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Helen Turley the greatest? Don’t get me started

105 comments

I almost hurled when I saw Wine Spectator’s latest cover story anointing Helen Turley “America’s Greatest Winemaker.” (Yes, I know they posed it as a question, but with the triumphant cover shot of the Pink Lady, and the worshipful tone of Jim Laube’s panegyric, you just know what Wine Spec’s answer is.)

Laube has spent the better part of two decades promoting Turley and her brand, Marcassin. He lavished praise on her in his 1995 book, “California Wine.” Ten years ago, he called her “arguably California’s most talented winemaker”. (Going from “California’s most talented” to “America’s greatest” is a pretty big leap, don’t you think?) And, just last month, Laube devoted his blog to her. I can’t think of a critic in the world who has spent so much time and  energy building up a winemaker. Both sides seem to have profited by this pas de deux: Laube has near exclusive access to Turley and her wines, while Turley receives deified scores from Laube in America’s most famous wine magazine. To call a relationship like theirs “elitist” is an understatement (and, by the way, Marc Aubert’s slap at Turley is a real howler. Talk about egomania!)

I haven’t tasted the wines of every winemaker in America (has anybody?), so I’d be afraid of singling out any of them for “greatest” status. I haven’t even had the wines of every winemaker in California (has anybody?). But even if I had, I would never dare call one of them “California’s greatest.” That’s not only absurd, it’s an insult to all other hard-working winemakers. It’s illogical to even postulate that somebody could be the “greatest” winemaker. Maybe in a little region you could do it. Maybe Josh Jensen is the greatest winemaker in the Mount Harlan AVA. But in all of America? Talk about hype. No, this is beyond hype. It’s nonsense, and should be seen that way.

It is true that Wine Enthusiast gives out a Winemaker of the Year award, to recognize a particular winemaker for his or her achievements. But that’s a far cry from saying that a winemaker is “the greatest in California” or “America” or (what’s next?) “The World.” How could anyone read something like that and not wonder what’s going down?

I don’t review Marcassin wines, because I don’t go out of my way to find them, and Turley doesn’t reach out to me. The times I’ve tasted her Pinot Noirs, I thought they were awful. I remember once, at World of Pinot Noir, thinking they were the worst wines in the whole event. Maybe they were bad bottles, I don’t know. I’ve liked some of the wines of Turley’s client wineries, for whom she consults or used to, but wineries aren’t required to take their consultants’ advice, although they still have to pay them; and I think some wineries hire these famous-name consultants just for bragging rights, and then don’t even bother to listen to them.

At any rate, if you see that Spectator cover story and feel sorry for yourself because you can’t get Marcassin and never will, don’t. Feel sorry instead for Wine Spectator for this self-indulgent puff piece.

Look, I understand the thinking behind cover stories. They’re not picked at random; they’re the ultimate expression of a magazine’s metabolism, linked to every vital organ that keeps the magazine alive, from sales and advertising to reputation to internal considerations and outside personal relationships. There’s both more and less to Spectator’s Turley cover than meets the eye. More, because we’ll never really know exactly why they did this, although we can reasonably assume almost anything; and less, because ultimately, it doesn’t matter to normal people. Helen Turley is not “America’s greatest winemaker.” She’s not California’s greatest winemaker, or Sonoma County’s or even the Sonoma Coast’s. I’ve seen right through lots of wine magazine covers, but this is one of the most pandering and cynical ever. The California wine industry is laughing at it, and you should, too.

  1. Steve,

    With reference to your recent article about Helen Turley, I have often felt this way and wondered to myself what is it that I am missing here. On the several occasions that I have tasted her wines I have been sometimes surprised by their mediocrity, sometimes disappointed by their flaws, and on two occasions impressed by their quality. Still I could not understand the extremely high marks and the inordinate amount of praise lavished upon Ms.Turley. I would never have the courage to voice this opinion for fear of looking like sour grapes on my part. Nor would it have served any purpose coming from another winemaker as it wouldn’t carry much credibility publicly. I will admit that on occasion the other winemakers in the room tasting some of these wines with me did voice their negative opinions privately. I suspect many other producers have shared your sentiments.

    Thank you for having the courage to stand up in opposition and for stating what some of us have felt privately. Rarely, have I seen a writer of your caliber stand up and openly oppose another writer. I applaud your desire to bring a dialogue to the table that will hopefully be discussed by trade and consumer alike.

