Friday, November 25, 2005


Or, aren’t spirited souls with attitude consumers too?

Theolonius McTavish, a merry misanthrope who hates Christmas shopping and would prefer to stuff the stockings of some spirited souls with very hard-to-find gifts that no one seems to have created yet.

Here is a list of 15 slightly odd things that I’m looking for but can’t find in my friendly neighborhood discount department store, or bodacious boutique for that matter:

  1. A Silent Unbook (the innocuous one that doesn't entertain, instruct, preach, talk back or perform any useful function including occupying space on a shelf or tabletop).
  2. Cheapskate Chardonnay, (the one with a really tight screw cap that no one’s figured out how to open yet).
  3. Cockammie White, (goes really well with those famous rubber chicken lunches).
  4. Cheese Please Grigio, (highly recommended by the "Udder Guys").
  5. Ego Erasers, (the kind that removes show-offs and smart-alecks in one easy sweep or swoosh).
  6. Grotesque Gargoyle Soap, (a tribute to those sassy slippery spirits, wardens of the waterspouts, whose soul purpose is to ensure that their grinning mouths spew rainwater effectively not to mention placate the pagan gods, local deities ...and one might add perhaps politicians and potentates of all sorts).
  7. Humble Pie, (wonder if Conrad Black, Donald Trump, or Martha Stewart would be willing to share their recipes?)
  8. Miserly Merlot (for those who have an aversion to singing “99 Bottles of Beer of the Wall”)
  9. Money-Grubber Merlot, (the one you can purchase with food stamps on the last day of the month).
  10. Piker Pinot Noir, (a real vanity vintage if you please).
  11. Posh Plonck, (the one that comes in hot pink label with lots of sparkles and utters sweet nothings in my ear).
  12. Skinflint Shiraz, (the one you can feed your mutt when he won’t stop barking).
  13. Scrimp Sauvignon Blanc, (goes great with peanut butter & jam sandwiches and gives them a bit of a zing).
  14. Stingy Blush Chablis (the non-alcoholic bubbly puff served at funerals, high school proms, and weddings).
  15. Wind-Up Flivver, (one that’s got great mileage, good springs, doesn’t require a key to start, and is so low-tech enought such that no one wants to beg, borrow, buy or steal it).


Now for people who simply have to purchase something for "difficult people", rather than waiting for the above items to appear, why not check out the following site for some saucy stuff Seeing Is Believing Gifts

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Or, which fairytale do I tell today?

By Victoria Elizabeth, Empress of Eccentricity, and part-time “whatsit” who’s willing to work “wherever”, on “what's what" or "whatsnot” -- provided of course people say “please” and “thank you”, and hopefully pass along a modest form of remuneration for my time and trouble saving the bacon of a "who's who".

Yesterday I attended an interview. Let’s just say that it took place in a cubbyhole of a prestigious institution, (which is why I arrived 15 minutes late).

If truth be told, there’s no road map to find anything in this esteemed ivory tower. And asking for help to find my appointed interview spot in the cosmos (aptly called “UC2”), left me wondering what sort of place I had stumbled upon ...filled with lots of blank looks and “I dunno”s.

To top it off, when I did locate the bleeping building, I must have inadvertently entered a "dead zone" as my cell phone konked out.

According to Murphy's Law 12, (if a gizmo is going to fail, it will always happend at a critical moment), so naturally I had no blinking way to notify my prospective employer of my late arrival. Semaphore was out of the question. And, building a campfire replete with smoke signals from my Girl Guide days didn't really look like a viable option.

Needless to say, several unidentified folks casually peered out a window as I struggled to open the back door of a research center, (also home to a quaint-looking colony of wild rabbits). Upon my arrival, I almost blurted out that well-worn phrase…”Mr. Livingston I presume”. Biting my tongue in the nick of time, I uttered something more original like, “I’m very pleased to say that being found is infinitely more fun than being lost”.

It seems that members of the interview panel were quite used to receiving lost souls, (though I’m not at all certain why they don’t send out search and rescue parties immediately to aid wayfaring strangers, or at least supply guests with handy GPS devices for their surprise scavenger hunt).

With two strikes against me…getting lost, and failing to communicate in a timely manner with my hosts… perhaps the universe was telling me that I didn’t have a hope in heck of landing this job.

Being a professional interviewee, I’ve noticed that there’s an inverse relationship between the job title and the accompanying compensation package. The longer the job title, (the greater the number of multiple skills required, necessitating long interviews with far too many people), and of course the inevitable result -- meagre portions left on the plate to be distributed among far too many hungry hordes.

To make a long story short, after two-and-a-half hours of “show and tell” tales (based on my 20 plus years of experience in some very strange workplaces), and presentation of my three inch-thick set of pithy publications weighing in at a very respectable 5 kilograms, I was asked by members of the interview panel to perform one last test.

With much aplomb and grace, I replied, “I don’t do tests”. I added, “I graduated from kindergarten and elementary school, and I just don’t do tests any more. But, if you’d like to me to produce my Grade Three MacLean’s Method of Writing Certificate or demonstrate my deft hop-scotching abilities, I’d be happy to oblige”.

With mouths hanging wide open such that I could see their tonsils swinging in the breeze, I simply smiled, picked up my things, and bade a fond farewell to everyone, “Nice to meet you, and if you ever get lost in the wilderness searching for the “Holy Grail”, give me a dingle because that’s where I really excel!”

Monday, November 21, 2005


Or, do they really make wicked, witty wines from DeVines?

By Theolonius McTavish, a man of mirth and good cheer not to mention a keen interest in finding just the right seasonal gift for impossible people or those who appear to have everything.

If you’re like me, you truly can’t abide trundling through the stores at this time of year hunting for just the right seasonal gift for certain impossible people in your life, (you know ...the cantankerous cubicle colleague or feisty family member you want to avoid at all costs).

