Will Blog For Wine

Alternatively titled "Man Whore for a Good Pinot Noir"

Name:

I'm a swell guy.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Death of a Blog

Brothers and sisters, we are gathered here today to remember "Will Blog For Wine"...

I've decided this is going to be the last post to my blog. I'm not killing it for the normal reasons - I could probably find time to post and god knows I love prattling on and on about whatever random ass topics I think are important in life. In fact, I really love having a blog. I'll probably reincarnate it in some other form at some point down the road, but more focused on technology or wine or food or something less controversial. Something sanitized. Something that, when Googled, brings back "wow, that was an excellent side of pork I had with dinner last night, accompanied by 1.5 glasses of watered down white zinfandel. And then my wife drove home to our 2.5 kids and we lived happily ever after."

I'm killing it because of life. In today's world, the first thing a recruiter does is Google you. Try looking yourself up some time, it might scare you. Pull me up and you get link after link to a paper I wrote that's been translated into 4 languages. Sandwiched right in between an article from the WSJ and some foreign policy mag. That's cool. But, what would I do if somebody I don't know found this site? "Bomb Mecca into next year and make the Middle East a parking lot. Affirmative action discriminates against white people like me, who all of a sudden have to get better grades and pay their application fees because they were born white instead of black. I drink A LOT of wine." All great things for a potential recruiter to see. Even better, 20 years from now, maybe I'm running for Congress. "Mr. AK, can you comment on your statements as a 32 year old, indicating that fat people should be chained to treadmills and forced to run until they lose weight?"

It's hard to get motivated when everything you want to say can be, and will be, used against you in a court of public opinion. I can't mention the name of the school I go to, because it's a top 20 MBA school and a lot of people search for it. I can't talk about my former firm because it's ahhh in the news right now, to put it mildly. I can't I can't even swear without getting a polite letter from my favorite Bob Jones grad. If she wasn't the greatest chef known to man, I'd probably have some issues. It all boils down to a simple idea - the advent of blogging brings accountability to the masses. For those people that thrive off being the wild card, it's great; for those that are trying to get ahead in life, it's a liability. We live in a country that prides itself on freedom of speech, but how free are you in the corporate world? Newslfash: you're not. You're free to conform, free to kiss somebody's ass, free to not make waves. Go ahead, sing amongst yourselves. "In the high school halls, in the shopping malls. Conform or be cast out..."

So, as quietly as I came into the blogosphere, I'm leaving it. The saddest part? I'm drinking a really crappy bottle of wine. Just kills me. 2003 Turley Duarte zin. I'm probably one of the biggest Turley cheerleaders on the planet and this thing just strikes me as mediocre. I've got $40 to spend on a bottle of wine like I need a hole in the head. Guess that's the way it goes, eh?

Thank you for reading. - AK

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Ann Coulter Gets Abused, Again

My favorite story of the day.
http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/12/08/coulter.row.ap/index.html

I fail to understand why so many people scream about free speech, support racist buffoons like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan, but then go absolutely ballistic when someone like Ann Coulter gets behind a microphone. Sure, she's a little confrontational and a bit of a whack, but nowhere near the to the extreme that three stooges mentioned above are. Yet Ann Coulter gets booed off the stage at UConn and hit with pies at Arizona. You don't see sites like this WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT for Jesse Jackson. Somebody would get sued into oblivion by the NAACP AND their ISP. The double standard today is just ridiculous.

I know, I know. Just how I feel. Yippee.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Being Responsible = Being and Idiot

Tonight is such a frustrating night.

Finals start next week and I have 2 huge assignments due tomorrow, one on Tuesday and oh, by the way, a resume drop for the job of my dreams. I do the responsible thing, of course, and give up the free ticket that was handed to me 60 mins before the game (I'm on campus, no less) and drive home to watch the game on ESPN while I pound this thing out.

Oops. Sunday night footballis on ESPN. I'll flip to ESPN 2. World Series of Poker. Then a rodeo. Duke is going to beat the living crap out of VT and ESPN 2 is showing a @#$% rodeo. Turns out the game is on FSN, which is a premium cable package that I'd never pay for, considering I'm at 95% of the home games and they're always on ESPN.

