Category:Not wine related

Definitely not wine related: Xubuntu 20.04 review


This post is for the 1.2 percent of you who come to the blog via Linux

The Wine Curmudgeon has had a long and successful writing career — articles in a variety of major U.S. magazines and newspapers, seven books and chapters in four others, and one of the most successful wine blogs in the cyber-ether. So why this post, linking to a review of the just-released Xubuntu 20.04 operating system?

Because Linux, the $10 wine of the computer world. And it’s posted on DistroWatch, one of the two or three most important Linux sites. Take that, Winestream Media.

So feel free to skip this post if you’re bored with my Linux enthusiasm. I understand. Just smile, and let the rest of us enjoy the moment.

Hoarding toilet paper and what it says about us in the time of the coronavirus

toilet paper
This is where the toilet paper wasn’t on my trip to a Dallas Kroger on Thursday morning.

Is hoarding toilet paper really the best way to fight the disease?

How screwed up is this country at this place and time, even though the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is barely here? So screwed up that the best advice I’ve heard came from a couple of sports radio hosts, who are hardly the source one would expect. They told their Dallas audience on Thursday morning to ignore everything they hear and read about the illness unless it comes from an expert – and no, Twitter trolls do not count as experts.

Yes, this has nothing to do with wine. But I just got back from my local Kroger, and the picture with this post is where the toilet paper should be. How did we get to the point where our reaction to a global crisis is to horde toilet paper? When that happens, someone needs to say something, and I’ve never shirked that responsibility.

This is the United States, and we’re supposed to be the best and the brightest and to set an example for the rest of the world. That was the point of our experiment in self-government 244 years ago; as Benjamin Franklin put it: “Our cause is the cause of all mankind….

Instead, we’re hording toilet paper.

We should be leading the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19), not banning travel from Europe. Talk about locking the barn door. The virus is here – banning travel isn’t going to make it go away or slow its spread. That’s what makes a pandemic a pandemic. Instead, we should be spending the time and energy and money we’re wasting on the travel ban for testing kits and medical supplies, and for research to understand what this thing is, and how it spreads, and how to contain it.

But we’re hording toilet paper.

Says one leading scientist: It’s “clear from genomic evidence that community spread is occurring in Washington state and beyond. That kind of distortion and denial is dangerous and almost certainly contributed to the federal government’s sluggish response. … Transmission rates and death rates are not measurements that can be changed with will and an extroverted presentation.”

Hopefully, we figure this thing out sooner rather than later. Until then, people will die. But not to worry, right? We’ll have enough toilet paper.

By any other name: What do we call legalized marijuana?

legalized marijuana
Much, much too Grateful Dead.

We need a better term for legalized marijuana, since it looks to be here to stay – and to give wine a run for its money (pun fully intended)

What are we going to call legalized marijuana, now that it’s for sale in one form or another in more than half the states?The news media uses recreational marijuana, which is not only awkward but sounds like something on a children’s playground. “Come on, kids, lets go ride the recreational marijuana.”

Hence, the need for a better term. Although the Wine Curmudgeon doesn’t partake (wine, bourbon, and rye being my vices), I have extensive experience with Cheech & Chong, the old National Lampoon magazine, and Jack Webb’s rants on the subject.

That’s because legalized marijuana is going to appear on the blog as it contends with wine not just for market share, but for consumer hearts and minds. And don’t forget Big Pot. My goal is to find a synonym to use that will be easily identified:

• Reefer. Too 1950s, and especially for anyone who knows “Reefer Madness.”

• Dope. My personal favorite, but probably too 1970s.

• Mary Jane. Too beatnik.

• Weed. Probably the best term to use. It has a long history as a marijuana synonym, and is still in use today. Or so I am told.

• Pot. If not weed, then pot.

• 420. Too Grateful Dead.

• Herb. Too pretentious.

• Cannabis. Even more pretentious than herb.

• Grass. Too Woody Allen.

More about legalized marijuana:
If you thought winespeak was bad, how does potspeak sound?
Ask the WC 11
Dope writing

Save the Internet — Net Neutrality Day

Net Neutrality DaySave the Internet — support Net Neutrality Day

The Wine Curmudgeon does not write about politics; wine is complicated enough. But the battle for Internet neutrality is so important that I’m making an exception. I don’t want a cable company to decide what I can access on the Internet. Or to decide that you can’t get to this site because it isn’t profitable for them.

Hence this post. AT&T, Spectrum, and Comcast should not be allowed to run the Internet so they can make more money at our expense. Net neutrality says we get the entire Internet without interference or extra charges – no gatekeepers, no tollbooths, no slow lanes. That’s something the cable and phone companies, and their lackey at the FCC, want to change. And they are well along in the process.

Because, as the Fight for the Future organization asks, do we want the Internet to look like cable TV?

Today is Net Neutrality Day, and I’m joining more than 80,000 websites, Internet users, and organizations in their on-line protest. Other participants include Twitter, Amazon, Facebook. Google, Reddit, Netflix, Mozilla, Etsy, Kickstarter, and Vimeo. That’s how important this is — Google and I are on the same side.

Cubs 108, History 0

Bill Murray in Cleveland at game 6. He bawled like a baby, too. Photo courtesy of my pal John Palazzo, who is an Indians fan with a heart of gold.

Yes, this was worth waiting 108 years for

I write for a living. I can write any time, any where, any place. I’ve written on deadline, I’ve written in the front sear of cars, I’ve written in flimsy bleachers, and I’ve written in hotel bars.

This morning, I can’t write. Which says everything you need to know about the Cubs winning the World Series.

So, to business. I’m cooking dinner on Saturday night, and the Big Guy and Lynne Kleinpeter will help me drink the $100 wine I promised to drink if the Cubs won the World Series. Look for that post on Monday.

Until then, enjoy the posts for today and tomorrow that I wrote earlier in the week in hopes I would be too overwhelmed to write this morning. And, if you want to share this once in a century moment, click here — my 48 years as a Cubs fan.

No blackberries this year

Too many sparrows, and no blackberry tart this year.

Yes, we had plenty of rain. Yes, we had enough coolish nights (for here anyway). But we also had The Birds, who ate all but a dozen blackberries off my berry bush this year.

Three weeks weeks ago, the bush was full of red, unripe blackberries, and I was already planning my jam, pie, and tart. Then, over the next 10 days or so, more berries disappeared every morning, courtesy of the sparrows (and maybe some squirrels). The bush was picked clean by the beginning of last week.

Next year, deer netting. My only consolation? That the neighborhood has a chance, courtesy of the birds and the seeds they didn’t digest, for a blackberry bush explosion.