Just Another Blog
Sunday, February 29, 2004
Get Your Check?

I got my check last Thursday. All you had to do was sign up online. Free money. Hope you got yours.

Drink This

2001 Rosenblum, Feather Foot Man Shiraz, McLaren Vale, South Australia

Rosenblum is known for their fine California Zinfandels. Apparently, they went out and bought a parcel of land in Australia and decided to give a go at making Shiraz. This is such a neat wine! If you like what Rosenblum does with Zinfandel, I suspect you'll love what they do with Shiraz.

It was pretty easy to peg this as a wine from Rosenblum. There's something about the rich oakiness and the deep, dark, forward fruit that says Rosenblum whether the speaker is Zin' or Shiraz. I tried this wine for the first time two weekends ago, and haven't been able to get the flavor out of my mind since. I bought another bottle, and I'm just waiting for the right meal to drink it with. This is a deep rich wine. The labels points out, "rich blackberry with spicy, brambly characteristics, with evident vanilla, Asian spice, and currants." I noticed the currants as well as deep black cherry flavors with perhaps a bit of cola. The spiciness and brambly characteristics are a subtle undertone that help carry the fruit throughout. The vanilla and other typical flavors for oak are bold and unmistakable. I think these are the flavors that I am identifying as characteristic of the maker. I wonder if they use the same cooper for their stateside and Australian barrels?

I'm tempted to buy a larger quantity. However, I just ordered two cases of the 2001 Dei, Rosso di Montepulciano. At under $15 a bottle (case price), this is a great goes-with-any-food wine. Pizza, pasta, lean pockets, soup, cheese and crackers, Xbox - this wine can go with any of it. It has a nice tannin structure with lots of food friendly flavors and neither too much acid nor too much forward fruit. I'm excited to have found something that I can buy a bunch of just to have around for any old occasion.

The Rosenblum is probably the better wine, but it is not as versatile.

Over the Top

Here's a blurb about a guy who jumped the fence at the White House on Wednesday. Not surprisingly, they caught the guy and whisked him away.

When I was in college, I recall walking to a show at the old 9:30 Club one night. I was going to a show with some girl that I was undoubtedly trying to impress. As we walked along the fence behind the White House, I remember commenting to her that I sometimes thought about trying to climb over the fence and then immediately just climb back out - you know just to see if it could be done. This was probably around 8:30 or 9:00 at night (as all the shows started at 9:30). There wasn't a lot of foot traffic in town at that point. But just as I made my comment, a man in a long, dark trench coat walked past us in the other direction and without looking up or stopping said, "I'd like to see you try."

I spun and looked at him as he just kept right on walking. I am quite sure he was Secret Service. To this day, I have no idea how he could have heard my conversation as we approached him. I'm fairly certain he would have been the one to stop me had I tried. Not that I would have ever tried.


It's interesting to me that somebody had to spend a bunch of money and time to find out that if you do the same thing to the same object in exactly the same way each time, then the outcome will be the same. Some guys at Harvard built a coin flipper to figure out that coin flipping is not in and of itself a random event.

I remember thinking about this as a little kid hoping to be able to use it as an advantage in neighborhood or schoolyard football. I thought that if I started with a coin the same face up, and placed it on the same place on my thumb, and flipped it with the same amount of energy, and caught it at the same point, then I should be able to replicate the outcome each time so that we could start with the football. I remember practicing the coin toss. I was able to flip to heads more often than 1:2 by practicing. I was probably 7 or 8 at the time. Surely it doesn't (I guess I should say shouldn't) take a Harvard study to make us aware of the obvious.

Travelin' Man

This kid has been to more countries than cities I have been to. It is pretty neat to be able to say, "I've been everywhere, man," and mean it.

I have lived in six states in three time zones, visited roughly 32 states, and have visited parst of Europe, a little bit of Asia, and much of the Caribbean. I am always suspicious when I meet folks who have lived in one spot all of their lives and have never traveled anywhere. How can you have any perspective when you haven't gone any place?

I wish I had been more places. Now that I'm thirty something and working for a living, it is harder and harder to take the time to go visit distant lands. Hopefully by the time I reach my peak earning years, I'll be making a much better living than I am now. All it takes is time and money. Right now I feel like I don't have enough of either.


