Monday, February 4, 2019

Very Interesting......

Well....As they say in the movies......



And the answer to the following question is "Yes".

>As I mentioned last post, our Winemaker Friends invited us to the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento CA last week.

So, now that I've gotten the requisite video's out of the way (I figure Sarge is amassing a fortune for his retirement via YouTube Clicks on this site.  So, I'm tossing in my two bits.) we'll continue on.

It's been quite a while since I've actually been in California.  Stopovers in Airports don't count.  And I've got to admit that the news coverage about the state hadn't added to my desire to return.

I know that Skip and others have said "Not all Californians are from San Francisco" and I found that, in general, he's right.

I got the window seat on the flight home and actually got to look out the window.  (Why on Earth would anyone want to fly and leave the shade down (both legs of our outbound trip the person had the shades down)? I don't get it.)
Pikes Peak near the horizon.

In any case, on RTB,  I was looking at all the scenery  between San Jose and Denver and then down to Austin.  The term "Flyover Country" certainly applies.  In one of those flashes of "enlightenment", I realized that the term "Flyover Country" is generally applied in a Macro level manner to the United States.  The country is divided between enclaves of border Elites and the "deplorables" in between who are generally ignored.  The enlightenment was the hypothesis that this applies at a Micro level also.  California has the coastal elite bases of the Bay Area and its suburbs as well as the LA area and its suburbs.  The rest of the state is "flyover" and their opinions are ignored by the illuminati.

We stayed in Lodi and everyone we met and talked with were people I could relate to.  We certainly didn't agree on everything, but disagreement was never to the extreme seen in the news.  "Disagree?  I must Keel You!"

So...That was reassuring.

That having been said, we were driving around the area and we kept seeing signs that said "Got Rats?" with a telephone number.  Wondered what that was all about.  Apparently, there is a big problem with rats in the area and evidently the problem is exacerbated by an outbreak of Typhus.

We got a big clue about what might be behind it the first time we passed over a railroad bridge and saw all the tents underneath.  It looked like something from the Middle Ages.  Trash everywhere, no sanitation, no toilets, no infrastructure, just squalor.



The galling thing was that folks in the Government are pushing for open borders with absolutely no thought on what to do with people once they get there.  That, to me, is criminal.  And not only to the people living in the tents, but the rest of the population that may be infected.  At one of the wineries we visited, Mrs J asked about the "Got Rats" signs.  The young lady pouring wine went on a long discussion of what the winery had to do to eradicate the winery's infestation, while making sure the wines were safe and pure.   She also mentioned that the problem was not only with the rats, but also with the fleas they carried.  Once established, fleas are nigh on to impossible to eradicate and carry a vast variety of illnesses.

Perfect! Is it any wonder we've got a problem with Romaine lettuce?  Let me see....Where did the last two outbreaks come from? 

So....yeah.  I've got a large problem with the Open Borders folks (and not just those in CA, Skip).  They have put their own agenda (re-election, personal enrichment, unbridled power, all the above), ahead of the needs of the Country. 

Descending from the soapbox now.

Wednesday, we trooped up to the convention center for the symposium.   Three floors full of vendor booths.  I got a boatload of pens, little pocket notebooks, even a business card sized bottle opener (because you just never know when that much needed beverage won't be a twist off). 

I also got a hefty appreciation for the adage "The way to make a small fortune in the Wine Industry.....is to start with a large one." 
My friend, on the right, discussing ways to handle the picking bins.  Quickly and efficiently transporting heavy grapes from the vineyard to the tanks is crucial, but all solutions involve...more money!



That advice was declined.
<
I also advised him he needed to invest in this.  That too was declined.



My friend was interested in various options for weather stations and automating the irrigation systems.  I was able to ask some more specific questions about how the various vendor systems worked and communicated their data.

So....I wasn't solely along just to drink the wine.
Although......


>In vino veritas
It was an interesting week.




42 comments:

  1. This post got me to crank up my DuckDuck-fu, didn't realize there were so many wineries around my neck of the woods. Come Spring will have to do a little recon since a friend likes the grape. Ya.... equipment prices are something aren't they? Ran across a farmer in the state posting his life on the farm, the machinery......whew!.......MN Millennial Farmer, winter is bit of a slow time as you can expect. Oh..the soapbox? Agree with you on "Open borders," anything else I have to say is not COC compliant. Good post juvat.

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    1. From what I’ve been told, there are commercial wineries in all 50 states. Just got to deal with the specifics of your climate I suppose. Tried pineapple wine while in Hawaii...not my favorite.

      Thanks.

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    2. Ugh, still remember the smell of the Dple pineapple processing plant. Smelly place. Could smell it for miles. Bleh.

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    3. The VERY fresh pineapples there were fabulous. Spoiled me for anything I can get around here. But you're right, the processing smells were....smelly.

