Posts from February 2008

The perfect wine for Leap Year Day? Col de Rey IGT 2003 (Alto Adige)

Since February 29 is a special day, I started thinking of wines that could fit the Leap Year Day occasion.
From the Alto Adige tasting that I attended last Tuesday, while anchored in the peasant tradition of South Tyrol, a wine stood out for its spirit of adventure.
Heike Platter of Laimburg Province Winery had me taste their Col de Rey IGT 2003 part of the Manor Selection.
It is an unusual blend of Lagrein (50%), Petit Verdot (30%) and Tannat (20%).
Named after the hillside locations (the Ölleiten vineyard near Caldaro/Kaltern and Freiberg, near
Merano/Meran) where the high-quality grapes are grown, this wine has been produced only for 2 vintages.
Heike mentioned that odd as it can sound, the Mediterranean like climate allows for palm trees to thrive on the property. This full bodied red has good acidity balancing the tannins, mineral quality.
This special wine retails for around $45.00.

29 Ways to Celebrate Leap Year Day (via Judith Woods)

In today's Telegraph UK, Judith Woods says let me count the 29 ways to celebrate leap year day with her Leap Year Day Extravaganza. Since it is February 29 why not do something out of the ordinary she suggests.

Number 1 on her list is 'Cancel your Facebook' account, after you step away from your computer chasing 'friends' her number 5 is 'Put up a Birdbox' or at number 22 'Take a duvet day', put your feet up.

The BBC asks Who owns today? For some this extra day is a holiday, a free day. Steve Tomkins suggests that we perceive additional time as a gift. He mentions that the National Trust (UK) "has granted its whole workforce the day off. Calling it the Great Green Leap Day, they are asking staff to use it for the environment".

Related: 2036, Next Leap Year with 5 Fridays after 2008

Wanna Skydive from the Everest or Relax in Buzios: Travel of a Different Kind: Black Tomato

Personally I am not a fan of cruises and in general group travel.
I would take it for a day for say a bus trip to a specific destination but that would be it.
The Happy Leap Year Day newsletter by the ever creative people at Firefly Tonics in the UK landed in my e-box this morning and had me check what Black Tomato, not your grandparents kind of travel agency, had to offer.
Rather than present their picks by destination, suggestions are made based on what you are in the mood for.
Feel it's Time for Action as they put it, The Everest Skydive (2 weeks in September 08) might do it.
A more laid back experience could be yours in Buzios a now hip ex-fishing village in Brazil for about $4000 (per 7 nights).
If you are not quite sure where to go use what they call a Sensory Search depending how active or lazy you want to be, what the weather should be like and how much travel time you are ready to deal with to get to your perfect destination.
Their Little Travel Book makes you dream of travel and gourmandise such as the Chocolate buffet at the Sofitel Metropole in Hanoi, Vietnam.

A travel agency that can, based in London.

Related: A 4 mile walk above the Rain Forest...Ariau Amazon Towers and Trekking from Lodge to Lodge to the Macchu Picchu

Ready to Sniff Out great wines: 'Gambero Rosso' Tre Bicchieri Tasting, March 3rd, New York

Don't take 'sniff out' the bad way. The image in my head was of the pig finding the best truffles.

As I confessed before, my knowledge of Italian wines could be better. It was one of the reasons why I made it to the Alto Adige tasting 2 days ago.
As I was doing the rounds one of the winemakers Elena Walch insisted that I had to attend the Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri Tasting on Monday, March 3rd in New York.
She said, you must come.
One of her wines was selected in Vini d'Italia 2008/ Italian Wines 2008, the Gambero Rosso- Slow Food Wine Guide.


I had to do a little bit of detective work since the New York event had no easy to find registration info to be found online.

Thanks to the help of a wine importer, I was able to fetch a phone number that opened the doors of the event to me.

It is sold out by the way.

It seems to be quite an event if it matches the previous one as reported in The Best Italian Wine: Tasting Tre Bicchieri 2007 on Vinography.

What Alder emphasizes about the San Francisco tasting in 2007 is the sense of individuality that permeates the choices made for the guide and this event.

Of the thousands of wines they check only about 305 get the top rating of Tre Bicchieri (3 Glasses) in what some call The Italian Wine Bible.

Tuscany won 65 followed by Piedmont with 61.

It seems that a number of people prefer the Espresso guide (Italian only).

I will find out for myself on Monday and report to you.

