Some wines clearly made with Richard Armitage in mind or Hannibal Happy Birthday to me

500-tall dark strangerTall Dark Stranger, Malbec, Argentina

I’m usually very fond of a Malbec. I was expecting something closer to CarniVor, as far as body and depth, and more fruit as with most Malbecs, but it fell short on both accounts. The name is also deceptive as far as color, as Carnivor certainly beats it out in inkiness. However the “Tall’ may be relative to the long legs left in the glass which are usually indicative to sugar content. Except I found more tart than fruit, and not much else going on. It’s a very dry red, which is normally not my preference. It got a little better as I drank more, so clearly this wine needs to breathe well first. In the nose and palate I detected a little Tarragon, so it might be nice with a chicken (Tarragon?) dish or marinara or meat sauce pasta dish.

500-handsome devilHandsome devil, Malbec, Argentina

Black cherry, berries and spice. Slight fruit. Some black pepper and vanilla in the nose, with a bitter finish. Very close to my kind of Malbec, except for the bitter. Otherwise it’s a pretty handsome red. It paired fair with grapes and cheddar cheese, but adding the fruit brought out the bitter. It’s definitely a red meat wine. And it’s a bit like me – a handsome red, except when I am bitter.

500-love noirLove Noir, Pinot Noir, California

Something for Richard. Although I am not as fond of Pinot Noir as much as I am a Malbec or a Cab, but this is pretty nice. Light on the fruit, but bold. And again, a bit bitter. Black pepper on the tongue and a distant raspberry with a nose of cured meat and the same black pepper. Finishes a little tart as well. Skins were left in for a while on this one I think, as the finish is like that of the last taste of grape skin, but with a bit extra tang. This wine is likely better with a good steak and not casual drinking. It did not go well with the sliced Gouda I had on hand, but might hold up better with cheddar.


Carnivor, Cabernet Sauvignon, California

And finally, an old favorite. A very bold and very rich, deep fruit Cabernet that is super inky. Blackberry and plum in the mouth and nose and a little spicy. I love it alone, but it is also great with steak and maybe Chicken Marsala or spicy Thai. However it paired just fine with the Gouda Babybel. Warning: stains the mouth purple after one glass. This wine is not for the faint of heart.

A nod and toast here to show-runner Bryan Fuller for casting Richard Armitage as Francis Dolarhyde, and the Hannibal cast and crew for such a fine season and series run.


A quickie for Richard Armitage’s Birthday

Happy 44th Birthday, Richard Armitage

Happy 44th Birthday, Richard Armitage

No Birthday Sex, just Chocolate. After all, what do you get the man who has everything? (I got him a car for Valentines Day, so…don’t want to spoil the poor boy.)

Ladies and Gentleman, Richard Armitage #BeholdTheRedDragon


Source: Fernanda Matias on Twitter.

That is all. That’s my post.

Richard Armitage Opens an Important Door or My Eye on Bullycide

When Richard Armitage became an ambassador for Cybersmile, I experienced a mental planet alignment, giving me affirmations more soothing than the assurance of a parent.

A while back I had written an article that I felt rather passionate about, but an editor for a publication found it went a bit off topic and in essence rejected it. As a journalist I adjust to such rejection. As for an actor, rejection is part of the job and we accept that is just the way it is. We learn, grow and move on with it. When we don’t is when we fail.

My own experience

However this particular article was different. The subject matter went deeper for me.

Like many, I was bullied in school. I was was bullied because I couldn’t play any form of sports. (I was an asthmatic.) I was bullied about my hair, my freckles and my near-transparent “white” skin. (My Irish heritage did not mesh well when most of the girls were tanning. I only burned.) Later, as my self-esteem went down, my weight went up. I was bullied for that also. (A size twelve in a California-Girl must look like a model-thin world.) It went on. I retaliated and it made it worse.

In my 20’s I learned that all that I was teased for was often coveted by some and attracted the opposite sex. The worst of it: when it did, I didn’t believe them. I believed the bullies. Full recovery takes time, and it has taken near all of my life.

Moving on

At the time the article was written, I didn’t fight for it and nor did I find another publication. I sit and accept a lot. Might be related to the early bullying.

The original article’s content and length was not much in my world, about 1,200 words. But it did need editing and focus. Much of it is my opinion. But the support and researched information is on the ultimate and growing danger involving cyberbullying – suicide deaths.


