Wednesday, September 28, 2005

5 things that baffle my mind...

So far this has proven to be the slowest week in history. This is of course due to my vacation starting next week and the fact that work is sucking Porta-Potties right now. Eventually I'll have to plan my packing and be concise on what I'm going to bring to Switzerland. I'll definitely be packing lighter than I did for Australia, so that will be helpful.

Sometimes I look around and see things that just make me scratch my head. There's a construction site across from work right now and the sight of the cranes brings me to a constant question that I can't figure out...

So here are
5 things that absolutely baffle me
1)You know those giant tower construction cranes for big jobs and skyscraper erections (Ha ha! I said "erections".)? How the hell do they get those things up without the use of an even bigger crane? Seriously? How the hell do they do it? I'm sure that there's a perfectly simple "physics" explanation, but I'm a little daft.

2)How the hell is According to Jim on the air? It's a giant turd. Seriosly...who thinks it's funny? I don't watch it but sometimes I'll be flipping channels and I'll catch a line so bad that I want to vomit through my eye sockets.
3)How did anyone other than her own family and short-bussers buy the last Ashlee Simpson album? Did it come with a a free diamond bedazzled scrunchie? Do all post-procedure lobotomy patients get a coupon?
4)The pyramids, the Nazca lines, Stonehenge, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the big bang, quantum physics, extraterrestrial life, the seeming infinite nature of the universe, Joan Rivers' tearducts, White Castle, Oprah???
5)Why are the "red states" allowed to vote? Can we move NASCAR races to Tuesdays?


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Cone of Silence is silent...

Would you believe that Don Adams, star of Get Smart, passed away at the age of 82? Alas, the shoephone rings no more...

Cheers Don! Thanks for the laughs!
(Damn kids today wouldn't know how to use a's a rotary.)

In apocalyptical news...
Demi Moore married Ashton Kutcher this weekend. Pass me the cyanide capsules...

Monday, September 26, 2005

Countdown to chocolate and stinky-ass cheese...

Just over a week to go...
My trip to Switzerland is getting closer and closer. It's going to be a LONG-ASS week. My job is really sucking donkey dookie right now...this week is going to suck! At least I have family, mountains, lakes, rivers, chocolate, and stinky-ass cheeses to look forward to. I'm talking about REAL cheese. Cheese that not only stinks, but "stanks". Not that CRAP that supermarkets pass off as Swiss. The "Swiss" cheese found in most stores is full of holes, waxy, and generally offensive. There are a few Swiss cheeses that have holes (small ones), but most Swiss cheeses are pretty much solid. REAL Swiss cheese rules. Cave-agee Gruyere, Emmentaler, Appenzeller, and others...THESE are Swiss. A wonderful cave-aged Gruyere is right up there with Parmigiano Reggiano. It's complex, nutty, a little salty, and a little granular. It's fantastic stuff! I can't wait to smell the "stink" of REAL cheese in the market. Damn the FDA and there damn "pasteurized" cheese requirements. Damn them to hell! I can't wait to get my paws on some Bundnerfleisch or farmers ham, crusty bread, and non-American butter and go to town on some serious eats! If you ever plan on visiting Switzerland just know that it's not very friendly to the lactose intolerant. Poor bastards.

It was an interesting night at the restaurant job this week. A stubborn, hot-headed Albanian waiter and a stubborn, hot-headed young cook got into a fist-fight...on the line...during dinner service. That was fun! I was done for the night sitting at a table waiting for tip-outs from the waitstaff when I heard the commotion and saw a broom go flying. I had been on the line minutes earlier and it was getting ugly in the kitchen. Apparently special orders DO upset us...

I made a kick-ass pot roast last night...absolutely kick-ass. I'll have awesome leftovers for days...

I finally saw The Station Agent thanks to Neflix. Great movie!

I've been wanting to eat at Zingerman's Roadhouse in Ann Arbor since they opened. I finally got my wish as some good friends took me there for dinner today for a belated birthday celebration. It's another creation of Ari Weinzweig of Zingerman's Deli fame. EVERYTHING in the restaurant is American, unlike the deli (except for the Portuguese sea salt and Malabar pepper). Everything was great. I had a really nice cup of ancho beef chili, some great wild mushroom quesadillas with green chile salsa and guacamole, and eastern North Carolina pulled pork with braised greens and mashed Yukon Gold potatoes. Yum! I had the special homemade chocolate pudding (made with Scharffenberger chocolate!!!) for dessert. Double yum! Damn fine coffee too! The food at Zingerman's is more simple and homestyle in nature and presentation, but made from absolutely the finest ingredients from reputable purveyors and farmers. Try it some time!

