Round Up

31 03 2005

Cinema
Good – The Incredibles
Bad – Eyes Without a Face (Les Yeux Sans Visages)
Fugly – After The Sunset

Cellar
Red – Geyser Peak Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 1999
White – Joel Gott 2003 Chardonnay, Hyde Vineyards, Napa Valley
Bubbles – Freixenet Reserva Real

Cocktail
The Hurricane was invented during WWII at Pat O’Briends in NOLA named after the shape of a hurricane lamp. They still sell their original mix in the French Quarter.
Shake 2 oz light rum, 2 oz dark rum, 2 oz passionfruit juice, 1 oz OJ, 0.5 oz fresh lime juice, 1 tbs simple syrup and 1 tbs in shaker with ice. Strain into hurricane glass and garnish with cherry and an orange slice.





Gogh away

30 03 2005

The family of Ryoei Saito, who inherited a Van Gogh fromt he late chaiman of former Daishowa Paper Manufacturing Company had a tax penalty on thier inherited assets reduced by 1 billion yen today by the Shizuoka District Court. In 1989, Yasuda Marine and Fire Issurance company paid $39.9 million for “Sunflowers“, at the time the world’s most expensive painting. That record has since been surpassed: it is curently held by Piccaso’s Garcon a la Pipe (from the Whitney collection) sold to an anonymous buyer for $104,168,000.

Many of us identify with the roadblocks that VincentVan Gogh (born this day) experienced in his many career and romantic pursuits, all ending in failure. His reaction to these experiences demonstrated a biological and psychological abnormality causing behaviors that further alientated people from him. He became progressively isolated and channeled his energy into painting. He was institutionalized and then committed suicide at 37.

The only painting he sold in his lifetime was four (4) months before he died is called “The Red Vineyard“. Review a complete online catalog of his works or check out his life and depressing times.

