WUI (Writing under the influence)

Somebody once said we are all Americans, sometimes born in the wrong places.
On a warm autumn day in 1986, while enjoying beer with my college buddies,
I decided to join my new homeland.

I've come to appreciate the ideals that helped create this great country.
Liberalism, political-correctness, multiculturalism and moral equivalence
are destroying it.

This old house Grovenet Wal*Mart Visiting Poland American wine better than French.

Monday, July 25, 2005


Persistence pays

When in two posts (first here and then here) I was overly critical of Oregon Pinot Noir Brian B was gracious enough not to completely dismiss my complaints but to gently nudge me to try again. So, as they say, the third time was bound to be the charm.

Again, with my father-in-law, in our quest to find local wine to be proud of, we decided to visit another three wineries around Forest Grove: Tualatin Estate Vineyards, David Hill Vineyard & Winery, and Shafer Vineyard Cellars.

The trip started very well. Although out first stop at Tualatin Estate didn't change our minds about Pinot Noir, we were pleasantly surprised that the wine tasting was free. And I think it's also good for business. At Montinore, we had to pay $6 per person and because we were rather unimpressed by the whole experience we'll not be going back any time soon. On the other hand, we felt like we saved $12 just for walking in to the tasting room so we walked away with a bottle of wine and are more predisposed to come back even if we didn't quite found what we looked for.

We did find an excellent desert wine (2001 Late Harvest Gewurztraminer) and a decent Chardonnay (2000 Estate Chardonnay) but our quest had to go on.

At David Hill wine tasting was also free. We tasted several good wines. I still can't get over 2000 Muscat Port.

But one wine was of special interest to us. Farmhouse Red mixes Oregon Pinot Noir with some Californian Cabernet. This makes the wine less expensive and, more importantly, more drinkable.

At $9 this was a huge find.

Our last stop, however, turned out to be the winner.

The sign was not promising. Wine and Christmas ornaments. It sounded amateurish. But we were already there.

Again, tasting was free. This time, instead of selecting wines ourselves, we asked for what the house thought was its best wines. We started with 2002 Pinot Noir that was decidedly too young. We then moved on to the 2000 vintage. It was much better. Then, the miracle happened. We were served the 1999 vintage and almost in unison cried "Eureka!"

Shafer's 1999 Pinot Noir at $16 will be featured on my table whenever good friends come to visit. I will not be embarrassed.

Wine and Christmas. Now, I think it make sense.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Carter's legacy

From Times Online on W's SCOTUS pick:
Since the American Civil War, a mere three presidents have served a full term in office and yet failed to have the opportunity to make a Supreme Court nomination. The first of these, Franklin D. Roosevelt, would ultimately elevate eight people to the highest US judicial institution during his second and third terms. The second, Jimmy Carter, was defeated for re-election and never had the chance to make his mark.
Thank God.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


John Roberts

I had three of these today to celebrate W's choice.

Now you know why I like this beer. I will have a few each time W makes me happy.

Sunday, July 17, 2005


Speaking of hot weather

Back from flying, before going back to work on the master bedroom wardrobe, I had a cold one. This is a new beer on the market or at least I didn't see it before. There is something about this beer I can't really explain. It's so refreshing, including the label.

This could become my favorite beer this summer. Guess why.

Speaking of refreshing drinks, this is what my wife, my in-laws, or anybody traveling from Italy brings with coffee, cheese and other things we can't find in the US (at least not as cheaply) that makes plain tap water so much more drinkable.

Makes your water sparkling.


Concourse d'Elegance in air

Every year in mid July, Forest Grove becomes a big parking lot. All kinds of old and otherwise weird cars and car enthusiasts overwhelm the town. But this year I was able to escape the hot weather and hot wheels. My youngest daughter's Godmother is a commercial pilot. To keep her license current, she flies from time to time from the Twin Oaks Airpark and needs passengers. She invited me and my father-in-law for a short flight to the Oregon coast. And I just couldn't say no.

