Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Would you drink wine from ...

Texas? Seriously, Texas is the 4th largest volume producer wines in the US, it's something like 12 billion gallons annually. Now, this is not GRAPE production, but actual wine production. One of my student's from last term is starting up his own vineyard after his sister bequeathed him an acre ... I was thinking, an acre isn't much, and it does not include the space for the vineyard. However, he seems confident that he will be able to create a decent specimen in 4 - 6 years o.O How amazing is that.

In addition to the total volume from state production, the total revenues in the industry were $1.2 BILLION, no, really! Thats pretty amazing, and a good chunk of it comes from tourism. I've lived in texas for many years, and I never thought the win industry was very big here ... apparently I was wrong.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Fuel Efficiency?

As you know the world is holding its breath, to see what Pres. Obama will do in his months of office. While I typically hesitate to talk politics, I am loving this area, because you hear people saying things like, "history will depict W as a great President." Wow, history may mitigate some of the negativity and abrograte some of the stupidity in favor of politically correct undertones and smartly turned phrases. However, there are some things that are just immutable. I leave you with a sample to ponder,"Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

And again?

Seriously, this is like 2 posts ... almost in a row. Somebody stop meh!

I thought this was totally hilarious. I got it around Christmas time from my sister who got it from another. Usually these are total garbage, but omg, this is riotous.
This may not be for the weakhearted :)


This is an article submitted to a 1999 Louisville Sentinel contest to find out who had the wildest Christmas dinners. It won first prize.

As a joke, my brother Jay used to hang a pair of panty hose over his fireplace before Christmas. He said all he wanted was for Santa to fill them.

What they say about Santa checking the list twice must be true because every Christmas morning, although Jay's kids' stockings overflowed, his poor pantyhose hung sadly empty.

One year I decided to make his dream come true. I put on sunglasses and went in search of an inflatable love doll. They don't sell those things at Wal-Mart. I had to go to an adult bookstore downtown.

If you've never been in an X-rated store, don't go. you'll only confuse yourself. I was there an hour saying things like, 'What does this do?' 'You're kidding me!' 'Who would buy that?' Finally, I made it to the inflatable doll section.

I wanted to buy a standard, uncomplicated doll that could also substitute as a passenger in my truck so I could use the car pool lane during rush hour.

Finding what I wanted was difficult. 'Love Dolls' come in many different models. The top of the line, according to the side of the box, could do things I'd only seen in a book on animal husbandry. I settled for 'Lovable Louise.' She was at the bottom of the price scale.

To call Louise a 'doll' took a huge leap of imagination.

On Christmas Eve and with the help of an old bicycle pump, Louise came to life.

My sister-in-law was in on the plan and let me in during the wee morning hours. Long after Santa had come and gone, I filled the dangling pantyhose with Louise's pliant legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies and drank what remained of a glass of milk on a nearby tray. I went home, and giggled for a couple of hours.

The next morning my brother called to say that Santa had been to his house and left a present that had made him VERY happy, but had left the dog confused. She would bark, start to walk away, then come back and bark some more.

We all agreed that Louise should remain in her pantyhose so the rest of the family could admire her when they came over for the traditional Christmas dinner.

My grandmother noticed Louise the moment she walked in the door.
'What the hell is that?' she asked.

My brother quickly explained, 'It's a doll.'

'Who would play with something like that?' Granny snapped.

I kept my mouth shut.

'Where are her clothes?' Granny continued.

'Boy, that turkey sure smells nice, Gran,' Jay said, to steer her into the dining room.

But Granny was relentless. 'Why doesn't she have any teeth?'

Again, I could have answered, but why would I? It was Christmas and no one wanted to ride in the back of the ambulance saying, 'Hang on Granny, hang on!'

My grandfather, a delightful old man with poor eyesight, sidled up to me and said, ' Hey, who's the naked gal by the fireplace?' I told him she was Jay's friend.

A few minutes later I noticed Grandpa by the mantel, talking to Louise. Not just talking, but actually flirting. It was then that we realized this might be Grandpa's last Christmas at home.

The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was dying, and who should be killed, when suddenly Louise made a noise like my father in the bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the mantel, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the sofa. The cat screamed. I passed cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran across the room, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

My brother fell back over his chair and wet his pants.

Granny threw down her napkin, stomped out of the room, and sat in the car.

It was indeed a Christmas to treasure and remember.

Later in my brother's garage, we conducted a thorough examination to decide the cause of Louise's collapse. We discovered that Louise had suffered from a hot ember to the back of her right thigh.

Fortunately, thanks to a wonder drug called duct tape, we restored her to perfect health.

I can't wait until next Christmas.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hello, is anyone out there?

So, it's been a year since my last post. Who would have thought that this blog would even still be up given the length of inactivity! Seriously, at this point I'm just taking up server space, right? Meh, maybe I'm entitled as an early mover in the international blogging spotlight.

I'm not even going to promise to publish on here steadily, because as soon as I do, I'll forget about it and not do it. Social contracting and reciprocity aside, I just don't think it fits in well with my schedule to have a continuous stream of musings. Plus, forced posting on a schedule ends up looking like a formal regurgitation of days' sequences. How much fun is that? No, really ...

That said, however, I will try and post here :) I'm hoping to get in touch with some friends I've lost touch with. M and I have not spoken in over a year, and C and I have not talked on the phone in forever. Though we do enjoy fleeting encounters over pixelated, innernets media. E, a friend who lived closeby, got married last fall and has since moved to the north east.

Of course I'm utilizing my facilities to cultivate other personal relationships, but I really miss my old friends. M and I went through law school together, and I seriously think the only reason I got through it was because of her unconditional support. C and I totally rocked the international world in Stockholm, the primary basis of this blog, and left our mark on the faculty there. Oh what times we had. Not surprisingly, the only other ethnically paritous person in my program and I have started to hang out. I'll save that for another post.

In any case, I hope to start posting here more often.


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