CAUTION: LANGUAGE
Another brilliant person who was obviously disturbed was Mitch Hedberg. I rate him as a superior stand-up comic but he allegedly had drug issues. Unfortunate. He passed from heart failure ina hotel room in New Jersey earlier today. Some of my favorite material is reproduced below.
* I think foosball is a combination of soccer and shish kabobs.
* I think pickles are cucumbers that sold out. They sold their soul to the devil, and the devil is dill.
* I think Pringles’ initial intention was to make tennis balls. But on the day that the rubber was supposed to show up, a big truckload of potatoes arrived. But pringles was a chill company so they said “Fuck it. Cut ’em up.”
* I don’t have a girlfriend. I just know this lady who’d be really mad if she heard me say that.
* Your curveball won’t curve. Because you’re twelve.
* I once saw a forklift lift a crate of forks. And it was way too literal for me.
* You know when they have a fishing show on TV? They catch the fish and then let it go. They don’t want to eat the fish; they just want to make it late for something.
* I got an ant farm. Them fellas don’t grow shit.
* I wanted to buy a candle holder, but the store didn’t have one. So I got a cake.
* I haven’t slept for ten days, because that would be too long.
* I was in downtown Boise, Idaho, and I saw a duck, and I knew the duck was lost, ’cause ducks ain’t s’posed to be downtown. There’s nothin’ for ’em there. So I went to a Subway sandwich shop, I said, “Let me have a bun.” But she wouldn’t sell me just the bun, she said that I had to have something on it. She told me it’s against regulations for Subway to sell just the bun. I guess the two halves ain’t supposed to touch. So I said, “Alright, well, put some lettuce on it,” which she did. She said, “That’ll be $1.75.” I said, “It’s for a duck.” And they said, “All right, well, that is free.” See, I did not know that. Ducks eat for free at Subway! Had I known that, I would have ordered a much larger sandwich. “Let me have the Steak Fajita Sub – but don’t bother ringing it up, it’s for a duck! There are six ducks out there, and they all want Sun Chips!”
* I hate turtlenecks. I have such a weak neck. Plus if you wear a turtleneck it’s like being strangled by a really weak guy … all day. And if you wear a turtleneck and a backpack it’s like a weak midget trying to bring you down.
* I tried to throw away a yo-yo. It was fucking impossible.
* I tried to walk into Target, but I missed. Damn.
* Whenever I walk, people try to hand me out fliers. And when someone tries to hand me out a flier, it’s kinda like they’re saying, “Here — you throw this away.”
* Last week I helped my friend stay put. It’s a lot easier than helping someone move. I just went over to his house and made sure that he did not start to load shit into a truck.
* I’m sick of following my dreams. I’m just going to ask them where they’re goin’ and hook up with them later.
* I got my hair highlighted, because I felt some strands were more important than others.
* I want to be a race car passenger; just a guy who bugs the driver. “Say man, can I turn on the radio? You should slow down. Why do we gotta keep going in circles? Man, you really like Tide …”
* I wrote a letter to my dad — I wrote, “I really enjoy being here,” but I accidentally wrote rarely instead of really. But I still wanted to use it so I crossed it out and wrote, “I rarely drive steamboats, dad — there’s a lot of shit you don’t know about me. Quit trying to act like I’m a steamboat operator.” This letter took a harsh turn right away …
…and then at the end of the letter I like to write “P.S. — This is what part of the alphabet would look like if Q and R were eliminated.”
* I don’t get it, is it a Hippopatamus or a Really-Cool-Styling-O-Patamus?
* I got in an argument with a girlfriend inside of a tent. That’s a bad place for an argument, because then I tried to walk out and slam the flap. How are you supposed to express your anger in this situation? Zipper it up really quick?
* I type at 101 words a minute. But it’s in my own language.
* I think Bigfoot is blurry, that’s the problem. It’s not the photographer’s fault. Bigfoot is blurry. And that’s extra scary to me, because there’s a large, out-of-focus monster roaming the countryside. Run. He’s fuzzy. Get outta here.
* I have an underwater camera just in case I crash my car into a river, and at the last minute I see a photo opportunity of a fish that I have never seen.
* One time a guy handed me a picture of himself, and he said, “Here’s a picture of me when I was younger.” Every picture of you is of when you were younger. Here’s a picture of me when I am older. You son of a bitch, how’d you pull that off? Let me see that camera …
* My roommate says, “I need to shave and use the shower. Does anyone need to use the bathroom?” It’s like some weird-ass quiz where he reveals the answer first… Every time I go and shave, I assume there is somebody else on the planet shaving as well, so I say “I’m gonna go shave too.”
* Sometimes I wave to people I don’t know. It is very dangerous to wave to people you don’t know, because what if they don’t have a hand? They’ll think you’re cocky. “Look what I got motherfucker, this thing is useful…I’m gonna go pick something up.”
* My sister wanted to be an actress, but she never made it. She does live in a trailer. She got half way. She’s an actress, she just never gets called to the set.
* On a traffic light green means go and yellow means yield, but on a banana it’s just the opposite. Green means hold on, yellow means go ahead, and red means where the fuck did you get that banana at …
* I’m against picketing, but I don’t know how to show it.
* An escalator can never break. It can only become stairs. You would never see a escalator “Temporarily Out of Order” sign, just “Escalator Temporarily Stairs… Sorry for the Convenience … We apologize for the fact that you can still get up there.”
* I was walking down the street with my friend and he said “I hear music.” As though there’s any other way to take it in. You’re not special. That’s how I receive it too … I tried to taste it, but it did not work …
* 2-in-1 is a bullshit term, because 1 is not big enough to hold 2. That’s why 2 was created.
* I have a cheese-shredder at home, which is its positive name. They don’t call it by its negative name, which is sponge-ruiner. Because I wanted to clean it, and now I have little bits of sponge that would melt easily over tortilla chips.