The plane - 4-person Cessna. The Twin Oaks operator rents it for $70/hour. This model has double controls. I'm told I will be flying. Last chance to take the back seat.

Shortly after the take off, I'm getting used to various instruments I will be using shortly on our flight to the coast.

Henry Hagg Lake is pretty busy on a hot day. No exception today.

Captain Z.

I flew the plain for a few minutes above the coastal range at 4,600 feet.

Cape Meares - my favorite place on Oregon coast.

Going Flying to my favorite place.

Enter. Click on the picture and you should see the beginning of a tunnel.

Exit. Click on the picture and you should see the exit from the tunnel in the shadow. The very low tide allows to walk around the cave on the other side but it's very rare. I've visited the cave a few times.

My favorite place in one frame.

Tillamook bay and Tillamook town in one frame.

Flying over my house on the way back to the airport.

My house is the one with the brand-new red roof.

Back on steady land.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


"Bush lied!"

Before you say this one more time, watch this video and tell me how it was possible to air it during Clinton's presidency without engendering any objections.

(Via Powerline)


Illegal immigration will cost Republicans

If they don't pay attention to their constituents. The latest congressional insiders poll identifies illegal immigration and border security as number one issue in Republican districts. The Washington Times reports:

Seventeen of the 37 Republican House and Senate members who responded to the National Journal's survey identified immigration as the issue "most on the minds of your constituents these days." That easily topped the next closest issue, the economy, which gained 10 votes, followed by gasoline prices with four votes and terrorism with three votes.

But Republicans can stay in power or even gain in both the House and the Senate because Democrats don't seem to care at all about those two issues:

Immigration doesn't appear to move Democrats the same way it moves Republicans. Of 35 Democratic members of Congress who responded, just two mentioned immigration as the top issue for constituents, while another person specifically disregarded immigration, saying his or her constituents were talking about "all of these issues except immigration."

One of the two Democrats who did cite immigration as the top constituent concern said it is a difficult balancing act. "The burning question of 'What can we do to simultaneously support the plight of undocumented immigrants while still keeping our streets and borders safe?' has never been more prevalent," the lawmaker said.

But some lawmakers who are not yet married to the illegal immigration lobby are trying to fight back:
Faced with the costs of coping with illegal immigrants, one county is looking to the courts for help - by filing a racketeering lawsuit against the businesses that hire these workers.

The legal theory: that a pattern of immigration violations by employers is costing Canyon County millions for law enforcement, education and social services.

"Their presence lowers the labor wage for American citizens and removes employment opportunities," county Commissioner Robert Vasquez, an ambitious politician who just started a bid for Congress, said of the illegal workers. "Certainly it uses tax dollars to provide them with educational services, medical care, unemployment compensation for those that are injured on the job. They are a drain on the taxpayers of Canyon County, the state of Idaho and the U.S. in general."

The county's attempt to recoup its expenses would be filed under the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly called the RICO Act, which has been used against targets ranging from organized crime to Internet spammers.
I'm the first one to defend business from taxes and over-regulation but I hope Mr. Vasquez succeeds in his lawsuit and that other politicians around the country follow the suit (pun intended.)


Back to Montinore

I took my father-in-law back to Montinore for some more wine tasting.

This is where the owners live.
The result was not much better than the first time around. There is some good news though. By chance, we discovered that for mere $4 we can buy this Muller-Thurgau.

The bad news is that it is grown only on 14 (out of almost 200) acres Montinore uses to grow grapes. Most is used for, surprise, surprise, Pinot Noir.

Friday, July 15, 2005



A priceless quote from today's Washington Times:
"Even a child knows that if a person can't keep a secret, you stop telling him secrets," Mr. Schumer said.
Hmm, where to start? How about Senator Leahy?

Leahy disclosed one top-secret communication intercept during a television interview. This information involved Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the possible capture of Arab terrorists who had hijacked the cruise ship Achille Lauro and murdered an American citizen. The report apparently cost the life of at least one Egyptian operative involved in the operation.

