses for 6-8 miles) the moon was very, very bright and seemed quite large in the sky. I don't think I would have known it was a rare event just by looking at it, because sometimes we get some pretty spectacular moons.
Of course, I didn't take a picture, because Saturday night was to be the Big One. The moon would be closer to the earth than it had been in some time. Decades? I dunno.
By Saturday night the storms had begun to roll in, but I managed a picture of the Jumbo Moon filtered thru somewhat minimal cloud cover between storm surges. Without a frame of reference it doesn't seem particularly special. It was much brighter than the photo would imply.
In this pix you can feel the brilliance of the moon, but the striking feature is the moon, apparently reflected back from the camera lens onto the thin, gauzey cloud cover. You can also see some of the moon's halo, which was prettier to the naked eye.
My friend Warren thinks maybe the reflection took place within the layers of the camera lens itself.
Yes, the pop culture reference refers to Tom Cullen's obsession with The Moon in The Stand, Stephen King's epic tale of the apocalypse.
If you look carefully you may see a single spider's filament stretching from the top flower to the lowest flower.
Many people don't notice these flowers until they have become nutmeg-colored roundish seedpods with tiny medieval spikes. The seedpods hang among the bare limbs often adding a bit of color to the bleakness of winter.
Cold, Windy, Sunny, Azure skies. Just how I like it. A brisk Thanksgiving morning that's chilly enough to warrant a blaze on the hearth.
Clambered down the hill just now to fetch me a carrot for my squash soup. It's a fine specimen, indeed.
Or maybe I'll stuff that thing down my pants next time I get yanked for the porno scanner at the airport. Make those TSA creepers get all buggy eyed. They'll be makin' a discrete call for Enzyte before the day is over. Five bucks says so.
BTW, to give you an idea of size, those are twelve inch tiles on the fireplace hearth (excuse the ash).
They're difficult and messy to eat. And you better wear your painting-the-guest-bathroom clothing because the juice stains pomegranates leave behind are worse than red wine. Like red wine, pomegranate juice is good for what ails you, helping to reduce bad cholesterol, improving oxygen flow to the heart, and pushing out the day of reckoning a little bit. Not only that, you can make a tasty Thanksgiving stuffing.
TWC has a lovely pomegranate tree so fresh is easy. If you don't have your own tree, you can often find fresh pomegranates at the supermarket or local farmer's markets.
1 lb sausage of your choice (try Johnsonville Italian or Jimmy Dean Sage)
1 cup (more or less) bread crumbs (artisan breads are great for this--TWC likes sourdough)
Fresh thyme and sage to taste (use less sage with Jimmy Dean's sage sausage)
Fry the sausage in a cast iron skillet while breaking it up with the spatuala
Dice onions & celery and sautee in a cast iron skillet until the onions are limp and the celery is bright green. Don't overcook.
Dice the apple
Melt the butter
Whisk or whip the eggs and half & half as if you were making an omelette.
In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Add the egg mixture and the butter to the dry ingredients, mixing throughly. The stuffing should more or less stick together.
Recipe makes about enough to stuff an average turkey. Double the recipe if you prefer. Proportions are somewhat loose.
Pomegranate is more subtle than cranberry in a stuffing though it serves a similar flavor purpose.
TWC doesn't like mushy food so he generally bakes the stuffing separately in a loaf pan for 45 minutes to an hour at 350. Hard to do when the turkey is cooking at 325 and the rolls go in at the end on 450. Maybe that's why some people have two ovens.
What Else Pomegranates Are Good For:
Pomegranate juice drizzled into the finished drink is what puts the sunrise in a Tequila Sunrise. Pomegranate juice defines a good Singapore Sling. Oprah makes an excellent pomegranate martini. King Solomon made spiced pomegranate wine. The Jewish culture holds that the 613 seeds found in a pomegranate represent the 613 commandments of the Torah.
And, get this: It is more than likely that Eve was offered a pomegranate from the Tree of Life by the Satan hisself. Scoff if you will, but most apples require 600-800 hours of winter temperatures below 45 degrees to thrive. They don't get much winter chill in Mediterranean climates.