An old friend of posted this one day and I have kept it and read it often.  Its a good guide for me to remember and then focus on trying to make myself better and stronger.  




30 things we need to do starting 2012


  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
  2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
  3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
  5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
  12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
  14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
  15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
  16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
  17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
  18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
  19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
  20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
  23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.  Read Getting Things Done.
  24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
  26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.
  28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.
 
 
I drank this delicious wine last night. I love Kunde winery for many reasons
1. It's family owned
2. Estate grown fruit
3. Own largest contiguous land in Sonoma county
4. Mountain top tasting room
5. Wines are priced very well and quality is great
6. The owner Jeff Kunde is a romantic

This wine smells like a sweet tart. It tastes of guava and round ripe melon. It's full in your mouth but a nice tight crispness at the end. It's stelvin enclosure for easy access anywhere and single vineyard from magnolia lane.

I love it. I almost drank the whole bottle by myself.
 
 
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Artichoke flower....who knew? And after the plant produced the fruit!
Texas had these flowers everywhere. I can't believe I never knew this happened.....and after it gave off the fruit...
 
 
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I received an email a couple months back - some people wanted to photograph my car for an article - I said when, where, why....
in May sometime - Milwaukee and your car is cool.
I would get paid nothing BUT my car would be in a magazine.

Then I found out it was Motor Trend.  
The #1 selling car magazine in the World.  
Sign me up.

I was traveling a lot that month but it ended up being a day after I got back from a trip.  I was nervous it may not make it down there but Hagerty would be to the rescue if something went wrong.  
(Hagerty INsurance is for classic cars and they will come with a flatbed to the rescue)
I left the night before as it was going to be a 5am shoot - Yikes!  
I went 63 all the way down Highway 41 - A little over 2 hours later I was in Milwaukee having dinner with a glass of wine and a side of relief! We made it.
The next morning (they changed to 7am thank you) we met down in the 3rd ward of Milwaukee.  
A sporty orange/red Datsun 240z
A mean green AMC AMX
And a classy Cream Volvo 1800e
All in late 60s early 70s

the camera guy, Brian (from LA) and his Dr. friend (Minneapolis) and Todd  the Editor in chief (Detroit) were all there - 
Throughout the day they took pics of the cars together, separate, driving separately and together...Us turning corners in it and also some with us.  We drove through Milwaukee and found some great photo ops....They were really fantastic and interesting people....The day went by really fast and all of a sudden it was 8pm and the sun was setting.  We all went out for a wrap - up dinner at my favorite spot in Milwaukee - Braise- where asparagus was in season and DELICIOUS...(yes i ate there 2 days in a row)

It was a 12 hour day of great conversation, cool pics and even cooler cars.

I was definitely the odd "man" in this circle - The owner of the Datsun was the real deal - owning cars I couldn't even dream of as they were too rare and way too pricey for me. He loved and lived cars....And the other guy was just driving the car for his work (through a shop who restores and consigns cars)  who was actually just selling the car.  He sees these kind of amazing cars all the time.
I drive my car on Sundays - and I cant drive it if its going to rain because I STILL Cant figure out why the windshield wipers don't work - its not the fuse or the tiny motor....Sigh.....

If you own an old car you understand 1 thing - It can eat money faster then I can slam a glass of wine and I promise you I am VERY good at it.  

I had an old 79 BMW and a 85 Porsche.....money pits

This Volvo I have only stuck a couple thousand in it and it is a looker - 
and will be featured in Motor Trend Classic Magazine - 
out at the end of August...Sept-Dec issue....
This Is motor trend Classic - the one that comes out quarterly.......not the monthly magazine.  
It is $15 an issue and has thicker, quality paper.  I believe there will be quite a few pics in it.....comparing us (Datsun, amc, volvo) to the big 3 (ford, chevy, dodge)

My dad is proud - I could have won a Nobel Peace Prize and this he would be more impressed with....his daughter in Motor Trend Magazine.

Pick up an issue to see my pink shoes, 3 beautiful cars made even more beautiful by Brians photography skills......And to read Todds view of the cars (he drove all 3 to get a feel and interview us)

Thank you Boys - Colin, Frank, Brian and Todd - A great day and one to keep in the books - literally




 
 
Money and wine have a way of always overlapping - actors, sports players, celebrity chefs, singers, race car guys....they all have their own wine labels or wineries.  To own a winery takes a boatload of cash - and then it continues on...you need more, all the time.  

I have not had a lot of great celebrity wine.  Some are good but most are overpriced - as they are selling their name more so then a quality product...I have had some good ones though.

Most celebrity wine labels are just that...labels.  The wine is already made, most do not even help with the blend or wine at all, and they just make up a label and pay some money and WAH LAH - Drew Barrymore has a pinot grigio thats light, crisp and refreshing - just like her.

