The Season is Over

Our last faire this year successfully finished yesterday (, so now I can pack equipment away till next March. Lots of drinking, lots of flirting (always minding Her Majesty’s safety first, of course ;) ).

The kid also found how to occupy herself – in response to my instruction to play only where I can see her, she climbed a wall and pretended to be a statue – she was, indeed, very visible from quite far.

Saturday night (after closing) we had our vodka tasting. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring cranberry Finlandia, which wasn’t supposed to be part of the tasting, but was planned for warm-up. But this didn’t stop us – we had plenty of rum. And after combining it with beer, cider, wine (to each their preference) and very spicy beef stew, we were well prepared to begin.

Our contestants this year were:
1. “Armadale” – Scottish vodka made from wheat and barley
2. “Due” – Italian vodka made from six different kinds of grain (label didn’t go into more detail)
3. “Idol” – French vodka made from grapes

Our experienced tasters unanimously ruled that “Idol” had a very strong distinct taste of grapes and that it would be more appropriate to classify it as grappa than as vodka. After that opinions started to differ. Several (about half) of the testers said that they don’t give a damn whether it’s grappa or vodka and that “Idol” deserved first place. This group of tasters was also very consistent in placing “Due” second and “Armadale” third.
Remaining votes (save one) placed “Due” first with “Armadale” and “Idol” sharing second and third place. And the last vote was for “Armadale” first with “Due” second and “Idol” third. Go figure.

So, we do not have a clear winner this year (last year vote unanimously placed Armadale first with “Chopin” second and “Ketel One” third).
This will make selection of contestants for next year difficult, but I like this kind of challenge ;)
My personal (highly biased) opinion: “Due” first, “Armadale” second, “Idol” last.

Our tasters turned out not to be big drinkers – three bottles 0.75 liter each plus a jar of pickles for six-seven people and approximately 0.5 liter was still there in the morning. But the traditions were at least partially observed – at least one participant fell under the table. I didn’t observe any noticeable hangover effects in any of the tasters in the morning, nor did I hear any “damn, my head is about to split”, which means that quality of all drinks was quite good.

There was music too: my cell phone’s alarm clock decided to play “Adams Family” tune at 5:30am and not in the tent where I slept. Four people who did sleep in that tent told me all about it in the morning, along with many earlier unknown details about myself and some of my relatives. Nevertheless, everything was quite civilized – to my surprise, the phone still works ;)

Published in: on October 17, 2005 at 2:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Gilroy Faire

Yesterday we made it to faire ( – as regular visitors, not as participants – to walk around, drink beer, meet people we know, drink beer, shoot some thingies, drink beer, throw some other thingies at targets, drink beer (you get the point), take pictures of some colorful characters (most colorful characters are usually some of the guests, not participants, though logic would suggest otherwise) and see the faire from the other side. Worked well (especially the beer part), though conclusion is the same – it’s much more fun to be a participant than a visitor. So, the long and windy road to Folsom ( awaits – there be no rest for the wicked ;)

Published in: on October 10, 2005 at 1:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Faire is over – long live the faire

Fair in Novato ( closed day before yesterday. Six weeks flew by too fast. What remained are a special kind of tan (by shape of my shirt collar), pain in the ribs (got touched very nicely in epee tournament), empty bottles, and many pleasant memories. What also remained is a worry – there’s a high probability that this faire (the oldest of this kind of faires) closed for good. If this turns out to be true, it will be very sad. But there are other good places (

  • August 27-28 in San Francisco – – I will not go there, but it’s a good faire, apart from total absence of alcohol (bring your own flask if you want a drink)
  • September 10 – October 16 in Gilroy – – I’ll definitely be there at least one day; most likely we’ll go there in big company, in costumes and with full arsenal.
  • October 15-16 in Folsom – – I’ll be participating in this one and will be there both days; on the night of the first day I’m organizing a vodka tasting; tasting results are determined by condition of participants nex morning.
Published in: on August 16, 2005 at 1:18 am  Leave a Comment