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Terrific Tuna

February 6, 2008 @ 08:09

Indians Shores,FLA - I realize when I do these postings from far away places I tend to talk about food a lot, but what the hell, food is part of a good vacation and if you love seafood, it's a huge part of a Florida vacation.

Something else we've discovered on this trip is tuna. No, I don't mean tuna in a can that you add mayonnaise to, I'm talking about tuna steaks and how good they can be presented in different ways.

Let me tell you about something called Ahi tuna. It's an appetizer at Crabby Bill's and it's crazy good. It's tuna quickly seared, sliced thin and then served almost raw. Like sushi, it comes with ginger and wasabi and you can't get enough of the stuff.

Yesterday I had it over an Asian salad with a mango vinegarette dressing and it made my eyes roll back in my head. If you get the chance, try some of this stuff.

And so blown away with the lunch time experience with tuna, we bought a couple of Ahi tuna steaks at a fish store right afterwards and barbecued them last night. We blackened them first, and although slightly over-done they were delicious.

Just so you know, Ahi tuna is also known as Yellowfin.

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Oysters, Crab and Kidneys

February 5, 2008 @ 08:22

Indian Shores, FLA - We arrived in the Clearwater area on Saturday afternoon, and immediately after checking into our condo, me and my buddy Darren did what we always do when we’re in this area, we headed for PJ’s Oyster Bar.

PJ’s is at Gulf Boulevard and Hwy 688 in Indian Rocks and the current price is $5.49 a dozen. Compare that to the latest GTA price of close to two dollars “per” oyster.

Oysters aren’t for everyone but if you like em, you’d love the oysters at PJ’s. Like oysters, you can get good ones and bad ones. I don’t know if they lose something in transport or if other things affect them, but I know the odd time I’ve had oysters in Toronto, they never taste as good as PJ’s.

And at $5.49 a dozen you can’t be the price. At least we didn’t think you could.

Not until PJ’s was closed on Sunday for a Super Bowl party and we went across the street to a place called Crabby Bill’s. Crabby’s oysters were just as good to the taste, but that also cost only $4.99 a dozen.

Talk about heaven.

And we discovered something else at PJ’s. Stone crab. I’d never had stone crab before, but it got a lot more inviting at Crabby Bill’s when I compared his king crab prices to PJ’s.

A king crab meal at PJ’s on Saturday was $19.99 while Crabby Bill wanted thirty two bucks. Crazy and beyond reason so our eyes slid down to stone crab which is seasonal and this just happens to be the season.

They wanted $16.99 for a pound of stone crab and we went for it – and what a fabulous decision. Stone crab has a different taste and different texture and it’s a bit more work, but it’s sweet and delicious. We’re going back for more today.

Another thing we’re doing today is spending ninety bucks for a round of golf at a place called Bardmoor near Clearwater. I suck at golf and I’m much more comfortable on a course that’s priced in the forty to fifty dollar range.

They tend to be full of people of similar ability and I’ve noticed the cheaper the course, the fewer the bunkers they have, especially ringing the green. Ninety dollars is a lot to pay for a round of golf in this area, so imagine the course will be like spending the afternoon on the beach.

It might be a tad embarrassing as well. Yesterday at a forty dollar course my driver decided it wanted to slice everything way off the beaten path so on the eighth hole I put it away and used my five iron for the rest of the day.

That’s how awkward I am. I was hitting my five iron off the tee longer and straighter than I was hurting my Big Bertha. Nevertheless, using my five iron I actually shot less than 50 on the back nine and that’s huge for me. Remember, I really blow at this game.

Other things of note: The temperature was 75 degrees yesterday with no humidity. It was the perfect day for golf and medicinal after spending a couple of months in the dark and gloomy days of winter in Canada.

And despite traveling all this way I still can’t escape Brampton bashing.

Yesterday in the group ahead of us we met a guy from Pickering, and after telling him that I lived in Brampton he quickly shot back with this.

“Have you still got both your kidneys?”

Obvious reference to the doctor who’s in the illegal kidney trade and who has a house in Brampton of all the goddamn places. I hadn’t heard the story so it was fun to stand there while this guy for Pickering took great pleasure in telling me about the “kidney guy” in my home town.

But afterwards I got to thinkin’. It’s not all bad. After this trip, I might look the guy up and see if he does livers.

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February 1, 2008 @ 09:26

I’m leaving for Florida tomorrow morning, where I’ll spend two of the next three weeks. I'll be home for a week in between.