Fine. I'll check the game online. Duke is losing? *refresh* *refresh* 2 hours go by. My finger is numb, the F5 key is broken and some asshole in a red wig and suspenders is chasing a bull around on ESPN2. 75-74. The answer to your question is 327. The question? "How many times can you hit F5 during a full timeout?" Dockery from 40 feet for the swish. I've seen it at least 100 times now on the replays. I can actually see my buddies running on to the floor (grad section is behind the Duke 2nd half basket). And I'm sitting here at home with an accounting book. I don't even have a bottle of wine open.

At least I'm not a Virginia Tech fan.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Cyberhugs

Cyberhugs

Things that kill me about this story:
  • "devised a vibration jacket for chickens" Does the jacket just vibrate your chicken, or can it choke it, too? Why do chickens need to be vibrated? Are you trying to shake out an extra egg?
  • "wireless jacket for chickens or other pets" Wow, I thought putting little outfits on your dog was bad. Now you want to put a vibrating jacket on him so he can feel hugged? Press the button and virtually hug your dog when he's marking a fire hydrant. Nice.
  • Talk about latch key kids. "Sweetie, put on your shake and bake jacket so mommy can hug you over the internet. I'll see you at 9:00 PM!"
  • "Parents wearing a similar suit could be hugged back." I think it's safe to say I love my kid as much as, or more than, most other people out there. If you think I'm jumping into a vibrating pajama suit for an internet hug when I'm on a business trip, thing again. "Really, Mr. Airport Security. It's a vibrating hug suit. Do YOU need a hug today?"
  • And finally... "Scientists looking for ways to transmit the sense of touch over the internet have devised vibration boxer shorts. Former president Bill Clinton, the company's spokesperson, claimed 'I love 'em! If you've ever wanted to reach and out touch the President, well now you have a chance from the comfort of your own home!'" Coming soon!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Post-Thanksgiving

I know, I know. I've completely neglected the blog. The worse part is that once you start losing momentum, people stop coming back to read. So, I'm probably posting for my own edification here. Blah.

I suppose you are tired of hearing "life is crazy." If it's any consolation, I'm tired of typing it. I've been stuck in this never-ending cycle of being sick, getting over being sick and then being sick again, probably due to a lack of a sleep and my daughter's daily exposures to every strain of illness under the sun when she hits the playgroups with her fellow booger-rollers and nose miners. I swear, they're always catching something and then sniffling for a week. If a 2 year old wrote an autobiography, it would be "My Life as a Walking Petri Dish," subtitled "I Made a Poopie!"

School is going as well as can be expected. I'm not really sure how I'm supposed to balance all the things I'm supposed to be balancing (school, work, basketball games) and be a husband/dad. I think I've resigned myself to doing a mediocre job at all of them and hoping I hit the lotto some day. Perhaps I should start buying tickets? This term has been particularly brutal, with both finance and accounting in the same term, with marketing strategy and a speech class tossed in for good humor. I love the marketing strategy class, but it REALLY is a lot of work and the prof loves to cold call. Nothing like wandering through vineyards in my mind and getting called on to answer "what is the breakeven number of doses for Angiomax, based on the 4 page calculation you did last night?" "Uh, pinot noir. Yeah, that's it, pinot noir. No? That's not it? Would you believe 'Secretariat'? Oh, a number. 49?"

Adopt-a-soldier program is going well. I think we're up to 26 guys covered with packages (out of 34) and cheers go out to PWC for taking 12 guys in one fell swoop. I need to go to the post office today to drop off 2 more going out to Matt, who will be drinking Red Bull and eating three-bean stew (yes, I sent 6 cans of beans and a huge thing of salsa) for the next 2 weeks. Hey, who needs candy when you can have THREE BEAN STEW?!? If you're interested in writing letters or sending a care package, email me.