Fear not there is a simple solution at hand in the form of "naughty and nice" names when referring to nectars of the gods. For those who enjoy dining at a table, there's always a selection of deliriously decadent drinks to accompany one's vittles, you know the ones with “big aromas”, “full of body” just oozing all over with “flavor, spice and style”!

To make a long story short, I've found the best way to separate the “hoi polloi” from the “hoity-toity” is to take a wee peek at the wicked wine labels appearing on the shelf of your favorite liquor store.

The high-falutin, long-nosed snooty boot folks usually prefer wines with real corks and long foreign names to accompany their double crème brie, melted raclette, or a sheep’s milk cheese with a reddish brown rind served on crunchy, multi-grained crackers or sliced French bread.

The low-brow, pug-nosed types on the other hand often prefer casual “walkabout” wines (those with screw caps that can be served with home-made pizza or else “wild” ones synonymous with tossing lushness and refinement right out the door!

To make purchasing wines with wicked, weird or just plain wicked names easy, two quaffing categories have been created, “Snippy/Snooty” and “Sassy/Spunky”. We’ll leave it up to readers to decide which personalities fit into which wine categories.

So, without further's a ludicrously long list to get you started you on your way to choosing some festive fizzies if not DeVine Interventions:


  • A to Z Pinot Noir, 7 Heavenly Winery (U.S.A.)
  • Alibi White Blend – BlackHills Estate Winery (Canada)
  • Alize Red Passion (France)
  • Almaden Bag in Box Blush Chabilis (U.S.A.)
  • Angus the Bull, Cabernet Sauvignon (Australia)


  • Baobab 2004 Pinotage (South Africa)
  • Baby Piper, Piper Heidsieck (France)
  • Baby Duck (Canada)
  • Bad Dog Red, Syrah Cabernet D’Oc, (France)
  • Bad Dog White 2003, Sauvignon Chardonnay d’Oc (France)
  • Bandit Merlot (U.S.A.)
  • Barefoot Cellars Merlot/Bubbly Brut (U.S.A.)
  • Barnadown Run 2002, Shiraz (Australia)
  • Belle Glos “Clark & Telephone” 2003, Pinot Noir (U.S.A.)
  • Beyerskloof 2002 - Synergy (South Africa)
  • Big House White – Bonny Doon Vineyard (U.S.A.)
  • Big Moose Red (U.S.A.)
  • Big Yellow 2003 Cab, Cabernet Sauvignon (U.S.A.)
  • Blasted Church – Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, Syrah (Canada)
  • Bloody Good White, Ca' del Solo (U.S.A.)
  • Blue Suede Chardonnay, Graceland Cellars (U.S.A.)
  • Bodega Hijos de Juan Gil Wrongo Dongo (Spain)
  • Bogle Petite Syrah 2002 (U.S.A.)
  • Bommarito 2001, 2002, Cabernet Sauvignon (U.S.A.)
  • Bonaparte Bend Winery – Saskatoon Berry Wine (Canada)
  • Bonny Doon 2003 Cardinal Zin (U.S.A.)
  • Boony Doon 2004 Clos de Gilroy (U.S.A.)
  • Bonny Doon Heart of Darkness (France)
  • Bored Doe, Goats Do Roam Wine Co. (South Africa)
  • Boss Cat, Chardonnay – Coopers Creek (New Zealand)
  • Brakeman’s Select Pinot Noir, Merlot, White Blend – Kettle Valley Winery (Canada)
  • Brights – Spumante Bambino (Canada)
  • Brokenwood 2002 Cricket Pitch Red (Australia)
  • Bubbly Elderflower – Marley Farm Winery (Canada)
  • Bug Juice Mosacoto d'Asti (U.S.A.)
  • Burrowing Owl, Sandhill Vineyard, Cabernet-Merlot 2003 (Canada)


  • Caboose White Blend, Kettle Valley Winery (Canada)
  • CabernAlien 2001, Cosmic CruZers (U.S.A.)
  • Cakebread 2004, Chardonnay (U.S.A.)
  • Camelot California 2002, Chardonnay (U.S.A.)
  • Campbell’s 2002 Bobbie Burns, Shiraz (Australia)
  • Caputo 2002, Grego Ditufo (Italy)
  • Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush 2004 – Coopers Creek, Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)
  • ChardonnAlien 2002, Cosmic CruZers (U.S.A.)
  • Chateau Troplong Mondot 2002 (France)
  • Cigare Volant – Bonny Doon 2001 (U.S.A.)
  • Clancy's Red 2003 - Peter Lehmann (Australia)
  • Cloof Dustry Road Rose 2005, (South Africa)
  • Conundrum 2003 (U.S.A.)
  • Cookoothama Nugan Estate 2000, 2003, Shiraz (Australia)
  • Covey Run Yakima Valley 2001, 2002, Riesling (U.S.A.)
  • Crocodile Chase (Australia)


  • Dark Horse Estate Vineyard, Meritage 2003, Inniskillin Pinot Blanc 2004 (Canada)
  • Darling Cellars Black Grainite Shiraz 2004 (South Africa)
  • Dekuyper Pucker Peach/Grape Pucker, Peachtree (U.S.A.)
  • Derailer Pinot Gris/Red Blend – Kettle Valley Winery (Canada)
  • Devil’s Rock 2003, Riesling QBA (Germany)
  • Dogajolo – Carpineto 2002 (Italy)
  • Dog House 2004 – Charlie’s Chardonnay (U.S.A.)
  • Dog House 2002 – Maxie’s Merlot (U.S.A.)
  • Dog House 2002 Checker’s Cab (U.S.A.)
  • Domaine des Blagueurs Bonny Doon 1999, Syrah Sirrah (France)
  • Domaine Grassa Easy Drinker 2004 (France)
  • Dragon Slayer (United States)
  • Drostdy Hof 2000, 2003 (South Africa)
  • Druid Fluid Barleywine (U.S.A.)
  • Duckhorn - Paraduxx 2001, 2002, (U.S.A.)
  • Duck Pond Cellars 2001, 2002, Pinot Noir (U.S.A.)
  • Dudley Parnters Kangaroo Island – Porky Flat – Shiraz (U.S.A.)
  • Dunavar Pinot Gris 2001, 2003 (Hungary)
  • Dynamite 2002 Merlot – Dynamite Vineyards (U.S.A.)


