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Wines and Whines

Rick's Web Site    

A collection of wine information, humor, opinion, and technology.

What you'll find here now:

Here are the sorts of things that will be here in the (near, I hope) future.  All it takes is some free time.  

Contents: Wines

(Sorry that the wine section is so out of date.  We just don't drink enough anymore, I guess.)   

Rick's Picks

 Rick's Picks

Our ratings of many recent, and some old, wines. Stress on moderately priced wines affordable by mere mortal wage slaves like us. No Chateau Margaux, but no Ripple, either. Personal tastes, to be sure, but you won't have to put up with The Wine Spectator.


Recent Trip

Ratings from trips

Our latest trip to Napa and Sonoma in June 1996; story and ratings of more than 100 new current wines from the wineries and local stores in 1997 and 1998.


                Stuff Cheap

Good Stuff Cheap

 Rick's picks of recently-tasted wines.  Ones you might actually want to try, especially if you're on a modest budget.  All of them somewhere between Margaux and Ripple.  

Updated July 2003.  


Wine Tasting Stories

Stories of Wine Tasting.

Come with us as we visit some of the wine-producing areas of this country and Europe. Thrill to tales of travels to such exotic places as the Phillips 66 gas station in Vallejo, California.


Contents: Whines


                of Speech

Whines: Free Speech

A local hot button. The network you are on right now is part of it the solution and part of the problem. Censorship, from "politically correct speech" to book-burning, is a bad, bad, bad idea.  

Mass outline map

Whines: Our New Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts 

We retired in 2011 and moved back to New England, which had been home for twenty-five years before our dozen-year experiment with Texas.  We are really enjoying it.  But why didn't someone warn us that being retired full-time is as busy as working full-time? 

There is, at least, a list of recent restaurant visits in the area here. 

No Rs Allowed

Whines: Stories from A Land Without Rs 

We moved back here after a dozen years in Austin, Texas.  In that time, things changed.  Or at least our memories of things changed.  Some things that used to look familiar don't anymore.  Let's look at these observations before they become familiar again. 

Why the title?  They make fun of the way we talk up heah.  No one actually pahks his cah in Hahvahd Yahd, of course, but, still, things up here are not quite the same as what passes for normal in Texas.  A few essays on what is surprisingly different.  Like The Tales of Texas (see below), but for a different locale. 



Whines: Our Old Location, Austin, Texas

We moved to Austin in 2000 and lived there for almost a dozen years.  We went there originally to have a little adventure with a new environment.  Austin is certainly the only place in Texas that is the least bit survivable.  The results: nice place, but not for us.

Big Red longhorn

Whines: The Tales of Texas

Moving here was a bit of a culture shock.  Some things were really unfamiliar and might be interesting to others who have not yet suffered this culture shock.  There are more than fifty (very short) chapters so far in this trek. 

Whines: Travels

Occasionally we get out of the house and even out of town.  Some pix from several recent travels are here.  Take a look.  

Movies, movies,

Whines: Movies, Movies, Movies!

You like movies?  I do.  We do.  And we've seen a lot of them.  And movies are always fun to pontificate about.  Well, here's my list of movies that one really ought to see to understand the breadth of the movie experience.  Classics and moderns, comedies and dramas, crimes, spies, blow-em-ups, all are welcome here.  There are several hundred listed here, lots to choose from on a rainy day.  They're broken up into categories: really good, good, fun to see, and really terrible.

Search the movie database             See the whole movie database

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Whines: Space Pictures and Pointers

Satellite images of earth, and other space pictures. Some here, collected from JPL, NASA, SPOT, Landsat, SIR, et al. Pointers to places in the Web where such pictures live.


for gearheads

Whines: Technology

Pointers to, and some local versions of, information about some technologies that Rick finds useful and underutilized, particularly Neural Networks and Fuzzy Logic

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Whines: Spellos, not Typos

A guide to common spelling errors that aren't unintentional slips of the finger but misunderstandings of usage. You see them everywhere, from the grocery store to the newspaper. For technical and non-technical readers alike.


Orchid Book

Whines: My Brother's Cool Book! (And why aren't you reading it?) 
Living with Wild Orchids in Sumatra

My brother Dave has written a book, Living with Wild Orchids in Sumatra, about his experiences in the lowland and mountain jungles in the tropics, when he was an oil geologist there some years ago. Fascinating reading. If you are interested in orchids at all, you at least have to read the web page here.

Contrarian Opinions

Whines: Contrarian Reconsiderations of Alternative Proposals (C.R.A.P.)

Tired, old ideas turned on their heads and evaluated from Rick's typically twisted perspective.


Whines: What Happened to Our Money in 2008?

A short paper on many of the things that went wrong in the economy to cause the financial meltdown of 2008.  There was not a single cause, nor even a small number of them.  And, oh, by the way, most of the problems are still with us and are still dangerous. 


Whines: The Doctor's Best Definition of "Cure:" Whatever Kills You Won't Be This.

Journal of a time spent with cancer, oops.  A hopeful story.  Many of us survive these days, millions.  If we are unlucky enough to fall into this pit, may we all be so lucky to come out of it healthy. 

Comments and flames to the author. "Why use rational argument when there's a flame-thrower handy?"  Hey, go ahead. I didn't exactly leave the gloves on when I wrote this.
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All contents copyright 1995-2018, Richard Landau. All rights reserved.
Revised: 2018-03-30