Posts Tagged ‘ball’



Some things you may not know about me:

My favorite color is SAE/ECE amber—one of the few technically approved colors for automotive signal lamps.  Also, I enjoy long, romantic strolls on the beach at sunset.  As well, there is nothing that makes me happier than being awoken by a snuggly, huggly puppy nuzzling my crotch.  Equally, I can predict the future.

I discovered this last talent as a teenager, having found a magical ‘book’ in our den that foretold precisely where I would be and what I would be doing at, say, 12:00 PM the following Sunday—and it proved to be absolutely accurate.  Of course, it was TV Guide and AMC was showing the entire remastered Godfather trilogy at noon, so this is probably not a really good example.

I have noticed, however, that several times each year—especially when I am under undue stress from collection agencies and Friend of the Court—when I sit down to write a wine column, it is almost as if I sink into a fugue state and some occult Ouija force takes control of my fingers and types for me.

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The following column needs to be taken seriously.  It was channeled via ‘psychography’, wherein the author falls into a trance-like state and is then possessed by some disembodied external force which composes a written prognostication without the subject’s conscious awareness. 

The ‘nominal’ author, Christian Kassel, was given an extensive polygraph examination afterward, and the only question that drew an ‘inconclusive’ was when he was asked if the machine was actually plugged in.

* Note that before the autowriting began, Kassel had already typed the dateline as Dec. 31, 2012…  As you can see, it was modified to ‘2013’ by whatever otherworldy haruspex had seized control of his phalanges, his soul and his personal computer.

Dec. 31st, 2013:  The Wine Year In Review

I think we can all agree that the global vortex that spun the Planet of Plonk out of control and led to the downfall of the Obama administration can trace its origins to January 22, 2013—the day after the President’s second inauguration.
Malia, in a world where everyone is Aryan.
On that day, the First Family’s 14-year-old-daughter Malia was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of acne known as nodulocystic papuphilia, a skin disorder that impairs the body’s ability to coagulate pus.

So physically disgusting—and psychologically devastating—is this disease that teenagers are frequently placed in state-run sensory-deprivation chambers throughout the duration of puberty.
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Happy New Year! Now the festivities are over and the crystal glasses are back in the cupboard, it’s time to take out the crystal ball. Here are 10 of the most significant wine trends to watch for in 2013:


1. Bull market for consumption:

It may not be a bull market for much in the United States these days, but it’s a bull market for wine consumption. The year just finished may well mark the 19th consecutive 12-month period of growth in per capita consumption, resulting in the U.S. becoming the largest wine market in the world (though it remains a mere middleweight in per capita terms). Wine is hot; wine is the new black.

While Baby Boomers may reach for familiar selections, the youngest wine consumers – the Millennials – show a strong interest in wines and a curiosity to try them from many different regions or grapes.

2. The winter of wine critics:

These same Millennials are different from their elders in how they get wine recommendations – they rely on friends (both online and offline) and store clerks more than they value the opinions of the critics who have guided consumers over the past three decades. America today boasts one of the most knowledgeable wine-buying populations in the world, leading to the profusion of blogs and tweets and status updates about wine. While point-spewing critics may have helped create this knowledge base, increasingly savvy consumers are looking elsewhere for recommendations.

3. The threat of craft beer:

The rise of craft beer in America is a tremendously exciting story. While the makers of macro brews keep buying one another and consolidating in a time of flat suds, the micro brewers are experiencing 16-percent growth. Younger buyers are attracted to the beers that actually have flavor profiles, rather than ones that simply slake a summer thirst or wash down wings.

With cicerones (beer sommeliers) popping up at restaurants, and with beer’s perceived relative value-for-money status, it’s no surprise that the San Francisco-based news website SF Weekly recently wrote: “Craft beer is overtaking wine as San Francisco’s beverage of choice.” Craft beer and a less-than-robust economy pose the biggest threat to the bull market in American wine consumption.

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