Sunday, April 16, 2006

A Weekend Diversion

I live in a very well known area of one of the "wine countries" in northern California. Long ago, my husband and I used to go wine tasting, take family and friends to wineries and then...stopped. Our palates became very educated; our wallets never became fat enough to purchase that which we tasted and knew was wonderful. Over the years, we experimented and discovered what would work for us on a daily basis. Yes, I am one of those people who support the theory that daily consumption of wine, particularly red, is good for the heart, body and soul. Saturday, I was taken on a wine-tasting adventure that was most delightful, long and...well, delightful!

This is an adventure I have long abandoned because like so many other things these days, it has become an outing for the "elite"; the more affluent portion of the populace that has taken over our little town over the past ten to fifteen years or so. It used to be that any one could walk into a winery, sample a taste or two, say many thanks and be on their way. Now, more often than not, a tasting fee is required and it is almost expected that the purchase of a bottle of at least one bottle of wine will be made before bidding the tasting room host or hostess thank you and farewell. Now, anyone who has visited one knows full well that the price of a bottle of wine in a tasting room is outrageous. All wineries are counting on well-heeled visitors who have been tasting the day away and will purchase a bottle or two (or perhaps a case) without a thought to their budget at each one. Alas, I know an excellent wine when I taste one but have become quite comfortable with wines in the $5 to $8 range and more often, the former. There are a lot of very nice little wines out there that are very affordable and they work for me. But, as usual, I digress.

It was to nice to be picked up from home, settled down in the back seat and driven from one winery to the next for an entire afternoon. Pure bliss. This was a young couple, the husband works with my husband and had often suggested going wine tasting together, who shared the day and wineries they had visited previously with us. We were the more knowledgeable couple; they are relatively new to the delights of wine and it made for a happy foursome. They are incredibly young; late twenties, I think. We are middle-aged but in age only and surely not in mind or spirit or why else would they choose to spend a precious Saturday with us? It was lovely to be chauffeured around from one winery to the next, asked every once in awhile, "are you having a good time?". As if it really mattered to them and, of course, it probably didn't but it was nice to hear anyway. Yeah, I was having a hell of a good time and could have quit after the first winery we stopped at where business was slow and the personable young man behind the tasting bar poured generous tastes from the open bottles and spirited (!) us away to sample one barrel taste after another. It was all good; even the Pinot Noir which I never drink and do not like. After eight to ten generous tastes, one's palate becomes numb and I challenge anyone to differentiate between the best Zin out there there and plonk!

Before heading for home, we stopped back at the winery where the generous tasting room employee worked and bought a bottle of 2002 Barbera to tuck away until our anniversary next month. We purposely planned an easy-fix dinner because after a day of wine tasting, the thought of dealing with creating an involved dinner is rather...overwhelming. It's not that we arrived back home intoxicated; more like drifting along on a nice little wine buzz. All in all, it was a wonderful way to while away a gray, rainy Saturday in northern California.

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Sunday, April 9, 2006

Saturday Six - Episode 104

1. Researchers in France have announced that they have developed a "mirror" that uses digital technology plus user input about diet and exercise to determine what you will look like in 10 years. So if you found yourself before such a device, would you want to have a look?  No, I have a pretty good idea of what I'll look like.  I can wait.

2. Have you done your taxes? If not, when will you finish them?  Yes

3. Has the amount you owe or the amount you're getting back (or what you expect the outcome to be) likely to get you to change how much your employer withholds?  No  Why or why not?  Because it usually means we get money back which is always a good thing; getting money back or breaking even...that's all I want.

  4. Take this quiz (if you haven't already!): Should you quit your job?

Your Job Dissatisfaction Level is 36% Your job is not bad, but it's probably not a long term thing.
You're just not happy enough to stick around for too long...
And there's little that can change how you feel.
Start looking around for other options, but only quit for something really good!

My job dissatisfaction is, in reality, 100% because I wish I didn't have to work at all.  But I'm not even one year into a new job so I'm still feeling my way!

. SECOND CHANCE TO BE FIRST TO PLAY QUESTION #1: The Saturday Six began on April 17, 2004, on the old version of "Patrick's Place" over at AOL. When everything moved here, the old comments weren't able to follow. Cdmmw of "I've Got A Fever, and the Only Prescription is More Cowbell" already has a first "link" to her questions on that entry. But for the rest of you, here's your chance to be the first one to answer those original six questions in a comment. For this question, leave your answers in a comment hereVery confusing question but I happen to know Cdmmw very well and that gives me an advantage:  Saturday, April 17, 2004 Saturday Six - Episode 1 Here's how it all began, on April 17, 2004!

1. Name the last movie you watched on DVD.  King Kong 

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #87 from springsnymph: Suppose you're given a box containing a substantial amount of money and it's yours to keep and use however you wish. If and when you open it to retrieve the cash, someone you don't know in another state, country or perhaps even across town will drop dead instantly. This will happen only the first time you open the box. Would you open it?  Oh dear!  I feel compelled to answer this question because it came from me.  What, oh what was I thinking at the time???  I've thought about this long and hard and yes, in the final analysis, I would open the box.  And if it matters to anyone, the amount is very substantial.      

Monday, April 3, 2006

Saturday Six - Episode 103

1. Assuming you have a DVD player and a show you used to enjoy becomes available on DVD...what is the deciding factor on whether or not you'll actually buy it?  The price; always comes down to the price, doesn't it?

2. What do you find generally more offensive: the average prime time television show or the people who want their own personal standards of decency to be the guidelines the networks must follow?  Tough call...I'd say the average prime time television show.

3. If you were in charge of the FCC, which of the following would be your priority when it comes to decency on the airwaves: cutting down on violence, sex or profanity?  Violence, definitely violence.  Isn't there enough violence in the real world?  Do we really need more poured into our living space each day???

4. Take this quiz (if you haven't already!): What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?  Ooh, Edward Gorey!  What fun.  Let's take the quiz and find out, shall we?  Answers are courtesy of The Gashlycrumb Tinies.  Yep, I know my Edward Gorey.

You will be smothered under a rug. You're a little anti-social, and may want to start gaining new social skills by making prank phone calls.

5. One of those crazy remodeling shows appears at your door one day and offers to redo any room of your house or apartment for free, but that it can only be one single room that gets a makeover. Would you let them in, and if so, which room would you choose and why?  Yes!!  Where are they?  I would point them in the direction of the master bedroom because there's much room for decorating improvement in there.  Again I say, where are they?

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #86 from cdmmw2: Do you recall your first kiss? Did you think that kissing was worth all the hype??  Yes, I recall it quite vividly.  I knew it was coming, I wasn't ready and completely inexperienced in such things.  But I was a quick study, caught on quickly and yes! it's definitely worth all the hype if one is blessed with being taught by a good kisser.  Thankfully, I was.  And he still is!