Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wine Tasting to benefit library

Bonjour, Friends:

The Friends of the Pine River Library Foundation will be having a Wine Tasting and Silent Auction Saturday, March 7th at the AmericInn Lodge and Suites south of Jenkins.

Of course this made me curious. I wondered what it takes to become a wine taster. Do you just taste a bunch of wine and voila you are a wine taster? There are many theories on the subject, one of which includes tasting upwards of 500 wines per year and taking copious notes. One has to wonder about those notes after all that wine. What does “copious” mean, anyway, inebriated? From the website I stumbled onto this paragraph written by somebody who apparently knows the answer to my searing question:

“I am a taster at several competitions and I also sell wine wholesale. There are only a handful of professional tasters in the world, and most of them make their living by tasting and rating wines and publishing their notes and scores. (James Laube, Robert Parker, Anthony Dias Blue, Michael Broadbent, etc.) Their careers are in the wine PUBLISHING business, so in addition to being extremely knowledgeable about wine also requires the same career track and skills as any professional writer.”

Maybe there is a simpler way. Why don’t you just go to the Wine Tasting and try a few of the wines being offered and see what you like. Did you know, by the way, that there are at least nineteen wineries in Minnesota? Visit this website and find out more: I was a bit shocked myself. I view Minnesota as more of a beer state. Speaking of which, there will be specialty beers served as well.

Lakes Latte will be making Hors d’oeuvres. I knew it, I knew it. Yes, Browser, there will be food.

Oh, and an auction. I do so love auctions. I have a close friend who sports a bumper sticker to that affect.

Proceeds from this silent auction will go to the Pine River Public Library roof repair fund! I love this fund because it means my ceiling won’t fall in. They are beginning, I am told, this coming summer. It would be best if they finished this coming summer…

Tickets will be available during February at the Pine River Public Library. Call Muriel at the library for more information. The number there is 587-4639. The advance tickets are $15, while tickets at the door will be $17.

Aren’t you tired of staying at home? I know I am. “Cabin fever”! Taste a little wine. You’ll feel ever so much better.

I remain your fun loving friend,

Browser, the library cat

Printed in the Pine River Journal 26 Feb. 2009

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The amazing age of electronics

Greetings and salutations, friends all:

I am considerably tempted to begin this particular column with something that sounds like an ad for “Charles Schwab”. Something like this: “During these troubled times…”. However, as a feline I have no immediate understanding of what “troubled times” are other than what I see on television. (Yes, I watch television occasionally.)In order to truly “grok” this situation I shall break it down to the lowest common denominator. Bet you are wondering what “grok” means. It is a made up word from Robert A Heinlein’s 1960’s classic science fiction novel, “Stranger in a Strange Land”, available in our catalog. (Read it. It’s great.) This word means to fully understand something to the point of becoming it.

But I digress. “…lowest common denominator.” Food. If finance becomes so convoluted that the library can no longer afford to feed me, that would be troubling indeed, especially to me! Why am I, a mere library cat, discussing high (or low) finance? Because “Value Line” is now available on-line to our patrons from home with the use of your library card. “Value Line” publishes more than a dozen print and electronic products for timely information on stocks, mutual funds, options, convertibles, etc. This particular service was once only available in book form, and then only at the Brainerd Library, part of the Kitchigami Regional Library system. My guess, though I don’t know for sure, is that it was at that time for in-house use only, as the book cost over $200 and needed to be constantly updated. Imagine! Times may be troubled on some level, but on so many others they are simply marvelous.

The age of electronics is so amazing! On another front, you can access all of “Chilton’s” on-line from home to help you fix your vehicle if you so choose. I know this because I have personally helped two patrons fix their vehicles with the help of this wonderful service. Doubt me? Don’t. You can print the useful pages and peruse them at your leisure! (This website is very well organized.) Small engine repair services are also available on-line through By the way, Muriel has reminded me that you should book your computer time at Pine River Public Library in advance if you can. Our computers are in high demand, especially during the winter months.

If you recall, I mentioned food earlier in this column. I generally do in most columns. It is a particularly favorite topic of mine. Because of this I become rather corpulent during the colder months when very little exercise is at my disposal. With this in mind, the library staff has begun what they consider a humorous contest. Guess my weight. Now I ask you, would you want them guessing yours? I think not. Still, that is what is going on, and the person or persons who make the best guess will win a Browser key ring. Lucky you! They are simply terrific!

Reprise: “The age of electronics is so amazing!” The library will be having a teen and adult Wii day at the Pine River Library on Saturday, February 21 from 10 AM to 1 PM. I don’t personally participate in these games, but people seem to enjoy them. Bring a bag of groceries, if you’d like. (Food again.) The library is taking donations for the food shelf until the end of March.

Thank you, all, for being who you are.

I remain,

Browser, the library cat

Printed in the Pine River Journal 5 Feb 2009