  2. I’m not sure what I enjoyed more the original post or the fantastic comments. This is, shall I say it, THE GREATEST!

  3. I was once told by a friend of a conversation she had with Helen and John. they were talking about how they choose a new client. They told her they schedule a dinner at the French Laundry at the prospective client’s expense. Then at dinner they proceed to order the most expensive wines on the list. If the client flinches, even slightly, at the expense, they don’t take him on. Nice work if you can get it. …and yes, I am jealous and maybe would do it if I could get away with it.

    When my son was twelve we had the opportunity to pick some Rutherford Cabernet grapes from a friend’s vineyard. They were virused vines that no winemaker wanted, they were free, and it sounded like a great project for my son. (Since then, the vineyard has developed a cult following and is priced in the hundreds per bottle.) Now a decade later we are drinking my son’s version of the wine and it is just about the best tasting wine we have in our cellar. It’s better than wines I have near the same age with scores of 95 and 96 from the WS. We’re talking about a wine wine picked, crushed, aged in a used barrel, and bottled by a twelve year old making his first wine. Is he one of the best winemakers in the world? A wine God?

    In actual fact, the best winemaker in California is probably someone we have never heard of. Someone without a PR plan, self aggrandizing press releases, or a story that sells wine publications to wine snobs. The greatest winemaker is probably someone who is stuck with crappy, overcropped grapes that he or she is forced to make into wine with inferior equipment and cooperage at some large winemaking venture. The greatest winemaker might be someone living from pay check to pay check dying for the resources to dine at the Laundry.

    This greatest winemaker is certainly someone with a great understanding of winemaking, wine chemistry, possessing a great palate and someone who manages to turn crappy grapes into something that tastes rather good. This person will never be recognized as such, because we only look at the end result (strongly influenced by a wine press who needs this kind of story), not at the process or true talent. The end result is almost always pre-determined by the vineyard, not the winemaker.

    If you look at the really talented consultants you will see them taking on winemaking challenges maybe in Canada or Walla Walla or Mexico or some unrecognized area in the U.S., or from a troubled vineyard that does not enhance their resume. Not worried about their press clippings , the great winemaker relishes the challenge of making something good and lasting where it hadn’t previously existed. This is the great winemaker’s first concern, not the shaking out of the pockets of the client.

  4. I heard it often said that it’s not so hard to make great wine in small quantities. But 100,000 cases of reasonably priced delectable stuff… now that’s impressive. Winemakers who do that are my heros.

    Nice post and string of comments. It’s a reminder that magazines’ first aim is to sell magazines. Doling out hyperbole, whether in cover stories or awards, is a tried and true practice. In this case, I doubt it will stain James Laube’s reputation at all, though, as he has long been elevating Helen Turley above mortal status.

  5. To Fred Swan: Thanks for the heads-up. I met HT in 1988 (or maybe 1989) when we were both using space at what was then the Vinwood facility in Geyserville. I’m reasonably sure I recall she was doing something for Sausal at the time – intern? assistant? consulting? Or maybe it was Stonestreet she was working for. Nah – never saw a client tank marked for them. Memory fades. I’ll ask her next time I run into her.

  6. I like Morton’s idea that the greatest winemaker is the one who can do the most to elevate the materialsl with which she or he gets to work. But, I don’t think that has to happen in Walla Walla or Timbuktu. Guys like Paul Hobbs and David Ramey get to work with some brilliant vineyards like Hyde and Hudson and Ritchie. So do other winemakers. Is Hobbs not great because he gets better results from those vineyards than some other guys? Is Mia Kline not great for what she produces from good vineyards?

    Is a guy who can fix a jalopy a better mechanic than a guy who can fix a Ferrari or an Indy car?

    Maybe the point is that trying to annoint anyone as the greatest in a field as broad and varied as ours is just plain silly. That is what Steve was saying first as I read it. The fact that he did not like many of Turley’s wines is actually secondary, because while I agree and much prefer the work of Ramey, Hobbs, Randy Lewis, Ed Kurtzman, Greg Bjonrstad, Phillip Titus, Cathy Corison just to name few from the North Coast or Jeff Cohn or Steve Edmunds or Bill Easton, I don’t think I could name one person as the greatest winemaker ever anymore than I can answer the question, “What is the greatest wine you ever tasted?”.