I've never been much of a car guy, but this little hottie might be just the kind of ridiculous toy that I would buy if money were no object. They have to limit the top speed to 218 mph as there is some question about whether or not it is stable above that speed.

I've gone over 100 mph in a car maybe three or four times. The fastest was around 108 or 109 - I know I didn't make it to 110. I find it hard to believe that I would be capable of controling a car at twice that speed. Holy shit is that fast.

A little more down to Earth: I finally saw the first Touareg on the road the other day. I'm surprised it took so long for me to see one. I'll bet they will be all over the roads out here in a year. It's a nice looking SUV and the reviews I have read have been uniformly positive. I think if I made six figures a year I would look at one of these for a new ride. Really though, with all of the SUVs, I keep comparing them to the Hyundai Santa Fe. I've never been in one and I haven't read the reviews, but for a smaller more affordable SUV, I sure like it's general look and style.

Hyundai has come a long way since they first came out with their super-compact little cars when I was in high school. I remember some kid on the wrestling team who had one (I can't remember his name, but he had a sister named BJ). We, on more than one occasion, got a few guys, picked up the car, and moved it to a different spot in the parking lot just because we could.

P.S. Looks like the reviews are mixed toward the positive side. USA Today is quoted therein as saying it is, "the best thing to come from any Korean automaker since forever."

Girls Night

So dildos, lube, and anal beads have replaced tupperware as the home-sales-party hot items. On the one hand I think that's pretty cool especially if you live in the south where such a party may be illegal and thus add to a heightened sense of taboo. On the other hand, if you want to get laid, you could just call me (shoot me an email, instant message, whatever - I will respond). God knows I deserve a little action. If all the toys are for couple's use, I'm cool with that too. I may not be real mechanically inclined, but I think I can figure out how most of those doodads work. Give me a chance!

On Seuss

Dr. Seuss would have been 100 this year. His widow has her hands full controlling his estate and controlling the intellectual property now that he is dead. I like that she is saying there will never be another live-action Seuss film. Good. Why should there be? Why not do a joint venture with Pixar to bring the books to life? Those guys make the most visually appealing cartoons out there.

And by the way, I'm glad Disney and Pixar and breaking up. Fuck Disney. Well, the corporation anyway. That fag Eisner has really tarnished the Magic Kingdom. Hopefully in a year or two, once he's been gone a while, Disney will turn things around. Who knows though? ABC pretty much sucks. I think I like ESPN, but I don't have cable so I don't get much exposure to it. Maybe it would annoy me or disappoint me if I watched more.

It will be interesting to see who takes Disney's place as Pixar's major partner. If I ran a company like Sony, Apple, or Warner Brothers, I would be thinking awfully hard about wanting to be that partner.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004
See You in Hell!
And a Nightmarish Discussion

"You have come to a place mute of all light, where the wind bellows as the sea does in a tempest. This is the realm where the lustful spend eternity. Here, sinners are blown around endlessly by the unforgiving winds of unquenchable desire as punishment for their transgressions. The infernal hurricane that never rests hurtles the spirits onward in its rapine, whirling them round, and smiting, it molests them. You have betrayed reason at the behest of your appetite for pleasure, and so here you are doomed to remain. Cleopatra and Helen of Troy are two that share in your fate."

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Second Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Extreme
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Extreme
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very High
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Very High
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Extreme
Level 7 (Violent)Very High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Very High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Very High

Take the Dante's Divine Comedy Inferno Test

I think I was a toss up between lustful and gluttonous. The description of being blown around endlessly is interesting as it is somewhat akin to a recurring nightmare that I have. I actually haven't had the nightmare in a long time, but I went through a period after college while I was still living in DC when I hated going to sleep because every night brought the same nightmare and the same panicked awakening each morning in a cold sweat.

The nightmare still pops up now and again, but it has probably been more than six months since the last recurrence. I have struggled to try and figure out what it is that prompts the dream but have never been able to put my finger on it.

The more interesting part of the story is that I recently found out that my brother has a history of recurring nightmares that are almost identical to mine. I don't know much about how often his occur (occurred?) but they are strikingly similar in what we dream about and the being that possesses us in the dream.

Monday, February 23, 2004
Bloggy Goodness

Ok. I know I said I wasn't going to write any more tonight, but then I decided to see if my hit counter was working since I tweaked it last night. So I logged in only to find five or six recent hits from Tony Pierce. I took that as a sure sign that it was not working.

