A rollercoaster of a day

I knew today was going to be unusual. The only thing on my schedule was a funeral at lunchtime (a friend at shul), but I planned to work before and afterwards.

The morning got off to a bit of a slow start — I came to work dressed in a suit, which threw everyone offstride. Shortly after I arrived, I got an instant message from a friend who’d been given 30 days to find a new job or leave the company — he’d found a new job, and it was probably better than the one he’d had. And I was able to help another friend with a question from a client (at least I think I gave her good data!). But one of our summer interns was leaving, having finished her six month stay (she’s from Australia, so she arrived during her summer and left during ours), and that was somewhat sad.

I dropped by the credit union to deposit a check and pick up another car loan preapproval (our first one had expired already); one of the people in line was incredibly happy — it turns out it was his last day of work (he decided to retire at the end of the month and was going on vacation between now and then). I congratulated him, of course. Then I took care of my business and returned to my office to get a little work done.

Very little, as it turned out. At 10:45, my phone rang — it was Bob Martin from Hansel Toyota in Petaluma, calling to tell me that he had a new Prius for us (Blue, AM package, which was our first choice) and wanting to know when we’d be in to get it. Since the funeral was going to go well into the afternoon, I decided we might as well go to Petaluma afterwards instead of coming back to work for an hour or so.

So I worked until it was time to leave — then hurried to Shir Hadash for the memorial service, arriving barely in time. Then it was over to the cemetery for the interment, and then home to change.

There was a Hertz location near the dealership in Petaluma, so we were able to drive up together in the Hertz car and home in the new car. The only catch was getting to Hertz by the time they closed — 6pm. We left home at 3:20 for a 95-mile trip — we arrived at 5:52pm. I guess I shouldn’t have believed Mapquest when it suggested taking the East Bay route — the merge from 580 to 101 took 20 minutes all by itself. But we arrived safely, if frazzled, and got rid of the car.

Now we were 95 miles from home with no car. So we did the obvious thing — we went to the closest restaurant (Cattlemen’s) for dinner. It’s a steak house — and pretty good. I’d go back, though I wouldn’t make a trip to Petaluma just for a meal there.

The dealership was about a 20-minute walk away; we arrived, met our salesperson for the first time (we found him through craigslist), and got started on the actual transaction. Two hours later, we were finished (it did help that we knew the car already, so we didn’t need the one-hour intro we got when we bought my Prius) and on the road for home.

This time, we avoided the East Bay and took 101 to the Golden Gate Bridge, then 19th Avenue through the city, followed by 280 and 85 to home. Elapsed time in this direction: one hour, 40 minutes.

I hope to avoid car shopping for quite a while. I won’t avoid Petaluma, though — we have a trip there with Shir Hadash on Thursday.

Using the appropriate unit

I was just listening to an interview on KCBS-AM with a tornado expert about the increase in reported tornadoes in California in recent years. During the interview, the expert mentioned that California tornadoes rarely exceed a 3 on the 5-point damage scale; the interviewer asked what the ratings were.

The expert answered, “well, a tornado rated 2 would destroy a mobile home.”

Of course. What other possible comparison could there be?

White Wine Notes

We try to take short notes when we drink a new wine; I decided that if I post them here, I’ll have a better chance of finding them again (the notes date back to sometime in 2002, and are somewhat intermittent). Red wine notes will follow some other day.

Since we’re very light drinkers, unless we have company, we reseal the wine with a Vac-U-Vin and have it again a day or two later. Some wines fare better under this treatment than others.

Wine Comments
Fetzer Echo Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Pleasant, survives well.
Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2002 David thought it was light and fruity; Diane thought it was rather astringent; we both liked it.
Trentino Pinot Grigio 2002 Liked it.
Johannesburg Riesling 2002
Sweet, but goes well with salmon.
Pacific Rim Dry Riesling (Bonny Doon) Liked it with chicken and the next day with salmon.
Beringer Chenin Blanc Nutty, the way a Chenin Blanc should be.
Brancott Vineyards Marlbourough Sauvignon Blanc Sweet.
Camelot Sauvignon Blanc 2002 Nice, slighly sweet and very slightly nutty.
Ferrari Carano Fumé Blanc 2002 Diane liked it.
Armstrong Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2001 OK.
Mezza Corona Pinot Grigio 2002 Very good.
Coppola Bianco 2002 OK
Nobilo Icon Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
A winner!
Ca’del Solo California Big House White 2003 Yuk. Better than Two Buck Chuck, but still Yuk.
Kenwood Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc 2001 Better than OK.
Buena Vista Sauvignon Blanc 2002 We both liked it; fruity.
The Stump Jump Riesling/Sauvignon Blanc/Marsanne 2003 Not worth buying again.
“Cloud Piercer” Sauvignon Blanc 2004 Nutty, good. A favorite.
Airlie Pinot Gris 2001 (Oregon) Very fruity. Too fruity, in fact.
Merryvale Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2004 Crisp and fruity the first night; not nearly as good the second. Worth another try.

Father’s Day 2005

It was a quiet day here in Lake Wobegon…errr, Los Gatos. I spent a good part of the morning schlepping up to Palo Alto to buy bagels at Izzy’s while Diane was at the Y (I did my Y time yesterday, so I don’t feel guilty about skipping today).

This evening, we went with some good friends to Fontana’s for Father’s Day dinner. The menu posed more challenges than I’d expected (most dishes had pork or shellfish), but we all found something we could order, and the food was quite tasty. As was the wine, a 2002 Dry Creek Sonoma Fume Blanc. And the desserts were really good: Jeff had the killer dessert, Tartufo Nero (“a big scoop of dark chocolate gelato rolled in grated chocolate served with raspberry puree, sprinkled with white chocolate”), while Diane and I settled for splitting a Pure Decadence! (“sinfully delicious chocolate torte with raspberry sauce”). I have a “Free Pasta or 50% off a bottle of wine” card for Fontana’s, good for a year — we’ll be back.