brain farts...flotsam...driftwood...and meanderings on hedonistic endevours

Monday, August 30, 2004

Saturday driving


Woke up at 7 got torn down and took a quick shower. Got on the road by 7:20 and headed out, beautiful drive with plenty of lookouts on the archipelago that led to mainland. Didn’t stop for breakfast till 10 in a small town, I was about the only customer and got friendly service, learning that peameal bacon is actually Canadian bacon! Then off I went and arrived at the border at 12, naturally my nerves started to kick in as I tried to convince myself that I had nothing to worry about. Sure enough for some reason I didn’t though the man at the gate also didn’t understand how someone would like to take a trip alone. Oh well, no stop short line and empty bladder. The tourist station though seemed to be a little confused about mileage leading me to believe that everything was too far away to get to tonight. Thank god they were wrong and now I sit in a cheap motel in Marquette, a place that the last time I was here it was to get on my Grandparents sail boat and finish up their trip with them. It’s welcome back time and there is a fair going on near the water front, and in the end this means well not much. I found the local brewpub and had a nice meal, which led to an interesting incident. I had asked for paper to take notes on about their beers which led to curious looks towards me as I analytically wrote two pages on their 6 beers. All in all solid beers if not lacking in some originality. Anyways I kept asking questions about an internet café, and interesting liquor stores and my waitress kept calling me “Sir”, finally producing a wine list as I finished my meal. Now comes the incredible part, they had a short but very eclectic wine list with prices I that made me consider staying till close just to taste some things at the ridiculous prices. Insignia, at my store $124+/- a ’95 there was $85, a 2000 Guigal Hermitage, hard to get and pricey, $25. I almost asked to buy some just to have them pop the corks and let me walk with them. By the way the ribs were decent, and I left with half a rack for back at the room. After a quick tour of the local liquor stores, where I found some gems but really not much too interesting, I headed back to the room to catch up on my log. Good Will Hunting, some fine beers and I closed the door on the last night alone. Here I come “G”!

Friday, August 27, 2004

Friday Island Wanderings


Woke up at 8 to rain, I heard it coming but wasn’t sure what to do so I waited and sure enough he rain made my decision for me, I was to stay. SO I headed down to let the camp lady know and pay for another night, also inquiring about things to do on this remote island. Sadly this meant not much, but some sightseeing and for some reason no one seemed to know much about hiking trails, but armed with some knowledge and a map which didn’t really think scale or consistency was an issue, I headed out for breakfast at S&J’s. Think Perkins/Trailer and you’ve got the idea. It was nice and the “chef” was kind enough to get up from his coffee, cigarette, and Olympic coverage to make us breakfast. In reality it wasn’t that bad and the two guys from the ferry, fortunate enough to get their tent down in time, were there too. So I got to watch some Olympics and had a cheap and filling breakfast and I was off. Essentially I had 3 cities to visit and 2 trails to look for. The first city was barely awake and so I headed to the second where I visited some art galleries. I don’t want to sound like an art snob, but with a few exceptions they art was poor. It looked like some if not all of the carvings were never finished, not like they meant too either, but rather the detailed areas just got skipped when it came to varnish or sanding. Oh well, off to the falls, bridal falls. Everyone talked highly about this the hike up to it, though beautiful, was a bit short and highly populated, I even took the “Extreme” route which led me into a field off the trail of some farmer. The falls that I hiked too also happened to be right next to the highway, and as I was settling in to enjoy the beauty a family of excited children showed eager to add their own song to the falling water. Oh well, off to the next city M’Chicheeng, an Ojibiway outpost of sorts. First stop an art gallery that was impressive, but the girl that was sitting there seemed to take my earrings for a statement on teen rebellion, and proceeded to enthrall me her tales of skipping out on school to do stuff that wasn’t “lame”. From there I headed to the Ojibiway cultural center that had a nice museum, which in the end was one of the more impressive display’s of artifacts and old photos. After which I headed out to the Cup & Saucer trail that everyone talked about as if it was the only thing to do on the island. So after a short drive I headed out on a poorly marked trail that had 2 trails an “easy” and a “hard”, well this I was soon to learn was not like the last trail here they meant it. It looked unassuming, with rocks all over the trail making it a bit difficult especially after the rain. Anyways I took the lower root and well it was quite nice, but then I had to scale a steep wall to get to the top which did I mention was beautiful. This then led up to a walk along the bluff with large overlooks that stretched out into the sky, allowing me to see what must have been just short of forever. Heading to the other side I found a slippery ladder down the other side and under the cliff which took on the aura of a scene from lord of the rings. But I couldn’t head on for ever so back I went to get to camp took check on my wine/beer which needed ice. I left them with the thought that it was to be rainy and cold, but alas it ended up the perfect, humid, day and I needed to ring my shirt out when I finished my hike. At camp all was normal, the local trailer folk had taken to the afternoon drinking, and I headed for a walk down the beach. The best part of the park was the fact that 100meters from my tent was the perfect beach staring out into what was soon to be a sunset on the far shore of the bay. I walked down to the boat launch and realized I was hungry and didn’t want to miss the sunset, so I hurried back to camp and got me some bacon, potatoes, onions, oh wait I’ve already typed this, about the same as last time but this time I had a nice bottle of Portuguese wine I picked up in Toronto. It was wonderful and I quickly put the last of the bottle in a water bottle, grabbed a cigar and headed down to the water. I sat on a rock near the shore smoking and drinking and watching a sunset that would have only been made sweeter with my sweety sitting there with me, though that might not have included the cigar, a sacrifice but a worthy one at that. So far I realized that time alone is nice but time spent with the one you love is better. I can’t wait to return someday with gab, and another sunset. Anyways off to bed I went and the earplugs I picked up in Chicago finally paid off while the neighbors partied until dawn. “EH!”

