Ten albums

I like the idea behind my last post because like the character in Hi-Fidelity, I like to make lists of my favourite items. The pattern of that meme had no space to list one’s favourite albums, so here is my list. The order is not significant, but these are the ten albums I would take to a desert island.

Warrior at the Edge of Time (Hawkwind)

PXR5                                        (Hawkwind)

Space Ritual                            (Hawkwind)

Piper at the Gates of Dawn  (Pink Floyd)

Floodland                                 (Sisters of Mercy)

Lust for Life                            (Iggy Pop)

White Courtesy Phone          (Angel Corpus Christi)

The Doors                                (The Doors)

LA Woman                               (The Doors)

Levelling the Land                  (The Levellers)

Published in: on 16 September, 2007 at 0:18  Comments (1)  

Who I Am

This post was inspired by a meme which I first saw at this site. (I feel justified in using the word meme simply because it was coined by the husband of a Time Lady) It is note worthy that the other blogs that I have seen respond to this meme have all listed Heroes in their TV list.

Four jobs I have had in my life (not including your current job):
Trainee Programmer
IT Manager

Four Movies I have watched over and over:
Citizen Kane
The Wall
You’ve Got Mail
Star Trek V (The Ryan K Johnson version)

Four places I have lived:
Southwold, Suffolk, UK
Slough, UK
Fairfield, CA

Four Shows I love to watch:
Doctor Who
The West Wing

Four Places I have been on vacation:
New England

Four of my favorite foods:
Smoked Salmon
Black Pudding

Four favourite drinks:
Red Wine
White Wine

Four places I would rather be right now:
Watching Norwich City
In the garden of The White Horse in Hedgerley
In a fine Napa restaurant
Skiing (Were it not the wrong time of year)

Four People I Command to do This: 

OK, I don’t know four other bloggers well enough to ask, let alone demand of them, so these two are doubly required to pick up the meme

1. Ravings from the Shell  

2. Retire Six Nexus-6 Types In One 24-Hour Time Period 

Published in: on 16 September, 2007 at 0:06  Comments (2)  

Currying Favour

It is not as easy to get an Indian Curry here in the US as it is in the UK. There are far fewer Indian restaurants and the regular supermarkets do not sell the sauces, the naan breads, or the pre-made curries.

However, things seem to be improving. There are a couple of stores here in Fairfield which between them sell the chutney, the bread, and the sauces. Unfortunately, both of these stores are so full of other stuff that an attempt to buy a packet of naan results in spending $60 by the time wine and malt whisky has been added to the basket.

Recently a new Indian restaurant opened in town. Last Monday I went with a colleague for lunch. It was excellent, easily the best curry house I have tried in the US. Next Monday, a larger group of us plan to have lunch there.

Now, if only I can get a place to serve beer at the right temperature.

Published in: on 13 September, 2007 at 20:45  Leave a Comment  

Trampling out the Vintage

It is known that much of California’s agriculture uses low paid foreigner workers. I had first hand experience of this last weekend; I spent several hours picking grapes for no pay at all. Granted the picking was followed by a pretty spectacular all afternoon lunch and tasting of previous vintages. This latter part being somewhat restricted in my case as I had to drive home afterwards.

The vineyard is over about an acre of land which belongs to the cousin of a husband of a colleague at work. It is located in Alexander Valley close to the town of Geyserville. It was a beautiful drive through the Napa Valley and then up a twisty one lane road. I am not good at botany, but I can certainly recognize vines, given the number that I see all over this part of the world.

There were about a dozen of us and it took about three hours of work to clear the 500 vines. The grape bunches were picked with a small sickle and dropped into large plastic buckets. After the first few attempts, I was surprised at how quickly I was filling my bucket. I can see why harvesting grapes still tends to be a manual process, the grapes are often hidden in the vine and finding the point to apply the blade is not always easy.

Despite feeling that it is close to sacrilege to eat a grape that could contribute to the manufacture of wine, I admit to eating a few of the grapes and they were sweet and tasty. The grapes were Syrah. I was a little disappointed that the crushing did not involve people stomping the fruit, but was done in a stainless steel machine. The pulp was then moved via a pump into a large vat. Apparently it stays in the vat for a couple of weeks before being transferred for a couple of years into wooden barrels.

Thanks to my colleague, Patti, for the pictures of grapes being crushed and the crew of workers who did the picking. There are no pictures of grapes actually being picked as we were all to busy at the vines to take pictures.

Crushing the Grapes

The Crew

Published in: on 13 September, 2007 at 6:26  Leave a Comment