  7. Bill Green says:

    Steve, you would come off less petty if you spent less time giving WS and Turley a hard time and more time expanding on the question by discussing the winemakers who have inspired you, etc. Otherwise, it’s just a tantrum.

  8. Bill Green: fair enough. May just do that. Anyhow, it’s my blog and I’ll throw tantrums if I want to!

  9. Gregory says:

    Steve the Hurler:

    As a budding professional (read: 28 years old) within an industry that has held itself aloft for eons before I was even of legal drinking age, I have consistently been amazed at the utter lack of professionalism you continue to spew in the name of this newfangled social media trend.

    I don’t know Helen, nor do I know James. Probably never will. But the fact that you–who are not only a wine blogger, but a professional wine critic (employed by one of the Big 3 magazines) whose scores I utilize every day to help consumers inform their own opinions–seemingly always focus on the negative and petty aspects of the industry you are immersed in does nothing but make you look small in comparison to the people whose names I *actually* know.

    This is the last blog of yours I will read, agog and aghast at how you seem unable to distinguish between casual and unprofessional. Unfortunately for you and the publication that let you off the leash, I no longer feel that your opinons/scores or those of Wine Enthusiast represent professional, discriminating, constructive criticisms/critiques that keep the interest of the consumer in mind.

    I’m sure you’ll have a petty and unprofessional retort that will go unmissed by..

    ..Yours Truly,
    Gregory

  10. Gregory,

    Who are you? One of HT’s (secret) minion cellar rats protecting your boss? Why i ask? She’s so secretive about her processes, that it makes one wonder.

    I’m with steve on this one. Not petty, not unprofessional, simply calling out bs when he reads it. You might educate yourself on a bit of the fancy flying footwrok of these joker winemkaker types who take themselves wayyy to serioulsy. HT is making (at best) wines that are of extreme limited appeal and at best forgetting about the fruit on the vine, brings raisens to the crushpad and then becoming an engineer rather than a thoughtful, creative winemaker. She is no winemaker. She’s an engineer.

    Moreover, every single person I’ve actually spoken with about her has few if any good things to say. I think Steve is spot on here with calling out and bringing up important issues in Wine Country, namely the WS naming her some top winemaker status. Simply not true. There are too many others who deserve it more.

  11. Bill Green says:

    Talk about sounding like a secret minion.

    I have no issue with Steve discussing the topic. WS and Turley are fair game, but then so is Steve once he brings it up.

    It is also about how he does it. It’s the tone and venom in his words (and frankly yours.) You can comment however you like on a blog, Randy, but as for Steve, it is just not something that a professional journalist typically stoops to, even in the blogging world. Thus many of us are calling him on it.

  12. Mauricio says:

    BRAVO! If you do not like a wine or two you should be able to say it to the person who made it and/or out loud and they should be able (as educated people should) to take it as constructive criticism and maybe revisit their wine making practices and improve them. That is what wine making and any other professional activities are all about!

    Good work Steve and everybody else here.

  13. Bill Adint says:

    Lets see Parker loves her,WS loves her and she snubs WE
    Article is pure “sour grapes” grow up Steve

  14. everybody relaxed didn’t anyone notice the ? mark at the end…. Now if you buy wine because the WS says it the best then Steve might have a point. But if you taste it, and like it to hell with what anyone tells you… that includes you too Steve….. Thou I do ebjoy your writings.

  15. Mauricio says:

    Bill: RP loves sugar,VA and oxi wines and WS taste “blind” all HT’s wines with no other wines next to them. THAT’S WHY THEY LOVE HER!

  16. Mauricio, I think you have made some interesting points.

  17. Hey rucrazy, I have always said, if you like a wine, then YOU are the expert. Nobody else. End of story. Doesn’t matter what I say. I just have a job to do, which is to taste and write about wine, and I do it the best I can. If you want to tell me to jump off the nearest cliff, fine. Doesn’t cause me any harm!

  18. Mauricio says:

    Lets be fair: WE is boring and they always rate good wines with low scores and mediocre wines with good scores. ALWAYS!

    Cheers

  19. Mauricio: Never say always, because you’ll always be wrong. Usually.

  20. Note to Bill Green–

    Professional journalists do all kinds of things. Have you noticed that professional journalists in the political arena have recently stooped to villifying an innocent women because she told the truth about her angst in her job. And instead of reporting the truth, those professional journalists took a comment out of context and twisted it 180 degrees.