Screencap from Cybersmile’s Don’t Retaliate video

Today’s post on Cybersmile by Richard lit a fire under me to post and further affirmed just how important it is that I be more tenacious about fighting for what I write, at least for that which rings true for me and feels important enough to fight for. Feel free to be the judge:

Sticks and Stones: The Growing Threat of Cyberbully Death

Recent deaths in the form of suicides have been increasing around the world, and often in direct response to the vitriol and hateful words that are used in weapon-like fashion on internet social forums.

mashable info section

Screencap from Mashable infographic in article by Sam Laird, Cyberbullying: The Scourge of the Internet

Although there are volumes that can be said advocating the usefulness of the Internet as a mass-communicating tool, the amount of concern over the increase of hate speech there is equally voluminous.

As there is already in place some regulation that prohibits the use of speech from inciting violence or panic in public places, especially for already volatile situations, something needs to be put in place to help support social network platforms to keep the peace and maintain a healthy environment in internet socializing.

Hate speech

The legal classification of Hate Speech is a type of hateful speech that includes racism, antisemitism, religious bigotry or intolerance, homophobia, bigotry of the disabled, political hatred, and misogyny.

Cyberbullying, or the online harassment and/or stalking of individuals, can and often does involve form of hate speech designed to “disparage a person or group based on a characteristic of the person or group”, often coercing and belittling them to a deadly end.

In the book, I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did, author Lori Andrews said “The Web is actually a lawless frontier of unpredictable dangers,” and the dangers she speaks of are real and increasing at an alarming rate.

bully statisticsAndrew Backover, in his Denver Post article Hate Sets up Shop on Internet, states “The role of the Internet in propagating violence extends beyond the way it provides fodder for the distorted worldviews of individual fanatics. It also allows anti-Semites, racists and bigots to communicate, collaborate, and plot in ways simply not possible in the off-line.”

An extension of the schoolyard or Sticks and Stones

Stick and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me,” – Schoolyard defense rhyme.

Taylor Alesana

Taylor Alesana

In a Letter to the New York Times posted by the Anti-Defamation League, Authors Foxman and Wolf said that “despite the schoolyard adage about ‘sticks and stones,’ hate speech does cause hurt, and, as we have witnessed too many times in society, can and does have its real-world victims.”

Ciara Pugsley

Ciara Pugsley

Schoolyard bullying has nearly become a rite of passage for many. The learned ability to confront and address a bully from a young age governs how we confront adversarial issues as adults. Some learn better than others, and it is a fact of life that the highs and lows of our emotional strengths cannot always come to our own defense exactly at the time that we need. But when it comes to a verbal face-to-face confrontation with adversary, we have the opportunity to evaluate in order to make the choice of fight or flight.

The experienced, skin-toughened individual might understand “stick/stones/bones”, but not all will see that hate words are truly meaningless and without power. The internet has inhibited, and even impugned, our right as users to literally face our adversaries, as they may be. Those who are not able to face their accusers or tormentors are often forced into corners, defenseless because of their age, inexperience, mental strength, or over-all lack of self-worth. Online predators are aware of this and take advantage, because they can. The internet has given a certain amount of power to emotional vampires and other forms of hate-fueled predators who use the anonymity available on the internet to meet their needs, spewing vitriol and inflicting emotional pain.


Hate words in social media have been directly attributed to near a dozen suicide deaths within the last three years. And with it, the growing count of suicide deaths occurring world-wide as a result of online bullying, hate-based harassment, and other forms of hate speech is beyond alarming:

  • rebecca ann sedwick

    Rebecca Ann Sedwick

    16-year-old Taylor Alesana, a transgender teen, was bullied for her YouTube content. She killed herself this year, in April of 2015, in Ohio.

