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Registration is not required to view current topics on Wine therapy, but registration is necessary if you would like to post a new topic or reply to an existing message.  Registration is free and relatively painless.  The only required fields are your User Name (which may be your real name or a phony name) and a valid e-mail address.  Use of phony names is discouraged in general.   If you want to use a fake name, please clear it with the doghead first. The doghead needs to be in on any jokes if he's going to guide this group therapy in a mutually rewarding way.  Unauthorized phonies will be sent to the pound.  Which is to say the doghead will lock your patient profile if you don't clear your pseudonym before using it.  Further antiterrorism steps will be taken as appropriate.

The information you provide during registration is not outsourced or used for any advertising by Wine therapy.  If you believe someone is sending you advertisements as a result of the information you provided through your registration, please notify the aforementioned doghead.

You'll find more detail along these lines on the privacy/policy-statement page in the registration section of the forum.  Remember, in this context registration is just a way of saying hello, of introducing yourself.  You can lurk without signing in, but in the end this is an odd way to socialize, isn't it?  Would you go to a dinner party (or to group therapy) and not say hello?  Not often, one suspects.

One last thing:  whatever you call yourself, keep the name reasonably short so it can fit into the space the forum tables allow and don't include your place of residence in the name field.  There are separate fields for those things.  And supply a working e-mail address, so the doghead can reach you in case of emergency and so your chosen e-mail functions don't fail, bounce, and wind up in the doghead's mailbox.

Won't all you wine geeks think my posts are ridiculous, unworthy, stupid, or boring?

Hang on there a damned minute.  Who are you calling a wine geek?

Okay, the doghead can see you weren't looking for fisticuffs.  Look, people are people and dogheads are dogheads.  You have no reason to be afraid to talk with anyone, here or anywhere else.  Some of our patients know a lot about wine.  And that produces its own dysfunctional side effects.  Others know precious little about wine, though they may pretend otherwise.  A whole set of treatable problems comes along with that state of affairs.  But we're all here because we want to talk these things through, and wine expertise is just one potentially therapeutic component of the group's resources.  All any of us hope for is thoughtful, hate-minimized talk, about wine and other things, to help us to find footing in the slippery mess in which we always already find ourselves.  Any support you can bring, and most questions you raise and suggestions you make, are helpful and appreciated.  The very act of taking the time to share your time with us is valued.

All that generously said, we may find your posts ridiculous, unworthy, stupid, and/or boring.  But that's most likely our problem.  And you're best served to view it that way, should the need arise, until we help to bring you to a condition in which you can face and lengthen your own shortcomings.

Starting threads and responding to messages

Starting threads is easy enough.  Within any forum you can click the new-topic link and off you go.  Only the administrator can add a new forum.  If your treatment goals seem to require a whole new forum, consult with the doghead by e-mail.

Responses within topics/threads are arranged chronologically by default and the whole thread is displayed rather than - as is common on usenet and some web boards - just header links.  The advantage of this is clear messaging, easy cross-reference, and minimizing click-throughs and new-screen reloads. Longish load times for long threads is a drawback.  You may consider another to be that you cannot post a reply directly beneath the message to which you reply if that message isn't chronologically the last in the thread.  References to previous messages on this board are done by quotation rather than by physical placement.  Next to each reply is a little string of icons.  One of these icons opens a reply window with a quote of the relevant message already in its message box.  You may, of course, and should, trim down the default complete quote to suit your needs.  This way you can reply relevantly and newcomers to the topic/thread can follow it in the order in which it developed.  The reply-to-topic links outside the thread tables append replies without a quote to the end of the thread.

