Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
LCBO No / Product Name / Retail / ML
67173 / Traflagar Oak Aged Rye / $4.25 / 650
106237 / Höss Doppel-Hirsch Doppel Bock / $3.95 / 500
157552 / Christoffel Dry-Hopped Nobel / $3.30 / 330
157560 / Hog's Back Traditional English Ale (TEA) / $3.95 / 500
157651 / Schneider's Organic Wiesen Edel-Weisse / $2.95 / 500
157834 / Gouden Carolus Ambrio / $3.10 / 330
468660 / St. Louis Gueuze Lambic / $4.85 / 375
615633 / Great Lakes Orange Peel Ale / $4.95 / 650
909770 / Rogue Brutal Bitter / $6.95 / 650
TBC / Railway City Brewing Dead Elephant / $3.50 / 500
174532 / Grand River Brewing Russian Gun Imperial Stout / $4.50 / 500
The Doppelbock is decent enough. The Christoffel should be a decent, though expensive, pilsner. The Schneider's Edel-Weisse is a very good wheat, well worth it. Gouden Carolus is always a good bet as a strong Belgian Ale. Great Lakes seasonals are good for a bottle or two, not that complex, but tasty enough. Brutal Bitter is an excellent American ESB, one of my favourites. I'll be picking up the Railway City, which I haven't tried, but I assume it's a standard Canadian-style IPA. The Grand River is what I'm most excited about, I just hope it gets provincewide distribution.
As for the others, stay away from Trafalgar, they have serious quality control issues and their beers aren't very good. Hog's Back isn't terribly exciting, but it's a nice english ale if you're in the mood. St. Louis Gueuze is a horrible interpretation of a remarkable Belgian style, I'd skip unless you're aching to try a lambic.
Look for all of them starting March.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I think, however, that we're starting to see some dividends from the house cleaning. While the focus has been on Harper since he locked the doors, the performance of the Liberals has been noteworthy... if only because they haven't stepped in it. We haven't seen any gaffe's out of the office of the OLO. More interesting, we're starting to see real policy come out.
First it was the suggested prorogation bill. While it wasn't popular with the left, it certainly helped put some space between Ignatieff and Harper. Now we have three solid proposals regarding job creation:
Cash advance for some manufacturers
Youth employment boost
Tax incentives for entrepreneurs
Not particularly exciting stuff, and I wouldn't be shocked to see the CPC pick it up for the next Speech from the Throne, but we're finally getting some meat out of the opposition. More importantly, it shows that the Liberals are at work while the government tweets from California and gets caught making stupid statements about the House in every small town paper in the country.
I think we'll continue hearing these bits and pieces of policy come out up to the "thinker's conference" in March when an overall vision will come together, with federal education policy as the key plank.
More of this and these polls could easily start turning in the Liberal's favour.
As a pollster by profession I thought this clip from last night's RMR was pretty great.
One of the things I find most distressing about the current state of the media is the fascination they seem to have with what stupid people think. This need to "have a conversation" with consumers is bizarre, not least because I doubt it has any noticeable impact on their bottom line. Do you know anyone who checks The Globe and Mail over, say, The Star, because the comments are better? Would you stop checking the CBC news online if they disabled comments?
Online polls are even more absurd. Media corporations know they'll fall victim to "freeping" if they set up a poll about anything remotely contentious. Yet they continue to do it as though the results are indicative of anything at all.
Wishful thinking, but it would be nice if the news corporations locked teh stoopid back up in the box instead of exposing us to insanity that never would have seen the light of day if we still relied on a one-page "letters to the editor".
Saturday, January 23, 2010
It was a beautiful day in the Capital, though a tad, uh, crisp. I arrived at about 1:30 to find a decent sized crowd. True to expectations the protestors were a diverse group. This wasn't a gaggle of NDP students from Carleton. I'd suggest that the majority of demonstrators were over 25. The labour unions made up the heart of the gathering with the quieter public servant-types milling around the edges, as is usual at Ottawa protests. As Kady O says over at her place (full live-blog of the event) it was certainly grassroots, with a lot of homemade singage.
The speakers were quite good. The protest was on message, for the most part (climate change was very much a favourite theme) without any awkward messages from those on the podium. Speeches that I heard included a public servant, a Nortel employee, a former member of the armed forces, and a Green Peace bigwig.
