Saturday, August 17, 2019


No, not Dalmations. I've been musing the last couple days, and thought I'd share some of that with you all. I know some of you like that, and some don't. Bail now, if you like, I have no idea where this will end up.

Back in the 90's (yes, I know, a time before time was time, for some of you) I was working as a temp for a giant oil and gas conglomerate that got taken over by an even bigger pirate, I mean, O and G conglomerate. As it turns out, I was the only one in the whole company doing that exact job using that one bit of software. They for sure didn't want the software, and they didn't quite know what to do with me.

As an illustration, at one town hall meeting where the almighty president was attending (He looked and moved and talked exactly like one of those super-marionation puppets from the 60's cartoon show Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet). On the way in, my boss at the time told my two (half) witty co-workers that if I even looked like I was going to ask a question, to kill me there and then. He would rather explain blood on the floor than deal with the fallout of one of my questions. A form of self defense I suppose. I didn't say anything, but my two colleagues riffed on spy  and action hero dialogue for the rest of the week. (Red two, red two, the subject is moving, do you copy? Red one, over)

I escaped several re-orgs, got let go in one but kept working during notice and they fixed it within a week and got a retention bonus to boot, and then eventually got recruited to a small boutique oil and gas engineering company, and re-orged the pirates out of my life. (I've done this a few times, once with extreme prejudice.)

Leaving the pirates was in 2002. I'd been sort of musing (I do this often, if you haven't noticed) about making wine. Up till then my exposure to wine was finding a cheap bottle for the occasional fancy meal at home, or ordering a glass of wine with a swanky restaurant meal. Imagine my surprise when I find out about half the people working in this new company made wine, and they were happy to advise me.

Here it is 2019, and 101 wine kits later and I just finished bottling the last of this season's wine. There are now many bottles on the racks in the basement. Usually we look at the Limited Edition catalogues that come out in October or so, and order some. The idea is to order as many kits as necessary to replace the bottles drunk or given away over the year. Our financial advisor gets a case every year, and she distributes to her staff. (This is one of the secrets to retiring young. Shhh, don't tell anyone, just do it.) We give away some other bottles over the year, depending the occasion.

Think of that, 101 wine kits is about 2930 bottles, since I pretty reliably get 29 bottles and some same day sample out of a kit. That's 884 weeks since I started making wine, meaning we drink or give away about 2.5 bottles a week. That's rough numbers, of course, since I haven't kept track of the giveaways.

Now, there's no way I'd have drunk that much wine if I was paying liquor store prices. I'm too cheap. We were out for a nice dinner recently, and they were charging $15 A GLASS for wine. Considering I get 4 or 5 BOTTLES for that much money and a bit of time, you can see where I winced just a little. It's no cheaper buying it by the bottle either, and the two of us can't drink a whole bottle in an evening and safely drive home. (The astute of you will realize this says nothing about drinking a whole bottle at home, while watching a DVD, perhaps. Wink wink, say no more.)

The problem is the descriptions in the catalogue are so tempting that we can't say no. This leads to the problem of storage space. Racks for wine bottles. We expanded and expanded. Now we have this, and more you can't see. Total first world problem I know.

The Globalfest fireworks series is on now. We've seen one night so far. I got asked if I was going to take fireworks shots. No, you won't see any of those from me. I don't want to carry all the gear on the shuttle, and pack it in a big crowd to where we like to sit. Then home again. Call me lazy if you must.

Peony of the Day

Driftwood of the Day.

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