Traveling and a Ferry

Got up Thursday and headed out after taking down the tent, I was planning just to grab some food on the road. Headed north, had enough of the Toronto area and while I could spend another day in Toronto having a good time it might cost me more than I want to spend. So to Tobymore I headed, which was a nice drive though I learned one thing, just because a road goes east to west on a map, doesn’t mean the road goes east to west, short sections are not the whole so I ended up missing one turn off, not bad though until I missed another. Oh well it wasn’t too far out of my way and I got to see a small little town that seemed nice though I had places to be. Got up to Tobymore around 12:30 and found the “?” station right away, a first! They were helpful though my main concern was the ferry I was to take. So they told me of some nice trails and a good campsite and I went to see if I needed a reservation. Now the problems start, the ferries are 4 per day, and the middle two are $20 more because they are “convenience” ferries. UGH, and the first ferry was at 7am and I would be camping an half hour away, and need to arrive by 5 or so…soooo I decided I must leave, well I thought at that point if I caught the late one I would have time for a hike so I headed up to the “?” again to find out when I needed to be down at the ferry and to try to book a campsite since I’d be arriving after dark. Did I mention at the ferry no one was helpful nor did their phones work. So the Nice lady at the “?” told me I had to call a place that had a 1-800 number which pretty much eliminated the quaint locations, Oh and that I had to be in line by 4pm to make it on to the ferry at 8pm! So it was 2pm at the time and I quick booked a site, and then headed off to a ½ hour hike each way with a half hour drive out and back, in hopes to seeing something fun. Well off I go and find the trail, 7.50 Canadian to park and hike I do. It’s a gorgeous trail all Juniper trees and lakes, finally I reach the “lookout point”, Wow it was amazing, except for all the screaming kids in swimsuits running about and the boats and the well anyways it wasn’t what I was hoping for. So I headed back, got to car, rushed for the docks, and at 3:45 the ferry was being loaded! So I thought just in the nick of time before it all fills up! WRONG! It then took an ½ hour to wait for the ticket taker to return and then I thought here’s where the rush comes, WRONG again, no rush, in fact I could have made it on at 7:25pm…Oh well, I wandered around the 2 streets of Tobymore and got some fish and chips and some wine and some beer and some coffee and some liqourice and posted a bit and well 4 hours is longer than I thought! But On I got, just under the wire, the bonus was if I had hopped on the earlier one like I think I should have I might have missed one of the most beautiful sunsets from the deck of the ferry. On the ferry it was another story, I happened upon two guys doing some biking, who took me for a friendly and I for them, so we chatted and wandered about and exchanged ideas on how to save the world, in the end a great time as we watched the moon rise over lake Huron. Southport, I know little about other than the sprint off the ferry and towards everyone’s destinations, let me say this, it’s had to drive in the dark and find a location you know nothing about without, DECENT SIGNS! I missed a turn to my location and ended up at the town dump, which is closed I found out, not sure where people will take their stuff now. Oh well got in and the two guys who followed me ended up there too trying to get in. Providence Bay Park, unless you have a mini trailer, van, or are a member of one of the white trash tribes of the north is not for you. I therefore felt very welcome, well sort of, everyone is mainly keeping to themselves, and talking loudly which sounds a bit like this: “Hey, ya wanna hand me a beer, eh!(not joking)” 8am “yeah sure but you owe me, eh! (no this is “for real”). I drank a beer, read a book and headed to bed! Can’t wait to see what’s in for me tomorrow!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

