January 2012 Archives

Wines in Common



by Scott bloomquist

I went to wine country once, on business; it seemed out of the way. Simi Valley I think it was; sunny, rolling hills carpeted with grape vines, distantly surrounded by crowning mountain peaks. Wine is an art and a craft to lots of folks, but to me, as I sped south down the highway it was a sideshow to life.

There is something sporting about wine, in that, there is a game and a technique to the practice of enjoying it. Wine is ideally paired with companionship; it's something people get good at enjoying, and something people talk about after the fact. I've enjoyed plenty of wine in my day and shared bottles and meals with some professedly advanced palates, but no matter how much someone else's discriminating taste congratulates or rejects the qualities of a particular wine, I try to maintain my individual appreciation without the suggestions of a more seasoned drinker than myself.

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A Pretty, Goodtime Town


Screen shot 2022-01-26 at 1.29.26 PM.pngBy Scott Bloomquist

Al Carter was the first member of the general public to be admitted to The World Exposition in Montreal during the year 1967. His place in the procession of visitors was the product not of coincidence but of fevered enthusiasm and persistence on his part. The opening days of the Expo were fortunate and sunny as the twentieth century's most successful world's fair opened, providing a convenient metaphor about success and providence for everyone involved. The world around Expo67, dimmed to those circulating under the spotlight's beam, hardly reflects the ideal relationship between man and his world that the Expo67 displays to its more than 50.000.000 visitors over 6 months. In the same year of the Expo the U.S. Army conducts secret germ warfare experiments, The Doors release their debut album, Jimmy Hoffa begins an 8-year-sentence for bribing a jury, the first French nuclear submarine is launched, Israel's  six-day war comes and goes in less than a week, British Parliament decriminalizes homosexuality, Elvis Presley marries Priscilla, Rene Levesque leaves the National Party and John McCain is shot down over Vietnam and becomes a POW until his political career takes off; so pretty much relative global business-as-usual in the time leading up to and following The World Exposition in Montreal, where business-as-usual has always been anything but usual.

Image source: Flickr

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How to Survive the Gym


Interview with an Everyday Woman


by Scott Bloomquist

The subject of our interview was willing to share her story with us under the condition that her true identity be protected. So, for the purposes of this interview we will call her Ms. Liz.

She is a grandmother and a part-time crossing guard living in Toronto. She has spent the last three summers visiting her daughter and granddaughter in Flagstaff, Arizona. She worked for Canada Post for 14 years before her late husband's electrical supply company was granted the contract to provide components for the new LED traffic light systems for 3 Canadian cities and 14 others in the United States.

She lives here in Canada, where she grew up and where much of her family still lives.

It Doesn't Have to Be This Way
By Catherine Daccache

If you live in Quebec and have desperately searched for a family doctor for you and your family, don't expect to find one soon with the way the Ministry of Health and Services is running things. And if it's any reassurance to you, over two million Quebec citizens are also without a family doctor to care and assist them. As you may be aware, Quebec has the worst situation in all of the Canadian provinces when it comes to the penury of family physicians. But it doesn't have to be that way: Quebec ranks third amongst other provinces in terms of general practitioners per 100,000 people and it is profuse with specialist doctors (Gladu, 2007). Nonetheless, the number of citizens without a family doctor is gradually increasing, making emergency rooms and walk-in clinics overflowed with patients on a daily basis. The shortage is so big that in 2009 alone, Quebec was short of 1,175 fulltime family doctors (Roper, 2011). With the baby boomer generation soon retiring, more families will be without doctors and the deficit is sure to worsen. CLSCs have already begun closing their doors and shutting down their health services because of the significant lack of doctors (Robinson, 2000).

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