Irrefutable, indisputable fact is, it happens

I was hoping to get a weekly feature going, like Title Tuesday, but there just isn’t enough good stuff to make it work.  Never got an answer if that ABA was bouncing lots of or just a couple of commission and disbursement checks.  Bad form either way.  Got this link over at Title Talk.  That’s going to leave a mark.  Oops!  It already did.  Here’s a guy I’d like to see get a suite with Madoff.  Him and the Sandlers.  I’d like to see them making license plates for about 150 years.  I’ve got a good title story brewing, but I’m superstitious so I can’t tell it until the deal is in the can.  You know, if there really was a Pink Bunny, I think this is where he’d live.  Found that little gem on Lovely Listing, a place where I hope I will never see one of my listings.  Unless I took a listing from the reincarnation of Liberace.

A couple of dog stories, none good.  A woman was jogging and was hit by a truck and killed in Clovis, her dog survived.  They could use some help with the medical bills.  Betty Cochran is part of Dogworks, which is where I got Toby and where The Brother got Loki.  Ms. Wong was a wife, mother, grandmother and matriarch of her family.  That’s just awful for their family.

This asshat needs to be fired.  I’ve been beating his ass all over the internet for the last couple of days and I will not let up until I hear he’s been terminated.  Like this jackhole is going to run into a burning building and do anything that doesn’t directly benefit him.  Write the Fire Department’s Administrative email and let the know that a guy like this brings dishonor to the uniform.  Email addie below:

China is still culling dogs.  The  Shaanxi province has culled 36,000 dogs because 12 people have been bitten by rabies infected dogs.  American breeders continue to sell dogs to China.  No.

Finally, this picture just came up when I opened iPhoto last night.  It’s one of my favorites.  He loved his Uncle.


How long have I been drifting alone through the night?

***No rubber chickens were harmed. All depictions were monitored by the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Rubber Chickens. Lizards didn’t fare as well***

As most of you know, I headed out on Friday to the Land of the Padres. They were out of town stinking up the field in Arlington, so I was not enticed to go watch that train wreck. The BMW is in the shop getting the hood repainted after a very unfortunate incident involving some piece of crap flying off of one of those flat beds full of construction debris. So I took a rental car provided for by my insurance company down there. That was a mistake. They gave me a Chrysler Aspen. Apparently the English translation is “Monumental Piece of Shit”. They were out of normal vehicles so I got this heap o’. How bad was it? It couldn’t handle on the freeway AT THE SPEED LIMIT. I shit you not. I drove 5 miles per hour under the speed limit on the 5. Oh, you say, so it must have gotten decent mileage since it was so uh, light? Oh hell no! It got 18mpg. 18. 18!! WTF said the kangaroo. I just drove 1000 miles at 5 miles per hour under the speed limit and got 18 miles to the gallon. Chrysler, you deserve to go under. You suck for producing that piece of crap.

Next up was the real estate calls while driving. Not a problem and help pass the time. Except I was having a particularly intense one when I buzzed by the 210. That’s the left turn that helps me avoid the Los Angeles basin. Four hours later, I left Laguna Hills. It took 4 hours to get to LA and another 4 hours to get through LA. Strangely, even though I was traveling at 4mph the whole time I missed OTG and his “Welcome to SoCal PBE” sign. He must have been on the 405. I finally rolled into Vista at 6:15 that night after two more traffic jams, one on the 78 because everyone wanted to see the pick up truck that rolled.

I weighed in particularly light. Three pounds lighter than best case scenario, which concerned me. I’d been drinking water all day, but you don’t want to come in too light from normal or you might blow up in the meet. Sonofabun turned me on to a new iPhone app called Urban Spoon. It’s really really cool. So I plugged in “Escondido” and “$$” and hit “shake”. It gave me Vincent’s on Grand and Tango on Grand. I chose Tango on Grand. Good choice. I started with a MacRostie Chard and perused the menu. I started with the goat cheese soufflé appetizer. It was three little tiny soufflés. Each had something else in it but the only one I remember was the bacon. The first one was presented with a strawberry chutney, the second (bacon) with fresh strawberries and the third was presented with yellow beets. They were amazing. I had finished the MacRostie Chard, which was very nice. It had citrus and melon on the nose, nice palate with soft apples and a little butterscotch on the finish, but not much. It was so subtle I couldn’t tell if it was oaked or not. Nice touch. Since I still had a soufflé and a half to go, I moved on to the Yaluma Rosé of Sangiovese. Really. I’m not kidding. It had strawberries on the nose and was actually even better with the soufflés. Cherries trying to be tart, but not, trying to be ripe, but not. The wine tried to be sweet, but wasn’t then finished nice and dry. Now that the bartender knew my taste, I let him pick the glass for dinner. Dinner was a Sirloin thin sliced over a potato tasting with a béarnaise sauce. He paired that with a Colume Malbec. This wine had blackberries and violets on the palate. Really an amazing wine that paired perfectly with dinner. Even better, next to me chattering all night long was a tortured artist. He was great conversation, but he was one of those guys that sometimes has to be asked to go home. The bartender asked me if I was ok. Of course I was. The guy was going to make a great story some day.