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    4. I love stop a small hill, they are building a winery on top of the next hill to the North of me.

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  2. Sorry about the Vision Check, Folks. Blogger was feeling uppity.

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    1. Personally I like the OGF (Old Guy Font).

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    2. I'm not sure how the HTML for XX-Small font size replaced all the normal font size, but I had to go in and excise them line by line in order to get it back to readable size. Bah!

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    3. Varies by browser and even by version within a certain browser. Some software guy somewhere is always trying to "help." Pretty helpful for the neophytes, damned annoying for the old hands. DAMHIK.

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    4. And so much of the code doesn't seem to do anything except make it difficult to find the code that DOES do something.

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    5. I think I may try just coding one from scratch and pasting it in. To see how it goes

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  3. You're absolutely right about the California "fly-over country". I married a dairy girl from the middle of the state. All her relatives are as conservative as us, not to mention hard working.

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    1. Virtually everyone I met was friendly and, as you say, hard working. I felt "at home" with them. Not so much with the folks on the San Jose to Austin commute. And realistically, there isn't much difference between San Jose and Austin in general.

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  4. Sounds like you had a good time.

    I've noticed a couple of things about the "Open Borders" types -

    1) They live nowhere near the border
    2) They have armed security
    3) They live in exclusive (walled?) communities
    4) They are generally progressive
    5) They are generally either disingenuous, or perhaps stupid. Maybe a combination of the two.
    6) They are guilty of treason in my book. Don't quote law to me, if your end game is to overthrow the Constitution and/or the legitimately elected government, you are a traitor.

    My 2 cents, I'm a bit feisty this morning.

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    1. I did.

      The only thing I'd modify in your list is #5. I'd add evil to the front of the list. I think some are willfully evil. YMMV.

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    2. Concur.

      (How did I miss that? Not enough sleep last night perchance...)

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    3. Just looking at Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and many other leading Democfats, you can see the Evil that fills them. A look at Andrew Cuomo is a lol at a man of near Satanic Evil. I see no evidence of a soul there. Something dwells behind the smug condecension of our last President, that makes me very uneasy. The Democrat's leadership has been completely cleansed of Good People. I worry a great deal about our future.

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  5. Oh yeah, nice post BTW. (Almost forgot...)

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  6. Oh, man... you probably were within a quarter mile of where we live.

    Your soapbox speech about flyover country is dead on.
    It seems the only government folks who are aware of the homeless “encampments” are the locals.
    Their Hans are tied because there’s no discretionary funds for cleanup because of fed and state mandates for spending.
    As bad as Lodi is it’s worse a few miles further south in Stockton because there are more freeway interchanges with overpasses.
    Sadly, so many of the folks living in these conditions are not immigrants or unemployed.
    They just can’t find affordable housing because of encroachment by the elites, who drive up housing prices.

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    1. I wondered about that. We need some form of Chant "Bat Signal" for trips like this.

      Thanks.

      Affordable housing is a big problem, not only because the elites drive up the prices, but because they also prohibit affordable housing projects. NIMBY. That goes to the evil category, I spoke of earlier.

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  7. Thanks for posting this interesting read. Lots of different things to comment about. Walls are the best. Depends, of course, whether you're building them to keep things/people in, or the same - out. When my eldest progeny retired from being a San José Police Sergeant (thirty years, thank the Lord), he moved into a larger home and somehow has started this:

    https://lavernevineyards.com

    Please don't ask me why. The pension income must be great.

    BTW, I agree completely with your analysis of the open border crowd. My experience is the same.

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    1. Loved the picture of the youngster on the home page. Coulda been me (a millenia ago).

      Thanks.

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    2. I also thank you, Dx4; my wife enjoys a glass of wine with dinner, so I sent her the link.

      Paul

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  8. The Powers that Be that want the illegals here want them for two things. 1 - Vote Harvesting. 2 - Control of the programs that dispense to the illegals.

    The first is power to control the vote, which is why we saw so many conservative enclaves flip democratic during the mid-terms.

    The second is, well, money, money money money. More money for their walls and security and health care.

    As to Typhus, well, that proves that The Powers that Be have pretty much turned large portions of an overall still beautiful state into a Third World Country. What next, Diptheria (oops, they have that too) or Cholera (ummmm, got that) or Scurvy (from malnutrition, yep.) Just wait until Hanta or the Black Plague hits the creeper population and, well, in the words of Private Hudson, "Game over, man, Game over." And also to quote from the Second Book of Alien, Ripley bespoke, "Nuke the entire site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure."

    California, turning into a turd world nation one political step at a time.

    Sigh.

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    1. Yeah, except for that observation about California FlyOver country and the type of people therein, I'd be inclined to agree with you. It's never easy.

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  9. As an escapee from " That Place ", I agree with everything written above.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

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  10. Just a question, Why does congress have to approve a fence? DOn't they just allocate money and then the departments determine how to spend the allotment? DOes congress allocate money to the military and then also tell them what bullets to use?

