7 Deadly Zins

Wine names have gotten increasingly punny in recent years, especially with the zinfandels.  Names like “Cardinal Zin” and “7 Deadly Zins” have become pretty common.  Last night, I was hanging out at the Corkscrew, a wine bar run by my friend Andy Adams that just opened up about one month ago at 1919 Washington Avenue.  I had a chance to try the 7 Deadly Zins zinfandel (I can’t remember the year off the top of my head – I need to start paying better attention) and we really enjoyed it.  I’m a big fan of zinfandel in general, but this one had a very distinctive flavor that didn’t remind me that much of other zinfandels that I’ve tried. 

I’m still a novice at my wine descriptions, but the word that kept coming up was “jammy,” but without being overly sweet.  A very tasty choice in the $20/bottle range.     

 

7 Deadly Zins

 

 

Katrina: The Warnings Bush Received

I’m a bit surprised that the video showing the pre-Katrina briefings hasn’t been explored more by the press.  From the video, it seems clear that the President either wasn’t bothering to pay attention at the Katrina briefings in which he participated, or that he lied to the American people on camera in the days following the hurricane.  I think that this video puts Bush supporters in a difficult position – can you look at these tapes without deciding that the President is either dishonest (or at least disingenuous) or incompetent?  On a whole range of issues (homeland security, the conduct of the Iraq war, the response to the hurricanes), I find that when I give the administration every possible benefit of the doubt about what they are attempting to accomplish, I’m forced to conclude that they just aren’t very good at their jobs.  Democrats seem to be campaigning on the issue of corruption.  I think they would be better off campaigning on the issue of competence.

Katrina: The Warnings Bush Received

 

“The Doctor Will See You for Exactly Seven Minutes”

This essay really resonated with my recent experience.  I went to the doctor to deal with some Montezuma’s Revenge that I brought home from Mexico, but had wanted to talk to the doctor about my allergies while I was there. As a relatively healthy person I don’t go to the doctor very often and I kind of like to take care of everything in one trip.  The doctor was so tightly scheduled that he couldn’t take an extra ten minutes to talk about my allergy medicines, and I’ll have to make another appointment.

The Doctor Will See You for Exactly Seven Minutes

I can remember when my family had a long-term relationship with our family doctor, but over the last ten years I’ve really found that we’ve created a system in which doctors really cannot take the time to develop a relationship with their patients.  At this point in my life, that lack of relationship is just a nuisance, but I assume that someday (hopefully many years down the road)  I’m going to really want a better doctor-patient relationship than what I’m settling for today.

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Martha Thomas and FotoFest

My friend Martha has an exhibit at Joan Wich Gallery as part of Houston’s FotoFest.  I would post an example of her work here, but I wouldn’t want to step on her copyrights.  I encourage you to visit her website and check out her work: http://www.marthamthomas.com/

FotoFest runs through April 23rd, so there is still plenty of time to check out the exhibits (although not all of the exhibits will continue through the end of FotoFest).  You can find a map to all of the FotoFest exhibitions and installations here:

http://www.fotofest.org/ff2006/exhibitions_map.htm

 

“Vice Presidential Downtime Requirements”

In the grand scheme of things, this little memo (posted on the Smoking Gun website) about the requirements for Dick Cheney’s hotel suites is pretty trivial, but the requirement that all TVs be set to Fox News, the friendliest of media outlets for the Bush Administration, does give some ammunition to the late night comedians to comment on the Administration’s apparent tendency to only listen to people with whom they already agree.  Plus, how pampered do you have to be to be to lazy to use the remote control on a television yourself? 

Cheney Memo

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Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project

If you want to hear some rare and interesting music, check out the UC Santa Barbara Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project.  An article in the Sunday New York Times, How Pop Sounded Before It Popped, alerted me to the existence of this amazing resource.   (There was also a Wired News article) .  The Eddie Morton song mentioned in the Times article is definitely worth a listen.

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Fair Prices for Farmers: Simple Idea, Complex Reality – New York Times

I’ve seen the term “Fair Trade” on products before (mainly coffee), but this article is the first time I’ve ever seen a good description of exactly what that designation means. While I still think it’s a positive program, I’m saddened by how little of the premium price we pay for these products actually goes to the farmers who produce the goods. These programs could have a lot more impact if the Fair Trade products were marketed to a broader audience, and not just to consumers who are not “price-sensitive.”
Fair Prices for Farmers: Simple Idea, Complex Reality – New York Times

More about the Mexico trip

I finally get the rest of my Mexico trip pictures up on my gallery page. Jules and Carol, who were my neighbor’s when I lived in California, met me in Puerto Vallarta and then we drove up to San Pancho (aka San Francisco). Jules and Carol have been visiting San Pancho for several years and it’s a wonderful place – quiet and peaceful, with a wonderful wide beach that faces due west. The sunsets in San Pancho were spectacular every night.

DSC06569

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Greetings from San Pancho

Getting some sun and surf in San Pancho (the local name for San Francisco, Mexico) with my friends Jules and Carol. I’ll have more pictures and a ton of stories to tell, but while I’m here I’m not going to sit at the computer and write about it.  For now, I’m off to the beach to write in my journal and savor the sunset. 

San Pancho, Mexico