I’ll See You on the Dark Side of The Moon Pt I: 2017 Total Solar Eclipse in Alta, Wyoming

Part One: The Eclipse

As I stood in the lovely pastoral fields with their golden amber crops gracefully blowing in the wind I could feel a cooler breeze rolling down the foothills of the Grand Tetons. About waist high, this coolness began to increase out of the West. My senses began to come into a sharper focus than I’ve ever experienced before. Something inside the core of me was alerting me to something amiss in the once warm summer afternoon.

The birds and critters had similar ill vibes as they too began to look or fly around wildly trying to figure out what was wrong with their internal clocks. While the moon began its cosmic cock-blockage, all well-filtered eyes were turned skyward. All except for our president. His eyes gazed heavenward sans eye protection.

Steampunk nerd and friends.
The perfect private viewing situation!
Justin transfixed

Continue reading “I’ll See You on the Dark Side of The Moon Pt I: 2017 Total Solar Eclipse in Alta, Wyoming”

Waxing Dionysus: A Story about Making Homemade Wine

Grape Expectations:

It is a well known fact to my regular readers that I am annually bombarded with bumper crops of my Niagara grapes. A variety that I was told was actually a concord and didn’t find out otherwise until years later when I finally got it in the ground and it began bearing fruit. Fruit of lies and deception.

And to be completely honest, these grapes taste awful. Not a fan at all. But of the three varieties I have, this one of course is the healthiest and most robust. It has been a burden of mine for years now. Why not remove it you ask? Well, it serves another purpose as well. That of a cheap shaded patio nook to beat the heat of summer as illustrated below…

Repurposing an unused clothesline: The $50 instant patio!

And it definitely does the job it was intended to do. The only thing is it does so while bearing the most yawn-inducing harvest ever. However, I do enjoy sitting underneath it during those hot days of drought and strife.

The Grapes of Wrath…and Cool Shade.

This years’ crop is no different.  Once again the vines are loaded with juicy berries ripe for the picking.

The hens might be the biggest fans of these grapes. And who am I to deprive them of such ample vittles?

My friend Matt (who I’ll be talking about later) and I connected via a Facebook page called San Diego Backyard Fruit Exchange around the time of last years harvest. When researching my Niagara grape vine, he came across the following info: “Vitis labrusca ‘Niagara’ is a cross of the V. labrusca Concord and Cassady cultivars, which are themselves hybrids. Concord is a hybrid of an unknown experimental interspecific V. vinifera and V. labrusca pairing, and Cassady is an unintentional hybrid that has V. labrusca in its genetic makeup”

Over the years I tried making homemade raisins, fresh grape juice as well as popsicles . But nothing would take away the lack-luster flavor of the Niagara. The raisins were the best results I’ve had from this vine and were actually quite tasty. However, the time it takes to process all the grapes to make raisins leaves much to be desired. I most likely will not do that again on account of my general laziness when it comes to repetitive and dull tasks.

The juice was way too tart for my liking and this may be because the skins of the grapes were included in the processing. The popsicles also sat in my freezer just hoping that I would eventually love them. But I abandoned them quickly and refused to make eye contact until I was cleaning the freezer out a year later. I apologized in my own way as I slowly lowered them into a stream of hot water in the kitchen sink while doing my best James Bond villain impersonation.

Grape popsicle: “Do you expect me to talk?”

Evil James: “No grape popsicle, I expect you to die” [screams of melty horror]

Continue reading “Waxing Dionysus: A Story about Making Homemade Wine”

You Can Talk Me Into Doing Anything…Almost

For all my local San Diego readers, it’s that time of year again where The San Diego Museum of Art hosts its annual Art Alive (for the 36th year). Floral designers come in from all around town to make beautiful floral interpretations of selected works from our permanent collection.

It’s also yet another example of how I can be talked into doing anything no matter how embarrassing or “web permanent” it is. The following promotional video is such an example. Feast your eyes upon this masterpiece…

For more information on the upcoming event, please visit the museum’s Art Alive page found here. Just remember that the only thing better than cut flowers is rooted and happy potted flowers. Had to be said.

And yes, I am the fairy godfather in this scenario. I’m comfortable enough in my manliness to be a fairy godfather.