I'd also like to thank my very generous friends for the wonderful gifts. I got to delite quite a few items from my Amazon wishlist...

In international news...
A report in the New York Times says "Independent Monitor Will Confirm I.R.A.'s Disarmament".

In national news...
Dubya- still a hemorrhoidal dickhead despite this CBC Hurricane Rita story.

Dick Cheney- still alive after surgery. Damn it! My birthday wish didn't come true...

On the home front...
I've been burning a butt-load of CDs (copying from CD, not downloading) for my trip. Is a "butt-load" quantifiable? I think it's somewhere between a ream and a peck, but I don't have a Pee Chee folder conversion chart to tell me. Do they still make Pee Chee folders?


Thursday, September 22, 2005

You too can be a

Hey kids! Only two weeks until my trip to Switzerland. It's going to be a long-ass two weeks...

The winner and only entrant of the FEMA Acronym contest is...Julie.
Congratulations Julie! Your prize is absolutely nothing other than the fame and notoriety that come with being linked on my blog. I'll give you a high-five the next time I see you too...

Another great Metro Times column this week from Jack Lessenberry entitled Unfit to Hold Any Office . This one takes a very critical look at Kwame Kilpatrick.

I was going to watch some of the new stuff on TV on Monday but that came to an end when I came to the local public access channel televising the last Dearborn City Council meeting. I was glued for about an hour and half. A Dearborn City Council meeting is a bigger train-wreck than My Super Sweet 16 or Taradise...seriously. Especially when the subject is paid parking. Now THAT'S "Must See TV"! Especially with this nut-job on the council.

Unfortunately I'll be out of town for Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show at the State Theatre. Vince Vaughn himself is going to emcee the event! It's Friday, October 7th.

I'd like to thank all my friends that came to dinner at LaShish on Sunday to celebrate my birthday. That was fun! Thanks a bunch for your generosity and presence. Special thanks go out to Chad Tightbottom! Special thanks also go to BST for making his home available after dinner.

I only caught a few episodes of Lost last season, but I did catch some of the later episodes. That was enough to get me to watch the season premier tonight. Pretty interesting...

I wonder if Dallas is still the #1 show in Switzerland???

David Hasselhoff may be huge in Germany, but I sure hope that the Swiss have better taste...

Hurricane Rita is on its way to Texas. It could be the worst storm ever to hit Texas. I'm sure the aid, security, and clean-up will be there instantaneously...that is, of course, because the government learned from its Katrina mistakes...or that it's Dubya's home state. You can see up-to-date info on Rita at Let's see how Dubya handles this one. I'm sure he'll be all over it to try to get America's trust back.

Apparently supermodel Kate Moss has lost some modeling jobs because she uses cocaine. Really?!? You're kidding! No way! Not Kate Moss! Never! I've never heard of a supermodel doing coke! Especially Kate Moss! Read the story here.

John Roberts picks up Democratic support. Read about it here. Uh oh!

Whatever happened to Budget Gourmet brand frozen dinners? They were great. Michelina's isn't bad, but doesn't quite measure up. Especially the Swedish Meatballs...

Washington DC is recruiting laid-off Detroit cops. Yup. They can handle it. They're already used to murder and corruption...

Random poll- How many "heroic" photo-ops do you think Dubya will pose for in Texas for after Hurricane Rita?

Random poll #2- What's your favorite frozen treat on a stick?


Monday, September 19, 2005

Double yaaaaaaaarrrrrgghh!

If yer' poopdeck be itchin' ye best be scratchin yer' booty. Yaaaaaarrrrrrggghhhh!
Happy "Talk Like a Pirate Day" everyone!


Hey kids! Don't forget that this is "National Talk Like a Pirate Day"! Me hopes ye don't get scurvy. Yaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrgggggggghhhh!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Cupcakes and crappy wine publications...

Happy Birthday Brenden!

I have a little time 'twixt birthday celebrations to post. I'll see how much I can get done. I just got back from Brenden's 1st Birthday Party (son of Kelli and Rick). It was really nice. He's quite the cute kid and very well behaved. He got oodles of presents and lot's of attention and sugar...he'll surely pass out soon. I just loved the Cookie Monster cupcakes so I had to post a picture of one. I'm not generally a big fan of super sugary overly-iced cupcakes, but the mere fact that the Cookie Monster had a cookie in his mouth was pretty awesome. We had a nice time in a park shelter in Redford. Luckily it's a gorgeous day! Some of my friends are taking me to La Shish for dinner for a belated B-day thing for me in a couple of hours. That'll be nice. Next week some other friends will be taking me to Zingerman's Roadhouse for dinner. My Sunday social calendar is filling up. Anyone else want to buy me dinner?