I'm Alive!

Just a quick note, I need to back publish a bunch of stuff I have written, but I can't write now. I'm in the middle of nowhere Ontario waiting for a ferry to take me to an Island and what do you know a wireless connection popped up out of nowhere! I was having dinner and typing some tales and wow, Internet! Who would have thunk...The signals weak so I'll publish all I can except for photos, and get you all filled in. I'm predating them so scroll down!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

25th wine day

August 25
Got up early and headed out to the wine country, had some bread cheese and proscuitto, and got a coffee on the way. Driving there was going fine until I realized I didn’t know what or where I was going, and so being endowed with the male gene for not direction solicitation, I promptly exited and headed down an unknown road to an unknown place! Finally vines came into view and a “?” sign, which I attempted to find. Well you think they would make these the easy part of the journey and leave the treasures hidden, but know I’m in a foreign country, and therefore most of this trip I’ve found the “?” signs the hardest to find. But after many a U-turn later I was at a location that not only relived my weak bladder but had another great sightseeing tool, a map! So off I went, in search of my first stop, Iniskillin, a world famous and the oldest winery in Niagara. Boring! Had a self guided tour of a bar with elementary school style signs explaining all the steps to “create the finest ice wines the world has ever known”. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. So off I went in search of freebies, this in the end taught me my first lesson, "I work in a liquor store and sell/want to sell your wines!" became my opening line! “Oh we don’t charge a tasting fee for individuals in the industry”! WEEEEEEEEEE…..Off I went I won’t go into all the tasting notes but will point out my favorite wine at each place I stopped. But first I must explain, each place I stopped people were very helpful, from indulging my industry questions, a break from “do you add grapefruit to your wine to make it taste that way”, to giving me there tasting notes so I could cross out all the flavors that I think they wish were in their wines. Iniskillen surprised me with a Cab Franc, Rose, Ice-wine…Overpriced but delicious, with strawberry aromas throughout, I bought a Dry Riesling mainly because it was rock solid, and different from most of the stuff I was expecting to taste. Next I went to Jackson_Triggs and while I would have gotten a free tour, it was 45min long and I would have had to listen in feigned wonder as they explained the mystery’s of the bladder press, SOOOO I drank! Boring California wines mainly, though I was surprised with all the Champagne in the traditional style made throughout though it does seem logical, theirs was very nice, and if it was a bit cheaper, o me a bit richer I would have taken a couple. But enough I headed off in search of a good fruit wine, with orchards everywhere I felt compelled to at least try one to see if I could find something more interesting than “wild vines”. So I stopped at a place that I forgot the name of and had some nice ones, notably a currant, overpriced again or not, maybe I’m just cheap. I did end up with a nice Apricot wine that really is amazing, like biting into a fresh apricot. Off I went next stop a winery that provides most of the grapes for Iniskillin and after a long chat I didn’t get the impression that they were big fans of Iniskilln. Oh well they made some nice wine, though it was sitting in a room that was making me sweat. Ended up with a long chat about how to get wines into Minnesota, and a bottle of there ice wine that beat out Iniskillins in local competition, and in all honesty I can see why. Awesome acidity, great fruit, enormous bouquet, and well taste-tee! Let’s see what next Oh yeah headed to _of Pelham, quite a drive and one of the farthest out wineries, not to mention at this point I still hadn’t had any food of significance. I had been spitting, don’t worry. So I was pleasantly surprised and delighted to see that the middle of nowhere there was both an outstanding winery, and café! Wow, sat outside finally drank some wine and had a great sandwich, after which I head inside to taste. Awesome wines, wish I could have brought back one of each, but ended up with a Baco Noir, yeah I’m not sure either, it seems to be a German hybrid, and it’s what they are known for, truly fun wine, somewhere between Pinot Noir and Gamay, and they did a reserve of it which I couldn’t justify buying over the regular bottling. Oh well, off I went in search of more fun places, and sad to say I couldn’t find my last two destinations, I tell you the signs hear suck. So I headed back to Oakville and walked on the shore of Ontarian some, before looking for the government run liquor store, research! Found a big one that had lots to see and chose from and reasonably priced when an average was taken from everything. Something’s way too high, and some way low! Headed home, it had been a long day and I needed some rest, made a nice dinner of bacon, onions, garlic, and potatoes. Started a fire and attempted to have a cigar that was way too tight, oh well had a couple of beers though. Lastly I feel ashamed but I did something that was both cool and weird, I watched the twilight zone on the computer in my tent while I sipped on bourbon! It was Kind of fun, while I sat an thought of this old TV program, when having an image was enough, to today when I can be in the middle of the woods, watching what has come before.