Other than that, I'll be doing the West Coast tour soon. San Jose, Portland, Seattle and Las Vegas! AK is coming soon to a city near you!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Old Singers

Couple of years back, I found myself on a tour bus with Smashmouth talking to Steve Harwell (friend of a really close family friend). Steve is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet and, while he can play the role of a superstar, you just don't think of him that way when you're having an every day conversation with him. We were talking about the Tesla show I just saw (not as old as the Rolling Stones, but gray and wrinkly none the less) and he said "you know, I TOTALLY get why these guys go out on tour at 45 and 50 years old. It's not really about the money - it's about getting up on stage in front of thousands of people, hearing them scream and putting on one hell of a show again."

So, I'm sitting here writing the daily mail to my little bro and Cyndi Lauper comes on Good Morning America. She looks pretty good for however old she is and is out pushing the new album. They lead her outside to the stage and, instead of playing one of her new songs and doing the "take me seriously" thing, she starts crowing her tired old 80's stuff. Let your trueeee colorrrrrs shine on through. "Awful" would be a compliment for her performance, which struck me as something between the fat, annoying, drunk chick that ruins karaoke night and a squirrel trying to gnaw his leg off to get out off a rat trap. Lauper was dressed like a slob and spent half of the first song waving a jacket around in the air like she was angry matador. I'm not quite sure what she's been doing the last 20 years, but my guess is whatever it was, it involved a 2 pack a day cigarette habit. Jesus. I know, I know. Tell me how you really feel. Or, "you try getting up on stage and belting out a tune." I'm just calling it like I see it and I saw a train wreck on stage. On the bright side, I did get to hear Steve's new single album a couple of months back and it was NOTHING like this nightmare.

Off to the store for more chocolate pretzels. Morgan is now a pooping star and gets 3 chocolate pretzels a day. Jumping up and down and cheering after each poop is taking it's toll on this old man...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Matt in Action!

Great action photo here! Link Funniest part is that it was picked up by AP and inserted in articles all over the place on the net (ABC News, etc.) that had absolutely nothing to do with the photo. What I find MOST disturbing is that he's letting the guy go without building up my ear necklace, damnit.

School is school is school. Learning a lot, and it's pretty amazing. Just a lot to do :/

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween. I’ve been up since 4:00 working on homework. No goddamn candy. And even better, I’m going to have approximately 300 booger rolling bastards dressed up as hobos, old ladies and ghosts (sheets with holes) on my doorstep tonight. Can I ask you why parents think it’s ok to dress their kids up in the world’s cheapest and most ghetto outfits one can imagine, and then snap 100,000 pictures of them so they can psychologically traumatize their children over the next 20 years? All for a couple of pieces of stale candy that was probably left in the garage since last year’s 20 lb bag purchase at Costco. And the absolute WORST part? Our parents drove us to people’s house to parade us around for their friends. Hey, Myron, check it out. I dressed up Andrew up as an 80 year old grandma. Isn’t he-she cute? Yeah, thanks a pant load mom. I’m surprised I didn’t grow up with some weird cross-dressing fetish.

(for Carolyn: Yes, I have a potty mouth this morning. 7 cups of coffee will do that to you. I'm also shaking like a fat girl in a snowstorm.)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Wine

Forgive me, this will be a long, rambling post about everything under the sun. I'll start with a side note - anonymous comments are back now that Blogger supports word verification.

Week 1 of term 2 is finally over. It wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be, but finance, accounting, marketing mgmt (100% case analysis) and speech can definitely take its toll. To make life worse, I tweaked my back playing volleyball on Tuesday, got sick on Wednesday and had to help the wife with the partner/faculty Halloween party on Friday. Rest assured I had a large glass of Woodford Reserve before I passed out on the couch last night... As far as grades go, I ended up with an SP, 2 HPs and a P. The P REALLY pissed me off, given I did well on the final. I guess that's life and I need to stop being so damn competitive.

