September 23rd, 2006

September 22, 2006 In Europe it is important to appreciate history and Sachertorte is a VERY important part of Austrian history. According to Wikipedia, Sachertorte is a chocolate cake, invented by Franz Sacher in 1832 for Klemens Wenzel von Metternich in Vienna, Austria. It is one of the most famous Viennese culinary specialties.The cake consists of two layers of dense, not overly sweet chocolate dough with a thin layer of apricot jam in the middle and dark chocolate icing with shreds of chocolate on the top and sides. This is traditionally eaten with whipped cream, as most Viennese consider the Sachertorte too "dry" to be eaten without.The trademark for the "Original Sachertorte" was registered by the Hotel Sacher, which was built in 1876 by the son of Franz Sacher.

Not only did we have Sachertorte in Vienna, but we had the official recipe at Hotel Sacher. Other restaurants have tried to replicate this famous cake, but the original reciple has been kept top secret. I was more than happy to participate in this memorable historical outing, it topped any museum experience.

For more history on Sachertorte, visit

Austrian Breakfast

September 23rd, 2006

I love eating breakfast in Austria! Grainy breads, cheeses, cured meats, tomatoes, avocados, and for dessert a slice of bread topped with nutella. Breakfast is leisurely and spans over at least an hour…I don’t know if this is normal or if it just occurs when visiting great friends, but I enjoy it either way!


September 23rd, 2006

DSC_2077 When visiting Trinity in August, we were too early for partridgeberries, but luckily they’re in season in Austria in September! Jim and I were wandering through the market in Vienna yesterday and saw berries that looked like partridgeberries, of course we had to buy some and not only do they look like partridgeberries, but I think they are partridgeberries, although in Austria they call them swedish cranberries. The swedish cranberries go wonderfully with some apple and goat’s cheese, with a bit of fresh bread, mmmm.

And who said hockey was Canada’s game?

September 23rd, 2006

DSC_2029 September 22, 2006 I invite all of the hockey fans in Canada to come to Vienna for a hockey game to learn what makes a true fan and a great game. The Austrians are crazy when it comes to their hockey! Last night we decided to take in a game and based on the energy in the rink you would think it was an olympic gold medal game. Apparently it was the first game of the season and it was sold out for a week in advance…we had to buy our tickets from a nice man outside. The Salvation Army must have donated all of their snare and bass drums to aid the fans. Both teams seemed to have their own percussion section that rallied the fans in various cheers. The visiting team’s fans liked singing or chanting come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me… I didn’t really understand its symbolism. If you shouted a few german curse words, shook your fist at the ref, and from time to time threw something onto the ice, you’d fit right in.

Guitar Club

May 8th, 2006

I know the first rule of Guitar Club is not to talk about Guitar Club, but I can’t help it.  Steve did such a good job of writing up the minutes, I thought it just had to be posted…

(Some names have been changed to protect the innocent.)

The following are the minutes for Guitar Club’s first weekly meeting, May 7th, 06, at 41 XXXXXXXX Road.

Meeting convened at 7:03 PM.

Members Present:  Steve P., Steve G., Jim Parsons

7:07  Steve G. submitted the first official Guitar Club song, a Neil Young number, whose name I can’t remember but I will add to the minutes at a later time.

7:28  Steve P. began his first submission…The River by Bruce Springsteen.  Mr. Parsons and Mr. G. objected to the "messiness" of the guitar sheet, requesting that Mr. P. bring a more polished copy for next week.  Mr. P. complimented Mr. G. on the tidiness of the above mentioned Neil Young number.

7:34  Some disgreement between Mr. G. and Mr. Parsons concerning how to play a Em7 cord properly.

7:42  Mr. P.’s song ended.  Mr. Parsons and Mr. G. agreed to listen to the song in the coming week to become better familiar with it.

7:55  Mr. Parsons bragged about choosing a song that everybody would know at a party, then pulled out America by Simon and Garfunkle.  Mr. P. responded that he had never heard the song before, and questioned Mr. Parsons opening statement.  Mr. G. admitted to knowing the song, but his association with the song was probably linked to exorbitant amounts of pot that was smoked in the early 70s.

