Monday am. Rain all week? Life is good. These burritos have caramelized onions or junk that is so bad when microwaved smells faintly so. Funny tale to tell. Uncle has a nose and a pallate. Remember he is a sensor as Myers Briggs calls it and buries the needle when comes to processing iknfo through senses. Dumb uneducated people speculated once that Uncle was really an alien recognossaince unit in human form! That is because they are dumb. Anyway not long ago Uncle was active in wine business in which you smell stuff and taste stuff and talk a lot about them. Wine business has something nobody ever talks about except one man did Robert Parker. Wine and booze business is a branch of drug industry. Illegal and legal drugs! Historically and domestically or globally it has a dirty secret. Parker goes on but nobody else ever heard of it. Something that nobody in any level or aspect of industry is free from exactly like drug business. The dirty secret is called “fraud.” Wine is fraud. Wine is a scam. Wine is lies. Wine is nothing but telling people and not true! That exists. The stuff that the business is about are there but also has such a huge margin for faking things by all involved! Being subjective is nature of wine. Make a long story short Uncle naturally would be the last person wanted around in such a bit and everyone tried to get rid of him. Those who know Uncle beyond food and beverage criticism told of him as Inspector General. That is an old Danny Kaye movie. Inspector General has orders from the French Emperor to visit cities towns and villages in disguise and look for all kinds of corruption and then hang them all! That is Uncle without food and beverage training?! Here is the funny joke…
Uncle used to fly to LA every week once for his sommelier classes and the City liked him so much they pursued his every step with care and attention! They also were very interested in his progress! In this case for instance they passed word to Uncle’s instructors to make sure Uncle knows only persons of white European appearances were to be successful in San Francisco and training would not change the will of the City! Before they get full blame these mandates comes from the city rich who paid city hall. They make laws and inform the city and this specific one comes from British Government. They have a strict policy against Uncle being a successful anything in America. At least French would tell Uncle they would try assassinate him if to be successful on the grounds “you are NOT French!” if Uncle to be a public success but Brits are dirty and think San Francisco is part of England so British policy must prevail. That is a long story but you know why NSA has so much faith or had. They get support all the way from the Crown! Sabotage his education. Sabotage his job. Sabotage his photography. Sabotage wine stuff. Anything that can go ding I know that guy he is in wine business right or oh yeah he is a photographer had to be stopped. Uncle has sponsors. British are very afraid of that. Uncle gets on any stage and be a Headliner overnight and somehow bad times begins for all things European! Anyway now comes the funny part… So much politics and attacks in these joke s… Fuxking high school graduates read my works…
One of the things a bunch of innocent people at City Hall had to do was deal with Uncle firsthand. When those bad government people take over a place they tell them you you and you are dirty so fuck off and you and you are allowed to deal with this. And these poor people come back after a week and say my God that Uncle guy is worse than all the criminals working for City Hall! How can this be fixed or that fixed? Good point. So one thing that came up was this business of ruining Uncle’s education and career because rich told dirty city people only white European persons may be front office famous in this City. Liquor people call San Francisco a “white city” as in clear booze sells a lot but we may say that is more of a political complement somebody is doing the job they get paid for under the table to keep it white! Here is the funny part finally….????
Birds tell the people at this sommelier association (not even the one Uncle was in in LA) are called by these desperate city folk trying to fix and told they have to give Uncle his diploma! That is so funny! Again you are illiterate so would not get it! The after joke is those guys are telling each other “but if we give him his pilot license he can fly the plane and what about the passengers?” Welcome to the realm off politics! Irrational? They call Uncle that! Politics is irrational before gets even dirty or Progressive (don’t forget who made this one before politicians steal it and nobody remembers the original Progressive! Lol! American culture demands it be stolen before acknowledged as a valuable! Hence we wait it be soon Uncle says WTF I made that term you motherfuckers stole my thing! Isn’t America Great? Works like a clockwork. Greatness is. Piss on your concept of Greatness.) Anyway the point is… Everything can be funny once changed from its natural form if you know what that is so somebody slips and falls we laugh! The natural form is stand and somehow they not! Again not a high school topic. True that Uncle has much training and most of education required but flying airplanes especially filled with passengers who sleep and read stuff in peace requires practical skills. Skills develop and develop and develop as we practice experience and experience and one day they check and say aha you are one of us here is a diploma to prove it. Or its can be done irrationally by handing a person a diploma and may be someday skills are there too! Lol! That is when naive troubleshooters fix things OR this is how politics doees it. Uncle needs to be back where he gets to taste and smell and talk a lot of wines and in a few months they throw diplomas at him to show he is an Expert and believe it or not those who are good run from them diplomas too. Business people don’t like educated people. Half educated and half talk is how business likes them. Man that was a good joke… Now some may say Uncle has no sense of humor and everything he says is serious and people think he is funny… Gave you a good definition for humor… Uncle twists and moves things around when analyzing hence deviates from natural order and people perceive humor! Not!