Couple of current events that I just can't gloss over. Was anybody else waiting for Ahmadinejad (President of Iran) to take off his shoe and beat it on the table as he screamed "Israel must be wiped out from the map of the world." Gotta love that one. And this comes after Iran has repeatedly refused to stop their nuke program. The only thing more amazing is the fact that I have a very good friend who is Iranian, fluent in Farsi and she can't get the time of day from the FBI. She's applied twice over the last 2.5 years and her application keeps "getting lost." Now I don't know about you, but one would think that any application that rolls into the big bureaucratic morass with "FLUENT IN FARSI" might get somebody's attention. Add her MBA to the mix, and I am left, once again, completely disappointed in the way our government does things. I'm not even going to start with the whole Rove/Libby scandal. I still expect Rove to take a federal indictment bullet in the relatively near future. I just think they're going to staplegun Libby to the wall first.

Speaking of poopoo, Morgan has been potty training seriously for the last week or so. You have not experienced life until you go through this with a 2 year old. It starts off with "I have to go poopoo, Daddy! I have to go poopoo, Daddy!" This requires an instant response; Morgan isn't wearing diapers any more, so the only thing worse than having to jump up from whatever you are doing is cleaning up the near miss. After the revelation of a turd from on high, we run at lightning speed to the plastic potty, rip off her pants and then I have to leave the room. A couple minutes go by and then I'll hear the pitter patter of running feet, followed by "I made a poopoo! I made a poopoo!" While seeing my kid running through the house with no pants and an uwiped bottom is usually a little unsettling, I'm still obliged to jump up and down, start cheering, give her a high-five and pray that nothing else hit the ground during her run across the house. We then grab a chocolate pretzel (have to reward the little monster) and celebrate some more. Ironically enough, Morgan just farted incredibly loudly, laughed, and ran to the potty. Ahhh, the joys of being a dad.

On the wine side, I completely broke my budget and picked up a bottle of Turley 03 Earthquake and 2 of the 03 Old Vines. I couldn't help myself and the fridge is down to 29 bottles right now. I think I'm going to hold off from drinking anything for a while and see if I can make it until Thanksgiving without opening any good stuff. This school budget stuff SUCKS. Until next time.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The End of Term 1

It's finally over. Term 1 has come to an end, I'm done with finals and I am anxiously awaiting my grades. Whoohoo! I know I got an SP (Superior Pass - 4.0) in Computer Skills, but given it's a self-paced class that relies on your ability to read directions and take on more assignments for a better grade, I guess it's not all that impressive. Econ, Stats and Managerial Effectiveness are going to be the biggies. I'll be satisfied with HP's (High Pass, 3.7) for all three, so keep your fingers crossed!

Supposedly, I have a break this week. I say "supposedly" because I've got 200 pages worth of material to work through before class starts on Monday. They're called "pre-assignments" and designed to help us hit the ground running. Maybe they should call them "jack up your break and make you do homework" assignments, because I've been putting them off and dreading them. The sad thing is that I'm laying around the house for most of break, so I might I actually complete them vs. all of the guys I know that are flying home to see girlfriends, attend weddings or do a Wall Street week-in-cities trip. They're REALLY going to love reading a FedEd case and putting a presentation together.

On the home front, the wife's sister is visiting from Stockton, CA. I have not thrown myself in front of a bus yet, but I did manage to drink myself to sleep last night. Given today is Wednesday and her departure date is Saturday, I'm kind of thinking I'd rather switch places with Matt in Iraq right now. At least I can shoot back at the bad guys. I got a lecture last night from her about Fetzer merlot being better than any bottle of wine I have and that she'd like to do a blind taste test with one of my "fancy pants" bottles of wine to prove her point. This followed a full day of diarrhea of the mouth, including highlights like "wow, that was immaculant," "the ride was bumpy because of the turbo-air" and last, but not least, "Andrew, I'm going to give you a lesson on how incorporations work. They let you keep everything at arm's distance." In that context, my response of "I'd sooner sip urine through a straw than drink a bottle of your Fetzer merlot" wasn't quite as bad as it sounded. If she thinks I'm going to open a $30 bottle of wine for her to drink through one of Morgan's sippy cups, she's mainling heroin.