  • Eisbeerwein, Dessert Wine (Germany)
  • Euphonium, Henschke Keyneton Estate (Australia)
  • Elephant Island Fruit Winery – Dessert Apricot, Apple, Pear (Canada)
  • Evolution – Sokol Blosser (U.S.A.)


  • Fat Bastard 2003, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvigon Blanc (France)
  • Fat Cat 2004, Chardonnay (New Zealand)
  • Fifth Leg – Devil’s Lair 2002, 2003 (Australia)
  • Finca Flichman Syrah 2004 (Argentina)
  • Firefinch Ripe Red 2003, Merlot, Springfield Estates (South Africa)
  • Fireman’s Red Blend – St. Hubertus Estate Winery (Canada)
  • Fish Eye Chardonnay (U.S.A.)
  • Flagstone Fish Hoek, Sauvignon Blanc (South Africa)
  • Flatroof Man or Merlot 2004 (South Africa)
  • Fogarty 2002 - Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (U.S.A.)
  • Folie à Dieux 2004 Ménage à Trois, California Red (U.S.A.)
  • Foofaraw Amusing Red Blend – Hillside Estate Winery (Canada)
  • Foofaraw Precocious White Blend – Hillside Estate Winery (Canada)
  • Foppiano 2002 Sangiovese (U.S.A.)
  • Four Emus, Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2004 (Australia)
  • Foxtrot Pinot Noir – Kettle Valley Winery (Canada)
  • Frog's Leap Merlot (U.S.A.)
  • Fuki Plum (Japan)


  • G L50 Latitude 50 2004, White (Canada)
  • Giant Steps 2002, Pinot Noir (U.S.A.)
  • Glamour Puss Pinot Noir – Coopers Creek (New Zealand)
  • Glenugie Winery – Gamay Noir, Pinot Noir (Canada)
  • Gnarly Head 2004, Old Vine Zinfandel (U.S.A.)
  • Goat Rotie – Fairview 2003 (South Africa)
  • Goats Do Roam In Villages – Fairview 2003 (South Africa)
  • Goats do Roam Red – Fairview Winery 2003 (South Africa)
  • Gray Monk – Latitude Fifty Select White 2003, 2004 (Canada)


  • Hanging Rock Petit Verdot 2003/Riesling 2004 (Australia)
  • Hang Loose Aloha Rita (U.S.A.)
  • Hardy’s NV Whiskers Blake Port (Australia)
  • 'Hare Label' Lingenfelder Gewurtztraminer 2004 Qba (Germany)
  • Harper Hill Red Neck Red (U.S.A.)
  • Harper Hill White Trash White (U.S.A.)
  • Harper Hill Tiny Bubbles (U.S.A.)
  • Henkell – Trocken Piccolo Pack (Germany)
  • Hidden Valley Agenda 2003, Pinotge (South Africa)
  • His Master's Choice 2004, Ridgeback Wines (South Africa)


  • Idiom Viognier 2004, Whalehaven Wines (South Africa)
  • Il Bastardo Sangiovese Toscana (Italy)
  • Innocent Bystander 2003, Shiraz Viognier (U.S.A.)
  • Iron Horse 2002 Wedding Cuvee (U.S.A.)


  • JackaRoo 2003 Big Red (Australia)
  • Jailhouse Red Merlot – Graceland Cellars (U.S.A.)
  • Jake’s Fault 2003 Shiraz (Australia)
  • Jest White – Jest Red Cellars NV (U.S.A.)
  • Just Ducky Blush – Westham Island Estate Winery (Canada)


  • Kangaroo Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon (Australia)
  • Kapellenberg- Kruger Rumpf 2003, Riesling Kabinett Munsterer (Germany)
  • Nk’Mip Quam Qwmt Meritage 2003 (Canada)
  • Kaesler Old Bastard 2001, 2002, Shiraz (Australia)
  • Kelly’s Revenge 2003/2004, Shiraz (Australia)
  • Katnook Est. Wingara Coonawarra 2000, 2001, Cabernet Sauvignon (Australia)
  • Kissing Bridge Merlot 2002 (Australia)


  • Lady in Red Blush – Benchland Vineyards (Canada)
  • Laughing Magpie 2003 – d’Arenberg, Viognier (U.S.A.)
  • Laughing Stock Vineyards (Canada)
  • Leaping Horse 2002, Merlot (U.S.A.)
  • Leaping Lizard Sauvignon Blanc (U.S.A.)
  • Leopard's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 (South Africa)
  • Le Snoot 2002, Snob Hill Winery Merlot (U.S.A.)
  • Lillypilly Noble Blend 1999 (Australia)
  • Liparita Cabernet Sauvignon (U.S.A.)
  • Lotusland, Pinot Gris 2003 (Canada)


  • MacRostie 2001 Wildcate Mountain Vineyard Syrah (U.S.A.)
  • Mad Fish 2000, 2001, Shiraz (Australia)
  • Mad Housewife Merlot 2003, Rainier Wine (U.S.A.)
  • Marge 'n' Tina, Mendoza 1997 (Argentina)
  • Marilyn Merlot (U.S.A.)
  • Meerlust 1999, 2000 – Rubicon (South Africa)
  • Merlot-Over-and-Play Dead (U.S.A.)
  • Mia’s Playground 2002 Russian River Valley Chardonnay (U.S.A.)
  • Mitchelton 2002 Airstrip (Australia)
  • My Fat Goose, Longview Vineyard (Australia)


  • Naked Grape, Smithbrook (Australia)
  • Navel, Tintella Estate (Australia)
  • Nepenthe 2004 The Tryst (Australia)
  • Nero, Sola-Nero, red (Canada)
  • Night Owl 2003, Pinot Noir (U.S.A.)
  • Nobilo 2004 Icon Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)
  • Noble Rot Select Pick, Snowy River Winery (Australia)
  • Nooky Delight, Woody Nook (Australia)
  • Noon Gun – Flagstone (South Africa)
  • Nota Bene Blend – BlackHills Estate Winery (Canada)
  • Notorius 2002 – Duca Di Castelmonte, Syrah di Sicilia IGT (Italy)
  • Nuthouse Argyle Chardonnay 2000 (U.S.A.)


