Friday, August 24, 2007

Trash Talk, Sports Talk, Some wine notes and a great Beer

So the "Anti-Poverty Committee" has decided to dump trash on Mayor Sam Sullivan's yard. According to CBC news the group has taken credit for the trash action.

Hopefully CUPE president Paul Fauro and representatives Ken Davidson and Keith Graham will soon have yards full of rotting trash as well. Of course that will never happen because they aren't The Man so the ovine leadership of protest groups like the APC wouldn't think to lay any blame at their feet.

A friend of mine "in the know" has told me to target September 18th for an end to the strike - we'll see how accurate that prediction is.

I still can't figure out how ticketing expired parking meters is an essential service but heaps of rotting garbage are not ....... oh wait there's no revenue gain in picking up trash is there. Plus there's that all important need to keep our streets safe from reckless parkers.

There's going to come a point in the upcoming NHL season when the Canucks are going to wish they had back the 600K that Trevor Linden will receive this year.

The American League playoff race is as good a sports spectacle as you are likely to see for a while, My call is Yankees, Indians, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim/Orange County/SoCal /Tijuana and the true Evil Empire (Boston) all make the playoffs but I think Boston is the only Mortal Lock.

Who knew Samuel Dalembert was Canadian ?

Had a couple of decent bottles in the last week:

Amado Sur from the Argentinian behemoth Trivento, is a blend of Malbec, Syrah and Bonardo. While certainly "New World" in it's style the wine has enough tannin and liveliness to partner well with grilled meat and is good value at $14.99. It's a new listing in BCLDB stores with wide distribution (CSPC #568238).

Undaragga Pinot Noir Reserve - in my never ending quest for decent Pinot Noir under $20 I tried a bottle with grilled Sockeye last week. The wine has decent Pinot flavours, with light body and notes of strawberry and cherry but lacked the spice that makes Pinot so delightful. Still at $15.99 you could do worse - moderate distribution (CSPC #761205).

Best thing I tasted in the last while was not wine but a beer. Brooklyn Lager is an old style lager, made with a pre-prohibition recipe that features lots of malt. The resulting beer is copper coloured and malty without being overly sweet (my general complaint with lager), it is thirst quenching with enough hops to bring you back for many more. Brooklyn Lager is available in selected BCLDB stores, distribution is spotty, at $11.99 a six pack (CSPC #432930) and is highly recommended.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Summer Blahs

Well the dog days are upon me, if not in a traditional "it's too hot to move sense" but more that the mind numbing routines of Summer have worn me down.

Don't get me wrong, I love sunshine and all that crap but I can't wait for Fall, and school starting.

The civic strike has screwed my summer over in a huge way because the pools are closed and daughter is a "water child", previously in the summer there was no issue of "What are we going to do today?" instead it was "What time are we going to the pool?". This year I am constantly trying to either:

1) Find things for an 8 year old to do.


2) Deal with a bored 8 year old.

Neither one of these options is a great one - I keep waiting for Monte Hall to offer up Door #3 but that hasn't happened.

There is no end in sight to the civic strike for a number of reasons, not the least of which there is no leadership in City Hall. The Unions are so full of bluster and self serving rhetoric that I fully expect Lisa Simpson to show up and lead campfire sing-a-longs any day now. The summer is gone and I really don't care if they ever settle the strike, my only desires are that there be absolutely no "signing bonus" involved and zero overtime for 6 months following the settlement.

I mean if these assholes want a nice 8 week vacation then let them pay for it - they've spent much of the summer screwing over the people who pay their wages so tighten the belts a little comrades. My favourite complaint is the "we want wage parity with the private sector" - hey here's an idea, if the private sector is so fabulous why not join it ? Oh, yeah because all those other benefits like "job security", 87 paid sick days a year and "bring your pet to work month" are missing in the private sector.

Hey that's my cake - can I have it and eat it too ?

The Red Sox are now officially doomed. In his greatest act ever as a Yankee icon, Phil Rizzuto died in the middle of a pennant race. The new arm bands are just the last stroke the Yankees needed to put them over the top.

Why, if there are no fish left, has the price of Fresh Wild Salmon remained relatively unchanged for the last decade ? I bought fresh Wild Coho last week for $4.50 a pound (whole fish) and the week before IGA had fresh Pink for less than $3 a pound.

At some point shouldn't supply and demand create higher prices ?

It's End of the Summer European tourist season - which means it's kind of like Russian Roulette at work every night. Are you going to get the "Thanks very much , that was brilliant here's a $10 tip on our $250 bill" ? or have your Euro's travelled enough to know that servers in North America exist on tips not wages.

Generally it's a bit of both, last night my first two "Euro Deuces" left me a combined $22 on $345, which barely covers tip out, but my final "Euro 4 Top" left me $75 on $350.

On Saturday the local "non-broadsheet rag masquerading as a newspaper" published an article by noted Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon regarding the David Beckham situation. The second paragraph of "Mr. Wilbon's column" was a mention of Beckham's upcoming visit to Vancouver. I was surprised to see this so I checked the online Post and discovered no mention of Vancouver in Wilbon's column, so I questioned this to the sports department of the Sun. Much to my surprise I received a phone call from "Lionel" informing me that it was inserted by the Sun, that it was just a factual addition and that "that's what you do when you edit stories".

First off - no it's not what you do when you edit stories, you don't add your own copy,"factual reference" or otherwise, and pass it off as another person's work

Secondly - Does Michael Wilbon know that "Lionel from the Sun" is editing his work ?

On the beverage front, Pilsner Urquell is on sale - other than that it's mostly House Wine and Rumbo season.