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Snooth User: zufrieden

COVID-19 Health Check-In

Original post by zufrieden, Mar 21.

Although this site shows signs of being on its last legs as a discussion forum, those of us who have been friends for over a decade should nonetheless stay in touch.  Given that the situation today is one of somewhat (though by no means totally) justified hysteria over another outbreak of Corona Virus (SARS was the first and, at the time, most important), you may wish to check in and let everyone know how you and your other friends and relatives are faring.   My family is so far doing well - although my youngest brother and his wife were exposed recently and are in self-maintained quarantine.

Let us know how you are doing - wherever you are in the world - and, by all means, express your frustrations, concerns and how you are keeping up the supply of grog.

Finally, a reading suggestion:  A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe (of Robinson Crusoe fame) published in 1722 and based on recollections of the London Plague of 1665 ( a year prior to the Great Fire which destroyed, inter alia, the original St. Paul's Cathedral).

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Reply by GregT, Apr 28.

That's hilarious! Mandating lawns in the desert. Well done Glendale!

Now if it's the Glendale in CA I just found a nice German sausage place there. Tonight we're having weisswurst and a nice rosé.

That virtual dinner the other night was kind of fun. The chef is great and the wine maker is a friend and he made an outstanding rosé from Cinsault.

And pursuing the theme of goofiness, he misspelled the word on his application to the authorities. So now he's MANDATED to misspell it on his wine! It's spelled Cinsaut.

But now I'm starting to understand a lot more about Zoom meetings, Blue Jean meetings, etc.

First rule - don't put your laptop on the table and talk to it. The camera will be pointing up your nostrils.

Second rule - take a look at how YOU'RE appearing on the screen. The top of your head and the ceiling is no doubt fascinating, but then why bother at all?

Third rule - put it on mute. All of your clacking and moving around and shifting will come through loudly and clearly to every participant. And when they're all doing it at once, the noise is exponentially worse. Only take it off mute when you're speaking.

Fourth rule - do like the chicks who post pictures of themselves all day on Instagram. Camera placed slightly upward and looking down at a slight angle. You look marvelous!

Fifth rule - don't put your login credentials and meeting info on social media. If you do, don't get PO'd if you get Zoombombed. It's not secure and there are kids who are scraping social media for any random meeting and log in. Suddenly the Congressional subcommittee meeting was interrupted by  delightful material from PornHub. Kids are home, they have time on their hand, they figure stuff out!

I do wish I'd been in that subcommittee meeting though! I hope the kids took screenshots of the faces of everyone.

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Reply by duncan 906, Apr 29.

I have been 'furloughed' from work which means I get 80% of my pay to sit at home and do nothing. All I can do is read,watch TV and surf the web. Because of lockdown all the pubs,cafes and restaurants are closed and there are no concerts or sporting events.I cannot go to the swimming pool and just take walks in the park for exercise. However I have drunk some very nice bottles of wine. The last one was a superb malbec from a small domaine in the Loire valley. It was a 'Mon Cot'O Touraine Amboise 2015 ' which I actually bought in the town of Amboise when I was there two years ago

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Reply by zufrieden, Apr 30.

It's pretty boring out here on Vancouver Island BC Canada, too Duncan.  We have about 125 cases on the island (estimated population 880,000 in 2020) and the precautions seem excessive.  But in the UK, you are suffering from years of whittling down of the NHS by people who do not care a wit for you or anyone else outside their immediate family and orbit of friends.

Take care, and remember this experience.  More than this, have as many fine wines as you can afford.  Also, remember all that you have in spite of everything.

Your friend, and Anglophile,

Z.

 

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Reply by dvogler, May 1.

Zuf, important to note that cumulative cases don't mean much.  On the island, most of those have recovered, only a couple deaths and a handful in hospitals.

 

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Reply by zufrieden, May 1.

That's true.  In BC active cases are only 680 provincially, and probably about 50 or 60 here on the Island (there are no daily tallies immediately available).  But that tally is not falling that rapidly... in fact, a week ago the tally of active cases was 732.  

This number is trivial for a population base of 5.1 millions.  On the Island, the situation is even more marginal.  It is really only Quebec and Ontario that cast the big shadow - especially the former.  Ontario and Quebec account for all but 248 deaths of a total of 3,391 (4:00 PM EST).

After Ontario and Quebec comes Alberta - another province ravaged by cuts to infrastructure.  Quebec?  Well, that province is known for its high level of inefficiency and corruption and this, if true, seems to be showing.  

BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Territories, and the Maritimes should reopen for business within a week... NOT Quebec, Ontario or Alberta (where Kenney slashed the Health budget last year).  Apparently, Premier Legault seems to think can open up as if nothing is happening.  But then he is an accountant... perhaps there is something special about numbers.

Z.

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Reply by dvogler, May 1.

Let's drink wine this weekend!

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Reply by zufrieden, May 1.

well, DV, you have my number, and you've seen my cellar.

:-)

Z.

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Reply by zufrieden, May 3.

Here's a thought:  I live on the southern tip of Vancouver Island which traditionally was part of the breadbasket of the region.  Now, the orchards and mixed farming is disappearing with new housing estates and vineyards replacing the old land usage patterns.

With COVID-19, we in British Columbia (and especially here on Vancouver Island - which is 31,200 square kilometres) are able to support the small wine industry with internet purchases.  I made a modest half-case purchase recently from a small producer whose winery situates about 6 kilometres NW of my home.

I am wondering if any of you are doing this more (I know that many of you use mailing lists to obtain rarer wines not available in most retail liquor outlets).  Of course, this only pertains to those of you who live in some proximity to a wine producing region (this excludes North Dakota, presumably, or Finalnd).

Just wondering... because many of these small businesses are hurting and do not have millions of dollars coming in from San Jose or some nouveau riche with a yen for putting his or her name on a wine bottle.  That's one source of money - granted - but not the most satisfying; work from the ground up impresses me much, much more.

Z.

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Reply by dvogler, May 3.

Good job Zuf.  Unfortunately, I have to covertly purchase my wine and get it into my fridge so I don't have to endure the inevitable grief from my old lady!

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Reply by chriscage, May 8.

Hi All,

 

I have been wondering what is going on with this site the past few months.  Is anyone running the site anymore or is there anyone left here that add/update wines?

 

I'm back to work on the 14th here in Alberta....been a tough 6 weeks at home lol....at least my condo is super clean lol!!

 

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Reply by EMark, May 9.

Glad to hear you're doing well, Chris.

Activity on this site has diminished greatly.  Zuf and Vogler are posting more often than others.  However, there are a handful, including me, who pop in intermittenly.

Personally, I add wines to the Snooth data base fairly often.  I really don't think that anybody in Snooth does ir.

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Reply by dvogler, May 9.

Hopefully you're not in Fort Mac!  Zuf and I are both in Victoria.  Contrary to popular sentiment in Canada, here at least we are all very sorry for the state of things in Alberta.  Doesn't seem that long ago that there were rumblings of separation, but good thing it didn't get far.  We're all a big family and Alberta has contributed vastly to the national coffers.  Good that you're back to work.  Keep in touch!

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Reply by chriscage, May 10.

Thanks guys!  I'm actually in Medicine Hat......very poor economy around here for the past 5 years already....no fires or flooding though!  Yeah I don't know if separation is the solution tbh.....and whether or not one is a supporter of our current federal govt, I can't say I'm disappointed in the support they have offered those who are out of work because of this Covid situation....dare I say if another party was in power that our monthly payday would be as much?!   I would love to visit Victoria one day, as I have never heard anything but positive things about the city and scenery etc.  Definitely on my bucket list.....should separation become a more serious movement, we definitely need to have you good folks on board :)

 

I'm just sad to see how this site was so active when I first joined around 2008...made many contacts and was even granted professional editing rights (Dont' know if just anyone could get that), which I still have so I try to update the specific info on wines where and when I can.  It is like a ghost town around here these days....Gregory Del Paz used to write many good articles....wonder what happened to him?  I also find this site is sooooooo slow to load any page including the homepage these days as well.....there is so much information on this site that I'd hate to see it disappear!  Either of you interested in inquiring about taking it over lol?!

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Reply by EMark, May 11.

Chris. there is a beta version of the Snooth software that is better performing.  Use this:

http://beta.snooth.com

When you get to VIctoria you definitely want to meet up with Darrin and Zuf--great guys.  I met them about a year ago when my wife and I were on a cruise that made a port call at Victoria.  Just let Darrin order any BC wines.  You'll be in good hands.

GDP left Snooth several years ago.  Reportedly, he was writing a book on Barolo wines.  He popped up a couple times, here on the Forum and a couple times over on WineBerserker.  No question that when his departure started the Snooth decline.

 

 

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Reply by dvogler, May 11.

