cold season


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images from january


   Here is a link to ofoto.com, where i've dumped some pictures from this month so they're be available without making demands of my time. January pics

any port in a storm
free spirited fun


   We attended our second Zinfandel Advocates and Producers festival. This is basically a place where a few thousand people are handed a commemorative wine glass and a baguette, so we can wander through a warehouse full of wineries who want nothing more than to pour their latest Zinfandels into our glasses. Sweet.
   Personally, I like the ports; a Zin Port can easily make up for any number of attempts at a bad day. Like at the train station, the parking machine wouldn't take our quarters, so we left a bill under the wiper in hopes it would appease an ornery attendant that might stop by.
   Personally, I like the ports.
   We met the other people in our party on CalTran: Tom and Jeane, the organizers; and Ziad, a bassist. (Hey, back off! he's a great guy otherwise.) Z offered me a clove cigarette, and was amused to tempt me irresistably thrice with his doom before the day of decadence was done.
   Previously, we've joined two dozen attendees renting a tour bus, which affords everyone the ability to drink, without discouraging those of us who don't drink and drive. However, the economy of scale wasn't present for the five of us, and CalTran was the answer.
   Cab rides in San Francisco are nothing to write home about. We lived.
   So we stood in line to collect our bread and commemorative vessel, and then strolled from booth to booth, tasting red zinfandels for five hours. Memo for next time: the smaller wineries don't measure their pours with a metering nozzle as most major names do. You can get snookered much faster when you stick to the small vinters.
   Memo to self: don't drop your commemorative wine glass on the concrete floor. Everyone applauds mercilessly. We're talking perhaps 2000 people in a warehouse, all lauding your work at a moment when you'd just as soon be invisible. Good thing this never happened to me. Never. Never ever.
   Memo to self: vendors with chocolate samples usually offer at least one port. Vendors with port usually offer chocolate. It's so good to have clues like this! Port Patrol is fairly easy even without a program to guide me.
   We staggered back to Caltran just in time to have yet another clove cancerette break before boarding the train south. Both the car and teh bill under the wiper were waiting for us in the CalTrans lot. Can't wait until next year.

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