Harry Dean Stanton, patron saint of all those who live life on the edge
It’s been a fast-forward, full-auto, two-fisted, red-meat kind of week around Chaos Manor, and it’s not about to let up soon. I finally got the last edits done for the instruction sets (whew, I’m glad I started early!) thanks mostly to the diligent work of my editor, Phyl, who has done yeoman’s work on them.
Next I had to get really cracking on the scripts for the new DVD I’ll be shooting in a month or so—this one will be for my Winemaking Excellence 101 program, teaching winemaking basics and protocols for Winexpert Retail Partners and Staff. This will be my third video where I’m writing, scripting, directing, co-editing and producing the whole she-bang. Luckily I’ve got Maverick Studios in my corner for professional shooting and editing work, and Julie backing me up (well, making sure I’m not slacking in an entirely-not-freaked-out-quite-yet kind of way).
April 22, 2010 is Earth Day. Founded in 1970 by US Senator Gaylord Nelson, it grew as a response to dangers posed to our ecosystem and our world. Folks my age will remember the burgeoning awareness of environmental matters at the time, triggered by books like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and numerous environmental changes. According to Wikipedia,
On April 22 1970, Earth Day marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Approximately 20 million Americans participated. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, Freeway and expressway revolts, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.
L to R: Carmen Merlot 2006, Bushmills 1608, Somking Loon Viognier 2005, Montes Alpha Chardonnay 2006 and Marques de Gelida Cava 2004 and 2005. It's been a slow month
I had a good conversation with an old friend today. In our discourse she mentioned that she really enjoyed reading my blog, except when I wrote 'all that wine stuff'. I'm oddly touched, but I'm repaying her kindness with a bunch of wine stuff. That's what friends are for.
I've gone back through my cellar and started digging out faltering bottles. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, I often don't have enough time to drink everything I would like, and this has lead to some bottles going over the hill and off the cliff when I wasn't looking. Dang, that's an issue.
Ever said to yourself, 'I wish I could be more like Tim'? No, I didn't think so: the gruelling schedule of dinners, travel, wine dinners and wine would be a burden for all but the most seasoned of hedonists.
However, if you'd like the opportunity to commit random acts of lifestyle blogging, and hang out in the company of foodie-drinkie types with interesting homelives and opinions on cooking, wine, design, and everything else that goes into la dolce vita, then I've got something for you!
Pink Shirt Day 2010 is a success! Folks across the province are showing their colours and standing up against bullying. Christy Clark, who helped promote Pink Shirt Day has had her official Pink Shirt website crash--it's flatlined with traffic! Thanks to everyone who responded: if any of my readers would like to send in pictures of themselves to me, I'd love to put them up on my blog: keep 'em under 200kb, jpeg format and send them to email@example.com.
Here are some of the folks around the office who participated today:
2010 will mark the third year of British Columbia's anti-Bullying campaign, Pink Shirt Day. Big news for this year, the Premier of the Province of British Columbia, the honourable Gordon Campbell has declared April 14th Pink Shirt Anti Bullying Day.
It's the BC Fermenter's Guild event this weekend, here in Victoria BC. Once a year the association of consumer winemaking retailers gets together to do seminars, hang out and talk about new products, meet their suppliers and do a very genteel round of middle-aged carousing. I'm manning the booth today (it's almost over--9:30 to 3:30 for the trade show) and tomorrow I've got a round-table session for all the retailers, answering questions and sortin' stuff out. I had a chance to take a few pictures on the trade show floor today.
Haley Lindau, FGBC President L to R, booth bunnies Joe Rossi and Al McGee, with Ed Hepting The Vineco crew in attendance, L to R Richard Dotti, Tom Natale and Marianna Rubino
Tonight there's a gala-gala do with food and wine pairings and plenty of good cheer. I've got just enough time to get this blog in, tear into Victoria to pick up a little gift for the missus (it's a surprise! Good thing she doesn't read my blog) and come back in time to freshen up.
Tomorrow it's back to the mainland and an entirely probable dose of reality, including finishing the last of the instruction sets, finalising the script for the next video shoot and doing my employee reviews. No rest for the wicked, but I never knew I was quite this bad!
I get a lot of different pleasures from winemaking: the thrill of tasting a really great bottle, sharing the bounty of my cellar, learning about new grapes and new processes, and the feeling of connection I have with other winemakers that I’m privileged to meet. But without a doubt, the best thing about winemaking is teaching others. Seeing someone make their first batch and enjoy it is a great job reward.
One of the people I taught to make wine over the years was my friend Grant. He and I had made beer together before, but for some reason he had never thought about making wine. Indeed, even though he enjoyed drinking wine, he rarely bought a bottle for himself, instead he saved it for ‘special occasions’.
We had a pretty rough course of weather here in the lower mainland of BC the last week or so: high winds, downed trees, lashing rain and generally fierce conditions. It seems a little calmer now, with cloud cover, the occasional peek of sun and lovely, snow-capped mountains all around.
I managed to get outside over the weekend and get a picture of some of my tulips, up and growing. The yard is a mess: it hasn't been dry enough for me to cut the grass, but it's been warm enough for it to grow, and there's weeding and I really want to pressure wash the patio and get all the salt-spray off of our windows--living by a northern-coast beach isn't all bikini's and margaritas!