Archive for January, 2009

Opening Chords

January 30th, 2009

Andrew Richards is one of my closest friends in the world. If I had to put him in a box (by the way, the phrase “inside/outside the box” has become the antithesis of what that phrase really means) I would call him a “thinker.” I have been blessed over and over by Andrew through his thoughts and his friendship. We established a mantra early on in our college life, but didn’t see it truly manifest itself till we spent 6 weeks gallivanting around Europe. Andrew currently resides with his wife wife and 2 and a half year old son in San Clemente. He spends his days learning, surfing, and mobilizing the church to join with God in His mission of reclaiming, redeeming and restoring (or something like that).

Opening Chords
by Andrew Richards

Have you had this happen: the opening measures of a new song come on and instantly you like it.  Why is that?  Is it a feeling, an emotion, just pure aesthetic appeal?  Or is it deeper – something your soul needs to hear at that moment… something that resonates with the tonality and rhythm of the song?  Is it all shaped and informed solely by preference?  Or is there something deeper and more universal in music?

Something Hans Christian Anderson has said pops into my mind quite often:

“Where words fail, music speaks.”

We seem to live in a culture of word worship.  It seems like we can’t handle silence.  Or maybe it’s because it requires too much work to read a person’s non-verbal communication and really connect with their experience, so we settle for their words.

Or more accurately, I settle for my understanding of their words.

How do you truly listen to music?  Who truly listens to music? How can we truly listen to each other if we don’t know how to listen to music?

What was the last song that made you cry?

Between Your Smile And Your Slight Of Hand

January 27th, 2009

It was about a year ago, I made 3 cds for my friend Josh’s birthday.  I made cover artwork using photos that I had taken while in Europe.  These are great mixes that I still listen to, and I am really pleased with how the cover art came out.

betweenyoursmilesidea

betweenyoursmilesideb

afterallthissidea

afterallthisside2

yoursmilesidea

yoursmilesideb

Boy Band

January 27th, 2009

boyband

No, its just Torres, Messi, Ronaldo, Kaka and Xavi–some of the best soccer players in the world.  Tho, I could see how you could be confused.

House Exchange

January 27th, 2009

My friend Deyl has had many adventures in house swapping using a website called http://www.homeforexchange.com.  If the situation was right and available, it sounds like such a unique practice of trust and faith in mankind, and a great sense of adventure.

Inauguration

January 27th, 2009

A very interesting article in the BBC on Monday January 19th.  It is about the process of moving an old president out and moving a new president into the White House.

Until his retirement last year, Gary J Walters was Chief Usher at the White House – involved in six presidential moves and in overall charge of four of them. Here he describes the process.

Oh What A Finish – Barkero

January 26th, 2009

FC Barcelona vs Numancia

Check out the bend on this shot.  When they show the replay of the keeper angle, he can’t even see the ball till its practically in the net.

Liberty

January 26th, 2009

An interesting quote I read today from Gregg Easterbrook:

In national news, Tuesday is the inauguration of Barack Obama as 44th president of the United States. We’ve been so wrapped up in various forms of financial panic, real or imagined, that some may have lost sight of what a great day this is for America. Regardless of whether Obama ultimately proves to be an outstanding president or an average chief executive or a dud, only in America could this happen. A country whose eternal shame is that it once held slaves elects a black man as its leader, and a black man who came from nothing, entirely self-made. Obama is so appealing because he is the embodiment of the American story — and that story is still in the early chapters. Today every American, even those who exercised their right to oppose Obama, should beam with pride. Until now I felt proudest to be an American on July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong put his foot on the moon. I thought then, “No other nation can accomplish such a thing, no other nation can dream so big.” Today I feel prouder, because Obama represents a much grander and more important dream. Today America proves to the world that we meant what we said about freedom and equality.

Acacia Pinot Noir 2006

January 26th, 2009

Hexagone GroupArlene, Lisa, Joey, Adrian and I ate dinner recently at a great new restraunt.  We had a splendid evening of laughter and food, and of course, wine.  We had a bottle of the Acacia Pinot Noir 2006 from Napa.  We thought it had a really pretty color.  Arelene thought she sensed scents of apple, while Joey was accosted with the smell of snails.  I think they were just smelling their food.  The wine smelled a bit musky, was very fragrant, and had a bit of a peppery or spice to the taste.  Arlene enjoyed the pretty gams.  I gave it a 7 and a yes that I would order this wine again.  Joey gave it a 9 and a yes.  Adrian and Arlene both gave it a 7 and a yes.  Lisa gave it an 8 and a yes.  This wine at Hexagone cost $46, and it retails for acacia1approximately $25.

