Thursday, January 06, 2005

Baby Steps

All my life I've wanted to get into woodworking, but have never had the money or space for a workshop and tools. But I've managed to pick up a couple of rudimentary items (mainly a sander and a drill), and while I cannot yet build much, I was able to strip and refinish a wine rack. It was purchased for $4 at a local flea market, and was in bad shape. But after I stripped it, it was pretty nice -- blonde wood (ash or birch, I suspect) except for the tray top, which is a thin sheet of real teak. I used twak oil on the whole thing, instead of stain, I like the color contrast.

So now I need to fill it. It holds 16 bottles, and so far I only have four:
A bottle of Ars Vitis Moselle Riesling from Germany
A 2001 Cabernet Franc from Abacella Vineyards (Oregon -- Umpqua appellation)
A 2002 Chateau Bianca Gewurtztraminer (Oregon -- Northern Willamette Valley Appellation)
A 2001 Saginaw Vineyards Pinot Noir Blanc (Oregon -- Southern Willamette Valley Appellation)

(Oh, yes. I also managed to rebuild the legs and reinforce the bottom of the 63-year-old heirloom basinette that TFR's family has loaned us for Baby B, using my BIL's tools.)

An Iraqi Perspective

Thanks for the Memory to a comment from Reader Carin (who happens to have an excellent Blog of her own).

Surprisingly, my recent post on Pablo Paredes ha generated more discussion than I'm used to getting. And I welcome that. In fact, I ESPECIALLY welcome the dissenting view being expressed. As much as I appreciate the encouragement I get for my blog, after a while, hearing "You're right" all the time can get old, unless it's followed by the words "I hadn't thought of that before". That's why I had been focusing more on personal entries and less on political commentary.

But this duscussion has my juices flowing again, and now one comment in particular inspires me -- not to write, but to recommend you read -- specifically, read this excellent article by an Iraqi regarding the war:

How the Left Betrayed My Country - Iraq
By Naseer Flayih Hasan

I'm sure there are other points of view as well, but this is the best case for the war from an Iraqi perspective that I've read.

You Don't Talk About Foodfight Club

The Feared Redhead and I have, to some extent, different tastes in television viewing. Most of these differences are stereotypically gender-specific. I like the History Channel and Discovery, she likes Discovery Health, Oprah, and the "Reality" shows. There are, of course, a few exceptions -- Extreme Makeover Home Edition and the Food Network to be precise. But even here there are disagreements. Two fo my favorite shows on TFN tend to annoy her -- God Eats and Iron Chef. And yes, I must admit, I prefer Iron Chef USA. I love the format of the competition.

Which inspired in me last night a great idea for a group of friends/fellow gourmands to try: Foodfight Club. You get together at least 6 friends who love to cook AND eat. Two volunteer to be the competitors. One is the referree, who chooses the secret ingredients. The rest serve as judges. Get together at the home of one who has a big enough kitchen, and... ALLEZ CUISINE!

I think WAY too much.