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2008 Bodega Renacer Malbec Punto Final

2008 Punto Final is a Malbec from Argentina.

Malbec is an interesting varietal because it was first grown in the Bordeaux and Cahors regions of France, but because of a devastating frost in 1956, 75% of the vines were destroyed. Though some were replanted, the grape dropped in popularity in Bordeaux but stayed fairly popular in Cahors, where it is primarily used in blends.

Malbec was introduced to Argentina in 1868 and since then, it has really come into its own. The Argentinian Malbec produces “a softer, less tannic-driven variety than the wines of Cahors.” It is said that the Malbec in South America (it is also grown in Chile) has virtually nothing in common with its European sibling. As a varietal, Malbec has become almost synonymous with Argentinian wine. This is no surprise as evidenced by the abundance of Malbecs to be found on the shelves of wine shoppes worldwide. They are fruit-full wines, packed with full bodied punch, and one can usually do well for under $20. I picked up this bottle of Punto Final from Whole Foods for around $11.

First pour: Harsh and overwhelmingly fruity, but promising. A lot of dark fruits with a finish rife with minerals, green earth, and acid. Virtually nothing on the mid-palate.

Day One: Perhaps i was a bit congested, or perhaps Punto Final needed some more time to open up, but the notes on the mid-palate explode in this wine after letting it breathe a bit. Still very fruity and sweet … cherry, some cranberry, currant, almost raisinlike. The mid-palate reveals pronounced earthiness. Berries linger, but mingle nicely with tobacco and green earth. Finish is hot and woodsy. Had part of a glass with some spicy chili and the heat of the chili was intensified by the heat of the wine. Preferred it by itself.

Day Two: Had a guest on Day One, so the bottle didn’t make it past first day intact …

Overall: I am curious about this one. On the fence a bit. Would maybe buy it again and keep it on hand for a year or so, since it is so young, and see what happens, but definitely a good Malbec.


astonishing x-men. [graphic content.]

An open letter to Joss Whedon:


Dear Mr. Whedon,

Hey, it’s me, Scott.

First off, I need to apologize. I’ve been an absentee fan.

We both remember how addicted I was to Buffy the Vampire Slayer back in my younger days. That was when I would have given anything to be a hilarious smart-ass like your characters were, especially Oz and Xander. Although, if I’m being honest, I would still give anything to be a hilarious smart-ass like your characters.

Those days my devotion to the fledgling Whedonverse was unswerving.

Spike was the first instance I can recall where a villain was my favorite character in a show or movie. Angel was the first spin-off show I actually watched. And damn was I glad when Cordelia went from the vapid bitch to the clueless heroine so that I didn’t have to feel bad for thinking she was so damned hot. Although, I was still in love with Willow, even after she came out of the closet and made it clear I didn’t have a chance.

I loved every minute of it all.

But then, something happened. Somehow, we drifted apart, and we both know it was all my fault.

I missed Firefly and Serenity until 2009… 2009, Joss!! What’s wrong with me? I can’t really explain my actions because I don’t understand them myself. I’m ashamed, really.

I still haven’t seen Dollhouse. I know, not having cable is no excuse, neither is my mild aversion to the acting of Eliza Dushku. There is really nothing I can do to make it up to you.

Yet, that’s not why I am writing to you, but we will get to that in a moment.

First, I need to apologize for one more thing. Remember back in 2004, when you relaunched Astonishing X-Men for Marvel? That brilliant story arc where you resurrect Colossus, kill one X-Man (whose name I shouldn’t mention so I won’t spoil it for anyone else), and shoot another off into space with little hope of return? Well, I actually got to that party late too, and by late to the party, I mean I just read them last week.

Take some solace in the fact that no one has suffered from my neglect more than myself. I lived for six wasted, useless, futile years without reading your take on the X-Men… I was an idiot.