Related: A walk in the Italian Alps for 'Alto Adige' Wine Tasting, February 26

IPod Battle at Warehouse in Tokyo, March 8...Music 2008

Does it always have to be words.
The poster says it all.


Battle of the Bands in the 21st Century for Tokyo Thursdays # 29

Found out about this event via Superfuture (the home of 'creative nomads').

Most popular ever Tokyo Thursdays: Japanese Cookies Put a Human Face with Ningyo-yaki

'In Good Company Workplaces', Coworking for New York Women

Not everyone wants to settle for a home office, Starbucks, a cramped and/or noisy corner or a soulless cubicle.
That's why Amy Abrams and Adelaide Fives decided to open In Good Company Workplaces,  a shared space for women entrepreneurs in the Flatiron district (New York).
Found out about it thanks to An Office Space of One’s Own by the ever inspiring Marcia Alboher.

2036, Next Leap Year with 5 Fridays after 2008

I had to pay a visit to Time and Date to get to know Why Leap Years Are Used.
Amongst the few things I gleaned was that after 2008, to see the next occurence of a Leap Year with 5 Fridays we will have to wait until 2036.

Looking way past our lifetime, the current  system for most of us, they state that "the Gregorian calendar has a 400-year cycle until it repeats the same weekdays for every year–February 29, 2008, is a Friday and February 29, 2408, is a Friday".

There is much more to learn from their Leap Year page but I will let you explore the rest.
Do check their Trivia Page on February 29 which combines stories and history.

From their Brief History of Leap Day, I discovered that "In ancient Rome, Leap Day was on February 24 due to February being the last month of the calendar. The original Roman calendar added an extra month every few years to maintain the correct seasonal changes".

February 29 is also celebrated as St Oswald's Day and part of the Ayyám-i-Há Festival (February 26 to March 1) for the Bahá'í they tell us.

A trip down history lane

Related: Celebrating Leap Year Day? Are you popping the question?

Part 2, Should I Dump ATT Wireless? Bugs and All!

On Sunday I asked the question Should I Dump ATT Wireless? as I was unable to upgrade/replace one of my phones and their process online is/was anything but seamless.
On Monday, I called customer service and was told it would be all fixed if I updated my very old plan to a recent one (albeit with 100 minutes less monthly, for the same price) from the 'new' ATT.
I went ahead, updated and was told that within 24 hours, I should be able to go online and order the replacement phone with no sweat.

I had a hard day tasting Alto Adige wines yesterday.

Well, it still does not work as I found out this morning when I tried.
This is broken and the nice customer service rep told me when I called that there is a problem with their online ordering feature.

He told me he realized after giving it a try that their online ordering does not work and no one knew so it could not be fixed.

Amazing isn't it?

How many people got riled in the past few days while experiencing the same frustration?
How many decided they had enough and jumped to the competition I wonder?
It sure must be widespread since Reuters picked my Sunday story in syndication and it has been the most read of those they chose so far.
Maybe I will jump ship today.
Enough time wasted.
Should I send them a bill for it?

Related: Should Business Process trample Customer Service? 

Check for 'Rotten Neighbors' before you move

Wondering if the neighborhood you have your mind set on is headache free, check Rotten Neighbor.

They attempt to show all the red lights (besides the ladies`of the night) that might pop up on your doorstep.
Descriptions of potential troubles are illustrated by photos of the block with a red dot on bad spots.

Is all the information offered checked prior to being added?

Could some people just use Rotten Neighbor to vent?

A twist on the real estate online offerings.

Discovered Rotten Neighbor on Webware.

Related: In and around Seattle, with Redfin find, buy, sell homes online plus Real Estate as 'Yuppie Pornography'...and Poetic Ads

7000 Plant Seeds from 36 African Nations in Arctic Vault

February 26, 2008 is the Grand Opening date for the Arctic Vault. Located 800 miles from the North Pole in the island of Svalbard (Norway), it will be a bank vault of sort for all the major plant and crop seeds of the world.
The first delivery will be rice plants.
Catherine  Riungu wrote in The East African (Nairobi) that "21 boxes filled with 7,000 unique seed samples from more than 36 African nations" have been shipped there and calls the Svalbard Global Seed Vault "a repository of last resort for humanity's agricultural heritage".

Amongst the varieties that she mentions, at least 2 are unknown to me, the wild cowpea and the Bambara groundnut.

The Arctic Vault was built by the Norwegian government and its daily operations will be run by the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

Check some facts on Svalbard thanks to the CIA World Factbook.

Hey! yes, crops and food supplies are a security issue.

Under the ice for Green Day #18