    So, when you start criticizing Steve for being unprofessional, you miss the point. His opinion is that HT makes more unbalanced wines than balanced wines and that there is something unholy about the praise heaped upon her by the only two publications that are allowed to taste her wines.

    It would seem to me that the unprofessionalism lies in the other direction. Steve is not the only journalist who has been told to go to hell by Turley and her clients. True story. Friend of mine, a sometime member of our tasting panel for years went to work for one of Turley’s clients. I cannot even buy their wines for review. So, I said to my friend, “do you think you can unlock the door for us so we can get access to those wines?”. He knows full well that we buy a lot of wine because he has sold me a lot of wine over the years. His response, “The winery wants to know what you have ever done for them”.

    Now, I may choose not to go public with the winery name and not to call them out, but I respect the fact that Steve has done just that. He has called out what looks like a case of self-serving journalism. You can disagree with his assessment, but his coverage of the facts in the case are beyond dispute. And the publication of his professional opinion, an opinion that is learned, informed and comes from personal experience, is in the best traditions of journalism. Neither print nor blog journalism is about cheer-leading. It is about truth and transparency, and while Steve has certaintly opened himself up to charges of “sour grapes”, he has also not stated his opinion in any way that is unprofessional or beyond the normative bounds of editorial writing.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Charlie Olken

  21. Steve,

    Way back up there, you asked me if I agreed if her system of avoiding samples to you wreaks if unfairness.

    Of course, it does. But Helen is in business to make money. She is best served to hand out samples to those that she knows love her wine.

    For years, Aussie importers have avoided sending samples to WS, because they had Robert Parker and Jay Miller wrapped around their little fingers. Why get an 86 point score, when you are guaranteed a 91 by just buying lunch?

  22. Daniel, yes, you’re right. But the harder question is: To what extent are HT’s admirers locked into their past exaltations? Do they dare to change their minds, or are their own reputations so tied into giving her massive scores that they couldn’t tell the truth if it smacked them across the head?

  23. Charlie, I will quibble a little bit. My point was not that HT makes unbalanced wines. I conceded that I do not regularly taste her wines. The few I have tasted were, in my opinion, objectively awful, but perhaps others are exquisite. My point was, as you say, that “there is something unholy about the praise heaped upon her by the only two publications that are allowed to taste her wines.” I also will concede that there are more than 2 pubs that taste her wines, but the issue is a fair one to raise in terms of exclusivity. You are absolutely correct that HT, as well as Laube, are cases of “self-serving journalism.” They are more like Fox News, where they have cast their lot with politicians whom they politically profit by, as opposed to independent reporting. Your characterization of cheer-leading also is totally correct, and I thank you for pointing it out. As for “sour grapes,” if I could use 4 letter words, I would, to those who accuse me of it. I could care less who invites me to taste and who doesn’t. I’m talking about a gamed system that is totally counter to the new paradigm of transparency and openness. I think HT and WS don’t have a clue.

  24. Steve– You never addressed my concern in first my post — are you accusing the WS of not doing random, blind tastings for their official ratings where HTs Pinots (and other wines) end up in a blind mix with everyone elses and that the critic(s) who taste them have callibrated palates (e.g. they retaste wines from previous days and if they do not score within a certain range then both lots are retasted)? Thats what the fine print says and it why I base many purchasing decisions on their ratings. If this is not true, then we need to start a class action law suit

  25. Andy, well you can sue whomever you want. I’m not accusing anyone of anything. Whatever I say is based on objective fact, and the rest is my Constitutionally-protected opinion. I have no idea how JL does or doesn’t taste. I have written before of my experiences tasting at Wine Spectator when I used to work there.

  26. Mauricio says:

    Steve: When I say ALWAYS “I’m not accusing anyone of anything. Whatever I say is based on objective fact, and the rest is my Constitutionally-protected opinion”.

  27. Bill Green says:

    Charlie, with respect, Fox News and “professional” are mutually exclusive, but I would suggest that the internet and blogs have contributed to the downgrading of real journalism in general.

    As for my missing the point, I said that I have no issue with Steve discussing the topic, that WS and Turley were fair game. My issue was with how Steve went about it, the tone.

