Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Given that Seoul has a population of over 10 million, the crowds at XD's rail jams draw hundreds of thousands. Nicely done XD!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
To Do List:
- Change Special dinner Chardonnay: To be done on Emily’s Computer
- Order a replacement for the Santa Ema Cab Sauv.
- Order a replacement for the Iron Stone Merlot
- Find a mid Priced Merlot
- Order St. Supery Virtu Sauvignon Blanc
- Order the Carchello Monastrel Gendzier
- Order the Torres Fransola Sauvignon Blanc
- Stags Leap Merlot Replacement
- Duckhorn Howell Mt. Napa, 1999
- Excellent Merlot, Cab, Napa Company
- Golden Eye
- Only Pinot Noir
- Check vintages on the Wine List vs. our stock.
- Change the 2001 Baroli to the 2003 vintage
- Add the executive wines to our list.
- Order Riesling: Valcenberg Germany or Australia
All Star Wines to Order:
2003 Cos d’Estournel – 99 RP $249
2005 Kongsford Chardonnay – 95 RP $149
2001 Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino $169
2006 Illumination Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc $ 28
2001 Solitude Chateaunef du Pape Reserve Secrete $150
1998 Cheatunef du Pape Chateau Beaucastel $185
1997 Jubilee Hugel Riesling $ 58
2004 The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough NZ $40
1985 Kendall Jackson Cardinale $285
2001 Opus One
Conducting Research in May 2009. Anderson Valley, CA
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
In a less than favorable note, Where the Wild Things Are, a film based on one of my favorite childhood bedtime stories, was moderately disappointing. Although I was genuinely enthused to see the book come to life on the silver screen, the story of a boy with limitless imagination was condensed, packaged, and excreted into a disheartening tale with an exasperating finale. While reading the story as a child, I recall pages fortified with Utopian idealism, boundless spirit, and genial optimism. Although the film captured portions of the book's happiness, the overall vibe produced a sullen statue of staunch realism. Perhaps Spike Jonze should stick with skate films instead?
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Profiling Cuban musicians, the documentary investigates the nature of a members only club in Havana during the 1940s. Serving as a meeting place for musicians and dancers, the club was a prominent source of cultural and musical activity. Located in a residential area of Havanna, the members of the club produced incredible sang, danced, and produced a unique sound. Although residents of Havana contest the exact location of the club, the story and the music live on in an album named after the establishment.
Interviewing Ibrahim Ferrer, Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, Ruben Gonzalez, Pio Leyva, Manuel “Puntillita” Licea, Orlando “Cachaito” Lopez, Manuel “Guajiro” Mirabal, Eliades Ochoa, Omara Portuondo, Compay Segundo, Barbarito Torres, Amadito Valdes, and Joachim Cooder, the film tells the unique life story of each musician. Although some members were recent additions to the group, many of them, including Ibrahim Ferrer, Juan de Marcos, and Ruben Gonzalez, have been playing music in Cuba since the 1950s. Given these individuals were between 80 and 90 at the time of the documentary, their talent and passion for music is truly remarkable. Although every musician’s interview is a fascinating topic for discussion, the story of Ibrahim Ferrer was most striking.
Born in San Luis in 1927, Ibrahim Ferrer was orphaned at the age of 12 and began singing on street corners to generate income. After two years of struggling on the streets of Santiago, Ferrer joined a musical group and began performing at local establishments. Going on to record a number of hits, Ferrer became known as one of the best vocalists in Cuba. Despite his singing ability, Ferrer lived a life of extreme poverty in a tattered Havana apartment, and shined shoes to take care of his wife and eleven children. At the time the Buena Vista sessions were being recorded, the director of the group needed a singer and knew Ferrer would best fill the position. After being found on a street corner and denying that he had any singing ability in his veins, Ferrer agreed to sing with the group, going on to create a musical masterpiece. Eventually, Ferrer’s talent helped bring the gropu to Amsterdam and at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Soon after, Ferrer released a well-recognized solo album. Sadly, at the age of 78, his success was short-lived as he passed away in 2005, leaving a legacy of music behind.
The documentary profiled some of the most unique and spirited music I have ever heard. Certain songs like, “Chan Chan” “Veinte Años,” and “Dos Gardenias” create a magical feel and produce unbelievably calming sensations. Other songs, such as “El Cuarto de Tula”: and “Candela, Candela” highlight the rhythmic ability of the group and produce pulsating and memorable songs. Throughout the performances profiled in the film, I closed my eyes and envisioned myself in a world of color, sound, and rhythm. Known for the reliance on percussion instruments, Son Cubano music has a unique sound. Since I grew up playing drums and working with other percussionists in my middle school and high school bands, hearing the underlying beat of each track is invigorating. As stated by Joachim Cooder, the group’s percussionist, “rhythm is the driving force of Cuban music.” Given that this movie was heavily decorated and accented with percussion instruments, I was captivated by each song and found myself tapping along to the rhythm.