The next day I headed down to lift. I didn’t set the world on fire, but I was lifting in a new class. I don’t remember the squat. I got two in, missed the third. The second was around 155lbs. Not setting the world on fire, but a proper squat is where the axis of your hip is lower than the cap of your knee, so most of the bullshit you see people doing in the gym is just that. I remember one time an older gentleman coming up to me in a gym I was visiting. He said (in a very think Louisiana accent) “How long have you been powerlifting?” (he didn’t pronounce the “r” or the “g”) I asked him how he knew. He replied “Well, you squat properly”. Next up was the bench. I’ve been rehabbing a shoulder. It’s not in great shape, but it’s better than it was. I opened with a 189lb bench. A proper bench is when you bring the bar to your chest, touch your chest and pause, the press when the referee says “press”. Try it. It’s a lot harder than the bullshit you see people doing in the gym. No momentum of bouncing it off your chest, you have to press it from a dead stop. I missed the second bench terribly and did not push my shoulder by taking a third attempt. I had a good lift, I scratched out of the third. Last up was the deadlift. I haven’t been doing them heavy at all. I took it up for about four weeks, but then it was time to taper, so I didn’t accomplish much. I opened with 100kg (220lbs). I fussed around with it all afternoon because I was afraid I couldn’t do it. Well, I crushed it. I went up to 231 and crushed that on my 2nd attempt. Third attempt 242. I struggled but I did it. Good lifting day. The lifter in front of me all afternoon was a gal by the name of Lucy Hawkins. She’s one of the ones I really enjoy. She’s part of a National Guard team that comes out here from Virginia to compete. They are well organized and lift very well. And then there’s Lucy. She’s my favorite. When it comes time for her to deadlift, she slips on her sunglasses and goes out there and nails her lift. Then she smiles and poses for the camera, all the while holding the weight. I wish I could have found a photo of her doing it, because it’s hilarious. Check out her site, she’s got a 5000 watt smile so it must be riotous from the front, it’s funny from the back. And she’s right around my age. Actually most of the National Guard lifters are older. I’m just pleased to know they’re in such great shape. And I enjoy lifting with them, they’re just good people.

That evening I had the pleasure of sharing a glass (or 42) with two awesome ladies and their spouses. I first heard about these gals a year or so ago. I was getting ready to fire up my professional blog and I was googling around looking to see what other Realtors were doing. I found an article entitled something like the 10 best real estate blogs or some nonsense. The Luxury Home Digest was one of the blogs mentioned. So when Eve Sieminski started following me on twitter, I was like “check me out”. Well, then Roberta Murphy started following me too. And I started having great conversations with these ladies about wine and real estate and an occasionally a dog. When I decided to come to the meet in Vista, which is near Eve’s territory, I asked her if she’d like to share a glass. Stupid me. How about this trio?


Roberta, Eve and me. And a couple of bottles of wine, soon to become dead soldiers. Thinking of buying a home? I wouldn’t do it without one of these three.


That’s Roberta, contemplating where to start. Eve knew. Eve started me off with a glass of Zolo Torrontes. You can get this one at Costco for nearly nothing, but it’s a really nice summer wine and went really well with her secret pepper dish that’s off the hook. I brought a couple of bottles to share and Eve went straight to the Chateau Montelena 1999 Saint Vincent Red . And why wouldn’t she? She’s a sharp gal. It was spectacular. We all had some of that. It had been in my cellar for a while and I thought it best to get to it while it was still in good shape. Original release date was 2002 so I’d been hanging on to that for a while.


