Notes From All Over

Grace Under Fire
Sonoma Fires

This week, as New England basked in unseasonably gorgeous sunshine. Northern California burned. And burned. Wildfires raged throughout Napa, Mendocino, and Sonoma Counties, killing 23 (at this count), injuring many more, and causing billions of dollars in property damage.

When you think of fire damage, what comes to mind? A house, a barn, a hotel? Maybe a business or 2? Do you ever imagine entire neighborhoods burned to the ground? Because that's what happened in CA this week. And then there are the vines...

Unexpected Treasures
Bismarck Churchills

Bismarck, North Dakota is a very white place. Even today, the population is 92.5% white and 4.5% Native American, with all other groups at a combined 3%. Now imagine what it was like in 1935. How comfortable would it have been for an African American athlete to live and work there?

Passion, Distilled
David Suro-Pinera

Before I started Pour Richard's, I worked for wine distributors and importers. And although I enjoyed that work, there were some days that just made me tired. Tired and sad.

For someone who is passionate about what they do, there is nothing worse than trying to relate to people who just don't appreciate that passion or knowledge. (And before you get your pitchforks out, I am NOT saying everyone has to agree with me.) But.

Punk Wine?
Punk Wine

My first real (aka not local musicians playing the Dairy Days barn dance) concert was a big deal. A really Big Deal. Too many kids crammed into a too-small vehicle, most of us lacking parental permission, heading off to St Cloud to see...Prince.


It was the witching hour. Midnight.
The witches weren't sure why their hour had to be so late.
More than one cauldron bubbled with coffee.
-A Small Fiction

Thanks to my witty brother-in-law, I've recently become a fan of A Small Fiction, a collection of 'micro-stories' doled out in Twitter-size (140 characters or less) portions. Across a broad range of topics, ASF endeavors to relate interesting stories, usually including a clever twist, albeit with severely limited word counts.

Sicily (aka Heaven)

The first time I visited Sicily, I called my husband past midnight, a few glasses of wine into the evening, and tried to convince him to move there. Yes. It's that amazing.

Champagne Riots

Unlike most wine regions, Champagne does not really celebrate the vigneron. Fully 87% of Champagne is produced by large 'houses' which buy much of (sometimes all of) their grapes from many thousands of small growers. There are 19,000 + growers in Champagne. Less than 5,000 of these make any wine at all. Any way you do that math, there are a lot of grapes flowing into the big houses. Today, although growers and negociants may haggle a bit over price and quality, it's largely peaceful. That was not always the case.

Risk vs Reward
Tom Brady

Lately, my husband has been MIA. Whenever I look for him, he's holed up with NFL Draft magazines, newspaper articles, and spreadsheets. That's right-he's preparing for his Fantasy Football Draft. And he's not alone. At this moment, thousands of people are poring over numbers and statistics, trying to pick the best possible 'team'.

It's all about risk vs reward. Do you go after someone like Tom Brady or Aaron Rogers? A pick like that will cost you a lot of draft 'capital'. But perhaps that's worth it for a sure thing.

Seize the Day(s)
Fading Summer

Today's gorgeous sunshine notwithstanding, summer is on the wane. The sun's setting earlier; a few evenings have been cool enough to suggest a jacket. And families everywhere are staring down the firm deadline of back-to-school, none more so than those with college freshmen.

If you've dropped your child off at college, and returned to an empty car and an emptier house, you know what I mean. It's a little melancholy and a lot just plain odd to have so much quiet. Usually, I equate quiet with peace, but this was TOO quiet; it was unsettling.

Rhinestone Cowboy

Glen Campbell's country-pop hybrid music featured in the soundtrack of my youth, so hearing 'Rhinestone Cowboy' on the radio after his death last week left me feeling both nostalgic and a little melancholy. I also remembered that he definitely was NOT Hispanic.