We're going to take a tour of campus today, and I can't tell you how excited I am to have her walking the hallowed halls of my b-school making comments like "wow, the archutecture (sic) is incredibly elavogant." The wife could tell I was getting a little testy yesterday, but after her sister explained how to raise our daughter correctly, I'm guessing I have free reign to let loose on her today.

Just typing this is making me look at the clock. It's 9:41 AM now, but I'm sure it's 5:00 somewhere. If I start drinking now, I'll pass out, wake up after 5:00 and then won't feel so bad about drinking even more. Maybe I'll go buy some Fetzer merlot; it's cheaper than bourbon.

For those of you following along with Matt - talked to him for 30 mins on Saturday and he's relatively bored. This is a good thing. We sent him a couple of care packages filled with Red Bull, York Patties (some cockandballs stole his last batch) and other stuff... If anyone is interested in "adopting a soldier," send me an email and I'll hook you up. I've asked Matt to put together a list of some of the guys in his platoon that are single/don't have family/have family (see above) but don't want to talk to them.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Why I Fell in Love With Wine

I just finished Term 1 at b-school and decided it was a great time to relax, open a bottle of wine and toast the fact that I am still alive. It was probably a little presumptuous, given finals are coming up this week, but technicalities smechnicalities. I opened up a 2001 Bressler Cabernet Sauvignon (~$70), grabbed a nice big Riedel glass and poured away. The nose from this cab was amazing, and the first, long sip nearly knocked me off my feet. I fell in love with wine all over again.

I know, I know. I need a wine habit like I need a hole in the head. Going from a great salary to poverty level has been "culture shock," to say the least. Even then, if I was content with a $19.95 Vouvray, life would be bearable and my Costco card would be shredded from overuse. There's just something about a fantastic bottle of wine that blows me away. Some art lovers can look at a Jackson Pollack painting and declare it a masterpiece, scant moments before succumbing to an uncontrollable seizure from the day-glo colors arranged in a projectile-vomit like pattern on a piece of canvas. I get that same sense of euphoria from a spectacular bottle of wine, get to skip the seizure AND I find myself appreciating Jackson Pollack the closer I get to the end of the bottle.

I think the greatest thing is that Bressler's cab didn't get rave reviews from the press. I believe Parker gave his 2001 an 89, which I think is a travesty. I can honestly say I have never had a glass of wine that just exploded with fruit like this one. I would agree with Parker to a degree that the finish was a little lighter than I would expect from a rock-star Napa cab, but I wouldn't score it less than 93, which brings up one last point - wine isn't about ratings. Can I tell you how irritated I am that Andrew from A.P. Vin scored a 92 from WS on his inaugural release (2003 Garys' Vineyard)? Don't get me wrong - I agree 100% with the score. I picked up 9 bottles and have ONE left. That said, his mailing list doubled over the summer as a result of the article. I was fortunate enough to find him before WS did, but now 10,000 people are going to crowd out my allocation because some wank at a magazine gave him a 92 after drinking 100 other glass of pinot that same day. Parker wants to give Bressler an 89? I'm ECSTATIC about that. Give him a 75 next time, for all I care. Granted, I need to figure out a way to afford Bressler and A.P. Vin this year (*cough* and Turley and Match), but at least I'll be smiling.

Thanks to Bob and Andrew for reminding me why I drink wine! Thanks to b-school for reminding me why I drink at all.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Ranting and Raving

Ok. I've had it. Great story from one of my profs.

"There will be some days where you look around and say to yourself 'Lo, it is I that brings fire down from the gods to the natives.' Other days, you'll wonder to yourself 'If there are 426 people in my class, surely I was 427 and one of the others got hit by a bus, which explains why I'm sitting here today.' Then, there will be days that you're sure you were number 426, but looking across the table at the dumb son of a bitch on your team, you're absolutely certain he was 428."

I'm convinced that the dumb son of a bitch on my team was number 600, but stole number 425's student visa. Surprise, it's the one knob that I wrote about on my thread 9 months ago when I got his email.