  • Obsession – Ironstone Symphony 2003, 2004 (U.S.A.)
  • Old Bastard, Kaesler Wines (Australia)
  • Old Codger, Dutschke Wines (Australia)
  • Old Fart Chardonnay (France)
  • Old Papa Port, Chateau Barossa (Australia)
  • Oomoo, Hardy Wine Company (Australia)


  • Paint Can Gift Box – Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin – Brut (France)
  • Painted Turtle, Merlot, Chardonnay (Canada)
  • Passion Peach, Scotch Block Farm Winery (Canada)
  • Pear-A-Dise Pear – Puddicombe Estate Farms & Winery (Canada)
  • Permanent Arm, God's Hill Wine (Australia)
  • Petite SirAlien 1997, Cosmic CruZers (U.S.A.)
  • Pitchfork, Hay Shed Hill Winery (Australia)
  • Phil's Fetish, Bellarine Estate Vineyards (Australia)
  • Pickpocket, Backpocket Wines (Australia)
  • Platypus Play Range, O'Reilly's Canungra Vineyards (Australia)
  • Poachers Blend 2003 - St. Hallett (Australia)
  • Pop Extra Dry – Pommery (France)
  • Porcupine Ridge 2002, Syrah (South Africa)
  • Pretty in Pink, Stevens Brook Estate (Australia)
  • Prince of Orange, Prince of Orange (Australia)
  • Promised Land Shiraz Cabernet 2002, Wakefields Winery (Australia)
  • Ptomaine des Blagueurs 1996, (France)
  • Puddleduck, Puddleduck Vineyards (Australia)
  • Pulpit Rock, Pulpit Rock Estate (Australia)
  • Punters Corner Shiraz Spartacus (Australia)
  • Purple Patch, Chain of Ponds - Adelaide Hills (Australia)


  • Quintessa Quintessa Red (U.S.A.)


  • Rabbit Fence, Heritage Wines - Stanthorpe (Australia)
  • Racy Rosé, Bremerton Wines (Australia)
  • Rancho Zabaco Dancing Bull 2001, 2002, Zinfandel (U.S.A)
  • Red Bicyclette 2003, Chardonnay D’Oc (France)
  • Red Dust Cabernet Sauvignon (Australia)
  • Red Truck, Cline Cellars (U.S.A.)
  • Reynolds Little Boomey 2003, 2004, Shiraz (Australia)
  • RockBare 2003, Shiraz (Australia)
  • Rock Rabbit, Purple Wine Company (U.S.A.)
  • Rocking Horse 2000, Monte Rosso Zinfandel (U.S.A.)


  • Scraping The Barrel, Tempranillo, (Spain)
  • St. Supery 2001, 2002, Sauvignon Blanc (U.S.A.)
  • Schloss Laderheim Light (Canada)
  • Schloss Schonborn Riesling Kabinett 1996 QmP (Germany)
  • Screw Kappa Napa, Don sebastiani & Sons (U.S.A.)
  • Seagull Shiraz 2004, Vin-X-Port (South Africa)
  • See Ya Later Ping 2003 – Hawthorne Mountain (Canada)
  • See Ya Later Ranch Ehrenfelser Icewine – Hawthorne Mountain (Canada)
  • Seven Deadly Zins – Zinfandel 2003, Michael David Vine Lodi (U.S.A.)
  • Seven Heavenly Chards, Chardonnay (U.S.A.)
  • Shoofly Buzz Cat (U.S.A.)
  • Six Foot Six 2004, Pinot Noir (Australia)
  • Sizzurp Purple Punch (France)
  • Smoking Loon 2002, 2003, Syrah (U.S.A.)
  • Smoking Parrot (U.S.A.)
  • SnoGoos Blush – Westham Island Estate Winery (Canada)
  • Splatese – Geil 2003, 2004, Riesling (Germany)
  • Stag’s Leap Winery 2001, Syrah (U.S.A.)
  • Stones Throw Gewurztraminer – A Very Fine Winery, Lotusland Vineyard (Canada)
  • Stickleback Red 2003 (Australia)
  • Sticks 2004, Chardonnay (Australia)
  • Stump Jump Red – D’Arenberg 2004 (Australia)
  • Suckfizzle Margaret River 2000, Cabernet Sauvignon (Australia)
  • SuperMerlova 2001, Cosmic CruZers (U.S.A.)
  • Sweet Caroline Blush – Scherzinger Vineyards (Canada)
  • Sweetheart & Lapin Dessert Wine – Spiller Estate, (Canada)
  • Sweet Scarlet Strawberry, Scotch Block Farm Winery (Canada)