It has been a while since I wrote on these series. Objectives have changed hence subjects change but something came up and since I won’t write an article intended this is a good place to share one idea.
Bad business climate and unstable business plans have led the place I work to seek all kinds of exotic solutions for better business. Remodeling has been one such solution. One of the actions with high expectation for results was the remodeling of active retail stores. This remodeling changed the traditional displays of many years in service to new and advanced displays. That is besides our topic.
The topic is how remodeling built a new business but in time this remodeled stores will turn into another group of used retail stores until certain action has been taken. Maintenance is obviously a top priority to fight the effects of use and time. One solution found was the possibility to man the stores after closing with one or more maintenance persons whom spent the closing hours in cleaning, polishing, fixing, and even stocking of stores. As a side effect this polishing up was emphasized through all stores remodeled or not.
Personally I continued the periodic fixing up of our store which was part of an earlier remodel and since weeks have passed and I still actively work on these activities the process has become an inside joke. Obviously the new culture is not understood nor accepted by many employees and managers of previous culture. In the old culture cleaning is a store process hence things get cleaned periodically. There is no need to clean unless needs to clean and that is subjective. Naturally cleaning happens when happens and again is not our topic.
What is topic is how in following new procedure created for the sake of remodel store preservation we came across an interesting thing. The old culture accepts cleaning and has its own definition what it means to clean, when to clean etc. The kind of cleaning required after the remodel is not general cleaning. I would say has its own purpose. The remodeling offers new as in brand new set up. In addition to traditional cleaning specific cleaning, polishing and maintenance is needed to preserve this “brand newness” of setup. That is the purpose of this type of clean and maintenance. What does that mean in practical sense? Let’s say a low traffic store needs cleaning once a week overall. However if we clean for the purpose of maintaining the brand new state some parts of store such as close to the front door need cleaning all the time even several times daily to remain brand new. This is a side effect of the new culture which old culture employees and managers do not understand. Cleaning does not intend to clean always. Cleaning can aim at keep what is clean brand new hence pleasing the customer. They appreciate presentation and don’t care something needs wiping three times daily or gets dusty and after a few days will have a smog film built on. They don’t understand anything about processes and just appreciate or dislike how things are. The old culture also does not understand the difference.
My finding? In order to fight old culture constantly and make cleaning and polishing of areas an automatic process I came across a practical solution. General cleaning requires equipment and supplies. They are somewhere. This type of cleaning to keep brand new demand action too often and conflicts with the lengthy general cleaning procedure. In response I found that if each station has its own necessary supplies etc right there and dedicated to that station the cleaning to keep brand new becomes super easy and automated. For instance a cabinet close to the front door now has its own supply of wet wipes, gloves, paper towels and so on. Even additional brooms can increase effectiveness and are on order. They hide somewhere in the area eventually. The effect? As soon as an area needs a polish it gets done within seconds or minutes regardless how often needed. This results in consistent maintenance of a brand new state for displays and areas a long time after remodel has died out and forgotten. The old culture naturally will never embrace new solutions but action moves us ahead and closer to achieving our goals such as consistent brand new state regardless of situations, resources or timing. Eventually a new culture will be formed and our end is better results which brand newness supports heavily in retail. I believe this approach can be universally applied.
