The Puny Pundit

Musings of a big guy with small thoughts.

10 Years

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I went to SF/Napa Valley to celebrate ten years of marriage.  We saved up some money but it wasn’t enough to go to NY like we planned however that turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  Going up north was awesome.  First we go to see our nieces in Nor. Cal and stayed with the brother-in-law’s family.  Then we took a day to hang out in SF.

I truly love SF.  It is my favorite city in the US.  We always go to the Ferry Building per the recommendation of a friend.  If you have not been in the Ferry Building it is a really great place with cool things to eat.

Napa was the highlight.  We visited three wineries that my brother-in-law booked for us.  I recommend each one to you for different reasons.  Below are some photos and why I recommend each one to you.

Barnett Vineyards is a small winery in Spring Mountain.  I am not a Napa expert, but the few people that know about this place say it has one of the best views in all of Napa.  My wife and I are not Merlot drinkers but really liked theirs and picked up a bottle.  While looking at the view you see above, the wine guy poured us different wines explaining each one and answering all our questions with no pretension.  Wine tasting is $40 per person but they waved one of them when we bought a bottle.  We are so lame we forgot to ask if they would wave both tasting fees if we bought one more.  So stupid.  We could have walked away with two bottles.  Oh well.  What would we have bought?  We don’t like Chardonnays but theirs was really good and would have been our second bottle.

Really close by was Guilliams Vineyard.  They don’t have a website but google around and you can get their number.  This is smaller than Barnett Vineyards and Guilliams only does red wines which was really cool for us because we don’t like white wines.  We picked up two from there: cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon.  They are one of the few places that does cab francs because cab francs are hard to do well.

The cool thing about Guilliams’ is that the owners do the tasting and they are awesome.  They raised their family on this vineyard.  The stories.  Their philosophy.  It was really cool.  They are so knowledgeable about Napa and its history too.

Fun Facts…In the last 30 years Napa’s population has only grown by 1000 people!!!  More than 50% of residential property in Napa is used for rentals.

Tasting is free here.  Also, they won’t get you to buy the expensive stuff.  They have Reserve bottle that she said wasn’t as good as the cheaper cab.  We agreed.

After eating lunch at Gott’s (formerly Taylor’s) we headed off to Frog’s Leap Vineyard.  Here is the thing about Frog’s Leap.  They are one of the first organic vineyards.  Great stories and tour of their facilities.  Terrible wine.  Still think it is worth visiting.

They are organic which means they use no pesticides and they do not irrigate.  They say the rain they get is enough.  They have an organic garden with fruits and vegetables they grow for their workers and local restaurants.

Fun Fact: By planting fruits and vegetables near the vineyards you increase the mineral content in the soil which makes for a more complex grape.

If you are ever in this area, be sure to check out these places.  I really enjoyed being at smaller vineyards where it is more intimate and driven by the stories of the people who run it.

Filed under: Marriage & Weddings

The Little Things…Fresh Air

My wife and I have been at the parenthood thing for 9 years now (10 if you include pregnancy). During this journey one thing we have learned is to appreciate the little things.  When I say little I really mean little.  Below are some things that we took for granted before kids and how much they mean to us now.  I will continue this series next week on Monday but here is the first… Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Punny Memories from the Pundit’s Life

Below are some random memories that make me smile every time I think about them… Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Funny Stuff

Top That

I love telling stories.  I prefer verbal transmission but am learning to enjoy the art of telling stories online as well.  One positive result is that people can count on me to tell a story anytime, anyplace, anywhere, to anyone.  One bad result…I am always trying to top other people’s stories.  It is an annoying habit that I have worked on but it is still there lurking for opportunity. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Funny Stuff

Mommy Loves Me

A few years ago my parents offered to watch #1-3 at their home in San Diego.  After a week of hanging out with grandma and grandpa we went down to pick them up.  That morning my dad took the three kids to eat breakfast at McDonald’s.  #2 and #3 were fighting and causing problems.  My dad got upset and told the kids that he was gonna tell us (wife and me) that they were misbehaving and being really bad kids.  #1 looked at my dad and said, “Well, my mommy will still love us even if you tell.”

I thought my dad would have been really offended or annoyed but for some reason that comment really touched him.  He told me that he realized what an amazing mom my wife is.  He said most kids would have been scared or indifferent.  #1 just knew that no matter how much trouble they would have gotten into, her mom was gonna love her.  My dad said that this experience opened his eyes to the love that my wife passes on to the kids even while being really strict.

Some of you are touched right?  Well, I am not.  How come #1 didn’t say anything about me and my love?

Bill Cosby has a great bit in his standup “Himself” when he describes the frustration of being a father. He humorously talks about how he raised his son.  Played catch.  Taught him how to play.  Worked out with him.  Went to all his high school games.  Then his son gets into college and plays football there. The kid scores a touchdown on national television and looks into the camera and says, “Hi MOM!”  Too funny.

Chris Rock talks about a similar subject saying that dad’s never get thanked.  He says that no one ever says, “Thanks for the paying the electricity bill dad.”  Too funny.

Sorry for the pity party.  Peter Kreeft (Catholic writer) wrote that pride has two faces: (i) thinking too much of yourself (the sin of self-conceit) and/or (ii) thinking too much about yourself (the sin of self-centeredness).  Can you guess which I struggle with more?

