spence vineyards of howell mountain in the nappa

my old friend allen spence is making excellent wine in his garage and my brother is his graphic designer and this is their new website.
the only thing surprising about this is that...well, its being reported. abramoff discusses invasion of iraq with rove one year before we invade. funny thing is it only makes me more mad at the democrats for being such pathetic enablers. im glad to see they havent lost their touch.
not iraq, vietnam.
Heard a talk yesterday by Julie Taymor. Wow. Incredibly smart woman.

To start the program there was a 15 minute video with clips from many of her works, including a 5 minute preview of her upcoming film Across the Universe, parts of which were filmed on Clinton Street.

Not really much to report, except that I couldn't have been more impressed by her. She reminded me of my favorite professor from college in the way she combines an overpowering intellect with a genuine sense of compassion and caring. Very rare in my experience (where such smart and accomplished people are often arrogant, or worse.)

On a side note, the one line I took away actually came from the Irish interviewer who gave a rather pithy definition of mythology: "a past that never was, and always will be." That's a good one I think.
I'm not too much of a theatre person, but I saw a play last night called The Exonerated that was really powerful. Very simple and very moving. Nine people sitting in a row on stage reading excerpts from actual legal cases involving death row inmates. Each story involves a person wrongly accused, and eventually exonerated for their crime after spending years in prison.

One of the actors, Sunny Jacobs, was playing herself. This was announced after the play and it was one of the most emotional group moments I have ever been a part of. The crowd gave her a standing ovation until our hands hurt. I feel lucky to have seen this. The world is so horrible and so beautiful at the same time.

ABC's This Week had Tori Clarke on the roundtable, you know, as an objective pundit. (They also had Donna Brazile.) The former Pentagon flack provided a defense to Woodward's criticism of her former boss Rummy. How chummy. She said that those attacking Rumsfeld have not "experienced his leadership." So the generals speaking up against Rummy don't know Rummy like Tori knows Rummy? What a crock. You don't have to report directly to the fucking idiot to know when your boss's boss's boss is a fucking idiot. Everyone knows this, but no one on the chummy roundtable challenged Tori.

The emerging talking points in response to Woodward's "State of Denial", as spoken by George Will and Dan Bartlett, is that government is by its very nature ineffective, and that it's not Junior's fault. Yeah, society is responsible, not Junior. I'm so glad the "adults" are in charge.
Very nice meal last night at Fresh Cream in Monterey. Recommended.
" no one could have known someone intended to fly airplanes into US skyscrapers"
If true, it is shocking that the administration failed to heed such an overwhelming alert from the two officials in the best position to know. Many, many questions need to be asked and answered about this revelation — questions that the 9/11 Commission would have asked, had the Commission been told about this significant meeting. Suspiciously, the Commissioners and the staff investigating the administration’s actions prior to 9/11 were never informed of the meeting. As Commissioner Jamie Gorelick pointed out, “We didn’t know about the meeting itself. I can assure you it would have been in our report if we had known to ask about it.”

The Commission interviewed Condoleezza Rice privately and during public testimony; it interviewed George Tenet three times privately and during public testimony; and Cofer Black was also interviewed privately and publicly. All of them were obligated to tell the truth. Apparently, none of them described this meeting, the purpose of which clearly was central to the Commission’s investigation. Moreover, document requests to both the White House and to the CIA should have revealed the fact that this meeting took place. Now, more than two years after the release of the Commission’s report, we learn of this meeting from Bob Woodward.

Was it covered up? It is hard to come to a different conclusion. If one could suspend disbelief to accept that all three officials forgot about the meeting when they were interviewed, then one possibility is that the memory of one of them was later jogged by notes or documents that describe the meeting. If such documents exist, the 9/11 Commission should have seen them. According to Woodward’s book, Cofer Black exonerates them all this way: “Though the investigators had access to all the paperwork about the meeting, Black felt there were things the commissions wanted to know about and things they didn’t want to know about.” The notion that both the 9/11 Commission and the Congressional Joint Inquiry that investigated the intelligence prior to 9/11 did not want to know about such essential information is simply absurd. At a minimum, the withholding of information about this meeting is an outrage. Very possibly, someone committed a crime. And worst of all, they failed to stop the plot.
Had a great meal last night at The Mermaid. Very comfortable, informal room. Smart service. Brilliant food. Exactly my kind of restaurant.

Venison capriccio, with pickled ceps, salsify, and rocket was probably the highlight. Although the parsnip and apple soup (zero cream) was a close second.

I don't mean this as a criticism of The Mermaid, but more as a general observation: why are appetizers *always* better executed and more interesting than entrees? If you combine that with the fact that I can never finish all the food I am served at a full meal makes it very hard not to just order multiple apps and leave it at that. Add in the U.S. dollar / Euro conversion rate and it's even harder not to do it.

Still, highly recommended if you find yourself in Dublin.
corn dog and son of corn dog
Pretty sure the Pancakes & Sausage things have been around awhile. The "NEW!" thing must be the addition of chocolate chips (because a hunk of mystery meat surrounded by an imitation maple syrup soaked pancake like substance just isn't bad enough for you on its own).
As far as I know, this is not a joke. Shamrock City, the new Dublin. Who do they think they are, Dubai?
bush v borat
pretty much sums up the radical republican governing ideology. put the most predatory hypocrite in charge. set molestation agenda. proceed with recklessness. lie to god and man. rot in hell.
Kids Sphere Hotel:
It’s the ultimate experience for kids – a night in an alternative universe at the Kids Sphere Hotel in Belgium. Known as the Atomium, a replica of an iron molecule with nine aluminum spheres (built for the World Fair of 1958), the complex has been renovated and updated to include overnight accommodation for children – dubbed the Kid Sphere hotel - set amongst the fascinating sci-fi exhibitions and original spheres. Kids are entertained by a packed calendar of events including films and there’s a restaurant at the top of the structure boasting panoramic view of the city of Brussels.
It seems some members of the Portland, Oregon police department murdered my dear old friend Jim-Jim.
not hitler, pol pot.
"lite" "hummus" -- I'm sorry, but without olive oil it's not hummus. It's watery bean paste.
not imperial rome, imperial athens.
security fence business is booming. bet those security stone masons are becoming envious. nobody wants walls anymore. and forget about moats. or not.
tired of making your own coffee-cola concoction? now coke has you covered.
trans fat ban in nyc restaurants?
someone mentioned Heroes on nbc. caught a few minutes of it and it seemed promising. without ever having seen lost, im going to say they share a sensibility. add in an x-men factor and probably a hint of 24. watch for yourself. theres a two minute synopsis or the first episode available online.
I think I posted about this years ago, but I can't find it, and it's the anniversary again: Stanislav Petrov. Phew.
Fluffy article about Cisco's streaming video play