  28. and your experience tasting at the WS was??? (do have a link or reference).

  29. Andy: I don’t understand your question.

  30. Steve

    What regions did you cover when you were a taster at WS? Never seen your reviews.

    As for this statement…”Daniel, yes, you’re right. But the harder question is: To what extent are HT’s admirers locked into their past exaltations? Do they dare to change their minds, or are their own reputations so tied into giving her massive scores that they couldn’t tell the truth if it smacked them across the head?”

    Once again, we agree. Which is my problem with non blind tastings for review. When a non blind reviewer, Bob Parker, for example, heads out to Napa/Sonoma, he tastes nothing blind. So there he is, at a winery, in a hotel room, or a restaurant, with Marcassin, Colgin, Bryant, Harlan or whatever, in front of him…he knows the pedigree, he knows his past scores…he cannot be unbiased. Psychology proves that.

    I have not studied Laube well enough, but I do know that WS tastes wines blind for review, according to their code of ethics. If you say otherwise, that is a big allegation to be making, and one, I, as a wine retailer, would be very concerned about.

  31. Mr. Green–

    Thanks for the response. LOL re Fox. Journalism gone bad.

    I wonder if you could tell us, and pardon me if I should know, where you exist in the blogosphere or any other part of the “journosphere”–since I think that it is one one big pot of journalism. I was thinking that you have commented very specifically about what you believe are the existing expectations for journalists in and out of the blogosphere. But there is no link to your name so neither I nor anyone else can take a look at your style and content. I would have out of curiosity and respect, but could not.

  32. This thread is highly entertaining to read from the perspective being involved in winemaking for (let’s see, I have to count on my pinkies) almost 40 years). Knowing many in the cast of characters probably makes it so. Haven’t read the original article, probably wouldn’t be as interesting to me as what has been written here. My beef with the 2 critics cited here is they promote a rather monochromatic wine style, and there should be room in this wine universe for appreciation of a range of wine styles. Having said that, I have tasted quite a lot of Marcassin wines over the years (comes with living in the neighborhood) and I have always found them delicious, though yes, they are quite stylized. I really liked Morton’s comments about needing to work in Canada and Mexico, as I have found it really interesting to help make wine in the Okanagan Valley (over 10 years) and now the Guadalupe Valley in Baja California (the last couple of years). I find this challenges one’s winemaking perspectives…some things that work in Napa and Sonoma are applicable, but there are also many different challenges. This keeps one fresh!

  33. Daniel, I was not high enough on the totem pole to be a taster at WS. I was a lowly contributor. They did allow me to sit on on tasting sessions every so often. I couldn’t agree with you more about Parker tasting open. I have written and blogged about this a lot. Somehow, he seems to get away with it. As for Laube, I’m not dumb enough to hurl accusations without proof, so I won’t. All I know is that, on the occasions when WS did let me sit in, the wines were in bags, but the tasters were told by the coordinator (for example), “Today we’re tasting premier cru white Burgundy from the 1986 vintage.” I am NOT saying there’s not a place for knowing something about the wines. In fact, I think there is. I do not believe in double blind tasting. I need some kind of framework and so, I think, does every other reputable wine critic.

  34. Mauricio says:

    Yes, yes, yes…Today we are tasting Rutherford Cabernet…THAT IS NOT BLIND TASTING!!! They should only know the variety and the vintage before tasting.

  35. seaway jan says:

    Steve: How can Alan Meadow access to Marcassin samples while he continues to trash Marcassin wines?

  36. Seaway, I don’t know. You’d have to ask him.

  37. I was curious to read about your experiences at WS (more so that what you delinated above)…do you have a link or reference to your writings (prior blog etc). If JL tastes pinots knowing only they are from the Sonoma Coast — given the huge range styles from this region, I do not think that would specifically bias him for or against HTs wines, other than if he likes the style, and is consistent with his tasting / palate, then her wines will routinely score high. And Daniel Posner above outlines why I do not use Parker scores anymore — too much bias

  38. Andy, I have no links to my work at WS. Sorry. It was nearly 20 years ago. And you would have to ask JL specifically how and under what circumstances he reviews HT wines.

  39. Bill Green says:

    Charlie, just an avid newspaper reader from way back who has manged to make somewhat of an adjustment to the internet world. I remember a more civilized time and miss it. I have heard of you. You seem well spoken. Cheers.