Smokeless Joes

Smokeless Joes
Originally uploaded by obiscoito.

Drinking some fine beers at Smokeless Joe's in Toronto!

Beer day!


Woke up and roasted my own coffee in the cast iron skillet…Awesome, though I realized I did not have a grinder so I made do with a large stick and the skillet pressing it to a fine powder lots of work but hey it tasted amazing. Left camp took a shower at the community showers, for a campground I was impressed one button no charge and hot water with lots of pressure, one of the best showers I’ve taken so far. After that I left to go meet one of the Rate beer guys at the brewery he works at. Black Oak, it’s small but they make a fine brew and Jeremy was very generous with the free samples he had me leave with. First beer downed at 11:30 there and then off to the “go” station to grab a train downtown. 9 bucks Canadian I think and all day rides if I wanted. Really nice, very clean and pretty fast. Got off downtown realizing I had forgotten my good map I paid for in Minnesota to get about in Toronto, so I ended up with a crappy tourist map. Pretty much for 4 hrs I walked, too much to see and too much to be tempted to buy so I didn’t bother, and just walked. Neat town with lots of cool shops and markets, wish I had more time to just spend hanging out. Ended up at one of the markets and got some cheese, bread, proscuitto, and some fixings for a potato hash sometime in the future. Ended meeting Joe, another ratebeerian, at Smokeless Joe’s, a beer bar with an amazing bottle selection and good JUJU. Had a Denison Weiss, and a Braintickler. Both awesome check out my ratings. Next off to the Beer Bistro for some grub, though I would say it was some mighty fine grub. Amazing tap selection, and bottles, I had a sampler of local IPA’s that were ok though I think I’m just used to more hops than most. I had a Mussel dish with in house smoked bacon, and a Belgian Brune to braise it with. Amazing the sweet/sour of the bruin did the right stuff with the mussels and on the side some Frittes with smoked ketchup. Truly wonderful! Finished with a Petrus Brune, that was also great though I was enjoying it so much I forgot to rate it. Next we headed to C’est What, a local brew pub, and I forgot to mention, we had off and on 6+ people, these Canadian Rate beer guys are great and amazing hosts. There we tried some well I need to check my notes but I do remember trying one of the worst beers in my life that we got as a joke to rate. Called Point nine, as in the alcohol, it tasted of Chlorine and diluted malt extract; maybe wallpaper paste would be a better description. Next, yes there was much beer drunk and no I was not wasted yet. We headed to another place that really had an amazing selection of taps and bottles, there Doug, another rate beer guy, assaulted us with multiple beers to rate, including the whole Hoegarrden line. Wow that was great though I do admit at that point I was getting a bit tired from all the walking and the beer. But in the end the guys were awesome and really left a great impression of Toronto on me. I then with the help of all was shown where to grab the last train back to my car which was not to far from camp, thankfully, and I headed home. Sleep came easily!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

coffee grinder

coffee grinder
Originally uploaded by obiscoito.