Smile-icons and other dopey props

You've probably seen smilies used before in e-mail messages or other bulletin-board posts.  Smilies are combinations of keyboard characters used to convey an emotion, such as a smile or a frown - much the way humans use their natural languages like English and animals grunt, yip, or squeal.  This bulletin board automatically converts certain text to a graphical representation when it is inserted between brackets [].  Thank the Snitzen who did the base code for the forum; I would not have bothered.  I generally prefer writing out what I mean to say, backward old goat that I am.  All the same, some of the images are attractive enough ("dead", for example) and you'll see goats old and young using them.  Feel free to partake.  Here are the smilies currently supported by Wine therapy:
smile [:)]
big smile [:D]
cool [8D]
blush [:I]
tongue [:P]
evil [}:)]
wink [;)]
clown [:o)]
black eye [B)]
eightball [8]
huh [?/]
steamed [:s]
frown [:(]
shy [8)]
shocked [:O]
angry [:(!]
dead [xx(]
sleepy [|)]
kisses [:X]
approve [^]
disapprove [V]
question [?]
uh-huh [!)]
yikes [:*]
There's more on images below in the next two sections, but the main idea is that you need to link to images you store offsite.  You can't upload them to at this point.  To post an image to the board you need a complete URL pointing to the image, as described below, and the board will display the image and, if URL tags are included, make it a live link.  Most ISPs these days provide users with free web space to store images.  If yours doesn't there are free-space providers out there for this purpose.  Once you have an address for your images, you can easily link the group to them.

Creating a hyperlink in your message

You can easily add a hyperlink to your message, but it's not quite the normal HTML way.  To avoid JavaScript attacks, we at Wine therapy are using this BB software's safe-code functionality, which is based loosely on HTML commands.

To add a hyperlink to your message you may, happily, just type the URL (, and it will be automatically converted to a live link(!

The trick here is to make sure you prefix your URL with the http://, https://, or file://.  Follow this therapy link for more examples.

You can also add a mailto link to your message by typing in an e-mail address.

This data-entry example:
outputs this mail-link:

Another way to add hyperlinks is to use the [url]linkto[/url] tags

This example:
[url][/url] takes you home!
outputs this: takes you home!

If you use this tag: [url="linkto"]description[/url], you can add a description to the link.

This example:
Take me to [url=""]Wine therapy[/url]
outputs this:
Take me to Wine therapy
This example:
If you have a question [url=""]e-mail me[/url]
outputs this:
If you have a question e-mail me.

How to format text with bold, italics, quote-blocks, etc. and to display images

There are several Forum Codes you may use to change the appearance of your text.  Following is the list of codes currently available:

Bold:  enclose your text with [b] and [/b].  Example:  This is [b]bold[/b] text. = This is bold text.

Italics:  enclose your text with [i] and [/i].  Example:  This is [i]italicized[/i] text. = This is italicized text.

Underline:  enclose your text with [u] and [/u].  Example:  This is [u]underlined[/u] text. = This is underlined text.

Aligning text left:
Enclose your text with [left] and [/left]

Aligning text center:
Enclose your text with [center] and [/center]

Aligning text right:
Enclose your text with [right] and [/right]

Striking through text:
Enclose your text with [s] and [/s].  Example:  [s]mistake[/s] = mistake


Font colors:
Enclose your text with [fontcolor] and [/fontcolor]
Example[red]Text[/red] = Text
Example[blue]Text[/blue] = Text
Example[pink]Text[/pink] = Text
Example[brown]Text[/brown] = Text
Example[black]Text[/black] = Text
Example[orange]Text[/orange] = Text
Example[violet]Text[/violet] = Text
Example[green]Text[/green] = Text
Example[limegreen]Text[/limegreen] = Text
Example[purple]Text[/purple] = Text


Enclose your text with [hnumber] and [/hn]
Example[h1]Text[/h1] =


Example[h2]Text[/h2] =


Example[h3]Text[/h3] =


Example[h4]Text[/h4] =


Example[h5]Text[/h5] =
Example[h6]Text[/h6] =


Font sizes:
Example[size=1]text[/size=1] = Text
Example[size=2]text[/size=2] = Text
Example[size=3]text[/size=3] = Text
Example[size=4]text[/size=4] = Text
Example[size=5]text[/size=5] = Text
Example[size=6]text[/size=6] = Text


Bulleted list[list] and [/list], and items in list with [*] and [/*].

Ordered list (alphabetical)[list=a] and [/list=a], and items in list with [*] and [/*].

Ordered list (numerical)[list=1] and [/list=1], and items in list with [*] and [/*].

Code:  enclose your text with [code] and [/code] to preserve its formatting.

Quote-blocking:  enclose your text with [quote] and [/quote].