Along with the breathtaking music, I enjoyed the interviews by each musician. Given that music is a form of expression not otherwise obtained by words, each song embodies the passions, joyful spirit, hardships, and memories of each musician. Their story reinforced the music, allowed me to empathize with their situation, and respect the sound that much more. Rather than ask standard interview questions, the director simply encouraged each musician to tell their story. Imbedded within each story were the rhythm, sound, and talent of each musician. Everyone had an incredible narrative, ultimately reinforcing the beauty of each song.
As related to the course, the film is a prime example of folk culture. Folk culture is not controlled, not seen everywhere nor practiced by everyone, not in the national culture of the nation state, and may be imbedded in a cultural group and affect the development of cultural identity. As evident by the status quo in Cuba during the 1940’s, no one controlled the folk culture. On the contrary, it was developed in the underground music scene in Havana and restricted to African-Cuban members of the social club. This style of music, known as Son Cubano, developed the cultural identity of many Cuban musicians and can be found in the songs of the Buena Vista Social Club. Although the film accentuated the positive aspects of folk culture, some may argue against the exploitation of the Son Cubano sound.
From a less optimistic perspective, folk culture may be exploited to serve the needs of advertisers. Exploitation of folk culture usually occurs when advertisers want to make a destination or a style of music seem more unique. When this happens, the distinction between folk and pop culture is distorted. Some may argue that after gaining worldwide success, being acclaimed for many accolades, and generating a great deal of profit, the music in Buena Vista Social Club has become an example of pop culture. However, given the underground nature of the music, and the selection of musicians in the film, Buena Vista Social Club is an example of well-marketed folk culture. Pop culture implies negative connotations, fleeting trends, and the idea that everyone, simply because of the popularity, embraces the product. Given that album recorded by Buena Vista Social Club is over a decade old and continues to gain supporters, the term “pop culture” should not be applied to this musical masterpiece.
Overall, the documentary highlights some of the most rhythmical, pulsating, and genuinely refreshing music of the past decade. Although my musical preference does not typically seek Latin music, Buena Vista Social Club has been my favorite album to listen to while studying, relaxing, and traveling. The flow of the songs, the vibe produced by each musician, and the overall sound welcomes anyone to embrace the culture. In an age where pop culture and tasteless trends dominate the world market, Buena Vista Social Club serves as a beacon of hope for thoughtful consumers, ultimately connected the world with an otherwise forgotten staple the Havana music scene.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
3 Sets 25 Reps Sit Ups
3 Sets 50 Reps Monkey Wrench
3 Sets 25 Reps Leg Lifts
3 Sets 50 Reps Cherry Pickers
3 Sets 35 Reps Back Crunches
3 Sets Each Side 30 Reps Oblique Crunch
5 Sets 20 Reps Pushups + Failure
3 Sets 30 Reps Crunches
3 Sets 25 Reps Roll Ups (Reverse Situps)
3 Sets 50 Reps (25 Each Side) Bycicles
3 Sets 26 Reps (13 Each Side) Windshield Wipers
3 Sets (Each Side) 30 Reps Side V Ups
3 Sets 35 Reps Back Crunches
3 Sets 25 Reps V Ups
3 Sets 25 Reps Butterfly Crunches
3 Sets 25 Reps Straight Toe Touches
3 Sets 30 Reps Side V Ups
3 Sets 35 Reps Back Crunches
1 Minute Each Side 2 Reps 4 Way Planks
6 Sets 50 Reps Crunches
3 Sets 25 Reps Hip Ups
3 Sets 30 Reps Side V Ups
3 Sets 40 Reps Alt Back Ups
3 Sets 25 Reps Sit Ups w/ Medicine Ball
3 Sets 25 Reps Toe Touches w/ Med. Ball
3 Sets 50 Reps Seated Ryakers w/ Med. Ball
3 Sets 25 Reps Each Side Russian Twist w/ Med. Ball
3 Sets 30 Reps Side V Ups
3 Sets 25 Reps Superman Med. Ball Throws
3 Sets 15 Reps Hanging Straight Leg Raises
3 Sets 20 Reps Hanging Knee Raises (Up, Side, Up, Side)
3 Sets Each Side 20 Reps Cable Chops
3 Sets 20 Reps Sit on Bosu Legs Raised off ground, Alt side with Med. Ball
3 Sets Each Side 20 Reps Dumbell Side Crunches
3 Sets 20 Reps Back Extensions
Saturday, October 17, 2009
He's on MTV
With an episode on MTV, agents, lawyers, high paying contracts, and a travel schedule more elaborate than Brad Birkenfield's career as an investment banker, it is safe to say our boy Tommy is killing it. While some individuals let the Hollywood lifestyle inflate their ego, Tom keeps it real, attends the University of Utah full time, and always finds time for his friends. For proof of Tom's ability to balance athletic domination with an academic career, watch his episode on MTV's Alli Show at 11pm.