Status.  It would be neat having your own wine....I would not say no - I am also not a celebrity with a boatload of money.  Maybe someday.  Until then I will drink everyone elses....


Some that I have tasted - 

Dave Mathews band wine - the only one that is good to me is the Crush but I think its overpriced.

Train (the band) new cabernet - I thought it was unbalanced, almost no finish except for acid and way too jammy for a cab...

Greg Norman - I always liked his Australian cab/merlot and shiraz - I havent had it in years BUT his California stuff has not been even close in quality.

Arnold Palmer - Made at Luna winery - The cab used to be from Napa  - then turned to just California - I really enjoyed the Napa label - the California cab is good - just the price isnt where it should be

Jerry Garcia wines - I think they were made at Clos du Bois in Sonoma - they were actually ok for the price.  I liked them as everyday drinkers - they are disctd now.  Too Bad

Andretti - next....Not writing about it - sorry
Adobe road - sorry race fans - 
BR Cohn - wines are pretty good for the price - I would drink and be happy

Coppola wines - I will say - best celebrity wines made - personally I think so anyway...He has many levels of wines and I really do enjoy a lot of them.

I was in Arizona and went to Tool singer Maynards 2 wineries - really quality stuff for Arizona wines - I liked them as well - I do not think they are sold in WI.

I had Joe Montanas wine - Delicious - only can buy in CA

Pininfarinas wine - Great Napa Valley blend that is now discontinued but a keeper

Fess Parker - I like his wines as well - A great Syrah, Pinot noir and especially love the Viognier.  Value brands that get rated well.  

Charles Woodson - His wine would be great if it was half the price or more...its quality juice but insanely overpriced.  I tried his petite sirah at an event and it was VERY GOOD.  I dont think he sells that though....only the blend

Lastly Robert Parkers wines - delicious  and his Italian venture too - amazing


Below is a partial listing of celebrities who own commercial wineries, wine brands or vineyards. This is not a listing of a celebrities who only own vineyards for private use.

Celebrity Winery
AndrettiAndretti WineryNapa ValleyCaliforniaFounded winery with former K-mart CEO Joe Antonini[3]
Frank ArcieroArciero Family VineyardsPaso RoblesCaliforniaAlso owns EOS Estate Winery in Paso Robles. Owned racing teams that featured Al UnserBobby UnserParnelli JonesDan Gurney andMichael Andretti[12]
Dan AykroydDan Aykroyd WinesOntarioCanada
Antonio BanderasAnta BanderasRibera del DueroSpain[14]
Drew BarrymoreBarrymore WinesItaly
Lidia Bastianich Bastianich WineryFriuliItaly
Mario BataliLa MozzaTuscanyItaly
Drew Bledsoe Double Back WineWalla Walla ValleyWashington
Lorraine BraccoBracco WinesTuscanyItaly
Kevin BucklerAdobe Road WinesSonoma CountyCalifornia
Raymond BurrRaymond Burr VineyardsDry Creek ValleyCalifornia
Jonathan CaindelaCain VineyardsSonoma CountyCalifornia
Richard ChildressChildress VineyardsNorth Carolina[21]
Les ClaypoolClaypool CellarsRussian River ValleyCalifornia[22]
Bruce CohnB.R. Cohn WinerySonoma CountyCaliforniaCohn was manager of The Doobie Brothers[7]
Francis Ford CoppolaRubicon Estate WineryNapa ValleyCalifornia[3]
Gerard DepardieuChateau de TigneAnjouLoire ValleyFrance 
Mike DitkaMike Ditka WinesMendocino CountyCalifornia