* I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car’s headlights and tell you exactly which way it’s coming.
* I use the word totally too much. I need to change it up and use a word that is different but has the same meaning. Mitch do you like submarine sandwhiches? All-encompassingly …
* This jacket is dry clean only. Which means … it’s dirty.
* I saw a human pyramid once. It was very unnecessary. It did not need to exist.
* I bought a seven-dollar pen because I always lose pens and I got sick of not caring.
* I played golf. I’m not good at golf, I never got good at it, I never got a hole in one … but I did hit a guy. And that’s way more satisfying. … You’re supposed to yell ‘fore,’ but I was way too busy mumbling, “There ain’t no way that’s gonna hit him.”
* I have a friend who is a juggler. When I go to his house I don’t like to take food from him if it is in threes. “He has three apples left … I guess I can’t have one.”
* At my hotel room, my friend came over and asked to use the phone. I said “Certainly.” He said “Do I need to dial 9?” I say “Yeah. Especially if it’s in the number. You can try 4 and 5 back to back real quick.”
* My lucky number is 4 billion. That doesn’t come in real handy when you’re gambling. “Come on, 4 billion! Fuck. Seven. Not even close. I need more dice.”
* I love blackjack. But I’m not addicted to gambling. I’m addicted to sitting in a semicircle.
* I went to the park and saw this kid flying a kite. The kid was really excited. I don’t know why, that’s what they’re supposed to do. Now if he had had a chair on the other end of that string, I would have been impressed.
* If you had a friend who was a tightrope walker, and you were walking down a sidewalk, and he fell, that would be completely unacceptable.
* I don’t own a cell phone or a pager. I just hang around everyone I know, all the time. If someone needs to get a hold of me they just say “Mitch,” and I say “What?” and turn my head slightly …
* I hope the next time I move I get a real easy phone number. Something like, 222-2222. I would say sweet. People would say, “Mitch, how do I get a hold of you?” I would say, “Press 2 for a while, and when I answer, you will know that you have pressed 2 enough.”
* I wrote a script for a guy, and he said he liked it but he thought that I need to rewrite it. I said, “Fuck that, I’ll just make a copy.”
* I don’t wear a watch because I want my arms to weigh the same. So if somebody asks me what time it is, I have to tell them something that is going on. “What time is it, Mitch?” “Uh, that guy is eating a hamburger.” “Shit, I had to be somewhere …”
* My friend said to me “Man, this weather is trippy.” I said to him, “No man, perhaps it is not the weather that is trippy, it is the way we perceive it that is indeed trippy …” then I thought, man, I should have just said, ‘yeah’ …
* Foosball fucked up my perception of soccer. I thought you had to kick the ball and then spin ’round and round. I can’t do a back flip, much less several … simultaneously with two other guys.
* I never joined the army because at ease was never that easy to me. Seemed rather uptight still. I don’t relax by parting my legs slightly and putting my hands behind my back. That does not equal ease. At ease was not being in the military. I am at ease, bro, because I am not in the military.
* The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how much I play, I’ll never be as good as a wall. I played a wall once. They’re fucking relentless.
* A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.
* I used to be a hot-tar roofer. Yeah, I remember that … day.
* I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too.
* My friend said to me, “You know what I like? Mashed potatoes.” I was like, “Dude, you have to give me time to guess. If you’re going to quiz me you have to insert a pause.”
* I went to see a band in New York. The lead singer got on the microphone, and he said “How many of you people feel like human beings tonight?” Then he said “How many of you feel like animals?” And everyone cheered after the animals part. But the thing is, I cheered after the human being part because I did not know that there was a second part to the question.
* People teach their dogs to sit, it’s a trick. I’ve been sitting my whole life, and a dog has never looked at me as though he thought I was tricky.
* My apartment is infested with koala bears. It was the cutest infestation ever. When I turn on the light, they scatter, but I do not want them to. Don’t run away. I want to hold you … and feed you a leaf.
* In England, Smokey the Bear is not the forest fire prevention representative. They have Smacky the Frog. It’s just like a bear, but it’s a frog. I think it’s a better system, I think we should adopt it. Because bears can be mean, but frogs are always cool. Never has there been a frog hopping toward me, and I thought ‘man, I’d better play dead. Here comes that frog …’ You never say here comes that frog in a nervous manner. It’s always optimistic. Hey here comes that frog, all right. Maybe he’ll come near me so I can pet him, and stick him in a mayonnaise jar, with a stick and a leaf, to recreate what he’s used to. And I’m pretty sure I’d have to punch some holes in the lid, because he’s damn sure used to air. Then I can observe him, and he won’t be doing much in his 16-ounce world.
* Alcoholism is a disease, but it’s the only one you can get yelled at for having. Goddamn it Otto, you are an alcoholic. Goddamn it Otto, you have Lupus … one of those two doesn’t sound right.
* I was at this casino minding my own business, and this guy came up to me and said, “You’re gonna have to move, you’re blocking a fire exit.” As though if there was a fire, I wasn’t gonna run. If you’re flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit.
* When you go to a restaurant on the weekends and it’s busy they start a waiting list. They start calling out names, they say “Dufresne, party of two. Dufresne, party of two.” And if no one answers they’ll say their name again. “Dufresne, party of two, Dufresne, party of two.” But then if no one answers they’ll just go right on to the next name. “Bush, party of three.” Yeah, but what happened to the Dufresnes? No one seems to give a shit. Who can eat at a time like this – people are missing. You fuckers are selfish… the Dufresnes are in someone’s trunk right now, with duct tape over their mouths. And they’re hungry! That’s a double whammy. We need help. Bush, search party of three! You can eat when you find the Dufresnes.
