Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Silverwing Shiraz 2005

OK--the label at the right is from 2004, but we drank a bottle of 2005. It was spicy and had a definite bit of zing and classic Shiraz body. A bouquet that smelled of dark fruits and a deep purple color made this a fun wine to drink and enjoy. It is a good table wine and I recommend it as a starter before dinner to set the mood, loosen the tongue and get the party rolling.

Recommendation: Solid table wine/possible house wine

Waiting for Baby

So, we've been on a baby watch since last week when I was in Colorado. No grandchild #2 yet. Every night we are on baby watch--but this is one of those things that you just cannot rush. Nicole is doing great and we're just waiting. We know it will happen soon and at the most unexpected moment.

Life goes on and our prayers continue to be for a healthy baby whenever he/she is born.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Rocky Mountain

Well it surely has been a busy week. I'm sitting at the airport in Colorado Springs preparing for a long series of flights back to Baltimore heading into a winter storm. I think I may be spending the night in Chicago. But--there is always hope. As of 45 minutes before my departure from the Springs--all of my flights are on time.

It is a beautiful day--and the mountain--yes, Pike's Peak is dominating the scenery. It is the focus of this area and it should be. On days like today, I understand why people like to live here. The scenery is magnificent.

I have had a very busy couple of days with meetings and going out last night with KJ, my nephew. We had a good time doing dinner and Fool's Gold--he wanted to see it and it was good enough for me to want to see it again. We had a good time reconnecting.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Well Tuesday I flew off to Denver after working all day, and now I've got insomnia. Which is why this is going to seem posted on the 20th, but in Denver it's still the 19th. Fortunately the travel was uneventful--although the 2nd grandchild seems ready to make its (her?) appearance at almost any time.

I work all day tomorrow and then am off to Colorado Springs tomorrow night for two nights and then back home. It is cold. You notice how it seems I go to cold places in the winter and warm places in the summer. Why does that seem backwards to me?

I am always amazed at the explosion of people here and construction. It has changed so much since we were first here in 1977. Wow!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Wine Tasting Saturday

Chris and I love wine. We love tasting wine and we have a group of friends who also love wine and tasting and trying new wines and of course the foods that go with them.

Saturday night was a great night. We were invited to join an existing wine tasting group for tasting, food, and relaxing fun. There were about seven couples assembled who each brought a food dishes to taste wines that the wine master had picked to go with the meal.

The surprise wine of the night for me was Shoo Fly Aussie Salute 2005. I love Australian wines, so it shouldn't have been much of a surprise, but I was surprised after reading the description which indicated the wine was a blend of "spicy Grenache, succulent Shiraz, and a whiff of Viognier. It was very drinkable on its own.

Another surprising wine was the Covey Run Riesling Washington 2006. It is a great cheese party wine. Fruity and clean on the palate. The fruits were especially strong and enjoyable. A great starter wine for a party or a tasting.

All in all, it was a very fun night and we had a great time. I will be buying a couple bottles of these wines, too. I recommend them as they are very adaptable and enjoyable.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Art Garfunkel

Friday night Chris and I went to see Art Garfunkel in concert with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Getting to the concert proved to be a challenge as the traffic was absolutely the worst I have ever seen and although we left with plenty of time to spare, because the main parking garage was closed we actually missed the first song that Art sang.

But we had great seats three rows from the stage in the apparently sold out Meyerhof Symphony Hall. And while the voice is not as clear as it was (let's see--40 years ago?), it was an awesome concert. He sang old and new stuff and the orchestration for many of the pieces was spectacular. His band was incredible as well. We especially enjoyed, as you might suspect, some of the old stuff like Bridge Over Troubled Water and Cecilia, but he sang some very compelling new songs as well. One we especially liked was a lullaby for his two-year (yes 2) old son. It was beautiful.

The walk down memory lane was a nice diversion from the challenges of the day and whenever we get to spend an evening out together--it works out very nicely. Although, getting home after bedtime is a bummer--but we slept in on Saturday.

Rating: if you grew up or were even alive during the 60's--this concert is a must attend.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Another movie review since it is still in the top 10 this week.