What sense does that make? I don't write a thing for six months and I'm getting hits from one of the big guys?

Sure enough, though.

Cool. Thanks, Tony.

I bought Tony's first book, but I haven't donated to his car fund. I was mad at him for a while because I felt like he gave links to everyone who bought one of his books, but I never got a link. Then I won a link because I came up with a clever caption to a Jolly Green Giant picture. But by then I wasn't mad anymore anyway. But it was cool.

And this just sounds like queer, high-school babble.

But it is still cool because Tony is one of those blogs I miss reading except for when I get the chance on Sunday mornings. When my Sundays are free it's usually Tony and Lileks and then InstaPundit. Well, usually Gizmodo and then Instapundit.

I really like the nothing-here-is-true disclaimer that allows him to weave truth, fiction, fantasy, and lies together seemlessly. He's a fine writer. In order to make your experience here more enjoyable, I will try to be more like him.


Ok, this is the last little bit that I am going to write tonight. I am just flat out exhausted. I got a promotion last Monday at work. That has meant coming in early, staying late, and working both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. I was there from 7:30 to 7:30 today. It wouldn't be so bad if every instant of my day was not being micro-managed by bosses who care much less about the work I do for my clients than about how much money I can extract from said clients. Furthermore, they care no more about their employees than they do the clients. Mix that up with dealing with the IRS and state taxing authorities day-in and day-out and you get one pretty tiring job.

It should get a little easier once I have a couple of weeks under my belt to really learn my cases. For now though, it is draining. Good night.

I should probably mention, for the Googlebots if for no other reason, that if you are being pursued by the IRS because you owe back taxes, then you should email me. I will contact you, get your story, and let you know if it is worth paying for our services. We are very good at what we do, but we are expensive. Tax help is just an email away. If you wait, the problem will only get worse. We specialize in small businesses with 941 Withholding Tax issues, but we deal with alot more than that (940, 1120, 1065, 2290, 943, 1040, 6672, etc.) Contact me through this medium and you'll be sure to get the straight dope.

And on that note...

Ready Now

I think I have everything working here again with the exception of links that link back to myself. I've changed things over and over between Blogger and Movable Type and between doing this in the blog subdomain or the regular jh.com domain. The end result is that any of my old links back to myself don't work. The article numbers, or whatever the part of the link is called that references a specific post, are correct, but my archives are in a different place. If anyone has linked to any of my old posts for some odd reason, your links would be screwy too. I'm telling myself that I will fix them in the future, but to be honest it will probably never happen.

I still need to update the links on the left too. I've largely quit reading other people's blogs. Now that I'm fully employed again, I just don't have the time like I used to. I was obsessive about reading probably 20+ blogs a day at one point. I don't read that many in a week anymore. I'm still compulsive about surfing the internet for news, but now I rely mainly Drudge, Fark, Google News, and my local tv station's website. I miss InstaPundit and Lileks, but unless I have free time on Sunday, I largely over look them too. Maybe as I get into trying to write more, I will try to read more too.

I think I'm leaning towards making this more personal and less political (if it was ever really political). Anyone who's reading isn't here for my thoughts on global affairs. You might be somewhat more interested in my thoughts on financial planning or tax defense, but you can email me if you really want to talk about or hear about those sorts of things. (Though I certainly plan to bitch plenty about work, so I may touch on those things anyway.)

When I told the hyena that I was trying to get back into this, I listed as one of my main reasons that I had too many funny thooughts floating around in my head that I thought I needed to share. I can't for the life of me figure out right now what some of those funny thoughts might be, but hopefully they'll come out. For now, it will probably be more writing and less linking.

Enjoy the new picture of me on the left. I editted out as much skin as possible. If it is still to risque and offends your sensabilities, let me know. I won't do anything about it, but I would like to know.

Sunday, February 22, 2004
Let's Try This Again

Ok. I think I need to try this again. A couple of test posts to get things figured out again. Blogger has made a bunch of changes since I last used it. They seem to be for the better.

I think that I made a mistake trying to get all fancy using Moveable Type. All I want is to be able to publish quickly and easily. Blogger lets me do that without needing to learn how to install software on a remote server and configure it. I wish I had the patience to figure out style sheets, but I can do plenty with the Blogger templates. And this doesn't look so bad, does it?