Archive for the ‘Presentations’ Category

Pablo Sanz conducted a wine tasting specializing in decent wines that sell for less than $15 per bottle. Pablo was born and raised in Europe, so he has extensive experience drinking wine going back to his childhod.  He handed out sheets with the names of each of the wines on it, with spaces to enter ratings and perceived cost. At the end, Pablo told us the actual cost of each wine and in many cases we were surprised with how inexpensive they were. He advocated sampling different wines and going with whatever you like. He never said that any wine was good or bad, but just shared what he enjoyed. All the wines we tasted were puchased from Varmax, Pablo’s favorite wine shop in Portchester. He also brought some amazing cheeses and baguettes from a shop in Larchmont. Following are the wines we tasted:

2005 Louis M. Martini – Cabernet Sauvignon

2005 J. Lohr – Cabernet Sauvignon

2005 Redwood – Zinfandel

2005 Bogle – Zinfandel

2005 Rosenblum – Syrah

2007 Montes – Pinot Noir

Colosi – Sicilia

Salice Salentino – Taurino

A complete list of Pablo’s Best Wine Picks Under $15 can be found in the Wine section at the right hand side of this blog. 

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Wayne Cimons, attorney and barn night enthusiast gave an in-depth presentation on Family Law, with particular emphasis on Marriage and Divorce. Coming from a decidedly pro-marriage perspective, Wayne explained the ins and outs (horrors?) of divorce law in New York State, covering issues such as alimony, child support, property distribution, selecting an attorney, and what one can expect in the courtroom. Noting how the overwhelming majority of divorce cases are initiated by women, he described the daunting challenges facing fathers in the process; or he has put it, “While there are usually negative ramifications for breaking a contract, marriage may be the only place where the person breaking the covenant not only can receive a financial windfall-but one that’s paid for by the abiding party!” Wayne shared his personal experience on the breakdown of his own marriage and the negative consequencs experienced by fathers and their children when a family is split apart-noting that kids from broken homes have a much higher propensity to underachive in school, partake in drugs, alcohol, and early sex, and having their own marriages fail. He remarked with sadness on how the culture is flooded with materials and attitudes encouraging divorce and how many marriage “counselors” assume that divorce is inevitable and even encourage it. However, Wayne cited with hope several pro-marriage resources providing useful tools for strenghtening marriages and emphasized that it was critical to constantly apply these tools before trouble brews. Such sites include, www.divorcebusting.com, www.smartmarriages.com, and www.marriagebuilders.com.

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John M, P.E. gave a thought provoking presentation on firearms. John is an engineer who presently consults for Henry Repeating Arms, a rifle manufacturer in Brooklyn, NY. He also consults for Sikorsky Helecopters. John used a Power Point presentation with photos, videos, and 3D AutoCAD renderings of rifles being developed in the factory. He also brought in a wide array of rifles and shotguns which we passed around and discussed. One of them was a Winchester from the 1950’s with beautiful gold ornamentation. John estimated its value at $10,000. On the topic of gun safety, John shared insight one could only witness from a manufacturers perspective. As with any mechanical device a certain percentage of faulty guns are released each year. This sometimes leads to the user getting injured. John urged anyone purchasing a firearm to have it proofed by a gunsmith before using it to insure its safety. The discussion was rounded off a brief show-and-tell by 3 other gentlemen who brought guns. One passed around some interesting pieces and spoke to the group about home protection. Two others passed around their shotguns and discussed firearms from the hunters perspective. This combination of experiences led to a very well rounded session.

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The barn went high-tech as Tom Watson led us on an exploration of the new ways the Internet is being used. Tom brought a guest speaker, Howard Greenstein of the Harbrooke Group. Howard is a nationally recognized speaker on social networking, Web 2.0 technology, and online communications in general. Tom gave a brief intro on his own blogging experience and then Howard gave a lively presentation on wikis, photo-sharing sites like Flickr, search engines like Technorati – and he showed some hilarious videos from YouTube. There were a lot of questions about blogs, Google, feeds and the like. After officially kicking off bensbarn.com, the discussions continued downstairs over beers and cigars, and then the barn band swung into some blues numbers to close things out. Here are some of the sites Tom and Howard mentioned:

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