Wine Review – 1916 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Today we are reviewing a wine. I haven’t done many wine reviews on here but I’ve been asked to do more so I’ll try to make a conscious effort to do so. Today’s topic is this 1916 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon of a 2012 vintage.

This bottle I found at a local grocery store on special, but don’t let that fool you. It’s not a cheap wine by any stretch. My research has pointed to me to Espier Estate in Victoria, Australia as the mastermind behind this wine but the back of the bottle says “Our Cellars” in Hopland, CA so I’m utterly confused, as can be seen here along with the ABV. Maybe someone more knowledgeable than me  can educate me on what exactly this is.

Pours a deep red as a good Cab should. Ample lacing when swirled. Aromas of rose petals, blueberries and black cherry. The black cherry carries over into the initial attack which gives way to a jammy plum note and just a tinge of dark chocolate. Warm, peppery finish with oaky undertones and an ample amount of tannins. Medium to heavy body with a long warming aftertaste.

An excellent wine, it would go well with a heavy dinner or, as I had it for this review, paired with a full bodied Maduro cigar such as the previously reviewed Blanco Liga Exclusiva Maduro. Rating: 4.5/5.

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I Did It…

This is a follow up post to my previous post about contemplating playing out again.

So I decided I might as well give it a shot in that I don’t have much to lose. So I prepared a set list (30 minutes), brought my guitar with me this morning and decided to just go for it. What’s the worst that could happen? A repeat of the last time?

So after a few drinks to calm my nerves TFF/H&O concert tee and “Davy” Dukes clad me took the stage still nervous as hell. Here we go.

Well this…strange…thing happened. I made it through unscathed. The crowd was small so that might have been part of it but I didn’t get booed off the stage again. I got some small ovation but nothing big. The crowd was too small to gauge but maybe it’s better this time?

In any case, I have a bit more confidence that I can take with me. Maybe I’ll be back next month when they do it again? We shall see.

Now though? I’m breathing a sigh of relief that I broke the ice again. Baby steps right?

Help Me To Decide…

So an opportunity to put myself back “out there” might have just presented itself to me.

A little backstory that some of you all know: back in my younger days (read: graduate student days in Idaho) I was a very active musician. I played two to three venues per week – mostly just open mic nights but some paid shows too. I enjoyed it for sure and was a great outlet.

That was until I moved back to Texas and tried that. I guess none of the venues I had available in Abilene were conducive to it. The first venue I played at back home just wasn’t into me – so much that the first one I attempted to play at I got booed off stage. That was in 2012.

That incident left me wondering if I really sucked as badly as I perceived to. I never had the most confidence anyway. Was the crowd in Idaho just “being nice” and tolerating me? Or is it just the difference in crowd and taste in music? Whatever the case it really fed into my self-doubt and shut me down completely. It’s been six years and I still haven’t played another show since.

Alas, it is possible I now have a more suitable venue for my style of music. There’s this little pub/bookstore place (odd combination I know!) just down the road from my office that attracts quite an eclectic crowd – one that might be more into me. They just started doing open mic nights but on Saturdays. I already drive 60 miles one way to work 5x per week so I wasn’t about to make that drive on a weekend, but they are moving it to Thursdays.

Given that and the generally positive feedback I’ve gotten when I cover my SLS submissions, I’m thinking this might be my shot. I’ll never get past my mishap if I don’t put myself back out there. That’s just a fact, and I don’t want to have a case of the “shoulda-woulda-couldas” later on.

So dear readers, help me to decide – help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure. Should I go for it?

Welcome to Sunday Social

Let’s all congregate at Rachel’s blog for our weekly get together.

Rachel McKee~Illuminated Literation

Sunday Social is a place to mingle, collaborate, and share our blogs. Sunday Social is one more place where you can share a post that maybe didn’t get as much feedback as you were hoping for. Sunday Social is a place to meet new bloggers.

This weekly post is a “wild card” of sorts. There aren’t many rules but I do ask that you follow a few guidelines.

