Advancing the nexus of viticulture and technology.

Key Biscayne Wine Tasting

Friday, September 28, 2007

We're happy to announce the 3rd Annual Key Biscayne Wine Tasting will be held on Wednesday, October 10th from 6-9 PM in Key Biscayne. The evening’s proceeds will benefit the Key Biscayne Rotary Club Foundation, Key Biscayne Community Foundation, and its affiliated charities.

Southern Wine & Spirits of South Florida is sponsoring the event, and providing the opportunity to sample wines from California, South Africa, Italy, Autralia, and France. Click here for more information.


Happy Birthday Google!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ok, not related to viticulture, but definitely relevant to technology... and probably many other things we do (and google).

The domain was registered in 1997 and the company was launched one year later. Although the exact date changes, Google has recently stuck to the 9/27 date, when it displays a special doodle on the search page.

[Funny. The doodle serves to remind me that I have one week before my anniversary... Thanks Google; and happy BD!]


Social Operating System?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Here is a new one: Social Operating System. SOS?

I usually think of Microsoft or Mac whenever I hear OS. The Bay Partners' press release announcing the AppFactory program to develop Facebook applications referred to the Facebook platform as a new "social operating system" (Facebook countered with the FB Fund - another topic for discussion).

The promise of a Facebook Economy worth billions of dollars is sure to lure more developers -- in addition to 30 million users as of 7/10/2007.

Is this hype? Not sure. I'm too busy figuring out how to manage winegrape quality using Facebook.


Bullish US Wine Executives

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Robert Smiley, from UC-Davis' Graduate School of Management, released his annual report on the state of the US wine industry at the Wine Industry Financial Symposium.

The survey found respondents optimistic about the state of the industry, given the growth of the US wine market. It also found exectives concerned about the long-term impact of climate change.

[See the UC-Davis press releases for 2007, 2006, and 2005 for the evolution of optimism].

I hope the good news will prompt some of the participants to (1) explore the increased competition from markets whose domestic markets are shrinking, and (2) focus on immediate actions to understand and mitigate climate change.

No time to be complacent.


Friday Funny

Friday, September 14, 2007

© RJ Matson, The St. Louis Post Dispatch


Harvest now; immigration later...

Growers do not have to worry about becoming the enforcement arm of immigration policy, yet.

The US Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arm issued a rule called the "Safe-Harbor Procedures for Employers Who Receive a No-Match Letter" which was to take effect on 9/14/2007.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a temporary restraining order against the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration (SSA) which enjoins and restrains those agencies from implementing the aforementioned rule. A hearing to consider an injunction that would extend this stay is scheduled for 10/12007.

This is a good time to learn more about the implications of this rule.

One of the most compreshensive sites I've found is UC Berkeley's Agricultural Personnel Management Program. Their procedures page offers links to SSA, ICE, US District courts, and broader analyses of of the regulation.

Another great resource is, a non-profit coalition that is holding informational sessions on the regulation throughout California (Napa, Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Fresno).


Wine Wedge*

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A buddy gave me a "Wine Wedge" set. I thought I'd toss them in our kitchen's catch-all drawer, until my wife pointed to the four bottles of wine cluttering the counter. (She probably wanted them put away; I thought she was suggesting I should lay them flat).

I don't think wedges are going to put the cellar-builders out of business, but they do make for a practical "on-the-fly" solution to stack wine bottles on the kitchen counter, or in the fridge.

Kudos to the folks that made a simple and practical solution that taps into our desire to stack things, like bottles, into pyramids.

*Not wedgie, mind you - though here is a good one from Scrubs on YouTube.


Geek IQ?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

OK Mensas and Mensos! Test your Geek IQ with this online quiz from InfoWorld. Questions range from the easy:
What celebrity on this list co-founded a still-functioning Internet business? (William Shatner, Al Gore, or Alyssa Milano) the ones that remind me of high school...
Given two water faucets, one hot and one cold, and one bucket. The hot water fills the empty bucket in eight minutes. The cold water fills the bucket in seven minutes. Then I make a hole in the bucket such that the full bucket drains in four minutes. Now take the empty bucket, with the hole, and place under both faucets together. Turn on the hot and cold water at the same time. How long does it take to fill the bucket halfway?


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