We’re all in this together

Given all the rhetoric being hurled around and sniping aimed at one group or another, we need to pause and remember that we're all in this together. That our similarities make us stronger. That our differences don't separate us as much as we're incited to believe. I say this broadly in response to what's going on in the world - there's no shortage of stories of religious intolerance, xenophobia, and downright meanness - but I want to focus on Alberta. Our economy is in rough shape, our government is trying to balance spending priorities with people's needs, and Albertans are facing a great deal of uncertainty about the future. No matter what, losing your job would be devastating. Being the target of hatred while trying to govern and do what…
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2015 Scotch Advent Calendar

Dana surprised me with the 2015 Scotch Advent Calendar this year and I'm pretty sure she's as excited as I am about it! Over 25 days I get to sample 25 (presumably) glorious whiskies. Each evening I'll update this post with a picture, my tasting notes, and thoughts on the whisky. #01 - 1999 Tomintoul 15 yo Distillery: Tomintoul Cask Type: Sherry Butt Cask #: 9289 Region: Speyside Age: 15 years ABV: 61% Nose: Creamy honey, light caramel. Palate: 61% is quite high and you can't taste much initially apart from the alcohol. With water you taste honey, pick up on the sweetness from the sherry, and get hints of oak. Finish: A medium length finish with a light spice, it becomes sharp and I got a burning alcohol sensation…
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Another Baby Story: Jude Matthew Edwards

Just kidding Waiting for our second child to arrive was a bit nerve-wracking maddening. See, Allie arrived two weeks early and, when we were given an estimated May 26 due date, we expected this little one to show up 10-14 days ahead of schedule (for what it's worth, I predicted May 16). Just in case Dana went into labour, I worked from home for what ended up being two weeks; if nothing else this showed me I'd go stir crazy being a home-based employee. And to really hammer home how little control we had over the arrival, we thought we were about to meet the newest addition to our family on May 18, then again on May 20, and again on May 21. Maddening. This time for real By May 23, I'd pretty much resigned myself to the fact that this baby was staying put until Christmas and would have…
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Is Your Donation Being Spent Wisely?

Charitable organizations transform the lives of people in our communities, across our nation, and around the world. In the news this morning we heard Nepal experienced its second massive earthquake in three weeks and that organizations and governments are working around the clock to provide relief. Closer to home, the company I work for proudly and strongly supports the United Way and the Children’s Hospitals in Alberta through our annual campaigns. On an individual level, I give my time to Junior Achievement Northern Alberta and donate to organizations my family believes in. With all of the different charitable organizations asking for help, how do you know the money you’re donating is going to be spent wisely and provide the best support to those in need? MoneySense evaluated 100 Canadian charities in November 2014 and assigned…
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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 finish. Kicking Horse - Grizzly Claw Nose (freshly ground) - Dark and woody, it's pleasant and not overpowering. Nose (espresso) - The dark and woody smell continues from the grounds and you…
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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 classes about tools and technology, general business concepts, the importance of communication and leadership skills, and why personal financial management matters. And it’s easy for anyone to do: the lesson…
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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 Tomatin had released the Cuatro series: four 12 year-old whiskies finished in different barrels. Having had the Legacy and 15 year-old previously, the Tomatin distillery became an easy choice. We…
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