Monthly Archives: January 2008

Sesame Street Videos – Beta – now online

Now if you are going to watch a “beta” version of anything, this is the one to watch.

I think I will have a and watch them. 🙂

Go here for the videos

Wanting to move up from cheap wine at the LCBO? Look to Matthew Sullivan for advice.

Matthew Sullivan has a great idea for a wine blog. His blog, the Short Cellar, is all about:

“….offering some advice about the joy of aging wine as I build my own cellar from the ground up, detailing what is going in, when it comes out, and what happened to it along the way. My emphasis will be on wines that are easily available in Ontario and that only take a year or two before developing into something special. Who has time to wait 10 years? I’m patient, but not a saint. There’s a perception that having a wine cellar implies expertise or money. This is a myth. You’re never too young, dumb, or soaked in debt to want a better bottle of wine. It’s true that a cellar takes some foresight and knowledge, but only enough to guess what you are going to have for dinner three years from now, and the knowledge that you’ll want something extraordinary to wash it down. You can spend any amount that you wish on wine, but the sweet spot is between $15 and $25. At that level, there are some exceptional wines that will mature marvellously, but there’s no guilt in drinking them at any time since, litre for litre, they are still cheaper than a latte.”

Sounds like a great idea. See The Short Cellar for more.

Avoiding the sub-prime mortgage disaster…for now

The whirlpool that is the sub-prime mortgage disaster in the U.S. continues to get bigger and suck more things into it. But not everyone.

At, the excellent Jason Kottke has some good references to smart people who have managed to see the problem coming and avoid it (for now). For more details, see his entry: Yay! Today is sub-prime mortgage day on, I guess. The… (

Also, check out the site n+1 — he referenced earlier — that has an interview with a Hedge Fund Manager that not only talks about this problem but problems in the world of high finance generally. An eye-opening interview.

Be afraid.

In 2008, wine is going to get cheaper at the LCBO (good news for under $10 fans!)

The has an article on how the LCBO will now stock cheaper wine in 2008. Fans of wine under $10, take heart! 🙂

Some highlights from the Beppi Crosariol article:

– Wine drinkers in Ontario may soon notice a strange trend taking shape at their local liquor stores: more shelf space given over to bargain imports. (Why is this strange? -bm)- Portugal is likely to be a key source of some of the best buys. The LCBO has reduced its minimum selling price for wines from that country to $6.95 for a 750-millilitre bottle, down $3 from last year’s minimum price of $9.95. Similarly, wineries from South Africa and Australia, two other low-cost regions known for abundant bargains, can now submit products for consideration priced as low as $7.95.

– The new $6.95 threshold also applies to “cellared in Canada” blends.

– Bargain wines acquired under the new purchasing program issued this week … are expected to reach shelves over the coming year, starting as early as April.

– The LCBO also sells a rotating selection of limited-release premium products through Vintages… may also choose to source under-$10 deals…

– Chris Churchill, president of Churchill Cellars Ltd., which represents such popular Australian brands as Banrock Station and Hardys, said quality at all price points has improved significantly during the almost 20 years he has been travelling to wine fairs around the world and that $8 and $9 no longer means a gamble with mediocrity. “With better-trained winemakers and better technology, it’s now difficult to find really bad wines, even in the less-than-$10 category.”

– Ontario would still have miles to go before catching up to bargain-wine trends in the United States, where mass-produced brands such as Barefoot Cellars often sell in … for as little as $4 a bottle (which are $9.95 in the LCBO! 😦 -bm))

See the article here with the misleading title of LCBO flips anti-plonk policy, since all LCBO outlets have always had alot of plonk on it shelves that never seems to shrink. Low cost wine isn’t synonymous with plonk.

P.S. for more on some of the fine, award winning and non-plonk wine from Barefoot, see here and here for some good examples.

Friday music – Joanna Newsom

The brilliant Joanna Newsom with “sprout and the bean”

The John Coltrane web site

I love John Coltrane’s music. Learn more about the man and his music at ::: JOHNCOLTRANE.COM :::

Bonus: you go to the site, it pops up with “A Love Supreme”. Enjoy.

flickr steps up the plate for the Library of Congress

[William J. Bradley, Toronto (baseball)] (LOC)

The Library of Congress has added 3,000 copyright-free, public domain photos to Flickr. The catch? It’s up to us to tag them all.

To me, this is a significant step in the growth of such Web 2.0 services. Imagine if more and more librarians put their archives on the Web in such a fashion.

Thanks to lifehacker for the tip!

(Photo: Bain News Service,

[William J. Bradley,
Toronto (baseball)]