Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Tidbits

Well the big day has come and gone, as Daughter has aged the mornings are less frenetic and sleeping past 7:15 am would be a distinct possibility if Wife could hold back her excitement.

The big gift from Santa was a Wii system that Daughter has been Jonesing for for the better part of a year. Prices have come way down and I bit the bullet and added one more piece of electronic distraction to our lives.

We spent the better part of 3 hours bowling, playing baseball and tennis and I woke up in the morning with my right arm feeling just the way it used to after catching four games in a day at fastball tournaments in years past - the knees were fine however.

Wife and daughter braved the mall for a couple of hours on Boxing day, returning with a 3rd remote for the Wii and another game disc that includes a cow-riding game - we later learned that Grandma is really bad at cow-riding.

Wife bought me a superb text about charcuterie, the only glitch is the recipes are for 25 pound batches so I'll need a calculator while I cook, or else a big freezer.

Daughter received a hair dryer and that provided two pieces of info:

1) In the instruction booklet they advise do not use while sleeping - who knew ?

2) when you live in a 95 year old house do not use the hairdryer on the same plug that has the computer, the space heater and the indoor Christmas lights.

Wines of Christmas were limited, the menu doesn't call for great wines in my mind, but the Lafrenz 2005 Shiraz was brilliant, making me wish it wasn't my last bottle and the Little Yering Pinot Noir 2008 from Yering Station in Australia was good value at $14.98 (CSPC#606110).

I'm back to work tonight after the longest Christmas break I've ever had while serving, 5 days, and I can honestly say I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

All I want for Christmas

So it's nearing a conclusion, the whole manic Christmas thing. The raw, unbridled, in your face commercialism is pretty much taken care of and now I can get down to the parts I enjoy. The food, the friends and the ability to put Bailey's in your coffee at any time of the day because "Hey, it's Christmas".

I put most of the shopping to bed last Monday, the 14th. I had to grab a couple of "stocking stuffers" today but mostly I missed the mall madness and New York crowded sidewalks. I don't mind the shopping, it's a good exercise in refreshing yourself on your partner's needs and wants, although the actual cash outlay is damned painful even if wife is not very demanding.

So now, with the Grands less than an hour away, a ham in the oven and spare time before I need to head to the kitchen again I can crack open a Fuller's London Pride and reflect upon my own commercial wants.

I'm at an age where I have most things so really my list is short, and generally can be repeated annually:

Black Socks - wool, light weight, mid calf

Undershirts - white, cotton, V neck

Books (fiction) - one or two good mysteries, Michael Dibden, Lee Childs, James Lee Burke and the classics like Chandler and Ellroy are among my favorite authors of the genre so that gives some style ideas.

Cook Books - tougher as I have 60 some and most of the essentials but a really good "fish" cookbook, the latest Weber BBQ Bible, something dedicated to bread and a charcuterie primer would all make me smile. I prefer books that are as good a read as they are a recipe book so literary ability of the author matters.

A long sleeved polo/henley style shirt - dark colour, 100% cotton.

Some sort of cool kitchen tool.

An I Tunes gift card allows me to continue to restock my James Brown, reggaeton, Dance Hall, classic rock sections of the shuffle (even I can't believe some of the stuff I listen to - no Fleet Foxes though).

Something chocolate-ish, maybe a bit gooey with some caramel involved is always appreciated.

A good bottle, malt whisky or bourbon.

Oh yeah, world peace and the lotto numbers would be appreciated as well if you manage it.

Anyway, I hope all is well in your world and that the holidays bring you warmth and happiness.

Friday, December 11, 2009

They'll wish They hadn't Messed with VANOC

My news wires locally were abuzz yesterday with the revelation that local police had uncovered over 100,000 tabs of ecstasy while responding to a 911 call.

CBC News carries a full report which details that the occupants of the house had been arrested.

Now given British Columbia's rather lax approach to jail time for drug related offenses it's not surprising that Vancouver has become a mecca for the production and distribution of ecstasy. The threat of nominal criminal time is a small risk when compared to the large sums of money that can be made from manufacturing the illegal drug. Vancouver's geographical situation with a deep water port and easy access to the vast American market make it a natural when coupled with the local judicial system.

However these particular entrepreneurs made a huge mistake my friends, after all it's one thing to have huge quantities of illegal substances in your possession but these wastrels had actually stamped many of the tabs of "E" with the Olympic Ring Logo.

And for that they will pay, I guarantee it.

In a battle betwen who these alleged drug manufacturers should fear most, the VPD or the VANOC's commercial rights division my money's on VANOC.

The keepers of the flame will nail these guys asses to the wall whereas the court system will be unlikely to come up with more than 6-8 months jail time, adjusted for time served of course.

The lesson that will come out of this will be clear:

We're not crazy about you manufacturing or distributing ecstasy in our city but you sure as Hell better pay the piper if you want to use the Olympic Brand.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Streak has Ended

Daughter has finally "not answered the bell", after a previously perfect attendance record, for illness, today she was unable to go to school. Mark it down December 10th of her Grade Five year the dream dies.

She had made an effort to take a day off in 2nd Grade, testing the waters I believe, but I sensed a lack of true illness and told her that if she was truly sick that was fine but there would be no TV or goofing off, sick meant bed rest and at best, reading.

She was back at school for first recess.

Today was a different story, last night at Soccer practice she excused herself due to stomach pains and when we got home opted for a bath and early bed, I thought all might be well. However the first cookie toss came at 7:30 pm and followed almost hourly until 10:30. Daughter then slept on the living room floor for 30 minutes or so until I carried her to bed. She is not running a fever, and has no secondary symptoms so I feel confident that this is just a bug but nonetheless the streak is over.