Winery Thoughts
2006acaciapinotnoircarnerosThe myriad of dark fruit and floral notes in this Pinot Noir come from the cool, windy Los Carneros American Viticultural Area (AVA) in the southern reaches of Napa Valley. Satsuma plum, blackberry, red rose and violet notes weave through the enticing aromas, mingled with warm nuances of vanilla and toasted oak from barrel aging. Silky, elegant flavors echo the aromas, adding blueberry and plum to the rich fruit complexity. You’ll find this wine’s lush flavors, bright acidity and fine tannins are perfectly balanced to complement a broad range of foods.

Sebastiani Pinot Noir 2006

January 26th, 2009
Sonoma County

Sonoma County

sebastianiJoey recently ventured over to my house to a potluck of sorts.  With him he toted a bottle of 2006 Sebastiani Pinot Noir from the Sebastiani Winery in Sonoma County.  We enjoyed the wine with some steak and some salad.    We tossed around thoughts that the wine had a scent that reminded us of camamille and lavendar and upon sipping conjured up tastes consisting of pepper and fruit.  I thought it was merely a pretty bottle.  Adam gave it an 8.5 and said he would order it again.  Juan gave it a 5 on the scale of 10 and said he might order it again.  Joey gave it an 8.5 and a yes, while Lisa gave it a 9 and a yes.  I gave it a 7.5 and would definetly be up to drinking this wine again.  The wine prices retail for about $16.

Winery Thoughts

Sonoma Winery Map

Winery Map

The Vintage:
The 2006 vintage started off with cool, wet weather in May. Set was dry and stable in late May ensuring a good crop size. Summer continued mild with veraison starting in late July. August was cool, with considerable fog, resulting in long hang time for the grapes and substantial flavor development. We harvested the grapes beginning the third week of September through the second week of October, unusually late for Pinot Noir. The extended hang time allowed us to bring in the fruit at an average 25.5 degrees brix, with average pH at 3.51.

Winemaking:
We didn’t crush the fruit before cold-soaking so as to minimize shearing or tearing, which can impart aggressive tannins in the finished wine. The whole berries were held at a chilly 40F to promote early color extraction. After 3 to 5 days, the must is slowly warmed and fermentation is induced by yeast inoculation. During this time, the wine is pumped over its skins 2-3 times a day at the peak of fermentation, then we chill down to prevent excessive tannin extraction. Once the right amount of color and flavor extraction is complete, the wine is gently pressed by an air bladder and only the free run and light press portions are used. The wine is racked off of heavy lees and re-racked with light lees into French and Hungarian oak barrels. The Pinot is allowed to go through malolactic fermentation in barrels and resides on lees for the duration of the barrel aging process. We stirred the wine occasionally to release proteins that help round out the flavor. 
 
Winemaker’s Notes:
This wine has a beautiful medium to dark garnet color with dried cherry, strawberry compote, vanilla and mocha aromatics. The flavor is balanced between juicy, cherry like fruit and toasted oak. This Pinot has finesse and finishes with lively acidity, firm tannins and well-integrated oak. It is the most Burgundian Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir we have made to date, with excellent aging potential.  

Silver Medal from Sonoma County Harvest Fair 2007
Wilfred Wong Rating: 90
Connoiseur Guide Rating: 89
GOOD VALUE, Connoisseurs’ Guide, 2/08
SILVER, 2008 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Comp

Technical Data
Appellation: Sonoma Coast Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Cooperage: Aged 3 months in French and Hungarian oak barrels Alcohol: 13.85% by volume
pH: 3.45 TA 0.60 g/100ml
Production: 39,000 cases    

Human

January 22nd, 2009

And sometimes I get nervous
When I see an open door
Close your eyes, clear your heart
Cut the cord…

…And so long to devotion
You taught me everything I know
Wave goodbye, wish me well
You’ve gotta let me go

-The Killers

This Week I'm Thinking About: Savannah Peterson