Yet now, oh Joss, now I have seen the light. It is so glorious! How is it possible to make the X-Men even better than they were before? By making them talk like fucking Joss Whedon characters, that’s how! Even with a fairly small cast of characters, you really turned out a shiny X-Men yarn. You let Wolvie be Wolvie, you offered the very best possible incarnation of Beast, you introduced some great new characters, and you never let us get comfortable, mostly by proving you were willing to kill off innocent kids and such.

Every last bit of it is solid gold!

However, I think your greatest achievement was what you did with Cyclops. How did you do it?

You turned the biggest pussy in the history of comic books into an honest to goodness super-hero. Most of the time, Cyclops is just a flat, boring, vanilla lump who works as a contrast to keep reminding everyone just how badass and unpredictable Wolverine is. And sure, that is how he started out with you, but by the end, Gorram. Joss, by the end he was a real character. He had depth, he was flesh and blood. I ached with him, I felt what it was like to wonder if you’re just a punch-line, to assume Xavier put you in charge of the X-Men because he felt sorry for you.

I believed it when it turned out none of that was true, when it was clear the Cyclops is exactly the sort of man who should be leading by order and example.

By the end of your arc there wasn’t anyone else I wanted leading the X-Men. I would follow your Cyclops into battle any day. Joss, that is nothing short of a miracle.

So, that is why I am writing you this letter. Please, please, please write some more X-Men titles. I promise, this time I wouldn’t be late to the party.

Of course, I am damned sure looking forward to the Shepherd Book comics, whenever they finally come out. But Joss, if you write some more X-Men titles, hell, any comic title for that matter, I will be in on it from day one. I don’t care if it is a fucking Wonder Man comic, I will be in a rutting tent outside Zanadu, here in Seattle, waiting to get my hands on a copy.

I know, there is no way I should be asking you for something, not after how I have failed you as a fan. Yet, I would be remiss if I didn’t try.

Please Joss, do it for the kids, so that they might grow up in a world filled with astonishing Whedon X-men goodness.

Thank you for your time.

With equal parts remorse and pleading,




plants vs. zombies.

Like most awesome people, I’ve thought a lot about things that would come in handy during a zombie apocalypse. Little did I know that all this time, my plans have been way off base. While I was mentally listing things like bottled water and a deadly but easy to wield melee weapon, I have been totally unaware of how important plants are in staving off the undead legions.

Thankfully, those wonderful folks at Pop Cap have released a game to make clear that plants won’t just make Z-Day survivable, they’ll make it downright fun.

The title is as straightforward as they come, there is no wondering about what you are going to get out of a game called Plants vs. Zombies. Although, for those concerned about gore, you will find none, so play away!

I’m telling you, you should play this game. It is loads of fun. Insanely addictive.

Basically, you need to stop the zombies from making it across your lawn and into your house. You do this with a variety of plants. To grow new plants, you need to collect sunshine. Basically, it all comes down to creating an effective strategy with your with your army of greenery; some plants are purely defensive, some plants shoot spores of various kinds, and some plants give off extra sunshine to give you an added advantage, and that’s just to name a few.

As the game progresses, you need to fight various kinds of zombies as well, from zombies with traffic cones on their heads to zombies driving zambonies. There is even a Michael Jackson zombie.

The difficulty also progresses as you play in different sorts of environments, a backyard with a pool offers new challenges, especially when some zombies ride dolphins (that’s right, some of the zombies ride dolphins!).

That is only sampling of what this game has to offer, I have seen lots of variety and I’m only on level 4-6(ish).

If you have an iPhone or iPad, just go download the game from the app store immediately. It only costs $2.99, and it is worth every penny. If you don’t have either of the aforementioned devices you can play the game on your computer as well, but the price tag is a bit heftier, at $19.95. However, you can play the game for free for a bit on the website to see if you like it before you fork over the dough.

However, while I give the game a hearty seal of approval, to be fair I should make clear that there is a downside. That is, of course,  the lost relationships, jobs, etc. caused by the neglect stemming from you becoming addicted to fighting the good fight against those damned zombie bastards.