Photography and Content Composed on Samsung Galaxy Note 3 if you read this
And Wednesday is here. My days are no longer days or nights. It is dark now and I have been up for several hours, commuted over 30 miles and early for work. I crashed here where I can type a note quickly. Since my new routine allows me to do more than I did which is more than what an average person does, I now have more time to dig into wine. And? I was riding the train and since I am very used to following technology news, I not only have blogs of value that are well-established and efficient hence easy to follow and be informed but also I can use more novel means of acquiring information such as video and audio. I have a Youtube account dedicated to such technology broadcasts which are also part marketing by established news agencies BUT do provide accurate and timely information. I was curious today and tried to add wine into this Youtube just to see the effects. Nothing. The Sommelier affiliations I have? Major wine publications? They barely led anywhere. Even local popular magazines which can have timely info barely have any leads. What does all this mean? They are so primitive or backward?
I like to think they refuse to divulge information unless is being sold. Marketing is a low priority. Local news of value to the wine trade is available in the resources that sell them! The same can be said of others. This is not an article about criticizing such venues but to ask where is one to receive information of value besides Decanter emails? I like to think we are so advanced in 2014 that I can dedicate one of my tablets to technology activities AND acquire a second tablet which may be used daily once or two or three times weekly for the purposes of gathering all incoming leads, news and so on BUT do these sources exist? If I were to take a simple step of acquiring a tablet and installing a RSS reader would I be able to receive whole and valuable (garbage is endless in this business) industry and trade information by adding say 8 to 12 blogs? Logically, I should be able to click my RSS Reader app icon daily as I have done for technology forever on my tablet and flip through the articles of recent that have value and bother to stop and read as much of what gets my attention before moving on! Shouldn’t I? I don’t think so. I think one reason is those who gather and provide news and information as third party are interested in “selling” them and have no interest in “informing” the trade or individuals in trade. I also think the organizations and institutions which are in the relevant businesses are only fronts for powerful people and money in the business until go out of business hence information is not their business nor is “industry.” I like to think that it is a responsibility of major publications to have at least one solid blog that pushes the most needed news AND skips the masses of garbage (that probably are created by them also) from this flow. I also think the bodies that operate in the field “assuming” an industry exists in some form beyond the facade and the businesses pretending ought to have some way of timely publishing their angle of the top or valuable news. Court of Master Sommelier? Wine and Spirit Trust? That is a random throw of the many bodies in business. If there is an industry also in existence there has to be a routine publication including “industry” needed information and news. Decanter is not IT. An entire industry cannot be run by tidbits thrown at us by one magazine. I like to think it is a duty in 2014 for those organizations and institutions which get so much out of this business to run a daily “original” blog of news and information no matter how brief or infrequent as long as is informative and valuable so if there is an “industry” out there and individuals whom are not wrongfully an “industry” structure is in place, what is worth knowing will be available. Two conditions must be met in this pursuit. If information is to be sold which may be necessary, a free version MUST exist or this is not beneficial for an industry and benefits the buyers and sellers only. Secondly, the format is very important or these contents are worthless. Many blogs, publications and sources provide the information but the format and the packaging of information together with all the garbage included in this flow of information make it impossible to make any use of the info. In a way, it would be disturbing to have a solid, clear and collective flow of valuable, accurate and mildly biased information and news of the industry in one place as say a RSS Reader. One step further would be video clips when worthy hence enhancing the value.
There are those who argue no “industry” exists and a bunch of traders with the most money hold everyone from employees to public hostage by their activities and provide “fake” versions of what may be needed from products, organizations, marketing to what you may name so it appears this Special Interest is really a solid, organized and healthy industry of many trained and qualified men, women and organizations doing what a healthy industry does. I agree and disagree but probably is the best description of Food, Wine and Hospitality in United States during the first two decades of 21st century. How about violating this standard? There are enough independent organizations and bodies and persons whom can initiate or clean up what is already available hence making the flow of information practical and useful and we have a new level of organization for what we have in place. It may be a fake “industry” and a solid coalition of businesses with no interest in an “industry” but in financial transactions short and long terms but we can operate another level on top of this by having many “valid” flows of information for the sake of information. An “industry” man or woman would be able to participate and be in tune with the “industry” that fights to exist beyond the controls of “profiteers” and we would in time have some level of organization that functions for more objectives than money changing hands or bank accounts. I think a multi-billion dollar industry needs such a basic level of activities to be flexible through times. People who are on the same page of what is going on in the industry form a group that has effect on the industry. Today, this is only insider experts or those who can “buy” information. A system of “valid” and “current” resources of flowing information would put the majority or large portions of those in the “industry” that is suppressed on the same page hence they have more effect and hopefully the common cause of a healthy “industry” will stand better chance of success against its own troubles.
