Hello out there

Every once and a while I think it is fun to have a look at where the visitors to this blog come from.
My tracker keeps a note of how many visitors I get each day, who is new and who is returning and where the last 500 people who log onto the site live. It provides me with the visitor's IP address, the name of service providers, the browsers being used and the city and country visitors live in but, of course, not their names.
So if one of those little dots represents you,
welcome to my blog and feel free to leave a comment.

Wikileaks more like Wikigossip

I have got to say that I have been more than a little disappointed at what has been revealed by Wiki-leaks this week. After the first announcement that Wiki had new secrets to reveal, I waited through the weekend with growing excitement.
Everyone but governments and diplomats love this stuff. The more salacious the better. 

The build-up was great. The American Government was reported to be calling around the globe tipping nations off that they may have been a bit more candid then "friends" would like and Harper and his gang were putting on a good, brave face saying "No matter what those guys might have said, they are still our best friends." Holy smoke we thought, great stuff coming.

In the end there was very little for anyone to get their knickers in a knot about. It was more like high school than anything else. 
  • Some American diplomats thought that some of the CBC dramas were taking shots at the American border service. 
  • They also thought that Canadians have an inferiority complex. 
  • The head of Canada's spy agency thinks that the courts are making his job tougher. (Thank God for that I thought)
  • A Canadian diplomat was caught out saying things about the leadership of Afghanistan that we have all heard or read in the media time and time again.     
Governments are still nattering on about putting people in harms' way but in reality, at this point, five days of releases have told us nothing we didn't really already suspect was happening anyway.

Whoop-de-do. This time it was all hype, little substance. Wikki-leaks indeed. I have heard more gossip  in the bar on Friday night after floor hockey.


The Conservatives are Spammers of the Worst Kind

 My MP is a homophobic, bush league, Parliamentary bench warmer who only speaks out after it has been cleared by the PMO staff. He is good at getting his picture taken handing over cheques, but little else.

He was particularly silent on the BHP takeover bid even when his old buddy Brad Wall was talking up a storm.  He claimed in the media that he was prevented by law from give his opinion on the matter but unfortunately the reporters forgot to ask him what law it was that prevented him from supporting his constituents position on the takeover.

Tom doesn't really care what urban voters think. He has never come to my door election time and in fact he is seldom seen in the Regina area spending his constituency time pandering to rural voters. Those guys would elect a dead horse if it wore a Conservative t-shirt. Some would suggest they already have.

What Tom Lukiwski is really good at is having his staff send us all the Canada Post equivalent of Spam.

The conservative government members are flooding the postal system with useless propaganda hoping that we will in turn do  the same by returning the whole thing with the expected a response supporting Stephen Harper. When they ask me, "WHO IS WORKING IN THE BEST INTEREST OF CANADIANS (their caps not mine). I usually send it back with checks beside Micheal Ignatieff, Jack Layton, and Elizabeth May.

I find this stuff particularly offensive.

The latest rant I got from Tom Boy was all about how a Stephen Harper Government is so much better that the alternative which he sees as a "ragtag coalition".  The interesting thing is that neither Ignatieff, Layton nor Duceppe wants a coalition to many of us, a coalition government, by its very nature forced to work in co-operation with each other would be 500% better that the government we have. The Harper model is divisive.  Think about it. It thrives on setting one part of the country against another, rural versus urban, knuckle draggers against gun control advocates - you see what I mean. Harper is tearing this country apart and guys like Lukiwski are helping him do it.

Come on boys and girls. Next chance we get, let's dump these people before it is too late.


Pirates, all of Them

I was intrigued this morning by a piece by Neil Reynolds writing in the Globe and Mail about the return to the Gold Standard. He quotes Canadian born economist Dr. Robert Mundell extensively. Mundell has evidentially been predicting a return of that shiny metal as a backbone of our modern economies since 1997. And, now he is backed up by World Bank President Robert Zoellick who is suggesting that the world needs to embrace the gold standard.

To be honest the world economic system all seems like a bit of a shell game to me. Economies seem to rise and fall because of how a group of insecure people feel about them on any given day. The value of currencies being affected by events like North Korea feeling a bit randy one morning or a politician's unfortunate ad lib. It doesn't seem real.

But gold? It is really of very little value except that it is kind of shiny and makes good jewelry. I am not sure I get it.

Or, perhaps I do. I wasn't all that long ago when the world economic system went into free fall that critics were referring to our world's bankers as a bunch of pirates playing loose and free with what is essentially our money. Perhaps it is all beginning to fit together.

I think Michael Flaherty would look good with an eye patch and a three cornered hat. Bring it on.

All together now:
Sixteen men on a dead man's chest
Yo yo ho and a bottle of rum


My New Favorite Chicken Recipe

I tried a new recipe this evening. A Spanish dish, Paprika Chicken with Garlic. It is a dish that a good restaurant wouldn't hesitate to charge you $25.00 for.
So why pay through the nose for something which is so simple to make.

6 to 8 chicken thighs
2 cups of flour
3 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 couple of glugs of olive oil
20 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
2 cups heated chicken stock
1/3 of a cup of dry white wine
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 Tbsp dried thyme
Salt & pepper

Dredge the chicken in flour then in the paprika. If is isn't covering well take some paprika in your hands and rub it into the chicken. Set it aside.
Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a deep frying pan or a dutch oven. Add the garlic and heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Don't let it brown. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
Brown the chicken well on both sides. Don't crowd it. Three at a time is probably the easiest depending on the size of your pan. When all the chicken are well browned place the chicken pieces skin side up in the pan. Hopefully your pan is large enough to have the chicken all on one layer,
Put the garlic back into the pan distributing it evenly and between the pieces of chicken. Add the bay leaves, the thyme and the salt and pepper.
Add the hot stock and wine to the pan and turn up the heat bringing it to a boil.
When it boils, turn the heat to simmer, cover the pan and cook for 25 minutes.
After the chicken is done, take it out and put in in a warming oven.
Take out the bay leaves.
Bring the stock back to a boil and reduce it to about 1 1/2 cups.
Put the chicken on warmed plates and pour the sauce and the pieces of garlic over the chicken.

This dish would be great with roast potatoes and what ever vegetable you like.