Juno was a great movie. I thought it was cutting edge in dealing with a difficult topic: teen pregnancy and families. The family was a bit too supportive and the ending too neat--but the dialog and the acting were very good. The relationships in the movie were strong studies in people and personalities as well. The story:

After taking three pregnancy tests, 16-year-old Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) discovers she is nine weeks pregnant by her friend and longtime admirer, Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera). Although she initially opts for an abortion, a last minute change of heart leads her to decide to have the baby and make a plan for the child's adoption. With the help of her friend Leah (Olivia Thirlby), Juno searches the Pennysaver and finds a couple she feels will provide a suitable home. Along with her father, Mac (J. K. Simmons), Juno meets the couple, Mark and Vanessa Loring (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner), in their expensive home and finalizes the adoption arrangements.

If it were only that simple and that is why the story is so interesting and compelling. I found it fresh and enjoyable and the character development was superb.

Rating: Highly recommend--see now in theaters, buy when it comes out on DVD

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fool's Gold

Went and saw Fool's Gold over the weekend. It was a funny movie and very entertaining. Academy Awards performances? No--but very entertaining and funny. Of course you put four of my favorite things together in a movie and I'm bound to like it: SCUBA Diving, Key West, Treasure Hunting, and Warm South Florida Atlantic Ocean water. The imagery in the movie is at times stunning and I kept thinking--I want to dive there! The story is a bit trite and predictable, but that is what makes it all work. I say it is definitely worth paying movie theater prices and seeing.

Rating: Pay to see in theater when in need of diversion

Ethan and Autos

So we took Ethan to the Auto Show in Baltimore on Sunday. It is hard to tell which is fastest--a three year-old on a mission or a fully ready to roll Lamborghini.

The cars were fabulous and there were so many of them. Ethan really likes trucks and he sat in quite a number of them throughout the day. Poppop was having E check them out to see if they were good. E also recognized the interiors of his Mama's Touareg and Gamma's Lexus--which was pretty impressive.

Mostly he liked the speed. The wide open areas (despite thousands of people) were just ready for him to run full tilt. And he did, with Poppop right behind to make sure he was OK. He was fascinated with the seat and demo player set-up the VW area had. It rotated and was white like an egg. But he was all about the cars, trucks, and the speed.

For me, the two best cars were a 68 Mustang Shelby Cobra and a 2008 Jaguar XK Coupe. I think the Jaguar would make a great Valentines Day gift.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

A New Scooter for E

So guess what "damma" and mama came home with last night? A new scooter for Ethan. Yeah--and guess who was on tap to put it together? You guessed it. Poppop! And I had help, too. Exuberant help that couldn't wait to start riding on it. Even while it was still in pieces on the floor. Actually, we worked very well together and the project only took a little longer than would normally be expected in a job being done by a well trained monkey! But it was a good time and "E" was able to provide excellent help especially finding the trash can for all of the small plastic wrapping pieces.

Friday, February 8, 2008

New Position - An Update

Well, after all of the waiting and wondering I decided not to take the new job after all. Actually, they moved the location of the job to a place I really didn't want to drive to--so I passed on the new position and decided to stay where I am--at least for a while.

Life is moving along at it seems an ever increasing rate of speed. I've been playing in a Racquetball league and loving it. It has provided me with a way to stay in shape and meet new people. I moved up to the A League for the winter session after winning the B league in the Fall, and surprisingly, I'm not doing too badly, so far. And my game is getting better, too. Something to do I guess.

Monday, February 4, 2008

A Day with Ethan

Yesterday was an incredible day. Not only did the Giants upset the classless Patriots in the Super Bowl, but Chris and I got to spend most of the day with Ethan. It was an unexpected surprise when I saw "E" and Chris walk into Church as I was preparing for the late service. I always enjoy E in church and yesterday his bright smile was especially appreciated.

So after church, we decided to watch E for the day until the evening festivities with the Super Bowl began. What a great decision. He was a great help cleaning the leaves off the back area near the pool and he enjoyed standing on the diving board wondering why Pop-pop wouldn't open the pool so he could swim. We finally found a place where he could put his hand in the water to see how cold for himself.

The highlight of the day? Watching an almost three-year old get a tricycle up a small hill in the driveway and pick his feet up so he could race down the him--backwards, into some of the ornamental grasses we have. It was a sight to watch. Of course, there was a grandparent always within reach of the budding stunt man to ensure that his backwards ride did not end on the bumper of a car.
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