Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Almost time to drink my eggnog!

I mentioned aged eggnog a while back, and have some made and aging in the fridge right now.
By the end of November it will have been 3 weeks, and time to sample it for the first time... I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

I will let you know how it is :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Winter Ales

Happy Thanksgiving!

When winter comes I am always happy to see the return of the seasonal winter ales and beers. This is a pretty unique thing that beer-drinkers get to enjoy - when last did you see a special winter wine or winter vodka? (Yes, of course there is mulled wine and alcoholic eggnog, but you get my point.)

I like to buy at least one pack of each of the winter ales, and maybe even try some new ones. Ones I've tried over the years are:
Of these, I think my favorite has to be the Ebenezer - it's nice and dark without being too strong.
As you can see, we are spoiled for choice up here in the PNW! :)

What's your favorite winter ale?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mint.com and Fidelity login errors

I recently signed up with Mint.com to aggregate all my different financial info. The experience for adding accounts is pretty simple and intuitive, until I tried adding my Fidelity accounts. Even after entering the correct username and password, I kept getting an error saying the info was incorrect.

After trying multiple times, and looking around for help online. One suggestion was to select Fidelity NetBenefits instead of the Fidelity Investments account when adding. (I have both a brokerage account and a 401(k) so both could have worked. However, using the Fidelity NetBenefits approach didn't work for me.

So, on to plan B... I found another suggestion that long passwords on Fidelity cause problems for Mint.com. (Lame, but not unheard of - why websites put an upper limit on password length is beyond me. What's really lame in this case is that Mint.com don't warn you that they have an upper limit on passwords they support!)

The remedy was to log in to Fidelity directly (and reset my password, since Mint.com had tried unsuccessfully enough times to lock me out - grr!). My new password is less than 13 characters long (and randomly generated using this webpage :) )

Once I had set the new, shorter, password I went back to Mint.com and added the Fidelity account. Hey presto, it works!

Now come on Mint.com and allow us to use longer passwords!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I recently celebrated my birthday, and decided to splurge and order a cake from a local catering company. I had heard about one from the wife of the chef/owner, who works at the same company as I do and is a member of our "foodies" mailing list.

She mentioned that her husband made a good sachertorte (and had done extensive research in Vienna, so he knew what he was talking about...) Having some fond memories of sachertorte I had eaten as a child in South Africa (we had several German bakeries in Cape Town), I decided to order one from him.

I'm pleased to report that the cake was delicious - props to Matt at Starry Nights Catering! A little dry (as it should be), but very tasty and with an amazing chocolate "icing" (couverture). As is customary, I had my slice of cake with whipped cream and a good cup of coffee. The leftovers made an extra-decadent breakfast the next morning too! :)

Looking at the recipe for the cake here, I realized that the icing is incredibly tricky to make properly - not somethnig I'm likely to try at home any time soon :)

Photo credit: LuceCreativa.it

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Some Garagiste and Jon Rimmerman info

Hi all! First of all, I'm back and hope to be blogging here more often - stay tuned!

I came across two items online recently, both related to the Seattle wine retailer Garagiste, which is run by Jon Rimmerman. I've been a mostly happy Garagiste customer for several years, and have discovered many good wines (and gotten some good deals) along the way.

Every now and then I get irked by his flowery prose and over-the-top description of wines or wineries, but hey, that is part of the fun. (Apparently many wine makers and wine distributors subscribe to his mailing list just to read his mini-essays, not to buy anything.)

Jon Rimmerman spoke a while back at a local mini-conference on small business about the founding of Garagiste and how it has grown. It's worth a look, considering he started with $500 and no marketing budget, and now sells millions of dollars of wine a year.
Here's the link: http://www.wellesleywinepress.com/2010/07/recommended-viewing-jon-rimmerman-from.html

The second item is an article in the New York Times, looking at HR 5034 and how it would prevent people like Jon from shipping wine to their customers in other states. A nice quote from him is: "It's easier to deal in guns that in wine [in the US]"

The link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/20/dining/20pour.html

And finally, how about some feedback from readers...

If you're a wine drinker, where do you buy yours from? How do you discover new wines, or do you stick to the ones you know?