Her husband went right to the Loring Wine Company Pinot. He’s a Pinot guy. I wish I could have the look on his face when he tasted that wine frozen in time. It was a look of surprise and joy. He was a happy man. As well he should have been. When I got to the LWC I was thrilled at it’s depth and character. I’ve always liked their wines and I was actually sick when I picked this one out of the wine club. I didn’t taste it, I just took it with me. I will still take lucky over good, every time. They poured me a glass of the Orfila Zin. Apparently it was the work of local (like Escondido kind of local) winemaker who passed away. This was from his last vintage. Too bad. He was clearly an extraordinary talent. They had two Cameron Hughes selections there. A Lot 16 and a Lot 110. I had the Lot 16 the Cab, but I didn’t get the Lot 110 which was the Pinot. That might have been one of the last bottles of that Lot 16, it was smooth and velvety, a great Stag’s Leap cab. I just ran out of drinking capacity and had to pass on the Lot 110. I also missed the La Storia Zinfandel. Don’t tell Eve, but originally that was supposed to go to dinner with me Friday night and I was so hungry I left it at the hotel room. Lucky me, I didn’t know she was a Zin girl. Always good to keep the hostess happy. She laid out a great spread of salmon (which I forgot to try) chicken wings, a beautiful baked brie thing, I mean really, can you go wrong with brie? And her pepper dish, which is freaking awesome. We talked about wine and real estate and golf and about a million other things. Roberta’s husband is a lot of fun and knows a ton about business. (And I’ll keep an eye out for a driver and a 5w)

I always spend so much of these powerlifting trips by myself. An amazing evening of great people, great wine and good food made up for a lot of crappy dinners at a lot of bar and grills over the years.


Lucky to be coming home again

The luckiest man in America this morning.


He’s still not a Democrat, but I didn’t see a moment of coverage yesterday on a guy who should have been bent over a barrel by the media. The second luckiest guy in America is Ryan O’Neal and that I can get behind. On probably the worst or one of the worst days of his life, he got handed a get out of jail free card. The white hot glare of the media got distracted by the death of the King of Pop and good Lord willing, he’ll be able to grieve the loss of the love of his life in peace. I would hope that Olberman went home and took a long hot shower after all of that last night. Dude, you’re better than that. Did Jackson do anything after “Thriller”, really? I mean besides molesting young boys. Alright, I’ll give him “Bad” but that’s it. Sorry, dude paid $20 MILLION to one family. God only knows how many other families took hush money. They may not have been able to convict him, but like OJ, it doesn’t mean he didn’t do it. The fight for the elections in Iran and the investigation of a corrupt politician who happens to be the Governor of South Carolina matters. Because you know he flew there on the taxpayer’s dime. I actually don’t care that he stepped out on his marriage. That wasn’t my business when Bill Clinton did it, and it’s not my business now. Unless I were to point out that a marriage is between a man, a woman and his Argentinean concubine, but not between two men or two women. And I would only point that out if he were some Bible thumping zealot that sought to force the rest of the country to comply to his rigid religious beliefs….nevermind.

In other news

The Coconut Telegraph is lumbering into action. Let’s play a little game. What agency, which happens to be an ABA of the Bloodless Empire and a certain large real estate firm with blue and white signs has been bouncing commission and disbursement checks? Y’all aren’t taking investment advice from NASCAR Teddy are you?

We’ve got some silly routines around here. One of them is when I take a shower. No matter where Bubba is when I turn on the shower, he comes in and sleeps on whatever clothes I took off. It’s one of the cuter things he does.


I’m off to San Diego to lift today. I took the BMW in to get the hood supposedly buffed out yesterday. I had taken a piece of crap in the nose out on Highway 37 and it scraped up the paint on the hood. Doncha just love those flat beds loaded with crap that just flies in the wind? Safeco wanted to know if I got the plates. Dude, I was trying not to die, it was like a big mat or a piece of a roof. It was black, it came off the truck and up at my car. I braked and prayed. Anyway it was supposed to take a day. On the way to the shop yesterday the dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree. I figured I was going to have to rent a car to go to San Diego. As it turned out, they couldn’t buff out the hood and the insurance company will be paying to get it repainted. And they’re paying for the car rental, so I’ll be dealing with the light display when I get the car back on Monday night. So I’m off to finish up a bit of work and hit the road. I’ll sooo be driving around LA today.