  • Tatachilla Breakneck Creek 2002, Shiraz (Australia)
  • Testarossa 2003 Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Chardonnay (U.S.A.)
  • The Backchat Blend 2003 - Cellar Hand, Flagstone (South Africa)
  • The Custodian - d'Arenberg 2002 Grenache, McLaren Vale (Australia)
  • The Dead Arm - d'Arenberg 2003 Shiraz, McLaren Vale (Australia)
  • The Derelict - d'Arenberg 2002 Grenache, McLaren Vale (Austalia)
  • The Chocolate Block – Boekenhoutskloof 2003 (South Africa)
  • The Golden Egg Red Blend – Red Rooster Winery (Canada)
  • The Hermit Crab – d’Arenberg 2004, Marsanne/Viognier (Australia)
  • The Hitching Post Generation Red (U.S.A.)
  • The King Cabernet Sauvignon – Graceland Cellars (U.S.A.)
  • The Kissing Bridge 2003, Shiraz (Australia)
  • The Laughing Magpie 2003, Shiraz/Viognier, McLaren Vale (Australia)
  • The Little Penguin 2003, Merlot (Australia)
  • The Mad Hatter 2003, Shiraz, Hewitson, McLaren Vale (Australia)
  • The Money Spider 2004 - d'Arenberg Roussanne, McLaren Vale (Australia)
  • The Prospect, The Hanging Rock Winery (Australia)
  • The Pump, Bellarine Estate Vineyards (Australia)
  • The Ruins Rose, Wine Cap Winery (South Africa)
  • The Sticks & Stones - d'Arenberg 2003 Tempranillo/Grenache/Souza, McLaren Vale (Australia)
  • The Unpronounceable Grape (Hungary)
  • The Wolftrap – Boekenhoutskloof 2004 (South Africa)
  • Therapy, Naramata Bench Pinot Gris 2004, Therapy Vineyards (Canada)
  • Thirsty Lizard (Australia)
  • Thirteenth Street Wine Co., Funk Vineyard Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling (Canada)
  • Three Dog Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 (U.S.A.)
  • Three Thieves Pinot Noir (U.S.A.)
  • Tin Barn Zinfandel Jensen Lane (U.S.A.)
  • Tinhorn Creek – Merlot 2001, 2002 (Canada)
  • Toad Hollow Cacophony Zinfandel 2001 (Canada)
  • Toad Hollow - Eye of the Toad (U.S.A.)
  • Toasted Head Chardonnay/Merlot (U.S.A.)
  • Tom Cat Merlot – Coopers Creek (New Zealand)
  • Tott’s – Brut (U.S.A.)
  • Trockenbeerenauslese – Monchof 1996 (Austria)
  • Trumpeter Cabernet (Argentina)
  • Tugwell Creek Meadery, Vintage Mead (Canada)
  • Twelve Staves 2002 Glenn's Folly, McLaren Vale (Australia)
  • Twin Fin 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2004 Chardonnay (U.S.A.)
  • 2 Brothers Big Tattoo Red 2002, Calma Wines (Chile)
  • Two Hands 2004 Angel's Share, Shiraz, McLaren Vale (Australia)
  • Two Hands 2004 Bad Impersonator, Shiraz (Australia)
  • Two Hands 2003 Gnarly Dudes, Shiraz (Australia)
  • Two Hands 2003 Lily's Garden, Shiraz, McLaren Vale (Australia)
  • Two Hands 2003 Shovel Blanc, Merlot Cabernet Franc (Australia)
  • Two Left Feet, Blossom Winery (Canada)
  • Two Tone Merlot (U.S.A.)


  • Undurraga, Merlot (Chile)


  • Vampire Cab & Merlot (U.S.A.)
  • Virgin Vines Chardonnay 2004 (U.S.A.)
  • Vivacious Vicky!, Kiona Vineyards (U.S.A.)


  • Wattle Creek Winery 2003, Mendocino Sauvignon Blanc (U.S.A.)
  • Whiskers Blake Tawny Port - Hardy's (Australia)
  • White Lie 2004, Early Season Chardonnay (U.S.A.)
  • Wild Goose Vineyards & Winery, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling (Canada)
  • Wild Horse 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon (U.S.A.)
  • Wild Pig Shiraz/Chardonnay (France)
  • Wirra Wirra Church Block , Cabernet Shiraz Merlot 2002, 2003 (Australia)
  • Wits End – The Procrastinator, Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (Australia)
  • Women in Wine Red/White Wine 2005, (South Africa)
  • Woop Woop South Australia Shiraz 2002 (Australia)


  • YellowTail Reserve 2003 - Chardonnay (Australia)


  • Zed 2004, Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)
  • Zingaro 2002, Zinfandel (U.S.A.)

Suffice to say that you'll have lots of choice when it comes to selecting the appropriate one to take a drop or two, tipple to your heart's content, and possibly just raise your arm and toast everyone in the room (possibly until the cows come home).


For those Nervous Nellies who need to know whether this might be a comprehensive if not reliable list or just a figment of my imagination, please stop by for more details and wine reviews.

Those interested in more than 230 unusual wine names and irreverent labels, take a peek at, or for a few more whimsical wine monikers check out:

And for those who want to take a Sommelier and Wine Cellar Management Program, do check out The Art Institute of Vancouver and Dubrulle Culinary Arts at

Last but not least, don't forget to attend the 28th Annual Ode to the Grape -- The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival to be held in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada - from February 27 - March 5, 2006. See:

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Or, whoa... where’d you get it?

Compiled by Truman Tockholes, a questor in search of questions, and sometimes the blooming answers, provided people are willing to part with them in a pleasing fashion.

Do you know how many web pages are devoted to answering the question, “Where did you find that?” Believe it or not, at last count, some 81,900 give or take a few pages!

So, here are a few of the choicest answers to this question:

1. Where did you find that information? Answer from an air-headed student of arts (minus an odd assortment of letters), “In my room-mate’s dictionary...where else?”

2. Where did you find that Oriental Rug Mouse Pad? At of course!

3. Where did you find those creepy crawly critter paper clips? At the Salvador Dali Museum Gift Shop –

4. “Pooh”, he said, “where did you find that pole?” Pooh looked at the pole in his hands. “I just found it”, he said. “I thought it ought to be useful.”