  • Give honest, constructive feedback, but always be courteous.
  • If someone takes the time to comment on your post, please return the favor and check out their endeavors too.

How do you participate?

It’s very easy.

  • Copy and paste the link to your blog or a specific blog post in the comment section below.
  • Give us a little blurb about your blog, the feedback you are looking for, or if you are just hoping to meet some new blogger buddies.

Voila! That’s it.

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Song Lyric Sunday 6/24/18 – Dreams

Dream. A rather interesting prompt for Song Lyric Sunday and one I could have easily copped out on, but I’m going to do something different that just isn’t a no-brainer for me and doing something different. Sure, I could have done a redux from the first time I ever participated in this challenge, but I’m not.

Instead, I’m going with this 1977 song by Fleetwood Mac that I have loved for a long time. The structure is quite simple but it’s a nice little song anyway. So there then is the song simply titled “Dreams” (written by Stevie Nicks):

Now here you go again
You say you want your freedom
Well, who am I to keep you down?
It’s only right that you should
Play the way you feel it

But listen carefully to the sound
Of your loneliness
Like a heartbeat drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering
What you had
And what you lost…
And what you had…
And what you lost

(Oooooh)

Oh, thunder only happens when it’s raining
Players only love you when they’re playing
Say, women…they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know
You’ll know

Now here I go again, I see, the crystal visions
I keep my visions to myself
It’s only me
Who wants to wrap around your dreams and
Have you any dreams you’d like to sell?
Dreams of loneliness…
Like a heartbeat drives you mad…
In the stillness of remembering
What you had
And what you lost…
What you had…
Ooh, what you lost

Thunder only happens when it’s raining
Players only love you when they’re playing
Women, they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know

Oh, thunder only happens when it’s raining
Players only love you when they’re playing
Say women, they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know
You’ll know
You will know
Oh, oh, oh you’ll know
Source: Lyrics in video description.

So there you go. See you all next week!

Why I Do Not Want Children

If it’s one thing I’m absolutely rigid on and that I have never wavered on it’s my lack of desire to have children. Actually, it goes farther than that – the idea of being a father just absolutely repulses me, so much I actually ended my last relationship over that very issue. I was put at a crossroads where I had to decide which was worse – being single or having children I don’t really want. Obviously I decided that the latter was a much worse fate. As such, I did the only thing I could do and ended the relationship.

I have a multitude of reasons for not wanting children, but they can broadly be put into two categories: practical and philosophical. We shall take a look at those here.

Practical Reasons:

Concerning my practical reasons for not wanting children, the very first thing to consider is the expense of having children. Kids are not cheap! Doctors visits, increased grocery bills, daycare, school supplies, glasses, braces, sporting equipment, cars/drivers’ education, college, the list goes on! That all adds up.

The second has to due with my internal wiring. I’m one of those autistic people who is incredibly short-tempered. Is that conducive to having children? Absolutely not. I’d likely do them psychological damage with my tendency to meltdown and get frustrated over the slightest thing out-of-whack. That’s not to say all autistic people are incompetent parents. On the contrary, there are many who are quite capable of it. I’m just not.

I also pretty much got the short end of the stick when it comes to genetics, not only with the autism thing but I also have a heart defect (Wolff-Parkinson-White) that has a genetic component and I do not wish to pass that on. I also know I’m a carrier of the gene for Graves’ Disease, an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid. Though I’ve not shown symptoms myself, I do know my biological father does and had to have his thyroid basically killed. I do not want to risk passing that on either.

Lastly is just I’m too much of a free spirit to be held down. Not having children I can pretty much travel unhindered, do what I want as far as nightlife and the like. I’m not held down by family commitments, which would no doubt make me miserable.

Philosophical Reasons: 

Before I discuss my philosophical reasons for not having children, I feel I must say that none of what I discuss here is intended to pass any judgment on anyone regardless of what reproductive decisions they might have made. That is not my intention. The views presented here are not original views, but rather views of academics that make the most raw logical sense to me. Again, this is not meant to be a personal attack on anyone so please do not take it that way.