And by popular demand, the list of Foley Wine Groups wines. All of which we boycott.

  1. Merus
  2. Foley Estate
  3. Las Hermanas
  4. Sebastiani
  5. Three Rivers
  6. Firestone
  7. Kuleto

And we boycott because he’s buying up wineries just like he did to title companies. He’s going to build an empire there just like he did in the title insurance business and he’s going to ruin the wine industry just like he ruined the title industry. He will over work his employees, fire them on a moments notice if the numbers aren’t there and provide a slip-shod product to his customers. If we don’t buy his wine, he doesn’t get any more of a foothold in the industry. This man is morally reprehensible and as winos, we cannot support him. And winemakers, please, stop selling wineries to him…dammit.

Out from the barrio you hear my rhythm from your radio

All 19 mind numbing minutes. Now it’s coming out that this Republican Governor who made a big deal out of refusing TARP money, only to be over ruled by his State Legislature (because it was such an ignorant grandstanding idea in the first place) has been flying to Argentina on the South Carolina taxpayer’s dime to see his little Coochi Coochi Coo. And The State had the emails since last December? WTF? “attempts to verify the e-mails — from an anonymous source — were fruitless, until Wednesday”. Wow, there’s some crack journalism. Or some journalists on crack. A ferret could have verified those in six months. Or maybe they were just waiting for the Fine Governor of the Great State of South Carolina and his wandering willy to find their way to an airport so that a reporter could catch him getting off a plane from Buenos Aires… Has it really been six months since he saw her? Not to worry, the Christian Right’s own little version of Skull and Bones was there to help him out. These guys do whatever they want (Ensign is a member too) and somehow it’s supposed to be forgiven because they pay lip service to the Christian Right. It’s lip service. Or maybe that’s what they’re all getting. When will the middle of this country figure out that they’re being hoodwinked? It’s time to get religion back out of Government and run this damned country like a business. Religion governs the morality of its followers, the State governs the functionality of the society as a whole. The State should not impose nor restrict the religion of the people.

And you know Maria is going to turn out to be Mario.

In other news

Sometimes this place is like the Wild Kingdom. I have an owl. I saw him last year, swooping across the front yard, he scared the crap out of me. I don’t know if he was a spotted owl or a barn owl or a screech owl, but he was pretty magnificent. This summer he’s taken up residence either here or some place very near by and I can hear him calling. I just hope he feasts on the rats and mice in the yard. I back up to a creek and that’s part of the attraction of this property to the Wild Kingdom. While my visitors were still here we could also hear bats in the yard. I brought the dogs in when they started playing their bat games. I don’t need Rita to bring me one of those.

I finished up my last lifting workout Tuesday before the meet on Saturday. As a rule, I lift a lot closer to meets than most other lifters. Conventional wisdom is that you stop lifting 10 days before the meet. That never worked for me. I did it twice and threw in the towel on that one. I do much better to lift clear through the week before and then knock off on Monday or Tuesday of the week I’m going to compete. My cycling coach wanted me to knock off yesterday but I’m riding today, then not again until Tuesday of next week. Last Sunday I came ridiculously close to getting run over. A guy in a white Dodge pick up truck was coming out of the Concord K-Mart at 1:40 on Sunday afternoon. He did not stop, nor did he look to the left before he shot out onto Ayers. Had he looked he would have seen the bright red bicycle with the rider in a bright yellow jersey. Not only did he not look to see me, he continued to pull into traffic in spite of my huge self being right in front of his grill. I was not hit because I swerved away from his truck and then cut to the right. There are certain characteristics of that truck that are unforgettable. God help him if I ever see that truck again.

More jackasses with pick up trucks. I’d said I’d bring in the photojournalism. On an LA Freeway last month. Oh look! You can read the guy’s plates.


Couple modern day Moses, searchin’ for the promised land

Some days just aren’t even fair. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. When someone tosses up one of those big fat hanging curve balls that looks like a big ol’ meat pie, do you let it go by or do you drive it out of the park? McCovey Cove here we come.