How about that?
22 Jan 2014 7:30 am Downtown San Francisco, California
I was going to take a nap on this long bus ride but did not feel that tired. How is the state of things? I have another blog for keeping my insights on what is going on but sometimes things cross over and this may be one incident. I am getting started again and a lot of things are unclear. I am in a way so glad I have come across so many phony and fake people also known as professionals in my lifetime. Wine field especially. A young field hence so many fakes? I really don’t know. I really don’t care. Nobody does. Nobody takes things seriously enough to think beyond basics. Fake is all there is? And what is wrong with that? These industries besides chain and fast food don’t believe in depth in a timeless manner. A short or long period of time and what it takes to make money during this time are all most in these businesses especially restaurants are interested in. Wine retail is a lot better and as I said the more organized folk like chain and fast food are most interested in depth. Short term operations could care less about what is “really” going on so they can stay in business a decade or multiple decades from now. They like money. They like the lifestyle. They like the pace and then find something else to do. More than a handful also are in it because is a great front for handling dirty money, etc but we pretend they don’t exist. The current industry has a lot of money invested in what they do but also are in development heavily hence very speculative. Napa as heaven of California wine? The damn place is so HOT since previous decades one wonders what is the future? These guys don’t care. Their experiments have done well and everything “looks good” so can sell and move on anytime unlike the more organized folk like those chain people that have reached the frontiers and cannot expand more but can do better by doing a better job and depth means a lot to them. That is the reason why I am not enthusiastic about returning to wine “business.” I am excited about wine and wine as an industry but not wine “business.” A few are legitimate people but the rest are short timers who see things that “look good” for now and are in them. I think that is where my interest will be. Once I finish my reviews and start banging my head against bottles, I like to be where the bottles disappear. They come from places near and far and eventually are used somewhere. That is where I like to be. That is the destination. I find it more interesting to be where wine is tasted and drank than where it is sold as food or luxury to guests. The latter is not about wine and its culture. And I like to spend time bottle by bottle not same bottles over and over again or a line of bottles with no end in sight as the main event. I like to get to know wine even if is 4 oz from a bottle on an individual basis and leave thinking I have pondered as much as I cared over something of value not just passed by it or surveyed it. That sounds best for me. I don’t know about others. Wine means different things to different people. Worship it so can sell it more and at higher costs is the culture of wine “business.” I don’t think so. 13 Jan 2014 6:19 pm Hayward, California
I am tired and not pooped but tired. Another day in wine ends. The last few posts I started in my other blog My Week in Wine I ended up copying and pasting them here. The lines of thought I follow appear in blog posts as I write and so far they belonged here not there. That blog was created for random stuff. Lets say I ran into a wine blah blah and there is not much to tell to stick it in this blog but worth mentioning, then it goes in that one. That is what it is good for. I am starting this post here because my experience has been I end up moving it here and why not just keep it here from the start! Copying on a cellphone screen is relatively hard. That is another thing.
I had my Saturday. I did a lot. It was fun. I guess doing different things is fun versus doing same thing all day. I did a little experiment and had a second breakfast at Jack just to see what happens. Exactly as I had expected. Too much breakfast and I didn’t even notice lunch time. My body decides that and if eats enough in the morning as in two or three breakfasts it will skip lunch on its own. And how was wine business. Who cares. Some businesses are always good. I have started confusing myself already. I need a lot of information before I can think and a huge space in three dimensions (not to mention that has smaller similar spaces all over) filled in all kinds of weird orders of various wines has a lot of not defined pieces and they need knowing before one can think. I guess not everyone thinks in three dimensional models to have my problem. Most of us think linearly. That is learned by learning language. People think that is a good way to think. As I have said the word stupid has too many meanings.
