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Last Visit 2012-06-04 13:32:26 |Start Date 2006-02-27 14:30:33 |Comments 654 |Entries 407 |Images 203 |Sounds 3 |SWF 3 |Videos 44 |Mobl 11 |

Category: travel

05/13/06 10:55 - 62ºF - ID#37319

what i did on my vacation

We: lost in Livingston County
Me, driving, blithely: Which way should we go now?
She, under a pile of maps, furious: What, so I'm the navigator now?

---

Our little wine-tasting junket was just perfect, I think. I admit I took a wrong turn in Livingston County, heading southwest along the wrong side of Letchworth instead of southeast along the right side of Letchworth, but to my credit we did see a really keen house along the way.

Even though this development put us off-schedule on our unscheduled vacation, we still managed to hit Bully Hill Vineyards in Hammondsport before closing time. Bully Hill has a reputation for making cheap sweet wines with funny names and funny labels; it should be mentioned that they also make some very good cheap dry wines with funny names and funny labels. For a long time, Bully Hill produced Cylinder Head grape juice, unpasteurized and packaged in wine bottles - until Welch's brought this to the attention of the FDA, who told them they had to pasteurize it and produce it somewhere else [and in the process ruining my faith in humanity]. I am pissed, but that is another rant for another time.

After that, the wineries were closing, so we mosied on over to Watkins Glen, where we ment (e:dragonlady7) 's younger sister for a pint and a burger at the Crooked Rooster , where they brew up a mean selection of ales and grill up a formidable burger. I ordered a light ale from the mystery tap; she had a brown ale - mine was good, but hers was better.

It was getting late and beginning to rain, so we made some quick reservations at the Tudor Rose . Having never stayed at a B&B before, I was astounded to realize that it was just some lady's house. The rain on the roof zonked me right the hell out until I was awakened the next morning by the heavenly aroma of French toast and sausages wafting up the stairwell.

The rain had stopped by the time we were done stuffing ourselves silly, so we had a little walk around the Glen. The gorge trail was not yet fully open for the season, but we still got to see a couple of the waterfalls, including the one that comes down over your head. Freaky.

The next winery we hit was Cascata on NY 14 overlooking Seneca Lake. We nearly missed it, and when we pulled in to the driveway I said, 'You can't fool me! This is just some guy's house.' But the winery was housed in the first floor of a B&B [The Professor's Inn]. Cascata makes their own wine, but they do not have the facilities to grow their own grapes or age or their wine; rather they buy their grapes from the local farms and lease space at a larger winery down the street. Their Estate Red is outstanding: subtle, nuanced, complex, as is their Luna Rossa. Sadly, they had run out of their Cranberry Bog mead, a mead/cranberry wine blend, but we did get a taste of their limited-run elderberry wine. Yum.

Next we hit Fulkerson , known for their bright-red and quite tasty Red Zeppelin. They offer a Traminette, a sweeter version of Gew├╝rtztraminer. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is full-bodied and flavorful, and their Matinee is an exceptional sweet white.

We were both looking forward to visiting Earle Estates Meadery , but their tasting facilities appeared to be closed. Instead we grabbed some ice cream in Dresden and took a drive along Keuka Lake back to Hammondsport, where we stopped in at the Pleasant Valley Wine Company . Their champagne is good, but their dessert wines are excellent. We asked about the Cooking Sherry on their tasting menu, and the woman behind the bar narrowed her eyes. 'I fight with the winemakers about this constantly. Local restauranteurs wanted a sherry that was sweeter than our Sherry, but drier than our Cream Sherry, so we came out with an in-between sherry for cooking. It's just sherry; there's no added salt or herbs or anything like that. I think it should be called Gourmet Sherry instead.' We tried their Keuka Blue, which is a traditional Port made with traditional techniques - only it is 100% blueberry wine fortified with 100% blueberry brandy - and it has a very unusual and complex flavor, both sweet and woody. We finished off our trip with a taste of their Vanilla Cream Sherry, which blew my mind so hard I'm still talking about it.