* See, I write jokes for a living, man. I sit in my hotel at night and think of something that’s funny and then I go get a pen and write ’em down. Or, if the pen’s too far away, I have to convince myself that what I thought of ain’t funny.
* I bought myself a parrot. The parrot talked. But it did not say, “I’m hungry,”………….. so it died.
* They say that the recipe for Sprite is lemon and lime. But I tried to make it at home. There’s more to it than that.
* I saw a commercial for an above-ground pool. It was 30 seconds long. You know why? ‘Cuz that’s the maximum amount of time that you can depict yourself having fun in an above-ground pool.
* As an adult, I’m not supposed to go down slides. So, if I’m at the top of a slide, I have to pretend like I got there accidentally. “How’d I get up here, Goddamnit!? I guess I have to slide down. WHEEEEEEEEEE!!!” That’s what you say when you’re having fun — you refer to yourself and some other people.
* I had a box of Ritz crackers and on the back of the box of Ritz crackers it had all these suggestions as to what to put on top of the Ritz. It said ‘Try it with turkey and cheese.’ ‘Try it with peanut butter.’ Oh, c’mon man, they’re crackers. That’s why I got ’em — I like crackers. There ain’t no suggestion: ‘Put a Ritz on top of a Ritz.’ I didn’t buy ’em ‘cuz they’re little edible plates.
* I like baked potatoes, man. I don’t have a microwave oven; it takes forever to cook a baked potato in a conventional oven. Sometimes I’ll just throw one in there, even if I don’t want one, because by the time it’s done….who knows? I’ll throw a potato in and go on vacation.
* My manager told me, “Mitch, don’t use alcohol as a crutch.” A crutch is something that helps you walk, alcohol is like the step I didn’t see.
* I had a stick of Carefree gum, but it didn’t work. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.
* My sister wanted to be an actress, but she never made it. She does live in a trailer. She made it half way. She’s an actress, she just never gets called to the set
* If carrots got you drunk, rabbits would be fucked up. I like vending machines, because snacks are better when they fall.
* You know that Pepperidge Farm bread, that stuff is fancy. That stuff is wrapped twice. You open it, and then still ain’t open. That’s why I don’t buy it, I don’t need another step between me and toast.
* This product that was on TV was available for four easy payments of $19.95. I would like a product that was available for three easy payments and one complicated payment. We can’t tell you which payment it is, but one of these payments is going to hard.
* I would imagine if you could understand Morse Code, a tap dancer would drive you crazy.
* I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut… I don’t need a receipt for the doughnut. I give you money and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction. We don’t need to bring ink and paper into this. I can’t imagine a scenario that I would have to prove that I bought a doughnut. To some skeptical friend, Don’t even act like I didn’t buy a doughnut, I’ve got the documentation right here… It’s in my file at home. …Under “D”.
* Sometimes I wake up and I think I should start wearing a beret, but I don’t do it though. One day I’m gonna though. You bet your ass, I will have a beret on. That’s ridiculous, but it’s true. I always fight with wearing a beret.
* A minibar is a machine that makes everything expensive. When I take something out of the minibar, I always fathom that I’ll go and replace it before they check it off, but they make that stuff impossible to replace. I go to the store and ask, “Do you have coke in a glass harmonica? …Do you have individually wrapped cashews?”
* I like cinnamon rolls, but I don’t always have time to make a pan. That’s why I wish they would sell cinnamon roll incense. After all I’d rather light a stick and have my roommate wake up with false hopes.
* That would be cool if you could eat a good food with a bad food and the good food would cover for the bad food when it got to your stomach. Like you could eat a carrot with an onion ring and they would travel down to your stomach, then they would get there, and the carrot would say, “It’s cool, he’s with me.”
* I had a bag of Fritos, they were texas grilled Fritos. These Fritos had grill marks on them. They remind me of something, when we used to fire up the barbeque and throw down some Fritos. I can still see my dad with the apron on, better flip that Frito, dad, you know how I like mine
* I hate flossing, I wish I just had one long curvy tooth.
* A waffle is like a pancake with a syrup trap
* I like buying snacks from a vending machine because food is better when it falls. Sometimes at the grocery, I’ll drop a candy bar so that it will achieve its maximum flavor potential.
* I wrote my friend a letter with a highlighting pen, but he could not read it, he thought I was trying to show him certain parts of a piece of paper.
* Mr. Pibb is a poor imitation of Dr. Pepper. Dude didn’t even get his degree
* My friend asked me if I wanted a frozen banana, I said “No, but I want a regular banana later, so, Yeah.”
* When I get a cold sore, I put Carmex on it, because Carmex is supposed to alleviate cold sores. I don’t know if it does help, but it will make them more shiny and noticeable. It’s like cold-sore-highlighter. Maybe they could come up with an arrow that heals cold sores.
* I hate arrows. They try to tell me which direction to go. It’s like “I ain’t going that way, line with two thirds of a triangle on the end!” Imagine if an bow and arrow killed you. That would suck. An arrow killed you? They would never solve the crime. “Look at that dead guy. Let’s go that way.”
* I like to hold the microphone cord like this, I pinch it together and then I let it go, then you hear a whole bunch of jokes all at once.
* I had a stick of Carefree gum, but it didn’t work. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.
* I hate dreaming. Because when you sleep, you wanna sleep. Dreaming is work, you know – there I am in a comfortable bed, the next thing you know I have to build a go-kart with my ex-landlord. I want a dream of me watching myself sleep.
* I went to the Home Depot, which was unnecessary. I need to go to the Apartment Depot. Which is just a big warehouse with a whole lot of people standing around saying “We don’t have to fix anything.”
* The only way I could get my old CD into stores is if I took one in and leave it. “Sir, you forgot this.” “No, I did not. That is for sale. Please alphabetize it.”