A study of literature is said to an excellent way to develop thinking abilities even if erroneously. It is said what I write online constitutes a fantasy realm that I have created or sort of like a video game fantasy world which is quite interesting but this game only has one player and everyone else strives not to be “in.” it is said the only time another being appears in my realm it is because I dragged them in there so sooner or later I can say and do bad things to them and I have developed this abuse system down to a science and art hence so interesting so people love to know for instance if the President was in the realm today what happened? The details will be very interesting like a fantasy videogame world. Let me think, first we cover his head with a lot of mustard then put slices of tomatoes all over the mustard to see how he looks. We can always change it. Anyway this is my fantasy realm and I dare you try think life without it. It is a scientific model of what should become of a lot of things. Some unfortunate people get caught in its machinery sometimes and that is price of progress. And what does all this have to do with wine? I was going to try explain some of the allure of wine by using fantasy realm model but typing on this phone takes forever. I just say understanding wine requires traveling to a realm where wine is understandable. This fantasy realm needs construction and learning details of this world by learning about wine and experiencing it is the only way to reach this understanding. Otherwise we just talk about wine not knowing shit because the realm is big and too my unique details to simplify it and claim we know wine. It is too crazy inside wine world and fortunately this is not a video game where fool players get abused by power players called Sommeliers who learn abuse from French (i will be hearing back about this one.) can do as they please and fool players take it as it comes. You can survive and benefit the wine world by learning too much. One of the unique things about wine learning is beginning and intermediate knowledge are bullshit. They are not worth a dime. Only advanced meaning thorough knowledge works and fortunately this body of knowledge is Finite. After that you can explore and no power player can do it to you. Your power equals in many ways and can remain in the fantasy. It is a fascinating world. The more you explore wine the more details of this realm are reveled to you and nobody can cover your head with mustard and slices of tomatoes because this ain’t a one player fantasy game where you get beat up by the player-owner. Wine world is great. Get into it. My stupid WordPress app won’t let me scroll anymore. I end here. 4 Jan 2014 6:11 pm Oakland, California
What is the solution? I like my material to be presentation quality which is easy. I just have to proofread before publishing and minor changes. The trouble is I have so little time. I have too little time. I can barely type up something of value while I eat breakfast or ride the train and proofreading delays the entire process to indefinite. I have always agreed with the feedback that I am a “vicious writer” and try to avoid that. A vicious writer knows too much about audience and how people read, think and follow thought. He can write so knocks the reader off one’s seat everytime. All it takes is reading first draft slowly and fixing a little so there are no breaks in the vicious line of thought. Sometimes leaving draft for later makes for a better entire rewrite that is vicious rather than ambiguous. And what is the benefit of writing for audience whom need to try extremely hard to come up with something that creates an exchange? Writing at the level of the reader achieves such an exchange and that is best achieved by first drafts in my case. They are more humane! And now once again I have another objective. My blogs also represent professional level work. After a week I finally was able to grasp the idea presented by Wine Advice that some sommeliers write and achieve professional contribution rather than traditional duties of the trade! And it was added to that later how about doing more of that while doing the traditional stuff? How do I do that? Same way I did my photography. A Flickr handpick of under 200 from some 3000 uploaded says more about my signature style than all the blog posts I wrote on photography. I think I do what I did with an older blog. I write and post what I write but change some posts to private later. In time, what is left are posts that meet selection criteria. I won’t censor old posts beyond what is now. In time, I hope my wine writing parallel my photography in saying a great deal about us and our philosophy rather than a river of blog posts that may have good content but…. We see if this works. 4 Jan 2014 9:06 am Lake Merritt, California