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    1. Joe,
      Yes, they allocate money. However....Back in the late 90's (and I have no reason to believe it's gotten better since then) when I was managing part of the AF's budget, we would have to go and defend each and every line item before Congress. That was in the year prior to the execution year. (Today we'd be doing that for FY20 budget). Once that budget was approved, the AF had some discretion in moving the money around. But that was back when we had budgets and not continuing resolutions. I think that is the problem with how we're doing business nowadays. Congress can screw with day to day money right now instead of changing stuff for next year.

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    2. Interesting...and also a bit scary, I'd rather the experts make most decisions than congress, though I can see the obvious need for some oversight. Thanks for your answer.

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  11. Wine afecinandos. As a fan of Vella, I'm woefully unqualified to critique anyone. Still, I harken back to Seattle, circa 1970's when we took over the facility of Pomereli Wines on East Marginal Way across from where the aviation museum was built. Pomereli, a very low end brand, moved to Woodinville, WA and rebranded as "Chateau Ste. Michelle". One of their old time employees told me it was the same wine with better bottles and nicer labels. Oh, and the price was tripled.

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    1. I've had some Chateau Ste. Michelle wines. Thought they were quite drinkable. Goes back to the answer to the question "What's a good wine?" "The one YOU like."

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  12. I grew up as a young lad in the Gold Rush country, about four miles up the road from Fiddletown. My mother used to buy table wine from this winery--

    https://www.sierranevadageotourism.org/content/dagostini-winery-no-762-california-historical-landmark/siee1e34b1335bb4c78c

    --four clear one gallon jugs with finger rings in a case.

    IIRC, it was 1979 when I took this class taught by this instructor at Chico State University (note that the date at the link is for the year 2004)--

    https://www.csuchico.edu/~mbaldy/bio.html

    By then I was out of the Army and over 21, so did not have to use a spit cup during the tasting labs.

    One of her books--

    https://www.amazon.com/University-Wine-Course-Appreciation-Tutorial/dp/0932664695

    Lee Sobon came to speak to our class. Again IIRC, he had a degree in chemical engineering and had worked at Lockheed. He told us that his day job had begun to get in the way of his garage wine making. He said he chose that location because he likes a Zinfandel that can "March along side spaghetti and meatballs with garlic". When friends and visitors would gush over his new life in such beautiful surroundings, he would reply "Yeah, and I only have to work half time". Pregnant pause. "12 hours a day, 7 days a week!".

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    1. Didn’t make it to Amador County this trip. Been there and enjoyed/bought wines on a previous trip. Love the Zins from there.

      Mr.Sobon’s quote is just a different way of stating mine. In plain English, making wine is farming and hard work.

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  13. Rats and fleas and typhus!! Oh my!!
    Since getting a bacterial infection from fleas, or lice or chiggers (typhus) would be a quick way to wreck a vacation, I hope you kept to the highway and didn't stop, or drank any water potentially contaminated with bacteria (typhoid fever or cholera) or, like Beans said, The Plague. Yikes!! All that excitement and you didn't even have to leave the USofA. Of course, if you had, you would have had to get vaccinated...guess that is not much of a thing in CA anymore...just wait until some big Hollywood type gets typhus or plague and then watch how fast heads spin.

    I have no patience with the Open Borders types. Legal immigration, not an issue. Illegal, sneak-in-the-dark-of-night types...well, to say don't want them around is mild indeed...otherwise Sage will kick me out...And why, why would anyone want someone who has no respect for the laws of the land, which as soon as they deliberately cross over at someplace other than an crossing station, they have broken. Who in their right mind thinks things will improve when the first thing that is done is to break a law? I do not get it!! At all!! And my ancestors, most of whom came through Ellis Island, except for the ones that came over on the Mayflower, would never, ever, ever understand. That is for darn sure.

    The cost of farm equipment...those machines are big and the price tags are HUGE!! We are heading to the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY next week, so Hubbie can drool over BIG tractors, but, for sure, we are not bringing home any new toys. Not unless I hit the Power Ball or the Mega Millions. One million square feet under cover! My feet will be hurtin' for certain, but they will be dry.


    So, did you find some great new wine to recommend to those of us who just like an occasional glass now and then? I am always willing to hear about something new, especially since I know less than nothing about wine, just what I like, which isn't much. I am definitely a Bourbon girl.

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    1. Lodi wineries Klinkerbrick Zin and Petit Syrah as well as Harney Lane versions thereof met with our approval (and the shipment of a couple of cases each). Oak Ridge also had some tasty’s and are available in the local grocery stores. Mrs J is definitely a “Bourbin Girl” , she liked those wines so...

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  14. Yep, turn large amounts of dollars into frustration, rage, and bankruptcy...

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)