* I cannot tell you what hotel I’m staying at, but there are two trees involved.
* I have a “Do Not Disturb” sign on my hotel door. It’s time to go to “Don’t Disturb”. It’s been “Do Not” for too long. We should embrace the contraction. I like to wear a “Do Not Disturb” sign around my neck so that little kids can’t tell me knock-knock jokes. “Hey, how ya doin’? Knock-knock.” “Read the sign, punk!”
* I met the girl who works at the Doubletree front desk, she gave me her number. It’s ZERO. I tried to call from here, some other woman answered. “You sound older!”
* If 13 is unlucky, then 12 and 14 are guilty by association.
* I like refried beans. That’s why I wanna try fried beans. Maybe they’re just as good, and we’re not wasting time.
* I hate sandwiches at New York delis. Too much meat on the sandwich. It’s like a cow with a cracker on either side. “Would you like anything else with the pastrami sandwich?” “Yeah, a loaf of bread and some other people!”
* I ordered a club sandwich, but I’m not even a member. “I like my sandwiches with three pieces of bread.” “Well, so do I!” “Then let’s form a club.” “OK, but we need some more stipulations. Instead of cutting the sandwich once, let’s cut it again. Yes, four triangles, arranged in a circle, and in the middle we will dump chips.” “How do you feel about frilly toothpicks?” “I’m for ’em!” “Well, this club is formed.”
* I went to a pizzeria. The guy gave me the smallest slice possible. If the pizza was a pie chart with what would you do if you found a million dollars, he gave me the “Donate it to charity” slice. “I’d like to exchange this for the ‘Keep it!'”
* I saw this wino, he was eating grapes. I said, “Dude, you have to wait.”
* I used to drink wine. This girl asked me, “Doesn’t wine give you a headache?” “Yeah, eventually, but the first and the middle part are amazing!”
* I went to the store and bought eight apples; the clerk said, “Do you want these in a bag?” I said, “Oh, no, man, I juggle.”
* I saw a guy juggling chain saws, it was cool, unless something needed to be sawed down, then it’s annoying.
* The thing about tennis is: no matter how much I play, I’ll never be as good as a wall. I played a wall once. They’re relentless.
* I was going to get my teeth whitened, but I said, “I’ll just get a tan instead.” I got some tartar control toothpaste. I still have tartar, but that stuff’s under control. I got so much tartar, I don’t have to dip my fish sticks in anything. That’s actually kind of gross. After that joke, I have to clarify that I’m just joking.
* You know crazy straws – they go all over the place? These straws are sane. They never lost their mind. They say, “we’re going straight to the mouth. That guy who takes a while to get there? He’s crazy.”
* You know that Pepperidge Farm bread, that stuff is fancy. That stuff is wrapped twice. You open it, and then still ain’t open. That’s why I don’t buy it, I don’t need another step between me and toast.
* I like it when you reach into a vending machine to grab your candy bar, and that flap goes up to block you from reaching up? That’s a good invention. Before that, it was hard times for the vending machine owners. “Yeah, what candy bar are you getting?” “That one, and every one on the bottom row!”
* I want to make a vending machine that sells vending machines. It’d have to be real big. I was going to get a candy bar, the button I was supposed to push is HH. So I pressed the H button twice. Potato chips came out! Turns out there was an HH button. You gotta let me know. I’m not familiar with the concept of HH. I did not learn my AA BB CCs. I get the Reese’s candy bar. You look at that, there’s an apostrophe-s there. That means the candy bar is his. I didn’t know that. Next time you’re eating a Reese’s candy bar, and a guy named Reese comes by and says, “Gimme that”, you better hand it over. The Kit Kat candy bar has the name Kit Kat imprinted into the chocolate. That robs you of chocolate! That’s a clever chocolate-saving technique.
* If you find yourself lost in the woods, build a house. “Well, I was lost, but now I live here!”
* I haven’t slept for ten days, because that would be too long.
* I bought a house, it’s a two bedroom house, but I think it’s up to me to decide how many bedrooms there are. This bedroom has an oven in it. This bedroom has a lot of people sitting around watching TV. This bedroom is over in that other guy’s house.
* I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut. I don’t need a receipt for the doughnut. I give you money and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction. We don’t need to bring ink and paper into this. I can’t imagine a scenario that I would have to prove that I bought a doughnut. To some skeptical friend, Don’t even act like I didn’t buy a doughnut, I’ve got the documentation right here. Oh, wait. It’s in my file at home, under “D”.
* I have a king sized bed. I don’t know any kings, but if one came over, I guess he’d be comfortable. “Oh, you’re a king, you say? Well, you won’t believe what I have in store for you.”
* A snake bite emergency kit is a body bag.
* When I was a boy, I laid in my twin size bed, wondering where my brother was.
* I don’t have a microwave oven, but I do have a clock that occasionally cooks stuff.
* I want to get a job naming kitchen appliances. That seems easy; refrigerator, toaster, blender. You just say what the thing does and add “er”.
* Mr. Pibb is a poor imitation of Dr. Pepper. Dude didn’t even get his degree.
* A mini-bar is a machine that makes everything expensive. When I take something out of the mini-bar, I always fathom that I’ll go and replace it before they check it off, but they make that stuff impossible to replace. I go to the store and ask, “Do you have coke in a glass harmonica? Do you have individually wrapped cashews?”
* Why are there no “during” pictures?
* I never joined the army because at ease was never that easy to me. Seemed rather uptight still. I don’t relax by parting my legs slightly and putting my hands behind my back. That does not equal ease. At ease was not being in the military. I am at ease, bro, because I am not in the military.
* I opened-up a yogurt, underneath the lid it said, “Please try again.” because they were having a contest that I was unaware of. I thought maybe I opened the yogurt wrong. Or maybe Yoplait was trying to inspire me. “Come on Mitchell, don’t give up!” An inspirational message from your friends at Yoplait, fruit on the bottom, hope on top.





