Not sure why but I've been in a bit of a funk these days, maybe it's the freakin' Arctic weather, maybe it's going back to the Tundra for my Mom's 90th birthday, maybe it's the depression attached to seeing your Mom at 90, who knows.
Regardless I didn't want to let the whole month slide by without a post so here goes.
As I alluded in the opening I spent six days in semi-Northern Ontario this month and Christ was it cold. I grew up there but 30 years on the West coast have completely stripped me of any natural resistance to the degree of cold I was facing -25C was an average day and while it is, as they say, "a dry cold" really at -25C it doesn't matter it's just too damned cold. Besides the cold there was the lack of definition to the landscape, miles and miles of lightly rolling hills all the same colour with varying degree of tree cover, toss in a quick glimpse at mortality and all in all it's a trip I'd rather forget.
Upon return to Vancouver I was initially greeted with our regular weather but now it appears the arctic blasts are following me as it is minus something everyday and they are calling for snow today . I'm hobbling around with a badly shattered toe on my right foot, business is slow at the restaurant and it's still winter , bah humbug.
At least I have the return of the Maple Leafs playoff drive this year, something lacking the past couple of seasons. I don't really think they have the horses to make the post season but at least things seem to be heading in the right direction. On any given night the Leafs, the league's youngest, or 2nd youngest, team, provide speed effort and excitement, three things the teams of the past decade rarely offered.
I'm a big fan of Brian Burke and the way he builds teams, he may have made a mistake or two but he's got a young core and has added a good deal of organizational depth.
Yes he's got a contract or two that he probably regrets, Mike Komisarek springs to mind.
Yes the team doesn't have a legitimate #1 center but neither to half the teams in the league.
Yes it seems odd that he traded away two offensively skilled defensemen and now is looking for one but the assets have dramatically improved and the team is playing well. I even thought I saw Ron Wilson smile last week but it may just have been a trick of the lighting.
Hope always springs eternal but this time it appears there is some rational basis for the spring .
Upcoming in March is daughter's 12th birthday and a spring break return to the Magic Kingdom. When queried as to what she wanted for her birthday dinner daughter pondered aloud "It's tough to choose between ribs and mac n' cheese." When I responded "How about both " it may very well have been the first time I have ever seen her speechless.
Nothing much on the beverage front, although we have a new House Wine, nice little Spanish red from Bodegas Castano, La Casona which retails for $9.00 and is widely available. It's House wine folks so don't expect miracles but for $9.00 it provides consistently pleasant red wine for everyday consumption.
The wine is made from "Monastrell" grapes, or "Mourvedre" as they are known in France and California, which produce quite tannic, spicy reds. This wine goes through Carbonic maceration and thus much of the tannins are removed leaving more fruit and spice with enough acidity to carry food.
Bodegas Castano are one of the larger producers of Monastrell wines and offer solid choices in a variety of price ranges, I have no trepidation in recommending any of their wines .