This doesn’t mean will go quiet because I’ll be talking my laptop with me and the Clearwater condo I’m staying in has top notch high speed.

I like Florida and I like Clearwater. As I’ve pointed out on many occasions over the past couple of years I’m done with the islands and Mexico. I found them to be too much work.

Long flights and then long ground transportation to all-inclusive resorts that despite their quality serve food that my digestive system can't handle after two or three days.

Sitting on a beach while being badgered by trinket merchants in between visits to the shitter isn’t my idea of a good time anymore. Racing to the washroom while your stomach sac tries to force its way out of your asshole can be rather unsettling.

I can’t take the sun, the food or the people, and that includes fellow travelers. I don’t like traveling in groups. I don’t like seeing somebody at Pearson and then seeing them on the plane, at the resort and most of all on the bus to and from the airport. Without fail there's always some wanker on the bus who leaves the impression he's never left home before as he talks too loud, drinks too much and is way too friendly.

I get aggravated quite easily.

Compare that to Florida where you can fly within three hours, get a rental car and travel on to your own private condo with all the amenities. You can shop at normal grocery stores, drink quality booze and therefore have normal bowel movements.

I like not having to worry about “wandering off the resort, keeping my passport on my person at all times, being suspicious of police or worrying that I might have to visit a doctor.”

I might sound like a wimp and that I’m over-reacting, but I’ve done the island thing more than most people and it just doesn’t appeal to me anymore.

In Florida you can get up in the morning, have a stroll on the beach, maybe play a round of golf that doesn’t cost a couple of hundred bucks, catch happy hour at a local bar, go to a nice restaurant for dinner and if things line up properly go to a Tampa Bay Lightning game at night.

Believe me, I’d much rather go to a hockey game than have to sit through one of those cheesy goddamn “theme shows” that they offer at island resorts.

Yup I’ve rediscovered Florida and I make no apologies for it. It might be changing interests, it might be less tolerance for the punishing sun or it might be that I’ve turned into a grouchy old prick, I don’t know and I don’t plan on spending a lot of time figuring it out.

All I know is that I’m going to Florida tomorrow.

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Back To The Dark Ages

January 30, 2008 @ 09:22

CFRB provided live coverage of last nights Toronto District School Board meeting and I was stuck to the radio for most it.

Who says minorities don't have power in our society. A small minority of delusional racists got their way last night which means Toronto will have Africentric programs this fall, and an Africentric school in the fall of 2009.

It didn’t take long for last nights meeting to take a compelling twist when the mother of Jordan Manners stepped to the microphone and to speak out against Africentric schools.

Jordan Manners was gunned down at C.W Jefferys Collegiate last May and in some regard helped resuscitate the Africentric school issue.

But Jordan’s mother said no. Loreen Small, was awkward and eloquent at the same time as she pleaded with the TDSB to forget about “segregating” students and instead look for ways to bring kids to together under one roof in a productive and safe environment.

It was refreshing and it was sensible and it came from a source that you might expect to feel exactly the opposite.

Unfortunately things changed a few minutes later when Donna Harrow stepped the microphone and tried to work up the crowd by claiming Africentric schools are facing scrutiny that other specialty schools are not.

To express this point she took on a condescending tone as she talked about “little blond haired and blue eyed” kids who are grouped in other alternative programs without any one raising an objection.

Of course it was ridiculous because the programs she spoke of are wide open to children of all races and that leads to another point. Some argue that Africentric schools do not represent segregation because they too will be open to children of any colour. It seemed to be a recurring theme last night.

Dream on.

Africentric schools are being promoted by black people for black people to learn about black people and to pretend they will be attended by white children is to promote a fantasy.

As Loreen Small said, Africentric schools will do nothing but take black kids out of the mainstream and prevent them from preparing for the realities of the world facing them.

But that fell on the deaf ears of the delusional racist minority. People like Angela Wilson who used her time at the microphone to lash out and accuse the school board of locking shut the minds of young black people and activist Murphy Brown who used her time to connect the school board to black crime and she ended her speech with an accusing shot at "Toronto's finest."

But they did their job. They took the focus off the root problem and main reason why black kids are failing within the system – parenting.

Once again this issue was widely ignored last night; instead speaker after speaker kept laying blame at the feet of the TDSB like it’s the school boards responsibility to raise their children.

Call me crazy but I think it’s safe to say, in most cases schools fail because parents have failed before their kids leave the house in the morning.

