Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Stems are Not on Wine Glasses to Make Them Easier to Break -- Use Them People

My wife, a wonderful person who I love to death, likes this TV show called "Brothers and Sisters." It's about a pretty dysfunctional family who used to own a California winery. Let me repeat -- they used to own a California winery!

Most of the actors and actresses on the show are pretty famous at their trade. They've done a lot of gigs. I suspect they have a lot of money. And, on the show, they are always drinking wine, sometimes talking about it to the point of mentioning vintages. These are not cheap wines that this wine family is purportedly drinking ... and they are generally drinking the wine out of relatively proper glasses.

They all hold the glass by the bowl, making sure usually to wrap their fingers around the part of the bowl that actually has wine in it. Sometimes, they even cradle the bowl. And, the wines are purported to have come from their cellar.

Let's get this straight. They spend money to keep the wines temperature controlled and then they warm the wine to inappropriate temperatures by making love to the glasses with their hands.

Stupid! Asinine! Uncouth! Despicable!

Gee, how do you think I feel about this?

And, you know, it's not just on that show. It's pervasive among the Hollywood snobs. You see them at an awards show -- most of them are nicely warming the champagne with their hands. I even saw on one show (I don't remember the show) where they were supposedly drinking 1989 Chateau D'Yquem (that is one of the great vintages of perhaps the world's finest dessert style wine). They were drinking it in Riedel Sommelier Sauternes glasses. And they were cradling the bowl!

They should be flogged. They should be incarcerated. They should be sentenced to spend hours listening to Charlie Sheen.

Important notes:

  • Stems are on wine glasses for a reason
  • Wines are served at proper temperatures for a reason
  • Not all of us can serve our wines at exactly the right temperatures, in fact most of us can't, but we try to get close
  • Don't get your wine to the right temperature and then warm it up because you think it's a glass of brandy and you need to caress the bottom of the bowl
HOLD THE GLASS BY THE STEM ... or the base

Friday, March 4, 2011

Too Much Rhetoric - The Fools on the Hill

Congress sucks!

That's right, I said it. The House Republicans are claiming $100 billion in budget cuts, but their starting point is a budget that was never passed. Their cuts from budgets that ever existed total $61 billion if enacted for a full year. The Democrats in the House retorted by saying that their proposals cut $45 billion from the budget which is roughly 3/4 of the $61 billion cut by the Republicans. ow did they get their $45 billion? They worked from the same Administration budget that was never passed.

The issue isn't about how much they cut, and how they miscalculate the amount. The issue is how close we can get to a balanced budget, and how quickly we can get to one that is balanced.

Little more than a decade ago, we had a balanced budget. Yes, we had events occur (9/11 and others) that caused increases in certain components of the spending side of the budget. But, just like you and me, when the US has a sudden unexpected expenditure that comes up, the government needs to tighten its belt elsewhere.

Ain't happening. There are too many pet budget items out there.

So, with all due respect to Messrs Lennon and McCartney, here is my ode to Congress:

Day after day,
Up on the hill,
The House with the foolish grins in sitting perfectly still
We all want them to do something
But they are a bunch of fools,
And they never give an answer,

But the fools on the hill,
See their polls going down,
And the eyes in their heads
See the world spinning round

Well on the way,
Brains in the clouds,
Millions of voices out there speaking perfectly loud
But Congress never hears them,
Or the sound they appear to make
And Congress doesn't notice

As the fools on the hill,
See their polls going down,
And the eyes in their heads
See the world spinning round

And nobody seems to like them
Their rating is ten percent
But they ignore those feelings

Cause the fools on the hill,
See their polls going down,
And the eyes in their heads
See the world spinning round

Ooh, ohh
Round and round [my apologies, I just can't do anything with those lovely lines]

And they never listen to us
They know they are just fools
They know that we don't like them

They're the fools on the hill,
With their polls going down,
And the eyes in their heads
See the world spinning round

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's Justin Bieber's Birthday

I don't know whether I learned it first because it was trending on Twitter or because somebody posted it on Facebook, but today is Justin Bieber's birthday. On Facebook, I saw this post: "My daughter and her bff are acting as if it's their bdays. Balloons, JB Cookies". That is just wrong, very wrong. But, I had to figure out what it is about him that makes people want to celebrate his birthday.

I googled "Justin Bieber lyrics" and it took me to some song called "Baby", which I have had the misfortune of hearing. It says that Justin Bieber was one of the songwriters, so I looked at the lyrics which surely would be so wonderful that it would explain why pre-pubescent girls are celebrating his birthday. Here you go:

And I was like
Baby, baby, baby, ooh
Baby, baby, baby, noo
Baby, baby, baby, ohh
I thought you'd always be mine
Baby, baby, baby, ohh
Baby, baby, baby, noo
Baby, baby, baby, ohh
I thought you'd always be mine

That's it. It's those lyrics. They summarize the meaning of life and that's why Justin Bieber's birthday is on track to become a national holiday here, even though he is Canadian.

Seriously, I understand this kid is pretty talented and even though I hear he cut his hair, I guess he's pretty cute. But, c'mon people. This is a kid whose voice may continue to change. He may turn out like Lindsay Lohan or Charlie Sheen. And, much to the chagrin of millions of screaming tweens, he didn't even win the Grammy for best new artist (it went to Esperanza Spalding, someone who does have significant musical talent).

I guess we've been through this before. There was Elvis. There were The Beatles. And, there have been countless other favorites. But, I grew up with The Beatles, and while there was hysteria (and fainting) when they arrived in New York, there was never a celebration in my class, anyway, of Paul McCartney's birthday.

This scares me. I think it is the current sign that the apocalypse is nearing.

By the way, Justin Bieber IS more talented than Miley Cyrus.