Sunday, November 28, 2004

Wine for dummies

This is a funny guide to wine tasting from the website for the movie Sideways....enjoy...

"Wine Tasting is an educated art that combines experience, knowledge and the cultured use of the three senses involved: sight, smell, and taste. Though it takes many years of practice to recognize certain wines and their area of origin solely by taste, once you know the basics of Wine Tasting, anyone can find it quite enjoyable.

As you begin your journey into the wonderful world of wine, it is recommended that you keep a journal of the various wines you taste. This way, you will not only remember what you have tasted, but you may also compare it to other wines, track wines that you purchase or would like to purchase, and have a resource when describing wines to others in a pseudo-educated and pretentious way. If you so choose, you may also save wine bottle labels to remind you of the wine bottle appearance if you are searching for it later, since you may have been in a drunken stupor while initially viewing the wine bottle.

Make sure that your materials and environment are ideally suited for tasting. Your tapered wine glasses should be dry, clean and not washed in detergent, which may distract from the wine's aroma and flavor. The ideal tasting environment is a light-filled neutral setting, free of distracting odors such as a call girl's perfume or scented candles. It would also be helpful to have a white backdrop to hold the wine up against to gain a neutral perspective of the wine's color. Your best buddy's dirt-free white t-shirt will do just fine. You should not eat before tasting, as the flavors of your food may affect the tasting experience. Always taste white wines first, then rosés, then reds.

The Process: Sight, Aroma & Flavor
1) Spit out your gum into an appropriate trash receptacle.

2) Fill the glass to 1/3 full with your chosen wine.
No more, no less.

3) Hold the glass up at a 45 degree angle and examine the wine against the light and look for color and clarity. White wines start off on the light side with a straw or greenish hue, and as it ages, it becomes a dark golden or even brown color. Red wines are dark purple-red, and as they age, they can become a lighter red-brick to brown. The wine should be clear and bright, not cloudy or hazy.

4) Swirl the glass. Visually observe the body of the wine, and check for "Good legs," which may indicate a thicker body and a higher alcohol content or sweetness level. Swirling also releases the aroma of the wine or "bouquet."

5) Now stick your nose in your glass (don't be afraid to get in there) and smell the wine in a deep yet gentle whiff. The smell of a wine is called its "nose." Contemplate the condition (gentle, musty, earthy), intensity (weak or full) and character (fruit or flower) of the smell and make a note of it. Your nose is more sensitive than your mouth, and can pick-up on subtleties. Therefore, spend as much time as necessary determining the intricacies of what you smell.

6) The taste of the wine is known as its "palate," which you will determine next. Take a small mouthful and allow the wine to hit every part of your mouth, enveloping all of your taste buds. Don't be embarrassed to swish around a bit like you are using mouthwash. Check for Sweetness/Dryness, Acidity, Tannin, Weight or Body and Fruit.

7) Use your spittoon to discard the wine from your mouth, so that your mouth can contemplate the aftertaste. Or swallow if you're secretly seeking a nice buzz.

8) Take a moment and think about the experience of the taste, including your first impressions, the flavors while it was in your mouth, and the aftertaste. Make a note of these thoughts.

9) You are now on your way to becoming a wine connoisseur."

Sideways..A movie review..

