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Fall fun food and follies in B.C. 2010 chapter 1 · 25.09.10 by colin newell

B.C. Drunk Driving laws - blow for me please...Life in British Columbia guarantees an endless procession of political intrigue, scandals, government screw-ups and boondoggles.

It gets on my nerves and amuses me – but not always in equal measure.

The last few months it has been the police, particularly the RCMP who have been getting under my skin – like Fall drunk wasps who get in my face the moment I head outside.

The RCMP – a once respected National police force that used to be trusted, reliable as gravity and, for all intents and purposes… inscrutable…
(And)Now you wouldn’t trust them to handle a simple drunk and disorderly call or a jet lagged tourist without someone getting a bullet in the back of their head…

…or worse.

Now they want more power on the roads.
The B.C. Attorney generals office has radically reshaped speeding and drunk driving laws in such as way as to grant extraordinary powers to the cops on the tarmac beat.

And don’t get me wrong – I am all for getting people to slow the heck down. Speed kills. And so does excessive drink. That is why we have reasonable limits of alcohol consumption.

But, in my opinion, it is not the food enthusiasts and lovers of life – who enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, that are the problem. It is the hardened repeat offenders that are too stupid to not drive blitzed, putting themselves and every animate and inanimate object in their paths in danger.

The new DUI laws put everyone in the cross hairs of Joe Police Constable. Due process has been eliminated and the roadside cop is now judge, jury and executioner. As I currently interpret the new laws, you can be pulled over, have your license pulled, your car towed and be fined thousands of dollars never even having had the pleasure of one sip of liquor… or the pleasant company of a wise old B.C. judge.

Doubt me? You shouldn’t. It all comes down to the discretion of the attending officer. You may have just had a 12 hour shift at the mill or the office. You are tired. And are weaving a bit. And whether or not you “blow” .05 is irrelevant. There is a new “definition” of impaired out there folks.

And listen up. Roadside breath tests do not test for alcohol. They test for chemical compounds in your breath that indicate the presence of alcohol (and other substances) in your bloodstream. It is not an infallible test and every test is open to subjective analysis and criticism.

Oh, I mean in most places other than B.C.

Results. The hardened drinkers are still going to drink and drive.
The rest of us are going to stop eating out or enjoying a glass of wine or beer at a restaurant or social – in addition to living in a society that is tipping towards a nanny state at an ever frightening rate.

So. The cops have more power.
Guess what? They want MORE power still.
The Association of Police Chiefs of B.C. want the ability to execute random roadside breath tests.
Huh? What ever happened to innocent til proven guilty?
Here is a little truth: Surgeons like to cut things, carpenters like to build things and cops like to have power – and it’s human nature to want more than you have or do more than your doing.

What I can see happening shortly is a clash of lawyers in B.C. with the A.G.‘s office. Class action suits. Charter rights challenges. Etc.

Scandals, boondoggles and more scandals. Welcome to B.C. folks.

Too much power, but now police chiefs are calling for even more.

“The randomness of catching people who are drinking and driving is pretty key to lowering the death rate and sending a very clear message to people that break the law,” mused Victoria Police Chief Jamie Graham.

We cannot trust our current crop of cops with guns or tazers.
So how can we trust them with overarching quantities of police powers?
Just say no folks.
Which is exactly what I am going to say to Corporal Kowalsky when I get asked to blow without cause.

You first officer. You first.

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Summer Food Fun and Drink 11 Scented Garden Bed and Breakfast Chemainus · 18.07.10 by colin newell

Scented Garden B&B in Chemainus - While at the theater

In addition to seeing “Guys and Dolls” this weekend, we stayed at a wonderful B&B in Chemainus British Columbia.

Located on Maple Street in Chemainus, The Scented Garden B&B could not possibly be located in a more quaint neighborhood – nor could it be more suitably located relative to the Chemainus theater.

Just four houses from the beach and steps to the center of Chemainus village and a leisurely 7 minute stroll to the Chemainus Theater – convenient!

Scented Garden B&B in Chemainus - Look at the size of the soaker tub!

The surrounding neighborhood is thick with character houses and a short walk to the World famous “town of wall murals”.

I have stayed in a few B&B’s – and Andrea has been in dozens and dozens – and this was one of the sweetest. Beautiful inside and out. The Scented Garden has two suites (both large) and the one we stayed in (Island Thyme) was huge with a massive soaker tub and a shower big enough for 4 people.

Breakfast selections change regularly but we had a superb French Toast with whipped cream and edible flowers. Best French bread since Hawaii folks! Other items include Yogurt, granola, breads, juices and big pots of great coffee and an English pot of tea.

Rick & Micheala O’Doherty, who run Scented Garden, felt like family within minutes of meeting them – I would not hesitate to stay there again – and encourage others going to the Theater or visiting Chemainus or using the area as a base camp as a jumping off point for other Vancouver Island exploration options to consider a long stay.

It was a great weekend indeed!

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Summer Food Fun and Drink 10 Guys and Dolls Chemainus Dinner Theater · 17.07.10 by colin newell

Andrea and I hit the road Friday for Chemainus, British Columbia and the Chemainus theater for their presentation of Guys and Dolls.