Kathleen with the Wiggle Worm

I don't know what else to post about other than some completely random stuff (what's new?).

Look at these crazy Dubya environmental stats since 2000 here. I first saw them in Rolling Stone in Tom Dickinson's "The Briefing" report. That's some scary-ass shit! Somebody knock that California Condor out of his mouth. However, it may be worth losing one endangered species if he chokes on it.

What is this world coming to? Dennis Hopper is going to do TV. The uber sixties counter-culture freak-out film icon is going to do TV. Scary.

I learn the darndest things from Entertainment Weekly. Apparently ABC is going to offer Spanish closed captioning of all its shows. Very smart move on their part. Did you know that Peter Weller, that's Mr. Robocop to you, teaches literature and fine arts at Syracuse University? Did you also know that he's applied for Ph.D. candidacy at Princeton, Columbia, NYU, and UCLA? Hmmm. Didn't know that. That's pretty cool.

That reminds me. Which movie is the most violent? Robocop or Red Dawn? I've heard both, but I'd really like to know which one reigns supreme in bodycount.

Thank goodness fall is coming. My electric bill went back down to $35.00 from almost $200.00 the last couple of months...

The entire Chef series is out on DVD! Awesome! I also want to get the new Sigur Ros album. I caught the last few minutes of a BBC show called Posh Nosh very late the other day starring Richard E. Grant. It's a spoof of a husband and wife cooking show and it' f'ing hilarious! How come I didn't know about this???


There is a very influential and popular wine publication called the Wine Spectator. I tend to be very loathesome of it. The new "The Best of Australia" issue came out so I thought I'd give it a look. The Wine Spectator has articles about hotels, food, vacations, and sometimes even wine. They (along with The Wine Advocate) are proponents of the 100 point scale. The scores awarded are based solely on the opinion of the writers. Although I am in no way a slave to Robert Parker, I do enjoy and tend to agree with The Wine Advocate. I've drifted away from the Wine Dictator (Spectator) through the years. Usually the only useful stuff I come up with is the "GrapeVine" section (industry news). The Wine Spectator officially sucks ass now. I was looking at some of the scores awarded to some of the wineries and I was scratching my head. Generally, the Aussie scores were low across the board, but some of them were absolutely undeservedly abyssmal. The Dictator (Spectator) awarded the 2002 Bowen Estate Coonawarra Shiraz 73 points. WTF?!?!? I've had the's delicious! It's not a 100-pointer, but it's definitely 90's material. I'm not just saying this because I've been to the winery and had a great time. "Province Effect" has in no way influenced me. The wine is great! Perhaps the biggest head scratcher is that Henschke "Hill of Grace" Shiraz is on the cover and they only gave the $325 bottle 82 points. Double WTF?!?!? The d'Arenberg scores are undeservedly low, the Two Hands are awfully high, the Wolf Blass are a little high. The Kay Brothers scores are embarrassingly low. About the only high scoring wineries that I agree with are Dutschke. Some of these wineries are making stunning, world-class wines. There have been complaints through the years that the only wines that score well in the Spectator are those that buy a lot of advertising. The magazine will undoubtedly argue that the two-page ads for a high scoring wine placed near the review are purchased after the review. Cynics like me tend to wonder where the truth lies. I'm not a fan of the 100 point system. I understand it and see where it can be helful, but these scores are obviously skewed. Of course I am basing this soley on MY OPINION, but I can tell the difference between a 73 pt. wine and a 95 pt. wine.

Thanks Wine Spectator! I'd rather shave Abe Vigoda's back than read you again! I'll start reading you again as soon as Steve Guttenberg's career gets back on track. At least your magazine starts a good fire...


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Boring as milquetoast post...

Not much going on. My birthday pretty much sucked. I worked all day and that was about as much fun as getting tea-bagged by Don Knotts. Rather than eat ramen for my birthday dinner I decided to get pizza delivered. I really need to go grocery shopping...

Relief and recovery bids awarded to Bush buddies on a no-bid basis...including Halliburton. Read more here at the AFL-CIO site.

Another great opinion column by Jack Lessenberry in the Metro Times here. It's about America finding its underclass.

The Daily Show is running a great report all week long called "Evolution Schmevolution". Check it out!

Apparently Britney Spears has given birth to a baby boy by C-section. He was born with a "White Trash and Proud" tattoo on his back, a NASCAR hat on his head, and Skoal is his mouth.

Both Delta and Northworst Airlines filed for Chapter 11 today. They built that fancy-ass overpriced Northwest terminal at DTW just in time. That's more great news.