  • 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick, Florida, was goaded into killing herself in 2013 with “drink bleach and die” by her online tormentors.
  • 15-year old Amanda Michelle Todd killed herself in BC, Canada in 2012 after her video call for help against bullying and physical assault in a YouTube video, where she was further harassed. In response to the death, Christy Clark, the Premier of British Columbia publicly suggested a national discussion on criminalizing cyberbullying.
  • 15-year old Ciara Pugsley, Ireland, 2012, was slut-shamed into killing herself after incessant bullying on her page. Users called her “slut” and “ugly” in the months leading up to her taking her own life.
  • 15-year old Joshua Unsworth, Ireland, hanged himself after being bullied on in 2013.
  • 17-year old Daniel Perry, in Scotland, jumped to his death from a local bridge after being harassed, blackmailed with screen shots of an online conversation, and told to “cut his throat” by his tormentors in 2013.
  • 17-year old Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen in Ohio, committed suicide by walking out in front of oncoming traffic on the Interstate 71 highway as a result of harassment by online tormentors in 2014.
Joshua Unsworth

Joshua Unsworth

Unchecked hate speech could lead to more. Because action is currently not taken as a preventative, online predators are becoming increasingly bold, having nothing tangible in place to keep them in check or otherwise hinder their agendas. Internet bullying is a faceless crime and the pay-off for the offenders is that the crimes are either ignored, not reported, or otherwise condemned even by the victims themselves, embarrassed that the incidents have even taken place.

Daniel Perry

Daniel Perry

The Anti-Cyberbully brigade, has given a word for the fatalities associated with the deaths associated with cyberbullying – Bullycide. According to the site, “bullying occurs in every state of the U.S. but there are five states that make up the top five that have the most bullying behavior.” They list Washington, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New York, with California as number one.

Amanda Michelle Todd

Amanda Michelle Todd

According the Megan Meier Foundation, using National Crime Victimization Survey data on the pre-college student population for 2011 “it is estimated that about 2.2 million students experienced cyberbullying.” Of the students that reported being cyberbullied: “71.9% reported being cyberbullied once or twice in the school year , 19.6% reported once or twice a month, 5.3% reported once or twice a week, 3.1% reported almost everyday.”

According to, per a Yale University study, “bullied victims are 7 to 9% more likely to consider suicide” and according to a study by ABC News over 30,000 children stay home every day due to the fear of being bullied.”

The Law

Leelah Alcorn

Leelah Alcorn

There is currently no regulation in the U.S. that addresses or attempts to prevent cyberbullying. The law only covers the what is to be done if the outcome is death. Law Enforcement only considers cyberbullying a crime when threats of violence, child pornography or sexually explicit messages or photos are sent, photos or videos are taken clandestinely and/or published, and stalking. In all these instances, proof is required. Some states consider other forms of cyberbullying criminal. But again, law enforcement does not pursue cyberbullying itself as a crime until someone actually dies.

According to the National Post, Canada attempted regulation recently with Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, the “hate speech provision,” which governed “the communication of hate messages by telephone or on the Internet.” Although passed in the Senate, it was repealed. But clearly the people of Canada felt the need for such initial regulation.

However the U.S. Government is engaged to an extent. In February 2013, the White House announced the creation of a new Inter-agency Working Group to Counter Online Radicalization to Violence. However, there are limits to that the government can play in this area.

Regulate or propagate hate

Many social media platforms have their own guidelines in place, but the community at large of those who see the growing problem either don’t feel it is enough or feel they are being over restricted or policed as it is. As a whole, the stance of most social media providers is that the community itself self-police, where platforms often provide tools for blocking, reporting or ultimately denying service for repeat offenders.

In the book, Viral Hate, authors Abraham H. Foxman and Christopher Wolf discuss the concept of community involvement in the condemnation of cyberbullying instead of involving government regulation. But in that, the authors acknowledge that “self-policing would be difficult to enforce unless those concerned with such online civility band together to make it possible and do so in a way that is consistent, fair, and unbiased it would be difficult to say what forms of interface intervention are reasonable and appropriate.”

There is already excessive amounts of violence, death, anger, and fear that society processes on a daily basis, and from a variety of sources, creating a numbing—not toughening—effect, and is causing a general form of apathy. Regulation could help support the backlash that is causing this apathy and the overall “nothing will change” and “it’s a hopeless task” feeling that seems to be building.

Further concern on the effects of anonymous hate speech and cyberbullying is not limited to the victims. Unchecked hate speech can damage a person’s ability to determine right from wrong over time and lead to their own self-injury. Additionally, such hate words can undo the slow progress our world culture has made toward acceptance and understanding in race relations, religion, politics, physical differences, disabilities, and sexual orientation.

Although a combination of education, online social savvy and empowerment, industry self-regulation, and social pressure toward anti-hate speech is needed, a legal watchdog is needed to help enforce and back-up all that the online industry and community continue to put into place.

