Yesterday was September 11th. I wonder about the motivation for some of what was done yesterday. I think a lot of it had to do with political gain. I did a lot of reading about the actual event in the years past. I’ve read Heart of a Soldier. It’s about Rick Rescorla. He was the head of security at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. He predicted the 9/11 attacks and no one would listen to him. The Port Authority told him to go back upstairs and take care of Morgan Stanley. Instead, he had an old Army buddy that was a Muslim and he got intelligence from him. He drilled the employees on evacuation routes and he ignored the building’s stay in place order that morning. All but 9 Morgan Stanley employees survived. Rick was last seen going back up to the 73rd floor with his security detail to clear the floors. If you’ve read We Were Soldiers Once and Young, not Mel Gibson’s half assed adaptation, you’ll see that Rick was a hero in Viet Nam as well. His Bravo Company came to the rescue of the column that was torn apart by the Viet Cong.
Another guy that didn’t make it was John O’Neil. He was the Chief of Security for the World Trade Center. He’d been on the job 11 days. John O’Neil was the FBI’s leading expert on Al Qaeda, but he didn’t fit into the FBI mold, so he went into the private sector. His body was recovered on September 22, 2001.
I watched a special on the 9/11 Commission report yesterday. I’ve got a copy of the report, I just haven’t gotten through it yet. Condoleeza Rice looked terrible in the hearings trying to explain why they ignored the August 6, 2001 bulletin that said Al Qaeda attack imminent. How she got to be Secretary of State is beyond me. I thought she was out of her league at NSA. I wonder if other Heads of States look at each other after meeting our government and shake their heads and say “American morons”.
Richard Clarke is another one. If anyone actually read his book, they would know that he was fed up with our government. Years of our government. The Bush Administration was just the icing on the cake. His book has a great story about Clinton being furious with the Blackhawk Down situation. He called them all in and slammed his fist on the table and said essentially “We will not lose another man on my watch” and we didn’t. I wish for the sake of our Armed Forces someone had said that, say right before we went into Iraq. I wish that someone who weaseled around to avoid their Viet Nam service (Cheney, Rove, Bush himself) had demonstrated the same compassion for today’s youth. I wish someone had slammed their fist on the table and said “Bring me Usama bin Laden!” I wish that for my friend’s who’s sons and daughters and husbands are over there.
Ok, I have absolutely no desire to go on the Wine Train. I don’t even really understand why it exists. I wouldn’t mind the stop at Grgich Hills if it were a day when Mike Grgich met the train. That would be cool. Besides making great wine now, Mike Grgich made the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that beat the French whites in the Paris tasting of 1976, long thought to be the shot over the bow announcing California’s arrival on the wine scene. Anyway, we took a run up to St. Helena yesterday. I got a hard to come by appointment at Spottswoode. I knew it was a family winery and I knew it was woman owned and run. I’d heard good things about the wine. The wine is excellent. They make three wines and a second label. A Cabernet Sauvignon, a Merlot and a Sauvignon Blanc. They were already out of the Merlot, we didn’t even get to taste that one. There was only Cab to taste and I think you could buy the Sauvignon Blanc, but we had an ADD moment and never followed through. It’s a gorgeous old estate and the two wines they served us were amazing. Both well balanced, developed and elegant. The wine dogs are Murphy and Riley and they went right up to me. I am sort of a dog whisperer. The matriarch, Mary Novak, was hanging around doing things and at 75 looked to be spry, to say the least. I was expecting a much older woman that the one I met in the hallway. Keep it up girl!
Then we stopped at Freemark Abbey to pick up my shipment. They’ve been sold, although Ted Edwards and Tim Bell, currently remain there. I’ve noticed the change. All the old tasting room staff is gone. The prices have definitely gone up. The 2002 Bosche is typically excellent, but they were pouring a 1991 Bosche as well. It was priced at $140 and finished with mint and eucalyptus. Are you kidding me? I’m glad I haven’t any 1991 in my cellar. I do have a 1994 and I will keep an eye on it.
From there we went to Dean and DeLucca for lunch. I love a roast beast sandwich on sourdough and they made theirs with smoked gouda and horseradish. We split a bottle of Tofanelli 2004 Charbono. It needed a minute to open up, but it was perfect for lunch.
I’m sort of trying to get back into the swing of things, even though I haven’t a functional kitchen. I’ve started a new 4 week cycle at the gym, and added cardio, since I’m only 4 minutes from the gym now. Current weigh in: 208. I’d like to break 200 by my birthday. We’ll see.