Let's blame it all on Bubba since he decided to "take responsibility" today.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Grandmothers and memories...

More bad news...
The grandmothers of two friends have passed away this week. I offer them both my condolences and a shoulder to lean on. I'll be going to visitation on Friday for one and will have to wait and see what arrangements are being made for the other. Luckily Sunday will be first the birthday party for Brenden (the son of college friends). It will be nice to celebrate life and a bright future in this otherwise shitty week.

In all honesty, this will probably be my last chance to see my Swiss grandmother this October. She's doing quite well for her age (I believe she's 95 or 96), but she won't live forever. She's a dear, sweet, loving person. I dare say that she's actually more sweet and saintly than my mother. I really look forward to our time together. I've been to Swizterland 5 times (4 of them before I was 7). These journeys are my only memories of her. I have spent very little time with her in the grand scale of things, but the time spent has been impactful. I love her very much and can't wait to see her again. It will be different as she's now living in a retirement apartment building. Both Oma and Opa (grandma and grandpa) were alive during my last visit in 1988. At that time they still live in the townhouse that they had lived in for decades.

I will miss the myriad of smells of that great townhouse. The welcoming smells of the kitchen (potatoes boiling, cabbage boiling, carrots boiling, chicken frying, red currants being cooked for preserves, apricot tarts baking, the smell of serious cheese on the table, the smell of coffee and an open bottle of kirsch). I'll miss the comforting smells of old wood. I'll miss the musty smell of the ancient basement. I'll miss the smell of the garden and the smell of the rain falling on the currant bushes, potato plants, and on the gravel covered area where the laundry was hung to dry. I'll miss the smell of the old wooden shed where Opa kept his shovels and such.

I'll miss the lush vegetable garden, the garden fresh salads, and the green utopian surroundings. I'll miss the small carp pond in front of the neighbor's place. I'll miss the friendly neighbors, the outdoor games of Jassen (a Swiss card game), playing badminton over the laundry line, setting off fireworks in the back on August 1st. I'll miss the old toilet (the kind with the tank on top and a chain to flush it). I'll miss the sight of snails and slugs climbing on the old wooden shed. I'll miss the garden view from my room. I'll miss the fruit candies and Mikamoo (SP?) caramels in the living room. I'll miss the welcome, warm, and historied atmosphere of Oma and Opa's house.

I'll miss breakfast in the kitchen and watching Oma cut a loaf of bread by holding it against her chest and slicing toward herself. I'll miss Ovamaltine and bread and butter on the table. I'll miss the laughter around the kitchen and on the backyard bench. I'll miss the creaky stairs and the sound of rain gently falling in the garden and on the roof. I'll miss the walk down the steep road into town. I'll miss everything about that home. That simple townhouse on the top of hill represents pure unadulterated love to me. That home raised four kids and endless memories. It's now been redeveloped and I'm sure that Oma's apartment is very nice and modern, but I have nothing but the warmest memories from that old townhouse. I realize that all the love and warmth in that home came from its inhabitants and not the wood and walls, but that old physical structures holds a very dear place in my heart.

I will of course be most thankful to see Oma again, as well as my aunts, uncles, cousin, her husband, and their three kids (whom I haven't met yet). This is a family that I barely see, but means the absolute world to me. They are simply the most loving, kind, generous people anywhere.

I miss Opa. He was the kindest, gentlest, most warm-hearted man a person could ever imagine. He had a constant smirky smile and love in his eyes. There was always a language barrier between myself and my Swiss family (although my mom was there to translate), but we didn't neeed a translator to tell each other how much we loved one another. I miss the gestures, the laughs, the "ya yo's", the firm grip of his hand, his red face, and his suspenders. I miss everything about him. It will be a lot different without him. I think I'll constantly be looking out of the corner of my eye for his gentle soul. He was the kind of guy you'd just like to walk up to and give a hug. I miss my dear, sweet Opa. I wasn't old enough to drink the last time I was there. I intend to drink a Falken Bier and some kirsch in his honor on my upcoming trip. I also intend to give Oma the the biggest hug an kiss imaginable as soon as I see her.

My friends who had their grandmothers pass away this week spent a lot more time with them than I ever did with my own. It's very difficult to lose a family member. I wish they and their families strength in their time of sorrow and happy memories for decades to follow.

Schaffhausen Pictures

and in other news...

Apparently Sweet Georgia Brown has been shut down for non-payment of taxes. No big surprise considering that LaVan Hawkins was one of the original partners...

The season premiere of House was tonight. It was very good with LL Cool J turning a surprisingly good performance as a critically ill death row inmate.