But nobody wants to talk about that. It’s too uncomfortable. It takes too much work to change that. It’s easier to blame someone else and dream up ways to pass the buck.

Like Africentic schools, which are wrong, and semantics aside, represent segregation and they should not be allowed to exist.

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The Fear Of It All

January 28, 2008 @ 10:12

We’re going to learn a lot about Canadian society tomorrow night when the Toronto District School Board meets to vote on Africnetric schools.

If anyone thinks this will be just another meeting to vote on a proposal they’re dead wrong, because this won’t be a vote, this will be a demand by the majority in attendance and probably turn into an incident if they don’t get their way.

This issue has gone way beyond right or wrong or sensible or stupid, it’s turned into an issue that has been leveraged by race, plain and simple.

In November when the issue was left off the agenda through a misunderstanding, chaos followed with yelling and screaming, an obscene song being sung and parents occupying the chairs of some board members.

Tomorrow’s vote won’t be based on anything but fear.

All those involved will be afraid to vote anything but “yes” to Africentric schools because to vote the other way will be an invitation for some nasty fallout and nobody wants to deal with it.

Even he premier has showed his fear. He’s publicly come against Africentric schools, but he doesn’t have the balls to step in and put an end to this madness. He has said he won’t over-rule the trustees.

In other words, he gets play both sides. Say no to the concept, yet free himself of any direct responsibility. It’s typical of the man and should come as a surprise to nobody.

Yes, tomorrow night will be a great measuring stick of where we’re at in Canada.

Africentric schools are wrong and provide a useless remedy for a symptom but not the cause, and it’s as plain as the nose on your face. But that doesn’t matter anymore.

A small select group wants Africentric schools and they’ve learned how to get their way.

The rest of us may not like the method, but it sure as hell works and tomorrow night will prove it.

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Stop The Madness

January 25, 2008 @ 11:25

I listened with great interest yesterday as Toronto’s talk radio stations dealt with Africentric schools.

It’s one of those issues where you just want to pound your head against the wall because it’s so ridiculous. Its segregation in its purest form and to think that members of the black community want to go back to something their ancestors fought so hard against is irony in its fullest form.

Black schools are wrong and all they would do is perpetuate the real problem that plagues the kids in question; the lack of a solid family structure and discipline at home.

I know, I know. Every situation is different and every life is unique and you can’t throw a blanket over an entire issue, but the longer some members of the black community, and more specifically the Jamaican community refuse to identify the root problem, the more their children will suffer.

I find it fascinating that accusations and insults can be fired by some members of the black community towards our schools our teachers our police and so called white society in general, yet the moment criticism is directed the other way its immediately stifled with the cry of racism.

In all the reports and recommendations on Africentric schools, nowhere is the issue of parenting addressed. No where is single family homes addressed, and nowhere can you find any responsibility placed on the shoulders of people who have lost control of their kids at home.

It’s nothing more than passing the buck. Parents who have failed at home refuse to take responsibility and then look for other people to blame.

Why is it that Asian kids, or East Asian kids or kids from other colours and cultures don’t seem to have the problems within our system that some black kids do? And why is it that black parents from places like Bermuda and Barbados and Trinadad and Tobago are dead against black schools?

It’s because there isn’t so much a racial problem within our schools, it’s more of a cultural problem; a culture that accepts fatherless homes and multiple children by multiple sperm donors as the norm.

This issue really hits home with my family. I've told this story before, but here it goes again, my wife was born in South Africa and the word “coloured:” is stamped across her birth certificate. Her parents moved the family out of South Africa because apartheid was wrong and they wanted their kids to live in a free society where all kids were treated the same, where all kids would mix and grow and thrive together.

When my wife and her brother came to Canada they were the only non-whites in their classrooms for years, right into high school, and although it wasn’t easy at times, they managed within the system, and with decent direction at home, they did thrive.

My in-laws are totally disgusted with the thought of Africentric schools and so is my wife. It’s a horrible step backwards and slippery slope that will only lead to demands by other groups for schools of their own.

My in-laws aren’t big on the word Africentric either. If anyone could genuinely call themselves African-Canadians it would be them.

But they refuse. They’re Canadians. All for one and one for all. Especially schools.

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January 25, 2008 @ 11:24

Greetings Fred!

That was a great interview with Pete – you wouldn’t believe what I had to do to hear the Pete & Geets morning show up in Barrie before ‘ny moved to the CN tower (couldn’t hang up our coats and there was no tin foil for the roast).