In July 1987, Senator Leahy leaked secret information about a 1986 covert operation planned by the Reagan administration to topple Libyan leader Moammar Gaddhafi. First, Leahy, along with another panel chairman, communicated a written threat to expose the operation to then-CIA Director William Casey. Later, news of the secret plan appeared in the Washington Post, causing it to be aborted.

In 1988, Patrick Leahy decided to open the Citizens United confidential draft report on the Iran-Contra scandal to a reporter. This leak was considered to be one of the most serious breaches of secrecy in the committee's recent history and led to Leahy "voluntarily" stepping down from that committee post.


It's been 5 years

Sometime in late July of 2000, I rented a Budget truck, loaded all my belongings, my family and drove over 2,000 miles to Hillsboro, OR. A mere 6 months later I moved to my house in Forest Grove. This has been the longest time I've spent in one place since I came to the US in June of 1988. My two daughters were born here. I feel at home. Finally.


Good morning, Grovenet!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Missing conclusions

This editorial in the Oregonian is missing some very important conclusions. It correctly states that London has become a magnet for militant Islamic preachers and a destination for men willing to carry out their threats. It also mentions that the 7/7 terrorists are British citizens born in England. The editorial chides Britain for being in Iraq but stops short of blaming the 7/7 terror attacks on Britain's involvement in the war on terror. But the Oregonian fails to offer any solutions to the growing problem of islamization of Europe. What do we do now? How do we stop citizens of US and Britain from terrorizing us?

It seems to me that something like the Patriot Act is a good start but may not be enough unless we allow our law-enforcement agents to closely monitor what goes on in certain Muslim communities.

And passing any religious hate laws to protect Muslim extremism is not a good start.



This is from today's NYT:

For the first time since President Bush took office, an unexpected leap in tax revenue is about to shrink the federal budget deficit this year, by nearly $100 billion.
Unexpected? It worked every time it was tried. What's better proof than several successful experiments? The question for NYT: will you fire its "economist" Paul Krugman who tried to "un-spin" the latest numbers? This guy has been constantly wrong on the economy. Nothing he predicted materialized. On the contrary, if his predictions were backed by stock I would short it.
So repeat after me:

Tax cuts for the rich increase tax revenues producing record tax receipts and jobs for us, working poor.


Olympics and baseball

I know I will offend somebody with the following comment:

I don't like baseball and I don't like Olympics.

So I don't share all of Oregonian's scorn toward the IOC:
Hey, International Olympic Committee, you stink.

You tossed baseball and softball out of the Olympics, beginning in 2012 in London.

What were you looking at? They run the Olympic sports by you -- yawners like the modern pentathlon, table tennis, Greco-Roman wrestling and, yes, synchronized swimming -- and you call baseball and softball out?

Open your eyes: You're missing a good game. Baseball and softball are not just American sports any longer. Last night more than 35 million people around the world watched and listened to the Major League All-Star Game broadcast in several languages. The Home Run Derby featured players from eight countries. That wasn't the Stars and Stripes they draped over Bobby Abreu's broad shoulders after he won the derby. It was the Venezuelan flag.
But it's still refreshing that the Oregonian finally discovers that most of those international organizations are there simply to bush the US and hurt other nations in the process (although I won't be crying for Cuba or China any time soon):
Your bias against the United States isn't going to hurt baseball in this country. The Yanks and the Sox don't need you. What you have done is crush the dreams of baseball players in Cuba, who consider the Olympics the true World Series, and set back the game in countries such as Australia, Korea, China and Taiwan.
So I can join the Oregonian and say this to IOC and all other international organizations:
Ya bums.


Grovenet goes after Karl

After a few days of silence, Grovenet was awaken by the media reports that Rove may indeed be involved in "outing" of Plame. The problem is that although there are some speculations as to how involved Rove really was, nobody knows all the facts yet.