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Appalachian, Argentina, tomato tomatoe. Honest mistake. They both start with an “A”. Come on now, the guy is from South Carolina, easy to mess those up. Backpacking, Buenos Aires, both start with a “B” and they’re big words for a backwoods boy to remember. Here’s another big word. Concubine. Did you tell her you were the Fine Governor from the Great State of South Carolina? Did she let you leave your boots on?

Ahh, but you know the Wine Dog never forgets a face. But, Fox News, that’s another story.


I knew that boy was a Democrat. A Republican would never fly to some foreign country to cheat on his wife and leave his four boys home alone on Father’s Day. I should stop. This is really too easy. Good thing he’s got his wife to stand by him and give him a second chance. Too bad he didn’t feel that way when Bill Clinton got caught with HIS pants down. God I love the double standard. OK, I’ve got to give this guy a little break. Maybe he is who I want the GOP to run for President. What! That’s right. My theory is that guys who keep it in their pants, get us into wars, Reagan, Bush I, Bush II. Guys who dally, keep America safe. So maybe Sanford is the guy for the job.

I’m kidding. This guy needs to resign. Not because he dallied, but because he lied about it. That’s the logic and standard he applied to Clinton, so that is the standard and logic that should be applied to him. Maybe that shit flies in that backward inbred State that elected your dumb ass, but don’t expect the rest of us to buy what you’re selling. It’s the Martha Stewart Conundrum. You didn’t do anything wrong, per se, unless you’re billing yourself as a born again Christian leader for America…oh never mind… but you got caught lying. Have a nice life. Buh bye.

Let’s talk about no one some one any one

Oh Lordy, isn’t this the oldest real estate scam in the world?  Let’s see, Eugene Borelli?  Hell, he even had the balls to name his company Pyramid Real Estate didn’t he?  Who remembers that?  I guess we were supposed to think that Pyramid referred to the Transamerica building, not the scheme.  Or the preliminary reports with 32 deeds of trust?  Zev ben Simon essentially did the same thing.  He should have never left this country.  I think he’s still sitting in an Israeli prison.  He’d have been done with his light time in Lompoc by now if he’d stayed here.   I hate to see the Cuesta name dragged through all this, even though the original owners cashed out years ago.  Although the use of the term “mini-Madoff” is cute, at least to those who didn’t lose any money.

This story is trying to get traction, but the way I see it, the developer will just build some low income housing some place else to satisfy the requirement and leave it at that.  Wondering what OTG thinks.

You really have to eat the magic mushrooms and follow Alice through the looking glass to understand the logic applied here.   I wonder how many former Landamerica employees would like the opportunity to be working themselves out of a job right now, instead of collecting unemployment and paying $1300 a  month in COBRA to keep their family insured?  Yeah, like that.

Why Cathleen Galgiani is right.  One of my colleagues has a deal with Chicago Title’s REO division in SoCal.  It closed early last week and they STILL haven’t sent the commission check.  Now, if they were down the street in Walnut Creek, and he could go in there and ask an Escrow Officer in person “Where the Hell is my commission check?”, do you think he might have been paid by now?  Embarrassing Chicago.  Get your shit together.  May the Galgiani “Buyers Choice Act” prevail and may these REO divisions that don’t serve anything other than their corporate masters collapse under the weight of their own incompetence.

Let’s file this away under Just Because you Can, Doesn’t Mean you Should.  Now a bunch of executives who were paid millions and millions of dollars are going to claim that a bank caused LandAmerica’s undoing with bad investment advice?  Are you freaking kidding me?  You’re a CEO making obscene amounts of money, if you can’t invest the corporate funds diligently, then you are to blame.  Straight up.  You.  NASCAR Teddy.  You took the CEO’s salary, it’s your fault.  Period.

Let’s file this under What Evil Lies in the Hearts of Parker Kennedy Men.  The criminal in me wants to figure out where the vig is on this.  I know it’s all about angles.  Are they trying to take on The Google?

Speaking of The Google, I refuse to use Bing because it’s a Microsoft product.  For the same reason I refuse to drink any wine of the Foley Wine Group.  I’m hearing the Bill is relocating to Napa.  I’ll be sure to let him know I think he’s number one every time I drive past his place.