I always enjoy waiting to go into a movie at the Kentucky Theatre. Seeing the intellectuals of Lexington leave a good quality movie reassures me. Last nights serving of movie genius was Sideways, the new work from director Alexander Payne. Payne was responsible for such fine works as Election and About Schmidt, and this movie ranks right up there with them in quality. The story is this- Miles (Paul Giamatti), an 8th grade teacher and failed writer, gives his buddy Jack (Thomas Haden Church) a has been actor, a gift of a wine tasting trip the week before Jack gets married. Naturally these two are polar opposites, Miles is still grieving over a divorce, and Jack wants to get laid a few more times before he gets hitched. Also, Miles is a wine expert, Jack could drink Mad Dog 20/20 and not care. The only thing that joins these two is a common past and fear of the future. They make it to the wine country of Coastal California, where trouble soon follows. Miles re-meets a divorced waitress and fellow wine expert, Maya (Virginia Madsen). Jack hooks up with one of Maya's friends Stephanie (Sandra Oh), a local vineyard worker and single mother. Of course the guys have two different agendas, Miles falls in love, Jack wants a bed buddy and tells Stephanie what she wants to hear. Through the course of both relationships they wander the Central California coast wineries in all their beauty, till Jack starts talking about giving up wedding plans and Miles finds his book will not be published. Of course Stephanie finds out the truth from Maya, and everything blows up.
This movie has an abundance of great acting. I personally liked Virginia Madsen's performance. She was all soul. Thomas Hayden Church was also hilarious as Jack. He played the aging actor afraid to lose his mojo to perfection. I hadn't seen him in anything since the series Wings. The most prominent characters were actually the Central California locations and the process of wine tasting itself. Payne seems to use both as a metaphor for the lives of the characters: wine needs nurturing, some years are better than others, and some wines mature faster than others. Payne also shows a good contrast of the aristocratic business of wine with the ordinary Wal-mart locals who work in the trenches with it.
This is a must see for people who like a well written movie with an education enjoined with it. You enjoy the movie and learn about wine at the same time..Perfect.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Life imitates art.

I found this story in :

(1996) Two local men were seriously injured when their pickup truck left the road and struck a tree near Cotton Patch on state Highway 38 early Monday morning. Woodruff County Deputy Dovey Snyder reported the accident shortly after midnight Monday.
Thurston Poole, 33, of Des Arc, and Billy Ray Wallis, 38, of Little Rock, are listed in serious condition at Baptist Medical Center. The accident occurred as the two men were returning to Des Arc after a frog-giggin' trip.
On an overcast Sunday night, Poole's pickup truck's headlights malfunctioned. The two men concluded that the headlight fuse on the older model truck had burned out. A replacement fuse was not available, but Wallis noticed that the .22 caliber bullet from his pistol fit perfectly into the fuse box next to the steering wheel column. Upon inserting the bullet, the headlights again began to operate properly and the two men proceeded on eastbound toward the White River Bridge.
After traveling approximately 20 miles, just before crossing the river, the bullet apparently overheated, discharged and struck Poole in the right testicle. The vehicle swerved sharply to the right, exiting the pavement and striking a tree. Poole suffered only minor cuts and abrasions from the accident but will require surgery to repair the other wound. Wallis sustained a broken clavicle and was treated and released.
"Thank God we weren't on that bridge when Thurston (shot his intimate parts off) or we might have been dead," stated Wallis. "I've been a trooper for 10 years in this part of the world, but this is a first for me. I can't believe that those two would admit how the accident happened," said Snyder.
Upon being notified of the wreck, Lavinia, Poole's wife, asked how many frogs the boys had caught.
Incorrectly attributed to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 25 July 1996. The Gazette issued a decisive statement denouncing this story as a hoax on October 17, 1997.

Now in Episode 10 Season 1 of Mythbusters ( Jamey Hyneman and Adam Savage proved this was indeed possible, witht he same ball busting results. Amazing how rednecks can actually found science...HAHHAh

Me windswept in the mountains of Kentucky Posted by Hello

An average crazy two weeks

As everyone can tell, I haven't been on in while. I've kinda been on an emotional roller coaster. Met a guy, he wanted me way too fast too soon, and of course I freaked and almost blew it. Well all but blew it. Anyway it cooled as fast as it heated up, so it makes a bit of twisted sense. Been working on my embroidery, and not my painting, but art is art. I wanted to go see Gaelic Storm at Woodsongs, but they of course sold out before I could make the reservations. Never fear, I cheated and watched the netcast of it..The reason I pay my cable bill-broadband rocks. I went ahead and bought my Horton Heat ticket early, so I'm set. The holiday's are upon me once more. They suck as badly as they ever did. Thus I will have my first holidays completely alone, with my art supplies and pot and own good company. I'm trying to run a turkey trot on thurs, the Throroughbred 5000 at Keeneland, but having trouble finding a ride...A taxi will have to do in a pinch. I'm running at 7 minute stresses at a time now..I hope to make it to 10 minutes by xmas. Probably alienated Dan too. He found out I had sex since we broke up, which I guess I wasn't supposed to do since we broke up 4 months ago :P he's been moody all week, probably not all because of me but I always play my part to annoy...Its my best quality LOL.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Being clumsy with the Clumsy Lovers