Ok so I forgot the grinder! It worked good grinding it in the iron skillet.

roasting coffee

roasting coffee
Originally uploaded by obiscoito.

Fresh coffee is the finest! Took about 15 minutes and the coffee was delicious!

Tuesday morning


So up at 7, with bladder full and geese attempting to get the anthem right after all, personally I don’t see what they have to talk about but that’s just me. I on the other hand attempt and succeeded, to roast my coffee from green beans today. Though after the wonderful roast was done I realized that I had forgotten to think of a way to grind the beans so as to brew the juice, Fortunately diligence paid off and I found my self grinding away in a cast iron pan with a piece of hard word firewood. Worked great and as I type here I wait for the grounds to settle out so that I might enjoy the freshest of fresh coffee’s this fine and cloudy morning. I think that is a good thing though, since the sun from my estimates will be rising from the least tree protected part of my site, the tent may be a bit hot with an early morning sunrise. Today off to see the Black Oak Brewery, from what I gather with my limited knowledge of the town of Oakville, I think it’s not to far away. Next I will figure out the train downtown, I know, I know, mass transit is a waste of the taxpayers money, but hey I thought I’d try to give back a little while here and help out where I see fit. Can’t wait to see Toronto! One question for you all out there, what happens when you’re alone for long periods of time, do you begin to talk to yourself? I’m starting to think that the human voice acts as a kind of drug that we need to survive. If others can’t provide it for us then we, as the resourceful nutcases that we are, must forgo sanity for a bit and spout forth with great nothingness just to sooth our soul. Till next time….

Monday, August 23, 2004

Bell's brewery

bell's brewery
Originally uploaded by obiscoito.

Here's the new Bells Brewery about 15 minutes outside of Kalamazoo.

Monday Drive


So I made it. I’m now sitting at my campground grilling a steak and thinking back on the long drive. Got up and out early to get a cup of joe, had some yogurt and waited for a phone call, none, so I called some people and left messages. No answers, so I left Kalamazoo to see if I could find the new bell’s plant! Success and Gary Nichols was there a friend of Gabs. So I got the full tour, very nice plant and still adhering to the experimental ideal! Though batch 7000 is not due out for quite a bit I am told. Anyways rather than wait around for a call I took off to make it to the border, a place that always makes me nervous! And boy was I in for a treat, the line was long and you guessed it as soon as I got past the point of no return my bladder tapped me on my shoulder and made an announcement, “your coffee is ready” Ugh…Forever later sweating like a dog holding myself, I made it to the questions, which were not bad. But, they asked if I would meet on my journeys anyone I hadn’t met yet, and I said “yes”, RED FLAG! So off to the search point, everything was going soooo peachy now, and guess what, “No you may not use the bathroom until we complete our inspection! So there I dance looking all so innocent, sweating and with cotton mouth, I was dehydrated avoiding all liquids while in line. (mmm steak sandwich good!) So after what was a bit, they sent me to another gentleman inside who had more questions and also wanted to see the car. Mostly they seemed confused that I was camping in Oakville, though I had a printout of my reservations, and that I brought my wife’s car and not my wife? Finally the stamp came out allowing me to enter, begrugdingly, and I was off to raise the levels of the great lakes a notch or too. After which I opted to drive and drive, wanting to get to camp so I could have a beer and depress a bit. Surprisingly this point of the journey was without mishap other than my realization that no country actually uses the road signs that they collectively pay for. Speeding is the norm the goal is to learn how much you can get away with and it seems the conversion to KM’s from miles takes this into account. The camp is isolated though I do have a faint road nose to the right, and found that the geese are from Canada after all though there rendition of the National anthem does leave something to be desired. Found a Grocery, bought a steak found “The Beer Store” and bought a 6’er of beer, and talked to the guy I’m to meet tomorrow @ 4:00, seems nice, can’t wait. So Tonight I think I’ll have a cigar, a couple of beers, maybe even a spot of bourbon and call it a day….By the way the new tent is awesome, and Dad the stove does work, so I can have oatmeal in the morning. I’ll try to upload some pictures too when I find a place to upload this. Surprisingly the campground does not seem to be wired for Wi-Fi. Silly Canadians!

bronte camp

bronte camp
Originally uploaded by obiscoito.

