I must admit I was pretty skeptical when I first heard about “cloud computing.” I have trust issues to start with, and letting Mr. Google keep all my files for me sounds like the old “open relationship” concept. Is my data secure? Can a hacker get to my files? Can data pirates appropriate my pictures and use them for nefarious purposes?
My Abusive Relationship with Microsoft
After nearly 24 hours of trying to recover my data due to a “corrupt volume” on my Microsoft Vista OS laptop that just “happened” to refuse to start up yesterday morning, I am starting to think I’m in a really bad relationship with Bill Gates. At least I have the “System Recovery DVDs” this time. When a similar thing happened 3 months after I bought the computer, I tried to use my self-created “Restore Disks” to no avail. Gawd forbid should the folks at HP deem me worthy enough to get a copy of installation disks with my $600 computer. Still under warranty, I shipped the notebook off to El Paso or somebody’s grandmother’s basement to have it repaired. When I got it back it worked, but with one little problem; I no longer had System Administrator rights. Mr. Fixit at HP had changed the password and I could no longer make changes if I needed to. I felt like someone had taken my PC and given me the serpent’s Apple instead. I know there are plenty of the Apple Cult who will laugh at my PC dilemma, but at least, most of the time, if PC users want to make changes they can. Their system is not locked behind the MacChastity Belt of overpriced proprietary systems.
But if you write for an on-line wine blog, having a way to get on-line is required. But so is recovering from the data hostage situation. So after a trip to a local computer superstore for an equally overpriced 64GB flash drive where I could save pictures, documents, music and e-mail that I admit I should have backed up more often (the external hard-drive I used to do that crashed 2 weeks before), I sat down to a delicious meal of pork tenderloin in cherry/mushroom/sherry reduction; perfectly prepared buttered baby asparagus tips and a delightful Pinot Noir recommended by the good people at JJ Buckley Fine Wines.
2007 Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir
A delightful Pinot Noir from the Carneros Appellation in California, this wine tasted good alone, and even better with Joe’s pork tenderloin. Aromas of dark berries and hints of orange blossoms combined with toasted oak, forest earth and undertones of smoke and spice greeted us as we swirled the soft ruby liquid. Soft and balanced with gentle tannins on the palate reminiscent of a more costly Pinot Noir; a lingering finish with a nice minerality and the lower alcohol (13.8% ABV) made us wish we had another bottle (or two) to savor.
Says the winemaker,
The grapes used for the Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir were chosen from twelve clonal selections from four different Carneros Estate vineyards. Harvest took place in the early morning while the grapes were still cool, and the grapes were picked by hand into shallow bins to minimize damage to the fruit.
The fruit was gently de-stemmed, leaving many whole berries. The grapes were then cold-soaked for four days prior to fermentation, which took 9 to 12 says in small open-topped vats. The fermenting must was punched three times a day to heighten color and flavor development. After pressing off, the finished wines were directly into French oak barrels where it was gently racked once during the 10 months of barrel aging.
Wine Spectator rated this one at 90 in September 2009. Suggested retail is $35, but JJ Buckley Fine Wines has it for the incredible price of $23.99 per bottle. At this price, it’s an even more incredible value.
After the wine, I was refreshed enough to go back to saving all my documents and pictures before “System Recovery” took everything off. When I first met Joe he was fond of saying, “Information wants to be free!” And it seems the folks at Google are creating a paradigm shift guaranteed to annoy Bill Gates as well as the data hostage folks at Apple. I would love it if Eric Schmidt could help me free my data. He could start by sending me a Nexus One, or some sort of Android that he’d like us to beta test! We’ll be glad to send him plenty of recommendations on wine pairings. Like pork loin with Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir.
Now excuse me while I contemplate the “cloud.”