Drinking a 159 Year Old Bottle of Wine

Consuming this extremely old bottle comes with some risks. Will it be pleasure or poison?


Disney life travel

Our 2022 Disneyland Trip

On Tuesday, April 19th we left today and entered the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy. It’s the happiest place on Earth — Disneyland!

And we WERE happy, because getting there was no easy task. Before we left I knew that our two hour drive (by distance) was never going to take a mere couple of hours. Traffic backing up is normal going from Palm Springs to LA, but this day was a holiday — I figured it would be a particularly good day to travel, avoiding the typical commuter traffic. Not to mention, we were setting out at noon, a time one could assume to be easiest to make the journey. Well, unfortunately, it turns out we were embarking at the worst possible time. Tens of thousands of Coachella concert goers were returning to the city on the Monday after Easter. The freeway was like a parking lot. Our exasperated three year old daughter put it best as she exclaimed, “We’re moving like turtles!” Slowly and steadily (and 5 hours later) we arrived at our destination in Anaheim.

bad review revue

The Bad Review Revue

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore: “If you don’t like fantastic beasts in your ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movie, then this is the film for you.” — Doug Walker, Channel Awesome

Firestarter: “I hope nobody subscribed to Peacock for this. You got a lame duck instead.” — Korey Coleman, Double Toasted

Uncharted: “It’s not poorly written for a video game-based movie. It’s poorly written for a ransom note. It’s poorly written by the standards of online comment sections. It’s poorly written compared to an Ayn Rand novel. It’s that bad.” — Ryan Syrek, The Reader

Father Stu: “It feels like someone involved thought, ‘We’re going to win so many Oscars with this movie!’ In fact, the end result comes off more like one of those joke movies in Tropic Thunder.” — Edward Douglas, The Weekend Warrior

Memory: “I wish I could forget it!” — Christy Lemire, Film Week


Bill 15 Will Drastically Change Public Education in Alberta

Tonight I received the following email from the ATA. Our provincial government is going to end up making public education a lot more expensive and a lot worse for students.

There is one issue facing public education in this province right now that has the potential to irreversibly damage our education system more than anything else.

Bill 15 cleared second reading this week and it is expected to be passed before May 12.

Can you help get the word out about this bill by forwarding this email to five friends?

“Citizens of Alberta should be concerned. Everyone who cares about the province’s history of excellent education should be concerned,” says Dr Myer Horowitz, who has served as the President of the University of Alberta and dean of their Faculty of Education. “Everyone who wants classroom teachers to have a bias for professional practice should be concerned.

Former Alberta education minister David King says, “(Bill 15) would be a serious mistake, with a multitude of unintended negative consequences and no material upside.

Retired ATA CEO Dr Gordon Thomas says, “these actions will destroy what’s left of what was once the world’s top English-speaking education system. A professional collegial culture, where teachers are supported in their work, will be replaced with a management-labour culture where teacher technicians are directed.”

Brett Cooper, assistant superintendent for Pembina Hills School Division says, “maintaining the ATA’s dual role is central to protecting our public education system and the collegial approach that makes our profession so special in this province.

Richard Rand, a retired lawyer who has served on professional discipline committees for the law society, says, “the current, ATA-led, practices and procedures overseeing teacher discipline in Alberta represent as good, or better, a system governing professional discipline as any I have encountered in any profession.

And Albertans are opposed to it too. Public opinion polling from Environics Research shows that only 17 per cent of Albertans and 2 per cent of teachers trust the government most to uphold standards for the teaching profession.

Do you trust this government and this minister to provide fair and effective oversight for the teaching profession in Alberta?

I don’t.

Call or email your MLA. Tell them that you are opposed to Bill 15 and that passing it would be a huge mistake.


Donald McNeil Follow Up

Yesterday Donald McNeil published a follow up post about his firing from the New York Times on Medium. He blames a culture of hypocrisy and elitism and compares his forced apology to the controlling power of Chairman Mao.



The Severance

We’ve been loving the show Severance. If you haven’t checked it out yet I highly recommend it.

Here’s the series synopsis:

Mark leads a team of office workers whose memories have been surgically divided between their work and personal lives. When a mysterious colleague appears outside of work, it begins a journey to discover the truth about their jobs.

It’s a psychological thriller and although if you asked me before I wouldn’t have thought I’m particularly a fan of the genre, however, this show hits me just right. I think part of the appeal is the alluring conception of deleting a job from one’s memory that you may not love as much as the rest of your life.

Anyway, a large part of the show takes place in an office environment and so, as is inevitable, here’s a remixed title sequence but with music from The Office.



The Downfall of Westjet

After the fiasco of trying to get our money back from the cancelled trip over the Christmas holidays I had sworn off WestJet but, alas, our Easter trip will use the travelbank money from that trip so I’ll kick the decision of what airline to use next time down the road.

I won’t get into the boring details, but let it be a lesson, dear reader, gone is the WestJet of years past. It makes me sad to say the Calgary company is easily just as bad as the other airlines. They’re not afraid to lie when it comes to taking your money.


Chinese Rocket Hits the Moon

That mystery rocket debris floating around in space, which was once thought to be from Space-ex, it turns out was from China. It collided with the moon yesterday and left a crater up to 20m wide.

From The Verge story:

Originally, space trackers thought it was a leftover piece of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that had launched a weather satellite back in 2015. But after careful analysis, various groups of space trackers confirmed that the rocket was likely leftover from the launch of China’s Chang’e 5-T1 mission — a flight that launched in 2014 to test out technology needed to bring samples back from the Moon. That mission, launched on a Chinese Long March 3C rocket, sent a spacecraft looping around the Moon in an attempt to see if China could send a vehicle to the Moon and then bring it back to Earth. Given the flight profile of the Chang’e 5-T1 mission and the tracking of the mystery object, astronomers are fairly certain that a chunk of the Long March 3C rocket has remained in an extremely elongated orbit around Earth ever since, only to find its way to the far side of the Moon.

The moon does a pretty good job of sweeping up space debris that’s way out there.


Time to Act

The more I think about it, the more I think the world needs to intervene in Ukraine. If Russia continues annexing neighbors, isn’t it better to act now than later? Where are the pundits that believe Putin is going to stop?

article war

A Prayer for Volodymyr Zelensky

I keep going back and forth on whether the Russian invasion really is the start of the Third World War. I suppose once Russia completes the takeover of the eastern portions of Ukraine they might stop, but it’s like RISK. As everyone knows, nobody who takes over Ukraine with a large army ever stops there. This is going to be the Third World War.

Last week the Atlantic published a piece about the unlikely Ukrainian President and his fortitude.

Before he became the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky played the part on television. He created and starred in a comedy series, Servant of the People. His character, a high-school history teacher, is surreptitiously recorded by one of his students as he passionately rants against the tyranny of corruption in his nation. Without his knowledge, the video goes viral. Without campaigning or even wanting the job, the teacher is improbably elected president of Ukraine. The humble Everyman, out of his depths in nearly every respect, goes on to become a heroic leader of his country.

Zelensky might be the hero Ukraine needs but as for the rest of the world, there needs to be some tough choices. It’s going to be just like it was in the Second World War, and once again we’re going to wait too long.