Best of all was the entertainment. When I arrived the crowd was being serenaded by the Raging Grannies, who had written a handful of funny songs for the event. The highlight, by far, was an appearance by Arrogant Worms member Trevor Strong (I think, apologies if that isn't right). He began with an observation that anything that got a few thousand Canadians off the fence must be pretty serious. He sang a hilarious song called The Proroger (to the tune of The Wild Rover) that had the crowd in stitches. He followed it up with the Beaver song, also worth a listen if you've never heard of the Worms. A couple other musicians participated, and I enjoyed all of them. To whoever was working the talent, job well done!
I met Mr. Ignatieff as he was walking up at around 3:00 I think. Layton started things off. He did well. I never know how I'm going to feel about Jack, sometimes he really rubs me the wrong way, but he was good today. The Bloc member said a few words en francais. Ignatieff... well, honestly I'm not sure how he did. As soon as he took the podium some yutz standing directly behind me started screaming things at him. He looked like a Dipper but he yelled like a Conbot (THIEF!!! was his favourite). A bearded fella came up and gave buddy some rather choice words which frightened him in to silence... for a second, then he started screaming again. More, louder, choice words and then a lady came up and also asked him to stop. She stuck around and spoke to him for awhile to keep him shut up. Eventually he got away from her and went and stood in the thick of it where he started to yell again. People started pelting him with snow balls. All this to say I only got the last sentence of Iggy's speech, I was more concerned with ending up in the middle of a brawl and having my ugly mug on The National fighting with a hippy.
After the politicos spoke the crowd dispersed for the most part. Elizabeth May had not yet spoken but not many waited around to hear her lovely voice. All-in-all a good event. It's nice to see people get involved, especially in a notoriously boring and conservative place like Bytown. So, now we wait and see what the national media make of it and what it does to those polls.
Final crowd estimates I've seen range from 3,000 to 4,000.
Friday, January 22, 2010
This hardening attitude among Canadians is revealed in a new Angus Reid public opinion survey that found 62 per cent of respondents favour capital punishment for murderers, while 31 per cent believe that rapists should be put to death.
The figure is a significant boost from the last such survey, in 2004, when 48 per cent favoured capital punishment for murderers.
The next federal election will be fought on crime and "small government". Locking people away and firing public servants. Should play well to their base and, unfortunately, a growing number of normal Canadians.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
"It was like I was in a Third World country. I just looked at my wife and she saved my life and I had to get out of there." Lesnar's wife, former WWE wrestler Sable, took the six-foot-three, 285-pound giant away from the medical facility in "excruciating pain" and "drove 100 miles per hour" across the border to Bismarck, North Dakota.
Lesnar refused to disclose any details about the Canadian facility he visited, but claimed the care he received in the U.S., and later at the prestigious Mayo Clinic, was far superior and thus was evidence that the U.S. health-care system is the best in the world.
Now I don't want to insult the good people of Deloraine, in fact I suspect Mr. Lesnar could have been anywhere between Moose Jaw and Brandon. Interestingly, take a look at a map of North Dakota and consider all the towns he had to go through to get to the State capital.
Nonetheless, all Canadians should be ashamed that we can't provide non-citizen cage fighters world-class medical care in the backwoods of Manitoba.
UPDATE: The third world facility in question was in Brandon, and they're left a bit baffled by Mr. Lesnar's comments.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
"I serve at the pleasure of the prime minister."
Now I'm not going to make a mountain out of this. For all purposes, the cabinet does serve at the pleasure of the Prime Minister. Nonetheless, the use of this thoroughly American cabinet phrase, with its royal origins, still struck me as funny given recent happenings.
For more on this interesting phrase, read this Safire article:
(h/t BigCityLib for the story)
EDITED TO ADD: Not to say that Toews is technically correct. As an MP, Vic Toews obviously does not serve at the pleasure of the Prime Minister.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Instead, I'll share something non-political that struck me as truly bizarre. The newest thing in social media is called blippy. It's a twitter for your credit card. You sign up and it automatically broadcasts your every purchase to the world. As someone who has a hard enough time understanding the attraction of twitter, this just blows my mind. For the life of me I can't imagine why anyone would sign up for something like this.
Unfortunately, I don't doubt that the venture will be a smashing success and we can all look forward to knowing when our acquaintances from highschool buy a tube of Compound W or box of Preparation H. Fun times...
Friday, January 15, 2010
Before we start drinking, here's a short intro to beer.