- Z
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/37319/what_i_did_on_my_vacation.html
Words: 783
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: travel

05/10/06 04:52 - 81ºF - ID#37318

in vino veritas

Been busy lately, with this and that. Now that the Menus/Best craziness is over, I'm taking some me-time.

(e:dragonlady7) and I are going to hop in the car tomorrow afternoon and wander our way down to the Finger Lakes area. The original plan was to poke around Watkins Glen a little and also to do a little wine tasting. The weather may not be cooperative, though, so in that case we'll just have to nix Watkins Glen and do a little more wine tasting instead. Damn damn damn life is tough.

(e:dragonlady7) has been assigned to come up with an itinerary, which already includes:

Bully Hill Vineyards , known for its ridiculous labels and excellent selection of delicious cheap wines
Earle Estates Meadery , who makes mead and several different kinds of fruit wine
and perhaps Pleasant Valley Wine Company (US Bonded Winery #1), the oldest winery in the Finger Lakes, and who also makes a pretty mean sherry

I have been told there may also be a brewery on the tour. Whee!

- Z
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/37318/in_vino_veritas.html
Words: 193
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: writers

05/04/06 09:55 - 64ºF - ID#37317

have you ever wondered

how someone becomes a columnist? (e:dragonlady7) was pondering on this some years back, and I just kinda shrugged and said I dunno.

Turns out, the way you become a columnist is, you happen to be standing around when the editor says, 'we need another columnist.' The point of this being, (e:dragonlady7) is our newest food columnist , and I get to be Guest. Yays!

She did Tru-Teas this week, but I'm trying to steer her towards Buffalo's excellent selection of greasy spoons, Greek diners, hot dog joints, and wing shacks.

- Z
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/37317/have_you_ever_wondered.html
Words: 103
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: america fuck yeah

05/03/06 12:10 - 65ºF - ID#37316

why i love america, part two

Because in no other country in the world would someone invent 'freako instruments' called The Egotar, The Swiss Army Bass, The Droning Betsy, or the Great Train Wreck. Out of duct tape.



- Z
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/37316/why_i_love_america_part_two.html
Words: 39
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: america fuck yeah

05/02/06 08:33 - 49ºF - ID#37315

why i love america

Any country where you can be invited to a state dinner for the president and the press and proceed to lambaste both, and still wake up the next morning, is OK in my book.

Guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in "reality." And reality has a well-known liberal bias.



- Z
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/37315/why_i_love_america.html
Words: 75
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: neighbors

05/01/06 11:23 - 63ºF - ID#37314

well that just frosts my buttons

I just got an IM from (e:dragonlady7) at home - we just had the health inspector drop by for tea and biscuits!

I guess he stopped in, had a look at the Compost Pile of Plague and Pestilence, said 'Yeah, this is cool. Maybe put it up on bricks. I'll give you a week; if you need more time, just give me a call and I'll give you another week. Nice yard, by the way.'

Ooooh. I'm just so irked. But- this means that, bricks aside, we now have legal authority to compost with impunity, and thus shall the End Times begin! Behold my terrible power!

- Z
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/37314/well_that_just_frosts_my_buttons.html
Words: 115
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: neighbors

04/30/06 06:54 - 73ºF - ID#37313

i am an asshole

but I swear I use my powers for good and not for evil. So my miserable old cuntbag of a neighbor, who is most famous for uprooting my garden , started ringing on my doorbell this lovely Sunday afternoon. The first ring, I thought maybe I had a package. The second ring a second later, I thought maybe somebody was visiting me. The third ring I thought a friend was visiting, but by the fourth ring in as many seconds I knew exactly who it was.

'Mrs. Bob,' I said, never having been properly introduced, 'is the doorbell broken?' Which apparently caught her off-guard, because she stammered a bit before laying into me about the compost heap. I leaned in the doorway and kind of half-squinted and half-smiled and just basically thought about baseball. And when she started winding down and expected me to say something, I just kind of kept squinting and smiling like I was waiting for her to get to the point, so she started right up again, and I just kind of stood there. The cycle repeated itself about five times before she finally realized:

'Are you listening to me?'

OK, I admit it - I'm a terrible liar. When somebody calls me out like that I gotta fess up. 'No, not really.'