Filed under: Uncategorized

Praying Like a Child

I have a confession to make.  I don’t like letting my kids pray until they reach age 6 because honestly they pray too long.  I know that is bad especially since I am a pastor who should be encouraging long prayers. Right now I cringe when its #4’s turn to pray.  “Dear God…thank you for my family.  Thank you for my doll.  Thank you for my bed.  Thank you for my blanket.  Thank you for the wall next to my bed. Thank you for the color pink because I love pink.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Uncategorized

40 Days…First Update

Wow.  It is really hard to not go out when most of the meals you eat are on the go.  My family eats most of their meals at home however for me and my schedule I eat out all the time.  Below is a simple new sandwich I experimented with.  Try and let me know what you think.  I call it B2LT: Bacon, Burrata, Lettuce, and Tomatoes.  The picture above is where I got the idea.

Recipe…

1. Good bread

2. Good burrata. I found the best burrata Monday.  It is GIOIA CHEESE COMPANY in El Monte, CA.  Mozza gets their burrata from here.  Boccalone (in SF Ferry Building) gets their burrata from here too.  It is the best.  My wife and I have tried many types of burrata.  GIOIA CHEESE is the best by far.  You can go to their location and buy 1 Lb for $6.99.

3. Pancetta or Bacon.  I prefer bacon in this sandwich.  Found pancetta to be too salty but it was good.

4. Heirloom Tomatoes. I know these suckers are expensive so save this sandwich for a special occasion. LOL.  If you never had heirloom tomatoes you have to try them once in your life.  So good.  The way God intended tomatoes to taste.

Instructions:

a. Place bacon or pancetta on baking sheet in an oven 400 degrees.  Bake till its nice and crispy to your liking.

b. Toast the bread.  Spread two spoonfuls of burrata on one side.

c. Slice your tomatoes thin.  I mean thin.  Why?  I hate thick tomatoes on BLT because it squishes everything out.  Slice them thin and each bite is self-contained.

d. Place the tomatoes on top of the burrata and season with a little salt and pepper.  It will bring out the sweetness of the tomato.  This is important.  Gotta get the right order.  You want the tomato and burrata close.  It makes for a cool refreshing bite as you get to the crisp salty bacon.

e. Place lettuce on top of tomatoes.  You can use arugula like the pic above.  I just bought a spring salad and picked the leafs and place them on flat.  This way you can eat salad for another meal.

f. Then place the bacon/pancetta…then the bread.

Final recommendation.  I try to keep one layer of bacon, one two layers of lettuce.  This makes the sandwich balanced.  I don’t like huge amounts of bacon and lettuce.  Ugly.  Unrefined in my opinion. : )

Try it.  Let me know what you think.  I made it for our staff yesterday and they loved it.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Give them an inch…sometimes they take an inch

I think I mentioned somewhere else in my blog that I am a pretty strict dad.  There are upsides and downsides to being this way.  One of the downsides is that you end up making up so many rules that you forget some of them.  Funny thing is that kids have great memories as long as it benefits them. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Uncategorized

40 Days

I have been dreading this blog entry for awhile….My wife and I decided a week ago that our family needs a drastic change when it comes to food.  Why?  Three reasons.  First, as our family has grown it has been harder and harder to eat healthy.  There are so many times we approach dinner and are so tired.  Sometimes there is a pile of dishes we don’t want to wash just so we can cook and do them again.  Sometimes things come up that make our day filled with drama and baggage.  It is really hard cooking every meal everyday for a family of seven.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Family Email

I did not grow up with the internet.  In fact I did not use email till two years after college.  Even though I was right there early in the game of email and the web I always had trouble getting the email address of my choice.  Part of this is because I am an adult and do not see the legitimacy of grown people having email addresses like stickybug90201.

As a father of young kids who are not using computers yet, I decided to get email addresses figuring by the time they are old enough to email, there will be no decent addresses on gmail or yahoo.  So I signed them up.  Problem is that for some places like yahoo, if you don’t check your email for a certain time, they close your account.

For the last three years, I have been emailing my kids then going into their account and clicking on the email and responding with stuff that I would like to hear from them like, “Thanks Dad for giving me my existence and for being the greatest person ever.”

I understand that by the time they are using email there will be some other service that will be the new thing, thus enabling them to get the address of choice.  I also realize that after all my efforts they might just pick stickybug90201.  Not sure why I do this and continue to do so.  Maybe it is the idea that in some way I am talking to the future.  Maybe it is because I have no friends.  Maybe it is a way for me to feel connected to my kids even when they are not around.

Filed under: Uncategorized

The Break Up

Every dad dreads their daughters growing up and dating boys.  Unfortunately for me, #2 didn’t wait till junior high or high school.  No, #2 had her first boyfriend four years ago when she was 4 years old. Below is how I found out and what followed that terrible news… Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Never Shake A Kid

When my wife was pregnant with #1 we read books, watched videos, and went to classes.  They all talked about something, that at the time, I thought was so weird.  They said to never shake a baby or young kid.  I remember thinking that this was so stupid and silly.  Why would a grown adult who loves their kid ever shake a child or infant? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Advice

Lyrically Challenged

I am horrible at discerning song lyrics and understanding songs.  Over the years I have embarrassed myself on many occasions getting songs wrong.  Thank God for karaoke because it was like googling song lyrics for me back in the day.  Below is a list of my lyrical faux pas… Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Uncategorized

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