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Don Cherry Gets Fired

If someone opens a conversation with a statement that sounds anything like, “I don’t want to sound like a racist, but you know Don Cherry kind of…”

I typically cut them off as quickly as I can and say, “If you don’t want to sound like a racist, you really should stop talking at this point.”

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No More Meat at Dixie’s

It’s interesting to me how occasionally the closure or the ending of some things hits me right in the “feels”.

An example of this is when Danny Finkelman’s show, Finkelman’s 45s ended on CBC radio. Hit me right in the feels.

293 Wallace

And then last year, 293 Wallace closed. That restaurant, located in Hope BC – a most unlikely location for such an adventurous kitchen- had become my “must stop and see what they are doing” place because of Chef Hiro Takeda’s adventurous and hyper-local approach to food.

Verbena Jelly Cheesecake

Chef/Owner Hiro and Executive Chef Brent Gillis closed 293 Wallace in part because of their success.

As anyone who works in the restaurant industry knows, the hours are gruelling and unrelenting – especially if you are preparing food that the people come from far and wide to try.

Anyway, I was very sad to see 293 Wallace close.

Meat at Dixie's

Which brings me to the latest restaurant to close. Meat at Dixie’s closed last night.

Meat at Dixie's

Meat at Dixie’s closed the front of the house, but will keep the smoker in the kitchen open as the commissary for Gringo, a “creative” taco shop located in Vancouver’s Gastown on Blood Alley.

Meat at Dixie's

Just like Danny Finkelman’s final show and the final dinner service at 293 Wallace, I made a point of being at Meat at Dixie’s last night.

And just like the final night of Finkelman’s 45s, and the final service at 293 Wallace, my final plate of brisket at Dixie’s was bittersweet. But still the best damn barbecue I’ve ever had.

We’ll have to stay tuned to see what they decide to do with the front part of the restaurant at Meat at Dixie’s.

Meat at Dixie's

For now, it is no more Meat at Dixie’s and no more brisket for me.

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Some Thoughts on Electric Vehicles

I was recently driving through the Fraser Canyon with my chief videographer and we decided to film a little segment on my thoughts about electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf or Tesla.

Electric Vehicles – Some Thoughts
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Asapargus Season

Well look who popped up in my 100 foot garden.

My first asparagus of the season!

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What Would You Do if You Won the Lottery?

It’s everyone’s favorite question to answer. With millions of dollars in the bank, you could do virtually anything you set your mind to. There are but a few things in the world that change the direction of a person’s life more suddenly than having access to near-unlimited finances. Finally unburdened by financial strains, what’s the first thing you would want to pursue?

For David Marcyes who won $1.39 million (1.85 million CAD) on the lottery, the answer is expensive earthworm castings for his beloved garden at home. “I’m going to bring soil to a whole other level,” said Marcyes in an interview with The Spokesman Review, his town’s local newspaper. He also mentioned plans to visit Butchart Gardens near Victoria, B.C., along with several other notable gardens that he’s had his eyes on. Marcyes’ case begs the question – what are you really passionate about and how will you use the winnings to follow that passion?

In the case of lottery-winning couple Jim and Carolyn McCullar, their newfound millions gave them the chance to plan for their family’s long-term future. The McCullars won a whopping $380 million (505.7 million CAD) – the second-largest jackpot in US MegaMillions history at the time. While this amount is nowhere near the current record MegaMillions jackpot, which Lottoland reveals is now approximately $1.5 billion (2 billion CAD), the McCullars still won more than enough money to justify immediate and extravagant purchases like taking trips around the world and buying sports cars and mansions. Instead, they elected to keep the money, making sure that the future generations of their family can live comfortable lives.

