More China

Who's afraid of a few chilis?

Not much time for blogging--it turns out I've had a lot of behind-the-scenes work to do after the grand opening with our winery partner here in Xinxiang. But I can't complain--I'm staying in a hotel with a hot springs-type spa in it, so I'm pretty relaxed, and the meals have been fantastic.

I used to think it was a conceit from people who visited China who claimed that the food was always better there. After all, doesn't BC have a fine Chinatown with many great cooks and Richmond with all of its fabulous restaurants? Notwithstanding the excellence of our local cooks at home, the food here has been off the charts fantastic. more

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五星红旗: Red for revolution, big star for the Communist party leadership, smaller stars for the unity of the people

It has suddenly occurred to me that my life has turned into something that would be very difficult to describe to a stranger. Heck, it’d be impossible to describe to me, as I was fifteen years ago.

It’s not that I do anything exceptionally weird: I’m a technician and a middle manager and a medium-sized corporation. I have employees, bosses, reports, deadlines, projects, tasks and meetings. Not that I ever thought I’d have these sorts of things either: I grew up a noble member of the proletariat, predestined to be a ‘son of toil’ (most likely moving tons of soil). The fact that I’m glib and clever and can string sentences together doomed me for a life away from the end of a shovel or the handle of a deep-fry basket, but flying over the Bering strait right now, I am pretty sure I’ve gotten a better deal out of life than I had any expectations for, growing up. more

Posted by Asiatic Tim AT 4:15PM 0 Comments Comments Post A Comment Post A Comment Email Email

Crabby Times

Brings new meaning to the term, 'crab-grass'. Picture Wikimedia Commons.

One of the blessings about living on the west coast of Canada is an abundance of very good, very fresh seafood. An ostraconophile like me can basically wallow in an embarrassment of riches most of the year: oysters, clams, prawns, salmon, halibut, anything the Pacific Ocean can dish out, I can dish up. But one of my favorites is crab. Around here you can get Dungeness, Rock Crab and Snow crab on a regular basis. For my money, Dungeness can't be beat: sweet, tender and not insanely expensive (I'm looking at you, snow crab) it's my go-to crustacean.

Usually we just boil up some crabs and serve 'em with a nice salad, a baguette and some butter, easy-peasy. But I've had a hankering to try out a seafood boil. There are a couple of types, The south generally does a seafood boil with shrimp, corn on the cob, sausage, and red potatoes, New Orleans does shrimp, crab, crawfish, corn, sausage and potatoes, and other regions imitate as suits them.The big thing they have in common is the boil gets strained and all the good stuff is piled onto the table (often on butcher paper) and eaten in a giant orgy of crunching, slurping and cries of happiness. more

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Fight Cancer, One Beer At a Time

Sounds like a good trade to me

It's not often you get to do something good that's in your own self interest, both coming and going. For the month of June, in honor of Father's Day, Winexpert will be donating $1 from every Barons Beer Kit sold to Pints for Prostates.

Pints for Prostates is a grassroots campaign that uses the universal language of beer to reach men with an important health message. Founded by prostate cancer survivor Rick Lyke in 2008, the campaign raises awareness among men about the need for regular health screenings and PSA testing by making appearances at beer festivals, social networking and pro bono advertising. more

Posted by Tim AT 3:26PM 1 Comment Comments Post A Comment Post A Comment Email Email

Agent of Travel

You gonna eat that, big fella? 'Cause I got a wife and nineteen little chipmunks to feed . . .
Lighthouse Point chipmunk, photo by me.

Usually my travel schedule calms down right after the middle of December, with perhaps a conference or two until Fall rolls around again. This year is a bit different. In addition to the usual, I've been on the road seemingly for a week or two every month, from Victoria to Winnipeg, Ontario (twice), Quebec, California, etc. Today I'm in Ohio, in lovely Cuyahoga Falls attending the LD Carlson retailer conference. LD puts on a great event, with vendors (including Winexpert) from all over and some excellent speakers. This year it's Kevin Graff from Graff Retail, who always does a great job, and has crucial things to teach any retailer who listens. Of course, I'll be doing a presentation this afternoon as well. Kevin is a tough act to follow, but I'll do my best.

After this I'm off to China for a week. It's my first trip there, and because I used to live in Japan, I know it's going to be the same mildly disorienting experience, stepping off a plane into a country with such a potent dynamic, familiar things going on in profoundly different ways, and masses of people moving, being and doing stuff all around. It should be pretty interesting! more

Posted by Transitory Tim AT 7:56AM 0 Comments Comments Post A Comment Post A Comment Email Email
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