A Texas Wineslinger, Book Project, a Macbook, Buffalo Gap, Gut Bugs, Music Appreciation and Wine
It’s been a interesting week; at least today I can say that in retrospect. Finally after a one year writing excursion into the land of Texas wine, I finally finished my book, titled: The Wineslinger Chronicles. The manuscript was submitted to the publisher (Texas Tech University Press) back on November 30, 2010 and this week I submitted the final-final version – on to production. The one thing that both weeks had in common was a computer hard drive crash.
As I sat there at the Apple store in Houston’s Galleria on Tuesday evening, I took stock of my computer situation that roughly paralleled my one year book writing experience:
March 2010 – Purchase original Apple Macbook Pro
May 2010 – First hard drive failure/replacement followed by expensive data retrieval process to scour the damage surface of my hard drive to find one book chapter that was not backed-up.
November 2010 – Second hard drive failure/replacement, but with lessons learned Apple’s Time Machine back up brought me back in a day.
January 2011 – Third, forth and Fifth hard drive failures precipitating one hard drive replacement followed by two new Macbook Pro replacements.
February 2011 – Sixth hard drive failure with another Macbook replacement
April 2011 – Seventh and last hard drive failure with switch back to my old Dell PC that has a likeness to Willie Nelson’s guitar.
As I sat there in the store this week watching my working files go from Time Machine back up to a PC-formatted drive, I realized that maybe I was just not worthy to be a Mac-buddy. Then, this week a study was released that confirmed Mac and PC people are different (click here). It also confirmed to me that I was very likely part of an Apple back-ops plot to rid me (and others that don’t fit the Apple demographic) from the Kingdom of Steve Jobs.
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I was in Buffalo Gap last weekend and got one blog off from VintageTexas before my final Macbook crash. Unfortunately, I lost most of my photos from the event and a video that showed how to open a bottle of Champagne with a saber in grand French Jacques Pepin fashion. Fortunately, Alfonso Cevola got a series of timed-action photos of the event and posted them to his blog, On the Wine Trail in Italy (click here) along with really cool pictures of food from the event. Go Alfonso!
I did manage to save two photos on my Blackberry. One photo captured the sunset at the Saturday evening walk around event. The background composed of lime green mesquite leaves contrasted against red sun filtering through the gray haze caused by the Texas wildfires. It set the stage for enjoyment of fine wine and food assembled from France, California and Texas.
Then, grand as usual, Sunday morning breakfast shared in communal joy: eggs, ham, biscuits, strong coffee, Mamosas and Bloody Marys.
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Today’s New York Times was a good read with an article that indicated we (not just Texans, but all the world’s people) are all composed of three distinct gut bug types. Pretty amazing when you think of it. Four blood types and three groupings of gut bugs define our mortal existence on this good Earth. I don’t know what this means in terms of digestion and ability to enjoy the creations of fine chefs like Jacques Pepin, but it apparently will help to bring new cures for aliments of the gut, obesity and vitamin deficiency. Click here.
Even more interesting was the article about the correlations between enjoyment of music and stimulation of the brain (click here). Research is showing that our brains understand music not only as emotional diversion, but also as a form of motion and activity. The same areas of the brain that activate when we swing a golf club or sign our name also engage when we hear expressive moments in music.
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The New York Times article got me thinking about wine tasting in a different kind of light: actually something like combining physical movement (raising the glass) and the appreciation of fine music (think of it as music for the palate), all in one. Scientists feel that what really communicates emotion from music may not be melody or rhythm, but moments when musicians make subtle (often unexpected) changes to musical patterns.
How about this: what professional wine tasters look for in a wine is complexity, an unexpected interplay of aromas, flavors and nuances on our palate that play like notes of music to our ears. Both sensations end up at the same place, the brain. There, things boil down to either something you remember or not. The more interesting and exciting it is, the better than chance that it will be a memorable event. I guess that same thing could be said for fine dining and for the ultimate experience, wine and food pairing. Click here for the next ultimate experience.
Think about that for a while with your next glass of wine, Texas wine.