Ernie ElsErnie Els WinesStellenboschSouth AfricaCollaboration with Engelbrecht Els Vineyard[3]
Emilio EstevezCasa DumetzMalibuCalifornia[25]
Nick FaldoNick Faldo WinesCoonawarraAustraliaCollaboration with Katnook Estate[26]
Mick FleetwoodMick Fleetwood Private CellarLake CountyCalifornia
Peggy FlemingFleming Jenkins Vineyards and WinerySanta Cruz Mountains
Jeff GordonJeff Gordon WinesNapa ValleyCaliforniaCollaboration with August Briggs Wines[7]
Wayne GretzkyNo. 99 Estates WineryNiagara PeninsulaCanadaCollaboration with Peller Estates[29]
Terry HoageTerry Hoage VineyardsPaso RoblesCaliforniaUniversity of Georgia Football player
Mick HucknallIl CantanteSicilyItalyCollaboration with Italian winemaker Salvo Foti[7]
Günther JauchWeingut von OthegravenMosel (wine region)Rhineland
Maynard James KeenanCaduceus CellarsVerde ValleyArizonaAlso owns Merkin Vineyards in Arizona[32]
John LasseterLasseter Family WinerySonoma CountyCalifornia[7]
Randy LewisLewis CellarsNapa ValleyCalifornia[12]
Lil JonLittle Jonathan WineryCentral CoastCaliforniaCollaboration with California winemaker Alison Crowe
Kyle MacLachlanPursued by Bear WineColumbia ValleyWashingtonCollaboration with Washington winemaker Eric Dunham[35]
Madonna-Ciccone Vineyard and WineryLeelanau PeninsulaMichiganCollaboration with her father 
]Dan Marino Vintage 13 Marino EstatesCalifornia[30]
Dave MatthewsBlenheim VineyardsCharlottesvilleVirginia[37]
Joe MontanaMontagia WinesNapa ValleyCaliforniaCollaboration with Ed Sbragia, former winemaker of Beringer Wines[7]
Sam NeillTwo PaddocksCentral OtagoNew Zealand[3]
Vince NeilVince Neil VineyardsSonoma CountyCalifornia[3]
Olivia Newton-JohnKoala Blue WinesSouth AustraliaFounded in 1983 with business partner Pat Farrar[7]
Greg NormanGreg Norman EstatesSouth Australia and CaliforniaCollaboration with Beringer Blass[3]
Arnold PalmerArnold Palmer WinesCaliforniaCollaboration with Luna Vineyards[20]
Fess ParkerFess Parker WinerySanta Ynez ValleyCaliforniaWas featured in the movie Sideways[3]
Robert M. Parker, Jr.Beaux Freres Vineyards & WineryWillamette Valley, .[39]
Terri ParsonsBenny Parsons Rendezvous RidgePurlear, North CarolinaWinery established before his death and operated by his widow.[40]
Nancy PelosiZinfandel Lane VineyardSt. HelenaCaliforniaAlso owns Skellenger Lane Vineyard in Napa Valley. Pelosi sells her grapes to other California winemakers instead of producing her own wine.[7]
Carmen PolicyCasa PienaYountvilleCalifornia[7]
Jason PriestleyBlack Hills Estate WineryOkanaganBritish ColumbiaThe British Columbia born actor is a co-owner in the estate[41]
Boz ScaggsScaggs VineyardCalifornia[43]
Charles WoodsonTwentyFour WinesNapa ValleyCaliforniaUnder NFL regulations, Woodson is currently prohibited from endorsing his own wines publicly until he retires
Paul Newman
KISS
 
 
We all feel this way sometimes

Its better then sunshine and moonshine.....

Its time to let your should shine


 
 
A windy drive north on 128 takes you into Mendocino county and Anderson Valley will appear.  A drive through Boonville means you are almost there - Goldeneye WInery appears.  
Pinot noir made intense and light....full but elegant....Zac Rasmussen, winemaker, is handsome, cool and serious about Pinot Noir.  Their pinot noir rose is delicious and sitting outside in the sun, overlooking the vineyards it seems as if life has stopped to say thank you.  I love it here - this is wine country - without all the celebrity chefs, without the constant turn of the head to see all the wineries drive by, without the glitz and glam....this is pinot noir country and a place to go to sit back and enjoy a wine without wondering where you are going next.  This is where memories are made in sunsets, quite moments and gives you time to look at the person next to you and
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Hess has always been one of my loyal standby wines.  Its on a lot of wine lists through out the country and they have a couple different "levels"..allomi, collection and my favorite - 19 block red blend.
I like how Mt Veeder fruit tastes.  Its leaner.  It has more layers and a really great lingering finish.  Well this wine does anyway. 

The winery is up on top of MT and beautiful.  More of an art gallery then a winery...Donald Hess owns a LOT of art and you can walk through his 3 levels of amazing pieces.  A true lover of food, wine and art and this place has it all.

 


 
 
The moment that you finally stop, look around and know that it is done.  
You know it, your head knows it but for some strange reason you still haven't been able to compute it until that very second.  
That moment where all of the what ifs are suddenly nowhere in sight.  
The moment when you feel anymore would possibly drive you crazy.  
The moment when you decided you are more important, your life is more important.  
The moment when the questions do not need to be answered anymore.
The moments where you do not want to continue on for fear of hate deciding to show up at the party uninvited.  
The moment you thank God you have the memories to revisit but you know you will not make anymore together.
That one moment.....that one second.  

 
 
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A great value cabernet - it is joseph carr from napa valleys 2nd label.  easy on the tannins - blackberry baked pie flavors. I really like it and tried it today with someone who doesnt normally drink red wine and he loved it.  His wife took a sip and she also said she would drink it.  Its a serious slammer and could easily drain a bottle it is that easy to drink.

try it - 16ish a bottle or less.  Awesome value - and its named after his father - gotta love that