Speaking of wine, last night I caved to the little voices in my head and cracked a 1997 Freemark Abbey Bosché.  Time does Freemark Abbey’s wines good.  That 97 was great when it was bottled.  I’ve had it laying down for about 6 years.  The original tasting notes call it big and burly, but that’s never been my experience with Freemark Abbey’s wines.  I should know, I’ve been drinking them since 1980.  I wanted an elegant cab last night and I got that and a lot more.  It was full of ripe black cherries, cassis, even a little Dr. Pepper, with nice balance and a long gentle finish.  I had it with a filet that I just threw on the grill.  Perfect combo.  Currently it’s retailing for around $79-95 bucks.

Let’s finish on a high note.  This arrived in my mailbox a few days ago.  It’s the War Dog memorial.  I presume it’s the one in Guam from the lei.


All your weight it falls on me

Yesterday’s ride was the last ride with a lot of climbing before the LiveStrong, which has a bit of climbing. Not bad climbing, just climbing. Well, actually there is some bad climbing. Click on the elevation.

Yeah, that one part is a little ugly. I may go down to San Jose a week from Thursday and just ride that part on my hill day so that I mentally know I can do it. After all, I know I can get up Mt. Diablo without stopping. So some bullshit little hill in San Jose shouldn’t be that bad. Or is that Mount Hamilton? I don’t know my way around down there. Anyway, I left late yesterday. I was going to take off early, but truth be told, I really enjoy sitting around bullshitting with The Professor, so I waited until they left for their flight. We really didn’t see that much of each other as kids. I spent the most amount of time with him after he was working in New York for CBS news. And he bothers to keep in contact and that’s huge. And he validated my argument that everything that’s wrong with this country right now is Reagan’s fault. Coming from a guy who is as smart as he is, that’s a nice little seal of approval on my idiot ramblings. Anywho, it was a really late start and it got really hot out there and my feet cramped again. Bad. I had some Shotblox with me this time, hoping they would help, a little, but not so much. By mile 42 I’d had enough of my feet. The ride was 54 miles, 2700 feet of climbing, four hours and some change, I’ll have to go look. But I did drag my but over Mt. Diablo and that ought to count for something.

Saturday I went to a climbing and descending clinic put on by the LunaChix. They brought in some professional women cyclists to discuss the nuances of not crashing while going really fast on the downhill. And how to get up those big bitch of a hills. Keep in mind that Christopher Krautz one of the founding fathers of bike fitting, fit my bike for me about six weeks ago. One of the coaches said my seat was too low, the other said it was too high. Since Christopher measures your flexibility and works that into the fitting, I suspect he’s very close to just right. He even says sometimes a second tweeking is necessary, but really I’ve been riding a lot better after seeing him. Anyway, we were out on Tunnel Road where it hits Skyline in Oakland or Berkeley depending on who you ask, doing hill repeats on Saturday. In any clinic if I can walk away with one good piece of information that I can use, it’s a good use of time, this one I walked away with several. It certainly made me think more on the downhill from Mt. Diablo yesterday. It took a lot longer for the other guys at the Junction to catch me. There was a woman up there with a brand spanking new Specialized. The only labels on it were S-Works. It was a prototype that Specialized had given to her to critique. She was very small and the bike looked kind of child’s sized, but it was super sleek. All the guys were lifting it up by the seat to check the weight and I was looking at the seat thinking “That looks like the kind of seat I need”. It was painted all charcoal. The forks were wider than the head and it was the women’s version and the cross bar was sleek and flat on top. Very cool toy.

The other thing on my agenda yesterday was to give some blood. Shouldn’t be that hard. Or was it? I’ve had troubles all my life with my iron level. Yesterday was a near miss. I kept my precious pint of O-. I missed the mark by .6. The gal says to me “Do you eat spinach?” By the bucketful, honey. “Maybe you shouldn’t exercise on the day you give?” I work out damn near every day of my life and I’ve given over five gallons, that ain’t it. And I cook in cast iron and I’m no longer a vegetarian. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not so good. It could be something entirely different in three days. I’ll try again later.

I’m getting ready to lift in competition again too. Because riding a century and the LiveStrong wasn’t enough stress to put my 50 year old body through. I’ve moved up in age class so there’s a whole new set of records to attack. The deadlift is 220, I should destroy that. I can’t find the bench number, there may not be one. I’m going to squat too, I haven’t done that in competition in years. I never win the powerlifting portion of the meet because my squats are so weak. Osteoarthritis in my knees is the culprit. I can’t get enough consistent training in to get a decent squat in. So a do a cursory squat and bring it on the bench and deadlift. Anyway, that’s what’s up next on the agenda, then the LiveStrong. Then a long nap.