Yes my favorite band was in town again: The Clumsy Lovers. The flew back into The Dame as they promised this summer. I went by myself since Dan has moved in with his trainwreck and her deliquents, and bailed. Typical. Anyway, the show started with an opening band familiar and new to Lexington audiences, Parlor Tricks. They are made up of members from several local bands, including Big Maracas, The Yonders, and Stoll Vaughn. They has a melancholy sound, but they were good. The second band was the Navigators, a New York 4 piece touring with CL. They had a good feeling rock sound, but the bassist stood out. Imagine Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers on a standing Bass and you have this guy. He was amazing.
Then Clumsy Lovers hit the stage roaring. If you sit still during one of their shows, you have to be comatose. They only played 2 songs from the current CD, which disappointed me, but the played the important one, Everything's OK. They played a few older pieces, and some newly written material. Andrea was incredible, her fiddle has never sounded better, and she adorable. Trevor and Chris took turns signing. Gord was solid on the kit, and the encore was Jason playing a classical piece on the banjo. Members of the Navigators even came back on stage for a song. It was rollicking and fun, a good way to forget winter's coming and the election sucked. It was a delightful time for all.

The Liberal's lament....

This hit our office from somewhere on the net...I appreciated it.

Psalm 2004

Bush is my shepherd, I shall be in want.
He maketh me to lie down on park benches.
He leadeth me beside the still factories.
He restoreth my doubts about the Republican Party.
He leadeth me onto the paths of unemployment for his cronies' sake.
Yea, though no weapons of mass destruction have been found,
He makest me continue to fear Evil.
His tax cuts for the rich and his deficit spending discomfort me.
He anointest me with never-ending debt:
Verily my days of savings and assets are kaput.
Surely poverty and hard living shall follow me all the days of his
And my jobless child shall dwell in my basement forever.

hahhah amen

Friday, November 05, 2004

Me now..the current pic.. Posted by Hello

The best headline in the World Posted by Hello

The British have it right

Here is a link to the cover of the Mirror in Britain......It is now my wallpaper on my puter...

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Resources for the Struggle..

Since I am staying in this country I love to fight the Regime, I thought I might share some info for those who wish to join me...

Civil Liberties:
--The American Civil Liberties Union (
This is the one group that has stood toe to toe with this administration and won. They are battling the Patriot Act as hard as they can. The ACLU protects all assaults on the Constitution. You can join, or just register on the web site and they have an online letter system where you can email your representatives and (ahem) President directly. This is the big group to protect us here, please support them.

--Amnesty International USA ( ) This group has been fighting the good fight for human dignity and rights for decades, and have been trying to keep the current administration honest about there own failures, Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib are the most open. They choose no favorites, they fight any country committing atrocities, even our own.

Reproductive Rights:
--Planned Parenthood (
The oldest reproductive choice group in the country. They are on the front lines trying to protect choice, along with the ACLU. Abortion Rights is something Bush will go after big time, and this group have the power to fight.

--National Organization for Women ( They are on the forefront of women's rights, gay or straight. They also have the political clout to fight for reproductive, and sexual rights. This, on top of social issues such as equal pay, and other gender issues Bush has blown off.

--Greenpeace USA ( Fearless or foolhardy, Greenpeace fights for the environment with the gloves off. They like to get in the face of anyone destroying out planet, including our president. They may be extreme, but these are extreme times. Bush will tear down 20 years of environmental law, they will fight.
--Sierra Club ( They are a bit more subtle than Greenpeace, but carry as much clout. This is the oldest environmental group in the USA, and have influence in Congress.

As with the ACLU, all of these organizations have a Take Action Now Section, where you can log in and send faxes and emails for free to you legislative reps, leader, or any other entity that can be made to listen. I get malicious glee thinking about my various leaders getting faxed bombed by pissed off constituents. This is the best place to begin..Give them a try.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The War Pigs Won

I thought this extremely appropriate considering. I want to figure out a way for this song to play through Bush's fillings, with the screams of all the dead he killed. I no longer will sit in silence. Half this country has been cheated. I will not sit still.

