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Updated: 11/04/04

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fifty years

Thursday, 04 November, 2004

Today is the big day!


Our family theme song for anniversaries was taken from an old Flintstones episode. Without further ado:

Happy Anniversary

Practically a restaurant standard, most people don't realize that these lyrics, to the tune of "The William Tell Overture", were written by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera for the episode titled "The Hot Piano".

Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Haaappy Anniversary

Pour a cheerful toast and fill it
Happy Anniversary
But be careful you don't spill it
Happy Anniversary

Ooooo Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Haaappy Anniversary

Happy she and happy he
They're both as happy as can be
Celebrating merrily
their happy anniversary

Ooooo Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Haaappy Anniversary

We now state emphatically
its happy anniversary
Not another day could be
a happy anniversary

Ooooo Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Happy (slow)
Happy (slow)
Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy (fast) Anniversary!!!

As Mom says, they were married, "after a whirlwind courtship of seven years."

[Well, no one could ever accuse Dad of not being deliberate in his decisions.]

Big news out of wine country:

Mondavi bought by wine giant Constellation
$1 billion deal keeps brands under one roof -- family to no longer own any of business

The world's biggest wine conglomerate, Constellation Brands, has snapped up the iconic but struggling Robert Mondavi Corp. of Oakville for more than a billion dollars, saving Napa Valley's best-known winery from its own draconian plan to split in two and sell off its luxury brands piecemeal.

The deal will keep all Robert Mondavi brands -- from the $5 Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi to the $125 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve -- under the same roof instead of splitting them among multiple owners.

Mondavi Corp. has been hurt by mismanagement and family squabbles for years, but Fredrickson said he believes "Constellation will do wonders for the Mondavi business," with its savvy management and international distribution network.

Robert Mondavi, 91, whose evangelistic fervor and focus on quality put California -- especially Napa Valley -- on the world wine map, has agreed to remain an ambassador for the brand and to vote his shares in favor of the deal. He will keep his office at the company's popular tasting room and headquarters on Highway 29 in Oakville.

Until just a few years ago, Constellation was known as Canandaigua and peddled mostly low-end wines such as Inglenook and Almaden.

But under Constellation chairman Richard Sands, who inherited the company from his father, it has become known as a respectful steward of other premium acquisitions such as Franciscan Oakville Estates, Mount Veeder, Simi and Ravenswood in California and Australia's BRL Hardy and Blackstone.

Brands owned or co-owned (partial list): Robert Mondavi Winery, Robert Mondavi Private Selection, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, Opus One, Ornellaia, Luce della Vite, Lucente, Arrowood, La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi, Hang Time, Byron, Caliterra

Brands owned or distributed (partial list): Almaden, Canandaigua, BRL Hardy, Nobilo, Ravenswood, St. Pauli Girl, Pacifico, Black Velvet, Paul Masson, Manischewitz, Inglenook, Blackstone, Banrock Station, Black Box, Simi, Mount Veeder, Franciscan Oakville Estate, Turner Road

It's really the end of an era. They're not kidding when they say that he put Napa Valley on the map. His concepts about wine as a part of our social culture are one of the main reasons that Napa Valley is the destination that it is today. And speaking of Simi, one of the benefits of going up to see Stephani this weekend is that she is babysitting a case of Simi Cabernet Sauvignon that I bought when we were at Trollop-Fest earlier this year.


On another happy note, there is actually other news aside from elections and politics again! Saw this story on CNN:

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- A Canadian man, angry that he was refused a plane ticket to Australia at Los Angeles International Airport, stripped naked, sprinted across the tarmac and climbed into the wheel well of a moving jumbo jet, officials said on Wednesday.

Pilots of the Qantas Airways flight stopped the plane. The man was coaxed out of the wheel well and arrested for trespassing, said airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles.

"This was an extremely dangerous thing for him to do. If he had continued to cling in there with the aircraft taking off at over 200 miles (320 kph) per hour, he might have fallen out and could have been sucked up by an engine," she said.

"If he had survived that and was in the wheel well when the landing gear was retracted, he could have been crushed by the mechanism. And if not he very likely would have frozen to death during the 15 1/2 hour flight at 30,000 feet (9,150 metres) while wearing no clothes."

The man, Neil Melly, 31, tried to buy a one-way ticket on the Qantas flight on Monday evening, but was turned down because he could not supply a valid credit card, Castles said.

Later, he managed to climb over an airport fence, topped by three strands of barbed wire, without injury and was spotted by a ramp worker "running, naked, full-speed" toward the plane.

[Yeah, I'd say there are some issues there.]

Quote du jour:

"Love one another and you will be happy.
It's as simple and as difficult as that."

-- Michael Leunig

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