That period of time in the 80’s was the greatest for me (I’m 40 this year). It was because of the fun stuff you guys did (and later with Humble) that led me into a radio broadcasting career myself. First as a copywriter, promotions, operator, on-site producer then in sales (yuk). Then the wife threatened divorce if I didn’t get out.

I love radio, sad that the suits have wrecked it and am now about to start a new career as an insurance broker (there’s a joke in there somewhere). I always enjoyed what you did on the radio – I still remember Mr. Gooheead trying to sell his gas – the promos – “Humble and Fred – one door two knobs”. All you guys brought fun into my mornings whether it was school, work (or now lack of work).

If you ever win the lottery (or if I win the lottery) or if you or I meet some crazy people that have money burning holes in their pockets, you would be one of the first people I would call to start a new station of sports and rock talk.

Take care Fred, miss you on the air.
Regards, James.

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Far From Over

January 18, 2008 @ 09:53

It will be at least another year before we know the outcome of the Rob Ramage case.

After receiving a four year sentence for his various drunken driving convictions yesterday Ramage’s lawyer Brian Greenspan immediately filed an appeal.

It will take at least a year to work its way through the system and when they return to Newmarket court sometime in 2009 Greenspan will argue against the conviction on several counts including a number of mistakes the judge allegedly made.

What bothers me about this case are two things. First of all, the claim that high levels of alcohol that were found in his blood may have come from the rubbing alcohol used to take the samples, and that the smell of beer on Ramage was caused by the explosion of several cans in the back seat on impact.

Listen, if I was up on the same charges as Rob Ramage I’d want the best defense possible as well. But those two arguments seem like a huge stretch to me and the attempt by a shrewd attorney to screw with the system, they also make me feel like I’m being taken for a dummy.

I think this case if far from over, and given the long and storied tradition of money buying justice in this country I’m still not convinced that Rob Ramage will spend much time in jail

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Further To Redheads

January 18, 2008 @ 09:52

Fred: Gidday from Ottawa!

I have been reading (and fancy that, listening also - nice refinement to your site) about the redhead thing. First off I must admit that I too have never been with one, unfortunately, so I son't know about the carpet matching the drapes . Always have had something for them though.

Anyhow, I must relate what happened to me today, thanks to you. My brother who has muscular distrophy and has been in the hospital for about 3 months, is about to be released at the end of the month. Today we had a "family" meeting at the re-hab centre (where he now is) with all of the doctor's and therapists in attendance. There where about 10 different people in the room other than family, and only the doctor was male.

So there is was staring down the conference room table at 9 felames, 3 of which happen to be redheads, and 2 of 'em were not bad looking. Now comes the "thanks to you" part. All I could think about the whole time was you bringing this whole mystery to light once again!!!! THANKS

Scott Fincham
Ottawa, ON

P.S. Just in case you wonder how us folk find you......I lived in Toronto for 9 years (nice place to visit, but wouldn't want to live there again) and became a fan of yours. Discovered one night about a year ago while surfing to see if I could find out what happened to Scruff Connors.

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Full Steam Ahead

January 17, 2008 @ 09:03

The Toronto District School Board has decided to move ahead with the concept of Africentric schools.

At a closed meeting on Monday, they will recommend various concepts including a stand alone school, or black focused programs in three existing schools, and then it will probably be put to a vote on January 30th.

And once it gets to a vote, we all know how that vote is going to go. It will pass because by that point in the process potential dissenters will be deathly afraid of the “R” word.

I don’t have to waste any time explaining what an Africentric school is because if you care about this issue I’m sure you’re well aware of what’s involved. It’s a form of segregation that will actually take this country back a few steps.

But that doesn’t matter, because they parents who are pushing for this misguided concept prefer to point fingers and blame everyone else for their shortcomings. Deep down you’ve got to believe these parents know how they’ve dropped the ball and lost control of their kids, but it’s much easier to blame the establishment even if it means going back to the dark ages.

Don't kid yourself, these schools aren't for black kids, they're for bad parents.

The irony of some black people wanting something they fought against for decades is extremely amusing.

It doesn’t matter from here on out people, this is going to happen because in our society the squeaky wheel gets the grease and playing the system in Canada has become a no-brainer for many.

I should mention Toronto School Trustee Josh Matlow. He’s come out publicly against an Africentric school, calling it "the top of the slippery slope."

He must be a racist.

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