October 30, 2004:  I made a few updates over the past few days, so be sure to scroll down and check out Matt & Heather Davis's new baby son as well as some shots of my new car :)

Heheh, last night was a fun night. Alex, his dad Al, his co-worker/friend Kevin, Michael Tanner and I all got together for another night of playing some poker a.k.a Texas Hold 'em! We had a blast! Around 7:00 PM, before the game started, we enjoyed some 15" mushroom cheese steaks from the local Cheese Steak Factory which were absolution delicious! After that, the wine and scotch began to flow and the games began. We played until 1:30 am and it was a fun night!

The next morning, I was up at 8:00 AM (and yes, I was not feeling 100% :) to meet up with my friend Ryan for breakfast. After woofing down a few cups of coffee and some eggs, we began our journey up to wine country. Our destination today was in Sonoma county. The one winery I wanted to hit was Joseph Swan so that I could pick up another bottle of two of their tasty Pinot to take back to NY with me next week. Well, our first stop was at Kendall-Jackson.

Now, when I think of KJ, my first though isn't of their fantastic wines. I mean, they are a wine giant and most of their $8-12 bottles are ok. Well, as usual, I had a bit to learn :)  The wine tasting room was a really nice setting and our host, Sam, was excellent. At just a wee bit over 21 years old, his passion for wine clearly shown through and he was able to provide us with an excellent tasting experience. At the end of the tasting, my favorite was the 2001 Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, which at $24 a bottle is pretty tasty. Well, when it's offered to you at the industry discount (thanks to Ryan's VineSugar.Com venture)  and you get it $13 a bottle, it's even better!!  So, I picked up one or four bottles of this tasty beverage :)  Ryan got one two as well as a couple of bottles of their Pinot which was also very nice. After bidding farewell to our gracious host, it was off to Joseph Swan Winery.

Hehehe, it was quite the adventure finding this hidden gem of a winery, but well worth the trek through the back roads. Upon arriving, we found ourselves to be the only ones there, and were warmly greeted by our host Lynn Berglund and her husband Rod (the winemaker). We sampled 4 tasty pinot's, a syrah and a zinfandel. My favorite pinots were the 2002 Cuvee de Trois and the 2001 Zeigler and of course, I took couple of the first home with me :)  After chatting with Lynn for a while, it was time to take off and visit our last stop, Hannah Winery.  

Hannah has a nice little tasting room and a decent selection of wines were being tasted that day. Our host, though knowledgeable, was a bit chilly and didn't add a lot of positive energy to the visit. Luckily, I found a couple in from Manhattan who were a bit eclectic looking and fun to talk to, which warmed things up. The wines we tasted were pretty good. The 99 Bismark Ranch Noir was a tasty everyday red wine, but at almost $50 a bottle, that was a bit too much. I was a bit disappointed by the 99 Bismark Cabernet Sauvignon as it had an aftertaste of tobacco and sage that was just a bit too much for me.  What I was impressed by, was he 01 Bismark Ranch Zinfandel. This was a beautiful wine. The nose on it was stunning and I could've sat there for quite a while just enjoying the bouquet of jammy fruits which emanated from the glass. The flavor was delicious! To quote the wineries tasting notes "
Not for the faint of heart or palate, this Zinfandel showcases heady aromas of brambly blackberry, toasty oak and spice. Bold, juicy flavors follow. Bismark Zin packs a wallop!"  YUMMY!! For a moment, I though I was at Rosenblum Winery tasting one of their higher end Zin's. LOL, but the $51 price tag knocked me back to reality and regretfully, I did not leave with a bottle. And so with a farewell to our friendly NYC couple, we took off for home.

All in all, it was a great day up in wine country and sharing the experience with a good friend like Ryan only made it that much better!  As he and I have said to each other numerous time now, "we live life pretty damn well" :-)

Speaking of wine and living life well, I just got a great update from Becky and Lisa: "Lisa has completed the Court of Master Sommeliers first-level certification! The course, held at Walt Disney World, drew attendees from all over the country and is and taught by master sommeliers and wine experts (http://www.mastersommeliers.org). It's certainly no easy task, but she's passed the first of three stages needed to receive the top professional qualification."