War Pigs/Luke's Wall (7:55)

Gen'rals gathered in their masses,
Just like witches at black masses
Evil minds that plot destruction,
Sorcerer of death's construction
In the fields the bodies burning,
As the war machine keeps turning
Death and hatred to mankind,
Poisoning their brainwashed minds
Oh Lord Yeah!

Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave thier role to the poor, yeah

Time will tell on their power minds,
Making war just for fun
Treating people just like pawns in chess,
Wait 'till their judgement day comes, yeah

Now in darkness world stops turning,
Ashes where the bodies burning
No more War Pigs have the power,
And as God has struck the hour
Day of judgement, God is calling
On their knees the war pigs crawling,
Begging mercies for their sins
Satan, laughing, spreads his wings
Oh Lord Yeah!"

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


Today, I was proud to be an American, for the first time in four years. I walked to Woodland School to do my part. I Walked in and was stunned by what I saw. It wasn't the line that shocked me, I expected that. It was the age of the voters. The majority were under 30. I've participated in 4 presidential elections all over the country, and I've never seen the number of 18-25 yr. olds like I did today. It looks like most of the staff and student body old enough at the University of Kentucky participated: it's why Fayette Co. Is the most liberal in the state. They were pouring in when I left, but my wait was only 15 minutes. I suppose younger voters realized that is is probably the most important election in their lifetimes. Looks what's on the line for them: a draft, cut financial aid, no jobs when they graduate, and deep debt where the schools have to raise tuition because of budget cuts. This is the most critical decision they may make. Now true, Kerry wasn't as bold as I would have liked. I wanted Howard Dean, ass would have been kicked in government if he had made it. Kerry will play it safe, but still better than Dubya.

My wants are simple for this country. We need to get back our credibility over seas. We need to get the deficit down. We need to open up research to science and not religion. We need an equal rights amendment not only for women, but gays and lesbians too. We need to get the fuck out of Iraq. We need to catch Bin Laden. We need to be responsible with our environment and cut our oil usage--find alternative energy sources. Medical care and education must be a priority. And religion must be separated from state and politics once and for all. And the only way to accomplish this is to one day get a president who is not afraid, or crazy. Maybe in my lifetime...

Monday, November 01, 2004

Lyrics alert..

"Johnny Tarr:" Gaelic Storm

Lemme tell you a little story about a man named Johnny Tarr.
He was a hard drinking son of a preacher, he was always at the bar.
Lager from the tap or shots of Paddy from the shelf.
He could open his throttle and throw back a bottle as quick as the devil himself.
Johnny Tarr!
Word got around that Johnny Tarr was no pretender.
From Clare to here they'd lock up the beer when Johnny went on a bender.
Down at Dickey Mack's, the Rising Sun, or at the Swan
if he was drinking at seven by ten to eleven well all the booze would be gone!
Johnny Tarr!

Even if you saw it yourself, you wouldn't believe it.
And I wouldn't trust a person like me, if I were you.
I wasn't there. I swear I have an alibi.
I heard it from a man who knows a fellow who says it's true!

It was nine in the morning on a cold rainy night.
Johnny rolled into the Castle Bar, looking to get tight.
He had money in his pocket, he had whiskey in his eye.
He said, "Get up off your asses and set up the glasses. I'm drinking this place dry!"
Now all the serious boozers, they were soon broken hearted
when Johnny finished off six and he was only getting started.
Guzzling down the pints, knockin' em back like candy.
He was lookin' alright to be drinkin' all night, then Nora brought out the Brandy!
Johnny Tarr!


Johnny drank the whole damn bottle, had another pint or two.
When it made no impression he started his session with Murphy's Millenium Brew.
He was waiting for his pint when his face turned green
Jesus, Johnny fell down after only fifteen!
You could have heard a pin drop, then the crowd let out a ROAR!
It took five Cork women to lift Johnny off the floor!
The doctor looked him over and said, "you better call the hearse,
but it's not what you're thinkin'. It wasn't the drinkin'! This man died of thirst!!"