speaker contrast

May 31, 2010

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to hear two very different people speak: a vibrant, funny, energetic, well-loved lesbian and a bloated, self-important Catholic Monsignor. The woman was funny and articulate, and gave a well thought-out and truthful valedictory speech. She had her classmates in gales of laughter, groans of memory or screeches of excitement. She started her speech by announcing that her wife was pregnant to huge applause and screams. (What a contrast to a couple of decades ago when most would have walked out of the room – but that’s another story.)

The priest was a narcissist who insisted on convincing the congregation at a wedding that love did not exist in this world and that marriages were doomed. Using the effect of darkening the sky to show the ray of light, his rambling, disjointed sermon hit a low-point with his trivialization of the sexual abuse of children by clergy in the Catholic church. Nowhere else would a statement like this be tolerated – corporations would be sanctioned, individuals would be berated and shunned, officials would lose their jobs – but when it comes to the Church, anything goes. I would love to throw something when an imbecile (who unfortunately is in a position of great power to the brainless automatons that are his congregation) decides to spread hate or diminish their own vulgar actions.

Conservative Christians in Texas are rewriting history in schoolbooks – and mis-educating their children in the process. Children will be taught the benefits of US free-market economics and how government taxation can harm economic progress. Great timing for that gem during the financial meltdown.

One of the more controversial topics (it got defeated in the vote, but quite unbelievable that it was actually up for a vote) was to trivialize the salve trade by renaming it. This would all be funny if it didn’t have such major repercussions for education. Yup, they make ’em bigger in Texas – idiots that is.

soul sistas

May 23, 2010

A nice place to have food that is good for you but tastes great – Soul Sistas in Huntsville. Sweet Lorraine, the cook and server brought me a bowl of organic brown rice with grilled vegetables, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds and Braggs seasoning – an non-fermented, non-heated alternative to soy sauce. Nice when you need a break from the usual restaurant grease.

I also tried the spinach crust pie which is actually a quiche with pressed spinach leaves formed into a crust – a tasty and innovative way to go gluten-free. One word of caution, stay away from the coffee – actually all the coffee I tasted up here is pretty terrible and stale. When Tim’s competes for best coffee, you know something is wrong. Overall, we need more places like Soul Sistas – tasty food that’s good for you and doesn’t leave you feeling bloated.

caprese deconstructed

May 23, 2010

Up North this weekend and had a craving for tomatoes, baguette and olive oil (maybe a little bocconcini to round out a Caprese salad which happens to be one of my very favourite foods). WTF is happening to our supermarkets? Monobrands? Monocultures? I knew it was bad but this seemed worse.

If you need good baguette then Ace is available up here because all other baguettes tend to suck as you leave the GTA. I wish it wasn’t true. Nothing would make me happier than to support a small local bakery, but it ain’t happening anytime soon it seems. We brought good olive oil with us so that was covered.

We forgot salt and had to buy some. We had to read every freakin’ label to make sure it was just plain old sea salt. Why is it so difficult to find sea salt without all the additives to make it free-flow? So we had to settle on the one brand of fleur-de-sel which ended up costing double or triple of what sea salt normally costs.

Bocconcini was only available in factory sealed tubs by Tre-Stella, Read the rest of this entry »

blue blood sucking

May 17, 2010

I just watched a documentary on the relationship between a shorebird and a crab-like creature – the red knot and the horseshoe crab. The birds depend on the excess horseshoe crab eggs as fuel for their multi-day migration from the southern hemisphere to the arctic where they mate.

The horseshoe crab has a very interesting history – it is a very old creature and scientists, ecologists and medical researchers are very interested in it for various reasons. In particular, its miracle blue blood is of great interest to medical researchers and led to a disturbing scene (to me) in the documentary of a row of horseshoe crabs being bled. I couldn’t help thinking of the ethics behind this practice even though the blue blood is life-saving for humans. In fact, this catch-bleed-return policy is not without trouble; there is a 10% to 15% mortality rate.

The medical research and blood extraction is not the horseshoe crab’s worst problem. It was (and still is) over-harvested for use as bait for eel and conch traps. Millions of horseshoe crabs were harvested (easily since they crawl to the beach to lay their eggs) until the effects were seen on the red knot population that depends on them for food. Currently there is a moratorium in some states and the outlook seems promising, but the timing is critical – will the horseshoe crabs rebound before red knots go extinct?

drill baby drill

May 13, 2010

Imagine if John McCain was running things. Little disasters all over the place. Drill baby drill. When will we learn?

biking

May 5, 2010

I just got a Gary Fisher Simple City 3 and love it very much. It’s awesome being on a bike again. I just added a light so I can ride at night and a back bracket so I can carry stuff. Now if only it was safer to share the road with cars – guess I gotta find some bike trails.