One question that was posed on Grovenet does however beg for an answer:
So where is Robert Novak in all of this? He is the one who broke the name first, when he was writing a column about the role Wilson played in investigating claims about Iraq's nuclear ambitions.

So here is my answer:
It is indeed interesting that nobody asks Novak any hard questions.

My theory. It's wild. But not as wild as accusations of "Bush and Rove lied!"

Miller knew the Wilsons well, including the CIA stuff. She leaked the info to Novak somehow. Novak's column hits the wire on 11th. Rove reads it in the morning. Cooper calls Rove around 11am to talk about welfare. Cooper changes subject to Wilson. Rove says that Wilson is a lying liar (e.g., a shill for Democrats) and nobody responsible sent him to Niger where he drunk a lot of green tea. It looks like it was his wife, somebody working behind a desk for CIA on WMD stuff. So, you know, don't go too wild on that no-uranium-from-Niger story as it may turn out not to be true.

I think Miller is in jail not to incriminate herself.

Wild, isn't it?

UPDATE: I wondered why the Grovenet lefties are not defending Rove for being a whistle blower. They just hailed Mark Felt for "telling the truth" and stopping "another corrupt Republican administration."

Well, what do you know? WSJ is wondering as well:
Democrats and most of the Beltway press corps are baying for Karl Rove's head over his role in exposing a case of CIA nepotism involving Joe Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame. On the contrary, we'd say the White House political guru deserves a prize--perhaps the next iteration of the "Truth-Telling" award that The Nation magazine bestowed upon Mr. Wilson before the Senate Intelligence Committee exposed him as a fraud.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


What credibility?

BBC has disgraced itself again:

The BBC has re-edited some of its coverage of the London Underground and bus bombings to avoid labelling the perpetrators as "terrorists", it was disclosed yesterday.

Early reporting of the attacks on the BBC's website spoke of terrorists but the same coverage was changed to describe the attackers simply as "bombers".

The BBC's guidelines state that its credibility is undermined by the "careless use of words which carry emotional or value judgments".
BBC, like CPB, is subsidized. When I visited England two years ago I couldn't believe how anti-American and anti-Semitic BBC was. CPB at least pretends...


My new friend

This man is my new friend.

If I'm ever again in Denmark, I will make sure I have a piece of his pizza with one or even two Karlsbergs.


Poetic justice at OPB

Unions may do them in. Good riddance. Taste your own medicine. Etc., etc. You won't be missed.

Monday, July 11, 2005


Poles missing in London

As of now, there are 17 Poles still missing in London. CNN has a story where one name is mentioned:
Karolina Gluck, 29, from Poland, said goodbye to boyfriend Richard Deer, 28, at 8:30 a.m. and has not been seen since [...]

Karolina Gluck, one of the 17 Poles still missing in London.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Don't stop fighting! When in doubt, think of Churchill.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Visiting an old acquaintance

I first went to see Mount St. Helens in summer of 1989 when I first moved to the Northwest. I've visited Windy Ridge 3 times since. I've also gone twice to the Johnston Ridge Observatory. Once, I even tracked all the way to the end of the crater trail. The area has changed a lot in 16 years. There are more plants and less gray. But the views are as awesome as always.

Mt. St. Helens from far.

Up close.

Mt. Hood towers over the destruction.

Spirit Lake. The position of the logs serve as a wind gauge. If the wind is very strong, they can stack-up so high that only a quarter of the lake is covered.

Mt. Adams

No, we didn't count.


Over the years this view has become less and less dramatic as the nature heals its wounds. But it is still engenders awe.

My wife made me take this picture.

We also went to see the Bonneville Dam. This is where our cheap electricity is produced.

Fish ladders let salmon go upstream.

Counting fish...

Monday, July 04, 2005


4th of July in the Red Count[r]y

4th (OK, it was 3rd) of July in Mollala


More pictures from the LaPine trip

As promised...

Views from 7,984ft.

Paulina Lake or East Lake? We were just there a few minutes ago!

More lava...

Overpopulation? I don't think so.

Paulina and East lakes.



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