Did the president really tell the pope he gave an “awesome speech”? Sigh. “Awesome” is one of those words I banter with my 11-year-old about. I tell her I’m really not being a language cop or anything, oh no not me, but it’s a crying shame how we took a perfectly fine word like awesome and stretched its meaning to cover, well, let me give a recent example:
“Have you tried the breadsticks? They’re awesome.”
I’m not opposed to using “awesome” in its slangy sense, but in using it in casual conversation with the damn pope, George Bush has plumbed new depths. See, the Vicar of Christ’s business is awe. He claims to speak for God on earth; he wants to literally be awesome. Awe is, after all, a “feeling of reverential respect, mixed with fear or wonder.” Reverence. Respect. Wonder. That’s the pope’s stock in trade, and our president uses the word the way skaters do, while praising one another’s half-pipe moves.
OK, then. A couple of pix from Michael G, regular commenter and, today, citizen journalist. (Can you feel the awesome?!) They’re from his California perambulations, and of interest to us because? Because we all drink Two Buck Chuck from time to time, and yes, folks, this is where they make it. Note the Napa Valley, “Sideways”-style charm of the entrance to the Bronco Wine Co.:
As Michael writes:
Bronco is not your typical yuppie winery. There is no sign, no tasting room, no tour, no nuthin. They seem to be a tad shy. Shy to the extent that the property is surrounded by a border of barbed wire topped fencing and screened by very close set cemetery trees. I don’t know the proper name. They’ve always been “cemetery trees” to me. The front gate has a guard shack. This is a quite large facility and the only way to distinguish it from all the other processing plants and packing sheds along 99 is the huge tank farm out back.
Seen here, at a bit of a distance:
The road was narrow and there was no place to stop so I took the pix as I drove by. There’s a blurry one of the warmly welcoming entrance to the property and the hospitality room cleverly disguised as a guard shack and one of the caves, I mean tanks where the product is aged. I know TBC has to be referred to by Bronco as “product” rather than wine. You can tell by looking at the place.
So there you are, but as it turns out, there is nothing to be seen at Chuck’s house and that’s just the way they want it. Still, how many people have actual pictures of the place?
Every time I drive around Detroit, I’m reminded anew that we make things here, and making things ain’t pretty. I won’t recall, yet again, my husband’s adventures with industrial food production in Napoleon, Ohio, except to say that it put him off Campbell’s Soup and frozen pizza for life. But making anything on a factory scale is pretty grim; no wonder people like to tell themselves lies about free-range chicken and artisanal cheese. So much easier not to think about.
And that, my friends, is it for me today. Got a couple of projects that require close attention, and I need to give them some. So go forth and have, dare I say, an awesome day.