March 5th, 2006


Anatomy of a weekend without willpower

Well, we were supposed to spend the weekend cleaning house.

The bathroom got done (but it wasn't far gone) and some work got done on the kitchen. Some laundry got done. I may do something with the bedroom before I go to sleep.

But things just came up.

Saturday morning I had to go over to Cal BMW to pick up the R75/5. Two or three weeks ago, it decided to stall and not start again when I was trying to leave work. It didn't start when I came back 3 hours later, nor the next afternoon. When Kari came by with the truck and trailer on the second day, it started fine, but I sent it anyway. Better safe than sorry. The couldn't reproduce the problem, flooding doesn't make any sense (it would have started 3 hours later), but it's still running and they tightened up the front end a bit.

After that we decided to take care of the wine buy for the mini-conference that kproche's boss is running in two weeks. That meant stops at 5 Livermore wineries before 5:00 closing time, and we were leaving SJ at a little after 2:00. We snagged a bunch at Bent Creek and Cedar Mountain (along with our club pick-up and the last magnum of '92 Cabernet Sauvignon left), stopped at Steven Kent for ourselves (picked up a club pick-up and a few extra bottles of the Contemplation #2), hit Mitchell Katz for sparkling wine (it was on the buy list) and finished up the buy at Thomas Coyne (where we picked up some of the new Charphony for ourselves and a bunch of Vino Tinto Barato).

Did dinner at Vin Santo; fabulous as always.

Sunday breakfast at OPH, clam pancakes. Got aforementioned cleaning done.

Went up to Alameda to join flotsomnjetsom, rivetheretic, danaoshee and a few others for jkuroda's birthday. We started at the New Zealander, a pub specializing in Hobbit steaks New Zealand pub fare (meat pies, sausage rolls, and really nice mini-pavlovas for dessert). Everybody was drinking tea because the next stop was...

...St. George Spirits.

St. George is now open Sundays, and the product line has grown just a smidgen. The eaux de vie were not particularly popular with the crowd, but opinions changed when the vodkas came along. The liqueurs were quite popular, and the new (Lot 5) malt whiskey was also well received. The whiskey is now a bit more scotch-y, with a noticeable smoke from the used bourbon barrels.

The new additions were definitely interesting. The "Heirloom" apple brandy was OK, but not as good as Germain-Robin's apple brandy. The Wasabi Vodka was just insane. It's flavored with real wasabi rhizome, not just green-tinted horseradish, and if you know the difference you can tell. It's very green. More unusual was the "Qi" tea liqueur, flavored with Lapsang Souchong tea, mandarin orange and Tahitian vanilla. It's strange but tasty. Finally, we got a secret taste of "De Profundis," a bottling of 20-year aged pear brandy (it's not eau de vie anymore, it's got too much age on it). It's amazing, but there was no way I was buying a $200 bottle this afternoon.

They're also doing a perfume (they are distillers, after all) with Scharffenberger Chocolate. It's really expensive, but it's chocolate perfume, really chocolate perfume.