Accented characters

This really isn't a therapy issue.  This group is no different than any other internet site in this regard.  To enter accented characters, you need to access ASCII characters located off the normal English keyboard.  The easiest way to do this in Windows is to hold down the ALT key while you enter a four-digit character code, with a zero prefix and a number from 0 to 255.  Most of the international accented characters lie between 0181 and 0255.  In Windows, in your Accessories folder you'll find a character map.  Click on the character you want and check the status bar to see the character code.  You can then enter that character code directly from your keyboard or copy the character from the map to the browser window.  Best to memorize the keystrokes necessary to produce the accented characters you use often.  Don't worry about which font the map brings up.  Whatever is the default will have the same character set as what we use here.

Macintosh works in a similar way.  The issue is not what system you use but what character set is recognized on the internet.  Wine therapy works in this respect the way most web sites do.


The forum software provides for the creation of multiple moderators to control forums.  In practice, the doghead is the sole moderator for Wine therapy.  Doghead may edit or delete any posts, and shall do so in cases of violation of the board's basic guidelines or by request of the author of the post. If you have a question about a particular therapeutic regimen and the iron hoof that directs it, ask the doghead.

Changing your patient profile

You may change any information stored in your patient profile by using the "profile" link located near the top of each page.  Just identify yourself by typing your User Name and Password and all of your profile information will appear on screen.  Then you may edit any information you've supplied (except your User Name).


Wine therapy uses cookies to store the following information:  the last time you logged in, your User Name, and your Password (if you set the Password-save feature in your preferences).  These cookies are stored on your hard drive.  Cookies are not used to track your movement, to gather information about you for government agencies, or to perform any function other than to enhance your Wine therapy experience.  If you have not enabled cookies in your browser, many of the forum's time-saving features will not work.  Further, you need to have cookies enabled if you want to post a new topic or a reply.  So be a good patient and eat your cookies.

You may delete all cookies set by signing in to Wine therapy by selecting the "Spring me" button at the top of any page.  Leave yourself signed in, however, if you want display information like response-screen width to remain set to your preferences.

Active topics

Active topics are tracked by cookies.  When you click on the "active topics" link, a page is generated listing all topics that have been posted since your last visit to these forums (or approximately 20 minutes).

Editing your posts

You may edit or delete your own posts at any time.  First sign in at the top of the page.  Then go to the topic where the post to be edited or deleted is located and you will see an edit or delete icon () on the line that begins "posted on".  Click on this icon to edit or to delete the post.  No one else can edit your post, except for the forum moderator or the bulletin-board administrator, who happens to be the very same doghead.   A note is generated at the bottom of each edited post displaying when and by whom the post was edited.

Attaching files

For security reasons, you may not attach files to any posts.  However, you may cut and paste text into your post and make links, as discussed above.

Searching for specific posts

You may search for specific posts based on a word or words found in the posts, User Name, date, and forum(s).  Just click on the "search" link at the top of Wine therapy pages and do what comes naturally. 

Commercial posts and trade-member participation

Members of the industries and businesses relevant to the discussions on this board are encouraged to participate.  Wine therapy asks that you identify your business connections when you discuss your own or competing products and that you resist the urge to plug your wares or cynically to use the forum for financial gain.  Otherwise, professionals are patients too.  More on this appears on the policy page.

Will search engines index my posts or profile?

No, not now.  When we first began we had some user information indexed by the more-thorough crawlers like Google.  The doghead relied on the dynamic nature of the pages and the burying of the profiles behind JavaScript to stave off indexing.  As it turned out, some pages were indexed, though profiles were not.  Now all pages except the home page, policy page, and this faq page are tagged for no indexing.  Your therapy should not come back to haunt you later, unless you go wildly wrong somehow and get the doghead on your tail.


You may attach signatures to the end of your posts when you post either a new topic or reply.  Your signature is editable by clicking on "profile" at the top of any forum page and entering your User Name and Password.

NOTE: HTML can't be used in signatures.

Censoring posts

Wine therapy censors certain words for no good reason.  Just because it can, really.  The feature is built into the software, but the functionality has been altered a bit to accomodate our irrational whims.  This feature may or may not be in effect at any given time.  Implementation shall be capricious.  Words that are censored are replaced with CENSORED.  If you see this in one of your posts, don't go nuts.  Mellow out.  Move on.  It's all for the best or it isn't but blind rage won't solve anything.  But try not to be unduly vulgar in any case.  The doghead personally (dogheads are people too) is fairly vulgar, but others may have more sensitive eyes.  Of course, our censor isn't likely to filter vulgarities.