My first campsite @ Bronte Provincial Park, in Oakville. Great site, and only minutes from downtown Toronto. Very quite, great showers, and friendly staff!

Sad wine news

French hurting...

So off I went in search of Kalamazoo....But first a stop at Sam's IE:Mecca. Unfortunately there is some kind of airshow downtown Chicago, so it took me a bit but I made it. $25 what restraint! Sooooooo many things I wanted and well I just can't risk the border with too much booze. Ended up with a few beers for tonight. One JW lees Clavados Cask and one La Trappe 3pk quadruple! Sweet will try to night back in the hotel room. Got to Bells ok with some driving around in circles, it was nice if not quiet, and my contact there had left for the day soo I had a burger and Two hearted, nice after a long drive. the pointed out a cheap ($45) hotel and so I headed there. Now let me tell you I don't expect much from a Knight's Inn, but what I got was ridiculous, first they couldn't get my credit card to work telling me it was declined (NOT) and then when they finally got me a key, the room was a mess with the door open! So they gave me another, this one had trash in it. So then the manager (I assume, Parash was his name) Took me to two more, both trashed. Finally I got one that was Ok! Best $45 dollars I ever spent! Hope to spend some time there too. So I head out to this liquor/grocery store called divan's down the road. Awesome, old port, verticals of obscure and unique stuff, from what I saw they had Marilyn Merlot going back 10+years. Anyways their beer selection even impressed after having just been at Sams. I got out of there with a couple of interesting beers, will post later, and was off to the Olde Pennisula brew pub. Not bad, met some cool people who helped me to find a Wi-Fi connection and tried a few good beers, Sunset Red, Opie Ipa, Mid-Night Stout, and DoppelDunkel. Not bad for brew pub fair though in all honesty I can't wait to return to my hotel room for the JW Lees. Anyways they pointed me on to a coffee shop near the campus here that is really quite nice and they have a connection. Soooo here I type. I'm having sooooo much fun. I've met a few crazy people, and almost everyone I ask for information ends up helping me out. Everyone seems to think this is a good idea, driving across country by myself, so I guess I'll take there advice and keep going. One last thought, in an attempt to slow traffic in a work zone where no cop could possibly turn around to stop you the Indiana police department, decided to place a squad car on the side of the road. Well this makes sense until you drive by and see a Blow up doll in it, with a police coat draped around it, and I do me BLOW up doll, mouth fully shaped to receive your confession of highway guilt! Sooo weird, I almost missed it and boy do I wish I had a camera. Anyways till later...

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Saturday drive...the start of vacation!

So I’m off on my trip to the great city of Toronto. Long drive, and well I’m tired and happy to be in Chi-town @ Gab’s parents. Got off around 4ish and hit the road. Unusual stuff I saw: a 15ft tall pink elephant with a martini glass in it’s trunk and a cherry in the glass, being towed behind a truck, Wish I had my camera at the time. Also thought of a good money saving opportunity for Chicago…Eliminate all speed limit sings, I kept looking down at my speedometer to make sure it was working: Speed limit 55, me 70, everyone else 200mph..or thereabouts. It was insane, I kept trying to slow down and I would almost get hit. So I’m here typing enjoying one of the beers I brought to trade with the Toronto guys, sorry but I needed it! Will replenish in kalamazoo. I need sleep will type more when I find a place to upload this!...

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Lazy day off

Got up late and worked on my trip to the Trononto area. Starting to get some good contacts in the area and am getting very excited for what's to come. Just need to find a campsite and I'll be set. Met Tony, Gab's dad, who was in town on buisness for lunch. Good to see him and also to get some advice on my upcoming adventure. Otherwise not much to report other than my excitement for this trip. Should be a good time!

1975 German Riesling

Originally uploaded by obiscoito.

A bit faded but a piece of history from my birth year! My first birth year wine and I have Chris and his father to thank!!! Awesome experience!


Originally uploaded by obiscoito.

Ryan and Chris enjoying either:
1)1997 Tresor
2)1997 La Grange
3)1999 Deloach, Los Amigos Ranch
you tell me!!!


