Backroom politics at the Flying Pony

Grade 7 and 8 students at Roden School have interpreted Edvard Munch’s The Scream for Halloween month. Their artworks hang in the back room at Andrew Horne’s Flying Pony Gallery/Café.

backroom-politics

“Where’s Mulcair?” Harper seems to be screaming. “Why isn’t Mulcair here screaming?” He’s right, extremely right. No Mulcair, just a screaming Justin … or is he yawning? It doesn’t bode well for the NDP, to be missing in action. Lots of Greens in the crowd, though.

scream-gallery

Drop in to see the big black and white montage. It’s too full of detail to display well here, but the artists show a lot of imagination and technical ability in rendering.

Movie review: The Zero Theorem

I watched Danica’s library DVD of Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem [Trailer] today and couldn’t figure out how to express my thoughts about it in words.

gilliam-shoe-700

Entertaining to look at and fun to create … but does that make a good shoe?

Terry Gilliam movies are always great eye candy, but I think his best movie was Brazil. His animations for Monty Python’s Flying Circus are classics, too.

One of Toronto’s smartest ideas

The Leslie Spit is artificial and natural at the same time. Made of clean fill from construction debris, it is still growing. Trucks haul loads all week, so it’s only open as a public park on weekends and holidays like today.


 Natural growth has been allowed to take hold. If it isn’t native to the province, it isn’t wanted. A bit of grooming with walking trails is all that’s needed to make this an accessible oasis of peace and relative quiet, right within the city.

Asphalt roadways serve dump trucks during the work week, then become bicycle paths when it’s public time. Birders love the place and there’s an official birding station where species are caught safely in fine netting, banded, logged and released.

Today’s 22℃ weather brought out hundreds of us, but the place is so big, we still had lots of space to ourselves. Perfect day!

Peter Tatham checks in

pete-tatham-photo

Danica reminded Pete to take lots of photos on his current European jaunt. He is in Holland at the moment, living up to his role as an Original.

Not only has Mr Tatham managed to avoid a clichéd tourist shot, he has pulled one off a nice one, delivering his message wrapped in an Amsterdam bicycle shadow. Looks like he is taking his own advice, eh?

Rich Vegetable Stock

Your Royko Recipe for October. It will be part of later recipes, so I’ll link back to it.

Royko's-Recipes

RICH VEGETABLE STOCK

This recipe is adapted from one in Hot, Spicy & Meatless, a cookbook by Dave DeWitt and the other folks who bring you Chile Pepper magazine. By adapted, I mean that I eliminated the oil the recipe calls for. I don’t miss it at all. Don’t be mislead by the name, this stock is definitely not a mouth burner. The recipes in this great book range from ‘wimpy’ to ‘call the fire department’.

I double the recipe and make a great vat of the stuff that I freeze in 4 cup batches.

Elapsed time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 2 1/2 hours

2 large ribs celery, including leaves, cut into 1inch pieces
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, quartered
2 leeks (white part only), washed and chopped
3 green onions, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley (including stems) coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (or 2 tablespoons dried basil)
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 cup small mushrooms, halved
1 zucchini, thickly sliced
3 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes
3 fresh jalapeño peppers*
10 cups cold water
5 whole black peppercorns

* If you want heat, seed and chop the jalapeños. If you just want a mild pepper taste, put them in whole.

Dump all ingredients into a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 2 hours. Remove the lid and simmer for another 30 minutes. Strain through a fine strainer and salt to taste. Discard the vegetables (trust me: the flavour is totally gone, but they do make a good addition to your compost pile).

Stock can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 days. Or, divide into smaller containers and freeze.

Stolen pumpkins

I stole these pumpkins from the Facebook page of our friends Kash and Carlotta in Niagara on the Lake. That’s Carlotta shopping for the makings of perfect pumpkin pie … to put in their gelato.

pumkin-gelato

Carlotta and Kash have created two popular businesses; A charming Tuscan-themed B&B in the historical Burns House (La Toscana di Carlotta) and a fabulous gelateria (Il Gelato di Carlotta).

Do visit them if you are in Niagara on the Lake. Their healthy, authentic Italian gelato is flavoured with fresh fruits and berries sourced locally. It’s the best.

This year Kash and Carlotta were asked to open a second location in the Fallsview Casino. Not bad, eh? [Locations]

Dylan on the Danny

dylan-tree-linsmore

Brian (left) heard that The Dylan Tree would be playing at the Linsmore Tavern on the Danforth Saturday night. He alerted Lloyd (centre), Cheryl (right) and me, knowing that we all like Dylan.

The 5 guys in the band do a very credible job with the music and vocals, not exactly imitating Dylan, but interpreting him. They did come pretty close to duplicating Dylan’s twang and growl sometimes, though. Their songs sure took me back. Good entertainers, nice guys to talk to and they seemed genuinely to be having as much fun as their audience.

Linsmore music nights are getting a good reputation because of bands like The Dylan Tree. The old tavern is pleasantly simple and appears not to have changed for half a century. Cheryl and Lloyd had planned to eat there, but no food is offered. The bartender suggested to Lloyd that he go outside and bring back some fast food. How laid back is that? Shawarmas and french fries from down the street.

First chance we got …

We couldn’t wait to cast our votes against Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, so Danica and I went to the advance poll.

4-parties

We are lucky in our riding, because the Conservative candidate has absolutely no chance. That leaves us free to vote the way we want to, without considering how best to oust the worst prime minister in living memory.

Many constituents are in swing ridings, trying to guess whether a vote for the Liberals or the NDP would work best against the Conservatives. Sites like strategicvoting.ca can help.

I sympathize with Conservatives who would like to vote for their party, but feel that Harper has let them down. For them, I think Newfoundland’s Danny Williams had good advice. If you don’t like Harper but can’t bring yourself to vote for one of the other choices, just sit this one out. Don’t give your vote to Harper. Give your party the chance to replace its leader with a better one.

Or, vote Green. There are plenty of things in the Green platform that are in line with small-c conservative values.

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