Week in Wine

29 03 2005

German Rieslings!

Erben von Beulwitz Kaseler Nies’chen Spatlese: $23 semidry
Bert Simon Serrig Wurtzberg Spatlese: $22 semidry
Graff Urziger Wurzgarten Auslese: $22 sweet
Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Spatlese: $25 semidry
Dr. Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese: $40 semidry
Dr. von Bassermann- Jordan Forster Jesuit- engarten Spatlese: $28 semidry
Georg Albrecht Schneider Niersteiner Hipping Spatlese Rheinhessen: $15 semidry
Georg Albrecht Schneider Niersteiner Hipping Auslese: $21 sweet
J. L. Wolf Wachenheimer Belz Spatlese: $13 semidry
J.L. Wolf Forster Pechstein Spatlese: $28 semidry
Langwerth von Simmern Erbacher Marcobrunn Spatlese: $28 semidry
Langwerth von Simmern Hattenheimer Mannberg Spatlese: $32 semidry
Langwerth von Simmern Rauenthaler Baiken Auslese: $35 sweet
Studert-Prum Graacher Himmelreich Spatlese: $21 semidry
Von Hovel Estate Mosel-Saar-Ruwer QbA: $15
Domdechant Werner Hoccheimer Stein Kbnt halbrocken: $20
Dr. Weins-Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett: $15
Dr. Fischer Ockfener Bockstein QbA: $13
Dr. Loosen Dr. L Mosel-Saar-Ruwer QbA: $14
Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Kabinett: $20
Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Bernkasteler a. Badstube am Doctorberg Kabinett: $22
Erben von Beulqitz Kaseler Nies’chen Kabinett: $15
Gunderloch Jean-Baptiste Rheinhessen Kabinett: $19
Josef Rosch Leiwener Klostergarten Kabinett: $15
Kunstler Hochheimer Reichestal Kabinett: $22
Langwerth von Simmern Hattenheimer Nussbrunnen Kabinett; $17
Prinz zu Salm Dalberg’sches Schloss Wallhausen Kabinett: $19
Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Piesporter Goldtropfchen Kabinett: $21
Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt RK Mosel-Saar-Ruwer QbA: $13
Reichsrat von Buhl Maria Schneider Pfalz QbA: $15
Schloss Lieser Estate Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Kabinett: $19
Schloss Saarstein Serriger Schloss Saarsteiner Kabinett: $19
Schloss Schonborn Rheingau Kabinett: $16
Schloss Schonborn Hattenheimer Pfaffenberg Kabinett: $17
Schloss Vollrads Estate Rheingau Kabinett: $20
Von Hovel Oberemmeler Hutte Kabinett: $20
Von Othegraven Maria v. O.Saar QbA: $16
Von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Estate Mosel-Saar-Ruwer QbA: $18
Von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Herrenberg Msl-Saar-Rwr Kabinett: $22
Wegeler Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett: $16
Werner & Sohn Schweicher Annaberg Kabinett: $14
Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Kabinett: $22

Caution: Wines listed are available but may not be in all stores. Start with local wine merchants, but also try larger stores. I get my wine from BevMo. Drinking during pregnancy is associated with birth defects.





Nippon Nowadays

28 03 2005

Three (3) more days until it opens!
If you are in Japan this summer, check out the Expo 2005
This is the official site dedicated to the U.S. pavilion
Japan tourism site and weather
Air travel to and within Japan

Coming back to us, petrol’s rising again
U.S. retail petrol prices have increased dramatically reflecting in fat returns for the likes of Chevron and friends. Retain petrol prices per gallon increased from approximately $1 in January 2002 to $2 this month. In 1980, the price first topped $1. Since then, we have gotten used to petrol being over the magic number which is why it does not hurt as much. While relatively stable in the early and mid 1990s, they have fluctuated more since 1999. Prices are,however, not record highs when taking inflation into account. When index adjusted for inflation, petrol in the 1970s cost $3 per gallon. Current prices are far below the 1981 inflation-adjusted peak of $2.94 even though it has shot up to those peak prices seen during both Persian Gulf Wars.