5. Where did Thunderbird from Zelda2 come from? Find out on a forum at a place called naturally!

6. Where did you find those great images? Well from NASA’S online Goddard Space Flight Center, “Global Change Master Directory” of course!

7. Where did you find that beautiful unicorn? At!

8. Where did you find that, (in reference to antiques and collectibles)? Answer: It isn’t easy. Wish we had a secret source it is just a lot of hard work and fun constantly searching for items. But in the meantime, check-out

9. “Where Did You Find That” was a best seller according to the Ephemera Society,

10. Where did you find that? Answer: I am not aware of any simple relation between the time-domain autocorrelation function and the pitch of the signal. Please see the following site if you have an abiding interest in such matters:

11. It's not the sort of thing you hang from the ceiling, waiting for someone to say, "Oh where did you find that?" just so you can answer: "Oh, we stumbled on this brilliant little junk shop in the Basque country last summer." (We’re talking about a trusty Breville sandwich maker here if you please!)

12. By-and-by he met a bear, who stopped and said: ‘Where did you find that fish, Mr. Fox?’ ‘Oh, not far off,’ answered he; ‘I just stuck my tail in the stream…” (from the Brown Fairy Book by Andrew Lang: “The Fox and the Lapp”).

13. Where did you find that? Answer: “It flew into my room the other night”. (For more accurate details, please visit

14. Where Did You Find That? is a very valuable resource for teachers and teacher-librarians according to the Saskatchewan Federation of Teachers.

15. Vintage toys are pretty much toys that members of the Baby Boomer generation would look at and say, “Where did you find that?”, according to Tyler products on


But for those who simply adore exploring off the beaten-path thingalings that will undoubtedly put a smile on your face, please visit one very eccentric if not eclectic spot full of mood-lifting wearables and hangables at the "Pinwheel" --, or another excellent source of ephemera at

And for those who're into "Eureka" events, no doubt the strange-looking beastie above will intrigue you. Some will even be glad to know it's the debut of a brand-new dinosaur named "Centrosaurus brinkmani", a previously unknown Cretacious species only 76 million years-old. (It's the first new dinosaur since the 1970s to be named based on complete skeletal materials found in Dinosaur Provincial Park in southern Alberta.) For more details, see

A distant, smaller relative of the well-known triceratops (who lived about 10 million years after it), the new species of horned dinosaur was first first described by Dr. Michael Ryan, head of vertebrate paleontology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Dr. Tony Russell, a zoology professor at the University of Calgary and depicted by Mark Schultz in 2005. The docile vegetarian with distinctive spikes (no it's not a hairdo!), is named in honor of Dr. Donald Brinkman, a paleontologist at the Royal Tyrrell Museum near Drumheller, Alberta.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Or, just tickle your funnybone to fix those hardened arteries please!

By Ovid Publius Hadweenzic Ph.D., Professor of Fractured Funnybones & Affairs of the Heart at the Institute of the Bleeding Obvious in Leading Tickles West, Newfoundland

North Americans will be pleased to know that they can forget all about popping expensive pills or adopting extreme lifestyle changes to treat chronic heart problems.

According to a leading cardiologist, Dr. Michael Miller at the University of Maryland Medical Centre, “the old saying that ‘laughter is the best medicine’ definitely appears to be true when it comes to protecting your heart”.

Researchers found that people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to laugh at things compared to people of the same age without heart disease. (Well, no doubt this finding also probably accounts for why those with hard hearts also have difficulty locating let alone exercising their funnybones).

The Indiana University School of Medicine also says that laughing helps to relax knotty tense muscles, lowers blood pressure and even burns off unwanted calories. And these days, humor prescriptions are being handed out by psychiatrists looking for ways to reduce the need for hallucinogens and possibly find new patients.

If a laugh a day really does keep the doctor away, then there's no time to lose! Besides, no one it seems has ever died from laughing too much. Although that doesn't seem to have stopped some dentists resorting to the use of "laughing gas" as a way of painlessly extracting a few useless wisdom teeth.

According to parents, bosses, and teachers however, "life is no laughing matter". Thankfully, the rest of humanity's answers to life's little problems is, "lighten up!"

And so, with the arrival of the biggest gift-giving season of all, it’s definitely time to take extend a bit of good cheer to all the less fortunate, funnybone-impaired folks on the planet, (or at least here in North America which is home to the highest number of hardened hearts per capita in the world).

When all is said and done, the only real solution to any state of dis-ease is definitely more smiles and snickers not to mention oodles of strokes for folks! So, here’s a list of raucus reading material recommended by The Laff-A-Lot Club and Santa’s Spunky Stocking Stuffer Society, (affectionately known as the “Stuff It!”. (NOTE: All these great giggling gems can be found online at