I joined the forum in 2013 and it was vibrant then as well.  It seemed to decline a couple years ago when all the spam showed up.

I'm not sure I want to be much involved in running this thing!  I barely have time to chime in now and then.

Alberta won't be separating.  I think they felt frustrated that Ottawa was using the province as a cash register and not really giving much respect.  Unfortunately, bitumen oil is essentially worthless.  I've met a bunch of the regulars on the forum and always had a great time.  If you can make it to the island, let us know.  

What BC wines are you into Chris (if any)?

 

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Reply by zufrieden, May 12.

Just a remark on modern Alberta.  I used to travel there often as I have many relatives there and my great grandfather settled in the Grouard AB area (on the shores of Lesser Slave Lake, not that far from High Prairie - the regional service town) sometime before 1890.  It was a very primitive life - he was one of the last HBC factors in the north and had previously held positions in the State of Montana (c. 1884, I believe, but memory may not be exactly correct).

There are First Nations connections as well amongst the Cree and Metis people of central Alberta.

Having provided this possibly boring preamble, I feel that Alberta's rapid growth over the last 50 years is part of the problem; many new arrivals came to work for high wages in engineering, oil extraction, exploration and distribution, and the many supporting jobs needed to serve the growing population of sophisticates.  Calgary was a fairly small city until the 1960's, for example.  

When many people arrive, excitement mounts, there is lots of money, but there is sometimes not a sense of permanence; that is, many people still feel strong ties to their homes in eastern Canada or elsewhere.  This leads to the frontier mentality of the temporary sojourner - something that once held sway in British Columbia as well due to the history of mining and mineral exploitation - which encourages a very temporary feel to life on the frontier.

What do sojourners want most?  Well, they want low taxes, high pay while still expecting Champagne-level services.  This is not a recipe for investment in long-term infrastructure (medicine, education, regulatory activity) nor does such a recipe include serious attention to the environment.  Now that the gravy train may be ending, Albertans are becoming aware that, in the long haul, they need to invest in things other than personal consumption.  

The first thing to do is to avoid the wishful thinking that market forces (or perhaps the Lord) will save you if you just wait long enough for benefits to "trickle down" and repair the damage of the recent decades of corrupt and incestuous relationships between government and industry.  I am telling you now:  that won't happen without political intervention, and it certainly won't happen with the outdated, morally bankrupt and frankly, incompetent government currently in Edmonton.

Of course, this is only one kind of informed opinion.  But consider the poor performance of the Provincial Government in controlling the Calgary outbreak of COVID-19, or responding to the collapse in WCS oil prices.  You see, Mr. Kenney is a free market enthusiast and Catholic Christian when it suits him - even though he has almost no work experience outside elected officialdom - which should be a major concern - but when things go south (as they always do at some juncture), he is suddenly an interventionist.  Of course, the intervention is for the very oil companies that paid almost no royalties to the Alberta coffers over the last few decades; at least, not nearly what they could have paid.

I am sorry about all the suffering, but political choices were made by Albertans - including by some of my relatives.  I sincerely hope things improve, but I doubt they will unless there is a political change.

Z.

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Reply by chriscage, May 15.

EMARK, thanks for posting.  I had no idea about this Beta version....works like the Snooth of old for me :)  I will check out this WineBerserker site that you mentioned...also never have heard or been on it!  I will also take your advice on meeting up with these fine gentlemen if/when in Vicortia!  Where are you from yourself?  Good to know that GDP is onto bigger and better things...will have to look out for a book by him!

 

DVOGLER- No word of a lie, I used to be a wine rep for a company run by my ex wifes Uncle (who still owns it)....we had a falling out about a year into my run but have since made up and we get along now :)  I used to rep St. Hubertus out of Kelowna...fell in love with their Reisling!  I don't find that it is well represented here in Alberta...I managed to get it into a lot of the shops at the time but it drifted out of circulation again.  I was just on their site and ordered some of that delicious Riesling (thanks to the relaxed wine ordering laws here in AB)......I am enjoying some for the 1st time in about 10 years as I write this.  The Great Canadian Red is another good one by them.   I would love to try more from the Niagara Peninsula and would love to enjoy more BC VQAs but the price is so high on them (I can buy nice California APA reds/whites for 2/3 the price unfortunately)   AB has such huge liquor taxes that it accounts for up to 2/3 the cost!  Canadian wines/beers/liquors should be all at a low flat tax rat IMO when purchased here in our own country.