Guys and Dolls Chemainus Dinner theater big thumbs upTen Tony awards, seven Laurence Olivier and six Drama Desk Awards make Guys and Dolls an lovable piece of twenties Americana. Luck Be A Lady was the one song that rung bells for me – and although I am more of a Gilbert and Sullivan kind of guy, I found Guys and Dolls well paced, and lively with a cast of journeymen actors (some of whom multi-tasking in the orchestra!

The velvet smooth Sky Masterson, played by David Leyshon was perfectly cast with vocal wunderkind Megan Morrison as Sarah Brown. The subplot of Miss Adelaide (Janet Gigliotti) and Nathan Detroit (Robert Clarke) keeps the audience busy with its heartwarming storyline of unrequited patience – Described as the perfect musical comedy; Gangsters, card sharks, night club headliners and the Salvation Army – is a high energy show that would resonate with anyone a tad over the age of 40 – some of the situations and “lingo” might miss the mark for the younger crowd – but everyone seemed to have a blast.

The Chemainus theater has 274 seats in a very steep “Savoy” style and design which puts you in the action. The stage area is inches from the front row – and in the case of Guys and Dolls, the set was simple but immensely innovative.

At the last moment Andrea and I opted for the dinner buffet in lieu of searching in vain for Chemainus cuisine (I am sure there are other street choices but I did not dig that deep.) The buffet, at around 25$ per person was staggering with interesting and fresh choices, an enticing salad bar with some modern choices, hot entree’s included wild salmon, vegetarian ravioli, carved strip loin and BBQ pork ribs. The dessert table buckled under pancreas stressing cheesecakes, pecan flans, fruit pies, cream pies and an ice cream sundae attendant!

Guys and Dolls plays matinee and evening shows through September 11th 2010 – Don’t wait. Get your tickets now. We are actually considering going in for seconds!

While in Chemainus on the Friday night, we stayed at the ultra-romantic Scented Garden B&B – going to blog that shortly.

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Summer Food Fun and Drink Chapter 5 Working with Wood at Camosun · 30.06.10 by colin newell

Download the Fine wood-working schedule here – Camosun-Woodworking-Summer-2010.pdf | We spoke with Betsi Davis (bdavis@camosun.bc.ca) at Camosun in the Continuing Education dept. about some of their fine wood working courses for the summer of 2010. There are a few of the courses that are in jeopardy of not happening owing to enrollment minimums not being met.

Two in particular are “ Veneering and Inlay” course and the “Wood Carving Level 2” which are never offered outside of the Summer Woodworking Institute in July.

I have attached the pdf brochure for the courses. Let’s get the word out.

Attached a handout on our Woodworking Summer series of courses as requested.

Betsi says… “As you now know, we need to meet a minimum number of students to run any course and by sharing this information with you – and having you share this information with your colleagues, we could possibly meet the minimum requirements for those upcoming courses that we discussed.
Again, thank you for your input and your efforts!”

Betsi Davis – Administration
Trades & Technology – Continuing Education
Camosun College – Interurban Campus
250-370-4563

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Final Rite of Spring #39 - Let's attack the poor - it's fun · 21.06.10 by colin newell

Rich JABBA THE HUT Coleman - True HeroIn Canada we have ancient magazine pushers like Readers Digest – who prey on the elderly with their micro-font contract deceptions and postal station busting book dumping binges…

Neoconservative Liberal funded think tanks that trumpet their masters every word (for a price…) – like how good the HST is going to be for us regular folk.

(And) Seemingly reputable publicly funded media outlets, like the CBC, that re-bleat and tweet every utterance of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Photo above right – Minister of Housing and Social Development, Rich Coleman

And all of this sort of makes sense – I mean, Readers Digest is a company that profits from sort of legally manipulating our elderly and vulnerable into parting with their retirement savings – I mean, sure, the elderly can eat pet food, yea?. (And)If we paid more attention to our seniors, a lot of these abuses would not happen.

And the CBC – well, it has a symbiotic relationship with Big Banks, Conservative think tanks and professional realty pundits and so on. Everyone wins in this game.

And I am not being cynical… really. I’m not. Yet anyway.

What I do not get is the Liberals twitchy and obsessive fixation with going after the most vulnerable in British Columbia society (yes folks, even the poor are part of our society…)

In late May 2010, the minister responsible, Jabba Rich the Hut Coleman, said the ministry had filed 317 cases in small claims court seeking repayments. Some of the cases involved fraud, while others may have filed incorrect information that resulted in over payments, he said at the time.

A single employable person (on social assistance) in BC gets 235.00 a month for food…and 375.00 for shelter. In Victoria or Vancouver that will not rent you a greasy corner of a garage.) Ironic that Coleman’s first name happens to be “Rich”!

Can you imagine an over-payment for a welfare recipient? What would that be? An extra $25 a month over the period of a year? A real back breaker that, yea?

In a Province that hands out millions in visibly excessive over compensation to corporate, government and academic fat-cats – Well, it is genuinely cynical… sick… miserable. And doesn’t make me feel particularly good about the place I live, my community, my society, my leaders or my Province.

And that’s where I am coming from. And thus ends a 39 part series on Springtime in Victoria B.C. Canada. Time to move on.

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