Originally uploaded by obiscoito.

A great day at Chris and Steves. Fresh pasta, great wine, and good friends!

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Cookingo on Sunday

Got up early and relaxed before Chris came over to pick me up. We headed down to the Minneapolis Farmers market to do some shopping for dinner. Chris's first time and he seemed impressed though it was a bit too busy on this gorgeous day for my tastes. Got some good produce and had a brat(loaded) and then headed back to his place in Excelsior for some cooking. We decided on fresh pasta with a nice heirloom tomatoe sauce with fresh basil all tossed with some Sausage Sister sausages. MMMMMM.... The pasta turned out great with a few caveats, like when Chris took a turn and ended up cutting his pasta the wrong way and ending up with tiny pieces of sausage. Oh well. We had a 1975 German Spatelese to start followed by a Warwick Sauvignon Blanc. Both nice though the German was a bit faded it still was neat to drink something from when I was born! Next we blind tasted some Reds. First a 1997 Ferrari Carano Tresor which was stunning though in my opinion a bit young. Next a 1997 La Grange Bordeaux and finally a DeLoach 1999 Los Amigos Ranch Cabernet. Nice though not beautiful all three presented a challenge to pick out blind. We finished up dinner with a Coteaux de Layon 1996 old vine desert wine! Wow, since the last time drinking it 2 years ago it had shed a lot of it's sugars and had become better balanced, I think it might not last as long as I first thought but should make it another 5 years at the minimum. The weather was great, and as the day wound down had a couple of cigars, though I'm not one to remember what kind, they were a nice end to the day! Great food, Awesome friends, and memorable wines...I wondering what the peasants are up to!

Friday, August 13, 2004

bush sucker punch

Originally uploaded by obiscoito.

Courtesy of the Yale Yearbook...I present my commander in chief, spokesman for compassion, and all around stand up guy!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

tuesday morning

Got up late, damn its cold around here for the middle of July. Gab and I are going to meet with one of her professors to chat a bit about where we hope to end up next year or in a few months. Hopefully she can give us some good information. I need to get into the doctor soon as my wrist seems to be getting worse, I hope it won’t come to surgery but on the other hand (no pun intended) it might be nice to have it over with. Tonight is the Muddy Pig with the head brewer of Viking Brewing out of Wisconsin. Basically a beer tasting with some food and interesting info! I’ll let you know how it goes later on. Going to a work event on my day off, well at least it’s free beer!

can you do it?

Left brain, right brain.While sitting at your desk, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles. Now, while doing this, draw the number "6" in the air with your right hand. Your foot will change direction and there's nothing you can do about it.


Teacher: "how much time can you waste class?"


I just got done typing a super long post and it got erased...NOOOOOOO...will re-enter in a bit when I give my wrist a rest!...arrrgh!

Monday, August 09, 2004


Long day at work, though I had one thing of note happen, a customer who is a pleasure to work with had on Saturday a birthday. So Saturday his wife was in to plan a surprise, well after a lot of talk I helped to pick out wine and add cheese to the menu and offered suggestions to her of things she could do to make the dishes even better. Well Monday he came in to thank me for helping to make it a special dinner. He even liked the adventurous dessert wines we picked out. Well his wife should have taken credit for it, but it felt nice to have been acknowledged. Otherwise came home and tried to enter these notes, and had the computer erase them!!!! Though I did get to drink a nice Belgian Beer!

Sunday, August 08, 2004


Woke up and went to the farmers market in Saint Paul to see what it was like. We usually go to the one in Minneapolis, and well we found the St Paul one to be mush cleaner though the diversity of items was more limited. Got some stuff for dinner with the parents later that evening. We came home and while gab did some work I went and got extra things for the dinner. Also I forgot I reassembled my bike, but having used all the parts that I had taken off I can’t see to find where to attach a screw to keep the handle bars in place. Oh well I’ll post a picture when I get a chance. It looks pretty cool though I need to find an interesting basket to make it easier to bring home groceries. So I decided to make fajita’s (authentic with skirt steak), with a Mexican risotto and to start my parents brought down smoked whitefish and prawns and I made a mixed bean salad drizzled with a simple vinaigrette. To start we had:

“Dark and Stormy’s”
Fill a large glass with Ice
Pour in 2 ounces Black Seal Rum
Top off with ginger beer
Squeeze a lime and stir

Awesome summer drink, with dinner we had two sauvignon blanc's, a Sancerre and a New Zealand SB. The first was very closed down at first and I thought it might have had a bit of cork taint, but with about an hour of time it really opened up and became beautiful. The NZ, was great and where it in the past has showed too much grapefruit, today this presented it’s self as a backbone to support aromas of fresh cut grass (creeping Charlie) to be exact. After dinner we ended up going for a walk to Sebastian Joe’s for ice cream, always a treat. After the P’s left we stayed up and watched Amores Perros an amazing Spanish language film that intertwines 3 story lines masterfully. Check it out, though I do admit the dog fighting scenes were a bit much to watch.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Not much new....

the store is getting back to normal after the big sale. Good news Gab got into the Tefel program at Hamline. Basicly she will be learning to teach English to non English speakers. The program supposedly guarantee's placement abroad when she is done, so we'll see what happens hopefully before the end of the year we'll be in a new country!!! A bit of a dream that always seemed out of reach. Lately we've been waiting to see what Gab would do if we moved so that her degree would not be wasted. I'm not really that worried about my part, I have a good knowledge of a substance that is consumed throughout the world, and I work hard when ever I'm given a chance, hopefully that can lead to something good! We'll see...Gab at the university teaching english and me in the vineyard picking snails off vines! SOUNDS GREAT! Or in the end I could sell paper clip sculptures to tourists on a street corner, just to make sure that my degree was worth it! Whatever happens though it will hopefully be an adventure of a lifetime! In other news, I tried to paint an old bike and put it back together and well I'm having trouble reassembling, not to mention that I was too impatient and ended up scarping some wet paint as I reassembled parts. It's a bike I found that has coaster brakes, not that I need a bike, I have a good one, but I wanted something to just ride up to the grocery store. I'll post a picture once I get it back together, though I'm not sure where to screw in some of the stuff that I had previously screwed out! Anyways my hand is starting to hurt so I'll stop typing...till soon...r

Wednesday, August 04, 2004


Originally uploaded by sarahhatter.

Don't you wish we were all in the middle? This made me laugh for about 1 minute 12 seconds...r

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

we're not fat enough yet?

Maybe we're just too fat to chew our food, "makes me tired", slurpy cup less work!


Originally uploaded by obiscoito.

need the shore...more photo's from my archive...not much else to say about it.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Mike weedwhacking

Originally uploaded by obiscoito.

Here's what happens when you can't find your wiffle ball in the dark! KILL KILL KILL DIE YOU DAY LILLIES DIE!!!!

Sunday Hangover

So the big sale is over and now i'm tired. We all went over to mike's afterwards and hung out around the bonfire, burning hot dogs and marshmallows. Also a mean game of wiffle ball was had as we all tried to hit in the dark with a narrow bat, by the end I think we had switched to tennis rackets. Much beer was drank, and as always it was very good, homebrew and some bells Oberon & Two hearted....Crashed on the couch late and drove hom early to crash on my bed, followed by a few hours of sleep. Today was fun read the paper, and then went to Christo's a greek resturant, and had some killer spanakopita, and Awesome mussels. The wine was a white with a nose like a flowery muscat and very dry finish: Makedonikos, Tsantali 2002. Nice with the food. Also tried to Retsina's both quite nice, I think I'll search out a bottle to try over the course of an evening. Afterwards we went to WA Frosts for port, coffee, cheese, sorbet and some Amatillado! The port was 1997 Grahams LBV, big alcohol, with nice plum fruit, didn't really analize too closely as the evening was to perfect! A blue cheese from I believe England though don't quote me went nicely with the port. a Lemon thyme sorbet that was a bit too sweet, but the mingling of the thyme and lemon was great will try to make one myself with very little sugar, should be a nice palate cleanser. French press Sumatra was wonderful, and the Sherry was nutty salty with some dry carmel notes, could of had a few of these without any worries! At this point I need a bit 'o' sleep, tommorrow I need to order back in all the wine we sold! Busy day/week ahead...more interesting stuff once I get some rest!!!