On the banks of the river on a well beaten path

My pals at Pleasant Hill Wine Merchants have some of the most fun events.  They have had some great winemakers in and some great blind tasting events.  Last Friday they had a Blind Top Shelf Tasting of Cabernet Sauvignons.  They were all covered in paper bags and numbered.  Inside those bags were:

  1. Nickel & Nickel 05 Sullenger Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
  2. David Arthur Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  3. Mi Sueno 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  4. Oberon 05 Hillside Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon by Rob Mondavi
  5. Grgich Hills Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 05
  6. Adobe Road 05 Cabernet Sauvignon
  7. Kenwood Artist Series 04 Cabernet Sauvignon
  8. Stuhlmuller 2005 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  9. Stanley Lambert “Silent Partner” Cabernet Sauvignon
  10. R&B Cabernet Sauvignon
  11. Silver Oak Napa Valley 04 Cabernet Sauvignon
  12. Hidden Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon
  13. Stromberg Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  14. Ghost Block 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The Ghost Block is very popular up at PHWM.  It was good and it stood out as well, but not a top three for me.  I went with Professor Cousin and the Chemical Engineer.  Our ratings ended up very similar.  In the end I gave the nod to the Stanley Lambert.  It had tremendous balance, a nice front of ripe fruit and chocolate with a gentle tannic finish.  I was shocked to hear that I wasn’t the only one who gave the Aussie blend the nod.  They were running away with the competition.  My number two was the Silver Oak.  It was balanced and elegant.  Good ripe plums and black cherries on the front, a little floral in the middle with a hint of chocolate and nice gentle tannins on the finish.  I was pretty surprised to see that we all went with the Silver Oak.  My number three was the David Arthur.  This one was bright and full of blackberries and ripe cherries on the front with a hint of vanilla.  The finish was a mocha and a little tighter than the others, but not so tannic to offend.

Here’s the surprise to me.  I thought the Oberon and the Grgich Hills were too tight, both had that green pepper nose that I don’t like and they both needed to take a long wine nap before they were drinkable.  The R&B is not a “top shelf” per se, but the winemaker was in and had the balls to blind taste with the big boys.  He was my number four.  They were selling his juice for $40 a bottle if you got two.  That was the deal of the night.  A fine, balanced, fruity cab full of personality.  Nice finish on it.

We ended the night with an adventure to Monacatini’s, the local Italian place that’s been here for about 200 years.  Their food is always spot on.  We ordered a bottle of “The Prisoner” and proceeded to have an excellent meal of, in my case gnocchi and pomodoro sauce.  They make the gnocchi’s there.  The Professor had the seafood dish, but you just can’t get a decent scampi in Indiana, so who could blame the guy?

All dressed in satin and waiting by the door

Why I hate PETA.

Why I want to drive to Washington and beat some one with a motorcycle handlebar.

If we were giving out Best Person in the World, Dr. Kathy Sheeran would be our person this week, next week and probably for the year. She’s taken on this gentle creature, healed her and ate the costs. Dr. Sheeran, you done good and PBE salutes you!

In other news

My dogs have have been coming along pretty good with their new regiment. Bubba is still massaging his side, but a lot less and without crying. Even the gaseous emissions have receded. The paint may stay on the walls after all. Rita has gained some weight and really looks, well a little scary. She’s got those crazy eyes and now she’s backing it up with some solid lean muscle. Bubba’s coat is coming back. It’s very dark in a few places, and almost like a Wiemaraner in others. He’s like a guy on Rogaine right now. And his coat is coming in very soft and shiny. Back when he blew his coat it came back coarse and brittle.

For those of you who follow this drivel on any sort of regular basis, you know what a loss Beauregard was. On Saturday my dog coughed on Wednesday he was dead. It’s been a year now, he died on June 18, 2008. The Doberman ladies who talked me into fostering that blue train wreck of a dog last August, probably did more to heal my broken heart than I’ll ever be able to let them know. Bubba has taken over Beau’s old role of hanging out with me while Rita runs patrols. He flops his big fat head up on my lap and is always very close to me. He’s going to be the dog that gets a leg or two on his Obedience trials. But I miss my big regal boy. And there just won’t be any new pictures of that dog. And I really miss him.