As for censoring for content, see the policy page, under the "Register" link at the top of the page.  If you've digested that, you understand the board policy on post alteration and removal.

Lost User Name and/or Password

Retrieving your User Name and Password is easy.  All of the pages that require you to identify yourself with your User Name and Password carry a "Forgot your Password" link you can use to have your User Name and Password mailed instantly to your e-mail address on record.

E-mail notification and board-mail usage

When you create a new topic, you have the option of receiving an e-mail notification every time someone posts a reply to your topic. If you wish to use this feature, check the e-mail-notification box on the "New topic" page when you create your new topic.

Wine therapy has various e-mail links (send to friend/enemy, links in profiles) that allow participants to send e-mail directly from the board.  Just follow the instructions in the pop-up windows.  If you receive e-mail from the board, for antispam reasons the sender's address will always be the doghead's, but the reply-to address will be the actual sender's.  Check to be sure you reply to the right person, just in case your e-mail client is a cranky one.  All board e-mail contains in the body of the message the e-mail address of the actual sender, which is the address you should copy, if necessary, to your e-mail client's reply-to line and use for your direct replies.

Note that you can't use either HTML or the board's safe code in board e-mail.  It only sends text, no code.

What's a "jeebus"?

A jeebus is a social happening at which wine is consumed in either an atypically natural way or in a quasi-depraved way. The term took hold about 17 years ago at the suggestion of one of our moderators, Chris Coad.

Doesn't Callahan irrationally despise California?

Callahan?  Who can say?  The doghead likes California, in large part, and enjoys going there to have good times with friends.  Once in a while the good times roll with the local beverages.  But the doghead has a problem with bad and mediocre wines, and there are disproportionately many of those there.  And they sell for high prices and get good reviews all too often.   So to the uninitiated and to patriotic residents of the Self-Absorbed State, it may seem as though some of the doghead's comments about California wines are a wee bit harsh.  But that's just the harsh relief of reality.  Most of the land in California's most famous wine-growing regions is suited for everyday jug-wine production at best, and avocado and cabbage and other production in less-lucky cases.  This isn't sad, it's just true.

Sadly, a lot of the jug wine coming out of these regions is selling for $100 a bottle.  Or $30 a bottle.  Or some preposterous price.  And wine writers with more marketing savvy than sense praise them as though they somehow merit those prices.  In this context, admitting that some Napa star's wine tastes like a $4 bottle of Chilean red given a fancy new-wood maturation with some concentration techniques applied freely sounds like the Pope renouncing Jesus.  But the doghead can't help the wretched state of wine criticism except by countering it.  The doghead has no animus against California or any other place (except perhaps for Ohio and Michigan and maybe Houston, Texas and Orlando, Florida, but who's counting?).  Doghead likes and enjoys the relative handful of really interesting California wines in the market, and tolerates a slightly larger set of unpretentious, well-priced items that don't suck.

What is COPPA?

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and Rule, in sum, applies to information about a child that is collected online, such as full name, home address, e-mail address, telephone number, or any other information that would allow someone to identify or to contact the child.  The COPPA also covers other types of information - for example, hobbies, interests, and information collected through cookies or other tracking mechanisms - when they are tied to information that could lead to children becoming individually identifiable.  More information can be found here.  But this board is not intended for children in any case.  It's intended for adults over the age of 18.  Kids are welcome to e-mail the doghead for guidance and support, but they shouldn't be rotting their minds reading discussion groups like this one.  Go out and play!  Childhood's too short to waste watching the old make fools of themselves on line!

Getting your own forum

The most recent version of the base code for this Snitz Forum can be downloaded at this web site.  The doghead has modified the present copy, so what you get from Snitz isn't going to be exactly the same as Wine therapy in appearance or function.  But all the essential features are there - for free.  It's as good a free program as we have on the web, and development is ongoing.  It isn't perfect.  The doghead found it needed significant rewriting to make it work the way the doghead likes.  Which has forced the doghead to pass on a Snitz update that would overwrite the doghead's heavy revisions.  Life is hard.  Besides, you have to be a little nuts to go looking for the headache of running your own discussion group and the money hole doing so creates.  But hey, it's your sanity.  If you have some compulsion to start a discussion group, give the Snitzen a close look.

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