  • A Book About a Combination of Things
  • A Day In the Life of A Constipated Man
  • Allot About Nothing
  • A Tick In The Mind’s Eye
  • Between A Rock And A Hard Place
  • B-Fish No. 37
  • BirdBreath Life From A Bird’s Point of View
  • Blank Pages
  • Chicken Adventures
  • Control Valves: Understanding the Underlying Issues
  • Cornered/Group Discount Therapy
  • Cracks, Sags & Dimwits – Lessons to Build On
  • Diary of A Nobody
  • Does It Perc?
  • Donut Bee & The Golden Dodo – Musical Screen Play
  • Emergency Toilet Paper
  • FatBottom’s
  • He Must Know Something; But He Don’t Say Nothing
  • How Heavy is Your Balloon?
  • How To Keep An Idiot Away From You
  • I’d Love You If Your Head Fell Off
  • In Search of the Holy Grill
  • LinT: Ye Olde First Book – The Extra Fancy Version
  • Meanderling
  • Miserable on Purpose
  • Mishmash for Everyone
  • Musical Animals
  • Myopic Memories:Girls Who Wear Glasses
  • New Zealand with a Hobbit Botherer
  • Nip & Tuck, Book 1: The Bare Essentials
  • Nobody Eats Cotton
  • 108 ½ Snappy Answers to How Are You
  • Odd Family
  • OhmZapper
  • One Day of Irrelevance
  • Over the Thumb
  • Pinto Beans
  • Preventing A House From Hell
  • Requiem For Common Sense
  • Seattle Strange
  • Sgfdggf
  • Sir Stink A lot & the Honey & the Chocolates
  • Sometimes A Squirrel Is Just A Squirrel
  • Sphincter Troupe Calendar 2005
  • Square in the Nuts
  • Stuff I Wrote
  • Terrible Tommy’s Titillating Tidbits of Turpitude & Trivia
  • The Devil’s Panties
  • The Gnu TastyMint of Moo
  • The Grate Book of MOO
  • The Great Adventure of the Very Little Goo
  • The Heart is a Lonely Hoedown
  • The Laff-A-Lot Club
  • The Lost Art of Cat-Surfing
  • The Texas Postage Calendar
  • The Spam You Love: The Essential Book of Email Forwards
  • Things I Don’t Understand (And Never Will) Subtitled: I Don’t Understand How Everyone’s Written a Book But Me…I Want One Too!
  • [This book will be titled when the inspiration strikes me]
  • 2 Gods and A Penguin
  • W- The Book
  • Where Have all the Hippies Gone…A Children’s Book For Adults
  • You’ve Never Heard of Me


For those who simply have to verify all the facts before they take a leap of faith, please feel free to take the laughter test administered by the folks from the University of Maryland Medical Centre -

And for those who can't abide another book at their bedside or in the drop by Amy Rubin's online laughter spot and pick up some merry merchandise for a Cool Yule from "Pinwheel"

Monday, November 14, 2005


Or, the dah, dooby, or dumb ditties that pass for serious stuff

By Theolonius McTavish, a dine-in-your-own-suite happy hippy with a passion for collecting ludicrous lifestyle wear that comes in 43 shades and 25 sizes but rarely has seen the light of day because they fail to match the multiple mood swings of this feisty fashionista

The other day I was in one of my ticketyboo moods. By that I mean that I was feeling at one with the world of chaos, clutter and cataclysms. So, I took the bull by the horns so to speak, and decided to explore the world of cyberspace and cosmic events.

Allowing my inner bliss to take charge, (as opposed to being “on purpose”, operating according to a “plan”, or some such rational rigamarole to prevent one’s mind from wandering or far worse, losing one’s marbles), I typed a two random words into my ‘Google search box’ …“bleeding obvious”.

To my surprise, up popped 75,000 web pages devoted to the topic of the “bleeding obvious”. Naturally such a wealth of wisdom on the topic rather intrigued me. Exactly what sort of things constituted the “bleeding obvious”?

The University of the Bleeding Obvious in collaboration with the University of Pointless Academia in Sheffield have some rather heady stuff for on-line learners like …all you ever wanted to know about “Drive-By Wallpapering”, “Potatoes of Distinction” and the “Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Pirates”.

Fear of the unknown seems to have found fertile ground in the minds of those affectionately dubbed "who me?". This perhaps explains why the brains of clueless computer-owners were a tad discombobulated, if not short-circuited when asked by an online Customer Support Rep: “Exactly what software do you have installed?” and the daring dweeb replied: “You mean pajamas?”

On the other hand, one Aussie social activist devoted a good deal of time to grizzling and grumping about life not to mention, “Why can’t our government speak up for the bleeding obvious?” (… Hmmm…perhaps they just don’t dig “fusspots” or don’t enjoy “flapping their gums” like some feisty folks do)!

For those with an even limper grasp on life, no doubt they will be utterly amazed at recent findings published in “The Journal for Happiness Studies”. It seems that the purveyors of glad-tidings and good cheer felt it frightfully important to share the following facts with readers: not only “a large class of people found all negative emotions undesirable” but also that "food improves our social well-being!” The journalist who reported on this incredible outcome based on years of exhaustive research thoughtfully pointed out that perhaps the world would be better off if the publication was renamed, “Journal of Research into the Bleeding Obvious”.

Triva buffs will be glad to know that not every grocery store uses plastic bags. In the Land of Oz, they’ve cut back by 30%. In the Land of Gesundheit, they don’t even supply them – you must bring your own or buy one. But in the Land of Gee Whiz, we discourage “bags on wheels”. That’s because the powers that be don’t want crazy coots and codgers falling down in shopping malls or stores and suing them. But the best sport in town is probably watching a grocery packer grunt and groan if you ask for a “brown bag”. They turn the tables however by watching you huff and puff out the door with twenty environmentally-friendly bulging plastic baggies hanging off your three-foot arms.

And believe it or not, there’s a rock band out there with the marvellous moniker, “The Department of the Bleeding Obvious”. (Who knows…perhaps they’ve mastered the art of how to play the flutophone, triangle, and zither which means at long last they can be removed from the elementary school curriculum). Now who can answer my question about “Who am I?” “Where am I going?” and “What’s life all about?”

The ability to state something that is not entirely new is a highly valued commodity -- particularly if one is asked to make a few comments in front of TV cameras on a slow news day. In fact, the ability to state the bleeding obvious is something soap-opera fools and their foils do rather well, especially Sybil Fawlty, (a milquetoast matron in the British farce, “Fawlty Towers”).

In conclusion, rest assured, the “bleeding obvious” will continue to survive as long as we have enough dolts, dingbats and dweebs to provide the fascinating fodder consumed in vast quantities by merry munchkins in an udderly ridiculous world of mirth and mediocrity.


For more on the University of the Bleeding Obvious, please consult:

And for additional mindless musings about ridiculous remarks made by computer dweebs, do check out:

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Or, in other words, “National Nudnik Month”!