Speaking of potty mouths, Morgan is now peeing like a world class champion. She no longer wears diapers during the day, so we're clapping and cheering about that. In fact, we're clapping and cheering every time she takes a whiz, which gets her excited, resulting in her going whiz some more and, of course, more clapping and cheering. If she finally gets around to taking a crap in the potty, I'm thinking we'll do cartwheels on the front lawn and play "Celebrate Good Times" by Kool and the Gang.

Heard from Matt this morning and he has officially reached FOB Oryan after an exciting truck ride from LSA Anaconda. He is now 1/20th of his way through the tour. He posted some cool pics, but I don't want to post the link. If you want to see them, send me an email at my personal account (not the wbfw address above).

Other news - I signed up for the World Series of Poker MBA Championship in Vegas in January. Who knows? Maybe I'll win some money. I'm 4-0 in both of my fantasy football leagues and am have lasted 4 weeks in our school survivor league, which has gone from 28 to 7. Whooohooo! Until next time...

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Wine, Weather and My TI-89 Titanium

Finally, a homework assignment I can get excited about. One of the supplementary readings for my Prob Stats class is an article by Orley Ashefelter and company on the "Bordeaux Equation," which appeared in Chance magazine several years after the original study. Specifically, three profs collected quite a bit of data on sale prices and vintage quality of young vs. old wines and then compared them against weather patterns. They than ran regressions against the data to determine what vintages would be spectacular, based solely on weather - no tasting involved. Parker's response - "a Neandrathal way of looking at wine" and he was slammed by several others. Ironically, Ashefelter's research is based on Bruno Prats's observation of how weather affected his juice at Chateau Cos d'Estournel in the St-Estephe region of Bordeaux.

One of the most common complaints was that applying his equation back against his data set couldn't accurately predict the known data. My take on that is that people don't understand that regression forecasting gives you a general idea of where a value will land, but can vary by a standard deviation in either direction.

Article Link

Interesting summarization appears in the NYT on 3/18/1990 (Wine Equation Puts Some Noses Out of Joint), where Ashenfelter puts it all on the line, declaring the 1989 Bordeaux crop will be the greatest of the century. Again, look at the dates; the NYT writes "these wine are barely three months in the cask and have yet to be tasted by critics."

NOTE: If you want to leave a comment, you'll need to register with blogger.com. I got 3 anonymous comments within 5 minutes of posting and I'm tired of it. Make up a a name and an email and you're good to go...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Comment Spam

Spam has finally hit the blogging world. It's really quite irritating, especially with Blogger's piss-poor ability to manage comments in general. Here's what happens: You publish a post to your blog, which is guaranteed to be syndicated. When the page is updated, it's added to a log file off in the neversphere. Spammers have utilities set up to monitor these sites, go out to the recently update blog site and post a comment. You've seen them before here, but in the event that you haven't, here's an example:

Hi! I saw your blog and liked it a lot. I could not agree more with your point of view, which is why I'd like to talk about my new buttocks enhancer, the AssMaster 2000. For just $29.95 and 30 minutes a day, you too can experience firm buttocks at the click of a button. Come by and visit me some time at assmaster2000.com.

Everything is automated, so you can go from one comment to my best showing of five. The cool thing about Blogger is that you can only remove the comment every once in a blue moon if you click the right combination of view post and comment options. How irritating.

On another note - Friday night is the start of camp-out. Imagine 4000 graduate students livng in U-Haul trucks in a parking lot for 36 hours. Stores in the area are already running out of beer. I'll probably bring the video camera along, just for the hell of it. The business school guys go all out for this event and get sponsors from local restaurants, stores, etc. People bring generators, big screen tv's and blow-up dolls. Should be fun :-) By the way, I'm 2-0 in both of my fantasy football leagues!!! I've also lasted both weeks in a survivor league at school, which has shrunk from 28 people to 9. Go INDIE!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Over There

I don't really feel like waxing poetic at this point time, so I'll leave you with "I guess somebody has to go." Please keep my brother Matt in your prayers as he boards a plane for Kuwait and then makes the long drive to his new home in Iraq. Tomorrow's hangover is dedicated to you, bro.



Again, please keep him in your prayers.
Andrew