A former co-worker of mine stopped by the store today. She works for the Michigan Humane Society. Apparently the've been very busy helping out with the Katrina efforts. Support the MHS Emergency Rescue Team here.

I saw most of a PBS special tonight on BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) in India. it was very interesting. Whenever you call a customer service number odds are that you're call is being directed to an operator in India. I'm sure you've encountered this on more than one occasion. While Americans are losing jobs to outsourcing to Indai for cheaper labor, India is gaining millions of jobs. The BPO employees in India are among the highest paid in the country are generally very successful. This new era in India of young and mostly female professionals is changing the social scene entirely. Young Indians are drinking more, dancing, and generally behaving more "Western". One gentleman gave up being a doctor to answer phones as it paid more. It was really quite a fascinating story. The American economy may be in the shitter and many Americans may be losing jobs to outsourcing, but please be considerate the next time you call for customer support. Someone I know has a son attending UM-Dearborn who is studying Engineering. Someone in the school actually recommend that he stop and pursue something else as the engineering jobs are all being outsourced as well. I actually commend that professor for his/her honesty. It's a tough world we live in.

George W. Bush is still an asshole.

John Roberts under scrutiny by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Details here...

The Iraqi Prime Minister was in Dearborn today. That's pretty cool.

It's my birthday today. I'm going to spend it at work having a long, shitty-ass day. I'll be a third of century old in 4 months. Where does the time go?

Random poll- Who would you rather have lead the country? George W. Bush, Kwame Kilpatrick, Gallagher, a lobotomized manatee, Joan Rivers, a piece of celery, or a donkey turd?

Your Birthdate: September 14

With a birthday on the 14th of the month (5 energy) you are inclined to work well with people and enjoy them.
You are talented and versatile, very good at presenting ideas, and you are also very good at organization and systematizing.
You may have a tendency to get itchy feet at times and need change and travel.

You tend to be very progressive, imaginative and adaptable.
Your mind is quick, clever and analytical.
A restlessness in your nature may make you a bit impatient and easily bored with routine, and rebel against it.
You have a tendency to shirk responsibility.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Too random for a title...

Tonight I went to the trade wine tasting that one of my distributors was putting on. I did see Emma from Bowen Estate, but couldn't muster up the courage to ask her to marry me. Guess I won't be moving to Australia any time soon. I brought her a short stack of photos that I had taken when I was at her Coonawarra winery in 2003 and also a bottle of wine (2003 Linne Calodo Outsider) as a token of appreciation for the hospitality that she and her dad shown our group during our visit. It was really nice to see her again. We had a chance to talk a bit about the winery and the joys of what Coonawarra has to offer (the people, magpies, sunsets, etc.). Her wines were great as were many of the other Aussie wines on hand. There were wines from pretty much everywhere represented, but I spent the bulk of my time with the Aussie stuff. What did you expect?

I forgot to mention yesterday that Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown died about a week after being rescued in New Orleans at the age of 81.

Michael Brown "resigned" today from his position of director of FEMA. Hmmmm...curious. Guess it sounds better than getting shit-canned.

Hey! Did you know that there's a bigger TV trainwreck than My Super Sweet Sixteen? It's called Taradise and it's on E! on Wednesdays. It follows uber-actress Tara Reid and her entourage getting plowed at nightclubs across the world. I'm assuming that you've heard about her wacky clubbing antics and her proneness to drunken behavior. Essentially they've taken the world's biggest party slut and given her the keys to the all of the nightclubs in the world. It hurts to watch it. Put the drink down Tara! Put it down! She dated Tommy Lee not too long ago. I wonder who passed out first?

Hmmm. I guess Ford is selling Hertz Corp. for $5.6 billion.

The Lions won yesterday. Holy shit! I think I hear those four horsemen coming again. I think it was Barbara Bush's comments last week that got them out of the starting gate. Anyway...way to go Lions!!!

At the time of this post there's only 5 days, 23 hours, 34 minutes, and 50 seconds until "Talk Like a Pirate Day". It's September 19th...don't forget! What are you doing for "Talk Like a Pirate Day"?

Random poll- What was your least favorite vegetable when you were a kid?

Don't forget to enter the FEMA acronym contest (two posts ago). I haven't had any entries yet. I can't announce a winner if there isn't one.


Sunday, September 11, 2005

Wine judging, the "Live Wrong Foundation", Jim Jarmusch, and an Aussie crush...