Compiled by Lady Beatrice Blitterlees and edited by Lord Earl Craboon

November is the 11th month of the calendar year, so what else is new?

Well for one thing this month features a good many things for knuckleheads, ninny-hammers, and nudniks to engage in since their attention spans are usually shorter than the bat of an eye or a flash in the pan.

They can all take heart from the fact that this month is full of merry-making for morose mavens and munchkins…after all it’s only one month away from the biggest gift-giving gala of the year!

So without further adieu, here’s what’s in store for you to do to celebrate odd occasions and weird events this month.

November 1 – National Who’s Been Eating My Porridge Day (For Goldilocks and the three bear types who can’t get their fill of cream of wheat, oatmeal or bran man!)

November 2 – Are you sure that’s the Road to San Jose Day? (In honor of all those who despise analogue devices such as maps, and would rather use their handy-dandy new digital high-flying GPS gizmo that fits in your pocket, talks, and comes in 45 colors!)

November 3 – National Grin & Bare It Day (Everyone needs a lack practice in the art of stoicism and steadfastness …after all “suck it up” is better than “spit it out”!)

November 4 – Scorpio Awareness Day (Time to spot those fixed water signs who rule the world of magical matters like taboos and voodoo…you know the intractable, inscrutable, impenetrable secretive souls who have things good things going for them… they have magnetic personalities, are unshockable, and understand failure…yee haw!)

November 5 – Guy Fawkes Day (The second time this year you can officially light firecrackers under the seat of any nosey nemesis or naughty nudnik naturally).

November 6 – One Toy That Should Never Have Been Invented Day (Okay now it’s time to figure out what tawdry toy you’ve encountered sometime during your stay on planet earth should quite frankly never have seen the light of day).

November 7 – Worst Workplace Décor Day (Time to nominate someone for this prestigious award in your office – prize a weekend pass to the nearest petting zoo for some pointers from a bunch of beasts that probably couldn’t care less!)

November 8 – National Tom Thumb Day (So if you were six inches tall for a day, exactly what would you do besides twiddling your thumbs for twenty-four hours?)

November 9 – National Animal Crackers Day (A pleasant alternative to "Girl Guide Cookies" …but everyone must also share the name of the animal with whom they would share the rest of their life with if that’s the way the cookie crumbled!)

November 10 – National Ho-Hum Body Part Day (For those who haven’t a clue what biology’s all about but can tell you all about the least erotic part of the human body!)

November 11 – Thirteenth Month of the Year Day (Time-starved individuals should use their imagination to come up with a name for the thirteenth month, not to mention where it’s supposed to be inserted in the present calendar if you please!)

November 12 – National Pick Your Favorite Movie Prop Day (Is it the Wizard of Oz’s wig, a seagull from “The Birds”, a shower-stall from an Anthony Perkins thriller?)

November 13 – Gift of Magic Day (Okay you’ve got the gorgeous-looking genie in a bottle…and he/she pops out and grants you three wishes…what are they and why?)

November 14 – Nicest Compliment You’ve Ever Received Day (It’s one of those rare occasions, but check your memory bank and figure out the nicest compliment you’ve ever received in your entire life…that you don’t mind sharing with the rest of humanity).

November 15 – License Plate Appreciation Day (The government has just informed you that you could have your license plate say anything at all…what would it be?)

November 16 – Rename Your Family Day (To meet the growing demand folks who want a new lease on life…it’s now time to rename each family member...good luck!)

November 17 – Dig That Derriere Day (Forget the botox…if a fairy godmother dropped by and told you that you could have anyone else’s gluteus maximus, posh posterior or tight buns…just who would you choose?)

November 18 – National Lazybones Awareness Day (Okay it’s payback time for the laziest person you know…if you could pick one thing that this person would have to do for the rest of their life – who would it be and what would this individual have to do?)

November 19 – Three Least Favorite Words Day (This will definitely appeal to blabbers, blatherskites, and motor-mouths who will never be short on words!)

November 20 – Goosebump Awareness Day (So pray tell, what gives you Goosebumps? …and how come no one ever has Goosebumps on the face?)

November 21 – Computer Modification Day (The folks who manufacture the best thing since sliced bread come to ask you what one thing you’d like to see changed on your computer…what might it be … now think hard all you dweebs and dingbats!)

November 22 – Hardest Position to Play in Sports Day (For all the sports jocks, couch potatoes, and sideline critics…what would you say is the most difficult one, c’mon…)

November 22 – Nifty New Appliance Day (Advertisers are having a field day with a brand new appliance…what’s it called and exactly what will it do to make life easier?)

November 23 – National Jockstrap Collectible Day (Your favorite sports league has just announced a new fantasy prize for an upcoming contest…the jockstrap of your favorite fantasy player…hmmm…who might that be and in what sport?)

November 24 – Murfle Appreciation Day (Time to see who has the most freckles among your family, friends, and faithful colleagues at work).

November 25 – National Jeepers Creepers Day (What’s the biggest surprise you’ve ever had in your life? …Sponsored by the “Holy Cow Cooperative” & “The Holy Smoke Alliance of Spirits and Other Figments of Your Imagination”)

November 26 – Look Before You Leap Day (In honor of all those who took a flying leap from the frying pan into the fire …just to get a taste of “S’mores”!)

November 27 – National Hold Your Horses Day (Celebrates all those faithful plodders who are always chomping at the bit, but never quite make it out of the stall to win a race)

November 28 – National Slam-Dunk Contest Day (Time to try out your waste-paper basket skills – there are no prizes just the title “The Hottest Damn Slam-Dunker”!)

November 29 – World Finger Snapping Day (In honor of fuss budgets and slow restaurant food service …now you get to practice it all day long!!!)

November 30 – Tickle Me Pink Day (A social networking day of course!)