the rain cometh.

I visited a distillery in Mountain View tonight, run by one of the SBR guys and his dad (apparently his mother is a VP of Marketing at Megacube Hypercorp and makes enough to support them all while the boys try and make the business profitable). He was making grappa, his personal favorite liquor. I'd never had grappa before, and...well, this was a skillfully made liquor, and I'm sure it's very good grappa, but I don't think I need to drink it again. The key thing to understand is that when winemakers have squeezed all they can out of grapes, there's a lot of solids and some liquids left. Typically, winemakers will either use it themselves as fertilizer, give it to someone else for that purpose, or pay someone to haul it away.

Alternately, someone puts it into a still, turns it into alcohol, and then gives it away to be used as fertilizer.

The distillery had made some absolutely killer gin for a contract, and the whole place had this wonderful welcoming vibe to it. The smell is this earthy smell that's still on my skin, of your father when you were a little kid, of flannel shirts and fireplaces. It's hard to describe. It was distilled grape stems, but the romance and the memories are there.

I'm tempted to go on a group ride for newer riders tomorrow, but I need to keep on with this "exercise" thing, so I think aikido would be a better choice even if the ride didn't start at 0930 in Milpitas (including gassing up and socializing, I'd have to be leaving the house by 0815 or so). Plus it's cold in the mornings lately, and I don't have proper riding gear to handle 60mph wind chill when it's 55F out. I'm hoping tomorrow I can go shopping after class and find a jacket I like.

If you're curious about where we ride, check out this map, and the whole area south of San Francisco. Basically, if it's got lots of squiggles on it, at least a few people enjoy riding it.