Category Archives: Shout Outs

Wine pairing for normal people

Last night Nikki and I went to the West End Well to go and see Heather Heagney for a wine and (vegetarian) food pairing night called A Taste of Spring.

I think 20 year old me might have laughed heartily at the thought of having that kind of night, but I will say that I not only enjoyed it, I would go back again.  The food was delicious, the wines were really good and went perfectly with the food, and the folks there were really a lot of fun.  We will definitely be back to check out the store when it’s open for regular business.  It was a great way to learn something about food and wine in the least snobby way possible.  There was no pretentious swishing and spitting here, and nobody asking me if I detected the notes of slightly distressed Peruvian gummi bears in the wine.  Nossir, you got your wine and food, Heather told us all about it and why they went well together, and then you ate and drank until the next course came out.  Tasty tasty all around.

Speaking of Heather, this gal knows her stuff about food and wine.  If you get a chance to hear her talk about this stuff, you will definitely be entertained and learn something while you are at it.  I don’t recall ever trying to imagine music while drinking something before, but I did last night.  She’s fun and funny and smart.

Anyway, a great night for sure and I would highly recommend it to folks looking for a little variety  in their palate.

Check out Heather’s blog here:  After the Harvest  (Buy her book too.)

Follow her here:  @aftertheharvest

West End Well

Lighthearted Foolishness? Perfect.

I’m really loving this story about 9 high school friends who have been playing tag for 23 years.  Literally.  The game started in high school, and then on the last day of school the guy who was “it” couldn’t tag anyone.  He was “it” for 8 more years until they had a reunion and decided to start the game again.  They had all moved away from each other, so the rules were that the game was only open for the month of February each year.  If you got tagged, you were it for the whole year.  Elaborate stunts, travel, traps and stalking ensued, and I think this is just awesome.

I can see this ultimately ending with a dramatic low speed chase in rascal scooters in Florida…..

Nice work guys, keep it up.

It Takes Planning, Caution to Avoid Being ‘It’

Dropkick Murphys’ lovely little Christmas Song

I am way late to the Dropkick Murphys party, I basically just discovered them to my great dismay.  I have been experiencing Celtic music fatigue of late, having absolutely listened to death all of the Great Big Sea, Pogues, Stan Rogers, etc, that I could take over the past 10 years or more.  But to call these guys just Celtic is not correct, they are almost more of a Punk band than anything, at least on their latest album, Signed and Sealed in Blood.  I highly recommend you check them out.

The standout song that made me laugh right out loud today is ironically a Christmas song that was released last month, but I missed it altogether.  It’s absolutely a spiritual successor to the Pogues’ Fairytale of New York, and it’s just hilarious.  Here’s just one lyric to listen for in the video below:

My sisters are wackjobs I wish I had none

Their husbands are losers and so are their sons

My nephew’s a horrible wise little twit

He once gave me a nice gift wrapped box full of shit

Oh man, it’s the real deal.  Have a look at the completely awesome video and enjoy.  Go out and buy this album, these guys deserve your money.

24 Percent Majority

The fact that I spent ANY time reading a political blog this morning came as a huge shock to myself, let alone any of you.  I have RELIGIOUSLY avoided politics for my entire life (now there’s a statement, eh?), but after I saw 24 Percent Majority plugged on Boing Boing last week I thought I would check it out, and I liked what I saw.  Basically the whole site is critical of the Harper government, but it’s an enjoyable, rambling read.  If you read nothing else, be sure to check out the wrap-up of the craziest crap the government has done this year.  It’s almost enough to make me become a real grownup and pay attention to stuff like this.  Almost.  🙂

Still, nice work over there, I like it.  Definitely a lot of research and linking going into those posts, and a good engaging tone.  You must be doing something right if you kept me reading to the end, and I even clicked on a few things to read more!  My god.  This fit of mature, civic responsibility will certainly pass soon.  Or is this what my 40’s will be?  A gradual awakening to the world at my doorstep, an ever increasing involvement in my civic duty as a voter and a participant in democracy?

Ha, probably not, and I’m sure this blog will soon revert to whatever stupidity I’m looking at on the Internets real soon now, never fear.

Badass Russian Grandma vs Wild Hungry Wolf

I have a papercut on the tip of my pinky finger.  It makes typing slightly unpleasant, each keystroke in the top left area of the keyboard hurts a tiny bit.

Whiny-assed bitching like that is about all I have to really worry about in my coddled cozy first world life.  Unlike this 56 year old Russian Grandmother, who was tending her herd of sheep and cows (which is still a thing in, oh, EVERYWHERE but North America let’s say) when a wolf attacked her herd.  A wild, horrible wolf the size of the Mini Cooper I parked my minivan next to this morning and admired as I walked to work with my travel mug full of coffee (aw fiddlesticks, it’s almost too cold to be enjoyable now).

So anyway, this woman was tending the animals that are rather singularly important to her livelihood and survival on this planet, when a tremendously scary predator decided to eat one of her calves.  Not today, comrade.  She managed to save the calf the wolf tried to eat, only to have the wolf attack her for her trouble.  It bit her hand and wouldn’t let go, despite her efforts to pry it’s enormous terrible mouth open.  I don’t know about you, but my wolf-attack-defence repertoire is pretty thin after 1) shriek like a girl and 2) wet pants.  Not this lady.

Mrs Maksudova explained she wanted to throttle the wolf to death but was  forced to reach for her axe when she could not prise the animal’s jaws open.

‘So I just left my hand, and the wolf was just clawing into it, pulling on  it, pulling away like this,’ she said.

‘And then I took the axe and hit him on the head.’

Nope, her SECOND go-do is to grab her axe.  Honestly.  Her FIRST instinct was to choke the wolf to death with her BARE HANDS.  Stupid wolf, bringing a million years of cold-blooded evolution-honed killing to a bare handed fight with a grandmother.  Yep, her bare hands are her most deadly, reliable weapon, followed by her steel axe.  My bare hand hurt a lot pressing down on some keys just to tell you this.

Jebus, but remind me again to never ever cross a Russian grandmother.

Go read the article, but mostly watch the video of this remarkable, dangerous lady.

Batman is real

Man, I have to say that this is some of the most selfless, amazing and genuine goodwill I have ever heard of.  This guy dresses up as Batman and visits terminally (or seriously) ill kids in hospitals.

He’s got a Lamborghini kitted out as the Batmobile (until his $250 000 custom made car is ready), has a professionally made Batman suit, the whole deal.  He recently got some Internet attention because he got pulled over by the police for not having his regular plates on while in costume, which prompted this article about his reasons for dressing as Batman.  This is a pretty classy guy doing some actual good, hard to not get a little misty reading it.  Nice job.