So yesterday I judged the wine competition in Detroit. That was alright, but it started at 8:00 AM. I was there until about 2:30. I had to stay late because I was a Table Captain. The Table Captains had to stick around to retaste questionable wines, wines nominated for Double Gold, and tiebreakers. There were a lot of bad wines yesterday. Our table tasted 15 or 16 flights. Luckily there were a few respectable wines. Just a few. Unluckily I had to go straight from the judging to work (until 9:00 PM). I ran into a guy at the competition that works for the LCBO that I know (Liquor Control Board of Ontario). I met one of his coworkers and said that they could probably use me as a judge in a Canadian International competition. That could be cool.

Lance Armstrong is now apparently engaged to talentless succubus Sheryl Crow. Should he change his mantra to "Live Wrong"? Owen Wilson was with her for a while too. What do talented guys see in this whiny hack?

I did not get to see Au Revoir Les Enfants today like I had hoped, but I did finally get to see Broken Flowers before it left the theaters. It was very good. It was not my favorite Jim Jarmusch film (that would be Stranger Than Paradise, although I'm also a big fan of Mystery Train). Actually I love all of his films, but I think it's John Lurie that makes Stranger Than Paradise stand out. He was also in Down By Law with Tom F'ing Waits! was very good, but definitely more mainstream than most of Jim Jarmusch's works...which is not mainstream by any standard. Bill Murray's performance was almost too exaggerated, introspective, and delayed after his BRILLIANT performance in Lost in Translation. Jeffrey Wright turned in a fine performance, but I wish that his role was bigger as I think that he's one of the most brilliant actors working in film.

I haven't had any entries in the FEMA Acronym contest yet...enter now before it's too late.

If you enjoyed the "FEMA for Kids" website you may also enjoy this government sponsored website called It's an anti-drinking site. But it must be "cool" if the government is calling it "The Cool Spot". I'm sorry, but the more you tell kids not to do something the more they want to do it. Drugs were readily available when I was a kid. It was relatively taboo, but everyone knew it existed and made their own decisions. I think that drug use went up among kids as soon as DARE was introduced. There are a bunch of DARE "graduates" that are full-on high ons these days. Government programs and warnings are just going to make it worse. Why bother???

I'm going to a birthday party next week for the one-year old son of some college friends. What's a good age-appropriate gift for a one-year old? BB gun, a bag of nails, a tiny pimp suit???

Tomorrow (Monday) I'm going to a trade wine tasting at the Kingsley Inn. I'm going because I want to taste the distibutor's wines, but mostly to see Emma Bowen. Emma is the winemaker at Bowen Estate Winery in Coonawarra. I met her at her father's winery in 2003. She's a great girl and a fantastic winemaker. It'll be great to see her again. I'm going to bring her some pictures I took in the vineyards at Bowen Estate. I think that she's very cute. She's young and a bit of a tomboy. Do you think that she'll marry me? I wouldn't mind living in Coonawarra for the rest of my life...

Emma and Doug Bowen

Today someone found my blog by doing an MSN search of "recently peed in thongs for sale". Eeeeeewwwwwwwwwwww!!!

On that note...


Saturday, September 10, 2005 a two-minute brother...

This will be a real quick one. I was driving home from the restaurant job and I heard on WDET that the new Kate Bush album will be out in November. Hooray! It's only been 12 years since her last album. Speaking of the restaurant job both Detroit Lion Joey Harrington and Detroit Redwing Jason Williams were in tonight. Jason is a regular and Joey has been in a few times. Lets hope that the Lions beat Green Bay on Sunday. I can't believe that I care. It's probably because I sell wine to some of the defensemen. Sadly, it looks like Kelvin Pritchett has retired. He's a really nice guy. I wish Cory Redding and Marcus Bell a fantastic season. Hopefully I'll get some more free tix this season. Well...I've got to go to bed. I have to judge a wine competition at 8:00AM in Detroit.


PS- Here's a headscratcher. Looks like FEMA director Michael Brown and the $2000.00 debit cards were dumped out with the same bathwater. FEMA has stopped issuing the $2000.00 debit cards to victims of hurricane Katrina. Now people have to apply for monetary aid using the FEMA website. you think that most of the displaced families have any access to a computer??? What address do they put down on the application??? What credentials do they have to submit with their application??? Where do they send the check??? Freakin' idiots!

Why do natural disasters and terrorist attacks always fall so close to my birthday?'s such a downer.

Play the wacky FEMA Acronym Contest: Come up with your own words to match the FEMA acronym. Winners will receive nothing but a virtual pat on the back and the satisfaction of a job well done.

Here's mine for example...

Have fun kids! Winner will be picked by me and I might even let you know who it is if you're lucky. (Assuming anybody submits an entry...)