8:02  Mr. Parsons and Mr. G. quarraled on the proper way to play a C/G chord.  During this quarrel, Mr. G. was heard to quote, "I don’t like how this [guitar club] is going already."  Mr. Parsons seemed to be egging Mr. G. on, uttering such insults as "guitar Nazi" under his breath.  Mr. P. admitted to feeling a little uncomfortable in this exchange, as both sides seemed to be lobbying him for support.

8:09:  Mr. Parsons finished his song and Mr. G. threw out his second selection of the night.  This time it was a ??? I forget the song, but as with Mr. G.’s opening number, I will add the song and the artist to the minutes when it comes to me…perhaps after I’ve consumed exorbitant amounts of pot.

8:10:  When Mr. Parsons began to play Mr. G.’s song before Mr. G. had properly introduced it, Mr. G. stopped playing, told Mr.Parsons firmly "This is My song."  and mumbled something about not wanting him to go "Juicy Fruit" on Mr. Parsons’ ass.

8:21:  Mr. G.’s second song ended.

8:22   Between bites of delicious chocolate chip cookies, (baked by Mr. Parsons) Mr. P. began his second song, "Graceful and Charming–Sweet Forget Me Not".  The song was enjoyed by all.

8:35   Mr. Parsons declared that he didn’t have any other songs.

8:36:  Mr. G. asked Mr. parsons for his recipe for chocolate chip cookies.  He declared that they would be great for when he got the munchies.  It was at this point that Mr. G.’s and Mr. Parson’s relationship seemed to improve, and the future of guitar club became more certain.

8:45:  Louise and Amy Andrews entered the room and began a discussion with Mr. Parsons concerning an unknown guitar player in St. John’s.

8:47:  Mr. P. and Mr. G. performed James Blunt’s much overplayed "Beautiful" while Mr. Parsons looked up above mentioned unknown St. John’s guitar player on the Internet.  Turns out that the guitar player’s name is Dwayne Andrews…not related to the above mentioned Mrs. or Ms Andrews, despite the comments made by Louise that suggested otherwise.

8:48:  While having a beer, all three members of guitar club threw out a medley of songs by artsist stuch as Tragically Hip, The Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam and others, in a request to see what songs would be appropriate for next week.

9:24:  Twenty-four minutes late, the first official meeting of guitar club was adjourned, with the motion made to reconvene next Sunday, May 14th, 7:00 PM at XXXXXXXX (crescent / street/ etc.)

May 4th, 2006

My new baby was just born… It’s a website I designed that, among other things, shows the location of icebergs around Newfoundland and Labrador on a Google Map. I’m so proud.

Green Goes Nuclear

April 16th, 2006

There have been a lot of rumours that the environmental lobby is having a change of heart about nuclear energy.  The latest installment comes from the co-founder of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore.

The Shannon Warren Show

April 14th, 2006

Here’s a little video I helped Shannon Warren make for an audition. It’s up on Google Video.

Mr. Furley is dead :(

February 26th, 2006

I just read on CBC that Don Knotts died on Friday. So sad. I used to love Three’s Company growing up and Knotts’ landlord downstairs really cracked me up. Almost as much as Norman Fell’s Mr. Roper.

London Mayor Suspended

February 24th, 2006

London Mayor Ken Livingstone, was suspended by the Adjudication Panel for England for 4 weeks for comments he made to a reporter. Who is the Adjudication Panel for England? Good question. Apparently, it’s some 3-person judicial panel that reviews the conduct of authorities. Were the comments criminal? No. Were they in bad taste? You decide…

Livingstone: Are you a German War Criminal?

Reporter: No, I’m Jewish, I wasn’t a German war criminal. I’m quite offended by that.

Livingstone: Ah right, well you might be, but actually you are just like a concentration camp guard, you are just doing it because you are paid to, aren’t you?

The reporter was supposedly harassing Livingstone as he left a "predominantly gay" public event. Livingstone refused to apologize and the matter was brought to the Adjudication Panel.

The issue raises the question about who has the right to remove a publicly-elected official and what kind of behaviour warrants removal. Personally, I think it was a stupid way to make his point, but I can’t see how this thing can fly in a democracy. I think that an elected official should not be removed without due process from an elected assembly. Three guys in some back room doesn’t cut it.

Read more on this from the BBC.