Compare your guzzling habits if you lived in, say, Texas
Look at petrol prices in Europe.
Compare your local petrol station globally





Hare Raising

27 03 2005

In pagan times, the Easter hare was a sacred companion to the old Goddess of Spring, Eastre. The Easter Bunny has its origin in pre-Christian fertility Lore.
The Hare and Rabbit were the most fertile animals known and served as symbols of the new life of Spring. Parents told you that the Hare would bring presents at the Spring festival. Presents were often painted eggs (new life). Hares look like rabbits, are larger and wild. But they are quite rare. The rabbit has nearly completed replaced the hare in most countries.

In 16th century German writings, the bunny was first mentioned in writing. In the mid 1800s, the first edible bunnies (pastry and sugar) were made. German children made nests of grass in their yards, imaging the bunny would populate them with the colorful decorated eggs. Germans settling in Dutch Pennsylvania during the 1700s introduced this to America. The arrival of the Oschter Haws is second only to Christ-Kindel getting you presents on Xmas ever. Boys would use their caps and girls their bonnets as nests. Elaborate baskets came later as Hallmark saw incentive.

Get your Christian calendar right this week –

Palm Sunday: The sixth and last Sunday of Lent and beginning of Holy Week
Shrove Tuesday: Clean the soul, and celebrate as last chance to feast before Lent begins.
Ash Wednesday: Beginning of Lent, a day of penitence to clean the soul before the Lent fast.
Maundy Thursday: Day of the Last Supper, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and established the ceremony known as the Eucharist.
Good Friday: Death and later resurrection of Jesus Christ





Mister Coffee

26 03 2005

Nothing smells better in the morning than a strong cup of coffee. So many coffee makers out there. So many choices. Disclaimer: I have never tasted instant coffee.

Blade coffee grinders
Pro:
cheap
easy to clean
Con:
inconsistent grounds size
burn coffee from high heat generation

Burr coffee grinders
Pro:
crush between grinding whel and stationary surface
less burning
better grind consistency is you use the timer
Con:
noisier
can clog chute because of high speed (esp flavored beans that are oily)
static build up (no big whoop: just tap)
messy and harder to clean

French coffee press –
Pro:
perfect for 1-2 cups of black coffee
Con:
need to drink immediately as rapid loss of temperature as no heat supplied

Percolator –
Pro:
cheap
Con:
too long brewing time
foul smelling coffee
last drops are dilute and cold

Drip brewer –
Pro:
drip hot water through grounds through filter into jug or carafe
Con:
too many choices 🙂
How to choose the correct drip brewer:

  1. Pick a name brand, preferably one whose replacement parts do not require FedEx. Braun and Mr. Coffee are reliable and widely available.
  2. Check stated brewing time: it should be under right (8) minutes. Vacuum coffee makers and percolators do not make a good pot of coffee every time.
  3. Correct water temperature should be between 195 and 205 degrees. Any hotter and it destroys the volatile oils. Any lower and it’s not coffee but foul water.
  4. Optional features are just that: variable volume (cup setting), variable function (coffee, espresso, capuccino), user-settable thermostat, automatic timers and milk steamers/frothers. They add to the cost and movable parts which need cleaning a lot. Combination drip/espresso machines are painfully involved and are better supplanted by those scary pod-like machines that brew perfectly every time: a good buy if you like flavored coffees. Also called single serve coffee machines, the leading brands are Melitta, Senseo and Black & Decker. Correct brews with various flavors ready quickly every time but they are pre-ground, an ongoing expense and you have limited range depending on the vendor (flavorwise). I use pods at work but would not buy them for home use.
  5. Absolute must-have features: cord storage (they are always too long for something that is invariable on the countertop and thus a safety hazard), removable filter basket, water marking (on the tower), pause and serve function (to interrupt brewing), warming plate
  6. Relative must-have features: programmability, timer, inbuilt grinder

How to make the perfect cup of coffee

  1. Buy a medium to expensive good quality name brand drip brewer
  2. Run cold water before first use and thoroughly clean after each use to eliminate residue
  3. If you are in college, you probably re-use grounds to save $ (limit = 10 re uses). i reused tea bags a long time ago. It was a VERY long time ago. If you are not in college, please buy new grounds.
  4. You must use a filter. Paper filters far superior to gold (colored) or silver (colored) metal ones. They are cheap in office supply stores. I am not encouraging stealing them from your office supply store. As if that thought would ever occur to you on your own.
  5. Freeze your beans in an airtight container. While it is best to roast them and grind them, who has the time. Grinding before brewing is a good idea but you can also get them groudn to the desired consistency at your local greengrocer’s (my Safeway does it but not too well).
  6. Use cold still water, preferably whatever you drink (bottled?), as the water is the key to the taste. Water dilution and coffee amounts vary by taste. Add dairy and sugar after pouring out into a coffee cup or (gasp!) mug with a friendly or pithy saying on it.
  7. Thermal carafes are better than glass carafes at keeping coffee hot. Do not foolishly microwave. It is just not the same. Coffee must be drunk within one (1) hour of brewing.