'Well are you going to take it out?'

'Take what out?' And then it started again. She went through another three cycles of complaints wherein a compost heap would cause rats, a pox on the first-born, and Armageddon. 'So are you going to take it out?'

I didn't really have any inclination to do anything with it except make compost for our vegetable garden, so all I said was: 'no.'

Wo boy, and then she got really mad. Her face split; the skin and hair split and came off of her face so that there was nothing except the skull. An orange light came out of her hair, and it lit all around. Fire shot from her eye sockets and began to burn my stomach.* She left spurting invective and cursing to gods long dead and also, coincidentally, threatening to call the Health Department. I just stood in the doorway and waited until she left. She started complaining to her husband ['Mr. Bob,' who did properly introduce himself], who was then mowing the lawn and who I cannot say I ever thought would ever stand up to her, say 'Stop. I'm trying to mow the lawn. OK?' [Baby steps, Mr. Bob. Baby steps.]

So maybe En-Con will be by tomorrow and we can sit around and work through an Ad Council coloring book about proper composting technique. Wouldn't that be fun? Oh-- and this compost heap which will inevitably usher in the End Times? It's about a foot and a half square by about a foot high.

- Z

_______________
  • Bill Cosby, 'Chocolate Cake for Breakfast' gather:0732920001146437417

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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/37313/i_am_an_asshole.html
Words: 497
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: video games

04/29/06 10:27 - 51ºF - ID#37312

donkey kong

That is extremely high-quality.

OK, except I got hit by a log and it crashed my computer. Kind of ups the ante a bit, eh?

[New journal music from a couple of days ago: ¿Qué Vas a Hacer? by Juan Garcia Esquivel.]

- Z
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/37312/donkey_kong.html
Words: 60
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: work

04/26/06 07:09 - 49ºF - ID#37311

shilling for the paper

Good News:
Tomorrow you should run not walk to your local bus stop or coffee shop and pick up a copy of the paper. Our yearly restaurant guide hits the stands tomorrow and it contains 120 restaurants in and around the city. You should also visit it online regularly and perhaps even download it to your iPod. It has been an exhausting week, and it is time to sit back and burn one.

Neutral News:
Went to the Century Grill last night and saw they still had a stack of the final issue of Buffalo Current. 'Schade,' as the Germans would say.

Bad News:
Our annual popularity contest [hitting stands next week] has destroyed my faith in humanity. By my own count, my website got thoroughly trounced in the Best Local Website category not only by by the 800-pound-gorilla of the local Internet [which I have to say I expected because they've totally got us beat*] but also - and this is what burns me - by the most idiotic, vapid, and poorly-designed website in the entire state. You would think that, backed by all the resources of Warren Buffett and the Buffalo News, they would be able to put together a relevant, informative, and aesthetically-pleasing website - but it's not even as good as the real Buffalo News website , which isn't exactly winning any awards either.

What is wrong with people? When you ask them what their favorite Buffalo website is, do they just go and type 'Buffalo' in the little box at the top and see what happens? WHAT THE FUCK PEOPLE.

- Z

_______________
  • For now. But now they've got my competitive spirit up and they're totally going down. But not so much that they're going down, as we're going up.
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/37311/shilling_for_the_paper.html
Words: 312
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: cars

04/25/06 09:42 - 49ºF - ID#37310

i brought a sombrero

...now we can both be cool.

I guess I just don't know what's cool anymore. This morning I had a discussion with (e:dragonlady7) wherein i posited that the coolest car in the universe would be a new diesel VW Rabbit converted to use waste vegetable oil.

She did not agree.

I said ok, the coolest car in the universe would be an old diesel VW Rabbit converted to use waste vegetable oil.

She just sighed.

Anyway-- Century Grill tonight, if anyone else is interested in stopping by and being cool.


- Z
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/zobar/37310/i_brought_a_sombrero.html
Words: 114
Location: Buffalo, NY


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paul said to paul
No we went to the bakery....

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Wait you ordered these online?! ...

tinypliny said to paul
LOL, who needs these when you have a terminal?!...

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WHOA! I want those!...