Chris Muir's Day By Day

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Two Wines Born 25 Miles Apart...

...made from the same grapes and by the same methods, still manage to become two different wines.

Manzanilla sherry from SanlĂșcar de Barrameda, Spain and Fino sherry from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain are basically the same wine. They are made from the same grape (Palomino) and processed into wine in the same way (the famed Solera system). The only differences between the two wines are that the vineyards for Manzanilla tend to be nearer the ocean, and the bodegas (wineries) where the wines are stored certainly are. Now comes a study that confirms what most suspected, that both the grapes and the wines of SanlĂșcar have a slightly higher salinity than those of Jerez.

I don't have a sophisticated enough palate to distinguish wine much anymore, but when I lived in Spain I got to the point where I actually liked Fino and Manzanilla, which are quite dry and take getting used to. At sherry bodegas when the tourists got to the tasting room it was always fun to watch their reactions when they tasted Fino; they'd taste it, make a face, and quickly pour it out and ask for more Cream sherry.

New York Times Article (and Gallery) On Lighthouses

"The Lighthouse Keepers."

It's not really about lighthouse keepers. It's about lighthouses that are no longer needed as aids to navigation, and what to do with the old buildings themselves. The writer doesn't offer much in the way of a definitive answer; seems to hate tourist-oriented lighthouses, yet doesn't want unneeded lighthouses to decay and fall into the ocean.

You Keep On Using That Word...

...I do not think it means what you think it means.

That word would be castle.

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines castle thusly:

castle: a large building usually with high, thick walls and towers that was built in the past to protect against attack.

You will see, then, that the building that this Englishman took refuge in - - his home - - wasn't also his castle, because it offered him no defense when he was attacked.

Of course, even in feudal days, a castle by itself wasn't secure; it had to have armed defenders. And that is where UK has failed its citizens subjects: it made self-defense improbable by banning firearms. So this Englishman was beaten nearly to death because his government didn't believe he should be allowed to defend himself.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Other Civil War Cars (WBTS, For You Unreconstruced Fellers, You Know Who You Are) ;)

Everyone is familiar with the General Lee, of course, since it was on TV. The General Lee was never the same after that race in Pennsylvania; tried its very best, but it was a Lost Cause from the very start.

There were other cars, though; I had one named the General Thomas J. Jackson; I was tooling around in it late one night, maybe a little bit too fast, and I reached over to grab a lemon to suck on, missed a curve and totaled it against a stone wall.

I had another car named the General James Ewell Brown (JEB) Stuart; loaned that one to my nephew one afternoon; "Don't be gone long," I said; he disappeared on some long-assed trip and didn't show up until way after I was supposed to be at work.

I briefly considered the General Joseph E. Johnston, but that one would only go in reverse...

Then there was the General Braxton Bragg that I owned briefly; that was one sorry-assed car, I cussed it on a regular basis. Hated that car.

Briefly owned a car named the General George Pickett; yes, it was a Charger...

Bought one named the General Edmund Kirby Smith; was pretty good at first, so I took it on a long road trip out west. When I crossed the Mississippi it quit on me, wouldn't start after that. Far as I know it's still over there.

The General Nathan Bedford Forrest I found in a barn, under a white sheet...

Had a car named the General George B. McLellan; ran that one in a drag race, it lost to a Lincoln.

While I was at the drag races I saw one named the General Ulysses S. Grant; wasn't much to look at, but it wouldn't quit. That one ran on alcohol.

I bought a car named the General William Tecumseh Sherman in Chattanooga; when I got to Atlanta the brakes failed and and the accelerator stuck, and I didn't get the damned thing under control until nearly Savannah. The Georgia Highway Patrol didn't much care for my excuses, either. That whole trip was something of a bummer.

The General John Bell Hood I pretty much ran to pieces, wasn't much left of it when I finally traded it.

If any of you can think of any more, let me know in comments.

©Robert G. Evans 12 September 2014, all rights reserved.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Indoctrination Chronicles #14: Bush=Hitler

Assigned to 7th graders at a Washington, DC school.

Naturally the school administration is shocked - - shocked! that gambling is going on such a comparison would be made, and swear that it won't happen, and that the teacher who is responsible is sorry she got caught is full of remorse.

I'm Shocked - - Shocked! That Indoctrination Is Going On In This Establishment!


Monday, September 08, 2014

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Rice Culture In Coastal North Carolina

A look back at how rice was cultivated along the Cape Fear River in Brunswick County.

Used to be the most important crop in coastal North Carolina in the antebellum days.

A Matter of Degree

"You can't contain an organization running roughshod through that much territory, causing that much havoc, displacing that many people, killing that many innocents, enslaving that many women. The goal has to be to dismantle them," the president said during a press conference following the NATO summit in Wales.

Let me get this straight: you mean that it's acceptable to run roughshod over territory, cause havoc, displace people, kill innocents, and enslave women, you're just concerned about the degree?

*shakes head sadly*

Obama Administration To Use Contractors In Iraq?

"In place of 'boots on the ground,' US seeks contractors for Iraq."

Let's get this straight: they're still boots on the ground - - mercenary boots.

So we're to have two separate armies in the US now? One a low-paid army of suckers patriots, the other a high-paid army of mercenaries? Basically you'll spend a term in the Army of Suckers Patriots before taking a discharge and joining the Army of Mercenaries?

h/t This Ain't Hell.

Navy Treating Sailors Like Children Or Lab Rats - - As Usual

Want fries with that? Sorry, they'll be baked. Want a soda? Tough.

Why don't you just go back to bully beef and weevily hardtack?

What'd you do, put Michelle Obama in charge of Navy chow?