Good American sparkling wine

Champagne Cork Roederer Estate

“When in Rome, do like the romans”. I’m still in America and should do like the Americans. When choosing some good sparkling wine for this new years eve I could happliy choose a good bottle of the real thing, Champagne. Because the US is one of the worlds biggest markets for genuine Champagne. And yes, Champagne is a sparkling wine that is made, and only made in Champagne, France. No other sparkling wine should ever be called Champagne.

But, they make wine here in the US as well. Even sparkling ones. After tasting some of them I could have gone to the conclusion that they are all crap, but they’re not. Some of them are far too sweet and full bodied for my taste but it’s all about knowledge. Knowledge about finding the good ones.

Knowledge that I don’t have. Fortunately I have a brother-in-law that is one of the world’s best tasters and a living encyclopedia of wine. One phonecall later: “Look for Iron Horse or Roederer Estate.”

Champagne Roederer Estate

So I did, and today we tasted the Anderson Valley Brut from Roederer Estate. At $15 it is remarkably complex and very good. Not like really good true Champagne, but a very good sparkling wine indeed!

Tomorrow we’ll taste the Roederer Estate Brut Rosé and for the evening dinner: Iron Horse Clasic Vintage Brut 2000. And what’s our new years eve dinner down here in sunny Florida?
Fresh shrimp from the gulf tossed in lots of freshly ground Malabar Pepper and grilled…


If you for some strange kind of reason should have any leftovers you make this lovely
Granita with Pink Grapefruit

1/2 cup (1 dl) water
1/2 cup (1 dl) sugar
Cook and stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Chill to room teperature.

Juice from one pink grapefruit
1/4 cup (1/2 dl) sparkling wine

Freeze for about one hour (until you have a thin layer of ice on the top and around the sides). Take out of the freezer and stir around. Mix the ice shards with the liquid. Put back in the freezer.
Repeat this process until the granita is icy and granular.

Should be served within a couple of hours.

Iron Horse Champagne

As a curiosity I also want to mention that I found it very flattering that at age 35 I had to show an ID before I could buy these bottles of great American sparkling wine over at “Total Wine”. By the way, the biggest wine store I have ever visited.

And if you can’t afford sparkling wine at all head over here. LOL…

Good American sparkling wine

Sleeptracker – experience so far


First impression
Very nice package. The watch itself looks better than expected. Feels quite well built.

Don’t consider this a complete review of the Sleeptracker. This is my first experience with a device that needs time before it is possible to judge the potential benefit or function of it.

I have now been a proud owner of a Sleeptracker for two weeks. The problem is that these two weeks has not been very representative for the typical days when I need an alarm clock. I am on a vacation and use my kids as alarm clocks. Why get up before you have to?

Of course, as a true geek I have tested the new gadget anyway.
Continue reading “Sleeptracker – experience so far”

Sleeptracker – experience so far

How to get video on to your iPod

iPod Video

The iPod with video playback is not the most impressive portable video player out there. Archos has devices that support both recording and more commonly used video formats. The lovely screen on the Playstation Portable is 16:9 and way better for video. Creative has a nice device as well…

However, the iPod is smaller, more portable, more sexy and something that I actually bring with me. Of course you won’t think of buying limited, low quality television shows from the iTunes Music Store when you can record them with no limitations in high quality for free. You just have to do a quick conversion to get them on to your sexy little player.

I’ll use a DVD as an example.

These are solutions for Windows only. Head over here for a Mac solution.

The free, but a bit slow method:

Convert Video to iPod

Rip the DVD with DVD Decrypter in IFO mode. Encode the movie to high quality Xvid using AutoGK. Transcode the Xvid to QuickTime H.264 using Videora iPod Converter.

Free. You also get a high quality Xvid Rip.

Slow. Not perfectly user friendly.

The around $30 and fast method:

Convert Video iPod 2

Buy and install PQ DVD to iPod Video Converter. Pop the DVD into the drive. Navigate to the movie and hit the “Record” button. Then PQ DVD to iPod Video Converter will convert the movie remarkably fast. This solution will also directly convert the DVR-MS files you record on your Windows Media Center Edition and a lot of other formats as well.

Fast and user friendly. Supports DVR-MS.


Not free.

This one looks promising: DVRBox (Thanks, Mark)
And, I am going to test the new CloneDVD Mobile from the excellent people at SlySoft.

And here is another one that looks promising: ConvertMovie

Pegasys had made another one: TMPG VideoSync

How to get video on to your iPod

Flying 8 hours with a video iPod and a kid

iPod in a plane

To stay 8 hours in a plane isn’t fun for anyone. Especially not for a kid. To stay sane on a direct flight from Oslo to New York you have to bring every possible time killer available. No comparison necessary, the winner was the new iPod with video playback. Loaded with lots of Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, Teletubbies etc.

Griffin iPod Juice

Only one problem. It gives you 4-5 hours of video playback on one charge. As mentioned earlier – I’m in the US. It’s gadget time. CompUSA to the rescue. A little external box from Griffin Technologies. It’s called TuneJuice and is yours for $14.90 right now. One standard 9V battery gives you about 4 hours of extra juice.

I also considered a box from Belkin running on four AA batteries giving more power, but went for the small Griffin box after reading some reviews. Of course I can’t give you a proper description of my experience yet. You’ll have to wait until I have done the hard test: 3 + 8 hours on a plane on my way back from Florida to Oslo…

Coming up soon on
My experience in converting DVD and video to iPod files
The Griffin PowerMate – why I love this little wheel
Sleeptracker – does it work?

…and other stuff that I for some reason want to share. 🙂

At the same time I recommend you to subscribe to my email updates or RSS feed. As you may have noticed, I don’t post huge amounts of articles. Checking back and checking back just to find nothing new is boring. An update subscription solves that!

Flying 8 hours with a video iPod and a kid