And because online social network creators and administrators are currently powerless to truly enforce such rules and prevention—providing virtually enforce-less guidelines or rules—such outside regulation in some form needs to help end the suffering and death that is resulting from online bullying.


Online –

  7. “Hate Speech No Longer Part of Canada’s Human Rights Act.” National Post: Hate Speech No Longer Part of Canada’s Human Rights Act Comments. National Post, 27 June 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2015.
  8. Foxman, Abraham H., and Christopher Wolf. Viral Hate: Containing Its Spread on the Internet. NY: Palgrave Macmillan Trade, 2013. Print.
  9. Andrews, L. (2012). I know who you are and I saw what you did: Social networks and the death of privacy. New York: Free Press.
  10. Andrew Backover, Hate Sets up Shop on Internet, Denver Post, November 8, 1999
  11. “Facebook, Free Speech and Hate Speech.” Anti-Defamation League. Letters to the Editor, The New York Times “Hate Speech on Facebook” (editorial, May 31): N.p., 31 May 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2015, “Free Speech or Hate Speech: When Words Kill – Forward Progressives.” Forward Progressives. N.p., 28 Dec. 2013. Web. 1 Apr. 2015.

Laws/Rights –

  1. Bill of Rights, First Amendment
  2. Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  3. Amnesty International “Freedom of Expression | Amnesty International.” Freedom of Expression | Amnesty International. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2015.
  4. American Civil Liberties Union “Internet Free Speech.” American Civil Liberties Union. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2015, “Academic Freedom and the Right to Remain Anonymous Online.” American Civil Liberties Union. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2015, “Internet Censorship.” American Civil Liberties Union. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2015.

[SPOILERS] A major Game of Thrones gaffe and this is not about Richard Armitage…not really

Dear Mr. Weiss and Mr. Benioff and HBO – what have you done?!?usurpers (more…)



I’ll be fine in a about a minute.

Blogging Revisited

I plan to reopen this blog.

Kauai Sunrise 03

I plan to write even when it hurts to do so.



Maybe someone will read it.

sunset over shipwreck

Linnet’s Nominees for the Versatile Blogger Award


There is a very nice list of bloggers here, and I really, really could not recommend Linnet Moss’ blog highly enough. She does me a huge honor that I can not ignore with not re-blogging.

Originally posted on Linnet Moss:

Just for fun, I decided to change the “Versatile Blogger Award” rules so that winners now have a choice of displaying either Kit Harington’s abs or Scarlett Johansson’s pecs. 


Not long ago I was nominated as a “Versatile Blogger” (many thanks, Perry of Armitage Agonistes!). It was a thrill because I used to worry that my blog was perhaps too unfocused to attract a regular set of readers. After all, how many people out there share an interest in all the things I write about, from rapini to Ralph Fiennes to rosé to ancient Rome?

This award gives me a chance to celebrate ten other versatile bloggers (some longtime favorites and a few newly discovered) and invite them to participate, if they so choose. The award is intended to be an honor, not a burden, so if you do not have time, no worries! Just bask in the…

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Taking Things For Granted

When things change, we are either prepared or were are not.  If we are not expecting it, chances are it is because we have assumed consistency. And when that happens, often there is shock, maybe some pain, and possibly even regret, involved.  This regret can stem from taking for granted that which was assumed would always be there, available, or expected to produce.
I have just learned that the Richard Armitage Fan Page, Richard Armitage Online, will discontinue her updates due to restrictions that exist in the program that houses the website.richardarmitageonline
Having only come into the Fandom a few years ago myself, I am not fully aware of the website’s origins, its creator(s), or its actual time of inception.  All I have really known, outside of the catalog of articles, news, and career chronology, is that the website is/was a source of Richard Armitage’s monthly-down-to-annually Messages or letters to his fans, which were posted faithfully and openly by the website and its webmistress, Annette.
Like Richard’s posted messages, I had assumed that they would always produce and be fruitful, offering pieces of insight into the mind, heart, and soul of the very actor that many of us have come to admire, as a result of viewing his work in some form.
And as with other websites that dedicate themselves to the celebration and archiving of Richard’s bio, career history, press, images, and all things related, Richard Armitage Online has consistently provided Richard’s fan with regularly updated, publicly made, actively available information – and all completely through the work of the websites creator(s)’ own generosity and expense. At least, as I understand it.
In interviews, I have heard Richard make mention of Annette and make reference to the fan sites in general.  I can only speculate as to what this kind of acknowledgement might mean to one who makes such an effort to produce and maintain a website, with only things like sincere admiration or even a desire to be of service, as payment. That and a maybe a desire for an outlet to create as well.
My own true regret is that I have assumed that Richard Armitage Online would always be there.  And that like most any professional looking site which may also be assumed to be commercially funded, I also took for granted that it would always be updated with the plethora of regularly available goods that circulate on the internet for fans like me to enjoy.
richards last letter
Although Annette has indicated in a message on the site that she is not taking it down, but merely discontinuing the site’s updates, it still brings a sadness that such a thing will occur.
From my heart, I simply wish to say to Annette, and to anyone else who may be currently contributing to the site, that I have fully enjoyed and appreciated all the lovely work contained on Richard Armitage Online, and that I now regret that I had not visited and communicated more often.

