Saturday, May 17, 2008

New wine store in Issaquah

Today I noticed a new wine store in Issaquah called Wine Styles. They're in the big strip mall close to Safeway and REI.

I went in to browse around and chatted with the owners a bit. They were very friendly and their selection is interesting. Like Vino100 in Bellevue, they are part of a nation-wide franchise. And like Vino100, they have an interesting approach to arranging their wine to make it a bit more accessible to the newbie.

Wine Styles arrange their wines according to, well, the style. Whites are borken up into Crisp, Silky, Rich and Bubbly, while reds are broken up into Fruity, Mellow and Bold. They also have a Nectar category for dessert wines. Nice and simple, and it makes it easy to find to suite the combination of weather, food and your own tastes.

They also offer a wine club with 2 wines per month for around $38 (which is a slight discount over buying the same wines from the store). I signed up to try it out (1 red, 1 white for summer), and got this month's selection - two bottles of Portuguese wine:

I'll report back in the coming months on the wine club selection...

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Yet another example of how much British TV I got to watch growing up in South Africa is that I know who/what the Wombles are. They were surprisingly environmentally-conscious and Green for their time, and the show was great fun to watch. (Granted, I was about 5 at the time).
Here's their theme tune on YouTube. And, Dear Lord, they were on Top Of The Pops.

There's something about the sound of the word womble that makes me want to still use it every now in coversation. (I tend to reserve the term for stupid people I come across at work. Muppet works well for the same purpose - what is it about furry kids-show characters being well-suited for insults?)

Monday, May 12, 2008

The 17th Karmapa

Short on the heels of the Dalai Lama's recent visit to Seattle, the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, is visiting Seattle later this summer.

There's been a lot of activity, with Nalanda West in Seattle hosting him - that meant raising $100,000 and constructing special quarters for him. (Hmm... Perhaps out of security concerns?)

One thing that kind-of surprises me is that in all the websites and emails I've received, there is no mention of the controversy over who exactly is the real 17th Karmapa. (Wikipedia covers it here).
Obviously each side is defensive and probably wants to pretend the other does not exist, so I don't expect the Nalanda West folks to say "Hey, we know there's this other dude making some claims, but trust us, we've got the right one".

Still, one would expect the press to be a bit more balanced. For example. the International Herald Tribune has an article titled "Tibetan Buddhism's next leader?" that doesn't mention the controversy at all.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mountains to Sound Greenway Days

The Mountains to Sound Greenway is a 100-mile long expanse of preserved land along the I-90 corridor linking Seattle to Eastern Washington, and is full of great hikes.

This competition being run over the summer looks like a fun way to discover new places along the Greenway... Or you could just look at the sites here and plan some fun outings...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Fun with pointers

For the software geeks out there... What is the output from this code? (No cheating - compiling this and running it isn't allowed!)

void Func() {

char *c[] = {
"FIRST" };

char **cp[] = { c+3, c+2, c+1, c };
char ***cpp = cp;

printf("%s", **++cpp );
printf("%s", *--*++cpp+3);
printf("%s", *cpp[-2]+3);
printf("%s", cpp[-1][-1]+1);

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Silly adverts

I just saw an advert for Jack in the Box that touted a "bakery style bun" for their hamburger.
What, pray tell, is that? Aren't all buns made in a bakery?

Next they'll be praising the cow style sirloin...

Monday, May 05, 2008

Portishead guest DJ

Portishead are the guest DJs on this week's All Songs Considered. Check out the podcast here.
I've just started listening to their new album, Third, and so far I like it.

The Beeb have a review here which you can peruse...