With all the publicity Tom has been receiving, will he still organize his budget every week?
Thursday, October 15, 2009
This video made me smile. I hope it does the same for you:
Many events in life, both positive and negative, make me smile. Smiling allows me to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events and constantly anticipate the best possible outcome. This ability, known as optimism is a very useful skill to have when dealing with traumatic, stressful, and disheartening situations. Harness it, use it well, and I guarantee you will find a new respect for life and develop an uncanny ability to remain steadfast in your darkest hours.
You will always find brighter days. Ma-Me-O Beach Sunset
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
For so many of you who may not already know, I would like to clarify that I am not, nor have I been involved with Warren Miller Entertainment (WME) or their ski movies for quite some time now. When I sold the company to my son in 1988, I was excited about staying involved and helping carry the company forward. However, the company has twice since been sold, and it has been six years since I have had anything whatsoever to do with the films bearing my name.
The lawsuit that WME has filed against Josh Berman and Level 1 Productions is something that never should have happened. WME has no valid claim for Trademark Infringement, and that is why they are attempting to delay the action with Level 1 and go to arbitration with me. The judge will rule on the stay of action sometime this week. For Josh and Level 1, a stay of action only means that WME gets to put off their lawsuit, until the arbitration between them and me is finished. That is unacceptable as it leaves Josh and Level 1 hanging in the wind.
I stopped working with WME because our ideas on what the ski films should be weren`t on the same page, and they demonstrated that they didn`t want my involvement in making ski films any longer. WME`s statement that they "would like nothing better than to have Mr. Miller be a continuing part of WME," but cannot because they are "a small company with limited resources and we are not in a position to meet the financial conditions Mr. Miller requires" is really absurd.
I have never made ski films solely for the money. I have always done what I do out of my love for skiing, passion for people, and the freedom that I find while on the mountain. I sat down and did an interview with Josh, a friend whose entire company, Level 1 Productions, generated less than $100,000 in revenue in 2008. While on the other hand, WME is the largest company of its kind in the world and is part of a multi-million dollar corporation, which is owned by a larger global conglomerate that posted more than a billion dollars in revenue in 2008.
I am really flattered by how much support so many people have shown not only to me, but also to Josh and Level 1 Productions. Thank you for reading this. Let`s all look forward to bluebird days and untracked powder snow!
The Warren Miller Company
In other news, Refresh, the 10th film by Level 1 Productions is "moderately life changing" according to some. Warren's voice is genuinely refreshing, every athlete has incredible shots, and the level of talent displayed in the park, backcountry, and urban environments is astounding. I have not been this stoked on a film since watching Royalty with Iberg at Camp Revolution.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
In other news, Andrew Hathaway aka Hathbanger has officially blown up! With a chart topping hit on hype machine, appearances on numerous music and celebrity centric blogs, including Perez Hilton, it is safe to say he has gained national attention for his Biggie & Miley Cyrus mashup. Entitled "Party and Bullshit in the USA" Hath has effectively blended a pop song from Miley Ray Cyrus with a track from hip-hop's patron saint, Biggie Smalls. Although many individuals are condemning Hathbanger's efforts for "tarnishing" Biggie's music, I couldn't be more stoked for the mashup. After all, Juicy, arguably Biggie's most famous song, was sampled from Juicy Fruit by James Mtume. Keep killing it son!
Monday, October 12, 2009
After you left Breck, I ate two of the avocados you left in the fridge and finished the remainder chicken you left in the freezer. Given that I did not ask if I could consume these items, one may say I "stole" them from you. In all fairness, I should have hit up your phone and asked permission while you were traveling back to Stockholm. However, after seeing your profile on the Armada website, it became clear that you stole something from me as well....my mid-bang! The score is even for now, but be careful while plotting your trajectory to work.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
In the majority of big air and slope style events in 2009, nearly everyone to obtain a podium finish has thrown a variation of a dub cork/ kang flip. That is, unless the judges are replaced by text messaging. Made for TV moments aside, it would appear as though the dub cork has officially ended the reign of the switch 10 as a big air favorite. Given that the dub corks of today are smooth, well grabbed, and nearly flawless, I'm stoked to see more skiers experiment with ways to flip multiple times while spinning.
