Coffee Tasting on Apr 12, 2015

A few weeks back, John from Cooper’s Cask Coffee got in touch and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing their Whiskey Barrel Aged beans in light of my appreciation for scotch. Coffee beans aged in a whisky barrel, you say? Sold. A few emails back and forth and the beans were on their way. Staying true to the form of a scotch tasting, I decided this coffee tasting would feature the Whiskey Barrel Aged beans and my everyday go-to beans, Grizzly Claw, from Kicking Horse Coffee. I chose espresso as the method of brewing, used Glencairn glasses, and took note of the nose of the beans when freshly ground, the nose when fresh in the cup, the flavours, the palate, and the…

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National Volunteer Week

It’s National Volunteer Week and I’m going to plug the organization I give my time to: Junior Achievement Northern Alberta. JA’s mission is “to inspire and educate young Canadians to experience free enterprise, understand business and economics, and develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills.” This speaks to me because it’s relevant, it’s something I wish I had available to me growing up, and it helps set kids up for success starting at Grade 3 and lasting through Grade 12. The experience I’ve had in my career is the perfect background when talking to students about any number of topics. I’ve taught…

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Tomatin Scotch Tasting on Feb 28, 2015

Southside, Edmonton On Saturday, February 28, 2015, I sat down with ten gentlemen to taste six whiskies from the Tomatin distillery. This was the first time one of my tastings has featured a lineup from a single distillery and it gave the group a chance to explore the similarities – and, in some cases, stark contrasts – within a whisky family. The challenge I put in front of myself for this tasting was to choose a distillery that offered a variety of whiskies that differed in finish and not just age. Glendronach was where I was leaning until I discovered…

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Allie Goes For A Plane Ride

This month we took a two-week family vacation to Maui – it was lovely there. Less so was the travel day on each end. Our flight to Maui was via Vancouver, taking us just over an hour to Vancouver and then another 5.5 hours to Maui. The flight home was (thankfully) direct and took just 6 hours. For those who don’t know my daughter, Allie is 18 months old, strong-willed, rambunctious, and vocal (like an air raid siren). The prospect of Allie in a sealed aluminum tube filled with people for 6 hours was, to say the least, worrying. Not to mention the fact that Dana is 4 months pregnant. So we…

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On Performance Reviews and Ratings

Performance review season tends to come once or twice a year. I’ve had formal reviews of my performance and goals both semi-annually and annually and can honestly say I found neither approaches effective. The fundamental problem with the length of time between performance reviews is that the feedback from six or, heaven forbid, twelve months ago is in no way timely and consequently no longer relevant. Being told about something I could have done differently six months ago was beyond aggravating. How could I be expected to change my behaviour when no one told me? And, if you know me, I like to be right (or at least do things the…

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