Casually Strolling Into Madness – #UATSC Premiere Part 2


Guylty’s spectacular photos of Richard Armitage at the Urban and the Shed Crew premiere for LIFF 29, Leeds annual film festival.

Originally posted on Guylty Pleasure:

Moving on to day 2 of the “Therapy Weekend for Fan Girls in Need of RA-Re-Ignition” – this will be a less text-heavy post than part 1 but pretty easy on the eye instead. But for posterity’s sake a quick recap of the event itself: The screening of UATSC with cast and crew had been scheduled in the Hyde Park Picture House, the oldest cinema in Leeds, which even has a wikipedia entry of its own. Its modest but lovely facade on a corner of two Victorian terraced streets belies its interior, that was way bigger than its outside. So on Sunday morning I casually strolled into madness…


There I have casually blown my cover now. But never mind. As you can see, three-quarters of an hour before the scheduled event there was already a queue of fans at the venue. Since…

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My Richard Armitage Gateway Drug


north and south“…the marriage proposal scene in episode 2 is spectacular. Thornton goes from hopeful but hesitant, to surprised, then slighted, and finally insulted and irate in the space of minutes. Even without his bursts of dialogue, the visual emotion that runs across the planes of that beautifully angular face communicate volumes and are incredible to behold.”

Originally posted on Ancient Armitage:

For some unknown reason, the universe decided to leave me more or less unencumbered on Friday evening…what to do with all of this free time AND custody of the iPad?  (Mini Me’s recent birthday resulted in her very own Kindle Fire which further resulted in my iPad occasionally being out of her clutches)  I thought that I might go back and watch the Hannibal Great Red Dragon story arc on Hulu, but alas, only the final three episodes of S3 are currently available.  Drat.

Fine.  I’ve been idly thinking about starting a Lucas North fic, so I thought I could stand to re-watch some Spooks (titled MI-5 here in the US).  DAMMIT.  Netflix seems to have dropped MI-5 from its offerings.  (I have since found it for purchase on VUDU, so suck it Netflix!)  Foiled again.  I’d better check one other thing….

**I feel silly even…

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Richard Armitage: A man with a plan

Originally posted on My Sort of Bloke:


I made this edit on November 27, 2012, to congratulate Richard for the Premiere of the first Hobbit movie. I was happy for him because I knew that playing Thorin Oakenshield had literally cost him his blood, sweat and tears. Also, it was his long-awaited opportunity to reach international markets and introduce himself to a much broader (and younger) audience.

As you all know by now, it was announced yesterday that Richard has been cast in Berlin Station, a limited run series on Epix, one of the Premium Cable TV channels. He will play the lead role of CIA operative Daniel Meyer, opposite some of the most respected and accomplished character actors working today: Michelle Forbes, Richard Jenkins and Rhys Ifans.

This is a BIG deal because the production is being helmed by a gifted, experienced team, Paramount Studios is part of it, and the writer…

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Berlin Station, Lead, and Richard Armitage = Fits of Spy Thriller Bliss


For posterity – or is it posterior? Richard Armitage in Fangoria #383, articles by @williambibbiani – Hannibal

Click images for Hi-Res. Scans were trimmed to remove print flaws and seams.
Fangoria is a magazine that is considered by many as an investment, as issues can increase in value.



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