Good wines of Virginia, oxymoronic no longer

As a newly minted oenophile traveling around my home state in the mid-nineties, I discovered two things:

  1. Virginia had wineries, many tucked into scenic ruins like the Jeffersonian house at Barboursville.
  2. Many of them made wine that only a mother could love.

I was always a fan of Barboursville, but felt the winery did best with its blends and with the lesser-known sweet grapes (Malvasia, for instance), and had a ways to go on its core reds (though its Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc held promise). Other wineries were equally variable: Lisa and I enjoyed our first date at Naked Mountain, but found its chardonnay undrinkable a year or two later as our palates matured. And often the best thing that could be said about tasting wines from other vineyards in the annual Virginia Wine Festival was that it got you out of doors.

An article in Friday’s New York Times suggests that the wines are significantly improving. Might be worth visiting again soon, particularly now that the shipping laws are (might be?) changing.

Getting things done: Tiger Mail

I didn’t have much chance to do anything with Tiger last week while I was on the road, but this morning I finally started playing with Smart Mailboxes in Mail, which is one of the features I most eagerly anticipated for this upgrade. And it is fantastic, even with just one or two smart mailboxes created.

Originally I had anticipated replacing some of my 150+ mail rules (I have a hierarchical mail folder structure that takes a lot of care and feeding) with smart mailboxes. While I may still investigate doing that, I found that the first smart mailbox I implemented is probably the most useful one I’ll create: Unread Mail. The mailbox has a single condition: collect all unread mail messages. This is great for me because of all the mail rules I’ve implemented, which spread a typical day’s mail across a bunch of different mailboxes. That’s generally a good thing for scoping messages for later retrieval, but less good if I just want to read my 30 or so new mail messages at one sitting without changing context between ten different folders. The Unread Mail smart folder allows me to just read all the mail without worrying about filing it, because it’s already filed. I used a system like this on Outlook when I was running Office 2003 at Microsoft, and that folder plus one for flagged mail completely revolutionized my workflow.

I’ll be playing around with some more smart mailboxes in days to come, including one for recent messages (everything sent or received within the last week). It’s nice to have some tools that actually improve my productivity.

Roadside Tut

roadside Tut

Spotted a little after 8:30 driving south on 128: a car carrier with an Egyptianate gold-plated longboat and two giant King Tut heads.


After I passed it the first time, I got stuck in a non-moving line of cars waiting to exit, and was able to grab a photo (albeit blurry).

Man. I knew traffic in Massachusetts was weird, but I had no idea it was this weird.