  40. John Wilmot says:

    “Going from ‘California’s most talented’ to ‘America’s greatest’ is a pretty big leap, don’t you think?”

    Um…no. Actually, I think it would be a pretty big leap if those WEREN’T interchangable. Is there someone in Kansas you’d like to put on the cover of WE?

    Personally, I think this entire article comes off as petty and bitter. Oh well.

  41. Steve
    Scrolling back in time to July 19, re: your question of a winemaker (never mind sex) who respects elegance: I submit Morgan Clendenen, and her Cold Heaven Viogniers. I also think the few of Wes Hagen’s Clos Pepe Pinots I know qualify. No, I’m not from the Central Coast, nor am I sleeping with either Wes or Morgan, nor do I sell their wine. I do buy it occasionally – at retail. I have had several wines made by Clark Smith’ Winesmith Winery that were very well balanced, even elegant, certainly unique. Of course, if Clark can’t balance a wine, no one can. I continue to like Mayacamas whenever I taste it. I know it’s passe but I have never found it to be over ripe or unbalanced. Steve Edmunds Syrahs come to mind. I believe Sonoma Cutrer’s Chards count, especially Les Pierres; they are even made by a woman, and certainly not 15% alcohol. One thing for sure, if a well-financed winery releases high alcohol wine, it’s not an accident. We have tools now to circumcise or emasculate or even do a complete gender reassigment to any wine. The more I think of it, the more I realize your question was rhetorical. The penis envy comment should have been a clue. I know there’s nothing I have that Helen Turley would envy. Evidently, Helen Turley DOES have things that other people envy. That’s why she’s sooo hot, and she got even hotter when you called her wines “dirty’. OOOHHH! bunt

  42. If the critic knows the region from which they are tasting from, to me it is still blind.

    Heck, if they lineup 50 wines at 9 am on Monday morning to James Molesworth, and say, here are all 2008 Chateauneufs, and here is the list of them” but they are all brown bagged…it is still blind!

  43. Daniel I totally agree!

  44. I sort of agree and sort of disagree. I don’t think the tasters should know the names of the producers. Being told that one is tasting CNdP is more than enough. Southern Rhone red be sufficient since the cepages are the same.

    If a taster cannot taste a Grenache dominated blend and kinow if it is good, bad or indifferent, then that taster is not qualified to be a critic of those wines.

    The same thing applies to CA Cabs. I don’t want to know which wines are in the tastings. I don’t want to know if they are all from the Napa Valley or from Rutherford. Just tell me that they are CA Cabs, or better yet, since that they are West Coast Cabs and let it go at that. Telling me that they are all from Rutherford prejudices the hell of out my attitude. I expect more.

    Variety and general location is more than enough. Vintage does not affect me all that much, but specific locale does.

  45. Charlie,

    Very valid. I am just saying that it would not bother me if the lineup were known in an extensive lineup situation (20+ wines perhaps?)

    If the critic knows the lineup on 5 wines, well then that is just silly.

    At the same time, it should be enough to know just the region.

    I have no issue with any of it, so long as the critic is being honest about how they are tasting the wines.

    Heck, if Parker goes to the French Laundry with Helen Turley and tastes the Marcassins over an extravagant meal, I have no problem with that either. So long as Parker tells us that.

    Of course, no wine critic would ever become prominent by living off extravagant lunches and dinners to taste wines and telling us all about it.

  46. I just had to share this. I found myself in the company of two large Chardonnay producers Monday. One from Napa, one from over the hill in Sonoma. I asked the one in Napa when I was there about the Helen cover. He laughed, said it was a joke and said, “did you see Steve’s blog on it?” Then I went over the hill to one in Sonoma. I asked the one in Sonoma about the Helen cover. He laughed, said it was a joke and said, “did you see Steve’s blog on it?”

    True story. They both loved Steve and thought the Spectator thing was a joke.

  47. Ken Sternberg says:

    You said it, Steve. Turley has the best and biggest ego in the Calif. wine industry, but far from the best wine. Only Alice Feiring’s ego is a close second.

  48. Wayne, thanks for sharing. It’s nice to learn that both sides of “the hill” are reading steveheimoff.com!

  49. Just thought I’d send this one over the edge into 100 comments.

    Woo! 🙂

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