Friday, September 09, 2005

"What Time Period Do You Belong In" Quiz

Famous Ruler: fabled founder Romulous
Living Quarters: Apartment houses/flats for low
class; single family home around centered
courtyard for upper class
Hardship: The Republican Revolution
Who could forget the time period that inspired the
movie Gladiator? The battles fought in the
Amphitheater were a major part of Roman life.

What Time Period Do You Belong In? (Updated!)
brought to you by Quizilla

Two big Dicks don't make a right...

Vice Asshole Dick Cheney visited Gulfport, Louisiana earlier wasting taxpayers' money for a photo-op. While being interviewed by the press a person in the crowd very clearly stated "Go fuck yourself, Mr. Cheney." Twice. Awesome! I don't know if it was random or if it was a nice change-up on Mr. Cheney's comments to Senator Patrick Leahy last year. Either way it was priceless...

In other asshole news...
Governor Schwarzenegger has announced that he will veto the gay marriage bill in California this week. Hey Arnold! I hope it is a tumor. I also hope that Lou Ferrigno kicks your ass...

Listen to the "FEMA for Kidz Rap" here.(You'll need Realplayer). If you don't want to or can't hear it you can also read the lyrics here.

Play disaster games here on the FEMA for Kids site. What fun!

I think it's a good thing that there is a FEMA for Kids site so that kids and the President can better understand how FEMA works and have fun learning about disasters. Keep up the good work, FEMA.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Human indecency in New Orleans...

Holy crap! Read this link that I stole from Julie. American ineptitude at its best and cruelest. It's pretty disturbing

Leadership or lack thereof, Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, DFT, and Big-Ass Aussie wines...

Not much going on...

I enjoyed this opinion column by Jack Lessenberry in this week's Metro Times about this country's lack of leadership during this time of crisis.

This is pretty damn funny and alarmingly intelligent. Read it if you have any opinion regarding the theory of creationism being taught in public schools vs. evolution. (Also from Jack Lessenberry's column.)

I just got the new Detroit Film Theatre schedule for September-December and it looks pretty good. It appears to be the season of Louis Malle. This Sunday is Au Revoir Les Enfants. I'm supposed to have plans this Sunday, but I just might have to shorten them. Au Revoir Les Enfants is an incredible film. It's touching, poignant, powerful, and artfully directed by a true master of the medium. This film will have an affect on you. It's that good...and you will cry. I've never seen it on the big screen, but now I've got a shot...
If you haven't seen it be sure to rent, Netflix, or buy it...
I'd also like to see Elevator to the Gallows by Malle on Sunday, but I don't think I'd be able to make it.

Scary news...
For the sake of curiousity the other day I was googling a few names of people I knew in elementary school. Turns out this friend who I used to play Battlestar Galactica, Dukes of Hazzard, and The A-Team with on the playground is in jail awaiting trial on 9 counts of Sodomy I. Holy crap! I don't even know what to say to that...

I also found out that someone I went to high school with in Michigan died of a heart attack. He was a top scholar-athlete (swimmer) and was involved directly with a large university's athletic program as a sort of scholastic/athletic counselor. Ouch! Remind me not to google any more names...

Today's wine recommendations-
2003 Tir na N'og Old Vine McLaren Vale Grenache- Damn! This is probably the best 100% grenache I've ever tasted. The color is insanely dark for a grenache (opaquely purple and black) and the nose is formidable with notes of blackberry, dark cherry, creosote, cigar box, and vanilla. It weighs in at an impressive 15.8% ABV and delivers a whollop of jammy blackberry, blueberry, allspice, and cedar on the expansive palate. The finish on this monster grenache is mightily impressive and lingering. This is a damn good wine! Damn good! Try it with leg of lamb or blackened roadkill.
$27.99 (but very limited availability)

2002 Rolf Binder "Hales" Barossa Valley Shiraz- Double damn!! This wine is balls-out big! (Especially for it's reasonable price.) It's not quite as viscous and syrupy as some of its more heavily oaked Barossa stablemates from the Grateful Palate portfolio, but it is a friggin' deliciously balanced beast of a wine. The nose is full of blackberry, blueberry, creosote, melted licorice, white pepper, and cassis. It offers up a ton of jammy blackberry/blueberry fruit with notes of pepper, forest floor, cedar, and subtle tar. The finish is long satiating. This is a new offering from Veritas/Rolf Binder and the cheapest wine in their line-up (compared to the 98 pt. WA rated "Hanisch" that sells for $125.00). This wine is a steal! Note: It throws a fair amount of sediment. You may want to decant it, but just remember that the chewy bits are good for you.
$18.99 (Very, very limited, but worth the search...)