CONGRATULATIONS Lisa on passing the first official step to becoming a professional wine snob :P  Hehehehe, awesome :) 

Oh yeah, Adam Arnold recently updated his online portfolio. You need to check it out! It's pretty sweet! I certainly hope SOMEONE out there recognizes the awesome talent he has and gives him a good job!! :)

Cheers!

:Penz

October 28, 2004:  Hehehe, well, this week was a fun one. On a whim, I decided to trade in my used (and slightly abused) 2004 Toyota Matrix for a something a bit more fun to drive. So, I got a 2003 Volkswagen GTI 20th Anniversary Edition . This car is MUCH more fun to drive thanks in part to the 1.8L 4 cylinder turbo fuel injected engine which delivers 180 HP. Take that with a 6 speed manual transmission and some 18" wheels and you're just bound to have some fun :)


Freshly cleaned, waxed and ready to go!


Some sweet 18" wheels. Behind them, vented ABS braking system
The Recaro seats are sweet and soooooooooooooo comfy!
They only made 4000 of these and I've got #857!

Hehehe, well needless to say, I'm pretty  happy about this and this weekend, I'm taking it out and going to enjoy it. More on that soon :)

:Penz

October 24, 2004:


Ryan Davis, son of Matt and Heather Davis. Absolutely Adorable!!!!!!!!

From Macky: Little Ryan Davis entered the world on 10/24 @ 4:13 am proving he might be the one to carry on the family tradition of lobstering up here in Maine. He weighed 7 lbs and 10 ounces and was 20 3/4 inches. We are extremely excited and looking forward to talking with you all, but things are just too crazy to make the calls right now. I didn't realize how much sleep affects everything you do, but I certainly missed getting 7 hours straight. He is an angel, but I have to say that anyways. He has had some health issues, so we have not been able to really focus on anything else, but he should be fine. I will talk to you all later. ~Macky "

CONGRATULATIONS to Macky and Heather on bringing this magnificent wonder into this world!!

In other 'baby news' Sean Crenshaw recently celebrated his 1st birthday :)  Here are some great pictures shared by dad:

Hehehe, see, who says you can't have a beautiful mom, have your cake and eat it too? :D  Happy Birthday Sean!

:Penz

October 14, 2004:  Well, it's been a wee bit since I made an entry. Well, let's fix that :)

What's been going on?  Let's see if I can remember :) Well, the last weekend in September, I went to the San Francisco Folsom St. Fair with my friends Don, Kevin, Jerry and David. We had a blast!  Hehehe, I'm not posting any pictures of the event up here, but hehehe, if I did, you'd probably get a chuckle (or be frightened). Suffice to say, I had a great time.

The following week, I worked. A lot. Enough said :)  That weekend, I went to a fun BDay party over at Nate and Justin's place down in San Jose. That was a fun evening. Thanks guys! 

Last weekend was the beginning of Fleet Week here in the Bay Area. I went down by the Golden Gate bridge on Saturday and watched as the ships came in. 


Golden Gate Bridge. (I need to get a polarizing filter for my camera :)


The Amphibious Assault Ship USS Tarawa  (she was the largest ship in the procession)


Me waiting for the ships going by, playing with the timer on my camera.  Like those shorts? :)

Well, my brother Tim recently inherited an Amazon Grey parrot. His name is "Pooey" (and yes, there is a funny story behind that name). This bird is pretty funny. Amongst other noises and a pretty amazing vocabulary, he barks! Heheh, here he is saying hi to the 'bird dogs' Tyler and Zach. 

Let's see, I spoke with Perky and Tanya this past week. They are out in KY and they and Meagan are doing well.

I also spoke to Steve "Milkman" Mayou. He got married! Yep, the Milkman is married. His wife, her child and he are now living on base in Honolulu. He seems to be very happy and I'm looking forward to flying out there and meeting his new family sometime in the near future.

This past Mon-Wed. I was in Denver for work. It was a pretty good trip and I enjoyed meeting some more of my coworkers during my time out there.

Other than that, not too much else going on. Getting ready to head out to dinner, so gotta run, but just wanted to say HI! :-)

All the best,

:Penz


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