Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Friendly April 20th - The Dude Abides

Isn't that code for "pot's ok with me"? 420Friendly? Well, yesterday was April 20th and I only wish I had been stoned for part of it.

Instead, Paul took one of his rare and treasured PTO days so that we could try again with the Ag Dept. appointment and rental truck reservations to move barrels. Woke up to heavy rain, groan, this is not going to be a fun day.

By the time we arrived at Enterprise the rain had mostly let up and there were giant billowy clouds with pockets of blue sky and bright sun (yay!). Transferred our stuff from our vehicle to the rental and we were off...right into morning traffic. We missed the carpool window and hit the road with all the other slackers that were late for work.

Made it to the Ag Dept, 45 minutes away, for a 2 minute appointment so Paul could sign some pesticide papers (gov't agencies don't have enough funding for fax machines I guess). Not to mention their office is in a sketchy neighborhood. I knew he'd be right out, but none the less opted to accompany him into the office where I picked up a couple of flyers about pest management for roses.

I have a monstrous hatred for aphids and would rather nuke them dead than try any sort of organic holistic approach like asking them to move on to other gardens. The advice on the flyer says "Choose rose varieties that are disease-resistant.then in the same paragraph)...No roses are completely disease-free, but many can be grown with minimal care." Needless to say, I've had rust, black spot, powdery mildew, aphids and white flies at any given time during the year in my rose garden. The good news though is that Paul can spray the same anti-fungals and oils on my roses that he uses on the vines and I rarely have problems anymore...except for those pesky aphids. Maybe I should try getting them stoned.

Paul signs the forms at the Ag Dept and we head up and over Hwy 84 and take the Scenic Route to Big Basin Vineyards. And it was scenic. Twice I spotted the waves breaking on the coast and there were pockets of steam and fog rising all around us on the mountain. So cool. Ethereal.

We spent the ride bantering about Robert Parker and his scoring "system" and how it reflects on what people are buying and who he is persuading and who he is alienating. At one point, I said, for me, why would I be inclined to trust his tastes? We have nothing in common. I'm a stubborn, head-strong, female, and in my 40' are his point ratings going to have any bearing on what I'm buying? They're not and they don't. Like all things artistic and subjective to personal tastes and preferences, it really depends on how much you can be honest and trust yourself.

I bought one wine one time based on a write-up in a subscription Paul has. I happened to flip through the section on Oregon pinots and read the tasting notes. There were 27 aromas noted, one of them being cassis. It was a maker I had wanted to try for a long time but was too timid to spend the money on it, "what if it sucks?". Now I buy (er, Paul buys...) 2+ cases per year for my side.

Got to Big Basin, met Joe there and he loaded up our two barrels of Syrah. Tied them down, in a light rain shower, and got back on our way within 20 minutes. If you've ever driven through Boulder Creek, I'd say they are a lot 420 Friendly folks, some of them stoned more often than not. Not that there's anything wrong with that, just a friendy stereotype I'm making about the area.

Retraced our steps back through the Santa Cruz Mountains to Chaine d'Or and unloaded the barrels into the winery. Popped the bungs, thieved out two samples (one new oak one neutral barrel) and gave it a whirl. Awesome! The Eaglepoint Ranch fruit is great to work with, and I love how it develops in the Seguin Moreau barrels, just awesome. I could have spent the rest of the afternoon thieving Syrah from the barrels.

Put the tailgate back on the truck and headed back to drop it off and get on with the day. Only something evil happened to me. I don't know when or how I did it, but I re-injured the left Trapezius muscle. Oh wow, does that hurt.

Headed home, cleaned up and ventured out for a late snack and a beer (or more) at Rock Bottom. They were pouring a Scotch Ale from cask, so smooth, so creamy, so satisfying. Split a basket of chips and guacamole and a reuben sandwich. The whole time I could overhear our barmates chatting up the countdown to 4:20 and giggling about having some 420 on 4/20 at 4:20. Oh how I wished I could have been stoned and feeling no pain in my back. It's medicinal you know, but I don' thave a prescription.

Got back home and UPS had arrived and delivered a small heavy box. A good friend of mine had to put her kitty down earlier this year, he was 20 years old and she had named him The Dude. In honor of The Dude, I planted a Midas Touch yellow rose (not disease-resistant) in the garden and ordered the rock, it arrived on 4/20. I couldn't have planned that on purpose if I tried....


Jon said...

That rock would really tie my room together.

Anonymous said...

My daughter's cat is named "Dude"... Too funny!