My Talented Friends: Gina Belliveau [The Band Wagon]

Gina Belliveau

A cold wind blows through the old growth pines, whose height towers above everything around them. They stand, stately and distinguished; weathered by years of abuse. Powerful storms have blown off of the cerulean blue Pacific, moisture laden and taut, the winds whipping at the thick, lichen covered bark. There is a natural and chaotic peace in this scene that comes from routine. Everything is in balance around this routine. There is green everywhere. The rain falls and the birds take shelter, singing songs from covered perches. No matter the weather, they sing. The song is the same, rain or shine. Beautifully accompanying the percussive patter of the rain. Their song rises and falls with the rain’s intensity. Singing from their shelter of hollowed out evergreens. These are the songs of Gina Belliveau. Drizzle and downpour all at once. Nuanced and in your face.

It feels very weird to be writing (read: boasting) about how talented and lovely a person Gina Belliveau is. She isn’t just another girl and a guitar. She isn’t just another girl. She’s a friend. A friend from back east. We were both (separately) “transposed” to the Pacific Northwest from Baltimore, as her ReverbNation profile indicates. She moved to Olympia with her husband Mike, who is a brave member of the United States Armed Forces. Formerly the bassist for Baltimore’s No Picnic!, Gina possesses immense talent. Now using the acoustic guitar as her main source of aural awesomeness, Gina has taken the percussive aspects of bass, and combined it with alternate tunings, looping, and delicate finger picking to create a style that one would be hard pressed to find anywhere else. — this is sounding cliche … ugh … here, just listen:

Gina Belliveau – Birdseed | Musicians Available


I really can’t do her justice. My words will always fall short when trying to capture the beauty of an image or song. That is why I am extremely happy there are people like Gina who see the world the way they do, and who can translate it so adeptly into beautiful songs. Her songs have depth, both musically and lyrically, and there is an urgency in her voice that invites us into the moment and into the beauty. Listen:

Gina Belliveau – Siren Song | Upload Music


another day, another movie.

For those of you who have been reading what I write for a while, you probably remember last year’s Halloween Moviefest. If not, you can check it out here, but basically it was just me trying to learn a bit more about the world of horror(ish) films by watching one every day for over a week.

It was even more fun than I had anticipated, and it made me want to do the same thing again next Halloween, while also doing the same with different genres. It will feed my film-nerd tendencies by familiarizing me with genres I am less familiar with, like the Western, or by getting me even more experience with genres I know and love, like Post-Apocalypse Sci-Fi.

I plan to call the posts, “Another Day, Another Movie.” Now, in preparation, I could use your help in two ways.

1. What genres do you think I should do? I already have some planned, but I would love the input!

2. The first genre on the docket will be the aforementioned Western genre. Classics like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Unforgiven will be included, as well as many others. I was going to go see Jonah Hex for this, but then the trailer came out and made it look like Wild, Wild West 2. The last thing the world needs is a sequel to Wild, Wild West.

Anyway, what Westerns should I include in the first Western themed ‘Another Day, Another Movie’ series?

Holla back homies.


clowning around.

As a grown man, I find that there is only one legitimate reason to ever crash a childrens birthday party: sexy mothers. What else puts a single female of the birthing variety into the ‘hot zone’ but a screaming mess of children running around to celebrate their escape from the womb?

Imagine how blown away I was to find out that there’s a second reason: profit.

Dominic Deville is an Austrian actor-turned-entrepreneur-turned-evil-genius. For whatever reason, Deville has decided to harness that perfectly normal impulse that we all have for traumatizing children. He’s decided to harness it and turn it into a business. Deville is an evil clown.

First he contacts ‘victims’ to tell them they’re being watched.

Then he taunts them with texts, phone calls and booby trapped letters warning them that at sometime in their party he’s going to smash a cake into their face.

Sound too good to be true? You can read all about it here.

Now I just need to figure out where I can get a believable killer clown costume, myself.

(via Neatorama)