The last of these burritos. Tomorrow am we begin with the purple ones that have government truth chemicals in them. Nobody will dare say I used four letter wards in my writings. Life goes on. Cold is not that bad. And I admit I had a terrible week because was so weird. I spent days commuting and sort of training. Then middle of week is a holiday and now I go back to work again. Weird week. I did learn a couple of things not expected. One was again another definition for sommelier. I am not going to write on this again but the accidental finding is quite interesting. A sommelier by modern standard is a suit that smoothly sells you stuff and usually customer leaves very happy. Depending on establishment and kind of service this person will do anything from manager to trainer or ass-kisser to better customers. One historical aspect of sommelier is historical before French Revolution which unemployed many formerly staff of richer classes and they had to use their skills and built an open not closed and private hospitality industry sommelier was in charge of wine! They had a lot of wine. And wine came in barrels and kept there and so on. And this person had very very specific and personal opinion of each of them and how they were and what occasion they fit, how much they cost, when best to serve them and all the other little stuff. The from of house services were not as needed to be tipped by patrons. Sommelier ran the machinery of established wealthy household as far as wine went. He was the knowledge worker and not a surprise his position by dictionary (most wine people don’t know shit and a dictionary is final to their knowledge) used as a source in the field may not be so wrong in hinting sommelier position came from French military where this person did a similar job of provisions again to run the machinery of the army as far as his inventory. That is what I realized when I was told I can go to Vegas (not first time) and why? Because I can handle a shit size proportioned inventory of wine as just that by physically accepting its dimensions as part of the job and Vegas said that was all they cared to sommelier job! That hints at a new position (that I would never want) of sommelier in its most traditional sense as keeper of the inventory 95% of his time and 5% foo foo activities! That may not make sense to people but if we were to use or sell inventory on the spot and make the better decisions matching what we have of wine and quantity and price with best customer needs and of course our own biases and angles into the transaction, one needs to be a little sommelier inside his or her head who knows exactly what the shit is in the warehouse to the point of where it is hence how long to acquire it and every detail of quality, quantity and value so can match what the customer would prefer and adjust that transaction so is a business event in our interest also. All of this happens very fast. An experienced retailer knows what I am talking about. An experienced sales person knows part of it well. And a traditional trained sommelier probably thinks what? That is not a sommelier does! That is not my job! My shoes cost this much! This suit is from xyz and my nails were done by…. Yep. We don’t know much, do we? I tell a quick aside which matches here. I was once pouring a bunch of Sauvignons and such at Pacific something event where they didn’t tip the waiters because was a lot of wine and a lot of work wouldn’t do it so management got stuck helping the doushbags and their Oyster Bullshit event and there at the bar I was helping someone where W who is self-proclaimed wine expert at a chain liquor shop was doing his best to prove wine people are condescending bastards by telling loud stories to this person how 80% of California restaurants have fake sommeliers who were suits to sell expensive wine and did not know shit. His proof was average sommelier got paid $25000 which in restaurant money is competition for a good busboy in pay and the guy still did not believe him and I was thinking I tell people I am manager as I was and skip telling about sommelier part. That was way too offensive to be identified as a sucker in employ of doushbag California restaurant industry. That is a true story. And that guy gives ding dong scores to what they sell and thinks he is Robert Parker. He is as credible as Wine Enthusiast scores. They are 20% more enthusiastic than all the other publications in scoring in both cases. And I am nice and don’t tell names. This is new in wine industry 2014. Back to our topic, I learned a good thing from our week of being lost in a three dimensional cube of wine inventory and Vegas was ahead. My old habits are coming back and naturally I have an urge to absorb the wine list and be able to analyze it on many standards and thanks to Vegas I realize this physical dimension to a wine list or inventory. They physically do exist and not only location in the cube is a factor in decision making for proper sales or service but also visual records expand our sense of quantity and presentation. I can understand how an unfortunate professional would be a sommelier and can be a knowledge worker or professional whom solves very tender and profitable financial transactions mostly by having mastered the physical inventory in many dimensions beyond taste, vintages and so on to include three dimensional spacing and visual
memory. He or she should get a better job eventually but where not fake suits roam dining rooms to be a catalyst in wine sales. That is another definition for a sommelier. From cellars to air conditioned warehouses but still the same job of helping wine meet the drinker by using weird esoteric knowledge that can be learned not so easily communicated. I like another good definition and in a good size establishment the naughty sommelier can be banished to warehouse and still be a fancy sommelier! I like that too. 4 Jan 2013 7:19 am Hayward, California Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android