The first, and strongest argument, is the Benatarian Asymmetry, named after South African philosopher David Benatar. Benatar first proposed this asymmetry in a paper titled “Why It Is Better Never to Come into Existence” and was further expanded upon in a full-blown book titled Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence which was published in 2006. The argument is much too long and detailed to list in a blog post, but the meat and potatoes of it is this: whereas pleasure is good and pain is bad, the absence of pain is good even if there exists nobody to benefit from that good, but the absence of pleasure is not bad unless there already exists someone for which such an absence would be a deprivation. In other words, regardless of the pleasure-to-pain ratio in one’s life, although the pleasures of life make our lives go better than they otherwise would, had we never existed we’d have forgone any and all pain (good), but because we would not “miss out” on anything by never existing (as deprivation requires existence), it is always better not to come into existence.

For more clarity of the asymmetry, consider two people: sick and healthy. Let’s say sick gets sick but has a strong immune system and is able to recover quickly from that sickness, while healthy has a weak immune system but never gets sick. Who is better off? Obviously healthy is better off, even though (s)he has a weak immune system. Everyone would agree that it is better never to get sick, regardless of the strength of one’s immune system. There you have it.

The second argument, which is weaker and not an entirely new argument, is the Pollyanna Principle. The Pollyanna Principle is basically an irrational optimism bias. In other words, we grossly over-estimate the quality of our lives. More or less, none of us realize just how much pain and suffering we endure on a daily basis. For a prime example of this, let’s just step back and think about a few things. What do we spend a vast majority of our waking hours doing? Working, of course. It is a very rare and fortunate person who does not completely loathe his or her job. OK, that alone puts our lives more into the pain category. Combine that with the day-to-day pains and irritants we experience and don’t give much thought to: hunger, thirst, heat, cold, financial woes, the need to urinate and/or defecate, the need to sneeze, sniffle, cough, clear the throat, etc. That’s not even considering the bouts of illness and disease we will all face. Our sleeping hours have their own irritants; namely dreams which more often than not result in painful stimuli – fear, sadness, anger, etc.

Given the above, and combined with the fact that nobody consents to being brought into existence (rather, we were all just kind of forced into it), I feel that it is very difficult to justify bringing new individuals into existence.

Given that, the question I’m sure many of you are wondering is, “Do you wish you had never been born?” The answer to that question is, without any hesitation whatsoever, a resounding yes. I would have preferred never to have been brought into existence. However, that statement shall not be construed as “I want to die.” Once already in existence, most of us have an interest in continuing to exist and it can be very easily argued that death is actually one of the many harms we will face in this life (a position Dr. Benatar also defends at great length). That said, I absolutely do support the right to die so that if one decides his or her life is not worth continuing, that choice must be respected and the government does not have the right to stop anyone from taking his/her own life.

The above are the major reasons I have chosen not to have children. Again, these reasons are personal to me and shall not be intended as a personal attack on anyone. If you disagree with them, I’d like to know why. Please feel free to discuss your own views and engage in a healthy and respectful debate. I promise you I will not shut you down. I feel we can all learn something from the other side, whether you are a pronatalist or an antinatalist, a parent or childless/childfree.

Selfie Day 2018 – Work “Uniform”

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not much of one for selfies but I had this one about a week old mirror selfie (hey that counts right?) to show someone just how chill my (relatively) new work place is.

Let’s face it, I live in Texas where it gets insanely hot during the summer. Long stretches in the 100s F/40s C are not uncommon. When people question my love of short shorts, I can’t help but just point out how hot it gets.

As such, I guess I’m kinda lucky I have such a chill office environment. When I can get away with going to work dressed like this – in our company logo polo shirts (which are very lightweight material) and my “Davy” Dukes…

…I can’t complain too much now can I? Half professional, half stay cool in he summer. I’ll take it, especially with my sensory processing issues that cause me to just fry even in moderate temperatures. I swear it is an autistic oddity but oh well.

Happy selfie day everyone. Just don’t take it too seriously and have fun. 😉