 

ZUFRIEDEN- I accept what you say and agree with you for the most part.  I do not like to talk politics with anybody, and have said so to even my close friends, as the vast majority are PC sheep and thats that.  I dislike most politicians and think that most politics is selfish and doesn't represent what people really are looking to gain in the long term.  I traditionally am not NDP but was satisfied with what they were doing before being given the boot, which I think was only done out of the general population being stubborn and thinking the PC is the be all end all.  Truth be told, if it wasn't for our Liberal government federally (which I don't necessarily agree with in general terms), I wouldn't be getting the sort of assistance that I, or anyone needing it, is getting.  This current Provincial government has done really nothing in my opinion to get us ahead (and I stated that hardcore supporters would find this out the hard way, when they got elected in again), and so far I am unfortunately right...Kenney is like Trump mild....thinks he knows what is best for everyone, but really doesn't do anything and runs the Province like a business. On a positive note, that is cool that your Great Granddad is linked to the HBC (fur trade I assume?)....I worked for HBC from 2000-2007 and at that time they were still very much into their history.  Do you by chance collect the old HBC tokens or memorabilia from those days gone by?  I don't but it's a fringe interest that I may want to get into eventually...I'm coin & note collector

 

Would love to get to Victoria more than ever now that I'm chatting you all.....which wines are the three of you into?  I love German wines, BC Riesling as well and really am open to anything...I appreciate different countries/regions and what they all bring to the table

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Reply by zufrieden, May 16.

Chris, I hope that things start to look up soon for those of you living in the south (I think you refer to Medicine Hat as "The Hat").  I suppose it is a bit un-Canadian to go on about politics this way, but I think the situation now warrants a little noise.

But I have said enough about politics for now.  I'll just finish by saying that many people in AB do want change... they are just frightened that this will threaten a possible return to the Good Life provided by high-paying jobs in Oil.

I know most Albertans work in ordinary jobs like the rest of us, and don't necessarily work for high wages on oil rigs (the stereotype).  My last post was carefully considered, because I don't want people outside BC to think we are not in this together, because we definitely are.  That includes people beyond our international boundaries. 

As for wine, I share your love of Riesling.  There is a large contingent of wine-drinkers who agree, but the group of people I converse with like powerful Parker-esque fruit bombs from California... more.  Not that there are not some gems there, it is just that I actually prefer steely, perfumed and lower-alcohol wines now.  It is too bad that all such wines are becoming quite dear, but still, you can get superb German Rieslings for a fraction of the cost of those expensive garagiste  or boutique wines from California.

Regarding the HBC, I do find the company interesting.  My great-grandfather died in 1919 after running a store in Grouard (he came from Brimingham, England).  My grandmother was born there in 1899, and was the second of eight children.  The oldest was killed in the battles following the capture of Vimy Ridge (two months afterward, in June, 1917).  He was 19 years of age and served with the 49th Edmonton Battalion. I am not sure about any tokens left to the family.  I seem to remember a few, but will have to ask my youngest brother about it since my mother passed on fairly recently and is not available to provide any updates.  She was the family history so to speak.

So we have lots of history when it comes to Red Rose Country.  As you say, it is impossible to break through the armour of quasi-religious right-wing attitudes; I know this from trying to talk objectively with close relatives who used to live in Edmonton (of course, having made some money, guess where they ended up? - you may have guessed... New Alberta, aka the Okanagan.  I love the wines of the region, but dislike the attitudes held by many there - especially recent arrivals).  I also hasten to add that I don't disdain my relatives, only find that you cannot engage in balanced conversation with them.  This even holds true of some Metis relatives, if you can believe it.

Anyway, I doubt I'll be moving away from Victoria.  Darren and I are probably died-in-the-wool Islanders - having lived in many other places (Darren Vogler is a native, as is my wife).  Thus, you can find us here quite easily.

Cheers, and stay healthy.  it looks like Calgary is the worst hit area for obvious reasons, and that things are improving.

Z.

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Reply by jackwerickson, May 22.

Well it appears Snooth is dead I hate to see it go I enjoy reading about the different wines the participants are drinking or even their thoughts,whether or not I agree with them  so good luck to everyone if another blog or what ever you call it let me know

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Reply by zufrieden, May 22.

Well, Jack, if you are giving up on the site (I hope you check back to read this), I have some suggestions.  It seems many are just creating their own blogs, and I have one or two to suggest.  However, we could try to resuscitate this one... one more time.  Send me a message through the snooth email, or directly at zufrieden@hotmail.com.  

Z.

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