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Houston Astrohome: What Dubya's mama said...

Foot in mouth disease strikes again! Read what Dubya's mama said here.

Maynard G. Krebs bongos no more...

Bob Denver, the actor who played beatnik Maynard G. Krebs on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, passed away on September 2, 2005, from complications of cancer treatment. Apparently he also played some other character named Gilligan(?)...
This was to be his last 3-hour tour...

I know that Gilligan's Island was stupid and that they would never get off the damn island, but I watched it religiously when I was a kid. The humor was infantile and harmless physcical comedy. The perfect sort of show for an 8-year old who also appreciates a good fart joke. Bob Denver, as Gilligan, always brought me a laugh even if it was the 20th time I had seen the predictable episode. My hat's off to you Bob! You and your island pals brainwashed a generation (thanks also belong to The Brady Bunch)... "researching" this post I discovered that the Professor and MaryAnn also have their own official websites. Enjoy.

Monday, September 05, 2005

"Another One Bites the Dust" and random jibber-jabber...

I hope that everyone had a great Labor Day weekend. This is the first Labor Day that I didn't have to "labor" in probably 11 years or so. The store actually closed on Labor Day Monday this year. My weekend was fairly uneventful. I ended up not going to the "F Work Party" and I feel that I really should have gone to lend some support for DJ DAVO. Hopefully next year. My roommate invited some people over today (I found out today), but luckily they're all people I liked, so that was okay.

I've been at this job for 6 years now this month. Feels like I've been there for a life sentence.

Switzerland is less than a month away!!!
Tick tock tick tock...

This is the crest for Kanton (county) Schaffhausen. I will be visiting relatives in Kanton and Stadt (city) Schaffhausen. I've been thinking getting this as another tattoo...

Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist died Saturday night. Dubya has nominated fellow uberconservative John Roberts to replace him as Chief Justice. Ouch! Rehnquist was pretty far right...lets just hope this guy plays it as neutral as can be. And lets hope that the other upcoming Supreme Court appointment hasn't been bred in the "Red State Genepool", cuz' somebody peed in it. Cue Queen here...

Apparently they started pumping water out of New Orleans today. They say that it may take up to 80 days to pump all of the water out. Holy shit! 80 days ?!?! That's insane. Apparently all of the buildings will have to be bulldozed as well. Each new day that I watch the news I'm further blown away and disgusted by what's going on in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. It's simply unfathomable. Let's get those troops in there now. Not just the National Guard, but all the folks currently stationed in the Middle East. Let's also get some of the billions ear-marked for Iraq re-routed to the South. The recent additional 8 billion allocated to Iraq seemed to pass through Congress fairly easily. How about upping the allocation numbers to our own nation in turmoil?

Have you seen this possum phlegm? I've commented on it before, but there's a new season of My Super Sweet 16 on MTV. I can't wait for the technology that will allow me to slap somebody through a TV screen. I'm somehow drawn to it. It's like watching a trainwreck with 3D glasses. The premise is that these super-spoiled, super-whiny, super-bitchy, super-rich 15 year old brats from hell have there "Sweet 16" party documented on film. All you have to do is watch one episode to hate an entire generation of teenagers. Kids today need to be spanked!!! Many of these parties cost upwards of $500,000!!! This usually includes bodyguards/security, dancers, DJs, stylists, etc.

My favorite/least favorite has been stuck-up bitch Ava.

This girl went shopping for her dress in Paris and then went on a bitch-rampage when her mom canceled her credit card when she snuck out of the house for the weekend and was later rewarded with a Range Rover. You have to see it to believe it!

I've never had a birthday party, but if I did I'm sure it would be more along the lines of the Chuck E. Cheese's or funny hat/pinata variety. When I turned 16 I think my mom made pizza and I did not get a stretch Hummer to take me anywhere (they didn't even have them back then). It was pretty low-key to say the least. At least I was never molested by a party clown...

This has absolutely nothing to do with anything, but I was flipping channels last week and I saw something that frightened the hell out of me. Apparently there was a follow-up show to The Golden Girls called The Golden Palace. The "girls" opened a hotel (sans Bea Arthur) and it also starred Don Cheadle and Cheech Marin. Don Cheadle?!?!? I guess everybody has to get their start somewhere...

...and another blog quiz type thing...
What Your Underwear Says About You

You tend to throw out your underwear after a few months. It gets used and abused!

You're not afraid to lay around resting your hand in your pants.

Actually, I probably keep my underwear longer than I should. No comment on the second part...


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Damn that's an ugly dog!

Hey! I found a website for Sam (the world's ugliest dog). Click on the link if you dare! (He also has a blog)