Coffee house lingo:
I learnt this from my Italian friend to look smart for my barista at the Bourgeois Pig . All that soy stuff I learnt in California (“I’ll have a half double decaffeinated half-caf, with a twist of lemon) from Steve Martin:
Espresso (“fast coffee”): One shot. Strong flavor. Small amount. Black.
Macchiato (“to stain/mark”): Espresso + 1 tsp milk. Espresso con Panna uses cream instead
Cappuccino (“baby coffee”): Equal volumes of coffee and milk wih foam topping
Cafe Latte (latte is milk in IT): 1 volume espresso to 3 volumes milk
Mocha (“brown”): Equal volumes espresso and steamed chocolate milk with foam toppping
Doppio (“double”): 2 shots of espresso in an espresso cup. Lungo (“long shot”) is 1.5
Ristretto (“restricted”): Short pungent concentrated form of espresso
Americano: Espresso diluted with steamed water

Good coffee information sites
Review (this is a great site!), Terminology, Varieties





Week in Wine

25 03 2005

WHITES

2003 Beringer California Chenin Blanc ($6)
2003 Black Swan Vineyards South Eastern Australia Chardonnay ($8)
2004 Canyon Road California Sauvignon Blanc ($8)
2004 Hogue Columbia Valley Gewurztraminer ($9)
2004 Hogue Columbia Valley Pinot Grigio ($10)

REDS

2003 Black Swan Vineyards South Eastern Australia Merlot ($8)
2003 Canyon Road California Merlot ($8)
2002 Cypress California Merlot ($10)
2002 Domaine Saint George Sonoma County Merlot ($10)
2002 Stone Cellars by Beringer California Merlot ($10)

MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANCS
2004 Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $19
2004 Allan Scott Vineyard Select Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $14
2004 Babich Winemakers Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $16
2004 Babich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $12
2004 Belmonte Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $17
2004 Brancott Vineyards Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $11
2004 Fairhall Downs Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $16
2004 Goldwater New Dog Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $20
2004 Nobilo Icon Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $20
2004 Huia Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $18
2004 Lake Chalice Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc; $14
2004 Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $15
2003 Marlborough Wines Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $16
2004 Monkey Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $10
2004 Mount Riley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $13
2004 Nautilus Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc; $17
2004 Omaka Springs Estates Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc; $17
2004 Redcliffe Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $11
2004 Spy Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $18
2004 Terrace Heights Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $19
2004 Twin Islands Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $12
2004 Vavasour Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $18
2004 Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $20
2004 Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $13
2004 Whitehaven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $17
2004 Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: $23

Rieslings under $10
Pacific Rim Riesling 2003 (CA)
Beringer 2003 Johannisberg (CA)
Firestone Vineyard’s Select Riesling 2004 (CA)
Robert Mondavi Private Selection Johannisberg 2003 (CA)
Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Riesling 2004 (CA)
Fetzer Vineyards Valley Oaks Riesling 2004 (CA)
Wynns Coonawarra Estate Riesling 2002 (Aus)
Hogue Cellars Johannisberg Riesling 2004 (Washington)
Felton Road Riesling 2004 (NZ)
Rosemount Estate Diamond Traminer Riesling (Aus)

WINE TRIVIA
How much wine is in a bottle? 750 ml
How many grapes does it take to make your average bottle of wine? 2 ½ pounds
How many bottles of wine does it take to make create a case of wine? 12
How many gallons of wine are produced from one acre of grapevines? About 800
Where does the vanilla flavor in wine come from? Newer oak barrels
When was the corkscrew designed? Mid-1800’s.
How many varieties of wine grapes exist in the world today? Over 10,000
How many gallons of wine does California produce annually? Over 17 million gallons
How many calories are in a four ounce glass of red wine? 85
How many gallons of wine are in a single barrel? 60
How many grapevines generally make up an acre? 400
When did winemaking begin? Mesopotamia in 6000 B.C.

http://wine.about.com/od/servingwines/a/Cookingwithwine.htm?nl=1

Caution: Wines listed are available but may not be in all stores. Start with local wine merchants, but also try larger stores. I get my wine from BevMo. Drinking during pregnancy is associated with birth defects.