Meanwhile, Les Robins took an even more altruistic path. The middle school teacher who in 1993 won $111 million (147.7 million CAD) poured his winnings into building a day camp for children. It’s nearly the same case for Violet and Allen Large, whose 11.2 million CAD mostly went to hospitals and charitable organizations. Altruistic behavior is actually quite common for many lottery winners. It’s almost as common as those who immediately go on dream vacations or purchase their dream homes. While both are worthwhile pursuits, should this really be the first thing on your mind if you chance upon millions of dollars? Director of strategy and sales performance at PNC Investments Rich Ramassini has other things in mind. According to the certified financial planner, first things first: “Pay off all high-interest debt immediately, and then tackle the rest of your debt.”Ramassini explains that after meeting these financial obligations – therefore giving you a clearer view of how much money you actually have – that’s when you can feel free to splurge on yourself or others.

How about you? Apart from being a nice conversation starter at parties, the question of what you would do if you won the lottery can reveal your deepest desires. On one hand, you could become a casualty of the “lottery curse,” a pattern of bad, self-destructive behavior associated with some instant millionaires in the past.

On the other hand, you could take the same life-affirming paths taken by the above-mentioned life and lottery winners. Read our feature on Planning a Safe Financial Future to give you a more long-term financial perspective with your ‘winnings’.

Dedicate your winnings to charity and experience the incomparable feeling of making other people’s lives better, or go on your dream holiday to finally check that off your bucket list. The possibilities are endless.

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Life Musings News Items

Wednesday Words of “Wisdom”

I heard in the yoga class I took part in yesterday evening that “The pose you detest the most is the one you need the most.”

Food for thought.

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Words to Live By; Advice for Parents

A friend of mine posted a comment on Facebook saying how he felt like a bit of a failure as a dad after reading about and seeing images of all the fun and interesting things that other people were doing with their children this summer.

A blogger friend, Don Smith of the Personal Growth Channel blog commented with some words to live by;

“Don’t compare your blooper reel to everyone else’s highlight reel that they share on Facebook”.

How wise are those words! I’ll be honest, for every amazing, delicious, and photogenic meal I photograph and share images of, there are probably ten meals (or more!) that simply did not work.

For every moment captured of me with my happily smiling kids, there are endless hours of them screaming at each other about some real or perceived harm inflicted on one or the other.

“Don’t compare your blooper reel to everyone else’s highlight reel.” Words to live by.

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Cleveland’s West Side Market 

Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit the city of Cleveland Ohio. While I was in Cleveland I visited the West Side Market an amazing market. The following are some of my pictures from my visit to the market. 

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Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas to one and to all!!

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Food and Drink News Items

Candies and Sweets; the Best and Worst

I was at a Christmas party last night and I was given some candy which got me to thinking about some of my favourites, and my “less” favourite types of candies. 

First the three types of candy that I really enjoy. My favourite that can be purchased basically anywhere; the Crispy Crunch chocolate bar. Just enough sweetness, combined with the crunchy caramel centre that makes it all work just beautifully. 

After the Crispy Crunch chocolate bar my taste in sweets gets a little more exotic – Turkish Delight. Not the kind you buy in a grocery store but the kind you buy in a specialty shop. That ultra fine dusting of finer than fine icing suagr, the tender and yet softly yielding resistance as I bite into the cube of Delight…delightful. 

And then my other favourite, not a third choice, just another choice, the somewhat exotic All-sorts. Soft black licorice squares combined with those yellow and pink circles. Weirdly delicious. 

But then, the “candy” that is horrible beyond imagination; Turtles. Yuck. Disgusting. A solid caramel centre covered in crappy milk chocolate. The caramel centre is jaw-breaking. And once you do loosen it up it will break into chewy bits that will stick in your teeth for many weeks or worse, it will suck the fillings right out of your teeth. Yuck. 

And the final candy that disgusts and disappoints; Skittles. There is that moment when I open the package and I see those beautiful little shapes and my heart skips a beat thinking they maybe changed and are now like M&Ms. But no. They have that moment of sweetness when you start to chew them and then they only bring me heart ache and disappointment. Super chewy little balls of misery. 

Crispy Crunch bars, Turkish Delight, and All-sorts are my candy go-to candies. What we your favourites and not so favourites? Feel free comment on this blog post to tell me your favourites and not-so favourites.