Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Better way to view flickr photos: PicLens

I ran across a TechCrunch article this morning on a browser plug-in called PicLens (Safari on Mac, Firefox on Windows. Why not Firefox on Mac? Probably something about graphics systems). It is truly a different flickr experience. It allows you to view flickr photos full screen and in a slideshow, which some may say is even better than the built-in slideshow functionality. I have tried some other things - Lightbox plug-in for Firefox, Flickrfox, but none of them were really any better. This is totally different.

Give it a try.

Additional screenshots and screencasts are available at the website.

Full Screen Web Photo Browsing with PicLens [TechCrunch]

Friday, June 15, 2007

Another Great Tasting

On Wednesday night, to celebrate the end of the year, we reconvened at Billo's house to taste some wines. There were two sections to the evening; first we tasted Bordeaux wines not blind, in an attempt to understand the differences between the communes. We had representatives from St. Emilion, Pomerol, Margaux, Pauillac, St. Julien and St. Estephe. We also had a white representative from Pessac-Leognan. The second part of the night was tasting blind, putting our new understanding of Bordeaux (and other regions) to work.

In addition to nice wines, we also had great food. We started off with Bacon-wrapped Dates. Billo and Jesse cooked up some Hawaiian Cowboy Steaks and a huge Leg of Lamb. Side dishes of Orzo and Couscous were present in abundance. We also had for dessert a Peach Granita, Strawberries with Creme Fraiche and Brown Sugar and a Blueberry Pie. Everyone had the same idea as I did - it's too hot for chocolate! Fresh fruit was the star of the desserts.

1. 1999 J Vineyards Sparkling Wine Brut, Sonoma
2. 2005 Rose Tablas Creek, Paso Robles

Non-Blind Bordeaux
3. 2003 Ch. Giscours, Margaux
4. 2002 Clos. Rene, Pomerol
5. 2003 Ch. Quinault "l'Enclos", St. Emilion Grand Cru
6. 2003 Ch. Carbonnieux Blanc, Pessac-Leognan
7. 1993 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac
8. 2003 Ch. Gloria, St. Julien
9. 1900 Phelan Segur, St. Estephe

Blind Wines
10. 1990 Ch. Trotte Vieille, St. Emilion Grand Cru
11. 2002 Ch. Reignac, Bordeaux Superieur
12. 1976 Ridge Monte Bello, Santa Cruz Mountains
13. 1982 Haut Batailley, Pauillac
14. 1996 Seavy Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
15. 1987 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac
16. 1999 Wild Duck Creek Cabernet Sauvignon "Springlat", Heathcote
17. 1998 Rolf Binder/Veritas "Pressings" Shiraz, Barossa Valley

Another great night. I hope that summer is filled with great wine, find food and time spent with good friends.

Congrats all.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Next Year

So I have just about finished my first of two years in the UC Davis Viticulture and Enology MS program. It has been a fantastic year - I have met great people, learned from amazing professors, and drank amazing wine.

I was made aware this morning at a meeting that I have signed up for a laundry list of jobs for next year. I will:

be GSA representative with Scott
run Vitis with Jesse
be on the Executive Committee with Wynne
be DEVO secretary

I have a long year ahead of me.

Speaking of DEVO, the Dinner under the Winkler Vine got a glowing review from Bob Dunning, our local paper's most influential writer. Unfortunately, in their infinite (lack of) wisdom, The Davis Enterprise puts all articles older than ONE day old in a fee-based archive, so I can't link to the article, but here is a quote:

Because I have friends in high places on the UC Davis campus (the guy washing the windows at the Top of the Mrak) I found myself one recent evening sitting out under the stars with the Red-Headed Girl of My Dreams and dozens of others, being wined and dined in a most extraordinary fashion.

Yes, this would be the esteemed "Dinner Under the Winkler Vine," seventh edition, a major fund-raiser put on by the student-run group DEVO, the Davis Enology and Viticulture Organization. In other words, if you don't like wine, put your checkbook back in your pocket and go home.


The kids from DEVO are the grape growers and wine makers of tomorrow. I'd say we're in good hands.

-Bob Dunning, Davis Enterprise, June 6, 2007

Good work, DEVO. Hopefully things will go as well next year as they did this year.