After watching Freestyle.CH and Freestyle.Berlin, I couldn't help but ponder the competitive nature of skiers. When a particular trick takes the podium at a competition, nearly everyone learns that same trick. It started with the switch backflip that landed Philou Porier the 1999 US Open big air gold, then Tanner Hall's switch rodeo 7 that landed him multiple gold medals at X-Games, Gravity Games, and Red Bull Huck Fest. Tanner's switch 7 naturally turned into switch 9 and was surpassed when CR Johnson landed a cork 12 in 2002. One year later, Mickael Deschenaux stomped the first switch cork 10 at the US Open. The following year, Mickael did the same trick, but grabbed blunt for 900 of the 1080, won the event, and many skiers consider that to be one of the best switch 1080s ever done. In 2004 TJ won the event with a swith 10 and returned one year later with a switch 14, but it never really caught on as a major competition trick, aside form Henrik Harlaut stomping one at the age of 14 at JOI and in multiple video appearances. Until the emergence of the dub rodeo (Kang Flip), or the PK style dub 10/12, many competition tricks were similar.
US Open Big Air top finishers and their tricks:
1999 US Open Big Air: Switch Backflip, Philou Porior
2000 US Open Big Air: 1260, Andy Woods
2001 US Open Big Air: Switch Rodeo 7, Tanner Hall
2002 US Open Big Air: Bio 12, CJ Johnson
2003 US Open Big Air: Switch 10, Mickael Deschenaux
2004 US Open Big Air: Switch 10, Mickael Deschenaux
2005 US Open Big Air: Switch 10, TJ Schiller
2006 US Open Big Air: Switch 14, TJ Schiller
2007 US Open Big Air: Switch 12 octo, Charles Gagnier
2008 US Open Big Air: Switch misty 10, Colby West
Given the natural competitive drive within athletes, everyone wants to win competitions. In order to win a competition, you have to throw the best trick, and looking back on the history of freeskiing, the same trick tends to win the same event year after year. Rather than be disappointed at the lack of variety in big air competitions, we should first learn every trick in order to podium, then devise new tricks to surpass our friends. After all, one of the many aspects that propels the sport is feeding off the energy from sessioning with friends.
Friday, October 9, 2009
In other news, Burton Snowboards realized that their would-be customers are switching to skiing and have officially entered panic mode. In order to combat this problem of floundering snowboard sales, Burton decided to rehash old wounds and nurture the archaic, gaper-fueled animosity that took place between skiers and snowboarders in the early 1990s. What started with eliminating the ski program at Anon, to posting a $5,000 reward to whomever poached the "forbidden" skier only resorts, now has transcended into the artistic medium of clothing design:
By using an Atari-style graphic to represent skiing, Burton solidified suspicions of opening old wounds. Given that Atari was a popular gaming console when skiers and snowboarders were feuding, Burton is attempting to gain admiration from the 18 - 35 year olds of yesteryear. Twenty years later, the 19 year olds of the early 90s now have kids, sustainable pay checks, and disposable income. With a disposable income and influence over their kids, perhaps Burton hopes to capitalize on their former customers and in turn, create new ones. Unfortunatley, a few problems exist with opening these old wounds:
1) Snowboarders and skiers like one another
2) As a multi-million dollar corporation, Burton cannot use the "FIGHT THE SYSTEM" approach to marketing. They are the system.
So it goes.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
According to Emmelman (1996), a plea bargain is an agreement made between the prosecuting attorney and the defendant stipulating the defendant will plead guilty to or not contest a fixed number of criminal charges in exchange from some sort of reduction in the number and seriousness of the original criminal charges. The process of a plea bargain involves: (1) assessing the offer for a guilty plea, (2) negotiating the terms of a plea bargain, and (3) counseling the defendant and deciding on a course of action (Emmelman, 1996).
In the case of Mark Whitacre, the former President of the BioProducts Division at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), he should have taken a plea bargain and avoided 8.5 years in a federal penitentiary. Whitacre came to public attention in 1995 when it became known that he had been acting as an informant for the FBI, which was investigating ADM for price fixing. Whitacre was the highest-level executive to ever become an FBI whistleblower. After ADM discovered his role as an informant, ADM investigated Whitacre's company activities. Having discovered a potential embezzelement scheme, and at ADM's request, the FBI began investigating Whitacre for embezzlement from the company. Whitacre lost immunity as a result of embezzling $9 million in various frauds, and consequently spent eight and a half years in federal prison.
Further adding to Whitacre's resume, he is currently the chief operating officer and President of Operations at Cypress Systems, a California biotechnology firm. From multi-billion dollar corporate management, to embezzlement, to prison, it is truly comforting to know someone such as Mark Whitacre is still managing a company in California.